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News Digest

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 21st, 2014

by newsdigest on July 22, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Announcements

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Announcements

Supreme Court’s Acquittal of innocents in Surat 1993 bomb blasts case hailed by Indian Americans

Case is indicative of corruption in lower courts, logjam in judiciary

July 20, 2014

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC - www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has lauded the landmark Supreme Court judgment acquitting the 11 innocent people accused of having carried out the bomb blasts in Surat (Gujarat) in 1993, while decrying the miscarriage of justice that led to their convictions by the lower courts in Gujarat.

The 11 people, including former Congress minister Mohammed Surti had been convicted in Gujarat under the draconian Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (TADA) Act, and sentenced to jail terms ranging from 10 to 20 years. The real masterminds behind the two Surat blasts, that led to the death of a school girl and injury of several others, continue to remain at large.

The unravelling of the Surat case comes on the heels of the judgement in the Akshardham case, in which the Supreme Court acquitted all six accused, including three that had been sentenced to death by the Gujarat High Court. In the case of the Akshardham accused, justice was served after they had spent 10 years of their lives in prison, for a crime they had not committed.

“The Surat and the Akshardham acquittals are indicative of the misery that befalls Muslims that fall prey to a repressive law enforcement and corrupt state courts. Often they have to spend 10 to 20 years in prison, while the case winds its way through the maze of the Indian judiciary, before having their innocence finally upheld by the apex court,” said Ahsan Khan, President of IAMC. “In the case of Khalid Mujahid and Mohammed Qateel, even the Supreme Court was unable to save them. Their lives were cruelly snuffed out, while in police custody or serving time in prison,” added Mr. Khan.

At the recent Congressional hearing on “The Plight of Religious Minorities in India,” held on April 4th 2014, organizations with international credibility, such as Human Rights Watch, The Advocates for Human Rights and the USCIRF testified to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on the worsening situation of minorities in regards to human rights and religious freedom.

A major reason why perpetrators of violence against religious minorities enjoy impunity from prosecution is due to the logjam in the Indian judicial system. According to the statement made by Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the Indian Parliament, India has the largest backlog of cases in the world. There are 30 million cases pending in Indian courts, 4 million of which are pending in high courts and 65,000 in the Federal Supreme Court itself. It takes an average of 10 years to adjudicate a case in a court. Once a verdict is given in the lower court, the appeal process to the Supreme Court can take several decades. This makes any remedies to human rights violations such as judicial redress impractical. After 30 years, cases against perpetrators of the 1984 mass killings are still getting adjudicated. With some exceptions, most cases stemming from the 2002 anti-Muslim pogroms in Gujarat have met the same fate. In both cases, the masterminds of the pogroms continue to roam free.

IAMC has called on the civil society institutions to join hands and struggle for reform in both the police and judiciary, in order to uphold Constitutional guarantees of human rights and justice for all, regardless of caste, creed, gender, or ethnic origin.

Indian-American Muslim Council (formerly Indian Muslim Council-USA) is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with 13 chapters across the nation. For more information please visit our new website at: http://www.iamc.com

CONTACT:
Ishaq Syed
phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270
email: info@iamc.com
address: 6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295, Morton Grove, IL 60053.

REFERENCES

1. Supreme Court Rescues Innocents Jailed For 1993 Surat Blasts Case, Acquits All 11
http://www.thecitizen.in/supreme-court-rescues-innocents-jailed-for-1993-surat-blasts-case-acquits-all-11/

2. Setback for Gujarat govt, SC acquits all accused in 1993 Surat blast cases
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/setback-for-gujarat-govt-sc-acquits-all-accused-in-1993-surat-blast-cases/

3. India has world’s largest backlog of court cases: PM
http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/india-has-world-s-largest-backlog-of-court-cases-pm-7137

4. INDIA: Remedies to human rights violations a mirage, Asia Human Rights Commission, Feb 27, 2014
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/alrc-news/human-rights-council/hrc25/ALRC-CWS-25-14-2014

5. The Plight of Religious Minorities in India, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Hearing, FRIDAY, APRIL 04, 2014, 10:30 AM
http://tlhrc.house.gov/hearing_notice.asp?id=1259

6. ANHAD Report – What It Means to be a Muslim in India Today
http://www.anhadin.net/article122.html

7. Khalid Muhahid – From Abduction to Custodial Killing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cegWbjkCi0

8. Framed, Damned, Acquitted – Dossiers of a Very Special Cell
http://www.jamiajournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/JTSA-Report-Framed-Damned-and-Acquitted-Dossiers-of-a-Very-Special-Cell.pdf

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SC acquits all 11 convicted for 1993 Surat bomb blasts (Jul 18, 2014, Deccan Herald)

The Supreme Court Friday acquitted all the 11 people convicted for January and April 1993 bomb blasts in Gujarat’s Surat in which an eight-year-old child was killed and several people were injured. A bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice C. Nagappan said: “The requirement of a mandatory statutory provision having been violated, the trial and conviction of the petitioners for offences under the (now repealed Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act) TADA must be held to have been vitiated on that account.”

The investigating agency did not take the prior permission of the district police chief before recording information for offences under TADA which was mandatory and could not be waived, the court said in its judgment. “A careful reading of the above leaves no manner of doubt that the provision starts with a non-obstante clause and is couched in negative phraseology. It forbids recording of information about the commission of offences under TADA by police without the prior approval of the district superintendent of police,” the court said.

“The question is whether the power of approval vested in the district superintendent of police could be exercised by either the government or the additional police commissioner, Surat in the instant case. Our answer to that question is in the negative,” said Justice Thakur speaking for the bench. …

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/420459/sc-acquits-all-11-convicted.html

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Delhi Police planted chip in my body, terror accused says (Jul 17, 2014, Times of India)

A local court on Wednesday ordered medical checkup of a terror suspect after he accused the Delhi police of having inserted chips in his body. The Delhi police had arrested Abdur Rehman in May 2008 and later transferred him to Lucknow in connection with a separate case after he was acquitted of planning to trigger serial blasts.

Additional sessions judge BL Kesarwani ordered jail authorities to ensure Rehman’s medical check by a surgeon and radiologist. He directed the jail superintendent and senior superintendent of police, Lucknow, to provide adequate safety and security at the time of the checkup. …

Early this year, Rehman moved the local court alleging the Delhi police had implanted magnetic chips in his head, intestine and appendix. “It appears somebody was controlling me. I cannot sleep properly and even hear sounds of abuses,” he told the court. He informed the court he had asked jail authorities in Delhi to remove these chips before he was shifted to Lucknow. …

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/38508941.cms

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Muslims think we are communal, corrupt: Police (Jul 17, 2014, Indian Express)

In what is perhaps the first admission of its kind, the police have concluded that there is a trust deficit among Muslims, who see them as “communal, biased and insensitive…. ill-informed, corrupt and lacking professionalism”.

