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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 5th, 2018

by newsdigest on February 7, 2018

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Human chains formed in Mangaluru and Udupi to promote communal harmony (Jan 31, 2018, The Hindu)

People from different walks of life formed a human chain in the Clock Tower, Town Hall and A.B. Shetty Circle areas here on Tuesday to promote communal harmony in the State.

This was part of the human chain formed across Karnataka under the banner of ‘Souhardategai Karnataka’. Addressing a gathering at Nehru Maidan afterwards, Dinesh Amin Mattu, media adviser to the Chief Minister, said it was sad that a situation has arisen were human chains have to be formed promoting communal harmony.

He said Dakshina Kannada district was known for its diverse culture and religion. Now, the social and communal harmony is under threat because of some forces that have divided society. There is a need to bridge the gap among communities, he said.…

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/human-chains-formed-in-mangaluru-and-udupi-to-promote-communal-harmony/article22600503.ece

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Kasganj Violence: Video Shows Youths Holding Swords And Guns Charging Towards Muslim-Dominated Area (Jan 31, 2018, Outlook)

Uttar Pradesh police is now probing a new video allegedly from violence-hit Kasganj that shows a group of ‘Hindu youths’ – holding swords and guns – as they march towards a Muslim dominated area. The video clip that was shot from roof of a tehsil office moments before clashes broke out in the two communities, has been doing rounds on social media, reported The Times of India.

The group of aggressive men is seen holding guns, clubs and sticks as the move ahead in a narrow street. Another can be spotted marching on with ‘Tiranga’ (flag). Visuals of 22-year-old Chandan Gupta participating in the “Tiranga Yatra” is also among the clips, reported the NDTV. The police are investigating the authenticity of the video.

The clash broke out after an unauthorised bike rally was taken out by RSS-affiliated students’ group Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in the city to commemorate the 69th Republic Day.…

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/kasganj-violence-video-shows-youths-holding-swords-and-guns-charging-towards-mus/307607

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Why raise anti-Pakistan slogans in Muslim areas of Kasganj? Bareilly DM protests (Jan 30, 2018, Hindustan Times)

The district magistrate of Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly has created a stir with a post on Facebook, saying there is a growing trend of people taking out processions in areas where Muslims live and raising slogans against Pakistan, referring to the recent communal violence in Kasganj.

“Ajab riwaz ban gaya hai. Muslim mohallo main julus le jao aur Pakistan murdabad ke nare lagao. Kyun bhai woh Pakistani hain kya? (A strange tradition has been formed. To visit Muslim areas and raise slogans against Pakistan. Why, are they (Muslims) Pakistanis)?” RV Singh wrote on Sunday.…

Singh also wrote about a similar incident in Khelam area of Bareilly last year when a group of kanwariyas or the devotees of Lord Shiva went through a Muslim-dominated village and allegedly raised slogans against Pakistan. “What is the need of raising such slogans? Even I will stop someone shouting such slogans outside my residence without any reason,” the DM said. The post got 235 reactions before it was taken down.…

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/are-they-pakistanis-bareilly-dm-s-facebook-post-on-kasganj-creates-stir/story-dNCT3GHjq1qcUp4uybtN9H.html

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At SC’s Hearing on Loya Case, Many Inconsistencies in Official Version Come to the Fore (Feb 3, 2018, The Wire)

The Supreme Court’s three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud held a two-hour long hearing on Friday afternoon of the petitions seeking an independent probe into the death of special CBI judge B.H. Loya. Senior counsel for Bombay Lawyers’ Association (BLA), Dushyant Dave, who argued for nearly one and a half hours, brought to light several inconsistencies in the official account of Loya’s death. The state of Maharashtra was represented by Mukul Rohatgi.…

Dave also referred to inconsistencies in the post-mortem report on Loya, and requested the bench to confer with Loya’s wife, son, brother and father in camera, and if they do not want any probe, it need not proceed further. Making an emotional plea, Dave asked the bench: “Who will protect our judges if we don’t?”

Senior counsel, Indira Jaising, intervened to say that there are many instances of overwriting on the copies of the documents submitted, and therefore, the bench must ask for the originals. Justice Chandrachud agreed with her that there is overwriting. The bench was also told that page 25 of the post-mortem report was not submitted to the bench, creating further suspicions.…

https://thewire.in/220618/scs-hearing-loya-case-many-inconsistencies-official-version-come-fore/

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NHRC registered 1,782 fake encounter cases between 2000-2017; Uttar Pradesh alone accounts for 44.55% (Feb 2, 2018, First Post)

Sohrabuddin Sheikh, Ishrat Jahan, Kuldeep Singh, Salim – a common thread binding all four of them is that they are among people who were allegedly killed in fake encounter cases in India. Of the four names mentioned, one may have come across the former two which turned into high-profile cases involving political leaders. The latter two were one of the many human rights violation cases mentioned in one of the annual reports of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The most number of cases registered since 2000 was in the year 2012 with 226 fake encounter incidents reported, of which only 195 were disposed with 31 cases pending. In the last seven years alone, NHRC recorded 725 cases between 2010 and 2017. Fake encounter cases in this decade alone account for 40.68 percent of the total number since the dawn of the 21st century in India.

