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    By staff reporter

    Sharjah: Indian journalist Mazhar Farooqui won the Best Investigative Report Award at first-ever Sharjah Government Communication Award.

    Farooqui who is the Deputy Editor at XPRESS, a sister publication of Gulf Today newspaper, is well-known for his investigative work won the award for revealing how schools in Dubai go to extreme lengths to get top ratings from education regulator.

    Talking to, Farooqui expressed his happiness over winning the award. “"It's an big honour indeed, more so because it's an award for investigative journalism constituted by the government itself."

    Mazhar Farooqui is very active in social work. He is one of the founders of Aaghaz Foundation, an initiative to eradicate literacy among Indian Muslims.

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    By staff reporter,

    Lucknow: All India Ulema & Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), premier body of Barelvi Muslims have promoted its General Secretary to the President post. In a meeting held in Amethi on the eve of last Sunday’s Sunni Conference, Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichhouchhwi has been made the president of the party. The Core Committee of the AIUMB made Babar Ashraf the new General Secretary, he was earlier serving as the National Secretary of the organization.

    Later thousands attended the Sunni Conference at Amethi, far below the expected lakhs that AIUMB hoped to attract.

    The growth of extremism in the country was the main subject along with representation of Sunni Sufi Muslims in Muslim bodies like Hajj Committees and Waqf boards and government bodies requiring Muslim participation like Maulana Azad Education Foundation and Minority Finance and Developmental Corporation.

    Hazrat Maulana syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichchauchvi said that it is known that the khanqahs, Aastanas and Dargahs are spiritual centers that are revered by all including non Muslims and so heads of the spiritual centers found it necessary to come out to save the country and the community from an extreme alien ideology which is destroying the social fabric and creating social He was critical of government apathy towards the community which boasts to be the second largest Muslim population in the world.

    Maulana said that the time has come when the union and state governments will have to change their view and stop seeing Muslim issues from the eyes of Wahabi/Salafi elements who have grabbed high positions in Muslim bodies and government bodies requiring Muslim participation.

    The conference was addressed by Syed Mehdi Mian and Syed Abdur Rab (Chand Mian) MaulanaAnsar Raza, Syed Sayedul Anwar Syedi Mian, Maulana Junaid Khan, Maulana Syed Alamgir Ashraf, Maulana Nooruddin Asdaq, Maulana Shakil Misbahi, Syed Aamir Masoodi, Syed Tanvir Hashimi.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Shamli: A Delhi-based students’ organization Jamia Students’ Solidarity Forum (JSSF) made a day long visit to the relief camps of Malakpur, Nurpur-Furqan, Sunaiti, Beepur-Hatia, Bhura, Kanaiti and Kandhla with the relief of warm blankets, clothes and toys for children.

    Several organisations and NGOs visiting the camps in Shamli district of Western Uttar Pradesh where over 15000 victims of Muzaffarnagar riots are helplessly living and putting up with intense cold weather and an equally cold gesture by the state government.

    JSSF is the first and only student organization to have visited these camps with humanitarian relief so far. A total of 700 blankets were distributed to the riot-victims of Beepur-Hatia, Bhura, Kanaiti and Kandhla. These camps are in the interior areas of Shamli and due to poor connectivity have failed to attract relief organizers attention.

    “We have decided to keep visiting all those camps which have neither received any help from any organization nor from the state government,” said Ikshula Arora, Joint Secretary of the student forum.

    JSSF first visited the graves of 16 infants in the Malakpur camp which horrifyingly tell the tale of absolute absence of any medical aid from the government. Infuriated by the pretentious ignorance of the Director-General (U.P.) of Heath A.S. Rathore over these deaths and the question of regular medical aid the student forum intensely grilled him for hours over the scarcity of medical supplies and other relief aid which ultimately led to the demise of infants in the camps.

    “What stops you from admitting and taking responsibility of these deaths?” asked JSSF General Secretary Areeb Rizvi and warned him of taking strict legal action if immediate step were not taken to safeguard the victims from ill-weather.

    The apocalyptic reflection of Muzaffarnagar communal violence was also mirrored by the Nurpur-Furqan camp also which is about a km away from Malakpur. The moment JSSF team, along with TCN, visited the second camp in Shamli, refugees poured out their hearts in registering their complaints about the superficial treatment of riot victims.

    “No government medical team has visited us in the last 4 months which caused the deaths of infants here,” said a refugee. The student group listened to their problems attentively and assured them of continuity of help on their part.

    Further indescribable was the situation of Sunaiti camp where JSSF accompanied Dr. Rathore, who seemed in a hurry to leave the camp site by only asking if they get medicines or not. But JSSF encouraged them to speak on the number of deaths in the camp they came out with jolting figures of six deaths of infants which Dr. Rathore would perhaps never have tried to know about.

    A swarm of weeping mothers began to share the utterly disturbing experiences they have had in the last three months since the riots began and left nearly 72,000 Muslims homeless.

    However, since camps like Malakpur, Nurpur-Furqan and Sunaiti are comparably better receivers of aid as they are situated on main highways with easy accessibility due to moth roads, it were the camps in deep villages which were devoid of even the help which camps like Malakpur have received.

    By the time JSSF team reached Beepur Hatia camp the road to which is muddy is bumpy, it had already become dark. “Nobody has come here with such an aid,” said an aid receiver. 300 blankets were distributed at Beepur Hatia, 200 at Bhora and another 200 at Kanaiti and Kandhla.

    “What was commendable that we collected money for relief on a very short notice and after hearing about the death of infants and I think wonder that if one call for humanitarian aid can be so successful than what possibly we could do if more and more people can donate for the victims,” said JSSF President Asad Ashraf.

    “But it is time to look beyond only charity and engage ourselves in wider political debates and legal endeavours to secure justice for the riot affected people,” he added while speaking to TCN.

    (Photos credit : Talha Bin Ehtesham.)

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: Prof. Mushahid Husain, Faculty Member at Jamia Millia Islamia has been appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of M.J.P. Rohilkhand University, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh.

    Prof Mushahid Husain is currently the Director of Centre for Nanoscience & Nanotechnology and a Professor in the Department of Physics in the University.

    His Ph.D. is in Solid State Physics and he specializes in Materials Science, which includes Amorphous Semiconductor X-ray Spectroscopy, ECR Plasma Etching, and Nanostructures.
    He has a teaching and research experience of over 30 years. He has written a number of books and articles in National & International Journals. He has also participated in many Conferences at National and International levels. He has been part of several committees as well.

