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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: ‘Okhla Post,’ a fortnightly newspaper was launched today on August 15, 2013. Okhla Post is neighborhood news publishing Newspaper that will typically focus on unique and informative news relating Okhla and would be circulated freely in the locality in and around Okhla, New Delhi.

    The Newspaper is an initiative by Tanveer Iqbal, a freelance journalist in alliance with Delhi based journalist Asfar Faridy and few students of Jamia Millia Islamia. The Purpose of the newspaper is to connect the community of Okhla, which is a city by itself with 1.5 millions population, Central University, hundreds of schools, educational institutions, and hub of business various places of amusements.

    Tanveer Iqbal, Founder of Okhla Post, said, “Okhla Post would be a connecting pinnacle between the people of Okhla and it would be a window of information about Okhla for the rest. We will present the real face of Okhla which is distinctive and spectacular from the day of its existence but is being collapsed and even not propagated”.

    “Okhla has many social issues as well from the authorization of colonies, sewer lane to electricity issues which would also be highlighted” Tanveer added.

    Asfar Faridy, Associate Editor of Okhla Post, said, “This is newspaper for the people of Okhla, by the people of Okhla and to the people of Okhla which would propagate the happening in Okhla at global level. Even before the launch of the Newspaper it has started making an impact as the page of Okhla Post has got more than 5000 likes now itself”

    Okhla Post Newspaper was launched by Ravi Nitesh (Civil Rights Activist), RJ-Reshma Faruqi, Advocate Athar Sayed in presence of Tanveer Iqbal (Founder - Okhla Post), and Asfar Faridy (Associate Editor - Okhla Post).

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    By TCN News,

    Hyderabad: Popular Front of India celebrated the 67th Independence Day with the theme ‘’Be the Sentinel of Freedom” and organized ‘Freedom Meets’ in various parts of the state.

    Popular Front of India, Andhra Pradesh State President Mr. Shaik Abdus Subhan attended the ‘Freedom Meet’ organized in Kurnool. General Secretary Mohammed Arif Ahmed, other functionaries and the State Executive Council Members attended the programs organized in other district head quarters and towns.

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    Rihai Manch is on indefinite dharna in Lucknow for last 86 days for justice to slain Khalid Mujahid.

    By Staff Reporter,

    Lucknow: Rihai Manch (Forum for the Release of Innocent Muslims imprisoned in the name of Terrorism) today held a public hearing on the theme “where are the pride sons of the nation” on the 67th Independence Day outside the Uttar Pradesh Assembly.

    Since May 20 Rihai Manch is on indefinite dharna demanding arrest of police officers involved in Khalid Mujahid's murder, issuing the RD Nimesh commission report and action report and the immediate release of innocent Muslim youth imprisoned in the name of terrorism in Lucknow.

    After unfurling the tricolour, Chairman of the Rihai Manch Advocate Mohammad Shoaib said, “From here on this auspicious day, we condemn and the undeclared war that the government has unleashed against innocent minorities, tribals and dalits. ”

    He also announced the Manch plan to lead nationwide movement for against the capital punishment.

    Magsaysay award winner and Gandhian social activist Sandeep Pandey derided the way the war rhetoric is going on in the country and said that freedom does not imply fighting war with neighbours, in which poor sons of peasant die.

    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 arres.
    Khalid’s family and civil society groups are demanding CBI probe into Khalid’s custodial death and has compared his case with the fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan by the Gujarat Police. They have also questioned the role of the IB.

    Rihai Manch is leading a sustained demonstration against the UP government for almost three months now demanding actions on its poll promise of releasing innocent youths languishing in jails in fabricated terror charges.

    Several rights groups and and politicians, including Prakash Karat, Subhasini Ali and other left leaders have also expressed their solidarity with the Manch demonstration and on different days made token participations.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Hyderabad: One of the tallest Muslim political leader of Andhra region and the Muslim face of Telugu Desam Party for three decades S.M. Lal Jan Basha died in an unfortunate road accident on Thursday morning at Narkatpalli road in Nalgonda District, 80 k.m. from Hyderabad.

    56 year old Lal Jan Pasha, who was presently holding the post of TDP Vice-President, was traveling towards Hyderabad from his hometown Guntur district when his SUV collided with the road divider resulting in fatal accident. Some local Telugu media news reports by showcasing the video footage of dented left side of his car has suggesting that an unidentified vehicle rammed his SUV.

    When police reached the spot Lal Jan Basha was laying on the ground with serious injuries, he was found dead. His driver was alive with grave injury marks and was quickly shifted to a local hospital.

    File photo of S.M. Lal Jan Basha .

    Lal Jan Basha was one of the rare Telugu Muslim politicians from SeemaAndhra region who rose to prominence in a Telugu state where Muslim political space has been dominated by Urdu speaking Telengana Muslim leaders. His family was influential among Telugu Muslims even at the time of Madras presidency, his grandfather was the chairman of Guntur municipality and MLA in both Madras and the subsequent Andhra assembly.

    Lal Jan Basha was associated with Telugu Desam Party since its formation; he created history in 1991 by becoming first Muslim Member of Parliament from coastal Andhra by defeating veteran Congress parliamentarian Acharya N.G. Ranga from Guntur constituency. But he lost subsequent elections from Guntur and Narsaraopet.

    He won Guntur parliament seat in 1991 by pulling 3,07,073 votes, in 1996 elections he got 274,753, and faced defeat by present Union minister Sambasiva Rao. In 1998 election he pulled 40.16% nearly 3,02,109 votes but still faced the defeat, In 1999 elections he tried his luck with Narsaraopet constituency where he got 48.4% percentage 4,18,384 votes but lost with slight margin of just 13,882 votes.

    He was later elected as Rajay Sabha member, TDP deputy Chairman, Polit Bureau member and finally as its vice-president.

    Apart from his huge influence among Telugu Muslims of SeemaAndhra, Basha was considered a crucial vote grabber for TDP in southern costal Andhra districts. Lal Jan Pasha was also a good entrepreneur; he was the chairman of Bombay Mercantile Bank.

    Muslim United Front an umbrella organization of Andhra Muslims in a press statement termed the death of Lal Jan Basha as big loss to the Muslims of Andhra Pradesh especially of the Andhra coastal belt.

    MUF stated that Lal Jan Basha has made benchmark in Muslim politics of Andhra by becoming first Muslim MP from the region, according to MUF Mr. Basha didn’t acted as just a symbolic Muslim politician but raised Muslim issues at National level as M.P., and within the state as TDP leader. MUF remembered his contribution to solve Wakf issues as a member of Parliamentary Committee on Wakf affairs.

