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Vol 46 | Issue 6

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10th June to 16th June 2017

Let noble thoughts come to us from every side

THE LOOMBA FOUNDATION CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY 1997-2017 By launching a project to provide skills training to 30,000 impoverished widows 1,000 widows in each of the 30 states in India in partnership with the Rotary India Literacy Mission at a Gala Ball at the Dorchester on International Widows Day, 23rd June, 2017

Training will be provided in Beauty & Wellness, Healthcare & Care giving, Security industry, Telecom, Tourism & Hospitality, Handicraft, Food processing, Textile & apparel, Agriculture and food processing and Automotive industry.

INDIA LAUNCHES MOST POWERFUL ROCKET YET

For more information, visit www.theloombafoundation.org or Email Safdar Shah: safdar@theloombafoundation.org

India successfully launched its most powerful rocket yet, the GSLV Mk III on Monday, establishing its place in the global heavy payload market. Nicknamed 'Fat Boy', the rocket fired by a high-thrust indigenous cryogenic engine, lifted off at 5.28 from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota and placed a fourtonne communications satellite GSAT 19 in geosynchronous transfer orbit 15.53 minutes later, and a couple of seconds earlier than scheduled. The launch is a major feat for the Indian Space Research Organisation as it demonstrated its proficiency in developing a technology that was denied to it years ago. ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar said, “The GSLV Mk III needs just one more developmental flight, planned in a year, before it can be declared operational.” The launch flaunted an indigenous cryogenic engine, which was in the works since 2002, and will become a stealthy foundation for ambitious future projects, including Chandrayaan II, scheduled for the first quarter of 2018 and a manned mission. It also showed ISRO's capability to make a next-generation satellite with a high reach. The newly-installed satel-

lite contains 50 new technologies which will be its mainstay in the next decade. Kumar congratulated all scientists involved in the mission, calling the day historic. “The entire team has worked since 2002. The vehicle carried the next-generation satellite.” Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Dr K Sivan said it was the commencement of complex technologies - a vehicle that can carry twice the payload weight and a high throughput satellite. “It is the continued efforts of the team and industry contribution.” P Kunhikrishnan, director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, said ISRO made two new technologies for GSLV Mk III at the launchpad. “We made an acoustic suppression unit, which is a tower containing 600 tonnes of water, and a solid propellant plant to prepare the 200 tonnes each of propellant loaded in each of the motors. The suppression unit splashed the water on the rocket when it lifted odd.” He said integration for the next launch of PSLV C38 was on simultaneously at the launchpad.

EXCLUSIVE

LONDON BRIDGE

STANDING STRONG

l Communities gather at a vigil in Potters Field to pay their tribute to the victims and their families. l Indian witnesses share their experiences from the fateful night.

Full Story page 16

Dr Varadkar is confident his sexuality will not outshine his leadership or ideologies

Continued on page 26

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Son of Indian immigrant to be sworn in as Ireland's youngest PM

Rajkot Goa Bangkok Bangalore

The son of immigrant doctor, Dr Leo Varadkar, 38 will be Ireland's youngest elected prime minister from the governing Fine Gael party, with a large support from the party's MPs. Continued on page 5

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Prime Minister Theresa May visits BAPS Swaminarayan temple On Saturday night Prime Minister Theresa May visited BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir and over 3,500 Hindus gave the PM and her husband a rapturous welcome. Arriving to a warm but dignified reception and welcome, the Prime Minister opened her address with “Jai Swaminarayan” the spiritual greeting of the Swaminarayan tradition and the congregation exploding into thunderous applause, opened their hearts to her. Rt Hon PM Theresa May stood on the dais, having been garlanded and formally welcomed to the largest Hindu temple in the UK. Only a few minutes earlier she had participated in the Hindu spiritual practice of “Abhishek”, during which sanctified water is presented to a deity, a symbol

audience hall where over 3,500 Hindus had gathered to listen to and hopefully meet, the Prime Minister. Her speech which recognised the contribution of British Hindus and the importance of strengthening Indo British ties in a post Brexit world, received passionate applause. The PM recog-

Theresa May admiring the temple architecture with husband Philip

Mrs May interacting with the community

of Divinity, accompanied with a private prayer or a meditative reflection. Both the PM and her husband Phillip visited the inner sanctum and then proceeded to the main

nised the “Karma Bhumi” principle behind the Hindu ethics of hard work and social service “to the land where one lives” and she made particular reference to the world

Trustees Want to make a real difference locally? St Luke’s Hospice is looking for new Trustees Joining the Board of St Luke’s provides a great opportunity to use your skills for a worthwhile cause, to give something back to the community, and be part of the leadership of a prestigious local charity. You will influence the quality of life of people living with a terminal illness and support our 900 volunteers and 150 staff in delivering our exceptional care. We have ambitious plans to extend our services to even more people and to grow our £3.5m fundraising and shops income to fund our work. Last year over 1,000 people in Harrow and Brent, and their families, benefited from our expert care. If you share our passion to support people at this key time then we want to hear from you. We are particularly seeking applications from people with skills and experience in fundraising, marketing and expertise in commercial property law as well as those with a strong interest in end of life care. For details of how to apply visit www.stlukeshospice.org/newtrustee . If you wish to find out more and reserve your place at our Open Evening on Wednesday 21 June 2017, please call Dee Holden on 020 8382 8002. Closing date for applications: Friday 30 June 2017 Formal Interviews: W/C 24 July 2017

renowned Hindu commitment to education. When she announced “100 free schools per year” as a Conservative Government objective, the applause from the educationalists in the audience reflected the resonance that this policy found with the Hindu community. With the 6 existing Hindu community schools being repeatedly assessed as 'outstanding' including the nearby Swaminarayan School across the road, this was welcome news indeed. When the PM remarked that “there is much to take pride in, like the fact that on measures like educational attainment in the early years, children of Indian ethnicity are amongst the top performing”, many of the younger volunteers grew visibly taller, delighted and proud of the praise from the PM. The Prime Minister went on to reiterate that “British Hindus provide a shining example of how a community can integrate successfully and embrace British values whilst retaining their cultural heritage and identity. British Indians provide inspiring role models across all walks of life, from business to medicine; finance to charities; and teaching to the creative industries.” With each important element of her speech receiving applause, the PM’s emphasis on the vision of a meritocracy will have resonated deeply with the Hindu congregation. Hindus, for whom the understanding of Karma, the idea that one’s efforts and actions determine ones attainments, under-

pins every choice and action, a vision of a nation where efforts, both individual and collective are recognised and applauded, will most definitely have been welcomed. As well as leaders of the Swaminarayan family, also present were the Trustees of the principal British Hindu organisations. Leaders from the Hindu Forum of Great Britain, the Vishva Hindu Parishad and the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh were joined by political leaders from the Overseas Friends of the BJP and many others, as well as leaders from other branches of the Dharmic traditions. Also present were leading business men and entrepreneurs as well as many Hindu charity volunteers and Trustees. The PM was accompanied by Indian origin MP’s such as Rt Hon Priti Patel, Rt Hon Alok Sharma and Shailesh Vara. Taking time out from campaigning Bob Blackman (who is widely accepted as having been an Indian in a past life or destined to be one in a life to come) was accompanied by Hannah David and Ameet Jogia all of whom are standing for election later this week. Whether British Hindu voters vote for PM Theresa May who performed Abhishek with Britain's Hindus and whose party has elevated Indian Origin Parliamentarians to cabinet and Ministerial positions, or whether they vote for Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn who snubbed PM Modiji's Parliamentary address and whose grandees are determined to foist Caste labels upon British Hindus, it is critical that British Hindus

do vote. from the members of the Whether voters accept congregation and espethe remarks made by cially from the Hindu leadLabour’s own advisor on ers and key community India and co-founder of influencers, seemed to Labour Friends of India, confirm that they had Manoj Ladwa, who last heard her affectionate, week declared that “Labour appreciative and above all has lost its way to the respectful appeal and point that the relationship seemed ready to add their between Labour and the blessings and support to British Indian community the Prime Minister’s often feels adversarial” or vision. whether they prefer to supHindu voter engageport old loyalties, British ment is below average at Hindus Must as a duty, 39% (Muslim's 67% & Sikh vote. 63%) and if we wish to see It is clear that Jeremy harmony, non-violence Corbyns outright refusal to and wisdom (the key eleeven discuss the impact of Labour’s Hinduodic 'Caste proliferation' agenda, has alienated formerly loyal Hindu voters in droves, whereas the Conservative party, which has demonstrated that it is listening to British Hindus, may well reap the rewards of this strengthening engagement. If the warmth and affection with which the British Hindu’s welcomed the Prime Minister at the Neasden Mandir translates into support on Thursday, the move away from Labour towards the Conservatives may well become more than PM addressing the audience a short term blip and ments of Sanatan Dharma) more of a paradigm shift. become firmly established On the 14th May 2013 a in British life, Hindus must white Scotsman stood at a podium at the same temple vote. A key message from and opened his address the Bhagavad Gita is the with the words “I found as advice given by Sri Krishna a young man in 1983, when to Arjuna when he repeatI left home in Glasgow to edly advises Arjuna to become a Hindu monk, ACT, to engage, to perform that if I could memorise a his service selflessly, few words in Hindi “Kya which in this present con-

Practicing ‘Abhishek’ at the Mandir

Haal hai? – How are you?” or Gujarati “Kemcho Maasi? How are you Aunty?” that with just a couple of words I could win the hearts of the whole community. It was such a beautiful community to be a part of”. Last night Prime Minister Theresa May and her colleagues made it abundantly clear that they had already gone significantly beyond “KemCho Massi?” and in response the concluding applause

text means to stand for election, to campaign, to engage and above all as a minimum, to vote. Without action Dharma cannot be served nor maintained and without serving Dharma, one can hardly call themselves a Hindu. Wise sages have said that more important than Rama is the name of Rama, and similarly, more important than who you vote for, is that you do actually go and vote.


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COMMENTS

Modi stands tall in St Petersburg It can be said of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s performance in St Petersburg, where he went to attend the International Economic Forum and hold talks with President Vladimir Putin at the annual Indo-Russian Summit: Mr Modi came, he saw and he conquered. The Indian Prime Minister tweeted: ‘Met President Putin. We held a wonderful meeting during which we discussed India-Russia relations.’ The Indian and Russian leaders held a joint press conference in which a wide variety of questions were raised from the floor, including some international issues such as Syria and Afghanistan. President Putin told the Press Trust of India (PTI) correspondent that there was no other country in the world with which Russia had such ‘deep cooperation in delicate areas’ of defence ventures. The two leaders undertook to ‘upgrade and intensify’ defence cooperation through joint production in battleships and Kamov 226 helicopters and missile systems, in all worth $5.5 billion. The two countries will hold the first tri-Services named Indra 2017 later this year in Russia. Mr Modi said the relations between the two countries had been unwavering, based on ‘mutual love, respect and strong trust. From culture to security our’s have been at par…We speak in one language.’ In a joint Vision statement for the 21st century, the two leaders denounced double standards on terrorism. ‘We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stress that there can be no justification whatsoever for acts of terrorism, whether based upon ideological, religious, political, racial, ethnic or any other reasons. We call for an early conclusion of negotiations for a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism to strengthen the global counter-terrorism normative and legal framework to combat this scourge.’ The thrust of its subtext may be contextualized by US Senator John McCain’s recent statement that Russia was a greater threat to America than ISIS - the Islamic Caliphate. Mr Modi stated that India and Russia were committed to a multilateral global order – messaging clearly that American unilateralism was redundant. In an article for an Indian broadsheet, Mr Putin made

special mention of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile – the only such weapon in the world in this category – and pointed to Soviet Russia’s critical contribution to the development of the industrial platform built in India in the first decades of Indian independence. This policy had been taken forward under the Russian Federation. Returning to St Petersburg, Mr Putin said that Russia would not dilute its relations with India in deference to third countries. Mr Modi has said time and again that the Indo-Russian relationship has its own dynamic which unaffected by a third party. This point needs to be better understood by a brood of Indian columnists cutting their milk teeth. International relations have never been, and never will be, a zero sum game. India has relations with countries unfriendly to Russia, so Russia has relations with Pakistan that do not affect its ties with India. Period. In a subsequent one-to-one interview with RT, Russia’s English-language external television channel, Mr Modi was emphatic in his denunciation of international terrorism, which he described as the greatest threat to global order. The Prime Minister said there could be no distinction between good and bad terrorists. India and Russia signed five major agreements. The highlight was the pact on nuclear power cooperation. This entailed the setting up of units 5 and 6 of the Russian designed reactors at Kundakulam facility in Tamil Nadu Construction of units 3 and 4 are ongoing, Unit 1 is in operation and Unit 2 is expected to be operational later this year. Each unit will produce 1000MW of power. It is part of the ‘energy bridge’ both partners hope to build. India produces 7000 MW of nuclear power. A brief postscript on Charu Sudan Kasturi’s report in the Kolkata Telegraph: he averred that big ticket deals had failed to conceal there absence of trust between Messrs Modi and Putin, The hug had been a ritual Putin exercise with President Obama, Francois Hollande and others. Not so. A formal handshake sufficed. Clearly, a revealing error. It was the dog that failed bark in the night that enabled Sherlock Holmes to solve the mystery in the Hound of the Baskervilles and nail the killer. In his bid to defame, Kasturi opened himself to indecent exposure. Which master does he serve?

The European dilemma Post-war Western diplomacy, it was said, was built with the following considerations in mind: To keep Russia out, to keep America in, and to keep Germany down. These have been sacrosanct for the past 70 years. However, Germany is no longer down but up and running and rising – the foremost European power by some distance. President Trump has declared that the United States will no longer be bound by the Paris accord on climate change (on which he abused India of profiting millions of dollars); he has denounced Germany for selling a massive numbers of cars on the American market, saying that this was ‘bad, very bad,’ and would not be tolerated; he has pulled up Germany for not contributing its fair financial share towards NATO. The Trump presence at the recent NATO summit was anything but emollient; it was downright abrasive, and it showed in his every word and gesture. Reading the runes, Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that Europe must look to its own future welfare, while remaining on friendly terms with the United States and Britain. Prime Minister Modi arrived in Berlin to a significantly warm welcome. He hailed the European Union as a pillar of global stability and extolled Chancellor Merkel’s leading role in the EU. India views Germany as an essentially ally in the fight against international terrorism - a key element of the premier’s foreign policy. He hoped to use German economic power and skills in

India’s development. This might also lubricate the stalled talks on an India-EU free trade agreement. During his next stop in St Petersburg, Mr Modi spoke of the India-Russia relationship as balancing the international order. Make the necessary connection and what looms is the possibility of a new, evolving German-Russian-Indian relationship free of the fetters of the past. Russia’s market was key to German exports: Germany lost out in the Obama-driven sanctions regime imposed on Moscow. With a truculent Trump in the White House, Germany could well translate its industrial muscle into a policy outreach to Russia. These are as yet early days, but India might turn out to be the catalyzing element in this seemingly unlikely rapprochement, which, in turn, might fertilize the credible multilateral global order that was the Modi-Putin refrain in St Petersburg. Otto von Bismarck, 19 th century Germany’s greatest diplomatic strategist, having cast his perceptive eye on geography, understood that Russian good will was essential to Germany’s long-term security. It was the ill-starred decision of Kaiser William II and Adolf Hitler to abjure this time-tested wisdom that led to Germany’s defeat in two world wars. An independent policy that would secure German interests may be fermenting in Chancellor Merkel’s mind. Freedom is an intoxicant. We live in interesting times.

Thinking ahead on India’s IT sector The IT sector is a vital component of the Indian economy. Its growth over the last two decades has been truly phenomenal, giving India an ever larger global footprint. The Make in India campaign coupled with Digital India is propelling IT into a great leap forward. With approximately 67 per cent of the US$ 124-130 billion market, India is the world’s largest sourcing destination for information technology. The Indian IT was projected to have grown at a rate of 12-14 per cent in the financial year 2016-17. The sector is expected to increase its annual revenues to $300 by 2020, with exports rising to $200 billion. By 2025 its IT revenues are expected to reach $350 billion.

IT employs 10 million or more professionals. More importantly, it has spearheaded India’s economic transformation. The industry has created significant demand in Indian education, especially in engineering and computer science. The Indian IT and ITeS sector divides into four principal segments, Business Process Management, software products engineering services and banking. To capitalize the emerging opportunities in the IT sector, the government has allowed 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) under the automatic route to software development data processing and computer consultancy services, technical testing and analysis services. The best, surely, is yet to come.

Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

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When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment - Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986)

Cllr Sachin Shah Leader of the Harrow Council

Hindu contributions to Harrow Harrow has a large Gujarati community and it something that we should be very proud of. The Gujarati community has put a lot into Harrow including creating a large number of businesses which creates jobs and employs many people in Harrow. This is a great credit to our community. The general election campaign has given all communities a great chance to lobby their politicians for the issues they want. The National Congress of Gujarati Organisations UK is one of these organisations. They have produced a document with 20 different requests of politicians. It is a great list and I will look to see what I can do to help the community in reaching our goals. I won’t talk about all of them here, but there are three which I want to discuss, the crematorium, business rates and housing. I know for many years the issue of having a crematorium that fully caters for the Hindu community is something our community has been fighting for. The NCGO have accepted this is a matter for the government and they want to meet a minister after the election. I promise I will do everything I can, as Leader of Harrow Council, to make sure the government listens to the views of our community. The recent increases in business rates set down by the government has had a big impact on Harrow’s small businesses, many of whom are from the Gujarati community. This increase was far too big and for some small business it can mean the difference between staying open or closing. While Harrow council issues the bills, we have no say on the amount charged, this stays with the government. However over the next few months, Harrow Council will be looking at ways to help some small businesses with their business rates. I will look to ensure as many small businesses as possible can be helped. Housing is another area that has been highlighted as an issue for the community. I know the Gujarati community has always had a great love affair with housing. This has been seen, both as a way of making sure that we are established in the UK but also as something that we can pass on to our children. But with house prices so high, the dream of the next generation owning a home is now harder than ever. We must get building again. Not only must we build more homes but they should be affordable to Harrow residents. But building more homes does mean we have to take some difficult decisions. Mark Twain once said "Buy land, they're not making it anymore.” For the council that means building on land we already have. So we have taken the decision to look at the land we own, including our car parks for more homes. By using land better and building homes for our children we can truly ensure that we can leave a legacy to our children. The Gujarati and Hindu communities in Harrow have, and will continue to make a substantial contribution to the community across London and I know this will continue. But quite rightly you asked for some issues to be looked into. While I can’t promise it will all be done, I can promise that over the coming years, I will do my best to make progress on them. As a member of the Gujarati community I am always willing to listen to the needs of our community, so please get in touch if you have any comments at: Sachin.shah@harrow.gov.uk. Editor: CB Patel

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Midlanders bounce back with Fun Run to raise money for charity The Fun Run logo

The people from Midlands have not been deterred by the recent London and Manchester terror attacks and have gone ahead with the 15th Midlands Fun Run 2017 from Sutton Coldfield at 11am Monday morning. The 8.5 mile Fun Route, organised to raise money for various charities will begin in the town centre on the Parade and go through Sutton Park and Town Hall. The morning had clouded over and cooled down, making it ideal for runners. Just like the recently-held London Marathon, the spirit behind the run remains positive. Many are talking part in the fun run in memory of the Manchester terror victims, many were dressed up as character-figures, to thrill the children and onlookers who gathered to cheer up the crowds while others ran to raise money for different charities. The Midlands Fun Run raised close to £3 million. The Fun Run organiser Tracey Spare

Man hit by train, dies in Alvechurch rail station

A man has died at the scene on Sunday after being struck by a train in Worcestershire, West Midlands. The British Transport Police and the ambulance services were called in to the Alvechurch railway station at around 6.15pm, to reports that a person had been struck by a train. The paramedics tried to help, but the man succumbed to his injuries on the spot. The police is not treating the incident as suspicious, and the British Transport Police have informed the man’s next of kin. They will also be preparing a file of the case for the coroner.

Police launch investigation following stabbing in Manchester city centre

People at the start of the Fun Run

said that the police have been in attendance, providing the necessary resources in light of the recent incidents in the cities of London and Manchester. He told Birminghammail: “They are the experts and have got the OK intelligence.”For me a successful event is when everybody has completed the course

safely. ”Ultimately it’s about how much money is raised for good causes. But on the day it is all about everybody getting back safe and healthy. St John’s Ambulance have treated a few people but it appears to have gone smoothly,” she confirmed.

Muslims report anti-Muslim abuse after Manchester bombing Satbir Gill who runs Hansom Taxis in London Road has confirmed that cab drivers in Leicester have received Islamophobic abuse following the terror bombings in the Manchester Arena on May 22. He said two of his staff have been abused and blamed for that terror attacks while driving around in the city, in roadrage style incidents. Satbir said a female employee was also targeted while driving wearing a hijab that made her stand out, making her a target of verbal abuses. Satbir told the leicestermercury.co.uk that “taxi drivers are sitting

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Leicestershire Police is urging people to report hate crimes

ducks for this kind of thing. They just want to get on with their jobs and lives as they did before but now they are being blamed for some-

thing that is absolutely nothing to do with them.” One of the incidents have been reported to the police and the Leicestershire

Police is urging people to report hate crimes. Superintendent Shane O'Neill, head of the force's local policing directorate, said to leicester mercury.co.uk "We routinely review all reports of hate crime and have done so recently following the Manchester terrorist attack ... Reassurance patrols have been carried out in specific areas and we will continue to do so." There were many Muslim taxi drivers, doctors, policemen and members of the public services who had helped out victims during and after the terror attacks.

Thieves steal secret security documents from head of counter-terrorism chief's car

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale

In an embarrassing position for the Midlands Police, a pressing investigation have been set up after classified documents were stolen from the Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale's car on May 15. This, news exposes the police as it comes right after the London Bridge terror attacks. Marcus' portfolio is an important one, with considerable responsibilities as the head of counter terrorism operations of the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit (WMCTU), health and safety, equality, diversity, and human rights. A spokesperson of the police have reiterated that the locked metal box that contained documents relating to police matters, kept locked locked in the car boot was stolen, along with some other personal belong-

ings. A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "An investigation has been launched after items were stolen from a West Midlands Police officer’s unmarked car. "A number of personal items were taken during the theft along with a locked metal box that contained documents relating to police matters. The box was locked in the boot. The officer remains at work. According to the West Midlands Police website: "These operations have disrupted some of the most significant UK mainland terrorist plots in recent years, including the 'London Stock Exchange' plot in 2010, the foiled suicide attack plan in 2011, and the failed attack on the Dewsbury EDL in 2012."

Police put up a tent and taped off a part of Great Marlborough Street and New Wakefield Street, near Manchester Oxford Road railway station

The police have put up a tent and taped off a section of the Great Marlborough Street and New Wakefield Street, near to Manchester Oxford Road railway station, for investigating a mass brawl and stabbing. Two men, a 21-year-old and a 20-year-old were found with stab wounds and have been treated by police officers and are at the hospital. Police have arrested a man for the possession of an offensive weapon, and three men and a woman has been have been arrested on suspicion of fracas following the stabbing that is believed to have taken place at an event on New Wakefield Street in the city centre.

Courts jail wrong man with cousin posing as a fraudster

The Birmingham Magistrates have jailed a wrong man when the fraudster's cousin pretended to be the accused and was sent to prison, with the authorities being tricked into believing that he was the right man. The court jailed Shahad Uddin Ahmed, 34, for seven years in 2011 over a £2 mil- Shahab Ahmed lion banking scam was called back to pay back for the scam, or else serve prison terms. Mohammed Ahshan Ahmed, his cousin tried to manoeuvre the London's Appeal Court by showing up in his place to assume his identity. The identity switch plan worked for the cousins and Mohammed was wrongly sent to prison. The authorities believed the right man was behind bars, but for a smart policeman who knew what Shahab from Edgbaston looked like and was able to discover the deception. Mohammad denied any wrongdoing, but was jailed for a year at Birmingham Crown Court in September last year for perverting the course of justice. Last week, the 36-year-old challenged his conviction, arguing that he did not receive a fair trial since he was not present in court. But judges rejected his appeal since he refused to leave the cells for that trail.

Shree Shakti Mandir refutes conducting same-gender marriage ceremony

The Shree Shakti Mandir at Leicester has refuted a false viral message in relation to a same gender Hindu marriage ceremony that had supposedly taken place in their premises. In a statement, the temple authorities said that the wedding had taken place in London three weeks back.


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Diaspora celebrates India's victory with pomp and gaiety Indians living in the UK celebrated the Champion's trophy win with much pomp and gaiety. Last Sunday was half term holiday. The British Pakistanis decked up in their team uniform, wore caps and painted their face, made their way to the Edgbaston stadium in Birmingham, flying their flag. On the television many Pakistani fans announced that Pakistan cannot be defeated during Ramadaan time. However, after their defeat, fans were seen crying and some appeared angry. Indian restaurants in London and clubs showed the match on big screen, and it was full house.

AMAZING G SUMMER O OFFERS HUGE SAVIN V GS ON FLIGHTS & HOLIDA HOLIDAYS Y YS

Though the players were locked down in the hotel, after London's terror attack for a few hours, their patience and endurance paid off in the end. Indians living in the UK took the streets to celebrate the team's victory and Regency circle outside Queensbury station witnessed people

climbing the poll on the top to hoist an Indian flag. In Wembley and Ealing Road, car full of youths drove around celebrating. Many were seen dancing on dhols that blocked traffic. But buses stopped and passengers joined in the celebrations without any complaints.

Son of Indian immigrant to be sworn in as Ireland’s youngest PM Continued from page 1 He is expected to be elected Ireland's prime minister on June 13, when the Parliament ends the summer break. Dr Varadkar, the first openly gay minister in Irish history, and the son of an immigrant Indian doctor was regarded as a popular candidate from the start. He beat his only rival, Simon Coveney, the housing minister from a wealthy family of the southern city of Cork. Dr Varadkar's contrasting Dublin based urban, middle-class, educated and liberal upbringing was being considered ideal for leading the Fine Gael party to succeed in the next general election. Coveney won 65 per cent of member's votes, but Varadkar had a clean sweep with the support of 55 per cent councillors and 51 of the 73 members of the parliamentary party. He was the social welfare minister in Enda Kenny's centre-right 15years-old government and managed to secure early support of some of Fine Gael's grandees and senior ministers in Kenny's government. He said Fine Gael, under his leadership will hold true to all the values led by the party's previous leaders, highlighting social liberalisation, a positive relationship between Northern Ireland and Britain and a commitment to Europe. This people's choice in Ireland goes on to show the remarkable speed of

change in Ireland which got rid of the 132-year-old law criminalising homosexual acts between men in 1993; repealed by Reynold's Fianna Fail in a Catholic-majority country. But despite this, most people in Ireland are not bothered about the sexuality of their leaders anymore. Dr Varadkar said his election showed that “prejudice has no hold in this republic.” He joked about his background, as the third child of a doctor from India and a nurse from Co Waterford. During the leadership contest he said: “that's where I get the yearround tan and the funny surname.” He hadn't spoken about his sexuality till 2015, but in an interview broadcast on RTE, he went public about his sexuality, but said he did not want the disclosure to define him: “I'm not a halfIndian politician, or a doctor politician or a gay politician. It's just part of who I am.” Dr Vadarkar studied medicine at the Trinity College, Dublin, and joined Fine Gael's youth wing when he was 23. He got elected to his local council and won the Dublin seat in the 2007 general election, with three senior ministerial roles in six years. Dr Vardarker is known for being a straight talker, and although shy he is said to have an independent mind. He used the social media extensively during his election campaigns for promoting his

personality and that of his party's ideals. His leadership campaign slogan was that Fine Gael would represent “those who get up early in the morning,” which was a direct contrast to Coveney's argument for a “just society.” His paternal roots are from the state of Maharashtra and the Marathi community in London are extremely proud and happy about his election. Infact, in India more than 50 of his relatives had gathered in Borivli, north Mumbai to watch the election results, handing out sweets to friends and neighbours when the victory was confirmed. Dr Varadkar's 93-yearold uncle told the Hindustan Times, “I am extremely proud of Leo. My nephew is doing so well and has made the family name famous across the world.” His daughter Subhada Varadkar said the family was “delighted and proud” of her cousin, who came from a long line of Indian “freedom fighters, leaders and social reforms in India.” While many Indians globally pin their hopes on Ireland's half-Indian prime minister, he will have some tough shoes to fit it upon election. He will have to try fixing Northern Ireland's political situation, the Republic's health and policing systems and the huge crisis of homelessness – while Brexit will also pose a huge challenge for the Irish foreign policy.

