Judge Loya death ; Next hearing on Feb.2

Evening NEWS DIGEST 22 January 2018

Asia Times News Desk

SC transfers pending PILs on Judge Loya’s death to itself; Bars other courts from hearing on it;Next hearing on Feb.2

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/supreme-court-transfers-pending-pils-on-judge-loyas-death-to-itself/article22490386.ece?homepage=true

The Supreme Court has assured to dispassionately examine the circumstances surrounding the death of CBI judge BH Loya and reach its own objective conclusion.The apex court called the controversy surrounding the death a “serious issue” and urged for a sense of objectivity.Addressing fears that the media may be gagged, CJI Dipak Misra said the Supreme Court will “never gag the press.”A 3-judge Bench of CJI Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud transferred two PILs on Loya’s death, pending before the Bombay High Court, to itself. The Bench restrained other HCs from entertaining any petitions in connection with the death of Loya.Bench allowed both Maharashtra and the petitioners to place documents, including ones accessed through RTI, before it in sealed covers. The documents also contain statements made by two district judges, who went on to be high court judges. These two judges were associated with Loya.The Bench allowed Bombay Lawyers’ Association, represented by senior advocate Dushyant Dave, to file an intervention application. Senior advocate Indira Jaising was also allowed to file an intervention application on behalf of certain social activists.”Let us look at the matter with a sense of objectivity. Of course, it is a serious issue. We have the records before us. We will also look at records which you say was obtained through RTI, so that we have a consistent statement of what exactly happened. We cannot analyse merely on the basis of media reports,” Justice Chandrachud observed orally.The Bench took exception to comments made by Dave about senior advocates Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Maharashtra govt.  Dave said Salve had earlier appeared for BJP president Amit Shah, who was discharged as an accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case. This was the very case Loya was hearing when he died in December 2014.”We are looking into the death of a judge. Please do not pass any comments about persons appearing in the matter. To appear for or not, we all do according to our conscience,” Justice Chandrachud tried to calm tempers.The to-and-fro between lawyers on both sides heightened when Mr. Salve requested the court that the records given to lawyers in the case should not be shared outside. Immediately, Ms. Jaising reacted by terming as an attempt to gag the media. Dave also joined in to say that “an entire institution is trying to protect one man”.Salve explained that two serving judges have made statements, which are part of the records of the case. Discussing these statements in public would “embarass” them.”How can anyone discuss an issue which is sub judice?” Justice Khanwilkar asked.”You cannot stop the nation from discussing,” Dave replied.Ms. Jaising said the judges had made their statements as witnesses and there was no bar in a discussion of their statements.At one point, when Dave raised his voice, Justice Khanwilkar asked him why he was “provoked”. But Dave continued to say that “all this is to protect one man and one man only… Amit Shah”.The hearing also saw a visibly angry Chief Justice Misra chastise Ms. Jaising for “drawing an inference” that the court is set to pass an order to gag the media. The case was posted for hearing on Feb.2. thehindu

SC Decides To Hear Petitions Seeking Probe In To Judge Loya’s Death, Orders Transfer Of Petitions Pending Before Bombay HC To SC [Read Order]

 http://www.livelaw.in/sc-decides-hear-petitions-seeking-probe-judge-loyas-death-orders-transfer-petitions-pending-bombay-hc/

Blow-by-blow fireworks in the SC Loya case today: Dave vs Salve & Rohatgi • CJI vs Jaising

https://www.legallyindia.com/supreme-court/blow-by-blow-fireworks-in-the-sc-loya-case-today-dave-vs-salve-rohatgi-cji-vs-jaising-20180122-9030

Man who petitioned SC wants independent inquiry in Justice Loya’s death

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/man-who-petitioned-to-supreme-court-hopes-for-justice-in-justice-loya-case/story-JqUK3PuEcqbvFQNJKbRMYK.html

New Delhi: Bandhuraj Lone, petitioner who is seeking SIT probe in Justice Loya death case on Monday, said he hoped that the former judge is served justice.While asserting that he has complete faith in the Indian judicial system, Lone hoped for a favourable verdict.“We have kept forward the circumstantial pieces of evidence in the Justice Loya death case. I am hopeful that the decision will be in our favour. I believe justice will be served to Justice Loya,” Lone said.“We demand an enquiry by an independent agency in the matter,”he added.ANI

Sohrabuddin case: Bombay HC to hear plea against CBI’s decision not to appeal against Amit Shah’s discharge

http://www.timesnownews.com/india/article/bombay-high-court-sohrabuddin-sheikh-fake-encounter-case-bjp-president-amit-shah-justice-loya/191192

