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JKLF chairman Yasin Malik detained before protest march in Pulwama

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>JKLF chairman Yasin Malik was on Friday detained at Pulwama as he led his supporters to stage a protest march against Jammu and Kashmir government’s decision to issue identity certificates to West Pakistani Refugees.Malik was detained along with several of his supporters.They were taken into preventive custody, a police official said.Separatists groups had called for protests on Friday against the government decision to issue identity certificates to West Pakistan Refugees living in the state since partition in 1947.The state government has decided to issue identity cards to the refugees and had to issue clarification after protests from opposition parties and separatists against the move. Initially, reports had said the opposition was against the government move to issue domicile certificates, but the state government said it was issuing identity certificates.Other political organisations, including BJP and Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party, have slammed separatists for opposing the issuance of certificates to the refugees.The refugees, settled in Jammu and Kashmir, are citizens of India and have the right to vote in parliamentary polls. However, they are not permanent residents of the state in terms of Jammu and Kashmir Constitution. They do not enjoy voting rights to the state assembly and local bodies.

Post Dilsukhnagar verdict, Owaisi questions NIA of inaction in certain terror cases

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday accused the NIA of not showing urgency in securing convictions in terror cases involving “non-Muslims”, a day after a special NIA court awarded death penalty to five IM operatives, including Yasin Bhatkal, in 2013 Dilsukhnagar bomb blasts case.In a series of tweets, the Hyderabad Lok Sabha MP questioned the National Investigation Agency(NIA) and also mounted a veiled attack on the Centre saying, “Do not be surprised the way NIA is pursuing those Bomb Blast cases where accused are Non-Muslims they will be exonerated bcos of Ache Din?”. “Why can’t our Premier Investigation Agencies show same Urgency to convict all alleged terrorist cases, Demolition (of) Babri Masjid pending since 92,” he asked.The BJP slammed Owaisi over the allegation levelled by him against the NIA, alleging he thrives on “communal agenda”. “Owaisi thrives on communal agenda. He is trying to communalise a court verdict. Politicians of this kind have become a parasite on Indian democracy,” BJP’s National Secretary Sidharth Nath Singh told a news conference in Delhi. Over the awarding of death penalty to the five Indian Mujahideen operatives, he sought to know, while 2013 Dilsukhnagar blast accused were convicted, will the NIA “get conviction” in Mecca Masjid blast, Ajmer Dargha blast and Malegaon blasts cases.”2013 Dilsukhnagar blast accused all get conviction Mecca Masjid blast, AJMER Dargha Blast, Malegaon blasts Will NIA get conviction these cases,” Owaisi said in a tweet. In further tweets, the AIMIM chief said, “Dilsukhnagar bomb blast accused can be convicted in 3 years why is it taking long to convict MMasjid, Ajmer, Malegaon Can NIA throw some light.”However, in another tweet, Owaisi said “Dilsukhnagar blast courts have given a verdict which must be accepted, terrorist should be punished.” Five key operatives of the banned terror outfit Indian Mujahideen, including its co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and a Pakistani national, were yesterday awarded death penalty by a Special NIA Court in Hyderabad for the February 2013 Hyderabad’s Dilsukhnagar bomb blasts which claimed 18 lives.

Hyderabad blasts: ‘Rarest of the rare’ case says judge, gives death sentence to 5 IM operatives

