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Indian Muslim

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    By IANS,

    Patna : Three days after he dumped the BJP, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Wednesday proved his majority in the assembly and declared that his former ally won't win the next Lok Sabha battle.

    Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party of now trying to impose divisive politics, he said the politics of consultation which the BJP believed in under Atal Bihari Vajpayee had ended.

    In a speech in the assembly during a trust motion he moved to prove his majority, Nitish Kumar said India was built on secular foundations and his party would not tolerate anyone trying to cause religious divide.

    "The country should be run in a manner so as to take everyone along... Coalition governments are the norm now. No party should be under the false premise that they can run the country on their own steam," he said.

    "The work ethics of Atalji (Atal Bihari Vajpayee) was based on how to take everyone along, based on consultations... But now it has changed," he added.

    Nitish Kumar sailed through with 126 votes in his favour after 91 BJP members and a Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) legislator walked out of the 243-member house before the voting.

    Criticising the BJP, with which his party split last week after Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was made the party's election campaign chief, Nitish Kumar said the BJP's dream of ruling India would be shattered.

    He said the BJP had no chance to win the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

    "Even if we remained with them, notching up 200 seats would be difficult... Don't be under the illusion that you can do it alone. This is the time of coalitions," he said.

    Taking a dig at Modi's Gujarat model of development, Nitish Kumar said: "What vikas (development) model is this where you improve areas that are already good? What kind of improvement is it?"

    He said the BJP had benefited by aligning with his Janata Dal-United (JD-U).

    "We will not tolerate thopna (imposition of views). We are for the policy of taking everyone along and against divisive policies," he asserted.

    Nitish Kumar got the support of JD-U's 117 legislators, four independents, four of the Congress and the sole Communist Party of India member. One JD-U legislator is in jail.

    Those who voted against Nitish Kumar included 22 members of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and two independents.

    Soon after the JD-U ended its 17-year-old alliance with the BJP Sunday, Nitish Kumar said he would seek a vote of confidence at a special session of the assembly Wednesday.

    Nitish Kumar called off the alliance and his colleague Sharad Yadav quit as convenor of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance following differences with the BJP over the growing clout of Modi.

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    The JDU-NDA split has the potential to steer the country away from the fascist path being prepared for it, if Nitish remains true to his words.

    Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam,

    What is happening in Bihar today after the breakdown of JDU-NDA marriage of convenience requires an in-depth analysis rather than the ready judgment we see in the media today.

    Surely, this is going to have a political impact that will not remain confined to Bihar, but will embrace the whole country and influence the course of events for years to come.

    It may also determine whether Bihar and the country as a whole will go the fascist way or remain true to the secular, democratic Constitution and the vision of the Founding Fathers about the plural, multicultural nature of India.

    Among the several courses for JDU’s future, a third front of regional leaders like Mamata Bannerjee, Naveen Patnaik, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Jaylalitha is being talked about even though such fronts have seldom been cohesive and stable in the past.

    Before going into the future it would be illuminating to look at the past to understand the dynamics of JDU-BJP alliance and the contamination of the chelas of Ram Manohar Lohia and Jayprakash Narain in the company of communally-minded people.

    The innate anti-Congressism of Lohia-JP tradition was enough to attract largely secular-minded socialists to align themselves with any non-Congress grouping, including even the rabidly anti-Muslim Bhartiya Jan Sangh.

    When the JP movement rose, RSS lost no time in controlling it from behind the scenes. Its senior leader Nanaji Deshmukh was deputed by the RSS as a personal aide to JP. Deshmukh took great care of the ailing JP and won his trust. RSS also lent its cadres for state-wide dharnas, demonstrations and rallies. This brought both the younger socialists like Nitish, Sushil Modi and Paswan close to the Sangh.

    In the years that followed they enjoyed great positions in Janata Party government along with Jan Sanghis, who in a tactical move became Bhartiya Janata Party later. Even stalwarts like Chandra Shekhar, VP Singh and Raj Narayan did not think twice before joining Jan Sanghis, who did not believe in the secular Constitution. They trusted the Sangh because their guru JP did.

    However, when the NDA came along it was not only the JP legacy of dependence on the Sangh built during the Total Revolution days in the mid-70s but the vaulting ambition, greed and lust for power that compelled men like Nitish, Paswan and Sharad Yadav to jump on the bandwagon driven by Vajpayee and co-piloted by Advani. It was the second phase of BJP-Socialist alliance.

    Later Nitish moved to Bihar at the head of an NDA-JDU alliance with terrible results for the minorities, especially Muslims.

    The compulsions of coalition politics have caused great harm to Muslims who could not be rescued by Nitish even if he wanted to do so. However, it is not sure that he even wanted fair play and justice.

