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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 16th, 2017

by newsdigest on November 20, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Haryana cop held in fake encounter (Oct 13, 2017, Indian Express)

Paramjit Singh, a constable with the Haryana Police and accused in the Sandeep Gadoli fake encounter case, was arrested in a raid on Thursday.

Sources said the Haryana Police, which made the arrest, have contacted Mumbai police and a team from the crime branch will get his transit remand.

Gangster Gadoli, who had over 30 cases registered against him, was allegedly shot dead by a Gurugram police team led by sub-inspector Pradhuman Yadav in Mumbai on February 7 2016. So far the police have arrested seven people in the case.

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/haryana-cop-held-in-fake-encounter-4887805/

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‘Dangerous’ trend of eliminating opposition & liberal values: Bombay High Court (Oct 13, 2017, Free Press Journal)

Voicing its concern over the ‘dangerous trend’ of targeting people who hold ‘liberal values and principles,’ the Bombay High Court on Thursday said that such a tendency is bringing disrepute to the country. The court even made a reference to the shocking murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead last month at her residence in Bengaluru.

A division bench of Justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Justice Bharati Dangre said, “At present, we can say that there is absolutely no respect for liberal values and opinions. The ones who believe in liberalism are increasingly being targeted for their principles. In the current scenario, we can say that not only thinkers, but any person, or rather any organisation that believes in liberal principles, can be targeted.”

“It’s like if there is some opposition to me, I must have that person eliminated. This trend of killing any and all opposition and liberal values is dangerous. This is bringing disrepute to the country,” Justice Dharamadhikari observed.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/mumbai/dangerous-trend-of-eliminating-opposition-liberal-values-bombay-high-court/1152910

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Missing JNU student: A year on, ‘where is Najeeb Ahmad’ cries get louder (Oct 14, 2017, Hindustan Times)

At least two hundred voices cried out in unison outside the headquarters of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at Lodhi Road on Friday: “Where is Najeeb? Find Najeeb.” On Sunday, it will be a year since the morning Najeeb Ahmad, an MSc student from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), was reported missing. Despite probe by four different teams of Delhi Police, Crime Branch and the CBI, there is still no sign of the 28-year-old.

On Friday afternoon, student groups from JNU, Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia , Najeeb’s family members and activists held protests over the agency’s alleged inability to trace Najeeb.

A year ago, the PhD student had a reported spat with other students in his hostel during which he was allegedly beaten up. He had reportedly slapped a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The following morning, he was reported missing. Delhi Police registered a kidnapping case. A special investigative team (SIT) was then formed to trace him. The probe was later handed to the Crime Branch. In May, the Delhi High Court transferred the case to the CBI, but there has been no information about the man whose disappearance remains the most talked-about issue on JNU campus, even today.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/missing-jnu-student-a-year-on-where-is-najeeb-ahmad-cries-get-louder/story-qEHvwOLp6VPeO8rnPrG2NM.html

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BHU Crime Branch Serves Notice on Peacefully Protesting Students, Sec 307 (Attempt to Murder) Applied (Sep 30, 2017, Sabrang India)

Fast on the heels of its repressive action of brutally beating women students and professors on September 23 (last saturday) the BHU Crime Branch has, late on the night of September 30 ( a week later) issued a ‘Notice’ to 10 students, all male who were protesting pecefully outside that day. Almost all ten students have been at the leadership of the 24 X 7 Library Movement that began in May 2016. Three of those who have received notices also belong to the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

Among the students who have received the notice are Roshan Pandey, Dhananjay Tripathi, Vikas Singh, Yashpal Singh and also Mritunjay, LN Sharma, Shantanu. Besides an FIR has already been lodged against three students members of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) that is leading the student’s protest. Vikas Singh of the NSUI doinga PHD in Political Science, Divakar Singh, a BHU IIT Scholar belonging to Youth for Swaraj and a woman student called Mamta have an FIR against them.

Reacting to the notice students including Dhananjay Tripathi and Vikas Singh that “this was a clear case of revenge politics being played out. We were at the dharna in a peaceful protest, we are part of the JAC supporting the movement of the women students as also raising issues of parity and justice and this is a clear attempt to level false allegations against us as also trying to undermine the protest. How could we be hurling petrol bombs as it is alleged when we were at the peaceful dharna outside?” asks Dhananjay.

https://sabrangindia.in/article/bhu-crime-branch-serves-notice-peacefully-protesting-students-sec-307-attempt-murder-applied

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Cow-protection vigilantes attack men carrying ‘buffalo meat’ in Faridabad (Oct 14, 2017, Hindustan Times)

A group of men was allegedly assaulted by so-called cow protection groups in Old Faridabad on Friday, the latest in a string of attacks by right-wing Hindu groups on people over suspicions that they may be selling or consuming cow meat.

Police have filed cases against the victims as well as “15-20 unknown persons” who attacked them, and will investigate the origin of the meat that the men were carrying for which they were assaulted. “We were beaten black and blue and told to raise slogans like ‘gau mata ki jai’ (hail the cow mother) and hanuman ki jai (hail hanuman) – which we refused”, said Azad, who was one of the people attacked. Three of the four victims appeared to be Muslims.

