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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 22nd, 2015

by newsdigest on June 24, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

A run for amity in Muzaffarnagar (Jun 18, 2015, Times of India)

On Tuesday, Raj Singh, 22, was all set to run a race organised by local policemen. Two years ago, he might have recoiled from being on the same team with Muslim men in his village. In August-September 2013, Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts were rocked by communal riots. On Tuesday, Hindu-Muslim teams from 37 villages in Muzaffarnagar participated in the “Sadbhavana Daur” – a race for communal amity. Each team comprised four Hindu and four Muslim men, drawn from villages that bore the brunt of the 2013 riots. As the race progressed, it was hard to image that just two years ago, riots in these villages claimed 60 lives and left 50,000 displaced.

As he emerged from the race, Raj Singh asserted that close coordination with teammates was key. Meerut zone Inspector General of Police Alok Sharma, the brain behind this unique competition, said, “I am an alumnus of Aligarh Muslim University. I was the only Hindu in the university athletic team. It was there that I understood the meaning of team spirit. A team has only one mission. Every member of the team has to work in coordination with the other and strive to attain victory. In a team, it does not matter which religion you belong to. It was from there that I took inspiration to heal the wounds of communal violence here.”

UP police has consistently attempted to bridge the gap between the two communities in these villages, and Tuesday’s race showed the efforts were bearing fruit. The six-km race was held between Shahpur and Budhana. Mohd Arif, an athlete from Budhana, said, “Muzaffarnagar was thrown 10 years back because of the riots. Every community has suffered. Businesses have collapsed. There has to be an end to this. Ever since the race was announced, I was enthusiastic about it. I have been coordinating with Hindu participants in my team. There was certainly an element of stiffness at first, but it all melted away with time as our sole aim was winning the race. I can proudly say that I have now made four Hindu friends.”…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47717475.cms

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Religious harmony: Hindus in UP to observe Ramadan fast with Muslim neighbours (Jun 18, 2015, Indian Express)

At a time when controversy over performing yoga is on, a group of Hindus in Uttar Pradesh’s Mahoba district has decided to observe Roza (fast) with their Muslim neighbours during the holy month of Ramadan starting on Friday.

“We have decided to observe fast with our Muslim brothers from tomorrow at Udal Chowk crossing in Mahoba. We will be sitting in a group of about 60 persons including at least 25 Hindus and will attend ‘Sehri’ and ‘Iftar’…,” Tara Patkar, Coordinator of Bundeli Samaj, said.

Patkar said that the move would serve dual purpose: On one hand, it will spread the message of religious harmony and on the other it will boost their campaign for setting up of AIIMS in Mahoba.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/religious-harmony-hindus-in-up-to-observe-ramadan-fast-with-muslim-neighbours/

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Modi’s 365 day rule characterized by 1,618 cases of serious human rights violations: Civil society report (Jun 18, 2015, Counterview)

A new report on one year of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rule, carrying a compilation of 1,618 incidents of different types of human rights violations across India, has alleged that the last 365 days characterize saffronisation of governance at the Centre, implementation of the Sangh’s Parivar’s agenda of coercion, isolation of religious minority groups, and infiltration of administrative structures, police and education.

Released simultaneously at 18 different places all over India, including Ahmedabad, the report, titled “356 Days: Democracy and Secularism Under the Modi Regime” says that Modi rode on “the high-tide of promised development, created by PR agencies and corporate-controlled media, the present regime ‘conquered’ the hearts and the minds of India with the promised ‘Achche Din’ (Better Days).”

But what it actually did was to implement the “the experiments perfected in the laboratory of Hindutva successfully exported from Gujarat to various states of India.” Introducing the report, human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi said, “Many of us, who have closely watched the developments and modus operandi of communal forces in Gujarat and elsewhere, have been deeply disturbed but not surprised at the developments of the past year.” …

http://www.counterview.net/2015/06/modis-365-day-rule-characterized-by.html

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FIR against Hindu Mahasabha leader Sadhvi Deva Thakur for remarks on sterilisation of minorities (Jun 16, 2015, DNA India)

An FIR has been registered against a Hindu Mahasabha leader for her controversial remarks that Muslims and Christians must undergo sterilisation to restrict their growing population. The FIR was lodged against vice president of All India Hindu Mahasabha Sadhvi Deva Thakur at Sadder police station on Monday on the directions of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Srinagar V S Bhau.

The CJM had directed Station House Officer of the police station to register a case against the accused under relevant provisions on an application by former Secretary of Jamiat-e- Ahlihadeeth AR Bhat, seeking action against the Hindu leader.

