24 February 2019

24 Feb.NEWS DIGEST: No change in stance on Article 35A, only elected govt can take stand: J&K Admin/ Shutdown in parts of Valley against detention of J&K Jamaat leaders, Yasin Malik/ Mob burns Deputy CM’s house, destroys police station in Arunachal

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
24 Feb. 2019: 18 Jamadiul-II 1440:Vol:11, No:136
No change in stance on Article 35A, only elected govt can take stand: J&K Administration
Jammu: Putting all speculations to rest, J&K administration on Sunday said only an elected Govt  would be able to take a stand on Article 35-A before the Supreme Court, which is hearing a bunch of petitions challenging its validity.Addressing a press conference, senior bureaucrat Rohit Kansal, who has been designated as the chief spokesperson of the governor's administration, said, "Stand of the state Govt  on the request of deferment of hearing on Article 35A in the Supreme Court remains the same as requested by them on Feb.11."He was replying to a question on whether there was a change in the stand of the governor's administration on the contentious issue.Urging citizens not to pay heed to rumours, Kansal said, "Over the past few days several rumours have been circulated and panic messages disseminated. Most of these have been based on unsubstantiated or exaggerated pieces of information."J&K Govt's counsel had sought permission from the Supreme Court for circulating a letter among the contesting parties for adjourning the upcoming hearing on pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A as there was no "elected Govt" in the state. The SC is scheduled to hear the petitions challenging Article 35A soon. A bench, comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, was told by lawyer Shoeb Alam, representing the state Govt, on Feb.11 that he was seeking its nod to circulate the letter among the parties for getting the scheduled hearing deferred."On the day of listing, the undersigned (Alam) shall be requesting for an adjournment in the matter since presently, there is no elected Govt in the state which is under President's Rule."The matter involves a sensitive issue regarding a challenge to Article 35A of the Constitution of India. A short reply has been filed by the state. It will therefore be requested that the matter may kindly be heard when an elected Govt is in place," state Govt said in the letter.PTI
J&K Govt seeks adjournment on Article 35A hearing in SC -seeks-adjournment-on-article-35a-hearing-in-supreme-court-5598926/
SC hearing on Article 35A not likely till Tuesday
J&K: Shutdown in parts of Valley against detention of J&K Jamaat leaders, Yasin Malik
Normal life was hit in Kashmir Valley on Sunday due to the Joint Resistance Leadership’s call for a shutdown. The group, comprising separatists Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, had called for a bandh following Malik’s detention and a police crackdown on Jamaat-e-Islami J&K, GK reported. Malik was detained on Friday evening. Joint Resistance Leadership had issued a statement on Saturday condemning the “dictatorial policy of cracking the whip and arbitrary arrests against Kashmiris by those calling the shots in J&K”, Kashmir Reader reported. The group added that deployment of 12,000 paramilitary personnel in the state also indicated that “something is cooking”. The group had also urged people to observe a shutdown to defend Article 35A of the Indian Constitution.The article, incorporated into Indian Constitution in 1954, grants special rights and privileges to the citizens of J&K. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear petitions against the article on Monday.All shops and commercial establishments in Srinagar and other district headquarters of the Valley remained closed on Sunday. A complete bandh was also observed in Bannihal town. However, the police continued to detain leaders of the Jamaat on Sunday. Hurriyat (G) leader Ghulam Nabi Sumjhi was arrested from his Bijbehara residence early in the morning. Jamaat-e-Islami Vice President, Ahli Hadees leader Mushtaq Ahmad Veeri were also held.The security forces also arrested 8 more activists of the organisation from Anantnag. As many as 15 people, including 5 Jamaat-e-Islami activists, were arrested from Shopian. Bashir Ahmad Rather, brother of Peoples League member Nisar Ahmad Rather, was arrested from Dadsara in Tral.Nearly 200 people, many of them linked to Jamaat-e-Islami, were arrested on Saturday as part of a crackdown in Kashmir that coincided with the Union home ministry orders to move reinforcements to Kashmir.“Police took away our district president Mushtaq Ahmad Veeri and his deputy Shiraz Ahmad Hajam. Besides member of another faction of Jamiat has also been detained,” said Jamiat Ahli Hadees (JAH) secretary general Abdul Lateef Alkindi,HT reported. Meanwhile, Farooq Abdullah told Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh about panic prevailing in the Valley, party vice president Omar Abdullah tweeted. “He has requested the Union Govt to step in with a statement and steps that reassure people.”
