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Babri Masjid demolition case

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 29th, 2017

by newsdigest on June 7, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Babri Masjid demolition case: CBI court frames ‘criminal conspiracy’ charges against Advani, Joshi, Bharti and others (May 30, 2017, Indian Express)

A CBI special court on Tuesday granted bail to BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti in the Babri Masjid demolition case. The bail was granted on personal bond of Rs 50,000 each. The court has, however, rejected the discharge petitions filed by the leaders. The conspiracy charges have been framed against all the 12 accused.

The court, which earlier rejected their discharge petition, framed charges against Advani (89), Joshi (83), Union minister Bharti (58) and three others under Section 120 (B) of the IPC (criminal conspiracy). The three others are the BJP’s Vinay Katiyar (62), VHP’s Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, who is in his late eighties, and one-time Hindutva firebrand Sadhvi Rithambara (53).…

This was the first time that these leaders had appeared before a court in connection with this case. Last month, the Supreme Court had restored the criminal conspiracy charges framed against Advani, Joshi, Bharti and other accused while overruling the Allahabad High Court judgment. Bharti, the union water resources minister, was also summoned to appear before the court along with BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Vishnu Hari Dalmia and one-time firebrand Hindutva preacher Sadhvi Ritambara.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/babri-masjid-demolition-case-lk-advani-murli-manohar-joshi-uma-bharti-bjp-leaders-granted-bail-by-special-cbi-court/

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Cow vigilantism: RSS man arrested for torching truck, cops say vehicle had bulls (May 26, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Police in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara have arrested 5 people, including a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), for torching a truck they thought was carrying cows for slaughter, officials said on Friday.…

Station house officer of the Kacchola police station, Damodar Sharma, told the Hindustan Times they arrested Lokesh, Sanvra Jat, Bhagchand Regar, Shankar Dhakad and Nanda Gurjar on Thursday for “setting fire to the truck and creating a ruckus”. Sharma said those arrested are associated with the RSS, the ideological mentor of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Gau Raksha Dal.…

“There were no cows in the truck and all the animals that were being transported were bulls. The animals were being taken to a cattle fair in Udaipur from various villages in Bhilwara. The owners of the bulls wanted to sell them to other farmers for farm work,” said the SHO.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/rss-worker-4-others-arrested-for-torching-truck-transporting-bulls-in-rajasthan/story-1iN7x171kAJyHSPYJ7MC1K.html

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Madras High Court stays Centre’s notification on sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets (May 30, 2017, The Hindu)

The Madras High Court Bench in Madurai on Tuesday stayed the operation of Rules 22(b)(iii) and 22(e) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulations of Livestock Markets) Rules 2017 notified by the Centre on May 23 banning the sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets.

A Division Bench of Justices M.V. Muralidaran and C.V. Karthikeyan granted the interim stay for four weeks on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition challenging the constitutional validity of the rules.

S. Selvagomathy (45), an activist-cum-lawyer based in Madurai, filed the PIL petition on grounds that the statutory rules were repugnant to the parent Act itself since Section 28 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act of 1960 specifically states that it shall not be an offence to kill any animal in a manner required by the religion of any community.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/pil-against-new-animal-slaughter-rules/article18625410.ece

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Human rights abuses against minorities on rise in India: Indian-American group (May 24, 2017, Hindustan Times)

An alliance of Indian-American groups has alleged that human rights abuses against social and religious minorities have been on the ascendance under the current BJP-led government in the last three years. The report ‘Minority Rights Violations in India by Alliance for Justice and Accountability’ was prepared by the alliance, which represents several Indian-American groups…. The groups include Indian-American Muslim Council, Dalit American Coalition, Organisation of Minorities from India, TwoCircles and South Asian Solidarity Initiative.

The report has alleged “massive abuses” of human rights by state and non-state actors. “Human rights abuses against India’s social and religious minorities have been on the ascendance since the BJP government came to power. This grim reality is already being acknowledged within India as well as internationally,” the report, released at the Rayburn House office building at the US Capitol, alleged.

