02 April 2019

02 April ND: Gurgaon Muslim family, who was attacked by mob, threatens mass suicide over police ‘inaction’/Debris from India's ASAT Test Could Threaten Space Station: NASA Chief

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
02 April 2019: 25 Rajab 1440:Vol: 11, No:166
Gurgaon Muslim family, who was attacked by mob, threatens mass suicide over police ‘inaction’
A family, who was attacked by a mob, threatened of mass suicide on Monday, alleging that it was being pressured to withdraw FIR and police were not taking action under "influence" of local politicians.A mob of over 40 persons pelted stones at the house of Mohd Akhtar in Bhup Singh Nagar area here and beat up members of his family, in an attack triggered by a game of cricket on Holi. The attack was captured on a cellphone by one of the victims and the video had gone viral on internet. The clip showed women of the family pleading for mercy while a man was being thrashed, police had said."The matter is now in public domain as video of the assault went viral on internet. Still the police has failed to arrest over 35 goons.If Gurgaon Police and the district administration do not help us, we have no option but to commit mass suicide," Akhtar said.Family also submitted a memorandum to sub-divisional magistrate of Sohna, urging speedy investigation in the case and said it would commit mass suicide if justice was not be delivered. "We are the victims of the incident but Gurgaon Police has registered an FIR against two men of our family in a bid to pressure us," Akhtar said.Police, however, said it was not favouring anyone."We have so far arrested 13 persons and a hunt is on to arrest the others. There is no point of favouring anyone. Both groups were involved in an altercation," Himanshu Garg, DCP, said.PTI
Gurugram mob attack: Police made 'false promises', claims victim
Members of Muslim family who were allegedly thrashed with sticks and swords by miscreants for playing cricket on Holi, claimed that in the name of security, the police gave them "false promises"."We feel unsafe in the area. The police personnel guarding our house do not carry any weapons or even a laathi for our protection. Almost every day, scores of men stand in front of our house to gawk. In the name of security, they have given us false promises,"said Shehzad Khan, one of the victims, while briefing media here.He further contended that police have not arrested all the accused mentioned in FIR "We had filed in FIR that over 30-40 men attacked us that day, but so far, the police have only arrested 12 men in connection with this," he added. ANI
Gurgaon:House owner seeks withdrawal of FIR
Manipur: Muslim constable killed in custody; locals demand CBI inquiry
In case of custodial killing, a policeman who was suspended and later arrested for alleged wrongdoings was murdered by fellow policemen in Imphal, Manipur on March 30. Manjur Alam, who had been posted at Reserve Lines, Imphal East as Police Constable, was suspended on March 12 after the police found his phone number and a photo on phone of dreaded extortionist and kidnapper Thockchom Nando, who was the alleged mastermind of rape and murder of L Elizabeth, an 8-year-old girl, in 2003. Nando had been brought in for treatment to the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences in Nov.2018 for treatment for spinal injury. On March 25, he escaped the hospital following which the police launched a statewide search. Manjul Ahmed was arrested in this regard and sent to remand at Porompat Police Station in Imphal on March 27. On March 30, he was brought to JNIMS where he was declared dead upon arrival. Sudden death of 34-year-old policeman who was in perfect shape and had been serving duty until two weeks ago has raised severe doubts over the actions of the police. A Joint Action Committee set up in support of Ahmed said this was a clear case of murder. “How can a fit person die in three days in remand? What did the police do to him? It is clear that the interrogation methods used on him proved to be fatal,” said  Miraj Shah Kori, a member of JAC.“Also,it must be questioned how a person like Nando had a phone to begin with. How was that allowed? And why did the police not arrest other people whose phone numbers were on his contact list? Why only Manjur?” he asked. “A dreaded criminal like Nando was given a fair trial so why wasn’t Manjur given the same chance?” he questioned. What makes the murder even more murky is that the police blamed Manjur for helping Nando escape, even though Manjur was under suspension when Nando escaped.TwoCircles
Debris from India's ASAT Test Could Threaten Space Station: NASA Chief
