27 August 2019

27 AUG.ND: Indian economy set for weakest quarter of growth in 5 yrs: Reuters poll/ ‘Economy had never been assaulted so mercilessly’: Oppn hits out at govt over RBI move/ SC extends Chidambaram’s interim protection from ED arrest till tomorrow

27 AUG. 2019: 25 ZilHajj 1440:Vol: 11, No:277
Indian economy set for weakest quarter of growth in 5 yrs: Reuters poll
Indian economy likely expanded at its slowest pace in over 5 years in April-June quarter, driven by weak investment growth and sluggish demand, according to economists polled by Reuters.That would reinforce concerns seen in the minutes from the central bank’s August meeting, which showed policymakers were worried about weak growth and indicated further rate cuts in the next few months to boost slowing economy. The poll median showed the economy was expected to have grown at a year-on-year pace of 5.7% in the June quarter, a touch slower than 5.8% in the preceding 3 months. But a large minority - about 40% of nearly 65 economists - expect an expansion of 5.6% or lower. GDP data is due to be released at 1200 GMT on Friday. If the forecast is realised, it would be the weakest start in the first three months of a fiscal year in seven years.“The deceleration in growth that commenced in the second quarter of the fiscal year ending March 2019 is likely to have continued,” said Rini Sen, India economist at ANZ. “A host of high frequency indicators - consumption and investment - have continued to weaken. Most prominent ones include auto sales, output of consumer durables, cement and steel production.”Domestic passenger vehicle sales in July dived at the steepest pace in nearly two decades and declined for the ninth straight month in July, largely due to a liquidity crunch causing huge job cuts in the sector.These measures, in addition to the risk of further escalation of US and China trade war are weighing on demand and business confidence in India.The median response to an extra question in the poll, which was taken Aug.21-26, showed the average growth rate for the current fiscal year 2019-2020 is likely to be 6.5% despite a weak start. But it is a downgrade from 6.8% predicted just last month and well below RBI’s projection of 6.9%.RBI lowered its outlook for the fiscal year 2019-2020 at its August meeting. It has cut a total of 110 basis points in repo rate since Feb,which includes an unconventional cut of 35 basis points earlier this month to 5.40%.But with inflation not expected to rise anytime soon, RBI will likely ease its benchmark rate by 25 basis points again to 5.15% at its Oct meeting, followed by a 15 basis points cut in first quarter of 2020, according to a separate Reuters poll.
Amid slowing growth, RBI's Rs 1.76 lakh-crore payout to govt
RBI has approved a payout of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore to the Govt from its surplus and reserves, after an expert committee chaired by exGovernor Bimal Jalan made its recommendations to the central bank. The record transfer, including a surplus of Rs. 1.23 lakh crore for 2018-19, will boost the Govt's finances at a time it strives to tackle a nearly 5-year low economic growth with lakhs of estimated job cuts across sectors, and defend its ambitious target of containing fiscal deficit at 3.3 % of GDP.Economists say payout will likely help Govt meet its tax revenue shortfall and fund higher spending. NDTV
Stealing From RBI Won't Work: Rahul Gandhi
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has made lacerating comments against Govt after RBI approved a record Rs. 1.76 lakh crore payout to it, a move that he alleged was the same as "stealing from RBI"."PM & FM are clueless about how to solve their self created economic disaster. Stealing from RBI won't work - it's like stealing a Band-Aid from the dispensary & sticking it on a gunshot wound," Gandhi tweeted."Rs.1.76 lakh cr given to the govt by RBI is almost the exact same amount missing from Budget 2019 announcement. Where was that money spent? Why was it missing from the Budget? Looting RBI like this only devastates our economy further & reduces credit rating of the bank,"he tweeted. ndtv
‘Economy had never been assaulted so mercilessly’: Oppn hits out at govt over RBI move
RBI’s decision to transfer a surplus of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the Govt kicked off a political storm Monday, with the Opposition coming down heavily on the Centre amid the economic slowdown.Congress leader and MP Anand Sharma said the RBI’s move would bring down the cash reserve of the central banking institution to a minimum, while CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the economy had never been “assaulted so mercilessly” as under this Govt.Underscoring that ex RBI governors like Raghuram Rajan and Urjit Patel had objected to the move of transferring the surplus, Sharma said the money was meant to be used during emergency situations. “India is in a deep financial crisis. The economy is in shambles, all indicators of development are low. India’s GDP is continuously falling,” Sharma said.With GDP growth rate hitting a 5-year low of 5.8 % in Jan-March quarter, Congress leader projected that the downward slide would continue in the current financial year’s first quarter. “For Q1, for which final figures will be out on Aug.30, GDP is projected to be at 5.6 %, the least in the last 7 years,” he said.Flagging that industries were in danger, be it automobile sector or others, Sharma said the rupee was currently Asia’s worst-performing currency. “Our index of industrial production is at 2% and for manufacturing, it is 1.2%. The rupee has lost 4% of its value. Unemployment is at 8.2%, while in reality, it is over 20%,” he said.Sharma’s broadside comes after chief Rahul Gandhi and Jairam Ramesh too lashed out at Modi Govt over the transfer, which includes Rs 1.23 lakh crore of surplus for 2018-19 and Rs 52,637 crore of excess provisions identified under a revised Economic Capital Framework (ECF) adopted by RBI board. The transferred amount is over 3 times the 5-year average of Rs 53,000 crore.On his part, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury alleged that since 2014 the Modi Govt had appropriated 99 % of RBI’s profits to fund its propaganda campaigns. “It has now siphoned off Rs 1.76 lakh crores ostensibly to recapitalise banks which have been looted by Modi’s cronies,” he said.indianexpress
Forging industry talks of 35% dip in orders, seeks govt intervention
