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Another train derails near Kanpur: 62 injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>More than 60 passengers were injured in Wednesday’s Ajmer-Sealdah Express derailment accident near Kanpur, raising serious questions on the safety of train passengers in the country. While the cause of the accident could not be ascertained, sources said railway fracture was suspected to be the possible reason for derailment of 15 coaches Ajmer-Sealdeh Express.The incident comes just a month after 150 people were killed and more than 200 injured when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express train derailed in Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh on November 20. While the investigation report of that incident is yet to come out, initial report had suggested rail fracture as possible reason for that accident too. Incidentally, both these accidents occured in the early hours of morning.Wednesday’s mishap took place when the train was crossing a bridge overhead a dry canal in the area and reportedly two coaches of the train also fell in the canal. Some railway officials, who did not wish to be named, said it was almost miraculous that there were no casualties. They added that had the train been running on a high speed, the impact of the accident would have been much more. “The train had just pulled out of a railway station and its speed was rather slow. The train was travelling at a speed of 108km per hour,” an official said.Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced a thorough investigation into the accident and Commissioner Railway Safety of Northern Circle was put in charge of the inquiry. Sources in Railways said a possible fracture in the track appeared to be the prima facie cause of the mishap. Maintenance issues coupled with drop in temperature cause fracture in rails. A senior railway official, however, said that weather and fog had no role to play in Tuesday’s accident.There has been an increase in incidents of derailments this year. According to railways data, there have been 67 derailment cases this year since April while it was 52 in the corresponding period last year. Railway Board Member (Traffic) Mohd Jamshed however, said that the total number of accident cases has come down in comparison to previous years though the railways’ plan of action is to achieve zero accident target. The total number of accidents was 137 three years back which has come down to 87 this year, Jamshed said. Prabhu announced ex-gratia of Rs 50,000 for seriously injured and Rs 25,000 for people with minor injuries. 62 people suffered injuries and 11 of them had grievous injuries, a railway official said.

Akhilesh Yadav announces financial assistance to Ajmer-Sealdah Express victims

Wed, 28 Dec 2016-02:10pm , Lucknow , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav announced financial assistance of Rs 50,000 on Wednesday, to those seriously injured in the Kanpur train mishap and Rs 25,000 to those who suffered minor wounds.The chief minister wished speedy recovery to the passengers injured after 15 coaches of the Ajmer-Sealdah Express derailed early on Wednesday morning near Rura Railway Station in Kanpur Dehat district when the train was crossing a bridge over a dry canal. He directed officials to take adequate measures for the treatment of the injured and said there should be no laxity in this regard, an official release said here.The chief minister also asked officials to extend all assistance to railway authorities in providing succour to the passengers. Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Shivkant Ojha ordered cancellation of leave of all doctors in government-run hospitals in Kanpur division.

Kanpur Train Accident: Two killed, 44 injured in Sealdah-Ajmer Express derailment

Fifteen coaches of the Ajmer-Sealdah Express, Train number 12987, derailed near Rura, around 70 kilometres from Kanpur, on Wednesday, PTI reportd. It was initally reported that two people were dead and 26 were injured. Railways, however, later confirmed that no deaths have been reported and put the number of injured at 44.

While Kanpur IG Zaki Ahmed told PTI that two people have been killed in the mishap, railways are yet to confirm the same.

The Kanpur train accident took place when the train was crossing a bridge overhead a dry canal in the area, Northern Central Railways PRO Amit Malviya said. According to reports, rail traffic between Etawah and Kanpur is affected.

Speaking to ANI, Anil Saxena, ADG, PR Railway said, “No casualties have been reported so far. Ambulances are already on the spot and rescue work is in progress. A medical train from Kanpur has also arrived on the spot. All trains between Etawah and Kanpur are affected, and we are trying to divert them to an alternate route.” Saxena also told ANI that:

Rescue  and relief works in progress at the site of accident where  Ajmer-Sealdah express train derailed early on Wednesday near Rura railway station in Kanpur dehat district on Wednesday. PTIRescue  and relief works in progress at the site of accident where  Ajmer-Sealdah express train derailed early on Wednesday near Rura railway station in Kanpur dehat district on Wednesday. PTI

Rescue works in progress at the site of where Ajmer-Sealdah express train derailed early on Wednesday. PTI

Ahmed told PTI that 13 sleeper coaches and two general coaches of the train derailed in the accident. The injured have been rushed to a nearby hospital. Rescue and relief operations have been started at the accident spot with the district health department dispatching 14 ambulances and relief teams from Kanpur and Tundla, he said.

