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Cow vigilantes

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 13th, 2017

by newsdigest on December 7, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Oh shed! In Kannur, RSS worker blows up roof while making bomb (Nov 9, 2017, India Today)

An explosion took place on the property of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker Valayangadan Raghu in Kannur’s Koothuparamba area, allegedly while he was making a bomb in his shed.

The explosive that went off was a country-made bomb. Koothuparamba police said the blast occurred in a shed close to Raghu’s house. Roof tiles and window parts were blown away. Police also recovered 500 gm of gun powder, which was allegedly used to make bombs.

A case was registered against Raghu, but he and his son absconded after the incident. Last year, a BJP worker died in an explosion in Koothuparamba while he was making country-made bombs.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/explosion-rashtriya-swayamsevak-sangh-worker-kannur-koothuparamba/1/1086364.html

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Mystery ‘X’ marks Gujarat homes (Nov 14, 2017, Times of India)

A cross in red outside around 10 Muslim societies and Hindu colonies triggered a major scare in the Paldi area of the city on Monday, come as they did days after posters surfaced with the warning that the area would “become a Muslim ghetto”.

Alarmed residents of one of the societies, Delight Apartments, also targeted during the 2002 riots, have written to the Election Commission and the police commissioner, saying the markings had a clear purpose: to identify Muslim localities. They feared the motive was to destroy peace in the area.

Red crosses were also spotted on the main gates of Aman Colony, Nasheman Apartment, Tagore Flats and Ashiyana Apartment, and outside the Takshshila colony. Delight resident Adil Bagadiya said, “We’ve urged the EC and police commissioner to ensure peace.”…

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/61636624.cms

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India ‘cow vigilantes’: Arrest after Muslim man lynched (Nov 13, 2017, BBC)

The dead man, Ummar Khan, and two other men were transporting cows when their vehicle was attacked on Friday. One man was seriously injured while the driver of the vehicle fled. … A recent Human Rights Watch report said at least 10 Muslims had been killed over the issue since May 2015.

Mr Khan’s family members allege that he was shot dead by a Hindu mob and his body was thrown onto a nearby railway track to cover up the killing. The police have not confirmed if this is a case of “cow vigilantism”, but they told the BBC that they had found six cows, one of which was dead, in the vehicle that was attacked. …

The attack has sparked anger in the local Muslim community. “It is a killing by cow vigilantes,” Moluna Hanif, head of a local Muslim group, told the BBC’s Narayan Bareth. He said that he had spoken to the injured man, Tahir, who told him that they had been attacked by a cow protection group. “It is most unfortunate and if the police fail to arrest these men, we will launch a protest,” Mr Hanif added.…

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-41966562

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Alwar again: Two Muslims gunned down by so-called cow vigilantes (Nov 12, 2017, Twocircles.net)

Months after lynching of Pehlu Khan, a cattle trader in Alwar district of Rajasthan, the district faced another fresh set of violence after two Muslim men were gunned down by cow vigilantes on suspicion of smuggling cows.

Ummar Muhammad and Tahir Khan – again cattle traders – were transporting cows from Mewat in Haryana to Bharatpur in Rajasthan, when they were stopped in the Fahari village near Alwar district.

Landed in scuffle with the cow vigilantes, who stopped the traders, Ummar Muhammad died on the spot after facing pistol firing from the vigilantes. Moreover, Tahir Khan is battling for his life in a private hospital in the close vicinity.…

http://twocircles.net/2017nov12/418297.html

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Sebi Imposes Rs 15 Lakh Fine on Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani’s Family for Manipulative Trading (Nov 9, 2017, News18.com)

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) charged 22 entities, including Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), for “manipulative trades” in Sarang Chemicals, a company not known to many. Rupani’s HUF has been fined Rs 15 lakh.

The alleged manipulative transactions were carried out between January 2011 and June 2011.… A Hindu Undivided Family is a firm wherein a family can come together to run a business. In simpler words, it is similar to a partnership firm and gets various tax benefits as per rules.

In May 2016, Sebi had issued a common show cause notice to the 22 entities alleging violations under Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices (PFUTP) relating to the securities market.… Sebi said it passed an ex-parte order as the noticees, including Rupani HUF, failed to submit their reply to the SCN within the sufficient time provided.

http://www.news18.com/news/business/sebi-imposes-rs-15-lakh-fine-on-gujarat-cm-vijay-rupanis-family-for-manipulative-trading-1572233.html

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Hindutva destroying Hinduism: author Nayantara Sahgal (Nov 11, 2017, Times of India)

…Speaking to TOI, Sahgal voicing her concerns regarding the current political situation in the country said, “I refuse to refer to the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh as Yogi Adityanath, because he is not a Yogi for me as he has done violent things which is not acceptable being a Yogi. I myself have been practising Yoga for long.” She further forwarded her belief that Hindutva today has been destroying Hinduism.