Pune :Asheet Pasricha, core committee member of the Association of Forging Industry (AFI), said orders in western India were down by 30 to 35 % while nationally the industry was facing almost 25 to 30 % downturn in orders.The first indications of slowdown, Pasricha said came in Nov, when the auto industry failed to correctly anticipate the festive demand.“The lower sales during those months were assumed to be an anomaly and supposed to be corrected later.However, instead of correcting itself,lower sales continued for the subsequent months,” he said. As the automobile OEMs started taking block closures, the effect spilled over to others in ecosystem with forging units subsequently reporting lower orders.Pasricha said forging units in Western India were impacted more given their greater exposure to the automobile sector than the other units.Nationally, the Indian forging units have around 400 units of which 60 are in western India. Annual output of the industry is pegged at 30lakh tonnes.indianexpress
Economic slowdown hits Maruti Suzuki, lays off 3,000 contractual workers
With a rise in economic slowdown, among the sectors to be worst hit is FMCG sector that has witnessed continuous fall in sales. Reports on the auto industry crisis have been doing rounds for quite some time and it’s probably the worst in the past 2 decades. According to a report by India Today, over 2.30 lakh auto sector jobs fell prey to the economic slowdown.There has been a perpetual fall in the sale of passenger cars with the latest number going down by 35 %, as released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).Now in another setback to the automobile sector, one of the country’s largest car suppliers Maruti Suzuki has announced to nullify contracts of 3,000 temporary employees due to slowdown in demand.NewsX
Reduced share in defence budget making it ‘difficult to move with nation which wants to become $5 trillion economy’: Navy Chief
NAVY Chief Admiral Karambir Singh has said that Navy’s reduced share in the defence budget was making it very difficult “to move with the nation which wants to become a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024 and give it impetus on the maritime front”.Admiral Singh also said that while India offers to help many other countries in building their naval capabilities, it has remained “poor on delivery”. Navy Chief batted for a Defence Diplomacy Fund to enable India to fulfil such commitments. He said a proposal for this fund was under consideration of the Govt. “One of the challenges is long-term budgetary support required to build Naval capability. For example, building a ship may take years to complete.So long-term budgetary projections and understanding of resource envelope are important to plan comprehensive capability development. Specifically in case ofIndian Navy, we were 18 % of Defence budget in 2012-13, now we are down to 13 %. This way we find it very difficult to move with the nation which wants to become a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024 and give it impetus on maritime front,” Admiral Singh said. indianexpress
J&K doc says hospitals in crisis,then cops take him away
Given restrictions imposed by Govt in Kashmir, Omar Salim, a urologist at Govt Medical College, while speaking to the media at a press enclave in Srinagar on Monday, was taken away by the police, right after he mentioned the health crisis that Kashmir is facing, The Telegraph reported.“Holding a ‘request and not a protest’ placard, Omar spoke to media for around 10 minutes. Before he could continue, the police whisked him away to an unknown location,” the report stated.Curiously, the police vehicle in which Omar was taken away had its number plate covered.According to The Telegraph, Omar had said that as a result of the clampdown, patients specifically those who are patients of dialysis and chemotherapy, were finding it difficult to travel to get themselves treated.While speaking to BBC Urdu, he said that patients registered under the Ayushman Bharat scheme are unable to enjoy the benefits of the scheme, citing restrictions imposed on internet and landline connections as the reason. He said the treatment that is offered for free as a part of the scheme, is being paid for by patients.Explaining the link between internet access and the scheme, he said that the entire process relies on internet as it is based on smart cards which are swiped and consequently, the details of the patients are checked on the system.The Quint
Shah Faesal, Shehla Rashid challenge Centre's Article 370 move in Supreme Court
:J&K political leader Shah Faesal and activist Shehla Rashid have challenged the Centre's move to scrap Article 370, which granted special status to J&K, in Supreme Court.This is latest in line of pleas challenging the Govt's move.A group of 7 persons including Faesal and Shehla Rashid have approached the top court challenging the presidential order revoking special status accorded to J&K, and also J&K Reorganization Act.The petition filed by this group and all other similar petitions on the Kashmir issue will be heard by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.Both Shehla and Faesal have been voicing their dissent against the Govt's move with one of them claiming that the situation is far for normal in the Valley.India Today
Pear, apple harvest rotting in Kashmir, say Panchayat members from Valley
Their pear and apple harvest rotting, ration and cash running out — people in several parts of Kashmir are facing financial hardships due to the ongoing shutdown in major parts of the Valley, say three panchayat members from the region. Hailing from Anantnag district of south Kashmir, Talib Hussain, along with fellow panchayat member Iqbal Ahmed and Mumtaz Ahmed Khan, said they were in the national capital to let the people know about the “ground realities” in the Valley. 3, who drove down from the Valley to Delhi, said they had nothing to do with politics on the matter, and wanted the people to know about the hardships being faced by the residents of the Valley.“Our pears were ready for harvest, they rotted. Now the peaches and apples too are rotting. Shops are not open, where do we get ration from? There is shortage of rice and other basic necessities,” Hussain said.The economy of J&K is largely based on agriculture and tourism. PTI
 Authorities refusing to issue death certificates for civilians killed in clashes, say families
Families in Kashmir say several civilians have died amid clashes between security forces and protesters since India announced its decision to withdraw the region’s autonomy, despite Govt’s official stance that there has not been a single casualty.Despite a near-total shutdown of both road networks and all means of communication, eye-witness reports have trickled out of small-scale protests breaking out across the state, during which at least 3 civilians have died, their families say, as a result of the actions of security personnel using teargas, pepper spray, shotgun pellets and other tactics.10 days after imposition of restrictions, the state’s police chief Dilbagh Singh boasted that “there has been not a single casualty as a result of clampdown”, and at a more recent press conference Govt spokesperson Rohit Kansal said he had “no reports” of civilian deaths.But speaking to The Independent in Srinagar, one doctor who asked to remain anonymous says hospital staff have received clear verbal instructions from the authorities to keep admissions related to the clashes to a minimum, and to discharge victims quickly, in order to keep statistics down.And in the cases of the three deaths, relatives spoke of their frustration at trying to get doctors to formally acknowledge the role played by the clashes – or even to issue them with death certificates at all.The Independent
