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Fake Encounter

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 16th, 2017

by newsdigest on November 20, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Haryana cop held in fake encounter (Oct 13, 2017, Indian Express)

Paramjit Singh, a constable with the Haryana Police and accused in the Sandeep Gadoli fake encounter case, was arrested in a raid on Thursday.

Sources said the Haryana Police, which made the arrest, have contacted Mumbai police and a team from the crime branch will get his transit remand.

Gangster Gadoli, who had over 30 cases registered against him, was allegedly shot dead by a Gurugram police team led by sub-inspector Pradhuman Yadav in Mumbai on February 7 2016. So far the police have arrested seven people in the case.

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/haryana-cop-held-in-fake-encounter-4887805/

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‘Dangerous’ trend of eliminating opposition & liberal values: Bombay High Court (Oct 13, 2017, Free Press Journal)

Voicing its concern over the ‘dangerous trend’ of targeting people who hold ‘liberal values and principles,’ the Bombay High Court on Thursday said that such a tendency is bringing disrepute to the country. The court even made a reference to the shocking murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead last month at her residence in Bengaluru.

A division bench of Justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari and Justice Bharati Dangre said, “At present, we can say that there is absolutely no respect for liberal values and opinions. The ones who believe in liberalism are increasingly being targeted for their principles. In the current scenario, we can say that not only thinkers, but any person, or rather any organisation that believes in liberal principles, can be targeted.”

“It’s like if there is some opposition to me, I must have that person eliminated. This trend of killing any and all opposition and liberal values is dangerous. This is bringing disrepute to the country,” Justice Dharamadhikari observed.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/mumbai/dangerous-trend-of-eliminating-opposition-liberal-values-bombay-high-court/1152910

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Missing JNU student: A year on, ‘where is Najeeb Ahmad’ cries get louder (Oct 14, 2017, Hindustan Times)

At least two hundred voices cried out in unison outside the headquarters of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at Lodhi Road on Friday: “Where is Najeeb? Find Najeeb.” On Sunday, it will be a year since the morning Najeeb Ahmad, an MSc student from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), was reported missing. Despite probe by four different teams of Delhi Police, Crime Branch and the CBI, there is still no sign of the 28-year-old.

On Friday afternoon, student groups from JNU, Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia , Najeeb’s family members and activists held protests over the agency’s alleged inability to trace Najeeb.

A year ago, the PhD student had a reported spat with other students in his hostel during which he was allegedly beaten up. He had reportedly slapped a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The following morning, he was reported missing. Delhi Police registered a kidnapping case. A special investigative team (SIT) was then formed to trace him. The probe was later handed to the Crime Branch. In May, the Delhi High Court transferred the case to the CBI, but there has been no information about the man whose disappearance remains the most talked-about issue on JNU campus, even today.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/missing-jnu-student-a-year-on-where-is-najeeb-ahmad-cries-get-louder/story-qEHvwOLp6VPeO8rnPrG2NM.html

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BHU Crime Branch Serves Notice on Peacefully Protesting Students, Sec 307 (Attempt to Murder) Applied (Sep 30, 2017, Sabrang India)

Fast on the heels of its repressive action of brutally beating women students and professors on September 23 (last saturday) the BHU Crime Branch has, late on the night of September 30 ( a week later) issued a ‘Notice’ to 10 students, all male who were protesting pecefully outside that day. Almost all ten students have been at the leadership of the 24 X 7 Library Movement that began in May 2016. Three of those who have received notices also belong to the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

Among the students who have received the notice are Roshan Pandey, Dhananjay Tripathi, Vikas Singh, Yashpal Singh and also Mritunjay, LN Sharma, Shantanu. Besides an FIR has already been lodged against three students members of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) that is leading the student’s protest. Vikas Singh of the NSUI doinga PHD in Political Science, Divakar Singh, a BHU IIT Scholar belonging to Youth for Swaraj and a woman student called Mamta have an FIR against them.

Reacting to the notice students including Dhananjay Tripathi and Vikas Singh that “this was a clear case of revenge politics being played out. We were at the dharna in a peaceful protest, we are part of the JAC supporting the movement of the women students as also raising issues of parity and justice and this is a clear attempt to level false allegations against us as also trying to undermine the protest. How could we be hurling petrol bombs as it is alleged when we were at the peaceful dharna outside?” asks Dhananjay.

https://sabrangindia.in/article/bhu-crime-branch-serves-notice-peacefully-protesting-students-sec-307-attempt-murder-applied

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Cow-protection vigilantes attack men carrying ‘buffalo meat’ in Faridabad (Oct 14, 2017, Hindustan Times)

A group of men was allegedly assaulted by so-called cow protection groups in Old Faridabad on Friday, the latest in a string of attacks by right-wing Hindu groups on people over suspicions that they may be selling or consuming cow meat.

