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Fake Encounter

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 20th, 2017

by newsdigest on March 3, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Political storm erupts over Madhya Pradesh CM’s pic with ‘ISI man’ (Feb 13, 2017, Deccan Chronicle)

A picture purportedly showing one of the accused in the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)-backed spy racket, busted in Madhya Pradesh on February 9, in the company of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday sparked a political storm in the state. Opposition Congress here expressed serious concern over the ISI suspect’s alleged link with several senior BJP leaders in MP including the Chief Minister.

In the picture, one of the members of the spy ring, Dhruv Saxena, was seen standing near Shivraj. It appears that the photograph was taken at a function. “Separate pictures showing Dhruv in company of the Chief Minister and also with BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargia have surfaced establishing his links to BJP. It is a matter of serious concern,” the Congress spokesman said.…

Anti-terrorist squad of MP on February nine busted the ISI-backed spy racket by arresting 11 people in four districts in the state. The racket used to facilitate their ISI handlers in Pakistan to contact officials in the Indian defence establishment through their parallel telephone exchanges by concealing their identities to extract military related information.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/130217/controversy-sparks-over-madhya-pradesh-cms-pic-with-isi-man.html

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Why India’s higher courts have ignored suo motu cognisance of mass crimes, including 2002 riots?: Teesta Setalvad (Feb 18, 2017, Counterview)

In her new book, “Foot Soldiers of the Constitution: A Memoir”, well-known human rights activist wonders as to why India’s High Courts and the Supreme Court, who are vested with a unique power of the suo motu jurisdiction, have failed to use it with any communal riots across the country. …

Recalling how under suo motu, the Courts have taken up matters and issues on their own, when they receive a letter of complaint and when they read a media report, Setalvad says, the power of the suo motu was used by the Supreme Court to “query the defacement of the mighty Himalayas”, yet, “When mass crimes against sections of our own population shook the core of the Indian republic, the power of suo motu has not been used.”

This is not just true of the the “2002 pogrom” in Gujarat, Setalvad says, but also “the widely-reported 1983 Nelli massacre, the extensively covered 1984 Delhi riots, the 1989 Hashimpura-Meerut killings (when the bodies of those shot dead were washed upon the shores of the Yamuna, near Delhi), and the 1992-93 Bombay riots”.… “It remains a shameful reminder of the depths to where we had fallen in 2002”, comments Setalvad…

http://www.counterview.net/2017/02/why-indias-higher-courts-have-ignored.html

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Narendra Modi, Amit Shah are terrorists spreading fear: Uttar Pradesh minister (Feb 20, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah are terrorists who are trying to terrorise people in Uttar Pradesh, a Samajwadi Party minister has said, as campaigning in the state turned ugly halfway through the seven-phase assembly elections.

The comment by Rajendra Chowdhary came shortly after Modi accused the SP government of discrimination on the basis of religion. “They want to create an environment of fear. They are both terrorists – Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. They are creating terror in our democracy,” Chowdhary said.…

On Sunday, Modi drew a parallel between Hindu and Muslim festivals to accuse the Akhilesh Yadav administration of practising discrimination on the basis of religion. “If you create kabristaan (graveyard) in a village, then a shamshaan (cremation ground) should be created. If electricity is given uninterrupted in Ramzan, then it should be given in Diwali without a break. Bhedbhaav nahin hona chahiye (there should be no discrimination,” Modi told a rally in Fatehpur, apparently playing the Hindutva card in the politically crucial state.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/narendra-modi-and-amit-shah-are-terrorists-they-are-spreading-fear-uttar-pradesh-minister/story-T7JWyh8AFIMW7cmJmxdenN.html

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Meerut: BJP leader Kuldeep Tomar shoots his wife dead after argument (Feb 18, 2017, DNA India)

BJP leader Kuldeep Tomar has allegedly shot his wife after a heated argument. His wife, Poonam, was seriously injured and was taken to a hospital. According to News18, she died while being treated in the hospital on Friday. The leader is on the run and cops are searching for him.

The incident took place on Friday night after the couple had a fight following which Kuldeep shot Poonam with his licensed revolver at the back of her head. He tried to shoot himself too but was stopped by his nephew.

