01 April 2019

1 April ND: How will you trace the 'undeclared foreigners' in Assam, SC asks State govt/ Turkey local elections: Setback for Erdogan in big cities/ Israel to send 250,000 settlers to occupied Golan

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
01 April 2019: 24 Rajab 1440:Vol: 11, No:165
How will you trace the 'undeclared foreigners' in Assam, SC asks State govt
New Delhi:The Supreme Court today questioned Assam govt's efforts to trace over 70,000 illegal immigrants who have already mixed with the local population.A Ministry of Home Affairs affidavit filed in the SC shows 91,609 persons were declared by Foreigners Tribunals in Assam as illegal foreigners till March 2018. Of this, 72,486 are absconding.“This is quite a large number,” a worried Home Ministry told the court. A Bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi said there may even be “undeclared foreigners” who have already succeeded in “merging with local population” of the State.“What is the number of these undeclared foreigners?” CJI’s asked and it drew a blank from the Assam govt. Home Ministry explained that persons declared as ‘illegal foreigners’ by the tribunals either abscond immediately or are already untraceable.Presently, 829 persons declared ‘foreigners’ by the tribunals and 115 foreigners, who have completed their jail term, are lodged in 6 jail-cum-detention centres.“But where are those illegals who have neither been deported nor are lodged in the detention centres? Where are they? How will you track them? What have you done in the past 5 years?”CJI Gogoi went on to ask Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing Assam. Mehta initially requested Bench to defer the case.The hearing saw the SC criticise the policy of "pushing back" illegal foreigners to Bangladesh without enquiring about their country of origin.This was in the backdrop of the Home Ministry spelling out the obstacles in nationality verification process of illegal foreigners.“They either do not provide information or give the information. Details of the country of origin depend completely upon information provided by the person,” the affidavit said. Though as a sovereign nation, India has the absolute right to deport illegal immigrants, it cannot do so randomly, the Ministry agreed with the court’s point of view. the hindu
70,000 Illegal Migrants in Assam Vanished Before Deportation, State Tells SC
Increase VVPAT sample audits: SC gives week’s time to 21 parties to reply to EC
After the Election Commission opposed the petition filed by 21 Opposition leaders through which they had sought direction that 50% EVM results should be matched and cross-checked with VVPATs, the Supreme Court Monday gave the parties a week’s time to file their reply. The next hearing will be held on April 8.In its affidavit to the court, Election Commission has stated that the Lok Sabha Election results would be delayed by 6 whole days if Opposition parties’ demand is met. Maintaining it was in favour of continuing the existing system of random checking of VVPAT slips from one EVM per assembly segment for the Lok Sabha and assembly polls, the EC said “the present system has been adopted after detailed study and consideration of all aspects, and bringing into play all safeguards and checks as have been felt necessary”. It added that to alter the system “when polls are imminent and polling is to commence from April 11, 2019… might not be feasible”. It said that in many assembly constituencies, there are more than 400 polling stations, and it will require about eight-nine days to complete the VVPAT slip count. There will also likely be demands for a recount of VVPAT slips, and this will further increase the time, affidavit stated. Appearing for the petitioners, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi submitted that the demand for random verification in at least 50 per cent EVMs with VVPAT was in the interest of free and fair elections, which is part of the basic structure of the Constitution.indian express
Making some positive progress to resolve differences over Masood Azhar: China
Beijing:China today said it was making “some positive progress” to resolve differences on listing Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, and rejected Washington’s alternative move to ban the head of JeM through a resolution at UNSC. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang asserted on Monday that the UN 1267 committee should be the sole forum where Azhar’s listing should be discussed.“After the application of designation was proposed at (1267) committee, China has been in close communication and coordination with various parties,” Geng said.He added: “As I said we have been working with various parties and (our efforts) has made some positive progress. US knows that very well.”The friction between China and US sharpened after Washington, along with France and the United Kingdom, piloted a resolution in the 1267 committee for listing Azhar, following Feb.attack in Pulwama in which more than 40 CRPF personnel were killed. thehindu
  Before Pulwama, CRPF officer wrote to HQ about holes in anti-terror training
