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J&K: Militants open fire in Handwara, cop killed

Sat, 31 Dec 2016-11:00pm , Srinagar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A policeman was killed in firing on Saturday by militants on a naka party in Handwara area of Kupwara district of Kashmir, officials said.The militants, who were traveling in a load carrier, opened fire on police personnel at a barricade at Chogul in Handwara this evening, a police official said.Constable Abdul Karim was injured in the firing, he said, adding he succumbed at a hospital.The militants managed to escape in the load carrier, the official added.

1993 Bombay blasts case: HC refuses furlough to convict Rubina Menon

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has rejected the plea of 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Rubina Suleman Memon, seeking her release on furlough.

“We are not inclined to release the petitioner (Rubina) on furlough as she had been convicted by a TADA court for her involvement in terrorist activities,” said a bench of Justice VK Tahilramani and AM Badar in a recent judgement.

Rubina is also sister-in-law of Tiger Memon, believed to be living in Pakistan and one of the prime conspirators of the serial blasts that had rocked the city in March, 1993, claiming 257 lives and injuring more than 700 others.

Rubina was sentenced to life imprisonment along with three other family members by a Mumbai TADA Court in 2006, while her husband Sulieman was acquitted due to lack of evidence. Her brother-in-law Yakub was sent to the gallows on terror charges.

File image of Bombay high court. IBNlive

File image of Bombay high court. IBNlive

Rubina, currently lodged in Pune’s Yerwada prison, had applied to jail authorities for furlough leave on 22 January 2015. However, her plea was rejected on 15 January 2016. Aggrieved, she filed an appeal which was dismissed in May this year. Thereafter, she moved the High Court by a writ petition seeking furlough leave, which was rejected last week.

Rubina’s lawyer Farhana Shah argued that the three co-accused, who have also been convicted under TADA in the same case, have been released from jail temporary on leave.

They are Sardar Shahwali Khan, who was released on furlough on 9 June 2014, Nasir Abdul Kadar, who was given furlough leave on 27 June 2014 and Isa Abdul Razak Memon, who was also released on furlough on 10 June 2016, Farhana said.

As the three co-accused, who were similarly placed with Rubina in the 1993 bomb blast case, had been given furlough leave, the petitioner should also be given the same facility, i.e furlough leave, Farhana argued.

Additional Public prosecutor HJ Dedia submitted that Rubina’s application for furlough was rejected under Rule 4(4) of the Prisons (Bombay Furlough and Parole) Rules, 1959.

This Rule states that prisoners whose release is not recommended by Commissioner of Police or District Magistrate on the ground of public peace and tranquility, shall not be granted furlough.

The prosecutor said that in the order jail authorities rejecting Rubina’s furlough, it was stated that the petitioner is wife of brother of Yakub Memon. She will spend her period of furlough in Mahim area in Mumbai, where people of all communities reside.

“If she is released on parole people will turn up to meet her in large numbers and there would be a law and order problem, particularly in view of the fact that during the funeral of Yakub Memon, a huge crowd had turned up,” the order stated.

The prosecutor also pointed out that as Rubina has been convicted under TADA hence under Rule 4(13) of Prison Tules, she would not be entitled to be released on furlough, as this rule states that prisoners who are convicted for terrorist crime shall not be released.

The prosecutor argued that admittedly, the petitioner (Rubina) is convicted under TADA, hence, she is not entitled to be released on furlough. He pointed out that the Bombay High court in two decisions has held that sub rule 13 to Rule 4 is not ultra virus.

Accepting the prosecutor’s argument, the high court rejected the furlough leave petition of Rubina Memon.

First Published On : Dec 29, 2016 14:10 IST

India successfully test-fires most lethal missile Agni-V, range to cover entire China

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India successfully test-fired Agni-V on Monday, its most lethal nuclear-capable inter- continental ballistic missile that has a range of over 5,000 km covering whole of China, from Abdul Kalam island off Odisha coast. The successful test-firing on Monday will pave the way for user trial of the missile and its eventual induction into the Strategic Forces Command (SFC).”Agni 5 was successfully flight tested by DRDO at 1100 hours from Dr Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha. The full range test-flight of the missile has further boosted the indigenous missile capabilities and deterrence level of the country,” a statement by the Defence Ministry said.It added that all the radars, tracking systems and range stations tracked and monitored the flight performance and all the mission objectives were successfully met. This was the fourth test of Agni-V missile and the second one from a canister on a road mobile launcher. All the four missions have been successful.The three-stage, solid propellant surface-to-surface missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at about 1105 hours, DRDO sources said. About 17-metre long and weighing over 50 tonne, the missile majestically rose from the confines of its canister flawlessly and achieved all targets, sources in Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) said.The Agni-V missile has a range of over 5,000 km. At present, India possesses Agni-I with 700 km range, Agni-II with 2,000 km range, Agni-III and Agni-IV with 2,500 km to more than 3,500 range in its armoury of Agni missile series, they said. It is the fourth developmental and second canisterised trial of the missile, integrated with a sophisticated mobile launcher in its deliverable configuration that enables launch of the missile with a very short preparation time as compared to an open launch, they said.It also has advantages of higher reliability, longer shelf life, less maintenance and enhanced mobility. President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar congratulated the DRDO scientists, saying it will add tremendous strength to the country’s strategic defence and deterrence capabilities.While the first test of Agni-V was conducted on April 19, 2012, the second was on September 15, 2013 and the third on January 31, 2015 from the same base. Among the missiles of Agni series, the latest Agni-V is the most advanced having some new technologies incorporated with it in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine, the sources said.Lot of new technologies developed indigenously were successfully tested in the trial. The very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and the most modern and accurate Micro Navigation System (MINS) had ensured the missile reached the target point within few meters of accuracy, they said.

No confidence against TMC government admitted in Bengal assembly

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A no confidence motion brought by Congress and Left Front against the Trinamool Congress government was admitted in the West Bengal Assembly on Wednesday.Speaker Biman Banerjee admitted the motion in the first session.Leader of Opposition and state Congress leader Abdul Mannan had last month announced the party’s decision to bring the motion against the government and had accused it of being “undemocratic”.He had alleged that the ruling party had poached Congress’ MLAs and other elected representatives and had also raised the issue of baby trafficking, swindling of money by chit funds among others.The number of Congress legislators have come down to 39 after five of its MLAs switched to Trinamool Congress.The Left front has 31 MLAs. TMC had won 211 seats in the last state Assembly poll defeating the Left-Congress combine. The house has 294 seats

PAN cards of Mumbai-based family which declared Rs 2 lakh-cr income may have been misused

Officials at the income tax department believe that the PAN card details of the four members of a family in Mumbai which made a declaration of Rs 2 lakh crore under the Income Disclosure Scheme (IDS) might have been misused.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

A family of four declarants namely, Abdul Razzaque Mohammed Sayed (self), Mohammed Aarif Abdul Razzaque Sayed (son), Rukhsana Abdul Razzaque Sayed (wife) and Noorjahan Mohammed Sayed (sister), who were shown as residents of Flat number 4, Ground Floor, Jubilee Court, 269-B, TPS-III, Linking Road, Bandra (West), Mumbai, had filed a total declaration of Rs 2 lakh crore.

According to a report in The Times of India, senior Income Tax (I-T) officials admitted that there were several people across the country who had said that their PAN card and other details had been misused to make declarations under IDS.

PTI had also reported that the Income Tax department has rejected the astonishing Rs 2 lakh crore disclosure by the family.

“Among the declarations received, there were two sets of declarations of high value which were not taken on record in the above figure because these declarations were found to be suspicious in nature being filed by persons of small means,” the Finance Ministry had said in a statement.

In case of the Mumbai family disclosure, the statement had said, three out of the four PAN numbers were originally in Ajmer which were migrated to Mumbai in September 2016, where the declarations were filed.

With inputs from PTI

First Published On : Dec 7, 2016 15:09 IST

Black money hunt: Meet Bandra’s Sayed family who declared Rs 2 lakh cr under IDS

Very often we have come across reports that suggest how powerful businessmen, politicians, crooks and various professionals have amassed enormous amount of black money over the years and are yet not traced by the government agencies. But, have you ever imagined that a normal middle-class family staying in an apartment would reveal income that would run into trillions of crores of rupees, giving sleepless nights to the government department and the income tax sleuths.

Meet the city’s Bandra family which stunned the country by disclosing the income that was not just few hundreds or thousands crores, but an eye-popping over trillions of crores of rupees. Yes, you heard it right. Bandra’s Sayed family recently declared Rs 2 lakh crore under the government’s Income Disclosure Scheme (IDS), prompting I-T officials to cross-check whether the amount declared was authentic.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

More on this later. This revelation comes at a time, especially, when the the country is under the grip of a rigorous demonetisation exercise being followed by the government to counter the black money menace.

A finance ministry statement has revealed that the Sayed family of Bandra has declared Rs 2 lakh crore under IDS, but as it turned out to be the individual, who declared the unaccounted wealth, and his family members are not residing at the address mentioned by the government statement, Mumbai Mirror report said.

“The Sayed family you are talking about never lived here. The flat is up for resale,” Times of India reported quoting Michel, the main broker for the said flat.

The finance ministry statement reveals the family of four Abdul Razzaque Mohammed Sayed, his son Aarif, wife Rukhsana and sister Noorjahan were the residents of Flat no 4, Ground Floor, Jubilee Court, 269-B, TPS-III, Linking Road, Bandra (W), the Mumbai Mirror report said.

The fresh disclosure comes close on the heels of an Ahmedabad-based businessman, who had declared black money of over Rs 13,000 crore in September and is currently being questioned by the income tax department to know the source of the declared amount.

Coming back to the Mumbai case, the report, however, further adds that the secretary of the Jubilee Court building has denied Abdul Razzaque Mohammed Sayed as the resident of the building, and said the flat was in the name of of some company. In fact, upon further investigation the name plate showed the flat belonged to one R R Vaid, the earlier owner, but changed several hands thereafter.

Although, income tax department has started the probe against the Sayed family, nobody from the family have been questioned yet.

“The Finance Ministry revealed that three out of the four PAN numbers of the Sayed family were originally registered in Ajmer and were migrated to Mumbai in September 2016, where the declarations were filed,” the report added.

However, the government feels the declaration may not be authentic, while the income tax department was probing the false declaration by the family, Times of India reported.

Not just that, the I-T department has also rejected Mahesh Shah’s declaration of Rs 13,860 crore, who said the revelations were made on the behest of certain politicians and bureaucrats, the TOI report said.

The government is even suspicious about the basic details as the mobile number also couldn’t be verified either. The Centre suspects that the disclosures could have been made to launder money post the demonetisation exercise and convert black money into white, the TOI report added.

Hence, the government decided not to include these declarations on 27 November, while the deadline to pay the first installment of tax and penalty under the IDS stood on 30 November.

