Centre seeks data on govt jobs for minorities

Centre seeks data on govt jobs for minorities


New Delhi: Modi govt has asked all central ministries and departments to furnish data on recruitment of minorities during 2014-15, and give reasons for any decline in percentage of such recruitment. This is part of the review of the PM's new 15-point programme for the welfare of minorities. Though the ministries/departments were scheduled to submit such data to the department of personnel and training by April 30, many have failed to do so despite two reminders after expiry of the deadline, on May 13 and May 26. Now, in a fresh reminder dated July 10, the DoPT has asked secretaries of all central ministries and departments to look into the delay and "direct the concerned to kindly furnish the consolidated annual data on recruitment of minority communities for the period 01.04.2014 to 31.03.2015 in the prescribed proforma at the earliest."The data will give the number of Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhist, Zoroastrians (Parsis) and Jains recruited by the govt of India in the last financial year. In case there is a decline in percentage of recruitment of minority communities with reference to such recruitment in the previous year, reasons for such decline are to be examined and intimated by the respective departments/ministries. TOI

India welcomes Iran deal, wary of implications


New Delhi: India has hopes of strengthening economic engagement with Iran which, despite good intentions and close political ties, had ground to a halt over sanctions. India “welcomed the successful conclusion of negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue”, between Iran and the Europe 3+3 (US, Russia and China) and the UN atomic energy agency IAEA. New Delhi however, struck a note of caution to say it would “wait to see the text of the agreement.”“India has always maintained that the issue should be resolved peacefully through dialogue by respecting Iran’s right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy while upholding the international community’s strong interest in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme,” the MEA spokesperson said in response to questions shortly after the announcement in Vienna on Tuesday. the hindu

Historic Iran nuclear deal to energize New Delhi’s ties with Tehran


Yakub Memon execution: Maharashtra govt will follow SC's directives, Fadnavis says


New Delhi: Maharashtra CM  Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said that the state govt  would follow the directives given by the Supreme Court over the execution of 1993 Mumbai blasts prime accused Yakub Memon. "Supreme Court has made a decision on this issue. Whatever directives will be given by the court, the Maharashtra govt will act according to that. We will provide more information on this matter when the time is right," said Fadnavis. Memon is likely to be hanged on July 30, the first execution related to the spate of violence that had hit the city, leading the death of over 250 people.According to reports, the execution will take place if Memon's mercy petition is rejected by the Supreme Court, after his appeals against the death sentence were rejected by the apex court and by President Pranab Mukherjee.ANI

Memon likely to be hanged on July 30 for role in 1993 Mumbai serial blasts


Hanging 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon will send a wrong signal to Indian Muslims


Shameful vendetta, says Teesta Setalvad, after CBI raids her home, office in Mumbai


 Mumbai/ahmedabad:A 12-member team of the CBI carried out raids Tuesday at the Mumbai home and office of activist Teesta Setalvad in connection with allegations of illegally accepting foreign funds.“The (CBI action) is shameful political vendetta,” said Setalvad who has been a prime mover in many cases against authorities in Gujarat linked to the 2002 riots.Referring to these cases today, she said “Zakia Jafri case begins its final hearings on July 27. The Naroda Patiya appeals (Maya Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi) are being heard in the Gujarat High Court tomorrow. This is nothing but a bid to subvert the cause of public justice and ensure that no justice happens in these cases.”“We had written to the CBI offering full cooperation. The so-called offences relate to documentary evidence. This search is nothing but an attempt to intimidate and humiliate. India should be ashamed that when scams like Vyapam are happening, over 50 persons dying, witnesses in Asaram Bapu case are dying, CBI is not appealing in critical cases related to crimes by politicians. The agency is being unleashed on human rights defenders standing up for the rights of survivors of mass violence. It is worse than the British Raj. Pathetic,” Setalvad said.indianexpress

Indian among group of foreign tourists arrested in China for suspected ‘terror’ links: Report


