IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 31st, 2016

by newsdigest on November 11, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Announcements

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Announcements

Bhopal “encounter” killings; Indian Americans demand Chief Minister’s resignation, judicial probe

Shocking videos show cold-blooded execution; ATS Chief justifies killing unarmed men

November 03, 2016

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos today demanded the resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. Shivraj Singh Chouhan, over the shocking and audacious killing of 8 unarmed undertrials in Bhopal. IAMC also joined activists, opposition parties and people of conscience in demanding a judicial probe into the gruesome incident. Videos of the killing show the men were unarmed, and were even waving to the policemen in an apparent attempt to surrender. Demonstrating a shocking level of impunity, the chief of Madhya Pradesh’s Anti-Terror Squad Mr. Sanjeev Shami confirmed the men were unarmed and defiantly maintained the killing was justified.

The official account that these eight men escaped from a high-security jail by making keys out of toothbrushes and scaling walls 30 ft high using bedsheets defies logic. Added to these outrageous fabrications, is the idea that the “escaped” undertrials all stayed together after their escape until they were conveniently found in one place to be done to death by the police. It also flies in the face of videos showing the men were unarmed, and the police fired even after the men were mowed down, including at a man who happened to be grievously injured but still alive. The motive behind this fake encounter appears to be the fact that the case against at least four of the undertrials was drawing to a close, with a judgement expected in their favor. This was articulated by Tahawwur Khan, one of the defence lawyers of the men killed in the encounter.

The killings fit a pattern of ongoing state repression of minorities, including fake encounters, abductions and denial of justice. The disappearance of JNU student Najeeb Ahmad who went missing after an assault on the campus, is only the latest in a series of shocking incidents involving activists and whistleblowers. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who has lost the moral legitimacy to continue in office, appears to be following the “Gujarat Model,” in its pattern of framing innocent youth and engaging in extrajudicial killings.

“The cold-blooded execution of these eight men before the court pronounced its judgement on them, is a grim demonstration of the state-sponsored repression of minorities and Dalits in India, even by law enforcement that is sworn to protect all citizens, regardless of caste or creed,” said Mr. Umar Malick, President of IAMC. “A high-level judicial probe should be constituted immediately to unearth all the facts surrounding this incident. The justification of this gruesome killing by the ATS chief is an open admission of impunity, and the extent to which police forces consider themselves above the law. This does not bode well for the country,” he added.

Among those condemning the staged encounter are opposition parties, and top media commentators such as Shekhar Gupta and academic organizations like the Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association. As Rahul Kanwal, Managing Editor of India Today said in his tweet, “Exposing a fake encounter is not anti-national. Staying silent when you know that an encounter appears fake is what is truly anti-national.”

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://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:

Did Indian police just gun down 8 prison fugitives in cold blood? The government would prefer you didn’t ask.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/11/01/did-indian-police-just-gun-down-8-prison-fugitives-in-cold-blood-the-government-would-prefer-you-didnt-ask/

Bhopal encounter appears staged, say Jamia teachers
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/55191251.cms

Yes, SIMI Men Were Unarmed When Shot; So What, Asks Anti-Terror Top Cop
http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/8-simi-men-had-no-weapons-at-encounter-spot-anti-terror-chief-tells-ndtv-1620458

The bogey of SIMI: Bhopal killings must not be allowed to fall into a legal blackhole
http://scroll.in/article/820462/the-bogey-of-simi-bhopal-killings-must-not-be-allowed-to-fall-into-a-legal-blackhole

Bhopal, eight SIMI men killed in encounter, but video clips raise doubts
http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/8-simi-operatives-killed-near-bhopal-video-clips-raise-questions-on-encounter/story-4LYve4qXXA4UxXgSkXO7gJ.html

Encounter or Cold Blooded Murder? Lawyer Speaks Out
http://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/NewsDetail/index/2/9087/Encounter-or-Cold-Blooded-Murder-Lawyer-Speaks-Out

India: More than half of undertrials are Dalits, Muslims and tribals
http://www.aljazeera.com/blogs/asia/2016/11/trial-india-dalits-muslims-tribals-161101150136542.html

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SIMI activists’ jailbreak: Encounter, contradictions, politics and all that happened today (Oct 31, 2016, Indian Express)

Questions are being raised over the killing of eight SIMI activists in an encounter by security forces on the outskirts of Bhopal hours after they escaped from the high-security Central Jail killing a security guard.

