11 February 2019

11 Feb.ND: SC directs NCM to define ‘minority’, lay down guidelines for states/'Govt waived anti-corruption clauses in Rafale deal' /SC to hear plea against clean chit to Modi in Godhra riots in July

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
11 Feb. 2019: 05 Jamadiul-II 1440:Vol:11, No:125
SC directs NCM to define ‘minority’, lay down guidelines for states
New Delhi :The Supreme Court today asked the National Commission for Minorities to decide in 3 months on a representation asking it to define who is a “minority and lay down guidelines for identifying minorities at state-level”.The direction came on a plea by BJP leader and advocate Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay who had moved the apex court in 2017 seeking minority status for Hindus in seven states and one Union Territory where the number of the community has fallen down, according to Census 2011.A bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi Monday asked the petitioner Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay, to re-file his representation to 0the minority panel which will take a decision within three months from Monday. The plea claimed that NCM did not reply to his representation and said that the term minority needed to be redefined and reconsidered in the context of the population of a community in a state, instead of nationwide population data. Upadhyaya said that Hindus, who are a majority community as per national data, are a minority in several north-eastern states and in J&K. However, the Hindu community is deprived of benefits which are available to the minority communities in these states.The SC had declined Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay’s PIL in 2017 and had asked him to approach NCM after the petitioner prayed “for liberty to withdraw this writ petition and instead approach the NCM”.indianexpress
Decide guidelines to define ‘minority’ in terms of State population: SC to minorities commission
Govt waived anti-corruption clauses in Rafale deal: The Hindu exclusive report
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Govt -waived-anti-corruption-clauses-in-rafale-deal/article26231793.ece
The €7.87-billion Rafale deal between India and France involved major and unprecedented concessions from Indian govt, with critical provisions for anti-corruption penalties and making payments through an escrow account dropped days before the signing of inter-Govt al deal (IGA). This has significant political implications for the Modi Govt  which has claimed that eliminating corruption is a major plank of its agenda for governance and promised action against alleged corruption in defence deals struck during UPA Govt.It is significant that neither this nor other important information published by The Hindu on “parallel negotiations” conducted by PMO and NSA seems to have found a place in the material submitted by the Govt  to the Supreme Court.High-level political intervention meant that standard Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) clauses on “Penalty for use of Undue Influence, Agents/Agency Commission, and Access to Company accounts” of Dassault Aviation and MBDA France were dropped by Indian Govt  in the supply protocols. Under the terms of IGA signed between India and France in Delhi on Sept.23, 2016, Dassault is the supplier of Rafale aircraft package while MBDA France is the supplier of the weapons package to Indian Air Force. Official documents available to The Hindu reveal that the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by the then Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar, met in Sept.2016, and “ratified and approved” eight changes in IGA, supply protocols, offset contracts and offset schedules.This was done after IGA and associated documents had been approved by Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), chaired by PM Modi on Aug.24, 2016.The most significant among these eight changes, recorded in a note signed by Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar, DCIDS (PP&FD) who was the member-secretary of DAC,is at sub-para (c). This states: “Non-inclusion of Standard DPP Clauses related to ‘Penalty for Undue Influence,’‘ Agents/Agency Commission’ and ‘Access to Company Accounts’ in Supply Protocols.”It is highly significant that these clauses were dropped by Indian Govt  from the supply protocols. While IGA was the overarching deal between the Govt s of India and France, the supply protocols were to be executed by Dassault and MBDA, the 2 private companies. The Hindu
Govt plea to correct Rafale verdict awaits hearing
New Delhi:The Supreme Court is yet to hear an application filed by the govt on Dec.15, 2018, for a correction in the Rafale verdict.The silence that shrouds the application belies the urgency with which the Govt  returned to the SC on Dec.15 —the very next day of the pronouncement of the verdict. The govt has so far not made any oral mention before the court for an early hearing of its application.In the plea, govt claimed the SC judgment erred in English grammar to “misinterpret” information submitted to it in a sealed cover note about the pricing of the deal for 36 Rafale jets.It had filed the application in the face of a political storm whipped up by the verdict.thehindu
Rafale deal: ‘PM facilitated loot,’ says Rahul over charges of anti-corruption clauses waiver
