From the category archives:

News Digest

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 24th, 2015

by newsdigest on August 25, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Communal harmony pledge administered (Aug 21, 2015, The Hindu)

District Collector S. Malarvizhi on Thursday administered communal harmony pledge on the occasion of the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Ms. Malarvizhi administered the ‘Sadbhavana pledge’ to the officers and the Collectorate staff to work for the oneness and harmony of all people, regardless of caste, region or religion.

District Revenue Officer (DRO) T. Ilango and Collector’s personal assistant (general) Kalimuthu were among others took the pledge.

In Ramanathapuram, DRO M. Ali Akbar administered the pledge to his colleagues and collectorate staff.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/communal-harmony-pledge-administered/article7563997.ece

[Back to Top]

2002 Godhra riots: IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt who took on Gujarat govt is sacked (Aug 20, 2015, Indian Express)

IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who had taken on the Gujarat government over its handling of the 2002 riots, has been dismissed from service for “flagrantly” flouting rules “with complete disregard to discipline”. The Union Home Ministry order, dated August 13, followed a recommendation from the Gujarat government for Bhatt’s removal on 11 charges.…

Bhatt has been under suspension since 2011 after he took on the then state government under Narendra Modi over the 2002 Gujarat riots. A 1988 batch IPS officer, Bhatt had filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court, claiming that he had attended a meeting on February 27, 2002 at Modi’s residence in Gandhinagar, where he claimed the then CM allegedly told his officers to “allow Hindus to vent their anger”.

However, his claim was rejected by the Supreme Court appointed-Special Investigation Team, which probed nine major incidents related to the riots. Bhatt is also facing a couple of criminal cases, including one related to a custodial death in Jamnagar in 1998. In 2011, he was arrested by Ahmedabad police after a constable lodged an FIR against him claiming that Bhatt forced him to file a false affidavit related to the 2002 riots.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/2002-godhra-riots-suspended-ips-officer-sanjiv-bhatt-sacked-says-decision-came-after-sham-inquiry/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Act as human bombs, Sena tells Hindus (Aug 19, 2015, The Hindu)

In highly controversial remarks, the Shiv Sena has exhorted Hindus to act as “human bombs” and invade Pakistan, and said that its founder, Bal Thackeray, had instilled the “fear of Hindus” in other Indians.

The comments came in the context of the controversy over the latest issue of the weekly magazine Tehelka depicting Thackeray as a terrorist. Taking umbrage at the cover story, the Sena, in an editorial in its mouthpiece, Saamna, on Tuesday lambasted the magazine, and said publishing the objectionable article against the Sena founder was as good as “spitting at the sun”. The editorial eulogised his strong-arm Hindutva ideology.

The Tehelka cover pictures don Dawood Ibrahim, 1993 blasts convict Yakub Memon, who was hanged recently, Sikh extremist Jarnail Singh Bindranwale and Bal Thackeray, with a primer, “Who is the biggest terrorist?”…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/act-as-human-bombs-sena-tells-hindus/article7554547.ece

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Mosque in Faizabad torched, SP MLA blames ‘youths with saffron headgear’ (Aug 22, 2015, Twocircles.net)

A mosque in Faizabad district situated nearly 100 kilometers from state capital Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh was torched by some unidentified miscreants on the night of August 19. Ruling Samajwadi Party MLA from Ayodhya assembly seat Tej Narain Pandey alias Pawan Pandey has blamed “youths wearing saffron headscarves” behind the act.…

Locals claim that some inflammable substance filled in a bottle was thrown inside the mosque. A delegation of local Muslims had met the district administration demanding action against the culprits. Meanwhile the incident found its echo in state assembly on Friday. Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey had allowed two hour debate on law and order in the assembly. Speaking on behalf of the government, Samajwadi Party’s Ayodhya MLA Pawan Pandey blamed BJP for inciting communal tension in the state.

“One can easily check who is inciting communal violence. Just see who has been arrested during riots,” he said. Pandey also cited Madani mosque incident. “It is in my district. Some youths who sport saffron headgear move around during night and threw pepsi bottle filled with petrol in mosque which caught fire. It is an attempt to incite communal tension in Faizabad,” Pandey said pointing towards the benches where BJP MLAs were sitting.

http://twocircles.net/2015aug22/1440262692.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Rattling the cage (Aug 14, 2015, Indian Express)

In the public imagination, the CBI has superhero powers. It is the agency of last resort, which is clamoured for when the public is distrustful of the police and the local administration, or when cases are so coloured by political interests that the apparatus of law and order freezes. But in reality, it is scarcely infallible, with a strike rate of about 65 per cent. And the “caged parrot” has an extraordinary capacity for appearing to be a punitive weapon of the government.

This week, it has been embarrassed twice in court. On Tuesday, the Bombay High Court granted anticipatory bail to Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand, rejecting the CBI’s claim that their activities compromised national security. And on Wednesday, the Supreme Court extended interim protection from arrest to Dayanidhi Maran. In both matters, the courts questioned the agency’s eagerness to make arrests on slender grounds.…

The CBI seeks to limit itself, arguing that its sanctioned strength of 1,264 officers is unequal to the workload of almost 2,000 cases. But would a human resource overhaul alone create an agency that is equal to its reputation?

