21 November 2018

21 Nov.ND: Altaf Bukhari is 'consensus' J&K CM candidate as Congress, PDP, NC join hands to thwart Sajjad Lone/ 50% ATMs in India may shut down by March: warns ATM Industry CATMi/ Farmers were badly affected by demonetisation, admits Agriculture Ministry

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
21 Nov. 2018:12 Rabiul-I 1440: Vol: 11, No:60
Altaf Bukhari is 'consensus' J&K CM candidate as Congress, PDP, NC join hands to thwart Sajjad Lone
PDP, Congress, and National Conference (NC) today confirmed an alliance in J&K, ahead of 19 Dec deadline to the Governor's Rule in the state. According to reports, PDP's Altaf Bukhari is the 'consensus' candidate for the post of CM. In order to checkmate efforts by BJP to prop another Govt, the mainstream parties have been in touch with each other to form a Govt, according to reports.The plan envisages a coalition between PDP and Congress, which have been partners in a Govt between 2002 and 2007, backed from outside by National Conference. PDP has 28 MLAs, followed by NC with 15 and Congress with 12 which will make up for a clear majority. The alliance is being discussed with the aim of stemming BJP's chances of forming the Govt in the state again.NDTV reported that the talks to form an alliance are in the "advanced stage". 3 parties might meet Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday, to discuss the proposal, the report said. Sources said that the Congress party is expected to hold a high-level meeting in Delhi on Friday. Ghulam Nadi Azad, leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said, "I believe in my party members. By tomorrow afternoon everything will be sorted out. An alliance is being talked about in all states. BJP first made Govt with PDP, and they worsened the condition of the state." NC made it clear that they were not interested in joining a coalition Govt but would not be averse to giving outside support to a PDP-Congress coalition.The coming together of traditionally bitter rivals, PDP and NC, would mark a significant realignment of political forces in the state. NC had offered its support to PDP after 2014 Assembly polls but the latter ignored the offer and aligned with the BJP. Efforts have also been underway to form a Govt headed by Sajjad Lone's People's Conference, which has only 2 MLAs but which would be banking on support by 25 MLAs of BJP. However, this combination would fall short of the required majority of 44 which is sought to be made by splitting PDP which has been rocked by dissidence. After BJP's withdrawal from the coalition Govt with PDP on 16 June, Lone is understood to have been approaching disgruntled PDP leaders for forming an alliance with BJP, sources said.Imran Ansari, ex PDP minister, is among a few others who have been cosy with Peoples Conference, which has also approached some of MLAs for joining the alliance with BJP.On Tuesday, one of founding members of PDP, Muzaffar Hussain Baig, the brain behind its ‘self-rule’ document, gave a veritable setback to the party by throwing his weight behind BJP ally Lone’s idea of opening a new chapter in troubled politics of the state. Firstpost
Sajad Lone has company: PDP’s heavyweight Muzaffar Hussain Baig offers to join
PDP Announces It Will Be Forming an Alliance With Congress, NC in J&K
Hurriyat leader shot dead in Anantnag
Srinagar :Hurriyat leader Mir Hafizullah was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Kashmir’s Anantnag district Tuesday, eight days after he reportedly received threatening calls. Mir was killed when gunmen barged into his house in Achabal and fired at him from point blank range.“Terrorists today barged inside the residential house of one Mir at Budoora Achabal district Anantnag and fired indiscriminately,” a police statement said.“In this incident Hafizullah sustained critical gunshot wounds and was evacuated to nearby hospital where he succumbed. Police has registered a case under relevant sections of law and initiated investigation in the matter.”A statement by the joint separatist leadership, comprising of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Yasin Malik, said, “Hafizullah was a highly educated, sensible and visionary pro-freedom leader and his sincerity, dedication and sacrifices have earned him a distinguished place and status in the state political circles especially South Kashmir.” They blamed Govt for killing and called for a complete shutdown in the Valley tomorrow.At Achabal, several thousand people attended his funeral, which was also addressed telephonically by Geelani, the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat founder.indianexpress

HC extends relief from arrest to Navlakha, others till tomorrow
Mumbai: Bombay high court today extended the relief by a day from arrest granted to civil rights activist Gautam Navlakha, professor Anand Teltumbde and priest Stan Swamy in a case against them over the Bhima Koregaon violence and alleged links with Maoists. A bench of Justices BP Dharamadhikari and Sarang Kotwal will hear on Thursday the petitions filed by the 3 activists, challenging FIR registered against them by Pune Police on Jan.1 in connection with the Elgar Parishad event held on Dec.31, 2017. The police had alleged that Maoists supported Elgar Parishad conclave in Pune, which led to the violence.Several activists were named in FIR. Some of them, including Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj, P Varavara Rao, and Gautam Navlakha, were initially put under house arrest on directions of the Supreme Court. However, all of them except Navlakha were re-arrested and taken into custody by police recently.PTI
