26 January 2019

26 Jan.ND: 27 out of 31 Rohingya arrested in Tripura registered as refugees: UNHCR/ SC seeks Centre’s response on plea challenging govt’s surveillance powers/ Hate crimes, lynchings, mob attacks in UP force Muslims out of their homes in search of safety:report

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
26 Jan. 2019: 19 Jamadiul-I 1440: Vol:11, No:111
27 out of 31 Rohingya arrested in Tripura registered as refugees: UNHCR
27 of 31 Rohingya including 16 children arrested by Tripura Police on Tuesday are registered as refugees with UNHCR, the UN refugee agency has said. UNHCR has also urged the Indian Govt to respect the principle of “non-refoulement” - principle of global law that disallows the repatriation of refugees to a country where they are liable to be persecuted - and not detain or deport the refugees.The group of Rohingya were arrested by the Tripura Police after they were stranded for almost four days between the border fence and the international border with Bangladesh and a standoff ensued between Bangladesh’sBGB and India’s BSF.The group was detained by BGB on Jan.18 which alleged that they were pushed into Bangladesh by BSF. BGB pushed the group back to the Indian side of the international border, according to officials. BSF said Rohingya infiltrated from Bangladesh.They were later handed over to Tripura police.“27 among them were registered with UNHCR as refugees and four young children are not registered,” UNCHR said. According to UNHCR, the group was living in Jammu for the last several years.Some members of the group had earlier acknowledged that they were living in Jammu and had planned to cross the border illegally to Bangladesh fearing deportation to Myanmar after Indian Govt sent back another group earlier this month. According to UNHCR,“a family of 5 Rohingya was returned to Myanmar in Jan.2019” despite being “registered with UNHCR as asylum seekers”. Tripura Police said group continues to be in judicial custody and UNHCR identity cards are being verified. HT
UN asks India, Saudi not to deport Rohingya
UN expert slates Saudi, India’s move to deport Rohingyas to Bangladesh
SC seeks Centre’s response on plea challenging govt’s surveillance powers
The Supreme Court has sought response from Modi Govt on a petition challenging the constitutional validity of governments power of surveillance under the Telegraph and IT Acts.The notice seeking the Centre's response came in a petition filed by PUCL contending that the said provisions permit surveillance which violates fundamental rights and freedoms under Articles 14, 19, and 21 of the Constitution and cause injury to public interest.Filed before a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, the petition, citing RTI replies, Ministers' reply to Parliament as well as "Transparency Reports" published by Google, Facebook, and Twitter, have pointed out "rampant abuse and misuse" of the surveillance power by the govt.IANS
As 19 are arrested for alleged IS links over past month, police deny that move is linked to LS poll
Arrest of 9 people in Maharashtra on Tuesday for alleged links with an IS-inspired group came a month after 10 people were arrested from Delhi and UP for allegedly being part of another group with similar links. According to statements by the police, the men arrested in Maharashtra are members of a group identified as the Ummat-e-Mohammadiya. The police did not give any specific details. An Aurangabad court has sent them to police custody till Feb.5. “More details will emerge with their interrogation,”said a senior investigating official.The Dec arrests were made by NIA. Its officials said 10 persons arrested were part of a group called Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam. NIA arrested 3 more people in Jan.for their alleged involvement with this group, which, the agency claimed, was in an “advanced stage” of planning bomb attacks in some Indian cities.The recent rise in arrests across India and an increase in the circulation of WhatsApp messages warning citizens against terror attacks in the country on Republic Day has led to allegations that both are linked to the general elections – due in April or May – given that fear-mongering could have an impact on public opinion.But several Govt officials have denied these allegations. According to senior officials,NIA has initiated investigations into at least 23 IS-related cases since 2015 and has arrested about 100 people in connection with them.scroll.in
Hate crimes, lynchings, mob attacks in UP force Muslims out of their homes in search of safety:report
Bulandshahr:“Baba loved village,” said Vakeel Ahmad, a year and a half after his father Ghulam Mohammed was lynched outside Soi village of Bulandshahr district in UP, where the family had lived for generations.“He always said there can be no better place than the village,” Ahmad said, on the phone from Aligarh, where the family have relocated, reflecting on the irony of his father having refused to leave the village even for the promise of a better life.It was in this village that Mohammed, 60, was lynched on 2 May, 2017.His neighbour, a Muslim youth named Younus, had eloped with a Hindu girl from an adjoining village. An enraged mob, which the police later said had belonged to Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV), a right-wing militia founded in 2002 by current CM Yogi Adityanath, had been responsible. The lynching, and the happenings before and after, convinced Ahmad and his family that they had no option but to leave. Ahmad, along with all three of his brothers and their families, left the village in May 2018, exactly a year after Mohammed’s death.Mohammed’s lynching was among the numerous hate crimes recorded from UP  in Hate Crime Watch, a database of religious identity-based hate crimes across India from 2009 to 2018. India’s most populous state, UP  accounts for the largest number of such crimes in the database.This story is the fourth installment of a 6-part series based on reporting from the site of many of these crimes, which found numerous families who have left their villages in the aftermath of a hate crime,hoping to find safety elsewhere and start life again. In interviews, people spoke of fear as well as a newfound suspicion of neighbours, friends and acquaintances, which had compelled them to keep their final destination secret. Many cited inadequate police support as a reason, too.  "Across UP, we now see an everyday, low-simmering communalism which a full-blown communal pogrom is not,” civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad, secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace, which works to combat hate speech and hate crimes, said. This low-boil communalism instills fear in the minority communities and prevents them from going about their daily life, she said, “So, people start worrying if they can travel by trains, what kind of food they can carry…"In the weeks following the attack on Mohammed, Ahmad said, the village became communally charged, so that he and his family constantly felt pushed into a corner. When FactChecker visited Soi a year and a half later, neither Mohammed's family nor other villagers were able to explain just why Mohammed had been killed. The family blamed it on Hindu villagers, who, they said, had told the mob that Mohammed was the eloped boy’s father. Indiaspend.org/ FactChecker.in
