08 January 2019

8 Jan. ND:Alok Verma Back As CBI Boss Without Powers As Court Scraps Centre's Order/Live: Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 passed in Lok Sabha, TMC, Congress walk out/ 5-Judge Constitution Bench Led by CJI Gogoi to Hear Babri Masjid Case

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
08 Jan. 2019: 01 Jamadiul-I 1440: Vol: 11, No:96
Alok Verma Back As CBI Boss Without Powers As Court Scraps Centre's Order
New Delhi: Exiled CBI chief Alok Verma was reinstated by the Supreme Court today, 3 months after the Govt  divested him of his powers and sent him on forced leave in a midnight swoop. Verma can go back to his office but cannot take any major policy decisions for now, the top court said, asking a high-powered selection committee comprising the PM , the Leader of Opposition and CJI to meet and decide on his status within a week. It also means only partial relief for Alok Verma, who had challenged the govt's Oct.23 order arguing that CBI chief has a fixed 2 year term and can be removed only by the high-powered committee. Verma's term ends on Jan.31. In election season, the top court's ruling is seen as a huge setback for BJP-led Govt , which has been accused by the opposition of manipulating CBI and misusing it against rivals. Verma and his deputy Asthana, CBI's top 2 officers, were both sent on leave in Oct. in the middle of a bitter feud between them"The legislative intent of insulating the CBI director is manifest," said the three judges who set aside the Govt 's move unanimously. The appointment of M Nageswara Rao, joint director, as interim chief has also been set aside. Opposition parties grabbed the judgement as vindication of their criticism that Govt was "dictatorial". "We welcome the Supreme Court's verdict lambasting the Govt  against their illegal removal of Alok Verma as CBI Director," said the Congress, which alleges that Verma was removed because he intended to launch a probe into the Rafale jet deal.Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that the court ruling was a "direct indictment" of PM  Narendra Modi.Asthana remains on forced leave. There is also no decision on the transfers.NDTV
Verma's reinstatement partial victory: Bhushan
 Senior Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan on Tuesday described the Supreme Court order to reinstate Alok Verma as CBI Director as a "partial victory", as he was not been given full powers."The SC has today quashed the Govt 's decision and CVC's decision to divest Verma of his powers as CBI Director and they have restored him as CBI director," Bhushan told media outside the court following the judgement."But strangely quashing the orders divesting him as CBI Director and despite restoring him, the court has said that he will not take major policy decision till such time that this high powered committee comprising PM,Leader of Opposition and CJI meets and considers matter," he said. Bhushan, is one of the petitioners for the Common Cause NGO, which has challenged the order sending CBI director on leave and divesting him of all powers.IANS
‘Muzzling of Democratic Institutions’: Congress Attacks Modi After SC Brings Back CBI Chief
Centre should now stop misusing CBI & NIA for political vendetta: Mehbooba Mufti
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti welcomed the Supreme Court's decision to reinstate Alok Verma as CBI director, saying the apex court ruling had restored faith in independent institutions."Welcome SCs decision to reinstate #AlokVerma as CBI Dir. (It) reinstates belief in independent institutions of our democracy that are its pillars," Mufti said in a tweet.She said the Centre should now stop "misusing" the investigative agencies like CBI and NIA for political ends."Time for Central govt to stop misusing its influence to arm twist investigative agencies like NIA & CBI for political vendetta," she added.PTI
Live: Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 passed in Lok Sabha, TMC, Congress walk out: Opposition protest over extension of Rajya Sabha by a day
Citizenship (Amendment)Bill seeks to amend Citizenship Act, 1955, to grant Indian nationality to people from minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after living in India for six years, instead of 12, even if they don't possess any proper document. Trinamool Congress, Congress have walked out of Lok Sabha during discussion over Citizenship Amendment Bill. TMC MP Saugata Roy says the citizenship bill will "lead to fires" not just in Assam but in the whole of the North East. He clarifies that this was not a threat, amid objections to his statement, but a warning of what is to comeCongress leader and MP Mallikarjun Kharge says many people have reservations about the bill. He requests the Speaker to send the bill to a select committee as it is related to a constitutional matter. He highlights the unrest in Assam over the bill as it does not address the Assam Accord. "AIDUF is an Assam-based political party. The Bill has evoked strong protests in Assam. The AGP, another Assam party is also opposing the Bill," AIDUF MP Badruddin Ajmal said. CPM MP Mohammed Salim said, "With an eye on elections, country is being divided in a secular nation, citizenship cannot be granted on basis of religion."Meanwile, opposition leaders protest in the Parliament premises against central Govt  for extending Rajya Sabha session by a day; allege it was extended without consensus.nationalheraldindia
Assam bandh over Citizenship bill LIVE : 5 injured as agitators clash with police near Agartala