A report, “Strategy for making police forces more sensitive towards minority sections”, prepared by three DGPs – Sanjeev Dayal of Maharashtra, Deoraj Nagar of Uttar Pradesh and K Ramanujam of Tamil Nadu – along with an Intelligence Bureau representative, says that the distrust comes from poor representation of minorities in the forces and the conduct of some policemen during riots.

“Poor representation of the minorities in the police forces has contributed to this distrust and suspicion. It has to be admitted that the conduct of some members of the police forces in various states during communal riots had only served to strengthen and heighten these suspicions and distrust in the minority communities,” it says.

Saying that Muslims form the largest minority, constituting “a vocal and large section of the population” in most states, the report calls for urgent correction of the perception in the community about the police as it “impinges on the communal situation of the country and thus its internal security”.

Presented at the 2013 DGs’ conference in New Delhi, the report is currently with the Central government, awaiting action. It is primarily aimed at providing the framework for a Standard Operating Procedure to prevent communal riots. It also wants a Community Policing Plan by all states, which should be internalised and become a SOP. …

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/maharashtra/muslims-think-we-are-communal-corrupt-police/99/

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HC Adjourns Hearing on Zakia’s Plea on Clean Chit to Modi in 2002 Riots (Jul 15, 2014, New Indian Express)

The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday adjourned hearing on a petition of Zakia Jafri, the widow of slain ex-Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, challenging a local court order upholding a clean chit given by SIT to the then chief minister Narendra Modi and others in a 2002 riots case.

Justice S G Shah has posted the hearing for October 15 after Zakia sought time to verify the translation of the voluminous documents in the case. Zakia’s petition seeks “to make Modi and 59 others accused on charges of criminal conspiracy to commit a mass murder, arson… And also tampering with evidence and destroying records of the Gujarat Home Department”.

The petition alleges that the magistrate accepted SIT’s closure report with a “non-application of mind”. It also alleges that destruction of key records was carried out to ensure injustice to the victims, in which the Chief Minister’s office and the state home department were allegedly involved.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/HC-Adjourns-Hearing-on-Zakias-Plea-on-Clean-Chit-to-Modi-in-2002-Riots/2014/07/15/article2331947.ece

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Church vandalised in UP, Bajrang Dal activists arrested (Jul 17, 2014, Business Standard)

A church was vandalised allegedly by Bajrang Dal activists at village Sehkari Nagar here, police said. Two persons including Hemant Singh, area co-ordinator of Bajrang Dal, have been arrested following a complaint by the church priest R C Paul about the incident which occurred on Monday afternoon, according to Senior Superintendent of Police Akhilesh Kumar.

Scores of Bajrang Dal activists staged a protest outside the residence of the SSP here late last night demanding release of those arrested in the case. Kumar said an FIR was lodged on the complaint of the priest of the church. “Hemant Singh and one other person were arrested. Eight unknown persons too have been named in the FIR,” he said.

The church at Sehkari Nagar village has been in existence since 1991. Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh is about 90 km from Delhi. Meanwhile, Hemant Singh alleged that that church was luring poor Hindus to convert to Christianity.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/church-vandalised-in-up-bajrang-dal-activists-arrested-114071700733_1.html

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Custodial death: Two cops at Kodungaiyur police station suspended (Jul 17, 2014, Times of India)

A day after gangster D Gopal died in the custody of the Kodungaiyur police, two cops were placed under suspension on Thursday. Chennai city police commissioner S George suspended inspector Baskar and sub-inspector Pandiaraj of the Kodungaiyur police station based on a report filed by a senior police official.

Soon after the death of Gopal on Wednesday, the commissioner ordered a departmental inquiry. Joint commissioner K Shanmugavel conducted the inquiry and submitted a report, following which the suspension orders were issued.

Meanwhile, Egmore fifth metropolitan magistrate Uma Maheshwari conducted an inquiry. She visited Stanley Medical College and Hospital where the body was kept for a postmortem. She conducted inquiries with the personnel at the Kodungaiyur police station and also with the family members of the deceased.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/38558785.cms

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SIT Seeks Arrest Warrant Against Delhi Cop in UP Riots Case (Jul 16, 2014, New Indian Express)

The Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the Muzaffarnagar riots, has moved a local court seeking issuance of an arrest warrant against a Delhi Police constable, accused in an arson and loot case here. During investigation, Delhi Police constable Anuj Kumar was allegedly found involved in the riots case at Bahawdi village under Phugana police station in the district, SIT officials said.

SIT inspector Ramraten Singh moved an application before Chief Judicial Magistrate Narender Kumar on Tuesday, seeking issuance of an arrest warrant against the absconding accused. The SIT has asked the local police to arrest the accused constable, who was allegedly found involved in an arson and loot incident here during communal riots in September last.

The communal violence, which had broken out in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining towns, had claimed over 40 lives and rendered above 50,000 people homeless.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/SIT-Seeks-Arrest-Warrant-Against-Delhi-Cop-in-UP-Riots-Case/2014/07/16/article2333427.ece

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Lucknow Imam upbraids Togadia for attempting to disturb communal harmony (Jul 21, 2014, Yahoo)

Lucknow Eidgah Imam Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali today condemned Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Praveen Togadia for his controversial statement on Muslims forgetting 2002 Gujarat riots. Mahali accused Togadia of disturbing communal harmony during the month of Ramzaan.

“The recent statement of Praveen Togadia is highly condemnable, and we condemn it in the strongest possible words. And, we think that it is a conspiracy to disturb law and order, especially in this holy month of Ramzaan. So, the Government of India must take strong action against such elements,” said Mahali.

He added that by recalling the Gujarat and Muzaffarnagar riots, Togadia has tried to rake up the old wounds of the victims. He also said that it is the duty of every government to meet the interests of the Muslims on a priority basis.

Recently, another VHP leader, Ashok Singhal, had controversially said that the recent general elections have shown that polls can be won without Muslim support, and that now, Muslims should learn to respect Hindus.

https://in.news.yahoo.com/lucknow-imam-upbraids-togadia-attempting-disturb-communal-harmony-082355690.html

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PIL filed against Vaidik over his meeting with Hafiz Saeed (Jul 18, 2014, IBN)

A PIL has been filed in the Delhi High Court against journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik over his meeting with Jamat ud Dawah chief and 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Lahore.

