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    The world community must hold Myanmar to account on its treatment of Muslims

    By Aijaz Zaka Syed,

    The United States says it’s concerned over the growing Islamophobia around the world. In its annual report on the state of political and religious freedom around the world, the State Department has denounced a sharp spike in anti-Muslim sentiment and violence: “Government restrictions, which often coincided with societal animosity, resulted in anti-Muslim actions that affected everyday life for numerous believers.” From Western nations like Belgium, home to European Parliament, where the veil is seen as the flag of invading Islamic armies, to emerging Asian giants China and India, many usual and unusual suspects find themselves in the dock.

    However, it is Burma or Myanmar, lately the scene of raging atrocities against Rohingya Muslims, that justifiably attracts the strongest censure. Senior officials and security forces are seen as openly fanning the wave of attacks that have killed hundreds and displaced hundreds of thousands. The persecution and witch hunt has been so overwhelming that the Rohingyas have been desperately trying to flee Burma using whatever means they could find but with little success.

    In latest attacks, now spread to northern state Shan, news agencies report of mobs armed with machetes, pipes and long bamboos attacking Muslim towns and burning down mosques, shops and homes while security forces stand and stare.

    The US report notes that Myanmar promotes Theravada Buddhism at the expense of other faiths. Which seems like a minor offence considering Burma sees Rohingyas as ‘illegal aliens’ despite their presence in the land for centuries. They do not exist and have no citizenship or rights whatsoever as far as the state is concerned.

    Interestingly, Secretary of State John Kerry released the damning report on the day President Obama hosted Myanmar President Thein Sein at White House. Sein is the first Burmese leader in nearly five decades to get the honour, marking a turnaround in relations with Washington and rest of the West. Obama created history of sorts last year when he visited the country that Washington still calls Burma.

    The US concern over the plight of Muslims is touching. Some would see it as typical US hypocrisy considering America’s own role in Muslim lands. Last week Obama once again tried to justify the drone terror that has since 2003 claimed nearly 4,000 lives in Pakistan alone.

    That aside, there’s no denying the fact that with every passing day the witch hunt of Myanmar’s Muslims is turning into an all-out war. And there’s increasing evidence to suggest that this targeting of Rohingyas at the hands of Buddhist extremists and militant monks enjoys the blessings of powers that be. The government has even stonewalled international relief efforts. President Sein has the audacity to blame the victims themselves. He told CNN’s Christiana Amanpour: “The trouble was started by criminal actions of some (read Muslims).”

    Entire neighbourhoods and villages have invited the Buddhist wrath for imagined slights such as the accidental brushing of a Rohingya woman with a monk. In March, dozens of Muslim students and teachers were roasted alive when their school was burnt down.

    These are but mere footnotes in the endless tragedy that is the Rohingya existence. Persecuted and hounded for the past several decades by a ruthless state and an increasingly jingoistic majority, they are strangers in their own land. Deprived of citizenship, they cannot even send their children to schools nor make use of essential government services.

    Recently, the ‘reformist’ government issued a new diktat forbidding Muslims in Rakhine province from having more than two children. This is something that even the Nazis and Zionists couldn’t have come up with.

    Is Myanmar part of the same planet that you and I inhabit? Is this still the 21stcentury or have we somehow whacked back in time? Is this the country that is supposed to be swept by winds of change and being warmly embraced by the international community? But then in an age ruled by Mammon, economic interest takes precedence over everything else. Who cares for a powerless people in an isolated land on the far side of the world anyway!

    His Holiness Dalai Lama, feted in world capitals as champion of world peace, is yet to break his silence on Myanmar--or Sri Lanka for that matter. As in Myanmar, the Bodu Bala Sena’s terror campaign against Lankan Muslims is led by the militant Buddhist monks and apparently enjoys the blessings of powers that be. After the Tamils, it’s time to discipline the other minority. Even democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has looked the other way while Rohingyas are hunted and killed like animals. She has criticised the two-child rule for Muslims as ‘discriminatory’ though.

    All this is unfortunate considering Muslim-Buddhist relations have historically been amicable. Islam and Buddhism have never been at war or in an ideological tussle. Buddha is hailed by Muslim poets as a messenger of peace. Perhaps the mindless, totally stupid destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas by the Taliban may have sown the seeds of discord.

    But there is a long history of the Rohingyas’ persecution and systematic dispossession. It goes way back--long before the military took over six decades ago. In recent months and years, it has crossed all limits even as the country flirts with democracy and cautiously opens up to the world after long years of isolation and backwardness.

    If the US, Europe, China and India are salivating over the large economic pie that is the mineral- and oil-rich Burma, it’s understandable. But should everything else be sacrificed for business. Besides, if the world powers need Burma and its virgin markets, Burma also needs them for investments and development.

    The world powers must hold Myanmar to account on its treatment of Muslims and push it to respect the fundamental rights granted by the UN Human Rights Charter and that all member states are committed to. As Richard Sollom of Physicians for Human Rights put it, Burma needs to be told that the only path from tyranny to democracy is through respect for human rights.

    It’s time the US walked the talk on Myanmar. Else the State Department report isn’t worth the paper it is printed on. Arab and Muslim countries with their growing economic clout could do more too to help the besieged Rohingyas.

    All said and done though, Muslims can hold others to account only when they take care of their own minorities. Given the state of minorities in some Muslim countries, they are in no position to lecture others. Many Muslim nations also figure in the US report for their “egregious and systemic repression” of religious rights.

    What is happening in Pakistan, Iraq and elsewhere certainly doesn’t help our case. It also goes against the Islamic history of tolerance and protection of minorities. This needs to change if we want a change in the condition of Muslims in countries such as Myanmar.


    *Aijaz Zaka Syed is a Gulf based commentator and can be reached at Article was first published in Gulf News.

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    By Aslam Chandio,,

    Islamabad: First few drops of rain were no good sign for ambitious but underprivileged students who looked towards the sky and anticipated that they would again not be able to attend their classes in a makeshift school set up in an open ground in the posh sector of Islamabad’s F-6/3 where the rich and the elite usually send their children to modern and highly equipped educational institutions.

    The Green Capital of Pakistan, ‘Islamabad’ is known to have more rains as compared to the rest of country and when it rains the students of the makeshift school are usually seen collecting their pencils, notes books, and books running in search of shelters.

