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New spider species named after Harry Potter ‘Sorting Hat’

A newly discovered spider bears an “uncanny” resemblance to a magical hat in the Harry Potter books.

New Pakistan army chief General Qamar Bajwa promises to improve situation at LoC

Rawalpindi: General Qamar Javed Bajwa, an expert in PoK affairs, on Tuesday took over as Pakistan’s new army chief succeeding Gen Raheel Sharif and promised to improve the tense situation at the Line of Control soon.

Gen Raheel handed over the command of world’s sixth-largest army by troop numbers to 57-year-old Bajwa at a ceremony held in the Army Hockey Stadium, close to the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday appointed Bajwa as Chief of Army Staff (COAS) by elevating him to the rank of a four-star general.

Raheel in January had declared that he would not seek extension. There was speculation that the PML-N government would give him extension at the eleventh hour citing reasons that he was needed by the country to lead the war on terror. The post of the army chief is the most powerful in Pakistan.

After taking charge as the COAS from Raheel, Bajwa spoke to reporters.

General Qamar Javed Bajwa. AP

General Qamar Javed Bajwa. AP

“The situation at the LoC will improve soon,” he was quoted as saying by Geo News.

Bajwa sought support from the media to play a role in the keeping the morale of troops high. He said he had a heavy responsibility on his shoulders. Bajwa took over the command of the army in garrison city of Rawalpindi, where outgoing military chief Raheel handed over the symbolic baton at an impressive ceremony.

Several high level military and civilian officials attended the ceremony during which national songs and war anthems were played by traditional military bands.

His appointment coincides with the rising tensions and heavy exchange of fire at the LoC. Analysts believe Bajwa’s announcement that the LoC situation would improve might be a reconciliatory gesture towards India.

However, General Raheel was not so conciliatory in his final speech as the army chief, as he cautioned India against adopting an aggressive stance in Kashmir. Raheel, 60, said in recent months “India’s increasing terrorism and aggressive stance” in Kashmir have “endangered” the region. “India should know that mistaking our policy of patience for weakness would be dangerous,” he said.

“This is reality, that in South Asia, lasting peace and progress is impossible without solution of the Kashmir issue. For that, international community’s special attention is necessary,” he said. He also stressed the need for institutions to work together for the nation’s progress.

“It is important that all institutions work together against external threats and internal threats. For this, we will need to follow the National Action Plan in letter and spirit,” General Raheel said.

“The army will remain alert to threats, whether external or internal,” Raheel said.

For regional peace, he said, issues should be resolved politically. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a major factor in ensuring regional peace, he said.

“The departure of the first cargo from Gwadar port has shown this journey cannot be halted now,” he warned. “The time is here now that the enemies of CPEC stop working against it and become a part of it.”

Bajwa was eariler serving as Inspector General of the Training and Evaluation and also commanded the famed 10 Corps, the army’s largest, which is responsible for the area along the Line of Control (LoC).

As a major general, Bajwa led the Force Command Northern Areas. He also served in the 10 Corps as lieutenant colonel. He also served with a UN mission in Congo as a brigade commander alongside former Indian army chief Gen Bikram Singh, who was also there as a division commander.

The new army chief has wide experience of LoC affairs due to his extensive involvement with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and northern areas.

According to reports, General Bajwa’s “pro-democracy credentials” and his low-profile influenced the Prime Minister to appoint him to the powerful post of army chief superseding four top generals. The military has been in charge of the country for more than half of Pakistan’s nearly 70-year history since independence from Britain.

First Published On : Nov 30, 2016 08:55 IST

Focus to remain on India border under new army chief General Bajwa, says Pakistan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With its new army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa set to take charge, Pakistan has asserted that focus will remain on country’s eastern border with India, even as the US nudged Islamabad to keep the pledge of not allowing use of its soil for terror attacks against neighbours.Bajwa will take charge of the world’s sixth-largest army by troop numbers from Pakistan’s outgoing Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif, who paid farewell visits to President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif here today.Sharif and Hussain lauded Raheel’s valuable service as army chief and wished him the best for his post-retirement life, Radio Pakistan reported.”The military policy will continue and there will be no immediate change in it (under Bajwa),” Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told Geo News.”The focus will remain on country’s eastern border and the armed forces backed by the nation will meet all challenges,” he said.”The legacy of General Raheel Sharif would continue in the light of the examples he set,” Asif said.The Defence Minister expressed hope that the government and military leadership will continue to work together for the betterment of the country.General Raheel will become the first army chief in more than 20 years to step down at the end of his term. Previous army chiefs have either obtained extensions or in the case of General Pervez Musharraf, staged a coup.Meanwhile, the United States yesterday welcomed the appointment of the new army chief and expressed hope that the country would never allow the use of its soil for terrorism against its neighbours.The US embassy in Islamabad, in a statement, welcomed Prime Minister Sharif’s appointment of Bajwa.”We look forward to continuing our work with Pakistan’s elected leaders, with Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and with the Pakistani military to advance our shared counter-insurgency and counter terrorism goals for Pakistan and the region, and to enable Pakistani authorities to honour their pledge to prevent the use of Pakistan’s soil for terrorist attacks against its neighbours,” it said.Raheel, who is set to retire tomorrow, was appointed as army chief in 2013 by Prime Minister Sharif at the retirement of Gen Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani.According to Pakistani media and experts, General Bajwa’s “pro-democracy credentials” and his low-profile influenced Sharif to appoint him to the powerful post of army chief superseding four top generals.The military has been in charge of the country for more than half of Pakistan’s nearly 70-year history since independence.

