Ban on PFI is draconian; every Muslim with a pamphlet will now be arrested under the UAPA: Owaisi

News Network
September 28, 2022

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Hyderabad, Sept 28: AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday slammed the Centre for banning Popular Front of India (PFI) saying the "draconian" ban is dangerous as it is a ban on any Muslim who wishes to speak his mind. 

"While I have always opposed PFI's approach and supported democratic approach, this ban on PFI cannot be supported. Actions of some individuals who commit crime does not mean that the organisation itself must be banned. SC has also held that mere association with an organisation is not enough to convict someone," Owaisi said in a tweet.

He added that the way India's "electoral autarky" is approaching "fascism", every Muslim youth will now be arrested with a PFI pamphlet under the UAPA. 

"Muslims have spent decades in prison before being acquitted by courts. I have opposed UAPA and will always oppose all actions under UAPA. It runs afoul the principle of liberty, which is part of basic structure of the Constitution," said Owaisi. 

After years of investigations and demands from BJP-ruled states, the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday banned PFI and its eight affiliates for five years, charging them with being involved in "several criminal and terror cases" and having links with the terror outfits like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

The ban, which was notified by the Ministry of Home Affairs in the gazette at 5:43 am, came following multi-agency raids in around 15 states, including Karnataka and Kerala, led by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that led to the arrest or detention of over 350 PFI leaders and activists on September 22 and 27. The MHA said in the notification that the ban was recommended by BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat governments.

Along with the PFI, its affiliates Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab India, Kerala were banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. 

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News Network
November 12,2022

New Delhi, Nov 12: Strong tremors were felt in Delhi and adjoining cities around 8 pm today, prompting many to rush out of their houses and offices. The severe tremors lasted for nearly 5 seconds and were reported from Noida and Gurugram as well.

This is the second time that tremors have been felt in the national capital region. On Tuesday night, strong tremors were felt in Delhi around 2 am after a 6.3 magnitude struck in Nepal. 

The depth of the earthquake was about 10 km, according to the National Center for Seismology. Six persons were killed and eight others injured in Nepal.

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News Network
November 16,2022

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Bengaluru, Nov 16: Karnataka will build six new "high-tech" cities and a dedicated "startup park", Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said during his inaugural speech at the 25th edition of the Bengaluru Tech Summit on Wednesday.

The six “high-tech” cities will be built near Kalaburagi, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Hubballi-Dharwad and Bengaluru regions. 

"The city near Bengaluru will be very close to the airport and will be well-planned and will have the best universities and R&D centres," Bommai said, adding that the detailed plan for the new cities will be unveiled in six months.

The "startup park" will be a "multi-modal" one catering to nascent enterprises across sectors and will also be set up near the Bengaluru airport, Bommai said in his 15-minute-long speech.

The CM used his speech to highlight the need for sustainable innovation in the technology sector.

"The globe is shrinking...global life is reducing year by year. Resources are dwindling second by second. It is alarming," he said, adding that the current pace of growth is often seen as "stealing from the future".

"Hence, whatever technology and whatever innovations there are, their goal should be to conserve for the future and connect so that global thinking starts to save this planet, and break down the digital divide happening across the world," he said.

He appealed to the innovators to focus on sustainable solutions. "I give a call that we will have eco-friendly tech, eco-friendly innovations and eco-economies," Bommai said.

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News Network
November 20,2022

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Mangaluru/ Mysuru, Nov 20: The Karnataka police today conducted searches at the house of a youth who suffered severe injuries in a blast in a moving auto rickshaw in Mangaluru last night. The injured, who is also the prime suspect in the blast case, was reportedly staying in Mysuru. 

According to the police, the accused took the one-room accommodation on rent last month. He had told the house owner that he was in the city for "mobile repair training".

Preliminary investigation indicates Mohammed Shariq, 24, hailing from Teerthahalli he has terror links. He had previously been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for graffiti on walls in Mangaluru. He was out on bail in the case. He was also absconding in a terror case and was wanted by the police.

Police have verified his photos in their records and his family has also identified the injured person in the hospital as Mohammed Shariq, via a phone, and are on their way to the hospital, a senior police official said.

Shivamogga stabbing case

Probing a stabbing incident in Shivamogga around Independence Day over putting up a photo of V. D. Savarkar, Shivamogga Rural Police had busted an alleged terror module with alleged links to Islamic State. Police had arrested Maaz Muneer Ahmed, 22 and Syed Yasin, 21 and recovered explosive materials from the duo.

Investigations had uncovered that they were radicalised by Mohammed Shariq and they had learnt making bombs through PDF files, videos and several materials sent to them by Shariq. The duo had prepared an IED and tested it successfully on the banks of Tungabhadra, police had alleged. However, Shariq had fled from his residence and had been absconding till date. 

Mohammed Shariq and Maaz Ahmed were earlier arrested by Mangaluru City Police in 2020 over graffiti they wrote on the walls of two buildings in the coastal city, in support of Lashakr-e-Taiba and Taliban, and were later released on bail. Maaz Ahmed was again busted in the terror module case in Sepetmber 2022, even as Shariq the prime accused in the case was at large. 

Links to Al Hind IS module

Mohammed Shariq is said to be associated with Matheen Ahmed Taha, also hailing from Shivamogga and a member of Al Hind IS module, active in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The Bengaluru-based Al Hind IS module was allegedly put together by Mehboob Pasha, a resident of Gurappana Palya, Bengaluru and Khaja Moideen, a resident of Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, accused in several murder cases of Hindutva leaders in the neighbouring state.

The module was busted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2020 and chargesheets filed in 2021, alleging the group wanted to establish an IS province inside the jungles of South India. However, Matheen Ahmed Taha, a prominent member of this group, is still at large and Mohammed Shariq is suspected to be his associate.

The blast occurred on Saturday evening inside an autorickshaw, near a police station, leaving the passenger and the driver injured. Both have been admitted to the hospital. The police said inside the vehicle, they found a burnt pressure cooker fitted with batteries, which Shareeq was apparently carrying. The pressure cooker, the police said, was a low-intensity Improvised Explosive device or IED.

‘Not well enough to give a statement’

This morning, the police confirmed that it was "an act of terror with intention to cause serious damage". The Karnataka police are investigating it along with central agencies.

The police said Shareeq is not well enough to give a statement. The auto driver, who was also injured, is in the hospital.

Shareeq was also carrying an Aadhaar card which did not belong to him, the police said. The owner of the card has been located. Premraj Hutagi, a resident of Karnataka's Hubballi district, has said he had lost the card and had acquired a duplicate.

Citing the "stolen" Aadhaar card, the police said it gives them a "fair idea that he was planning to target something, but we don't know what". "We are not ruling out his having a connection with the recent Coimbatore blast," said state police chief Praveen Sood. 

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