Wednesday, 20 February 2019

20 Feb.ND: Saudi Crown Prince sees investment openings worth $100 billion in India/Modi, bin Salman talk about everything but Pulwama attack, Pakistan in public statement/ UN action must if there's proof against Jaish: Saudi foreign minister on pulwama

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
20 Feb. 2019: 14 Jamadiul-II 1440:Vol:11, No:133
Saudi Crown Prince sees investment openings worth $100 billion in India
New Delhi: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman today said he saw investment opportunities of more than $100 billion in India over the next 2 years as he began his first official visit amid tensions between India and Pakistan over the attack in Pulwama.India rolled out the red carpet for the crown prince as it seeks diplomatic support against Pakistan following the terror attack in Kashmir.In a joint press appearance after talks with PM Narendra Modi, the crown prince said terrorism was a common concern and Saudi was ready to share intelligence with India to tackle it."We face similar challenges, chief among them extremism and terrorism ... and we reaffirm to India that we are ready to work in the intelligence and political arenas to coordinate our efforts..." the crown prince said.Crown prince also said he wanted to expand commercial relations with India. "Today we expect the opportunities we are targeting in India in various fields to exceed $100 billion in the coming 2 years... we want to work with you,PM, to ensure these investments are made and to ensure useful returns for both countries."Giant petroleum and natural gas company Saudi Aramco said it was in talks with Reliance for possible investments and was seeking other opportunities.Ruuters
After PM Modi meeting, Saudi Crown Prince talks about $100 bn investment opportunity in India
Modi, bin Salman talk about everything but Pulwama attack, Pakistan in public statement
PM Narendra Modi and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke of everything except the Pulwama attack and Pakistan’s hand behind the attack. The grapevine was abuzz that terror will top New Delhi’s agenda during the discussion with Modi and it really was but in a different way. newsx
UN action must if there's proof against Jaish: Saudi foreign minister on pulwama
New Delhi: People involved in terror attacks should not just be blacklisted but tried and punished, and if there is evidence against Jaish-e Mohammed and its leader Masood Azhar, he must be listed as a global terrorist at UN, Saudi Arabia said today. In an interview to NDTV, Saudi's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, said Saudi-Pak joint statement, which referred to "the need for avoiding politicisation of UN listing regime" was not a reference to Masood."Our policy on listing individuals is very clear, if someone is engaged in terrorism, if someone belongs to a terror organisation that is responsible for murdering people, if somebody fiances terrorism or recruits for terrorism, that person is implicated in terrorism and ought to be punished and if you can't capture that person, he or she has to be designated so that they cannot roam the world freely and when they are captured, they are brought to justice,"said Aljubeir, who is part of the delegation accompanying Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Asked if India needs to provide more evidence on the involvement of Jaish and Masood in attacks in the country, the minister said, it is an "ongoing dialogue" both with Saudi and other members of the international community. Underscoring the need for reopening of dialogue with Islamabad, the minister said, "Pakistan is an important country to Saudi and India is important to Saudi and so it pains us to see conflict between two countries that we believe to be two friendly countries. We believe that instability in this part of the world is danger to rest of the world". Today, while Crown Prince, in an address to the media, mentioned that terrorism and extremism are a "common concern" and Saudi will "cooperate with India and neighbouring states", but Pulwama, Jaish or Pakistan was not named.ndtv
Saudi foreign minister says Pak said not involved in Pulwama, punish Jaish, Masood if there is proof
Hello bhaijaan: Admire PM Modi, he is my older brother, says Mohammed bin Salman
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke of his admiration for PM Narendra Modi and described him as an older brother during conversations at Rashtrapati Bhavan today.PM personally welcomed Crown Prince to India as he arrived in New Delhi last night, and joined President Ram Nath Kovind in greeting him this morning during a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan, where Saudi leader inspected a guard of honour.indiatoday
Grand welcome to those who praised Pak…is this your way to remember Pulwama martyrs: Cong to Modi on MBS
New Delhi:Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala has asked PM Narendra Modi whether a “grand welcome” of Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who had praised Pakistan’s “anti-terror” efforts, was his way of remembering CRPF jawans killed in Pulwama.“National interests v/s Modiji’s ‘hugplomacy’ breaking protocol, a grand welcome to those who pledged USD 20 billion to Pakistan and praised Pakistan’s ‘anti-terror’ efforts.Is it ur way of remembering martyrs of Pulwama,” Surjewala took to Twitter and asked in a video.Surjewala urged Modi to “show courage” and ask MSB to retract his joint statement with Pakistan, which virtually rejects India’s demand for declaring Masood Azhar as a terrorist.“Is asking a terrorist to be designated as a terrorist, a politicisation of UN listings? Would you show courage to ask Saudi to undo their ‘Joint Statement’ with Pak virtually rejecting India’s demand for designating Masood as a ‘global terrorist’?” he said.indianexpress
France to move UN to blacklist Masood Azhar, all eyes on China
New Delhi:Diplomatic Advisor to French President Emmanuel Macron, Philippe Etienne, dialled NSA Ajit Doval Tuesday and decided to move a resolution at the UNSC for listing Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist”.Sources said France will be moving a proposal in a “couple of days”. They said that more countries are likely to join in the next few days and conversations are taking place through diplomatic channels with other members of UNSC. Apart from P-5 countries, India is also in conversation with Indonesia, which is the chair of UNSC resolution 1267 sanctions committee that covers terror groups, and vice-chairs, Russia and Peru,for moving the resolution. French side has also decided to push for keeping Pakistan on “grey list” of countries at the meeting of Financial Action Task Force in Paris this week.indianexpress
Jadhav case LIVE: India presents final arguments
