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Asaram Bapu rape case

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – January 30th, 2017

by newsdigest on February 9, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

UP election: Politics over Muzaffarnagar riot victims leaves Kairana polarised (Jan 29, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Abdul Sattar was just 12 years old when India was partitioned in 1947, yet it was the macabre of 2013 riots in western Uttar Pradesh that has shaken him to the core. “In 1947, the violence lingered on for over two months, but it was never so bad that we would have to leave our homes,” the octogenarian said. Sattar was among the thousands of people who shifted from the villages of Muzaffarnagar to neighbouring Kairana after the Jat-Muslim riot broke out in August 2013.

“Houses around ours were set on fire and we were forced to leave our village Ranagana,” he said. Nearly 5,000 families had moved out from the violence- stricken western UP district never to return. An estimated 3,000 victims landed in makeshift tents in the Malakkpur refugee camp on the outskirts of Kairana.

Now, two years later, the camp has been disbanded and its residents moved to two colonies that have come up with the help of the local MLA, Samajwadi Party’s Nahid Hassan. The one that Sattar lives in has been named Manawwar Hassan colony after the MLA’s father and has 128 brick houses and around 230 huts.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/up-election-politics-over-muzaffarnagar-riot-victims-leaves-kairana-polarised/story-4ulkDn0QSSj9hzq4lK21QI.html

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UP Polls: Shocking admission! Independent candidate admits entering politics only for money (Jan 28, 2017, New Indian Express)

In what can be called as flabbergasting, a video going viral on social media shows an independent candidate from Agra openly admitting that his only motive to enter politics is to earn money. Indirectly hinting towards the rest of the people coming into this field with the same motive, the candidate said he would follow the footsteps of those people.

“My only reason for coming into politics is money, I’ll fool people,” Chaudhary said.

Taking one step further, the candidate commented on Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that if a person can become the head of the country by fooling people, so would he. “By fooling people if somebody can become the Prime Minister, he must be having some talent. I will also follow the same footsteps,” he said.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/jan/28/up-polls-shocking-admission-independent-candidate-admits-entering-politics-only-for-money-1564413.html

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BJP MLA, five others booked for extortion in Mira Road (Jan 27, 2017, Times of India)

Sitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Mira-Bhayander and corporator Narendra Mehta and five officers of the Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) have been booked for demanding Rs 2 crore extortion from a builder in 2015.

The Naya Nagar police in Mira Road filed the FIR on January 25 following the Bombay high court order on Monday. Last year, the complainant Vinod Trivedi (45) had filed a criminal writ petition alleging that the police failed to take his complaint against Mehta and the officers.

Mehta refuted the charges saying that the builder had been asked to stop work as he had submitted fake documents. “The builder has mentioned in his police statement that he has no proof. It is easy for anyone to make allegations,” said Mehta.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/56814996.cms

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The Indian Church remembers the missionary Graham Staines, burned alive by Hindu radicals (Jan 24, 2017, Herald Malaysia)

Monday the Indian Church remembers the murder of the Australian missionary Graham Staines, killed by Hindu radicals in 1999 along with his two youngest children.…

On the night between 22 and 23 January 1999, Hindu extremists burned the pastor Staines and his sons Philip and Timothy (9 and 7 years of age) alive, while they were asleep in their station wagon in Manoharpur village (district of Keonjhar, Orissa).…

The brutal murder of the Australian missionary was the prelude of the violence against Christians in Orissa triggered in 2008 by Hindu fundamentalists. John Dayal says that in that period “the Sangh targeted Christians once again, especially in Kandhamal district”.…

http://www.heraldmalaysia.com/news/the-indian-church-remembers-the-missionary-graham-staines-burned-alive-by-hindu-radicals/34414/2

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Missing JNU student’s family accuse cops of intimidation (Jan 29, 2017, DNA India)

Anger broke out at the home of the maternal uncle of missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, as the Delhi Crime branch, along with Uttar Pradesh police, carried out a search at his residence on Saturday. Alleging high-handedness by the police, Najeeb’s family said that the police had misbehaved with him.