New Delhi: India’s anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon test on March 27 has generated debris that is posing a threat to the safety of International Space Station, US space agency NASA said on Monday.In a meeting with employees, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstein said,“That is a terrible, terrible thing to create an event that sends debris at an apogee that goes above International Space Station.” He also described India’s ASAT test as the “kind of activity [that] is not compatible with the future of human spaceflight.”DRDO launched a solid-fuel missile from its test range in Odisha to intercept an Indian satellite in low-Earth orbit. In a televised address to the nation that has been seen by the opposition as an attempt to influence voters on the eve of the general election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that such a weapon was necessary if India had to safeguard its strategic assets in space.In his remarks, NASA chief noted that despite the increased risk caused by Indian debris, ISS would be manoeuvred to get out of harm’s way – in the unlikely event that this became necessary – and that the astronauts on board are “still safe”. “The good thing is, [debris is] low enough in Earth orbit that over time this will all dissipate,” he said, according to the benefits for humankind from the peaceful use of space, Bridenstein said, “All of those are placed at risk when these kind of events happen — and when one country does it, then other countries feel like they have to do it as well.”In a press statement, Ministry of External Affairs described Indian ASAT weapon as a ‘kinetic kill vehicle’, meaning it smashed into the satellite and broke it up into hundreds of smaller pieces. Indian officials had claimed after the test that because the weapon had smashed into the satellite at such a low altitude – at about 280 km – the resulting debris is likely to fall back to Earth in 4-6 weeks and burn up harmlessly in the atmosphere.However, this controversial claim is likely receive more scrutiny in the coming days. Bridenstine noted that India’s test had created 60 pieces of debris “big enough to track”, and “24 of which rise higher than the International Space Station’s orbit around Earth”.thewire
Election Commission blocks launch of book on Rafale deal citing Model Code of Conduct: Reports
Election Commission of India has reportedly stayed the launch of a book on the Rafale defence deal authored by S Vijayan, saying it goes against Model Code of Conduct that is in place for Lok Sabha elections. Titled Rafale: A Scam That Rocked the Nation, the book was to be launched by journalist N Ram at an event in Chennai on Tuesday, according to Times Now.Publishers wanted to host the launch event at a Chennai school, but were denied permission, reported India Today.They then decided to hold it in their office, but an election commission squad seized all copies, publication said. Times Now interviewed someone they identified as the publisher of the book, who said that they plan to approach the Election Commission against the order and then move court if required. “This book is on the Rafale deal only,” he told the channel. “It is not canvassing voters. It does not violate election rules.” The book was published by publishing house Bharathi Puthakalayam.N Ram, chairman of The Hindu, who has authored several pieces detailing alleged irregularities in India’s deal with France to buy Rafale fighter jets, said the ban was anti-democratic and illegal, reported India
On Areeb plea, court notice to mission in Istanbul, MEA
Mumbai:A special court has issued notices to Consul General of India, Istanbul, and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), New Delhi, after Areeb Majeed, who is facing trial for allegedly travelling to Syria to join the Islamic State, made a plea seeking documents from them, claiming that arrangements for his return were made through them.Majeed has sought production of documents, records and original receipt payments made by Consul General, Istanbul, Turkey, for arranging his stay at Point Hotel in Istanbul on Nov.26, 2014, two days before his return to India, payment made for his tickets from Istanbul to Mumbai and arrangements made for sending him to Mumbai. He also sought production of the file related to an Emergency Certificate issued by the Consulate for his return to the country.“It appears that earlier accused (Majeed) has preferred application to MEA, New Delhi, to seek such documents and the information was provided by Consul General, Istanbul on Oct.24, 2018. Thus, these documents are not with NIA. Hence, it would be proper to issue notice to the Consul General of India and the secretary of MEA, New Delhi,” the court said.According to the submissions made before the court by Majeed, he had filed an application under the Right to Information Act,in Sept.2018, to MEA seeking these documents.He was told that his application was being forwarded to the Consulate. Majeed told the court that on Oct.24, 2018, the response he received from Consulate said that as per available records, an Emergency Certificate was issued as per Govt of India prescribed guidelines for stranded Indian nationals, that one-way ticket for Istanbul-Mumbai and hotel accommodation for one night was provided by the Consulate.NIA claims that he was arrested on Nov.29, 2014, when he returned to the country with “some ulterior motive”. Majeed, however, claimed that his return was facilitated by the agency, whose officials were in touch with his father. Last week, Bombay High Court had directed nodal officers of 5 telecom firms to give call data records between NIA officials and Majeed’s father, after observing that these official documents, “prima facie” justify Majeed’s contention seeking the records.On Monday, court also called for the response of airport authorities of CSMI Airport, Mumbai, on Majeed’s plea seeking to preserve CCTV footage of Nov.28, 2014, for the duration between 5am and 7.30 am.“Before passing any order, they (airport authorities) have to confirm if the footage is preserved by them,” court said. indianexpress
Pakistan acknowledges F-16 jets were ‘airborne’ during operation to attack Indian targets
