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Bene Israeli, Baghdadi Indian Jews celebrate Hannukah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The traditional lighting of the nine-branched hanukiah lamp, gorging on delicious donuts… the Jewish festival of Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Observed for eight nights, it starts on the 25th day of Kislev (this year, December 24 to January 1), according to the Hebrew calendar.A story of victoryIn 200 BC, Judea (Israel) fell under the rule of the Seleucid king of Syria, Antiochus III, who allowed the Jews freedom to practice Judaism. His son Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who was not as kind, forced them to worship the Greek gods. But, his soldiers massacred several Jews in Jerusalem and desecrated the Second Temple. Not long after, Mattathias, a Jewish priest, led a revolt against the Seleucid monarchy. When he died, his son Judah took his place, bringing the Jews to victory. The temple was cleansed and rededicated; “it was a reaffirmation of their faith,” shares Solomon Sopher, president of the Baghdadi Jewish community. According to the Talmud, the menorah in the Temple could only be lit with undefiled olive oil. The oil they had should have been sufficient for only one night, but “it lasted for eight nights,” says Sopher.Lighting the HanukiahThe hanukiah “must be lit each evening after sunset, in every Jewish home,” shares Sopher. It has eight branches—one candle for each of the eight nights—and an additional ninth branch called the shamash that is distinctly placed either higher or lower than the rest, from which the eight are lit.“While some families continue using oil lamps, many feel that candles are easier,” says Daniel David, a tour guide from Mumbai. The hanukiah is kept near a window or in the balcony, so people can see it and “should burn at least for 30 minutes,” adds Myer Moses, a Bene Israeli Jew from Thane.A few paragraphs from the Torah are read and songs are sung before the candles are lit. “Everyone in the family gets a chance to light the hanukiah,” he says.As this year Hanukkah begins on Saturday, which is the Sabbath (a day of religious observance and abstinence from work kept by Jews), “the Havdalah candle that marks the end of the Sabbath will be lit first at sunset. This signifies that the Sabbath laws are no more effective and only then is the Hanukkah lamp lit,” says David.One of the few Jewish festivals that doesn’t have any restrictions, “it can be celebrated in any way; there are Hanukkah camps and parties, games for kids, and people invite friends over,” adds David.Sweet treatsWhat’s a festival without its food? For Hanukkah, “we generally make oil-based food like deep-fried donuts,” shares Chef Moshe Shek, one-time founder of Moshe’s. “Our meals would be different from our daily food, but there’s nothing specially made for the festival. We try and use oil and fat rich foods that signify the miracle of the oil,” explains Chef Moshe.As an Indianised version, David’s family makes halwa and Moses remembers his mother making pancakes, narali bhat and marzipan. While European Jews make rugelach, a cream-cheese pastry with jam or fruit filling, Chef Moshe, who has worked in Israel says, “Sufganiyot—a round donut without the hole—is traditionally eaten in Israel. It is filled with jam and there are modern takes like the sesame seed Jewish halwa, hazelnuts and praline and chocolate”. Of course, it is celebrated on a larger scale in Israel. “Bakeries prepare huge trays of donuts and huge hanukiahs are lit in parks. The whole country celebrates,” recalls Chef Moshe.

‘Very impressed’ with Petraeus as he weighs top diplomat job – Trump | Reuters

By Steve Holland and Melissa Fares
| NEW YORK

NEW YORK President-elect Donald Trump stepped up his search on Monday for a new U.S. secretary of state, with the focus on David Petraeus, a former U.S. military commander in Iraq whose mishandling of classified information led to his resignation as CIA chief in 2012. “Just met with General Petraeus–was very impressed!” Trump said on Twitter shortly after Petraeus, a retired general, left an hour-long meeting with the Republican winner of the Nov. 8 election at Trump Tower in Manhattan.Trump’s consideration of Petraeus, who has also been mentioned as a contender for the top job at the Pentagon – adds a new layer of drama to his unusually public deliberations over the top diplomatic job for his administration. Petraeus, who led international forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan, was sentenced to two years’ probation and fined $100,000 last year for the unauthorised removal and retention of classified information.He admitted sharing classified information with his biographer, with whom he was having an affair. The scandal forced Petraeus to resign from the CIA in 2012.Petraeus said after meeting Trump that the New York businessman “basically walked us around the world” in their discussion. “He showed a great grasp of the variety of challenges that are out there and some of the opportunities as well,” Petraeus told reporters.Trump, who takes office on Jan. 20, plans to hold talks with Mitt Romney on Tuesday in his second recent meeting with the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.A Republican source close to the transition team said it had appeared late last week that Trump was leaning toward choosing Romney as his secretary of state but that the appearance of Petraeus at Trump Tower suggested the president-elect was still undecided and casting a wider net for the position.

U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani are also in the mix for the job of America’s top diplomat, Trump aides say.Frances Townsend, a national security aide during the administration of Republican President George W. Bush, also met Trump on Monday.PETRAEUS TROUBLES

Petraeus’ past mishandling of classified documents is unlikely to be an obstacle to Trump offering him a top government post, said a source who has advised the transition team on national security. That is despite Trump harshly criticizing Democratic rival Hillary Clinton during the election campaign for using a private email server while she was secretary of state.Trump often compared the prosecution of Petraeus with the lack of legal action against Clinton, who was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation but never charged with any offence.”Just based on his public statements, I think (Trump) sees Petraeus as a good man who made a mistake, who did a fraction of what other people have done and received a lot more punishment,” Among the Trump transition team, Petraeus and Romney are supported by Republicans looking for a candidate with gravitas who can unify the party, the source said.

Giuliani is favoured by loyalists who worked on the election campaign. Kellyanne Conway, his campaign manager, has said Romney would cause a backlash among his supporters.Ideological conservatives hope Trump picks John Bolton, the former ambassador to the United Nations, the source said. Corker is well regarded, but some in the Trump camp do not want too many senators coming into the Cabinet, the source said.Trump arrived back in New York on Sunday after several days in Florida for Thanksgiving. He caused a stir on Sunday when he alleged on Twitter that “serious voter fraud” had occurred in the presidential election in New Hampshire, Virginia, and California – states won by Clinton – but provided no evidence to back his assertion.The White House said on Monday there had been no evidence of widespread election fraud in the presidential contest, and all three states rejected Trump’s allegation. New Hampshire’s deputy secretary of state, David Scanlan, said: “There’s no evidence that we’ve seen that supports claims like that. Voter fraud does occur, but it occurs in isolated instances.”California Secretary of State Alex Padilla called Trump’s allegations unsubstantiated and Virginia Commissioner of Elections Edgardo Cortes said they were unfounded. (Additional reporting by David Brunnstrom in Washington and Julia Harte in Washington; Writing by Alistair Bell and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Peter Cooney)

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

First Published On : Nov 29, 2016 04:02 IST

PM Modi talks climate change with David Letterman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi sat down for an interview with American television talk show host David Letterman to discuss India’s vision to help fight climate change.”If the world helps me with technology, helps me with resources, I will be the very first person to switch over to clean energy completely,” says Modi in the interview with Letterman.The interview is part of the Emmy award-winning documentary series “Years of Living Dangerously”, which will go on air on National Geographic channel on Saturday at 10 pm. Modi’s interview will be the first episode of the programme where Letterman will also meet other key government officials, along with travelling to rural villages where 300 million people live without power, to understand whether India will continue to use dirty fossils fuels like coal, or will it be able to lead the way with the renewable energy program.The series investigates both the global and individual devastation wrought by climate change and features popular celebrity hosts including Harrison Ford and Matt Damon.

N.Korea may be ‘significantly’ upping nuclear bomb output – report | Reuters

WASHINGTON North Korea may be significantly expanding its nuclear weapons production and could have added six or more weapons to its stockpile in the last 18 months, a U.S. research institute said on Tuesday.

The Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) estimated last year that North Korea had 10 to 16 nuclear weapons at the end of 2014. It based that conclusion on an analysis of the country’s production of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium recovered from spent nuclear fuel.

In revised estimates contained in a report provided to Reuters, the institute’s David Albright and Serena Kelleher-Vergantini said North Korea may have added another four to six weapons since then, for a total of 13 to 21 or even more today.

The report said the 13 to 21 estimate did not take into account the possible production of additional highly enriched uranium at a second centrifuge plant thought to exist in North Korea.

“Nonetheless, this exercise, despite not being comprehensive, shows that North Korea could be significantly increasing its nuclear weapons capabilities,” the report said, adding that most of the increase could be attributed to the production of weapons-grade uranium.

The report came a week after a senior U.S. State Department official told Reuters that North Korea had restarted production of plutonium fuel, indicating that it planned to pursue its nuclear weapons program in defiance of international sanctions that followed its fourth nuclear test in January.

Plutonium also can be used to make nuclear weapons.

The institute’s report said the group independently confirmed activity inside the radiochemical laboratory at North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear site.

It said commercial satellite imagery from June 8 did not show direct signs, but noted “indirect signatures associated with plutonium-separation” there.

These included the removal of tanks previously spotted in front of the laboratory’s reception building and signs that a coal-fired steam generation plant may have been active on June 8.

The report also noted signs of external activity at a site the institute identified as a possible isotope-separation facility that could be used to produce tritium for thermonuclear weapons that North Korea has said it intends to develop.

North Korea vowed in 2013 to restart all its nuclear facilities, including the main reactor and a smaller plant at Yongbyon, which was shut down in 2007 as part of an international disarmament-for-aid deal that later collapsed.

North Korea announced at a rare congress of its ruling Workers’ Party last month that it would strengthen its nuclear weapons capability.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Jonathan Landay; Editing by Richard Chang)

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26/11 Mumbai terror attack: Mumbai Police oppose plea to recall David Headley in trial

The Mumbai police on Tuesday opposed an application filed by Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, who is facing trial in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case, seeking to recall Pakistani-American terrorist David Colemen Headley before the court here. “We have filed a reply in the court opposing the application,” said Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam. Jundal’s lawyer Wahab Khan had last month moved the sessions court saying that he needs to further cross-examine Headley, so he may be recalled. The prosecution’s reply said Wahab had himself said earlier that he needed only four days to cross-examine Headley.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Wahab had himself said that he needs four days’ time and he extensively examined Headley (subsequently),” Nikam said.The court is likely to hear the application next week. Headley was examined by the prosecution in February for five days while the defence examined him for four days, after he agreed to become an approver and the court granted him pardon. Headley, who is in jail in USA, deposed through video conference.

U.S. freedom of navigation ops targeted China, 12 other countries last year – Pentagon | Reuters

WASHINGTON The U.S. military carried out freedom of navigation operations against 13 countries last year, including several against China for what it views as excessive claims to maritime and airspace jurisdiction, the Pentagon said in an annual report on Monday.

The Defense Department carried out multiple freedom of navigation operations against China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Libya, Malaysia, the Maldives, Oman, the Philippines and Vietnam, the two-page report said.

In operations targeting Chinese claims, the Pentagon challenged Chinese jurisdiction in the airspace above its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone as well as restrictions it has attempted to impose on aircraft flying through an Air Defense Identification Zone off the Chinese coast.

Beijing has been extremely sensitive about U.S. ship voyages and aircraft flights challenging maritime claims in the South China Sea, where Beijing has been conducting island reclamation activity.

(Reporting by David Alexander)

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Swiss police raid UEFA as Panama Papers scandal spreads | Reuters

ZURICH/REYKJAVIK, Swiss police raided the European soccer body UEFA on Wednesday to seize information about a contract disclosed in the Panama Papers that was signed by Gianni Infantino, now head of the global soccer body FIFA.

The impact of the leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm is snowballing, with Iceland facing a political crisis after its prime minister stepped aside on Tuesday following revelations about his wife’s finances.

Recently elected Infantino joined a growing list of public figures and political leaders whose financial arrangements have come under scrutiny after the release of the 11.5 million documents, which have caused public outrage over how the rich and powerful can hide money to avoid taxes.