Assam: At least 5 people, including 2 who sustained bullet injuries, were reportedly injured during a clash between policemen and North East Students’ Organization (NESO) supporters at the HQRS of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTADC), 25 km away from Agartala. Protestors clashed with police, gheraoed CM  Sarbananda Sonowal’s house in Dibrugarh, damaged vehicles during 11-hour “bandh” called by AASU to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill.AASU along with 30 other organisations called for a state-wide 11 hours shutdown on Tuesday, from 5 am to 4 pm, protesting against the scheduled tabling of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, in Parliament. Assam, on Monday, witnessed public protests and demonstrations by civil society groups and AASU against the Bill and black flags were raised in Guwahati against NDA Govt.AGP accused CM Sarbananda Sonowal of not respecting the interests of the Assamese people and "not cooperating" on the Bill.indian express
5-Judge Constitution Bench Led by CJI Gogoi to Hear Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid Case
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has formed a 5-judge Constitution Bench to hear the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title dispute case from Jan.10. The bench, to be headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, comprises Justices SA Bobde, NV Ramana, UU Lalit and DY Chandrachud. CJI Gogoi had said at the previous hearing on Friday that a 3-judge bench would hear the politically sensitive case, but decided to form a larger one of five judges as it assumes the significance of a Constitution Bench. The bench will from Jan. 10 take forward the Ayodhya land dispute case.News18
'Modi regime determined to protect religious minorities'
New Delhi: Undeterred by criticism that it was pushing the Citizenship Amendment Bill with a “communal” and “pro-Hindu” agenda, highly-placed sources in the Govt  said Modi regime was determined to protect religious minorities, including Hindus, from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan where their “persecution” had caused an alarming decline in their numbers and share in population over the past decades.As per sources, Hindus’ share in the population of Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) in 1951 was a robust 22%, which as per Census 2011 fell to 9%. The percentage of other smaller religious communities there has shown little change, with Buddhists down to 0.6% in 2011 from 0.7% in 1951 and Christians constant at 0.3%.Pakistan had 3% Hindus among its population following the large-scale migration in aftermath of Partition. However, this number by 1998 had reduced to a mere 1.2% of its total population.In Afghanistan, before Eighties, Hindus and Sikhs totalled 2,20,000. However, in the past three decades, their number is down to just about 7,000. “Hindus are being persecuted in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Their properties are being expropriated, they are being forced to convert, their women get abducted and are forced to marry outside their faith. Hindus are an endangered species in these countries. Where they can go if not to India,” said a senior govt functionary. Citizenship Amendment Bill provides for granting Indian nationality to people from minority communities --Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians -- from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after 6 years of residence in India instead of 12 even if they don’t possess any proper document, with Dec.31, 2014, being the cutoff date for immigration. TOI
Govt's efforts to grant citizenship to non-Muslim illegal immigrants 'appreciable': JPC
http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2019/jan/07/Govt s-efforts-to-grant-citizenship-to-non-muslim-illegal-immigrants-appreciable-jpc-1921830.html
Plea to enter places of worship vicious: Delhi Minorities Commission
New Delhi: Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) has condemned a petition filed in the Delhi High Court that seeks permission for entry into places of worship of all religions, “in any condition”. Panel, headed by Zafarul-Islam Khan, termed the petition “vicious” and has alerted religious leaders about the issue. Expressing concern, the commission said, “The court has been asked to allow even menstruating women to visit others’ prayer places. The petition will be heard next April, but no party has been served with a copy of the petition so far.” The commission took note of the matter after a Parsi delegation led by Ava Khullar, President of Delhi Parsi Anjuman, approached the panel and sought its intervention, saying permission to all to enter the fire temples will become a big problem for the community. Khan said that Parsis were worried that such a permission will cause them great pain, since only Parsis, under certain conditions, are allowed to enter the sacred fire temples. Delhi Parsi Anjuman has acquired a copy of the petition, which has been filed by one Sanjiv Kumar, who has sought permission “to enter Parsi, Muslim and Christian prayer places at any time and in any condition.” “DMC assured them of all possible help, gave them advice on how to protect their fire temples and expressed readiness to file an affidavit in the court or become a party to the case, if needed,” read a statement issued by the commission.newindianexpress
Bhopal jailbreak and encounter of SIMI men were fake: Congress MLA Arif Masood