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GPs “bribed” to ration drugs for the elderly

Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

A scheme in Oxfordshire reportedly offers GP practices “cash back” for money saved from drug budgets for the frail elderly, attracting a backlash from the medical community. While Health officials said the incentives aimed to encourage family doctors to “review the quality, safety and cost effectiveness of their prescribing”, patients' groups stated it amounted to an attempt to “bribe” GPs into putting financial savings before the needs of the elderly. In a desperate bid to save at least £1.45 million, NHS Oxfordshire clinical commissioning group (CCG) set targets for GPs. Practices were

told to cut medication spending by at least £2 per care home resident, out of which £1 per patient were for them to keep along with half of any other savings if made. The CCG advised family doctors to “rationalise” prescribing of drugs to frail patients over 70, suffering from various health problems. A number of GPs rejected the scheme as local medical committees in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire advising them against it. Joyce Robins from Patient Concern said, “I am absolutely horrified by this, its simply a bribe. GPs ought to do the right thing for their patients,

not be being swayed by having money waved around in front of them.” Dr Andrew Green of the Britis Medical Association said many elderly care home residents were on too many different types of medication and should have their pills reviewed. He said the CCG was wrong to approach the issue with an eye to reduce costs. “It might well be that the result is cutting costs, but that mustn't be the aim. The aim must be to get appropriate care to the right patient.” A spokesperson for NHS Oxfordshire CCG said, “The aim of the Prescribing Incentive Scheme is to review medicines and prescribing in

'Honour The Cow, Give Up Milk!' Campaign covers Ealing Road

UK-born Dina Aherne's 'Honour The Cow, Give Up Milk!' campaign successfully took place on Ealing Road on June 3, Saturday, as campaigners spoke about the cruelty inflicted on animals in the dairy industry to a large group of Hindu and South Asian community members. The campaign was first conducted on Belgrave Road, Leicester in April this year. It raises awareness and promotes veganism as a life choice. Those attending the event are shown the stark realities of the dairy industry and acquainted with vegan food options including sweet treats and plant-based milks. A lawyer by profession, Aherne decided to shift her primary focus on her passion for animal rights education and advocacy, taking up teaching and training law on a consultancy basis. Aherne has been involved in several campaigns, including holding vigils outside slaughterhouses, bearing witness to cows going to slaughter, and giving

talks across the country. Her most recent campaign aims to spread awareness amongst the Hindu and South Asian communities and educating them about machine milking, artificial insemination, use of growth hormones and other borderline abuses including the

eventual slaughter of a cow once it is 'spent'. The 'Honour The Cow, Give Up Milk!' campaign saw several participants of different age groups, with the youngest being a 6 year old vegan activist who spoke to members of the Hindu community about animal brutalities.

care homes and with the frail elderly in order to optimise medication. There is multimorbidity and poly-pharmacy in this group of patients leading to many potential problems, including side effects, non-adherence and medication waste. The incentive scheme will encourage practices to audit and review their prescribing in this group of patients to optimise their medicines management.” He added, “The decision has been taken to go ahead as we believe the scheme offers the right balance of incentive to the practices whilst also evidencing good governance of quality and funding.”

KVI raises concerns over Kashmir atrocities

A delegation of Kashmir Voice International (KVI) met with Indian diplomats at India House, London, on May 29 and expressed disappointment over the ongoing political deadlock in the region. The Kashmir Valley Diaspora organisation submitted a memorandum, conveying concerns regarding serious human rights violations that are taking place in the controversial state. Demanding an end to the atrocities being pushed on the locals, KVI suggested unconditional dialogue between Kashmir and the Government of India. The delegation said it would be appropriate for the guarantees contained in the accession document to be restored. It talked about the murders of innocent civilians in the conflict, unbridled use of draconian laws, delay in administering justice to the cases of innocent killings, and the insecure situation faced by students in Kashmir. The delegation consisting of Prof. M.A Raina (Chairman), Irshad Malik (Vice-Chair), Javid Kakroo (Secretary), Gulam Nabi Fallahi (Organizer) and Manzoor Ahmed Shah (Executive Member) said that the feeling that India just needs the land and not the people is gaining roots in the region and that a proper solution to the issues at hand are vital. India House diplomats assured them that the concerns of the Kashmiri diaspora in the UK will be conveyed to the Indian government.

Laila horrified by cruelty towards her pet dog

Manchester Resists: American singer Ariana Grande returned to Manchester along with a slew of the world's biggest music superstars for her 'One Love' Concert. Fifty thousand people joined the 24 year old, the Black Eyed Peas, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Coldplay, Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry and others in the fundraising event. Grande's return was an act of open defiance against the terrorist attack during her concert less than two weeks ago.

Actress Laila Abdesselam Rouass is vexed by the horrific, depressive act of her pet dog Simba being kidnapped, killed and returned to her as a spicy curry dish. The actress, best known for her portrayals as Sahira Shah in BBC One's Holby City and as Amber Gates in ITV Network's Footballer's Wives has been in the news recently when her former partner Nasir Khan was jailed for a £250 million VAT scam. Nasir later managed to write off his shares after making a deal with prosecutors in April this year.

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Divorce makes children more prone to colds

A recent scientific study revealed that children whose parents go through a messy divorce are three times more prone to endure a lifetime of colds as adults. Trials conducted on over 200 adults exposed to the cold virus revealed that stress faced early in life affect a person's immune system and increase the chance of inflammation. Psychology postdoctoral research associate at Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Michael Murphy said, “Early life stressful experiences do something to our physiology and inflammatory processes that increase risk for poorer health and chronic illness.”

Man jailed for hiding dead girlfriend

Andrew Reade, 43, has been sentenced for four years and four months in jail for hiding the body of dead girlfriend in an airing cupboard of their flat for over a year. Reade wrapped the body of Vicky Cherry, 44, in a duvet and plastic sheeting after her death in October 2015 and concealed it at their address in Bolton. The crime only came to light after the police investigated the first-floor flat, three months after the deceased's family filed a missing person report. While her cause of death could not be ascertained as it was decomposed, a pathologist concluded that Cherry may have died as a result of strangulation.

British sees surge in legal profession

Latest figures from the Law Society show that the legal profession in the country has expanded following a surge in the number of lawyers in the past decade. Figures reveal the number of solicitors in England and Wales in July last year was 175,160, almost a third more than the total of 2006; 136,176 of these had a practising certificate. Marking a difference, there were 35,770 practising solicitors in England and Wales in 1979, 52,399 in 1989, and 115,475 in 2009. Also, women now account for over 62 per cent of the total figures, as compared to 53 per cent ten years ago.

Ramadan prompts plunge in number of Uber drivers

Cab-takers are finding it increasingly difficult to book an Uber late in the evening as Muslim drivers stop work at sunset to break their Ramadan fasts. Users have raised eyebrows at the lack of cabs and subsequent “surge pricing” when they try to book a car after around 9 pm. Several of the taxi app's drivers are Muslim and the company said it has asked all drivers to consider the consequences of the holy month which will end on June 24.

Stopping deradicalisation funds not a good choice

A reformed Taliban fighter, Hanif Qadir who now runs the Active Change Foundation have suggested that the Hone Office's withdrawal of funds for the deradicalisation programme was to be blamed for terror attacks. He complained that the programme that was stopped because it was too risky was a part of the government-run Prevent programme designed to save vulnerable people from becoming extremists.

Sainsbury misleading shoppers by replacing Fairtrade logo

Laila is currently engaged to a five-times world champion snooker legend, O'Sullivan whom she met during her househunting in Chigwell, Essex in 2016.

Popular supermarket chain, Sainsbury's is reportedly misleading shoppers by replacing Fairtrade labels on tea with its own ethical brand. Charities warned that it is all set to adapt its own-brand produce by trying out a new 'Fairly Traded' logo on tea boxes. Bosses of seven charities have asked Sainsbury's to reconsider the move, claiming it would undermine 25 years' of progress towards fairer treatment of producers. “The standards are unclear, and farmers and producers may no longer be able to decide themselves directly how money raised is spent to help their communities,” they said in a statement. Sainsbury's said it was looking to move away from the Fair Trade Foundation, hinting that its business model was two decades out of date and failed to consider the impact of climate change on farmers.


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Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

International flavours spice up Zaman

The Sportsman Casino's restaurant rebrands with global cuisine as Zaman International Smita Sarkar Zaman, a restaurant situated in Old Qubec Street in the heart of the city's cosmopolitan hub, has rebranded to cater to the Sportsman Casino's global clientèle, located one floor above the restaurant. The multi-awardwinner Head Chef Mahmud Zaman has introduced a new menu that showcases his innovative style in cuisines from Europe, North America, and across Asia. “We have introduced halal meat and a wide spread of vegetarian options for our Casino and retail customers. Right now the restaurant is meant for people aged 18 and above, but we are now planning to go retail with our top quality food at reasonable prices,” Mahmud told Asian Voice. The menu is brand new, having only been introduced last week, and boasts an interesting vegan spread across all of the cuisines on offer. The Tofu gets a twist as Vegan Chicken Strips, wok fried with chilli, ginger, spring onion, and Chinese pep-

Chef Mahmud Zaman of Zaman International

percorn, served with Thai jasmine rice. The Chef's twist to the European vegetarian Tortellini, with feta cheese and spinach, served with a tomato and cream sauce is really outstanding. The quality of the food is what you might expect at a five-star restaurant, and the prices are stunningly reasonable. For example, the restaurant

serves the most affordable Wagyu Ribeye Beef Steak, priced at a surprising £24. Another tantalising treat are the grilled King prawns, served with lemon butter, fresh red and green chilli, garlic, and coriander is a spectacular blend of flavours from the European section, priced at only £9. The slow-roasted aubergine with mozzarel-

la, plum tomato and basil served with a light chilli flavoured tomato sauce and pesto is another signature Zaman dish. Chargrilled tender lamb chops cooked with Harrisa chillies and served with spicy Lebanese potatoes batata harra are innovative and brings out the Chef's inventiveness. New taste sensations don't preclude some classic dishes too. If you're feeling like a time-honoured dish then how about the crispy shredded aromatic duck, served with pancakes, cucumber, spring onions and plum sauce. For after your main meal, the dessert menu offers old favourites like sticky toffee pudding. Intriguingly, the Chef has experimented with the ice creams providing an eclectic mix of flavours alongside more traditional ones. Trying some Metcha green tea, sour cream, coconut, cinnamon, fresh strawberry, or original Swiss chocolate

General Election poll: Labour one point behind Tory party The Tories have an 11point lead over Labour as the General Election campaign enters its final few days, according to an opinion poll. But according to another poll, the Conservative lead over Labour has been slashed to a single point. The Survation poll for Good Morning Britain (GMB) put the Tories on 41.5 per cent with Labour on 40.4 per cent. Britain heads to the exciting polls on June 8 for a snap general election. And as the campaigns unfold over 50 days, the eyes of thousands of strategists, politicians and the public are on the polls. Pollsters earned a bad reputation after they mostly missed Brexit and the scale of the Tories' 2015 majority. But taken together, surveys still make an interesting read - and illustrate the scale of the task ahead of the Labour party. While the debates that were supposed to revolve around Brexit was hijacked by issues like security and terrorism. Odds are in favour of the Conservative party, although another study indicated the party would fail to win a majority or may win with a slim

majority. The civil servants are working on a contingency plan, though there is a small chance of Labour to win this election. But after Brexit- nobody knows what may happen. The British Indian /Asian electorates in the last 6 decades have seen participated in varius elections. This time perhaps our voters are more alert, and more awarre of the imoportance of their votes. In 2010 and 2015 elections British Indian votersd especially Hindu, Sikh, Jain electorates have played a decisive role, so say the experts. The three principal parties have presented their manifestos. Though Mrs May's cuts on police may have affected her reputation, but her stand against terrorism

and knowledge as former Home Secretary makes her role in UK's security important. Inspite of Jeremy Corbyn's efforts, he has been popular among students and young generation, though Conservative may have an edge above the others. Sterling hit its highest level in almost two weeks against the dollar on Tuesday before easing slightly, still buoyed by investors' expectations of victory for the ruling Conservative Party in a general election on Thursday. The pound has seen choppy trading on polls suggesting outcomes ranging from a majority for Prime Minister Theresa May's party to a 'hung' parliament in which no party

has an overall majority. The outcome on Thursday 8 June will determine the course of Brexit, the war on terror, immigration and the entire UK economy. It will also have a major impact on your own personal finances. Theresa May’s party was unchanged on 45% in the ICM poll for the Guardian, 11 points clear of Labour, which was up one on 34%, while the Liberal Democrats were unchanged on 8% and Ukip on 5%. The constituency-byconstituency estimate, which draws on survey data and analysis of key demographics, previous voting behaviour and likely turnout, suggests Labour could win 268 seats with the Conservatives on just 305 seats, down 25 from the 330 Mrs May’s party had when she called the election. The model indicated the Liberal Democrats

flavoured ice-creams is a highly recommended way to finish off your meal. “The menu gets changed every six months. Vegan chicken, Tortellini, the Mediterranean food spread are all new,” said Mahmud. The menu has been put together whilst

keeping in mind the people that visit the casino. The exotic tastes on offer aim to enliven your spirit and complement your evening, whatever you're doing. The Zaman International restaurant lives in the basement of the Sportsman Casino along with a bar and a would secure nine seats – the same number they had before the election – while the SNP would see their stranglehold in Scotland weakened, but still winning 42 seats. YouGov’s update of its model includes 8,095 interviews conducted on June 4 as part of 53,609 interviews in the previous seven days, and put the Tories on 42%, a four-point lead over Labour, with the Lib Dems on 9% and Ukip on 3%. The latest Press Association’s poll of polls – a rolling seven-day average of published surveys – put the Tories on 44% with Labour on 37% – the highest figure for Jeremy Corbyn’s party since the campaign began. The Lib Dems were on 8%, Ukip on 4% and the Greens on 2%. Great Britain is a our home, we the voters of the Indian subcontinent are not asking for favours, nut we need to support those who nurture our values and who do not ignore our interests to suite their political purpose. If you want to have the result that favours your choice, you must ensure to vote on 8 June.

variety of slot machines. Upstairs on the ground floor, there are roulette, tcp and blackjack tables, along with four other different games. There are 20 progressive electronic roulette machines as well. Many patrons of the Sportsman Casino and the Zaman International restaurant are from the Middle East, so the casino has been relatively quiet during R a m a d a n . However, the Chef will be having a Bollywood night on the 15th June to expand the range of clientele. “We will also have the Eid special party with highquality electric sheesh pipe, belly dancers, and a surprisingly fresh menu,” promises the Chef. There's plenty to recommend Zaman International, an interesting menu at very fair prices in a central London location, and there's always the casino is you fancy trying your luck. Why not give it a spin?

Saudi businessman dies in London Adnan Khashoggi, and international arms dealer, high in the global richlist, died in the St Thomas Hospital in London on Tuesday, aged 81. A Saudi National, he had close links with Indian politicians, political aides and businessmen that included controversial godman Chandraswamy in the 1980s and 1990s. A statement released by his family said: “It is with deep sadness that the Khashoggi family must announce that our beloved father Adnan Khashoggi, aged 82, died peacefully today in London while being treated for Parkinson’s Disease He lived his last days surrounded by his devoted family, children and grandchildren, with the same elegance, strength and dignity that characterised his remarkable life. He is survived by his wife Lamia.” Khashoggi was also linked to the controversial Pamela Bordes, a former Miss India and with the arrest of businessman Hasan Ali Khan in an alledged money-laundering case in 2011.

Volunteers Required

Hope for Children, the charity partner for the Anand Mela on June 17th and 18th at the Harrow Leisure Centre, are looking for volunteers to help them during the weekend. If you are able to assist them please contact hope@hope4c.org or call 01442 234 561


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UK

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Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

ABPL Group's power packed community events - Anand Mela and Pitru Vandana next weekend

The ABPL Group is coming up with two community events this month Anand Mela, successfully running it's 7th year and “Pitru Vandana – Bhuli Bisri Yaade” a musical tribute on Father's Day on the 17th and 18th June 2017. The tickets for Anand Mela, (10am to 6pm) is reasonably priced at £2.50, with all ticket sales going towards Charity Partner Hope for Children. Pitru Vandana's tickets are priced at £15 for the front rows and £12 for the remaining rows. This includes hot, freshly made vegetarian dinner (6pm to 10pm). If you buy Pitru Vandana tickets, you get to enter Anand Mela for free. Anand Mela, organised by the ABPL Group, and running its 7th year, will be held at Harrow Leisure Centre, Christchurch Avenue, Harrow HA3 5BD on 17th & 18th June 2017, from 10am to 7pm this year. The two-day family fest that attracts around 6000 visitors every year will have ample free parking for visitors and easy access for goods. The event will be covered by the press. There will be a wide range of stalls to attract the atten-

Fusion Dance Group, AK Dance Academy, singer Adriana Galani, London Sharad Utsav, singer Raja Kashif, Bilete Bengali Group, and Indian Ladies in the UK (ILU), besides several other classical dance and musical performances.

empowering their families to support themselves. All the money made from ticket sales proceeds of Anand Mela will go to Hope for Children charity. Tickets for the fest are £2.50 and can be purchased on the day itself. Entry is free for children under the age of 12. For stall booking and further details, please contact our office at 020 7749 4080.

Twitter:@anandmelaUK

The ILU Group, which connects Indian ladies across UK, will also be enthralling the audience, besides the Bilete Bengali group and the noted London Sharad Utsav which bring together multi-talented individuals from across the UK. Mira

ABPL Group had organised Matru Vandana or Mothers day celebrations in March-April 2017 with ace singer Maya Deepak and her entourage. The events were a smash hit, and by popular demand, ABPL has organised a similar event to celebrate Father's Day, “Pitru Vandana – Bhuli Bisri Yaade” The evening will be a musical tribute to the fathers who showed us our way, and have been a constant support. The event will be in The Masefield Suite, Harrow Leisure Centre, HA3 5 BD. Singers Maya Deepak, Raja Kaasheff and Rubayyat Jahan will be accompanied by Amardeep (Tabla), Sonu Gujjar (Octopad) and Hinal Pattani (Keyboard). For the performance on the 18th June, singer Rocky will be replaced by Nimesh, Naushad will be playing the Tabla and Anantbhai the Keyboard. For tickets, you could contact: Kokila Patel 07875229177, Bhanubhai Pandya 07931708026 or 020 8427 3413 and Kamal Rao 07875229211.

We hope to see you there.

dees, ranging from food and drinks to health and wellbeing, beauty, fashion, Indian wedding attires, banks, travel and tourism, creative decorations, etc. The mega fest will also include cultural performances on stage throughout the two days by established performers, as well as community organisations and school children. To light up the stage this year, the performance line-up includes noted singer Navin Kundra, Honey’s Dance Academy (HDA), Mira Salat of Mira Performing Arts, singer Kishan Amin, East West

Performing Arts, which specialises in classical dance recitals, will also feature on the stage at the Mela. Also joining the Mela from Vienna is Adriana Galani, who is well known in UK, India and Eastern Europe for her bi-lingual musical talent. Hope for Children, our Charity Partner for Anand Mela 2017. An international charity that passionately believes every child has the right to a happy, healthy and positive childhood, enables vulnerable children to experience a positive childhood by improving their access to education and healthcare whilst

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

A plethora of South Asian award-winning films at the 8th edition of LIFF Smita Sarkar It's that time of the year when South Asian movie lovers in London and Birmingham try to make the most of their passion by viewing the best awardwinning films, attending discussion-sessions with key television personalities and watch movies by new and exciting directors. The Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival, will be showcasing their 8th edition events at 11 cinemas across London, including the BFI Southbank from 2229 June, promising to bring in a new and exciting selection of fabulous cuttingedge films that reaffirm the festival’s position as the ‘punk-rock of Indian cinema’. The festival opens on 22nd June at the BFI Southbank with the red carpet premiere of the historical epic, The Black Prince by Kavi Raz. This powerful UKproduced film was launched at Cannes, and stars Indian music singer Satinder Sartaaj, iconic actress Shabana Azmi (The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Fire), Jason Flemyng (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) and Amanda Root (Jane Eyre). The film dramatises the little-known story of the last King of Punjab who was abducted by the British Raj to be mentored by Queen Victoria. Cary Sawhney, the Festival Director told Asian Voice, “We'll be having one of the first screenings in the UK for a few of these films. Every year we seem to be getting closer to the Cannes or Berlin releases, which means we are getting these films in our festival closer to six months down the line, rather than a year or so.” Back into the 21st Century for the closing night, on 29th June, BFI Southbank rocks again with the surreal Malayalam roadmovie thriller Sexy Durga set in Kerala, directed by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, which this year won the prestigious Tiger Award for best film at Rotterdam. A tale of a hitch-hiking couple accidentally getting into the car of deranged gangsters and trying to escape a road to hell. “The LIFF films will be going to Leicester (Square) in London this year - it's a big step for us. Leicester is the heartland of top cinemas and that's quite exciting,” said Cary. In another statement Cary said: “This year's selection includes premieres of new comedies, gripping thrillers, shocking horror and insightful true life documentaries as well as bringing together UK previews of major awardwinning films from the

world's greatest film festivals." The award-winning films screening at BFI Southbank, Cineworld and Picturehouse cinemas: l Moving Cannes prizewinning documentary, The Cinema Travellers (Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya, 2016) l Berlin 2017 award-winner Newton (Amit Masurkar, 2017) l Venice’s Interfilm award recipient White Sun (Deepak Rauniyar, 2016). l Venice prize-winning film Hotel Salvation (Shubhashish Bhutiani, 2016), which the BFI will also release theatrically in the UK, in the Autumn.

Many films will be followed by live filmmaker Q&As. Special guests will include: l Legendary Oscar nominated director of Lagaan, Ashutosh Gowariker, in conversation, and British Sign Language (BSL) interpreted, plus a chance to see his Bollywood epic Jodhaa Akbar (2008) on the big screen. l Seminal British Asian activist and director Pratibha Parmar will discuss her early films and the pioneering Shakti LGBTQ+ movement. l Master film maker and BFI London Film Festival Sutherland award winner Adoor Gopalakrishnan will attend a preview of his latest film Once Again (2016). The festival also takes place in Birmingham for a third year, with a rebrand as the Birmingham Indian Film Festival, from 23 June-2nd July, marking the Festival’s permanent commitment to the region. Screenings will take place at Midlands Arts Centre mac, Cineworld Broad Street and The Mockingbird. “Birmingham people are saying that its too much imperialism from London to have a London Indian Film Festival in Birmingham. They want to see their own identity,” laughed Cary, but for all serious film-lovers, this is an event not to miss especially since it is the biggest South Asian film festival in Europe, and the Programme and Festival Directors spend the entire year planning and researching for the event. Following the festival, selected LIFF films will be made available on the BFI’s VOD service, BFI Player. For more, visit www.londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk


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Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

Rani Singh, Special Assignments Editor

Helping Farmers in the Himalayas; Koncho Gyatso This is the story of a Horticulture Development Officer living on the slopes of the eastern Himalayas who gets farmers to make their land more productive. He cares so much about his people that he has no desire to leave. Meet Koncho Gyatso, Horticulture Development Officer in Tawang District, Arunachal Pradesh. He does incredible work in a place many abroad can only imagine, for the north east of India is one of its most underdeveloped and least populated states.

Who is Koncho Gyatso?

This handsome, fashionable gentleman was born in Lumla, by the IndoChinese border. He lives and works in Tawang, headquarters of Tawang District. He is a Monpa, the people indigenous to this part of the north east India. They are gentle, honest, clever, hard working and sincere. Koncho’s grandfather was a religious teacher with monk training and his father was with the elite paramilitaries, the Sashastra Seema Bal or SSB. Koncho Gyatso spoke to

us up in Arunachal Pradesh in Tawang, around 10,000 feet above sea level. Tawang township is surrounded by stunning mountain views, alpine forests, fertile fields and cascading waterfalls. Koncho is purposeful and focussed, thoughtful and still. He stands legs akimbo, always ready to spring into action. His twostorey office sits next to that of the D e p u t y Commissioner, Tawang on a road alongside other important offices. E v e r y day, around 5pm,

Koncho takes a one hour walk along the mountain road to the famous Tawang Monastery and back again.

Background

Educated in government schools in Tawang, Koncho Gyatso went to Nagaland to study for a degree in Agriculture at the School of Agricultural Sciences and Rural Development. In the first year of his postgraduate studies, he was selected for the Department of Horticulture. In India, you work in outlying districts while you build experience. So for 12 years, Koncho worked around the mountainous region before he came back to Tawang

Koncho Gyatso

around three years ago. Koncho’s work One of this Horticulture Development Officer’s tasks is to support farmers. “We give them incentives, free of cost; such as planting materials (fruit plants), Fencing materials, manure, Plant Protection chemicals etc and providing hybrid vegetable seeds,” he tells us. “Outreach work with farmers is important. We tell them to ‘establish fruit orchards, even though it may take three to four years for the results to come through. With Kiwi, apple, orange, walnut, pear, peach, pomegranate and guava, you will be paid by everlasting returns in the long run,’ we say.”

Challenges

Koncho finds that whatever meetings they hold and however much his team reach outlying district farmers, the latter often get tempted by easy, quick money. Farmers are more interested in contract works- buildings and road construction works, which give them an immediate return. “The farmers are not so patient. We tell them,”

adds Koncho, “That you can ic cultivation practices. accept these short term Even though people have contracts if you must. But been farming in this part of you can also plant and grow India since time immemoorchards. rial.” The plan does work in Tawang District has certain places and they come a long way since the are listening to us. 1950s when India first I look after just began to administer under 3,000 sq the territory seriousOutreach kms of land, ly. Back then, anyand I have thing that was work with staff posted needed had to be farmers is in the entire dropped by important parachute from airdistrict.” The other planes. Millet, wheat, main challenge rice and potatoes were for Koncho is the grown in certain pockets, altitude he lives at. “It’s but now the Tawang rough terrain, all mountain District and much of topography. There is not Arunachal is self sufficient much cultivable land or in all foods. Only rice is in individual landholdings short supply. Koncho says, here. To get benefit from “we buy our rice from fair price shops- it comes from our department, a farmer outside the district. Rice is needs to own one hectare given at a reduced rate by of land. That’s the required the government. All indiarea for a particular crop viduals are issued with for availing the scheme. ration cards so every But since individuals don’t month they are given some often have so much landrice per head in a family.” holding, we motivate the Far, far away in the farmers for cluster cultivamost north east corner of tion. India, Leading Light There are some proKoncho Gyatso is working gressive farmers who earn a hard for his farmers to prolot of money per annum from horticultural gardens, vide a horticultural legacy but in general people have for future generations. We little knowledge of scientifare proud of him.

