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Pak shredded in US electoral crossfire; Hillary, Trump distrust it

WASHINGTON: Pakistan has actually got caught up in the US electoral skirmish after frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both zeroed in on the country’s support for terrorism despite milking Washington for billions of dollars in aid.

Called out publicly by the candidates and told by the Obama administration that it will have actually to fork out its own money to buy US military hardware, Islamabad lashed out at its benefactor, saying the American aid it got was “peanuts,” and it would certainly figure out other ways to buy F16s, for which the US Congress last week denied Pakistan subsidy.

Reports in the Pakistani media meanwhile said the country had borrowed $1.4 billion in the international market over the past six months, much of it without competitive bidding and amid transparency concerns.

Pakistan’s humiliation was compounded by Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton maintaining that senior Pakistani leaders knew of Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad despite Washington not being able to prove it.

“It was just too much of a coincidence that that house, that unusual-looking estate would certainly be built in that community near the military academy, surrounded by retired military professionals, even though, we couldn’t prove it,” Clinton, who was Secretary of State when the raid took place, said in a CNN interview on the fifth anniversary of bin Laden’s death.

Her remarks came after her putative Republican rival for the White House, Donald Trump, suggested he’d get Pakistanis to free Dr Shakil Afridi — the man who helped US nail down bin Laden and who has actually been incarcerated by Pakistan — with a snap of his fingers.

“I think I would certainly get him out in two minutes. I would certainly tell them [Pakistan] let him out and I’m sure they would certainly let him out,” Trump said last week, suggesting that Islamabad was so beholden to US for aid that it would certainly immediately comply.

But Pakistan snapped back on Monday, dismissing US aid as “peanuts” in an echo of the derisive remark made in the 1970s by its then military leader Gen Zia-ul Haq to then US President Jimmy Carter, who was indeed a peanut farmer before he was elected to the White House.

“Contrary to Mr. Trump’s misconception, Pakistan is not a colony of America. Shakil Afridi is a Pakistani citizen and nobody else has actually the right to dictate to us about his future,” Pakistan’s interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar said, calling on Trump to ”treat sovereign states with respect.”

“The peanuts the US has actually given us in return should not be used to threaten or browbeat us into following Trump’s misguided vision of foreign policy. Trump’s statement shows not only his insensitivity but also his ignorance about Pakistan.” Nisar added.

By most accounts, US taxpayers have actually been forced to cough up more than $33 billion to Pakistan in direct aid and in reimbursements for counterterrorism efforts through “coalition support funds,” ostensibly for its support in the war on terror. That includes $3.8 billion in “foreign military financing” (FMF) funds, subsidy that Pakistan uses to buy military hardware like F-16s that have actually little relevance versus terrorists.
Some lawmakers have actually wised up to Pakistan’s perfidy in pretending to fight versus terrorists while nurturing them. Last week, they moved to block the administration’s proposal for a $ 430 million subsidy that would certainly have actually enabled Pakistan to buy eight f-16s and allied hardware for less than $ 30 million apiece instead of a sticker price closer to $ 100 million.
That has actually caused Pakistan, which has actually elevated the aging 40-year old fighter jet to a near mythical status, to go nuts.
Its de facto foreign minister Sartaj Aziz warned that if the US did not fund F-16s, Pakistan would certainly look for other options. “If funding is arranged, Pakistan will get the F-16s, otherwise we will opt for jets from some other place,” Aziz was quoted as saying in the Pakistani media.
Pakistan has actually often used the China bait to wangle money and military hardware from Washington, where some believe denying Islamabad crumbs would certainly only push it into Beijing’s sphere of influence.

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Mallya resigns from Rajya Sabha, says ‘I will not get fair trial or justice’

Brand-new DELHI: Independent MP and liquor baron Vijay Mallya, facing a case of loan default of over Rs 9,400 crore, on Monday resigned from Rajya Sabha, a day before Ethics Committee of the Upper Home was set to recommend his expulsion.