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/rattling-the-cage/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Five ABVP activists booked for assaulting college principal in Shimla (Aug 22, 2015, Times of India)

Five ABVP activists were booked for allegedly assaulting the principal of a government college in the district, police said here today. The principal of Government College (Sanjauli) Joginder Singh Negi was dragged out of his car as he was about to enter the college premises and was roughed up and assaulted.

Five persons, including a girl were booked for rioting and assault under sections 147, 148, 149, 332, 353 and 506 of IPC and three persons have been arrested, DSP Balbir Jaswal said. The girl Ankita, named by the principal has not been arrested as she has already filed a complaint against the principal yesterday in women police station and her complaint is being verified, Jaswal added.

Principal alleged that about 60 to 70 ABVP activists including college students and some outsiders armed with sticks and other weapons shouted slogans against him and dragged him out of his car, assaulted him and inflicted injuries. Negi said that his wife, who is also a teacher in the college, tried to save him but she was also manhandled and virtually molested by the mob.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/48617252.cms

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Report sought on Alair encounter (Aug 21, 2015, The Hindu)

The National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) has urged the Telangana government to submit a complete report on the Alair encounter to the Union government. Five under trail prisoners including Viqar Ahmed were killed in an ‘encounter’ at Alair in Warangal district on April 7.

Mohammed Abid, State coordinator, NCHRO, Telangana said that a report prepared by a fact-finding team comprising members of different human rights organisation was forwarded to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in May demanding a CBI inquiry into the encounter.

“Following the representation, the Human Rights Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) asked the Chief Secretary Telangana to furnish a factual report. But it has been not done so. It clearly shows that the State government is trying to cover up its misdeed,” Mr. Abid said at a press conference here on Thursday.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/report-sought-on-alair-encounter/article7564192.ece

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Religious minority groups unite in face of ‘BJP’s discrimination’ (Aug 21, 2015, Hindustan Times)

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and several organisations representing minorities came together on Friday to counter an onslaught on religious freedom by the ruling BJP and affiliated groups.

The AIMPLB and groups such as the Buddhist Society of India and Lingayat community unveiled a common minimum programme and announced they will launch a nationwide movement to create awareness about the curbing of religious freedom and attacks on secularism.

“The past one-and-a-half years have seen efforts to disturb the basic fundamentals of the Constitution. The state cannot force things like surya namaskar and Vande Mataram on people,” AIMPLB leader Kamal Faruqui told a news briefing at the Press Club in Delhi.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/religious-minority-groups-unite-in-face-of-bjp-s-discrimination/article1-1382675.aspx

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Chhattisgarh police botched up nun rape probe: NHRC (Aug 20, 2015, Times of India)

In a major blow to the BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh, the National Human Rights Commission has found several deficiencies in the investigation of the case related to the rape of a nun in the state capital and directed the state police to formulate a Standard Operating Procedure on rape investigation containing recent guidelines of the Supreme Court and amendments in CrPC.

The commission also described as “hasty and irresponsible” the statements made by inspector general of police (Raipur range) in the media expressing doubts about the survivors narration on the incident. “These statements were totally unwarranted and exposed the lack of sensitivity and understanding of rape survivors rights”, an NHRC press release said.

Finding that Chhattisgarh government did not take any measures for relief and rehabilitation of the survivor, NHRC has directed the state police and chief secretary to take action on the specific points as recommended and submit the action taken report within six weeks.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/48559079.cms

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Crime branch cops slap fresh FIR against godman Sarathi Baba (Aug 22, 2015, Indian Express)

A fresh case of sexual abuse has been filed against arrested self-proclaimed godman Sarathi Baba alias Santosh Roul. The case was registered on Friday following a complaint made by an erstwhile woman inmate of his ashram in Kendrapara district, police said.

The unmarried woman along with her mother came to the police headquarters for the second time on Friday to register their complaint. Similarly, three other women have earlier brought criminal charges against Roul with intent to outrage their modesty.

Earlier booked for several charges of cheating, forgery and fraud, Roul is currently lodged in Choudwar circle jail in Cuttack. Meanwhile, Roul’s adopted son Satyam, who was arrested on Wednesday, was being interrogated by the crime branch police. He was questioned for over ten hours on Friday.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/crime-branch-cops-slap-fresh-fir-against-godman-sarathi-baba/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Rape Those Two Dalit Girls, UP Khap Panchayat Orders Villagers (Aug 20, 2015, New Indian Express)

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Rape-Those-Two-Dalit-Girls-UP-Khap-Panchayat-Orders-Villagers/2015/08/20/article2984588.ece

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Opinions and Editorials

Will Zakia Jafri’s fresh plea for justice take Gujarat riot investigations to Modi’s doorstep? – By Darshan Desai (Aug 20, 2015, Scroll.in)

The quiet steel in Zakia Jafri’s eyes hasn’t dimmed despite her 76 years, nor has her quest for justice. Around 13 years after her husband, former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, and 68 of their neighbours in Ahmedabad’s Gulberg Society were killed by a mob, her legal battle over the massacre continues to haunt Narendra Modi despite his ascendance from chief ministership to prime ministership.

