IMC-USA Weekly News Digest – February 8th, 2010

In this issue

Communal Harmony

Religious tolerance vital: Writer (Feb 3, 2010, Times of India)

Only by developing religious tolerance, can peace and harmony be
established in the society. Inaugurating Kuvempu Jayanthi on Tuesday,
former vice-chancellor and Kannada writer D Javare Gowda, said,
"Rastrakavi Kuvempu life should be an inspiration to all to inculcate
religious tolerance.

"Today, politicians and leaders should
read Kuvempu’s literature and practise harmony in life. The great poet,
referred as saint philosopher by Vinobha Bhave, was against
superstitious belief and practices and was a voice of farming

On the occasion, theatre person and actor C R
Simha, announced that the movie – Rasarishi Kuvempu, based on Kuvempu’s
life will be released during summer vacations. "I am playing the role
of Kuvempu in the movie directed by my son Ritwik Simha. With objective
of reaching more school and college students, we are releasing the
movie during summer vacations," added Simha.

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News Headlines

Hearing on application seeking action against Modi adjourned (Feb 3, 2010, Indian Express)

The Metropolitan Court today adjourned the hearing on an application
seeking punitive action against VHP leader Kaushik Mehta and CM
Narendra Modi in connection with the February 28, 2002 bandh. The VHP
had given the bandh call to protest the Godhra train carnage of
February 27, 2002. The application was moved by Noor Mohammed Shaikh
from Dariapur in Ahmedabad in April 2002. It accused Mehta of giving
the bandh call and Modi of supporting it.

Shaikh cited a verdict
by the Supreme Court of India – which had termed ‘bandh’ calls as
‘unconstitutional’ and ‘illegal’ – to demand punitive steps against
Mehta and Modi. The SC verdict was pronounced by a bench comprising the
then Chief Justice J S Verma and justices B N Kirpal and V N Khare.
They had considered bandh calls as ‘illegal’ and ‘unconstitutional’
while upholding a judgment of the Full Bench of the Kerala High Court.

lawyer, Mehboob Pathan said: "The application was scheduled for hearing
today. But for the some reason, it was not listed on the board.
Subsequently, I mentioned the matter to the Magistrate, and he took it
up and later adjourned it for March 11." Shaikh had filed the petition
in April 2002, and the court had ordered a police inquiry under Section
202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. But, subsequently no action was
reported on the application. Around September 2009, Shaikh was summoned
by the court to have his statement recorded. It was the first hearing
date on the application on Tuesday.


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CBI files fresh FIR in Sohrabuddin killing case (Feb 3, 2010, Indian Express)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a fresh FIR
in connection with the alleged murder of Sohrabuddin Shaikh and his
wife Kausar Bi in a fake encounter. The FIR, bearing number 4/2010, has
been registered with the Special Crime Branch of Mumbai. The
investigation of the case was handed over to the central agency by the
Supreme Court through its order of January 12 this year after the apex
court found "stark lapses" on the part of the Gujarat Police.

Superintendent of Police Amitabh Thakur has been appointed as the
Investigating Officer in the case. When contacted, Thakur confirmed the
registration of the FIR but said no accused persons had been named in
it so far. CBI sources said a case was registered on Monday against
Gujarat Police officials under the charges of criminal conspiracy,
murder and kidnapping.

A team of Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad
(ATS) led by suspended DIG D G Vanzara and the Rajasthan Police led by
the then Superintendent of Police Dinesh MN had killed Shaikh in a fake
encounter. The tainted cops had then claimed that Shaikh was killed in
a shootout near Vishala circle on the Narol Highway in Ahmedabad on
November 26, 2005. As many as 14 policemen from Gujarat and Rajasthan
cadre have been arrested in the case.


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2007 death in custody: FIR against 5 cops (Feb 2, 2010, Indian Express)

The state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Tuesday lodged
a first information report (FIR) against five policemen, including an
assistant inspector of Pune rural police, for allegedly torturing
35-year-old Pardhi woman Aruna Bhadaya Kale, thus abetting her suicide
while in the custody at Shirur police station on January 8, 2007. The
Shirur police had arrested Kale on January 2, 2007, suspecting her
involvement in dacoity cases in the region. She was remanded to police
custody for investigations. On January 8, Kale committed suicide by
hanging herself while in police custody.

The state CID that
took over the investigation around three years back has booked
assistant police inspector Vijay Ganpat Bhosale, police naik Randhir
Namdeo Jagtap, constables Prahlad Shankar Satpute, Vinayak Nanaso
Mohite and Vitthal Dagdu Punde under Section 306, 330 and 34 of the
Indian Penal Code. Bhosale has retired, while constable Punde died two
years ago. The other three policemen are currently attached to Shirur
and Shikrapur police stations in Pune rural. Deputy Superintendent of
Police Narendra Kisanrao Gaikwad of the CID has lodged the complaint in
the case.