New Delhi:It is a key training centre for the largest force fighting insurgency and terrorism in the country. But it has no permanent structure, no firing range, no boundary wall. In the last four years, over 150 training and administrative staff have been posted there “to merely fill the vacancies”. And, it does “not offer a single CIAT (Counter Insurgency and Anti Terrorism) related course”. This is the essence of a report and a series of letters sent between Jan.and Nov.2018 by a senior officer to CRPF headquarters in New Delhi highlighting poor condition of its counter-terror training apparatus. The last of these letters was sent by CRPF IG Rajnish Rai on Nov.22, 2018, less than 2 months before the Pulwama attack on Feb.14 this year.indian express
4 militants killed in gun battle with forces in Pulwama
Srinagar:4 militants were killed in a gunfight with security forces in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Monday. Four security personnel, including three army jawans, were wounded in the encounter.Security officials said that a joint party of the police, army and CRPF launched a search operation at Lassipora in Pulwama after information about presence of militants. Police said that during the searches, the hiding militants fired upon search party that led to gun fight between two groups.HT
Govt sets up tribunal to review ban imposed on Jamaat-e-Islami, JKLF: notification
New Delhi :Centre has set up a tribunal, headed by Justice Chander Shekhar of the Delhi High Court, to adjudicate if there exists sufficient cause to ban the Jamaat-e-Islami J&K(JeI) and JKLF-Y faction.The decision has been taken by Home Ministry exercising the powers conferred under UAPA, an official notification said."Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by the sub-section (1) of section 5 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), Central Government hereby constitutes an UAPA consisting of  Justice Chander Shekhar, High Court of Delhi, for the purpose of adjudicating whether or not there is sufficient cause of declaring JI-J&K and JKLF-Yasin Malik faction,as unlawful association," notification said.PTI
Delhi residence of separatist leader Syed Geelani attached on tax evasion charges
New Delhi :Over a week after the Centre banned JKLF, Income Tax department on Monday attached the Delhi residence of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, PTI reported. The action was taken on charges of tax evasion against Geelani.The flat is located in south Delhi’s Malviya Nagar area and Tax Recovery Officer (TRO) of the department has sealed the house for allegedly “failing” to pay Rs 3,62,62,160 income tax for assessment years 1996-97 to 2001-02, as per an order accessed by PTI. The department has undertaken the action under section 222 of the I-T Act (assessee deemed in default of tax payment) and it has “prohibited and restrained” the Hurriyat Conference leader from transferring the asset. The development comes days after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had imposed a penalty of Rs 14.4 lakh on Geelani in a 2002 Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) case for allegedly acquiring $10,000 and a sum of Rs 10 lakh through illegal means.As per ED sources, Geelani’s wife, who was also examined, gave away some information regarding the seized Indian currency but was unable to explain the source of the foreign currency.indianexpress
Will Bring Back Demand For Separate PM, President For Kashmir:Omar Abdullah
 NC chief Omar Abdullah has called for a 'separate Prime Minister' for the state of Jammu and Kashmir in BJP's pitch to abolish Article 370 and 35A. Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir made a statement to revive the demand while addressing in Kashmir's Bandipora in response to BJP chief Amit Shah's claim of abrogating Article 370 and 35A from Kashmir to resolve its issue.Union Minister Arun Jaitley in the past had called Article 35A a 'historic blunder' committed by Jawaharlal Nehru in retaliation to which Omar Abdullah during his address to National Conference workers in a dramatic escalation has called for the state's own Prime Minister and President. He said, "Modi said in an interview that by 2020, we will repeal article 35A. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had threatened us that Article 35a and Article 370 will be removed, but Jammu and Kashmir is not like the other states. Other states became a part of India without any conditions. We made conditions. We did not come for free." "To maintain our identity distinct, we entered certain things in the Constitution. We said our identity would be ours, we will have our own law, our own flag. At that time we also had our President and Prime Minister, and we will bring that back," Omar added. Abdullah further added that the provision that was passed back in 1949 to ensure special status and internal autonomy to J&K is being withdrawn now, and in that case if the 'breaking the condition' is being spoken about, then they need to speak of 'governance' too.He said, "What is our fault if we asked for something? We also extended the hand of friendship. Now after 70 years you say that the decision we made back then was wrong and now you're asking to break the condition. There is no doubt that if you speak of breaking the conditions, you have to speak of governance too."republicworld
Major Gogoi punished by Army with 6 months’ loss of seniority
