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News Digest

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 27th, 2014

by newsdigest on October 28, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Muslim man arranges cremation of Hindu ‘sister’ (Oct 26, 2014, Indian Express)

In a heartwarming display of communal harmony, a Muslim man in a village near here made the arrangements for the cremation of a Hindu widow, whom he treated as his sister and had been supporting for a long time. The unique story is from Moondha Pandey village, about 10 km from Rampur.

After the death of her husband, Yashodha Devi had been living in a hut with her mother and son in an extremely pitiable condition in Maualagarh in Moondha Pandey, according to reports in the village. Moved by her ordeal, Aslam Beg of the same village made Yashodra her ‘rakhi sister’ and urged her to treat him as her elder brother. Thereafter, Aslam arranged a house for Yashodha’s family and even provided her with financial assistance. For 15 years, the two shared the relationship and participated in each other’s festivities, they said.

However, on Saturday, while Aslam was about to go to Yashodha’s house for ‘Bhai Dooj’, she passed away due to illness. Yashodha’s relatives had planned to cremate her at Maulagarh itself, but Aslam insisted on taking the body to Garhmukteshwar. Bearing all expenses, Aslam took Yashodha’s body and her relatives to the banks of Ganga in Garhmukteshwar and got her last rites performed there.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/muslim-man-arranges-cremation-of-hindu-sister/

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Sangam Vihar residents prevent clash, show communal harmony (Oct 27, 2014, DNA India)

Even as communal tension remains high on the fourth consecutive day in East Delhi’s Trilokpuri, many samaritans in South Delhi’s Sangam Vihar have been showing strength of communal harmony. A day before Diwali, when local goons attacked the RWA chairperson Ravi Kumar along with other residents of L-1st A area of Sangam Vihar, the fight could have resulted into the breakout of a fierce clash. But residents, like Iqbal and his brother Chiddu who saved Ravi’s life, stood in solidarity to counter the attempts of flaring up tension in the area.

On October 22, the street was lit and decorated for Diwali. People were busy shopping from the makeshift vendors when a speeding car drove in the locality. Anticipating that the rushing car might injure someone, Iqbal and his brother Chiddu stopped the car. “Ravi told them not to drive rashly as it could lead to accident. I slapped one of them as they misbehaved with him and asked them to leave,” Chiddu recalls. The accused, a group of bootleggers, came back with a dozen people welding meat cleavers, knives, choppers and baseball bats.

“They would have slashed my throat had Iqbal not come to my defence. I took a stone when I saw them attacking Iqbal and Chiddu. They attacked everyone who was present. I have never seen anything like this before except in the Bollywood movies. I am totally aghast,” Ravi confesses. Iqbal and Chiddu received injuries during the scuffle while they were trying to save Ravi and others. Chiddu received minor injuries on belly, shoulder and leg.

Meanwhile, residents have been together facing the repercussions. “The group of bootleggers threatened the locals of dire consequences if the police was informed,” Om Vir Singh, another local points out. “The local police, however, swung into action and cooperated with us,” he adds. However, this is not the first time that the goons have wreaked havoc in the area. According to the locals, the group of bootleggers, who live nearby, have been at the helm of all the criminal activities in the area. “They sell obnoxious drugs and liquor even to the minors. They harass women whenever they see them and pass lewd comments,” a female resident of the locality highlights. …

http://www.iamin.in/en/south-delhi/news/sangam-vihar-residents-prevent-clash-show-communal-harmony-44990

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Patna stampede: Muslim woman saves Hindu child (Oct 4, 2014, IBN)

CNN-IBN’s Prabhakar Kumar met the family of four-year-old girl Chahat who went missing during the stampede in Gandhi Maidan in Patna.

She was found by a Muslim lady who took chahat to her house.

The rescuer said, ‘I found her on the road. I took her to my house and gave her medicine for the fever.’

http://ibnlive.in.com/videos/503814/patna-stampede-muslim-woman-saves-hindu-child.html

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US court lets US group challenge Modi immunity (Oct 22, 2014, India Today)

A US court has asked a human rights group to respond by Nov 4 to the US government’s “suggestion of immunity” in a case against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for alleged crimes against humanity. US federal Judge Analisa Torres Tuesday issued an order asking the American Justice Center (AJC) to file its response to suggestion of immunity for Modi filed by US prosecutor Preet Bharara’s office on Sunday at the request of the State Department.

The State Department in a letter to the US justice department had conveyed the Indian government’s request to have the case against Modi “dismissed on the basis of his immunity from jurisdiction as a sitting foreign head of government.” …

However AJC legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun contended that the ‘suggestion of Immunity’ filed by Bharara’s office is not binding on the court as Modi’s alleged human rights violations before becoming Prime Minister are not immune.…

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/us-court-lets-us-group-challenge-modi-immunity/1/397089.html

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VHP hand seen in post-Modi Gujarat’s communal incidents (Oct 21, 2014, Deccan Herald)

Ahead of Id-al-Adha in the first week of October, violence rocked the communally sensitive Shahpur area. Violence erupted after Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists allegedly led cops to an illegal slaughter house resulting in clashes between two groups. Clashes arose in the Navsari area in South Gujarat after another complaint was lodged by VHP activists on cow slaughter. …

The incidents have also fuelled suspicion that the sudden eruption of violence could be political in nature. Given that the VHP has been at the centre of these skirmishes in some of the incidents, political observers point out there could be an attempt by the right wing group to regain its ground in the state which it had lost in the last one decade. Under the Modi regime, the VHP had been marginalised to a large extent with Narendra Modi distancing himself from its leaders such as Pravin Togadiya.

