06 December 2018

6 DEC.ND: SC pulls up Govt, CVC, asks why an 'overnight' decision to divest CBI director Verma/Babri demolition Anniversary:Hundreds march in Delhi/ Palghar arms haul case: ATS probe reveals bigger terror conspiracy by right-wing outfits

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
06 Dec. 2018:27 Rabiul-I 1440: Vol: 11, No:71
SC pulls up Govt, CVC, asks why an 'overnight' decision to divest CBI director Verma
New Delhi:CJI Ranjan Gogoi on Thursday asked senior advocate Fali Nariman whether the Supreme Court, if necessary, can appoint a CBI Director. Nariman, who appears for exiled CBI Director Alok Verma, thought for a moment before replying that the court could indeed do so in exercise of its "inherent powers" as the final interpreter of the Constitution.CJI Gogoi then quizzed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, for the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), about its tearing hurry to divest Verma "overnight" on Oct.23."The situation which prompted the CVC to take action against Alok Verma did not start overnight on Oct.23 (day Verma was divested as CBI Director)... you (CVC) had tolerated him for two months... So what was it that required you to take a decision 'overnight' on Oct. 23?" CJI asked Mehta. CJI was referring to the complaint of misconduct filed by CBI Special Director R.K. Asthana with Cabinet Secretary on August 24 in the background of a bitter feud between the two top CBI officers. "Extraordinary situations do need extraordinary remedies. CVC's superintendence (over CBI) encompasses "surprise, extraordinary situations"... Two senior most CBI officers (Verma and Asthana) had turned against each other. Instead of probing cases, they were raiding each other, registering FIRs against each other.They may tamper evidence.This was a surprise situation!" Mehta responded to CJI's query. But the court persisted in its line of enquiry, asking why neither CVC nor the Govt  chose to take prior approval from the high-powered committee led by the PM  before divesting Verma before the end of his two-year tenure. Govt and the CVC have vehemently argued that there was no need to consult the PM panel."The essence of every good Govt administration is to do what is acceptable. Now, if there are two options available before the Govt  – one acceptable and the other more acceptable – what stopped you from taking the more acceptable option?" CJI asked the Govt and CVC side. The court indicated the Govt  and CVC were yet to come out with a reason for not consulting the PM panel."Alok Verma had two years' tenure and was recommended by this committee. So if you wanted to divest him of something, why did you not consult the committee?" CJI asked. The SC reserved the separate petitions filed by Verma and NGO challenging his divestment as CBI Director for orders after a day-long hearing. The Hindu
SC Pulls up Govt, Asks Why it Did Not Consult Selection Committee Before Exiling CBI Director
CBI row:  Supreme Court questions Centre’s move, asks what prompted govt to take overnight decision
Babri demolition Anniversary:Hundreds march in Delhi
New Delhi: On the 26th anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition, hundreds of people took out a peaceful protest demonstration here today. The march started from Mandi House area and proceeded towards the Parliament House but it culminated into a public gathering at the Parliament Street.Speakers demanded action against those responsible for the conspiracy and demolition of the mosque and subsequent communal riots.Today’s protest demonstration was jointly organized by dozens of organizations including Lok Raj Sangathan, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Welfare Party of India, Socialist Party of India, CPI-ML, Sikh Forum, Citizens for Democracy, United Against Hate, Students Islamic Organisation of India and others.Those who addressed the gathering included Lok Raj Sangathan president S Raghavan, Intezar Naeem, Assistant Secretary, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, SQR Ilyas, president, Welfare Party of India, Mehdi Hasan Qasmi from United Against Hate, Prakash Rao, KK Singh and others.India Tomorrow
Babri demolition: Left parties hold nationwide protests against Centre
New Delhi/Ranchi: Left parties across the country are observing December 06 as ‘Black Day’, as it marks the 26th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. 6 politically left inclined parties including the CPIM, CPI, RSP, ALFB, CPI(ML)and SUCI(C) had called on all its units to protest against the ‘willful demolition of Babri Masjid’. Leaders protesting in Delhi asked people to vote out BJP-RSS duo, calling the ill-fated act of Dec 06, 1992, an attack on the constitution.ANI
Babri demolition: We are Defenders of Constitution, say Chandrashekhar, Richa Singh and Jignesh
To mark anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid, The Citizen interviewed 3 young political activists – Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan, Richa Singh, and Jignesh Mevani– to discover where they stand on the destruction of the ASI protected historical monument in 1992.The three are united in deferring to the Supreme Court judgment on the Ayodhya title dispute.They say they are working to protect Constitutional values, as against what they see as RSS/ BJP’s engineering of social divisions, purely for electoral gain.All 3 point to the coalescing of a grand alliance of opposition parties against the BJP in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. Thecitizen
Committee for rebuilding Babri Masjid says will accept SC decision