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    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: The Centre for South African and Brazilian Studies at the Aligarh Muslim University today organized a lecture on “South Africa With or Without Nelson Mandela: A tribute” to pay homage to Bharat Ratna, Nelson Mandela.

    Professor Sam Maghribi, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Darus Salam University, Tanzania said that Nelson Mandela is famous for breaking racism and he was the champion of democratic liberation. He however regretted that economic liberation was still far away in South Africa.

    Prof. Sam Maghribi delivering a commemorative lecture on Nelsn Mandela.

    Prof. Maghribi said that racism in Africa went hand in hand with slavery and colonialism. He added that apartheid ideology was deep rooted in South Africa than in other African countries.

    Prof. Sam Maghribi, who is also a Professor of Nelson Mandela Chair at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, said that in South Africa black constituted over 70 percent of population but only 13 percent of the land was set aside for them. Social mixing between the races was allowed and the education system became a source of continuous protest by the black community.

    Delivering the presidential remark, AMU Pro-Vice Chancellor, Brig. (Retd.) S. Ahmad Ali said that Nelson Mandela was a fighter in life and fighter in death and was a symbol of struggle and left a great legacy behind him.

    Prof. Mohammad Gulrez, Director, Centre for South African and Brazilian Studies said that Nelson Mandela was the greatest leader of 21st century. He highlighted the role of Mahatma Gandhi’s struggle in South Africa and pointed out India’s relations and emotional bond with South Africa.

    AMU PVC Brig. S. Ahmad Ali along with his wife and prof. M. Gulrez at the exhibition of photographs on Nelson Mandela.

    Event Coordinator, Dr. Arif H. Rizvi said that Nelson Mandela was a amazing person and had the capability to lead the nation.

    On this occasion, a photo exhibition on nelson Mandela was inaugurated by the Pro-Vice Chancellor, Brig. Ali. A film show was also organized at the Kennedy Auditorium of the University to pay homage to the great leader.

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    By TCN News

    Cambridge Massachusetts - On a cold, snowy Sunday evening of December 15, 2013, about 25 people gathered at Harvard Square to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Nirbhaya incident of December 16, 2012. They stood silently with lit candles and placards denouncing violence against women. Poems empowering women and a pledge to actively fight against violence against women were read.

    Photo by Govind Vakill

    The event also focused on some of the changes that have occurred in India because of the brutality of the Nirbhaya event and the subsequent protests that erupted. Some of these changes, as were read out during the vigil, include stronger laws against rape and sexual assault, increased jail terms and harsher punishments for rapists including the death penalty, acid violence, disrobing, stalking and voyeurism are now specific crimes (section 326, 354 and their subsections in the Indian Penal code) and their punishments have been prescribed.

    Additionally, the blanket security that protected police officers who failed to register complaints has been removed, non-military public servants who commit sexual assault will now face compulsory jail time, evidence procedures and the trial are easier for women and the definition of rape has been expanded. Absence of physical struggle no longer implies consent, healthcare providers are now required to give free immediate medical care to victims of rape and acid attacks, and, finally, grassroots activism for women’s rights has increased dramatically all over India, not only among educated urban women, but also among rural and tribal women.

    The vigil included singing of the “Azadi” song, which has words like, “Hum Kya Chahate? Azaadi! Raat mein bhi Azaadi! Din mein bhi Azaadi!” (What do we want? Freedom!
    Freedom during the nights! Freedom during the day.)

    The event ended with a pledge which condemned all gender violence and resolved to end all forms of gender inequity and violence. The group sang “We shall overcome” in both English and Hindi as a fitting finale to the evening. The event was organized by 3 South Asian organizations of the Boston area: Saheli - Support and Friendship for South Asian Women and Families, WRISE, and Dawn Worldwide.

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    By TCN News

    Lucknow: In the wake of the terrible communal violence in Muzaffarnagar and the resultant polarisation not only in Western Uttar Pradesh but in many parts of North India, the CPI(M) State Committee decided to hold a series of Conventions for Communal Harmony in as many districts as possible. Conventions have been organised in Khanpur, Bulandshahr (7th December), Muzaffarnagar (8th December) and Jalalabad, Bijnor (9th December).

    More than 500 people attended the convention in Bulandshahr which was presided over by Comrade Chand, Chairman, Khanpur. The Convention was addressed by Com. Surinder Singh (CITU), Com. DP Singh (Member, State Sectt., CPIM) and Com. Subhashini Ali. In Muzaffarnagar, more than 200 people attended the convention which was inaugurated by Jagmati Sangwan, General Secretary AIDWA. She spoke about the condition of women in rural Haryana and Western UP which are characterized by a very adverse sex ratio, seclusion and violence encouraged and perpetrated by extremely patriarchal, casteist and communal social structures like Khap Panchayats. She condemned the efforts of the Hindutva forces in communalising the issue of violence against women and the constant harassment that young women and girls have to face and said that this is actually depriving women of both communities of their rights and making them more vulnerable to violence. Veteran communist leaders, Haji Iqbal and Shri Dhir Singh Shastri jointly presided while the Dsst. Secy. of the CPIM, Shyam Veer Rathi conducted the proceedings. Mehboob Khan and Ajmalur Rahman who are prominent organisers of the camps for displaced Muslim families spoke of the sufferings of the homeless and the extremely unsympathetic attitude of the State Govt. and the administration which is more interested in driving people away from the camps than in taking care of their minimum requirements. Shri Amreesh Kumar, an active proponent of secular causes from Hardwar attended the Convention with his supporters and also spoke. DP Singh and Subhashini Ali also addressed the Convention.

    In Jalalabad, Bijnor more than 400 people attended the Convention which was addressed by Com. Rampal Singh, Dsst. Secy. CPIM, DP Singh and Subhashini Ali. In all the Conventions, DP Singh and Subhashini Ali spoke of the machinations by the Hindutva forces that have been concentrating in Western UP for the last six months and have been deliberately whipping up tension and clashes over minor incidents involving members of the two communities. This has been done keeping the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in mind. The BJP decision to project Narendra Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate and to send Amit Shah to oversee its election preparations and campaign in the state have given a tremendous impetus to this campaign of communal polarisation. The highly emotive issue of Muslim boys either befriending or harassing Hindu girls has been used to inflame passions in a very effective and extremely ugly way. Most unfortunately, the State Govt. has completely failed to deal with the situation. Some minority leaders also behaved in an irresponsible manner and this administrative failure and political opportunism was exploited to the hilt by the Hindutva forces which succeeded in provoking the terrible attacks on Muslim homes and families on the 8th September. The need of the hour was to ensure that these events were not repeated. It was now necessary to reach out to people in towns and villlages – the vast majority of which had remained completely peaceful in spite of provocations and incitement by the Hindutva forces – and restore unity and amity. The violence had taken a terrible toll not only of those rendered homeless and those who had seen their family members brutally killed and assaulted, but of ordinary working and trades people. The peasantry, specially cane growers, had been the worst sufferers. The struggles of the cane growers of Muzaffarnagar which were the outcome of the unity of Hindu and Muslim peasants benefitted their fellow cane growers all over the State. Today, the communal divide had rendered them ineffective and all over the State cane-growers are being denied fair prices and clearance of their dues. Some of them have been forced to commit suicide.