Zakia Jafri is unwilling to give up even after an Ahmedabad metropolitan court’s verdict on December 26, 2013, rejected her protest petition seeking to penalise Modi, who was then the chief minister, and 59 others on charges of state-sponsored criminal conspiracy during the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat that killed over a thousand people, mostly Muslims. She has filed a criminal revision application in the Gujarat High Court. The hearings began on August 4.

The application has sought the court’s directive to reject the closure report of the Special Investigation Team of February 8, 2012. While some have interpreted this to mean that Modi has been given a clean chit, in reality the SIT said it did not have enough evidence against Modi to proceed. Her protest petition in April 2013 is the last criminal case in the 2002 communal carnage in Gujarat in which Modi has been accused.…

http://scroll.in//article/749408/will-zakia-jafris-fresh-plea-for-justice-take-gujarat-riot-investigations-to-modis-doorstep

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Muslims fear rising tide of Hindu nationalism in Modi’s India – By Rama Lakshmi (Aug 17, 2015, Wshington Post)

Since India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power last year, the country’s Muslims have expressed growing concerns about a spate of inflammatory statements made by Hindu nationalist leaders and activists.…

Sakshi Maharaj, a lawmaker from the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said that Hindu women must have at least four children each to keep up with the growth in the population of Muslims in India.…

Members of the World Hindu Council launched a campaign last year urging Hindu families to be on guard against what they called “love jihad” – romantic relationships between young Hindus and Muslims. They accused Muslim men of coercing Hindu women into love in order to convert them to Islam.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/08/17/how-life-in-india-has-changed-under-modi-and-why-some-muslims-arent-happy-about-it/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt sacked: Shame-then-frame trend part of Gujarat’s vendetta politics? – By Sandipan Sharma (Aug 21, 2015, First Post ()

…there is no gainsaying that Bhatt riled Modi, first with his campaign and then by propping up his wife as the Congress candidate from Maninagar against the then CM in the 2012 election. By design or default, or because of sheer bad luck or karma, not many get away after taking on Modi in Gujarat.

Sex videos, by some weird coincidence, are always part of the plot. In 2005, Sanjay Joshi, Sangh’s blue-eyed boy and Modi’s rival, figured in a controversial CD. He was immediately removed from all posts in the BJP. The video was later revealed to be doctored; a police officer later testified that the CD was given to him by controversial police officer DG Vanzhara. But, by then, Joshi had fallen from his perch.…

And now, Bhatt is facing the heat of a ‘sex scandal’. Could the shame-and-frame trend be part of Gujarat’s vendetta politics; the defining feature of a revenge plot where the state first tarnishes the character of its opponents to strip them of public sympathy and then throws them at the ruthless investigating agencies? Or, by some sheer coincidence, the state’s enemies have perfected a formula to fall on their own to doom and humiliation?

http://www.firstpost.com/india/ips-officer-sanjiv-bhatt-sacked-shame-then-frame-trend-part-of-vendetta-politics-of-gujarat-2400796.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Demanding the sky – Editorial (Aug 24, 2015, DNA India)

The demand for OBC reservation raised by Gujarat’s politically and economically dominant Patidar (Patel) community threatens to reduce the idea of affirmative action to a mere farce.

Reservations were envisaged as a social justice mechanism to mitigate millennia-old caste-based discrimination and oppression. But with hitherto weaker sections succeeding in getting a foothold in political, bureaucratic and educational spheres, it has triggered new anxieties and fresh competition between social groups.

When Madhavsinh Solanki introduced 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in Gujarat in 1985, it was the Patels who unleashed a fierce anti-reservation protest and shifted their loyalties to the BJP leading to the Hindutva party’s ascent in the state. The wheel has come full circle now with the Patidars demanding the fruits of the very same reservation they opposed.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/editorial-dnaedit-demanding-the-sky-2117355

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

The Sena and its twisted logic – Editorial (Aug 20, 2015, The Hindu)

It is difficult to say whether the Shiv Sena takes offence or feels proud when its founder Bal Thackeray is spoken of as a terrorist with a religious cause. After the weekly Tehelka carried a cover story with pictures of Thackeray, Dawood Ibrahim, Yakub Memon and Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale above the legend, ‘Who is the biggest terrorist?’, the Sena responded in a rather strange manner.

While condemning the depiction of Thackeray alongside those who engaged in violence in the name of religion, the Sena organ Saamna, in an editorial, asked Hindus to act as “human bombs” and invade Pakistan. Thackeray, the editorial wrote approvingly, had instilled the “fear of Hindus” in Indians of other faiths. Far from defending the Sena founder against the charge of being a Hindu terrorist, the editorial appeared to be defending his support of violence in the name of Hinduism.

What differentiated Thackeray from the others? According to the editorial’s reasoning, the Sena founder was a dharmabhimaani, a person who took pride in his faith, and not dharmaandh, someone who was motivated by blind faith. This line of defence, whether true to the facts or not, would have been fine but for the editorial’s exhortation to Hindus to turn themselves into human bombs and attack Pakistan. In one stroke, the disputes between India and Pakistan were turned into a Hindu-Muslim issue. By arguing that Hindus would have to be highly religious if they wanted to respond to Pakistani extremists, the editorial, in effect, identified nationalism with Hinduism.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/the-sena-and-its-twisted-logic/article7558125.ece

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Grinding Wheels of Justice – Editorial (Aug 22, 2015, EPW)

Thirteen years after 25-year-old Nitish Katara was killed, the Supreme Court recently upheld the conviction of his killers. Judicial delays, unfortunately, are only too predictable in India. Just days after the Katara ruling, the apex court gave its final ruling in the Uphaar cinema hall fire case that had killed 59 people (23 of whom were minors) in New Delhi, 18 years after the event.

