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Babri Masjid demolition

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 11th, 2017

by newsdigest on December 22, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Announcements

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Announcements

Murder of Muslim laborer in Rajasthan sparks outrage among Indian Americans

Diaspora sees direct connection between cultural of impunity and the reckless, incendiary rhetoric of the Hindutva complex

December 8 2017

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos today noted the sense of outrage among millions of Indians, both within India and across the diaspora over the heinous murder of Mohammed Afrazul, a Muslim migrant worker from West Bengal, who was hacked with a cleaver and his body set on fire in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district. The accused in the case, Shambulal Regar, is captured on video committing the crime and claiming that he committed the murder to “stop Muslims from love-jihad” – a term publicized by Hindu supremacist groups to refer to Muslim men supposedly marrying Hindu women and converting them to Islam as part of some grand conspiracy.

“We are appalled at the horrifying level of hate and violence that not only exists but is worsening by the day, particularly in the state of Rajasthan,” said Mr. Ahsan Khan, the National President of IAMC. “We call upon the Rajasthan Chief Minister Ms. Vasundhara Raje to uphold her constitutional duty to protect the lives of all citizens, regardless of caste and creed. This would include reining in organizations like RSS, Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad who have been on the frontlines of spreading hate and discord against the state’s Muslim minorities,” Mr. Khan further added.

Mohammed Afrazul’s killing is the fourth hate crime against Muslims in Rajasthan in the last nine months. Earlier in April, Pehlu Khan was brutally assaulted by self-styled cow vigilantes that led to his death two days later. Later in June, Zafar Hussein was killed after he objected to city officials photographing women defecating in the open. In November, cow vigilantes attacked Mohammed Umar and his colleagues who were transporting cattle, and Umar was later found dead. The perpetrators of these hate crimes are emboldened by the failure of state administration to effectively prosecute these cases of hate crimes. In September, the Rajasthan police closed its investigation into murder of Pehlu Khan and exonerated all six individuals named by Mr. Khan in his dying declaration.

Commenting on this issue, Ms. Seema Salim, National Vice President of IAMC, expressed grave concern at the rising tide of hate crimes in Rajasthan. “The Chief Minister, Ms. Raje must demonstrate the political will to ensure security of the state’s Muslim minorities and dismantle the culture of absolute impunity and protection accorded to the perpetrators of these hate crimes,” said Ms. Seema.

Indian American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation. For more information, please visit our website at: http://iamc.com/

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CONTACT:

Indian American Muslim Council
Phone/Fax: 1-800-839-7270
Email: info@iamc.com
Facebook: Indian American Muslim Council
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Address: 6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295, Morton Grove, IL 60053.

References:

1. Rajasthan: Labourer burnt alive, video of the incident goes
https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/rajasthan-labourer-burnt-alive-video-of-the-incident-goes/1204300

2. As Filmed Murder of Muslim Man in Rajasthan Goes Viral, Official Culture of Impunity Towards Hate Crimes Blamed
https://thewire.in/202831/rajasthan-muslim-man-hacked-to-death-video/

3. Man hacked to death, set ablaze in Rajasthan: Nephew says Afrazul didn’t wrong anyone
http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/smoking-was-afrazul-s-only-vice-says-nephew/story-Jt7LTzCcITMDIl21DmvlsI.html

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Babri Masjid demolition: Who were the main villains? (Dec 6, 2017, Dailyo.in)

What should have been a day of reflection was picked to become a day to institutionalise lawlessness like never before. December 6, the death anniversary of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, the drafter-in-chief of our Constitution, in 1992, became the day when they pulled Babri Masjid down, brick by communalised brick.

Multiple accounts of what happened on that day, reflections on how law was compromised at every level, as hundreds of kar sevaks, armed with iron rods, other weapons, brought down a 16th century mosque named after the Mughal emperor Babar, have been published.…

In the hall of mirrors that Indian commentary and mainstream media has now become, much of historical accuracy is lost in the din of political point-scoring. So, here’s a recap of the major names and their notorious contributions to the making of the day that sullied India’s constitutional secularism forever.…

https://www.dailyo.in/politics/babri-masjid-demolition-ram-janmabhoomi-ram-temple-lk-advani-uma-bharti-murli-manohar-joshi/story/1/20979.html

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Heinous murder of Afrajul Khan sparks outrage among Indian Americans (Dec 10, 2017, Twocircles.net)

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, noted the sense of outrage among millions of Indians, both within India and across the diaspora over the heinous murder of Mohammed Afrajul, a Muslim migrant worker from West Bengal, who was hacked with a cleaver and his body set on fire in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district.

The accused in the case, Shambulal Regar, is captured on video committing the crime and claiming that he committed the murder to “stop Muslims from love-jihad” – a term publicised by Hindu supremacist groups to refer to Muslim men supposedly marrying Hindu women and converting them to Islam as part of some grand conspiracy.