Buses have also been plied to drop the stranded passengers from the spot to Kanpur railway station.

The Delhi-Howrah route via Kanpur has been temporarily closed and the Shatabdi express from Delhi to Kanpur has been cancelled, Malviya said.

As per local sources, a few of the bogies of the train also fell into a canal, travellers stuck in it were yet to be rescued soon till 8 am, Times Now said.

Meanwhile, railway minister Suresh Prabhu said has announced an ex-gratia to the injured, on Twitter. He said, “I have directed CRB, all senior officials to personally ensure best possible help,” he tweeted, adding that a thorough investigation will be carried out to ascertain the cause. He also tweeted:

According to local police, the railway authorities have not arrived on the spot. The reason for the accident is not known as yet.

The Indian railways has also announced that four trains — 12826/Jharkhand Sampark Kranti Express, 12382/Poorva Express, 12312/Kalka Mail, 12488/Seemanchal Express — have been diverted.

The Railways have issued the helpline numbers for Kanpur — 0512-2323015, 2323016, 2323018 and for Allahabad — 0532-2408149, 2408128.

More details awaited.

With inputs from PTI

First Published On : Dec 28, 2016 11:32 IST

Sealdah-Ajmer Express derails near Kanpur: two killed and 26 injured

Two passengers were killed and 26 injured when fifteen coaches of the Ajmer-Sealdah Express, train no 12987, derailed near Rura, around 70 kilometres from Kanpur, PTI said.

Though initial reports claimed casualties, Kanpur IG Zaki Ahmed told PTI that two passengers have been killed in the accident which took place at around 5.20 am. According to reports, rail traffic between between Etawah and Kanpur is affected.

Speaking to ANI, Anil Saxena, ADG, PR Railway said, “No casualties have been reported so far. Ambulances are already on the spot and rescue work is in progress. A medical train from Kanpur has also arrived on the spot, and another from Tundla is on its way. All trains between Etawah and Kanpur are affected, and we are trying to divert them to an alternate route.” Saxena also told ANI that:

According to Times Now, the injured have been rushed to a nearby hospital. As per local sources, a few of the bogies of the train also fell into a canal, and travellers stuck in it will be rescued soon, the news channel said.

Meanwhile, railway minister Suresh Prabhu said has announced an ex-gratia to the injured, on Twitter. He said, “I have directed CRB, all senior officials to personally ensure best possible help,” he tweeted, adding that a thorough investigation will be carried out to ascertain the cause. He also tweeted:

According to local police, the railway authorities have not arrived on the spot. The reason for the accident is not known as yet.

The Indian railways has also announced that four trains — 12826/Jharkhand Sampark Kranti Express, 12382/Poorva Express, 12312/Kalka Mail, 12488/Seemanchal Express — have been diverted.

The railway has also announced special helpline numbers:

More details awaited.

With inputs from PTI

First Published On : Dec 28, 2016 08:55 IST

DNA Morning Must Reads: 13 coaches of Sealdah-Ajmer express derail; cash withdrawal cap may be eased; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. 13 coaches of Saeldah-Ajmer express derail near Kanpur, several injuredThirteen coaches of Ajmer-Sealdah express derail near Rura railway station in Kanpur. Read more.2. Demonetization: Withdrawal cap may be eased to Rs 4,000 per day, say sourcesAs per a reliable source, the government was seriously considering relaxing current restrictions on withdrawals from banks and ATMs. Read more.3. Rs 104 crore deposit: Mayawati plays Dalit card, says BJP misusing state power, all my cash is whiteMayawati plays Dalit card after ED disclosure on BSP a/c swelling by Rs 104 crore post-demonetization * Says BJP misusing state power to malign her. Read more.4. Demonetization | ‘Will pressure Modi to resign if fails to solve problems’: Rahul leads fractured Opposition to attack PMCongress president Sonia Gandhi, who had steered the Opposition’s unity, had invited 16 political parties, but in the end only eight turned up. Read more.5. IOA ‘honours’ tainted Kalmadi as its life presidentsKalmadi, a former Congress party Member of Parliament, has been accused of corruption while handing out contracts for the Commonwealth Games held in Delhi in 2010. Read more.