Raids at night, handbills by day: Army siege in Kashmir escalates after special status revoked
As soldiers strode up the street, the crowd that had gathered at a shopfront in Arihal, a village in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, melted away. The men in uniform were handing out flyers printed in Urdu. “Article 370 aur 35A ko badlaav karne ke kitne phayede hai,” the headline declared. Many advantages of changing Articles 370 and 35A.The flyers handed out by the army made 11 points.The new regime would usher in the “right to education”, including compulsory education for women, midday meals at Govt schools and new coaching centres. Under “health”, flyer promised implementation of Ayushman Yojana and new hospitals. Under “tourism”, new hotels and tourist centres.The list went on. The development of backward classes would be prioritised.There would be new factories and industries. There would be Central supervision of law and order and of development, which would turn Kashmir into Pondicherry. There would be property rights for women. There would be Central largesse worth Rs 1 lakh crore to meet “daily needs”. There would be soaring land prices.As the soldiers disappeared down the street, the crowd regrouped at pend or shopfront. Behind them, the shops were shuttered in protest against the Govt’s decision. Eager voices said what life had been like in weeks since Article 370 and 35A were gutted.They accused security forces, especially the army, of conducting night raids:“They’ve beaten up all boys, old people, women”, “they’ve destroyed rations, mixing rice and oil”, “they’ve broken the mosques as well, forcing their way in.”While an unearthly quiet reigns on the streets, the Valley is awash with security forces. In Srinagar, police and paramilitary forces keep vigil at empty marketplaces. Men from CRPF guard the local police stations, where hundreds are believed to be detained. Scroll.in
In ‘interest of justice’, justice postponed in J&K HC
“We would like to give it some time,” the Supreme Court bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S A Bobde and Abdul Nazeer had said on August 16 while hearing petitions challenging the dilution of the special status of J&K and the communication blockade in the Valley.However, 3 weeks into the lockdown, the refrain in the Srinagar bench of the J&K High Court is:justice postponed.Indian Express scrutinised orders in all cases heard between Aug.5 and Aug 26. These orders, available on E-court platform, reveal a telling pattern:#Of the total of 288 cases heard in this period where orders were passed, petitioners were not present in 256 cases.# Respondents were not present in 235 cases.#In at least 38 cases, the judges, Chief Justice Gita Mittal or Justice Rashid Ali Dar or both couldn’t receive even the case files.#Almost all the orders follow 2 templates. One reads: “On account of restrictions on the movement of traffic in the State, counsel for the parties are not available. Record of the case has not been received. Interim orders, if any, to continue till further orders. List again on (date specified).” This exact wording is repeated in several cases.#The second format: “No one has appeared on behalf of the parties when the matter is called out today. In the interest of justice, list again on (date specified). Interim orders to continue till further orders.”#Of the 288 cases, 39 have been postponed to a date in August; 29 to a date in Sept; 114 in Oct.and 90 in Nov. In short, over 70 % of the cases have been deferred to dates in either Oct or Nov.indianexpress
Kashmir: Imran, Saudi Prince speak for third time
 For the second time in a month, Pakistan PM Imran Khan held a telephonic conversation with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the Kashmir issue, according to a media report.Khan spoke to the Crown Prince on Monday about the situation in the Valley after India revoked the special status given to J&K, The News International reported.PTI
Pakistan is ready for war: Foreign Minister Qureshi
Pakistan is ready for every kind of war, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Monday in the wake of simmering tensions in the region over India's historic move to withdraw the special status to J&K. Addressing a ceremony here, Qureshi said the world was witnessing that "India had put the regional peace and stability at risk by illegally revoking" the special status of J&K, ARY News reported.He added that India could do "anything to divert the world's attention from its atrocities and grave human rights violation" in the region.Reiterating similar threats over a nuclear war between the two neighbours, PM Imran Khan while addressing the nation, earlier in the day, said Pakistan will keep fighting for the freedom of Kashmir till the end and will stand by the Kashmiris in any situation.Khan also cautioned that both the countries were nuclear powers and in case of a war between the 2 countries, it could have an effect on the entire world. Qureshi further warned that the entire region would be affected by the war between the 2 nuclear powers.The Foreign Minister stressed that they were using diplomatic, political and legal options to resolve the longstanding Kashmir issue and will even raise the issue in the upcoming annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York next month.ANI
Minority Affairs Ministry team in Kashmir to identify development projects
Srinagar:A six-member Minority Affairs Ministry team led by its secretary arrived in the Kashmir Valley on Tuesday for a 2-day visit during which it will identify the areas to implement centrally-sponsored development projects after provisions of Article 370 were abrogated, officials said.Minority Affairs Ministry Secretary Shailesh, Joint Secretary (Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram) Nigar Fatima, National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) chairman and managing director Shahbaz Ali, and Central Waqf Council Secretary SA S Naqvi, are part of the team that left for Srinagar by a morning flight.“Team will explore development possibilities -- where schools, colleges, skill development centres can be opened,” said  Naqvi.The team will look at all possibilities of social-economic development projects, he added.PTI
Assam With just days to go, hope dims for minority village