As the government congratulated security forces for their successful operation and ordered NIA probe into the jailbreak, videos purportedly from the encounter site surfaced showing a policeman pumping bullets into a man from close range after some unidentified person takes out what appears to be a knife said to be in a plastic cover and places it back, raising doubts over the police theory which described the encounter as a raging gun battle, with the SIMI members instigating the gunfire.

Alleging “discrepancies” in the official version on the escape of SIMI activists from Bhopal jail and their killing in a subsequent encounter with police, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi demanded an inquiry by Supreme Court to bring out “all facts”.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/bhopal-encounter-simi-activists-killed-jailbreak-politics-nia-owaisi-bjp-congress/

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SIMI shooting: Here’s India’s track record when it comes to fake encounters (Oct 31, 2016, Catch News)

Madhya Pradesh Police and the state’s Anti-Terrorist Squad killed 8 Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) terrorists on the morning of 31 October in an encounter. …

This is the second encounter by state forces this month. A week back, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha police had killed 24 Maoists in Malkangiri district, at Andhra-Odisha border. Activists cried that the Malkangiri encounter was a ‘fake’ one. And now leaders of the opposition political parties are raising question about Monday’s alleged encounter of these eight undertrials.

Encounters, sometime ‘fake’ are a common extra-judicial measure adopted by the Indian police. Some police officers in Mumbai achieved stardom, films were made on their lives, and a few even built schools. Some of them were also proven to be corrupt and to be working with specific agendas.…

http://www.catchnews.com/india-news/simi-shooting-here-s-india-s-track-record-when-it-comes-to-fake-encounters-1477924119.html

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Police killed my son in fake encounter, alleges top Maoist RK’s wife (Oct 26, 2016, Odisha Sun Times)

Top Maoist leader Ramakrishna’s wife Sirisha aka Padma – who was in Odisha’s Malkangiri to identify and receive the body of her son Munna aka Sivaji- today alleged that the police have killed her son among others in a fake encounter. “The police encounter in which my son was killed was staged. This is a fake encounter. They killed them without any provocation. I demand a free and fair probe into the incident,” said Sirisha. …

Similar sentiments were echoed by noted revolutionary poet and Maoist ideologue Varavara Rao. “The cops killed the 28 people while they were holding a meeting in the forest. This is a fake encounter,” Rao said speaking to reporters in Malkangiri.

Besides, the family members of 10 other Maoists, who died in the joint encounter carried out by Odisha and Andhra Pradesh Police at Chitrakonda area on October 24, also expressed similar sentiments and demanded a free and fair probe.…

http://odishasuntimes.com/2016/10/26/police-killed-son-fake-encounter-alleges-top-maoist-rks-wife/

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2 years of BJP rule in Haryana: RSS agenda overshadowed govt initiatives (Oct 26, 2016, Hindustan Times)

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar went to Garnala village in Ambala on January 5 to meet the family of commando Gursewak Singh who was killed in Pathankot terror attack. Before his cavalcade entered the village, he asked the driver to stop and remove the official flag from the car.…

But, barely six weeks later when Jats took to the streets to press their long-standing demand for reservation in jobs and educational institutes before running amok, his government showed no sign of meticulousness.

The state authorities did not read the situation well. They were sluggish in their response, letting things get out of hand. The worst-ever violence that followed in eight districts of Haryana and left 30 people dead not only tarred the state’s image, but also reduced its social fabric to tatters.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/2-years-of-bjp-rule-in-haryana-rss-agenda-overshadowed-govt-initiatives/story-chmG4wBslubyxWIjZhDcGM.html

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‘RSS targeting minorities by inciting communal violence’ (Oct 31, 2016, Times of India)

Noted Marathi writer and social activist Suresh Khairnar said Hidutva forces led by RSS are targeting minorities and trying their best to establish their hold in Kerala and West Bengal by inciting communal violence. He was addressing the valedictory session of the two-day national seminar on Islamophobia, organized by Platform for Innovative Thought Social Activity (PITSA) here on Sunday.

Coming down heavily against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the activist said that Modi was getting undue projection from media due to the much hyped campaign by the Hindutva groups. “The so called NRIs are spending huge money in order to ensure attention for Narendra Modi,” he said.

