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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 12th, 2016

by newsdigest on December 22, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Maratha Seva Sangh organises communal harmony rally as part of Eid ul Milad celebrations (Dec 13, 2016, Twocircles.net)

In view of Eid Ul Milad, the birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), Maratha Seva Sangh organised a “Aman Sandesh” rally on Monday in the city in association with Chhatrapati Shivaji Muslim Brigade, Jijajau Brigade and the Sambhaji Brigade.

The main objective behind holding this rally was to spread the teachings of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and humanity and communal harmony among countrymen. The rally began in the city centre place and covered a number of Muslim-dominated areas. The rally, which received a good response from all sections of the society, saw the participation of nearly 200 activists from various organisations.

Talking to Twocircles.net, the President of the city MSS unit Ram Gaikwad said, “The teachings of Prophet Mohammed are not only for Muslims but for the entire humanity. We are always keen to erase the line which has been drawn between Muslims and other communities. The birth anniversary of Prophet (PBUH) is the ideal time to hold such events and spread brotherhood.”…

http://twocircles.net/2016dec13/1481609250.html

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Bengal BJP man held with Rs 10 lakh in new notes (Dec 7, 2016, Times of India)

A BJP member, who had contested this year’s assembly poll in West Bengal, and a coal mafia don were arrested along with some truck owners from the Raniganj coal belt with stacks of new currency in their possession on Tuesday.

The Kolkata Police STF recovered Rs 33 lakh in cash, seven guns and 89 rounds of ammunition from their possession. Around Rs 10 lakh was found on BJP’s Manish Sharma alias Manish Joshi (44). He was found travelling in the same car as four other accused and was caught with the cash and weapons.

The don, Rajesh Jha alias Raju (46), was arrested twice in June and July in two cases of fake currency and murder and was out on bail. I-T has been alerted even as cops are trying to ascertain the source of the money kept in Rs 2,000 new notes, Rs 100 and Rs 50 notes. Of the amount, Rs 2 lakh cash was in a series – a clear indication that it was withdrawn from a bank branch.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/55844351.cms

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Bhaiya reference to minister Kiren Rijiju: ‘Bhaiya ka help chahiye toh humko boliye Sir’ (Dec 14, 2016, Indian Express)

Responding to the report in The Indian Express today about a Vigilance probe that red-flagged fraud and corruption in an Arunachal Pradesh hydro project, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday tried to distance himself from his cousin Goboi Rijiju, a sub-contractor for Patel Engineering Limited which is under a cloud for allegedly providing fake transport bills and invoices related to work on building of two dams.

The minister…said that the letter he wrote to the Ministry of Power to release funds to Patel Engineering were only meant to help “poor local people,” working on the project under the aegis of North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO). However, a careful examination of the audio of the conversation between Goboi Rijiju and then NEEPCO Chief Vigilance Officer Satish Verma – who conducted the investigation – reveals more than a “distant relationship” between the minister and the sub-contractor.

In the 29-minute purported conversation in December 2015, Goboi invoked Kiren Rijiju, whom he calls “Bhaiya”, 17 times to push his case for payment to Patel Engineering. Both have admitted to The Indian Express that they are cousins. Verma attached the audio clip to his report.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/kiren-rijiju-arunachal-pradesh-scam-corruption-allegations-hydro-project-4425995

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UP polls: BJP, RSS want to impose Hindutva, alleges Mayawati (Dec 6, 2016, DNA India)

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Tuesday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) want to impose Hindutva in the nation as the Indian Constitution, based on secularism, drafted by Dr BR Ambedkar is not acceptable to them.

“Dalits, Adivasis, backward communities and minorities have struggled in India. To make these people safe, Dr Ambedkar drafted our Constitution on the basis of religious equality which isn’t acceptable to the BJP and RSS. They want to impose Hindutva. The BJP and the RSS do not like the Constitution,” she said.…

The BSP supremo further said the people will not be influenced by BJP’s tactics. “In the name of Babasaheb, the opposition parties have spread confusion. These parties have made differences between Dalits and backward classes. The people got their rights during the BSP regime,” she added.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-bjp-rss-want-to-impose-hindutva-alleges-mayawati-2280284

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Madhya Pradesh accused of bowing to RSS as Bhopal police fail to provide security for Kerala CM (Dec 13, 2016, Scroll.in)

With Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan forced to pull out of a public event in Bhopal on Saturday in the wake of protests by Sangh Parivar activists, the Madhya Pradesh government and the police have been accused of bowing to the diktats of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and failing to provide security to a visiting leader.

Vijayan’s party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), as well as the Congress have accused the state police of giving in to the demands of a small group of Bajrang Dal activists protesting at the venue against the killing of RSS workers in Kerala. Social media has also been abuzz with reactions to the incident.

The spokesperson for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s state unit, Rahul Kothari, justified the protests by the Sangh activists, and demanded that the Kerala chief minister apologise for the political murders in his state.…

http://scroll.in/article/824012/madhya-pradesh-accused-of-bowing-to-rss-as-bhopal-police-fail-to-provide-security-for-kerala-cm

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Media must publish apology to acquitted innocents: Tribunal (Dec 11, 2016, The Hindu)

The report of the jury that heard the first People’s Tribunal on Acquitted Innocents, held on October 2, 2016, took strong exception to “news coverage which destroys a person’s reputation by creating a widespread perception of guilt, without any verdict in the court of law”.