50% ATMs in India may shut down by March: warns ATM Industry CATMi
Nearly 50 %  ATMs may be shut down by March 2019 due to unviability of operations, hitting hard both urban and rural population, the Confederation of ATM Industry (CATMi) warned on Wednesday.India has approximately 2,38,000 ATMs, of which around 1,13,000 ATMs, including 1,00,000 off-site and more than 15,000 white label ATMs, are expected to down their shutters, said a CATMi spokesperson.“This would severely impact millions of beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana who withdraw subsidies in the form of cash through ATMs, besides urban centres, resulting in snaky queues and chaos akin to post-demonetisation,” said the spokesperson.He said the CATMi step is forced on account of recent regulatory guidelines for ATMs hardware and software upgrades, recent mandates on cash management standards and the cassette swap method of loading cash.The measure will also result in huge job losses in the industry that would be detrimental to financial services in the economy as a whole.HT
Farmers were badly affected by demonetisation, admits Agriculture Ministry
Union Agriculture Ministry has admitted in its report that around millions of farmers in the country were unable to buy seeds and fertilisers for their Rabi crops because of demonetisation. The report was submitted by Union Agriculture Ministry to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance.The official claim has come after a day when PM  Narendra Modi, in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh, said that he used the bitter medicine of demonetisation to bring back money into the banking system and to give proper treatment to deep-rooted corruption system.Chaired by Congress MP Veerappa Moily, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, was on November 20, briefed on the effect of demonetisation by the Ministries of Agriculture, Labour and Employment, and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).According to a report in The Hindu, the report submitted by the Agriculture ministry said that demonetisation was brought into effect when the farmers were involved in either selling their Kharif crops or transplanting Rabi crops.Both these farming activities require huge amounts of cash, which demonetisation removed from the market. “India’s 263 million farmers live mostly in the cash economy. Millions of farmers were unable to get enough cash to buy seeds and fertilisers for their winter crops. Even bigger landlords faced a problem such as paying daily wages to the farmers and purchasing agriculture needs for growing crops.”nationalheraldindia
Maharashtra: 30,000 farmers, tribals begin 2-day protest
Around 30,000 farmers and tribals begin their 2-day protest march from Thane today  to ensure that their pending demands are met.The protest march will start in Thane and end at Azad Maidan. Some of major demands include the implementation of Swaminathan Committee Report, passing of claims under Forest Rights Act (FRA), MSP and setting up of a judicial system to ensure its implementation, complete farm loan waiver and compensation of drought of ₹50,000 per acre for non-irrigated land and ₹1 lakh per acre for irrigated land.Maharashtra unit of AAP has extended support to the protest.nationalheraldindia
Manmohan: Modi regime making calibrated bid to weaken democracy
Former PM  Manmohan Singh today said the credibility of institutions like Parliament and CBI has been systematically denigrated in the Modi-led regime, which he said is making "careful, well-thought-out calibrated efforts" to weaken democracy. Singh said corruption was peaking in Modi Govt."The country has witnessed credibility of institutions like Parliament and CBI systematically denigrated. There is a careful well-thought-out calibrated effort to weaken democracy," he said."The rule of law is under attack. history shall never forgive our present generation if the situation is not changed," he said.He termed demonetisation as "organised loot and legalised plunder". "It (demonetisation) is a done act and can't be reverted. It is up to the people to get rid of Govt which brought them on this disastrous path,"he said. Singh also accused Modi of misusing the PM's post. "It does not befit PM to abuse political opponents,"he said.nationalheraldindia
Chidambaram: Modi Govt destroyed MSMEs, now wants RBI to revive it
Picking on PM  Narendra Modi's remarks that demonetisation was a "bitter" medicine to get rid of black money, Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday, November 21, said it destroyed the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and now the Govt wanted RBI to revive sector.The former Finance Minister also took strong exception to remarks reported in the media of an unnamed Govt functionary who had said that Govt had acquired primacy on policy matters vis-a-vis the Reserve Bank of India."The truth, Mr PM , is that you used note ban as a 'tez' (bitter) medicine to destroy MSME. Now, Govt wants RBI to revive that sector!" Chidambaram said in a tweet.IANS/PTI
Goa crisis: Civil society demands CM Parrikar’s resignation, gives 48-hour ultimatum