An FIR has been lodged against Sadhvi for “promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony”, a police official said. He said she has been booked under section 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, language) and 295-A (outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the RPC.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-fir-against-hindu-mahasabha-leader-sadhvi-deva-thakur-for-remarks-on-sterilisation-of-minorities-2096092

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No HC relief for Babu Bajrangi (Jun 20, 2015, Indian Express)

The Gujarat High Court on Friday refused to entertain a petition moved by Babubhai Patel alias Babu Bajrangi, convicted in 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case, seeking regular bail. Bajrangi sought bail on the ground that he has lost his eyesight completely and therefore, he should be granted bail to stay with family who can take care of him.

During the argument the division bench of justices Mohinder Pal and RD Kothari inquired whether Bajrangi’s eyesight could be restored or not. His lawyer PM Lakhani said that as per the medical reports his vision can’t be restored. The bench said that in such a situation bail can’t be granted.

“It is not going to make any difference now whether he is in jail or outside. For him everything will be the same inside or outside the jail. In jail he will have more company with fellow inmates who can take care of him. If you insist we can pass an order to the jail authorities to give him attendants,” justice Pal told Lakhani.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/everything-will-be-same-for-you-inside-or-outside-jail-says-hc-refusing-bail-to-bajrangi-who-has-gone-blind/

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Ramzan in Atali in Ballabhgarh: Jats get mosque fans removed (Jun 20, 2015, Indian Express)

Installing two portable fans at a burnt down mosque so people won’t have to offer prayers in the heat led to tension in riot-hit Atali village in Ballabhgarh Friday – the first day of Ramzan.

There is a stay on construction at the mosque, which was torched during riots in the village last month. Villagers said portable fans had been put up at the mosque Thursday, in preparation for prayers during Ramzan. But the Jat community reportedly protested and claimed Muslims were attempting to start construction at the mosque. They also held a panchayat, forcing the district administration to intervene and get the fans removed.

“We put fans at the mosque because it becomes very hot and the elderly find it uncomfortable. We didn’t want to begin construction or do anything that could lead to tension. But the Jats protested and said we were trying to take over the land,” claimed Nizam Ali, a resident.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/ramzan-in-atali-jats-get-mosque-fans-removed/

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UP: BJP leader Vidhya Sharan Sharma booked for inciting ‘communal hatred’ (Jun 20, 2015, Indian Express)

A Muslim woman who bought a house in a Hindu-dominated locality in Moradabad was allegedly stopped from taking possession of the property with a BJP corporator asking why she wanted to stay there when her “culture is different”. The BJP corporator, Vidhya Sharan Sharma, was booked on charges of promoting enmity between two communities. A case was filed under Section 153A of IPC at Kathghar police station after the incident late Wednesday night.

According to police, Shashi Prabha had sold a house to Shahana Bi in Gadhikhana locality. Shahana, a resident of Peerzada locality, went to Gadhikhana Wednesday night to take possession of the house.…

As an argument ensued between Shahana and Sharma, local BJP corporator Vidhya Sharan Sharma, who also lives in the same locality, reached there. He allegedly told Shahana not to buy the house as it is in a Hindu-dominated area. The SHO said he, too, reached the area after locals informed him. “I asked the corporator not to get involved. In my presence, he asked Shahana not to buy the house as she was a Muslim. I later lodged an FIR against him under section 153 A of IPC to maintain law and order,” he said.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/up-bjp-leader-vidhya-sharan-sharma-booked-for-inciting-communal-hatred/

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Case against Modi, Shah, RSS chief over ‘religious colour’ to yoga (Jun 20, 2015, Yahoo)

A case was filed on Saturday against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in a court in the Bihar capital for giving a “religious colour” to yoga, thereby hurting people’s sentiments.

“We have filed a case against Modi, Shah and Bhagwat in the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Patna for defaming yoga by giving it religious colour that has hurt the sentiments of people,” said Shruti Singh, the lawyer of petitioner social activist Dev Kumar Singh.

The case was filed on charges of committing deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings, and criminal conspiracy, the lawyer said. The petitioner prayed to the court to order the filing of a first information report (FIR) against the three leaders.…

https://in.news.yahoo.com/case-against-modi-shah-rss-chief-over-religious-120003934.html

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VP Hamid Ansari being hounded on social media after Ram Madhav’s tweet on his Yoga Day absence (Jun 21, 2015, Twocircles.net)

Vice President Hamid Ansari is being hounded on social media for the second day after BJP leader’s tweet questioning his absence from the International Yoga Day event on June 21. This is the second time that Ansari’s ‘patriotism’ has been questioned.

Earlier, he was hounded by self proclaimed Hindu nationalists for ‘not saluting’ the national flag, although protocol does not require anyone except the President to salute.

On June 21, for the first time International Yoga Day was celebrated. National general secretary of BJP Ram Madhav tweeted questioning why did Rajya Sabha TV ‘completely blackout’ the Yoga Day celebrations his ‘absence’ from the celebration.…

http://twocircles.net/2015jun21/1434902802.html

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Sohrabuddin Encounter: CBI court junks Andhra cop’s discharge plea (Jun 17, 2015, Indian Express)

A CBI special court in Mumbai rejected an application moved by an Andhra Pradesh (AP) police inspector seeking discharge from the fake encounter cases of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kauser Bi and Tulsiram Prajapati.