    The worst damage that he has inflicted is the division he has sown among Muslims in the name of forward, backward and extremely backward castes. Besides this horizontal division he has created a vertical division between Muslims who visit Sufi shrines frequently and those who do not do it as often, or not at all. This division too has Nitish’s encouragement, something that earlier governments did not do.

    (Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam Chairman Institute of Objective Studies.)

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    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: Dr. Rachana Kaushal, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Aligarh Muslim University has been invited by US Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Washington DC, to participate in a six week study on “Religious Pluralism”. The study programme, scheduled for a period from June 22 to August 4, 2013, is being organized by US Department of State and funded by Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The programme is hosted by university of California Santa Barbara.

    The programme aims at providing scholars a substantive initial exposure to the US. The invitation includes a five-week academic residency and two week integrated study tour and interaction with US faculty. A total fifteen participants from across the globe have been selected to participate in the study. Dr. Rachana kaushal is the only teacher from India to be a part of the study.

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    By IANS,

    Lucknow : A special court of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Wednesday allowed the investigative agency to conduct a polygraph test on former Uttar Pradesh minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh aka Raja Bhaiyya.

    The court was hearing a CBI plea that it needed to get a lie detector test done on the independent legislator from Kunda in connection with its investigations into the murder of Kunda circle police officer Zia-ul-Haq, who was shot dead March 2.

    The court directed the CBI to get the test done in New Delhi within the next two days. Raja Bhaiyya last week and again Tuesday agreed to undergo the test.

    After hearing the pleas of the CBI and counsel of Raja Bhaiyya, the special court here reserved its ruling Tuesday and pronounced it Wednesday. The CBI had earlier asked for the polygraph test on June 6, but since the former minister was on a pilgrimage to Uttarakhand, it was delayed.

    The CBI had earlier subjected the former food and civil supplies minister to intense interrogation May 15 and 16. While in the first CBI charge sheet Raja Bhaiyya's name did not figure, CBI sources say he was still not "declared clean in the case".

    The CBI said it wanted the lie detector test to clarify some points and contradictory responses given by Raja Bhaiyya, officials told IANS.

    Haq was killed in Kunda in Pratapgarh district after an angry mob ran berserk following the murder of Balipur village head Nanhe Yadav and his brother Suresh Yadav.

    The mob chased and beat up Haq even as his security guard and other policemen left him alone to face the fury of the crowd. Four cases have been registered by the CBI for the triple murders.

    Parveen Azad, Haq's widow, has alleged that Raja Bhaiyya was behind the conspiracy to kill her husband.

    Following this, Raja Bhaiyya was forced to resign from the Akhilesh Yadav cabinet. The former minister has maintained he is innocent and was not afraid of any probe.

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  • 06/19/13--05:27: "Tariq Aziz is a terrorist"
  • By Azaan Javaid for

    "Tariq Aziz is a terrorist, but I am not" says the 19-year-old Tariq, in a dingy room located within the by-lanes of Pahar Gunj while addressing a group of foreigners and a few locals. Tariq (full name Tariq Aziz) said this while referring to the Ex- Foreign minister of Sadam Hussien . The audience breaks the awkward silence with a roar of laugh. Tariq’s “I am not a terrorist” bit came towards the end of the event called The City Walk. “Have you heard anyone by the name Tariq, excluding myself” The crowd responded with Tariq Ali, the writer and Tariq the football player in the United States. “Not them” said Tariq, I even know a Pakistani TV personality who shares my name, I am talking about Sadam’s man”. Only fascinated by the sharing a name and nothing more, Tariq acknowledge one interesting social reality: allegiance is everything.

    Street children in the shadows of "war on terror."

    Tariq had first visited Pahar Gunj when he chose to run away from his native home to have a better life in Delhi. He was then a nine-year-old boy in the capital of India, who had escaped home following a violent beating by his father. Tariq is one of the hundreds of kids who are being sheltered, educated and even placed in various white collar jobs by Salaam Balaak Trust, which is headed by Praveen Nair. Praveen, a social activist, is also the mother of Mira Nair whose film Salaam Bombay(1988) was about the lives of streets kids of India. Salaam Balaak was in fact established in the year 1988 by Nair and Sonjoy Roy, a renowned theater personality, to help out street kids, majority of whom are runaways, lost and abandoned by their parents. With the fear of begging mafia, trafficking and forced prostitution looming at large, Salaam Balak is one such organization that has been at loggerheads with organized crime in India.

    City walk , as claimed by the organizers, is one such social engineering mechanism which was originally put forth by one of the volunteers of the Salam Balaak named John Thomson. The walk is part of a programme to sensitize the people about the lives of the street kids and their rehabilitation Now awaiting his higher secondary results, Tariq has volunteered to become a tour guide for the same. The guides are trained in English language and communication skills in order to address their guests without any hassle. “I am learning English and I plan to learn Spanish too” says the exuberant teen who upon his arrival faced the wrath of Delhi police's daily beatings. This was followed by his addiction to drugs making rag picking his profession 10 years later, the new, detoxified Tariq leads his guests like the pied-piper into the narrow lanes of Pahargunj for two straight hours. Drenched in zeal rather than sweat the ‘city walkers’ give a patient ear to Tariq. Visiting the shelter homes, the shop owners (who are customers to the rag pickers) and the nearest police station is part of the itinerary which aims at assimilating the guests.