New Delhi:Continuing to corner Modi govt over Rafale deal, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has launched a fresh salvo at PM Narendra Modi after a media report stated that PMO had waived key provisions of anti-corruption clauses days before the defence agreement was signed.Quoting the report,Rahul said, “Every defence deal has an anti-corruption clause.Reports suggest that PM removed the anti-corruption clause. It is clear that PM facilitated loot.” He tweeted, “NoMo anti-corruption clause. Chowkidar himself opened the door to allow Anil Ambani to steal 30,000 Cr.from IAF.”Indian express
CAG submits Rafale audit report to President, to reach Parliament soon
New Delhi:A report by the government’s top auditor, CAG, into the big-ticket military procurement including 36 Rafale fighter jets has been submitted to President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday, clearing the decks for tabling the audit report in Parliament this week.The Comptroller and Auditor General of India’s performance audit report is expected to focus on the process adopted to firm up the deal and also, as an official familiar with the development put it, done a comparative analysis of the fighter jets’ pricing vis a vis the initial plan to buy 126 jets by the UPA government.The report is likely to be tabled in the Parliament within the next two days. Wednesday is the last day of the last session of the 16th Lok Sabha before general elections due in the spring.HT
SC to hear Zakia Jafri’s plea against clean chit to Modi in 2002 Godhra riots in July
New Delhi :The Supreme Court today said it will hear in July a plea of Zakia Jafri, challenging SIT’s clean chit to the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi in connection with the 2002 Godhra riots.A bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar listed the matter for hearing in the month of July. Ms. Zakia, the wife of ex-MP Ehsan Jafri who was one of the 68 killed in Ahmedabad’s Gulberg society, has challenged the Gujarat High Court’s October 5, 2017 order rejecting her plea against SIT’s decision.PTI
Karnataka: After denial, BS Yeddyurappa admits he met JD(S) MLA’s son
Hubbali:Karnataka BJP president BS Yeddyurappa has admitted that he had met Sharanagouda Kandakur, son of JD(S) MLA Naganagouda Kandakur, on the night of Feb.7 and discussed the possibility of getting his father to join BJP.On Friday, Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy had released an audio recording of a purported conversation between Yeddyurappa and Sharanagouda, in which BJP leader is allegedly trying to poach JD(S) MLA with the offer of money and a ministerial berth. Yeddyurappa had dismissed the audio clip as “fake” and said Kumaraswamy is an “expert in voice recording”. He had offered to quit if he was found to be involved in attempts to poach MLAs or influence Assembly Speaker. But on Sunday, speaking at the party’s office in Hubbali, Yeddyurappa said:“Yes, it is true that Sharanagouda came and met me at 12.30 (am) at the circuit house in Devadurga where I was staying and we discussed some things. Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy has indulged in third grade politics by sending Sharanagouda to carry out a sting on me.”Denying any involvement, Kumaraswamy has said that Sharanagouda recorded his conversation with Yeddyurappa and then informed him. Sharanagouda, who was present at Kumaraswamy’s press conference on Friday,had said he recorded conversation and handed the recording to CM. “I was concerned by their efforts to topple pro-farmer govt,” he had said. indiane xpress
SIT to probe audio-clip at centre of Karnataka poaching row
Bengaluru :The speaker of the Karnataka legislative assembly KR Ramesh Kumar on Monday asked the state government to order an SIT probe into an audio recording where a purported BJP MLA refers to a payment of Rs 50 crore as bribe to the Speaker to facilitate poaching of MLAs from the ruling Congress-JDS coalition.The Speaker made the suggestion to the government after initially suggesting that it would not be appropriate for him to continue as speaker in the light of the allegations that emerged in audio recordings released by Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. “SIT should provide a report in 15 days to clear the air,” the Speaker said. Indian express
Kolkata Police chief, ex-MP appear before CBI for questioning in Shillong
Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar and ex Trinamool Congress MP Kunal Ghosh today appeared before the CBI here for questioning in connection with investigations in chit fund cases.This is the third day of grilling for Kumar and the second for Ghosh.Ghosh arrived at CBI office here shortly after 10 am while Kumar reached an hour later, an official told PTI.On Sunday, the probe agency questioned Kumar separately and also along with Ghosh. The marathon questioning of the two lasted over eight hours, he said.PTI
SC refuses to monitor CBI probe into Saradha chit fund scam
The Supreme Court today refused to monitor the ongoing CBI investigation into the Saradha chit fund scam in West Bengal.A two-judge bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna did not allow the application filed by some investors that despite the SC's 2013 order directing the CBI to probe the chit fund scam, the investigation has not attained finality."We are not inclined to set up a monitoring committee to monitor the chit fund scam probe," the bench said.PTI
6 injured in Dalit-Muslim clash in Meerut village:cops
