09 March 2019

9 March ND: AIMPLB, Muslim clerics welcome mediation order but reiterate justice should based on legal position, not on faith/ Muslims unhappy with Sri Sri in mediation panel/After A-G’s U-turn, Chidambaram says ‘I suppose thief returned Rafale documents’

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
09 March 2019: 01 Rajab 1440:Vol: 11, No:146
AIMPLB, Muslim clerics welcome mediation order but reiterate justice should based on legal position, not on faith
New Delhi:All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and Muslim clerics said the Supreme Court’s decision to send the Ayodhya dispute for mediation was a positive step which may open space for a solution. They reiterated that justice should be delivered on the basis of the legal position and not on grounds of faith. AIMPLB general secretary Maulana Wali Rahmani told TOI that they would support the mediation process by putting across their viewpoint before the court-appointed panel. “In the past, when the SC asked parties to the case to resolve the matter through mediation, the SC did not get involved in the process. That has changed with this 3-member panel. The parties to the case will put their views before the panel and the outcome, a consensus or otherwise, will be conveyed to the court,” Rahmani said. SQR Ilyas, joint convener of AIMPLB’s Babri Masjid Committee, said they were always for mediation and welcomed the decision to make these proceedings in-camera. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind president and AIMPLB’s Vice President Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari reiterated that justice should be based on the legal position of the dispute. Jamiat Ulama president Maulana Arshad Madani was more assertive on what they would put on the table. “We will abide by the SC decision. We have said in the past that there was a masjid at the site which was about 500-600 years old and there was a Ram Chabutra and a Sita ki Rasoi. We want all that was there should exist and be restored as it was. We said this in the past and will say the same before the committee. This is our stand,” he said. A senior member of the AIMPLB and the convenor of the Babri Masjid Action Committee, Zafaryab Jilani, said he was ready for this and welcomed the move. Muslim litigant Iqbal Ansari welcomed the decision but questioned the absence of any local representative in the committee according to a HT report.  TOI/ HT
Our participation in mediation should not be viewed as change in our original stance on Babri: AIMPLB
SC’s Ayodhya mediation team: Rtd Judge Kalifulla, Sri Sri, Advocate Sri Ram
New Delhi:In its attempt to give mediation a shot to resolve the vexed Ayodhya issue, the Supreme Court Friday picked one of its own former judges, Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, a spiritual guru, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and a mediation expert, senior advocate Sriram Panchu, to sit with the parties and try to reach a settlement. It’s not clear how the 5 judges on the Constitution Bench decided on these 3 as mediators but their order noted “having taken note of the names suggested by the parties we are of the view that the following panel of learned mediators should be appointed to go into the dispute with liberty to the learned Mediators to co-opt other members of the Panel, if so required”.All 3 have a Tamil Nadu connection. Justice Kalifulla,son of late Justice M Fakkir Muhammad, hails from Sivagangai district. An active labour law practitioner, he was appointed permanent judge of the Madras High Court in March 2000. He served as Chief Justice of J&K High Court from Sept.18, 2011 till April 2, 2012 when he was elevated as a judge of the SC. Along with the then CJI TS Thakur, Justice Kalifulla delivered the verdict for structural reforms in BCCI in July 2016. At his farewell, CJI Thakur described Justice Kalifulla’s appointment as Chief Justice of J&K HC as a step towards national integration. He underlined the role played by Justice Kalifulla in “restoring faith in the minds of Kashmiris” by travelling across the state and setting up legal aid clinics. Sri Sri is a spiritual guru. When Sri Sri attempted to find an out-of-court settlement in Nov.2017, guru travelled to Lucknow and Ayodhya and held talks with stakeholders, sants and Muslim clerics, but his efforts did not bear fruit. At that time, he said: “If this issue has to be resolved forever, the only solution is that a grand temple is constructed with cooperation of both communities. This dream could be made true. There is generosity, love and bhaichara among people of communities and youths in the country.”Senior advocate Panchu had begun his practice under well-known lawyer Govind Swaminathan, ex Advocate General of Tamil Nadu. indian express
 Muslims unhappy with Sri Sri in mediation panel
Imam of Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, does not agree with people in the Supreme Court-appointed panel to mediate the Ayodhya dispute and thinks that this has no meaning. “We do not have any objection on the names of the people who are from the judicial background but as far the name of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is concerned, we have serious reservations as he is a party in this whole issue and his inclination is well known to everyone,” he said. He further added, “Sri Sri has regularly toed the line of one side in this dispute and we have not agreed to statements he has made in the past. I think it’s not worth making a committee with people who are partial.”Echoing similar sentiments, Mufti Mukarram, Imam of Fatehpuri Shahi Masjid, said, “The effort for mediation is welcome but my view is that there should be no one from outside, only the parties to the case and judges hearing the case should be a part of this process. As far as Sri Sri is concerned, he is a controversial person and basically, he is an expert in funding. The Art of Living that he runs is itself under scanner. He is very close to the current regime and he is basically a political person. With Ravi Shankar in the panel we don’t have any hope as we cannot trust him.” Mukarram said that about a month back, Sri Sri sent him a letter. “After reading the whole text, I tore it off,” he said .He added, “So, my view is, if the parties to the case sit together, only then there are chances of reaching some conclusion.”Mukarram sniffs a conspiracy in all this.Senior lawyer Mehmood Paracha has his own views on this and believes that it will not work. “I only say that it cannot work because it is purely a legal issue and it has to be decided purely on legal basis because honorable Supreme Court has itself stated that there are no two identifiable parties. There is no single individual or party who can claim that he is the representative of the said community,” he said.Even he is not happy about the inclusion of Sri Sri’s name init. nationalheraldindia
