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Bangladesh: Condemning the Brahmanbaria Attack several Political Parties urge the Government to take an Immediate Action

An unruly mob carried out a brutal attack on the minority Hindu community of Nasirnagar upazila in Brahmanbaria district on October 30

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Temple. (Representational Image). Pixabay

November 3, 2016: An unruly mob carried out a brutal attack on the minority Hindu community of Nasirnagar upazila in Brahmanbaria district on October 30. Condemning the act, several political parties and a Non-Government Organisation on Wednesday urged the government to take an immediate action against the attackers.

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The mob demolished over a dozen temples and Puja pavilions. They also vandalised and looted more than 100 houses. According to Dhaka Tribune, at a rally that held in front of National Press Club in Dhaka, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) Secretary General Syed Abu Zafar Ahmed said, “ The government failed to protect Hindus and minority community for which, radicalised and communal groups succeeded attacking them for several times.”

“If the local administration would have taken necessary initiative immediately, the attack to Hindu families and their temples would not have been turned to such massacre,” he added

He informed, “CPB will hold countrywide demonstration programme on November 8 condemning attack on minorities.”

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“Democratic Left Alliance, a combined group of eight left-leaning political parties also organised a protest programme in front of National Press Club protesting communal violence, attack on Hindu temples and also against targeted killing.”

They urged the government to arrest the attackers responsible for the communal attacks that took place in Brahmanbaria and Habiganj districts.

On the other hand, Bangladesh Jamaat-e- Islami blamed the local administration for the attacks.

In a press statement issued on Wednesday, Jamaat-e-Islami assistant secretary general Mia Ghulam Porwar said, “if the local government would had taken immediate action against the person who defamed and criticised Kaba Sharif, then the incident could not have been made.”

Condemning such attacks, he added: “None should take administrative power on their own hands. Everyone should respect laws while the government should re-establish administrative rules and restore public confidence”

In a statement issued on Wednesday, non-government organisation Manusher Jonno Foundation condemned the attack, expressing grave concern and anger.

“Their objective (who carried out the attack) is to drive out the minority people from the country and seize their rights. Such incident is an ill intention to humiliate the image of Bangladesh around the world,” the release said.

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Meanwhile, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque, termed the incident shameful and has blamed the local administration for their incompetence and lack of initiatives to save the Hindu families and their temples in Nasirnagar upazila of Brahmanbaria district four days ago.

by NewsGram team

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Give Due Respect to the Dignity of the Dead : Supreme Court asks State Governments to Follow NHRC Guidelines

While directing the state governments, the supreme court of India has asked for full compliance with National Human Rights Commission

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NHRC
Supreme Court of India. Wikimedia
  • The Supreme Court of India has asked the state government to respect the dignity of the dead
  • The state governments have been reminded to comply with National Human Rights Commission
  • The statements from the Apex Court comes as a complaint was filed by NHRC that the state governments are not enforcing their guidelines

July 19, 2017: The Supreme Court of India has reminded the state governments to follow and comply with the guidelines of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and respect the dignity of the dead.

These statements from Supreme court come as part of the complaint by the NHRC that the guidelines formulated on paper have never actually been enforced by any state of India.

The NHRC intends to assist the judicial system in criminal matters while maintaining the respect for human rights.

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According to the sources at PTI, the supreme court bench stated “It is not as if the dignity of only living persons needs to be respected but even the dignity of the dead must be given due respect. Unless the communications and guidelines laid down by the NHRC are adhered to, the respect and dignity due to the dead and the human rights of all us will remain only on paper.”

ALSO READ: Supreme Court asks Central Government take a Call on statutory regime for NRI Voting

The Supreme Court also noted the NHRC’s failure to bring out its annual report. The court’s verdict also mentioned “Several years have gone by since then, but no annual report has been published. We have no idea what is the stage of preparation or consideration of the subsequent annual reports.”

Indian Supreme Court has also reminded that the Constitution requires every state to have States Human Rights Commission (SHRC).