He also criticized the ruling party saying BJP might be the only ruling party in the world with suspect in murder cases as its national president. Referring to the ongoing Kashmir issue he said, “Kashmir’s present situation remains pathetic due to the deliberate lapses of the governments in addressing the woes, being faced by the people there. The ongoing strike, which has crossed 250 days, has left the residents in Kashmir to suffer.”…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/55150642.cms

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Naroda Gam 2002 Riots: SC asks SIT to clarify status of inquiry against IPS Rahul Sharma over missing CDs (Oct 26, 2016, Indian Express)

The special designated court hearing the 2002 Naroda Gam riots case has directed the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) to file an affidavit clarifying the status of chargesheet and departmental inquiry against former IPS officer Rahul Sharma in connection with the alleged missing CDs containing phone call records of important people, including several accused, during the riots.

Special Judge P B Desai had passed the order earlier this month. The investigating officer of the SIT is likely to submit its reply on October 27. The court’s directive came after defence lawyer Chetan Shah submitted the copy of the chargesheet issued by the state government against Sharma in 2011.

There are 82 accused in this case who are alleged to have killed 11 persons from the minority community on February 28, 2002. Among the accused are former BJP minister Maya Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi, who were sentenced to life imprisonment in Naroda Patiya massacre case. Kodnani is out on bail.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/naroda-gam-2002-riots-sc-asks-sit-to-clarify-status-of-inquiry-against-ips-rahul-sharma-over-missing-cds-3103113/

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Bengaluru: Lack of evidence against Amnesty – police prepare to file B report (Oct 30, 2016, Daijiworld.com)

In the case relating to alleged raising of anti-national and pro-Pakistan slogans raised in a programme organized by Amnesty International in the city sometime back, the police it is learnt, are preparing to file ‘B’ report, after finding that the allegation is not supported by evidence.

The forensic science laboratory experts have confirmed that the footage provided to them do not contain any anti-national slogans. There are no records to confirm that the congregation raised slogans against Indian Army as alleged. As the complaint is found to be containing allegations that are untrue, the police will file B report, it is gathered.

It was alleged by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists that people, mainly of Kashmiri origin, who had gathered at the programme, ‘Broken Families Journey for Justice’ at The United Theological College on Miller Road Vasantnagar here on August 14 had raised slogans against Indian Army and shouted slogans for Azadi. This had given rise to lot of heat in social circles.…

http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=421073

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Why don’t you shut down courts? SC slams govt over delay in appointing judges (Oct 28, 2016, Hindustan Times)

The Supreme Court rebuked the government on Friday for “scuttling” the working of judiciary by sitting on the appointment of judges in various high courts despite the recommendation of a recruitment collegium.

“Today we have a situation where courtrooms are locked because there are no judges. For example, Karnataka…. Why don’t you lock the courts?” a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur asked, adding: “Executive inaction is decimating the institution (judiciary).”

The bench is hearing a public interest litigation on the judicial appointment process in 24 high courts, which together have more than 450 vacancies against the sanctioned strength of 1,041. “You are scuttling the working of the institution,” the bench, which has been asking the government to show urgency, said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/on-high-court-judges-appointment-sc-sends-a-strong-message-to-centre/story-cSM7RKK424YKNQWsp998pK.html

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Muslim groups to step up campaign against ‘infringement’ on religious rights (Oct 28, 2016, The Hindu)

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board, along with All India Milli Council and other Muslim organisations, have decided to step up their campaign against ‘infringement’ on the religious rights and practices of Muslims. They also oppose the moves of the Union government on the triple talaq issue and common civil code.

Member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and founder member of the All India Milli Council and former Minister Qamarul Islam told presspersons in Kalaburagi city on Friday that the signature campaign against the move to abolish triple talaq and introduce common civil code in the country would be completed on October 30.

The collected signatures would be sent to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board for submission to President Pranab Mukherjee, seeking his intervention to protect the rights of minorities which were guaranteed in the Constitution.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/muslim-groups-to-step-up-campaign-against-infringement-on-religious-rights/article9281598.ece

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Over 55 per cent of undertrials Muslim, Dalit or tribal: NCRB (Nov 1, 2016, Indian Express)

Over 55 per cent of undertrials across the country are either Muslims, Dalits or tribals, according to the National Crime Records Bureau’s prison data for 2015. According to the NCRB, over two-thirds of all jail inmates are undertrials. The data also shows that more than 70 per cent of undertrials have not passed Class 10.