'Regrettable That Non-neutral Person Appointed': Owaisi on Sri Sri in Ayodhya Mediation Panel
Hyderabad: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a member of the Supreme Court-appointed panel to mediate the Ayodhya dispute, was "not a neutral person" and claimed that he had made controversial comments on the issue in the past."Ravi Shankar had made controversial statements on Ayodhya issue and threatened that India may become like Syria if Muslims do not give up their claims on the disputed land," Owaisi said.He had also said Muslims as a goodwill gesture should give up their claim on the disputed land, Owaisi said, adding he expected that Ravi Shankar should now act as a neutral person without keeping anything in mind."When he is connected with the subject matter, when he had made his position clear on which party's side he speaks... This is regrettable that such a person who is not neutral has been appointed by the SC,"he said.Owaisi, however, welcomed the SC order for mediation. "It would have been better had the SC appointed a neutral person. Even then I feel that Muslims should go to them (mediators),"HE said.PTI
Hindus are constantly being neglected: RSS unhappy over fresh SC order on Ayodhya dispute
RSS has criticised Supreme Court for its decision to call for mediation in the Ayodhya case.RSS said top court has taken a "surprising stand" instead of accelerating the process."That the SC should find no priority for this sensitive subject associated with deep faith of Hindu society is beyond understanding," RSS said.Saying that Hindus are being constantly neglected, RSS said:"We are experiencing that Hindus are constantly being neglected. While having full respect in the judicial system we would like to say emphatically that the Judgment on the dispute must expedite and remove the obstacles in constructing a grand Temple."RSS further questioned the apex court after drawing a parallel to the decision it gave in the Sabarimala case.India Today
Mixed reactions among political parties in Ayodhya over SC mediation decision
Political parties broadly welcomed on Friday the Supreme Court’s decision to refer Babri Masjid case to mediation but a number of Hindu groups opposed the efforts, saying it would further delay any resolution in the contentious issue.Union minister Uma Bharti asserted that she stood for building the Ram temple.“It is important to resolve the issue but it is more important and essential to build a grand temple at Sri Ram Janmbhoomi,” said BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao. Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said he respected the SC decision. “We sincerely hope that the people of India will see through the BJP’s duplicity and double speak,” he added. BSP leader Mayawati called move “appreciable”.Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, which spearheads Ram Temple movement,said it was not optimistic. “More than a dozen efforts have been made to resolve the Ayodhya dispute through mediation. All of them failed due to stubborn approach of Muslim litigants,” said Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, head of Nyas. RSS expressed its “full faith” in the SC but said the court “must expedite” and remove “obstacles” in constructing a temple. VHP termed the process a futile exercise. Hindu Mahasabha, representatives of Ram Lalla and the seers of Ayodhya opposed Ravi Shankar’s inclusion in the panel but Nirmohi Akhada welcomed the decision.HT
Imam Bukhari expresses serious reservations about Sri Sri’s inclusion Ayodhya Mediation Panel
Mumbai VHP's spokesperson: Battle not just for mandir but 67 acres of Ram's birthplace
It is negotiation time again for the highly sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue as the Supreme Court referred the land dispute case for mediation. Mumbai's VHP spokesperson and general secretary Sriraj Nair said, "The battle is not just for a mandir, it is for 67 acres of land, Ramjanmabhoomi, the birthplace of Lord Ram. Other countries in the world have demolished symbols and statues of invaders."mid-day
Attorney General does a little rewrite: Statement that files have been stolen is incorrect
New Delhi:2 days after he claimed in the Supreme Court that documents related to the Rafale fighter deal were “stolen” from Ministry of Defence, and threatened to invoke Official Secrets Act and initiate “criminal action” against 2 publications and a lawyer, Attorney General KK Venugopal did a U-turn Friday, saying the “statement that files have been stolen is wholly incorrect”. On Wednesday, appearing before the bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph, Venugopal initially did not name the publications but towards the end of the hearing said “documents in the possession of The Hindu and ANI are stolen documents”. He even said a probe into the theft was underway.But on Friday, A-G told PTI: “I am told that the Opposition has alleged what was argued (in SC) was that files had been stolen from the Defence Ministry.This is wholly incorrect. The statement that files have been stolen is wholly incorrect.” He said the application filed by ex-Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and lawyer Prashant Bhushan, seeking from the court a review of its verdict dismissing pleas for a probe into the Rafale deal, had annexed 3 documents which were photocopies of the original.A-G’s turnaround came after his remarks were condemned by press groups as “reprehensible… threats” with the “potential of sending out a chilling effect to one and all in the media”. At a briefing Thursday on Cabinet decisions, Jaitley said “it’s obvious” that “notings” of files of the Ministry of Defence, which are “sensitive interest to this country have been leaked out”. He said “don’t forget, we have a very free press in India, we respect it” and then added “even the framers of the Constitution said national security is an exception” and it has “never been challenged in the last 72 years”. On the proceedings in the SC, Jaitley said “what goes on in court, let’s leave it for the court to decide”. indianexpress
