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Terror Funding Case: NIA files charges against Kashmir separatists

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New Delhi, Jan 18: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday filed charges under stringent anti-terror laws against seven jailed Kashmiri separatist leaders for allegedly conspiring with Pakistan-based terrorist leaders Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin to wage war against India to secede Jammu and Kashmir.

The agency has named Saeed, the Lashkar-e-Taiba founder and alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, and Salahuddin, the Hizbul Mujahideen chief, as the accused in its nearly 13,000-page chargesheet.

Others accused are Altaf Ahmad Shah, son-in-law of hardline Hurriyat Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Aftab Ahmad Shah, a close aide of moderate Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and well-known businessman Zahoor Ahmad Watali.

In all, 12 persons have been accused of “carrying out terrorist attacks and orchestrating violence, stone-pelting and other subversive and secessionist activities in Jammu and Kashmir”. All the accused are in Tihar Jail here.

The chargesheet was filed in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Tarun Sherawat.

The chargesheet says it is “a part of their well-planned criminal conspiracy hatched with the active support, connivance and funding from terrorist organisations based in Pakistan and its agencies to achieve their objective of secession of Jammu and Kashmir by waging war against the government of India”.

The NIA registered the case on May 30 last year and the first arrests were made on July 24. Searches at over 60 locations across Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana and Delhi led to the seizure of over “950 incriminating documents and over 600 electronic devices”.

The agency said over 300 witnesses were examined.

The charges have been pressed under the non-bailable Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act which entails punishment of seven years in jail if the allegations are proven, and anti-terror provisions of the Indian Penal Code.

The agency said analysis of documents and digital devices had established that the Hurriyat leaders had established a network in the Kashmir Valley to incite the youth to “attack all symbols of Indian sovereignty, especially Indian security forces”.

“Under the overall guidance and instructions from Hafiz Syed, Syed Salahuddin and their Pakistani handlers, the separatist leaders and stone-pelters form strategies and action plans to launch violent protests… creating an atmosphere of terror and fear in Jammu and Kashmir.”

The NIA said its probe “based on scientific and oral evidences has conclusively established that for carrying out terrorist and subversive activities, the gang of the accused persons is receiving funds from Pakistani agencies through hawala conduits such as Watali”.

It said funds for such activities were also raised “by generating illegal profits from LoC barter trade by doing under-invoicing and cash-dealings”.

“The money is routed through fake and bogus companies floated abroad and remitted to the Hurriyat leaders in Jammu and Kashmir. All these funds are then pumped by them into fuelling mass violence and terrorist activities so as to cause damage to public property, disrupt the essential services throwing normal life into chaos with an intention to threaten the unity, integrity and sovereignty of India”.

IANS

India

Govt plans to commission study on modernisation of madarsas

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Muslim education in India

New Delhi: The Union Minority Affairs Ministry has invited expressions of interest from consulting agencies for conducting a study on strengthening and modernising of madarsas, an official statement said.

The tender, floated on October 15, says the ministry invites “conducting study and preparation of detailed concept note on strengthening/modernisation of madarsas” and the last date of submitting the tender is November 2.

The Ministry statement said that education is an area of concern for the Muslim community, and it is understood that a large number of children from the community in India may be attending madarsas for education, but that it has been observed, over a period of time, that the education being imparted there does not follow the formal curriculum and does not have sufficient infrastructure and qualified teachers.

Noting that the National Education Policy 2020 recognises that minorities are relatively under-represented in school education as well as higher education, it said that policy acknowledges the importance of interventions to promote education of children belonging to all minority communities, and particularly those communities that are educationally under-represented.

It envisages that separate strategies will be formulated for focused attention on reducing the social category gaps in school education which, inter alia, include the alternative forms of schools to be encouraged to preserve their traditions or alternative pedagogical styles, the Ministry said.

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Miscreant attacks JNU professor, gold ornaments looted

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Gurugram, Oct 23 : In a shocking incident, a 68-year-old JNU professor, who is still attached with the varsity after her retirement, was attacked at her residence by a miscreant, who decamped with a gold chain and bangles worth Rs 2.5 lakh, the police said on Friday.

According to the police, the victim, Manju Shree Chauhan, is a resident of Sushant Lok Phase 2-3. The woman is unmarried and lives alone at her flat.

“The incident took place on Thursday afternoon at around 3.15 pm when the woman was alone. The accused, who introduced himself as a courier boy, came to her flat and told the woman that there is a parcel in her name. He then asked for an ID proof, which she produced.

“As the iron gate was locked from inside, the person asked for her Aadhaar card, saying he could not see it properly. When she opened the gate, the person pushed her inside and hit her with a blunt object,” said Hari Singh Dhillon, a neighbour of the victim.

“Chauhan became unconscious after the attack. When she regained consciousness, she telephoned us at 3.53 pm and we immediately rushed to her flat. She was lying in a pool of blood in a semi-conscious state. I immediately called the police and took her to a private hospital, where she is undergoing treatment,” Dillon said.

“The unknown accused fled with the woman’s gold ornaments. We are scanning nearby CCTV footages to develop the indentity of the accused. A case in this regard has been registered at the Sector 56 police station. Further investigation is on,” said the investigation officer in the case.

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Remembering Rafi Ahmed Kidwai: Indian freedom fighter who was next to Nehru

Rafi Ahmed Kidwai died on 24 October 1954 aged 60, while he was still holding office as a Minister.

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Rafi Ahmed Kidwai is one of the most prominent figures of Indian political history. During his time as minister, he was widely credited with bringing about worthy initiatives and implementation of laws. To his credit, many statues, streets, and institutes are named after him.

A man of courage, he belonged to an Islamic family hailed from the Barabanki District of Uttar Pradesh. After completing his education from Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College in Aligarh, he entered politics through the Khilafat Movement.

When he was a student at the Aligarh Muslim University, he was tagged as a ‘Dangerous Person’ for his open Anti- British ideas. In response to the call given by Mahatma Gandhi, he left Aligarh to join the National Movement. He led the Khilafat Non-Co-operation Movement in Barabanki district. Since then, he played a vital role in the National Movement both at the State level and National levels.

Though he hailed from a Zamindari family, surprisingly and in keeping with his ideology, he gave a call for the abolition of the Zamindari system. Hopeful of changes in the policies of the Indian National Congress, he agreed to enter the Assembly. He won the elections held in 1935 under the leadership of Motilal Nehru and became a minister.

During his tenure as a minister, Rafi Ahmed proposed several reforms. The Indian National Congress assigned to him the responsibility of organizing the Anti War Satyagraha Movement in October 1940, which he discharged successfully.

Rafi Ahmed Kidwai was arrested during that movement. He spent a total period of ten years in the Jails during the National Movement. When most of the leaders were in Jails after the Quit India Movement, the Muslim League started strengthening itself. At that time, he faced the League with all his capabilities. He started the magazine ‘Quami Awaz’ to foil the divisionary tactics of the League and also wrote several articles in newspapers like the ‘National Herald’ to disseminate the secular thoughts. He had enormous respect for the culture of integrity and civilization of India. Thus he dedicated himself to the protection of Indian culture.

In 1969 to honor him, India Post has issued 20 Paisa commemorative Postal Stamp. The design of the stamp is horizontal and it depicts the portrait of late Shri Rafi Ahmad Kidwai at the right side and the left corner depicts the airplane to indicate Night Air Mail Service.

Kidwai died on 24 October 1954 aged 60, while he was still holding office as a Minister. Continuous strenuous work had destroyed his health and he had developed cardiac asthma. He was buried with full state honours in his hometown.

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