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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – January 8th, 2018

by newsdigest on January 9, 2018

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

A Jain And A Muslim Family Break Bread And Barriers Together In Meerut (Jan 5, 2018, Huffington Post)

Uttar Pradesh – How does a “pure” vegetarian woman from the Jain community end up cooking in the kitchen belonging to a Muslim family where meat is prepared frequently?… Over several cups of tea, Jain recollected how at a time when Hindus and Muslims in Meerut engaged in rioting, he found the most precious friendship of his life – in a Muslim man.

Jain had always fancied himself as a ‘tough’ guy, a man of action. But in the summer of 1987, 31-year-old Jain, found himself helpless when he came face-to-face with a rioting mob. In the incident, which remains seared in his memory, Jain’s life was saved by his Muslim colleague.

It was an encounter that would leave him deeply introspective, questioning why so many in his community were hell-bent on typecasting Muslims as the “other,” perpetually maligning them for eating meat and sacrificing animals on Bakrid, demonizing them as a threat to their way of life.… Jain said, “I don’t know who is right or wrong but the fighting is pointless. Being friends is natural. It is making enemies that is unnatural.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2018/01/05/defying-xenophobia-in-meerut-a-jain-and-a-muslim-family-break-bread-and-barriers-together_a_23323723/

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Rs 500, 10 minutes, and you have access to billion Aadhaar details (Jan 3, 2018, The Tribune)

It was only last November that the UIDAI asserted that “Aadhaar data is fully safe and secure and there has been no data leak or breach at UIDAI.” Today, The Tribune “purchased” a service being offered by anonymous sellers over WhatsApp that provided unrestricted access to details for any of the more than 1 billion Aadhaar numbers created in India thus far.

It took just Rs 500, paid through Paytm, and 10 minutes in which an “agent” of the group running the racket created a “gateway” for this correspondent and gave a login ID and password. Lo and behold, you could enter any Aadhaar number in the portal, and instantly get all particulars that an individual may have submitted to the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), including name, address, postal code (PIN), photo, phone number and email.

What is more, The Tribune team paid another Rs 300, for which the agent provided “software” that could facilitate the printing of the Aadhaar card after entering the Aadhaar number of any individual. When contacted, UIDAI officials in Chandigarh expressed shock over the full data being accessed, and admitted it seemed to be a major national security breach. They immediately took up the matter with the UIDAI technical consultants in Bangaluru.…

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/rs-500-10-minutes-and-you-have-access-to-billion-aadhaar-details/523361.html

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Aadhaar data open for misuse and abuse, says whistleblower Edward Snowden (Jan 5, 2018, Hindustan Times)

A day after the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) denied that there was any breach of the Aadhaar database, American whistleblower Edward Snowden said on Friday that the Aadhaar database conceived and introduced by the Indian government can also be misused and abused.

Retweeting CBS journalist Zack Whittaker’s response on a BuzzFeed report on the breach of Aadhaar database in India, Snowden said, “It is the natural tendency of government to desire perfect records of private lives. History shows that no matter the laws, the result is abuse.”

Whittaker had earlier said, “ICYMI. India has a national ID database with the private information of nearly 1.2 billion nationals. It’s reportedly been breached. Admin accounts can be made and access can be sold to the database, reports BuzzFeed.”…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/american-whistleblower-edward-snowden-hints-india-s-aadhaar-open-for-misuse-and-abuse/story-f1uu5Th8To4x1MhHfIm9jP.html

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Dalit protests shake BJP’s fort as rise in casteism challenges party’s politics of Hindutva-laced nationalism (Jan 4, 2018, First Post)

…To understand how the political class keeps the tension simmering, consider the case of the Gurjars of Rajasthan and Patidars of Gujarat. When Gurjars, who are currently among the OBCs, took to the streets for their inclusion in STs in 2007-08, the BJP government led by Vasundhara Raje promised them five percent reservation as special backward classes. This solution was unviable from the very beginning because the promised quota exceeded the 50 percent ceiling that can’t be breached without the Supreme Court’s intervention.…

The BJP was hoping its Hindutva appeal will keep the agadas and pichhadas united. Emboldened by the outcome in the 90s when it had countered Mandal effectively with Kamandal, it had hoped the bogey of political and socio-cultural domination of Muslims would keep the Hindutva forces under one tent. But, the developments in Gujarat and the clashes in Maharashtra show the communal glue is coming off. The caste fault lines are reappearing.