New Delhi :Pakistan’s military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor, however, said it was meaningless to question whether JF-17 Thunder aircraft or US-built F-16 jets were used to shoot down 2 Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft that violated Pakistani airspace on Feb.27. “Whether it was F-16 or JF-17 which shot down 2 Indian aircraft is immaterial. When the Indian planes crossed the LoC, all of PAF’s aircraft, including F-16s were airborne,” military’s media wing said.So far, Pakistan had rejected India’s claim that it used US-made F-16 fighters jets against India in retaliation to its pre-emptive strikes on terror camps in Balakot.indianexpress
Bangladesh Jamaat lawyer Toby Cadman representing India in Nirav Modi case in London
Delhi: Barrister Toby Cadman, who is well-known for his connection with Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, is now representing the Indian government in a legal battle in London.Internationally-acclaimed lawyer is making a move against a bail petition filed by Indian diamond dealer Nirav Modi, who was arrested in London, on March 19, for allegedly defrauding the Indian state bank. Toby placed his arguments against a bail petition filed by Nirav Modi in a Westminster magistrate court on March 29. After the hearing, Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot denied bail to the Indian jewelry tycoon Nirav, who has been accused of defrauding India's state-owned Punjab National Bank of $1.8 billion. Jamaat-e-Islami appointed Toby Cadman as its legal counselor in London in 2011, right after the ruling Awami League started the trials of several top Jaamat leaders who had been accused of war crimes during 1971 War. In the next few years, Toby gave interviews to media—including Al Jazeera, BBC, and CNN—advocating for and promoting the political ideology of Jamaat. He also highlighted Jamaat's views at different seminars and discussions.  Apart from these, Toby wrote articles and opinions on blogs trying to discredit the war crimes trials, labeling the tribunal as nothing but a kangaroo court. He even tried to come to Dhaka to represent the accused Jamaat leaders in Bangladesh's courts. However, the government rejected his arrival as foreign lawyers cannot take part in legal practices in Bangladesh. In this regard, a senior official of India's Foreign Ministry told a reporter: "I do not know much about the past history of that lawyer [Toby]. I can only make comments after a proper enquiry." On terms of anonymity, another Indian government official said: "Crown Prosecution Service of UK has chosen Toby for the job and the Indian government had nothing to do with it." It is not clear whether India had any objection on Toby's appointment in the case.dhakatribune
RTI law does not allow, Govt wants powers to probe complaints against Information Commissioners
In what is being seen by Central Information Commission as an attempt to erode its independence and undermine its role as per RTI law, the govt has proposed setting up bureaucrat-led committees that would sit and decide on complaints against Chief Information Commissioner(CIC) and Information Commissioners (ICs).This proposal was sent to CIC late last month seeking its views. It was signed by an Under Secretary in Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). Indian Express has learnt that proposal envisages setting up of two committees — one, to receive and decide on complaints against CIC and a second one for complaints against Information Commissioners.A committee with majority bureaucrats scrutinising complaints against Information Commissioners will skew checks and balances in favour of the political executive. Section 14(1) of RTI Act insulates them, saying they can be removed only by the President after the Supreme Court, on a Presidential reference, has, on inquiry, called for the removal. That’s why proposal is being opposed by the full Commission. For the former, the committee is proposed to include the Cabinet Secretary; Secretary, DoPT; and a retired CIC. For ICs, committee will include Secretary (Coordination) in Cabinet Secretariat; Secretary, DoPT; and a retired IC.Clearly, in both the committees, government officers will be in a majority.“This proposal is an attempt by the political dispensation to influence the working of the ICs. This will take away the independence of an institution that has served citizen’s demand for more transparency in govt,” said a top official. “It will make the Commission more vulnerable to govt pressure.”indianexpress
Congress govt withdraws security at RSS office in Bhopal, Digvijaya says should be restored
Bhopal:Nearly a decade after security personnel were deployed outside RSS office in Bhopal, MP, Congress govt has withdrawn them arguing that they will be deployed on election duty elsewhere. The security was provided when former Sarsanghchalak K Sudershan, who enjoyed ‘Z Plus security’ decided to settle in Bhopal and live at the organisation’s office Samidha. A tent was pitched outside and security personnel were deployed.Though the number of security personnel came down to five, security continued even after the death of Sudershan.Late on Monday, the security was withdrawn and the tent removed.The decision has not gone down well with Congress candidate from Bhopal Digvijaya Singh. “It’s not at all proper to remove security provided to RSS office in Bhopal. I request Chief Minister Kamal Nath to immediately provide adequate security,” he tweeted on Tuesday.indianexpress
