The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

February 22, 2012

Saif Ali Khan booked for assaulting man in restaurant

Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan allegedly assaulted a man in a restaurant in Mumbai on Wednesday morning. The police had to be called after the scuffle.

The incident occurred in the restaurant inside Taj hotel. Khan, who was accompanied by Kareena Kapoor, had an argument with Khan.

After a heated exchange, the Bollywood star beat up the man and punched him in the nose. The victim got injured in the assault, said eyewitnesses

Khan faces arrest now, said police sources. The man who was attacked is identified as Iqbal. He received injuries and his nose got broken. The Colaba police have registered a case and could question Khan within the next few hours.

The incident occurred at 4 am. After the row, the police reached the hotel. Sources said that Khan's arrest may just be technical, and he could be let off on bail immediately after. However, the incident has shown Chhotey Nawab in poor light for his temper. It is not known yet what exactly flared up Saif. The police are investigating the case.

TIH Bureau

Second language status for Urdu demanded in Rajasthan

The movement for demanding official language status for Urdu in Rajasthan has picked up, as several organisations have urged the State government to give the language its due.

The demand is in particular about designating all the regions in state where the number of Urdu speakers comprise more than 10% of population, as places where Urdu would get the status of a second official language along with Hindi. 

Vociferous demands were made in this regard at the two-day national seminar which concluded in Jaipur. The participants said that after linguistic reorganisation, Urdu suffered the most in Rajasthan, as its official status was removed. 

The Urdu Academy was established in 1979. But it remained inactive for a long time, until it was revived recently. The Academy chairman Dr Habibur Rahman Niazi said that Urdu had the status of official language in erstwhile Rajputana for well over a century, until 1949.

The Anjuman Farogh-e-Urdu has also began a campaign in this regard. Other demands include recruitment of Urdu teachers in schools and lecturers in colleges. Urdu is spoken widely in Rajathan along with Hindi and the local dialect Rajasthani.

TIH Bureau

Terror Trail: Hindu extremist group was responsible for blasts in mosques in Haryana, five members of terrorist module arrested in Patiala

In a major revelation, the Punjab police has bust a right-wing Hindutva module that was involved in targeting  mosques apart from planting bombs at madarsa, a building and a slaughter house in Haryana.

After an exhaustive investigation, Patiala police officials arrested five members of the radical Hindu terror group. All the arrested extremists including the terror mastermind Sagar alias Azad, hail from Haryana.

They have confessed involvement in the series of blasts in Haryana in 2009. The group called itself Azad organisation, said. SSP DP Singh before media persons in Patiala. The arrests are important as they suggest that fundamentalist and extremists outfits were still active in North India's Punjab-Haryana belt.

The group's members have confessed plating bombs in mosques in Mewat and Jind other than a blast in Safido.  In a similar terror strike, one person had died in Saktapuri, said the members of module. The arrested persons include Sham Niwas, Praveen Sharma, Rajesh Kumar and Gurnam Singh.

It is not ruled out that the group might have links with Hindutva groups that have been involved in terror strikes. During the course of interrogation, the joint police teams are likely to get more information about the organisation's activities.

Just like Islamic terror groups SIMI-IM that were responsible in blasts in Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Varanasi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and some other cities in India, the Saffron terrorism has also emerged as a big threat for the country and the lists of places targeted by the Saffron extremists is long.

The role of Hindu terror network was established in blasts in Malegaon (targeted twice), Ajmer Dargah, Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid, Modasa town in Gujarat, Samjhauta Express, planing of bombs during Ijtema, incidents of targeting mosques in Jalna, Purna, Bajrang Dal workers' death during bomb-making in Kanpur.

There were similar incidents in Parbhani and Vashi. Other than Abhinav Bharat, the Sanatan Sanstha was accused of bomb blast in Goa and a group was found involved in attacks in Thane and Panvel. An incident of planting bomb inside Jama Masjid, Delh is also suspected to be the handiwork of Hindu terrorists.

TIH Bureau

February 20, 2012

Ahmadiyyas no longer Muslims in India, Andhra Pradesh Waqf Board to consider them outside Islam

In a controversial decision, the Andhra Pradesh Waqf Board has declared that it will not considered any of the religious institutions belonging to Ahmadiyya community in the state as Muslim property, because the Ahmadiyyas are not Muslims.

Now the Ahmadiyya places of worship would not be officially considered as Muslim mosques and Qazis would not perform the nikah (wedding ritual) of the Ahmadi couples.

Though Pakistan and some other countries treat Ahmadiyyas as non-Muslim, till now there was no open rift between Muslims and Ahmadiyyas in India.