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Five key operatives of Indian Mujahideen, including the banned terror outfit’s co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and a Pakistani national, were awarded death penalty on Sunday by a Special NIA Court here in the February 2013 Hyderabad bomb blasts which claimed 18 lives.Pronouncing the sentence, Judge T Srinivasa Rao described the case as the “rarest of the rare”. This is the first case where operatives of the home-grown group have been convicted in a terror case.NIA Special Public Prosecutor K Surender said the court, after going through their evidence, found that the case is based on facts. “As per investigation…evidence that is placed on record clearly reflects that the five IM members planned and executed the bomb blasts. We sought capital punishment (for the convicts) and accordingly the court gave death penalty to them,” he said.The prosecutor described the verdict as a “victory” for NIA’s investigation and the witnesses.The court, after hearing the arguments of prosecution and defence counsels on sentencing, awarded death penalty to the convicts and also varying jail terms on different counts including, waging war against the Government of India and commission of terrorist act. On December 13, the court had convicted the five operatives — IM co-founder Mohd Ahmed Sidibapa alias Yasin Bhatkal, Pakistani national Zia-ur-Rahman alias Waqas, Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi, Tahaseen Akhtar alias Monu and Ajaz Shaikh — who are at present in judicial custody and lodged in the Cherlapally Central Prison here.The IM convicts said they will go for an appeal, according to the NIA counsel.All relevant records will be submitted in the high court for confirmation of the death sentence, Surender said.Eighteen people were killed and 131 injured in two deadly explosions in Dilsukhnagar, a crowded shopping area in the city, on February 21, 2013. On November 7, the final arguments had concluded in the case before the special court. Since IM founder Riyaz Bhatkal, the prime accused in the case, is absconding, the trial was split up against him.The court convicted Yasin Bhatkal and others under various sections of Indian Penal Code, Arms Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).According to NIA, Riyaz Bhatkal arranged for explosive substances and directed Asadullah Akhtar and Zia-ur-Rahman at Mangalore to receive the same. After receiving the explosive materials and the money sent by Riyaz through hawala (illegal channels) and other money transfer modes, Asadullah Akhtar and Waqas reached Hyderabad and joined Tahseen Akhtar, who was already hiding there, NIA had said.Together they prepared two IEDs after procuring the other required material as well as two cycles for mounting the home-made bombs from Hyderabad, the anti-terror agency had said.After preparation of the IEDs on February 21, 2013, the accused mounted two bombs on the bicycles. They had planted them at separate places in Dilsukhnagar which resulted in powerful explosions, it had said. In its charge sheet, the NIA had claimed that Indian Mujahideen had hatched a conspiracy to wage a war against India and decided to carry out bomb blasts in Hyderabad to create terror in the mind of people and further the activities of the outfit. The main feature of the conspiracy was that the accused were communicating through the Internet, chatting with each other throughout the planning, finding suitable hideouts, purchasing material for the bombs, until the final escape, it said.They were also found to have used proxy servers to hide their identity, it said. The role of Yasin Bhatkal in the planning, procurement of explosives and harbouring of Asadullah Akhthar after the incident, was also unearthed by the NIA, the agency said. During investigation, a total of 440 witnesses were examined and 251 documents and 300 material objects seized. Extensive cyber forensic evidence was gathered and placed on record, according to the agency.Meanwhile, the counsel for the IM operatives said he will file an appeal before the high court against the conviction of his clients after obtaining a certified copy of the judgement. “I have received instruction to file (an appeal) from them (the convicts) and their relatives,” defence counsel Mahadevan said.

Yasin Bhatkal sentenced to death: All you need to know about the Indian Mujahideen co-founder

