IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 15th, 2017

by newsdigest on May 26, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

It’s About Postings: Ex-CBI Officer On Why Gujarat Cops Botched Bilkis Bano Case (May 11, 2017, NDTV)

Speaking for the very first time about an investigation he undertook 13 years ago, retired police officer Vivek Dube still gets emotional. When 5 policemen and 2 doctors were also convicted by the Bombay High Court this week in the Bilkis Bano case, Mr Dube knew his job was finally done. His team of investigators had already secured the conviction of the 11 men who massacred 14 members of her family in Gujarat’s Dahod district in March 2002. The youngest of them was Bilkis Bano’s two-year-old Saleha; her head was smashed on a rock. A pregnant Bilkis was gang raped. She survived, because they left her for dead, and came to symbolise the brutality witnessed during the 2002 riots.… He told NDTV how the local policemen took down Bilkis’ statement four times, varying them each time, and made her put her thumb impression on it as she wasn’t literate. Asked why the police refused to record her rape in their FIR, Mr Dube said, “Personal consideration, everybody doesn’t try to be impartial. Maybe somebody was worried about their postings and transfers.”… Mr Dube suggests the conviction became possible due to some right decisions taken by the agency in the early days of its probe. From exhuming the bodies 2 years after the murder, to nailing the inconsistencies in the post-mortem by the government doctors, CBI’s final masterstroke was to arrest the 11 accused as soon as they appeared in the case. “Usually we have to take permission from the Director CBI but I realized I also have the power so I empowered our officer. If we hadn’t, then those men would have gone missing,” he said. http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/its-about-posting-ex-cbi-officer-on-why-gujarat-cops-botched-bilkis-bano-case-1692393 SEE ALSO:

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Slaughterhouse case: Issue fresh licence, HC tells Yogi govt (May 12, 2017, Hindustan Times)

The Allahabad high court directed the Uttar Pradesh government on Friday to start issuing licences and no-objection certificates to meat sellers, potentially ending a stalemate over closing slaughterhouses that saw meat disappearing from local markets and popular eating joints. The interim order of the HC’s Lucknow bench came as a major relief for meat sellers, whose licences weren’t renewed by the government after March. The bench of justices AP Shahi and Sanjay Harkauli also directed the government to file a reply on July 17 – the next date of hearing – about the steps taken in compliance of the order. “The state government cannot shy away from its responsibility of regulating slaughter houses,” said justice Shahi, while reading out the operative part of the order. The order implies that traders can apply for fresh licences or for a renewal. Even those whose slaughterhouses were shut down can now apply.… http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/up-slaughterhouse-case-allahabad-hc-orders-adityanath-govt-to-issue-licences-says-state-can-t-shirk-responsibility/story-v3bdrnqk9aWTCTY9wSOFIO.html SEE ALSO:

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VHP leader Acharya Dharmendra gets 1 yr jail for hate speech (May 12, 2017, Free Press Journal)

Senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Acharya Dharmendra has been sentenced to one year imprisonment by a Rajasthan court for making a hate speech in November 2008. Judicial magistrate, Baran district, Ashish Meena pronounced the verdict yesterday holding the VHP leader guilty of causing communal disharmony. “We honour the court’s order, but we will challenge it in the sessions court in a month’s time,” defence counsel Dilip Singh Panwar told PTI. Kotwali police in Baran district had booked the VHP leader on November 27, 2008 for his speech at a religious gathering. A case was registered against him under various sections of IPC pertaining to promoting enmity between different groups, disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant and other offences. http://www.freepressjournal.in/india/vhp-leader-acharya-dharmendra-gets-1-yr-jail-for-hate-speech/1067119 SEE ALSO:

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Saharanpur: Fear is most visible in locked Dalit homes (May 12, 2017, Indian Express)

