06 January 2019

06 Jan. ND: UNHCR seeks clarification from India over repatriation of Rohingya to Myanmar/Quota for Assamese in Assembly: MHA notifies committee to look into implementation of Clause 6 of Assam Accord/Railways to follow airport-like security drill, boarding will stop 20 minutes before train departure

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
06 Jan. 2019: 29 Rabiul-II 1440: Vol: 11, No:94
UNHCR seeks clarification from India over repatriation of Rohingya to Myanmar
UN: UN refugee agency has expressed regret over India's decision to repatriate a group of Rohingya to Myanmar, saying it has sought clarification from India on the circumstances under which the asylum seekers were sent back, voicing concern over the unconducive conditions for such returns.Office of UNHCR said Friday that it "regrets India's decision to repatriate a family of Rohingya asylum seekers to Myanmar, the second such return in three months," Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Farhan Haq told reporters at the daily press briefing. UN refugee agency said a family of Rohingya asylum-seekers from Rakhine State, registered with UNHCR in India, was sent back to Myanmar on Thursday after being detained in Assam, where they had been serving a prison term since 2013 for illegal entry into India.The agency said despite repeated requests, it did not receive a response from the authorities in India regarding requests for access to individuals in detention to ascertain their circumstances and to assess the voluntariness of their decision to return.Noting that this was the second such incident since Oct.2018, when India returned seven Rohingya men to Rakhine State in Myanmar, the agency said conditions are not conducive for return of Rohingya to Myanmar. “UNHCR continues to request access and seek clarification on the circumstances under which the return has taken place,” the agency added. Responding to a question on the Rohingya being returned to Myanmar, Haq said the UN wants to ensure that whenever any family is returned, the nature of the return was voluntary."And UNHCR was not able to assess the voluntary nature of that return, and so they are very concerned about this," he said.When asked if the Secretary-General intends to talk directly to India over the issue since the UN refugee agency has "failed", Haq replied "I wouldn't say that UNHCR has failed. What I would say is that there's movements on the ground about which they are concerned, but they are in charge of this particular file, and we'll see how it goes with their efforts."Assam Additional DGP(Border) has said in Guwahati that the 5 members of the Rohingya family were handed over to the Myanmarese authorities along the International Border in Manipur.PTI
Quota for Assamese in Assembly: MHA notifies committee to look into implementation of Clause 6 of Assam Accord
New Delhi:Ministry of Home Affairs Saturday notified the high-level committee that is expected to look into the implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord of 1985. The committee is headed by a retired IAS officer MP Bezbarauah and includes eminent Assamese personalities from various fields. The panel will submit its report within 6 months. Bezbaruah has served in Assam as a bureaucrat and was also part of the North Eastern Council. He earlier headed a committee in 2014 that looked into discrimination suffered by Northeastern people in mainland India following the death of Arunachal Pradesh resident Nido Tania in Delhi.There are a total of 9 members in the committee including Bezbaruah. The notification comes days after Union Cabinet cleared a proposal to set up high-level committee.Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said clause 6 “wasn’t fully implemented”. The move, which was announced ahead of PM Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to Silchar, comes at a time when NRC is being updated and Centre is trying to introduce a contentious Bill on citizenship. Clause 6 of Accord states: “Constitutional,legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.”It would be supported by North East division of the Home Ministry and the Assam government, the home ministry said.The committee is expected to look at reservation of Assamese people in Legislative Assembly of Assam and other local bodies.Notably, AASU, among the signatories of the accord, has also been demanding rights over land and natural resources for the Assamese people.Clause 6 has been under discussion for long. In 1998, the Home Ministry set up the sub-committee under G K Pillai; in 2006, the state government set up a committee to help define “Assamese”; in 2011, it constituted a Cabinet sub-committee to deal with Clause 6. “Although some steps have been taken in the past to fulfil the commitment given in this regard, state government and AASU have repeatedly stated that this clause remains to be implemented fully.” indianexpress
Centre Sets up Panel to Assess How Many Assembly Seats to Be Reserved for Assamese
Call for northeast shutdown against Citizenship Bill
Guwahati: At least 30 indigenous groups, including the North East Students’ Organisation, have called an 11-hour shutdown on Tuesday to protest Modi govt’s move to have the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, passed in the Parliament.Bill seeks to legalise the stay of non-Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who migrated to India till Dec.31, 2014 allegedly due to religious persecution. Most indigenous groups in the North East fear this Bill, if passed, would make the region — particularly Assam — a dumping ground for migrants. “This Bill is unacceptable, and the shutdown call is to let the Centre know they cannot come out with a regulation that threatens the existence of the Assamese and other indigenous people in the North East,”All Assam Students’ Union president Dipanka Kumar Nath said. Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Bill is expected to table its recommendations in the Parliament on Monday. The panel had rejected all the amendments suggested by the Congress and other parties to the draft of the Bill on Dec.31.thehindu
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind questions Govt’s motive on Triple Talaq Bill
New Delhi: The prominent Muslim organization of the country, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) today questioned the government’s motive on introducing the Triple Talaq Bill. President of JIH Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari in a statement said that it was very strange that the government did not deem it necessary to consult the Islamic scholars, Shariah experts, Muslim community, Muslim religious organizations, representatives of Muslim women organizations and even the opposition parties regarding the Bill. Maulana Umri, however, welcomed and appreciated the role of the opposition parties regarding the bill. “We appreciate the role of the Opposition parties who did not allow the bill to pass in the Rajya Sabha and demanded that the Bill be referred to a Select Committee. The motive for this Bill seems to be political in nature and its introduction was completely unnecessary after the Supreme Court had invalidated triple talaq. It criminalizes a matter that is purely civil in issue”, Maulana Umari said.On the Citizenship amendments bill with reference to the Assam, JIH Vice President Nusrat Ali said: “We oppose the notification issued by the MHA regarding Citizenship Act wherein persecuted religious minorities from neighboring countries would be given citizenship. This would be open discrimination on basis of religion and goes against our constitutional values’’.Earlier while briefing the media the Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Muhammad Salim Engineer expressed apprehension over the govt’s notification authorizing 10 central agencies to intercept, monitor and decrypt any computer system, “as and when required”. He also commented on the recent Bangladesh polls. He said: “the landslide victory handed out to the Awami League gives credence to allegations by the opposition and impartial observers who have termed the polls to be ‘’a farce’’ and ‘’rigged’’.theindianawaaz
Jamaat Doubts Govt Motive On Triple Talaq Bill, Welcomes Role of Opposition.