    Latter, it forces into their unwillingly return to their homes with a day going waste without study.

    They never knew how many days it would take rain to stop, but all they know was that they are now going to miss their classes for few days.

    This happens because this makeshift school is being operated under the wide blue sky with no walls or shelter.

    The school does not enjoy any kind of arrangements to cope with this kind of situation, however, it do not bothers these students any more, if they sit under burning sun or to being intercepted by sudden rain storm.

    Aakash 14, a Christian student, is one of those students who want to get her family rid of poverty by make waves and ‘Makeshift school’ is their only hope that according to them could make reality their dreams.

    Expressing his passion and love for education he excitedly stated, “You know, my passion is education and I love to study irrespective of it whether it is a well-equipped class room of modern school or an open ground of a residential sector.”

    We have to sit on the ground, Aakash told while adding that, It’s a problem both in the winter and summer season.

    When it rains, there is no available shelter and we all have to leave the school.

    My father is a sweeper but I dream to be a police officer, so that I can serve my nation in a better way.

    I also sit on the green belt and study under street lights in the evening,’ he said.

    Rehmat Ullah, coordinator Sindh Rural Development Society

    The harsh realities in the heart of the capital city can speak volumes of the state of affairs in other cities especially far flung areas of Pakistan where dropout rate at the primary level is gradually increasing due to mismanagement and disinterest of the ruling class.

    At the time when there are less number of schools for the nation comprising 180 million population and having literacy rate of nearly 57.7 percent some 8,000 ghost schools have also been identified by the concerned departments.

    Rehmat Ullah, coordinator Sindh Rural Development Society told that an estimated 60,000 children alone are not going to school in the rural Sindh district of Matiari.

    On his petition the Supreme Court took up the matter in March 2013 and ordered a nationwide investigation of “ghost” schools that revealed that funds were provided for the schools but their buildings were either abandoned or occupied by cattles.

    According to the official record with a cumulative 57.7 per cent of literacy and highest dropout rate in the world, Pakistan stands at second in terms of primary out of school children.

    Master Muhammad Ayub, the driving force behind the makeshift school, is also not happy with the current situation but he has not lost his hope as he has services of seven volunteer teachers who impart education to 260 students up to grade 10.

    Renowned Pakistani pop artist Shehzad Roy has been working towards societal reforms by way of education through Zindagi Trust, and recently his team conceived the idea for a show which aired on a private television channel titled ‘Chal Parha’.

    The purpose behind magazine show ‘Chal Parha’ is to make people realize and fully understand that Pakistan’s biggest problem is education or the lack thereof.

    In the show, the camera follows him as he travels on his bike from the bottom end of the country to the top, covering about 200 schools, and underlining what difference good education brings into lives of the people.

    Some educationists pointed out that the situation was also not much different when it comes to the higher education sector that is also facing numerous challenges even at the hands of the incumbent government.

    Higher Education Commission (HEC), the sole authority to deal with the higher education sector in Pakistan, is currently in the line of fire mainly due to its active role in the degrees verification process that put a question mark over the future of those elected representatives who had used fake/bogus degrees to reach corridors of the powers.

    According to statistics, some 56 former elected members were barred from contesting in the recently held elections as their degrees were declared fake/bogus by HEC.

    It is pertinent to mention here that there was a graduation condition to contest polls in 2008 due to which many contestants used fake degrees to get their nomination papers approved by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

    HEC is currently facing shortage of funds and the students who are studying abroad on scholarships are said to have been pushed into troubled waters as they are not getting required funds to continue their studies.

    Nadeem Ahmad, who is studying in the United Kingdom on the scholarship provided by HEC, said his institution has served him with a notice for submission of fee, otherwise he would not be allowed to continue his studies.

    “I have contacted time and again to the official of HEC and every time I was asked that the government is not providing the required funds as pledged in the annual fiscal budget. Now I am uncertain about future of my studies because if I fail to submit dues then I would have to leave this institution,” he said.

    Besides this, the education sector is also facing numerous other challenges such as gender inequality in the society.


    We see clear educational inequalities on gender basis, told Dr. Farzana Bari, an educationist and social activist, adding, this can be understood from the South Asian experience where women are not supposed to go to schools. Their role is confined to home keeping. For a long time it is considered appropriate that women should not go beyond primary education.”

    Master Ayub, said one of the main features of the makeshift community school is that the students comprise some 30 percent of the female students who are actively pursuing their educational career.

    Arusha, a 6-year old student of the makeshift school said, “My parents never allowed me to go school but when my neighbors started attending classes in this school then I pushed my parents who finally agreed to give permission for my studies.”

    But surprisingly there is also a higher learning institution that depicts a situation that is quite different from overall education scenario in the country.

    Established in Islamabad’s sector H-9, National University of Modern Languages (NUML) has over 60 percent female students out of total 7,000 students.

    In some of its departments the female students comprise two-thirds of total enrolment.

    Rashida Iqbal, a student at Mass Communication Department in NUML, said the female students enjoy a very cordial atmosphere in the university as it has become a source of encouragement for other institutions that are now opening up their doors for female strata of the society.

    “There is no female quota in the university but due to its reputation more and more females try to get admission here as it enjoys a reputation of comparatively far more female-friendly institution.

    Former HEC chairman Dr. Attaur Rehman said the higher education sector in the country is fast improving with each passing day but still it needs proper financial support from the government to overcome various serious issues.

    He said it is quite deplorable that former Pakistan Premier Raja Pervez Ashraf diverted funds worth Rs. 22 million, initially allocated for higher education projects, towards his home constituency to win support of the voters.

    Despite all these irregularities and problems one can see number of students who put in extra ordinary efforts in the face of hardships and finally manage to achieve their targets.

    But there is a need for an effective action plan to streamline the affairs right from the primary to the higher education.

    A 31-year-old Waseem Khokhar, may also become source of encouragement for other students who generally face numerous problems.

    For this Christian guy, who was born to parents of a poor origin in Gunna Gojra – a remote village in Tehsil Chak Jhumra of Faisalabad District in the Province of Punjab, higher education was a dream.

    “I have successfully completed my MPhil in the American Studies from very reputed institution, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.

    I faced many hurdles during my studies. In my College times in Lahore city, I used to work in the factory and taught in different private academies during the evening shifts and had to study in the mornings. The government did not support me when I was facing hurdlers regarding education.