He added that the assault continued even after the policemen arrived on the scene. “We have registered a case under sections of Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Act Act against Asad, Shehzad, Shakeel and Sonu”, said ACP Mujesar Radhey Shyam. The officer said another FIR has been registered under sections of rioting, causing hurt and criminal intimidation against 15-20 unknown people.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/vigilantes-attack-men-carrying-buffalo-meat-in-faridabad-wanted-victims-to-say-gau-mata-ki-jai/story-DzeBZnVeNhVnYY3VzrdwBM.html

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Remember when RSS-Jan Sangh leaders (clandestinely) apologised for opposing Emergency, called Gandhi murderer “patriot” (Oct 17, 2017, Sabrang India)

It’s in the ninth edition of “Sarthak Jalso”, a unique Gujarati half-yearly journal edited by well-known writer Urvish Kothari, that has brought to light how RSS cadres and the BJP’s parent organisation, the Jan Sangh, behaved as ultra-nationalists during the Emergency days (1975-77), talked high of patriotism, but were equally quick in apologizing to the authorities about their opposition to what is considered as a dark spot of Indian democracy.

A detailed article by Hasmukh Patel, … has said that during his 11 months in jail, … he came in direct contact several RSS-Jan Sangh leaders. Finding them extremely polite at the personal level, though equally secretive, says Patel, … the RSS-Jan Sangh people would often tell him that they “would fight till the end but would never bow” to the Emergency regime… However, underlines Patel, the very same people would “clandestinely send apology letters” to the authorities, the “mathematics of which I failed to understand.” While Patel did not mention who these people were, those in the jail with him from RSS-Jan Sangh included Chiman Shukla, Shankarsinh Vaghela, Ashok Bhatt, Nalin Bhatt and Vishnu Pandya.

Patel’s observation acquires significance in view of running controversy about questions being raised on RSS’ role during the freedom movement, on one hand, and the revelation that Vinayak Savarkar (whom Modi rates as perhaps the best freedom fighter), was close to Gandhi assassin Godse and he wrote several letters to the British apologizing for opposing the Raj, on the other.

https://sabrangindia.in/article/remember-when-rss-jan-sangh-leaders-clandestinely-apologised-opposing-emergency-called

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Yashwant Sinha to Varun Gandhi: From economic slump, GST to Rohingyas, BJP faces attack from within (Sep 28, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Yashwant Sinha is not the first leader from the ruling BJP alliance to criticise the government over its policies, though his attack is by far the most scathing and direct.

There is a small chorus of voices from within the party who have been openly critical of the central government’s controversial economic decisions, especially demonetisation and GST. But a few of the party’s leaders have also taken a dissenting line on other government decisions, such as the plan to deport Rohingyas refugees.…

In June, just before GST was introduced, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, an offshoot of the Sangh parivar, had criticised the government policy.”… Swadeshi Jagran Manch has been saying for long that though GST will make compliance easier for big businesses, multi state operators and TNCs ( transnational or multinational corporations), but at the same time onus of compliance for small scale industry may cause a host of problems…,” SJM said in a press note.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/dissent-from-within-the-bjp-from-yashwant-sinha-to-subramanian-swamy/story-NFKCJgPjq6aWPi4Zb8eC7N.html

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Muslims flee Indian village after singer killed in argument with Hindu priest – police (Oct 11, 2017, Reuters)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-singer/muslims-flee-indian-village-after-singer-killed-in-argument-with-hindu-priest-police-idUSKBN1CG0O4

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Here Are Six Shocking Revelation About Ram Rahim And His Dera Headquarters At Sirsa (Oct 13, 2017, India Times)

Rape, murder, castration, extortion, illegal arms, parallel economy and what not. The conviction of Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim seems of having opened a can of worms for the self-styled Godman, who garrulously called himself Insan and new revelations are coming to fore every day as sanitation exercise at Dera headquarters in Sirsa nears completion.

Dera Chief, Gurmeet Ram Raheem, is currently in Rohtak’s Sonaria jail where his health is said to be deteriorating for different reasons. Here are some revelations about Dera Chief Ram Rahim and his headquarters located in Sirsa which has tumbled out like skeletons.

It has been revealed through the two women who fought the case apart from women who came to fore after the conviction that Ram Rahim used to rape the Sadhvis at his headquarters and this process was called Pitaji Ki Mafi. Many women who refused to disclose their identities have spoken post the conviction about how Sadhvis at Dera were sexually exploited by Ram Rahim. Pregnancy termination kits have been recovered from the Dera.…

https://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/here-are-six-shocking-revelation-about-ram-rahim-and-his-dera-headquarters-at-sira-329685.html

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Dalit Rights Activist Detained, Threatened with ‘Encounter’ (Oct 16, 2017, Sabrang India)

Dalit Rights activist Pradeep Narwal has alleged that he was illegally detained by personnel of the UP police on Sunday who also threatened to conduct an ‘encounter’ against him.

Narwal who is the convener of the Defense Committee for the Bhim Army says the incident took place near the Faridabad-Delhi border at about 2pm. “We were stopped by UP police personnel, none of whom were wearing name tags.

One of them put a gun to my head and threatened to do an encounter,” he recalls. “I was made to sit in a police vehicle, while a policeman got into my vehicle. I was then driven around and taken to Muradnagar, but not into the police station. I was questioned by these policemen about my links with the Bhim Army,” says Narwal.…

https://sabrangindia.in/article/dalit-rights-activist-detained-threatened-encounters

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Opinions and Editorials

Anger at India’s Slowdown Gives Modi a Very Big Headache – By Vrishti Beniwal and Bibhudatta Pradhan (Oct 12, 2017, Bloomberg)

For the first time in his three-and-a-half year rule, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing sustained discontent over his economic policies as growth slows, job losses mount and distressed farmers protest. Four senior members of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party have hit out at the government, emboldening the country’s weak opposition and challenging the previously unstoppable leader to find quick fixes before the 2019 national polls and a raft of state votes. And as criticism of the Modi’s economic management intensifies, the usually loud voices of his supporters are falling silent.