Police have filed cases against the victims as well as “15-20 unknown persons” who attacked them, and will investigate the origin of the meat that the men were carrying for which they were assaulted. “We were beaten black and blue and told to raise slogans like ‘gau mata ki jai’ (hail the cow mother) and hanuman ki jai (hail hanuman) – which we refused”, said Azad, who was one of the people attacked. Three of the four victims appeared to be Muslims.

He added that the assault continued even after the policemen arrived on the scene. “We have registered a case under sections of Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Act Act against Asad, Shehzad, Shakeel and Sonu”, said ACP Mujesar Radhey Shyam. The officer said another FIR has been registered under sections of rioting, causing hurt and criminal intimidation against 15-20 unknown people.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/vigilantes-attack-men-carrying-buffalo-meat-in-faridabad-wanted-victims-to-say-gau-mata-ki-jai/story-DzeBZnVeNhVnYY3VzrdwBM.html

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Remember when RSS-Jan Sangh leaders (clandestinely) apologised for opposing Emergency, called Gandhi murderer “patriot” (Oct 17, 2017, Sabrang India)

It’s in the ninth edition of “Sarthak Jalso”, a unique Gujarati half-yearly journal edited by well-known writer Urvish Kothari, that has brought to light how RSS cadres and the BJP’s parent organisation, the Jan Sangh, behaved as ultra-nationalists during the Emergency days (1975-77), talked high of patriotism, but were equally quick in apologizing to the authorities about their opposition to what is considered as a dark spot of Indian democracy.

A detailed article by Hasmukh Patel, … has said that during his 11 months in jail, … he came in direct contact several RSS-Jan Sangh leaders. Finding them extremely polite at the personal level, though equally secretive, says Patel, … the RSS-Jan Sangh people would often tell him that they “would fight till the end but would never bow” to the Emergency regime… However, underlines Patel, the very same people would “clandestinely send apology letters” to the authorities, the “mathematics of which I failed to understand.” While Patel did not mention who these people were, those in the jail with him from RSS-Jan Sangh included Chiman Shukla, Shankarsinh Vaghela, Ashok Bhatt, Nalin Bhatt and Vishnu Pandya.

Patel’s observation acquires significance in view of running controversy about questions being raised on RSS’ role during the freedom movement, on one hand, and the revelation that Vinayak Savarkar (whom Modi rates as perhaps the best freedom fighter), was close to Gandhi assassin Godse and he wrote several letters to the British apologizing for opposing the Raj, on the other.

https://sabrangindia.in/article/remember-when-rss-jan-sangh-leaders-clandestinely-apologised-opposing-emergency-called

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Yashwant Sinha to Varun Gandhi: From economic slump, GST to Rohingyas, BJP faces attack from within (Sep 28, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Yashwant Sinha is not the first leader from the ruling BJP alliance to criticise the government over its policies, though his attack is by far the most scathing and direct.

There is a small chorus of voices from within the party who have been openly critical of the central government’s controversial economic decisions, especially demonetisation and GST. But a few of the party’s leaders have also taken a dissenting line on other government decisions, such as the plan to deport Rohingyas refugees.…

In June, just before GST was introduced, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, an offshoot of the Sangh parivar, had criticised the government policy.”… Swadeshi Jagran Manch has been saying for long that though GST will make compliance easier for big businesses, multi state operators and TNCs ( transnational or multinational corporations), but at the same time onus of compliance for small scale industry may cause a host of problems…,” SJM said in a press note.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/dissent-from-within-the-bjp-from-yashwant-sinha-to-subramanian-swamy/story-NFKCJgPjq6aWPi4Zb8eC7N.html

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Muslims flee Indian village after singer killed in argument with Hindu priest – police (Oct 11, 2017, Reuters)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-singer/muslims-flee-indian-village-after-singer-killed-in-argument-with-hindu-priest-police-idUSKBN1CG0O4

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Here Are Six Shocking Revelation About Ram Rahim And His Dera Headquarters At Sirsa (Oct 13, 2017, India Times)

Rape, murder, castration, extortion, illegal arms, parallel economy and what not. The conviction of Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim seems of having opened a can of worms for the self-styled Godman, who garrulously called himself Insan and new revelations are coming to fore every day as sanitation exercise at Dera headquarters in Sirsa nears completion.