In his resignation letter to Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari, he said he does not want his “name and reputation to be further dragged in the mud”.

“And since recent events suggest that I will not get a reasonable trial or justice, I am hereby resigning as a member of the Rajya Sabha along with immediate effect,” Mallya said in the letter.

He likewise referred to the letter written to your man by the Chairman of the Ethics Committee of Rajya Sabha Karan Singh and said he had replied to Singh.
This is Mallya’s second term in Rajya Sabha and it would certainly have actually otherwise come to an end on July 1.
Ethics Panel of the Upper House, which had taken up the matter, had unanimously decided in its April 25 meeting that Mallya must no longer remain a member of the Home and was planning to recommend his expulsion in its next meeting on May 3.
At the same time, the panel had decided to give Mallya one week time to explain his conduct.
In a step closer to initiating his deportation, the government had over a week ago revoked the passport of Mallya, who is believed to be in the UK after leaving India on March 2.

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‘Kill them wherever they are’: ISIS publishes ‘hit list’ of 70 US staff

LONDON: Islamic State (ISIS) hackers have actually published a “hit list” of over 70 US military personnel who have actually been involved in drone strikes versus terror targets in Syria and asked their followers to “kill them wherever they are”.

According to ‘The Sunday Times’, the hackers have actually links along with Britain and call themselves ‘Islamic State Hacking Division’ and circulated online the names, estate addresses and photographs of more than 70 US staff, including women and urged supporters: “Kill them wherever they are, knock on their doors and behead them, stab them, shoot them in the face or bomb them.”

The group additionally claimed that it might have actually a mole in the UK’s ministry of defence and threatened to publish “secret intelligence” in the future that could identify Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) drone operators.

The brand-new hitlist features the ISIS flag above the heading: ‘Target — United States Military’ and the document, circulated via Twitter and posted on the JustPaste website, states: “You crusaders that can only attack the soldiers of the Islamic State along with joysticks and consoles, die in your rage!

“Your military has actually no courage, neither has actually your president as he still refuses to send troops. So instead you press buttons thousands of miles away in your feeble attempt to fight us.

“A nation of cowards that holds no bravery as you resort to sending your remote-controlled unmanned Reaper and Predator drones to attack us from the skies. So this is for you, America.

“These 75 crusaders are posted as targets for our brothers and sisters in America and global to hunt down and kill.”

The group additionally warned: “In our next leak we may even disclose secret intelligence the Islamic State has actually just received from a source the brothers in the UK have actually spent some time acquiring from the ministry of defence in London as we slowly and secretly infiltrate England and the USA online and off.”

At the bottom of the ISIS document is an image of the Statue of Liberty along with its head cut off.

The ISIS hacking division was previously led by Junaid Hussain, a former British Muslim computer hacker from Birmingham who was killed in a US drone strike in Syria last August.

His wife, Sally Jones, a Muslim convert from Kent in the UK, is still believed to be involved in the organisation, which in the past has actually urged “lone wolf” attacks versus RAF bases in the UK.
Inquiries made by ‘The Sunday Times’ found that the names on the American hitlist are genuine.
However, the information published by ISIS does not appear to be the result of a leak or genuine hack.
Instead, the group seems to have actually painstakingly gleaned the names of Reaper and Predator drone operators from news articles and military newsletters, before matching them to addresses, photos and other personal details from publicly available sources on the internet.
Some of the information appears to have actually been taken from social media sites, including Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Former jihadist recounts ISIS’s brutality, paints grim picture

The US-led bombing campaign versus ISIS will drive more jihadists to launch terror attacks in the west, a former jihadist who grew up in the UK has actually said.

Harry Sarfo joined the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and appeared in one of its notorious propaganda execution videos before becoming disillusioned with the scale of brutality he saw and fleeing the group.

