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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 15th, 2016

by newsdigest on August 24, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Amnesty International booked for sedition over Kashmir event (Aug 16, 2016, Indian Express)

Sedition charges have been filed against Amnesty International India on Monday, following alleged slogans uttered against India and the Indian Army at an event held by the organisation in the city on Saturday.… The event organised by Amnesty at The United Theological College on Saturday on human rights violations in Kashmir had spiralled into a controversy after right-wing organisations objected to remarks made at the event.

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) staged a protest during the programme and on the following day, had filed a complaint with the JC Nagar police.… Condemning the sedition charges slapped on it, representatives of Amnesty International India said the organisation, as a matter of policy, does not take any position in favour of or against demands for self-determination.

The human rights group said that the Bengaluru Police were informed about the event well in advance. It also invited representation from the Kashmiri Pandit community in Bengaluru at the event to speak about the human rights violations faced by members of the community.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/Amnesty-International-booked-for-sedition-over-Kashmir-event/2016/08/16/article3581365.ece

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Naxal-infected Bastar region being turned into laboratory of Hindu nation, as RSS seeks to “purify” it: Report (Aug 13, 2016, Counterview)

An eight-person fact-finding team under the auspices of the All-India People’s Forum (AIPF) has found an unprecedented atmosphere of mutual suspicion and insecurity among the villagers of the Naxal-infected regions of Chhattisgarh it visited – Bastar, Dantewada, Sukma and Bijapur districts – with the region fast turning into a Hindutva laboratory.…

“In areas where Christian minorities are present”, the report says, “RSS outfits are acting as a law unto themselves, terrorizing the minorities. They have no fear of stern action by the police because they feel they enjoy patronage of the government and the ruling party.”

Saying the region is turning into a “laboratory for Hindu nation”, the report says, testimonies of Christians in Bastar district showed “systematic attempts to persecute Christian minorities; foment communal division and violence in adivasi villages; bend pro-adivasi laws to communal ends; and allow Hindutva groups to dictate to the police and administration.…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/08/naxal-infected-bastar-region-being.html

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‘I want to kill off Muslims one by one’: Photographer relates Islamophobia experience (Aug 10, 2016, Asian Age)

Bengaluru-based photographer Kabir Ahmed on Wednesday shared an incident on his Facebook account which could reveal a very worrying mindset among sections of Indian society. According to a report, Ahmed was at the receiving end of anti-Muslim hatred when he interacted with a few people at a hotel on Tumkur Road in Karnataka.

On his way back from Hampi, Ahmed stopped at the hotel to relieve himself, and was joined in the loo by three men. One of the men looked at him with ‘utter disdain’ and asked him about the style of his beard. “No style, and all guru..i simply let it grow,” he responded. The guy didn’t stop at that and questioned him further about his beard. Ahmed still tried to continue in his jocular vein, making up a story about wanting to go to ‘sanyaas’. Not satisfied, the man asked Ahmed his name, says the report. Ahmed, sensing the man’s mindset, replied that his name was Ragul – a Hindu name.

Ahmed then asked the man why he was so angry. The response was shocking. “He said because they have ruined everything and continue to, the bastards … and every time I see a Muslim, I want to beat them black and blue, without mercy…kill them off one by one. The two other men hanging around the mirror, vehemently agreed,” Ahmed said.…

http://www.asianage.com/india/i-want-kill-muslims-one-one-photographer-relates-islamophobia-experience-604

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Nagpur: ‘Akhand Bharat Divas’ for first time on RSS premises (Aug 14, 2016, Indian Express)

The RSS is hosting “Akhand Bharat Smruti Divas” on its premises on August 14, after refraining from being identified with the occasion all these years despite being explicit about its dream of ‘Akhand Bharat’.

Although, the RSS isn’t positioning itself as the organiser, a press note for the programme was issued by the Vishva Samvad Kendra, the communications wing of the RSS, and the main speaker will be Indresh Kumar, RSS executive committee member and convener of Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), an RSS-inspired front.

The programme will be held in the huge Maharshi Vyas Sabhagruha on the RSS premises of Smruti Mandir in Reshimbag locality of the city. The Smruti Mandir is the regular venue for all major annual functions of the RSS, including the Dussehra programme. The press note names Yuva Ayam as the organiser of the programme.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/nagpur-akhand-bharat-divas-for-first-time-on-rss-premises-2973912/

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Ahead of Independence Day celebrations, ‘police’ raid Jamia Millia Islamia hostels: Students see a dangerous pattern (Aug 14, 2016, First Post)

Hundreds of students gathered outside the main campus of Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi on Saturday and shouted slogans against the Delhi police and the University administration. The students alleged that Special Cell of the Delhi police and some officials in the civil dress barged into the hostel campus of the University and started shooting videos on the afternoon of Saturday.

This came after hostel residents of the University purported that during a raid the night before, hostel officials had warned them of an NIA raid in their residential complex in the wake of Independence Day celebration in the National Capital.