“At 4:30 am, around 40 police personnel, of both Delhi police and UP police, stormed my uncle Ashraf Qadri’s resident in Badaun and treated him like a criminal. They misbehaved with him and asked him inappropriate questions regarding Najeeb’s disappearance,” said Najeeb’s brother Mujeeb Ahmed.

The family claimed that it was not just Najeeb’s uncle’s house that was searched. According to them, police also searched the house of his uncle’s friend Tarruf Shujat. “They (police) had checked my brother’s cellphone from which the last call was made to his friend Tarruf Shujat, who lives near my brother’s place,” said Najeeb’s mother Fatima Nafees. “They stormed into his house. They have checked their phones (Najeeb’s uncle and his uncle’s friend) and taken their SIM cards along with them,” she alleged.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/delhi/report-missing-jnu-student-s-family-accuse-cops-of-intimidation-2297982

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3 years on, wounds of riots still raw in Muzaffarnagar (Jan 30, 2017, Asian Age)

Raisa Bano, 48, sits under a shed with only a tarpaulin to save her five children from icy winds. Hasan, her husband, works as a daily wage labourer in a farmhouse and the owner has allowed the family to live in the shed.

“We lived in Kutba village, but during the riots (in 2013), our house was burnt down and my father-in-law and brother-in-law were hacked to death. We took refuge here and have been staying here ever since,” she said. Her children – three daughters and two sons – do not go to school, and she does not know what life holds for her family in the coming days.

Ask her about elections and her patience gives way. “The BJP people slaughtered my family and the government (controlled by the Samajwadi Party) did nothing to save us. We were denied compensation because we did not have money to bribe local officials. Hamare liye to sab chor hain (For us, all of them are thieves),” she said.…

http://www.asianage.com/india/politics/300117/3-years-on-wounds-of-riots-still-raw-in-muzaffarnagar.html

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Sanjay Leela Bhansali Assaulted On Padmavati Sets in Jaipur, Bollywood Demands Action (Jan 28, 2017, NDTV)

Bollywood is furious and actors and filmmakers are demanding action against protesters who assaulted veteran filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the sets of his film Padmavati in Jaipur on Friday. Mr Bhansali was slapped and his hair was pulled at the Jaigarh Fort by members of the Rajput Karni Sena who stormed the film sets and vandalised equipment.…

The Jaipur Police has been quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying that Mr Bhansali has decided to stop filming in the area. “The filmmakers have assured that they will not shoot here and will pack up,” senior police officer Anshuman Bhomia told PTI.

Fellow filmmaker Karan Johar said he is appalled at what has happened with Sanjay Bhansali. “This is the time for all us as an industry to stand by our people and fraternity,” he said. “The film industry has to abandon its politics of silence, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said on Twitter, adding, “Silence is now tantamount to betrayal”. Actor and filmmaker Farhan Akhtar said there was enough evidence and he is waiting to see how many people are punished for what happened to Mr Bansali and his crew. “This is mockery of democracy.…

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/sanjay-leela-bhansali-slapped-on-padmavati-sets-in-rajasthan-1653338

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As Calamity-Hit Farmers Continue To Commit Suicide, SC Asks Govt Why There’s No Policy To Help Them (Jan 28, 2017, India Times)

Having dealt with the issue of farmers’ suicide raised in many PILs earlier, the Supreme Court on Friday found it strange that there was no national policy to compensate tillers for crop failure or indebtedness, two major reasons for them to take their lives.

A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice N V Ramana was dealing with a three-year-old appeal filed by an NGO led by Mallika Sarabhai questioning the rationale behind Gujarat high court’s decision not to entertain its PIL seeking relief for farmers, nearly 600 of whom had committed suicide between 2004-2012.

The CJI said, “It is rather strange that there have been several incidents of farmers’ suicide yet there is no national policy to protect them from crop failure leading to their indebtedness. There must be a policy to compensate farmers for crop failure. This is a national issue and of larger public interest.” Petitioner’s counsel Colin Gonsalves and Gujarat counsel Pritesh Kapur agreed with the bench. The bench suo motu decided to convert the appeal into a PIL and issued notices to the Centre, states and Union Territories.…

http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/as-calamity-hit-farmers-continue-to-commit-suicide-sc-asks-govt-why-there-s-no-policy-to-help-them-270418.html

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Asaram Bapu case: Supreme Court denies bail, orders fresh FIR (Jan 30, 2017, Indian Express)

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the bail application of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu and ordered a fresh FIR against him for attaching a false medical document along with his plea. He was also slapped with Rs 1 lakh in fine for filing a “frivolous petition”.