First 16 months of Yogi govt: Over 3000 encounters, 78 killed
UP state police, in the first 16 months of Yogi Adityanath govt, recorded more than 3,000 encounters in which at least 78 criminals were gunned down. Yogi Adityanath took charge as CM on March 19, 2017. An official in DGP office said data in question was recorded between March 2017 and July 2018.indianexpress
UP Muslim Beaten up by Mob for ‘Cattle Smuggling’ in Haryana; Police Keep Him Chained in Station
Rohtak:A 24-year-old man identified as Naushad Mohammed robbed, stripped, tortured and beaten by a 200-strong mob, allegedly for cattle smuggling, at a village in Haryana over weekend.Bad luck for the victim did not part him even after the arrival of police who came on rescue duty after they got information about the incident. Police took the victim to police station and kept him chained inside the police station for nearly a day without any food, water or medical treatment, Naushad said, according to NDTV report.Naushad Mohammad, a resident of UP  had gone to Rohtak on Saturday to buy cattle for farming. In the evening, while he was on his way home with 3 buffaloes, a mob caught up with his truck at Bhalaut, a village near Rohtak and attacked him badly for no reason.“They stripped me and burned my lips and ears with cigarette butts. Then they dragged me over the road and tied me to a pillar,” Naushad Mohammad told NDTV.caravandaily/NDTV
Babri case: Justices Bhushan, Nazeer back on new SC bench
Justices Ashok Bhushan and SA Nazeer, who were part of an earlier 3-judge bench in the politically sensitive Babri Masjid title case, will be on the newly constituted 5-judge bench in the case.Both judges were part of the 3-judge bench, then headed by CJI Dipak Misra (now retired), which had by 2:1 majority verdict refused to refer to a larger bench the question as to whether mosque is integral to offering prayers in Islam. Justice Nazeer had delivered a minority judgement. A 5-judge Constitution Bench was eventually set up on Jan.8 this year, but Justices Bhushan and Nazeer were not part of it.The matter came up for hearing on Jan.10. However after Justice U U Lalit's recusal from hearing the matter, a new 5-judge bench has been reconstituted in which both the judges have made a come back.The new bench announced Friday will be headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi and also comprise Justices SA Bobde and DY Chandrachud.PTI
CVC asks CBI to act against Verma in corruption case
New Delhi:CVC this month asked CBI to take “necessary action” against its ex-director Alok Verma in a case involving a bribe allegedly paid to him by Sana Satish Babu, and DoPT to initiate disciplinary proceedings against him — both based on a CVC report submitted to the Supreme Court in Nov, according to three officials in CBI and DoPT who spoke on condition of anonymity. According to the officials, a complaint is likely to be filed against Verma over an allegation that middleman Sana Satish Babu paid a Rs 2 crore bribe to him in the Moin Qureshi case. DoPT will look into an incident involving the exclusion of the name of a key suspect Rakesh Saxena from a complaint registered by CBI in IRCTC case,allegedly at Verma’s behest.CVC report has highlighted both as instances of serious misconduct. It has also left it to DoPT to initiate major or minor penalty proceedings against Verma in all the other cases where the report substantiates or partially substantiates allegations made by CBI’s then special director Rakesh Asthana. HT
“EVMs Are Tamperable”: Writ Petition With SC to Direct EC To Ensure Extensive Use of Paper Trail
NEW DELHI: A retired Army Officer, a diplomat and a banker have moved the Supreme Court to issue directions to the Election Commission of India to “count and cross verify Voter Verifiable Paper Audit rails in at least 30% (random) of all polling stations within each Assembly Segment/Constituency.”Retired from the Army and the IAS M.G.Devasahayam, former Ambassador K.P.Fabian, retired Bank officer and General Secretary of the All Indian Bank Officers Association Thomas Franco Rajendra Dev have argued that the use of EVMs is recent, and several countries, other than India, have rejected it for violating ---as in Germany---the public nature of the elections. They have pointed out that a reasonable sampling size for cross verifying EVM counts with VVPARs is crucil to prorect the sanctity of the process of elections which “not only need to be free and fair but also need to be seen to be free and fair.”Former diplomat and India’s Ambassador to several countries K.P. Fabian, in an interview to The Citizen, elaborates on the above pointing out that it was essential for the voter to be satisfied in a democracy.thecitizen
Deoband issues diktat against 'Vande Mataram': Times Now
New Delhi:After Darul Uloom Deoband, issued a diktat asking students to venture out on Republic Day at their own risk, a cleric from the organisation asked its followers not to sing Vande Mataram. The reason for the same, according to Deoband, is that in Islam only Allah can be worshipped. The recent statement comes just two days the religious studies' body asked its followers not the venture out on Republic Day and if they do, not to get into an argument with Police–and try to resolve the argument in a peaceful manner.A Darul Uloom cleric clarified that Muslims are not afraid to raise patriotic slogans but they cannot say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ saying, merely changing the words of a statement do not change the meaning behind it.