Observers point out a pattern in the run up to the recent spate of violence in the state. The VHP first created a din when it decided to prevent Muslim youths from participating in the Navratri festivals in the communally sensitive Godhra town. Then there were pamphlets circulated by the organisation cautioning parents of young girls about love jihad.…

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/437036/vhp-hand-seen-post-modi.html

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AAP, Congress, accuse ‘Hindutva elements’ of stoking violence (Oct 26, 2014, Indian Express)

With the communal violence in Trilokpuri, East Delhi, escalating on Saturday, leaders of the Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) accused the local BJP of sustaining the riot in an attempt to polarise votes in the Trilokpuri Assembly segment. …

On Saturday, the AAP and the Congress closed ranks to accuse the BJP, the RSS and the Bajrang Dal of inciting violence in the area. AAP MLA Raju said, “Every time the violence subsides, BJP workers round up locals with exaggerated tales. People in this area voted for the AAP in the Assembly polls last December. The BJP is attempting to consolidate the Dalit vote here the way it did in UP.”

Congress leader Harnam Singh, who contested elections in 2013, alleged that the violence was instigated by a BJP leader. “He came to Trilokpuri around 2 pm and members of Hindu groups began chants of ‘Har Har Mahadev’. This made things worse. Two hours after he came, the violence began again,” he said.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/aap-congress-accuse-hindutva-elements-of-stoking-violence/

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Godse should have targeted Nehru, says RSS mouthpiece (Oct 25, 2014, Indian Express)

Even as the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre is trying to own up Mahatma Gandhi, the Malayalam mouthpiece of the RSS has suggested that Nathuram Godse, instead of assassinating Gandhi, should have targeted Jawaharlal Nehru as he was responsible for Partition and never had any genuine attachment with the Father of the Nation.

“Nehru’s selfish politics was behind all national tragedies, including Partition and Gandhi’s assassination. After an honest evaluation of Nathuram Godse’s arguments and historical documents related to Partition, if history students feel Godse aimed the wrong target, they cannot be blamed. Nehru was solely responsible for Partition of the country,” says an article written by B Gopalakrishnan who was the BJP candidate in Chalakudy in the recent Lok Sabha election. It appeared in Kesari’s latest issue.

Gopalakrishnan, who argued in a two-part series that the RSS had nothing to do with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and it was Nehru’s idea to put the blame on the Hindu organisation, went on to say: “Nehru, whose ambition was to become a world leader, was closer to (Winston) Churchill, (Franklin D) Roosevelt and Chiang Kai-shek than he was to Gandhi.”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/godse-should-have-targeted-nehru-says-rss-mouthpiece/99/

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Sadhvi Pragya Thakur planned RSS man Sunil Joshi’s murder 15 days in advance: NIA (Oct 22, 2014, India Today)

The 2007 murder case of former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak Sunil Joshi was planned a fortnight before by Lokesh Sharma and Rajendra Chaudhary in connivance with Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, states the supplementary chargesheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Elaborating the role of Pragya, the chargesheet says that on the day of the murder, “Pragya was present at Koti Chandi Yagya Dussehra ground at Indore.” She stayed at Indore from December 25, 2007 to January 5, 2008.

It has also been alleged by NIA in the chargesheet that she had held captive Anandraj Kataria, an associate of Joshi, in a flat in Indore for 10 days, after the murder. Kataria was charged by MP police for the murder of Joshi but NIA did not name him. A day after the murder, on Dec 30, 2007, “Pragya called Kataria to a flat and later took him to the residence of late Laxman Singh Gaur. He was held captive since Pragya apprehended that Kataria was immature and if questioned by police he may reveal the facts about the earlier criminal act carried out by late Sunil Joshi and herself, as Kataria was closely associated with Joshi and her as well,” the chargesheet filed before a court in August this year states. …

The chargesheet also states that “Pragya after the murder of Joshi had met Lokesh and Rajender at the flat where Kataria was held captive and congratulated the two for the task.” It further says, “Witnesses statements establish that at MGH hospital, Dewas (where Joshi was admitted after being shot), she (Pragya) was handed over a mobile phone of Sunil Joshi which was picked up from the crime scene by Ramcharan Patel,” one of Joshi’s associates. …

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/sadhvi-pragya-thakur-planned-rss-sunil-joshis-murder-15-days-in-advance-nia/1/397179.html

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Madrasa played critical role in integration, don’t malign them, say clerics in Bengal (Oct 23, 2014, Twocircles.net)

A mega rally was organised by Muslim clerics here in Burdwan on October 20 against maligning of religious institutions in the wake of the recent blast in the town that has brought the needles of suspicion on some madrasas. While condemning all acts of terror unequivocally, the clerics appealed to the members of the two communities to maintain communal harmony.

“Madrasas are as patriotic institutions as any others and have played critical role in national integration and promoting brotherhood,” said the Secretary of Jamiat Ulama e Hind, West Bengal Maulana Siddiqullah Chowdhury, while addressing the rally, adding that there is no place for terrorism in Islam.

Criticising a section of media who are fanning communal agenda, Maulana Chowdhury said, “A section of media is circulating propaganda against Madrasas to strengthen anti-Muslim and communal forces, which is very dangerous for the state.” …

http://twocircles.net/2014oct23/1414075020.html

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Bastar Christians attacked by right-wing activists (Oct 27, 2014, Times of India)

After the controversial gram sabha resolutions banning non-Hindu religious activity in villages in tribal Bastar, there was fresh tension in Madota village after local Christians were assaulted allegedly by right-wing activists, leaving 12 people injured late on Saturday.

Eleven of the injured are still undergoing treatment at a hospital in Jagdalpur, where they were brought in a truck. While the police recorded their statement, senior civil and police officials are tight-lipped about the clash.

Chhattisgarh Christian Forum (CCF) president Arun Pannalal told TOI that the manner in which the attack was orchestrated raises suspicion that local officials were hand in glove with attackers.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/44943987.cms

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ADR: 61% Maharashtra BJP MLAs have criminal records (Oct 23, 2014, Indian Express)

Seventy four of the 122 BJP MLAs elected to the Maharashtra Assembly in the just concluded elections have criminal cases against them. Of them, 46 have declared serious cases in their poll affidavits such as murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping and crimes against women, according to an analysis done by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).

