06 March 2019

6 March ND: Babri Masjid title suit appeals: SC reserves order on mediation/Modi Govt claims in SC that Rafale papers were stolen, probe underway; Next hearing on March 14/ Images show madrasa buildings still standing at Balakot: US satellite operator

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
06 March 2019: 28 Jamadiul-II 1440:Vol:11, No:144
Babri Masjid title suit appeals: SC reserves order on mediation

New Delhi:The Supreme Court today pressed for a compromise on the Ayodhya title suits dispute, with Justice S.A. Bobde on a Constitution Bench, saying the court is only concerned about the present state of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case and not the past history of Mughal invasion and conquests of Babur. Justice Bobde is part of the 5-judge Constitution Bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, which reserved for orders the question whether decades-old dispute, primarily between the Hindu and Muslim communities, should be sent for mediation.To a lawyer appearing for one of the Hindu parties, who said the mediation effort was bound to fail as the dispute was about religious sentiments, Justice Bobde retorted, "Do you think we are not as religious as you... We may be more religious than you". Justice Bobde said, "Primarily this is not about the 1,500 sq. ft. of disputed land, but about religious sentiments. We know its impact on public sentiment, on body politic. We are looking at minds, hearts and healing, if possible."When the lawyer continued to press on the injustices meted out by "Muslim invaders", Justice Bobde shot back, "Don't give us any history. We have no control of the past. We had no control over Babur invading... What we have control of is the dispute now and here."Judge said the proposed efforts for mediation should not be pre-judged even before it started. "Are you not pre-judging the situation even before mediation has started" he asked lawyer. Hindu parties, however, seemed unconvinced about the court's suggestion for a negotiated compromise with Muslim community. Even Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, on the Bench, expressed doubts about the binding nature of a compromise. But Justice Bobde intervened to observe that every community is represented by their respective bodies in the court in the Ayodhya dispute, which is originally in the nature of a representative suit.The SC considered the possibility of appointing more than one mediator and asked the parties to suggest names "in the event" it orders in favour of a mediation. It said an order would be pronounced "shortly".Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, for UP Govt, said the path of mediation was both "imprudent and inadvisable."But senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan, appearing for appellant M. Siddique, interjected and strongly objected to the presence of Mehta on the case. "This is unacceptable. He is Solicitor General of India. He is the statutory receiver. It is on record that UP govt is uninterested in dispute," Dhawan protested.thehindu
SC reserves order on whether Ayodhya title dispute should be settled through mediation
Modi Govt claims in SC that Rafale papers were stolen, probe underway; Next hearing on March 14
New Delhi: Modi Govt has informed the Supreme Court that documents linked to the controversial Rafale fighter jet deal were stolen and that newspapers that published ministry files may have violated Official Secrets Act. A 3-judge bench of the SC comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice K.M. Joseph assembled on Wednesday morning to hear a review petition in Rafale matter. Senior advocate and review petitioner Prashant Bhushan started by noting that the SC had unknowingly relied on “erroneous facts” while delivering its earlier judgement and that new documents, in the form of news reports published in The Hindu, should now be taken on record.It was at this point that Attorney General K.K. Venugopal rose and submitted that documents relied by the petitioners and The Hindu were stolen from the defence ministry and that the Centre was contemplating a probe under Official Secrets Act. “I have an objection! These documents were stolen from the Defence Ministry by some ex employee and the probe is ongoing. These documents are marked secret and were published by 2 papers…this is an offence under Official Secrets Act.We would be launching prosecution”, Venugopal was quoted as saying by LiveLaw. According to a Bar & Bench report, the attorney general noted that action may be taken against 2 papers which published documents regarding the Rafale negotiations and its pricing, and that action was also warranted against the senior counsel.In response to this,CJI Gogoi noted that first publication of the Rafale file nothings was done on Feb 8.“What have you done till now? You say the papers were stolen, what have you done?” CJI asked. To which the attorney general responded that he will find out.After breaking for lunch, back-and-forth between Venugopal and bench continued, centering around the admissibility of documents that had been obtained through illegal means. In a hypothetical example, CJI Gogoi highlighted that if an accused stole a document to prove his innocence, it should be admitted in court.“An accused is having difficulty in proving his innocence. He steals a document and shows it to judge. The document clearly shows he is innocent.Should judge not admit document,” CJI asked.After Bhushan resumed arguments, the SC indicated that he should argue for the moment on the basis that the stolen documents cannot be used. The bench noted that it will decide later on whether the review petition can be argued with those documents. After ex BJP minister Arun Shourie made arguments to effect that if the petitioners had documents to show Govt’s facts were wrong, they had a right to place those papers before the court. With time running out, bench then adjourned the next hearing to March 14. thewire