The responses to the two judgments, however, were vastly different. In both cases, the mothers and parents of the victims who were predominantly middle class had waged a long and tedious legal battle against rich and influential opponents. But while in the Katara murder case, the Court said that it was “a classic example of how the rich and powerful people try to influence the justice delivery system,” the other ruling was seen as punishing the theatre owners, who are real estate tycoons, too little and too late.…

More significantly, they show the ability of the powerful to ensure that legal proceedings drag on interminably to grind down the morale and resources of those taking them on. Whether the judgment is welcomed or not, even these high-profile cases show that justice delayed is justice denied.

http://www.epw.in/editorials/grinding-wheels-justice.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

{ 0 comments }

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 17th, 2015

by newsdigest on August 18, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Announcements

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Announcements

Indian Americans celebrate India Independence Day, call for unified action to secure life, liberty and justice for all

IAMC calls the defense of secularism in India a struggle to save the soul of the nation

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has joined millions of people of Indian origin, living in India and across the world, in celebrating the nation’s 69th Independence Day. IAMC today participated in the India Day celebrations in Michigan, organized by a large group of community organizations to mark the joyous occasion. The event was attended by over 25,000 people from the Indian American community, with Padma Shri award winner Milkha Singh as the chief guest.

It is noteworthy that India’s freedom struggle was a truly nationalistic effort, undertaken by people of all faiths, including countless Muslims. Among the thousands who laid down their lives for India’s freedom were hundreds of Muslim scholars and individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice so we could enjoy the fruits of liberty.

While celebrating India’s freedom from colonial rule, the stark reality is that its continued existence as a pluralist, secular society is threatened by the destructive fervor of a divisive ideology that mirrors fascism in its brutality and jaundiced worldview. Focusing our attention and resources to meeting this challenge is the need of the hour, for all Indians who care about the nation’s future. It is therefore important to mark Independence Day not only as a celebration of India’s freedom and democracy, but also as a means of overtly expressing solidarity and unity against fascist forces that threaten these ideals.

The long list of gravely disturbing events in the recent past includes physical violence, arson, desecration of churches and attempts to forcibly “reconvert” thousands of Christians and Muslims to Hinduism, all documented in the recent 2015 Annual Report of the US Commission for International Religious Freedom.

There is a sustained campaign of harassment and intimidation of human rights activists and whistleblowers as well as a crackdown on renowned international organizations such as Greenpeace, Amnesty International and the Ford Foundation when they have taken positions that are critical of the government. These have grave implications for freedom of dissent and the future of civil society institutions in India.

Outrageously misogynistic remarks such as calling rape “sometime right, sometimes wrong,” have come from politicians in positions of power within the ruling party, while inflammatory calls for the disenfranchisement of Muslims and calls for the forced sterilization of Muslims and Christians from prominent individuals within the Hindutva movement have not been censured by the administration.

While the country may have unshackled itself from the yoke of colonial rule in 1947, a genuine and lasting freedom will come when the state truly considers all citizens as equal before the law, and when the government considers safeguarding the constitution as its primary obligation; more important than any ideological loyalties.

“As we celebrate Independence Day, true patriotism requires that we acknowledge the profound challenges in front of us and marshal all resources to address them,” said Mr. Umar Malick, President of the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC). “Rapid erosion of religious freedom and civil liberties, at the behest of the government itself, requires the citizenry to step up to the challenge of saving the nation and its institutions from bigotry,” added Mr. Malick.

Indian-American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation. For more information please visit our website at: http://www.iamc.com

CONTACT:
Indian American Muslim Council
Phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270
Email:info@iamc.com
Facebook: Indian American Muslim Council
Twitter: @IAMCouncil
Address: 6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295, Morton Grove, IL 60053.

REFERENCES:
India League of America – Michigan: India Day Celebrations
http://www.ilamichigan.org/IndiaDay/

USCIRF Report 2015: Chapter on India
http://www.uscirf.gov/sites/default/files/India%202015.pdf

Modi government’s hounding of Teesta Setalvad is a message to all dissidents
http://scroll.in/article/740762/modi-governments-hounding-of-teesta-setalvad-is-a-message-to-all-dissidents

U.S. Ambassador Criticizes India’s Crackdown on Charities and Activist Groups
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/07/world/asia/india-narendra-modi-ngos-ford-foundation-greenpeace.html

Indian Political Party Advocates the Denial of Voting Rights for Muslims
http://time.com/3819055/shiv-sena-india-saamana-editorial-muslim-voting-rights/

Hindu Mahasabha leader calls for forcible sterilization of Christians and Muslims
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-impose-emergency-and-sterilise-muslims-christians-forcibly-says-hindu-mahasabha-leader-2076735

‘Reconversion’ of Religious Minorities Roils India’s Politics
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/24/world/asia/india-narendra-modi-hindu-conversions-missionaries.html

Forward email

[Back to Top]

Gujarat riots: SIT opposes Zakia Jafri’s demand for further probe (Aug 13, 2015, Indian Express)

The special investigation team (SIT) on Thursday opposed in the Gujarat High Court the demand by Zakia Jafri for further investigation against the agency’s closure report on her complaint regarding the 2002 post-Godhra riots. Jafri’s husband and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was killed in the riots. She has alleged a wider conspiracy, involving the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others, behind the riots.