Shiv Sena, the second largest party in the Assembly with 63 MLAs, has 48 with criminal records, and 35 of them are facing serious charges. In NCP, 19 of the 41 MLAs have criminal records with serious charges pending against 18. The Congress has the least number of MLAs with criminal records – 15 of the 42. Out of them, 10 are facing serious charges.

Of the total 165 MLAs who have declared pending criminal cases against them, 86 have said that charges have been framed. This time, the number of MLAs with criminal charges has also increased – 40 per cent MLAs across political parties have declared criminal cases against them. In 2009, the percentage was 33 per cent.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/politics/adr-61-maharashtra-bjp-mlas-have-criminal-records/

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Woman alleges abduction, forcible marriage to Bajrang Dal activist (Oct 24, 2014, Times of India)

A woman from Elyarpadavu, about 15km from here, who had married a Bajrang Dal activist, filed charges of abduction and attempt to outrage the modesty of a woman against several Dal activists. She also alleged that Jagadeesh Shenava, president, Mangalore district unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, had threatened to harm her parents if she didn’t marry the activist.

The complainant in her twenties, who married Rajesh Shetty on October 16 at the Arya Samaj here, complained to Konaje police that she was drugged and coerced into the marriage.

In the complaint, she stated that Shetty, who she knew on Facebook through her elder sister, called her and told her he wanted money. After she gave him Rs 6,000 at his shop, Laxmi Fancy on Market Road here, she alleged that Shetty had given her juice spiked with a sedative. Shetty made her get into a van driven by Praveen Kuthar and they allegedly took her to a finance firm run by Dinesh, where about 10 persons threatened her to get married to Shetty and get converted. When she refused, they threatened to harm her parents.hellip;

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/44919989.cms

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Temple priest smashes 8-year-old Dalit boy’s head for prasadam (Oct 21, 2014, Deccan Chronicle)

If you’re hungry and a Dalit, don’t go to a temple to eat free prasadam, or you might get beaten to within an inch of your life! At least that’s what eight year old Santosh discovered when he went to Rudreshwara Swami Temple on Bazaar road in the city, where prasadam was being distributed.

At the sight of the boy, the angry priest bashed the little boy’s head repeatedly against a pillar in the temple, causing him to bleed. The priest suspected that the boy was a thief.

Bhaskar Prasad, a Dalit Sangharsh Samiti (DSS) leader however says that the boy was targeted because his parents were cobblers by profession and belonged to the scheduled caste. “Why would an 8-year-old boy go to a temple on a Sunday morning if it was not for prasadam.”…

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/141021/nation-crime/article/temple-priest-smashes-8-year-old-dalit-boys-head-prasadam

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Opinions and Editorials

Modi’s Idea of India – By Pankaj Mishra (Oct 24, 2014, New York Times)

…Narendra Modi, India’s new prime minister and main ideologue of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, is stoking old Hindu rage-and-shame over what he calls more than a thousand years of slavery under Muslim and British rule. Earlier this month, while India and Pakistan were engaging in their heaviest fighting in over a decade, Mr. Modi claimed that the “enemy” was now “screaming.” …

A Harvard-trained economist called Subramanian Swamy recently demanded a public bonfire of canonical books by Indian historians – liberal and secular intellectuals who belong to what the R.S.S. chief in 2000 identified as that “class of bastards which tries to implant an alien culture in their land.” Denounced by the numerous Hindu supremacists in social media as “sickular libtards” and sepoys (the common name for Indian soldiers in British armies), these intellectuals apparently are Trojan horses of the West. They must be purged to realize Mr. Modi’s vision in which India, once known as the “golden bird,” will “rise again.” …

Mr. Modi doesn’t seem to know that India’s reputation as a “golden bird” flourished during the long centuries when it was allegedly enslaved by Muslims. A range of esteemed scholars – from Sheldon Pollock to Jonardon Ganeri – have demonstrated beyond doubt that this period before British rule witnessed some of the greatest achievements in Indian philosophy, literature, music, painting and architecture. The psychic wounds Mr. Naipaul noticed among semi-Westernized upper-caste Hindus actually date to the Indian elite’s humiliating encounter with the geopolitical and cultural dominance first of Europe and then of America. …

Such crude xenophobia, now officially sanctioned in Mr. Modi’s India, seems only slightly less menacing than the previous R.S.S. chief’s wishful thinking about one more Mahabharata against demonic anti-Hindus.… One can only hope that India’s democratic institutions are strong enough to constrain yet another wounded elite from breaking out for geopolitical and military manhood.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/25/opinion/pankaj-mishra-nirandra-modis-idea-of-india.html

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The Trilokpuri riots in Delhi – By Mukul Kesavan (Oct 27, 2014, The Telegraph)

The Hindu-Muslim violence that began on Friday in Trilokpuri in East Delhi, is trivial compared to the riots and pogroms that disfigure India’s recent history. A couple of bullet wounds, a dozen or so injuries, pitched street fights where young men and boys threw stones and bricks at each other and dispersed, seems to be the extent of the violence. While the area is still tense, prohibitory orders and riot police seem to have brought the violence under some sort of control. But Trilokpuri isn’t just any neighbourhood in Delhi. Exactly thirty years ago, almost to the week, Trilokpuri was one of the two most gruesome killing fields in the pogrom of the Sikhs organized by the Congress and its goons after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. The other murderous basti, also in East Delhi, was Kalyanpuri. …

So, what we are seeing here is local ‘Hindu’ assertion in the form of the Mata ki Chowki, following up on the election of Modi sarkar and in anticipation of possible assembly elections in Delhi, given that the suspension of the present assembly can’t extend beyond January. Three-quarters of Trilokpuri’s population is Dalit. A substantial part of this electorate voted for the winning Aam Aadmi Party candidate the last time round. Given the way the Muzaffarnagar riots led to the consolidation of the Jat vote in the BJP’s favour in the general elections, the communal polarization that invariably follows upon rioting wouldn’t harm the BJP’s chances in the Trilokpuri assembly constituency. There’s reason, therefore, for local Hindu activists to believe that their belligerence has the implicit sanction of the new powers-that-be, even if the BJP has nothing to do with the staging of the confrontation.