The sense of fear that has gripped Shabbirpur village in Saharanpur, nearly a week after clashes broke out between Thakurs and Dalits, is most visible in the homes of Dalits here — many are locked and empty. Left behind are “traumatised” couples like Bablu and Babli, both Dalits in their 40s. Bablu says his children fled, fearing police action and a Thakur backlash, but he had to stay to be with his wife who can’t move after suffering a paralytic attack three years ago. Babli, struggling to speak clearly, whispers to her husband from her charpoy: “Mujhe chod ke mat jaao (Don’t leave me).” Trying to calm her with a wave of his right palm, Bablu says, “Before the incident, she was able to perform her daily chores and was recovering. But after witnessing what happened on May 5, her condition has deteriorated. She screams at night, she is fearful and wants to go to the toilet frequently.”… http://indianexpress.com/article/india/saharanpur-fear-is-most-visible-in-locked-dalit-homes/ SEE ALSO:

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Hindutva’s ‘Love Jihad’ Obsession Leads to Murder of Muslim Man in UP (May 3, 2017, The Wire)

Three activists of the right wing Hindu Yuva Vahini were arrested for allegedly bludgeoning to death a 45-year-old Muslim man in village Sohi under Pahasu police station in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh on May 2, police said. Mohammad allegedly helped a relative elope with a Hindu girl, prompting the murderous attack by vigilantes. The Hindu Yuva Vahini is the militant organisation founded and led by Yogi Adityanath, now the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. For the past few years, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its affiliated organisations have carried out a systematic propaganda campaign alleging the existence of a Muslim plot to seduce and convert Hindu girls. Termed ‘Love Jihad’, the campaign has been used to foster a sense of insecurity amongst Hindus and make ordinary Hindus suspicious against Muslims.… https://thewire.in/131678/hindutvas-love-jihad-obsession-leads-to-murder-of-muslim-man-in-up/ SEE ALSO:

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Techie held for sending hoax terror alerts (May 10, 2017, Asian Age)

The Karnataka Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has arrested a 36-year-old IT professional, Vinit Shah… in Bengaluru for allegedly emailing at least four hoax terror alerts to the Maharashtra ATS and the Mumbai police. Shah had been sending ‘alerts’ since January this year and had, in April, warned of a chemical attack. After checking his email details and the Internet Protocol (IP) address, the Maharashtra ATS informed the Bengaluru ATS about Shah’s location, following which the man was arrested.… According to official, Shah had in January this year sent an email to the Mumbai police from Bengaluru about a group of terrorists who were planning to attack six prominent places in Mumbai and Bengaluru. Security was subsequently beefed up accordingly but nothing happened. A police source said, “An ATS investigated the fake email ID. He sent a second mail after a 40-day gap. The probe did not throw up anything useful.”… http://www.asianage.com/metros/mumbai/100517/techie-held-for-sending-hoax-terror-alerts.html SEE ALSO:

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Modi, Yogi want to replace Constitution with Manusmriti: Dalit leader (May 15, 2017, Times of India)

Squarely pinning the blame for the recent incidents of violence in Saharanpur, including communal riots following an unauthorised Ambedkar Jayanti procession, on the administration and the government, Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani on Monday said that the RSS and the BJP were responsible for the acts of violence against Dalits as no preventive measures were taken. “When the procession was being taken out, preventive measures should have been taken by the police and the administration. But nothing of the sort was done. And now Dalits are being targeted and are being hunted down. It is evident that CM Yogi and PM Modi want to replace the Constitution with Manusmriti,” Mewani said, addressing a press conference. A team of Dalit leaders from nine states is in Saharanpur on a fact-finding mission on the incidents of violence that have occurred in the region over the last month, including the clash between Dalits and Thakurs over a Maharana Pratap Jayanti procession.… http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/58687894.cms SEE ALSO:

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Telangana encounter: 5 cops suspended for alleged ‘links’ with slain gangster Nayeemuddin (May 12, 2017, Indian Express)