 International Court of Justice (ICJ) began hearing final arguments of the Indian side today in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. India will have a maximum of 90 minutes to make its second round of submissions. The four-day trial began Monday at ICJ HQRS.In the first round of submissions, senior advocate Harish Salve, representing India, urged ICJ to annul Jadhav’s death sentence and order his immediate release. “Military Courts of Pakistan cannot command the confidence of this Court and should not be sanctified by a direction to them to review and reconsider the case,” he said.Responding to India’s argument, Pakistan called India’s demand for acquittal, release and return of Jadhav as “outlandish”.Making the final arguments, senior advocate Harish Salve says India hammered the facts while Pakistan hammered the table. "Humpty Dumpty has no place in this court," he said, lashing out at Pakistan.indianexpress
Jadhav guided by Ajit Doval, India’s appeal for his release outlandish: Pak at ICJ
Pulwama attack: UN secretary general urges India, Pakistan to show ‘maximum restraint’
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged India and Pakistan to de-escalate tension and to exercise maximum restraint in the wake of the attack in J&K .“Secretary General stresses the importance for both sides to exercise maximum restraint and take immediate steps to de-escalation, and his good offices are always available should both sides ask, Guterres’ spokesperson
Supreme Court to hear Ram temple case on Feb.26
New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear Ayodhya land dispute case on Feb. 26 as Justice SA Bobde, who is a part of 5-judge Constitution bench, has returned from leave. Though the bench was scheduled to take up the matter on Jan.29, the same could not happen due to “non-availability” of Justice SA Bobde that day.The SC has set up a 5-judge Constitution bench – comprising CJI and Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer – to hear the appeal challenging the Sept.30, 2010 verdict of the Allahabad High Court. The bench reconstituted after one of the judges on the bench set up earlier this month — Justice U Lalit — recused from hearing it.The SC will also hear a petition by 7 Lucknow residents, who claimed to be devotees of Ram, challenging the constitutional validity of the 1993 law under which the Centre acquired 67.703 acres of land in Ayodhya. indian express
Supreme Court raises questions on prolonged detentions at centres across Assam
New Delhi :Raising questions on the prolonged detention of illegal immigrants at detention centres across Assam, the Supreme Court Tuesday gave the Centre and state Govt two weeks’ time to discuss steps that could be taken to deal with the issue.A bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices L Nagesw-ara Rao and Sanjiv Khanna, which was hearing a PIL by ex-bureaucrat Harsh Mander on the condition of detention centres, raised questions on the prolonged detention of illegal immigrants, observing that they should not lose their human rights. “We will work out a system,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the state, told the bench. Referring to data submitted by the state govt, CJI said that out of 40 lakh illegal immigrants in Assam, foreigner tribunals had detected only about 52,000, of which only 166 had been deported over the last decade. “How can you expect people to have faith in your government,” CJI Gogoi asked.The bench said it’s attention would be required to focus on “living conditions in detention centres and justification of long detention of persons identified to be foreigners or convicted under Foreigners Act, 1946 pending deportation”.indianexpress
Supreme Court restores Assamese man’s Indian citizenship
The Supreme Court has set aside an order declaring an Assamese man a foreigner due to a discrepancy in his grandfather’s name, PTI reported.The bench of Justices RF Nariman and Vineet Saran said that Foreign Tribunal’s order was based on a discrepancy in Sirajul Hoque’s grandfather’s name. While Hoque and his father Hakim Ali’s names appeared the same in all documents, his grandfather Kematullah’s name was shown as Kefatullah in some documents.Kematullah or Kefatullah’s father’s name, however, appeared as Amtullah in all the
SC to hear pleas on SC/ST Act from Mar 26
New Delhi:The Supreme Court will hear from March 26 review pleas challenging its 2018 judgment that tweaked provisions of Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities)Act and petitions challenging the govt’s rollback of these changes through an amendment.In March last year, the court banned automatic arrests and registration of cases under the law and said there was no absolute bar against the grant of anticipatory bail in cases of atrocities against SC and ST communities.The verdict was criticised by experts and political parties for making the socially disadvantaged sections vulnerable and led to protests in some parts of the country.HT
SC may consider plea for ‘urgent hearing’ of PIL against Article 370
New Delhi:The Supreme Court has said it would look into the plea seeking “urgent hearing” of a PIL challenging the constitutional validity of Article 370 of the Constitution, which grants special status to J&K  and limits the parliament’s power to make laws for the state.A bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi took note of the submission of lawyer and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay that his plea was of “extreme national importance” and needed to be “listed for urgent hearing”. “Give the mentioning memo to the Registrar. We will see it,” the bench, said.   PTI
SC finds Ambani guilty of contempt of court in Ericsson case, asks him to pay Rs 453 crore or face jail
 The Supreme Court on held Reliance Communication chairman Anil Ambani and 2 directors guilty of contempt of court on a contempt plea filed by Ericsson India against him over not clearing its dues of Rs 550 crore, reports said.Supreme Court said Anil Ambani and the two directors have to pay Rs 453 crore to Ericsson India within 4 weeks and if they fail to pay the amount, three months’ jail term will follow. The apex court also imposed a fine of Rs 1 crore each on them, if not deposited within a month, 1-month jail will be awarded.NewsX
Triple talaq: Cabinet re-promulgates ordinance after Rajya Sabha failed to pass bill
Union Cabinet has given its approval to re-issue the Muslim Women(Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance, 2019, the Centre said in a press release. The Govt failed to pass the bill, known as the triple talaq bill, in the Rajya Sabha during the Budget session of Parliament.The press release also said that Centre will move amendments to bill pending in Rajya Sabha to replace the lapsed ordinance.“The proposed Ordinance will protect the rights of married Muslim women and prevent divorce by the practice of instantaneous and irrevocable ‘talaq-e-biddat’ by their husbands,” the Govt said.“It will discourage the practice of triple talaq i.e. talaq-e-biddat. Promulgation of the proposed Ordinance will provide the rights of subsistence allowance, custody of minor children to victims of triple talaq, that is, talaq-e-biddat.”