The students who had gathered to protest in Delhi on the campus alleged that at 2 PM on Saturday, two cars with black shields entered the hostel premises and started clicking pictures and shooting videos. When the students asked ‘who they were’, the “officials” said they had the permission to do so from University authorities.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/ahead-of-independence-day-celebrations-police-raid-jamia-milia-islamia-hostels-students-see-a-dangerous-pattern-2955280.html

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40 percent Gujarat ministers face criminal cases (Aug 10, 2016, Business Standard)

Ten out of 25 ministers in Gujarat’s new cabinet have criminal charges, with half of them accused of murder, attempt to murder and robbery, according to the Gujarat Election Watch and ADR.

The Gujarat Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 25 ministers including Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, the ADR said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Of the 10 ministers who have declared criminal cases, five have declared serious criminal cases. These include murder, attempt to murder, robbery and dacoity,” it said.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/40-percent-gujarat-ministers-face-criminal-cases-116081001458_1.html

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Arrest by Mumbai cops shocks mosque officials (Aug 15, 2016, Times of India)

The arrest of Mohammed Haneef alias Haneef Moulavi, former khatib of the Salafi masjid at Kalikkadavu in Kasaragod, for alleged IS links has been met with widespread incredulity by the local community.

“Haneef has no links with any extremist group. In his sermons he spoke only about Islam not terror,” said TP Muhammdali Haji, custodian of the Salafi Masjid in Kalikkadavu. “I used to stay in the mosque the whole of Ramadan month, and have not seen any stranger visiting him,” he added.

The parents of some youngsters reported missing from Kasargod too could not believe he has links with terrorists. “The parents of Dr Ijas and Shiaz told me they didn’t have any suspicions about Moulavi. Mumbai police had called Dr Ijaz’s father to ask whether he has any complaints against the Moulavi and he replied in the negative,” said BC Abdrehman, local leader of the IUML in Padne.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/53690888.cms

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US conveyed concerns to India over religious violence:official (Aug 10, 2016, Business Standard)

The US today said it has been clear in conveying its concerns whenever the Indian government was “slow” in reacting to incidents of religious violence and cow vigilantism.

“We have been clear in our engagement with India about our concerns about those times when the government has been slow to react when violence has taken place, and some of those controversies over the cows – are an example of that,” US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, Rabbi David Nathan Saperstein, told reporters at a news conference.

“There have been other times where (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi has spoken out and has spoken out very forcefully about the need to protect religious freedom for all and security for all,” Saperstein said in response to a question on religious freedom in India after releasing the annual report on International Religious Freedom in 2015.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/us-conveyed-concerns-to-india-over-religious-violence-official-116081001811_1.html

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Narendra Modi’s appeal goes unheeded in Gujarat; Dalits attacked in Una again, 8 seriously injured (Aug 16, 2016, India.com)

Independence Day celebration for 20 Dalits in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat on Monday turned out to be nightmare when they were attacked by a mob leaving 8 people from the community seriously injured. The incident comes close on Modi’s appeal to stop atrocities against Dalits across the nation following a number of such incidents reported from across the country.

The victims were returning after attending a flag hoisting event at Samter village in Una district. Una was the centre of controversy after seven people from the community were brutally beaten on July 11. Jawaharlal Nehru University student union president Kanhaiya Kumar and mother of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s mother Radhika Vemula also attended the flag hoisting event.

Claiming that the attackers were residents of Samter village, the victims said the attackers wanted to “avenge” the arrest of 12 persons in connection with last month’s Una Dalit flogging case. The members of the community alleged that the police did not take any action against the culprits, while the officials denied the charge and said cops lobbed teargas shells to disperse the crowd and resorted to mild lathi-charge.…

http://www.india.com/news/india/narendra-modi-appeal-goes-unheeded-in-gujarat-dalits-attacked-in-una-again-8-seriously-injured-1411166/

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Muslim organisations demand complete ban on beef exports from India (Aug 11, 2016, Times of India)

Condemning attacks by cow vigilantes, minority organisation Ittehad-e-Millat Council (IMC) arranged a seminar to highlight the problems and demanded a complete ban on beef export from India and stop illegal slaughter to curb cruelty against cattle. They also sought to clarify that “beef” which is associated with cow was being incorrectly used to define export of buffalo meat and hence the government also needs to bring in clarity on the matter to prevent misuse of the word.

The demands, put out in a memorandum addressed to Union home minister Rajnath Singh, were endorsed by representatives from Muslim and dalit communities at a packed Mavlankar Hall in Constitution Club. It was also announced that if these demands were not met by the government, the protesters will take their agitation to the streets and Ramlila Grounds.

“We would like to express our apprehensions with respect to the atrocities, suppression and discrimination meted out to the Muslim minority, on the pretext of cow protection, beef eating, terrorism, national security, etc. Since the death of a man beaten to death after being accused of eating beef last September in Dadri, vigilante groups of cow protectors have flourished,” said a statement released by the IMC.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/53658625.cms

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Opinions and Editorials

Amnesty booked for sedition: Supreme Court against applying law without sufficient cause – By Maneesh Chhibber (Aug 16, 2016, Indian Express)

On Monday, the Bengaluru police lodged an FIR against Amnesty International India under the sedition laws. This was done after “independence” and “pro-freedom” slogans were raised at an event organised by Amnesty International.