Over the last five years, states registered less than 60 cases per year, except for in 2015, when the number shot up to 140 cases. In 2017, 19 fake encounter cases were registered, of which only 10 have been disposed of till now.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/nhrc-registered-1782-fake-encounter-cases-between-2000-2017-uttar-pradesh-alone-accounts-for-44-55-4332125.html

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Pehlu Khan lynching case: Alwar police charge all victims with cow smuggling (Feb 1, 2018, Indian Express)

A second chargesheet following the death of Haryana dairy farmer Pehlu Khan names two of his companions as accused and concludes that all three had indulged in ‘cow smuggling’ under state laws. The chargesheet was filed by Alwar police in the court of the Behror additional chief judicial magistrate on January 24. Following Khan’s lynching on April 1, police had registered two cases – one against Khan’s assailants for murder and another against Khan and his companions for ‘indulging in cow smuggling’.…

The January 24 chargesheet names four as accused – Azmat and Rafique who are from Khan’s village, Jaisinghpur in Haryana, Arjun Lal Yadav who was driving one of the two pickup trucks that were attacked on April 1 and his father Jagdish Prasad.… “Is this justice? We were attacked and beaten up by the mob, and now we have been made the accused. I have the valid purchase receipt issued by the Jaipur Municipal Corporation. At the time of the purchase, nobody told us we needed additional permits,” said Azmat, who has been bedridden for several months after the attack, which he says resulted in serious injuries.

“I sustained injuries in the spinal chord as a result of the beating. More than Rs. one lakh has been spent on treatment and now we are paying for court expenses by mortgaging our belongings. We don’t know what to do,” said Azmat who currently lives with his family in Jaisinghpur.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/pehlu-khans-lynching-case-alwar-police-charge-all-victims-with-cow-smuggling-5046962/

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Opposition in Rajya Sabha accuses BJP of polarising, creating fear psychosis across country (Feb 5, 2018, New Indian Express)

The opposition in the Rajya Sabha today accused the BJP-led government of polarising the country and creating a “fear psychosis” among the people, alleging that it was just renaming the earlier policies without delivering their benefits to the poor and the needy.

It is not a “game changer” but a “name changer government” which has failed to deliver on all fronts be it providing relief to farmers and poor, generate jobs or addressing the Kashmir issue, it said.

Participating in the debate on the Motion of Thanks for the President’s address, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad attacked the government for creating fear, not only among people but also among the bureaucrats and opposition leaders.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2018/feb/05/oppsition-in-rajya-sabha-accuses-bjp-of-polarising-creating-fear-psychosis-across-country-1768771.html

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Bombay HC rejects anticipatory bail plea of Hindutva leader (Feb 2, 2018, Business Standard)

The Bombay High Court on Friday rejected an anticipatory bail plea filed by Hindutva leader Milind Ekbote, a key accused charged with inciting the casteist riots of January 1 in Pune.

With this, the stage is set for the possible of arrest of Ekbote – who heads the Hindu Ekta Manch – and has been booked under three different cases pertaining to the Koregaon-Bhima incident in which a youth was killed, besides many injured and widespread damage to public and private properties worth around Rs 9 crore.

A division bench of Justice S. C. Dharmadhikari and Justice Bharati H. Dangre, while rejecting Ekbote’s contentions challenging a Pune Sessions Court order declining his anticipatory plea, ruled that the lower court’s observations in the matter could not be ignored.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/bombay-hc-rejects-anticipatory-bail-plea-of-hindutva-leader-118020201424_1.html

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Fake propaganda of Hindutva politics exposed, inflammatory quotes being circulated on social media (Feb 5, 2018, Siasat)

According to the news reported in Altnews.in, the facts related to hindutva’s fake propaganda came out when the three celebrities – Prakash Raj, Swara Bhaskar and Farhan Akhtar clarified that the inflammatory messages going viral that they were posted by them were actually not their words.

The Hindutva brigade has been circulating fake quotes, messages in the name of authors, actors, politicians and even common people. For instance, a social media post has been viral on E. Abubaker associated with PFI from Kerala.

To spread communal fangs, the Hindutva politics has crossed all the limits. They do not realize the repercussions that can be caused by their fake propaganda. One such message was in the name of Abdullah Zubair. The message was to create misunderstanding between Hindus and Muslims and polarise the society.…

https://www.siasat.com/news/fake-propaganda-hindutva-politics-exposed-inflammatory-quotes-circulated-social-media-1312788/

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Government admits to cases of fraudulent withdrawal of money through Aadhaar (Feb 6, 2018, Economic Times)

The government on Tuesday admitted that there had been incidents of money being fraudulently withdrawn from bank accounts using the customers’ Aadhaar number.

As per the information, at least six such cases had been reported by four Public Sector Banks so far involving fraud of around Rs 1.5 crore, Parliament was told.

“As per data reported by Public Sector Banks (PSBs), there have been incidents of money being fraudulently withdrawn from bank accounts using the customers’ Aadhaar number in a few banks,” Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla told Rajya Sabha in a written reply.…

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/62807903.cms

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Dalit activists call Budget 2018 ‘anti Dalit-anti Adivasi’ (Feb 2, 2018, National Herald)

“This budget is anti-Dalits and anti-Adivasi. We feel like we are not citizens of this country. If economic justice is not done to dalits and tribals then how can it be good for this country,” said Paul Divakar, secretary of Dalit Arthik Adikar Andolan and National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights.