When asked about her book, she said, “All my books stem from the political climate and this book is no different. But it is a story about how modern India, along with science, art and culture, is getting destroyed.” Sahgal expressed her anger against the lynching of Akhlaq in Dadri, of Pehlu Khanin Rajasthan and against the mob murder of 15-year-old Junaid Khan. She also spoke against the murder of three journalists, including Gauri Lankesh, which forms the basis of her writing.

Blaming the government for not doing enough, Sahgal said, “The government is showing its true colours by not doing anything about it. We all know the EVM (Electronic Voting Machines) were fiddled with and maybe its time we should let go of this voting system and adopt the paper chits like the European countries.”…

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/61599680.cms

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“Love Jihad” controversy resurfaces in Rajasthan, thanks to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (Nov 8, 2017, Twocircles.net)

After a few months of silence, the issue of ‘Love Jihad’ has again come under the spotlight after Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) claimed yesterday that Muslim men are being paid to convert Hindu women to Islam.

VHP’s state committee is also distributing booklets pertaining to the same claim. The booklets, which are being distributed in Jodhpur district, claim that Muslim men are being paid, most likely by Pakistan, to marry Hindu girls and left them being Muslim for their whole life.…

The booklet comes days after the Rajasthan High Court raised questions over the inter-religion marriage, followed by alleged conversion of 22-year-old Payal Sanghvi. Court, however, showed anger over the police’s negligence in registering the FIR, as it was hearing a habeas corpus filed by Sanghvi’s brother. However, the girl denied that she was pressurised for marriage and conversion and took the decision according to her own will.

http://twocircles.net/2017nov08/418186.html

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Ramjas row: Hate speech can’t be permitted in garb of freedom of speech, says court (Nov 8, 2017, DNA India)

Delivering hate speeches and raising slogans that threaten the unity and integrity of the country cannot be permitted to be donned in the attire of freedom of speech and expression, a Delhi court today said. The “veil needs to be pierced and slitted,” it added.

The stern observations were made by Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra in a complaint against some students’ groups for allegedly raising slogans at Delhi University’s Ramjas college in February this year. However, the court dismissed the complaint seeking another FIR into the matter saying the audio-video footage brought before it was “unauthenticated”.

It said that in a democratic society, “a sincere and fair criticism is always a euphony and benediction as it leads to refinement of policies and transformation of systems.” “But hate speeches/sloganeering inciting the naive and innocuous and threatening the unity and integrity of the country cannot be permitted to be donned in the attire of freedom of speech and expression. The veil needs to be pierced and slitted,” the court observed.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-ramjas-row-hate-speech-can-t-be-permitted-in-garb-of-freedom-of-speech-says-court-2558420

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Jailed Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim has 2 passports, one with his photo in a hat (Nov 7, 2017, India Today)

Keeping two passports can prove costly for Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who is serving a 20-year jail term for raping two of his female disciples.

Investigations have revealed that two passports were issued to Gurmeet Ram Rahim, in 2015 and 2017, in violation of norms. While the first passport was issued by the regional passport office in Ambala in 2015, the other was issued early this year. The police, during the sanitisation drive in Sirsa in September, recovered two passports owned by Gurmeet Ram Rahim. The Sirsa police handed over both the passports to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for scrutiny.

According to sources, the CBI special court had asked the Dera chief to deposit his passport, issued in 2015, as he was facing serious charges of rape, attempt to murder, murder and mass castration. During the sanitation drive, the Sirsa police found that a fresh passport was issued to the Dera chief in 2017 besides recovering a copy of the 2015 passport.…

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/jailed-dera-chief-gurmeet-ram-rahim-has-2-passports/1/1084352.html

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Telangana: Former BJP leader forces two Dalit youths into dirty pond as ‘punishment’ (Nov 13, 2017, Indian Express)

A former BJP leader in Telangana’s Nizamabad district allegedly made two Dalit youths take a dip in a dirty pond for entering his sand quarry without permission. While the incident occurred on September 16 in Abhangapatnam village in Navipet Mandal, a video purportedly of the incident went viral on Sunday. Bharat Reddy, a former district general secretary of the party, is also shown abusing the two youths and beating them with a stick in the video.

Dalit organisations took to the streets to protest against the incident and demanded Reddy’s arrest. Police, however, said the youths have refused to lodge a complaint against Reddy. “Based on a complaint by Dalit leaders we have registered a case and investigating the matter,” said Sub-Inspector J Naresh of Navipet Police Station.

The two youths have been identified as K Lakshman and Rajesh. The duo had allegedly gone to the quarry, located on the outskirts of the village, to enquire if they had the necessary permission to mine sand. However, the workers at the quarry suspected them to be thieves and caught hold of them. They reported the matter to Reddy, who arrived and started beating them with a stick.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/telangana-former-bjp-leader-forces-two-dalit-youths-into-dirty-pond-as-punishment-4935025/

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Opinions and Editorials

Painting a clash communal – By Gopal Kateshiya (Nov 11, 2017, Indian Express)

The part of Saurashtra, showcased as a “little bit of Africa in Gujarat”, is tense for the last one week. On October 28, a violent clash erupted between the Sidis – an ethnic tribal group with African descent – and the Ahirs, a farming community that comes under the OBC, over a minor issue at Gundaran in Talala taluka of Gir Somnath district. But what began as a clash between the two groups is steadily taking communal colour ahead of the Assembly elections in the state.