Running into more than 60 pages, the report alleged the unprecedented success of the BJP post 2014 has provided a “tremendous fillip to Hindu supremacist forces” who form a significant portion of its base. “The latter’s attacks on religious minorities have amplified. State agencies, including law enforcement and the bureaucracy are constitutionally mandated to act against such bigotry and supremacism. Alarmingly, these institutions are now under the control of the very Hindu ultranationalist forces who have run anti-minority campaigns,” it alleged, adding that impunity for police and security officials has touched a new high in India in recent years.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/human-rights-abuses-against-minorities-on-rise-in-india-indian-american-group/story-pYVmC22dDJfQ4Ro1ousclK.html

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Fresh Clashes in UP’s Saharanpur Leave One Dead, Several Injured (May 24, 2017, The Wire)

The Uttar Pradesh police heightened security across the Saharanpur district on Wednesday, May 24 after one person died and several were injured in fresh clashes between members of the Thakur community and Dalits in three villages of the region on Tuesday, according to Hindustan Times.

The communally sensitive region of Saharanpur has been rocked by inter-caste violence since April. On Tuesday, May 23, some Dalits allegedly set fire to the homes of 12 Rajputs in Shabbirpur village ahead of Mayawati’s visit, which led to increased tensions between the two communities. The intervention of the police prevented a flare-up at the time.

According to an Outlook report, during her visit to Shabbirpur village, the BSP chief blamed the BJP-led UP government for the continuing violence and said that they had failed to stop their own party brigades from inciting clashes.…

https://thewire.in/139438/up-government-blames-mayawati-for-fresh-violence-between-dalits-and-thakurs/

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Saharanpur clashes: Suspended cop was indicted over Muzaffarnagar riots (May 25, 2017, Hindustan Times)

A senior police officer suspended on Thursday over deadly caste clashes in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur was previously “held responsible” for the 2013 communal riots in Muzaffarnagar by a judicial committee.

Subhash Chandra Dubey, suspended as Saharanpur’s senior superintendent of police, headed in 2013 the district police in Muzaffanagar, the epicentre for communal clashes that left more than 60 people dead.

“So far as Subhash Chandra Dubey is concerned, I have already held that the government of UP has prime facie found him responsible for riots; pending inquiry has suspended him and I am in agreement with the view of government of UP,” said the report by Vishnu Kant Sahai.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/saharanpur-dalit-thakur-clashes-suspended-top-cop-also-indicted-over-2013-muzaffarnagar-riots/story-LHWXIBXSItqPkkEYF7cgKK.html

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By Inciting Violence, Paresh Rawal, MP, Must Surely Forfeit His Seat (May 26, 2017, The Wire)

When actor and BJP MP Paresh Rawal recently tweeted that Arundhati Roy and others be tied to an army jeep, he was making a laudatory reference to the degrading and inhuman treatment meted out to a citizen, Farooq Ahmed Dar – who was tied to a jeep by army Major Leetul Gogoi as a human shield against stone pelters during the recent elections in Kashmir. Astonishingly, Gogoi has received a commendation card from the army for this act.

Rawal’s statement is particularly serious as it is not restricted to the specific action, but is an incitement to further violence of that nature against civilians at large. With each passing day, we see the escalation of violence at every level against persons belonging to marginalised social groups. In recent times this has been particularly visible in the orchestrated attacks against Muslims by ‘cow protection’ vigilantes.

This incitement to deploy degrading and inhuman treatment and brutal violence against a writer – incitement that is tacitly supported by the ruling party – has the immediate danger of escalating the gruesome violence that we are already a witnesses to. This is violence being propagated on social media by an MP of the ruling BJP.…

https://thewire.in/140026/paresh-rawal-arundhati-roy-human-shield-tweet/

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Muslim-Dominated Malegaon, Bhiwandi Reject BJP in Maha Civic Polls (May 27, 2017, The Quint)

Counting for elections held in three municipal corporation in Maharashtra – Panvel, Bhiwandi and Malegaon – concluded today, voting for which took place on 24 May. The three parts saw a voter turnout of 55, 53 and 60 percent respectively.

The elections are significant because the BJP tried to make inroads into the Muslim-majority areas of Malegaon and Bhiwandi, from where it fielded not only a record number of candidates, but also a record number of Muslim candidates. The aim was to snub the Shiv Sena, which has been threatening to exit its alliance with the BJP, which had brought them to power in the 2014 Assembly elections.

However, BJP suffered a humiliating defeat in both areas, where the Congress party emerged as the winner.…

https://www.thequint.com/india/2017/05/27/maharashtra-civic-body-poll-results-bhiwandi-malegaon-bjp-congress

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Bilkis Bano gang-rape case: SC refuses to stay conviction of IPS officer (May 30, 2017, Hindustan Times)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay the conviction of an IPS officer in the 2002 Bilkis Bano case. A vacation bench of Justices A K Sikri and Deepak Gupta said that there is no urgency for hearing the matter as the convicted officer has already undergone the sentence.