Dera Chief, Gurmeet Ram Raheem, is currently in Rohtak’s Sonaria jail where his health is said to be deteriorating for different reasons. Here are some revelations about Dera Chief Ram Rahim and his headquarters located in Sirsa which has tumbled out like skeletons.

It has been revealed through the two women who fought the case apart from women who came to fore after the conviction that Ram Rahim used to rape the Sadhvis at his headquarters and this process was called Pitaji Ki Mafi. Many women who refused to disclose their identities have spoken post the conviction about how Sadhvis at Dera were sexually exploited by Ram Rahim. Pregnancy termination kits have been recovered from the Dera.…

https://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/here-are-six-shocking-revelation-about-ram-rahim-and-his-dera-headquarters-at-sira-329685.html

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Dalit Rights Activist Detained, Threatened with ‘Encounter’ (Oct 16, 2017, Sabrang India)

Dalit Rights activist Pradeep Narwal has alleged that he was illegally detained by personnel of the UP police on Sunday who also threatened to conduct an ‘encounter’ against him.

Narwal who is the convener of the Defense Committee for the Bhim Army says the incident took place near the Faridabad-Delhi border at about 2pm. “We were stopped by UP police personnel, none of whom were wearing name tags.

One of them put a gun to my head and threatened to do an encounter,” he recalls. “I was made to sit in a police vehicle, while a policeman got into my vehicle. I was then driven around and taken to Muradnagar, but not into the police station. I was questioned by these policemen about my links with the Bhim Army,” says Narwal.…

https://sabrangindia.in/article/dalit-rights-activist-detained-threatened-encounters

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Opinions and Editorials

Anger at India’s Slowdown Gives Modi a Very Big Headache – By Vrishti Beniwal and Bibhudatta Pradhan (Oct 12, 2017, Bloomberg)

For the first time in his three-and-a-half year rule, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing sustained discontent over his economic policies as growth slows, job losses mount and distressed farmers protest. Four senior members of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party have hit out at the government, emboldening the country’s weak opposition and challenging the previously unstoppable leader to find quick fixes before the 2019 national polls and a raft of state votes. And as criticism of the Modi’s economic management intensifies, the usually loud voices of his supporters are falling silent.

India lost its “fastest-growing major economy” tag as growth slipped below 6 percent in the latest quarter. The moderation was partly the result of Modi’s boldest moves – demonetization, as well as the chaotic introduction of the goods and services tax that continues to disrupt supply chains. As talk of a stimulus to boost growth sparked concerns of fiscal slippage, foreign investors went on selling spree and rupee started falling.…

The criticism of Modi’s handling of the economy is mounting, with Yashwant Sinha, former finance minister under Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s BJP-led-government, writing a strongly-worded piece saying the economy was in a “mess”. In an interview to Bloomberg Sinha said he was the voice of many in the party who wouldn’t speak out of fear.…

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-11/modi-facing-backlash-as-discontent-over-india-s-slowdown-deepens

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All Around Us, Narendra Modi’s Messiah Image Is Quickly Fading – By Harbans Mukhia (Oct 17, 2017, The Wire)

Remember the year or so prior to the May 2014 elections? The adoring Indian media could not imagine how the country had survived without Narendra Modi for 67 long years. Every little speech of his in a remote high school or a Delhi college became the news, wiping out all other national or international events – good, bad or indifferent – for a day-and-a-half from TV screens. The social media, such as it was, wouldn’t tire of singing songs of gratitude for being around when the messiah had made his appearance.

The messiah himself added all he could to the making of the myth around him. In his speeches, he invariably asked his massive audiences what had they gained in the six decades or so since independence, and the audiences loudly responded with “zero”, which in any case is an Indian invention. All was set to change to a golden age, “achhe din” in 60 months, he said reassuringly. Of course, just about 31% of those who actually voted – and thus around 21% or 22% of the total electorate, or around 12% of the Indian people – fell for his reassurances. But given the nature of our first-past-the-post democracy, this was enough to become a massive mandate.