Punjab CM asks Centre to beef up security along border, ensure security of Sikhs across world

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday asked the Centre to beef up security along the Indo-Pak frontier in the state to check infiltration from across the border. “The Union government must beef up the security along the Indo-Pak border in the state. Effective steps must be taken by the government of India to check infiltration from across the border,” Badal said here. Badal expressed happiness over the decision of Union Home Ministry to revoke the orders regarding evacuation of villages with in 10 km radius of Indo-Pak border. Lauding the Centre for allotting express highways projects, Badal envisioned it would act as catalyst of development and prosperity of the state, besides facilitating travel in hassle free manner. The state government had yesterday said the Centre had given its in-principle approval to the proposed alignment of Katra-Amritsar-Delhi national highway via Jind-Barnala-Moga and Amritsar. Centre also gave in-principle go ahead to Jalandhar-Ajmer expressway and its proposed alignment via Jalandhar-Moga- Bathinda and Ajmer. Replying to another query on the sidelines of Sangat Darshan program in Lambi assembly segment here today, the Chief Minister reiterated the firm commitment of the state government to lift every single grain of paddy from the market. He said the state government has already made elaborate arrangements for smooth and hassle free procurement of the food grains. Badal said the entire procurement operation was being monitored by the top brass of state government to avoid any sort of inconvenience to the farmers. Refuting the charges of “misappropriation of funds” for procurement being leveled by the Congress, the Chief Minister said that all these allegations were “figment of imagination”. He said the entire procurement operations were monitored by a premier banking institute, so there was hardly any scope of misappropriation. Badal said that the amount of around Rs 30,000 crore being questioned by Congress leaders also includes the funds used for procurement during their successive regimes adding that Congress was just “misleading” the people to score brownie points before the media. Badal also expressed deep concern over the recent attack on Sikhs in California. He expressed hope that the Centre would take adequate measures to ensure the security of Sikhs across the globe.

Rajasthan: Alleged gangster punishes toll booth employee for charging him

Jaipur: A toll booth supervisor was allegedly threatened with a firearm by a alleged gangster, Dhan Singh, who refused to pay the toll tax in Ajmer, police said. Employees were seen kneeling down to the gangster and holding their ears in front of Singh’s car.

Representational image. Overdrive.in

Representational image. Overdrive.in

The incident took place on 23 May evening on Sarwar road when Dhan Singh along with his driver and a former employee of the toll booth was crossing the toll booth in his SUV, police said.

He pointed a weapon towards the supervisor Ankit Meena when he asked him to pay the toll and also forced him to stand in a particular position, they added.

According to this report by NDTV, 36-year-old Dhan Singh “summoned” the employees one by one and ordered them to sit with their head between their knees, which can also called as the “murga punishment”.

An FIR has been registered against Singh in this connection and CCTV footage of the incident is also being examined, police said, adding that a search is on to nab the accused.

With inputs from PTI.

CRPF jawan commits suicide at Ajmer campus

A 48-year-old CRPF jawan has allegedly committed suicide after hanging himself at the forces’ camp in Ajmer.The incident was reported around 9:00 PM on Monday from the Group Centre-II when Head Constable Dharamveer Singh was found hanging in his room, officials said. They said Singh, a resident of Haryana, had been reportedly suffering from some psychiatric illness for some time.”A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the reasons for Singh taking the extreme step and committing suicide. The local police has registered a case,” a senior official has said.

Malegaon blasts: Sadhvi Pragya escapes the law, Hemant Karkare’s image takes hit

Remember Hemant Karkare, the police officer who died on the streets of Mumbai battling terrorists?

No, Ajmal Kasab and his gang did not kill Karkare on 27 November 2008. He died a thousand painful deaths on Friday the 13th when the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a chargesheet in the Malegaon blasts that shreds Karkare’s reputation and questions his integrity.

In 2009, India decorated Karkare, the then chief of Mumbai ATS, with the Ashok Chakra for laying down his life for the country. Now, he is has been thrown into the ugly chakra of terrorism politics.

In 2006, when residents of Malegaon were observing Shab-e-Baraat, two powerful blasts ripped through the Maharashtra town, killing 37 persons and injuring hundreds. Most of them were Muslims.

From 2007 to 2008 similar attacks took place on the Samjhauta Express (February 2007), Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid (May 2007), the Ajmer Dargah (October 2007) and once again in Malegaon (September 2008).

