27 February 2019

26 Feb.ND: 'Non-military pre-emptive' strike on Pak/ Babri case: SC says even if 1% chance of success, will explore mediation; defers order till March 5/ SC agrees to hear review pleas against Rafale verdict in open court

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
26 Feb. 2019: 20 Jamadiul-II 1440:Vol:11, No:138
'Non-military pre-emptive' strike on Pak: TheWire
The news of early morning action in the skies above Pakistan was broken, almost in real time, by Pakistani side at 5:12 am IST with a tweet by its military spokesperson, Maj General Asif Ghafoor."Indian Air Force violated LoC. Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled. Indian aircrafts gone back. Details to follow." Though India had used limited airpower during the Kargil war, not since 1971 war have Indian and Pakistani air force planes squared off against each other over Pak territory – so it was clear that something major had just happened.Exactly what, though, is a matter of confusion and dispute.His next tweet, at 7:06 am, said the intrusion occurred in the “Muzaffarabad sector”. He identified “Balakot” as the place where IAF jets dropped their “payload”, i.e. bombs, when they were met with “a timely and effective response” from Pakistani air force. Finally, after posting pictures of damage by ordnance in an undefined wooded area, Maj Gen Ghafoor tweeted at 9:59 am that the intrusion by IAF “within AJK was 3-4 miles”. AJK, or Azad Jammu Kashmir, is the name Pakistan gives to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.In a brief, prepared statement, Indian foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said at 11:30 am that Indian target was Jaish-e-Muhammad training camp at “Balakot”.He described the strike as “non-military pre-emptive action” against the Jaish in the face of “credible intelligence” that the group was preparing more fidayeen for terrorist strikes in India.He did not refer to the Indian Air Force or use the term air strike, describing what had happened merely as “an intelligence led operation” against a key Jaish facility.He did not refer to the location struck as being in “Pakistan”or PoK though he did say “information regarding the location of training camps in Pakistan and PoJK has been provided to Pakistan from time to time.”There is a Balakot in the Pakistani province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, west of PoK, and an attack there would mean IAF planes managed to fly a considerable distance – the town is around 70 km from LoC – and return safely to base. How deep the ingress was is not known, as Mirages can fire surface-to-air missiles from a distance.Even if they were not able to successfully hit the intended target, as Maj Gen Ghafoor implied, the ingress alone would be considered a major military embarrassment for the Pakistani side.There is, however, also a Balakot just across the Line of Control and Maj Gen Ghafoor’s last tweet implied that this was the place where the ordnance was dropped.However, if Balakot referred to by Gokhale is indeed the village along LoC, it is not clear why any terrorist camp there needed to be hit by an air strike involving a crossing of LoC since it could easily be hit from the Indian side. Off the record, speaking on background, Indian officials are confirming Balakot hit was in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa after all.That location is also consistent with the use of phrase “Muzaffarabad sector” by Pak military spokesman. In this operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated. Pakistani side insists “no casualties or damage” was caused.If the Indian claim is correct, it is not clear why a large number of terrorists would be gathered in one location – especially a well-known one whose existence Indian intelligence had publicly acknowledged – when it was clear that India was likely to hit back in the wake of the Pulwama incident.One possible explanation is that Pakistani military assumed Indian action would be confined to kinetic operations along LoC or inside PoK, rather than elsewhere in Pakistan.In the absence of authentic, verifiable information, Indian TV channels are claiming that “300-400 terrorists” were killed in the operation.Reuters reported from Balakot that villagers heard 4 bangs and that one person was injured. “We saw trees fallen down and one house damaged and 4 craters where the bombs had fallen,” said Mohammad Ajmal, a 25-year-old who visited the site, the news agency said.In a tweet, office of Pak PM Imran Khan said it “strongly rejected [the] Indian claim of targeting an alleged terrorist camp near Balakot and the claim of heavy casualties. Once again [the] Indian Govt  has resorted to a self serving, reckless and fictitious claim.” India’s statement and the reference to the action as “non-military” makes it clear the Indian side has no intention of escalating matters to war. Much now depends on how Pakistan reacts.At least one Pakistani analyst, Mosharraf Zaidi, saw the choice of Balakot in KPK as meaning India “has attacked Pakistan”.In his first statement, Pak foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi called the Indian action “grave aggression”. Thewire
Reuters: Villagers in Pak Balakot Heard 'Loud Bangs', Only One Person Injured
Pak drone shot down near Gujarat border
Bhuj: A Pakistani unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was on Tuesday shot down near the International Border in Kutch district of Gujarat, police sources said. Debris of UAV was seen near Nanghatad village in Abdasa taluka of Kutch, they said.On hearing a loud sound around 6 am, villagers went to the spot and found the debris of UAV, the sources said.PTI
Won’t let country bow down: PM Modi after strike