The PIL seeks a detailed investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and wants Vaidik’s passport seized and sedition charges slapped on him. The petition says the meeting could not have been possible without collusion of ISI. The matter will come up for hearing on Wednesday.

On Thursday, a complaint was filed in a local court against Vaidik accusing him of sedition over his meeting with Saeed and his controversial remarks on Jammu and Kashmir. A lawyer Santosh Pathak moved the application against Vaidik in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, which fixed July 22 as the date of hearing.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/pil-filed-against-vaidik-over-his-meeting-with-hafiz-saeed/486840-37-64.html

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Navi Mumbai cop held for abduction and extortion, suspended (Jul 18, 2014, Times of India)

The Navi Mumbai police have suspended the constable who allegedly kidnapped an architect and extorted Rs 10,000 from her. On Thursday, the Belapur judicial magistrate court remanded constable Santosh Narawade (28) of the Taloja police station to police custody for two days. “We have information that his background is not good. We’ll confirm if he was involved in any previous extortion cases and then take legal action against him,” said Suresh Mengade, DCP (zone 1).

The complainant refused to speak to the media on Thursday. “She is satisfied that the police arrested Narawade within 24 hours,” said a police officer. On Tuesday, Narawade, who was in uniform, stopped the architect (29) who was in an auto near Seawoods station and told her get on his bike to go to the police station for an inquiry. But he took her to an ATM, forced her to withdraw Rs 10,000 from her account and dropped her in Kharghar.

He was arrested on Wednesday. “We have suspended the rogue cop,” said K L Prasad, Navi Mumbai police commissioner. Activist Nitin Kandhari told TOI: “I suggest all police stations be linked through a CCTV network. This will deter cops from doing anything illegal.”

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/38564982.cms

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Opinions and Editorials

Police, minorities and perception management – By Smita Nair (Jul 17, 2014, Indian Express)

A survey done in a southern state, key inputs from three states with sizeable Muslim populations, and intelligence from state police chiefs – all put together by three officers of the rank of director general of police (DGP) – in 2013, speak of a situation wherein the entrenched perception of a police bias against the minority community could, if not corrected immediately, affect the country’s internal security.

The report, prepared by the DGPs of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, and a senior IB official, is now with the central government, awaiting action. The report is a summary and compilation of police and intelligence inputs received from states across India, along with the content of interactions with the community, public utterances by community leaders, and articles published by them.

To bridge the “police-community” gap, the report recommends implementation of a comprehensive “community policing plan”, improving “interface levels” between the Muslim community and police, improving and encouraging “participative policing”, and developing standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prevent communal riots.

The report begins with an analysis of the wounds of Partition which, it says, “poisoned the relations between the two communities, leaving both suspicious of each other”. The scars were deepest in northern India, and the Ram Shilanyas Yatras and Ramjanmabhoomi agitation also “communalised otherwise peaceful parts of South and East India”, thus polarising the entire country, it says.

“The razing of the Ram Janam Bhoomi/Babri Mosque disputed structure saw communal riots erupting in most of the country. The use of terror as a retribution for the demolition and communal riots that followed the demolition further sharpened the conflict. Communal riots after Godhara were a watershed event.” …

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/maharashtra/police-minorities-and-perception-management/99/

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India’s Shift to the Right – By Nishad Patnaik (Jul 19, 2014, EPW)

The 2014 general elections seem to mark a watershed moment in the history of post-Independence electoral politics in India. As many commentators have observed, not since 1984 has any single party been voted into power on the basis of a simple majority, and a substantial one at that. Whereas the mandate in 1984 was expected, and was the result of exceptional circumstances, the overwhelming nature of the present mandate has taken many, including even those in the winning Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), by surprise.

In the aftermath of this result, many have pointed out, quite rightly, that the number of seats the BJP has won does not reflect the actual percentage vote share of the BJP vis-à-vis other parties, given the “first past the post” design of our electoral system. However, notwithstanding these figures, it is clear that the absolute number of BJP votes has risen across the country, even in areas where they have traditionally not had a major presence. We may therefore ask: is the country witnessing a shift to the right, and if so, what is the nature and extent of this shift? The response to the first question, confined to the present juncture, might quite plausibly be affirmative; but the response to the second, since it invokes the horizon of the future, is necessarily problematic, and calls for greater analysis.

Another way of putting the matter is to ask whether the electoral result indicates merely an event or, in addition, an advent? An “event” in the political (and more generally, in the socio-economic) sphere is a more or less contingent occurrence – its consequences do not leave any lasting impact, and in the domain of ideology and policy, are subject to possible reversal in the near future. For, a political “event” stems from a certain perception of the present that becomes dominant, shaped, no doubt, by immediate factors such as resentment against the long reign of the party hitherto in power – in this instance, the Congress – along with its perceived misrule, corrupt character, general ineffectiveness, and the lack of credible alternatives. A political (and socio-economic) “advent”, by contrast, signifies the onset of something new or different, that subverts the vector of the past, altering the very terrain of discourse and the possibilities of action. …

http://www.epw.in/commentary/indias-shift-right.html

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Are Hindutva hawks flying again? – By Amulya Ganguli (Jul 19, 2014, Business Standard)

The latest reported observations of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) supremo, Ashok Singhal, echo what the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue, M.S. Golwalkar, said in his 1939 publication, “We, or Our Nationhood Defined”. In it, the Hindutva icon had given an outline of what the minorities can expect in India.

“The foreign races in Hindusthan,” the RSS guru had written, “must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no ideas but those of glorification of the Hindu race and culture … or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment, not even citizen’s rights.”

Seventy-five years later, Singhal’s statement shows that little has changed so far as the saffron worldview is concerned. In an interview to the Hindustan Times, he has said that the “Muslims will be treated as common citizens – nothing more, nothing less. And they must learn to respect Hindu sentiments. If they keep opposing Hindus, how long can they survive?”

Unlike Golwalkar, the VHP leader is willing to concede citizen’s rights to Muslims, but the precondition of respecting Hindu sentiments remains. He has also issued an unambiguous threat by linking the “survival” of the Muslims to the need to defer to the Hindus.