Asaram, who is facing allegations of sexual assault, moved the apex court for bail on medical grounds. Refusing to modify its earlier order that had declined him interim bail, the Supreme Court bench observed that the instant plea was devoid of merit and, therefore, dismissed.

This was the seventh bail application of the 74-year-old that has been rejected by the court. He was sent to jail in August 2013 for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old school girl.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/supreme-court-denies-bail-sought-on-medical-grounds-to-self-styled-godman-asaram-bapu-4498611/

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Gujarat Dalit rally in Surendranagar takes strong exception to calling human rights NGO Navsarjan anti-national (Jan 25, 2017, Counterview)

Scores of poor people from several towns and villages gathered in Gujarat’s Surendranagar town on Wednesday to protest against the cancellation of foreign funding license of Gujarat’s most well-spread-out Dalit rights NGO, Navsarjan Trust, taking strong exception to the reason for the Government of India order – “undesirable activities of the association detrimental to national interest.”

Demanding reversal of the order on Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) license, the protest took place to mark the 31st anniversary of the massacre of four Dalits in village Golana in Central Gujarat on January 25, 1986.

The event became the main reason for founding Navsarjan as a Dalit rights organization in Gujarat. A separate commemorative gathering took place at Golana, where Dalits paid homage to their colleagues who were killed three decades ago. “Are we anti-nationals because we struggle for our rights?”, was the general view among those who had gathered at the well-organized meet in Surendranagar.…

http://www.counterview.net/2017/01/gujarat-dalit-rally-in-surendranagar.html

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Opinions and Editorials

BJP at its game of communal polarisation in UP – By T R Ramachandran (Jan 25, 2017, Free Press Journal)

…Worried by the SP-Congress truck, the BJP is once again at its game of communal polarisation. In a three-cornered contest, the BJP might well be pushed to the wall with the minority Muslim vote ranged against it.

It is in this context that the Lotus party is seeking to project itself as a saviour of the other backward classes in a desperate bid to regain power in UP after 14 years. Notwithstanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s diktat of steering clear of giving tickets to the relatives of party leaders, the party has just done that. The saffron brigade appears to have alienated its supporters of small traders as well as the Brahmins.…

Judging by the BJP’s first list of candidates it has not given a single seat to a Muslim candidate along with banking on communal polarisation in riot affected western UP. Tickets have been distributed to leaders involved in communal incidents including sitting MLAs Sangeet Som and Suresh Rana, both of whom are accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots. The wife of the BJP/RSS leader accused in last September’s Bijnor incident has also been fielded.… The BJP has again resorted to playing the communal card amid reports that the dominant Jat community is disillusioned with it.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/analysis/bjp-at-its-game-of-communal-polarisation-in-up/1008090

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We, the other – By Abdul Khaliq (Jan 26, 2017, Indian Express)

So inured to injustice have we become as a society that the Mumbai High Court’s outrageous judgment in the Mohsin Shaikh murder case has been largely ignored. The honourable judge has granted bail to three of the accused in the gruesome killing of the young IT professional on the extenuating grounds that the victim belonged to a different religion which provoked the killers to murder him. The short point made is that being a Muslim is sufficient provocation and justification for inviting retribution and death.

I cringe but am not surprised at this mindset, which I believe is pervasive in every walk of life. I have a dear friend – a God-fearing, educated Hindu, who would put his life on the line to protect me from harm. Paradoxically, he also believes that the mass killings of Muslims post-Godhra in 2002, in Muzzaffarnagar in 2013, were justified, that the eight unarmed, alleged SIMI terrorists who were gunned down in an “encounter” in Bhopal met their just deserts. How does one explain this contradiction?