Has the tide begun to turn? With all the messiah’s promised and unpromised actions falling flat – and more devastatingly being seen to be falling flat – and with “others” having caught up with social media, no prime minister in one’s living memory has been, and is being, lampooned daily on WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media as much as Modi, and I have been around long enough to witness the oath taking of all prime ministers from Jawaharlal Nehru onward. The lampooning comes in jokes, cartoons, videos, in reminders of what his dear colleagues like Uma Bharati had to say earlier of his “vikas purush” image (“vinash purush”) and above all in replaying video clips of his own wild promises.…

https://thewire.in/188094/narendra-modi-bjp-2019-image/

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Jay Amit Shah’s Case Against The Wire Is an Attempt to Censor, Intimidate Media at Large – By Lawrence Liang (Oct 12, 2017, The Wire)

… It is worth revisiting Lewis’s story of the Sullivan case in light of the defamation case filed by Jay Amitbhai Shah against The Wire and its employees for Rohini Singh’s article ‘The Golden touch of Jay Amit Shah’.

Defamation in the 21st century AG (After Goswami) and the form of journalism he inspires has also become less black and white as an issue of media censorship, with the media often trampling upon people’s reputations without any fear.

And then there are cases such as the one against The Wire in which, as Kagan would say, heroes are heroes and villains are villains. If it is the balance sheet of Jay Shah’s company which is the cause of aggrievement in the present case, in Sullivan, it was a poster that prompted a historic defamation claim against the New York Times – but in both instances, the real issue is much larger than the tarnishing of individual reputations or even the chilling effects of defamation.…

https://thewire.in/186614/jay-amit-shah-the-wire-defamation-media/

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India’s Hindu Right-Wing Extremists Are Increasingly Turning to Violence – By Vijay Prashad (Oct 12, 2017, News Click)

Earlier this month, in Bhubaneshwar, the capital of the Indian state of Odhisa, activists of the Hindu right decided to do some political theater. They brought a large communist flag, lay it on the ground, photographed themselves stamping on it, and then burnt it.

Why would the Hindu right – which controls the Indian government – decide to burn the flag of the communist movement in India? The communist movement has been weakened electorally, having its deputies in the parliament dramatically lowered over the course of the past two decades.…

The Hindu right, led by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Hindu Right’s electoral arm, the BJP, has used every mechanism of state and society to suffocate dissent. The government has used its power to go after liberal journalists and radical students, using guile and force to break the confidence of the popular struggles. The murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh and the attack on the students at Benares Hindu University provide evidence of the attempt by the Hindu right to narrow the possibilities of what it means to be an Indian.…

https://newsclick.in/indias-hindu-right-wing-extremists-are-increasingly-turning-violence

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A dangerous proposition – By Faizan Mustafa (Oct 17, 2017, The Hindu)

…The RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat, recently said in Hyderabad that our legal system should be based on “the ethos of society”. Sangh ideologue K.N. Govindacharya has openly spoken of how the Constitution needs to be rewritten.

In all such utterances, the agenda of review too is clear – remove individualism, secularism, socialism; dilute parliamentary democracy and civil liberties; and give more prominence to fundamental duties rather than to fundamental rights, and so on. True, our Constitution is a bag of borrowed ideas, but borrowing a few Western ideas is not necessarily bad if such ideas have some value and relevance for us.

No one generation has a monopoly on wisdom. Humans are fallible but do learn from experience and thus must be empowered to change the Constitution as per the exigencies of time. Amendments are good if they reflect the evolution and maturity of constitutional democracy. Why does the RSS appear to be more interested in a new Constitution rather than mere amendments? A 13-judge Bench of the Supreme Court in the Kesavananda Bharati case (1973) laid down that the basic structure of the Constitution cannot be altered in exercise of constituent powers of Parliament to amend the Constitution; thus repeal of the Constitution is the only option for the extreme right. This is indeed a dangerous prospect.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/a-dangerous-proposition/article19872416.ece

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What’s Behind India’s ‘Beef Lynchings’? – By Amitava Kumar (Oct 13, 2017, The Nation)

…When Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a landslide victory in the national parliamentary elections in 2014, one of the planks of his campaign was a ban on cow slaughter. He accused the party in power at that time of promoting a “Pink Revolution” (pink because “when you slaughter an animal, then the color of its meat is pink”).

The government, Modi said, boasted of India being the world’s leading meat exporter. Even in his earlier speeches, available on YouTube, you can hear him declaiming against the killing of cows: “Brothers and sisters, I cannot say whether your heart is pained by this or not, but my heart screams out in agony again and again. And why you remain silent, why you tolerate this, I just cannot understand.”

