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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 20th, 2015

by newsdigest on April 21, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

After Centre’s nod, state govt chargesheets former DGP who took on Modi (Apr 19, 2015, Indian Express)

Over two years after he retired, the Gujarat government has issued chargesheet to ex-DGP Kuldip Sharma for reportedly not surrendering an amount directly to the government. Sharma, known for taking on the previous Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government, has been served the fresh chargesheet after the Central government gave its approval recently.

According to sources, Sharma had been served the same chargesheet by the state government previously, but it was withdrawn later since it didn’t have the sanction from the Centre. Sources said that the central government recently granted permission to chargesheet Sharma. Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department, G R Aloria, confirmed the development.

The case concerns Sharma’s stint as Managing Director (MD) of the Gujarat Sheep and Wool Development Corporation. Sources said the chargesheet accuses Sharma of not surrendering a certain unused amount pending with the corporation to the government as per the norm. The amount was finally surrendered back to the government by Sharma’s successor.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/after-centres-nod-state-govt-chargesheets-former-dgp-who-took-on-modi/

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Ex-ACP files police complaint against Raut for causing enmity (Apr 19, 2015, Times of India)

Retired assistant police commissioner Joseph Gaikwad recently filed a complaint against Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut for “hurting religious sentiments of Muslims”. Raut had reportedly demanded the disfranchisement of Muslims in a Saamna article.

The plaint was registered at Dadar police station on April 15. Gaikwad, who is the chairman of NGO Secular Foundation, said, “The acts committed by Raut are serious and criminal in nature and attract the provisions of sections 153-A, 153-B, 295-A, 298, 506, read with 120-B of the Indian Penal Code and the Representation of Peoples Act.”

He added that Raut deserves action because the article he published is malicious and intimidates Muslims and cause hatred between communities. “The acts committed by Raut are prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony,” states the complaint. Protesting against Raut’s controversial remarks, Muslim activists and community leaders have demanded his arrest.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46974216.cms

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Reveal names of policemen involved in encounters: TFJ (Apr 19, 2015, The Hindu)

The Telangana Forum for Justice (TFJ) has asked the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments to stop encounters with immediate effect and to make public the names of police personnel involved.

The TFJ, which comprises representatives of different political and civil rights organisations, called for institution of reforms in police administration and to stop victimisation and illegal detention of Muslim youth in Telangana. It further sought a judicial inquiry into the Alair encounter. The SIT probe was prone to internal bias of the police force and therefore not adequate to the scale of personal tragedy and police excess.…

The speakers wanted the AP and Telangana governments to take note that the images of the shackled bodies of Muslim undertrials and the Dalit labourers would haunt public memory. If justice was not done, they would brand our society intractably.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/reveal-names-of-policemen-involved-in-encounters-tfj/article7118439.ece

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FIR against STF personnel for murder, abduction in Chittoor encounter: Police tells Andhra HC (Apr 15, 2015, IBN)

An FIR has been registered for murder and abduction against Special Task Force policemen for killing 20 alleged red sander smugglers on April 7 in Chhittor district, police told Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday. The FIR was registered after a complaint was filed by one of the deceased wife. The petitioner has also appealed for re-post mortem of bodies of those killed.…

In a major operation the Andhra Pradesh Police, 20 alleged red sandalwood smugglers were killed in an encounter inside the forests near Tirupati in Chittoor district. Police officials had said that a joint operation against the smugglers was launched with the help of forest officials in Seshachalam forest near Tirupati.…

Several political parties have questioned the police action, saying labourers and not red sanders smugglers were killed by the Andra Pradesh STF. Tamil Nadu government had announced Rs 3 lakh compensation for families of 20 people killed in Chittoor encounter. Most of the victims come from different parts of Tamil Nadu including Tiruvanamalai, Vellore and Salem.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/fir-against-stf-personnel-for-murder-abduction-in-chittoor-encounter-police-tells-andhra-hc/539983-62-127.html

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Terror accused have right to education, says court (Apr 15, 2015, Times of India)

Observing that accused have a right to education, a MCOCA court recently allowed a key accused in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case to attend his LLB exams in Malegaon. The 35-year-old, Sharif Ahmed, a qualified Unani doctor, had applied for his LLB degree last year after the same court granted him permission.

“The accused… in this circumstance is entitled to appear for the first and second semester exams,” special judge G T Kadri said in the order passed last week. The judge directed the superintendent of Central Prison, Mumbai, to transfer the accused to Nashik Central Prison well in advance to facilitate his exam attendance at 10am from April 22 to April 27. The court also ordered both authorities to take security and safety precautions and ensure that Ahmed is retransferred to Mumbai after the last exam.