New Delhi:A committee for rebuilding the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya held a demonstration at Jantar Mantar in Delhi and said it will accept the decision of the Supreme Court on the dispute.Mohammad Younus Siddiqui, president of All India Babri Masjid Rebuilding Committee, alleged that Muslims are being pitted against Hindus but, he added, in reality they want peace and communal harmony.  Siddiqui said they have submitted a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind on the issue. "We find a binding and time-bound decision, and whatever the decision of the SC, will be accepted by all sections of the Muslim community," Siddiqui said. PTI
UP: Right-wing outfits hold mass gathering in Ayodhya despite section 144 being in force
New Delhi: Despite the imposition of Section 144 in Ayodhya, Hindu Mahasabha organised a mass gathering to perform rituals and prayers for kar sewaks at the Saryu ghat.While this was happening, police remained mute spectators to the goings-on. Right-wing outfit violated the prohibitory order which was imposed in Ayodhya in view of Babri demolition anniversary and its members performed the entire rituals in the presence of police which took no action against the violators.While VHP and Bajrang Dal are celebrating the day as 'Shaurya Diwas' (day of bravery) and 'Vijay Diwas' (day of victory), the Muslim community is observing the day as 'Yaum E Gham' (day of sorrow) and 'Yaum E Syah' (black day).Times Now
Ram temple vote bank for BJP; should let judiciary do its job on Ayodhya dispute: AAP
All political parties should respect the judiciary and let it do its job over Ayodhya dispute, AAP said on Thursday, as it called the Ram temple a vote bank politics of the saffron party. All political parties should welcome whatever verdict the Supreme Court gives on the dragging row, AAP MP Sanjay Singh said."Whatever be the verdict, it should be welcomed by the Congress, BJP, AAP, Sunni Waqf Board and also the Ram Lalla party. AAP will respect the verdict and so should others," he said.Sanjay Singh attacked BJP for using the temple issue as a vote bank and said, "Ram Temple is vote bank politics for BJP. They don't care about Lord Rama. For past 25 years, they are shouting about building a temple, but are not announcing the dates as to when they will build a temple."India TV News
Struggle to rebuild Babri Masjid to continue: AMU students’ union
Agra: On the eve of 26th anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition, AMU Students Union(AMUSU) has announced that the struggle for the reconstruction of Babri Masjid will continue and the appeal in the Supreme Court will be fought rigorously. In a written statement, President of the Students’ Union, M Salman Imtiaz said, “Muslims have a strong case based on documentary evidence and admission of prominent Hindus, we have strong hope of success in the appeals pending before the Supreme Court.”He added that Muslim community must continue to exercise calm as it had been doing so far.Govt must ensure peace and harmony in the country and maintain strong vigil at Hindutva forces, who is organising events to disrupt peace in India, he said.TOI
Palghar arms haul case: ATS probe reveals bigger terror conspiracy by right-wing outfits
Mumbai:Palghar arms haul case saw a fresh development after the Maharashtra ATS told a Special NIA court in Mumbai that investigations have revealed a bigger conspiracy involving many right-wing groups.The sleuths said the haul which was done in August has revealed a terror plot that targeted various cities in the country.ATS had earlier arrested two people from Nalasopara in Palghar and the third from Pune, roughly 250 kms from Palghar. As the probe went on, the cops found that the racket expanded to several Hindutva organisations and out of the 12 more named, nine have been arrested so far while 3 are still at large."During the course of our probe, it was revealed that the members of the terrorist outfit are also members of organisations such as 'Sanatan Sanstha', 'Hindu Janjagruti' and other similar smaller organisations," ATS said in a detailed charge sheet filed before Special NIA Court in Mumbai, according to IANS.The probes also led to 23 live country-made explosives,15 pistols, 1 country-made weapon, 3 pistols without barrels,6 pistol magazines, 41 rounds of ammunition of assorted bores, 26 detonators and raw material to make arms and explosives, report said.ATS officers revealed that those arrested had set out to establish a 'Hindu Rashtra', according to the book published by banned right-wing group Sanatan Sanstha, called 'Kshatra Dharma Sadhana'.Times Now
Nalasopara arms haul case: ATS charges Hindutva groups with terror plot
Palghar arms haul case: ATS underlines role of Sanatan Sanstha in terror plot
If you execute me,I will become a shaheed:Zakir Naik
If you put me in jail I will spread the message of Allah. If you exile me, I will contemplate on the magnificence of Allah's creation. If you execute me I will become a shahid."With these words, the preacher Zakir Naik appeared to put on a defiant front against Indian authorities. He claimed that he was being targetted for spreading peace.The discourse was uploaded on social media on Wednesday.During his discourse on the issue of terrorism, Naik spoke about how he handles hate against him."I like the Constitution of my country India which gives the right to every citizen to preach, practice propagate the religion. I did not break a single law of the country but because I was spreading peace, I was giving solution to humanity, all the people who don't like peace to prevail don't like me," said Naik.He said that all the more his detractors try to "break him down", the more resolute he becomes.Naik claimed that his channel Peace TV had 200 million viewers out of which hundreds were non-Muslims who were accepting Islam."This does not go down well with the enemies of Islam whether it is a western country or the country where I was born, India. They don't like it," said Naik.He said that this was the reason why he was being persecuted.indiatoday