The jury, which was chaired by Justice A.P. Shah, released its report – Towards a Framework for Compensation and Rehabilitation for Victims of Wrongful Prosecution/Conviction – in New Delhi on Saturday.

Holding that sections of the media had devastated lives “through sensationalism and partisan reporting”, the report urged the media to “strictly refrain from pronouncing the suspects/arrestees as guilty”, and to serve as objective institutions instead of becoming “mere handmaidens of investigating agencies”. It called upon publications and news channels that had put out defamatory material to “widely publish unconditional apology to the exonerees”.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/Media-must-publish-apology-to-acquitted-innocents-Tribunal/article16791312.ece

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Sadiq Jamal encounter: Special CBI court rejects brother’s application seeking further probe (Dec 8, 2016, Indian Express)

A special CBI court on Thursday rejected an application moved by Shabbir, brother of Sadiq Jamal Mehtar, seeking further investigation into the encounter killing of his brother in 2003 by a team of Gujarat police officers. He had alleged that the CBI is not investigating the role of then politicians and senior police officers responsible for the encounter.

Shabbir had moved this application in 2013 days after CBI filed its first chargesheet in this case against eight policemen, including “encounter specialist” Tarun Barot, in December, 2012. Barot was reappointed as Deputy Superintendent of Police, Headquarters, Western Railway, Vadodara on a year’s contract on October 13 almost two years after his superannuation.

The special CBI judge rejected the application of Shabbir on the ground that “investigation is still going on”. In the first chargesheet, CBI had said investigation was on under section 173 (8) of CrPC. However, nearly four years have passed but CBI is yet to move court with documents suggesting further probe. Meanwhile, all the eight accused have been granted bail and reinstated by the state government.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/sadiq-jamal-encounter-4-years-after-filing-first-chargesheet-cbi-yet-to-conclude-investigation-4417265

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SIT ties Govind Pansare killing with Hemant Karkare death (Dec 10, 2016, Asian Age)

The Maharashtra police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) in its supplementary chargesheet in the case involving the February 2015 murder of CPI leader Govind Pansare in Kolhapur indicated that the trigger for the crime was allegedly his close involvement in a lecture held there in December 2014, titled ‘Who killed Karkare?”

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief and senior IPS officer Hemant Karkare was killed, along with two other senior police officers, in the 26/11 attacks of 2008.… there were speculations alleging that Karkare’s killing could have been stage-managed by intelligence agencies as the ATS, led by him, had detected the role of a right-wing Hindu outfit in orchestrating the Malegaon September 2008 blasts that killed four persons.…

According to the SIT chargesheet, Pansare allegedly said during the lecture held on December 30, 2014 that he would henceforth organise protests at “150 places” in Maharashtra against a right-wing outfit. According to the chargesheet, case accused Dr Virendra Tawade, subsequently arrived in Kolhapur and within “one and a half months” of the December 30, 2014 lecture, he and his associates allegedly targeted Pansare.…

http://www.asianage.com/metros/mumbai/101216/sit-ties-govind-pansare-killing-with-hemant-karkare-death.html

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Missing JNU student: Delhi High Court slams cops for failure to trace him (Dec 9, 2016, Indian Express)

The Delhi High Court on Friday slammed the police for remaining clueless about missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, who has remained untraced for 55 days, asking how can a man just “vanish suddenly”. Maintaining that it was concerned with the recovery of the boy whose mother has been running from pillar to post to be united with her son, the Court said a situation, in which a missing person has not been traced for over 50 days, would create a sense of insecurity among the people.

“It is over 50 days. Still you (police) do not know about his whereabouts. How can somebody vanish suddenly and police has no clue about it? Even if we think of the worst, something has to be found out. We are pained that the missing person has not been traced till date,” a bench of Justices G S Sistani and Vinod Goel said.

Najeeb Ahmed went missing from JNU’s Mahi-Mandvi hostel on October 15 allegedly after an on-campus scuffle between him and some members of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The ABVP has denied involvement in his disappearance. The bench said, “We are not concerned with the scuffle. We only want that the boy is recovered and he returns to his house. We are concerned that the mother should get her child.”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/missing-jnu-student-delhi-high-court-slams-cops-for-failure-to-trace-him-4419075/

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‘Muslims under-represented in State govt. jobs’ (Dec 11, 2016, The Hindu)

From holding the lion’s share of government employment in the erstwhile rule of the Nizams, the share of Muslim employees in Telangana State has been found to be low at only 7.36 per cent against their population of 12.68 per cent.

The fact was revealed in the report of the Commission of Inquiry on Socio-Economic and Educational Conditions of Muslims in Telangana that was made public on Saturday. The report observed that “exclusion or under-representation of Muslims in the State government posts adversely impacts their role in decision-making and participation in the implementation process”.