Jaipur:Hours after India carried out a non-military preemptive strike in Balakot, PM Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the country is in safe hands.“Today, your mood seems a bit different,” PM said as he went onto the stage in Rajasthan’s Churu district to address a rally.Speaking from the stage, which had photos of soldiers in its background, a smiling Modi said, “Your emotions, this enthusiasm and this energy of yours, I am able to understand it quite well.” "Today, from this land of Churu, I want to assure the people of this country that the country is in safe hands),” said Modi.indian express
At all-party meet over IAF strike, oppn extends full support to govt
New Delhi: Central Govt today briefed opposition parties over pre-dawn strike by Indian Air Force deep across LoC. Emerging from meeting, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the opposition parties extended “full support” to Govt and security forces in the fight against terror. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj briefed the opposition leaders at the all-party meeting held at Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan in New Delhi. The meeting was attended by Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Vijay Goel, Congress leader Azad and NC leader Omar Abdullah among others.HT
Imran Khan after Balakot strike: ‘Will respond at the time and place of our choosing’
New Delhi :Pakistan PM Imran Khan Tuesday asked the country to remain “prepared for all eventualities” after a special meeting of the National Security Committee hours after Indian air strikes in Balakot inside Pakistan.” Khan’s office said he will “engage with global leadership to expose irresponsible Indian policy”. Pakistan’s National Security Committee (NSC), comprising top officials including Imran Khan and Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, said in a statement that it “strongly rejected Indian claim of targeting an alleged terror camp near Balakot and the claim of heavy casualties.” Pakistan’s top security committee said India “committed uncalled for aggression” with the strike and vowed to respond “at the time and place of its choosing”, adding that the action was done for “domestic consumption” in an election year. Lok Sabha elections are scheduled to be held by May.“Forum (NSC) strongly rejected Indian claim of targeting an alleged terrorist camp near Balakot and the claim of heavy casualties. Once again Indian Govt has resorted to a self serving,reckless and fictitious claim,” said a statement issued after NSC meeting in Islamabad. It claimed that the “action has been done for domestic consumption being in election environment, putting regional peace and stability at grave risk.” It also invited the world media to see the facts on ground and proposed a visit to the site. indian express
Air Strike in Pak LIVE: Pak summons India’s envoy
Pakistan denies IAF attack, vows to respond at the time and place of its choosing
Balakot: Indian air strikes target militants in Pakistan
China calls for ‘restraint’ after India’s air strikes on terror camp in Pakistan
China responded cautiously to Indian Air Force's air strikes across LoC—criticising New Delhi for taking unilateral action but urging both India and Pakistan to improve their ties.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said India should have avoided unilateral action, and instead dealt with the situation through “international cooperation”.“As for India’s claims on taking action against terrorism, fighting terrorism is a global practice. It needs to be dealt with international cooperation.And India needs to create a favourable condition internationally for that,”Lu said.the hindu
As Sushma heads to Wuzhen, Pakistan briefs China
IAF's Air Strikes Totally New Ball Game, Says Omar Abdullah; Mehbooba Hopes 'Objectives' Served
Srinagar: NC leader Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said the strikes carried out by IAF on JeM camps is a "totally new ball game" as it was first time that air power was used during peace time to hit terrorist targets in the neighbouring country."We've entered a whole new paradigm with Balakote air strike. The post Uri strike was to avenge our losses, Balakote was a 'pre-emptive strike to prevent an imminent JeM attack'. Totally new ballgame," Omar tweeted."A number of firsts from Balakote, the two most obvious are the first time air power has been used to strike inside Pakistan during peace times (last time in 1971 was during war) & first time visible, acknowledged use of force to preempt a perceived terror strike," Abdullah added.Reacting to the developments, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti expressed hope that "objectives" of both New Delhi and Islamabad had been served as they were making contradictory claims about the air strikes."Post pre-dawn strikes carried out by IAF, conflicting reports coming in. Official communique by FS claims that terror training camps were bombed while Pak denied this & said that the planes made a hasty retreat after being spotted. Hope objective of both sides has been served,"she said.PTI
I was awake till 4.30 am, in tears for the safety of IAF pilots: BJP MP Manoj Tiwari
BJP MP Manoj Tiwari has said that he was awake until 4.30 am in the morning until the Indian Air Force pilots safely returned from the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. He said that he was in tears because he was worried over the safety of the Indian pilots.Speaking to ABP News, the BJP’s Delhi unit president said that people were constantly asking him why he was still awake until 4.30 am since his fans could track his movement by monitoring his WhatsApp account.“I was awake until 4.30 am even though some people tracked on WhatsApp and asked why I was awake. I was awake because something was happening that this country was waiting for.”When he was asked to confirm if he was aware of Tuesday’s attack, Tiwari said, “Sir, I have not been able to sleep since Pulwama attack.When I sensed (about surgical strikes) in the night, I had tears in my eyes because it was important for our soldiers to return back even though they entered Pakistan in fighter planes. And this is the moment, when I also salute Narendra Modi.Tiwari’s statement implied that he was aware of Indian Air Force’s strikes into the Pakistani territory. He said that he wanted to shout ‘Jai Hind’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ slogans loudly.jantakareporter