Muzaffarnagar: Two sentenced for five year in jail for cow slaughter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A court has sentenced two persons to five year imprisonment for slaughtering cows in Shamli district in 2007.Additional district sessions judge Manoj Kumar on Monday convicted Israil and Monu and imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 each. According to government lawyer Javed Ali, police arrested Israil and Monu during a raid and seized cow meat from their house in Azizpur village under Jhinjhana police station of Shamli district on August 20, 2007.

SC directs CBI to probe Shahabuddin and Bihar police to protect Rajdev Ranjan’s kin

New Delhi: CBI was on Friday directed to proceed with its probe into the murder of journalist Rajdev Ranjan by the Supreme Court which asked the Bihar police to provide protection to his family that has claimed threat to life from controversial RJD leader Shahabuddin.

File photo of Mohammed Shahabuddin. PTIFile photo of Mohammed Shahabuddin. PTI

File photo of Mohammed Shahabuddin. PTI

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and C Nagappan also sought the response of Shahabuddin, Bihar’s health minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s son Tej Pratap Yadav and Bihar government on a petition by Ranjan’s wife who has also sought transfer of the case from Siwan in Bihar to Delhi.

The RJD chief’s son was seen in a photograph published in newspapers with one of the two sharp shooters of alleged gangster Shahabuddin.

“In view of that, we direct that the CBI may proceed with the investigation but not finalise it and shall file the status report before this Court on 17 October,” the bench said, adding “Superintendent of Police, Siwan district, shall provide police protection to the petitioner and her family.”

The counsel for Ranjan’s wife Asha Ranjan claimed before the bench that CBI has not even started its probe into the case due to “political influence” and “fear of Shahabuddin” as the state machinery was protecting the history sheeter, against whom there were 58 criminal cases according to Bihar government’s 2014 affidavit in the apex court.

When the counsel said the case should be transferred to Delhi, the bench said “CBI shall continue the investigation there. Eventually, after hearing them, we may consider whether to transfer the case. There is no trial as of now. Let them investigate.”

The counsel told the court that five persons were arrested by Bihar Police in connection with the case, but the two alleged sharp shooters of Shahabuddin were not.

“CBI did not dare to take up the investigation in the case due to fear of Shahabuddin. Two sharp shooters, Mohammad Kaif and Mohammad Javed, were seen with Shahabuddin and Health Minister
of Bihar Tej Pratap Yadav. Entire state machinery is protecting Shahabuddin,” he alleged. Kaif surrendered before a Siwan court two days ago.

He said that Rajdev, a journalist, had written various stories about the “criminal deeds” of Shahabuddin and after RJD-JD(U) alliance came to power in Bihar, he was shot dead.

“Terror of Shahabuddin was so high that even the trial judge, who had convicted him in one of the case, has requested for transfer from Siwan to Patna,” he alleged while seeking transfer of the case from Siwan to Delhi.

Reacting to the apex court’s notice, Tej Pratap on Friday said in Patna that similar notices should have been issued against BJP leaders also whose photographs had appeared with a suspect in the case and other criminals.

Asha’s counsel Kislay Panday also said an FIR should be registered against Shahabuddin and Tej Pratap for allegedly “harbouring and sheltering” Kaif and Javed, who were declared as proclaimed offenders in the case in which “hapless and helpless widow” ran from pillar to post for justice.

He said Kaif has surrendered before the police but Javed has not been arrested so far.

Panday said that Asha and two children of the slain journalist have been compelled to live in constant fear after Shahabuddin was released from Jail.

If the probe and trial of the case was conducted in Bihar, Shahabuddin and others would “terrorise the witnesses” due to which they would not get any justice, he contended.

In its order, the bench referred to submissions advanced by the counsel which said, “criminalisation of politics have been heavily commented upon and deprecated by this court in many a decision…and case at hand depicts a disturbing affair in that regard, for Shahabuddin and Tej Pratap, though (they) hold party position and position in the political executive, yet do not even think for a moment before associating themselves with such kind of anti-social elements and, in fact, sometimes render assistance.”

The bench said “on perusal of the petition, it is prima facie discernible that the petitioner who lives with two small children, after losing her husband and the developments that have taken place in District Siwan, is in a state of continuous fear.”

“It has been said that courage is the mother of all virtues and a man with courage can always sustain his or her dignity. But, sometimes, situations are created by certain powerful protagonists which instill fear in the mind of a citizen and that fear has the potentiality to usher in atrophy to the sense of dignity.

“It is also asserted in the petition that in the obtaining fact situation, this Court may direct for giving her protection by the competent authority failing which it is difficult to fathom, what kind of danger shall visit her,” the bench noted.