Beijing: A group of 20 foreign tourists including Britons, South Africans and an Indian national, have been arrested in northern China, according to reports by Britain’s Foreign Office and a South African charity, on suspicion some had ties to a “terror group”. China has agreed to release 11 of the tourists, but the rest will continue to be held without charge at a detention centre in Inner Mongolia, the South African charity, Gift of the Givers Foundation, said. Chinese authorities said some of those arrested had been watching propaganda videos from a banned group in their hotel room, the charity added in its statement. 5 South Africans, three Britons and one Indian national make up the nine being held, it said. “Consular staff have visited the group to provide assistance and we are liaising with Chinese authorities,” a British Foreign Office spokesman told Reuters. The group was on a 47-day tour of the country when they were detained at an airport in the Inner Mongolian city of Erdos. Their tour operator realised something had gone “horribly wrong” on Sunday, two days later, the foundation said, when he hadn’t heard from them.“These individuals have no terror links, no criminal record in their country,” said Gift of the Givers, which has negotiated hostage releases.Reuters

Nestle destroying evidence: FSSAI


Mumbai: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) told the Bombay High Court on Tuesday that Nestle India was “destroying evidence” instead of recalling Maggi noodles.The Indian food regulator sought a recall of the court’s order last month allowing Nestle to export Maggi noodles, currently banned in Maharashtra and other States.“They are still burning the products for which they have permission to export. They are destroying evidence. They were not asked to burn the products, they were asked to recall them,” said FSSAI counsel Mehmood Pracha.The FSSAI also accused Nestle of not cooperating with its investigation and sought clarification from the court on the 72-hour notice period for taking action against it. the hindu

Champions League 20-20 to be discontinued: BCCI


New Delhi: A day after the Lodha Committee gave its verdict on the Indian Premier League betting scandal, the BCCI, Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Cricket Australia (CA) decided to discontinue the Champions League Twenty20 with immediate effect on Wednesday. The Governing Council of the CLT20, comprising representatives of the BCCI, CSA and Cricket CA made the decision unanimously, the Indian cricket board said on Wednesday. As a result, the 2015 edition of the CLT20 tournament which was scheduled for Sept.and Oct.will not go ahead as planned. BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur said that the annual T20 tournament failed to garner interest and therefore it has been scrapped."This has been a difficult decision as the Champions League T20 provided added context to a number of domestic Twenty 20 competitions around the world such as the IPL in India, Big Bash League in Australia and S.Africa's Ram Slam T20," Thakur said.TOI

Hindu migrants from Pak may soon get banking & property rights


New Delhi: "We have a responsibility toward Hindus who are harassed and suffer in other countries ...India is the only place for them" — that was PM ial candidate Narendra Modi making a strong campaign pitch.Now, PM  Modi's govt  is working to make good that promise. Hindu migrants from Pakistan here on longterm visas may soon be allowed to open bank accounts and buy residential properties — measures that go a long way in integrating them with the economic system, even without Indian citizenship.If this becomes policy, Hindu migrants will be able to open bank accounts on the basis of their visa and residential permits issued by the Foreigner Registration Office (FRO) or the Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO). Times of India 

Sarpanch shot at by unidentified gunman in Kashmir


Srinagar:Unidentified gunmen attacked and injured a Sarpanch in South Kashmir’s Shopian town. Police said Mohammad Yaqoob Malla 40 who was elected Sarpanch of Pahalpora village was attacked by the unidentified gunmen in Shopian market this afternoon. Malla was rushed to district hospital Shopian where from he was shifted to Srinagar for specialized treatment. Doctors say that Malla’s condition is critical.indianexpress

Jaunpur youth held for ‘objectionable’ religious post on FB: indian express


Allahabad: Tension prevailed in Muftiganj locality of Jaunpur district Sunday evening following rumors that a youngster, who was detained earlier in the day for questioning after he made an allegedly objectionable Facebook post against another community, had been let off by police, officials said Monday.A mob had gathered at the grocery shop belonging to the family of the accused, identified as Jain-ul-Abidin Ansari, and had begun throwing off the articles kept there, when the police reached there. They used mild force to disperse the crowd. PAC has been deployed in the area to maintain calm, police said adding Ansari has been arrested.As per the police, members of a community had approached Muftiganj police post under Kerakat police station area accusing a youth of posting an objectionable comment on his Facebook page on Sunday, following which 22-year-old Ansari was detained for questioning.

