Posts tagged as:

EVMs

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 11th, 2017

by newsdigest on December 22, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Announcements

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Announcements

Murder of Muslim laborer in Rajasthan sparks outrage among Indian Americans

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

December 8 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

CONTACT:

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

References:

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

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

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

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Opinions and Editorials

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

{ 0 comments }

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 8th, 2017

by newsdigest on May 19, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Communal Harmony

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

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

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

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

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

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Opinions and Editorials

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

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

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

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

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

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

SEE ALSO:

[Back to Top]

Book Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

{ 0 comments }