The organisations are putting up a tough fight for Dalit economic rights by enforcing provisions of the Special Component Plan (SCP) for Dalits and Tribal Sub Plan for adivasis, which make 16.6% and 8.6% of total plan outlay of the budget to be compulsorily spent on them, respectively.

According to analysis done by these organisations, Budget 2018-19 has allocated only 6.55% percentage towards welfare of Dalits, and this is short by 10.5% of total Budget expenditure. Similarly Budget 2018-19 has allocated only 4.53% towards welfare of tribals which is short by 4.07%. Accordingly, they say, Budget 2018 has denied ₹1,14,717 crore to Dalits and ₹54,676 crore to adivasis.…

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/dalit-activists-call-budget-2018-anti-dalit-anti-adivasi

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Opinions and Editorials

Kasganj And Before: RSS And Conspiracies Are Synonymous – By Shamsul Islam (Feb 2, 2018, Countercurrents)

…The central publication house of the RSS, Suruchi Prakashan, Delhi, published a book in 1997, titled Param Vaibhav Ke Path Per (On the Road to Great Glory) penned by Sadanand Damodar Sapre, a senior RSS functionary. This book contained details of more than 40 organizations created by the RSS for different tasks but more importantly it described how many of these organizations are run in a clandestine manner for hidden agendas.… There has always been a conscious attempt to create confusion about its different fronts which provide RSS with the opportunity to dissociate with any of these as per its convenience.

For instance it used Hindu Jagaran Manch (HJM) for attacking Christians in late 1990s and when public opinion, media and Parliament seemed to turn against it, RSS denied any relation with HJM. However, according to this publication Hindu Jagaran Manch was created by the RSS which was admitted in the above mentioned publication. This publication went on to describe the nexus in the following words: “From the point of view of Hindu awakening this kind of forums [like Hindu Jagran Manch] at present are active in 17 states with different names like ‘Hindu Manch’ in Delhi, ‘Hindu Munani’ in Tamilnadu, ‘Hinduekjut’ in Maharashtra. These are forums, not associations or organizations, that’s why it is not required to have membership, registration and elections.”

How RSS indulged in conspiracies can be known by the following disclosure in the Param Vaibhav Ke Path Per about a case in Delhi immediately after Partition: “Swayamsevaks had posed to have adopted Musalman religion in order to gain the confidence of Delhi Muslim League for knowing their conspiracies.”…

https://countercurrents.org/2018/02/01/kasganj-rss-conspiracies-synonymous/

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Amit Shah’s discharge: More deaths and more suspicion raised – By Vishwadeepak (Jan 31, 2018, National Herald)

It was not just BH Loya, judge of the special CBI court hearing the discharge petition of BJP president Amit Shah, but also a retired district judge and a lawyer, both from Nagpur and who Loya had confided in, who also allegedly died under suspicious circumstances.

An alleged attempt on the life of the only surviving witness, lawyer Satish Uike, was also made, and this called for an independent and impartial probe, demanded Congress leaders Kapil Sibal, Salman Khurshid, Vivek Tankha and Randeep Surjewala at a Congress Party press conference on Wednesday afternoon. They added that agencies like CBI and NIA should not be given the case and there should be a SIT probe into Judge Loya’s death. …

…In the second week of October, 2014 Judge Loya approached Advocate Satish Uike through Advocate Shrikant Khandalkar and a retired District judge Prakash Thombre. In a video call with Advocates Uike, Khandalkar and Thombre, judge Loya allegedly named not only the Chief Justice Mohit Shah but also Justice BR Gavai, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Subhanshu Joshi in Nagpur, who were pressurising him to deliver a favourable order.…

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/politics/amit-shahs-discharge-more-deaths-and-more-suspicion-raised

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Distraction replaces development: Radicalising Hindus are diverted easiest by anti-Muslim bigotry – By Samar Halarnkar (Feb 3, 2018, Scroll.in)

…It appears Hindu India embraces no distraction as eagerly as it does incitement against its Muslim minority. Cow-related violence and killings reached a peak in 2017, with eight in 10 people killed by lynch mobs since 2014 being Muslim as the IndiaSpend hate-crime database reveals. These killings are no longer headline news, and if they are debated on some of India’s radicalised television channels, blame is often ascribed to the victims.…

Hindus who hate and demonise Muslims – and Dalits and Christians to a lesser extent – have found new confidence and courage among the baying mobs on social media. Those mobs include politicians, bureaucrats, soldiers and journalists, formerly pillars of moderation. Caution and circumspection are thrown to the winds, as right-wing editors and professors feel emboldened to circulate fake news and rouse the crudest of passions in Hindus. Every day brings a new low and reveals a growing willingness to fan new flames.…

Things have worsened so much that, like Singh of Bareilly, normally reticent folk feel they must speak up. “It appears as if there is a growing climate of intolerance that is aimed primarily at Muslims,” said an open letter from 65 former bureaucrats to their serving colleagues, judges and politicians. “In the face of a rising authoritarianism and majoritarianism, which do not allow for reasoned debate, discussion and dissent, we appeal to all public authorities, public institutions and constitutional bodies to take heed of these disturbing trends and take corrective action. We have to reclaim and defend the spirit of the Constitution of India, as envisaged by the founding fathers.” … The appeasement of Hindus is India’s new political creed.…

https://scroll.in/article/867195/distraction-replaces-development-radicalising-hindus-are-diverted-easiest-by-anti-muslim-bigotry

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Climate of fear – By Divya Trivedi (Feb 16, 2018, Frontline)

In the first week of January, a mob of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members tried to storm St. Mary’s College in Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, to conduct an aarati (Hindu ritual) in praise of “Bharat Mata”. The mob clashed with the police and said that it wanted to promote patriotism among students. The college director, Father Shaju Devassy, reportedly said that it was a symbolic attempt to impose Hindu dominance over minorities under the garb of promoting patriotism. It challenged the constitutional right of religious and ethnic minorities to own and manage institutions to help their communities, he added.