India lost its “fastest-growing major economy” tag as growth slipped below 6 percent in the latest quarter. The moderation was partly the result of Modi’s boldest moves – demonetization, as well as the chaotic introduction of the goods and services tax that continues to disrupt supply chains. As talk of a stimulus to boost growth sparked concerns of fiscal slippage, foreign investors went on selling spree and rupee started falling.…

The criticism of Modi’s handling of the economy is mounting, with Yashwant Sinha, former finance minister under Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s BJP-led-government, writing a strongly-worded piece saying the economy was in a “mess”. In an interview to Bloomberg Sinha said he was the voice of many in the party who wouldn’t speak out of fear.…

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-11/modi-facing-backlash-as-discontent-over-india-s-slowdown-deepens

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All Around Us, Narendra Modi’s Messiah Image Is Quickly Fading – By Harbans Mukhia (Oct 17, 2017, The Wire)

Remember the year or so prior to the May 2014 elections? The adoring Indian media could not imagine how the country had survived without Narendra Modi for 67 long years. Every little speech of his in a remote high school or a Delhi college became the news, wiping out all other national or international events – good, bad or indifferent – for a day-and-a-half from TV screens. The social media, such as it was, wouldn’t tire of singing songs of gratitude for being around when the messiah had made his appearance.

The messiah himself added all he could to the making of the myth around him. In his speeches, he invariably asked his massive audiences what had they gained in the six decades or so since independence, and the audiences loudly responded with “zero”, which in any case is an Indian invention. All was set to change to a golden age, “achhe din” in 60 months, he said reassuringly. Of course, just about 31% of those who actually voted – and thus around 21% or 22% of the total electorate, or around 12% of the Indian people – fell for his reassurances. But given the nature of our first-past-the-post democracy, this was enough to become a massive mandate.

Has the tide begun to turn? With all the messiah’s promised and unpromised actions falling flat – and more devastatingly being seen to be falling flat – and with “others” having caught up with social media, no prime minister in one’s living memory has been, and is being, lampooned daily on WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media as much as Modi, and I have been around long enough to witness the oath taking of all prime ministers from Jawaharlal Nehru onward. The lampooning comes in jokes, cartoons, videos, in reminders of what his dear colleagues like Uma Bharati had to say earlier of his “vikas purush” image (“vinash purush”) and above all in replaying video clips of his own wild promises.…

https://thewire.in/188094/narendra-modi-bjp-2019-image/

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Jay Amit Shah’s Case Against The Wire Is an Attempt to Censor, Intimidate Media at Large – By Lawrence Liang (Oct 12, 2017, The Wire)

… It is worth revisiting Lewis’s story of the Sullivan case in light of the defamation case filed by Jay Amitbhai Shah against The Wire and its employees for Rohini Singh’s article ‘The Golden touch of Jay Amit Shah’.

Defamation in the 21st century AG (After Goswami) and the form of journalism he inspires has also become less black and white as an issue of media censorship, with the media often trampling upon people’s reputations without any fear.

And then there are cases such as the one against The Wire in which, as Kagan would say, heroes are heroes and villains are villains. If it is the balance sheet of Jay Shah’s company which is the cause of aggrievement in the present case, in Sullivan, it was a poster that prompted a historic defamation claim against the New York Times – but in both instances, the real issue is much larger than the tarnishing of individual reputations or even the chilling effects of defamation.…

https://thewire.in/186614/jay-amit-shah-the-wire-defamation-media/

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India’s Hindu Right-Wing Extremists Are Increasingly Turning to Violence – By Vijay Prashad (Oct 12, 2017, News Click)

Earlier this month, in Bhubaneshwar, the capital of the Indian state of Odhisa, activists of the Hindu right decided to do some political theater. They brought a large communist flag, lay it on the ground, photographed themselves stamping on it, and then burnt it.

Why would the Hindu right – which controls the Indian government – decide to burn the flag of the communist movement in India? The communist movement has been weakened electorally, having its deputies in the parliament dramatically lowered over the course of the past two decades.…

The Hindu right, led by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Hindu Right’s electoral arm, the BJP, has used every mechanism of state and society to suffocate dissent. The government has used its power to go after liberal journalists and radical students, using guile and force to break the confidence of the popular struggles. The murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh and the attack on the students at Benares Hindu University provide evidence of the attempt by the Hindu right to narrow the possibilities of what it means to be an Indian.…

https://newsclick.in/indias-hindu-right-wing-extremists-are-increasingly-turning-violence

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A dangerous proposition – By Faizan Mustafa (Oct 17, 2017, The Hindu)

…The RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat, recently said in Hyderabad that our legal system should be based on “the ethos of society”. Sangh ideologue K.N. Govindacharya has openly spoken of how the Constitution needs to be rewritten.

In all such utterances, the agenda of review too is clear – remove individualism, secularism, socialism; dilute parliamentary democracy and civil liberties; and give more prominence to fundamental duties rather than to fundamental rights, and so on. True, our Constitution is a bag of borrowed ideas, but borrowing a few Western ideas is not necessarily bad if such ideas have some value and relevance for us.