Newspapers have begun to report that families, mainly Muslim, have begun leaving the neighbourhoods in anticipation of further trouble. There are the customary complaints of the police singling out Muslim men as responsible for the troubles. One middle-aged Muslim woman, old enough to remember 1984, is haunted by her memories of the scale of the Indira-kaand.…

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1141027/jsp/opinion/story_18966898.jsp

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Election Results Show Need for Radical Electoral reforms – Editorial (Oct 26, 2014, Peoples Democracy)

Following the recent elections to the state assemblies, the BJP is all set to form a government on the basis of its own strength in Haryana and a government led by it in Maharashtra. These results have come after the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) were in government for a long fifteen years and a Congress government in Haryana for two successive times lasting ten years. This has been the people’s verdict in these assembly elections which was, by far, fair and free given that there were no major complaints by any of the contesting parties. Under a democracy like ours, thus, such people’s verdict is the final authority. …

Such are the anomalies of the ‘first-past-the post’ system, which we had discussed earlier in these columns in the wake of the parliamentary elections. The urgency to enforce radical changes in our electoral system, including, moving towards a proportional representation through may be, initially, a ‘partial proportional representation’ system that is practiced in several western democracies today. The results of these state assemblies have, once again, underlined the urgency to initiate such reforms in order to strengthen our system of parliamentary democracy and make it truly democratic – rule of the majority. Instead, we now have continuously at the centre and in a majority of states, a situation when parties/coalitions control the government polling less votes in their favour than the votes polled against them. Such a distortion of democracy needs urgent correction. …

The truth is that the RSS is “expanding its base” precisely by sharpening communal polarisation in the country. It is, thus, ably ensuring its political arm, the BJP, to reap electoral benefits by practicing the worst form of ‘vote bank politics’ – seeking the consolidation of the majority Hindu vote through sharpening communal polarisation. Unless resisted and resoundingly isolated, the unity and harmony of our society of rich socio-cultural-religious-linguistic diversity will be seriously threatened. The Indian people will, therefore, have to unitedly resist such an assault on the secular democratic foundations of our Republic.

http://peoplesdemocracy.in/2014/1026_pd/election-results-show-need-radical-electoral-reforms

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No Toilets, Little Education – By Priyanka Kaushal (Nov 1, 2014, Tehelka)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech impressed many, but for some, his statement that most schools in India do not have toilets served as a painful reminder of harsh realities. “I felt as if the prime minister was talking about me,” says Sunita, 13, who lives in Dhamtari district of Chhattisgarh. “No one understands what girls here have to undergo in these schools without toilets.” Sunita was referring to what girls across her state face every day, but her own story is enough to expose a critical lacuna in our schooling system. Until a year ago, Sunita studied in Class VII in a government school. The school does not have toilets for girls.

They have to go to some ruins nearby to relieve themselves. Girls avoid going there alone and usually take a friend along. Unfortunately, one day Sunita had to go there alone. When she was relieving herself, some boys turned up and grabbed her. They had probably been keeping an eye on the movement of girls. Sunita was lucky as some other girls arrived right then and raised an alarm. The boys fled and Sunita was saved. However, she never went back to school. Her parents are not ready to send their daughter to such a school. …

It’s been nearly 14 years since Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh. Now, as the state government seems to have finally woken up to the problem of lack of toilets in schools, it remains to be seen how soon its declared intentions are transformed into reality. Until then, girls like Sunita, Radha and Fauzia will continue to suffer.

http://www.tehelka.com/no-toilets-little-education/

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Love, Jihad And Political Lust: Colonising India’s Muslims – By Farzana Versey (Oct 19, 2014, Countercurrents)

Chanting hymns and spraying holy Ganga water, a group of religious leaders and students from the rightwing conducted the purification ritual of a 26-year-old woman inside a police station in Dehradun, Uttar Pradesh. Her crime was that she married a Muslim and was allegedly forced to convert to Islam. Her saviours felt that bringing her back home and into the fold was not enough; she needed to be cleansed of any traces of Muslimness to be acceptable again. This took place inside a police station with the cops around. It should tell us how political perceptions are brainwashing social attitudes in India.

We may laud the “U-turn” of an alleged victim denying she was a victim, but will such extempore anger have any effect? In Meerut a 22-year-old managed to get nine people arrested on the basis of a false charge of kidnapping, gangrape, and conversion. For many, the conversion seemed to be the real crime that made the state BJP ring alarm bells about Muslim men going around with a seduction to conversion blueprint. After two months, it turns out that she was forced to make these serious allegations. …

Fringe outfits are on national television speaking in a quasi-government tone. Its members distribute pamphlets against Muslims and nobody is arrested for it. Even if it is a political move prior to polls it reveals how society thinks or how they expect society to start thinking.

http://www.countercurrents.org/versey191014.htm

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Bihar Stares At A New Phase Of Caste Wars – By Arun Srivastava (Nov 1, 2014, Tehelka)

Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has been targeted by the media for his unsavoury remark against doctors. On 17 October, while inaugurating a six-bed hospital in Motihari, Manjhi said: “Agar garibon ke ilaaj ke saath khilwaad hua, main haath kaat dunga (If there is any negligence in the treatment of the poor, I will chop off the doctor’s hands).” His latest comment came just a few days after his outburst against doctors at the Patna Medical College and Hospital (Robin Hood mirth for poor patients in Bihar, 18 October). Though Manjhi later clarified that he was using the words only as a metaphor, the damage had been done. The doctors refused to calm down and demanded an apology from the chief minister. …

A fortnight ago, more than 300 Mahadalits had to flee Pura village in the chief minister’s home district of Gaya. The exodus was triggered by the murder of their leader Arjun Majhi by upper-caste goons. Arjun was killed in order to stop his brother, Vakil Majhi, from contesting the election for the post of the president of the Primary Agriculture Cooperative Society. The Mahadalits who fled the village took shelter at the block headquarters for three days and returned only after the district administration assured their safety. The police are yet to arrest most of the murder accused. Just imagine the audacity of the upper-caste goons, who had little fear of the law in a state ruled by a Mahadalit chief minister.