Bhopal: A first-time Congress MLA and AIMPLB member Arif Masood raised the issue of Bhopal central jailbreak of 2016 and subsequent killing of 8 SIMI men in an alleged encounter.Dubbing both jailbreak and the killing of the 8 men in alleged encounter by police as fake, Masood said, "Entire episode, spanning from the early morning alleged jailbreak by the 8 inmates to their killing by police in an encounter on outskirts of Bhopal a few hours later on Oct.30-31 was nothing,but fake. I've already filed a petition before the Supreme Court, demanding a fresh probe by a sitting judge of High Court. I'll now seek the opinion of lawyers and if cleared by them, will raise the matter in the state assembly and demand fresh judicial probe from our Govt."Newly appointed MP home minister Bala Bachchan, when questioned about the statements of his party's MLA, tried to play down the matter. "I'll have to first take up the issue with CM Kamal Nath, only after which I can tell journalists Govt's stand over the issue." One-man judicial commission which probed the jailbreak encounter killing submitted its report in 2017, which was tabled in the Vidhan Sabha in June last year. As the report has already been submitted, we'll first have to take up the matter with CM, home minister maintained.newindianexpress
AMU VC, students’ union hail SC verdict dismissing plea to change its name
AMU V-C and its students’ union in unison welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to scrap a petition seeking to change the name of the varsity. The SC on Monday dismissed a plea which sought to change the name of AMU. “You want us to do that,” asked CJI Ranjan Gogoi while trashing the plea.It all started when a UGC audit panel had suggested dropping words Muslim from AMU and Hindu from Banaras Hindu University in 2017. However, after a prolonged debate over the issue, the Centre said that it had no plan to change the name of the Central university.The court’s Monday decision came as a “relief” to the people associated with the varsity.Its VC Prof Tariq Mansoor told TOI that in view of the long history of the AMU, there was no question of changing the name of the varsity. “I honour the decision of the SC,” he said. Expressing happiness over the court’s judgment, Secretary of AMU’s students union, Huzaifa Amir said, “It is a slap on the faces of those who had been indulging in petty politics over this issue. The court has now put a full stop to all such demands.” In response to the suggestions of UGC panel, the then university Registrar Javaid Akhtar had written a letter to UGC saying that dropping the word ‘Muslim’ would deprive the university of its unique historical character. Dubbing the panel’s suggestion as “outrageous”, Akhtar had then said that the panel had gone beyond its brief and has incorrectly drawn a conclusion that by dropping Muslim from its name will instill secular values. TOI
Centre’s EBC Quota further queers pitch for Muslims
Hyderabad: While Union cabinet has approved providing 10% reservations for economically backward classes (EBC) in general categories on Monday, there is confusion on the applicability of this quota for the Muslim minorities in the state.The reason behind the confusion is that the state Govt has been extending four %  reservations to socially and educationally backward classes in Muslims under BC (E) quota since 2007. After TRS Govt came to power, it has been extending this quota to its welfare schemes as well.TRS Govt  had also proposed to enhance the quota for Muslim minorities to 12%  from the existing 4% by amending the Constitution. However, Centre had turned down the proposal. Similarly, state Govt  had proposed hike in reservations for STs from the existing 6% to 10%  which is still pending with the Centre.Now, officials in the state Govt  will have to take a call on whether Muslims should be either in the BC E or the general category. Only in the latter case would they be eligible for EBC quota proposed by NDA Govt in central govt jobs and education. However, the hitch is that at present in Telangana, 14 sub-categories of Muslims have been getting reservations under BC E quota. This would make it difficult for the remaining about a dozen categories in the state to be given quota under EBC quota proposed by the centre. Interestingly, after Monday’s union cabinet decision, some BC leaders have decided to demand that state Govt remove Muslims from BC list on the grounds that they can become eligible for 10% new EBC quota that is in the works. Because of a lack of clarity on the quota for Muslim minorities, state Govt has not officially reacted to the Centre’s proposal and wants to wait and watch till the Centre brings either an amendment to the Constitution or tables a Bill in the Parliament. TOI
Kerala:Muslim outfits plan stir against denial of quota
Kozhikode:Muslim organisations in the State are planning to rope in outfits representing OBCs to take forward an agitation against the “denial of reservation benefits” in the recruitment of officials to the proposed Kerala Administrative Service (KAS).K. Kutty Ahmed Kutty, former Minister and convener, Minorities and Backward Classes Forum, said on Sunday that discussions would be held soon with functionaries of KPMS and SNDP Yogam. He said the forum had the support of the Samvarana Samudaya Munnani led by V. Dinakaran, who represented the Akhila Kerala Dheevara Sabha, and Vishnupuram Chandrasekharan, chairman of Vaikuntaswami Dharma Pracharanasabha, which represented the Nadar community.“Leaders of over 60 most backward Hindu communities have offered support to us. They will hold a meeting soon, after which we will have joint deliberations,” Kutty said.The Govt  proposed to give reservation to minorities and backward classes only in Category 1 of KAS, which will be through direct recruitment. Under Category 2, officials will be appointed from regular employees or approved probationers in Govt departments. Under Category 3, those holding first gazetted post or above can be transferred or promoted. In both these cases, reservation rules are not applicable. The decision to launch the agitation was taken at a meeting of the Muslim Coordination Committee, a body representing various Muslim organisations, in Kozhikode. Representatives of IUML, Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama, Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Wisdom Global Islamic Mission, Muslim Education Society, Muslim Service Society, among others, were present at the meeting.thehindu