Meerut: 6 persons sustained injuries in a clash between Dalits and Muslims at Durveshpur village in Meerut’s Sardhana town Sunday. Both the groups have filed FIRs blaming each other for the incident, police said. The injured have been identified as Ankur Prajapati (25), Ganga Sharan Sonker (32), Shabbir (25), Kawarjaha (32), Shaukat (28) and Ramzan (26). They were taken to the hospital where the condition of Sonker and Shabbir was stated to be critical, police said.Police said the argument started on Wednesday between Ankur and Shabbir after the former’s bicycle hit the latter’s. Elders from both the sides brought the situation under control, they added.“However, the situation escalated into a brawl on Sunday after Ankur and his friends allegedly attacked Shabbir and his family members at their residence. Bullets were allegedly fired by both sides and they also pelted stones on each other. We have lodged an FIR for rioting but no arrests have been made so far. Adequate police force has been deployed in the village to prevent further trouble,”said Dharmendra Singh Rathore, Sardhana SHO.indian express
N Chandrababu Naidu fasts in Delhi LIVE Updates: Mamata Banerjee extends support, will reach Delhi tomorrow
New Delhi:Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu Monday began a day-long fast in New Delhi seeking special category status for the state as well as fulfilment of assurances given during its bifurcation. The Chief Minister paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat before heading to Andhra Pradesh Bhavan to observe the fast. A TDP delegation led by Naidu will submit a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday, party sources said.TDP parted ways with the BJP, its ally of four years, in March 2018, with Naidu citing denial of Special Category Status to the state — as promised under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 — as the reason. Since then, Naidu has emerged as one of the leading faces of the Opposition. Naidu has said that it is a matter of self-respect of Andhraites and that the Centre should fulfill the assurances made during the bifurcation of the state.indianexpress
Modi behaves like prime minister of Pakistan: Arvind Kejriwal
New Delhi :As opposition leaders once again gather in New Delhi, extending support to Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu on his day-long fast demanding special status for his state, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal launched a verbal war on prime minister Narendra Modi saying he behaves like ‘prime minister of Pakistan.’“A Prime Minister is prime minister of the nation, not of a party. The way he treats government of opposition parties in other states, it’s like he is not the Prime Minister of India, but Prime Minister of Pakistan,” Kejriwal said at Andhra Bhawan where Naidu is sitting on fast. Kejriwal was accompanied by Aam Aadmi Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Azad Singh. Indianexpress
Priyanka Gandhi in Lucknow LIVE: Not resting till Congress comes to power in UP, says Rahul
New Delhi :Priyanka Gandhi Vadra made her political debut in Uttar Pradesh as she began the Congress’ roadshow in Lucknow on Monday. Accompanied by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia, this is Priyanka’s maiden visit to the state after being appointed as the party’s general secretary in-charge of eastern UP.“I have hope that together we will start a new kind of politics, a politics in which all of you will be stakeholders. Come, let’s build a new future, new politics with me,” Priyanka Gandhi told party workers and supporters through Congress’ Shakti App on Sunday.Priyanka and Scindia will camp in Lucknow for the next four days, meeting leaders and party workers, while Rahul is likely to return today after the roadshow.indianexpress
Rahul, Priyanka Gandhi attack Modi government with Rafale effigy in hand during Lucknow roadshow
Sena's "EVM" Taunt For BJP Over 2019 Maharashtra Seat Tally Claim
Mumbai: Shiv Sena today mocked BJP's claim that it would win 43 out of the total 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra in upcoming general polls, calling it "far-fetched" and "bereft of reality". Shiv claimed the situation was grim in the state and wondered how could BJP think of winning so many seats when the party-ruled state was staring at a slew of problems and the alliance talks with Uddhav Thackeray-led party were still not completed."If BJP has EVMs and over-confidence on its side, it can win all 48 seats in Maharashtra," the editorial in party mouthpiece ''Saamana taunted.PTI
Will 'thrash' anybody who talks about caste in Maharashtra, no space for communalism: Gadkari
Pune: Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari has said that there was no place for casteism in his area because of his "warning" that anybody talking about caste will be "thrashed" by him.BJP leader said the society should be brought together on the basis of economic and social equality, and it should not have any scope for casteism and communalism."We do not believe in any casteism... but there is no place for castiesm in our five districts because I have warned everybody that if someone talks about caste, I will thrash him," said Gadkari who represents the Nagpur Lok Sabha seat. He further said: "entire society should be brought together on the basis of economic and social equality and unity and it also should be free from casteism and communalism".PTI
Anti-right wing bias row: Twitter team including Twitter India representatives arrive to attend parliamentary panel hearing