Dawood’s close aide Zahid Miyan under NIA’s radar, chargesheet filed

Mon, 22 Aug 2016-09:09pm , New Delhi , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a chargesheet against underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s close aide Zahid Miyan. This is the latest development from India’s side in the attempt to round up Dawood’s aides across the globe. Earlier, the NIA had approached the Interpol to trace Dawood’s aide Javed Patel alias Javed Chikna in Pakistan, arrest him and hand him over to India.According to reports, South Africa based Zahid Miyan was part of the team that masterminded the conspiracy to kill Hindu leaders and a list of BJP and RSS members was also prepared. NIA investigation had revealed earlier that a new terror outfit was being planned by D-company and the conspiracy was hatched in Karachi and South Africa.

Mathura: Over 320 people arrested after 24 killed in clashes; country-made guns, live cartridges seized

Over 320 people were arrested on Friday after 24 people, including an SP and an SHO, were killed in massive clashes between police and encroachers in Mathura district on Thursday.The violence erupted when police were trying to evict illegal occupants, believed to be of Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi, from Jawahar Bagh on Thursday on the directions of the Allahabad High Court.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to state Director General of Police Javed Ahmed, there was ‘unprovoked’ firing by encroachers who pelted stones and attacked the policemen with lathis as they arrived at the site for a recce to carry out the eviction, leading to the death of Superintendent of Police, City, Mukul Dwivedi and Station House officer, Farah, Santosh Yadav.
ALSO READ Mathura clashes: Teary-eyed mother of killed SP Mukul Dwivedi says ‘bring back my son’Speaking to the media, DGP Javed Ahmed said, “124 people have been arrested in the matter and 196 others have been arrested under Section 153 offences.”The top cop also said that 47 locally made ‘katta’ pistols, 6 rifles and 178 live cartridges were seized after the incident.
ALSO READ Mathura: SP, SHO among 21 killed in clashes; CM Akhilesh announces Rs 20 lakh ex-gratia for slain officersThe Centre sought a report from the Uttar Pradesh government on the incident while Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Yadav and assured the state government of all necessary help.IG (Law and Order) HR Sharma said around 3,000 encroachers pelted stones and later opened fire at the police team as they reached the spot.In retaliation, the police had to fire after using batons and tear gas, he said.Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav expressed grief over the incident and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 20 lakh to the family of the deceased policemen.Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) castigated the violent clashes between the police and illegal occupants of a land in Mathura and slammed the Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav led-Uttar Pradesh government, for not being able to maintain law and order situation in the state.Expressing grave concern over the Mathura violence, the Congress Party also cornered the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government over the deteriorating law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh and questioned the ignorance of the local police for not being aware of the ground reality.

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

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

Bizzare car-elevator incident kills 14-year-old, driver

In a freak, yet shocking incident, two persons, including a 14-year-old boy, died, after their car fell into the car-elevator pit of their plush residential building situated in Nagpada on Wednesday afternoon. The incident, which came to light after a six-hour search, left everyone including the police shocked.Describing the sequence of events, police said that on Wednesday around 12 pm, 14-year-old Hafiz Patel, who stays in the 23-storey Iqbal Heights in Nagpada area of Central Mumbai with his family, left the house with his driver Javed for second floor, where their car is parked.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the police, first three floors of the building are the parking lots. Interestingly, the building has car-elevators to ferry the car from the ground floor to their respective parking spaces.Based on preliminary information, the police have found out that Hafiz and Javed got into their black-coloured Toyota Etios car on the second floor and headed towards the car-elevator. The CCTV footage of the parking lot, scrutinised by the police, indicate that the car sped towards the car-elevator and dashed on the closed elevator doors on the second floor parking lot. “At that moment, the car-elevator was on the third floor,” said a police officer.The impact of the car colliding headlong into the elevator door was such that it forced open the elevator doors and the car’s momentum carried the car further ahead. “The car fell in the empty pit and hit the ground floor upside down,” the officer said. The car-elevator, meanwhile, got stuck on the third floor.Interestingly, no one in the building came to know about it and the Hafiz and Javed lay in the elevator pit till his family came searching for him.When there was no response from both Hafiz and Javed, and they were untraceable, the family had approached the Nagpada police and registered a missing complaint.”Based on the missing complaint, we started tracing both Hafiz and Javed’s mobile phone locations. Our investigations revealed that the last location of both the phones was in the building premises itself,” said deputy commissioner of police (DCP – Zone 3) S Jayakumar.When a police team reached the building and started inspecting the surroundings, they found out that the elevator door on the second floor of the parking lot was damaged. “This made us suspicious and we decided to look in the pit. A close inspection revealed the car lying turtle in the pit,” said a police officer from Nagpada police station.

Shiv Sena hits back at Darul Uloom, says not chanting ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ is new terrorism

BJP on Friday accused Darul Uloom of “communalising” nationalism after the Islamic seminary asked Muslims to refrain from raising ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ slogan while its ally Shiv Sena termed it as a “new terrorism”. BJP said moderate and liberal Muslims take pride in raising nationalist slogans like this but hardliners with medieval beliefs raise such issues for their own sectarian interests. “There is a clear attempt by some sections to communalise nationalism. There is a large section of moderate Muslims, including likes of Javed Akhtar and A R Rahman, and liberal Muslims who take pride in raising nationalist slogans.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There are hardliners with medieval beliefs who are raising such issues for their own sectarians interests,” party spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said.Taking a tough stand, Sena leader and MP Sanjay Raut said not chanting ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ is not freedom of expression but a new terrorism and the government should nip it in the bud. “If you are not hailing the motherland, then whom are they going to hail? They should tell us. The central government should act tough. Such things are never allowed in any other country. Not to chant ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ is not freedom of expression but a new terrorism,” he said.Attacking the Deoband-based seminary, Rao said it had earlier issued fatwa against photography, claiming it is unIslamic. “People reject such medieval ideas,” he said.Another BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said raising of the slogan is not worship, as contended by the seminary, but a show of patriotism. “In patriotic passion, people raise such slogans. It is not worship but an expression of love for the country. Crores of Muslims do it. It was raised during the freedom struggle as well,” he said, adding there could be difference in the language of various nationalist slogans but not in sentiments.