Delay in Ram temple construction mockery of Hindu sentiments: Sadhvi Ritambhara
VHP leader Sadhvi Ritambhara has said that delay in construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya is a mockery to Hindu sentiments.While appearing at a CBI court in connection to a Babri Masjid case, she told media: "This delay in construction of Ram Mandir is a mockery of Hindu sentiments. The issue which is close to people's heart should be a priority for the court.""We want that either Govt should take a decision or the court must give a verdict," she added.Sharing details of the case in which Ritambhara appeared in the court, her lawyer KK Mishra said, "A lot of IPC sections have been invoked in the case but this is clearly a politically motivated case. The court is examining the case and it would take the right decision."ANI
Plea in SC Challenging Centre's Power to Notify a Community as Minority
New Delhi:A petition challenging the Centre's power to notify a community as minority under the law was filed in the Supreme Court.The plea, filed by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, has sought declaration of Section 2 (c) of National Commission for Minorities Act as "inoperative" for being "arbitrary, unreasonable and in violation of the Constitution".The provision gives the central Govt the right to declare a community minority allowing it to avail benefits of Govt schemes meant for its members.The petition, filed through advocate RD Upadhyay and which may come up up for hearing next week, has challenged the Centre's notification in 1993, which notified only 5 communities Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis as 'minority'.PTI
Lankesh’s sister moves SC, opposes clubbing her murder probe with those of other rationalists
Journalist Gauri Lankesh’s sister on Friday moved the Supreme Court against its suggestion to club the investigation into her murder with those of writer MM Kalburgi, and rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, and hand it over to CBI. On Dec.11, top court had favoured a CBI investigation into the murders, if there was a “common thread” between them. The court had asked the investigation agency, which is probing the killing of Dabholkar, to inform it by the first week of Jan.whether it would like to inquire into the murders of Lankesh, Kalburgi and Pansare too. CBI filed its response in a sealed cover.But on Friday, Kavitha Lankesh told top court that Karnataka Police’s inquiry into her sister’s murder was at an “advanced stage”, Indian Express reported on Saturday. “If at this stage, any change is made or the investigation is shifted to any other agency, the entire process would be derailed,” she added.“When the Karnataka SIT has made so much headway in the case [Lankesh’s killing], and CBI has not, despite the passage of seven years [since Dabholkar’s murder], why should it [Lankesh’s case] go to CBI?” Kavitha Lankesh told Scroll.in.scroll.in
JNU sedition case chargesheet: Police named 14 students as witnesses, all with links to ABVP
New Delhi : Delhi Police, in its sedition chargesheet filed in connection with the Feb.9, 2016 event in JNU, has named 77 witnesses, including 24 police personnel, 14 JNU students and four employees of Zee News. The rest include security guards, faculty members, officials of the Computer Emergency Response Team and mobile operators.Of the 14 students named as witnesses, 12 belonged to ABVP, while two were sympathisers of the student outfit, Indian Express has found.indianexpress
Delhi Minorities pnael asks JNU administration to hold inquiry into charges levelled against professor
New Delhi : Delhi Minorities Commission has directed the JNU administration to conduct an inquiry into the allegations levelled by JNUSU secretary against a woman professor for making religious comments.Aejaz Ahmed Rather, JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) secretary, had complained to the commission against Professor Amita Singh of the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, alleging that she had told him he looked like "a terrorist who has triggered 10 bomb blasts" on Dec.26.Singh had filed a police complaint against JNU Teachers' Association president Atul Sood and the JNUSU secretary for allegedly circulating fake news and trying to disturb peace, communal harmony and inciting violence and divisiveness on the campus.Following Rather's complaint, Delhi Minorities Commission directed JNU administration to conduct an enquiry against Singh, the commission said.PTI
HC seeks JNU response to plea challenging clean chit to professor
Delhi High Court has asked JNU to reply to a plea challenging university’s Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) report which has given a clean chit to a professor accused of sexually harassing several women students. Justice Suresh Kait issued notice to the university and professor Atul Johri and listed the matter for further hearing on May 3.The court was hearing a plea filed by the complainants through advocate Vrinda Grover who has sought suspension of the professor.IANS
BJP wing's 'Tiranga Yatra' triggers row at AMU
Aligarh:AMU has served a show-cause notice to a student leader over a `tiranga yatra' through the campus, saying it was held without permission and triggering a row. The university said it followed procedure and believed that motorcycle procession was meant to polarise students on the campus.But the leader from the BJP's student wing alleged bias and said he would complain to HRD Ministry.BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao also criticised the University's stand.Ajay Singh, a grandson of BJP MLA Dalveer Singh, was served notice Wednesday for the procession taken out a day earlier.The notice sent by AMU proctor Mohsin Khan said procession was held during working hours after compelling students to leave their classes.It added that a large number of "outsiders",including anti-social elements participated in it.The proctor said AMU has made it mandatory to seek official permission for any procession as a precautionary step to maintain peace on the campus.An AMU spokesman said the university is holding a week-long celebration to mark Republic day." But Ajay Singh's motorcycle procession was politically motivated and a ploy to polarise the student community under the garb of a so-called tiranga yatra," he said.PTI
Sabarimala protests: Renaissance panel to include Muslim, Christian outfits: indian express
After organising the women’s wall in support of entry of all women at Sabarimala, CPI(M)-backed Committee for Protection of Renaissance Values decided to accommodate Muslim and Christian outfits in it and continue its activities, apparently with an eye on Lok Sabha polls.The decision to accommodate Muslim and Christian organisations in the committee — which was hitherto an umbrella organisation of various Hindu outfits — was taken at a meeting, which comes in the wake of Opposition criticism that women’s wall was communal in nature.Even though the Sabarimala pilgrim season was over last week, the committee on Thursday decided to form units at district and taluk levels. It will conduct mass conventions at district level before March 15.CM  Pinarayi Vijayan, who presided over the meeting of the committee, said there should be continuation of activities of the committee for protection of renaissance values.