“We are appalled at the horrifying level of hate and violence that not only exists but is worsening by the day, particularly in the state of Rajasthan,” said Ahsan Khan, the National President of IAMC. “We call upon the Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to uphold her constitutional duty to protect the lives of all citizens, regardless of caste and creed. This would include reining in organizations like RSS, Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad who have been on the frontlines of spreading hate and discord against the state’s Muslim minorities,” Mr. Khan further added.…

http://twocircles.net/2017dec10/418992.html

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‘Do we really value human rights,’ asks former CJI RM Lodha, citing cow vigilantism, ‘love jihad’ (Dec 11, 2017, Scroll.in)

India has not been able to protect human rights despite constitutional safeguards and a “strong judiciary”, former Chief Justice of India RM Lodha said at a Human Rights Day event on Sunday, citing cow vigilantism, “love jihad” and sedition charges against citizens.

Referring to the controversy over the Bollywood film Padmavati and the threats faced by its crew, Lodha said he wondered if India really values human rights. He said that the laxity in police action was “shaking me every day”, The Indian Express reported.

“In the name of cow protection, human beings were slaughtered,” Lodha said. “Cow vigilantes are mushrooming everywhere. Sedition charges are being invoked against activists. Cartoonists, actors and students were charged with sedition charges.”…

https://scroll.in/latest/861043/do-we-really-value-human-rights-asks-former-cji-rm-lodha-citing-cow-vigilantism-love-jihad

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Gujarat Assembly polls: For many Muslims, EVM the real enemy (Dec 12, 2017, Times of India)

For many Muslim voters in Gujarat, if there is an issue of concern in the coming Assembly election, it is the electronic voting machine (EVM). EVM – described as the “devil” by one worried voter – was the hot topic of discussion among the people, who, however, said they would vote in the December 14 election in the state, despite their concerns.

With the circulation of messages on social media sites about EVMs being tampered with, many in the border district of Chhota Udaipur feared their votes might be transferred to other candidates. Our vote is the only power we have and if somebody changes it, what are we left with in a democracy, asked 57- year-old Sayed Mala, a small-time construction contractor. Mala said he did not trust the electronic machines, adding that ballot papers were the more credible option – a sentiment shared by many others across the district with three Assembly constituencies.

Educated sections of the people, with access to social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook, were more worried about EVMs than the others. I know who I will vote for. But I am not assured if it will be counted in his favour. But with a ballot paper, my vote can t be changed, said Kalol college student Sultan Hussain.…

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/62039937.cms

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Narendra Modi government spent nearly Rs 3,755 crore on its publicity since 2014, reveals RTI query (Dec 8, 2017, First Post)

The Modi government has spent a whopping nearly Rs 3,755 crore in three and half years on its publicity till October this year, an RTI revealed on Friday. The expenditure on advertisements from April 2014 to October 2017 through electronic, print media and outdoor publicity is Rs 37,54,06,23,616, according to the RTI reply by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

The application was filed by Greater Noida-based social activist Ramveer Tanwar, a copy of which is with IANS. According to the information, the central government spent over Rs 1,656 crore on electronic media advertisements, including, community radio, digital cinema, Doordarshan, internet, SMS, and television. For print media, the government spent more than Rs 1,698 crore.

On outdoor advertisements, which include hoardings, posters, booklets and calendars, the central government has spent over Rs 399 crore, the RTI reveals. The amount spent on publicity blitz is more than the yearly budget allocated to some key ministries and government’s flagship programmes. The government’s allocation for “pollution abatement” in the last three years has been only Rs 56.8 crore.…

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/narendra-modi-government-spent-nearly-rs-3755-crore-on-its-publicity-since-2014-reveals-rti-query-4248835.html

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Manmohan Singh speaks out: Pained at PM Narendra Modi spreading falsehood to score political points (Dec 11, 2017, Indian Express)

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Monday expressed anguish at the “falsehood” and “canards” being spread by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “score political points”. In a statement, the former PM said “Modi is setting a dangerous precedent by his insatiable desire to tarnish every constitutional office, including that of a former Prime Minister and Army Chief”.

The former two-term PM was referring to Prime Minister Modi’s remarks at an election rally in Gujarat on Sunday, where he referred to a purported tweet by a former Pakistan army director general, who said Ahmed Patel, the political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, should be made the chief minister of Gujarat. “Why is Pakistan’s senior retired army officer exercising his brain in the Gujarat election?” Modi had questioned.…

“I reject the innuendos and falsehoods as I did not discuss Gujarat elections with anyone else at the dinner hosted by Mani Shankar Aiyar as alleged by Modi. Nor was the Gujarat issue raised by anyone else present at the dinner. The discussion was confined to India-Pakistan relations. Names of the distinguished Indian public servants and journalists present at the dinner are enclosed to this statement. None of them could be accused of indulging in any anti-national activities,” Singh said, adding that PM Modi should apologise to the nation for his ‘ill thought transgression to restore the dignity of the office he occupies’.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/pained-at-pm-modis-spreading-of-falsehood-to-score-political-points-manmohan-singh-mani-shankar-aiyar-pakistan-dinner-4977971/

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Gujarat officials “indifferent” to communal riot victims, “don’t care” to implement PM’s 15 point programme for minorities (Dec 12, 2017, Counterview)

Living in a continued state of fear even nine months after the attack on his son, allegedly by Bajrang Dal activists on March 24, 2017, Allubhai of Vadagam village in Dhansura block of Aravalli district, Gujarat, complains that no action has yet been taken against those who tried to instigate the communal divide by seeking to whip up the love jehad bogey.