    For my graduation, my sister-in-law had to sell her ornaments for my educational expenses. But, I am very happy today as I will become a PhD scholar within few months – a dream comes true”, he explained.

    HEC is also playing its role in running different scholarship programmes to enhance the academic qualification at various levels on merit basis in the country.

    The programme has many success stories like Muhammad Tahir. Born on September 8, 1978, to parents of humble origins in a small farming family of a far-flung village, Muhammad Tahir spent his early education years in his native village of ‘Shehr Sultan’ – a remote, inaccessible village in Jatoi tehsil of Muzaffargarh District in Southern Punjab.

    After matriculation, Tahir studied in Government Degree College, Alipur, entailing a daily commute of 46 kilometers. “It was very tough period of my life, when I had to cover daily commute of 46 kilometers on the roof of buses. I completed my BSc in 1999, ranking first in the College and won a scholarship for higher studies. I came to Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad and completed my MPhil degree in Physics in 2004”, he explained.

    Tahir then took up a position of Lecturer at the University of Sargodha. He was awarded a scholarship by the HEC for a foreign PhD programme at Imperial College London under the supervision of Prof. Angus Mackinnon.

    Tahir went on to publish seven articles in the American Physics Society Journal.

    He said, “The scholarship programme of HEC is benefiting people across the country and as a result students from the lower-middle class and from far-flung areas get a chance to study in the top class universities of the world”.

    This is a prime example of how, with continued support, guidance and perseverance, one can achieve the near impossible.

    Noor Aftab, a senior investigative journalist from leading local daily ‘The News International’ and covering education sector for last many years stated that the HEC has to formulate a policy framework to ensure new partnerships and the involvement of all relevant stakeholders in all aspects of higher education; the evaluation process, including curriculum and pedagogical renewal, guidance and counseling services; and, in the framework of existing institutional arrangements, policy-making and institutional governance.

    Given the overall situation in the country it is generally regarded that the key to improve higher education learning lies with the primary education institutions that can considerably enhance the number of students for further studies in the higher learning institutions.

    (Aslam Chandio is an Islamabad based journalist)

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: Prof. S.M. Sajid, a Professor in the Department of Social Work at Jamia Millia Islamia, who till recently was serving as the Registrar of Jamia Millia Islamia, has been appointed as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia. His new appointment takes effect from 1st June, 2013. Prof S.M. Sajid replaces Prof S.M. Rashid.

    Prof Sajid’s vacated post of the Registrar shall be filled in by Prof. Shahid Ashraf, a Professor from the Department of Economics at Jamia, who was also serving as the Finance Officer of the university. He too takes over his new appointment as the Registrar from 1st June, 2013.

    Prof. Shahid Ahmad, also from the Department of Economics at Jamia and presently the Director of the Centre for Jawaharlal Nehru Studies at Jamia takes over as the Finance Officer of Jamia from 1st June as well.

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    By Shaik Zakeer Hussain,,

    Bengaluru: Karnataka’s Minister for Minorities Welfare, Haj & Wakfs Department Qamar-ul Islam said that the state government has discussed his department's proposal to set up Haj Ghars, in the four revenue sub-divisions in the state including the one coming up in Thirumenhalli near Yelahanka, Bangalore.

    Mr. Islam, who spoke to reporters during his maiden visit to Mangalore district after assuming charge as minister, said that Haj pilgrims in the state need not come to Bangalore to embark on their Haj pilgrimage as the newly proposed centres will decentralise the process, making it convenient for the people. The idea is to setup such a facility for every region within a radius of about 250 km, at the rate of one for every five or six districts, he added.

    Haj Ghars have been proposed at Mangalore, Hubli and Gulbarga and presently, Haj Ghars in Bangalore and Mangalore are under construction.

    Haj Ghars will prove useful to pilgrims from neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala as well and his Ministry has approached these states to share the cost of building the centres in these cities Qamar-ul Islam said.

    Haj Ghar at Bangalore is most likely to be completed around November this year and opened to the public in 2014.

    It will have a prayer hall that will accommodate nearly 2,000 people and residential area with dining halls for men and women, it will have a basement with five floors consisting of a masjid adjacent to the main building, meeting rooms, committee office, rooms to screen documents and an auditorium among other facilities.

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: Several students’ groups today organized a joint protest demonstration against Delhi University’s Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP). Democratic Students’ Union (DSU), Campus Front of India (CFI) and Students’ Islamic Organization (SIO) jointly organized the protest from 11 am till 2 pm, wherein students from Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jamia Milia Islamia participated.

    This demonstration began at the Arts Faculty and proceeded as a Protest March till the crossing in front of Ramjas College and Delhi School of Economics. Protesters blocked the road and raised our demands to scrap the FYUP immediately and burnt the effigy of the faces of neoliberal policies of the Indian State visible in DU through the privatization of education.

    The university administration and the Delhi Police refused to allow the democratic protest to happen. But the student organizations, teachers and students of the university went ahead and participated in the demonstration despite repeated threats from the administration security and police. The students demanded to speak to the Vice Chancellor at the protest site but the administration agreed to send the Proctor. The protesting teachers and students refused to talk to anyone but the Vice Chancellor.

    “This four-year programme is an anti-student educational reform that will adversely affect students coming from the SC/ST/OBC/Disabled and minority communities in many ways,” contend the protesters.

    Earlier students body AISA has also organized a similar protest in the campus.

    They demanded that such anti-student policies need to be scrapped immediately and genuine concerns of students like scholarships, hostels, women’s safety within the university, and filling permanent faculty vacancies numbering almost 5000 should be addressed.

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: Gandhian social activist Himanshu Kumar, who is sitting on a self-reflection fast at Jantar Mantar from June 1 in solidarity for the issues of tribals, has been denied permission to continue fast for 10 days by the Delhi Police “in view of security/law & order reasons.”

    Himanshu Kumar fears he maybe forcefully evicted now from the site of his fast.

    A meeting of likeminded civil society members was today held in the evening at the Jantar Mantar. “I am determined to continue this fast at least till 5th, even if Police evicts me from here”, said Himanshu Kumar.