Telangana government on Thursday suspended five police officers for suspected links with Naxal-turned-gangster Mohammed Nayeemuddin, who was killed in an encounter last year at Shadnagar in Mahabubnagar district. Director General of Police (DGP) Anurag Sharma announced the suspension orders on Thursday. This is the first time the state government has acted against police officers having nexus with Nayeemuddin and his gang. The suspended officers are: Additional Superintendent of Police (CID) Maddipati Srinivas Rao, Assistant Commissioners of Police serving in Hyderabad M Srinivas Rao and Chintamaneni Srinivas, and Circle Inspectors Ramgopal and Mastan. A police source told IANS that further action could be taken against the suspended officers if their assets were disproportionate to their source of income. The five officers had been posted in different parts of the state. An inquiry has also been conducted against three deputy superintendents of police, a police inspector and 16 other police officials, reported PTI.… http://indianexpress.com/article/india/telangana-encounter-5-cops-suspended-for-alleged-links-with-slain-gangster-nayeemuddin-4651976/ SEE ALSO:

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Assam to disband Madrasa and Sanskrit boards, ‘mainstream’ them: Education Minister Himanta (May 10, 2017, Indian Express)

The BJP-led government in Assam will soon disband the State Madrasa Board and hand over the academic part of it to the Board of Secondary Education. The Sanskrit Board will also be dissolved, state Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted late Tuesday evening. “To mainstream Madrasa education, we are disbanding the Madrasa Education directorate and making it part of the Secondary Education directorate,” Sarma tweeted.… Sarma’s announcement came a little over five months after he had asked madrasas to stop remaining shut on Fridays and shift their weekly off-day uniformly with other educational institutions to Sunday. In December, as he made that announcement, Sarma had also drawn flak for saying that madrasas remain closed on Fridays in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and not in India.… Assam had set up the Madrasa Education Board in 1934, with nine schools under it. After Independence, it was renamed as State Madrasa Education Board, Assam, and has over 700 madrasas under it. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/assam-to-disband-madrasa-and-sanskrit-boards-mainstream-them-education-minister-himanta-4648815/ SEE ALSO:

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AAP steps up anti-EVM protest, blocks road outside Election Commission office (May 11, 2017, Indian Express)

Hundreds of AAP workers on Thursday blocked a road outside the Election Commission headquarters in New Delhi protesting against alleged tampering of Electronic Voting Machines and demanding use of VVPAT-equipped EVMs for future elections. Delhi Minister and AAP leader Gopal Rai, who is among the protesters, said “manipulation” of EVMs was “killing democracy”. “We demand that the questions that have been raised regarding EVMs are resolved. Questions were raised in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab etc, so we want to appeal to the ECI that they give us their machine and we will show them by hacking it. Secondly, we want that the Supreme Court’s 2013 order of conducting elections by VVPAT should be implemented, and third, voting machine and the slips should be tallied,” Rai was quoted as saying by ANI.… http://indianexpress.com/article/india/evm-tampering-row-aap-workers-protest-outside-election-commission-office-4650702/ SEE ALSO:

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Opinions and Editorials

Those who kill for partisan ends cannot be patriots – By Kapil Sibal (May 15, 2017, Hindustan Times)