Kashmir shuts down against ‘arbitrary arrests’, crackdown
After Mass Arrests, Official Orders to Stock Medicines, Food Fuel Panic in Kashmir
Tampering with Article 370, Article 35A will render instrument of accession of J&K null and void:Mufti
Srinagar:PDP president Mehbooba Mufti today said any tinkering with Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution, which provide special status to J&K, will render null and void the State’s Instrument of Accession with India.“Article 370 is the constitutional connection between J&K & Indian Union. Instrument of accession is contingent on Article 370 which is inextricably linked to Article 35A. Any tampering will render Treaty of Accession null & void,” Ms. Mufti said in a series of tweets. She said Kashmir Valley is rife with speculation about the status of Article 35A.“Before taking a decision, GoI (Govt of India) must consider that J&K was the only Muslim-majority State that chose a secular India over Pak during partition,” she added. Mufti cautioned that Kashmiris should not be blamed for the developments if the special provision was scrapped. “Those frothing at the mouth & calling for its removal shouldn’t blame Kashmiris for the developments that will follow such a hare-brained decision,” she said.PTI
People need not panic, induction of forces only for elections: J&K Governor
New Delhi:As panic gripped the Valley following the induction of 100 companies of central police forces and a few announcements by the state Govt, J&K governor Satya Pal Malik on Sunday appealed to the people to remain calm and not to believe in rumours. Malik reiterated that the people need not panic and the induction of forces be seen only in the context of conducting elections.“Rumours about curfews and other actions should not be believed. There is some security related action being taken by the forces, but this is purely related to Pulwama attack which is unprecedented one,”Malik he said.“The response of security forces is guided solely by the need to counter both the impact and any further action that may be taken by terrorist groups who are still out to disrupt our country and its democratic processes,” he said while chairing an informal meeting of State Administrative Council.The state Govt  had on Saturday ordered a slew of measures, including stocking of fuel, cancelling the winter vacation of the medical faculty and directing ration shops to complete the sale of foodgrains by evening, which had created panic among the locals.indianexpress
J&K: Section 144 in Poonch, Rajouri after shops, vehicles set on fire
Pak MP Ramesh Kumar meets Modi, Sushma, denies country’s hand in Pulwama attack
New Delhi : At a time when India-Pakistan ties are at an all-time low in the wake of the Pulwama attack, an MP of ruling PTI met PM  Narendra Modi and held discussions with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, a Hindu parliamentarian from Pakistan, denied Islamabad’s involvement in Pulwama attack.“I assured (Sushma Swaraj) that there is no Pakistani involvement in the Pulwama attack. We should move in a positive direction, we want peace,” ANI quoted Vankwani, a high-profile leader of Hindus in Pakistan, as saying.MP of the Imran Khan-led party was part of a foreign delegation that was invited to attend the Kumbh Mela by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). Vankwani also met Minister of State of External Affairs VK Singh on the sidelines of the event.indianexpress
Pak MP Kumar  meets Modi and Sushma, offers to mediate between countries
J&K Police Officer Killed, 2 Soldiers Injured in Kulgam Encounter
A senior police officer was killed and two soldiers, including a Major, were injured in an encounter between militants and security forces in Kulgam district of J&K on Sunday, reported ANI. DSP Aman Thakur was killed in the exchange of fire, police officials told PTI.A militant was also gunned down in the encounter, officials said, adding that the identity and the group affiliation of the slain ultra were being ascertained.On Sunday, security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in Turigam area of Kulgam following information about the presence of militants in the area.The Quint
Punjab sets up helpline for Kashmiris facing threats
Punjab Police set up a toll-free helpline number – 181 – to deal with the complaints lodged by Kashmiris, days after CM  Amarinder Singh assured full support for students from the Valley in Punjab.indianexpress
Jammu: Hindu, Muslim Dogras warn ‘outsiders’ against incitement