Sitharaman defends AG over ‘stolen’ Rafale notes
New Delhi: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has defended Attorney General KK Venugopal, who argued in the Supreme Court against admitting “secret” documents pertaining to Rafale deal. Sitharaman said Venugopal in his submission in the SC meant that the documents cited by the petitioner was “secret” and not be put out in public domain. She said the attorney general clarified his statement in an interview with news agency PTI.“Learned AG told PTI Rafale documents were not stolen from the Defence Ministry & what he meant in his submission before the SC was that petitioners in the application used “photocopies of the original” papers, deemed secret by govt,” she wrote.HT
After A-G’s U-turn, Chidambaram says ‘I suppose thief returned Rafale documents’
New Delhi :A day after Attorney General KK Venugopal did a U-turn and said documents related to Rafale deal were not stolen from the Defence Ministry, Congress leader P Chidambaram Saturday said he presumed the thief had returned them to the govt.“On Wednesday, it was ‘stolen documents’.On Friday, it was ‘photocopied documents’. I suppose the thief returned the documents in between on Thursday,” Chidambaram tweeted. He added, “On Wednesday, the Official Secrets Act was shown to the newspaper. On Friday, Olive Branches Act was shown.We salute common sense.”indianexpress
‘We kept quiet, but Pakistan began crying at 5am’: PM Modi on Balakot strike
Balakot:PM  Narendra Modi said it was Pakistan which “cried” after IAF carried out a strike at terror camps of Jaish-e-Mohammed deep across LoC. He said Pakistan had done its preparation after Pulwama attack expecting a post-Uri style surgical strike, but “we went by air”.“When surgical strike happened, we informed the country about it…After Pulwama, we did what we had but we were keeping quiet. It was Pakistan that started crying at 5 am on Twitter. Pakistan started crying ‘Modi ne maara,Modi ne maara’ (Modi hit us, Modi hit us)…But some people, who eat of India but make statements to help Pakistan,” PM Modi told a public rally in Noida.HT
India carried out 3 strikes in 5 years: Rajnath
Mangaluru: Union home minister Rajnath Singh today said that India has successfully carried out as many as 3 cross-border strikes in the past 5 years, but stopped short of revealing details about the third military action apart from Uri and Balakot. Rajnath said, "People know about the surgical strike of Uri and the air strike that the IAF carried out in Balakot. In fact, we have carried out 3 such strikes in five years. I can give you details of the two operations. However, I can't disclose details of the third one," Singh said.He said that Pakistan will have to pay a heavy price for protecting and providing shelters to terrorists.TOI
Ex- Navy Chief Ramdas writes open letter to CEC to ‘stop politicisation of armed forces’
Former Indian Navy chief, Admiral L Ramdas, has written an open letter to Election Commission of India, urging the poll body to stop the politicisation of armed forces in this year’s Lok Sabha polls.In his letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, Admiral Ramdas wrote, “On behalf of a number of my colleagues from the armed forces veterans, this is Admiral L Ramdas, writing to share some of my concerns regarding recent instances of using the Armed Forces for political gains, especially in the aftermath of both Pulwama and the strikes in Balakot and the shooting down, capture and repatriation of an Indian Air Force pilot.” He added, “I am sure that you are well aware that the Armed Forces have always prided themselves on belonging to a structure, an ethos and environment which has been both a-political and secular. With elections due a few weeks from now, it is particularly important that there should not be any misuse of these recent events by any political party to send triumphalist or jingoistic messages which can influence the electorate.”jantakareporter
Pulwama attack an outcome of match-fixing between PM Modi,Imran Khan: Congress leader Hariprasad
Senior Congress leader BK Hariprasad has claimed that the Pulwama attack was an outcome of match-fixing between PM Narendra Modi and his Pakicounterpart Imran Khan. Hariprasad said that the attack could not have happened without the knowledge of the Modi Govt .“Ravi Shankar Prasad should clarify whether there is any match-fixing between Pakistan and Modi. Or else, without their knowledge this Pulwama instance would not have taken place,” he said.“If you look at the chain of events that have taken place after Pulwama, it looks like Modi had a match-fixing with Pakistan people,” Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP added. He further said that this Govt can detect 2 kg of beef in Kerala but could not detect 300kgs of RDX in J&K.financialexpress
 Kashmir shuts to protest banning Jamaat, slapping PSA against its leaders, Malik: Kashmir reader
Srinagar: Kashmir Valley is observing a complete shutdown on Friday on the call of Joint Resistance Leadership.The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), comprising of octogenarian Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairperson Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik on Thursday asked the people to observe shutdown against the arrest spree, ban on socio/religious organization  Jamat-I-Islami J&K, attempts to tinker with hereditary state subject law and detention of Jamaat (JI) cadres under Public Safety Act. Reports said that authorities have imposed restrictions in Maisuma, Rainawari, Khanyar, MR Gunj and Safa Kadal areas of Srinagar city. Hurriyat (M) chairperson and Kashmir’s chief cleric Mirwaiz Umer Farooq has been placed under house arrest at his Nigeen residence. Geelani continues to remain under house arrest in Hyderpora locality of Srinagar for last 8 years, while Malik was arrested on Feb.22 and has been slapped with PSA and shifted to Kot Balwal jail.Witnesses said that all shops and other business establishments are shut in capital city Srinagar while public transport is off the roads. Similar reports were received from other district headquarters.