No one generation has a monopoly on wisdom. Humans are fallible but do learn from experience and thus must be empowered to change the Constitution as per the exigencies of time. Amendments are good if they reflect the evolution and maturity of constitutional democracy. Why does the RSS appear to be more interested in a new Constitution rather than mere amendments? A 13-judge Bench of the Supreme Court in the Kesavananda Bharati case (1973) laid down that the basic structure of the Constitution cannot be altered in exercise of constituent powers of Parliament to amend the Constitution; thus repeal of the Constitution is the only option for the extreme right. This is indeed a dangerous prospect.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/a-dangerous-proposition/article19872416.ece

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What’s Behind India’s ‘Beef Lynchings’? – By Amitava Kumar (Oct 13, 2017, The Nation)

…When Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a landslide victory in the national parliamentary elections in 2014, one of the planks of his campaign was a ban on cow slaughter. He accused the party in power at that time of promoting a “Pink Revolution” (pink because “when you slaughter an animal, then the color of its meat is pink”).

The government, Modi said, boasted of India being the world’s leading meat exporter. Even in his earlier speeches, available on YouTube, you can hear him declaiming against the killing of cows: “Brothers and sisters, I cannot say whether your heart is pained by this or not, but my heart screams out in agony again and again. And why you remain silent, why you tolerate this, I just cannot understand.”

Speeches like this were not simply about animal welfare. Modi’s words are an incitement for India’s Hindu majority, which mostly doesn’t eat beef, to turn against the minority, particularly Muslims, who are conventionally represented as beef eaters. Cow slaughter has long been banned in parts of India, but after the BJP’s victory, frenzied mobs of vigilantes felt emboldened to make accusations and mete out brutal punishment.…

https://www.thenation.com/article/whats-behind-indias-beef-lynchings/

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Book Review

Hinduising Democracy: The Vishva Hindu Parishad in Contemporary India

Author: Manjari Katju
Reviewed by: G. Sampath
Available at: Kindle Unlimited. https://www.amazon.in/
Review:
Force of Hindutva (Oct 14, 2017, The Hindu)

… Today, VHP leaders occupy influential positions within the secular-democratic framework of the Indian polity, with Yogi Adityanath and Sakshi Maharaj being the most famous names among many others. The question of how and why avowedly majoritarian religious leaders rise to the top in a secular democracy has been a subject of intense debate among political scientists.

In Hinduising Democracy: The Vishva Hindu Parishad in Contemporary India, Manjari Katju, a professor of political science at the University of Hyderabad, tries to answer this question by breaking it down into smaller, sharper ones: What is the VHP’s understanding of democracy? What is its idea of freedom? What is its vision of citizenship? And what kind of influence does it wield over Indian politics and social life? To answer these questions, she tracks the VHP’s activities between 1995 and 2015, and over eight chapters traces the evolution of its strategies in response to changing political realities.

On the VHP’s vision of democracy, Katju observes that it attempts to “conflate the notion of parliamentary democracy with the will of the religious majority,” so that democracy in India comes to signify nothing but the rule of the Hindu majority, thereby “obfuscating the understanding of democracy itself.” The VHP’s idea of freedom is “articulated mainly as religio-cultural freedom of the Hindu community.” Freedom, for the VHP, is “an exclusive domain of the Hindu community and is considered substantiated only with the political ascendancy of Hindu nationhood.”… Hinduising Democracy is a valuable resource for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of an outfit that has become one of the largest, most energetic, and most uncompromising proselytisers of Hindutva.

http://www.thehindu.com/books/books-reviews/force-of-hindutva/article19854693.ece

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 9th, 2017

by newsdigest on November 12, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Muslims forego Muharram procession to support cancer treatment of their Hindu neighbour in West Bengal (Oct 6, 2017, Times of India)

A Hindu man suffering from cancer in West Bengal’s Kharagpur district had no money for the treatment but his Muslim neighbours came forward with help. Abir Bhunia (35) is suffering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.

When the villagers heard Bhunia’s problem, the Muslims cancelled their Muharram procession all because they wanted to save the money and use it for the treatment of a Hindu neighbour. Samaj Sangha Club, a local club which organises Muharram procession in Kharagpur’s Puratan Bazar, raises around Rs 50,000 every year for the event. This year, they are raising the same amount, but for Bhunia.

Bhunia, a local mobile recharge shop owner, needs Rs 12 lakh for a treatment that includes bone marrow transplantation and is currently undergoing chemotherapy at Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre in the southern fringes of the city. “I don’t know whether I will recover from this disease or not. But what my neighbours did for me have touched my heart. I’m indebted to them,” Bhunia told EiSamay.…

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/60973115.cms

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Gujarat HC Allows Zakia Jafri to Appeal for New Probe in Modi’s Role in 2002 Riots (Oct 5, 2017, The Wire)

In what appears to be a silver lining in an otherwise adverse judgment for Zakia Jafri, the wife of Congress politician Ehsan Jafri who was killed by a mob in the Gulberg Society massacre in Ahmedabad during the 2002 anti-Muslim riots, the Gujarat high court on Thursday allowed her to move the courts to request a fresh investigation into the alleged criminal role of the then chief minister Narendra Modi and 61 others.