Railways to follow airport-like security drill, boarding will stop 20 minutes before train departure
New Delhi: Railways is planning to seal stations just like airports and passengers will soon have to arrive 15-20 minutes before the scheduled departure of trains to complete the security check process. The security plan — with high-end technology — has already been put in motion at Allahabad, in anticipation of the Kumbh Mela which begins this month and at Hoobly railway station in Karnataka. A blueprint for 202 more stations is ready for implementation, Railway Protection Force Director General Arun said."The plan is to seal the railway stations. It is primarily about identifying openings and to determine how many can be closed. There are areas which will be closed through permanent boundary walls, others will be manned by RPF personnel and yet others will have collapsible gates. "At each entry point there will be random security checks. However, unlike at airports, passengers need not come hours in advance, but just 15-20 minutes ahead of their departure times to ensure that they are not delayed because of the security process," he said.Kumar said that while security will increase, presence of security personnel will not. "If we are inventing in technology, then manpower requirement will reduce," he said. These steps are a part of a security plan under the Integrated Security System (ISS) which was approved in 2016 to strengthen surveillance mechanism at 202 railway stations.PTI
‘Imran Khan believes in minority rights, Indian minorities killed due to religion’:Pak targets PM Modi
New Delhi: Pakistan govt has targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet over perceived differences on how the 2 countries ‘treat their minorities’. In a tweet that showcases Pakistan’s attempt at a smear campaign against PM Modi, ruling PTI compares Pakistan PM Imran Khan with Modi, showing the former in a favourable light. The tweet attacks the Modi government over the increasing incidents of cow lynching in India, while pointing out that the Imran Khan government had declared Panj Tirath, a Hindu religious site, as a “national treasure.” The propaganda tweet clearly aims at highlighting Khan for his ‘secular leanings’ while denouncing PM Modi for the perceived ill-treatment of minorities in India. The image on the tweet reads, "2 countries, 2 leaders, 2 days, 2 news".Along with that 2 news clippings are highlighted, one of Pakistan’s decision to declare Panj Tirath as a national treasure, and the other of the recent incident of mob lynching in Bihar’s Araria. On Dec29, a 55-year-old man was thrashed to death by a mob of around 300 people over allegations of cattle theft in Araria district of Bihar. The tweet is accompanied with a caption highlighting the difference between 2 govts: “PM Imran Khan believes in humanity and minority rights. Kartarpur corridor is proof of this. While in India minorities are murdered in the name of religion. This is the difference which makes Imran Khan an esteemed leader."Times Now
Doctors Ask Muslim Patients to Shave Off Beard Even for Minor Surgery, Complains SP Leader
Mumbai: Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Rais Sheikh has claimed doctors at civic-run hospitals here ask Muslim patients to shave off beard before they perform surgery on them and sought a ban on this practice.Sheikh, SP's group leader in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), has written a letter to civic commissioner Ajoy Mehta, drawing his attention to the practice which he termed as unacceptable.In the letter, he has claimed doctors at BMC-run hospitals ask Muslim patients to shave off beard before performing even minor operations. SP corporator said, "Keeping a beard is long-cherished part of our faith and I have received several complaints from our Muslim brother patients who say doctors advise them to shave off beard before performing even a minor surgery.""This is unacceptable and I have apprised BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta about it and have written a letter to him," Sheikh said."I have demanded that Mehta instruct doctors to ask patients to shave off beard only when it is extremely necessary," he said.Sheikh also said the BMC's heath department has taken cognisance of his complaint over the issue and framed a policy to prevent doctors from resorting to the practice.However, this could not be immediately corroborated with civic officials.PTI
If 1984 guilty had been punished, there wouldn’t be Mumbai 1993, Gujarat 2002, lynchings: HS Phoolka
Senior lawyer HS Phoolka is optimistic that Sajjan Kumar verdict will have a bearing on all mob violence cases, calls for a law without loopholes to tackle such crimes, talks about his experience during the riots, blames the system for institutional authority not being fixed, and says any Congress apology must be sincere. Phoolka said, "people who are in majority in a particular area, they attack a community and then they get political patronage. This kind of violence started from 1984. I have said this many times, if the people guilty in the 1984 riots had been punished, we wouldn’t have seen Mumbai riots of 1993, Gujarat riots of 2002 or Kandhamal, or whatever is happening these days, these lynchings etc." indianexpress
Phoolka rubbishes reports of joining BJP after meeting with Vijay Goel
New Delhi :Senior lawyer H S Phoolka, who resigned from the primary membership of Aam Aadmi Party last week, Sunday dismissed reports that he was joining the BJP following a meeting with Union Minister Vijay Goel the previous day. Taking to Twitter, Phoolka clarified that the two leaders are good friends and that meeting Goel on the occasion of his birthday was “no news”.“Meeting Vijay Goel is no news. We are good friends and meet often. When I became the Leader of Opposition, he had invited me for dinner at his Haveli. He has been helping me in the 1984 Sikh genocide cases quietly without claiming any credit. I meet every leader who supports our fight for justice,” Phoolka said.indianexpress