New Delhi :Major Leetul Gogoi, the Army officer involved with using a human shield on his military jeep during the 2017 Srinagar bypoll, has been punished by the army with loss of seniority of 6 months after he was found with a local girl in a Srinagar hotel in May 2018.Sources said that the court martial proceedings had been completed and his punishment of loss of seniority has been ratified by higher army authorities.Territorial Army soldier, Sameer Malla, who was found with Major Gogoi in that hotel was also punished by a court martial.The court martial had found Major Gogoi guilty of “fraternising” with a local in violation of official orders on the subject and for “being away from the place of duty while in operational area”. Court martial followed the recording of summary of evidence against the officer after Army Court of Inquiry had recommended disciplinary action against Major Gogoi for Srinagar hotel incident.indianexpress
Pak diverts CPEC corridor funds; China ties under pressure
New Delhi: A controversy has erupted over China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) ahead of the second Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) summit in Beijing following allegations that the Pakistani government has diverted Rs 2,400 crore meant for joint infrastructure development projects with China under BRI to other projects.China had given the money as part of $62-billion infrastructure funding to build CPEC. However, Pakistan’s planning and development ministry issued an order diverting Rs 2,400 crore to projects to be identified by local legislators under UN’ Sustainable Development Goals programme, according to sources.The move could be part of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ’s efforts to appease its lawmakers by allowing them to make decisions on development projects, said one person.“Govt committed theft by spending Rs 2,400 crore out of Rs 2,700 crore meant for BRI on other development projects,” Opposition leader Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman was quoted by local media. Differences between China and Imran Khan govt over CPEC have persisted since the former cricket captain was elected as PM last year. Razak Dawood, a cabinet member, had demanded that CPEC projects be put on the back burner for a year because he claimed they were of little benefit to Pakistanis. Besides, the Khan government included new sectors like agriculture under CPEC. According to Sindh-based business lobby, only Punjabi business houses benefited from CPEC projects under erstwhile Nawaz Sharif govt.economictimes
Should Election Commission debar Modi from polls?
Should Prime Minister Narendra Modi be debarred from contesting an election? The question gained currency on Monday after Prime Minister Modi, while addressing an election rally at Wardha in Maharashtra, claimed that Hindus would teach the Congress a fitting lesson for allegedly disrespecting the community.Prime Minister’s logic was that it was Congress led UPA Government which insulted the Hindu community by coining the phrase ‘Hindu Terror’. A peace loving community known for brotherhood and harmony,PM claimed, had been tarnished by association with terror.He went on to refer to Congress President Rahul Gandhi contesting ensuing Lok Sabha election from Wayanad in Kerala. “Rahul Gandhi is contesting from a seat that is Hindu minority because they (Congress) are scared of Hindu anger,”PM was quoted as saying.The term ‘Saffron Terror’ was not only confirmed and used by the then Union Home Secretary and present union minister R K Singh but also by the late chief of Maharashtra’s ATS, Hemant Karkare. PM’s comment also invited ridicule because barely three months ago Congress had won the assembly election in 3 states of Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh—all of which are Hindu majority states.nationalheraldindia
Lok Sabha: Citing Samjhauta ruling, Amit Shah, Adityanath slam Congress for linking Hindus, terror
New Delhi :BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday alleged that the Congress had “committed the sin” of linking the Hindu religion with terrorism and demanded that the opposition party and its president Rahul Gandhi apologise to the people of the country.Addressing election rallies in Bijnor and Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, Shah referred to the recent court verdict in the Samjhauta Express blasts case and said that the SP-BSP-supported and the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre in 2007 had “committed a sin of calling it Hindu terror”. Click here for more election news.“Congress party and Rahul Gandhi committed the sin of insulting the glorious Hindu community that believes in non-violence and social harmony. Can it be even imagined that a Hindu could ever be linked with terrorism?” the BJP chief asked.indianexpress
FIR registered against Union Minister Ashwini Kumar among 149 others in Bihar
Cases were registered against BJP leader and Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey and 149 others on Monday in Bihar's Buxar district on charges of misbehaving with public servants on duty. Following the violation of the model code of conduct on Saturday, police booked the Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare who is the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate for the Buxar Lok Sabha seat.An FIR was registered against Choubey and the others, including BJP leader Rana Pratap Singh, for "assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty", Station House Officer Avinash Kumar said.The case was registered after Sadar SDO K.K. Upadhyay complained that Choubey and Singh misbehaved with them when they asked them to end a public meeting on Saturday that overshot the permissible time limit.IANS