Press Club event: SAR Gilani’s remarks against the country, Delhi police tells court

Allegations against ex-Delhi University (DU) lecturer SAR Geelani, arrested under sedition charges in connection with a Press Club event in New Delhi, are “grievous” and whatever he has purportedly said is against the country, police said on Friday. The public prosecutor, representing Delhi police, told Additional Sessions Judge Deepak Garg that he was not in a position to argue the matter today as he has not received the copy of Geelani’s bail plea yet.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I am not in a position to argue today. There are grievous allegations (against Geelani) and (whatever he has purportedly stated) are against the country,” the prosecutor told the judge.As the hearing commenced, the prosecutor told the court that Geelani’s bail petition was not supplied to him but the entire case emanates from the video footage of the event organised at the Press Club in New Delhi. To this, the judge told the investigating officer (IO), “What are you doing? These are small things and I need not remind you about this.”Advocate Satish Tamta, who appeared for Geelani, said that even on Thursday arguments on bail plea were deferred for Friday. The judge, however, said, “let it (bail plea) be taken up tomorrow morning as the first matter.”During the brief hearing, the prosecutor asked the IO to bring video footage of the event and a laptop in the court. Earlier on February 19, a magisterial court had dismissed the bail plea of Geelani, who was arrested on February 16, after the police had alleged that “hatred” was being generated against the government.Police had told the court that an event was held on February 10 in which banners were placed showing Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat as martyrs. It had also said the hall in the Press Club was booked by Geelani, who is presently in judicial custody, through his associate Ali Javed by using his credit card and another man Mudassar was also involved.At the Press Club event, a group had allegedly shouted slogans hailing Afzal Guru, following which the police had lodged a case under sections 124A (sedition), 120B(criminal conspiracy) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of the IPC against Geelani and other unnamed persons. The police had claimed to have registered the FIR taking suo motu cognisance of media clips of the incident.Following registration of the FIR, the police questioned DU professor Ali Javed, a Press Club member who had booked the hall for the event, for two days.Geelani was arrested in connection with the 2001 Parliament attack case but was acquitted for “need of evidence” by Delhi High Court in October 2003, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in August 2005.

Bombay High Court overturns life imprisonment, sentences youth to death for rape and murder

The Bombay High Court, on Saturday, overturned the life imprisonment awarded to a 25-year-old, charged of raping and murdering a soon-to-be bride, held that the case falls in the category of ‘rarest of rare’ and awarded him ‘death penalty’.A division bench of Justice Indira K Jain and Justice AV Nirgude said, “Commitment has been made at all levels – from local to international – that women have an inherent right to life, which includes right to live with dignity, honour and respect…If this inherent right is taken away just to satisfy lust, it is to be put down with heavy hands. Any leniency would result in inadequate punishment.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The accused, Javed khan alias Tingarya s/o Habib Khan, had committed the offence in 2009. As per the prosecution, the victim, a second-year Bachelor of Computer Science student, was staying in the house at Aurangabad with her brother. On the fateful day, her brother had to stay back at his workplace, and when he returned the next morning, he found his sister lying naked in a pool of blood. He called the police and neighbours who rushed her to the hospital where she was declared ‘brought dead’.The police tracked down the mobile phone of the victim, which was stolen by the accused, to a hotel owner. After learning that the phone was given to him by accused Javedkhan to settle his hotel bill, the police arrested Javedkhan. During the trial, the prosecution examined several witnesses, including medical officers, to prove the diabolic crime. The trial court then sentenced Javed to life imprisonment. The state government moved the high court seeking enhancement of sentence while the accused challenged his conviction.The court, while overlooking the young age of the accused, said, “In order to satisfy his lust, the accused forcibly raped a young defenceless lone girl and then eliminated her life in a beastly, brutal and barbaric manner. We consider this grisly and a gory episode as an ultimate insult to the humanity in general and womanhood in particular.”

Pro Afzal Guru slogan at Press Club: Police quiz DU professor for second day

Delhi Police on Saturday continued its questioning of DU professor Ali Javed in connection with an event where slogans were raised allegedly hailing Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, leading to registration of a case of sedition against SAR Geelani, a former lecturer of the varsity and an accused in the Parliament attack case who was later acquitted.Javed, a member of Press Club of India who had booked a hall on its premises for the event, was questioned for hours for the second consecutive day, a police official said. All those who were present on the dais at the said event will be asked to join investigation at the earliest, the official added.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Among those present on the dais were Geelani, Javed and two other Delhi University professors — Nirmalangshu Mukherji and Tripta Wahi. Delhi Police on Friday said they have booked Geelani and several unnamed persons in a case of sedition, criminal conspiracy and unlawful assembly in connection with the event in which “anti-India sloganeering” took place.Police claimed Geelani was booked as he is presumed to be the main organiser of the event. “Request for booking a hall at Press Club was done through Geelani’s e-mail ID and the nature of the event was proposed to be a public meeting. We are monitoring video footage and trying to ascertain the identity of the ones involved in anti- India sloganeering,” a senior official had said.Geelani was acquitted by Delhi High Court in October 2003 for lack of evidence in connection with the Parliament attack case. The decision upheld by Supreme Court in August 2005 which, at the same time, observed that the needle of suspicion pointed towards him.