Infantino said he was “dismayed that his integrity was being doubted” by media reports which said the contract he signed several years ago as a UEFA official sold broadcast rights at a low price to a company which sold them on at a far higher price.

Reuters, which has not seen the documents, was unable to confirm this and UEFA denied that the rights were sold at below the market price.

“UEFA can confirm that today we received a visit from the office of the Swiss Federal Police acting under a warrant and requesting sight of the contracts between UEFA and Cross Trading/Teleamazonas,” UEFA said in a statement.

British Prime Minister David Cameron also faced another day of questions about his finances, because his late father was among the tens of thousands of people named in the documents from law firm Mossack Fonseca, which has denied any wrongdoing.

After having at first described it as a private matter, Cameron’s office said on Tuesday that he and his family did not benefit from any such funds at present. Cameron also said he did not own any shares or have any offshore funds.

But his failure to say whether he or his family would benefit in future only intensified media speculation, with the story splashed across many newspaper front pages on Wednesday.

“There are no offshore funds or trusts which the prime minister, Mrs Cameron or their children will benefit from in future,” a spokesman for Cameron said on Wednesday.

INVESTIGATIONS

Among those named in the documents are friends of Russian President Vladimir Putin, relatives of the leaders of China, Britain and Pakistan, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Poroshenko said he set up an offshore trust to separate his business and political interests after he became president and the arrangements were carried out with full transparency. He said he was not trying to minimise tax payments.

“There does not need to be an investigation,” Poroshenko told reporters in Tokyo, when asked about the planned investigation by Ukraine’s fiscal services.

Iceland suffered further political fallout from the documents, with the government hoping to avoid early elections by trying to pick a prime minister to replace Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson.

He stepped down after the documents showed his wife owned an offshore company that held millions of dollars worth of debt from failed Icelandic banks. Gunnlaugsson has said his wife’s assets were taxed in Iceland but the opposition has accused him of a conflict of interest because his government was negotiating deals with claimants on the banks. It was not clear whether Gunnlaugsson’s wife had received any payment from the banks.

Icelanders, already angry with the financial and political elite after the 2008 banking crisis wrecked the economy, were expected return to the streets on Wednesday. Protesters pelted parliament with yoghurt and eggs earlier this week.

Other leading figures and financial institutions responded to the leak with denials of any wrongdoing as prosecutors and regulators began a review of the investigation by the U.S.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and other media organisations.

Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands are among nations that have started inquiries.

In the Netherlands, the chairman of law firm Ploum Lodder Princen (PLP) that reportedly helped wealthy individuals set up shell companies in Mexico and Ecuador to channel cash flows offshore, stepped down.

PLP said it had sought an independent inquiry by the Dutch Financial Supervision Office but could not “identify itself in any manner with the accusations which have been brought forward in this publicity.”

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said he had questioned the head of Societe Generale bank about its record creating shell companies and opening client accounts in Panama.

(Writing by Anna Willard; Additional reporting by Andrew Callus and Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Giles Elgood)

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

Nuclear Safety Summit: PM Narendra Modi meets Cameron; discuss ‘vibrant’ partnership

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met his British counterpart David Cameron and discussed ways to enhance the “vibrant” bilateral partnership.”On every occasion, the opportunity to strengthen an old partnership. PM Narendra Modi and PM David Cameron meet,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted along with a picture of the two leaders meeting on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit here. “Enhancing a vibrant partnership…PM Narendra Modi & PM David Cameron talk India-UK ties,” a PMO tweet said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Their meeting comes in the backdrop of a crisis in Britain’s steel industry after Tata Steel announced that it has decided to “explore all options for portfolio restructuring including the potential divestment of Tata Steel UK, in whole or in parts”.Their meeting came nearly five months after Prime Minister Modi travelled to the UK in November and held wide-ranging talks with Cameron. During that visit, India and the UK had signed deals worth 9-billion pounds and inked a civil nuclear pact besides deciding to collaborate in defence and cyber security.

India meets LIGO scientists in the US, signs MoU for setting up observatory in the country

Washington: India and the US on Thursday signed an MoU for establishing Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in India that will play significant role in carrying forward frontline research on various aspects of gravitational wave astronomy.

The MoU comes about a month after the Union Cabinet approved the construction of the long-awaited third LIGO interferometer.

Department of Atomic Energy Secretary Sekhar Basu and the US’ National Science Foundation (NSF) France Cordova signed the MoU in this regard in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and LIGO scientists at Washington.

The construction of the long-awaited third LIGO interferometer, expected to be functional by 2023, will significantly improve the ability of scientists to pinpoint the sources of gravitational waves and analyse the signals.

Modi, who is currently in the US to attend the two-day Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) met scientists of LIGO who recently proved gravitational waves theory. He also interacted with the Indian student scientists part of the LIGO project.

Gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of space and time produced by dramatic events in the universe, such as merging black holes, and predicted as a consequence of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity — carry information about their origins and about the nature of gravity that cannot otherwise be obtained.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets scientists from LIGO. Image courtesy: Twitter/@MEAIndiaPrime Minister Narendra Modi greets scientists from LIGO. Image courtesy: Twitter/@MEAIndia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets scientists from LIGO. Image courtesy: Twitter/@MEAIndia

With their first direct detection, announced on 11 February, scientists opened a new window onto the cosmos.

The twin LIGO Observatories at Hanford, Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana, are funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), and were conceived, built, and are operated by Caltech and MIT.

Advanced LIGO — a major upgrade to the sensitivity of the instruments compared to the first generation LIGO detectors — began scientific operations in September 2015.

LIGO will provide Indian researchers with the components and training to build and run the new Advanced LIGO detector, which will then be operated by the Indian team, the press statement said.

In a statement, the Union cabinet had said “LIGO-India will also bring considerable opportunities in cutting edge technology for the Indian industry” which will be responsible for the construction of the new observatory’s four-kilometer-long beam tubes.

In addition, the Cabinet statement said “The project will motivate Indian students and young scientists to explore newer frontiers of knowledge, and will add further impetus to scientific research in the country.”

Indian scientists at Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT) Indore have designed a special testing/prototype facility for receiving Advanced LIGO parts; have been training the teams that will install and commission the detector; and are currently cross-checking the IPR vacuum-system drawings against the Advanced LIGO detector drawings, to ensure a good fit and rapid installation for the third Advanced LIGO detector.

In addition to leading the site-selection process, the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) scientists have been setting up a computing center for current and future data. This preparation should make it possible for India to carry the project forward rapidly, it noted. “We have built an exact copy of that instrument that can be used in the LIGO-India Observatory,” said David Shoemaker,
leader of the Advanced LIGO Project and director of the MIT LIGO Lab.

Funded in large part by the NSF, Advanced LIGO enabled a large increase in the volume of the universe probed, leading to the discovery of gravitational waves during its first observation run.

At each observatory, the four-km-long L-shaped interferometer uses laser light split into two beams that travel back and forth down the arms (four-foot diameter tubes kept under a near-perfect vacuum).

The beams are used to monitor the distance between mirrors precisely positioned at the ends of the arms.

According to Einstein’s theory, the distance between the mirrors will change by an infinitesimal amount when a gravitational wave passes by the detector.

A change in the lengths of the arms smaller than one-ten-thousandth the diameter of a proton (10-19 meter) can be detected.

According to David Reitze, executive director of LIGO and a Caltech research professor, the degree of precision achieved by Advanced LIGO is analogous to being able to measure the distance between our solar system and the sun’s nearest neighbour Alpha Centauri—about 4.4 light-years away—accurately to within a few microns, a tiny fraction of the diameter of a human hair.

Attempts were made to trade Kasab with Israeli hostages of 26/11: Headley

Mumbai: Pakistani-American LeT terrorist-turned-approver David Coleman Headley said on Friday that attempts were made to trade Israeli hostages in Mumbai in return for release of Ajmal Kasab, the Pakistani terrorist nabbed alive in the 26/11 strike.

Headley said he had also suggested his handlers in terror troup Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) to “honour” the nine other terrorists slain during 26/11 by the Indian security personnel with ‘Nishan-e-Haider’, Pakistan’s highest gallantry award.

Headley made the revelations before Special Judge G.A. Sanap in his responses during his cross-examination by Abdul Wahab Khan, lawyer for Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, one of the prime accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

After Kasab was nabbed alive by the Indian forces early morning of 27 November, 2008, at the height of the terror strikes, Headley’s main contact in LeT — Sajid Mir — had ordered the attackers of Chabad House in Colaba to keep the Israeli hostages taken there at gunpoint.

A file photo of David Headley. IbnliveA file photo of David Headley. Ibnlive

A file photo of David Headley. Ibnlive

They were to contact the Israeli prime minister and its embassy in a bid to build pressure on the Indian government for securing Kasab‘s release, Headley said, reiterating what he had mentioned to an American court during his trial there in May 2011.

However, to a question by lawyer Khan, Headley added that he never personally spoke with the Israeli embassy officials since he was in Lahore at the time of 26/11.

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam later informed media persons that Headley had sought honouring the nine terrorists killed in 26/11 with Pakistan’s top military gallantry award, the ‘Nishan-e-Haider’.

Headley had made the demand in a conversation with a Dubai-based operative after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack that left 166 dead and several hundreds injured in 2008.

Nikam added that Headley had revealed Thane collegian Ishrat Jahan’s name when he was interrogated by a National Investigation Agency team in the US after his arrest in 2009.

Jahan, a 19-year-old resident of Mumbra in Thane district studying in a Mumbai college, and three of her friends were gunned down by Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad near Ahmedabad in 2004 for allegedly plotting the killing of then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.

Headley denied that he was in any manner pressurised or tutored by the NIA to state that Jahan was a terrorist —which he first revealed during his deposition before Special Judge Sanap on 11 February, 2016 — creating a furore in Indian political circles.

He said he did not disclose Jahan’s name during the trial of his close associate, Pakistani-Canadian citizen Tahawwur Rana in the US as he was not asked about it.

IANS

ISI provided huge funds for David Headley’s 26/11 operation: Ujjwal Nikam

26/11 Mumbai terror attack operative David Coleman Headley, who had been vehemently denying that he had not been paid by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, finally made a sensational revelation before a court on Thursday that the ISI had massively funded his entire operation.Speaking to the media after Headley’s cross-examination, Special Prosecutor in the case Ujjwal Nikam said that the Pakistani-American terrorist had made four major revelations in today’s session.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He said that the Pakistan ISI had given him huge finances for completion of the 26/11 operation. Secondly, he said that the LeT attempted to kill Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray and one person was apprehended by the police but he escaped. Of course Headley made it clear that he had no firsthand knowledge about this information but that he heard it from the LeT people. Thirdly, he said that following the growing international pressure on the LeT following the 26/11 attack, they made a soft stand in the Denmark attack,” Nikam said.Asserting that key 26/11 plotter Abu Jundal’s lawyer Abdul Wahab Khan has been repeatedly putting pressure on Headley in the cross examination with regard to the involvement of his wife Shazia, Nikam added that he had once again flatly refused to answer anything saying it was privileged conversation between husband and wife.”Headley further disclosed, that in one mail from Shazia, she had described the corpses as well as the injured in the terror attack as cartoon. These are the sensitive revelations he made today. The defence’s attempt was to book Shazia for criminal conspiracy and that she had the knowledge about the terror attack,” he said.In other revelations, Headley disclosed via video link from a US prison that he was planning another attack on India after 26/11 on the instructions of Al-Qaeda and not the LeT. However, he asserted that he did not condone what was done by Ajmal Kasab, the lone LeT gunman who was caught alive and executed later.”I visited India in March 2009 and went to National Defence College and other places to select the target. This tour was funded by Ilyas Kashmiri and expenditure of this tour was around 1 Lac (Pakistani rupees) and was paid in cash by Ilyas Kashmiri,” Headley said.Yesterday in his cross examination, Headley accepted that he had funded Rs. 80 lakh to terror outfit Lashkar e Taiba (LeT), adding that he did not know the purpose of the money.”David Headley, the approver in 26/11 case, has been cross-examined today by the Attorney of Abu Jundal’s lawyer. He has admitted three important facts. Firstly, he admitted that he has donated 80 lakhs Pakistani rupees to Laskar-e-Toiba. However, he claimed that he was not knowing exactly as to where that money was used and for what purpose,” Nikam told the media here.Today was the second day of Headley’s cross examination and it will resume tomorrow.Meanwhile, reacting to Headley’s revelation, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that he feels proud that Bal Thakeray was on the hit list of LeT.”A killer was hired by the LeT to kill Shiv Sena chief but the mission failed. In this case, the Mumbai Police also arrested a suspect but he ran away from police custody. I would like to ask that why the police hid this fact. Who was that person who ran away from the prison and how did he escape? What was the conspiracy behind this? The Mumbai Police and the then government have to answer these questions. The then Police Commissioner should be questioned,” Raut told ANI.”It is no surprise for us as Bal Sahib has always been a true nationalist and has always been against the notorious activities carried out by Pakistan and terrorists. We feel proud that Bal Sahib was on the hit list of LeT,” he added.