For the first time in many years, the Sidis, who are Scheduled Tribes in Gujarat, feel alienated, finding no political backing. Local BJP leaders have come out in support of the Ahirs, exhorting the “majority Hindus to unite” against the Sidis, most of who practise Islam. And many Sidis have fled from their homes at Jambur village after police crackdown in which 60 people were arrested – out of which 43 were Sidis, including nine women. The arrested Ahir youths, on the other hand, are out on bail.

The trouble began on October 28 afternoon when Aslam, a Sidi resident of Jambur village, was allegedly waylaid by fellow tribals while he was on his way to Rasulpara village on a motorbike that he had borrowed from his friend Paresh Solanki, a 20-year-old Ahir from Gundaran.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/sidi-tribe-ahir-gujarat-clash-painting-a-clash-communal-493203/

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In Alwar, murderous mobs are emboldened by the indulgence of politicians and police – By Ipsita Chakravarty (Nov 14, 2017, Scroll.in)

…Six months after dairy farmer Pehlu Khan was lynched for allegedly transporting cattle, the body of 35-year-old Umar Khan was found on the railway tracks on November 10. His family have lodged a complaint saying he and two others were attacked by a gang of seven vigilantes. The police have already started pointing fingers at the victims, saying one of them has a record of cattle smuggling.

Ummar Khan’s family have demanded arrests but also questioned the testimonies of his two companions and asked for a fair investigation. Given the precedents and the political climate that surrounds these attacks, it is unlikely that they will get one.

Already, the routine excuses and evasions have started. State Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said they did not even “manpower” to “control every situation in all cities in time”. Of Pehlu Khan’s killing, he had said it was “alright” that people “illegally” transporting cattle were caught, though no one had the right to “take the law into their own hands”, that the “problem is from both sides”.…

https://scroll.in/article/857743/the-daily-fix-in-alwar-murderous-mobs-are-emboldened-by-the-indulgence-of-politicians-and-police

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Game on in Gujarat – By Sanjay Kumar & Shreyas Sardesai (Nov 14, 2017, The Hindu)

If a week is a long time in politics, then two and half months are an eternity. In the first half of August, when Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) conducted the first round of its pre-election Tracker in Gujarat, it seemed as though the election to the Legislative Assembly was going to be yet another cakewalk for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has been in power in the State since 1998.

The survey found a 30 percentage point vote gap between the BJP and the Congress, quite similar to the one seen during the 2014 Lok Sabha election. However, in the second round of the Tracker conducted in October, post-Deepavali, we found the BJP’s advantage to have plummeted to a mere six points. This dramatic change makes us wonder whether the electoral race is headed for a photo finish in a month’s time. The answer to that will only be known on December 18, the counting date.

But what we can say with some confidence at this stage is that even though the BJP continues to be ahead, the momentum has shifted, and shifted quite strongly towards the Congress. If the party is able to build on it in the next three to four weeks of campaigning, it may well end up posing a very serious challenge to the BJP in the home State of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president, Amit Shah.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/game-on-in-gujarat/article20395903.ece

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Modi government is deliberately misinterpreting the Constitution – By Kamal Mitra Chenoy (Nov 13, 2017, Dailyo.in)

…the way Constitutional rights are being violated or misinterpreted is shocking. For example, the Constitution in Article 48 in order to preserve and promote [cattle] breeds bans cow/calf slaughter, but also bans the killing of milch and draught cattle which includes the buffalo, mithun (Bos frontalis), yak, etc. However, PM Narendra Modi has stated that there is a Constitutional basis against cow slaughter. But this is an incomplete reading of Article 48. The Constitution bans all slaughter of all cattle, not just of cows. That would be very difficult for the NDA government to accept. Nor could the NDA stop the slaughter of buffaloes, mithuns and yaks. So Article 48 is clearly not stating what the BJP wants to hear.

Others like UP CM Yogi Adityanath also have misread Article 48. Furthermore, Article 48 is a directive principle, which unlike a fundamental right is not binding. So, the hullabaloo created over cow slaughter is motivated and a violation of the Constitution.