On 15 October, Sai Ram, a 15-year-old Mahadalit boy from Mohanpur village in Rohtas district, was burnt alive by an upper-caste landlord, Kunkun Singh. Three of Sai’s goats had strayed into the landlord’s fields and nibbled at the paddy crop. An enraged Kunkun rushed to Sai’s home and thrashed him as well as his mentally challenged brother. When Sai resisted, he doused him with kerosene and set him on fire. The villagers were too scared to intervene and watched the gory incident as mute spectators.

http://www.tehelka.com/bihar-stares-at-a-new-phase-of-caste-wars/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 20th, 2014

by newsdigest on October 21, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

BJP behind Meerut ‘love jihad’ case? Woman says party worker paid family Rs 25,000 (Oct 15, 2014, First Post)

The Meerut ‘love jihad’ case is turning into a further embarrassment for the BJP which had raked up the issue when it was first reported. After the victim changed her statement saying she was forced to give a false statement of gangrape and forced into conversion by her family members, she has now claimed that a BJP party official paid her family Rs 25,000 and had offered them more money to stick to their stand.

According to a report in the Times of India, the girl named BJP’s Vineet Agarwal as the person who gave her family the money while the party leader has replied that he paid the family to aid them since they were poor. “My help should not be linked with politics. Had she been of any other religion, I would have helped just the same,” Agarwal was quoted as saying in the report.

The girl’s father also admitted that while Hindu groups helped them with money, he stressed that it was because they were poor and not for other reasons. … The new statement will come as a further embarrassment for BJP which had played up the issue during the by-poll elections that were held in the state. … With the girl now claiming that a BJP leader paid her family, it raises serious questions about the role played by the party in the matter.

Meanwhile, the police have registered a case of assault and threat to murder against the parents of the girl. Two days after the girl claimed that there is a threat to her life from her parents, police registered a case under Section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code against them.

http://www.firstpost.com/india/bjp-behind-meerut-love-jihad-case-woman-says-party-worker-paid-family-rs-25000-1757117.html

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SI guns down youth in police station in Ramanathapuram (Oct 15, 2014, The Hindu)

A Sub-Inspector (SI) of Police is alleged to have shot dead an accused when the latter stabbed him during interrogation at the SP Pattinam police station in Ramanathapuram district on Tuesday. Police said SI A. Kalidass (28) was stabbed while interrogating K. Syed Mohammed, who was brought to the station on a complaint of attempt to stab a two-wheeler mechanic.

The SI opened three rounds of fire on the chest of the accused, killing him on the spot. The body was removed to the Government headquarters hospital here for post-mortem and the SI, who suffered injuries on his waist and left hand, was treated here before being sent to the Government Rajaji hospital, Madurai.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Anand Kumar Somani, Superintendent of Police N. M. Mylvahanan and ASP S. Vellaidurai visited the station and held a preliminary enquiry. Declining to go into the details, the SP said the police would send a report to the Chief Judicial Magistrate for conducting a judicial enquiry. “I will not comment on the incident as it will be prejudicial to the enquiry,” the SP told The Hindu.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/si-guns-down-youth-in-police-station-in-ramanathapuram/article6501656.ece

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No law permits police to fabricate false evidence: Court (Oct 8, 2014, First Post)

No law permits any police official to fabricate false evidence to prosecute a person, a court here has said while directing filing of a complaint against two policemen for creating fake circumstance against a cab driver and accusing him of raping a minor.

Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain ordered lodging of a complaint against two policemen – sub-inspector Chanchal and constable Jugal Kishore – for fabricating false evidence against a maxi-cab driver Lalit Ratawal. The court order came while acquitting Ratawal, accused of raping a minor girl.

“No law permits any police official to fabricate false evidence or to give false evidence to prosecute a person; rather, on the contrary, law does not permit anyone to do so and also casts a duty on the police officials to investigate a matter in accordance with law without fear and favour, thus to my mind no previous sanction is required to prosecute the above erring police officials,” the court said in an order delivered Tuesday.…

http://www.firstpost.com/fwire/no-law-permits-police-to-fabricate-false-evidence-court-1748373.html

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Three Manipuri youths attacked in Bangalore for not speaking in Kannada (Oct 16, 2014, Indian Express)

Three students from Manipur were allegedly beaten up by three persons for not speaking in Kannada at a restaurant here on Tuesday night. All the three accused have been arrested. According to the FIR, the three Manipuri students – T Michael Lamjathang Haokip, 26, Ngamkholen Haokip, 28, and Rocky Kipgen, 25, – were dining at a restaurant in Byrathi Cross near Kothanur on Tuesday night, when the incident took place at around 9:30 pm.

The accused, identified as Arun Kumar, Karunakaran and James – all drivers by profession, were reportedly sitting at a nearby table and asked the Manipuri students to talk softly. “As the students replied in English, the locals asked them to talk in Kannada,” said DCP Vikas Kumar.

PTI quoted Michael, one of the victims who received injuries on his forehead and hands, as saying, “They said you are eating Karnataka food, you are living in Karnataka, you have to speak in Kannada… Or else, get lost from this state.”

The accused, who were reportedly drunk, are alleged to have attacked the students with chairs and stones. The police have filed a case under Section 506 (criminal intimidation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) against them.

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/bangalore/three-arrested-for-attacking-manipuri-students-in-bar-brawl/

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Villagers prevent police from arresting Phugana gangrape accused, pelt stones, open fire (Oct 16, 2014, Daily Bhaska)

Security personnel faced the heat when they went to Phugana village to arrest 20 persons accused in Phugana gangrape cases during Muzaffarnagar riots. Two security personnel were injured when villagers here allegedly opened fire and pelted stones at a police team, police said.