A teenager, his son was listening to a Bollywood song being played in a car, says Allubhai, a daily wage worker. The boy was spotted by a local, and accusations flew high that he was seeking to molest a Hindu girl. At around 9 pm, a group of goons entered the Muslim mohalla in Vadagam, wielding iron rods and swords, hockey sticks, engaging in wanton destruction of property.

“Instead of taking our complaints, the police detained six of us”, Allubhai says, adding, “Even 79 year old Aminaben was put behind bars. On being freed, we were forced to flee our village. Badly injured, my son was picked up from the Civil Hospital in Modasa. While following a compromise with elders we have returned, wounds are still fresh in our memory.”…

http://www.counterview.net/2017/12/gujarat-officials-indifferent-to.html

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After Padmavati, Hindutva groups oppose Game of Ayodhya (Nov 30, 2017, The Hindu)

Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV), a group founded by the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), have opposed the release of Game of Ayodhya, a film that has the Ramjanmbhoomi agitation and the demolition of the Babri mosque as its background.

The film, which is expected to be released on December 8, was initially not given a green signal by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) on the pretext that it could stoke communal passions because the subject of the temple-mosque dispute was provocative. The producers had then approached the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), which cleared it for release.

Amit Goswami, an ABVP leader from Aligarh, has threatened to kill Sunil Singh, the director of the film. He has also announced a bounty of ₹1 lakh for anyone who chops off his hands.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/after-padmavati-hindutva-groups-oppose-game-of-ayodhya/article21235326.ece

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SIT quizzes dera head in jail about violence cases (Dec 7, 2017, Times of India)

After 101 days of violence which claimed 37 lives and left over 200 injured, the special investigation team (SIT) on Wednesday finally went to Sunaria Jail in Rohtak to quiz rape convict Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the cases of violence and waging war against the state.

Violence had erupted on August 25 when the Panchkula CBI court had convicted Gurmeet in two cases of rape. The SIT headed by assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Mukesh Malhotrashowed video footage and pictures of violence to Gurmeet and questioned him for two-and-a-half hours.

“Our main focus was the circumstances and conspiracy behind the violence. The SIT could not complete the interrogation as it started late due to some technical issues. The team will visit Sunaria again for questioning,” said Panchkula commissioner of police (CP) A S Chawla.…

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/61954495.cms

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Can even murder Kanhaiya Kumar, Sambit Patra for insulting Godse: Hindu Mahasabha (Dec 11, 2017, Times of India))

Members of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha on Monday said that they can “even murder” student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra if the latter make anti-Nathuram Godse statements.

“Recently on national television, Kanhaiya Kumar and Sambit Patra started raising pro-Gandhi and anti-Godse slogans. We want to challenge both of them via media that if they use insulting words against our leader, then we can even murder such people. Godse did a favour to the entire Hindu community by murdering Gandhi.

“These people have always acted against the Hindus. So, we want to make it clear that if they use insulting words for Godse in future, Hindu Mahsabha will be bound to murder them,” said Abhishek Agarwal, Meerut district president of the outfit. Agarwal was speaking at a press conference at Mahasabha’s Sharda road office in Meerut.…

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com//articleshow/62025041.cms

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Opinions and Editorials

The Babri Masjid Demolition Was Impossible Without RSS Foot-Soldiers Like These – By Lalit Vachani (Dec 8, 2017, The Wire)

In September and October 1992, the Wide Eye Films team and I filmed The Boy in the Branch at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters in Nagpur. Commissioned by SOUTH, a documentary and current affairs programme on UK’s Channel 4 television channel, the film looked at the process of indoctrination and recruitment of young Hindu boys by the RSS shakha system.…

As I watched the images of the demolition, I was stunned. How had this been achieved?… When I met Sandeep, Sripad and Pururshottam, they were eager to tell me about what had happened in their lives in the intervening years. But most of all, they wanted to talk about the demolition of the Babri mosque, their contribution to the movement, and “how they made history”. There was absolutely no holding back and I was surprised at how outspoken they were. Sripad described the Ram janmabhoomi movement planning as a “war strategy where some are sent to the front while others man the base camp”. Both Sripad and Purushottam were at the front lines, while Sandeep was one of the RSS volunteers who was deputed to “stay behind and work on the foundation”.

They explained that there was detailed, meticulous organisation and deployment of personnel for months before the karsevaks were to arrive in Ayodhya. As Sandeep said, “there was micro-planning”. Groups of five karsevaks were formed and sent to Ayodhya under a leader. Purushottam was one of the group leaders. Sripad was one of ten RSS swayamsevaks from Nagpur especially selected to do ‘a job’, which he was proud to have accomplished.…

https://thewire.in/202998/rss-sangh-parivar-babri-masjid/

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A Rajasthan reminder: The targets of hate are not just Muslims and Dalits, but also vulnerable women – By Harsh Mander (Dec 9, 2017, Scroll.in)

The journey of the Karwan e Mohabbat into Rajasthan on September 15 was overcast by the violent opposition to our resolve to place flowers on the dusty kerb of the highway in Behror where dairy farmer Pehlu Khan was lynched by a vigilante mob in April.…

The determined opposition by stone-throwing mobs to my tribute to a man felled by hate-driven violence underlined a profound absence of remorse, and a sustained communal hatred. I recall the heated argument I had with a police officer as I sat on a dharna when the police blocked my path to the site where Pehlu Khan had been killed.