LS polls: NDA may fall 15 seats short of majority, says survey
New Delhi:BJP-led NDA at the Centre may fall nearly 15 seats short of the magic mark of 272 in the 543-seat Lok Sabha, if elections are held now, says the India TV-CNX opinion poll. According to the survey, conducted between December 15-25 at fag end of last year in all 543 parliamentary constituencies, the NDA may get 257 seats and the Congress-led UPA (minus SP and BSP) may get 146 seats, far off the magic mark.The survey was done after the results of Assembly polls in five states, including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh where Congress has formed govts.The survey said on Saturday that the key to govt formation could lie in the hands of ‘others’ who may get 140 seats in a House of 543.‘Others’ include Samajwadi Party, BSP, AIADMK, Trinamool Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Biju Janata Dal, YSR Congress Party, Left Front, PDP of Mehbooba Mufti, AIUDF of Badruddin Ajmal, AIMIM of Asaduddin Owaisi, INLD, Aam Aadmi Party, JVM(P), AMMK of Tamil Nadu and independent MPs.The earlier nationwide survey conducted by India TV-CNX in November, before the Assembly polls, had given NDA a clear majority with 281 seats, UPA 124, and ‘Others’ 138. Since then there has been a reduction of 24 seats in NDA and an addition of 22 seats in UPA, says the survey. The survey says that NDA could get 37.15 per cent votes, UPA 29.92 per cent and ‘others’ 32.93 per cent.Within the NDA, the BJP may win 223 seats, Shiv Sena 8, JD(U) 11, Akali Dal 5, LJP 3, PMK 1, NDPP 1, AINRC 1, NPP 1, SDF 1, Apna Dal 1, and MNF 1.The survey said that Congress may win 85 seats (almost double that it won in 2014), DMK 21, Lalu Prasad’s RJD 10, NCP 9, JMM 4, JD(S) 4, RLD 2, RLSP 1, RSP 1, IUML 2, TDP 4, JK National Conference 2, and Kerala Congress (M) 1. Next Lok Sabha elections would be held in April-May.  IANS
Ayodhya land dispute matter: SC defers hearing to Jan.10
A 2-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, said on Friday it will hear the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case on Jan.10."Further orders on hearing Ayodhya land dispute case will be passed by a 3-judge bench on Jan.10," a division bench of the apex court, also comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, said. Before giving the date for an hearing in the case, the top court bench said “is this the Ram Janmbhumi matter? Further order will passed by an appropriate bench on Jan 10.” On Friday, the Court no.1 was jam packed with advocates, litigants and journalists in anticipation of some orders for setting up a bench or day to day hearing of Ayodhya dispute.UNI
Mehbooba Mufti Hails Court Decision On 3-Member Bench For Ayodhya Case
Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday welcomed the Supreme Court's decision to constitute a 3-member bench for hearing Babri Masjid land title dispute case.She said punishment must be served to those who demolished the mosque."Honourable SC's decision to constitute a bench for Babri Masjid/Mandir issue is a welcome step. There is also need to ensure punishment is meted out to those who demolished the Babri Masjid so that such acts are not repeated in the future," Mehbooba wrote on Twitter.  PDP president also said the country would not have witnessed "massacres" had the culprits responsible for 1984 anti-Sikh riots been punished.PTI
BJP’s poll drubbing, Ayodhya shadow on RSS brainstorming meet in Chennai
Chennai:RSS will hold a four-day brainstorming session for its over 30 parivar organisations, including BJP and VHP, from Sunday in Chennai. The meet will chiefly look at organisational aspects and carry out a ‘SWOT’  analysis to help the individual outfits with their respective “nationalistic goals.”The session, though dubbed routine by the RSS, is expected to offer a “broad guideline” to reconcile VHP’s “Hindus cannot wait for eternity for Ram temple” line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent assertion on the Ayodhya issue, RSS sources indicated. The meet will take stock of BJP’s electoral drubbing in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh besides the work of 30-plus outfits belonging to the larger Sangh parivar.PTI
Contentious issues like Ram temple, triple talaq may harm NDA: Chirag Paswan
Sheikhpura:LJP, a BJP ally in Bihar, on Saturday disapproved of contentious issues like the Ram temple and triple talaq being raised ahead of the Lok Sabha polls and expressed apprehension that deviating from the development plan could harm NDA. LJP parliamentary board chairman Chirag Paswan expressed the view at a press conference in the district, which comprises a part of his Lok Sabha seat — Jamui.“Development should be the poll plank for NDA, which, I am confident, will help the coalition win more than 35 of the 40 seats in Bihar.I am hopeful that the election will be fought on the issue of development and contentious issues like the Ram temple and triple talaq will be kept at bay. These may harm the coalition’s prospects,” he said.The young MP, who is the son of Union minister and LJP’s founding president Ram Vilas Paswan, had expressed similar concerns last month after BJP lost power in 3 of its strongholds — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.PTI
Ishrat Jahan encounter: Getting govt sanction to prosecute ex-cops not in our hands, says CBI