Zakia had moved the high court in 2014 against the closure report filed by the Supreme Court-appointed special investigative team (SIT). Zakia had also alleged in her petition that the 2002 riots were part of a larger conspiracy involving Modi and others.…

However, the high court allowed Zakia to demand a fresh investigation in the case – as sought by her in the petition – and overturned the trial court’s observations, which had ruled out another probe as it thought the SIT was monitored by the Supreme Court.… Effectively, the high court judgment has created an opening for Zakia to seek redressal at a lower court instead of the Supreme Court, which would have been her last stop for appeal.

https://thewire.in/184802/gujarat-hc-allows-zakia-jafri-appeal-new-probe-modis-role-2002-riots-reopening-debate-sit-report/

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Rahul Gandhi on Jay Shah’s business: Modiji, did you act as a watchman or were you a partner? (Oct 9, 2017, Indian Express)

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi pressed Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “say something” on claims in a media report that a company owned by BJP chief Amit Shah’s son saw a huge rise in its turnover after his party came to power in 2014. “Modiji, …Did you act as a watchman or were you a partner? Please say something,” Gandhi said on Twitter.

In another broadside against the BJP, the Congress leader had said yesterday, “We finally found the only beneficiary of Demonetisation. It’s not the RBI, the poor or the farmers. It’s the Shah-in-Shah of Demo. Jai Amit.” He had also tagged a copy of the news report on the issue in his tweet.

According to the report on a website, the turnover of Jay Amit Shah-owned Temple Enterprise zoomed by around 16,000 times during 2015-16 from around Rs 80 crore in the previous year. The charge was rejected by the BJP and Shah’s son, who termed the story “false, derogatory and defamatory”.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/rahul-gandhi-on-amit-shahs-son-modiji-did-you-act-as-a-watchman-or-were-you-a-partner-4881980/

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Five linked to Sanatan Sanstha are key suspects in Gauri Lankesh’s murder (Oct 6, 2017, Indian Express)

Five persons linked to the right-wing Sanatan Sanstha organisation, including four with Interpol red-corner notices against their names for their alleged involvement in a bomb blast in Madgaon in Goa in 2009, have emerged as key suspects in the murder of journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh outside her home in Bengaluru on September 5.

The five missing persons are: Praveen Limkar, 34, from Kolhapur; Jayaprakash alias Anna, 45, from Mangalore; Sarang Akolkar, 38, from Pune; Rudra Patil, 37, from Sangli and Vinay Pawar, 32, from Satara. They are among the key suspects being investigated by a Special Investigation Team of the Karnataka police as part of its probe into the murder of Lankesh.

The names of Rudra Patil, Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar had earlier emerged in the CBI investigation into the August 20, 2013 murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, 69, at Kolhapur in Maharashtra; in the Maharashtra SIT’s probe into the February 16, 2015 shooting of leftist thinker and rationalist Govind Pansare, 81 in Pune; and in the probe into the August 30, 2015 murder of Kannada scholar and researcher M M Kalburgi, 77, in Dharwad, Karnataka.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/five-linked-to-sanatan-sanstha-key-suspects-in-gauri-lankeshs-murder-4876649/

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Kancha Illaih’s Ordeal A Reflection Of Creeping Fascism In India Say Indian Americans (Oct 2, 2017, Countercurrents)

The Alliance for Justice And Accountability (AJA), an umbrella coalition of progressive organizations across the United States, today condemned the life-threatening attacks against renowned author and Dalit scholar Kancha Illaiah by members of the Arya Vysyas community.

The attack was an attempt on the life of the outspoken political philosopher who has authored several books including “Why I am not a Hindu,” “Buffalo Nationalism Post-Hindu India,” “Untouchable God,” among many others. The violence and ensuing death threats were apparently a response to the release of a chapter from his book on “Post-Hindu India.”

AJA has demanded court ordered 24-hour protection of Professor Kancha Illaiah, and accountability for those that threatened his life, under the full extent of the law. The role of the police, who failed to even file a First Information Report (FIR), on Prof. Illaiah’s complaint needs further scrutiny.… The Alliance for Justice and Accountability has pledged to work with people of all faiths to defend India from the onslaught of hate and divisiveness.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/10/02/kancha-illaihs-ordeal-a-reflection-of-creeping-fascism-in-india-say-indian-americans/

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UP: Two Hindus arrested for slaughtering cow to provoke communal riots by blaming Muslims (Oct 5, 2017, Siasat)

Two persons in their early twenties tried to create communal tension by cow slaughtering but the plans were foiled and have been arrested by the police. The incident happened on Monday at Bhatpurwa village in Katra Bazar in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda.

According to the police, the incident was deliberate and was planned keeping in mind the Moharram procession in the village to pollute the communal atmosphere by spreading the news of cow slaughter. Two culprits identified as Ramsevak Dixit and Mangli Dixit has been booked under the stringent National Security Act (NSA), police said. The duo stolen the cow belonging to Ganesh Prasad Dixit from the latter’s house and slaughtered the animal in a nearby field. Locals spotted them and alerted the police whose immediate action averted major communal violence.…

According to Indian Express, Station Officer of Katra Bazar police station D P Singh said, “Around 7 pm Sunday, a 12-year-old boy spotted Ram Sevak and Mangal slaughtering a cow in a field. The boy alerted locals who ran to the spot and also informed police. People caught hold of Ram Sevak, who was drunk, while Mangal managed to escape”.…

https://www.siasat.com/news/two-hindus-arrested-slaughtering-cow-provoke-communal-riots-blaming-muslims-1239345/

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Kerala CM Compares Amit Shah And RSS To ‘Wet Cracker’, Accuses BJP Of Attempting To Break Secularism In State (Oct 5, 2017, Outlook)

Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday dubbed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as “wet cracker.” This came after Shah held Vijayan directly responsible for killing of party and RSS workers in the state.