According to Alliance Defending Freedom, a United States-based Christian non-profit organisation, there were 21 violent attacks on Christians and hundreds of cases of harassment, threats and intimidation at the hands of Hindu groups from January to November in 2017 in Madhya Pradesh. Christians constitute fewer than 1 per cent of the State’s 72 million people.

According to Open Doors USA, a “non-denominational mission supporting persecuted Christians worldwide”, in 2017 India jumped to the 11th position in the 50 most dangerous countries for Christians; it was at the 15th position in the previous year “amid the continued rise of Hindu nationalism”. The first six months of 2017 witnessed 410 incidents of persecution against Christians, compared with 441 incidents for the entire previous year. Some 40 incidents were reported a month on average, according to Open Doors USA. These included pastors being beaten, churches being burnt and Christians being harassed.…

http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/climate-of-fear/article10057667.ece

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Like Savarkar to Godse, how Indian right wing is killing Gandhi all over again – By Angshukanta Chakraborty (Jan 30, 2018, Dailyo.in)

…If Nathuram Vinayak Godse pulled the trigger of a gun that felled Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on January 30, 1948, the replay of that primordial terrorism of postcolonial India is happening every day in India 2018 because the memories of Gandhi – the good, bad and somewhat ugly – are being desecrated, erased, annihilated at a rate that’s unpardonable, almost making him the villain in his own tragedy.

70 years since members of Sangh Parivar were officially held responsible for the assassination of India’s “founding father”, the “Greatest Indian” is getting the most violent of historical and political treatment in the history of independent India.…

The first act of terror on independent Indian soil was an instance of Hindutva terror, killing Gandhi. Godse and Narayan Apte, convicted and hanged for the murder, were however, not alone in their heinous plot. Who whispered into their ears the necessity of eliminating Gandhi? Most conclusive proofs have been collected that point the finger towards Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who himself had coined the term “Hindutva”. That he saw the ideology bear its foundational fruit of blood in 1948 itself was a hideous example of how quickly the Nazi-inspired ideological cancer could spread in the body politic.…

https://www.dailyo.in/variety/mahatma-gandhi-nathuram-godse-vd-savarkar-hindutva-narendra-modi-bjp/story/1/22061.html

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Rise of Hindutva forces, upper caste antagonism catalyse drive by educated Dalits to assert their identity – By Praveen Chakravarty (Feb 5, 2018, First Post)

On 1 January, 2018, Dalits, the most disadvantaged community at the bottom of the Hindu caste ladder, had gathered in large numbers at Bhima Koregaon, a village in Pune, to mark a historical event. Two hundred years ago, Mahars, a Dalit sub-group, had helped the British defeat the forces of the Brahminical Peshwa dynasty at the site.

The Dalits at the event were attacked by right-wing groups who claimed to be furious at a celebration of British victory. What followed the next day was a strong retaliation by Dalit groups protesting the attacks that brought Mumbai, India’s financial capital, to a halt.

This was the third such occasion in two years when it became clear the Dalits could respond strongly to upper caste atrocities. Two years ago, in January 2016, there had been a spurt of nationwide student agitations against the suicide of Dalit Hyderabad student Rohith Vemula. Then, in July 2016, there were violent protests against the public flogging of Dalits in Una by cow vigilantes.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/rise-of-hindutva-forces-upper-caste-antagonism-catalyse-drive-by-educated-dalits-to-assert-their-identity-4335739.html

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – January 22nd, 2018

by newsdigest on January 23, 2018

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

How state govts sponsor pilgrims to Haridwar, Ajmer or Jerusalem (Jan 18, 2018, Indian Express)

A number of states subsidise pilgrimages to sites of various religions, with many also providing free travel and other facilities to their senior citizens. At a time when the Centre has stopped subsidising Haj from this year, a look at pilgrimage subsidies run by various state governments:

In 2012, MP introduced the Mukhya Mantri Teertha Darshan Yojana, among the first of its kind.… In the first nine months of current fiscal, 89,000 have been sent, chosen by lots from all 51 districts; one can travel only once. They are taken by train to sites such as Badrinath, Kedarnath, Jagannath Puri, Dwarka, Vaisnho Devi, Gaya, Haridwar, Shirdi Tirupati, Ajmer Sharif, Kashi, Sammed Shikar, Shravan Belagola and Velankanni Church. Much earlier, the BJP government started subsidising pilgrimages abroad for Rs 30,000 or 50% of the expenses, whichever is less. The sites covered are in Pakistan (Nankana Saheb, Hinglaj Mata Mandir), China (Mansarovar), Cambodia (Angkor Vat) and Sri Lanka (Sita Mandir, Ashok Vatika).…