Singhal has imposed a caveat as well. It is that the Muslims must forsake their claims on the Ayodhya, Varanasi and Mathura mosques and accept a uniform civil code. By reviving the demand for the Varanasi and Mathura shrines along with that of Ayodhya, Singhal has recalled the slogan which was raised by the saffron cadres after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya: “Yeh to pehli jhanki hai, Kashi, Mathura baki hai.” (This is only the first instalment; Kashi and Mathura will be next).…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/are-hindutva-hawks-flying-again-comment-special-to-ians-114071900314_1.html

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Between history and mythology – By Harbans Mukhia (Jul 17, 2014, The Hindu)

The recent observations of the new Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) Chairman, Professor Yellapragada Sudershan Rao, that the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are not works of mythology but of historical veracity brings back to the fore the old debate about the nature of history and mythology. The fundamental assumption here is that the two stand in a dichotomous relationship with no common space between them. This dichotomy also places them in a hierarchy, with history being equated with truth and mythology with falsehood.

The dichotomy was created by Positivism, which has unquestioned European provenance. Positivism had, during the eighteenth century and down to much of the twentieth century, sought to recreate the exactitude of the natural sciences in forms of societal knowledge, the social sciences. Auguste Comte, the founder of Sociology, placed this new discipline at the highest level of precision and Mathematics at the lowest, because Mathematics had no objective basis except for a commonly accepted set of values.

For Leopold von Ranke, “History tells us as it really happened.” It reveals to us the objective truth, with no ambiguity. The veracity of history is proven by the evidence of facts gathered from archives, epigraphs, archaeology, coins, monuments etc., all being objective realities rather than imaginary creations. Certain norms of spatial and temporal location of events form its core.

On the other hand, mythology stood at the other end of objectivity: all of it was the product of imagination, much like fiction, with no objective evidence open to rational, scientific scrutiny, but dependent instead on one’s beliefs and faith.

It is in this backdrop that the struggle to place mythological creations on a par with history or objective truth, is best understood, for any concession to the imaginary nature of mythology relegates it to an inferior status. Or so it is assumed.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/between-history-and-mythology/article6218099.ece

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He Who Couldn’t Keep Quiet – By Pranay Sharma (Jul 28, 2014, Outlook)

Backchannel negotiations and Track-II diplomacy are par for the diplomatic course when leaders of countries want to achieve breakthroughs in bilateral relations. Editors and senior journalists are often part of this process, as informal couriers of messages respective governments might want to convey. It’s no different in the fraught India-Pakistan relationship, and there have been plenty of occasions when media personalities have voluntarily carried important messages across the border. Atal Behari Vajpayee’s Lahore peace bus initiative and the tapes played before Nawaz Sharif to show the complicity of the Pakistani army during the 1999 Kargil misadventure are two such prominent instances.

One isn’t quite sure, though, what bracket the recent meeting between old-time Hindi journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik and alleged 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed fell in. On his part, Vaidik claims he met Saeed in Lahore only out of pure journalistic impulse: the desire to interview a man who tops the list of the ‘most wanted’ terrorists in India. But with over a fortnight having elapsed and there being no sign of any interview, there is enough speculation-among opposition parties and in diplomatic circles-whether it will ever be transcribed and if the purpose of the visit wasn’t something else entirely.…

Vaidik, who was in Pakistan as part of an informal Indo-Pak dialogue organised by a Pakistani think-tank last month, stayed back over a fortnight for his various meetings. But as any veteran of India-Pakistan affairs knows, it is extremely difficult to meet Saeed, who’s very well-guarded. Unless, of course, the Pakistani security establishment – particularly the ISI – facilitates such a meeting. The question then is a concomitant one: why should the Pakistani establishment go out of its way to arrange a meeting with Saeed? …

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/He-Who-Couldnt-Keep-Quiet/291429

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Streak Of Violence – By Yashwant Dhote (Jul 28, 2014, Outlook)

Chhattisgarh doesn’t have religious minorities to speak of – they are a mere two per cent of its population. That should make it an oasis of communal harmony. Right? Well, not quite, as several admittedly small but significant incidents this year expose how fragile the social fabric really is in parts of the state, notably in Bastar and Surguja.

If it was a church that was destroyed this March by people, allegedly with the help of the police, the next month it was a funeral service that was attacked and the grave filled up. In June, Christians at Sirisguda were refused rations from the pds outlets after they refused to give donations for a Hindu temple. This month, when a food inspector arrived to register complaints, the complainants were attacked and beaten up. Nine of them had to be hospitalised.

Things are no better in the adjacent areas of Madhya Pradesh, where according to Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), mobs searched the belongings of passengers and those found in possession of the Bible were beaten up.

There’s more. As many as 50 village councils in Bastar are said to have adopted resolutions banning the entry of “non-Hindu missionaries”. Bastar district magistrate Ankit Anand admits to only three villages adopting such resolutions, which he says are unconstitutional and illegal. But that is of small consolation to church leaders, who complain of increasing instances of persecution by the majority community. “Unless legal and deterrent action is taken against the mischief-makers, there is no guarantee that such incidents will not recur,” says a parish priest at Raipur.

The sporadic violence has surprised observers, who say that the state has long been a bastion of the VHP-RSS, and with 98 per cent of the population being Hindu, there really is no reason for the majority community to feel threatened. Not even in Bastar, where Christians constitute barely 0.7 per cent of the population, and the tribal population remains a robust 30.63 per cent.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/Streak-Of-Violence/291413

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 14th, 2014

by newsdigest on July 15, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

UK fights for Britons killed in Gujarat riots (Jul 12, 2014, Times of India)

Britain has asked India to speed up action against the killers of three Britons murdered during the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat. Foreign secretary William Hague made the request while raising British concerns about the delay in justice for the three during his recently-concluded India visit.

“The Foreign Secretary raised this case during his call on Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, the appropriate person to raise consular issues with,” said a foreign office spokesperson. “The foreign secretary raised our concern about the delays in taking forward these cases and undertook to follow up with more detail in writing. Mrs Swaraj took note of our concerns.”

British brothers Saeed and Shakil Dawood were killed along with their friend, Mohammed Aswat. They were among over 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, killed in the riots. The three men of Gujarati origin were visiting the state as tourists when they were killed. The remains of the three are yet to be returned even after 12 years. Six men were initially charged with the murders. But they were released on bail and a number of key witnesses turned hostile.…

The mob circled the jeep and asked the occupants their religious identity. “The tourists answered they were British citizens and were Muslims. The hired driver was then dragged out of the jeep and attacked with sticks and killed on the spot,” the statement said. “His body was then thrown back into the vehicle and set alight. In the meantime, the British tourists were chased to a nearby farm. Mohammed Aswat and Imran were stabbed and left to dead. Imran miraculously survived and he recalls Saeed and Shakil pleading with the mob to spare all their lives.”