Speeches like this were not simply about animal welfare. Modi’s words are an incitement for India’s Hindu majority, which mostly doesn’t eat beef, to turn against the minority, particularly Muslims, who are conventionally represented as beef eaters. Cow slaughter has long been banned in parts of India, but after the BJP’s victory, frenzied mobs of vigilantes felt emboldened to make accusations and mete out brutal punishment.…

https://www.thenation.com/article/whats-behind-indias-beef-lynchings/

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Book Review

Hinduising Democracy: The Vishva Hindu Parishad in Contemporary India

Author: Manjari Katju
Reviewed by: G. Sampath
Available at: Kindle Unlimited. https://www.amazon.in/
Review:
Force of Hindutva (Oct 14, 2017, The Hindu)

… Today, VHP leaders occupy influential positions within the secular-democratic framework of the Indian polity, with Yogi Adityanath and Sakshi Maharaj being the most famous names among many others. The question of how and why avowedly majoritarian religious leaders rise to the top in a secular democracy has been a subject of intense debate among political scientists.

In Hinduising Democracy: The Vishva Hindu Parishad in Contemporary India, Manjari Katju, a professor of political science at the University of Hyderabad, tries to answer this question by breaking it down into smaller, sharper ones: What is the VHP’s understanding of democracy? What is its idea of freedom? What is its vision of citizenship? And what kind of influence does it wield over Indian politics and social life? To answer these questions, she tracks the VHP’s activities between 1995 and 2015, and over eight chapters traces the evolution of its strategies in response to changing political realities.

On the VHP’s vision of democracy, Katju observes that it attempts to “conflate the notion of parliamentary democracy with the will of the religious majority,” so that democracy in India comes to signify nothing but the rule of the Hindu majority, thereby “obfuscating the understanding of democracy itself.” The VHP’s idea of freedom is “articulated mainly as religio-cultural freedom of the Hindu community.” Freedom, for the VHP, is “an exclusive domain of the Hindu community and is considered substantiated only with the political ascendancy of Hindu nationhood.”… Hinduising Democracy is a valuable resource for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of an outfit that has become one of the largest, most energetic, and most uncompromising proselytisers of Hindutva.

http://www.thehindu.com/books/books-reviews/force-of-hindutva/article19854693.ece

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 24th, 2017

by newsdigest on August 4, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Soul of India resides in pluralism, need to eschew violence: President (Jul 24, 2017, The Tribune)

Outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee said on Monday that soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance and the country must free its public discourse from all forms of violence, physical as well as verbal. In his farewell address broadcast to the nation, he said creation of an inclusive society has to an article of faith. He called for resurrecting the power of non-violence.…

He said multiplicity in culture, faith and language is what makes India special. “We derive our strength from tolerance. It has been part of our collective consciousness for centuries. There are divergent strands in public discourse. We may argue, we may agree or we may not agree. But we cannot deny the essential prevalence of multiplicity of opinion. Otherwise, a fundamental character of our thought process will wither away,” he said.…

“At the heart of this violence is darkness, fear and mistrust. We must free our public discourse from all forms of violence, physical as well as verbal. Only a non-violent society can ensure the participation of all sections of the people, especially the marginalised and the dispossessed in the democratic process. “Power of non-violence has to be resurrected to build a compassionate and caring society,” he said. Mukherjee said Mahatma Gandhi saw India as an inclusive nation where every section lived in equality and moved forward unitedly in ever-widening thought and action.…

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/soul-of-india-resides-in-pluralism-need-to-eschew-violence-president/441483.html

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Chhattisgarh minister’s wife buys state forest land to build a resort, his dept says we can do nothing (Jul 25, 2017, Indian Express)

Raising questions of propriety and conflict of interest, Sarita Agrawal, wife of Chhattisgarh Minister and BJP leader Brijmohan Agrawal, acquired 4.12 hectares of forest land which was owned by the government and is now, along with her son, building a resort on it.

The purchase, in September 2009, was red-flagged by several officials of the Raman Singh government, as recently as June 30 this year, but her husband’s Ministry put down in writing that “it’s not possible to take any action in the matter,” an investigation by The Indian Express has revealed.…

The resort, called Shyam Vatika, is being developed near Sirpur in the Mahasamund district of Chhattisgarh…. Not just the wife, his son, too, is involved with the project. Two companies, Aditya Srijan Private Limited and Purbasa Vanijya Private Limited, have acquired land for the same project. Registrar of Companies records show that the former company has both Sarita Agrawal and her son Abhishek Agrawal as directors while Purbasa Vanijya has Abhishek Agrawal as one of its directors.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/chhattisgarh-ministers-wife-buys-state-forest-land-to-build-a-resort-his-dept-says-we-can-do-nothing-4765761/

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‘Modi’s election, like Trump’s, has unleashed violence against minorities’ (Jul 22, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Drawing parallels between US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Martin Luther King III, the son of American civil rights movement icon Martin Luther King Jr, said here on Friday that both have limited regard for the poor and for law and order.