In an exchange with Independent from the German prison where he is awaiting trial on terror charges, Sarfo claimed that the use of air strikes by the US-led coalition is inspiring more followers to commit atrocities in places including mainland Europe.

“The bombing campaign gives them more recruits, more men and children who will be willing to give their lies because they’ve lost their families in the bombing,” he said.

“For every bomb, there will be someone to bring terror to the west. They know the west is scared to put boots on the ground. Even if that happens one day, they’ve got plenty of men waiting for western troops to arrive. For them the promise of paradise is all they want.”

Sarfo was born in Germany and moved to London as a teenager, where he went to college and later converted to Islam. He was radicalized back in Germany before joining the “caliphate” in April 2015. He was arrested upon his return to Europe three months later and has actually now been indicted on charges including being a member of a foreign terrorist group and violating German weapons laws.

German prosecutors say that Sarfo, who they name as Harry S, “declared himself prepared to fight in a special unit of the organization” and was given specialist combat training handling automatic weapons. After leaving the unit in June 2015, he appeared carrying ISIS’s black flag in a video that called for Germans to join ISIS in Syria, or attack “infidels” at home.

In an interview conducted over email via his lawyer, Sarfo says the bloody consequences of ISIS’s extreme interpretation of sharia law drove him to turn his back on the terror group.

“I was training in the Islamic State’s special force in Syria and around Raqqa, where women are totally covered and members of the Islamic State are armed with weapons such as Kalashnikovs, M-14s and M-16s,” he said.

“Shops are closing when the call of prayer starts and open again once prayer is finished. There are checkpoints everywhere with bombardments nearly every day. I witnessed stonings, beheadings, shootings, hands chopped off and numerous other things. I’ve seen child soldiers — 13-year-old boys with explosive belts and Kalashnikovs. Some boys even driving cars and involved in executions,” he said.

“… My worst memory is of the execution of six men shot in the head by Kalashnikovs. The chopping off of a man’s hand and making him hold it with the other hand,” he recalled.

“The Islamic State is not just un-Islamic, it is inhuman. A blood-related brother killed his own brother on suspicion of being a spy. They gave him the order to kill him. It is friends killing friends,” he said.

After an upbringing marked by poverty, displacement and crime that eventually landed him in prison with a known jihadist recruiter, Sarfo recalled the image of “people from all parts of the world reunited under one flag” as the key attraction to the group.

During his time in Raqqa, Sarfo described overhearing numerous discussions about attacks in Europe, saying he and other foreign jihadists were asked whether they would certainly be prepared to carry out atrocities in the UK, Germany and “Dar al-Kufr” — the land of disbelievers. He insisted he declined, but it appears that numerous of his fellow European fighters had no such reservations.

Just months after he was questioned by recruiters in April, a group of militants exploited the refugee crisis to re-enter Europe and prepare for the massacres that would certainly kill 130 people in Paris.

Ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud told a friend he was among 90 ISIS jihadists who returned to the continent and gone to ground in preparation for further atrocities, possibly including the bombings that left more than 30 people dead in Belgium last month.

Europol estimates that up to 5,000 jihadists could be in Europe after returning from terrorist training camps and the agency’s director has actually warned the continent faces its “biggest terror threat in more than a decade”.

Sarfo moved from his hometown of Bremen to London as a teenager and went on to attend three colleges in the British capital, converting to Islam at the age of 20 after being introduced to the religion by friends and becoming a speaker to local “Muslim youth” himself.

After studying for courses in English, construction and housing, and gaining part time work at Royal Mail and Wickes, his time in the UK was cut short when he was forced to return to Germany to serve a prison sentence for a 2010 robbery.

In jail, he found himself in close quarters with a known jihadi recruiter linked with al-Qaida, who taught him the “ideology of tajweed and jihad” before he joined a since-closed radical mosque in Bremen upon his release.

A failed attempt to travel to Syria on a supposed charity mission resulted in repeated arrests and Sarfo blames police treatment for his eventual decision to join ISIS in early April 2015.