Maharashtra: MR vaccination drive to focus on madrassas, Urdu-medium schools
Pune: Students from city’s 57 private and Govt Urdu-medium schools and 12 madrassas will be vaccinated against measles-rubella (MR) in the second phase of the state-wide vaccination drive. Around 5.7 lakh students from 550 schools across the city have already been vaccinated during the drive that began on Nov.27.“We plan to intensify the drive in Urdu-medium schools and madrassas in the city, which have 15,000 students,” Amit Shah, city’s immunization officer, said.“We have been trying to get the heads of the madrassas and other institutions on board. We are also approaching religious heads so that they can help dispel notions against the vaccine,” Ramchandra Hankare, chief of PMC’s health department,said.Sayyed Wasim, assistant administration officer at PMC’s education department for Urdu-medium schools said they have held a meeting with the committee members of Jamiat Ulema Pune branch. “We plan to make a video of the head Maulana appealing to parents to vaccinate their children,” he said.  Kifayat Maulana, the head of Jamiat, said,“We are talking to experts on how to address parents’ doubts.”TOI
UP: Madrassa Board exams: No. of candidates dip 23%
Bareilly: UP Secondary Board and UP Madrassa Board exams that are scheduled to be held around the same time has resulted in the drop in number of applicants from 10,560 in 2018 to 8,040 in 2019, in the district. Officials said that only a few students used to appear for both the exams. UP Board exams will start from Feb.7, while madrassa exams will commence on Feb.11. District minority welfare officer Jagmohan Singh said, “A few students used to sit for both UP Secondary Education Board and Madrassa Board by filling regular form at one place and private at the other one to ensure they pass an exam. This time UP Secondary Education Board and Madrassa Board exams will be held around the same time and this has resulted in the drop in number of applicants by 2,520.”  With the decrease in number of applicants, the number of examination centres has reduced from 13 in 2018 to 12 in 2019. “The Madrassa Board will conduct exams in four madrassas, seven inter-colleges, including Govt  and unaided, and a degree college,” said Singh. TOI
West Bengal: Minority leaders from TMC, Muslim League and CPI(M) join Congress
In a boost to Congress in West Bengal, several leaders of the minority communities joined the party on Monday. The move gives a push to the Congress to make inroads into the ruling TMC's vote bank that enjoys the support of the minority communities.Most of the newly-inducted leaders, who joined Congress along with their supporters, belonged to TMC.3 prominent names that were welcomed by the state Congress chief Somen Mitra were Kalyani Majumdar, Shahenshah Jahangir and Iftikhar Yusuf.Kalyani Majumdar,till Dec.6, was secretary of TMC's minority cell. Shahenshah Jahangir is former president of Muslim League in West Bengal while Iftikhar Yusuf is a former member of CPI(M).Opposition leader Abdul Mannan was also present at the event when the leaders and their supporters joined Congress.indiatoday
Triple talaq: Nitish wants Centre to 'interact' with Muslims instead of 'interfering' in their traditions
Patna: In a strong rebuff to ally BJP on the triple talaq issue, Bihar CM  and JD(U) national president Nitish Kumar on Monday said the Govt  should have “interact” with the Muslim community to end the practice instead of “interfering” in their traditions.“My party’s suggestion on this (triple talaq) issue is that instead of interfering in such matters,there should be interaction.This would make Muslims think over the issue and rectify the tradition if needed,” said Kumar while clarifying JD(U)’s stand. JD(U) had refused to vote in favour of a Bill brought by the Centre in Lok Sabha recently seeking to make the practice of instant triple talaq punishable with imprisonment. After the bill was passed by voice vote in the Lower House, senior JD(U) leaders embarrassed the Govt  by saying the regional party would stay away from voting on Bill in Rajya Sabha, where NDA is in minority. “They(BJP-led NDA Gov) have started a campaign to address the impacts of triple talaq on a lot of women. But it is a tradition of the people belonging to a particular religion. These people should be encouraged to dispel if there is anything wrong with this tradition,” said Kumar after chairing the year’s first ‘Lok Samvad’ public interaction programme. JD(U) chief also reiterated his party’s independent stand on Ram temple issue, disapproving of any ordinance to ensure construction of the temple in Ayodhya. He firmly denied the Opposition’s charge that he was practising a double standard while continuing to ally with BJP.newindianexpress
 ‘ISIS-module’ case: NIA remand of 5 accused extended