The Supreme Court-appointed SIT, in its report on her complaint before the magistrate, however gave a clean chit to all of them. The Supreme Court, at all stages, was satisfied with the investigation of SIT, said senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, SIT lawyer, arguing before Justice Sonia Gokani on Thursday.

The magistrate who upheld SIT’s closure report could not have ordered further probe (as demanded by Jafri) because it would have been contrary to the Supreme Court’s order, he said. “Had the magistrate directed further investigation, not only he would be sitting on the Supreme Court judgement, but it would be contrary to the Supreme Court judgement.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/gujarat-riots-sit-opposes-zakia-jafris-demand-for-further-probe/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

BJP workers held for ‘posing’ as census officials in Muslim areas (Aug 13, 2015, Hindustan Times)

Five BJP women’s wing activists were arrested by the police in a Muslim dominated area of Bengaluru on Wednesday evening after locals accused them of trying to steal their voter ID cards. While the women told the police that they were campaigning for the civic polls scheduled for August 22, residents of Siddapura (ward number 144) lodged an FIR saying the women were trying to con them into parting with their voting cards.

“Five women came into my house around 5pm and told me they were from the census department. They asked me to show them my voting card. When I showed them the card, they said it was no longer valid and tried to take it away,” Shamsunissa (62) told HT. There was some tension in the area after hundreds surrounded the women workers, but police escorted them to the safety of a jeep.

Shamsunissa said that just when she was questioning the women, dozens of men from her locality barged into the house shouting “chor-chor” (thief). “The men asked the women for their ID cards and there was confusion. After a few minutes, the women started crying and confessed that they were BJP workers,” she said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/bjp-workers-held-for-posing-as-census-officials-in-muslim-areas/article1-1379533.aspx

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

One killed while making bombs at BJP leader house in West Bengal (Aug 17, 2015, Twocircles.net)

One man killed and another was seriously injured as a result of a heavy explosion at an apartment owned by a BJP leader in the Dumdum airport area of Kolkata on the Independence Day. Police have arrested the apartment owner Manik Das Baidya along with his two sons. Baidya has twice contested the municipal election on BJP ticket.

The intensity of the blast collapsed the wall and damaged parts of a room. The explosion took place not far from the Kolkata Airport, from where Hajj tour of West Bengal pilgrims started on August 16th. Before the Independence day Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee had said state intelligence agency has indicated that some groups are trying to disturb the peaceful situation in the state.

Surprisingly no leading media highlighted this explosion in West Bengal, Even National Investigating Agency (NIA) has not responded about this blast. Beside this blast, on Friday Kolkata police recovered 22 bag raw materials of explosives from a Godown at Barabazar area including 500 kg Sulphur, 600 kg Ammonium Nitrate etc., according to a CID officer of Kolkata Police.…

http://twocircles.net/2015aug17/1439827709.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Complaint filed against Tehelka magazine after its cover story referred to Bal Thackeray as terrorist (Aug 16, 2015, IBN)

A complaint has been filed against Tehelka magazine in Mumbai after a recent cover story referred featured former Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray as terrorist.

The cover story also featured underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon and Khalistani terror leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. The magazine referred to all four as terrorists.

The complaint was filed by a member of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena Bala Nandgaonkar said, “Tehelka magazine should be banned immediately. The editor Mathew Samuel should be arrested immediately. He has tried to create rift between two cultures.” Lawyer Rajendra Shirodkar said, “The police should file a case against Tehelka- the editor should be arrested under non-bailable offences.”

http://www.ibnlive.com/news/politics/complaint-filed-against-tehelka-magazine-after-its-cover-story-referred-to-bal-thackeray-as-terrorist-1040248.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Supreme Court comes down on Manipur govt; calls encounter killings ‘fake’ (Aug 10, 2015, DNA India)

The Supreme Court on Monday said the fact that compensation has been paid to the next of kin of victims of security forces’ encounter killings in Manipur “amply indicate” that such encounters were fake. It asked Manipur government to apprise the court of the steps taken after compensations were paid to kith and kin of deceased persons. “If you think it was a valid encounter, then why are you paying compensation? Have you challenged any of the orders?” the social justice bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and UU Lalit said.

The bench said that the fact that the compensation has been paid to the next relatives of the deceased “amply indicate” that encounters were fake and the question would be “were they valid”.

It gave the instance 2001 Parliament attack case and said “no court awarded compensation to the relatives of the accused (terrorists).” However, senior advocate V Giri, appearing for the state government, said that the payment of compensation on the directions of the court is not an admission of an alleged offence.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-encounter-killing-supreme-court-comes-down-on-manipur-government-2113018

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

AIMPLB calls conclave to push its fight against ‘Vedic culture, Brahmin dharma’ (Aug 13, 2015, Indian Express)

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has given a clarion call to the minority organisations, institutions and the Imams of mosques to fight against central government’s “sinister design” of imposing the “Vedic culture and Brahmin dharma”. The AIMPLB will push forward the agenda during its first conclave of clerics, Imams, qazis and heads of minority schools and colleges on August 17 in Bhopal.