Jammu:Even as political parties are brazenly trying to exploit the prevailing situation of the Jammu region, Dogras — both Hindus and Muslims — cautioned outsiders against inciting people for their petty political gains.Dogra leaders vowed to frustrate the nefarious designs of outsiders, who, according to them, were trying to turn Jammu into a battlefield to further their decisive agenda in the region.“We, Dogras — both Hindus and Muslims — are competent enough to solve our issues amicably without any help from the outsiders with vested interests,” Sujat Khan, general secretary of the Anjuman-e-Imamia, said. Khan said there were a few Muslim families in Jullaka Mohalla, where he lives, but there was no fear among them due to their centuries-old bond. “We are living here for a long time and there’s no reason to be afraid.”A meeting of prominent leaders of the Dogra community, irrespective of caste or religious, would be convened to formulate peace committees to frustrate the divisive designs of outsiders of any religion, he said.Echoing sentiments, BS Slathia, president of the J&K High Court Bar Association (Jammu) and a prominent Dogra leader, said, “Outsiders who are trying to teach us the lesson of secularism should do so in their own areas. For centuries, Dogras have been living in total harmony and brotherhood.” The Tribune
Lucknow: 10-day custody for men held for alleged Jaish links
Lucknow :A local court here sent two Kashmiris, arrested by UP’s ATS from a hostel in Deoband late Thursday night for suspected links with Jaish-e-Mohammad, to 10-day police custody.The youths – Shahnawaz Teli (26) and Aqib Ahmad Malik (28)– were brought to Lucknow on a transit remand Saturday.When they were taken to the court, a group of lawyers protested. Police said that the protestors reportedly attempted to drag the youths outside the vehicle. Later, additional police force was called in and the two were produced before the court. “Shahnawaz and Aqib have been sent to police custody for 10 days,”said IG, ATS,Asim Kumar.indianexpress
Invitation to OIC 'misplaced euphoria', 'futile exercise' to mislead people: Congress
New Delhi: Congress has expressed surprise that the Govt was celebrating the invitation to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for OIC's inaugural plenary, dubbing it a "misplaced euphoria" and a "futile exercise" to mislead the people of India.Party spokesperson Anand Sharma asked PM Narendra Modi and Swaraj to respect past position of India of not attending meetings of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) till it is accepted as a full member, given its large Muslim population."I am surprised at Govt  celebrating the invitation to Swaraj to address OIC meeting in UAE. The euphoria is misplaced and it is a futile exercise to mislead the public opinion in India," he said.Sharma, who was the minister of state of external affairs in the UPA Govt, said that in the past India has always taken a firm position with respect to its engagement with the OIC, a powerful grouping of Muslim majority nations. "India has rejected OIC's offer for observer status and made it clear that given the size of its Muslim population, OIC must give India the status of a full member to facilitate the Indian State's engagement with OIC," he said."We would advise the PM and the external affairs minister to respect the past position of India and go for the OIC meeting only when India ia accepted as a full member," he said. MEA called the OIC invitation a "welcome recognition" of the presence of 185 million Muslims in India and of their contribution to its pluralistic ethos, and of India's contribution to Islamic world. Official sources said it was for the first time, India has been invited to an OIC meeting as guest of honour.PTI
In a first, India Invited as ‘Guest of Honour’ to OIC Meet, Sushma Swaraj to Attend
Mob burns Deputy CM’s house, destroys police station in Arunachal
The law and order situation in Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar worsened on Feb.24 with a mob burning down Deputy CM Chowna Mein’s multi-storeyed private residence. Separate groups of people also advanced toward CM  Pema Khandu’s private residence apart from vandalising the city’s main police station and the office of the deputy commissioner. Army and paramilitary personnel, called to restore normality, were pelted with stones too.Violence in Itanagar, triggered by Govt’s move to provide permanent resident certificates (PRC) to 6 non-tribal communities living in the Frontier State for decades, appeared to have subsided after Khandu announced on Feb.22 night that PRC issue would not be discussed during the ongoing Assembly session.On Feb. 23, city administration clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC and sought the help of the Army that conducted a flag-march. But irate locals defied the restrictions to gather in large groups after a man who had allegedly sustained bullet injuries on Friday night died in a Guwahati hospital on Sunday.Another man from Kimin area in Papum Pare district had died Friday due to firing when a mob stormed the State Secretariat. It could not be confirmed if the man was killed in police firing or by “miscreants”.Mob violence spread to Naharlagun, which along with Itanagar, is State's Capital Complex, with a shopping complex owned by Environment and Forest Minister Nabam Rebia burnt down. Rebia headed the joint high power committee that recommends granting PRC to 6 non-tribal communities in the State.thehindu
Live: 1,000 ITBP personnel dispatched to Arunachal
Arunachal protests: Mob burns down deputy CM’s home as violence breaks out in Itanagar
'Stand to protect India, but seen as doubtful citizen': Army soldier who served at Siachen fighting to prove citizenship in Assam