    Encouraged by the response from the three conventions, CPIM will continue in its efforts to build solidarity between communities.

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    By TCN News,

    Dammam: ‘Prasthutha Calendar - 2014’ of the Prasthutha Fortnightly was released in Jubail Cookxon Auditorium on 16th of December.

    On this occasion Mr. Waseem Sadiq Ali, Admin Manager of Jacobs, told that in this present situation role of the Media is very important and he appreciated the efforts of Prasthutha Fortnightly for delivering the true message. He wished that in coming days, Prasthutha Fortnightly should publish Weekly and also as Daily News Paper. Prasthutha Fortnightly was the only Kannada magazine which was displayed in Dubai International Book Fair.

    The other chief guests on the dais were Muhammed Iqbal, Secretary of India Fraternity Forum, Eastern Province, Muhammed Ashraf, Manager of Face Industrial Services and Irshad Jokatte, President of Prasthutha Readers Forum.

    Earlier Fayaz N., Ex Editor of Prasthutha Fortnightly welcomed the gathering and gave brief introduction of Prasthutha Fortnightly. Abdussamath gave vote of thanks and Ashraf Kukkaje anchored the program.

    “Prasthutha Calender - 2014’ was co-sponsored by Nasser Al Azmi Est. Co., Al-Hasa, Cookxon Multi cuisine Family Restaurant, Face Industrial Services Jubail, Fateh Al-Jubail Trading Est. , Jubail, Al Wasat Al Badeel Trading Est., Thasneen Groups Advertisements & Marketing Co., Dammam.

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    By Zaidul Haque,,

    Kolkata: A Muslim delegation met with authorities of the Bengali TV channel, who is also the producer of the coming Bengali serial scripted by controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen.

    Headed by the president of an umbrella Muslim organization of Kolkata `Milli Ittehad Parishad’ Mr Abdul Aziz met with the Authority of TV Chanel “Aakash Aath” to urge them to broadcast the Bengali serial slated to begin from December 19 at the prime time.

    Muslim delegation meeting with management of `Aakash Aath'.

    The script of the new serial 'Dusahobas' (Living difficulties) has been written by the controversial Bangladeshi feminist author Taslima Nasreen.

    In the meeting, Ashok Surana, proprietor of the channel, as well as his daughter Eshita Surana, who is also the producer, was present.
    Muslim delegations have alleged that for cheap publicity and higher TRPs, the channel has hired the controversial Bangladeshi author for the script.

    In this delegation team Imam of Baker Hostel Mosque Maulana Niamat Hossain Habibi, Secretary of social organization Amanat Foundation Muhammad Sahalam, activist Kamruddin Malik, Asfaque Ahmed. Journalist and Editor of Muslim led Bengali daily `Kalom’ Mr Ahmed Hassan Imran joined them later.

    Muslim delegation team told TCN that Channel Authority of Akash Aath advertised through hoardings at some important points of Kolkata with the provoking information of Taslima’s serial as Upekkhita Taslima abar Kolkatay’ (Neglected Taslima again in Kolkata).

    The Muslim delegation made it clear, that the controversial Bangladeshi author has been writing against Islam and Holy Prophet and hence broadcasting any serial based on her script would tantamount to intentionally hurting the sentiments of Muslims.

    Pointing that some groups recently celebrated Lajja Divas, after her controversial book Lajja, in Kolkata, the Muslim delegation told TCN that just before the general elections vested interests are trying to disturb the communal harmony in the state.

    Aakash Aath has assured the visiting Muslim delegation, in writing, that no dialogue or character would be used in the coming serial hurting the sentiments of any community in particular. They also assured the delegation that they will withdraw the alleged provoking hoardings.

    ‘Dusohobas’ revolves around an apparently happy middle class family hailing from North Kolkata. However, as the story moves on, it slowly unearths the dysfunctional aspects of an apparently healthy family bondage, exposing the hypocrisies of the society.

    The story aims to ‘expose’ the naked truth of today’s society, involving fragile relationships, blasphemy, contradictions, immorality, according to people involved with production.

    Muslim groups do not seem to budge, however, and have threatened to take to streets if the broadcast is allowed. They have also written to the Commissioner of Police and has appealed to West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to intervene.

    Meanwhile, Taslima Nasreen has reacted angrily to the protesters. She tweeted on Tuesday, “Serial not yet telecasted but it already 'hurting their satanic sentiments'.”

    A poster of the upcoming TV serial ‘Dusohobas

    According to Nasreen, the serial will portray women in strong roles, fighting against oppression and demanding their rights.

    In another tweet, she added, “Democracy, women's rights, free speech 'hurt the sentiments of Muslim fanatics'. If you wanna live a civilized life, u've to hurt their thingies.”

    In response to a tweet, she also acknowledged, “New promo started. Fanatics trying to harass the channel. The channel promised not to show anything that hurt their weird sentiments.”

    “Muslim fanatics asking to ban my serial. Channel's statement: it’s fiction, not facts, Taslima not coming to Kolkata, serial won’t hurt sentiments,” she wrote in yet another tweet.

    Face book page of ‘Dusohobas’


    Muslim groups opposed to Taslima Nasreen’s script for Bengali serial

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    By Areeb Rizvi,

    Shamli: Jamia Students Solidarity Forum along with some journalists visited the relief camps situated in Shamli district of Uttar-Pradesh on 15 December 2013 where the victims of the Muzaffarnagar riots have taken shelter.

    JSSF distributed clothes, some toys to the children and 700 blankets among the victims. We first reached the Mallakpur camp where around 4500 people are living in tarpaulin tents under the open sky in this chilling weather. On arrival at Mallakpur we found that the DG (Health) Dr. A S Rathor and CMO Dr. Lokesh Kumar Gupta (Shamli) were present in the camp. We asked them about the veracity of the claim of the Shamli district administration that there has been no casualty in the relief camps due to the cold weather.