    A new lot of children had recently arrived who have been now stationed in one of the boy shelters in Pahar Gunj. The City walk group is taken to a carpeted hall, where some of the boys are busy playing while others are being taught mathematics by couple of volunteers. Some having more of an artistic inclination busy themselves, replicating the text on charts which include name of fruits, vegetables and a poster with toddlers holding the flags of Israel. Among the children housed in the shelter are kids belonging to various religious minorities, Muslims being one of them. Mohsin Ali is one such boy who has recently joined the trust. Originally belonging to Bangladesh, Mohsin does not find Israeli flags as amusing as the group of foreigners, given the fact that his country of origin refuses to recognize Israel as a state. Neither does it affect Rajab from India. But for the foreigners it’s a joy to see symbols of the ‘civilized’ all over India, a place which is much in need of solidarity of the developed countries. According to Poonam Sharma, a co-ordinator/communications at the Salaam Balak Trust, over 5000 people from 80 different countries have so far joined the walk. “In 2011, a well renowned International channel did a story on poverty tourism and had included our walk in that. Can you believe that, we here are against this culture of showing off the miserable state of people just to earn money. On contrary, we show stories of hope and success”.

    The list of The Salaam Balak alumni is quite impressive too. A photographer, a designer and a Delhi Metro official are some of the success stories that the Trust has proudly displayed on one of its boards. Given Tariq’s wit and speaking skills, he sure is all set to become a part of the success stories. The larger question however remains, with such a huge vacuum within the education and knowledge dissemination area, who should possess the sole power of molding the lives of these young lads. The reasons behind the sad state of street children may be many, but one of the overarching one remains poverty- manufactured poverty. Tariq answers to the question of whether the children here come from any particular community or the neglected parts of the society “Nothing like that, we celebrate all festivals here, I love holi. But yes there are children who have run away from the Madrassas of UP and Bihar. Madarasa! The one which Muslims have.”

    Sitting in her humid office, Poonam says, we here believe that all these kids have a ‘runaway gene’ which is good and bad. Bad because they sometimes run from our premises to their previous lives to earn money, good because the run-away gene for some might mean that they aspire to have a better life, that’s why they ran away from their horrible past to be at Salaam Balak”.

    Azaan Javaid is a Kashmiri journalist based in New Delhi. He is the author of Social Media in Kashmir: A Case study of the Free Faizan Campaign 2011

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : The Congress Wednesday said it supported the Janata Dal-United government in Bihar to "keep communal BJP at bay", and endorsed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's view that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was a secular person.

    "We supported the JD-U government without any condition. We wanted to keep the communal forces at bay. The BJP wanted to defeat the government," Congress spokesperson P.C. Chacko told reporters.

    "We endorse the prime minister's view that Nitish is a secular person," he said.

    According to the Congress, which is exploring an alliance with the JD-U in Bihar ahead of the 2014 general elections, the decision to support the Nitish Kumar government was "unilateral".

    "We do not expect anything in return," Chacko said.

    But the Congress took care not to annoy Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad, an arch rival of Nitish Kumar, saying he was an ally.

    "The RJD is with Congress. We have an alliance with it," said Chancko.

    Asked on the RJD's decision to oppose the Nitish Kumar government, Chacko said: "Any party was free to take its decision."

    Downplaying any possibilities of an electoral alliance with the JD-U in the coming months, the Congress spokesperson said "this was an isolated case" and "not a prelude to any future alliance".

    After the JD-U parted ways with the BJP over elevation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the chief of the party's poll campaign, the Nitish Kumar government won a trust vote in the Bihar assembly Wednesday.

    Earlier, Nitish Kumar thanked the prime minister for calling him a secular person, but said it was only a matter of courtesy.

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    By Anasudhin Azeez, IANS,

    London : A high-level Indian delegation led by Minister for Minority Affairs K. Rahman Khan met senior British ministers and officials to formulate the framework of an equal opportunity commission for India.

    Minister Khan and his delegation, that included Joint Secretary Y P Singh, met Eric Pickles, secretary of state for communities and local government, Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Equal Opportunity commission, and Hugo Swire, secretary of state for foreign affairs of Britain.

    The formation of a commission for India's minorities, which constitute about 18.4 percent of the population, is one of the recommendations of the Rajinder Sachar Committee. A bill towards the constitution of the Equal Opportunity Commission of India will be tabled in the next parliament session.

    The Sachar Committee, appointed in 2005 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, exposed the backwardness of Indian Muslims.