talaq bill will be used as weapon against minorities; Akhilesh
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has said BJP-led Centre’s Muslim Women(Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance, 2019, will be used as a “weapon against minorities”, PTI reported. Yadav said BJP Govt is using the guise of women’s empowerment to implement its flawed plan.“Social change cannot be achieved through force and arbitrary criminalisation,” Yadav said. “A narrative of women’s empowerment is being used to cover up an ordinance which will be used as a weapon against minorities. We will support an act that implements the Justice Sachar report.”
Saradha chit fund probe: SC judge recuses himself from hearing CBI plea
Supreme Court judge Justice L. Nageswara Rao today recused himself from hearing the CBI’s plea alleging obstruction in its probe into the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam probe by West Bengal authorities.A three-judge bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Rao and Sanjiv Khanna adjourned the hearing on pleas of the CBI, saying that one of the judges was not inclined to be part of the bench to hear the matter.PTI
Aadhaar details of enrolment operator stolen and misused, show UIDAI records: Report
Biometric details of an Aadhaar operator in Haryana’s Jind was allegedly stolen and misused, with credentials being used in multiple cities in a single day, Huffpost India reported on Wednesday. UIDAI had barred Vikram Sheokhand in Nov. 2018 from working as an Aadhaar enrolment operator for 5 years, after they detected that his credentials were being misused. Going by UIDAI’s records, Sheokhand’s digital fingerprints were used on Nov.12, 2018, at three bank branches in Haryana, and MP State Electronics Development Corporation in Bhopal – each transaction was a few hours apart. However, Sheokhand insisted that he was in Uchana village of Jind, where he works as the Aadhaar operator at the State Bank of India office, at that time. “I am not a ghost who can travel from Jind to MP in less than a second and simultaneously work in SBI’s branch in Uchana,”Sheokhand told HuffPost
SIMI is state’s ‘whipping horse, ban no surpris: Ashok Agrwaal, Advocate who challenged ban on it
 SIMI was banned on Jan.31, for the eighth time since 2001.Advocate Ashok Agrwaal, who challenged the ban in front of the tribunal on behalf of ex-SIMI members Humam Ahmed Siddiqui and Misbah-ul-Islam, speaks about the almost mechanical way in which the outfit is regularly banned. The Advocate said, "Govt has been renewing bans on organisations irrespective of threat perception. Last month, the minister of state for home told Rajya Sabha that Centre has not removed any organisation from the list of banned organisations in the last 3 years. Besides, SIMI is a favourite whipping horse, so the renewal of the ban was no surprise." Elaborating the gounds behind ban, Mr. Agrwaal said, "there are 58 grounds, all citing cases filed against persons, of whom many are not even alleged to be SIMI members. A very large number of the grounds simply say, “So and so, who was arrested in case/number…has been convicted vide judgement dated…by so and so court.” The case referred to here has already been presented before one or more previous tribunals. Some grounds mention fresh cases being registered against a person who was “discovered to be” a SIMI activist, without disclosing even a hint of the basis of such “discovery”. He continued, "We do not have information on these cases. Based solely on the contents of the notification grounds, they appear to be cases in respect of quotidian criminal offences, but it is not possible to say anything definitive." He added, "The ban is not based on evidence. Not even the first ban in 2001 was based on “evidence”. And, strictly speaking, the 2008 tribunal did not overturn the ban on account of “lack of evidence”. It rejected the ban as there was patent evidence of “non-application of mind”, a legal requirement." Resonding to the question that does SIMI still exist? Agrwaal, said, "SIMI ceased to exist on the date of its first ban, ie Sept.2001. All offices were sealed. Records and materials were seized. Hundreds of activists were arrested and jailed. Hundreds of cases were filed, quite a few of them are still pending. The metamorphosis into IM/ PFI is a figment of the mind of the Govt and its intelligence agencies.After 17 years, it is no longer the case and, practically speaking, it can no longer be the case that there is a pool of ex SIMI activists from before it was banned, who have come together to form new organisations or to join new ones. So the whole exercise is now in the hands of the Govt and its agencies. They declare SIMI is still in existence.They say that since SIMI is now an underground organisation,their word has to be accepted, since there can be no evidence of its existence. They dub people - anyone they want - with the label: SIMI/IM/ new outfit. Wild and baseless as they are, such allegations are sufficient for the purposes of the Govt for renewing the ban. Nobody looks to see what happens to these cases later. Mostly the cases take years to be decided. So most of the cases registered since 2010 are still pending."Mumbai Mirror
 Pak prisoner stoned to death in a Jaipur jail
Jaipur: A Pakistani national was, on Wednesday, stoned to death in Jaipur Central Jail.Pakistani citizen, identified as one Shakar Ullah, was convicted and lodged in the jail since 2011.He was reportedly attacked as a result of violence that erupted due to emotions running high over Pulwama attack. Times Now reported that a team of doctors reached the spot to treat the Pakistani national, however,he had succumbed to injuries.TimesNow