The court, while refusing to grant him relief, issued notice for framing of charges, a procedure before the beginning of trial, on July 6. Special judge M B Gosavi rejected the discharge application of police inspector Ghattamaneni Srinivasa Rao, posted in Prakasham district of AP. Rao was chargesheeted by CBI for taking part in the abduction of the trio, keeping them in illegal confinement and eventually killing them.

Rao is accused of escorting the Gujarat police team from Hyderabad to Gujarat in November 2005, days before killings of Sohrabuddin and his wife. CBI probe established that a year later, Tulsiram was also killed in a fake encounter.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/sohrabuddin-encounter-cbi-court-junks-andhra-cops-discharge-plea/

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Gurgaon cop suspended for FIR delay in molestation case (Jun 16, 2015, Times of India)

An assistant sub-inspector (ASI) at the DLF phase II police station has been suspended for not taking timely action in registering an FIR when a cosmetics store employee was assaulted by a Sushant Lok resident outside The Leela hotel last month.

The 25-year-old woman, who is from Darjeeling and currently lives in Dundahera, went to the police station around 10pm on May 30 after she was allegedly assaulted and threatened by Shailender Singh Chauhan (39), a resident of Block B in Sushant Lok.

She submitted her complaint to ASI Madan who was the duty officer at that time. However, Madan did not register the FIR immediately. The issue then came to the notice of senior police officers the next day through an instant messaging group chat. The FIR was finally lodged at 7.15pm on May 31 and the victim was taken for a medical examination on June 1.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47684175.cms

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Dalit brothers, who cracked IIT, were tormented for their caste (Jun 22, 2015, Deccan Herald)

The ordeals faced by the two dalit brothers, Brijesh and Raju, who cracked the IIT, throws light on the evils of caste based discrimination in our country. The two dalit boys might have set an example for many youngsters by cracking the IIT entrance test, but when they returned home victorious, stones were pelted at their house just because they belonged to a backward caste.

Revealing how they had struggled to study, the boys told Times Of India that people used to make fun of them when they expressed a desire for education. The villagers discouraged them and tormented them when they joined school.

The lanes around their houses were blocked and even the drainage pipe of their house was cut off to punish them for pursuing education.…

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/484989/dalit-brothers-cracked-iit-were.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Really, RSS? Help to Lalit Modi is Nationalism? – By Ashutosh (Jun 19, 2015, NDTV)

The noose is tightening and the myth is breaking. The Lalit Modi saga is getting bigger and murkier. The government, which a few weeks ago was looking impeccable on the issue of corruption, is now thoroughly exposed and it turns out that the Modi government is no different from the Manmohan Singh government. The only difference is that exposing the Manmohan Government took five years, the Modi government, only a year.

Rajasthan Chief Minister and powerful BJP leader Vasundhara Raje Scindia is in serious trouble. She is no ordinary leader. She is running a state with more than 3/4th majority and is a second term Chief Minister. She is also the daughter of Mrs Vijaya Raje Scindia, a member of the original triumvirate of the BJP along with Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani.

Vasundhara Raje is the second-high profile leader after Sushma Swaraj who, as it turns outs, helped Indian fugitive Lalit Modi, the original IPL commissioner and the czar of Indian cricket. There are tremendous similarities between both the leaders. Both went out of their way to help him. Sushma, being Foreign Minister, was not supposed to interact with a fugitive of the law, forget about bailing him out. Vasundhara was bolder. She wrote a secret letter to facilitate Lalit getting immigrant status in London, knowing well enough that she was on the wrong side of law and morality, and that is why she asked British Authorities to keep her name secret and not disclose it in public.…

http://www.ndtv.com/opinion/really-rss-help-to-lalit-modi-is-nationalism-773328

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Sorry, Mr Ansari – Editorial (Jun 23, 2015, Indian Express)

The mean-spirited controversy sparked by BJP general secretary Ram Madhav’s questioning of Vice President Hamid Ansari’s absence at Sunday’s commemoration of International Yoga Day on Rajpath will not be deleted as easily as the offensive tweet.

The fact is, a senior and responsible functionary of the ruling party has levelled an unseemly accusation at the occupant of one of the nation’s highest offices – and there is no escaping the impression that Ansari’s religion has something to do with it. This is because there is a larger context to Madhav’s tweet.

For one, it is the second instance in less than five months where an attempt has been made by supporters of the Narendra Modi government to cast aspersions on Ansari’s patriotism. On Republic Day, the vice president’s office was forced to defend Ansari against the charge of disrespecting the national flag by not saluting it during the march-past.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/sorry-mr-ansari/

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International Yoga Day: This asana is a Hindutva pose – By Sitaram Yechury (Jun 16, 2015, Hindustan Times)

Under this BJP government’s aggressive global campaigns, India appears to be seeking a global positioning not on the basis of its internal strength, economic or otherwise, but on the basis of such ‘accomplishments’ as having the UN General Assembly declare International Yoga Day on June 21. A PM-led government patronaged event on Delhi’s Rajpath, where public gatherings have been banned since the demolition of the Babri masjid, is aiming to enter the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest public participation in yoga exercises.