Focus shifts to Muslims for key political players
Lucknow: With the Congress making its intention of playing an aggressive role in Lok Sabha elections clear by appointing Priyanka Gandhi as AICC general secretary and giving her a key role in UP, state’s Muslims – largest in the country – are now in focus. Which way the community votes is likely to be a key factor in deciding the fortunes of both the congress and the SP-BSP coalition.There was not a single Muslim representing UP in Parliament following 2014 Lok Sabha polls On basis of population figures of 2011 census, UP has nearly 40 parliamentary constituencies– 27 in western UP  and 12 in the east —where the community’s presence varies between 20 and 30 % .There are over a dozen constituencies like Bijnor (38%), Amroha (37%), Moradabad(45%),Rampur (49%),Meerut (31%), Muzaffarnagar(37%), Kairana (38%), Saharanpur (39%), Sambhal (46%), Nagina (42%), Bahraich (35%), Bareilly (34%), Shraswati (31%), Gonda (33%), Azamgarh (36%) in the state where community has a strong presence.TOI
Court winds up trial in Kawal twin murders which fuelled ’13 Muzaffarnagar riots
Muzaffarnagar: Over 5 years after the murders of two cousins in Muzaffarnagar’s Kawal village sparked one of the worst communal clashes in UP’s history, a court here has concluded the trial in the twin killings and fixed Feb.6 as the judgment day. According to prosecution lawyer Anil Jindal: “Arguments and counter arguments are now complete and the court of ADG has fixed Feb.6 to pronounce the judgement.”There are 7 accused in the case out of which two are out on bail, the lawyer said.On Aug.27, 2013 the 2 cousins-- Sachin and Gaurav-- allegedly thrashed one Shahnawaz of the same village over eve-teasing. According to some other accounts, a collision of two motorcycles led to fight between the 2 groups. Later, Shahnawaz succumbed to injuries.TOI
Karnataka CM claims BJP tried to lure Congress MLA by offering him a ‘gift’
Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy has claimed that Opposition BJP had on Thursday tried to lure a Congress legislator by offering him a “gift”. “Operation Lotus is on,” he told reporters in Bengaluru. “Yesterday night also they have telephoned a Congress legislator, asking him where to send the gift.” “You will be surprised to know the gift amount,” Kumaraswamy said, according to ANI. “Our legislator responded that he does not need any gift and wants to be left alone.”“Operation Lotus” is a reference to the BJP’s alleged attempts to convince Congress and JDU legislators to defect, so as to cause the state Govt to collapse.scroll.in
Rupani: 500m-radius of Somnath, Ambaji temples now ‘veg zone’
Ahmedabad:Gujarat CM  Vijay Rupani has declared 500-metre radius of Ambaji and Somnath temples as ‘vegetarian zone’.CM announced this while addressing a gathering at a cultural event organised on the eve of Republic Day in Palanpur in Banaskantha district, which was presided by Governor OP Kohli, according to an official release.Local Hindu organisations have been demanding a complete ban on sale and consumption of non-vegetarian food around Somnath temple since long.The demand is on the lines of Palitana temples of Jainism in Bhavnagar where the Govt had imposed a complete ban on sale and consumption of non-veg food.Local municipality had even passed a resolution in April last year with regard to declaring ‘vegetarian zone’ in at least 3-kilometre area around the Somnath temple located in Prabhas Patan in Gir Somnath district.The municipality claimed that local administration and police supported their demand.indianexpress
Separatists-backed strike hits Kashmir on R D
Normal life was affected in Kashmir on Saturday due to a strike called by separatist groups, which asked people to observe the Republic Day as a 'black day'.Shops, offices, petrol pumps and business establishments in Srinagar remained closed while public transport services were suspended, officials said.The effect of the strike was visibly accentuated on Republic Day when strict security arrangement was in place to maintain law and order. The officials said reports of a shutdown were also received from major towns of the Valley. However, the RD celebrations passed peacefully.The separatists had called for observance of 'black day' on Jan. 26 to press for early resolution of the Kashmir issue. "For past 71 years, people of J&K are demanding the right to self-determination that Indian leadership promised to them not only in the UN or the Indian Parliament but reiterated at Lal Chowk in Srinagar by none other than PM of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. However, till this day not only has that commitment not been fulfilled but those that remind them of it are rewarded with bullets and pellets are incarcerated and gagged," joint resistance leadership, an amalgam of separatist groups, said in a statement issued earlier this week.PTI
J&K: Journalists boycott Republic Day event after several colleagues were barred entry
Several journalists claimed that personnel from the armed forces in J&K on Saturday prevented them from entering the venue for the state’s Republic Day event, reports said. The development led to other media persons boycotting the event at the Sher-i-Kashmir stadium. The journalists barred from entering the venue include AFP photojournalist Tauseef Mustafa, Danish Ismail of Reuters, Aman Farooq of Greater Kashmir and video-journalists Umer Mehraj and Mehrajuddin of AP. Journalists were purportedly told that there are “adverse reports” about them.“We were surprised to see that despite having security passes issued by the police through information department, the security men having a list of journalists in hand barred my entry saying I have adverse verification report,” Mustafa said. “I am in this field for the past 28 years and this has happened for the first time.” Journalist associations of Kashmir said the press fraternity condemned the branding of the reporters. They said the journalists were denied entry despite Information Department having issued passes to them, while some journalists were completely denied passes, the associations added.“We urge you to please look into the matter urgently as such an act is not only uncalled for but places us in a very unsafe environment,” the groups said in a letter to Srinagar DM.scroll.in