SHO’s murder: Key accused cites cow to reopen old wounds
Bulandshahar :A long-standing dispute over a mosque, simmering tension over the use of loudspeakers and the rise of Bajrang Dal since Yogi Adityanath took charge as UP CM  form the backdrop of the mob violence in which an Inspector was killed in Bulandshahr 2 days ago. The manager of the Nayabans village mosque, Mohd Sarfuddin, was among four arrested Wednesday after they were named in a complaint of cow slaughter filed by Yogeshraj Singh, the main accused in the killing of SHO Subodh Kumar Singh. Yogeshraj is on the run after police arrested four others Tuesday over the killing of the SHO.According to police officers, Yogeshraj had first led protests against the use of loudspeakers in the mosque and complained to police during Ramzan of 2016. Yogeshraj complained that loudspeakers should not be used because the mosque was a madrassa, the records show.“As the tension escalated, police asked the mosque authorities to take down the loudspeakers. To maintain fairness, loudspeakers from the village temple were also removed,”said police officer. According to residents, a case related to an earlier mosque in the area, which was demolished in 1977, is pending in Allahabad High Court. Remains of the demolished mosque are still visible about 10 steps away from the mosque that is being used for prayer now. “Hindus and Muslims have not clashed in the village since 1977. But tension has begun brewing in the last couple of years with Bajrang Dal increasing its activities here,” said Mohd Hussain, brother of Sarfuddin, arrested accused in the cow slaughter case.“Those whom we have identified based on Yogeshraj’s complaint are associated with the mosque. Sajid owns a plot adjacent to the mosque that is often used for community functions. It appears that Yogeshraj used the discovery of cow carcasses to fix them,” said officer. Records show that Yogeshraj’s complaint on the alleged cow slaughter in Mahav village nearby contradicts the version of local residents– and a video posted Wednesday on social media by Yogeshraj himself from an undisclosed location. Yogeshraj had claimed in his complaint that he witnessed Sarfuddin and others slaughter the cows in Mahav village. But residents told police that they found the carcasses when they went to the fields in the morning.In video,Yogeshraj claimed that he reached Mahav“after receiving information about cow carcasses”. The widening rift in the village, with about 200 Muslim households, is evident on the faces of its Hindu residents.“They keep constantly pushing for the mosque. When the matter is pending before the court, they should keep quiet,” said Vijender Singh, a resident. indianexpress
UP  DGP sees possible link between Bulandshahr violence and Babri Masjid demolition anniversary
UP  police sees a “conspiracy” behind the Bulandshahr mob violence and is investigating why cow carcasses were found on December 3, three days ahead of the anniversary of the demolition of the Babri mosque, says the state’s police chief. It was not merely a law and order issue, said DGP O P Singh, two days after Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and 20-year-old Sumit Kumar, were killed in the mob violence that broke out after carcasses were found strewn in a jungle. With lakhs of people collected for a ‘Tabligi Ijtema’ (congregation of Muslims) 40 km from Mahaw village where the skeletal remains were found, police also succeeded in containing what could have been a communal riot, he said.“We are not only seeing it as a law and order issue. It was a conspiracy and we are probing why the particular day – Dec 3 – and place on which the cows were slaughtered and their remains spread in the field were selected,” Singh said.The situation could have been worse if local police not responded timely as lakhs of people were present at the venue of ‘Tabligi Ijtema’, which was about 40 km from the spot,”he said. Though the congregation ended on Dec.2, over 6 lakh people were present on De.3 when the violence broke out, he said.PTI
Bulandshahr: cops goof up on 2 minors’ arrest, let them off
Bulandshahr violence: BJP MP backs accused, says he’s doing noble work, wait for investigation
New Delhi :Hours after a video surfaced on social media purportedly showing prime accused Yogeshraj Singh claiming his innocence in the murder of a Bulandshahr police office.  Local BJP MP said Yogeshraj was doing “noble and eye-opening work”.As for involvement in the murder of SHO Subodh Kumar Singh, in which the absconding Yogeshraj is accused number 1, MP Bhola Ram, said, “We can only make a decisive call when all facts of the incident are out.”He said, “Expressing your support for stricter cow slaughter laws is not a crime. He was doing noble and eye-opening work. He brought to my attention that such an incident has occurred. Rest is a matter of investigation.”VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain and Bajrang Dal’s Meerut division chief Balraj Dungar also backed Yogeshraj.indianexpress
‘I am Yogesh Raj’: Support for Bulandhshahr violence key accused on social media
Bulandshahr violence: On the run, Bajrang Dal man changes look in viral video pleading innocence
Under Yogi Raj, UP govt denies permission for Inspector Subodh Singh condolence meet