How can we fight (Pak) F-16s without rafale?centre argues in top court
No bank guarantees meant a more expensive new Rafale deal: The Hindu report
In its final report submitted to Defence Ministry on July 21, 2016, 7-member Indian Negotiating Team (INT) estimated the cost of loading bank guarantees, which French commercial suppliers with backing from French Govt refused to do, as €574 million. This made €7.87 billion inter-Govtal agreement signed on Sept.23, 2016 by NDA Govt for the aircraft and weapons packages for the 36 fly-away Rafale fighter jets more expensive by €246.11 million than the estimated aligned cost of the Rafale aircraft deal initiated by UPA Govt.“Report of INT on Procurement of 36 Rafale Aircraft for Indian Air Force” is a detailed and revealing document to which The Hindu has access. The report states in paragraph 69: “Final offer of 7878.98 M€ (excluding additional mandatory weapons supplies of 10.55 M€) is 327.89 M€ lower than the aligned cost of 8205.87 M€ with respect of MMRCA [Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft] offer without taking into account the impact of BG [Bank Guarantees], which has been brought out at Para-23 above [emphasis added].”In fact, INT report elaborates in paragraphs 21, 22, and 23 on how it arrived at €574 million as the cost of loading the bank guarantee. The computations were done on “an annual bank commission rate of 2% including confirmation charges by an Indian bank, as communicated by SBI on 02 March 2016,” and the total commercial impact of bank guarantees was worked out to a substantial 7.28% of the contract value.INT report reveals that Indian negotiators repeatedly pressed French side to provide bank guarantees. Ministry of Law & Justice had advised in writing, in Dec.2015, that as a legal safeguard Govt or sovereign guarantees should be obtained from France “in view of the Contract involving huge pay-outs value of procurement price before actual delivery of supplies and services, which de facto meant advance payment.” With the French side flatly refusing to accept this demand made during the negotiations, Indian negotiators did their best to secure bank guarantees, which had been included in the original MMRCA proposal made by Dassault Aviation.INT contended at one point that “the best way to resolve the concerns of the Ministry of Law & Justice and difference in the opinion of both sides with respect to the impact of BG loading is to provide BG and the confirmation charges would be borne by the Indian side.” This again proved to be of no avail.The final INT report is silent on why the commercial impact of loading the bank guarantees was not factored into its exercise of comparing the costs of the new deal and the original MMRCA proposal. The same failure to explain the substantial missing factor in the aligned cost comparison is encountered in the Comptroller and Auditor General of India’s report on the Rafale deal presented in Parliament on Feb.13, 2019. The Hindu
Modi misused Rafale deal to benefit firrm:Congress
Rafale documents: we are committed to protecting our sources, says N. Ram,of The Hindu Group
Without Rafale,how can we resist F-16s:Centre to SC
Delhi Fire: Important files, documents feared destroyed in CGO complex fire
A fire broke out today at office of Ministry of Social Justice in South Delhi's CGO complex, causing the death of a CISF sub-inspector and sparking fears that several important files and documents may have been destroyed. Fire broke out on the fifth floor of 11-storey Pandit Deendayal Antyodaya Bhawan that houses the office of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and other important Govt offices.CISF Sub-Inspector MP Godara had fallen unconscious after inhaling toxic gases when he went to take stock of the situation. He was taken to AIIMS, where he died, officials said.According to a ministry official, 80% of the entire B1 wing has been gutted and several files and documents have been destroyed."However,at this moment, it cannot be said that how much has been the damage but surely several files and documents may have been destroyed in the fire. We are not allowed to enter inside as it is sealed. An assessment can only be done once we go inside and check," the official said.Offices of the Drinking Water and Sanitation Ministry, Forest Ministry and a branch of IAF are located in Pandit Deendayal Antyodaya Bhawan, previously known as Paryavaran Bhawan. This event comes at a time when questions are being raised about the airstrikes undertaken by IAF and the close connection between the two events has raised many eyebrows.nationalheraldindia
Images show madrasa buildings still standing at Balakot: US satellite operator