    The committee revealed that the status of Indian Muslims is below the conditions of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and the overall percentage of Muslims in bureaucracy in India is just 2.5 percewnt whereas Muslims constitute above 14 percent of India's population.

    To ensure equity and equality of opportunities to Indian Muslims in residential, work and educational sectors, the committee had proposed multiple suggestions to be adopted, with suitable mechanisms. The formation of the National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) was one among them.

    About 14 percent of the British population belongs to black and ethnic minority communities.

    Indians comprise the largest ethnic community in Britain (1.8 percent), followed by Pakistanis (1.5 percent) and Bangladeshis (0.5 percent), black Caribbeans (1 percent) and Irish (1.2 percent).

    The EHRC has responsibility for the promotion and enforcement of equality and non-discrimination laws in Britain.

    "The new commission will ensure equal opportunity for religious minorities to access education, employment opportunities at the government services and accessing financial assistance for entrepreneurs to launch businesses," Khan said.

    "Britain is a role model for democratic countries to integrate different ethnic and faith groups to mainstream of the society. New immigrants are getting proper training in language and skills to get jobs and merge with the society."

    The Indian minister also praised Britain's initiative to preserve the faiths and traditions of immigrant communities. A network of religious bodies, charities and government agencies are ensuring the glory of multi-cultural Britain.

    Regarding the huge number of returnees from the Gulf countries, most of whom belong to the religious minorities in India, the minister said that the NMDFC is offering micro-loans for Gulf returnees to begin a new life.

    The minister, who also handles the Waqf portfolio, said the government will bring a new law to take back the encroached Waqf lands from individuals and institutions.

    "The government is planning to form a National Waqf Development Corporation to handle the Waqf properties and the earnings will be utilised for the education of Muslim children especially girls," Khan told Asian Lite newspaper here.

    "Education is the key to success and the new corporation will ensure enough financial assistance for bright students to chase their dreams."

    Unofficial figures show there are about 400,000 acres of Waqf land across India.

    (Anasudhin Azeez can be contacted at

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: Indian Muslim leaders have forcefully criticized Israeli President Shimon Peres remark that India’s relationship with Israel is cautious because of the large Muslim population in India.

    Pere, in an interview with the Press Trust of India (PTI) has said that “while other Muslim countries have established ties with Israel, India is cautious in its ties with Israel due to its large Muslim population."

    “We condemn, most forcefully and unreservedly, the Israeli President’s suggestion to the Indian government to disregard the Indian Muslim community in developing and strengthening relations with the Zionist state,” responded some of the prominent leaders of Indian Muslims in a joint statement issued today.

    Statement was signed by Dr.Zafarul-Islam Khan, President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat; Mujtaba Farooq, President, Welfare Party of India; Muhammad Ahmad, Political Secretary, Jamaat-e Islami Hind; Maulana Abdul Hameed Nomani, National Secretary, Jamiat Ulam-e Hind; Maulana Abdul Wahab Khilji, President, Islahi Movement of India; Dr Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas, Member, Working Committee, Muslim Personal Law Board; Dr Taslim Rahmani, President, Muslim Political Council of India; Prof. M.H. Jawahirullah, MLA, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi; Mualana Ataur Rahman Qasmi, Chairman, Shah Waliullah Institute; Lateef Mohammad Khan, Gen Secretary, Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee, Hyderabad.

    Muslim leaders criticized Shimon Peres who has been Prime Minister of Israel on many occasions on what they called “unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign and free state.” They also termed the statement “blatant disregard of the democratic principles which take public opinion into consideration while formulating national and international policies.”

    Statement in return advised Israel to “make peace with its neighbours, give Palestinians their inalienable rights, return the occupied lands and stop its criminal siege of Gaza Strip and equally illegal settlements in the West Bank.”

    Advice extended to Jewish settlers with Israeli President asked to advise “the Jewish settlers in occupied Palestine to return to their original homelands while those remaining in Palestine will have to live as loyal citizens of a free and democratic Palestine.”

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    By TCN News,

    Lucknow: Rihai Manch plans to release a report on the efforts of the persons who are attempting to create hurdles in the way of seeking justice for Khalid Mujahid later today as it will complete a month of its indefinite demonstrations.

    Rihai Manch (Forum for the Release of Innocent Muslims imprisoned in the name of Terrorism) is on indefinite dharna outside the Uttar Pradesh Assembly demanding arrest of police officers involved in Khalid Mujahid's murder, issuing the RD Nimesh commission report, and the immediate release of innocent Muslim youth imprisoned in the name of terrorism.

    Khalid had died under mysterious circumstances on his way back from Faizabad near Ram Sanehi Ghat on May 18. He was declared brought dead by the doctors at district hospital in Barabanki. Later, on the complain of his uncle Zahir Alam Falahi, a case was registered against 42 police officers including former DGP Vikram Singh, ADG Brijlal and others who were on duty during the time of Khalid's arrest.