The in-charge of a police station in UP called up journalists to come to the Police Station on Wednesday at 10 am as one of their colleagues has been killed by a mob. The journalists were requested to attend the condolence meeting for their martyred colleague. However, when the press and a few other concerned citizens reached the police station,police officer informed them that the condolence meeting had been cancelled after the higher authorities denied permission. They were told that a day’s salary of all the members of the department was being deducted, which, according to the officer was, sufficient. The in- charge did not want to discuss more.In the last couple of years some of the murders of the policemen including CO Zia ul Haq in Pratabgarh in the year 2013, SP Mukul Dwivedi in 2016 and PC Ankit Tomar who was killed in encounter of some gangsters in Shamili in the same year, have been very disturbing. All of them were honoured as martyrs and steps to ensure justice were also initiated. And after the death of Ankit Tomar, many police officials started a campaign for justice and a lot of officers also changed their profile picture to that of Tomar on the social media. Retired inspector Laakhan stated explicitly that the inspector Subodh was undoubtedly a hero and deserves full state honours. Earlier, martyred inspector Subodh’s son Abhishek had questioned the Bulandhahar police for not draping his father’s body in the tricolor. However later the department rectified their mistake and gave the honour to inspector Subodh.nationalheraldindia
'Take His Gun, Maro, Maro': Video Shows Mob Shouting as Bulandshahr Cop Lay Motionless
‘BJP trying to divide society’, says UP MP Savitribai Phule, quits party
New Delhi:Savitribai Phule, BJP MP from UP  resigned from the party today, saying ‘BJP was trying to divide society,’ reports ANI.This comes two days after she took on the UP  CM  Yogi Adityanath over his comment on Hanuman’s caste. Yogi Adityanath had said at a poll rally in Malakheda of Alwar district, that ‘’Bajrang Bali was a forest dweller, deprived and a Dalit, who worked to connect all Indian communities together, from north to south and east to west.”.Phule had reacted by saying if Hanuman was a ‘Dalit’ as claimed by UP CM Yogi Adityanath, then Dalits should be appointed as pujaris in the all the Hanuman temples across the country. “Hanuman always stood by Lord Ram but then why did Ram award him a tail and blackened his face?”HT
Consumer Confidence in Indian Economy Continues to Dip: RBI Survey
New Delhi: A RBI survey has shown that consumer confidence in the Indian economy has continued to dip, both since June 2014 and more recently as well.The ‘current situation index’ (CSI) – a measure of how consumers currently feel about the general economic situation – dropped slightly to 93.9 in the latest survey round (Nov.2018) from 94.8 in Sept.2018.In Nov. 2014, months after the Modi govt came to power, the CSI was at 111 while in Nov.2016 it was 109.“The current situation index declined further in Nov. 2018 in a phase that commenced in Nov.2016, on the back of growing pessimism on the general economic situation and the employment scenario as also some cutback in spending,” survey findings note.A separate ‘future expectations index” (FEI) – which gauges how consumers feel the situation might change in the year ahead – also moderated due to “lower optimism on the employment scenario and household spending”. thewire
23 lakh not included in Assam’s NRC are Hindu Bengalis: Mamata’s sharp attack against BJP
Purba Medinipur: Mamata Banerjee, CM  of West Bengal and chief of the ruling Trinamool Congress party, launched a scathing attack on BJP, accusing it of being anti-Muslim as well as anti-Hindu. Mamata alleged the BJP has driven away both Muslims and Hindus from the country at different points of time."It has driven away Bengalis from Assam and Biharis from Gujarat. It drives away Muslims at times and Hindus at times from the country...” she said.The CM  pointed out that in Assam, “names of 40 lakh people were removed from the voters list. Out of them, 23 lakhs are Hindu Bengalis. People who are lying in the name of Hindu should know and keep this in mind.”BJP is "killing the minorities, driving away Hindus and torturing Christians", she alleged. "Why do you (BJP) not show respect to teachers and women? Why do you kill people? Why do you create differences, leading to violence and vandalism in the country?" she further asked.timesnownews
Radhika Vemula inaugurates ‘United Against Hate’ programme in Kerala
The caste murders committed by the high caste to protect their caste honour have been commercialised, said Radhika Vemula, mother of Rohith Vemula who committed suicide in the Hyderabad Central University following caste discrimination by authorities in January 2016.She was inaugurating the protest gathering against the politics of hatred organized by the ‘United Against Hate’ in Ernakulam last month.Radhika reminded all of the killing of Dalit Christian youth Pranay in Telangana, following his love-marriage with Amritha who hailed from a high caste. She said that Amritha’s father spent Rs 1 crore to get Pranay killed, and caste murders have now been commercialised. “It is saddening that we are organising a meeting to talk about hatred. Dalits, Muslims and Christians are the victims of this hatred. Do we need organisations that kill?Gauri Lankesh and Kalburgi were not Dalits. Nor are Prof Nageswar Rao and Varavara Rao. But they are also in danger.Sangh Parivar will soon declare this country as a Hindu nation. They set the Constitution on fire.They don’t acknowledge court orders. See what is happening in Sabarimala? Even though the Supreme Court has allowed women entry, BJP-RSS goons are following and attacking women. They say women are polluted. So what would happen if women decide not to give birth?” she asked.