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Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

Terror attack in London

The recent attack at the London Bridge and Borough market was deplorable and condemnable. It is really heart breaking to have these two attacks in London and one in Manchester within two weeks. Sympathy of all British people goes to those who lost their lives and those who got injured and to their families. It is really tragic that these misguided and brainwashed terrorists do not have correct knowledge or understanding of their religion. Islam does not allow unjustified and random killing of innocent men women and children, at any time and especially during the holy month of Ramadan. These extremists have a misconception that martyrdom which they have abused, will make their passage easy to Paradise. According to their belief these terrorists kill innocent people in the name of their religion, by doing so they are in fact damaging it and giving it a bad name. They wilfully ignore Islamic history, theology and law and making their own laws in an un-Islamic warped mind-set. These terrorists and their backers do not have deep knowledge of their religion, they have been misinformed and misled by this extreme ideology, which is causing fear throughout the world. During Ramadan it is time for self-reform and spiritual transformation. Lofty objectives of this holy month is making a resolve and practical efforts for elimination of terrorism, extremism, hunger, poverty and destitution from society. This is incumbent on every Muslim and Ramadan reinforces this message. The quick and effective response by the Metropolitan Police is very much appreciated, as it saved a lot of more lives. I hope and pray this chain of terrorists attacks will come to an end soon with the help of our security services and unity of the British people. Baldev Sharma Via Email

Terror attack

The Terror attack on Saturday night, in Central London were shocking; they happened soon after attack in Manchester. Prime Minister May correctly expressed that enough is enough. Similar sentiments are expressed all over the world after any attack. Yet crowd pulling activities e.g. marathon at Manchester, Cricket match at Birmingham and general election are not curtailed, which shows British courage. Our sympathies are with injured or those who lost near and dear ones. This latest attack is reminiscent of multiple attack in Mumbai on 26-11-2008. It took 4 days to control the attack. It was televised whereby the handlers in Pakistan could direct every move of the attacking terrorists. Whereas the attack in London was controlled in less than 30 minutes. Rapid action by all concerned is commendable. It should be noted that containing terrorism cannot be controlled by government and law maintaining personnel only. Public must be vigilant too. Attackers target crowds, therefore all crowd attracting activities must either be banned in interest of security, or performed in siege like conditions. Family must curfew children and vulnerable members to be at home well before sunsets. We observed such discipline in Mau Mau days of Kenya, British could emulate it at home. Ramesh Jhalla Via Email

India’s Golden Future

Heart-warming accord at St. Petersburg summit Indian PM Modi has just completed successful four nation’s European tour; Russia being the most important nation on his itinerary spending two days there. PM is expert at pressing all the right buttons, chose St. Petersburg, birth place of President Putin, city Putin loves, admires and have sentimental attachment, rather than Moscow, normal place where Putin meets foreign dignitaries. Modi paid pre-summit homage by visiting “Piskarovskoye Cemetery” in outskirts of St. Petersburg where President Putin’s elder brother, WW2 casualty is buried, gained Putin’s approval. No wonder they got on well, praised each other and conducted business, the most productive meeting in last ten years, at a time when Moscow was coming under increasing Chinese influence, due to West being at loggerheads with Russia with hotchpotch issues where fiduciary Britain plays leading role with utterance straight from the mouth of comedian Del Boy! PM Modi was chief guest at three day event, “St. Petersburg Economic Forum” perfect opportunity to strengthen economic ties, as both countries are trying to develop industrial base, especially in consumer goods, IT and defence requirements. India is determined to increase manufacturing sector from present 16% to 25% of GDP. Russia can take advantage by collaborating with Indian industrialists, especially in oil exploration, defence sector, as India’s aim is not only to be self-sufficient but to become major arms exporter to friendly countries with India’s increasingly high profile presence at international level and India’s cordial relations with Pacific Rim Countries. Bhupendra M Gandhi Via Email

A bully is always a coward Theresa May's decision to hold a General Election on June 8, 2017 reminds me of this 19th century proverb. As a leader of the entire nation, Mrs May fully understood that the parliament as well as the entire nation has been and still is deeply divided on EU membership itself as well as on the question of the final Brexit terms. Surely when the parliament and the entire nation are divided about what constitutes best terms possible, Mrs May should have set up a cross-party, multi-discipline team embracing the physical sciences, biology, engineering, economics and public health to decide on UK's proposed terms to be led by the leader of that team. Instead, Mrs May has been acting irrationally like a bully who is afraid of debate in parliament. She knew that the other political parties were behind in opinion polls by a substantial margin. So she took advantage of the situation also aware that opportunity never knocks twice. Often parliament itself is not consulted and decisions are made by the Cabinet, sometimes not even the full Cabinet (the Executive). Again hundred or so Conservative members of parliament on civil payroll as junior ministers, etc are often forced to vote in favour of government regardless of their judgement. Political parties can come and go as government every five or ten years; Brexit agreed terms will last for at least a generation. This is a time for a united cross party transparent counter proposal terms to EU, not time-wasting to engage in verbal slinging match like the ridiculous Prime Minister's Question Time. I hope the final outcome of this General Election is an effective coalition of Labour, Liberal , SNP and the Green Party "in the national interest" rather than an arrogant Conservative Party that claims that theirs is the only party that knows what is best for the country. Nagindas Khajuria Via Email

Jubel D’Cruz’s letters in AV always express his negativity in all that is happening in India under Modi led BJP government. This is a sad reflection of a biased and prejudice mind. India is progressing by leaps and bounds in all direction as never before. This fact has been acknowledged by politicians of the International Community and has started believing in India’s huge potential and capability to become a major world power in not so distant future. PM Modi’s honesty and baldness in pronouncing himself as Hindu Nationalist and openly talk about Indianess (Hindutva) shows his deep love and admiration of the oldest civilisation of the world. Congress has always been pro Christian and Muslim and that is the reason BJP is a threat to them. PM Modi is non-stoppable and sowing the right seeds for India’s wellbeing, development and prosperity to become a paradise on earth.

As an elderly man, I often feel exhausted at the end of the day in this hot weather. Recently I made a discovery which almost made me break into a Bhangra dance. I soaked my tired feet in a bowl of plain cold tap water for 15 minutes. After towelling my feet dry, I suddenly felt totally refreshed and enjoyed a surge of energy that lasted five hours right up to my bed-time of 11pm. Try it and see if this idea works for you too. Better still report your experience here in Asian Voice.

Niranjan Vasant Via Email

Rudy Otter By email

Feet treat

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Why are Gurkhas still discriminated?

UK and Nepal government did mark the bicentenary regarding 200 years of the Gurkha recruitment in the British army. l 1fact: Why the Gurkhas and their families are still facing racial discrimination and human rights violence by the United Kingdom government? l 2 fact: Why Gurkhas like me and others are still barred from the basic voting right? l 3fact: Why Gurkhas are facing family seperation still in the 21st century here in UK? l 4fact: Why post July pension for 97 Gurkhas are still paid according to the Indian pay code? l 5fact: I am now 65 plus and the Conservative party talks big about equal and big society. Will Conservative party end the 200 years of racial discrimination and human rights violence against the Gurkhas and their families as mentioned #facts above? l 6 fact: Because Gurkhas especially the martial race from Nepal is also human being and not "alien" We getting hurt by ill-treatment against the Gurkhas and their families and hope Mrs May's government will grant the basic voting right and other rights like me and others in our life times. Yam Gurung (rtd) Via Email

Sour Grapes

It would be most remiss of me if I did not thank Rudy Otter for giving me five minutes of fame (AV 27 May) and bringing my achievements into the limelight! One correction though, I have to date written 355 letters and not just 290 as he says. I aspire to make the magical figure of 500 before I finally put my feet up. As for the award ceremony, unlike other similar weeklies, ABPL is well known for recognising and rewarding talent. It organises many award ceremonies viz the Asian Achievers Award, Asian Charities awards etc (Perhaps the editorial board would elaborate on this here). So what is wrong in having a get together of writers in order that we can put a face to the names that we are so familiar with? While we are at this social occasion, I feel, and other writers including the ABPL Board, agree with me that we can make this a unique occasion by rewarding talent. I have made this get together my fait accompli. Some of the frequent letter writers, having written books, poems and been editors of other magazines, have other feathers in their caps too! Alas! Someone like Mr Otter, having written only a letter and a half, would not be eligible for an award from the publisher/ editor Mr C B Patel. Sour grapes! Mr Kapadia will also be excluded as having nothing original of his own to say, he latches onto my ideas! Dinesh Sheth Newbury Park, Ilford

Traits of Hindus

Referring to Ramesh Jhalla's letter dated 3 June, I would like to explain that I have referred only the matter of elimination of Christian crosses by government that came in the way of its plans, and not the crosses being destroyed by vandals. I also agree to the author's view that if anybody's religious structures are demolished, he has the right to oppose and thereby to defend his religion; that's why people feel, the indigeneous learned Hindus defend the destruction of their Ram temple originated years ago in India. The author felt that Hindus instead of following science and technology sit on yogasan and seem to do nothing but truly speaking, while they consciously breathe deeply during yogasan and pranayam, billions and billions of cell skins, blood etc – all the constituents of the body are oxygenated, enriching them during the blood circulation. And defend against fatal diseases like cancer. Rishis in ancient times were inspired to follow this natural and innocent method for health and happiness. The Hindus trait of tolerance, ahimsa and giving respect to all religions is formed through yoga. The UN has recognised the need of yoga for physical and mental sustenance and survival over and above the western life surviving technology which are found comparatively laborious, costly and futile by experts some time. R N Patel Essex


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Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

Operation Dharmic Vote gains momentum Leader for Labour's British Indians criticise As the snap GE2017 campaign reaches the final week of campaigning, concern about the law on caste discrimination has gained traction in several constituencies. Operation Dharmic Vote aims to galvanise opinion and votes in favour of candidates who sign up against the caste law. Campaign coordinator Mr Mukesh Naker says they are in a position to help those Parliamentary candidates retain, regain, or swing seats. The government’s recent consultation on the caste law makes important concessions. There is no evidence of caste discrimination, says the consultation document, and the term caste is impossible to define. These should have been fatal to the caste provision in the Equality Act as well as the intervening case law, where the courts have sped ahead to create a legal precedent. The Anti Caste Legislation Committee (ACLC), a broad communitybased coalition has been saying that the Government’s consultation is devoid of purpose and parliament should proceed to repeal both the legislation and case law. The ACLC has warned of the law’s potential to create conflict within the community, encourage of spurious claims, and foster attacks on the community’s religious and associational freedoms.

The focused campaign by Operation Dharmic Vote should gain greater speed in the final week of voting. Already encouraging advances have been made. Bob Blackman (Con), defending Harrow East, promised to lend support to doing away with both branches of the capricious law. Mr Blackman says: “Having studied the Anti Caste Legislation Committee’s (ACLC) briefing papers on the potential impacts on individuals, businesses, community organisations and public authorities, and their assertion that case law could end up with adverse consequences, if reelected, I would seek the support of the government and fellow MP's to repeal both the caste clause in the legislation and Parliament to overturn any adverse judgements in case law.” In a remarkable turn of events, an unprecedented number of other candidates have come out to support Mr Blackman’s statement: Hannah David (Con) who aims to dislodge Gareth Thomas (Lab) in Harrow West; Matthew Offord (Con) who is defending in his Hendon seat; newcomer Ameet Jogia (Con) fighting for Brent North against Barry Gardiner (Lab); Mike Freer defending his seat in Finchley & Golders Green

(Con); and Paul Uppal (Con) fighting to regain the Wolverhampton South West seat. Whether any LibDem candidates see it fit to counter their party’s manifesto pledge to “Outlaw caste discrimination” remains to be seen. In so pledging, that party has ignored the lack of evidence, the impossibility of implementation, and the havoc that would be caused for British communities. Labour candidates, whose party has been solidly behind the legislation, have so far shown little solidarity with the community to repeal the legislation and case law. Operation Dharmic Vote’s aim to steer votes towards those candidates committing against the caste law could make all the difference in those seats where the community has become conscious of the law’s arbitrary effects. It is precisely that segment of the electorate the Operation Dharmic Vote campaign hopes to sway. Mr Naker says: “The caste law issue is currently the most important. The community is gaining confidence by understanding its electoral potential and how to use it. Knowing they cannot be ignored will help place the Dharmic voter in a more important position now and in future.”

Jeremy Corbyn for alienating key voters

Political Strategist, a lawyer by profession and a leader for Labour's British Indians, Manoj Ladwa has attacked Jeremy Corbyn for alienating Indian voters, as Theresa May, the Conservative Leader is found wooing them. Ladwa, a columnist for Asian Voice as well as a part of the Labour Friends of India reportedly said: “Corbyn is out of sync with British Indians”. He was also an election strategist for Prime Minister Narendra Modi that helped him win the Indian election, and was at the helm of organising Modi's visit to Wembley Arena in November 2015. 1.5 million Indians live in the UK, making up 2.3% of the total UK population. In 2010, Labour had 68% of the ethnic minority vote, compared with the Conservatives’ 16%. But in 2015, nearly half of Hindus and Sikhs said they voted Conservative, as David Cameron wooed them, with party chiefs hoping that they can shift even more over at the election on June 8. Election chiefs believe that the Asian vote is key to this any party's success and the community is

Manoj Ladwa

spread all over London, Greater London and many places in Midlands, Yorkshire and the North West. Theresa May visited the Swaminarayan Temple on Saturday trying to woo the Hindu voters, which she did not do in the initial days. Her manifesto was aimed at the mainstream, but as poll differences narrowed between the Labour party and Conservatives, she was seen mingling with the Indian communi-

ty in one of UK's renowned Hindu Temples. Moreover, it is clear that Jeremy Corbyns outright refusal to even discuss the impact of Labour's 'Caste proliferation' agenda, has alienated formerly loyal Hindu voters, whereas the Conservative party, which has demonstrated that it is listening to British Hindus. Ladwa pointing at that effort by the tory party told The Sun newspaper: “By and large the Indian community has been supportive of Labour for decades, but it has now shifted away.” “Mr Corbyn is no longer fighting for their aspirations because his politics of the hard left doesn’t speak to them. “Labour must be seen to support aspiration and businesses”. Mr Ladwa added: “There are no ifs or buts, and no sugar coating the schism that now exists between Labour’s traditional voters and policies that Corbyn champions”.


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MEDIA WATCH

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Qualities

Soldiers are apt to tell you as it is; there is less fudging, no beating about the bush as is the wont of most politicians. General Bipin Rawat was appointed Chief the Army Staff earlier this year over two senior contenders. Why? The government, which is empowered constitutionally to make the final call, believed he was the right man at the right place; that his proven counter-insurgency skills were what was most needed in Kashmir to handle the present jihadiinspired violence.

These UAVs weighing just 30 kg can fly for 10 hours with a maximum one-way flight range of 1,200kmat heights ranging 300ft-2,000ft. Its strength lies in search and rescue missions and surveillance operations infrastructure projects like oil and gas pipelines, power lines, highways, rail roads, land and sea borders and can carry payloads HD photo and video cameras to laser scanners and radars up to 8kg weight. (Business Line May 31)

GSLV Mark III

Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat

In a forthright interview to the Press Trust of India - which the Hindu to its credit published on its front page (May 29) – General Rawat said: ‘People are throwing stones at us… throwing petrol bombs at us. If my men ask me what do we do, should I say just wait and die? I will come with a nice coffin with a national flag and I will send your body home with honour. Is it what I am supposed to tell them as chief? I have to maintain the moral of my troops who are operating there. This is a proxy war and a proxy war is a dirty war. It is played in a dirty way. The rules of engagement are there when the adversary comes face to face and fights with you. It is a dirty war. That is where innovation comes in. You fight a dirty war with innovation.’

Major Gogoi The background to these remarks was the uproar that followed Major Gogoi’s decision to strap a man to the front of a jeep, in a particularly volatile suburb of Srinagar during the recent local municipal elections, as a counter to lethal stone throwers, whose actions had resulted in occasional deaths and frequent injuries – some very serious - among the security forces. Major Gogoi’s bold and risky response forced a pause in stone throwin activity, hence not a drop of blood was spilled and not a bone broken, not even a detectable scratch. The ends had justified the means.

Commendation Medal General Rawat awarded Major Leetul Gogoi a Commendation Medal, whereupon sections of the media and one or two retired generals in profitable retirement honing their golfing skills in expensive Delhi clubs went viral. Major Gogoi and General Rawat, Prime Minister

Modi and Defence Minister Jaitley have grasped: that India is engaged in an undeclared war by Pakistan for decades. The penny has dropped at last. Marathon talks, clichés without end, cricket matches with Pakistan came and went, as the ante kept rising. Perhaps the authorities remembered V.P. Menon’s warning written ages sago: ‘ A nation that forgets its history and geography does so at its peril. Srinagar today, Delhi tomorrow.’ Menon, for those with short memories, was India’s first Home Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s closest aide (1947-50).

Kashmiri defiance Around 1,300 Kashmiri youths, defying jihadi and separatist Hurriyat threats and calls for a strike, responded to the Army recruitment test at two centres: Srinagar’s Jammu & Kashmir Light Infantry Regimental Centre, and the Baramulla Pattan Camp (Times of India May 29)

Terror groups hit hard Indian forces have taken heavy toll of Islamic terror grups in Kashmir, killing Burhan Wani’s successor Sabzar Bhat in a gun battle. At the weekend. The Army also killed 10 Pakistan intruders, including two members of a Pakistan Border Action Team (BAT) along the Line of Control. It signals the new hardline policy of the Modi government, say media reports (Times of India May 28). A few days later the Army killed five Pakistani soldiers in a strike along the Line of Control (Mint June 1)

Watch out: GSLV Mark III GSLV Mark III weighing 640 tonnes, is the heaviest rocket designed and manufactured by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRRO). It could serve the country’s first manned

mission. Only three countries, the US, Russia and China have a rocket of this size and power; India joins them as the fourth such power. GSLV Mark III will have a new and advanced cryogenic engine for lift-off into geostationary orbit 36,000 miles above the earth. ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar said: ‘After over 200 tests have been done on different components of this heavier lift, we are targeting this launch vehicle for June 5.’ (Times of India May 29)

Fourth quarter GDP dips to 6.1 per cent India’s growth dipped to 6.1 per cent in the fourth of the last fiscal ending March 31, 2017, according to data released by the Central Statistics Board. Clearly demonetization has taken its toll, but just as clearly nowhere near the level predicted by the doomsayers. The broadsheet took this as a front page feature, with the Telegraph (June 1) emitting a sneering whoop of joy that China had outpaced India. Final Judgment should be reserved until the growth figures of the current fiscal starting April 1 2017 become available.

UAV testing facility in Karnataka Defence Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated India’s first primary aeronautical research facility stretching across 4090 acres at Chalakere in Karnataka, with the comment that the maintenance of defence preparedness was crucial for the country. The Aeronautical Test Range will host several unmanned aerial vehicles which are to be tested and integrated before induction (Hindu May 29)

M&M expansion investment plan Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is to invest Rs 12,000 crore in an ambitious expansion plan in the next three years to ensure that its growth momentum continues. While Rs 7,500 crore will be invested in new product development and capacity expansion for its range of motor vehicles, Rs 4,500 crore is to be earmarked for group companies as well as new acquisitions, said V.S. Parthasarathy, Chief Financial Officer, M&M Group (Hindu May 31)

Chandra’s first 100 days Tata Group Chairman N.Chand rasekaran has completed 100 days in office, following a bruising power struggle between the former incumbent Cyrus Mistry and Emeritus head

N. Chandrasekaran

Ratan Tata. Chandrasekaran has devoted this period to strategic restructuring: divesting failing

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assets and concentrating those that are thriving. He has appointed a top team of financial experts to help the $104 billion Group through this arduous rationalization (Timews of India

Army strengthens border capability The Himalayan border presents enormous physical problems plus the more formidable Tibetbased China’s People’s Liberation Army to contend with. The Indian Army is raising a second division in the mountain corps and will conduct an exercise in Ladakh later this year. The new 72 Infantry Division, headquartered in Pathancot will become fully operation in three years’ time, The new 17 Corps has two new high altitude infantry divisions as well as armoured artillery, air defence, engineer brigades extending from Arunachal Pradesh to Ladakh, when fully formed will include 90,274 troops. Forward and rear air bases have constructed , supplemented by tanks and supersonic BrahMos cruise missiles. The first of the 145 M777 ultra-light howitzers, which can be airlifted at speed to the front, have arrived from the United States (Times of India June 1)

Acting in haste, repenting at leisure The Centre’s recent law banning animal slaughter at points of sale has given rise to fierce controversy. The general public perception is that this was simply a means to curb beef eating. It is no business of government to interfere in the dietary habits of its citizens. The leather industry is set to lose its niche export markets in the West. The law is an ass, said a Dickens character. It could next be a dress code for women. An uproar ensued in the nonHindi belt, against the country’s despised cow belt, with State High Courts annulling the measure. With Kashmir and jihadi terrorism, paramount national concerns, beef is an unnecessary distraction. (Times of India, Hindu May 29, 30, 31).

PM’s communications skills lauded

From Russia with wings A new Indo-Russian joint venture – Elcoponics Aerob Technologies India – will be manufacturing multi-purpose UAVs in India, resulting in a significant reduction in costs. These machines are of Russian design and technology. The Noida-based joint venture, near New Delhi, was formed in 2016 by Russia’a Aerob, startup based in Skolkovo Innovation Center near Moscow and India’s Elcopon ics.

On the third anniversary of his government’s term in office, Prime Minister Modi’s communication skills were lauded by President Pranab Mukherjee, who compared them to those of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. The PM’s skills were much in evidence during his visits to Germany and Russia, where he interacted with media, following his talks with Chancellor Merkel and President Putin.


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17AWARDS th

Freedom of Speech v Islamists Like most liberals I believe in freedom of speech and privacy. But Voltaire and JS Mill and all the others never foresaw the internet. They never foresaw the ability to mass murder with such efficiency. It used to be that unless harm is caused to another, the power of the State will not be used. Now that has to change. We cannot wait for murder before we arrest. We have to stop people when they display the ISIS flag. We have to revoke their nationality for it. We do have to undertake extreme vetting if you are from Pakistan or visit Saudi Arabia or Turkey. Don’t tell me, ‘but that’s what the terrorists’ want. It’s not. They want you dead. They do not want you to limit their entry. They want you to have free speech – so they can have hate speech. And I want my Government to have a backdoor key to unencrypt my communications if they need. I have nothing to hide. For God’s sake, we kept on telling them, the Mosques are breeding this problem, not all of them, but enough. We told them in the 1980s. We told them they are not integrating. They don’t listen. But all the time the bloody liberals said, ‘no, you are being intolerant’. Now the PM has woken up and confessed, they have been too tolerant of extremists.

If you do not love the UK – f*ck off. It’s that simple. The best friend of the enemy has become the bleeding-heart liberal. And while we are at it, I am not tolerant of bourkas either. They are a political not religious item of clothing. They breed a desire to stay apart and we know extremism starts in small steps. This is one of them. It is an item of clothing stating ‘my way is better, not different, and I look down on you and your ways’. And mothers breed children who learn from parents. Stop. Enough. Do not tell me this will push people to extremism. I am not here to molly-coddle the wanna be extremist and plead he will not turn. And don’t tell me, the IRA were not catholic extremists. That’s because they were not – they had protestants who were Irish nationalists wan ting a united Ireland. And as one of the Heads of the Church says it IS a Muslim problem – stop telling me the terrorists have nothing to do with Islam. If it was Hindus doing it, I would say, ‘it is my job personally to stop you, pesonally’. I want them to know they are being monitored, watched, listened. Vigilance is the price of freedom. Either that, or more teenage girls die and a nation is terrorised. Come down hard.

The Edinburgh Collection acquires The Tune Hotel in Edinburgh The Edinburgh Collection, a member of Palm Holdingshas announced the expansion of its UK portfolio with the acquisition of The Tune Hotel in Edinburgh. Located in Edinburgh’s West End, it sits directly opposite Edinburgh’s Haymarket Station with its direct train lines to and from London Kings Cross, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness. The hotel also benefits from access to Edinburgh Airport via the Airlink bus and tram service. Ricky Kapoor, Managing Director of the Edinburgh Collection, says: “This new addition to our Edinburgh portfolio will enable us to further meet the demands of a variety of visitors and travellers to Scotland’s capital. The Haymarket Hub Hotel is about being Connected, Exploring the City and Recharging, an exciting new concept which will satisfy even the most discerning of today’s modern travellers including the Millennials. “The Edinburgh Collection is now very well placed to provide a variety of accommodation styles for those looking for luxury breaks to corporate and leisure visitors seeking excellent value for money. Each of our Edinburgh venues offers its own unique character and appeal.” The hotel has 189

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ASIAN ACHIEVERS

The people’s choice awards

Is there someone you know who has broken boundaries and deserves recognition for their unique contribution to the Asian Community or the Nation

TM

?

Nominate them for the 17th Asian Achievers Awards

The prestigious Asian Achievers Awards is hosted every year by UK’s leading news weeklies Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar to honour British Asians par excellence.

Deadline for nomination 31st July, 2017 NOMINATION FORM Please  tick the appropriate category Achievement in Community Service In recognition for an individuals service to community. Woman of the Year The award will recognise and honour a woman who has made a significant mark in any chosen field. Sports Personality of the Year Awarded for excellence in sports. Business Person of the Year Awarded to a business person who is a success in every sense of the word and can demonstrate a genuine passion for social issues.

Lifetime Achievement Award To honour those individuals, who during their lifetime, have made immense contributions in any given field. This remarkable individual can be marked as an example for the younger generation. Uniformed and Civil Services For outstanding achievements in uniformed and civil services or contribution to the community through any of the above services. Entrepreneur of the Year Awarded to an entrepreneur with a proven track record of operating a successful business enterprise. bedrooms and provides efficiently designed space for the modern traveller. The new “business class” offering will include enhanced facilities and inclusive services for traveller convenience. The contemporary and innovative design maximises bedroom space and each room offers superior quality beds from Hypnos, power showers and luxury toiletries. Sheetal Kapoor, Group CEO, Palm Holdings, commented “we are extremely excited with this UK acquisition as it follows on the heels of the purchase of the Holiday Inn Orlando SW

Celebration Area only six weeks ago and makes us one step closer to achieving a total room count of in excess of 2000 rooms.” Guests can stay connected throughout their visit with Handy smart phones – the first to arrive in Scotland. With free data and free UK and internationals calls to 10 countries including Australia, China, India & USA they can stay in touch 24/7 inside and outside the hotel. The smart phones will enable users to access the latest city news, events, discover the best restaurants and bars and explore the capital using Google maps.

Professional of the Year Professionals in the field of medicine, law, education, banking, finance and others, who have scaled the heights of their chosen profession. Achievement in Media, Arts and Culture Someone who has made a mark in media including print and broadcast media; cinema, art and culture.