But there are fears that after AP Waqf Board's decision that it will consider Ahmadiyya control over Muslim shrines as illegal, and having openly declared the 'Qadiyanis' as non-Muslim, the Waqf Boards and clergy in other states might also take similar stand.

The influential Deoband seminary has welcomed the move. The Khatm-e-Nabuwwat movement has been insisting that Ahmadiyyas were declared non-Muslims. In Hyderabad, there was strong opposition to Ahmedis going to Haj pilgrimage recently. Muslims consider Ahmadiyyas' outside the pale of Islam.

The Ahmadiyyas are accused that they consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a prophet, which is opposed to Muslim belief that Prophet Muhammad was the last apostle of God. Ahmadiyyas claim that Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, a 19th century, religious scholar was a revivalist.

In India, Ahmadiyyas have a minuscule presence. In Qadian town in Punjab, which was home to the movement before partition, a sizable Ahmedi population resides, apart from their presence in some other cities. Till now Qadianis said that they faced little persecution in India.

Though there was a movement against their missionary activity in Punjab and UP, chiefly led by Majlis-e-Ahrar leader Maulana Habibur Rehman Sani Ludhianvi, the schism and this discrimination with the Ahmadiyya minority hadn't been witnessed elsewhere in India.

The diktat may not affect the Ahmadiyya community at the ground level. There have been calls by Ulema for social boycott and ban on Ahmedi missionary activity earlier too. But the recent announcement by a state administrative body has far serious implications.

However, it can lead to growing clamour over similar actions in other states and hence lead to friction. India hasn't witnessed such violence unlike Pakistan, Bangladesh or Indonesia, and hence the recent decision might ignite trouble.

TIH Bureau

February 17, 2012

Mumbai remains Shiv Sena citadel, Cong-NCP fail to exploit anti-incumbency in municipal election, Raj Thackeray's hopes to emerge as king-maker dashed

Thackeray's Mumbai: Clan rule continues
Even after ruling the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for 17 years, Shiv Sena-BJP coalition was again poised to emerge as the leading group in the elections for the civic body, the results for which were emerging on Friday.

Despite fighting the election together for the first time in Mumbai, the NCP-Congress failed to make any impact and couldn't exploit the anti-incumbency. Though Shiv Sena-BJP didn't seem to get absolute majority, the performance defied all expectations.

Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) didn't do as well either. The trends for the 227 seats suggested, Shiv Sena-BJP heading for 105 seats, which is short of majority. Congress-NCP getting close to 65 seats followed by MNS (30). SP and independents form the rest (25).

In 2007 elections, Shiv Sena-BJP had won 112 seats while Congress had 71 seats, NCP had 14 councillors (corporators) while Samajwadi Party had eight seats. Seven MNS candidates had won in the municipal election then. In a 227 member house, a party needs 114 members to get majority.

Though Shiv Sena-BJP had easily won the corporation last time, on this occasion their seats have reduced slightly. But with the help of independents, they may be in a position to get hold of the corporation which has a budget of Rs 32,000 crores (including Rs 10,000 crore grant from Centre).

It was expected that MNS might be able to play the role of king-maker. But Raj Thackeray's hopes were dashed as Shiv Sena-BJP have almost managed to retain the number of seats and won't have much trouble in seizing power in the cash-rich municipal corporation.

Clearly, Uddhav Thackeray has survived the rebellion in Shiv Sena. MNS hasn't reached the expected strength in BMC that would help it dictate terms or ally with other groups to stop the Sena. Bombay remains Bal Thackeray's family pocket borough.

TIH Bureau

February 7, 2012

BJP ministers caught watching pornographic movie in Karnataka Assembly

In a shocking incident, two BJP ministers were caught watching pornographic movie clips on their cell phones in the Karnataka Assembly, in what is being termed as a new low in the history of legislatures in the country.

The disgraced ministers--Laxman Savadi and CC Patil, were caught by a TV channel that was covering the assembly proceedings on Tuesday. Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda has said that he wasn't aware of the entire episode and it would be speaker's discretion to take action in this regard.

The ministers were watching the allegedly pornographic clip on their cell phones. The house was then debating the issue of right-wing Hindu extremists raising Pakistani flag to point fingers against Muslims and create tension in Bijapur.

Congress and Janata Dal (JDS) leaders have termed the incident as shameful and disgusting. They said that it marked a black day in the chapter of the Karnataka Assembly. Stones were thrown at Savadi's residence later in the day by a group of protesters.

The incident is latest in the series of controversies, the Saffron party has found itself embroiled into. The 'obscene clip' scandal comes in wake of allegations of corruption against the BJP leaders in this South Indian state.

TIH Bureau

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