There can be no dispute over the practice of yoga postures improving the quality of life. Leaving aside the controversies over the promotion of a Hindutva agenda, such a mega marketing exercise definitely smacks of a dubious effort to Hinduise our richly diverse people and society. There is a running thread of a not too subtle campaign in the demonstrative ‘marketing’ that Prime Minister Narendra Modi undertakes.

Remember, that the RSS, in order to advance its agenda of replacing our secular democratic Republic with its project of a rabidly intolerant fascistic ‘Hindu Rashtra’, has all along spoken of ‘liberating’ the temples at Ayodhya (Ram Janmasthan), Mathura (Krishna Janmasthan) and the Benaras Kashi Vishwanath temple. The Babri masjid has been demolished, Modi is the MP from Varanasi and Mathura was the chosen venue for launching the first birthday of this government. A distinct subterranean pattern.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/sitaramyechury/international-yoga-day-this-asana-is-a-hindutva-pose/article1-1359086.aspx

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India: The Economic Cost Of Violence In 2014 – By Abdul Rashid Agwan (Jun 19, 2015, Countercurrents)

The latest report of the Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) shocks the world by its assessment of the cost of violence the world has paid during the previous year. The report “Global Peace Index 2014: Measuring Peace and Assessing Country Risk” was released yesterday.

India stands 143rd among 162 countries on the Global Peace Index and heavily squandered its national wealth on the anvil of communal, caste-based and class-based violence. The study underlines that the cost of violence around the world reached a record $14.3 trillion in 2014, equivalent to the combined economies of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the UK.

“The (cost of violence) has been largely associated with the increase of deaths in conflict, the ongoing economic consequences of conflicts in the countries where they’re occurring and also the increased cost associated with the displaced people,” IEP founder Steve Killelea said.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/agwan190615.htm

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A question of credentials – Editorial (Jun 23, 2015, The Hindu)

While the Bharatiya Janata Party government has, on the one hand, been striving to pursue a growth- and development-oriented agenda with a firm emphasis on the economic and foreign policy fronts, on the other hand the question has come up too often whether it is meanwhile systematically seeking to use the Ministries related to culture, information, education and human resources to push itself away from values promoting excellence and expertise when it comes to certain key appointments.

This is the only possible explanation for the choice of those with uncertain credentials for some important institutional appointments. In the latest instance, the choice of Gajendra Chauhan for the post of chairman of the governing council of the Film and Television Institute of India, and other members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to be members of the FTII Society, has raised the hackles of students of the institute and members of the larger cinema fraternity.

Mr. Chauhan is better known for his portrayal of the character of Yudhisthira in the popular television serial Mahabharata in the 1980s. His filmography includes a string of films of a certain kind, and there is little in his repertoire that qualifies him to chair a premier institution imparting quality cinematic training. It is clear that the choice made by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is based on his leanings. He is a BJP member, and wears his affiliation on his sleeve.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/a-question-of-credentials/article7342985.ece

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Emergency School Of Drama – By Alam Srinivas (Jun 27, 2015, Tehelka)

He is a master of makeovers. He knows how to look and wear the ‘right’ attire, and how to nurture, and even change, his political and social image. He knows what to say, when and where, and how to use words and slogans to maximise impact. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has displayed all these qualities, and more, during his 12-year-plus stint as Gujarat’s chief minister, and over 12 months as the country’s head.

During his election campaign, he cultivated the image of an efficient and incorruptible administrator. He sold the Gujarat Model of Development as the almost- perfect one that the nation could replicate. After he became the prime minister, he displayed the power of his personality when he addressed America’s president as ‘Barack’ and not Mr Obama. He wowed the crowds in the US as well as Australia.

However, few know that Modi learnt the art of managing the masses and mass media, and creating a positive and aggressive hysteria amongst them during the controversial Emergency years (1975- 77). It was during this period, when the writ of Indira Gandhi, and her younger son, Sanjay Gandhi, ran supreme that the country’s current prime minister studied, honed and finessed his theatrical skills.…

http://www.tehelka.com/emergency-school-of-drama/?singlepage=1

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 15th, 2015

by newsdigest on June 16, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

International Yoga Day: It’s RSS, Centre’s way to propel Hindutva agenda (Jun 15, 2015, Indian Express)

Muslim leaders in Kolkata condemned the International Yoga Day to be held on June 21, terming it “the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) way to forward its agenda of Hindutva”. Shafique Qasmi, Imam of Nakhoda Masjid here, said that there already exists a physical training class in the schools and questioned the “need to impose yoga classes”.