Since the BJP is in power, it is wary of the evolving situation. Its concerns were reflected in the ongoing RSS conclave at Ujjain on Tuesday when Mohan Bhagwat talked at length about bringing the Dalits under the Hindutva fold by having a quota for them within the Sangh. (Imagine the worry lines when an outfit that always opposed quota argues for reservation within the organisation!) The BJP knows mobilisation of Dalits, minorities and liberals could pose an electoral threat in 2019.…

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/dalit-protests-shake-bjps-fort-as-rise-in-casteism-challenges-partys-politics-of-hindutva-laced-nationalism-4286999.html

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Yogi Adityanath government’s gift to Yogi Adityanath: Governor okays bill to withdraw case – 5 things to know (Jan 8, 2018, Financial Express)

A bill allowing the withdrawal of cases, including against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, got the assent of state’s governor Ram Naik on Monday. The law allows the withdrawal of around 20,000 “politically-motivated” cases that were filed across the state over protest demonstrations. One such case was also filed against Adityanath and others. Here are five things you need to know about the bill and the cases:

The case against CM Adityanath and a dozen others was filed for holding a meeting in alleged violation of prohibitory orders over 22 years ago. While Yogi Adityanath, who also holds the home portfolio in UP, was named in the case, Union Minister Shiv Pratap Shukla, BJP MLA Sheetal Pandey, and 10 others were respondents in the case that was filed at Gorakhpur’s Pipiganj police station on May 27, 1995.

Gorakhpur has been Adityanath’s home turf. He represented the constituency in Lok Sabha for five terms before being appointed as the chief minister earlier this year. The case was filed because Adityanath, who was then the Gorakhpur MP, had allegedly made a hate speech following the killing of a Hindu youth in a clash between two groups during a Moharram procession. Adityanath was arrested and he had to spend 10 days in jail before being allowed to go out on bail.…

http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/yogi-adityanath-governments-gift-to-yogi-adityanath-governor-okays-bill-to-withdraw-case-5-things-to-know/1006781/

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Women protest against triple talaq Bill (Jan 7, 2018, The Hindu)

Opposing the triple talaq Bill, Muslim women protested against the Union government in Kalaburagi on Saturday.

They took out a march from Muslim Chowk and demonstrated at the Deputy Commissioners’ office. They said that the recently introduced Muslim Women (Protection of rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 was defective and politically motivated and it would not protect the interests of Muslim women.

They also warned that any interference in All India Muslim Personal Law Board would not be tolerated. “The government cannot force Muslims to follow other communities in issues related to personal laws as it would amount to an infringement of their fundamental rights,” they added.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/women-protest-against-triple-talaq-bill/article22389892.ece

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BJP Candidate Greeted With Garland Of Shoes In Madhya Pradesh (Jan 8, 2018, NDTV)

A BJP candidate campaigning for the upcoming civic body elections in Madhya Pradesh was left embarrassed after he was greeted with garland of shoes while campaigning in Dhamnod, a town in Dhar district situated around 272 km from state capital Bhopal.

The incident took place on Sunday when Dinesh Sharma, the BJP candidate for Dhamnod Civic election, was campaigning door-to-door to seek votes for his party.…

Video shows Mr Sharma trying to move away when he is approached by a man with the garland of shoes, but he later lets him put it around his neck. The man who made him wear the garland says he wanted to highlight the acute water problem in the region.…

https://www.ndtv.com/bhopal-news/bjp-candidate-greeted-with-garland-of-shoes-in-madhya-pradesh-1797055

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India Muslim man beaten to death ‘over New Year music’ (Jan 2, 2018, BBC)

A Muslim has been beaten to death in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand after reportedly asking a group to stop playing loud music on New Year’s Day. The incident happened in Mandar, a town close to the state capital, Ranchi.

People blocked the national motorway on Tuesday to demand the arrest of suspects but the blockade was eventually cleared by police.… Waseem Ansari, 19, worked as a daily wage labourer in Pune and had returned to his village a couple of days ago.

Correspondents say there are fears that communal and religious divisions are widening in India, with minorities feeling they are not sufficiently protected.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-42539447

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Two minor Muslim girls arrested in UP for cow slaughter (Jan 4, 2018, The Week)

In a shocking incident a few days before, police jailed two minor Muslim girls on charges of cow slaughter in Khatauli town of western Uttar Pradesh. The incident took place on December 29, when two girls, reportedly aged 12 and 16, were arrested by the police. Later, the police produced them in the court, claiming they were adults. The girls Sheeba and Shahiba are still in jail. The main accused Naseemuddin fled while his entire family was jailed.

