30 July 2019

30 July ND: Bill to criminalize triple talaq passed in Rajya Sabha by 99-84 votes amid walkouts by JDU, AIADMK; Congress says aim is to destroy Muslim families/Minorities Commission refuses to entertain plea to declare Hindus as minority in 8 states/J&K Governor Rejects Rumours Over Special Status, Says "No Order Valid";Omar Abdullah demands CBI probe

30 July 2019: 26 Dhul Qadah 1440:Vol: 11, No:258
Bill to criminalize triple talaq passed in Rajya Sabha by 99-84 votes amid walkouts by JDU, AIADMK; Congress says aim is to destroy Muslim families
Triple Talaq bill, passed thrice by Lok Sabha over the last 19 months, finally received the approval of Rajya Sabha today amid walkouts by BJP allies JD(U) and AIADMK.Muslim Women (Protection of Rights of Marriage) Bill, 2019, which makes the practice of instant triple talaq a penal offence, and for which ordinances were issued 3 times, was cleared by the House with 99 votes in favour and 84 opposing it.The Rajya Sabha had earlier rejected an Opposition-sponsored motion to send the bill to a Rajya Sabha Select Committee with 100 votes against it as compared to 84 in favour.Lok Sabha had passed the triple talaq bill last week with 303 votes in favour and 82 opposed.Once granted assent by the President, the practice of instant divorce by Muslim men will be punishable by a jail term of up to three years. While fence-sitter BJD supported the legislation, JD(U) and AIADMK walked out, lowering the majority mark which normally stands at 121. The ruling NDA has 107 members in 242-member Rajya Sabha. NDA was also helped by the absence of some members of SP and BSP as well as those of TRS and YSR Congress.The debate that went on for almost 5 hours witnessed a slugfest between Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, who termed the bill a “politically motivated” move to destroy Muslim households.Justifying 3-year jail term for Muslim men, Prasad said the govt could not leave in lurch women who have been divorced by triple talaq via WhatsApp or other such means.Azad said the Opposition had been forced to vote against the bill after the government did not accept their demand to send it to a select committee and make triple talaq a civil offence. Indianexpress
Triple Bill for Gender Dignity, Says Govt; Cong Argues Pushing Women to Court Not Empowerment
Minorities Commission refuses to entertain plea to declare Hindus as minority in 8 states
3-member committee set up by the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) categorically refused to consider a plea to declare Hindus as a minority community in eight states in the country. The writ petition was filed by Ashwini Upadhyay, a Supreme Court advocate and a member of BJP.A report by NCM sub-committee, whose members are George Kurian, Atif Rasheed and Manjit Singh Rai, stated that National Minority Commission does not have the jurisdiction to declare new minority communities and “the powers to declare a community as 'a minority community' is vested with Central govt. The sub-committee had stated that “the definition of 'minority' in the relevant Act which is Section 2 (c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act 1992 clearly states that a community is listed as 'minority' as notified as such by Central Govt.In the report, the sub-committee stated that petition of Upadhyay to NCM are misplaced. Upadhyay had approached NCM to consider his plea after the Supreme Court in 2017, while hearing his writ petition had stated that NCM should be asked to consider the representation and pass appropriate orders. Upadhyay had alleged that he had submitted a representation to NCM and on not getting any response, had filed the present Writ Petition again in 2019. Upadhayay had stated in his initial petition filed in November 2017 that National Minority Act needed to be repealed and that guidelines for identification of minorities need to be framed looking at Article 29, 30. petitioner stated that some states (J&K and Lakshwadeep)have Muslims in the majority while the rest have Christians in majority (Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya) or in substantial numbers (as in AP and Manipur) and Sikhs are in majority in Punjab. The petitioner wanted a directive to these states to declare Hindus as minorities.According to NCM Act,Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) were declared as minorities in 1993 and in 2014, Jains were also notified as a minority community.“The SC has suggested the NCM to propose ways and means to help create such social conditions where the concept of majority and minority can be done away altogether,” states the report. Now, the SC has to decide this case and it will come up for hearing towards the end of Aug. nationalheraldindia
Don’t pay heed to rumours on Art.35A:JK Governor
With the deployment of additional forces fueling fears that it could be part of a plan to abrogate Article 35A, J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik today asked people not to heed rumours regarding the state’s special status. “A lot of rumours are spread here, do not pay any heed to them. Everything is fine, everything is normal,” PTI quoted Malik as saying when asked about the slew of orders appearing on social media about the possibility of a prolonged law and order situation in Valley. Asserting that any order appearing on social media was not valid, Malik said, “If someone catches a sneeze in Lal Chowk, by the time it reaches Governor house, it is projected as a bomb blast.”Kashmir has been on the edge for the past week after Centre decided to dispatch an additional 10,000 personnel to Kashmir to “strengthen CI (counter-insurgency) grid as well as for maintaining law and order”. Police officers in J&K described the deployment of the extra forces as “routine”, and intended to relieve their stretched colleagues in the state. indian express