Pressured by mob, Roorkee varsity expels 7 Kashmiris
Dehradun: 7 Kashmiri students were Tuesday rusticated from Roorkee-based Quantum University for allegedly posting anti-national content on Instagram.A mob, including members of Hindu outfits and students of the university, on Tuesday “pressured” the university authorities to expel the seven students, 6 of whom lived in the hostel, over Instagram posts allegedly eulogising Pakistan, college authorities said.The college first issued a suspension order for the seven students on Tuesday, and later issued a rustication order for “involvement in destructive activities”,which they said was issued under pressure from the mob.RK Khare,university’s registrar, said, “Many students from our university along with some members outside the university created ruckus and demanded that Kashmiri students be removed… We needed to maintain decorum in university, so we took action against the 7 students…”BJP leader Anil Goyal, who is one of the owners of the university, said, “On the suggestion of police, and for the safety of the Kashmiri students, we had to take the decision.”indian express
Kashmiri professor at LPU says morphed photo of FB post forced him to resign: indian express
Jalandhar:An assistant professor at Lovely Professional University (LPU) was allegedly forced to resign following a post on social media in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack. Salman Shaheen,who teaches English to B Tech students, has alleged that somebody morphed a photo of his Facebook status to make it seem like he had written something objectionable about the attack. “I had written ‘Instead of using gun in Kashmir, we should use language of love’. I had also posted ‘When blood of Kashmiri people is shed that time we should also promote it’. Another message read, ‘We don’t promote terrorism, let’s not act blind’,”Shaheen said. “Some student morphed the picture of the Facebook post and added ‘What you sow, so shall you reap. This attack is answer to that’.”Shaheen said that when he got to know about the morphed photo, he contacted his HoD. “I contacted my HOD and informed, and next day I took leave and went to Pro-Chancellor’soffice where I explained everything,”he said.“But then she(Pro-Chancellor) told me that the students are angry and that I should resign…I asked her what will happen if I don’t resign and she responded that she would hand me to police.”He said that he submitted his resignation as he “couldn’t have taught” in such conditions.He also claimed that later, a group of people, including students, attempted to confront him at his rented accommodation near the university.After contacting several officials, including J&K Governor’s office, he was later taken away under police protection and is currently in Kashmir.
Muzaffarnagar: Send back Kashmiris working in sugar mill, demand BKU members
Muzaffarnagar:Workers of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Tomar) Tuesday held a protest outside a sugar mill in Muzaffarnagar demanding that Kashmiri employees be sent back with immediate effect.“There are around 200 Kashmiri workers in the mill, while the company claims that there are just 70-80 of them. They throw stones at the army in their region and come here to take shelter. They should be sent back wihtin three days,” said Vishal Ahlawat, block leader of Bharatiya Kisan Union, who was part of demonstration outside Triveni Engineering and Industries Ltd in Khatauli. indianexpress
No threat to Kashmiri students after Pulwama attack: Javadekar
New Delhi:Union HRD Minister, Prakash Javadekar Wednesday denied that students hailing from Kashmir were targeted in many parts of the country in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack. Javadekar said, “There is no threat to Kashmiri students as it is being made out to be. Countrymen are angry because of Pulwama attack, but no Kashmiri student has been assaulted (as a result)”. An estimated 3,000 students from Kashmir attend colleges and institutes in Dehradun. Fearing a backlash, many have already left the city.indianexpress
PDP leaders reach Dehradun to ‘rescue’ Kashmiri students
Dehradun :A team of 4 PDP leaders arrived in Dehradun to “rescue” Kashmiri students who have been feeling threatened by right-wing groups after the recent terror attack in Pulwam.Senior PDP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Mir Mohammad Fayaz, ex PDP MLA Aijaz Ahmad Mir, and PDP leaders Waheed Ur Rehman Para and Parvez Wafa reached the city on Monday.They met the Kashmiri students here, spoke to police, and the heads of institutions where Kashmiri students study to “ensure the safety ofKashmiri students and rescue the ones who feel unsafe in Dehradun,” Ahmad Mir said.IndianExpress
Ground report: 1,600 Kashmiri Muslims take refuge in a Jammu mosque
'Without Food, Plastic Bags for Urination': Sikh Samaritans Come to Rescue of Kashmiris in U'khand
New Delhi: With fear hanging in the air over Kashmiri students being targeted in Dehradun following the Pulwama attack, Khalsa Aid International is reaching out to distressed students and offering them transportation, food and accommodation.Punjab-based NGO has got in touch with JKSO and providing transportation to 250 students waiting to leave for Mohali from Dehradun. “When I saw members of J&K Students’ Organisation are providing help to students facing threats after Pulwama, I followed up with them. We are giving them transportation, food and accommodation.I saw them hungry and scared,”Amarpreet Singh, managing director, Khalsa Aid International, said. He adds, “What is their fault… that they are Kashmiris? We will stand by them and help them. About 250 more students are stranded in Dehradun and want to leave for Jammu. We will take care of their travel.” News18