The family said it has endured this terrible tragedy and their grief is compounded by the lack of serious Indian police investigation. “The family has had to visit the crime scene themselves, find vital clues and collate forensic evidence including the charred remains of bodies,” the statement said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/38229620.cms

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Cop accused by CBI of firing at Ishrat is back at work (Jul 12, 2014, Indian Express)

Weeks after Gujarat reinstated IPS officer G L Singhal, one of the key accused in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case, another accused policeman is back at work. The suspension of constable Anaju Chaudhary, accused by the CBI of firing 10 rounds from a sten gun at Ishrat and three others, was revoked on July 2 by the state government. He has been posted to the State Reserve Police (SRP) camp in Godhra.

Chaudhary is the third accused to be reinstated. Inspector Bharat A Patel, who was arrested but never chargesheeted, was the first to return to work. He is currently posted at Prantij police station in Sabarkantha district. On May 27, the government revoked the suspension of Singhal. The order reinstating him as commandant of the SRP in Gandhinagar was with retrospective effect from May 16.

Nineteen-year-old Mumbai girl Ishrat, her friend Pranesh Pillai (alias Javed Sheikh), Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar were killed by Gujarat police officers near Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004. The officers claimed they were gunned down in an encounter, that they were Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives on a mission to kill the then chief minister Narendra Modi. But the CBI said their investigation found nothing to suggest that the four had come to assassinate Modi. Two earlier probes – by a magistrate and a special investigation team constituted on the orders of the Gujarat High Court – had declared the encounter as fake.

The magistrate had said the officers killed the four to get promotions and laurels.In February this year, the CBI filed a supplementary chargesheet in the case – the two chargesheets have been filed against 11 accused. On May 7, the agency gave a clean chit to Gujarat’s former home minister Amit Shah, citing insufficient evidence.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/gujarat/cop-accused-by-cbi-of-firing-at-ishrat-is-back-at-work/

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Why give a top post to murder accused: Congress (Jul 10, 2014, Times of India)

Congress slammed BJP over appointment of Amit Shah as party chief, asking whether the saffron party had “limited talent” that forced it to go in for an accused in a murder charge for the top post. “The nation is obviously mystified as to how no other better talent is available in BJP except a murder accused on bail and formally externed for two years from one part of India,” said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi.

The party termed the appointment as unprecedented, saying Shah is an accused in a murder charge, and is on bail. Describing Shah’s appointment as BJP chief as a “sad day for democracy”, AAP said BJP had lowered the minimum moral qualification for the post.

“By appointing Mr Shah as its chief, the BJP has lowered the minimum moral qualification required for leaders to head major political parties in the country. It is difficult to recall any other example in which a leader who faced serious criminal charges including murder, extortion and kidnapping was anointed as chief of a national political party,” a statement by the party said.

AAP said Shah is currently out on bail and is facing serious charges of having masterminded the alleged fake encounters of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kausarbi and an eyewitness in the case Tulsiram Prajapati.

“In his first major speech in Parliament as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi had stressed on deciding cases of MPs facing criminal charges within a year to free this important institution of democracy from criminals. Now, by appointing an individual who is facing trial in cases of murder, conspiracy, extortion, kidnapping, destruction of evidence and wrongful confinement as party president – are Mr Modi and BJP indicating that office-bearers of political parties enjoy immunity from criminalization of politics,” AAP said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/38097893.cms

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Home Ministry has destroyed over 1.5 lakh files: CPM (Jul 9, 2014, IBN)

Citing media reports, a CPI-M member on Wednesday claimed in Rajya Sabha that the Home Ministry had destroyed over 1.5 lakh crucial files on the instruction of the Prime Minister, triggering uproar and adjournment of the House. Raising the matter during the Zero Hour, P Rajeeve said that the destroyed files included some historical documents relating to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination and the Cabinet discussions held immediately thereafter.

He alleged that instructions to destroy the files were given by the Prime Minister immediately after taking oath, even as the claims were dismissed by the government. “I would like to know why this decision was taken in a hurry,” Rajeeve said, with several members from the opposition benches associating themselves with his concern.

“You cannot scrap history by destroying secret files,” Sharad Yadav (JD-U) said. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad dismissed the charges, saying, “I deny it emphatically that the Prime Minister had given such instructions.” Alleging that such an attempt was intended at destroying records about the alleged involvement of some Hindu elements in Gandhi’s assassination, Rajeeve demanded a reply from the Prime Minister. He was supported by Congress and TMC members.

While the Chair ruled that the matter should be put to rest after the minister’s statement, the members refused to relent and demanded a reply from the Prime Minister. Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC) demanded that action should be taken against the editors of newspapers who have carried the report if the allegations are proved wrong. Amid uproar, the Chair adjourned the House for an hour till 2 PM.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/home-ministry-has-destroyed-over-15-lakh-files-cpm/484814-37-64.html

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Babri demolition case: Non-bailable warrants against 2 BJP MPs (Jul 14, 2014, Times of India)

A CBI special court on Monday issued non-bailable warrants against six accused in the Babri demolition case. These people had been skipping court hearing since long.

The accused include two BJP MPs, Sakshi Maharaj from Unnao and Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh from Kaiserganj, besides Amarnath Goyal, Jai Bahadur Goyal, Ramchandra Khatri and Pawan Pandey.

Pawan Pandey was earlier in Shiv Sena but contested recent the Lok Sabha election on BSP ticket against BJP’s Varun Gandhi from Sultanpur.

The case of demolition is under trial against 22 accused including two BJP MPs in Lucknow. Another case, against 13 other accused, is underway in Rae Bareli special court.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/38373028.cms

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DSP investigating Muzaffarnagar riot cases alleges Baliyan of intervention that led to his suspension (Jul 10, 2014, Twocircles.net)

Suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police and Circle officer of Budhana Circle in Muzaffarnagar district, Shailendra Lal has filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court urging direction against the impugned suspension order and to direct the state government to provide adequate security and protection to him.

DySP of Budhana in Muzaffarnagar, Shailendra Lal, and circle officer of Chandpur in Bijnore, Nirmal Kumar Bisht, were suspended with on June 10, for ‘dereliction of duty’ and laxity and lack of foresight in dealing with cases of crime against women in their respective districts on the orders of Home Secretary Vishal Chauhan.

The suspended Cop has directly accused the Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Sanjeev Baliyan and Muzaffarnagar MP Sanjeev Baliyan for “direct intervention and threat.” He alleges that he has been suspended due to intervention of Baliyan, and hence he feels a “sense threat to life and liberty at large.”