Claiming that the BJP is trying to break the secularism in the state, he said, “Amit Shah came and became like wet cracker here. The BJP is trying to break secularism with the power.”

“The BJP now shows the intolerance towards Kerala. Kerala does not have to learn any lesson on peace from you. The leaders also involved in the killing are carried out by RSS activists,” he added.…

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/kerala-cm-compares-amit-shah-and-rss-to-wet-cracker-accuses-bjp-of-attempting-to/302622

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Radhe Maa sits in SHO’s chair: Delhi cop in photo suspended, probe ordered (Oct 6, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Two Delhi Police officers were suspended on Thursday for “professional misconduct” in separate incidents involving controversial religious figure Radhe Maa, who was photographed seated in the official chair of a station house officer.

The widely circulated photo showed Sanjay Sharma, the SHO of Vivek Vihar, standing next to the seated self-styled ‘god-woman’ with folded hands with a red ‘chunri’ (stole) on his neck. He was in uniform.

A video also emerged showing assistant sub inspector Braj Bhushan singing into a microphone along with four other policemen at a nearby Ramlila event attended by Radhe Maa, known for her red robes and the ever-present trident in one hand. Deputy commissioner of police (Shahdara), Nupur Prasad, said Sharma and Bhushan were suspended after a preliminary probe found them guilty of professional misconduct.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/radhe-maa-sits-in-sho-s-chair-at-delhi-police-station-as-he-stands-with-folded-hands/story-tFJRoeTa3d27FfbArO48zI.html

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Savarkar, BJP’s most revered freedom fighter, “recruited” soldiers for British, when Netaji’s INA fought Raj rule (Oct 2, 2017, Counterview)

A recent journalistic investigation into the life of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1883-1966), whom BJP politicians revere more than any other freedom fighter, has claimed that at the time when Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was raising his Indian National Army (INA) to confront the British in India, Savarkar “helped the colonial government recruit lakhs of Indians into its armed forces.”

Carried out by independent journalist Pavan Kulkarni, the investigation quotes the report sent by then viceroy Lord Linlithgow about a meeting he had with Savarkar to the secretary of state, which said, “The situation, he [Savarkar] said, was that His Majesty’s government must now turn to the Hindus and work with their support…. Our interests were now the same and we must therefore work together…” Linghthow is also quoted as saying, “Our interests are so closely bound together, the essential thing is for Hinduism and Great Britain to be friends and the old antagonism was no longer necessary. The Hindu Mahasabha he (Savarkar) went on to say favoured an unambiguous undertaking of Dominion status at the end of the war.”

“Two months later”, according to Kulkarni, “Addressing the Mahasabha’s Calcutta session, Savarkar urged all universities, colleges and schools to ‘secure entry into military forces for youths in any and every way’. When Gandhi had launched his individual satyagraha the following year, Savarkar, at the Mahasabha session held in December 1940 in Madura, encouraged Hindu men to enlist in ‘various branches of British armed forces en masse’.”…

http://www.counterview.net/2017/10/savarkar-bjps-most-revered-freedom.html

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RSS resorting to attack Muslims, Dalits across the country: Prakash Karat (Oct 8, 2017, Siasat)

The CPM senior leader Prakash Karat has alleged that the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak (RSS) indulging in attacks on Muslims and Dalits across the nation.

Addressing a program “Neo-liberal policies, authoritarianism, communal policies-alternatives” organized by the CPM, on the occasion of centenary celebrations of its leader late Moturi Hanumantha Rao here on Sunday, Prakash Karat said that the BJP availed the neo-liberal policies and also Communalism for its political mileage. Prakash Karat alleged that RSS was rubbing the policies of Hindutva organizations on people.

The RSS was rearing communalism; Karat said and alleged that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has allocated Cabinet portfolios to the MPs having business activities related to the same portfolio. He stated that intrusions increased after surgical strikes.

https://www.siasat.com/news/rss-resorting-attack-muslims-dalits-across-country-prakash-karat-1240405/

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Dalit man beaten to death for attending garba event in Gujarat, 8 booked (Oct 1, 2017, Hindustan Times)

A 21-year-old Dalit man was allegedly beaten to death by a group of men belonging to the upper caste Patel community for attending a garba event in Gujarat’s Anand district in the early hours on Sunday, police said. The incident took place around 4 am.

Jayesh Solanki, cousin Prakash Solanki and two other Dalit men were sitting near a house adjacent to a temple in Bhadrania village when a person made “derogatory remarks about their caste”, police said quoting a complaint filed in connection with the incident.

The accused said Dalits “do not have any right to watch garba. He made casteist remarks and asked some men to come to the spot”, an officer at the Bhadran police station said. The upper caste men allegedly thrashed the Dalits and banged Jayesh’s head against a wall, the officer said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/dalit-man-beaten-to-death-for-attending-garba-event-in-gujarat-8-booked/story-Yk2LkmLKfEX6fIdmlyPtrM.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Relief for 11 Godhra death row convicts – Editorial (Oct 10, 2017, Free Press Journal)

Two years after hearings were concluded in the Godhra train burning case, the Gujarat High Court has upheld the death sentence of 20 convicts, commuted the death penalty of 11 and ordered the State government to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the families of those who died in the carnage. The burning of a bogie in the train had resulted in 59 people, mostly ‘kar sevaks’ returning from Ayodhya being charred on February 27, 2002 at the Godhra station, triggering riots in the state.