Bombay High Court grants pre-arrest relief to Muslim man booked for giving triple talaq
Mumbai: In a first, the Bombay High Court has granted pre-arrest bail to a Muslim man, accused of giving instant divorce – triple talaq, to his wife. He is probably the first man in Maharashtra to face prosecution under the newly passed triple talaq Ordinance. A single-judge bench of Justice Prakash Naik granted anticipatory bail to Intekhab Munshi, a resident of Vasai. He petitioned the bench after his wife lodged a criminal case against him for attempting to give her divorce through the now banned triple talaq.Munshi was booked in accordance to FIR lodged by his wife on Oct.23, accusing him of divorcing her by pronouncing triple talaq. She claimed her husband had not divorced her as per ‘talaq-e-ahsan’ and instead pronounced the banned ‘talaq-e-biddat’ (triple talaq), which is banned under the new Ordinance. The Ordinance which criminalises triple talaq was passed in September this year. Having considered the submissions,Justice Naik said, “At this preliminary stage, it will not be appropriate to go into the aspect of whether it was talaq-e-ahsan or talaq-e-biddat. freepressjournal
Modi govt’s Talaq Bill among 3 key legislations to face floor test in Winter Session of Parliament
PM  Narendra Modi will try to push through some key bills in the upcoming winter session of Parliament, as he needs to get legislative approval for these laws brought in as ordinances.There are several important bills pending in Parliament that Modi Govt  could not pass due to lack of numbers in the Rajya Sabha. Some of them have been issued as ordinances, invoking the limited legislative powers vested in President of India. At present, there are three ordinances in operation, and the Govt will have to get the relevant bills passed in Parliament within six weeks from the date of first sitting of winter session, failing which they will expire. Parliament Winter Session 2018: 3 important legislations, including Triple Talaq Bill, promulgated as Ordinances will test Modi Govt's resolve and floor-management skills.financialexpress
Telangana polls: ‘Forget about Muslim women, first get your wife back’, Akbaruddin Owaisi tells PM -
Hyderabad: 2 days ahead of Telangana polls, AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi on Wednesday made a crude personal attack on PM Narendra Modi. While addressing a gathering, Owaisi was heard as saying: “Forget about Muslim women and ghar wapsi, Modi, first get your wife back”.Amid loud cheer, Owaisi further said that Majlis will ensure that PM Modi’s wife gets what is rightfully hers. 2 days ago, the younger brother of AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi had taken a jibe at the PM, calling him a 'chaiwala'.At a public gathering, the Chandrayangutta MLA had on Sunday night said: "The reason that has forced the PM  to bow down is AIMIM party, Hyderabad and Muslims, who believe in their dignity and honour. So, don’t tease us, chaiwale.”He had also said: "Today you are competing with us, what did you (Modi) do during demonetisation? You were only talking about this chai, that chai, hard tea (kadak chai), soft tea (naram chai), kettle and tea powder." Timesnownews
Chhattisgarh Congress moves HC over EVM strongroom ‘security breach’
New Delhi :Chhattisgarh Congress Thursday moved the state High Court seeking directions to Election Commission of India (ECI) to look into officials of the administration allegedly entering strongrooms in Dhamtari where EVMs are stored. The petition also claims that CCTV cameras at a strongroom in Durg were switched off for a few hours.Citing examples of reported violations of Model Code of Conduct in Madhya Pradesh as well, the petition filed by Chhattisgarh general secretary Girish Dewangan has demanded that 50 %  of VVPATs be tallied, used and unused EVMs be segregated in strongrooms, counting of votes be held round-wise, and that there should be uninterrupted power to strongrooms for CCTVs and LED screens to function without interruption.The petition will be heard on Dec.10, a day before counting of votes.indianexpress
Chhattisgarh: BSF sub-inspector found using laptop outside EVM strongroom
Modi must explain why blacklisted Augusta Westland was allowed to bid for Navy deal:Congress
Accusing PM  Narendra Modi of being the "protector, benefactor and promoter" of AgustaWestland and its parent company Finmeccanica,Congress has demanded a CBI probe into Modi's role in "exonerating" the Italian defence and aerospace major which was blacklisted by UPA.Congress alleged that the Modi Govt  was indulging in a cover-up to "hide its sinister role in helping and promoting the AgustaWestland and its parent company Finmeccanica which were blacklisted by UPA.A day after British national Christian Michel James, a middleman wanted in ₹3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case, was extradited to India, the Congress attacked Modi and BJP of "using him to launch a smear campaign" against opposition leaders.Giving the timeline, Congress said a contract for purchase of 12 helicopters was allotted in February 2010 to Agusta Westland (parent company being Finmecanica) for ₹3,546 crore. But, later after media reports, the then Congress-led UPA Govt cancelled Augusta Westland contract in Feb.2013 and handed over the investigation to the CBI on February 12, 2013.nationalheraldindia
Hindu outfit members take out rally in JNU, administration claims no procession only puja
Hindu outfit members out rally in JNU: A group of Hindu outfit members in cars and motorbikes along with a truck reportedly entered the JNU on Wednesday to carry out a rally in the campus by carrying saffron flag and raising communal slogans. Media reports said the rally was part of the RSS-affiliated outfits pitching support for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya. Video clips of the procession were shared on the Internet which reportedly showed as many as 50 members chanting ‘mandir wahin banega’.Students and teachers of the varsity raised an alarm and asked why the Hindu outfit members were allowed to enter the campus premises without prior checks, they also said all the students of the varsity are always stopped at the main gate and asked to show their identity cards to the guards. They also slammed the administration saying the latter often penalises and takes punitive measures against students, teachers for conducting peaceful demonstrations, but in this case, they have shown “spinelessness”.NewsX