Guwahati: A minority-dominated village in Assam's Kamrup district with a 95% enrolment rate in the draft NRC has gone from hope to despair after the last round of re-verification saw at least one member from every family summoned for hearings. Schoolteacher Khajal Uddin Ahmed said many among the 5,000-odd residents of No. 1 Malibari Pathar village were worried they might not make it to the final citizenship rolls that are scheduled to be published this Saturday. "Unlike other minority-dominated villages, the draft NRC released in July last year had good news for most of us in No. 1 Malibari Pathar. But our sense of relief has been short-lived. After the re-verification summons, we are suspicious of the process. What if someone is left out of the final NRC?" he said. While NRC applicants without proper land ownership documents found it difficult to back their residency claims during the re-verification hearings, repeat scrutiny sowed doubt in the minds of even those who insist their papers are in order. Kamrup's Chamaria block, of which No.1 Malibari Pathar is a part, was infamous for violent clashes between minorities and indigenous communities during the anti-foreigner movement from 1979 to 1985. Area seemed to have put its past behind after the Assam Accord was signed, but old anxieties have resurfaced in the run-up to the deadline for the final NRC.Hazrat Ali Ahmed, whose birthplace Bogoriguri is about 94km from Guwahati, said everyone in his family was included in the draft NRC, but his mother was summoned to a re-verification hearing at Kaliabor in Nagaon district last month. TOI
No immediate detention of those left out of NRC list: govt
Guwahati:With just 3 days left for publication of final NRC, Assam Govt issued a public notice through newspapers on Tuesday stating that those left out of the list won’t face detention immediately.“Those left out of the final NRC won’t face any kind of detention till the foreigners’ tribunals (FTs) passes orders about their status,” said the seven-point notice signed by Kumar Sanjay Krishna, additional chief secretary of Assam Govt’s home and political department.Final list of NRC will be published on August 31 and it is expected that several lakhs of 32.9 lakh applicants might get left out. The complete draft NRC released in July last year had excluded 40 lakh applicants and another list released in June had left out 100,000 more.Govt’s notice comes amid fears that those left out of list would be declared foreigners and sent to detention camps meant for foreigners who entered India illegally.HT
INX Media case: SC extends Chidambaram’s interim protection from ED arrest till tomorrow
As the hearing in INX Media money laundering case filed against ex Union minister P Chidambaram resumed Tuesday, the Supreme Court extended till tomorrow protection from arrest granted to the senior Congress leader. The probe agency will now argue in the SC on WednesdayI. As the case was presented in the top court today, a bench of Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna said it would hear the arguments of ED on Chidambaram’s two petitions, including the challenge to remand orders, on Wednesday.Meanwhile, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for former Union minister, filed an application seeking direction to ED to produce the transcripts of the questioning conducted on December 19 last year and Jan 1 and Jan21 this year in the case.Sibal said that the transcripts will show whether Chidambaram was evasive during his questioning, as alleged by ED. Chidambaram’s counsel in the case also told the bench that ED cannot place documents in the court randomly and “behind the back” for seeking Chidambaram’s custody.“They are just producing documents at random and saying this is part of the case diary,” Sibal said, adding, “They cannot place the documents behind the back and seek custody of accused.”Also appearing for Chidambaram, advocate Abhishek Singhvi, referred to the constitutional and legal provisions and said that fundamental right of citizens under Article 21 (right to life and personal liberty) cannot be suspended. He argued that PMLA was amended in 2009 whereas the allegations in case are of 2007-2008.“You try and paint a person as a kingpin when these alleged offences did not exist at that time,” he told the court during the arguments.indianexpress
‘Produce a shred of evidence’: P Chidambaram’s family challenges Govt
Congress leader P Chidambaram’s family today accused the media of reporting “wild, unverified and unsubstantiated allegations” against ex Union finance minister.“While we understand that the motive of Govt [is] to demonise and humiliate Chidambaram, we are deeply saddened that the media is unable to uphold liberty against calumny,” the family said in a statement. “One of the fundamental principles of liberty is: Every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”The minister’s family said it was confident truth would prevail, and claimed that his contribution cannot be “wiped out by a campaign of vilification”. “We challenge Govt to produce a shred of evidence in support of one undisclosed bank account, one undisclosed property or one shell company anywhere in the world,” they added.scroll.in
Nirmohi Akhara unnecessarily opposing deity's plea, both stand or fall together in Babri Masjid case: SC
Hindu body 'Nirmohi Akahara' is "unnecessarily" opposing the plea of deity 'Ram Lalla' for the title of disputed Ramjanam Bhoomi-Babri Masjid land as both the parties will "stand" or "fall" together, the Supreme Court said Monday.A 5-judge Constitution bench, headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, was critical of the submission of 'Akhara' that being the 'shebait' (devotee), only its lawsuit was maintainable and the case filed by deity 'Ram Lalla Virajman', through next friend Deoki Nandan Agrawal, should not be allowed."There is no conflict between your (Akahara's) suit and the suit filed by plaintiff number 1 (Ram Lalla)...Even if the suit of plaintiff (deity and others) is allowed, your right as 'shebait' stands," bench said while hearing the arguments on the 12th day of the decades-old, politically sensitive case."You (Akahara) can claim your 'shebait' right independently. Unnecessarily, you are entering into the conflicting territory you need not go to. It is for Sunni Waqf Board to do that," said the bench, comprising Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer. The bench asked senior advocate Sushil Jain, appearing for 'Nirmohi Akahara', that if the lawsuit of the deity was disallowed then for whom will the Akahara be 'shebait' of."You (Akhara) stand together and you will fall together. Your argument is that Deoki Nandan Agarwal (who had filed the lawsuit on behalf of deity as next friend) had no right to file the suit."You (Akhara) cannot be the 'shebait' of the mosque," bench quipped, adding, "If your suit succeeds, it will be adverse to the deity."    PTI
