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Indian Muslim

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    By IANS,

    Kolkata : West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday hit out at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for giving a clean chit to the erstwhile Left Front government in the Nandigram police firing case which had claimed 14 lives in 2007.

    "Only six low-ranking police officers have been named while those who had ordered the firing have not been named. I have said I will take action against all those who at the behest of (then chief minister) Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had carried out the orders," said Banerjee at a party rally here.

    Asserting that those at the top responsible for giving the orders will be punished, Banerjee accused the CBI of being influenced by the Congress and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

    "Those at the top, those responsible for the orders, they will be punished... The matter is not so easy, the game is not that easy. The Congress Bureau of Investigation and the CPI-M Bureau of Investigation will not decide matters," she added.

    The Left Front regime's plans to acquire 10,000 acres of land in East Midnapore's Nandigram, about 125 km from here, for a special economic zone (SEZ) triggered violent agitation spearheaded by Banerjee's Trinamool Congress which eventually resulted in the death of 14 farmers in police firing March 14, 2007.

    Following the firing, a bench of Calcutta High Court had said the "police firing was wholly unconstitutional", and asked CBI to investigate it.

    But the central agency in its charge sheet, submitted to additional chief judicial magistrate (Haldia) in December 2013, said: "It has been established that the assembly was an unlawful assembly as declared by the executive magistrate and they obstructed public servants in performing legal duty."

    CPI-M politburo member Surjya Kanta Mishra had Wednesday charged the Trinamool of "double standards" and asserted that the findings of the CBI vindicated its stand that the developments leading to the Nandigram firing, seven years back, were a "conspiracy" against the then Left Front regime.

    "The charge sheet is a proof that the accusation that Bhattacharjee had ordered the police firing is baseless," said Mishra, leader of opposition in the state assembly.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : A Delhi court Thursday directed Manipuri activist Irom Sharmila - dubbed the "Iron Lady" - to appear before it March 29 in a case of attempted suicide over her fast-unto-death at Jantar Mantar here in 2006.

    Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain issued the warrant against Sharmila after she failed to appear before the court.

    The testimony of the prosecution witness in the case is also being recorded.

    Sharmila is being detained in a security ward of a hospital in Manipur capital Imphal. She has been on a fast for about 12 years, demanding repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

    In March 2013, the court framed charges against the 40-year-old Sharmila for attempting suicide and put her on trial after she refused to plead guilty.

    Sharmila was present in the court in March 2013 and denied that she attempted suicide while fasting at Jantar Mantar in 2006.

    The court told her that the maximum punishment in the case was a few months to a year, and since she was in custody for more than six years, and if she pleads guilty, the case would be settled.

    But Sharmila refused to accept the charges, saying she has been protesting for the last 12 years in the "most non-violent way, like Mahatma Gandhi".

    She said she was fasting for the people of Manipur, as they are being neglected by the government, and requested the court not to ask her to appear before it taking into consideration her medical condition.

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    By IANS,

    Malout (Punjab) : Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Thursday said it was wrong to draw a parallel between the killing of innocents in 1984 anti-Sikh riots and the 2002 Gujarat riots.

    Talking to media persons here, over 250 km from Chandigarh, Badal said the Gujarat violence in 2002 took place after the killing of people in Godhra town whereas the Sikhs' carnage in Delhi and other places in 1984 was at the behest of the then Congress government at the centre.

    "Riots (like in Gujarat) are always a result of clash between two communities, whereas what happened in 1984 was a planned execution of Sikhs as the then union government had used all its might to kill Sikhs by targeting them," Badal said.

    "The central government had deliberately allowed the killings of Sikhs to take place by becoming a mute spectator to this dastardly act," he said, trying to defend the Gujarat government headed by Narendra Modi for the 2002 killings in Gujarat.

    Badal said that mobs led by Congress leaders had killed the innocent Sikhs in full public view, and added that several inquiry panels have indicted the Congress leaders for their role in the 1984 massacre.

    "Despite the evidence, the culprits of this heinous crime were still roaming free. Instead of taking any action against them, the Congress party has been rewarding them with the coveted posts," Badal said.

    Thousands of Sikhs were killed in various parts of India, especially in Delhi, in November 1984 in the aftermath of the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh bodyguards.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : The central overnment Thursday gave its approval to the amendment of the central list of Other Backwards Classes to ensure reservation benefits to around 60 castes/communities.

    The approval was given by the union cabinet based on the recommendations of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) for making amendments in the central list of OBCs with respect to 60 castes in 13 states, an official release said.

    The amendments will notify 115 changes recommended by the NCBC.

    The states where these castes and communities belong to are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal, and three Union Territories of Chandigarh, Delhi and Puducherry.

    "The proposed changes will enable people belonging to these castes/communities to avail benefits of reservation in government services and posts as well as in central educational institutions according to existing policy."

    "They will also become eligible for benefits under various welfare schemes and scholarships, being administered by the central government, which are at present available to persons belonging to the OBCs," the release said.

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    By IANS,

    Jammu : Jammu and Kashmir's People's Democratic Party (PDP) Thursday demanded re-opening of the alleged Pathribal staged shooting case so that the victims could be given justice.

    A delegation of the PDP led by party legislator from Shangus, (the assembly constituency where Pathribal forests are located in south Kashmir's Anantnag district), Peerzada Mansoor Hussain along with locals called on Governor N.N. Vohra here and demanded justice for the victims of Pathribal case, a party statement said.