Similarly, there is a deliberate misinterpretation of Article 25, a fundamental right, which states that “all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion”.… BJP leaders like the (late) Dilip Singh Judeo called the re-conversion of say a Christian to a Hindu as “ghar wapsi”. That implied that tribals were originally Hindus. This is often not true. Misusing Article 25 is illegal and cheating of Adivasis and others.…

https://www.dailyo.in/politics/constitution-modi-congress-bjp-fundamental-rights-cow-slaughter-uniform-civil-code/story/1/20557.html

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‘Tiger of Mysore’ caught in political quagmire – By Abdul Wasey (Nov 6, 2017, Tehelka)

At NASA’s Wallops Flights Facility, a rocket launch site to support the US agency’s science and exploration missions, hangs a painting of the 1780 Anglo Mysore War. It depicts a battle scene with a few rockets flying in the background.… Hyder Ali, the 18th century ruler of Mysore, and his son and successor Tipu Sultan used the first iron-cased rockets successfully and effectively against the British East India Company during the 1780s and 1790s. Their conflicts with the company exposed the British to this technology, which was then used to advance European rocketry with the development of the Congreve rocket in 1805. Thus, it can be claimed that the Western rocket and space ship technologies actually have their roots in India and the role of Tipu Sultan cannot be ignored.

At times, the Mysore ruler did target Hindu and Christian communities. But, according to historian Kate Brittlebank, “this was not a religious policy but one of chastisement”. The communities he targeted were seen as disloyal to the Mysore state. Tipu had also acted against Muslim communities such as the Mahdevis, who would support the British and find employment as horsemen in the East India Company’s armies.

Even as Tipu Sultan attacked Hindus and Christians from outside Mysore, the historian Susan Bayly says, he “was careful to foster close ritual and political relations with Hindus and even Christians with his own domain, provided these groups posed no threat to this authority”. Interestingly, Tipu’s right-hand man and chief minister was a Hindu. His name was Purnaiya. The ongoing row over Tipu Sultan, Taj Mahal and Babri Masjid provide a ringside view of how modern politics uses history to create and reinforce present-day identities.

http://www.tehelka.com/2017/11/tiger-of-mysore-caught-in-political-quagmire/

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33 Years After 1984 Sikh Massacre: The RSS/BJP Rulers Continue The Facade Of Searching For Perpetrators – By Shamsul Islam (Nov 2, 2017, Countercurrents)

As citizens of India, the largest democracy on this earth, we relish to claim that we are part of a civilization based on the principles like Satyameva Jayate (truth alone triumphs) and ahimsa (non-violence). Sadly, it may not be true for many of us, specially, minorities and Dalits. Despite Indian Constitution assuring no discrimination on the basis of religion and Caste, there are two kinds of system of justice; one for the majority community and high Castes and the other for minority communities and Dalits.

Whenever the country witnesses the large-scale violence against minorities and Dalits, the search for perpetrators continues endlessly and criminals rarely punished. Major incidents of violence against minorities like Nellie massacre (1983), Sikh massacre (1984), Hashimpura custodial massacre of Muslim youth (1987), pre/post-Ayodhya mosque demolition violence against Muslims (1990-92), Gujarat carnage (2002) and Kandhmal cleansing of Christians (2008) are testimony to this reality.…

In such cases Indian State is fond of playing commission-commission. Commissions after commissions would be constituted to see that the heinous crimes disappear from the public memory. The horrendous massacre of Sikhs in different parts of India is a living testimony of this criminal attitude of the Indian justice system.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/11/02/33-years-after-1984-sikh-massacre-the-rssbjp-rulers-continue-the-facade-of-searching-for-perpetrators/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 2nd, 2017

by newsdigest on November 4, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

In Gandhi’s Gujarat, Potters Keep a Shine on Hindu-Muslim Amity (Oct 2, 2017, The Quint)

… In spite of the hardships and hand-to-mouth existence, the Sumras look forward to their work. For the economic activity has carved out a beautiful socio-cultural association, as the Muslim Sumra families make pots for the predominantly Hindu kumbhars in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, molding secular ties, especially in troubled times.…

From an imminent Diwali until the next chaumasa, as they call the monsoons, they will make thousands of pots that would be bought by wholesalers and retailers alike. The Sumras specialise in making pots of different shapes and sizes for storing water and keeping it cool during summer.…

While the potters comprise only Muslims, they deal primarily with Hindu wholesale dealers who truck away pots in bulk. Ahmedabad’s Vejalpur-based Girish Prajapati, a regular wholesale dealer says he feels at home when he comes to Sarkhej Roza to buy pots. “I am a Prajapati, a Hindu potter and I always buy my wares from a Sumra, a Muslim potter. We have been doing business for many years now, without a single problem,” he tells VillageSquare.in.

https://www.thequint.com/news/india/hindu-muslim-among-potters-in-gujarat

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‘I kept saying I was a teacher, but police never listened and continued to beat me’, BHU professor recounts ordeal (Sep 27, 2017, Indian Express)

Days after violence erupted at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) following the alleged sexual harassment of a student, a woman professor of the varsity has disclosed that it was not only students but wardens like her had also been mercilessly lathicharged by the police on the night when the incident took place. Recalling her ordeal, Pratima Gond, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Mahila Maha Vidyalaya, BHU, said she was assaulted by the police while she was trying to save a student from being attacked.