PM had prior information on Pulwama attack:Mamata
New Delhi:West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee claimed that PM Narendra Modi and Centre had "prior information" regarding the Pulwama strike. She accused the PM of doing politics with the blood of the slain CRPF troopers ahead of Lok Sabha polls.Banerjee questioned as to why nearly 2,500 CRPF men were not airlifted and instead allowed to travel in a convoy without "proper sanitisation and naka-checking" of route. "Modi-babu, where were you when the incident (attack) took place? "You knew from before that the incident would happen. You had prior information,"shesaid at party's extended core committee meeting here."Central Govt had intelligence inputs about it. Then why were jawans not airlifted that day?Why no naka-checking and sanitisation of convoy route took place? "Why were the troopers left to die? Is it because you wanted to politicise the matter before the elections? The blood of our jawans should not be politicised in this way," she added.Banerjee also ridiculed Modi, claiming that he has been pretending to be a "messenger of peace" while his party was secretly trying to create a war-like situation in the country and start a riot.She claimed that BJP might attempt to tamper with the EVM machines across the country, including in West Bengal during Lok Sabha polls to manipulate votes in their favour.CM formed a 3-member committee comprising of senior party leaders to train booth-level workers on how EVMs and VVPAT machines function."They(BJP) will try to tamper the EVMs. I have heard that they have contacted a private company to manipulate EVMs in Bengal as well."We need to train our workers on how EVMs and VVPATs work. During counting of votes after the polls, only depute those who are trained in these things," she directed.indiatv news
Only Pulwama, Not Ram Mandir, Could Save BJP In 2019, Says Chief Priest In Ayodhya
Ayodhya:Blocking traffic just outside the temple town of Ayodhya, a motley crew of protestors chanted slogans condemning the killing of at least 40 soldiers in Kashmir. “Death to Pakistan,” they shouted, last week. An hour later, Acharya Satyendra Das, chief priest of the “makeshift” Ram Mandir for nearly a quarter of a century, said it was not often that one heard slogans other than ‘Jai Shri Ram’ raised in Ayodhya.One other break from tradition, Das anticipates, is that BJP may not have to peddle dreams about constructing the Ram Mandir while campaigning for 2019 general election. “BJP will replace Ram Mandir issue with the attack in Kashmir. They used to chant Ram, Ram, Ram, but now they won’t,” he said. “Ram Ram rat rat kar, BJP mara mara ho gayi.”In any case, the 80-year-old priest said, the BJP has cashed in its rhetorical chips as far as the Ram Mandir is concerned. “If the BJP try and run on the Ram Mandir, they will lose. The public will not believe them. They have lost the trust of the people,” he said.huffingtonpost
NIA Conducts Raids on Separatists in Kashmir /nia-conducts-raids-on-separatists-in-kashmir
Srinagar: NIA today carried out searches on separatists in Kashmir Valley, including Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, in a terror funding case, officials said.NIA sleuths accompanied by police and CRPF personnel carried out searches at nearly 9 places across Valley, which included the house of Nayeem Geelani, son of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, they said.Besides these, houses of JKLF leader Yaseen Malik, Shabir Shah, Ashraf Sehrai and Zaffar Bhat were also raided.The case relates to funds allegedly received by separatist from Pakistan through hawala channels, the officials added.PTI
Over 200 J&K Jamaat activists, sympathizers picked up in south Kashmir: Rising Kashmir
Anantnag: Over 200 Jamaat-e-Islami J&K leaders and sympathizers have been arrested in south Kashmir alone as the crackdown on the organisation continues. Police on Monday booked 62-year-old deputy Ameer (chief) of Jamaat, Ahmadulah Parray Maki and shifted him from Srigufwara Police Station to District Jail Anantnag at Mattan along with several other Jamaat activists. Parray had been picked up by joint forces comprising Army, CRPF and SOG on Sunday evening from his residence at Khiram village of Bijbehara in Anantnag district.According to a Jamaat activist, Police has mostly picked up its cadre from Dochinpora belt and Arwani area of Bijbehara since last three days while several activists from JEI have also been arrested and booked from Kokernag and Dilagam villages of Anantnag district.He said the night raids by the Govt  forces continued in several areas like Redwani, Kujar, Frisal, Yaripora, Bogam, Bochroo, Bolsoo, Wokay, Mohamadpora, Tarigam, Qaimoh villages and several other areas of Kulgam district.The Govt  forces did not spare even the ailing octogenarian, former Ameer-e-Jamaat, Sheikh Ghulam Hassan. Sheikh, who is bedridden, was picked up by Police and detained. He was then released on Monday afternoon.In the ongoing crackdown on Jamaat, around 300 of its members have been picked up so far. The arrested activists of Jamaat include basic members (Rukun), associate members (Umeedwari Rukun) and affiliates.Police has also picked up many Jamaat sympathizers and relatives of Jamaat activists and booked them. These sympathizers are not even remotely affiliated to the politico-religious group, said one of the relatives of a Jamaat member.