Plea seeks Bombay HC's approval for slaughter of old bulls on Eid


Mumbai: Days before Eid, a petition before the Bombay high court sought permission to slaughter bulls and bullock that are not used for breeding or agriculture purposes. The plea moved by 2 Mumbai residents was mentioned on Tuesday before a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Anil Menon,who directed it to be placed before a division bench headed by Justice VM Kanade that is hearing petitions challenging the state's new law banning beef. The amended law bans slaughter of bulls and bullock along with cows and makes even possession of beef a crime.With Eid coming up in less than a week, the petition by a livestock trader and a butcher will seek interim orders for permission to slaughter bulls and bullock that are old and no longer useful in their traditional roles. The petition is likely to be mentioned before HC on Wednesday.The petitioners's counsel Mukesh Vashi said the blanket ban on the slaughter was in violation of fundamental rights. TOI

25 %  Muslim inmates have no lawyers


Mumbai: It has emerged that more than 25 %  of Muslim prisoners in Maharashtra do not have a lawyer to represent their cases. This was revealed in a report published in 2011 by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).Four years on, the govt has taken cognizance of the report and promised to work on it. (The study was focussed on the inmates from the Muslim community and so the comparative data is not available.)The study says the education level among them was also low with 26.8% being illiterate and 48% not having any employable skills. The low education background may have forced them to become low earners as 42.7% of them earn between `2,000 to `5,000 only per month, the study noted. A number of prisoners have reportedly pointed out that the police were prejudiced against them, which made them vulnerable to the corrupt system.The report, based on a survey conducted in 15 prisons across the state in the year 2010 on the request of the state minorities commission, has thrown light on the socio-economic conditions of the prisoners and come up with various statistical data of Muslim inmates in the state.It has cleared certain misconceptions about Muslims and seeks to prove that they are vulnerable to crimes due to their poor economic and social background. At the time of study, there were 3,086 Muslim prisoners in 15 jails across Maharashtra of which 2,154 (69.7 % ) were under trials and 932 (30.2 % ) were convicts. Of the 3,086 Muslim prisoners, 339 inmates were interviewed for the study. Asian Age

Bomb blast accused seeks protection


Coimbatore: A Coimbatore bomb blast accused, who spent 13.5 years in prison, has alleged that a group was trying to coerce him to commit anti-social activities. In a petition submitted to the city police on Tuesday, M. Sheik Fakrudeen of Podanur said that he was the 47 th accused in the case. After being released, he was trying to lead a normal life.However, members of a social group assaulted him on Monday after he refused to join them in nefarious activities. the hindu

Mamata meets Jamiat leader Chowdhury to save muslim votes


Kolkata: In the wake of a perceptible threat to her minority vote bank, Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday held a meeting with Jamiat Ulemae-Hind leader Siddiqullah Chowdhury for about two hours at the state administrative headquarters at Nabanna.TMC supremo's move seems to have been triggered by growing proximity between Muslims and rebel leaders like Abdur Rezzak Mollah and Mukul Roy. "Mamata's govt  has done a lot for the Muslims and minorities, but there are many pending jobs for the overall development of the Muslims," Chowdhury told reporters after meeting the CM. Chowdhury, who had so far been criticising Mamata's govt saying that it did nothing for the minorities, took a U-turn on Tuesday, fuelling speculation about his joining the TMC camp.  economic times