    Khalid along with Tariq Qasmi was arrested by Special Task Force (STF) on 20 December 2007 from Barabanki. Huge explosives were also shown as recovered from his possession. STF claimed that he was involved in the serial blasts which occurred in Gorakhpur, Faizabad and Lucknow. Later, Nimesh Commission was constituted headed by Justice R D Nimesh who in its report raised fingers over STF's claim about the place of arrest.

    Rihai Manch is leading a sustained demonstration against the UP government demanding actions on its poll promise of releasing innocent youths languishing in jails in fabricated terror charges. On Thursday it will complete 30 days of the indefinite demonstration.

    Several rights groups and individuals have also expressed their solidarity with the Manch demonstration and on different days made token participation.

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    By IANS,

    Dubai : Around 5,000 expatriate Indians in Saudi Arabia, affected by a new labour policy in the Gulf nation, have found new jobs, the Indian consul general in Jeddah said.

    Consul General Faiz Ahmed Kidwai said the consulate's various pro-active measures have helped these Indians rectify their residency status and get new jobs, Arab News reported Wednesday.

    Indian expatriates were badly hit by the new Nitaqat or Saudisation policy that makes it mandatory for all Saudi companies to reserve 10 percent of jobs for Saudi nationals.

    The Saudi government had announced a grace period for expatriate workers to either rectify their residency status to get new sponsors and jobs or leave the country.

    The grace period will expire July 3.

    Kidwai said the consulate helped eligible Indians find employment by allowing potential employers interview suitable candidates within the consulate premises.

    The job profiles ranged from labourers or blue collar workers to engineers.

    The consul general said that Indians who had been declared "absconders" by their sponsors or those who fell under the red Nitaqat zone - those banned from changing profession - and even those who had not been able to renew their iqamas or local identity cards issued to expatriate workers with their current sponsors are finding suitable jobs rectifying their residency status.

    The consulate will also hold job fairs June 20 and June 27.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Stressing that the Ishrat Jahan shootout was not "fake", the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday said the Congress-led government at the centre was manipulating the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to frame BJP leaders.

    Party spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi told reporters here that the shootout that killed Israt Jahan was conducted on the basis of information received from the Intelligence Bureau (IB), which was forwarded to state police.

    The IB had conveyed that Ishrat Jahan was an LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba) operative.

    "The state police did not act on it's own, they acted on a report of the IB," Lekhi told reporters.

    "She was an LeT operative, and she was armed. Should the police have waited to let another incident happen, like David Headley," she asked.

    "The first affidavit filed by IB said she was an LeT operative. The question is: On whose instructions was the affidavit changed? The government is once against misusing the CBI to meet its political ends, just as it got the affidavit on the coal scam vetted," the BJP spokesperson alleged.

    Mumbai college girl Ishrat Jahan, Pranesh Gopinath Pilai, Amjad Ali and Jishan Johar were killed by Gujarat Police in an allegedly staged shootout June 15, 2004, in Ahmedabad.

    The name of BJP general secretary and close confidant of Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, who served at the time as state home minister, was also linked to the case.

    The Gujarat High Court Tuesday directed the CBI to streamline its investigation in the Ishrat Jahan case and file a charge-sheet by July 4.

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    By IANS,

    Srinagar : Reacting strongly to Congress leader M.L. Fotedar's claim that the National Conference (NC) gave up its autonomy demand in 1975, senior NC leader Muhammad Shafi Wednesday said the likes of Fotedar had become irrelevant.

    Fotedar had said Tuesday said the NC's demand for restoration of autonomy in Jammu and Kashmir had no basis as its leadership gave up the demand when it signed the 1975 accord with the central government.

    The 1975 pact, better known as the Beg-Parthasarthy accord, was signed by NC founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah's deputy Mirza Afzal Beg and G. Parthasarthy, emissary of then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

    Sheikh Abdullah returned to power in the state in 1977 because of the accord which heralded his return to mainstream politics after 23 years.

    Fotedar, who belongs to south Kashmir's Anantnag district, played a key role in Jammu and Kashmir politics as he enjoyed the confidence of Indira Gandhi during whose regime Fotedar was regarded as a power centre.

    In a strongly worded statement, Shafi, who is also an MP, said: "He (Fotedar) should find some other issue to make himself relevant."

    The statement said Fotedar had distorted the contents of the 1975 accord to oppose autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir as demanded by the NC.

    "The accord in fact provides the basis for restoring autonomy as envisaged in article 370 of the constitution of India.

    "The NC, in its manifestoes for elections, has been persistently demanding the restoration of autonomy in its original form."

    He added: "Political circles in Jammu and Kashmir are fully aware of the role played by the likes of Fotedar in destabilising the political situation in the state right since 1953...