The case was cracked open by Karkare while probing the second blasts in Malegaon. Piecing together some disjointed leads, Karkare tracked down the owner of the motorcycle used in the blasts. It belonged to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur.

Karkare’s investigations led the police to a Hindutva plot, an alleged plan to respond to a bomb with a bomb. Soon, Thakur and Lt Colonel SK Purohit, a serving army officer, were identified as the main suspects, arrested and chargesheeted. A 4500-page chargesheet by the ATS gave details of the plot and identified Abhinav Bharat Sangh, a Hindutva outfit, as perpetrators of these attacks.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

On Friday, the National Investigations Agency, which probed the blasts afresh gave a clean chit to Pragya Singh Thakur. And sullied Karkare’s image for ever.

According to the The Indian Express, the new chargesheet says the investigation conducted by Karkare was flawed, that the evidence produced against Colonel Prasad Purohit, another key accused, had been fabricated, and statements of witnesses were taken under duress.

During the original probe, the ATS had found explosives at Purohit’s residence in Deolali. NIA officials now claim the incriminating evidence was planted at Purohit’s home by the ATS.

Investigations in India rarely lead us to the truth. Ishrat Jahan’s encounter, Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj’s murders are two telling examples of how different agencies discover their own brands of contrasting truths and facts in high-profile cases. So, nobody can say with any conviction if Karkare’s ATS was the hero of the Malegaon probe or the villain, as being made out now.

By some sheer coincidence, since the change of government at the Centre, probe in all the blasts believed to have been  plotted by Hindutva outfits have turned on their head. In many cases, like the Ajmer Dargah probe, witnesses have suddenly turned hostile. In others, like the one in Malegaon, fingers are now being pointed at the original investigators.

The stakes have always been high. In 2014, Swami Aseemanand, the main accused in the Samjhauta blast case, told  a news magazine in  a detailed interview that the attacks were planned and discussed at an RSS conclave. “

Aseemanand told me (the interviewer) about a meeting that allegedly took place, in July 2005. After an RSS conclave in Surat, senior Sangh leaders including Bhagwat and Indresh Kumar, who is now on the organisation’s powerful seven-member national executive council, travelled to a temple in the Dangs, Gujarat, where Aseemanand was living—a two-hour drive. In a tent pitched by a river several kilometres away from the temple, Bhagwat and Kumar met with Aseemanand and his accomplice Sunil Joshi. Joshi informed Bhagwat of a plan to bomb several Muslim targets around India. According to Aseemanand, both RSS leaders approved, and Bhagwat told him, “You can work on this with Sunil. We will not be involved, but if you are doing this, you can consider us to be with you,” the Magazine wrote.

Aseemanand later denied the interview but the magazine stood by the story and also submitted audio recordings of the interaction as evidence.

In 2015, Rohini Salian, who was a special prosecutor in the Malegaon case, had alleged that she was under pressure from the NIA against the accused. She had later filed an affidavit naming the NIA officer who had approached her. Salian was later denotified from the panel of lawyers.

Amidst the politicking and bickering, Sadhvi Pragya seems to have escaped the law. And Karkare’s image has become the casualty.

Think about this: If the ATS under him really planted evidence to frame innocent karyakartas of Abhinav Bharat Sangh, did he deserve the Ashok Chakra?

And, if he didn’t, if his findings were correct, did we really deserve a martyr like Karkare?