LeT wanted to kill Bal Thackeray but the person meant to carry out the job was arrested: Headley

Mumbai: Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley, convicted in the US for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, on Thursday told a court in Mumbai that terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) wanted to eliminate Bal Thackeray but the person who was assigned the job to kill the late Shiv Sena chief was arrested.

David Headley. IBNLive

David Headley. IBNLive

The 55-year-old, who has turned approver in the terror case, disclosed this fact during a cross-examination on the second day by Abdul Wahab Khan, the lawyer of Abu Jundal, an alleged key plotter of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, via a video link from the US.

Headley also told the court that he had visited the Sena Bhavan twice. He, however, did not specify the year for the same.

“We wanted to target the chief of Shiv Sena… His name was Bal Thackeray. LeT wanted to kill him wherever a chance arose. I knew that Bal Thackeray was the head of Shiv Sena. I have no first hand knowledge but I think an attempt was made by LeT to kill Bal Thackeray,” he said.

“I don’t know how this attempt was made. I think the person (who was sent to kill Thackeray) was arrested but he managed to escape from police custody. I don’t have first hand knowledge about this though,” Headley added.

He also told special judge G A Sanap, who is hearing the 26/11 terror case against Jundal in a sessions court here, that he does not know who else was a target of LeT apart from Thackeray.

On Thursday, Headley spilled the beans on how once US financed his trip to Pakistan and also claimed that he had “donated” about Rs 70 lakh to LeT till 2006, two years before the Mumbai attacks.

He, however, contradicted reports that he had received money from LeT.

“I never received money from LeT… This is complete nonsense. I gave funds to LeT myself. I had donated more than 60 to 70 lakh Pakistani Rupees to LeT throughout the period I was associated with them. My last donation was in 2006,” Headley told the court.

He also said that after his arrest in 1998, the Drug Enforcement Authority (DEA) of the US had financed his trip.

Also, the terrorist, who faced conviction twice in 1988 and 1998 for alleged drug smuggling before the Mumbai siege, had indulged in criminal activities and violated his plea bargain agreements with the US government, the court was told.

Headley, who is serving a 35-year jail term in the US, also told the court that Tahawwur Rana, his associate and a Pakistani native who operated an immigration business in Chicago, was aware that he was an operative of LeT. Headley had also disclosed that Rana had once come to Mumbai just prior to the 26/11 strikes, and that the latter continued his association with him till Headley’s arrest.

He, however, refused to answer questions about his wife Shazia and reveal her location, whether she is in the US or Pakistan, or her father’s name.

“Shazia is still my legally wedded wife. I do not want to disclose Shazia’s location at present. I do not want to answer any question about my wife Shazia,” he said.

When Khan continued questioning him on Shazia, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam took objection to it and said that under Section 122 of the Indian Evidence Act, the communication between a husband and wife is a privileged one and need not be disclosed.

The Pakistani-American terrorist had earlier concluded his week-long deposition before the Mumbai sessions court through a video-link from the US on 13 February.

Headley, in his earlier deposition, said how Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI provides “financial, military and moral support” to terror outfits LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen, and how LeT planned and executed the 26/11 Mumbai attack.

He had also claimed that Ishrat Jahan, killed in an allegedly fake encounter in Gujarat, was an LeT operative.

PTI

26/11 Mumbai attack: Abu Jundal seeks to make David Headley’s wife, friend co-accused

The lawyer of Abu Jundal, an alleged key plotter of 2008 Mumbai terror attack, today filed an application before the sessions court here seeking to make Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley’s wife Shazia and his friend Tahawwur Hussain Rana accused in the case.The court has granted pardon to Headley, who is currently in prison in the US, and allowed him to depose in 26/11 terror attack trial as an approver for the prosecution. “We have moved an application seeking to make both of them accused as Headley, in his deposition, had said that both knew about the attack before November 26, 2008. Headley also said he even got congratulatory message from Shazia (after the attack),” said Jundal’s lawyer Khan Abdul Wahab. The application is likely to be heard tomorrow. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Headley concluded his week-long deposition through video-link on February 13. He is likely to be cross-examined by Khan from March 22.Among other things, Headley told the court here that Pakistani intelligence agency ISI provides “financial, military and moral support” to terror outfits LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen. He also described how LeT planned and executed the 26/11 attack in Mumbai.

Explosion kills and wounds people in central Ankara, official says | Reuters

ANKARA An explosion rocked the Turkish capital of Ankara on Sunday, killing and wounding an unknown number of people, a senior security official said.

Gunfire was also heard after explosion, while ambulances rushed to the area, officials said. Smoke could be seen rising above the area from a distance 2.5 km away, a Reuters witness said. The blast occurred near the central Guven Park, which adjoins a major transportation hub.

The explosion occurred less than a month after a car bomb attack in central Ankara killed 29 people. Kurdish militants claimed responsibility for that attack.

(Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Ayla Jean Yackley; Editing by David Dolan)

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

SC delines PIL for dropping action against Gujarat cops in Ishrat Jahan case

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea seeking to squash criminal prosecution, suspension and other actions taken against Gujarat Police personnel involved in Ishrat Jahan shootout case in view of Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley’s statement.

Ishrat Jahan. PTIIshrat Jahan. PTI

Ishrat Jahan. PTI

Asking PIL petitioner M.L. Sharma that he should have approached the high court, the apex court bench headed by Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose said that the court could not pass any order under Article 32.

“What is the purpose of Article 32. You cannot file such a case under it. If you wish, you can go to the high court under Article 226 of the Constitution,” a bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy said minutes after lawyer M L Sharma started arguments in the case.

However, the bench clarified that it was not dismissing the petition on merits when Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought a clarification on this issue.

“Any person having locus can approach the appropriate authority,” the bench said paving way for the affected Gujarat policemen including then DIG D G Vanzara to move the court for their exoneration in the politically sensitive case.

The plea seeking to quash action taken against Gujarat cops refers to the statement of Headley, the Pakistani-American terrorist, recorded before a Mumbai court that Jahan was a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative.

Gujarat Police personnel, including ex-cop Vanzara, are facing trial in a Mumbai court for their alleged role in the encounter.

The plea which cited the recent statements recorded by Headley, who allegedly conspired with LeT in plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, said the facts are now undisputed that all four persons killed by Gujarat Police, including Ishrat Jahan, were terrorists.

“The judicial proceeding and statement of David Headley, who conspired with LeT in plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, stated via video conference and recorded in the special court at Mumbai that four persons, including Ishrat Jahan who were killed in June 2004 by Gujarat Police, were part of LeT terrorist organisation belonging to Pakistan and they were assigned to kill then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi,” it said.

The plea had sought a direction to close criminal proceedings and action taken in FIRs lodged by CBI against the Gujarat Police personnel and others, saying it was unconstitutional within the judicial facts and evidences of Headley.

It had also sought a direction from the court declaring that killing of a terrorist is not an offence under Indian law and proper compensation be paid to the state police personnel in the interest of justice.

It also wanted initiation of suo motu perjury/contempt proceedings against the then Home Minister and CBI Director for concealing true facts before the Supreme Court and the Gujarat High Court and for filing a false affidavit pertaining to facts about the case.

With inputs from agencies

Ishrat Jahan case: SC rejects plea to quash case against Gujarat police

The Supreme Court on Fridayrefused to entertain a PIL seeking quashing of criminal prosecution, suspension and other action taken against Gujarat cops in the 2004 alleged fake encounter killing of Ishrat Jahan in view of recent testimony of jailed LeT operative David Headley.”What is the purpose of Article 32. You cannot file such a case under it. If you wish, you can go to the high court under Article 226 of the Constitution,” a bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy said minutes after lawyer M L Sharma started arguments in the case.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, the bench clarified that it was not dismissing the petition on merits when Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought a clarification on this issue.”Any person having locus can approach the appropriate authority,” the bench said paving way for the affected Gujarat policemen including then DIG D G Vanzara to move the court for their exoneration in the politically sensitive case.The plea seeking quashing of action taken against Gujarat cops refers to the statement of Headley,the Pakistani-American terrorist, recorded before a Mumbai court that Jahan was a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative.Gujarat Police personnel, including ex-cop Vanzara, are facing trial in a Mumbai court for their alleged role in the encounter.The plea, which cited the recent statements recorded by Headley, who allegedly conspired with LeT in plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, said the facts are now undisputed that all four persons killed by Gujarat Police, including Ishrat Jahan, were terrorists.”The judicial proceeding and statement of David Headley, who conspired with LeT in plotting the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, stated via video conference and recorded in the special court at Mumbai that four persons, including Ishrat Jahan who were killed in June 2004 by Gujarat Police, were part of LeT terrorist organisation belonging to Pakistan and they were assigned to kill then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi,” it said.The plea had sought a direction to close criminalproceedings and action taken in FIRs lodged by CBI against the Gujarat Police personnel and others, saying it was unconstitutional within the judicial facts and evidences of Headley.It had also sought a direction from the court declaring that killing of a terrorist is not an offence under Indian law and proper compensation be paid to the state police personnel in the interest of justice.It also wanted initiation of suo motu perjury/contempt proceedings against the then Home Minister and CBI Director for concealing true facts before the Supreme Court and the Gujarat High Court and for filing a false affidavit pertaining to facts about the case.

India denies visas to U.S. religious freedom body | Reuters

WASHINGTON India has denied visas for a delegation from the U.S. government agency charged with monitoring international religious freedom, the agency said on Thursday.

The delegation from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom had been scheduled to leave for India on Friday for a long-planned visit with the support of the U.S. State Department and the U.S. embassy in New Delhi, but India had failed to issue the necessary visas, the commission said.

“We are deeply disappointed by the Indian government’s denial, in effect, of these visas,” USCIRF chairman Robert George said in a statement.

“As a pluralistic, non-sectarian, and democratic state, and a close partner of the United States, India should have the confidence to allow our visit,” he said.

George said USCIRF had been able to travel to many countries, including those among the worst offenders of religious freedom, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, China, and Myanmar.

“One would expect that the Indian government would allow for more transparency than have these nations, and would welcome the opportunity to convey its views directly to USCIRF.”

The Indian embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last year, in spite of a much-heralded fresh start in U.S.-India ties under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the United States ran into problems arranging visits by the head of its office to combat human trafficking and its special envoy for gay rights.

In its 2015 report, the bipartisan USCIRF said incidents of religiously motivated and communal violence had reportedly increased for three consecutive years.

It said that despite its status as a pluralistic, secular democracy, India had long struggled to protect minority religious communities or provide justice when crimes occur, creating a climate of impunity.

Non-governmental organisations and religious leaders, including from the Muslim, Christian, and Sikh communities, attributed the initial increase to religiously divisive campaigning in advance of the country’s 2014 general election won by Modi.

The report said that since the election, religious minorities had been subject to derogatory comments by politicians linked to Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and numerous violent attacks and forced conversions by Hindu nationalist groups.