Meanwhile the local corporator Haji Ajaj Ahamed claimed that the girls were minor as their parents got married in 2001. By that standard, the girls are minor and should have been sent to a juvenile home. He said that documents pertaining to their ages are being procured so that it could be proved in the court that they are minors. The locals are also trying to get the marriage certificates of these girls’ parents so that could have some more concrete proof.

Meanwhile, according to unconfirmed reports, the Aadhaar cards of the two girls show their dates of birth as 2005 and 2001 respectively. Another local Shadab Ahmed said the police were falsely trying to implicate the girls in this case by showing that they were not under-age.…

http://www.theweek.in/news/india/two-minor-muslim-girls-arrested-in-up-for-cow-slaughter.html

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India girls ‘attacked for meeting Muslim boys’ (Jan 3, 2018, BBC)

Two female students have been attacked by a group of men in the southern Indian city of Mangalore, reportedly for meeting up with two Muslim boys. The group of teenaged friends were in a theme park when they were assaulted.

Police told the BBC that they had arrested three men, who allegedly belonged to a right-wing group, and were looking for other suspects. The incident was caught on video and widely shared online, triggering outrage at so-called “moral policing”. One of the men is seen heckling the girls, even as they were being escorted out of the park by police.…

Police told the BBC that visitors at the park spotted the group of friends and then reported them to a right-wing fringe group, leading to members of the group showing up at the park and attacking them. The video shows the students being hit multiple times by the men, who also shouted at them, asking them to call their parents.…

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-42550850

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After escaping rape attempt, Faridabad Police make victim wait 7 hours in the freezing cold (Jan 7, 2018, India Today)

In a suspected case of human trafficking, the insensitivity of Faridabad Police left a 15-year-old girl shivering in the cold wave for more than seven hours on Friday night. Having escaped a rape attempt, she reached out to police, but the SHO did not reportedly pay any heed to her complaint and denied assistance. The police helpline number, 100, too was non-functional the entire day.…

The girl, who hails from Dinajpur district in West Bengal told Mail Today that she had eloped with a 17-year-old boy, who befriended her one year back.… Later, in Rahul’s absence, his uncle tried to rape her, she said. Horrified, the girl ran away from that place and managed to enter a gated colony.

She spent major part of Friday night in the market of Ashoka Enclave Part-III. In the early hours of Saturday, she reached Kanishka Residency where the security guard offered her a blanket. He informed the police after the girl narrated her ordeal. The SHO of Sarai Khawaja, instead of helping her, advised the security guard to throw her out of the colony.&hellip

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/after-escaping-rape-attempt-faridabad-police-make-victim-wait-7-hours-in-the-freezing-cold/1/1125160.html

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Opinions and Editorials

FIR against Tribune journalist is a serious loss of face for Modi government – By Rajeev Sharma (Jan 8, 2018, Dailyo.in)

The filing of a First Information Report (FIR) by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) against The Tribune reporter Rachna Khaira is sure to antagonise a lot of people. This is not something the Narendra Modi government can afford at a time when the entire political narrative is moving towards the 2019 general elections.

Apart from the known solid arguments that the move is like shooting the messenger and that the whistle-blower is getting penalised, the Modi government must keep in mind the public perception. On that count alone, PM Modi must intervene and ensure that this FIR is withdrawn.

What The Tribune has done is nothing but public service in the highest journalistic traditions. The newspaper’s report has merely warned the public – and the government, particularly the UIDAI – that their ambitious scheme has inherent flaws, technically as well as administratively. The newspaper only reignited privacy concerns around the world’s largest database of biometric details of a 1.19 billion residents in India and showed the mirror to the authorities.…

https://www.dailyo.in/variety/aadhaar-data-breach-aadhar-card-supreme-court-biometric-data-narendra-modi/story/1/21598.html

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The triple talaq bill is a distortion of the essence of the Supreme Court judgments – By Abhishek Singhvi (Jan 3, 2018, Hindustan Times)

… In criminalising triple talaq, is the present government misusing a judgment delivered to promote gender equality, for ulterior motives? Or is it guilty of gross overreach in legislating supposedly on the basis of the court’s judgement?…

What is crucial to note is that neither the majorities nor the dissent remotely contemplate, much less direct, the criminalisation of triple talaq. To use the judicial pronouncement as a carte blanche to enact an arbitrary punitive legislation would be a clear distortion of the essence of the Supreme Court judgements.… The Bill makes the classic mistake of treating every error, mistake or illegality as a crime, which it most assuredly is not, though the reverse is axiomatically true. We have very recently seen the disastrous consequences of the same conceptual confusion in the context of the 2G case.…