New Delhi: High-resolution satellite images reviewed by Reuters show that a religious school run by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in northeastern Pakistan appears to be still standing days after India claimed its warplanes had hit the Islamist group’s training camp on the site and killed a large number of militants.The images produced by Planet Labs Inc, a San Francisco-based private satellite operator, show at least 6 buildings on the madrassa site on March 4, 6-days after the airstrike.Until now, no high-resolution satellite images were publicly available. But the images from Planet Labs, which show details as small as 72 cm, offer a clearer look at the structures the Indian Govt said it attacked.The image is virtually unchanged from an April 2018 satellite photo of the facility. There are no discernible holes in the roofs of buildings, no signs of scorching, blown-out walls, displaced trees around the madrassa or other signs of an aerial attack.The images cast further doubt on statements made over the last 8 days by the Indian Govt of PM Narendra Modi that the raids, early on Feb.26, had hit all the intended targets at the madrassa site near Jaba village and the town of Balakot in Pakistan.India’s foreign and defence ministries did not reply to emailed questions sent in the past few days seeking comment on what is shown in the satellite images and whether they undermine its official statements on the airstrikes.Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Project at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, who has 15 years’ experience in analysing satellite images of weapons sites and systems, confirmed that high-resolution satellite picture showed structures in question. “High-resolution images don’t show any evidence of bomb damage,” he said. Lewis viewed three other high-resolution Planet Labs pictures of the site taken within hours of the image provided to Reuters. Govt sources told Reuters last week that 12 Mirage 2000 jets carrying 1,000 kg bombs carried out the attack. A warhead of that size is meant to destroy hardened targets such as concrete shelters. Lewis and Dave Schmerler, a senior research associate at James Martin Center for Nonproliferation studies who also analyses satellite images, said weapons that large would have caused obvious damage to the structures visible in the picture.“If the strike had been successful, given information we have about what kind of munitions were used, I would expect to see signs that buildings had been damaged,” Lewis added.“I just don’t see that here.”Reuters
Families of soldiers’ killed in Pulwama attack seek proof of Balakot airstrike
After conflicting claims in media reports, several families of CRPF soldiers killed in Pulwama attack, have started demanding proof of the Balakot airstrike on JeM camp. "Like in our case (Pulwama) we saw someone 's hands, someone's limbs, we need to see something from the other side. Someone took responsibility for the bomb attack almost immediately. I am sure the strikes have happened but where have they done it? There should be clear proof. Until there is proof, how can we accept it? Pakistan says there is no damage to them so how can we accept it unless there is proof," questioned Ram Raksha, the sister of Ram Vakeel, a deceased CRPF jawan from UP, was quoted as saying by NDTV. "Show us, only then we will get peace and know that my brother's killing has been avenged.""We are not satisfied. So many sons died. We saw no one dead. There are no dead bodies on the other side. In fact, there was no confirmed news. We need to see this on TV. And we need to be told at our homes. We need to see the dead bodies of the terrorists," mother of Pradeep Kumar, Sulelata, in her 80s, told NDTV.“As evidence, we have received the bodies of our jawans after Pulwama attack, but there is no such evidence of the airstrikes in Pakistan,” reported TOI quoting Geeta Devi, widow of another slain soldier, Ram Vakeel.nationalheraldindia
UP deputy CM Maurya calls Pulwama attack 'big accident'; Digvijaya retweets his video
New Delhi: A day after some BJP leaders and PM Narendra Modi targeted Congress leader Digvijaya Singh for calling Pulwama strike an "accident", a video has surfaced showing their own leader and UP  deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya calling the Feb.14 attack a "big accident"."There was no lapse in security and it was a 'badi durghatna' (big accident) involving our CRPF jawans. PM had said that the armed forces have been given a free hand. Whatever action needs to be taken would be done by the armed forces. PM does not need to say any further," Maurya had said in the video on Feb. 21.On March 4, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh had described the Pulwama attack as an "accident," drawing sharp criticism from BJP.Digvijaya, who was at the receiving end of BJP attacks, was quick to retweet the videos of Keshav Prasad Maurya calling Pulwama a "big accident." Singh also challenged PM Narendra Modi to file a case against him over allegations from BJP leaders that he was an anti-national and a Pak supporter. TOI
Count of dead at Balakot:Within BJP, some de-escalation
Pak bans Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa, FIF
Pakistan Govt Tuesday formally banned Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its affiliate Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation under Anti Terrorism Act 1997. The updated National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) list shows JuD and FIF as the 69th and 70th outfit banned by the Pakistan Interior Ministry.The development comes after list updated on Monday showed that organisations were not banned despite Govt announcing on Feb.21 that JuD and FIF be notified as proscribed outfits.indian express
Pak puts Jaish chief Masood Azhar's brother, son in ‘preventive custody’, bans Saeed’s JuD