Poonam’s family is in Meerut and has lodged an FIR against Kuldeep. The police has sent the body to conduct autopsy.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-meerut-bjp-leader-kuldeep-tomar-shoots-his-wife-after-argument-2327134

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Ghaziabad fake encounter: Four UP cops convicted of murder (Feb 21, 2017, Hindustan Times)

More than 20 years after the Uttar Pradesh police claimed to have gunned down four criminals in an encounter in Bhojpur in November 1996, a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Ghaziabad on Monday held four cops guilty of murder, destruction of evidence and giving false evidence.

CBI’s Special Judge (anti corruption) Rajesh Chaudhary on Monday held the then station house officer Lal Singh, sub inspector Joginder Singh and two constables Surya Bhan and Subhash Chand as guilty for murder. The fifth accused Ranbir Singh died during the trial.…

Forensic investigations nailed the policemen’s lies.… All four victims killed during the alleged encounter hailed from poor families and had gone to Pilkhuwa in search of daily wage job on November 8, 1996. They were sitting at a tea stall outside the Bhojpur police station and were called by the police personnel inside the police station where they were tortured before being killed in a fake encounter at Machli Bazar area nearby.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/noida/four-up-cops-convicted-of-murder-in-20-year-old-fake-encounter-case/story-6GsrSn6X5thoFzSc98bBON.html

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2005 Delhi blasts – College to jail: How cops stole 12 years of his youth (Feb 18, 2017, Times of India)

Mohammad Rafiq Shah was … picked up by officials of Delhi Police’s special cell and Special Task Force (STF) of Kashmir Police.Two days later – after allegedly subjecting him to torture and humiliation at an STF camp – they brought him to Delhi. His crime: he was alleged to have planted a bomb in a DTC bus in Govindpuri on October 29, 2005, which injured many people.

Twelve years later, when he walked free on Thursday – after additional sessions judge Reetesh Singh acquitted him of all charges – the police were facing serious questions of credibility and human rights violations. Rafiq’s claim that “he was made an accused to assuage the public perception that Delhi Police was incompetent to act against terrorism” and that “he was a vulnerable target… made a scapegoat” rang true. Police, it seems, deliberately ignored his alibi at every step to prove their case. They brushed aside his plea that it could be proved he was in his class on the day of the blast. It relied on dubious witness es who ended up contradicting themselves, exposed Rafiq to many people when he was in custody before a test identification parade (TIP) could be conducted and suppressed inconvenient facts.…

The ground had been laid in Srinagar where Rafiq -according to his reply during framing of charges on January 21, 2008 which was cited by the judge – was allegedly forced to drink urine, kept naked and sexually abused, all in order to perhaps break his spirit. He had also alleged that rats were put in his trousers and attempts made to hurt his religious sentiments.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/57215328.cms

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Hindutva terror cases will be ‘made to collapse’ by government, says Chidambaram (Feb 18, 2017, Hindustan Times)

All terror cases involving right-wing Hindutva groups will be “made to collapse” in courts as the NDA government is using investigation agencies to advance its “political objective”, former home minister P Chidambaram has said.

His remarks came a fortnight after a Dewas court acquitted Sadhvi Pragya in Sunil Joshi murder case. Joshi was the alleged mastermind of what came to be known as “Hindu terror” that was linked to right-wing group Abhinav Bharat and some individuals associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The National Investigation Agency (NIA) dropped all charges against Pragya and 5 others in 2008 Malegaon blast case last year. Many witnesses have turned hostile in 2007 Ajmer Dargah and Samjhauta Express blasts cases.

Asked how the so-called Hindutva terror cases – transferred from states to the NIA during his tenure as union home minister – were falling apart, Chidambaram told HT: “It shows how the investigation agency is being used to advance their (the ruling party’s) political objective. How can witness after witness turn hostile? Is there not a single witness who will come and depose?”…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/hindutva-terror-cases-will-be-made-to-collapse-by-government-says-chidambaram/story-64AuYRpFOwbjk04Gw7jA5I.html

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US report exposes India’s mistreatment of minorities (Feb 19, 2017, Milli Gazette)

India fails to comply with international standards on freedom of religion leading to the discrimination and persecution of religious minorities, said a new report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

The report, “Constitutional and Legal Challenges Faced by Religious Minorities in India” said that, although the country’s Constitution guarantees equal rights to religious minorities, the government fails to comply with international standards.

