From the category archives:

Press release

Suspected Hindutva activists from Bajrang Dal doused pastor and his pregnant wife with petrol in an attempt to burn them alive 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 23, 2016

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos has joined millions of Indians and people of conscience around the world, in strongly condemning the barbaric attack on a Christian pastor and his wife, in the state of Chhattisgarh in India. The incident took place last Sunday, April 17th, and reported in the media a few days thereafter.

Two attackers stormed into the church in Bastar district, set ablaze a Bible and other articles, before viciously assaulting the pastor and his pregnant wife. The couple managed to escape alive, after the men doused them in petrol in an attempt to burn them alive. News reports indicate the assailants were armed with a gun, rods and knives. Their brutal assault on Pastor Dinbandhu Sameli, his 7-month pregnant wife and daughter Roushni Vidya, represents an escalation of attacks on minorities in India since the government of Mr. Narendra Modi came to power.

Instead of filing charges of attempted murder, causing grievous injury, etc, the police have filed lesser charges  such as house trespass, dacoity, committing mischief by fire and injuring or defiling a place of worship.

Mr. Arun Pannalal, the President of Chhattisgarh’s Christian Forum stated in a quote appearing in the media, “Around 15-20 men with saffron bands on their forehead entered the church while Sunday prayer was under way at around 12 pm, and started vandalising the premises and started breaking everything,” Pannalal said and claimed that the “Bajrang Dal youth indulged in sloganeering and were raising Jai Shree Ram slogans. They started damaging chairs and fans. They did not spare women and even tore up their clothes. They also thrashed an infant,” he said.

Mr. Pannalal further referred to the perpetrators of the murderous assault as members of the Bajrang Dal, a radical Hindu supremacist organization affiliated to the RSS.The RSS is the fountainhead of Hindutva and the ideological reference point for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government headed by Mr. Narendra Modi. The increasing attacks on minorities and lower castes in recent years are consistent with the extremism and intolerance Mr. Modi and his party have espoused. Mr. Modi himself has been a lifelong worker of the RSS.

“The hate and venom spewed by the RSS and its affiliates and echoed by prominent members of Mr. Modi’s administration are directly responsible for this barbaric attack on Pastor Sameli and his family, ” said Mr. Umar Malick, President of Indian American Muslim Council. “Those who felicitate Mr. Modi during his foreign jaunts, should seriously consider the implications of what they are tacitly endorsing,” added Mr. Malick.

The attack in Chhattisgarh is part of a pattern of violence and hateful rhetoric against minorities in India. There have been scores of attacks on Christians and Muslims since India gained independence. However, the violence has gained in intensity, and the discourse become more vitriolic since the political ascendancy of the Hindu nationalist movement in the late-1980s. The situation has become even more dire with Mr. Modi’s victory in the 2014 general elections on promises of economic development that have been largely unfulfilled.

Leading global human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have expressed grave concern over the worsening situation of religious minorities in India. Prime Minister Modi’s government, “failed to address increasing attacks on free expression and against religious minorities,” Human Rights Watch stated in its recent 659-page World Report.

“We demand not only that the perpetrators be held accountable, but also those who are engaging in a cover-up of the gruesome episode, and those that are enabling the sectarian hate that leads to such crimes,” Mr. Khalid Ansari, Vice-President of IAMC.

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

CONTACT:

Indian American Muslim Council
Phone/Fax: 1-800-839-7270
Email:info@iamc.com
Facebook: Indian American Muslim Council
Twitter: @IAMCouncil
Address: 6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295, Morton Grove, IL 60053.