J&K Governor Rejects Rumours Over Special Status, Says "No Order Valid"
Omar Abdullah demands CBI probe into 'fake orders' that led to speculations about scrapping of Art.35A
Srinagar:NC leader Omar Abdullah has demanded a CBI inquiry into the "fake orders" that had surfaced on social media over the past few days, leading to speculation that the Centre might be moving to scrap Article 35A of the Constitution, which provides special rights of residency and jobs to the people of J&K in the state.Omar said that since fake orders were circulated under the signature of senior officials, a sound byte was not enough to dismiss the rumours. He was reacting to Governor Satya Pal Malik's assertion that the orders that have appeared on the social media were not valid.PTI
Petitioners seek early hearing in SC on Article 35A
6 separate petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35A of the Constitution is pending in the Supreme Court. The matter gains significance as the the Centre has decided to deploy additional forces in J&K. These petitions seek an affirmative answer from the top court on the contentious issue -- should the Article 35A, which confers special rights to the permanent residents of J&K, be finally phased out.Since 2014,the case has come up for hearing several times but it is yet to be heard in detail on merits, by a designated bench in the SC.The article allocates Indian citizenship to the permanent citizens of the state and further allows them special privileges, which have been challenged through petitions in the SC.We the Citizen, an NGO, in 2014 challenged this article by filing a petition in the SC.Another plea by West Pakistan Refugees claim that there were 3 lakh refugees from the West Pakistan and those who have chosen to be settled in J&K have been denied the rights guaranteed under Article 35A, which is only meant for original residents of the state.IANS
RPF officer transferred after letter on ‘emergency’ situation
Srinagar:2 days after he purportedly issued a letter asking Railways officials in the Valley to stock up on ration, not to keep their family members in Kashmir and the need to restrict staff leave due to an “emergency situation”,Assistant Security Commissioner(ASC) Budgam, Sudesh Nugyal, has been transferred, it was announced on Monday.The letter created panic among people in the Valley, who started stocking essentials. Railway Protection Force (RPF) has ordered Nugyal’s transfer to Central Crime Branch, Railway Board, from Budgam.The official order stated: “DG/RPF has ordered transfer and posting. in the administrative interest. The above officer is directed to report at his new place of posting immediately”.Sources said IGNorthern Railways, Sanjay Sankrityan arrived in the Valley on Monday and chaired an emergency meeting to discuss the fallout of the letter. Sankrityan is learnt to have held a separate meeting with Nugyal.Sources said another Railways officer posted in the Valley, who had gone on leave, was asked to report back immediately. indianexpress
In 6 months, 82% militants killed in J&K were Valley recruits: indian express
Of 121 militants killed in J&K by security forces in the first half of 2019, only 21 were from Pakistan,which means that 82% of militants killed in the state were locals. Most of these encounters took place in south Kashmir, with 36 militants being killed in Pulwama, 34 in Shopian and 16 in Anantnag districts. Recruitment of locals into militancy did not witness a decline in 2019, as 76 locals picked up guns in first half of the year, with 39 of them joining Hizbul Mujahideen and 21 JeM.
New Karnataka govt cancels Tipu Jayanti celebrations; Cong calls it anti-minority move
Bengaluru:Soon after assuming charge,BS Yediyurappa-led BJP Govt today cancelled birth anniversary celebrations of Tipu Sultan, which had become an annual event under the previous Congress regime.In an order, Kannada and Culture department has stated that Hazrat Tipu Sultan Jayanti, which was being celebrated since 2016, has been cancelled “with immediate effect”. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting Yediyurappa chaired on Monday, according to the order. Tipu Jayanti celebrations, which began in 2016 under the Siddaramaiah-led Congress govt, had been marked by protests every time year.Opposing Tipu Jayanti celebrations, the BJP termed the erstwhile Mysore ruler as a “tyrant” and “anti-Hindu”.On Monday, senior BJP leader and ex Speaker K.G. Bopaiah wrote to the CM seeking cancellation of Tipu Jayanti. He argued that there had been protests against celebrating Tipu Sultan, especially in Kodagu district, leading to the destruction of private and public property.BJP’s move has been condemned by ex CM and Congress Legislative Party leader Siddaramaiah. He said that it was part of the “anti-minority” ideology of BJP.thehindu
Amit Shah to head group to combat lynching