The bench, however, listed the matter for hearing in the second week of July, observing the fine is of Rs 15,000 only. IPS officer RS Bhagora, currently serving in Gujarat, has been convicted along with four other policemen by the Bombay High Court recently after the trial court had acquitted them.

The counsel appearing for Bhagora said if the conviction is not stayed, then he will be terminated from the service as per service rules.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/bilkis-bano-gang-rape-case-sc-refuses-to-stay-conviction-of-ips-officer/story-0BR2eXDvY6NoA4cXYP1xXP.html

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Clean Yourselves With Soap Before Meeting Adityanath, Dalit Villagers Told (May 28, 2017, The Wire)

Days after the house of a slain BSF soldier was given a temporary ‘makeover’ to make chief minister Adityanath’s visit to the family more comfortable, media reports claim that Dalit villagers in Uttar Pradesh were given soap, detergent and shampoo to ‘clean’ themselves before the Uttar Pradesh CM’s recent meeting with them.

“I got the soaps from the Anganwadi women. I didn’t get the shampoo, but others did. I was told to take a bath with the soap before going for the meeting. We already use soap which we buy from the local shop. What’s going to change with just two bars of soap,” a villager told the Indian Express. Musahar Dalit families are the primary residents of UP’s Mainpur Deenapatti village in Kushinagar district. The community is discriminated against for being ‘untouchables’.…

“The incident at the village of [the] Musahar community has depicted the true face of BJP, the RSS and in particular of their CM. They have insulted the entire community in that village but more importantly they have most importantly insulted the very concept of Dalit in this country,” Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi told ANI. “Appropriate case must be registered under the very specific and powerful and wide provisions of ST/ SC act against this brazen and shocking form of untouchability and the CM and the officials must immediately unconditionally, comprehensively apologise to the entire community,” he added.…

https://thewire.in/140934/adityanath-up-dalits-soap/

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Opinions and Editorials

A nation of vigilantes – Lynch mob republic – By Mukul Kesavan (May 28, 2017, The Telegraph)

These three years have seen the State fuse with the street to create a vigilante nation. If India’s first national movement was a mobilization against foreign rulers, the new nationalism, the principal style of which is vigilantism, is directed at the enemy within.…

Modern vigilantes bend the system to their will and take the law into their hands with the tacit or explicit blessing of the State and in the name of the virtuous Nation. This is a Nation that is insufficiently realized because its coming into being has been thwarted by a false nationalism and a corruptly administered republic. The new vigilante is insurgent in this thwarted Nation’s cause.…

Institutions take decades to build and moments to undo. Vigilante nationalism has corroded our universities, our armed forces, our media organizations, and our mechanisms of law and order. It will destroy them if we keep bending rules and abandoning due process to prove our patriotic credentials or worse, to challenge those of others. Fascism is best understood as violent nationalism with the violence turned inwards.… If India ever takes a fascist turn, vigilante nationalists will be our Brownshirts.

https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170528/jsp/opinion/story_153811.jsp

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Is the Ban On Cow Slaughter Animal Protection Or Hindutva Agenda? – By Dr K Narayana (May 29, 2017, Milli Gazette)

The recent ban on cow slaughter is nothing but surgical attack on very fundamental rights of the citizens under our Constitution. This is not real affection of manuwadis towards cows. But it is an attempt to drag votes of majority community.

Basically, the present unilateral order of environment ministry is anti-dalits, anti-minorities and above all anti-farmers. The present order is snatching away the very right to live. Is it a majority people’s decision of the country? What right they have to pass such an order without taking the consent of Parliament, the law-maker of the biggest democracy?

As of now, the ruling BJP has the support of only 32 per cent of votes. That means 68 per cent of Indian voters have either rejected them or did not vote for them. How can the environment ministry pass such an order on a matter concerning Indian economy, people’s food habits and their petty businesses? Gujarat, the BJP-ruled state and from there the Prime Minister Modi has come to the Center, is exporting beef to the tune of 25 thousands crores of rupees.… The Apex court should intervene, take this issue as a sou moto case and protect the liberty of 125 crore of people of our nation and their right to live.

http://www.milligazette.com/news/15627-is-the-ban-on-cow-slaughter-animal-protection-or-hindutva-agenda

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Modi celebrates three years in office as Saharanpur burns – By Abid Shah (May 25, 2017, National Herald)

Amid growing caste and communal discrimination and strife, the Narendra Modi, Government has not only preferred to look the other way but is also gearing up to embark upon a 15-day long anniversary of three years of his rule. And, as yet another anniversary bash of the government awaits to kick off in Guwahati on May 26 this time, the past two similar events – at Saharanpur in 2016 and at Mathura a year before that – stand out as stark reminders of merriment amid utter disregard and lack of empathy to sad realities on the ground.

