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Triple talaq bill in RS today

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New Delhi, Dec 30: The contentious triple talaq bill seeking to criminalise the practice of instant divorce among Muslims is set to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha Monday, even as the Congress has said it will not allow its passage in the present form

The ruling BJP has issued a whip in the Upper House asking its members to be present.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will table the bill in the Upper House. The bill was cleared by the Lok Sabha — 245 voting in favour and 11 opposing it — on Thursday amid a walkout by the Opposition.

 

Prasad had on Friday claimed the bill will find support in the Rajya Sabha, where the BJP-led NDA lacks numbers.

The bill is listed in the Rajya Sabha’s legislative agenda for Monday.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary K C Venugopal told reporters in Kochi Saturday the party would join hands with others to prevent the bill from getting passed in the House.

He said 10 opposition parties had openly come out against the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 when it was introduced in the Lok Sabha.

Even the parties which support the government on various issues, including the AIADMK, have opposed the bill, said Venugopal, who is also a Congress floor strategist.

The opposition has questioned the stringent provisions like criminalisation of a civil wrong in the triple talaq bill.

The Opposition has been demanding that the bill be referred to a ‘Joint Select Committee’ of Parliament for further scrutiny.

On Thursday, the government rejected the Opposition’s contention the bill it was aimed at targeting a particular community.

Piloting the bill, Prasad had said there should be no politics on the bill, stressing it was not against any particular community.

Describing the passage of the triple talaq bill in the Lok Sabha as a historic step towards ensuring equality and dignity of Muslim women, BJP chief Amit Shah had demanded an apology from the Congress for “decades of injustice”.

The fresh Bill to make the practice of triple talaq among Muslims a penal offence was introduced in Lok Sabha on December 17 to replace an ordinance issued in September

Under the proposed law, giving instant triple talaq will be illegal and void, and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband.

The fresh bill will supersede an earlier bill passed in the Lok Sabha and pending in the Rajya Sabha.

The earlier bill was approved by the Lower House.

But amid opposition by some parties in the upper house, the government had cleared some amendments, including introduction of a provision of bail, to make it more acceptable.

However, as the bill continued to face resistance in the Rajya Sabha, the government issued an ordinance in September, incorporating the amendments.

An ordinance has a life of six months. But from the day a session begins, it has to be replaced by a bill which should be passed by Parliament within 42 days (six weeks), else it lapses.

The government is at liberty to re-promulgate the ordinance if the bill fails to get through Parliament.

Introducing the bill, the Law Minister had said despite the Supreme Court striking down the practice of talaq-e-biddat (instant triple talaq), terming it unconstitutional, divorces in this form were taking place.

Citing details of instant triple talaq cases, the government had last week informed Lok Sabha that till now 430 incidents of triple talaq have come to the notice of the government through the media.

Of these, 229 were reported before the Supreme Court judgment, while another 201 came to the notice after it.

These cases were reported between the period of January 2017 and September 13, 2018.


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Address reason forcing youth to take up arms: Mirwaiz to Guv

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Srinagar, Jan 18: On J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik’s statement that the government does not want to ‘kill militants but militancy’, Hurriyat (M) Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Friday said if that was the case the Governor should address the cause that forces the young boys to take up the arms.

“If it is so and they (Governor’s administration) are sincere then the government should address the cause that is leading these educated and young boys to take to arms,” Mirwaiz said while addressing the Friday Congregation at Jama Masjid here.

Calling for a political process to resolve the issue, Mirwaiz said: “…start a political process in earnest to address the sentiment behind it and resolve the dispute. It will not only save the lives of our youth but soldiers also, end militarization and the resultant atrocities that governor sahab wants Joint Hurriyat leadership to convey to him, and end the uncertainty and hostility that the region is hostage to for past 71 years.”

 

Mirwaiz also reacted to the army’s statement terming 2018 as ‘remarkable year’ because of militant killings calling the same “extremely unfortunate and inhuman.”

Mirwaiz called it strange that a well-trained armed  force meant to fight another well trained armed force was “celebrating and patting its back on killing young men and boys, some as young as 14, while some budding intellectuals and academics, and calling it remarkable.”

“…army’s boasting of the killings of militants, who are not some hard core armed guerillas and terror mongers, but sentiment driven youth forced to take to arms as a consequence of severe repression due to forcible control,” said the Mirwaiz, according to a statement.

“It is simply the intensity of their passion that drives these young boys, who are poorly trained and starved of ammunition to be able to give a real fight, in this greatly unequal battle to an armed force of a country,” Mirwaiz said.