Obviously for my friend, our affinity transcends core beliefs but the fact that he harbours such deep animosity against Muslims in general only reinforces the view that seven decades after Partition, there is no let-up in the pathological hate and distrust that separate Hindus and Muslims.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/mumbai-high-court-mohsin-shaikh-murder-muslims-islamophobia-4491674/

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Uncompassionate Hindutva: ‘World’s Largest Democracy’ Clamps Down on Christians – By Eric Metaxas (Jan 30, 2017, CNS News)

Why would India block foreign donations to help poor children? The answer is Hindutva. On January 13th, Compassion International told the sponsors of 130,000 Indian children that, barring an unlikely turn of events, it would cease operations in India in mid-March.

The announcement came a year after the Indian government told the organization that “it could no longer receive funding from outside the subcontinent.”

While the news dismayed Compassion’s donors, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to those familiar with the deteriorating state of religious freedom in India.…

http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/eric-metaxas/uncompassionate-hindutva-worlds-largest-democracy-clamps-down-christians

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RSS training also produces a Shanmuganathan – By Anil Sharma (Jan 30, 2017, Free Press Journal)

Meghalaya governor V Shanmuganathan, 68, a RSS pracharak has resigned after 80 staff members of the Raj Bhavan wrote a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee that he had converted the place into a young ladies club.

Trouble began for the bachelor governor when he had invited a young aspirant for the PRO’s job on the Raj Bhavan for ‘one-to-one’ interview, and touched her inappropriately. (He reportedly complimented her and compared her looks with that of Bollywood star Deepika Padukone). This happened in December and the RSS pracharak may have been smug in the belief that the incident had passed over without any bad forebodings for him when nothing happened in its immediate aftermath.

But the issue got exposed when the lady concerned shared the details with a journalist friend who was also one of the aspirants for the PRO’s job. In the BJP, appointments to the posts that are made at the government’s discretion are an exclusively organisational affair with the RSS having an upper hand. Usually, the organisational secretary Ram Lal and the party president Amit Shah call the shots with inputs from concerned persons. This is often a time consuming process that tests the patience of the aspirants but the saffron bosses insist on it.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/analysis/anil-sharma-rss-training-also-produces-a-shanmuganathan/1009869

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1984 anti-Sikh riots: Can the Centre deliver justice to victims of mass violence? – By Aakar Patel (Jan 29, 2017, First Post)

How serious is the Indian government about giving justice to the victims and survivors of the Sikh massacre of 1984? It is a question that all Indians should be interested in, because it will clarify whether or not this country can ever deliver justice in acts of mass violence.

In the slaughter that followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi, 3,325 people were murdered, of whom 2,733 were killed in Delhi alone. Powerful leaders from the Congress were named as having participated in the killings. Some of them, like HKL Bhagat, have since died themselves without facing trial. Others like Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler and Kamal Nath are still around. The Ranganath Misra commission that first inquired the massacre recorded their statements in private, in the absence of the victims, and absolved Rajiv Gandhi’s government of responsibility.

A dozen Congress and non-Congress governments at the Centre have come and gone in these 32 years, while little progress was made on the cases. The Vajpayee regime instituted the Nanavati commission, whose report was tabled by Manmohan Singh’s government. This report made public a lot of material that was shocking, and Singh apologised to the country on behalf of Congress. Tytler lost his ministry but no justice was forthcoming.…

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/1984-anti-sikh-riots-can-the-centre-deliver-justice-to-victims-of-mass-violence-3225598.html

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Why are gau-rakshaks supporting Jallikattu? – By Anusha Ravi (Jan 21, 2017, Oneindia.com)

Pro-right wing organisations across the country have been hailing protests in support of Jallikattu, these are the same groups that are up in arms against cow slaughter earning them the name cow-vigilante.

The Supreme Court banned Jallikattu owing to cruelty to animals during the sport, but for those who brand themselves as protectors of the holy cow, nothing about Jallikattu is cruel.

Members of the Bajrang Dal have time and again been in the news for either assaulting others for alleged illegal transport of cattle or assisting police in intercepting vehicles transporting cows largely in the coastal belt of Karnataka.…

http://www.oneindia.com/india/why-are-gau-rakshaks-supporting-jallikattu-2323622.html

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 19th, 2016

by newsdigest on December 28, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

I-T department raids BJP leader Sushil Vaswani for allegedly laundering huge sums of black money (Dec 20, 2016, India Today)

Sushil Vaswani, the BJP leader has been raided by the Income Tax department in Bhopal for allegedly exchanging large amounts of old currency notes with new ones through the Mahanagar Nagrik Cooperative bank. He was once a bus conductor in the now defunct Madhya Pradesh Road Transport Corporation. But that was much before Vaswani made it big in MP BJP politics. He now owns three hotels and several other posh properties in Bhopal.