    Chandra Babu Naidu paying tribute to Lal Jan Basha .

    MUF stated that Lal Jan Basha was a soft spoken non-controversial man who always entertained issues of Andhra Muslims and raised it on several platforms.

    In recent months Mr. Basha is the second senior TDP leader to die in a road accident, former union minister Yerran Naidu was killed in Srikakulam district in same kind of accident in November last year.

    Lal Jan Basha’s sudden demise has saddened the main opposition party, many senior TDP leaders like N. Hari Krishna and Devender Goud rushed to the accident spot to receive the body. After the accident TDP leaders held a brief condolence program at their headquarter NTR Bhavan in Hyderabad.
    TDP president N. Chandra Babu Naidu expressed his shock over the accident and termed the death of Basha as huge loss to TDP. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has also paid his condolences to the family of Lal Jan Basha.

    In a press statement Popular Front of India also exprssed shock and condolence, calling his death as great loss for the minorities, as he was serving for the development of Minorities in the state.

    His dead body will be shifted to Guntur town by tonight, The Namaz-e-Janaza will be offered in his home town tomorrow after Friday prayer.

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    By IANS,

    Jammu: Curfew continued for the eighth day Friday in Jammu and Kashmir's Kishtwar town as union Home Secretary Anil Goswami arrived here to review the law and order situation.

    The home secretary will also take stock of the situation on the international border.

    District Magistrate of Kishtwar Basheer Ahmad Khan told IANS that curfew was relaxed for a while Thursday during Independence Day celebrations, but later re-imposed.

    Curfew was imposed following large-scale communal violence Aug 9, in which three people were killed. Private and public properties worth millions of rupees were destroyed by rioting mobs.

    Curfew was Thursday lifted from all the other seven districts of Jammu region -- Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Reasi, Udhampur, Doda and Rajouri -- where it was imposed Aug 10 as a precautionary measure.

    Authorities have decided that educational institutions in Jammu and other districts would re-open Monday.

    Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami arrived early Friday in Jammu along with a team of officials.

    The home secretary went straight to R.S. Pura in Jammu district to get a first-hand experience of the situation on the international border (IB).

    He is set to visit the headquarters of the Border Security Force (BSF) in Paloura in Jammu Friday to interact with senior officials about the ground realities.

    The home secretary will review the law and order situation in Jammu region at a high-level meeting of state and central government officials in winter capital Jammu.

    The international border in Jammu and Kashmir is guarded by the BSF, while the Line of Control (LoC) is manned by the army.

    Tensions have been running high on the international border and the LoC following repeated violations of the November 2003 ceasefire by the Pakistan Army.

    A bilateral ceasefire was signed by India and Pakistan in November 2003 which had been holding for all these years. A modicum of peace had returned because of the bilateral ceasefire in the lives of thousands of people.

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    By IANS,

    Patna: A week after communal clashes erupted in Bihar's Nawada town, curfew was relaxed for 18 hours Friday for the second consecutive day, with the situation returning to normal, police said.

    "In view of no fresh communal clashes Thursday, after curfew was relaxed from morning to midnight, curfew was relaxed again Friday as the situation is returning to normal," Nawada District Magistrate Adesh Titarmare said.

    Curfew was imposed Monday following clashes between two communities that claimed two lives and left six people injured.

    The district magistrate said the administration had made elaborate security arrangements during curfew relaxation, and would maintain strict vigil.

    Deputy Inspector General of Police Amit Lodha of the Criminal Investigation Department of state police is leading the investigation into the communal violence in Nawada. Four police complaints have been lodged in this connection.

    Officials suspect two local leaders involved in illegal stone quarrying in the district of inciting communal hatred as part of business rivalry, a police official said.

    The National Security Act would be invoked for preventive detention of troublemakers and swift action, officials said.

    According to police officials, more than 50 people have so far been arrested in connection with the violence.

    Police resorted to firing Monday when a mob attacked the Bundelkhand police station in Nawada, about 150 km from here.

    Communal tension erupted Friday after an altercation over the menu of a roadside eatery took place, between a group of kanwarias (Hindu pilgrims) and another community. Clashes continued Monday after the death of a 20-year-old youth who had earlier sustained injuries in police firing.

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: The Faculty of Dentistry at Jamia Millia Islamia has been providing regular dental check up and referral camps since 2009, especially to the underprivileged sections of society, who find it difficult to afford dental treatment.

    These dental check up camps work at 1) Okhla Centre of the Delhi Society for the Welfare of Special Children, Okhla 2) Delhi Cheshire Homes (for Mentally and Physically Challenged), Okhla and 3) Balak Mata Centres at Matia Mahal and Qasab Pura, Delhi.

    The University is continuing with this oral health programme by providing certain basic treatment e.g. scaling, restoration and extraction of teeth etc. free of cost to people at these centres on a regular basis.

    Jamia Millia Islamia’s faculty of Dentistry has now decided to adopt these three centres officially to carry out its social outreach programme.

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: Welfare Party of India has strongly condemned and criticized the “inhuman massacre” of hundreds of civilians taking part in sit-in protest program in Cairo demanding restoration of democracy, by the military using excessive and brutal forces.

    Party national general secretary Dr. S.Q.R. Ilyas in a statement also criticized military junta for declaring emergency and asked Indian government to use all its influences for immediate intervention of UN to thwart further bloodshed and restore civil liberties and democratic order.

    In the statement Dr. Ilyas blamed the international community and world bodies for being passive spectators and failing to intervene effectively in the right time. He asked the military to go to barracks and hand over power to legitimate civilian authorities. He asked the world bodies such as UN, European Union, OIC, NAM and super powers such as US and Russia to urge the Egyptian military to halt all repressive measures.

    He conveyed sincere condolence to the bereaved families of martyrs. He also extended support to the Anti-Coup Alliance for their peaceful and democratic fight for dignity and civilian authority.

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    By Mahboob A. Khawaja,

    Hans Morgenthau in Politics Among Nations (1948) related the concept of power to psychology, proposing that in a nation state, leaders use their mind to transform the power vested in them into political acts.

    What the late professor Morgenthau offered was a leader in his attempts to reveal the essence of real politics and to explain the search for peace in global relationships. Perhaps he never imagined that America, the most powerful force in moral and intellectual history, could become a nation devoid of the most basic tenets of global political affairs.