    A sick mother surrounded by her children

    The district administration of Shamli sent a report to the UP Home secretary on 5 December 2013 which stated that there had been zero child deaths in the relief camps. They firmly adhered to that claim of the district administration. After meeting some of the victims and having a look at the camp we walked down to the graveyard across the road adjacent to the camp. We found there newly built graves and majority were of children.

    We asked the DG (Health) Dr. A S Rathor and the CMO Dr. Lokesh Kumar Gupta (Shamli) to kindly accompany us to the other interior camps which are thriving for the attention of everyone. We proceeded towards the Noorpur Khurgan camp at Kaththa Nadi, Kairana where we met the people residing in the camps. They clearly stated that they have not received any medical facility from the government while some doctors through some NGO working for them had brought them.

    We then proceeded towards the next camp Sanethi. Here we learnt that six small children have died due to cold-weather. 5 of them died due to cold while one succumbed to snakebite. The DG and CMO both noted the names of the deceased and other relevant information.

    When we asked the DG and CMO to give us in written that they have received six testimonies from the mothers of the deceased children they denied and ran away in hurry from there leaving us there.

    We visited some camps located in the interior areas like Bibipur Hatia camp, Bhura camp and Kanethi camp. And finally we visited the Kandhala camp.

    While talking to the victims across the camps we asked about the problems which they are facing. The lack of proper drinking water and sanitation, proper shelter as the tarpaulin tents couldnot prevent the dew so they wake up in wet blankets, lack of proper clothes and grocery, lack of medical facilities etc are the common problems being faced by these homeless people.

    The Samajwadi party led Uttar Pradesh government’s apathy towards these camps is no more a hidden fact. But the point is that none of the leaders of other political parties have visited any of these camps so far to assess the situation after initial few days. Camps located in the interior areas like Bibipur Hatia, Bhura and Kanethi camps are in pathetic situation and they have not seen any government official from months.

    Instead of working for these people the state government wants them to vacate the camps as soon as possible. The traumatised people who were mercilessly attacked by their neighbours in their villages do not want to return back and even if some of them wish to return the administration and the government has failed to persuade them to do so. The apprehension of the victims that if they return they would be attacked has compelled them to live in the camps.

    Graves of children at Malakpur relief camp, Kairana, Shamli (UP)

    In all the camps we saw children without adequate clothes and most of them were barefoot without any slipper or shoe. The shortage of the food items and clothes are a common problem which we heard in all camps.

    I could only say that the state has left these people to die. It reminds me of the words of Allama Iqbal.

    Taqdeer ke qaazi ka ye fatwa hai azal se,
    Hai jurm-e-zayeefi ki sazaa marg-e-mufajaat!

    [This is the verdict of creator of destiny to time,
    Punishment for crime of being weak is ultimate death!]

    On humanitarian grounds JSSF pleads to the TCN readers to come forward and help these people who are the victims of the politics of hate.

    (Writer was a part of the team and is the general secretary of the Jamia Students Solidarity Forum.)

    [Photos by : Areeb Rizvi]

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    Son's tribute to the Pasmanda icon from Gorakhpur.

    By Tanvir Salim,

    Soon it will be five years since my father passed away. My father passed away during the last days of December in 2008. The loss of a parent is very traumatic for a child, regardless of age. For me it was a very nerve wrecking experience; I suddenly found myself staring in cold vacuum. Like any other child, I was not ready. I guess nobody ever gets ready for such a calamity. I cannot fulfill my life-long desire of going back and reconnecting with him.

    My father devoted his life for the advocacy of the weakest in the society. He will be missed by the ones whose lives he touched. He championed the cause of those who were marginalized because of the “others” who at times claimed to be their self-appointed patrons, but as a matter of fact they simply took them for a ride. These patrons may not have been instrumental in creating a schism among the Muslims, but they nurtured the divide for their own benefit. Although this division among the Muslims contradicts the tenets of the religion we follow, it has been used as a tool for ages to keep the Muslim leadership in the hands of a selected few. My father chastised these self-appointed “leaders” and urged them to show wisdom and courage and to speak the truth. His was a strong voice in favor of the struggle for social justice, and he was determined to let others know of the need to restore the dignity of others.

    Taken at the Book Release function in 2010

    He was of the opinion that the core issues of “Roti, Kapra aur Makan”, for Muslims were put on the sidelines and how the other issues, i.e., destruction of Babri Masjid, Urdu and the minority character of AMU hijacked the core issues and captivated the heart and mind of the Muslim leadership. He feared that Muslim leadership was intentionally drifting away from the core issues because these issues were challenging and there were no easy answers. To him, some of the so called Muslim well-wishers were only interested in the politics of mobilization for the sake of sharing the spoils of power. I heard him saying that when all the issues fizzled, they invented a new cause of providing reservation to all Muslims in the lines of the reservation that has been provided to schedule castes and schedule tribes. My father was quick to understand the sinister design of these leaders and according to him; this one demand had the potency to convolute the concept of reservation which was being granted to the backward sections of the Muslims. He knew that this new “ploy” will play well and may bring dividends to the ones who are the experts in the politics of mobilization, but for the poor Muslim masses, it will be nothing more than another broken promise by the leaders. Being very knowledgeable on the fundamentals of these concepts, he very well knew that the much discussed concept of reservation for “all” Muslims is not possible, because it is not allowed as per the Indian constitution.

    He was often critical of the leadership that existed. In that leadership he saw people whose vision was limited and who could not see the miseries and the pains which ordinary Muslims were facing in their daily lives. He saw a reason behind all this. According to him, the reigns of the Muslim leadership was in the hands of the “elites”, who for the most part were enjoying the comforts of the ivory towers in which they had spent most of their lives. They were not in a position to make their voices heard because they were mostly given secondary roles to play. He was right, after some basic research, I started to wonder when the last time was that we had a Muslim leader in charge of a major portfolio in the government.

    “Basic Problems of OBC and Dalit Muslims”-Released after his death in 2010.

    At one time, while reading from one of the essays in his book, he stressed the fact that in India, the Dalits got their Ambedkar, some of the Muslims got their Sir Syed, but for the Backward Muslims, there has been nobody. They were left to the mercy of those on the surface who were eager to provide lip service for their votes, but in return remained insulated from their hard core issues. It was painful for me to observe how the politics of the time was fast becoming, as somebody said, “the last refuge for the scoundrels” and unfortunately there was no place for a “gentleman”. The dominance of money and muscle power has become the new yard stick and the person with the meager resources was slowly getting isolated and was eventually left out from the political arena.