Article 35A in SC: Tensions high in valley, 101 Kashmiri students from Mohali head home
Chandigarh :As panic grips the valley ahead of a hearing by the apex court on Article 35A of Indian Constitution, around hundred Kashmiri students studying in Mohali, returned to their homes. It comes days after a Kashmiri student was beaten while traveling in an auto in Kharar.
Faheem Nazir, a third-year student of B.Tech at CGC Jhanjeri, said,“We were safe in our college but our parents are petrified as Article 35A hearing is looming and tensions in Kashmir are intensifying. A 100 more companies of troops have been deployed in Kashmir.”Nazir said around 101 students booked 2 buses through a transport agency. indian express
 Notice to 2 TV channels for airing Pak army briefing
New Delhi : At least 2 news channels have received showcause notices from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, for airing the Feb. 22 press conference of the spokesperson of the Pakistani armed forces on the Pulwama terror attack.The notices to ABP News and Tiranga TV, dated Feb.23, says the channels appear to have “violated” 2 provisions of the Programme Code.The showcause notice to Tiranga TV, which is owned by Veecon Media and Broadcasting Private Limited, mentions that “it has come to the notice” of the Ministry that the channel “telecast media briefing of Pakistan army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor on Pulwama attack” on Feb.22.Reached for comment, Deepak Choudhry, president of Veecon Media and Broadcasting, said channel was “surprised” to receive the notice. Tiranga TV’s programming, he said, “has focused on how Pakistan must pay for its patronage of terrorism” and Ghafoor’s press conference “was only carried as part of overall news coverage”. Choudhry said “we do not subscribe to his views at all and many of our special programmes explicitly countered his views”.He said other channels “have done a big interview with Pervez Musharraf who was responsible for Kargil as well as Sheikh Rashid a known India-baiter” and these channels “have not received any notice”, while Tiranga TV has “not been calling Pakistani guests for these discussions at all”.indianexpress
Babri case: SC says even if 1% chance of success, will explore mediation; defers order till March 5
New Delhi:The Supreme Court today suggested mediation between the parties in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case saying the court could only decide on property and what it was looking at was “a possibility of healing relationships”.Senior Counsel CS Vaidyanathan appearing for Ramlalla Virajman opposed this saying mediation had already been tried earlier but had not worked. Senior Counsel Rajeev Dhavan appearing for a party on the Mosque side said they were ready to give it another shot “in larger interest”.“You seriously think the entire dispute for so many years is only about property? It’s not a dispute over private property. It has become so contentious. Therefore we are considering a possibility of healing relations even if there’s one %  chance of success”, observed Justice SA Bobde who was part of the 5-Judge Constitution bench that took up appeals against the Sept.30, 2010 verdict of the Allahabad High Court.“We have a perspective on the matter – it’s a dispute resolution mechanism”, Justice Bobde added. The bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi also comprised Justices DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer.CJI Gogoi initiated the suggestion of a court-monitored mediation asking the parties their opinion to the court invoking section 89 of CrPC while it gives them time to authenticate the translations of the evidence. While Dhavan submitted that his party will “have to check the veracity of translated documents provided by UP govt”,Vaidyanathan contended saying the translations were already verified and accepted on Dec.2017.The bench refrained from passing any order on its suggestion for mediation and said it will look into this when it meets again on March 5.The court also gave the parties 8 weeks time to examine the authenticity of the translations of the oral evidence done by translators appointed by UP Govt  so that there is no dispute regarding same when hearing recommences.indianexpress
Ayodhya dispute case: Nyas, Muslim litigant against Supreme Court’s mediation call
Lucknow:After the Supreme Court suggested a resolution of Babri Masjid title suit hrough mediation, Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas (RJN) and Muslim litigant Iqbal Ansari in the case opposed the proposal, saying such efforts have failed in the past.Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, head of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas which has been spearheading the Ram Mandir movement across the country, said all forms of mediation on the issue have “failed to deliver results in past.”VHP was also against any form of mediation. Muslim litigant in the case Iqbal Ansari also came out strongly against the Supreme Court’s suggestion for a mediator.“My father late Hashim Ansari (the original litigant in the Ayodhya dispute) tried to have out of court settlement on many occasions but all efforts failed,” he said.“When both Hindu and Muslim litigants have agreed to abide by the court’s order, why this new mediation process? All forms of mediation have failed,” Ansari asserted.HT
SC agrees to hear review pleas against Rafale verdict in open court