    "The delegation demanded re-opening of the case and fresh investigation in a time-bound manner," it said.

    "Expressing his anger over the army closing the case, Peerzada Mansoor pointed out that this case has provided a window of opportunity to the state government as well as centre to provide justice to the people of Kashmir," it said.

    "He said the faith of the common masses has been badly shattered due to the closing of this case so it was need of the hour to re-investigate the case in a time-bound manner to revive faith of the people."

    Contending it was all due to the denial of justice and lack of transparency and accountability in the system that alienation among Kashmiris has been increasing, Mansoor insisted that all institutions, including the army and other security forces, should be made accountable. He urged the governor to take up this issue with the defence ministry, the statement said.

    Noting that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is visiting Jammu in the first week of February, he urged Vohra to convey the people's feeling to him.

    "Sharing their concern, the governor assured the delegation that he would convey their feeling and his own observations to the prime minister on this case. He also assured the delegation that he would take up this matter with the defence ministry," the statement added.

    Five people, termed foreign terrorists, were killed in the Pathribal forests by the security forces on March 25, 2000.

    There was a public outcry after the incident with locals alleging the slain persons were all local, unarmed civilians nabbed by the security forces.

    The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe indicted five army personnel in the case and presented the charge sheet against them in the court of the chief judicial magistrate in Srinagar.

    The army challenged the CBI jurisdiction in the Supreme Court, saying the CBI should have sought prior permission from the central government as its personnel were protected under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

    The army was asked by the apex court to carry out its own probe which recently said no prima facie case is made out against any of the accused personnel.

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    By TCN News,

    Jaipur: Khaildar Anjuman, Al Bayan Foundation and Al Falah Educational and welfare Society together for the first time in Rajasthan organized an online state level essay competition for the Muslim students of state in Junior and Senior categories. Event was a great success as a large number of students from the districts of Kota, Jhalawar, Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Jhunjhunu, etc participated in the competition.

    Prize distribution and appreciation ceremony for senior category was carried out on 30 December, 2013 at Sarvodaya Paramount School, Kota. Similarly for the Junior category a Prize Distribution Ceremony held at Mufeed e Aam School, Mandawa Town, Dist. Jhunjhunu on 26th January.

    Dr. Sajid Khan, Representative of Khaildar Anjuman (Shekhawati Area, Rajasthan), honored and welcome the Chief Guests for the Event Haji Wasid (Coordinator, Mandawa Citizens Council, Mumbai), chairperson Mr. Mohammad Iqbal Khatri (Leader, Congress Party), special guest Mr. Younus Khan (a Businessman, NRI, London Overseas) and Master Abdullah Khatri (Administrator, Mufeed e Aam School).

    Visitants and the Guest of the event appreciated the success and intelligence of students as well as the organizers for mobilizing such a Unique event also said that its’ a smart and bright use of Technology one could go through apart from many other which now a days our generation is in use to.

    Junior Category topper Miss Sabina Khatri was awarded with 5555/- cash prize along with trophy. All other merit rank winners were also honored with trophies and shields.
    To celebrate this huge success parents also happily accompanied students.
    Event concluded with a vote of thanks by Dr. Sajid khan.

    Mr. Ziyaul Islam, Chief Khaildar Anjuman Rajasthan said that Khaildar Anjuman is highly conscious and has a long term target for the upliftement of education and education System and the online essay competition is a beginning. In the upcoming future Khalidar Anjum is scheduling for some workshops on How to write and How to Become a Good Writer and many such more workshops.

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    By Hassan Zia Rizvi,,

    Lucknow: After the last year’s success of Lucknow literary festival, its 2nd edition will have international delegates and litterateurs along with the cultural programs and book launches.

    At the press conference on 30 January, Luv Bhargava, the Chairman of the Festival has announced that the festival will be an effort to bring forth the delight of 6 languages (Hindi, Urdu, English, Awadhi, Sanskrit & Persian) and the heritage of Lucknow.

    Shamim Arzoo of Lucknow society said that ‘Munshi Newal Kishore’ will be the theme of this festival whose contribution to literature in 19th and 20th century is one of the largest in the continent. Munshi Newal Kishore Press was the first printing press of Lucknow and ‘Awadh Akbhar’ started in 1858 by Munshi Newal Kishore was the first newspaper from Lucknow.

    This two day festival will witness a diverse continuum of novelists, playwrights, poets, screenwriters, journalists, lyricists, bloggers which usher in the revival of the city’s literary culture like Shabana Azmi, Roop Rekha Verma, Bina Ramani, Jaishree Mishra, Gopal Das Neeraj, Gulzar Dehelvi, Munawwar Rana etc.

    Nirmal Darshan, Director of Programme, informed that the authors of various languages from all over the globe are attending the festival. 14 International delegates include Raza Naeem from Pakistan who has come all the way from Lahore in Bus who interacted with journalists and said, “I am thankful to Lucknow Society for inviting me and will also try to gather Indians in Lahore Literature festival”.

    Other delegates are Tomoko Kekuchi ( Japan , ) Malcolm Spiers ( US ), Jatinder Singh ( UK ), Natalia Hildner ( US ), M J Warsi ( US ), Veena Talwar Oldenburg ( US ), Jawaid Danish ( Canada ), Sehba Ali (Canada ), Satya Verghese ( Bulgaria), Pranesh Prasad ( Australia ), Vikram Mani Tripathi ( Nepal ), William Letford ( Scottland ), Pornpen Hantrakool ( Thailand ).