While the organisation had been booked under various others sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), … it is the use of sedition that has, once again, brought back into focus the much-abused law. Incidentally, a debate on this section, a legacy of the British, became very vocal after JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others were arrested in February for having committed the crime of sedition. Things returned to normal within days with Kanhaiya and others released on bail.

Much has been written about how the British rulers (mis)used this clause to stifle dissent and the independence movement. However, despite demands, including by the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru, to remove this controversial clause from the statute books, it continues to be remain there and is used very often to stifle dissent against the Indian government by Indians.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/amnesty-booked-for-sedition-supreme-court-against-applying-law-without-sufficient-cause-2978744/

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Narendra Modi, The Machiavellian Prince Of India – By Sukumaran C V (Aug 13, 2016, Countercurrents)

The18th chapter of Niccolo Machiavelli’s famous work The Prince is titled “How a Prince Should Keep His Word” and the very beginning of the chapter is as follows: “How praiseworthy it is for a prince to keep his word…nevertheless the princes who have accomplished great deeds are those who have cared little for keeping their promises and who have known how to manipulate the minds of men by shrewdness.”

Doesn’t the image of our Prime Minister come to your mind when you read the above quoted sentences of Machiavelli? The gau rakshaks publicly flogged four Dalits in Una on July 11, and nearly one month after, Narendra Modi reacted ‘sternly’ by saying that the government will not tolerate atrocities against the Dalits… Modi doesn’t want the gau rakshaks hear his criticism and the gau rakshaks don’t mind his criticism either, because the ‘criticism’ is meant to satisfy those who are against such vigilantism.

Narendra Modi is a consummate politician who has used the politics of silence to look the other way when violence is perpetrated on the hapless people by those who are the part and parcel of the political organization or party he represents. He has used this silence in 2002 when hundreds of innocent people were being butchered on the streets of Gujarat.… He has used this silence when Muhammad Akhlaq was lynched in 2015, and when the Dalit youths were flogged in 2016. After using the silence of politics very fruitfully, he would use his rhetoric to ‘condemn’ the ‘anti-social elements’ in order to reiterate his distance from them. Of course, he keeps his safe distance from them.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/13/narendra-modi-the-machiavellian-prince-of-india/

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The Violence of Silence: Why Modi Treats the M-Word as Radioactive – By Sidharth Bhatia (Aug 9, 2016, The Wire)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come out angrily against “fake” cow protection vigilante groups for their violent tactics.… The speech comes in the wake of rising Dalit anger all over the country after incidents of lynching of Dalits in Una, Gujarat, for skinning a cow. Conscious that the wrath of the community could prove expensive for the BJP in the 2017 elections in the state and elsewhere too, the party is in damage control mode. Modi’s speech has been seen as one effort towards mollifying Dalits.

But cow related violence is not new; in September 2015, Mohammed Akhlaq was lynched to death in Dadri and his son’s skull was broken on the mere suspicion that they had beef in their refrigerator. There has been a spate of cases, big and small in other places too. Why didn’t the prime minister – who takes to the radio for his Mann ki Baat programme every month and tweets about all kinds of things daily, including condoling violent incidents elsewhere – even refer to the brutal death of a fellow citizen, let alone condemn it?

To many, the answer is obvious. Akhlaq was a Muslim and Muslims are not BJP voters. Dalits, on the other hand, could be, more so since the Sangh parivar has been working hard to get them into the overarching fold of Hindutva. This suggests that Modi never does anything without considering its political and especially electoral implications.… With his latest statements aimed solely at condemning those attacking Dalits, Modi has demonstrated yet again that the Sangh’s vision of India does not include the Indian Muslim. Rhetoric, hatred and even violence against the community is therefore a non-issue – a subject that the prime minister need not spend any time on.

http://thewire.in/57641/violence-silence-modi-treats-m-word-radioactive/

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Why are authorities harassing Outlook and Narada journalists instead of examining their stories? – By Geeta Seshu (Aug 8, 2016, Scroll.in)

Journalists are in the crosshairs of authorities for their investigative reports – yet again. Instead of the spotlight being trained on the truths they have tried to uncover, journalists are being targeted and harassed, detained and charged with various misdemeanours. Consider the two separate instances last week:

On August 6, Narada News Chief Executive Officer and Editor Mathew Samuel was detained at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport following a lookout notice issued against him. On August 4, in response to its last week’s cover story a First Information Report was registered against Indranil Roy (Publisher), Krishna Prasad (Editor) of Outlook and Neha Dixit, the freelance journalist who investigated and wrote the story.

In both these cases, the message their reports purported to convey is undermined and belittled, as the journalists and the publications are sought to be silenced.…

http://scroll.in/article/813495/why-are-authorities-harassing-outlook-and-narada-journalists-instead-of-examining-their-stories

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Reality Check: Is Modi Turning Into a Caricature of Himself? – By M.K. Venu (Aug 15, 2016, The Wire)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Independence Day was both tedious and tiring. It repeated for the umpteenth time many of his pet developmental themes which have travelled little beyond being smart slogans. But then they must be repeated ad nauseam in the absence of any concrete progress on the ground in critical areas such as jobs and rural incomes.