    On June 5, at 3 PM a larger meeting is being called to discuss the matter further. Meanwhile, possibility of organizing a week-long yatra (8-14 June) in Delhi on similar issues was also discussed in today’s meeting.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Hyderabad: “Strategy of hatred against Indian Muslim community now has taken a new turn. Earlier they were targeted in the form of communal riots, and now whole community is being harassed by labeling them with terror activities. Although only few youths from the community is being arrested on this charges, but it affect the morale of whole community, it creates a feeling of insecurity among Indian Muslims,” said Jamat-e-Islami Hind president Moulana Jalaluddin Umari in a ‘consultative meeting on Human rights violations of Indian Muslims’ organized by JIH Greater Hyderabad unit.

    Moulana Umri said every secular nation have certain provisions in their constitution providing and protecting basic human rights of minorities, Indian constitution also contains those special provisions granting its minorities dignity, security of life, but minorities have to struggle hard to acquire those granted rights.

    Moulana Jalaluddin Umri speaking at the meeting

    He said educational empowerment is not just a solo solution for all the Muslim community grievances, “Muslim community should focus on getting more politically influential and should get in alliance with other oppressed communities to fight for their rights.”

    Moulana Umri also urged Muslims to get more potent in mass media, to educate others who have misconceptions and hatred towards Muslims, and to try its best to make every one aware on the injustices done to Indian Muslims.

    Nusrat Ali, secretary JIH and Khaja Arifuddin, state president of JIH also stressed on the importance on solving human rights violation issues of Indian Muslims; terming it an important step in generating self confidence among Muslim community.

    The consultative meeting witnessed participation of many intellectuals and civil rights activists from different organizations that discussed in length the terror arrest, police impunity, mass movements and extra judicial killing of Muslims from host of other things.

    Many participants raised the issue of police reforms to make police accountable to public rather than to politicians, they gave reference to Mecca Masjid police firing report of Bhaskar Rao Commission and Nimesh commission report which raised doubts on the police version of arrest of accused in U.P. court blast case.

    One of the participant making a point

    One of the participant suggested that it is easy for a tyrant to oppress a weak community but not a strong and vigilant one, so Indian Muslims should get more empowered in order to fight for their rights. Participants also discussed on forming a pan India civil rights group to take up and fight legal cases against biased and prejudiced journalist and police officers.

    The main focus of the consultation meeting remained on building a mass movement to pressurize Muslim community political leadership to raise urgent issues concerning the community, and to compel the government to make urgent police reforms in the interest of minorities.

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    By TCN News,

    London: Council of Indian Muslims—UK (CIM) has expressed solidarity with Rihai Manch, a movement launched for the release of innocent detainees implicated in terror cases in India.

    For the last 13 days Rihai Manch has been holding dharna (sit-in) in front of Vidhan Sabha, legislative assembly of Uttar Pradesh, against the custodial killing of Khalid Mujahid.

    “We salute the brave and honest souls like Magsaysay Award winning social activist Dr Sandeep Pandey, former Director General of Police S R Darapuri and Advocate Randheer Suman, the shining stars of Indian secularism, who have led this campaign and have been exposing the ugly faces of a bunch of fascists bent upon destroying the spirit of peaceful co-existence and pluralism, an ingrained and deep rooted virtue of Indian society.” CIM’s Chairman Munaf Zeena said in a statement issued today.

    “We support the demands of Rihai Manch and express solidarity with these selfless soldiers fighting to establish rule of law and justice in India.” Zeena added.

    “We condemn the killing of Khalid Mujahid and unjustified detentions of Muslim youths. Unfortunately even after 65 years of independence Indian police is behaving like the soldiers of British colonialists and Muslims as rebels.” Zeena continued, “We urge the UP Government to restore community’s shaken confidence, improve its badly damaged image and accept the demands of Rihai Manch.”

    Khalid Mujahid, arrested in 2007 for his alleged involvement in blasts inside a court, died in police custody on May 18, 2013 just a few days after govt moved to court to seek his release.

    Questions were raised when Khalid Mujahid and Tariq Qasmi were shown arrested in 2007. Government appointed Justice RD Nimesh Kumar Commission refused to believe police version of arrest story. Copy of the leaked report is shown recommending punishing the guilty police officers. Government has so far refused to make the report public.

    While there are no exact figures as how many Muslims are being detained by the police and investigative agencies, in a recent statement Mr Darapuri has presented an alarming picture. “Through investigative agencies innocent Muslim youths are being kept at a secret place and are subjected to inhuman treatment that only becomes known to the Human Rights Commission when the detainee is found dead,” he said.

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    By Staff reporter,

    Lucknow: As the Rihai Manch’ protest competed 13th day it has demanded action taken report on the RD Nimesh Commission report.

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

    Chairman of the Rihai Manch Mohamamd Shoaib said that it had already released the Nimesh Commission report on 18 March, earlier this year and so mere report is not sufficient and they expect from the government to also tell the public what actions they have taken on the report.

    National Coordinator of Association for protection of civil rights (APCR), Akhlaq Ahmed participated in the protest on the 13th day to express their solidarity.

    Meanwhile Council of Indian Muslims—UK (CIM) has expressed solidarity with Rihai Manch. Earlier, Association of Indian Muslims of America (AIM) had also expressed their solidarity.

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

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

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    By Kaleem Kawaja

    Yesterday a prominent Suni Cleric Imam Shaikh Qardawi who lives in Qatar and whose TV program and website is very popular in the middle-east, threw all caution to winds and discarded neutrality in the Sunni-Shia conflict and appealed to Sunnis to go all out to annihilate Shias in the region.
    He asked able-bodied Sunnis to come together and join the Sunni side in the current civil war in Syria with the intent of killing Shias. Qardawi labeled Hizbollah of Lebanon, that is composed mostly of Shias, as a party of devils and liars who have deceived Muslims and whom Sunnis must fight and destroy. Qardawi also alleged that the Islamic Republic of Iran has lied to and deceived the Muslim ummah.

    At the same time Hassan NasrUllah of Hizbollah who has already sent his troups into Syria to kill the Sunni rebels there has declared that his
    objective in the region is the same as that of the Alawaite Syrian President Assad, which is to annihilate Sunnis. Inside Syria it is no more rebels against the Syrian government. It is an open sectarian civil war between Sunnis and Shias. On one side are the Sunnis of Syria supported by the Sunni majority countries of Saudi Arabia, UAE, and other Sunnis, versus Shias on the other side supported by the Syrian govt, Hizbollah
    of Lebanon, the Shias of Syria and Lebanon, the Alawaites and Iran.