First Published On : Dec 5, 2016 16:50 IST

I-T rejects declarations of Rs 2 lakh cr, Rs 13,860 cr after declarants found ‘suspicious’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Income Tax department has rejected an astonishing Rs 2 lakh crore disclosure by a Mumbai family as well as the controversial Rs 13,860 crore by an Ahmedabad businessman under the Income Disclosure Scheme that closed in September and a probe is on against them to determine the intention behind their false claims.Meanwhile, the government has revised upwards the total illicit wealth disclosed in the one-time window to Rs 67,382 crore as against Rs 65,250 crore estimated earlier. “Among the declarations received, there were two sets of declarations of high value which were not taken on record in the above figure because these declarations were found to be suspicious in nature being filed by persons of small means,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.A family of four declarants namely, Abdul Razzaque Mohammed Sayed (self), Mohammed Aarif Abdul Razzaque Sayed (son), Rukhsana Abdul Razzaque Sayed (wife) and Noorjahan Mohammed Sayed (sister), who were shown as residents of Flat no. 4, Ground Floor, Jubilee Court, 269-B, T.P.S-III, Linking Road, Bandra (W), Mumbai, filed a total declaration of Rs 2 lakh crore, it said. The other declaration was filed by one Mahesh Kumar Champaklal Shah resident of 206, MangalJyot Tower, Jodhpur Gram Satellite, Ahmedabad for Rs 13,860 crore. “Therefore, after due consideration, the Income Tax Department decided by 30th November, 2016, to reject these two sets of declarations of Rs 2 lakh crore and Rs 13,860 crore respectively. The Department has since commenced enquiries against these declarants to determine the intention behind these false declarations,” it added.On October 1, it was announced that declarations totalling Rs 65,250 crore were received from 64,275 declarants, subject to reconciliation. After final reconciliation the revised figure of actual declarations received and taken on record was Rs 67,382 crore which had been made by 71,726 declarants. The revised figure will fetch government a little over Rs 30,000 crore direct tax revenue. In case of the Mumbai family disclosure, the statement said, three out of the four PAN numbers were originally in Ajmer which were migrated to Mumbai in September 2016, where the declarations were filed. Shah meanwhile has threatened to disclose the names of politicians and businessmen for whom he says he was acting as a front.Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in a tweet said: “There is a Rs 13,860 crore hole in the Rs 65,000 crore IDS! How many more holes.” The statement said these declarations from Mumbai and Ahmedabad were kept pending for investigation about the genuineness of the same and were not included in the total value of declarations announced on October 1. After due enquiry it was found that these declarants were persons of suspicious nature and very small means and the declarations could have been misused, it said. The Department has commenced enquiries against these declarants, it said. IDS was announced in the Budget under which declaration of undisclosed income or asset could be made by agreeing to pay 45% of the declared amount as tax, surcharge and penalty. The declaration widow of four-month ended on September 30. Now on the final declarations, the government will get Rs 30,321.9 crore in tax and penalty. Government had given the option of paying tax amount in two instalments up to September 30, 2017. Half or Rs 15,160.9 crore is to be accrued in the current fiscal. The first installment of 25% has already come as the last date for payment was November 30.Last year, under a similar scheme for foreign black money holders, 644 declarations of undisclosed foreign income and assets were received, and just Rs 2,428 crore was collected in taxes. A total tax of Rs 9,760 crore was collected under the Voluntary Income Disclosure Scheme (VIDS) amnesty scheme brought by Chidambaram in 1997. While IDS is not an amnesty scheme, VDIS provided blanket amnesty, he said. Taxation under IDS is charged at the rate of 45% while the effective rate of tax in the 1997 scheme was in single digit.

I-T dept rejects fake disclosure of Rs 2 lakh crore under IDS by Mumbai family

Looks like the Income Tax Department has found another bogus declaration under the Income Disclosure Scheme (IDS) that the Narendra Modi government had launched on 1 June to give tax evaders a chance to escape any action after paying 45 percent total tax.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The Income Tax department on Monday rejected another fake disclosure totalling Rs 2 lakh crores, by a Mumbai-based family of four, ANI tweeted on Sunday.

According to the news agency, the IT-department has rejected a declaration of Rs 2 lakh crore by a Mumbai-based family of four and has commenced enquiries into these declarants.

“Abdul Razzaque Mohammed Sayed (self), Rukhsana Abdul Razzaque Sayed (wife), Mohammed Aarif Abdul Razzaque Sayed (son) and Noorjahan Mohammed Sayed (sister) from Mumbai, had filed a total declaration of Rs 2 lakh crore,” ANI said.

According to ANI, investigations from the income separtment had revealed the declarants to be persons of suspicious nature, and with very small means. The declarations were rejected because the department suspected that they could be misused.

The I-T department had received another bogus declaration of Rs 13,860 crore from a Gujarat-based businessman, named Mahesh Shah, who had vanished just days before the date of paying interest on the disclosed income. Shah, however, appeared on a television channel on Saturday, and was, thereafter, arrested by IT sleuths.

The news agency also informed that the department had knowingly kept declarations from Mumbai and Ahmedabad pending, and didn’t include them in the total value of declarations (Rs 65,250 crore) that was announced on 1 October.

First Published On : Dec 4, 2016 16:52 IST

Amid tensions, Sartaj Aziz, NSA Ajit Doval meet on sidelines of ‘Heart of Asia’: Reports

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid ongoing tension between India and Pakistan over the continuous ceasefire violations and cross-border terrorism, reports on Sunday said that Pakistan Premier’s foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz and India’s National Security Advisor (NSA) met on a sideline of the Heart of Asia conference.According to reports, the duo met after the delegation level dinner late on Saturday.However, though there is no confirmation if they actually met, a photo of Aziz and Doval walking along with Pakistan’s envoy Abdul Basit has surfaced on social media.Aziz who arrived on Saturday also exchanged pleasantries with Prime Minister Narendra Modi before attended a dinner.Interestingly, in a goodwill gesture, Aziz sent a bouquet to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, extending his “sincere good wishes for her full and speedy recovery” from illness.Tension between the two countries escalated after the cross-border terror attack on an army base in Nagrota in Jammu and Kashmir.Pakistan and India had held a meeting during the 2015 Heart of Asia Summit in Islamabad during which both countries had agreed to start a ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’ which was to cover all outstanding issues. The resumption of the dialogue could, however, not take place due to the Pathankot terror attack in January 2016.Earlier this week, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit had said Pakistan was ready for unconditional resumption of dialogue if India was ready.India has made it clear it will never accept continued cross-border terrorism as the ‘new normal’ in bilateral ties with Pakistan and that talks cannot take place in an atmosphere of “continued terror”.

Pakistan ready to hold talks with India, says Abdul Basit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking ahead of the 6th Heart of Asia conference to be held in Amritsar next week, Pakistan’s High Commissioner Abdul Basit told an Indian TV channel that his country is ready to have a dialogue with India.”The schedule of Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz is not cast in stone and if there was an offer for talks from the host nation (India), then it would be accepted by Pakistan,” the Dawn quoted Basit as telling the AAJ Tak television channel.”We can delay talks for months or even for years, but ultimately, a solution to the problems between India and Pakistan can only come through dialogue, and therefore, both nations must sit and discuss all the issues that confront them,” he added.He also said that the ongoing tension on the borders that separates the two nations was in no one’s interest.He said that there is a need to convert the 2003 ceasefire understanding into a formal agreement between India and Pakistan to end all hostilities.

Rs 14 lakh in old and new denominations seized in Nashik

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police seized more than Rs 14 lakh unaccounted cash in high denominations of defunct and new notes from two separate cars on Nashik-Aurangabad road and detained drivers of both the vehicles.According to Ranjit Dere, in-charge of Niphad Police Station, the cash (Rs 14,65,760) was seized during a routine checking of vehicles yesterday.Police intercepted one car in which they found 462 new currency notes of Rs 2000 hidden under the seats which amounted to Rs 9.24 lakh. Since driver Ejaj Jalil Khan (28), a resident of Aurangabad could not give a proper explanation about the cash, he was detained, the official said.While in another car police found 20 bundles of notes in denominations of scrapped Rs 1000 and Rs 500 totalling Rs 5.5 lakh. The driver of the car Abdul Majid Kazi (36) from Andheri was detained with the amount, Dere added.The case has been handed over to the Income Tax department.Earlier Rs 73 lakh in cash was impounded in two cars on Nashik-Aurangabad road after government had banned high currency notes.

J&K: Second ceasefire violation by Pakistan in a day, civilian injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A civilian was injured on Monday as Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire twice in Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu and Kashmir, while a BSF head constable injured in Sunday’s cross-border firing succumbed to injuries. The civilian identified as Abdul Aziz, 50, a resident of Basoni village in Mendhar Tehsil of Poonch, was injured when a mortar shell landed near his house, a police officer said.Meanwhile, head constable of BSF Rai Singh (40), who was injured along with three other BSF jawans in last night’s shelling from the Pakistani side along the line of control, succumbed to his injuries this morning in Rajouri sector. “Last night in heavy shelling from Pakistan side along the LoC in Rajouri area, four BSF Personnel sustained splinter injuries.Head Constable Rai Singh, who was seriously injured, succumbed to his injuries, while the condition of another personnel was serious,” a BSF officer said.Singh, a resident of Jhajjar district of Haryana, is survived by wife, three sons and mother, he said. The army and the BSF retaliated to the Pakistani ceasefire violations and the exchange of fire was going on till last reports came in.

Nitish Kumar takes public opinion on prohibition law, rules out any compromise

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday heard opinion of people from different walks of life on the new liquor law in the state and said a joint sitting of the two houses of the state legislature would be called for a wider debate on prohibition.”After discussion with you all, a joint sitting of the two houses of the Bihar legislature would be called for a wider discussion on the new liquor law,” Kumar said at “Lok Samvad” programme where he heard the opinion of 40 select persons from different walks of life. “We want more discussion on prohibition which has yielded good result,” the CM said. Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, Excise and Prohibition minister Abdul Jalil Mastan, senior ministers Bijendra Prasad Yadav and Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh, state police chief P K Thakur and Principal Secretary of Excise department Amir Subhani were present during the closed-door intercourse.The 40 select people, including lawyers, journalists, retired police personnel, doctors and professionals expressed their opinion as how to make the new Bihar Excise Act, 2016, which was notified on October 2 last, more effective. During the discussion, the CM categorically said there would be no compromise with the ban on liquor, spiced and domestic as well as Indian Made Foreign Liquor.Kumar said he wanted suggestions from people who had described the prohibition law as “draconian and a Talibani law” and alternative against stringent provisions. Kumar said that more than 16,000 people had been prosecuted under the liquor law, 80 per cent of whom were involved in illicit trade of alcohol.

Bhopal encounter: Seven SIMI members buried in MP; relatives say ‘conspiracy’ needs to be probed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bodies of seven of the eight SIMI activists, who were killed in an alleged police encounter following a daring prison break here, were laid to rest in different parts of Madhya Pradesh amid tight security.Bodies of five deceased – Amjad Khan, Zakir Hussain, Mohammad Salik, Sheikh Mehboob and Aqueel Khilji – were buried in their home district – Khandwa.The five bodies were kept at Khilji’s residence at Gulmohar locality before being laid to rest at Bada Cemetery close to Abana river around 11 PM.Over 2,000 people took part in the funeral procession. At some places, to avoid any stampede-like situation, police had to drive people away, who had come to take a glimpse of the deceased.Around 700 police personnel, some of them in plain clothes, kept a watch on the funeral procession, sources said.Meanwhile, the body of Sheikh Mujeeb was taken to Ahmedabad by his family members, his lawyer Parvez Alam said.The bodies were handed over to the family members after the post-mortem in Bhopal. While taking custody of the bodies, the relatives questioned the genuineness of the police encounter.The kin of Abdul Majid argued with police officials outside the morgue of Hamidia Hospital in Bhopal and alleged foul play in the way he was killed. Zakir Hussain’s mother Salma Bi and brother Azaz said the “conspiracy” needs to be probed thoroughly.”Zakir had told me that he did not feel safe and feared for his life,” Salma Bi said adding, “My son has attained martyrdom.”The eight SIMI activists were killed in the alleged police encounter on the outskirts of Bhopal hours after they escaped from the high-security Central jail, killing a security guard there yesterday.Meanwhile, one slain SIMI operative, Mohammad Khalid, who hailed from Maharashtra, was laid to rest in Bhopal.”Khalid was from Solapur, but his parents are no more and his brother, who was also a SIMI operative, is lodged in Bhopal Central Jail. Since nobody came to claim his body, he was laid to rest here by police,” a police officer said.Another deceased, Abdul Majid, was buried at his hometown at Mahidpur in Ujjain district.

Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit slams India for trying to isolate it on terror

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid simmering tension in Indo-Pak ties, Pakistan on Monday slammed India for trying to isolate it on terrorism, saying the country has been the worst victim of the menace even as it called for sustained diplomacy to forge an “effective cooperative paradigm” to improve relations.Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit said the issue of Jammu and Kashmir was the “root cause” of all problems between the two countries and that Pakistan does not need “misplaced jingoism and hypernationalism” to pursue its foreign policy objectives.”How on earth is it possible to isolate a country on terrorism when that country itself is the worst victim of terrorism,” he said. He was speaking at the Indian Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies. It is only through sustained diplomacy that Pakistan and India can address their issues and forge an effective cooperative paradigm to their mutual benefit, he said.Talking about his country’s ties with India, he said Kashmir issue “has made us mutually antagonistic. Let its just resolution unite us in peace and prosperity.””Pakistan is a proud country of 200 million people. It does not need misplaced jingoism and hypernationalism to pursue its foreign policy objectives,” he said.”To claim that those who attended Burhan Wani’s funeral were instigated by Pakistan is wrong. We need to move from symbolism to substance and from conflict management to conflict resolution. I think the two countries need to agree to formalise the 2003 ceasefire agreement. When Uri attack was underway, Pakistan was being blamed, this when we did not even know what was happening” said Basit. Commenting on the Ae Dil Hai Mushkil row, Basit said, “I am glad that Karan Johar’s flick is out of ‘mushkil’.”

Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid detained

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid was detained along with several of his supporters after he tried to stage a demonstration outside Civil Secretariat, the seat of Jammu and Kashmir government against the termination of 12 government employees last week. Rashid and his supporters assembled at Jehangir Chowk this morning and started marching towards the nearby Secretariat building but was stopped by police, officials said. The legislator tried to march ahead but was detained along with over a dozen supporters, they said. On October 20, Jammu and Kashmir government announced termination of services of 12 employees for allegedly indulging in anti-national activities after dossiers were prepared against them. The employees, who were dismissed from government service, belong to various departments including Revenue, Public Health Engineering, Rural Development and Education, a senior government official had said.Rashid denounced the government action and announced a sit-in outside civil secretariat to press for his demand for reinstating the terminated employees.

Hurriyat leader Aga Syed Hassan detained after meeting Pak High Comm Abdul Basit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hardline Hurriyat Conference leader and prominent Shia cleric Aga Syed Hassan was put under house arrest on Friday, shortly after his return from New Delhi, where he met the Pakistan High Commissioner and discussed the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.”Syed Hassan was detained at his Budgam residence (in central Kashmir) soon after his return from Delhi,” a spokesman of his Anjuman-e-Sharie Shian, a constituent of hardline Hurriyat Conference, said in a statement. He said the Hurriyat leader had gone to the national capital for a medical checkup on the advise of his doctors as his continuous detention had badly affected his health.”The state administration had allowed Aga (Syed Hassan) to go to Delhi where he also met Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit on Tuesday,” the spokesman said.”Hassan discussed the ongoing resistance (unrest) movement in the Valley and the aggressive revenge adventure for breaking the determination and courage of Kashmiri people,” he added.

As revenge against surgical strikes, JeM may target Indian Parliament, says report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To take revenge against the surgical strikes conducted by Indian Army on the terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC), the intelligence agencies have reportedly been tipped off about Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) planning an attack on the Indian Parliament.JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar is thinking about attacking Indian Parliament, again, reported Times of India, saying that the intelligence agency and the Jammu and Kashmir CID had been tipped off about Jaish planning a ‘spectacular attack.’The report also said that the chatter picked by the agencies suggested that the operatives had been told to attack the Delhi Secretariat, the Akshardham and the Lotus temple if they failed to carry out the suicide attack on parliament.In 2001, Afzal Guru had carried out an attack on the parliament. He was hanged to death on February 9, 2013, following his conviction.The Interpol has already issued a fresh Red Corner notice against Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar and his brother Abdul Rauf for their alleged involvement in the attack on the Indian Air Force Base.Meanwhile, NIA is awaiting a response from Pakistan on letters rogatory seeking information and interrogation of Jaish-e- Masood Azhar and his brother Abdul Rauf in connection with the Pathankot air base strike.Last week, civil airports in western states and important ones like those in Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru were put on a high alert as part of the heightened security arrangements following cross-LoC surgical strikes by the Indian army.Seven terror launch pads across the LoC were targeted by the Indian Army on the night of September 28 in a nearly five-hour-long operation during which heli-borne and ground forces were deployed.The announcement of the strikes came 11 days after the attack by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad on an Indian army camp in Uri in Kashmir, after which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the attackers will not go “unpunished” and that they will not be forgiven.

President Pranab Mukherjee not to get second term?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government has asked former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma’s family to vacate the 34, APJ Abdul Kalam Road bungalow, which may become the new address of President Pranab Mukherjee after his tenure gets over in July next year, indicating that he may not get a second term in office.Currently, Sangma’s son Conrad, who is Lok Sabha MP from Tura in Meghalaya, is occupying the type-VIII Bungalow. The Urban Development Ministry has requested him to vacate the house since the first time MPs are not entitled to a type-VIII bungalow, the highest category of government accommodation, a source in the department said. These accommodations in the Lutyens Bungalow Zone are the most sought after.At the same time, the source said President’s Secretariat had also requested the Urban Development Ministry to look for a suitable accommodation for Mukherjee, whose term expires in July next year. The officials of the President’s Secretariat were shown the bungalow on APJ Abdul Kalam Road and they have agreeable to it becoming Mukherjee’s new home after he demits office, the source said.Mukherjee had defeated Sangma, who passed away in March this year aged 68, to become the 13th President of India. A retired President is entitled to rent-free accommodation anywhere in India with free water and electricity for the remainder of his/her life as per the President s Pension Rules, 1962.

The art of deception: Why India must treat Pakistan’s offer of talks with caution

Pakistan wants peace with its neighbours.
It never had anything to do with terrorist groups operating under its nose.
It never used non-state actors to bleed India by a thousand cuts.
It is a wonderful country that would focus on the well-being of its citizens if not repeatedly provoked by India.
It is a functioning democracy with no deep state dictating terms to it.
It’s Islamabad, not Rawalpindi, that calls the shots in all matters.

File image of Abdul Basit. CNN-News18

File image of Abdul Basit. CNN-News18

There are no limits to being in denial, or being delusional. Pakistan cannot stop being both. You don’t expect a deeply-flawed, genetically-defective country to be any better. But when it seeks to make both deliberate tools in games of deception played by the State, it becomes a matter of consternation. That perhaps is the case with Pakistani High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit’s latest statement — the first after the India’s surgical strike — calling for talks between the countries “to break the ice”.

In an interview with The Indian Express, he made his country look totally reasonable, even pious. “…Both our countries need to give diplomacy centre-stage and rather than talking at each other, it is important to talk to each other…We need to have serious and sustained diplomacy and result-oriented engagement…,” he said. If it was meant to shift Pakistan to moral high ground after the retaliation by the Indian defence forces to the Uri attacks, then it fell flat. Only a few days ago, his country’s foreign minister was talking of nuclear war; others in the military and political establishments were speaking the language of war and devastation.

Basit’s statement is a good old game of deception.

Pakistan had become uncharacteristically subdued and sober after the terrorist attack on the Uri army camp that claimed the lives of 18 soldiers. Its reaction made it obvious that it anticipated a strong retaliation from India and condemnation from the global community. After causing the damage it had, to then play innocent is an old ploy. The country has proved adept at shifting position according to its convenience. The only difference this time was that nobody was prepared to buy it. The rebuke from powerful countries was sharp.

It’s clear that Pakistan is under pressure from even countries close to it to bring the war heat down and stop the escalation of conflict. That it would feign ignorance of any surgical strikes by India, dismiss them as a ‘rebranding of routine cross-border firing’ and pretend to be unruffled is far from normal. In a conspiracy of silence, there was no mention of the strike in the Pakistani media and the military and political establishments behaved as if nothing took place. Now, we have talk of resumption of peace talks. So what gives?

When countries make deception an instrument of diplomacy and statecraft, they become unreliable

No country wants a war in the volatile region of great geopolitical significance. China, the closest friend of Pakistan, has massive economic interests in the country. Its plan to invest heavily in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor linking Xinjiang and Gwadar port in Balochistan through a network of railways and roads is driven by the motive to gain direct access to lucrative sea routes and oil deposits. A war-torn, unstable Pakistan puts its investments and long-term interests at risk. It may not be friends with India but would not want escalation of conflict for its own interest.

Similar is the case with the US. It might adopt a tough posture against Pakistan for its acts but it can hardly part company with it citing its enmity with India. Pakistan’s geographic location makes it indispensable for the US for geostrategic reasons. It is not in Washington’s interest if India and Pakistan remain in a state of war for long, and terrorist groups go out of control in the region. Since India looks in no mood to back out of confrontation post-Uri, both China and the US have exerted pressure on Pakistan to cool matters. Islamabad is being reasonable under pressure. It also suits the country to look good at this point.

But, it does not mean it won’t be back to its devious ways soon. When countries make deception an instrument of diplomacy and statecraft, they become unreliable.

Uri attack: India conveys Pak envoy with proof; issues second demarche

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Coinciding with Pakistan defence minister Khawaja M Asif’s allegation that the deadly attack on a brigade headquarters in Uri was “self-generated”, India, on Tuesday, handed over more documents to Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit, confirming that the terrorists involved in the attack came from Pakistan.Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar summoned the Pakistan envoy and handed over the demarche, the second one in the last 10 days. Indian officials told dna that there was no doubt that the terrorists had come from across the border.”Information on the identity of the terrorists and the handlers has also been provided to Pakistan. One of the four terrorists has been identified as Hafiz who came from Muzaffarabad in PoK,” officials said.
ALSO READ Pakistan ‘dysfunctional state’; message on J&K should be ‘loud and clear’: India hits backBasit was also told that the two men Faizal Hussain Awan (20) and Yasin Khurshid (19), who acted as guides for the terrorists, had confessed that they were from Muzaffarabad (PoK). Both men are currently in custody in India. The two men had also identified their handlers as Mohammad Kabir Awan and Basharat who, they said, had come from Pakistan.Apart from providing Basit with the confessions of these three individuals involved in the terror attacks, a number of items recovered from recent terrorist attacks, denoting the involvement of organisations and individuals based in Pakistan, were also shared. It was further communicated to Basit that if Pakistan wished to investigate these cross-border attacks, then India was ready to provide fingerprints and DNA samples of the terrorists killed in the Uri and Poonch incidents as well.
ALSO READ India pulls out of SAARC summit, may revoke MFN status to PakistanThe Foreign Secretary also conveyed to the Pakistan envoy that the September 18 Uri attack was in violation to the commitment made by Islamabad on January 6, 2004, to prevent terrorists from using soil or territory under its control. He also offered to provide the Pakistan High Commission with consular access to these two men apprehended in connection with the terrorist attack.But so far instead of addressing New Delhi’s concerns and ordering an investigation, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has denied his country’s involvement and has stated that blaming Islamabad was New Delhi’s “long-time habit.”This was why this time India took care to provide Pakistan with explicit and specific details on the individuals involved. Briefing presspersons, MEA official spokesperson Vikas Swarup said: ” During his interrogation, Faizal Hussain Awan has deposed to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that they had guided and facilitated the border crossing of the group that perpetrated the September 18 Uri massacre. In his preliminary statement, he identified as among the slain attackers one Hafiz Ahmed S/o Feroz, R/o village Dharbang, Muzaffarabad. He also revealed details of the two handlers of this operation — Mohd Kabir Awan and Basharat.”The Foreign Secretary also told the Pakistani envoy that at the time of their last meeting two infiltration bids had been taking place across the Line of Control in the Naugam sector, opposite Pakistan’s Lipa–Naukot sector, and in the Uri sector, opposite Pakistan’s Chakothi sector. Both bids were successfully foiled on September 20 by Indian troops and substantial stores recovered from the infiltrators.Basit was then also provided with the details of Abdul Qayoom, a Pakistan national, residing in Sialkot. Qayoom, who was apprehended in the Molu sector opposite the Sialkot sector, in a separate incident on September 23, has confessed to undergoing three weeks of training with the LeT and donating funds to the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, their front organisation.”These apprehensions and subsequent interrogation underline the cross-border infiltration that was the subject of our previous discussion. We would once again strongly urge the Government of Pakistan to take seriously its commitment not to allow terrorist attacks against India from its soil and territory under its control. Continuing cross-border terrorist attacks from Pakistan against India are unacceptable,” Swarup said.Last week, Jaishankar provided Basit with the content of GPS recovered from the bodies of terrorists with coordinates that indicate the point and time of infiltration across the LoC and the subsequent route to the terror attack site and grenades with Pakistani markings as evidence.In a release, the External Affairs Ministry said that since the beginning of this year which began with the Pathankot airbase attack — there have been continuous attempts by armed terrorists to cross the LoC and International Boundary in order to carry out attacks in India.