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yasin Bhatkal, born as Mohammed Ahmed Siddibappa, and co-founder of banned terror outfit Indian Mujahideen was on Monday awarded death penalty by a special NIA court in Hyderabad in the February 2013 Hyderabad blasts case. The simultaneous detonation of two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) near the Dilsukhnagar bus stop on February 21, 2013, had killed 21 and injured 107.Yasin Bhatkal figured very high on the list of India’s most wanted terrorists. In 2013, he was arrested by Indian agencies near the border in Nepal. Here’s all you need to know about Yasin Bhatkal:
ALSO READ Dilkhusnagar blasts: NIA court gives death penalty to IM founder Yasin Bhatkal and four others 1. Yasin was born in Bhatkal, Uttara Kannada, Karnataka in 1983. He was educated at Bhatkal’s AnjumanHami-e-Muslimeen school. He speaks English, Hindi, Urdu and Kannada and is believed to be an engineering graduate. 2. As a teenager, he left for Pune. He was later introduced to other members of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) as a trained engineer. This is in contradiction to the findings of the Pune police which found no documentation suggesting he ever studied in the city. Instead, investigators say, he spent much of his time with a hometown childhood friend, Unani medicine practitioner-turned-Islamist proselytiser Iqbal Ismail Shahbandri. Another theory suggests that he dropped out of class 10. 3. The Shahbandari brothers – Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal, who were activists of the Students Islamic Movement of India, allegedly indoctrinated Bhatkal. They later launched the IM. 4. The 2013 Hyderabad attack is not the only terror attack that Bhatkal has been linked with. He has been involved in several terror attacks in the country and killings of hundreds of people. He allegedly played an important role in the 2010 German Bakery bomb blast in Pune. 5. Bhatkal is also believed to have played an important role in the 2011 bombings at Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House and Dadar, killing 26 people and injuring 130.6. 12 different states claim that Bhatkal planted bombs in at least 10 of the blasts that rocked the country since 2008. Ahmedabad (2008), Surat (2008), Jaipur (2008), New Delhi (2008), Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi (2010), Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru (2010), German Bakery in Pune (2011), Mumbai (2011), Hyderabad (2013) and Bengaluru (2013) are the various places where he is said to have carried out blasts. Chargesheets have been filed by anti-terror agencies from all these places.7. Yasin is also believed to be an expert bomb-maker.8. It is also said that the reason why it took so long to nab Bhatkal was because he was a master of disguises.9. Bhatkal is one of the few criminals who reportedly did not use email. He used to live in rural areas and changed his address regularly. Additionally, according to the ATS he would discard both his SIM card and phone, immediately after making a call.

DNA Evening Must Reads: Death penalty for Yasin Bhatkal; Karun Nair’s triple ton; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Dilkhusnagar blasts: NIA court gives death penalty to IM founder Yasin Bhatkal and four othersOn Tuesday last week, in the first ever conviction of banned Indian Mujahideen cadres in a terror case, a special NIA court in Hyderabad convicted Mohammed Ahmed Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal and four others for being involved in 2013 twin blasts at Dilsukhnagar which had claimed 18 lives. Read more here.2. Demonetization like World War 2 fire-bombing on poor people: Rahul GandhiIn a direct attack on the Prime Minister, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today alleged that Narendra Modi visits the US and China “using” the aircraft of his wealthy “friends” and has “made fun” of 99 per cent honest people through demonetisation. Read what Rahul Gandhi said here.3. New ‘Rs 5,000 bank deposit’ rule: RBI announcement decodedThe Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced restrictions on deposits of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in an attempt to check the laundering of unaccounted cash and also boost the money that goes to new government scheme- Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), 2016. Read the provisions here.4. EPFO lowers provident fund interest rate from 8.8% to 8.65% for 2016-17Retirement fund body Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) decided to lower the interest on Employee Provident Fund (EPF) deposits for the current fiscal to 8.65%, from 8.8 provided in 2015-16, for its over four crore subscribers.Read more here.5. IND vs ENG: Karun Nair creates unprecedented Indian feat by smashing triple tonKarun Nair became the second Indian after Virender Sehwag to score a triple century as India declared their first innings at 759 for seven, a lead of 282 runs, on day four of the fifth and final test against England on Monday. England reached 12 for no loss at stumps. Read more here.

Dilkhusnagar blasts: NIA court gives death penalty to IM founder Yasin Bhatkal and four others