“A woman student fell on the ground while police were lathicharging students. When I went to help the girl, I also got trapped under the police attack. I pleaded them not to beat me and told them that I am a teacher at the university, but they didn’t listen and kept beating,” Gond said, adding that she is yet to recover from the trauma.

“They struck blows on my head with two-three lathis; I also suffered injuries on my fingers. I am not a criminal, I am teacher. We were not inciting any violence. It is very unfortunate that a teacher and students were beaten and that too when not a single woman officer was present on the spot. This incident happened around 11.30 pm,” she added.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/bhu-violence-women-professor-attacked-police-lathicharge-yogi-adityanath-sexual-harassment-protests-4863821/

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Modi as Gujarat CM “encouraged” cow vigilantes, were awarded for raiding “illegal” cattle transportation: Report (Sep 28, 2017, Counterview)

Did Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his chief ministership of Gujarat, encourage the much abused cow vigilantism, which allegedly is terrorizing minorities and Dalits across India? It would seem so, if the new report, “Lynching without End”, published by a civil rights network, Citizens against Hate, is any indication.

Prepared under the leaderhship of Aman Biradari Trust, which operates under IAS bureaucrat-turned-activist Harsh Mander, the report, to be released on October 2, the Gandhi Jayanti day, says that between 2011 and 2014, the Gujarat government “disbursed Rs 75 lakh in cash rewards to 1,394 vigilantes for raiding illegal cattle transporters and filing FIRs against them.” Modi, who ruled Gujarat between 2001 and 2014, resigned as chief minister in May 2014 to become India’s Prime Minister in the wake of the BJP’s resounding victory in the Lok Sabha elections under him.

Claiming that these figures are officially available on the Gujarat government’s Gauseva and Gauchar Vikas Board (GGVB) website, the report says, “The GGVB was set up under the animal husbandry department in 1999, but remained defunct for almost a decade before Modi revived it in 2010.” The report, which has been prepared with the help of several other civil rights organizations, says that the GGVB was given “some steel” by Modi, “who introduced a slew of schemes, including a cash reward of Rs 500 for every FIR registered against cattle smugglers and transporters.”…

http://www.counterview.net/2017/09/modi-as-gujarat-cm-encouraged-cow.html

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Kanpur communal violence: DSP suspended, DM orders probe; paramilitary forces deployed in affected areas (Oct 2, 2017, DNA India)

The District Magistrate of Kanpur has ordered a probe into the communal violence that broke in the area during a Tazia procession to mark Muhraam on Sunday. Kanpur DSP has been suspended. Situation is under control, suggest latest reports. UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s trip to the city was cancelled in view of the communal violence. He was supposed to take part in a clean India marathon.

Various reports said that around 30 people were injured in the clashes. Six vehicles including two cars and four motorcycles torched after tensions gripped in the areas. The first incident took place in Param Purva area of Kanpur district. The rioters also resorted to stone pelting. Heavy security was deployed in the region, with police resorting to lathicharge in some cases.…

A similar incident happened in Rawatpur village in the district, but later controlled. In Kanpur, paramilitary forces have been deployed to maintain law and order.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-kanpur-communal-violence-dsp-suspended-dm-orders-probe-paramalityary-forces-deployed-in-affected-areas-2549755

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After 30 years of service, retired army officer from Assam branded as Bangladeshi (Oct 1, 2017, Hindustan Times)

A retired army officer was asked to prove his Indian nationality as Assam police branded him a Bangladeshi, an action that reflects the long and contentious conflict over illegal immigrants in the northeastern state. A foreigners tribunal served a notice to Mohammed Azmal Hoque, who retired as a junior commissioned officer (JCO) last year after serving the army for 30 years.

The Guwahati-based Hoque maintains that his family is indigenous Assamese and his father’s name is mentioned on the voters list of 1966. His mother’s name was listed in the 1951 national register of citizens.

“I have no doubt that I will get justice. But it pains me when my daughter questions me if this is how the country treats those who serve it for so many years,” he said on Sunday.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/after-30-years-of-service-retired-army-officer-from-assam-branded-as-bangladeshi/story-Ch6HMMNsdjLkQZJsjjIg0H.html

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BJP suspends Muslim woman leader for organising prayer meet in Assam for Rohingya victims (Sep 18, 2017, New Indian Express)

A Muslim member of the BJP in Assam has been suspended and served a show-cause notice by her party for allegedly organising a “prayer meet” for the Rohingya people in Myanmar.

A notice sent by WhatsApp to Bharatiya Janata Mazdoor Morcha chief executive member Benazir Arfan alleged that she had used the BJP’s social media forum to make an appeal to people to attend a demonstration being organised by another organisation. The notice said the Benazir Afra had not discussed the issue within the party.