The conclave is being held to implement the resolution the AIMPLB’s working committee had passed in June targetting the central government for propagating yoga, surya namaskar and vande matram in educational institutes. The resolution had termed these as “part of Brahmin dharma and against the ideology of Muslims”.

“There is a serious threat to our religion. There is a sinister design to impose ‘Brahmin dharma’ through yoga, surya namaskar and Vedic culture. They all are against Islamic beliefs. We need to awaken our community for launching a protest on a large scale,” Maulana Wali Rehmani, working general secretary of AIMPLB told The Indian Express.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/aimplb-calls-conclave-to-push-its-fight-against-vedic-culture-brahmin-dharma/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Muslim group plans to study ‘saffronisation’ of education (Aug 17, 2015, Indian Express)

A city-based minority organisation, Ahmedabad Muslim Graduate Association, on Sunday said it would form a committee to assess “saffronisation” of education in Gujarat and submit its report to the state government.

“We would definitely raise the issue of increasing instances of saffronisation of the education system, recently seen in a more overt manner,” said Habib Shaikh, secretary of the association. The group also held a meeting at Danilimda here Sunday morning to discuss education and the social issues facing the minority population. It was attended by representatives from various districts.

Speaking against making yoga compulsory in schools, Shaikh said, “The decision should be left to students whether they want to practice it (yoga) or not.” President of the association Badruddin Shaikh, also leader of the Opposition in the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, announced the group would be “equally active” in all other districts to provide a platform to the minority community to raise local issues with the administration.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/muslim-group-plans-to-study-saffronisation-of-education/

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

After 3 Years of Protest at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, Police Action on These Villagers Came at Midnight (Aug 10, 2015, NDTV)

Late on Sunday night, several families from Haryana’s Hisar, protesting at Jantar Mantar in the centre of Delhi for nearly three years, were allegedly driven out by the police who used batons. Volunteers of former Aam Aadmi Party leader Yogendra Yadav’s “Swaraj Abhiyaan” party, who were passing by, allegedly tried to step in and were also beaten.

The families had been protesting since 2012 against alleged atrocities by upper caste Jats in their village. They allege that only when they announced that they were converted to Islam, did the authorities react. Protesters and witnesses say at around midnight on Sunday, Delhi policemen tried to remove them by hitting them with canes.

“15-20 policemen attacked us at night, some were in civilian uniform. They hit me so hard my face is still numb. Police asked us to leave the protest site saying we have no permission. But we have nowhere to go… we have been evicted from our own village,” said Jagdish, who says he has converted.…

http://www.ndtv.com/delhi-news/after-3-years-of-protest-at-delhis-jantar-mantar-police-action-on-these-villagers-came-at-midnight-1205693

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Another self-appointed godman arrrested over charges of sexual assault in Delhi (Aug 12, 2015, IBN)

Another case of self appointed godman has come to light in Delhi. The police has arrested the godman on charges of sexual assault. As per Police sources, a women suffering from medical ailment met the accused who then offered to help heal her. She was then sexually assaulted after which the accused fled from the spot. The incident happened seven months ago. The police could only grab the accused after his mobile was put on surveillance.

Recently self-appointed godmans such Asaram, Nithyananda, Nirmal Baba and Radhe Maa have been facing controversy over various issues. Radhe Maa has been accused of instigating family of seven to commit suicide in Gujarat and also of domestic violence and torture on one of her disciples. Asaram is in jail since August 2013, for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor girl. He was arrested after the 16-year-old girl lodged a police complaint in August 20,2014 alleging that the self-styled godman sexually assaulted her at his ashram in Jodhpur.

Cases have been filed against Nirmal baba in Bihar where a local court issued a non-bailable warrant in connection with a cheating and forgery case. Swami Nithyananda too has been arrested on the charges of sexually exploiting a Tamil film actress after CD featuring them was leaked to the media.

http://www.ibnlive.com/news/india/another-self-appointed-godman-arrrested-over-charges-of-sexual-assault-in-delhi-1038551.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Repeal Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950, govt urged (Aug 11, 2015, Ummid.com)

Sporting black badges on their shoulders and holding black flags in their hands, over 200 Christians and Muslims on Monday protested outisde the Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi demanding equal rights for Dalit converts. The day, observed as ‘Black Day’ both by Christians and Muslims, coincides with August 10, 1950 when India’s first president Rajendra Prasad signed the 1950 presidential decree denying special rights to non-Hindus.

The parliament amended the order in 1956 to include Sikhs and in 1990 to extend the benefits to Buddhists. Christians and Muslims have been excluded under the pretext that their religions do not recognize the caste system. The Indian constitution guarantees a reservation of government jobs and places in educational institutions for dalits and other underprivileged classes.