U.S. law allows for the imposition of sanctions on countries the commission terms “of particular concern,” but the USCIRF’s recommendations are not binding and these are not automatically imposed.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by David Gregorio)

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

UPA’s misuse of CBI in Ishrat case has damaged its credibility: Arun Jaitley

Accusing the former Congress-led UPA government of ‘misusing’ the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Ishrat Jahan case, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said this has besides seriously damaging the credibility of the investigating agency also lowered the level of professionalism in the organisation.Arun Jaitley on Facebook reshared a blog he had written in 2013. Ishrat Jahan case is back in the limelight after David Headley said that she was a LeT operative and former Union Home Secretary GK Pillai said that affidavit in the case was changed under political pressure. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This is what Jaitley shared: I had, on June 4 2013, made a detailed comment inviting attention ‘Should CBI uncover the IB’. India’s internal security is challenged by several cross-border and local modules. From Jihadi terror to Maoist insurgency we find a continuous challenge being faced by the Indian State. Intelligence and counter-insurgency are one of the most effective responses to deal with this challenge. These operations include the collection and dissemination of information, intercepts, intrusion into insurgency modules, financial temptations given to informers and busting of such modules. Our intelligence agencies have to carry out these operations in utmost secrecy. Covert operations are undertaken but never admitted. A large number of these operations are without the backing of statutory law, since intelligence agencies in India function only on the basis of internal procedures of the government. This is on account of larger public and national interest. Hopefully, as we mature as a democracy, these operations could be brought under the framework of law and then subjected to an element of limited Parliamentary scrutiny.The intelligence agencies get information with regard to the proposed activity of terrorist module of which Ishrat Jehan was a part. This information is processed and disseminated. The module is busted and its operations are foiled. The fact that Ishrat was a part of Lashkar-e-Taiyyaba (LET) is evidenced by Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD) claiming through its Lahore based Ghazwa Times that its activist has been killed. Subsequently, David Headley in his interrogation by both the FBI and NIA admits to this operation. The Legal Attaché of the US Embassy in India has issued a document to the Intelligence Bureau in response to its queries further evidencing this fact.When the alleged encounter of Ishrat Jehan and her associates took place, the UPA-I was already in power. In a public interest litigation filed in the Gujarat High Court by her parents, the Union government took a categorical stand that Ishrat was a LeT operative and the alleged encounter of June 15, 2004 was genuine. This was when Shri Shivraj Patil was the Home Minister. The change in the Home Ministry led a change in Government’s stand. Under Shri P. Chidambaram as the new Home Minister, the Home Ministry in its affidavit decides to wash its hands off from the encounter. It now starts cooperating with the petitioner for probing the entire operation. The political establishment had hoped that its other attempts having failed, probing this could be a case for implication of the political leaders of the Gujarat government.After being investigated by an SIT set up by the Court the case is referred to the CBI for investigation. Among the officers associating with the investigation was a person who was selected by Ishrat’s parents who were petitioners. The SIT comprised of three persons, one of whom was the petitioner’s Nominee. A large number of policemen, named in the FIR, belonging to the Gujarat Police are arrested. Negotiations are held with them and a political bargain is struck. Chargesheet is not filed against them within 90 days; and they are given a benefit of default bail. Those who decided to turn witnesses are promised that they would be left out of the chargesheet even though some of them are present when the actual killing took place. Their own statements implicate them and yet they are neither accused nor approvers, they are mere witnesses. Their names were excluded from the first and second chargesheets as accused. This is a procedure unknown to law. Statements given by these persons are recorded under section 164 CrPC not in Ahmedabad but in a court in Mumbai. An accused cannot be a witness against a co-accused. He can only be an approver. Those present in the actual shootout are excluded from the list of the accused so that they can implicate others who were not even present in the shootout.A feeble attempt is made to implicate the political leaders of Gujarat. A theory of white beard and black beard is concocted. But that is not evidence enough. The ire now turns towards the IB. Those who were responsible for evidence collection, busting the module, interrogation of the accused are all sought to be implicated. The terrorist credentials of the victims are sought to be retrospectively wiped out. Two charge sheets have now been presented to the court.The alleged encounter took place when UPA-I was in power. Admittedly there is no evidence against the political leaders of Gujarat. The covert operations of the central Intelligence Bureau have been made the subject matter of a criminal law investigation. The source of information of the IB, the veracity of that information, the dissemination of that information, the manner of busting the module, the interrogation of the victims, the organization of logistical support in busting the module will all be a subject matter of criminal law trial. The ultimate wise man who was the Home Minister in 2009 undertook the operation with the idea of implicating Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. He has ended up implicating the IB, an agency of the UPA Government which during the tenure of the UPA is being accused of having engineered the fake encounter. The nature of the encounter would be adjudicated by the competent court. However, the damage done to India’s intelligence agencies and its ability to undertake covert operations is irreparable. In my Article of 4th June, 2013 I had written “Only Pakistan and LeT would have the last laugh. The myopic political regime in Delhi has not realized the significance of destroying the institutions. Harass the Gujarat Government even if it means destroying India’s security apparatus -The objective of the Congress Party is clear.”

Ishrat Jahan case: Former Home Secy GK Pillai claims ‘political’ interference in 2004 encounter

In what could be a significant development in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case, former home secretary GK Pillai on Thursday revealed that someone at the political level did not want the real picture to come out, in an interview with Times Now.

Ishrat Jahan. IBNLiveIshrat Jahan. IBNLive

Ishrat Jahan. IBNLive

Pillai mentioned that two affidavits submitted by the home ministry in relation to the case were contradictory to each other.

“One of the affidavits mentioned that (the people who were killed) were LeT operatives, while in the other one that aspect was deleted,” Pillai was quoted saying in a report by The Times of India. “We had nothing to do with it, it was done at a political level,” Pillai was further reported to have said.

The two affidavits were submitted when the UPA government was in power.

According to a report published by DNA, Pillai said Ishrat could be an unwitting player in the hands of Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba and favoured a probe into the statement of David Headley on her terror links.

However, Pillai agreed the operation to lure LeT to send their members to India was a successful one. The fact that the authorities could monitor their activities and later nab was a ‘very successful operation from the intelligence standpoint’, he said., as per a report by Zee News.

The former home secretary said there was no doubt that those killed in the alleged fake encounter in Gujarat had links with Lashkar-e-Taiba. “They were LeT activists. She (Ishrat) knew that something was wrong. Otherwise an unmarried young Muslim woman would not have gone with some other men,” he said.

Ishrat Jahan was one among four people killed in an alleged fake encounter case in 2004. Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai besides two Pakistani nationals viz. Amjad Ali and Jishan Johar Abdul Ghani,  all alleged LeT terrorists, were also killed in the encounter. The case had been a major point of controversy.

Ishrat Jahan was an LeT activist: Former Home Secy GK Pillai

Former Union Home Secretary G K Pillai on Thursday said the affidavit submitted to the Gujarat High Court in 2009 about LeT links of Ishrat Jahan and her accomplices, who were killed in an alleged fake encounter in 2004, was changed at the “political level”.”I would not know because it was not done at my level. I would say it was done at the political level,” he told an English news channel when asked whether the affidavit was changed at the political level.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The then UPA government had submitted two affidavits – one that the four, who were killed in an alleged fake encounter, were terrorists and the second saying there was no conclusive evidence – within two months in 2009. Pillai said Jahan could be an unwitting player in the hands of Pakistan-based terror group LeT and favoured a probe into the statement of David Headley on her terror links.The former Home Secretary said there was no doubt that those killed in the alleged fake encounter in Gujarat had links with Lashkar-e-Taiba.”They were LeT activists. She (Ishrat) knew that something was wrong. Otherwise an unmarried young Muslim woman would not have gone with some other men,” he told reporters.Commenting on whether it was a fake encounter, Pillai said the CBI had already investigated that issue and filed a charge sheet.”The real issue is whether it was a real encounter or fake. The CBI had probed that,” he said.The former bureaucrat said LeT did put her name on their website as a martyr, which was later withdrawn.”There was no direct evidence, except that LeT put her name on the website. So, I would say may be she was an unwitting player.”Complimenting the Intelligence Bureau, Pillai said it was a highly successful operation and the IB knew well before that the LeT people were coming.Asked about Headley’s statement before a Mumbai court that the 19-year-old Mumbra girl was a LeT member, he said it was a matter of investigation. “I think there should be further investigation into Headley’s statement.”The CBI, which took over the probe from the Gujarat High Court appointed Special Investigation Team, had filed a charge sheet in August 2013 saying the encounter was fake and executed in joint operation by the city crime branch and Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau.The CBI had named in its charge sheet former Special Director in Intelligence Bureau Rajinder Kumar and three other IB officials with murder and criminal conspiracy in the Ishrat encounter case. However, the Home Ministry had denied sanction to prosecute the IB officials.Ishrat, Javed Shaikh, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an encounter with Gujarat Police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004. The city crime branch had then said that they were LeT terrorists and had landed in Gujarat to kill the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Budget Session: JNU row to be debated in Rajya Sabha tomorrow

Government and Opposition will have the first face off in the Budget session of Parliament on Wednesday during a discussion on the JNU row in Rajya Sabha. Sources said that at a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee on Tuesday it was decided to take up the issue tomorrow after demands from members of both the ruling party and the Opposition.BJP MP Bhupender Yadav has given a notice for discussion on the JNU row as well as on the deposition of David Headley in which he had said that Ishrat Jahan was a terrorist. Another BJP MP Vijay Goel has given a notice as the ruling party seeks to raise the nationalist pitch during the debate.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP is likely to take an aggressive stand on the JNU row projecting the issue as a fight between patriots and anti-nationals. Opposition Congress is linking the JNU controversy to the larger issue of freedom of expression and ideas.While the Opposition has closed ranks to corner the government, BJP feels it stands to gain by turning the debate into one between “patriots and anti-nationals,” as a party leader said.At a meeting of the Congress Working Committee, the apex decision-making organ of the party, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had accused the Modi government of having “lost all sense of balance” and undermining democratic norms over the JNU row, making it clear that Congress will take up the issue aggressively along with like-minded parties.An all party meeting called by Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu had seen a number of opposition and BJP leaders demanding an early debate on the JNU row with CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury saying the current situation drew a “chilling parallel” with the rise of fascism in Germany.Making it clear that Opposition will not allow passage of any key bill in the first half of the session, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said Opposition will “on merit” allow the passage of only those bills on which there is general consensus.”Contentious bills should not be brought. Bring only those bills on which there is a general agreement. Bills like GST will not come in the first half of the session,” Kharge had said.However, the government has listed four bills tomorrow for consideration and passage including the anti-corruption measure Whistle Blowers Bill. Other bills include The National Waterways Bill, 2015, The Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill, 2015 and The Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2015.

Nitish Kumar denies calling Ishrat Jahan ‘daughter of Bihar’, threatens to sue media

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today denied describing Ishrat Jahan, who was killed in an encounter in Gujarat, as a “daughter of Bihar” and threatened to sue the media for “putting words into his mouth.”

“Show me any piece of evidence that I described Ishrat Jahan as daughter of Bihar?” Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of the ‘Janata Ke Darbar Mein Mukhya Mantri’ program me.

“I have been perusing through records and news clippings to ascertain if I ever used this (describing Ishrat Jahan as a daughter of Bihar). After doing necessary ground work, I will initiate legal action against the media, electronic as well print, for putting words in my mouth to this effect,” he said.

“I am very guarded in using words and making comments on anything, and will not tolerate this of putting words in my mouth to defame me,” the Bihar Chief Minister said.

In the wake of David Coleman Headley testifying Ishrat Jahan as a terrorist, the BJP had dug Kumar’s reported old comment describing Jahan, born in Bihar, as a “daughter of Bihar” to hit out at him.

The BJP leaders have on several occasions used the narration to accuse Kumar of appeasing a particular community as part of vote bank politics.

