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Indian Muslim

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : India and Saudi Arabia Thursday inked a "landmark" agreement on protection of the rights of domestic Indian workers in the kingdom and agreed to work out another accord to streamline ties between employers and the 2.8 million Indian workers in that country.

    The Agreement on Labour Cooperation for Domestic Service Workers Recruitment was signed by Indian Overseas Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi and visiting Saudi Arabian Labour Minister Adel bin Mohammed Fakeih here.

    Ravi said the agreement on domestic workers' protection would help streamline the labour market. "This will go a long way in protecting the interests of workers..., and for that the Standard Employment Contract should also be finalised at the earliest," he said.

    The Standard Employment Contract would seek to govern the relations between the employer and the employee by ensuring agreed wage, proper working hours, paid holidays, dispute settlement mechanism, the minister said earlier.

    Ravi said he wanted to thank the Saudi minister and the kingdom for hosting Indian workers "who have contributed to the economic development of Saudi Arabia and continue to be one of the most disciplined, law abiding, and hard working community".

    He also thanked the Saudi government for "its humanitarian approach while adopting the Nitaqat programme", and said most of the Indians have corrected their work status.

    Fakeih, terming India "an important and active partner in more than one level", said the agreement was "in the context of the protection of the rights and regulating the labour relations between employers and employees in consonance with international regulations and treaties".

    "This important agreement is the result of the excellent relations between the two countries," he said, adding that in case of any possible difficulties arising, the two sides have agreed to set up a joint committee of senior officials who would meet periodically and alternatively in either country.

    The agreement was conceptualised in April last year during Ravi's visit to the kingdom.

    Some of the main features of the agreement, according to an official statement, are: It protects the rights of both the employers and domestic workers and regulates the contractual relation between them, ensures authenticity and implementation of the employment contract, takes measures against recruitment agencies who violate laws, and establishes a mechanism to provide 24-hour assistance to the domestic sector workers.

    A standard employment contract to be finalised would provide minimum wages, working hours, paid holidays and dispute settlement mechanism.

    Ravi, answering queries, said the agreement was a "landmark agreement for protection of worker's interests".

    Of the around 500,000 indian domestic workers in Saudi Arabia, mostly working as maids, helpers, drivers and cleaners, around 10 percent are women. There are 2.8 million Indian workers in Saudi Arabia, and Indians form the largest expatriate community in the kingdom.

    While India has inked labour MoUs with various countries in the Gulf, this is the first time that India has entered into an agreement on labour cooperation with Saudi Arabia.

    "This is also the first step towards a Comprehensive Agreement on Labour Cooperation covering the entire spectrum of Indian workers in Saudi Arabia," said the statement.


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    By Saiyed Danish, TwoCircles.net,

    New Delhi: A massive protest demonstration, against Uttar Pradesh government’s order to evict Muzaffarnagar riot-victims from the all the relief camps, was held outside today U.P. Bhawan in Delhi.

    The protest was jointly organised by Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association (JTSA), Jamia Students’ Solidarity Forum (JSSF), Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD), Bhai Bhor, MOEMIN, NFIW, AISF, Democratic Students’ Union (DSU) along with various secular organizations on January 2, that began around 11.30 AM.



    The gathering witnessed a swarm of incensed students, professors, social activists who registered their anger against U.P. government’s brazen apathy of the riot victims who had to flee their native villages in Muzaffarnagar after being violently targeted by members of a particular community in the first week of September, 2013.

    “We joined here to protest against the insensitive approach of U.P. government and its gross apathy towards the poor victims and their eviction from the relief camps,” said Manisha Sethi of the JTSA.

    Asad Ashraf, President of JSSF stressed on the need to raise the Muzaffarnagar riots issue from legal aspects and said that the battle for justice for victims and rehabilitation has now to be fought by the consolidation of all secular social or political groups.

    “We know that the riots were a political ploy to dismantle piece in a place which was unaffected even during the 1992 riots. We have to solidify our struggle and intensify our legal battles as this war has to be fought on roads as well as in the courtrooms,” he said.



    Delhi University professor Apoorvanand said that U.P. government knew that they will keep raising their voices until government rehabilitated the victims. “They transgressed all their limits by destroying the camps,” he said.

    Jamia’s professor and writer Rizwan Qaiser said, “Samajwadi Party experimented with communal polarization for vested political interest. Akhilesh Yadav failed to perform his ‘Rajdharma’ and allowed the communal tension to grow.”



    “They (Samajwadi Party) are imitating Modi’s style of doing ‘instant’ politics in Uttar Pradesh in order to make gains in Lok Sabha elections. But Mulayam Singh has forgotten that fascism does not work in our country and it has always harmed our secular fabric,” pointed Navaid Hamid, general secretary of Movement for Empowerment of Muslim Indians (MOEMIN).

    Civil rights’ activist Mahtab Alam said, “We had gathered here last September also and said that if the culprits are not arrested we would keep fighting for justice and we will keep protesting against the U.P government and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s inhumane treatment of rot victims.”



    Sheeba Aslam Fehmi, a prominent Delhi-based Muslim women’s rights activist questioned the silence of Muslim clerics and religious leaders over the issue of Muzaffarnagar. “They can organize a huge rally with lakhs of attendees for their own purpose but why can’t they organize such rallies for rape victims of Muzaffarnagar,” she asked angrily.

    Jamia professor and JTSA member Tanvir Fazal said that U.P. government has no sense of shame while they evacuated the victims in the middle of chilly winter nights as now the state government is sensing danger for their political future if these camps remain in sight and continue to be covered by the media.



    Ameeque Jamaei of AISF said, “While SP wants to remove all camps and force the victims to live on roads and elsewhere, BJP, which orchestrated the riots, want them never to return to their native villages and remain in camps for a very long time so that their prime motive of communal polarization behind this riot does not go waste. We must come together in creating amity between the estranged groups.”

    Anirban, who represented DSU in the protest, expressed his concerns over police intimidation and pressure put on riot victims to withdraw their cases.



    Himanshu Chawla, student of JMI and a member of JSSF read the memorandum prepared by the protest organizers before the media.