    The political realism envisaged by Morgenthau ruled American foreign policy and relations for several decades, until George W Bush and Barack Obama assumed the political leadership. America is not what it used be in terms of an idealistic moral, political and intellectual historical reference point.

    Those who assumed power in recent decades and claim legitimacy on behalf of the people are fast becoming a source of hatred, illegitimacy and war crimes. Unpredictable, paranoid and vengeful political monsters have incapacitated the nation. This was not accidental but a planned scheme. America has fallen victim to its own obsession with power.

    Mindless politicians claiming to have accomplished victory in the war on terror have done so at the cost of millions of fellow humans in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. They lacked political imagination as men of universal hatred, and it seems America is entrenched in the dirty politics of the few.

    All the monsters of history exercised absolute power in disregard of the interests of their people. If America cannot deal with its own domestic problems, how can it be helpful to others in global political domains?

    What went wrong with America? The questions deserve a rational answer. Stephen Lendman ("Eroding Freedom in America," Information Clearing House, May 2013), is a Chicago-based international peace activist, man of conscience and author ofBanker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity (2013), spells it out:

    Freedom is a four-letter word. It's fast disappearing. It's an endangered species. Wealth, power and privilege alone matter. America's war on terror priorities advance them ... Tyranny isn't in the eye of the beholder. It's escalating in plain sight. It's just a matter of time until it's full-blown. Washington's bipartisan criminal class plans it…. It's dangerous living in America at the wrong time. Supporting right over wrong is threatened. Anyone can be targeted for any reason or none at all. Guilt by accusation is policy. Diktat authority has final say…. War on terror priorities breached First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment freedoms. At issue are search and surveillance authority, indefinitely detaining citizens and non-citizens uncharged, and undermining free expression, due process, and equal protection.

    Glenn Greenwald shares a foresight to make us think hard about the future:

    There's no question that this "war" will continue indefinitely. There is no question that US actions are the cause of that, the gasoline that fuels the fire. The only question - and it's becoming less of a question for me all the time - is whether this endless war is the intended result of US actions or just an unwanted miscalculation. Why would anyone in the US government or its owners have any interest in putting an end to this sham bonanza of power and profit called "the war on terror"? Johnson is right that there must be an end to this war imminently, and Maddow is right that the failure to do so will render all the due-process-free and lawless killing and imprisoning and invading and bombing morally indefensible and historically unforgivable. But the notion that the US government is even entertaining putting an end to any of this is a pipe dream, and the belief that they even want to is fantasy. They're preparing for more endless war; their actions are fueling that war; and they continue to reap untold benefits from its continuation. [1]

    Politics is a game of pretence and will always remains problematic. Politicians need problems to get public attention and to argue that they are deliverers from our troubles. Most politicians are self-centered, often naive about the real world. Did Obama learn anything from the past? Even when facts warrant a change, be it in policy making or global interactive behavior? After all listening and learning are critical factors for the changing role of 21st-century political leadership.

    Today, there are no intelligent and proactive leaders such as Professor Morgenthau, who had enough vision to see the imperatives of real power and of emerging as one humanity. instead we have except naive egomaniacs using sadistic viciousness to torture and kill mankind and destroy ecological habitats.

    Contrary to the brutal perceptions and actions of the US-European imperialists, the international community is informed, mature, and enjoys the moral and intellectual capacity to know and understand the facts of life and to challenge the politically imperiled insensitivity to universal accord.

    We live in one world and on one planet and America is one of the most scientifically and technologically advanced nations. It cannot be ignored by any or all as we hold certain principles and obligations in global political affairs.

    What happens to America will affect all on the planet. But no humans can become God or act like God - its a plain fact of life.

    American politics is increasingly showing ignorance and willful arrogance in its global policies and practices. America as it appears is not heeding to warnings from God.

    When people and nations challenge the sanctity and limits of the Laws of God and violate all known norms and principles of human behavior, they could well become an object of unthinkable natural calamities and disasters.

    The Holy Bible and Al-Qura'an are full of such revelations and warnings as reminders to those people who are open to listening and learning and care for accountability and the future.

    On the recent Egyptian military coup against elected President Mohammed Morsi, the Obama administration showed hypocrisy not to support an elected president over generals. Military coups will not help Egypt to rebuild a democratic nation and to foster change in overwhelmingly authoritarian Arab Middle East.

    Obama failed to see the interests of the global community and take a peaceful approach to conflict management through dialogue and non-rhetoric belligerent statements. Be it the issue of Palestine or nuclear Iran, naive egoism and one-sided complacency to Israel's interests cannot further the cause of peace in the region.

    Paul Craig Roberts has offered a rational context to the current problem:

    In the 21st century the 200-old propaganda that the American people control their government has been completely shattered. Both the Bush and Obama regimes have made it unmistakably clear that the American people don't even influence, much less control, the government. As far as Washington is concerned, the people are nothing but chaff in the wind….Washington's double-speak is now obvious to the world. Not only Assad, but also the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, and every US puppet state which includes all of NATO and Japan, are fully aware that Washington is again lying through its teeth. The Russians, Chinese, and Iranians are trying to avoid confrontation with Washington, as war with the modern nuclear weapons would destroy all life on planet earth…. Considering the utterly insane government ruling in Washington, if human life exists in 2020, it will be a miracle. [2]

    Do politicians who have small wisdom but big mouths determine the future of mankind? If history is relevant and is seen as a source of learning and warning, undeniably all those superpowers well equipped with weapons and animosity to destroy others or all have met the same fate of self annihilation.

    It is beyond doubts that when they challenged the sanctity of the Laws of God governing the earth and the living Universe, and invaded small and poor nations in farfetched lands, they ultimately met their own end. This is how the Roman Empire, Nazi Germany, British, Russian (USSR) and so many others have ended up in human history. Is this is what the US Empire in its infancy is waiting to endure?

    One wonders, if there is a cure to such a cruel mindset? Morgenthau was a rational thinker, realist humanitarian and a teacher to define political power as the outcome of the psychology of mind. But absolute political power cannot be justified as simple favorable perversion to torture, kill the innocent mankind and destroy the universal harmony and natural habitats on the Earth. A few centuries earlier, Alexander Pope (1688-1744) in An Essay on Man envisaged this startling insight as a reminder to mankind:

    Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
    The proper study of Mankind is Man.
    Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,
    A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
    With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
    With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
    He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest,
    In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast;
    In doubt his Mind or Body to prefer,
    Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
    Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
    Whether he thinks too little, or too much:
    Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confus'd;
    Still by himself abus'd, or disabus'd;
    Created half to rise, and half to fall;
    Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
    Sole judge of Truth, in endless Error hurl'd:
    The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!