EC Has Asked Modi Govt for Power to Act Against Voter Bribery 4 Times – and Been Rejected
New Delhi:Election Commission has written to Modi government 4 times since 2016 requesting the power to postpone or cancel polls if incidents of bribery of voters are reported in any constituency or polling booth. The government rejected the demand every time.Through an RTI query, The Wire has obtained several documents from the ECI regarding this matter, including letters from the law ministry and the law minister himself. The letters clearly show that despite the rampant misuse of money in elections, govt is reluctant to give the commission the right to countermand elections if cases of bribing surface.The ECI first wrote to the government on June 6, 2016, and repeated the demand in three subsequent letters. Two of these letters were written by former chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi and addressed to law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.In June 2016, the ECI sent a proposal to the law ministry to amend the Representation of the People Act, 1951. It sought the inclusion of a Section 58b, on the lines of Section 58a, under which the ECI has the right to adjourn or countermand elections in case of booth capturing.The ECI demanded that a similar Section 58b be included so that elections can be postponed or canceled if political parties bribe voters in a constituency.thewire
Uttar Pradesh: Governor gets request on Sultanpur name change, writes to CM Adityanath for action
In a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik has forwarded him a request he received from Lucknow-based ‘Rajputana Shaurya Foundation’ to change the name of Sultanpur district to its “ancient name Kush Bhawanpur” and sought appropriate action in the matter.The letter, dated March 28, was sent by Naik following a meeting with a delegation of the foundation that gave him a book, ‘Sultanpur Itihaas ki Jhalak’, and a memorandum on the history of Sultanpur. The delegation also requested that the district be added in the list of heritage cities.Since BJP come to power in the state, it has changed the names of Allahabad to Prayagraj, Faizabad to Ayodhya and Mughalsarai railway station in Chandauli to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction.indianexpress
Lynching accused in front row, Yogi says at Dadri: ‘SP govt tried to curb our emotions’
Bisara (dadri):With the accused in the 2015 lynching of Akhlaq on suspicion of possession of beef sitting in the front row, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath invoked the incident at a rally in his village Bisara in Greater Noida on Sunday.“Who doesn’t remember what happened in Bisara? The way the Samajwadi Party government tried to curb our emotions here,” said Adityanath, while campaigning for BJP’s Gautam Buddha Nagar candidate, Mahesh Sharma.Alleging that “in Western UP, if you were riding a bullock cart or a buffalo cart and by chance stopped at a tobacco shop or a tea-stall, buffaloes, bullocks would get stolen”,he added, “When we came to power, we shut all the illegal slaughterhouses in one go.”Key accused in the lynching case Vishal Singh Rana, the son of local BJP party worker Sanjay Rana, and Puneet were among those in the crowd. Vishal claimed that 16 of 19 accused were part of the audience.indian express
No new law needed to curb lynchings: Naqvi
New Delhi: The country doesn’t need a new law to deal with lynching, Union Minority Affairs Minister and senior BJP leader, told this paper. Naqvi said that existing laws were good enough to deal with cases of lynching. The statement comes at a time when demands have been made by Muslims and other quarters of India to tackle rising numbers of lynchings. Naqvi, who is the Muslim face of BJP, said,“In the last 5 years, there has been no major communal riot in the country like Bhagalpur, Bhiwandi,Maliyana and Meerut. Unfortunately, some incidents of lynching took place but most incidents have been criminal incidents.They should not be looked at from a communal angle.” The minister added that the Centre ensured immediate and strict action in all such cases and state governments were issued directions to stop these crimes. newindianexpress
Over 200 writers including Girish Karnad, Nayantara Sahgal ask Indians to vote out hate politics
Over 200 Indian writers on Monday issued an appeal to Indians to vote out hate politics in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and vote for a “diverse and equal India”. The writers include Girish Karnad, Arundhati Roy, Amitav Ghosh, Bama, Nayantara Sahgal, TM Krishna, Vivek Shanbhag, Jeet Thayil, K Satchidanandan and Romila Thapar.The writers issued the appeal in English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Urdu, Bangla, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu languages. 210 signatories said the country is at a crossroads in the upcoming polls. “Our Constitution guarantees all its citizens equal rights, the freedom to eat, pray and live as they choose, freedom of expression and the right to dissent,” they added. “But in the last few years, we have seen citizens being lynched or assaulted or discriminated against because of their community, caste, gender, or the region they come from.”