    US Embassy is also participating through its magazine SPAN. Special focus on the involvement of children and youth will also be taken care in the festival. Story telling session and cartoon workshop along with panel discussions and various interactive sessions for youth are part of festival. Wish tree would be there to help under privileged children.

    There will also be an entertainment quotient to the festival which will highlight Lucknow through cultural events like Kathak on 1st day by Natalia Hilder who is from US and learned Kathak from Pandit Birju Maharaj, Mushaira and Kavi Sammelan also on first day. 2nd day will witness Ghazal evening by Kailash Joshi & Shruti Shuka who will pay tribute to poets of Lucknow.

    Dastangoi will also be organized for the first time by 3 legends, Mahmood Farooqui, Darain Shahidi and Danish Husain.

    Atif Hanif, Director Marketing has informed that Documentary on Majaz will also be screened. The event will also enhance the irresistible appeal of the city’s rich architectural heritage through photo exhibition and carton exhibition by Shreyas Navare. It is an opportunity to bring in the traveller as well as the ‘literary tourist’ to Lucknow. Timings are from 10am to 10pm and the entry is absolutely free and there is no requirement of any pass / ticket.

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    By TCN News,

    Kishanganj, Bihar: Amidst great fervor and enthusiasm, UPA Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi today laid down the foundation stone of AMU Kishanganj Centre at AMU Centre’s land in Chakla village of the district. Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Mr. Pallam Raju, Bihar Governor, Dr. D. Y. Patil, Bihar Chief Minister, Shri Nitish Kumar and Bihar Minister of Education, P. K. Shahi was also present on the occasion.

    Addressing the people, Sonia Gandhi assured that allocated fund for the centre will be released soon. She said that she will see that the development process in the centre is not marred by any fund crisis. She assured of full help on her part.

    AMU Vice Chancellor Lt. Gen. Shah welcoming Mrs. Sonia Gandhi at the Foundation Stone Laying ceremony of AMU Kishanganj Centre.

    On this occasion, Mrs Gandhi interacted with the people. A large number of people gathered to witness the celebration with great enthusiasm and joy.

    Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar said that he had allocated a contiguous land two years ago but the Centre took time to release the required fund for its establishment. He however expressed happiness that everything was fine and it was hoped that the Centre would immediately release the fund so that the construction work on this land commences soon. He urged the University to get the boundary wall of the land constructed at the earliest.

    Earlier, welcoming the guests, AMU Vice Chancellor, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Udin Shah expressed gratitude to the state and central governments for their support and assistance in making the AMU Kishanganj Centre a reality. He thanked the Bihar Chief Minister, Shri Nitish Kumar for allocating the required land and providing building for starting the B. Ed. course. He hoped that Bihar government would continue to provide help and assistance in infrastructure development of the centre.

    Education Minister of Bihar, Shri P. K. Shahi urged the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Pallam Raju to arrange more funds for the AMU Kishanganj Centre and start professional courses.

    Mrs. Sonia Gandhi at the foundation stone laying ceremony of AMU Kishanganj Centre.

    Kishanganj MP and the soul of the Kishanganj centre movement, Maulana Asrarul Haque Qasmi thanked the Centre and state governments and appreciated the role of Shri Nitish Kumar in providing land for the centre. He assured all help to the centre from his side.

    Pervez Siddiqui, Secretary, Sir Syed Minority Foundation presented a memorandum to Sonia Gandhi for restoration of Minority Status of AMU. Mr. Mohd. Aslam of Human Chain presented bouquets to Mrs. Gandhi, Nitish Kumar and AMU Vice Chancellor, Lt. Gen. Shah and thanked them for making Kishanganj Centre a reality.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Hyderabad: Congress whip in Rajya Sabha Mohd Ali Khan has been re-nominated by the party from Andhra Pradesh for a second consecutive election to the upper house. But internal regional rivalry in state congress has already started to gloom over biennial election.

    Elections are on for 55 Rajya Sabha seats in 16 states. Six seats are falling vacant in Andhra Pradesh. Congress playing a safe game nominated all three sitting Rajaya Sabha members T. Subbarami Reddy, K.V.P. Ramchander Rao and M.A. Khan.

    M.A. Khan

    TDP has filed two nominations, while TRS fielded Keshav Rao a former senior congress leader who has changed sides over Telangana issue last year.

    Congress got a huge blow when the threats from SeemaAndhra congress MLA’s over the plank of United Andhra took a shape of open rebellion, two of its leaders filed nominations with MLA’s support without party’s authorization.

    Congress MLC K.V. Satyanarayana Raju alias Chaitanya Raju and MLA Adala Prabhakar Reddy filed their papers as party rebels, creating influx for three official candidates of Congress.

    But Mr. M.A. Khan seems unconcerned about the rebellion on the regional lines, “It will not affect me in any way,” he tells in confidence, “I am the only party nominee from Telangana so all the Congress Telangana MLA’s will vote for me,” he told TCN.

    Earlier congress party was holding 5 out of 6 seats which are going to polls, but this time around congress hopes to wrestle out at least 3 seats. M.A. Khan is party’s nominee from Telangana and he candidly agreed that even Rajya Sabha elections are getting fought on regional divide in Andhra Pradesh but that he believes will give his nomination more boost.