Good governance requires sobriety, restraint, balance and farsightedness. As regards criminalisation of triple talaq, the government of the day has to hearken back to those virtues instead of relying on brute majorities.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/opinion/the-triple-talaq-bill-is-a-distortion-of-the-essence-of-the-supreme-court-judgments/story-PQ74QAbj63CH1GfoDGpfCP.html

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What Hindutva leaders were trying to achieve with Bhima Koregaon violence – By Yashee (Jan 4, 2018, Dailyo.in)

https://www.dailyo.in/variety/bhima-koregaon-violence-maharashtra-bandh-dalits-rss-sambhaji-bhide-milind-ekbote/story/1/21533.html

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Handle with care – Editorial (Jan 3, 2018, India Express)

That 1.29 crore out of a total of 3.29 crore applicants did not find their names in the first draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam points to the enormity of the challenge the state is facing in identifying illegal migrants.

A massive bureaucratic exercise has been on in Assam since the Supreme Court ordered that the NRC, which the state government had prepared along with the national census in 1951, be updated and set December 31, 2017 as the deadline. The NRC is meant to decide who is a bona fide Indian citizen and those who fail to enlist in the register will be deemed illegal migrants.

The political consensus in the state is that the NRC is the best mechanism to separate the citizen from the illegal migrant. However, the large number of omissions in the register indicate that producing necessary papers and proving one’s citizenship in a country with an indifferent record of maintaining documents is not an easy task. The NRC draft, of course, will be revised through 2018, but it is anybody’s guess if the final document will satisfy everyone.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/assam-nrc-first-draft-national-register-of-citizens-5009184/

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Introspection 2017: Speak Up Against Intimidating Language Of The Goons Masquerading As Political Activists – By Vidya Bhushan Rawat (Jan 1, 2018, Countercurrents)

As another year is coming to an end, we witnessed huge turmoil everywhere. The intimidation to dissenters continued while political opponents were targeted as usual by the Hindutva groups. Mob lynching and cow terrorism aggravated all over the country and as the state remained subdued and muted, the goons with political patronage had a field day during the year. Institutions continued to crumble as orthodox brahmanical political devotees were appointed as Directors and vice chancellors.

The worst part was that the fourth pillar of democracy, the media, surrendered absolutely and reached its nadir, much worse than what we could have witnessed during the infamous emergency. Now media has become a party to propaganda by the Hindutva hate groups where character assassination and intimidation is the way of life. The year began with the murder of Gauri Lankesh and continued with threat to the life of Prof Kancha Ilaiah…. Now, Dr Sujatha Surepally, who is a teacher in Satwahana University, Karimnagar has come under the target of the Sangh Parivar supported goons who have been abusing her on their Facebook page and threatening with dire consequences.…

In this year 2018, I would only request people not to make messiahs of persons whose rights are violated or those who face threat but stand with them as their right to speak and the least you could do is to express outrage against the vulgar language which the paid political goons are using against people like Sujatha. Today it is she, tomorrow it may be you or me if we are working for people’s right. Speak up before it is too late.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2018/01/01/introspection-2017-speak-intimidating-language-goons-masquerading-political-activists/

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On Caste and Identity Politics in Gujarat Elections – By Archana Prasad (Jan 7, 2018, Peoples Democracy)

The dust has settled on the Gujarat elections. The BJP has claimed that it has fought twenty two years anti-incumbency and won the elections because of its ‘politics of vikas’ versus the opposition’s ‘casteist politics’. In a post-election interview, the BJP president Amit Shah claimed that his 150+ mission had failed because of the “dirty and low level casteist politics of the Congress and its allies”. In doing so, Shah dismissed all the agitations that Gujarat has been facing for the last few years as “dirty low level politics”. But the advocates of this line should be aware of its skewed logic.

As analysis after analysis of the Gujarat elections showed, the BJP suffered some major setbacks in rural Gujarat; it also assumed that because of the work of the RSS amongst adivasis, the party swept the seats reserved for scheduled tribes. In fact one pre-election assessment even argued that the ‘dalits and adivasis’ would rescue and bolster the chances of the ruling dispensation. To this end, the BJP had shift its election discourse from questions of discrimination and rights to the questions of ‘patriotism’ and ‘Gujarati nationalism’, even alleging that the opposition was insulting the lower castes and the development that they had experienced.

