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India produces evidence of F-16 being used in Pakistani raid



Indian Air Vice Marshal R G K Kapoor

New Delhi, Feb 28 (IANS) India on Thursday presented the first evidence in public to show that Pakistan Air Force (PAF) used F-16s to drop bombs at an Indian military installation near the LoC, saying the forces were prepared, but there was palpable relief at the scheduled return of captured pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who became the poster boy of the two-day hostilities.

In a sign of de-escalation, India did not spell out its future course of military action.

India said it has the evidence to show destruction of a target in Balakot on Tuesday in an air strike. However, it refused to hazard a guess about the casualties in the terror camp. The decision to show the evidence will be taken by the political leadership, said Air Vice Marshal R.G.K. Kapoor who was one of the officers in the integrated service press conference held on Thursday to share first operational details of the events of the last two days.

The briefing, which was to be held in the afternoon, was delayed following annoucement about the release of the Indian pilot by Pakistan.

The service officers said the forces have enough evidence of successfully implementing what they wanted to in bombing a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) terror camp. “Whatever we planned, we have got it. It is for the government and top leadership to present evidence. It will be premature to talk about casualties,” said AVM Kapoor in reply to a question as to how many terrorists were killed in Tuesday’s action in Balakot and what was the damage caused.

AVM Kapoor, assistant chief of staff space operations, said Wing Commander Abhinandan was being released under Geneva Convention.

Sharing details of an air raid by PAF on the LoC on Wednesday morning, Kapoor said that a large pack of PAF’s F-16, JF-17 Thunders and Mirages had come to attack Indian military installations which was repulsed by IAF’s Mirages, Mig-21 Bisons and Su-30s. In the engagement, an F-16 was shot down and IAF lost an Mig-21. Pilot Abhinandan’s parachute drifted towards Pakistan-held Kashmir.

Calling Pakistan’s bluff that F-16s were not used in the raid, IAF produced a piece of an Amraam missile which landed in an Indian military compound. The missile is exclusive to F-16. The IAF also identified F-16s through electronic signature.

Speaking about the escalation in the ceasefire violations in the last two days, Major General Surender Singh Mahal said the Army was giving a befitting response.

To a question whether India considered Pakistan Air Force targeting Indian military installations as a declaration of war on India, Major General Mahal said: “We continue to maintain strict vigilance along the Line of Control and International Border and the anti-aircraft weapons systems are on standby and so are our mechanised forces”.

The Army officer said as long as Pakistan continues to harbour terrorists “we will continue to target agencies which are inimical to India.”

Rear Admiral Dalbir Singh Gujral said the Navy was also on a high state of alert. “I can assure you a resolute and strong response by the Indian Navy. We –the Army, Navy and Air Force — stand as one to ensure safety and security of the nation and our citizens,” he said.


Now Mumbai gets it own ‘Shaheen Bagh’




Shaheen Bagh
Shaheen Bagh Jamia Nagar Protest Site Picture.

Mumbai, Jan 27 : Inspired by the Shaheen Bagh protests in New Delhi, a large group of women have launched a similar style of protests from January 26-27 midnight in south Mumbai early on Monday.

Terming it a ‘Mumbai Bagh’, they are silently protesting against the CAA-NRC-NPR and by morning the crowds swelled even as Mumbai Police rushed to make tight security arrangements at the site at Morland Road-Thandi Sadak.

The protesters are mainly Muslim women from minority-dominated areas of Madanpur, Byculla, Agripada, Jhoola Maidan and surroundings who are staging a sit-in agitation, off the Arabia Hotel, near Mumbai Central station.

Senior Police Inspector Shalini Sharma told mediapersons that the protesters were asked to take prior permission but they refused to move from the site and continued to occupy the road.

Initially, surrounding the protesters around 3 a.m., by dawn the police stepped aside and the peaceful protests continued with raising of slogans against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government, placards and posters opposing CAA-NRC-NPR, reading of the Preamble of the Constitution, singing patriotic songs and poems, and waving of the tricolour.

The protesters also sent messages to people providing regular updates and asking them to join them from their Twitter handle ‘Mumbai Against CAB’.

Besides, activists in Kalyan town in adjoining Thane district have announced a five-day Shaheen Bagh-type agitation at the Babasaheb Ambedkar Garden starting February 1.