After ban on J&K Jamaat, Govt set to curb its online presence
New Delhi:Days after the Central Govt  banned the Jamaat-e-Islami, J&K, under UAPA, the Govt is said to be considering a curb on the online presence of the organisation, accusing it of using social media platforms to propagate its ideology and garner support.Based on inputs by agencies, the Govt  is set to give its nod to block the organisation’s website — — and plans to curb Jamaat’s social media activities on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, sources said.“While a tribunal led by a judge will look into the Home Ministry’s ban order, the Jamaat (JI) is allegedly misusing the social media platforms to build a narrative against the govt’s order. The notification banning JeI for 5 years was cleared by Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS),”senior Govt official said. The JeI’s Twitter handle has more than 5,800 followers, and on Thursday it had tweeted a photograph showing the organisation’s central offices being sealed. The post stated, “…Jamaat has already announced to challenge this arbitrary ban on our right peaceful assembly and religious freedom in the court of law.”On Facebook, the organisation has termed the ban by Centre as “unconstitutional” and “undemocratic”.An MHA official said, “This organisation has nothing to do with the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind [formed at the time of Independence]. In 1953, JI J&K enacted its own constitution. It is the main organisation responsible for propagation of separatist and radical ideology in Kashmir valley.IT is also responsible for formation of Hizbul Mujahideen”In Nov.1997, 7 years after Hizbul Mujahideen called itself the military wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, ameer of organisation, had publicly distanced it from militancy. indian express
Jammu grenade attack accused will turn 13 tomorrow, school certificate shows
Srinagar :The person accused of lobbing a grenade at the Jammu bus stand, killing 2 people and injuring more than 30, is a Class IX student who will be turning 13 years old on Sunday, his school certificate shows. Hours after the grenade blast on Thursday, Jammu and Kashmir Police said that a person from South Kashmir’s Kulgam had been arrested, and that he was tasked by the Hizbul Mujahideen’s Kulgam district commander to carry out the attack.On Friday, the school record of the accused revealed that his birth date was March 10, 2006. “This is to certify that… is a student of class 9th. His date of birth as per school records is as under 10-3-2006,” reads a certificate issued by the principal of a school in Kulgam district, where the accused is enrolled. At a press conference in Jammu on Thursday, senior police officers led by IGP Jammu MK Sinha had presented the accused before the media and revealed all his details. When asked why this was done for an accused who seemed to be a juvenile, the police said they “were not aware about his age”.“We didn’t know his age and we still don’t know (his age),” Sinha said. The family members of the accused said he left home on Tuesday afternoon to visit his maternal uncle. “He spent a night there and next day (Wednesday) he left, saying he was going home. But he didn’t return. We had no idea that he reached Jammu,” his mother said. “On Thursday morning, he called us and asked for a contact number of a relative in Jammu… in a few hours we heard he was arrested.”Another relative said: “We request Governor Sahib to intervene. He is an innocent boy. Anyone can check his background. He was never involved in anything.”indian express
Meghalaya opposition boycotts Governor’s address over his anti-Kashmiri tweet
Shillong:Opposition Congress party on Friday boycotted a ceremonial address by Meghalaya governor Tathagata Roy on the first day of the state assembly’s budget session in protest against his controversial tweets in the aftermath of the attack in Pulwama.Congress leader and former state CM  Mukul Sangma said Roy posted his comments at a time when Kashmiris living outside the state were being attacked in some parts of the country.“He [Roy] had tweeted that all Kashmiri goods should be boycotted and people should not visit Kashmir,” Sangma told reporters. HT
MHA issues advisory for safety of J&K residents in other states, tells police to take strict action
New Delhi:2 days after the attack on Kashmiri vendors in Lucknow, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an advisory to all states and UTs asking them to reinforce the security arrangements to ensure the safety of the people of J&K residing in their respective jurisdictions.This is the second time that a similar advisory notice has been issued by the home ministry since Pulwama attack.
US issues travel advisory for citizens: Don’t visit J&K due to ‘terrorism’, don’t go near Pak border
New Delhi : UD Saturday issued a travel warning for its citizens visiting India due to “terrorism and civil unrest” in the country. It also asked Americans not to go within 10 kms of the border with Pakistan “due to the potential for armed conflict.”The level-2 travel alert comes in the wake of tensions between India and Pakistan.White House bureau chief Steve Herman said on Twitter Saturday: “US issues Level 2 travel alert for #India — “exercise increased caution,” warning Americans to not visit most of Jammu and Kashmir due to “terrorism and civil unrest” and not go within 10 km of the border with #Pakistan “due to the potential for armed conflict.”Asserting that some areas have increased risk,US asked its citizens to exercise increased caution in India due to “crime and terrorism”. However, the country has made an exception for tourists visiting the eastern Ladakh region and its capital Leh.indian express
Hafiz Saeed ‘barred’ from giving Friday sermon:Pak
 Pakistan Govt has announced that Hafiz Saeed has been “barred” from delivering the weekly Friday sermon at the headquarters of his outfit JuD in Lahore in Punjab province.This is perhaps for the first time in years that Hafiz Saeed, despite being present in Lahore, will not be able to deliver the Friday sermon at Jamia Masjid Qadsia, the headquarters of the JuD. Hafiz Saeed was never stopped from delivering Friday sermons even during the years when Masjid Qadsia’s control was under Pakistan’s Punjab Govt .“As the Punjab police have sealed the Jamia Masjid Qadsia, Saeed will not be allowed to enter the premises to give his weekly sermon on Friday,” a senior official of the Govt  told PTI.the statesman
On Women's Day, Pakistan's First Hindu Dalit Woman Senator Chairs Parliament Session:PTI
Krishna Kumari Kohli, Pakistan's first female senator from the Hindu Dalit community, on Friday chaired the session of the Upper House of Parliament on occasion of Women's Day."Chairman Senate of Pakistan decided to make our colleague Krishna Kumari Kohli aka Kishoo Bai to Chair the Senate for today on Women's Day, "Senator Faisal Javed tweeted. Krishna, 40, was elected as senator in March 2018 after spending many years working for the rights of bonded labourers in Muslim-majority Pakistan. She is the first Thari Hindu woman to be elected to the Pakistan senate.She belongs to Kohli community from the remote village of Dhana Gam in Nagarparkar area of Sindh province where a sizeable number of Hindus live."I consider myself very fortunate today to be sitting on this seat...,"she said before starting the session.