It also enumerates India’s failure to ensure the rights of Dalit people, those from socially and economically poor castes, once considered untouchables.…

http://www.milligazette.com/news/15401-us-report-exposes-india-s-mistreatment-of-minorities

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India’s GDP projected to slow to 6.6% post-demonetisation: IMF (Feb 22, 2017, Hindustan Times)

India’s growth is projected to slow to 6.6% in 2016-17 fiscal due to the strains that have emerged in the economy as a result of “temporary disruptions” caused by demonetisation, the IMF said on Wednesday.

In its annual report, however, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said demonetisation would have only short term impact on the economy and it would bounce back to its expected growth of more than eight per cent in the next few years.

The post-November 8, 2016 cash shortages and payment disruptions caused by the currency exchange initiative have undermined consumption and business activity, posing a new challenge to sustaining the growth momentum, the IMF said in its annual country report on India.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-s-gdp-projected-to-slow-to-6-6-post-demonetisation-imf/story-zlxP86sKhOfOIY2N20jYRP.html

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‘Torture can NEVER be justified’: Amnesty International calls for Indian minister who ordered police to hang rape suspects upside down, beat them and rub chilli in their wounds to be investigated (Feb 19, 2017, First Post)

A cabinet minister who claimed to have ordered police to torture rape suspects should be investigated for human rights abuses, Amnesty International has said.

Uma Bharti, in charge of water resources, told supporters last week that she used to order rape suspects to be beaten in front of their victims and then have salt and chillies rubbed into their wounds while she was Madhya Pradesh chief minister.…

But London-based rights group Amnesty said her comments were dangerous and she should be prosecuted for violating basic human rights principles and Indian laws if she had in fact ordered such treatment. ‘Torture is always a crime, and is never justified. Politicians cannot decide that certain people do not have human rights,’ Aakar Patel, the head of Amnesty in India, said in a statement.…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-4223534/Amnesty-urges-probe-India-minister-torture-claim.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Modi is back to dirty trick by trying to divide Hindus and Muslims in UP – By Muqbil Ahmar (Feb 20, 2017, Dailyo.in)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a speech in Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh, on Sunday, said: “Ramzan me bijli aati hai, toh Diwali me bhi aani chahiye; bhedbhav nahi hona chahiye (when electricity is available on Ramzan, then its supply should be ensured during Diwali as well. There shouldn’t be any discrimination.” He added: “If there is a kabaristaan, there should be shamshaan too.”…

Moreover, Modi’s polarising remarks are not new. He has a history of doing that. Time and again, he and the BJP have tried to polarise important elections, particularly when the party feels it is on a sticky wicket. During the Bihar Assembly elections in 2015, Modi sought to pit the Dalits and backward classes against Bihar’s Muslims.…

The party has been notorious for such tactics… During the West Bengal Assembly elections, the BJP ran a highly virulent and divisive campaign. However, it backfired as the results showed. It was the same during the Bihar polls. This time, the BJP is playing the same card in Uttar Pradesh. Let’s see if it works in the party’s favour.

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/uttar-pradesh-polls-modi-fatehpur/story/1/15745.html

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No Prime Minister Has Stooped So Low in His Statements as Modi Has – By Om Thanvi (Feb 13, 2017, The Wire)

Outraged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘raincoat’ remark on Manmohan Singh, Congress MPs staged a walkout from the Rajya Sabha last week. Their protest may have been a bit of an overreaction but the truth is that the jibe was in extremely poor taste. What Modi did, in essence, was to accuse the former prime minister – without providing any proof – of personal involvement in corruption.…

What drove Modi to make such an allegation? For one, he was desperate to strike back. In the last parliamentary session, Singh had spoken like the economist he is and delivered a rare, brief and relatively strong speech condemning demonetisation – a speech in which he used terms like “organised loot” and “plunder”. Singh’s vocabulary was not abusive or frivolous but it stung Modi – who is aspiring to be the Messiah of neo-liberal economics – where it mattered most.…