Details required for filing the nomination Please email/post the below details on a separate sheet I Nominee's Name, Occupation I Nominee's Contact Details (Tel/ Email) I Award Category: (choose from the category above ) I Reason for nomination I Nominees Accomplishments /Awards/Recognitions I Personal background /CV/ Bio (Attach these documents if necessary) I Any other information you would like to include about the nominee I Your Name/ Contact details(Email/Phone) Make sure that you fill in this application form and send it on or before 31st July, 2017 by post, fax or email to Mr. L George, Tel: 020 7749 4013, Fax 020 7749 4081, Email: aaa@abplgroup.com. If you are sending it by post the address is Mr. L George, ABPL Group, Karma Yoga House, 12 Hoxton Market, London N1 6HW. Apply online www.abplgroup.com/Events/Asian-Achievers-Awards/Nominations

Charity partner


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TLIGHT

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New Art Exchange exhibit Bhairav with leading Indian contemporary artists

Shazia Nicholls

THE SCAR TEST

Sunetra Senior

With her soft and mellifluous voice, heard for the first time – that’s truly it is fitting that Shazia should thrilling.” What is also interesting appear in Hannah Khalil’s new about The Scar Test is that it uses its play, The Scar Test: a poignant different actors to perform a multiproduction about women who are tude of roles: “I play one of the 11 shockingly detained at the Yarl’s detained women, Hungry Woman,” Wood Immigration Removal centre, Shazia elaborated. “She’s been there for long and often undetermined for longer than most of the other periods of time. female characters, but I also play a irected by Sara Joyce, the play solicitor, who is overworked and has details the experiences of the a lot of emotional baggage to negothousands of vulnerable tiate through herself. It’s challengrefugee and Asylum Seeking women ing, but very interesting. I believe, in who are otherwise denied a legitithat sense, appearing in this play mate voice. “So many of these also underscores why I was drawn to women, as many as 5000 individuals the world of theatre in the first across several detention centres” place: I have the opportunity to repShazia explained, “are already resent a variety of stories and viewundergoing specific traumas, from points that help unite society.” abuse and violence including horrific When asked whether her mixed culFGM from the countries they have tural background – the young actress fled. This is not helped by the fact is half-Pakistani and half-Colombian that they are scrutinised by mandaton her mother’s side – contributed ed doctors for physical scars to her compassionate approach, as proof of their persecuShazia was emphatic: “yes, tion. Some scars, as definitely! Especially the detention probecause my parents ‘If you have an cess itself shows, moved around a lot. My interest in the are emotional. brother and I were The current actually born in Paris arts, you have a paperwork and before we moved to responsibility to legal proceedings the UK, and my father push for works do not adequately made a life for himself that are diverse address that.” here having come from Though The Scar a very poor hilltop viland inclusive’ Test is a fictional lage in Pakistan. For me play, Shazia further then national identity and explained, “the playwright pride are not conscious or core Hannah worked closely with the components: selfhood is fluid. In charity – Yarl’s Wood Befrienders – terms of language, my mother speaking directly to the women, speaks Spanish and my father Urdu, offering them comfort in the form of while we all speak French at home. blankets and clothes as well as talkThat certainly resonates a lot with ing with them and emotional supThe Scar Test’s concept of people port. The play was borne of much having to leave their beloved home meticulous research.” countries to find refuge elsewhere, and simply look to other human *** beings to feel collectively safe.” Thus Having before appeared in the Shazia demonstrates how personal acclaimed BBC 1 drama series passion can shape politics, and how Doctor Foster, as well as various big the arts can be more powerful than Theatre Productions, including simply the flat facts. Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at There are many different Orange Tree Theatre and Absent types of acting methods: from Friends at the Lyric Hammersmith, the Stanisvlasky System to methodShazia is no stranger to giving acting and the Chekhov technique, strong and evocative performances. which are more about sparking However, she told us, “appearing in emotional memory. Which particuthe Scar Test is a particular highlight lar one are you using? because it is the first time, for me, that theatre has really been issueThe Stanisvlasky method promotes based. It is very journalistic and is working closely with the text to get opening my eyes, as well as the pubanswers and find the rich, inner lic’s, to certain events happening, character life – that’s what we’re which are scarily underreported. It’s mainly using. That’s also the method important to be engaged. I love perfocussed on at the London Academy forming Shakespeare – a big passion of Music and Dramatic Arts where I of mine – but breathing life into a trained. Method Acting is more new piece of writing which will be

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immersive: you stay in character the whole time and try your best to live as if you’re them. It’s a technique more popular in the US. We are also doing a lot of physical work to switch between the distinctive characters and explore movement within the space. It helps evoke the deeply held thoughts of each of our characters, in terms of their background and particular emotion. Because these are women held in a detention centre, it’s naturally very physical. When one is traumatised, defiant or oppressed, their postures and gestures are affected. Your show is going to Soho Theatre, and you’ve been part of the Soho Young Playwrights? Was it good to collaborate with other artists? Yes, as an actor it’s important to make work and fill the underrepresented gaps. As a minority actress that was a great opportunity. I met Sara Joyce, the director of The Scar Test, as part of Soho Young Playwrights. If you have an interest in the arts, you have a responsibility to push for works that are diverse and inclusive. Do you have a particular role model? Many! You do look at different people’s careers because in the end it’s about what speaks to the different parts of you. I think Indira Varma is fantastic. I’m in awe of her choices. When I did Dr Foster, I also became a huge fan of Thusitha Jayasundera who is again very smart and has pursued a mix of television and theatre, creating a very varied career. Are there still barriers to break down as an Asian actress? We are definitely a long way off from having ethnic minorities well represented on stage and TV, but I have to say that in recent years a charity called Act for Change has done a lot to bring people’s attention to this. It is a struggle if you’re not a white middle class man but society is moving forward: we should focus on the positives to combat the difficulty and challenges. Finally, where can people Catch The Scar Test? The show will open during Refugee Week 2017 at The Place, Bedford, and transfers to Soho Theatre London on 5 July. Twitter: @Shazia_K

Seventy years after Indian independence, New Art Exchange exhibit Bhairav, a newly commissioned film installation by Nikhil Chopra and Munir Kabani exploring the colonial landscape of Goa, then and now. Bhairav is the creation of leading Indian contemporary artists, Nikhil Chopra and Munir Kabani, also featuring artists Madhavi Gore, Sajan Mani and musician Ustad Bahauddin Dagar. The film installation extends upon the artists’ unique practices and drawing on overlapping threads which are pertinent to the landscape, history and identity of Goa. The result is a reflective and compelling film, poetically exploring themes of hierarchy, spirituality,

and the relationship between classical values and contemporary culture. The exhibition launches on 15 July 2017, with a series of durational live art perfor-

mances by the artists occurring over 12 hours on the day prior. Bhairav Performances: Friday 14 July – Saturday 15 July, TBC Exhibition launch: Saturday 15 July, 6pm – 9pm (Q&A, 6.30pm) New Art Exchange, Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham, NG7 6BE

Property prices in the UK hit new low

Experts warn that the UK may be heading towards a major property recession as prices fell by 0.2 per cent across the country between April and May. Marking the third consecutive monthly fall, the slump is the longest since 2009. Nationwide Building Society found that average property price was £208,711 in May, indicating that while average house prices are up 2.1 per cent year-on-year, price growth is slowing. Buying agent Henry Pryor said, “We are in that phase of the market where people are concerned that what they pay for today may be cheaper tomorrow. What happens in London ripples out to the country. It might be this time next year before it hits Shropshire and Norfolk, but what is going on in central London matters.”

Rogue Surgeon Ian Paterson sentenced to 15 years in jail

The court was packed with “mutilated” victims of rogue breast cancer surgeon Ian Paterson, as he was sentenced to 15 years. The 59 year old was convicted of carrying out a raft of needless operations, leaving patients disfigured and scarred. Judge Jeremy Baker said the doctor was driven by his “own self-aggrandisement and the material rewards which it brought from your private practice.” His seven-week trial heard evidence from nine women and a man, treated between 1997 and 2011 at Little Aston and Parkway hospitals in the West Midlands. Paterson was convicted of 17 months of wounding with intent and three of unlawful wounding.

Labour's online donors prove far more generous than the Tories

Jeremy Corbyn's election campaign raised £4000,000 in a single day on Thursday, with the donors giving an average of £22. The Labour received more than 10,000 online donations from the members of the public and are calling it “the biggest day of online fundraising British Jeremy Corbyn politics has ever seen.” The drive has raised £3 million since the election was called in mid April. The Labour sent emails to supporters calling for donations to “kick (the Tories) out of Number 10.” A Labour source also said “people-powered campaign shows how the British people can come together to change an economy rigged for the super-rich.” People were urged to click on buttons offering to pay £5, £10, £20 or more, that lead to a donations page.


UK

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Trump creates row after taking Khan's quotes out of context in a string of tweets Donald Trump has launched some fresh tirade against Sadiq Khan, accusing him of making “pathetic excuses� in his response to the terrorist attacks. This comes after his first criticism over the weekend when Trump said there was “no reason to be alarmed� in the wake of the London Bridge atrocities. PM Theresa May risked opening a new diplomatic rift by saying he was “wrong� to criticisethe Mayor who was doing a “good job.� The Mayor led a crowd of more than 1,000 Londoners in a vigil on Monday evening for the victims of Saturday's attacks. On Monday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said “I don’t think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the USA in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for.� Supporting his remarks, British campaigners have backed Sadiq Khan's comments and urged the cancellation of Donald Trump's proposed state visit to the UK. Politicians from all parties criticised Trump. Lucy Anderson, Member of the European Parliament for London, said "Londoners do not appreciate Donald Trump's divisive comments this week, including his

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

President of the US Donald Trump

attacks on our elected Mayor Sadiq Khan. Sadiq is quite right to question whether we should be rolling out the red carpet for a President whose policies go against everything our great city stands for." Stand up to Trump spokesperson Maz Saleem added, "Stand up To Trump welcomes London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s comments to cancel Donald Trump state visit. Trump is trying to make political capital out of a horrific situation. Trump is trying to use the London attacks for his horrible divisive agenda. Sadiq Khan is attempting to bring Londoners together in unity. Yet all Trump wants to do is create fear and division. He has pursued a racist, Islamophobic and otherwise bigoted agenda home and abroad." Sabby Dhalu of Stand Up

to Racism added, "We fully support London Mayor Sadiq Khan. He has the difficult task of ensuring that we counter terrorism and ensure that we do not allow such horrific terrorist attacks to divide us and hatred to increase. “His job was made harder by Donald Trump, who instead of sending condolences to the loved ones of those killed, disgracefully attacked our Muslim Mayor. There is no place for Trump and his racism in Britain. We wholeheartedly agree with Sadiq Khan - Britain should not be rolling out the red carpet to Trump." Lindsey German of the Stop the War Coalition added, "Trump has added insult to the injury people of London feel at this terrible attack. I cannot think of a better person to place under a travel ban. We do not want him here."

Ram R am K Ka Katha LONDON 2017

Afzhal attacks British Islamic groups for peddling 'myths' about Prevent campaign The former chief crown prosecutor and one of UK's most prominent Muslim lawyer Nazir Afzal has said that the British Islamic groups are undermining fight against terror by peddling 'myths' about the Prevent campaign. The Times reported that he has claimed an 'industry', of Muslim groups was spreading misinformation about the Prevent strategy, according to The Times. The scheme was developed by the Home Office in 2003 as part of the Government's counter-terrorism strategy. It aims to ask the community to identify people who are at risk of being radicalised and stop them from becoming terrorists or endorse terrorism or report them, the Daily Mail reported. Mr Afzal, who recently stepped down from his position as chief executive of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, slammed the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), who he says did not address radicalisation nor the threat of people going to Syria in the agenda for the annual general meeting last year. He reportedly said: 'We all have a responsibility to

1 3 TH

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Nazir Afzal

stand up for British values and the rule of law.' When discussing the positives of the Prevent strategy, he said: 'It's stopped at least 150 people from going to Syria, 50 of them children. 'It's grassroots — it's not about criminalising and it has an impact but it's constantly undermined by myths that urgently need to be challenged.' However, over the years the strategy has been slammed by critics for stigmatising Muslims. The MCB said it was "dismayed" by Mr Afzal's remarks. A MCB spokesperson said: "If the issue of people travelling to Syria was an issue for him at that time then he could have made the point at the AGM when he spoke (in 2015).

"To raise this now in the aftermath of the Manchester attack is simply opportunistic and disingenuous. "In addition to our long held opposition to terrorism, since 2014 we have facilitated grassroots conversations to see what Muslim communities themselves should do to help the fight against terrorism." The spokesperson also added that any criticism of Prevent was in the spirit of enabling the country to tackle the "scourge" of terrorism, The Independent reported. The Archbishop of canterbury, the Most Rev Justin however has said that religious leaders must face upto justification their faith provides for atrocities committed in their name.

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LONDON BRIDGE STANDING STRONG

16

TERROR ATTACK

Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

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EXCLUSIVE

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Rupanjana Dutta

They came in their hundreds to Potters Field, a small patch of green next to City hall, near London Bridge, where the terrorists killed seven and injured 48 on Saturday. It was raining as the strong gale battered London, people in hundreds stood united in solidarity, in rain coats and umbrellas, holding placards with catchy slogans and lay wreaths or flowers to pay their tributes. They came to pay homage to the dead, as well as to the fatally wounded, especially those who are fighting for their lives in the hospitals. For many attending the vigil called by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan on Monday evening was a case of 'it could have been us', and for some it was a proof of their identity as a British as well as a Muslim, condemning terrorism- making their voices heard. Attending the vigil was 0 from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, who is training to be an imam. Speaking exclusively to Asian Voice, he said, “My responsibility is to take the true message of Islam out there. So people should know what Islam teaches and they should know that the attacks on London bridge are not in the name of Islam. People who attack and kill people are not Muslims. Quran does not teach this at all. These attackers are just criminals. We should respond by showing unity and brother-

committed in very heart of London in the name of Islam or be offended that they assumed I am a Muslim because I am brown. And worst of all assumed that I am religious enough to care. “I felt like shouting at the pitch of my voice that I am here to show my support to my fellow Britons and not driven by any religious motives. I am in fact a born Hindu, taught by Angelican nuns, lived life bordering Atheism, later saved by Spirituality and married to a Catholic- I am a true BritIndian by all means.” J Deva who was also at

Vigil to remember the victims of London terror attack

Metropolitan Police, as well as paramedics and fire crews, for an emotional service in Potters Field Park, near City Hall. The Archbishop of Canterbury was also on hand to pay his respects to the victims of the attack. Speaking to a multi-cultural audience and flanked

you will never succeed is dividing our city. “We send our love to the victims’ families and all those injures and we thank our courageous emergency services and the brace Londoners who risked their lives. You are the best of us. “Our city is filled with great sorrow and anger

to the Asian Voice exclusively he said, “Usually Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims are targeted after such incidents. Don't accept any misbehaviour towards you and must tell the Police wherever you are. We are there for you.” London observed a minute of silence at 11am

Youngsters from the Muslim community show their unity in solidarity

Diane Abbott, Sadiq Khan and Amber Rudd

hood, being part of this vigil and show people what the true message of Islam is.” Deepa Mathew was also attending the vigil with two of her friends. While she was asked by few participants if she was a Muslim or even religious, Deepa felt it was her duty as a British Indian to show her support to her fellow Londoners. Speaking to the newspaper she said, “At the vigil today everyone was so nice and supportive of me. Some people even told me that it's ok they understand that it's not my religion and that it is wrong and it's just caused by some bad people. “Not sure whether I should be proud of my fellow Londoners who came forward to support Muslims despite of the heinous acts

the vigil told Asian Voice, “It was wonderful to see so many people coming forward to support each other, even battling such a bad weather. Londoners are well known for their resilience and I am proud to be a born Hindu, British and a Londoner.” Jasvir Singh OBE on behalf of London Faiths Forum and Deesha Chadha of Hindu Forum of Britain lay flowers outside City Hall to pay their respects. Speaking to Asian Voice, Jasvir said, “It was important for the diverse communities of London to show our unity solidarity at the vigil at City Hall. The terrorists want to divide us, but all they are managing to do is bring us closer together. However, we can't let these attacks become the 'new normal' for the capital.” Mayor Sadiq Khan led the vigil and was joined by senior officers from the

by Amber Rudd and Diane Abbott, Khan said London would never be 'broken by terrorism' and that extremism would be beaten. He said: “We stand together tonight to honour the memories of the innocent lives lost and people injured in the barbaric attack on our city. “London stands in defiance against this cowardly attack and our city and our people and our values and our way of live. “As the Mayor of London I want to send a clear message to the sick and evil extremists who commit this hideous crimes; we will defeat you. You will not win. “And as a proud and patriotic British Muslim I say this: you do not commit these disgusting acts in my name. Your perverse ideology has nothing to do with the true values of Islam and

tonight but also great resolve and determination. Because our unity and love will always be stronger then the hate of the extremists. “London will never be broken by terrorism. We will defeat the terrorists.” Chief Supt Raj Kohli, who is a Senior Public Order Officer with the Met Police, is qualified to control, order and command big and serious crowds at events. When the Westminster attack had taken place, he was in charge of handling the panicked and displaced people. This time he was on stand by, and as not in charge of managing the crowd at London bridge at the wake of this attack. But he fears that there are chances of racial attacks increasing in the coming days. Speaking

on Tuesday to remember lives lost and those who have been victims of such heinous attacks.

Brit-Indians witness attacks Londoners who have always been resilient and fought the fear of terror since the 7/7 bombing, have this time gone an extra mile to make sure everybody has the support they need. In fact a photo of victims fleeing the horrific attack in London Bridge has become a surprising symbol of Londoners’ resilience. This is because one of the people caught up in the attack, part of a crowd running away from the scene, is holding his pint of beer. The unnamed man managed to run down the road clutching his drink, without spilling even a drop. Witnesses have come forward describing how they

saw van crushing people, people lying in pool of blood or terrorists slashing people down, before they realised it was a terror attack On Facebook a page was launched immediately to mark oneself safe, but what was new was people having a provision to let others know if they could offer any sort of help- whether it's with counselling, shelter in their spare room or blood donation. And many people from various nationalities and faith, living in different parts of London or outside were seen offering whatever help possible. Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed that so far no Indians have been reported as killed or injured, but the High Commission of India has immediately opened up a p u b l i c response unit for people who needed any help or information. The number to be contacted is: 02076323035 and also advised people to check the Met police website before they ventured out. Well known mythologist and professional story teller Dr Seema Anand's family member Varun was out and about in L o n d o n Bridge area last night when the event unfolded. With taxis and trains suspended, he had to stay the night with his friend. Seema on a post in Facebook said, "all the people who asked, thank you for your concern, Varun was at London Bridge, but he is fine." Naomi Canton, a journalist by profession, who had lived in Mumbai for

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few years, is a resident of St Albans- a city outside of London. She travelled to London on Saturday evening to watch a Finnish film on refugees at Curzon Soho, London. On her way back home, she was stranded at Kings Cross St. Pancras station, which broke into chaos because of train cancellations. Both London Bridge and Kings cross St. Pancras stations are well conDeesha Chadha and Jasvir Singh OBE nected by mainline paying homage to the victims trains and London Underground. After I thought of people hurt or waiting for 1 hour one train killed and found it hard to was designated to take get off my phone and to everyone home towards sleep that night.” Bedfordshire. The train was An Indian tourist, who of course over full and peoidentified himself as Ajay ple cheered as it left the stato The Guardian newspaper, tion. However the station was on holiday in the UK did not have more than 2 with his wife and two chilunarmed police officers and dren aged 9 and 14. He said they were completely flushis family had abandoned tered with calls and quesplans to visit Manchester tions from stranded passenbecause of the attack in the gers. Manchester Arena. They Shweta Birla, originally were in a restaurant at from Delhi and her friend Borough High Street on the Rupesh Jaju from Sinnar, last day of their holiday, and Maharashtra were near borsuddenly panic erupted ough station during the around them. They were attack, stones away from supposed to fly back to borough market and India on sunday morning, London Bridge station. but was unable to retrieve They came out after watchtheir luggage from the hotel ing the Champions League after it was cordoned off by final and found the area the police. surrounded by police cars He told the newspaper: and ambulances. Though “We were just sitting having they escaped unharmed, a pizza by the window. We Shweta said, "I was there saw a lot of police vehicles, with Rupesh, everything we went out to see what was was in chaos. It was really going on and we heard gunscary." shots. At first we thought it An Asian man who was firecrackers, people celasked not be named told ebrating the match (the Asian Voice, his colleague Champions League final) was having dinner at but then we saw people runLondon Bridge and got ning and ran into our caught in this mayhem. He hotel.” suffered fatal injuries in the An unnamed taxi driver hands of the terrorists and shouted at people to watch have undergone serious out when he saw men surgeries and remains critiarmed with 12-inch hunting cal. knives, stabbing people Shilpa Shah said, “I was "randomly". He actually cycling home last night over wanted to spin around his Waterloo bridge around taxi and ram the attackers 9:30pm. I down with his cab, but the thought of man stepped aside and going to a bar police officers came runat London ning towards them with Bridge who their batons drawn. make the best Another brave man told hot chocolate how he threw pint glasses, in the world (in my opinbeer bottles and bar stools ion). A minute later I at crazed terror knifemen as realised I felt exhausted they went on a stabbing after a long day and decided spree near London Bridge. to go home. I read the news Speaking to the BBC, the about the London Bridge man named only as Gerard attacks when I got in. My said: “I know it was a silly breathing shallowed, my thing to do, but I was just stomach clenched, tears trying to save people’s surfaced. I immediately lives.” messaged friends and famiHe said he witnessed ly who might have been in attackers stabbing a girl the area. My cousin had between ten and fifteen been there, but left five times. minutes before it happened.

TERROR ATTACK

EXCLUSIVE

17

Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

Who were the attackers?

Police named the three knife-weilding men who killed 7 people and injured 48 others on Saturday's attack in London Bridge. Police entered properties in Newham and Barking on Sunday and Monday and a number of people were detained- 7 were women out of 12 arrests. They have all been released without charge. Police said counterterrorism units had entered two properties early on Monday morning in east London — one in Newham and another in Barking — and “a number of people” had been detained. Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba stabbed revellers in Borough Market, shouting: "This is for Allah," and wearing hoax bomb belts. Though Isis has claimed responsibility, Police is now trying to put together whatever informations they have about the attackers.

Khuram Butt, 27 Khuram Butt, 27, was born in Pakistan and was a British citizen. He lived with his wife and two children in a flat in Barking, East London. According to a CV obtained by the BBC, Butt worked at a security firm until 2016 and as a customer service assistant at Transport for London. It also showed that he held a Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence - even though he had been monitored by the security services. Before this, he claimed jobseeker's allowance for seven months, prior to working at a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) franchise in East Ham between 2012 and 2015. Butt was known to police and security services, and an investigation into him began in 2015, when one man called the terrorism hotline after concerns Butt had been been radicalised. A woman also reportedly went to the local police after she became concerned that Butt was try-

Khuram Butt

Youssef Zaghba

ing to radicalise her children. Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said police and MI5 had downgraded the investigation because "there was no intelligence to suggest that this attack was being planned". Butt had featured in a Channel 4 documentary, The Jihadis Next Door, broadcast in 2016. In the programme, he was seen to support convicted hate preacher Anjem Choudary. It is also believed that was thrown out of a mosque after interrupting an imam's sermon.

Rachid Redouane

Youssef Zaghba, 22 Italian-Morrocan Youssef Zaghba is believed to be the third attacker. The 22 year old also lived in East London but was an Italian national of Moroccan descent. Italian police sources confirmed that Zaghba was stopped at Bologna airport in March 2016 when he was on his way to Turkey, due to concerns he might travel to fight in Syria. Material about the so-called Islamic State group was found on his phone. The BBC was told that the database, which Zaghba was on, would have been shared with British security forces.

Rachid Redouane, 30 30 year old Rachid Redouane was of Moroccan-Libyan origin. He had married a British woman in 2012, the Irish security forces have confirmed. He was a pastry chef in Ireland and was not under London bridge attack and arrests on a map surveillance. The couple had lived in Rathmines, Dublin, at some point, but Neighbours said they were not he may have intermittently visited aware of anything unusual about him. the UK because he had a European He even distributed treats during Union permit. Halloween and also his children He lived in Barking, and was played with the neighbours'. His famestranged from his wife. They had an ily urged the police to leave them 18-month-old daughter together. alone to grieve in 'peace'.

Faith leaders react to the London attack Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said:"Muslims everywhere are outraged and disgusted at these cowards who once again have destroyed the lives of our fellow Britons. "That this should happen in this month of Ramadan, when many Muslims were praying and fasting only goes to show that these people respect neither life nor faith. "My prayers are with the victims and all those affected. I commend the work of emergency services working hard to keep us safe and cope with the ensuing carnage. As ever we urge everyone to assist the authorities so that these criminals can

be apprehended and brought to justice." Mohammed Shafiq, Chief Executive of the Ramadhan Foundation commented, "I was verbally assaulted by Khuram Butt one of the London Bridge killers the day after the brutal murder of Lee Rigby in May 2013. This took place on College Green, Westminster. Khuram Butt was with Anjem Choudhury the well known extremist and terrorist sympathiser. It is clear that Anjem Choudhury and his band of terrorist sympathisers were known to the Police for many years. Many of us in the British Muslim community have been demanding action against these

extremists to no avail. “What is clear that Anjem Choudhury, Khuram Butt and their group of terrorist sympathisers have been known to authorities and nothing was done for years. I call for an immediate investigation into what the police knew, what was done and why action was not taken against them.” Sanjay Jagatia, Secretary General, the Hindu Council of Britain said, “The fact that this terrorist attack was carried out during the month of Ramadan, when Muslims pray and fast, just illustrates again that these people are not real Muslims, but are cowards who neither respect religion or life...

“We stand in solidarity with all the Faiths in the UK in condemning this atrocity. It is a difficult world we live in today - But we simply can not let this misguided and awful ideology to carry on affecting not just the people of UK but people across the World. Defeating this sick ideology is one of the greatest challenges the World has ever had to face and things are going to have to change...These cowardly, evil terrorists can never defeat the precious values which we hold at the heart of our great country. Prayers for all the victims who have been killed and injured will be held at Hindu Places of Worship across the UK. #WeStandTogether”


LONDON BRIDGE STANDING STRONG

16

TERROR ATTACK

Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

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EXCLUSIVE

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Rupanjana Dutta

They came in their hundreds to Potters Field, a small patch of green next to City hall, near London Bridge, where the terrorists killed seven and injured 48 on Saturday. It was raining as the strong gale battered London, people in hundreds stood united in solidarity, in rain coats and umbrellas, holding placards with catchy slogans and lay wreaths or flowers to pay their tributes. They came to pay homage to the dead, as well as to the fatally wounded, especially those who are fighting for their lives in the hospitals. For many attending the vigil called by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan on Monday evening was a case of 'it could have been us', and for some it was a proof of their identity as a British as well as a Muslim, condemning terrorism- making their voices heard. Attending the vigil was 0 from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, who is training to be an imam. Speaking exclusively to Asian Voice, he said, “My responsibility is to take the true message of Islam out there. So people should know what Islam teaches and they should know that the attacks on London bridge are not in the name of Islam. People who attack and kill people are not Muslims. Quran does not teach this at all. These attackers are just criminals. We should respond by showing unity and brother-

committed in very heart of London in the name of Islam or be offended that they assumed I am a Muslim because I am brown. And worst of all assumed that I am religious enough to care. “I felt like shouting at the pitch of my voice that I am here to show my support to my fellow Britons and not driven by any religious motives. I am in fact a born Hindu, taught by Angelican nuns, lived life bordering Atheism, later saved by Spirituality and married to a Catholic- I am a true BritIndian by all means.” J Deva who was also at

Vigil to remember the victims of London terror attack

Metropolitan Police, as well as paramedics and fire crews, for an emotional service in Potters Field Park, near City Hall. The Archbishop of Canterbury was also on hand to pay his respects to the victims of the attack. Speaking to a multi-cultural audience and flanked

you will never succeed is dividing our city. “We send our love to the victims’ families and all those injures and we thank our courageous emergency services and the brace Londoners who risked their lives. You are the best of us. “Our city is filled with great sorrow and anger

to the Asian Voice exclusively he said, “Usually Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims are targeted after such incidents. Don't accept any misbehaviour towards you and must tell the Police wherever you are. We are there for you.” London observed a minute of silence at 11am

Youngsters from the Muslim community show their unity in solidarity

Diane Abbott, Sadiq Khan and Amber Rudd

hood, being part of this vigil and show people what the true message of Islam is.” Deepa Mathew was also attending the vigil with two of her friends. While she was asked by few participants if she was a Muslim or even religious, Deepa felt it was her duty as a British Indian to show her support to her fellow Londoners. Speaking to the newspaper she said, “At the vigil today everyone was so nice and supportive of me. Some people even told me that it's ok they understand that it's not my religion and that it is wrong and it's just caused by some bad people. “Not sure whether I should be proud of my fellow Londoners who came forward to support Muslims despite of the heinous acts

the vigil told Asian Voice, “It was wonderful to see so many people coming forward to support each other, even battling such a bad weather. Londoners are well known for their resilience and I am proud to be a born Hindu, British and a Londoner.” Jasvir Singh OBE on behalf of London Faiths Forum and Deesha Chadha of Hindu Forum of Britain lay flowers outside City Hall to pay their respects. Speaking to Asian Voice, Jasvir said, “It was important for the diverse communities of London to show our unity solidarity at the vigil at City Hall. The terrorists want to divide us, but all they are managing to do is bring us closer together. However, we can't let these attacks become the 'new normal' for the capital.” Mayor Sadiq Khan led the vigil and was joined by senior officers from the

by Amber Rudd and Diane Abbott, Khan said London would never be 'broken by terrorism' and that extremism would be beaten. He said: “We stand together tonight to honour the memories of the innocent lives lost and people injured in the barbaric attack on our city. “London stands in defiance against this cowardly attack and our city and our people and our values and our way of live. “As the Mayor of London I want to send a clear message to the sick and evil extremists who commit this hideous crimes; we will defeat you. You will not win. “And as a proud and patriotic British Muslim I say this: you do not commit these disgusting acts in my name. Your perverse ideology has nothing to do with the true values of Islam and

tonight but also great resolve and determination. Because our unity and love will always be stronger then the hate of the extremists. “London will never be broken by terrorism. We will defeat the terrorists.” Chief Supt Raj Kohli, who is a Senior Public Order Officer with the Met Police, is qualified to control, order and command big and serious crowds at events. When the Westminster attack had taken place, he was in charge of handling the panicked and displaced people. This time he was on stand by, and as not in charge of managing the crowd at London bridge at the wake of this attack. But he fears that there are chances of racial attacks increasing in the coming days. Speaking

on Tuesday to remember lives lost and those who have been victims of such heinous attacks.

