When will Mehbooba take oath? The suspense continues

By Sheikh Qayoom

Jammu : Even as PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has decided to continue the alliance with the BJP, it is unclear when she will take oath as the next chief minister of troubled Jammu and Kashmir.

While ruling out any new political alliance, the Peoples Democratic Party has decided to continue the vision of late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed while working on a new alliance agenda with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

According to former education minister and senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar, no time-frame can be given on when the new government will assume charge.

Vemula's case shows government's anti-Dalit attitude: Congress

New Delhi : Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula's suicide in Hyderabad shows the "anti-Dalit attitude" of the central government as the human resource minister and the Bharatiya Janata Party "justified" it, the Congress said on Thursday.

"HRD minister and the BJP have justified the death of Rohith Vemula. It shows their anti-Dalit attitude," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said at a press conference here.

He said the the HRD Minister Smriti Irani must apologise for handling the case in a wrong manner.

Association of Muslim Professionals visits drought-affected areas, provides financial assistance

By TCN News,

Osmanabad: Moved by the plight of families in the drought-affected regions of Maharasthra, the Association of Muslim Professionals, a pan-India social welfare organisation, visited these areas and provided financial assistance to ten needy families along with helping others identify various sources of earning an income.

Jharkhand BJP legislator gets one-year in jail

Ranchi,: Dhullu Mahto, a legislator of Jharkhand's ruling BJP, was on Wednesday sentenced to one-year imprisonment in a 10-year-old case related to obstructing official work, a lawyer said.

Mahto was convicted by judicial magistrate Mohammed Umar in Dhanbad district.

The BJP legislator was accused of forcefully taking away a person from the custody of the excise department and creating problems in government work in 2006.

In another case, the BJP legislator is accused of taking away an accused from the police lock-up in 2013.

Hyderabad varsity issue not Dalit versus non-Dalit: Irani

New Delhi: The suicide case of Rohith Vemula, research scholar at University of Hyderabad, was not a "Dalit versus non-Dalit issue", and there was a "malicious attempt to project it as a caste battle", Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani said on Wednesday.

"There has been a malicious attempt to project the issue as a caste battle. The truth is that, it is not," the minister said at a press conference here.

Irani said the case was being "misrepresented" and that she was compelled to clear the air on it.

Yechury seeks Mukherjee's intervention in Hyderabad varsity issue

Hyderabad: CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday sought President Pranab Mukherjee's intervention in the University of Hyderabad issue, where a Dalit research scholar committed suicide due to suspension and alleged 'social boycott'.

After addressing the students on the campus, Yechury told reporters that he will meet the president, who is visitor of the university, to seek his intervention.

IS releases 270 out of 400 kidnapped in Syria

Damascus: The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group released 270 out of the 400 people it had kidnapped when its militants stormed a town in Syria's eastern province of Deir al-Zour earlier this week, a monitor group reported on Wednesday.

The 270 released people were kids under 14, and men over 55 years old, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It added that 130 men between the age 15 and 55 were still held by the IS militants, who will interrogate them on charges of cooperation with the Syrian government in the town of Bughailiyeh.

Need tolerance in India very badly, says Amartya Sen

Kolkata: Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Wednesday asserted India needs tolerance "very badly" but also underscored the importance of skeptical tolerance.

Sen, an aluumni of erstwhile Presidency College which has now developed into the Presidency University, discussed the influence and contributions of early 19th century poet Henry Louis Vivian Derozio in education and society.

"The general idea was to accept any kind of belief that comes from any side. Tolerance is a very great virtue and right now in India we need it very badly," Sen said.

We are watching you and your sadist medieval-era psyche: Dalit diaspora fumes over continued caste discrimination

By Suraj Yengde for

Cambridge: Mid-January in the New England area is infamous for the unfriendly cold shivers. Stepping out on a weekend after a cold week in the central quarters of Cambridge area is unlikely. People passing through the Harvard Square witnessed an unusual form of social gathering by south Asians holding placards that read: ‘Down with the Casteism in Indian Universities,’ ‘#CasteMustFall,’ ‘#DalitLivesMatter,’ ‘Stop Caste Based Discrimination’

Seven pastors killed, 20% rise in attacks on Christians in 2015, says minority group

By Raqib Hameed Naik,

Mumbai: There was a 20 percent rise in attacks on Christians in India, Mumbai-based minority and human rights group Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) said in its annual report for 2015.

The report by CSF claimed that around seven pastors were killed while 8,000 Christians including women and children and 500 clergy and community leaders were targeted during 2015.