Mumbai: Bombay High Court will tomorroe hear a plea seeking a direction to CBI to challenge the discharge order of BJP President Amit Shah in Sohrabuddin Shaikh ‘fake encounter’ case.A special CBI court had December 30, 2014 order passed by a court here discharging the BJP Chief Amit Shah in the case. The Bombay Lawyers Association, which has filed the public interest litigation, has termed the CBI’s decision not to challenge the decision as “illegal, arbitrary and malafide.” PIL urged the high court to issue a direction to CBI to file a revision application challenging the sessions court’s order discharging Shah.The plea was on Monday mentioned before a division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Bharti Dangre and the High Court has agreed to hear the plea.Times Now

Chhattisgarh : Citing AAP case, Cong seeks disqualification of 11 BJP MLAs in

http://www.newindianexpress.com/pti-news/2018/jan/22/citing-aap-case-cong-seeks-disqualification-of-11-bjp-mlas-in-1761336.html

Raipur:Opposition Congress in Chhattisgarh today demanded disqualification of 11 MLAs of the ruling BJP for “holding” posts of parliamentary secretaries, within days of 20 AAP MLAs in Delhi being disqualified in an “office of profit” case.”Action taken in Delhi has proved that the appointment of BJP MLAs in Chhattisgarh to the posts of parliamentary secretaries is also unconstitutional.”Therefore, a similar action should be taken by the Election Commission of India against these MLAs here for holding offices of profit,” Congress leader Mohammad Akbar told a press conference today.Akbar said last year he had filed a petition in Chhattisgarh High Court seeking quashing of the appointment of MLAs as parliamentary secretaries.He said he had then written to the poll panel on the issue in the year 2016.”In response to my letter, in November 2016, ECI stated that it goes into the disqualification of sitting MLAs only if a reference is made to it by the Governor of the state concerned,” Akbar said.Akbar, a former minister, said he wrote to Chhattisgarh Governor Balramji Das Tandon after the EC’s response.”However, even after over a year, the Governor did not refer the matter to the ECI for further consideration,” Akbar said, alleging that the Governor was not discharging his Constitutional duty. He also accused the Raman Singh Govt  of violating the Chhattisgarh HC order by not withdrawing all the facilities entitled to the parliamentary secretaries on a par with state ministers.The high court, which is yet to pass any order on Akbar’s petition, had earlier directed the state Govt  to withdraw power of all parliamentary secretaries.However, Akbar alleged that Govt  withdrew only the financial power of discretionary fund conferred upon parliamentary secretaries.” Parliamentary secretaries are still enjoying perks in the form of bungalows, cars and other facilities like ministers,” he alleged. He said BJP-led dispensation is scared that disqualification of 11 MLAs will reduce them to a minority Govt .PTI

Disqualified MLAs: AAP to file fresh PIL in Delhi HC

https://www.ndtv.com/delhi-news/20-aap-lawmakers-withdraw-plea-for-stay-on-disqualification-report-1803235?pfrom=home-topscroll

New Delhi: AAP MLAs have withdrawn a petition they had filed in the Delhi High Court against Election Commission’s recommendation that they be disqualified for holding offices of profit. Party sources said they will file a fresh petition after President Ram Nath Kovind signed off on the disqualification of the 20 AAP MLAs. If the HC rejects AAP’s appeal, CM Arvind Kejriwal’s party has said it will move the Supreme Court.MLAs immediately moved the HC against the EC’s recommendation, alleging that they were not given an opportunity to defend themselves by the Election Commission. The HC was to have heard that petition at 4 pm today. AAP MLAs withdrew the earlier petition and will now file a fresh petition.”President’s order to disqualify AAP MLAs is unconstitutional and dangerous for democracy,” said senior AAP leader Ashutosh. Parliamentary secretaries assist ministers with their work. AAP insists that despite holding the post, its MLAs did not take salary or perks and so they cannot be seen as having held offices of profit.If courts do not stop the disqualification, by-elections will be held for the 20 seats. Even the loss of all 20 will not impact AAP’s majority in the assembly. The party has 65 seats in the 70-member assembly. If it is reduced to 46, it will still have many more MLAs than the majority mark of 35.Deputy CM Manish Sisodia tweeted an open letter to the people of Delhi today, stating, “Is it justified to disqualify elected leaders in such an unconstitutional and illegal way?Is it fair to force elections?Is this not dirty politics?”NDTV