However, these pronouncements and stances have only a hegemonic value as they ignore the complex ways in which the dalits and adivasis exercise their choices. This is largely because dalits and adivasis are not a homogeneous ‘votebank’ as they have been treated in election analysis.…

http://peoplesdemocracy.in/2018/0107_pd/caste-and-identity-politics-gujarat-elections

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 25th, 2017

by newsdigest on December 28, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

2G case: Narendra Modi may have just lost his most-used political weapon (Dec 21, 2017, Economic Times)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have just lost his most-used political weapon – his anti-corruption crusade. A court in New Delhi acquitted a former telecommunications minister in India’s biggest graft case, in which federal investigators alleged had cost the government as much as Rs 309.84 billion ($4.8 billion). All others involved in sale of airwave licenses in 2008 were also acquitted.

With eight states going to polls in the coming year, the verdict is seen a blow to Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, which has won a series of elections since 2014 capitalizing on corruption charges against the previous Congress-led government.

It may prompt Modi to hunt for fresh issues going into the provincial votes before seeking re-election in 2019. His boldest moves – an unprecedented cash ban and a nationwide sales tax (GST) – were also aimed at rooting out corruption but caused disruptions to the economy.…

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/62193094.cms

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Opposition Unites Against Yogi Adityanath Government’s ‘Draconian’ UPCOCA (Dec 21, 2017, News18.com)

The opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh have decided to stand united against the UP Control of Organised Crime Act (UPCOCA) tabled by the Yogi Adityanath-led government during ongoing winter session of the Assembly.

They have termed UPCOCA as a tool to suppress the voice of opposition and against the interest of the common man. Former chief minister and national president of the Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh Yadav, said that UPCOCA is a tool to threaten the voices against the government.

He said, “BJP used to say that encounters of the criminals will improve the law and order situation in the state but nothing has changed. Nothing will change until the government gives charge to able officers. UPCOCA will be used to suppress the voice of the opposition and to threaten them.”…

http://www.news18.com/news/politics/opposition-unites-against-yogi-adityanath-governments-draconian-upcoca-1609999.html

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Ashrams run by Virender Dev Dikshit raided in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh; 47 women, six girls rescued (Dec 23, 2017, New Indian Express)

Three centres run by a “spiritual leader” were raided by the police in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh today and 47 women and six minor girls were rescued. A Delhi Police team went to an ashram founded by Virender Dev Dixit at Dwarka in the national capital and rescued five minor girls, who were allegedly kept confined there, officials said.

Uttar Pradesh Police also raided two centres run by Dixit at Siktarbad and Kampil respectively and rescued 47 women and a girl. Facing a stiff opposition from the inmates, the police had to enter the centres from the terraces of the adjoining buildings.…

On Thursday, raids were conducted at the Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya at Rohini in the national capital, where women and girls were allegedly kept confined like “animals in a cage”. The matter had come to light after a PIL was filed by an NGO, Foundation for Social Empowerment, in the Delhi High Court.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/dec/23/ashrams-run-by-virender-dev-dikshit-raided-in-delhi-uttar-pradesh-47-women-six-girls-rescued-1735300.html

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4 Ram Rahim followers held for torching rail coaches (Dec 20, 2017, Times of India)

Four followers of Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh have been arrested for indulging in arson after he was convicted of rape in August, police said on Wednesday.

They set fire to two empty coaches at Anand Vihar station yard to avenge the sect chief’s conviction for the rape of two female disciples, an officer said.

Based on a tip-off, Vijay Malik, Bir Singh, Kanhaiya Lal and Harjeet Singh were arrested late on Tuesday from their residences in east Delhi’s Gandhi Nagar and Laxmi Nagar. “During interrogation, the accused admitted to being followers of the Dera and confessed that they had set the two coaches ablaze on August 25,” the officer said.…

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/62178722.cms

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Over 100 pro-Hindu activists booked in Ghaziabad for rioting over ‘love jihad’ (Dec 23, 2017, The News Minute)

Over 100 workers of the BJP and other Hindu outfits, including a dozen-odd leaders, were booked in Ghaziabad on the charge of clashing with police and rioting over the marriage of a Hindu woman with a Muslim man, police said on Saturday.

The case was lodged at midnight Friday by Kavi Nagar police through Sub Inspector Dinesh Sharma under Sections 147, 148, 336, 341, 427, 353 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 7 of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act.

The accused had allegedly clashed with police earlier in the day in Ghaziabad over the marriage they dubbed as a case of “love jihad” and also staged a sit-in outside the house of the woman’s parents and disrupted traffic.…

https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/over-100-pro-hindu-activists-booked-ghaziabad-rioting-over-love-jihad-73634

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‘We Are Afraid of Christmas’: Tensions Dampen Holiday in India (Dec 24, 2017, New York Times)

…In India, a country that is about 80 percent Hindu, Christmas is becoming big business.… But as far-right Hindu groups have gained traction, India has changed. Christmas has now found itself caught in the cross hairs.