PTI

Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi said 26/11 attack would be Pakistan’s revenge against India: David Headley to court

The deposition of David Coleman Headley began before a special Mumbai court on Friday where he is revealing the sequence of events and planning behind the 26/11 terror attacks.Here is what we know so far: 1.I visited Gateway of India, Cuffe Parade, Worli to select the landing site for 26/11 attackers and later finalised Cuffe Parade.2.I went back to Pakistan after my Mumbai visit from April 9th-15th, 2008, met Sajid Mir and Major Iqbal and showed them video of possible landing sites.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>3.I also conducted recce of the Mumbai airport but Major Iqbal was unhappy for not including Mumbai airport as a target spot.4.I was in Pakistan from April 15 to June 30, 2008, but during this period somewhere in May, I visited New York and Philadelphia.5.During this time I had a telephonic conversation with Tahawwur Rana, and I informed him about my Mumbai visit and the suggestions for the landing site.6.I visited Mumbai’s Siddhivinayak Temple, made video of premises and purchased 15-20 sacred thread for 26/11 attackers so that they would look like Indians, as a cover up of their identities.7.When I returned to Pakistan, I gave those threads to Sajid Mir who thought it was a good idea.8.When I returned to Pakistan, I gave those bands (sacred threads) to Sajid Mir who thought it was a good idea.9.I was in Pakistan from June 1st to June 30, 2008.During this period I met Sajid Mir, Abu Khafa, Abdur Rehman Pasha, Lakhvi and Major Iqbal. I discussed selected target spots with them.10.Lakhvi said that this (26/11 attack) is very important. It will be an answer to all bomb blasts done by India in Pakistan. It will be our revenge.This is a developing story and will be updated as information pours in.

Headley deposes on associate’s role in 26/11: All you need to know about Tahawwur Rana

After David Headley’s deposition on Thursday, Tahawwur Rana is back in the news.

On Thursday, Headley revealed more details about the 26 November attacks in a deposition giving the names of the people involved in the attacks and the extent of their involvement. One of the names revealed in the deposition was Tahawwur Hussain Rana — a Pakistani-Canadian member of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

Tawahhar Rana. IbnliveTawahhar Rana. Ibnlive

Tahawwur Rana. Ibnlive

In 2011, Rana was convicted by a United States jury and sentenced to 14 years in prison by US District Judge Harry Leinenweber for aiding the group that carried out the 26/11 terror attack.

Who is Rana?
Rana, born on 12 January, 1961 is a Chicago-based businessman born in Pakistan. He met Headley when they went to military school together in the Punjab province. A doctor who immigrated to the US from Canada, Rana set up several businesses — one of which was an immigration consultancy service that helped terrorists enter the US and Canada.

In 2011, he was convicted for aiding and abetting a plot to kill and behead Danish newspaper staffers for the cartoons they published of Prophet Mohammed.

Allegations by David Headley
In his deposition on Thursday, Headley said that Rana visited Mumbai before the 26/11 attacks and that Headley advised him to return to the US. He claims to have received Rs 17,636 on 30 November, 2006 and $1,000 on 4 December, 2006 from Rana. On 11 October, 2006, while Headley was in Mumbai, he allegedly also received Rs 66,605 from Rana

The monetary support Headley received helped him open his office in Mumbai’s Tardeo AC market.

Rana’s activities  before the attack
Headley is alleged to have stayed in the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai between 28 and 30 March, 2007. He returned on 2 May that year and stayed till 7 May. Rana stayed in a South Mumbai guest house the next year and flew out of the city on 21 November, 2008 — just five days before 26/11. This increased the possibility of his role in guiding the LeT squad that hit the city.

David Headley Revelations: BJP wants Sonia and Rahul to apologise for trying to ‘fix’ Modi

Leading the attack on opposition leaders for politicising terror, Home Minister Rajnath Singh led the clarion call for the Congress and other parties to apologise. He told ANI: “You must have heard what David Headley has just said in Court, that Ishrat Jahan was a suicide bomber. Ishrat Jahan regarding whom so many accusations were cast on our leaders. Tell me, will the accusing political parties now apologise to the nation for trying to fool the people?” <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He also asserted that the revelations made by David Coleman Headley before a Mumbai special court has exposed Pakistan, adding that New Delhi would still prefer cordial relations with Islamabad. “I think Pakistan has been exposed. Even then, we would like to have a very cordial relationship with Pakistan,” Singh told the media. Deposing from an undisclosed location in the US, Headley had so far told the special court that the ISI was helping different terror outfits in Pakistan and was providing financial, military and moral support. Headley, who had conducted recce of the places in Mumbai which were attacked by 10 LeT terrorists on November 26, 2008, also revealed that the outfit had initially planned to attack a conference of Indian defence scientists in Taj Mahal Hotel.He also said he had also conducted a recce of the famous Siddhivinayak Temple and Naval Air Station on directions of LeT commandersPakistani-American terrorist David Headley’s deposition that Ishrat Jahan, who was killed in an encounter in Gujarat in 2004, was an LeT operative led to a political slugfest with BJP demanding that the Congress leadership should apologise for “targeting Narendra Modi over her killing at the cost of national security”. BJP accused Congress of politicising the encounter as part of its “hate politics” against Modi, then Gujarat chief minister, and said if its chief Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul Gandhi had any “shame” left, then they must apologise to the nation.Police personnel who fought terrorists risking their lives were put behind bars by the then UPA government and security agencies like CBI and IB were politicised, party secretary Shrikant Sharma alleged, saying it was done to “defame and fix” Modi as part of a “political conspiracy”.”Headley’s deposition that she was a LeT’s suicide bomber has unmasked those who do politics over terrorism. We do not expect any morality from Congress. But if Sonia and her son Rahul Gandhi, who is a champion in politics of conspiracy, have any shame left, then they must apologise to the nation.”They should apologise to the police personnel’ families who had to suffer after they were put in jail for killing these terrorists in encounter. Congress and its allies linked terrorists with religion to mask their corrupt governance,” he told a press conference.Congress sought to dismiss BJP demands for an apology in the wake of David Headley’s claims that Ishrat Jahan was an LeT operative, insisting that the “fundamental question” was whether she and her accomplices were killed in fake encounter.Sharma also cited comments of Congress leaders questioning the Batla House encounter and their allusion to RSS hand in 26/11 Mumbai attack to attack the opposition party. “It has become clear that Congress played with national security. It is height of hate politics,” he said.Immediately after Headley’s testimony, a battery of BJP leaders swung into action to attack Congress, claiming that its leaders dubbed Ishrat as a “martyr” only to “fix” Modi. BJP cited a number of developments during the UPA’s tenure, including “contradictory” affidavits filed in court over Ishrat case and NIA’s reported decision to omit Headley’s statement to it in which he allegedly said that she was an LeT terrorist, to argue that Congress used her killing to target Modi and Amit Shah, then a Gujarat minister and now party chief. Somebody had stated she was a college-going girl and somebody else said she was a martyr and all these people have been unmasked now, Sharma said. It is clear that she and her associates were on a mission to kill Modi and attack religious places, he claimed.BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain attacked the “secular brigade” and took a dig at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for using Ishrat’s killing as an issue during then Bihar polls by terming her a ‘Bihar ki beti’. Another party spokesperson, Nalin Kohli noted that LeT had portrayed her as a “martyr” on its website but “government agencies at that time were put at war with each other and attempts were made at fixing individuals… instead of finding the truth”. Kohli said Headley’s testimony raises the important question as to what extent the national interest is served by portraying a terrorist and the enemies of the country as martyrs.

Followed norms while transferring money to Headley: IndusInd Bank

New Delhi: Private player IndusInd Bank today said it had followed all regulatory guidelines while handing over cash to the Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Headley.

David Coleman Headley. Image courtesy ibnlive.comDavid Coleman Headley. Image courtesy ibnlive.com

David Coleman Headley. Image courtesy ibnlive.com

“As per the regulatory guidelines in force, cash was handed over to David Headley after completing due diligence”, the bank said in a statement.

The IndusInd Bank was responding to media reports which said that all payments to Headley were made through the bank’s Nariman Point, Mumbai, branch.

Headley, who is involved in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and has become an approver, has made several revelations in his deposition via conferencing before a Mumbai court. IndusInd Bank said it “has not opened any account in the name of David Headley, and has not handled any other business for him”.

In 2006, under a money transfer arrangement approved by regulators, the Bank handled a few inward remittances under the Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS), in the normal course of business, in October-November, it said.

Further, IndusInd Bank said it had obtained the required documents, including a copy of Headley’s passport, issued by the US authorities, valid from March 2006 to March 2016. There were investigations by national agencies between 2009 and 2011 and the KYC documents were produced before them, the bank said.

Headley, who is currently serving 35-year prison sentence in the US for his role in the terror attacks, has said he had changed his name from Dawood Gilani to David Headley in 2006 so that he could enter India and set up some business.
PTI

Ishrat Jahan’s family questions veracity of David Headley’s claims

Extremely upset with David Coleman Headley’s statement on Ishrat Jahan, the family members of the 19-year-old girl on Thursday questioned the veracity of the claims made by the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack convict. Ishrat’s uncle Rauf Lala said it’s up to the people to decide whether they agree with the CBI report or Headley’s claim. “Attempts were made to link Ishrat’s name from Headley. Three names were kept in front of him, he selected one. The CBI has established it in its chargesheet. It has been established in the court that it was not an encounter, but Ishrat Jahan was murdered. Now, the people have to decide if they want to believe the CBI report or David Headley,” Lala said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are following this case from the last 10 years. This statement is not new or shocking. David Headley is sitting there and making accusations. The probe agencies must investigate the truth,” he added. Ishrat’s uncle further stated that they have full faith on the country’s judicial system. While deposing before the court via video link from an undisclosed location in the United States, Headley said that there was a women’s wing in the LeT.Deposing before the court, Headley claimed that the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi told him about a botched up operation of Muzammil in India. “The operation was about shooting the police at some naka. One woman LeT named Ishrat Jahan was involved. Muzammil Bhatt was the head of our group before Sajid Mir,” he told the court.He, however, denied the involvement of any woman suicide bomber in the LeT but later named Ishrat Jahan as an LeT operative.Early on the morning of 15 June 2004, Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana were shot dead on the road leading to the Kotarpur waterworks on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. The encounter was carried out allegedly by a team led by DIG DG Vanjara, who was later jailed for his alleged involvement in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter.The police alleged that Ishrat and her associates were Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives involved in a plot to assassinate the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. Later, an investigation was launched into the allegations that Ishrat was killed in a fake encounter. After a long investigation, in 2009, an Ahmedabad Metropolitan court ruled that the encounter was staged.The decision was challenged by the Gujarat State government, and taken to the High Court. On July 3, 2013, the CBI has filed its first chargesheet in an Ahmedabad court saying that the shooting was a staged encounter carried out in cold blood.

From Ishrat Jahan’s sister to BJP: People react to Headley’s explosive revelation

Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley told the courts that Ishrat Jahan (who was killed in an encounter took that place in 2004 by the Gujarat police) was an LeT suicide bomber.

Meanwhile, Musarrat Jahan (Ishrat’s sister), maintained that her sister was innocent. “The investigation in India (all of them) have proven that the encounter was fake,” she told CNN IBN and added that all of this was a political conspiracy.

Vrinda Grover, Ishrat’s mother’s legal attorney said, “there is a political agenda” and that Ishrat has no terror links.

BJP’s Shahnawaz Hussain said that the party supports what many people have been saying in Gujarat for a long time.  The deposition of Headley could not happen on Wednesday due to a technical snag in the video conference in the US.  Manish Tewari of Congress said that these assertions should be investigated.  

Nalin Kohli, National Spokesperson of the BJP said that Headley had pointed to this “truth” in 2013 but it was not accepted.

World T20: South Africa name injured Dale Steyn in Faf du Plessis-led team

South Africa have named fast bowler Dale Steyn in their 15-man squad for the World Twenty20 in India next month, but will ask him to prove his fitness following a debilitating shoulder injury.