Hotel in Agra says no rooms for Kashmiris after Pulwama
A hotel in Agra has said it will not give rooms to Kashmiris in their establishment, days after Pulwama attack,drawing criticism from representatives of tourism bodies who have sought intervention by police and administration against the step. Manager of hotel Firdaus Ali justified the pamphlets issuing the restriction and said he took the step as Kashmiris were against India’s defence forces and pelt them with stones in Kashmir.HT
Abu Azmi alleges conspiracy behind Pulwama attack
SP legislator Abu Azmi alleged that Pulwama attack was nothing but a political conspiracy. His remark was in response to the 14 February attack on a CRPF convoy in J&K 's Pulwama that killed around 40 jawans. Talking to the media, Azmi said the incident reminded him of this line: "Sarhado par bahut tanaav hai, zara pata karo kahi chunaav hai". This Govt can do anything to win elections, added Azmi.Times Now
MHA transfers Pulwama case to NIA, team questions suspects in attack
Home Ministry transferred Pulwama attack case to NIA. An official order in this regard was received by NIA at its HQ. Sources said it would file an FIR in the matter.indianexpress
Hizb Valley chief Naikoo warns of more attacks
Srinagar:Days after a suicide car bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into a paramilitary bus, killing 40 CRPF personnel, Hizbul Mujahideen’s operations chief in the Valley, Riyaz Naikoo, has warned of more such attacks, thus signalling a shift in dynamics of militancy in J&K. On Monday, Naikoo released an audio message praising the suicide bomber, Adil Ahmad Dar, and warned against attacks on Kashmiris outside the Valley.The statement assumes significance since it hints at a shift in dynamics of militancy in Kashmir. In his unverified audio message, Naikoo also stated that they are fighting a war in Kashmir, and that the time is not far away when children in Kashmir will wear suicide vests and target security forces in the Valley.indianexpress
Naseeruddin, Kamal Haasan agents of 'Islamikaran' in India: Union Minister Giriraj Singh
Union Minister Giriraj Singh has alleged that actors Naseeruddin Shah and Kamal Haasan are trying to Islamize India."In Pakistan, there are talks of 'ghazwa-e-hind', which means 'Islamikaran' of India (spread of Islam) and have gained momentum after Pulwama attack. Unfortunate that in India, people like Naseeruddin Shah and Kamal Haasan has become an agent of those who talk of 'ghazwa-e-hind'," Singh said.In the recent past, both Shah and Haasan faced intense criticism for their remarks on mob lynching and other issues, however, the duo later issued clarifications over the same. This came after Haasan on Sunday called for a plebiscite in Kashmir and questioned Govt as to what they are "afraid of".While Shah's comments came in the form of a 2.14-minute video uploaded by Amnesty India on its official Twitter handle in Jan. In the video, Shah is heard alleging that artists and actors were "being stifled" and "journalists being silenced."Shah said, "In the name of religion, walls of hate are being erected. Innocents are being killed. The country is awash with horrific hatred and cruelty."He goes on to allege that "those who stand against this injustice are having their offices raided, their licenses cancelled,their bank accounts frozen,their voices silenced."ANI
Congress’ minority appeasement fuels terrorism: Yogi
Bhubaneswar:Uttar Pradesh CM  Yogi Adityanath today launched a sharp attack on the Congress during his Odisha visit, accusing the Congress of following policies that, he alleged, had fuelled terrorism. Adityanath’s pitch was that the country could only remain safe under PM Narendra Modi’s leadership. Addressing a meeting of BJP’s booth-level workers, Adityanath said Manmohan Govt had said minorities have first claim over country’s resources. “Terrorism is the result of this appeasement. Till the appeasement policy is there, this country cannot be saved. This is why PM Modi said we would work for all classes of people,” said UP CM.HT
Forget love jihad, top BJP leaders line up to bless Hindu-Muslim couple
Lucknow: In a departure from the Hindu Right’s stand on ‘love jihad‘, BJP’s top leaders attended an interfaith wedding in Lucknow, where the niece of BJP national general secretary Ram Lal married the son of Congress leader Surheeta Kareem on Saturday. The guest list at the wedding, held at the 5-star hotel Taj Vivanta, included Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, UP Governor Ram Naik, UP deputy CM s Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, and ministers Suresh Khanna and Nand Gopal Nandi.Senior BJP leaders extended their blessings to the interfaith couple, Shriya Gupta and Faizan Kareem, while a section of the BJP in the state criticised the wedding. Former UP minister and expelled BJP leader I.P. Singh tweeted, “Senior leaders of our party spread Hindutva knowledge in the world that there is a threat from Islam. And they are able to take care of their sisters and daughters. They elope with Muslims. This will not be called Love-Jihad since it’s their family matter…”Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad took a dig at RSS — the BJP’s ideological parent — and said the party should let those in love live peacefully.Ram Lal was a senior RSS functionary before he was sent to the BJP.theprint
Assam, Kerala and West Bengal  nurseries of fundamentalism:Assam minister Sarma