My client was never accused in Samjhauta blast case: Lt Col Purohit’s lawyer

Speaking to ANI, Colonel Purohit’s lawyer Neela Gokhale said that her client was never accused in the Samjhauta blast case. She added that whatever he was doing was for his work as an intelligence officer and he was communicating with his superior officers. She said: “Purohit was never an accused in Samjhauta blast case. Many officials have deposed before Court of Inquiry that whatever Purohit was doing because he was an intelligence officer. He (Lt Colonel Purohit) was an intelligence officer & he had kept on communicating to his superiors.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cong demands removal of NIA Director General Amid controversy over the alleged dilution of ‘Hindu’ terror cases filed under the UPA regime, Congress demanded removal of the Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA). The party also demanded that all the cases being handled by the NIA be placed before the Supreme Court to ensure that there was “no pressure” on the probe agency. “Since the Narendra Modi government came to power, we have seen witnesses turn hostile. Be it in the Samjhauta Express, Ajmer or Malegaon blasts,” Party spokesman Ajoy Kumar told reporters.He said every nation hopes that their investigative agency is honest and has integrity. “But, we are seeing how shamelessly the Modi government is undermining the NIA and using it for partisan politics”. Accusing the BJP of undermining national security, he claimed it was using the NIA to serve its petty political interests.Alleging that pressure is being put on NIA to safeguard the RSS, he said the Modi government, in an “almost Goebellian way”, is trying to tell people that Colonel Shrikant Purohit has got a clean chit in Samjhauta Express blast.” “Why is the NIA giving him a clean chit on this?” he asked.Noting that Col Purohit is accused in the Malegaon bomb blast, he said it is “worrying” that in these cases the judicial process is being delayed.”This shows how the Modi government was trying to divert all the discussion on this investigation?” Stressing that in the Samjhauta Express blast case, there were four others accused along with Aseemanand, he claimed that Aseemanand had “confessed” that he got “endorsement” from senior RSS leaders.”He had mentioned Indresh Kumar. Indreshji is a senior RSS member and questioned by the CBI”.He said in Ajmer blast case, three witnesses have turned hostile. “One Ranbir Singh is former BJP minister. Why is pressure being put on witnesses?No proof against Lt Col Prasad Purohit in Samjhauta case says NIA Earlier, the NIA said there was no proof against Lt Col Prasad Purohit in the Samjhauta blast case but investigation against him is underway in connection with the Malegaon blast case. “There is no proof against him in Samjhauta blast case. He was never an accused. I wonder why his name is being linked to Samjhauta blast case,” NIA Director General Sharad Kumar told PTI. He said Purohit has been chargesheeted by ATS Mumbai in Malegaon blasts in 2008 and NIA was carrying out further investigations in the matter.The NIA has filed charge sheet against eight people in connection with Samjhauta blast case which includes Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Asimanand, Late Sunil Joshi alias Sunilji, Ramchandra Kalsangra, Sandeep Dange (both absconding), Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan, Amit and Rajender Choudhary. The case pertains to the criminal conspiracy which resulted in bomb blasts in the Attari Express (Samjhauta) train near Panipat, Haryana on February 18, 2007.This blast and the consequent fire in the train coaches resulted in the loss of 68 lives and injuries to 12 train passengers including women and children travelling in the train.With agency inputs

Alleging dilution of ‘Hindu terror’ cases, Congress demands removal of NIA chief

Amid controversy over the alleged dilution of ‘Hindu’ terror cases filed under the UPA regime, Congress on Friday demanded removal of the Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA).The party also demanded that all the cases being handled by the NIA be placed before the Supreme Court to ensure that there was “no pressure” on the probe agency. “Since the Narendra Modi government came to power, we have seen witnesses turn hostile. Be it in the Samjhauta Express, Ajmer or Malegaon blasts,” Party spokesman Ajoy Kumar told reporters.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said every nation hopes that their investigative agency is honest and has integrity. “But, we are seeing how shamelessly the Modi government is undermining the NIA and using it for partisan politics”.Accusing the BJP of undermining national security, he claimed it was using the NIA to serve its petty political interests. Alleging that pressure is being put on NIA to safeguard the RSS, he said the Modi government, in an “almost Goebellian way”, is trying to tell people that Colonel Shrikant Purohit has got a clean chit in Samjhauta Express blast.” “Why is the NIA giving him a clean chit on this?” he asked.Noting that Col Purohit is accused in the Malegaon bomb blast, he said it is “worrying” that in these cases the judicial process is being delayed. “This shows how the Modi government was trying to divert all the discussion on this investigation?” Stressing that in the Samjhauta Express blast case, there were four others accused along with Aseemanand, he claimed that Aseemanand had “confessed” that he got “endorsement” from senior RSS leaders.”He had mentioned Indresh Kumar. Indreshji is a senior RSS member and questioned by the CBI”.He said in Ajmer blast case, three witnesses have turned hostile. “One Ranbir Singh is former BJP minister. Why is pressure being put on witnesses?”

Rajasthan: Four foreigners attacked, woman molested by unidentified youths in Ajmer

Four foreigners were on Monday allegedly attacked and looted by around six unidentified youths who also molested one of them at Ajmer district in Rajasthan.The foreigners were going to visit Ajaypal dham when the youths allegedly attacked them. They also molested and tore the clothes of a woman in the group, Additional Superintendent of police Avinash Kumar said.Two women in the group are from Spain and Turkey and one man is from the USA while the nationality of the other foreigner is not yet known, police said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A case under relevant sections of IPC including molestation has been registered and investigation is on, Kumar said, adding no one has been arrested yet.