It was a year ago, on May 26, 2016 to be exact, when PM Modi addressed a huge rally at Saharanpur in western Uttar Pradesh (UP) to mark the second anniversary of his rule. He had also set the tone for the Assembly elections in the then poll-bound state in Saharanpur. With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) winning a mandate and Yogi Adityanath sworn in as the chief minister, Saharanpur is in the news for all the wrong reasons, rather than hope that the PM had promised last year.

Thus, scores of poor Dalits from embattled parts of the unfortunate district, as also from the nearby areas, had to take to the streets of Delhi last Sunday to express their ire over caste violence and arson, that robbed many of them of their hearths and homes besides putting them at grave risk. Through this grim caste crisis, the head of Dalit outfit Bhim Army, Chandrashekhar Azad, said that Dalits were Hindus before the polls and became Dalits again after the polls were over.…

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/opinion/2017/05/25/narendra-modi-celebrates-three-years-in-office-as-saharanpur-burns

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Babri Prosecution Will Not Be Safe in CBI’s Hands Unless the Supreme Court Monitors Its Work – By G.S. Chawla (May 30, 2017, The Wire)

Last month, the Supreme Court decided that senior BJP leaders like L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and others must be tried for the charge of conspiring to demolish the Babri Masjid and ordered that their trial in Lucknow be held on a day-to-day basis. On May 30, Advani and the others were formally charged with criminal conspiracy and then granted bail by the trial court on sureties of Rs 20,000.

Though the Supreme Court has fixed a period of two years for the trial’s completion, this is unlikely to happen unless the apex court directly supervises matters and also monitors the role of the CBI – the prosecuting agency – during the course of the trial. The trial court can give its verdict only on the basis of the evidence placed before it and it is the CBI that will have to provide the evidence.

Unfortunately, the CBI’s past record in this case does not inspire confidence about its impartiality. The investigating agency has already shown three different faces in this case, lending credence to the belief that it is a ‘Cover-up Bureau of Investigation’. There are many instances to prove this charge and even the apex court had described the CBI as a “caged parrot”.…

https://thewire.in/139208/babri-prosecution-will-not-safe-hands-cbi/

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‘Isn’t this our country?’ Why Indian Muslims feel shaken and ‘harassed’ – By Prashant Jha (May 30, 2017, Hindustan Times)

… University in Bareilly. The daughter of a mechanic, her parents battled hostile relatives, uncomfortable with sending a girl to college, and decided to educate her- she will become the first engineer in her family. Nisha has made friends with her classmates, a majority of Hindus. But something changed during the 2017 elections in UP. “I did not feel this earlier. But in this election, among our friends, this feeling of being Hindu and Muslim sharpened. In discussions, our friends made us feel we were different.” She says the BJP had created this ‘division’.…

Whether it is indeed, factually, their religious identity which is leading to Adnan’s loan being rejected, Alam’s voice not being heard, Ahmad or Khan being called anti-national, Nisha and Tanweer feeling a sense of distance from their friends, Roshan getting uncomfortable watching television, or Nehaal struggling to get funds for his campus is one part of the story, open to debate.

The more important part is that all of them feel that this is discrimination that stems from their religious identity. And all of this is leading to a question that Khan – the Kishanganj student – asks bluntly, “I have always felt Indian. But today, I am being forced to ask myself – is this my country?”

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/isn-t-this-our-country-why-muslims-in-uttar-pradesh-feel-shaken-harassed/story-JuOWUrpN8uMPcvJ13GzoVI.html

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Bodo Villager Accounts Corroborate Top Cop’s Custodial Killing Charge Against CRPF in Assam – By Rajeev Bhattacharya (May 29, 2017, The Wire)

…It was around midnight when the family was woken up by continuous knocks on the door by four unarmed people. They asked for shelter and were subsequently allowed to sleep in one of the three huts in the small compound. Two members from the squad slipped out to another destination to spend the night. After about three hours, there was more noise and Basumatary’s mother, Binu, rushed out only to find the entire compounded being surrounded by police and army personnel. They entered the hut and dragged all the three people outside. While Basumatary was left behind, the other two who were picked up, have been identified as Lukas Narzary and David Islary – who were allegedly shot at Mandarguri located about five kilometres from the village.…

Anjali Daimary, president of Boro Women’s Justice Forum, feels that fake encounters have been more in Chirang and Kokrajhar than the other two districts of BTAD. She narrated an instance when the army shot a person by mistake, but had to give a job to the son of the victim after protests erupted.