    “While we fail to understand how government, any government, can be so deliberately cruel and insensitive towards the suffering of the people, we are writing to you with a deep sense of urgency, requesting you to kindly intervene to ensure that those already displaced from their villages and home are at least allowed to continue to live in the relief camps. We appeal to you to kindly ensure that those forced out of their last shelter do not die on the streets of cold. Please prevail upon the UP government to halt the demolition of the relief camps with immediate effect,” reads the joint memorandum titled ‘Forcible Eviction of Riot Victims from Relief Camps’ as addressed to The Governor of Uttar Pradesh through the Resident Commissioner at U.P. Bhawan.



    Aamir, who handed the memorandum along with Manisha Sethi told TCN that Mr.D.P. Singh, who received the memorandum faxed it right away and assured that it will soon reach the Governor of Uttar Pradesh.

    Manan Trivedi said that Mulayam SIngh Yadav has left no stone unturned to project himself as dangerous as Modi. He said that ANHAD if battling the scourge of communalism where it is required and will keep fighting the communal forces in the future.

    CPI(ML) protests at Jantar Mantar demanding rehabilitation and adequate relief

    Meanwhile, CPI(ML) held a separate protest dharna in solidarity with the victims of Muzaffarnagar riots at Jantar Mantar today. It was demanded from the President of India to issue an advisory under Article 355 to the UP Government immediately to prevent closure of relief camps and ensure adequate relief and rehabilitation measures for all survivors and that the President’s office should directly monitor these measures.

    Steps should also be taken under Article 355 to ensure arrest and prosecution of all named accused in riot and rape FIRs and an SC-monitored SIT be constituted to investigate the communal violence cases of Muzaffarnagar. The protesters also emphasised to enact the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparation) Bill in the next session of Parliament.



    A memorandum was also sent to the President of India with demands for rehabilitation.

    This dharna was held as part of a nationwide call given by the CPI(ML) and was attended by cross sections of people including students from various universities in Delhi. Representatives of JNUSU and Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association of Delhi and NCR also addressed the gathering.

    The protest of over 200 strong gathering was addressed by CPI (ML) leaders Girija Pathak, Santosh Roy, Aslam Khan and Swapan Mukherjee. JNUSU officer bearers President Akbar and Jt. Secretary Sarfaraiz Ahmad also lend their solidarity to Muzzafarnagar riot victims through their strong speeches against Uttar Pradesh Govt. apathy and Central government failure to intervene in the meaningful way in the deteriorating conditions of the victims. AISA leaders Sweta Raj and Farhan also spoke on the occasion.

    AMU Old Boys' Association, which participated in the dharna was represented by their speakers Irshad Ahmed, President, Shamshah Khan, Treasurer, Muddhasir Hayat, General Secretary.

    Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA)'s National General Secretary Ravi Rai also spoke on the occasion.

    Memorandum submitted to the Governor

    The Governor,
    Uttar Pradesh
    Through the Resident Commissioner,
    Uttar Pradesh Bhavan, New Delhi.

    Subject: Forcible Eviction of Riot Victims from Relief Camps

    Sir,
    As you are aware, in September riotous violence broke out in Muzaffarnagar, forcing thousands to flee from their homes and ancestral villages for relief camps. Three months after the riots erupted – due to lack of administrative resolve to tame potential troublemakers, in the first place – those who instigated and executed arson, murder and rape roam free; while the victims of that violence are forced to suffer fear, indignity, hunger, disease, and even deaths of their children in relief camps.

    The UP Government, frugal from the beginning in its aid to the victims, has now crossed all limits of callous governance and cynical political calculation, by ordering the eviction of riot hit peoples from the relief camps, dismantling the flimsy tents, which at least provided them with a modicum of shelter against the bitter cold. This campaign is being carried out by brutal force: eyewitnesses in Loi, Neem Kheri, Bhora etc have reported the heavy deployment of police force and the forcible closure of these camps by bulldozing the tents and hearths and beating up the residents. The UP government is also indulging in blackmail, threatening to hold up compensation for those who do not evacuate the camps immediately. It has even demolished the tents erected on land brought by the riot victims.

    Where force and blackmail fail, it is not above employing outright deceit. The UP government is now peddling the lie that people are either moving out voluntarily or are being relocated to the Budhana Tehsil camp. As news reports and civil society reports have amply demonstrated that both these claims are false.

    While we fail to understand how government, any government, can be so deliberately cruel and insensitive towards the suffering of the people, we are writing to you with a deep sense of urgency, requesting you to kindly intervene to ensure that those already displaced from their villages and home are at least allowed to continue to live in the relief camps. We appeal to you to kindly ensure that those forced out of their last shelter do not die on the streets of cold. Please prevail upon the UP government to halt the demolition of the relief camps with immediate effect.

    Sd/-
    Asad Ashraf , Preetika Nanda, Ikshula Arora, Tajally Shehreyar (Jamia Students’ Solidarity Forum), Amir Khan and Bhavna Sharma (ANHAD), Manisha Sethi, Tanweer Fazal and Amabrien Alqadr (JTSA), Ehtasham Khan (Indian Wisdom Foundation); (Bhaibhor); Jamal Kidwai and Apoorvanand (Aman Ekta Manch) and many other individuals and organisations


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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: Dr Meenakshi Sundriyal, wife of recently deceased activist Khurshid Anwar, has written to the National Commission for Women, asking for clarification regarding how the statutory body handled the complaint against her late husband.

    It may be recalled that Khurshid Anwar, executive director of a New Delhi based NGO, allegedly committed suicide on the morning of the 18th of last month, after he was accused of rape by a fellow activist.

    It appears that the trigger for this extreme step was a TV show broadcast in prime time by a well known Hindi news channel. This broadcast, Anwar’s friends and family allege, was extremely prejudicial against the late activist. A sitting member of the NCW also participated in the show.

    “The allegations against my husband first surfaced in September, however in spite of his appeal to those accusing him, no FIR was filed against him nor a medical test performed on the complainant. He was keen for a chance to clear his name legally, but that was denied to him and then irresponsible news channels ran with the story”, said Sundriyal.

    “The NCW’s role in the matter is shrouded in mystery. Apparently someone sent them a CD containing the accusations against my husband sometime in the second week of December. We want to know whether the established procedures were followed before the NCW requested the police to file an FIR against him in the absence of the complainant for well over three months?”, she added.

    Campaign for Khurshid Anwar spokesperson Ankita Chandranath, a student at the Jawaharlal Nehru University said that the NCW was duty bound to act according to laid down rules and procedures. “Why was a member of the NCW present on a show of such a nature. A veritable media trial was held against the accused, ultimately pushing him to suicide”, she asked.