New Delhi:The Supreme Court today allowed open court hearings on pleas seeking review of its Dec.14, verdict on Rafale deal case.A bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph took up the request of petitioners to hear 2 review petitions, which challenge the Dec.14 judgment, in which the SC had dismissed pleas questioning the deal to procure 36 Rafale fighter jets.“The prayer for open court hearing is allowed,” the bench said. The two petitions have been filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and advocate Prashant Bhushan, while the other was filed by Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh.The review petition has sought a review of the verdict, stating that the top court had relied on “patently incorrect” claims made by Govt in its note submitted in a sealed cover to the bench which heard the original petition. Sinha, Shourie and Bhushan claimed that additional information emerged subsequently and not considering them would result in grave miscarriage of justice.indianexpress
1.19 lakh names deleted from voter rolls, poll office tells Delhi court
New Delhi:The office of chief electoral officer (CEO) of Delhi told a local court on Monday that over 1.19 lakh names were deleted from the voters list of Delhi in the last one year.Between Jan.10, 2018 and Jan.18, 2019, a “total 2,88,140 votes were added and during this period 4,07,715 votes were deleted”, Manoj Kumar, election officer at the office of CEO, Delhi informed the court. CEO’s office was responding to the court’s notice on the defamation complaint filed by BJP leader Rajiv Babbar against Arvind Kejriwal and 3 other AAP leaders.AAP’s spokesperson Raghav Chadha, however, blamed the BJP for deletion of the voters name from the electoral roll. “We unearthed a massive voter deletion fraud in Delhi and found that the BJP engineered wrongful deletion of more than 30 lakh voters from the electoral roll in the past four years,” said Chadha.HT
Lakhs of Voters Deleted Without Proper Verification in Andhra, Telangana
Nearly 55 lakh voters in AP and Telengana were left out of the electoral process due to the linkage of electoral photo identity card (EPIC) and Aadhaar taken up by Election Commission in 2015. Documents accessed by data experts using the Right to Information Act have revealed that the deletion was carried out without mandatory door-to-door verification.In the wake of documents throwing up such large-scale exclusion of voters, activists – owing allegiance to Swecha, working on the issue of deletion of voters – urged EC to probe the matter thoroughly and disclose the details of all the voters whose names were deleted.An NGO leader Kiran Chandra demanded that “complete details of all pilot programmes conducted in Telangana be disclosed with regard to Aadhaar-Voter ID linkage.”He also called for destroying or deleting all Aadhaar-related details, saying CEO then supplied voter data to the state’s information technology, electronics and communication department “in a clear violation of electoral laws”. Chandra said under SRDH, Aadhaar-seeded repository of information that takes inputs from multiple Govt databases, Telangana Govt collected citizens’ data. This included personal details like caste and religion.thewire
Contractual madrassa teachers to get 'pay-scale' at par with govt teachers: Nitish
Patna:Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has said contractual teachers of state-funded madrassas would now be given “pay-scale” at par with Niyojit teachers of govt-run schools. Addressing a function after laying foundation stones for new buildings of Maulana Mazharul Haque Arabic and Persian University (MMHAPU) at Mithapur institutional area,CM further said that the formalities related to giving “pay-scale” to contractual madrasa teachers would be completed in next few days.“Move will almost double the take-home salary of contractual teachers of the state-funded madrassas. Around 8,500 contractual teachers working in all 3 categories(1128, 205 and 609)of state-funded madrassas will be benefited from this decision,”All Bihar Madrassa Teachers’ Association’s leader Mohammad Shahabuddin Rahmani said.CM also said that the permanent teachers working in state-funded madrassas would now be given the salary at par with the recommendation of the seventh pay commission. “I had already announced this at an event in Purnia recently. But I again assuring you that the state Govt is committed to providing the salary of the Seventh Pay commission to madrassa teachers,”he said amidst applause from the audience comprising mainly people from minority community. Rahmani said nearly 5,000 permanent teachers working in 1,128 category of Madrasas would be benefitted from this decision of the state Govt. He said these teachers were already getting salary of 6th Pay Commission.TOI
Mumbai: Poorly paid imams may drag trustees to HC