Muslims, Dalits and tribals together account for 39 per cent of India’s population, thus their share among undertrials is disproportionate to their population. According to the 2011 Census, Muslims make up 14.2 per cent, Scheduled Castes (SC) 16.6 per cent and Scheduled Tribes (ST) 8.6 per cent of India’s population. Besides, the three communities have a lower representation among convicts as compared to undertrials. Together, they account for 50.4 per cent of all convicts.

Among Muslims, the community’s share of convicts is 15.8 per cent, slightly above their representation in population, but their share among undertrials – at 20.9 per cent – is far higher. SCs account for 21.6 per cent of undertrials and 20.9 per cent of convicts, while STs make up 12.4 per cent of undertrials and 13.7 per cent of convicts.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/over-55-per-cent-of-undertrials-muslim-dalit-or-tribal-ncrb-3731633/

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Opinions and Editorials

SIMI jailbreak & encounter in MP: Is this in the heart of India or middle of the Caliphate? – By Ajay Singh (Nov 1, 2016, First Post)

There seems to be a striking resemblance between the state of Madhya Pradesh and the nebulous Islamic caliphate spread between Iraq and Syria. The visuals from a video of the encounter of eight suspected SIMI members, who escaped from Bhopal Central Jail on Monday, were no less abominable than the public beheadings of the Islamic State prisoners.

The video shows the local people urging the policemen to shoot the dead bodies/half-alive suspected activists of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), egging them on in the cold-blooded killing of the suspected activists. The actions of the security forces, on the outskirts of Bhopal, were indicative of the political journey of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan – from a democratically-elected leader to an inefficient political executive, swayed by the blood-thirsty impulses of a mob.…

The killing of the SIMI activists exposes the hideous face of a dangerous blend of a subversive ideology with criminalised and inefficient governance. Madhya Pradesh has emerged as a clear manifestation of this pernicious cocktail.

http://www.firstpost.com/india/simi-activists-encounter-reflects-subversive-ideology-of-madhya-pradesh-govt-3081580.html

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10 reasons why RSS’ Hindu-Rashtra is against India – By Hasan Zia Rizvi (Oct 31, 2016, Milli Gazette)

Debates on nationalism are taking place in our country. Some sections of the mainstream media wish to decide who is nationalist and who is anti-national. People are jailed on the charge of “sedition” even when they only meant to criticise the government, not the nation.

Two major anti-national events occurred this past Independence Day: firstly, Hindu Mahasabha observed 15 August as ‘Black Day’ and protested against the constitution. Mahasabha also demanded the declaration of a formal Hindu Rashtra. Second, ‘Akhand Bharat Smruti Divas’ was organized at RSS headquarters in Nagpur for the first time in history. Neither Hindu Mahasabha was booked under sedition law nor was the RSS dubbed anti-national.…

Those who oppose the constitution of India should be called anti-nationals and traitors. But no one takes notice of the ‘Sangh Parivar’, which wants to scrap and abolish the constitution altogether.…

http://www.milligazette.com/news/14907-10-reasons-why-rss-hindu-rashtra-is-against-india

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Hindutva at the hustings – By Suhrith Parthasarathy (Oct 27, 2016, The Hindu)

On Tuesday, a seven-judge Bench of the Supreme Court, which is currently hearing oral arguments in two cases – Abhiram Singh v. C.D. Commachen and Narayan Singh v. Sunderlal Patwa – declined an opportunity to reconsider the correctness of a series of judgments rendered by Justice J.S. Verma in December 1995. There, in what are collectively called the “Hindutva cases”, the court delivered rulings that caused great mischief on the idea of India as a pluralistic, secular state.

It held that pleas made by appealing to the terms “Hindutva” or “Hinduism” during an election campaign did not necessarily constitute a corrupt practice in violation of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (RPA) since the terms ordinarily refer not to religion but only to “a way of life”. The judgments, however, overlooked the RPA’s true objective. As is plainly evident from the legislation’s language, it intends to instil in India’s elections an atmosphere of secular integrity.