There is no dearth of such instances in this border region where concrete roads sometimes vanish into the long and short shrubs abounding the area and where other basis amenities like electricity are yet to become realities of life. Another example comes from Mowphor village where Donda was apprehended from a house and shot in Khirubari. The villages have been warned several times by the security forces to keep their mouth shut and not to reveal anything to outsiders.

https://thewire.in/141092/assam-fake-encounters-crpf/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 6th, 2015

by newsdigest on April 7, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar demands BJP’s explanation for 2002 Gujarat riots (Apr 4, 2015, Economic Times)

Launching a scathing attack on the BJP for its “jungle raj 2” barb, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today asked “what were the 2002 Gujarat riots?” “Godhra ka 2002 ka danga kya tha iska jawab de (They should answer what were the 2002 communal riots at Godhra in Gujarat)?” Kumar told reporters in a strong retort to BJP President Amit Shah over his “jungle raj 2” remarks at BJP National Executive meeting in Bengaluru.

“What moral right do they have to talk over the law and order situation in other places?” he asked coming out of a function of the state Road Construction Department here. Kumar, who assumed reins of the state for the fourth time on February 22, said the rule of law prevailed in Bihar.

On Shah’s claim that BJP would rule for more than 10 years, Kumar in a sarcastic comment said it has started losing steam and is drawing the anger of people even before the completion of a year in power. The Bihar CM said the BJP was an expert in making such tall claims in a bid to “hide its failure” and added the party was good in making “jumblebazi” (superlative sayings). …

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46804908.cms

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1992 Jalandhar fake encounters: 8 ex-cops get life sentence (Apr 1, 2015, Hindustan Times)

Pronouncing its verdict in two 1992 fake encounter cases, the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Tuesday awarded life sentence to eight retired policemen, including a former superintendent of police (SP).

Personnel of the Nakodar police in Jalandhar district had killed constable Baljit Singh in a fake encounter on September 1, 1992 and shot dead constables Rajwinder Singh and Mukhtiar Singh on September 6 that year. Baljit’s body was found, but not those of the other two.

While eight retired police officials were convicted and sentenced, 17 others were acquitted by the court due to lack of evidence. Those convicted in the Baljit Singh case are retired SP Ram Singh, Ajit Singh, Ajaib Singh, Amrit Singh and serving inspector Harbhajan Singh.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/patiala/1992-jalandhar-fake-encounters-8-cops-get-life-sentence/article1-1332589.aspx

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Main accused in Patna blast case arrested (Apr 4, 2015, The Hindu)

The main accused in the March 30 bomb blast here was arrested in Nalanda district on Friday. Two other accused are still at large. Police officers told The Hindu that Kundan Kumar was arrested at Ekangarsarai.

“It was a joint operation by a special team of the Patna police and the Anti-Terrorist Squad. We’ve been keeping track of his movement for long,” Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Jitendra Singh Rana said. The other accused are Hemant Kumar and Ashok Kumar.

Two improvised bombs were recovered after a low-intensity blast at a residential flat in Bahadurpur here. The bombs were wired to the same ‘Lotus’ brand timer as those used in the 2013 serial blasts at Bodh Gaya and the Gandhi Maidan blast during a BJP rally. “With the arrest of the prime accused, we hope to arrest the other two soon,” Mr. Rana told The Hindu.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/main-accused-in-patna-blast-case-arrested/article7066425.ece

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Babri Masjid demolition case: Courts are ‘the only way ahead when accused are in govt’, says Haji Mehboob (Apr 1, 2015, Indian Express)

Haji Mehboob, 77, is a well-known figure in Ayodhya for residents as well as the journalists who travel there every so often to report on the mandir-masjid dispute.

A member of the Aman Committee, he is held in high regard but his standing was not able to prevent the arson and looting that accompanied the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992. He fled to a neighbouring village relatively untouched by the tension. His Ayodhya home is just a stone’s throw from what used to be the Babri Masjid.