    This open bitter Sunni-Shia war has come about 25 yeas following the eight year Iraq vs Iran war of 1980s, which too was a Shia-Sunni war. The
    Christians of Lebanon and Iraq are supporting the Shias in the entire region. Both Shias led by Iran - an oil-rich state, and Sunnis led by
    Saudi Arabia and UAE - another conglomeration of oil rich states, are pouring in huge fortunes and resources to buy arms from US, UK,Russia,
    China etc. Thus the wealth of rich Muslim countries is ending up in the coffers of non-Muslim countries and they are laughing all the way
    to the bank.

    In this internecine and bloody conflict the Sunnias and Shias are trying to inflict maximum damage on each other. This is sowing seeds of hatred between the two halves of the global Muslim community. This hatred coupled with violence will build much hostility and bitterness among Sunnis and Shia that may last at least a decade if not more.

    This Sunni-Shia war may end up creating hatred, violence and bitterness among the Sunnis and Shias in Southasian countries (Pakistan, Bangladesh, India) and may even lead to violence among them, that may also take a long time to remove.

    So for the next ten years Israel is safe in occupying the lands of Palestinians with no one to make a serious objection. Just as at the end of the Iraq-Iran war both countries became weak and easy prey to the enemies of Islam, the current bitter and bloody fighting will result in an overall much weakened Ummah. In the same timeframe Israel and the Jews will become stronger and the unquestioned super-power of the middle-east.

    This is how we Muslims are again harming ourselves and will again be reduced to being at the mercy of others, even as Allah has gifted us
    with the huge wealth of oil and energy resources. And this is how the enemies of Muslims easily divide the Muslims on a global scale and
    exploit our lands and resources. It has happened so many times and is happening again infront of our eyes.

    Author is a Washigton DC based community activist.

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    By Zaidul Haque,,

    Kolkata: About 500 Muslim candidates from the other backward castes (OBC) who were selected from West Bengal have been deprived recruitment of Constables (GD) in Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) of BSF, CISF, CRPF, SSB and ITBP and rifleman in Assam rifles, 2012.

    Even after completing medical test and final recruitment, as they were waiting appointment letters, the Staff Selection Commission’s Eastern Region Office in Kolkata issued a notice on 22 April, 2013 that as the enlisted list of West Bengal State Muslim OBCs are not included in Central OBC list their recruitment maybe cancelled.

    Md. Kamruzzaman talking to Muslim OBC youths of West Bengal.

    The Staff Selection Commission conducted recruitment for Constables (GD) for CAPFs and Rifleman (GD) in Assam Rifles Examination, 2012 on 22 April, 2012 and after medical examinations final results were declared on 37,553 male candidates including 37,346 in Select List and 207 in Reserve List who have been recommended for appointment to the post of Constable (GD) in CAPFs and Rifleman (GD) in Assam Rifles on 17 October, 2012.

    On 22 April, 2013 Office of the Ministry of personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Personnel & Training, Staff Selection Commission’s Eastern Region the a notice was issued to 500 Muslim youths falling under OBC category.

    In a memorandum Assistance Director or (Nomination) of Staff Selection Commission’s Eastern Region.

    Muslims OBC candidates show-cause notice by SSC.

    B. Samanta said that during scrutiny of the application dossier it has been found that the community of other backward class (OBC) mentioned in the OBC certificate submitted is not included in the Central list of OBCs which incorporates the names of the communities notified in the Gazette of India under the different Resolutions, for the State of west Bengal.

    The said OBC community of the state of West Bengal is hence not recognized as backward class in any of the Government of India Resolution notified from the time to time for the purpose.

    Arif Mohammad Molla, one of the candidates who received the show cause letter.

    The show cause notice demanded from the candidates to reply, why their candidature should not be cancelled on the ground of non-fulfillment of criteria for the community status of OBC as per the notice of the examination latest by 15th May, 2013. It added that failing to provide satisfactory response; the candidature would be cancelled without further reference.

    A total of 143 communities have been recognized as OBC, 66 under A category, of which 57 Muslim communities are included. Further there are 77 communities under B category OBC, of which 26 communities are Muslims. However, of the total 143 communities only 61 are enlisted in central government recognized OBC list, which include only 11 Muslim OBC from the Muslim OBC list of West Bengal. The eleven Musim OBC are, Jolah (Ansari-Momin), Fakir/Sain, Dhunia, Kasai, Hawari, Rayeen, Nasya-shekh, Shershabadia, Dewan, Patidar and paharia Muslim.

    Show cause letter sent by Staff selection Commission (eastern Region) to the Muslim OBC merit list holder of West Bengal.

    Arif Mohammad Molla, one of the aggrieved candidates, from village Baganait in the district South 24 Parganas told TCN that no question was raised during submission of the application forms, of after tests were conducted when all documents were checked and submitted. He also questioned the government’s negligence due to differences in state and central government’s lists that causing problems to so many candidates.

    Kamal Hossain Mallick of village Paschim Nandarampur of Bankura district, Imran Hossain of village Kazisaha of Murshidabad district, Mobarak Hossain Mondal of village Bhira of North 24 Parganas district, Habibullah Khan of Village Pursusa of Paschim Medinipur district are some of the other candidates with whom TCN talked to and they all are feeling dejected.

    A copy SSC merit list, where Muslim OBC names are marked.

    They have appealed to the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for intervention to protect them from losing out. They have also sent a memorandum to the President of India, Chief Minister of West Bengal, and Governor of West Bengal in this regard.

    West Bengal State Secretary of All India Minority Youth Federation Md. Kamruzzaman told TCN that they are now calling for united protest against SSC and will gherao their Kolkata office. Since last two years, he informed, central government list has not been updated and hence the discrepancy.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : As the Central Information Commission (CIC) Monday held that political parties are answerable under the Right to Information Act, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said it is important to "keep practical control of RTI objectives as they can't be allowed to run riot".

    Answering a query on the CIC's ruling on the sidelines of an event Monday evening, Khurshid said there is a "logic of the RTI, which is periodically reflected in its orders. That logic of the RTI act would be gradually tested at all levels including at levels of the courts".

    "But it is important to keep practical control of RTI objectives because they can't be allowed to run riot as the purpose is that people who hold public offices must be accountable to the world and to ordinary citizens."