The court directed the local arms unit, Tardeo, to supply an escort for transferring Ahmed to Nashik and the Nashik police to provide personnel to take him for his exams and bring him back to Nashik Jail.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46927260.cms

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Top Bodo militant involved in 2014 Assam massacre held (Apr 18, 2015, Times of India)

A top-ranking militant leader of the NDFB (Songbijit), involved in the adivasi massacre on December 23 last, was arrested during a joint operation of Army and police from Chetnaguri in Kokrajhar district of Assam on Saturday.

The militant has been identified as self-styled Chirang platoon commander Samar Basumatary alias “Sona”, a defence spokesman said.

One 7.65mm pistol, three live cartridges, one hand grenade and other materials were recovered during the operation leading to his arrest, he said.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46970917.cms

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Hindutva forces threaten plurality: CPI(M) (Apr 18, 2015, The Hindu)

The 21st Congress of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday adopted a “mince-no-words” resolution on the effort to impose a “monolithic” Indian culture defined by a single religion. …

Stating that Indian “plurality is under a concerted and vicious attack, mainly from the Hindutva brigade – which manifests itself in myriad forms,” the resolution accused it of peddling all sorts of “anti-scientific ideas,” imposing “Taliban-like dress codes on women and indulging in vigilantism against various forms of sexual expression,” conducting aggressive moral policing against expression of love by young people with the “abusive” campaign against “love jihad,” and opposing inter-religious and inter-caste marriages.

The resolution flags the Hindutva brigade’s desire to declare the Gita India’s “national book,” the recent beef ban, the silencing and exile of Tamil author Perumal Murugan, and the “ghar vapsi” campaign.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/hindutva-forces-threaten-plurality-cpim/article7114947.ece

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BJP steps in to ‘pressurise’ Muslim families to withdraw from Sayajipura (Apr 16, 2015, Indian Express)

A week after the VMC conducted the draw for 340 families displaced in the wake of the November 2014 Kalyannagar demolitions for flats in the Sayajipura under JNNURM scheme, the families are yet to receive allotment letters from the civic body. In the backdrop of agitations by Sayajipura residents objecting to the relocation of Muslims in their “peaceful Hindu area”, local BJP leaders, including MLAs, met the families on Wednesday, urging them to “withdraw” from the Sayajipura housing scheme for another “location of their choice”.

In a hushed meeting that began shortly after 2 pm at the Circuit House in Vadodara on Wednesday, top BJP leaders met a group of the Kalyannagar residents, urging them to give an “application” to the civic body withdrawing from the allotments made last week.

Sources said that those part of the meeting were BJP City President Bharat Dangar, Mayor Bharat Shah, MP Ranjan Bhatt, MLAs Yogesh Patel, Manisha Vakil and Rajendra Trivedi, Corporators Shabdasharan Brahmabhatt and Ashok Pardesi as well as Gujarat Minister of State Shankar Chaudhary.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/bjp-steps-in-to-pressurise-muslim-families-to-withdraw-from-sayajipura/99/

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India’s Hindu government ‘trying to steal B.R. Ambedkar’s legacy’, says Arundhati Roy (Apr 14, 2015, The Telegraph)

Arundhati Roy, the Booker Prize-winning author, has accused India’s Hindu nationalist government of trying to steal the legacy of one of the country’s founding fathers, the ‘untouchable’ leader Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar.

Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is behind a “demonic” attempt to portray Ambedkar, the author of India’s constitution and a revered icon for thecountry’s 300 million ‘untouchable’ Dalits, as a Hindu hero, she said.

Her comments were made as both the BJP and the Congress Party laid claim to Ambedkar even though he regarded Hinduism as inhuman and the Congress leader Mahatma Gandhi as a charlatan who pretended to support Dalits while strongly defending India’s brutal caste system.…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/11535746/Indias-Hindu-government-trying-to-steal-B.R.-Ambedkars-legacy-says-Arundhati-Roy.html

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Cop suspended after Chhattisgarh martyr’s kin ordered to return aid (Apr 15, 2015, Hindustan Times)

The police force of Chhattisgarh was on Wednesday forced to rescind an order to the family of a policeman killed by rebels to return Rs 10,000 provided to perform his last rites after the move triggered widespread outrage and condemnation.

Following the strong reactions, the state police cancelled two notices served to Constable Kishore Pandey’s family and suspended a low-ranking official. Pandey was killed in a gun battle with Maoists in May 2011 at Gariaband, 90 km from state capital Raipur. As his family was not economically well-off, immediate assistance of Rs 10,000 was provided to Pandey’s relatives from a non-public fund by police in Gariaband district.