Modi, Rajnath Supported 'Illegal' Term Extension of SSC Chairman
New Delhi: A range of govt documents reveal that PM Narendra Modi and home minister Rajnath Singh may have signed off on irregularly and illegally extending the tenure of the current chairperson of Staff Selection Commission (SSC).The same chairperson, Ashim Khurana, was also the head of the commission during “SSC scam”, which came to light last March, in which question papers were leaked before the exam was conducted. Close to two lakh aspirants appeared for the exam to fill about 9,000 vacancies. Those who are successful in this exam can get placed to Group C and Group B posts in various government ministries and subordinate offices. These are non-gazetted and non-technical posts.The documents were obtained via RTI by Yuva Halla Bol, which is a nationwide network of students working on the issue of unemployment among the youth.“While the whole country is concerned about unemployment in the country, it seems PM is worried about the unemployment of Khurana,” said Yogendra Yadav, who presented some of these documents at a press conference in Delhi on Monday. Yadav is the national president of political party Swaraj India.“Rules were flouted to grant retired chairman Ashim Khurana an illegal service extension, in order to hide SSC scam and protect the corrupt,” said Yuva Halla Bol in a press note.At the press conference, various documents were made public which show that Khurana was due to retire on May 12, 2018, having reached the retirement age of 62.But on May 14, 2018, the Appointments Committee of Cabinet issued an order that Khurana would have his term extended by a year, and stay on as SSC chairman.This was to have retrospective effect on Khurana’s tenure. Furthermore, the age for retirement for chairpersons was also changed from 62 to 65. A gazette notification for this was issued a few months later.PM Narendra Modi and home minister Rajnath Singh are on this Appointments Committee.Just a few months before this, following days of protests by SSC aspirants, Khurana finally agreed to a CBI investigation. According to SSC (Chairman and Members) Recruitment Rules, 1977, chairman or a member of SSC needs to give up her post after five years of holding it, or on attaining the age of 62, whichever comes first.thewire
Supreme Court strikes down RBI circular on defaulting firms, calls it unconstitutional
The Supreme Court has quashed a RBI circular asking banks to classify a loan account as stressed if there was even a day of default, Live Law reported. The SC declared the circular unconstitutional and ultra vires.A bench of Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman and Vineet Saran pronounced the judgement while hearing a batch of petitions challenging RBI circular. Over 75 companies are facing insolvency proceedings because of default in payments, TOI reported.In Feb.2018, RBI put out a circular on classification of non-performing assets that required banks to refer any account with a loan of more than Rs 2,000 crore to bankruptcy court if it is not resolved within 180 days of a default. The decision caused panic for many companies, in particular those in the power sector. Industry and government have tried to push for RBI to relax its regulations, and had even approached Allahabad High Court, which then suggested that the government could use Section 7 of RBI Act to modify the
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut Calls for 'EVM Tampering' to Defeat Kanhaiya Kumar, EC Slaps Notice
Mumbai: The district election officer of Mumbai has issued a notice to Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut for alleged violation of model code of conduct over his comments against CPI candidate Kanhaiya Kumar.Raut, who is the editor of Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana', said in the publication on Sunday that Kumar should be defeated in the elections even if it means BJP has to "tamper with EVMs". Kumar, ex president of JNUs student union, is contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha poll from Begusarai in Bihar.In his column 'Rok Thok' in the Marathi daily, Raut also said that Kumar, "a bottle of poison", must not reach Parliament.Following his remarks, the Rajya Sabha MP was issued a notice on Monday, asking him to respond to it by Wednesday. Further action in the matter will be decided by the Election Commission. Mumbai city Collector Shivaji Jondhale, who is the district election officer, in the notice said Raut's statement showed "lack of faith in the deployment of EVMs and muddying the electoral process".PTI
Rahul Gandhi aligning with Jama'at, SDPI: Kerala CPM
Kochi: Kerala CPM secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told the party's mouthpiece, Deshabhimani, that "Muslim League, which has formed an alliance with Jama'at-e-Islami and SDPI, has more influence in Wayanad than Congress and so, in effect, Rahul Gandhi will be contesting as the joint candidate of Congress-Jama'at-SDPI alliance."He said defeating Gandhi at Wayanad has become the responsibility of CPM and the party would do everything possible to achieve it. TOI
Maharashtra: Of 566 MPs elected from state since ’60s, only 2.47 per cent were Muslims