Mumbai: Dismayed at being poorly paid and treated shabbily, a section of imams in the city plan to approach the Bombay high court with pleas to act against mosque trustees. At a recent meeting, called by NGO SEWA, several imams, muezzins and community leaders voiced the long-pending demand to increase the emoluments of imams. Imams lead the prayers five times a day, while muezzins call out azaan for the prayers. In most mosques, imams are paid less than Rs 10,000 a month, which is not enough to meet their expenses. "We are consulting some lawyers and may petition the high court soon to direct state wakf board and charity commission to fix a respectable amount as our salary. Trustees of most mosques keep imams poorly paid and vulnerable. Imams are hired and fired at the will of the trustees," said Maulana Khalilur Rahman Noorie, president of the imam organisation Tanzeem Imae Masajid. SEWA's head Advocate Yusuf Abrahni lashed out at mosque trustees who turn a blind eye to miserable condition of imams. Trustee of a mosque in Grant Road, Maulana Moin Ashraf Qadri said monthly salary of the mosque's imam had increased to Rs 25,000 from a princely sum of Rs 4,000. At the same meeting, MP and a member of state wakf board Hussain Dalwai had suggested imams and muezzins should "stop work" to force mosque trustees to meet their demands. But the trustee of a mosque in Dongri, MA Khalid, said at several mosques, it is imams who dictate terms.TOI
SC notice to Meghalaya HC on judge's 'Hindu Rashtra' remark
The Supreme Court has sought the Meghalaya High Court's response on a PIL seeking expunction of remarks made by Justice Sudip Ranjan Sen on "Hindu Rashtra". Division Bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna issued a notice to the Registrar of the HC on a petition by Sona Khan and others seeking expunction of Justice Sen's remarks that India should have been declared a Hindu Rashtra as the country's partition in 1947 was on religious lines and Pakistan became an Islamic nation.The petitioner described the HC verdict as "legally flawed and historically misleading."Justice Sen made the remarks on Dec.2 while delivering the verdict in a case related to refusal of domicile certificate to an army recruit. IANS
Ex-Guj cadre IPS officer moves CIC as RTI plea for info on action recommended against him rejected
New Delhi :Ex-Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rahul Sharma has approached CIC after his RTI request, demanding copies of a state Govt proposal to Home Ministry seeking disciplinary proceedings against him,was rejected on grounds of being personal information.Appeal was heard by CIC Sudhir Bhargava recently where Sharma argued that since he was seeking information about an order pertaining to him, the denial on the grounds of it being "personal information" was flawed. Sharma came into limelight when he submitted CD of call data records of some ministers, state officials and leaders of right-wing groups like Bajrang Dal and VHP during the riots which also provided clues about their whereabouts in the period.PTI
Nagaland Passes Resolution Against Citizenship Bill /nagaland-govt-passes-resolution-against-citizenship-bill                         
Nagaland Assembly has passed a resolution, rejecting outright contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, amid a walkout by 26 opposition MLAs.Resolution,passed on Monday, denounced the bill, stating it cannot be implemented in Nagaland as the proposed legislation will impact the “unique history and status of Nagas under the Constitution”.It was moved by CM Neiphiu Rio on Saturday. The resolution also expressed solidarity with the states and communities of the Northeast in opposing the Bill, as it has the potential of “changing the demographic profile, which will be against the interest of indigenous tribes and can divest them of their constitutionally guaranteed political, cultural and economic rights”..PTI
AMU student shot at by unknown assailants
 An undergraduate student of AMU was allegedly shot at by three unknown assailants late on Monday night. He has been admitted at JN Medical College, where his condition is said to be stable.This is the second such incident in the city in the past 48 hours. On Saturday night, a 25-year-old MBA student of Al-Barkaat institute was allegedly shot dead at the same place.According to police, BA second year student Mohammad Gulzar was coming back to the university with his friend after attending a coaching class when three bike-borne unidentified persons fired at him.  Gulzar hails from Bihar and stays at Sir Syed hostel of the varsity.TOI
MP cow slaughter: NSA revoked against 2 of 3 accused
Bhopal :Nearly 3 weeks after Khandwa administration invoked NSA against 3 people allegedly involved in cow slaughter, Home Department has revoked the stringent provision against 2 of them.Moghat Police had charged Raju alias Nadeem, Shakeel and Azam with slaughtering a cow in Kharkali village, about 10 km from the communally sensitive Khandwa town and booked them under Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act.Later, on recommendation from SP,Khandwa Collector sanctioned slapping of NSA that allows detention for a longer period. Invocation of NSA in a Congress-ruled state had not gone down well with the party leadership. Relatives had written to CM, and home minister, demanding an impartial inquiry into the matter and revocation of NSA provisions.indianexpress
Thousands of Muslims in Bihar take out a rally to demand 5% reservations:TCN
Under Muslim Arakshan Morcha, thousands of Muslims from different districts gathered in Patna to participate in the rally demanding 5% reservations in education and employment. They claimed that Muslims constitute 18% of the total population in Bihar and are entitled to reservations for their development.National president of Muslim Arakshan Morcha, Md. Perwez Siddiqui in their press release said, that he had earlier organized several such rallies in various districts and presented this issue to both Govt officials and also to leaders from opposition parties to take up their demand for quota.“But unfortunately, no one has taken our demand as a priority as they still treat Muslims as their vote bank.”he said.