Unrest Near Nashik: One killed in police firing after mobs clash in Harsul


Mumbai: One person was killed in police firing after communal violence broke out in the tribal-dominated Harsul town near Nashik on Tuesday.The incident occurred after tribals, who constitute nearly 60 %  of the town’s population, took out a morcha demanding police action against a local Muslim over the death of a youth on July 7. The body of Bhagirath Tulshiram Chowdhury, a resident of Bhondarmal — a hamlet two kilometers away from Trimbakeshwar town, was found in the well of a farmer, Rizwan Akhtar.An autopsy had cited drowning as the cause of death. However, Chowdhury’s family members suspected foul play and wanted the police to book Akhtar for murder. The mob led by Chowdhury’s family and local tribal leaders reportedly congregated at the town square at 9am Tuesday and started attacking Muslim establishments. Over 20 shops belonging to Muslims and an equal number of houses were attacked and looted.Local Muslims said they had anticipated a violence and many of them had sent their families to safer places on Monday night.“They systematically picked out Muslim houses and shops and looted them. There had been tension in the town since yesterday and there was an inkling that riots could break out. Local Muslims had demanded police protection but it was not given,” said Mobin Shaikh, a resident of Harsul.The force that had reached the agitation spot was also attacked by the tribals. Indian Express 

Nasik communal clashes, 1 killed in police firing


Communal flare-up: 1 killed in police firing


Billionaire at Heart of Vyapam Scam Funded BJP, RSS Leaders: Tax Report


New Delhi:  A mining baron arrested on charges of being a prime player in the Vyapam or jobs scandal in Madhya Pradesh paid for the air tickets and other undefined expenses of top leaders of the BJP and its ideological parent, the RSS, according to an income tax report from 2013. That report was not pursued by state police investigators who were handling the Vyapam inquiry till this week, when the CBI took over."We are not shielding anyone. But let's not go by one odd report... let's wait for the CBI investigation," said the BJP's Shaina NC to NDTV.The document from 2013 said Sudhir Sharma, whose vast business empire includes mines and colleges, had made "huge payments in cash for air tickets, travel bills, etc" for a group of politicians including Suresh Soni of the RSS and Prabhat Jha, then state president of the BJP. The report was based on diaries recovered in raids on  Sudhir Sharma and said the billionaire made "payments for travel arrangements of important political personalities" like Laxmikant Sharma, former Mining and Education Minister in Madhya Pradesh and Dharmendra Pradhan, now a union minister;  Congress state legislator  Veer Singh Bhuria, the report said, received "regular payments" from Sudhir Sharma. "All those who are guilty should be punished," said Tom Vaddakan of his party.NDTV

Vyapam scam: Congress firm on Madhya Pradesh bandh tomorrow on Eid eve


Despite reservations of the Muslim community, Congress is going ahead with its Madhya Pradesh Bandh on Wednesday seeking resignation of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam scam.“We are not forcing anyone to take part in the bandh. Businessmen and people who want to participate in it are welcome. We are appealing for a peaceful bandh since day one,” AICC general secretary and party’s state in-charge Mohan Prakash told reporters.On reservations of the Muslim community over the bandh as it is going to affect their preparations of Eid, he said, “No Muslim leader has approached us complaining that the bandh was affecting their preparations of Eid.”A leader close to the lone Muslim Congress MLA from North Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, Arif Aqueel, said he was upset with the bandh as it will affect his Muslim dominated constituency. Indian Express 

Iftar by the Muslim wing of the RSS: ‘Spiritual, not politics’


Lucknow: As about 80 people talk among themselves in a large, old hall on the third floor of Lucknow Municipal Corporation building, which usually hosts LMC meetings, a bearded man in a white kurta and pyjamas goes on the dais. At 10 minutes to 7pm Tuesday, he picks up the mike and invites clerics and the organisers to the small stage. The event is an iftar party by Muslim Rashtriya Manch, a wing of the RSS. On the wall behind the man in the beard is a small tri-colour hoarding of MRM. “We welcome you from the bottom of our hearts,”it reads. Mahirajdhwaj Singh, senior RSS pracharak and national co-convener of MRM, takes to the stage “to fill this space” and starts a speech on communal harmony: “This is not a political gathering, it is a roohani (spiritual) congregation,” he says, and calls for unity among religions. Indian express


Mullah Omar endorses 'political endeavours and peaceful pathways' in his Eid message