Govt brings in Aadhaar authentication for banks through the backdoor: National Herald India
While the whole media was focused on the Rafale case and Ayodhya mediation ruling in the Supreme Court, the Govt  released a Govt  notification to allow for the pricing of Aadhaar Authentication Services. It will be Rs 20 for each e-KYC transaction and 0.50 paise for each Yes/No authentication transaction. So, Aadhaar no longer is a social security scheme and with this, it is one more obstacle for the poor to get their ration or benefit from any of the schemes. “It is not yet clear if the costs will be passed on to the customers, but the banks have always passed on these costs to the customer. Banks fool us into believing that we need to pay for every additional service, including getting a cheque book. When you deposit your money with a bank, it costs you 3.5%; when you want to borrow from the same bank, the rate is anywhere between 11-13.5%. The difference of 10% is the spread that banks are earning on our deposits. This is the highest spread in the world; in most developed countries, it is as low as 2%,” points out Sucheta Dalal, activist and editor of Money Life.
Varanasi: Hundreds of Dalits locked for hours before Modi’s visit
While PM Narendra Modi was inaugurating “Vishwanath Dham,” the so-called Kashi Vishwanath Corridor on the debris of the oldest living civilization in the world, residents of a nearby scheduled caste settlement were virtually locked-up in their premises due to a heavy security cover.Forget the requests and petitions that they had prepared to present to their parliamentary representative Narendra Modi about the injustices meted out to them over the last few months, they were not even allowed to roam freely in bylanes of their own neighbourhood and were forced to stay back on ghats for more than a couple of hours during which PM Modi stayed there. Vishal, a youth in his twenties, says, “Modi is scared of us. That is why he has kept us out of the premise which he visited.”The plight of forty Dalit families living near Jalasen Ghat and only next to Manikarnika Ghat in Varanasi is a blot on the development model of Narendra Modi. This is a sordid chapter in the making of Kyoto from Kashi that has gone unheard in the media. This locality, which is predominantly SC and a mix of OBC groups like Mallah, Sahni, etc. bears a single address, CK-10/35. These people are sons of the soil. They do not even remember the exact generation that they started settling in the area. These are the real “ghatias” (people who live on the ghats of Ganga) of Pakka mahal, the local name for the crescent-shaped old Kashi that flourished just on the banks of Ganga. After hundreds of years, ghatias are now facing eviction due to the first phase of the so-called Corridor that is supposed to connect Kashi Vishwanath temple with river Ganga, half a kilometer sloppy stretch. Vishal’s mother says, “We do not know why to go from here and where to go from here.”nationalheraldindia
Muzaffarnagar: Youth beaten up by BJP supporters for complaining about jobs on TV programme
A young student was brutally beaten by alleged BJP supporters in UP’s Muzaffarnagar district after he spoke about the lack of jobs to a TV reporter on air. The video that captured the appalling incident has gone viral. A journalist was hosting an election show ‘Mahaul Banaye Rakhiye’ for a Hindi channel named ‘Bharat Samachar’. Adnan, a local, was with his friends when he spotted a television crew conducting a vox pop and decided to take part in it. The video shows the journalist as he moves around asking questions and as the mic goes towards the youth, he is asked about the changes made by the BJP Govt  after they won the people’s mandate in the state.Adnan replied, “Nothing much has changed.” The reporter was doing an interactive session with the youngsters on issues of the day.Adnan added that after the BJP come to power in UP, the roads have not improved and employment has remarkably decreased. As soon as Adnan finished his statement, a group of BJP supporters also present around the camera swooped down on him and started thrashing him.The video also showed people calling the youth a ‘terrorist’.“I was beaten up as I am a Muslim and spoke against the BJP. I was even called an anti-national. I want strict action against the culprits,” a report by News18 quoted Adnan as express
Protests Break Out After 2 Muslim Youths Are Beaten to Death in Police Custody in Bihar
In Bihar’s Sitamarhi district, anger is simmering as people have been protesting since the last two days, demanding justice and stern action against policemen in the alleged murder of two Muslim youths in police custody. Protesters have also demanded a high-level probe into it.However, the district police in a ritualistic action has suspended eight police men including the Station House Office of Dumra police station (where the incident happened) and ordered a probe by police itself. Mohammad Taslim, 35 and Mohammad Gufran, 30, residents of Ramdiha village under Chakia police station in East Champaran district were picked up by a police team from Sitamarhi on Tuesday night  for questioning in connection with their suspected involvement in a loot and murder case last month. After that, Taslim and Gufran were detained in Dumra police station, where they were allegedly tortured and mercilessly beaten by the police to accept their involvement in the loot and murder case, finally leading to their death. Taslim and Gufran died within 20 hours after being detained by the police, raising serious questions on police and embarrassing state govt.“Police on Wednesday beat Gufran and Taslim till they were half dead and lost consciousness. After that, they admitted the two of them to a hospital but soon after both succumbed to their internal injuries. It is a clear case of murder by police in police custody. How did the two of them, who were healthy a day before detaining, died in police custody?” Manawar Ali, Gufran’s father said. Ali said his son Gufran, who is survived by two minor children and his wife, was innocent and that there is no case lodge against him in any police station in the district. He said, “Gufran died in police custody after being beaten badly for not accepting his involvement in a case in which he was not at all involved.”newsclick