The first notice asking the family to return the amount was issued in June last year and the second was served on April 12. Efforts by police to recover the money triggered an uproar after several TV news channels reported the matter. The opposition Congress described it as an insult to the martyred policeman.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/chhattisgarh-police-hound-martyr-s-family-killed-in-line-of-duty-to-return-aid/article1-1337387.aspx

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Opinions and Editorials

Sikh Protestors At Modi’s Canada Visit Dig Up Ghosts Of Human Rights Violations – By Deepa Philip (Apr 18, 2015, Tehelka)

Prime Minister Modi finds himself the object of rousing welcomes wherever he goes; so the sight of 400 odd protestors outside Vancouver’s oldest gurudwara and a temple may not exactly be how he imagined his three day trip to Canada would wind up.

In an unexpected resurfacing of the ghosts of the past, protestors shouting slogans and holding placards accused Modi of being a fascist, a right winger and genocide perpetrator. The human rights advocacy group ‘Sikhs for Justice’ even filed a petition to Canadian Justice Minister Peter MacKay requesting him to charge Modi for aiding genocide and inflicting torture under the Canadian Criminal Code and the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act.…

The assemblies of protestors that greeted Modi at the gurudwara and temple in Canada have re-posed these questions to the Prime Minister. Will the honourable Premier address these questions or inexplicably lose his voice is what remains to be seen.

http://www.tehelka.com/sikh-protestors-at-modis-canada-visit-dig-up-ghosts-of-human-rights-violations/?singlepage=1

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Who Killed The 42 From Hashimpura, If Not The PAC Men? – By Nikita Lamba and Anurag Tripathi (Apr 4, 2015, Tehelka)

On 22 May 1987, in the midst of communal riots in Meerut city of Uttar Pradesh, 42 Muslim men were rounded up from the Hashimpura locality of the city and taken away in a truck. A few days later, their bullet-ridden bodies were found in water canals in the neighbouring Ghaziabad district.…

Nearly twenty-eight years after the massacre, on 21 March, the court acquitted all the accused citing lack of evidence regarding their identity. Rubbing salt into the wounds of the survivors and the kin of the victims, the court referred the matter to the Delhi Legal Services Authority to facilitate their rehabilitation.

The verdict in the Hashimpura massacre case adds one more chapter to the sordid tale of the miscarriage of justice in India, especially when it comes to dealing with communal violence and atrocities by agencies of the State. And the brunt of the injustice is borne by the hapless survivors, who can never forget that black night of Indian democracy that changed their lives forever.…

http://www.tehelka.com/who-killed-the-42-from-hashimpura-if-not-the-pac-men/

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Jack In The Pack – By Saba Naqvi (Apr 27, 2015, Outlook)

…We now have it on the good authority of Sanjay Raut, a Shiv Sena MP in the Rajya Sabha, that party founder Bal Thackeray wanted the voting rights of Muslims to be revoked. Raut, who is also the executive editor of the Sena mouthpiece Saamna, wrote as much in an editorial last week. “Muslims will have no future as long as they are used to play votebank politics… Balasaheb had once said that the voting rights of Muslims must be withdrawn. What he said is right,” he proclaimed in print. …

Why is the Sena not charged by the police for making a hate speech? Technically, it may not be a speech but it does amount to exhorting the cadres to “discourage” a certain section of society from voting. And this when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been travelling the globe speaking about how his government represents all of India’s citizens. The Shiv Sena is part of the Modi government, both in Delhi and Maharashtra.…

The point really isn’t to dismiss the Sena as hoodlums who can get out of hand. Or to say the yogis and sadhvis are just like that only. But to resist the abnormal from becoming the new normal in our lives. Imagine the hell that would have broken loose had anyone suggested that Dalits could do with a period of disenfranchisement because they have become a part of votebank politics. Now imagine yourself as an Indian Muslim.

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/Jack-In-The-Pack/294081

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Modi’s date with mystery minority leaders – By Imran Ahmed Siddiqui (Apr 20, 2015, The Telegraph)

…Prime Minister Narendra Modi had posted a tweet along with a photo showing him and a delegation of Muslims earlier that day. “Had a good meeting with leaders of the Muslim community,” Modi tweeted. A government media release had described them as “senior leaders of the Muslim community from across the country”.…

Some Muslim community leaders and activists are alleging that the Prime Minister, rebuffed by a prominent organisation last month, is meeting “nondescript” leaders with BJP links to conjure an impression of his acceptability among the minority community. …

All nine delegates are “self-styled community leaders” without any standing in the community, said Zafaryab Jilani, executive member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, an apex body where members of various schools of thought have come together to defend Muslim personal law.…

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1150420/jsp/nation/story_15604.jsp

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Patel the non-Bismarck – By A.G. Noorani (May 1, 2015, Frontline)

The offence is graver still if false praise continues even after the prince is no more. It falsifies history, creates a climate of servility, and lends itself to political abuse. True, nations live on myths. But it is the duty of historians and publicists to pursue the truth unaffected by myths.…

Vallabhbhai Patel is hailed as “India’s Bismarck” who “unified” the country and saved it from disintegration. This is a myth hugged by Nehru’s critics, and most of all by those whose hatred he earned by his staunch advocacy of the credo of secularism.