A Delhi Court on Monday extended NIA custody of 5 people arrested for being linked to an Islamic State-inspired module. 5 were part of a 10-member module which was allegedly planning suicide attacks and serial blasts targeting politicians security forces in Delhi. Accused Mufti Suhail and Saqib Iftekar were remanded for 5 days’ custody, and accused Zubair Malik, Saeed and Anas Yunus were remanded to a 3-day custody. Remaining 5 were sent to judicial custody till Feb.after NIA did not seek their further remand. According to defence counsel Mohammad Noor Ullah, NIA argued in the court that various social media accounts of the accused, including Mufti Suhail needed to be verified. “NIA said that they need to verify social media accounts of the accused, and that they want to take other accused to other cities to confront with other persons,” he said. Noor Ullah said the defence opposed the NIA remand, adding that the court must see the case diaries of the investigation before proceeding.Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Syal reviewed the case diaries and then granted 3- and 5-day remand, respectively.NIA had arrested the 10 – 6 from Delhi, and the remaining from UP’s Amroha and Hapur – after carrying out searches in 17 locations.indianexpress
Police flayed for RSS influence in Perambra stone pelting There are some RSS hands behind the attack
 Minister EP Jayarajan on Monday slammed the police department on FIR registered in connection with the incident of stone pelting at a mosque in Perambra. It was RSS who stoned the mosque. No proper inspection was conducted, he alleged.There are some RSS hands behind the attack. Some of the police officers there have links to RSS camps. They have tried to mislead the investigation. This move will be seen seriously by the govt.It is learnt that the FIR was tampered and was part of a conspiracy. That will be inspected, Jayarajan added while speaking to media.At the same time, the minister said mosque should never be attacked. Govt  will take strict action against the perpetrators.mathrubhumi
Women demand entry to mosque with Sabarimala link
Tamil women who wanted to enter the mosque dedicated to Vavar were taken into custody by the police. Three of the six women, who are in the custody of Kozinjambara police, are workers of Tamil Makkal Kakshi. They were taken into custody at Velanthavalam checkpost.The women demanded that they want to enter the mosque after entering Sabarimala temple. As the police felt that this will cause trouble, they were taken into custody.Their vehicle too has been taken into custody. Women are being questioned.After receiving information that more activists from Tamil Nadu might reach Sabarimala, police are taking extra precautions and are carrying out checks at checkposts. Earlier, the police has stopped a woman who was part of a 70 member group from entering the temple saying she did not have the documents to prove her age. Thr group had come from Sri Lanka but had members who were from Sri Lanka and the UK. The woman said that as she did not want to create any problems she was going back and did not insist on entering the temple.theweek
A day after clash in Steel City locality, residents leave homes in Jamshedpur
Jamshedpur: A clash between 2 groups of people in the Carriage Colony area of Burmamines police station limits near here on Sunday, over 40 families belonging to a particular community left their homes in Shriram Ashram area on Monday fearing backlash.These families are camping on Vinoba Ashram campus demanding adequate security from the police before they return to their homes. Manoj Bhagat, one of residents who has left his home, said, “All we demand from the police is to ensure security for a longer period of time so that we live safely in our homes.” Other residents said anti-social elements of a particular community have threatened them of dire consequences once the security forces leave the trouble-hit area. They have refused to go back home despite top police officials persuading them to do so. Ramyash Prasad, officer in-charge of the Buramamines police station, said he has sought help from SDM (Dhalbhum) to resolve the matter at the earliest by holding dialogues with the warring factions. He said, “Security has been beefed up in the area and the situation is under control. Local peace committee members interacted with the residents and tried to instil confidence and security among them.” TOI
Bharat Bandh: Trade Unions on 2-day strike against Centre’s anti-worker policies; Banking, transport services hit, schools remain closed in many states
With as many as 10 Central Trade Unions announcing a 2-day nationwide strike beginning today, major services like banking, transport, insurance and other services are likely to be hit, bringing normal life to a halt. The Unions have called for a bandh to protest against alleged anti-workers policies adopted by Narendra Modi-led union Govt . In Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai transport and buses will remain off-road, while the state employees and employees of banks, insurance, telecom, and other service sectors will also be on a strike. In West Bengal, CM  Mamata Banerjee has not given any permission for strike asking state Govt  employees to not take any kind of leave.Educational Institutions will also be hit and are likely to remain closed in most of the states. Odisha Education department has issued a notice in the same, stating that the state-run schools, colleges and universities will remain closed.In the rural areas, All India Kisan Sabha and Bhumi Adhikar Andolan will also join the agitation for the 2 days. They will observe a gramin hartal, rail roko and a road roko andolan on the 2 days. Trade Unions have accused the Govt  of not paying heed to its demands on minimum wage, universal social security, better facilities among others. On Monday, General secretary of CITU, Tapan Sen said that central banks and insurance employees, along with unorganised sector employees will participate in the protests.NewsX