The authorities recently detained 32 carolers and the priests who went to help them. The wife of a prominent politician was excoriated online for endorsing a Christmas charity event, and earlier this month, a far-right Hindu group sent letters to schools warning them that celebrating Christmas would be done “at their own risk.” The group threatened unspecified consequences. “We are afraid of Christmas this year,” A. C. Michael, the national coordinator of the United Christian Forum, an Indian advocacy group, said in a statement.

Shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, some officials in his government pushed a short-lived campaign to change the official recognition of Christmas to “Good Governance Day.” It is all part of a broader ideological battle that has produced countless acts of violence and harassment across India based on religious identity.…

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/24/world/asia/india-christmas.html

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Criminalisation of Triple Talaq Makes Muslim Women More Vulnerable: Women’s Groups (Dec 20, 2017, India.com)

As the government plans to introduce a legislation which criminalises instant triple talaq, various women’s group opposed the move. The Cabinet on December 15 cleared the ‘Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill’. The draft law makes the practice of instant triple talaq “illegal and void” and provides for a jail term for the husband. The women’s group said the criminalisation of instant triple talaq will affect the very women whom it proposes to protect.

The Bebak Collective, an outfit which supported Shayara Bano’s petition against instant triple talaq, said that it is opposed to making violation of the civil contract of marriage a criminal act, reports Indian Express.

According to a statement released by the organization, the legislation will make women more vulnerable as she won’t have financial security and the right to stay at her matrimonial home if her husband is sent to jail. The statement has been endorsed by more than a dozen women’s rights outfits, including academics and activists such as Nivedita Menon, Ayesha Kidwai, and Teesta Setalvad.…

http://www.india.com/news/india/criminalisation-of-instant-triple-talaq-makes-muslim-women-more-vulnerable-womens-groups-to-modi-government-2775273/

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Yogi Adityanath government stops salaries of 298 madrasa staff over lack of documents (Dec 22, 2017, New Indian Express)

The Uttar Pradesh government has stopped the salaries of 298 staff and teachers at 43 madrasas in the state that have not submitted the required details, an official said on Friday.

Minority Welfare and Muslim Waqf Minister Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary told the legislative council that of the total 560 madrasas in the state, 43 failed to submit details.

Salaries of all staff members and teachers at other madrasas was being given as per rules, the Cabinet Minister added. In all, there are 8,764 teachers and staff members at these madrasas. The Minister said a notice has been sent to the management of these madrasas again to set things in order, specially about the land they exist on.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/dec/22/yogi-adityanath-government-stops-salaries-of-298-madrasa-staff-over-lack-of-documents-1734472.html

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“Smuggle, Slaughter Cows, You’ll Be Killed,” Warns Rajasthan BJP Lawmaker (Dec 25, 2017, NDTV)

A lawmaker of Rajasthan’s ruling BJP, speaking on a mob beating of an alleged cow smuggler on Saturday, has declared: “If you smuggle cows, you will be killed”. Gyan Dev Ahuja, known for controversial statements, insisted that the man was never beaten up, that the truck fell on him.

A man called Zakir Khan was arrested for cattle smuggling after he was pulled out of his truck and beaten by villagers on Saturday. The police had tried to stop his truck, in which there were eight cows, but Zakir allegedly drove through the barricades. The police also claim those in the truck fired at them. Villagers stopped the truck and attacked Zakir Khan. Three others with him ran away.

Reacting to the incident, Gyan Dev Ahuja said: “Mera toh seedha seedha kehna hai ki gautaskari aur gaukashi karoge to yu hi maroge (If you smuggle and slaughter cows, then you will be killed). The cow is our mother.”…

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/smuggle-slaughter-cows-youll-be-killed-warns-rajasthan-bjp-lawmakergyan-dev-ahuja-1791811

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Karnataka BJP MP booked on charges of promoting communal enmity (Dec 23, 2017, Indian Express)

In the aftermath of communal disturbances in Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada district, police in Honnavar town of the region have filed a case against BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje on charges of promoting communal enmity and for causing public mischief through her comments on Twitter.

The police have filed a case under sections 153, 153A and section 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code in connection with a tweet she put out on December 14, saying “Jihadis tried to repe and murder a girl studying in 9th std near honnavar. Why is the govt silent about this incident? Arrest those who molested and injured this girl. Where are you CM @siddaramaiah?” (sic).