Modi knows things are far from satisfactory when you look at employment growth and rural incomes.… Nevertheless, on the 70th anniversary of India’s independence, the prime minister chose to coin another slogan to cap all previous slogans – “Reform, Perform and Transform”. And then he proceeded to describe the performance of his government on various fronts. He seemed so anxious to list achievements that he chose to talk about such micro issues as Air India having come into operational profits and BSNL turning the corner.…

Unfortunately, Modi’s famed communication skills are falling into a pattern which can only be described as a caricature of the riveting speaker who aroused the masses during and after the 2014 general elections. All forms of good caricature end up producing a grotesque and comic effect. Modi must think hard over how to avoid this trap.

http://thewire.in/59228/modi-independence-day-speech/

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Remember the Lokpal? Modi Just Made It Clear He Doesn’t Want One – By Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar (Aug 13, 2016, The Wire)

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013 was notified on January 1, 2014, to cover all public servants in and outside India. The Act had provided for setting up of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta at the level of the states.…

Questioning the haste behind how the amendment Bill was introduced and passed, Anjali Bhardwaj of National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) had stated in a note that “the Lokpal law that was enacted after decades of debate and demand for an anti-corruption institution was dealt a severe blow as the amendment bill was introduced and passed by Parliament in less than 24 hours.… She insisted that the Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Amendment) Bill, 2016 which was passed on July 28 had “fundamentally diluted the Lokpal Act as it has done away with the statutory requirement of public servants to disclose the assets of their spouses and dependent children. The bill has also dispensed with the statutory requirement of public disclosure of these statements.”…

Bhardwaj also alleged that the Narendra Modi government has no intention of implementing the Lokpal Act. She bases this on the premise that the amendment that was essential to operationalise the law – a provision that allowed the leader of the single largest party in opposition to be included in the selection panel for appointing the Lokpal, in the absence of a recognised leader of opposition – had not been included in the bill.…

http://thewire.in/58528/lokpal-and-lokayuktas-amendment-act/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 8th, 2016

by newsdigest on August 19, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

2002 post-Godhra riots: 11 get life term for killing a man, daughter in Mehsana (Aug 5, 2016, Indian Express)

The Gujarat High Court Thursday awarded life imprisonment to 11 convicts for burning a man and his daughter to death in Mehsana district during the 2002 post-Godhra riots. The High Court reversed the order of a fast-track trial court which had acquitted all the accused in June, 2005, for want of evidence. This was challenged in the Gujarat High Court by the complainants and the state government.

The division bench of justice A S Dave and justice B N Karia pronounced the quantum of sentence while awarding life imprisonment to all the 11 convicts – Mukesh Amritlal Patel, Narendra Chimanlal Patel, Dinesh Jaswantbhai Patel, Kirit Somabhai Patel, Kirit Chandubhai Patel, Girish Ambalal Patel, Girish Chunnilal Patel, Mukesh Mahendrabhai Patel, Nilesh Naranbhai Patel, Janak Rameshbhai Patel and Mukesh Somabhai Patel.

The bench said that the sentences should run concurrently and not consecutively and ordered the convicts to surrender in 10 weeks.… The court supported the prosecution’s claim that the man and his daughter were chased by the mob, dragged from their Hindu neighbour’s house and burnt to death. According to the case details, the victims tried to douse the fire from a water tank in the compound of the Hindu neighbour, but the mob came back again and killed them.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/godhra-riots-11-get-life-imprisonment-for-killing-father-daughter-duo-in-gujarat-village-2953508/

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Sri Rama Sene activists ‘Raid’ at Karnataka school over Urdu, Arabic classes: 13 more arrested (Aug 2, 2016, Business Standard)

Thirteen more Sri Rama Sene activists were today arrested in connection with the “raid” on a school near here over alleged forcible teaching of Urdu and Arabic languages, taking the total of arrests in the case to 16, police said.

They were arrested on the charge of trespassing into the St Thomas Aided Higher Primary School in Bondantila near here on July 30. Around 50 Sri Rama Sene activists had raided the school for ‘forcibly’ teaching Arabic and Urdu to students. On a complaint from the school headmaster, three activists were arrested yesterday.

Meanwhile, the headmaster said that classes (in Urdu and Arabic) were being conducted for 40 students everySaturdayon the request of parents. Chief Whip of the Congress in the state Legislative Council Ivan D’ Souza condemned the raid by the activists. In a statement, D’Souza said he had asked the city police to be tough against groups trying to disturb peace and tranquility.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/raid-at-karnataka-school-13-more-arrested-116080201656_1.html

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No links between Naik, terror outfits, govt tells House (Aug 3, 2016, Deccan Herald)

No links between the controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and terrorist organisations have come to notice, the government informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

In a written reply, Minister of State for Home, Hansraj Ahir, said reports indicated that some known terrorists have reportedly been inspired by Naik, the president of IRF.