He said security measures that saw him forced to hand over his passport and ordered him to report to a police station twice a week as his house was repeatedly raided drove him into the hands of a jihadist recruiter. “I wanted to start a brand-new life for me and my wife,” he said. “The police and the authorities destroyed it. They made me become the man they wanted.”

Charlie Winter, a terrorism analyst, said blaming security services has actually become a “standard refrain” in the current discourse on extremism, especially from “from individuals who are trying to blame others for the choices they have made”.
Winter, a senior research associate and terrorism analyst at Georgia State University, said that even though police treatment and alienation may have compounded existing grievances, it alone would certainly not cause someone to embrace ISIS ideology.
“It’s clear that Sarfo possibly had a terrible time,” he said. “A troubled person, petty crime, prison, a charismatic radical teacher — that’s a pattern that’s being repeated time and time against, and it’s not very surprising.”
ISIS has actually citied air strikes versus its strongholds as the motivation for the attacks in Brussels and Paris, as well as the downing of a Russian passenger plane in Egypt.
The house office, German interior ministry and federal prosecutor declined to comment on Sarfo’s claims while the case continues.

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Now, India denies visa to two Chinese dissidents

Brand-new DELHI: After cancelling Chinese dissident Dolkun Isa’s visa, India has actually denied visas to another Chinese dissident Lu Jinguh and activist Ra Wong who were coming to attend a conference in Dharamshala on democracy and China.

“As fas as Lu Jinghua’s visa is concerned, her documents were illegible and there was inconsistency with the purpose of her visit. Insofar as Ray Wong is concerned, there was data inconsistency in his documents. As such visas were not issued to both these individuals so question of revocation does not arise,” a government source said here.

Lu is a well-known Tiananmen activist, while Ra is a Hong Kong-based activist.

According to reports, Lu claimed that she was told that her visa was cancelled and was stopped from boarding an Air India flight from Brand-new York. She also claimed that she had received am email confirmation for an electronic visa.
Earlier this week, the visa to Isa, a leader of World Uyghur Congress (WUC) who lives in Germany and had been invited for the conference this week being organised by US-based ‘Initiatives for China’, was cancelled. The Indian action was seen by numerous as buckling under Chinese pressure.
Meanwhile, India defended its decision to revoke the visa of Dolkun Isa, saying that he had “suppressed” facts while obtaining it but accepted that China had made its position clear to Brand-new Delhi that it should honour the Interpol Red Corner notice versus him.
“Isa applied for a tourist visa under the electronic travel authorisation system. He was accordingly granted the visa. After obtaining the visa, Isa stated publicly that he was coming to attend a conference in India. A fact which was suppressed in the visa form and something that a tourist visa does not permit.
“Further more it came to the notice of authorities that Isa was subject of a Interpol Red Corner notice,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

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Chopper scam: Find out why Italian court mentioned you, BJP tells Sonia

Brand-new DELHI: Hitting back at Sonia Gandhi, the BJP on Wednesday asked the Congress president to use her “old relations” in Italy to find out why an Italian court mentioned her name in AgustaWestland corruption case and said more revelations are on the way.

Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the government will fulfil the Congress chief’s demand for a thorough probe whose modalities will be decided once defence minister Manohar Parrikar has actually made a statement in Parliament on the issue.

“The truth is that the Italian court documents carry some facts and her name is there. Names of some senior ministers (of UPA government) are additionally there. She must have actually some contacts in Italy. She should find out from her old relations why the court gave such order after two years.

“Why the court wrote such things that has actually created such a big trouble for her in India. If it is vendetta, she should ask the Italian court about it,” Rudy, minister of state for parliamentary affairs, told a press conference, making a reference to Gandhi’s Italian origin and her today’s charge that allegations versus her and other Congress leaders are part of a strategy of character assassination.