Sohrabuddin Case Final Hearing Ends; CBI Says Hostile Witnesses Hampered Probe
New Delhi: During the final hearing of the Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati alleged fake encounter case, the CBI told a court in Mumbai on Wednesday that hostile witnesses hampered the probe. Final arguments in the matter began on Monday and ended after lawyers of all 22 accused made their submissions before special CBI judge S.J. Sharma.Most of accused are policemen from Gujarat and Rajasthan.According to CBI, Shaikh, a suspected gangster with terror links, and his wife Kausar Bi were killed in alleged fake encounters in 2005 by the Gujarat police.His aide Prajapati, who had witnessed the twin killings, was shot dead in another staged encounter in 2006 by police personnel from Gujarat and Rajasthan, the central agency has said in its charge sheet.The case was initially probed by Gujarat CID before being transferred to the CBI in 2010 by the Supreme Court.PTI
Waqf board 'corruption': Kerala HC dismisses board's Plea
Kerala high court has dismissed state waqf board’s plea of an alleged corruption by its ex CEO,chairman, and members. Justice P Ubaid dismissed petition filed by waqf board’s present CEO in charge U Abdul Jaleel.Through petition, waqf board had challenged vigilance court’s order declining permission to join in the proceedings before the court on the complaint alleging corruption filed by TM Abdul Salam of Thrikkakkara. Waqf board’s ex CEO BM Jamal, previous chairman Saidalikutty, and members Sainudheen and Mayin Haji were named in the petition alleging corruption.After conducting a preliminary enquiry as directed by vigilance court, Ernakulam unit of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) had filed a report stating that allegations regarding corruption (technically called ‘criminal misconduct’) are baseless and that there is no scope for prosecution under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act. However, the inspector who conducted the enquiry had recommended for disciplinary action against ex CEO. While the report was being considered by the vigilance court, waqf board had sought permission to participate in the proceedings. If it is not heard, the court’s findings may affect the functioning of the board, the waqf board had contended. The court had rejected the plea by stating that a third party cannot intervene at this stage. TOI
One in 8 deaths in India due to air pollution, life expectancy down by 1.7 years: Report
One in every eight deaths in India is attributable to air pollution which now contributes to more disease burden than smoking. First comprehensive estimates of deaths, disease burden, and life expectancy reduction associated with air pollution in each state of India by the India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative has been published in The Lancet Planetary Health.The estimates show that India with 18% of the global population has a disproportionately high 26% of the global premature deaths and disease burden due to air pollution.Over half of the 12.4 lakh deaths in India attributable to air pollution in 2017 were in persons younger than 70 years. The average life expectancy in India would have been 1.7 years higher if the air pollution level were less than the minimal level causing health loss.indianexpress
Khalistanis in Pakistan target Indian pilgrims for ‘Referendum 2020’ propaganda:HT
New Delhi:Pro-Khalistan elements in Pakistan have stepped up propaganda targeting visiting Indian pilgrims and backing the so-called “Referendum 2020” at religious sites such as Nankana Sahib, which attract thousands of Sikhs from around the world.When Indian pilgrims arrived on Nov.23 at Gurdwara Janamsthan in Nankana Sahib – built on the site where Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak was born – they found the grounds of the shrine and buildings festooned with banners and posters on “Referendum 2020” and an “independent” Punjab.The banners featured provocative slogans such as “Referendum 2020 will end India’s occupation of Punjab” and “Referendum 2020 is resistance against Indian occupation of Punjab”. Khalistan flags and life-size images of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, the terrorist killed during the 1984 military operation against extremists holed up in the Golden Temple, were placed on several buildings.The non-binding referendum on creating a separate nation of Khalistan is being spearheaded by Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), which has announced plans for opening an office in Lahore, SFJ’s legal adviser Gurpatwant Singh Pannu has said.A statement issued by the external affairs ministry on Nov.23 expressed “grave concern” at attempts to “incite communal disharmony and intolerance and promote secessionist tendencies” during the visit of Indian pilgrims.“Pakistani security establishment keeps very close tabs on all such groups and there is no way SFJ could have gone ahead with these activities without the blessings of Pakistani intelligence agencies,” said an Indian official who didn’t want to be identified.SFJ launched its campaign in London on Aug.12. The group plans to hold several events in Pakistan in 2019, coinciding with 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. Group plans to hold a convention in Nov.2019 either at Kartarpur or at Nankana Sahib. Convention is expected to coincide with opening of a corridor linking Dera Baba Nanak in India to Kartarpur Gurdwara that will allow Indian pilgrims to go to the shrine without visas.HT