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    By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter,

    Sidhi, MP: While most of the people bid adieu to the bygone year and welcomed the New Year with lavish parties, hundreds of Dalits and Adivasis decided to make a new beginning on the first day of the year by launching Bhoomi Adhikar Yatra, a campaign for land rights in Madhya Pradesh under the banner of National Confederation of Dalit Organizations (NACDOR) with the slogan of ‘Marching for Land for Livelihood and Dignity’.

    On January 1, 2014, hundreds of Dalit, Adivasi women and men gathered under their respective banner of Rashtriya Dalit Mahasabha and Adivasi Adhikar Andolan at Ambedkar Chowk at the district headquarter of District Sidhi in Madhya Pradesh to jointly launched their Bhoomi Adhikar Yatra (Land Right March).



    They demanded 5 acres land for each landless Dalit, Adivasi and poor and land titles to those who possess lands but never given titles.

    The 120 day long Bhoomi Adhikar Yatra, which began on bicycles, will cover more than a thousand villages in 20 districts of Madhya Pradesh before its convergence in Bhoomi Adhikar Sammelan on 9th June in Bhopal, the capital of the Madhya Pradesh.

    Ashok Bharti, chairman of NACDOR said while speaking to TCN on the occasion, “Only 3% land belongs to SC/STs while their population is 36%. The motive behind this yatra is to get the attention of the government and the policy makers sitting in the Centre and make them aware of this very need of the hour.”

    In India, close to 70% of its population is dependent on land and agriculture for their livelihood, dignity and food security. India, close to 70% of its population is dependent on land and agriculture for their livelihood, dignity and food security. Out of 137.76 milions of operational land holding in the country, Madhya Pradesh has 8.87 million ha lands, of which only 0.45 million ha is owned by Schedule Caste/Schedule Tribe.


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    By IANS,

    Srinagar : There will be zero tolerance to rights violations by troops in Jammu and Kashmir, the army's northern command chief said Thursday as he briefed Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on counter-insurgency operations in the state.

    A defence spokesman said Lt.Gen. Sanjiv Chachra called on Abdullah here and also briefed him on security situation.

    "The army commander reiterated the army's commitment to zero tolerance towards human rights violations and that the cases of misdemeanour, if any, would be dealt with severely.

    "The army commander also briefed the chief minister about the recent DGMO-level (director generals, military operation) talks between India and Pakistan and also the security situation on the line of control (LoC).

    "The chief minister appreciated the successful operations conducted by the army and commended the restraint exercised by the troops ensuring that there was no collateral damage to civilian life and property," the defence spokesman said.

    Lt.Gen. Chachra arrived here Thursday on a three-day visit to the Valley to conduct a review of the security situation.

    He also visited some forward posts and interacted with the officers and other ranks at these places.


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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Saudi Arabia Thursday assured India that its Nitaqat work policy had affected only a small percentage of Indians and that 400,000 of them in the kingdom had corrected their work status, becoming legal and welcome workers.

    Visiting Saudi Arabian Labour Minister Adel bin Mohammed Fakeih, addressing a press conference her, also said that the kingdom has issued more than one million work visas, including many to the Indian community. He said Saudi Arabia has always had "excellent relations with Indian workers - one of the communities we had the least of problems with".

    Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi thanked the Saudi government for "its humanitarian approach while adopting the Nitaqat programme" - Saudization of employment policy - and said most of the Indians have corrected their work status.

    Answering a question on Nitaqat, Fakeih said "only a small percentage of workers have been affected by it". He said the kingdom has "issued more than an million work visas globally, including many to Indian nationals".

    The Saudi minister said the kingdom is witnessing growth in industrialisation programme and construction, and expanding its manufacturing. "We don't see necessarily that we are offering job opportunities for our own job seekers. On the contrary, Nitaqat has helped clarify and regularise the foreign workers in our country."

    "For those who have come with work permits specifically to work in specific jobs for employers with Nitaqat, we have allowed those in yellow and red bands (firms) to go and search for other jobs within the country as long as the new employer is in agreement with our nationalisation standards. During the grace period, almost 400,000 Indians regularised work permits and formally changed their working relationship, and in that process have become legal, welcome workers in our country," he said.

    Fakeih said the jobs that Saudis get in the kingdom are only 15 percent while the rest 85 percent go to international workers.

    Nitaqat is a Saudization programme introduced by the Saudi ministry of labour in June 2011 to make private firms hire more Saudis. The firms are categorised blue (premium), green, yellow and red based on the number of Saudi nationals employed. Companies with high Saudization rates will come under the green category.


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    By IANS,

    Lucknow: Gandhian and Urdu jouralist Ishrat Ali Siddiqui passed away here Thursday. He was 94.

    Editor of Urdu Daily Quami Awaz in the 1970s, he had opposed then prime minister Indira Gandhi on the issue of press censorship imposed during the Emergency.

    His protest against censorship stood in stark contrast against the studied silence of his colleagues in National Herald and Navjiwan, both papers also run by the Congress.

    The Congress government later honoured him with the Padma Sri and Indira Gandhi nominated him to the second Press Commission in 1980.

    Siddiqui availed this opportunity to formulate reform proposals to improve the standard of Urdu journalism and contributed immensely to the modernizing of Kitabat (calligraphy).

    Born in Hardoi in 1919, he studied at Lucknow and then migrated to Hyderabad to edit the Urdu dailies Payam and the Hindustan.

    His nationalist articles led to the then ruler, Nizam Osman Ali, penalizing him.

    Siddiqui spent many years in Sevagram with Mahatma Gandhi and was president of the UP Working Journalists Union, and the UP Press Club and was the national councillor of the Indian Federation of Working Journalists (IFWJ).


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    By Tameemuddin Humble,

    Bhagalpur: About one lakh and sixty thousand electricity consumers of Bhagalpur urban and adjoining areas under 7 blocks started availing the services of Bhgalpur Electricity Distribution Company Private limited (BEDCPL) from 1st January, 2014.

