Kandahar’s top female police officer killed

Kandahar’s top female police officer killed

Taliban gunmen killed the highest-ranking female police officer in Kandahar, targeting a prominent symbol of women’s rights under the new government. Lieutenant-Colonel Malalai Kakar, 41, was driving to work with her son Farhad, 18, when two insurgents on a motorbike opened fire on them. She was shot in the head and killed, while her son remained in critical condition last night. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which mirrored a pattern of its assassinations in recent years, as the insurgents hit powerful supporters of the Kabul regime. Lt.-Col. Kakar’s work as head of the women’s department at Afghan National Police headquarters was not a major threat to Taliban operations in the city, but the feisty officer had been an outspoken advocate for women in recent years. She was the first woman to join the police force under the Communist regime in 1982. The Taliban’s rise to power forced her into exile, but she returned after 2001 and rebuilt the women’s department with at least 10 female officers. Taking a different tack from some of the notoriously ineffective women’s programs in Afghanistan, Lt.-Col. Kakar was known to protect abused wives by physically beating their husbands. She had survived a previous gunfight with the Taliban, refusing to flee when some of her police colleagues ran away.

Archbishop refuses moratorium on conversions

Archbishop refuses moratorium on conversions

Archbishop of Delhi and president of National United Christian Forum Vincent Concessao on conversions with Karan Thapar “We serve because we are Christians. If they turn to us and accept our faith we are happy, but the purpose is not there. The purpose is our love for God has to be manifested in our love for our neighbour. We do not serve in order to get converts. We serve because of our own commitment to Christ and our faith. If you are limiting the freedom of the people to choose a religion they want, you are denying them their freedom. How do you expect unity to then come? Freedom is for all. This is the misunderstanding that has been repeatedly communicated to the people—this is creating problem. It is not conversion but a distorted understanding of conversion that the believers of Hindutva have propagated for the last 80 years or so”

No interim peace deal with Israel, Saudi says

No interim peace deal with Israel, Saudi says

Arab nations will totally reject any partial or interim solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because historically such arrangements have become permanent, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said. While supporting current Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to reach “a comprehensive final solution,” Prince Saud Al Faisal said “the least that we expect from Israel during these negotiations is that it should halt all settlement operations.”

Bomb hits New Delhi market, two killed

Bomb hits New Delhi market, two killed

A bomb exploded in a crowded market in New Delhi on Saturday, killing two people and wounding 22 others, police said. The government described it as an “act of terror”. Witness Raj Singh Daswal said he saw two men on a motorcycle drop a black plastic bag that was picked up by a boy. “He ran after the men telling them ‘uncle, uncle you dropped something’,” Daswal told Reuters. “Immediately after, there was a huge explosion. The boy’s head was blown off.”

Conflict over conversions by Ammu Joseph

Conflict over conversions by Ammu Joseph

At a time when unacceptably large numbers of Indians continue to have no access to basic needs such as food and shelter, when too many have too little access to education and healthcare, and when there is extensive unemployment and economic exploitation, not to mention social exclusion, across the land maybe we all need to rethink our priorities. Is religious conversion the best that we can do? Is it the worst?

Punjab to name district after Bhagat Singh

Punjab to name district after Bhagat Singh

Honouring freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, the Punjab government announced that a district in the state will be named after him. The announcement was made by Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal at a function at the ancestral village of the martyr to mark his 101st birth anniversary. Badal said Nawanshahr district would be renamed as Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar.
The headquarters of the district, Nawanshahr town, is located 100 km from Chandigarh.

Jamia Millia Islamia offers legal aid to terrorist suspects

Jamia Millia Islamia offers legal aid to terrorist suspects

Professor Mushirul Hasan and the Jamia Millia Islamia decides to provide legal defence to students who are involved in terrorism. Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh has supported the decision. Now, Sahmat, a New Delhi-based organisation in memory of activist-playwright Safdar Hashmi, has congratulated the Minister and the university.