The raid was simultaneously conducted at 12 different locations in Bhopal on Tuesday that includes his house in the Bairagarh township and the three hotels he owns in various parts of Bhopal. Vaswani is also the founder director of the Mahanagar Nagrik Cooperative Bank that was inaugurated by a top BJP leader in 1992.

Apart from a senior BJP minister Uma Shankar Gupta, senior RSS leader Shashi Bhai Seth are also among the directors of this bank through which the disproportionate exchange of old and new currency notes has allegedly happened. Vaswani also enjoyed a minister of state status in the BJP government when he was appointed the chairman of the MP Housing Corporation. He proudly displays his past status on the name plate of his house that was raided on Tuesday.…

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/sushil-vaswani-bjp-income-tax-raids-black-money-banks/1/839248.html

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NIA court verdict awarding death sentence to five Muslim youth is a travesty of justice: CLMC (Dec 20, 2016, Twocircles.net)

Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee expressed grave concern over the death sentence awarded to five Muslim youth who were accused in the Dilsukhnagar blast case, and said it was based on an unfair trial.

“This committee slams the way trial is conducted without providing any proper legal assistance. There are many errors in conducting trial, the foremost is NIA constituted a fast track court in Cherlapally high security prison. The access to the court for the advocates, media and people was restricted. It was conducted in hasty manner by avoiding due course of law,” the committee said.

The Hyderabad-based organisation added that conducting the trial in the four walls of a high security prison and awarding the death sentence to five Muslim youth by showing them as guilty of terror charges and responsible for Dilsukhnagar bomb blasts is nothing but travesty of justice.…

http://twocircles.net/2016dec20/1482252195.html

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‘Hundreds die’ in India police custody, says rights group report (Dec 19, 2016, BBC)

Nearly 600 people died in police custody in India between 2010 and 2015, says the US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a new report. The rights group said no policeman was convicted for a prisoner’s death in custody during this period.

India’s police routinely attributes deaths in custody to illness, attempted escape, suicide and accidents. But rights groups say a large number of such deaths happen because of torture in custody – claims officials reject.

On Monday, the rights group released a a 114-page report which examines “police disregard for arrest regulations, custodial deaths from torture, and impunity for those responsible”.…

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-38362614

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Communal clash in MP town: Police rescue RSS worker’s nephew (Dec 15, 2016, Indian Express)

The nephew of an RSS functionary whose alleged anti-Islam comment in a WhatsApp group led to communal tension had to be rescued after a large group of Muslims gathered near his home in Sagar town late on Tuesday.

Sanat Soni, whose uncle Dinesh Soni is an RSS functionary, and three Muslim men were booked under National Security Act (NSA) Wednesday and sent to jail.…

While police were dealing with the situation, a large group had gathered near the RSS office in Parkota locality. Local RSS functionaries and BJP leaders wanted the police to carry out searches in Sadar locality. Sagar SP Sachin Atulkar went to the RSS office to accept a memorandum from office bearers around midnight.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/communal-clash-in-madhya-pradesh-town-police-rescue-rss-workers-nephew-4427523/

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13 RSS workers found guilty of 2008 murder of CPI(M) activist in Kerala (Dec 17, 2016, Hindustan Times)

A Kerala court on Friday found 13 RSS activists guilty in the April 2008 murder of a local CPI(M) worker. Additional sessions court judge TK Unnimol will pronounce the quantum of sentence on Saturday.

According to the prosecution, the accused – 16 men armed with swords, iron rods and other weapons – attacked Vishnu at Kaithamukku and killed him.

