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My statements ‘doctored and tampered with’, says preacher Zakir Naik

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Zakir Naik
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Mumbai, July 15 

Claiming that his statements were “doctored and tampered out of context”, controversial NRI televangelist Zakir Naik on Friday asserted that he was a “messenger of peace” and unequivocally condemned all terror and terrorist activities.

He also revealed that he was a “NRI”, enjoying residential status in Dubai, Saudi Arabia plus some other countries, and visited India occasionally, including during the holy Ramadan month.

Condemning in his opening remarks Thursday night’s terror attack in France’s Nice, which claimed at least 84 lives, Naik termed as “misinformation” that he had ever advocated suicide bombings.

“I have been preaching for 25 years and I have always condemned terror attacks, suicide bombings since in this innocent people are killed and it is ‘anti-Islam’,” he said, addressing an aggressive media via Skype from Saudi Arabia, where he currently is.

“However, it (suicide attacks) may be used as a tactic of war to save the country, but in all other circumstances where innocents are targeted, it is ‘haram’ in Islam and condemnable,” he contended.

Replying to a question on how his speeches inspired the terrorists behind the recent Bangladesh terror attacks, Naik retorted that he had many fans in that country who watched him on Peace TV, and he attracted 14 million followers on Facebook of which 25 percent are from Bangladesh.

“Even he (the Dhaka terrorist) could be my fan. I challenge the media to show me an official source in Bangladesh who said I have inspired him. The media has picked it up without confirmation,” he shot back.

Claiming that his speeches have been “purposely quoted out of context”, Naik rejected outright the contention that he supported terror and said he was being subjected to a media trial.

He said he had 30 allegations against him and he was quoted out of context and challenged the media persons to prove him wrong since he had the original unedited recordings and could easily verify the doctored tapes doing the rounds on social media networks.

“You have seen doctored clips and tampered statements. You should find out who is doing this, and by using my popularity pushing innocent Muslims to see the (doctored) clips and get influenced,” Naik urged.

“There are some other speakers on Islam who preach that when you kill others or non-Muslims, you will attain paradise. But such speakers are actually misguiding the people, misrepresenting facts and are anti-Quran,” he said.

To a question, he said he had never been summoned or contacted by police in the past nine days since the controversy erupted, but was prepared to fully cooperate with them for any kind of investigations.

“I am an NRI but when my media team informed me of the developments, I decided to come here for a few days to clarify my position,” he said.

On why Peace TV was banned, Naik said he had applied to the Information & Broadcasting Ministry in 2008 for downlinking, so what was the ban when only the downlinking permission had not been given. He alleged that the real reason it is “banned” is because it is a Muslim minority channel.

Naik’s Peace TV and Peace mobile have been banned in Bangladesh following revelations that two of the young Islamist attackers who killed 20 hostages, mostly foreigners, during a Dhaka cafe siege on July 1 drew “inspiration” from his speeches.

After three earlier unsuccessful attempts, Naik’s Skype media interaction finally materialized in a dingy basement hall in Mazagaon area, and at times saw heated exchanges between him and media persons, even as his PR team attempted to control the situation.

(IANS)

 

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BJP Minister caught urinating in public near campaign poster, Calls it ‘Old-age Tradition’

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Ajmer, Oct 8: A picture of Bhartiya Janata Party minister urinating near a wall, next to a campaign poster featuring chief minister Vasundhara Raje is making rounds on social media.

The minister, Shambhu Singh Khatesar, justified himself by saying that urinating publicly was “an age-old tradition” and he had done nothing wrong.

Speaking to media Khatesar said, “There was a wall and some posters stuck at some distance on it. I hadn’t paid attention. It isn’t right to urinate in open but it’s a natural call. Urinating in a crowded area, is wrong”.

On the Narendra Modi government cleanness drive the minister stated “As far as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is concerned, urination alone doesn’t contribute to uncleanliness. That place did not have urinals for kilometers at a stretch”.

WeForNews 

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IMD issues cyclone alert for Odisha

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Cyclone
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Bhubneshwar, Oct 8:  The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday said a depression over the Bay of Bengal is likely to concentrate into a cyclonic storm during the next 48 hours.

Under its impact, several parts of Odisha will receive heavy rainfall starting from October 9.

Fishermen have been advised not to venture into deep sea areas of the Bay of Bengal from October 9 to 12 as the sea condition would be rough.

While rainfall at many places with heavy downpour at isolated places over south coastal Odisha is likely to occur on Tuesday, heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places over coastal Odisha is likely to occur on Wednesday.

It further predicted rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy downpours at a few places and extremely heavy downpour at isolated places over coastal and adjoining interior Odisha on Thursday.

The IMD said squally winds with speeds reaching 45-55 kmph to 65 kmph are very likely along and off north Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal coasts from October 9.

It is very likely to increase gradually, reaching 70-80 kmph to 90 kmph from October 10 evening onwards along and off south Odisha and adjoining districts of north Andhra Pradesh coasts, said H.R. Biswas, Bhubaneswar Met centre Director.

IANS

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Russia, Pakistan sign MoU on gas pipeline from Iran

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Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline

Moscow, Sep 28 (IANS) Russia and Pakistan signed a memorandum of understanding on implementing a project to build an underwater gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan and India, the Russian Energy Ministry said in a statement Thursday.

“The memorandum provides for the identification of authorized organisations through which the project will be supported, including during the development of a feasibility study, identification of the resource base, configuration and route of the gas pipeline,” the statement said, Xinhua reported.

Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky and Pakistan’s Ministry of Energy Additional Secretary Sher Afgan Khan signed the document in Moscow.

Now Russia will have to inform Iran and India about the signing, after which it expects to sign a similar document with India, Yanovsky said in the statement.

The project was frozen in 2013 due to the imposition of sanctions against Iran, but its revival started in 2017. In November 2017, Russia and Iran signed a memorandum that envisaged Russian support for gas supplies from Iran to India.

In March, a Russian-Iranian working group on the implementation of the project had its first meeting.

According to Yanovsky, Russia and Pakistan were holding consultations on another project of building the 1,100 kilometer North-South Gas Pipeline (NSGP) between Pakistan’s Karachi and Lahore to transport 12.3 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

The implementation of an agreement signed in October last year between Russia and Pakistan on Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies “can become a promising direction of cooperation,” he said.

The governments of the two countries were also considering signing an agreement on Russian oil products supplies to Pakistan, Yanovsky said.

In addition, Russian electric power industry has shown interest in the Pakistani market, he said.

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