The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

December 31, 2008

Lashkar admits its role in Mumbai terrorist strikes

The Lashkat-e-Taiba (LeT) has for the first time admitted its involvement in the 26/11 terrorist attacks on Mumbai. LeT operations commander Zarar Shah has accepted Lashkar's role.

This is based on telephonic intercepts of a call between Shah and the terrorists involved in the attack at Hotel Taj. Shah was arrested in Pakistan after mounting pressure from the United States early this month.

He was arrested from the Pakistani occupied Kashmir (PoK). This is another in the series of recent disclosures about Pak links into the Mumbai attack. Pakistan's National Security Advisor had recently said that Ajmar Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist caught alive in Mumbai, could be a Pak citizen.

This was a departure from the earlier stand. Pakistan was earlier vehemently denying that any Pakistani citizen was involved in the attacks at Hotel Taj, CST, Nariman Point and Oberai-Trident. US has also asked Pakistan to extradite Ziaur Rahman Lakhvi alias Chacha to India.

TIH Bureau

December 30, 2008

Now a separate marriage law for Jains, centre urged to exclude Jains from act governing Hindu customs

The Jain community has asked the Union government for promulgating a separate marriage law for the microminuscule Jains. Until now the Jain marriages were covered under the ambit of Hindu marriage act.

The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been urged to take a decision in this regard at the earliest. The president of Digambar Jain Mahsabha, Nirmal Sethi, has said that Jain marriage is not a social custom.

He insisted that it was a religious rite and hence it should no longer be kept under the Hindu marriage act. Jainism is a separate religion that has a history of thousands of years and it is treated as a separate religion in many states of the country, said Sethi.

He categorically demanded that the Jains should be excluded from the Hindu law. The Bharatvarshiya Jain Mahasabha has put up some other demands also. A seven point letter has been sent to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, urging him to take steps in this regard.

TIH Bureau

Third generation of Abdullah family to rule Kashmir

As Omar Abdullah readies to take over the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir, it will be the third generation of the illustrious political family to rule the state after Sheikh Abdullah and Farooq.

Omar will be Chief Minister of National Conference-Congress government. The grandfather of Omar, Sheikh Abdullah was the first head of state after Kashmir's accession to India.

Sheikh Abdullah, who was called Sher-e-Kashmir or the Lion of Kashmir, had spent 11 years in prison when he fell out with the then Prime Minister JL Nehru. Later he again became Chief Minister of Kashmir.

After his demise, his son, Farooq Abdullah became the Chief Minister in 1982. He had a playboy image but remained a staunch pro-Indian leader. Despite his weaknesses, Farooq remained an important player in the politics of Kashmir and the country.

Now Omar is taking over the reigns. Congress president Sonia Gandhi earlier gave her nod to the coalition. In the last Assembly Congress was a partner of PDP. But with NC coming close to Congress, it will be a new era in Kashmir.

TIH Bureau

India condemns Israeli attacks on Palestine

The Indian government on Monday condemned the excessive use of force by Israel on the Gaza strip that has resulted in the killing of nearly 300 persons including women and children.

Though India has been cosying up to Israel lately, it has voiced its concern over the air-strikes and expressed its disapproval of the volatile situation in the Middle East.

The official statement urged Tel Aviv to be restrained and give peace a chance in the region. The Ministry of External Affairs' spokesperson said that the use of force was disproportionate and it was unwarranted.

He further said that the attacks have resulted in large number of civilian casualties. Israel and India have come closer in the last decade and have been forging closer military and intelligence ties.

Israel has vowed to take the fight against Hamas to finish and continue targeting the group, despite the peace calls from international community.

TIH Bureau

December 29, 2008

City shocked: Armymen kill Muslim student in Bangalore

A 20-year-old student was killed in the house of an Army brigadier in Bangalore, leaving the citizens in a state of shock. Mohammad Mukarram had accidentally entered the high-security zone.

The college student was racing his bike down and performing a stunt of riding the motorcycle on a single wheel when the policemen chased him.

As his friend managed to run away, Mukarram also tried to dodge the police and in process entered the Army area where he scaled the fence of brigadier's house.

The army guards asked him to 'surrender' but the terrified student tried to contact his family and friends. He was however shot dead. The incident is being termed as hysteric and an over-reaction by citizens though he was also at fault.

But the tragic death has left residents of the City stunned at this turn of events. The son of a bus driver, Mukarram, was a B Com student. After death, the police registered against the dead youth for 'trespassing as an intruder'.

TIH Bureau

Malegaon blast: Hindutva group leader grilled, for suspected terror links

Himani Sawarkar, the firebrand woman leader of Abhinav Bharat, a group that is under the scanner of Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) for its alleged role in Malegaon blasts, was quizzed today.

The sleuths of ATS interrogated Sawarkar, who is also the relative of Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Sawarkar and Gopal Godse, an accomplice in the murder of Mahatma Gandhi.

Himani Savarkar was quizzed for three hours. She was later released. Earlier, Lt Col S P Purohit, Sadhwi Pragya Singh Thakur, ex-army man Ramesh Upadhyay and Swami Dayanand Pande were arrested in connection with the blast.

They were all linked with the shadowy right-wing extremist group Abhinav Bharat. She was also trying to get legal aid and generate funds to fight their case.

TIH Bureau

National Conference to form government in J&K

National Conference is all set to form the next government in Sri Nagar. It has emerged as the single largest party in the Jammu & Kashmir Assembly elections by winning 28 seats in the 87 member house.

The PDP is the second largest party with 21 MLAs in the assembly and is followed by Congress that has 17 members and the BJP.

The BJP surprised every other party with its performance as it won 11 seats. It had just one seat in the last Assembly of the state. Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar have hinted that they could form government with the support of Congress. 

The PDP and the Congress were in power in the last regime. But Mehbooba Mufti and her father are bitter rivals of National Conference (NC). Omar Abdullah is likely to be appointed as the Chief Minister, as Farooq has hinted.

TIH Bureau

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