Baliyan is an accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riot case for attending the Mahapanchayat and giving instigating speeches.

http://twocircles.net/2014jul10/dsp_investigating_muzaffarnagar_riot_cases_alleges_intervention_baliyan_his_suspension

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Assam Villagers Protest the Murders of Muslim Lemon Traders (Jul 14, 2014, Wall Street Journal)

Tension mounted in India’s northeastern state of Assam as hundreds of villagers took to the streets to protest the killings of four Muslim traders whose bodies were found over the weekend, state police officials said. On Sunday, police officials fired rubber bullets and used batons to break up protestors who violated a curfew and beat up a police officer in Assam’s Baksa district, Vinod Seshan, a district magistrate in Baksa, told The Wall Street Journal on Monday.

As the army and paramilitary forces stepped up patrols in the area, the protesters retreated to their homes, officials said. “The situation is under control. A curfew is in place in some areas to ensure nothing untoward happens,” Mr. Seshan said. The army also has been “put on high alert,” he said.

The four Muslim men, identified as lemon traders, went missing Friday from a village in Baksa district where they had traveled to sell their goods, said Lajja Ram Bishnoi, a police official in Assam. The body of one man was found on the bank of the Beki river, while the three others were spotted in paddy fields, he said.

All the bodies had severe head injuries, Mr. Bishnoi said. He said no arrests have been made because it’s “not yet clear” who might have been responsible. “We have launched a massive investigation to find out the motive behind the killing and those involved in the crime,” Mr. Bishnoi said.

State police said they suspect that a faction of a separatist group, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, may have been responsible for Friday’s kidnappings. The Bodoland organization, which seeks an independent homeland for the Bodo, an ethnic group, denied responsibility.…

http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/07/14/assam-villagers-protest-the-murders-of-muslim-lemon-traders/

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Congress alleges Vaidik-Saeed meeting at govt’s behest (Jul 15, 2014, Times of India)

The Congress on Monday alleged the involvement of Prime Minister’s Office in the meeting of journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik with 26/11 attack mastermind and JuD Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan, asking the BJP government to “come clean” on the issue. Rejecting the government’s contention that it had nothing to do with the meeting, the opposition party said Vaidik was “very close to the Sangh Parivar” and was associated with saffron think tank Vivekanand International Foundation.…

“This is a very serious matter relating to national security. The PMO is directly involved in it,” said Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed. The Congress leader said Vaidik belonged to the same organisation (Vivekananda International Foundation) whose three members – Nripendra Misra, PK Mishra and Ajit Doval – are Principal Secretary to PM, Additional Principal Secretary in PMO and as National Security Advisor (NSA).

“Now the fourth person, Vaidik, who also worked in the Foundation, Vaidik, has met the most wanted terrorist in India, who is an accused in Mumbai terror strikes. A serious question arises. Did he go to meet Hafiz Saeed at the instruction of the Prime Minister?” Ahmed said.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/38399857.cms

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Minorities Commission report on Kishanbagh communal violence agitates human rights group (Jul 14, 2014, Twocircles.net)

Report of Andhra Pradesh State Minorities Commission on Kishanbagh communal violence has not gone down well with Human rights groups who felt recommendation of the commission is “like a report of a subordinate officer submitting to its higher officials.”

Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee (CLMC) wrote a letter to its chairman Abid Rasool Khan describing Commission report as “A complete bureaucratic report lacking on Human rights concept.”

Minorities Commission chairman Mr. Abid Rasool Khan on 8th July submitted the report to Governor E.S.L. Narsimham and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao on May 14th communal violence between Sikhs and Muslims in Kishanbagh where three Muslims were killed in para military firing.

Although the report has not yet been made public, according to media reports, Minorities Commission in its report recommended establishing of new police station in the communally sensitive area of Arsh Mahal as a preventive measure hinting at a possible resurrection of similar violence.…

http://twocircles.net/2014jul14/minorities_commission_report_kishanbagh_communal_violence_agitates_human_rights_group.html

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Saki Naka cops under police probe (Jul 14, 2014, Times of India)

A departmental inquiry has begun into the conduct of Saki Naka police personnel following a TOI report. A victim of sexual harassment claimed that she was being tormented by the police after she lodged an FIR. A fresh statement of the 32-year-old woman has been recorded by an assistant commissioner of police. At least four cops from the Saki Naka police station have been questioned. The state commission for women is monitoring the developments.

The woman lodged the FIR at the police station on June 19 against a former classmate, Pravin Shetty, after he sent her 21 pornographic pictures on a cellphone app. He was arrested, but got bail in three days. A constable visited the woman’s residence in her absence, and spoke ill of her to her family.

She was also summoned to the police station at odd hours. Once she was told to “forget about her cellphone”, which had been taken for examination. Also, an unidentified man began to stalk her. “After the departmental enquiry began, the stalking has stopped. But if it resumes, I might ask for police protection,” the woman told TOI.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/38385985.cms

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Opinions and Editorials

Attempt to rewrite India’s history is dangerous – By Sitaram Yechury (Jul 14, 2014, Hindustan Times)

This column is being filed soon after a debate in the Rajya Sabha where a suo moto statement was made by the Union home minister, concerning the destruction of historical files. Based on media reports, the issue was first raised on July 9 and on that occasion, the Union law minister, on behalf of the government, had said the following on record: “This whole allegation against the honourable prime minister is completely wrong; I deny it completely and emphatically. That is all the position of the government”.

Subsequently, the Union home minister made a statement which inter alia said: “In accordance with the instructions mentioned above (from the prime minister), the files lying in the different sections of the ministry of home affairs were reviewed and a total of 11,100 files were destroyed during the period 05.06,2014 to 08.07.2014.” This apparent contradiction is tantamount to misleading Parliament and would, surely, merit the consideration of a privilege motion.

Now, consider the facts: On June 23, the PTI filed a report informing that, “On the direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Union home ministry is on a cleanliness drive and, in less than a month, has destroyed nearly 1.5 lakh files …”. It further noted, “While going through the steel almirahs of North Block, officials also found some interesting files which gave an insight into some historic moments”. Among many interesting such moments was, “Another file (which had) details about the Cabinet meeting that was called before the death of Mahatma Gandhi was announced, an official said”.…

It is necessary to recollect that, on the basis of the decisions taken at that very Cabinet meeting whose records, we are now informed, have been destroyed, Vallabhbhai Patel, then home and deputy prime minister, banned the RSS following the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. A government communique dated February 4, 1948, drafted by Patel, announcing the ban on the RSS says, “The objectionable and harmful activities of the Sangh have, however, continued unabated and the cult of violence sponsored and inspired by the activities of the Sangh has claimed many victims. The latest and the most precious to fall was Gandhiji himself”. It is, indeed, an irony that the Union finance minister in his budget speech has allocated a sum of ’200 crore for the construction of a statue of this very same Sardar Patel.