Ahmedabad :CBI on Saturday told a special court, which is hearing 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case, that the time limit to get sanction from the Gujarat government to prosecute the accused retired police officers, including DG Vanzara and NK Amin, is not in their hands.The central probe agency reiterated its stand that it had sought the state government’s nod to prosecute the retired officers only due to the order passed by the special court. “Our stand has been very clear since the beginning (of the trial) that there is no need to seek permission (from Gujarat govt) for the prosecution (of former police officers). We moved (a plea) before the state (govt) only after this court ordered us to do so,” special public prosecutor RC Kodekar, appearing for CBI, told special judge JK Pandya. Earlier, special judge asked Kodekar, “What happened in the Ishrat case.” Kodekar responded, “It hasn’t come yet”, stating that Gujarat govt was yet to respond to the CBI’s request. When the judge enquired how long would it take for the govt to respond, Kodekar said that the agency wouldn’t know as it would be decided by “higher-level officers”. CBI has not taken permission before chargesheeting seven Gujarat policemen, including ex DGP PP Pandey, who was discharged last year, Vanzara, IPS officer GL Singhal, NK Amin, Tarun Barot, among others in 2013.indian express
Raids across UP,Delhi: CBI to examine Akhilesh in mining case, SP cries vendetta
New Delhi:CBI will examine the alleged roles of Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and his former Cabinet colleague Gayatri Prajapati in a case of illegal mining, according to an FIR filed by the agency on Jan.2. On Saturday, CBI searched 14 locations across Delhi and UP in connection with the case, which deals with illegal mining in Hamirpur between 2012 and 2016.In the FIR filed on Jan.2, CBI said, “The role of then mining ministers concerned during relevant period may be looked into during the course of investigation of the case.” CBI is probing the case on the orders of the Allahabad High Court.Both Yadav and Prajapati held the mining portfolio between 2012 and 2016 when the alleged irregularities in the mining of minor minerals were supposed to have happened.indianexpress
Tough UP IAS officer booked by CBI is known for fighting corruption & good administration
Lucknow: On a winter morning four years ago, the district magistrate of Bulandshahr reached a road construction site to find bad quality bricks being used.Irked by the lackadaisical attitude of the local municipal officials, she threatened to lodge an FIR against them on the grounds of corruption, alleging that public money was being wasted. A video clip of the incident had gone viral.Fast forward to the present, and the same IAS officer, B. Chandrakala, has been booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation on charges of corruption in an illegal mining case.CBI sleuths Saturday conducted raids in parts of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, including two residences of Chandrakala, and is believed to have seized documents. 2008-batch Uttar Pradesh cadre IAS officer is alleged to have allowed illegal mining of minerals and violated the e-tender systems in giving mining contracts between 2012 and 2016 in Hamirpur district, where she was posted as DM.theprint
ED moves Bombay HC against PMLA tribunal's order on Zakir Naik
Mumbai: Bombay High Court Friday issued a notice to religious preacher Zakir Naik's Islamic Research Foundation following a petition filed by the Enforcement Directorate over proceedings related to attachment of properties belonging to him and his organisation.The ED, through its counsel advocate Hiten Venegaonkar, has filed a plea in the high court, challenging among other things, a last year's order of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Appellate Tribunal in New Delhi.In its order, the Tribunal had stayed all attachment proceedings initiated by the ED against Naik and IRF until the central agency filed its reply, and submitted a copy of the NIA's charge sheet filed against Naik in a case under UAPA, and also a copy of such speeches made by him that the probe agencies had alleged were "objectionable."PTI
NIA brings Naeem to Meerut in search of more info on IS-inspired module
Meerut:A team of NIA brought Naeem, accused of supplying arms to IS-inspired terror accused and arrested, to Radhna village in Kithore tehsil of Meerut on Saturday for getting more details about the module busted recently. The team, along with a bomb disposal squad and a platoon of CRPF, arrived in the village on Saturday morning and raided some houses of the people known to Naeem. “Team conducted searches at other suspects’ homes as revealed by Naeem during interrogation by the NIA. They raided the houses of Arif (Naeem’s uncle) and Matloob, a neighbour. But no arrests were made,” SP (rural) Rajesh Kumar told TOI. According to police sources, a mango orchard in the village was also dug up at various spots but they did not find anything as such. Family members and villagers at a point surrounded the raiding team and claimed Naeem’s innocence but the team that comprised officers of the rank of SP and deputy SP interacted little with the locals and left the place by afternoon. Development is linked to Dec.26 incident in which teams of ATS conducted simultaneous raids at 17 places of western UP. TOI
Soft stand on mob lynching unfortunate; NIA terrorizing Muslims: Mufti Mukarram
New Delhi:Shahi Imam Masjid Fatehpuri Mufti Mohammed Mukarram Ahmed appealed Muslims to pay attention towards education and training of children. He told this during Friday sermon. He asked to engage children in some or other activity so that their life is not ruined. Shahi Imam said strict action is needed against mob lynching and mere condemnation is not enough. He lamented that NIA is terrorizing Muslims by conducting raids in Delhi and Amroha. It should not arrest innocent Muslims on the basis of mere suspension and should not seize domestic items. He expressed hope that no one could produce evidence against the Muslim youth in the court and they will be soon acquitted.siasat
Karnataka: Decline in Muslim birth rate, rise in Hindu; ISEC cites these reasons