Uri attack: Abdul Basit called by Foreign Secy Jaishankar, given specific proof of Pak involvement

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the second time in less than ten days, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on Tuesday issued a demarche to Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit over Uri attack and confronted him with proof of “cross-border origins” of the terror strike in which 18 jawans were killed.The Foreign Secretary called in Basit and told him that the preliminary interrogation reveals identity of one of the slain Uri attackers as Hafiz Ahmed, son of Feroz and resident of Dharbang, Muzaffarabad and also gives details of Pakistan- based handlers, MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.”Local villagers in the Uri sector apprehended on 21 September and handed over to Indian security forces two individuals from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir who have acted as guides for terrorists and helped them infiltrate across the LOC. Their personal particulars are -Faizal Hussain Awan, 20 years, S/o Gul Akbar Resident of Potha Jahangir, Muzaffarabad and Yasin Khursheed, 19 years, S/o Mohammed Khurshid Resident of Khiliana Kalan, Muzaffarabad,” Basit was told.During his interrogation, Awan has deposed to the NIA that they had “guided and facilitated” the border crossing of the group that perpetrated the September 18 Uri massacre, the Foreign Secretary told him.In another incident on September 23, 2016, one Pakistani national, Abdul Qayoom, R/o Sialkot was apprehended in Molu sector opposite Pakistan’s Sialkot sector and has confessed to undergoing three weeks of training with the terrorist group LeT and donating substantial funds to Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, their front organisation, Basit was conveyed.”We are willing to provide the Pakistan High Commission consular access to these three individuals apprehended in connection with terrorist attacks in India,” the Foreign Secretary told the Pakistani envoy.Basit was also told that these apprehensions and subsequent interrogation underline the cross-border infiltration that had been the subject of their previous discussion.”We would once again strongly urge the Government of Pakistan to take seriously its commitment not to allow terrorist attacks against India from its soil and territory under its control. Continuing cross-border terrorist attacks from Pakistan against India are unacceptable,” Jaishankar asserted.This is the second time since the attack on September 18 that the Pakistani envoy has been summoned over the terror strike which India maintains was carried out by Pakistan-based terror groups. New Delhi has already offered to provide Pakistan with fingerprints and DNA samples of terrorists killed in Uri and Poonch, if that country wished to investigate these cross-border attacks.During the earlier summoning on September 21, Jaishankar had also shown Basit the content of GPS recovered from the bodies of terrorists with coordinates that indicate the point and time of infiltration across the LoC and the subsequent route to the terror attack site and grenades with Pakistani markings as evidence of Pakistan’s role.”Following the terrorist attack on the Uri garrison of the Indian Army on 18 September 2016, India had taken up with Pakistan the issue of honouring its January 2004 commitment not to allow its soil or territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India,” Swarup added.Today’s summoning comes amidst India weighing the options to hit back at Pakistan in the aftermath of the Uri attack. After a review of Indus Water Treaty (IWT), the government is also planning to review the MFN status granted by it, unilaterally, to Pakistan.During the review of IWT, the government decided to take a number of steps including to “exploit to the maximum” the water of Pakistan-controlled rivers, including Jhelum, as per the water sharing pact and suspension of IWT Commission meeting till the atmosphere was “free of terror”.

Gujarat ATS arrests two persons wanted in connection with 2003 ‘jihadi conspiracy’

Ahmedabad: Two men wanted in connection with the 2003 “jihadi conspiracy” hatched to avenge the post-Godhra riots have been arrested by Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad from Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh, the ATS said on Monday.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Abdul Razak Abdul Rahim Sheikh and Mohammad Shakeel Sheikh, both aged 36, were arrested for allegedly supplying arms and ammunition to two persons in Ahmedabad in 2003 to avenge the attacks on Muslims in the state during the post-2002 Godhra riots.

“The ATS team probing the case received information that the two accused, Abdul Razak Abdul Rahim Sheikh and Mohammad Shakeel Sheikh, were residing in Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh by changing their identity,” the ATS said in a statement.

The duo were working as mechanics at a garage in Burhanpur. The ATS kept a close watch on them before detaining them under Section 70 of the CrPC.

During questioning, their alleged role in supplying arms and ammunition to two persons in Ahmedabad came to light, following which they were arrested.

“The duo had provided 10 arms and ammunition to Mahmood Saiyed residing in Tokarsahi Pol and Farddebhai staying at Mastan Mohalla in Dariyapur. The accused also had a role in supplying arms in Bhusaval, Khandva and Surat,” the ATS said.

The Ahmedabad Crime Branch had registered a case against them and others on 4 April, 2003 under various sections of the IPC, the Arms Act, and the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

They were today handed over to the Crime Branch for further investigation.

The “jihadi conspiracy” was allegedly hatched to spread terror and eliminate leaders of the right-wing outfit VHP and other Hindu leaders to avenge the attacks on Muslims during the post-Godhra riots.

The city crime branch had in 2003 lodged a case against 82 people in this connection, allegedly for receiving help from Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI and terror outfits Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad. Over a dozen accused are still absconding.

Rashtriya Muslim Manch withdraws Iftar invitation to Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit after Pampore attack

The Rashtriya Muslim Manch on Tuesday announced that it is withdrawing its Iftar party invitation to Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit.The party is to be held at the Parliament Annexe on July 2.With Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives being responsible for the death of as many as eight Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit had earlier shrugged off questions related to the attack, saying that media would be better off focusing on the Iftaar party hosted by the Pakistan High Commission.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It’s the month of Ramzaan, let’s focus on this Iftaar party. The issue of Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed issue between India and Pakistan. It’s an issue which needs to be solved. We hope we will sit and discuss on the issue and find a solution. Let’s have the iftaar party and enjoy ourselves,” Basit saidThe Shiv Sena had accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of losing the ‘Hindutva Agenda’ after the Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), an affiliate of the Sangh, announced plans to host a grand Iftar on July 2, saying it is ‘pure hypocrisy’ on the part of the saffron party.Kayande also questioned the criticism by the BJP and the RSS of the Congress when it had earlier tried to do the same.Her comments came after the Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), invited ambassadors from nearly 140 countries earlier to attend an international Roza Iftar party at the Parliament House Annexe on July 2.

Rajasthan: Woman gangraped and tattooed with abuses for dowry

In a shocking incident, a 30-year-old woman was allegedly gang raped by her husband and his two brothers who tattooed expletives on her forehead and hand after her family could not fulfill their dowry demand in Alwar district, police said on Monday.The victim was married to Jagannath in Reni village. She alleged that since her marriage in January last year, her husband and in-laws used to beat her up and demand dowry of Rs 51,000, they said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Her husband and brothers-in-law allegedly raped her and tattooed profanities on her forehead which her parents later made an attempt to get removed,” a police official said. Parents of the victim claim that the 28-year old was sedated via some drug in her drinks and was tattooed on, reports NDTV.The victim says a tattoo on her hands reads “My father is a thief.”She has been living with her parents since then, Mahila police station SHO Abdul Wahid said, adding the woman has still marks on her forehead and hand.An FIR has been registered under sections of 498-A (Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act), 376 (punishment for rape)and 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust) of IPC and an investigation in the case has been initiated, he said.The police are yet to make any arrests.(With PTI inputs)

Charge sheet filed against 17 alleged Al-Qaeda operatives for recruiting Indian youths

Delhi Police on Friday chargesheeted 17 accused, 12 of whom are absconding, for allegedly conspiring, recruiting Indian youths and establishing a base of terror outfit Al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).In its final report filed before Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh, Special Cell of Delhi Police charged the five arrested accused — Mohd Asif, Zafar Masood, Mohd Abdul Rehman, Syed Anzar Shah and Abdul Sami — for alleged offences under the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They were arrested between December 2015 and January 2016 from different parts of the country.All 17 have been chargesheeted for alleged offences under sections 18 (punishment for conspiracy), 18-B (punishment for recruiting of any person or persons for terrorist act) and 20 (Punishment for being member of terrorist gang or organisation) of the UAPA.The probe agency has alleged that terror outfit Al-Qaeda was trying to set up its base in India under the banner of Al-Qaeda in Indian Sub Continent (AQIS) and some youths from districts of western Uttar Pradesh had already left India and joined its cadre in Pakistan.It claimed that and one of the modules of the outfit was active in Sambhal district in Uttar Pradesh.It alleged that the accused were in touch with terrorists from Pakistan, Iran and Turkey via social media and mobile phones, and they had visited these countries and had also financed AQIS and motivated the youths for ‘Jehad’.Besides the five arrested accused, the agency also charged 12 others who are at large and the court had earlier issued non-bailable warrant against them.The absconding accused are Syed Akhtar, Sanaul Haq, Mohd Sharjeel Akhtar, Usman, Mohd Rehan, Abu Sufiyan, Syed Mohd Arshiyan, Syed Mohd Zishan Ali, Sabeel Ahmed, Mohd Shahid Faisal, Farhatullah Ghori and Mohd Umar.The FIR in the present case was registered after arrest of Asif on December 14 last year.

1993 Mumbai blasts case: TADA court rejects accused’s plea to turn approver

The special TADA court on Wednesday rejected the application of an accused in 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case to turn an approver. “Your application is rejected,” Special Judge GA Sanap told accused Firoz Khan. The court also rejected his oral request to keep him in Arthur Road jail here till Ramzan Eid. Earlier, Khan had applied to the court seeking to become an approver and get pardon in the case, following which he was transferred to Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai. The prosecution said that it had enough evidence against the all the accused and did not want any approver. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, the Arthur Road Central Prison authorities today moved the special TADA court seeking transfer of Mustafa Dosa, another accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, to Thane jail. The court today directed the Prison authorities to keep Dosa in the high security ‘Anda cell’. According to sources, the jail officials in the application said that Dosa was forming his own gang inside the jail. They also said that over 60 percent of the inmates are Muslims and Dosa has supremacy over them. Prison officials further said that on May 30 there was a fight in the jail between two groups and they suspect Dosa’s role in it.In the application, sources said, the officials said that the jail is overcrowded and is having inmates of over three times its capacity. They also said that even Dosa could also be attacked in the jail. Seven accused — extradited gangsters Abu Salem, Mustafa Dosa, Karimullah Khan, Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui, Tahir Merchant and Abdul Quayyum — are facing trial in the case in which the court had earlier convicted 100 men, including Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt. The trial of these seven men was separated as they were arrested later. As many as 257 people were killed in thirteen powerful blasts that rocked the mega-polis on March 12, 1993.

1993 blasts case: Prosecution says it doesn’t need approver

The prosecution in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case on Monday said it had enough evidence against the accused and did not want any approver. Firoz Khan, one of the accused, had applied to the special TADA court seeking to become an approver and get pardon. “We told the court that we don’t want any approver in the case as there is enough evidence,” Special Prosecutor Deepak Salvi said. Judge GA Sanap is likely to hear Khan’s application tomorrow. The court is hearing final arguments in the case. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seven accused — extradited gangsters Abu Salem, Mustafa Dosa, Karimullah Khan, Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui, Tahir Merchant and Abdul Quayyum — are facing trial in the case in which the court had earlier convicted 100 men, including Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt. The trial of these seven men was separated as they were arrested later. As many as 257 people were killed in thirteen powerful blasts in Mumbai on March 12, 1993.

West Bengal Assembly: Muslim candidates from TMC and Congress increase, Left’s share plunges by half

Kolkata: Muslim representation in the new West Bengal assembly remained at 59, the same as last time, constituting 20 percent of the total house strength of 294.

However, the Trinamool Congress and Congress have more members from the community, while the Left’s share was reduced to half.