That the burning incident was the result of a conspiracy hatched by the perpetrators had earlier been established by the Nanavati Commission appointed by the Gujarat government. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) court appointed by the apex court had on March 1, 2011 convicted 31 people and acquitted 63 in the case. While 11 people were sentenced to death, 20 were given life in jail. Later, several appeals were filed in the High Court challenging the conviction, while the state government had questioned the acquittal of 63 people.

A bench of Justices AS Dave and Justice GR Udhwani on Monday observed that the state government had failed to maintain law and order, and directed the State to pay compensation within six weeks. The question of compensation had not been considered by the trial court.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/analysis/relief-for-11-godhra-death-row-convicts/1151173

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What is Actually Behind the BJP-RSS Combine’s Holy War Declared on Kerala – By Shamsul Islam (Oct 9, 2017, News Click)

The RSS-dominated BJP rulers of India have finally woken up against violence! You are grossly mistaken if you believe that they are seeking forgiveness for large scale killing/ raping/ maiming/ robbing people of the minorities specially Muslims and Christians in 1992-3 (nation-wide carnage of Muslims before and after demolition of a mosque at Ayodhya), 1998 (wide-spread violence against Christians in Gujarat), 2002 (carnage of Muslims in Gujarat) and Kandhmal, Orissa violence of 2007-8 (cleansing of Christians in the area).

The RSS/BJP rulers have not expressed any intention of discarding or checking the present spate of violence against minorities in the name of cow, love-jihad, ghar wapsi (forcible conversion of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism) and allegiance to Hindutva. There has been no respite in violence against Dalits too. In fact, in last three years incident of violence against Dalits has escalated by around 300%. Casteist, criminal and patriarchal elements are having free run in inflicting violence against women.…

The rulers marching under the banner of Hindutva have declared war against Kerala government by launching a strident Jan Raksha Yatra . It is not that only the left, CPM-run government of the state that is under attack. The whole of the Kerala society, its ethos and culture is under attack. The national leadership of RSS/BJP has descended on Kerala to fight the Left, to be specific, the CPM for ‘perpetrating violence’. The UP chief minister Mahant Yogi Adityanath who has many criminal cases pending against him in UP courts is at the forefront, the commander of this Hindutva juggernaut.…

https://newsclick.in/what-actually-behind-bjp-rss-combines-holy-war-declared-kerala

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Trying to Reopen Gandhi’s Murder Probe is Part of an Orchestrated Campaign of Lies – By Tushar A. Gandhi (Oct 7, 2017, The Wire)

The ideology that supported and inspired Nathuram Godse has launched a concerted campaign to justify Mahatma Gandhi’s murder. For seven decades, the proponents of this ideology have orchestrated their lies so successfully that a large segment of the Indian populace may even believe them.

Now they have taken it to the next level, to spread doubts about the murder itself. The Supreme Court recently heard a plea requesting a reinvestigation into Gandhi’s murder. The Court has appointed an amicus curiae and has set the next hearing for October 30. I am surprised the court did not dismiss such a blatantly frivolous plea out of hand.

This is not the first time an attempt is being made to sow disinformation and create confusion about the Gandhi murder. This is a part of a well thought out strategy of the Hindu right-wing, which provided the ideological inspiration to his murderers. Last year a petition was filed in the Bombay high court seeking a reopening of the investigation into Gandhi’s murder. The petitioner – Pankaj Phadnis, a researcher with Abhinav Bharat – alleged that there was another shooter, that there was a fourth bullet and alluded to the presence of a mysterious foreigner.…

https://thewire.in/185347/trying-to-reopen-gandhis-murder-probe-is-part-of-an-orchestrated-campaign-of-lies/

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India becoming dangerous for intellectuals, social activists – By Pushkar Raj (Oct 6, 2017, Asia Times)

When journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead in front of her house early last month, quite a few writers and social activists in India must have felt a chill down their spines as the country steadily becomes a dangerous place for intellectuals.

Gauri was a journalist turned social activist based in Bangalore, the technological capital of India. She was the fourth activist to be killed in that region in as many years, whose killers have not yet been apprehended despite the fact that the opposition Congress party leads the government in Karnataka state.

There have been a spate of killings of intellectuals and writers in the country in recent years. Narendra Dabholkar, a rationalist activist, was killed in August 2013, after lobbying for social reform against superstitions such as black magic and child sacrifice. Govind Pansare, a left-wing politician and author of the best-selling book Shivaji Kon Hota, was killed in February 2015 after being an outspoken critic of communalism in society.…

http://www.atimes.com/india-becoming-dangerous-intellectuals-social-activists/

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Why does Akhila@Hadiya need a custodian at all? – By Supriya Juneja , Drishti S Harpalani (Oct 5, 2017, Indian Express)

Akhila, now known as Hadiya, has had to face harsh public and media scrutiny not only because she chose to convert from Hinduism to the Islamic faith, but also due to her gender. In January 2016, 24-year old Akhila left her parental home in Kerala to convert from Hinduism to Islam. Her father, Asokan K.M., filed a habeas corpus petition before the Kerala High Court, alleging that his daughter had been taken away and he was unaware of her whereabouts. He demanded that she be produced.