Members of the civil society supported by political parties such as Congress, Shiv Sena and NCP have demanded resignation of the ailing Goa CM Manohar Parrikar. Asking for the “restoration of governance” in Goa, members of the civil society marched towards CM Parrikar’s residence on Tuesday, however they were stopped 3000 meters from CMs residence.Led by the Congress, members of the civil society have sought an appointment with the CM also.“A 10 member delegation will meet the CM  to ascertain his factual health condition and if  he is unwell, will demand his resignation, as there is a total collapse of law and order and administration in state,” reads a letter written by advocate Aires Rodrigues to the Chief Secretary of Goa.The civil society march coincided with the hunger strike being observed by RTI activist Rajan Ghate at Azad Maidan demanding Parrikar’s resignation.“They (members of civil society) have given an ultimatum of 48 hours to the CM. If he does not meet members of the civil society, they will launch a state-wide protest against BJP Govt,” said a senior Congress leader who participated in the protest-march.nationalheraldindia
First death sentence awarded in 1984 riot cases re-opened by SIT: Unaddressed pain, grievance
New Delhi :Stating that two convicts in an anti-Sikh riots case had “escaped the process of law” since 1984, a Delhi court Tuesday awarded death sentence to one and life imprisonment to another. This is the first death penalty awarded in cases probed by a SIT, constituted in 2015 to re-investigate “serious criminal cases”.Delivering the sentence on the premises of Tihar Jail where he held court due to security concerns, Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Ajay Pandey said the court must “rise” to the demand of society since “unaddressed pain and grievance may bring distrust and disaffection towards the procedure and efficacy of law”.He awarded the death penalty to convict Yashpal and life imprisonment to Naresh Sehrawat who were “participants of an unlawful assembly” which murdered Hardev Singh and Avtar Singh in Mahipalpur on October 31, 1984 in the wake of PM  Indira Gandhi’s assassination.A fine of Rs 35 lakh each was imposed on the two convicts and the money will be paid to the families of the victims.indianexpress
Bhim Army Chief Bats for Dalit-Muslim Unity, Says Combination Can Reshape UP Politics
Lucknow: Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad has batted for the Dalit-Muslim unity ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, stating that the combination can play a major role in the future politics of UP .Addressing ‘Bahujan Samaj Banao’ rally in Bijnor, he advocated harmony between the 2 communities and underlined importance of social engineering that once was base of BSP.Azad alleged that BJP had not addressed needs of the marginalised communities and was afraid of the unity. “BJP Govts in the state and at the Centre were afraid of unity between Dalits and Muslims. BJP Govts had done nothing significant for both the communities along with other underprivileged communities,” he said. Many Muslim leaders, including former MLAs Gauhar Khand and Mohammad Ghazi, were present at the event and also tied a blue coloured turban on Azad’s head as a mark of solidarity.News18
Nearly 400 paramilitary personnel killed in action in 2015-17: MHA
New Delhi:Nearly 400 paramilitary personnel were killed due to firing from across the Indo-Pak border, and terrorist and insurgency violence in the country in the last three years, officials said on Wednesday.The highest number of personnel killed in action were from the BSF, which lost 167 persons between 2015 and 2017, and a majority of them were killed while guarding the highly sensitive border.CRPF has lost 103 personnel in the last three years, mostly while fighting Naxals and militancy in J&K , a Home Ministry official said.While the BSF lost 62 personnel in action in 2015, 58 in 2016 and 47 in 2017, the CRPF lost nine personnel in action in 2015, 42 in 2016 and 52 in 2017.PTI
NIA chargesheets Masood Azhar’s brother, 13 others in Nagrota army camp attack case
NIA Tuesday filed a chargesheet against Maulana Abdul Rouf Asgar, deputy chief of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad and brother of Maulana Masood Azhar, and 13 others in connection with a case pertaining to the attack on an Army camp in Nagrota in J&K  in November 2016, officials said.The spokesman of NIA said in a statement that the chargesheet was filed under various sections of Ranbir Penal Code (substitute of IPC in J&K ), UAPA and the Foreigners Act against the accused.PTI
J&K policeman’s killing: Delhi Police arrest man who gave info to militants
New Delhi :The special cell of Delhi Police claimed to have made the first arrest in the killing of a Sub-Inspector posted with the J&K  Police in Pulwama district in Oct.The accused was identified as Ansar ul Haque (28), who was earlier associated with a political party in Kashmir. According to the police, he later got associated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. Police have claimed that he leaked information pertaining to the slain S-I Imtiyaz Ahmad Mir’s movements to suspected militants.The police claimed that the accused lured Imtiyaz with the help of his girlfriend, who also knew him, and later tipped-off suspected militants. The militants tracked Mir’s car and intercepted it at Wahibugh village in Pulwama district. They then took him to a nearby stream and shot him dead.indianexpress
Winter Session: Ruckus In Maharashtra Assembly Over Muslim Reservation Issue
Mumbai :Amid the chaos on the second day of Maharashtra Assembly winter session, the house was adjourned till Thursday.This happened on Tuesday, after the heated debate on the Muslim reservation issue. The house was adjourned earlier in the afternoon too, because of the ruckus created by the ministers. Congress leader Aslam Sheikh and SP leader Abu Salim Azmi got agitated while speaking on the demands of the Muslim community for 5%  reservation. The two leaders tore and threw documents towards the speaker creating a ruckus while removing the 'whip' from its designated place. Addressing the state assembly, NCP leader Ajit Pawar also informed that Bombay High Court has also suggested the reservation for Muslim Community.Pawar demanded the state Govt should implement the same soon. After 2014, coalition Govt of BJP and Shiv Sena did not follow the court's order and cancelled the Muslim reservation quota.mumbailive
Shiv Sena wants quota for Muslims in Maharashtra ahead of Uddhav Thackeray’s Ayodhya visit
Mumbai: Shiv Sena is demanding the implementation of a Muslim quota in Maharashtra — at a time when party chief Uddhav Thackeray is preparing to visit Ayodhya to make a national statement about Sena’s commitment to the Hindutva agenda.Sunil Prabhu, Shiv Sena’s chief whip in the Maharashtra legislative assembly, Tuesday expressed his party’s support for a Muslim quota in the state, joining a discussion initiated by the opposition. While arguing that the BJP-led state Govt should clearly state how it plans to give reservation to the Marathas without touching the existing 52 %  quota in the state, Prabhu said that the Muslim, Dhangar and Lingayat communities should also get reservations.“Muslims are a part of this country. They have been demanding reservations for the betterment of the community,” Prabhu told ThePrint today.“If Shiv Sena is lending a voice to their demand so that the poor and oppressed get better opportunities, what is wrong in that,” he asked. The party has been consciously targeting Muslim voters over the past few years. Ahead of its annual Dussehra rally last month, some Sena organisers started a ‘Me Marathi Musalman’ campaign, releasing a video of a Muslim party worker from the Beed district.theprint
Shiv Sena leader arrested for announcing demolition of Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi
The deputy chief of Shiv Sena's UP unit, Ajay Chaube was arrested today for releasing a poster in the city announcing, "25 Nov.Ayodhya mein mandir nirman, Kashi mein Gyanvapi dhwast ka ailan."In the released poster, the alliance partner of BJP, Shiv Sena announced the demolition of Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi and the temple construction in Ayodhya. The poster carried the image of the Ram Mandir model and the image of the Gyanvapi mosque.However, the national spokesperson of the Shiv Sena, Sanjay Raut has distanced the party from the poster, saying he does not know any Chaube. He states that no call was put out for releasing such a poster and he blames the party’s “adversaries”. However those who know Chaube claims that he has been an active member of the Shiv Sena for years.“Through this poster, we have tried to put Shringar Gauri Gyanvapi mosque agenda into motion. Every year Shiv Saininks try to offer jalabhishek to the restricted site of Hindu deity Shringar Gauri on the premises of Gyanvapi mosque. But, their attempt was foiled by police. It has been in our agenda since the time of Bala Shaheb,” claimed Chaube.nationalheraldindia
Temple controversy:VHP invites 2 accused in Babri Masjid demolition as speakers at Dharma Sabha
VHP has invited two of the accused persons in Babri Masjid demolition case—ex BJP MP Ram Vilas Vedanti and Ram Katha narrator Sadhvi Ritambhara—to share the stage with other VHP leaders in Ayodhya on Nov.25. They are the key speakers at the event, said a VHP leader who is currently supervising preparations for the upcoming Dharma Sabha in Ayodhya. Ex-BJP MP from Pratapgarh Lok Sabha seat, Vedanti is a senior executive member of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas—an organisation formed as a trust to promote and oversee the construction of a temple in Ayodhya. He also heads Vashisth Peeth located in Lakhimpur Kheri, UP . A native of Rewa district Madhya Pradesh, Vedanti was accused of inciting karsevaks who demolished the Babri Masjid on Dec.6, 1992.Similarly, Sadhvi Ritambhara who heads the women wing of the VHP, Durha Vahini, was indicted by the Liberhan Commission that probed the Babri demolition case.According to the findings of the Commission, Ritambhara was culpable for leading the country “to the brink of communal discord” during the Ram temple movement.A fire brand speaker, Ritambhara was one of the key leaders who were responsible for the women’s participation in Ram temple movement in 1992.nationalheraldindia
Shiv Sena owns up demolition of Babri mosque Demands law for Ram temple
Lucknow:Owning up the demolition of Babri mosque in Ayodhya, Shiv Sena has asked the Narendra Modi Govt to bring a legislation for the construction of a temple at Ram Janmabhoomi Complex as the issue has been pending in court for over two decades and now the people are losing patience.“People today are talking about the construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya. This would not have been possible had Shiv Sainiks not demolished the disputed mosque on Dec.6, 1992,” Shiv Sena’s senior leader Sanjay Raut told media persons in Lucknow on Monday. Raut said the Union Govt should bring a legislation for the construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya and the Shiv Sena would support it. “Shiv Sena is committed to the construction of Ram temple. We have struggled for it. For us, Ram temple is not a ‘jumla’ as the Shiv Sena believes that Ram temple is not a subject of courts but of public sentiment and national honour,” Shiv Sena leader said.dailypioneer