IM operatives Akhtar, Waqas discharged from court

On Friday, a trial court here discharged suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Tehsin Akhtar and Pakistani national Waqas who with the help of banned terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) had allegedly planned to carry out bomb blasts in Delhi in 2012.A special judge at the Patiala House Court dismissed charges against Akhtar and Waqas alias Zia-ur-Rehman for the lack of evidence however charged five other operatives under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activites (Prevention) Act. The five accused Imran Khan, Asad Khan, Sayed Feroz, Langde Irfan Mustafa, and Sayed Maqbool have been charged under section 120B of the IPC, sections 16, 18, 18A, 18B and 20 of the UAPA, section 25 of the Arms Act and section 5 of the Explosive Substances Act. The five accused have pleaded not guilty and the trial for their hearing commences on April 28 when the statements of the prosecution witness will be recorded.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Arguing the case, defence counsel MS Khan told the court “there was no material to link Akhtar and Waqas to the banned terror outfit” and there was “no evidence to bear out the allegations.”According to the charge sheet filed against the seven accused, it was revealed that during their investigation, the police found that LeT and IM cadres were co-ordinating through associates based in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. According to the police, Syed Zabiuddin alias Zabi revealed that the banned terror groups had planned major strikes in Delhi and other cities in India. The police also stated that the two accused were following directives given by absconding terrorist Fayaz Kagzi and IM operative Riyaz Bhatkal.The police went on to state that after carrying out serial blasts in Pune in August 2012, their next target was Delhi. Waqas and Akhtar were apparently in Delhi to help facilitate the Pune module members to carry out blasts but had to abort the plan after some of them were arrested.In the charge sheet, it was revealed that three of the seven accused wanted vengeance for the 2002 Gujarat riots and hence got in touch with Syed Maqbool (accused of masterminding the Hyderabad blast) who in turn introduced them to Kagzi.23-year-old Akhtar, a resident of Maniyarpur in Bihar, is suspected to be the youngest operative of the IM and believed to the mastermind behind the 2013 Gaya and the Patna blast where current prime minster Narendra Modi’s rally was the target. A highly motivated operative, he is also implicated in various other terror-related cases. Akhtar, the son of a small-time chemist was arrested from the Nepal border in August 2013 and carried a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head.Pakistani national Waqas, aged 25, who hails from Toba Tek Singh, Punjab province, entered India in September 2010 and was arrested from the Ajmer railway station with three others in March 2014. Waqas has been implicated in other terror related cases as well.

Barring women from Haji Ali sanctorum against fundamental rights: State to Bombay High Court

The state government on Tuesday told the Bombay High Court (HC) that women should be barred from entering the inner sanctorum of Haji Ali Dargah only if it is so enshrined in the Quran.The ban on women’s entry cannot be justified if it is on the basis of an expert’s interpretation of the Quran, argued advocate general Shrihari Aney.Clarifying the government’s stand, he said: “The laws of tradition and customs have to give way to the fundamental rights under Article 14 of the Constitution of India, which allows equal rights to every citizen. Thus the ban on women’s entry is not correct.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On whether the court can interfere in the customs and traditions of a religion, Aney said: “If the religion (Islam) is going to fall if women are allowed entry, then the ban should prevail over fundamental rights.”Aney clarified whether a trust managing the affairs of the dargah can regulate the entry of a certain sex. “If it wants to administer the property, it cannot be by way of banning a particular sex,” he said.”The Taj Mahal is a place where a king and queen are laid to rest. But both men and women from different religions go there and offer prayers. Same is the case with the Ajmer Sharif dargah. Women not being allowed to pray cries foul of Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution,” he said.The dargah trust defended its stand saying that it is referred in Quran that allowing women close proximity to the dargah of a male saint is a grievous sin.Advocate Shoaib Memon said: “Women are not allowed inside mosques in Saudi Arabia. They are given a separate place to pray. We (trust) have not barred women. It is simply regulated for their safety. The trust not only administers the dargah but also manages the affairs of religion.”Memon said that banning women’s entry is an integral part of religion and the court should not interfere in the practice. The trust claimed that separate lines for women are made at polling stations and at the Shirdi temple and the same is done here.Defending its stand that touching a male saint by a menstruating woman was a sin, the trust said: “Even today in many Hindu households, a menstruating woman is not allowed into the kitchen.”Memon equated the separate line for women at Haji Ali Dargah with that of separate railway compartment for women. Memon urged the court to visit the dargah and inspect the crowd on weekends to better understand the decision of the trust.The court has reserved its judgment on the plea filed by two women, Zakia Soman and Noorjehan Niaz. The PIL states that gender justice is inherent in Quran and the decision contravenes the Hadiths, which proves that there is no prohibition on women visiting graves.