    1. The 'War on Terror' - by Design - Can Never End, The Guardian, January 4, 2013.
    2. Washington is Insane,, June 17, 2013.

    (Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012.)

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    By TCN News,

    Abu Dhabi: Quaide Millath Forum ( QMF ) a wing of Indian Union Muslim League Tamilnadu has organised a reception to Tamilandu State Women convenor Prof Thasreef Jahan on 9 August 2013 Friday at Abu Dhabi.

    QMF Vice President Kalamaruthur Samsudeen Hajiyar presided over the function. Organizing Secretary Lalpet Abdul Rahman in his introductory speech spoke about QMF and the visiting partly women convenor.

    Thasreef Jahan is the former principal of Meenakshi Government college for women in Madurai. She is also the vice president of Federation of Muslim Women Aid Societies of Tamilnadu and secretary of Madurai District Muslim women and society.

    Thasreef Jahan in her speech, thanked the organizers for their warm reception and requested the organizers to strengthen the party's women wing in Tamilnadu and to support the needy.

    Several other QMF office bearers were also present in the reception programme, where Thasreef Jahan was honoured with momento.

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    In his Independence Day speech, Gen. Shah said that the MHRD had curtailed about 35 Crore in the grant under XII Plan, which he said would not be accepted at any cost.

    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: The 67th Independence Day was celebrated at the Aligarh Muslim University with traditional gaiety and joy. The Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah unfurled the national flag in front of the Strachey Hall, first building of the University, and National Anthem was sung by all people present in the function. The Vice Chancellor also received the Guard of Honour from the Senior Division NCC cadets.

    Addressing on the occasion, the Vice Chancellor, Gen. Shah congratulated the medical team of the Jawaharlal Nehru medical College of the University, which rendered exemplary service in Uttarakhand when it was reeling under the thrashes of the flash flood that occurred two months back. Gen. Shah said that the Governor of the Uttarakhand has also communicated his appreciation for the AMU doctors’ team.

    The Vice Chancellor highlighted the developmental activities which the University had undertaken after him joining the University. He said that special focus has been laid on upgrading the residential and academic facilities in the University. An outlet of the Kendriya Bhandar has been established in the University to provide students with cheaper and quality commodities. He said that this outlet will also serve as the main source for all food material purchase for the dining halls.

    Gen. Shah said that he has signed several Memoranda of Understanding with some reputed institutions in USA during his recent visit to America. These MoUs will facilitate student exchange between AMU and US universities and about fifteen students of AMU will receive higher education in these universities every year. He appreciated the role of AMU alumni residing in different parts of US.

    Gen. Shah reiterated his commitment to upgrading the academic and research facilities including the WiFi internet connectivity to the faculty members and students in order to help them attain excellence in their respective fields. He said that he had come to the University with a mission of making it number one University in his period.

    He said that a Promotion Board will be constituted for the promotions of faculty members and all vacancies in teaching and non-teaching domains will be filled up within a year by organizing selection committee meetings.

    PVC Brig. (Retd.) S. Ahmad Ali, distributed fruits to the ailing students.

    The Vice Chancellor firmly said that he would not tolerate activities on the part of any quarters that are detrimental to the development spree in the University. He said that the forces which are trying to harm him and stop him from bringing positive changes in the University, would not succeed. He warned that such forces will be defeated and driven out.

    Gen. Shah said that the MHRD had curtailed about 35 Crore in the grant under XII Plan, which he said would not be accepted at any cost. He said that we are demanding more than what we had been given under the XI Plan and we will persuade the government to revise its decision.

    Referring to the increase in the fees, he said that there was no option but to increase the fees, which had remained constant since last fifteen years, if the facilities in the University had to be upgraded.

    AMU Pro-Vice Chancellor, Brig. (Retd.) S. Ahmad Ali, distributed fruits to the ailing students under treatment at the University Health Service. He also planted a tree sapling at the ground near the Astro-turf.

    Brig. Ali also presided over the traditional Mushaira on the eve of the Independence Day organized by the Department of Urdu at the Assembly Hall of the Z. H. College of Engineering and Technology.

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  • 08/16/13--03:32: Kandhmal Carnage: Aftermath
  • Ram Puniyani,

    This August 25, 2013, it will be five years, since the biggest anti Christian, violence, biggest communal violence in the Adivisi area, will complete five years. What has been the plight of the victims of the violence after this ghastly tragedy? What is the state of justice to the victim?

    Kandhamal violence began in 2008, after the trailer of the same was seen a year earlier in 2007. The pretext was the murder of Swami Laxmananand, Lakkhanand, who was working in the area from last four decades. He was part of the RSS combine, VHP-Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram and was involved in the programs like Ghar Vapasi, the forcible conversion of Adivasis to Hinduism. RSS combine asserts that Adivasis are originally Hindus who had to flee to forests to avoid being converted to Islam in particular. This is a political construct and has nothing to do with the social history. The credit of his murder of Swami was taken by the Maoists, who said that this act was done to stop his activities related to spreading hatred in the area. Immediately after the murder, Pravin Togadia of VHP took out the procession with the body of Swami through a long circuitous route spanning 270 Kilometers. It was on this route that anti Christian violence and destruction of Churches and damage to the property of Christian community took place. It is reminiscent of the Gujarat pattern, where the bodies of Godhra tragedy were taken in a procession to Ahmadabad by the functionaries of VHP-BJP., and the violence followed.

    The victims of Kandhmal were poor Christians, most of who were dalits and living below the poverty line. Nearly three hundred Churches were destroyed and four hundred Christians were done to death. With this thousands of them had to leave the areas and were forced to live in the poorly equipped refugee settlements. This violence was targeted against the minority Christian community, it violated the fundamental right to life, liberty and equality guaranteed by the Indian Constitution, and affirmed by many international covenants. The pattern of violence shows that the attacks were targeted, widespread, in the district of Kandhamal. Their execution was done with meticulous planning and preparation. The violence was preceded by various activities and the planning meetings were held by the perpetrators prior to the violence. Apart from this meticulous planning the financial and other forms of assistance were secured months prior to the violence. The violence meets the criteria of ‘Crimes against Humanity’ as defined in international law. The blatant brutality of the violence makes it fall within the definition of ‘torture’ under international laws.
    The winter following the carnage was very intense and the facilities to combat the nature’s fury were far from adequate. The relief came much later but not adequately from the Government sources. Church tried to step in as a stop gap measure. But initially the Government blocked this humanitarian relief on the ground that it will be given only to the Christians. On the intervention of the Court, Government was forced to permit the Church to offer the aid to all the victims. This also partly reminds one of Gujarat. Here also the state washed its hands soon enough and then the religious organizations tried to fill the gap!