SC transfers Kalburgi murder case to SIT probing Lankesh killing
New Delhi:The Supreme Court Has ordered the transfer of the investigation into the murder of M.M. Kalburgi to the same SIT probing the killing of Gauri Lankesh.A Bench of Justices Rohinton F. Nariman and Vineet Saran directed the Dharwad Bench of Karnataka High Court to monitor SIT probe. Kalburgi death was earlier investigated by the Karnataka CID. Initially, court contemplated having the Bombay High Court monitor the Kalburgi case. The Bombay High Court is currently monitoring the murders ofactivists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare. A line of argument had been raised before the Supreme Court that all four cases were inter-linked.thehindu
Rehabilitation of youth falsely implicated in terror cases demanded in Vijayawada
Vijayawada:Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) demanded the Govt  introduce rehabilitation schemes for innocent youth who are falsely charged in terrorism cases.SIO released a Student’s Manifesto at a press conference here on Monday.Addressing media, SIO national secretary Syed Azharuddin said India is to biggest democratic country across the world. For the upcoming elections on behalf of all the students and unemployed youth they have prepared a Student Manifesto and demanded that all political parties incorporate it in their election manifesto. He said they have focused mainly on education, youth and human rights. He said under RTE, quality education should be imparted to the students. The Hans India
Syria's Assad visits Iran in rare trip abroad; meets Khamenei, Rouhani
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met Iranian officials in his first visit to the Islamic Republic since the start of the Syrian conflict, Syrian state media reported. Assad met Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani on his first trip to Iran since the war erupted nearly eight years ago. Assad has only ventured outside his war-ravaged nation twice since the conflict began, both times to Russia.Syrian and Iranian media released photos showing Assad, in a dark suit, in an embrace with Khamenei and shaking hands with Rouhani, both of them smiling. Syrian state Tv showed footage of Assad meeting Khamenei and said 2 leaders agreed "to continue cooperation at all levels for the interests of the two friendly nations."  Outlet also said Assad "thanked Iran's leadership and people for what they have given to Syria during war." Assad's office said, "both sides expressed their satisfaction with strategic levels reached between the two countries in all fields." Tehran has given the Syrian Govt billions of dollars in aid since the conflict began and sent Iran-backed fighters to battle alongside his forces - assistance that has helped turn the tide in Assad's favour. aljazeera
Zarif's sudden offer to quit rattles Iran, Prez yet to reply
Foreign Minister Javad Zarif's sudden offer to step down has shocked Iran's political establishment and people, with many expressing worry the move could derail efforts to save a landmark nuclear pact.Zarif announced late on Monday he would resign amid quarrels over Iran's foreign policy as well as a global struggle to preserve 2015 nuclear deal, in which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief. Fighting between parties and factions in Iran is a "deadly poison" to formulating foreign policy, Zarif said in an interview published by the Jomhuri Eslami newspaper on Tuesday, suggesting he may have resigned over pressure from hardline elements opposed to his role in negotiating the nuclear deal."We first have to remove our foreign policy from the issue of party and factional fighting," Zarif said in the interview. "The deadly poison for foreign policy is for foreign policy to become an issue of party and factional fighting," he added. Many in Iran were caught off-guard by his offer to resign, adding to the country's state of uncertainty following Washington's withdrawal from the nuclear accord in May last year."I extend my gratitude for the generosity that dear and brave people of Iran and its respected authorities have had during past 67 months," Zarif wrote on his Instagram page on Monday."I humbly apologise for the inability to continue serving and for all the shortcomings during my service."Speaking to the state-run IRNA on Tuesday, Zarif urged his colleagues at the foreign ministry not to quit.His offer to resign was confirmed by deputy spokesperson for the foreign ministry, Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, IRNA reported. However, presidential chief of staff, in a tweet, "strongly denied" that President Hassan Rouhani had accepted the resignation.The president, in remarks on Tuesday, did not directly address Zarif's resignation. Instead, Rouhani thanked the minister, describing him as at the front line of the battle against the US, according to IRNA.Zarif's offer to stand down came a few hours after an unprecedented visit of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Tehran and a meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, followed by a visit to President Rouhani.Zarif's absence at the heavily-publicised meetings caught many by surprise.aljazeera
Israel ex-minister sentenced to 11 yrs for spying for Iran
Ex-Israeli minister has been sentenced to 11 years in prison today for spying for regional rival Iran, prosecutor said,after admitting to charges last month. Gonen Segev was convicted in Jan.when Israeli justice ministry said he reached a plea deal after confessing to severe espionage and passing information to an enemy country with the purpose of harming Israel. Prosecutor Geula Cohen confirmed to journalists outside Jerusalem court that the judge had accepted the plea bargain and issued the sentence.Segev, energy minister from 1995 to 1996, was indicted in June.Shin Bet internal security service said at the time that he was recruited by Iranian intelligence while living in Nigeria.aljazeera
Israeli minister tours Al-Aqsa days after Palestinian arrests
Israel's far-right Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel and a number of Jewish settlers forced their way into occupied East Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa compound today, according to a Palestinian official."They stormed Al-Aqsa compound and toured the area under protection of Israeli forces," Firas al-Dibs, a spokesperson for Jerusalem's Jordan-run Religious Endowments Authority said.The move comes amid tensions in Jerusalem after a series of Palestinian protests and the subsequent arrest of dozens of Palestinian activists by Israeli forces earlier this week.Israeli police had also briefly detained the head of the Religious Endowments Authority Sheikh Abdelazeem Salhab, along with his deputy, after he prayed with other Palestinians near al-Rahma gate at Al-Aqsa compound for the first time in 16 years.Palestinian protesters streamed into the area that Israel had sealed off in 2003 because it was home to a heritage body allegedly connected with an armed group.aljazeera