Dale Steyn. AFPDale Steyn. AFP

Dale Steyn. AFP

Steyn, a key component of the South African bowling line-up, has missed most of the 2015/16 season with first a groin strain and then a shoulder problem that has required intensive treatment.

“Dale’s return is very good news,” convenor of selectors Linda Zondi said in a media release from Cricket South Africa on Wednesday.

South Africa have named fast bowler Dale Steyn in their 15-man squad for the World Twenty20 in India next month, but will ask him to prove his fitness following a debilitating shoulder injury.

Steyn, a key component of the South African bowling line-up, has missed most of the 2015/16 season with first a groin strain and then a shoulder problem that has required intensive treatment.

“Dale’s return is very good news,” convenor of selectors Linda Zondi said in a media release from Cricket South Africa on Wednesday.

“He brings tremendous experience and leadership to the team, not to mention his skills as the outstanding fast bowler of his generation.”

The side will be captained by Faf du Plessis, who takes over from test and one-day international skipper AB de Villiers.

Young fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, who impressed in the test series against England, has earned his place in India while there are also places for batsman Rilee Rossouw and all-rounder David Wiese, who missed South Africa’s last series in India late last year through injury.

Aaron Phangiso has also been preferred to Eddie Leie as the second specialist spin bowler.

“The inclusion of Aaron means that we have all our spin bowling options covered with he, Imran Tahir and JP Duminy offering the different varieties. Left-arm spin bowlers tend to play big roles under Indian conditions,” Zondi added.

The same squad will do duty in the upcoming series against England and Australia during the course of the next four weeks.

South Africa open their World Twenty20 campaign against England on March 18. They will also play Sri Lanka and West Indies in their pool, along with the top side in the first round group that contains Scotland, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Hong Kong.

Squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Chris Morris, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, David Wiese.

REUTERS

dna evening Must Reads: From Siachen braveheart’s health update to David Headley’s deposition

1. Siachen braveheart’s condition remains critical: Army hospitalThe condition of Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad of 19 Madras regiment, who was rescued alive six days after being buried under tonnes of ice in Siachen Glacier, remains very critical, the army said today. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also read: Woman offers to donate kidney to critical Lance Naik Koppad​2. Return of Odd-Even: Arvind Kejriwal to announce dates tomorrowThe ‘odd-even’ scheme is “all set” make a comeback in the national capital, the dates to which will be announced by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tomorrow. Transport Minister Gopal Rai said that the government will make the announcement after reviewing over 11 lakh responses received from the public through multiple channels. Read more here3. New Hampshire win shows Donald Trump’s Prez bid cannot be taken lightlyDonald Trump served notice on Tuesday to those who have refused to take his 2016 White House campaign seriously: The celebrity real-estate developer and former reality show host is no joke.While Trump had been expected to win New Hampshire’s nominating contest, he swamped the Republican field by almost 20 points, demonstrating that his passionate, anti-establishment supporters could be relied on to show up and vote when it counts. Read more here4. RK Pachauri ‘demoted, not promoted’, says lawyer”This is completely false, this post is in existence since the inception of TERI, which was somewhere in 1970s. JRD Tata used to be the chairman and Darbari Seth used to be the vice-chairman. This post is there since then. As of now, no one was occupying this. And, there is other allegation that this is some kind of promotion,” RK Pachauri’s lawyer Ashish Dixit said. Read more here5. Day 3 of David Headley’s deposition before Mumbai court adjourned due to technical snagLashkar-e-Taiba operative David Coleman Headley’s deposition before a Mumbai court was on Wednesday adjourned due to a technical glitch in the video conference from the US. In the last two days, Headley has revealed several details of the planning that led to the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people and injured 309. Read more here

And on the 3rd day, technical difficulties: David Headley’s deposition adjourned till Thursday

The deposition of Pakistani American terrorist David Coleman Headley before a court in Mumbai for the third consecutive day, was on Wednesday adjourned till Thursday due to a technical problem in the video-link at the US end.

“There was a technical snag in the video conference link from their side (US) due to which we could not connect despite several attempts since morning,” Special Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told PTI. The testimony will continue tomorrow, he said.

While initially the court adjourned the deposition for an hour, Judge G A Sanap was later informed by Nikam and other officials that the glitch could not be rectified immediately. Following this, the court allowed the adjournment sought by the prosecution till Thursday.

The deposition, initially planned till 12 February, may now extend for some more time. Headley, for the past two days, is deposing from an undisclosed location in the US in connection with the 26/11 terror attacks case.

In his bare all deposition, Headley revealed about how ISI was helping different terror outfits in Pakistan by providing financial, military and moral support. He also said that he also used to work for ISI and met many Pakistan army officials.

He also said that he had suggested to LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and its operational commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi about dragging US government to court for banning LeT as a global terror outfit.

AFP image.AFP image.

AFP image.

Deposing from a undisclosed location on Tuesday, Headley told the special judge G A Sanap that ISI was helping different terror outfits in Pakistan by providing financial, military and moral support.

Terror outfits LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen are given “financial” and “military” support by the ISI, Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley said on Tuesday as he made fresh revelations including about an aborted plan to target Indian defence scientists and famous Siddhivinayak temple here.

Continuing his expose on the role of Pakistan-based terror organisations, its army, spy agency ISI and others, LeT terrorist-turned-approver Headley on Tuesday described how he was assigned to gather military intelligence in India, recruit spies from the Indian Army and stay at the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai to do a thorough recce before the attacks were firmed up.

On Tuesday, his second day of his deposition through video-conferencing from a US jail before the special TADA court here, Headley said he was tasked with luring spies from the Indian Army to work for Pakistan’s ISI.

A man identified as Major Ali of the Pakistan Army wanted him to note troop movement in India as part of the plan to infiltrate the military establishments here.

“He wanted me to note the movement of troops in India. He wanted someone to spy on matters of military intelligence, movement of officers. He wanted me to develop contacts with officials of Indian military forces with a purpose to gather intelligence,” said Headley.

In response to questions posed by Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, Headley admitted to working both for the LeT and the ISI.

Headley on Monday revealed that the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks were planned over a year in Pakistan.

Detailing the planning for the 26/11 strike, he said that in November-December 2007, he had attended a meeting in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir along with his LeT contact Sajid Mir and Abu Khafa, in which they asked him to conduct a recce of Hotel Taj Mahal Palace and other locations in Mumbai.

Headley spoke in detail about the methodical planning that went into the Taj Mahal hotel attack. He stayed there on the second floor with wife Faiza, where he conducted surveillance of the floor, reports The Hindu. 

At the fag end of the deposition, Headley spilled one more shocker: Bhabha Atomic Research Centre was one of the targets, reports The Telegraph.

With inputs from agencies

dna Morning Must Reads: From Trump and Sanders’ New Hampshire win to Priyanka Chopra’s Oscars outfit

1. Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders win US nominating contests in New HampshireThe results, though decisive, did little to clear up confusion about who would emerge as the establishment contender to Trump on the Republican side. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Cracker leaks information of 30,000 FBI and US Dept of Homeland Security personnelThe hack was first reported by Motherboard on Feb 7, after the culprits released the stolen personal information of 9,000 DHS workers. Read more here3. Live | Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley continues to depose before Mumbai court on Day 3Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Coleman Headley continued to depose before a Mumbai court presided by special judge G A Sanap via a video-link from the US on Wednesday. Read more here4. Banks start reporting losses as bad loan rot worsensSkeletons are tumbling out of the cupboard after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s review of bank’s accounts. Read more here5. Relief for TOPS athletes, they can now focus on Olympics preparationEver since the government rolled out its ambitious Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), there has been complaints from athletes about inordinate delays in the release of funds, multi-layered clearances and never-ending paperwork. Read more here6. No matter what my choice, there will also be critique: Priyanka ChopraPriyanka Chopra on the outfit that she’s going to wear to the Oscars. Read more here

dna Must Reads: From Siachen miracle soldier being in critical stage to India winning U-19 World Cup Semifinal

1. Siachen miracle: Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad in comatose state, condition critical, says ArmyLance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, who was miraculously found alive after remaining buried under snow for six days, is comatose and his condition is extremely critical, Army Hospital Research and Referral said after he was flown in to New Delhi from Siachen Glacier on Tuesday. Read more here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. David Headley deposition: LeT also hatched plan to target Siddhivinayak Temple and Naval Air BasePakistan’s spy agency ISI provides financial, moral as well as military support to terror outfits like the LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen, said David Coleman Headley while revealing more information in the Mumbai court with regard to the 26/11 terror attacks. Read more here.3. Make in India, Startup India campaigns much overplayed, says former FICCI PresidentTerming the initiatives like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Startup India’ as “much overplayed”, industrialist Rajan Bharti Mittal on Tuesday said the fact on the ground remains that it is “rather difficult” to do business specially for startups and medium enterprises. Read more here.4. Govt mulling 100% FDI in market place model of e-commerce sectorThe government is considering permitting 100% FDI in the market place format of e-commerce retailing with a view to attract more foreign investments. The norms on foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sectors of e-commerce, and IT and ITeS are expected to be part of detailed guidelines, which would be rolled out soon by the government, sources said. Read more here.5. U-19 World Cup Semifinal India v/s Sri Lanka Match Highlights: India romp into final with clinical winWelcome to the match updates of the India v/s Sri Lanka Under 19 World Cup semifinal. The match is taking place in Dhaka. Sri Lanka have won the toss and chosen to bowl first. India have lost just once to Sri Lanka in 7 previous meetings at the U-19 World Cup. Overall, India U-19 have a 32-4 win-loss record against the Islanders. Read more here.

dna Afternoon Must Reads: From the Siachen soldier who survived to Zuckerberg’s reaction to TRAI ruling

1. Siachen miracle: Rescued soldier flown to Delhi hospital, wife says she wants to see himLance Naik Hanamanthappa, who was miraculously found alive after remaining buried in snow for six days, was today evacuated to the army’s base camp at the Siachen Glacier from where he was flown to Delhi’s Research and Referral Hospital in a special air ambulance. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Mark Zuckerberg disappointed with TRAI’s ruling on Free Basics, but says he won’t give upExpressing disappointment on India’s decision on net neutrality, Facebook founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg has said he is committed to keep working to break down connectivity barriers in India and around the world. Read more here3. Pakistan considered not playing World T20 in India because of ‘threats from extremists’, claims PCBThe Pakistan Cricket Board has revealed that the issue of Pakistan’s participation in the World T20 in India in March-April had been discussed at the recent International Cricket Council in Dubai. Read more here4. Watch: Vin Diesel and Deepika Padukone have a special message for fansThe new video from the sets of ‘XXX: The Return of Xander Cage’ comes with a threat you definitely want to be subjected to. Read more here5. David Headley exposes nexus between terror groups, ISI and Pakistan army to Mumbai court​Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Coleman Headley continued to depose before a Mumbai court via a video-link from the US on Tuesday. Read more here6. IT stocks fall up to 5% on Cognizant’s weak revenue guidance for 2016IT stocks fell by up to 5% as Cognizant lowered its revenue projections for 2016. The company said it expects to grow at 9.9-14.3% in 2016, which is significantly lower than 21% growth it clocked in 2015. Read more here

26/11 Mumbai attack: Why is David Headley silent on his Indian collaborators, says YP Singh

Former IPS officer YP Singh on Tuesday questioned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist David Coleman Headley’s silence on his Indian collaborators, who helped him to plan the 26/11 attacks. Taking a strong exception to Headley’s concealing his links in India, Singh said ‘such depositions have got no evidential value’.”Which Indians were involved in it? He is not naming a single Indian whom he met while he visited India. The revelations made by the LeT terrorist in the Mumbai court was ‘just of an academic significance’ which has got no legal specificity, where the relevant people could be prosecuted in the court of law and sent to jail,” he pointed out.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”David Headley is taking Indian investigation agencies for a ride. He should have clearly said if he has visited India eight times, who were his collaborators in India, who helped him plan the attacks in the country?” he asked. Singh further said that Headley’s deposition is not going to serve the cause of justice as it would in no way bring any culprit to the level of conviction. “He is talking only about those Pakistan operatives on whom the Indian investigating agencies have got no control. Such deportation made from a jail under the American Judicial system, Pakistan will straightway reject Headley’s claim. Such deposition is going to do more harm than good,” he further said.Continuing his deposition for the second day before a special court via video conferencing, Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley on Tuesday admitted that he had met both LeT commander Hafeez Saeed and then operational commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. He told the court that Lashkar had planned to attack the Indian defence scientists at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai. Headley also said that he also advised the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attack, Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi to ‘legally challenge’ the US ban on Lashkar. He further disclosed that the same group of ten terrorists that attacked Mumbai in November 2008, had made failed attempts to strike the city in September and October the same year. Headley said he joined the Lashkar in 2002 and trained under its leaders Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, key plotters of the 26/11 attack. India has been asking Pakistan to bring them to justice, but Islamabad has pleaded lack of evidence.