“Yoga is a part of vedic culture and is part of Hinduism. Why should it be implemented in schools and among government officials? It would be illegal in a secular country like ours. If keeping fit is the objective, then Namaz is one of the best forms of exercise. Why can’t it (offering of Namaz) be made compulsory for Muslim students and officials?” he said while speaking to The Indian Express.

He also alleged that the International Yoga Day was the Centre’s way “to shift focus at a time when the people have started seeing through the anti-people policies of the Narendra Modi government”. “It is a part of a larger conspiracy being created by the Centre,” he said.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/international-yoga-day-its-rss-centres-way-to-propel-hindutva-agenda/

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Tripura suspends three cops for custody death (Jun 7, 2015, Times of India)

Three policemen, including an assistant sub-inspector (ASI), were suspended for their alleged negligence of duty following a custodial death at Kamalpur police station in Dhalai district on Friday night.

The family members of the victim, Bijoy Deb (36), alleged that the deceased was tortured in the custody which led to his death. One of the family members said Bijoy was arrested in Noagoan village, Kamalpur, for allegedly creating nuisance in public under the influence of alcohol on Friday night. Around midnight, the sentry on duty noticed that Bijoy had collapsed inside the lockup and was immediately shifted to Kamalpur hospital where doctors declared him dead.…

This is the second such incident in the state in a month. On May 1, Noor Islam (42), a resident of Chanban village in Udaipur, died inside the lockup at R K Pur police station in South Tripura.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47568932.cms

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UP journalist killing: Five policemen suspended (Jun 13, 2015, The Hindu)

The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday suspended five policemen in connection with the killing of journalist Jagendra Singh in Shahjahanpur. Singh was set on fire allegedly by a group of policemen and goons allied with Ram Murti Verma, State Minister for Dairy Development on June 1, 2015. He battled for life for a week at a hospital in Lucknow before he died on June 8.

In a dying declaration on video, shot before he breathed his last because of burns, Singh said, “Why did they have to burn me? If the Minister and his people had something against me, they could have hit me and beaten me, instead of pouring kerosene over me and burning me.”

Meanwhile, a Public Interest Litigation has been filed in Allahabad High Court seeking directions for a CBI probe into the death of Singh. The PIL was filed on June 11 by an NGO and is likely to come up for hearing on June 15. The petition said that the incident was so serious in nature that it calls for a CBI probe.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/up-journalist-jagendra-singh-killing-five-policemen-suspended/article7312967.ece

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Advocate Pracha threatened by Rajasthan ATS officer for defending terror accused (Jun 12, 2015, Twocircles.net)

In an unprecedented event, senior Supreme Court lawyer Mahmood Pracha was threatened directly by a Rajathan Anti-Terrorist Squad officer for defending terror case accused persons. Pracha has filed a complaint letter before the court.

The incidence happened just outside the session court chamber in Jaipur around 12.30 pm on Thursday when the ATS officer Dinesh Sharma tried to assault and straightforwardly threatened Pracha for defending accused in the case and said if he does not leave the cases, then he (Pracha) would be killed.

Confirming the incidence, Advocate Tahiwar Pathan, assistant of Advocate Pracha told TwoCircles.net, “Earlier we used to receive threats from underworld dons but now the men in uniform are threatening us. Fortunately, the incidence happened in the court premises due to which judge himself asked sir (Pracha) to file a complaint before the court.”…

http://twocircles.net/2015jun12/1434130325.html

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RSS Activists Attack Christian Religious Gatherings In Kerala (Jun 16, 2015, Tehelka)

The Christian community in Attingal, near Thiruvanathapuram, is under fear of more attacks, as Hindu hardliners continue to target their gatherings, alleging forced religious conversions. Recently, two such religious gatherings were attacked in the place, leaving many devotees seriously injured. The incidents took place June 14, with a group of 40 or more men, belonging to local RSS unit, raising the slogan ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, stormed into the religious gatherings. They have pelted stones into the halls and unleashed attack on devotees. They even destroyed religious properties and looted many valuables.

The first of the incidents, took place on June 14, around 11.30. The gathering of Indian Pentecostal Mission, was on progress at a hall near to KSRTC bus stand. The troop of RSS activists stormed in to the hall and unleashed an attack on them. Many, including the pastor, were injured in the attack. Then this group moved to a hall at the Municipal Library and attacked another religious gathering belonging to the ‘Reaching the World with Love Ministry’.

According to the Attingal police, the prayer session was being attended by a group of 300 people, at the Municipal Library Hall opposite to the Attingal Town Hall, when RSS activists came raising the slogan ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and storming into the hall and attacking the devotes.…

http://www.tehelka.com/rss-activists-attack-christian-religious-gatherings-in-kerala/

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CCTV footage shows Ramdev’s brother instigating attack: Police (May 30, 2015, Indian Express)

CCTV footage of the May 27 clash between security personnel of Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Food and Herbal Park and a local union of truck operators, which left a truck driver dead, shows Ram Bharat, younger brother of the yoga guru, instigating the security guards to attack the protesting union members, Uttarakhand Police said Friday.