    "There are other areas one can go and seek information, but for that one has to go through a procedure. It is an evolving process,-- a balance between public interest of one kind and of another kind must be maintained," Khurshid said.

    A full bench of the CIC comprising Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra and Information Commissioner M.L. Sharma and Annapurna Dixit held six parties - Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India-Marxist, Communist Party of India, Nationalist Congress Party and Bahujan Samaj Party - to whom RTI queries were directed, fulfill the criteria of being public authorities under the RTI Act.

    "The presidents, general secretaries of these parties are hereby directed to designate CPIOs and appellate authorities at their headquarters in six weeks. The CPIOs so appointed will respond to the RTI applications extracted in this order in four weeks time," the bench directed.

    The case relates to RTI queries from activist Subhash Agrawal and Anil Bairwal of Association of Democratic Reforms who had sought to know the finances of, voluntary financial contributions received by the six parties and the names and addresses of the donors besides other details which were refused as the political parties claimed they do not come under the RTI Act.

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    By Dr. Syed Ahmed, for,

    Imphal: Pangal (Manipuri Muslim) Political Forum (PPF) observed its first foundation day anniversary on June 1, 2013 at Manipur Press Club, Imphal.

    The function was graced by President of All Manipur Bar Association Khaidem Mani, President of PPF A.R. Shah (Retd. Chief Engineer), President of All Manipur Working Journalist Union (AMWJU) Wangkhemcha Shamjai, President of United Committee, Manipur (UCM) Yumnam Nabachandra, President of All Manipur United Co-ordinating Committee (AMUCO) K.T. Rahman, President of Rose Mangshi Haokip, President of Tammi-Chingmi Apunba Nupi Lup Momonleima Devi, Chief Advisor of PPF A.R. Khan (Retd. IAS), Working Presidents of PPF Azizul Haque Khan (Retd. Chief Engineer) and Salamat Sheikh as Chief Guest, President and Special Guests.

    Spokes-person of PPF M.I. Khan giving the keynote address

    Giving the keynote address, Spokes-person of PPF M.I. Khan said the Forum, since its inception last year, had addressed some of the critical issues of the Muslim community in the State.

    He stated, “The forum had over the year organized numerous programmes and addressed some of the critical issues that the community. We had pressed the State Government to declare Muslim community as the most backward community considering their overall backwardness. The forum had also demanded the implementation of Inner Line Permit to check the influx of foreigners in the State. The forum will participate and extend full support to any agitation related to AFSPA and Inner Line Permit. We had also observed the foundation day of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre, the forerunner of Manipur University, last November and remembered former Chief Minister of Manipur Md. Alimuddin, who laid the foundation of the centre. Veteran politician O. Joy delivered a lecture on the occasion highlighting the memorable works done by Md. Alimuddin. The forum observed the 73rd Nupi Lal Numit last December and paid tributes to those Muslim women who took part in the historic women’s agitation against colonial forces in 1939. Last April the forum organized the 122nd Khongjom Day and paid tributes to those Muslims who took part in the Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891. The forum had also demanded the State Government to officially recognize the names of those Muslims who took part in the Nupi Lal and Anglo-Manipur War of 1891.”

    “The forum had submitted a memorandum to the UN Special Rapporteur Rashida Manjoo during her recent visit to Manipur to take up remedial measures to check the increasing violence against women in the State.”

    Khan further said, “To bring the Muslim community on the path of development the forum has worked out few proposals which will be submitted to the State Government for implementation. The proposals include: to establish a market complex exclusively for the Muslims, just like the tribal market, to economically empower the poor and unemployed Muslims; to streamline the Department of Minority and Other Backward Classes by checking the irregularities; to establish model higher secondary schools for Muslim girls in Imphal East and Thoubal district; to establish residential schools like Navodaya Vidyalaya in the large Muslim concentrated areas, among others.”

    Felicitating meritorious Muslim students

    “However, the most important demand of the forum is the nomination of a Manipuri Muslim as MP for Rajya Sabha. Since 1955 no one from the Muslim community has ever represented the Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha. So in the coming 2014 election for the lone Rajya Sabha seat we want the ruling party to nominate a Muslim,” Khan added.

    Addressing the gathering, President of UCM Y. Nabachandra stated that the gradual break-down of the bond of unity among the various communities of the State has threatened the integrity of Manipur. It is time that we bridge the divide between the hill and plain people, and uphold the unity and integrity of the State.

    The programme came to a close with the distribution of certificates and gifts to meritorious Muslim students.

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    By Ras H. Siddiqui,

    California: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) held its 2nd Annual Muslim Day at the Capitol in Sacramento, California recently during which over a hundred representatives including many south-Asians from all over the state took the opportunity to interact with the State Government.

    Although it was windy under the tent outside on the Capitol grounds, this was another beautiful spring day in California’s capital city, one which warranted a walk near the World Peace Rose Garden at State Capitol Park, which somewhat delayed this scribe’s arrival to the formal event opening.

    State Senator Jim Beall with a visiting Muslim group

    The day proved that this is a place which is beautiful both inside and out. Although our main topics of interest targeted by CAIR for the day were 1) AB4 TRUST Act and 2) AB 241 CA Domestic Workers Bill of Rights plus 3) Free Speech Rights on College Campuses, the handful of the 110 meetings held during the day which I could attend demonstrated a sensitivity amongst our State Senate and Assembly on these and other topics of interest for not just Muslims but all Californians.

    AB4 deals with the issue of local law enforcement sharing information with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under the S-Comm program. CAIR seeks to limit costly detentions of aspiring citizens in local jails for deportation purposes and it only supports its use for serious crimes. AB-241 deals with the issue of housekeepers, nannies and caregivers in private homes so that their rights too can be protected including overtime pay, meal and rest breaks etc. The third quest for the day (Free speech rights on College campuses) is not an Assembly Bill yet but a push for one.

    After a formal mid-morning opening, the attendees were split up into teams/groups based on their residence address and areas of interest. This writer was assigned to Team H, with a first meeting scheduled with Muffadal Ezzy representing Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a meeting that I could not reach on time (the Capitol takes a little getting used to for the once a year rookie). The second meeting was with Betsy Hodges at the offices of Senator Ted Gaines who represents my own residential district. It was a learning experience because we rarely get to interact with either our representatives or their staffers unless we really need to. The last scheduled interaction was with Amin Nojan, Assembly Fellow at Assemblymember Bill Quirk’s office. Bill represents California’s 20th Assembly District (Hayward and adjacent areas) where Muslims and south-Asians (Afghans, Indians and Pakistanis) are becoming quite a voting force due to their increasing numbers.