Mehbooba, Omar Welcome Pak Minister’s Sacking for Anti-Hindu Remark, Ask Why Bigotry Not Punished Here
Srinagar: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah welcomed the sacking of a provincial minister in Pakistan for his anti-Hindu remarks but lamented that similar bigotry in India was being ignored."His comments were repugnant.But at least he got sacked. Here ministers garland lynchers and the more anti- Muslim and communal you are the higher your rise will be in terms of status & power," Mufti tweeted. Pakistan's Punjab province Govt sacked its Information and Culture Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan over his anti-Hindu remarks.Reacting to the sacking, Abdullah said, in India, a Governor of a state is not even reprimanded for his public call to boycott and ostracise Kashmiri Muslims."In Pakistan a state minister is sacked for his remarks against Hindus. In India a state Governor isn't even reprimanded for his public call to boycott & ostracise all Kashmiri muslims," Omar tweeted."We like to compare ourselves to Pakistan so compare this fact as well," Abdullah said.At a press conference last month, the Pakistan minister was quoted by Samaa news agency, referring to Hindus as "cow urine-drinking people".PTI
Pompeo's Diplomatic Efforts Over Phone Defused Indo-Pak Tension: US
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo played an "essential role" in de-escalating tensions between India and Pakistan last week, according to a top official of the State Department.A State Department Spokesperson said:"Secretary Pompeo led diplomatic engagement directly, and that played an essential role in de-escalating the tensions between 2 sides"."We continue to urge both sides to continue to take steps to de-escalate the situation and that includes through direct communication. We believe strongly that further military activity will exacerbate the situation," he said.PTI
Kartarpur corridor: Pak says its delegation will visit India on March 14 to discuss draft deal
Islamabad has said a Pakistani delegation will visit New Delhi on March 14 to discuss a draft agreement about Kartarpur corridor. Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said an Indian delegation will visit Islamabad on March 28 to discuss the deal.It also said that its envoy to India, Sohail Mahmood, will return to New Delhi after “completion of consultations” in Islamabad.
Mehbooba leads protest against ban on JK Jamaat
PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti today led a protest against the ban on the Jamaat-e-Islami J&K, and called for the release of its arrested leaders, ANI reported.She held the protest in Anantnag district of South Kashmir. A large number of workers and leaders of PDP participated in protest, according to Greater Kashmir.Mufti demanded that Govt show citizens the evidence and chargesheet based on which the leaders of the banned group were arrested. “We won’t let this hooliganism continue,” Mufti told reporters. “We will go to district level now, then we will go to every corner of Kashmir. Elderly people who have been arrested must be released.”
Ban on J&K Jamaat-e-Islami puts future of over 1 lakh students at risk in Kashmir
Srinagar: Immediate effect of the ban on Jamaat-e-Islami J&K is being felt by children attending schools that are said to be run by the socio-religious organisation. According to reports, at least 20 schools run by Jammat’s education wing Falah-e-Aam Trust (FAT) have been seized by the authorities in various districts of the state. However, FAT has maintained that it has no affiliation with JeI. Sources said that at least 350 schools are currently being run by Trust with over 10,000 teachers and over one lakh students.FAT Chairman Mohammad Maqbool said most of the students are either orphans or students belonging to poor families. The trust, he said, is imparting education to children without any biases. “I want to make it clear that we have no affiliation with Jamaat. We don’t know why we are being targeted,” he said adding that Govt must consider the future of thousands of children and teachers.A teacher working with FAT from Shopian district said a FAT-run school in his district has over 3000 children. “I can tell you there must about one lakh students enrolled in FAT-run schools throughout the state.” said teacher who wished to not be named.The parents of those wards who are enrolled in the schools run by FAT are anxious about the future of their kids.“My 2 kids were enrolled in a FAT-run school since it was sealed by the authorities yesterday, I don’t know what to do know,” said Mushtaq Ahmad of Ganderbal district.An alumnus of FAT said "banning the JeI’s educational institutions in the J&K can be disastrous for the downtrodden section of the society as thousands of students education is at stake and hundreds of teachers would lose their source of income." Following the ban, the alumni of the schools run by FAT have penned an open letter to Govt of India and J&K Govt demanding the schools be spared from the ban. The letter is signed by the former students spread across the world, including leading universities like Harvard
All J&K parties want simultaneous polls: EC
Jammu: Concluding the Election Commission’s 2-day visit to J&K, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora said all political parties have urged the poll panel to hold simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls “at the earliest”.According to sources, both PDP and BJP supported simultaneous polls. The EC will take a final decision this week, said sources. indian express