David Headley’s testimony confirms close nexus between ISI & LeT: Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam

Pakistan’s spy agency ISI provides financial, moral as well as military support to terror outfits like the LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen, said David Coleman Headley while revealing more information in the Mumbai court with regard to the 26/11 terror attacks.Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, who took the examination of the Pakistani-American terrorist, said, “David Headley has given certain sensitive revelations. Firstly, he disclosed his close association with the ISI and said that he was working for them also. He said that he knew Brigadier Riaz, Colonel Shah. He also said that he knew Lieutenant Colonel Hamza and Major Samar Ali,” Nikam added. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nikam further said Headley in his testimony confirmed that the ISI and LeT have a close nexus with each other. “I did ask him on what grounds he was saying that. He said the ISI provides financial, moral as well as military support to the LeT,” he said.The public prosecutor said that Headley, in his examination through video conferencing from an undisclosed location in the United States, said that during his continuous visit to Mumbai, he surveyed various places like the CST Railway Station as well as the Naval airbase, police headquarter building, Hotel Taj, Hotel Oberoi and Siddhivinayak Temple. “Clearing my query as to why did he video graph the second floor of Hotel Taj, he said that LeT wanted to attack on the particular day when the Indian Scientist Conference was going to be held,” Nikam said. He however, said that they were not successful in implementing their plan as they could not get the weapons in time. Continuing his deposition for the second consecutive day, Headley said that he was asked by the ISI to recruit Indian army men to spy for them. Headley said that he also advised the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attack, Hafiz Saeed, and Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi to ‘legally challenge’ the US ban on Lashkar. Headley testified for over five hours yesterday and described the role of ISI officers in collaborating with the Lashkar for the terror attack, which left 166 people dead in Mumbai.In his first deposition yesterday, Headley said that Pakistani terrorists attempted to attack Mumbai twice before the 26/11 strike but failed both times. Describing himself as a ?true follower? of the LeT, he also admitted that he joined the ranks of LeT after getting ?influenced and motivated? by the speeches of Hafiz Saeed.

Ready to help India to bring 26/11 perpetrators to justice: US after Headley deposition

Washington: The US has said it is committed to assist India in bringing perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks to justice after Pakistani-American key LeT operative David Coleman Headley in his first deposition told a court that Pakistani terrorists conducted 26/11 strikes after two failed attempts.

“The United States is committed to doing all we can to assist the government of India in pursuing every possible lead to bring to justice those responsible for that attack to the fullest extent permitted by US law,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

File image of David Headley. IBNLiveFile image of David Headley. IBNLive

File image of David Headley. IBNLive

“Certainly, it’s indicative of our commitment to making sure the perpetrators of that attack are brought to justice and I think it’s indicative of a close relationship with India, again, in a law enforcement realm but across all others as well,” Kirby said.

Kirby was responding to questions on the deposition by Pakistani-American terrorist Headley, who on Monday told a Mumbai court via a video-link from the US how his outfit had planned the 26/11 attacks and executed it after two failed attempts and gave details of the role played by ISI whose three officials he named.

Headley, who is serving 35-year prison sentence in the US for his role in the Mumbai attacks, spoke about the role of LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, another LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi as well as his handler in the outfit Sajid Mir.

“We’ll always look to try to improve our cooperation across all different aspects of the relationship. I don’t want to prejudge or presuppose here based on this testimony, that that it has a strategic value here. That’s not for me to speak to,” Kirby said.

This was a decision and this was an event set up and established by Department of Justice, Kirby said, adding the US has a very strong relationship with India on a lot of levels and law enforcement is one of them.

Described himself as a “true follower of LeT”, Headley also admitted during his examination by special prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam that he joined the ranks of LeT after getting “influenced and motivated” by the speeches of Hafiz Saeed.

PTI

dna Must Reads: From TRAI backing net neutrality to Zomato turning profitable in India

1. TRAI backs net neutrality, will impose stiff penalties on companies adopting differential pricingThe Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has ruled in favor of net neutrality by opposing differential pricing. It has just been reported that TRAI has stated that companies will be barred from charging or offering data traffic on a discriminatory basis. Service providers flaying this ruling will be subject to a fine of Rs 50,000 per day, up to a maximum of Rs 50 lakh. Read more here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. 26/11 Mumbai attack: David Headley’s deposition reveals close nexus between ISI, LeT, says Ujjwal NikamSpecial public prosecutor in the 26/11 case, Ujjwal Nikam, on Monday said that David Coleman Headley’s deposition has revealed that there is a close nexus between the Inter-Services Intelligence( ISI) and the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), adding that it is for the Government of India to take a call on the evidence provided by Headley. Read more here.3. Pathankot attack: Pakistan finds no evidence of JeM chief Masood Azhar’s involvementA team, constituted by Pakistan to investigate into the attack on Indian airbase in Pathankot last month, has concluded that there is no substantive evidence to suggest that Maulana Masood Azhar, the chief of the outlawed Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militant group, masterminded the deadly assault. Read more here.4. Indian Railways to unveil 200 kmph coaches with sliding doorsGearing up to run trains at higher speed, railways will this month unveil modern coaches equipped with automatic sliding doors and electro-pneumatically assisted brake system to assist in operating at 200 kmph speed. Read more here.5. Zomato turns profitable in India after achieving operational break-even of businessOnline restaurant guide and food ordering app Zomato has become profitable in six regions, including India, after achieving operational break-even of its businesses. The other regions are UAE, Lebanon, Qatar, Philippines and Indonesia, Zomato said in a statement. Read more here.

Our sailors stay alert and awake: Navy Chief RK Dhowan

In the wake of David Coleman Headley’s revelation that two attempts were made prior to the final attack in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, Navy Chief Admiral RK Dhowan on Monday assured the nation that the sailors stay alert and awake so that the people can sleep peacefully.Meanwhile, Admiral (Retired) Suresh Mehta, who was then the chief of Naval Staff, said that various improvements were brought after the 2008 attack.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The coast line is very long so there are possibilities of entering. After that, we put up various improvements. They have all taken effect. There is a centralised control room now. Inputs from everywhere come there. Real time information is available in one place whether it is Police, Coast Guard or Navy or aircraft,” he said. “We have increased the surveillance on the coast. There are increased numbers of coastal police stations. And keeping all this in mind, I don?t think such an event must get repeated. There was no coordination problem in 2008,” he added.In a crucial deposition of Headley before the Mumbai court through video conference on Monday, he admitted that two prior failed attempts were made by the same 10 terrorists involved in 26/11 Mumbai attacks, who tried similar attempts in September and October 2008.Headley admitted changing his name from Dawood Gilani to David Headley to enter India and to conceal his identity. Headley visited India eight times before 26/11 attacks and once after the attack. Headley also admitted to giving false information in the visa application.In a vital revelation, Headley admitted to meeting Sajid Mir of LeT who was his main contact. Headley said that he changed his name in passport on instruction from Sajid Mir. Senior lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani told the media that his counsel Headley has told the special court that he acted on the advice of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed.Top Mumbai Police and NIA officials were present in the court alongside the US Embassy officials. Headley’s deposition will continue in the Mumbai court at 7 a.m. on Tuesday. It is for the first time in the Indian legal history that a foreign terrorist is providing his evidences through video link.

26/11 probe takes ‘approver’ route: Can David Headley’s deposition unravel unholy terror nexus?

From the Indian point of view, the deposition of David Coleman Headley through a video link is the second best alternative available, next to bringing him to book on Indian soil.

The deposition could shed light on the 26/11 conspiracy and the role of various terror groups, and other crucial details of the terror strike at multiple locations which left 166 dead on 26 to 28 November, 2008.
Headley had already confessed to his role in the offences in the US for which he is serving a 35-year sentence.

Headley had pleaded guilty to the allegations against him in exchange for a very major concession-that he would not be extradited, as reported by Mumbai Mirror. With that option foreclosed, Indian officials hit upon the idea of making Headley an approver, the report states.

Image courtesy: IBNLiveImage courtesy: IBNLive

Image courtesy: IBNLive

In a hearing on 10 December, a special judge had pardoned Headley and made him an approver in the case subject to certain conditions.

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam has resorted to the measure-of turning to an insider to reveal intricate details of terror plots-on a number of occasions. Most notable among these were the 1993 serial blasts and the 2003 blasts at Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazar, both in Mumbai.

The measure has proved to be a particularly effective one, as terrorism conspiracies are naturally hatched in utmost secrecy, and direct evidence is very difficult to obtain in such cases.

This is more so as Headley has in the past implicated officers of Pakistan’s ISI in the conspiracy, as pointed out in this article in Scroll. Headley had reportedly named three officials — Col Haroon Shah, Major Samir Ali and Major Iqbal in a statement to the NIA in an American prison. With members of the Pakistan establishment also under the scanner apart from ‘non-state actors,’ the possibility of co-operation from India’s western neighbour decreases significantly. This makes the ongoing deposition even more important.

In his statement before a Mumbai court, Headley has also named Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, who has also been accused by India of being part of the 26/11 conspiracy, according to reports. While Pakistan has banned media coverage of the JuD, it has not banned the organisation per se, and continues to insist, despite international pressure, that the group is engaged in various social work activities and is not a terrorist organisation. Headley’s statements about Hafiz Saeed can put more pressure on Pakistan to crack down on the JuD.

However, the process of getting him to depose via video link was a complicated. According to the Mumbai Mirror report mentioned above, it started with a meeting between Nikam, the then Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria and Joint CP Atul Chandra Kulkarni. Subsequently, the idea was communicated to NSA Ajit Doval, who asked the Indian ambassador in the US to prepare the groundwork for the measure.

Later, Ujjwal Nikam along with a senior police officer made a ‘secret trip’ to the US in order to arrive at an agreement on the matter, The Indian Express reported in December last year. The decision to hold meeting with US officials was cleared by the home ministry, the report stated.

From the initial reports of David Headley’s deposition, it appears that the decision may be paying dividends. With Headley having nothing to lose, and India having everything to gain, it appears to be a win-win situation.

With inputs from IANS

Headley’s deposition reveals close nexus between ISI, LeT: Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam

Ujjwal Nikam, special public prosecutor in the 26/11 case, told reporters on Monday that David Coleman Headley made some ‘sensitive revelations’ related to the case.

Nikam also said that two unsuccessful attempts before the attack on 26 November were made in September 2008 and October 2008.

Speaking about the role of Headley in the terror attack, Nikam said that he worked with a smuggler to send weapons to India. He also said that Major Iqbal and Major Ali — accused of being the attackers’ handlers — were from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence( ISI).

David Headley. Image courtesy: ibnliveDavid Headley. Image courtesy: ibnlive

David Headley. Image courtesy: ibnlive

“It is clear that there is a close nexus between the ISI and the Lashkar-e-Taiba, as per the revelations by Headley,” said the lawyer, adding, “I am absolutely satisfied with what David Headley has revealed in today’s deposition.”

Headley reportedly visited India many times between 2006 and 2008, drew maps, took video footage and scouted several targets for the attacks including the Taj Mahal Hotel, Trident Hotel and Nariman House.