    The Bihar Discom—South Bihar Power Distribution Company limited (SBPDCL) handed over the responsibilities to the franchisee—BEDCPL for to supply power, maintain the distribution network, bill collection, new service connections, customer care, and reducing the technical and commercial (AT&C) losses including the pilferage.
    In pursuance of the agreement made on 19th July, 2013 between the SBPDCL and BEDCPL, the SPV of SPML Infra, the Bihar Energy Minister, Mr Bijendra Prasad Yadav, handed over the franchise papers to BEDCPL Director, Mr Amanullah, to manage the power supply in Bhagalpur, the premier silk production centre in India and the 3rd largest urban centre in the state. The franchisee has to deliver all the responsibilities of the licensee—SBPDCL for a period of 15 years in the DF area.

    The BEDCPL aims at providing quality power distribution services in the city and has set up 24x7 consumer helpline number, 06412600751, to lodge their complaints round the clock, said a BEDCPL official. The call centre can be reached at any time to register complaints, request for new connection, billing, payments, faulty meter replacement and other facilities.

    Now consumers need not to stand in a long queue at the bill collection counters to pay their monthly electricity bill. The fault finding and repairing mobile vans are pressed into consumer service by 24x7 ensuring the smooth supply and immediate repairing. The state-of-the-art consumer service centre will come up at Tilkamanjhi office and several other centers will be opened at prominent locations in the DF area.

    Often the common man fails to understand that the franchisee company does not supply power from its generation. It has to supply power what it gets from the franchiser or the licensee. In extraordinary circumstances, it may purchase power on its own to fulfill the immediate demand but normally it has only to manage the transmission and distribution of electricity. For the last two days since BEDCPL took over in Bhagalpur, the People’s expectations gone high and are demanding 24 hours power supply. Its call centre is receiving hundreds of call daily which the general consumer did not think of the service before.

    About 300 employees of BEDCPL are working day and night to serve about 1.5 lakh metered consumers belonging to the 5 Sub-Divisions—Mujahidpur, Tilkamanjhi, Nathnagar, Aliganj and Kahalgaon of the District falling under DF area getting power from 2 Grid Sub-stations, Kahalgaon and Sabour. The service is being provided by the 15 power sub-stations that require at least 60 to 70 MW daily to serve 24 hours but the average daily supply is 30 to 40 MW. Now the aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses are 20% and 50% respectively. The franchisee has a target to bring it down to total AT&C loss at 15% in coming years.

    Now the power situation in Bihar has improved due to the present Government policies as well as through the reforms in power sector in India by the Electricity Act 2003 and the enactment of Distribution Franchisee Model in this sector since 2006 when only 550 MW was available for the consumers in Bihar. Now against the requirement of 3500 MW, only 2000 MW is supplied daily in Bihar. The Government aims to provide 5300 MW through its different power generation projects by August 2015 making Bihar the self-sufficient in power requirement.


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    By Ras Siddiqui, TwoCircles.net,

    San Francisco: In early December, 2013 a unique afternoon event was held at the PACC facilities in Milpitas, California combining an art exhibition and a discussion on the work and life of Syed Sadequain Ahmed Naqvi, possibly the most creative and prolific of South-Asia’s painters and calligraphers ever.

    Born in Amroha, Uttar Pradesh, India in the year 1930, Sadequain physically left this world in 1987 and is now buried in Karachi, Pakistan. His life journey was certainly short by many standards (years) but gargantuan in terms of artistic productivity. He drew, wrote poetry or painted till the very end.



    Sadequain's work on Display.

    Most of us who had never had the pleasure of meeting the great artist himself came to know of him through television programs on PTV. Often found in a smoke filled environment speaking in Saqueel (chaste) Urdu, Sadequain came across as a man immersed in many spirits and at times not of this world. At one time he was working on calligraphy depicting the Ninety-nine names of Allah. And on many other occasions he was embarked on projects so large (murals) that they seemed almost impossible to complete. How he was able to manage the scaling on these still amazes many. A fusion of Picasso and Michelangelo reflected in one of our own artists, he was a delight to watch.

    And those that met him always had some interesting things to say. He used to give away his art and never sold it. A friend of mine noticed that men only received an autograph from Sadequain and that women were given more elaborate drawn images. So this bright young man returned to the great artist and asked for a memento for his sister. Sadequain obliged and he still has it in his possession!



    Dr. Salman Ahmad of Sadequain Foundation.

    The event is Milpitas featured this scribe’s first exposure to the SADEQUAIN Foundation of San Diego, California which is the brainchild of the artist’s nephew Dr. Salman Ahmad, an engineer by profession, graduate of NED Engineering College (now university) in Karachi, who furthered his education in the United States to the level of a PhD. Sadequain himself never married and had no family of his own so his older brother’s family including Dr. Salman Ahmad were close to him. Ras Siddiqui interviewed Salman Ahmad to learn more about Sadequain the artist, the person and the foundation. A shortened version of the interview is presented below:

    (RS) When did you decide to create the SADEQUAIN Foundation and why?

    (SA) Just like the fact that we are more familiar with some Urdu poets - compared to others who could be equally good- because of vocalists like Mehdi Hasan and Noor Jahan, artists also need individuals, institutions, and means to promote their talent. Sadequain never sold his work. He gave it all to individuals and institutions around the world. In return he was praised universally. But after his death the recipients of his generosity were often mainly interested in cashing out on his hard work.



    Sadequain

    So much so that during Sadequain’s life the Pakistan government established 3 art galleries dedicated to his name in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. But after his death all 3 galleries were either closed or run down, and some of their contents went unaccounted for (stolen). These are some of the factors which compelled me to establish the SADEQUAIN Foundation in June 2007, with the main goal(s) of discovering, preserving, and promoting the art and poetry of Sadequain and in essence preserve his legacy.

    (RS) The question comes to mind as to why in San Diego, California?

    (SA) We have been residents of San Diego since 1982 and it is now home to our family. Therefore San Diego is the head quarter of SADEQUAIN Foundation.



    Sadequain Books.

    (RS) Are there other organizations in other countries doing similar work?

    (SA) There are no formal affiliations in other cities, or states, or countries. But several individuals and organizations have helped conduct SADEQUAIN Foundation’s events in the USA, Canada, UK, Dubai, Pakistan, and India in the past six years. These individuals offer their assistance on voluntary basis.

    (RS) Who really owns the Sadequain legacy? Is there a central controlling entity which can guide art enthusiasts or potential buyers?