    I am fully aware of the promises that he made to his fellow constituents and the dream he had for all of us. I know that he worked hard to bring them to reality, but deep in his heart he had a burning desire to do more. Soon came the time when the fragilities of the human body were unable to keep up with the realities of life. He left this mortal world with an unfinished agenda, which we have to carry from that point onward.

    The late Ashfaq Husain Ansari was born on December 25th 1934 in Gorakhpur. His grandfather, the late Sheikh Murtaza Husain, was a powerful business man and an influential political figure, who was also a powerful Zamindar of Gorakhpur. His father, the late Istafa Husain, was a leading politician of his times.

    Taken at the Book Release function in 2010.

    The late Ashfaq Husain was active in politics from his student life. He completed his B.A. form Gorakhpur and then his studies were discontinued due to his involvement in the freedom struggle. He was actively involved in the family business of forest contracting and the cold storage. Apart from this, he was involved in the local politics and was member of the Executive Committee, Gorakhpur Zila Parishad from 1974-78. He was also a member of the State Board of Animal Husbandry in the Uttar Pradesh government. He was also in the Presidium of the U.P. Students Federation Conference held at Varanasi in 1951 and was Secretary of the Indo-Soviet Friendship Association for the last twenty years along with the Member of the Executive Committee of the State Indo-Soviet Cultural Society.

    He was Member of Parliament in the seventh Lok Sabha from the Maharajganj constituency near Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. During his tenure he was involved with the world peace movement and represented India conferences held in Prague and Moscow. In Parliament he raised many issues that were mainly related to trade and commerce. He was instrumental in getting various projects for the benefit of the constituents of Gorakhpur region. He worked tirelessly for the cause of the weaker sections of the society. When the first Minority Commission was formed in Uttar Pradesh, he was one of the charter members of that commission. He advocated for the cause of social justice amongst Muslims and for this purpose wrote more than hundreds of articles in various publications.

    All of his three sons are engineers and are settled in the United States, whereas the daughter is in India.

    (The author, a Nuclear Engineer educated/trained/settled in the United States is the eldest son of late Ashfaq Husain Ansari. Presently he is in India. For more information, please

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    By TCN News,

    Mumbai: The two day 6th Annual Career Fest organized by Association of Muslim Professionals was inaugurated on 14th December by Shri Tarique Anwar, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing, at Saboo Siddique College attracting thousands of students, teachers, and parents providing them with a perfect opportunity to avail career guidance from professionals of diverse fields.

    Association of Muslim Professionals is a platform for all Muslim professionals and volunteers to share their knowledge, intellect, experience and skills for the overall development of not just the Muslim community but also the society at large and further empowering Muslim in educational, social, political and economic front of life.

    Soheb Selia, Organizing Secretary of AMP noted that increasing competition has brought students under pressure of gaining higher education. Students set their goal at an early age however an appropriate guidance from professional in the same sector is very necessary. Career fest is designed to achieve the same purpose.

    The huge campus of the college was setup with various educational stalls, Sandip Foundation, SECAB Engineering College, Theme College of Engineering, Kalsekar Technical Campus, International Academy of Beauty, Integral University of UP, Nirmala Niketan College of Social Science, Unani Medicines, Star Training Assessment were the noted few. The fest was focused not only on the main streams of Art, Science and Commerce but also brought in front new career fields such as Footwear designing, Retail Marketing, Career in Environment, Career in Law and Judiciary, Career in government, defence and others.

    Aamir Idrisi, President of AMP said that, “More than 250 professionals visited and interacted with students advising them about their respective fields. The event enabled students to gain information about the emerging career opportunities in different fields and to choose the best course as well as institute to shape their career”. Various workshops, Career Charts, Exhibitions, Educational Drama and other activities ensured that the students will be engaged and enlightened throughout the day.

    The event ended on a high note, with lot of appreciation from Students and Teachers of the 200 schools who attended, Professionals who volunteered and eminent Guests like Amin Patel (MLA), Baba Siddiqui (MLA), Nawal Bajaj (Additional Commissioner of Police) among others, where each one of them was looking forward to have more of such program.

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    An Assessment of Minority Welfare schemes on International Minority day.

    By Rehan Ansari,,

    Mumbai: 18th December is being celebrated as the Minority’s Right Day in Maharashtra. Obliging the United Nations “International Minority day,” Minority Commission of Maharashtra issued a GR no.1752 in 2010.

    In order to strengthen the cause of the minorities the UN promulgated the Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or ethnic or Religious and Linguistic Minorities on 18th December, 1992. It pronounces to protect and encourage condition for the promotion of their identity.”

    After assessing the information gathered mainly through RTIs, it is found that most of the welfare schemes regarding minorities in Maharashtra are not properly implemented. PM’s 15 point Programmes, implementation on Sachar Committee Report recommendations and all the schemes are in dismay.

    The irony is that government spends more on publicity and advertising of its minority welfare schemes than actually spending on the execution.

    Minorities Development Department was formed as a separate Administrative Department by the Government of Maharashtra in February 2008 with a view to implement the recommendations of the Sachar Committee Report as well as Prime Minister's New 15 Point Programme for Minorities. The main objectives of the Department are to focus on inclusive growth and to attain justice and equality for all. But in an RTI reply about the statistics of welfare schemes, the applicant is asked to collect the information from District Collectors and other concerned ministries.

    Even the website of the minority Development Department does not have the statistics of expenditure, only the budgeted figures are mentioned. It says, “Since the inception of the Department, a steadily increasing budgetary provision has been made in order to implement developmental and welfare schemes for Minorities. Amounts of Rs.174.67 Cr., Rs.206.25 Cr., Rs.237.99 Cr., Rs.174.67 Cr., Rs.275 Cr. and Rs.275 Cr. have been budgeted for the year 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011–12 & 2012-13 respectively. Besides this an outlay of Rs.280.05 Cr. has been sanctioned for the financial year of 2013 -14.”

    “Under construction” word welcomes you when you click the State Welfare schemes. Besides Scholarship schemes of the central government and Maulana Azad grant for infrastructural repair and upgradation to the Minority schools and colleges, nothing is actually working. Several irregularities are found even in the scholarship schemes.

    The irony is that neither the minority’s organizations nor the newspapers are doing any investigation or asking questions about it. Except few individuals no one seems to be bothered. The Bombay High Court has finally taken a suo motto cognizance of the press report in English newspaper regarding non availability of uniform and attendance allowance to the minority students.