Ban Rizvi’s film, demand clerics
Lucknow: The upcoming film ‘Ram Janmabhoomi’ produced by UP Shia Waqf Board chairman Waseem Rizvi portraying police firing on kar sewaks in Ayodhya in October/November 1990 has riled clerics so much that Rizvi had been excommunicated from Shia community. On Monday, Rizvi released a poster and trailer of the film which started 18 months back and announced that the film would hit the theatre screens in Dec.Prominent Shia cleric and Imam-e-Juma of Lucknow Maulana Kalbe Jawwad on Tuesday demanded the UP Govt to ban the film. He said that Shia Muslims had already excommunicated Rizvi and by launching controversial film, he stood expelled from the community of Muslims. Other clerics and leaders of Muslim outfits, including Sunni Muslims, also opposed the film by Rizvi.Maulana Jawwad said that the film trailer released in Lucknow was itself very provocative and the Govt must immediately act. In an afterthought, Jawwad said that they did not expect the BJP Govt to act against Rizvi and hence they would approach the court and seek a ban on the film. Without naming any political party, Jawwad said that the film release would only spread hatred in society and immensely benefit a particular party. Jawwad also submitted a memorandum to the state Govt demanding a ban on the film. Imam of the Aishgbagh Idgah Khalid Rashid said that the film trailer released on Monday was highly objectionable and it was a nefarious attempt to spread hatred in the society. President of Shia Personal Law Board Yasoob Abbas commented that the sole purpose of the film seemed to drive a wedge between Hindus and Muslims.President of Imam Welfare Association Imran Hassan Siddiqui wrote to CM Yogi Adityanath demanding a ban on the film saying that it aimed at promoting anarchy in the society. dailypioneer
Sentiments of Sunni Muslims hurt: Raza Academy on 'Ram Janmabhoomi' film
AMU is being run on Taliban ideology: BJP MP
BJP MP, Satish Kumar Gautam has stated that AMU is being run on Taliban ideology.Gautam's statement comes after posters showing India's map without J&K  were put up on the campus of AMU. BJP MP from Aligarh also wrote a letter to the Vice-Chancellor of AMU with a subject "AMU is being run on Taliban ideology".As per the details given by the AMU administration, the posters were made by the drama society for an anti-partition drama, which was supposed to take place in the university premises.dnaindia
'If 90% of Muslims don't vote for us, we could suffer huge loss': Kamal Nath video: TOI
Congress senior leader Kamal Nath is purportedly heard talking about the importance of Muslim votes for the party in a closed door meeting.In the video, the senior Congress leader is heard stressing on the need to study the polling percentage in Muslim majority booths in previous elections in Madhya Pradesh and find out why all Muslims don't come out to cast their votes."If at some booths the polling percentage is 60 % , we need to find out why was there a dip in voting," he says adding, "we need not 80 % , but 90 %  of Muslims to come out and vote.""If 90 %  Muslims don't vote for us, we could suffer a huge loss," Kamal Nath is heard saying.TOI
RSS man stabbed Rajasthan religious leader 35 times over land dispute, say police
Jaipur:The post-mortem report into the killing of Swami Avdheshanand in Sirohi says that the seer was “stabbed 35 times”, police said Tuesday. The district pracharak of RSS was arrested in the case on Sunday.Avdheshanand was the patron of Ekal Vidyalay (schools associated with the nationalist group VHP) in Sirohi district and was murdered at the district headquarters of RSS on November 11.The police arrested Uttam Giri, then zila pracharak of the Sangh, on Sunday around 11.30pm. On Tuesday, he was produced before a local court, which sent him to juridical custody.Speaking to HT, Sirohi circle officer Vikram Singh said the accused had first spoken of “ideological differences” with Avdheshanand but both also had a dispute over a piece of land. “Avdeshanand had 4 bighas of land over which he wanted to construct a school.He had asked Giri to raise some funds because of the position he held in RSS and exercised influence over the local business groups,” the officer said.HT
BJP on CBI row: SC will decide if allegations against ministers and officials politically motivated
Hyderabad: BJP has said the Supreme Court is the right authority to examine whether the sensational charges brought by CBI DIG Manish Kumar Sinha against a Union minister and top officials has any substantive basis or is “politically motivated”.The feud within CBI turned murkier on Monday with Sinha dragging the names of NSA Ajit Doval, Union minister Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary and CVC KV Chowdhury over alleged attempts to interfere in the probe against the agency’s Special Director Rakesh Asthana, who has also been divested of his duties and sent on leave by the Govt along with Director Alok Kumar Verma. BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said the matter is “sub judice”, but took objection to “somebody serving in an organisation twisting the name of that organisation itself”.When asked by reporters about the issue, he said, “Matter is sub judice.The SC is hearing the matter on a regular basis. The court apparently itself said there is no urgency to hear this particular complaint. Therefore, it is not proper for me to make a political comment.”PTI