Arfan, who was the BJP’s Triple Talaq mascot in the state, defended her action, stating that it was a prayer meet and not a demonstration. “The event was organised by an NGO, United Minority People’s Forum, to pray for the Rohingya Muslims who have lost their lives in Myanmar. But the BJP state leadership viewed it as an attempt to lobby for asylum for fleeing Rohingya Muslims in India,” Benazir Arfan told New Indian Express.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/sep/17/bjp-suspends-muslim-woman-leader-for-organising-prayer-meet-in-assam-for-rohingya-victims-1658638.html

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Modi’s Saubhagya is old wine in new bottle, “copies” 2005 UPA rural electrification scheme for “willing” households (Sep 26, 2017, Counterview)

Old wine in new bottle – this is what Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new scheme, Saubhagya, is being described by knowledgeable circles. The “new scheme”, seeking to provide free power connection to what are called “willing households”, is called Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana or Saubhagya, and is nothing but just a copy of a scheme launched by the then UPA government in April 2005.

Called RGGVY (Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana), the 2005 scheme had sought to provide benefits to households below the poverty line (BPL) through a free connection but chargeable consumption of power. In a span of eight years, till January 2013, RGGVY provided free power connection to more than two crore people.

The principal aims of RGGVY were implemented since 2005 were (1) Electrifying all villages and habitations as per new definition. (2) Providing access to electricity to all rural households. (3)Providing electricity connection to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families free of charge. The view is strong: Compared with RGGVY there is nothing new in Saughagya, except what are described as “willing households”.…

http://www.counterview.net/2017/09/modis-saubhagya-is-old-wine-in-new.html

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Sohrabuddin case: Bombay HC asks CBI why trial court order was not challenged (Sep 29, 2017, Hindustan Times))

The Bombay high court on Friday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation why it had not challenged the trial court orders discharging senior IPS officers in the alleged fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati.

Hearing a revision application filed by Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin Sheikh, challenging the trial court orders of discharge, Justice Revati Mohite-Dere said the CBI should be “equally aggrieved” with the trial court’s order.

She asked the probe agency whether it was planning to challenge the trial court orders of August 2016 and August 2017 discharging IPS officers Rajkumar Pandiyan, D G Vanzara, and Dinesh M N.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/sohrabuddin-case-bombay-hc-asks-cbi-why-trial-court-order-was-not-challenged/story-swHZ78hcpcXkUah8ihOU3L.html

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After Yashwant Sinha, RSS affiliate hits out at Modi govt’s economic policies (Sep 27, 2017, India Today)

On a day when senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha trained his guns against the government’s economic policies, a Sangh-affiliate Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) also hit out at the Modi government.

The RSS affiliate criticised the Modi government’s handling of the economy, called advisors ‘faulty’ and also criticised foreign direct investment policy (FDI). Calling the reforms ‘misguided’, BMS said that the economic policies are continuation of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime.

But, what is worrying for the finance ministry is that, the BMS has demanded for stimulus package for labour intensive sectors. In a statement, the RSS-affiliate said, “Government should declare stimulus package towards employment generating activities in labour intensive sectors in order to contain slowdown of economy.”…

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/yashwant-sinha-bjp-rss-affiliate-narendra-modi-india-economic-policies-gdp/1/1056961.html

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Bajrang Dal disrupts interfaith couple’s marriage in Meerut (Sep 28, 2017, The Hindu)

An interfaith couple, whose attempt to register their marriage was disrupted by Bajrang Dal workers on Wednesday, were produced before a court in Faridabad on Thursday but were let off after the woman testified that she was not abducted as alleged by her uncle.

Krishna, 21, who hails from Greater Noida, said she had gone to Meerut with Saddam, a 24-year-old labour contractor from Shamli, out of her own volition. They planned to register their marriage at a court there.

But before they could do so, Bajrang Dal workers reached the court premises and tried to attack Saddam. The police lathicharged the Bajrang Dal activists when they turned on the policemen protecting the couple.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bajrang-dal-disrupts-interfaith-couples-marriage-in-meerut/article19769190.ece

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‘Dalits don’t have right to watch garba’: Man beaten to death in Gujarat for attending ‘upper-caste’ event; 8 booked (Oct 2, 2017, First Post)

A 21-year-old Dalit man was allegedly beaten to death by a group of men belonging to the upper caste Patel community for attending a garba event in Gujarat’s Anand district in the early hours Sunday, police said. The incident took place around 4 am.

Jayesh Solanki, cousin Prakash Solanki and two other Dalit men were sitting near a house adjacent to a temple in Bhadrania village when a person made “derogatory remarks about their caste”, police said quoting a complaint filed in connection with the incident.