An Indian Army soldier named Shahidul Islam, hailing from Assam's Barpeta district and currently posted in Kolkata, is fighting to prove his Indian citizenship in Assam to be included in NRC. He is now contesting a case at Foreigners' Tribunal Number 11 of Barpeta district to prove that he is an Indian citizen. 43-year-old told Indian Express that he served in Baramulla in North Kashmir and at the Siachen Glacier before being posted in Kolkata in Oct. "I have been posted in Kashmir, Kargil, and Siachen. I love my country and stand to protect it. But back home in Assam, I am seen as a doubtful citizen," he said.The paper quoted Islam as saying that he received the first notice to appear at Foreigners' Tribunal in Oct. Sources in border police confirmed to Indian Express that the reference case against Shahidul Islam and his family members was made in 2003 Shahidul, his mother and his brother were to appear in court on 9 November. His brothers — 27-year-old CISF trooper Mizanur Ali and 29-year-old Delbor Ali, with Army Medical Corps since 2010 — are also mentioned with their father Abdul Hamid as minors in the 2003 reference case.Their father died in Aug.2005.The next hearing in his case has been scheduled for 18 March, but the army subedar says there is a chance he may not be able to make it as he may "be on the move".firstpost
Soldier who served at Siachen fights to prove citizenship
Police: Bajrang Dal Man Behind Kidnap, Killing of Twin Boys in MP
MP Police arrested 6 people today, in connection with the abduction and killing of two children from MP's Chitrakoot. Arrests came amid protests against the killing of the children. Protests took place in MP's Chitrakoot after two children who were abducted from a school bus in district on 12 Feb.were found dead in a river in Uttar Pradesh's Banda on Sunday morning.Rewa IG Chanchal Shekhar said to ANI that the mastermind behind the crime was Vishnukant Shukla, the local area coordinator of the Bajrang Dal. IG added that while Shukla was the mastermind, he didn't directly participate in the crime. Police said that the primary accused was Vishnukant Shukla's older brother Padam Shukla.The police, in their statement to ANI, said that a bike and a car were used in the crime.Rewa IG added that the words 'Ram Rajya' were written on the number plate of the bike and that the car used in the crime carried a BJP flag.Shreyansh and Priyansh Rawat were reportedly kidnapped at gunpoint from their school bus near Chitrakoot's Nayagaon, HT reported.The report added that the boys' family had already paid Rs 20 lakh in ransom to the kidnappers, but that the kidnappers had raised the demand to Rs 1 crore. The boys were reportedly killed on 21 Feb.Thousands reportedly took to the streets after the bodies of the two boys were discovered early Sunday. The police fired tear gas shells to control the mob.thequint
Fascist forces entered all institutions: Arundhati Roy
Tiruchy: Writer and activist Arundhati Roy on Saturday said there may be a lot of dreams for people of the State, but their first action should be to vote out the BJP in the coming elections. “Fascist forces like BJP are not only present in politics but have penetrated into all institutions in nation,” she said speaking at a conference organised by Makkal Adhikaram in the city,  and asked people to be vigilant.Addressing the gathering, Roy said that after Narendra Modi became PM , it became clear that casteism and corporatism were intertwined. “Earlier the struggles and fights of Communists against capitalists, minorities against the majority, oppressed against dominant were isolated struggles.” And added, “We need to thank Modi for one thing, for showing us that they are all intertwined.”new indianexpress
Karachi Bakery harassment: 9 arrested by Bengaluru Police
Bengaluru Police has arrested nine men in connection with the harassment of staff at a city outlet of Karachi Bakery, The Hindu reported. The men are residents of Halasuru and nearby areas, the report said.Police are questioning them to find others involved. One of the men works at a printing press and another in a hotel, though they have all claimed to be social workers. 9 were booked for rioting and criminal breach of trust, Deccan Herald reported.On Friday, a group of people had protested at Indiranagar branch of the bakery, ostensibly objecting that the company bears the name of a city in Pakistan, which they have accused of supporting terrorism against India. The incident was reported a week after the attack in Pulwama. After this, the word “Karachi” had been covered on the bakery’s signboard. The bakery clarified that it was “absolutely Indian by heart”, and founded by Khanchand Ramnani, who migrated to India during the
VVPAT audit of EVMs must be proper, not just tokenism, ex-bureaucrats say in open letter                                      