REFERENCES:

  1. Chhattisgarh: Church attacked in Bastar, pastor and pregnant wife barely escape

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-church-attacked-in-bastar-pastor-and-pregnant-wife-barely-escape-2203684

  1. Youths vandalize Church, thrash worshippers in Chhattisgarh

http://www.news18.com/news/india/youths-vandalise-church-thrash-worshippers-in-chhattisgarh-1212813.html

  1. Why it is no longer safe to be Christian in Chhattisgarh

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/indias-refusal-admit-us-religious-freedom-watchdog-seen-attempt-hide

  1. Indian government failed to address attacks on minorities: Human Rights groups

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2016-01-27/news/70120366_1_meenakshi-ganguly-human-rights-watch-rights-groups

  1. Revoke NSA charges against right-wing leader: Home Ministry reportedly issues diktat to UP govt

http://www.firstpost.com/india/mha-reportedly-asked-up-to-revoke-nsa-charges-against-right-wing-leader-accused-of-assaulting-muslim-man-2571114.html

  1. Rohith Vemula’s death sparks outrage within Indian diaspora

http://twocircles.net/2016jan28/1453995780.html#.Vxxeh_krJzV

  1. 110 Journalists Killed In 2015, India Deadliest Asian Nation For Reporters: Study

http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/110-journalists-killed-in-2015-most-in-peaceful-countries-reporters-without-borders-1260240

 

 

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Award defies logic given Mr. Modi’s record before and after taking office as Prime Minister

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 04, 2016

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos has condemned the Saudi government’s decision to confer Indian Prime Minister Modi with the nation’s highest civilian award.

“It is expected that the Indian Prime Minister is accorded the respect befitting a head of state. However, conferring of the highest civilian award on Mr. Modi by those who claim to be the custodians of the two Holy Mosques is a slap in the face of survivors of the Gujarat pogroms of 2002. It is also a demonstration of indifference to the increased attacks and threats against the religious minorities and Dalits in India,” said Mr. Umar Malick, President of IAMC.

Mr. Modi and the Saudi monarchy have much in common. As Chief Minister of Gujarat, Mr. Modi presided over one of the worst episodes of sectarian violence in independent India, when over 2,000 people were massacred by mobs instigated by the Hindu-supremacist groups. The horrific killings were accompanied by rape and pillage, resulting in the displacement of over 150,000 Muslims from their homes, many of whom are still struggling to pick up the pieces of their lives. Mr. Modi continues to have a case pending against him in the Gujarat High Court and a tainted Special Investigation Team failed to initiate prosecution of Mr. Modi. The handful of convictions in the cases related to the pogroms in Gujarat have happened as a result of tireless and courageous work by activists and whistleblowers, whom the Modi government has harassed and intimidated.

Since coming to power, the Modi administration has worked steadily to erode religious freedom and India’s long-cherished traditions of tolerance among its diverse populace. Ranging from attacks on churches and mob violence against Muslims and Dalits, to felicitating the killer of Mahatma Gandhi, Mr. Modi’s administration and its supporters have relentlessly pursued a divisive agenda, that is antithetical to the country’s Constitution and its egalitarian ideals. The demonization of intellectuals, the vigilantism encouraged by the state, and the weakening of institutions are all indications of a besieged Indian democracy.

Saudi forces are conducting indiscriminate airstrikes in Yemen that are widely acknowledged to have caused huge loss of civilian lives, creating an ongoing humanitarian catastrophe. Incidentally, the monarchy had conferred the same award given to Mr. Modi, on Mr. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt.

“Coming from the Saudi monarchy, which is known for its repressive domestic policies and human rights violations, the award itself is of dubious value. It diminishes, rather than enhances the office of the Prime Minister of India,” added Mr. Malick.

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

 

CONTACT:

Indian American Muslim Council

Phone/Fax: 1-800-839-7270

Email:info@iamc.com

Facebook: Indian American Muslim Council

Twitter: @IAMCouncil

Address: 6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295, Morton Grove, IL 60053.