Bengaluru: Data released by the Registrar General of India stated that 9.3 lakh births were registered in families of Hindus, 1.6 lakh in Muslims and 6,431 in Christians in Karnataka in 2017. The report, reveals an increase of 0.2% in Hindu child took birth in 2017, compared to 2016 report. On the other hand, there has been a decrease of 5 per cent in Muslim birth and 13 per cent in Christians in comparison to the registered deliveries in 2016. In 2016, 9.3 lakh Hindu, 1.7 lakh Muslim and 7,369 Christian newborns were registered. Registrar General of India compiled the data based on information submitted by the Karnataka govt. Prof CM Lakshmana, head of Population Research Centre at ISEC, has attributed the dip in Muslim and Christian families to changing trends in education levels, acceptance and family planning. siasat
Einstein, Newton ‘misled’ world: Unaware of controversial remarks by speakers, say organisers
Phagwara:Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA), which is organising 106th Indian Science Congress ongoing at LPU here, Saturday professed ignorance about two speakers who stoked controversy in their presentations by saying that Einstein and Newton “misled” the world, that Kauravas were test tube babies, and presenting the Dashavathar as a “better” theory of evolution than Darwin’s and said such statements should not have been made. 2 speakers were Dr Kannan Jegathala Krishnan, whose designation in conference manual is mentioned as ‘senior research scientist and coordinator’ at World Community Service Centre at Aliyar in Tamil Nadu, and Prof G Nageswara Rao, V-C, Andhra University.In his address, Krishnan purportedly ridiculed Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton and termed Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan as a more “popular and learned” scientist than the late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.The other speaker, Rao, V-C, Andhra University, a biotechnologist, claimed that Kauravas in Mahabharata were test tube babies and Dashavatar which talks about ten avtars of Lord Vishnu in Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita gave better theory of evolution than Darwin.He said, “I stand by my statement and I have tried to relate science with history. I said there was some kind of technology at that time too which was similar to test tube babies technique today.” Asked if there is any evidence to support his claims, he said, “There is itihaas, which is evidence.” He said he was invited by organisers and that he only “stated historical facts” without any motive to influence anyone.indianexpress
Rafale row: Prove order given to HAL or resign, Rahul tells Sitharaman
New Delhi:Alleging that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman “lied” in Parliament by claiming the Modi government gave orders worth Rs one lakh crore to HAL, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said that the minister should either place the documents in support of her statement in the House or resign.Gandhi’s attack came after a media report claimed that “not a single rupee of the said Rs 1 lakh crore has come to HAL, since not a single order, as claimed, has been signed till now”. The media report cited senior HAL management officials in order to back its claim.“When you tell one lie, you need to keep spinning out more lies, to cover up the first one. In her eagerness to defend the PM’s Rafale lie, RM lied to Parliament,” Gandhi tweeted along with the media report.PTI
No Mention Of Shivaji, BR Ambedkar In Maharashtra Calendar: Opposition
Maharashtra govt dropped the mention of death anniversaries of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, democrat reformist Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj, social reformer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and BR Ambedkar from 2019 calendar.The calendar is distributed to all departments and all government offices across the state. While there is a mention of events like World Aids Day (Dec.1) and International Day of Disabled Persons (Dec.3) among others, death anniversaries have been omitted.The omission has drawn sharp reactions from the opposition. Congress Leader of Opposition in Assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, attacked govt for "the extremely serious lapses" and demanded to know who will be held responsible for these."This (BJP-Shiv Sena) govt exploits the names of all these towering personalities only for political purposes but has forgotten them in the annual calendar," he said.IANS
Not sure if Hanuman even had52-inch chest:Chidambaram
Chennai: 'Who has a 52-inch chest? I have heard a story from Ramayana, where Lord Hanuman tore opened his chest. I am not sure even Lord Hanuman had a 52-inch chest', former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said while speaking at Tamil Nadu Jamathul Ulama Sabha conference meet here. He further lambasted BJP-led present dispensation on demonestisation and said, "There are several reasons why we oppose this government, like demonetisation. Arvind Subramanian had also said indirectly that it's wrong. All mistakes were done by a single person only. Demonetisation was by one person and GST too is the same."Talking of his education years, he opined that majoritarianism can lead to authoritarianism."I did my education in Christian based school. But my class leader was from a Muslim brotherhood. We never felt a religious difference. When I see now, it gives me pain as majoritarianism is against democracy. Majoritarianism will lead to authoritarianism," he said.ANI
Yogi plans to use liquor ‘cess’ to find ‘work’ for BJP supporters: National Herald India
A new 2% cess on sale of liquor in UP, announced by chief minister Yogi Adityanath on New Year’s Day, will be used to set up and maintain ‘Gaushalas’ or shelter for cows in the state. Alarmed at widespread resentment over stray cattle destroying crops and leading to accidents, on one reported occasion even killing a villager, UP Govt wants to implement the scheme on a war footing before crucial general election.