    The state of justice delivery system as such is abysmal. The communalized state apparatus blocks the justice at various levels. The story of this obstacle begins from the registration of cases, then to investigation and then to the court procedures, the role of public prosecutors and the willpower of state. The whole chain shows that justice is hard to get by especially the way our democracy is being eroded by the communal ideology under various garbs. At this stage the National Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Law Network came forward and brought out good reports showing us the mirror of the prevalent injustice in Kandhamal. A People’s Tribunal was also set up under the Chairmanship of retired Justice AP Shah. Most of these reports indicted the communal forces for their aggressive stance and held the state Government responsible for various acts of omission and commission. Unlike in Gujarat, the BJP, which was part of ruling coalition, was dumped by Biju Janata Dal after which Biju Pattnaik, the Chief Minister could frankly speak about the role of BJP and company in their involvement in instigating the violence against Christians. The role of Hindutva organizations in the carnage was officially acknowledged by the Chief Minister. In response to a question posed in the Legislative Assembly, the chief minister of Orissa, Naveen Patnaik, admitted, on the basis of state’s investigation that “members of the RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal” were involved in the violence. As per the Chief Minister, police arrested 85 people from the RSS, 321 members of the VHP and 118 Bajrang Dal members in the attacks. He said that only 27 members from these groups were still in jail.

    Even till date the work of rehabilitation and justice to the victims is far from adequate. Nationally there are so many pressing issues of violations of the rights of minorities that Kandhmal issue has not been so much brought into focus by the human rights groups, which is a bit unfortunate. Despite other pressing demands on the time of social groups, one must appreciate the dogged and determined work of some of the activists who are pursuing the struggle for dignity and rights of the victims of Kandhamal violence.

    John Dayal, President of All India Catholic Union and member of National Integration Council points out that “The Chief Minister Pattnaik appointed two judicial commissions… the commonality between the judges of these commissions is the haste in which they have expressed their high regard for the late VHP leader, Swami Laxmananand and their belief that the violence is not religiously motivated but a conflict over land issues between the Tribal Kondhs, mostly Hindu, and the Dalit Panos, many of whom have converted to Christianity, and who are demanding Scheduled Caste status.” Like most of the commissions of inquiry these commission are also working at a snail’s pace to prove once more that a delayed report usually becomes useless as for as delivery of justice is concerned. The Christian community was so disgusted with the attitude of the commissions that initially they boycotted them but later seeing no other platform to express their pain and anguish have decided to be part of the same.

    Today five years down the line the process of rehabilitation is far from satisfactory, a small number is yet to get the compensation. The compensation received is too inadequate to rebuild the life afresh. As far as justice is concerned while the inquiry commission reports are too slow, the fast track courts which were set up have been suspended. The proceedings of the cases is going on in an atmosphere where the guilty are openly threatening the witnesses, and many of them are reluctant to give evidence out of fear of the accused, who are on bail despite several serious charges against them. Quite like Gujarat where many a witnesses turned hostile! In this scenario the state is backing off from rebuilding the Churches destroyed during carnage. The plea being offered is how a secular state can spend money on the places of religious worship. Again quite like Gujarat! When state is unable to protect a place of worship, why should it not come forward to build it?

    Kandhmal is yet another reflection of the impact of communal forces within our system, the difficulty in rehabilitation for them and the lack of adequate justice for riot victims. This is what is the major phenomenon eroding our democratic plural ethos. More and urgent efforts need to be put in for these hapless victims of the carnage.

    (Ram Puniyani was a professor in biomedical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, and took voluntary retirement in December 2004 to work full time for communal harmony in India. He is involved with human rights activities from last two decades.He is associated with various secular and democratic initiatives like All India Secular Forum, Center for Study of Society and Secularism.)

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    “This may sound very undiplomatic but the seriousness of the matter impels us to say that through this gesture a very wrong message is being given that might is right and economic interests come before principles,” writes COIMUK chariman.

    BY TCN News,

    London: Council of Indian Muslims (UK) has written an open letter to all the British parliamentarians expressing “utter sense of disappointment and disgust” and urging them to review the decision of inviting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to the United Kingdom.

    The open letter, signed by Munaf Zeena, Chairman of COIMUK, and addressed to the Foreign Secretary William Hague, Home Secretary Theresa May, Conservative Party Chairmen Grant Shapps and Andrew Feldman, Labour Party Leader ED Milliband and copied to all the parliamentarians quote from the leaked report of British High Commissio n in India according to which the pogroms in Gujarat in 2002, “had all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing and that reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims is impossible while the chief minister remains in power.”

    File Photo of Narendra Modi.

    “This may sound very undiplomatic but the seriousness of the matter impels us to say that through this gesture a very wrong message is being given that might is right and economic interests come before principles,” it adds.

    Referring to the rising communal tension, the letter further elaborates, “Since Modi’s appointment as Chairman of BJP’s Campaign Committee for 2014 general elections, inter-communal situation in two northern Indian states, Utter Pradesh and Bihar, has already worsened and there should be no doubt in the mind of anyone about the harm that the visit and presence of such a hate monger will do to race relations in UK.”

    Calling Modi modern day Nero and Hitler, COIMUK appeals to the British parliamentarians for a review, “We fail to express our utter sense of disappointment and disgust at these overtures by British MPs and earnestly request you to review your policies and restrain these MPs from supporting the Neru and Hitler of our time.

    Full text of the letter:

    Mr William Jefferson Hague MP, Foreign Secretary
    Ms Theresa May MP, Home Secretary
    Grant Shapps MP and Andrew Feldman MP, Chairmen Conservative Party
    ED Milliband MP, Chairman Labour Party

    Dear Sirs and Madam,

    We, the British Indian Muslims, are writing this open letter to you, sirs and Madam, in utter disgust at the invitation by Labour and Conservative MPs to one of the most controversial and polarising Indian politician, the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, to visit UK.

    This move will encourage extremism in India, will set a dangerous precedent in British politics and will go down in history as yet another shameful blunder by British politicians— and by the British Government if a visa is issued to Modi — to please and encourage a fascist as was committed by Prime Minister Chamberlain who tried to appease Hitler in 1939.