However, Christian and Muslim dalits are denied these benefits on the ground that their religions do not recognize the caste system. “There is no untouchability in any religion but it exists in the soil of India. Indian Christians live in a society where people are discriminated against on this basis,” John Dayal, a member of the National Integration Council, is quoted by ucanews.com.…

http://www.ummid.com/news/2015/August/11.08.2015/muslims-christians-protest-for-equal-rights.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Opinions and Editorials

Are Hindu nationalists a danger to other Indians? – By Divya Arya (Aug 12, 2015, BBC)

A little more than a year since Narendra Modi’s right-wing Hindu nationalist BJP swept to power in India, there are fears that religiously motivated violence may be on the rise. Some say the BJP has bred a culture of intolerance towards minorities that has left even Hindus nervous of speaking out.

Just before Christmas the church of St Sebastian in Delhi was gutted by fire – one of five churches in the capital to have been attacked in the past year. The pastor of St Sebastian’s, Father Anthony Francis, didn’t believe the police theory that the fire was caused by a short circuit so started gathering evidence himself.…

India’s much larger Muslim minority has also been under pressure. In the months leading up to last year’s election, violence flared between Muslims and Hindus in the town of Muzaffarnagar, 100km (62 miles) north of Delhi, leaving more than 60 people dead. While no riots on that scale have occurred since, smaller incidents are common.…

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33241100

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Why PM Modi failed to impress in his second I-Day speech – By Prashant Jha (Aug 15, 2015, Hindustan Times)

For Prime Minister Narendra Modi, replicating the performance of his first Independence Day address would have been a difficult task. His speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort last year was masterful.… The context, however, had changed by the time he arrived at Red Fort this year.

There is no national crisis, but the enthusiasm has partly faded. A narrative has built up about how the Prime Minister is losing the plot; it is business as usual; and India is again unable to tackle the core governance challenges it confronts.

Traces of disillusionment have set in among key constituencies which supported Modi during the polls –army veterans angry about one rank one pension (OROP); young people who cannot yet see the jobs they had been promised; corporate India which is not satisfied at the rate of reforms; farmers who have seen a tough year.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/why-pm-modi-failed-to-impress-in-his-second-i-day-speech/article1-1380435.aspx

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Modasa – It is Just a Beginning: How Hindutva Supremacists are Rushing to Give Themselves Clean Chit in Terror-Related Cases – By Subhash Gatade (Aug 15, 2015, Mainstream)

Are investigations into the Hindutva terror-related cases changing course? A series of apparently unconnected developments definitely strengthen that belief. Close on the heels of renowned public prosecutor Rohini Salian’s revelation that she is being pressurised to go slow on the Malegaon bomb blast case (2008), the news of a number of witnesses turning hostile in the Ajmer bomb blast case (2007) and the sudden decision of the NIA to shift the Sunil Joshi murder case back to MP, has come the news that the NIA has finally decided to close the Modasa bomb blast case citing ‘insufficient evidence’.

As is being rightly said, it is the first concrete indication that with the assumption of power by the BJP, a shift in emphasis is visible in the investigations into the Hindutvaterror-related cases. Perhaps an indication of the changed times is the statement by a senior Minister that there is ‘nothing like Hindu terror in the country’ despite being aware of the fact that the NIA, the premier investigating agency formed after the 2008 terror attack in Mumbai to focus on terror-related cases, is handling at least sixteen high-profile cases supposedly involving Hindutva terrorists and many of their top bosses are still under the scanner.

The bomb blast at Modasa, a part of Sabarkantha district then and recently made into a separate district, which witnessed one death and injuries to many, is one of the least explored bomb blasts in the country. The following write-up tries to dissect the blast, discusses the prevalent ambience then when bombs were discovered at different places without anyone claiming responsibility for those, the interim findings of the NIA when it took over the particular case during the UPA-II regime and the announcement by the then Home Minister, P. Chidambaram, that the Central probe agency has achieved a “breakthrough” in the 2008 Modasa (Gujarat) blast case.…

http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article5877.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Why Indian Muslims can no longer be ignored – By Shehzad Poonawalla (Aug 12, 2015, Daily O)

It would perhaps be a revelation for many that the Indian Muslim voter carries influence in over 200 Lok Sabha seats across India where he or she constitutes a minimum of 11 per cent of the popular vote. Yet the share of the Indian Muslim in the political space of India, nationally and regionally, has been negligible so far and continues to decline steadily, leading to a serious question mark on the inclusive nature of our polity and the myopic nature of political strategies, prevalent in all “secular” parties, when it comes to Muslims.

In the current Lok Sabha for instance, Muslim representation went down to a historic low of 22 seats. Muslims constitute 14.2 per cent as per the 2011 Census so proportionally speaking they should have had 77 seats in the 16th Lok Sabha. Thus, the under-representation rate stands at a whopping 71.42 per cent for Indian Muslims.