The verdict was a follow up of the probe into extrajudicial killings and fake encounters by Army.

 – Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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Can Flourishing Islamic State (ISIS) be Stopped in Afghanistan?

The truth about IS and Afghanistan is definitely no picnic

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Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016.
Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016. The rise of IS in Afghanistan has become such a priority that U.S. and Afghan forces sometimes support the Taliban while battling IS, VOA
  • Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups
  • Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops
  • In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS

June 25, 2017: The Islamic State group is rapidly expanding in parts of Afghanistan, advancing militarily into areas where it once had a weak presence and strengthening its forces in core regions, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.

Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups.

Attacking IS has become such a priority in the country, that disparate forces sometimes join together in the ad-hoc fight, with Afghan and U.S. forces finding themselves inadvertently supporting the enemy Taliban in battling IS.

Confusion leads to mistakes

All too often, officials say, mistakes are made due to confusion on the ground.

Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops, provincial police chief, Rahmatullah Turkistani told VOA. The supplies were meant to help Afghan forces that are countering twin attacks by IS and Taliban militants but were used instead by IS.

“It’s not getting better in Afghanistan in terms of IS,” U.S. Chief Pentagon Spokeswoman Dana White told VOA this week. “We have a problem, and we have to defeat them and we have to be focused on that problem.”

Reinforcements for the IS cause reportedly are streaming into isolated areas of the country from far and wide. There are reports of fighters from varied nationalities joining the ranks, including militants from Pakistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia and Central Asian neighbors.

Confusing scenarios

Still, the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISK) as IS is known in Afghanistan remains a fragmented group composed of differing regional forces with different agendas in different parts of the country.

“IS-K is still conducting low-level recruiting and distribution of propaganda in various provinces across Afghanistan, but it does not have the ability or authority to conduct multiple operations across the country,” a recent Pentagon report said. But where it operates, IS is inflicting chaos and casualties and causing confusing scenarios for disparate opponents.

In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS. IS regained ground after a few days, leading to U.S. military air attacks on IS positions in conjunction with Afghan intelligence instructions and army operations.

IS fighters reportedly have fled from mountain caves of Tora Bora, where al-Qaida’s leader Osama bin Laden hid from U.S. attack in 2001.

Families displaced

IS fighters were also reportedly advancing in neighboring Khogyani district, displacing hundreds of families, according to district officials. It is one of several areas in Nangarhar province, near the Pakistani border, where IS has been active for over two years.

Fierce clashes in the Chaparhar district of Nangarhar last month left 21 Taliban fighters and seven IS militants dead, according to a provincial spokesman. At least three civilians who were caught in the crossfire were killed and five others wounded.

“IS has overpowered Taliban in some parts of Nangarhar because the Taliban dispatched its elite commando force called Sara Qeta (Red Brigade) to other parts of the country, including some northern provinces to contain the growing influence of IS there,” Wahid Muzhda, a Taliban expert in Kabul, told VOA.

ALSO READ: Flashback to Terror: 1993 Mumbai Blasts Judgement to Hail on June 27 After 24 Years

Recruiting unemployed youths

IS has also expanded in neighboring Kunar province, where, according to provincial police chief, it has a presence in at least eight districts and runs a training base, where foreign members of IS, train new recruits.

Hundreds of miles from Nangarhar, IS is attempting to establish a persistent presence in several northern provinces where it has found a fertile ground for attracting militants and recruiting unemployed youths, mostly between the age of 13 and 20.

IS has been able to draw its members from the Pakistani Taliban fighters, former Afghan Taliban, and other militants who “believe that associating with or pledging allegiance” to IS will further their interests, according to the Pentagon report.

Hundreds of militants have joined IS ranks in northern Jouzjan and Sar-e-Pul province where local militant commanders lead IS-affiliate groups in several districts.

Darzab district

Qari Hekmat, an ethnic Uzbek and former Taliban militant who joined IS a year ago, claims to have up to 500 members, including around 50 Uzbek nationals who are affiliated with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) — previously associated with al-Qaida and Taliban in Afghanistan.