Twitter team including Twitter India representatives arrive to attend parliamentary panel to hear anti-right-wing bias row:Twitter team including Twitter India representatives arrived at Parliament to appear before Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology on Monday, reports said. Earlier, Twitter had refused to appear before the panel citing ‘short notice’ of the hearing. The Committee had called Twitter via a letter on Feb.1, 2019.Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology reportedly passed a resolution unanimously that they will not meet any Twitter officials until senior members or CEO of the Twitter Global team depose before the Committee. 15 days deadline had been given to Twitter.On Saturday, Twitter had declined the committee’s call to send its top officials to be present at the hearing scheduled at 3 pm on Feb.11. Twitter said its CEO could not be present to hear the views of the representatives of both Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) on the subject ‘safeguarding citizens’ rights on social/online news media platforms due to the short notice.newsx
Bhagwat’s meeting with varsity VCs, principals- an attempts to saffronise education:Harish Rawat
Recent 4 day outreach programme of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in Dehradun has created a controversy following objections by ex-Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat. 4 day tour concluded on Friday evening. RSS chief during his 4 day stay met a cross section of people including a delegation of youth, intellectuals, writers, V-Cs and ex bureaucrats and shared his thoughts about the ‘Sangh’ philosophy with them. Ex-CM objected to the meeting of V-Cs of state universities and principals of colleges with RSS chief, terming it attempts by the ‘Sangh Parivar’ to saffronize the education with the help of state’s BJP Govt. Rawat asked that under what capacity RSS chief was meeting the vice-chancellors and principals of colleges. He accused the state BJP Govt of forcing these meetings. He alleged that the ‘Sangh’ has no faith in the constitution and the meetings of VCs and principals was an attempt to influence them toward saffronisation of education.  nationalherald india
BJP urges Javadekar to cancel Owaisi's AMU visit
Agra: BJP workers from Aligarh have urged the union HRD minister to direct AMU to cancel the proposed visit of AIMIM head, Asaduddin Owaisi, to the campus on Tuesday. Owaisi has been invited by AMUSU along with other Muslim parties' presidents to discuss the formation of a new political front to fight for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. BJP workers have also demanded action against AMUSU leaders for inviting Owaisi, who is also an MP from Hyderabad.In a letter to Javadekar, BJP leader Dr Nishit Sharma said that this kind of programme could disturb the communal harmony of the district. The letter states "Efforts are on to make an educational institute a political ground. These students are trying to hurt sentiments of Hindus by inviting Owaisi." Reacting to the threat given by BJP, vice-president of AMUSU Humza Sufyan said that any Indian citizen can visit any part of the country and no permission is needed. "They are not authorities to stop anyone's entry and if they make such an attempt it will be unconstitutional,"Sufyan said, adding that their proses discussions are political in nature and have nothing to do with religion. He added that the idea to float a political front of Muslim leaders was mooted as secular parties and successive Govts have failed to fulfill the aspirations of the community and uplift them from their marginalised status.He added that the union would mobilise AMU alumni across the country and will hold meetings to sensitize them about various issues related to the community. TOI
Sunanda death case: Court orders FIR on complaint against Arnab Goswami
New Delhi :A Delhi court has ordered registration of an FIR on a criminal complaint filed by Congress Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor, accusing news channel Republic TV and its Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami of stealing confidential documents pertaining to the probe into the death of Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar, and alleged hacking of his e-mail account.“… In view of allegations levelled by complainant (Tharoor) and material produced on record in the form of RTI replies and other material, matter discloses commission of cognizable offence… In view of this court, the matter requires investigation by police as it is not clear how said material came in the possession of proposed accused persons (channel, Goswami and a journalist),”said Metropolitan Magistrate Dharmender Singh.It further said that a “number of persons are to be examined…In these circumstances, SHO concerned is directed to register FIR in this matter and investigate the same as per law.”indian express
UP’s Hooch toll 99, over 3,000 held: Illicit liquor sold at weddings, prayer meets
At weddings, prayer meetings and multiple mass gatherings, white plastic pouches of country-made liquor were sold in villages across Saharanpur in UP along Uttarakhand border.Manufactured with cheap raw materials and sold for between Rs 10 and Rs 30, liquor, locals say, was a common sight in region.The deaths, however, are a first.Over last 4 days, officials say, the illicit liquor has killed at least 99 people — 59 in Saharanpur, 10 in Kushinagar and 30 in Haridwar, source of poisonous liquor, according to cops.indianexpress