FIRs against me is meant to ‘suppress the voice of the masses’, Hardik Patel tells SC
New Delhi:Congress leader Hardik Patel on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking an ex-parte stay of his conviction in the 2015 Vispur rioting case, saying the FIRs lodged against him by the ruling BJP in Gujarat is an effort to “suppress the voice of the masses”.On March 29, Gujarat government declined his plea to suspend his conviction in the case. On July 25, 2018, the Sessions Court at Visnagar in Mehsana district had sentenced Patel to two years’ imprisonment. He was found guilty of rioting and arson in Visnagar town during the Patidar quota stir of 2015. He had led the agitations.Under the election law, a candidate facing two years’ prison sentence or more is disqualified from contesting elections unless the conviction is stayed. In August 2018, the High Court had suspended the sentence, but not the conviction.thehindu
Rahul Gandhi is Joining Hands With Muslim
Fundamentalists in Wayanad:CPM
Hours after the Congress announced Rahul Gandhi’s candidature from Wayanad seat, ruling CPM in Kerala accused the grand old party’s chief of joining hands with “Muslim fundamentalists” on the pretext of defeating “communal BJP” in the state.Taking on Gandhi, CPM state unit general secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said, “In Wayanad, UDF ally Muslim League is more dominant than the Congress. The latter has also entered into a pact with the Jamaat-e-Islami and SDPI, the political wing of the PFI. Therefore, Rahul is fighting the election as a joint candidate of the Congress, IUML, Jamaat and SDPI.” “The way to defeat communal BJP is not by joining hands with communal Muslims,” Balakrishnan said.Terming the alliance “political bankruptcy”, Balakrishnan said secular democratic parties would give a befitting reply to Congress’s “Himalayan blunder” of fielding Rahul from Wayanad.News18
Triangular contest in Saharanpur may benefit BJP
Saharanpur: Among the Western Uttar Pradesh seats going to the polls in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections, Saharanpur presents a unique picture. The constituency has a large presence of Muslims and the BJP won the seat in 2014. The scenario could repeat itself in 2019. The significance of Saharanpur can be judged from the fact that Uttar Pradesh BJP started its election campaign from the constituency and BSP-Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal combine will hold its first joint rally here.Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath began the Lok Sabha campaign from Shakumbhari Temple in Saharanpur district as an apparent move counter the SP-BSP-RLD alliance’s campaign from Deoband in the same district.The three Uttar Pradesh alliance partners – SP, BSP, and RLD – are slated to hold their first joint rally at Deoband on April 7 and the choice of the venue, which has India’s largest Islamic seminary, is being considered significant.siasat
Puniyani’ book ‘India in Communal Grip’ released
New Delhi: Eminent author and columnist Ram Puniyani’s book ‘India in Communal Grip’ was released at the Constitution Club of India on Sunday.Speaking on the occasion, Mr Puniyani said, “On one hand, there is Congress which weakly trying to pursue secularism. On the other, there is aggressive BJP pursuing Hindutva agenda and Hindutva has nothing to do with religion. It’s politics. We don’t have a choice between good, better and the best but we have a choice between bad, worse, worst and that is the BJP.” Reported Muslim Mirror.The function was attended by a large number of intellectuals, activists and young people. Dignitaries like, Aruna Roy, Harsh Mander, John Dayal, Syeda Hameed and Shabnam Hashmi graced the occasion.Outlining the last five years of Modi’s rule in the book, Ram Puniyani writes about Modi’s ascent to power and how conditions were created by the rise of RSS in 1980s, ideological indoctrination, Gujarat 2002 violence, Gujarat Model and Hindutva electoral strategy that helped Modi reach the centre with the agenda of the Hindu-Rashtra camouflaged in development rhetoric.siasat
He complained of harassment, now IIT-Kanpur to revoke Dalit teacher’s PhD
New Delhi :IIT-Kanpur (IIT-K) Senate has recommended cancelling the PhD dissertation of a Dalit teacher, who had complained of harassment and discrimination by four colleagues last year, on allegations of plagiarism, although the institute’s Academic Ethics Cell had found “no reason to revoke the thesis”.The charges of plagiarism against Subrahmanyam Sadrela were made in an anonymous email sent to several faculty members on Oct.15, 2018 — two months after an inquiry by a retired High Court judge found the four teachers guilty of violating the conduct rules of IIT-K and SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. Senate’s recommendation is expected to be placed before the institute’s Board of Governors (BoG) soon. Senate is the highest decision-making body of IIT-Kanpur on academic matters and comprises all faculty members. It is headed by the institute director.If the BoG accepts the resolution, Sadrela’s PhD will be withdrawn, which could result in him losing his job at IIT-Kanpur.  indianexpress
6 hurt, 15 detained in group clash in Ahmedabad