Jadavapur University screens Ram ke Naam
Kolkata:Jadavapur University (JU) has allowed the screening of 'Ram ke Naam', a 1992 documentary based on Babri Masjid demolition, but it was not allowed to be screened on Presidency University(PU) campus auditorium after authorities allegedly denied permission. The students of the film studies department took the initiative of screening the film in Jadavpur University."If a department takes an initiative, there is no point in denying or giving any permission," JU Registrar Sneha Manju Basu said.A group of PU students had also planned to screen the national award winning documentary directed by filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, but were denied permission. However, officials at JU didn't put any restriction on its screening."Some students had planned to screen documentary on Monday. The audhall was sanctioned to us, but as per the norm we should have been given a receipt. We didn't get that and on Saturday we were told that the hall was not meant for such screenings," said Sayan Chakraborty, student of PU's economics dept.However, PU officials said that the students were stopped from screening the documentary as they didn't have proper permission.IANS
HC agrees to hear fresh plea on Uniform Civil Code
Delhi High Court hasagreed to hear on Tuesday a PIL seeking direction to the Centre to constitute a judicial commission or a high level expert committee to draft a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) for securing gender justice, equality and dignity of women.The plea was mentioned before a bench a Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar which tagged it for hearing along with a similar pending petition.The petition, filed by advocate Abhinav Beri, also said that a direction be given to the Law Commission to draft a UCC within three months taking into account the best practices of all religions and sects, civil laws of developed countries and international conventions and publish that on its website for at least 90 days for wide public debate and feedback.Another petition by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, seeking framing of UCC to promote unity, fraternity and national integration is also pending before the court.All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has moved the high court opposing Upadhyay's PIL and sought to be impleaded as a party in the matter, saying the petition was not maintainable in law and ought not to be entertained.PTI
SC allows The Wire to withdraw appeal in defamation case filed by Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah
The Supreme Court on August 27 allowed news portal ‘The Wire’ and its scribes to withdraw their appeal against the Gujarat High Court order in a defamation case filed by Jay Shah, son of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, over an article, even as it expressed anguish over the way journalism is being practised in the country.The apex court said trial against them will be expeditiously completed by the competent court.Though a Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra allowed the withdrawal of appeals, pending in the SC for around one-and-a-half years, it expressed anguish over the way journalism is being practised in the country now.The Bench also comprising justices M.R. Shah and B.R. Gavai said that it has become a fashion to serve notice to a person for explanation and even before it can be answered, the articles are published within five to six hours.The Bench made this remark when senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the portal and its scribes, sought withdrawal of the appeals filed by them.PTI
Eminent Citizens Call for Unity of Democratic Forces of Indo-Palestine to Resist Hindutva and Zionism
Reacting to an event held on the Hindutva and Zionism in Mumbai, prominent writers, and activists including Nayantara Sehgal, Supreme Court lawyer Rajeev Dhawan and JNU professor Nivedita Menon have called for the unity among democratic and progressive forces in India and Palestine to resist these two “supremacist ideologies”.“The democratic and progressive forces in India, which are battling to save the soul of this nation, must at this moment align their struggles with that of the Palestinians,” reads the statement which was issued by more than 40 eminent citizens. The event was organized by the Consulate General of Israel at Mumbai University on 26 Aug. BJP’s MP Subramaniam Swami and Dr Gadi Taub of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who is a known advocate of Zionism, addressed the gathering on “Leader’s Idea of Nation in the Context of Zionism and Hindutva”.Pointing to the apparent unity of the proponents of these supremacist ideologies at this event, they said “the largest coalition of the Palestinian civil society has called for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against the state of Israel until it respects their rights. Increasingly, we can see that our oppressors are united, and taking us down a dangerous path. In this grave moment, our struggles must unite too. It is time we overwhelmingly respect the Palestinian picket line and combined our struggles for freedom, justice, and equality with theirs”. Caravandaily
WB govt to table Bill against mob assault, lynching
 West Bengal Govt is planning to introduce a Bill in Assembly to check incidents of mob assault and lynching, sources said.The West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019 is likely to be tabled in the House on August 30, they said.“Bill aims to protect the constitutional rights of vulnerable persons and prevent incidents of lynching. It also proposes action against those involved in perpetrating the crime,” a senior Trinamool Congress Minister said. The legislation will pitch for a jail term, which may vary from three years to life, for those involved in assaulting and injuring a victim.In case of death, those responsible for the incident would be punished with rigorous life imprisonment and fine up to ₹5 lakh, he said.PTI
Accused in 2006 train blasts case claims he is being tried for same offence twice
Mumbai: A day before the sessions court will give its judgment in 2006 case against 2 men allegedly from the SIMI, one of the 2 accused has moved court stating he has faced trial for the same offences twice. Mohammed Ali, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2015 for his role in 2006 case, has filed an application before the court that though he was convicted in that case, he is being tried again for the same offence.Ali is facing trial under sections 10 and 13 of UAPA for allegedly being a member of an unlawful association and for unlawful activities. He has claimed he was already convicted and sentenced to punishment for these 2 offences by the court, which conducted the trial in 2006 blasts case, based on the same evidence submitted in present case. Ali was sentenced to 2 years under section 10 and seven years under section 13 of UAPA in 2015 along with life imprisonment on other charges.In the present case, which is slated for judgment on Tuesday, prosecution has claimed that officials of Mumbai Police Crime Branch had received information that members of SIMI were likely to carry out unlawful activities during the Ganesh festival. indianexpress