Mumbai :Since the state of Maharashtra came into being in the 60s, a total of 566 MPs have been elected from the state. And, in a state where one out of every tenth person is a Muslim, of these 566 MPs only 14 or less than 2.5 per cent were Muslims.Over the years, Muslims have found themselves increasingly sidelined in electoral politics in the state with political parties hesitant to give them tickets. In the last three elections held in Maharashtra, major political parties have fielded only four Muslim candidates. Congress fielded one in 2004, NCP and Congress one each in 2009 and one candidate by Congress in 2014. This year too only one Muslim candidate, Hidayat Patel, has been fielded by the Congress in Akola.This gradual denial of representation has seen a gradual shift by the community from the Congress-NCP to Muslim-centric parties like the AIMIM. In some cases, Muslims have also preferred siding with BJP and Shiv Sena.An obvious case for Muslim representation proportionate to community’s population is that only this can ensure the effective implementation of minority rights. However, the case is also often made that even non-Muslims in secular parties can and have ensured that minority rights are protected. The corollary is that Muslim MPs, especially affiliated to secular parties, may not even consider themselves as representing only their community.indianexpress
‘Won’t give Muslims tickets as they don’t believe in us’: Karnataka BJP leader
New Delhi:Senior BJP leader in Karnataka KS Eshwarappa has made a controversial statement against Muslims days ahead of Lok Sabha election 2019.Karnataka sends 28 members to the Lok Sabha and will go to the polls in two phases, 14 constituencies each, onApril 18 and April 23. The votes will be counted on May 23.“Congress uses you only as a vote bank and doesn’t give you tickets. We won’t give Muslims tickets because you don’t believe in us. Believe us and we’ll give you tickets and other things,” KS Eshwarappa said on Monday in Karnataka’s Koppal.He was addressing the members of Kuruba and minority communities.HT
Congress in its manifesto promises to amend AFSPA, scrap sedition law if voted to power
New Delhi: The controversial AFSPA found mention in the Congress party's manifesto that was released on Tuesday. The party promised to amend the act that grants special powers to the Indian armed forces in 'insurgency-hit' areas if it was voted to power in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.Congress in its manifesto stated, "Amend AFSPA  in order to strike a balance between the powers of security forces and the human rights of citizens and to remove immunity for enforced disappearance, sexual violence and torture."In its section on Jammu & Kashmir, the manifesto referred to AFSPA again. "AFSPA and the Disturbed Areas Act in J&K will be reviewed. Suitable changes will be made in the text of the laws to balance the requirements of security and the protection of human rights."Human rights activists wanted the act scrapped, claiming the law gives "sweeping powers" to forces to act against civilians. Activists have also alleged extra-judicial killings in those areas where AFSPA is in force.Congress also promised to remove the law on sedition from the statute if voted to power. "Omit Section 124A of IPC(that defines the offence of ‘sedition’) that has been misused and, in any event, has become redundant because of subsequent laws," the manifesto said.TOI
Centre extends disturbed area classification for three districts in Arunachal under AFSPA
Centre on Monday extended the “disturbed area” classification for three districts in Arunachal Pradesh under AFSPA. Ministry of Home Affairs said in a notification that the districts of Tirap, Changlang and Longding and the area falling within the jurisdiction of four police stations on the Arunachal Pradesh-Assam border has been declared as a “disturbed area”. The areas falling within the jurisdiction of Namsai and Mahadevpur police stations in Namsai district, Roing police station in Lower Dibang Valley district and Sunpura police station in Lohit district have been declared as disturbed
Mumbai: Civil society collective present manifesto
Mumbai: People's collective, Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy (MRSD), has come out with a manifesto for what it describes against state suppression.It demanded that stop the crackdown on protestors, activists, civil society organisations, journalists, lawyers, students, academicians, workers,RTI activists, farmers, whistleblowers, Adivasis, Dalits, minorities exercising their right to dissent and withdraw all actions, cases and proceedings filed against them across the country. MSRD comprises several NGOs and organisations including PUCL, CPDR, CJP, New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI), TUCI, Student Islamic Organisation (SIO), National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), IMSD and Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS). They demanded that capital punishment should be abolished.deccan herald
Talib Hussain, activist who led justice campaign for Kathua rape-murder case, joins PDP
Social activist and chairman of Tribal Coordination committee, Talib Hussain who spearheaded justice campaign of Kathua rape and murder case, joined the PDP on Monday.He was welcomed into party by PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti.“Happy to welcome well known tribal rights activist Chowdhary Talib Hussain into PDP today. He fought tirelessly to ensure justice for Rasana rape victim at the cost of his personal safety. I am confident that he will work tirelessly towards our vision for a khushaal J&K,’’ she tweeted.Hussain had emerged as the face of the campaign for justice to the eight-year-old girl who was abducted, raped and murdered in Rasana village near Kathua.Hussain was later accused of sexual harassment by a woman relative. A student at JNU had also accused him of sexual assault in 2018 during the #MeToo movement. Hussain is currently out on the bail.HT