Some of the messages today read: “URGENT. More people are needed at #MumbaiBagh right now. #IndiaAgainstCAA_NPR_NRC is for everyone and we all share equal responsibility towards sustaining this fight. The unjust & discriminatory forces unleashed by this govt must be defeated! Please join and spread the word.”

Similarly, Twitter handle ‘CAA/NRC Protest Info’, posted: “Need people to come to #MumbaiBagh or we will be detained … Please do come ASAP. Location: Mumbai Central, Next to Arabia Hotel, Opposite City Centre.”

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Kapil Sibal threatens to sue news channels making baseless allegations…….



Kapil Sibal Speech

New Delhi, Jan 27: Amid nationwide protest over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has identified an organisation named Rehab Foundation of India (RFI), which has funded over Rs 120 crore for the protest.

The ED also alleged that the payments were made to senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, senior advocates Indira Jaising, Dushyant Dave and a person named Abdul Samad, who is also named in National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Kapil Sibal slams link up with PFI to CAA stir. Sibal says, he received payment for Hadiya case between 2017 and 2018 only for professional services.

Senior advocates Dushyant Dave and Indira Jaising have also denied receiving any funds from the Popular Front of India in relation to protests against the newly-enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Dave, who is also President, Supreme Court Bar Association, said “I have appeared in the Hadiya case, the 25-year-old woman whose marriage after conversion to Islam was first annulled by the High Court and later restored by the Supreme Court. I have no connection with Popular Front of India (PFI) in the anti-CAA protests.”

He also cited the statement by PFI, released on March 28 2018, that the organisation spent a total of Rs 99.52 lakh on fighting the case dubbed as the ‘Love Jihad’ case for Hadiya’s husband Shefin Jahan for 10 months. PFI had paid Rs 93,85 lakh as lawyer fees including to four senior lawyers – Kapil Sibal, Dave, Jaising and Marzook Bafaki – who had appeared in the apex court for Jahan.

Sibal had appeared seven times, while Jaising and Dave appeared four and three times, respectively, in the matter. Citing the Hadiya case, Dave said “It was a sad commentary on judiciary that a love marriage was given intense judicial and police scrutiny merely because the two were from different religions.”

Jaising in a statement said, “I completely and vehemently deny having received any money from PFI at any point of time, or receiving any money from any person or organisation in relation to anti-CAA protests.”

She insisted that the note showing details of transactions from the PFI account alleged to her does not contain any signature or date nor does it contain the name of the agency from where it has originated, and therefore it is wholly unreliable.

“Any motive attributed to scandalise my reputation will lead to serious civil as well as criminal legal action against such persons and media platforms,” she added in her statement.

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Plea against magisterial order in Nirbhaya case dismissed




Judiciary Court

New Delhi: A Delhi sessions court on Monday dismissed the application challenging recent magisterial order that rejected the plea questioning the credibility of the sole witness in the Nirbhaya gangrape and fatal assault case, claiming he was tutored and his statement was not credible.

Additional Sessions Judge A.K. Jain pronounced the order on the plea filed on Thursday by Heera Lal Gupta, father of Nirbhaya death-row convict Pawan Gupta.

On January 6, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sudhir Kumar Sirohi had dismissed the application of the convict’s father questioning the credibility of the sole eyewitness in the case.

The complaint cited some recent media reports that alleged the witness charged money to appear for interviews on news channels, advocate A.P. Singh said.

The eyewitness, a friend of 23-year-old victim, was accompanying her in the bus when the incident took place. He had also sustained injuries.

“This calls for an independent investigation into the perjury that appears to have been committed by him (witness), as being the sole witness his testimony has strongly influenced the outcome of the case leading to death penalty,” the complaint said.

While citing the media reports, the advocate said, “On the basis of said facts and circumstances, it’s clear his testimony was false and fabricated. This goes to the root of his testimony. If established, it would show that the testimony is false.”

The victim was gangraped and tortured on December 16, 2012, which led to her death. All the six accused were arrested and charged with sexual assault and murder. One of the accused, a minor, appeared before a juvenile justice court, while another committed suicide in Tihar Jail.

Four convicts were sentenced to death by a trial court in September 2013. The verdict was confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014 and upheld by the Supreme Court in May 2017, which also dismissed their review petition in July 2018.

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