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Why are homeopathy books not given to 2006 Mumbai blasts accused, asks Delhi High Court

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Delhi High court has sought a response from Delhi government on the denial of access to homeopathy books to a prisoner locked in Mumbai Central jail.

Under the Right To Information (RTI) Act, Ehtesham Qutubuddin Siddiqui, had sent a letter to the Delhi High Court in 2012, after Central Information Commission (CIC) rejected his demand to be provided with 45 books on homeopathy published by the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy (CCRH).

The Indian Express reported that the court converted the letter to a PIL and issued a notice to the Delhi prison authorities and the Central government enquiring whether the RTI Act was available to the prisoners and whether published books could be brought under the RTI Act.

As per the report, the CCRH and the CIC stated that since the books were “priced publications,” they could not be provided under the RTI Act.

The newspaper also reported Delhi government stating as Delhi authorities did not have any jurisdiction as the prisoner was lodged at the Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai.

However, advocate Meenakshi Midha, who had been appointed as the impartial judge on the case, argued that the jail authorities and the government should have purchased the books for the prisoner, or given e-books or “soft copies” of the books to Siddiqui, in case the purchase of the hard copies of the books was too expensive.

Midha said, “They should get CCRH to provide copies, it’s a government publication.”

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Thousands Displaced as SDF Targeting Civilians Advances on Last IS Territory in Syria

Bali said the second obstacle for the SDF forces is that IS has a number of hostages who had been arrested and detained by the militants.

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Syria
A U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter stands atop a hill in the desert outside the village of Baghuz, Syria, Feb. 14, 2019. VOA

Islamic State (IS) fighters are targeting civilians who are trying to flee the last territory held by the terror group in eastern Syria, U.S.-backed forces told VOA on Thursday.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a U.S.-backed Kurdish-led alliance, said that IS militants hit a road used by civilians to escape violence as the battle to free the town of Baghuz in Syria’s Deir el-Zour province enters its sixth day.

“IS has blocked that road to prevent civilians from coming to the SDF,” SDF fighter Ali Ahmed said. “They have targeted civilians there, but we have responded to their attacks against civilians.”

Ahmed said that some families of IS fighters are among the fleeing civilians.

Located near the Iraqi border, Baghuz is the last stronghold held by IS extremists in Syria. With the help of the U.S.-led coalition, SDF fighters have pushed out IS from all territories it once held since 2014.

Fierce fighting between IS militants and the U.S.-backed fighters continues as the latter try to gain ground on Baghuz on several fronts.

“We have two main obstacles as we advance on Baghuz,” Mustafa Bali, an SDF spokesperson, told VOA. “The first one is that [IS] terrorists are holding on to a number of civilians to use them as a bargain chip for their exit.”

Bali said the second obstacle for the SDF forces is that IS has a number of hostages who had been arrested and detained by the militants.

IS controls about 5 square kilometers of territory inside the Syrian town, local military officials said.

“It seems that even the Americans are trying to rescue those civilians and hostages from IS,” Hasib said in a phone interview. VOA

Ivan Hasib, a Syrian reporter covering the battle, told VOA that he witnessed an unusual movement by U.S. military vehicles in the area.

“It seems that even the Americans are trying to rescue those civilians and hostages from IS,” Hasib said in a phone interview.

He said the remaining IS fighters in Baghuz are hoping to exchange hostages for a safe exit into the Iraqi desert.

Also Read: Islamic State Using Women, Children as Human Shields to Postpone Defeat

“There must be some sort of negotiations between IS and SDF about the hostages, because even [U.S.-led] coalition airstrikes have stopped since Tuesday night,” Hasib said, adding that SDF fighters were forced to pause their military operations on the northeastern front in Baghuz.

“We can’t start marching toward it from this side because of civilians. Many civilians are using this road to this side. So we’re here to protect them,” Mezlum Kobani, an SDF commander, told VOA.

According to SDF officials, more than 5,000 civilians have been rescued from IS in Baghuz. (VOA)