He said IRF was registered under the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act, 2010, and foreign contributions and their utilisation were checked. In case of violations, Ahir said, action will be taken under the provisions of the Act.…

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/561942/no-links-naik-terror-outfits.html

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Nayeemuddin, wanted by CBI in Sohrabuddin ‘fake’ encounter case gunned down (Aug 8, 2016, Times of India)

Renegade Maoist Md Nayeemuddin, wanted by CBI in Sohrabuddin Sheik’s fake encounter case was gunned down by Telangana police at Shadnagar town near Hyderabad on Monday morning.

Late on Sunday night, the special police team of Telangana State police had rounded up a house located at millennium Township in Shadnagar town of Mahbubnagar district after receiving an alert about the movement of renegade Maoist Md Nayeemuddin.

On Monday morning, a gun man of Nayeemuddin opened fire on the police and in the resultant encounter, Nayeemuddin was gunned down, Telangana DGP Anurag Sharma said.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/53596529.cms

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Court rejects plea of Akhlaq’s family (Aug 3, 2016, The Hindu)

The Fast Track Court of Gautam Buddh Nagar on Tuesday rejected the Akhlaq family’s petition for further investigation into his lynching. Yusuf Saifi, the counsel for Bishahra lynching victim Mohammad Akhlaq, had in his petition requested further investigation in view of the, “fresh facts revealed by the villagers’ petition for a case of cow slaughter” against Akhlaq’s family.…

Mr. Saifi said three more residents of Bisada, who testified during the hearing of cow slaughter petition and had confessed to having been present at the spot during the time of the incident, should be included in the list of accused. “Three people, Sanjay Rana, Kancchi and Ompal, had confessed during the proceedings that they were present at the spot. Kancchi and Ompal testified in the court that they had caught hold of Akhlaq, while Sanjay said he called the police,” said Mr Saifi. “We brought it to court’s notice that it should direct the police to add their names in the FIR.”

Eighteen persons, including three juveniles, have been arrested on charges of murder and assault in the case. “Interestingly, while trying to prove that Akhlaq slaughtered a cow, the three above named people had actually confessed to their role in the crime as well. Sanjay Rana is the father of Vishal Rana, who is an accused in the case,” he added.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/court-rejects-plea-of-akhlaqs-family/article8935270.ece

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Punjab: Crackdown on ‘cow vigilantes’, Gau Raksha Dal chief booked (Aug 8, 2016, Indian Express)

In a crackdown on pseudo cow vigilantes, the Patiala Police on Monday lodged an FIR against ‘Gau Raksha Dal’ chief Satish Kumar in connection with a social media video showing organisation members “brutally” thrashing people in the name of cow protection.…

An FIR was lodged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC); however, Kumar is yet to be arrested.

In his first comments on the violence against Dalits by cow vigilantes, Prime Minister Modi has also asked the state governments to prepare dossiers on the so-called cow protectors as 80 percent of them do illegal activities at night and become cow protectors in the day.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/crackdown-on-cow-vigilantes-gau-raksha-dal-chief-booked-2961138/

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15 policemen suspended over Dalit’s death (Aug 5, 2016, The Hindu)

Fifteen policemen were suspended and some of them booked for murder in Kanpur district after a Dalit youth was found dead in custody under suspicious circumstances on Thursday.

A case has been registered against the police personnel under the stringent Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the IPC Section 302 (murder) after relatives of the Dalit youth lodged a complaint.

Kamal Valmiki, in his mid-twenties, was reportedly picked up by police in Chakeri area late on Tuesday night along with his brother for questioning in a looting case. Another person, Raju Mistry, had also been apprehended along with them. On Thursday, Kamal was found dead in custody by his sister.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/cops-suspended-in-kanpur-after-dalit-man-dies-in-custody/article8947473.ece

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Dalit scholar demands action against Hyderabad University VC, takes on Sangh forces (Aug 8, 2016, New Indian Express)

Dalit scholar Kancha Ilaiah today lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking a stand on the ‘gau rakshak’ forces but said that the latter must immediately sack Hyderabad University’s vice-chancellor Appa Rao if he is really serious and ensure that the Rohith Vemula issue makes justice.

Ilaiah, however, said that the Prime Minister’s statement has come too late as a large number of attacks on Dalits are happening in the country.… “And this was the place where Rohith Vemula was killed and then Raja Singh has been creating problem around ‘gau rakhshak’ in this very state from his own party which has become a national issue. So, I think if the Prime Minister is really serious, he has to immediately remove at least Mr. Appa Rao from his position and see that the Rohith Vemula issue makes justice,” he added.

Ilaiah also demanded action against BJP MLA Raja Singh, who had defended the cow vigilantes with his assertion that those who consume cow meat are bringing “disgrace” to the entire community and should be “taught a lesson”.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Dalit-scholar-demands-action-against-Hyderabad-University-VC-takes-on-Sangh-forces/2016/08/08/article3569477.ece

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In one voice, opposition says Modi’s anguish about atrocities against dalits is ‘fake’ (Aug 8, 2016, Times of India)

Opposition parties on Monday said they were unimpressed with PM Narendra Modi’s speeches over the weekend when he dramatically urged that instead of committing atrocities against Dalits people should just shoot him.

The BSP, SP and the Congress said his anguish about atrocities against Dalits is not real. “PM Modi and the BJP kept quiet for two years. How have their eyes opened now? Uttar Pradesh and other states have elections soon, and they knew that Dalit people are not going to vote for them, that’s why the statement has come,” Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said.…

The Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav accused the PM of political opportunism. “Now that he sees that it’s going to cost him, then he brings the (dalit) issue to the forefront,” said Akhilesh, Uttar Pradesh chief minister.… The opposition Congress party also criticized him for evading questions in Parliament about atrocities against Dalits.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/53595876.cms

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‘Fake’ cow vigilantes extort money in MP (Aug 8, 2016, Hindustan Times)

Police and some Muslim cattle traders have said that certain people posing as cow vigilantes in Madhya Pradesh are indulging in extortion, especially from the minority community, an allegation dismissed by those affiliated to Hindu outfits, who distanced themselves from those indulging in violence and extortion.…

“This has developed as a business in the last few years. Many of them have turned ‘crorepatis’. Some lower level policemen are also involved in this activity and get a share from these gau-rakshaks,” said another senior police officer, requesting anonymity.

Masood Ahmed Khan, secretary, coordination committee for Indian Muslims, MP unit, said Muslim meat traders were being harassed by the so-called gau-rakshaks.… “Most of the people who are stopped on highways are from Muslim community. The aim is to extort money,” said a Muslim leader of Nimar, requesting anonymity. “There are some people who earn 50,000-60,000 per month just by intercepting these trucks. Most of the victims fear to speak against them and hence the issue never reaches police. Police also know what is going on, but they get their cut,” he said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/bhopal/fake-cow-vigilantes-extort-money-in-mp/story-4j5X6gzwJtBUKGYPczDO1H.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Why Modi’s Lambasting Of Cow Vigilantes Was Mere Lip Service – By Sanam Sharma (Aug 8, 2016, Huffington Post)

…Tall promises were made about a potential “Modi Sarkar” and the people bought in. Narendra Modi’s claim to power was built on two significant pledges. First, he professed to having a “56-inch chest” necessary for fronting a nation such as India. Second, he made a solemn promise to usher in “acchhe din”, or good days, for India and all Indians. More than two years on, Mr Modi and his government have miserably failed on both counts.… Honourable Prime Minister of India, you have remained markedly absent as the leader of the nation in taking a meaningful stance against the growing communal tensions within India. To be brutally honest, such tensions seem to have grown under your government.

So it was a bit surprising when recently, for the first time, you chose to denounce the so-called “cow vigilantes” and spoke up for the Dalits and the marginalized. That you chose to publicly speak against this breed of hooligans is worthy of appreciation, but, the message itself came across as half-baked. It came across as a token rebuke uttered by a Prime Minister who perhaps was advised by his media experts to “say something” before it all gets out of hand.

Your castigation, Mr. Modi, of the “self-styled cow vigilantes” is an arbitrary, bracketed tirade towards one creed of criminals. If one was to read between the lines, you continue to remain silent about the bigger outfit of thugs and bigots who propagate such communal crimes and are affiliated to your political party. Your derision does not identify this matter as a law and order issue where citizens are being insulted, injured, and lynched. Instead, through carefully placed words, your message tries to demarcate the “correct” way of retaining communal divisions.…

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/sanam-sharma/why-modis-lambasting-of-cow-vigilantes-was-mere-lip-service/

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Narendra Modi’s brotherly words for Dalits make his silence on Muslims ring louder – By Shivam Vij (Aug 8, 2016, Quartz India)

India’s hyper-communicative prime minister is known to keep his lips sealed on the misdeeds of his Hindu nationalist fellow-travellers. Last weekend, he made a departure in light of the brutality in his home state, Gujarat, where self-styled cow protectors flogged seven Dalitswho were skinning a dead cow on July 11.…

This rearguard action may not have been needed if Modi had spoken up earlier when Muslims were being killed – not just flogged – by a similar set of thugs.… In September 2015, a mob in Dadri, an hour’s drive from Delhi, lynched 52-year-old Mohammed Akhlaque on suspicion of eating cow meat. Like with the Una incident, it took Modi many days to comment.… It didn’t matter to him that the accused in Akhlaque’s lynching were associated with his Bhartiya Janata Party. Nor was he outraged at his own ministerial colleagues trivialising the incident.…

Such vigilantes have been assaulting Muslims increasingly often. On July 30, a mob in Muzaffarnagar in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) attacked the house of a Muslim family over cow slaughter. On July 26, a mob at a railway station in central India’s Madhya Pradesh state beat up two Muslim women suspected to be carrying beef. On March 18, two Muslim cattle traders were killed and hanged from a tree in Jharkhand state, neighbouring UP. Last October, a suspected cattle-smuggler – again, a Muslim – was lynched in Himachal Pradesh. At least four Muslim deaths in the name of the cow within a year and Modi was blaming state governments.… In short, Modi’s words of concern for Dalits, while appreciated, make his silence for Muslims ring louder.

http://qz.com/752841/narendra-modis-brotherly-words-for-dalits-make-his-silence-on-muslims-ring-louder/

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Open Season for Bullies – Editorial (Aug 6, 2016, EPW)

The lynch mobs of right-wing Hindu nationalists have become more brazen than before. Lynching is defined as an act of extrajudicial punishment by a group, usually an informal one. Vigilante gangs who take the law into their own hands have been rather active in recent times: from Dadri in Uttar Pradesh when a mob killed Mohammad Akhlaq in September 2015 for allegedly storing beef in his home to July 2016 when four young Dalit men were publicly flogged in Una, Gujarat, on the unsubstantiated suspicion that they had killed a cow.