    (SA) Sadequain is a national treasure, but unfortunately there is no other entity in the world (besides SADEQUAIN Foundation) that can claim to be an expert on Sadequain or to look after his interests. Like the poet Ghalib said “Muft haath aaye to bura kia hai” (That which is obtained free can’t be too bad), which applies here to Sadequain’s art. He gave away all his work to institutions and individuals who later became interested in only profiting from it. He is also a frequently copied artist as his fakes have flooded the market. Anwar Maqsood of TV fame said sarcastically that Sadequain painted more paintings after he died than when he was alive!



    Sadequain Aligarh Muslim University Library

    (RS) In your estimate approximately how many genuine Sadequain works of art are there in existence?

    (SA) Sadequain never kept an inventory and never cataloged his works therefore there is no official and verifiable record as to how many paintings, drawings, murals, calligraphies he did. SADEQUAIN Foundation estimates his serious work to be around 15,000 pieces. But he himself claimed to have done hundreds of thousands of sketches, drawings, and calligraphies as personal favors to his visitors who literally surrounded him at all times day and night.

    (RS) Where in the world is the largest collection of Sadequain’s artwork located?

    (SA) The world’s largest collection of Sadequain’s art is with Pakistan’s ministry of cultural affairs. The ministry has in its possession more than 250 extremely significant master pieces. The estimated value of these pieces is more than $60 million in today’s market. These were removed from Galerie Sadequain in Islamabad to the new location after his death.

    (RS) And where is the largest mural painted by him?

    (SA) Sadequain painted more murals than Michelangelo and Diego Rivera combined. Total murals he painted number more than 45. His murals are found in Mangla Dam, State Bank of Pakistan, Lahore Museum, Punjab Library, Punjab University, Frere Hall Karachi, Aligarh Muslim University, Banaras Hindu University, National Geophysical Research Institute Hyderabad, India, Islamic Research Institute Delhi, Ghalib Institute Delhi, Urdu Ghar Hyderabad India, Museum of Modern Art in Paris, Canada, Abu Dhabi, etc. The largest mural by Sadequain is at Mangla Dam titled The Saga of Labor, measuring 170 x 28 feet.

    To conclude here, one has to try to appreciate the complexity of the work that the SADEQUAIN Foundation is trying to do. When one is attempting to document the accomplishments of a Faqeer, a Dervesh, someone who was (often simultaneously) trying to capture both the atom and the cosmos in his work, the task cannot be easy. In this article we did not even get to just touch upon Sadequain the poet or even highlight more than ten elaborate books so far produced by the SADEQUAIN Foundation. Maybe at some other time down the road we will get that opportunity.

    (Interested readers can visit the SADEQUAIN Foundation at http://www.sadequainfoundation.com/ or contact them via email at sadequainfoundation@gmail.com).


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    By Saiyed Danish, TwoCircles.net,

    Muzaffarnagar: Imrana (19), was bestially raped allegedly by the nephew of an MLA of the ruling party in U.P and tried to slit her throat also, the mark of which she would hide from time to time. She bore the brunt of Muzaffarnagar riots when she, just like 70,000 other Muslims in the aftermath of the violence which spread over night targeting thousands of families, had to escape for her life with her mother and finally took refuge at Loi camp.

    Imrana was still waiting for her compensation to start a new life. A few days ago when TCN had visited her, she had complained, “Jats walk into the camps very easily wearing prayer caps to disguise as Muslims,” she had told. It was only the sight of Imrana’s infant child sleeping cosily under a tarpaulin tent that kept her armed with a handful of hope.



    File photo of Loi camp.

    Aseem (45), had also found refuge at Loi camp when he found his house charred to nothing and forced to leave the place when he, his father and his grandfather had prosperously lived off the earnings their traditional cloth business. Until a week ago, he was seen running a make-shift kiosk of daily use items to sustain his family at the relief camp. He had recollected that he would make profits of lakhs of rupees before the riots and although he was making a meagre earning Rs. 200 a day with his small shop but he was still hoping that the situation would get better in the days to come.

    In Beepur Hatia camp in Shamli district, Muzaffarnagar communal violence victims Reyazuddin and Hamida were still waiting for more rations to come as it had already been over a month they had last received food supplies when TCN visited these camps in mid-December. “We drink boiled water only as there we hardly get food to eat,” Hamida had complained. But she would still see a silver lining. While pointing towards her tent and helplessly consoling herself she had said, “there are people who don’t even have this.”



    Today, Hamida too had lost tent as Beepur Hatia camp has closed. It has been two days since Aseem’s hopes of bouncing back to what he could have called a somewhat life has been shattered as the entire Loi camp has been demolished at the behest of Uttar Pradesh government orders. Imrana is living in lousily arranged shanties at Neemkheri. The camps at Neemkheri have been destroyed. However the destruction of Neemkheri is quite astonishing as it stood on the plot bought by the victims. They removed them on the pretext of sending them to ‘safer’ places till their houses for their shelters are fully constructed.

    “A young boy came to me this morning after his tent at Neemkhri was removed by the police to seek refuge for his family. I took them to Jogia Khera which is the only remaining shelter left in Muzaffarnagar,” Mustaqeem, a riot affected youth who lives at Jogia khera now told TCN. Even Bhora camp is on the verge of being usurped by the police as a strong contingent had surrounded the camp yesterday afternoon.

    “Due to heavy rain, the blankets they had received in relief remain wet all day and night. Mothers are making their babies cling to their bodies to make them sleep as they are shelter less after the removal of camps,” she said.



    The riot-victims who were forcefully removed from Loi and Neemkheri camps have now scattered all over Muzaffarnagar. Many of them are putting up with the chilling winters on roadsides. Some, like Imrana are again risking their lives by staying in Neemkheri where the police await the nod for a second wave of ‘persuading’ victims to move to other places. Others have managed to find their ways to Budhana and Kandhla.

    The graph of their pain, frustration and agony is hitting the roof in unfathomable ways. “They have not given us compensation; they did not arrest the perpetrators of crime, now they removed everyone from their camps. They should at least have showed some humane concern for the children,” Mustaqeem said in anger.


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    By Gulrez Gufran,

    Photos from Basi and Tavli camps by photographer Gulrez Gufran who runs Gufran Studio in Muzaffarangar.

    Photos were taken in September 2013.