Ahmedabad: After protests, college cancels event that had Jignesh Mevani as chief guest
Gandhinagar:Ahmedabad-based HK Arts College, has declared the cancellation of its annual festival programme that was to be attended by Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani as chief guest after the trust governing the college refused to give hall for the event following alleged pressure from some student leaders of BJP opposed to Mevani.The function was scheduled to be held on Monday. It is to be noted that Mevani is an alumnus of the College.Principal Hemant Kumar Shah said, “Annual festival of our college was to be celebrated tomorrow. We had invited Mevani for same 15-20 days back after he consented to be Chief Guest.” “However, some student leaders who are from BJP,who did not like this and who are actively associated with Gujarat University gave threats to Trust and to me saying that they will create ruckus at the function (since we invited Mevani)even if there is police,”added Shah.indianexpress
Mehbooba lauds Pak PM Imran Khan, hits out at Centre over Ram Temple
Srinagar:PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti has praised Pakistan PM Imran Khan for taking steps to name a forest reserve after Guru Nanak Dev, but hit out at the Centre saying its “top priority” seems to be renaming ancient cities and building Ram temple in Ayodhya. “How times change. Centre’s top priority is seemingly renaming historic cities & building Ram Mandir. On the other hand , heartening to see that Pak PM has initiated steps to name Baloki forest reserve after Guru Nanak ji & create a university under his name,”she tweeted. PTI
Ladakh division: Thousands march for demanding Kargil as a rotation of HQRS
Srinagar: 2 days after J&K administration announced Leh as the headquarters of the newly created Ladakh division, a large group of people on Sunday took out a march on the streets of Kargil to demand rotation of HQRS. The decision to base HQRS in Leh has united the people of Kargil across the religious and political spectrum. According to them, the demand for divisional status came from Kargil and not Leh.“Leh always demanded a Union Territory. They wanted bifurcation of the state,” CEO of Ladakh Hill Development Council, Kargil Feroz Ahmad Khan, said. “We were against division of the state and the demand for divisional status was always ours.”An estimated 10,000 people marched on the streets of Kargil to demand the 6-monthly rotation of HQRS between Leh and Kargil.indianexpress
‘Studies get priority over poll campaign’: Supreme Court upholds Bengal loudspeaker ban
New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a petition by BJP in West Bengal that wanted the court to cancel a 2013 order by Mamata Govt  banning use of loudspeakers during February and March.The prohibition on use of loudspeakers applies in residential and institutional areas because of school exams. Children’s studies are more important than election campaigning, the SC ruled. West Bengal unit of BJP, which had filed petition, had attacked the constitutional validity of TMC govt order and had accused the state Govt of going “patently overboard”.HT
RBI won't transfer past reserves for now
Mumbai: RBI will not immediately transfer surplus capital, which is set aside as reserves over the years, to the Govt. RBI audit committee has, however, cleared an interim dividend of Rs 28,000 crore based on a limited audit for the current year and the same is likely to be declared after the central bank's board meeting on Feb.18.The demand to transfer capital surplus was made by Centre after its attempts to get RBI to part with what was described "excess reserves" was turned down and the issue of capital framework was referred to a committee under Bimal Jalan. Govt had argued that the central bank had more reserves than many of its peers. The latest move by the department of economic affairs is part of a series of demands on regulators, including Sebi, which market players are seeing as "over-reach" by the govt, especially after it pushed Urjit Patel to resign as RBI governor amid the threat of issuing a directive to the banking regulator.TOI
Hanif Syed, sentenced to death in '03 Mumbai blasts case, dies
Nagpur:Mohammad Hanif Syed, 1 of 3 convicts sentenced to death in 2003 Mumbai twin bomb blasts who was lodged in Nagpur Central Jail, died at a hospital, a prison officer said. Syed's health suddenly deteriorated on Saturday, following which he was shifted to Govt Medical College and Hospital where he died one and half hours after admission, jail superintendent Rani Bhosle said."Cause of his death will be known after postmortem on Monday," she said, adding that Syed's body will be handed over to his relatives after autopsy. As per preliminary information and symptoms, he had died of a cardiac arrest, she said.PTI
Threat of surveillance by state or by private players is a challenge to human rights:Justice Sikri