University of Hyderabad students win quiz contest on Prophet’s life
Hyderabad: Students of University of Hyderabad (UoH) won the first prize in the first ever quiz contest conducted for ‘non-Muslims’ on the subject of life history of Prophet Muhammad here on Sunday.The team of female students Kumari Ria Ranjan and Garvita Singh who won after overcoming different stages of the competition were handed over a cash prize of Rs 20,000 by Prof Sudhakar of UoH. In the event which was organised in Abids about 200 youngsters, mostly women took part. The team of K Gopi and Saidulu won second prize of Rs 15,000 and Rahul Reddy and K C Lal won the third prize of Rs 10,000. While a consolation prize of Rs 2,000 was given away to 7 other contestants.The quiz was held in two languages Telugu and English. The topic of the quiz contest was ‘Prophet Muhammad-Real Benefactor of Humanity’ (Manawa Mahopakari Muhammad in Telugu). The questions were asked from the book ‘Muhammad, the benefactor of humanity’ written by Naeem Siddiqi.  “With the objective of clearing any misconceptions about the life history of Prophet Muhammad, for the first time in the city, this unique quiz competition exclusive for non-Muslims was organised. Similar events will be organised in future,” said City president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), Hafez Rashaduddin.thehansindia
Nearly 1 lakh schools with only one teacher: Govt
There are over 90,000 schools with only single teacher teaching in them at the primary and secondary level combined, as per the data available with the Govt , Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Satya Pal Singh said in Parliament on Monday."As per Unified District Information System of Education (UDISE), 2016-17 (Provisional), there are 92,275 single-teacher Govt schools at both elementary level and secondary level," the Minister said in a written reply in Lok Sabha. Minister said that the recruitment, service conditions and redeployment of teachers are primarily in the domain of respective state Govt s and union territories.IANS
US adviser meets Turkish officials after Erdogan pullout warning
US national security adviser met a senior Turkish official on Tuesday to hammer out plans on the withdrawal of American forces from war-torn Syria. John Bolton is in Ankara along with senior US military staff to hold talks with Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin and other officials on the planned troop withdrawal. A scheduled joint press conference for later on Monday was abruptly cancelled.Bolton and Kalin had a productive discussion regarding the United States's decision to withdraw from Syria, a spokesman for the US National Security Council said.Garrett Marquis said in a statement the two sides identified further issues for dialogue and the US looks forward to ongoing military-to-military consultations.Hillary Mann Leverett, a former US diplomat, said Erdogan in his op-ed is "speaking directly" to his US counterpart."He needs to do so because Bolton, who has been in Israel, is now going to Turkey and we know that Bolton has a very different view of Turkey, of Syria, of Israel than President Erdogan - and even President Trump," she told Al Jazeera."So Erdogan is trying to continue building on his direct channel to President Trump through his phone calls, through an op-ed on the New York Times, a newspaper that Donald Trump reads. His audience is the one and only, President Trump."In his op-ed, Erdogan also warned the international community should avoid making the same mistakes in Syria as in Iraq.aljazeera
Erdogan: US 'seriously mistaken' on Syrian Kurd fighters' safety
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has denounced comments by a senior US official urging protection for Kurdish allies as "seriously mistaken"."We cannot accept the message US National Security Adviser John Bolton gave from Israel, we cannot be deceived by it," Erdogan said in a speech to his AK Party.Turkey considers Kurdish armed groups such as People's Protection Units (YPG) - Americans' main local ally in the region - to be "terrorists"."US apparently does not know them,"said Erdogan."These terror organisations do not represent my Kurdish brothers.If US sees these groups as [representatives of] my Kurdish brothers,they are seriously mistaken."He also said his country completed preperations for a new military operation in Syria, comments likely to antagonize his American allies.aljazeera
Falling apart? UN peace deal for Yemen 'too vague', Oxfam says
UN's peace deal for Hodeidah, in war-ravaged Yemen, is unravelling because the text lacked specifics on how rebel forces should vacate Red Sea port city, the British charity Oxfam says.  Dina el-Mamoun, the aid group's head of policy and advocacy in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, said the UN's Stockholm Agreement agreed last month between Houthi rebels and the Saudi-backed Govt was "too vague"."There is an issue with actual agreement, which is actually quite vague," Mamoun said. "UN should have made clear these basic issues that go to the heart of the agreement: who needs to hand over what and to whom."Under the terms of the UN-brokered deal, the Houthis were expected to hand over control of the ports of Hodeidah, Saleef and Ras Isa, to "local security forces in accordance with Yemeni law". However, both sides have disagreed over the meaning of the text. Houthis, meanwhile, insist the deal refers to the officials currently running the port, who are their allies.aljazeera