    Mr. M.A. Khan who can’t even think of getting any votes from nearly 100 Seema Andhra Congress MLAs is banking heavily on 43 Telangana congresses MLAs.

    But giving him a challenge is TRS nominee Keshav Rao who unlike M.A. Khan was vocal on Telangana issue and as a former senior central congress leader enjoys immense clout over many Telangana congress MLAs.

    Another is TDP nominee G. Mohan Rao who also belongs to Telangana region and in the game of single transferable voting system can make difference for Mr. Khan.

    Due to break up of alliance MIM with 7 MLAs in the assembly is likely to support TRS nominee over Congress Muslim candidate who also hails from old Hyderabad.

    But M.A. Khan claims that his election will be a cake walk, “I have support of 50 MLAs”, he said apart from flaunting his closeness with central congress leadership.

    Mr. Khan who was president of Andhra Pradesh Congress Seva Dal, Chairman of Society for Employment Promotion & Training in Twin Cities (SETWIN), and former director of Andhra Bank, prefer to call himself an Aam Aadmi. “I came from grass roots as common congress worker all our party leaders know my struggle they will never let me down in the assembly,” he said.

    February 7th voting in the assembly will settle Mr. Khan’s fate will his loyalty to congress high command makes his path easy or his obscure silence over Telangana issue cost him the allegiance of region’s MLAs.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : The Supreme Court Friday stayed the execution of the death sentence of 1993 Delhi bomb blast convict Devender Pal Singh Bhullar and issued notice to the Centre on his petition seeking commuting of his death sentence to life imprisonment.

    The plea for commuting the death sentence to life imprisonment is on the grounds of inordinate delay by the president in deciding his mercy plea and the state of his mental health.

    The apex court bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam, Justice R.M. Lodha, Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya, while staying the execution of Bhullar's death sentence, also issued notice to the Delhi government.

    The court asked Delhi-based Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences to examine Bhullar and submit a report on his state of mental health within a week.

    At the outset of the hearing, the judges inquired if they could hear the grounds raised by Bhullar for revisiting the verdict on his death sentence in a curative petition.

    The court said curative petition could only be made if there was a miscarriage of justice or direct or indirect bias in the verdict sought to be re-looked.

    The court said that in this situation, a member of Bhullar's family should file an independent petition.

    Bhullar was represented in the case by senior counsel K.T.S. Tulsi.

    Bhullar's curative petition came for hearing Friday as Chief Justice Sathasivam, Justice Lodha, Justice Dattu and Justice Mukhopadhaya, after considering it in the chamber Jan 28, decided to hear it in the open court Jan 31.

    Chief Justice Sathasivam had Jan 24 directed the hearing of Bhullar's plea Jan 28 after senior counsel Tulsi had told the court that the curative petition was pending since September 2013.

    Tulsi had also told the court that the April 12, 2013, order declining commutation of Bhullar's death sentence to life imprisonment on the grounds that he was convicted under the terror law doesn't hold in the light of a recent three-judge verdict.

    The bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh Jan 21, had ruled that delay in deciding the mercy petition by the president and mental illness of death row convict are grounds for commuting death sentence to life imprisonment.

    The court by its Jan 21 verdict had held that insanity/mental illness/schizophrenia could be the grounds for seeking commutation of death sentence to life imprisonment.

    The three-judge bench had also said that while commuting the death sentence to life imprisonment on grounds of inordinate delay in deciding the mercy petition by the president, the court's decision would not be coloured by the consideration whether the person on death row was convicted under the provision of Indian Penal Code or the terror law TADA.

    The court, while upsetting the earlier judgment of April 12, 2013, in respect of Bhullar, had said: "We are of the view that unexplained delay is one of the grounds for commutation of sentence of death into life imprisonment and the said supervening circumstance is applicable to all types of cases including the offences under TADA. The only aspect the courts have to satisfy is that the delay must be unreasonable and unexplained or inordinate at the hands of the executive."

    The apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi (since retired) and Justice Mukhopadhaya by its April 12, 2013, verdict while rejecting Bhullar's plea for commuting his death sentence into life imprisonment had said: "If the enormity of the crime is such that a large number of innocent people are killed without rhyme or reason, the exercise of power by the President or the Governor, as the case may be, not to entertain the prayer for mercy in such cases cannot be characterized as arbitrary or unreasonable and the Court cannot exercise power of judicial review only on the ground of undue delay."

    In the case of Bhullar it was repeatedly contended that not only was there delay in deciding his mercy petition but he was also mentally ill undergoing treatment in a mental hospital.

    It has also been said that the apex court verdict confirming his death sentence was a split verdict confirming his death sentence.

    Bhullar was given capital punishment for the 1993 blast at the Youth Congress office, a stone's throw from Parliament House in Delhi, which left nine people dead.

    The attack was targeted against then Youth Congress leader M.S. Bitta.

    The court has directed the listing of Bhullar's curative plea Feb 19.

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    By Dr. Syed Ahmed for,

    Imphal: The Muslim civil society organizations in Manipur resolved to boycott Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to Imphal on February 8. The decision was taken at a public meeting held at Hotel Classic, Imphal on January 30, 2014.

    The open discussion, jointly organized by Jamiat-ul-Ulema, Manipur (Arshad Madani group) and Muslim Social Workers’ Union (MSWU), was attended by the representatives of many Muslim civil society organizations and leaders. Jamiat President Maulana Moinuddin Qasmi and Vice-President Maulana Heshamuddin Azad, and President of MSWU Advocate Abdul Qaiyum graced the meeting.