    Roger represents California’s 7th Assembly District which includes Sacramento. He has been a good friend of all minority communities including local Muslims and South-Asians. He listened to the team and responded to all the points raised by CAIR’s Basim Elkarra while looking for common ground.

    Senator Jim Beall from the Fifteenth Senate District is now a Silicon Valley (San Jose area) political veteran who has been a member of the City Council, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, State Assembly and now the California Senate. Amongst his many areas of focus his continuing strong support for children with disabilities has been commendable. Jim also supports responsible free speech and is good listener. Some in our community have known him since his San Jose City Council days when he became its youngest elected member at the age of 28. He has been widely supported by the south-Asian and Muslim community in his district for many years now and embodies the good old American value of fairness for those in need.

    During and after lunch the wind kicked up a notch, but the political engagement continued just as vigorously as Assembly members Mariko Yamada, Paul Fong and Cristina Garcia addressed the gathering just before the event officially came to a close. Support from the Asian and Latino members of our political leadership has been both inspirational and essential for our community. This was certainly reflected during Ms. Yamada’s speech which included the hope that one of us at this gathering will one day become an elected member working inside the Capitol.

    In closing it was a great day overall for both California and the “experience” called America, one which triumphs over an atrocity like Boston approximately just weeks earlier by continuing to promote peace and inclusion.

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    By Staff,

    Lucknow: Amidst pressure from civil society groups, the Uttar Pradesh Government today accepted the RD Nimesh Commission Report. The government will now table the report in the state Assembly, along with the action taken report, informed the UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav told media-persons.

    Khalid Mujahid along with Tariq Qasmi was arrested by Special Task Force (STF) on 20 December 2007 from Barabanki. Huge explosives were also shown as recovered from his possession. STF claimed that they were Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami operatives and were involved in the serial blasts which occurred in Gorakhpur, Faizabad and Lucknow.

    L-R: Hakeem Tarique Qasmi and Khalid Mujahid

    However, under pressure from the families and civil society groups the then BSP government had constituted the RD Nimesh Commission to probe the allegations of falsely implicating them. After several extensions, the report was finally submitted in August 2012.

    Although the government has not yet made the report public, on 18 March, 2013 Rihai Manch, Forum for the Release of Innocent Muslims imprisoned in the name of Terrorism, had leaked the report, which had raised fingers over STF's claim about the place of arrest.

    Rihai Manch is on indefinite dharna for 14 days now outside the UP Assembly demanding arrest of police officers involved in Khalid Mujahid's murder, issuing the RD Nimesh commission report, and the immediate release of innocent Muslim youth imprisoned in the name of terrorism.

    Chairman of the Rihai Manch, Mohamamd Shoaib had demanded on Monday that they have already released the Nimesh Commission report and so mere report is not sufficient and they expect from the government to also tell the public what actions they have taken on the report.

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

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    By TCN News,

    Mumbai: An Ittehad-e-Millat conference was held on June 4 at Amrit Nagar, Jogeshwari under the aegis of Qauimi Majils-e-Shura, Amrut Nagar, Young Welfare Association, Milli Council United Welfare and Education Federation on the topic ‘ Tehreek Ittehad-e-Millat ’ in which the speakers stressed the need for unity among Muslims. Speakers after speakers said that due to the differences among Muslims on petty issues the Muslims are becoming weaker day by day. Now the time has come to remove these differences and unite under the banner of la ilaha illa allah muhammad rasul allah.

    Speaking on this occasion President, Ittedad-e-Millat Council, Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan of Bareilly said that inspite of the differences on religious grounds among different Muslim sects there is unity among the Muslims. Unity among different sects of the Muslims is the need of the hour. He said that these days it is a fashion to brand Muslims as terrorist but I am sure that no devout Muslim can be a terrorist. He called upon the masses to secure their rights in democratic India but for that they will have to be a practicing Muslim. He said that late Hamant Karkare, sacrificed his life for exposing the enemies of India.

    Dr. Shakeel Samdani addressing the conference, (dice L-R: Sufi Noor, Shoaib Koti, Saud Alam and ML Tauqeer Raza)

    Prof. Saud Alam Qasmi, Dean, Faculty of Theology, AMU, Aligarh said that when the house is burning then the need is to extinguish the fire unitedly instead of accusing each other. Those who talk about disunity are carrying the legacy of Pharoh and those who talk about unity are the followers of Islam. Islam always stresses on unity and never encourages disunity among the followers. Prof. Qasmi said that, theologically there is great difference between the Christians and Jews and history tells us that there are 118 sects among Christians but now there is complete unity among Christians and they are the protectors of the Jews throughout the world. Muslims should take lessons from them and try to minimize their differences.

    President, Sir Syed Awareness Forum and Law Professor from AMU, Dr. Shakeel Samdani said that the conference is very important form Milli point of view and especially for Mumbai and its suburb because the conference is being convened to motivate the people for Unity among the Muslims. The population of Muslims is about 15% in India. If the Muslims divide themselves in sects, castes and regions it will be suicidal for them and their political importance will diminish and it will pave the way for anti Muslim forces to swallow them. Dr Samdani ,in his emotional and inspiring speech said that no Muslim should be prevented from offering prayer in any mosque, this is anti Islamic. Similarly on the question of imamat in any funeral prayer there should be no quarrel among the followers of different schools of Islamic jurisprudence. Muslims should desist from such activities.

    Dr. Samdani exhorted the Muslims to minimize their differences and work for the unity of Muslim ummah. In the last Dr. Samdani requested the masses to understand the importance of legal education for Muslims in India. He told the audience that acquiruing legal knowledge is very important for the Muslims as they are confronting those problems, which can be solved only by legal means. Muslims need large number of competent lawyers and efficient judges. This is only possible when Muslims join law courses in large numbers.