Superintendent of Police Rural, Alok Piryadarshi said that the incident took place in Phugana village on Wednesday, after the villagers opposed the arrest of 20 accused in the five gangrape cases which took place during the riots. In this, Amar Singh and home guard Abul were injured, the SP said.

An accused, Ajit was arrested on Wednesday, police said. A case was registered under various sections against one hundred people and 14 people were named for interfering in police action. Security has been tightened in the village following the incident. …

http://daily.bhaskar.com/news/NAT-TOP-villagers-prevent-police-from-arresting-phugana-gangrape-accuseds-pelt-stones-op-4777891-NOR.html

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Missing names, faulty EVMs, bogus voting mar polling day (Oct 16, 2014, Indian Express)

Missing names from the voters’ list, faulty Electronic voting Machines (EVMs) and other glitches marred voting day for Assembly polls Wednesday. In Sewri Assembly constituency, voters had to wait for over two hours to cast their votes as a result of a faulty EVM at booth number 95 in BDD Chawl. “The matter came to light after activists of a few political parties complained. The machine was checked three to four times at 7 am before the polling started, but it developed a glitch. The machine was replaced around 9 am and voting process began around 9.45 am,” said a polling agent.

Mulund (East) resident Leena Worlikar’s name was missing from the voters’ list even though she has voted earlier. “I also have the election card, but my name was not there. I could not vote, which is disappointing,” said the 34-year-old social worker. At a polling station in St Joseph’s School, Juhu, voters complained of non-cooperative election staff and missing names from the list. “We have been trying to get our (22-year-old) daughter’s name registered in the voters’ list for the last four years now. We even went to the Andheri election office, but her name is still not in the list,” said Shivani Chopra, who had come with her husband to vote.

Hiren Seth, who had come with his father to vote, said staff sitting outside to help voters were very non-cooperative. “They told us that our names were not there on the voters’ list. But I have been voting here since I was born. Finally, I showed them my name,” he said. Navin Aggarwal, who also went to the Juhu polling station, said he never got a slip from the EC despite having sent an application for change of address 10 years back. “This always causes confusion,” he said. In Thane’s Lokpuram complex, 10 people, found out their votes were already cast.

Similarly, advocate Shakil Ahmed had a unpleasant experience when he went to cast his ballot at booth number 250 in Sion-Koliwada. “I pressed the NOTA button twice, but my vote wasn’t registered until my third attempt. When I insisted to the booth in-charge that I want to lodge an official complaint about the dysfunctional EVM, they summoned the police. When I refused to buckle, the police started pushing me around,” Ahmed alleged.

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/missing-names-faulty-evms-bogus-voting-mar-polling-day/

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Muslim, tribal children out of school rate exceeds state average (Oct 19, 2014, Times of India)

Even when the state has recorded an overall decline in Out of School (OoS) children, Muslims and scheduled tribes seemed to have been less affected by Right to Education Act, 2009 which has improved the overall figures. Muslims and tribals have recorded 6.85% and 6.07% out of school population against the overall average of 5.02% in the state.

Muslim children have recorded the highest percentage of OoS children among all religions and social classes in the report prepared by the Indian Market Research Board for the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Even after majority of them live in urban centers, which has further less than 3% of OoS children, indicates that very negligible progress has been made in the educational level of Muslims since the RTE came in place as compared to other communities.

State has 1.19 crore children in the age group of 6-13 years including 1.06 crore Hindus, 12.19 lakh Muslims and 11,140 Christians. Of total, 6.08 lakh are not in school including 5.1 lakh Hindus and 83,487 Muslims. Of 1.19 crore children in the age group of 6-13 years, 29 lakh are SC, 21 lakhs are STs, 45 lakh are OBCs and 22 lakh are from general category. Of them, 6.08 lakh don’t go to school including 1.29 lakh from SC, 1.33 from ST, 2.6 lakh from OBC and 78,298 are from general category. …

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/44872816.cms

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Modi govt. draws flak for ‘U-turn’ on black money (Oct 18, 2014, The Hindu)

The government’s ‘U-turn’ on the black money issue on Friday put the BJP on the mat with not just the Congress but the social media also erupting with angry reactions.

In fact, #BJPBlackMoneyDhokha was the topmost trending topic on Twitter through the day as twitterati retweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha election-vintage tweets ridiculing the United Progressive Alliance government’s inability to get back black money stashed away overseas. And, the BJP’s election catch phrase “Abki Baar Modi Sarkar” became “Abki Baar U Turn Sarkar.”

The Congress, for its part, demanded an apology from Mr. Modi for misleading the nation. Accusing the BJP and Mr. Modi of “political dishonesty”, Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said the stand taken by the government in the Supreme Court earlier in the day was basically a repetition of what the former Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, had said in the past.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/modi-govt-draws-flak-for-uturn-on-black-money/article6513393.ece

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Tantrik rapes woman with help of two wives (Oct 19, 2014, Times of India)

A tantrik was arrested by police for allegedly raping a 23-year-old woman with the help of his two wives in Amroli. Police arrested Bhupat alias Mama Chauhan, his wives Mona and Rama, all three residents of Amroli. The accused were booked on charges of rape and criminal intimidation.

The survivor, a teacher, was worried as her father had gone missing. On failing to find her father she was suggested Chauhan’s name by a known person. The complainant met Chauhan and described her problem. Chauhan claimed that he will find her father with his secret powers but for that she will have to follow his “instructions”.

Chauhan asked the complainant to get physical with him and raped her for 4 days. Chauhan’s wives first pressurized the victim and later threatened to kill her if she informed the police. The police conducted a medical examination of the victim and following strong evidence, arrested the three accused.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/44874665.cms

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Include Christian, Muslim Dalits in SC category: CBCI (Oct 17, 2014, Business Standard)

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) today demanded the inclusion of Christian and Muslim Dalits in the Scheduled Caste (SC) category. The organisation also demanded SC status for Dalits who have converted to Christianity and Islam.

At a press conference, CBCI leaders, including its executive secretary Fr Devasagayaraj, asked the government to grant SC status to Christian and Muslim Dalits.