Saffron outfit leader held for terror funding, MP BJP under fire
BJP in MP is under fire from the Opposition since the arrest of five persons in Satna district in a terror-funding case as one of those arrested is a Bajrang Dal leader called Balram Singh.The Anti-Terror Squad of the Madhya Pradesh Police had last Wednesday arrested five persons in Satna for suspected links with a terror-funding racket managed by Pakistani operatives. 3 of 5 arrested -- Balram Singh, Sunil Singh and Shubham Mishra -- were later brought to Bhopal.They were found to have communicated with their handlers using an app which does not keep any record of the messages it sends, police said.Two years ago, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) leader Dhruv Saxena was arrested in a similar case of espionage and terror-funding in Satna. The accused later got bail. Balram Singh was also a part of this gang.IANS
3 accused in terror funding case remanded till Sept 2
UP’s Law Student Missing 3 Days After Accusing BJP Leader and ex-Union Minister of Harassment
Shahjahanpur: A law student from SS Law College in this UP district has gone missing from her college hostel, days after she accused former Union Minister and BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand, of harassment and “destroying the lives of several girls”.While local police officials expressed ignorance of the incident, UP DGP O.P. Singh has ordered an FIR to be registered on her father’s complaint. The girl, last week, had posted a video on the social media alleging that Swami Chinmayanand, who is director of her college, is threatening to eliminate her and her family because she has evidence that could land him in trouble. Girl sought the help of PM Narendra Modi and UP CM Yogi Adityanath in the video.IANS
K'taka leaders dissatisfied, rebellion within BJP after portfolio allocation
Bengaluru:Hours after the portfolio allocation of Cabinet ministers in Karnataka, signs of rebellion within BJP emerged, with Vokkaliga leader and Chikmagalur MLA CT Ravi posting a series of tweets late on Monday. B S Yediyurappa-led Govt has appointed three deputy CMs among the 17 ministers inducted.Leaders like KS Eshwarappa and R Ashok, who served as deputy CMs in earlier BJP-led Govts, were not accommodated this time.Eshwarappa has been given Rural Development and Panchayati Raj portfolio, whereas R Ashok would serve as Revenue minister.Supporters and followers of Eshwarappa issued a warning and said side-lining the minister was an “insult”. They threatened to “hit back” at the party if Eshwarappa isn't given the deputy CM's post in the coming days. Appointment of Ashwath Narayan as deputy CM over CT Ravi might not go down well with some sections of the party either.However, in late-night tweets, Ravi said he was as much loyal to his “principle” as to BJP.Deccan Chronicle
In ancient India, people who consumed cow meat were labelled as untouchable: RSS leader
New Delhi: People who consumed cow meat were labelled as untouchable in ancient India and the words 'untouchability' and 'Dalit' did not exist in ancient Indian literature, a senior RSS leader said on Monday.peaking at a book launch, Krishna Gopal, joint general secretary of RSS, noted that even the Constituent Assembly preferred using the word 'scheduled caste' over 'Dalit'."It was the conspiracy of the British that the word Dalit percolated (in society)," he said.RSS leader unveiled the books 'Bharat Ka Rajnitik Uttararayan' and Bharat Ka Dalit Vimarsh'. Culture and Tourism Minister Pralhad Patel was also present at the event."The first example of untouchability in India were the people who consumed cow meat being called untouchable. Even  Ambedkar ji has written the same," Gopal said.He said gradually this started percolating in the minds of people and a large section of the society was branded as untouchable. They were oppressed and insulted for a long time. Gopal said sage Valmiki, who wrote Ramayana, was not a Dalit but a shudra, and many great rishi were also shudras and they were highly respected.Shudra is one of the four varnas, the other three being Bramhin, Khastriyas, Vaishyas. It was also the lowest in the varna order.Gopal said that another example of untouchability was during the Islamic invasion during the time of Raja Dahir in the 8th century.Dahir was the Hindu King of Sindh and was defeated by Mohammad-bin Kasim which marked the first Islamic invasion in India.Gopal said the queens of Dahir killed themselves saying they will become 'untouchable' if they were touched by invaders.RSS leader also said the "important goals" of Christianity and Islam were "to convert those who did not believe in their practice".No religion that originated in India believed in such practice, Gopal asserted. PTI
Madras HC asks Tamil Nadu Govt to explain the need for separate burial grounds for Dalits
Madras High Court on Monday questioned the Tamil Nadu Govt’s decision to allot different burial and cremation grounds for Dalits, PTI reported.Justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad initiated a suo motu public interest petition on the basis of recent news reports that a Dalit man’s body was lowered from a bridge in Vellore district for the last rites because caste Hindus had barred access to the cremation grounds.After the video went viral, the Tamil Nadu Govt had ordered that 50 cents (​1 ⁄ 100th of an acre) of Govt land be allotted for the creation of a crematorium for Dalits.The court said the Govt was only promoting caste segregation through this action. “By allocating separate burial ground to the ‘Adi Dravidars’ [Scheduled Castes], the Govt itself appeared to be encouraging such practice,” it said. The judges added that each citizen of the country was entitled to equality under Article 14 of Constitution and sought to know the reason for having separate space to bury people based on their caste.scroll.in
Anti-Muslim Slogans by VHP Workers Blamed for Rajasthan Stone Pelting Incident