Among the newly elected Muslim members, 32 won on Trinamool Congress tickets, five more than the previous house.

The Congress managed to increase the number of its Muslim faces to 18 from 13 last time, reaping the benefit of its alliance with the Left Front.

On the other hand, the Left Front’s strength has gone down to nine from 18 five years back.

Representational Image. ReutersRepresentational Image. Reuters

Representational Image. Reuters

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) had 13 Muslim lawmakers in 2011. Now it has only eight.

Among other Left Front constituents, in the previous house the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and the All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) had two Muslim members each.

The Samajwadi Party had one legislator from the Muslim community in the previous house.

This time, none of the Muslim candidates nominated by the RSP made it to the assembly, while the AIFB managed only one. The Samajwadi Party will have no representation in the new house.

The prominent Muslim winners include Firhad Hakim, Javed Khan, Abdur Rezzak Mollah and Mohammed Siddiqullah (all Trinamool Congress), Abdul Mannan (Congress), Anisur Rahman (CPI-M) and Ali Imran Ramz (AIFB).

Among the major losers were minister Abdul Karim Chowdhary of the Trinamool from Islampur constituency, Sahajahan Choudhury of the CPI-M from Mangalkol, and Touab Ali of the CPI-M from Samserganj constituency.

Abu Nasar Khan Choudhury, the younger brother of late Congress stalwart A.B.A. Ghani Khan Choudhury, won from Sujapur constituency in Malda district as a Congress nominee in 2011.

But contesting on a Trinamool ticket, he lost to Congress nominee and his nephew Isha Khan Choudhury this time around.

The Trinamool Congress emerged victorious in 211 seats as the single largest party in the 294-member house.

The Congress won 44 seats and the Bharatiya Janata Party managed to win three seats. Among the Left parties, the Communist Party of India-Marxist won 26 seats, the Revolutionary Socialist Party got three, the Communist Party of India secured one and the All India Forward Bloc won two seats. Independents and others won one seat.

NIA files chargesheet against 10 for 2015 double murder of BJP leaders in Bharuch

Ahmedabad: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday submitted chargesheet before a special court against 10 accused in the double murder case of BJP leaders in Bharuch, claiming the killings were part of a larger conspiracy involving co-accused located in Pakistan and South Africa.

As per the chargesheet submitted before the special NIA court of principal judge PB Desai, “The case relates to murder of two persons …as part of a larger conspiracy in which co-accused located in foreign countries too, were conspiring to kill and strike terror in the minds of people belonging to a particular section of society.”

“During investigation, role of co-accused located in Pakistan and South Africa has also emerged and investigation of the case is being continued to collect more evidence against the accused,” it said.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The central agency said chargesheet against two more arrested accused — Abdul Samad and Nasir Khan Pathan — will be filed later.

The chargesheet was filed against accused Saiyed Imran, Zuheb Ansari, Inayat Patel, Mohmad Yunus, Haider Ali, Nissarbhai Sheikh, Mohsin Khan Pathan, Mohmed Altaf Shaikh, Abid Patel and Abdul Salim Ghanchi.

Former BJP president of Bharuch and senior RSS member Shirish Bangali and general secretary of Bharatiya Janta Yuva Morcha Pragnesh Mistry were shot dead in the district by two unidentified gunmen on 2 November, 2015.

Public prosecutor Geeta Gorambe also submitted three applications before the court, seeking permission to keep identity of some witnesses secret, details of certain documents hidden, and NIA protection to the witnesses.

Gorambe told the court that NIA will itself provide protection to certain witnesses but wanted court permission for the same. The court granted permission for all three requests.

A total of 12 accused were arrested in connection with the case and were booked under relevant sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, IPC, Arms Act the Gujarat Police Act.

The special court had in December last year granted NIA more time for filing the chargesheet.

Initially, Bharuch police along with Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) conducted the probe and had termed the murders as an ‘act of terror’.

Investigators said the contract for killing the two BJP leaders was allegedly given by absconding Javed Chikna, apparently to avenge riots in Bombay (Mumbai) during 1993 and in Gujarat during 2002.

One of the chargesheeted accused Abid Patel is brother of Javed, an accused in the 1993 Bombay (Mumbai) bomb blasts case.

During investigation it was also found out that Javed and others associated with Dawood Ibrahim gang instructed local module to kill BJP leaders to avenge 1993 Bombay (Mumbai) riots and 2002 riots, they said.

Based on the request of Gujarat Government, Home Ministry has handed over the probe to NIA in December last year.

Guj BJP leaders’ murder: NIA says Dawood aide Javed Chikna had given contract to avenge 1993 and 2002 riots

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) submitted charge sheet before a special court against 10 accused in the double murder case of BJP leaders in Bharuch,claiming the killings were part of a larger conspiracy involving co-accused located in Pakistan and South Africa. As per the charge sheet submitted before the special NIA court of principal judge P B Desai, “The case relates to murder of two persons …as part of a larger conspiracy in which co-accused located in foreign countries too, were conspiring to kill and strike terror in the minds of people belonging to a particular section of society.” “During investigation, role of co-accused located in Pakistan and South Africa has also emerged and investigation of the case is being continued to collect more evidence against the accused,” it said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The central agency said charge sheet against two more arrested accused – Abdul Samad and Nasir Khan Pathan – will be filed later. The charge sheet was filed against accused Saiyed Imran, Zuheb Ansari, Inayat Patel, Mohmad Yunus, Haider Ali, Nissarbhai Sheikh, Mohsin Khan Pathan, Mohmed Altaf Shaikh, Abid Patel and Abdul Salim Ghanchi.Former BJP president of Bharuch and senior RSS member Shirish Bangali and general secretary of Bharatiya Janta Yuva Morcha Pragnesh Mistry were shot dead in the district by two unidentified gunmen on November 2 last year.Public prosecutor Geeta Gorambe also submitted three applications before the court, seeking permission to keep identity of some witnesses secret, details of certain documents hidden, and NIA protection to the witnesses.Gorambe told the court that NIA will itself provide protection to certain witnesses but wanted court permission for the same. The court granted permission for all three requests.A total of 12 accused were arrested in connection with the case and were booked under relevant sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, IPC, Arms Act the Gujarat Police Act.The special court had in December last year granted NIA more time for filing the charge sheet.Initially, Bharuch police along with Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) conducted the probe and had termed the murders as an ‘act of terror’. Investigators said the contract for killing the two BJP leaders was allegedly given by absconding Javed Chikna, apparently to avenge riots in Bombay (Mumbai) during 1993 and in Gujarat during 2002. One of the chargesheeted accused Abid Patel is brother of Javed, an accused in the 1993 Bombay (Mumbai) bomb blasts case. During investigation it was also found out that Javed and others associated with Dawood Ibrahim gang instructed local module to kill BJP leaders to avenge 1993 Bombay (Mumbai) riots and 2002 riots, they said.Based on the request of Gujarat Government, Home Ministry has handed over the probe to NIA in December last year.

Kerala: Jacobite Syrian Christian Church calls for meat ban

The Jacobite Syrian Christian Church seems to be going the vegetarian way.A report in The New Indian Express states that Catholicos Baselios Thomas I, head of the Church, has asked members not to use meat for ‘nercha sadya’ (feast) in churches under it. The circular sent out is important because of the existing debate in India on eating meat and the beef ban. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the daily, though the Catholicos has not specified which meat, it mostly hints at beef, as this is the meat which has so far been used for the ‘nercha sadya’ in churches in Kerala. The circular which was sent out on April 18, asks those who follow this faith to avoid meat and liquor in churches for feasts. This circular was similar to the one which had been sent out on July 28, 2015. The circular also states additionally that church feasts that serve meat need not invite Catholicos or Metropolitans. The April 18 circular also says that those who serve meat and liquor at church feasts would be expelled from the church. The daily reports that the pastoral decree did not seem to have much of an impact because a feast held for the 355th death anniversary of Abdul Jaleel Bava at North Paravur served meat. And priests took part in this celebration. But the Jacobite Almaya Forum, a laymen organisation in the Church, has told the daily that the Catholicos should resign. Forum leaders Paul Varghese, Sabu Thozhupadan and Mathachan Thukaklan were quoted as saying that those who followed the faith were not obeying the Catholicos’ orders and thus he needs to quit. They stated that meat was being served at ‘nercha sadya’ at North Paravur Church for centuries and this circular was issued only to participate in the beef debate in India. They have stated that the people close to the Catholicos misled him to issue the circular and asked for the circular to be withdrawn.

Tamil Nadu Elections 2016: Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s grandnephew launches new political party

One of the grandnephews of former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam has launched a new political party in Tamil Nadu. APJ M Haja Syed Ibrahim has floated the Desiya Jananayaka Katchi (DJK), however, it will not take part in the May 16 Assembly elections.According to a report in The Hindu, Ibrahim was earlier the vice-president of the BJP Tamil Nadu unit’s minority wing. He quit the BJP in November 2015 in protest against the government’s refusal to convert Dr Kalam’s house in Delhi into a youth ‘Knowledge Centre’. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ibrahim unveiled the new party flag on Monday in Rameswaram. At the event, he spoke about how the party had been launched because of a demand raised by students and youngsters. He was quoted as saying, “The party would guide the students and focus on developing the education system and creating job opportunities.”He also said that the party would not use Dr Kalam’s name or photo. Though his granduncle had been apolitical, he had encouraged youth to take up politics, stated Ibrahim. The party is set to field candidates in all the 234 constituencies, but Ibrahim said he would not contest.

Hurriyat hopes Indo-Pak dialogue would be carried forward

The Hurriyat Conference on Friday expressed hope that the dialogue process between India and Pakistan would be carried forward as people of Kashmir are desirous of friendly relations between the two countries.Chief of its moderate faction Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said the resolution of Kashmir issue will help the two countries to reach a consensus on other outstanding issues like Sir Creek, Siachen, water and trade. “Sincerity and seriousness is imperative for resolving all outstanding issues including Kashmir,” the Mirwaiz said addressing a Friday congregation at Jamia Masjid here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said the political leadership of the two countries needs to raise above mere statements and demonstrate “political farsightedness” and “maturity” and take “solid steps” to resolve Kashmir.Meanwhile, the amalgam’s hardline faction said it was not surprised by the suspension of dialogue.Reacting to Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit’s statement that the peace process with India was “suspended”, Hurriyat said unless India gives up its “unrealistic approach”, the dialogue between the two countries will always be considered as a “time consuming exercise” and “no positive outcome” can be expected from it.He said the key for peace, prosperity and development in the sub-continent lies in the resolution of Kashmir issue.

Evidence on Pathankot attacks behind Pakistan’s U-turn on NIA visit: govt sources

New Delhi: A day after Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit indicated that Indian investigators would not be allowed to visit that country, government sources on Friday said Islamabad was making a “sudden turn around” on the Pathankot probe as the visiting Pakistani JIT was “taken aback” by the body of evidence provided by the NIA.

Sources maintained that the “hard evidence” tabled by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to the visiting Joint Investigating Team (JIT) during their five-day stay in India has left then “surprised”.

The evidence was proof of the “Pakistani links of the terrorists” — those who attacked the Pathankot airbase on 2 January, the sources said, adding: “They realise that their game is up. The sudden turn around on allowing an NIA team to visit Pakistan could be the result of that.”

Indian intelligence agencies said that Pakistan has suffered a diplomatic setback during last few weeks as even their friendly countries like Saudi Arabia have lately started tilting towards New Delhi. India-Saudi Arabia strategic ties got a boost during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Riyadh last week.

On Friday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval took stock of the situation in what they called a “routine” meeting.

Security forces at Pathankot. File photo. APSecurity forces at Pathankot. File photo. AP

Security forces at Pathankot. File photo. AP

Seeking to dismiss the meeting as “routine”, the sources said: “The meeting between Home Minister Rajnath Singh and NSA Doval is nothing unusual. Top brass in Indian security establishment keep meeting.” The meeting, attended by senior officials from related security agencies, discussed Pakistan’s turn around among other issues.

“The issue of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar also figured,” the source said, referring to the current unrest at the institute.