    "Political lackeys have no role to play in the prevailing situation in the state."

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    By IANS,

    Chennai : Muslim party Manithaneya Makkal Katchi's (MMK) two legislators in the Tamil Nadu assembly would vote in favour of DMK's Kanimozhi in the June 27 Rajya Sabha biennial elections, said a party official.

    Speaking to reporters here Wednesday, MMK leader M.H. Jawahirullah said: "We met DMK chief M. Karunanidhi and expressed our support to Kanimozhi in the Rajya Sabha elections."

    DMK has 23 members and with MMK's support, the total number of votes assured for Kanimozhi is 25.

    Queried about the reason for supporting DMK after supporting AIADMK since 2011, Jawahirullah said the ruling AIADMK and the Communist Party of India (CPI) have sufficient votes to get their candidates elected and his party does not want to waste its votes.

    He said the party will decide later on the alliance for the Lok Sabha elections and did not expressly say that the alliance with the AIADMK is over.

    MMK fought the 2011 assembly elections in alliance with AIADMK.

    A total of six Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu would retire next month. They are A. Elavarasan and V. Maitreyan from the AIADMK, Tiruchi N. Siva and Kanimozhi from the DMK, B.S. Gnanadesikan of the Congress and D. Raja of the CPI.

    The candidates from AIADMK in the fray - V. Maitreyan, K.R. Arjunan, T. Rathinavel and R. Lakshmanan - had filed their nomination papers Wednesday.

    AIADMK has also announced its support to CPI's Raja.

    While the AIADMK has a strength of 151 (including the speaker) in the 235-member house, the DMDK has 29 legislators, the DMK 23, CPI-M 10, CPI 8 and Congress 5.

    A candidate needs 34 votes to get elected.

    As per the current position, all the four AIADMK candidates and the CPI candidate are expected to romp home safely. The AIADMK is expected to increase its tally in the Rajya Sabha to seven from the current five.

    The contest will be for the sixth seat between DMK's Kanimozhi and DMDK's Elangovan.

    Kanimozhi's election depends on the support the DMK gets from parties like the Congress and others.

    It will be interesting to note the Congress's position - whether it would support Kanimozhi or DMDK's Elangovan.

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    By TCN News,

    Hyderabad: Muslim Students Organization of India (MSO), Nizamabad Zone Andhra Pradesh has initiated a campaign “Poverty alleviation through education.”

    The organization activists made the people of Nizamabad aware about the importance of education and also listened their problems. Financially-challenged children were helped to get admission to schools and books were also distributed free of cost. Members of the organization also discussed the problems of the parents and students of the area with the teachers and administrators.

    Muhammad Zeeshan Razvi, General Secretary of the MSO Nizamabad Zone informed that weekly Dars-e-Quran in the whole area and Career Guidance are regular activities of MSO, Nizamabad.

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    By Arif Kudroli,,

    Mangalore: In yet another case of suicide, a woman along with her two young children jumped into the Netravati river here on Wednesday June 19.

    The woman, identified as Mumtaz (25) jumped into the river from the railway bridge with her two daughters Fathima Naishana (8) and Khatija Naifa (5).While Fathima was studying in the third standard at Best Educational Institute in B C Road, Khatija was in UKG.

    A mobile phone and footwear belonging to the three and a letter was found at the spot. In the letter, Mumtaz reportedly said that she herself was responsible for taking the extreme step.

    The reason behind the suicide is not yet known.

    Her husband who is from B C Road stays abroad. Mumtaz hailed from Hidayatnagar in Kallapu near Thokkottu and was staying at B C Road in her husband's house.

    Ullal police arrived at the spot.

    Firemen and police along with the locals have launched a search operation to locate Mumtaz and the children. By late evening on Wednesday, bodies of Mumtaz and Fatima Naishana were recovered from the river. Search for the body of Khatija Naifa is on.

    It is said that Mumtaz left her husband’s home in B C Road on the pretext of visiting her parental home at Kallapu, but got down at Jappinamogeru and reached Netravati Bridge with her two children with the aim of committing suicide.

    A local saw the three walking by Netravati Bridge. Mumtaz lived with her mother-in-law, and two brothers-in-law. It is said that the family members of her husband, with whom Mumtaz’s relationship had grown sour of late, informed Sadiq Mohammed, husband of Mumtaz, who works abroad, over phone at around 2 pm about her departure from home. After the information that the three were seen near Netravati Bridge was conveyed, Mumtaz’s sister, Naaz, and her husband, Arshad, called her cell phone. The call was received by a boy, who said that he had found a purse, cell phone, and some footwear on the bridge. They then rushed to the bridge, where some people operating boats there told them about the suicide.