While one accused died in 2008, another was acquitted by the court on Friday and one is at large. Charges against the accused include that of murder, conspiracy and unlawful assembly.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/13-rss-workers-found-guilty-of-2008-murder-of-cpi-m-activist-in-kerala/story-5i8TRIWqx7UT8m6TTnn99H.html

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SIMI Encounter: Commission probes jailbreak case without visiting premises in Bhopal (Dec 19, 2016, Free Press Journal)

The single member judicial commission investigating the SIMI jailbreak case has not made even a single visit to Bhopal Central Jail. …

The state government instituted the one-member committee chaired by former DGP Nandan Dubey, for probe into the incident and also established the CID investigations. The government also tried to hand over the case to the National Investigation Agency, which it refused.

Later on November 8 the state government instituted the judicial inquiry and appointed retired justice SK Pandey as a chairman of the judicial commission. It was also decided that the commission will submit its report in three months. However, more than one month has passed but the investigation is yet to start. The commission has not visited the jail to investigate the jailbreak incident. The government took around a month to allot the office and the supporting staff to the commission.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/bhopal/simi-encounter-commission-probes-jailbreak-case-without-visiting-premises-in-bhopal/989413

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ABVP activists threaten DU Law Faculty Dean in presence of cops (Dec 18, 2016, DNA India)

The Dean of Delhi University Law Faculty, Ved Kumari was threatened by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists, in the presence of police officers on campus, while they were staging a protest over the detention list of students that was released on Wednesday.

A video went viral on YouTube on Saturday in which the former Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) president and ABVP activist Satender Awana were seen threatening Kumari, even as the police officers stood on silently.

According to the Dean, she was abused and threatened by the students who had failed to meet the attendance required to appear in the examinations. “They abused me in front of the police and even threatened me with dire consequences if they were not given the admit cards, and police did not even bother to stop them. Also, they destroyed my office property,” Kumari told DNA.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/delhi/report-abvp-activists-threaten-du-law-faculty-dean-in-presence-of-cops-2283974

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Indian PM’s camp seeks support from unlikely quarter: Muslim women (Dec 19, 2016, Reuters)

When Narendra Modi stood before faithful followers in October, on a stage swathed in the saffron colours of his Hindu nationalist movement, the Indian leader made an unexpected overture. “It is the responsibility of the government and people of the country to give justice to Muslim women,” the prime minister declared.

Modi’s public political career took off as chief minister of Gujarat state in 2001, just before rioters killed about 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, leading to accusations that he turned a blind eye to the murder and rape going on around him.

Modi denies involvement in the 2002 riots, but his rise to national power in 2014 was accompanied by groups of hardline Hindus attempting mass conversions of Muslims and cases of beating and whipping of Muslim men in broad daylight.…

http://in.reuters.com/article/uk-india-modi-muslims-idINKBN1481OB

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After ‘inadvertently’ renewing, MHA cancels Greenpeace and Teesta Setalvad’s NGOs’ licences (Dec 14, 2016, DNA India)

In a flip-flop, the Home Ministry on Wednesday cancelled renewal of FCRA licences of Greenpeace India and two NGOs run by activist Teesta Setalvad, three months after “inadvertently” renewing those for five years. It also ordered a probe to ascertain if the computer systems had been hacked due to which the licences were renewed “automatically”.

Renewal of licences of Greenpeace India, Teesta’s NGOs Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) stands cancelled with immediate effect, a Home Ministry official said. The Ministry also ordered a review of recent renewal of FCRA registration of 13,000 NGOs to look into the possible violation of rules.

The Home Ministry also ordered a probe by the Computer Emergency Response Team-India to ascertain whether there was hacking of government software systems as there have been several instances where licences of NGOs under scrutiny were renewed automatically.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-after-inadvertently-renewing-mha-cancels-greenpeace-and-teesta-setalvad-s-ngos-licences-2282983

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Tribal girl gang raped by local BJP leader in Madhya Pradesh for 36 hours (Dec 18, 2016, Deccan Chronicle)

A tribal girl in a Madhya Pradesh district was allegedly gang raped by a local BJP leader and his five accomplices for refusing to withdraw a molestation case filed against him by her, police said. The incident took place in Amla in Baitul district.

According to the victim, who is admitted in a serious condition in the district headquarters hospital at Baitul on Saturday, the local BJP leader, a former ward member, along with his five accomplices broke into her house late on Thursday night and abducted her.