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    By IANS,

    Lucknow : Uttar Pradesh will soon conduct a survey to asses the living standards and necessities of Muslims in the state, an official said Friday.

    The survey by the minority welfare department, under the multi-sectoral development programme (MSDP), would be conducted in villages and towns followed by a developmental package to pep up infrastructure, an official told IANS.

    The survey would cover 144 minority-dominated blocks.

    Under MSDP - a central government programme - the infrastructure would be improved through Indira Awaas Yojna, opening of schools, Aanganwadi centres and health centres, laying of drains and roads and providing for potable water.

    The government has released Rs.3.5 lakh for the survey and the surveying agency would be chosen through bidding, Principal Secretary (Minority Welfare) Devesh Chaturvedi said.

    The value addition to the survey would be the assessment of the education environment for the minorities, and efforts would be taken up to infuse the areas with schools and other necessities, the official added.

    While state officials say the survey is "purely an administrative and development oriented exercise", political opponents of the Samajwadi Party allege this to be another "minority appeasement effort".

    "This government has lost the plot and is making its last ditch attempt to win the favour of Muslims which it has sadly lost," BJP state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said. The timing of the survey was also political, he added.

    After the Muzaffarnagar riots in September, the Akhilesh government has been under fire by minority groups and organisations.

    The state government has unleashed a slew of schemes to win minority votes.


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    By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter,

    New Delhi: After distributing over 3500 blankets to 12 camps in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts. Blanket of Hope now intends to turn its attention towards the children of Muzaffarnagar.

    As per estimates, there are well over 8,000 children in various camps across Muzaffarnagar & Shamli districts, majority of who are in the age group of 1-5 and 6-14years. Most of these children are in a very impressionable and vulnerable stage.



    They have been reeling under a massive tragedy and are carrying the unsealed wounds of victimization.

    It is essential that these young kids are engaged in constructive activities like Sports & Learning before their sense of unhealed victimization drives them to a path of dark choices.

    But we have found that there are no arrangements available at the relief camps for these kids to learn and play.

    It is in direction that Blanket of Hope has announced the launch of ‘SportsforHope’ campaign

    “Through this campaign we will rebuild lives education and sports as we intend to take life lessons, secular education, basic English and sporting spirit to these young kids in the camps by organising interactive classes,” says Shehzad Poonawala, who organized Blanket of Hope.

    “This is an initiative to give hope to the kids and give them a new direction and secure their future in life. Through sports we will help them forget what they witnessed in Muzaffarnagar and regain their childhood,” he added.

    Shahzad Poonawala has appealed to the contributors not to contribute in cash but in kind.

    You can send sports materials, cricket kits, badminton kits, footballs, handballs, colouring books,” the appeal by Shahzad Poonawala reads.



    “Training Learning material for children between ages 1-10, shoes and sweaters for kids between 0-5 or 6-14, paint brushes and colours with paper, notebooks and pens/pencils and educational toys,” it further reads.

    Along with that the appeal invites youth volunteers from all parts of the city to be a part of this campaign. It has also appealed that sports teachers are free to accompany SportsforHope campaign.

    Shahzad Poonawala has requested the contributors to send relief materials to the following Delhi address latest by January 17, 2014: A46 , South Extension Part 2, Second Floor, New Delhi 110049 ( Behind Mehrasons Jewellers)


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    By TwoCircles Staff Reporter,

    Hyderabad: Amir Ali Khan, News Editor of Siasat Urdu Daily has created a new commotion in political circles of Hyderabad by joining in YSR Congress party.

    Mr. Amir Ali Khan Thursday evening met YSR Congress president Jagan Mohan Reddy at his residence Lotus Pound and formally joined the emerging regional giant.



    Jaganmohan Reddy felicitating Amir Ali Khan

    Son of late former Chief Minister of Andhra Pardesh Y S Rajshekar Reddy, Jaganmohan Reddy parted way with the Congress after differences over party state leadership in 2011. In just three years party gained 17 assembly and 2 Lok Sabha seats in different by-elections and is considered as an emerging force especially in Seema Andhra region.

    Speaking with media outside Jaganmohan’s residence Amir Ali Khan said his sole aim of joining YSR Congress party is to protect the interests of Muslims in all three regions of the state.

    Siasat News Editor claimed that Jagan his schoolmate was in constant discussion with him over politics and frequently persuaded him to join his party. Amir Ali Khan described YSR Congress as the only secular party in the state, he said a detail report on situation and demands of Muslims from all three regions has been submitted to Jagan and he agreed on all the demands. He however Mr. Khan didn’t disclose any of the accepted demands but quoted statistics to claim that Muslims in Seema Andhra will suffer after state bifurcation.

    Amir Ali Khan’s family has always been seen in Telangana circles as protagonist of separate statehood movement, he had a hard time explaining his stand while joining party whose opposition to Telangana is stern to call the least. He reiterated on several counts that his new political alignment was based on belief to uplift Muslim community. He even added that YSR Congress will not be a pariah in Telangana, “If AAP a Delhi base party can plan to contest from Hyderabad then what could be a hindrance for a native state party,” he explained.

    Siasat’s arch rival Majlis-e-Itehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi whose also a classmate of Jagan share a cordial relations with him, in fact Mr. Owaisi played a mediator role in presidential elections to ensure YSR Congress MLA’s vote for Parnab Mukherjee. Mr. Amir said his opponent Mr. Owaisi’s good friendship with Jagan will not matter in the party affairs. In the same breath he also made it clear that his newspaper line will remain independent as news policy is a different issue altogether.

    Amir Ali Khan’s father Siasat editor Zahid Ali Khan has contested Lok Sabha elections from Hyderabad in 2009 on Telugu Desam Party ticket but got defeated by Asaduddin Owaisi. Currently he is TDP’S polit bureau member and is continuously threatening TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu of resignation if party forming an alliance with BJP. While his uncle Siasat Managing Editor Zaheer Ali Khan has close relations with Telangana Rashtriya Samithi and many pro Telangana NGO’s.

    Amir Ali Khan didn’t rule out contesting in the coming state and parliamentary elections, he said decision will be made in this regard on the right time. After an apparent bifurcation of the state, parliamentary and state elections will happen in concert. He hopes to perk up YSR Congress in Telangana region which is seen by natives as adversary to their cause, by creating a support base among minorities.