S P S Yadav, state CID chief, told The Indian Express
that investigations have revealed that when Kale was in the custody of
Shirur police she was beaten up by the policemen which forced her to
commit suicide. "Medical evidence and statements of witnesses confirmed
that Kale committed suicide due to police harassment. Hence we have
lodged the complaint of abetting suicide against the five policemen,"
Yadav said. It may be recalled that several dacoities took place in
Shirur in December, 2006. During investigations, the Pune rural police
arrested Kale suspecting her role in the dacoities. On January 8,
Rohini Kale, who was also in the custody of Shirur police station,
informed the police that Aruna Kale had committed suicide by hanging.

members of the victim, along with organisations representing the Pardhi
community, Manavi Hakka Abhiyan, a human rights body, said the police
had implicated Kale in the dacoity cases and demanded an inquiry.
Vishwas Nangare Patil, the then Superintendent of Pune rural police,
had suspended seven policemen in this case. None of the three serving
policemen or the retired cop was arrested till reports last came in.
Sources from the CID said teams have been dispatched for arresting the
booked policemen.


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Minority panel finger at cops (Feb 4, 2010, The Telegraph)

The state minorities’ commission has written to the police
commissioner alleging that Muslim candidates had been discriminated
against during a recent police recruitment drive. Of the 550 candidates
selected as sub-inspectors and sergeants, only 11 were Muslims. "One
hundred and six Muslim boys and girls were called for the interview but
the final selection list showed a different picture. It smacks of
discrimination," reads the letter, signed by Jawaid Akhtar, the
member-secretary of the commission.

The letter (a copy of which
is with Metro) was sent to police commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti
on Tuesday. "I request you to provide a detailed report to the
commission regarding the total number of candidates who appeared for
the selection test, number of candidates called for the interview,
process adopted by the selection board and the composition of the
recruitment committee and the interview board," the letter reads.

Adnan, the chairman of the commission, said he would take up the matter
with the government after getting the reply from the police chief.
"There has been discrimination and that’s why we want to know the
recruitment process," said Kalyan Chaudhuri, the vice-chairman of the
commission. A senior IPS officer denied there was any discrimination.
According to him, about 20 Muslim candidates had to be rejected in the
interview as they did not know Bengali.

"We are planning to
send a proposal to the government so that we can select from next time
candidates who do not know Bengali. They will be asked to learn the
language after joining the force. Even IPS officers have the option to
learn Bengali after joining the force," he added. The issue has assumed
significance as both the Left Front the and Trinamul are trying to woo
Muslims by welcoming the Ranganath Mishra panel’s recommendation for
Muslim quotas in government jobs.


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HC pulls up prosecuting agencies in 1984 riots cases (Feb 3, 2010, Hindustan Times)

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday pulled up CBI and other
prosecuting agencies for being "insensitive" in handling the 1984 riots
cases as routine ones and suggested appointment of a special public
prosecutor to speedily pursue the matter on the line of Gujarat riots
cases. "You should respect the sentiments of sufferers, you tell your
director to appoint a senior lawyer as a public prosecutor to handle
the cases. This is the legitimate demand. Don’t treat these cases as
routine cases," a Bench headed by Chief Justice A P Shah said.

the historical background and sensitivity involved in these cases.
Don’t you think like Gujarat riots cases, Special Public Prosecutor be
appointed to handle these cases," the court said, asking the agencies
not to be insensitive. The Gujarat Legal Department had last year
appointed special public prosecutors for seven Gujarat riot cases. The
court made these observations while hearing a PIL filed by an NGO
‘November-84 Carnage Justice Committee’ seeking its direction to
appoint special law officers and to monitor the cases on a day-to-day

The court asked the agencies to respect the feeling of a
particular community which bore the brunt of the riots following the
assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984. "These
cases have ramifications, try to understand the sentiments of a
particular community. It does not matter what the number of cases are,"
the court said. Over 2500 people were killed in the riots.


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Church attacks blamed on Sangh Parivar – Ban communal outfits: Panel (Feb 1, 2010, Deccan Herald)

A commission of inquiry instituted to probe the 2008 church attacks
in the State on Monday recommended a ban on all communal organisations
regardless of their religious affiliations and forfeiture of their
assets. The commission headed by Justice B K Somasekhara also indicated
that senior police and district administration officers colluded with
Sangh Parivar outfits when various churches across 13 districts came
under attack. In line after line of the six-page executive summary of
the interim report, Justice Somasekhara has used the noun,
"impression", no less than 15 times. So, according to the report,
"there are indications of massive conversions to Christianity by
circumstances and inducements but not by compulsion". Soon after the
report was released, the State BJP’s core committee, under the
chairmanship of K S Eshwarappa, met and discussed the report at length.
The meeting was attended by Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and Advocate
General Ashok Haranhalli among others.

The commission said: "A
strong impression is created that members belonging to Bajrang Dal, Sri
Rama Sene, VHP, etc, are mainly responsible in attacking the churches
or places of worship" mainly in Mangalore, but also in the other
districts. The commission felt that "as a whole the allegations of
attack on several churches

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