Chidambaram's custody necessary in INX Media case: CBI, ED tell HC
CBI and the ED told the Delhi High Court that custodial interrogation of ex Finance Minister P. Chidambaram is required in INX Media case.Justice Sunil Gaur reserved the order on his anticipatory bail plea after Chidambaram and probe agencies concluded the arguments. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that custodial interrogation of Chidambaram was necessary as he was evasive and had given false information during questioning. ED and CBI have opposed the anticipatory bail plea of Chidambaram. Chidambaram's counsel and senior advocate Kapil Sibal said that there was no evidence against his client.He also apprised the court that investigation was almost over and sanction had been obtained by Finance Ministry to prosecute Chidambaram in the case.IANS
SC says calling wife a prostitute amounts to ‘grave provocation’, absolves woman of murder
The Supreme Court has ruled that a husband calling his wife a prostitute would amount to sudden and grave provocation under Section 300 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code and the death caused in such an instance would be punishable as culpable homicide not amounting to murder, Bar & Bench reported.The SC was hearing a case wherein a wife and another co-accused allegedly killed her husband in a fit of rage after he called her a prostitute. Wife was in an illicit relationship with the co-accused, identified as Nawaz.scroll.in
Centre increases Govt advertisement rates for private TV channels by 11%
Ministry of I&B has said the advertisement rates offered by the Bureau of Outreach and Communication to most private TV channels has been increased by 11% over the rates of 2017, it said.On Jan.9, the ministry had raised the advertisement rates offered to the print media by 25%. Bureau of Outreach and Communication is Centre’s nodal agency for Govt advertisements.scroll.in
Odisha CM’s sister Gita Mehta rejects Padma Shri, says timing of the award is questionable
Noted writer Gita Mehta, who is also the elder sister of Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, on Saturday declined to accept Padma Shri award.Mehta said the timing of the award was questionable as the general election was set to take place and the award may cause embarrassment both to the Odisha Govt and her."I am deeply honoured that the Govt of India should think me worthy of a Padma Shri but with great regret I feel I must decline (it) as there is a general election looming and the timing of the award might be misconstrued, causing embarrassment both to the Govt and myself, which I would much regret," said Mehta in a press statement from New York.nationalheraldindia
Pranab, Hazarika and Nanaji Deshmukh awarded Bharat Ratna
Centre has conferred ex President Pranab Mukherjee the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award. Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh and singer and musician Bhupen Hazarika have also been awarded posthumously.scroll.in
Assam Police Bars People From Entering R-Day Events With Black Cloth
Guwahati:Apprehending that the Citizenship Bill protests could spill over to Republic Day celebrations, the Assam Police Saturday took rigorous steps to ensure that no one carried black cloth to official functions.Massive protests have erupted in the state against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, and black flags are being shown to the ministers and senior BJP leaders wherever they have been going during the last few weeks.PTI
Ex-Gujarat CM Vaghela confirms he will join NCP
Former Gujarat CM  Shankarsinh Vaghela, a former Congress leader and BJP, on Friday confirmed that he will join the Nationalist Congress Party, PTI reported. Vaghela said he decided to join the party after meeting Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar.scroll.in
US agrees on troop withdrawal, in return Taliban assures America it will bar global terrorists from Afghan :VOA
US and the Taliban may have agreed on a plan for American troops to leave Afghanistan, sources privy to the development told VOA Saturday.In return, the insurgent group has given assurances that no international terrorist groups would be allowed to use Afghan soil to threaten America or any other country in future. The understanding is the outcome of nearly a week of intense and uninterrupted dialogue between US and insurgent representatives in Doha, Qatar. Representatives of host Govt and Pakistan have also been in attendance.Sources told VOA they expected the two negotiating sides to announce the withdrawal plan as early as Saturday and at the latest by Monday, if all goes as planned.US drawdown plan would require the Taliban to observe a cease-fire.However, both the withdrawal and the cease-fire will be “limited and conditional.” Sources, however, do not rule out the possibility of President Donald Trump announcing the final agreement with the Taliban at his State of the Union speech now that the US Govt shutdown has ended. There was no immediate comment from US or Taliban on the reported progress in their talks. US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad is leading the American side in what observers describe as unprecedented engagement between the two adversaries in the 17-year-old war.The sources told VOA they believe that the agreement on conditional and limited withdrawal and cease-fire will give both sides an opportunity to test the waters “without taking too huge of a political risk.”Officials in Pakistan take full credit for persuading the Taliban to engage in the dialogue at the US request.“Pakistan’s success is that it has sincerely and faithfully diverted the recent positive environment and energy in its relations with the US to the complete benefit of Afghan peace process, and Afghanistan as a whole,”a senior official told VOA as the talks progressed in Doha.Islamabad insists a peaceful Afghanistan is key to Pakistan’s future security and economic stability as well as the region in general.Pakistani officials believe any agreement at this stage will help bridge the trust gap between the US and the Taliban, and will “add a much needed political capital” to Washington’s account to achieve the ultimate goal of peace in Afghanistan. This agreement may prove an important asset in later more serious stages of negotiations, they say. VOA