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Five Indian Mujahideen operatives have been sentenced to death for February 2013 Hyderabad blasts case by special NIA court in Hyderabad. IM co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, Pakistani national Zia-ur-Rahman and 3 others have been given the maximum penalty. On Tuesday last week, in the first ever conviction of banned Indian Mujahideen cadres in a terror case, a special NIA court in Hyderabad convicted Mohammed Ahmed Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal and four others for being involved in 2013 twin blasts at Dilsukhnagar which had claimed 18 lives.The NIA special court convicted Bhatkal and others under various sections of Indian Penal Code, Arms Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Besides Bhatkal, the others convicted were Asadullah Akthar of Uttar Pradesh, Zia-ur-Rahman alias Waqas of Pakistan, Tahseen Akhthar of Bihar and Aizaz Shaik of Maharashtra. All of them are in judicial custody. The alleged key conspirator Riyaz Bhatkal, believed to be operating from Karachi, is still at large.The final arguments in the case concerning the attack, carried out on February 21, 2013 in which 18 people were killed and 131 injured others, concluded last month during which 157 witnesses were examined. Trial in the case had begun on August 24 last year.In its charge sheet, the NIA had claimed that Indian Mujahideen had hatched a conspiracy to wage a war against India and decided to carry out bomb blasts in Hyderabad to create terror in the minds of people and further the activities of the outfit. The main operative of the module, Riyaz Bhatkal, who is named as the first accused in the case, had allegedly directed his associates Asadullah Akhtar and Waqas to find a place in Mangalore to be used as a hide-out for explosive materials sent by him, it had allaged.After receiving the materials sent by Riyaz through an unknown person, and the money sent by him by way of hawala and other channels, Asadullah Akhtar and Waqas reached Hyderabad and started working with Tahseen Akhthar alias Monu, who had already reached there and was living in a hideout in Abdullapurmet area, the NIA probe report claimed. The three of them prepared two IEDs while staying there. The other materials needed to make the bomb, including a pressure cooker and timers, were arranged in Hyderabad. After the bomb was made, on February 21, they mounted two IEDs on two bicycles (purchased by them for that purpose), and planted them in two separate places in Dilsukhnagar, it alleged.The NIA investigation has brought to evidence all the financial help received by the accused from abroad. The NIA also said it learnt that the miscreants, after procuring the explosive materials to Hyderabad, had conducted a test blast in a hillock near Abdullapurmet in Hyderabad.The main feature of the conspiracy was that the accused were communicating through the Internet, chatting with each other throughout the planning, finding suitable hideouts, purchasing materials for the bombs, until the final escape. They were also found to have used proxy servers to hide their identity.The role of Yasin Bhatkal in the planning, procurement of explosives and harbouring of Asadullah Akhthar after the incident, was also unearthed by the NIA, the agency said. During investigation, a total of 440 witnesses were examined and 251 documents and 300 material objects seized. Extensive cyber forensic evidence was gathered and placed on record as evidence. With PTI inputs

J&K: Separatists hint at calling off six-month long shutdown, want a ‘long-term plan’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid unease and fatigue displayed increasingly by people over shutdown, Kashmiri separatists hinted on Wednesday at calling off the six-month long strike call from the beginning of next year, saying they would instead focus on long-term plan of programmes and initiatives. In a joint statement, hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani, chief of moderate faction of Hurriyat Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLJ chief Mohammad Yasin Malik said they are working on a plan for transition from weekly protest calendars to a long term-plan of programmes and initiatives.They said the announcement of the “transition plan” may take some more time as “most of the leadership has been caged and all kinds of hurdles put in place to thwart and sabotage our every move by force”. They stated this while issuing a fresh protest calendar for the next two weeks, during which the number of strike days has been scaled down.While people have been asked to observe complete shutdown on Fridays and Saturdays, there will be no strike on rest of the five days of the week till December 31, as per their call. The change of strategy comes amid unease and fatigue displayed over the prolonged shutdown by the people who are increasingly defying the call and going about their work for livelihood and other aspects of normal life.

Dilsukhnagar blasts: Yasin Bhatkal, 4 others convicted by Hyderabad court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the first conviction of Indian Mujahideen cadre, a special court for cases probed by National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Hyderabad on Tuesday convicted Yasin Bhatkal and four others in connection with the February 2013 Dilsukhnagar twin blasts case.The court had framed charges against Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, Pakistani national Zia-ur-Rahman alias Waqas, Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi, Tahaseen Akhtar alias Monu and Aijaz Sheikh, who are at present lodged in the Cherlapally Prison.Indian Mujahideen founder Riyaz Bhatkal, the prime accused in the case, is absconding. The case was split up against him.Eighteen people were killed and 131 injured in two deadly explosions near Konark and Venkatadiri theatres in Dilsukhnagar, a crowded shopping area in the city, on February 21, 2013.The accused were tried under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, and other relevant acts including IPC.(With agency inputs)

J-K: JKLF chairman Yasin Malik detained

Fri, 2 Dec 2016-03:33pm , Srinagar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police detained JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik after he, along with his supporters, tried to take out a protest march towards Lal Chowk city centre here.Malik was detained near Maisuma here as he and his supporters tried to take out a protest march towards Lal Chowk after Friday prayers, a police official said.He said Malik was taken to police station Kothi Bagh.