FIR against 28 after stray cattle,herded into school in UP
Police in Shahjahanpur in UP have lodged an FIR against eight named and 20 unidentified persons for allegedly herding stray cattle inside a govt primary school after breaking open the lock on the school’s gate in Nagaria Bhujurgh village in the Jalalabad police station area late Jan.2 night.By the time a team of the district administration and police reached the school on Jan.3 however, the animals had been led out of the school premises.Following an inquiry, an FIR was lodged under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and for damage to property, SHO of Jalalabad police station, Harender Singh, said. No one has been arrested so far.In a video conference with district magistrates on Jan.2, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath reportedly directed that stern action be taken against those who had locked up the animals in a govt building, as well as against the owners of the cattle. indian express
UP’s animal farm: Anger is growing, solutions dwindling
The occasional bright shafts of light piercing the pitch-dark farmlands along the Aligarh-Mathura highway can be a little unsettling for the weary traveller. More so on a frosty January night.But Ravinder Singh and Chaman must ignore the cold. Ravinder, a farmer in Tehara village of Aligarh’s Iglas tehsil, who is spending most nights in his fields these days. Farmers across western UP are keeping night vigils, seeking to protect their crops from an alarmingly growing population of stray cattle, which is now haunting this striking kaleidoscope of wheat, potato and mustard farms. Like others in his village, and across rural India, Ravinder is used to retiring early for the night, after a day in the fields starting at dawn. But now, in village after village, farmers are taking turns to guard their crops, well past midnight. Farmers say the situation has come to this pass since Adityanath govt’s crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses across the state starting March 22, 2017, coupled with the fear spread by self-styled ‘gau rakshaks’. So cattle that are no longer of any use to their owners are being abandoned. There are few takers even for transporting buffaloes, over whose slaughter there is no restriction. “It’s barely been a year since the ban (on the slaughterhouses) and the situation is already getting out of hand. Today, we managed to chase the cattle away. But the day is not far when they will be immune to the fear of sticks. In any case, bulls do injure humans, sometimes fatally. So do we take up guns now?” asks Ravinder.As tempers rise, in a region that is already a hotbed of caste and communal conflicts, authorities are wary of potential law and order crises.In Aligarh, Mathura and Agra, villagers actually herded stray cattle into primary schools and govt offices and locked them up in the last week of Dec. Authorities have managed to clear the schools, but all other available govt land, including complexes housing water tanks, now has abandoned cattle locked in. Rambir Singh Pradhan, who owns a dhaba along Aligarh-Mathura road, recalls the period when people used to worship cows that gave birth to bulls, as they were an intrinsic part of the village economy in the absence of mechanisation and tractors. However, he points out,it is not the case now, minimising the use of both cows once they stop giving milk and bulls. “Cattle should be slaughtered, but being Hindus, we can’t even say that. Even politicians know the reality but stay mum. We worship cows but the rules should be flexible. Now it is clear that cows are worse off.They are being herded into congested shelters and left to die. How many politicians shedding tears for cows keep them at their bungalows? Be it Modi or Yogi or gau rakshaks, it is us farmers who are suffering,” Pradhan says, agitated. Towards the end of Dec., 60 stray cattle kept in a makeshift shed died of “cold and weakness” over a week in Tappal area of Aligarh district. Meanwhile, the meat industry in the region is almost dead. In Bulandshahr’s Chaudera town, a cluster of meat shops, which used to sell buffalo meat, have downed shutters in the last one year.Mohammad Sharfaraz, whose shop is one of the remaining two, says the crackdown on local “kattikhanas (slaughterhouses)” has led to a rise in the cost of running the business, as they now have to send buffaloes to govt-notified HAI Ltd in.indianexpress
JNUSU announces 2 day strike, claims varsity spent lakhs to host Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Sadhguru
JNUSU has called for a two-day strike to protest against the varsity for allegedly spending nearly ₹13 lakh to host spiritual gurus Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Sadhguru.The students' body claimed that JNU's vice-chancellor had denied registration to a visually challenged student of the Centre for Japanese Studies, Munesh, who was failed due to lack of facilities as the varsity faced a paucity of funds. However, the VC has spent nearly ₹13 lakh to host babas like Sadhguru and Sri Sri, JNUSU alleged in a statement.It has called for a two-day strike on Jan. 8 and 9 against "financial corruption" by VC and his cronies.