New Delhi:An empowered Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted last year to suggest measures to combat lynchings will continue functioning. It will be headed by Home Minister Amit Shah, said a senior Govt official.The GoM had met on 2 occasions. Since GoM was position-specific, there was no need to reconstitute it, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. The new GoM is yet to meet.The members of the GoM are External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari,Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot.Last week the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre, NHRC and the State govts to a plea seeking the implementation of its July 2018 judgment laying down several preventive, remedial and punitive measures to combat the crime of lynching.thehindu
Rajasthan govt tables bills against mob lynching and honour killing
Rajasthan govt today tabled Bills in the state Assembly to make lynching and honour killing cognisable, non–bailable and non-compoundable offences with life imprisonment and fine up to Rs 5 lakh. The bill to curb honour killing also has a provision of death penalty for the accused.Rajasthan Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal introduced the two bills to check rising incidents of honour killing and mob lynching in the state, weeks after CM Ashok Gehlot said his Govt is “serious” in its efforts to curb them. Citing “many” such lynchings “resulting in loss of livelihood, injuries and death of persons at the hands of mobs”, the bill hopes to “nip the evil in the bud.” Rajasthan had witnessed a spurt in lynchings in 2017, beginning with dairy farmer Pehlu Khan in April 2017. Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill defines lynching as “any act or series of acts of violence or aiding, abetting or attempting an act of violence, whether spontaneous or planned, by a mob on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation, ethnicity.”In case of “hurt” from such an assault, convict may be punished with imprisonment up to 7 years and fine up to Rs 1 lakh; in case of a “grievous hurt”,convict may be punished with imprisonment up to 10 years and fine between Rs 25,000 – Rs 3 lakh.However, if the act leads to death of victim, it shall be punished with imprisonment for life and with fine between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 5 lakh.indianexpress
Muslim boy, whose family claimed he was set on fire for not chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ dies in UP
A 15-year-old boy in UP, who was allegedly set on fire for not chanting Jai Shri Ram by a group of people in Chandauli district, has succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday. Khalid was brought to Kashi’s Kabir Chaura hospital with 60 %burn injuries on 28 July. The police have denied the boy’s claims stating that the victim set himself on fire. According to news agency ANI, Chandauli SP Santosh Kumar Singh said that claims made by the boy were false.The SP was quoted as saying, “He had given different statements to different people, so it seemed suspicious. It seemed he had been tutored. Police monitored CCTV footage of places he had mentioned and found that he had not been at any of those places.”News agency IANS quoted the boy as saying, “I was walking on Dudhari bridge when four men kidnapped me. Two of them tied my hand and third one started pouring kerosene. After which they set me on fire and ran away.”He later said that he was being forced to chant Jai Shri Ram.jantakareporter
6 ‘Cow Vigilantes’ Arrested for Looting Cattle Trader
Hyderabad:Police in Telangana have arrested a 6-member gang of the so-called cow vigilantes on charges of attacking and looting a truck carrying cattle to Hyderabad and injuring the driver. The incident in Hayatnagar under Rachakonda police commissionerate in outskirts of Hyderabad has sparked fears that the miscreants were stepping up their activities ahead of Eid Al Adha next month.Hayatnagar police launched a manhunt for the group of assailants on the complaint of cattle owner Mohammed Ishaque and arrested six of them. Four of them were identified as Devender, Shashi Kumar, Girish and K Mahesh.Later BJP MLA from Hyderabad Raja Singh along with his supporters reached the police station and staged a protest. They demanded the release of the arrested persons. However police produced them before a court and the magistrate remanded them to the judicial custody.caravandaily
Mob Lynching is Target Killing: Activists Flay Yogi Govt over Recent Hate Crimes and Lynching in UP
New Delhi:2 incidents – namely, setting a Muslim boy on fire for refusing to chant Jai Shri Ram in Chandauli and lynching a retired Muslim soldier in Amethi – incurred a lot of public outrage against Yogi Adityanath govt. Social activists also came down heavily on Yogi Govt and the Centre over the recent killings and hate crimes against Muslims in the state.They said that it’s a matter of shame for the entire country that such incidents are happening, and that these resemble target killings.UP-based human rights activist Rajiv Yadav holds UP CM Yogi accountable for these incidents. He said that these killings are not mob lynching, but essentially target killing. According to him, CM is seemingly in denial of the fact that mob lynching is happening in UP.CaravanDaily
Hindu Mahasabha writes 101 letters in blood to Modi, trashes protest by 49 intellectuals over lynching