Pakistan High Commissioner Basit on Thursday told journalists here that the ongoing peace talks between both countries would remain “suspended” and that “the investigation (into the Pathankot attack) is not about reciprocity”.

Basit’s remarks negate the NIA’s claims made on 30 March that Islamabad will “reciprocate” India’s gesture of allowing Pakistani investigators, including an ISI official, to visit the IAF base in Pathankot to probe the terror attack by Pakistani terrorists.

Sources said NIA officials had names of the terrorists, evidence like transcript of telephonic conversations and other electronic and forensic proofs including against Jaish-e -Mohammed chief Masood Azhar’s brother Abdul Rauf.

On 30 March, NIA spokesman Sanjeev Kumar had said that both sides had “agreed” that the kind of cooperation India had provided to the Pakistani Joint Investigation Team would be reciprocated.

“This is the reciprocity agreed,” Kumar had told reporters.

The remarks indicated India’s intention to get similar access in Pakistan to pursue the probe into the Pathankot terror attack.

India has been maintaining that the attack was masterminded by JeM chief Azhar, against whom an arrest warrant was issued by a NIA court in Mohali on Friday.

The terrorists who killed seven Indian security personnel at the base ended up getting killed after an 80-hour gun battle.

Amid Pakistan ‘suspending’ peace process with India, US says both countries should engage in direct dialogue

Amid Pakistan “suspending” peace process with India, the Obama administration has said it encourages both the countries to “engage in direct dialogue” to “reduce tensions” between them.”We believe and it’s been our longstanding position that India and Pakistan stand to benefit from the normalisation of relations and practical cooperation, and we encourage them to do so, to engage in direct dialogue that’s aimed at reducing tensions between the two governments and two countries,” US State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference yesterday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We strongly support those efforts, because we believe it, will lead to greater stability and peace in the region and is to the benefit of both countries,” Toner said in response to a question on the remarks of Pakistan Ambassador to India Abdul Basit in New Delhi earlier in the day wherein he said the talks between the two countries are “suspended”.
ALSO READ Pakistan calls off peace talks with India unilaterally; MEA reminds Pak that JIT visit was on a reciprocal basisThe US official, however, did not respond to questions on the arrest of an Indian national in Balochistan, who Pakistan alleges worked for an Indian spy agency. “I am aware of the reports about the arrest. I don’t have any details of the arrest,” Toner said.Pakistan has denied the arrested Indian national access to consular services from the Indian government.

Indian probe team unlikely to be allowed to visit Pakistan

Pakistan on Thursday indicated that an Indian probe team is unlikely to be allowed to visit that country in connection with investigation into the Pathankot terror strike, pouring cold water on India’s expectations.Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit said the whole investigation is not about question of reciprocity and is about cooperation between the two countries in probing the Pathankot attack.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is very difficult for me to say. But at this stage… the whole investigation is not about question of reciprocity in my view. It is more about extending cooperation or our two countries cooperating with each other to get to the bottom of the incident,” Basit said.
ALSO READ Abdul Basit’s ‘suspended talks’ remark: Pakistan High Commissioner should be sent back, says Subramanian Swamy His comments came days after a five-member Joint Investigation Team(JIT) from Pakistan visited India to carry forward the probe into the attack at the Pathankot airbase after which India was expecting to send an NIA team to the neighbouring country. Earlier, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said NIA did mention to the JIT that they would like to visit Pakistan in connection with the probe.”The work of JIT in India was as per the terms of reference which were agreed between the two governments thrrough their respective foreign offices. They (visit) are on reciprocal basis and in accordance with the existing legal provisions,” Swarup said.
ALSO READ India counters Abdul Basit’s assertion, reminds Pakistan that both sides agreed on reciprocity on Pathankot probeBasit, however, during an interaction in Foreign Correspondents’ Club here, said, “This whole incident in not about reciprocity it is about cooperating with each other and let’s hope that the spirit of cooperation is retained in the days and weeks ahead,” he said.Asked whether he was ruling out NIA visit to Pakistan, he said, “I leave it to your imagination.” The JIT from Pakistan had visited India last month and went around the strategic IAF airbase in Pathankot which was attacked by Pakistani terrorists on the intervening night of January one and two, leaving seven securitymen dead. Four Pakistani terrorists were also killed in the gunbattle.

Abdul Basit’s take on Indo-Pak peace talks makes NIA statement look like an April Fool’s Day prank

In happier times for Indo-Pakistan relations circa December 2015, a Twitter user had remarked that India and Pakistan are the ‘Ross and Rachel’ of Indian diplomacy. This was in the context of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘sudden’ stopover at Lahore to meet his counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

Cut to April 2016, and the ongoing events appear to be proving the wise Twitter commentator right. On 1 April, the National Investigation Agency had said that its team may visit Pakistan to probe the Pathankot terror attacks. The official who addressed the media conference had said that the Pakistan Joint Investigation Team (JIT) ‘welcomed the idea’ and that NIA would like to visit Pakistan and carry forward the probe. However, in retrospect, the agency’s statement may well have been an elaborate April Fool’s Day prank.

Barely a week later, Pakistan’s High Commissioner Abdul Basit put forward his country’s position in, let’s just say, not very welcoming terms. He said, “Personally I feel that this whole investigation isn’t about reciprocity, but about extending co-operation to get to the bottom on this.”

Abdul Basit. File photo. AFPAbdul Basit. File photo. AFP

Abdul Basit. File photo. AFP

Further, to make sure there is no ambiguity about the present state of affairs, Basit said, “I think at present, the peace process is suspended.”

Not surprisingly, voices across the political spectrum wasted no time in making themselves heard. The Congress’ Manish Tewari hit out at the Modi government, and was quoted as saying by ANI, that people in the government were being ‘imbeciles’ if they expected the JIT to validate Pakistan’s involvement in the Pathankot attacks. Not to be outdone, the BJP’s Subramanian Swamy demanded that Abdul Basit should be sent packing to his home country and called for a ghar wapsi of India’s Ambassador to Pakistan.

Later in the day, the Ministry of External Affairs issued its response, albeit in a more measured tone. Referring to Basit’s comments about the investigation not being about reciprocity, MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup cited the Terms of Reference on the JIT’s visit, saying that they “are broadly agreed to with the proviso that these would be on the basis of reciprocity and followed in accordance with extant legal provisions.”

The MEA also referred to a statement of a spokesperson for the Pakistan Foreign Ministry which said that both countries are in contact with each other and it has been ‘reiterated from both sides’ that modalities are being worked out. While the MEA has taken note of Basit’s dramatic statement, it has reacted cautiously to the statement.

However, subsequent to Basit’s statement, the Modi government may well find itself at the receiving end of several uncomfortable questions. Just last month, Rahul Gandhi had attacked the government over its Pakistan policy, saying that there was a lack of a ‘clear vision’ in the government’s stand. With the country in the middle of a long election season, the opposition parties are unlikely to pull many punches after the perceived U-turn by Pakistan.

Compounding the situation for India is Basit’s statement supporting China on its veto on Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, in which he said that he ‘subscribes to the Chinese viewpoint.’ This comes even as India continues to demand Azhar’s extradition, and accuses him of being involved in the Pathankot attack. In this context, the Pakistan High Commissioner’s statement is likely to give further ammunition to rival political parties, who have accused PM Modi of paying only lip service as opposed to taking a hard stance against Pakistan.

Whether the NIA would have achieved anything substantial by visiting Pakistan to investigate the Pathankot attacks is now irrelevant. But with Basit’s explosive media conference on Thursday, Pakistan’s changed stance on the NIA visit speaks volumes on the level of trust between the two countries. In such an environment, as Sandipan Sharma says in this Firstpost article, Indo-Pak relations may well be dictated by the politics of the last atrocity.

J&K gets its first woman CM in Mehbooba Mufti; BJP gets more Cabinet berths

Jammu: After weeks of conjecture, PDP President Mehbooba Mufti on Monday took oath as Jammu and Kashmir’s first woman chief minister along with 22 ministers, with an increased strength for BJP in the Cabinet.

Dressed in black, 56-year-old Mehbooba took the oath of office and secrecy in Urdu followed by BJP’s Nirmal Singh, who will again be the Deputy Chief Minister in the new PDP-BJP government formed three months after the state was put under Governor’s rule following the demise of her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

Governor N N Vohra also administered the oath to 21 other Ministers. BJP’s share increased this time in the Cabinet from six to eight berths and three Ministers of State (MoS) while PDP has nine Cabinet Ministers instead of 11 last time.

Mehbooba Mufti takes oath as J&K chief minister. ANI

Mehbooba Mufti takes oath as J&K chief minister. ANI

Mehbooba’s party has got three MoS berths, same as the last time.

In the last government, BJP had a total of 11 ministers – six in Cabinet, three MoS and two with independent charge.

Sajjad Gani Lone, son of late separatist leader Abdul Gani Lone, remained in the Cabinet in the BJP quota.

PDP has dropped Altaf Bukhari and Javed Mustafa from the ministry.

Former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar, Union Ministers Venkaiah Naidu and Jitendra Singh were among the host of VIPs present at the function held at Raj Bhavan.

However, PDP MP Tariq Hamid Karra and Congress boycotted the ceremony.

BJP promoted Chering Dorje and Abdul Gani Kohli as Cabinet ministers. They were Ministers of State with independent charge in the Sayeed-led government.

The saffron party has Prakash Kumar and Shyam Lal Chowdhury among the new faces in the cabinet. BJP leader Sukhnandan was dropped from the list of Ministers besides Minister of State Pawan Gupta, an independent MLA from Udhampur, who has been replaced by Ajay Nanda.

Law Minister in the Sayeed’s ministry, Basharat Bukhari of PDP, took oath in Kashmiri again this year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his congratulatory wishes to the new ministers on Twitter.

Mehbooba assuming office as 13th Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir is a landmark event in the history of the state and the country. She is the first woman to head the state and the second Muslim woman to become the Chief Minister of any state in India.

Syeda Anwara Taimur was the first Muslim woman CM in Assam in 1980 and continued to hold the chair till June 30, 1981.

The new government has also retained two woman ministers from the earlier coalition— Priya Seth (BJP) and Asiya Nakash (PDP).

Apart from Nirmal Singh, who will lead the BJP flock in the coalition, Chandra Prakash, Bali Bhagat, Lal Singh, Dorje, Abdul Gani Kolhi, Ajay Handa, Sunil Kumar Sharma are also a part of the new government.

From the PDP’s side, Ghulam Nabi Lone, Abdul Rehman Veeri Abdul Haq Khan, Syed Basharat Ahmed Bukhari, Haseeb Drabu, Syed Naeem Akhtar Andrabi and Zahoor Ahmad Mir were sworn in as ministers.

The cermony had ministers taking oath in different languages. While Mehbooba and Nirmal Singh stuck to Urdu and Hindi respectively, Bukhari took his oath in Kashmiri.

BJP’s Lal Singh took oath in Punjabi while Dorje chose English.

The two parties came together last year with Mufti Mohammad Sayeed heading the government for 10 months till his death on 7 January.

Mehbooba, who is presently a member of Lok Sabha, will have to resign from her parliamentary seat and will get six months to secure membership of one of the two houses of the state legislature.

The PDP-BJP coalition has 56 MLAs in the 87-member Assembly.

The PDP has 27 members while BJP has 25. Peoples’ Conference has two MLAs while two other independents are supporting the coalition.

The revival of the PDP-BJP coalition government in the state – after three months of stalemate – became possible after several rounds of hectic negotiations between the two parties and apparent intervention by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Following Sayeed’s death, Governor’s Rule was imposed in the state as the PDP and the BJP did not stake fresh claim for government formation in the state.

Initially, the two parties maintained that Mehbooba was not in a position to take over the reins of the state as she was mourning her father’s death.

However, after the mourning period was over, the PDP said it was looking for assurances and confidence building measures from the Centre on implementation of Agenda of Alliance — common minimum programme of the two parties — before forming the new government.