The BJP MP’s tweet came amid tension in Honnavar town on December 14 following reports that a young Hindu schoolgirl had suffered a cut on her hand after being attacked by unidentified persons. The police investigation in the case, however, revealed that the girl had inflicted the wound by herself to avoid harassment by some family members who had learnt of her friendship with a youth.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/karnataka-bjp-mp-shobha-karandlaje-booked-on-charges-of-promoting-communal-enmity/

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Opinions and Editorials

What good is armed forces protecting India at the border when Hindutva terror is tearing us from within? – By Sanjiv Krishan Sood (Dec 21, 2017, Dailyo.in)

…I am sticking my neck out despite knowing that I may be subjected to intense trolling by the “thekedars of Hindutva” (Hindutva’s custodians) to say that events of the last few years indicate that we are slowly but steadily slipping into an era of terrorism of a different kind, which I suspect has the tacit support of powers that be.

The disgust and burden of guilt since the time a “friend” sent me the video of the brutal killing of a Muslim named Mohammad Afrazul in Rajsamand, Rajasthan in the name of “love jihad” is so intense that I cannot let it torment me any longer. After the heinous act, killer Shambu Lal Regar audaciously proclaimed that “all such persons” will meet the same fate. Through this act of terror, the murderer has brought disgrace to my great religion which advocates Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. He deserves no mercy and the strictest possible punishment should be given to him not only for the wanton murder but also for inciting communal hatred.…

Is this the nation for which our armed forces fight and make sacrifices? Is this the country which our forefathers dreamt of? Is this the India that we wish to hand over to our children? Doesn’t our conscious prick us and make us feel despondent, disgraced and ashamed? If we collectively do not condemn such acts of terror and the authorities take urgent steps to stop them, soon the idea of India will begin to disintegrate.

https://www.dailyo.in/voices/narendra-dabholkar-gauri-lankesh-right-wing-padmavati-hindu-terror-deepika-padukone-hadiya/story/1/21285.html

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No land for Muslims! Family stopped from entering house they bought in Hindu area in UP alleging land jihad – By Gourav Mishra (Dec 21, 2017, IB Times)

While the furore over the alleged ‘love jihad’ continues to rage in India, a similar word – an equally divisive one – has been coined, to differentiate and keep the ‘other’ away from your immediate vicinity – land jihad!

And a group of people, led by BJP’s youth wing leader, stopped a Muslim man and family from entering the property they had purchased in Uttar Pradesh’s Maliwada, alleging ‘land jihad.’ The locals alleged that Muslims will intrude into the Hindu dominated area and make a dominion. Faced by local ire, the hapless family, who had been living in a single-room house for 32 years, has now agreed for a settlement and leave the area, according to reports.

Usman lived in a one-room house in Meerut along with his siblings, parents and uncle. The accommodation was provided to the family by the government school where Usman’s father works. Earlier in December, Usman purchased a two-storey building in Maliwada near the school. It was the ancestral property of Sanjay Rastogi. Things turned upside down when few of the residents from Maliwada, including Rastogi and BJP’s youth wing leaders, protested against Usman owning a property in the locality.&hellip

http://www.ibtimes.co.in/no-land-muslims-family-stopped-entering-house-they-bought-hindu-area-alleging-land-jihad-754118

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‘Abrogation of decency’: The RSS has a message for BJP after its ‘marginal victory’ in Gujarat – By Dhirendra K Jha (Dec 23, 2017, Scroll.in)

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s victory in Gujarat does not appear to have enthused its ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. In its congratulatory message to the party, the RSS described the election result as “alpvyap vijay”, or marginal victory, marred by “people’s disapproval”.

Though the BJP secured a comfortable majority with 99 seats in the 182-member Assembly, it lost considerable support compared to the previous election in 2012, when it won 115 seats.

“Decency of language and behaviour and ideological firmness are our identity,” read the curt message sent to BJP president Amit Shah through Ram Lal, the party’s general secretary in charge of organisation, the day after the result. “Abrogation of decency is inappropriate and unacceptable, and as such it did not get people’s approval.”…

https://scroll.in/article/862496/abrogation-of-decency-the-rss-has-a-message-for-bjp-after-its-marginal-victory-in-gujarat

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Opposition’s silence on Rajasthan hate murder is a troubling sign for India – By Shoaib Daniyal (Dec 20, 2017, Scroll.in)

Even though it follows a spate of beef-linked hate crimes, the gruesome murder of a Bengali migrant worker named Afrazul in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand town on December 6 is especially chilling. The killer, Shambhulal Regar, seems to have fed off Hindutva campaigns against Muslims, such as the “love jihad” conspiracy theory that Muslim men have joined a campaign to marry Hindu women in order to convert them to Islam. This led Regar to pick on a random Muslim man, hack him with a pickaxe, attempt to decapitate him and then set him on fire. The murder was videotaped and uploaded on the Internet.