King III, a human rights advocate and community activist was speaking at the inauguration of the three-day conference “Quest for equity – Reclaiming social justice, revisiting Ambedkar”, in which around 300 scholars, activists and policymakers will discuss the ideas of Dr BR Ambedkar.

“Like Donald Trump’s campaign, the election of Narendra Modi has unleashed a ferocious animosity against minorities,” King said drawing unflattering parallel between the two leaders. The government has consistently denied that there is any intolerance in the country. “We must find a way to bring together the best minds in the world to find solutions,” he stressed.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/modi-s-election-like-trump-s-has-unleashed-violence-against-minorities/story-fyq4HW0RCSJpLPoqnP4sIK.html

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Lynch mobs seem to know nothing will happen to them, they’re implicitly meeting approval from higher-ups: UCLA scholar (Jul 18, 2017, Indian Express)

…These lynchings are a form of communal violence that is different from what we have seen before. Firstly, they are apparently decentralised. Earlier, organised acts of mass violence were repetitive in character and there was a pattern, e.g. processions were attacked or the violence was timed with public festivals.…

But what we are seeing now is not at a single place, there are fewer numbers attacked and it is decentralised, done by little groups all over the place. These groups are either being told, or imagine that they have been told to act in this way. Further, after the event, no one in authority is clearly telling them the contrary. There is also an aspirational quality to the violence. It is low-level… if journalists don’t choose to report it, it may not even register if one isn’t vigilant.

But the curious thing is that the perpetrators want it to be known. After all, some of the people doing this are even videotaping it. They make sure the information is circulating, intended as a warning, as a signal and controlling device for the social behaviour expected of minorities. It is a form of violence which can pop up here one day and there on another. It is never mass killings, but based on the existence of grassroots kind of organisations which believe in doing this, and also to an extent on copycat behaviour. So even if it is decentralised, there is a larger context.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/lynch-mobs-seem-to-know-nothing-will-happen-to-them-sanjay-subrahmanyamucla-scholar-4755228/

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Adani Group ‘SLAPP’ Pushes EPW Editor Out of His Job (Jul 18, 2017, The Wire)

Economic & Political Weekly (EPW) editor Paranjoy Guha Thakurta became the first top-level editorial casualty of corporate India’s increasing tendency to file multi-crore defamation cases as a means of countering critical reporting, resigning after the directors of the trust which runs the storied journal ordered him to take down an article on the Adani group.

Last month, Adani Power Ltd. sent a letter via its lawyers to EPW, the article’s four authors (which included Thakurta) and Sameeksha Trust, which owns and runs the journal. The lawyer’s letter demanded that immediate steps be taken to “remove/delete and unconditionally retract” an article ‘Modi Government’s Rs 500-Crore Bonanza to the Adani Group'(June 24, 2017) that they said was defamatory and harmful to the reputation of their client. The letter also objected to the publication of an earlier article,’Did the Adani Group Evade Rs 1,000 Crore in Taxes?’ (January 14, 2017), but did not specifically ask for it to be removed.

The letter said that unless this was done, “our clients shall be constrained to take such action as they may be advised”. On Tuesday, the Sameeksha Trust board, which met in Delhi, ordered the editorial department to take the article down (alongside which Thakurta had also posted a copy of the Adani letter and a legal response by EPW). Thakurta resigned soon after the meeting.…

https://thewire.in/159090/adani-group-slapps-epw-editor-job/

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Maharashtra Collector Confirms EVM Malfunctioning In RTI Reply, Votes Went To Lotus Symbol (Jul 22, 2017, Outlook)

Contrary to the claim by the Election Commission of India (ECI), an RTI response from Maharashtra’s Buldhana district collectorate has confirmed malfunctioning of electronic voting machine (EVM), reported IANS.

According to the report, Buldhana collectorate’s election department has replied to an RTI query confirming that votes of an independent candidate had gone to BJP’s lotus symbol.

The “EVM fraud” happened during February 16 elections to Buldhana Zilla Parishad from Lonar, at a polling station in Sultanpur village of the district, said RTI activist Anil Galgali.…

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/maharashtra-collector-confirms-evm-tampering-in-rti-reply-votes-went-to-lotus-sy/299695

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SC questions reappointment of Gujarat cops involved in ‘fake encounters’ (Jul 21, 2017, Hindustan Times)

The reappointment by the Gujarat government of two cops, allegedly involved in fake encounter cases, has come under the Supreme Court scanner.

A bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar on Friday issued notice to the state on a petition filed by retired IPS officer, Rahul Sharma, who claimed the appointments are in violation of the law laid down by the apex court in the police reforms case. Sharma’s plea was not entertained by Gujarat high court following which he moved the SC.

The two cops are NK Amin and Tarun Barot. Amin was accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case but was discharged. He is yet to get a clean chit for allegedly killing Ishrat Jehan in a staged encounter.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/sc-questions-reappointment-of-gujarat-cops-involved-in-fake-encounters/story-QjdMRjQg8x6YE6eFLdWagM.html

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Modi’s false promises on crop MSP exposed, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh makes a u-turn in Lok Sabha (Jul 21, 2017, Twocircles.net)

On Wednesday, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh again misled the country by making a completely false statement by claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had never promised to offer a minimum support price to farmers but had instead promised to give a profit of 50% to farmers on the production cost.

All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) has said that not only is this a completely false statement, but the agricultural minister also did not clarify how the farmers can gain a profit of 50% without having an MSP in place.

Defying Singh’s claim, social activist and founder of Swaraj Abhiyan Yogendra Yadav tweeted a video dated April 4, 2014. The video clearly shows that Modi had promised to fix the crops’ MSP at above 50% of the production cost.…

http://twocircles.net/2017jul21/413381.html

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Modi government policies are burning Kashmir: Congress VP Rahul Gandhi (Jul 22, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi reiterated his charge on Friday that the Modi government’s policies are “burning” Jammu and Kashmir, asserting that no third party intervention was required to resolve India’s internal matters.

“India is Kashmir and Kashmir is India,” Gandhi told reporters in the Parliament House Complex. “It is being said there should be discussion on Kashmir with China and Pakistan, but this is our internal matter… our internal business and no one should interfere in it,” he said.…

“I have been saying this for a long time that Modi’s and the NDA’s policies are burning Jammu and Kashmir,” the Congress vice president said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/modi-government-policies-are-burning-kashmir-congress-vp-rahul-gandhi/story-sJk78n4Pfo2pcvhpUUJLVO.html

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Ambedkar meet: Resolution adopted against ‘regressive forces’ (Jul 24, 2017, Indian Express)

Regressive political and social forces which are in positions of power are undermining the foundations of Indian society and pose “a grave threat to the idea of India espoused by the freedom movement and spelt out in the Constitution”, said a resolution called the Bengaluru Declaration that was passed at the end of a three-day international conference on Dr B R Ambedkar.

Regressive forces with state power “are systematically dismantling the institutions that are the foundations of our society, by undermining India’s holistic welfare and affirmative action architecture and by destroying the pluralistic fabric of our nation”, read the declaration, put together by academics and participants at the conference organised by the Congress government in Karnataka. The conference ended on Sunday.

While assiduously avoiding direct references to BJP, RSS, PM Narendra Modi or recent incidents of violence over food habits, the Bengaluru Declaration has called for all governments in the country to uphold constitutional values and the rule of law. “The State must be unequivocal in its protection of fundamental rights and constitutional values. Irrespective of religious identities or institutional affiliations, the State needs to strictly reassert political and legal accountability for any violence. This is the only way to prevent lynchings and uphold the rule of law,” it said.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/resolution-adopted-against-regressive-forces-4764029/

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Opinions and Editorials

India’s Turn Toward Intolerance – Editorial (Jul 17, 2017, New York Times)

Narendra Modi’s landslide victory as prime minister of India in 2014 was borne on his promises to unleash his country’s economic potential and build a bright future while he played down the Hindu nationalist roots of his Bharatiya Janata Party.

But, under Mr. Modi’s leadership, growth has slowed, jobs have not materialized, and what has actually been unleashed is virulent intolerance that threatens the foundation of the secular nation envisioned by its founders.

Since Mr. Modi took office, there has been an alarming rise in mob attacks against people accused of eating beef or abusing cows, an animal held sacred to Hindus. Most of those killed have been Muslims. Mr. Modi spoke out against the killings only last month, not long after his government banned the sale of cows for slaughter, a move suspended by India’s Supreme Court. The ban, enforcing cultural stigma, would have fallen hardest on Muslims and low-caste Hindus traditionally engaged in the meat and leather industry.…

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/opinion/indias-turn-toward-intolerance.html

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Muslims Still Consigned to Gujarat’s Slums 15 Years After 2002 Riots – By Rina Chandran (Jul 25, 2017, The Wire)

Shahjahan Bano was a young boy in February 2002, selling vegetables with his mother in a market in Ahmedabad in the western Indian state of Gujarat, when some of the worst communal riots in the country’s history broke out.