Taliban Assures US It Opposes Use of Afghanistan as Platform for Terrorists:Wall Streat Journal
Taliban's new political leader Mullah Baradar expected to join peace talks with US in Qatar

India should encourage Taliban to shun violence and become mainstream in Afghanistan: Ex NSA Menon
Jaipur:India should be clear about its role in Afghanistan and do whatever it can to encourage that the Taliban shun violent extremism and become mainstream, former NSA Shivshankar Menon has said. India has been a key stakeholder in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan and has committed aid worth USD 3 billion to the war-ravaged country. New Delhi sent two former diplomats in “non-official” capacity to a conference on the Afghan peace process in Moscow in November which was attended by a high-level Taliban delegation. The conference organized by Russia was attended by representatives of Afghanistan as well as from several other countries, including US, Pakistan, and China. India has been maintaining a policy of not engaging with Taliban and pressing for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace initiative to bring peace and stability in the war-torn country.“India should do whatever it can to encourage that the Taliban become mainstream, that they give up extremist ideas and stop treating women the way they do, but how it is done and how it will shape up, that is not for us to say. We should be clear in what our role is. About talking to the Taliban or to anyone, it is the job of intelligence agencies,” Menon said in Jaipur. The top diplomat said the threat of extremism emanating from Afghanistan was exaggerated in India.“Indians tend to exaggerate this threat of extremism from Afghanistan. I have never known a terrorist from Afghanistan in the last forty years. This is actually Pakistani terrorism and lets us not make any mistake about that,” he said at a discussion here in which Pakistan’s former envoy to US, Husain Haqqani, also participated.PTI
Muslim self-rule backed in Philippines' troubled south
Manila:Voters have decisively approved a new Muslim-led region in the Philippines' south, which is hoped will bring a measure of peace after decades of fighting killed thousands and mired the area in poverty.The results, announced Friday, will begin the process of the Catholic-majority nation's largest rebel group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, laying down its weapons and assuming political power.About 150,000 people were killed in the rebellion that began in 1970s and aimed to push the Govt to grant independence to a Muslim minority concentrated on the island of Mindanao."We are very happy about overwhelming support of the people,"MILF leader Murad Ebrahim told AFP."It was a landslide. There's been nothing like this."Voters, who were expected to back the so-called Bangsamoro region, delivered a convincing result of about 1.7 million in favour and some 254,600 against, according to official results from Philippines elections commission.A handful of smaller areas, which were not included in Monday's referendum due to administrative delays, are set to vote on Feb.6 on whether to join.Rebels and Govt in Manila hope a new peaceful Bangsamoro will finally draw the investment needed to pull region from the brutal poverty that makes it a hotspot for radical recruitment.AFP
Muslims in Philippines approve new southern autonomous region in referendum
EU adds Saudi to draft 'terrorism financing' list:report
European Commission has added Saudi Arabia to a European Union draft list of countries that pose a threat to the bloc because of lax controls against "terrorism financing" and "money laundering", sources told Reuters. The move comes amid heightened international pressure on Saudi Arabia following the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi.EU's list currently consists of 16 countries, including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and North Korea, and is mostly based on criteria used by FATF, a global body of wealthy nations meant to combat "money laundering" and "terrorism financing".The list has been updated this week, using new criteria developed by the European Commission since 2017. Saudi Arabia is one of the countries added to the updated list that is still confidential, one unidentified EU source and one unnamed Saudi source were quoted as saying.A second EU official said other countries were likely to be added to the final list but declined to elaborate as the information is still confidential and subject to change.aljazeera
Amnesty reveals new testimonies of Saudi activists’ torture
Amnesty International has uncovered new testimonies detailing the torture and ill-treatment of a group of Saudi Arabian human rights activists, who have been arbitrarily detained since May 2018.In a statement yesterday, Amnesty indicated that the testimonies were consistent with similar testimonies given in November 2018 about the torture of a number of activists. It also highlighted the urgent need to allow independent observers to access to the detention centre where the activists are being held to investigate the allegations.According to new testimonies, a group of ten human rights activists were subjected to torture and sexual abuse, as well as other forms of ill-treatment, during the first three months of their detention when they were held in an informal detention centre at an unknown location.“One of the interrogators told one of the female activists falsely that her family members had died and made her believe it for one month,” one testimony reveals.middleeastmonitor
Tunisia calls for Arab League to readmit Syria
Syria's "natural place" is within Arab League, Tunisia's foreign minister said on Saturday, in advance of the organisation's annual summit in Tunis in March."Syria is an Arab state, and its natural place is within the Arab League," Khemaies Jhinaoui said during a news conference with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, who is on a tour of North African countries.Arab League suspended Syria's membership in November 2011 as the death toll in the country's civil war mounted.aljazeera