 

REFERENCES:

1.Indian government failed to address attacks on minorities: Human Rights groups http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2016-01-27/news/70120366_1_meenakshi-ganguly-human-rights-watch-rights-groups

2. India Gov’t Turning a Blind Eye to Religious Attacks http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2016/march/india-govt-turning-a-blind-eye-to-religious-attacks

3. India’s Refusal to Admit U.S. Religious Freedom Watchdog Seen As Attempt to Hide ‘Crimes’ Against Religious Minorities http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/indias-refusal-admit-us-religious-freedom-watchdog-seen-attempt-hide

4. Two Muslim Cattle Traders Hanged To Death In Jharkhand By Suspected ‘Cattle-Protection Vigilantes’ http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/two-muslim-cattle-traders-hanged-to-death-in-jharkhand-by-suspected-cattle-protection-vigilantes-252255.html

5. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighting the “growing attacks” on the minority community, including the latest Latehar killings. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/latehar-killings-ghulam-nabi-azad-letter-pm-modi-jharkand-cattle-traders/

6. The BJP has Unleashed the Bhasmasura of Aggressive Nationalism. Good Luck Controlling It. http://thewire.in/2016/02/25/the-bjp-has-unleashed-the-bhasmasura-of-aggressive-nationalism-good-luck-controlling-it-22643/

7. Modi government’s AYUSH ministry says ‘we don’t recruit Muslims’ http://www.milligazette.com/news/13831-we-dont-recruit-indian-muslims-modi-govts-ayush-ministry

8. Rohith Vemula’s death sparks outrage within Indian diaspora http://twocircles.net/2016jan28/1453995780.html#.VrIxb7IrLIU

9. Human Rights Advocates: U.S.-Backed Saudi Offensive in Yemen a “Dark Mark” on Obama’s Presidency http://www.democracynow.org/2016/4/1/human_rights_advocates_us_backed_saudi

 

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Indian Americans honor Rep. Keith Ellison as “Champion of Human Rights”

February 5, 2016

Indian Americans honor Rep. Keith Ellison as “Champion of Human Rights” Event to mark India’s Republic Day held on first weekend after January 26th  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 03, 2016 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, honored Congressman Keith Ellision (D-MN) as a […]

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Dalit scholar’s suicide in Hyderabad an indictment of BJP’s Hindutva agenda say Indian Americans

January 20, 2016

Charges against Union Minister and Vice-Chancellor indicative of administration’s anti-Dalit and anti-minority focus rooted in Hindutva FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 19, 2016 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has expressed  shock and outrage over the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad University. Mr. Vemula […]

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Indian Americans express support for VP Rajeena, victimized for speaking up against child abuse

December 22, 2015

Journalist shared her experiences  at a Madrasa (traditional Islamic school) during her childhood FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 29, 2015 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has expressed support for journalist VP Rajeena, who described instances of sexual abuse of children that she witnessed in […]

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Reported rape of dead Muslim woman evokes anger, revulsion amongst Indian Americans

October 27, 2015

Calls to rape dead Muslim women had been made at a function presided over by BJP MP Yogi Adityanath FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 27, 2015 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has joined in the outrage and revulsion felt by Indian Americans and people of […]

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Horrific lynching in India a planned uptick in Hindu supremacist violence against minorities say Indian Americans

October 3, 2015

Brutal killing over mere suspicion of eating beef intended to terrorize local Muslims and polarize communities along religious lines FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 03, 2015 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has strongly condemned the latest episode of anti-minority violence in India, in the […]

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Indian Americans celebrate India Independence Day, call for unified action to secure life, liberty and justice for all

August 16, 2015

IAMC calls the defense of secularism in India a struggle to save the soul of the nation  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Saturday, August 15, 2015 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has joined millions of people of Indian origin, living in India and across […]

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Continued vendetta against Teesta Setalvad condemned by Indian Americans

July 16, 2015

CBI raids on Teesta’s home and offices are payback for years of fearless advocacy for victims of Gujarat 2002 pogroms July 15, 2015 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos,  has condemned the latest episode in the BJP government’s continued vendetta against renowned human […]

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Indian Americans urge India, US to heed USCIRF’s recommendations on safeguarding religious freedom in India

May 1, 2015

USCIRF Report for 2015 documents forced conversions of minorities to Hinduism, rising attacks on their places of worship and other restrictions on religious freedom April 30, 2015 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos,  has welcomed the recommendations on India in the report released today by […]

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