The organisation also expressed unhappiness over reports that the government was not keen to grant SC status to Dalits who have converted to Christianity and Islam.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/include-christian-muslim-dalits-in-sc-category-cbci-114101701224_1.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Objection, Milord! – By Ashish Khetan (Oct 27, 2014, Outlook)

The Snoopgate scandal, as the story I broke in November 2013 came to be known, was never about the private life of a young woman or that of a ‘saheb’. Two individuals are free to enter into a relationship or drop out of it at their own free will. But it should not be at the taxpayer’s expense. No one – howsoever high his position¬-can use state machinery and state power to settle his personal affairs. That was the crux of the matter. The story highlighted extraordinary misuse of state power: phones were tapped and a young woman was tailed and put under surveillance using specialised forces like the Anti-Terror Squad, the Crime Branch and the Intelligence Bureau. Physical and electronic surveillance of the woman continued for several months in 2009.

Officers from the IG and SP level were deployed. Phones were intercepted within and outside Gujarat. The tailing involved visits to other states, and there was correspondence between the Modi government in Gujarat and the B.S. Yediyurappa government in Karnataka over interception of the young woman’s Bangalore cellphone number. On one occasion, the Karnataka government even turned down Gujarat’s request for permission to intercept calls, citing non-compliance with requirements under the Indian Telegraph Act. The cellphones of the young woman’s husband, family members and friends were also tapped. All this for a matter of an entirely personal nature. …

What the court failed to see was that the inquiry was supposed to look into the acts of a CM and his MoS for home (Amit Shah), not the lady, a private individual. Secondly, the inquiry was not to merely ascertain if the woman’s privacy was breached. Larger issues of fair and judicial use of state powers, compliance of due process and upholding of civil liberties were at stake. The questionable order has reduced these seminal issues to a compoundable private affair. It says the voice of the woman was “feeble” and that those who were demanding a probe were loud. Can any voice that supports the case of the most powerful man in the country be termed feeble and of those opposing him loud? Objection, milord! In times of political hegemony, the cause of justice can’t be served by voices seeking closure; only by voices demanding accountability.

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/Objection-Milord/292280

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Burdwan Blast and After: Politics over Burdwan blast leading to communal polarisation – By M Reyaz and Zaidul Haque (Oct 17, 2014, TwoCircles.net)

The ‘accidental’ bomb explosion in Khakhragarh on city outskirts on October 2 has put the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the dock. Opposition parties have been quick to lap up Trinamool links with some of the terror accused as the two-storied building where the blast occurred had a party office at the ground floor.

TMC shunned the link and even denied it had a party office in the same building. When TwoCircles.net team visited Khakhragarh, local party leaders claimed “it was not a regular party office” but during election campaign, they had put up a local election office and stacked up banners and flags there.…

The BJP left no chance to cash in on the opportunity and on Thursday, October 9, and called a rally here demanding a probe by NIA (NIA took over investigation only later, on October 11). As per The Telegraph report, the large turnout had purportedly surprised even the local party unit. “In an otherwise calm state, the BJP is fanning ‘communal polarisation’ on the plank of illegal migration from Bangladesh and Banerjee’s alleged ‘soft heart’ towards Muslims,” locals said.…

http://twocircles.net/2014oct17/1413516092.html

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Myths and Prejudices about ‘Love Jihad’ – By Jyoti Punwani (Oct 18, 2014, EPW)

The case histories of seven Muslim-Hindu couples not only give the lie to assertions of the “love-jihad” propagandists, they also bust a lot of generally-accepted anti-Muslim prejudices. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) “love jihad” campaign needs to be taken seriously not because there is an element of truth in it, but because it builds on deeply felt assumptions about Muslims among a majority of non-Muslims. That is one of the reasons it has found resonance among non-Muslims, not just Hindus, wherever the campaign has been unleashed in the recent past whether in Kerala or Karnataka and now in Uttar Pradesh (UP). …

It is generally assumed that Muslims are fanatics or at least conservative, violent beef-eaters who marry four times, suppress their women and breed like rabbits. Apart from the loss of face if their daughters marry outside their own faith, most non-Muslim parents fear for their daughters’ happiness were they to marry Muslims and live in a Muslim environment. This came across in a study conducted by this writer on interfaith marriages between Muslims and non-Muslims in 2002-03, the results of which were published in the book Inter-religious Marriages among Muslims: Negotiating Religious Identity in Family and Community by Abdullahi A An-Na’im of Emory University.

I recently spoke to Hindu women married to Muslim men to see if things have changed since that study, done over a decade ago. Alas, the assumptions remain unchanged. “Marry anyone but a Muslim or a dalit”, was the warning still being handed out to daughters. Interestingly, the addition of dalits to the category of Muslims, hitherto the only forbidden community among Hindus, is new. Could it be that 10 years ago, non-dalit Hindu parents were sure that their daughters would never encounter dalits in their social circle? Even at that time, most Hindu parents used to find to their pleasant surprise that their fears about Muslims were untrue. But now, these prejudices are proving to be even more baseless.…

http://www.epw.in/commentary/myths-and-prejudices-about-love-jihad.html

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Denial Won’t Wish Away “Indian” Racism Against North Easterners – By Samar (Oct 17, 2014, Countercurrents)

They did not speak Kannada, the language of the state they live in. They, therefore, were ‘legitimate’ targets of violence in a city that benefitted the most from India’s shift from being a Nehruvian Socialism to free market economy. The fact that they contribute to the city, and province’s income means nothing. The fact that they pay their taxes that keeps the country afloat was even more redundant. They were they after all, the North Easterners stranded in mainland India.

Their nationality though is nonnegotiable at all other times than being the victims of such racist attacks across Indian cities, be it Delhi or Bangalore. It is nonnegotiable if they choose to assert their otherness as against the otherness inflicted on them. It does so when an outside entity claims them as its own. Let China claim Arunachal Pradesh as its integral part and there comes the Indian state unleashing the bogey of its sovereignty and patriotism that would never compromise on its territorial integrity. That would be the time for the top functionaries of the Indian state, right up to the Prime Minister, to visit them, to dance with them clad, sometimes, in their attires, to announce this or that package for this or that of the 7 states that form the collective referred to as the North East. But then, that is the only time.

