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Cannot afford to have question marks on people holding positions in public sphere: Khurshid on Zakir Naik

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Khurshid

New Delhi: In an apparent reference to Zakir Naik, Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid today said the country cannot afford to have question marks on people in important positions in public but if there is no culpability of an individual, one should not be continued to be “hounded”.

He welcomed reports about Naik, the controversial Islamic preacher who has been staying abroad to evade arrest in various cases in India, likely to return to the country.

Naik, in a statement through his PRO, has, however, said that he would not return home till he felt “safe from unfair prosecution”.

“As long as there are complaints, charges, accusations, it is good that the matter should get to a sensible conclusion. If there is culpability, then that culpability be punished. If there is no culpability, I don’t think that one should continue to hound someone….

“We can’t afford to have question marks about people who have important positions in public sphere,” Khurshid said here.

Khurshid, who is a former Law Minister, said the “sad thing” about Naik was that he was not available to the Indian authorities and the system.

He, however, said it will be a good thing if he returns.

“The news of my coming to India is totally baseless and false. I have no plans to come to India till I feel safe from unfair prosecution,” said Naik in the statement.

He added that he would “surely return to my homeland” when he feels “that the government will be just and fair.”

The External Affairs Ministry has not received any communication from the Malaysian government regarding the deportation of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik to India, official sources said today.

In January, the MEA had made a formal request to Malaysia to deport Naik, wanted by India for allegedly inciting youngsters for terror activities through his hate speeches.

Naik is facing various cases, including for hate speech and money laundering, in India and has been staying abroad to evade arrest.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had first registered a case against the 51-year-old Naik under anti-terror laws in 2016 for allegedly promoting enmity between different religious groups.

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Uttar Pradesh: Thakur leader Raja Bhaiya launched new political party

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Raja Bhaiya

Lucknow | Six-time MLA and Thakur community Raghunath Pratap Singh on Friday announced the launch of his new political party called ‘Jan Satta Party’.

Addressing the media during the launch Singh said,”I have completed 25 years in politics, have been an Independent politician and MLA, so now have decided to form a political party.” He further added that he has approached Election Commision for registration.

Popularly known by the name Raja Bhaiya, Singh is currently an MLA from Kunda in Uttar Pradesh. He was a cabinet minister of Food and Civil Supplies Department during the Samajwadi Party government. He has also served as a minister in the cabinet of Kalyan Singh, Ram Prakash Gupta and Rajnath Singh’s government.

According to political pundits, the formation of a new political party by Raja Bhaiya is an attempt to influence the upper caste of voters in Uttar Pradesh which will indirectly help the BJP in the upcoming elections against the possible SP-BSP alliance. Earlier a close aide of the Samajwadi party, Raja Bhaiya in the last Rajya Sabha elections voted for the BJP candidate. He clearly stated that he won’t be voting in favour of the BSP candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls due to his differences with BSP supremo Mayawati.

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Afridi’s comments on Kashmir endorsed by Pakistan citizens: Shiv Sena

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Kashmir

Mumbai | The Shiv Sena Friday latched on to former Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi’s remarks that his country “does not want Kashmir” and said all sane Pakistanis would endorse the view.

The Sena, in an editorial in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, said Pakistan’s government and military chief gave more impetus on trying to harm India than governing the country as a result of which it has to seek external financial aid even 70 years after Independence.

In a video that has gone viral, Afridi is heard saying, “I believe that Pakistan does not want Kashmir, and India too should not be given the state. Kashmir should be an independent country.” He went on add that “humanity” or “insaniyat” should be prioritised.

In a swipe at the affairs of his own country battling financial woes and sectarian strife, the Pakistani all-rounder added, “Pakistan can’t handle its four provinces”. Afridi, while speaking on the matter later, however, has blamed the Indian media for quoting him out of context. Making a U-turn, Afridi has now said that “Kashmir belongs to Pakistan”.

The Sena’s editorial Friday stated, “Pakistan has become so poor in trying to support terrorism and corruption that it now is left with only the option of selling cattle and vehicles from the Prime Minister’s residence.”  It claimed that Pakistan was on the verge of a financial breakdown and it had been relegated to begging for a bailout from countries like China, after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) turned down its aid request.

“If the country needs financial oxygen to keep its economy going, alive, how will it take care of Kashmir? Not just Afridi, every sane Pakistani will hold the same view. However, who asks the common man there?” the editorial questioned. “The government and the military chief there give more impetus on harming India than doing good for its people. Therefore, they have to beg for aid even 70 years after Independence,” it said.

The Sena further dubbed Afridi as “anti-Indian” and said he has, in the past, made derogatory statements against India. Citing examples, it said Afridi had shown a soft corner for 13 terrorists eliminated by Indian security forces, and has been repeatedly advocating Independence for Kashmir.

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Maratha Reservation: Panel recommends 16% reservation

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Maratha

While recommending 16% reservation to the Maratha community, the panel noted that the present reservation granted to the OBCs cannot be changed.

 

Mumbai|  Following the months of surveying, the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission has finally come up with the recommendation on the Marath Reservation issue. The panel has suggested a 16% reservation to the electorally strong community. The current reservation in the state of Maharashtra is 52%. With the additional 16% reservation to Marathas, the quota will go up to 68%. Justice MD Gaikwad was heading the commission.

The commission secretary submitted the report to Maharashtra Chief Secretary DK Jain on Thursday. The report will be sealed and produced in the next cabinet meeting after 15 days of the constitutional process.

According to the sources, the commission noted that the Marathas are socially and economically backward. The current condition of Marathas fitted all the 25 criteria of backwardness. The Maratha community is an electorally strong community, however, economic disparity between the community is also wider.

While recommending 16% reservation to the Maratha community, the panel noted that the present reservation granted to the OBCs cannot be changed.

 

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