Life comes back to normal in Kashmir after 133 days of unrest

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the first time in the last four and half months of unrest, Kashmir came alive with the usual hustle and bustle on Saturday.Markets reopened in the valley for full day for the first time since Hizbul Mujhadeen poster boy Burhan Wani was killed on July 8. Traffic snarls were back and streets were filled with the shoppers. Few schools reopened and government departments were buzzing with activities.This follows the two full day relaxation in the shutdowns from Saturday announced by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) — a conglomerate of Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani, moderate leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and JKLF leader Mohammad Yasin Malik spearheading the unrest.The 133 days of unrest, however, has inflicted heavy human and economic losses to the Kashmir valley. More than 90 people have been killed and over 13,000 people injured in the unrest. Over 1,100 people, mostly teenagers, have suffered injuries in their eyes when security forces fired pellets to quell the violent mobs across Kashmir.Figures released by Kashmir Inc reveal that the valley has suffered more than Rs 16,000 crore financial losses due to the curfews and shutdowns since the unrest began after the killing Burhan Wani on July 8.”Our estimates show we have incurred losses of Rs 16,000 crore so far. It happened with us in 2008, 2010, and now in 2016 again. We are living in a conflict and therefore permanent solution of Kashmir issue is necessary. We have lost over 100 boys and many others have lost eyes to pellets,” Mohammad Yasin Khan, chairman Kashmir Economic Alliance, an apex body of trade, transport, tourism, and allied sectors, told DNA.Tourism sector has taken a big hit in the four and half months of unrest. Official figures reveal that the tourism sector suffered a loss of Rs 3,000 crore. Official data reveal that around three lakh tourists had visited Kashmir between July 2015 and September 2015. The footfalls of tourist, however, was reduced to trickle in the corresponding period of the current year because of this.”We need continuity. This change has to be there for all days of week. That will give confidence to our clients outside so that they can think of coming to Kashmir. We have to make efforts ahead of the season,” said GM Dag, chairman Kashmir Hotel and Restaurants Owners Federation.For shoppers, it was a delight to walk the fashionable markets in Lal Chowk again. “I could not believe my eyes that markets are open. I finally bought a shawl for winter,” said Aisha Khan, a school teacher.

Kashmir: Curfew imposed in parts of Srinagar ahead of separatists’ protest march

Kashmir: Curfew imposed in parts of Srinagar ahead of separatists’ protest march

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Srinagar: Authorities on Friday imposed curfew in parts of Srinagar to prevent a protest march called by the separatists, officials said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“Curfew has been imposed in seven areas to maintain law and order,” the police said.

Separatists have called for the march to the Jamia Mosque in the city’s Nowhatta area.

Congregational Friday prayers have not been allowed inside the mosque.

Separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umer Farooq has been kept under house arrest while Muhammad Yasin Malik was arrested and shifted to the Srinagar central jail on Thursday.

Syed Ali Geelani continues to remain under house arrest.

Meanwhile, the ongoing unrest has entered the fifth month after it started in Srinagar on 9 July.

Ninety-five people have been killed and over 12,000 injured during the ongoing violence in the valley.

Kashmir unrest: Separatists in huddle over ‘future strategy’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the unrest in the Valley entering its 123rd day on Tuesday, the separatists held a meeting here with traders and other organisations to chalk out the future course of action. Hurriyat faction chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chief Yasin Malik and Hurriyat faction head Syed Ali Geelani were present in the meeting in which all the forums including educationists, transporters, civil society members, religious, social and political organizations, bar association were called.According to reports, various issues regarding the ongoing uprising and other issues like education and conduct of examination came up during talks.The meeting comes after the government allowed the trio to meet on Sunday for the first time in the past four months since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8th, which threw the entire Valley into turmoil. On November 2nd, authorities did not allow a similar meeting of separatists, by barring their entry into the residence of Geelani.