The Sangh Parivar is foremost in fostering the myths against Nehru and in spreading the myths about Patel. He was no Bismarck at all. Credit for the crucial phase of the integration of the princely states belongs mainly to the Viceroy and Governor-General, Lord Mountbatten, and his Constitutional Adviser, V.P. Menon. Patel played a supportive and ancillary role. The task was outsourced by him with the Cabinet’s full authorisation to Mountbatten.…

http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/patel-the-nonbismarck/article7098376.ece

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Offhand encounters – By Harsh Mander (Apr 19, 2015, The Hindu)

India’s vigorous and pulsating democracy also hides an ugly underbelly: unpunished crimes by state officials against its people. Some very troubling instances of this are what are described in both police and popular idiom as ‘encounters’.…

The law, of course, does not permit the murder of even most feared and dangerous criminals except by due process of law. After all, the most fundamental of all rights in a democracy is the right to life, and this endures even for those charged with monstrous crimes. But the claim after every ‘encounter’ killing is that policepersons shot in legitimate self-defence; that – if they had not killed the criminal – lives of policepersons and innocent persons would be endangered. It matters little that in the majority of ‘encounter’ killings, such as those of April 7, this story is very thin.…

However, extensive political and social sanction to extra-judicial killing of persons charged with – but not convicted of – grave crimes ultimately both corrupts and brutalises the police force. It strips people of their basic democratic protections, culpably compromises our collective conscience, and leaves democracy enfeebled.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/Harsh_Mander/encounter-with-red-sanders-smugglers-in-seshachalam-forest/article7116675.ece

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 13th, 2015

by newsdigest on April 14, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Anti-Muslim massacre overshadows Modi visit (Apr 13, 2015, The Star Phoenix)

He’s been likened to a rock star or Bollywood celebrity who can draw arena-sized crowds. But to his dissenters, he is “The Butcher.” When Narendra Modi visits Canada this week – the first official visit from a sitting Indian prime minister since 1973 – he will hobnob with politicians and business leaders, smile for photo ops and affirm the two countries’ close relationship. But at each stop, protesters promise to call attention to the abuse of religious minorities in India and Modi’s alleged complicity in the deadly 2002 Hindu-Muslim riots in Gujarat, when he was the chief minister.

One group, Sikhs for Justice, has even hired a Toronto law firm to formally request that Justice Minister Peter MacKay charge Modi with torture and genocide related to the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom, which killed hundreds.

“Canada has been a leading advocate for human rights all around the world … Canada should stick to its values,” said Jatinder Grewal, the advocacy group’s Toronto-based international policy director.…

http://www.thestarphoenix.com/life/Anti%2BMuslim%2Bmassacre%2Bovershadows%2BModi%2Bvisit/10967189/story.html

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Arrest Sanjay Raut, de-recognise Shiv Sena, demands Aam Aadmi Party (Apr 13, 2015, Financial Express)

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) demanded slapping of a criminal case against Shiv Sena and its mouthpiece editor Sanjay Raut over the party’s suggestion that voting rights of Muslims be scrapped.

Alleging that the article was aimed at seeking “cheap publicity” and with the objective of spreading “hatred” between communities, the party in a statement demanded “immediate arrest of Sanjay Raut after registration of a criminal case against him and the Shiv Sena” by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Maharashtra government.

The party also sought de-recognition of Shiv Sena as a political party. “The Aam Aadmi Party also demands that the Election Commission should also act against Shiv Sena under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act and de-recognise Shiv Sena as a political party,” it said.…

http://www.financialexpress.com/article/miscellaneous/arrest-sanjay-raut-de-recognise-shiv-sena-demands-aam-aadmi-party/63167/

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Activists, organisations deprecate fake Telangana encounter; demand CBI probe (Apr 10, 2015, Twocircles.net)

Three days after five Muslim under-trial youth were killed in what police called as “encounter” – denied by respective families calling it as deliberate killings, a number of organisations have come out heavily on the Telangana government and demanded a CBI probe into the gory incident.