Former DU lecturer Geelani booked for sedition for shouting slogans hailing Afzal Guru at Press Club

Former DU lecturer SAR Geelani has been booked for sedition in connection with an event in New Delhi, in which a group shouted slogans hailing Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru with police on Friday saying an “early arrest” is expected in the case.”An FIR has been registered against Geelani and other unnamed persons under Sections 124A (sedition), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of IPC in connection with the event at the Press Club in which anti-India sloganeering took place,” DCP (New Delhi) Jatin Narwal said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Later, Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi said, “Police are gathering details so that those involved in the case can be arrested at the earliest.”The action against Geelani, who was acquitted for want of evidence in the Parliament attack case, comes even as Delhi Police on Friday arrested the JNU Students’ Union President in a sedition case in connection with an event at the varsity’s campus against Guru’s hanging.The police on Friday claimed to have registered the sedition case against Geelani and others after taking suo motu cognisance of media clips of the incident. “By the time we registered the case, we had received no complaints from any party,” Narwal said.Police also claimed that Geelani was booked as he is presumed to be the main organiser of the event. “Request for booking a hall at press club was done through Geelani’s e-mail and the nature of the event was proposed to be a public meeting,” Narwal said.Calls and text messages to Geelani for his comments went unanswered.”We are monitoring video footage and trying to ascertain the identity of the ones involved in anti-India sloganeering,” Narwal said.Later in the day, the police questioned Delhi University professor Ali Javed, the member of the club who had booked the premises for the presser, at the Parliament Street police station.Javed had distanced himself from the event saying he does not approve of the sloganeering and he was not one of the organisers. Press Club of India yesterday issued a show-cause notice to Javed. The police also asked Geelani to join the investigation at the earliest, a senior official said.Geelani was acquitted by the Delhi High Court in October 2003, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in August 2005 which at the same time observed that the needle of suspicion pointed towards him.

Press Club issues showcause notice to member over meet hailing Afzal Guru

A day after a group shouted slogans hailing Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s “martyrdom” during a press conference on its premises, Press Club of India on Thursday issued a show-cause notice to the member who had booked the conference hall for the event.”At the outset, we strongly condemn the incident that happened on Press Club premises by miscreants yesterday. We have taken strong action against the member under whose signature the conference hall was hired. A show-cause notice has been served and further action will follow,” Secretary General of the Press Club, Nadeem Ahmad Kazmi, said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When contacted, Professor Ali Javed of Delhi University, the member of the club who had booked the premises for the presser, distanced himself from the event, saying he does not “approve” of the sloganeering and that in any case he “was not one of the organisers”.”I condemn provocative anti-India slogans and terror ideology. I do not consider Afzal Guru to be a martyr. When they started chanting slogans, I tried to stop them. I never imagined that the event would take such a turn. I was told it would be a discussion on the Kashmir issue,” Javed said.During the presser organised by the Committee for Release of Political Prisoners on Wednesday, a number of scholars and academics protested against the “judicial killing” of Guru and execution of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) founder Mohammad Maqbool Butt.The meet was addressed by former DU lecturer SAR Geelani, who was acquitted in the Parliament attack case, through video conference.”We are now taking action against persons responsible for the untoward incident and reviewing the entire process of booking of our premises (for events),” Kazmi said.

David Headley revelations: Who was alleged LeT operative Ishrat Jahan?