    Mumtaz’s husband was earlier working in Fathima Store in the city, but had left for the Gulf in search of greener pastures after his marriage. Mumtaz had visited her parental home on June 15, and had gone back on the next day. It is said that Mumtaz, who had fought with family members of her in-laws family on Saturday, refused to have supper that day.

    After the news of the suicide spread, hundreds of vehicles stopped there, and their drivers went to have a look at the proceedings. This led to traffic chaos, which continued for about a hour at the bridge area.

    Fire brigade personnel, members of Lifeguards Association Ullal, and some local divers continue to search for the body of the other girl.

    Mohammed, father of Mumtaz, however said that he was never informed by his daughter about the harassment if any she faced in the hands of her husband’s family.

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    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Aligarh Muslim University and University of Wisconsin in Madison (USA). The MoU extends the Students Exchange Programme between the two universities for three years.

    AMU Vice Chancellor, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah signed the MoU along with Prof. Paul DeLuca, Jr., Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Prof. David Joiner, Director for Global Engagement and Leadership, Wisconsin University.

    AMU VC presenting a souvenir to the Provost

    Gen. Shah visited the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA for two days and met the Managing Director of Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, heads and directors of Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, an innovative partnership of academia and industry, Office of Corporate Relations, University Research Park, Dean of College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and Dean of College of Engineering. He is presently on a visit to US to participate in the annual convention of Federation of AMU Alumni Associations, USA.

    Participants at the MoU signing

    AMU first signed the MoU with University of Wisconsin in 2008 and eight AMU students of Biochemistry and Biotechnology have so far been provided opportunity to study at the US University under academic exchange programme.

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    By TCN News,

    Lucknow: Annual General Meeting of All India Ulama & Mashaikh Board (AIUMB) is going to be held on June 30th in Khanqah-e-Shaikhul Alam at Rudauli in Faizabad district.

    The meeting will discuss “Wahabi extremism on Indian soil.” The agenda of the meeting also include a review of nine years of UPA government to evaluate the performance of government schemes for minorities.

    National Secretary of the Board Syed Babar Ashraf will present the Annul Report. The office bearers including the General Secretary Hazrat Maulana Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichhouchhwi will present the essence of correspondence with the government and the representations given to Union and several states governments about the sorry state of affairs of the community.

    Heads of a number of Khanqahs, Aastanas and Dargahs will attend and take part in the deliberations.

    AIUMB was formed eight years ago by Barelvi leaders as a counter weight to Deobandi-led organizations.

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    By Mohd Mudassir Alam,

    Villages of India have remained synonymous with dark in absence of electricity since Independence. The situation remained same in most of rural areas of country till last decade. Thanks to Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY), which provided electricity to villages in different states of the country. An ambitious project RGGVY was launched by UPA I government under Ministry of Power, Govt of India in April 2005 for Rural Electricity Infrastructure & Household Electrification. The project having the target to electrify most of the rural areas by the year 2012 missed the deadline and still many villages in states like Bihar have not got electricity. Most importantly, the official website of Ministry of Power ( for tracking status of RGGVY is showing wrong information. Surprisingly many villages not electrified under RGGVY have been displayed as “Electrification Work Completed”.

    One such village is Nautanwa coming under Maniyari Post Office of West Champaran district in Bihar. Interestingly this village is native land of Feraque Ahmad (Retired IAS), who had been District Magistrate of Kishanganj in 2008-10. When talked about the developments related to Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana in his village, he said the project is more in paper rather at ground level. Apart from installing the poles around a couple of years back by the contractors no any development has happened, said the former special secretary with Govt of Bihar.

    Ahmad said that he had personally talked with District Magistrate of West Champaran regarding the electrification of the village under the project so many times. The concerned ministry and officials had also been informed regarding the delay in implementation of RGGVY but nothing substantial has happened, told the retired bureaucrat. Ahmad explained the issues faced by the villagers, which are more or less similar like many other rural areas in the state. He said, in absence of electricity the villagers are totally cut-off from rest of the state, as they are dependent on age-old modes of lighting. Even charging the mobiles is a big task for the villagers. Around 500 students studying in Madarsa Rahmania Tahfeezul Quran Lil Banaat are facing problem in absence of electricity.

    Afaque Ahmad, an MBA currently working in Qatar with a bank is highly annoyed over the progress related to RGGVY. He said, “Nautanwa is my native land and I visit the village at least once in a year. However, the absence of electricity in the village makes the life tough for villagers.” “I have tried my best to bring the issue into notice of the concerned stakeholders especially the district administration. They are giving lame excuses and false promises. In fact, they are not having any accurate answer for the queries regarding RGGVY,” mentioned Afaque. Further he added, even the official website of Ministry is showing wrong status as “Electrification Works Completed”, but in truth only the poles are erected in the village”.