SC declines urgent hearing on Hardik Patel’s plea to suspend conviction in rioting case
NEW DELHI :The Supreme Court denied urgent hearing to a plea by Congress leader Hardik Patel to suspend his conviction in a 2015 rioting case.A Bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi on Tuesday denied him an out-of-turn hearing, raising questions on whether he would be able to contest the Lok Sabha polls of 2019 from the Jamnagar constituency in Gujarat.The last date for filing nomination is April 4. Mr. Patel's petition may now come up for hearing in the normal course, probably late this week or early next week.thehindu
Pistols, explosives and ammunition recovered from BJP leader’s house in MP
Madhya Pradesh police on Monday seized a veritable arsenal — 17 crude bombs, 10 pistols and 111 bullets — from a local BJP leader Sanjay Yadav’s house in Sendhwa town late on Sunday night.BJP leader Sanjay Yadav — known as a Bahubali or strongman in the area — had joined BJP two years ago with his younger brother Jitu and mother Basanti Bai Yadav. Basanti was elected unopposed as president of Sendhwa municipality in January last year after all candidates withdrew their nomination.Sanjay Yadav had recently been released from prison on bail and has around 47 criminal cases registered against him.Late Sunday night, a police team raided Yadav’s house in Daru Godam area of Sendhwa town and recovered the cache of arms and ammunition, Barwani SP Yang Chen Dolkar Bhutia revealed. The weapons were found in a box kept in an almirah on the roof of the house, she said, adding Sanjay and Jitu are both absconding.“We are not sure why the weapons were stored. We are investigating it,” the SP said.Yadav family wields considerable clout in Sendhwa, a segment of Khargone Parliamentary constituency that goes to the polls in the final phase on May 19. The Khargone Parliamentary constituency is reserved for the Schedule Tribe and the BJP is facing massive anti-incumbency there.nationalheraldindia
VHP to shun arms during Ram Navami in Bengal  in view of elections
Kolkata: VHP has decided to shun open display of weapons during Ram Navami celebrations across West Bengal on April, 14 in view of the Lok Sabha elections. It has also decided not to involve BJP candidates in its processions. At least 3 people were killed and scores injured in Ram Navami riots across south Bengal last year. Several Sangh Parivar activists were booked under Arms Act for open display of weapons during the processions.newindianexpress
Pakistan alleges that Indian fire killed 3 of its soldiers
The Pakistan Army said on Tuesday that it lost three soldiers due to "unprovoked" Indian firing across the Line of Control.Military spokesman Major Gen Asif Ghafoor said in a statement that Indian troops resorted to "unprovoked" firing in Rakhchakri area of Rawalakot Sector along the LOC. Three soldiers were killed, he said.Ghafoor said that the Pakistan Army responded effectively.Meanwhile, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir "PM" Raja Farooq Haider on Monday said his government has prepared a plan for evacuation of civilian population from the highly vulnerable areas along the LoC in case of emergency, according to a report in Dawn.PTI
7 Pak posts destroyed as Indian Army retaliates to ceasefire violations
Dalits prevented from installing statue, tension in UP village
Muzaffarnagar: Tension prevailed here when a group of Dalits was prevented by the district authorities from installing a statue in memory of a man killed during an agitation in 2018, police said on Tuesday.The incident was reported from Gadla village on Monday, circle officer Ram Mohan Sharma said.According to police, the Dalits wanted to install the statue of Amresh at Sant Ravidas temple here. Ambresh was killed during Dalit agitation here last year.The group, however, was prevented from going ahead with their plans as model code of conduct is in place due to the upcoming general elections, Sharma said.Meanwhile, security has been tightened in the area, he said.PTI
Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will resign by April 28: State media
Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will resign before his fourth term expires on April 28, his office has said in a statement carried by official APS news agency. The president will take "steps to ensure state institutions continue to function during the transition period," said the statement issued on Monday, adding, his "resignation would occur before April 28, 2019." Millions of Algerians have been holding weekly protests nationwide calling for the 82-year-old to step down after almost 20 years in office. He has rarely been seen in public since he suffered a stroke in 2013. He had initially declared his candidacy for a fifth term, but on March 11 withdrew and postponed the election - originally slated for April 18 - in response to the massive protests.Despite Bouteflika's resignation, Algerian students on social networks called for large protests to be held on Tuesday in the capital and the rest of the country.Mohamed, a member of a student union in Algiers, said that the departure of Bouteflika is not "enough".aljazeera