Cairo Book Fair confiscates book by Brotherhood founder
A book by Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan Al-Banna has been confiscated by the organisers of the Cairo Book Fair currently taking place in the capital, according to Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.Islam Bayoumy, director of exhibitions at GEBO and director of Cairo International Book Fair, told reporters that during an inspection of the various zones of the fair, the event committee found five copies of a book by Al-Banna, entitled “Hassan Al-Banna’s Sayings”.Books by the Brotherhood founder, which are banned, were found to belong to the Moroccan publishing house Dar Al-Rashad. Publishers were warned against selling the material, with threats of closure if they did not comply.50th Cairo International Book Fair is currently taking place in Fifth Settlement until 5 Feb,hosting over 600 publishing houses from across the world.MEMO
Egypt: Court adjourns retrial of ex President Morsi
A Cairo criminal court adjourned until 12 Feb.the retrial of former President Mohamed Morsi and a number of Muslim Brotherhood leaders in the case concerning a prison break during the 2011 uprising.The court ordered the case to be adjourned because Egypt is marking the anniversary of the January 25 Revolution and Police Day which fall on the same day. In 2011 protesters chose Police Day to launch demonstrations against police brutality, these eventually lead to the overthrow of the then Govt of long term dictator Hosni Mubarak.MEMO
Egypt 'more dangerous' than ever for Govt critics: Amnesty
International rights group Amnesty International said that an intensified crackdown on dissent in Egypt made the country "more dangerous" than ever for peaceful critics of the government. The statement from the group comes ahead of the eighth anniversary of the January 25, 2011 uprising which led to the ouster of longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak. Amnesty said Egyptian authorities had arrested at least 113 people during 2018 for "peacefully expressing their views". "Today it is more dangerous to openly criticise the Govt in Egypt than at any other time in the country's recent history," said Najia Bounaim, the group's North Africa Campaigns Director. AFP
Sudan’s Al-Mahdi: Bashir must leave immediately
Head of Sudanese National Ummah Party, Sadiq Al-Mahdi,said that he supports the demonstrations calling for the removal of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. “Al-Bashir must leave,” Al-Mahdi said during Friday prayer,which was attended by hundreds of his supporters.He added: “We support these demonstrations and the main demands that this regime must leave and a transitional Govt should take up its responsibilities.” Al-Mahdi claimed that “more than 50 people have been killed since the start of the demonstrations on 19 Dec.”
Muslim scholars’ union calls on Sudan to respect right to peaceful protest
International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) called for the Sudanese Govt to respect the right to peaceful protest, accelerate solving the crisis and “prosecuting the corrupt and aggressors”.In a statement, the IUMS called for all sides “to preserve public and private property and to maintain the protests peacefully”. The statement added: “Sudan is experiencing a severe economic crisis that includes hikes in flour prices, unbearable lack of cash, shortage of fuel, bread and medicine which has pushed the people to take to the streets to express their discontent about this situation.” IUMS also warned that “there are certain sides with different agendas which are planning to drag the country to an unknown future that undermines its unity, safety and stability”.middleeastmonitor
Tunisia women call for polygamy
A group of Tunisian women have used social media sites to call for a protest demanding polygamy.Polygamy is a taboo issue in Tunisia and a crime punishable by law, under Article 18 of Personal Status Code. However, a group of women have taken to social media to call for a protest to be held in front of parliament to demand polygamy. The news was announced by President of the Forum of Freedom and Citizenship, Fathi Al-Zghal, who confirmed that “the demonstration is spontaneous and comes within the framework of advocacy to solve the problem of spinsterhood in the country”.Al-Zghal said to Al-Khaleej Online that he did not call for the demonstration himself, but supports the idea because he believes there is a need to find a solution to the dilemma of spinsterhood.He added that he is also calling for a review of all articles of the Personal Status Code – a set of laws that stipulate the rights and freedoms of women in Tunisia – and not only the article relating to polygamy. This includes reviewing unfair divorce procedures and abolishing the principle of adoption because it is contrary to Sharia law. middleeastmonitor
Algeria’s largest Islamic party to vie for president
Movement of Society for Peace, Algeria’s largest Islamic party, has officially nominated its leader to run in the country’s presidential election in April.In a statement on Saturday, the movement said its leader Abderrazak Makri will vie for the post in April 18 polls.The statement said the decision to field Makri in the race was unanimously backed by Shura Council, the movement’s highest decision-making body.Makri is the second Islamist figure to announce plans to run in the polls after Abdelkader Ben Qureina, head of National Construction Movement.National Construction Movement was founded a few years ago by dissident leaders of the Movement of Society for Peace.So far, scores of candidates have announced plans to run in the polls, while incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 81, has yet to unveil his intention.middleeastmonitor    
UN expert urges caution on Bangladesh's Rohingya island 'relocation' plan