Asked what prompted him to petition the Supreme Court at a time when the BJP was in a full majority in the Centre and L K Advani had been awarded the Padma Bhushan just hours earlier, he replied, “I believe that there is justice and I have full faith in the Supreme Court.”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/babri-masjid-demolition-case-courts-are-the-only-way-ahead-when-accused-are-in-govt-says-haji-mehboob/

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Muslims have been massacred during RSS-induced riots: Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind president (Mar 31, 2015, Oneindia.com)

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JUH), one of the largest Muslim organisations in India, has claimed that the country is ‘on the verge of partition’ due to the ruling BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) leaders.

“The BJP and RSS leaders are making such (communal) statements to create terror in the mind of the Muslim community, but the PM is silent as he is under pressure from the RSS. We are observing the Sangh for the last 70 years and know its true agenda. They cannot mislead us by their occasional sympathetic statements,” JUH president Arshad Madani was quoted by an India Today report as saying in Deoband, Saharanpur, on Monday.

He said the country would be divided again if these people are not stopped. “The RSS is harmful not only for the Muslim community, but also for the Hindus. The country was divided in the past because of the same communal forces. We fear that India will once again be divided if such forces are not stopped from their design to communalise the entire country,” the JUH chief added. Madani demanded stern action from the Modi Government against those who make hate speeches to terrorise any community.…

http://www.oneindia.com/india/muslims-have-been-massacred-during-rss-induced-riots-jamiat-ulama-i-hind-president-1701536.html

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Hardline Hindutva hurts Modi sarkar: 300 days after he stormed into Delhi durbar, PM’s popularity has been hit by ‘ghar wapsi’ (Apr 2, 2015, Daily Mail)

The perceived communal overtones dominating the political space in the form of the saffron outfits’ ghar wapsi programme are beginning to hurt the Narendra Modi-led NDA government. The latest India Today Group-Cicero Mood of The Nation Survey shows that the BJP would lose at least 27 Lok Sabha seats from its current tally if elections were held today.

In the opinion poll, 38 per cent of the 12,000 respondents rated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s performance as ‘good’. Of those who participated in the opinion poll, 22 per cent categorised it as ‘excellent’ and only 11 per cent said they were ‘unhappy’ with the first 10 months of the National Democratic Alliance government.

The findings of the opinion poll should come as a wake-up call for the Union government as people might be satisfied overall with its performance on the counts of governance, economy and foreign affairs, but the communal tag is pulling its image down.…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-3023689/Hardline-Hindutva-hurts-Modi-sarkar-300-days-stormed-Delhi-durbar-PM-s-popularity-hit-ghar-wapsi.html

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BJP leader, 11 others booked for threatening Sama resident (Mar 26, 2015, Times of India)

BJP leader Dharmendrasinh Vaghela and 11 others were booked late on Tuesday night for abusing and threatening a Sama resident. Deepak Chauhan registered an FIR at Sama police station wherein he stated that Vaghela and other accused threatened him thrice in last two months and pressurized him to vacate his property.

The police action came after the Gujarat high court on March 20 issued an order to the police to register FIR against the accused. Chauhan had approached the high court and complained of police inaction.

Chauhan has said in his FIR that the accused first abused and threatened him on February 6 and February 12 this year. The accused again approached him on March 17 and threatened him before asking him to vacate the home he stays in.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46697224.cms

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Why beef ban in Indian state undermines secularism (Apr 4, 2015, BBC)

…Many Muslims see the extension of the beef ban as evidence of an assault on one of the key principles on which independent India was founded – secularism. Secularism in India means something a little different from elsewhere. It doesn’t mean the state stays out of religion, here it means the state is committed to supporting different religions equally.

India’s secularism was a response to horrors of the partition when millions of people were murdered as Hindus and Muslims fled their homes. The country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, argued equal treatment was a reasonable concession to the millions of Muslims who’d decided to risk all by staying in India. But India is now governed by a Hindu nationalist party, the BJP. It sees India as a Hindu nation.…

That’s why while the idea of cow mug shots may be amusing, the beef ban is deadly serious. India’s triumph has been forging a nation in which Hindus and Muslims can live happily together. The fear is that the beef ban is part of a process that is gradually undermining the compromises that made that possible.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-32172768

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FIR registered against 3 police officers in Mathura for alleged gangrape of a woman (Mar 31, 2015, First Post)

An FIR has been registered against three police personnel, including a sub-inspector, for allegedly raping a woman in Goverdhan town in Mathura, police said on Monday.