Stating that proportionate representation of communities in government services is one of the major indicators of their inclusion, the report opines that Muslim community has been left behind in overall development and as a result their share in government services has dwindled.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/%E2%80%98Muslims-under-represented-in-State-govt.-jobs%E2%80%99/article16794434.ece

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US-based rights group accuse India of excessive use of force, obstructing access to medical care in Valley (Dec 7, 2016, Indian Express)

A United States-based international organisation of health professionals has indicted the Jammu and Kashmir Police and paramilitary forces of “excessive use of force” and “obstructing access to urgent medical care to protesters” during this year’s protests in the Valley that resulted in deaths and injuries.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), in its report titled ‘Blind to Justice – Excessive Use of Force and Attacks on Healthcare in Jammu and Kashmir’ , has said that excessive use of force against the civilians “violates India’s obligations to protect the rights to life and health”.

The international human rights watchdog accused security forces of using “intimidation tactics” against medical workers attempting to treat the injured and preventing doctors from reaching the hospitals where they work. It also said that weapons used by forces, like tear gas grenades, pepper gas shells, live ammunition, and 12-gauge shotguns loaded with metal pellets, were “misleadingly represented as less than lethal”. The report was released Wednesday.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/us-based-rights-group-accuse-india-of-excessive-use-of-force-obstructing-access-to-medical-care-in-valley-4415175/

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Opinions and Editorials

The Hindutva Terror Nexus – By Shamsul Islam (Dec 8, 2016, Countercurrents)

Sanathan Sanstha, being probed for bomb blasts and assassination of three great democratic-secular intellectuals of India, Narendra Dhabolkar, Govind Pansare and MM Kalburgi, is an offshoot (or vice versa) of Hindu Janajaguriti Samiti (HJS) which has openly been demanding conversion of democratic-secular India into a Hindu rashtra and celebrating ‘vadh’ of Gandhi ji.

One shocking fact about HJS, not known is, that it organized ‘All India Hindu Convention for Establishment of Hindu Nation’ at Goa in 2013 coinciding with the BJP executive committee meeting there. This Goa conference of HJS for turning India into a Hindu rashtra was supposed to be inaugurated by Modi as CM of Gujarat but due to pre-occupation with the BJP executive meeting in which he was declared as RSS/BJP PM candidate, he sent a message lauding HJS and its ‘work’.…

Another shocking feature of this conference was that Nathuram Godse, main killer of Gandhiji was glorified from the same stage where Modi’s congratulatory message was read. One of the prominent speakers, K.V. Sitaramiah, a seasoned Hindutva cadre, declared that Gandhi was ‘terrible, wicked and most sinful’.… Maharashtra police which is working to unearth the conspiracy behind murder of Narendra Dhabolkar, Govind Pansare and MM Kalburgi and innumerable bomb blasts against a minority community must find way to investigate PM Modi and characters like K.V. Sitaramaiah to know the whole Hindutva terror nexus.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/12/08/the-hindutva-terror-nexus/

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Twenty-Four Years After the Bombay Riots, a Continuing Sense of Injustice – By Meena Menon (Dec 8, 2016, The Wire)

A day after the Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992, Razia Rehman Sheikh had planned to take her son Jabbar for a check up to a public hospital for his mental illness. She never got there. Years later she remembered the day with great clarity. That was when the riots broke out in Bombay (renamed Mumbai in 1995). They waited at Kherwadi gate near Bandra for a long time. They saw a lot of bodies being taken away in hand carts. Jabbar was watching all this too. It was a while before he could be taken to hospital. Later, Jabbar developed a severe mental illness and had to be committed to an institution. Razia’s tragedy did not end there. One of her daughters who was about to be married, suddenly died one day.

Razia used to live in Razzak chawl in Behrampada and had many Hindu neighbours. Now most of them have sold their houses and left. She, too, unable to bear the trauma, moved across to a nearby slum at Naupada. Now her life is spent with the Mahila Shakti Mandal, a women’s group helping others in distress. And educating her daughters is her priority. Like Razia, many in Mumbai still feel the trauma of the riots, which tore the city’s secular fabric to shreds. While the city already had its ghettoes, the riots intensified the divide more than ever, forcing people to seek shelter with their own community.

There is little to remind us today, 24 years later, of the months of upheaval that wracked the city in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition. No memorials exist for the over 1000 killed and the many missing. Only memories remain, indelibly and unhappily etched in the minds of survivors.…

http://thewire.in/85273/bombay-riots-injustice/

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Sitting during the national anthem is a crime, but physical assault isn’t? – By Ranjan Crasta (Dec 13, 2016, Catch News)

When the Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom, decreed that the national anthem must be played before every movie screened in a theatre, it divided opinion. Many saw the decree as forced nationalism, while the rest thought those who disagreed with the SC were paid Pakistani agents who hate India. Or at least that was the impression given by Twitter.

What’s worse, not only has the Supreme Court order raised the possibility of more such incidents, but, if Chennai’s events are any indication, the police will condone the actions of ruffians as well. However, once the surprise and outrage, and outrage at outrage, had worn off, people started to wonder a wholly different question – who would enforce this rule? Already, there have been reports of adult theatre owners distraught at a lack of compliance from patrons and without the staff to enforce it.…

With the logic behind the order unclear to most, one expects to hear of more such arrests and assaults. And all this for what? Because we think the ‘honour’ of our country is at stake? How little do we think of our country’s honour when nine nobodies sitting through the national anthem is enough to undermine this unimpeachable honour?

http://www.catchnews.com/india-news/sitting-during-the-national-anthem-is-a-crime-but-physical-assault-isn-t-1481561321.html

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On Demonetisation, Prime Minister Modi May Have Already Lost the Plot – By M.K. Venu (Dec 14, 2016, Countercurrents)

Narendra Modi is possibly trapped in his self-belief that he possesses unlimited capacity to control the political narrative in the face of the untold national suffering which is refusing to abate five weeks after demonetisation. There are newspaper reports that BJP members of parliament are expressing serious worry over the growing public impatience and resentment as the supply of cash is nowhere near normalising.