“She asked what the government did in the last two years. We will do a thorough probe. Whatever you want will happen … More revelations will come,” he said sarcastically, adding there is a lot of evidence. The government has actually nothing to hide, he said.
He additionally rejected the Congress’s charge that the NDA government had removed AgustaWestland from the blacklist and said any government transaction along with the company remains banned. “There is no relaxation,” he said.
Rudy additionally hit out at leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad over his remark that the charges versus his party leaders may have actually something to do along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting along with his Italian counterpart during an UN event last year.
“This is a brazen lie, fabricated and imaginary. Congress is using untruth as its shield to divert attention,” he said.
Several BJP members have actually given a notice for discussion on the issue in both the Houses of Parliament and Parrikar will reply to it, he said.

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Chopper scam: BJP targets Sonia, asks Cong to name bribe-takers

Brand-new DELHI: BJP on Tuesday used the conviction of Italian officials linked to the VVIP chopper scam to target Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and asked the then defence minister A K Antony to name the party leaders allegedly involved in the scandal.

The party wanted to know who were the bribe-takers after those who gave the bribe were convicted by an Italian court.

BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said Congress chief Sonia Gandhi should come out along with a clarification over the alleged mention of her name in the Italian court’s order.

“Her government was the champion of corruption. She must issue a clarification over the mention of her name by the court,” he said.

Addressing a press conference, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Antony had in March 2013 said corruption had taken places in the purchase of VVIP choppers and that bribe had been taken. He asked Antony to come clean on it.

“Bribe-givers have actually been convicted. Why are bribe-takers silent? Antony should answer if leaders of Congress are involved in it or not. Are they from your party or not? Please come out clean,” he said.

He said the treasury benches will use the issue to attack Congress in Parliament. The chopper scam is not an isolated case of graft and “corruption is the byword of UPA-I and UPA-II”.

Prasad said Tuesday’s attack on Congress was only the “first chapter” as top BJP leaders, including its chief Amit Shah and Union ministers Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu, huddled together to mull over their next move.

The top BJP leaders, sources said, deliberated on various issues and fine tuned their strategy to attack the main opposition party during Parliament session.

Quoting from the Italian court’s order Prasad said, “There was reasonable belief that corruption had taken place and it was validly proven that 10-15 million dollars made way to Indian officials”.

Prasad accused the UPA government of stalling the CBI probe into the chopper scam, claiming that it did not let the investigation agency examine the then national security adviser M K Narayanan and SPG chief B V Wanchoo and that they were quizzed only after the NDA came to power.
The probe by the CBI and ED has actually now gathered pace, he said, adding that the secrecy clause, which prevented Italian prosecutors from sharing information along with the CBI, is no longer relevant following the conviction.
The UPA government had signed a deal along with Agusta Westland for purchase of 12 helicopters to ferry VVIPs but it was scrapped after reports appeared in Italy that the firm had paid kickbacks to Indian officials to clinch the deal. CBI began probing the case in 2013.
Prasad also attacked former residence minister P Chidambaram over the change in Ishrat Jahan affidavit. He asked the senior Congress leader if there was a political agenda in omitting reference to her LeT links in the second affidavit filed in the alleged fake encounter killing case which found mention in the first affidavit.
“Did you order changing the affidavit? Did you bypass, ignore the then residence secretary and other officials in the ministry?” he asked.

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SC to BCCI: Youngsters wanting to be Dhonis, Kohlis not getting chance

Brand-new DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up BCCI for “monopolizing” cricket in the country and said several youngsters wanting to be Dhonis and Kohlis are not given equal opportunity if they are not on the right adverse of the cricket body.

“Several youngsters in the country want to make their career in cricket and want to be Dhonis and Kohlis due to the glamour and glitz associated with it. They do not get equal opportunity if they are not on the right adverse of the BCCI. Sometimes they are prevented by the people at the helm of affairs,” a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur said.