India's unemployment rate rose to 7.2% in Feb:CMIE       
New Delhi:Unemployment rate in India rose to 7.2% in Feb.2019,the highest since Sept.2016, and up from 5.9% in February 2018, according to data compiled by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) that was released on Tuesday.The unemployment rate has climbed despite a fall in the number of job seekers, Mahesh Vyas, head of the Mumbai-based think tank told Reuters, citing an estimated fall in the labour force participation rate. Number of employed persons in India was estimated at 400 million in Feb.compared with 406 million a year ago, he said.CMIE numbers are based on a survey of tens of thousands of households across India. The figures are regarded by many economists as more credible than the jobless data produced by the govt.When Govt has released official data for the jobless rate in the past it has tended to be out-of-date. But recently it withheld a batch of data because officials said they needed to check its veracity.Reuters
 SC notice on plea on Muslims' exclusion from modified Foreigners Rules
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has sought response from Central and Assam Govts on the exclusion of Muslims from two notifications related to Passport Rules and Foreigners Rules that allow religious minorities facing persecution in neighbouring countries to stay in India even if they had entered without valid documents. The bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna has issued notice to the 2 Govts on a petition filed by the Assam State Jamiat Ulema challenging the relaxation in the Passport Rules and Foreigners Rules that allows religious minorities, except Muslims, facing persecution, particularly in the neighbouring countries, to continue to stay in India.Petitioner has described modification to Passport Rules and Foreigners Rules as discriminatory.The court tagged the plea by Assam State Jamiat Ulema with the one filed by the Nagarikatwa Aain Songsudhan Birodhi Mancha (Forum Against Citizenship Act Amendment Bill), which too has challenged the amendments to Passport Rules and Citizens Rules framed under the respective statutes.IANS
Bulandshahr: Sedition charge dropped against all 38 accused as UP Police fails to get sanction from govt
A court in Bulandshahr has dropped the sedition charge against 38 people accused of violence in Bulandshahr in which a police inspector and a civilian were killed, their lawyer claimed on Tuesday. UP Police is yet to take sanction from the state Govt for sedition charges against all accused in Bulandshahr violence. Local court pulled up the state police for adding IPC section 124A (sedition) in chargesheet without taking sanction from the state govt. Police and public prosecutor, however, maintained no charge had been dropped and they were awaiting permission from the state govt.They said "we have the authority to add sedition charges in the chargesheet. We have to give evidence to the Govt to take their sanction for the charge of sedition." They confirmed that they will soon be taking sanction from the state Govt for the same. When asked why the delay in notifying the state Govt took place, the police replied that "there is other work also."A total of 38 people, including local BJP and Bajrang Dal leaders, were arrested for the violence that broke out in Siyana tehsil of Bulandshahr on Dec.3, leading to the killing of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and villager Sumit Singh.indiatoday
UP: At 10, Muslims may form big block of BSP LS candidates
BSP has declared Muslim Lok Sabha incharges for 6 constituencies, and the number may go up to 10. In BSP, LS in-charge becomes the party candidate from that constituency. Of 38 seats BSP is contesting in UP, 10 are reserved constituencies, leaving 28 in the party’s kitty to be distributed among others. Out of the 28, 9 are from Brahmins. BSP is set to field around 9-10 Muslims, leaving 10-odd seats to accommodate other castes, including OBCs.Giving 9 tickets to Brahmins is understandable since Brahmins have voted for Mayawati before, but she hasn’t been able to woo the Muslims despite luring them with more tickets in past. Muslims form 19% of the voters in UP.TOI
After Wipe-Out in 2014, UP's Muslim Candidates Remain Liabilities in 2019:Mohammad Faisal
PM Modi Wants to Replace Constitution With Manusmriti: Dalit MP Savitri Phule
Lucknow: Bahraich Lok Sabha MP, Savitri Bai Phule, who recently joined the Congress after resigning from BJP, has accused PM Narendra Modi of attempting to change the Constitution of India.In an interview, the sitting dalit MP said that it was not BJP which was governing the country, but RSS that was ruling India, with its members, including Modi and some party top brass trying their best to replace the Constitution of India framed by Babsaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar with Manusmriti, an ancient text based on which many Hindu laws were framed during colonial rule.Newsclick
218 cases of hate crimes reported against Dalits, Muslims, other in India in 2018; UP tops, followed by Gujarat, Rajasthan, TN, Bihar: Amnesty India