It is this historical record of the RSS and its today’s political arm, the BJP, which is sought to be destroyed by the Modi government. This is part of the overall project of rewriting Indian history in order to negate its rich diversity of intermingling of various cultures, traditions and experiences that have defined the lands of India as the churning crucible of human civilisational advance. It is part of the overall objective to straightjacket Indian history into a monolithic record of the glorification of the ‘Hindu nation’ and ‘Hindus’ alone. Such an effort will necessarily have as its immediate corollary the danger of changing our entire education system and syllabi to dovetail the advancement of the RSS project. One among its many diabolical bugles, thus, has been sounded. It is time to defend our great country and further enrich the ‘idea of India’.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/1240334.aspx

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A new low in Indian politics (and journalism) – By Rana Ayyub (Jul 11, 2014, Twocircles.net)

Late last week, a special CBI court adjourned the bail application of Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin and Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter cases, accepting his excuse that he was engaged in political work in New Delhi. Shah, 49, the first serving Home minister of a state to have gone behind bars in a criminal case of murder and conspiracy had a legitimate reason to skip court hearings. He was presiding and taking part in day-long meetings in Delhi with senior RSS leaders and BJP functionaries who were all set to seal his fate as the next BJP President.

There is a significant back story to his exemption which did find its way as a small snippet in the media but needs to be brought to light as Shah, the man who waved the magic wand for BJP in Uttar Pradesh, the PM’s confidante and the number two in the government now takes over the reins of the party. Amit Shah had twice in the past sought exemption from personal appearance citing political work, but the then CBI judge JT Utpat had found his excuse inadequate for the court to grant him relief.…

As a journalist covering Gujarat extensively since 2005, as someone who exposed Shah’s role in the fake encounters in the state and who can claim to have knowledge of his political trajectory, I would not mince my words in suggesting that by appointing Amit Shah as the president of the party, the BJP has hugely disrespected the law of the land and signalled an all time low for the criminal justice system of India. For the cases against Shah are for crimes so gruesome that the cloak of political astuteness will be too short to cover it.…

http://twocircles.net/2014jul11/new_low_politics_and_journalism.html

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Debating Secularism In A Communalized Society – By Ram Puniyani (Jul 9, 2014, countercurrents)

In the aftermath of the recent elections Congress, Communist parties, Samajvadi and Lalu’s RJD, which can be called secular in some sense; bit the dust. In the review of defeat the major opposition party Congress, which has been in power for maximum number of years, one major opinion from its top leader A.K. Antony came forth to say that the secularism practiced by Congress was seen more as an appeasement of minorities (read Muslims) and so the large sections turned against it emasculating it to a mere 19% votes with 44 seats in Lok Sabha. In a free for all; different opinions on secularism, and failure of Congress are coming forth.

BJP with glee and confident assertion came to claim that it has the correct opinion of secularism, “We (BJP) have always said secularism should mean justice for all, appeasement of none, discrimination against none” Ironically this assertion, which negates the very concept of a democratic and secular society, has come to be perceived by many as ‘the secularism’. Many a commentators opined that Modi could demonstrate the hypocrisy of secularism and went on to take the cake of power. Sometimes victory can be taken as the proof of correctness!

In Indian scenario, secularism has been a much debated word, more so after Independence. At the time of Independence critics went on to say that state is not curbing religious practices in official places and called it an erosion of secularism. What we see today in most public places, the pantheon of Hindu deities adorning the Government offices and vehicles, and is passé’ was criticized by many earlier. Hindu practices like Bhumi Pujan (worshipping land) before construction of Government buildings became part of ‘normal practice’.

Sarswati Puja, Surya Namaskar in some Government outfits by now is becoming a matter of routine. When Nehru was asked by Andre Malraux about such religious practices going around, Nehru did confess that we have a secular constitution but the society is in the grip of religiosity. Today a Prime Minister-elect performing a Ganga Aarti is part of the official menu and the tables are turned on those who question such practice of secularism by state and party. …

Congress has not kept up the ideological commitment to secular values. Its workers hardly think differently on the issues related to communal propaganda. Many of its leaders come from communal stock, for many others standing upright for secular values is not important at all. There is a serious need for introspection, not only for Congress but for all those wanting to uphold the values emerging from our National movement for freedom.

http://www.countercurrents.org/puniyani090714.htm

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Indian Intelligence Agencies Helping NSA to Spy on its own Citizens – By Prabir Purkayastha (Jul 13, 2014, Peoples Democracy)

The Indian media has missed the major implications of the latest Snowden disclosures. It is not simply that India is one of the countries, or that the BJP is one of the political organisations under NSA surveillance. The real question is how is the NSA carrying out this surveillance? The answer to that lies in another piece of the puzzle that is now public – India is one the 33 countries that have “3rd party” agreement that allows NSA access its telecom and internet network subject to this intelligence being shared. In other words, India is providing NSA access, while NSA decides what it will share with Indian government – or deem what is fit to be viewed by Indians. If we recall, India’s former National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon had complained earlier that the issue is not that the NSA is spying on Indians, but that they are not sharing their data. This appears to be our only complaint!

Recently, the Washington Post published a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) Order dated July 16, 2010 listing all the countries including India and the six political organisations, (one of which was the BJP) that could be put under NSA surveillance. As India is one of the countries that have signed the third party agreement with the US, this enables the NSA to directly access the Indian telecommunications and Internet network. No wonder, all the officials and ministers of the UPA government downplayed the NSA surveillance on Indians. We were fully a party to our being spied upon! …

Contrast this with India. We hear a few protests, some noise is made and then, very quickly, it is business as usual. This is what the Congress-led UPA did and this is what the BJP-led current dispensation also seems to be doing. Will the Indian parliament start an enquiry on the NSA spying in the same way as the German parliament is doing? Will the government take steps against Verizon, AT&T and Vodafone, identified by the home ministry as partners in NSA-GCHQ (the UK equivalent of the NSA) spying? Will it cancel the third party agreement that Indian agencies have with the NSA? Without any such measures, the Indian citizens are not only being spied upon by the US and UK agencies, to add insult to injury, with the help of the Indian intelligence agencies.

http://peoplesdemocracy.in/2014/0713_pd/indian-intelligence-agencies-helping-nsa-spy-its-own-citizens

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Scuttling Inconvenient Judicial Appointments – By Prashant Bhushan (Jul 12, 2014, EPW)

Every trick in the trade will be used to manage the judiciary. That is the signal that one gets from the manner in which Gopal Subramanium’s appointment was scuttled by the Narendra Modi government. Consider the facts: four names including those of Gopal Subramanium (along with another former solicitor general, Rohinton Nariman, and two high court chief justices, Adarsh Goel and Arun Mishra) had been unanimously recommended for appointment to the Supreme Court in early May by the five-member collegium headed by Chief Justice of India R M Lodha.