Jaipur: Stones were allegedly pelted at a VHP rally while it passed through the Jama Masjid area of Gangapur city in Rajasthan’s Sawai Madhopur district on Sunday.The Muslim community has claimed that VHP had first sought permission to carry the rally through the Jama Masjid area, “with the ulterior motive of inciting Muslims”.  “Every year, VHP members take out small processions comprising around 100 people but this time they had a gathering of about 4,000 people. The only purpose of increasing the strength of the procession was to get the permission from authorities to carry out the procession through Jama Masjid area,” Ameen Sadar, a Muslim leader of Gangapur said. Sadar also said that upon reaching the Jama Masjid area, VHP workers tactfully halted the procession for about 10 minutes so that around 200 people could gather there. “Once they had gathered, some of the workers who were at the end of the procession took out swords and began raising objectionable slogans against our community. This led to stone pelting by some of our men. In response, they also pelted stones at us,” he added. Sadar said there are several videos which show anti-Muslim slogans being raised by VHP men in the procession. These allegedly include lines like, “If you want to stay in India, you’ll have to remain quiet’.“The police was witness to the anti-Muslim slogans that the members of the procession were raising, still they have only taken our men into custody. Why is there no punishment for the people who say bad things to us?” said Sadar. thewire
Triple talaq: Muslim women coming out in large numbers to file FIRs in UP;  dowry is one of the main causes
UP is witnessing a spurt in triple talaq cases, with 216 FIRs filed by Muslim women since the enactment of a law which makes the instant divorce a punishable offence. The maximum number of 26 such cases have been registered in Meerut followed by Saharanpur and Shamli where 17 and 10 FIRs have been lodged respectively, a senior police official told PTI on Tuesday. These 3 places in western UP have a sizeable Muslim population. "In UP, women given triple talaq are coming out in large numbers to register FIRs against their husbands. Within 3 weeks (till Aug 21) of implementation of the Triple talaq Act, as many as 216 FIRs have been filed in the state so far," he said. In eastern UP, the highest number of 10 FIRs were registered in PM Narendra Modi's constituency - Varanasi. The main causes of triple talaq are dowry, property dispute and domestic violence as per the FIRs lodged. However, except in two-three cases, no arrest has so far been made in the over 200 cases lodged.  In a case in Lucknow, a man allegedly gave triple talaq to his wife right inside civil court premises in the presence of her advocate after she refused to accept a chewing gum from him, police said. 30-year-old Simmi of Amrai village was divorced by her husband Syed Rashid where she had gone for the hearing of a case of dowry harassment she had lodged earlier against her in-laws. PTI
NHRC notice to UP chief secretary over rotis, salt served in midday meal
Lucknow: NHRC has sent a notice to UP chief secretary after taking cognisance of reports that children of a Govt-run primary school in Mirzapur were served Rotis and salt for their midday meal.According to an NHRC statement, the commission has sought a detailed report about the status of the midday meal scheme across the state within four weeks.A video of children being served Rotis and salt in their midday meal at Siyur Primary School under Jamalpur block of Mirzapur has gone viral on social media. The clip purportedly shows a woman distributing Rotis and another woman giving salt to children as the midday meal.Authorities have suspended two teachers, apparently in an immediate damage-control exercise.PTI
Muzaffarnagar riots: Charges framed against 5 accused of killing youth
 A local court has framed charges against five people accused of killing a youth whose death was a trigger for the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots in 2013.District and Sessions Judge Sanjay Kumar Pachori has framed charges against 5 accused. The court fixed next Tuesday for producing witnesses from the prosecution side against Prahlad, Bishan Singh, Tendu, Devender and Jitender.According to the prosecution, the five are among the 6 people accused of stabbing Shahnawaz to death at Kawal village in Jansath area of Muzaffarnagar district on Aug.27, 2013.His death and that of two youths in another incident were said to be the trigger behind the communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar.PTI
UP: Man booked for posting derogatory remarks on PM Modi’s Facebook page
Sambhal: Police have lodged an FIR against a person for allegedly posting an objectionable picture and derogatory remarks on PM Narendra Modi’s Facebook page, officials said. Police official, Dharmpal Singh said the matter was brought to his notice by some people.A person named Sajid Rizvi posted an objectionable picture of PM Narendra Modi and made derogatory remarks about him and UP CM Yogi Adityanath.PTI
Kevin Joseph murder case: Kerala court sentences all 10 convicts to double life-term
New Delhi :A court in Kerala Tuesday awarded double life imprisonment to all 10 convicts in the case of honour killing of a Dalit Christian youth, Kevin P Joseph (24), by his wife’s upper-caste Christian family in Kottayam last year. Kevin’s ‘honour killing’, a first of its kind in Kerala, had triggered widespread protests across the state last year with a large section of Dalit organisations as well as Opposition UDF up in arms against the inaction of the police and the involvement of a few DYFI leaders in the case.indianexpress
Maharashtra: Villages to Boycott Enumeration Process Over Census Excluding OBC Data
Wada: After Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced it would not include the OBC caste data in the 2021 census, several villages in Thane and Palghar districts decided to protest the move. Within 2 weeks of the announcement, nearly 100 villages across the 2 districts passed a resolution to boycott the enumeration process, unless OBC population is counted and a caste-based census is conducted. The enumeration process for the 2021 census is likely to begin in a few months.At Valshet village in Shahpur taluka, gram panchayat representatives and residents met on August 21. The agenda was clear. “We wanted to discuss what is in store for OBC communities. Since 1931, census has not counted the OBC population. What is assumed is from nearly 90-year-old data. So, we passed a resolution boycotting the enumeration in current form,” Ramesh Nichite said. OBCs constitute almost 100% of his village, where more than 700 people live. There are also one or two families from the Katkari community, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG).thewire
Sri Lankan Islamic clerics seek clarity on face veil ban