Sushma Swaraj to rescue: Assures visa to Pakistani mother for child’s treatment

Fri, 4 Nov 2016-11:21pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj responded to a visa request on Friday, by an Indian man living in Dubai for his Pakistani wife for treatment of their son in Mumbai. In a tweet, Yasin said he applied for visa for his Pakistani wife in September to travel to Mumbai for treatment of their son who is special child. “Where have you applied for Indian visa for your Pakistani wife ? Also pl give details of your child’s treatment in Mumbai ?” Swaraj tweeted on Friday.Earlier, Yasin tweeted “I am struggling to get medical attendant visa for my wife who is pakistani, to get treatment for my child in Mumbai.”The External Affairs Minister also assured help when a man named Namuduri Venkata Rao requested her to help him get a visa to visit Ukraine to attend to his son who is admitted in a hospital in that country. “My son suffering pneumonia coma from 10days, pls help me provide visa urgently to visit my son in zaprozhye hospital,ukraine,” tweeted the man to which Swaraj said her office will contact him.

Kashmir school fire: Jammu & Kashmir govt sees separatist hand

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid increasing incidents of burning of schools, the state government on Monday pointed accusing fingers at separatists, saying they had started the “era of destruction” in Kashmir but were now trying to find an escape route. Education Minister Naeem Akhtar also ruled out any probe into these incidents, saying, “One does not have to research for the source of this huge conspiracy against the hapless people of Kashmir.”In a statement, he said, “burning of schools is one of the ploys to keep the fire burning (in Kashmir)… It is the same people who are promoting looting of banks, torching of shops and vehicles, stoning innocents, intimidation of citizens, who are responsible for burning the educational institutes.”Over the last few months, around 25 schools have been burnt down mysteriously across the Kashmir valley. Asserting that “no inquiry is needed to find out who is behind all this”, the minister said, “It is those people who have created this tirade against education, because they see it as a threat to their vested interests.” Akhtar said the separatists had mounted a tiger and are now trying hard to keep the conflict going.Targeting Yasin Malik, the minister said in the initial phase, the JKLF chief and others were “at the forefront of driving the shutdowns but now they have distanced themselves and thrown the ball solely in the court of (hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman) Syed Ali Shah Geelani.”Defending his decision to hold Board examinations as per schedule, the Education Minister said the government is not trying to invent or impose anything new in the academic arena of the state.”We are only trying to safeguard the career of lakhs of students, whereas separatists, with their shutdown calls, are trying to destroy their academic career,” said Akhtar, who is also government spokesman.Referring to the Malik’s statement that the burning of schools in Kashmir was a conspiracy to defame the separatist leaders, Akhtar said, “those saying that government decision to hold exams has forced students to torch the educational institutes should go for a self-introspection”.The Education Minister appealed to people from all schools of thought to keep the education conflict-neutral. “Just see Palestine or the recent happenings in Aleppo, Syria. Their schools are never shut even if there are bombings, killings and full-fledged war. They know that education is the key and in no way they can stop education. Compared to that, Kashmir is a peaceful region, except for the insecurity caused by the hartal politics being promoted through stone-pelting and intimidation,” Akhtar said.”In Kashmir too, we faced unfortunate deaths for which all of us are heartbroken and pained, but for saving the future generation, education has to go on,” he said.Taking on Yasin Malik, Akhtar said, “It is the examination time for leaders like Mohammad Yasin Malik who is now facing questions from the people over the way they are pushing Kashmiris into perpetual economic and academic disempowerment.” He also asked him to clarify whether he is with militancy or non-violence.”Malik is famous for saying that he was inspired by (Mahatma) Gandhiji when he announced ceasefire and abandoned his path to martyrdom whereas he is promoting others to do so and continues to glorify violence. Now I want to ask him whether he stands with violence or Gandhi Ji’s principles of non-violence. Has he again changed his thoughts,” Akhtar asked.Congress wants sternest punishmentCondemning the burning down of schools in Kashmir, state Congress chief G A Mir on Monday said it is an attack on the future of children and the culprits must be identified for sternest punishment.”We express disappointment over the incidents of burning down of school buildings in various parts of the valley and strongly condemn these unlawful activities, which are being performed to destroy the career of our children,” Mir said.The former Tourism Minister said it the inefficiency and incompetence of the State, which is not able to protect the infrastructure in the valley and secure the future of children from being getting ruined. He said the burning down of schools is an attack on the future of our children and the culprits must be identified sternest punishment.”The attack on schools is a ploy to damage the education system. The government must come out of the deep slumber and stop such unlawful activities,” he said.Describing burning down of schools as one of the greatest tragedies, the Congress unit chief said the government must rise to the occasion to protect education institutions, as such type of unfortunate incidents reflect the utter failure of the state government.