I told him that if the police chose, they could have easily prevented the gathering of a hundred men armed with stones. He hotly replied, “They have a constitutional right to protest.” I replied that I was not sure they had the right to protest with stones, but if they did, surely I had the right to protest with flowers.…

https://scroll.in/article/860140/a-rajasthan-reminder-the-targets-of-hate-are-not-just-muslims-and-dalits-but-also-vulnerable-women

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Justice? Fair trial? What foolish world do you live in, Sir? The victim was a Muslim – By Mazhar Farooqui (Dec 9, 2017, Twocircles.net)

In the end, justice will prevail. Nobody is above the law. Have faith in the judiciary. All these oft-repeated phrases sound good but the fact is that in India the possibility of a Muslim victim of Hindutva terror getting justice is as minuscule as the eye of a needle.

You are living in a fool’s paradise if you believe Shambhulal will be punished for hacking an innocent Muslim man to death and burning his body in the name of love jihad. For all you know, he could soon be an MLA or some such thing.

It doesn’t take rocket science to predict the outcome of Afrazul’s bone-chilling murder. All you need to do is look at the outcome of some recent and past cases. Whether it’s Akhlaq (Dadri), Pehlu Khan (Alwar), Imran (Aligarh), Imtiyaz (Jharkhand) Umar Khan (Alwar) or 16-year-old Junaid (train lynching (Ballabhgarh) in each instance the killers were let off despite clinching evidence such as dying statements.…

http://twocircles.net/2017dec09/418964.html

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Cow-Related Hate Crimes Peaked in 2017, 86% of Those Killed Muslim – By Alison Saldanha (Dec 8, 2017, The Wire)

After the recent murder of a dairy trader by cow vigilantes on the Rajasthan-Haryana border, 11 deaths have been reported in 2017, the highest toll from cow-related hate crimes since 2010, from when IndiaSpend’s database records hate crimes. The database is being launched in a new, interactive format today.

No incidents of hate crime were reported in 2010 and 2011, but over the eight years since 2012, 29 persons have been killed in cow-related hate violence, 25 of whom were Muslim.

Until 2015, 76% or 13 of 17 cow-related hate crimes were reported from northern India. Since then, during 2016 and 2017 to-date, more incidents have been reported from the east, west and south of the country.…

https://thewire.in/203103/cow-vigilantism-violence-2017-muslims-hate-crime/

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India’s plural soul – By Gopalkrishna Gandhi (Dec 6, 2017, The Hindu)

The partitioning of India broke us, shamed us.… After that traumatic year, three dates, three events, shook Indian pluralism again. Gandhi’s assassination – January 30, 1948; the Babri Masjid demolition – December 6, 1992, and the unveiling of V.D. Savarkar’s portrait in Parliament House – February 26, 2003.…

The first of these three saw a believer in the criticality of India’s pluralism being put to death. The second witnessed a pre-eminent Islamic monument reduced to rubble. The third valorised a man who believed India was meant to be a Hindu Rashtra. The first was murder, the second vandalism, the third a celebration. Those three form a triptych. All three occurrences singed India’s plural soul. Their “work” is still on. It is still affecting ways of thinking, acting, reacting.…

But hate and fear are not a normal condition; fanaticism not a natural emotion. Plain common sense and Gandhi’s miraculously still-alive spirit have staved off communal frenzy. Never more effectively than when bloodthirsty terrorists sought to mutilate life in Mumbai in 1993 and then to maim the House of India’s Parliament in 2001. All of India could have erupted then into communal frenzy, but it did not. Likewise, when Gujarat 2002 could have spread, but did not.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/indias-plural-soul/article21268638.ece

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Voting machines without safeguards – By Uttam Sengupta (Dec 12, 2017, National Herald)

“We have a single technology at our disposal that is invulnerable to hacking – paper” Computer Scientist who prefers paper. That is how the American magazine The Atlantic described her earlier this year. Having worked at IBM for long, Barbara Simons (76) is among the pioneers in computer science. When, therefore, she began saying that electronic voting was not safe, people took her to be a ‘crank’. But undeterred, Simons became one of the founders of American organization Verified Voters, which has been in the forefront of the movement to replace machines with paper ballots in American elections.

The idea that software can be manipulated to rig elections is still neither popular nor widely accepted. But the election of Donald Trump in 2016 as the US President and the cloud cast by allegations of Russian interference in the electoral process, has overnight changed the usually cold reception that Simons was used to from public officials and citizens alike. People are now more curious to hear her and more willing to accept that she may actually be talking sense.…

“Paper, Simons said, is the best answer to this riddle. Marked clearly and correctly, it’s a portable and transparent record of voter intent, one that voters themselves can verify, at least while the ballot is still in their possession. It’s also a permanent record, unlike computer memory, which can always be overwritten. “There’s no malware that can attack paper,” Simons said. “We can solve this. We know how to do it.”