Afghan Taliban, US to hold fourth round of peace talks in Qatar
Afghan Taliban representatives and the US officials will hold peace talks for two days starting Wednesday in the Gulf State of Qatar.Senior Taliban members, however, said Afghan Govt  officials will not be involved in the talks. Taliban has rejected numerous requests from regional powers to allow Afghan officials to take part in the talks, insisting that the US is their main adversary in 17-year war and that Kabul is a "puppet" regime. Taliban, Afghanistan's largest armed group which was toppled from power by a US-led invasion in 2001, called off their meeting with the US officials in Saudi Arabia this week following Riyadh's insistence on bringing the Western-backed Afghan Govt  to the table.The talks will be the fourth in a series between Taliban leaders and US special envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad."After mutual consultations, we are going to meet US officials in Doha on Wednesday. The meeting will continue for two days - Wednesday and Thursday," said a senior member of the Afghan Taliban on condition of anonymity. Pakistani and Iranian officials said they were trying to persuade the Taliban to meet Afghan officials. Another senior Taliban leader confirmed the Qatar meeting and said no other country would be involved. At the request of US, a Taliban office was established in Doha in 2013 to facilitate peace talks. But the office had to be closed after the Taliban came under pressure for hoisting the same flag at their office that the group used during its rule in Afghanistan.aljazeera
Khamenei aide says US approached him in Kabul seeking talks with Iran
A close aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday US officials had approached him during a visit he made last month to Afghanistan to request talks with Tehran, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.Tensions between arch foes, Iran and the United States, have increased since last May when President Donald Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers, and then reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic that had been lifted under the terms of the pact.“During my visit to Kabul last month, the Americans…asked to hold talks,” the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, was quoted as saying, without specifying what the US side wanted to discuss.US officials were not immediately available to comment on the report.In 2001, Iran worked with the US to help set up a new Afghan Govt to replace Taliban. Shamkhani was in Kabul last month for talks with Taliban “to help curb the security problems in Afghanistan”. He said the Kabul Govt  had known of his talks with the Taliban.Majority-Shi’ite Iran has long had close ties to Shi’ites in neighbouring Afghanistan whose militias have fought the Taliban’s Sunni militants. Washington accuses Iran of trying to extend its influence in western Afghanistan by providing military training, financing and weapons to Taliban,charge Tehran denies. Shamkhani’s comments came days after reports of talks between US and Taliban officials over proposals for a ceasefire in Afghanistan and a future withdrawal of foreign troops ahead of possible peace negotiations.MEMO
Khashoggi case: Saudi refuses to confirm Qahtani's whereabouts
Saudi authorities are refusing to confirm the whereabouts of Saud al-Qahtani, former top aide to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), according to the Washington Post.Qahtani was fired in October, just days after the gruesome murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi came to light.In Nov, Kingdom confirmed that he was under investigation and banned from leaving the country. Since then there has been no official statement in the case, Washington Post reported. Saudi prosecutors allege that Qahtani played a major role in Khashoggi's killing inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct.2 last year. He was among 17 Saudis sanctioned by US govt over murder. Saudi officials say Prince Mohammed was not aware of the plot to kill Khashoggi, the Washington Post reported. US and western countries are watching the Saudi Govt 's treatment of Qahtani as a measure of its seriousness in bringing to justice Khashoggi's killers, the paper reported. A number of questions remain to be answered about Qahtani's involvement, including his role in planning the killing or whether he was framed.aljazeera
Saudi Arabia deports dozens of Rohingya to Bangladesh: MEE
Dozens of Rohingya are being deported from Saudi Arabia to Bangladesh, despite being from neighbouring Myanmar. In video footage sent to the Middle East Eye website on Sunday, men are seen lined up for deportation at the Shumaisi detention centre in Jeddah. Some Rohingya were also put in handcuffs after they attempted to resist their deportation to Bangladesh, according to voice notes sent to MEE. Rohingya man who filmed the footage said that the men who have been locked up in a Saudi detention centre for up to six years were being deported."I've been here for the last five to 6 years, now they are sending me to Bangladesh. Please pray for me," man in the video said. Another recording sent to MEE recounted the events that led up to Sunday's forcible removal. "They came to our cells in the middle of the night at 12pm [midnight], telling us to pack our bags and get ready for Bangladesh," a Rohingya detainee, who wished to remain anonymous, told MEE. "Now I am in handcuffs and being taken to a country I'm not from - I am Rohingya, not Bangladeshi. "Some detainees locked up in Shumaisi told MEE they had lived in Saudi Arabia their whole life and had been sent to the detention centre after Saudi police found them with no papers. Nay San Lwin, a Rohingya activist said from Frankfurt, Germany, that most of the Rohingya entered Saudi Arabia in 2012 following violence breaking out in Rakhine state, searching for a better life.aljazeera