Still, the use of such low level language in parliament by a man holding the top-most position in the country indicates a deterioration not witnessed before. Never has a prime minister put on such a shocking display of language. Not even Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whose rhetoric and dramatic gestures Modi and others in the BJP have strived to emulate.

https://thewire.in/108328/mod-manmohan-raincoat-parliament-demonetisation/

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2005 Delhi blast: Shoddy probe is an insult to both victims and those acquitted – Editorial (Feb 17, 2017, Hindustan Times)

In the end, it would appear that justice has not be done to any of the people involved in the 11-year-long saga following the Delhi bomb blasts that killed 67 people. Two of the accused have been freed after spending more than a decade in jail. On the face of things, it beggars belief that the police investigative team could have got it so wrong and that too in such a high-profile case.

But a closer look at many such incidents, a similar one in Hyderabad for instance, shows that the errors in evidence gathering begin right from the start. The crime scene is almost always compromised due to the police being late to arrive or their inability to cordon it off even when they do. This is the first lapse. Very often we see that all sorts of hasty conclusions are reached and these are publicised with no thought to how this could affect a sensitive case.… The easy route is taken and people are picked up on flimsy grounds.…

To return to this case, there was, according to lawyers, evidence of wilful negligence or incompetence in arresting people with little proof. This has led not only to an erosion of faith in the criminal justice system, but also has traumatised Muslims who are most often picked up for terror crimes. In effect, these lapses lead to persons, who may well be innocent, losing several years of their lives and the victims of the outrage are left in pain and grief. Those wrongly accused can, of course, sue the State but the stigma rarely goes away. It affects their chances of education, employment, overseas travel and also reintegrating into society. It also leaves deep psychological scars from which many never recover.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/editorials/shoddy-probe-into-the-2005-delhi-blast-case-is-an-insult-to-both-victims-and-those-acquitted/story-6DkQw24d0f2s0xoWguHYTM.html

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The chessboard was ready; we were just pawns: Habeeb Hawa, acquitted from Ahmedabad blasts case – By Amit Kumar (Feb 16, 2017, Twocircles.net)

Until April 22, 2003, Habeeb Hawa’s life was no different from the thousands around him. A 29-year-old born and brought up in Ahmedabad, Hawa ran a business dealing with electrical wiring, and in his free time, he would help various social organisations. He had got married three years ago and both him and his wife were enrolled at IGNOU: Habeeb had his exams for graduation a few days later, while his wife was preparing for her M.Com final year.

And then, Hawa got a police call. His life was about to nosedive into a hell specially reserved for innocent Muslims in India: not that he knew it then. “The police called and said that I needed to file an ‘answer’ for a query they had. I was confused because I had no clue, but then I thought there is no harm in going to the police station. I had been working in the relief committee for post-Godhra riots, and I had spoken to the local police so I went again. I knew these people (the cops),” says Hawa in a conversation with Twocircles.net.

Except that when he reached the police station, he was a taken to another place which was unfamiliar. “There were about 50 Muslims detained in the place. When I spoke to the others, they too seemed clueless. One cop jokingly said, ‘The chessboard is in place, now we need to place the pawns in the right place.’ Also, every few hours one of us would be picked, beaten black and blue and he would never return,” Habeeb, now 43, says.…

http://twocircles.net/2017feb16/404855.html

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100 days of demonetisation: Bank queues, RBI flip-flops – here is how it all unfolded – By Kanishka Singh (Feb 17, 2017, Indian Express)

Hundred days have passed since Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government announced its demonetisation drive. The government invalidated legal tender of ₹500 and ₹1,000 and announced restrictions on ATM and bank withdrawals on November 8. Further announcements included introduction of new currency notes of ₹500 and ₹ 2,000 denomination.