He said the pain and loss that all of Kashmir feels at the killings of militants only adds to people’s resolve and pushes more young to join in.

“Instead of admitting this, the armed force of a country that prides itself in the history of its freedom struggle by honoring the likes of Subhash Chander Bose who raised  Indian National Army to fight the British colonial rule , sells the killing of these armed youth as a great achievement to people of India,” he said.

The chief cleric said many in Indian army have in their write ups and lectures admitted that Jammu and Kashmir is a political problem that has to be resolved as such.

“Those who are using militarization to prolong the status quo should understand that it comes with a cost and keeps increasing complexities,” said the Mirwaiz, adding that the whole world has said that there can be no military solution to the dispute.

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Drug Abuse in Kashmir: Over 300 cases registered, 482 peddlers arrested in 2018

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, Jan 18: Kashmir has emerged as one of the major consumers of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances with police registering over 300 cases against drug peddlers in the region during 2018.

As per the official figures of the police department, at least 312 cases were registered against the drug peddlers in the valley during the year.

Police arrested 482 persons involved in these cases. In 221 cases, the charge sheets have been filed while 91 are still being investigated.

 

Of the cases, 123 have been registered in south Kashmir followed by 108 in north and 81 in Central parts of the valley.

Police have also seized a huge quantity of contraband substances including poppy straw, fukki, brown sugar, charas, heroin, ganja, bhung putri, and opium straw from various parts of Kashmir.

As per official data, the drugs seized include poppy straw (1734.7 kg), fukki (850.61 kg), brown sugar (6.88 kg) and charas (73.27 kg), apart from other seizures of opioids.

Another disturbing trend has been the increased use of narcotic drugs including heroin, sedatives and painkillers.

“Use of these substances increases the intensity of addiction and hastens the process of complete subjugation to the narcotic dependence,” a police official said, adding that heroin is often considered as a “status symbol” among the drug addicts.

Last year, the report by Narcotics Control Bureau of Union Ministry of Home Affairs’ said J&K was among the top states in India in the cultivation of illicit crops.

The former chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti too had directed police to use Public Safety Act (PSA)–a law under which a person can be detained without trial for up to two years–against those involved in the cultivation and smuggling of drugs.

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RKFC vs Shillong Lajong FC: Snow Leopards aim repeating history

Firdous Hassan

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Shillong (Meghalaya), Jan 18: Real Kashmir FC head coach David Robertson Friday said the team’s five- day stay in Shillong has helped his players to prepare themselves “mentally as well as physically” for a “bigger” game against Shillong Lajong FC.

Before resuming their home leg, RKFC will Saturday face Shillong Lajong FC, which currently is rooted to the bottom with just four points from 12 games.

Last month, RKFC played dominating football against Shillong defeating it 6:1 at Srinagar’s Astro-Turf ground.

 

Coach Robertson, in a pre-match conference on Friday, said his players understood the technicalities of the venue, Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, which is very similar to the visitor’s home turf.

“The Shillong playground is similar to that of Astro-Turf, which too has a synthetic turf.  Currently, there is good spirit within the team and players are ready for the match,” he said.

Coach Robertson said his team is confident enough for the upcoming match as all eight foreigner players are declared fit for the game.

“We are enjoying the season as we haven’t faced any defeat since March 2017 in away games. So, in tomorrow’s match, we are expecting some good results to get three points before our home matches resume,” he said.

The RKFC head coach said the pressure will be more on the host team but quickly added that Shillong Lajong’s ability to bounce back can’t be underestimated.

“It will be premature to predict about the upcoming game. There are chances that the game can be difficult for us but we have to continue our momentum to get good results tomorrow,” he said.

“There is great enthusiasm in my team and every game, irrespective of the team’s rank, is challenging for us,” Robertson added.

Shillong Lajong FC so far scored almost at a rate of a goal every match but has conceded at a rate of three goals a game, highlighting a rickety defensive line.

RKFC, on the other hand, is on an unbeaten run of eight games that has helped them accumulate 22 points after 12 rounds.

Shillong Lajong FC coach Alison Kharsyngtiew said the physical stature of RKFC players can give a tough competition to any team.

“Considering the physicality of the RKFC team, the game can be tough. But we are ready to give our best,” he said.

Asked about the reasons behind featuring at the bottom, he said his players are very young.

“This is the future of our national team and entire north-east. We have to guide them and encourage them to do better in future,” he said.

He said two of his players including defender Rakesh Pradhan and midfielder Hardy Nongbri are injured and won’t play the upcoming match.

 

 

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