Pakistan issues over 3,800 visas to Indian pilgrims to visit Nankana Sahib near Lahore
Pakistan has issued over 3,800 visas to Indian pilgrims for participating in the 549th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in Nankana Sahib near Lahore from November 21-30.In a press statement issued on Tuesday, the Pakistan High Commission said this was the largest number of visas issued for Sikh pilgrims in recent years. High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood said this was a “special gesture” from Pakistan to the Sikh pilgrims who are expected to travel to Sikh holy places in Pakistan that are associated with the founder of the faith.“We extend profound felicitations to our brothers and sisters celebrating this auspicious occasion and wish all yatrees [pilgrims] a spiritually fulfilling yatra,” Mr. Mahmood said in the statement.Pakistan has also issued visas to Sikh pilgrims from other parts of the world, the High Commission stated.thehindu
BJP wins 5 mayoral seats, 34 chairman, president posts in Uttarakhand civic polls
Dehradun;BJP has won 5 of the 7 mayoral seats and 34 of 84 chairman and president posts in the Uttarakhand civic polls, while Independents sprang a surprise by grabbing 23 posts. Congress won 25 of the chairman and president posts in the state’s civic bodies and the BSP won one post, according to information released by the state election commission here Wednesday morning. Results for one post is yet to be declared, it said. The civic body poll was a high-stake battle for the ruling BJP that was looking to match its own impressive showing in the Uttarakhand elections last year when it had won 57 out of 70 assembly seats.It was also significant for the Congress that has been struggling to stage a comeback after its defeat in the assembly polls. The BJP won five of the seven mayoral seats, including Dehradun, Rishikesh, Kashipur, Rudrapur and Haldwani, while the Congress won Haridwar and Kotdwar, the commission said. Voting was held for 84 urban local bodies, including seven municipal corporations, 39 municipal councils and 38 Nagar panchayats in Uttarakhand on Nov 18.PTI
Kejriwal Attacked With Chilli Powder. AAP Claims Deliberate Lapses
On video, the audacity of the attack is difficult to miss. A man who hands Delhi CM  Arvind Kejriwal a letter outside his office, swoops down to touch his feet, gets up and forcefully smears chilli powder on his face. The incident took place inside one of the capital city's most protected buildings today, the Delhi Secretariat, provoking outrage from Mr Kejriwal's party and even critics.The attacker, identified as 40-year-old Anil Kumar Sharma, has been taken into custody, the police said. After saying they were investigating if the chilli powder "fell unintentionally", the police late on Tuesday night filed a case against the attacker.ndtv
Linking Urdu to Muslims, Islam is wrong: Ex- CEC Quraishi
Hyderabad:Ex-Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi said Urdu language does not belong to any religion and linking it to Muslim community was wrong as people irrespective of different religions speak it.In his address at seventh convocation of MANUU here, Quraishi said,"Urdu is linked to Muslims and Islam... this is very wrong..Urdu language is born in India. Urdu has grown in India..it does not belong to any religion... people from different religions follow it...we have to remember this." Noting that India was the most diverse country in the world, he said, "we have had a secular atmosphere over the past 5,000 years. India is secular because Hindus are secular." On the educational status of the Muslim community, he said it was very strange that the community which had given utmost focus to education now has more number of illiterates. Expressing concern over the educational backwardness in Muslims,PTI
‘$400 bn deals with them’: Trump says US with Saudi over Khashoggi murder
Washington:Disregarding US intelligence assessment that Crown Prince Mohammad bin-Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the Saudi royal may or may not have had knowledge of it and all but ruled out any further punitive measure.In a statement headlined, “Standing with Saudi Arabia”, the president stressed close strategic and business ties with the oil-rich desert kingdom and said the United States has already sanctioned 17 Saudis for the murder, indicating seemingly he was not contemplating further action.“Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” he said.“That being said we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder,” he added.Asked later by a reporter if Saudi Arabia was getting away with murder, the president said, “No, no, this is about America First. They’re paying us $400 billion plus ($450 billion in investments and deals, as mentioned in the statement issued earlier by the White House)”.CIA has concluded on the basis of intercepts and audio recordings that Mohammad had ordered the killing of the journalist, according to multiple media report. And the US has sanctioned close aides and advisers of the crown prince for their involvement in the killing.But the president remains unconvinced about the role of Mohammad, who is close to the White House and Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.HT
Trump not taking punitive measures against Saudis over Khashoggi