Important grassroots outfits of the Sangh Parivar such as Bhartiya Majdoor Sangh, Swadeshi Jagran Manch and Laghu Udyog Bharti have all begun to suggest that the continuing distress in the informal sector of the economy does not augur well for the ruling party. …

Overall, the real test for Modi would be what sort of national narrative he is able to sustain in the weeks and months ahead. Can he succeed in converting the immense national suffering into a sort of “national renewal”, as his rhetoric suggests? The rhetoric of people sacrificing for a larger cause is also looking weak as reports of businessmen getting caught with tens of crores in new currency gets reported everyday. It doesn’t take much for the self-belief of obsessive leaders to turn to self-deception. For when the bottom-up narrative of anger and distress gains a critical mass, as it is clearly happening now, those who claim to control the agenda would likely get swept away. The forthcoming elections will doubtless reflect this.

http://thewire.in/86764/prime-minister-modi-lost-plot-demonetisation/

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It’s not communal to say note ban harmed Muslims acutely. It’s the truth – By Aditya Menon (Dec 13, 2016, Catch News)

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi stirred a controversy with his statement that the note ban’s impact had been particularly acute in Muslim-dominated areas. “In many Muslim-dominated areas banks aren’t present in the manner they should be. The proportion of loan distribution is also less compared to other areas….ATMs aren’t there (in sufficient numbers),” he said while addressing a rally in Udgir near Latur in Maharashtra on Monday. “If a bank is open (in Muslim areas), it is declared a red zone,” he added.

Both BJP and Congress criticised his statement. This is what Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju tweeted on the issue, before he got caught in corruption allegations. Congress leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said, “We don’t believe what Owaisi is saying. He should give proof if anything like this has happened”.…

Given this socio-economic profile of large sections of Indian Muslims, it is hardly surprising that the community has been acutely affected by the note ban, perhaps more than other communities. It isn’t communal on Owaisi’s part to point this out. To ignore it, is being blindly apathetic.

http://www.catchnews.com/politics-news/it-s-not-communal-to-say-note-ban-harmed-muslims-acutely-it-s-the-truth-1481645229.html

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The True Meaning of Mahesh Shah, the Man With Rs 13,860 Crore – By Harish Khare (Dec 10, 2016, Countercurrents)

…This Mahesh Shah had to be from Gujarat; specifically from Ahmedabad, the very civic site that represents the Gujarati spirit in all its roughness and brashness. In fact, Mahesh Shah can almost be called the poster boy of the “vibrant” Gujarat. It becomes necessary to delineate the political context.… Yet it would produce a Mahesh Shah – the man who would declare a mindboggling income of Rs 13,860 crore of undisclosed wealth under Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Income Declaration Scheme.

The Mahesh Shahs of Gujarat represent that wonderful convergence – a nexus, in fact – of a certain kind of business ethics, political disposition and social prejudice. It is this nexus that first begot and then sustained the Narendra Modi political project. Yet, the multitude applauds when one product (Modi) throws the book at another product (Shah). Maybe it is our civilisational gift for duality. But, it can only be injurious to the long-term health of the democratic polity.

Consequently, the polity has become dangerously imbalanced. The ruling clique seeks reaffirmation in the intrinsic merit of notebandi and the presumed popular acceptance of the “surgical strike against black money.” But the country finds itself in a bind. The demonetisation cannot be rolled back as easily as it was thrust upon the nation. But, nor can the cost of dislocation in the economy – and, society – be wished away. The government – and its accomplices in the corporate world – manufactured a narrative of “short-term pain and long-term gain.” The mood can turn sour and then we all may be saddled with ugly consequences. The democratic forces and voices have an obligation to reassure the nation that the common man is not at the mercy of one man.

http://thewire.in/85875/true-meaning-mahesh-shah-man-rs-13860-crore/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 14th, 2016

by newsdigest on November 23, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Digest

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Rs 3 crore deposit ahead of Rs 500 & Rs 1000 note ban puts West Bengal BJP in a spot (Nov 13, 2016, Economic Times)

Deposits of Rs 3 crore made by West Bengal BJP in a nationalised bank here eight days before the Prime Minister’s demonetisation announcement have triggered a controversy. The last transaction, involving Rs 40 lakh, was made minutes before the PM’s speech.…

Sources in the Indian Bank’s Central Avenue branch confirmed that the deposits were made in four tranches. According to a report published in CPM mouthpiece ‘Ganashakti’ on Friday, BJP had, on November 8, deposited Rs 60 lakh and then Rs 40 lakh – all of it in neatly packed 500 and 1,000 rupee notes. While the first deposit was made to a savings account (No. 554510034) named Bharatiya Janata Party, West Bengal, in the afternoon, the second was made around 8pm. However, it is not clear how the bank was open at 8pm.