Lucknow-based Rihai Manch, an organisation working ‘For Resistance Against Repression’, staged a protest demonstration against fake encounters at Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and demanded a CBI probe into the incidents.

A protest demonstration at Gandhi statue, Hazratganj was held by Rihai Manch along with several other political and social organisations against fake encounter of 28 people at Nalgonda, Warangal in Telangana and Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh in last four days. “All these fake encounters need to be probed by CBI under the supervision of a sitting Supreme Court.”…

http://twocircles.net/2015apr10/1428645694.html

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Red sanders smugglers’ killings: 2 encounters, 20 bodies, several unanswered questions (Apr 8, 2015, Hindustan Times)

The state of the 20 dead bodies and the scenes of the violence has raised serious doubts over the official version of the two encounters between Andhra Pradesh police and alleged red sanders smugglers on Tuesday morning. Although 20 alleged smugglers from Tamil Nadu were killed in the operation, none of the armed policemen or forest officials sustained injuries.

Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force DIG Kantha Rao said that the “smugglers” attacked his team with sickles, rods and axes. Asked if the attack could have been quelled without such massive fatalities, Rao said, “We gave them several warnings but they did not stop attacking us. There were over a hundred of them.” Asked how many of his men were grievously injured, he said, “Nobody is seriously hurt from our side. Their superior training saved their lives.”

Most of the bodies were badly decomposed leading to allegations that the encounter happened much before Tuesday as claimed by the Task Force which led the operation involving local police and forest officials. Some of the red sanders logs found next to the bodies had white paint and code numbers on them, leading Opposition leaders and human rights activists to allege that the wood was brought from a government stockyard and planted at the site.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/ap-red-sanders-case-2-encounters-20-bodies-many-unanswered-questions/article1-1334909.aspx

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Post-mortem report gives new twist to Nizamabad custodial death (Apr 12, 2015, Twocircles.net)

The postmortem report of Sheikh Hyder who died in police custody on March 21 is set to open a Pandora’s Box in an already politically boiling incident. Hyder, a daily wage earner, was arrested for his alleged involvement in a case of theft of a cycle on March 21 by the Nizamabad Police Station.

The forensic department of Gandhi Medical College has provided the postmortem examination report on the RTI query of Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee (CLMC). The PM report nails the police theory of ‘injury on escape’ and gives detail analysis of injuries on the dead body.

On March 21, Sheikh Hyder, a poor labourer who was detained on the charges of stealing a Bicycle, died in the custody of one town police station of Nizamabad town. Police claimed that he died due to injuries inflicted while he was trying to escape from station. But his family and local Muslims believe that he died as the police used third-degree torture on him. Photographs of Hyder’s dead body available with TCN, shows that on the whole body, particularly at the back and on feet there are marks that prove he was brutally beaten.…

http://twocircles.net/2015apr12/1428845717.html

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The new anti-terrorism law in Gujarat brings back ‘police confessions’ through the front door (Apr 8, 2015, Economic Times)

“Indeed it seems to be the universal opinion among the natives themselves, that in criminal cases the practice is not only necessary but right. It excites no abhorrence, no astonishment, no repugnance, in their minds.”

The practice in question is torture. And this is an excerpt from the report of the Torture Commission of 1855 to the British India government. Much has changed among the ‘natives’ in the 160 years since. But a controversial legislation passed recently in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill (GCTOC), suggests that there is still a great deal of opinion that believes the practice of torture to be “not only necessary but right”.

With the public discourse largely confined to whether President Pranab Mukherjee would, following the example of his two predecessors, refuse to assent the Bill into law, little attention has been paid to the implications of the provision making confessions to the police “admissible” as evidence in the trial. Though it apparently contains safeguards to ensure that the confessions are made “voluntarily”, Section 16 of the GCTOC threatens to serve as a legal cover for torture, as did its corresponding provisions in the discredited and discarded Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).…

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46850357.cms

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5 cops suspended in Rs 4,000 cr Gujarat cricket-betting racket (Apr 9, 2015, Hindustan Times)

The Rs 4,000 crore cricket-betting racket busted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Gujarat during the world cup has reached at the doors of several state police officials who forged nexus with betting operators.

Two leading bookies Tommy Patel and Kiran Patel were booked by the ED when it raided a farm house near Vadodara and over a dozen laptops and 100 mobile phones were seized.