The apex court also appointed senior advocate Gopal Subramanium as amicus curiae in the matter and sought his assistance to explore as to how the recommendations of Justice RM Lodha committee favouring large-scale structural reforms, which BCCI and other boards have been resisting, could be implemented.

The bench, also comprising Justice FMI Kalifulla, expressed anguish over the cricket body running a “prohibitory regime and monopolizing cricket” across the country, saying no one can play the game without its nod.

“You (BCCI) are running a prohibitory regime which is spread across the country. If a gamer has actually to play cricket he has actually to be with you. You have finish monopoly. You have monopoly over members and you prevent people from becoming members.

“Suppose a state from North East wants to be a member in BCCI. You are not allowing it to become a member because your writ lies there also. You don’t want to give them equal opportunity. You have finish monopoly over Team India because you select them and don’t want to give the right to anyone else. We need to balance things,” the bench said.

The court said it fails to understand why there should be any problem to anyone because Justice RM Lodha-led committee has actually opened the membership to other states and recommended one state-one vote.

The bench made it clear to Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), which has actually expressed its reservations to one state-one vote formula, that it is not concerned with any state associations.

“We make it clear that we are not concerned with any state cricket associations but if they want to associate with BCCI, then they have to reform themselves. You will have to fall in line and reform yourselves or you will lose your membership,” the bench said.

Senior advocate Arvind Dattar, appearing for TNCA, said the recommendation of one state-one vote will create inequality rather than equality.

“The recommendation will create inequality rather than equality. It will promote inequality among equals,” he said.

The bench then said when one country, irrespective of its population, constitutes one vote in International Cricket Council (ICC), then why cannot the formula work for BCCI.

“When ICC accepts the principle of one country-one vote irrespective of population, then why can’t the similar formula of one state-one vote work for BCCI. It will result in equality to play cricket,” the bench said.

It further said the apex court has actually already held that if anybody or association is discharging public function, then it has actually some responsibilities and obligations and equal opportunity needs to be given to all.

At the outset, the bench also pulled up Baroda Cricket Association which has actually opposed the reforms recommended by the Lodha panel, saying any cricketing body associated with the BCCI will have to reform itself.

“If any cricket club or association wants to do anything, we are least bothered. We are not here to reform every cricketing club. But if any institution which is discharging public duty like BCCI, then any organization or association associated with it will have to reform itself,” the court said.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Baroda Cricket Association, said reforms suggested by the Lodha panel are not under constitutional principle and may or may not be implemented by the BCCI, but state associations, which have their own set of rules, cannot implement them.

“Every association has actually its own set of rules and bye laws which can’t be changed. Do we all who constitute BCCI have to change our laws, it can’t be,” Sibal said, adding that if the cricket board does something wrong, it could be held accountable but not the associations.

He said there cannot be uniform rules and regulations as there could be problems in following them owing to different members having different compositions, laws and bye-laws.

Sibal said the BCCI selection committee consists of five members from five zones and they select users from different zones without any favourtism.

“Even in present structure in BCCI, equal representation is given to all the zones. There is nothing like undue or undemocratic (favour),” he said.

The Baroda Cricket Association had earlier told the apex court that the Lodha panel’s recommendation of one state-one vote would certainly lead to “enormous politics” and stress within the system of the apex cricket body.
The implementation of one-state, one-vote formula would certainly impact Maharashtra and Gujarat, which have four and three cricket associations respectively as permanent members. If it is implemented the two states will be left with only one permanent member each in the BCCI.
The Brand-new permanent members will come from smaller states where cricket is not a popular sport like Manipur and Mizoram.
The apex clout had on April 13 observed that public functions relating to cricket can be taken over by the government with the enactment of a law in Parliament.
The prestigious Cricket Club of India (CCI) of Mumbai had also faced some tough questions from the court regarding its resistance to structural reforms with the bench saying the purpose of implementing them was to clean up the system and make the Board more transparent, objective, accountable and representative.