It was on the basis of this footage that Ram Bharat was arrested and booked under IPC sections relating to murder, attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy and sections of the Arms Act.

Haridwar SSP Sweety Aggarwal told The Indian Express: “Baba Ramdev was in the vicinity at the time of the incident. While we have recovered part of the footage that shows Ram Bharat instigating his guards to attack union members, a major portion of the footage has been erased. We are yet to ascertain if Ramdev had a role.”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/cctv-footage-shows-ramdevs-brother-instigating-attack-police/

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Two yardsticks for two massacres: Govt U-turn on compensation vow (Jun 11, 2015, Indian Express)

After Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav declared on May 20 that compensation will be paid to victims of Maliana massacre in Meerut, the state government on Wednesday decided the “victims cannot be treated at par with Hashimpura massacre victims” and called off its plans to pay Rs 5 lakh compensation. The decision comes four days after the government released Rs 2.24 crore for the families of 42 Hashimpura victims who were allegedly killed by state PAC officials in 1987.

The government held that in the case of 73 victims of Maliana “there was no police atrocity”. “In Hashimpura there was police atrocity while in Maliana incident there was no such atrocity,” Akhilesh’s Chief Secretary, Alok Ranjan told The Indian Express.…

When reminded about the CM’s announcement, he said: “Maliana incident was part of the riots that took place. We cannot cover them with compensation at par with Hashimpura victims.” Sources informed that officials had apprised the CM that “giving compensation to Maliana victims will make other riot victims demand for compensation”.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/two-yardsticks-for-two-massacres-govt-u-turn-on-compensation-vow/

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10 Mumbai schools with minority status issued notices (Jun 11, 2015, Times of India)

The state government has issued show cause notices to 10 minority status schools in South Mumbai including Cathedral and John Cannon school.

“10 schools in South Mumbai have not admitted minority students in the past three years. As per the records their ratio is zero per cent of admitted minority students in the schools,” said minority affairs minister Eknath Khadse.

The show cause notice asks, why the minority status of these schools should not be cancelled. The government is awaiting the schools’ replies. There are other 70-75 schools which are on the list too. The notice will be sent to them as well, said minister.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47631560.cms

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Muzaffarnagar riots: Charges framed against 4 in gangrape case (Jun 9, 2015, Economic Times)

Charges were today framed against four accused by a special court here in connection with the gangrape of a woman during the 2013 communal clashes. The court of Justice Gulab Singh framed charges under various sections, including section 376 (rape) of the IPC against Pushpender, Rupinder, Shabbir and Sanjiv.

The court will record the victim’s statement on July 1. A total of seven gangrape cases, including six in Phugana village and one in Lank village, were registered against 27 people. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the riots had found the involvement of 25 people in six gangrape cases. All 25 have been arrested.

More than 60 people were killed and 40,000 displaced during riots in Muzaffarnagar district and its adjoining areas in September 2013.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47604149.cms

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Scars of Police Torture Haunt TN Dalit Youth as CB-CID Goes Slow on Probe (Jun 14, 2015, New Indian Express)

Nearly nine months have passed but the scars of police torture continue to haunt Poovarasan as CB-CID is allegedly going slow on the case after filing an FIR directed by Madras High Court.

Poovarasan, a Dalit youth, was illegally detained and tortured by police inspector Kandiban of Kaveripakkam police station, Arakkonam taluk, Vellore district along with Mohan, special sub inspector and constables Sundar and Velmurugan on September 2014 after he allegedly protested entry of lorries into Athipattu village to reach sand quarries.…

Suresh also demanded adequate compensation for victims of police brutality. “Policemen joining hands with sand smugglers should be immediately transferred from the area, pending investigation,” Suresh demanded.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/Scars-of-Police-Torture-Haunt-TN-Dalit-Youth-as-CB-CID-Goes-Slow-on-Probe/2015/06/14/article2865187.ece

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Opinions and Editorials

‘Modi’s Concern For The Minorities Is Treated Only As Empty Verbosity’ – By Rajinder Sachar (Jun 15, 2015, Outlook)

…As per press reports Modi recently warned B.J.P. members from spreading communal hatred, acknowledging that provocative comments made by some of his party colleagues were totally uncalled for and declaring that constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and non discrimination were non-negotiable. As a theoretical proposition, no one can disagree. This is consistent with accepted wisdom, namely “that in any country the faith and the confidence of the minorities in the impartial and even functioning of the State is the acid test of being a civilized State”. But how different is the ground reality.…