Over 200 alleged cases of hate crimes were reported in 2018 against people from marginalised groups, especially Dalits, with UP recording the highest number of such incidents for the third consecutive year, Amnesty India said in a new report on Tuesday. Amnesty India, releasing data recorded on its website, ‘Halt the Hate’, said hate crimes were reported against people from marginalised communities, which includes Dalits and Adivasis, members of racial or religious minority groups, transgender persons and migrants.In 2018, the website documented a total of 218 incidents of alleged hate crimes. Of these, 142 were against Dalits, 50 against Muslims, and 8 each against Christians, Adivasis, and others.There were 97 incidents of assault and 87 cases of killings. Dalit women, in particular, faced a disproportionate amount of sexual violence, 33 out of 40 such incidents reported, it said.Cow-related violence and so-called ‘honour’ killings were among the common instances of alleged hate crimes, the report said.Of all the states and union territories where hate crime incidents were tracked, the top five states were UP, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Bihar, it said.PTI
“Manifesto against hate” unveiled; RSS agenda condemned, justice to Muslims demanded
New Delhi:A group of citizen-activists has unveiled their “manifesto against hate” demanding time-bound justice for victims of mob lynching, fake encounters and “targeted assassinations” and said all intelligence agencies should be made accountable to Parliament.A 16-page charter of demands released by community building organisation called United against Hate here accused RSS of attempting to undermine the Constitution, trying to impose a “uniform nationalistic idea” on India. Activists urged anti-BJP and anti-RSS political forces to incorporate their demands in their respective election manifestos. manifesto, drafted by academics, entrepreneurs, student activists and advocates, said, “Hate crimes, hate mongering, profiling of communities and misuse of laws are antithetical to the idea of democracy. The current offensive on the Republic and its Constitution are part of RSS agenda to turn our secular democracy into a Hindu Rashtra.” The demands made by NGO leaders — academics Ghazala Jamil and Apoorvanand, advocate Sanjay Hegde and mediaperson Urmilesh — are ensure proper investigation of all cases of mob lynching, constitute high-powered judicial tribunal on hate crimes and targeted attacks on minorities, constitute an independent judicial tribunal on alleged encounters, pass Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparation) Bill, frame a law against lynching and implement the SC guidelines on the same. tribune india
Gujarat: Minority community professor loses race for HOD post in VNSGU
Surat: Despite being the senior most, a professor from minority community lost race to become head of the mathematics department at Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (VNSGU). The university, based on a report of an inquiry committee, decided to select another professor as HOD. Earlier, a group of senators had made representation to National Commission for Minorities in Sept.2018 alleging that Dr MG Timol was not being made HOD despite being senior most because he belonged to the minority community. On Tuesday, accepting the report of inquiry committee, VNSGU syndicate approved appointment of Dr Dilip Joshi as HOD of mathematics dept. Calling it injustice to the senior most teacher, Rakesh Desai, HoD of English, walked out from the meeting. Timol, who has teaching in the department since 35 years, was appointed as in-charge HOD after Harish Doctor retired.TOI
Agartala: Police Files Case After Temporary Temple Comes up in Muslims Graveyard
Agartala: Police have lodged a case after a complaint was filed by a graveyard committee here alleging an illegal temple has been set up on a land being used as a burial ground, officials said on Tuesday.Officials said the temple is illegal and police have deployed security personnel at the spot in South Joynagar area of Agartala, the capital city of BJP-ruled Tripura.Tahar Miah, secretary of the South Joynagar Kabarstan Suraksha Committee, said the temporary Shiva temple was built there on the eve of Maha Shivaratri to grab the land used as a graveyard by the minority community for the last 70 years."We have sought help from the police to ensure that our burial spot is not affected, since any ownership otherwise could not be proved in the court of law. We want the entire land to be handed over to us," said Miah, who lodged the complaint on Monday.PTI
Mecca Masjid blast victims’ kin move HC against acquitted of all 5 accused, including Assemanand
Hyderabad: Aggrieved family members of the Mecca Masjid blast victims have knocked the Telangana high court’s door for justice, appealing against the verdict of the NIA special court, which acquitted all the 5 accused, including Swami Assemanand, some 10 months ago. Their petition will come up for hearing on June 4.The kin of the victims decided to move the HC as there was no indication from either the ministry of home affairs (MHA) or the NIA about filing a counter against the NIA court verdict. 4 of them — Osman Shareef, a salesperson from Nawab Saheb Kunta, Syeda Safia of Jahanuma, Shaik Ateeq, a bangle designer of Mohajir Basti near Charminar, and Amir Khan, a salesman of Lad Bazar — filed a writ petition before the HC recently through advocate Maqsood Bin Ahmed. In the petition, they contended that there was overwhelming evidence against the acquitted and appealed against the verdict. “Petition is listed for June 4,” Ahmed said. While Shareef lost his 16-year-old son Mohammed Irfan Shareef, Safia lost her husband Sajid Ali Khan, a private sector employee. Ateeq’s father Sheikh Jahangir suffered a severe head injury and Amir lost father Yousuf Khan and uncle Shafiq-ur-Rehman in the blasts. TOI