Rest of the time they, the ‘Mongolian fringe’ of the undeclared Aryan state that has grudgingly accepted the erstwhile Dravidians its own but failed to do that with them. Failed, perhaps, is wrong word for it never seem to have made even an eyewash attempt to assimilate the North East while respecting the differences that define and shape the territory. The failure is not always in your face violence that the state, and even its patriotic citizenry, inflicts on them. There is almost a tragically beautiful subtlety the Indian state deploys to achieve the failure. …

http://www.countercurrents.org/samar171014.htm

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Molestation charges against a college teacher in Karimganj district of Assam: What is the truth? – By Mustafa A. Barbhuiya (Oct 18, 2014, TwoCircles.net)

Curfew has been imposed for last two days in the Karimganj district of Assam after massive street protests from people of minority community over attack on a college teacher by alleged right wing Hindutva activists.

It was reported in local Bengali daily published from Karimganj that on the early morning of October, 16, Thursday a group of Hindutva activists allegedly belonging to VHP and Bajrang Dal approached Mr. Fazlul Karim for donations of Kalipuja at his rented house at Subhash Nagar area of Karimganj town. The teacher purportedly refused to give donations and consequently the mob tried to manhandle him at that instance.

The landlord of the house had to intervene that saved Fazlul that time. A few hours later, however, another huge mob along with a girl and her father approached the Subhash Nagar house of Fazlul and beat him to death when police was called to the scene immediately.…

http://twocircles.net/2014oct18/1413650433.html

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Jayalalithaa’s Conviction and After – By a Special Correspondent (Oct 19, 2014, Peoples Democracy)

Special Judge and 36th Additional Sessions Judge John Michael Cunha delivered a historic judgment in Bengaluru on September 27, 2014, holding the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu and the general secretary of the AIADMK, Selvi J Jayalalithaa guilty of charges of corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act and sentenced her, along with three others, to four years of simple imprisonment. She was also asked to pay a fine of Rs 100 crores.

Instead of accepting the court verdict or seeking judicial redress through appeals to the appropriate judicial fora, a section of AIADMK activists and supporters of the convicted chief minister resorted, over the next several days to violent protests across the state of Tamil Nadu. These protests resulted in significant damage to public property and caused great hardship to ordinary citizens of the state. While one can legitimately argue that court judgments are neither sacrosanct nor beyond scrutiny or public comment, these violent protests can neither be justified nor tolerated.

In the immediate aftermath of the court judgment, the state administration seemed ill prepared to handle the violence and mayhem unleashed by ruling party cadres and supporters. While some of the immediate reactions of anguish at the verdict were very likely spontaneous, soon protests took on an organised and planned character, and were no longer the manifestation of spontaneous grief. A bus was burnt down in Kanchipuram, shopkeepers were forced to shut down, and normal life was sought to be paralysed.…

http://peoplesdemocracy.in/2014/1019_pd/jayalalithaa%E2%80%99s-conviction-and-after

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 13th, 2014

October 15, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Carrying on a tradition: An ode to communal harmony News Headlines BJP behind clashes at Ahmedabad, Vadodara: Gujarat Congress Communalism, biggest threat facing state: AGP Now, ‘love jihad victim’ says she had eloped; family cooked up story Boy, allegedly set ablaze by Army men, dies in Hyderabad [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 6th, 2014

October 8, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Christian leaders urge Odisha govt to ensure communal harmony in Kandhamal Budhist, Muslim and Sikh communities took-out peace march in Nagpur News Headlines Protests in US over Modi’s bloodthirsty past Indian civil society groups call for “zero tolerance” towards radical Hindu groups Brutal Police Behaviour against Vadodara [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 29th, 2014

September 30, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony ‘Walk for harmony and love’ organized in Delhi on International peace day News Headlines Congressmen urge Obama to discuss religious tolerance with Modi Narendra Modi fans beat up TV anchor Rajdeep Sardesai at Madison Square Garden event Jail official asked me to cut beard, terror accused tells [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 22nd, 2014

September 23, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony J-K floods: When waters rose, Muslims in Srinagar rescued Pandits News Headlines PM’s statement to please US, shed his communal image: UP Minister Achhe Din? cops who helped in fake encounters probe are shunted and charge-sheeted cops reinstated Ujjain: 13 VHP, Bajrang Dal activists arrested for attacking [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 15th, 2014

September 16, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony J&K floods: Hyderpora mosque a symbol of communal harmony News Headlines RSS bomb explodes prematurely, suspected Hindutva terrorist injured Election Commission orders hate speech FIR against Yogi Adityanath BJP leaders rake up ‘love jihad’ in U.P. poll campaign Hindu nationalist group seeks to ‘cleanse’ Christian population in [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 8th, 2014

September 9, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Home ministry maintains secrecy over shredded govt files Hindu hardliners unrepentant a year after India riots ‘Cops framing Muslims for Vadodara riots’ Media trials: SC calls for norms on reporting, police briefing After Reconversion, Shivpuri Family Hints at Pressure From Hindu Groups, Foul Play by Police ‘Love [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 1st, 2014

September 2, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Gujarat model of harmony: Water thicker than blood News Headlines Concerned over delay in Gujarat riots cases: SC ‘Reinstatement of Cops accused of fake encounters is clear indication that administration is helping them’ Caught on camera: BJP MP asks supporters to ‘convert 100 Muslim girls for 1 [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 25th, 2014

August 26, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines RSS is threat to the nation, says MPCC Activists demand FIR against Bhagwat over Hindu comment PUCL seeks probe into inflammatory Rajasthan police intelligence note 567 FIRs, countless promises later, riot victims still wait for justice Quarrel between children sparks communal clashes in Hapur Woman killed in [...]

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