Islamabad: Supreme leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Omar, on Wednesday endorsed the political role of his armed movement in his traditional “Eid” message, just days after senior Taliban leaders held their first and direct talks with Afghan govt in Murree. Mullah Omar did not directly mention the July 7 peace talks brokered by Pakistan. “Concurrently with armed jihad, political endeavours and peaceful pathways for achieving these sacred goals is a legitimate Islamic principle and an integral part of prophetic politics,” the Taliban’s elusive leader said.“As our holy leader, the beloved Prophet (pbuh), was actively engaged in fighting the infidels in the fields of ‘Badr’ and ‘Khyber’, he simultaneously participated in agreements beneficial for Muslims, held meetings with envoys of infidels, sent messages and delegations to them and on various occasions even undertook the policy of face-to-face talks with warring infidel parties,” Mullah Omar said.The Taliban leadership traditionally issued Mullah Omar’s “Eid” messages but did not after 2007, the year he had issued an audio to leaders after the killing of top Taliban leader Mullah Dadullah in southern Afghanistan in a joint operation by foreign and Afghan forces.“If we look into our religious regulations,we can find that meetings and even peaceful interactions with the enemies is not prohibited but what is unlawful is to deviate from the lofty ideals of Islam and to violate religious decrees,” he further said.“Therefore, the objective behind our political endeavours as well as contacts and interactions with countries of the world and our own Afghans is to bring an end to the occupation and to establish an independent Islamic system in our country,” Mullah Omar said. Taliban leader underscored the importance of the Taliban office in Qatar in aiding the political process but did not oppose the political engagement of other leaders who are not associated with the office but are involved in negotiations. “We have established a ‘Political Office’ for political affairs, entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring and conducting all political activities,” he added. “Some circles accuse mujahideen of being agents of Pakistan and Iran. This is an utterly unjust verdict because neither our past history nor the present prevailing circumstances attest to this statement and the forthcoming history will also be a witness against these false accusations,” he insisted.He said the Taliban have, however, sought “cordial relations not only with Pakistan and Iran” but also all other neighboring countries. “Just like towards the people of Pakistan and Iran, we have been the well-wishers of all masses of all neighboring, regional and world countries and we are determined to pursue this wise policy,” he maintained. Tribune Pak

Afghan Taliban leader hails 'legitimate' peace talks


Mullah Omar hails peace talks to end Afghan war


US drone strike kills 28 Afghan Taliban fighters


Kabul: A US drone strike has killed at least 28 suspected Taliban militants in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, officials said Wednesday. Provincial police spokesman Colonel Hazrat Hussein Mashriqiwal said  the overnight strikes targeted Taliban fighters in the province's Haska Mina district and “hopefully a Taliban commander is also among those killed in Tuesday's attack." Anadolu Agency

Israel approves 800 new settlement units in Bethlehem


Israeli Public Prosecution has revealed an Israeli settlement plan consisting of 800 new settlement units in Bethlehem, south of the occupied West Bank, Palestinian paper Al-Resalah reported yesterday. The plan was approved by the Israeli Housing and Construction Minister Ori Ariel, during PM Benjamin Netanyahu's previous govt at the end of last year.The Israeli Ministry of Housing also allocated 900,000 Israeli shekels ($250,000) for the implementation of the plan. Official Israeli radio reported yesterday that the new settlement was given the name of Giv'at Hitam, and E2 status, regarding the area as "State Lands".The report said that the settlers in this area see a strategic importance for this plan because it is considered an expansion of the settlement bloc of Gush Etzion towards the city of Bethlehem. middleeastmonitor

Hamas criticises UN calls for release of Israeli prisoners of war


Hamas described UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's call for the release of Israeli prisoners of war held in the Gaza Strip as "biased remarks".In a statement, the movement's spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri described Ban's remarks as "disgusting"."Ban Ki-moon is merely a tool to serve Israeli interests, and the international community should work to end the tragedy of 6,000 Palestinians who were kidnapped and held in Israeli jails before talking about the Israeli soldiers who are killers," he said.UN secretary-general had called on all Gaza residents with information about the whereabouts of the captives to come forward. Middleeastmonitor

'No reconstruction in Gaza until Israeli soldiers are released'