 Fugitive Nirav Modi spotted in London, reportedly conducts business as usual
New Delhi :Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, who is wanted in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank fraud in India, is living in a luxurious apartment situated in London’s West End and running a diamond business, according to a report published in The Telegraph.A video released by a UK-based newspaper on Saturday shows Modi, apparently sporting a jacket made from “Ostrich hide” which costs “at least £10,000” (over Rs 9 lakh), repeatedly answering “no comment” to every question posed by the reporter.Modi is living in a “3-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block, with views across London”, likely to be rented at around £17,000 , the report stated.Citing highly placed sources in UK Govt , The Telegraph reported that Modi was provided with a ‘National Insurance Number’ by the Department for Work and Pension which allows him to operate online bank accounts in the country while still being on a wanted list in India. When asked about this, Modi replies: “No comment”.indian express
RSS top organ meet begins: On agenda – Sabarimala issue, resolution against Kerala govt
Gwalior:3-day annual meeting of the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS), RSS’S top policy-formulation and decision-making arm, began in Gwalior on Friday and is set to discuss the Sabarimala temple issue and pass a resolution against the Kerala Govt .Top RSS leader Manmohan Vaidya told the media: “Sabarimala Temple issue is related to age-old dharmic traditions. Kerala Govt  is committing excesses against Hindu devotees in the garb of implementing the SC’s decision. A resolution will be passed on this issue.”indian express
Mizoram Cabinet Approves Liquor Prohibition Bill
Aizawl: Mizoram cabinet has approved the proposed liquor prohibition bill in the state, officials said Saturday.The cabinet meeting chaired by CM  Zoramthanga approved Mizoram Liquor Prohibition Bill, 2019, the official said.The bill would be introduced in the state assembly during the Budget session starting from March 20, the official added.The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) had promised during the state Assembly election in November last year that if voted to power it would ensure total prohibition in the northeast state.PTI
UP Literary Body Strips Dalit Professor of Award for Facebook Posts Against BJP
New Delhi: What could you stand to lose if you are critical of Govt while being employed in a state-funded institution? For one, parting with a prize.This is what happened to Ravikant, a Dalit professor at Lucknow university, when a Uttar Pradesh state Govt -sponsored literary collective withdrew the award it had bestowed upon him for posting critical comments against the BJP-led Govt at the Centre and the state on his Facebook page.Ravikant, an assistant professor of Hindi, was nominated for the Raman Lal Agarwal Prize given out annually by State Employees Literary Association, a collective of Govt  officials funded by the state.The association was founded in 1996. Since then, it has been giving away more than 25 awards annually to distinguished literary personalities who write in Hindi. Of late, it has also started felicitating 2 non-Hindi poets or novelists annually. Most of these awards are sponsored by the state Govt .Ravikant was supposed to get the award later this month. But on March 6, he received a letter informing him that that was no longer the case.thewire
Modi govt’s plan to revive BSNL hits financial fraud; enquiry ordered in Himachal
Even as the Modi Govt lends a push to minimise the losses of state-run telecom giant BSNL, an investigation by National Herald has revealed that the countrywide portfolio of properties managed by BSNL are being illegally mutated from the Department of Telecom. The allegations, under probe in Himachal Pradesh, would mean lesser revenues for BSNL, in turn affecting Govt’s plans to monetise Govt’s assets.Official sources have told National Herald that the District Collector of Shimla has sought revenue records from concerned tehsildars to ascertain whether any stamp duty was paid at all at the time of transferring DoT’s properties to BSNL.nationalheraldindia
Muslims attacked on petty pretexts like eating beef under BJP rule: Mamata in her book
New Delhi: West Bengal CM and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee has questioned Modi Govt  on the attack, in her latest book titled “India in Distress” that was released here on Friday, in the presence of TMC’s parliamentary leader in Rajya Sabha, Derek O'Brien. Writing on the Pulwama attack, Banerjee sought to know whether there was intelligence failure on part of the security agencies and if such a threat was discussed in meetings with concerned officials.“…I was constantly asking myself how such an incident could happen… Few facts came to me which raised more questions,” she wrote in the last chapter that was added to the book after Pulwama attack.She goes on to ask: “Why the standard operating procedure(SOP) for convoy movement including sanitisation of the entire route was not followed? Why 78 vehicles were allowed in a convoy movement in a very sensitive zone? Why 'naka' (check post) checking at the point of barriers on frequent intervals en route was not carried out?”“It is reported that the CRPF had asked for airlifting their jawans, but it was not cleared. Why? Who are responsible for such glaring lapses and lack of coordination? I am constantly asking myself are the jawans and the people of this country safe and secure in the hands of Govt?” she added.In the book that deals essentially with the state of affairs in the country under the present regime in the last four and half years, she claimed that a conspiracy was afoot to erase the memory of Mahatma Gandhi and secularism was being replaced by “violence and brutality.”Coming down on the ruling BJP she says, violence is being inflicted on the Muslim community on “petty pretexts” like eating beef under the BJP rule. India is being converted into a country of “religious orthodoxy” and its secular non-violent fabric is being distorted, she has claimed.“It is as if with the BJP in power, hooligans have got a license to practice violence and riots. They are not afraid of anyone anymore. We see that violence is being inflicted upon the minority Muslim communities across the country. We see that on various petty pretexts like eating cow meat to 'love jihad', Muslims are being slaughtered in various corners of the country. timesofindia