US politicians accuse Trump of putting 'Saudi first'
United States senators have accused President Donald Trump of putting "Saudi Arabia first" by his decision to not take punitive measures against the kingdom or Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.Trump's decision is "yet another fawning prostration to a foreign authoritarian", Democratic Senator Tim Kaine tweeted on Tuesday."It's only a matter of time until actions like this one by the president directly threaten our security," he added. Several senators vowed to put "serious sanctions" on Saudi Arabia, including on the "appropriate members of the royal family"."We should, at the very least, NOT reward Saudi Arabia with our sophisticated armaments that they in turn use to bomb civilians," tweeted Republican Senator Rand Paul. "I'm pretty sure this statement is Saudi Arabia first, not American First," he added.Trump ally and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said "it is not in our national security interest to look the other way" when it comes to Khashoggi's killing. "I firmly believe there will be strong bipartisan support for serious sanctions against Saudi, including appropriate members of the royal family, for this barbaric act which defied all civilised norms," Graham said."While Saudi is a strategic ally, behaviour of the crown prince - in multiple ways - has shown disrespect for the relationship and made him, in my view, beyond toxic." Last week, a bipartisan group of US senators introduced legislation seeking to punish Saudi over Khashoggi's killing, and for its role in the devastating war in Yemen. The move came not long after US imposed economic sanctions on 17 Saudis allegedly involved in the murder.Many senators expressed disappointment that those sanctions did not include MBS himself, and called on US to take tougher action.aljazeera
Arrested Saudi activists tortured, sexually harassed: Amnesty
Saudi activists, including women, arrested in a Govt crackdown this year have faced sexual harassment and torture during interrogation, Amnesty International said. Since May, the kingdom has held at least 10 women and seven men on vague national security allegations related to their human rights work.Those arrested include Loujain al-Hathloul, Eman al Nafjan and Aziza al-Yousef, who campaigned for the right to drive before the decades-long ban was lifted in June.The activists, held in Dhahban prison on the western Red Sea coast, faced repeated electrocution and flogging, leaving some of them unable to stand or walk, Amnesty said in a report on Tuesday, citing three separate testimonies.aljazeera
Yemen: 85,000 kids may have died from starvation
As many as 85,000 children in Yemen may have starved to death in the past three years during its brutal war, an aid group reported on Wednesday.Using data compiled by the United Nations, Save the Children evaluated mortality rates for untreated cases of severe malnutrition in children under five years old.The humanitarian agency found some 84,701 children may have starved to death between April 2015 and Oct.2018 because of a lack of food."We are horrified that some 85,000 children in Yemen may have died because of extreme hunger since the war began," said Tamer Kirolos, Save the Children's director in Yemen, in a statement."Children who die in this way suffer immensely as their vital organ functions slow down and eventually stop … Parents are having to witness their children wasting away, unable to do anything about it." aljazeera
Bombing at Kabul religious gathering kills dozens
Dozens of people have been killed in a powerful suicide bomb blast that targeted a large gathering of top religious figures in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, according to officials.Wahid Majroh, health ministry spokesperson, said Tuesday's explosion killed at least 50 people and wounded more than 70 others.  He added that the death toll could rise further as many of those injured were in critical condition.Najib Danish, interior ministry spokesperson, said "a suicide bomber detonated his explosives" inside a large wedding hall where hundreds of scholars and clerics had gathered to mark the birthday of Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Religious studies lecturer Mohammad Hanif said verses of the Quran were being recited when there was a deafening explosion followed by "chaos" inside the packed hall."More than 60 or 70 people were martyred," Hanif, 31, told AFP outside a trauma facility run by Italian NGO Emergency. He escaped unhurt.There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Taliban condemned the attack in a WhatsApp message.aljazeera
Twitter War: Imran rips Trump’s tirade against Pakistan to shreds
Karachi:The roller-coaster relationship between Pakistan and the United States touched a new low on Sunday when President Donald Trump fired off a fresh tirade at Pakistan, triggering an angry retort from PM  Imran Khan and his cabinet members.US mission in Afghanistan, now in its 17th year, has become the longest, deadliest and costliest in American military history. Despite losing thousands of men-in-uniform and billions of dollars, the Pentagon is not winning the war in Afghanistan, according to its own assessments. Perturbed by their predicament in Afghanistan, US civil and military leaders continue to blame Pakistan for not doing enough to aid the American campaign against the Taliban. Khan said that US president should do self-assessment instead of “making Pakistan a scapegoat for its failures”.Khan was responding to President Trump, who said in a Fox News interview on Sunday that “they [Pakistan] don’t do a damn thing for us” even though Washington has given Islamabad billions of dollars in aid. Instead he accused Pakistan of sheltering Osama bin Laden.caravandaily