Islamic clerics in Sri Lanka asked Muslim women on Tuesday to continue to avoid wearing face veils until the Govt clarifies whether they are once again allowed now that emergency rule has ended four months a string of suicide bomb attacks.Clerics are wary of the Muslim community being targeted again for violence, as it was in the aftermath of April’s Easter Sunday attacks, said Fazil Farook, spokesman for All Ceylon Jammiyyathul Ulama, Sri Lanka’s largest group of Islamic clerics. 2 local radical Muslim groups have been blamed for the attacks.Farook urged Muslim women not to rush into wearing their veils again.“They have managed in the past and we are asking them to do it the same way,” Farook said adding some women have refused to come in public without covering their faces because they had accustomed to it.After the Easter attacks, Sri Lanka’s Govt brought the country under emergency rule, giving sweeping search, arrest and detention powers to the military and police. President Maithripala Sirisena also used the emergency law to issue a decree banning covering faces in all manners, including face veils.AP
Lanka urged to tackle 'hate propaganda' against Muslims
A UN human rights expert has called on Sri Lanka to take urgent action on "hate propaganda targeting Muslim communities" following a spate of deadly attacks on churches and hotels on Easter Sunday. Ahmed Shaheed, UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, issued the call on Monday at the end of a 12-day mission to the Buddhist-majority country.He said there was a "serious deficit of trust among ethnoreligious communities" in the wake of ISIL-claimed attacks in April. "While Govt promptly brought the situation more or less under control after the bomb blasts, many religious communities remain very concerned about their security because of incitement to hatred and violence by some religious extremists," Shaheed said in a statement. There was also a spike in reports of hate speech, with a senior Buddhist monk saying in June Muslims should be stoned in one case. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana made the comment after repeating unsubstantiated claims that a Muslim doctor had sterilised thousands of Buddhist women. "Govt must take action against the hate propaganda targeting Muslim communities that is being spread through unregulated media and is instigating ethnoreligious tension for political gain," said Shaheed.Failure to do so "will allow extremism to escalate and pose serious challenges to peace-building,"he added.aljazeera
Malaysia : PAS accuses Penang DCM of being linked to militant group, after criticism against Dr Zakir Naik
Kuala Lumpur: PAS information chief Kamaruzaman Mohamad today accused Penang Deputy CM II P. Ramasamy of being proxy to foreign powers including terror groups.He cited Ramasamy’s recent interview with an Indian state television station, which he claiming aimed at pressuring PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over Dr Zakir Naik’s issue.“In fact, the interview gave the impression that Dr Zakir is not fit to live in Malaysia or anywhere in civilised world,” said Kamaruzaman in a statement today.He also alleged that Ramasamy has links to militant group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka.“A photo of him (Ramasamy) taken with Bagan Dalam assemblyman Satees Muniandy worshiping the Kalashnikov emblem or AK-47 rifle, a ritual of group was circulated.“Apart from that, Ramasamy also uploaded a photo of Gopalasamy who was involved with the LTTE when he attended his daughter’s wedding ceremony in Penang in 2017, which reflects their close ties,” Kamaruzaman added.He added that due to the public’s concern over Ramasamy’s “influence” over terrorism and his “relationship” with the terrorist, many police reports were lodged against him previously.“As such, PAS is urging the Home Ministry to disclose its year-old investigation status.Ramasamy has since received a legal notice from Dr Zakir’s lawyer, saying the preacher plans to sue him over remarks he made in the television interview.malaymail
Iran's Rouhani tells US: No talks until sanctions lifted
Iran will not talk to the United States until all sanctions imposed on Tehran are lifted, President Hassan Rouhani has said, a day after US President Donald Trump said he would meet his Iranian counterpart to try to end a nuclear standoff.Trump said on Monday he would meet Iran's president under the right circumstances to end a confrontation over Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal and that talks were under way to see how countries could open credit lines to keep Iran's economy afloat."The step is to retreat from sanctions. You must retreat from all illegal, unjust and wrong sanctions against the nation of Iran," Rouhani said in a televised speech in the capital Tehran on Tuesday. "Without taking this step, the deadlock will not be unlocked," he added."Without America withdrawing from sanctions and abandoning the wrong path it has chosen, we will not witness any positive development. The key to positive change is in hands of Washington. "Rouhani's comments indicated a change of heart, a day after he had expressed readiness to negotiate a way out of crisis. aljazeera
Iraqi bloc calls for US troop withdrawal after Israeli raids
A powerful bloc in Iraq's parliament has called for the withdrawal of US troops from the country, following a series of air raids targeting Iran-backed Shia militias in the country that have been blamed on Israel.The Fatah Coalition said on Monday that it holds the United States fully responsible for the alleged Israeli aggression, "which we consider to be a declaration of war on Iraq and its people".The coalition is a parliament bloc representing Iran-backed paramilitary militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces.aljazeera
NASA Live Map Shows it is Not Just The Amazon, But Central Africa is Burning Too
 Amazon, also referred to as the lungs of the earth, isn’t the only massive forest area that is burning right now. As things stand, there are more fires burning in the forests in central Africa. A look at NASA Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) live map, forest fires in central Africa have created a huge area of red, stretching from the south of Congo all the way down to South Africa, engulfing the countries of Angola and Gabon in the process. News18
Flash: NEWS,views,Articles
Pehlu Khan verdict underlines subversion of justice by police and bureaucracy: Harsh Mander
My 14 days of siege in Kashmir; a first-hand account from the valley, Sadiq Shaban, Deputy Opinion Editor, gulfnews
‘Press Council Letter on J&K is Undemocratic, Disgraceful’: N Ram
'Pain, misery, trauma':Al Jazeera journalists on Rohingya
Assam’s NRC: These children could be stateless soon:Arunabh Saikia
CRPF soaks up attacks and hits back in Kashmir:Zeba Siddiqui
India’s culture of toxic masculinity:Rajeev Bhargava
Srinagar DC Shahid Iqbal Choudhary interview: ‘We don’t foresee this (restrictions) going on too long’
What does ₹1.76 lakh crore transfer mean to RBI, Govt
In the Idea of an 'All India NRC', Echoes of Reich Citizenship Law:Nizam Pasha
India lost ₹15 trillion trying to make ₹14 billion from tax surcharge on investors:Sriram Iyer |
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq,(Released at: 7:41 PM)


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