Why the haste to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs: Shiv Sena

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/why-the-haste-to-disqualify-20-aap-mlas-asks-shiv-sena/articleshow/62602544.cms

MUMBAI: Shiv Sena raised questions over “the haste” with which 20 MLAs of the ruling AP in Delhi were disqualified for holding ‘office of profit’. “This is an unprecedented incident in which so many elected legislators have been disqualified in a wholesale manner. Delhi CM  Arvind Kejriwal is facing a crisis, and that is because of the public campaign against corruption and injustice,” the Shiv Sena said. IANS

Hours before Modi’s Davos pitch, World Economic Forum rates India below Pak & China in inclusive development

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/wef-ranks-india-at-62nd-place-on-inclusive-development-index/articleshow/62602574.cms

India was today ranked at the 62nd place among emerging economies on an Inclusive Development Index, much below China’s 26th position and Pakistan’s 47th. Norway remains the world’s most inclusive advanced economy, while Lithuania again tops the list of emerging economies, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said while releasing the yearly index here before the start of its annual meeting, to be attended by several world leaders including PM Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump. The index takes into account the “living standards, environmental sustainability and protection of future generations from further indebtedness”, WEF said. It urged the leaders to urgently move to a new model of inclusive growth and development, saying reliance on GDP as a measure of economic achievement is fuelling short-termism and inequality. India was ranked 60th among 79 developing economies last year, as against China’s 15th and Pakistan’s 52nd position. 2018 index, which measures progress of 103 economies on three individual pillars — growth and development; inclusion; and intergenerational equity — has been divided into 2 parts. The first part covers 29 advanced economies and second 74 emerging economies. Index has also classified the countries into 5 sub-categories in terms of the five-year trend of their overall Inclusive Development Growth score — receding, slowly receding, stable, slowly advancing and advancing. Despite its low overall score, India is among the ten emerging economies with ‘advancing’ trend. Only 2 advanced economies have shown ‘advancing’ trend. Among advanced economies, Norway is followed by Ireland, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Denmark in top 5. Small European economies dominate the top of the index, with Australia (9) the only non-European economy in the top 10.Of G7 economies, Germany (12) ranks the highest. It is followed by Canada (17), France (18), the UK (21), US(23),Japan(24) and Italy (27). The top-5 most inclusive emerging economies are Lithuania,Hungary, Azerbaijan, Latvia and Poland. Performance is mixed among BRICS economies, with Russian Federation ranking 19th, followed by China (26), Brazil (37), India (62) and South Africa (69). PTI

Indians’ trust in govt and media slips, Trump’s US losing faith in institutions: Survey

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/indians-trust-in-govt-and-media-slips-trump-s-us-losing-faith-in-institutions-survey/story-3fop1DprDjnLQFKoplnakI.html

Trust in govt, media and non-Govt al organisations as institutions has dropped in India, says a survey released on the eve of the World Economic Forum in Davos where PM  Narendra Modi will speak about the country as an investment destination.As many as 70% respondents said they trusted the Govt , according to the annual Edelman Trust Barometer, a 5 percentage point drop from last year. As many as 61% people said they trusted the media–compared to 66% last year. As many as 68% people said they trusted NGOs–compared to 71% last year. As many as 74% said they trusted business–a number unchanged from last year. India, with a loss of 13 percentage point, was among the six countries with ‘extreme trust losses’ for the four institutes.The survey showed overall trust in the four institutions fell sharpest in the United States than in any of the 28 countries surveyed. Trust in the US Govt  has plunged since President Donald Trump’s first year in office.Trump has broken with presidential tradition and repeatedly denounced the media and judiciary attacks his critics say risk undermining public confidence in those institutions. Italy, Brazil, South Africa and Colombia were the other countries with ‘extreme trust losses’.By contrast, the country that saw the biggest trust gains among its own citizens was China, after a year in which President Xi Jinping cemented his hold on power at a triumphal party congress.hindustantimes

Dalits March in London Against Atrocities in India

http://caravandaily.com/portal/dalits-march-in-london-against-atrocities-in-india/

