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Mon
27
Feb

Tamil Nadu Assembly: Madras High Court Asks For Video Footage Of Trust Vote Day

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court today directed the Tamil Nadu Assembly Secretary to produce the video recording of the entire House proceedings on the day of the confidence vote which was adopted amid unruly scenes.

The court gave the direction while issuing notice to Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal and Chief Minister K Palaniswami and others on a PIL by opposition DMK seeking to declare the confidence vote adopted on February 18 as null and void.

The trust vote was won by Mr Palaniswami by a 122-11 margin in the 234-member Assembly after the eviction of DMK MLAs and a walkout by its allies, amid stormy scenes during which mikes were uprooted, chairs toppled and sheets of papers torn.

The video recording of the House proceedings on February 18 must be from the commencement till the end, the court said.

Mon
27
Feb

Enforcement Directorate Issues Fresh Summons To Zakir Naik

MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued fresh summons, also possibly the last, to controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik in connection with its money laundering probe case against him and others. Officials said the agency issued the fourth summons to Zakir Naik, via his lawyer and through e-mail, to join the probe even as it rejected his plea to depose before investigators via an Internet-based video link from abroad.

They indicated that the latest summons could well possibly be the last issued to him and the agency may move court for an arrest warrant against him, if he choses to ignore the summons again.

The ED officials had earlier indicated inability to allow the video link proposal as such a remedy is not allowed under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Moreover, they said, the agency wants to question Zakir Naik "in person" given the serious charges of money laundering being investigated against him and others.

Mon
27
Feb

Arrested ISIS operatives sent to 12-day police custody

(PTI) Two brothers with suspected ISIS links who were arrested for allegedly hatching plans to conduct "lone-wolf" attacks in Gujarat were today sent to 12-day police custody by a court here.
The investigators wanted to ascertain if the siblings had any attempts to trigger blasts in the past and indulged in other subversive activities.
The Anti-Terrorism Squad, which sought 14-day custody of the duo, said it also wanted to find out if there is any sleeper cell of the ISIS in the state.
Judicial Magistrate R A Singh, however, granted 12-day custody of Waseem Ramodiya and his brother Naeem, who were arrested yesterday.
The ATS said it wanted to find out from where the two had bought explosive materials, used in making bombs recovered from them.
The ATS wanted to find out from the duo whether they had in the past made any attempt to carry out blasts or indulged in other anti-national activities.

Mon
27
Feb

Jats To Gather In Delhi On March 2 To Decide Future Course Of Action

NEW DELHI: Members of the Jat community will gather at Jantar Mantar on Thursday to decide on the future course of action regarding its ongoing agitation in Haryana for quota in government jobs and educational institutions in the state.

Jats from Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and other parts of the country will demonstrate at Jantar Mantar on March 2 and decide on the future course of action, Yashpal Malik, the president of the All India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti, which is leading the stir in Haryana, said.

A memorandum on "injustice" meted out to Jats by the Haryana government will be submitted to President Pranab Mukherjee, he said.

"The government has failed to address our demands and the next course of action will be decided at Jantar Mantar," Mr Malik said.

The state government has set up a committee which has no power to take a decision. So, no talks will be held with any such panel in the future, he said.

Mon
27
Feb

SIMI chief, 10 others get life sentence in sedition case

INDORE: A special court here on Monday awarded life imprisonment to SIMI chief Safdar Hussain Nagori and 10 other activists of the banned group after convicting them in a 2008 case of sedition.
On a plea of 10 of the accused lodged in Ahmedabad's Sabarmati Central Jail, they were informed about the court's judgement through video-conferencing.
Special Additional Sessions Judge B K Paloda pronounced all the 11 activists of Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) guilty under IPC sections 124(A) (sedition) and 153 (A) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), and also under relevant provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Besides 45-year-old Nagori (45), the others convicted are Hafiz Hussain (35), Aamil Parvaz (40), Shivli (38), Qamruddin (42), Shahduli (32), Qamran (40), Ansar (35), Ahmed Baig (32), Yasin (35) and Munroz (40).

Tue
21
Feb

Zakir Naik responds to ED summons, says ready to give statement via e-facility

MUMBAI: Controversial televangelist Zakir Naik has responded to the ED summons in connection with a money laundering case and said he is willing to give statement via any electronic media facility.
"My client is willing and ready to give any statement before you via Skype or any other mode of electronic media to assist you in your investigation," read a letter sent by Naik, the founder of NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), through his lawyer Mahesh Mule.
Naik also said that he is an NRI and has not received any summons. He, however, added that his brother was served the summons on February 2, asking Naik to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on February 9, and maintained that it could not be construed as proper service (of summons).
Naik has also requested the ED to wait for the order of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) tribunal before asking him any questions about his now-banned NGO IRF as the ban is being contested.

Tue
21
Feb

After ruckus by ABVP, Ramjas college cancels invitation to Umar Khalid

Delhi University's Ramjas college on Tuesday cancelled an invitation to JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid to address a seminar following violent protests from ABVP and members of the varsity's student union.

While Khalid was among the students charged with sedition in connection with an event at JNU last year where anti-national slogans were allegedly raised, Shehla Rashid, a former JNU students union member, was instrumental in the movement against the students' arrest. The two students were scheduled to take part in a session during a two-day seminar on "Culture of Protest" organised by Wordcraft, Ramjas college's Literary Society.

Tue
21
Feb

Jaishankar holds talks with China's top diplomat

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar today held talks with China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi ahead of a key strategic dialogue tomorrow to improve bilateral ties hit by Chinese reluctance to support India's admission into the NSG and back a United Nations ban on JeM leader Masood Azhar.