UP gives subsidies for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra and Sindhu Darshan Yatra. The first 100 applicants for the Sindhu Darshan subsidy have been getting Rs 10,000 since 2015, when the SP was in power. It was giving Rs 50,000 for every Kailash Mansarovar pilgrim; last year, the BJP government doubled it to Rs 1 lakh.… Schemes started by the current (Haryana) government provide subsidies to 50 elderly citizens (Rs 10,000 each) on Sindhu Darshan Yatra in Ladakh, and another 50 pilgrims (Rs 50,000 each) on Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. A government spokesperson said Rs 5 lakh and Rs 25 lakh for the respective pilgrimages have been allocated in the annual plan of 2016-17.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/how-state-govts-sponsor-pilgrims-to-haridwar-ajmer-or-jerusalem-haj-subsidy-5029327/

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Modi Govt Has Proved ‘Unwilling’ to Protect Rights of Minority Groups: Human Rights Watch Report (Jan 21, 2018, The Wire)

An increase in violence against women, government failure to control growing attacks on Dalits and religious minorities, often led by vigilante groups claiming to be supporters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), continuance of demeaning manual scavenging, curbs on free speech ill-treatment of tribal groups and crackdown on protests in Jammu and Kashmir, are some of the violations by the Indian government noted by the Human Rights Watch World Report 2017, released recently by the New York-based non-profit.

“Indian authorities have proven themselves unwilling to protect minority religious communities and other vulnerable groups from frequent attack,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement, adding that “there needs to be a serious effort to prevent future attacks and to prosecute all those responsible for the violence.”

“In 2016, students were accused of sedition for expressing their views; people who raised concerns over challenges to civil liberties were deemed anti-Indian; Dalits and Muslims were attacked on suspicion they had killed, stolen, or sold cows for beef; and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) came under pressure due to India’s restrictive foreign funding regulations,” says the 2017 report….

https://thewire.in/216049/modi-govt-has-proved-unwilling-to-protect-rights-of-minority-groups-human-rights-watch-report/

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PIL in Bombay HC over discharge of Amit Shah in Sohrabuddin case (Jan 19, 2018, The Tribune)

A city-based lawyers’ association on Friday filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court against the CBI decision not to challenge a lower court order discharging BJP president Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter case. The PIL was filed by a group called the Bombay Lawyers’ Association (BLA).…

According to the petitioner, the CBI had failed in its duty as the country’s main investigating agency in upholding the rule of law. The petition said the CBI’s decision to challenge the discharge of three policemen even while not doing so in the case of Shah was arbitrary and malafide.

The CBI has challenged the discharge of two sub-inspectors of the Rajasthan Police, Himanshu Singh and Shyam Singh Charan and N K Amin of the Gujarat Police in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter case.… The original charge-sheet filed by the CBI in the matter in 2010 named 23 accused persons, including Amit Shah, who was then the home minister of Gujarat.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/pil-in-bombay-hc-over-discharge-of-amit-shah-in-sohrabuddin-case/531044.html

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Loya’s Death Was Premeditated Murder, Says Late Judge’s Friend Uday Gaware (Jan 16, 2018, The Wire)

Justice BH Loya’s friend from law college, Uday Gaware, while speaking at a public meeting organised by the All India People’s Forum, an association of different civil society and political groups, stunned everyone when he said that the judge’s death was “premeditated murder”.

The meeting, held at New Delhi’s Indian Social Institute, was called “Suspicious Death of Judge: Implications for Democracy”. It was addressed by Caravan Magazine’s Niranjan Takle, the journalist who broke the story, the magazine’s political editor Hartosh Singh Bal, former judge of the Bombay high court BG Kolse Patil, senior advocate Indira Jaising and Gaware, who is a member of Latur bar association. Speaking in front of a packed house, the speakers demanded a probe and raised concerns over whether the executive was trying to influence the judiciary in any way.

Loya, who in official records died in December 2014 because of a cardiac arrest, was presiding over the CBI court in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case in which BJP president Amit Shah was one of the accused. However, in November, 2017, Caravan broke a story that revealed that there were signs that multiple hospital documents related to his death may have been tampered. The family of Loya expressed its suspicion over various developments before and after his death. It should be noted that Justice MB Gosavi, who replaced Loya in the CBI court, discharged Shah less than a month after the judge’s death.…

https://thewire.in/214154/loyas-death-premeditated-murder-says-lawyer-uday-gaware/

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Catholic School Association Moves Madhya Pradesh HC, Seeks Protection From ABVP (Jan 15, 2018, The Wire)

The Madhya Pradesh Catholic Diocesan Schools’ Association has moved the state’s high court seeking protection of it’s educational institutes. The Indian Express reported that the association alleged the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) – the student body affiliated to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – was trying to incite communal tension.

Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) said that the ABVP was increasingly targeting institutions run by Christians. He said ABVP had called upon its members to forcibly enter St Mary’s PG College in Vidisha and perform the aarti.

Their efforts to talk to the ABVP had been in vain, said the secretary general. On January 4, hundreds of ABVP activists had created a ruckus outside the college when they were not allowed to enter. Some even managed to enter the premises and chant ‘Bharat mata ki jai’.…

https://thewire.in/213861/catholic-school-association-moves-madhya-pradesh-hc-seeks-protection-abvp/

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Pravin Togadia alleges Modi conspiring with Gujarat Police to harass him (Jan 17, 2018, Hindustan Times)

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi played host to his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in his home state on Wednesday, his once-close aide and VHP leader Pravin Togadia accused Modi of conspiring with the Ahmedabad Crime Branch to harass him and VHP supporters.