London:Dalit groups from across the UK have called for the international community to take notice of extreme violence against millions of Dalits and other minorities by Modi’s Hindutva govt.UK’s key Dalit organisations came together for a large march bracing heavy rain on Saturday to protest against the incarceration of over 7,000 Dalits in Bhima-Koregaon, Maharashtra, who were picked up by the security forces after clashes and riots earlier this month. Dalits had gathered to celebrate the historic Jan.1, 1818 event when a few hundred Dalit soldiers had defeated the massive Peshwa Army. As Dalits gathered to celebrate, upper caste Marathas, supported by the security forces, attacked the participants violently, killing one and injuring and maiming hundreds.At the London demonstration to show solidarity with the victims, the Dalit organisations were supported by progressive groups, including South Asia Solidarity Movement, demanding the release of prisoners and an end to attacks on women and activists. The protestors said that the continuing incarceration of Dalit Leader Chandrashekhar Azad was illegal and unjustified. The rally at Parliament Square, Westminster, marched towards the Indian High Commission and throughout the way protesters chanted slogans against the atrocities being committed against Dalits, Muslims and Sikhs. At Indian High Commission, no official received memorandum from the protesters which was pasted at door of the High Commission. Renowned activist Amrit Wilson told that Muslims were facing “genocide-like situation” in India and there was no one to speak up for them. She said that now Dalits were facing the same situation. “International community must take notice of what’s happening in India. It’s a scandal that needs to be exposed.”Caravan News

Talaq Bill will have an adverse effect on families: Azad

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2018/jan/22/triple-talaq-bill-will-have-an-adverse-effect-on-muslim-families-says-azad-1760736.html

Kozhikode: Triple talaq bill will have a negative effect on Muslim families, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said.“We have welcomed the Supreme Court verdict, but the Bill formulated by the BJP govt is irrational. When all the laws related to family relationships are under the civil law, the Bill terming triple talaq as a punitive offence will make it come under criminal law,” he said. “Bill put forth by the Union Govt proposes a sentence of three years for the defaulter. At the same time, it also asks the offender to give financial assistance to his wife and family. How is this possible?”He slammed both CPM and BJP for allegedly instigating political violence in the state. “What CPM and BJP practice here is emulated by BJP at Centre,” he said. Congress state unit is all set to face the upcoming polls, he said.

Delhi Police arrest Abdul Subhan Qureshi in Gujarat blasts case

https://scroll.in/latest/865938/delhi-police-arrest-alleged-mastermind-of-2008-gujarat-blasts

The Delhi Police on Monday arrested Abdul Subhan Qureshi, wanted in the Gujarat’s serial blasts case. Qureshi was arrested after a brief exchange of fire, NDTV reported.At least 56 people were killed in the serial blasts on July 26, 2008. Qureshi was listed in NIA’s most-wanted list, according to the HT. The police believe Qureshi is also the founder of Indian Mujahideen. He was closely linked to the banned SIMI. “Abdul Subhan Qureshi was living in Nepal with forged documents,” DCP(Special Cell) Pramod Kushwaha told reporters. scroll

Charge sheet filed against suspect Zeeshan

http://www.ptinews.com/news/9423585_Charge-sheet-filed-against-suspected-Al-Qaeda-terrorist.html

New Delhi: Delhi Police filed a charge sheet against Zeeshan Ali, deported from Saudi Arabia in August last year, in a case of making provocative speeches to recruit Indian youths and establishing a base for the terror outfit.Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma posted the matter for Feb. 2 when it will decide on the point of taking cognisance of the document filed by the police.Ali’s name, along with that of 11 others, was disclosed by Syed Anzar Shah and 4 others — Mohd Asif, Zafar Masood, Mohd Abdul Rehman and Abdul Sami — arrested in the case earlier.PTI

AMUSU wants PMO to clarify findings on missing Kashmiri researcher Wani

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/agra/amusu-wants-pmo-to-clarify-findings-on-missing-kashmiri-researcher-wani/articleshow/62594955.cms

Agra: AMU Students’ Union (AMUSU) has written to PM Narendra Modi demanding “clarity” on the disappearance of research scholar Mannan Wani, last seen on campus on Jan2. He was said to have joined Hizbul Mujahideen and photographs of him with guns had turned up at his family’s house in Kashmir.The letter signed by AMUSU president Maskoor Ahmad Usmani read, “PMO should clarify, with evidence, whether Wani has actually joined the terror group or has been picked up by intelligence and security agencies to be tortured because he is a Kashmiri.”Usmani said that after Wani’s disappearance many agencies of Govt  and UP Police officers had searched his room and had taken away many of his belongings. He said,“Various Govt agencies have submitted their reports to higher authorities stating that Wani has joined Hizbul Mujahideen. AMUSU and the entire student community at the university are very anxious to know the truth. There is neither any news about his whereabouts nor any claims about his detention by the police.” “Since AMU is one of the most reputed central universities, it is imperative to know whether Wani has indeed joined the terror outfit or has been abducted by intelligence agencies. AMU is a secular institution, as students from all religions and from every corner of the country study here,” Usmani added.The letter to the PM read, “We are pained to note that Wani is among the enrolled Indian students but was treated as a separate entity by being declared as a Kashmiri. Don’t forget that the valley of Kashmir is also a part of India. We request that Wani be traced and the investigation agencies submit their inquiry report regarding his disappearance as soon as possible, along with unshakable evidence either that he has become a part of the banned terrorist organisation or has just been picked up as a subject to be tortured on the ground that he is from Kashmir.”TOI