12 yrs after Samjhauta blasts, NIA court fixed March 11 for orders
Panchckula: 12 years after Samjhauta blasts,special NIA court in Panchkula on Wednesday fixed March 11 for orders in Samjhauta blasts case. NIA counsel Rajan Malhotra said defence completed their final arguments on Wednesday and thereafter special NIA Judge Jagdeep Singh fixed March 11 for orders in Samjhauta blasts case.The blasts on Samjhauta Express had taken place on Feb.18, 2007, killing 68 people, mostly Pakistanis. The train was targeted as Pakistani Muslims used to travel by it, as per NIA chargesheet. TOI
UP: 7 asked to surrender passports after their madrassa board marksheets found fake
Bareilly:Regional passport office in Bareilly on Tuesday served notice to 7 residents of Moradabad asking them to surrender their passports after marksheets of UP Board of Madrassa Education submitted by them turned out be fake.TOI earlier reported that regional passport office had received a letter from madrassa education board, in which it had reportedly verified the marksheets of 51 applicants. However, after passport officials noticed the signature of registrar on the letter different, they spoke to board officials, who confirmed that the board office had not issued any such letter verifying marksheets of applicants.The board office, however, sent a verification report of marksheets submitted by the 51 applicants last week, of which the marksheets of seven applicants were found to be fake.TOI
Gujarat: Muslim trust to set up gaushala near Karjan
Vadodara: At a time when the action of cow vigilantes have frequently come under scanner and caused tension, an Muslim trust will for the first time come up with a ‘gaushala’ in the state. The facility will be located at the Pingalwada village near Karjan in Vadodara district. The cattle pound will come up under the aegis of the Pir Kayamuddin Dada Trust. Working for promotion of cow rearing has been a tradition amongst the descendants of Matauddin Bava, who was fondly called Mota Miyan Bava. The tradition was carried forward by his sons Nizamuddin Bava and then Kayamuddin Bava Pirzada. TOI
Are Muslim Women in These Pics Really Celebrating Mahashivratri? the quint
A post claiming that burqa-clad Muslim women took out a kanwar yatra on the eve of Mahashivratri on 4 March, this year is being shared widely on social media.The translation of this post reads, “On the eve of Mahashivratri in Indore, Muslim mothers and sisters lifted kanwar in burqa. Won’t you welcome devotees of Shiv, Muslim sisters by writing Om Namah Shivay?” While the message intends to indicate at a shared communal harmony between Hindus and Muslims, the truth of this picture is not what has been claimed in the post shared by scores of people on Facebook.Not only are these pictures from 2015 and are being falsely circulated again in 2019, but even occasion mentioned is wrong because context is completely different.According to a report by HT, Muslim women seen in these pictures are, in fact, participating in a march taken out by Backward and Minority Finance Corporation and BJP unit in MP to deliver the message of social harmony among people. Moreover, the march saw participation from women of different faiths as well, the report added.
Scores of Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa compound
Scores of Israeli settlers forced their way into East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Wednesday, according to a Palestinian official. At least "69 Jewish settlers stormed the holy compound through the Al-Mugharbah gate," Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a Jordan-run organization responsible for overseeing the city's Islamic sites, said in a brief statement. Tension has escalated in Jerusalem since last month when Israeli police briefly shut Al-Aqsa Mosque’s Rahma Gate on eastern wall of Jerusalem’s Old City, triggering angry Palestinian protests. Ever since, Israeli authorities have banned scores of Palestinians, including religious officials, from entering the flashpoint site. Anadolu Agency
Scholars urge support for Al-Aqsa, Jerusalem
A major bloc of Muslim scholars has called for rallying support for East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque amid tension in the Palestinian territories over the holy site. "Our nation faces threats against its presence, entity and identity, Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque," the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) said in a statement on Wednesday.Doha-based union called for defense against "serious projects that target the Islamic and Arab identity of Jerusalem." IUMS went on to call for arranging various activities, including dedicating the Friday sermons to show solidarity with Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinian cause. Anadolu
UN Gaza report draws international outrage
London;Anger has been mounting worldwide over a recent UN inquiry which found that Israeli security forces committed serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law during Great March of Return rallies in 2018, with many calling for those responsible to be held accountable.“Report reinforces all previous Palestinian and international reports that Israel is committing war crimes against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Jerusalem,” said Zaher Birawi, head of the International Committee for Breaking the Siege on Gaza (ICBSG). President of Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS), Bertrand Heilbronn, told Anadolu Agency that the latest report should be adopted by the UNSC.Another reaction to the latest findings by the UN Commission of Inquiry came from the Netherlands’ DENK Party, which was founded by Turks and immigrants living in the country. Anadolu Agency