Yasin Malik detained ahead of seminar by separatists

JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik was detained hours after his release on court orders even as Jammu and Kashmir government allowed the separatist Hurriyat Conference to hold a seminar for opposing construction of Sainik colony for Kashmiri Pandits and soldiers in the Valley.Malik, who was released on bail on Saturday after a week-long detention in a case related to 1987 elections, was picked up by police late on Saturday night from his Maisuma residence and lodged at Kothibagh police station, police said on Sunday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The detention of Malik, who has been at the forefront of fresh efforts at unity among separatists, came hours ahead of a joint seminar by separatist outfits at the residence of hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani.The separatist groups had last week decided to launch an awareness campaign against the setting up of separate townships for Kashmiri Pandits and constructing Sainik colonies in the valley. The seminar at Geelani’s residence is part of the joint strategy adopted by the separatist groups. They are planning to hold a silent sit-in on June 15 against any government move to set up the township for Kashmiri Pandits or retired military personnel of the state.The separatist groups have alleged that these townships and colonies are being constructed to settle people from other parts of India in Kashmir to change the demography of the Valley.The PDP-BJP government in the state has made it clear that there would be no separate townships for Kashmiri Pandits but transit accommodation will be provided to them till the security situation improves allowing them to return to their native places. It has also ruled out setting up any Sainik colony in Kashmir in view of “scarcity of land”.

Hours after his release, Yasin Malik detained ahead of seminar by separatists

Srinagar: JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik was detained hours after his release on court orders even as Jammu and Kashmir government allowed the separatist Hurriyat Conference to hold a seminar for opposing construction of Sainik colony for Kashmiri Pandits and soldiers in the Valley.

Malik, who was yesterday released on bail after a week-long detention in a case related to 1987 elections, was picked up by police late last night from his Maisuma residence and lodged at Kothibagh police station, police said on Sunday.

File photo of Yasin Malik. News 18

File photo of Yasin Malik. News 18

The detention of Malik, who has been at the forefront of fresh efforts at unity among separatists, came hours ahead of a joint seminar by separatist outfits at the residence of hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

The separatist groups had last week decided to launch an awareness campaign against the setting up of separate townships for Kashmiri Pandits and constructing Sainik colonies in the valley.

The seminar at Geelani’s residence is part of the joint strategy adopted by the separatist groups. They are planning to hold a silent sit-in on June 15 against any government move to set up the township for Kashmiri Pandits or retired military personnel of the state.

The separatist groups have alleged that these townships and colonies are being constructed to settle people from other parts of India in Kashmir to change the demography of the Valley.

The PDP-BJP government in the state has made it clear that there would be no separate townships for Kashmiri Pandits but transit accommodation will be provided to them till the security situation improves allowing them to return to their native places.

It has also ruled out setting up any Sainik colony in Kashmir in view of “scarcity of land”.

Jammu and Kashmir: JKLF chief Yasin Malik released on bail

Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik was released on bail on Saturday in a 29-year-old case. He was arrested here last week. Malik was presented before the special judge, TADA court who granted him bail, a JKLF spokesman said. After being granted bail, Malik went to his residence in Maisuma, he added. Malik was arrested by police on May 25 from his office in Abi Guzar area of the city, the spokesman said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The JKLF chairman was sent to Srinagar Central Jail on May 28. Subsequently, he was granted bail and released on June 3. However, on the same night, police arrested him again in connection with a case registered in 1987, the spokesman added.