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/voting-machines-without-safeguards

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 4th, 2017

by newsdigest on December 20, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Muslims organise funds for Hindu woman’s wedding in Bengal village (Nov 26, 2017, Hindustan Times)

A group of Muslims came together to fund the marriage of a Hindu woman in a West Bengal village, which has only eight Hindu families and around 600 Muslim households. Led by Motiur Rahaman, a local madrassa headmaster, the Muslims helped Saraswati, daughter of late daily-wager, marry Tapan Chowdhury in their Khanpur village of Malda district on Thursday.

Saraswati’s father, Trjilal Chowdhury had died three years ago leaving his wife Sovarani in financial crisis with her five daughters and a son.… “On coming to know of Sovarani’s problem, I had discussions with my neighbours Abdul Bari, Imadul Rahaman, Jalaluddin, and Sahidul Islam, among others. We all agreed that since Saraswati is our daughter only despite being of different religion, it is our duty to arrange a proper wedding,” Rahaman told HT.

He and his group then approached Sovarani and assured her the amount, which they collected soon after and helped conduct the marriage. A reception ceremony was also held on November 25 where Rahaman stood at the entrance of Sovarani’s residence, greeting the groom and his family members.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/muslims-organise-funds-for-hindu-woman-s-wedding-in-bengal-village/story-h3eKAuhk1DRpJJjyWXNmMK.html

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Ayodhya dispute: Muslims feel an out of court settlement will be surrender (Dec 3, 2017, Business Standard)

For MA Siddiqui, this would be the 40th year as a lawyer in the Ayodhya dispute case – one of the first cases he took on the day he started practicing law. His client Hashim Ansari, the youngest of the petitioners in the Sunni Waqf board’s appeal in 1961 died last year at the age of 95.…

“The Allahabad High Court has committed an error by partitioning the inner side of the mosque compound as this was the property of Muslims before 1949. The high court has presumed that Hindus were also having a faith that it was the birth place of Ram. This faith was never proved by any evidence. Hindus never exercised any such right until 1949. Faith is not evidence. Evidence is what is defined under the Indian Evidence Act 1872,” says Zafaryab Jilani, the lawyer of the Sunni Waqf board representing the Muslim side in the case.…

With fissures deepening among the non-Muslim parties in the case, there have been efforts by people like Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravishankar to act as mediators with the goal of negotiating an out of court settlement. But even a so-called out of court settlement is a minefield not all parties want to enter. The Muslims represented by the Sunni Waqf board are averse to an out of court settlement.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/ayodhya-dispute-muslims-feel-an-out-of-court-settlement-will-be-surrender-117120300377_1.html

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Initiate High Level Judicial Inquiry Into Judge Loya’s Death: Former Civil Servants Write to CJI (Dec 3, 2017, The Wire)

Thirty-two signatories, including retired secretaries to the government of India, four former ambassadors and a former chief information commissioner of a state government, today appealed to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and the chief justice of the Bombay high court to order a high level probe into the death of Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya.

The appeal attached the request made by former Navy chief Admiral (Retd.) L. Ramdas, also to the CJI and the chief justice of the Bombay high court, that a high level judicial enquiry be initiated into the controversial circumstances of the death of Judge Loya. Justice (Retd.) B. H. Marlapalle, former judge of the Bombay high court and Justice (Retd.) A. P. Shah, former chief justice of the Delhi high court have also expressed the need for an enquiry.

The pleas seeking a probe have followed two reports the Caravan magazine published that quoted immediate members of Loya’s family, who questioned the circumstances surrounding his death. Loya, who was presiding over the CBI court in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, passed away on December 1, 2014, after a heart attack while in Nagpur to attend a colleague’s daughter’s wedding.…

https://thewire.in/201575/initiate-high-level-judicial-inquiry-into-death-of-judge-loya/

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Hindu activists hoist saffron flag, cops resort to lathi-charge at Bababudangiri (Dec 4, 2017, Deccan Chronicle)

Tension prevailed at Dattatreya Swami Dargah premises on Sunday after a few Hindu activists hoisted Bhagavadwaja (saffron flag) at the disputed site, prompting police to resort to a lathicharge to disperse the group from the disputed site at Bababudangiri Hills in Chikkamagaluru.

Hundreds of Hindu activists from various parts of the state had congregated at Bababudangiri Hills for the three-day Datta Jayanti starting from Friday organized by Bajrang Dal and other Hindu outfits and police had made elaborate security arrangements to see that the celebrations went off smoothly.…

Meanwhile, miscreants stoned a private bus at Uppali in Chikkamagaluru town and sensing trouble, commercial establishments in the town downed shutters leading to an undeclared bandh.…

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/041217/hindu-activists-hoist-saffron-flag-cops-resort-to-lathi-charge-at-bababudangiri.html

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RSS-Linked Group Launch Muslim ‘Bahu Lao’ Campaign, Plan 2,000 Marriages Of Muslim Women With Hindu Men (Dec 1, 2017, Outlook)

An RSS-affiliated group has planned to marry off Muslim girls to Hindu men in a campaign titled ‘beti bachao, bahu laao’ (Save daughters, bring daughters-in-law) as a counter to love jihad – a term publicised by the Hindutva groups to refer to Muslim men marrying Hindu women and converting them to Islam.