The lynch mentality that pervades sections of the current ruling regime has gone beyond turning a blind eye towards their supporters who physically attack the weak and the vulnerable. Those in positions of power and authority are tacitly and overtly encouraging the intimidation of those whose views are different from theirs. The message that is being sought to be conveyed is loud and clear: do not meddle with us; we can make your life miserable.…

The likes of Parrikar and Goswami, different as they may appear, are emboldened because of the deafening silence of our otherwise loquacious Prime Minister.… The clear pattern that has emerged today has a context. The “teach them a lesson” mentality led to the massacre of Sikhs in Delhi in November 1984, the killing of Muslims in the wake of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992, especially in Mumbai, and the communal riots in Gujarat in 2002 and in Muzaffarnagar in 2013. When such an attitude is endorsed by those who rule, it becomes open season for those who threaten, maim and murder. Cyberbullying mirrors and becomes reflections of what happens on the ground. The question that needs to be raised: Does Modi’s silence suggest complicity?

http://www.epw.in/journal/2016/32/editorials/open-season-bullies.html

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RSS man who said Una Dalit thrashing was a “law and order problem” is the new Gujarat chief minister – By Rajiv Shah (Aug 5, 2016, Counterview)

…An RSS cadre jailed during the Emergency, one who strongly believes that there has to be a Hindutva backdrop to every political action and developmental policy, Rupani, as state BJP president, however, is seen to be a failure in establishing direct rapport with Dalits, protesting against the thrashing of four Dalit boys for skinning a dead cow on July 11.

Rupani calls the thrashing incident a “law and order problem” which has been “blown out of proportion”, adding caste is “not an issue in Gujarat.” Said a party insider, “The BJP’s Dalit leaders are unhappy, despite belonging to a region where the incident took place (Saurashtra), Rupani never visited Una, nor did he meet the four Dalit victims when they were under treatment in Ahmedabad.”…

Even before a chief minister was announced, (Nitin) Patel ensured that his profile was sent out to newspaper offices, posters welcoming him as chief minister were put up in Mehsana, his home district, and his wife began distributing sweets.…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/08/rss-man-who-said-una-dalit-thrashing-is.html

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Quit India Movement And The Hindutva Gang: A Story Of Betrayal – By Shamsul Islam (Aug 7, 2016, Countercurrents)

This August 8, 2016, we are commemorating the 74th anniversary of the Quit India Movement [QIM].… However, what role the then Hindutva camp – consisting of the Hindu Mahasabha and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – played in the QIM is under wraps for reasons unknown. The Hindutva camp not only opposed QIM but also provided multi-faceted and multi-dimensional support to the British rulers in suppressing this historic mass upsurge. In this connection shocking documents are available; these should be read to be believed. ‘VEER’ SAVARKAR JOINED HANDS WITH THE BRITISH RULERS & MUSLIM LEAGUE IN SUPPRESSING QIM…

While the Congress cadres and large sections of the Indian masses were facing immense repression of the colonial rulers and decided to boycott the state institutions, the Hindu Mahasabha decided to cooperate with the British rulers. The other flag-bearer of Hindutva, the RSS, was not different in its attitude towards the QIM. It openly sided with its mentor ‘Veer’ Savarkar against this great revolt.…

These historical documented facts make it clear that Hindutva gang led by RSS not only betrayed QIM but also rendered great service to the British masters…. Shockingly, this gang is ruling India today describing itself as a symbol of Indian nationalism. We need to convey these facts to the Indians so that these traitors are exposed and charged for crimes committed against India.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/07/quit-india-movement-and-the-hindutva-gang-a-story-of-betrayal/

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GST passed: How fierce conflict between Congress, BJP changed into total consensus (Aug 3, 2016, First Post)

The Monsoon session of Parliament 2016 will go down in history as the one which passed the landmark The Constitution (122nd Amendment) (GST) Bill, 2014 with 203 Ayes and 0 Noes. The AIADMK which had wanted six amendments, as expected walked out after registering their point. All present and voting in Rajya Sabha were for passage of the Bill. No one opposed it.

That meets the constitutional requirement for a constitutional amendment bill – that it shall be passed by no less than half of the members of total strength of the House and no less than two-third of present and voting. Since the Rajya Sabha introduced a few amendments while passing the bill, the Lok Sabha will now have to pass the revised bill before the Monsoon session ends on 12 August. But given the numbers of the NDA in Lower House and all parties arriving at a larger consensus, its passage is not expected to be problematic.