Aligarh:All India Hindu Mahasabha urged PM Narendra Modi today to take strong action against 49 eminent personalities, who had written to him on lynching of minorities and hate crimes in the country. Launching a counter-attack, leaders of the Mahasabha posted 101 letters written in blood to PM, saying “such traitors should be charged with sedition and all their national awards should be withdrawn”.49 personalities,including filmmakers Mani Ratnam, Anurag Kashyap, Shyam Benegal and Aparna Sen as well as vocalist Shubha Mudgal and historian Ramchandra Guha, in a letter to PM, expressed concern at the number of “religious identity-based hate crimes” and noted that ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has become a provocative war cry with many lynchings taking place in its name.PTI
Kandhamal Riots: SC Grants Bail to 2 of 7 Convicted in Swami Saraswati Murder
New Delhi:Bijaya Kumar Sanseth, one of the 7 convicted in the murder case of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, the incident that is seen as precipitating 2008 Kandhmal anti-Christian riots, was released on bail on July 27 after spending almost 11 years in prison.He is the second person among the convicted persons to be released on bail. On May 21, the Supreme Court granted Gornath Chalanseth bail on grounds that the Odisha high court kept deferring their bail appeals for more than two years, the last one in Dec.2018.The SC used the same logic to grant Sanseth relief in the case.7 accused – all Chiristians – have been serving sentences of life imprisonment after a fast track court in Odisha convicted them in Oct.2013. All were arrested soon after the riots in 2008.Since then, activist groups have been protesting against the court’s ruling, as they believed that they were falsely implicated in the case.In Sept.2018, journalist Anto Akkara said that all the seven were convicted despite flimsy evidence against them. Akkara has written the book Who Killed Swami Laxmanananda, in which he argues the “Christian conspiracy” against Saraswati that the Hindu right-wing and the Odisha police sought to peddle in the murder case lacked any substantial proof. The fast track court had accepted the “Christian conspiracy” hypothesis on the basis of Saraswati’s quote in a documentary The Agony of Kandhmal, produced by the centre-right trust India Foundation.Akkara says that the police arrested 4 Chistians, including one 13-year-old boy, initially. All of them were brought to the police station by workers of VHP in the area. However, upon finding no evidence against them, they were released. They had been detained for 40 days.It was then the police picked up 7 who were convicted eventually. All 7 accused were sentenced to life imprisonment.thewire
In letters to CJI, police, Unnao rape survivor spoke of threat
Unnao rape survivor, who met with an accident on Sunday, had written a letter to CJI Ranjan Gogoi days earlier alleging some people had come to her house and threatened her“…Take action against those who are making threats…people came to my house and threatened to take back cases, otherwise whole family will be put in jail in fake cases”, the survivor wrote on July 12.The survivor had earlier accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar of raping her and the case is in courts with MLA lodged in a jail.The survivor’s mother had also complained about the threats to UP police on July 13. In a registered letter sent to Unnao police, the mother mentioned two instances in which unidentified people threatened them. She wrote that she feared for her family.She had accused MLA of using his influence to harass her family even while he was in jail. On July 28, days after the two letter were written, the car in which the woman, her family and a lawyer were travelling was hit by a speeding truck in Rae Bareli on Sunday, killing two members while leaving her and the advocate critically injured.HT
National draft education policy overlooks minority rights: Catholic Church to HRD
Terming the draft National Education Policy a "fairy tale", Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) has told HRD Ministry the proposed policy has "overlooked" minority rights and the facilities guaranteed to these communities to establish and administer educational institutes.(CBCI known as 'Catholic Church' governs 30,000 formal colleges, schools, universities and medical colleges. It also governs institutes for empowering the poor, marginalized and differentiated like homes for street children, special schools, vocational training institutes, and skill training centers.A 6-member delegation of CBCI's Education and Culture office met Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' today, i.e. July 29, 2019, raised the issue besides submitting a feedback report on NEP draft."Minority rights available in the constitution and facilities guaranteed to the minority communities to establish and administer education institutes are very much overlooked and seemingly brushed aside when the draft policy deals with appointments of staff, fee fixation, inclusion of aided minority (private) institutes in public category in the school complex concept,formation of school management committees and other administrative and regulatory details," feedback report said.CBCI asserted that the draft did not include education providers from minority communities, private school trusts and teachers who are in touch with ground realities of the education sector.""It it a fairy tale NEP that bites more than it can chew. Why is this draft silent on removal of caste system and other social evils? Why all the constitutional provisions are overlooked regarding minority rights? Are we succumbing to the demands of WTO-GATS and falling for excessive commercialization of education?" CBCI posed.It said that bringing in industries, corporate houses, NGOs and foreign universities should not make higher education costly and far from the reach of common people. india today