“J K Bhatt (Ahmedabad Joint Commissioner, Crime Branch) has begun hatching a conspiracy against me and harassing our nationalist workers at the behest of political bosses in Delhia. In the last 15 days, how many times has Bhatt spoken with the PM? Their call details must be made public,” Togadia, Acting President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, told reporters in Ahmedabad after his discharge from a private hospital in the evening.…

Togadia had claimed that a team of the Rajasthan Police had come for him in a shut 10-year-old case, though there was no instruction from chief minister Vasundhara Raje or state Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria for this. He had claimed there was a conspiracy to kill him and this was hatched jointly by the Crime Branch and the Rajasthan Police.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/pravin-togadia-alleges-modi-conspiring-with-gujarat-police-to-harass-him/story-jNjrr1q53iZgXlr2dMp6EJ.html

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Uttar Pradesh considers withdrawing Muzaffarnagar riots case (Jan 21, 2018, Indian Express)

The Yogi Adityanath government is learnt to be considering withdrawal of a case related to the 2013 riots in Muzaffarnagar, and has sought opinion of the district magistrate regarding its status, and asking if withdrawing it would be the right step in public interest.

A senior officer posted in Muzaffarnagar confirmed to The Sunday Express that the state government, through the Law Department, had sought details on 13 points in the case, that was registered on August 31, 2013. There is no mention of the leader’s name in the letter, except the serial number of the case.

The officer also confirmed that the state government had sought opinion on eight other criminal cases, lodged against BJP Budhana MLA Umesh Malik in Muzaffarnagar. Malik said he had no knowledge of the letter, and that he had not approached the state government for withdrawal of the cases. Malik also said that the others named in the cases against him include BJP Bijnor MP Bhartendra Singh, former Union minister and local BJP MP Sanjeev Baliyan, and Sadhvi Prachi.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/up-considers-withdrawing-muzaffarnagar-riots-case-5033061/

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Aadhaar may cause death of citizens’ civil rights, petitioners lawyer tells SC (Jan 17, 2018, Indian Express)

…Senior Supreme Court lawyer, Shyam Divan, appearing for petitioners, told the five-judge Constitution bench that Aadhaar may cause death of citizens’ civil rights. “A people’s Constitution is being sought to be converted into a State’s Constitution,” Divan told the apex court.

In August last year, a nine-judge bench of the apex court had held that Right to Privacy was a Fundamental Right under the Constitution. Several petitioners challenging the validity of Aadhaar had also claimed it violated privacy rights.

The issue regarding the validity of Aadhaar and possible leakage of data has cropped up time and again since the inception of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) number. Besides, a recent report in The Tribune had exposed the fact that the Aadhaar database could be essentially bought on the internet only for Rs 500.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/aadhaar-matter-in-final-stage-sc-to-begin-hearing-pleas-challenging-validity-of-12-digit-uidai-number-5028008/

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Haryana: Two minor Dalit girls raped, murdered in separate incidents; Class 12 student, seven others arrested (Jan 15, 2018, First Post)

Two minor Dalit girls were allegedly raped and killed in separate incidents in Haryana, barely a month after a similar case involving a six-year-old girl had shook the state. Police said that one of the girls, a 15-year-old Class X student, had been brutally assaulted and her private parts mutilated. The body of the other victim, an 11-year-old girl, was found in a village in Panipat district on Sunday morning, a police official said.…

Responding to the incidents, former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Sunday said there was a complete breakdown of law and order in the state. Hooda said the BJP government had failed to put a check on the rising crime graph.

Demanding exemplary punishment for the culprits, he said, “This government has failed on all fronts. The law and order situation has completely broken down. Children are neither safe in schools nor in their homes. Such heinous crimes are increasing, but the government seems to be in slumber.”…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/haryana-two-minor-dalit-girls-raped-murdered-in-separate-incidents-class-xii-student-five-others-arrested-4303227.html

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Two priests booked for denying temple entry to Dalit girl (Jan 17, 2018, New Indian Express)

Two priests were booked on Tuesday for allegedly denying a Dalit girl entry into Sankareswar temple at Badgaon village within Balikuda police limits here. On Monday, father of the victim Basant Sethy had lodged an FIR with the police accusing priests Narahari Panda and Prahallad Panda as well as two other villagers of preventing his daughter Rojalini from entering the temple on December 11. Rojalini Sethy, who pursues engineering in a private college in Bhubaneswar, was refused entry into the temple by the priests as she belonged to Scheduled Caste community.

Following the incident, a group of Dalit youths, including girls led by former Sarpanch Hemant Sethy, had petitioned local police and the district administration to facilitate their entry into the temple. However, steps are yet to be taken in this regard.

Though local Sarpanch Niharika Biswal convened a series of meetings to broker peace between the Dalit families and upper caste people, it yielded no result. The upper caste people said the age-old tradition of restricting entry of Dalits into the temple cannot be broken.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2018/jan/17/two-priests-booked-for-denying-temple-entry-to-dalit-girl-1755629.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Will the Hindutva Government Let Supreme Court Function as an Independent Institution? – By M Ghazali Khan (Jan 20, 2018, Urdu Media Monitor)

…In a letter addressed to Chief Justice Misra, they [the four judges] accused him of assigning important cases selectively to benches ‘with no rationale’, implying thus that he had sought to influence the outcome. They also expressed unhappiness with ‘certain judicial orders’ passed by the court, which they said ‘adversely affected the overall functioning of the court’. Citing a number of reasons of their grievances against Justice Misra, they made special reference to their requests to him for independent investigation into the mysterious death of a senior judge B H Loya, who was overseeing a case against ruling BJP’s President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-hand man Amit Shah.