That Regar was driven to such extreme brutality is only one part of the tragedy. The other is the reaction to the crime. The killing was hailed by WhatsApp groups that had BJP MP and an MLA as members. Across India, supporters actually donated money to Regar, collecting Rs 3 lakh. Hindutva groups organised rallies at which they justified Afrazul’s murder.

In shocking contrast is the lack of response from India’s secular parties. The Afrazul murder occured in the middle of the campaign for the Gujarat Assembly elections. In most circumstances, an incident of this significance would immediately have been picked up by politicians on the campaign trail. But the Congress kept mum. This silence has been extended to Parliament, where the Congress has chosen to concentrate on Narendra Modi’s personal attacks on Manmohan Singh instead of questioning the Rajsamand killing. The political silence isn’t just a national phenomenon. A civil society fact-finding team found that there has been no effort to reassure Muslims in Rajsamand: no meetings, no rallies and no statements. In fact, a small protest rally by the Muslim community is now being blamed by Hindutva groups for sparking tension.…

https://scroll.in/article/862076/the-daily-fix-oppositions-silence-on-rajasthan-hate-murder-is-a-troubling-sign-for-india

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What acquittal of Raja and conviction of Lalu tell us about Narendra Modi – By Ajay Singh (Dec 25, 2017, First Post)

The exoneration of A Raja and the conviction of a metaphorical ‘Raja’ Lalu Prasad Yadav (he used to call himself the ‘Raja of Bihar’), reveal what a complex web governance in India is.

Raja’s exoneration in the 2G scam was quickly followed by Lalu’s conviction in the fodder scam. In both cases, the respective CBI courts delivered verdicts which are being conveniently and liberally interpreted by the accused.

Look at the manner in which Raja, Kanimozhi and their colleagues in the DMK are expressing jubilation over the court’s verdict and describing it as “triumph of the truth”. Quoting the verdict, they call the 2G scam nothing but a figment of the imagination of some conspirators out to destroy the “impeccable” image of the UPA government. And who else could be the chief conspirator but Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself!…

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/what-acquittal-of-raja-and-conviction-of-lalu-tell-us-about-narendra-modi-the-man-with-the-so-called-iron-fist-4274349.html

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This Ghaziabad father defied BJP leaders to ensure his daughter’s marriage to a Muslim man – By Shoaib Daniyal (Dec 25, 2017, Scroll.in)

https://scroll.in/article/862675/inter-faith-union-this-ghaziabad-father-defied-hindutva-leaders-to-ensure-his-daughter-s-marriage

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 4th, 2017

September 28, 2017

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

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 3rd, 2017

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 5th, 2017

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 1st, 2017

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 24th, 2017

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In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Saharanpur violence over Ambedkar rally: 2 FIRs lodged against BJP MP Raghav Lakhanpal Kerala: 14 BJP-RSS men booked for attack over cow slaughter Alwar lynching: call for united fight against fascism Bajrang Dal men attack Agra police station to rescue 5, S-I injured Cop In Madhya Pradesh […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 19th, 2016

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In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Gujarat: Man thrashed by suspected cow vigilantes, dies in Ahmedabad Muslim women ganged raped by Hindu gang ‘for eating beef’ RSS coup? Una victims may join Sangh Dalit rally Bijnor violence: ‘Before firing, made 12 calls to cops, MLA but no action taken’ Three killed in communal […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 29th, 2016

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In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Minority outfit’s call for communal harmony Kandhamal Day Observed For Peace, Justice And Communal Harmony News Headlines Hardik accuses Modi of using Patidars for ‘orchestrating’ 2002 riots Amnesty International row: Govt ‘paranoid’ for pressing sedition charge, says Karnataka HC HC directs Maharashta to trace 1996 custodial death […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 18th, 2016

July 27, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Kashmiris rush to help injured Amarnath pilgrims in bus accident News Headlines Cops “tipped” Gujarat’s cow protecting Shiv Sainiks, who tied Una Dalits to SUV, assaulted them with iron rods Family of Slain Man in India May Be Charged With Cow Slaughter Rana Ayub fears for […]

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