    The meeting discussed the scheduled visit of Narendra Modi to Imphal next month, besides various issues that concern the Muslim community. The meeting resolved to boycott Narendra Modi’s visit considering his anti-minority activities specially the 2002 Gujarat riots in which thousands of Muslims were massacred and tortured. The meeting further noted that the beautiful and secular State of Manipur should not tarnish its image by allowing a highly communal politician like Narendra Modi to set foot here.

    The meeting also resolved to boycott all the Muslim leaders who have been working hard to help Narendra Modi become the Prime Minister of the country.

    The meeting also conveyed gratitude to UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, AICC Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, All India Congress Committee (AICC) Political Secretary Ahmed Patel, Chief Minister O Ibobi and Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) President Gaikhangam and all the members of the Manipur Legislative Assembly for nominating a senior Muslim Congress leader Haji Abdul Salam as the Rajya Sabha MP from the State.

    Several other Muslim civil society organizations also expressed their gratitude to the Congress leaders at the Centre and the State for nominating Haji Abdul Salam as the Rajya Sabha MP.

    Altogether, 14 Muslim organizations of the State gathered for a press conference at Manipur Press Club on January 30, 2014 and expressed their gratitude to Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh, MPCC President Gaikhangam and all the Ministers and MLAs for nominating Haji Abdul Salam as MP.

    Speaking on behalf of the 14 organizations, the Convener of All Manipur Muslim Organizations' Coordinating Committee (AMMOCOC) S.M. Jalal said the organizations had resolved to withdraw the threat to boycott the coming Lok Sabha elections for the Outer and Inner Parliamentary Constituencies as the State Congress had fulfilled their demand.

    Haji Abdul Salam has created history by becoming the first Muslim MP from the State. He is a veteran politician of Manipur. He had represented the State Assembly and held different portfolios as Minister. He was also the Vice-President of MPCC and Member of AICC. He held many other prestigious posts, including the Chairman of Manipur State Haj Committee. We hope that he will understand the aspiration of the people of this State and work to fulfill the aspirations, Jalal added.

    As per the programme charted out by the BJP Manipur, Narendra Modi is going to land at Tulihal Airport, Imphal in a special flight at 10 am of February 8. He will be escorted to Langjing Achouba Playground by 2000 motor bikes and address a public meeting at the Playground. He will be returning the same day.

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    By Abdul Hannan Siwani Nadvi,

    The last few years have been full of ‘revolutions’, wars and anti-corruption movements. A sense of anger against ruling classes is seen widely among common men during these periods. Among these disturbances, the world witnessed one revolution and a small movement that changed the political scenario of few countries.

    The revolution came in some parts of the Arab world while the second one was seen in India. Both have various similarities: The corrupt system, corruption, unemployment, wishful promises and sense of desperation among youths. All these elements added the fuel to the flame converting it into a mass movement called "Arab Revolution".

    Did both movements achieve their targets? The spring: "Arab Revolution" did not achieve the aims that had caused it to a mass movement. The situation of the countries that passed through the wave of general people anger is made so difficult, common man had never imagined it – with the possible exception of perhaps Tunisia. Syria can be viewed as an example of the worse scenario the common people have been viewing it for long times with no sign of relief on the ground in near future.

    The second spring that had started few years ago in India, known as an anti-graft movement, made some progress when its leaders with huge public support managed to form government in Delhi, capital of India. Some demands of general people of Delhi have been fulfilled in a very short time while the rest would be fulfilled soon.

    A party formed in the backdrop of anti- graft movement that did not exist few years ago forms the government for the first time in Delhi. This historical event takes place without any display of weapons. No war, no mass murder, and no policy of revenge even this movement gets a new name "Aam Admi Party".

    Though the emergence of AAP in recently held Assembly election in Delhi had shocked the political classes of India but it never caused to any violence, even no demand is raised for the cancellation of the election.

    Everyone inside and outside political classes not only hailed this change but also extended his support to this newly born party.

    Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi whose Congress party faced a massive defeat in various states in the last Assembly Election accepted the results, they accepted the decision of people of India, and moreover, they extended their support to this new party and vowed to learn from the previous mistakes in order to get public confidence and support once again.

    Various political and non-political sectors too welcomed this result happily though the ideological differences remained dominated.

    The story of the other side is very horrific, heinous and dangerous. Look at Muslim countries. Leaders are being hanged, oppositions are being hounded, one sided election is being held. Police and other government institutions are being used to crush the opponents whether public support this move or not. All are happening because of ideological differences, one can see the unwillingness in the rise of the other classes of society in Muslim countries.

    Signs of destruction in those countries are even beyond our imaginations. The revolution or movement in India has a lesson for many reasons. Indian democratic process can be considered as an example for those who don’t want to sit on the chairs of opposition. With having little natural resources and many challenges on various fronts, India's move to the path of development never stopped. India is a nuclear country. This achievement was not so easy. Every day's agitation, demonstration and anti-government's rallies cannot prevent India from making progress.

    All these achievements are made because India's democratic system is much appealing to general people. If ideological differences caused too many violence and extra judicial killings in Muslim countries, India stands as a sole country where various classes of communities with some difficulties have been living together pursuing to make their future better. India is a station of hundreds and thousands of ideologies who enjoy equal rights freedom and a space in government, parliament and in democratic process with the existence of huge ideological differences among various sects of society.