Dhaka:  Bangladesh must not "rush to relocate refugees" from the Rohingya Muslim minority, a top UN rights official said Friday, amid plans to move the community to an island vulnerable to extreme monsoon weather.Some 750,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar escaped a bloody military crackdown in northern Rakhine state since August 2017 and joined some 300,000 refugees living in the already overcrowded Bangladesh camps. Dhaka has spent some USD 280 million transforming Bhashan Char, a muddy silt islet that only emerged from Bay of Bengal nearly two decades ago, into a camp for some of the refugees.But the island, in a coastal region where extreme weather has killed hundreds of thousands of people in recent decades, is one hour by boat from the nearest land and over a stretch of sea prone to violent storms.AFP
Saudi, UAE transfer $1 billion each to Pakn as part of financial assistance packages
Pakistan on Friday received $1 billion from Saudi Arabia, a day after the UAE deposited one billion dollars to State Bank of Pakistan’s Account. The financial support package from Saudi Arabia is the third installment to help Pakistan tide over its balance-of-payout crisis.UAE installment is the first of three in a $3 billion (Rs 21,777 crore) financial assistance package aimed supporting Islamabad’s “financial and monetary policy”.scroll.in
Trump signs bill reopening Govt for 3 Weeks in surprise retreat from Wall
President Donald Trump has agreed to reopen the federal Govt for three weeks while negotiations continued over how to secure the nation’s southwestern border, backing down after a monthlong standoff failed to force Democrats to give him billions of dollars for his long-promised wall.The president’s concession paved the way for the House and the Senate to both pass a stopgap spending bill by voice vote. Trump signed it Friday night, restoring normal operations at a series of federal agencies until Feb. 15 and opening the way to paying the 800,000 federal workers who have been furloughed or forced to work without pay for 35 days.The plan includes none of the money for the wall Trump had demanded and was essentially the same approach he rejected at the end of December and that Democrats have advocated since. Trump presented the agreement with congressional leaders as a victory anyway, and indicated in a speech in the Rose Garden that his cease-fire may only be temporary.New York Times
Prosecute Myanmar army chief for Rohingya 'genocide': UN envoy
Myanmar's army chief should be prosecuted for "genocide" against the Rohingya, a UN' human rights investigator has said.Yanghee Lee,UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, added that holding the perpetrators to account for their crimes was necessary before the refugees who fled country could return.Lee, who is barred from Myanmar, was speaking on Friday during a trip to Thailand and Bangladesh, where she met officials and Rohingya driven out of western Rakhine state after an army crackdown in 2017. "Min Aung Hlaing and others should be held accountable for genocide in Rakhine and for crimes against humanity and war crimes in other parts of Myanmar," said Lee, referring to the military's commander-in-chief.aljazeera
Zuckerberg plans to integrate WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger: NYT
Facebook Inc chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg is planning to unify the underlying messaging infrastructure of its WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger services and incorporate end-to-end encryption to these apps, the New York Times reported on Friday.The three services will, however, continue as standalone apps, the report said, citing four people involved in the effort.The company is still in the early stages of the work and plans to complete it by the end of this year or in early 2020,report said. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Reuters
EU nations give Venezuela's Maduro 8-day ultimatum
Spain,France and Germany have given embattled Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro an ultimatum, saying the nations would recognise opposition leader Juan Guaido as president unless he calls elections within eight days."If within eight days there are no fair, free and transparent elections called in Venezuela, Spain will recognise Juan Guaido as Venezuelan president,"PM Pedro Sanchez said in a televised announcement on Saturday.Guaido, 35-year-old head of the National Assembly, proclaimed himself acting president of Venezuela during massive street rallies this week.He is trying to remove Maduro from the economically strapped country following controversial elections that saw the socialist leader sworn in for a second term.aljazeera
Israeli forces kill 2 Palestinians across Gaza,W. Bank
Israeli forces killed a Palestinian and injured 20 more during Friday protests as thousands gathered on Gaza's buffer zone to oppose Israel's ongoing blockade. Gaza's health ministry identified the killed Palestinian as Ihab Atallah Hussein Abed, 25, adding that he was shot east of Rafah.The ministry added that Israeli troops injured at least 22 Palestinians and also fired on a Palestinian paramedic team tending to wounded protestors. Among the injured were 14 children who suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation, according to a Gaza health ministry spokesperson.middleeasteye
Experts, images suggest a Saudi ballistic missile programme
DUBAI: A military base deep inside Saudi Arabia appears to be testing and possibly manufacturing ballistic missiles, experts and satellite images suggest, evidence of the type of weapons programme it has long criticized its arch-rival Iran for possessing.Further raising the stakes for any such programme are comments by Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who said last year the kingdom wouldn't hesitate to develop nuclear weapons if Iran does. Ballistic missiles can carry nuclear warheads to targets thousands of kilometers (miles) away.Officials in Riyadh and the Saudi Embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comment.AP
flash: views & NEWS
Palestinian home hemmed in by Israel's separation wall: Jaclynn Ashly
Priyanka’s Entry Makes for Riveting Triangular Pre-Poll Pirouette – Saeed Naqvi
US has reservations about Bangladesh Jamaat:Anita Mathur
Rise of Afghan Taliban poses a threat to both India, Pakistan: Khaled Ahmed
Republic Day’s Gift: Let us celebrate Constitutional correctness, not sectarian morality:Dipankar Gupta
This Republic Day ...:PRAKASH KARAT

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:33 PM)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous20 March 2019 at 16:33