    In case this comparison is attributed to our emotionalism and is interpreted as farfetched please allow us to quote from the leaked report of British High Commission in India according to which the pogroms in Gujarat in 2002, “had all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing and that reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims is impossible while the chief minister remains in power.” It further said, “far from being spontaneous” this massacre, “was planned, possibly months in advance, carried out by an extremist Hindu organisation with the support of the state government.” (Emphasis added) ( )

    This may sound very undiplomatic but the seriousness of the matter impels us to say that through this gesture a very wrong message is being given that might is right and economic interests come before principles.

    We are not unaware of a powerful BJP lobby, supported by Barry Gardiner the Labour MP from Brent North, doing PR work for Modi in UK. In fact in his election campaign Mr Gardiner even shamelessly published a testimonial from Modi on his website claiming, “Gujarat has no greater friend in Britain than Barry Gardiner.”

    Let us ask a blunt question if the attitude of Labour party, Conservative party and of the British Government had been the same if a Muslim MP had acted in such an unashamed fashion and lobbied and supported a figure with the record of allowing and supporting the massacre of minorities in a his country? And through this open letter this is an open question to every conscientious British politician to give a serious thought to.

    Please allow us to quote from the letter of Minister of State Rt. Hon Hugo Swire MP sent to us in response to our communiqué to Foreign Secretary William Hague in which he said, “...our policy is clear that entry shall be refused for immigration purposes or to any individual who may present safety or security risk; where their presence in the United Kingdom would not be conducive to the public good; or if there is independent, reliable and credible evidence that they have committed human rights abuses [emphasis added]...”

    In this context and in the light of the requirement of, “independent, reliable and credible evidence” we request you to refer to the above mentioned leaked report compiled by none other than our own British High Commission in India.

    Since Modi’s appointment as Chairman of BJP’s Campaign Committee for 2014 general elections, inter-communal situation in two northern Indian states, Utter Pradesh and Bihar, has already worsened and there should be no doubt in the mind of anyone about the harm that the visit and presence of such a hate monger will do to race relations in UK.

    We fail to express our utter sense of disappointment and disgust at these overtures by British MPs and earnestly request you to review your policies and restrain these MPs from supporting the Neru and Hitler of our time.

    Sincerely yours

    Munaf Zeena


    Cc: All British MPs

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    By Abdul Gani,,

    Guwahati: In a bid to propagate the Interest-free banking, also known as Islamic banking and finance, University of Science & Technology, Meghalaya (USTM) of ERD Foundation organized a seminar in this regard at the premises of the university at 9th Mile in Ri-Bhoi district in Meghalaya on Saturday, August 17.

    “USTM is pleased to introduce this concept to the leaders, scholars and students in the field of Banking, Finance, Management, Accounts, Economics and Commerce in the North Eastern Region and explore its possibilities to support grassroots level social financing to create new employment in diverse sectors of livelihood. This program is primarily designed for those who want to understand the basic concepts and the underlying mechanism behind Interest-free Banking and Finance,” said Prof P K Abdul Azis, Vice-Chancellor, USTM.

    Interest-free banking, also known as Islamic banking and finance, has reached the shores of more than 75 nations of the world. The nations who have taken keen interest in promoting this concept also include developed nations such as the UK, the USA, France, Germany, Singapore, etc. Emergence of green and ethical movement has further provided impetus to Interest-free banking and finance. IMF and the World Bank have come up with researches that find Interest-free banking and finance more stable in comparison with the conventional form of banking and finance.

    Many Muslim nations of the Middle East and Far East have made substantial progress in promoting Interest-free Banking and Finance in their jurisdictions. Dr Sharique Nisar, Director (Research and Operations), Taqwa Advisory and Sharia Investment Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (TASIS), has consented to deliver a set of lectures and lead the Seminar.

    Dr Nisar is a visiting faculty of Islamic Finance at AMU, Aligarh, BSAR University, Chennai and BSE Institute. He is among the senior most professionals of Interest-free Banking and Finance in India and is closely associated with both the academia as well as the industry.

    In India too, several institutions including some owned by government have shown a determination to capitalize on this growing niche opportunity. Kerala Government owned KSIDC has taken keen interest in launching a Shariah compliant venture capital fund; General Insurance Corporation (GIC) of India has started Islamic Re-Insurance scheme;

    SEBI has permitted several schemes explicitly adhering to the Islamic laws of investments. BSE and NSE both have launched Shariah Indices to track the performance of Shariah compliant companies and attract investments in Indian capital market.

    Mr Baharul Islam Laskar, OSD, USTM will be the Coordinator. For any information you can contact him at: 09401440015 (email:

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: The 67th Independence Day of India was celebrated in Jamia Millia Islamia on Thursday, August 15, 2013.

    As per practice, Independence Day Celebrations are always held in the Jamia Senior Secondary School Campus. The Independence Day Celebrations in Jamia is an occasion for the entire Jamia biradari to congregate and celebrate together. This year too was no different and saw the participation of teachers, students and support staff, who came together on this occasion.

    The celebrations on the day began at 10.30 AM with the arrival of the Chief Guest, Prof. S M Sajid, Offg. Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia. His arrival was soon followed by the Flag Hoisting Ceremony and the singing of the National Anthem.

    Thereafter, Prof. S M Sajid, the Chief Guest of the function delivered his speech where he exhorted the audience to realize the importance of the day. He also reminded those present about the role played by Jamia Millia Islamia in India’s independence struggle.

    The programme ended with the distribution of sweets among the students and other invited children, including those from less privileged background.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi: Abdul Karim Tunda, the Delhi-born, one-handed extremist who was in the list of top 20 terrorists wanted by India and was allegedly involved in around 40 bombings in the country, was arrested near the India-Nepal border, Delhi Police said Saturday.

    An aide of fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim and an operative of Lashkar-e-Taiba who was also wanted for suspected involvement in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, he was arrested Friday around 3 p.m. in Uttarakhand's Banbasa area close to the Nepal border when he was trying to enter India.

    Tunda, 70, was presented in a Delhi court which sent him to three days' police custody for interrogation.

    He got the moniker Tunda - Hindi for without a hand - after his left hand got severed in an accident while he was preparing a bomb in 1985 in Mumbai.

    "He was carrying a Pakistani passport number AC 4413161 issued Jan 23 in the name of Abdul Quddus," Special Commissioner of Police S.N. Srivastava told media persons.

