Dubai carrier flydubai acknowledges Russian report on 2016 crash

Russian emergency rescuers examine the wreckage of a flydubai flight FZ981 at the Rostov-on-Don airport on March 20, 2016. (AFP)
Updated 27 November 2019

Dubai carrier flydubai acknowledges Russian report on 2016 crash

DUBAI: Dubai budget carrier flydubai has acknowledged the conclusions and recommendations of a report issued by Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee on Tuesday.

The report blamed pilot error and possible crew disorientation during bad weather at night led to the fatal 2016 crash of flydubai flight FZ981 in the early hours of March 19, 2016 at Rostov-on-Don airport in southern Russia after aborting a second landing attempt in high winds. All 62 people on board died.

“Flydubai would like to thank the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) the Russian Authorities and the Accredited Representatives for their work,” statement from the airline said.

“During the official investigation, while observing ICAO’s Annex 13 protocols, flydubai appointed a number of subject matter experts to conduct a thorough internal investigation of the factual data as well as to provide substantive responses to the Investigator In Charge.

“In accidents involving Human Factors, it is important to exhaust all possible scenarios when interpreting the factual data. It is the priority of the industry to understand all possible factors contributing to such a tragic accident and ensure critical insights that can make aviation safer are shared.

“We have taken our obligations seriously and have implemented additional actions above and beyond those identified in the Final Report. As part of flydubai’s ongoing commitment to improved air safety, it is our intention to share our additional learnings and insights with the industry,” the carrier added.

Ghaith Al-Ghaith, the chief executive of flydubai, also said that they are almost finished with the compensation process for those who have been “impacted by the loss of loved ones following the accident involving FZ 981.”

“We have now settled the majority of claims and it remains our priority to complete this process. We recognize this is a poignant moment for the families and our long-term care team remains available for as long as they need,” he said in a statement.

Al-Ghaith likewise reiterated the airline’s commitment to improved air safety.

“flydubai will continue to work closely with its industry partners and the regulator to share learnings with the joint aim of enhancing air safety,” he said.


India’s Muslims split in response to Hindu temple verdict

Updated 06 December 2019

India’s Muslims split in response to Hindu temple verdict

  • The sharp split illustrates growing unease among India’s Muslims, who are struggling to find a political voice as Modi’s government gives overt support to Hindu nationalist causes
  • Muslim groups for decades waged a court fight for the restoration of Babri Masjid

NEW DELHI: India’s largest Muslim political groups are divided over how to respond to a Supreme Court ruling that favors Hindus’ right to a disputed site 27 years after Hindu nationalist mobs tore down a 16th century mosque, an event that unleashed torrents of religious-motivated violence.
The sharp split illustrates growing unease among India’s Muslims, who are struggling to find a political voice as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government gives overt support to once-taboo Hindu nationalist causes.
“We are pushed against the wall,” said Irfan Aziz, a political science student at Jamia Millia Islamia university in New Delhi. “No one speaks about us, not even our own.”
The dispute over the site of the Babri Masjid mosque in the town of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh state has lasted centuries. Hindus believe Lord Ram, the warrior god, was born at the site and that Mughal Muslim invaders built a mosque on top of a temple there. The December 1992 riot — supported by Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party — sparked massive communal violence in which some 2,000 people were killed, mostly Muslims.
The 1992 riot also set in motion events that redefined the politics of social identity in India. It catapulted the BJP from two parliamentary seats in the 1980s to its current political dominance.
Modi’s party won an outright majority in India’s lower house in 2014, the biggest win for a single party in 30 years. The BJP won even more seats in elections last May.
Muslim groups for decades waged a court fight for the restoration of Babri Masjid. But now, friction among Muslim groups has spilled into the open, with one side challenging the verdict and the other saying they are content with the outcome.
Hilal Ahmad, a political commentator and an expert on Muslim politics, said India’s Muslims feel isolated and even divided over the verdict because policies championed by the BJP have established a populist anti-Muslim discourse.
Muslims in India have often rallied around secular parties. However, after Modi won his first term in 2014, religious politics took hold. The BJP’s rise has been marked by the electoral marginalization of Muslims, with their representation in democratic institutions gradually falling.
The 23 Muslim lawmakers in India’s Parliament in 2014 was the lowest number in 50 years. The number rose slightly to 27 in 2019 — out of these, only one is from the BJP.
India’s population of more than 1.3 billion includes more than 200 million Muslims.
The unanimous court verdict last month paves the way for a Hindu temple to be built on the disputed site, a major victory for the BJP, which has been promising such an outcome as part of its election strategy for decades. The court said Muslims will be given 5 acres (2 hectares) of land at an alternative site.
But the Muslim response has been far from unanimous.
All India Muslim Personal Law Board and Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, two key Muslim parties to the dispute, have openly opposed the ruling, saying it was biased.
Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has filed a petition with the court for a review of the verdict. Its chief, Maulana Arshad Madani, said the verdict was “against Muslims.”
“We will again fight this case legally,” Madani said.
Asaddudin Owaisi, one of India’s most prominent Muslim leaders and a member of Parliament, told reporters in November that it was “the right of the aggrieved party” to challenge the verdict.
But another influential Muslim body, Shia Waqf Board, said it accepts the verdict.
It believes any further court procedures in the case will keep the festering issue alive between Hindus and Muslims, said the organization’s head, Waseem Rizvi.
“I believe Muslims should come forward and help Hindus in construction of the temple,” he said.
Swami Chakrapani, one of the litigants in the case representing the Hindu side, said both Hindus and Muslims had accepted the verdict, and “the matter should be put to rest now no matter what some Muslim parties have to say.”
For many Muslims, the verdict has inspired feelings of resignation — of having no choice but to accept the court’s ruling — and fear.
“Our leaders have no consensus and the community is just scared and helpless,” Aziz said.
Disenchanted with the attitude of the religious and political leadership of Muslims, Aziz said the community lacks a “unified voice.”
The divisions are likely to worsen as some Muslim parties start to lean toward the BJP, either as a result of pressure or in an attempt to gain greater Muslim representation in it. With no national Muslim political party to represent them, the community is likely to remain divided over its politics.
“The lack of Muslim representation in Indian politics will marginalize us more,” Aziz said.
Ahmad said the temple verdict could further inflame a dangerous perspective on religious communities in India which portrays Muslims and Hindus as hostile opponents. He said some Muslim groups use issues like Babri Masjid to maintain support, while some Hindu groups thrive on presenting Muslims as “the other,” resulting in greater friction between the communities.
“The fear is evident among the Muslims. The Hindu and Muslim religious elites, as well as political parties, employ this fear to nurture their vested interests,” he said.