Gandhinagar:At least 6 persons were injured and 15 detained following a clash between two communities in Viramgam town of Ahmedabad district on Sunday. Viramgam town police have registered 2 FIRs.As per the details available, the incident happened in Bhathipura area of Viramgam town in the afternoon when a woman was trying to hang washed clothes on the wall of a burial ground and some people took objection to it.A police officer said the incident took a violent turn after a group of people attacked those who had taken objection to it. “6-seven persons were injured in the clash.An FIR was registered in the incident and when police personnel went to the spot to identify and arrest the accused, stones were pelted at police. Following this, another FIR was registered against the persons who pelted stones at police,” said the officer. 2 FIRs have been registered for offences like rioting and attempt to murder against the accused in the two incidents.indian express
Mohali: Police bust terror module, arrest 5 Babbar Khalsa men
Mohali:In a major breakthrough, State Special Operation Cell (SSOC) of the Punjab Police busted a terror module and arrested five “highly radicalised” members of the banned Babbar Khalsa International (BKI). Police also recovered a .32 bore pistol along with a magazine and four live cartridges and 15 letter pads of the BKI from the accused.AIG of SSOC, Mohali, Varinder Paul Singh, said that acting on a tip off they had busted a militant module comprising of highly radicalised youth, who were planning to kill specific targets, including Hindu leaders and members of Dera Sacha Sauda.Those arrested include Harvinder Singh, a resident of Rally village in Sector 12, Panchkula, Sultan Singh, a resident of Saidpura village in Kurukshetra, Haryana, Karamjeet Singh, a resident of Raoke Kalan village in Moga district, Lovepreet Singh, a resident of Baliyan village in Sangrur district and, Gurpreet Singh alias Preet, a resident of Sector 20-C, Chandigarh.indianexpress
9 injured in communal clash in Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad:9 persons were injured, 2 of them seriously, when members of 2 communities clashed near Viramgam town in Ahmedabad district on Sunday, police said. 2 groups attacked each other with sticks and pelted stones, a local police official said.A police team too came under attack when it went to arrest the culprits, he said.Some members of the Muslim community objected to women from another community drying clothes on an under-construction wall around a burial ground which led to the clash, Ahmedabad (Rural) SP RV Asari said.Two persons sustained fractures and seven others sustained minor injuries in the incident, said inspector UB Dhakhada of Viramgam police station.PTI
Turkey local election: Erdogan's AKP behind in Istanbul race
Istanbul: Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) candidate is leading in the mayoral race in Istanbul, the country's largest city and economic centre, over the nominee of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, the head of Turkey's election board said on Monday. Speaking to reporters in the capital Ankara on the results of Sunday's local elections, High Election Board Chairman Sadi Guven said CHP candidate Ekrem Imamoglu is leading with 4,159,650 votes over AK Party's Binali Yildirim with 4,131,761.Guven added: "So far results coming from 31,102 ballot boxes have been defined in our system, count of 84 ballot box results have not been completed because of objections." Meanwhile, state-run Anadolu Agency has started posting election data at noon on Monday after hours of break. Anadolu's data shows Imamoglu leads in the Istanbul mayoral race with 48.8 percent of the votes as Yildirim stands at 48.5 percent, with 99 percent of the votes counted.In the lead up to Sadi Guven's statement, both Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party and the CHP said they narrowly won Istanbul's mayoral elections.Yildirim claimed early on Monday that he had won the race by around 4,000 votes, while Imamoglu said he grabbed the mayorship with about 28,000 votes over Yildirim.Later on Monday, Yildirim accepted that he was 25,000 votes behind Imamoglu, but said that his party had objections to the results over invalid votes."There are 31,136 ballot boxes [in Istanbul]. If there is one invalid vote in each ballot box, it makes 31,136 votes in total, which is more than the difference [between the two sides]," he said, adding that there are some 315,500 invalid votes in the polls.On Monday, Sezgin Tanrikulu, a senior CHP MP from Istanbul, said that his party expected the board to declare victory later in the day.If the AK Party officially loses in Istanbul, it means that 3 largest provinces of Turkey will have mayors from the main opposition party, according to preliminary results.In Ankara, unofficial results showed that CHP candidate Mansur Yavas had garnered 50.9 percent, with 99 percent of the votes counted. He was followed by Mehmet Ozhaseki, the AK Party nominee, in the capital, with 47.2 percent.The polls posed a major challenge for Erdogan, given a backdrop of high inflation and rising unemployment sparked by a major currency crisis last year.Erdogan has acknowledged that his party had lost control in a number of cities and pledged that he would focus on carrying out economic reforms.aljazeera
Turkey local elections: Setback for Erdogan in big cities: BBC
 Israel to send 250,000 settlers to occupied Golan
Israeli government hopes to settle some 250,000 Israelis in the occupied Syrian Golan heights over the next 30 years, Israeli Broadcasting Authority (IBA) reported on Monday.The report comes one week after U.S. President Donald Trump signed a presidential proclamation recognizing the Golan Heights as “Israeli territory”. According to the IBA, Israeli plan also includes construction of two new Jewish-only settlements in the Golan, along with thousands of new settlement units and a raft of planned transport and tourism projects in the region.The population of the Golan Heights currently stands at some 50,000, including 22,000 Israeli settlers, according to Israeli figures. Israel had long pushed Washington to recognize its claim over the strategic plateau, which it seized from Syria during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, but previous U.S. administrations had refrained from doing so.Anadolu agency