Christian body raises concern over BJP's ‘missionary cell’ in the northeast
Guwahati:A Christian organisation in the northeast, has questioned the motive behind the creation of a ‘Christian missionary cell’ at a time when Centre is pushing an education policy to “homogenise Indian society.”BJP in Mizoram had, a few days ago, formed the cell to collect data on the community and connect with Mizos beyond the State. The church leaders felt that little respect was being shown to the autonomy of individual States.“Those who work for the dominant party are formed into a Christian Missionary Cell, whose mission will be to collect data about Christian activities and pass it on to their opponents who wish to undermine the unity of the Christian service in the northeast,”Assam Christian Forum said in a statement issued by its spokesperson Allen Brooks.The forum had convened a meeting on July 26 to discuss the “haste with which Centre is trying to press an unstudied and un-reflected education policy” on the people of the country.The church leaders felt that little respect was being shown to autonomy of individual States and to their concern for preserving their identity and cultural heritage. They felt there was a planned strategy to homogenise Indian society, ignoring regional diversity and inherited ways of passing on the heirloom of centuries to the next generation.The gathering also took note of planned effort on part of ruling dispensation to divide existing Christian communities.thehindu
UP:Stone pelted on Kanwariyas near mosque
Muzaffarpur:Stones were pelted on Kanwariyas by some anti-social elements allegedly belonging to the Muslim community in Baruraj area of Muzaffarpur district in Bihar on Monday.According to the administration, some people threw stones on women Kanwariyas when they were passing by a mosque in the morning."When many girls and women devotees were passing through the route (near the mosque), some people pelted stones on them,"SDM Anil Kumar Das said.Earlier on Sunday, some other people were beaten up in the same area while they were announcing about a religious programme, Das said.ANI
Telengana: Muslim religious elders want Masjid re-built, meet state Home Minister
Hyderabad:A delegation of Muslim religious leaders called on Telangana State Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali on Monday, to discuss the issue of Masjid-e-Ek Khana, which was demolished by the GHMC officials on May 1 in Amberpet. The delegation led by Tehreek Muslim Shabban, president, Mushtaq Malik along with the leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamait-ul-Ulema, Sunni Ulema Board, Jamiat-e-Ahle-Hadees and Alame Jamiat-ul-Mashaiq, Shia Zakereen and others discussed the Masjid-e-Ek Khana, which has turned contentious following the involvement of different political groups. Malik said that the meeting was called by the Home Minister to pacify the leaders including him, who had decided to organise a press conference tomorrow and offer prayers at the site, where once the mosque structure stood. Malik said that Home Minister had a detailed discussion over the matter with CM and Chief Secretary and assured of resolving the issue and constructing the mosque at the same site in the days to come. As the Govt was busy in GHMC elections, Malik said that Ali gave assurances that after the elections the works of the mosque construction would begin.HansIndia
Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani Says Hindus & Muslims Selling Property To Each Other Is 'Not Okay'
Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani spoke about the BJP's targets for Gujarat during his second stint there in an interview with The Economic Times. One of the main talking points was recently amended Disturbed Areas Act, wherein a district magistrate or DM has been given greater powers to decide whether one can buy or sell properties in ‘disturbed areas’. According to Rupani, this is applicable in certain riot-affected areas such as Juapura, Kalupur and Dariyapur in Ahmedabad, where there 'is sometimes tension during Ganapati utsav': "A Hindu family may not want to settle down in certain areas. If one family is running away, then others too are forced to relocate. Now one has to take DM’s permission before buying or selling property in these areas."When asked about what the parameters are that the DM will look into, Rupani said,"The DM will have to ensure that the communal harmony of the place does not get disturbed because of the deal. A Hindu selling property to a Muslim is not okay. A Muslim selling property to a Hindu is also not okay. "When prodded further, Rupani seemed to brush things off, claiming, "This is not a problem. We have set this rule in areas where there have been riots to tell them (Muslims) that they must buy property in their own areas."