German bakery blast: Bombay HC awards life term to convict, cites lack of evidence

Mumbai: In a reprieve to the lone convict Himayat Baig in 2010 Pune German Bakery blast, the Bombay High Court on Thursday quashed the death sentence awarded to him due to lack of evidence and the prosecution’s failure to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

A division bench of Justices NH Patil and SB Shukre while pronouncing the judgement in the blast case that came as an embarassment to the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), however, confirmed 35-year-old Baig’s conviction and life sentence imposed on him for possession of explosives (RDX).

According to the prosecution, the investigating agency had recovered around 1,200 kg of RDX from Baig’s Latur residence after his arrest in September 2010.

The High Court quashed and set aside Baig’s conviction under various sections of the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), under sections 120(B) (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC, and under some sections of the Explosive Substances Act.

File photo of the German bakery after the bomb blast. ReutersFile photo of the German bakery after the bomb blast. Reuters

File photo of the German bakery after the bomb blast. Reuters

Baig’s conviction under Section 5 (b) of the Explosive Substances Act for possession of explosives was confirmed by the High Court on Thursday. He was sentenced to life under this section by the trial court in Pune.

The High Court also confirmed Baig’s conviction under section 474 of IPC, for submitting forged documents while procuring mobile phone SIM cards. He was awarded a seven-year sentence by the trial court under this section.

The High Court also confirmed his conviction under sections 465 (forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security) and 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) of IPC.

Dressed in a black shirt and blue jeans, Baig was present in the court when the judgement was pronounced.

The court said the period already undergone by Baig in prison from his arrest till date shall be considered as part of the sentence.

The High Court further said that it need not pass any order on the applications filed by two witnesses in the case, as it has acquitted Baig of the charges.

When Baig filed his appeal in the High Court challenging the death penalty, two witnesses in the case had also filed an application seeking for their evidence to be recorded again as their statement was taken under duress.

Baig, who the ATS said was a member of the terrorist outfit Indian Mujahideen, was arrested in September 2010 for involvement in the blast at German Bakery, a popular eatery in Pune’s Koregaon Park area, which killed 17 persons and injured 58, including some foreign nationals.

In 2013, a sessions court in Pune convicted him and awarded him the capital punishment. Under UAPA, Baig has been acquitted under sections
16(1)(a) (terrorist act which results in death of persons), 10(a) (member of unlawful association), 10 (b) (committing act to promote unlawful association), 20 (punishment for being member of terrorist gang), 18 (punishment for conspiracy), 13(1)(b) (abetting unlawful activity) and 13(2) (assisting unlawful activity).

Under IPC, Baig has been acquitted under Section 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy), Section 302 (murder), Section 307 (attempt to murder), Section 453 (punishment for trespassing) and Section 153 (a) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion or race).

Under Explosive Substances Act, Baig has been acquitted under sections 3(b) (unlawfully causing explosion likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to a person) and 4 (a) (b) (attempt to cause explosion).

There are total eight accused in the case, of whom six are wanted.

Besides Baig, another accused Qateel Siddiqui was also arrested, but he died in Pune’s Yerawada jail following a scuffle with other inmates.

The other wanted accused in the case are: IM operatives Yasin Bhatkal, Mohsin Choudhary, Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal Ismail Bhatkal, Fayyaz Kagzi and Sayyad Zabiuddin Ansari.

According to prosecution, the bomb used in the blast was assembled at Baig’s internet cafe. Thereafter, he travelled to Pune by bus with Mohsin Choudhary and planted the bomb.

However, Baig’s lawyer Mehmood Pracha had earlier argued that Baig was not even present in Pune at the time of the blast, and that he was attending a wedding in Latur.

According to Pracha, it was Qateel Siddiqui who along with Yasin Bhatkal went to Pune.

Former journalist Ashish Khetan had also earlier filed a PIL, alleging that Baig was falsely implicated and the case should be probed afresh by NIA.

PTI

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