According to a complaint filed by the woman, Sub-Inspector Ganga Prasad and two constables gangraped her on 12 December last year and also threatened her of dire consequences if she narrates the incident to anyone, Dy SP Anil Yadav said.

A case has been registered against the accused under section 376 (rape), 120b (criminal conspiracy), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), and 506 (criminal intimidation) on the intervention of the court, he said.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/fir-registered-3-police-officers-mathura-alleged-gangrape-woman-2180675.html

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Two Dalit women thrashed inside police station; 4 cops suspended (Apr 4, 2015, DNA India)

In an alleged case of police brutality, two Dalit women were purportedly beaten up by a sub-inspector and his subordinates inside outer Delhi’s Rohini south police station, following which four police personnel were suspended. The women, in their complaint, have alleged that the sub-inspector and some women police personnel thrashed them inside the police station on Friday, forcing them to confess in a case of robbery. The victims, who are in their early twenties, were taken to the police station for questioning at 9:30 AM yesterday and left around 5 PM.

The women were later taken to Ambedkar Hospital for treatment where a large number of locals created ruckus over the alleged custodial brutality. Heavy police deployment had to be made to bring the situation under control. …

Four police personnel, including sub-inspector Rajveer who had allegedly beaten the two women, were today suspended, Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat told PTI. The other three suspended are women constables deputed at the police station.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/delhi/report-delhi-two-dalit-women-thrashed-inside-police-station-4-cops-suspended-2074762

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Opinions and Editorials

How the State kills and buries the truth – By Saurav Datta (Apr 1, 2015, DNA India)

…As was already known for too long, and as is being brought to the fore again, successive governments of Uttar Pradesh and their law enforcement agencies tried every trick in the book to subvert the trial, and boy, what a success they have achieved! In his Order acquitting all the 19 PAC personnel charged with the unprovoked and deliberate killing of 42 Muslim men, Jindal is constrained to observe that the case is essentially all about circumstantial evidence, because, in 28 years, the prosecution hadn’t managed to produce any material evidence which could be deemed credible in the eyes of law.…

Would an appeal against the Hashimpura judgement be an exercise in futility, now that 28 years have passed, and all material evidence crucial to the case must have been destroyed, and that three of the 19 accused are no more alive? It most likely will, unless of course the courts compel disclosure of the CID report. It would also ensure that the real names are brought forth, because many a time and oft, lower-ranking policemen (the highest-ranking among the Hashimpura accused was a sub-inspector) are made scapegoats for the deviousness of their superior officers.

Till date, all UP governments – Congress, BJP, SP and BSP- have resolutely claimed legislative privilege (and the specious plea of disturbance of communal harmony) to not disclose that damning report. An appeal to the appropriate high court, or if not, the Supreme Court, directed not against the 16 PAC men, but the state of UP, could well be the first step towards complete justice for Hashimpura.

http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/standpoint-how-the-state-kills-and-buries-the-truth-2073910

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A Festering Sore On Indian Democracy – By Pradyot Lal, NK Bhoopesh & Anurag Tripathi (Apr 11, 2015, Tehelka)

… If ever a comprehensive study is undertaken to determine the role of law-enforcing agencies in ‘helping’ spreadcommunal riots in free India, what happened in somnolent Moradabad where all that glitters is brass is instructive. Around 3,000 namazis had turned up at the idgah to render Friday prayers when some pigs mysteriously found their way among them causing instant commotion. What followed was even more macabre, as the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel who were on duty failed to chase away the offending animals in time.

Instead, as brickbatting of the police and PAC personnel ensued, they indiscriminately opened fire causing several in the congregation to die instantly. There was already enough tension between the factory owners and the artisans who were usually drawn from different communities. The demographic structure of the city, however, was not reflected in its political representation. Two generations after the riot, the scars are yet to heal.

As sociologist Satish Sabherwal and historian Mushirul Hasan averred a couple of months after the riots, neither the then UP chief minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh nor the leaders at the Centre went beyond offering palliatives to the victims. This was ‘democratic’ India’s second tryst with the PAC after the revolt in its ranks in the mid-1970s had threatened to upstage the Congress in Uttar Pradesh.…

http://www.tehelka.com/a-festering-sore-on-indian-democracy/

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Ominous legislation – Editorial (Apr 3, 2015, The Hindu)

The Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill 2015carries disturbing echoes of draconian anti-terror laws such as the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA). Both were considered failed experiments that led to gross abuse. More specifically, the Bill seems to be modelled on the provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) that was implemented in 1999 and continues to be in force today.