In a significant claim, Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley said that Ishrat Jahan—who was killed in an alleged fake encounter in 2004 in Gujarat—was actually a suicide bomber of Lashkar-e-Taiba terror outfit. The disclosure is likely to ignite a fresh row around the controversial encounter.Testifying via video-link from the US, Headley spoke about the 19-year-old Mumbra girl and picked her name when quizzed by Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam about a “botched up operation” mentioned to him (Headley) by LeT commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Headley told the court that Lakhvi had mentioned to him about a “botched-up operation” conducted in India by another LeT operative Muzammil Butt where a female member of the terror outfit was killed.Prodded by Nikam to elaborate on the operation and the members involved in it, Headley said, “(I was told) It was a shootout with police in which a (female) suicide bomber was killed.”To which the prosecutor prompted three names of which Headley picked up Jahan before telling the court that “there is a female wing in LeT and one Abu Aiman’s mother headed it.” Four persons—Ishrat Jahan, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar— were killed in an encounter with the Gujarat Police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.The city crime branch had then said that those killed in the encounters were LeT terrorists and had landed in Gujarat to kill the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi.The CBI, which took over the probe from the Gujarat High Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), had filed a chargesheet in August 2013 saying that the encounter was fake and executed in the joint operation by the city crime branch and Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB).Who was Ishrat Jahan? Much has been written about Ishrat Jahan over the years. An Indian Express report says that Nusrat was a brilliant young student who never finished college and a caring 19-year-old who never got to be a young woman.Her father Mohammad Shamim Raza was the proprietor of a Mumbai-based construction company while her mother worked at a medicine packaging company in Vashi. She had achieved first class in her Class 12 exams and joined Gurunanak Khalsa College at Kings Circle in Mumbai. Javed, who Ishrat called uncle, often helped her earn extra money to tide over hard times but the family wasn’t always poor. According to the report, the family wasn’t conservative and their father never insisted on them wearing the burqa or offering Namaz. When her father died in 2002, it fell upon Ishrat to look after the family, which she did by offering tuition to kids post her college.Ishrat’s family was told that she would earn well if she managed the accounts of Javed’s perfume shop in Pune. He also claimed to have a travel agency in the Middle East and wanted to take Ishrat there but her mother refused.Four days before she was killed, Ishrat left her house on June 11, 2004. According to the New Indian Express, Ishrat spoke to her mother the same day and said that she was with Javed Sheikh (who was also killed along with her) and some men who had come with him.On June 15, 2004, the Gujarat police stated that Ishrat, along with three others had been gunned down near Ahmedabad by a police team of the DCB and the four were killed after the police chased their blue Indica car.Politicising the incidentIshrat Jahan became a martyr for politicians who used her killing as an example of the Gujarat government’s crimes.In 2009, the Congress leader PC Chidambaram slammed the Modi govt: ““If a state government acts as though intelligence inputs are evidence or conclusive proof, I am sorry for that state government… Certainly no one suggested that based on an intelligence input you should kill someone,” he told a press conference here joining issue with the Narendra Modi Government over the central government affidavit in the killing of Ishrat and three of her companions in June 2004.“I think too much is being attributed to that affidavit if it is meant to defend the government of Gujarat against the excesses that may have been committed by its police. I am sorry for the government of Gujarat and the manner in which it runs its police administration,” he said.“What did the affidavit say?” he asked and added: “To the best of my knowledge the affidavit says that intelligence inputs were shared with the Gujarat government.”In 2013, JD(U) Ali Anwar had claimed that she was Bihar’s daughter. “Ishrat Jahan was a daughter of Bihar and people from Bihar believe in fighting for truth. She will get justice; we will get it for her, ” Anwar said. “The CBI has agreed that it was a fake encounter. May it be Narendra Modi or Amit Shah, public perception is the main thing , they may dodge law and escape but cannot fool people of the country. I personally believe that Narendra Modi and Amit Shah were involved in this case,” he added.According to reports, Ishrat Jahan’s grandfather Wali Mohammad belonged to Khagaul area near Patna. Her father Mohammad Shamim had married Shamima Qausar of Jamalpur in Bihar. They later moved to Maharashtra. The BJP’s Giriraj Singh took potshots at Nitish and JD(U) for referring to her as Bihar’s daughter. He said: “Just to garner more votes, the JD(U) and Nitish Kumar are referring to Ishrat Jahan as ‘Bihar’s daughter’, whereas her mother says that she put up here (in Bihar) for some time on rent,” he said.Meanwhile in Ishrat’s locality, an ambulance named after her turned up, whose service was opened by CPM leader Brinda Karat in 2011.With inputs from agencies.

All you need know to about Ishrat Jahan and the controversial encounter case

David Coleman Headley, one of the prime accused in the 26/11 terror attacks, told a special Mumbai court on Thursday that Ishrat Jahan, the 19-year-old girl who was killed in an alleged ‘fake encounter’ in 2004, was affiliated to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).This is what happened back in 2004: – It was on June 15, 2004, that Ishrat Jahan Raza and three others Pranesh Pillai (alias Javed Gulam Sheikh), Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed in an encounter by the Ahmedabad Police.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>- The Gujarat Police stated that Ishrat, along with three other people, had been gunned down near Ahmedabad by a police team belonging to the Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) of the Ahmedabad City Police.- The police claimed that the four were connected with the Lashkar-e-Taiba and had come to Gujarat to assassinate the then chief minister Narendra Modi in order to avenge the communal riots of 2002 which had led to the deaths of numerous Muslims.
ALSO READ Ishrat Jehan was part of LeT, says David Headley to Mumbai court- A report was submitted by Metropolitan Magistrate SP Tamang in the Ahmedabad metropolitan court on September 7, 2009, which said that the four persons were killed in police custody.- The Ahmedabad metropolitan court ruled that Ishrat’s killing was a fake encounter. Tamang’s report said the Crime Branch police kidnapped Ishrat and the others from Mumbai on June 12, 2004, and brought them to Ahmedabad. Tamang said that there was no evidence to link the victims with the LeT. There was also nothing to indicate that they had come to Gujarat to kill Modi.- The Gujarat Government challenged the report of the metropolitan magistrate, saying that the policemen accused of fake encounter were not given an opportunity to present their side of the arguments. The Gujarat Government’s petition in the High Court against Tamang’s report said that it should be scrapped as it was ‘illegal and doubtful’.- The Gujarat High Court stated that Ishrat Jahan’s encounter case was of national importance and ordered the police witnesses to be posted where they would not be working as subordinates to officials accused in the case.- A Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by Karnail Singh, was set up to probe the case further. The SIT sent four teams to Srinagar, Delhi, Lucknow and Nashik to probe Ishrat’s alleged terrorist links.- On November 21, 2011, the SIT told the Gujarat High Court that the Ishrat Jahan encounter was not genuine. After the SIT filed its report, the High Court ordered that a complaint under Indian Penal Code Section 302 (murder) has to be filed against those involved in the fake encounter, in which over 20 policemen, including senior IPS officers, were involved.Who was Ishrat Jahan and her three companions:- Ishrat Jahan Shamim Raza was a 19-year-old girl, who was a second year Bachelor of Science student at Mumbai’s Guru Nanak Khalsa College. Ishrat used to work as the Secretary of Javed Sheikh (Pranesh), and used to handle his accounts.- Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Gulam Sheikh was the son of Gopinatha Pillai, a native of Noornad in Kerala. Before his death, he had been booked for four assault cases in Mumbai and Pune, and had also been charged with involvement in a fake currency racket. Gujarat Police recovered two passports from Javed: one obtained using his original name Pranesh and the second one in his new name.- Amjad Ali Rana, also known as Akbar or Salim, was originally a resident of the Haveli Deewan village in the Bhalwal Tehsil of Pakistan. According to the CBI chargesheet, he told the Gujarat Police that he was planning to commit a terrorist act in Ahmedabad.- Zeeshan (alias Jisan Johar alias Abdul Ghani), along with Amjad, is said to have been caught in a trespassing case in Srinagar in 2003