A group of former bureaucrats has dismissed the need to switch back to the ballot, saying that instead, voter-verifiable paper audit trail-based confirmation of votes cast on electronic voting machines must be implemented properly.In an open letter, the retired bureaucrats said they were concerned about the recent controversies surrounding the use of electronic voting machines. They pointed out problems with the use of VVPAT slips, which they said should be properly implemented, not in a “perfunctory” manner.The letter said that the number of machines for which the Election Commission uses VVPAT slips is a “statistically incorrect sample size”, and the chances of that sample size detecting a malfunctioning machine are low and “unacceptable” for a democracy. The former bureaucrats urged the poll panel to use a sample size that can detect at least one defective machine with 99.9% reliability.“Spending hundreds of crores of rupees on procurement of VVPAT units makes little sense if their utilisation for audit purposes is reduced to an exercise in tokenism,” the letter said.Former Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung, former Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah and former Deputy Governor of RBI Ravi Vira Gupta are among the signatories of the
In show of strength, Ambedkar and Owaisi take on Congress
Mumbai :In a show of strength on Saturday, Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh chief Prakash Ambedkar and AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, who have come together to form the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA), held a rally at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park, where both criticised the Congress over its alleged soft Hindutva stand and exploitation of Dalits and minorities.Congress has been dithering over allying with VBA for Lok Sabha polls, as it feels that associating with a front that includes AIMIM could put off Hindu voters.“You (people) gave chance to Congress for 70 years. All of us, including Muslims, have faced the side effects of this. The tide is now turning against the current system. After 70 years (of Independence), what is the situation in this country? We have been giving applications for jobs and for fulfilling our needs for the last 70 years, but those were thrown in the dustbin,” Ambedkar said while addressing the rally.The two leaders had set up VBA in an attempt to consolidate the Muslim-Dalit vote and provide an alternate to the established alliances like the Congress-NCP and BJP-Shiv Sena in the state. VBA, which is planning to contest over a dozen seats in the state, managed to draw a substantial crowd in its first major rally in Mumbai. indianexpress
BJP general secretary describes muslim Congress MLA from Bhopal as 'beef-eater'
BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya stoked controversy on Saturday by referring to a Muslim MLA of the Congress in Madhya Pradesh as a "beef-eater" during a party event.BJP leader, known for making controversial statements, was talking about party candidate Surendra Nath Singh's defeat from Bhopal (Central)assembly seat.Vijayvargiya said,"Your (Singh's) loss caused me the greatest anguish. It is surprising that a nationalist Govt which stopped cow slaughter was in power (in the state), but a beef-eater won against you. It is a matter of shame for all of us." In the Nov.elections, Congress's Arif Masood defeated Singh by 14,757 votes. The Congress ended BJP's 15-year rule in the state in the polls.Reacting to the comment, Masood said, "Vijayvargiya should produce evidence as to when I ate beef. I have never had a meal with the BJP general secretary. This (remark) only shows his frustration." Masood claimed he had never eaten beef in his life, and he won from a seat where Hindus are in a majority."I was elected by all sections of society while BJP only focused on dividing people," he said.PTI
Writing generates fear among oppressor caste forces: Dalit writer Kancha Ilaiah
New Delhi :Writing is the only medium that generates fear among the oppressor caste forces and can change the conditions of the oppressed Dalitbahujans, believes activist Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd.Dalit writer has come out with his memoirs “From a Shepherd Boy to an Intellectual” in which he also talks of the struggle for education and dignity that a great majority of Indians undergo.“Many people from the Brahmin-Baniya castes have written about their own greatness in their autobiographies, in English and in the regional languages. But I have not seen even a single autobiography of a person born and brought up in the shepherd community,” he says.“Writing is the only medium that can change the conditions of the oppressed Dalitbahujans. After (B R ) Ambedkar, I took up this task, and this writing has to be done on a continuous basis, generation after generation,” Ilaiah Shepherd writes in the book, brought out by Sage Publications.“There is no doubt that such writing generates fear among the oppressor caste forces. What I have realised in my lifetime is that caste-centred change is resisted more than class-centred change. This is because caste hegemony gets into the bloodstream of people born into those castes. So also caste inferiority gets into the bloodstream of the oppressed castes,” he argues.PTI
Maharashtra Muslims to paddle march to demand for reservations