Arab leaders call for Palestinian state, condemn US's Golan move
Tunis, Tunisia - Arab leaders meeting in Tunis have issued a renewed call for the establishment of a Palestinian state and condemned a move by US to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights.Held in Tunisia's capital, the 30th Arab League summit kicked off on Sunday against the backdrop of ongoing conflicts, serious divisions and unrest - from the long-running wars in Syria and Yemen to Libya's instability, and from mass anti-government protests in Algeria and Sudan to a major diplomatic dispute in the Gulf.In a speech opening the summit, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi reiterated his kingdom's support for a Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with occupied East Jerusalem as its capital. Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi echoed the king's speech, reiterating the significance of the Palestinian cause to the Arab world as he issued a call for unity."It is unreasonable for the Arab region to continue to be at the forefront of tensions and crises," Essebsi, the host of the summit, said. Arab leaders - including Salman, Essebsi and Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi - also condemned US President Donald Trump's recent recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, which Israel seized in 1967 war."We reiterate our categorical rejection of measures that would undermine Syrian sovereignty over the Golan,"King Salman said.Meanwhile, Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and his Sudanese counterpart, Omar al-Bashir, did not attend the meeting. aljazeera
Palestine, Golan Heights take centre stage at Arab League summit
Israel expands Gaza fishing zone as part of ceasefire agreement
Israel has expanded the permitted fishing zone in the besieged Gaza Strip as part of a ceasefire agreement with Hamas, the group that governs the enclave. Egyptian-brokered deal includes expanding the fishing limit along the Mediterranean coast from approximately 11 kilometres to 28km for the first time in years, with the purpose of boosting Gaza's economy that is heavily reliant on fishing.Expansions occasionally occur and usually last for only three months at a time.Since Israel imposed a land, aerial and naval blockade on Gaza in 2007 following Hamas's election victory, Gaza's fishing sector has been hit and its exports have dwindled.The widest range Israel has allowed in the past 10 years is 22km and, at times, the limit was reduced to even 1.85km, Nizar Ayash, the head of Gaza's fishermen union, previously told Al Jazeera.aljazeera
Brazil Announces Opening Jerusalem 'Business Office' - Instead of Promised Embassy
Brazil's Foreign Ministry formally announced Sunday it will open a "business office" in Jerusalem, backtracking on President Jair Bolsonaro's promise to move his country's embassy to Jerusalem. Netanyahu said Israel and Brazil are at the verge of a new magnificent era of relations. "Brazil is a world power, and Israel, which is an ancient country, is a new technological super-power," he said. "Brazil decided to create an office in Jerusalem to promote trade, investment, technology and innovation as a part of its embassy in Israel," the Foreign Ministry in Brasilia said in a statement.In Israel on an official visit nine days before the Israeli election, Bolsonaro met with Netanyahu and his cabinet minister, who signed various bilateral agreements between the two countries. haaretz
Brazil says new Jerusalem office 'part of its embassy in Israel'
Israel inaugurates embassy in Rwanda
Israel on Monday opened an embassy in Rwanda, its 11th diplomatic mission in Africa, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.In a Monday statement, it said that Foreign Ministry Director-General Yuval Rotem had “inaugurated the Israeli embassy in Rwandan capital Kigali in a symbol of Israel’s return to Africa”.The move, the statement added, “reflects Israel’s policy of returning to Africa, which was articulated three years ago by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after which he visited the continent on four separate occasions and established diplomatic relations with Chad and Guinea”.Anadolu
For 2nd month, Palestine public salaries cut by half
 Palestinian government will pay civil servants half their salaries for the second month in a row, the Ramallah-based Palestinian Finance Ministry announced Monday. “Govt will only pay 50 percent of this month’s salaries,” the ministry said in a statement.The move comes after Israel decided to withhold taxes collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) by the same amount that the PA pays monthly stipends out to the families of Palestinians killed or imprisoned by Israel. Israel claims that the stipends are being paid out to the families of Palestinians involved in attacks on Israelis.Anadolu
Israel PM spokesman accuses Gaza women of being Daesh