What’s the big deal, Anupam Kher? We too deny visas to Pakistanis

Pakistan and India routinely deny visas to people of either countries – both prominent and otherwise – and often it doesn’t make news. Indians who visit the Pakistan embassy in Delhi know how hard it’s to get hold of a visa and how hard it’s to deal with the immigration and police officials once you reach Pakistan.

Pakistanis, including those raised in the West, too have similar stories with some even vowing never to return again – it’s about reciprocity and that’s exactly how countries behave, whether they are friendly or not. India and Pakistan are not friends.

Anupam-Kher-PTIAnupam-Kher-PTI

Anupam Kher. PTI Image.

So we regularly deny visas to hoards of cross-border pilgrims and a lot of popular Pakistani artistes on both security and procedural grounds, and Pakistan too does the same from time-to-time. There’s no question of who started it first because it has been going on for ever. And that’s how foreign affairs work.

Some times, these security and procedural concerns are real, and some times political. Remember, when America introduced finger printing of overseas visitors, Brazil retaliated instantly by asking American tourists on Brazilian ports to queue up for a reciprocal procedure – they didn’t even have an electronic finger-printing machine and had to do with a finger-pad and paper.

So, what’s the big deal Anupam Kher?

You are one of the many Indians who happened to be on Pakistan’s radar now for reciprocal action. And just because you think you have some endowment owing to your proximity to the BJP, you feel outraged. Of course, they are making a point by singling you out. And that’s exactly how it works.

This is not the first time; and this will not be the last time either. And, it’s also not because you are with the BJP. In the past, Bollywood’s favourite poet Javed Akhtar was singled out from a group that was to visit Pakistan to raise money for 2005-earthquake victims during the Congress-led UPA rule.

He had no sympathy for saffron politics and was a strong advocate for religious tolerance – traits that Pakistan could have exploited in their favour. On another occasion, actor Feroz Khan was thrown out of the country because of his allegedly drunken anti-Pakistan tirades on Pakistan-TV.

India too had denied visas to a lot of prominent Pakistanis – mostly good looking actors and talented entertainers who had a following in India – Imran Abbas, who acted with Bipasha Basu; Humaima Malick, Emran Hashmi’s pair in one of his movies; Mahira Khan, Shah Rukh Khan’s reported pair in Raees; and may others including singers Arif Lohar, Javed Bashir, Imran Aziz Mian and Sahir Ali Bagga.

And most recently, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was deported from Hyderabad airport, immediately on arrival, on technical grounds – apparently Pakistanis can enter India only through the ports in the four metros. Even more bizarre bar on entry was on Ghazal king Ghulam Ali, on whom the government had no problem, but its alliance partners had. So a harrowed and amused Ali could sing only in West Bengal and Kerala, but not anywhere else.

Pakistanis too do the same thing. They deny visas to ordinary citizens and more prominent ones at will, and they do harass and restrict movement once Indians land on their soil. For instance, if you have a visa only for Islamabad, you will be chaperoned to a detention area for your connecting flight if you transit through Lahore.

So, why is Anupam Kher complaining?

Because he wants to make a bigger national hero out of himself – a man hounded by Pakistan because he is against Muslim terror in Kashmir, because he is a displaced Kashmiri Pandit and because he is a strong nationalist. And during the present times of hyper-jingoism, a lot of people will stand by him and bash others with alternative-opinions, including those who bat for track-two diplomacy and cricketing ties, and those who criticise human excesses in Kashmir.

One cannot blame Kher’s perpetual peeve of forceful displacement that many Kashmiri Pandits all over the world feel, but using it for political aggrandisement is not cool. When Javed Akhtar was singled out, he didn’t care; neither did Feroz Khan.