    Tunda is wanted in several criminal cases in the country and is among India's 20 top most-wanted terrorists, police said.
    In Delhi, he is wanted in 21 terror cases dating back to 1994, 1996 and 1998.

    Tunda had also tried to set off bombs in 2010 just before the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, according to police.

    "Tunda is closely associated with LeT and ISI in Pakistan," Srivastava said.

    Police received a tip-off from intelligence agencies about two weeks back that Tunda will try to sneak into India from Nepal.

    Tunda, an LeT explosive expert, is allegedly involved in the 1993 Mumbai serial bombings that left over 250 dead, Delhi bomb blasts of 1997-98 and serial bombings in Uttar Pradesh and also in Haryana and Punjab.

    Police said he trained young radicals in preparing bombs with locally available materials like urea, nitric acid, potassium chloride, nitrobenzene and sugar and planting them at crowded places.

    Tunda, who was born in 1943 in Delhi's Daryaganj area, is also wanted in several cases of bomb attacks in trains in Hyderabad, Gulbarga, Surat and Lucknow.

    He allegedly worked with terror operatives like Hafiz Saeed, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Wadhawa Singh, Ratandeep Singh, and Karachi-based Indian Mujahideen absconders Abdul Aziz alias Bada Sajid.

    Soon after his birth, Tunda along with his family had shifted to their native village in Bazaar Khurd area in Pilkhuwa in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad district. Tunda lived here with his wife till 1992.

    Five years back, Tunda, then 65, got married for the third time to a 18-year-old girl in Pakistan.

    Tunda worked as a carpenter, scrap dealer and cloth merchant till the age of 40, before becoming a radicalised jehadi militant, police said.

    Following the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 in Uttar Pradesh, Tunda floated a radical organisation in Mumbai, police said.

    In January 1994, Tunda fled to Bangladesh capital Dhaka where he started training jehadis in bomb making, police said.

    Investigators said Tunda also trained terror operatives in making improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

    Tunda's two Bangladeshi students, Mato-ur Rehman and Akbar alias Haroon, were arrested from Sadar Bazar railway station in Delhi in February 1998. Police later arrested 24 other members of the "module".

    For some years Tunda lay low and investigators thought he had died in a blast in Bangladesh in 2000.

    Five years later, Abdul Razzak Masood, an alleged LeT chief coordinator in Dubai, arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police, however, told investigators that Tunda was alive and he met him in Lahore in December 2003.

    In 2008, Tunda alias Abdul Quddus figured in the list of terrorists which India handed over to Pakistan after the 26/11 attack on Mumbai. This list includes people like Hafiz Saeed, Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar, and Dawood Ibrahim.

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    By IANS,

    Srinagar: Normal life in this Jammu and Kashmir summer capital and other major towns of the valley was partially affected Saturday due to a shutdown called by separatists.

    Shops and other businesses and educational institutions were closed, but both public and private transport moved on several roads despite the shutdown.

    Government offices, banks and post offices also functioned normally.

    Additional deployments of police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel has been made as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order.

    Police said no untoward incident has been reported from anywhere in the city or elsewhere so far.

    Reports from other major towns also said life was partially affected because of the shutdown.

    Separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani called for the protest shutdown against the Kishtwar communal riots and to press his demand for disbanding the village defence committees (VDCs) in Jammu region.

    In a statement Friday, Geelani termed the VDCs "the terrorist section of the Sangh Parivar".

    The VDCs were formed by police to combat militant threats. Weapons were provided to civilians in far-off villages for self-defence against guerrillas.

    Separatist leaders have questioned the role of the VDCs, alleging that during the Kishtwar clashes members of those committees used the weapons issued to them.

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    This is the first in four parts series on “Terror tale: The strange case of Akhlaque Ahmed Khan” is one of the many such intriguing cases where Muslim youths were arrested on mere charges and are damned to spend their youthful years behind bars as under trials.

    By M Reyaz,,

    Kolkata/New Delhi: On mere charge of alleged conspiracy to ‘wage war against the government’ an accused is languishing in jail for over 14 years. The story of Akhlaque Ahmed Khan of Kolkata is one of most intriguing, for in the same month in January, 1999 he was made co accused, along with Syed Abu Nasir of Bangladesh and others in two terror cases – one in Kolkata and other in Delhi.

    File photo of Akhlaque Ahmed Khan (Courtesy: ToI).

    While in October, 2006 Akhlaque was acquitted from the Delhi case, he is still languishing in Kolkata’s Presidency Jail as an under trial in connection with the Kolkata case. What is more intriguing is that he is behind bar, although in the same case the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) had granted him bail way back in April, 1999 as he had failed to furnish the security bond on time.

    The story of Akhlaque Ahmed Khan is one of the hundreds of Muslim youths who made headlines at the time of their arrests, allegedly for links with Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) or some terror outfits, but have gradually been forgotten, although they still languish in jail for years.

    Akhlaque was arrested first in a case by the Bhawanipur Police in Kolkata (Police later discharged him from that case) on January 7, 1999, during the month of Ramzan, and since then he has been in jail, although he was discharged from this particular case too.

    Akhlaque Ahmed Khan was charged in two cases on charges of waging war against the government and working as conduit to terror forces, besides several other charges – one in Kolkata and other in Delhi – and acquitted from the Delhi case for want of any evidence against him.

    He is one of the four co-accused in a case pending in a fast-track court in Kolkata. I met Akhlaque about two weeks back, few days before Eid-ul-Fitr, in the fast track court in Kolkata.

    He is now 40 years old, half bald, and had not shaved for few days. A pensive and thoughtful man, he appeared calm, though not at all happy with the day’s proceeding. After the hearing, I overheard him, explaining to his lawyer that his counsel missed an opportunity to cross question the prosecution witness, whose statement was recorded that day.

    Although Akhlaque was given the bail order in April 1999, along with two other co-accused who are since out on bail, he had not deposited the security bond since he was anyway an accused in another case in Delhi and was serving as under trial in Tihar Jail. Meanwhile, charge sheet was filed in the case.

    The dilapidated entrance of Masoom Travels.

    After his acquittal in October, 2006 in the Delhi case, as he approached the CMM to furnish the bail, he was not allowed to furnish the bail bond on the ground that the charge-sheet has been filed and hence he has lost his right to bail. His repeated petitions to the CMM, the session court and the Calcutta High Court was hence rejected and is consequently still in jail for over 14 years now.