Muslims of Maharashtra had organised a protest when CM Devendra Fadnavis had announced 16% reservations for Marathas in Nov. They had demanded for 5% reservations in education and employment but things did not move forward.Once again the Muslim Reservation Federation (MRF) are coming together to organise a protest rally in the form of Paddle March from Bhiwandi to Mumbai. They will cover a distance of 50 Km.The march will commence today in Bhiwandi and conclude on Tueday at Azad Maidan, Mumbai. They will submit a memorandum to the CM  of Maharashtra with demands not  just for the Muslim minority community but also for other minorities of Maharashtra.Convenor of Muslim Reservation Federation Shaikh Asif will lead the paddle march as he had earlier organised paddle march in 2003 from Malegaon to Mumbai covering 300 km.TCN
Odisha: Muslims demand 10% reservation
Bhubaneswar:Odisha Muslim Reservation Movement on Saturday submitted a memorandum to CM  Naveen Patnaik demanding a 10-%  reservation in education, employment, Assembly and Lok Sabha for the Muslims. Movement chairman Dr Salim told a Press conference here that if Muslims are given reservation, they can excel in education, employment and politics.He regretted that even if Muslims are given reservation in different States, they are yet to get it in Odisha.Dr Salim said that the conditions of Muslims in the State are deteriorating day by day. He also threatened that if reservation is not provided the Muslim community would boycott the upcoming elections.daily pioneer
After kicking up storm on Azan, Sonu Nigam says demolition of Babri Masjid was wrong
Singer Sonu Nigam, who faced huge backlash in 2017 for expressing his disgust over the use of loudspeaker for azan, Muslims’ call for prayers, has made a stunning statement over the demolition of Babri Masjid on 6 Dec.1992. The singer said that the act to demolish Babri Masjid was wrong.“I am never in favour of demolishing any temples or mosques. First, it was wrong to demolish Babri Masjid. That single act is responsible for everything wrong now. It shouldn’t have happened,” he told Times Now channel.Nigam added, “I agree (Mughal emperor) Babar was wrong to have demolished the temple, built at the birth place of Ram. There can be no bigger mistake or foolishness than this. Ok, he made that mistake. Now is it right for others, several generations after Babar, to avenge that act? This is not right…This is not forward thinking at all.”jantakareporter
Most people trust 'neutral media':New report on fake news
New Delhi: A new report looks at the specific nature of the fake news problem in India. The report assumes significance in the run up to the Indian general elections this year, as a number of other countries like Brazil and the US have seen damaging upticks in the spread of fake news around elections.The presence of misinformation and fake news raises the “possibility of false and misleading information swaying the election”, says report.The report, titled ‘Countering Misinformation (Fake News) in India: Solutions and Strategies’, has been published by Factly Media and Research and Internet and Mobile Association of India.While much of the research, literature and policy interventions on fake news has happened by the West or in the West, this report aims to provide an India-specific understanding of the phenomenon.One part of the report is a web survey of 1,286 respondents. They were asked to identify a number of statements as true or false and give reasons. The report says there could be a margin of error of 3-5%.The survey found that it is those under 20 and over 50 – young and the old – who are most susceptible to fake news.These are also the brackets that may be relatively new to the use of technology such as internet and smartphones. Those who are less familiar are also more susceptible to falling for fake news, says the report.With regard to sources of news, the survey found that newspapers still remains the top source of information for people across age groups, while social media usage is largely motivated by the desire to connect with family and friends and to exchange relevant information.But trust in mainstream media is low. This is what drives people to share information on social media instead.If there is trust in the media, then people tend to trust “neutral media.” thewire
Assam hooch tragedy death toll jumps to 133
The death toll in the Assam hooch tragedy increased to 133 on Sunday, with over 200 people hospitalised in Golaghat and Jorhat districts, authorities said.The toll was confirmed by ADGP, who added that 10 people have been arrested in connection with the sale and manufacture of the illicit liquor known as 'Sulai mod' in Assamese.Meanwhile, an Excise Department official said that a total of 90 cases have been registered regarding the unauthorised sale and production of hooch and also for violating the excise law.IANS
AIADMK MP S Rajendran dies in car accident
New Delhi :AIADMK leader and Member of Parliament S Rajendran, 62, died in a car accident Saturday. Rajendran was elected from Villupuram in Tamil Nadu to Lok Sabha in 2014.A police official was quoted as saying by PTI: “2 others who were with MP, his driver and a relative who assisted him in his work, were taken to a local hospital and then shifted to Govt  Hospital.”