US suspends $1.66 billion security aid to Pakistan
New Delhi :Ties between US and Pakistan hit a new low after the former suspended its $1.66 billion security assistance to Pakistan on Wednesday, days after President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of not doing enough against combatting terrorism, Pentagon said. “USD 1.66 billion of security assistance to Pakistan is suspended,” PTI quoted Col Rob Manning, spokesman of the Department of Defence, as saying.On Nov.19, Trump launched a frontal attack on Pakistan for not acting against the terror pads on its soil and gave the example of Osama Bin Laden who was hiding in Abbottabad, allegedly under the protection of its military. “Of course we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did. I pointed him out in my book just before the attack on WTC. President Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan Billions of Dollars & they never told us he was living there. Fools!” Trump wrote on his Twitter handle.indianexpress
Israel arrests Palestinian MP from W.Bank home
Israeli army this morning arrested a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council from the occupied West Bank city of Al-Bireh, according to local witnesses. Witnesses told Anadolu that an Israeli military force raided and searched the home of Palestinian MP Ahmad Attoun before arresting him.The army, they added, also confiscated computers and mobile phones from Attoun’s residence.The last time Palestinian legislative elections were held in 2006, Attoun – who represents Hamas – was elected for the city of Jerusalem.middleeastmonitor
Palestinian MP calls to expel Israel from the International Federation of Journalists
A Palestinian lawmaker has called on Tuesday to expel Israel from the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) for targeting Palestinian media HQRS.“Israel has committed a crime against international laws and the Geneva Conventions by destroying the headquarters of the Al-Aqsa TV channel” Hamas’s deputy in the Gaza Strip, Ahmed Bahar told reporters in Gaza.Bahr stressed that Israel’s attempts to “silence the free voice of the resistance will fail and the Al-Aqsa channel will rise again with a louder voice to resist the occupation and expose its crimes”. middleeastmonitor
Australian PM's 'dangerous ideology' remark irks Muslim leaders
Muslim leaders in Australia have boycotted a meeting with PM Scott Morrison after the latter asked the community to be "proactive" in dealing with deadly attacks. Morrison had proposed a roundtable meeting with Muslim leaders in the wake of a fatal attack in Melbourne. He had singled out Muslim community leaders as having a "special responsibility" to counter "the radical and dangerous ideology of extremist Islam". Australia's Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohamed and a group of other senior Muslim figures rejected the invitation in an open letter to Morrison today."Many in the Muslim community including the undersigned are deeply concerned and disappointed with statements made by senior Govt ministers and the PM  in the recent past which infer that the community is collectively culpable for the criminal actions of individuals and should be doing more to prevent such acts of violence," the statement said."These statements have achieved nothing to address underlying issues, but rather, have alienated large segments of the Muslim community," they said in the letter published by Australian media.aljazeera
China surveillance firms face backlash amid Xinjiang crackdown
Video screen shows a constant procession of Chinese citizens moving past a camera at what appears to be a public festival, park or central city plaza.Their faces are bracketed by yellow squares with various numbers hovering below, including each person's estimated age and gender. If the person is known to the system, their name appears too.The facial recognition technology was just one of dozens of such systems at the China Hi-Tech Fair in the southern city of Shenzhen this month.But while other companies tried to bring some levity to the dystopian feel by making cute dog heads appear on the faces of passers-by, others had no qualms about showcasing the Orwellian nature of their products. Shenzhen-based Kuang-Chi, which stresses the benefits of "civil-military integration" of its technologies, claims its "super-intelligent tracking system" leaves "nowhere to hide" for those it targets. "It can find a person in a crowd of up to 8,000 people," a Kuang-Chi representative explains at firm's prominent display at the entrance to the fair. "It is being used already by police in Chongqing and Shanghai and is 95 to 98 % accurate."aljazeera
Viral Video Claiming Muslim Women Sang Bhajans in Mosque is False
In Twist to Sohrabuddin Case, Investigating Officer Says Men on Trial Lacked Motive:Sukanya Shantha
CIC Commissioner Pulled Up for Landmark Judgment on Loan Defaulters:Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar
Revealed: How UK counter-terror unit uses rap, graffiti to target Middle Eastern youth:Simon Hooper

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:47 PM)


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