UNHCR probe Saudi girl Rahaf's case for asylum
UN's refugee agency said it was investigating the case of Saudi teenager Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun who fled from her family and barricaded herself inside a Bangkok airport hotel to prevent Thailand expelling her.Alqanun accused her family of subjecting her to physical and psychological abuse after she boarded a plane in Kuwait and flew to Thailand last weekened. Thai authorities finally permitted the 18-year old to enter the country late on Monday, after she was held for nearly 48 hours at Bangkok's airport with authorities initially threatening to deport her. Country's immigration chief later reversed plans to expel Alqunun citing concerns for her safety. She is currently staying in Bangkok with her application for refugee status being processed by UNHCR before she can seek asylum in a third country.aljazeera
China says it welcomes UN officials to visit Muslim-majority Xinjiang region World
Beijing: China said it would welcome UN officials to visit its volatile Muslim-majority Xinjiang province provided they remain "fair and objective", days after the official media reported that Beijing passed a five-year plan to "sinicise Islam" to make it compatible with its version of socialism. UN's Geneva-based Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said last year that it was alarmed by "numerous reports of ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities" being detained in camps Xinjiang region and called for their immediate release. China defended the camps, saying they were for re-education and aimed at de-radicalising some sections of Uygur Muslim population.US and several other countries have also expressed concern over the camps.PTI
Netanyahu wants US recognition of Israel sovereignty over Golan Heights
Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu called on US National Security Adviser John Bolton to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights in compensation of its withdrawal from Syria, Israeli media reported.Israeli paper Maariv said Netanyahu had sent an official request to the US regarding the issue a couple of days ago.According to Quds Press, Netanyahu also raised the issue during his meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo which took place in Brazil last week. During a press conference, held jointly with Bolton, Netanyahu said that they would visit the Golan Heights on Monday.“When you are there,” Netanyahu addressed Bolton, “you will be able to understand perfectly why we will never leave the Golan Heights, and why it is important that all countries recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”middleeastmonitor
Pak Jamaat parts ways with Muttahida Majlise Amal
Lahore - Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan has parted ways with the Muttahida Majlise Amal after a year of revival of five religious parties’ alliance. “We will not conduct any future programme under the banner of the MMA,” said JI chief Sirajul Haq during a press conference at Jamaat’s headquarters Mansoora. He added the religious parties formed the alliance only to participate in the general elections.A senior leader of the JI said the alliance failed to produce desired results in general elections and there was a growing pressure of the JI workers on top leadership to part ways with the MMA soon after the polls.The JI could only win one provincial assembly seat from KP in the polls. Party workers feel had the JI not been part of the MMA, it could have secured at least 10 PA seats from KP. Similarly, they link the worst performance of JI in Punjab and Karachi was due to the same factor. Out of 16 MMA seats in National Assembly, 15 belong to JUI-F of Maulana Fazlur Rahman and one to the JI. Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith, Islami Tehreek and JUP-Imam Noorani are the other three components of the MMA. Their leaders, however, said the MMA was still intact and that they were unaware of the JI’s move.Siraj was addressing a press conference after conclusion of JI’s three-day JI central executive council (Majlise Shoora) meeting. There are reports that majority of Shoora members also voiced in favour of separation from the MMA. It was the last session of the Shoora held under Siraj as his five-year tenure as JI chief will end on March 31. The 80-member Shoora (70 male, 10 female) has also suggested 3 names for JI’s next ameer (chief ) through a secret balloting process. The names will be opened at JI election commission office which will prepare ballot papers mentioning names of the 3 Shoora’s favourite candidates. The ballot papers will be sent to over 40,000 members who will finally choose one name for JI chief among the given 3. However, they have right to vote for any other person.nation.com.pk
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 5:25 PM)


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