Relief for home buyers as GST Council accords big relief to real estate sector
Coming as a big relief to the real estate sector, GST Council on Sunday accorded GST payable for under-construction flat has now been reduced to 5% from the existing rate of 12%. 33rd meeting of GST Council was chaired by Union Minister Arun Jaitley.He also announced that the GST rate on affordable housing has been reduced to 1% from 8%. New GST rate for both doesn’t include input tax credit (ITC). The slashed tax rates will be effective from April 1, 2019.NewsX newsx
US, Russia to find ways to lift travel ban on Taliban leaders for peace talks
Kabul: US and Russia have agreed to explore options on securing travel waivers for Taliban negotiators to participate in talks to end the war in Afghanistan, US peace envoy said ahead of a fresh round of peace talks scheduled on Monday.Lifting the travel ban imposed over Taliban leaders by UN has been one of the key demands of the hardline Islamic group that started negotiations with US officials in 2018 to end 17-year-old war.US special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who is leading the peace talks with the Taliban, discussed the issue of lifting the travel ban for Taliban leaders with his Russian counterpart Zamir Kabulov in Ankara on Friday. "Amb (Ambassador) Kabulov and I also discussed travel barriers to talks. We will explore options for securing UN travel waivers for Taliban negotiators to participate in peace talks," he wrote on Twitter.U.S. officials familiar with discussions said lifting the travel ban on some Taliban leaders could help accelerate the pace of ongoing negotiations.Afghan Taliban said it would resume negotiations on Monday with the United States in Qatar, insisting the meeting "will prove positive" despite propaganda against the peace process.Reuters
Afghan civilian deaths hit record high in 2018:UN
More civilians were killed in the Afghan war in 2018 than during any other year on record, according to a UN report released on Sunday.Civilian deaths jumped by 11 %  from 2017 with 3,804 people killed, including 927 children, and another 7,189 people wounded, according to UN figures, as suicide attacks and bombings wreaked havoc across the war-torn country.The report was released a day before the US and the Taliban hold their next round of talks aimed at ending the conflict, raising tentative hopes for peace along with fears that an American withdrawal could lead to an even bloodier civil war. The talks in Doha follow years of escalating violence in Afghanistan. According to the UN, at least 32,000 civilians have been killed and another 60,000 wounded in the last decade, when the organisation began compiling the data.aljazeera
Turkey may take part in Afghan solution: Russian envoy
Moscow:Turkey may be involved in the solution to the Afghanistan problem, a Russian diplomat said.“We will be pleased if [Turkey] attends next meeting in Moscow” on Afghan peace talks, Russian President Vladimir Putin's special envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said in a statement.Kabulov made the remarks after meeting separately in Ankara with US special envoy for peace in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and Riza Hakan Tekin, head of Turkish Foreign Ministry’s Asia Department.“ US has proposed establishing grounds for reconciliation in Afghanistan, and Russia is ready to consider this offer,” Kabulov said.Anadolu Agency
Jared Kushner heads to Middle East to promote peace plan
Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and White House senior adviser, is on his way to the Middle East to promote the economic portion of a long-awaited US plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.Kushner left US for a 5-nation tour late on Saturday, according to White House officials. Accompanied by US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and US envoy on Iran Brian Hook, Kushner plans stops in Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar.During their week-long trip, the White House team will gauge level of support for economic part of Trump's "deal of the century", Reuters reported earlier.aljazeera
Israel briefly detains top Waqf official, bans him from Al-Aqsa
Israeli police briefly detained the head of the Islamic authority that oversees Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem early on Sunday following recent protests there.Sheikh Abdelazeem Salhab was appointed to head the Waqf by neighbouring Jordan, which strongly protested the arrest. Jordan's minister of Islamic affairs, Abdul Nasser Abul al-Basal, said the Israeli action was "dangerous and an unacceptable escalation" that affected Jordan's role as the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, according to Petra agency.Israeli police confirmed the arrest on Sunday, and the Waqf later said police had released Salhab and prohibited him from entering the site for a week.On Friday, Palestinian protesters streamed into a part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound that Israel had sealed off in 2003 because it was home to a heritage organisation allegedly connected with an armed group.aljazeera
Saudi replaces ambassador to US with first female envoy
Saudi Arabia has appointed its first female ambassador to serve as its top diplomat in the US, pulling a son of King Salman back to the kingdom to serve as deputy defence minister amid deteriorating ties with the US after the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, a daughter of the kingdom's longtime ambassador to Washington Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, faces a stark challenge in improving the image of Saudi in the US.She replaces Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud, a son of King Salman and a former fighter pilot who insisted after Khashoggi's disappearance on Oct.2 that the Washington Post columnist simply left the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.Instead, members of the entourage of his brother, Saudi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,assassinated and dismembered Khashoggi inside diplomatic post, in what Saudi Arabian authorities said was a rogue operation. POST, citing unnamed sources in November, also reported that US intelligence agencies reviewed a phone call that Prince Khalid had with Khashoggi, in which he allegedly told the writer he would be safe going to the consulate to retrieve the documents he needed to get married.aljazeera