‘He was never in hiding’: Arrest of businessman Bilal Kawa in Red Fort terror case, causes anger in Kashmir

https://scroll.in/article/865852/he-was-never-in-hiding-arrest-of-businessman-in-red-fort-terror-case-causes-anger-in-kashmir

On Jan.10, a joint team of the Gujarat ATS and Delhi Police’s Special Cell arrested a 37-year-old Kashmiri, Bilal Ahmad Kawa, shortly after he landed at the New Delhi airport.The police said that Kawa had been declared a “proclaimed offender” for his alleged role in financing the terror attack on New Delhi’s Red Fort in 2000. Gujarat ATS said that Kawa “was on the run from law enforcement agencies”, a claim his family contests.In J&K, news of his arrest led to an uproar in the Assembly, with Opposition parties demanding his release. “If you are not afraid of Delhi then why you are silent on detention of Bilal Kawa?” National Conference legislator Ali Sagar said in Lower House on Jan.16. “Till date the Supreme Court has released several youth after they were proved innocent.”The state Govt finally said that it would collect information about Kawa’s arrest. According to news reports, the J&K police informed the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Srinagar that they had never received any summons or notices relating to Kawa. Officials of the Special Cell refused to comment on why no action had been taken against Kawa in the last 17 years. scroll

Union Minister Hegde now  Likens Dalits to Dogs

https://thewire.in/216137/anant-kumar-hegde-dalit-dogs/

New Delhi: Union minister Ananthkumar Hegde, who made headlines in December last year for his comments about the constitution, has once again managed to put his foot in his mouth by reportedly comparing Dalit protestors with dogs.The minister was on his way to a job fair in Ballari, Karnataka on Saturday when a group of Dalit protestors blocked his convoy and raised slogans protesting his comments about secularism and changing the constitution. They also accused him of being anti-Dalit. Later at the fair,while mentioning the protests, Hegde said, “We are stubborn people. When dogs bark on the road, we don’t care.”Hegde is minister of state for skill development and entrepreneurship in the Modi Govt at the centre.After the programme, Dalit protestors staged a demonstration and, waving black scarves, shouted slogans against Hegde. Some persons were taken into custody by the police when they tried to block the minister’s convoy, The Hindu reported.THE WIRE

Aadhaar authentication must be made mandatory for voting, says new CEC Om Prakash Rawat

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-aadhaar-authentication-must-be-made-mandatory-for-voting-says-new-cec-om-prakash-rawat-2577518

The newly elected CEC Om Prakash Rawat on Sunday said he supports the government’s decision of Aadhaar to be linked with voter’s Identity.According to an ET report, Rawat said that the Aadhaar-linking to the voter’s identity will only be foolproof if the voter confirms his or her identity before entering the polling booth to get acess to an EVM through biometrics.”I support linking Aadhaar to the voters’ identity. Biometrics should establish the identity before a voter enters into a polling booth and gets access to an EVM. The identification will then be foolproof,” Rawat said. dnaindia

Jamaat-E-Islami Hind convinces elderly Mumbai couple to abandon suicide plans citing Islamic teachings

https://theshahab.com/2018/01/22/jamat-e-islami-hind-convinces-elderly-mumbai-couple-abandon-suicide-plans-citing-islamic-teachings/