In fact, since 2002 it has also been in force in Delhi after the police insisted that such a law was needed as ‘organised crime has no limits’. The common thread running through all these controversial pieces of legislation is the notion that regular process, as outlined by the Code of Criminal Procedure, is not enough to deal with a changed internal security situation.…

Knee-jerk reactions lead to severe laws. The focus should rather be on better resources and training for investigators who can continue to work under the existing Code of Criminal Procedure, which is already comprehensive in scope.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/ominous-legislation/article7061854.ece

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Church under attack – By T.K. Rajalakshmi (Apr 17, 2015, Frontline)

Even as reports of attacks on churches in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and elsewhere began pouring in, causing wide consternation, the report of an “under-construction” church being vandalised at Kaimri village in Hisar district of Haryana was received with surprise.…

On March 15, the day before the Bharatiya Janata Party government got the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gau Samvardhan Bill, 2015, passed in the Assembly, some village residents climbed on to the roof of the church and broke the cross. They then installed a statue of Hanuman inside the main hall. One person was arrested in connection with the incident and a complaint was registered against 14 people, including the sarpanch of the village, and a first information report (FIR) was filed.…

A social activist from the village, requesting anonymity, told Frontline that a month ago, local leaders of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal visited Kaimri and told the residents that the church should not be built. “They incited the villagers who had hardly bothered until then about it. This was not a gram sabha matter but the sarpanch got involved because the panchayat elections are a few months away,” he said. The issue of the church, the bogey of conversions, and the panchayat elections all fell into place.…

http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/church-under-attack/article7048426.ece

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NaMo’s Minimalist Wave – By Mihir Srivastava (Apr 13, 2015, Outlook)

…a hyperactive PMO seems to have put off a section of bureaucrats, who are now reluctant to leave states and move to the Centre in a reversal of the earlier trend of bureaucrats lobbying for central deputation. “The fear factor is at play,” says a joint secretary, who agreed to talk at a coffee shop in Noida. “We are just carrying out instructions. We get very specific instructions, several times not in writing. You can’t afford to not act on such verbal communications and you can’t act on it unless due process is followed,” he says of the dilemma.

The prime minister’s frequent travel – he’s been on foreign trips for 40 days in his first nine months in office – has also taken a toll on governance: the number of vacancies rises, but there is no reshuffle in sight. Ajit Kumar Seth, cabinet secretary of the former UPA regime, still remains in office. He has been given extensions. Asked about the delays, Manmohan Vaidya, national prachar pramukh or propaganda head of the RSS, shot back: “I will not say a word on this. I understand the media is trying to create a misunderstanding. We know our work. Government is doing their work.”

K.N. Govindacharya, a former RSS pracharak who used to share a room with Modi in 1989-90 at the party office on Akbar Road in Delhi, is openly critical. He points to hypocrisy disguised as ideology. The RSS and the government, he says, are dealing in “half-truths, or sometimes, convenient truths”. Is the national interest above party interest or the interest of the rss? This arrangement of hypocrisy and compromises is not sustainable, he warns.

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/NaMos-Minimalist-Wave/293881

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The Ides of March – By T. K. Rajalakshmi (Apr 17, 2015, Frontline)

If the outcome of the Delhi Assembly elections came as a shocker to the Bharatiya Janata Party, the broad opposition, inside and outside Parliament, to the promulgation of the land acquisition ordinance and the government’s decision to amend the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Act, 2013, also called the LARR Act, has stumped it.

The bugle of protest was sounded in early January itself, with political parties like the Congress taking to the streets and mass organisations of the Left and other people’s movements making their resentment vocal in separate forums. Moves to defend the ordinance, first by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and then by Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, had little impact as the government was viewed as increasingly obdurate.

The three-day protest in the national capital in mid-March by thousands of farmers from western Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and even Karnataka, led by the Bharatiya Kisan Union of Rakesh Tikait, was perhaps a signal to the government about the widespread resentment. The BKU had lent its support to the BJP during the Lok Sabha elections.…

http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/the-ides-of-march/article7048326.ece

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 30th, 2015

March 31, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Custodial death of Shaikh Hyder, A blot on the face of Telangana: Facting Finding Report Row in Chattisgarh Assembly over RSS membership for govt. staff Hashimpura masscre acquittal result of “deliberate, shoddy” investigation Babri Masjid demolition case: SC issues notice to BJP leader L K Advani, 19 […]

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