    Maulana Abdul Jalil Ansari ‘MAKKI,’ vice president, Jamit Ahl-e-Hadith Mumbai, while explaining the aims and objects of the conference said that due to the disunity among Muslims the net result will be humiliation and loss of the community. On this occasion, Sufi Noor Mohammad and Daud Khan also expressed their views. The program was conducted by Sarfaraz Arzoo, Editor of Hinduatan Daily. Convener of the program Azimuddin Syed proposed vote of thanks. In his presidential remarks Maulana Shoaib Koti said that educated Muslim youth are disunited and frustrated. For their future it is the duty of Muslim Ummah to unite itself.

    Other important personalities present on the dias were Zubair Ahmed Advocate, Farid Khan, Tanveer Alam, President, AMU Alluminai Association ,Maharashtra, Syed Hurmul ,Advocate, Mohd Ali Ansari, Shafi Wasan, Salman Siddiqi,Cooperator Changez Mulatani. The program lasted for about four hours and it was attended by Ulema, intellectuals, social workers, Milli people and the students.

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    By IANS,

    Lucknow : Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said Tuesday that the law and order in Uttar Pradesh would be brought under control within a fortnight if he had been the chief minister.

    He also praised Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for his style of functioning and said he had brought the crime rate down in his state.

    This is the second time in less than a year that Mulayam Singh has publicly criticized his son and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

    Earlier, at a function a few months ago, he had cited his discussion with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani and had said he agreed with his observation that the law and order situation in the state was very bad.

    The former defence minister also said that in comparison to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, he found Nitish Kumar a better chief minister.

    Addressing the press on the sidelines of a book launch, Mulayam Singh, however, patted the UP chief minister by saying that he was happy that promises made in the party's manifesto were being fulfilled.

    "It is heartening to note that the state government is the only government in the country which is fulfilling promises made in the election manifesto," he said.

    He said he always had discussions with Akhilesh Yadav and gave him suggestions whenever need arose.

    "I discuss issues with him as the president of the party. Whenever required, I offer my advice too," Mulayam Singh added.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : In a bid to expand its presence in the Middle East, budget carrier IndiGo Tuesday said it will introduce new flights connecting Mumbai with Muscat from June 16.

    The airline will launch three new weekly non-stop flights on the route with an introductory return fare of Rs.9,998.

    "There are strong trade and tourism ties between Mumbai and Oman, and travellers have requirements of low fares by an Indian airline," said Aditya Ghosh, president, IndiGo.

    "Expanding operations on these routes are in line with our growth strategy outlined for Oman."

    The airline presently operates 17 daily flights between India and the Gulf.

    The low-cost passenger carrier is on an expansion mode. It had announced Monday that it had been permitted by the government to import 28 Airbus A320 aircraft in 2013 and 2014.

    Currently, IndiGo holds the largest domestic market share at 29.8 percent as of April 2013. The airline provides 422 flights connecting 33 destinations with a fleet of 66 Airbus A320 aircraft.

    Recently the airline had also announced the launch of seven new flights on its domestic network from May 30, including direct flights on the Mumbai-Jammu, Chennai-Kochi, Mumbai-Srinagar, Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai-Thiruvananthapuram, Jammu-Srinagar and Mumbai-Kochi routes.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Underworld dons Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar and Chhota Shakeel are prime suspects in the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot fixing scandal and Delhi Police will be naming the duo in their chargesheet.

    "Dawood and Chhota Shakeel are the prime suspects. We will name them when we file the chargesheet in the case six months from now," a police official told IANS.

    Earlier, Maharashtra Police had charged tainted Rajasthan Royals players S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) for their involvement in spot fixing in the IPL.

    The three cricketers were arrested May 16 in Mumbai by Delhi Police for their alleged involvement in spot fixing for payments up to Rs.60 lakh each for giving away a pre-determined number of runs in an over.

    Rajasthan Royals' owners have lodged a criminal complaint against the players while the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has suspended them.

    Delhi Police have arrested 26 people in connection with the IPL scandal. Of these, 18 have been sent to judicial custody, including the Rajasthan Royals' players.

    Chavan was granted interim bail May 30 by a Delhi court to get married June 2. He has to surrender June 6.

    After slapping stringent MCOCA against all the accused, Delhi Police Tuesday claimed that bookies like Ashwani Aggarwal alias Tinku Mandy were working at the behest of Dawood's gang.

    Police claimed that they have enough evidence, including telephonic intercepts, to prove that the bookies used the underworld network in fixing IPL matches.

    "We have telephonic intercepts in which some of the bookies had made calls to Dubai, Karachi and other cities of Pakistan to fix and alter betting rates," said the official.

    "We got information in March that some people in India and abroad were involved in betting," said the official.

    The official added that they have a "fit case" to invoke MCOCA.

    "There is an organised crime syndicate linking underworld connection with bookies and players," said the official.

    According to the official, one of the arrested bookies, Sunil Bhatia, is involved in criminal activities.

    The official said one of the arrested bookies had threatened a player.

    "The bookie told a player that he would teach him a lesson when he comes to Mumbai," the official said, adding that the same bookie has two cases against him, of which the court has taken cognizance.

    Police also moved court seeking a production warrant of Ramesh Vyas, arrested by Mumbai Police in connection with a case of betting.

    As Delhi Police had ensured that the accused would not get bail by slapping MCOCA, they were investigating leads to nab Hyderabad-based Mohammed Yahya, who could lead to another cricket team whose players were allegedly involved in spot fixing.

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    By IANS,

    Jammu : A sub-inspector has been arrested in Jammu and Kashmir for his alleged involvement in a grenade attack on a police post, police said here Tuesday.

    "Encounter specialist Sub-Inspector Shiv Kumar was arrested today (Tuesday) from Thathri area (about 175 km northeast of Jammu) of Doda district following interrogation of five suspects in connection with a grenade attack on the police station there," a police officer in Doda told IANS.

    Five people have been arrested for the attack, which was carried out May 21.

    "We have arrested Kumar and are interrogating him to establish the facts," the police officer said.

    However, some officers expressed shock at Kumar's arrest and said that "he is known as an encounter specialist in the area and his name spells terror for militants".

    Kumar was recruited as a Special Police Officer (SPO) -- temporary recruits who assist police in anti-militancy operations -- about 20 years ago.

    He was instrumental in liquidating a number of militants and was appointed a constable in Jammu and Kashmir Police. He was promoted to sub-inspector for his anti-militancy work.

    He has killed over 100 militants in the area during his 20-year stint with Jammu and Kashmir Police.

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