I love my country, right or wrong, is an attribute of nationalism. But is it patriotism to stand up and be counted when my country led by the government navigates a path which is inconsistent with our constitutional values. Was it unpatriotic to be a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War? Was the ‘Arab Spring’ at Tahrir Square unpatriotic? Was it patriotic for the RSS to have attempted to disrupt the national movement and support a colonial power? Was it patriotic for the Sangh not to have participated in the Satyagraha?… My problem with this mandating prescription is that it is fundamentally wrong for people to have to demonstrate that they are patriotic. The act of standing up in a cinema hall is not an act of volition. Patriotism reflects in my response to protect the identity of not just myself but of millions of which I am a part. Only in situations which should evoke such a response is true patriotism tested. Patriotism and nationalism are two different concepts. We must not confuse the two. Is it then patriotic for vigilantes who in a show of patriotism for the sacred cow, insult, beleaguer and not hesitate to kill ordinary folk? Vigilantes do it to protect their misplaced cultural identity. Their response is not emotive for the sacred animal. It is in fact motivated to demonstrate and propagate that identity with which the victims of violence have no emotive affinity. The victims may be dealing with the sacred animal to trade or nourish it for their livelihood. Yet to do such acts under the present dispensation is considered patriotic and thus justified.… The State and Institutions including courts should not test patriotism.… Smugglers, terrorists and perpetrators of violence who kill for partisan ends cannot be patriots.… http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/those-who-kill-for-partisan-ends-cannot-be-patriots/story-v9C1Uo9xh1Wyjj3iYp6F2M.html SEE ALSO:

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RSS’ grand plan to help Indians bear fair, bespoke babies exposes Hindutva’s obsession with race – By Shoaib Daniyal (May 8, 2017, Scroll.in)

…While Nazism was the most egregious expression of race theory, it had wide currency as a scientific theory across much of the Western world. The British Empire itself was based on theories of race, where the White man conquered India and Africa as a birthright. Phrenology, the study of the measurements of the human skull, was instituted as a field of scientific enquiry in order to explain the difference between races – a practice so widespread that it gave rise to its own phrase: having your head examined. As could be expected, these ideas filtered down to Indian society too. The biggest recipient of these ideas was the budding Hindutva movement in colonial India.… Hindutva, therefore, got around it by proposing the theory that the faiths indigenous to this land were the chosen Indian race. Thus Savarkar’s definition of who is a Hindu was contingent on whoever treated the Indian subcontinent as a holy land. Thus, Muslims and Christians, whose holy places lay in Arabia, Palestine and Europe, did not qualify for the chosen race.… Given the rapid rise of the RSS and its transformation from a small band of ideologues to India’s ruling elite, its philosophical core often tends to get overlooked in the mass media. It is therefore events like the plan to create babies via eugenics, or RSS-BJP leader Tarun Vijay’s comments in April calling Dravidian language-speaking Indians “black people”, which remind us that race as a concept might be dead in science but it still lives on in Hindutva. https://scroll.in/article/836880/rss-grand-plan-to-help-couples-bear-fair-tall-bespoke-babies-exposes-hindutvas-problem-with-race SEE ALSO:

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3 Years of Modi Government: Immiserising the Peasantry to Fill Corporate Coffers – By Vijoo Krishnan (May 15, 2017, News Click)

A critically acclaimed film “Well Done Abba” satirically addressed the issue of rampant corruption by weaving a story about how wells dug under a government scheme were stolen. It points to the fact that the wells had not been dug at all and the money under the scheme was only siphoned off. The plight of the farmers under the Narendra Modi led BJP Government is similar to the plight of the villagers whose wells were stolen. All they got in the last three years were imaginary wells, remunerative prices for their crops, insurance, employment, pensions, bulging bank balances, prosperity and development. Figment of imagination of Narendra Modi presented as reality by his spin doctors and pliant media houses have only spelt death for farmers. The BJP had come to power three years ago promising “Achhe Din” for the farmers and agricultural workers as well as toiling masses. It had promised an end to farmers’ suicides, ensure remunerative prices for crops according to the Swaminathan Commission recommendation of at least 50 percent above cost of production, more investment in agriculture, expanded employment opportunities and higher wages under MGNREGA, irrigation facilities to all farms, effective insurance, pensions, scientific land acquisition legislation to protect interests of the peasantry and much more. It is worth looking at as to how real these promises were.… http://newsclick.in/3-years-modi-government-immiserising-peasantry-fill-corporate-coffers SEE ALSO:

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The Yogi trial: Another CM in conflict-of-interest puzzle – Editorial (May 13, 2017, The Tribune)