Personal safety, equal treatment by State is another test by which minorities would judge Modi. Recent happenings in village Atali (Ballabhgarh, Haryana) A team of Socialist Party (India) and PUCL recent visit to Atali Village disclosed the partisan and communal face of Haryana B.J.P. Government. It was on 25th may, 2015 that a mob of Hindus attacked Muslim Houses and destroyed a part of mosque which was being built by Muslims on admittedly wakf land. Muslims in panic had to flee from the village and take refuge in Ballabhgarh Police Station and could only return on 3rd June, 2015. There is still panic and state of uncertainly. But Haryana’s B.J.P. Chief Minister has not deemed it necessary to visit the village and assure Muslims that justice will be done to them. Rather his callousness in the matter is frightening.…

B.J.P. leader Amit Shah who is really running the party is a deep quiet conspiratorial personality. He very innocently seeks to avoid entering into arguments on building Ram Temple and abrogation of Article 370 of the constitution by pleading that B.J.P. has not been given this mandate on these issues. And yet surprisingly lesser B.J.P. minions indulge in provocative slogan of completing the project of “Ram Mandir” and Abrogation of Article 370 of the constitution. Modi keeps conspiratorially silent. That is why when Modi stresses that his sole agenda is development for all it does not cut ice with the minorities, apart from the fact that in reality Modi’s development programme is corporate friendly and anti-labour.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/modis-concern-for-the-minorities-is-treated-only-as-empty-verbosity/294589

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It’s Hindu, but not exactly: Modi sarkar assumes Catch-22 asana on International Yoga Day – By Sandip Roy (Jun 10, 2015, First Post)

The government has gotten itself into a curious yoga posture. It’s an asana known as the Catch-22 asana where they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Making sure the world understands that Yoga is #MadeInIndia has been unquestionably one of Narendra Modi’s soft power PR success stories. It’s just been a little too successful and now yoga is paying the price.

Basically right-wingers on the saffron end have wanted it both ways. They have feared that yoga’s Hindu roots have been excised, erased and elided even as yoga has become phenomenally successful in the West. It’s not an unjustified fear. In fact the more successful it has become, the more many of yoga’s western gurus shy away from its roots. Somewhat like Bobby Jindal.

On the other hand now that Narendra Modi has tried to successfully “reclaim” yoga, and its Hindu roots are showing, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has found a golden opportunity to have its moment in the sun and claim that the government is trying to foist Hinduism on everyone. The padmasana is being equated to the BJP lotus. That has led the government to twist itself into knots to appease all sides.…

http://www.firstpost.com/living/its-hindu-but-not-exactly-modi-sarkar-assumes-catch-22-asana-on-international-yoga-day-2288516.html

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Arson at Atali – By T.K. Rajalakshmi (Jun 26, 2015, Frontline)

The 1,000-odd Muslims of Atali village in Haryana’s Ballabhgarh tehsil, Faridabad district, have paid heavily for attempts to build a mosque: nearly two dozen homes and shops belonging to members of the minority community were burnt, looted and vandalised by a mob led by women and armed with hoes (pharsa, in local parlance) and other improvised weapons on the evening of May 25.

The police were hopelessly outnumbered, and they received reinforcements too late to stop anything. No one was killed, but some two dozen people of the targeted community received serious injuries. Curiously enough, not a single person in the rampaging mob was hurt.…

The Ballabhgarh police station is just six kilometres away from Atali village. Some of the victims who have taken refuge there told Frontline that they had informed the police about the mob build-up on May 25, well before the violence started. One of them said: “We made repeated calls that day. The SHO [station house officer] came, but he left leaving behind only five policemen. When we saw the mob gathering, with women in the front, we made frantic calls to the police station, only to be told that policemen were on their way. The mob used cooking gas cylinders and petrol bombs to blast our walls and burn our vehicles. We took refuge inside our homes and on rooftops. With smoke all round us and we being pelted with bricks, we were completely helpless.”…

http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/arson-at-atali/article7297894.ece

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A Dravidian Pause In The Hindutva Surge – By Nisha Ponthathil (Jun 20, 2015, Tehelka)

Until two decades ago, Tamil Nadu was hailed widely as a state where the divisive agenda of Hindutva would not find many takers. The state had witnessed social reformation movements in the 19th and 20th centuries in which the local communities had fought valiantly against the Brahminical agenda of caste discrimination. Sangh Parivar organisations were hell-bent on making inroads into the southern state, albeit with little success.

However, in the last few years, the Hindutva outfits have succeeded in winning more followers in the Dravidian heartland through hate campaigns and forging opportunistic alliances. They are yet to win over the Tamil psyche, which continues to cherish a deep sense of social solidarity and co-existence.

The decision of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) to revoke the ban imposed on the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC) has once again proved that the saffronisation agenda of the Narendra Modi government has gone awry in the Dravidian land which still harbours radical thoughts.…

http://www.tehelka.com/a-dravidian-pause-in-the-hindutva-surge/

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Culture of impunity – Editorial (Jun 15, 2015, Indian Express)

The “encounter” in which 12 Maoists were gunned down in Palamau district of Jharkhand last week is beginning to look as disturbing as the April incident in a Tirupati forest in which 20 people were killed in an alleged “encounter” with red sanders smugglers. Only seven of the Palamau victims have been identified, of which six have no police record.