Bengaluru, a hub for human trafficking
Some time at the end of this June, the Ramanagaram police and NGO officials raided a house in Bidadi, on the outskirts of the city, on a suspicion that it was being used in a prostitution racket. In a locked cupboard, 10 girls were found.“They are all of a Bengali origin, perhaps from Bangladesh. They had been trafficked here with the promise of good jobs and eventually pushed into prostitution,” says Anita Kanaiya from The Freedom Project, an NGO that participated in the raid.The incident is yet another reminder that trafficking continues unabated in a city, where the demand is only rising. “Many sex-trafficking rings have shifted to the suburbs where there is lesser scrutiny. There are raids, but these are few and far between. Moreover, there is no proper mechanism for their rehabilitation, particularly when those rescued are from out of the State. These women end up being forced back to prostitution,” said Ms. Kanaiya. According to NCRB, which last released the 2016 crime statistics, there were 1,100 cases of trafficking involving 2,712 victims and 3,921 persons were arrested between 2014 and 2016.Nearly a quarter of the victims were children, while an overwhelming 80% of victims were women, suggesting the existence of a well-entrenched inter-State prostitution racket.thehindu
MPSanjay Sinh resigns from Congress,  to join BJP
Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Sinh, an Amethi royal and a close associate of the Gandhi family, resigned from the Congress today and said he would join the BJP, asserting that he will support PM Narendra Modi as the nation is behind him. Sinh, a Congress member from Assam, also resigned from the Upper House of Parliament and took a dig at the party, saying it is still living in the past and unaware of the future. PTI
Maharashtra:4 NCP-Cong MLAs resign, may join BJP
In another setback to Sharad Pawar-led NCP ahead of the Maharashtra assembly polls, three MLAs resigned on Tuesday.Sources say the 4 lawmakers— Sandeep Naik, Vaibhav Pichad and Shivendrasinh Bhonsle — are expected to join BJP on Wednesday.The current resignations take the number of lawmakers who left NCP in the last 2 months to 5. Jaydutt Kshirsagar and Pandurang Barora have already joined Shiv Sena. Last week, Mumbai NCP president Sachin Ahir too left NCP and joined Shiv Sena.A Congress MLA, Kalidas Kolambkar from Wadala in Mumbai, also resigned. He is also expected to join BJP on Wednesday.HT
Missing Cafe Coffee Day founder Siddhartha’s letter alleges harassment from I-T dept. officials
Bengaluru:A letter written by Chairman and Managing Director of Cafe Coffee Day, VG Siddhartha, addressed to “Board of Directors and Coffee Day family,” is genuine, police officials have confirmed.In the letter dated July 27,  Siddhartha blames financial troubles and harassment from Income Tax authorities for succumbing to the situation”.“We are in the knowledge of the said letter found in Bengaluru. But presently our focus on the search operations and are yet to recover the said letter and bring it on record in the case,” a senior official said. However, I-T department, a statement, claimed that the authenticity of the note was not known and the signature did not tally with Siddhartha’s signature as available in his annual reports. But sources in the State Police claimed that Siddhartha's close relatives had handed over the said letter to them.thehindu
Medical body calls for 24-hour strike tomorrow against NMC Bill
Indian Medical Assocition (IMA) has called for a 24-hour strike on Wednesday to protest the Lok Sabha approving and passing National Medical Commission Bill (NMC) 2019. The strike includes only the withdrawal of non-essential services.“Lower House on Monday dumped healthcare & medical education of this country into darkness by approving undemocratic Bill,” noted the IMA. It added that Section 32 of NMC Bill provides for licensing of 3.5 lakhs unqualified non-medical persons to practise modern medicine.thehindu
Humayun’s Tomb among 10 monuments across India to stay open till 9pm; Taj Mahal missing
New Delhi:Visitors to Humayun’s Tomb will soon be able to spend time in the sprawling garden complex housing the monument till 9pm.16th-century monument housing grave of Mughal emperor Humayun is among 10 monuments, managed by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)and other committees, that will be kept open till late to attract more tourists.Another Delhi monument, Safdarjung’s Tomb, also features in the list prepared by a committee comprising officials of the culture and tourism ministries. Bijapur’s Gol Gumbaz, Sheikh Chilli’s Tomb in Kurukshetra, Bhubaneswar’s Rajarani Temple Complex, Khajuraho’s Duladeo Temple, Varanasi’s Man Mahal, Rani-ki-Vav stepwell in Gujarat’s Patan,a cluster of monuments in Karnataka’s Bagalkot,  and a clutch of temples in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli make up the list. ASI’s most popular monument, the Taj Mahal, did not find a mention on the list.HT
Sudan talks cancelled as al-Burhan condemns students' killing
Sudan's ruling Transitional Military Council(TMC) has condemned the killing of five schoolchildren at a rally as protest leaders called off planned talks with the generals and thousands of students took to streets to denounce the latest bout of violence.General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of TMC, said the killings in North Kordofan city of El-Obeid was "unacceptable"."What happened in El-Obeid is a regrettable and upsetting matter and the killing of peaceful citizens is unacceptable and rejected and a crime that requires immediate and deterrent accountability," he was quoted as saying by SUNA. Protesters accuse the feared Rapid Support Forces (RSF), headed by al-Burhan's deputy-General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, of shooting dead the five teenagers at Monday's rally against shortages of bread and fuel. UNICEF called on Sudanese authorities "to investigate and hold all perpetrators of violence against children accountable"."No child should be buried in their school uniform," it said, adding the students killed were aged between 15 and 17 years. The 2 sides signed a power-sharing agreement on July 17, and were to sit down on Tuesday to discuss the powers of the proposed joint civilian-military ruling council and immunity for generals over previous deadly violence against protesters. But negotiators for Forces of Freedom and Change alliance, umbrella group that represents protest and opposition groups, said that today's talks would not take place because they were visiting El-Obeid. aljazeera