Brit-Indians witness attacks Londoners who have always been resilient and fought the fear of terror since the 7/7 bombing, have this time gone an extra mile to make sure everybody has the support they need. In fact a photo of victims fleeing the horrific attack in London Bridge has become a surprising symbol of Londoners’ resilience. This is because one of the people caught up in the attack, part of a crowd running away from the scene, is holding his pint of beer. The unnamed man managed to run down the road clutching his drink, without spilling even a drop. Witnesses have come forward describing how they

saw van crushing people, people lying in pool of blood or terrorists slashing people down, before they realised it was a terror attack On Facebook a page was launched immediately to mark oneself safe, but what was new was people having a provision to let others know if they could offer any sort of help- whether it's with counselling, shelter in their spare room or blood donation. And many people from various nationalities and faith, living in different parts of London or outside were seen offering whatever help possible. Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed that so far no Indians have been reported as killed or injured, but the High Commission of India has immediately opened up a p u b l i c response unit for people who needed any help or information. The number to be contacted is: 02076323035 and also advised people to check the Met police website before they ventured out. Well known mythologist and professional story teller Dr Seema Anand's family member Varun was out and about in L o n d o n Bridge area last night when the event unfolded. With taxis and trains suspended, he had to stay the night with his friend. Seema on a post in Facebook said, "all the people who asked, thank you for your concern, Varun was at London Bridge, but he is fine." Naomi Canton, a journalist by profession, who had lived in Mumbai for

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few years, is a resident of St Albans- a city outside of London. She travelled to London on Saturday evening to watch a Finnish film on refugees at Curzon Soho, London. On her way back home, she was stranded at Kings Cross St. Pancras station, which broke into chaos because of train cancellations. Both London Bridge and Kings cross St. Pancras stations are well conDeesha Chadha and Jasvir Singh OBE nected by mainline paying homage to the victims trains and London Underground. After I thought of people hurt or waiting for 1 hour one train killed and found it hard to was designated to take get off my phone and to everyone home towards sleep that night.” Bedfordshire. The train was An Indian tourist, who of course over full and peoidentified himself as Ajay ple cheered as it left the stato The Guardian newspaper, tion. However the station was on holiday in the UK did not have more than 2 with his wife and two chilunarmed police officers and dren aged 9 and 14. He said they were completely flushis family had abandoned tered with calls and quesplans to visit Manchester tions from stranded passenbecause of the attack in the gers. Manchester Arena. They Shweta Birla, originally were in a restaurant at from Delhi and her friend Borough High Street on the Rupesh Jaju from Sinnar, last day of their holiday, and Maharashtra were near borsuddenly panic erupted ough station during the around them. They were attack, stones away from supposed to fly back to borough market and India on sunday morning, London Bridge station. but was unable to retrieve They came out after watchtheir luggage from the hotel ing the Champions League after it was cordoned off by final and found the area the police. surrounded by police cars He told the newspaper: and ambulances. Though “We were just sitting having they escaped unharmed, a pizza by the window. We Shweta said, "I was there saw a lot of police vehicles, with Rupesh, everything we went out to see what was was in chaos. It was really going on and we heard gunscary." shots. At first we thought it An Asian man who was firecrackers, people celasked not be named told ebrating the match (the Asian Voice, his colleague Champions League final) was having dinner at but then we saw people runLondon Bridge and got ning and ran into our caught in this mayhem. He hotel.” suffered fatal injuries in the An unnamed taxi driver hands of the terrorists and shouted at people to watch have undergone serious out when he saw men surgeries and remains critiarmed with 12-inch hunting cal. knives, stabbing people Shilpa Shah said, “I was "randomly". He actually cycling home last night over wanted to spin around his Waterloo bridge around taxi and ram the attackers 9:30pm. I down with his cab, but the thought of man stepped aside and going to a bar police officers came runat London ning towards them with Bridge who their batons drawn. make the best Another brave man told hot chocolate how he threw pint glasses, in the world (in my opinbeer bottles and bar stools ion). A minute later I at crazed terror knifemen as realised I felt exhausted they went on a stabbing after a long day and decided spree near London Bridge. to go home. I read the news Speaking to the BBC, the about the London Bridge man named only as Gerard attacks when I got in. My said: “I know it was a silly breathing shallowed, my thing to do, but I was just stomach clenched, tears trying to save people’s surfaced. I immediately lives.” messaged friends and famiHe said he witnessed ly who might have been in attackers stabbing a girl the area. My cousin had between ten and fifteen been there, but left five times. minutes before it happened.

TERROR ATTACK

EXCLUSIVE

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Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

Who were the attackers?

Police named the three knife-weilding men who killed 7 people and injured 48 others on Saturday's attack in London Bridge. Police entered properties in Newham and Barking on Sunday and Monday and a number of people were detained- 7 were women out of 12 arrests. They have all been released without charge. Police said counterterrorism units had entered two properties early on Monday morning in east London — one in Newham and another in Barking — and “a number of people” had been detained. Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba stabbed revellers in Borough Market, shouting: "This is for Allah," and wearing hoax bomb belts. Though Isis has claimed responsibility, Police is now trying to put together whatever informations they have about the attackers.

Khuram Butt, 27 Khuram Butt, 27, was born in Pakistan and was a British citizen. He lived with his wife and two children in a flat in Barking, East London. According to a CV obtained by the BBC, Butt worked at a security firm until 2016 and as a customer service assistant at Transport for London. It also showed that he held a Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence - even though he had been monitored by the security services. Before this, he claimed jobseeker's allowance for seven months, prior to working at a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) franchise in East Ham between 2012 and 2015. Butt was known to police and security services, and an investigation into him began in 2015, when one man called the terrorism hotline after concerns Butt had been been radicalised. A woman also reportedly went to the local police after she became concerned that Butt was try-

Khuram Butt

Youssef Zaghba

ing to radicalise her children. Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said police and MI5 had downgraded the investigation because "there was no intelligence to suggest that this attack was being planned". Butt had featured in a Channel 4 documentary, The Jihadis Next Door, broadcast in 2016. In the programme, he was seen to support convicted hate preacher Anjem Choudary. It is also believed that was thrown out of a mosque after interrupting an imam's sermon.

Rachid Redouane

Youssef Zaghba, 22 Italian-Morrocan Youssef Zaghba is believed to be the third attacker. The 22 year old also lived in East London but was an Italian national of Moroccan descent. Italian police sources confirmed that Zaghba was stopped at Bologna airport in March 2016 when he was on his way to Turkey, due to concerns he might travel to fight in Syria. Material about the so-called Islamic State group was found on his phone. The BBC was told that the database, which Zaghba was on, would have been shared with British security forces.

Rachid Redouane, 30 30 year old Rachid Redouane was of Moroccan-Libyan origin. He had married a British woman in 2012, the Irish security forces have confirmed. He was a pastry chef in Ireland and was not under London bridge attack and arrests on a map surveillance. The couple had lived in Rathmines, Dublin, at some point, but Neighbours said they were not he may have intermittently visited aware of anything unusual about him. the UK because he had a European He even distributed treats during Union permit. Halloween and also his children He lived in Barking, and was played with the neighbours'. His famestranged from his wife. They had an ily urged the police to leave them 18-month-old daughter together. alone to grieve in 'peace'.

Faith leaders react to the London attack Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said:"Muslims everywhere are outraged and disgusted at these cowards who once again have destroyed the lives of our fellow Britons. "That this should happen in this month of Ramadan, when many Muslims were praying and fasting only goes to show that these people respect neither life nor faith. "My prayers are with the victims and all those affected. I commend the work of emergency services working hard to keep us safe and cope with the ensuing carnage. As ever we urge everyone to assist the authorities so that these criminals can

be apprehended and brought to justice." Mohammed Shafiq, Chief Executive of the Ramadhan Foundation commented, "I was verbally assaulted by Khuram Butt one of the London Bridge killers the day after the brutal murder of Lee Rigby in May 2013. This took place on College Green, Westminster. Khuram Butt was with Anjem Choudhury the well known extremist and terrorist sympathiser. It is clear that Anjem Choudhury and his band of terrorist sympathisers were known to the Police for many years. Many of us in the British Muslim community have been demanding action against these

extremists to no avail. “What is clear that Anjem Choudhury, Khuram Butt and their group of terrorist sympathisers have been known to authorities and nothing was done for years. I call for an immediate investigation into what the police knew, what was done and why action was not taken against them.” Sanjay Jagatia, Secretary General, the Hindu Council of Britain said, “The fact that this terrorist attack was carried out during the month of Ramadan, when Muslims pray and fast, just illustrates again that these people are not real Muslims, but are cowards who neither respect religion or life...

“We stand in solidarity with all the Faiths in the UK in condemning this atrocity. It is a difficult world we live in today - But we simply can not let this misguided and awful ideology to carry on affecting not just the people of UK but people across the World. Defeating this sick ideology is one of the greatest challenges the World has ever had to face and things are going to have to change...These cowardly, evil terrorists can never defeat the precious values which we hold at the heart of our great country. Prayers for all the victims who have been killed and injured will be held at Hindu Places of Worship across the UK. #WeStandTogether”


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Niti Aayog pushes for sale of Air India

Banks start proceedings against RCom

Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

Government think tank, Niti Aayog has recommended strategic disinvestment of loss-making Air India to make sure the Centre does not have to sink in more money into the airline and can allocate more funds for health and education. Niti Aayog's fourth report, submitted recently, has detailed a possible roadmap for Air India disinvestment, including writing off loans to the tune of £3 billion. It proposes to transfer the aircraft-related loans and the working capital to the new owner, while taking care of half the liability. It suggested that real estate assets, which include prime locations in many cities,

can be hived off into a separate company before offering up to 100 per cent equity to a strategic partner. The buyer will also get separate other rights currently enjoyed by the state-run airline. Officials even suggested that there is no need to have a designated national carrier. Air India has accumulated losses of about £4 billion and projected a cash deficit of £300 million for the current financial year with a gap narrowing to around £170 million annually in the coming years. A source said, “The Aayog's recommendation is very clear: find a strategic

investor for AI. Now that is a call for the owner to take. Some initial clarity on the future course may come in the next 15 days or so.” Aviation Minister A Gajapathi Raju and his deputy Jayant Sinha confirmed that Niti Aayog had submitted its report, but refrained from disclosing details. “We are very proud of AI and will consider all

possible alternatives for it. All options are open. Niti Aayog has suggested steps for a strong and viable airline,” Raju said at a press conference. AI needs to get £2.5 billion more from the government over the next 15 years. “It is not correct to see us as a domestic airline alone with 14 per cent market share. We are essentially an international airlines with a very robust foreign network. Our share of international travel to and from India last year was close to 17 per cent. AI has a critical network and it should not be seen as a burden. We are a victim of wrong decisions

by previous governments. Luckily, there is a clear administration determining our future now,” an insider said. A ministry official said Niti Aayog's recommendations are not binding on it and it will choose the path that is most suited for having a strong AI in future. “We hugely respect Finance Minister Jaitley's views. What we can assure everyone is that there will be visible action in AI very soon as Niti Aayog's recommendations and the FM's statement have been made in all seriousness that will lead to the future path for the airline being laid out in three months,” the official said.

Tata Group reviewing its diverse portfolio Tata Group is reviewing its diverse portfolio to streamline operations and allocate capital more efficiently. Chairman N Chandrasekaran will unlock value in businesses that are non-core and face growth headwinds. He is also capping capital exposure in Tata Ceramics, Tata Business Support Services, Tata Asset Management, Tata AutoComp Systems,

and Tata Chemicals' fertiliser unit. Sources said the group has started a process to sell drug discovery services company Advinus Therapeutics, drawing interest from private equity

funds Kedaara Capital and True North as well as from strategic players, GVK Biosciences and Lambda, a unit of Intas Pharma. These divestitures of small to med-sized companies wouldn't reduce the group's $25-billion debt burden much, but signal the chairman's intent to deploy money in businesses with growth momentum and better return on equity.

Advinus Therapeutics, co-founded along with entrepreneurial scientist and former Ranbaxy R&D head Rashmi Barbhaiya a decade ago, is currently valued between £40 million and 50 milllion. Tatas decided to exit the business given its long gestation nature and scaling up challenges. Kerala-based Tata Ceramics, which has seen an ownership change with

Titan taking control of the unit from Tata Power, and Hyderabad-based standalone BPO company Tata Business Support Services are among the smaller assets where the group is reconsidering its interest. Chandarasekaran has renewed plans to sell stake in Tata Asset Management, which has drawn interest from US' Vanguard and Europe Allianz.

Reliance Communications lenders have placed the cash-strained telecom company under a strategic debt restructuring exercise. Rcom has debts of over £4.57 billion on its books and intends to reduce it by £2.50 billion through a merger of its mobile services units with Aircel and a sale of its interest in the telecom tower business to Canada's Brookfield. Its current market capitalisation is £513.9 million. Chairman Anil Ambani said, “We met the lenders and presented our plan for strategic transformation and I am happy to report that our plan has been accepted by them.”He added that creditors have given the company time till end of December to seal the two transactions which would reduce RCom's debt by 60 per cent. “This will be the largest ever debt reduction by a company in the history of India.” Ambani said the Aircel and Brookfield deals is expected to be concluded well before the deadline.

Take pay cuts: Murthy tells seniors MFS launches industry first property development initiative MFS today launches FlipFinance2017 – a £20 million funding drive to support the aspirations of budding UK property investors and landlords in need of fast access to capital to act upon their shortterm investment plans. Running until June 2018, the initiative will serve a generation of first and second-time property investors in completing refurbishment and restoration projects that will form the foundations of tomorrow’s property portfolios. After finding 30% of UK investors are turning to property over the next 24 months, MFS launched the dedicated funding drive to enable investors to act on this sentiment, catalysing further movement across the probate, auction, refurbishment and restoration segments of the nation’s dynamic property market. Almost a year on since the EU referendum announcement, the UK property market has demonstrated remarkable strength, defying speculation of a decline in housing demand. Recent industry data has demonstrated that the average asking price for a UK residential property has now reached

Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy said senior leaders in IT companies should consider taking salary cuts instead of laying off youngsters, encouraging employees to reskill for companies to take advantage of new opportunities emerging in the industry. Murthy said it was a strategy adopted by Infosys in 2001 when the market turned tough following the dotcom bust. “We all sat together and then we said, let us make some sacrifice

for youngsters. Let's not postpone joining dates and demonstrate commitment by senior people taking salary cuts based on disposable income,” he said. When asked about layoffs and employees petitioning labour commissioners in various states, he said, “I have a feeling that it is possible to save the jobs of youngsters.” Several major IT companies are planning larger than usual layoffs this year after a decline in business

and the industry's shift to newer technologies like cloud, mobile and machine learning. Murthy said industry leaders should identify new areas of opportunities, mount training programmes in those technologies for youngsters and give them enough opportunity to pick up those technologies. “And then, tell them you have to work harder and ensure you are in a position to add value, otherwise we will not have opportunity for you.”

Beleaguered pharmacy's woes continue Paresh Raja, pictured, CEO, MFS commented:

a record high of £317,281. Despite this, an estimated 1.4 million residential properties currently lie uninhabited across the UK – the highest level it has been for 20 years. In response, FlipFinance2017 funding will be made available in the form of bridging loans ranging from £100,000 to £1 million, subject to review by MFS’ inhouse credit analysis and due diligence processes. With the UK demand for residential properties outweighing supply, FlipFinance2017 is a timely initiative that will help catalyse the property market and ensure investors can act take advantage of the short-term property

opportunities on offer. “By giving opportunities and increasing awareness to budding property investors to have access to Bridging in a more simple and transparent way not only assists the growth and movement of properties in the market but gives a positive outlook for Bridging which I strongly believe can assist businesses to grow and develop. And take advantage of short term property opportunities!!” To find out more about FlipFinance2017, or to learn how our bridging finance solutions can support your property investment strategy, speak to a member of the MFS team today on 020 7060 1234.

It has been reported in a recent edition of the Chemist & Druggist magazine that community pharmacies are struggling to pay suppliers after a 20 per cent funding drop. The drop in funding which was predicted to be to be around 12 per cent has reached an alarming level down to 20 per cent. According to the report, pharmacist CJ Patel who owns five pharmacies in Croydon, London and who is also chair of the Croydon local pharmaceutical committee (LPC) said, “We were expecting a £3,000 loss a month, per pharmacy, but it is more like an average of £6,000. Now I might be being a bit simplistic by just looking at the amount of money in my bank account each month, but that is the money I use to pay my suppliers and my staff. If that has

gone down, then obviously that impacts my ability to pay these people.” “I’m not sure whether PSNC (Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee) was misled by the government about the effect of the funding cuts, or whether the government has implemented greater cuts than they originally announced,” he added. The problem is reported

to be widespread with several pharmacies across London unable to pay suppliers with the money that they had received. Speaking to Asian Voice, Umesh Patel a well known contractor from the North East of England said,“The present payment system by NHS England is totally unacceptable. The DOH must revise the current payment to pay the full amount within 30 days of submitting all the prescriptions and services. The present NHS cuts and outdated payment structure is seriously effecting cash flows of all community pharmacies. It takes them well over 30 days to make proper adjusted payment for the prescription we submit to the pricing authority. With the available technology I fail to understand why there are delays in making payments to contractors.”


REAL ESTATE VOICE

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I had the perfect property for a newbie investor who had been looking for some time. He fancied the idea of buying ‘off market’ as then he felt he was getting something of value.

Suresh Vagjiani

Sow & Reap London Property Investment

This is a buzz word around property, some investors love the idea of getting something ‘off market’ as there is an air of exclusivity around buying a property which no one else supposedly has access too. Firstly, if you analyse this term, it’s not strictly true as when it’s offered it becomes on the market - albeit from one person to another. Secondly, do you want an ‘off market’ deal or a discounted deal? We have bought plenty of properties fully on the market, which everyone had access to, and they turned out to be great deals. Notably a property in Shirland Road in Maida Vale, which was purchased

AGONY AGENT Each week, we answer a reader’s rental property question, from first-time landlords to experienced owners. Agony Agent, is here to help! Q: What is a Legionella Risk Assessment and do I need to have one done? A: This is a complex question, even though it may seem simple; basically it is not law, however, it is highly recommended. Health & Safety Law is clear regarding the risk of Legionella. Legionella Risk Assessments are not a legal requirement, how-

ever, owners of domestic properties which are used for rental accommodation are advised to undertake a Legionella Risk Assessment. The confusion arises because The Health and Safety Executive says Legionella Risk Assessments are required on all domestic properties which are rented out to a tenant. This is the challenge for rental property owners, as this is where we fall into the grey area, as it is not a legal requirement, much like the electracy safety check, but both are highly recommended.

BUY TO LET OPPORTUNITY

Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

in auction for £1.1m and resold for £1.3m just a few days later. This was accessible to everyone, fully on the market, totally transparent as anyone could walk into the auction room and place a bid.

would expect when purchasing a BTL property, but as prices have gone up strongly, rentals have not kept pace, which means the yield drops. The closer you come into town, the lower the yield.

So then off market does not necessarily equate a property to being a deal. However, this purchaser was of this mind set.

So, 5% is extremely good given the location is strong as well. Well this newbie investor came to view the property on a Friday and over the weekend he made the decision to purchase.

The property I had in mind was a two bedroom ex local flat close to Marylebone. It had a little condensation and required a touch up but nothing heavy, probably about £10k worth of work. It was ‘off market’, the service charge was very low at only £600 per annum, it would rent for £350pw and the price was only £375k. This represents a yield of nearly 5%, a very good yield in this part of town. This used to be the normal yield one The Health and Safety Executive says: l

The duty holder or responsible party needs to consider, assess and control the risk of exposure to legionella l Risk assessments must be produced by a competent person to ensure compliance l The risk assessment will identify measures to reduce the risk of increasing levels of legionella bacteria l The duty holder or responsible party must inform a tenant about any control measures put in place to maintain a low risk l The duty holder is ultimately responsible for the

However, a couple of days later he mentioned he would like to do a damp survey. This means the purchase is subject to a damp survey, and therefore, the deal is not closed. The reason why damp companies give free surveys is so that they can find as much wrong with the property as possible in order to elicit more business.

consequences of not having an assessment The 2014 technical guidance states what landlords and duty holders must do to comply with the law: 2.138 “Landlords who provide residential accommodation, as the person in control of the premises or responsible for the water systems in their premises, have a legal duty to ensure that the risk of exposure of tenants to legionella is properly assessed and controlled. This duty extends to residents, guests, tenants and customers. They can carry out a risk assessment themselves if they are competent, or employ somebody who is.”

l Well presented and rear facing

l Two large double bedrooms, two bathrooms and one reception room

l Over 5% rental yield

l Expected resale value after

Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V Purchase Price: £325,000

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refurbishment is £550,000 Call us now for more information!

On a leasehold property if the damp comes from the walls this then becomes the problem of the freeholder, as it affects the whole block. The cost of this will then be borne by the whole block. Therefore, the deal was not confirmed and we needed to sell this property as soon as possible, on the instruction of the owner. Whilst this little drama was unfolding I needed to place the deal. It was placed without any difficulty to another party who bought it blind,

based on the numbers. About 10 days later, the first buyer called me up and said he was now ready to proceed. I told him the deal had gone; he had first bite at the apple and he chose not to bite. It would be unfair to the owner to be dependent on a buyer who may not perform. Often during a purchase there are aspects you will need a take a view on. Small issues should be put into perspective and should not break the deal.

HSG274 (2014) Landlords should note that the Legionella Risk Assessor should be certified and trained to comply with the relevant legislation. Ignorance is no defense in law, but those landlords who do comply with the legislation will have instructed an assessor in order to comply with the law and ensure their properties are safe. When choosing a Legionella Risk Assessor a landlord should look for an individual with a QCF backed qualification, as this assessor will have been trained in line with the relevant Health and Safety Legislation. It means that the landlord

can feel assured that the assessment has been carried out by a competent person with the expertise, knowledge and credibility to maintain compliance. If you are unable to find someone you either like or are comfortable with then please contact our office for our recommended suppliers. Richard Bond Lettings Manager Sow & Reap


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India's GDP growth slows to 6.1% in Jan-March

India overtakes China to top global retail index

Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

Consultant Editor Financial Voice Alpesh Patel Dear Financial Voice Reader, ‘More Money Monthly’ could be a mantra for the ‘JAMs’ the ‘just about managing’. But actually there are many reasons people trade online. The key to success, as the UK election reminds us, we are not here to gamble, and ‘Make More Money Monthly’ does not mean act desperately. To make your trading (more) profitable and professional these are the key attributes from both my expertise as a private investor turned hedge fund manager. The advice I give is based on not just my experiences, chronicled each week in the Financial Times ‘Diary of an Internet’ column for 5 years, but also formed from my initial learnings from 10 of the worlds leading traders who became part of my book, the Mind of a Trader, which in turn the FT published and led Bloomberg to give me my own show. When I used those skills to win a competition in the Financial Times to forecast the markets and made the front page as ‘Top FTSE forecaster’ the obvious step was to step up and set up my own hedge fund with my new found increased fame. Oh, and launch my own software, which then went on to beat Warren Buffett since 2004 – by a lot. So enough about my credentials – what about the best advice to you. Trading is not gambling. The trader trades very small position size relative to his capital. The gambler will trade large size The trader does a lot of small trades The gambler will do a few big trades The trader follows trends established in the market The gambler steps in front of market reaction and guesses the outcome of news The trader never adds to a losing position The gambler doubles down on losses, so strong is his fear of losses – he actually makes them worse The trader adds to his winning positions, knowing he is then not risking capital but only profits The gambler takes flight at the first sign of profit The trader knows a stop loss is essential and should be outside the zone of market noise. The gambler has no stop loss or it is far away as to be redundant A string of losing trades would mean the trader is down 2-3% on his total risk capital For the gambler a string of losing trades, and he is down 40% There are a few simple techniques, repeated ad nauseam, will professionalise your trading. Of course, this is completely if you are just trading with your risk capital for a bit of fun. That is perfectly acceptable. You may be just trading because you think the market is completely wrong on the price of oil, or that Gold should not be so cheap, or that surely the USD has to fall with the rest of the US market. Trading for fun is fine. But do not mix your fun and your professional accounts. In fact, keep two!

Indian cos created over 171,000 jobs in Apac nations The Indian government informed countries in the Asia-Pacific (Apac) region that Indian companies have created at least 171,000 local jobs in nine countries with very few Indian requiring work permits. The issue was recently brought to light with countries negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, including China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and ASEAN nations. While the foreign negotiators seek steep reduction in import duties in India, they are unwilling to allow Indian professionals like software engineers and architects, on work visas or even commit to easier investment rules for Indian companies. Seeking to impress these

countries, the Indian government pointed out that not only do Indian professionals contribute to their economies but companies such as Infosys, Wipro, TCS, and HCL also create thousands of jobs. Visa restrictions have risen in the past few years and the government is accusing the Singapore government of going back on its commitment to allow Indian professionals, despite committing to it in the bilateral trade and investment treaty. Sources said during a recent interaction between the government and representatives of companies operating in the Philippines, it came to light that Indian IT firms had created close to 60,000 local jobs but needed only 1,500-2,000 work permits.

In a major indication that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation move may have hit the economy harder than it let on, the country's Gross Domestic Product in the January-March quarter grew at the slowest pace in at least four quarters at 6.1 per cent as against a 7 per cent growth in OctoberDecember. However, the GDP growth rate was kept unchanged at 7.1 per cent for the 2016-17 financial year, despite expectations that the revision of GDP in line with the new series of the Wholesale Price Index and the Index of Industrial Production would yield a higher growth rate of around 7.6 per cent. Construction sector reflected a sharp contraction while financial services sector grew at singledigit pace during the fourth quarter. The unchanged 7.1 per cent growth for the last financial year has come on the back of a significant upward revision in growth for April-June quarter, with GDP growing at 7.9 per cent in the revised series as against 7.2 per cent in JanMarch growth slows down to just above 6 per cent growth estimated earlier.