Jaipur: PhD scholar commits suicide

A PhD scholar allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in his hostel room in Central University of Rajasthan (CURAJ) in Ajmer.PhD scholar allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in his hostel room in Central University of Rajasthan (CURAJ) in Ajmer.”Mohit Chauhan committed suicide in his hostel room on Friday evening. The body was shifted to a local hospital and his parents living in Uttar Pradesh have been informed about the matter,” police said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>No suicide note has been recovered from his room but and documents recovered from the room are being examined, additional SP Ajmer Rural Vinit Kumar Bansal said.”Initial information suggested that he was under depression. There were also allegations that his guide was harassing him,” he said.Investigation is on to ascertain the cause of the suicide.

Rajnath Singh meets Muslim clerics on ISIS attempt to lure Indians

Amidst increasing attempts by ISIS to lure Indians into its fold, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday held a meeting with top Muslim clerics and sought their cooperation to check the growing tentacles of the dreaded group among Muslim youth.The hour-long meeting, also attended by NSA Ajit Doval and senior Home Ministry officials, apprised the Muslim clerics about activities of the Middle-East terrorist group and its efforts to attract Indian youth to its fold.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Home Minister sought the cooperation of the clerics, who offered all help to the government in this regard, official sources said. The issues that were discussed included misuse of social media, sources of impetus that attract persons, specially youth, to ISIS, the growth of ISIS influence in India’s neighbourhood and the best possible law enforcement response.Those who attended the meeting include Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind’s Maulana Arshad Madani, Maulana Abdul Wahid Hussain Chisti of Ajmer Sharif, Asghar Ali Imam Mehdi of Jamiat Ahle Hadees, Tauqeer Raza Khan, Rafiq Warshiq, Shia leader Maulana Syed Kalbe Jawad Qalbe Jawaid, Kamal Farooqi, Mushafa Faruqi besides others.The need for appropriate welfare schemes for minorities, social media strategies to be followed, especially in the area of information technology were also discussed threadbare.In his remarks, the Home Minister said India’s traditions and family values will overcome such nefarious designs of terrorist groups and that while the traction that ISIS has got in India is extremely limited, and almost insignificant in comparison to other countries, there is a need to keep up vigil on all fronts, and not let down the guard in any manner. This was for the first time that the Home Minister had a meeting with Muslim clerics on the issue of ISIS.Last fortnight, the Home Minister had a meeting with top officials of central intelligence and investigative agencies and police of 13 states and discussed steps to check the growing influence of ISIS among youngsters through social media and other sources.Singh had reviewed the situation arising out of some Indian youths getting attracted towards ISIS on several occasions in the past and how to deal with the challenge. The Home Minister had also said a large number of people and most Muslim organisations in India had come out against both ISIS and other forms of terrorism.According to Indian intelligence agencies, a total of 23 Indians have so far joined the ISIS of whom six were reportedly killed in different incidents in Iraq-Syria. Among the 23 are two absconding members of the banned Indian Mujahideen who had gone from their hideouts in Pakistan.The dead were identified as Athif Vaseem Mohammad (Adilabad, Telangana), Mohammad Umar Subhan (Bengaluru), Maulana Abdul Kadir Sultan Armar (Bhatkal, Karnataka), Saheem Farooque Tanki (Thane), Faiz Masood (Bengaluru) and Mohammad Sajid alias Bada Sajid (Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh).Around 150 Indians are under surveillance for their alleged online links with ISIS. As many as 30 other Indians, who were radicalised by ISIS elements, were prevented from travelling to the conflict zone in the Middle-East.Among those who are currently fighting for ISIS include two youths from Kalyan near Mumbai, an Australia-based Kashmiri, one youth from Telangana, one from Karnataka, one Oman-based Indian and another Singapore-based Indian.Several Indians, who were trying to recruit youths into ISIS, were deported from friendly countries, including the UAE, recently.

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