During the anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat in 2002 under Narendra Modi as the Chief Minister, Amit Shah was the Home Minister of Gujarat. A leaked report by the British High Commission in India said that the carnage in Gujarat ‘had all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing.’ Amit Shah was arrested in 2010 for the extra-judicial killings of a petti criminal Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi. Later he was released on bail but refused to appear before CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) court hearing the case. The Judge, J T Utpat, who was hearing the case, was transferred and got replaced by Judge B H Loya. Judge Loya then sent Amit Shah several orders to appear before the court but showing utter contempt he did not comply with even one of them.

Lastly Judge Loya ordered Amit Shah to appear before the court on 31 October 2014. Despite being present in Mumbai Amit Shah defied court orders and did not appear. Judge Loya then issued a final deadline and asked Amit Shah to appear on 15 December 2014. However in extremely mysterious circumstances, the judge died on December 1, 2014. His family members and several of senior judges who have raised doubts and questions about the official narrative of Loya’s death that he died of heart attack, have been demanding independent probe into the case.…

https://www.urdumediamonitor.com/2018/01/20/will-hindutva-government-let-supreme-court-function-independent-institution/

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‘The Birla-Sahara Diaries and the Loya Case Are of Intense and Anxious Interest to Present Rulers’ – By M.K. Venu (Jan 17, 2018, The Wire)

…The political executive will always try to take advantage of any and every situation – especially one like the present one which, as I have pointed out time and again, has an instrumental view of everything, one which looks at every person, every institution, every occasion from only one point of view: “How can I put this man, this institution, this occasion to use?” As for the charge that by going public the judges have paved the way for the government to interfere, that is utter nonsense.

You can bet your life that at all times a government such as the present one makes sure it knows, and in fact it does know, what is going on among judges. The precaution is not that judges should keep silent in the face of that “intolerable wrong” but that citizens should be alert to the designs of government. They – that is, you and me, and everyone – must be a firewall around the court, and expose every effort of the government to use such an occasion for furthering its own designs.…

The Birla-Sahara diaries and the Loya case are of intense and anxious interest to the present rulers. That is why the public should be very vigilant about what happens in these cases. Second, the suicide note of Pul, the Loya case, and of course the Medical College case involve the judiciary.…

https://thewire.in/214696/arun-shourie-supreme-court-judges-dissent/

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How two police officers and RSS changed the script of the Assam agitation against outsiders in 1980s – By Ajaz Ashraf (Jan 18, 2018, Scroll.in)

In 1979, the All Assam Students Union launched a mass agitation to evict outsiders. By outsiders, the union’s leaders meant Indians from elsewhere who were perceived to control Assam’s economy. In a few months, though, they changed tack and started railing against foreigners, specifically illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

This alteration in the course of the agitation has long been ascribed to the union’s leaders realising that the Assamese people were bothered more about Bangladeshi migrants than Indians from other states. Abdul Mannan turns this thesis on its head. He shows the change came about in no small measure because of the efforts of two senior police officers and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

In his book Infiltration: Genesis of Assam Movement, published last year, the former professor of statistics at Gauhati University cites the forgotten memoir of one of the officers to show how they courted the union’s leaders and persuaded them to redirect popular anger towards Bangladeshi immigrants.…

https://scroll.in/article/865199/how-two-police-officers-and-rss-changed-the-script-of-the-assam-agitation-against-outsiders-in-1980s

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Aadhaar: from compiling a govt database to creating a surveillance society – By Usha Ramanathan (Jan 18, 2018, Hindustan Times)

…The idea of rule of law has been systematically violated. Court orders have been flagrantly violated. There was no law in the first seven years of the project; then a law was passed using the money bill route. There are MoUs between state governments, banks, oil companies and others with the UIDAI, designed to collect information about every individual and store it for use in State Resident Data Hubs, promising a 360-degree view of each individual.

The project has moved beyond creating only a surveillance state, and has set out to create a surveillance society in which every agency is required to collect, keep and give to the State information pertaining to every person. Mobile phone companies and banks are the best known illustrations of this.

The ‘Trickle-Up Theory’ is current economic thinking, viz, people may not have wealth to spend in the market, but they have their personal data which the marketplace wants. So personal information is to trickle up to create wealth for businesses. The dream is periodically shattered by leaks, breaches, failure of biometrics, and inflated claims of savings that get exposed. The project trundles on, nevertheless amid denial and wild allegations of orchestrated campaigns.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/opinion/aadhaar-from-compiling-a-govt-database-to-creating-a-surveillance-society/story-Jj36c6tVyHJMjOhCI8vnBN.html

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Bombay Riots of 1992-93: Gory winter – By Teesta Setalvad (Feb 2, 2018, Frontline)

The fault lines were sharp and deep in that December of 1992 when for nine days the urbs prima of India, hailed for its cosmopolitanism, saw this veneer shredded. Painfully. All of December, including the week of Christmas and New Year celebrations, public temper in Bombay (now Mumbai) was fragile, as the mal-intended maha arti programme launched by the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine released a fresh bout of venom and hate against “the Muslim Other”.