Erdogan's AK Party 'loses' major Turkey cities in local elections
Ruling AK Party has lost mayoral elections in the country's 3 largest cities - Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir - in a stunning election setback for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan according to unofficial results published by state-run Anadolu Agency on Monday. The official results will be released after the country's election board looks into objections by political parties, who have 3 days to file their complaints.Anadolu's unofficial data shows Republican People's Party's (CHP) candidate Ekrem Imamoglu won heated mayoral race in Istanbul, the country's largest city and economic centre, with 48.8 percent of the vote, while AK Party candidate Binali Yildirim got 48.5 percent.In the capital, Ankara, unofficial results showed that CHP candidate Mansur Yavas had garnered 50.9 percent, with AK Party nominee Mehmet Ozhaseki trailing on 47.2 percent.In the third-largest city, Izmir, the CHP candidate, Mustafa Tunc Soyer, was leading with 58 percent votes while AK Party's Nihat Zeybekci stood at 38.5 percent. All of the votes have been counted in the three largest cities.The ruling AK Party, which ran as part of the People's Alliance, suffered setback in Sunday's local elections, which were held against the backdrop of Turkey's first recession in a decade while its lira currency lost as much as 40 percent of its value against the US dollar last year.aljazeera
Pentagon halts F-35 fighter jet equipment deliveries to Turkey
Pentagon has suspended deliveries of equipment related F-35 fighter jets to Turkey unless Ankara refuses to take a delivery of a Russian missile defence system. US has repeatedly warned Turkey that Russian S-400 system it aims to buy would compromise the security of the F-35 aircraft, which is made by US company Lockheed Martin.US officials speaking to Reuters news agency on the condition of anonymity said next shipment of training equipment and all subsequent shipments of F-35 materials have been cancelled. aljazeera
Saudi gave Khashoggi's children homes, money: Report
Saudi Arabia has given the four children of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi "million-dollar houses" and "monthly 5-figure payments" as compensation for the killing of their father, the Washington Post reported.The kingdom is trying to come to a long-term understanding with the Khashoggi family members to encourage them to continue to refrain from criticism in relation to their father's killing by Saudi agents, the paper reported.Larger payouts "possibly tens of millions of dollars apiece" as part of "blood money" negotiations could be offered in the coming months, the paper said, according to accounts by current and former Saudi officials as well as people close to the family, the Washington Post reported.Negotiations over further payments are expected to take place following the trials of Khashoggi's accused killers, according to the officials and others who spoke to the paper on the condition of anonymity.aljazeera
Israeli forces kill Palestinian, 23, in West Bank raid
Israeli soldiers have shot dead a Palestinian man and wounded at least 3 others during an overnight raid in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian health officials said. Mohammed Edwan, 23, was shot near the Qalandiya refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem, the Palestinian health ministry said on Tuesday. Edwan was reportedly in his vehicle when he was shot from close range with live ammunition, witnesses told Maan news agency.His body remained in the custody of the Israeli army before being handed over to medics at the scene, who then transferred Edwan to a hospital in Ramallah, where he was pronounced dead.According to the health ministry, the three others who were wounded in the shooting were being treated at the hospital.aljazeera
Al Jazeera Exclusive: Yemeni child soldiers recruited by Saudi-UAE coalition
Al Jazeera has obtained exclusive footage that proves the presence of child soldiers in the recruitment camps of the Saudi-UAE-led coalition fighting in Yemen.The children, desperately poor, are being recruited to fight along the Saudi border to defend it from the Houthis, a rebel group that overran the capital, Sanaa, and large swaths of Yemen's northwest in 2014.In 2015, Saudi Arabia and the UAE formed a coalition to overthrow the Houthis - plunging Yemen into a ruinous war - supported by forces loyal to the country's internationally recognised govt. The conflict has created the world's worst humanitarian crisis, pushing Yemen to the brink of famine and leaving about 80 percent of its population - 24 million people - in need of humanitarian assistance. However, many children face an even worse reality: being recruited by either warring side to fight in the conflict. According to the UN, 2-thirds of the child soldiers in Yemen fight for the Houthis. The others fight for the Saudi-UAE-led coalition.aljazeera
Netanyahu to meet Putin in Moscow before Israel polls
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday, according to Israeli media reports.Israeli Broadcast Authority (IBA) reported Tuesday that Netanyahu would meet Putin in Moscow on Thursday -- 5 days before Israel is slated to hold Knesset (parliament) elections.IBA did not provide further details. According to a statement released by his office, Netanyahu had a phone conversation with Putin on Monday during which the two men discussed “regional issues”.Notably, it will be Netanyahu’s first visit to Russia since US President Donald Trump's abrupt decision last month to recognize Israel's territorial claim to the occupied Syrian Golan Heights -- a move to which Moscow has stated its strong opposition.Anadolu
