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Kejriwal Seeks Fresh Probe Into 1984 Riots

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Kejriwal Seeks Fresh Probe Into 1984 Riots

Kejriwal Seeks Fresh Probe Into 1984 Riots

New Delhi:The Delhi government Thursday recommended the setting up of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in which 2,000 people from the community were killed.

The recommendation will be sent to Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung.

“We have decided to recommend to the Lt. Governor to form an SIT on the killing of Sikhs in the 1984 riots. This is a blot on the history of India,” Delhi minister Manish Sisodia told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

The SIT will be given a year to complete its work from the date of it coming into existence, said a government press release.

Riots broke out in the capital following the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her bodyguards Oct 31, 1984.

Sisodia said the SIT should not comprise Delhi Police personnel.

The government proposed that the probe team reopen the cases which have been closed or are not traceable.

It also wants the SIT to inquire into allegations of destruction of evidence, register appropriate cases and investigate the same.

In another development, the Delhi government Thursday asked its anti-corruption bureau to investigate into the alleged irregularities in installing street-lights during the 2010 Commonwealth Games organised under then chief minister Sheila Dikshit.

Acting swiftly, the anti-corruption bureau filed a fresh first information report (FIR) slapping cases under section 420 (cheating) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) against unknown people.

Officials said Dikshit’s name has not been mentioned in the FIR but it was there in the three-page note given by the Delhi government that mentions that the irregularities took place during the chief minister’s tenure.

In its poll campaign, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) went hammer and tongs against the Congress government over irregularities in conducting the Commonwealth Games.

The AAP promised to send the guilty, including then chief minister Dikshit, behind bars.

“We have asked the anti-corruption bureau to find out why ineligible companies were made eligible and how the purchases (of street-lights) were made at escalated prices,” Delhi minister Manish Sisodia told reporters.

“There was a loss of Rs.31 crore to the exchequer,” he said.

Asked whether there will be a probe against Dikshit, who was in power for 15 years, Sisodia said the probe was not directed towards any individual.

According to an official statement: “There was clear collusion with vendors by some officials and the then chief minister (Dikshit) to cause huge financial loss to the government and wrongful gain to the vendors, contractors and others.”

Citing the “strong findings” of reports by the Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG) and the prime minister-appointed V.K. Shunglu Committee on the Commonwealth Games, Sisodia said officials of municipal bodies and Delhi government were involved in it.

The items which had market rates of Rs.7,000-Rs.8,000 were purchased at higher rates of up to Rs.31,000, Sisodia said.

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin

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Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.

The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.

Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.

Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.

Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.

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Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told

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The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.

The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.

Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.

Islamabad and its nuclear-armed neighbour India “continue to engage in a quantitative build-up and a qualitative improvement” of their atomic stockpiles, added Tony deBrum, a Marshallese government minister.

DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.

The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.

The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.

But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.

Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.

It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.

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SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.

Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.

The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.

According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.

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