Now, the seven-judge Bench, presided by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, has expressed its unwillingness to test the legitimacy of Justice Verma’s view, on the ground that the issue finds no mention in the orders referring the cases to it. The upshot is the continued perpetuation of judgments that are not merely deeply flawed, but also eminently dangerous in their purport.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/hindutva-at-the-hustings/article9272291.ece

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Hindutva Terror in JNU: Student Najeeb Still Missing – By Abhay Kumar (Oct 30, 2016, Milli Gazette)

JNU remains on the boil ever since the disappearance of the first-year Biotechnology student Najeeb Ahmad. Hundreds of students are agitating against callousness and inaction of the university administration, the police and the Government. Several modes of protests—holding sit-in, blockading Vice-Chancellor, marching to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and forming a human chain —have been deployed for bringing him back and punishing the culprits. Najeeb, till the time the piece is written, is still missing.

His disappearance, first reported on October 15, was preceded by an act of brutal violence by the members of RSS-affiliated ABVP. On the previous night, dozens of students associated with ABVP brutally beat Najeeb and made him, according to the eyewitness accounts, bleed from mouth and nose.

This incident of violence, as many argue, shares many features of the Dadri incident. Last year, a mob, led by Hindutva forces, lynched and killed 52-year old Mohammad Akhlaq Saifi of Dadri district (UP), much in the same way a gang of 20-30 ABVP members brutally assaulted Najeeb. Just as Hindutva forces incited a mob against Akhlaq on the suspicion of his possessing beef, similarly the ABVP set its activists on Najeeb over the charges that Najeeb had “hurt” their “religious sentiments”.…

http://www.milligazette.com/news/14942-hindutva-terror-in-jnu-student-najeeb-still-missing

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How the massacre of Sikhs on October 31, 1984 created a new minority community in India – By Preeti Gill (Oct 31, 2016, Scroll.in)

I…regard 1984 and what happened in the three days following the assassination of the prime minister as a traumatic moment in the history of our nation. A moment that witnessed the birth of a minority and tore communities apart, in somewhat the same way as Partition had done.

The hatred and bloodletting that engulfed the nation in those three days of November 1984 left close to 3000 Sikhs dead in Delhi alone and some 50,000 people were forced to take shelter in relief camps, because their homes had been destroyed.

It is apparent that this would have far-reaching consequences, that things would never be the same. I wonder whether the Sikh community has even now come to grips with the fact of the 1984 killings and how totally unexpected, horrific and intense they were.…

http://scroll.in/article/820345/how-the-massacre-of-sikhs-on-october-31-1984-created-a-new-minority-community-in-india

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Untouchable still: In Tamil Nadu’s hinterland, dalits continue to be restricted from temples – Editorial (Oct 31, 2016, Times of India)

Eighty years since the landmark Travancore Temple Entry Proclamation granted rights to low caste Hindus to offer worship in temples and 69 years since our country attained freedom, social exclusion is nowhere near elimination.

At Hariharapakkam, an obscure village in Tiruvannamalai district in Tamil Nadu, a group of dalit youths petitioned the administration to enable them to enter the century-old Arulmighu Thulukanathamman temple that was controlled by the Vanniyars, an intermediate Hindu caste.

After three rounds of talks with the village elders failed to resolve the issue, on October 26 district officials led a group of dalits into the temple under heavy police escort. The next day, the Vanniyars staged a demonstration protesting against the breaking of what they called an age-old tradition.…

http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/toi-editorials/untouchable-still-in-tamil-nadus-hinterland-dalits-continue-to-be-restricted-from-temples/

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Book Review

Being the Other: The Muslim in India

Author: Saeed Naqvi
Reviewed by: Syeda Hameed
Available at: Aleph Book Company, 161, B-4, Ground Floor, Gulmohar House, Yusuf Sarai Community Centre, New Delhi – 110049; Pages: 256, Price: Rs 599. http://www.amazon.in/
Review:
This Land is My Land (Oct 22, 2016, Indian Express)

…The book is a honest, panoramic view of what it means to be a Muslim in India.… It begins with nostalgia about his watan Mustafabad. Four landmark events/issues are used to describe how the Muslim became identified as the “other”.

The first is Partition. Then comes the demolition of the Babri Masjid, which for most Indians is a watershed in the Hindu-Muslim divide. This is followed by Kashmir where daily deaths vindicate the book’s argument.

Finally, there is the global war on terror, whose blame is laid at the doorstep of every Muslim. The book draws upon history and current affairs to nudge the reader to step into the shoes of this “other” and see the world through a different lens.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/books/saeed-naqvi-being-the-other-mustafabad-india-pakistan-partition-3095677/

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