"In so far as the contempt power is concerned, we are not using it that much in India", reflected Justice A. K. Sikri on Sunday at Lawasia's first Human Rights Conference in New Delhi.Moderating a panel of lawyers and journalists, Indian and international, on the issue of the "Freedom of the Press in Digital Age", the second senior-most judge of the Supreme Court noted that though it has been the opinion over the years that once a judgment is tendered, there exists the right of fair critique of the judgment, but now "slander and defamatory statements against judges" have become the order of the day.Elaborating on how the advent of the digital age changes the paradigm of civil and human rights, the judge canvassed the consistently-rising trend of media trials- "even when an issue has been raised and a petition is filed, even before it is taken up by the court, whether it is the Supreme Court or a High Court or a trial court in some sensational case, people start discussing what should be the outcome of the case ('not what is going to be the outcome, but what should be the outcome', he added emphatically)"livelaw.in
HC notice to Moin Qureshi on CBI's plea to enhance security amount to travel to UAE, Pak
Delhi high court today issued notice to controversial meat exporter Moin Akhtar Qureshi on a CBI plea to enhance the security amount he has to pay to travel abroad. Justice Chander Shekhar sought the response of Qureshi on the agency's plea seeking enhancing of security from Rs 2 crore to Rs 6 crore which Qureshi, accused in a cheating and corruption case, has been asked to furnish to travel to UAE and Pakistan.PTI
Gujjar andolan enters 3rd day with violent agitations in Dholpur; Vehicles torched, trains disrupted as community wants 5% quota in jobs
Dholpur, Rajasthan: Gujjar community agitation demanding 5% quota in jobs and education turned violent Sunday with shots being fired and police vehicles torched in Dholpur district and protesters blocking road and rail traffic in many areas in Rajasthan.Gujjars have been staging an agitation since Friday demanding a 5% reservation in Govt jobs and higher education institutes. Dholpur SP Ajay Singh said that the protesters not only blocked highway on Sunday but also began attacking stranded travellers and misbehaving with women at the Waterworks junction.firstpost
Adeeb’s book may create stir among Muslim political circles
New Delhi: Mohammed Adeeb’s book which exposes the 50-year Muslim politics will be released today. The book ‘Zindagi Zara Ahista Chal’ is penned down by AMU Alumni Mohammed Adeeb. The book will be released by the former president of India Mohammed Hamed Ansari at Constitution Club of India. Eminent personalities like ex-Minister Yashwant Sinha, ex-Minister Farooq Abdullah, ex-lieutenant general Najeeb Jang, Congress treasurer Ahmed Patel, ex-Minister Salman Khursheed, ex Delhi CM  Sheila Dixit, ex-V-C of Jamia Millia Shahid Mehdi and others will also attend the programme.siasat
Netherlands to recognise Gaza Strip, West Bank as birthplaces
Dutch Govt  has announced it will begin recognising the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as official birthplaces for Palestinians who were born in the country after the establishment of Israel. While the Netherlands does not yet recognise the State of Palestine, it will recognise those Palestinian territories as the origin of birth for those born after May 15,1948,when British Mandate officially ended.The announcement was made by Dutch State Secretary Raymond Knops at The Hague.According to an Interior Ministry release, Knops said Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank would be added to the list of territories that Dutch civil registry accepts. According to the statement, Knops noted the new category is in accordance with "Dutch viewpoint that Israel has no sovereignty over these areas",as well as the Netherlands' refusal to recognise Palestine as a state.aljazeera
Pentagon chief makes unannounced Afghan trip
Patrick Shanahan, US acting secretary of defence, has arrived in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit amid a push for peace with the Taliban. Shanahan will meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, whose Govt was not part of major talks between US and Taliban officials last month that negotiators hope could bring a breakthrough in 17-year conflict."It is important that the Afghan Govt is involved in discussions regarding Afghanistan," Shanahan told a small group of reporters travelling with him on the surprise trip on Monday.The acting Pentagon chief said Washington has important security interests in the region and wanted to hear from commanders on the ground. Shanahan replaced Jim Mattis, who quit in Dec over policy differences with US President Donald Trump. Taliban has refused to negotiate directly with Ghani's Govt, calling it a "puppet" of the West.  But Ghani's allies in Washington insist Afghans should lead the peace process.Taliban want all American troops to withdraw, and officials say that is at the top of the armed group's list of demands in exploratory talks. Shananhan, who will also meet US commanders, told reporters he had so far not received any direction to reduce troops in Afghanistan. The next round of talks is due in Qatar on Feb. 25.aljazeera
Egypt's Sisi takes over as new head of African Union