According to the same report, in a different current account (also maintained by the party’s state unit) Rs 75 lakh was deposited on November 1 and Rs 1.25 crore on November 5. “It’s possible that BJP members were well aware of this ban and that is why they deposited huge amounts in banks across the nation to make their black money white,” CPM state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said.…

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/55385429.cms

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Day 9: Demonetisation Death Toll Rises To 55 (Nov 18, 2016, Huffington Post)

As people continued to struggle to get cash on the ninth day after demonetisation, the death toll rose to 55. These are confirmed deaths reported in the national and regional media.

The number of unreported deaths may be higher. While most deaths are of the elderly waiting in long bank queues, there are quite a few suicides, especially of housewives.…

In Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, 70-year-old Ratna Pillai died waiting in a bank queue. Distressed over the long queue, he approached the bank manager, and collapsed. (The Hindu)…

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2016/11/17/day-9-demonetisation-death-toll-rises-to-55/

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‘Staged encounter’ probe panel chief has RSS links (Nov 9, 2016, Free Press Journal)

AS the MP government institute a judicial inquiry into the issue under justice SK Pande, the opposition has raised doubts if it would prove to be a mere hogwash and whether it would meet the fate of other such judicial probes that have been pending for over last 10 years. The opposition says the state government has “failed” to table reports of as many as nine judicial commissions in the state assembly, which is mandatory.…

[senior advocate Anand Mohan] Mathur also wrote a letter to the chief minister and demanded justice SK Pande, a retired judge of Madhya Pradesh high court, be dropped as the head of the judicial commission announced to conduct inquiry into the Bhopal jailbreak and alleged encounter.

“I have known justice Pande since the time he was a civil judge at Jabalpur. He is known to be a sympathiser of RSS and will not be the right person to probe the encounter. A senior judge from the Supreme Court should be appointed for the same, as only then can an impartial report will be expected,” said 90 year-old Mathur.

http://www.freepressjournal.in/analysis/staged-encounter-probe-panel-chief-has-rss-links-l-s-herdenia/968749

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AiNNI writes to President against BJP man getting into NHRC (Nov 10, 2016, Deccan Chronicle)

All India Network of NGOs and Individuals working with National and State Human Rights Institutions (AiNNI) has expressed “serious concerns” over the appointment of Avinash Rai Khanna, vice-president of BJP, as a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

In a representation sent to the President of India Pranab Mukherjee, AiNNI said that while the post is sought to be filled by a person with no political affiliations, the appointment of Khanna would send a wrong message to the people of India and challenge the independence of NHRC which the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GA-NHRIs) through its Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA) highlighted in 2011.

“This appointment is contrary to the universally accepted human rights standards evolved under the aegis of the United Nations. It will erode the public faith in the institution, which has been declining steadily over the past ten years,” the AiNNI told the President in its letter signed by nine senior AiNNI advisors, including Henri Tiphagne, national working secretary of the AiNNI.…

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/131116/ainni-writes-to-prez-against-bjp-man-getting-into-nhrc.html

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“Indian nationalism under attack” (Nov 15, 2016, The Hindu)

The idea of Indian nationalism was under intense attack from the construct of Hindu nationalism propagated by RSS, BJP and other Hindutva forces, alleged Ram Puniyani, Chairman of All India Secular Forum, while speaking at a seminar on ‘Communal politics and minorities’ organized by Diocesan Legal Cell of Archdiocese of Madurai in association with Society for Community Organization Trust here on Monday.…

He said that those propagating Hindutva were relying on polarising the people along religious lines. “A study by the Yale University shows that whenever there is religious violence in a place, it leads to polarisation and the political party which played a key role in the polarization becomes stronger there,” he said. “We know about Gujarat riots in 2002 and religious violences in other places in the country and we can clearly see which party has gained,” he added.

Pointing out that these forces relied on spreading misconceptions, which lead to hatred and in turn to violence and polarisation, he said the progressive forces should confront the communal forces on all these fronts.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/indian-nationalism-under-attack/article9347167.ece

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Delhi Univ professor charged with murder in Chhattisgarh as she exposed atrocities in Bastar: Civil rights bodies (Nov 10, 2016, Counterview)

The Chhattisgarh police’s controversial move to file FIR charging Nandini Sundar, Professor of Sociology, Delhi University and Prof Archana Prasad of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, of murder of a tribal in Bastar is all set to become a major human rights concern across India.

Two top organizations, Campaign for Peace and Justice in Chhattisgarh (CPJC) and Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS), have taken the lead in alleging that the FIR has been filed in order to take revenge against Sundar and others after the recent CBI revelation that there is no truth in the cops’ story that Naxalites had burnt three villages in 2011, though this atrocity was found to be the handiwork of security forces and their supporters.

Alongside Sundar and Prasad, the FIR has also been filed gainst Vineet Tiwari of the Joshi Adhikar Institute of the CPI, Sanjay Parate of the CPI (M), apart from villagers and CPI activists Mangla of Nama and Manju Kawasi, sarpanch of Gadiras, and the sections quoted are 302, 147,148, 149, 450,120B of IPC, 25 and 27 of Arms Act.…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/11/delhi-univ-professor-charged-with.html

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Citizenship Act: BJP’s religion-based amendment threatens the secular fabric of India (Nov 8, 2016, First Post)

The Union government has proposed certain changes to India’s citizenship laws, in the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The present legal framework has no provision for religion-based citizenship and the proposed amendment plans to change that.