Guwahati: Assam finance minister and BJP’s key man Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday said drastic demographic changes in Assam, Kerala and West Bengal have made the three states, along with Jammu & Kashmir, natural nurseries of fundamentalist forces. “The rate at which demographic changes are taking place in Kerala, West Bengal and Assam, these three states, after Kashmir, have become natural growth centres of fundamentalist elements,” he said.TOI
India’s strategy on Maldives delivered results: Nasheed
In around 2 months, when Maldives will elect a new parliament, former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed has a high chance of returning to power – not as the head of state, but as the leader of the political party with the majority in the house. This would cap Maldivian Democratic Party’s return to power after Nasheed ‘resigned’ in 2012 following a mutiny by the security forces – a possibility that even most optimists would not have predicted 6 months ago.Now, with his childhood friend Ibrahim Solih as president, Nasheed’s role is being carefully calibrated.He has been campaigning for the parliamentary polls scheduled for April 7, but also visited New Delhi last week on the invitation of Ministry of External Affairs.In an interview with The Wire, he spoke about India’s role in polls, Indian diplomacy and his job profile after the polls. Nasheed also maintained that China’s influence in Maldives will be curtailed and asserted that Chinese projects will be reviewed. Maldives faces an external debt crisis, with over 75% of its external debt of $1.8 billion owed to China. thewire
57 million indians need treatment for alcohol abuse: Govt Survey
A new Govt report looking at the extent of substance abuse in India found that at least 57 million Indians (5.2% of the population) are dependent on alcohol and need treatment for alcohol abuse.The report also looks at dependency on other substances. It estimates that 7.2 million Indians need treatment for their cannabis dependency, 6 million for opioid dependency and another 4 million need help for their dependency on inhalants, sedatives, amphetamine type stimulants, hallucinogens and cocaine.Alcohol abuse is the biggest problem here: India has an estimated 160 million users of alcohol, according to the survey. This adds up to 14.6% of the Indian population. About 5.2% of the Indian population is in need of treatment for alcohol dependence. Every third alcohol user in the country is abusing alcohol and needs treatment for their addiction. But only one in 38 people with alcohol dependency are reportedly getting any treatment for it.thewire
Kanhaiya Kumar to contest from Begusarai seat in Lok Sabha election
In a major boost for the poll prospects of mahagathbandhan, ex president of JNUSU, Kanhaiya Kumar, will contest the Lok Sabha 2019 elections from Begusarai, Bihar as a CPI candidate.Reliable sources have confirmed that Begusarai unit of CPI has sent a recommendation for Kumar’s candidature. The announcement will be made after approval from the party’s state executive in coming month.nationalheraldindia
Israel plans to divide Al-Aqsa: Palestinian minister
Ramallah:A Palestinian minister today warned of Israeli plans to divide East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque. Israel "is seeking to control the Bab al-Rahma area”, on the eastern wall of Jerusalem’s Old City, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Adnan al-Husseini told a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah. He said Israeli authorities are seeking to turn the area into a Jewish synagogue. “Israel seeks to make the Bab Al-Rahma as an abandoned area with a view to facilitating the annexation process,” al-Husseini said. For years, al-Husseini said, Israel has divided Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on a temporal basis by allowing daily settler incursions into the holy site. On Tuesday, Israeli forces attacked Palestinian Muslim worshippers inside the Al-Aqsa mosque, leaving many of them wounded and arresting others.On Sunday evening, Israeli police briefly shut the Al-Aqsa’s Al-Rahma Gate, triggering Palestinian protests the following day. Anadolu
Jordan MPs demand expulsion of Israeli envoy over Al-Aqsa dispute
A committee within in Jordan's parliament called for the expulsion of Israel's ambassador from the country in response to the latest measures taken by the Israeli army in occupied East Jerusalem. On Monday, Israeli soldiers placed locks and metal chains on al-Rahma gate of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and prevented hundreds of Palestinian worshippers from entering the site, while several were arrested inside the compound.In a statement read to Jordan's parliament on Tuesday, the Palestine Parliamentary Committee also called for the return of Jordan's envoy from Tel Aviv."We call on Govt to recall the Jordanian ambassador from Tel Aviv, and to expel Israeli ambassador in Amman," the statement read. aljazeera
US court reopens Palestinian lawsuit against billionaire Israel donor Adelson
A US appeals court has reopened a billion-dollar lawsuit against Jewish-American tycoon Sheldon Adelson, which seeks to hold him and more than 30 others liable for war crimes and support of Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt). US Court of Appeals for District of Columbia (DC) Circuit yesterday voted unanimously in favour of reopening the case, arguing that a federal district judge concluded wrongly in August 2017 that all of the plaintiffs’ claims raised political questions that could not be decided in US courts, Ynet has reported. At the time, the district judge claimed that the lawsuit raised political questions over which the court had no authority, including who has sovereignty over the occupied West Bank, occupied East Jerusalem and the besieged Gaza Strip. Yesterday, however, US Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson said that the sovereignty issue was separate from a broader question of whether war crimes were being committed in the oPt, reported Fortune Magazine.MEMO
