- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 22, 2012


NEW DELHI — An Indian court on Thursday aquitted two Kashmiri Muslims sentenced to death for a 1996 car bomb attack in a New Delhi shopping arcade that killed 13 people.

The two men, Mirza Nissar Hussain and Ali Bhat, were handed death sentences by a lower court in 2010, but the Delhi High Court set them free and slammed police for a poor investigation into the bomb attack.

The judges commuted the death penalty of a third man convicted in the case to a life sentence, the Press Trust of India reported.

The police failed to adhere to a “minimum standard” in probing the blast that ripped through the Lajpat Nagar shopping area, judges Ravindra Bhat and G.P. Mittal said in overturning the death sentences.

Police had accused Mr. Hussain and Mr. Bhat of belonging to the outlawed Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Front militant group fighting Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan territory.

The overturning of the death sentences came a day after India executed the sole surviving Islamist gunman from the 2008 Mumbai attacks that left 166 people dead.


Passports show map with disputed islands

BEIJING — China’s new passports show a map including its claim to almost all the South China Sea — provoking protests by the Philippines and Vietnam — but leaving out islands bitterly disputed with Japan.

Beijing has been engaged in a simmering row with its southern neighbors over its claim to vast swathes of the South China Sea, with Chinese maps having a line that runs almost to the Philippine and Malaysian coasts.

China and Japan have also engaged in furious exchanges over East China Sea islands administered by Tokyo, which calls them Senkaku, and claimed by Beijing as Diaoyu. China saw mass protests over them nationwide in September.

The latest front in the South China Sea dispute is travel documents issued by Beijing, with its new computer-chipped passport, or e-Passport, showing various islands as Chinese territory, including the Paracels and Spratlys.


Security law invoked to deal with protests

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