At present, an illegal migrant entering the territory of the Indian Union is prohibited from becoming a citizen. The amendment proposes that illegal migrants belonging to six specific religious minority communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan will not be prohibited from attaining citizenship, even if they migrated to the territory illegally.

The move, to mark out illegal migrants of specific religious minorities originating from neighbouring sovereign territories for special treatment, started a little while back. In a series of orders between September 2015 and July 2016, the government exempted from deportation the illegal migrants belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian religion. These previous moves laid down the framework for the present proposed amendment.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/citizenship-act-bjps-religion-based-amendment-threatens-the-secular-fabric-of-india-3094490.html

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‘BJP, Sangh Parivar trying to disturb communal harmony’ (Nov 8, 2016, The Hindu)

Samata Sena and other organisations have urged the State government to register cases against those trying to disturb communal harmony by making attempts to prevent Tipu Jayanti.

Addressing presspersons here on Monday, office-bearers of various organisations, including Gurunath Ullikashi, Premanath Chikkatumbal, Pitambarappa Bilar, condemned in strong terms those opposing Tipu Jayanti.

Mr. Gurunath Ullikashi alleged that the BJP and members of the Sangh Parivar were trying to project Tipu Sultan, who fought against the British, as anti-Hindu and were trying to disrupt Tipu Jayanti for the sake of gaining political mileage out of it.…

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/bjp-sangh-parivar-trying-to-disturb-communal-harmony/article9317358.ece

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Kolkata: Clerics launch twin attacks, target BJP and TMC on triple talaq (Nov 9, 2016, Indian Express)

Muslim leaders on Tuesday launched a fresh attack on both the central and state governments over several issues in a public meeting of imams and muezzins at Rani Rashmoni Avenue here. Md Kamruzzaman, general secretary of All Bengal Minority Youth Federation – which organised the event attended by over 40 Muslim organisations – said the present BJP government was intervening with Muslim Personal Law. Three TMC MPs – Sultan Ahmed, Idris Ali and Ahmed Hassan Imran – were also present on stage.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised ‘achhe din’, but does that mean taking away the right to practice the religion of one’s choice or to dictate what one will eat or wear?” Kamruzzaman asked.

Referring to the proposed BJP rally against triple talaq on November 18, when the three-day convention of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) would begin, he said: “The BJP in order to disrupt the function of the AIMPLB has organised a rally on November 18, but we are also ready to counter any attempts by the BJP. I urge all Muslims to maintain peace, but if they intend to create trouble, we are also ready to fight back.”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/kolkata-clerics-launch-twin-attacks-target-bjp-tmc-on-triple-talaq-4365129/

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How an assault on Banjaras by gau rakshaks sparked an Una-like movement in Rajasthan (Nov 11, 2016, Scroll.in)

…While the violence of the kind faced by Goru and his Banjara companions is not new to the community, this particular attack galvanised a movement against gau rakhaks – not unlike the uprising by Dalits in Gujarat after four youth from the community were flogged by cow-protection vigilantes in Una on July 11. A police case was registered, some of the attackers were arrested and the community came together in protest.

At the forefront of these Banjara agitations were women, over 1,000 of whom took out a protest rally in Rajsamand and, along with other people’s movements and campaigns from Rajasthan, organised a jan sunwai, or public hearing.

Parash Ram, a Banjara activist from Rajasthan’s Chittorgarh district, talks to Scroll.in about the unprecedented response of the community to the Bamkheda assault and how Dalits and Banjaras can come together against gau rakshaks.…

http://scroll.in/article/821047/how-an-assault-on-banjaras-by-gau-rakshaks-sparked-an-una-like-movement-in-rajasthan

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Opinions and Editorials

The right to kill a terrorist – By Faizan Mustafa (Nov 9, 2016, The Tribune)

…There is a qualitative difference between use of force in an operation and use of such deadly force that is akin to using a sledgehammer to kill a fly; one is an act of self-defence while the other is an act of retaliation.” From the video clips which have gone viral, the Bhopal encounter does not look like an act of private defence by the MP police.

Encounters have indeed become a common phenomenon of our criminal justice system. These killings always take place with the prior consent of the highest authority, administrative or ministerial. In the audio records of the Bhopal encounter too we heard someone instructing the killings. What is the modus operandi? The police would take a suspected terrorist into custody without recording his arrest; if the suspected terrorist dies during interrogation where third-degree methods are routinely employed, security forces would deny ever taking the person into custody and instead claim that he was killed during an armed encounter.

The police would place weapons on or near the body to suggest the police acted in self-defence and thus stage-manage the encounter. In other cases the police would secure production warrants under which the police are entitled to remove an inmate from the jail and then this terror suspect would be killed in an encounter outside the jail. A jail-break is the third type.…

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/comment/the-right-to-kill-a-terrorist/320504.html

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Getting away with murder – By Anupama Katakam (Nov 25, 2016, Frontline)

Between 2002 and 2006, encounter deaths became disturbingly frequent in Gujarat. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) recorded 22 extrajudicial killings in this period. Of these, five cases stood out for their blatancy. The encounter deaths of Samir Khan Pathan, Sadiq Jamal, Ishrat Jahan, Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati have been widely documented, yet justice has eluded the victims’ families.