    India passes through a change after every five year either on state level or central level. After every five year, India experiences changes in governments, administration and Parliament without any war, murder or mass execution. How does it happen?

    No doubt, Indian minorities specially Muslim community face some difficulties and have various complaints against governments, however, Indian democratic process, government, judiciary as well as other activities as of now are unique and supportive to each class.

    The point is, India dominates in all sectors around the world due to the flexibility in its system trying to give opportunities to other sectors in order to make India strong from all corners, while Muslim countries have been languishing behind as they reject and refuse to bring flexibility in their systems with the acceptance of the ideologies of the other classes too.

    In this era, when wishes of general people are a top priority of each government, governments in Muslim countries are away from the public supports seizing themselves into men made cages with no willing to walk out of their cages, resulting destruction, unemployment ad disturbances.

    The outcome of it is that a small movement changes Indian society in a very short time while a huge revolution is unable to be fruitful on the ground in the Muslim world, why?

    (Auhtor is currently in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and can be contacted )

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: Professor M. Ishtiaq of Department of Geography, Jamia Millia Islamia has been appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of Magadh University, Bihar.

    Prof. M Ishtiaq has more than 32 years of teaching experience and has written a number of books. His research papers and articles have been widely published in journals, newspapers, and magazines. He has also been an active member of various Societies and Associations in his field and has also conducted several projects. Prof Ishtiaq has also been a member of several committees both within and outside Jamia. He has also held many key administrative positions in Jamia Millia Islamia.

    In a statement, Jamia administration congratulated Prof Ishtiaq and extended well wishes for his new stint.

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    By Rahul Dass, IANS,

    New Delhi : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's politically influential son Sajeeb Wazed has said that only a few Western countries have criticised the general election in the country due to their "own agenda" and wondered why the US was supporting a party that is "allied with Islamic terrorists".

    "Our elections have not been criticized by the world. On the contrary, most countries including Russia, China and India among others, have congratulated our government. It has only been a few western countries that have criticized, but that is due to their own agenda," Wazed told IANS in an email interview from Dhaka.

    "They (West) are trying to give the BNP (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) veto power over a free and fair election, which would be very damaging for democracy. At the end of the day the elections have to be acceptable to the people of Bangladesh, which they have been," he said and pointed out how the prime minister made "a huge concession in proposing an interim all party government and the BNP was offered any ministries they wanted in this interim government".

    "The compulsion was a constitutional one. If no elections were held by Jan 24 then we would be in an unconstitutional situation, which no one wanted," he said.

    India-educated Wazed, 43, who is largely considered a successor to Sheikh Hasina, though he does not hold any official position, said that both the American and British governments have been quite supportive of the ruling Awami League.

    "It appears to be only the US Embassy in Dhaka that is pushing for new elections, but that is driven more by personal relationships rather than any logical policy. For the US to support a party that is allied with Islamic terrorists and is conducting arson attacks on innocent bystanders and atrocities on minorities against a popular party that is secular and has successfully stopped terrorism makes no logical sense," he stated.

    He alleged that Jamaat has spent $25 million lobbying in the US alone against these trials. "Who knows how much they have spent in Europe? So what you are hearing is a paid opinion. It is not legitimate criticism," he said dismissing Western criticism.

    Wazed is the grandson of Bangladesh's founding father and first president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. His mother and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is the chairperson of Bangladesh's ruling Awami League party, which returned to power in the country for the second consecutive term. The Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League won 232 seats, securing a three-fourths majority in the 10th parliamentary elections on Jan 5 that were marred by the BNP-led 18-party opposition boycott.

    This was the third time that Hasina took over as premier in the last two decades since Bangladesh returned to democracy from military rule. Hasina first came to power in 1996 and then defeated Zia in the 2008 elections.

    India's policy, said Wazed, was "not to interfere in what was a domestic matter" and "we appreciate it".

    Wazed, who is better known by his nickname Joy, insists he doesn't have "any plans to get involved in politics directly this term". He helps manage the Awami League's political activities and says he will continue on his "Digital Bangladesh vision".

    What about the criticism in Western circles that the international tribunal that tried the 1971 war criminals and sentenced to death Jamaat leaders, lacked legitimacy?

    "That is not correct. The criticism has been that some of the tribunal processes do not meet international standards, which western countries themselves have changed over the years. Not once have they said that the trials are not legitimate and these people are not guilty.

    "It is basic jurisprudence that you cannot apply recent law to a past crime. As you point out, they oppose the death penalty but many western countries used the death penalty until very recently and the US still does, so that argument is not valid," he said.

    Wazed criticised Begum Khaleda Zia's politically rising son Tariqur Rahman, saying that his statement against the 1972 (secular) constitution "demonstrates his lack of belief in constitutional processes and elected democracy. It also demonstrates his and his party's ongoing opposition to the sovereignty of Bangladesh itself. This is supremely unpatriotic and treasonous".

    He went on to say that Rahman has "several cases against him in various stages of the legal process, including for murder and terrorism for his involvement in the grenade attack on my mother on Aug 21, 2004. His first trial ended recently with him being acquitted for corruption but his accomplice was convicted.

    "We have appealed his acquittal and it will go through the legal process. He will be tried for all remaining charges as well."

    Are you open to another election if the opposition comes around?

    "We are certainly open to discussions but have two conditions. First, there can be absolutely no violence whatsoever.