IS and Taliban are reportedly fighting over the control of Darzab district in Jouzjan which they stormed this week from two different directions and besieged scores of government forces. The Taliban has reportedly captured the center of the district while IS militants control the city outskirts.

Afghanistan faces a continuing threat from as many as 20 insurgent and terrorist networks present or operating in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, including IS, the Pentagon said.

“In areas where the government has limited influence and control, IS attempts to emerge and expand there,” Ateequllah Amarkhail, an analysts and former Army general in Kabul told VOA.

Hit-and-hide strategy

IS has also claimed responsibility for several recent attacks in urban areas, however, with a hit-and-hide strategy that is proving effective. And it is engaging too in more skirmishes with U.S. forces that initially were sent to the country to help Afghan forces halt the spread of Taliban.

Three American service members based in eastern Afghanistan were killed in April during operations targeting IS militants, according to the Pentagon.

“ISIS-K remains a threat to Afghan and regional security, a threat to U.S. and coalition forces, and it retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks in urban centers,” the Pentagon said. (VOA)

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India’s Textile and Fashion Heritage now part of Google project

Google's project 'We Wear Culture' is collaborating with 183 renowned cultural institutions from all around the world including India and its objective is to let people explore history of clothes dating as early as 3,000 years ago

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we wear culture
Google's new art project 'We wear Culture' digitizes fashion, Wikimedia
  • Google’s project ‘We Wear Culture’ is collaborating with 183 renowned cultural institutions from all around the world including India
  • It intends to trace the story and importance of Indian textiles from ancient sculptures
  • Its objective is to let people explore history of clothes dating as early as 3,000 years ago

June 15, 2017: To a certain extent, a culture is defined by what is worn by its people. In a country as diverse as India, vast and varied spectrum of cultures and clothes is one of the specialties. Google’s latest virtual exhibition project now provides us the opportunity to explore and know more about it.

Google’s project ‘We Wear Culture’ is collaborating with 183 renowned cultural institutions from all around the world including India and its objective is to let people explore history of clothes dating as early as 3,000 years ago, from the ancient Silk Road to the unmatched elegance of the Indian Saree,  from the courtly fashion of Versailles, to the Victorian ballgowns with intricate thread work.

According to Amit Sood, director of Google Arts and Culture,”We invite everyone to browse the exhibition on their phones or laptops and learn about the stories behind what you wear. You might be surprised to find out that your Saree, jeans or the black dress in your wardrobe have a centuries-old story. What you wear is true culture and more often than not a piece of art.”

Culture is defined by what is worn by its people. Click To Tweet

The company also mentioned that noteworthy collections from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) and varied weaves from across India, from Gharchola to Patola to Temple to Ikat sarees will be included in the online project, as it intends to trace the story and importance of Indian textiles from ancient sculptures.

ALSO READ: New Google Project Digitizes World’s Top Fashion Archives.

According to PTI reports, the world fashion exhibit also includes designs from north-eastern India including the weaves of tribes such as the Nagas, Meitis. it will showcase the traditional attire from Meghalaya called ‘Dhara’ or ‘Nara’ worn by the Khasi women as well.

As a part of the exhibit, Sewa Hansiba Museum has brought the unique colorful and rich embroidery arts, applique and mirror work from different communities such as the Ahir, Rabari, Chaudhury Patel and many others from the western part of India online.

The exhibition conducted by Salar Jung Museum brings to light the Sherwani and its journey of becoming the royal fashion statement of the Nizams from 19th century Hyderabad. Fashion and textiles enthusiasts can revisit Colonial Indian attires with Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum. Over 400 online exhibitions and stories sharing a total of 50,000 photos, videos and other documents on world fashion are open to exploration as well.

The ‘We wear Culture’ initiative highlights significant events in the growth of the world fashion industry; the icons, the movements, the game changers and the trendsetters like Alexander McQueen, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Gianni Versace, Audrey Hepburn and many more.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang