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Communal Riots

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 8th, 2017

by newsdigest on May 19, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Communal Harmony

In riot affected Dhulagarh, Hindus & Muslims celebrate Tagore’s birth anniversary together (May 9, 2017, Twocircles.net)

On Tuesday, members from Hindu and Muslim communities of Dhulagarh, West Bengal together celebrated the birth anniversary of poet Rabindranath Tagore by tying threads of unity and harmony on each other’s wrists.

The unique birthday celebration of the Nobel Laureate, who had championed the causes of Hindu-Muslim unity, was organised under the banner of ‘Bangla Sanskriti Manch’ to celebrate the spirit of unity, fraternity and communal harmony in the state in which several civil society members from Kolkata also went to participate.

A cultural programme was also organised on the occasion in a hall in Dhulagarh around 11.00 AM, where social activists from the city as well as some villagers sent out a message of peace and harmony. They later tied Rakhi to each other. This ritual was followed on streets as well and local villagers responded spontaneously and positively.…

http://twocircles.net/2017may09/409168.html

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Bilkis Bano verdict is a reminder of state complicity in the 2002 Gujarat riots (May 5, 2017, Scroll.in)

One of the many horrors that came into public view after the Gujarat riots of 2002 was the Bilkis Bano case. On March 3, 2002, 19-year-old Bano and her family had been trying to flee the riots in a truck. They were set upon by a mob of men who gangraped Bano, pregnant at the time, killed her three-year-old daughter and 14 others in her family. Fifteen years later, those responsible for the brutalities have been dealt with by the Bombay High Court, which upheld 12 life sentences in the case. “Somewhere, somehow, justice can prevail,” Bano said in a statement on Thursday, even in times “when the secular values of our country” are in peril.

Attention has been centred on the life sentences, and the fact that the court dismissed the Central Bureau of Investigation’s plea to convert three of these into death penalties. But the court also made another significant decision. It overturned the acquittals, handed down by a Mumbai sessions court, to five members of the Gujarat police. The court found them guilty of carrying out a “dishonest investigation”, of various “acts of omission and commission”, by which they tried to “screen the perpetrators of the crime” and “gagged the mouth of the prosecutrix”.…

The Bombay High Court’s verdict now is yet another reminder of chilling state complicity in the violence of 2002. Survivor accounts depict a state police that was indifferent at best or guilty of deliberate inaction, standing by and allowing the violence to take its course. The complicity carried on into the afterlife of the horrors, as evidence was destroyed or suppressed, cases were closed, voices of dissent within the force were silenced. How high up did the lines of accountability reach? Were the police were acting under political pressure? These questions have now passed into the realm of speculation. The Supreme Court’s decision to move the trials out of the state was acknowledgment that the system was tainted.…

https://scroll.in/article/836647/the-daily-fix-bilkis-bano-verdict-is-a-reminder-of-state-complicity-in-the-2002-gujarat-riots

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Muslims protest against India TV for ‘fabricated’ Halala Operation (May 6, 2017, The Indian Awaaz)

Hundreds of Muslims today staged a protest Dharana against India TV at Jantar Mantar. They were protesting against the telecast of what they called a ‘complete fabricated’ story run by the TV channel in the name of ‘Operation Halala’.

They alleged that programme showed Muslim men and women in bad light and degrading their dignity using impersonate persons. The alleged anti Muslim programme was telecast on April 15. The protesters with banners against TV channels in their hands, said the programme was nothing but a huge conspiracy to malign Islam and Muslim community of India.

The Dharna/protest was organized by Management Committee Madarsa Taleemul Quran Society Seelampur Delhi. The TV Programme was allegedly shoot near the madarsa run by this society. The society has also lodged complaint against the India TV at local court, CBI and Delhi police demanding stern action against the channel.…

http://theindianawaaz.com/muslims-protest-against-tv-for-fabricated-halala-operation/

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Police ask man to remove communally sensitive poster (May 8, 2017, Times of India)

Accusing members of a community in the neighbourhood of harassment, a resident of Kachcha Haata in Aminabad has put up a poster outside his house that reads, “Hindu pariwar palayan ko majboor”. When TOI spoke to other Hindu Families in the vicinity, however, they said they had never experienced any communal discord.

The area is mostly commercial and families of different communities have been living together from more than 80 years. Speaking to TOI, Rahul Garg, who has alleged he is being harassed by his neighbours from the minority community for the past six months, said he was being pressurised to sell his house where his family has been living for 70 years.

Officer in charge of Aminabad police station Ashwini Pandey said Garg created unnecessary sensation in the locality on Saturday evening. “Eight different families stay in the said property out of which seven want to sell it to a local builder. Garg is the only one against the deal. When the builder came to talk to him, Garg decided to put up the board. We convinced him to take it down as it was leading to nuisance and could lead to unnecessary controversy,” said Pandey.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/58570623.cms

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UP BJP MLA Radha Mohan Das Agarwal scolds IPS officer Charu Nigam to tears (May 8, 2017, IB Times)

…Gorakhpur MLA Dr Radha Mohan Das Agarwal – a UP BJP veteran – has been caught on camera scolding high-ranking IPS officer Charu Nigam till she is moved to tears. He is heard shouting repeatedly at her: “Don’t cross your limits.” What’s worse, all this happened in Gorakhpur, the home turf of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

It all started on the afternoon of Sunday, May 7, when a group of women blocked a road in Gorakhpur demanding the closure of certain liquor shops. Gorakhpur Assistant Superintendent of Police Charu Nigam – an IPS officer who has been given the moniker of “Lady Singham” for her tough-as-nails ways when it comes to matters of law and order – reached the spot and tried to forcefully evict them.

Some local reports say some of the women then attacked Nigam, while some other reports say she ordered lathi-charge on them, leading to some protesters being injured. Soon, Gorakhpur BJP MLA Dr Radha Mohan Das Agarwal reached the spot and confronted Nigam. A video of that interaction has now surfaced online, showing the BJP MLA shouting at the IPS officer in the presence of her colleagues as well as a large crowd. He is heard telling her to “keep quite,” and “don’t cross your limits.”…

http://www.ibtimes.co.in/watch-bjp-mla-radha-mohan-das-agarwal-scolds-ips-officer-charu-nigam-tears-725845

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UP Launches Exclusive Ambulance Service For Cows, As Man Carries Son’s Body On His Shoulder (May 3, 2017, Huffington Post)

On Monday, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya flagged off an exclusive ambulance service for cows, the latest among a slew of measures taken to protect the bovine species in the state. Just hours later, a video footage of a man in Etawah, in another part of UP, surfaced, which showed him carrying his 15-year-old son’s lifeless body on his shoulders for lack of an ambulance. The contrast between the two reports could not have been starker.

According to The Hindu, Gauvansh Chikitsa mobile vans were rolled out to ferry ailing or injured cows to gau shalas (cow shelters) and veterinary homes for treatment. To begin with, this service would operate in Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Mathura and Varanasi, in collaboration with the MNREGA Mazdoor Kalyan Sanghathan, an organisation that works with farmers and labourers in the informal sector.

The organisation also threatened to take stringent actions against those who abandon cows after they stop giving milk and against municipal workers, in case the animals are forced to eat plastic off the streets.…

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2017/05/02/up-launches-exclusive-ambulance-service-for-cows-as-man-carries_a_22064637/

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Hindu Yuva Vahini members accused of killing Muslim (May 3, 2017, The Tribune)

Police have detained four members of Hindu Yuva Vahini, founded by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, on suspicion of killing a Muslim man who had helped an interfaith couple elope, an investigating official said on Wednesday.

A 60-year-old farmer was killed on Tuesday by a mob that included members of the Hindu Yuva Vahini.… Since his appointment, units of the Hindu Yuva Vahini have ramped up their anti-Muslim rhetoric and launched a campaign against so-called “Love Jihad” – what they regard as an Islamist strategy to convert Hindu women through seduction and marriage.…

“The Muslim farmer was beaten to death in a mango orchard after he refused to share the whereabouts of the couple,” said Sharma.…

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/hindu-yuva-vahini-members-accused-of-killing-muslim/401479.html

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Women being kept with criminals in detention camps in Assam: Ajmal (May 3, 2017, India Tomorrow)

Lok Sabha MP and president of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) Maulana Badruddin Ajmal on Tuesday accused the Assam BJP government of harassing a large number of local people raising doubts over their citizenship.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Ajmal, who represents the Muslim-dominated Dhubri constituency of Assam in the Lok Sabha, alleged that government officials come to houses in plain clothes in the night without any female officer and ask women to produce Identity Card. If they fail to do so, then they drag them to vehicles and put in detention camps set up in unknown locations, said Ajmal. He also alleged that in detention camps, women are kept with men who are facing serious criminal charges.

“And no one from outside are allowed to meet these women in the detention camps,” alleged perfume baron AIUDF chief adding that “Thousands of such cases are happening in the state.” “In the current situation, it seems, a certain community speaking a particular language is being targeted,” Ajmal said.…

http://www.indiatomorrow.net/eng/women-being-kept-with-criminals-in-detention-camps-in-assam-ajmal

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‘Dalits should unite, rise against rightist forces’ (May 3, 2017, The Hindu)

The Constitution of India is in danger from rightist forces. It is everyone’s responsibility to save it [the Constitution], Prakash Ambedkar, founder of Dalit Swabhimani Sangarsh Samiti, said in Belagavi on Tuesday. He was speaking at a regional level rally of the samiti. He said that the RSS-backed BJP leaders were trying to destroy the spirit of the Constitution by amending it in such a way that are contrary to its basic principles.

The Constitution drafted by a committee headed by B.R. Ambedkar guarantees right to life and liberty to all. It strives for the equality and opposes discrimination based on caste, creed, gender, religion, region or language. But the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre is trying to divide the country on these lines.…

“It is a wake-up call. Dalits should remember such injustice during the next election and work against the rise of the rightist forces,” he said. He accused the BJP of trying to create a “counter revolution” that was opposed to the social, economic and political revolution promised by the Constitution. He said that the samiti would organise a rally in Bengaluru after Vijayadasami, where a million people would participate.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/dalits-should-unite-rise-against-rightist-forces/article18362493.ece

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Gujarat polls: Supreme Court seeks Centre’s response on suspicious EVMs (May 7, 2017, Business Standard)

The Supreme Court has sought response of the Centre and the chief election commissioner on a plea filed [by] a Gujarat Patidar leader seeking the use of either ballot paper or electronic voting machines with paper trail for the upcoming Assembly election in the state.

A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul issued notice to the Centre, the CEC, the Gujarat government and the state election commission, and sought their response in four weeks. The apex court posted the matter for hearing to the first week of July.

Petitioner Reshma Vithabhai Patel, the convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, which was in the forefront of the Patel quota agitation, claimed that EVMs were not “fully reliable, foolproof, tamper-proof or hacker-proof”.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/gujarat-polls-supreme-court-seeks-centre-s-response-on-suspicious-evms-117050700222_1.html

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Khwaja Yunus custodial death: Policemen beat me like an animal, says eyewitness Mateen (May 3, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Fourteen years after the alleged custodial death of 2002 Ghatkopar blast accused Khwaja Yunus, the eyewitness in the case — Dr Abdul Mateen — deposed before the sessions court on Wednesday. He said the police beat him up “like an animal” in lock-up.

It has taken five years for the trial to begin after the court framed charges in 2012. Mateen, who was picked up by the crime branch with Yunus in December 2002, finally deposed on Wednesday, but the hearing was again adjourned for a month on the defence’s request. Wednesday’s hearing began with the defence raising an objection to Mateen’s deposition.

The defence lawyer said the prosecution had not submitted a case diary (maintained by the investigating officer), which they were asked to, and asked that the court not let the trial begin until it is submitted. The court, however, overruled the objection and proceeded with the trial while asking the prosecution to submit the diary.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/khwaja-yunus-custodial-death-policemen-beat-me-like-an-animal-says-eyewitness-mateen/story-WjgXpb74hIlIG5FAqsgIpI.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Modi Wants to Give Muslim Women Their Rights. So Why Did He Abandon Bilkis in Her Hour of Need? – By Siddharth Varadarajan (May 5, 2017, The Wire)

In a speech last month, Narendra Modi said he wants Muslim women to get the rights promised to them by the constitution. Bilkis Bano is a reminder that he didn’t always want that. Just when the prime minister thought the stain of 2002 was well and truly behind him, the Bombay high court has upheld the conviction of 11 persons for the gangrape of Bilkis Bano and mass murder of 14 Muslims in Limkheda and also convicted the policemen and doctors who attempted to cover up the crime – one of the most heinous to take place during the post-Godhra violence in Gujarat that year.

For the record, Bilkis’s charges were investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation, not the Gujarat police, and the trial of the accused was held in Mumbai because the Supreme Court decided a fair trial was not possible in Gujarat.

So what does this have to do with Modi, the BJP is likely to ask, apart from the fact that he happened to be chief minister at the time. After all, the allegation that Modi orchestrated the anti-Muslim violence was probed by a Special Investigation Team set up by the Supreme Court but no evidence of his complicity emerged. The SIT’s controversial findings are being appealed by Zakia Jafri but as matters stand, Modi still has the “clean chit” the SIT gave him in 2013. Only the Gujarat high court, or the Supreme Court, can take that away from him.…

https://thewire.in/132084/bilkis-bano-rape-case-narendra-modi/

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Attacks on India’s minority Muslims by Hindu vigilantes mount – By Sujoy Dhar (May 5, 2017, USA Today)

One April afternoon, a group of men clad in saffron scarves barged into a house in Meerut, 40 miles northeast of here, and dragged out a young Muslim man and a Hindu woman.… Several similar attacks have occurred since March, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose an anti-Muslim firebrand, Yogi Adityanath, to be chief minister of India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh, the heartland of the nation’s Hindu population.…

Also in April, two dairy farmers returning from a cattle fair in a northern state were attacked by vigilantes, leaving one dead and the other seriously wounded.… India’s main opposition party, the Indian National Congress, said Muslims feel a deep sense of dread since Modi, a fierce Hindu nationalist, took office in 2014.…

“Recent incidents are worrisome,” said Faizul Hasan, the student leader of Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh. “We have written letters to the prime minister to honor his commitment to the Muslims that they would be protected and be part of India’s nation building.”

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/05/05/attacks-indias-minority-muslims-hindu-vigilantes-mount/100951514/

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Modernity or murder, Mr Modi? – By Tavleen Singh (May 7, 2017, Indian Express)

… It is hard to understand why a Prime Minister so passionate about making India a modern, digital, prosperous country has seemingly not noticed that hunting and killing Muslims on the pretext of cows and love jihad does not sit well with modernity. The Prime Minister talks about a ‘new India’ built with the energy of the largest population of young people on the planet. Has he noticed that hunting Muslims is serving mostly to distract these same young Indians from far more important tasks?…

It is cowardice of the worst kind for young men to gang up and kill an old man, so I tweeted against this latest lynching and was immediately subjected to an onslaught of abusive tweets.… What frightens me most is the pride Hindutva tweeters plainly take in every new lynching. They make it clear that the squads of Hindu vigilantes that roam about these days in search of Muslims to kill are in their view heroes avenging centuries of repression by Muslim rulers. Like the cowardly cow vigilantes, these tweeters remain nameless, but from their language it is obvious that many of them are linked directly to the RSS or one of its sister organisations.…

My reason for repeatedly drawing attention to Hindutva violence is because I believe it is motivated not by some twisted nationalism but by uncontainable hatred of Muslims. This hatred is what persuades young Hindus to go out in gangs and hunt for the poorest, most vulnerable Muslims to beat to death. It is true that there have been almost no communal riots in the past three years, but it is also true that there is an insidious new kind of violence that takes the form of hate crimes.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/fifth-column-modernity-or-murder-mr-modi-4644120/

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The RSS idea of India is not just being spread in colleges but among the defence forces too – By Apoorvanand (May 3, 2017, Scroll.in)

It would have been any other government function. The launch of the Vidya Veerta Abhiyan by Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar in the presence of Minister of State for Defence Subhas Bhamre would not have made news in the normal course of events.

Even the presence of Army Vice Chief Lt Gen Sarath Chand along with Rear Admiral Krishen K Pandey and Air marshal HN Bhagwat at a function to launch a programme to honour Indian soldiers would not have caused any flutter. The presence of Bharatiya Janata Party politician and former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh pracharak Tarun Vijay at the function would also have been routine.

But there was a problem. The Bharat Mata to which charan vandana – salutations at the feet – was offered by the leaders of our armed forces at this function was no ordinary Bharat Mata. For this Bharat Mata, resting on a lion and holding a saffron flag against the backdrop of a map of India, is the RSS version of Bharat Mata. The map she spreads over is also not the usual, ordinary map of India. One can sense that this is the map of Vrihhtattar Bharat, greater India which extends far beyond the internationally recognised boundaries of what is known as India.…

https://scroll.in/article/836472/the-rss-idea-of-india-is-not-just-being-spread-in-colleges-but-in-defence-forces-too

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Time for trial – By Purnima S. Tripathi (May 12, 2017, Frontline)

“Justice delayed is justice denied,” but sometimes it is better late than never, as in the case of the December 6, 1992, demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya by thousands of frenzied kar sevaks gone berserk, which unleashed one of the most horrendous bouts of communal riots in the country. More shocking, perhaps, is the fact that in all these years not one individual who had been at the forefront of the Ram Mandir movement had been held guilty.

The masterminds of the entire episode had got off scot-free, seemingly cocking a snook at the rule of law. In the eyes of the people at large, it was the most despicable mockery of the rule of law because the perpetrators of the crime escaped prosecution, with their influence in the corridors of power seemingly providing them immunity. They went on to become Union Ministers, and in the case of the BJP patriarch L.K. Advani, even Deputy Prime Minister.

But even if it is 25 years late, the political life of Advani more than anybody else has come full circle with the Supreme Court ordering that he and other BJP leaders such as Murli Manohar Joshi, Vinay Katiyar and Uma Bharati, besides some Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Shiv Sena leaders, be tried for criminal conspiracy in the demolition of the Babri Masjid.… It was a crime that shook the very foundation of Indian jurisprudence because the BJP had given solemn affidavits in various forums affirming its commitment to protect the disputed shrine even as a shrill political movement was being woven around it.…

http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/time-for-trial/article9663122.ece

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Aadhaar is an electronic leash on citizens – By Kanishk Tharoor (May 4, 2017, Hindustan Times)

“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare once asked of roses. The 21st century version of this thorny question is: “What’s in an ID?” With great leaps in digital and biometric technology, the possibility that all individuals can be “known” by states and other institutions has becoming tantalisingly real. Until the coalescence of nation-states in the early 20th century, most people didn’t have ID cards of any kind. Now with over one billion people registered for Aadhaar numbers, India boasts the largest biometric database in the world.

Though wrapped in often opaque and cumbersome legalese, the debate over Aadhaar at the Supreme Court in the past week asks one of the most important questions of our time. In the age of big data, how much should the state know about individuals? It is a classic duel of two rival imperatives: The desire to expand the capacities of the State against the fear of the State developing illiberal powers over individuals.…

Without serious privacy protections, we should be wary of these efforts to make all people known and knowable. They remain ripe for abuse and error (already, lakhs of Aadhaar numbers have been accidentally leaked). Aadhaar will not only grant the State an “electronic leash” on citizens, but also allow corporations to build invasive financial profiles of people’s habits and histories. Why should we either repose faith in private sector whose ultimate interest is its own well-being, or surrender so much trust to state institutions with long traditions of incompetence?

http://www.hindustantimes.com/columns/aadhaar-is-an-electronic-leash-on-citizens/story-b9Q13XUK7aAwRfcUZFmehL.html

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Book Review

Splintered Justice: Living the Horror of Mass Communal Violence in Bhagalpur and Gujarat

Author: Warisha Farasat and Prita Jha
Reviewed by: Kalpana Sharma
Available at: Three Essays Collective, New Delhi: 2016, pp 221, ?500 (paperback). www.amazon.in/
Review:
A Book of Memory and Forgetting (Apr 29, 2017, EPW)

Does anyone even remember the communal violence that tore apart Bhagalpur in Bihar in 1989? According to official estimates, around 250 villages and 50,000 people were affected. The official death toll was estimated to be over 900 although the unofficial toll was higher. It was a familiar story because it had happened before. And since then it has happened again. And will do so in the future.…

Why is it important to record these divisions, these conflicts that recur with such worrying frequency? Would it not be better to erase these memories and look ahead? The writers of this book demonstrate convincingly why incidents of mass violence must be recorded and followed up. If they are not, then history will only remember the version of the victors while the victims will continue to remain voiceless, unheard, without justice.

In this regard, the book under review serves an important purpose. It is a record of the communal killings in Bhagalpur in 1989, and in Gujarat 2002. But instead of going over familiar ground, the authors help us understand the legacy of such mass violence. These recorded memories show us the costs of a broken criminal justice system and the price that victims of mass violence continue to pay for decades.…

http://www.epw.in/journal/2017/17/book-reviews/book-memory-and-forgetting.html

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 28th, 2016

by newsdigest on April 3, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Gurbani Samagam depicts communal harmony (Mar 23, 2016, Times of India)

India is a country where the people of different faiths have coexisted in harmony for centuries. Recently, New Delhi hosted a three-day long ‘Gurbani Samagam’, a spiritual music festival which brought two faiths together. The event witnessed the participation of both Sikh and Muslim communities and painted a picture of religious harmony.

“Gurbani sends across the message that the universe is one whole and that all humans are one, the children of God. No one is good or bad. Gurbani does not discriminate between castes and communities, it is above all biases. It advises the people to stay in harmony and brotherhood and spread peace in the world. We also wish to send this message of peace to everyone through Gurbani,” said Bhai Davender Singh, singer, Gurbani Samagam.…

“We have been participating in this event for the past two years, as it spreads the message of communal harmony. Truth is not limited to one person, it belongs to everyone. We would like to send the message that irrespective of the religion, region or language of a person, the prime truth is for everyone,” said Muhammad Iqbal, a singer from Patiala. The Sikh tradition of Gurbani helps to bring people of all faiths under one roof and celebrate oneness.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/51526605.cms

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Modi under fire as middle-class India still awaits ‘Achhe din’ (Mar 23, 2016, Hindustan Times)

‘Achhe din aayenge’. The slogan that spearheaded the election campaign promising the “good days” of lower costs, better health care and livelihood opportunities seems to be hounding the common man of India. Sharp rises in education and healthcare costs in the last two years have hit India’s burgeoning middle class hard, denting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity among the relatively well-off ahead of a series of state elections.

Price increases for services deemed a luxury for most Indians could also complicate the central bank’s plans to cut borrowing costs, with decades of low investment in schools and hospitals meaning they will remain expensive for some time.…

Education costs have risen 13%, housing 10%, healthcare 14% and electricity 8% since Modi took charge in May 2014, time series data on CPI inflation collected by the ministry of statistics showed. That puts a disproportionate strain on middle class incomes, with education costs accounting for 7% of urban households’ monthly spend compared with 3.5% of rural households, data showed.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/pm-modi-under-fire-as-middle-class-india-still-awaits-achhe-din/story-zTM7i6bj2dP9bUMJrNWDvK.html

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Kanhaiya compares ‘onslaught on universities’ to Gujarat riots (Mar 29, 2016, The Hindu)

JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar on Monday drew a comparison between the alleged onslaught on Indian universities and the 2002 Gujarat riots, alleging that both the attacks were carried out with the “support” of the State machinery.

He also asserted that there was a difference between the 2002 riots and the 1984 Sikh massacre, as the “violence in Gujarat was carried out through the State machinery, and the anti-Sikh riots were a result of mob frenzy”. “There is a difference between Emergency and Fascism. During Emergency, goons of one party are engaged in goondaism, while in the case of Fascism the State machinery turns to goondaism. There is a difference between the riots of 2002 and 1984. There is a fundamental difference between a mob killing a common man and a massacre through State machinery,” the JNUSU president said.

Mr. Kumar expressed these views during a discussion on “Voices of Azaadi” at the “Jashne-e-azaadi” festival organised to celebrate the birth anniversary of late Professor Bipan Chandra. Noting that the present time was an era of “Islamophobia”, Mr. Kumar emphasised on the need to understand history before.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/kanhaiya-compares-onslaught-on-universities-to-gujarat-riots/article8407347.ece

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Was Delhi dentist Dr Narang lynched to death by Muslims? Or is RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal giving it a communal spin? (Mar 26, 2016, India.com)

Vikaspuri region of West Delhi is still left in a shocked situation following the death of 40-year-old dentist Dr Narang. The dentist was lynched to death after a road rage incident on Wednesday night. The gruesome incident has instilled fear among the residents. However, compounding to their concerns is the communal tension, which has been created since the past couple of days by Hindutva groups active in the area.

Volunteers of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal have been propagating that the lynching was done by a group of Bangladeshi Muslims, who are residing in the unregularized jhuggis of the Delhi. They further accused Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of defending them by using his political clout. The fringe groups claim that Bangladeshi Muslims form an essential vote bank of Kejriwal, hence, his government is attempting to shield the accused.

However, according to Vikaspuri DCP Monika Bhardwaj, out of the nine accused who have been arrested so far, five are Hindus and four are Muslims. Thus the case could not be probed through communal angle. “All of the accused are from Uttar Pradesh, not Bangladesh,” she added.…

http://www.india.com/news/india/was-delhi-dentist-dr-narang-lynched-to-death-by-muslims-or-is-rss-vhp-bajrang-dal-giving-it-a-communal-spin-1059631/

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Madrassa Student’s Arm Broken Allegedly For Not Chanting ‘Jai Mata Ki’ (Mar 30, 2016, Huffington Post)

Three young students from a madrasa in outer Delhi’s Begumpur area have complained that they were beaten up by a group of men inside a park for refusing to chant ‘Jai Mata Ki’, according to media reports. The men even broke an arm of 18-year-old Dilkash – one of the three assaulted – during the incident.

“My friends and I had gone to Bans Wala park, some 300 metres from the madrasa, when we were attacked by a group of young men. They spotted us because we were wearing caps and asked us to say Jai Mata Ki,” Dilkash told The Indian Express. The men have been drinking, according to this report, when they saw the three students approach the park during the school break, and asked them to chant the slogan. When they refused, the men roughed them up.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Vikramjit Singh told the Express that a case was registered under sections 323 (causing hurt), 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 34 of the Indian Penal Code at Begumpur police station.…

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2016/03/30/bharat-mata-ki-jai_n_9570196.html

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Ground report from Red Zone: Is Chhattisgarh becoming a police state? (Mar 30, 2016, India Today)

On Rajdeep Sardesai’s show NewsToday, lawyer and social activist Teesta Setalvad and PK Mishra, former ADG, BSF, concurred with each other on gross human rights violations in Chief Minister Raman Singh’s Chhattishgarh. In Maoist-affected areas of Chhattisgarh, it is the doctors and journalists who are bearing the brunt of the police forces.

Speaking on police atrocity, Teesta Setalvad said, “…I am really shocked at the attacks on journalists in Bastar. Are we going to tolerate a situation where journalists are going to be openely threatened by the police and then we accept the police version to say, “Are these journalists also reporting the Maoist’s version? Are we going to have no independent witnesses in Bastar or in the Red corridor?”

On being questioned about the role of the police force which is allegedly muzzling of the voice of the people in Chhattishgarh, PK Mishra said the police and paramilitary forces should operate in the maoist-affected area under the Constitution.…

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/ground-report-journalists-doctors-caught-in-bastar-crossfire/1/630406.html

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Cow vigilantism: Families contest Jharkhand government’s claims on Latehar lynchings (Mar 23, 2016, Scroll.in)

…Latehar police maintain that the murders were for cattle robbery, and can be traced to a dispute between Ansari and one of the accused, whom the police did not name. The police have arrested all eight accused, including two who are members of “Gau Raksha Samiti” [Cow Protection Organisation]. Six of the eight oxen were recovered from one of the accused, while the remaining two were abandoned by the attackers.

On March 20, speaking to journalists, even while the investigation was still on, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das said the murders could have been linked to cattle smuggling, “like Uttarakhand, in Jharkhand too no one can take animals outside the state,” he stated.

Two days later, on March 22, when the chief minister announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each, the families of the victims refused to accept it and demanded a judicial probe into the murders. “When the chief minister justifies lynching and murder, falsely accusing of cattle smuggling, then what justice can we expect?” said one of Majloom Ansaris’ four brothers.…

http://scroll.in/article/805548/latehar-lynchings-good-step-to-stop-cow-slaughter

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NIA failed to produce evidence against Muslim youths in Malegaon Blast Case (Mar 27, 2016, Siasat)

National Investigation Agency admitted before the court that it does not have any concrete proof against the nine Muslim youths about their involvement in Malegaon Bomb Blast Case.

It may be noted that before the investigation of NIA, ATS and CBI have already filed charge sheets. Before pronouncing any judgment, the confession statement of NIA would be taken into consideration. NIA’s advocate told that nine Muslim youths who were arrested in this case may get relief very soon. They have already spent more than 5 years behind the bars. At present they are on bail.…

When NIA started investigations, secrets were exposed one by one. In 2008, a bomb was blast at Bhiku Chowk in which Sadhavi and her guru were taken into police custody along with Col. Purohit. When Swami Aseemanand’s statement was recorded, the investigating agencies got an opportunity to probe further. NIA did not oppose the bail petitions of nine Muslim youths at that time.

http://www.siasat.com/news/nia-failed-produce-evidence-muslim-youths-malegaon-blast-case-937949/

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I told NIA about Ishrat Jahan, don’t know why didn’t they record the statement: David Headley to court (Mar 26, 2016, First Post)

On the fourth day of his cross-examination in the 26/11 Mumbai attack case before the court, Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley claimed that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had not recorded his statements accurately and that he had no personal knowledge of Ishrat Jahan.

Headley on Saturday claimed that LeT commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi had told him about Ishrat Jahan ‘operation’ though he had also learnt about the case through the media. He said that he had told NIA that “a female member who had died in an encounter in India was Ishrat Jahan” and other things but could not say why they were not recorded by the agency.…

On whether NIA read out the statement to him, Headley said, “No” and added that the agency just took down the notes. To a question, the Lashkar operative, who has been convicted in the US for his role in the 26/11 attacks, said neither he had requested the NIA for a copy of the statement nor did they provide it to him. He also said that this is for the first time that he was being shown his statement in the court.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/i-told-nia-about-ishrat-jahan-dont-know-why-didnt-they-record-the-statement-david-headley-to-court-2696934.html

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32 cops booked in custodial death case (Mar 23, 2016, The Tribune)

Following directions of the district sessions judge, the city police have booked around 33 government officials, including policemen, in connection with the custodial death of a jail inmate, Raju Chand.…

The police have booked 32 government officials posted at the local Central Jail and related departments for their role in the custodial death of Raju, who died in 2013. Her mother, Manjit Kaur, filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court alleging that Raju died due to inhuman torture in the jail by the police.

Among those booked include superintendent, jail, BS Bhullar, superintendent Amrik Singh, assistant superintendent, jail, Gurbinder Singh, assistant superintendent Tasvir Singh, assistant superintendent Jagtar Singh, medical officer Dr Gunam Singh and naib tehsildar Harvinder Singh.…

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/amritsar/32-cops-booked-in-custodial-death-case/212924.html

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Gujarat: Charges framed against Asaram Bapu in rape case in Gandhingar (Mar 28, 2016, DNA India)

A court in Gandhinagar on Monday framed charges against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, paving the way start of trial, more than two years after the police filed a charge-sheet against him and six others in a rape case.

A Surat-based woman has accused Asaram of raping her repeatedly during her stay in his ashram here. The framing of charges was delayed because the police could not bring Asaram to the court as he is in a Jodhpur jail in connection with another rape case.…

The younger sister of the complainant has levelled the allegation of rape against his son Narayan Sai who too has been arrested by Surat police. The elder sister has accused Asaram of sexual assaults between 1997 and 2006 when she was living in his Ashram on the outskirts of Ahmedabad city.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-charges-framed-against-asaram-bapu-in-rape-case-in-gandhingar-2195150

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Opinions and Editorials

A letter to Modi: Why is there such a gap between your wonderful words and your actions? – By Kiran Nagarkar (Mar 29, 2016, Scroll.in)

On March 17, you outdid yourself on the first day of the World Sufi Forum hosted in Delhi. What could one say except “What a speech, how moving.” You had done your homework and you obviously have total recall (it would also be interesting to find out who your speechwriters are) but the fact remains that you are able to reproduce their amalgam of fact and rhetoric into an extempore mix.…

You had some genuinely wise things to say, like: “We must reject any link between terrorism and religion. Those who spread terror in the name of religion are anti-religious.” What noble sentiments.… And yet there was this low whisper telling me again and again something that the British Underground, along with the local train stations in Mumbai, have told us for years – mind the gap, mind the gap, mind the gap. That is the gap between the trains and the platforms where so many fall and are injured or die. In your case, Prime Minister it’s the credibility gap – the chasm between your wonderful words and zero action.…

How come, Dear Prime Minister, you have not read the riot act to your Islamophobic ministers, legislators, parliamentarians or the rest of the Parivar even once since you came to power? Some folks believe that it is because of these tirades and hate-filled actions that the BJP did not win the Delhi and Bihar elections, and predict that the elections in the four or five states due in the coming months will not be a walkover.…

http://scroll.in/article/805696/a-letter-to-modi-why-is-there-such-a-gap-between-your-wonderful-words-and-your-actions

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For Urdu Publications, the Government’s Default Setting is Suspicion – By Akhil Kumar (Mar 20, 2016, The Wire)

“Does this mean people writing in Urdu are the ones who will write anti-national things?” asks Shahnaz Nabi, head of the Urdu department at the University of Calcutta. Nabi received an unusual form earlier this week when the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) undertook to bulk purchase her book on literary criticism.

The form, which has been criticised by many writers for a controversial clause which requires them to declare that their work is not critical of government policies.…

It further states that the council could take legal action against the writers, and ask them to return the financial assistance they have been provided, if they do not abide by the declaration. It also requires the writers to get their form signed by two witnesses.…

http://thewire.in/2016/03/20/ncpul-urdu-writers-declaration-form-25324/

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Nationalism, then and now – By K.N. Panikkar (Apr 15, 2016, Frontline)

A welcome consequence of the recent despicable incident of slapping sedition charges on the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is the widespread discussion it generated on the complex and multilayered character of Indian nationalism.…

That even after about 70 years of independence from colonial rule, wrested after a popular and protracted struggle for civil liberties, it is rather ironical that the independent state should invoke the same laws which the colonial rulers had used to suppress dissent and deny freedom of expression. It is not fortuitous, though.

It is occasioned by the communal right-wing takeover of the government of India by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the consequent resurgence of Hindu religious fundamentalism directed by the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and its affiliates.…

http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/nationalism-then-and-now/article8409074.ece

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Sri Sri is lying and misleading all about my Yamuna assessment – By Gopal Krishna (Mar 23, 2016, Dailyo.in)

The recently concluded World Culture Festival (WCF) on the banks of Yamuna is a classic case of how we govern our rivers and its floodplains, rather misgovern them. The fact that the Art of Living (AOL) festival was planned after clearing, compacting, dumping of earth and construction debris over some 1,000 acres of the flood plain of Yamuna and by clearing the reeds and grasses underlines how it has joined the unwise assaults beginning with the construction of samadhis, Akshardham temple, Delhi Secretariat, Millennium Bus Depot, Delhi Metro and Commonwealth Games village that has devastated the floodplains.

Floodplain waters contain hundreds of plant and animal species and they are dependent on floodplains. These assaults constitute unpardonable encroachments. The role of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in mere condoning the violations of law and ironically also granting permission to further plunder the floodplains through WCF exposes its structural weaknesses and intent.

Issues of water quality, quantity and land use are interlinked because one cannot deal with them as if they are separate from the river basin but this is precisely what is being done. NGT’s approach has been no different. There is no alternative to genuine river basin approach.…

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/world-culture-festival-sri-sri-ravi-shankar-art-of-living-yamuna-delhi-metro-pollution-environment-aol-ngt/story/1/9698.html

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Why And What Happened In University of Hyderabad – By Omkar Nadh (Mar 27, 2016, Countercurrents)

University of Hyderabad has been worst hit by the ruling classes to suppress the dissenting voices that were being raised shaming the discriminatory practices in the society and the role of state machinery in perpetuating such discrimination. The entire episode of Rohit Vemula, who is a victim of institutional killing by the NDA government at the centre and the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University, is the worst form that this discrimination has been manifested.

Even the interim report of the two member committee appointed by the MHRD suggests this. Given this situation the VC of University has gone on leave for almost 2 months and then Mr.Periasamy has took over as acting VC of University and the University was functioning normal with students getting ready for their end semester examinations.

The return of Mr. Apparao at this point of time raises various questions like, since the enquiry in Rohit Vemula’s case is still under process where Mr. Apparao was prime accused, his occupancy of position which can tamper the evidences related to the case was a concern raised by the students.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/nadh270316.htm

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Message from Udumalpet – Editorial (Mar 26, 2016, EPW)

The ghastly murder of V Shankar, a 22-year old Dalit youth on the streets of Udumalpet in western Tamil Nadu on 13 March 2016, is indeed yet another instance of the manifestation of ugly casteism in the state. It is not enough to see this as merely a problem on the law and order front or one of uncivilised behaviour.

Insofar as it is a case of murder, the perpetrators of the criminal act and those behind them will have to be punished. But then, given the track record of the state police and its prosecutorial wing, such crimes in the past have not led to conviction of the guilty in any of the cases. Tamil Nadu has witnessed as many as 81 such killings in the guise of “honour” in the past couple of years alone, according to one report.

In this instance, as it was earlier, the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has not even come out with a ritualistic condemnation while the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has chosen to term it as evidence of the government’s failure on the law and order front.…

http://www.epw.in/journal/2016/13/editorials/message-udumalpet.html

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 6th, 2015

April 7, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Bihar CM Nitish Kumar demands BJP’s explanation for 2002 Gujarat riots 1992 Jalandhar fake encounters: 8 ex-cops get life sentence Main accused in Patna blast case arrested Babri Masjid demolition case: Courts are ‘the only way ahead when accused are in govt’, says Haji Mehboob Muslims have […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 16th, 2015

March 17, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Puttur: CM inaugurates Mini Vidhana Soudha, stresses on communal harmony News Headlines Gulberg society massacre: In final arguments, SIT seeks conviction of all 61 accused ‘Ishrat’s family living in fear’ Bombs hurled at Tamil TV channel Puthiya Thalaimurai’s office by bike-borne assailants ‘Love jihad’ gets a Bengal […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 13th, 2014

October 15, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Carrying on a tradition: An ode to communal harmony News Headlines BJP behind clashes at Ahmedabad, Vadodara: Gujarat Congress Communalism, biggest threat facing state: AGP Now, ‘love jihad victim’ says she had eloped; family cooked up story Boy, allegedly set ablaze by Army men, dies in Hyderabad […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 8th, 2014

September 9, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Home ministry maintains secrecy over shredded govt files Hindu hardliners unrepentant a year after India riots ‘Cops framing Muslims for Vadodara riots’ Media trials: SC calls for norms on reporting, police briefing After Reconversion, Shivpuri Family Hints at Pressure From Hindu Groups, Foul Play by Police ‘Love […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 14th, 2013

October 15, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Communal Harmony Meeting Held at Aligarh News Headlines SIT asks apex court’s permission to seek death for Kodnani BJP MP accused of ‘extortion’ for Modi’s rally Amit Shah is questioned by CBI for 4 hours in Ishrat case Gujarat Police killed ‘terrorist’ Sadiq, but failed to […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 16th, 2013

September 17, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Rounup Announcements Muzaffarnagar carnage a planned tactic of communal politics Communal Harmony Hindus, Muslims in 2 villages show UP how to live and let live News Headlines SP, BJP flared up communal tension: Ajit Singh Muzaffarnagar riots: ‘I saw my wife and child killed’, tearful villager tells PM Nearly […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 16th, 2012

July 16, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Keshubhai Patel compares Narendra Modi to Adolf Hitler Best Bakery case: Too little, too late Communal riot cases can’t be quashed, rules Kerala HC Government harassing FSL officer: Satish Verma Purohit generated input on Pragya Singh 12 days after her name came up, say NIA sources […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 24th, 2011

October 25, 2011

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony “Ayodhya means a land where there will never be a war” News Headlines Amicus report lays the ground for chargesheeting Narendra Modi Gulbarg case: Why is SIT taking so long to submit final report? As a police officer I see Narendra Modi as a criminal: Sanjiv […]

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