Since independence, the highest number of Muslim MPs ever sent to Parliament was 49 in 1980 and even back then Muslims were under-represented. This has been a phenomenon Indian Muslims are contending with since the first General Election in 1952. Although the BJP did coin a phrase of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” in the run-up to the 2014 elections, acknowledging the importance of appealing to the minority vote, by making a perceptional shift in its brand of politics, it did not take the extra step of providing due representation to Muslims.…

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/indian-muslims-secularism-minority-under-representation-parliament/story/1/5615.html

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Goa’s Watergate Scandal – By Pushpa Iyengar (Aug 17, 2015, Outlook)

Sun, sand and corruption! That seems to be Goa’s new mantra as another major scandal hits the state. It is Goa’s own Watergate, and it has hogged headlines for nearly a month now, offering another example of how politicians here have shamed the people with their brazen acts. This one could be a game changer.…

The latest scandal involved an American company called Louis Berger International. It was part of a consortium for a project initiated by the state government to expand, rehabilitate and build water and sewerage facilities. The New Jersey-based construction company had admitted to paying $ 976,000 in 2010 (then about Rs 45 crore) in bribes for the JICA (Japanese International Corporation Agency) project. …

But the BJP is Mickky’s supporter only because of his political clout in south Goa, being a rival of Churchill. Mickky ducked the law for almost two months after his conviction was upheld earlier this year. No one believes he could have managed that unless the police was put on a tight leash by their masters. In fact, rumours did the rounds that he was hiding from police at Parrikar’s bungalow in Delhi!

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/goas-watergate-scandal/295104

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Radhe Maa: Why is India’s ‘godwoman’ in the news? – By Geeta Pandey (Aug 14, 2015, BBC)

According to her followers, Radhe Maa – or mother Radhe – is a reincarnation of the fiery Hindu goddess Durga, has supernatural powers and can perform miracles. Reports say her religious congregations draw thousands. The attractive 50-year-old is known to dance with her devotees and allows them to lift and carry her. She blesses them by letting them kiss her hand – the more privileged among them can even plant a peck on her cheek.…

“Around the age of 23, she decided that she was no longer a householder and dedicated herself completely to God”, it adds. A few years later, she moved to Mumbai, and today has travelled a long way from her humble beginnings. Today, through her trust, she runs two ashrams (communes) where her gatherings are attended by several hundred people at a time. Apart from all her red and gold finery, she also owns several luxury cars.

But in the last few days, her charmed life has begun to unravel and she is increasingly being painted as another charlatan defrauding the gullible by pretending to have direct access to gods and goddesses. Last week, the organisers of the one of India’s biggest Hindu festivals, the Kumbh Mela, barred her from attending the congregation until she was cleared of all charges in a dowry harassment case. The charges against her have been levelled by a 32-year-old woman who lodged a police complaint in Mumbai alleging that her husband’s family had harassed her and demanded more dowry from her on Radhe Maa’s instigation.…

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-33906388

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

{ 0 comments }

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 17th, 2015

August 18, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Indian Americans celebrate India Independence Day, call for unified action to secure life, liberty and justice for all News Headlines Gujarat riots: SIT opposes Zakia Jafri’s demand for further probe BJP workers held for ‘posing’ as census officials in Muslim areas One killed while making bombs at BJP […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 10th, 2015

August 11, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Special judge, hearing Gulberg massacre case, visits society Congress Government, Cops Indicted for Month-Long Bhagalpur Riots JNU students snub ABVP, screen riot film ‘Can Order Encounter,’ BJP Lawmaker Tells Journalist After 8 years in prison, three ‘HuJI operatives’ acquitted Narendra Modi government flags off cultural mapping […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 3rd, 2015

August 4, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Religious heads stress the need for harmony Wedding bells ring in communal harmony in Kashmir News Headlines SC deputy registrar quits over Yakub orders Prashant Bhushan: Why this unseemly hurry in Yakub execution? Memon’s Execution Focuses Spotlight On Gujarat’s Naroda Patiya Convicts Activists question leniency for Aseemanand […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 27th, 2015

July 28, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Irony of ironies: Judge afraid for her life after convicting Modi’s minister in Gujarat riots! Teesta Setalvad accuses Modi govt of ‘vendetta’ to silence her 1500 ‘encounter’ deaths under glare Will perpetrators of Babri masjid demolition be hanged too, asks Owaisi India Sees a Sharp Rise in […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 20th, 2015

July 21, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Continued vendetta against Teesta Setalvad condemned by Indian Americans News Headlines CBI raid at Teesta’s house ‘vindictive’, say Opposition MPs Naroda Patiya Riots Case: HC bench recuses itself, says accused tried to approach them Communal tension forces Maharashtra town to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr under curfew Jamnagar custodial death case: […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 13th, 2015

July 15, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Digest Communal Harmony Jamaat to establish local chapters of Sadbhavna Manch to strengthen communal harmony in country News Headlines 2002 riots: Gujarat HC to hear Zakia Jafri’s plea on July 27 Indian police raid home of leading rights activist and Modi critic NIA closes Modasa blast case in which […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 6th, 2015

July 7, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines SC stay over, HC to hear Naroda Patia appeals UN report “regrets” extra-judicial killings in Gujarat, objects to reinstatement of responsible cops in higher positions Suspected Terrorist Shot At, Turns Out To Be A Delhi Cop Hindu terror probe: NIA yet to lay hands on masterminds Communal […]

Read the full article →

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 29th, 2015

June 30, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Communal harmony over iftar at Delhi’s Jama Masjid News Headlines US report: Gujarat govt moved against top activist Teesta Setalvad after she sought to indict Modi in 2002 riots Since this new govt came, I have been told to go soft on accused (Hindu extremists): Special Public […]

Read the full article →