According to the new series, while GDP growth was recorded at 7.5 per cent in July-September compared with earlier estimate of 7.4 per cent, it was unchanged at 7.0 per cent for October-December quarter. Gross Value Added growth, which is GDP minus net taxes and serves as a more closely watched estimate for quarterly growth also fell sharply to 5.6 per cent in JanuaryMarch from 8.7 per cent last year and 6.7 per cent in October-December. Chief Technician TCA Anant said the impact of demonetisation on GDP needs to be studied in detail. “Analysis of policies like demonetisation cannot be done through simple post hoc ergo propter hoc. Because it is after this, so it is because of this... impact

analysis of a policy is an extremely sophisticated field in econometrics. I would caution against reading a single number which comes after an event as being reflective of the consequences of the event,” he said. Demonetisation cannot be identified as the sole reason for slowdown as several factors were at play, finance minister Arun Jaitley said. He asserted that 7-8% growth was “fairly reasonable“ against the backdrop of the current global situation. “There are several factors which can contribute to GDP in a particular quarter. There was some slowdown visible given the global and domestic situation even prior to demonetisation last year,” Jaitley told a news conference to mark three years of the Modi government. “There was impact of global factors. There could be some impact in one quarter or two quarters of one particular factor (demonetisation),” the FM said. He added that the services sector particularly financial services, which had witnessed 9-10% growth - had slowed.

Kingfisher House auction fails again Lenders' attempt to auction Kingfisher House, the erstwhile headquarters of Vijay Mallyaowned, now defunct Kingfisher Airlines, proved to be a damp squib for the fifth time, despite cut in the reserve price. The 17-lender consortium led by State Bank of India had lowered the reserve price of the property by 10 per cent to £9.35 million from £10.35 million in the previous auction held in March. Before that, in December auction, the reserve price was set at £11.5 million. "There were lot of enquires for the property from buyers but none of them deposited the bids in

the latest auction," said a banker. Lenders had tried to auction the property for the first time in March last year with a reserve price of £15 million and for the second time in August at £13.5 million. Multiple attempts to sell Kingfisher House failed, even after 38 per cent reduction in the reserve price in various auctions since March last year. The property is located

in the plush Vile Parle area near the Mumbai airport. According to bankers, the property has a huge commercial potential as it is located near airport. "The total size of the plot is 2,400 sq mt and the construction is only on 400 sq mt, which leaves 1,600 sq mt area for development. Four floors are already there and permission for construction of fifth floor is also there. This gives buyers enough scope for redevelopment of the property," said a banker. In April this year, the 17-lender consortium had managed to sell another prime property of Mallya, Kingfisher Villa, in Goa through a private treaty.

India has surpassed China to secure top position among 30 developing countries on ease of doing business. The 16th edition of the 2017 Global Retail Development Index titled 'The Age of Focus' put India on top citing its rapidly expanding economy, easing of foreign direct investment rules, and a consumption boom as key drivers. “The study is unique in that it not only identifies the markets that are most attractive today, but also those that offer future potential,” said Management Consulting firm AT Kearney. India's retail sector has been growing at an annual rate of 20 per cent. Total sales surpassed the $1 trillionmark last year, and the sector is expected to double in size by 2020. The group said rapid urbanisation and a growing middle class with higher income levels is driving up consumption across the country. The government's continued support to relax FDI regulations in key areas of the retail sector have provided further boost to its growth. “India's top ranking is a clear vote of confidence in its retail market and vast growth potential,” said Debashish Mukherjee, Partner with AT Kearney and Head of the Consumer Industries & Retail Products Practice for India. The government, the past year, has allowed 100 per cent foreign ownership in B2B e-commerce businesses and for retailers that sell food products. India's retail sector has also benefited from the rapid growth in ecommerce.

Banking consolidation via closure, merger soon: Uday Kotak Kotak Mahindra Bank MD, Uday Kotak has raised alarm on the precarious situation in the banking industry, saying that the current industry structure is not sustainable. He said consolidation is on the cards, either through closure of banks or mergers. In a letter sent to shareholders in Kotak Bank's annual report, he wrote, “The system's inability to recognise the inconvenient truth that banking is an

economic and commercial activity with high leverage, and years of 'kicking the can down the road' in highrisk areas, mixing of social objectives and weak governance, have all contributed to bringing this industry to a weak position.” He said that while entry norms have been relaxed in financial services, including banking, there is a need to give more thought to “morality and exits in this sector with

potential systematic risks. The time has now come to bit the bullet. The state, sooner or later, may have to make the difficult choice between putting in more good money after bad or being open to 'strategic' choices. I wonder whether that can happen now or sometime after 2019.” He highlighted finance sector trends in FY17, saying there has been a “formalisation” of financial savings due to positive real

interest rates and demonetisation. Kotak also indicated that his bank would look for growth opportunities. “We will try and play an active role in reshaping the structure of the financial services industry- be it stressed assets or consolidation. On the organic side, we aspire to grow, at least, two times nominal GDP growth in most of businesses. We need to gain share and be relevant.”


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Foreign Exchange

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Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

Paresh Davdra is the Dealing Director of RationalFX,

Inflation on the rise

Currency Specialists.

It has been a rather eventful month for Europe during May, with Emmanuel Macron defeating far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, taking 65.5% of the vote to become the country's youngest president. Mr Macron will also become the first president from outside the two traditional main parties since the modern republic's foundation in 1958. Macron pledged to unite France’s rifts after his victory over Marine Le Pen in the presidential election, saying that he’ll work to address the concerns that were exposed during one of the most divisive campaigns of recent history. A pro-European globalist, Macron must now try to unite a divided France after one of the most bitter and turbulent elections of modern times. His challenge will be to end years of high unemployment and sluggish growth, deal with the terrorist threat that has traumatized the country and, ultimately, restore faith in the political establishment. The European Union finalised its tough Brexit negotiating position, reiterating its hard line on the U.K.’s departure bill and refusing to discuss a future trading arrangement until there is agreement on other key topics.

The size of Britain’s exit bill, which some estimates put as high as €100 billion and is based on the U.K.’s past financial commitments to the EU, has been a source of debate for weeks and will prove an early test of the ability of both sides to find common ground when negotiations start. Included in the EU’s negotiating mandate published on Monday is the demand that European citizens living in the U.K. at the time of Brexit should have the right to permanent residence after living there for five years. It also stipulates that the financial settlement should include all costs related to Brexit, including the relocation of EU agencies currently based in the U.K. Downside risks to inflation continue to cloud the outlook for interest rates despite a healthy U.S. economy, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said “inflation pressures are still under-running our 2% objective in the U.S. At the moment, I think the downside risks still predominate”. He stated that he was comfortable with two rate hikes this year. Evans believes it may be more appropriate to raise rates just once more if the outlook deteriorates. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds

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of U.S. economic activity, increased at a 0.3% annualized rate in the first quarter, the weakest pace since the fourth quarter of 2009. Consumer spending is being supported by a tightening labour market with the unemployment rate at a 10-year low of 4.4%. Motor vehicle sales increased 0.7% in April after declining 0.5% in March. The Dollar is under pressure at the moment largely due to political turmoil, after fallout from President Donald Trump’s dismissal of FBI Director James Comey. Investors fear that the destabilisation could distract the President further from initiating his long promised economic stimulus. Britain’s factories enjoyed their fastest growth for three years last month on the back of strong demand at home and abroad, which makes up about a tenth of the UK economy. The manufacturing report signalled that strong demand came from the domestic market as well as overseas, continuing a pattern of export support for UK firms from the weaker pound. Sterling’s sharp fall since the Brexit vote has made UK goods cheaper in foreign markets. The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee

voted to keep interest rates on hold at 0.25%. The Committee voted 7-1 to stay on hold, with only outgoing member Kristin Forbes voting for a rise to 0.5%. The Bank warned that rates may rise sooner than the market expects, saying "it might not take much positive economic data to persuade further MPC members to join Forbes and vote to hike rates, though it should be noted that she is due to leave the MPC at the end of June." The Bank’s growth forecasts for 2017 were cut from 2% to 1.9%, and the inflation forecast for this year was raised to 2.7% from the February forecast of 2.4%. U.K. Governor Mark Carney highlighted that the expected rise in inflation is ‘’entirely’’ due to the weaker Pound, and at this stage raising interest rates would not be a good way to counter the increase in the cost of living. He also stated that the forecasts are based on the assumption that "the adjustment to the United Kingdom's new relationship with the European Union is smooth". UK inflation has risen more than expected, with official data showing consumer prices rising well above the Bank of England's 2% target and at their fastest rate since June 2013.

Weekly Currencies

As of Tuesday 6th June 2017 @ 2:50pm

GBP - INR = 83.15

USD - INR = 64.43 EUR - INR = 72.62 GBP - USD = 1.29 GBP - EUR = 1.14

EUR - USD = 1.13 GBP - AED = 4.74

GBP - CAD = 1.74

GBP - NZD = 1.79

GBP - AUD = 1.72

GBP - ZAR = 16.49

GBP - HUF = 352.57

www.rationalfx.com

Information provided by RationalFX. None of the information on this page constitutes, nor should be construed as financial advice. The exchange rates used are the commercial foreign exchange rates provided by RationalFX. For a live quote or to find out more about how RationalFX can help you, call us on 0207 220 8181.


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Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

7 countries sever ties with Qatar over terrorism links DOHA: Seven countries led by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have severed ties with Qatar, denouncing it for backing terrorism and causing a rift among some of the most powerful Arab states. The first to severe ties was Bahrain, followed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and the Maldives. The group accused Qatar of backing terrorist groups like al-Qaeda, Islamic State, and the Muslim Brotherhood. The allegations have been rubbished by Qatar which expressed “regret and utter surprise” at the coordinated move by the countries that are key players in OPEC and the Gulf Cooperation Council. Its foreign ministry criticised the “unjustified measures” and called it a “smear campaign” to harm Qatar. Meanwhile, residents stocked up on water, milk, meat and rice as Saudi closed its borders and cut off all land, air, and sea links. Photographs of empty chiller shelves circulated on social media even though the Qatari foreign ministry said the move would not affect normal life. An Indian official in

Doha said there was no “panic” in the expatriate community. “There is nothing to worry about,” he said. However, other sources contradicted, acknowledging a prolonged crisis could have an impact as Qatar remains completely dependent on Saudi and the UAE for food and other essential supplies. Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the government informed that the government was ascertaining the impact of the spat on Indians. “There is no challenge arising out of this for us. This is an internal matter of GCC. Our only concern is about the Indians there. We are trying to finds out if any Indians are stuck,” she told the press. The impact of the mass boycott became prominent as airlines including Etihad Airways, Emirates and Flydubai said they would cancel flights to and from Doha from Tuesday. Arab states closed their airspace to Qatar Airways, suspending all its flights to Saudi. Even the Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Houthi rebels also expelled Qatar. The country's stock

market index sank 7.5 per cent and oil prices rose. Chairman of Iran's union of exporters of agricultural products, Reza Nourani said food can be exported by sea to Qatar, which relies on food trucked from Saudi Arabia across its sole land border crossing. Saudi Arabia, in a statement released on Monday, said Qatar “embraces multiple terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at disturbing stability in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, and alQaeda.” It added, “Qatar has also supported the activities of the Iranian-backed terrorsit groups in the Qatif province of Saudi Arabia and in neighbouring Kingdom of Bahrain. It has also financed, adopted and is harbouring extremists who seek to destabilise unity at home and abroad.” Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged Qatar and its neighbours to engage in dialogue. “Neighbours are permanent; geography can't be changed. Coercion is never the solution. Dialogue is imperative, especially during blessed Ramadan.”

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90 killed in Kabul blast

KABUL: A powerful bomb hidden in a sewage tanker ripped through the centre of the Afghan capital last week, killing at least 90 and wounding hundred. While the victims appeared to be largely Afghan civilians, several embassy buildings were damaged in the event. One of the deadliest in Kabul, the bombing exploded extremely close to the fortified entrance of the German embassy and wounded several staff members. German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said a Afghan security guard was killed and others were likely among the dead. Afghanistan intelligence agency has blamed the Taliban-allied Haqqani Network for the attack. City police spokesman Basir Mujahid said that the explosives were hidden in a sewage truck, suggesting the German embassy might not have been the target of the blast. “There are several other important compounds and offices near there too,” he said. The Taliban has denied responsibility and said they condemned attacks that have no legitimate target and killed civilians. Unusually strong, the blast shattered windows and blew doors off their hinges in houses hundreds of metres away. French, Turkish, and Chinese embassies were among those damaged. The three countries said there were no immediate signs of injuries among their diplomats. A US state department official said that nine Afghan guards at their embassy were killed and 11 American contractors wounded. An Afghan guard is missing. Nato-led Resolute Support mission in Kabul said Afghan security forces prevented the vehicle carrying the bomb from entering the heavily protected Green Zone that houses many foreign embassies as well as its headquarters. A public health official said that at least 90 people had been killed and over 350 wounded. Meanwhile, there was an utter scene of chaos as the Wazir Akbar Khan hospital a couple of blocks away from the centre of the explosion, as ambulances brought in the wounded. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the blast on Twitter and said, “India stands with Afghanistan in fighting all types of terrorism. Forces supporting terrorism need to be defeated.” The Indian government issued a statement, calling the act as “heinous and reprehensible.” President Pranab Mukherjee sent a message to Afghan counterpart Mohammad Ashraf Ghani saying India strongly condemned the “cowardly act” and stood “in solidarity” with the Afghan people.

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Indian-American girl wins Spelling Bee

WASHINGTON: A 12-year-old IndianAmerican girl from California has won the 90th National Spelling Bee. Ananya Vinay and another Indian-American Rohan Rajeev faced each other in the final round. Ananya won on the word "marocain", a fabric. According to her bio, Ananya loves to read and in her free time she imagines stories. "I'm so happy right now," she said after her victory. The two were among the brightest and best young spellers, a marathon event that stretched late into the night, according to organisers. Among the other words young participants were asked to spell were: pterygoideus, mollienisia, cinerarium and hesychast. The winner is entitled to a $40,000 cash prize, a trophy and other awards.

Toll in Sri Lanka floods hits 202

COLOMBO: The death toll in Sri Lanka's devastating floods and landslides reached 202 last week with 96 people still reported missing, officials said. The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said 63 people were injured while over 600,000 people were affected. Severe rains and strong winds which ravaged Sri Lanka caused major floods and landslides in many areas of the island. The southern district of the country was the worst affected. As water levels were receding, tri-services forces along with rescue teams launched a massive clean up operation in order to restore normalcy in the affected areas. At least 83,200 people had sought shelter in safe locations.

Cyclone Mora claims 7 lives in Bangladesh

DHAKA: Cyclone Mora left at least seven people dead and damaged nearly 60,000 houses, displacing around 56,000 families when it hit Bangladesh, officials said. Four people were killed and 60 were injured in the Cox Bazar district, while two others were killed in Rangamati and one in Bhola district, Bangladesh's Disaster Management Department spokesperson Naznin Shamina said. According to Shamina, the cyclone caused substantial damage to private property with at least 19,768 houses seriously damaged and 38,112 partially, particularly in Cox Bazar and Chittagong districts. Two million people were evacuated before the cyclone made landfall, out of which 500,000 were moved to 3,800 cyclone shelters.

Suicide bombings in Iraq's Baghdad kills 42

BAGHDAD: Three suicide bombings in Baghdad and a city to the west have killed at least 42 people, targetting Iraqis breaking their fast and elderly people collecting their pensions, officials said. The strikes came as forces fought to retake the last areas held by the Islamic State group in their former stronghold of Mosul. The first Islamic State-claimed car bombing struck a Baghdad ice cream shop during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when Iraqis often stay out late shopping or socialising after breaking their daily fast. A second attack claimed by the group targeted the country's main pension office, while a third bombing was carried out at an army checkpoint in Hit, some 120 km west of Baghdad.

Nepal prez appeals to parties to pick next PM

KATHMANDU: Nepal's political parties have failed to meet a seven-day deadline to pick a consensus candidate for the post of Prime Minister, prompting President Bidya Devi Bhandari to issue another appeal to them to initiate the process quickly. According to the Constitution, the Prime Minister shall be elected by a majority of all the members of the Legislature- Parliament, if parties fail to pick a consensus candidate within a week. The president issued the call after the deadline given to form a consensus government ended without any result. President Bhandari initiated the Constitutional process to form the new government after PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal `Prachanda' resigned on May 24.


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Job recruiters 'destroying lives' of Nepali workers KATHMANDU: An Amnesty International report said that rampant deception and extortion is taking place in Nepal's labour recruitment business, putting migrant workers at risk of forced labour abroad and leaving them with crippling debts. Amnesty researchers interviewed 127 Nepali migrant workers and dozens of government officials in 2016 and 2017 for the report “Turning People into Profits: Abusive Recruitment, Trafficking and Forced Labour of Nepali Migrant Workers.” Almost all of the workers had been subject to some form of abuse at the hands of private recruiters, with some saying they being deceived about the nature of their work and been “traded like cattle”. James Lynch, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Global Issues programme, said: “All over Nepal, unscrupulous recruiters are getting away with destroying lives – illegally charging job-seekers exorbitant fees to get jobs abroad, and then abandoning them overseas when things go wrong. It is only when they leave Nepal that

migrant workers find out that they have been deceived about everything from salary to working conditions. By then it is far too late and many end up with recruitment debts that may take the rest of their working lives to pay off. Migrant workers contribute nearly a third of Nepal’s GDP in money they send back home, yet the government spends a tiny fraction of its budget on their needs. It is high time that this equation changes and migrant workers receive the protection they are entitled to.” Lifelong debts Suresh, from Saptari district, told Amnesty how he’d borrowed approximately £1,950 from a local moneylender, at an interest rate of 36%, in order to pay a

recruitment agent. He was assured by his agent that he would quickly be able to pay off the debt from his earnings abroad. But at the glove-making factory in Malaysia where Suresh was placed, he was sometimes unpaid for as long as three months at a time. When he did receive his monthly wages, they were £270 less than what the recruitment agency had promised. He could not leave the job or Malaysia because his employer had confiscated his passport when he arrived, and refused to terminate his contract. Suresh repeatedly called his recruitment agency for help, but they never responded. When he finally managed to leave Malaysia two years later, Suresh had accumulated a staggering debt of around £4,150. Back in his village in Nepal, he makes between £40 and £80 per month – meaning it could take him as long as five decades to pay off his migration debts. “The attitude of

South African president Zuma denies plans to retire to Dubai CAPE TOWN: South African President Jacob Zuma has denied reports of planning to retire to Dubai. Several leaked emails were published, out of which one purportedly written by his son Duduzane included a draft of a letter from his father to Dubai's Crown Prince. Zuma was quoted as saying, “I am happy to inform you that my family has decided to make the UAE a second home. It will be a great honour for me and my family to gain your patronage during our proposed residency in the

reports had cirUAE.” culated last However, year. The letter Zuma strongly was linked to a denied all bunch of emails claims of having allegedly linked written to the to the millionPrince informaire Gupta famiing him of makly who run mining the city his ing and com“second home”. puter businessS p o ke s p e r s o n Jacob Zuma es and are conB o n g a n i sidered close to the South Nqulunga spoke on the African president. Prez's behalf. “I have my Zuma faces steady home in Nkandla and I pressure from his own have no intention of living party, weathering calls for anywhere else. When I his resignation within the retire I will go home to ANC, over corruption Nkandla. This is pure faballegations. rication,” he said. Similar

Court rejects plea to call Russian PM in Navalny case MOSCOW: Lyublinsky Court in Moscow has refused to satisfy or even consider all 16 motions of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny and his Anti-Corruption Foundation on a slander lawsuit filed by Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov. Navalny and his lawyers had asked to question Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov as witnesses. The country's

Anti-Corruption Foundation claims they may be tied to Usmanov's alleged corruption schemes. The activist also asked to question former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray and former Russian Deputy Energy Minister Vladimir Milov as witnesses of the plaintiff’s alleged illegal activity. He asked the court to attach an interview of late Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky who spoke about Usmanov's

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business activity to the case. The defendant also requested documents from Russia's Federal Service for State Registration and tax services to prove claims of corruption and tax evasion. When the motion was refused by the court, Navalny and the Anti-Corruption Foundation challenged Judge Marina Vasina. “We see a direct violation of the law, uncovered bias of the judge on leading the process,” Navalny said.

recruiters is about buying and selling people. And our people end up being abused, because the government does not prevent them from being traded like cattle,” said Suresh. Migrant workers who had gone abroad before 2015 reported paying, on average, £1,050 to recruitment agents and agencies for their jobs abroad. This is around £430 more than the limit under Nepali law at the time. No choice In the absence of decent work opportunities at home, an increasing number of Nepalis feel they have no choice but to look abroad for work, with more than 400,000 migrating for jobs overseas every year. Jobseekers are exposed to a number of abuses by local agents and recruitment agencies. They are often deceived about the nature and terms of their foreign employment and cornered into paying illegally high recruitment fees. Recruiters often confiscate their passports and refuse to provide other essential documentation such as contracts and receipts.

Pakistan roasts in intense heat, Punjab towns record 52 degrees ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is roasting in extremely high temperatures in a persisting heat wave that has further intensified, the Met Department said. The maximum temperatures set a new record in some cities in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Sunday. In Punjab's Noorpurthal and Bhakkar, mercury shot up to 52 degrees Celsius, recording the highest in the maximum temperature in the country. While Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Dera Ismail Khan and Sibbi recorded 51 degrees Celsius, Sargodha and Risalpur saw 50 degrees, and Mianwali and Dera Ghazi Khan 49 degrees Celsius, according to the Met Department. The temperatures also rose in the country's hilly areas, accelerating snow and glacier melt.

Gunman torches casino in Philippines, 36 killed MANILA: A gunman stormed a crowded Manila casino early on Friday and used gasoline to set gambling tables on fire, creating clouds of smoke that killed at least 36 people, police said. The gunman fled with more than $2 million in stolen casino chips, then forced his way into a room in an adjoining hotel and killed himself. Authorities suspect the man, who has not been identified yet, was trying to rob the casino at Resorts World Manila. “Either he lost in the casino and wanted to recoup his losses or he went totally nuts,” said Metropolitan Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde. While an Islamic State group-linked Filipino said on social media that “lone wolf soldiers” from the group were behind the attack, police noted the man didn't shoot anyone he encountered. The Philippines police chief said that there was no proof to indicate that the incident was an act of terrorism.


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Jaya & Co's illegal assets being confiscated CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu government has begun confiscating properties belonging to late chief minister Jayalalithaa, VK Sasikala, Ilaravasi, and VN Sudhakaran, all the four accused in a disproportionate assets case. Bengaluru Special Court judge John D'Cunha had held that the four had acquired assets disproportionate to the known source of income to the extent of over £5.5 million, during 1991 and 1996 when Jaya was the CM and was drawing a token monthly salary of Re 1. The trial court order of September 2013 was overturned by Justice Kumaraswamy of Karnataka High Court in April 2015. Later, the Supreme Court quashed the judgement and upheld the trial court's order of conviction. However, it also said that the case against Jaya has abated following her death in December 2016, rejecting Karnataka's petition for a review of the abatement order. Karnataka Special Prosecutor BV Acharya said Justice

Kumaraswamy had not only overturned the conviction of the four, but had also set aside the fines imposed on them by the trial court. He pointed out that the SC has only restored the trial court's order in regard to convictions and imprisonment the four accused, four years in the case of Jaya and three years each for the other three. He added that this does not bar the state government from confiscating assets acquired by corrupt means by all

Movie on the life of Chennai techie objected CHENNAI: A film on the brutal murder of young Infosys techie Swathi S who was killed by a stalker who repeatedly stabbed her with a sickle has sent her family into a tizzy. The victim's parents have vehemently opposed the film, and has asked for it to be banned. Trailer of Tamil film 'Swathi Kolai Vazhakku' was released last week, and its posters emerged across the city. Santhana Gopala Krishna, Swathi's father, complained to the police against the filmmakers, saying it is not fair or legal. He told police officials that the producers never asked for the family's consent. In his complaint, Krishna also questioned the intention of making the movie and fears that facts about his daughter could be twisted. Meanwhile, at the trailer launch, Director Ramesh Selvan said the film was shot in the actual locations where

the crime and investigations took place, right down to the city's railway station and the house where accused, Ramkumar had stayed. He had allegedly committed suicide last year by putting a live wire in his mouth. Media said the filmmakers failed to take permission from Swathi's parents prior making the film, and have promised to hold a special screening for them by the end of this month, before its release. Three years ago, a movie based on the 2008 murder of teenager Aarushi Talwar at her home in Noida also provoked a controversy. Aarushi's parents Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, who are serving a life sentence, alleged that the movie distorted facts. The Bombay High Court allowed the movie's release after ruling that the movie had no resemblance with the facts in Aarushi's case.

Assault on Sikhs in Rajasthan condemned CHANDIGARH: A video recently surfaced on the world wide web, showing a crowd dragging four Sikh men out of a vehicle and beating them up at Chainpura, Ajmer. The victims were reportedly 'sewadars' from a gurdwara at Alwar in Rajasthan, and were collecting donations. Outraged by the incident, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh spoke to Rajasthan counterpart Vasundhara Raje, seeking intervention to ensure a probe. Chainpura residents alleged that the four men had molested their women. The police had taken them into custody, but later released them saying they were not involved in the said case. Amrinder Singh expressed concern over media reports that there were “efforts” to give the incident a “commu-

nal” hue. He also was dismayed with the fact that the local police was not even aware of the incident until the video brought it to light. Amrinder said he was “shocked” at reports that a police constable, who arrived at the scene eventually, “instigated” the crowd to “teach the Sikh men a lesson” instead of coming to their rescue. The CM said that in fact the victims were 'sewadars' and had stopped at Rajgarh village in Ajmer district to collect alms made the incident even more condemnable. He added that such “intolerance” had no place in a civilised society and any “attempt to create communal strife” should be nipped in the bud. The Chief Minister said the Rajasthan government needed to order an inquiry to fix culpability and ensure the culprits are duly punished.

the four, including Jaya, as they were all held to be co-conspirators and were liable for action under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The Apex Court also held that Jaya, a public servant, was the main culprit and the other three were only benamis. The Directorate of Vigilance and AntiCorruption had attached 128 properties in 1997 when it registered the case. Only 68 properties of these are held to be disproportionate to known sources of income and acquired during the check period and are now sought to be confiscated by the State. It further held that all the immovable properties registered in the names of Lex Property Development Ltd, Meadow Agro Farms Pvt Ltd, Ramaraj Agro Mills Ltd, Signora Business Enterprises, Riverway Agro Products Ltd and IndoDoha Pharmaceuticals which have already been attached, should be confiscated by the state government.

Opposition unite on Karunanidhi's b’day

National and regional party leaders were present in Chennai to celebrate Karunanidhi’s 94th birthday

CHENNAI: Leaders from all parties except the BJP were invited to celebrate DMK supremo Karunanidhi's 94th birthday party held at the YMCA grounds in Chennai. Guests included Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah and CPM leader Sitaram Yechury. All of them addressed thousands of cadres gathered, and lashed out at the nationally ruling party- a warning siren for Narendra Modi's party as they hinted of a united opposition. Gandhi did what he was good at, cursing NaMo for imposing its ideologies on to other states. “Every single one of us, be it Omar, Derek

O'Brien of Trinamool Congress, or Nitish, value the Tamil language as we know the Tamil culture makes India stronger. None of us has the arrogance to tell you how you should live. But there is an ideology in India which we will always fight against... they think they have all the answers.” Omar Abdullah said there could not be a non-Congress ruled country. “We want to tell the BJP you can't dream of a country without the Congress and the Opposition,” he said. Karuna's political journey was lauded and so was DMK working president MK Stalin's way of handling politics. Nitish Kumar hinted that Stalin would become the people's leader and will walk on his father's footsteps.