Late on Tuesday, Gujarat home department suspended five policemen including two police inspectors (PI) of Gandhinagar and Vadodara, who were found to be linked with bookies running the racket from a farm house in Vadodara.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/5-cops-suspended-in-rs-4-000-cr-gujarat-cricket-betting-racket/article1-1335289.aspx

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UP govt forcibly demolish two relief camps of victims of Muzaffarnagar riots (Apr 8, 2015, Twocircles.net)

The district administration, with the help of local police, has forcibly evicted the victims of Muzaffarnagar riots from a relief camp in Malakpur village in neighbouring Shamli district and dismantled the huts and shanties that poor Muslims had built in last two years from donations.

Most of residents of these camps shelter poor Muslims from different villages of Muzaffarnagar and Shamli, who ran for their lives as they felt threatened when the Muzaffarnagar-Shamli riots began on September 7-8, 2013. The demolition exercise took place on Saturday.

However, as these people do not belong to the eight villages where actual riots had occurred then in 2013, the Uttar Pradesh government does not recognise them as victims of riots, and hence neither were they given any compensation nor were there any rehabilitation schemes for them. The state government maintains that they should go back to their villages, but these poor Muslims are still too scared to return.…

http://twocircles.net/2015apr08/1428492436.html

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VHP, RSS force Muslim to sell home in Hindu locality (Apr 8, 2015, Indian Express)

Barely a year after he bought a bungalow in a predominantly Hindu neighbourhood of Bhavnagar, prompting Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Pravin Togadia to ask neighbours not to allow him to move in, a Muslim businessman was forced to sell it off with functionaries of Hindu Right-wing groups brokering the deal.

Scrap dealer Aliasgar Zaveri had bought the bungalow in Bhavnagar’s posh Sanatorium area on January 10, 2014. But under pressure from Hindu neighbours, VHP and RSS, Zaveri, a Bohra Muslim, sold his bungalow to real-state firm Bhumiti Associates on December 30, 2014.

Bhumiti Associates, a partnership firm of three Jains, razed the bungalow a few months ago. “Zaveri tried many things to gain a toehold in the area. He suggested renting the bungalow out to Hindus but we rejected it. He also tried to give it to a firm for shooting a film, but we did not allow that. Meanwhile, we were in touch with real-estate developers. Having realised that neighbours would not relent, he agreed to sell it,” a senior RSS functionary who lives nearby and was among those leading the protests, said.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/vhp-rss-force-muslim-to-sell-home-in-hindu-locality/99/

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Clerics refuse to convert 500 Valmikis who threatened to adopt Islam ‘in protest’ (Apr 13, 2015, Daily Mail)

As many as 500 members of the Valmiki community, who have announced plans to embrace Islam in protest against the Uttar Pradesh government’s move to “remove them from their locality”, faced a setback on Monday as clerics refused to be part of any conversion programme.

Around 80 Valmiki families in the Topkhana locality of UP’s Rampur district had announced that they would adopt Islam on April 14 – the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar – in an attempt to “save their houses from demolition”. …

Maulana Furqan Raza, who met the members of the community on Monday, said: “They have been terrorised. They are not doing this for their love for Islam. They believe that they would be able to protect their houses by adopting Islam. The authorities wouldn’t dare to dislodge them from the locality if they were Muslims. However, any conversion under fear is not permitted in our religion. So we have refused to be part of any conversion programme.”…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-3037650/Clerics-refuse-convert-Valmikis-threatened-adopt-Islam-protest.html

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Opinions and Editorials

The Sin And The Error – By Ravi Sinha (Apr 11, 2015, Countercurrents)

Future historians of India may well describe the past year as a year of political sin. This was the year in which the man who had earlier presided over the Gujarat Carnage was awarded the ultimate prize. The year saw an election that touched a new low marked by shallowness, vulgarities and lies – in no small measure by the labors of the man himself. Equally appalling have been the exertions of a large class of literati and glitterati to portray philistinism and inanities spouted by the most powerful mouth as wisdom of a visionary leader.

An entire country seems to have gone blind – unable to see that the emperor has no clothes. In this age of incessant television it should be obvious to anyone that the supreme leader does not carry conviction even when enunciating relatively higher banalities. He is at his natural best only when he mocks someone as a shehzada or slanders and vilifies an entire community through phrases such as ame paanch, amara pachees. It is an irony of history that the republic which had Nehru as its first prime minister has one now for whom even common mythology is too cerebral. He must vulgarize Pushpak Viman and Ganesha and reduce them to quackeries of aviation and surgery.