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman has accused Palestinian women protesting in Gaza of being affiliated to Daesh, in a renewed bid to smear demonstrators participating in the Great March of Return.Ofir Gendelman, PM spokesman for Arab media, tweeted a picture of veiled women holding Palestinian flags this weekend, alleging they were members of Daesh, claiming this was evidence that Gaza Strip authority Hamas was also part of the terror group in Iraq and Syria.The tweet was condemned by various journalists, who pointed out that Daesh consider the Palestinian flag to be blasphemous, and so there was no evidence that they had any relation to militants abroad.In a conversation with the Telegraph’s Middle East correspondent Raf Sanchez, Gendelman confirmed that the only evidence he had for linking the women to Daesh, was the fact that they were wearing face veils, prompting some to accuse him of Islamophobia.MEMO
Congress calls to extradite Saudis involved in criminal activities in US
Members of US Congress have called for a legal formula that would require Saudi Arabia to extradite citizens involved in criminal activities back to America.The calls came after US media brought back to spotlight the case of four young Saudi men who assaulted staff at a bar in Toledo, Ohio, in July 2015. Oregon Life website said the bar staff initially asked the four Saudis to leave the bar at closing time, but they refused. Video of the incident appears to show men assaulting staff members.MEMO
‘No deal with Vatican on building churches in Saudi’
Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL), Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa said there is no deal between Saudi Arabia and the Vatican on building churches in Saudi Arabia. Al-Issa said during an interview with Russia Today TV channel on Friday that reports of such a deal are “unfounded”, however, he explained that the League had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Vatican.Al-Issa visited the Pope in the Vatican 2 years ago.They discussed cooperation between Vatican and the Islamic world on issues of peace and coexistence.middleeastmonitor
Egypt court confronts Brotherhood’s Badie with ambiguous video
A court in Egypt has aired a video which purportedly proves that the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, was spying for Palestinian resistance movement Hamas. In the video, an unidentified voice can be heard asking Badie about Hamas’ views on a topic, with the Muslim Brotherhood leader replying that there is “coordination” with the group.However his lawyer, Ossama Al-Hilw, told the court that the video lacks context and it is unclear in what context Badie is being asked about Hamas’ views or by who.Since the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi in a coup in 2013, Egyptian authorities banned the Muslim Brotherhood and cracked down on its leaders and members, as well as on all the government’s opponents and critics in general.middleeastmonitor
Algeria's Bouteflika names new government amid ongoing protests
Algeria's presidency has announced the formation of a new caretaker government, with the country's army chief keeping his post as deputy defence minister despite his calls for the removal of embattled President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.State TV reported on Sunday that Sabri Boukadoum had been appointed foreign minister, replacing Ramtane Lamamra who had taken up the post earlier this month. Other notable changes included Central Bank Governor Mohamed Loukal and Mohamed Arkab being named finance and energy ministers.The cabinet is led by Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, who assumed his duties on March 11 amid widespread protests calling for the departure of Bouteflika and the ruling elite.aljazeera
Algerian President to resign this week
Algiers: Bowing down to public anger, embattled Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will step down as the head of the state later this week, say reports.This comes a day after Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid Salah reiterated his call for the application of a provision in the Algerian Constitution that could remove the president on account of his failing health."We must adopt a solution that helps us out of this crisis … a solution that respects and adheres to the Constitution so that it's a suitable one for all sides," Al Jazeera quoted Salah who is also the Deputy Defence Minister as saying.ANI
Dozens killed as storm hits southern Nepal
Rescuers are struggling to reach villages in southern Nepal that were cut off by a rainstorm that has killed 25 people and injured hundreds more.The storm swept through villages in a farming region of Bara and Parsa districts in southern Nepal, about 120km south of capital Kathmandu, on Sunday night.Nepal's Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli said he received a report of 25 people killed and 400 injured.aljazeera
Facebook removes many accounts in India, Pakistan for 'inauthentic' behavior
Facebook has removed 712 accounts and 390 pages in India and Pakistan because of “inauthentic behavior” and spamming, it said on Monday, much of it linked to India’s main opposition Congress party days before elections and Pakistan’s military.Reuters
Flash: views & NEWS
New justice of New India: Mob attack on Gurugram Muslim family follows a sickening pattern:Harsh Mander
Samjhauta bungling: Religious labels for terror aside, serious questions must be asked of NIA’s efficacy:TOI Editorials
Satirist Akash Banerjee lists 10 unanswered questions about the terror attack on Indian forces
The Missing Muslim Vote and Voice in 2019:Harish Khare
Modi's Deadliest Surgical Strike So Far Has Been to Politicise the Armed Forces:Pravin Sawhney

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:02 PM)


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