    Of course, the governments at Centre and state are making tall claims about various development projects but still the truth is far from realm. Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana is undoubtedly an ambitious project focused towards providing one of the most important basic amenity ‘electricity’ to people of the country. However, the facts and status of the project raises question mark over the concerned ministry, officials, surveying agencies and contractors. Nautanwa is one of the thousands villages in Bihar where the electricity connection has not reached since independence. The status of other villages in country can be understood with the example of Nautanwa, which is not benefited even after a connection with a former District Magistrate.

    (Mohd Mudassir Alam, a Delhi based journalist hailing from Kishanganj, Bihar)

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    By TCN News,

    Jaipur: A one day “All Rajasthan Members Camp” was organized by Girls Islamic Organization (GIO) of Rajasthan, on June 2, 2013. It was attended by GIO members from five districts of the state. The programme commenced with Tazkeer bil Quraan by Sister Rizwana (Unit President, Ramganj, Jaipur). Ubaidah Iqbal (President GIO, Rajasthan) explained the objective of the camp through inaugural speech.

    Shaista Hussain (District Organizer, Sikar) expressed her thoughts on the topic “Significance of being organised.” She stated that organisation is the innate need of human being. Allah has made the Muslims a ‘Jamaat’ (Group) for a purpose i.e. “iqaamat-e-deen” (establishment of Deen) and Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. also commanded us to remain in ‘Jamaat’ to achieve this aim. Sumaiya Afnan (District Organizer, Jaipur) enlightened the audience on “Duties of a leader and the followers” that an Ameer (leader) should be caring, responsible and serious about his duties; Maamureen (followers) should obey his leader in all possible situations; and their mutual relationship should be fair.

    Ayesha Badar (Secretary, GIO Rajasthan) explained the “Constitution of GIO-Rajasthan.” Huma Ansari (Unit President, Mangrol) addressed all the members on the topic “Our duties as an individual” that we should present our Islamic identity in every aspect of life and should try our best to guard human rights of all. Saika Bhati (Treasurer, GIO, Rajasthan) gave speech on the title “Mutual relationship among the sisters of GIO” and stated that mutual understanding and affection between the members are helpful to achieve the purpose i.e.

    Ubaidah Iqbal (President, GIO, Rajasthan) revealed her thoughts about “How to work in Campus” that we should strive to make the environment of campus pure, calm, and safe; and free from evils like ragging, fashion shows, eve-teasing, communalism, etc. For this, we should civilize the students by Islamic teachings and try to help them as far as possible, but first we have to present ourselves as a perfect Islamic ideal before them.

    Mrs. Shakira Khatoon Sahiba (Nazima Tarbiyat, Women’s Wing, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Rajasthan) spoke on “Sacrifice in the way of Allah” and said that we should learn the feeling of physical and financial sacrifice from Sahabiyaat (Female companions of the Prophet) and try to develope that feeling in us. “Study: Why and How?,” this topic was presented by Waqar Ahmed (Observer, GIO Rajasthan) that Allah gave us all the Knowledge that we didn’t have but the human being used to ignore that nemat (gift) of Allah. We should apply Islamic way of education in our life.

    Dr. Mohd. Iqbal Siddiqui Sahab (Secretary Dawat, JIH Rajasthan) described “How To Develop An Islamic Personality” and said that personality of a person can be judged through his knowledge about society and its circumstances. He also said that memory of a person is the measurement of his ilm (knowledege). The most developed personality of the world is that of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. who gifted us knowledge through the Holy Quran. The Holy Quran, Namaz and spending in the way of Allah are the ways to get more and more closer to Allah. At the end of the programme, Khurshid Hussain Sahab (Patron, GIO Rajasthan) said that it is a precious gift of Allah that we are Muslims and are attched with a purest organisation. Close relation with Allah, Islamic life and character and belief in life after death are the main parts of our training.

    There was also an open session of discussion on “Problems during the work of GIO and their solutions.”

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    By IANS,

    Panaji : Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Thursday got a double-barreled shot in the arm with a chief minister and a spiritual guru urging people to put behind what happened in the state in 2002.

    Speaking to reporters here Thursday, Art of Living founder Ravi Shankar also insisted that it was unwise to hold on to the Gujarat riots and bring it up over and over again.

    "I don't think it is wise for us to hold onto something that happened in 2002. He was a new chief minister then, so he was inexperienced," Ravi Shankar said.

    Dyed-in-wool Modi supporter and Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the NDTV news channel that the Gujarat riots were a bad example of administrative failure.

    He added that Modi, controversially appointed the Bharatiya Janata Party's chief of election management committee, was inexperienced as the man at the helm at the time.

    "I will put it as a clear-cut lack of administration and administrative failure, a bad example of governance. This is my personal opinion," he said.

    Parrikar, who was the first to prop Modi as a potential prime ministerial candidate at the recent BJP national executive meeting here, admitted that Godhra was a blot.

    But he added: "But not defending it does not mean you put the blame on a particular person. The administration collapsed."

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