Report: 60 Palestinian prisoners died due to improper healthcare in Israel prisons
Some 219 Palestinian prisoners have died in Israeli detention since 1967,rights groups have said, noting that 60 died due to improper healthcare,78 were intentionally murdered,74 tortured to death and 7 were shot to death, Safa reported. Based on interviews with directors of several rights groups fighting for the rights of Palestinian and Arab prisoners, Safa said that there are 750 male and female Palestinian prisoners who are in need to medical care currently being held in Israeli jails.MEMO
US study examines Israel’s ‘targeting’ of Palestinian agricultural, water and energy infrastructures
Researchers at Duke University and University of New Hampshire have examined how “Israel’s targeting of agricultural, water and energy infrastructures in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has had dire impacts on human welfare and livelihoods in both locations”.According to Duke University press release, the new report “is based on an original database that identifies 982 incidents between 2006 and 2017 in which Israeli forces, agencies or settlers damaged, destroyed, disabled or restricted access to sites and structures that provided food, clean water and other essential services to Palestinians”. Data from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank comes from a larger database that documents targeting of infrastructure across Middle East and North Africa. Analysis was published in journal International Affairs.
Poland asks Israel to apologise for ‘slanderous’ remarks
The Govt of Poland said it is still waiting for an apology from Israel following “slanderous” remarks made by senior officials regarding the role of Poles in the Nazi Holocaust.International media widely reported the Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek saying yesterday: “We leave it to Israeli leaders to choose what form of reaction they will have and who will react, but it should be a unified and definite one.”Polish official described the remarks of the acting Israeli foreign minister Yisrael Katz as “shameful, scandalous and slanderous” and they require an “unequivocal and definite” reaction.middleeastmonitor
Egypt executes 9 political prisoners despite global outcry
Egypt has executed 9 young men convicted over the 2015 killing of the country’s top prosecutor, a prison source and a lawyer confirmed this morning, despite international condemnation from rights groups over the death sentences, with concerns over due process violations. The men were among a group of 28 who were sentenced to death in 2017 for allegedly planning the assassination of prosecutor Hisham Barakat, who was killed in a car bomb attack on his convoy in Cairo two years previously.Despite allegations that the men were convicted in unfair trials, their appeal was rejected by Egypt’s highest appeals court on 25 Feb2018. Some 13 others were also convicted in absentia, one of whom – Mohammed Abdel-Hafiz – was deported from Turkey last month and is likely to face a new trial over the same accusations.Several of the men said they had been forcibly disappeared and tortured in order to confess to the killing.Ealier, Amnesty International urged Egyptian authorities to halt the executions, condemning Cairo’s frequent use of the death penalty.MEMO
Algeria: Brotherhood Prez candidate attacks Saudi, UAE
Abdul Razzaq Muqri, Head of Algerian Movement for a Society of Peace (MSP), has attacked Saudi Arabia and UAE for their alleged role in what is known as the “Deal of the Century” which aims at crashing the Palestinian cause. Muqri, who is running for office in Algeria, stated that “Saudi Arabia is exploiting its influence and connections to enforce the Deal of the Century and normalise relations with the Zionist entity, while UAE is concocting the scheme with the occupation state to concretise such plot.”He added: “normalisation will never see the light as long as the Arab nations are conscious of the Palestinian cause and reject Israel.Zionist entity knows perfectly well that there is no hope for survival unless the Arabs accept it, and this will never happen. However, the Arab regimes which attempt to normalise with Israel are seeking to preserve their thrones and steal the wealth of the nation. As such, the occupation state will never benefit from these efforts eventually. ”Muqri explained that “the history of normalisation with the occupation state indicated that at no point of time, what so ever, the normalisation was beneficial for any country that has developed relations with Israel”.middleeastmonitor
Bangladesh Jamaat mulls formation of a new party:report