Upper-caste share is down, more marginal groups enter campuses
New Delhi :While the proportion of upper-caste students in higher education institutions is still considerably higher than their share in the population, for the first time ever their “erstwhile near-monopoly” is being eroded with their percentage share falling to below 50 %  over the last few years, according to a study.All other groups, women, OBC, SC, and ST, have increased their share though they still remain largely under-represented relative to their share in the population.The enrolment share of upper caste Hindus (estimated to be about 20 %  of the country’s population), has come down from 51%  to 40.6%  between 2010-11 and 2015-16.The study titled ‘Exclusion in Indian Higher Education Today’ by Delhi University professors Satish Deshpande and Apoorvanand states that “the entry of hitherto absent or severely under-represented groups” was facilitated by 93rd Amendment to the Constitution (2006) which extended OBC reservations to elite “institutions of national importance” and Central universities.“Although it took some years to take effect, by the second decade of the 2000s, its impact was being felt,” the report said.Of all marginalised groups, the report identifies, Persons with Disability (PwDs) and Muslim as the two groups still seriously under-represented in higher education. In the same five-year period, PwDs (who form 2.2% of the population) has seen their share merely increasing from 0.19 to 0.21 % in higher education while Muslims, who constitute 14 % of the country’s population, has seen their share in higher education increase from 3.8 % to just 4.7 percent.indianexpress
US senators introduce resolution blaming MBS for Khashoggi murder
6 top US senators from across party lines have introduced a scathing resolution to hold the Saudi crown prince accountable for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi more than 2 months ago.The proposal, which was introduced on Wednesday, says the Senate "has a high level of confidence" that Mohammed bin Salman "was complicit in the murder".If approved by the Senate, it would officially condemn Prince Mohammed, also known as MBS, for the killing of Khashoggi in the kingdom's consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul in Oct. "This resolution - without equivocation - definitively states that the crown prince of Saudi Arabia was complicit in the murder of Mr Khashoggi and has been a wrecking ball to the region jeopardising our national security interests on multiple fronts," Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator and close ally of President Donald Trump, said in a statement.Saudi has said the crown prince had no prior knowledge of the murder. After offering numerous contradictory explanations, Riyadh later admitted that Khashoggi had been killed inside the consulate and his body dismembered after negotiations to persuade him to return to Saudi failed.aljazeera
Amid Khashoggi furore, Saudi envoy Khalid bin Salman returns to US
Khalid bin Salman, the younger brother of Saudi Arabia's crown prince, has returned to the United States, where he intends to continue in his role as Gulf kingdom's ambassador in Washington, NBC News reported on Wednesday.Khalid flew back to Saudi shortly after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Citing unidentified sources familiar with the matter, NBC said Khalid arrived at Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, just hours before the funeral of former US President George HW Bush. Khalid did not attend the funeral, despite earlier saying he intended to go, NBC reported. A Saudi official said he was unable to attend the funeral because of a plane delay.Saudi embassy in Washington confirmed that Khalid had returned to US, AFP reported later, citing the embassy's spokeswoman, Fatimah Baeshen. A US official told NBC that Khalid is not expected to be expelled from the country and would continue as ambassador. "His status as such remains unchanged," the official said.middleeasteye
UN warns half Yemen’s people could soon be on brink of famine
UN aid chief sounded the alarm at the Security Council on Tuesday that half the population of war-torn Yemen – some 14 million people – could soon be on the brink of famine and completely relying on humanitarian aid for survival, Reuters reports.“There is now a clear and present danger of an imminent and great big famine engulfing Yemen: much bigger than anything any professional in this field has seen during their working lives,” UN aid chief Mark Lowcock said.He described the scale of what was being faced in Yemen as “shocking” given that only two famines had been declared in the world in the past 20 years – Somalia in 2011 and a localised famine in South Sudan last year.A proxy war is playing out in Yemen between Iran and Saudi Arabia. A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, backing Govt forces fighting the Iran-allied Houthi group. Iran has denied supplying weapons to the Houthis.MEMO
25 civilians killed in US-led coalition strikes in Syria
At least 25 civilians were killed and dozens injured today in a US-led coalition strike on the Daesh-controlled Hejjin district located in Syria’s eastern Deir Ez-Zor province.Local sources told Anadolu that coalition shelling targeted city’s residential neighbourhoods, displacing most of its population, killing 25 civilians and wounding dozens.The coalition’s attacks on Deir Ez-Zor come amid failed attempts to advance terrorist Kurdish PYD/PKK in city.PYD/PKK was recently reported to have detained dozens of whom have fled Daesh-controlled areas in Deir Ez-Zor’s eastern suburbs. Sources that Kurdish group were “extorting the detainees to get money from them.”MEMO
Iran: Suicide attack hits police post in Chabahar