Four minors were killed – celebrating the encounter as a success, the director general of police had elaborated that the “bullet does not differentiate” on the basis of age. Predictably, none of the underaged have been identified.…

The police have an unfortunate tradition of impunity in which fake encounters, framing, the planting of fake evidence and the use of unsanctioned force are par for the course. Admittedly, the forces operate under difficult and often dangerous conditions, but that cannot possibly condone impunity or the use of disproportionate force. Every “encounter” in which the authorities and the public fail to ask probing questions about worrying details strengthens the pervasive culture of impunity. As a step towards clearing the air, the police should immediately reveal the details of the Palamau operation and the identities of the dead.

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/culture-of-impunity/

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Ringing with hate – By Lyla Bavadam (Jun 26, 2015, Frontline)

Caste tensions are simmering in Maharashtra, where in the past 12 months alone there have been seven caste-related murders. The seemingly low figure is significant because the seven people lost their lives only because of the lower social status ascribed to them by birth. And the State revels in calling itself progressive and modern. The murders were of a gruesome nature; it was as if some vengeance was being exacted.

Only some of these cases have been registered under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, though on the face of it there are adequate pointers to a caste angle to all of them. Analysis of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data for crimes against Scheduled Castes under the Prevention of Atrocities Act from 2001 to 2012 shows that Maharashtra had 3,210 reported cases of atrocities in this period.

The State was ninth on the list, which Uttar Pradesh topped with 26,378 cases followed by Tamil Nadu with 10,845. Priyadarshi Telang of Manuski, an organisation that campaigns for social justice, says Maharashtra has an annual conviction rate of less than 3 per cent and thus holds the State “responsible for the increasing caste atrocities in Maharashtra”.…

http://www.frontline.in/social-issues/ringing-with-hate/article7297948.ece

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 8th, 2015

June 9, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Naroda Gam post-Godhra riots case: Court seeks SIT officer’s reply on missing CD Ishrat Jahan Fake Encounter: Centre Denies Permission To Prosecute IB Officials Muslim leaders oppose Yoga, say Suryanamaskar against the basic teaching of Islam Aam Aadmi Party report blames ML Khattar’s rally for Ballabhgarh riot […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 1st, 2015

June 2, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Hindu-Muslim bonhomie in Bihar town News Headlines Ballabhgarh riot victims blame local SHO, says NCM report Communal tension in Lucknow following clashes Fifty Gujarat NGOs “join hands” with Congress, AAP, Swaraj Samvad, decide to start “mega agitation” against Modi ‘Ghar Wapsi’ victims, Sikh rights group file lawsuit […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 25th, 2015

May 25, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Diamond exporter charged for denying Muslim a job 2002 riots call records: SIT court summons officer Himanshu Shukla to explain misplaced CDs Teesta Setalvad: Modi’s Silence on Attacks on Minorities Shows Tacit Consent Saffron trade union snubs RSS, to join protest against govt PMO Not Disclosing Foreign […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 18th, 2015

May 19, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines “Failure” to prosecute Modi for 2002 riots: Gujarat workers’, activists’ meet blames Indian judicial system 45 witnesses, all backtracked: How a Hubli case collapsed Cellphone records of 4 of 20 killed blow holes in Andhra police version of massacre Right-wing outfit defaced Delhi signages in bid to […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 11th, 2015

May 12, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Gujarat judge Jyotsana who convicted Kodnani, Babu Bajrangi gets 22 threat letters Media became Modi’s cheerleaders instead of analysing his politics: Rajdeep Sardesai BJP, RSS trying to replace India’s secular traditions with “neo-fascist” system: Left A Muslim ‘terror accused’ tells his account of frame-up and torture Stop […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 4th, 2015

May 5, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Indian Americans urge India, US to heed USCIRF’s recommendations on safeguarding religious freedom in India Communal Harmony A worthy example for communal harmony News Headlines Bid to evoke ‘Godhra’ in UP town US panel questions RSS, VHP over attacks against minorities; slams “ghar wapsi” US asks India to […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 27th, 2015

April 28, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Hazaribagh: ABVP threatens two Christian schools, forces one to close Humanity not found! 7 Muslims alleged of forced religion conversion arrested, but the TRUTH will shock you ‘That’s not us': RSS steps in to deny Nepal rescue act tweet VMC yet to solve row over houses for […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 20th, 2015

April 21, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines After Centre’s nod, state govt chargesheets former DGP who took on Modi Ex-ACP files police complaint against Raut for causing enmity Reveal names of policemen involved in encounters: TFJ FIR against STF personnel for murder, abduction in Chittoor encounter: Police tells Andhra HC Terror accused have right […]

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