Israel discusses building 6,000 new settlement units
Israel’s Security Cabinet has been discussing plan to approve 6,000 settlement units in “Area C” of the occupied Palestinian territories, Haaretz reported. According to Israeli broadcasting corporation Kan, it was “unclear whether the plans for construction would be for new units or to legalise existing illegal structures.” Haaretz also reported sources familiar with the matter saying that the plan was initiated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Sources also said that the initiative included building 700 Palestinian housing units in return for building “the 6,000 Jewish settlement units which are currently in the process of approval.”middleeastmonitor
UN envoy to Libya calls for Eid holiday ceasefire
UN envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame has also called for a truce on the holiday of Eid as the conflict deepens. Renegade commander Khalifa Haftar's forces appear to have made little progress as they resort to using more powerful weapons, resulting in more casualties. But Salame's proposal would need UNSC's backing.aljazeera
Syria: Idlib's hospitals under attack, at least 14 killed
Syrian govt air attacks have killed at least 14 civilians in Hama and Idlib provinces.Activists say govt's week-long aerial attacks have been the bloodiest in three months and seem deliberately aimed at health facilities in Syria, according to international aid agencies. aljazeera
Iraqi intelligence: ‘Al-Baghdadi is in Syria and has strong influence within Daesh’
Iraqi intelligence body known as Falcons Cell said on Monday that the leader of Daesh, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, is in Syria and has strong influence within the outfit.This came in statements attributed to Falcons Cell chief Abu Ali Al-Basri in Iraqipaper, Assabah.Al-Basri stated that “following Daesh’s military setback in Iraq and Syria, there is a permanent threat to the criminal Ibrahim Al-Samarrai, aka Al-Baghdadi, who is currently based in Syria with his Arab and foreign followers.”He added that Al-Baghdadi had given a high priority in the previous period to addressing the intelligence threats and protecting the organisation from infiltrations.Al-Basri explained that the leader of Daesh still has a strong influence and is obeyed among his Arab and foreign followers. middleeastmonitor
Senate fails to override Trump vetoes of Saudi arms sales bills
US Senate has failed to override President Donald Trump's vetoes of legislation passed by Congress that would have blocked the sale of certain weapons to Saudi Arabia.In the first of three separate efforts to overturn the Republican president's vetoes, supporters failed by a vote of 45-40, well short of the two-thirds needed. Five of the chamber's 53 Republicans joined Democrats in voting to override Trump.aljazeera
Accused 9/11 open to testimony against Saudi
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the accused al-Qaeda mastermind of the Sept.11, 2001 attacks, has indicated a willingness to cooperate in a lawsuit filed by victims seeking damages from Saudi Arabia, if US decides not to seek the death penalty against him.  Khalid's offer was disclosed in a letter filed in US District Court in Manhattan by lawyers representing individuals and businesses seeking billions of dollars in damages. The lawyers said three, including Mohammed, are housed at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention camp, where they face capital charges, while two are at the "Supermax" maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado. Khalid and other Guantanamo detainees have been attending pre-trial hearings in their cases, the letter said.aljazeera
Saudi-led air attacks kill at least 10 in Yemen
Air attacks by Saudi-led coalition forces have killed at least 10 civilians, including children, in a busy market in northern Yemen's Saada province, a medical source and Houthi-run media reported.The manager of the local Al Jomhouri hospital on Monday said 13 people were killed and 23 others injured in the air raids in Qatabir district by Saudi-led troops battling Houthi rebels.aljazeera
Algeria dialogue panel announces mediation plan
Algerian Mediation and Dialogue Committee has announced its plan to mediate between the public authorities and the civil society and parties, local media reported. The committee said in a statement that it had invited 23 new national figures to join the body. According to the statement: “The main objective of the National Committee for Mediation and Dialogue is to consult, communicate and open dialogue with civil society actors, political parties, national figures, youth and activists from all over the country, in order to develop a clear vision of how to exit.”middleeastmonitor
Rohingya suspicious as Myanmar touts repatriation plan
Yangon: When a team of top Myanmar officials met Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar over the weekend, they handed out flyers aimed at persuading members of the persecuted minority to return home two years after fleeing a brutal military crackdown in 2017.With its happy cartoon figures and its promise of a return "to normal life," the brochure paints a rosy picture for refugees who agree to be repatriated to Buddhist-majority Myanmar on the govt's terms.aljazeera
China: Most people in Xinjiang camps have 'returned to society'