Every time a BJP-led government comes to power, it’s windfall time for people such as Anupam Kher because there aren’t too many A-listers in Bollywood who show open allegiance to partisan political ideologies. Most of the art-house film-makers are habitually Left and secular and hence openly oppose the BJP and its interventions in art, while the others keep a safe distance. It’s only people such as Kher, Gajendra Chauhan, Pahlaj Nihalani and Hema Malini who stick their neck out.

Obviously they do get rewarded. In the recent uproar over intolerance, while almost all the elites of the entertainment industry and the art-house crowd covertly and overtly criticised the Modi government, his party and proxies for their alleged intolerance, it was Kher who managed to parade a group in support, although comprising comparatively insignificant names. Coincidentally, he got a Padma Bhushan. Last time, more than ten years ago, his reward came in the form of a Padma Sri. The Padma Bhushan probably took longer because of the UPA- interregnum.

There’s no denying the fact that the actor is a household name for his prodigious volume of work in Bollywood, and some unforgettable performances; but it’s his pro-BJP politics that gets him the bigger stage and even bigger political profile. The Pakistan visa denial is just another opportunity to play up this political card and Hindu-nationalism.

Let him do that because he benefits from it, but the rest of the county should take it easy. There’s nothing new. India has detailed and even deported people of other nationalities for silly reasons. Denial of visas, selective scrutiny and bad behaviour at immigration counters because of the colour of your skin, language and passport, and restriction on your movements are the reality of the world. And India-Pakistan friendship is just a myth that we will continue to play for another 1000 years.

Murud beach tragedy: Youth saved classmate, but got drowned himself

When 20-year-old Iftekar Sheikh saw his friends drowning in the Arabian Sea off Murud beach in Raigad district on Monday, he did not think twice before jumping into water, and managed to save his female classmate, but was washed away himself.Iftekar’s friend Arbaaz Sayyad, who saw the whole tragedy unfold before him, in which 14 of his classmates met the watery grave, told about this particular episode to PTI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”When my classmate and friend, Iftekar Abbas Ali Sheikh, saw one of our girl classmates drowning, he immediately ventured into the sea to save her. He pushed the girl towards the shore and saved her life. However, during this act of bravery, he himself got washed away in the choppy waters and drowned,” Arbaaz said.Fourteen students of Abeda Inamdar College in Pune, including 10 girls, aged between 18 and 20, had drowned in the Sea at Murud yesterday. Iftekar, who was studying in third year of Bachelor of Computer Science, is one of the victims.”The whole episode began when one of the victims, Swapnali Salgar, started drowning and three of our classmates went ahead to save her,” Arbaaz said. He said that although he himself is not a good swimmer, he jumped into the sea water to save his mates. However, he soon returned to the shore after panic gripped him.”Although I am not much good at swimming, I went ahead into the water. But soon, I realised that the sand under my feet was slipping away. I got scared and started swimming back to the shore,” he said, while recollecting the tragic events.Arbaaz’s father Javed Sayyad, who runs a hotel here, said, “I would like to appeal to the parents not to send their children to such dangerous places. I also appeal to the government to increase security at such beaches by deploying enough number of lifeguards and emergency services.”

Cooperate with probe or face arrest: SC tells Teesta Setalvad

The Supreme Court on Thursday extended the interim bail of social activists Teesta Setalvad and her husband till March 18 but asked them to cooperate in the probe in two criminal cases of alleged embezzlement of funds and the foreign contribution law lodged by Gujarat Police and CBI.CBI and the state police told a bench headed by Justice A R Dave that Teesta was not cooperating with the investigation and the couple was also not supplying relevant documents relating to how the funds were spent.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Gujarat police is probing the alleged embezzlement of funds for a museum at Ahmedabad’s Gulbarg Society that was devastated in the 2002 riots, the CBI is investigating the purported violations of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) in connection with the utilisation of funds received from Ford Foundation by Sabrang Communications and Publishing Pvt Ltd, run by the couple.The submissions of Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar and senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani on behalf of CBI and the state police respectively was refuted by senior advocate Kapil Sibal and Kamini Jaiswal, who said the allegation of non- cooperation was being made against Teesta and her husband Javed Anand as the probe was not suiting the investigators.Taking note of submissions of both sides, the bench, also comprising Justices F M I Kalifulla and V Gopala Gowda, directed Teesta and Javed that if they have not supplied the relevant documents relating to the embezzlement case to Gujarat Police in accordance with the list provided to them by investigators, they would “furnish those documents as soon as possible and preferably within two weeks.”In the FCRA case, the bench asked the couple to file an affidavit within two weeks explaining their stand on the issue of utilisation of funds procured by Sabrang and posted both the cases for hearing on March 9.At the outset, both CBI and the state police alleged that they were not getting cooperation from Teesta in their probe and the matter of anticipatory bail has been pending for almost a year.”They are not special accused,” Jethmalani said while seeking for early hearing of the matter. He said the couple also filed an application on May 6, 2015 in the pending anticipatory bail matter seeking to know the “scope of investigation.”Taking note of the submission, the bench orally observed “we will pass an appropriate order giving time for supply of documents and if the order is not complied with, we can even vacate our order (granting anticipatory bail).”

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