At least 3 people have been killed following a suicide car bombing attack near a police post in Iran's southern port city of Chabahar, Press TV reported, quoting security and local officials. Rahmdel Bamari, governor of Sistan and Balochestan province said that an "explosive-laden vehicle" targeted the police post today. "Attacker set off the bomb as soon as he stopped outside Chabahar's police headquarters," Bamari said. Reports say at least 19 people were also hurtaljazeera
US pressures Arab states to support its anti-Hamas resolution at UN
America has been putting pressure on a number of Arab states in order to get them vote today in favour of a draft resolution it has introduced at the UN which condemns the Palestinian resistance. According to Haaretz, US Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt sent letters to diplomats from nine Arab countries asking them to support US draft. Haaretz reported that Greenblatt sent the letter sent to diplomats from Morocco, Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Egypt and Qatar.In the letter he wrote that the Palestinian Authority’s opposition to the US proposal is “hypocrisy as it considers Hamas an enemy and imposes sanctions on it in Gaza,” while at the same time it defends its “terrorism”, Arab48 reported. PA and Fatah have criticised US draft resolution, considering it “absolute” American support for the Israeli occupation against the Palestinians.MEMO
Egyptian court hands Brotherhood leaders life sentences
Cairo:An Egyptian court on Wednesday sentenced Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and his deputy Khairat al-Shater to life in prison, judicial sources said, in a retrial over violence during the overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in 2013.The sentence is one among several trials and retrials against Badie, Shater and other leaders of the party that ruled Egypt before the military ousted Mursi following mass protests against his rule.Badie and Shater were sentenced to life in 2015 over violence between Brotherhood supporters and opponents near the group’s HQRS.4 others were also handed life sentences on Wednesday. The court acquitted Saad al-Katatny, parliament speaker under Mursi, along with an ex minister, 2 prominent Brotherhood figures and 2 others.The defendants can appeal the ruling for the last time before the Court of Cassation, Egypt’s highest civilian court. Public prosecution may also appeal the acquittals or the life sentences that two defendants received instead of death sentences. The defendants faced charges of inciting violence against the demonstrators in front of the Brotherhood HQRS, aggravated battery and the possession of firearms. Authorities had referred 18 defendants to trial in the case. 5 remain at large and one died before receiving a sentence.Reuters
Ex-Egyptian justice minister reportedly arrested
Egypt’s security forces have arrested the former justice minister, Ahmed Suleiman, local former judges told Reuters. Suleiman was reported to have been arrested at his home in Egypt’s Minya governorate on Tuesday and was later transferred him to the country’s capital city of Cairo.He is due to appear before the country’s Supreme State Security Prosecution. The state authorities did not provide details about the reasons behind the arrest.Suleiman had served under the first freely-elected president, Morsi, who was ousted in a military coup in 2013 after serving only a year in power.MEMO
Supporters of jailed Egyptian couple urge US Congress to 'act now'
Ola al-Qaradawi is losing hope as she remains in solitary confinement in Egypt without formal charges against her, or the prospect of freedom or a fair trial.Qaradawi, who is the daughter of Qatar-based Youssef al-Qaradawi, was arrested along with her husband Hosam Khalaf in June 2017."There isn't enough pressure; we're never, ever getting out of here," she recently told her lawyer during a brief court appearance, according to her daughter Aayah Hosam.Hosam, who lives in the northwestern US state of Washington, has started an email campaign to urge members of Congress to intervene for the release of her mother and father, who are US permanent residents. Couple faces accusations of support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been blacklisted in Egypt since a 2013 military coup that toppled the country's democratically-elected president, Morsi.But with no evidence or formal charges presented against them, leading rights organisations, including UN Human Rights Council, have called for the release of Qaradawi and Khalaf.The couple's supporters in US have been lobbying lawmakers and the administration of US President Donald Trump to demand freedom for Qaradawi and Khalaf."The situation is dire and we need you to act now. Please take any steps that you can to free Ola and Hosam and reunite them with their children. Please raise concern with the Egyptian Ambassador to DC and request for their immediate release and improved conditions," a draft email addressed to various members of Congress, including senators on the Committee of Foreign Relations reads.middleeasteye
Babri Masjid demolition went against constitutional morality: D. Raja
Lynching of an officer underlines UP's dysfunctional justice system: Abhinav Kumar
A big conspiracy? Contradictions in cow-slaughter claims raise questions about Bulandshahr violence:Abhishek Dey
RSS's Ordinance Push Upsets the Nexus That Helped Plant an Idol in Babri Masjid: Krishna Jha
Kalyan Singh was livid and crestfallen when Babri Masjid was razed:Anil Swarup
Ram Mandir: Why Muslims Feel Even An Adverse Ayodhya Verdict May Be Better Than A Compromise:Rasheed Kidwai
Bulandshahr: Violence Over Alleged Cow Slaughter A Pre-Planned Conspiracy, Say Local Leaders
BJP Faces the Heat as Ally Questions Its Role in Bulandshahr Violence: thewire
Untold Story of How the Rama Idol Surfaced Inside Babri Masjid: Krishna Jha and Dhirendra K. Jha
Bulandshahr: Hindutva leaders and police each point fingers at the other:Mihir Srivastava
NCM vice-chairman protests SC judge’s ‘minority tag’ comment

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:19 PM)


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