Amid allegations of abuse and involuntary detention, officials from China's northwestern Xinjiang region have said most of the people who were in the area's controversial re-education centres had left the facilities and signed "work contracts" with local companies.At a press briefing in Beijing today, Shohrat Zakir, Xinjiang's Uighur governor, declined to say how many people were being held in the centres, but defended the system as an effective and "pioneering" approach to counter "terrorism"."Most of the graduates from the vocational training centres have been reintegrated into society," Zakir said. "More than 90 percent of the graduates have found satisfactory jobs with good incomes."aljazeera
Trump wants to reduce US troops in Afghanistan before 2020 elections: Mike Pompeo
US President Donald Trump has ordered to reduce the number of American troops in war-torn Afghanistan before the presidential elections in 2020, his top diplomat said."That's my directive from the president of US,"Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said."Before the next presidential election in US, would you expect we reduce our troops in Afghanistan?" he was asked.Trump administration has intensified its efforts to seek a negotiated settlement of America's longest war in Afghanistan where US has lost over 2,400 soldiers since late 2001, when it invaded the country after the 9/11 attacks.US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is currently holding talks with the Taliban to work out a deal for withdrawal of the US troops and participation of rebel group in the Afghan govt."He's (Trump) been unambiguous: End the endless wars. Draw down. Reduce. It won't just be us," Pompeo said.However, he refrained from putting a timeline to the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. PTI
As Trump praises Imran for peace process, Afghans wonder what price they will pay for US-Taliban deal
More civilians were killed by Afghan, NATO forces than by insurgents:UN
UN mission in Afghanistan says that more civilians were killed by Afghan and NATO forces than by insurgents in first half of 2019.Most of civilian casualties were inflicted during Afghan and NATO operations, such as airstrikes and night raids on militant hideouts.UN report, which was released today, says 403 civilians were killed by Afghan forces in the first six months of the year and another 314 by international forces, a total of 717. That’s compared to 531 killed by Taliban, Islamic State affiliate and other militants during the same period.UN says 300 of those killed by militants were directly targeted. Last 6 months have seen Taliban carry out near-daily attacks, mainly targeting security forces.thehindu
Imran Khan terms forced conversions ‘un-Islamic’, vows to protect worship places of minorities
Pakistan PM Imran Khan on Monday termed the practice of forced conversions as “un-Islamic” and said there was no precedent in Islamic history for forcefully converting others, according to media reports. Addressing an event in connection with National Minorities Day at President’s House in Islamabad, Khan also vowed to protect and develop worship places of minorities in Pakistan and also facilitate them to the maximum level to perform them religious rituals.PTI
Pak plane crash kills over a dozen near Rawalpindi
A Pakistani military plane on a training flight has crashed into homes near the garrison city of Rawalpindi, killing at least 18 people. The incident, which took place before dawn today, created a fireball that lit up the night sky above the Mora Kalu village near Rawalpindi. Aljazeera
Muslim Sri Lankan Ministers who quit after Easter bombings rejoin govt
4 Sri Lankan Muslim Ministers, who resigned following the Easter Sunday bombings, have rejoined Govt after investigators found no link in their alleged involvement with a local islamist extremist group.2 senior Muslim leaders Rauff Hakeem —leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and Rishad Badiyudeen, leader of All Ceylon Makkal Congress — were sworn in by President Maithripala Sirisena last night.Along with them, 2 more Muslims, a State Minister and a Deputy Minister rejoined the govt.Bodu Bala Sena said the gathering will decide who to back in the presidential elections later this year in the Indian Ocean island nation where Buddhists make up about 70% of the population. Ministers were among 9 Govt legislators, several of them Cabinet Ministers, who resigned in early June after a Buddhist MP demanded their sacking and accused them of terror links.PTI
Iranians:US sanctions blocking life-saving medicine
With Iran's economy in free fall from "maximum pressure" American sanctions, prices of imported medicines have soared as the national currency tumbled about 70% against dollar.Even medicines manufactured in Iran are tougher to come by for ordinary Iranians. The cost is out of reach for many in a country where the average monthly salary is equivalent to about $450.Iran's health system can't keep up and many are blaming Donald Trump's punitive campaign for the staggering prices and shortages.The sanctions have hurt ordinary Iranians, sending prices for everything from staples and consumer goods to housing skyward, while raising the spectre of war with US.aljazeera
6 yrs on, deputy leader of Egypt’s Wasat Party remains in solitary confinement
Deputy leader of Egypt’s Wasat Party has been imprisoned for 6 years in solitary confinement having been denied family visits for 2 years and meetings with his lawyer for 3.Essam Sultan fainted in court in 2017. His family have said his health has deteriorated inside Scorpion wing of Tora Prison where he is being held.In Oct, shortly after he fainted, his wife Noha Abdullah accused prison authorities of starving the detainees after they deprived him of food and drink.Early last year, in a leaked letter, Sultan described conditions inside jail where sewage was attracting mosquitoes.MEMO
Flash: NEWS, views, Articles
Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill does not further empower NHRC: Tahir Mahmood
Draft NEP labels disabled as ‘divyang’ and considers its duty is over: Muralidharan
Kashmir Militancy: Pulwama Shows Reality Isn’t What Delhi Imagines:DAVID DEVADASUP
A Dangerous Experiment Is in the Works in Kashmir:Ghazala Wahab
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq,(Released at: 8:25 PM)


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