The title of the campaign gives a sinister twist to the Prime Minister’s famous ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padao’ campaign. The Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM) will facilitate the marriage of around 2,100 Muslim women who wish to marry Hindu men and will also support them financially, and provide security, reported The Indian Express.

“We will teach them a lesson in their own language,” the report quoted HJM’s state chief Ajju Chauhan as saying.… In a similar move, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad had, earlier this week, threatened that they will send Bajrang Dal youths to attract Muslim girls, if Muslims do not stop ‘Love Jihad.’…

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/rss-linked-group-launch-muslim-bahu-lao-campaign-plan-2000-marriages-of-muslim-w/305046

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Where ballot papers were used, BJP votes down, says Akhilesh Yadav (Dec 3, 2017, Indian Express)

Accusing the BJP of misusing EVMs in the civic polls, results of which were declared on Friday, SP president Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday alleged that the ruling party had fared better in areas where EVMs were used instead of ballot papers for casting votes.

“In areas where ballot papers were used (in civic polls), the BJP had got 15 per cent of the votes. In areas where EVMs were used, they got 46 per cent of the votes. They have not managed to garner similar support (as in the case of Lok Sabha elections) in municipality or panchayat polls,” Akhilesh said in Kolkata to workers at SP’s state conference.

In Lucknow, party UP chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said the BJP had lost the civic polls badly. “Among the 75 districts, municipal corporation elections were held only at 16 places. They (BJP) have spoken about only half of the actual results…. In the 652 seats (mayors and chairpersons of nagar palika parishads and nagar panchayats), the BJP lost 470 seats… Among 11,992 seats of corporators and members of nagar palika and nagar panchayat, it lost 9,812,” he said.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/where-ballot-papers-were-used-bjp-votes-down-says-akhilesh-yadav-4965455/

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Instant triple talaq non-bailable offence, 3 years jail, fine for guilty: Draft law (Dec 2, 2017, Indian Express)

Over three months after the Supreme Court “set aside” the practice of instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat, the Centre has drawn up a draft law which makes it a “cognizable and non-bailable” offence, punishable with three years jail and a monetary fine.

The draft law – Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act – also allows a woman who has been given instant triple talaq to move court, seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and dependent children, as well as custody of minor children. A Bill to this effect is likely to be tabled in the winter session of Parliament, highly placed government sources said on Friday.

The proposed law, which empowers Muslim women, applies to instant triple talaq in “oral, written, electronic or any other form”. Any declaration of talaq-e-biddat by a Muslim man shall be “illegal and void”, says the draft law.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/instant-triple-talaq-non-bailable-offence-3-years-jail-fine-for-guilty-says-draft-law-4964063/

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India needs to cherish and nurture its Muslims: Obama (Dec 1, 2017, The Hindu)

India needs to cherish and nurture its Muslim population that is integrated and considers itself Indian, former US president Barack Obama said here on Friday. It is an idea that needs to be reinforced, the former president said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.

Mr. Obama said he had emphasised the need for religious tolerance and the right to practice one’s own faith during closed door talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his last trip to India in 2015.

The 44th US president, who held office between 2009 and 2017, had made similar comments during a public interaction on the last day of his visit, which had come against the backdrop of controversy over religious conversions.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-needs-to-cherish-and-nurture-its-muslims-obama/article21241610.ece

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Honeypreet Insaan wanted to flee India to settle down abroad with Gurmeet Ram Rahim (Nov 30, 2017, Times Now)

Convicted rapist Gurmeet Ram Rahim and his ‘adopted’ daughter Honeypreet Insan had dreamt of fleeing India and settling down abroad, the chargesheet filed by the Haryana police reveals.

In a startling confession made to the Haryana police, Honeypreet stated that she and the self-styled godman Ram Rahim had planned to run away to Nepal. In fact, the day the CBI court convicted the godman, Honeypreet came to court fully prepared to flee. She was carrying both their passports with her, along with relevant travel documents, bank cheques, their passbooks, etc.

The violence in Panchkula, that broke out after the verdict against Ram Rahim was pronounced, was planned and supervised by Honeypreet, the chargesheet stated. The burning of media OB vans was made to stop media coverage of the violence.…

http://www.timesnownews.com/india/article/gurmeet-ram-rahim-singh-honeypreet-insan-priyanka-taneja-wanted-to-settle-abroad-haryana-police-chargesheet-panchkula-violence-dera-sacha-sauda/136645

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Pradyuman murder: Cops groped my wife, threatened me to pull out from case, accuses family lawyer (Dec 3, 2017, India Today)

In a shocking turn of events in the Pradyuman Thakur murder case, Sushil K Tekriwal the counsel representing Pradyuman’s family has alleged that the police assaulted him and his wife and threatened them to leave the case. The incident is said to have taken place at 8:30 PM on Saturday night when Tekriwal had gone out for dinner with his family.

According to a letter written Tekriwal to the Commissioner of Police, the couple had gone for dinner with their 14-year-old son near Hotel Ashoka. As they were standing in the premise of Hotel Ashoka, three policemen came in a gypsy and started attacking Tekriwal.

