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IS releases first India-focused video, swears revenge for Babri, Gujarat, Kashmir

The Islamic State has released its first video directed at India, in which five Indians known to have joined its forces swear revenge for the killing of Muslims in events that include the riots following the fall of the Babri Masjid.

In the video, Thane engineering student Fahad Tanvir Sheikh who had gone to Syria with three other Thane men in 2014, said: "We will return but with a sword in hand, to avenge the Babri Masjid, and the killings of Muslims in Kashmir, in Gujarat, and in Muzaffarnagar."

The 22-minute-long video was released on Friday, according to The Indian Express.

26/11 case: Pak court charges Lakhvi for abetting each of the 166 deaths

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court ruled on Friday that Lashar-e-Toiba operations commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and six others accused in the 2008 Mumbai attack case will be individually charged for the abetment to murder of each of 166 victims of the attack.

A senior court official said: "The seven suspects will be charged individually for the abetment to murder of each victim of Mumbai attack case."

More than 300 people were injured during the attack, aside from the 166 who were killed, when terrorists from the LeT in Pakistan entered Mumbai on 26 November, 2008, according to the Hindustan Times.

Key IM operative arrested at IGI airport

The National Investigation Agency arrested a key operative of the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen from Indira Gandhi International airport, Delhi, on Friday after his flight arrived from Dubai.

Abdul Wahid Siddibapa, a resident of Bhatkal, Karnataka, had been previously detained in January 2014 based on red corner notice from India, but evaded the authorities, says The Economic Times.

According to the NIA, Abdul is allegedly recruiting operatives for the IM to carry out terror activities in India. He has been in Dubai since 2001, and has allegedly funded IM's activities from there.

Soon, 50% reservations for women in urban and rural local bodies

Rural Development and Pachayati Raj minister Chaudhary Birender Singh has announced that a law will soon be introduced to reserve 50 per cent of all seats in rural and urban local bodies for women.

According to Singh, the initial plan was to reserve these seats only in rural local bodies, but after consultations with the states, urban local bodies were included.

"Since local bodies come under two ministries, Urban Development and Rural Development, it was decided that we will move a legislation for both together," said Singh. The ministry of urban development is now making its own consultations, according to The Indian Express.

Indian families getting smaller, steepest decline amongst Muslims

Religious census data released on Friday show that Indian families are getting smaller, with the steepest decline amongst Muslims. The census was carried out in 2011 and showed that in that year, India's average family size was 4.45 members, down from 4.67 10 years earlier.

Amongst Muslims, the average family size fell from 5.61 to 5.15, contradicting right wing Hindu groups who accuse the Muslim community of having large families and a higher population growth rate than Hindus, according to the Hindustan Times.

Chhatisgarh govt sets up committee to look into arbitrary arrests of journalists

Chhattisgarh has set up a high level committee to look into arbitrary arrests of journalists by the police in the state. The committee will look into reports of atrocities against journalists, and also review charges framed against them before the police file FIRs and arrest them.

"The committee will act as a deterrent for the police who act as per their whims and fancies. It will fix accountability on the police and the rights of the scribes will be protected," said Rajesh Toppo, member-secretary of the committee.

Four journalists in Chhatisgarh's Bastar region have been arbitrarily arrested by the police, according to the Hindustan Times.

Zika virus hits placenta, foetus hard

A new study of pregnant mice has found that Zika virus damages their placentas and kills fetal mice. Investigators from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis developed two mouse models of Zika infection in pregnancy that may aid in better understanding how the virus affects pregnant women.

One system used female mice genetically engineered to lack the ability to mount a specific immune response, which made them susceptible to Zika virus infection.When these pregnant mice were exposed to Zika, the virus killed most fetuses within a week. The fetal mice that survived showed significant abnormalities, such as severely stunted growth. The researchers saw levels of viral genetic material in the mouse placentas that were 1,000 times greater than in the blood of pregnant mice, suggesting that Zika virus replicated preferentially within the placenta. In the second model system, genetically normal pregnant mice were first given an antibody that blocked their immune response to Zika virus and then were infected with Zika virus one or two days later. This model did not lead to death of fetal mice, but their growth was impaired.

Buddhist monk killed in Bangladesh's Bandarban district

An elderly Buddhist monk was killed by unidentified miscreants in Bangladesh Naikkhangchhari upazila of Bandarban district on 14 May.

B Yu Gaindya, 70, was found near Baishari area at Upaorshakh Para village in the upazila, Kazi Ahsan, officer-in-charge (OC) of Naikkhangchhari Police Station, reports the Daily Star.

According to reports, unknown assailants slit Yu Gaindya's throat. This was confirmed by village head Acrothoyai Chand.

Chand said that he saw Gaindya's body when he went to serve breakfast at his bihar where he used to stay alone. Meanwhile, the police have said that the motive behind the killing cannot be ascertained instantly.