“I was taken to nearby jungle and raped for 36 hours by the six. They beat me before raping me … I later walked 13 km to reach Baitul and called my in-laws on phone to narrate my ordeal. They took me to the women’s police station to lodge FIR against the accused. But, I was asked to go to Azad police station to lodge the case. The Azad police station again turned me back asking me to go to Amla police station to file FIR,” she said.…

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/crime/181216/tribal-girl-gang-raped-by-local-bjp-leader-in-madhya-pradesh-for-36-hours.html

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Opinions and Editorials

PM Narendra Modi took bribes from Sahara India 9 times in 6 months, says Rahul Gandhi; is this the big scoop he was talking about? – By Arkadev Ghoshal (Dec 21, 2016, IB Times)

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday made a sensational revelation by saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been bribed nine times over a course of six months by employees of the Sahara India, according to notes in their diaries.…

Speaking at Mehsana in Gujarat – a state where assembly elections are due next year – Gandhi also said records of this monetary exchange to the tune of Rs 40.1 crore have been lying with the Income Tax (I-T) Department for more than two years, but no action had been initiated. He called for an independent enquiry into the allegations.

Rahul Gandhi told the rally: “Employees of the Sahara group wrote in their diaries nine times in six months that they had given money to Narendra Modi [when he was chief minister of Gujarat]. The I-T department raided the Sahara group on November 22, 2014.”…

http://www.ibtimes.co.in/pm-modi-took-bribe-sahara-india-9-times-6-months-says-rahul-gandhi-this-big-earthquake-he-was-709356

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Demonetisation has failed, Modi will too – By Salman Nizami (Dec 20, 2016, Dailyo.in)

Have you noticed the bitterness with which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been speaking at public meetings of late, including the one in Kanpur in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh? The lively, interactive speeches, loaded with blunt humour, with which the PM pulled crowds have given way to scornful outbursts suggesting “I know it all” and “you know nothing” supremacism, as people question his rationale for demonetisation.

Political scientists say when a leader turns bitter at his people, rebukes them for failing to laud his initiatives, and demands deference instead of offering arguments, his fall is near. You don’t need a bunch of economists or opposition leaders to tell you demonetisation has backfired. Modi and Amit Shah’s demeanour says it all. Newspapers a few days ago were littered with reports on how Shah lost his cool when BJP’s top state leaders apprised him about the seething public mood due to the cash crunch.

This is an illustration that he and his master want to live in a make-believe world where there is all validation and no question. When rulers act so, it shows that they have not only lost the plot, but there is no option left for redemption.…

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/modi-amit-shah-demonetisation-manmohan-black-money-cashless-india-nrega/story/1/14645.html

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Patriotism, by order – By V. Venkatesan (Jan 6, 2016, Frontline)

In an interim order delivered on November 30, the Supreme Court bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy observed that when the national anthem is sung, the concept of protocol associated with it has its inherent roots in national identity and integrity and constitutional patriotism. After this passing observation, without any reasoning, the bench issued several directions with regard to screening of feature films in cinema halls in India.…

The bench’s reasoning betrayed inadequate understanding of rights guaranteed under the Constitution and ignorance of how Fundamental Duties, enumerated through an amendment of the Constitution during the Emergency, have to be promoted. Also missing in this so-called reasoning of the bench was the answer to the question why cinema halls must be singled out for the observance of “constitutional patriotism”.…

The interim order has already begun to have its toll: 12 persons, including two women, were detained by the police for not standing while the anthem was being played at the International Film Festival of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram on December 12, while eight persons, including three women, were attacked by a group of 20 in a Chennai cinema hall, for not standing during the playing of the anthem. This vigilante group forced the police to register a case against the eight under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act. The danger of the Supreme Court’s interim order encouraging moral policing and use of force by vigilante groups to ensure compliance with it, resulting in breach of public order, appears real.

http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/patriotism-by-order/article9436399.ece

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Sachar Report gathers dust, Abolishing Personal Laws cant change dark realities – By Humra Quraishi (Dec 23, 2016, Milli Gazette Online)

…Ten long years have passed by and though Justice Sachar and his team had put together a detailed and comprehensive report on the condition of the largest minority community of India, yet the establishment ducked or backtracked or played politics at the crucial implementation level. Statistics show that today the condition of the Muslim has touched the lowest rung.