‘JNU attendance policy worst among 21 countries’
New Delhi: In a report released by Members of Parliament on Friday, JNUTA initiated a fresh attack against JNU administration for its implementation of the compulsory attendance system by claiming that in their survey of teachers from 75 universities of 21 countries, they found their attendance policy to be “antithetical to university’s values.” JNUTA stated that JNU administration, “without any consultation with the statutory bodies of the university, unilaterally imposed a new rule for daily attendance for the faculty, starting with daily signing of an attendance register held by the school/centre office. There are plans to soon replace the registers with biometric devices for attendance that are currently being installed across the university.” This, they say, was never a part of the agenda of the 146th (A) Meeting of the academic council held on July 13.TOI
SP,BSP join hands for 2019, leave Cong
Lucknow: In what spells a challenge for BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, BSP and SP have decided to contest the 2019 polls together in UP and are likely to formally announce a seat-sharing pact without Congress.The two parties have decided to contest an equal number of seats, possibly 37 each of the 80 seats, in the politically pivotal state. The two have decided not to field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli, constituencies of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, respectively. They are also ready to set aside seats for Jat leader Ajit Singh’s RLD, while efforts are also on to rope in OBC outfits like Nishad Party and Krishna Patel faction of Apna Dal to forge a larger social combination to take on the dominant BJP.Sources familiar with negotiations said that while SP is insisting on parity, it is not averse to conceding a couple of seats more to BSP to ensure a smooth partnership with Mayawati, who revels in bargaining hard.TOI
PM Modi’s Muslim PR man holds hush-hush meet with Nadwa rector:TOI report
Lucknow: Zafar Sareshwala, ex chancellor of Maulana Azad Urdu University, and better known as PM Modi’s public relations man in Muslim circles, held a closed-door meeting with president of All-India Muslim Personal Law Board Maulana Rabe Hasan Nadvi in Lucknow late Friday. 2 prominent Muslim scholars have learnt to have discussed the emerging political scenario involving the community, including Ayodhya, triple talaq and role of Muslims in 2019 elections. During the meeting, the two Muslims leaders expressed concern over lynching and selective targeting of the community by the right-wing fringe. Sareshwala’s meeting with Nadvi, rector of Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulema, assumes significance in the run-up to the 2019 elections. Sareshwala, who is also viewed as Modi’s emissary by Muslims, said, he told Nadvi that Muslims should not be provoked by rogue elements, but display their prowess “at the time of casting their vote”. TOI
China passes law to make Islam 'compatible with socialism':report
China has passed a new law that seeks to "Sinicize" Islam within the next 5 years, the latest move by Beijing to rewrite how the religion is practised.China's English paper, Global Times, reported on Saturday that after a meeting with representatives from eight Islamic associations, govt officials "agreed to guide Islam to be compatible with socialism and implement measures to Sinicize the religion."The paper did not provide further details or the names of the associations that agreed to the decree.China has embarked on an aggressive "Sinification" campaign in recent years with faith groups that were largely tolerated in the past seeing their freedoms shrink under Chinese President Xi Jinping, China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong. Practising Islam has been made forbidden in parts of China, with individuals caught praying, fasting, growing a beard or wearing a hijab, a headscarf worn by many Muslim women who feel it is part of their religion, facing the threat of arrest.According to the UN, more than one million Uighur Muslims are estimated to be held in internment camps where they are forced to denounce the religion and pledge allegiance to the officially atheist ruling Communist Party.Rights groups have accused China of engaging in a campaign of ethnic cleansing. In August, a Washington Post editorial said the world "can't ignore" the campaign against Muslims.Islamic crescents and domes have been stripped from mosques, and according to AP, religious schools and Arabic classes have been banned and children barred from participating in Muslim activities. China has rejected the criticism, saying it protects the religion and culture of its minorities. However, in the past week alone, authorities in China's Yunnan province, which borders Mynamar, have closed three mosques established by marginalised Hui Muslim ethnic minority, South China Morning Post said.aljazeera
Syria pullout tied to ISIL defeat, Kurd protection: US
President Donald Trump's national security adviser said on Sunday US military withdrawal from northeastern Syria is conditioned on finishing off the armed group ISIL and on Turkey assuring the safety of Kurdish troops allied with US.John Bolton, who travelled to Israel to reassure US ally of the Trump-ordered withdrawal, said there is no timetable for the pullout of American forces in northeastern Syria, but insisted it's not an unlimited commitment."There are objectives that we want to accomplish that condition the withdrawal," Bolton told reporters in Jerusalem. "Timetable flows from the policy decisions that we need to implement."Those conditions, he said, included the defeat of remnants of ISIL in Syria, and protection for Kurdish militias who have fought alongside US troops against the group. Bolton was deployed to Israel to allay concerns about President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw troops from Syria and discuss the process with Turkish officials. Bolton also warned Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, not to use the US withdrawal as a pretext to use chemical weapons against Syrians, saying there is "no change" to US position that their use is a "red line".aljazeera