Brother of Saudi crown prince named deputy defence minister
Erdogan lashes out at Sisi over Egypt executions
 Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan sharply criticised his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi after the recent execution of nine people in Egypt, saying he refused to talk to "someone like him"."They killed nine young people recently. This is not something we can accept," Erdogan said Saturday in an interview with Turkish TV channels CNN-Turk and Kanal D, referring to the execution Wednesday of nine men sentenced for the murder of the Egyptian prosecutor general in 2015."Of course, we are going to be told that it is a decision of the judiciary, but there, justice, elections, all that, are codswallop.There is an authoritarian system, even totalitarian," Erdogan added."Now, I am answering those who wonder why Tayyip Erdogan does not speak to Sisi, because there are mediators who come here sometimes, but I will never talk to someone like him," he said.The Turkish president also called for the release of Muslim Brotherhood prisoners in Egypt."First of all, he should release all those imprisoned with a general amnesty. As long as these people have not been released, we will not be able to talk with Sisi," he said.Erdogan also attacked Western countries which, according to him, "roll out the red carpet" for Sisi and turn a blind eye to the latest executions in Egypt. AFP
Democracy and political stability cannot come at the expense of innocent lives in middle east: Mahathir
Kuala Lumpur: Dr Mahathir Mohamad  said democracy and political stability in the Middle East cannot be promoted over the dead bodies of Yemenis, Syrians, Iraqis and others, and it cannot be built upon the rubble of bombed-out cities. PM  said cynics have every reason to conclude that all the talk about exporting democracy or building a new world order or even fighting terrorism was increasingly a false construct to cover naked aggression and dominate a resource-rich region.“And if we are honest as well, we will have to acknowledge that all the billions that have been spent on weapons have done nothing to improve the security and stability of the region. Indeed, Middle East has experienced almost two decades of continuous war. Millions have been killed, wounded or forced to flee from their homes.“Whole cities have been laid waste and vital infrastructure destroyed. One has only to survey the landscape of much of Iraq, Libya, Syria and now Yemen to see the grim reality of it all,” he said at the “Stand With Yemen” Symposium and Exhibition organised by Suhakam and the Stand with Yemen Coalition here today.Bernama
Sudan’s Bashir names VP, PM  as protests continue
Sudanese police fired teargas at demonstrators on Saturday as fresh protests broke out against the rule of President Omar al-Bashir, after he appointed a new PM  and first vice president a day after declaring a state of emergency.Police confronted dozens of protesters in the Shambat neighbourhood of Khartoum North, and similarly sized crowds in the Wad Nubawi and Abbasiya neighbourhoods of Omdurman, witnesses said. Protesters in Shambat blocked a road and burned car tyres, witnesses said. Demonstrators chanted “Revolution is the people’s choice”, and other slogans, in Wad Nubawi. In Abbasiya chants included “Down, that’s it”, a rallying call that underlines their main demand for Bashir to go.A statement from the president’s office said Mohamed Tahir Ayala, the governor of Gezira state who was previously touted by Bashir as a potential successor as president, was appointed PM .middleeastmonitor
Venezuelans vow to continue protests as clashes turn deadly
Cucuta:Violent clashes broke out in Venezuelan border towns on Saturday that left at least two people dead, as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blocked humanitarian convoys from entering the country.Troops loyal to Maduro fired tear gas and rounds of rubber bullets at protesters who tried to bring boxes of US-supplied aid across border, leaving dozens injured. Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is supported by Washington, backed the efforts to import the aid, saying hundreds of thousands of people are in urgent need of food and medicine. Maduro sees the aid as part of a US plot to remove him from power.At least 2 people were killed in clashes in Venezuelan town of Santa Elena de Uairen, close to Brazil.aljazeera
Hijack Attempt On Dubai-Bound Bangladesh Plane, Passengers Safe: Report
A Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight to Dubai from Chittagong in Bangladesh made an emergency landing back at Chittagong on Sunday after what appeared to be an attempted hijacking, a senior official from the airline said.All 142 passengers have subsequently been allowed to leave the plane, airline's general manager, Shakil Miraj, said.Police and army are still surrounding the aircraft, he said."There were 142 passengers and all of them have come out from the aircraft safely," said Miraj.He said Boeing 737 aircraft was scheduled to go from Dhaka to Dubai via Chittagong. Reuters

lash: views & NEWS
Why Saudi Crown Prince's Visit to India Was a Diplomatic Success:Manoj Joshi
Fact Check: Was Modi Really Unaware of the Pulwama Attack For Over 2 Hours?The Wire
These 15 Muslims Have Been Taking Care Of Gaushalas With 300 Cows For More Than 15 Yrs: Maninder Dabas, india times
Kashmiri teenagers living in fear, suffering from trauma: Dr Arshad Hussain
9 Collegium Reiterations the Supreme Court Didn’t Want to Be Reminded Of:The Wire
Never mind the SC, Aadhaar is now in the people’s court:Godavar
‘These are dangerous times for Indian media’: Siddharth Varadarajan
‘There is no pure race in India’:Author Tony Joseph
Thousands of Muslims celebrate Shivaji’s birth anniversary across Maharashtra: Imran Inamdar,

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:10 PM)


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