This is what led to the violence of January 1993, when for at least another nine days violence instigated by Saamana, the mouthpiece of the Shiv Sena, ensured that homes and properties were targeted with chilling precision. Officially, 900 people were killed in mob rioting and firing by the police, 2,036 injured and thousands internally displaced. Three rapes were reported and registered. According to People’s Verdict, a staggering 141 incidents took place in 1992 and 1,411 in January 1993. As many as 16 per cent of the incidents went unreported.

It is 25 years, a quarter of a century, ago that Bombay burned. The demolition of the Babri Masjid in faraway Ayodhya was the immediate and obvious provocation. But as the meticulous documentation by citizens for People’s Verdict and the petition seeking a first information report (FIR) against Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray in the Bombay High Court, and thereafter corroborated by the Justice B.N. Srikrishna Commission, revealed, the public temper had been kept on the boil by hate-filled, provocative writings on the pages of Saamana since July 1992. The Congress government led by Sudhakarrao Naik chose to let these crimes pass, the Bombay Police chose not to act, and the rest, as they say, are dark pages in India’s history.…

http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/gory-winter/article10036369.ece

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Insidious fault lines – By Anupama Katakam (Feb 2, 2018, Frontline)

While the Koregaon Bhima violence is made out to be a Maratha-versus-Dalit battle, a far deeper and dangerous political game seems to be playing out behind it. In the context of the significant Maratha movement of October 2016 and the long history of strife between the two communities, it was an obvious conclusion that this attack was just another incident involving the assertion of Maratha supremacy over a lower caste.

A closer scrutiny points to the emergence of a couple of right-wing fringe groups that have a following in the region. They have been co-opting the Maratha community, currently a disgruntled, vulnerable and insecure lot, into their programmes with the message that backward communities are getting too big for their boots and must be shown their place. The project does not appear to be about Maratha rights.

The recent clashes have exposed a strange dynamic in Maharashtra. The Marathas believe Dalits are getting too strong, while Dalits say Brahmins are trying to create a divide between the two communities so that they do not join forces in the 2019 elections as they did in Gujarat. The support of the Marathas, who constitute about 50 per cent of the State’s population, is crucial to all parties. It works in favour of the saffron brigade that the Marathas are Hindu Kshatriyas and are thus amenable to the Hindutva ideology, says Jaideo Gaikwad, a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Council.…

http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/insidious-fault-lines/article10036184.ece

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – January 8th, 2018

January 9, 2018

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony A Jain And A Muslim Family Break Bread And Barriers Together In Meerut News Headlines Rs 500, 10 minutes, and you have access to billion Aadhaar details Aadhaar data open for misuse and abuse, says whistleblower Edward Snowden Dalit protests shake BJP’s fort as rise in casteism […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 18th, 2017

December 26, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Essay competition for students on communal harmony takes a back seat News Headlines BJP Wins Gujarat With Smallest Margin In 22 Years Hindu man raised £3,500 after video of him ‘murdering a Muslim man’ went viral Rajasthan HC sets guidelines to check ‘forced conversion of religion’ […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 30th, 2017

November 29, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Action Taken on Complaint Against JNU Professor’s Criticism of BJP, Modi on TV Babri Action Committee denies meeting Sri Sri Ravi Shankar over Babri Masjid dispute Tories disown firebrand Hindu activist after Commons visit ‘Am Going To Die’, Woman In Kerala ‘Love Jihad’ Case Says On Camera […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 4th, 2017

September 28, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Gurudwara opens doors to Muslims to offer namaz on Eid-ul-Adha News Headlines Probe said Purohit held ‘illegal’ meetings with radical Hindu groups ‘Qurbani’ Of Cow, Buffalo, Camel, Ox On Eid Ul-Adha To Invite Gangsters Act ‘Cow sheds in BJP states silent slaughterhouses’ ‘Who is next?’: Killing of […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 7th, 2017

August 16, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Post Basirhat communal violence: In show of unity, Hindus, Muslims tie rakhis News Headlines Aadhaar will be required for death certificates from October 1, plan to prevent identity fraud Academics Denounce Attacks by RSS and Corporate Media Tolerance has to become an essential national virtue: M Hamid […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 31st, 2017

August 10, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Stories on Amit Shah’s Assets, Smriti Irani’s ‘Degree’ Vanish From TOI, DNA Madras HC order on compulsory singing of Vande Mataram sparks row PM Modi’s Silence On Cow Politics Is A Well-Planned Hindutva Strategy When the BJP national leadership claims probity, its Kerala leaders are accused of […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 17th, 2017

July 28, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Indian Americans express outrage over mob lynchings in India through protests across US News Headlines ‘Kill Them. They Are Muslims’: Family of 10 Beaten With Iron Rods Inside Train This BJP MLA is threatening to stop Haj pilgrims from UP if Ayodhya temple isn’t built 14 years in […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 8th, 2017

May 19, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony In riot affected Dhulagarh, Hindus & Muslims celebrate Tagore’s birth anniversary together News Headlines Bilkis Bano verdict is a reminder of state complicity in the 2002 Gujarat riots Muslims protest against India TV for ‘fabricated’ Halala Operation Police ask man to remove communally sensitive poster UP BJP […]

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