Mumbai: President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Maharashtra, Engineer Taufeeq Aslam Khan, PR secretary Abdul Hafeez Farooqui and secretary for social services Mazhar Farooq paid a courtesy visit on Saturday to the elderly couple who wrote to the President to seek permission to end their life and convinced them to abandon their suicide plans.Narayan Lawate (88) and his wife Mrs. Iravati Lawate (78), a resident of Charni Road, Mumbai have made a heart-wrenching plea to President Ram Nath Kovind seeking permission for active euthanasia or “assisted suicide” as they feel they are of no use to society or themselves. The couple said that they were tired of living and did not see any purpose to their lives, given their old age. Surviving on Govt pension, they said that they have no children and say their siblings are also no more, are of the view that keeping them alive against their wishes is a “waste of the country’s scarce resources as well as theirs”.The JIH team explained to them that life and death are predestined and there is an eternal life after our death. Khan reassured them that you are not alone, we are with you and we will take care of you. When asked why they are showing so much concern, Khan said that all men are children of Adam and Eve and hence we are family. Prophet Muhammad has also taught us to be kind and helpful to the needy. Such an act would please God and make us eligible of His mercy.The couple was so overwhelmed with these Islamic teachings and the gesture of JIH team that they dropped their idea of committing suicide and promised them that they would live the life that God has ordained for them. They said that many people had come to visit them but nobody had told them about these reassuring things.theshahab

Bhopal Medical college’s new building opposed as Muslims stake claim: freepressjournal

http://www.freepressjournal.in/bhopal/medical-colleges-new-building-opposed-as-muslims-stake-claim/1207533

Bhopal: The administration of Gandhi Medical College is facing stiff challenge from the religious leaders who have opposed construction of college’s new building near intensive care unit on the campus. The leaders of Muslim community said that there can be no construction as the land belongs to a mosque. During Ramzan last year, the situation had become so tense that the construction was stopped and public works dept requested district administration to resolve the conflict with Muslim community leaders. Though 6 months have passed after the conflict, the construction has yet to begin. Dr Sanjay Jain, PRO of GMC, said that the issue should be resolved as early as possible through talks between Muslim community leader and district administration so that construction of main block of the new building can be re-started.

WORLD

‘Relentless’ shelling as Turkey intensifies Afrin push

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/shelling-turkey-intensifies-afrin-push-180122111428471.html

Turkish army has intensified an offensive against Syrian Kurdish positions in the enclave of Afrin, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said there would be no “stepping back” in Ankara’s operation, now in its third day.Anadolu, Turkey’s state-run news agency, reported on Monday that Turkish forces continued to shell Kurdish-held areas in northwestern Syria in support of Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces, who are on the ground in Afrin fighting alongside Turkish troops. Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker, reporting from the Turkish-Syrian border near Afrin, said that “relentless, heavy shelling and artillery fire” could be heard kilometres away from the centre of the operation. Turkish jets also hit targets at Afrin’s Bursaya Mountain, which holds “strategic importance” for the Kurdish fighters, Anadolu said.Turkey claims Kurdish forces are using Bursaya to target civilians in the Turkish province of Kilis.Ground forces also advanced east of Afrin, in Syria’s Azaz district, according to Anadolu.Meanwhile, YPG fighters claimed they were able to repel the advance of Ankara-backed FSA forces and Turkish troops in 4 villages in two districts of Afrin. Ankara says its “Olive Branch” operation is aimed at ousting the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which it brands as “terrorists”, and create a so-called “safe zone” 30km deep to protect its border.France has called for a UN Security Council meeting later on Monday to discuss developments in flashpoint areas in war-torn Syria, including the Turkish operation.Earlier on Monday, Erdogan said the Turkish army was determined to pressahead with its push, saying that “there is no stepping back from Afrin”. Afrin residents told Al Jazeera’s Dekker that while some women and children had fled to Aleppo, many others remained holed up in city.On Sunday, the YPG reported that 6 civilians and 3 fighters had been killed. On the Turkish side, one person was reportedly killed and two others injured in the province of Hatay on Monday, following a cross-border YPG attack, according to Anadolu.A soldier was also reportedly injured, but there were no reports of any Turkish military fatalities.Meanwhile US-backed SDF said today it was studying the possibility of sending reinforcements to the Afrin region to fight the Turkish and FSA forces. aljazeera

Turkish Armed Forces, FSA capture Mt. Barsaya in Afrin

http://aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkish-armed-forces-fsa-capture-mt-barsaya-in-afrin/1038881

Azaz:Turkish Armed Forces and FSA today captured the strategically important Mt. Barsaya in Afrin, Syria. PYD/PKK had been using the mountain — which overlooks Syria’s Azaz district and the Turkish province of Kilis — to attack civilians with howitzers and missiles.Separately, the villages of Sheikh Badi, Marso and Haftar were also captured in northern Syria’s Bulbul district.Anadolu