Israel general: Either reach a ceasefire or topple Hamas
A senior Israeli general has said Tel Aviv should either reoccupy the Gaza Strip or reach a settlement with Hamas there.Brigadier-General Israel Ziv, a former commander of the Israeli occupation forces in the Gaza Strip, said: “The situation in Gaza requires Israel to make a clear decision, either to reach a settlement with Hamas or to reoccupy the entire enclave. In other words, reach a ceasefire or topple Hamas.”In an interview with Maariv paper,Ziv said that Israel’s assassination policy against Hamas leaders and the local military operations “have only temporary temporal effect and cannot solve the problem from its roots” because the situation in Gaza is “very complicated”, adding that the government is responsible for finding “a new strategy to change the status quo”.“Israeli current policy, which is based on responding to single events in Gaza Strip, no longer controls the field developments there. Therefore Israel is required to make a final decision: either to keep Hamas or not,” he said.middleeastmonitor
US lawmaker who said ‘Palestine does not exist’ sacked
A US lawmaker who triggered outrage by tweeting “Palestine does not exist” has been stripped of his position in the immigration committee. Pro-Israel Brooklyn council member Kalman Yeger has been reprimanded by council leaders for making remarks that are widely viewed as racist and anti-Palestinian.Yeger made the remarks during a heated Twitter exchange with a journalist and doubled down on comments he had made previously by insisting: “Palestine does not exist. There, I said it again. Also, Congresswoman Omar is an antisemite. Said that too”.Prominent activists denounced his remark. “It’s disgraceful, irresponsible and dangerous for a sitting NYC council member to engage in blatant bigotry and erasure,” Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American community organiser from Brooklyn, said.
Rights group: 334 civilians killed in Syria in March
Syrian Network for Human Rights said at least 334 civilians were killed in Syria during the month of March. The network said in a report issued yesterday that as many as 70 civilians were killed by Syria regime forces, including 24 children and 13 women, while Russian forces killed 76 civilians, including 13 children and eight women.According to the report, extremist Islamist groups have killed 33 civilians, including two children, while one civilian was killed by the armed opposition factions.SDF killed 18 civilians; including nine children and one woman, the report said, adding that bombing by the international coalition forces’ warplanes killed nine civilians, including one child and one woman.MEMO
UN chief warns against rising anti-Muslim hatred
Cairo:UN chief Antonio Guterres warned Tuesday against growing hatred of Muslims, less than a month after a deadly attack on mosques in New Zealand killed at least 50 people.His remarks came during a speech at Egypt’s Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world’s foremost religious institution, where he met Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb.“Around the world, we are seeing ever-rising anti-Muslim hatred, anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia,” UN secretary general said.He cited the March 15 New Zealand mosque attacks by a white supremacist as well as a 2018 synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh that killed 11 people and is believed to be the deadliest against Jews in US history. Guterres warned of a surge in hate speech he said was “entering the mainstream, spreading like wildfire through social media”.AFP
EU Goes To World Trade Body With Complaint Against India, Turkey On Taxes
BRUSSELS: European Union has launched two World Trade Organization disputes against India over import duties on IT products and against Turkey over measures affecting pharmaceutical producers.The European Commission, which oversees trade policy for the 28-member European Union, said in a statement on Tuesday that the total value of affected EU exports was more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) per year.In the case against India, the EU is challenging the introduction of import duties of between 7.5 and 20 percent for a wide range of IT products, such as mobile phones and components, as well as integrated circuits, the Commission said.In the case against Turkey, the Commission said the bloc is challenging measures that force foreign pharmaceutical producers to move their production to Turkey.
Flash: views & NEWS
Pakistan believes that post-Pulwama situation has worked to its advantage, or is at least a stalemate: Ayesha Siddiqa
Bihar custodial deaths: Professionalism in custodial practices might have allowed Taslim, Gufran to face trial as per due process:Sana Das
Fact Check: PM Narendra Modi says Congress coined ‘Hindu Terror’ term: Deeptiman Tiwary
All Accused Acquitted: Who is Responsible for Samjhauta Express Blast Then?Abu Asim
What AMU Can Learn From Its Women Students:Apoorvanand
Despite being exposed, fake news thrives on social media ahead of India polls:Reuters

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:47 PM)


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