‘US, Taliban talk troop pullout at Qatar peace talks’
American and Taliban officials looking to end a 17-year war in Afghanistan began their most detailed and high-level discussions yet on foreign troop withdrawals and counter-terrorism today, officials close to peace negotiations said.The talks, which kicked off in Doha on Monday with a meet-and-greet lunch, are seen as the most promising yet between the warring parties after the Taliban's newly-appointed political chief and co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar joined for the first time, flying in from Pakistan.The two sides are looking to hammer out a timeline and logistics for a potential troop withdrawal, as well as guarantees that the Taliban will not host militant groups as US winds down its presence, sources close to the talks said."Taliban knows foreign forces are committed to withdrawal, but we have the responsibility to ensure that Afghanistan does not get used as a base to launch terror attacks on foreign nations," one of the officials said.The first meeting on Monday between Khalilzad and Baradar appeared to be "formal, and yet very cordial," a third source close to the talks said.2 agreed to have "a result-oriented discussion" for the next 5 days, the source said."Baradar gave the opening address, met with all the US and Qatari officials. He requested his delegation to continue talks. He will be in Qatar, but may not attend all the sessions," the first official said.trtworld
Tunisia: Muslim women protest for Polygamy
Tunisia: Muslim women in Tunisia have started protesting in favour of polygamy. This has resulted in a very serious crisis in view of the increasing number of unmarried women in the country.It may be mentioned that polygamy is not only a crime but also considered as an evil in the society of Tunisia.Islamic researcher, Sami Birhan told that women who did not find a life partner will get an opportunity to get married if polygamy is allowed but men would prefer young girls.Some of the people in the country opine that the demand for polygamy is an attempt to defame Islamy Annehza Party so that by raising this slogan, the ruling party could be given benefit. According to a recent report, there are 50 lakh women in Tunisia out of which 50% are unmarried. They are in the age group of 25-34 years.siasat
Amnesty report on Middle East rights highlights Khashoggi case
An Amnesty report looking at the state of human rights in the Middle East says the lack of international justice only emboldens authorities to crack down on their citizens and freedom of speech.The report singles out the case of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whose murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October led to a global outcry. Amnesty laments that those responsible are yet to be brought to justice.The report also highlights the jailing of rights activists Ahmed Mansoor in the United Arab Emirates and Nabeel Rajab in Bahrain, who are both in prison for criticising their Govt s on social media. Amnesty also says Egypt has become a more dangerous place for critics of the Govt  than at any other time in the country's recent history.aljazeera
Sudan bans protests, regulates currency trade
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir banned public gatherings and protests in a series of emergency decrees issued on Monday as he faces the most sustained anti-Govt  street unrest of his 30-year rule.In a statement, Bashir also announced a ban on trading or hoarding subsidised fuel products, as well as new regulations on trading and transporting foreign currency and gold.In his decrees, Bashir authorised the public prosecutor to revoke any suspect's immunity should they have it and set up new courts to deal with cases related to the state of emergency.aljazeera
EU in talks with Egypt and other states over police data-sharing:middleeasteye
EU officials have begun talks with counterparts in several Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt and Turkey, about proposed data-sharing deals that would allow Europol to exchange personal information about suspects with local law enforcement authorities.In some circumstances, the deals could allow the transfer of data concerning a person’s race and ethnic origin, their political opinions and religious beliefs, trade-union memberships, genetic data and data concerning their health and sex life.The deals are being sought by the EU as part of efforts to bolster counter-terrorism policing across the continent despite concerns being raised about the human rights records of the countries by the bloc’s own data protection watchdog.Since the start of the year, Egypt has executed a number of prisoners convicted in cases in which several said they had been tortured into false confessions.Hundreds more people have also been sentenced to death, in what anti-death penalty campaign group Reprieve has called a “full-blown human rights crisis”, since President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi seized power in a coup in 2013.
Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam tomorrow
Vietnam's Hanoi is hosting the second summit between North Korea and US on Feb.27-28. Denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and ending international sanctions against Pyongyang are expected to be the main items on the agenda in the discussions between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump. Lu Kang, spokesperson for China's foreign ministry, says Beijing hopes talks between Trump and Kim will achieve denuclearisation and lasting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in northeast Asia.Accompanied by his sister Kim Yo Jong, Kim is paying a visit to the North Korean embassy in Hanoi.aljazeera
Flash: views & NEWS
China’s Treatment of Muslims a Defining Moment for OIC: Farida Deif, HRW
Iraq’s brutal crackdown on suspected IS supporters could trigger civil war
A short interview with Kashmir’s oldest political prisoner:Ghulam Mohammed Khan  Sopori:TCN
Hijab rule will inspire more Muslim boxers: N. Zareen

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:38 AM)


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