    PM’s 15 Point Programmes in Maharashtra:

    In 2012 and 2013, three RTIs regarding the implementation of PM’s 15 point programme was filed but no information was provided by the Minority welfare Department.

    Chief Minister/ Chief Secretary or Maharashtra Minister of Minority presides over the meeting to plan and issue orders regarding the implementation of PM’s 15 point programme. No status report or statistical information is available in the ministry of minority Maharashtra.

    Sachar Committee Recommendation:

    Central Government through its letter in 2007, 2010 has directed the state government to implement sachar recommendations, form state and district level committees and report to the central government every six month. But till October 2010 no meeting was held.

    Chief Secretary has taken only one state level meeting on 17th November 2011 in which 14 issues are decided and time bound direction was given to the concern department to implement. In an RTI reply, dated 3rd October, 2010, it accepted that there is no status report available with the Minority Development Department.

    It’s highly condemnable that the Minority Development Department sends all the RTIs regarding status reports to the district collectors and other concerned department. In return these departments send it back to the Minority Development Department, specially the Home Ministry.

    Central government in its letter in 2007 and 2010 regarding the implementation of Sachar recommendation directed the Maharashtra government to give preference to the Muslim candidate in Police, Health and teaching department.

    According to another RTI response to the Police and Health department, nothing has been implemented and no report was sent to the central government.

    Dr.Mahmoodur Rahman Committee Report:

    Dr. Mahmoodur Rahman Committee formed, in 2008 to study the socio-economic condition of Muslims in Maharashtra has submitted its findings to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chauhan in October 2013 that presented the very dismal condition of Muslims in Maharashtra and recommended 8% reservation to Muslims in the government jobs.

    It’s high time that the Prithviraj Chauhan releases the report and its plan regarding the implementation of its recommendation.


    Leaked: Dr. Mahmoodur Rahman Committee recommendations for Muslims upliftment in Maharashtra

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Over 141,000 Indians returned home from Saudi Arabia as of Nov 27 during the course of a grace period offered by that Gulf nation to illegal expatriates to rectify their residency status, the government said Wednesday.

    Replying to a starred question in the Lok Sabha, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said that over 1.4 million Indians availed of the concessions offered during the grace period that ran from April 6 to Nov 4 this year.

    Of these 141,301 returned to India “without facing penal action or no ban on their return”, he said.

    The grace period was offered after the Saudi government introduced the Nitaqat or Saudisation policy that makes it mandatory for all Saudi companies reserve 10 percent of their jobs for Saudi nationals.

    According to the minister, there have been no reports of large-scale arrest of Indian workers in Saudi Arabia following the expiry of the grace period but “there may be a few cases of Indians from the very large Indian community who might fear deportation from Saudi Arabia as they did not avail the concession during the grace period”.

    “Additionally, 481,233 Indians (in Saudi Arabia) changed their job/profession. Apart from this, over 470,000 Indians got their licences/job permits renewed,” Ravi said.

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE), another Gulf nation that is home to a large number of expatriate Indians, also offered a general amnesty to illegally staying expatriates from December, 2012, to February, 2013.

    “A total of 7,923 Indians availed the amnesty,” the minister said.

    According to him, in the early months of 2013, some Indian nationals were apprehended in Kuwait for not having valid residency documents.

    “The embassy (of India in Kuwait) issued 1,081 emergency certificates for their early repatriation to India,” Ravi stated in his reply.

    In Oman, the Indian embassy in Muscat helped in the repatriation of 404 Indians from December last year to November this year by providing them the travel documents and air tickets for their return to India, he added.

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    By IANS,

    Patna : Seventeen-year-old conjoined twins Saba and Farah, who are joined at the heads, were Wednesday admitted to a hospital here in a critical condition for the second time in five days, family sources said.

    "After Saba and Farah's condition deteriorated, they have been admitted to a hospital," said Mohammad Tamanna, the twins' only brother.

    On Saturday, they were admitted to a hospital after there was bleeding from Farah's nose.

    "Both were discharged from the hospital Sunday but again we spotted bleeding from her (Farah's) mouth and consulted doctors of the Patna Medical College and Hospital here.

    "Doctors examined them and advised to admit them in hospital for constant monitoring of their condition," Tamanna said.

    Although the twins have distinct brains and are neurologically and psychologically normal, only one of them has kidneys.

    The father of the girls, Shakeel Ahmad, said the twins have become weaker in the last few months as their food intake has reduced.

    "We are praying to god for their health," he said.

    In April, the Supreme Court directed the Bihar government to grant the twins Rs.5,000 per month and take care of their medical expenses along with regular check-ups.

    Ahmad said that a few years ago, a ruler of a Gulf country had promised to bear the cost of surgically separating the two sisters. However, after initial consultation at a Delhi Hospital, "everything was forgotten", he said.

    American neurosurgeon Benjamin Carson had earlier travelled to India to study the twins. He had agreed to perform the risky operation with assistance from Indian doctors.

    Carson had, however, warned that the surgery would be risky and only one of the girls may survive.

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    By Soroor Ahmed,,

    It is a classic case of double standards. When Muslim organizations, rightly or wrongly, opposed the Supreme Court ruling on Shah Bano case in mid-1980s on the plea that the community has its own Personal Law the entire media and opinion-making class rose in chorus to ask as to how can the apex court ruling be challenged. The truth is that India has personal laws for followers of different religions and people have right to question that judgement.

    But when the same Supreme Court on December 11, 2013 quashed the Delhi High Court ruling of July 2, 2009, which decriminalized the same sex relationship, the whole opinion-making class went on to call it a regressive step. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) activists called December 11 as the black day and the media went all out to back them.

    When the politicians––cutting across party lines––initially hesitated in giving their opinion they were criticized by panelists sitting in various television channels.

    A day later political leaders did come out with their stand. Some agreed and some disagreed with the Supreme Court. Once again those who rejected the ruling said that this is an archaic law made by the British over a century back.

    Whether one agrees or disagrees with the SC ruling should be temporarily set aside. What is more important is the manner in which these enlightened liberals went on to denounce and brand those who supported the ruling as backward and outdated. How can one be pilloried simply because one supports the ruling of the highest court of the land. After all there are different opinions on lesbians and gays even in many countries of the West, where there is no such ban. In the Bible belt of the southern part of the United States there still is a huge population opposed to it. Are they all in the Stone Age?