Perhaps, the establishment wasn’t ever serious in trying to bring about a change in the surviving patterns of this minority community. Why I’m saying so is because several years before the Sachar Committee was setup there was the Gopal Singh Commission Report and then more recently, in 2014, the Kundu Commission Report, with focus on the conditions faced by the Muslims of this land. Yet, look at the dark realities around…getting darker by the day.…

Today there is a sense of insecurity amongst the Muslims. Writ large are the double standards and biases in the very governance and also the dictates of the political mafia and of the ‘saffronized’ cops. Muslims also stress that they there are comfortable with their Personal Laws. “Just because some ‘mischief maker’ misuses or twists those provisions does not mean that there ought to be changes. Non- issues are played up by the BJP-RSS in the garb of betterment of the community. Tomorrow these goons will say change your names or surnames!”…

http://www.milligazette.com/news/15185-sachar-report-gathers-dust-abolishing-personal-laws-cant-change-dark-realities

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A fine balance – By Sushant Singh (Dec 20, 2016, Indian Express)

It is an occurrence so rare in India that the announcement of Lt General Bipin Rawat as the new army chief by superseding two of his seniors – Lt General Praveen Bakshi and Lt General P.M. Hariz – was bound to cause controversy.…

As an outcome of that insularity and to shield military promotions from “political interference”, the system arrived at this norm of following the seniority for selecting military chiefs. It is not enshrined in any law or rule book, but has been followed bar once in 1983 when Lt General S.K. Sinha was overlooked for promotion to the post of army chief by the Indira Gandhi government. There have been a couple of similar cases in the navy and the air force, but none as controversial as Lt General Sinha who promptly resigned from service.…

Formalising and institutionalising the process of selection will remove arbitrariness while shielding the military from political interference. It will also instill a sense of fairness while rewarding merit. Doing this will take a lot of effort from the political leadership but in its absence, the politicians will be leaving themselves open to all kinds of charges of favouritism, parochialism and sectarianism. As in 1962, any future military setback will then be laid at the door of the politicians. Jettisoning the principle of seniority without creating a better alternative will be detrimental to the delicate balance of civil-military relations, which boasts of an unblemished track record in India so far.

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/indian-army-chief-bipin-rawat-appointment-4435946/

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Najeeb disappearance: Has Modi govt catapulted AVBP into a parallel power centre in Indian universities? – By Monobina Gupta (Dec 10, 2016, First Post)

The Delhi High Court has rightly pulled up the police for failing to trace Najeeb Ahmed, a student of the Jawaharlal Nehru University who has been missing since October. “It is over 50 days. Still you (police) do not know about his whereabouts. How can somebody vanish suddenly and police have no clue about it? Even if we think of the worst, something has to be found out. We are pained that the missing person has not been traced till date,” a bench consisting of justices GS Sistani and Vinod Goel said.

Next week will mark two months since Najeeb disappeared from the JNU campus. Till date, the investigating agencies have failed to come up with any concrete information – reassuring or otherwise – about the student’s whereabouts. We don’t know what happened to Najeeb after he went missing following a physical scuffle with students of the BJP-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).…

Given the larger context of the politicisation of the police, and the immediate memory of the bitterness between JNU students and Central government, the callousness in Najeeb’s case, does not really come as a surprise. Nor is it particularly shocking that university authorities – not just in JNU but across India’s higher educational institutions – are treating the ABVP with kid gloves. This student organisation, as everyone can plainly see, operates more like an ideological and political arm of the BJP and less like an organisation concerned with issues on campus plaguing the student community.

http://www.firstpost.com/india/najeeb-disappearance-has-modi-govt-catapulted-avbp-into-a-parallel-power-centre-in-indian-universities-3149886.html

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 20th, 2015

July 21, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Continued vendetta against Teesta Setalvad condemned by Indian Americans News Headlines CBI raid at Teesta’s house ‘vindictive’, say Opposition MPs Naroda Patiya Riots Case: HC bench recuses itself, says accused tried to approach them Communal tension forces Maharashtra town to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr under curfew Jamnagar custodial death case: […]

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