Hopes of ending the deadlock were raised when BJP general secretary Ram Madhav arrived in Srinagar in a chartered plane to meet Mehbooba Mufti late in the evening on February 17 but nothing came out of the hour-long meeting.

The next high level contact between the two parties came on March 19 when Mehbooba met BJP president Amit Shah.

Again the two parties failed to resolve the issues, forcing the BJP to publicly admit for the first time that no headway could be made on government formation.

In fact, several PDP leaders went to extent of saying the prospects of an alliance with the BJP were all but over.

However, to everyone’s surprise, the PDP president went to meet the Prime Minister three days later and decks were cleared for the formation of the government.

Freedom fighters chanted ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday said many leaders of the India’s freedom struggle chanted ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.”While during pre-independence days, some noted people breathed their last after chanting Bharat Mata Ki Jai,” Prasad said and referred to Abdul Kalam Azad and Abdul Hameed in this regard and added that it should be chanted without any issue as it comes out of the heart.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Minister for Communication and Information Technology the termed flyover collapse in as “unfortunate” and called for a fair probe into the incident. “The guilty, even if he is a leader or an officer, should not be spared,” he said.

Ahead of Narendra Modi visit, Saudi chokes terrror financing

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Riyadh on Sunday, Saudi Arabia has placed sanctions on four individuals and two organisations believed to be linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Al Qaeda. These include Naveed Qamar, who is stated holding multiple leadership positions in the LeT,Muhammad Ijaz Safarash, also Saudi-based LeT member, financier James Alexander McLintock and Abdul Aziz Nuristani.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>They have been designated under Saudi Law of Terrorism Crimes and Financing and the Royal Decree, which means that any property or interest in property of these designated individuals and entities are frozen, and Saudi citizens are prohibited from doing business with them.The sanctions against LeT and others were announced jointly by Saudi Arabia and the United States Treasury Department. The organisations now under sanction include Al Rahmah Welfare Organization, which the U.S. Treasury Department said was a front for Al Qaeda. and Pakistan-based Jamia Asariya Madrassa.A Riyadh based newspaper Saudi Gazette, reported that announcement marks coordinated actions to disrupt the finances of militant groups in Asia.Last April, they levied joint sanctions against Al Furqan Foundation Welfare Trust, also based in Pakistan and Afghanistan.James Alexander McLintock, a Scottish-born Pakistani national, was targeted because according to US Treasury investigations, he had allegedly provided financing for all three groups, as the chief executive of Pakistan-based Al-Rahmah Welfare Organization. The organization, Treasury said, is an Qaeda front used to finance it, the Taliban, LeT and other groups, providing financing to militants under the guise of helping orphans. Outside of the organization, McLintock has also personally supported multiple terrorist groups, Treasury alleged.In addition, Treasury said Abdul Aziz Nuristani, and Jamia Asariya Madrassa, which Nuristani controls, were both placed under sanctions for providing support to LeT. Nuristani has traveled to Gulf countries to raise money for the madrassa and a trust already under sanctions, Treasury said.Saudi Arabia designated these individuals and entities under its Law of Terrorism Crimes and Financing and the Royal Decree A/44, as a result of this action, any property or interest in property of these designated individuals and entities under Saudi jurisdiction are also frozen, and Saudi citizens are generally prohibited from doing business with it, the Saudi Press Agency said.

Fire breaks out in Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Agriculture College in Bihar

A fire broke out in Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Agriculture College, which is under construction, early this morning, police said.Two teams of fire brigade from Kishanganj while another one team from Thakurganj were pressed into service to douse the flames, SDO Mohammad Shafique said.The fire fighters have brought the blaze under control, the SDO said.Fire might have broken out due to short circuit, he added.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Construction Company Manager Santosh Singh said that “We have not assessed the actual amount of damage caused by the fire. The loss due to fire is being calculated,” Singh said.While no one was said to be hurt in the incident, the police are investigating the exact cause of fire.Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had inaugurated the agriculture college last year before the announcement of assembly elections.The college, whose building is being constructed at Arrawari village under Pothia block of the district, is being run at Khagda Krishi Vigyan Kendra located in district headquarters.Kumar had named the agriculture college after Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, the former President and eminent scientist of the country.

Bangladesh asks NY Fed, Philippines to help retrieve stolen money | Reuters

DHAKA The new governor of Bangladesh’s central bank has sent formal letters to the New York Fed, as well as central bank and money laundering chiefs in the Philippines, asking them to help recover its stolen $81 million, a senior central bank official said on Sunday.

The news came as Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith said the government was waiting to hear the recommendations of an investigation committee to decide whether the central bank should file a suit against the Fed after one of the biggest cyber heists in history.

Unknown hackers breached the computer systems of Bangladesh Bank in early February and attempted to steal $951 million from its account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which it uses for international settlements.

Some attempted transfers were blocked, but $81 million was transferred to accounts in the Philippines belonging to casino operators.

The central bank official told Reuters that Fazle Kabir, who became governor a week ago, had asked the NY Fed chief and the heads of the Philippines central bank and money laundering agency to assist Bangladesh in retrieving the funds.

Kabir asked the Fed to investigate if there had been any lapses or whether it had any involvement in the heist, the official said.

Kabir sent separate letters to the ambassador of Bangladesh at the U.N. headquarters, and its permanent representative, urging them to pursue the NY Fed.

The previous central bank governor, Atiur Rahman, resigned earlier this month after details emerged in the Philippines that $30 million of the money was delivered in cash to a casino junket operator in Manila, while the rest went to two casinos.

“In his letters the new governor sought all kind of help from them to retrieve the stolen money as we are following multiple efforts for the sake of the country,” the official said.

Last week Bangladesh also formally sought assistance from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to track down the cyber crooks.

Bangladesh has appointed law firms to weigh its options vis-à-vis the NY Fed.

“We will wait till the recommendations of the government- formed investigation committee,” Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith told Reuters on Sunday, referring to a three-member committee headed by Mohammad Farash Uddin, a former central bank governor.

“We will act as per its recommendations.”

Earlier this month Muhith said Dhaka might resort to suing the Fed to recover the money: “The Fed must take responsibility,” he said.

(Editing by Clelia Oziel)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Delhi: Two Nigerians beaten with bats for protesting Holi-water balloon

In a shocking incident of violence in Delhi, two Nigerian nationals were assaulted after one of them protested and scolded a child for throwing a water balloon at him in a West Delhi locality. According to a report in Indian Express, they were attacked by 12 men on Sunday, and the police registered a case 24 hours later, after seniors intervened.One of the victims,Evwrirhe Isaac was quoted saying “We are so scared… we are staying in my friend’s home and planning to leave this area. But we will fight and will try to get justice,” one of the victims, Evwrirhe Isaac, told The Indian Express.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the report, Isaac was angered by a boy throwing a water balloon at him, and reprimanded him. He said: “Within minutes, some people knocked on my door and began shouting. They then barged inside, ransacked my home and assaulted me and my roommate Aliyu Abdul.”“They were hitting me… I pleaded with them to spare my life. I somehow managed to free myself and ran towards the balcony. They chased me and pushed me from the second floor of the building,” he said.His roommate Abdul was also assaulted even though he told them that he wasn’t with Isaac during the incident.(Read: Racist mob attacks Tanzanian girl – why India won’t outrage about it)

‘Faith healer’ arrested for exploiting hundreds of boys in Kashmir

Shock and anger has swept across Kashmir after a 48-year-old faith healer was arrested for allegedly sexually exploiting hundreds of boys in the last 15 years in Sopore.Ajaz Ahmad Sheikh was arrested after a teenage boy mustered courage and blew the lid off the worst kept secret after being exploited by him for the last four years on the pretext of controlling spirits.”A father and his son approached the police to register a complaint against this man. In fact the son was exploited by Sheikh for four years. He was going with his uncle to Sheikh’s place. Suddenly for the last month he refused to go. When he was probed, he broke down and blew the lid off. We immediately swung into action and arrested Sheikh,” Abdul Qayoom senior superintendent of police (SSP), told dna.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The modus operandi of faith healer included hypotnising and distributing amulets to distressed people on the pretext to solve their problems.”He was telling them that he was commanding some spirits and could solve their problems. First he used to give them amulets and then ask them to bring their children below the age of 14 claiming that his spirits only talk to kids”, Qayoom said.The SSP said he used to hyptonise the children before exploiting them sexually. “He was instilling so much fear into the children that they were unable to reveal the trauma to their families. He was warning them that if they disclose it to anyone they would be reduced to ashes by the ghosts”, he said.Police suspect that Sheikh might have exploited hundreds of kids in the last 15 years. “Some of his victims are now grown up adults. We are appealing to his victims to come forward and depose against him. We are hopeful that they will come forward and share details,” said a police officer.

Charge sheet filed in the espionage case that includes BSF constable, retired army havildar

The crime branch of the Delhi Police filed a charge sheet accusing five persons, including a head constable from the Border Security Force (BSF), of selling sensitive information to Pakistan on February 26. In its charge sheet the Delhi police stated that information that could prove beneficial to the enemy forces was recovered from those accused.The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) at a trial court here will take the cognizance of the charge sheet on Friday. According to the charge sheet, a document that included “organisational structure of various formation” that could be helpful to the enemy was recovered from the accused.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have accused all five persons arrested in this ring. However, investigation is still on going. Should new information come to light, then any new charges will be added in the supplementary charge sheet,” said KPS Malhotra, ACP (Interstate cell), Crime Branch. All five accused have been charged under section 3 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923. Section 173 of the Cr PC has also been applied though this charge is up for consideration.In the charge sheet, the Delhi police stated that Faisal, a Pakistan based Intelligence (ISI) operative influenced Kafaitullah Khan, a handler of Indian origin to sell him sensitive information about the movement and organisational structure of the Indian forces. The police also said that “at the instance of Faisal, a Pak-based intelligence operative,” Khan procured the secret and important information regarding the deployment of the Indian Army and other information regarding important operations” were supplied to Faisal.The crime branch included transcripts of the interrogation, transcripts of the confession of the key accused – Khan and Abdul Rashid, messages from Whatsapp and Viber, along with details of phone records to support its charges. The 420-paged charge sheet also includes conversations of the accused, CDs recovered from the Khan’s house, and bank statements. While some documents were recovered on person, the Military Intelligence (MI) supplied additional and supporting evidence crucial to the case.According to the investigation, 47-year-old Khan, a Rajouri (Jammu & Kashmir) based teacher was an ISI operative for Pakistan. The charge sheet also outlines the role of Khan’s nephew Abdul Rashid, a head constable of the Border Security Force (BSF), who was posted in the intelligence wing of the force in the same district. The charge sheet said that Rashid was responsible for smuggling key “documents that are directly and indirectly useful to enemy country and is likely to affect sovereignty, integrity and security of nation. It can be used by the enemy to counter moves of Indian forces.”Based on an assessment by the MI that was relied upon by the officials in the crime branch, “the documents passed maybe useful to the enemy country to counter moves of the Indian forces.” According to the investigation, accused persons used Whatsapp, Viber and other technology to pass on the information.The delhi police busted this espionage ring in November and December of 2015 where five accused persons were arrested from Jammu & Kashmir and West Bengal. The five accused in FIR 166/15 are Kaifatullah Khan, Abdul Rasheed, Marawar Ahmed, Mohammed Sabeer Mir and Farid Ahmed alias Surgeon.While Khan and Ahmed are teachers, Rashid is a head constable of the BSF and Mir is a retired havaldar from the Indian Army.

West Bengal Elections: Left, Congress to launch joint agitation over Saradha scam

The opposition Left Front and Congress will launch a joint protest march outside the CBI office here demanding speeding up of inquiry in Saradha scam.CPI-M leader Sujan Chakraborty, the party’s central committee member Shyamal Chakraborty and senior Congress leader Abdul Mannan on Wednesday told a press conference that the protest-march would be organised in front of the CBI office in Salt Lake in the second week of this month. “We had taken out a rally outside CBI office in January.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>We will take out a second rally in March demanding speeding up of investigation in Saradha scam,” Sujan Chakraborty said. He alleged that there has been a covert political understanding between TMC and BJP, which resulted in slowing down of the CBI probe in the scam.Mannan also alleged that there had been a patch-up between the two parties. “TMC time and again had opposed CBI probe in Saradha scam. They took all measures to stop it. The people and the duped investors of Saradha and other ponzi firms will give them a befitting reply,” Mannan said.