The brother of an Israeli soldier whose body is believed to be in the Gaza Strip demanded the reconstruction of Gaza Strip be conditional on his brother's release. Israeli paper Yedioth Ahronoth reported yesterday that the twin brother of Hadar Goldin, who was killed and then captured by the Palestinian resistance in Gaza, called on the US to link the issue of the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip with the release of his brother's body. middleeastmonitor

UN: Civilian death toll in Yemen fighting passes 1600


Geneva: The civilian death toll in Yemen fighting has reached 1,670 with 142 deaths in last 10 days, the United Nations said on Tuesday."Between 3 and 13 July, at least 142 civilians, including 36 children and 27 women, were killed, and 224 others injured in Yemen,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ spokesperson Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva.  Since 26 March, 3,829 people in Yemen were injured, Colville added.  Anadolu Agency 

Greece to vote on bailout after explosive IMF report that criticizes deal


Athens: Greece on Wednesday geared up for a parliamentary vote on draconian reforms demanded by eurozone creditors in exchange for a huge new bailout, just hours after a bombshell report from the International Monetary Fund criticized the deal.The outcome of the crucial vote was far from clear after the IMF issued a stark warning that Greece would need far more debt relief to stop it crashing out of the common currency than European governments have so far been willing to contemplate.The last-ditch deal struck Monday saw Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agree to sweeping changes to labour laws, pensions, VAT and other taxes - many of which had been rejected by voters in a public referendum - in exchange for new funds to keep Greece's struggling economy alive.AFP

Egypt faces major economic crises


A year after Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi became president of Egypt, the economic crisis in the country has worsened putting his future at risk, Almesryoon.com said yesterday.Experts said that the government has failed to deal with the cash reserve crisis, adding that the major projects recently announced were only "lies".The government's inability to pay salaries and the failure of projects proposed during the Economic Conference four months ago to get off the ground are proof that there is a problem, the website said.Additionally, 11.4 billion Egyptian pounds ($1.46 billion) in direct foreign investments ceased following the ousting of the country's first freely elected President Mohamed Morsi in March 2013.The African Bank, along with many donor countries, refused Egypt's applications for loans because it has not committed to the conditions of previous loans estimated to be worth approximately five billion Egyptian pounds ($0.64 billion). Donations from Gulf states have also stopped. Middleeastmonitor

Son of US policeman charged with plotting IS inspired attack


Boston: A 23-year-old son of a policeman has been arrested and charged after an FBI sting showed that he was plotting to carry out an Islamic State-inspired attack on a university using pressure-cooker bombs and involving the execution of students which he planned to show live online. The sinister plot was uncovered after a tip to the FBI from a Boston police captain about his estranged son's desire to fight for the Islamic State. The tip prompted federal agents to monitor and then arrest Alexander Ciccolo in connection with the alleged plan to attack a university, according to law enforcement officials and court records unsealed yesterday. Ciccolo, of Adams, Massachusetts, was inspired by the Boston Marathon bombers and allegedly plotted with a witness working for the FBI to set off explosives and shoot up a cafeteria at the unnamed university, according to legal filings unsealed in US District Court in Springfield. PTI

Turkey Blocks Access to Pro-IS Websites in Crackdown


Istanbul:  Turkey has blocked access to more than half a dozen Islamist news websites this week, prompting one group claiming allegiance to Islamic State to accuse Turkey of persecuting Muslims and warn of unspecified retaliation.Thousands of foreign fighters have travelled through Turkey to join Islamic State in Syria and Iraq in the past few years, some of them with assistance from Turkish smuggling networks sympathetic to the militants. The govt in Ankara has been under pressure from its NATO allies to do more to stem the flow and prevent Islamic State networks gaining a foothold in Turkey.A senior govt  official said the website restrictions, and a series of recent arrests, were an "important part" of efforts to crack down on Islamic State recruitment networks. Several of the websites, which were blocked to access within Turkey from late on Sunday, responded by accusing Turkey of persecuting Muslims and said the telecommunications authority had imposed the ban without giving a reason.DarulHilafe.com, Turkish-language site which describes itself as the local desk of Islamic State's media wing Al-Hayat, said the decision showed 'the increasing pressure' on Muslims in Turkey and called on authorities to lift the ban.Reuters

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq Baig 

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