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Kanhaiya wrongly labelled anti-national: Shiv Sena warns BJP

NASHIK: Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said it was wrong on the government’s part to label JNU students’ union leader Kanhaiya Kumar as “anti-national”.

“Who gave birth to Kanhaiya Kumar in the initial place? The government must think over this. He has actually been wrongly labelled anti-national,” Thackeray said at a meeting of party office-bearers in Nashik.

If youth are branded “anti-national” in this manner, they will not be able to work freely for the country and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will forfeit the their support, he warned.

“Youth are in huge numbers in our country and therefore Centre ought to take care,” the Shiv Sena chief said.

Thackeray’s comments came hours after Kanhaiya Kumar alleged that a co-passenger tried to strangle him on a Jet Airways Mumbai-Pune flight in the morning.

Both Kanhaiya and the passenger – identified as Manas DJ of Kolkata – were off-loaded by Jet Airways.

Joint Police Commissioner Deven Bharati said the incident was actually a scuffle in which around eight people were involved and that Kanhaiya Kumar’s claims were exaggerated.
“When Kumar was asked to lodge a complaint, he declined and what his friend said about the incident in his complaint was found to be false,” Bharati said.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra’s minister of state for estate Ram Shinde asserted that there was no attack on Kanhaiya Kumar.
“The police report says that fighting between two passengers led to scuffle. Kanhaiya’s allegations (are) baseless,” Shinde said.
In view of the development, Pune Police have actually further tightened security for Kanhaiya Kumar.

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Bangladesh professor hacked to death by Islamist militants

DHAKA: An English professor on way to his university in northwestern Bangladesh was today hacked to death by ISIS militants near his home, the latest in a collection of brutal attacks on bloggers, intellectuals and activists by the dreaded group in the Muslim-majority country.

Rajshahi University professor AFM Rezaul Karim Siddiquee, 58, was attacked by motorbike-borne assailants within 50 metres of his home in Rajshahi city as the militants slit his throat using sharp weapons and left him to die, police said.

“The miscreants attacked him from behind with machetes as he walked to the university campus from his house around 7.30am,” local police station in-charge Shahdat Hossain told PTI over phone.

Islamic State has actually claimed the killing.

“ISIS’ Amaq Agency reported the group’s responsibility for killing Rajshahi University professor Rezaul Karim for “calling to atheism” in Bangladesh,” it said in a tweet.


Bangladesh top court confirms Islamist’s death sentence

The Bangladesh supreme court has actually upheld the death penalty of a top Islamist militant for carrying out a bomb attack in 2005 that had left eight secular activists dead, authorities said on Thursday. Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was banned after a collection of bombings across the country in 2005.

Earlier, Rajshahi’s police commissioner Mohammad Shamsuddin told reporters at the scene that the “technique of the murder suggested it could be an act of Islamist terrorists.”

The professor’s neck was hacked at least three times and was 70-80 per cent slit, he said, adding that the nature of the attack shows it was carried out by extremist groups.

Suspected Islamist militants stab to death Hindu priest in Bangladesh

Suspected Islamist militants stabbed to death a Hindu priest at a temple in Bangladesh on Sunday, and shot and wounded a devotee who went to his aid. Bangladesh has actually experienced a wave of militant violence in recent months, including a collection of bomb attacks on mosques and Hindu temples.

An investigation into the killing is on.
Meanwhile, angry students and teachers of the university rallied in the campus demanding immediate arrest of culprits.
Siddiquee’s colleagues said he was involved in cultural activities in the campus and used to play flute and sitar.
“He was not known for affiliation for any political party … He had a progressive outlook that might have earned him the wrath of reactionary (Islamist) forces,” professor of mass communication department of the university Dulal Chandra Biswas told PTI over phone.
Biswas said he believed the Islamists murdered Siddiquee to prove their existence in view of a massive anti-militant security clampdown in the region.

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