His reconnaissance provided vital information for the 10 LeT terrorists and their handlers, who launched the attack.

In his deposition which began at 7.30 am, Headley said that he was a “true follower of LeT” and came to India eight times — seven before the terror attack on 26 November, 2008 and once after that.

Headley, who was made an approver in the 26/11 case, said that his main contact in the LeT was Sajid Mir, also an accused in the case.

With inputs from PTI

26/11 Mumbai attack: David Headley deposes before court; says two attempts failed

In the first deposition on a terror act from foreign soil, Pakistani-American LeT operative David Headley on Monday told a court here via video-link that Pakistani terrorists attempted to attack Mumbai twice before the 26/11 strikes that killed 166 people but failed both times. In his deposition which began at 7.00 am, Headley said that he was a “true follower of LeT” and came to India eight times–seven before the terror attack on November 26, 2008 and once after that. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Headley, who was made an approver in the 26/11 case, said that his main contact in LeT was Sajid Mir, also an accused in the case. He told the court that LeT made two unsuccessful attempts to carry out terror attacks before finally striking in November 2008, once in September and another in October. Headley said that he joined LeT after being “influenced” by its head Hafeez Saeed and took his first “course” with them in 2002 at Muzaffarabad. Headley, who is currently serving 35 years prison sentence in the US for his role in the terror attacks, also said he changed his name from Dawood Gilani to David Headley in 2006 so that he could enter India and set up some business.”I applied for change in name on February 5, 2006 in Philadelphia. I changed my name to David Headley to get a new passport under that name. I wanted a new passport so that I could enter India with an American identity. After I got a new passport I disclosed it to my colleagues in LeT of which one of them was Sajid Mir, the person with whom I was dealing with. The objective for coming to India was to set up an office/business so that I can live in India. Before the first visit, Sajid Mir gave me instructions to make a general video of Mumbai,” Headley told the court here.Headley also said that in his Indian visa application he had furnished all “wrong” information “to protect his cover”. He reportedly visited India many times between 2006 and 2008, drew maps, took video footage and scouted several targets for the attacks including the Taj Hotel, Oberoi Hotel and Nariman House. His reconnaissance provided vital information for the 10 LeT terrorists and their handlers, who launched the attack.Speaking to reporters, Headley’s lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani said has “he (headley) has confirmed that he joined LeT after being influenced by Hafeez Saeed. He told the court that two unsuccessful attempts to carry out terror attacks were also made before 26/11″. He has not explained the role of LeT in attacks”.The court is currently trying key plotter Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, who is facing trial for his alleged role in the terror attacks, which held the city to ransom for three days. The deposition of Headley, assumes significance as it may unravel the conspiracy behind the brazen terror strike, which left 166 people dead. The court had on December 10, 2015, made Headley an approver in the case and directed him to depose before the court on February 8.He had then told Special Judge GA Sanap that he was “ready to depose” if granted pardon. Judge Sanap had then made Headley an approver, subject to certain conditions and granted him pardon.Last year, the Mumbai Police had on October 8 moved an application before the court saying that Headley deserves to be tried by this (Mumbai) court together with 26/11 key plotter Abu Jundal in the case as both of them are conspirators and abettors behind the dastardly act.In the application, the Mumbai Police said that from the judgement passed by the US court against Headley, it was clear that he was a member of LeT and he had played an active role in the criminal conspiracy in the terror attack. The application also said that Headley had entered into a plea agreement with US in 2010 and thereby willingly and voluntarily agreed that he had conspired.It is evident, the police had said, that Headley has committed the offences of conspiring with LeT for committing illegal acts in India; waging war against the government of India and offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. He has also been accused of intentionally aiding and abetting the LeT in Pakistan for committing illegal acts in Mumbai, mischief by fire with intent to destroy Hotel Taj, Oberoi and Nariman House, offences under Explosives Act and Explosives Substances Act as also under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.”This is for the first time in the Indian legal history that a ‘foreign terrorist’ will appear before an Indian court and testify,” Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam had said yesterday.

26/11 Mumbai attack: All you need to know about Sajid Mir, the LeT contact of David Headley

While deposing before a Mumbai court on Monday, 26/11 Mumbai attack accused David Headley said that his main contact person from the Lashkar-e-Toiba was Sajid Mir, also an accused on the case.All you need to know about Sajid Mir:-Sajid is a 38-year-old Pakistani national-He was one of the earliest members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and was the head of Lahore unit of the terror organisation.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>-His last known location was recently tracked to Muridke in Pakistan. -Mir has several passports, including one which has a Christian name with the surname Masih. -He has travelled to Dubai, Oatar, Syria and had tried to set up a base in Thailand.-Mir has undergone plastic surgery but it did not alter his face to a large extent.-Mir was arrested in Dubai and was let go due to his LeT connections.-He is known to be secretive, meticulous with an eye for detail and has good understanding of computers and was called as a ‘competent handler’ by Headley.More details on David Headley’s deposition in Mumbai court and what he said about Mir here.

David Headley sings in 26/11 deposition: Implicates Sajid Mir, tells court why he changed his name

Mumbai: Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist David Coleman Headley, who is now an approver in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case, started his deposition before a Special TADA Court via videoconferencing from a US jail, here at daybreak on Monday.

Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam is leading the prosecution case while well-known criminal lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani is representing Headley before Special TADA Court Judge G.A. Sanap at the five-hour proceedings.

Flanked by three persons — his attorney John, a US attorney Sarah and an unidentified person Bob — Headley was administered the oath at 7.30 am and Nikam started firing the questions at him.

File image of David Headley. IBNLive

File image of David Headley. IBNLive

Right at the start, he revealed that he was born on 30 June, 1960 in the US and shifted to Pakistan later where his name was Daood Sayeed Gilani.

Headley, 54, provided details of his passport and his seven-eight trips to Mumbai and one to New Delhi between 2006-2008 before the 26/11 attacks, including seven via Pakistan, one via UAE, and another trip to Mumbai in July 2009, after the terror attacks were executed.

Within a couple of hours, Nikam had posed around five dozen questions where Headley also revealed that most of the information on his visa application was false so that he would not blow his cover.

Admitting he was a LeT operative, Headley name one Sajid Mir as his main contact in the terror group.

“This is the first time that a terrorist is deposing and tendering evidence live in a foreign country. He will divulge the largers aspects of the 26/11 terror conspiracy, the people behind it and related aspects,” SPP Nikam said on the eve of the trial.

Headley’s ongoing evidence could help the prosecution nail the alleged co-conspirators in the attacks Zakiur Rehman Lakshi, the terrorists’ handlers, the role and involvement of other state and non-state actors, the role of another arrested LeT activist Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, currently in a Mumbai jail.

At the previous hearing on December 10 last year, a special judge had pardoned Headley and made him an approver in the case subject to certain conditions.

Headley, a man with American-Pakistani origins, was asked by Judge Sanap to disclose all information pertaining to the 26/11 case which he had earlier shared with the US courts.

This could shed light on the 26/11 conspiracy and the role of various terror groups, and other crucial details of the terror strike at multiple locations which left 166 dead on 26 to 28 November, 2008.

Headley had already confessed to his role in the offences in the US for which he is seving a 35-year sentence.

IANS

dna Morning Must Reads: From David Headley’s deposition to match-fixing allegations against MS Dhoni

1. 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks: LeT operative David Headley deposes before Mumbai court via video conferencePakistani-American LeT operative David Headley began his first deposition before a Mumbai court on Monday through video conference. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. MS Dhoni fixed Manchester Test in 2014? Yes, says then team managerA stunning match-fixing claim by Delhi & District Cricket Association sports secretary Sunil Dev could make life difficult for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in the coming days. Read more here3. UN Security Council strongly condemns North Korea’s rocket launch, vows actionThe United Nations Security Council on Sunday strongly condemned North Korea’s latest rocket launch and promised to take punitive steps, while Washington vowed to ensure the 15-nation body imposed “serious consequences” on Pyongyang as soon as possible. Read more here4. #RIPTwitter: Here’s why everyone is losing their mind over Twitter’s new algorithmTwitter users were furious last Friday, and for good reason, when the company announced it was moving away from chronologically ordered tweets toward a more timeline à la Facebook look. Read more here5. Salman Khan to watch Katrina Kaif’s ‘Fitoor’ before its release?It comes as no surprise to know that Salman’s close friend Katrina Kaif has sought Salman’s advice over the content of her new film Fitoor. Read more here

dna Must Reads for the evening: Top 5 stories of the hour

1) Tennis match-fixing: Novak Djokovic admits indirect approach, questions betting sponsorsWorld number one Novak Djokovic said a member of his staff was approached about fixing a match early in his career, and he questioned whether betting companies should be allowed to sponsor big tennis tournaments. What else did he say? Read it here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2) Learn English or leave: UK PM David Cameron to immigrantsSome migrants to Britain who cannot pass an English test within 2-1/2 years of arriving may not be allowed to stay, British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday in a move aimed at fostering greater integration by Muslim women. Read the full story here.3) Kolkata hit-and-run case: Sanu alias Shahnawaz Khan sent to 2-day transit remand24-year-old Shahnawaz Khan, resident of West Bengal, was arrested in Kolkata on Monday morning and produced before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Pooran Chand who allowed Kolkata Police’s plea to take him to Kolkata for his interrogation.​ Read the full story here.4) Ranbir Kapoor-Katrina Kaif break up: Here is more proof that they aren’t together anymore!Katrina Kaif is all set to make an appearance on ex-boyfriend Salman Khan’s show Bigg Boss which could hint on her break up with current flame Ranbir Kapoor. Read more on this story here.5) French president Francois Hollande declares economic emergency; unveils $2.2 billion planFrench President Francois Hollande on Monday pledged to redefine France’s business model and declared what he called “a state of economic and social emergency,” unveiling a 2-billion-euro ($2.2 billion) plan to revive hiring and catch up with a fast-moving world economy. Read more here.

dna Must Reads : Top five stories of the evening

1. Pathankot terror attack: Pakistan carries out raids, arrests some suspectsPakistani authorities carried out raids at different places following attack on the Pathankot air base in India, leading to some arrests, intelligence officials said on Monday. They said that raids were carried out in Gujranwala, Jhelum and Bahawalpur districts and an unspecified number of people were arrested. “Probe has been going to ascertain if they were involved in the attack or some of them facilitated it,” they said. Read more here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Legendary rockstar David Bowie passes away at the age of 69 Rockstar, songwriter and producer David Bowie has passed away at the age of 69 after an 18 month battle against cancer. “David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief,” read a statement posted on the artist’s official social media accounts. Read more here.3. ‘Those who harm the country should be inflicted with pain’, says Manohar ParrikarDefence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday reiterated that incidents such as the Pathankot terror attack would continue to take place till the time the terror groups and attackers are not made to feel the pain which they inflict on others. “What I am saying is that history tells you that those who damage you, if they don’t realise the pain they inflict, they don’t change,” he said. Read more here.4. National Herald case: Court allows Subramanian Swamy’s plea to summon documentsA Delhi court today allowed the plea of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy seeking summoning of documents from the Ministries of Finance, Urban Development and Corporate Affairs, Income Tax Department and other agencies in the National Herald case. Read more here.5. Here’s why Dhoni came in strong support of Test captain KohliIndia’s limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday stood firmly behind Test skipper Virat Kohli stating that “all hell only breaks loose when wickets offer turn” and the ones on which batsmen are hit on their head are considered “good tracks”. Read more here.

Another day, another fight: Delhi Police tweets about demonstration, evokes sharp response from AAP

“So @BhimBassi’s team tweeting from “Goa” about Protest in “Delhi” against CM @ArvindKejriwal ???” tweeted AAP leader Kumar Vishwas. Among others, one Manak Gupta tweeted “Why should @DelhiPolice tweet political details of a protest? With no mention of a traffic warning at all,” tweeted Manak Gupta. “This verified handle tweet clearly shows how Delhi Police is working against the AAP Govt,” tweeted one Avinav.

PTI
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