Haryana minister’s way to beat the heat CHANDIGARH: Think-tank of Haryana's agriculture and farmers' welfare department has set its eyes on Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand to beat the heat wave and “study” the latest methods in agriculture and horticulture. Minister for Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Om Prakash Dhankar, the leader who had once accused foreign bulls of being “characterless,” will lead the 12member delegation comprising three legislators and as many officers of the Indian Administrative Services. A three-page order

issued by Abhilaksh Likhi, principal secretary reveal that, three MLAs, Subhash Chander, BSP's Tek Chand Sharma who represents Prithla segment and BJP's Mool Chand Sharma from Ballabhgarh will accompany the minister. Bureaucrats include Dr J Ganesan, Ashok Kumar Meena, and DK Behra. The three-nation, two-week tour commenced on June 6. Sources said the finance department gave permission for the tour which will set the government back by £200,000.

Chennai Silks building being demolished

CHENNAI: The fire-ravaged Chennai Silks building is being demolished. Deputy Director, TN Fire and Rescue Services said the Public Works Department and Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority will also be involved in the demolition work. “Eighty five men are currently working. We have to demolish the structure levelby-level. It will take some days to complete the demolition. It is a slow process. Level one and two are being demolished now. It will be filled up with debris and then we will continue it with other levels,” she added.

Dinakaran, aide granted bail

NEW DELHI: AIADMK (Amma) leader TTV Dinakaran and his aide Mallikarjun have been granted bail by a Delhi court for their alleged involvement in the Election Commission bribery case. The Delhi court granted bail to the duo saying they were no longer required for custodial interrogation, and asked them to furnish a personal bond of Rs 500,000 each. The court also asked them to surrender their passports. Police said Dinakaran had confessed to meeting middleman Sukesh Chandrasekar.

GST rate will ruin cinema: Kamal

CHENNAI: Actor Kamal Haasan said he would be “forced to quit cinema” if the GST rate for the entertainment industry is not slashed by at least half. Entertainment and Services taxes will be replaced by a single 28 per cent slab, which the actor called steep. “We welcome GST and one India one tax, but this rate will ruin regional cinema,” he said. The Goods and Services Tax is all set to be launched on July 1, and aims to replace a tangled web of central and state levies with a single tax.

Amarinder asked to vacate govt bungalow in Delhi

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court has asked Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to vacate a government bungalow allocated to him when he was a Member of the Parliament. The court dismissed an appeal filed by the Congress leader against the March 24 order of the Estate Officer, asking Singh to vacate the Janpath bungalow. “The appellant's contention that he could not have been termed as unauthorised occupant as his initial allotment was valid till 2019 and he has been paying market-rent, is untenable. Thus, it is evident that the appellant is in unauthorised occupation of the said premises since December 23, 2016,” District & Sessions Judge Poonam A Bamba said.

Punjabi woman sold to Saudi family returns

AMRITSAR: A Punjabi woman who had gone to Saudi Arabia as a housemaid has returned to her family after five months of torture. Sukhwant Kaur, 55, was sold to a Saudi Arabian family for £350,000, by an agent in January. In her brief service with her 'owners', Kaur endured blows, slander, and had to often starve. It wasn't until she fell seriously ill and was admitted to a hospital that her condition came to light. “There was a nurse from Kerala who realised the trouble I was in and called my family,” Sukhwant said. Her family contacted External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Sukhwant was flown to Mumbai with the help of Indian Embassy officials in Saudi.

Haryana govt pulled up for dilution of RERA rules

NEW DELHI: Union minister Rao Inderjeet Singh has asked the Haryana government to not dilute provisions of the Real Estate Act as it could deprive home buyers the benefits of the legislation framed to protect their interests. In a strongly worded letter to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, the minister said, “It is found that certain provisions of the Draft Rules are not in consonance with the letter and spirit of the parent Act. It would deprive the home buyers the benefit of this special legislation which was passed by the Parliament to ensure the protection of consumers.”


HERITAGE HISTORY

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Dr. Hari Desai

Lohana Kings of Kashmir and Kabul

Lohana’s history begins with king Raghu, who belonged to the Suryavanshi lineage, since they worshiped the Sun(Surya).

W

hile reading the book banned in Pakistan, “Jinnah of Pakistan� by a celebrated Historian Stanley Wolpert, one sentence increased curiosity: “The exact date of the flight of Jinnah’s ancestors (from Persia) is unknown.� This led to the study of the history of golden era of Lohana community and its conversion from ruling Kshatriya caste to trading Vaishya caste; spreading influence over social strata world over. Mohmmad Ali Jinnah, the Father of Pakistan, whose grandfather, Poojabhai Thakkar from Moti Paneli of Kathiawad, had to embrace Islam i.e. Shi’ite Muslim Khoja. The roots of the disciples of the Isma’ili Aga Khan and Hindu Lohanas are in Persia, modern-day Iran and both fled Persian persecution to western India. Lohana’s history begins with king Raghu, who belonged to the Suryavanshi lineage, since they worshiped the Sun (Surya). King Dasharath was grandson of Raghu. He had four sons with Rama being the eldest. The descendents of Rama and one of his two sons, Luv, the Lohanas were not only the rulers in Afghanistan and modern-day Pakistan but also in Kashmir for more than three centuries. The Gandhar Desh(Kandahar in Afghanistan) and Kekay Desh (Iran) had matrimonial alliances with ancient Indian States like Ayodhya, notes Historian Dr. Sharad Hebalkar in “Bharatiya Sanskriti ka Vishwsanchar�. He adds : “Raghuvanshi Kings of Aryavarta(India) used to come to extend military support to Gandhar and Kekay. During one of such incidents, King Dasharath and the Princess Kaikeyee had met.� She was the Princess of Kekay-King Ashwapati. Under the instruction of King Rama of Ayodhya, his younger brother, Bharat, defeated the Gandharva ruler of Gandhar (modern-day Kandahar, Afghanistan) and established Takshashila, now popularly called Taxila, and Pushkarpur, Peshawar of these-days. Bharat returned to Ayodhya,

The Ruler Loharana Kshatriyas turned Vaisyas around AD 1300 Veer Jasraj killed Mahmud Gazni’s father Sabuk-tigin in Kabul

handing over these towns to his sons Taksh and Pushkar respectively. The descendent of Pushkar, Kapiraj, established Kapisha, present-day Kabul, and ruled over it along with the newly established towns, Samarkand and Bukhara (in Modern-day Uzbekistan).The Greek Emperor, Alexander the Great, called Sikander , wanted to conquer the world. He was defeated by King Porasraj, who was a descendent of Kapilraj. The Greek soldiers, who never wanted to return, joined the army of Poras. They married the Raghuvanshi daughters and their descendents are called “Bhanushalis�, according to Parimal Nathwani, a journalist turned President of Reliance Industries. The rulers of SamarkandBukhara, Raghuranas, established Loharkot in the hilly valley of Leh to settle down. They had Leh or Loh States as republics and were called Lohranas. Gradually, they were named Lohanas. In the history book of Lohana, Prof. Narottam Palan confirms that Rajatanginini(Rivers of Kings) by Kalhana, which narrates the history of Kashmir rulers, does mention the Lohar rulers of Kashmir from 1003 AD to 1339 AD(336 years). Of course, their roots are found in Lohan region of Sindh.

Coins of Kanishka the Great of Kushan dynasty in 2nd century

In “Frozen Turbulence in Kashmir�, Jagmohan, who was the Governor of Jammu - Kashmir and also Union Minister in Vajpayee government, gives description of Lohana rule established by the Princess Didda of Loharin. She “was married to the second Gupta King, Ksema Gupta(AD 950-958)and dominated the Kashmir scene for about 50 years, first as queen, then as regent for her son and grandsons, and finally a direct ruler.� “Before her death, Queen Didda was able to manipulate the crown for Samgramaraja, a member of her family from Lohara-the principality to which she herself belonged before her marriage. Thus, a new dynasty, the first Lohara dynasty(AD 1003-1101), came into being. With this

Veer Dada Jasraj who fought Changez Khan, the Mongol (Buddhist) warrior

the Kshatriyas came to rule Kashmir.� The track record of the Lohana Didda was not that popular but she ruled with iron fist. Jagmaon notes : “She conferred favours, including physical, to the courtiers and senior functionaries of the kingdom, and then got rid of them, sometimes through secret killings. She is even believed to have caused the death of her three grandsons.� Even in Kashmir during the time of Samgramaraja(AD100328), Sultan Mahmud of Gazni attacked after defeating Trilochanapala of the Shahi kingdom and tried to capture the heaven on the earth unsuccessfully. Rulers of Afghanistan were known as Shahis as they were descendents of Kidarkushans who in turn had descended from Kushans. Kushans are believed to be descendents of Kush, the other son of Rama. From Kabul, now the capital of Afghanistan, to Pataliputra, now Patna, was ruled by Kanishka the Great of Kushan dynasty during the second century. Prof. Palan says, after 12th century in Punjab and after 1340 in Kashmir, when last adopted Lohana ruler Ramji lost, no Lohana remained Kshatriya. “Till the time the descendents of Luv were Kshatriya, they were Loharana. After they turned Vaishya, they became Lohana.� The turning point was 1300 i.e. before Veer Jasraj fought Changez Khan, the Mongol warrior. Between 1350 and 1450, under the influence of Peer Yusufuddin some Lohan families became Memon. Sant Uderalal tried to stop conversion. The period of 1450-1550 was the period of Lohanas migrating from Sindh to

Kutch and Saurashtra. Life of Jasraj is an example of courage and valor of Lohar Ranas because he killed Sabuk-tigin, father of Mahmud Gazni in 997 in his own court in Kabul, in the presence of his courtiers and still escaped with his party. Sabuk-tigin was originally a Hindu slave converted to Islam.

Even today both the communities, Lohanas and Khojas, accept their common roots and forefathers. Jalarambapa(1800-1881) of Virpur is considered the first person who created a bond between all the Lohanas. Kanji Odhavji Hindocha did extensive research on the Lohana community which led to establishment of Shree Lohana Mahaparishad in 1910. In 1938, Harubhai Thakkar happened to interact with Khan Abdul Gafar Khan, a popular Congress leader, at Haripura in south Gujarat, where the 51st Convention of Indian National Congress was organized. Harubhai could gather the history of the ancestors of the Hindu Pakhtoons of Waziristan being Raghuvanshi Lohars. A small booklet on the history of Lohanas titled “Raghuvanshi Lohana Gnyatino Itihas� by Prof. Palan is brought out in 2013 by Lohana Mahaparishad. Prof. Palan gives excellent information about the historical evolvement of the community and does mention

Jalarambapa

further scope to work on the history of Lohanas in a scientific manner. Even the volume “Raghuvanshi Asmitano Unmesh�, brought out by Mahaparishad under the guidance of Prof. Palan(82) and Kanu Acharya(67), makes an interesting reading but gives stray facts on the historical development of the community. Lohana Mahaparishad, the world body of Lohanas, under the leadership of Yogesh Lakhani, brought out various publications in 2013 and the team of the present President, Pravin Kotak, is also actively working on the synergy of the community. There is hardly any country where the community has not spread the wings. Next Column: Rift between Morarji and Justice Chagla (The writer is a Sociopolitical Historian. E-mail : haridesai@gmail.com)

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26

INDIA-WORLD

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Modi, Macron voice concern over global terrorism Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrapped up his six-day, four-nation tour after completing his last leg in France. Both the countries vowed to work together for the implementation of the landmark Paris climate agreement, in the aftermath of US President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the pact. As Modi met newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron, it was soon established that both the leaders spoke on the same wavelength. They voiced concern over the growing threat of terrorism worldwide. Modi's visit closely followed Trump's maiden Europe tour and it was evident how the European states really felt about both the leaders. As Modi hugged the 29 year old Macron, in a massive contrast to the French Prez's white-knuckle, clenchedjawed, handshake with the American billionaire last week, the Indian leader said the French centrist's election had “encouraged the whole world”. Terrorism and Climate Change were the prominently discussed topics Modi said protecting 'Mother Earth' was part of Indian culture, “For Indians, environmental protection is a profession of

Narendra Modi with Emmanuel Macron

faith because we learnt it in the vedas. He said the accord represented “Sanjhi Virasat” (shared heritage) of the whole world, adding that it is “our duty to give a gift to the next generation.” Macron said he would visit India by the end of the year for a summit on solar power, a field where the two planned greater cooperation and on which they hoped to rope in “many other countries”. About terrorism, Modi said, “Terrorism is one of the biggest challenges the world is facing today.” He informed that both he and Macron discussed extensively on how to save the world from terror and radicalisation. “We cannot see the danger of climate change but we can see the horrific effects of terrorism, we can feel it. Innocent people, women, children

lose their lives to terror. Every child in France knows the face of terror,” Modi said. “The world needs to unite to defeat the menace of terrorism.” Russia During his visit to Russia, Modi held wideranging talks with President Vladimir Putin and signed a total of five agreements including credit protocol for two additional nuclear reactors at Kudankulam. Moscow had been pushing India to sign the agreement for the past eight months, with Russia's deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin making it a point to take up the issue with Modi on May 17. While the agreement had missed two deadlines earlier, Modi said finalisation of the agreement would further deepen coop-

Narendra Modi with Vladimir Putin

eration in civil nuclear energy between the two countries. Both India and Russia strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations in a joint declaration and stressed that there could be no justification whatsoever for any acts of terrorism, whether based upon ideological, religious, political, racial, ethnic, or any other reasons. “Together, we will continue efforts to combat international terrorism, which poses a great threat to the maintenance of peace and security. We are convinced that the unprecedented spread of this threat requires a decisive collective response on the part of the entire global community, without double standards and selectivity, in accordance with international law and the UN

Charter,” a issued, said.

statement

Spain

Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy held talks to strengthen strategic partnership amid signing of seven agreements including on cyber security and transfer of sentenced persons. An Indo-Spanish joint statement following bilateral talks between both the leaders said, “We reiterate that the fight against terrorism requires a robust international cooperation, and we call on all states to fully implement SC Resoluton 1373 and all other relevant SC

Narendra Modi with Mariano Rajoy

Modi began his tour with Germany, stopping by Spain next. Both the countries decided to widen defence partnership, conclude a civil nuclear deal and share best practices to jointly fight terror. In the first PM-level visit made to Spain in the past three decades, Modi and his

Resolutions.” Without naming Pakistan, it noted, “States and entities which encourage, support, finance terrorism... should be subjected to international laws... International community (should) end selective or partial approaches to combating terrorism.”

India's NSG entry becomes Techie, son die in US, crowd'more complicated': China funding to send bodies home BEIJING: China has said India's membership bid in the NSG has become “more complicated” under “new circumstances” as it yet again ruled out backing New Delhi's entry in the group. A close ally to Pakistan, China has been blocking India's membership in the 48nation grouping that controls the nuclear commerce. Chinese assistant minister of foreign affairs Li Huilai said, “About the Nuclear Suppliers Group, it is a new issue under the new circumstances and it is more com-

plicated than previously imagined. China supports the NSG to have consultation for reaching non-discriminatory and universally applicable solution, applicable to all members of the NSG.” Huilai is yet to elaborate on the new circumstances and complications. While Pakistan has also applied for a membership, China has not openly supported the move, drawing a two-step approach instead which stipulates that the NSG members first need to arrive at a set of principles

for the admission of nonNPT states into the NSG and then move forward discussions of specific cases. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told the media, last month that there is no change in China's stand on admission of non-NPT states into NSG, ruling out any chances of India's entry into the elite grouping. When asked about the chances of India's admission, he said, “China's position on the non-NPT members' participation in the NSG has not changed.”

Pakistan freezes accounts of 5,000 suspected terrorists ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has frozen accounts of over 5,000 suspected terrorists, clinching some $3 million from them. However, Islamabad could still be scrutinised at a crucial June meeting of internation watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force. Scheduled to meet in Spain next month, the organisation will update its assessment of “high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions” said Alexandra Wijmenga-Daniel of the task force's communica-

tions department. Formed in 1989 to combat money laundering, the 35-nation intergovernmental organisation took on the role of fighting the financing of terrorism after the unfortunate 9/11. The task force holds much credentials and getting on its “black list” could potentially hurt a country's ability to borrow. Pak was exempted from its scrutiny in 2015, after a similar session. However, eyebrows were raised after banned groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba emerged

under new names. Muhammad Amir Rana, director of Islamabad-based Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies said, “The government has to find a way to completely ban individuals and groups from operating. This is the only way.” In the meantime, Pak's National Counter Terrorism Authority has begun devising anti-terror financing policies, freezing bank accounts of known terrorist groups and identifying those that have resurfaced with different names.

MICHIGAN: Family, friends and Infosys employees in Michigan set up a crowd-funding page for Nagaraju Surepalli, and his son, both who were found drowned in a swimming pool. A software engineer from Andhra Pradesh, the 31year old was originally from Guntur, and worked and lived in Michigan with his wife and young son. His body, along with his son's was found in a swimming pool at his apartment building. Local media reported, “A couple who walked into

the clubhouse saw the dead bodies floating on the pool and informed police.” Local police chief David Malloy said, “The dad had taken the child to the pool. They were not intending to swim, they were just going to sit by the pool, and that was evidenced by what we found at the scene, and certainly what they were wearing. They were not dressed in swim attire.” He said the boy, Ananth, fell into the pool while riding his tricycle, and his father jumped in to rescue him. Neither of them were experienced

swimmers and there was no lifeguard. The crowd-funding was set up so that the bodies can be sent home. An Infosys spokesperson told media that the company would help bring the bodies home too. Surepalli's page described him as the “most jovial, honest, friendly person you would ever meet and always smiling. Organisers also wrote, “In the midst of this tragedy, we've set up this fund to help them with the funeral expenses and other ongoing grief/recovery support costs. This includes the very expensive process of carrying their mortal remains back to India.”

India launches most powerful rocket yet Continued from page 01 “It is planned for the next half of the month. The next GSLV Mk III will be integrated in the new vehicle assembly, which will be three times bigger.” With the successful launch, ISRO will now be able to fully operationalise the new launch vehicle for heavy satellites. Heavy satellites include communication and meteorological satellites that weigh about 4 to 6 tonne and

operate from geostationary orbit. India currently has nine operational communication satellites and together, they have over 200 transponders in the C, Extended C and Ku-bands. They are primarily used for television broadcasting and for providing various telecommunications services. A proud leader, Narendra Modi took to micro-blogging website Twitter to share the news. “The GSLV- MK III D1/GSAT-19 mission takes

India closer to the next generation launch vehicle and satellite capability.” He also wrote, “The nation is proud!” Ajay Lele from Delhi-based Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, said, “This is an important moment in India's space technology, to launch an indigenous heavy rocket. Communication satellites are quite heavy and we were (only) able to send up to two tons previously. This is a double quantum jump for India.”


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To Our Readers

We are publishing these items in good faith, kindly consult your Doctor before you try to implement any advice. We do not hold any responsibility for its efficacy...

Sitting too long makes you fat, age faster

The Princess and the Dragon

Story So far: If you haven’t already been following along – A dragon ran off with a princess. When the Knight arrived to save her, she declares that she wants to steal one of her eggs so she can have her very own pet dragon. The Knight obviously, thinks this is a very bad idea. The sun reflected brightly off his armour. The princess lifted a hand and covered her eyes. ‘Didn’t I tell you to take that off? I am going blind,’ she said. ‘Besides, you will need to be quiet as a mouse this time so you can’t afford to have that clanking about.’ ‘What?’ said the Knight, looking up. His hand was on his chest as he drew deep breaths. In answer, the princess began climbing the nearest tree. ‘Princess?’ said the Knight weakly. ‘Take the armour off,’ she called down from her tree. He obeyed as he watched her clamber up to a nest high up in its branches and silently take a small egg out. In a trice, she was back down beside him. ‘This egg’s parents must have gone out looking for food. We are going to substitute this one for the dragon’s egg. It will never know,’ she said, holding the little egg out in triumph. The knight looked at the egg and

back again at the princess, speechless. This was no joke. She really had lost her mind. He summoned all his will power. ‘And don’t you think,’ he said, with the air of someone very patiently explaining something to a 2 year old. ‘That the dragon will notice that this egg is not the size of a chicken?’ ‘Of course not. I read somewhere that dragons’ brains are the size of a walnut. Trust me. It’ll never know.’ The Knight rolled his eyes. ‘And how do you propose you … I mean we,’ he gulped. ‘… switch the eggs? We barely made it to the nest the last time,’ he said. ‘Go collect some dry wood and leaves. Bring it all to the mouth of the cave,’ said the princess, ignoring the Knight’s question. The Knight stared, but he did as he was told. In a few minutes, he had collected a small pile of dry wood and leaves. At the princess’ instruction, he selected 2 pieces to rub together and started a fire. Soon it was crackling merrily. ‘More,’ said the princess. The knight spent the next 10 minutes collecting more dry leaves and brambles and kept adding them to the fire. The smoke started blowing into the cave. ‘Brilliant! Now give me your helmet,’ she said. Puzzled, the knight handed it over. The princess shook her long hair loose and put the helmet on. ‘Oooh, it’s a bit warm in here but it’ll do,’ she said and stepped towards the cave. ‘Errr … Princess, you do realise that this is a “fire-breathing” dragon, right? She probably loves smoke,’ said the Knight. ‘I know that! Did you think I was going to smoke it out?’ snapped the princess, turning to look at the Knight.

‘The smoke is just so it won’t see us coming.’ ‘Coming?’ said the Knight, stricken. ‘We are going in there again?’ ‘Of course we are. How do you expect we are going to switch this egg with the dragon’s if we don’t go back in?’ she said, shoving the tiny egg in his face. The Knight recognized it as being a sparrow egg. ‘Really Knight! I must speak to father about you,’ continued the princess. ‘Now, come on,’ she added and snapped the helmet’s visor shut. She then turned on her heel and walked into the cave, her helmeted head held high and shoulders squared. The sparrow egg was clutched firmly in her hand. Defeated, the Knight followed the princess in, coughing as he went. Soon they were at the mouth of the cavern again. The smoke was thinner here. ‘Check to see where the dragon is,’ ordered the princess through the Knight’s helmet. Her voice was muffled. The Knight carefully peeped around the corner and very quickly drew his head back. ‘She is sitting in her nest,’ he informed the princess. ‘Right. Now here is the plan. You go in and distract it while I steal the egg,’ said the princess very quickly. She took the helmet off and shook her head again. ‘What am I going to do with a dirty, big dragon?’ said the Knight, aghast. ‘How would I know?’ said the princess. ‘Sing it a lullaby. Dance naked in front of it. Just get it away from its nest.’ What happens next? So attempt 1 has failed, and now it’s up to the Knight to distract the dragon. Poor guy! He doesn’t even want to be there, let alone dance naked in front of a giant, fire-breathing dragon. Now what?

ASIAN FUNERAL DIRECTORS

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A new research has found that sitting down for 10 or more hours a day without regular exercise can make a person's cells age prematurely. The study found the cells of women who sit for over 10 hours and do less than 40 minutes of exercise a day have biologically eight years older than women who are less sedentary. The women with biologically older cells had shorter telomeres which are found at the end of DNA strands and help to protect chromosomes from deterioration. Telomeres are described as acting like the plastic tips on shoelaces and naturally shorten and fray as a cell ages. The shortening of telomeres is associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and major cancers, while lifestyle factors, such as smoking and obesity, may also contribute to this shortening. "Our study found cells age faster with a

sedentary lifestyle. Chronological age doesn't always match biological age," said Dr Aladdin Shadyab, lead author. "We found that women who sat longer did not have shorter telomere length if they exercised for at least 30 minutes a day," he added. Research suggests that excessive sitting can slow down the body's metabolism, which can affect a person's ability to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, and to metabolise fat. The study recommends people should exercise for at least 150 minutes a week and reduce the amount of time spent sitting down, whether it is spent at a computer, watching TV, while travelling on a bus or in a car, or doing homework.


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Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

Plagiarism complaint against Superstar's 'Kaala Karikaalan'

Thalaivar's 'Kaala Karikaalan' has already been dragged into a controversy way ahead of its release. A person named K Rajasekaran has filed a complaint with the Chennai police Commissioner alleging that the title and basic theme of the film has been stolen from him. In a complaint letter issued in Tamil, Rajesekaran alleged he had penned a script for Rajinikanth in 199596 titled 'Karikaalan', and had also met him. He said he has registered the title with the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce, and stated that he has filed a court case against the attempt to make a film titled with 'Karikalan' with Vikram in the lead role. The film however, did not happen. The complainant has requested the Commissioner to take necessary action against the makers of 'Kaala Karikaalan' for using the story and title registered by him without his permission.

Prabhu Deva-Tamannah's film creates history As reported earlier, Prabhu Deva and Tamannah are teaming up for a Hindi movie, which will be a version of Tamil thriller 'Kolaiyuthir Kaalam'. Titled 'Khamoshi', latest buzz is that it will be the first 8K film of India. The news was confirmed by Prabhu on Twitter. Sources reveal that shooting was wrapped up in 25 days in London. Tamannah reportedly plays a speech and hearing impaired girl in the film. 'Khamoshi' will also see Bhumika Chawla in an important character. The Tamil version of the movie starring Nayanthara in lead role itself is under production.

Raabta

Two ordinary people, one extraordinary love story. Will Saira and Shiv be able to break a prophecy from their past? Watch to know.

Behen Hogi Teri

Gattu (Rajkummar Rao) refuses to acknowledge his neighbour Binny (Shruti Haasan) as his sister even though he is expected to treat her like one.

AsianVoiceNewsweekly

Shruti Haasan walks out of ‘Sanghamitra’ Makers of movie 'Sangamithra' have announced that actress Shruti Haasan would not be a part of it any more, due to “unavoidable circumstances”. A post on the official Twitter page of the banner Sri Thenandal Films, read, “Due to unavoidable circumstances, we are unable to proceed working with Shruti Haasan in 'Sanghamitra'.” It added, “Shruti has had to unfortunately take a call not to be part of 'Sanghamitra'. Knowing it was a massive undertaking and a long commitment spanning over 2 years, she knew the importance of her training, a comprehensive script and proper date calendar.” “She hired and started training with one of the best

combat trainers in April onwards to make sure she was ready in time for shoot. Despite her enthusiasm and commitment to 'Sanghamitra', she has had to give the film a miss since she had not received a proper bound script nor a proper date calendar.” The actress was even on the film's entourage at the 70th Cannes Film Festival, where they launched the first look posters of the period drama. Shruti is currently caught up with promoting her film 'Behen Hogi Teri' and preparation for Sabash Naidu and her musical associations.

Rahman's son makes his The Star brothers to Hindi debut with Sachin finally do a film together

Music maestro AR Rahman's son AR Ameen debuted as a Tamil singer with 'Maula Wa Salim' in Mani Ratnam' 'O Kadhal Kanmani' in 2015. This year, he marked his entry in Hindi television by lending his voice to 'Sachin: A Billion Dreams', a biopic of the legendary cricketer. The news was only announced by Rahman after the release of the movie. Ameen's voice in 'Mard Maratha' in the Hindi version of the multilingual movie has already garnered lot of attention. The youngster has also sung in English film 'Couples Retreat' and Telugu film ' N i r m a l a Convent'.

Politician and film producer T Subbarami Reddy has revealed that the scripting work for his recently announced film starring megastar Chiranjeevi and power star Pawan Kalyan is currently under process. He added that it would be made on a grand scale, and be the biggest ever film produced in the Telugu industry. “I am very happy to share mega combination

will be soon hitting the floors. Both Chiranjeevi garu and Pawan Kalyan garu are now busy with their commitments. Once they finish it off, I will launch the film on a grand scale. It is going to be the biggest movie of all in Telugu movie industry,” Subbarami said. This will be the first time the superstars will share screen space. The potential hit will be helmed by Trivikram Srinivas.