    Akhlaque was a bright student, who had completed his studies first from Saifee Hall School in Kolkata and then did graduations from the Aligarh Muslim University. He later did masters from the Calcutta University and had also done courses in Adeeb-e-Mahir from Jamia Urdu, Aligarh.

    Akhlaque hit the headline once again in several news papers in Kolkata when he completed MBA in distance mode in 2011 from the Presidency Jail at the age of 38.

    Later in his office, Azad Ahmed Khan, his youngest brother, showed me a hand drawn greeting card that Akhlaque had sent to one of his politician friends from jail, adding that he was very intelligent and creative and was good at art as well.

    Third in the family of six brothers and two sisters, then 26, Akhlaque was running a Travel Agency “Masoom Travels” in central Kolkata, near his house, and was about to be married in few months, when he was first arrested on January 7, 1999. It was month of Ramzan then.

    Since then the fate of this family, who originally hails from Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh, but are settled in Kolkata for decades, has changed for worse. Shocked and under depression, his father Nurul Huda Khan died on June 9, 1999, six months after his son was arrested.

    In 2009, his mother fell very sick when both her kidneys failed and later died, but even then he was not granted a parole to take part in the last rite of his mother.

    Azad Ahmed Khan says, “It’s been very difficult time for the family as besides social stigma we have difficulties in managing the never ending fees towards legal expenses.” Azad has now started another small travel agency in his name, as one of his elder brothers runs the old Masoom Travel.

    Azad Ahmed Khan, youngest brother of Akhlaque at his shop.

    Akhlaque has spent the most precious years of his life in jail, but is still hopeful that he will be acquitted. While talking to me in court, in presence of three police escorts, he said, “It has become important now to be acquitted from this case.” Perhaps, he is hopeful, the acquittal will restore the family dignity. While talking animatedly about his case, he added, one can not deny the fact that there is certain kind of biasness.

    Advocate Feroz Ghazi, general secretary of South Asian Minorities Lawyer Association (SAMLA), who was Akhlaque’s counsel in the Delhi case, says, “This is a classic case, where no explosion occurred and not a drop of blood was shed, and on mere charges of conspiracy, a person is made to to spend the precious youthful years of his life in jail as under trial.”

    He added that Akhlaque was acquitted in the Delhi case on the similar charges of conspiracy to wage war against government, as the court was unable to find any acceptable evidence of any kind of conspiracy.

    Read more details about the cases against Akhlaque, the goof ups and present situation tomorrow.

    Terror tale from WB: 2 Muslim youths languishing in jail without chargesheet for 5 years

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    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: The Aligarh Muslim University has decided to introduce a Bridge Course for young Madrasa graduates, including males and females, for a full fledged participation and a proactive academic life on the University campus.

    The one-year Bridge Course for Madrasa graduates will make them at par with any 10+2 graduate, or even better, enabling them to join most of the courses at undergraduate level.

    The objective behind introducing this Bridge Course is to provide Madrasa graduates with a non-conventional training in mainstream knowledge to enable them prepare for institutionalized supplemental education and wider employment avenues.

    The Bridge Course will focus more on innovative and interactive techniques where students and teachers sit together and discuss the study material. The syllabus of the Bridge Course includes English, Information Technology, Personality development and a course on contemporary Islam.

    Madrasa pass outs, who wish to join the course, may send their application on plain paper after scanning their resumes to The last date for submitting application is August 30, 2013. Further information regarding the course is available on

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    By Imran Khan, IANS,

    Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is a worried man these days. He can no longer claim a communal violence-free state as one of the achievements of his nearly eight-year rule.

    This follows Hindu-Muslim clashes in Nawada town last week and early this week that claimed two lives and left nearly a dozen people injured, leading to the imposition of curfew.

    This was evident when he appealed to the people at the state-level Independence Day function Thursday to maintain "communal harmony". He also expressed his serious concern over the clashes in Nawada, 150 km from Patna, which erupted Friday after an altercation over the menu between a group of kanwarias (Hindu pilgrims) and a Muslim group at a roadside eatery.

    Till last month, Nitish Kumar used to take pride in the fact that Bihar remained free from communal tension and no riots had taken place during his tenure. It was one of the USPs of his government along with improved law and order, development and high growth rate.

    Nitish Kumar, without naming any political party, has said that the clashes in Nawada and earlier in Bettiah in West Champaran, Khagaria and other places were a result of attempts to defame and distabilise his government.

    The violence, he maintained, was a sensitive issue and charges and counter-charges should be avoided.

    "Why is it that communal clashes suddenly occurred only after JD-U dumped the (coalition partner) BJP (on June 16)? The state had remained free from communal clashes since November 2005 till June this year. It is a matter that has raised eyebrows," said JD-U spokesperson Neeraj Kumar, who is considered close to Nitish Kumar.

    Social activist Naiyar Fatmi said that Nitish Kumar's problems lay in the fact that after the JD-U's alliance with the BJP split, the state has witnessed at least 16 communal clashes, including the Nawada violence.

    "Nitish Kumar and his government are bound to be in trouble if they fail to check this. Communal clashes not only give the state a bad name, they also erode the JD-U social support base at a time when Lok Sabha polls are due next year and state assembly polls in 2015," Fatmi pointed out.

    Left activist Anish Ankur said that never since the 1989 Bhagalpur riots was the atmosphere as vitiated as now. Even at the time of the Babri Masjid's demolition in 1992, people, cutting across community lines, were confident that the state government would not allow the violence to go out of hand.

    "The threat and fear of communal incidents is on the rise among the people, particularly the minority community. The Nitish Kumar government has to be alert and must act tough against troublemakers and those conspiring to provoke communal riots," Anish added. Muslims constitute 16.5 percent of Bihar's 105 million population.

    Taking serious notice of what happened in Nawada, Nitish Kumar immediately directed top police officers to use full force to contain the situation. It resulted in the situation soon improving and curfew has been relaxed since Wednesday.

    He said the state government was keeping a close watch on developments in Nawada and Bettiah and that the police would find out if it was a pre-planned attempt to create social tension or not.

    Officials suspect that two local leaders, involved in illegal stone quarrying in the district, were inciting "communal hatred" as part of business rivalry, a police officer said, adding that the National Security Act would be invoked for preventive detentions and swift action against troublemakers.

    Nitish Kumar seems to have got over the immediate crisis for now but will surely be keeping his fingers crossed that there are no major flare-ups ahead of the parliamentary and assembly polls.

    (Imran Khan can be contacted at

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