Addis Ababa:Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi took over as chair of the African Union (AU) following a meeting by heads of state from the continent in Ethiopia's capital on Sunday. The post rotates annually between the five regions of the continent.The Egyptian leader is expected to focus on the fight against armed groups on the continent and rebuilding efforts of countries recovering from conflict.Sisi takes the helm from Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who focused on creating an Africa wide free-trade zone during his tenure.Meanwhile, Amnesty International expressed concern that Sisi's leadership of the bloc could harm the continent's human rights record."During his time in power, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has demonstrated a shocking contempt for human rights. Under his leadership the country has undergone a catastrophic decline in rights and freedoms," said Najia Bounaim, Amnesty's North Africa campaign director."There are real fears about the potential impact his chairmanship could have on the independence of regional human rights mechanisms and their future engagement with civil society," Bounaim added.aljazeera
Document confirming death penalty against 3 Egyptians in violation of legislative procedures
Human rights researcher at the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms, Ahmed Attar, has revealed that Govt has executed three members of the opposition on the charge of murder. Even though they were still pursuing an appeal. 3were charged with the murder of the son of the president of El Mansoura Court in 2014. In an interview with Arabi21, the researcher said that “the execution constituted a flagrant violation of the Egyptian legislative procedures and demonstrated the continuation of a process that violates most of the basic justice rights. Moreover, this is not the first case in this regard, and this has been repeated several times”.Attar said: “Egyptian Constitution has set up many provisions to preserve the dignity and freedom of the Egyptian citizen, and before this, to preserve his life. The Egyptian law also has many provisions that grant the prisoner the right to appeal against the sentences even after the Court of Cassation, as the right to request a case reinvestigation is one of the extraordinary legal remedies. The law has exclusively defined several reasons for these ways. Whenever one of these reasons is available, the convicted person can benefit from this right.”middleeastmonitor
Saudi minister rejects UN probe into Khashoggi killing; says 'we'll investigate
Saudi Arabia does not need a UN or international investigation into the murder of Jamal Khashoggi because its "competent legal system" can handle matter, said its minister of state for foreign affairs. Adel al-Jubeir told US TV programme Face the Nation on Sunday that the October 2 slaying of the journalist inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey was "a massive tragedy" and denied it was sanctioned by Saudi's leadership."Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had nothing to do with this," Jubeir said. "There was no order given to murder Khashoggi and the whole country is shocked by this."It was a mistake. It was committed by officials of the Saudi Govt acting outside their scope of authority. The king ordered an investigation," said Jubeir.Aljazeera
'Heavy clashes' in Syria as SDF launches final push against ISIL
US-backed Syrian forces say they captured 41 positions held by ISIL and destroyed fortifications in a fierce battle to seize the armed group's last enclave in eastern Syria. Military advances were made overnight and on Sunday as the Kurdish-led SDF launched a final push to clear the area of ISIL fighters, after 20,000 civilians were evacuated from Deir Az Zor province, said Mustafa Bali, a SDF spokesman.Bali said heavy fighting was ongoing inside the village of Baghouz on Sunday. He did not say how long the battle was expected to last."The clashes are ferocious naturally because the group is defending its last stronghold,"he said.Syrian Observatory for Human Rights,a UK-based war monitor, said coalition planes and artillery bombarded ISIL positions.aljazeera
US general: Withdrawal of US forces in Syria likely to start in ‘weeks’
US is likely just weeks away from starting the withdrawal of ground troops from Syria ordered by President Donald Trump, the top US commander overseeing American forces in the Middle East said on Sunday, Reuters reports.US Army General Joseph Votel, head of US Central Command, cautioned that the exact timing would depend on the situation in Syria, where US-backed fighters have launched a final assault against Daesh enclaves near the Iraqi border.US military has already started withdrawing equipment from Syria. Asked whether the withdrawal of America’s more than 2,000 troops would begin in days or weeks, Votel said: “Probably weeks. But again, it will all be driven by the situation on the ground.”“In terms of the withdrawal … I think we’re right on track with where we wanted to be,” Votel told reporters travelling with him during a trip to the Middle East.middleeastmonitor
Iran marks 40th anniversary of Islamic revolution