Closure in the cases relating to the questionable killings happened only in the one involving police officials and Amit Shah, now Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president. They were convicted, granted bail, acquitted and reinstated, some of them with a promotion. Gujarat stands out for not only the politician-police nexus that exists in the matter of extrajudicial killings but also for the climate of impunity under which encounter killings have thrived, observers point out. Has Gujarat led the way and encouraged other States to believe that a political agenda can be furthered through brazen human rights violation?

Harsh Mander, an activist who filed a petition challenging the discharge of Amit Shah in the 2005 Sohrabuddin encounter case, said: “Once again we are seeing a revival and the same pattern of what was happening during 2004, 2005 and 2006. It’s the same ham-handed, clumsy method used by the authorities.”…

http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/getting-away-with-murder/article9319159.ece

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Why the corrupt rich will welcome Modi’s ‘surgical strike on corruption’ – By Jayati Ghosh (Nov 15, 2016, The Guardian)

Narendra Modi came to power in India on a promise to end corruption. Halfway into his tenure, little seems to have happened to achieve this goal. The most obvious steps – such as taking a strong line on the known illegal accounts held in Swiss banks and tax havens, or ending the ability to hold shares without revealing your identity, or making funding of political parties transparent – have simply not been taken. People were beginning to murmur that the government had not lived up to its grandiose promises.

So last week Modi did some more of the smoke and mirrors stuff that he is so good at: a shock announcement in a blaze of publicity designed to show that he is serious about ending corruption, even though the actual impact is quite different. At 8pm on Tuesday evening he announced that from midnight all 500-rupee (£6) and 1,000-rupee notes would cease to be legal tender. He said this would flush out all the black money and get rid of the counterfeit notes that were being used by terrorists in their nefarious activities.

Demonetisation of bank notes is a common practice, but it is usually done gradually, allowing time for people to replace the old notes with new ones to prevent too much disruption of economic activity. By contrast this overnight shock is hugely destabilising. The suddenness is supposed to prevent hoarders of cash being able to use it to buy other assets – but that is a poor argument, since the government could have simply announced a time-bound demonetisation and then tracked large transactions.…

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/15/corrupt-rich-india-modi-500-1000-rupee-note

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The Chief of Counterfeit Grief – By Apoorvanand (Nov 2, 2016, The Wire)

…So, let us rewind the tape and listen to the man so beholden to the constitutional rights of Muslim women. It was 2002. The blood on the streets was still not dry. But he was then on a yatra to assert the glory of Gujarat. Following in the foot steps of his then mentor, he rides a ‘Gaurav- Rath’ and moves from village to village. The yatra draws thousands of Hindus at all its stops.

He addresses them: “60 innocent Ram bhakts were burnt alive in Godhra.” After a pause he asks, ” Are you aware of the news?…” He asks again, “After that, did you burn shops in the village?” There is a faint ‘No’ in response. He asks again, “Did you burn houses?” He exhorts them to respond loudly and they oblige by saying ‘No’. He persists with his questioning, “Did you stab or behead anyone?” He continues, “Did you rape anyone?” The crowd now knows that it is in safe company of a friend. Each question is greeted with a more enthusiastic and aggressive ‘No!’. “The enemies of Gujarat go around saying that each village was in flames. In each village, people were being killed. Their heads smashed! They defamed Gujarat so much that I had to embark on this Gaurav Yatra.”

Were not people killed in the violence of 2002 after the burning of coach 6 of the Sabarmati Express? Were not houses burnt? Were not women raped? Were not people displaced from their habitats? And were they not Muslims? What did the report of the National Human Rights Commission say? And what did the chief minister, who was the chief minister of all Gujaratis, which included Muslims, do to ensure justice to them?…

http://thewire.in/77325/chief-counterfeit-grief/

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Systemic bias – By Divya Trivedi (Nov 25, 2016, Frontline)

The police and investigation agencies may deny bias in justice delivery, but prisons tell another story. Statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for 2015 show that Muslims constituted a greater share in the prison population than any other segment of people. While their share in India’s population as per Census 2011 was 14.2 per cent, their proportion in the undertrial prison population stood at 20.9 per cent.

The percentage of convicted Muslims was 15.8 per cent. The percentage of Muslims among detainees was also high at 23.8 per cent. In fact, they fared as badly as Dalits and the tribal people. Together, these three communities constituted 39 per cent of the population but accounted for more than 55 per cent of all undertrials and 50.4 per cent of all convicts.

The Scheduled Castes (S.Cs) accounted for 16.6 per cent of the population but made up 21.6 per cent of all undertrials and 20.9 per cent of all convicts, whereas the Scheduled Tribes (S.Ts) accounted for 8.6 per cent of the population but made up 12.4 per cent of all undertrials and 13.7 per cent of all convicts.…

http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/systemic-bias/article9319130.ece

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Bastar crackdowns warn India what an Emergency could look like in the 21st century – By Rohan Venkataramakrishnan (Nov 15, 2016, Sabrang India)

While Delhi occasionally has to grapple with the real excesses of state power, such as when the government orders a news channel to go blank, the police state is alive and thriving in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar. The district, which became infamous two decades ago for the significant presence of Maoists, has also become a symbol of Indian state abuse and has been the site of some of the most brazen attempts by the authorities to hound out all dissent.