Kamal Haasan’s jibe at Aamir Khan In a recent interview, when asked why he chose to host 'Bigg Boss' over a show like Aamir Khan's 'Satyamev Jayate', veteran actor Kamal Haasan said he does not have to prove that he is socially responsible. Speaking at the trailer launch of Tamil 'Bigg Boss', Kamal said, “I have been more socially responsible for longer than the person who hosted 'Satyamev Jayate'.”

Speaking about his new show, he said, “The show has a very wide reach. I don't have to don an avatar this time. I can just be me, in my most natural self, and reach every household.” A lavish house has been built on a budget of over £100,000, to host the show. 'Bigg Boss' will see 15 celebrities put together in a house full of amenities, completely cut off from technology and the outside world for 100 days.


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Sidharth is and will always be special: Alia

T

he paparazzi is in virtual hell, trying to prove there is something going on between Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra. Both the stars keep making lavish public appearances as they refuse to accept the reports. When asked about getting clicked with her 'SOTY' co-star so often, the young and peppy Bhatt said, “There's no denying that I do spend time with him. So, I am not going to say that, 'Oh, I wasn't spotted with Sid'. I was seen and I am okay with people spotting me there. I am very happy going to parties with him and being spotted at lunches with him. But I do the same thing with my other friends as well and spend time with them too.” She added, “But Sidharth is and will always be special. That goes without saying.” She said she is used to the baseless reports now. “It has become very blah. It has become like second nature to me. It sounds the same as something like 'Alia Bhatt is 24 and she lives in Juhu'. I don't think of it as news any more. It is like, Haan, Woh toh kab se pata hai(Yes, I've known it for a while). It has become a facts of sorts.” On the work front, the 'Dear Zindagi' actress has bagged two movies opposite Ranveer Singh, and Ranbir Kapoor.

Cold war between Jacqueline and Taapsee?

L

atest media reports suggest actresses Taapsee Pannu and Jacqueline Fernandez who will be seen together in 'Judwaa 2' do not get along very well. Filmmakers are making arrangements so their shoot schedules do not overlap. A source from the crew said, “They can barely see eye to eye. Taapsee had shot for 25 days, and Jacqueline, 15, in London. As per their request, their schedules were chalked out in such a way that they didn't overlap. But, Taapsee did bump into Jacqueline when she returned for two

Friends come to defend Shraddha

P

eople close to actress Shraddha Kapoor have clarified that she is very much single and completely focused on her work these days. With the media pursuing her unconfirmed relationship with director-actor Farhan Akhtar, sources said, “These unchecked, unverified rumours are absolutely untrue.” Friends of the 'Ek Villain' actress stated she has worked really hard to reach where she is today and values it a lot.

“Even going forward, with Haseena and Saina Nehwal's biopic shoot, which requires her to hone a lot of other skills as well, Shraddha has no time to commit to a relationship,” a friend close to her said. “Whatever little time she gets from her preparation and shooting schedules, she prefers spending with her family and close friends.” Shraddha just came back from a family vacation and has resumed work for 'Haseena'.”

days of patch work. Varun shares a great rapport with both and wouldn't want to meddle in their matters. They have never had a tiff but the dislike was evident.” The source added, “The actresses have parallel tracks and the script demands that they work together only for few scenes in the climax, shooting for which will be completed over a day or two. In films with ensemble casts, the actors often catch up on set whether they are shooting together or no. That clearly isn't happening with these ladies.”

Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

Salman, Katrina make a dynamic pair

F

ormer couple Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif make a dynamic pair, both on-screen and off. The duo who will soon be seen together in 'Tiger Zinda Hai' shared quite the rapport during the IIFA 2017 press conference held lately. As the two flirted, amongst loud cheers, the fact that Sallu could not keep his eyes off the beautiful actress became painfully evident. The three-hour long session saw the 'Bajrangi' actor in his element as he pulled Katrina's leg and made her blush. When asked by a reporter if he puts her in a tight spot with his humour, Kat said, “No. With Salman, it's always entertainment and that's been wonderful. He is like a continuous TV show. So, it's like you're watching and being happy.” About being embarrassed, she said, “He has a lot of love to give to people around him.” To which he added, “My humour is always above the belt, never below it.” Katrina was no less. When a reporter asked Alia Bhatt, who was also present, however, shadowed by Salman's presence, when she will get to work with the star, Kat swooped ion the mic to say, “Please leave Alia for Varun Dhawan and Salman for me!” Well, Well, Well... Should Iulia be worried?

Urmila Matondkar turns an item girl for Irrfan

'R

angeela' actress Urmila Matondkar is all set to return to the 70mm, after her not-sosecret wedding with beau Mohsin Akhtar Mir last year. Extremely picky in her choice of roles, Urmila will soon begin shooting for a special song for Irrfan Khan-starrer. A source revealed that the actress is keen on taking up the song and it is something she is really excited about. The actress has maintained a low profile for several years, and is usually only spotted at fashion shows and events hosted by her close friends. The actress shot to fame with Ram Gopal Verma's 1995 film 'Rangeela' which turned her career around. The two went on to work on several films afterwards including 'Satya', 'Mast', 'Jungle', and 'Kaun'. The actress then moved from Bollywood and started featuring in regional films and television shows. Urmila has been more active in Marathi films and TV as compared to Hindi movies in the last few years. Now that the actress has decided to scorch the silver screen with oomph and moves we cannot wait to find out what this special number is going to be.


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UK

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Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

The Unremembered: The Indian Story

A Father's love is known to be irreplaceable and eternal The bright light on a dull day, the main source of strength in the weakest of moments, fathers spend their entire lives selflessly working for their families' good future. He never preached or scolded; and the rod – Well, he used it as a turning pole in play. But he showed the tender sympathy of God. To his children in their troubles, and their joys. He was always chum and comrade with his boys, And his daughters – oh, you ought to hear them say ‘Father.’

Let us celebrate Fathers Day with well-known singer

Maya Deepak & Group Harrow Leicester y

Tickets: £12.50

each and Table of 10 for £100 For Tickets contacts: Pravin Majithia: 07971 626 464 or Melton Hot Potato Shop: 0116 268 0100

y

Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th June from 6 to 10pm ng including dinner. er : Ro ck Si

Si

Friday 9th June 2017 from 8pm Presented by Music Arts: Symphony Room, ng k : Ro c 121 Burnmoor Street, Leicester LE2er7JL

Presented by By

Gujarat Samachar - Asian Voice The Masefield Suite, Harrow Leisure Centre, Harrow, HA3 5BD

Tickets: £15 for front 8 rows and £12 for remaining rows

For Tickets contacts: Kamal Rao: 07875 229 211 Kokila Patel: 07875 229 177

Birmingham

Sunday 25th June 2017 from 3pm to 7pm.

ge r

av

al

Shree Hindu Community Centre, : Jayu R 541-A Warwick Road, Birmingham B11 2JP Sin

er : Ro ck

y

ng

Si

Presented By

Hindu Council Wales. Sanatan Dharma Mandal & Hindu Community Centre, Seaview Building, Lewis Road, Cardiff CF24 5EB For Tickets contacts: Vimla Patel: 07979 155 320 Radhika Kadaba: 07966 767 659

For Tickets contacts: Anjuben Shah: 07814 583 907 Jayantibhai Jagatia: 07808 930 748

If you wish to share your information or need more details about the special magazine, organise shows and tickets, please contact

Kamal Rao: 020 7749 4001 / 07875 229 211 Email: kamal.rao@abplgroup.com Kokila Patel on 07875 229 177 Email: kokila.patel@abplgroup.com

Sneh Joshi

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20 Jupiter, the planet of abun-

dance has gone direct and is transiting your partnership sector. You have plenty of romantic options. The opening up of a more diverse social life is a point in favour of romantic attachments. This transit makes you feel invincible, but the way forward is to create a balance between expansion and conservation.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Jupiter has gone direct in

your work and health sector. You are likely to see benefits in these areas, as well as daily routines. Benefits may come through work itself, co-workers, or employees during this cycle. You might be especially interested in the healing arts during this cycle, such as massage or aromatherapy.

GEMINI May 22 - June 22 Jupiter has gone direct and is transiting your creative fifth house. Your willingness to enjoy yourself and explore your creativity now brings new opportunities. Love and romance may come into your life or an existing romance is enhanced with good humour and warmth. Pregnancy or childbirth may occur during this transit.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 22

Sun and Mercury transit your 12th house. This benefits activities that take place "behind the scenes". This is a cycle in which you become more compassionate, sensitive and get in deeper touch with these traits. Some of you will take up yoga, meditation and retreats are very helpful.

around the world. Many High Commission of India faced racism and discrimiorganised an event at The nation. They served with Arch of Remembrance, Victoria Park, Leicester, courage but they have marking the centenary of been almost completely the Labour Corps this year. forgotten. They are The Titled 'The Unremembered. Unremembered: The The Unremembered Indian Story', the High project involves a database Commission of India of over 5,700 Labour Corps joined the project to mark, war graves in the UK and to bring a special focus serves as a map for particon, the courage and conipants’ remembrance tribution of the Indian activity. Archive readings, Labour Corps. music and history This was a special resources are offered as the building blocks for focus on the Indian contribution to The Unremembered: World War One’s Army of Workers, a c o m m u n i t y engagement project funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government supporting communities in the UK The High Commissioner of India to UK to discover the his- Y K Sinha addressing the gathering tory of the Labour Corps in World War One. community commemoraThousands of workers suption. The High ported the war effort from Commission has also

HE Y K Sinha with members of the community

funded the production of a new resource pack, The Unremembered: The Indian Story, a dedicated resource pack focusing exclusively on the story of the India’s army of workers. The pack has been created with support from the India Remembers team at CAFHR, USI of India. The High Commission team are also supporting through community engagement, and through other aspects of its organization in India and the UK.

World record in performing arts

Cardiff

Saturday 24th June 2017 from 5.30pm including dinner

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A world record for presenting Indian Classical Dance at the Houses of British Parliament 7 times has been set by London-based academic tutor and dance practitioner Ragasudha Vinjamuri, conferred by World Records India team. Trained under Dr Uma Ramarao’s tutelage in Hyderabad, Ragasudha has been performing and pro-

moting Indian classical and folk dances in the UK for more than 10 years, in addition to her teaching engagement with the University of Sunderland. She was instrumental in marking the International Human Rights Day, UN World Water Day and International Dance Day through creating dance

Coming Events

l Sree Sree Thakur Anukulchandra's Satsang to be held on June 10, Saturday, 6.30 pm onwards at Brent Indian Association Building, 116 Ealing Road, Wembley, London HA0 4TH.

pieces and showcasing the performing talents of children and women.She has previously received awards and recognition for cultural excellence from different organisations in the UK and Switzerland. She is Fellow of Royal Society of Arts and founder of Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence in London, through which she has published the transcription of 300 year old composition on Acharya Ramanuja. The English version of the same will be brought out during the latter part of the year.

020 8518 5500

LEO Jul 23 - Aug 23

The UK’s leading Vedic writer and TV personality

As social life is likely to gather a pleasant momentum throughout this week, this is bound to present a better prospect, not only for striking up new friendships but also romantic encounters. This is going to be one of those times when insignificant events give rise to unexpected developments especially regarding work and health.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23 You will feel energetic and confident as the week begins. Home and family duties and responsibilities may weigh heavy on you. In effect, you’re building new foundations, so the work you put in now will pay off in the future. Professional and financial pressures will begin to ease off as you progress further into the month.

Jupiter has gone direct in your sign. This is particularly beneficial and significant for you. This transit heightens your optimism and confidence. You are greeting life with a fresh and positive attitude. You have an altogether different perspective on life now, and are not fazed by anything. Furthering yourself comes easily.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23

As Jupiter goes direct in your twelfth house, it is a time for reflection and recharging your batteries. Your disposition is introspective and this is a good time to search for answers to private matters. You will need a certain amount of solitude in order to get your thoughts together to be mentally productive. Some of you will choose to get away from the

SCORPIO Oct 24- Nov 22

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 21

mundane realities of life.

Jupiter direct is gracing your solar eleventh house. This transit brings benefits and fresh energy to networking activities, long-term goals and organizations in your life. Achieving your goals tends to come more easily. Income from your business or career is likely to increase. You can also rely on your friends for their help and support.

CAPRICORN Dec 22 - Jan 20 With Jupiter going direct in your solar 10th house, your career is lit up and bodes well for the coming month. Some of you will be in a reflective mood and taking stock of your lives and working out the best direction to take. Your worldly or public status may change for the better. Integrity, directness, and honesty will get you everywhere now.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19 Mercury and Sun transit your creative and romantic sector. Chances are that you will attract and have pleasant interactions with like-minded people which could lead to romance. You put special effort into making others happy and will be quite successful at that. Keep your eyes open for social opportunities that seem to come out of nowhere. PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20 Jupiter the "Great Benefic" goes direct in your eighth house of joint finances, loans, taxes, sexuality, and psychological matters and will remain there for quite a while. In some cases, you may enjoy benefits through marriage, business partnerships, negotiations, and/or contractual agreements.


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Af cancels all cricket ties with Pak after Kabul attack Afghanistan have cancelled proposed home and away cricket fixtures with Pakistan after a deadly bomb attack blamed by the country's intelligence agency on militants allegedly backed by Islamabad. Pakistan were set to play their first Twenty20 match in Kabul later this year in what was seen as an opportunity for the neighbours to ease tensions over border skirmishes and alleged proxy warfare. The Kabul match, set for July or August, would have been followed by a fixture in Pakistan and a full series at an unspecified date. But the Afghanistan Cricket Board issued a strongly worded statement, cancelling the matches in light of a truck bombing in the city's diplomatic quarter that killed at least 90 people. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, although the Taliban has denied involvement. The ACB hereby cancel all kinds of cricket matches and initial mutual relationship agreement with the Pakistan Cricket Board," the Afghan board said. "No agreement of friendly matches and mutual relationship agreement is possible with a country where terrorists are housed and provided safe havens." Afghanistan's intelligence agency has blamed the Taliban-allied Haqqani Network for the attack, which has been linked to Pakistan's military in the past. The development leaves Pakistan cricketers even more isolated in the region. India has refused to play a full series since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, while ties with fellow Test team Bangladesh have also soured after Pakistan pulled out of a planned series in July. Only minnows Zimbabwe have been willing to tour the insecurity-wracked country since a 2009 militant attack on the visiting Sri Lanka team.

Indian shuttler Praneeth wins Thai title Indian shuttler Bhamidipati Sai Praneeth is on a roll as he completed a come-from-behind win to keep his good run going. Six weeks after winning the Singapore Open Super Series the 24year-old clinched his first Grand Prix Gold title clinching the $120,000 Thailand Open with a hard fought 17-21, 21-18, 21-19 victory against Christie Jonatan of Indonesia Bhamidipati Sai Praneeth in Bangkok. Showing no signs of nervousness despite losing the first game, Praneeth made an impressive comeback to get past the Indonesian youngster in a gruelling one hour 11 minute contest. Having lost the first game, a determined Praneeth opened up with a 5-0 lead and extended it to 8-1 before Jonatan reduced the margin securing six straight points from 3-9.Thereafter, both players traded leads and at 14-15 Praneeth nudged ahead to 17-15 with some crafty work near the net. Though Jonatan exhibited his brilliance with his fast-paced power-packed game, Praneeth looked in great touch as he moved sharply executing overhead smashes before wrapping up the second game with a deceptive cross-court half-smash. In the decider Christie raced ahead into an 8-2 lead but Praneeth engaged his rival in long rallies and it was the watertight defence of the Indian that proved decisive. Praneeth returned everything back and frustrated his rival. He caught up with Christie at 9-9 and managed to stay ahead of his rival. Delighted after winning his second title, Praneeth said that he had to work very hard in the final. “It was a very difficult and close match. I am happy that I managed to pull it off and win the title,” said Praneeth, adding that he had focused a lot on the rallies. “The rallies were going too long. But I tried to build up the lead and win point after point,” he added. Despite winning two titles on trot, Praneeth thinks he needs to be more consistent. “I am playing well now but I know that I need to be more consistent, win more titles,” said Praneeth, who credited his victory to his coach Pullela Gopichand, family, relatives and all those who helped him in the academy.

SPORT

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KOHLI, DHONI, YUVRAJ, RAINA IN LIST OF TOP 100 ATHLETES

Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

Virat Kohli

India captain Virat Kohli, former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and stylish lefthanded batsmen, .Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina, have found places in this year's ESPN World Fame 100 list that made its debut last year. While Kohli is placed in the 13th spot and Dhoni in the 15th, Yuvraj and Raina have been ranked 90th and 95th respectively. The list is ESPN's ranking of the 100 most famous active athletes in the world. Heading the list is top Portuguese footballer

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Christiano Ronaldo while NBA great Lebron James, another soccer star Lionel Messi and tennis ace Roger Federer are the top four athletes, in that order. The others in the top ten are: Phil Mickelson, Neymar, Usain Bolt, Kevin Durant, Rafael Nadal and Tiger Woods. The ranking is based on a formula devised by ESPN director of sports analytics Ben Alamar, which combines endorsements, social media reach and other data to create a comparative ranking

Yuvraj Singh

system, the media release explained. In February, 28-year-old Kohli joined the likes of Bolt, Rickie Fowler and Thierry Henry as a Puma endorser and his eight-year deal with the shoe company is worth more than £10 millions, the largest ever for an Indian athlete, the release said. As part of the overall package ESPN Magazine will dedicate an entire issue to World Fame 100, including features on some athletes, notably Yuvraj, and is slated to hit news stands in the US

Suresh Raina

in June, the release said. After beating a rare form of lung cancer, Yuvraj has given fans someone to look up to when things get tough. In 2015, he launched the YouWeCan foundation to fight cancer. Among others to be featured likewise are 18-time Grand Slam men's singles champion Federer, Real Madrid superstar, Ronaldo, biggest draw in athletics, Bolt, NBA star, Kevin Durant, swimming ace, Ryan Lochte, and Formula One champion, Lewis Hamilton.

Arsenal confirm Wenger contract extension

Arsenal confirmed reports that manager Arsene Wenger has signed a twoyear extension at the club. There were a lot of doubts about Wenger's future after Arsenal failed to finish in the top-4 for the first time in his reign. Fans had held protests asking him to go. But the FA Cup win over Chelsea gave Wenger some hope, as Arsenal ended the season with a trophy. Reports had come in that Wenger had signed the extension, and Arsenal confirmed that. Majority Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke said: “Our ambition is to win the Premier League and other major trophies in

Arsene Wenger

Europe. It’s what the fans, players, staff, manager and board expect and we won’t rest until that is achieved. Arsène is the best person to help us make that happen. He has a fantastic track

record and has our full backing.” Wenger, who lifted the FA Cup for a record-breaking seventh time, said: “I love this club and I am looking forward to the future with optimism and excitement. We are looking at what we do well and how we can be stronger everywhere. This is a strong group of players and with some additions we can be even more successful. We’re committed to mounting a sustained league challenge and that will be our focus this summer and next season. “I am grateful to have the support of the board and Stan in doing everything we

can to win more trophies. It’s what we all want and I know it’s what our fans around the world demand.” Arsenal chief Ivan Gazidis said: “There is no complacency anywhere at this club. Our goal is to compete for and win trophies here and in Europe. Everything we do is designed to make that happen and we will be working hard on and off the pitch this summer to improve and make a strong challenge next season. The club has grown beyond recognition in every aspect in recent years and we have the platform to be successful and meet the ambitions we and our fans share.”

India rule out cricket series with Pakistan

India said it won't play a bilateral cricket series with Pakistan as long as Islamabad continues to support and sponsor cross-border terrorism. Sports Minister Vijay Goel made it clear that the Indian government won't allow the bilateral cricket series as long as Pakistan continues to use terrorism as an instrument of state policy. "The BCCI should come up with a suggestion or proposal in this regard only after consulting the government. I had said earlier also that the possibilities of bilateral series with Pakistan are very remote," Goel said. "As long as Pakistan continues to sponsor terrorists,

it will not be possible to have sporting ties between the two countries. Terrorism and sports will not run side by side," he added. India and Pakistan, however, will continue to play each other in international tournaments. "As far as multi-lateral events are concerned, we have no control over those. So the two countries will continue to play each other in such tournaments," Goel

said. Goel's remarks came ahead of a meeting between officials from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in Dubai to discuss possibilities of a bilateral series. The Indian board was represented by BCCI Acting Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary, CEO Rahul Johri and General Manager (Cricket Operations) M.V. Sridhar while the Pakistani delegation was led by PCB Executive Committee head Najam Sethi. Following the Sports Minister's declaration, the BCCI officials reportedly told their PCB counterparts that the series

will not go ahead. "The delegations of the BCCI and PCB have met in Dubai and shared their stated positions. The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere. Earlier in the day, Chaudhary had said that a bilateral series with Pakistan was possible if the government gave the go-ahead. Pakistan last visited India in December 2012 for a limited overs series that included three One-Day Internationals (ODI) and two Twenty20 Internationals (T20I). India have not played Pakistan in a full bilateral series since 2007 when Pakistan visited India to play five ODIs and a one-off Test match.


Sport 32

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Asian Voice | 10th June 2017

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INDIA DECIMATE PAK BY 124 RUNS

India put in a mesmerizing performance in the ICC Champions Trophy at Edgbaston on Sunday as they clinically outperformed Pakistan in all departments in their first encounter after a long time. Further, the defending champions humiliated Pakistan in the 'Mother of all cricket clashes' while defeating them by 124 runs. After being put in to bat, India scored 319 runs for the loss of 3 wickets. Rohit Sharma, captain Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan and Yuvraj Singh played some belligerent innings to propel India towards a mammoth score. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma's strong opening partnership laid the foundation for a big total. Captain Kohli then played a brilliant knock of 81 that provided the impetus to the middle order. Yuvraj Singh hit a whirlwind half century that provided the late flourish to post 300 plus and earned him the 'Man of the match award'. Mohamad Aamir was injured at a crucial juncture and could not complete his spell at the death. Lack of firepower in the spin department too emerged as a headache for Pakistan. Rain played spoilsport in between and Pakistan was given a target of 289 runs in 41 overs. However, the Indian bowlers led by speedster Umesh Yadav didn't let Pakistan off the hook and took three crucial wickets. Lack of a dependable opening pair unlike India added to their problems. Makeshift opener Azhar Ali couldn't fulfil the expectations of his team and Pak was under pressure since the beginning itself. All-rounder Hardik Pandya and spinner Ravindra Jadeja took two wickets apiece to pile further pressure on the Pakistan middle-order. Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar too bowled economically and Kumar took one wicket. Jadeja was exceptional in the field as he scalped Shoaib Malik's wicket with a direct throw. Overall, it was a brilliant performance from India in the field and they completely outclassed their arch-

rivals. Rain ruins Australia's run chase Australia faced a make or break showdown with England after their Group A clash against Bangladesh was abandoned due to rain on Monday. Steve Smith's side were chasing 183 to beat Bangladesh at The Oval when persistent drizzle forced the players from the field. Having scored 83-1 from 16 overs, Australia only needed to play for four more overs to be eligible to win via the Duckworth-Lewis rule for rainaffected games. Instead, Smith and his team-mates were reduced to anxiously looking at weather updates and peering upwards for any sign of a break in the slate grey sky. Unfortunately for Australia, who bowled out Bangladesh for 182, the rain became heavier and the match was called off. Amla & Tahir lift South Africa Hashim Amla's composed century set up a 96-run victory for South Africa over Sri Lanka in the Champions Trophy on Saturday. Amla's 103 was backed up by Faf du Plessis' 75 and JP Duminy's 38 not out as South Africa posted 299-6. Sri Lanka were bowled out for 203 in the 42nd over with leg spinner Imran Tahir taking 4-27. Sri Lanka fought back well after Amla's and du Plessis' 145-run second-wicket stand looked to have set South Africa up for a huge total. The Sri Lankans made a stunning start to their chase,

but failed to get near its target despite a stunning start to its response. Australia - New Zealand match abandoned Owing to the wet outfield and continuous rainfall, the second encounter between Australia and New Zealand, was called off at Edgbaston, Birmingham on Friday. Both the teams took one point each post the Aussie batting line-up struggled to face the New Zealand pace attack in the first nine overs. Australia were 53 for 3 in nine overs, when the rain interrupted and the umpires called off the game. It's cruise for England Joe Root shrugged off an ankle injury to hit a superb unbeaten 133 and lead England to a comfortable eightwicket victory over Bangladesh in the opening game of the Champions Trophy at The Oval on Thursday. Alex Hales made 95 and captain Eoin Morgan 75 not out as hosts England overhauled their target of 306 with 16 balls to spare, the highest successful run-chase in the tournament's history. The day had started badly for England, bidding to win their first global 50-over trophy, when all-rounder Chris Woakes limped off due to a side strain after bowling two overs. Tamim Iqbal struck a fluent 128 and shared a 166-run partnership with Mushfiqur Rahim to push Bangladesh to a competitive total of 305 for six.

India played like favourites: Shahid Afridi Pakistan Former captain Shahid Afridi credited India for their show commanding while saddened by the abject surrender of Pakistani team and said the defending champions lived up to the favourites tag in Champions their Trophy opener. He said his country's drab show on Sunday took away all the excitement from what was expected to be a high-voltage Group B encounter. "The Indo-Pak Champions Trophy encounter failed to live up to its hype as Pakistan produced a forgettable performance at Edgbaston. As a Pakistani supporter, the drab show was a painful watch indeed as India once again proved that it has a stranglehold over its neighbour that it is in no mood to relinquish," Afridi wrote in a column for the ICC. "India started as the favourite and played the entire game in the same frame of mind, even as Pakistan crumbled simply." Analysing the match, Afridi said India came hard on skipper Sarfraz Ahmed's shoddy game plan. Afridi said Pakistan had allowed Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan to settle down and once that happened, it was difficult to stop the duo. "While the Indian openers negotiated Amir carefully, they gradually got their eye in against Imad. Pakistan missed a trick and for the rest of the Indian innings there was hardly a period where they looked troubled. "Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh then flayed a tiring attack before Hardik Pandya's cameo turned the match totally in the defending champion's favour," Afridi added. Afridi also came hard on Pakistan's shoddy fielding effort.

Former hockey player adopts 21 girls Taking a cue from cricketer Gautam Gambir who decided to bear the educational expenses of the children of slain CRPF personnel in Sukhma, former Indian hockey player Ajit Pal Nandal has adopted 21 girl students of classes VI to XII of a government school in his native Bohar village. Nandal said he would take care of their education, train them in sports and support their expenses in terms of equipment and fees vis-avis sports tournaments.

Anti-India chants and a security breach greet team

India-Pakistan cricket match is always noisy and played at good -natured revelry. At Edgbaston the chants on either side were a bit louder, a bit more strident and just that bit edgier. The security cordons, already overwhelmed, simply gave

way when the India team bus arrived. From out of nowhere appeared, hundreds of placard-waving, anti-Indiachanting, `K'word wielding Pakistani activists rushed in, completely swamping the barricades. It was clearly pre-planned and

politically motivated, intended to raise the Kashmir issue, and just the kind of attention this game could have done without. They were smaller in number compared to the Indian fans but managed to make the necessary impact. As Virat Kohli and company

emerged from the team bus, they were greeted with strident anti-India slogans. Chants of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kashmir azaad haiâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Go back Indiaâ&#x20AC;? merged with â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kohli, Kohliâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dhoni, Dhoniâ&#x20AC;? before rising above the din. Some blue-wearing fans were heckled in the melee.

Some made a hasty exit. Some joked about knifewielding lunatics, but it wasn't funny. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are sitting ducks here aren't we,â&#x20AC;? said a local of Pakistani origin. Many in that crowd would have lost all faith in security arrangements at public events. In an

international tournament of this scale, this kind of lack of security around the team bus is unthinkable in the subcontinent. The incident was another reminder of how easy it is to breach protocol in sporting contests of this size.

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AV 10th June 2017  

Asian Voice weekly newspaper (Issue 6)

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