    True one has the right to oppose the ruling in public platform. But does it behoove the media to back LGBT agitation against the Supreme Court ruling and dub everyone opposed to it as not fit for this modern world? Is not it the tyranny of the media?

    From now onward the judges will think many times before giving any ruling on the controversial issues. After all Supreme Court is the highest court of the land and custodian and protector of Indian Constitution. If there is some reservations on its ruling one has the right to disagree, but there should be a way to it. After all it gives its ruling under the Constitutional provisions. It is for Parliament to make or amend laws.

    Now come to what the media in India and the West said about the ruling: may one ask whether new or old could ever be the criteria for any law. If a century old law––even if a thousand year old––is better than one enacted today it should be appreciated. So how has this been made a criteria to reject Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. After all most of our laws are more than 150 year old––enacted in 1861. So why are we following them?

    Our Constitution is over six decades old while that of the United States over 200 years old. One can debate its merits and demerits and make certain amendments, but can we call the Constitution archaic?

    What these ladies and gentlemen failed to understand is that homosexuality is itself a very old practice. It dates back to the time of Prophet Lut (Lot in Old Testament)––or may be even older. The Prophet asked the people of Sodom to desist from such evil practice but they refused. The word sodomy has its origin from there. One can find the reference of sodomy in Old and New Testaments, Quran and other holy books.

    So instead of old versus new, the debate should be on whether it is good or bad for health of an individual, society or country. For argument sake just accept that homosexuality is not unnatural, but very much natural. But then is it not the fact that it contributes immensely to the spread of HIV-AIDS? Who can deny that homosexuals were the first to be inflicted with this disease in the United States?

    Almost all the arguments made in the electronic and print media were based on what is happening in the West where gay marriages are being legalized. But may one ask a very simple question: Why should we follow West? Is it the only example of development? And even if we want to follow the West why are we so selective and not follow everything of the West?

    Take the example of the United States. There is no need to have licence for gun. So the country with 30 crore population has, according to some estimates, 31 crore guns. More than 30,000 people die in the gun related violence in that country every year. Why not adopt the same law and be called progressive? After all there is National Rifle Association which strongly oppose any control on gun even if school-kids and students on campuses are mercilessly mowed down.

    Nothing could be more progressive than allow 125 crores Indian to have 125 crores guns. So there would be no problem if millions would die in the gun-related violence every year and class rooms and campuses are splattered with blood.

    There is no denying the fact that notwithstanding gay marriages and all those sexual concessions the United States is ranked among the countries with highest number of rapes. Why in so liberal a society one should have such crime and so many sex-starved people?

    If homosexuality is one of the most important factors responsible for the spread of HIV-AIDS why can not a government make a law banning the practice which leads to death of so many people. After all the government spends huge amount every year in protecting its people from such a dreaded diseases. In that way it has the right to penalize those who are spreading them.

    In the name of individual freedom the liberals have adopted classic double standards. They pressurize the government to ban tobacco as it causes death to lakhs of people every year. Those smoking in public places are even fined as smoking affect the health of passive smokers too. Similarly, there is always pressure on the government to fight the menace of drug.

    But when any government bans the sale and production of liquor on the basis of the argument that it is bad for health of individual as well as the society, the same set of people would stand up and question whether it is at all implementable.

    They would plead that the country would lose huge amount in the form of excise duty but would not take into account even larger amount spent by the government on diseases caused by liquor.

    Simiarly, if the government tries to control homosexuality because it is unnatural and causes AIDS it is being criticized for intruding into an individual’s right to freedom. But should not the government allow junkies to go on taking drug at will as stopping them would be an intrusion into their right to freedom.

    After all homosexuality is illegal in about 75 countries of the world. Several of them are more advance than India and almost on par with the western society. So how come we will become outdated if we do not de-criminalize it?


    (Soroor Ahmedis a Patna-based freelance journalist. He writes on political, social, national and international issues.)

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    By IANS,

    Jammu : The current barter trade between the two haves of Jammu and Kashmir will be transformed into "full-fledged" trade, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said Wednesday.

    The chief minister said his government was working towards making such trade possible between the two parts of the state controlled by India and Pakistan.

    Abdullah was addressing a function in Surankote in Poonch district.

    "My government is making efforts to help conversion of the present system of barter trade across LoC (Line of Control) into normal trade through the transaction of money.

    "The state government has also taken up the issue of allowing telephone communication between traders of the two sides as also allowing the trade for all feasible items.

    "Instead of identifying the goods for trade across the LoC, the items not allowed for trade should be listed, and rest left free for traders without any bar."

    Abdullah said these initiatives will not only help trade to flourish but become part of the confidence building measures between India and Pakistan.

    At present, cross-LoC trade takes place from Chakan-Da-Bagh in Poonch district in the Jammu region and Salamabad near Uri town in Baramulla district in the Kashmir Valley.

    In the absence of any banking facilities between the traders of the two sides, goods sent and received are balanced with their proforma values, based on a primitive system of barter trade.

    Besides, the trading list is restricted to 22 kinds of goods including vegetables, fruit, handicrafts and footwear.

    Trade between the two parts of Kashmir was started Oct 22, 2008.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Mumbai: A Suo Moto Public Interest Litigation was filed by Khan Razaullah Hidayatullah (39), President of Maharashtra State Minorities Schools Principals’ on the matter of state funding under Pre-matric scholarship scheme in the High Court of Judicature of Bombay where Registrar General, High Court Judicature of Bombay is the Petitioner and State of Maharashtra, Prinicpal Secretary Finance Department Maharashtra and the Secretary to the Government of Maharashtra, Minorities Development Department and Director of Education are respondents.

    In his PIL dated 29th November, 2013, he referred to an RTI application he filed on 01.03.11 in which he sought information regarding the implementation of the said scheme for the children belonging to minority communities for the year 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. The information sought pertained to the number of applicants made by students, number of beneficiaries and the number of applications rejected.

    “The Directorate of Education, Secondary and Higher Secondary replied to my RTI, stating that for the year 2009-2010, a total of 2,01,490, beneficiaries were selected for the State of Maharashtra but the scholarship amounts were deposited only for only 1,64,777 students from April 2009 to March 2010 though Rs. 2,166,41,000 was sanctioned for Pre-matric Scholarship, only Rs. 19,06,92,306 amount was distributed,” reads the contents of the letter in the affidavit sent by the Directorate of Education dated 11.03.2011.