Maharashtra: Plea challenges government resolution on anniversaries ignoring Muslim leaders

A petition has been filed in the Bombay High Court challenging a Maharashtra Government Resolution (GR) drawing up a list of anniversaries of national leaders when official functions would be held in their memory, and alleging that it did not include Muslim leaders.The petition contended that Muslim leaders have not been included in the list of anniversaries although the community has produced great many political leaders like Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Zakir Hussain, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and religious leaders like Khwaja Garib Nawaz.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The petition, filed by Sarfaraz Arzu, Editor of Hindustan, an Urdu daily, Mumbai resident Khalid Muttam and Farid Shaikh, president of NGO Mumbai Aman Committee, would come up for hearing in due course.The impugned circular was issued on November 30, 2015, and the list includes anniversaries of 26 stalwarts, including Lokmanya Tilak, Yashwantrao Chavan, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Rajput warrior Maharana Pratap and Vasantrao Naik.The respondents to the petition are Maharashtra government, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Minority Affairs Minister Eknath Khadse and Minorities Commission Chairman Amir Hussain. “…it is unfortunate that the government has not been able to find a single great figure from the Muslim community.It is in national interest that students and masses should know that Indian Muslims have done service of the motherland and humanity, but somehow what the people come to know is the gloomy part of some misguided Muslims creating a false Islamophobia,” the petition states.Arzu alleged that the government has become totally blind to freedom fighters like Abul Kalam Azad and Zakir Hussain, and legends like Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Param Vir Chakra Abdul Hamid, religious leaders like Khwaja Garib Nawaz, Maulana Shaukat Ali, Shahnawaz Khan, Sir Bandruddin Tayabji, Tipu Sultan, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Abdul Gaffar Khan, Ashfaqulla Khan and so on.”National heroes who are Muslims have been deliberately forgotten and supressed and common young Indian is kept ignorant of their greatness,” he said. “The government in power, which swears by the Constitution, is expected to take all the sections of society in the task of nation-building, and public space cannot be appropriated by only one section of the society to the exclusion of others,” he said.The petition said that the impugned notification has hurt and alienated the Muslim community who feel that there has been hostile discrimination against them by the BJP-led coalition government in Maharashtra.The notification has been passed without any application of mind and is therefore null and void, it further said. The petitioner prayed that the impugned notification may be quashed and set aside and until the petition is decided finally, a stay may be granted on the GR.

India’s oldest performing musician passes away at 107

The oldest performing musician of the country Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan, a descendant of Tansen, passed away on Thursday, family members said.The Padma Bhushan awardee was 107 and is survived by his two sons, two daughters and a number of grandchildren. Suffering from old-age related ailments, he fell sick in the morning and was rushed to a hospital where he breathed his last, family said.The body will be flown to Raebareli tomorrow for burial as many members of his family are settled. A recipient of many honours including Padma Bhushan and Sangeet Natak Akademi award, the eminent classical vocalist never stopped enthralling his fans even if it meant singing from a wheelchair on the stage.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A resident guru at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in the city for the past two decades, Khan had given music lessons even yesterday to his students who always called him ‘Baba’ out of respect. Trained in the Gwalior gharana of Hindustani classical music, he was adept in the worlds of Khayal, Dhrupad, Dhamar and Thumri.In 2013, he got the distinction of being the oldest person to get a Padma award. Also a poet, Khan has written around 2,000 compositions under the pseudonym ‘Rasan Piya’. Born to Chhote Yusuf Khan, he represented the 16th generation of Miyan Tansen’s lineage.Condoling his death, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said “Saddened at the passing away of veteran vocalist Padma Bhushan Abdul Rashid Khan. India has lost a great gem in the world of music.”

Hafiz Saeed asks Nawaz Sharif to own the ‘Kashmir cause’

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has come under attack from Islamist parties and groups supporting militancy in Kashmir that accused him of being soft on India and advocating peace.The groups led by Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed held a conference outside National Press Club here to mark ‘Solidarity Day’ with Kashmiris on Friday. It was Saeed’s first major public appearance in the capital after three years, showing defiance towards government. While taking to task the government, Saeed praised army chief General Raheel Sharif.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Prime Minister is bound to follow the path of Quaid-i-Azam (Mohammad Ali Jinnah), Liaquat Ali Khan and the founding fathers. He should not betray the Kashmir cause,” Saeed said. He asked Sharif to own the “Kashmir cause” and praised the United Jihad Council (UJC) which had claimed the Pathankot attack. “They (UJC) came to the rescue of Pakistan after the Pathankot attack and it is time that we too own the Kashmiris,” Saeed said.He also stated that the army chief was right when he said “Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of partition”.Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman Khalil of Ansarul Ummah, Mian Aslam of Jamaat-i-Islami, Senate Deputy Chairman and central leader of JUI-F Abdul Ghafoor Haidary and a former legal aide of former president general Parvez Musharraf — Ahmad Raza Kasuri — also participated in the conference. Haidary said there could be no peace in the region without resolution of the Kashmir issue.”Both India and Pakistan are pitching their resources in defence while hundreds and thousands of citizens do not have food and shelter,” he said. Criticising Pakistan, Kasuri said the country had confined the Kashmir cause to a ceremonial day only. “We need to look ahead and after developing a consensus among political parties there should be a full-fledged assault by Foreign Office against India,” he said.Dawn reported that not only was the conference heavily attended by workers and followers of JuD, it also showcased the high degree of technical advancements made by the group. JuD security personnel stationed at various positions wore jackets of different colours — clearly defining their duties.Last year, only a few rallies were organised to mark the Kashmir Day and JuD held a rally from Zero Point to Aabpara chowk led by its leader Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki who criticised the UN and the US for their indifferent attitude towards alleged Indian human rights violations in Kashmir.

Delhi court sent suspected Al Qaeda members to judicial custody till 10 February

New Delhi: A court here on Monday sent Maulana Anzar Shah, a suspected Al Qaeda member, and another accused to judicial custody till 10 February.

Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh remanded Shah and Abdul Sami in judicial custody after Shah was presented before him after expiry of his police custody.

Delhi Police told court that accused are not required for further custodial interrogation.

Shah was arrested on 6 January by the anti-terrorist Special Cell from Bengaluru on the charge of plotting to carry out a series of terror strikes in the country. He was in police custody till 1 February.

Representative image. AFPRepresentative image. AFP

Representative image. AFP

Sami, a resident of Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, was arrested from Nuh, the district headquarter of Mewat on the Delhi-Alwar highway, about 45 km from Gurgaon on January 18 and was presented before a Delhi court, which had sent him to two weeks police custody.

Sami is the fifth terrorist to be arrested within a month in the ongoing operation by the Delhi Police’s Special Cell against the Al Qaeda in the Indian Sub-continent (AQIS).

The Special Cell had in December last year arrested three AQIS operatives — Zafar Masood, Abdul Rehman and Mohammed Asif. All the three accused are in judicial custody.

Asif was the recruitment and training head of AQIS.

They have been booked under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

IANS

Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid alleges curbs, threatens resignation

Controversial Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid on Wednesday alleged curbs on his political activities and sought the intervention of Governor N N Vohra to address his grievances, failing which he threatened to resign from the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and move court.”I have written a letter to the Governor giving details of various instances when police stopped me from carrying out my political activities and humiliated me,” he told reporters.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I am seeking his (Governor’s) intervention in the matter for its immediate redressal. Otherwise I have no option left but to resign from the assembly,” he said.The MLA requested the Governor to hold an impartial inquiry into all the incidents cited by him, saying “there seems to be some conspiracy either to eliminate me or stop me from doing political activities”.Rashid, who represents north Kashmir s Langate assembly constituency, said he would also approach the courts and bring the matter to the notice of Assembly Speaker as well.”I have written to the Governor as he is the constitutional head of the state,” the MLA said. He alleged that during the past six years, security agencies have been creating hurdles in his peaceful political activities.”The situation since last one year seems to have gone from bad to worse due to reasons best known to their top brass. It seems to be a well-designed plan to create hurdles in my movement, right to speech and way of working,” Rashid wrote in the letter to the Governor.Rashid said he would send a copy of the letter to the Assembly Speaker for treating it as a Privilege Motion against senior superintendents of police of Baramulla and Anantnag districts for “abusing” him.

Two al Qaeda operatives arrested from Jamshedpur ahead of Republic Day

Two al Qaeda operatives, believed to be members of its sleeper cell and motivating youths to join the terror group, were arrested from the steel city on Monday on the eve of Republic Day. East Singhbhum district police arrested Ahmed Masood Akram Sheikh alias Masood alias Monu from Dhatkidih, while Nasim Akhtar alias Raju was nabbed from Road No 6, Zakirnagar, Old Purulia Road, Senior Superintendent of Police Anoop T Mathew told newsmen here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The two are members of al Qaeda’s sleeper cell and motivate youths of the steel city as well as other parts of Jharkhand to join and expand the organisation, he said. The police picked up 35-year-old Masood following inputs provided by Jamshedpur-based Abdul Sami, who was arrested by Delhi Police special cell from Mewat in Haryana last week. Masood confessed that he had been linked with the terrorist group since 2003 after he was motivated to join it by Abdul Rehman Katki, who had been arrested by Delhi Police from Cuttack in December last year.He told the police that he had first met Rehman, a frequent visitor to the steel city, at the Jama Masjid at Sakchi in 2003 and was influenced by him to join the terrorist organisation. Masood had visited Saudi Arab in 2011 and met Sami on his return and convinced him (Sami) to join the group. He also played a crucial role in sending Sami to Pakistan for terrorist training, Mathew said. Masood, he said, had also confessed to the police that he had one more operative in his cell but claimed knew him only by face and that he too had received terrorist training in Pakistan. Search is on for the operative, Mathew added.

Science, if not rightly used, can become dangerous: Rajnath Singh

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said science and technology if not rightly used, can become a danger to society.”World over there is a concern for cyber crime. The importance of technology has increased so much for good governance and development,” he said. To buttress his point, Singh drew a contrast between the youths working in IT giant Infosys and terror outfit al-Qaeda, saying while one was working in the interest of society, the other was for its destruction.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I read a write-up in The Guardian newspaper published from London which was on Infosys versus al-Qaeda,” he said at a convocation function of APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University here. “… while one can be termed as a creative talent for the human society, the other belonging to al-Qaeda is destructive talent…one is beneficial for society while the other is destructive,” he said.The Union Minister said “it will have to be seen as to how the difference in thinking has emerged…talent cannot be used in a proper manner for the betterment of society unless thinking is right and there is commitment for human values.”He said while at one time big companies were only confined to countries like America, “today we are proud that we are not behind anyone. This is not all, even the heads of Google and Microsoft are of Indian origin.””We do not want to create terror in the hearts of people by becoming the ‘super power’ but want to become ‘global guru’ …we do not want to dominate… India was global guru and would become one soon again,” he added.

Arrested Al-Qaeda terrorist to be police remand till February 1

Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Arvind Deep on Monday said that Abdul Sami- the arrested Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) terrorist, has been sent to police remand till February 1.”Abdul Sami has been arrested from Nuh and he was produced in the court. He has been given police remand till February 1. He was in constant touch with Abdur Rehman from 2001,” Deep said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He had gone to Dubai in January 2014 for training, then he went to Karachi. After Karachi, he went to Mansehra where he was trained in intensive arms. He returned on January 2015. His further task was for Abdur Rehman, but before that only, they were arrested and their module was destroyed,” he added.Abdul Sami, who hails from Jharkhand’s Jamshedpur city, was arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police on Monday. Earlier this year, a suspected member of Al-Qaida was arrested by Delhi Police in Bengaluru. The Special Cell had in December last year arrested three AQIS operatives Zafar Masood and Abdul Rehman and Mohammad Asif, who is suspected to be the training and recruitment chief of AQIS.