    "Second, they have to break their alliance with Jamaat-e-Islami, which is a party of war criminals that opposed our liberation and we believe is a terrorist organization. This time the onus is completely on the BNP," he said.

    He, however, added that there is "absolutely no reason for us to hold early elections and we have a constitutional mandate for five years".

    Reminsicing about his days in India, Wazed said that at Nainital he was in "a very strict missionary boarding school, very regimented and disciplined. It taught me a lot of self-discipline which has served me well".

    "Kodaikanal was a much more relaxed, easy place after that. The educational standard was very high and I'm very competitive by nature so it suited me well. In Bangalore I was in college and living on independently for the first time. That was quite challenging at first, living on your own in a big city when you are 18."

    (Rahul Dass can be contacted at

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    By IANS,

    Dubai : An Indian national, convicted of murdering his sponsor in Saudi Arabia, has been executed, media reported citing the country's interior ministry Friday.

    Muhammad Latif was beheaded in the country's capital Riyadh Thursday after he was convicted by a court of killing his sponsor Dhafir Al-Dossari by hitting him with an iron pipe during a dispute and then hiding the body in an abandoned well.

    The court had earlier postponed the execution because the sons of the sponsor were minors and waited till they were old enough to agree with the verdict.

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    By TCN News,

    Ajmer: The Dargah (shrine) of 12th century Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti attract devotees in thousands every day.

    The puritan form of Islam – the Salafis, as well as the Deobandis of South Asia - deride the Sufi cult following, and consider it as biddat (addition to religion), while for the followers Sufism, the ‘holy’ soul of the enlightened and beloved saints figuratively becomes a ladder to reach out to the Almighty.

    Dargahs became the symbol on syncretic culture, as people of all faith throng the shrine and pray for salvations as well as to fulfil their wishes. TCN recently visited the Dargah of Khwaja Gharib Nawaz.

    Delhi Gate.

    Beggars on street leading to the Dargah.

    The main entrance of the Shrine of Gharib Nawaz.

    Langars (community feat) is prepared in large degs (cauldron) for the visiting devotees.

    Darul Uloom Moinia Islamia.

    Devotees doing ablutions before the prayer.

    The main Dome housing the shrine of Gharib Nawaz.

    The entrance through which Khwaja Gharib Nawaz used to enter, now symbolically considered as gateway to Paradise.

    A Khadim explaining the significance of Dargah to visiting devotees.

    Beghami Dalan (Queen’s courtyard named so as it was commissioned by Mughal Queen Noor Jahan)

    Mazar of Bibi Sahiban (Wives of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti)

    Dargah is one place where people of all faiths, old and young, men and women all visit together.

    Khadims taking a break.

    Masjid Auliya built by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

    [Photos: Mudassir Rizwan, Text: M Reyaz]


    "Aate jaao, maangte jaao, dete jaao": Business of spiritualism at Ajmer Dargah

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    By IANS,

    Dubai : Police in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh have arrested 700 illegal expatriates, including Indian nationals.

    Police said that those arrested in Wednesday's raids included runaways, workers with forged documents and others facing criminal charges from Yemen, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, the Arab News reported Friday.

    Around 200 vendors of vegetables and fruits, 12 wanted men, and a group of bootleggers were also arrested in a major crackdown in Al-Unooz district in the capital of the country.

    Prior to the raids, police cordoned off the area to prevent suspects from running away.

    The police arrested 9,000 illegal workers -- mainly Asians from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka -- during other raids in the Hai Al-Wazarah area in the city.

    Several shops, restaurants were also raided and Egyptian, Indian, Sudanese and Pakistani workers were arrested.

    Prince Khaled bin Bandar, governor, and Prince Turki bin Abdullah, deputy governor of Riyadh province ordered the operation.

    The raids are being conducted by police in cooperation with various security and government agencies, including the ministry of commerce, the passports department and the Saudi Red Crescent Authority.

    The police arrested 19,425 illegal workers over the past three months in the country's eastern province.

    “The local police department is seeking everyone’s cooperation in reporting violators to stop this phenomenon,” Ziad Al-Ruqaiti, a police officer was quoted as saying.

    Police arrested 1,900 labour law violators in a single week in the province a week ago.

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    By IANS,

    Chandigarh : A group of four Kashmiri girls, studying engineering in a Punjab college, claim to have developed an Android application (app) that will help their institution become a paper-free campus.

    The girls, pursuing an engineering degree course in Aryans College of Engineering near here, said official notices and other communication meant for students can be accessed by students of the institution from the app instead of checking the paper notices.

    The students -- Rumaisa, Zeenat, Sadiya and Yusra, all Bachelor of Technology students at Aryans -- are from the Kashmir Valley. They developed the app under the guidance of their teachers, especially head of department, projects, Manpreet Mann.

    "Notices intended for students belonging to the college will be uploaded in students' login. This has eliminated the need of notice boards in the college. All the official notices for the staff will be uploaded in the staff login.

    "The outsiders will be able to see all the necessary information about Aryans Group of Colleges and the updates about the events happening in the college," the girls told media here.

    Called the 'Aryans Android App', it can be downloaded on mobiles having Android version 2.3 and above.

    Complimenting the students for developing the app, Aryans Group of Colleges chairman Anshu Kataria said the students would be encouraged further for technological development.

    Kataria announced that the college has decided to sanction an amount of Rs.1 lakh to the students for any other joint project.