Misfortune of the nation goes beyond the man. Forces of the diabolic housed in the hydra-headed Parivaar can now accomplish the impossible. They can now occupy the political center stage without leaving off the lunatic fringe. They can adopt Gandhi without renouncing Godse; erect world’s tallest statue of a leader who had punished their forefathers for assassinating Gandhi; even co-opt Bhagat Singh without batting an eyelid about what he stood for and what he had to say about ideologies like theirs. They can further refine the art of doublespeak. Their “statesmen” can pave the way for corporate plunder and call it sab ka vikas (development for all). Their “ideologues” can advocate sab ka saath (inclusion of all) by exhorting Hindu women to give birth to a minimum of four children each, lest Hindus are reduced to a minority “in their own country”.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/sibha110415.htm

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Shiv Sena’s call to disenfranchise Muslims an unpardonable act – Editorial (Apr 14, 2015, Economic Times)

Shiv Sena’s call to disenfranchise Muslims is not just deplorable but an active threat to democracy, for two reasons. One, it comes from a political party that wields state power and is voiced by an elected legislator. Two, it comes in a political atmosphere that makes religious minorities feel insecure. Would a call to disenfranchise an entire community be tolerable in a fully functional democracy?

Short of calls for violence and strife, or support thereof, anyone has the right to an opinion, however distasteful. But there is also a difference between a rabble-rouser aiming for some publicity, and an elected legislator, a parliamentarian or a political party espousing such anti-Constitution, anti-national opinions.…

This is not a stray incident. The view that minorities must be turned into second-class citizens is an ideology that has always been in conflict with the idea of a secular, multicultural, diverse and democratic India. And manifestations of that destructive ideology must be opposed.

http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/et-editorials/shiv-senas-call-to-disenfranchise-muslims-an-unpardonable-act/

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Encountering the ‘encounter’ – By Syed Mohammed (Apr 9, 2015, Times of India)

It is a sordid tale of encounters spaced less than a week from each other. It is also a first for the new state of Telangana. While the encounter in Nalgonda district claimed the lives of two valiant police officers at the hands of alleged SIMI operatives, the second incident, in Alair on Tuesday, was quite different.

Taken in with some scepticism not only by human rights activists and politicians, but also by a large section of the masses, the gunning down of five undertrials, including alleged cop killer Viquaruddin Ahmed, in a police van, that too at a time when the court was soon to arrive at a judgment, has raised serious concerns. The incident has underscored yet again the trust deficit between the police and the masses. It is a yawning gap which never seems to close.…

Encounters are no trivial developments. They require approval from the highest authorities. Those in the know have strong and valid reasons to suspect that the encounter of the five undertrials was no different. Undivided Andhra Pradesh had a blotted history of encounters.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46860848.cms

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The Colour Of Cold Blood – By Madhavi Tata (Apr 20, 2015, Outlook)

…The bloody gunning down of 20 woodcutters from Tamil Nadu by the Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force (RSASTF) in Chittoor on April 7 might seem like a natural corollary of Naidu’s zeal to protect forests. Though the government calls them “smugglers”, these are men hired by the ring-leaders for felling and carrying the wood. Nine labourers were killed in Eetagunta, eleven in Vachindou Banda, both in the Chandragiri mandal of the district.

As facts tumble out, the killing seems more and more like a staged encounter. DGP J.V. Ramudu said 20 men of two teams from the task force were attacked with knives, sickles, axes and stones by some 200 woodcutters. “It was in self-defence that the combing party was forced to open fire,” the police chief said.

But all bodies had bullet wounds in the abdomen, face, chest and back of the neck. Some had burn marks on the arm, raising suspicions of torture. When attacked and forced to open fire, policemen are expected to fire warning shots in the air and if that fails, to aim below the knees. The post-mortem team of five doctors at the Venkateswara Ramnarain Ruia Government Hospital, however, said the men “were shot at close range”.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/The-Colour-Of-Cold-Blood/293986

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Anti-Terror Bill: Gujarat’s 10-Year Legal Leap Backwards – By Nidheesh J Villatt (Apr 18, 2015, Tehelka)

In a hark back to what was attempted in Gujarat, but spurned by Presidential decree, the Gujarat government has reverted to confessions before police officers being admissible as per the recently passed Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GUJTOC) Bill. Gujarat is risking inviting the ire of legal and civil rights activists by going ahead with the controversial Bill.

Legal experts say that the Bill has striking similarities with the repealed Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA). The Bill is a slightly modified version of an earlier Bill that was passed by the Gujarat Assembly during Narendra Modi’s chief ministership, but rejected thrice by the President in 2004, 2008 and 2009.