With Congress and BJP moving from totally conflicting positions on the bill over the past few years to arriving at a virtual unanimity, the passage of the bill shall forever be quoted as a test case to all students of politics, economics and law.…

http://www.firstpost.com/business/gst-passed-how-fierce-conflict-between-congress-bjp-changed-into-total-consensus-2933298.html

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Book Review

Indian Nationalism versus Hindu Nationalism: Politics of the RSS Combine

Author: Ram Puniyani (with and Introduction by Richard Boney)
Reviewed by: Dr V Krishna Ananth
Available at: Pharos Media & Publishing Pvt Ltd, D-84 Abul Fazl Enclave-I, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi 110025 INDIA, 2016. Price Rs. 250.. http://www.pharosmedia.com/
Review:
History And Nation Making (Aug 5, 2016, Countercurrents)

…Ram Puniyani’s recent work, which is a revised and expanded version of his earlier work titled Fascism of Sangh Parivar is indeed one that belongs to the league of studies that seek to reiterate the importance of history as well as the pressing need in our times to save history from the hands of the negationist school (the followers of Konrad Elst in other words). That this school is now blessed with resources at the disposal of the state and a wide section of the media has turned into their handmaiden is a reality that calls for concerted attempts on the part of those who care for the democratic foundations of our nation. Puniyani certainly should be counted among those and the book under review is indeed a need of the times.

The concept of nationalism had assumed a lot of importance in the political discourse in the past two decades. L.K.Advani, who had emerged into the prime spokesperson of the Bharathiya Janata Party in the early 1990s (riding the Rath Yatra and thus placing the Ayodhya dispute on the centrestage of the nation’s politics) did not shy away from declaring that the struggle he led was between two approaches to nationalism; and that he represented the idea of cultural nationalism.

Puniyani’s work is an account of these conflicts and the distinct role of the RSS, since its inception, vis a vis the rising tide of nationalism spearheaded by the Indian National Congress. While most of these have been dealt with in works on the nationalist struggle in yesteryears the fact that the nation today is once again confronted by concerted attempts to deny the democratic foundations of this struggle and thus a rewriting of history to represent the idea of India as merely a cultural notion rooted in the Hindutwa context makes such a work necessary as well as a weapon in the struggle for democracy and the centrality of secularism in this trajectory.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/05/indian-nationalism-vs-hindutva-nationalism-politics-of-the-rss-combine/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 1st, 2016

August 9, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Operation #BetiUthao Shiv Sena leader is main conspirator in Gujarat Dalit flogging case: CID ‘Gau Rakshaks’ strike again? Fresh video from Rajasthan surfaces Mob beats Muslim women in MP over beef rumour, Oppn corners govt in House No water supply and electricity for Muslim families in Vadodara […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 25th, 2016

August 4, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Indian Americans demand CBI inquiry into atrocities against Dalits and Muslims under the pretext of cow protection News Headlines Dalit Family Attacked In Karnataka Allegedly Over Rumours Of Eating Beef In Gujarat, 95 of 100 suspects in crimes against Dalits acquitted ‘Police baton’ used by cow vigilantes in […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 18th, 2016

July 27, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Kashmiris rush to help injured Amarnath pilgrims in bus accident News Headlines Cops “tipped” Gujarat’s cow protecting Shiv Sainiks, who tied Una Dalits to SUV, assaulted them with iron rods Family of Slain Man in India May Be Charged With Cow Slaughter Rana Ayub fears for […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 11th, 2016

July 20, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Thapar slams Hindutva interpretation of nationalism MP towns shut on Eid, Hindu groups blamed for forced bandh State Intelligence Dept. gives clean chit to Naik; no arrest on his return to India BJP creating divisions in Kashmir with eye on UP elections: NC Home Ministry declines to […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 4th, 2016

July 12, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Slamming NIA for not probing her role, court rejects Sadhvi Pragya’s bail plea Samjhauta train blasts: NIA opposes bail of bomb planter Post Godhra riots: Seven convicted for murder by Gujarat High Court Academics, activists see Hindutva stamp in uniform civil code move ‘Muslim-hater’ among 3 held […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 27th, 2016

July 6, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Top activists fighting 2002 Gujarat riots cases fear “extra-legal” move by Modi govt ahead of Supreme Court hearing Special Court questions NIA clean-chit to Sadhvi Pragya, rejects her bail application SP-backed team says even 160 Muslim families left Kairana Prof who criticised Modi, Irani jailed over Lord […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 20th, 2016

June 28, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Indian court jails 11 for life over Gujarat massacre of Muslims Gulberg verdict: SIT to approach High Court on ‘lenient’ sentencing Ishrat Jahan missing papers: ‘Mere ko ye poochna hai ki aapne ye paper dekha? Aapko kehna hai ki maine ye paper nahi dekha – seedhi si […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 13th, 2016

June 23, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Human rights, religious freedom deteriorating in India: Human Rights Watch All eyes on Sanatan Sanstha after ENT specialist’s arrest Head of Samjhauta Express blasts probe says the Centre is ‘erasing evidence’ in a bid to clear prime suspect Purohit Kairana exodus: BJP list of ‘Hindus’ forced out […]

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