Israel dubs Hamas-linked TV ‘terrorist group’
Israel has decided to classify the Hamas-linked Al-Aqsa television channel, which broadcasts from the blockaded Gaza Strip, as a “terrorist” group. “PM and Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that Hamas's Al-Aqsa channel is a terrorist organization,” the Israeli Defense Ministry tweeted Wednesday.The move is the first time for a Palestinian media organization to be designated as a “terrorist group”.Anadolu Agency
At least 16 killed in bomb, gun attack in Afghanistan
Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked a construction company office in the Afghan city of Jalalabad on Wednesday killing 16 employees of Afghan company, a provincial official said.There was no immediate claim of responsibility.Reuters
Talks with Taliban focus on four key issues to end the Afghan war: US
US has said the ongoing negotiations with the Taliban are focused on four interconnected issues, including counterterrorism and troop withdrawal, that will be key for any future deal to end 17-year war in Afghanistan. A high-powered American delegation led by Special US Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has been holding marathon meetings in Doha, Qatar with a high-level Taliban team led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar."These discussions are ongoing, and what they're focusing on are the four interconnected issues that are going to compose any future agreement, and those four (issues) are counterterrorism, troop withdrawal, intra-Afghan dialogue and a ceasefire," State Department Spokesperson Robert Palladino told reporters.PTI
Guardian: Rumours of rift between Saudi King, MBS
The relationship between Saudi King Salman and his son and heir, Mohammed bin Salman, has been increasingly strained as they disagree on a number of issues, including the war in Yemen, according to a Guardian report published on Tuesday.Tensions are said to have come to a head during King Salman's visit to Egypt last month when his advisors warned of a potential move against him by the crown prince, the report said, citing an anonymous source.The king's loyalists were reportedly so alarmed by the threat that his security detail during the trip was replaced by a team of 30 hand-picked loyalists.Egyptian security guards were also dismissed, the source told the Guardian.On King Salman's return, MBS was not among the dignitaries who received the monarch. The source said the pair disagreed over King Salman's hard line on protesters in Algeria and Sudan, as well as the treatment of Yemeni prisoners of war.aljazeera
Will raids against Kurdish rebels with Iran:Turkey
Turkey and Iran will carry out a joint operation against Kurdish rebels, according to Ankara's interior minister. Turkey has battled the Kurdish PKK for decades, while the Iranian security forces have also fought its affiliate, Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK). Both groups have bases in neighbouring Iraq."God willing, we will carry out a joint operation against PKK together with Iran," Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told state media.Turkey and many of its Western allies have listed PKK as a "terrorist" group.aljazeera
Iraq: Kids tortured over suspected ISL links, HRW
Evidence emerging from Iraq shows how juveniles are being tortured into confessing to crimes, including being involved with the ISIL.Since 2016, HRW says 41 juveniles have reported being tied in stress positions, given electric shocks and beaten by Kurdish security forces with plastic pipes, electric cables, and rods, in order to extract confessions.The alleged torture occurred at a facility designed to rehabilitate juveniles. aljazeera
Flash: views & NEWS
Was the SC Mislead on CAG Report on Rafale? Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar
Rafale case: SC adjourns hearing to March 14 after A-G, petitioners engage in slugfest over ‘stolen files’
Ban on Jamaat and Ordinance Reservations: What Does It Imply?Zubair Sofi
 Kashmir seethes in anger as leaders question timing of ban on J&K Jamaat-e-Islami:Fayiq Wani, News Nation Exclusive
Medieval European doctors used medical knowledge from Muslim physicians: Irish Manuscript
'Don't need lessons on patriotism': Journalist Rahul Kanwal tells Union Minister Goyal
AAP & Cong Say ‘No Alliance’ in Delhi, But Deliberations Still On?MEGHNAD BOSE
What Will Come After a US Withdrawal From Afghanistan?Abdulkader Sinno, Associate Professor at Indiana University, Bloomington
Needless crackdown on Jamaat-e-Islami? Pushp Saraf, india legal live
From forest rights to GST and note ban: How Modi has favoured fat cats and harmed marginalised:Girish Shahane
'Utterly False' Belief in Autism's Link to Vaccines Debunked Yet Again:The Wire
Cries of ‘Constitutional Fraud’ over Centre’s Order on Job Reservation in J&K:Mudasir Ahmad
Border Lessons From Wing Commander Abhinandan's Ordeal:Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee
Rafale case: Shoot the messenger is the new diktat:Ashlin Mathew
Tamil Nadu: BJP uses triple talaq ordinance to win over Muslim women

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:01 PM)


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