Jaishankar, who arrived in China from Sri Lanka, met Yang, who besides being the State Councillor is Beijing's Special Representative for border talks between India and China.

In Chinese official hierarchy, State Councillor of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) is regarded as the top diplomat functioning directly under the country's leadership.

Jaishankar is expected to meet Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, besides attending an upgraded strategic dialogue with China's Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui tomorrow.

Tue
21
Feb

Actress attack:One taken into custody,search on for mastermind

The search operations to nab the two accused involved in the abduction and harassment of a noted South Indian actress continued for the fourth day today, with police taking into custody one person from Palakkad.

Efforts are underway to nab the alleged mastermind Pulsar Suni and another accused V P Vigeesh.

Manikandan has been taken into custody from Palakkad, about 144 km from here, late last night, police sources said today. However, his arrest has not been recorded so far.

Manikandan, a native of Thammanam in Ernakulam, had moved an anticipatory bail application in the Kerala High Court along with Suni and Vigeesh, claiming that they had been "falsely implicated" in the crime on the basis of the "confession" statement of Martin, the driver of the actress.

When the bail plea came up for hearing today, the High Court postponed the matter to March 3.

Tue
21
Feb

Was Gujarat celebrating Ramzan or Diwali during 2002 riots, Asaduddin Owaisi asks Modi

ALLAHABAD: Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Ramzan-Diwali remarks, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday wondered whether "Gujarat was celebrating Ramzan or Diwali" during the 2002 communal riots in the state.
On Modi's shamshaan-kabristan comments, he asked if the Prime Minister realised that his demonetisation move "claimed lives of close to 150 people".
Addressing a rally in Fatehpur on Sunday, the Prime Minister had stressed that there should be "no discrimination on the basis of caste and religion", and said if there is a 'kabaristaan' (graveyard), there should be a 'shamshaan' (cremation ground) too.
He had also said, "Agar Ramzan mein bijli aati hai, to Diwali me bhi aani chahiye, bhedbhav nahi hona chahiye (If there is electricity during Ramzan, it must also be available during Diwali, there should be no discrimination)."

Tue
21
Feb

Ex-RS MP Mahmood Madani gets bail in graft case

New Delhi: A special court today granted bail to former Rajya Sabha MP Mahmood A Madani in connection with the LTC scam for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 5.75 lakh to the exchequer by submitting wrong claims.

Special CBI judge Anju Bajaj Chandna granted the relief to Madani on a personal bond of Rs 50,000. Madani's former PA Mohd Mubashir was also granted bail on the same bond in the case.

The court has now put up the matter for further hearing on March 29 for scrutiny of documents.

The court had taken cognisance of the CBI charge sheet against Madani, a Rashtriya Lok Dal leader from UP, and Mubashir and asked them to appear before the court.

The court had said that there was sufficient evidence to summon them for the alleged offences of cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy under the IPC and under provisions of Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act.

PTI

Tue
21
Feb

Infiltration bid foiled in J&K, militant killed

One militant was killed by troopers of the Border Security Force (BSF) near the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district, an official said.

"An infiltration attempt was foiled by BSF troopers in Keri sector on Monday night during which a militant was killed," the BSF official said.

Suspicious movement of a group of two-three militants was observed along the LoC fence, after which the troopers fired, the official added.

The militants also fired back on the BSF troops and the exchange continued for half an hour.

The body of the militant and one AK-47 rifle were recovered during a search near the border fencing.

--IANS

Tue
21
Feb

Six killed, over 20 injured as sessions court in Charsadda comes under attack

Suicide bombers attacked a court complex in Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least four people, officials said, in the latest incident in a new surge of Islamist violence.

A spokesperson for the Pakistani Taliban’s Jamaat-ur-Ahrar faction claimed responsibility for the attack in the northwestern town of Charsadda.

The district administration said at least four people were killed. A witness told Reuters he had seen “many” dead bodies at the scene.

Town resident Mohammad Shah Baz told Reuters he was inside the judicial complex when the suicide bombers stormed it.

“I escaped towards the canteen and climbed the wall to save my life. But there were many people dead and injured,” he said.

District police chief Sohail Khalid said at least one of the attackers blew himself up and another opened fire at the main entrance of the court compound before they were shot and killed.

Mon
20
Feb

IRF opposes Centre plea for in-camera proceedings in tribunal

Islamic preacher Zakir Naik's Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) today opposed the government's plea for holding in-camera proceedings in the tribunal which is scrutinising whether the immediate ban on IRF was justified.

IRF contended before Delhi High Court's Justice Sangita Dhingra Seghal, who is presiding over the tribunal set up under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), that the government's plea for in-camera proceedings was a "garb" to deny them the material relied upon to ban the organisation.

The lawyer for IRF also said the material relied upon for imposing the immediate ban on it had to be disclosed in the notification and added that none of the material has been provided to them as yet.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain pressed for in-camera hearing claiming the "subject matter was sensitive" and there was a possibility that it could be disclosed during the proceedings before the tribunal.

Mon
20
Feb

Malayalam actress molestation: Prime accused had close links with industry

KOCHI: The prime accused in the kidnapping of a popular Malayalam film actress on Friday night spoke to six prominent persons, including a leading film producer, from the industry, his phone records of that night show.

The phone records recovered by the police show that Pulsar Sunil, who planned the kidnap, received a call from a leading film producer late on Friday night. The phone number he received the call from has been switched off since then.

The popular actress, who was on her way from Thrissur to Kochi on Friday night, was abducted by a gang of six persons, who reportedly took pictures of her to blackmail her. They released her a short while later.

The actress's driver Martin was arrested on the same night, while two others were arrested on Sunday in Coimbatore.

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