There is a conflict-of-interest situation in Uttar Pradesh akin to the one Punjab witnessed earlier during the Badal regime and is set for a repeat under Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. The UP Home Ministry has denied the CID permission to prosecute the Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, for making a hate speech resulting in anti-Muslim riots in Gorakhpur in 2007. This was conveyed to the Allahabad High Court on Thursday by the state Chief Secretary. The CID completed its investigation and submitted the draft final report to the government in April 2015. Under Section 153-A, IPC, sanction of the Principal Secretary (Law) was required to proceed against the Yogi, then an MP. The Allahabad High Court raised the conflict-of-interest question and declined the government counsel’s request to close the case.… It will be interesting to watch attempts of the authorities in UP to bail out Yogi Adityanath and how the Allahabad High Court is able to counter them.… http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/editorials/the-yogi-trial/406097.html SEE ALSO:

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Our own Animal Farm – By Pamela Philipose (May 10, 2017, Indian Express)

The concept behind ‘New India’ is that EPI should replace VIP. EPI means Every Person is Important. We should accept the importance of 125 crore Indians.” Thus spoke Prime Minister Narendra Modi. EPI is a compelling formulation and because it sounds like a statement of conviction, not just intent, it needs to be used as an index to measure the importance of every Indian as they go about their normal lives, plying a trade, commuting, cooking, eating. How important, if we are to go by this index, was Pehlu Khan, pulverised to death on the Alwar road a month ago for transporting legitimately acquired cattle; or Abu Hanifa and Riyazuddin Ali, lynched in a Jorhat village of Assam the other day, on suspicion of being cow thieves? When Ramesh, Ashok, Vashram, Bechar and three others were publicly flogged for skinning dead cattle in Gujarat’s Una block last July, were they important? Should we consider as EPIs cattle trader Mohammed Mazlum Ansari and his 14-year-old nephew, Mohammed Imteyaz Khan, found hanging on a tree in Jharkhand’s Balumath block last July? Or Rizwan and Mukhtiar, forced to eat cow dung cake for “transporting cattle” a few weeks earlier on a Haryana highway? What of Mohammed Akhlaq of Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri, who was killed in September 2015 after being attacked by bricks and staffs because of the meat in his fridge? Or Salma, whose was brutally thrashed for her bag of buffalo meat at Mandsaur railway station in Madhya Pradesh last year? How important is Manish Mandal, beaten so badly that he could lose an eye for daring to honk loudly to clear cattle on a Bihar road?… http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/our-own-animal-farm-cow-protection-narendra-modi-yogi-adityanath-pehlu-khan-4648544/ SEE ALSO:

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Meet Chhattisgarh jailer Varsha Dongre: Suspended for exposing torture and sexual abuse of Adivasis – By Malini Subramaniam (May 11, 2017, Scroll.in)

“I have seen 14-16-year-old Adivasi girls being stripped naked in police stations and tortured. They were given electric shocks on their wrists and breasts. I have seen the marks. It horrified me. Why did they use third degree torture on minors?” This Facebook post by Varsha Dongre on April 26 was insider confirmation of the widespread abuse of human rights by the security forces battling Maoist insurgency in the tribal heartland of Chhattisgarh. Naturally, it infuriated the state apparatus that has done everything in its power to keep such shameful conduct from being exposed. So, the 35-year-old deputy superintendent of Raipur jail was duly suspended, and then “attached” to Ambikapur jail about 350 km away.… That is not the only reason the state is after her, however, Dongre claimed. As the officer in charge of Raipur jail’s women’s wing, she “unearthed crimes against women prisoners and children”. She brought the abuse to the notice of the director general for prisons, she said, and mentioned it in her Annual Confidential Report as well. “As a result of all this, I stood out like a sore thumb,” Dongre said. “The action against me is a reflection of their anger.” https://scroll.in/article/837732/peoples-servant-how-chhattisgarh-jailer-varsha-dongre-came-to-expose-repression-against-adivasis SEE ALSO:

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