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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Lashkar-e-Taiba bomb expert Abdul Karim Tunda, accused in the 1997 Delhi Sadar Bazar blasts case, Friday withdraw his bail plea after a magistrate transferred the case to a sessions court.

    Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Amit Bansal transferred the case to the sessions court, which will hear the matter Saturday.

    The case was transferred as the offences alleged against Tunda are triable by a sessions judge.

    Tunda's counsel M.S. Khan withdrew his bail application as the case was referred to another judge. The court allowed his plea so that he can file a fresh bail application before the sessions judge.

    Tunda's bail plea was opposed by Delhi Police which said he was a terrorist involved in more than 20 bomb blasts.

    Tunda in his bail plea said two other co-accused in the case have been discharged or acquitted.

    Police chargesheeted Tunda under Sections 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon), 307 (attempt to murder) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

    He was part of a conspiracy which led to two blasts at Sadar Bazar and Qutab Road Oct 1, 1997, in which many people were injured, police said.

    The two other accused in the case earlier said the blasts were carried out at Tunda's behest.

    One of the co-accused Mohammad Shakeel alias Hamza was acquitted in April 1999 while the second, Mohammad Amir, was discharged in the case in April 2001 for lack of evidence against them.

    Tunda said the other two co-accused were already released by court and the question of conspiracy with them does not arise. He said their disclosure statements were not admissible as evidence against him.


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    By TCN News,

    Jaipur: For the first time in the history of Rajasthan an online state level essay competition was conducted for Muslim studying students in different categories. Event was organized by Khaildar Anjuman, in Collaboration with Al Bayan Foundation and Al Flah Educational and welfare Society.

    Large number of students from the districts of Kota, Jhalawar, Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Jhunjhunu, etc participated in the competition.



    Prize distribution ceremony was held on 30 December, 2013 at Sarvodaya Paramount School, Kota.

    Briefing on the elucidation of needs, aims and objectives, vision and mission behind the essay competition was imparted by the convener of Khaildar Anjuman Mr. Ziyaul Islam. He stated that the motto of this type of activity is to promote reading as well as writing skills in our current generation, to motivate for expressing thoughts in words and encourage becoming future writers.

    All participants made utmost hard work, and taken keen efforts to write essays, and it is found that enormous talents are hiding in the brains of these future writers, it seems that everyone have truly fulfilled the all requirements needed to be a good writer, there is an unexplored talent and potential, which must be nourished properly to bring them to the field. The efforts of the participants’ are really appreciable, he added.

    Ziyaul Islam said some of the participants were competitive enough that they made cut throat competition, hence to make justice with the participants, judges made the telephonic round of interviews in addition to check their skills and to finalize the merit list.

    Chief Guest Dr. H. C. Jain (a Historian and Vice Principal, Government College, Kota) in his short speech he admired all the participants. He said that it’s a need of hour to remain aware and conscious on Different social issues like toxics, drugs, misuse of Internet and environment that are poisoning our society and this is all just due to the lack of education and knowledge of fatal consequences.

    He appreciated the attempt made by Khaildar Anjuman in using new techniques to educate people. He also emphasized on women education and the role that women of nation playing today for upliftment of the society.

    Guest of Honour Mr. Shibli Arsalan (Social Media Activist, and Ex Editor, Rafeeq E Manzil Hindi Magazine, New Delhi) appreciated all the participants and mentioned that the constructive writing is not an easy task, it requires rigorous study and knowledge of any particular topic.

    He also emphasized that Khaildar Anjuman should not stop this activity rather they should improve it by conducting workshops on various topics e.g. “How to improve writing skills” and “how to become a good writer”?

    Guest of Honour Mrs. Atiqa Azad (Deputy Director, Government Provident Fund-GPF, Kota) in her Speech intensified women education and its desirability. She also shared her motivational experiences with the audience.

    Chair Person Dr. Mohammed Naeem Falahi (A renowned personality of Rajasthan and an Asst. Professor, Govt. P.G. College Kota) praised the students and encouraged them.



    The topics of essays were the need of time and in line with the current state of the society. He also appreciated the efforts taken by the Khaildar Anjuman and said that organizers have set the best example of positive and constructive use of the internet He added.

    Program culminated with the vote of thanks of Mr. Najmus Saquib (Coordinator of Online Essay Competition 2013) and distribution of prizes to the 61 Winners.

    Akhtarul Islam Ajmad (2nd merit holder among Senior Group) inspiring from this act announced on his own will to donate 50% of his cash prize to Khaildar Anjuman, owing to which the whole mob cheered him up and the hall noised high with sound of applause.

    Winners of the Essay Competition are:

    Jr. Level Winners:
    1. Sabina Khatri – Jhunjhunu District – 95% - Cash prize of 5555/-, Certification of achievement and a Trophy

    2. Naziya Parveen – Kota District – 90% - Cash prize of 3333/-, Certification of achievement and a Trophy

    3. Kamrosh Khanam – Kota District – 87% - Cash prize of 2222/-, Certification of achievement and a Trophy
    Sr. Level Winners:

    1. Altaf Khan - Jhalawar District – 97% - Cash prize of 5555/-, Certification of achievement and a Trophy

    2. A. I. Ajmad – Sawai Madhopur District – 95% - Cash prize of 3333/-, Certification of achievement and a Trophy

    3. Dilawar Khan – Jaipur District – 92% - Cash prize of 2222/-, Certification of achievement and a Trophy

    For complete result visit www.khaildaranjuman.com


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    By Saeed Naqvi, IANS,

    “Why is Mulayam Singh Yadav hacking his own support base?”

    The assumption behind the question is fairly straightforward. With the decline of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh, the state’s substantial Muslim population turned to Mulayam as its Messiah. Then why is he alienating his vote bank in Muzaffarnagar with such diligence?

    To begin with, how did he become a leader of Muslims?

    As soon as Rajiv Gandhi became prime minister in 1984, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) launched an agitation to “liberate” Ram Janmbhoomi or the birthplace of Lord Rama in Ayodhya.

    How to take the wind out of the VHP sails? Advised by his cousin, Arun Nehru, the prime minister proceeded to please the Hindus by opening the locks of the temple for worshipers.

    Once that happened, the Sangh Parivar mounted the next phase of the campaign to have 275,000 shilas or bricks to be consecrated in village temples and carried to Ayodhya from all parts of India for the construction of the Ram temple. Having come so far on the saffron track, should Rajiv Gandhi turn back?