“The constable put his gun towards us and Inspector Yadav groped me, attacked me, assaulted me, thrashed me, kicked from inside by butt and boot and I was down on the earth and attempted to kill from the gun. He screamed that both of us will be killed since we are dealing with Ryan Murder Case/Pradhyumn Case and threatened to leave the case otherwise we will be subjected to dire consequences,” Tekriwal wrote.…

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/pradyuman-thakur-lawyer-attacked-delhi-police-ryan-international-school/1/1102055.html

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Second wife files case after DSP demands Rs 5L as dowry (Dec 3, 2017, Free Press Journal)

Woman police station in Bhopal has registered a complaint against a DSP posted in Jabalpur for concealing his first marriage while marrying another woman.

According to woman police station town inspector (TI) Shikha Singh Bais, the complainant lives in Bhopal. In her complaint, she told police that the accused Rupesh Dangi who is posted as DSP in intelligence bureau (IB) in Jabalpur had married her in May 2015 while keeping her in dark about his first marriage.

The complainant said DSP’s former wife lives in Jabalpur and there is a case going on in the court as the accused did not have good relations with her and the divorce from his first wife has not taken place.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/bhopal/second-wife-files-case-after-dsp%E2%80%88demands-rs-5l-as-dowry/1180895

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Opinions and Editorials

Why We Remember 6 December – Editorial (Dec 2, 2017, EPW)

It was no less than a clarion call to the Hindutva brigade to be prepared for action. On 24 November 2017, the head of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Mohan Bhagwat announced that a Ram temple would be built in Ayodhya. “This is a firm fact and is not going to change,” he said. “The moment of it becoming a reality is near and we need to make the efforts to ensure it happens.”

The statement is no surprise. Nor the venue where it was made, a Dharma Sansad organised by the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Udupi, Karnataka. What is notable is the timing, a fortnight before we mark 25 years since the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on 6 December 1992.

It also comes days before the Supreme Court takes up the appeal against the Allahabad High Court judgment on the Babri Masjid/Ram Janmabhoomi dispute. The court’s ruling that the 2.77 acre disputed property, where the Babri Masjid once stood, should be divided between the Sunni Wakf Board, Ram Lalla (considered the main deity), and the Nirmohi Akhara, has been challenged.…

http://www.epw.in/journal/2017/48/editorials/why-we-remember-6-december.html

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When violence becomes a political tool – By Amulya Ganguli (Nov 24, 2017, Free Press Journal)

Mani Shankar Aiyar’s expectation about a “Godhra moment” sooner or later after Narendra Modi’s ascent hasn’t come true in the way the Congress leader thought that it might.

Instead of a major riot as in Gujarat in 2002, what is seen at present is a steady spread of violence under various guises, creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation with an anti-Muslim sub-text. The latest manifestation of this tense environment is the row over the film, Padmavati.

A key feature of this fraught milieu is the immunity which the rowdy elements associated with the saffron dispensation enjoy from the long arm of the law. It may amount to overstating the case to suggest that the lawless groups and the police work hand in hand. But what is clear is that the guardians of the law are palpably reluctant to act against those who violate the law with impunity.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/analysis/when-violence-becomes-a-political-tool/1175736

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What we now know about the death of Special CBI judge Brijgopal Loya – By Rohan Venkataramakrishnan (Dec 3, 2017, Scroll.in)

Two weeks after Caravan magazine published a report about allegations made by the family of Central Bureau of Investigation judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya regarding his death in 2014, fresh reporting has filled in a number of the blanks in the story.

Loya was presiding over a Special CBI court in Mumbai, where the only case he was hearing was the alleged extra-judicial murder by Gujarat police of alleged extortionist Sohrabuddin Sheikh, in which Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah was one of the accused. Shah was minister of state for home in Gujarat when the fake encounter allegedly took place.…

The Supreme Court had originally said that just one judge should hear the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case from start to finish. But soon after the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014, the judge hearing the case was transferred and replaced by Loya. After Loya’s death, he was replaced by Judge MB Gosavi. By the end of December, Gosavi had dropped all charges against Amit Shah.…

https://scroll.in/article/860098/what-we-now-know-about-the-death-of-special-cbi-judge-brijgopal-loya

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Was Hadiya a stranger’s hostage? – By Faizan Mustafa (Dec 4, 2017, New Indian Express)

Having taught constitutional law for about a quarter-century, I am depressed to see the direction civil liberty jurisprudence has lately taken. With the unanimous privacy judgment, I had a feel-good sense. In the SC’s privacy judgment, Justice Chandrachud had taken individualism and individual rights to new heights when he noted the right to privacy “recognises autonomy of individual as privacy is intrinsic in freedom and liberty.

Privacy is the ultimate expression of the sanctity of individual.” Justice Chelameswar added people have freedom to choose their dress and appearance. If a person has a right to choose his religion, dress, etc., how can Hadiya be denied the right to choose her husband or her religion? The three-judge Bench hearing the Hadiya case is bound by the law laid down by the seven-judge privacy Bench.