Turkey rejects Syria operation limited to Afrin

http://aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkey-rejects-syria-operation-limited-to-afrin/1038865

Ankara:Turkey has rejected claims that the operation on the Syrian border will be limited to Afrin, Foreign Ministry sources said Monday.The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said Turkey has never made such a commitment to Russia.Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said last week, Turkey may expand its operations in northern Syria to Manbij city and east of the Euphrates River after Afrin has been cleared.“Turkey’s precautions against YPG/PKK cannot be limited to only Afrin. There is also Manbij and east of the Euphrates River,” Cavusoglu said in Vancouver, Canada.Anadolu

Syrian regime takes Abu al-Duhur airport in Idlib

http://aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/syrian-regime-takes-abu-al-duhur-airport-in-idlib/1038834

Syrian regime forces and Iran-backed militia fighters on Monday captured the opposition-held Abu al-Duhur military airport in the northern Idlib province, according to local sources.  The airport fell to regime forces and their allies with the help of Russian warplanes, the sources said on condition of anonymity for security concerns.  Anadolu

US Vice President Mike Pence in Israel visit

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/vice-president-mike-pence-israel-visit-180122131145700.html

US Vice President Mike Pence is in Israel for talks with PM  Benjamin Netanyahu.The visit on Monday is being boycotted by Palestinians angry at the US decision last month to name Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.Pence is the most senior American official to visit Jerusalem since Washington also announced it would move its embassy in Israel there. aljazeera

Gaza under commercial strike amid worsening conditions

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/gaza-commercial-strike-worsening-conditions-180122080213978.html

A general strike has been called for by the private sector in the Gaza Strip to protest worsening living conditions amid the ongoing blockade, which is threatening to collapse the enclave’s economy.In a statement published last week, the Gaza Businessmen Association (Arabic) announced that the strike in commercial and economic institutions would start from 8amand last for six hours on Monday.”This urgent appeal comes as a last resort, after the catastrophic economic and living conditions of the Gaza Strip reached the point of zero,” the statement said.The statement pointed out the economy has reached an “unprecedented level of decline”.aljazeera

Report: Slovenia to recognise Palestine as a state next month, others may follow

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180122-report-slovenia-to-recognise-palestine-as-a-state-next-month-others-may-follow/

A report by Israel’s Channel 10 has claimed that Slovenia may recognise Palestine as a state next month, with Luxembourg, Ireland and Belgium considering taking same step.According to the report, Slovenian Parliament Speaker Milan Brglez told Palestinian Ambassador Salah Abdel-Shafi last month that Slovenia’s recognition of a Palestinian state was purely a question of timing.Channel 10 report said that the Slovenian Govt  decided to move ahead on plans to recognize a Palestinian state a week ago.A vote on recognition is expected “to be held by the Slovenian parliament’s foreign affairs committee on Jan. 31, followed by a vote of the full parliament in Feb”. The Slovenian ambassador in Tel Aviv, Barbara Sušnik, “told Times of Israel that the issue of recognizing Palestinian statehood has been pending in the country’s parliament since 2014, and is only now coming to a vote”. Slovenia’s legislative branch, not its executive, “has the last word on foreign policy matters such as recognizing states”. “Sušnik said it was difficult to predict how the parliamentarians would vote, but hinted that there was a good chance they would seek to assert the Palestinians’ right to self-determination”. Middleeastmonitor

Youssef Nada tells Anan, Brotherhood will vote you as president if you purge the police

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180122-youssef-nada-tells-anan-brotherhood-will-vote-you-as-president-if-you-purge-the-police/

In a personal letter that does not represent the position of the Muslim Brotherhood Youssef Nada, ex-foreign relations commissioner of the organisation, said that the Brotherhood might agree to vote for the former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Lieutenant Sami Anan, if he commits to 6 conditions. Nada, one of the organisation’s historic icons who does not currently hold a formal position in the group, said that his letter, a copy of which was received by Anadolu news agency, was sent to “Colonel Sami Anan after announcing his intention to run for president of our beloved Egypt”.“We read your announcement stating your nomination for president for the purpose of reforming and repairing the damages caused by the current Govt, including violence, debt, a loss of security, and the sale of our land and wealth,” said the letter.Nada added, “I say to you, Anan, without any hesitation, that Brotherhood will remain with the national consensus and will agree to elect you as president after considering several issues”. middleeastmonitor

Egyptian media accuses Sami Anan of working with Muslim Brotherhood

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180122-egyptian-media-accuses-sami-anan-of-working-with-muslim-brotherhood/

