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LIVE! Now, Ambedkar varsity postpones event on Kashmir fearing violence

11:08  Now, Ambedkar varsity postpones event on Kashmir fearing violence:  

Fearing Delhi University-like violence on its campus, the Ambedkar University in the national capital has postponed an event marking the 26th anniversary of the alleged Kunan Poshpora mass rape in Kashmir.

On February 23, Ambedkar University and an NGO ‘Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression’ (WSS) were to organise an event to observe the Kashmiri Women’s Day of Resistance on the 26th anniversary of the alleged mass sexual violence unleashed by the army against the villagers of Kunan and Poshpora in Kashmir.

Less than 24 hours before the event, the speakers were sent an email informing them that the seminar has been postponed citing the alleged threats to ‘freedom of speech’.

‘The AUD administration wants some changes in the shape of the event from the faculty and we will do that and reschedule a date and place sometime in March as you can see the times are bad for the university as a place for free speech and free discussions and critical engagements in our society, the university said in an email to the speakers of the seminar.

Gowhar Fazili, a scholar who was supposed to present a paper entitled ‘Familial Grief, Resistance and the Political Imaginary in Kashmir’, confirmed receiving the email.

“The institutions, academicians and activists buckle before the Right-wing threats with such ease,” he said.

Other speakers of the seminar were Bhavneet Kaur from Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, who was slated to speak on ‘The politics of emotion: women’s narratives of memory, resistance and the Everyday in Kashmir’, Vanessa Chishti, OP Jindal University the womans question in Kashmir, Iffat Fatima, director of documentary ‘Khoon Div Baarav’ and Essar Batool, co-author of Do You Remember Kunan Poshpora. — PTI

Image for representation only.

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10:57  Car ploughs into parade crowd in New Orleans; 12 hurt:  At least 12 people were injured when a vehicle ploughed into a crowd watching the Krewe of Endymion parade in the Mid-City section of New Orleans.

The crash was reported on Saturday at about 6.45 pm. New Orleans police says that ‘initial reports show so far that about a dozen people are in critical condition’.

She says that number could increase as the investigation continues.   One woman at the scene told The New Orleans Advocate that a silver truck whisked by her just feet away as she was walking through the intersection.

She said that the driver of the truck seemed almost unaware of what he had just done. — Agencies

IMAGE: A vehicle is seen crashed along the Endymion parade route at Orleans and Carollton during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

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10:28  Fire near Thiruvanthapurams Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple:  A fire broke out in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram city in the early hours of Sunday, after a pile of garbage was set on fire by locals, thus revealing the apathy of the local administrative bodies.

A post office building and its godown were gutted after a fire broke out near Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.

No casualties or injuries were reported, and the situation is said to be under control presently. 

This is the third such incident being reported in the area encircling this temple, in the past year.

Dewaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran has appealed to the public, stating that the matter is being considered for immediate discussions.

According to locals, the city lacks an efficient waste disposal system, due to which locals are forced to burn piles of garbage.

However, the local administration has assured residents that the matter is of serious concern, and is being monitored and discussed with the concerned authorities. — ANI

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09:41  Language has consequences: J K Rowling to Trump on Kansas shooting:  

Author J K Rowling has never been one to mince words, especially when it comes to Donald Trump. With the Kansas shooting — in which an Indian engineer was shot dead by a white man which is being touted as a hate crime — grabbing eyeballs across the globe, the legendary author has once again lashed out at the United States President over the tragic development.

Re-tweeting a post by an Indian author Anand Giridhardas where he expressed shock at the murder of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, Rowling, maintaining her trademark candour, said, ‘Why hate speech isn’t funny. Language has consequences’ and pointed to the thread of the former’s tweet, where he went on to explain how it greatly matters what politicians says.

In regard to the Kansas tragedy, Giridhardas drew parallels with a similar crime in Texas, where the shooter thought that he was targeting people of Middle Eastern nationality, and went on to slam the White House for denying and links between the shooting and President Trump’s rhetoric on immigrants.

‘President Trump’s administration has quickly leapt to say his talk and actions have nothing to do with this crime. I would like to explain why the president is dead wrong on this one. He has everything to do with this, and I can explain,’ Giridharadas said in a series of tweets and went on illuminate the impact of Trump’s words on masses.

Earlier, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said that any loss of life is tragic but it would be absurd to link the attack to President Donald Trump’s rhetoric. — ANI

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09:33  This statement by ‘All Nominated Directors’ for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, 2017 is worth a read.

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09:03  Trump to skip White House Correspondents’ Dinner:  United States President Donald Trump has said that he would not attend the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) annual dinner, in a break from tradition.

‘I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year,’ Trump announced on Twitter.

‘Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!’ he said.

In the past few days, Trump has accused the mainstream American media as real enemy of the country.

Said to be the most high profile annual event in Washington, DC, the dinner has traditionally been attended by the US President and celebrities mainly from Hollywood. 

It was held for the first time in Washington DC in 1920. This year’s dinner has been scheduled for April 29.

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08:40  They were educated youth, well aware about India: Indian doc freed from IS:  Dr K Ramamurthy, Indian doctor who has been freed from the captivity of Islamic State in Libya narrates his ordeal.

Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and other officials for the help, he says he will never forget what he went through.

“They used to force me to get into operation theatres, but I never did any surgery or stitches. They did not do anything to me physically, but abused me verbally, they were educated youth well aware about India,” Dr Ramamurthy said.

“One day, ISIS fighters came to my room and told me to come with them; There was another Indian; They took two of us to their Central jail in Sirte.

“In jail, we met another two other Indians, who were captured from outskirts of Sirte (Libya) and had already finished two months in jail.

“ISIS people forced us to watch videos of what they did to Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and other places; It was bit difficult to watch them:,’ Dr Ramamurthy said.

“Then organisation people taught about Islam and how to pray five times a day, how to clean up before prayers; this went on for two months.

“After that, for unknown causes, they took us to another underground jail. After one month, they again shifted us to an area in Sirte. There, we met some Turkish people, Koreans and others. ISIS members taught us about Islam organisation, their rules and regulations,” he said.

“At that time, Libyan military forces from Misurata declared war on ISIS. Bombings and all scared them, so they kept moving prisoners.

“During Ramadan 2016, ISIS people approached me as they needed doctors at their hospitals; I refused as I was 61 at that time. I told them that I’m medically trained and not surgically, but still they posted me at hospital in Sirte that was near sports club,” he said.

“While I was working at a camp, within 10 days I got bullet injuries to my left hand and both legs; they shot me 3 times,” Dr Ramamurthy said. — ANI

Source: Rediff