The Bill is a pet project of Modi, who made his political fortunes by a clever mix of hyper-nationalism (accompanied by Gujarati sub-nationalism) punctuated with ‘jihadi terror’. The previous version – first introduced in 2003, a year after the Gujarat riots – was named the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime Bill and was modelled after the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999, better known as MCOCA.…

http://www.tehelka.com/anti-terror-bill-gujarats-10-year-legal-leap-backwards/

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The Scale Tilts – By Upendra Baxi (Apr 20, 2015, Outlook)

At the recent Chief Justices Conference, while Chief Justice of India (CJI) H.L. Dattu made the reaching-out comment that the Supreme Court was a constitutional sibling of Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose to make some adversarial remarks. “Five-star activists” – wounding words these are, coming from a prime minister, and they are frightening too if interpreted as a war cry against social activism. These aren’t per se words that bind down activism, but they evoke disturbing premonitions. Already the conference was mired in controversy: Justices Kurian Joseph and Vikramjit Sen had protested the scheduling of the event on Good Friday and the CJI had justified his decision.

Modi had two targets: Teesta Setalvad, who has taken up the cause of victims of the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat; and Priya Pillai, a Greenpeace activist whose freedom to dissent and to travel was valiantly restored by the Delhi High Court. Some lawyers are thinking of filing a contempt of court petition: Modi’s remark about “the issue of bail of (sic) five-star activists” is particularly unfortunate as it refers to a particular case pending before court. But it will be equally unfortunate if the judges find cause for contempt of court. More likely, they will dismiss any contempt petition on this. The point is not what the Supreme Court will do, but rather what a prime minister should or should not say.…

The social activists I have met in more than 30 years of teaching, research and activist lawyering are in no sense ‘five-star activists’. Rather, they are fighters for just and lost causes. Appearing as petitioner – I recently stopped doing this owing to inclement health – I’ve never seen a ‘five-star activist’. One may have honest differences with some social activists, but one should not question their bonafides.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/The-Scale-Tilts/293977

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 6th, 2015

April 7, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Bihar CM Nitish Kumar demands BJP’s explanation for 2002 Gujarat riots 1992 Jalandhar fake encounters: 8 ex-cops get life sentence Main accused in Patna blast case arrested Babri Masjid demolition case: Courts are ‘the only way ahead when accused are in govt’, says Haji Mehboob Muslims have […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 30th, 2015

March 31, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Custodial death of Shaikh Hyder, A blot on the face of Telangana: Facting Finding Report Row in Chattisgarh Assembly over RSS membership for govt. staff Hashimpura masscre acquittal result of “deliberate, shoddy” investigation Babri Masjid demolition case: SC issues notice to BJP leader L K Advani, 19 […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 23rd, 2015

March 24, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines 27 yrs after Hashimpura massacre, 4 who survived watch 16 cops walk free Hashimpura massacre: A perfect case of miscarriage of justice, legal expert says Dahod clash: Bail plea of six rejected, Muslim body demands probe by senior officer Ruthless ATS framed me in terror case Record […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 16th, 2015

March 17, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Puttur: CM inaugurates Mini Vidhana Soudha, stresses on communal harmony News Headlines Gulberg society massacre: In final arguments, SIT seeks conviction of all 61 accused ‘Ishrat’s family living in fear’ Bombs hurled at Tamil TV channel Puthiya Thalaimurai’s office by bike-borne assailants ‘Love jihad’ gets a Bengal […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 9th, 2015

March 10, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Ex-bureaucrat speaks out on Gujarat riots Lawyers allege life threat to blast accused Qasmi in jail Police hand in Dimapur jailbreak suspected Indian State Bans Possession and Sale of Beef ‘Modi Govt. encouraging Hindutva forces, corporates’ Case filed against Bajrang Dal leader for ‘defaming’ minister Muslim body […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 2nd, 2015

March 3, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Shocking reversals in the struggle for justice mark Gujarat pogroms anniversary Communal Harmony Call to maintain unity and communal harmony News Headlines Indian-American Muslims demand justice for Gujarat victims on 13th anniversary of mass massacre British victims’ family slams Gujarat riots acquittal verdict Indian Hindu leader’s criticism of […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 23rd, 2015

February 24, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines UK probes RSS-inspired charity for anti-Muslim comments Comment on religious tolerance by Indian leader sparks national debate Stop Harassment of Activists: Police Target Group Seeking Justice for 2002 Gujarat Riots Pansare’s death a reflection of divisive communal forces, say Left parties Himayat Baig was attacked in prison, […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 16th, 2015

February 17, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines US media sees Modi ‘brought down to earth’ An open letter to Ms Kiran Bedi from Shabnam Hashmi Justice denied, she recalls: they cut off my hands Withdraw ‘concocted’ case against Teesta Setalvad: CPM to Gujarat govt Convent school vandalised in Delhi, sixth such attack in 4 […]

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