    Similarly, the reply from the Directorate of Education states, “from April 2010 to March 2011 out of the sanctioned fund of Rs. 14,81,00,000 only 12,98,06,327 funds were distributed. In his reply back to the Directorate of Education Hidayatullah’s advocate Gayatri Singh, in his letter dated 20.4.2011 stated that the undistributed amounts had not yet reached the students who were thus unable to purchase educational sets which was affecting their studies.

    To this letter the Directorate of Education further replied in a letter dated 13.05.2011 stating that scholarship funds have not yet been deposited in the accounts of the students and the Department was still processing the forms.

    Also when he sought information regarding funding for scholarships in higher education in a letter dated 04.08.2011 no details were furnished except for providing information regarding total number of beneficiaries in the year 2010-2011.

    A similar enquiry was made by him as he sought information regarding the distribution of funds from Directorate of Technical regarding the scholarships to minorities for the period of August 2002 to September 2013 where in Directorate of Technical Education replied in a letter dated .07.10.2013 giving him insufficient replies.

    “It is evident from the chart prepared by the said Directorate that there are substantial discrepancies in the applications received and the applications accepted and the funds received by the Directorate and funds where actually distributed to eligible students are. The excess undistributed funds are lying with the bank,” reads the page 4 of the PIL.

    The PIL quotes Hidayatullah regarding the excess of unspent money lying in the bank, “I have now received information that there is an outstanding credit in the accounts of the Directorate of Technical Education of an amount of Rs. 9,79,45,797 lying with State Bank of India as on 30.09.2013.”

    “I therefore say that the various schemes under the minority development department are not being operated efficiently and the said schemes are not reaching the beneficiaries,” the PIL quotes Hidayatullah.

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    By Pervez Bari,,

    Bhopal: The new Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court, Justice A.N. Khanvilkar, expressed an initiative to resolve all the outstanding issues of two public interest petitions on the Omkareshwar (OSP) and Indira Sagar Canals (ISP) within the framework of law.

    The issues involved are: non-compliance with the directions of the Supreme Court, recommendations of the Expert Committees of the Union Environment Ministry, lack of rehabilitation, severe crop loss in dozens of villages due to water logging and muck disposal and lack of compensation for the same, lack of dialogue and use of police force on aggrieved farmers etc.

    According to Narmada Bachao Andolan Press release Chief Justice A.N. Khanvilkar, along with Justice Shantanu Kemkar has been hearing two public interest petitions on the Omkareshwar (OSP) and Indira Sagar Canals (ISP) since yesterday. One of these was filed in March, 2013, on behalf of thousands of canal–affected families (CAFs) many of those are already seriously affected by the canal network. This petition raises serious issues of social and environmental impacts, lack of rehabilitation, unnecessary excavation of canals in irrigated villages, severe crop losses etc. The other petition was filed by one Mr. Virendra Patidar, complaining of slow work, illegalities by the contractor, corruption, impacts of water logging in the 1st Phase of the Omkareshwar Project.

    The Chief Justice questioned the state authorities on the issue of project delay yesterday. There was a dispute over the government’s claims that 95 per cent of work in the Right Bank Canal, (RBC), and 80 per cent work in Left Bank Canal, (LBC), of Omkareshwar was complete. Since the counsel and Superintending Engineer could not convince the Court, Rajnish Vaish, Principal Secretary of the Narmada Valley Development Department, was summoned in the Court today and questioned on delay in the project work, status of overall canal works including construction. Referring to the people’s agitation being shown as a ‘barrier’, by the state, the CJ asked as to why people will agitate if their issues are solved and demands met within the framework of law.

    Even the Principal Secretary, did not give a complete and correct account of the construction as also compliance on other legal measures including environmental measures and rehabilitation. We questioned the same on the basis of field level reality, upon which the CJ directed him to place his statement on affidavit tomorrow. The CJ also asked the Principal Secretary as to whether there were financial constraints and directed him to consult the Chief Secretary and file an affidavit with details.

    The hearing shall continue tomorrow as well in the Court of the Chief Justice at Indore. Medha Patkar pleaded on behalf of the canal-affected farmers. Advocate Dharmedra Chelawat appeared for the petitioner in the other case, Mr. Virendra Patidar.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Jeddah, KSA: Mohammed Ayoob Kannur, of Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka state will be released soon from jail in Saudi Arabia. Formalities are being completed and within a few days he would be released.

    Mohammed Ayoob was in jail for more than 9 years, after Saudi Telecom Co (STC) charged him and seven others with very heavy fines, when another Indian who ran illegal international phone call business in the building where they stayed, for misusing the telephone line and escaped from Saudi Arabia trapping them all.

    Mohammed Ayub Kannur

    Since the accused were quite new to the Kingdom being unaware of the illegal business of the guy which made it easy for him to trap them and escape from the Kingdom.

    Understanding the miserable plight of these young men and their poor families, India Fraternity Forum took interest in the issue and sought the help and support of Consulate General of India, Jeddah. Forum had set up an adhoc committee, consisting the Welfare coordinator of IFF Karnataka chapter Ashraf Bajpe, IFF Jeddah President Ashraf Murayoor, Mudassar Akkarangadi, Haris Goodinabali and Hussain Jokatte to mobilize the support of generous personalities and to ensure the regular follow up of the case to get the fines imposed on them reduced and to obtain an early release of all the young men in jail.

    The families of these young men are very poor and unable to find even their daily bread as those who supported them, have been in jail that made their situation more deplorable. So it was impossible for them to pay the heavy fines charged on them and they had to spend more than nine years in Saudi jails. The families had submitted several memoranda to all the External affairs minister and MPs from Karnataka requesting the support of govt. for their release. IFF office bearers met the suffering families and updated about the case details, while on vacation as well.

    Meanwhile, IFF was able to ensure the support of a Saudi national (he does not wish to publish his name), who was generous and ready to spare his valuable time and made use of his contacts to ensure the release of one among those in jail, Mohammed Ayoub of Kannur village, Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka, with payment to STC.

    IFF expressed their gratitude to the Consulate General and to the Saudi national for all the support and co-operation extended in this issue.

    Adhoc committee of IFF, Ashraf Bajpe, Ashraf Moryur, Mudassar Akkarangadi, Haris Goodinabali and Hussain Jokatte - assured the families and relatives that the Forum will continue its relentless efforts to obtain the release of the remaining seven in the jail. However the fine imposed on them is very big and hence they are seeking the whole hearted support of all generous people to contribute to obtain their early release, as they are languishing for 9 years in jail.

    Those who wish to support the families of these young men may contact Mudassir Nazar – 0500992139 & Ashraf Bajpe 0593101416.

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