On Monday, the Hindustan Times reported that one of its journalists was threatened by SRP Kalluri, Chhattisgarh’s inspector-general of police, a man who has made clear his willingness to act against anyone questioning his department’s actions. Kalluri told the HT journalist, “If you all do like this, we will not let you visit… you went with my reference to Bastar.”

This is not anomalous behaviour from the man who helped use the police-initiated citizens body, the Samajik Ekta Manch, to drive out any journalist living in the district who might question the police’s actions – including Scroll.in’s Malini Subramanian who faced threats of violence and brick-throwing. This week, Inspector-General Kalluri has made it clear that even those who live outside Bastar will have to toe his line if they want to enter the district to report.…

https://sabrangindia.in/article/bastar-crackdowns-warn-india-what-emergency-could-look-21st-century

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Book Review

Hinduism in India: Modern and Contemporary Movements

Author: Will Sweetman and Aditya Malik
Reviewed by: Biraj Mehta
Available at: Sage Publications India Pvt. Ltd., 2016, Pages: 311, Price: Rs. 795/- . http://www.amazon.in/
Review:
Hinduism in India: Modern and Contemporary Movements: Review (Nov 6, 2016, Free Press Journal)

The book is a compilation of essays by eminent researchers to the ongoing discussions on nature, history, and practice of Hinduism in India. The book challenges several notions of Hinduism that describe it as a uniform and monolithic tradition. The book serves as an avenue to dialogue with the past and participates in the ongoing debates on issues pertaining to Hinduism, nationalism, and world affairs.

The first essay on “Emergence and Significance of the Term “Hinduism” by Geoffrey Oddie explains how practices and communities get confused with religion. It also challenges several homogenized notions of Hinduism and explains it as a conglomeration of several traditions.… Thus, the book primarily illustrates the extraordinary richness of the cultural and religious diversity of Hinduism. Yet, the most significant contribution of the book is that it explains how any understanding of Hinduism is rooted in conflict.

It resists any attempts of homogenizing and assimilating it into any specific identity or context. Contrary to several books on Hinduism that nostalgically appropriate the past, this book provides an understanding to meaningfully engage with the past in a way that one can negotiate with the present and our aspirations for the future. In modern and contemporary times where the identity of the nation state is imagined from the religion of the majority community, such a discourse on Hinduism is not only relevant but also urgent.

<ahref=”http: www.freepressjournal.in=”” book-reviews=”” hinduism-in-india-modern-and-contemporary-movements-by-will-sweetman-and-aditya-malik=”” 967296=”” “=””>http://www.freepressjournal.in/book-reviews/hinduism-in-india-modern-and-contemporary-movements-by-will-sweetman-and-aditya-malik/967296

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 31st, 2016

November 11, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Bhopal “encounter” killings; Indian Americans demand Chief Minister’s resignation, judicial probe News Headlines SIMI activists’ jailbreak: Encounter, contradictions, politics and all that happened today SIMI shooting: Here’s India’s track record when it comes to fake encounters Police killed my son in fake encounter, alleges top Maoist RK’s wife […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 10th, 2016

October 20, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Communal Harmony Awakening Camp Watch how Kashmiri youth rescued an army jawan trapped inside a mangled vehicle News Headlines Delhi: Heavy police deployment in Trilokpuri as communal tensions rises after stone pelting Dadri accused’s body draped in tricolour sends out aggressive message to Muslims 2 hurt as […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 3rd, 2016

October 13, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Amid Uncertainty After Uri Attack, A Hindu-Muslim Bond Grows Stronger NGO to hold national conference for spreading communal harmony News Headlines A year after Ikhlaq’s lynching, Bisada sitting on a communal tinderbox I am out of jail, but I feel I am in a bigger jail now: […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 22nd, 2016

September 2, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Indian Americans demand withdrawal of sedition case against Amnesty International India Communal Harmony Sadbhavana Yatra for peace and social harmony News Headlines Govt is weakening democratic foundations by targeting human rights groups Kerala: BJP worker dies as bomb made by him explodes CBI to probe murder of couple […]

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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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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 11th, 2016

July 20, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Thapar slams Hindutva interpretation of nationalism MP towns shut on Eid, Hindu groups blamed for forced bandh State Intelligence Dept. gives clean chit to Naik; no arrest on his return to India BJP creating divisions in Kashmir with eye on UP elections: NC Home Ministry declines to […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 16th, 2016

June 1, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Temple and mosque promote communal harmony in Odisha town News Headlines Extremist Hindu groups’ “role” in terror attacks? Karkare showed me evidence before death: Supercop Ribeiro Two absconders in Malegaon blast mentioned as RSS workers: NIA Lt Col Shrikant Purohit booked for planning 2008 Malegaon blasts in […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 15th, 2016

February 26, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Bishop House in Kerala opens doors for Muslims to perform prayers Hindus take care of a mosque in UP’s communal cauldron News Headlines Sedition case against JNUSU president: Lawyers, BJP MLA take law in their fists ABVP members raised anti-India slogans: AAP submits video clip proof to […]

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