PFI’s Muslim Political Conclave intervenes with a Charter of Demands
New Delhi: Muslim Political Conclave, which was convened in New Delhi by PFI, has urged all the political parties which are concerned with minority rights to respond positively and include those demands in their election manifesto.The conclave has also appealed to the people, especially minority community voters to watch and evaluate the response of contesting political parties and candidates to this Charter of Demands while exercising their franchise in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. As a follow up of the Conclave, efforts will be taken to include these Charter items in the agenda of political parties and to make the voters alert about their rights. siasat
Palestinian protester shot in head near Gaza border: ministry
Israeli forces have shot and killed a Palestinian man and wounded more than 40 as thousands protested near the Gaza Strip's perimeter fence, enclave's health ministry has said. Tamer Arafat, 23, died from his wounds on Friday during 50th week of demonstrations, said Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesman for the ministry. Qidra also said that 48 Palestinians had been wounded by Israeli gunfire, including four medics, 2 women and 15 children. Israeli military said over 8,000 Palestinians took part in the demonstration, throwing rocks and explosives towards soldiers, and that some tried to breach the fence into Israel.A spokesman for military said Israeli forces "responded with riot dispersal means and fired in accordance with standard operating procedures".aljazeera
Israel's Checkpoint 300: Suffocation and broken ribs at rush hour
Bethlehem: Frantic clamoring disrupts the usual noises at Israel's Checkpoint 300 in northern Bethlehem city, where thousands of Palestinian workers queue for hours, starting at 3am, to make it on time for their jobs in Israel. Workers chat, bicker, joke, frustratingly shout, bang on the steel bars, and rattle the turnstiles that Israeli border police officials intermittently lock amid the heavy traffic."He has fainted. Everyone move! Call an ambulance!" The crowd becomes louder as a young man is carried outside the checkpoint. Numerous workers surround the man's limp body stretched out on the ground, and others attempt to resuscitate him - to no avail.Several of the bystanders shout: "Move, move! Make room! Let the journalist film! Show the world what is happening to us," as they push people aside to create a cleared space for Al Jazeera to photograph the scene.An ambulance arrives, and the young man is lifted onto a gurney and rushed to the hospital. The workers continue on through the single cement lane, sipping on small paper cups of coffee to push past their exhaustion. One worker looks at Al Jazeera and says: "Israel treats animals better than us."It's a typical morning at Checkpoint 300.Palestinians have long complained of the volatile conditions at the checkpoint - also referred to as the Gilo checkpoint.Al Jazeera
Hamas says to vie in elections under unity gov't
Palestinian group Hamas said Saturday it was ready to take part in presidential and legislative elections under the supervision of a national unity govt. On Friday, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh met with election commission head Hanna Nasser to discuss proposals for holding Palestinian polls.  "Hamas told Nasser of the group's agreement to participate in presidential and legislative polls, to be supervised by a national unity Govt," spokesman Abdel Latif al-Qanoua said. He said Hamas also suggested holding elections of the Palestinian National Council, the legislative body of the umbrella PLO. "Hamas is also ready to implement the 2011 reconciliation agreement," he said, adding that his group was "open to all solutions that serve the Palestinian people."  Anadolu
100 civilians killed,wounded every week in Yemen: UN
Almost 100 civilians were either killed or wounded every week in Yemen last year, with children accounting for a fifth of all casualties, the UN has said. According to figures released by the world body's refugee agency on Thursday, more than 4,800 civilian deaths and injuries were reported over the course of 2018,Children accounted for 410 deaths and 542 injuries, UNHCR said. Relying on open source data for its findings, the agency noted that nearly half of all the casualties - 48 % - were reported in the western city of Hodeidah, whose strategic port has been the scene of fierce fighting between Houthi rebels and Saudi-UAE-backed fighters supporting Yemen's Govt.aljazeera
Malaysia denounced over detention of Egyptian president Sisi's critics
Human rights bodies have criticised Malaysian authorities for detaining four Egyptians critical of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi with the intention of returning them to Egypt.Describing the move as a violation of human rights law and legal procedure, groups expressed fear the Egyptians will face severe punishment back home.An official at Malaysia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Friday that 4 Egyptians had been detained in an operation by Special Branch, the intelligence arm of the country's police, and the immigration department. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the men were not registered as refugees."We can confirm the four have been arrested under SOSMA,"official said.aljazeera
Report: Female Palestinian refugees repeatedly raped in Syria prisons