Egypt,Israel in close cooperation against Sinai fighters: Sisi
Egypt's president has told a US broadcaster his country and Israel are cooperating against armed groups in the Sinai Peninsula, a potentially damaging acknowledgement that could explain a request that network not air the interview. Excerpts from the interview released by CBS over weekend also showed President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi denying there are political prisoners in Egypt, where he has overseen one of the largest crackdowns on dissent in the country's modern history since the overthrow by the military, then led by him, of a divisive president.CBS, which will air the full interview Sunday on its show 60 Minutes, said it has rejected a request by the Egyptian government not to show it. It did not say which part of the president's comments Cairo objected to, but the cooperation with Israel, with whom Egypt has a 1979 peace treaty, appears to be the most contentious part. Egypt's military last year denied press reports that it and Israel were cooperating against insurgents in northern Sinai, a region of rugged mountains and desert bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip where Egyptian security forces have for years battled the fighters, now led by ISIL group. According to the excerpts, el-Sisi was asked if his country's cooperation with Israel was the closest ever between the 2 countries. "That is correct... We have a wide range of cooperation with Israelis,"he responded.aljazeera
Taliban seek venue change for peace talks with US to Qatar: aljazeera
Taliban will not attend planned peace talks with the US in Saudi Arabia this month and want to shift the venue to Qatar. The upcoming negotiations, the fourth in a series aimed at ending the 17-year war in Afghanistan, are scheduled between the leaders of Taliban and US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad to discuss the withdrawal of foreign forces and a possible ceasefire in 2019. Taliban leaders have rejected Kabul govt's offer for direct talks, despite growing international pressure in favour of the Western-backed Afghan government having a seat at the table."We were supposed to meet US officials in Riyadh next week and continue our peace process that remained incomplete in Abu Dhabi last month," a senior Taliban member based in Afghanistan said on condition of anonymity."The problem is that leaders of Saudi and UAE wanted us to definitely meet the Afghan govt delegation, which we cannot afford to do now, and we have cancelled the meeting in Saudi," he said. Taliban want to change the venue for the talks to Qatar, he added, the political headquarters of the group.Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed the group decided to cancel the meeting in Saudi Arabia, but did not provide information about a new meeting venue. Another senior Taliban leader said the group had explained to Saudi that it was not possible for Taliban to meet Afghan govt at this stage."Everyone is aware of the fact that the Afghan government wanted US and its allies not to leave Afghanistan and we have paid a heavy price to expel all foreign forces from our country," he said."Why should we talk to Afghan govt?"
30 killed in gold mine collapse in Afghanistan
Kunduz: At least 30 people were killed when a gold mine collapsed in northeastern Afghanistan on Sunday, officials said, in the latest tragedy to strike the war-torn country. Another 7 were injured in the incident in Kohistan district of Badakhshan province, district governor Mohammad Rustam Raghi told AFP.Villagers had dug a 60-metre  deep shaft in a river bed to search for gold. They were inside when the walls fell in.It was not clear why the shaft collapsed, but the provincial governor’s spokesman Nik Mohammad Nazari told AFP the miners were not professionals.AFP
Indians, Afghans react to Trump’s ‘Afghan library’ dig at PM Modi
US President Donald Trump's comments mocking New Delhi's role in Afghanistan have drawn widespread ridicule and anger both in India and Afghanistan.On Wednesday, Trump said he got along very well with PM Narendra Modi, but the Indian leader was "constantly telling me he built a library in Afghanistan"."That's like five hours of what we spend... And we are supposed to say, 'oh, thank you for the library'. I don't know who is using it in Afghanistan," Trump said.He also said Russia, Pakistan and India should be intervening in Afghanistan, not the US. "Why are we there, 6,000 miles away?" he asked.India has been Afghanistan's close ally and has committed $3bn to various development projects in the country, as well as financing its new parliament building.New Delhi trains Afghan military officers in India but has refrained from sending its own soldiers to the war-torn country. India has repeatedly said it backs an "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process".Trump's comments riled up politicians and observers in both India and Afghanistan.An unnamed Indian government spokesman told AFP that New Delhi would like to highlight the "critical role that developmental assistance can play in transforming human lives".aljazeera
Senior Pak Jamaat Islami leader Chaudhry Rehmat Elahi passes away
Lahore - Chaudhry Rehmat Elahi, a former central leader of the Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan and the right hand man of Syed Abul Ala Maudoodi, breathed his last after a protracted illness here on Saturday. He was 94.Ch. Rehamt Elahi was one of the companions of Syed Abul Ala Muadoodi, from Pathankot, India. He worked as a federal minister during Gen Zia’s period and also discharged duties as JI Secretary General, for different periods.Ch. Rehmat Elahi had joined the JI after giving up his service in the Armed forces and dedicated all his life for the cause of Islam.The funeral prayer of Ch. Rehmat Elahi was offered at the Mansoora which was attended by a large number of people from all walks of life, including politicians, writers, journalists, JI workers and the relatives of the deceased.The Nation, Pak
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:16 PM)


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