The accused said Dalits “do not have any right to watch the garba. He made casteist remarks and asked some men to come to the spot”, an officer at the Bhadran police station said. The upper caste men allegedly thrashed the Dalits and banged Jayesh’s head against a wall, the officer said.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/dalit-man-beaten-to-death-in-gujarats-anand-for-attending-upper-caste-garba-event-eight-booked-4100939.html

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Opinions and Editorials

No ‘Achhe Din’ Here: The Modi Bubble Has Now Burst – By Prem Shankar Jha (Sep 29, 2017, The Wire)

“The economy is in a tailspin. Yes, it can crash. We need to do a lot of good things to revive the economy”. These words are not mine, but Subramanian Swamy’s. Swamy is not a “pseudo-secular” critic of the BJP. He is a disappointed devotee of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was, only last year, the BJP’s weapon of choice in its assault on Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case.

He is not the only one. Arun Shourie has been warning the country that Modi does not have a clue on how to revive the economy and has therefore turned to the most dangerous form of populism – communal polarisation – in a desperate bid to ensure victory in 2019.… Swamy is a reputed economist, and the other two are former ministers who have experience and inside knowledge to back their critiques. But what about the Aam Modi Bhakt – urban, educated, middle class and young? Does he still believe that Modi and Amit Shah are crafting a new economy in a New India, that can still bring ‘acche din’?…

Modi’s highly-personalised propaganda blitz had kept them quiet so far: “The government cannot be lying to us,” they probably said to themselves. “Maybe it is only me, and a few others like me, who have been unable to find jobs”. That doubt has begun to dissolve, and when it does, Modi and his government will face its inevitable corollary: rage. That was the sentiment that drove the Congress out of power in 2014. It is now rising against the BJP.…

https://thewire.in/182482/achhe-din-narendra-modi-economic-collapse/

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Pehlu Khan’s death still a ‘paheli’ for Rajasthan Police – By Sanjeev Singh (Sep 18, 2017, Times of India)

Rajasthan Police’s clean chit to six people in connection with the lynching of Pehlu Khan in Alwar on April 1 is a clear example of a one-sided and botched up investigation. The 55-year-old cattle trader succumbed to his injuries two days after he and others were allegedly beaten up by cow vigilantes while returning from Jaipur to Haryana after purchasing cattle. Khan had mentioned these six people in his dying declaration.

As per the CID report, the clean chit has been given on the basis of statements of eye-witnesses, photographs and mobile phone location records. But these claims are contested by Khan’s family. Firstly the statements recorded are of employees who work in a gaushala situated about four kilometres away from the crime scene.

Secondly the conclusion based on mobile locations is unconvincing as there is no way to check if the accused have only one mobile in their name and whether they were in physical possession of them when the crime took place. Thirdly, the Supreme Court has on many occasions based conviction in a case if it has found the dying declaration to be true and voluntary.…

https://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sanjeev-singh-blog/pehlu-khans-death-still-a-paheli-for-rajasthan-police/

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Hindustan Times Editor’s Exit Preceded by Meeting Between Modi, Newspaper Owner – By Anuj Srivas (Sep 25, 2017, The Wire)

Hindustan Times (HT) proprietor Shobhana Bhartia’s decision to announce the abrupt exit of Bobby Ghosh as editor was preceded by a personal meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and objections raised by top-level government and Bharatiya Janata Party officials to editorial decisions taken during Ghosh’s tenure.

The government insists the meeting was “confined to” Bhartia’s efforts to secure Modi’s participation in a flagship HT event. But sources in the newspaper say that in the run-up to that meeting, she faced sustained objections from senior ministers to aspects of HT’s political coverage, to Ghosh’s own views expressed on social media, and to the fact that he does not hold Indian citizenship. One of these minsters had even hinted at escalating matters to Modi.…

His departure from HT was announced by Bhartia on September 11. The fact that Bhartia’s statement did not say Ghosh had resigned, but that he would “be returning to New York for personal reasons” – and that Ghosh has made no public statement of his own – is seen as a sign within the organisation that his exit was forced.…

https://thewire.in/178102/hindustan-times-bobby-ghosh-narendra-modi-shobhana-bhartia/

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Is India neglecting the Taj Mahal because it was built by Muslims? – By Annie Gowen (Oct 3, 2017, Washington Post)

The Taj Mahal, India’s iconic monument to eternal love, has taken a beating in recent years. Its attendance figures are down, and air pollution is slowly turning its ethereal white marble yellow.

Now, to make matters worse, some in India say that a staunch Hindu nationalist government recently elected in the Taj’s home state of Uttar Pradesh is starving the world-famous site of funds and support because, as it sees it, the mausoleum was built by Muslim invaders.

The state’s new chief minister, the saffron-robed Hindu priest Yogi Adityanath, set the tone early on when he lamented at a rally that tiny models of the Taj Mahal are often given to visiting foreign dignitaries, saying the monument “does not reflect Indian culture.”…

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/is-india-neglecting-its-iconic-taj-mahal-because-it-was-built-by-muslims/2017/10/03/61bd142e-fd2a-408f-b56b-b58916f0b290_story.html

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The Impact Of Demonetisation, Cattle Slaughter Ban And GST On Rural Economy – By Phrangsngi Pyrtuh (Sep 28, 2017, The Shillong Times)

Rural India is at a critical stage. Rural distress is back with a vengeance and this time much of it has to do with faulty economic policies executed over the last few months. Despite India becoming a fast developing country it is still an agricultural country with about 830 million populations residing in the rural areas. Effectively, the economy of rural India is concentrated in agricultural related activities. So far India’s growth story has been exclusive, one that benefits mostly the organized segment of the secondary and tertiary sectors.