Subramanium had been a solicitor general in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government who had resigned because of his differences with the government in the handling of the 2G case. Subramanium had represented many important institutions in the country, including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in many cases and had acquitted himself with great distinction. He had also been appointed as amicus curiae by the Court in many cases in which he had invested considerable amounts of time with great dedication. One of such cases was the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case,1 which also came to involve the fake encounters of his wife Kauser Bi, as well as Tulsiram Prajapati, the unfortunate witness to these encounters who was done away with.

The CBI charged Modi’s right-hand man, Amit Shah, along with a number of Gujarat police officers for that encounter. Shah stayed in jail for several months in that case. When the Supreme Court eventually granted him bail, Subramanium persuaded the Court to order that he would not be allowed to be in Gujarat. It was Subramanium’s role in this case which must have made him persona non grata with Modi and his men. …

There is little doubt that the National Democratic Alliance government will try to revive the idea or make a similar proposal soon. It is as unlikely to cede the power of judicial appointments to the judiciary alone and is not likely to support a full-time independent body for such appointments. Till that happens, however, the BJP is likely to continue using the technique of just sitting on inconvenient recommendations sent by the collegium while using its dirty tricks department and hatchet agencies like the IB to defame the nominee and force him to withdraw. There is also little doubt that the BJP, like the Congress, also wants a “committed” judiciary.

http://www.epw.in/commentary/scuttling-inconvenient-judicial-appointments.html

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Fighting Sexual Violence In A Country Whose Police Doesn’t Respond To Distress Calls – By Samar (Jun 27, 2014, Countercurrents)

The calls were not getting answered, not a single one of them. The friend was recounting the tale of a female friend held hostage by some people in her own house with horror. I was calling the Senior Superintendent of Police and other officers, district administration, the local police station. Every passing minute was sending shivers down my spine, he continued.

Worst was the response of the police station where full rings went with nobody answering them. What for these police stations are if they cannot respond to such emergencies? The story, in short, was eerily similar to countless other stories of bodies of women being turned into the site of ‘honour’ and battles for the same. …

They had also confiscated her phones for stopping her from seeking any help. She was asked to tell where the couple was and threatened with rape and getting paraded naked if she did not. She, in fact, did not know. Yet, she asked for her phone on the excuse that a friend might know the couple’s location and she will ask her. That is how the friend I was talking to came to know about the incident. She, in turn, tried to contact every possible person who could help starting with the local police.

As I said before, the police did not answer the calls even once leaving her flummoxed. Then she started contacting her friends in media and women’s movement who could, finally, reach the police and make them act. The hostage situation was broken next morning after hours long ordeal for the woman. Thankfully, she was rescued before getting violated despite being kept in illegal confinement. That too, it broke because the woman was well connected and her friend could reach people in positions of helping. What would happen to an ordinary woman with no such contacts is anybody’s guess. …

Introducing newer, harsher laws is not going to curb sexual violence in India. Only thing that can is radical restructuring of the criminal justice system by making it responsive and responsible. Having dedicated teams to respond to emergencies might be a beginning but until and unless impartial investigations ending in speedy convictions become the norm, nothing will change on the ground. Till then, we can make do police stations which do not respond to distress calls.

http://www.countercurrents.org/samar270614.htm

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 7th, 2014

July 8, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Over 150 Hindu inmates keep Roza with 2,300 Muslims at Tihar News Headlines 12 years on, Gujarat riots probe panel gets 22nd extension Ishrat case: CBI gives more proof to MHA Karnataka Congress Govt drags 23 terror acquits rotting in jail since 14 years to Supreme Court [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 30th, 2014

July 1, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Bhatt accuses Nanavati panel of misleading HC Trend of intolerance towards dissent under Modi: Amnesty calls for decriminalization of free speech Days after he pulled up Amit Shah, CBI judge shifted Gopal Subramanium opts out, attacks Narendra Modi government, cites Amit Shah case Why a former minister [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 23rd, 2014

June 25, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines ‘Don’t wait for govt to establish Hindu nation’ No relief to Nanavati Commission on Sanjeev Bhatt’s demand for records Pune Violence Was Well Planned And Part Of A “Conspiracy”, Says Report Orissa: 50 Hindu nationalists attack Christians. Fear of new pogroms Around 90 MPs of Lok Sabha [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 16th, 2014

June 17, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony BARTI to take communal harmony lessons to schools, may train teachers News Headlines Rise of communal tensions after BJP Government formed at center Online posts against Narendra Modi spell trouble Gujarat HC directs Nanavati panel to allow Sanjiv Bhatt examine intel reports during 2002 riots IB’s NGO-scare [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 9th, 2014

June 10, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Muslims safeguard Hindus in Hadapsar post the Pune Muslim techie murder News Headlines ‘Hinduize politics, militarize Hindus’ is slogan of group suspected of Pune techie’s murder First wicket has fallen, say killers of Pune Muslim youth 18 policemen guilty in fake encounter case Delhi policeman found involved [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 2nd, 2014

June 3, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Bigoted accusations against Fr. Cedric Prakash condemned by Indian Americans Communal Harmony ‘Open dialogue needed between Hindus and Muslims to dispel misconceptions’ News Headlines ‘Even your Allah cannot help you; I am your Allah here’ Muslims in Malegaon burn effigy of new Minority Minister Najma Heptullah It’s Batra [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 26th, 2014

May 27, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements All Indians need to be vigilant in safeguarding secularism say Indian Americans News Headlines The SC release of Akshardham suspects raises questions about PM Modi ‘They asked me to choose: Godhra, Pandya or Akshardham’ Goa professional booked for anti-Modi post, people call it an attempt to muzzle free [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 19th, 2014

May 20, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Mukul Sinha’s demise a loss for justice and accountability say Indian Americans News Headlines Supreme Court pulls up Gujarat police, orders release of Akshardham convicts ‘Modi’s remarks fuelled violence in Assam’ Bail plea of three riot accused rejected MBT demands registration of murder cases against police for firing [...]

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