So Hadiya appeared before the High Court through her lawyer and gave a sworn affidavit stating that she had left her parental home voluntarily. Since she was now an adult, she said, she was well within her rights to choose a religion of her choice and follow a faith which appealed to her. The High Court, after interacting with Hadiya was of the opinion that she was no under any illegal confinement, and accordingly permitted her to live at a place of her choice. However, in August 2016, Hadiya’s father once again approached the High Court with a habeas corpus writ, alleging that his daughter had been forced to convert to Islam and was possibly being taken out of the country by Muslim extremist organisations.…

The girl, after attaining majority, is under no obligation under law to be in the protective custody of her father and has the absolute right to choose the religion of her choice; the parents under such circumstances have no right to question the choices of their daughter. When a major girl exercises her fundamental right under Article 21 by choosing her partner, the Court cannot resist such an expression of opinion. Whether or not the decision is against the wishes of her parents, but when a fundamental right is exercised by a major girl, the Court will have to enforce the same.

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/sc-bench-gives-relief-to-hadiya-but-remains-regressive-kerala-love-jihad-akhila-4873635/

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‘Police Chased Us Even Into Our Hostel Rooms. We Want An Apology From The V-C’ – Pragya Singh interviews Seema (Oct 9, 2017, Outlook)

…All of a sudden, the police rained lathis on us—on our backs, or feet, our hands, our heads. They were beating us mercilessly. The students started running, and some of them went inside their hostels and the police chased them there also and beat them up.…

It was absolutely unexpected. The injured girls mostly just went home with their injuries. That is why the extent of the lathicharge is understated in the media also. The girls were mostly too shaken to reveal what had been done.…

Actually, the police were raining down blows indiscriminately. They hit girls on the head, arms, torso, wherever they wanted. You see, some of the injuries are on the back, thighs and stomach and the girls are unable to show them to the media or even talk about them. They were in fact catching hold of girls, surrounding them and then beating them up. They were also beating up boys.…

https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/police-chased-us-even-into-our-hostel-rooms-we-want-an-apology-from-the-v-c/299366

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 2nd, 2017

November 4, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony In Gandhi’s Gujarat, Potters Keep a Shine on Hindu-Muslim Amity News Headlines ‘I kept saying I was a teacher, but police never listened and continued to beat me’, BHU professor recounts ordeal Modi as Gujarat CM “encouraged” cow vigilantes, were awarded for raiding “illegal” cattle transportation: Report […]

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IAMC Special News Roundup on Pehlu Khan Lynching Fact-Finding Report- October 26th, 2017

October 27, 2017

In this SPECIAL IAMC News Roundup: News Headlines Police ‘diluted’ Pehlu Khan lynching case, finds independent probe Pehlu Khan lynching probe: 10 loopholes likely to be challenged in courts Union minister trying to undermine Pehlu Khan murder? US, UK, India joint “probe” alleges medical manipulation Police protecting killers of Pehlu Khan: Activists Pehlu Khan’s son demands […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 25th, 2017

October 26, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines RSS Tries to Create Tension by Spreading Fake News Regarding Temple in Kerala Lawyer For SIMI Calls Report On Bhopal Jail Break Encounter A ‘Whitewash’ Mass grave at Dera Sacha Sauda’s Sirsa headquarters has 600 skeletons, Ram Rahim’s aide reveals to SIT Saint having links with top […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 18th, 2017

October 14, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Indian Americans express outrage over Nuh encounter killing; call for prosecution of police officers involved News Headlines Rajasthan Government Protecting Perpetrators of Pehlu Khan Lynching, Says Family Karwan-e-Mohabbat, Stopped from Meeting Pehlu Khan’s Family Gauri Lankesh murder: Sanathan Sanstha members grilled Rat poison mixed in water tank of […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 11th, 2017

October 8, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines BJP MLA Jeevaraj says Gauri Lankesh would’ve been alive if she had not written against RSS Probe finds clues that point to link between Gauri Lankesh, M M Kalburgi killing Prime Minister Modi’s ‘New India’ About Silencing Dissent, Says Congress Pray to stay alive, Hindu outfit leader […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 4th, 2017

September 28, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Gurudwara opens doors to Muslims to offer namaz on Eid-ul-Adha News Headlines Probe said Purohit held ‘illegal’ meetings with radical Hindu groups ‘Qurbani’ Of Cow, Buffalo, Camel, Ox On Eid Ul-Adha To Invite Gangsters Act ‘Cow sheds in BJP states silent slaughterhouses’ ‘Who is next?’: Killing of […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 28th, 2017

September 21, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony “Safe Zones”, Hindu-Muslim Harmony and Life as a Kashmiri Pandit News Headlines Ram Rahim Singh enjoyed BJP’s patronage ‘He Is PM Of India, Not BJP,’ Says Furious High Court After Haryana Riots Only ‘RSS hatao’ will help dist. see development: CM’s media adviser Life has become ‘difficult’ […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 21st, 2017

September 10, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony UK Indians March For Communal Harmony News Headlines Govt ‘protecting all RSS-connected accused’, says Cong after Purohit’s bail ‘Democracy under threat from pseudo-nationalism, right-wing fanaticism’ US religious freedom report highlights cow protection violence in India A Gujarat BJP MLA Wants To Ban Muslims From Buying Houses In […]

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