    A nervous prime minister proceeded to permit the brick laying ceremony or “shila nyas” for a massive Ram Temple in Ayodhya. This was despite the court order prohibiting construction on ground which was claimed by both Muslims and Hindus. The Muslims were angry once again.

    That the Congress was now almost shy of its secular platform became clear when Rajiv Gandhi turned up in Ayodhya to launch the party’s 1989 election campaign. He promised “Ram Rajya”, the Indian utopia.

    For his flip-flops, Rajiv Gandhi was punished by the Indian voter. From 415 seats in a house of 543, he brought the party down to 197 seats.

    What Rajiv Gandhi had merely initiated, P.V. Narasimha Rao perfected. The 1991 election had brought him to power but not given him a majority. BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a good friend. With Ayodhya as an issue of common interest, he was able to work out an entente with the Sangh Parivar which ensured his survival until 1996. In sullen silence, Muslims watched Congress turn saffron positive. It was part of this unstated entente that he did not impose President’s rule in Uttar Pradesh despite intelligence reports that Babri Masjid was in danger of being demolished. On Dec 6, 1992, the history of secular India changed.

    After the demolition, there was no question of any Muslim support for the Congress.

    It was during the spell of Muslim disenchantment with the Congress that Mulayam Singh Yadav came to power on the simple formula - Muslim plus Yadav plus bits and pieces from here and there.

    Since the Congress in its present state is a threat to nobody, Mulayam may be forgiven for having become a little careless in Muzaffarnagar.

    In any case, controlled communal tension is useful in ensuring continued Muslim support. Fear of the BJP is a requirement for both, the Congress and the Samajwadi party, to keep their Muslim vote bank in line. In Muzaffarnagar, this game of vote bank management appears to have gone out of control. Difficult to believe, though, that Mulayam did not know that planning for a major riot in Western Uttar Pradesh has been on for months.

    Now, he has fallen back on a new contract system which has evolved in several states to manage vote banks in moments of crisis. Near Muzaffarnagar, happens to be the famous Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind seminary at Deoband. The head of Deoband, Maulana Arshad Madani, has mobilized volunteers to manage the relief camps. He is fully supportive of riot victims signing the affidavit that they will accept Rs.500,000 as compensation on the condition that they will never return to their villages.

    So, the Maulana and Mulayam, hand in hand, are happily institutionalizing apartheid in an area once known for Hindu-Muslim amity.

    It is a perfect arrangement. Mulayam has his grip on the vote bank through the reliable agency of the clergy. The congregation of the riot victims will bask in the Maulana’s benediction. The Maulana is in clover on several counts. He can count now on state support for everything. Also his place already secure in paradise, he will now make assurance doubly sure by administering therapeutic doses of faith on the battered congregation.

    I suppose Mulayam is entitled to his Walter Mitty reveries. But a word of caution.

    Is he aware that over 10,000 AAP volunteers are linking up on the social media in Lucknow?

    (03.01.14. A senior commentator on diplomatic and political affairs, Saeed Naqvi can be reached on saeednaqvi@hotmail.com. The views expressed are personal.)


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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : A court here Friday sent Indian Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and his aide to seven days police custody in connection with September 2010 Jama Masjid terror attack case.

    Additional Sessions Judge Daya Prakash allowed Delhi Police's plea seeking custodial interrogation of Bhatkal and his close aide Asadullah Akhtar, both accused in the case which came days before the Commonwealth Games here.

    Police told the court that two accused are required for questioning for their alleged involvement in the case in which police found a pressure cooker bomb planted in a car. However, the blast had not taken place due to some circuit problems in the bomb.

    Police said that on Sep 19, 2010, two bikers had fired upon tourists at the gate of Jama Masjid in old Delhi area and two Taiwanese had sustained bullet injuries while the bomb had also been placed to go off in the area.

    Defence counsel M.S. Khan opposed the police plea seeking custodial interrogation, noting his clients had been in custody for quite a long time. In the name of national security, remand should not be granted further as both of the accused had nothing more to disclose, he added.

    The accused were produced before court after expiry of their police custody in connection with Sep 13, 2008 Delhi serial blasts case.


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    By TCN News,

    Bhopal: Hyderabad-based Maulana Azad National Urdu University-Civil Services Examination), Residential Coaching Academy (MANUU-CSE) has invited applications from minorities and women aspirants eligible for CSE 2014, Prelims (PRM14) to be held on 24th August, 2014, for Free Residential Coaching Programme at MANUU, Gachibowli, Hyderabad from February 7th.

    According to a Press release issued by Prof. (Dr.) Wadud-ul-Huq Siddiqui, Principal of local College of Teacher Education, affiliated to MANUU, at a nominal fee of Rs.1,725/- for registration, library and health services and Rs.3,000/- (refundable deposit) will be charged.

    Entrance Test will be held on January 19 at seven centres namely- Srinagar, Lucknow, Bhopal, Patna, Bidar, New Delhi and Hyderabad (subject to availability of sufficient number of applicants at any particular centre). Interview shall be held on February 03. The last date of submission of application forms is January 13. Admission will be based on merit of Entrance Test & Interview, the release said.

    Detailed information and Application Form may be downloaded from www.manuu.ac.in or obtained from the Academy. Filled in forms along with DD for Rs.200/- from any Nationalised Bank, in favour of MANUU, payable at Hyderabad, should reach on or before January 13, 2014. Twenty per cent of the total selected students will be given stipend of Rs.2,000/- per month on merit cum means and other laid down criteria.


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    BY IANS,

    New Delhi : Former minister Haroon Yusuf was Friday appointed as the new Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader in the Delhi assembly.

    "The party high command has decided Yusufji will be our new CLP leader. We hope that he will guide us for good," a Congress legislator told IANS.

    Yusuf, a five-time legislator from Ballimaran, was the strongest contender for the post. Mateen Ahmed was also in the fray.

    After former minister Arvinder Singh Lovely being named the state chief, this is the second major appointment in the Congress's Delhi unit which was reduced to eight members in the assembly, from 43, after the December assembly elections.

    Lovely and Yusuf were the only two ministers of the Sheila Dikshit government to win.

    Yusuf, the former power minister, is said to be close to Dikshit.


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