Dhaka: Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami is now under pressure following its central leader Abdur Razzak's resignation over the party's failure to seek apology for its role during the Liberation War and bring reforms in the party, say insiders.To stop the morale of party men going down, the top bosses are assuring grassroots leaders and activists of launching a new organisation soon. A 5-member committee has already been formed in this regard with the party's secretary general being handed the task to lead the body.Many inside the party had been suggesting that the party should be dissolved and a new one should be launched with a new name.The conservative faction of the party, however, did not pay any heed to the suggestion. Fearing that many party men can follow Razzak, Jamaat sent an urgent notice to its party leaders assuring them of forming a new organisation and explaining Razzak's resignation and majlish-e-shura member Majibur Rahman's expulsion. The decision of forming a new organisation was taken in a meeting of Jamaat's executive council on 14 Jan, according to the notice sent to the party leaders. A top Jamaat leader said, another committee led by its central leader Hamidur Rahman was earlier formed after the party had lost its registration as a political party. But, that initiative did not see light, he added.In the letter, Jamaat also requested its leaders not to make any offensive remarks on Abdur Razzak.In the same letter it was mentioned that Majibur Rahman was not on the same page with the party on a number of issues, which was embarrassing. He could not be controlled in any way, it said.Majibur Rahman recently travelled different parts of the country and held talks with leaders of various tiers to form a new organisation. Many leaders, however, did not respond to his initiative. An observer and well wisher of Jamaat, former secretary Shah Abdul Hannan told Prothom Alo that Jamaat will seek apology again if needed. The party is working to launch a new party, he said.Prothom Alo
Bangla Jamaat leader Delawar Sayedee’s son lands in jail
Pirojpur:A court here has sent Masud Sayedee, chairman of Indurkani upazila parishad and son of Delawar Hossain Sayedee, to jail in a case filed under the Explosive Substances Act. Additional District and Session’s Judge Shamsul Haque passed the order when Masud surrendered before his court on expiry of his six-week bail obtained from the High Court.Tipped off that Masud along with other Jamaat-e-Islami leaders was holding a secret meeting at a house at Saidkhali village in Indurkani upazila on the night of Dec.25, police conducted a drive there and arrested 2 Jamaat men, said prosecution lawyer Advocate Khan Md Alauddin. The following day, officer-in-charge of Indukani Police Station filed a case accusing three named and 12 unnamed Jamaat men, including Masud.UNB
IS  steps up guerrilla attacks in Syria: SDF
Beirut:Islamic State has stepped up guerrilla attacks against US-backed fighters in eastern Syria, pointing to the threat jihadists will pose even after they lose their last enclave there, the SDF said on Tuesday.SDF is on the brink of defeating IS in its last pocket in eastern Syria, the village of Baghouz, where it estimates a few hundred Islamic State fighters and about 2,000 civilians are under siege.IS militants have intensified attacks away from the last frontline in recent days, Mustafa Bali, head of the SDF media office, said.Reuters
Twitter suspends Pak govt spokesperson’s account
Twitter has suspended the personal account of Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal. According to  Pakistan media, account was blocked on Tuesday after Indian authorities complained to the microblogging website.Geo News reported that Faisal’s account was suspended as he was giving his followers updates about “Indian atrocities” in J&K  and Kulbhushan Jadhav case which is being heard at International Court of Justice.Meanwhile, Pak Foreign Ministry’s official Twitter account,which bears Faisal’s name,remains active.IANS
Gaddafi funded Sarkozy’s campaign, Libya spy chief tells French judges
Former French President Nicholas Sarkozy accepted nearly $8 million from Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi to finance his 2007 presidential election campaign, Libya’s ex-spy chief Mohamed Abdulla Senussi confirmed to French officials, according to Mediapart. 2 judges who travelled from Paris to Tripoli this week interviewed Senussi, who was also the brother-in-law of the Libyan colonel, as part of their ongoing investigation into financial ties between Gaddafi and Sarkozy, particularly in the run up to the 2007 French elections. Mediapart said it had gained access to extracts from the statements provided by the former Libyan intelligence chief, who reportedly detailed to French officials how he oversaw the multi-million dollar payment for Sarkozy’s campaign, as ordered by Colonel Gaddafi.MEMO
Iran decries 'US hypocrisy' over planned nuke sale to Saudis
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said the attempt to sell nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia by US was hypocritical of Washington.Zarif's comment on Twitter today came after reports that the administration of President Donald Trump is trying to bypass US Congress to advance the sale of nuclear power plants to Saudi."Day by day it becomes clearer to the world what was always clear to us: neither human rights nor a nuclear program have been the real concern of the US," Zarif wrote in a tweet.aljazeera
flash: views & NEWS
Triple talaq legislation does not have anything to do with women’s empowerment: Sushmita Dev
Kashmiris, soft targets after terror attacks, blame post-Pulwama media frenzy for unprecedented backlash:Adnan Bhat
Censor Board banned 793 films including award-winning film Parzania on Guj riots, in 16 years: RTI
How Kashmiris, those criticising BJP after Pulwama are being targeted in Bengal:Monobina Gupta
In the Coming Lok Sabha Campaign, Kashmir Issue Will be Fully Politicised:M.K. Venu
Interview: 'Post Sachar Report, Condition of Indian Muslims Unchanged'
In Pulwama, Modi Has Found the Trigger He Needed Before 2019 Elections:Prem Shankar Jha
Saudi-India-Pakistan triangle:Mohammed Ayoob

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:01 PM)



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