Egyptian TV channels have accused Lieutenant General Sami Hafez Anan, a candidate in the 2018 Egyptian presidential elections, of forming an “alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood”. Sami Anan was the commander of the Air Defence Forces, before being appointed during the rule of President Hosni Mubarak as Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces. He supported the 2013 coup and was dismissed by the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, in August 2012.After he announced on Friday that he will run for the presidential elections, talk shows, TV presenters, and guests accused Anan of conspiring against the revolution of January 25 and cooperating with the Muslim Brotherhood.Media personality Mohammed El-Gheity has attacked Anan and the spokesman of his campaign Hazem Hosni and accused Hazem of “hostility against the Egyptian army, and underestimating the achievements of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi”.middleeastmonitor

UN official: Too early for Rohingya return

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/official-rohingya-camps-risk-deterioration-180121135652904.html

Humanitarian conditions in camps hosting Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are set to worsen in the next few months, a human rights investigator has told Al Jazeera, while also raising concerns about a plan to repatriate the fleeing minority back to Myanmar.In an interview from Balukhali refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Yanghee Lee, a UN special rapporteur who was banned from visiting Myanmar, said that with Bangladesh’s monsoon season approaching, the crammed camps “will be witnessing landslides and we may see a huge number of casualties”.Al Jazeera

Richest 1% corner 82% of global wealth:Oxfam report

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/richest-1-corner-82-of-global-wealth-says-oxfam-report/story-KRfBRp75Z9FDSz0TTEp2qM.html

London: As PM Narendra Modi and other world leaders gather at the Swiss resort of Davos for the World Economic Forum, an Oxford-based anti-poverty charity has reported that last year, 82% of the global wealth went to the richest 1% of the population.Titled Reward Work, Not Wealth, the Oxfam report on global economic trends, which was released on Monday, said that the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half across the world saw their wealth flatline, while the biggest gains were made by billionaires.According to the report, roughly a third of billionaire wealth is derived from inheritance, and over the next 20 years, 500 of the world’s richest people will hand over $2.4 trillion to their heirs – a sum that is larger than India’s GDP.The wealth of billionaires is estimated to have risen by an average of 13% a year between 2006 and 2015 — six times faster than the wages of ordinary workers. It takes just four days for a CEO of one of the world’s five biggest fashion retailers to earn as much as a Bangladeshi garment worker will earn in her entire lifetime, it said.HT

FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS

Grab This Opportunity To Abolish Disqualification Due to ‘Office of Profit’: Faizan Mustafa

https://thewire.in/216169/grab-opportunity-abolish-disqualification-due-office-profit/

Creeping fear: Not just Muslims, India is also failing its Christian minority: Harsh Mander

https://scroll.in/article/864291/creeping-fear-not-just-muslims-india-is-also-failing-its-christian-minority

The fast disappearing Muslim in the Indian republic: Nissim Mannathukkaren

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/the-fast-disappearing-muslim-in-the-indian-republic-bjp-mla-hindu-saffron-religion-5034205/

Tagore would be an ‘anti-national’ in today’s India, says Irfan Habib

http://www.thehindu.com/society/tagore-would-be-an-anti-national-in-todays-india-noted-historian-s-irfan-habib/article22470890.ece?homepage=true

The govt is blackmailing Misra: the week

http://www.theweek.in/theweek/cover/Govt -is-blackmailing-dipak-misra.html

Gujarat model of hate is evident everywhere: Economist Pranab Bardhan Interview

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/gujarat-model-of-hate-is-evident-everywhere-economist-202946#.WmVQYrTSrTV.whatsapp

3 Army Divisions For 300 Terrorists In JK But No End to Violence: Certainly the Answer Does Not Lie in Force:Wajahat Habibullah

http://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/en/NewsDetail/index/3/12812/3-Army-Divisions-For-300-Terrorists-In-JK-But-No-End-to-Violence-Certainly-the-Answer-Does-Not-Lie-in-Force

#JudgeLoya: Salve, Dave face off in explosive hearing as petitions in Bombay HC transferred to SC

https://barandbench.com/judge-loya-salve-dave/

‘Where do you get your energy from?’: A list of tough questions Zee and TimesNow put to Modi:Rohan Venkataramakrishnan

https://scroll.in/article/865892/where-do-you-get-your-energy-from-a-list-of-tough-questions-zee-and-timesnow-put-to-modi

Media Dept. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind,

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:08 PM)

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