Announcing the decision, PM Modi had asked for 50 days to bring the situation back to normal. At the end of 50 days on December 30, the RBI and the Centre had both come out with a combined 74 notifications, circulars, decisions and reviews or turnarounds of those decisions. By the end 100-day mark, the situation has stabilised by some measure, but the shock is still felt and will take some time to wither away.…

Many lost their lives standing in queues and farmers were forced to sell their produce at throwaway prices. Digital payment infrastructure crumbled with high demand and low preparation. Digital India was not there to support demonetisation blues. After demonetising 86 per cent of the currency on November 8, only 0.0006% was recovered as counterfeit. Although large amounts of money made its way into the banking system, citizens by and large suffered the brunt.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/100-days-of-demonetisation-bank-queues-rbi-flip-flops-here-is-how-it-all-unfolded-4528321/

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Mohan Bhagwat is confusing religion with nationality by saying all Indian Muslims are Hindus – By Bikram Vohra (Feb 9, 2017, First Post)

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has taken religion, nationality and rationale to a whole new level, and served it up as a khichdi of logic. There was absolutely no need to create even a sliver of controversy, or to confuse the country you hail from with the religion you practice. Yet, he chose to do just this.

The one nice thing he did say during his eight-day tour of Madhya Pradesh will get lost in the din over all the other statements designed to tee off anyone who is not Hindu, and also a lot who are and who would rather not spread their spiritual blanket with such abandon.

Oh yes, the good part: He called on people to rise above caste, religion and language, which in itself is worthy of applause, but if only the rest of his speech wasn’t all about Hinduism and antithetical to the first sentiment. Why, for a start, do Hindus need the Bhagwats to bat for them and turn it all into a verbal circus? There is no call for this propping up, of adding cardboard dimensions to a faith. But Bhagwat clearly believes so in some fashion, since he says all Muslims are Hindus by nationality, though it makes no sense. But the Indian majority will somehow feel joyous about it and discover great happiness from this incandescent revelation.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/mohan-bhagwat-is-confusing-religion-with-nationality-by-saying-all-indian-muslims-are-hindus-3274180.html

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Book Review

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

Author: Warisha Farasat and Prita Jha
Reviewed by: Mohammad Sajjad
Available at: Three Essays Collective, B-957 Palam Vihar, GURGAON (Haryana) 122 017 India. http://www.amazon.in/
Review:
‘Splintered Justice’ in the Aftermath of Communal Violence (Feb 15, 2017, The Wire)

Communal violence has been a blot on the Indian record since British rule, with inter-community rivalry extending to well before that. Post-independence, this issue has reached truly dangerous levels… Even in the studies of causation, the career-profiles and roles of the goons patronised by the politicians and officials have remained woefully under-explored. Similar omission persists about studying the communalisation of minorities.

Asghar Ali Engineer, Paul Brass, Steven Wilkinson and Ashutosh Varshney are among the best known names to have explored and published influential works on the theme. Of these scholars however, Brass has diligently argued against using the word ‘riot’ for such violence. He has argued that such violence is not spontaneous. Instead it is ‘organised’ and ‘structured’. Riots don’t ‘happen’, these are ‘produced’ by politicians in connivance with the administrative machinery – an aspect that Wilkinson has also expanded on in his Votes and Violence. Brass wrote that, “What are called Hindu-Muslim riots in India are, in fact, more like pogroms, and have …taken the form of genocidal massacres and local ethnic cleansing as well”.

What has remained less attended to is the aftermath of the violence and barbarity. What happened to the victims that survived? Enough has been said on incumbent regimes, through choice or not, failing to pre-empt and control the violence. What remains understudied is the criminal justice system after the carnage. How did the ‘secular’ regimes protect and promote the perpetrators in the long run? What happened to the security personnel who either looked away or joined in the perpetrators? How difficult and complicated did it become for the victims to claim and get compensations? How did the victims and the survivors of the deceased ones re-build their lives? These are the questions that have been probed in Warisha Farasat and Prita Jha’s Splintered Justice: Living the Horror of Mass Communal Violence in Bhagalpur and Gujarat. This melancholic story tells us how the Indian republic frequently fails to dispense justice.… It exposes the chilling fact that “the process to provide impunity to the accused begins immediately after the violence”.…

https://thewire.in/108972/splintered-justice-communalism/

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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

November 23, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Digest News Headlines Rs 3 crore deposit ahead of Rs 500 & Rs 1000 note ban puts West Bengal BJP in a spot Day 9: Demonetisation Death Toll Rises To 55 ‘Staged encounter’ probe panel chief has RSS links AiNNI writes to President against BJP man getting into NHRC […]

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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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