Liberalization and the resulting reform policies have not benefitted the rural economy and those who live rural India. With a substantial vote bank the key to political power in India lies in the rural areas. Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 2014 election campaign promised to double farmer’s income by 2022. Unfortunately political rhetoric is easier said than done. Different indicators have so far pointed to a downward spiral and pressure of rural income with increasing distress that have aggravated in recent months.…

Moreover, even after 20 years of liberalization the rural economy of India still remains the most regulated and controlled sector of the country. The cattle slaughter policy is an indication that there is hardly any government that cares for the welfare of the rural population. What the rural economy needs is liberalization that is specific to its requirement which is different from that of other sectors of the economy. The rural economy is a struggling sector. Policies such as GST, demonetisation and the ban on cattle slaughter will further maim it.

http://www.theshillongtimes.com/2017/09/28/the-impact-of-demonetisation-cattle-slaughter-ban-and-gst-on-rural-economy/

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The law is clear: India can’t deport Rohingyas – By Colin Gonsalves (Sep 27, 2017, Hindustan Times)

India has a fair reputation on the refugee issue having taken in Sri Lankans, Tamils, Afghans, Tibetans and Myanmaris. This is why the reaction of the Government of India on the Rohingya issue doesn’t quite make sense. Apart from being wrong on law, it creates an impossible situation and tarnishes India’s image abroad.

The Supreme Court in the case of granting citizenship to the Chakma’s confirmed the proposition that since Article 21 – the Right to Life – of the Constitution covers all “persons” and not just citizens, the State is duty bound to protect the lives of citizens and foreigners alike. This is how the principle of non-refoulement or non-return – which bars a country from deporting a refugee to any country where she might be raped, murdered or tortured – has been interpreted as inhering in Article 21.

However, the security issue remains to be discussed with some calmness. The Centre’s concerns ought not to be cursorily ignored. I represent 7,000 refugees in Jammu and visited some of the 23 refugee settlements in the city. Not a single refugee in Jammu has been charged with terrorism. On the possibility of radicalisation of the Rohingyas and of terrorist organisations fishing in troubled waters, one need only to rely on the statement of the chief minister of the state, asserting that there are no signs of radicalisation of the Rohingya population.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/opinion/the-law-is-clear-india-can-t-deport-rohingyas/story-D87h7DOSRqKrPKT8X4maUJ.html

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Indian Americans express outrage over mob lynchings in India through protests across US

July 17, 2017

Government’s inaction and cruel politics of Hindutva focus of protests; protesters demand immediate action to restore the rule of law July 16, 2017 The Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJA), an umbrella coalition of progressive organizations across the United States and various coalition partners today held protests in three cities across the US, to express […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 10th, 2017

April 22, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Hindu Cow Vigilantes in Rajasthan, India, Beat Muslim to Death Supreme Court asks Centre, states why cow vigilantes shouldn’t be banned Sheopur tense after RSS shakha row, 10 Muslims held Babri demolition: CBI tells Supreme Court Advani, 12 others part of larger conspiracy After armed rallies on […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 27th, 2017

April 8, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Gujarat: Communal clash in Patan district kills two people, injures ten others Delhi Police registers FIR against Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaekwad on complaint by Air India Ajmer blasts: Two terrorists affiliated to RSS sentenced for life imprisonment Cops refuse to share SIMI jailbreak ‘key’ pics Law […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 7th, 2016

November 17, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines ‘Sabko nipta do’: Senior police official heard giving orders to kill 8 SIMI operatives on audio recording Bhopal encounter: Bullets hit SIMI suspects in chest, abdomen, reveals post-mortem report 1,654 shot dead in encounters between 2004-2014 2 RSS Men Arrested For Murder Of Left Worker In Kerala’s […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 19th, 2016

September 28, 2016

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 – September 12th, 2016

September 23, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines The mahapanchayat that changed fortunes of BJP leaders named in riots Haryana beef row: Opposition parties accuse Khattar government of creating communal conflict for electoral gain Haryana double murder and gang rape : One accused RSS man another Modi Bhakt Una Dalit flogging: CID says cops turned […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 8th, 2016

August 19, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines 2002 post-Godhra riots: 11 get life term for killing a man, daughter in Mehsana Sri Rama Sene activists ‘Raid’ at Karnataka school over Urdu, Arabic classes: 13 more arrested No links between Naik, terror outfits, govt tells House Nayeemuddin, wanted by CBI in Sohrabuddin ‘fake’ encounter case […]

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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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