Tehran:Iranian demonstrators have taken to the streets across the country on Monday to mark 40th anniversary of 1979 revolution, renewing their allegiance to the country's Islamic principles at a time of rising economic and political pressure amid the resumption of punishing US sanctions. Iran organises the nationwide rally every Feb.11 to highlight the size of grassroots support for the revolution, which replaced Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's Govt  with an Islamic Republic under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.Domestically, the event is also known as Ten-Day Dawn to commemorate the period of violent protests following the Feb.1, 1979 return of Khomeini from exile. It also marks the official end of the 2,500 years of the Persian Empire.In Tehran, hundreds of thousands of marchers gathered at Azadi Square, one of the capital's most iconic monuments built by the US-backed shah and renamed after the victory of the forces loyal to Khomeini.In an address to the demonstrators, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the 1979 revolution saved the country "from tyranny, colonisation and dependence"."This nation has managed to establish a system of Islamic Republic and an independent system of Govt ," Rouhani said, as he stressed that the country has also managed to "foil the conspiracies" led by the US and Israel. Amid rain and snow that covered parts of the Iranian capital, demonstrators marched through major streets carrying anti-US and Saudi banners and signs.Demonstrators also chanted, "Death to America", "Death to Israel" and "Death to the al-Saud" family of Saudi Arabia. aljazeera
China rejects Turkey criticism on Uighurs, denies poet's death
China has hit back at claims by Turkey over its treatment of Uighur people and denied reports a prominent poet and musician from the ethnic Muslim minority was tortured to death in prison.The Chinese embassy in Turkey said in a statement that the poet, 57-year-old Abdurehim Heyit, was in good health after reports claimed he had died while serving an eight-year prison sentence. State-owned China Radio International released a 25-second video of the pale-faced Heyit, dated 10 Feb, where he said he was being investigated for "allegedly violating national laws"."I'm now in good health and have never been abused," he said, according to the subtitled video.Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a briefing on Monday that the video proved Heyit was alive."Turkish side has made a very bad mistake, quite irresponsible," she said. "How could they say he was dead?"Aljazeera
Myanmar forces violating human rights in Rakhine unrest: Amnesty
Myanmar's military is shelling villages and preventing civilians from getting food and humanitarian help, amid an intensifying crackdown on the rebel Arakan Army in the restive northwestern state of Rakhine that has pushed thousands from their homes, Amnesty International has said.The human rights group said on Monday its investigations also found that the security forces had used vague and repressive laws to detain civilians in its battle against the Arakan Army, an ethnic Rakhine group that is fighting for more autonomy."These latest operations are yet another reminder that the Myanmar military operates without any regard for human rights," Tirana Hassan, Amnesty's director of crisis response, said in a statement. aljazeera
UN: Suspension of Nigeria's top judge breaches human rights
The suspension of Nigeria's most senior judge by President Muhammadu Buhari broke international human rights standards on independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers, a UN expert has said." International human rights standards provide that judges may be dismissed only on serious grounds of misconduct or incompetence," said Diego Garcia-Sayan, UN special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, on Monday."Any decision to suspend or remove a judge from office should be fair and should be taken by an independent authority such as a judicial council or a court," he said in a statement.aljazeera
US, Russia present rival UN draft resolutions on Venezuela
US has presented a draft resolution on Venezuela to UNSC, triggering a Russian counterproposal.US draft resolution calls for international aid deliveries and presidential elections in Venezuela while stressing "deep concern with the violence and excessive use of force by Venezuelan security forces against unarmed, peaceful protesters". US expresses "full support for the National Assembly as the only democratically elected institution in Venezuela", said a copy of the text.In response, Moscow came up with an alternative resolution, expressing its concern for Venezuela's territorial integrity and political independence.Russian draft criticises any "attempts to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of Venezuela".aljazeera
Trump "May Not Even Be A Free Person" In 2020: US Presidential Aspirant
Iowa: Sen.Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., told voters Sunday that President Donald Trump might be unable to finish his term, firing back at him for the first time since his re-election campaign attacked her rollout."By the time we get to 2020, Donald Trump may not be president," Warren told an audience here. "In fact, he may not even be a free person."Warren had not previously hinted that the scandals surrounding the president could keep him from seeking a second term. On her previous trip to Iowa, she rarely mentioned Trump by name.The Washington Post
Millions mark 40th anniversary of Iranian revolution
Tehran: Millions of people across Iran on Monday are expected to hit the streets to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1979 revolution, renewing their allegiance to the country's Islamic principles at a time of rising economic and political pressure amid the resumption of punishing US sanctions.Iran organises the nationwide rally every February 11 to highlight the size of grassroots support for the revolution, which replaced Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's Govt  with an Islamic Republic under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.aljazeera
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 5:56 PM)


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