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    By IANS,

    Panaji : Peppered with flak in the social media, Hasiba Amin, the face of the Congress's pre-election TV commercial campaign, has said she is disgusted with efforts to spoil her image.

    "Disgusted with the campaign against me. Not a bit of it is true. Think of the girls in your family before you falsely spoil the image of a girl," she said via her Twitter and Facebook accounts, after facing accusations of backing a Congress leader with alleged drug mafia links in 2012 and seeking expulsion of a Congress youth leader for exposing police-politician-drug mafia nexus.

    Amin, 23, is the pro-youth, anti-corruption face of the Congress's first of many television commercials beamed nationwide and aimed against the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.

    At a press conference in February 2012, Amin, then the state chief of the party's students wing National Students Union of India (NSUI), called for the suspension of member Sunil Kawthankar, who had filed a police complaint naming then home minister Ravi Naik and several police officers as part of a drug mafia nexus.

    She had accused him of "completely tarnishing the NSUI name in Goa by making baseless allegations against Congress ministers".

    Kawthankar's allegations were, however validated, by a legislative committee report, which indicted Naik as well as several police officers, including Director General of Police Kishen Kumar, of having patronised the drug mafia in Goa.

    Contacted for comment, Amin told IANS that she was not at liberty to make any comment on the television campaign and that "only the Congress central media cell and its in-charge Ajay Maken are authorised for comment on the issue".

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    By Hamid Ali Khan,

    A dilemma of sorts is gripping the Indian Muslims these days. Communal riots are engineered to uproot and render them homeless. Sometimes, they are also alienated politically to deny them the fruits of development. These are the issues that affect the Muslims externally and internally and are discussed to find out solution to them. Steps are also taken to address these issues, though with little success. These efforts identify the plight of Muslims today but the other side of the picture is more horrendous as the challenges that confront the community defy a probable solution. Instead, external challenges are only getting more complex. Muslims in India are sitting on the horns of a dilemma and the confusion among them is worse compounded.

    Capitalising on their weakness, the opponents have grown stronger. Muslims have not only weakened internally and externally but have also lost the wisdom to close ranks. We refuse to unitedly put up a brave front in the face of the potential danger of being subjugated economically, socially and culturally. We fail to heed the advice of the Quran “to hold on to the rope of Allah together”, though we profess to be doing so. The distinction between utterances and practice has widened with no hope in sight of narrowing down. Acting against the spirit of the Quran, we have allowed ourselves to be divided into sects, groups and schools of thought and are unjustly nursing a grouse against our opponents for targetting us with their machinations.

    There is no denying the fact that the disagreement among Muslims can be surmounted with rapprochement. But to achieve it is an uphill task. Both the Quran and Hadith have stressed the need for unity among the believers as disunity weakens us. Identification of Muslims with their sects, subsects or schools of thought propels them to subserve their own interests, which is disadvantageous to the community as a whole.

    Efforts, made in furtherance of interests of one group or subgroup are transient and can not take the entire community too far. Whereas, we, being the followers of the Prophet (PBUH), have been assigned the job of promoting goodwill and fostering love and compassion among our brethren and among all humans. We owe a duty to the humanity to spread the message of Allah irrespective of caste, creed or colour. We are also ordained to review our actions and if found wanting on any score, should rectify them.

    Through the Quran, Allah hints at a group that could make a call for good deeds while abjuring misdeeds. This group is none else but our ulema, who are responsible for dealing with the internal as well as external weaknesses and for constructing a strong wall of protection that could be impregnable.

    This aspect requires deep thinking, but the scene obtaining today negates the very role of the ulema, who are expected to lead the
    Ummah. More often than not, certain incidents explain our vulnerability to the attack from opponents. Our enemy within is so strong that it could put the Satan to shame. This could be illustrated from a news item that appeared in a section of the press decrying a group of the ulema. This news caused uneasiness among the serious and conscientious leaders of the Ummah who were clueless about the purpose of the news. One is not sure if it was aimed at publicising Islam or character assassination. Will the skeletons in the cupboard of religious discourses buried in the books, be searched for character assassination and compartmentalising Indian Muslims into different beliefs? Was it necessary to air such differences into the open by striking at the roots of unity?

    Differences could have been brought to the fore within the parameters of unity in accordance with Islamic doctrine. Every Muslim has a right to dissent, but that should not violate basic norms of civility as determined by Islam. Islam always stood for the unity of the Ummah.

    The news has divided Muslims into different groups, with each group extolling its ulema and condemning the ulema belonging to other groups. This has only shown the hollowness of claims of unity among Muslims. An anecdote will explain the meaning of difference of opinion within unity. The Prophet (PBUH) of Allah offered salaat by joining the hands as well as without joining them together. The well-known Islamic scholar, Dr. Hamidullah, has explained that Allah so liked this practice of the Prophet (PBUH) that He preserved this through a diversity of schools of Islamic thought for ever.

    Thus the question arises, if Allah liked every practice of the Prophet (PBUH), why are we busy extolling ourselves and condemning others in the name of belief, establishing superiority of one school of Islamic thought over another. This negates the very tenets of Islam.

    It is time to bury the hatchet and work for unity among Muslims in the country. We appear to have shunned the teachings of the Quran by acting otherwise. The distinction between the teachings of the Quran and our actions betrays a lack of adherence to the Holy Book. Our behaviour is incompatible with the command to forge unity and create a universal Muslim brotherhood. The earlier we understand this the better. g


    The writer is a senior journalist.

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