Families of female Palestinian prisoners in Syrian jails have said that their daughters were repeatedly raped and severely tortured, but their plight is being ignored. According to the Task Group for Palestinians in Syria, the families sent a message to international bodies and rights groups criticising the negligence surrounding the issue, Shehab reported yesterday.Task Group – which received a copy of the message – said that the families called for international bodies and rights groups to work towards stopping torture and violations inflicted on their daughters inside Syrian intelligence services prisons, as well as to do their best to release them.Ex-female prisoners have said that they were subject to “all form of torture inside Syrian prisons, including electrocution, hanging, being beaten with iron poles and whips, as well as being repeatedly raped by their jailers”.Sources have documented 1,730 Palestinian refugees inside Syrian jails, including 110 women, stating that they do not have any information about their situation.MEMO
Blackwater founder Erik Prince acknowledges 2016 Trump Tower meeting for first time
Erik Prince,founder of the private US security company Blackwater, has admitted to meeting with members of Trump campaign in Aug.2016 after, according to a public transcript, apparently failing to disclose the gathering during his testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee last year. When asked by Mehdi Hasan on Al Jazeera's programme about the August 3, 2016, Trump Tower meeting that reportedly took place between Prince, Donald Trump campaign officials, an Israeli social media specialist and an emissary for 2 Gulf princes, former Blackwater CEO did not deny the meeting took place."We were there … to talk about Iran policy," Prince said when pressed by Hasan. According to NYT, that meeting was attended by Prince, Donald Trump Jr, George Nader, ex Blackwater employee and emissary for crown princes of Saudi Arabia and UAE, Stephen Miller, then a top aide to Trump campaign and currently a senior policy adviser to the president and Joel Zamel, whose company Psy-Group employed former Israeli intelligence operatives and specialised in social media manipulation and was reportedly contacted by Rick Gates, a top Trump campaign official, for proposals for social media manipulation to help Trump win the election. Prince, however, apparently did not disclose information about the meeting when testifying before House Intelligence Committee on Nov.30, 2017, according to a public transcript. aljazeera
Algeria: Deputies resign from ruling party, join protests against President Bouteflika
Several deputies have resigned from Algeria’s ruling National Liberation Front (NFL) and joined the protests. Algerian authorities stopped train and metro services in the capital Algiers yesterday amid tight security measures, as thousands of demonstrators gathered in the centre of the city, chanting slogans against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s intention to run for a fifth term in office, according to AFP.At noon, men and women raising Algerian flags continued to gather at the Grand Post Office square in the heart of the capital.This was the third week of mass protests, the biggest challenge to the 82-year-old president who has ruled the country for 20 years and is running on 18 April to win a new term.Tens of thousands of Algerians are demanding that Bouteflika step down, fed up with the dominance of veterans who fought the War of Independence from France between 1954 and 1962. However, despite his deteriorating health, Bouteflika has vowed to run again for the presidency.On Sunday, the Algerian president issued his first warning to protesters, saying that unrest could destabilise the country.Bouteflika, who is currently in a hospital in Geneva, Switzerland, has now spoken in public since he had a stroke in 2013.middleeastmonitor
Algerians mobilise for mass anti Prez protests
Just 1 Drink a Day May Increase High Blood Pressure Risk:New Study
Moderate alcohol consumption is thought to be heart healthy, but a new study suggests that the truth is more complicated. Even moderate alcohol consumption appears to raise the risk of high blood pressure.Drinking alcohol, even in moderation, may increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, say researchers.Yes, this is the same “moderate” that we’ve been told many times before is heart healthy.While earlier research has suggested that light and moderate alcohol consumption reduces the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, a new study has a different finding.The new study was presented today at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session. It included data from 17,059 US adults who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 1988 and
Flash: views & NEWS
Can parties in Ayodhya dispute display spirit of accommodation needed to make mediation a success? Faizan Mustafa, indian express
SC-mandated mediation in Ayodhya dispute must not be a substitute for due process:indian express Editorial
SC sending Ayodhya dispute to mediators could be harbinger of a win-win situation for both sides: Sanjay R Hegde, indian express
'Overarching Climate of Fear in the Media Ecosystem': N. Ram of The Hindu
Why Hindutva Nationalists Need a Sadhguru:Angshuman Choudhury
Gujarat: 3,565 EVMs, 2,594 VVPATs for Lok Sabha polls found defective
How ex PMs, spiritual gurus have failed to resolve Ayodhya dispute:M Tariq Khan
With Congress increasingly becoming BJP minus hate, it cannot be the first choice for UP’s Muslims:Ajaz Ashraf
How Children are being divided along communal lines after Pulwama incident: Nikhat Fatima
Pulwama attacks aftermath: Othering, civilising processes and life as an Indian Muslim today:Misria Ali, firstpost
Muslims Attacked on Petty Pretexts Like Eating Beef Under BJP Rule: Mamata Writes in Her Book
Is BJP using a ban on Jamaat-e-Islami to prove its toughness in Kashmir?Suhail Bukhari
Anti-Pak wave helps Modi salvage some votes from unhappy farms:Rajendra Jadhav, Reuters
SC Has Ordered Mediation But the Modi Govt Wants Ayodhya Pot Boiling:Advocate M.R. Shamshad
TIFR crisis: Modi’s surgical strike on science and rational thinking:Gauhar Raza
A Second Term for Modi? Academicians Remain Divided on Their Stand Ahead of Lok Sabha Polls:Eram Agha |
By design and delusion, the project to radicalise Hindu India gains momentum:Samar Halarnkar
15 months ago, Sri Sri’s Ayodhya solution: A temple constructed with cooperation of both communities
Ayodhya: Judge who ‘restored faith in mind of Kashmiris’

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:08 PM)


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