My feel-good sentiment was however short-lived. The proceedings in the apex court on Hadiya’s husband challenge of the Kerala HC’s regressive order annulling their marriage have largely been disappointing from the day the NIA was asked to probe the so-called bogey of love jihad. There is surely some silver lining in the SC’s interim order of November 27 releasing Hadiya from her father’s custody. But there are still disturbing questions which should bother anyone interested in civil liberties.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/opinions/2017/dec/04/was-hadiya-a-strangers-hostage-1717744.html

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A futile and divisive Padmavati controversy – By Kamlendra Kanwar (Free Press Journal)

It is not surprising that the controversial twist given to the folklore of centuries ago in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s celluloid depiction of Rani Padmavati of Chittor in Rajasthan has been occupying media space so pervasively. One can hardly ascribe it to anything but the obsession with sensationalism in the modern context.

Rajput groups, including the Karni Sena, allege that the film is a distortion of history and that it has invented a romantic angle between two historical figures, Chittor’s queen Padmavati and Delhi sultan of the time, Alauddin Khilji, where none existed. Revered by the martial race of Rajputs especially in Rajasthan and believed to have committed ‘sati’ at the funeral pyre of her husband to save her honour and her people’s pride from a marauding Khilji, the depiction of Rani Padmavati has disturbed a hornet’s nest.

The chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have shown a recognizable softness towards the critics of the movie and have been tacitly in favour of action to block its release in its present form. The protagonists of cultural freedom are equally up in arms.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/analysis/a-futile-and-divisive-padmavati-controversy/1175053

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GST Dispute Resolution Mechanism: A Constitutional Farce? – By Jaison John (Dec 2, 2017, EPW)

The Indian taxation framework had for some time been suffering from the burden of multiple taxes levied under many laws. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) was expected to eliminate the rot that had settled in the system, cut the clutter, and ensure the smooth functioning of the system. The constitutional amendment was just the first hurdle; issues like gauging the effect on union and state income, the rate of GST, the mechanism for dispute resolution, and so forth needed further clarifications.…

The most important limitation of any mechanism established by the GST Council will be its inability to declare any legislation that violates the harmonious structure of GST as unconstitutional or ultravires the Constitution, or strike out such statutes. If the GST Council constitutes an ad hoc arbitral tribunal or panel of experts, they cannot question the vires of any legislation passed by state or central governments.

The decision in the L Chandra Kumar case would have helped if the GST Council had established a dispute resolution mechanism under Articles 323A or 323B (Law Commission of India 2008). If deprived of this key power to review legislations that violate the harmonious structure of GST, or which are against any of the recommendations of the GST Council, such non-conforming laws can hold their ground, defying the very existential purpose of the GST Council dispute resolution mechanism.

http://www.epw.in/journal/2017/48/commentary/gst-dispute-resolution-mechanism.html

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 20th, 2017

April 2, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Teesta Setalvad delivers an indictment at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on the human rights situation in India News Headlines Letters for 2 years, SOS to PM, Election Commission still awaits EVM papertrail funds Uttar Pradesh: New Chief Minister must retract previous statements against Muslims India: […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 13th, 2017

March 24, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Protest held in Ghaziabad against irregularities in electronic voting machines Manohar Parrikar is #NotMyCM: Goans protest as BJP ministers take oath Muslim leader Aamir Madni questions Lucknow encounter ‘Had enough proof against Aseemanand’ ‘Cops need only a Muslim name to fabricate a case’ The BJP Has Been […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 12th, 2016

December 22, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Maratha Seva Sangh organises communal harmony rally as part of Eid ul Milad celebrations News Headlines Bengal BJP man held with Rs 10 lakh in new notes Bhaiya reference to minister Kiren Rijiju: ‘Bhaiya ka help chahiye toh humko boliye Sir’ UP polls: BJP, RSS want to […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 5th, 2016

December 16, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Babri Masjid demolition: 25 years on, trial against accused pending Exposed: How spiritual leaders are laundering hawala, secretive money during demonetisation Cash front finger at politicians – Dramatic claim by record declarant 27 senior bank officials suspended on charges of illegal conversion of notes Eight BJP-RSS workers […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 8th, 2014

December 9, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Muslim groups urge President Pranab Mukherjee to refer all Babri Masjid cases to Supreme Court TMC seeks probe into death of judge hearing Sohrabuddin case Hindutva literature widens communal chasm Sushma Swaraj’s call for making Gita ‘national scripture’ an effort to make India a Hindu nation: NDA […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 22nd, 2013

April 23, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Gujarat govt’s failure to protect people during 2002 riots: US report Kodnani’s Death move to warn Advani,deflect Zakia? Probe Narendra Modi’s call records in Tulsiram encounter case: Sohrabuddin’s brother Bangalore blast: Terrorist attack or political plot? High Court cancels bail of ex RSS members accused in […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 24th, 2012

December 25, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Indian Americans call for stringent enforcement of anti-rape laws, justice for victims News Headlines Narendra Modi’s re-election a black mark for Gujarat: Martha C Nussbaum Muslim poverty may bite Narendra Modi at NDC meet in Delhi NIA arrests prime suspect Dhan Singh in 2007 Samjhauta Express blast […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 10th, 2012

December 11, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Resolution of Babri Masjid case should be a National Priority Communal Harmony This school is a lesson in harmony Temple gifts house to Muslim woman News Headlines 25 US lawmakers urge Hillary Clinton to continue denying Narendra Modi visa Muslims are the most deprived social group in […]

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