For days mobs rampaged the city, burning houses, looting shops, raping women and killing men, women and children. More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, died in the violence. Bano and his mother, who hid in the market the first night, were taken to a relief camp the next day where other Muslims huddled, awaiting news of their families and homes.…

“As a result, Muslims are confined to the filthiest corners, with no hope of upliftment. Development and progress are for everyone else in the state, but not for Muslims,” he said. The division is so marked that Juhapura, a teeming township in Ahmedabad of about 400,000 people, many who moved there after the 2002 riots, is referred to by local Hindus as “Little Pakistan”. Conditions there and in other Muslim settlements in Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s largest city, are similar: residents lack proper roads, streetlights, adequate drinking water, sewage pipes, and access to public clinics and schools.…

https://thewire.in/161532/muslims-gujarat-riots/

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Why Dina Nath Batra wants Tagore, Urdu, Mughals removed from school books – By Shougat Dasgupta (Jul 24, 2017, Dailyo.in)

Ideological warriors like Dina Nath Batra should have no part to play, no influence to wield in the writing of Indian textbooks or on the content of the national syllabus. As a reporter, I met Batra in 2014 when Penguin India, to general bemusement, agreed to pulp extant copies of scholar Wendy Doniger’s award-winning book The Hindus: An Alternative History.

I went to the school he ran in southwest Delhi and he proved, for the record, to be a genial companion. He is a man of considerable experience and achievement. But he is, without question, a crank.

Our discussion, apart from Batra’s digressions into the existence of nudist colonies in Calfornia, mostly centred around the lack of cultural education imparted to Indian schoolchildren. But no one who is thinking critically would accept Batra’s version of Indian culture and history. His myriad objections to passages in books amount to one overall objective – a desire to eliminate complexity.…

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/dina-nath-batra-tagore-urdu-remove-school-textbooks-rss/story/1/18562.html

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Ram Nath Kovind’s election was fixed. It brings no honour to India – By Rajeev Dhavan (Jul 23, 2017, Dailyo.in)

No one can seriously claim that India has had a proper presidential election. Ram Nath Kovind’s election was fixed. That brings no honour to a nation that claims to be a democratic republic.

The election was a non-starter because the votes were pre-determined. If Meira Kumar provided a temporal moment which could provide the possibilities of a contested match, it was dashed into the ground by majority politics.…

As things stand, the president has interesting powers. The Constitution gives him the right to access all government information (Article 78), to remand matters (Article 78 (3) and 74 (1)) for reconsideration, especially after post-Emergency changes to the Constitution. He can block President’s Rule and ordinances. He has a role in the appointment of governors. He is not a mere symbol but can be the powerful conscience keeper for the nation. This is why his post is important and should go beyond appointing stooges bereft of dignity.…

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/ram-nath-kovind-president-presidential-elections-2017-modi-amit-shah/story/1/18536.html

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Trump and Modi’s silence on hate crimes provides shelter for criminals – By Rachana Kamtekar (Jul 17, 2017, TRT World)

…In May the Modi government proposed a nation-wide ban on cow slaughter in deference to extremist Hindu “cow protectors”, despite the fact that Muslims and Christians, and quite a few Hindus and Sikhs besides, might choose to eat beef. Since then India has seen seven lynchings of Muslims on the pretext of beef eating or cow slaughter. One of the bloodiest was the June 22 lynching of fifteen year-old Junaid Khan and his teenage friends as they were heading home on a suburban train from some Delhi Eid shopping.

“Beef-eater!”, “Anti-national!”, “Mullah!”, the twenty-odd assailants taunted the boys as they began slapping them around before stabbing them repeatedly and throwing Junaid onto the platform where he bled to death. India has seen a dozen lynchings of Muslims since the BJP came to power in 2014. Yet the BJP-led government has been silent about them. The Trump regime has also been reticent about condemning the rising tide of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the US (260 since 2015).…

In India, criminalising what Muslims might ordinarily eat – and what they must, for fear of their lives, give up or at least deny eating – doesn’t just license criminals to attack Muslims.…

http://www.trtworld.com/opinion/trump-and-modis-silence-on-hate-crimes-provides-shelter-for-criminals-402668

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Cow Is Mother As Long As It Gives Milk – Editorial (Jul 19, 2017, Nav Hind Times)

…Most lynchings have taken place in the BJP-rules states. There has been a spurt in the number of cases of attacks by the pseudo cow vigilantes over the last two years and scores of cases have been reported in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Jharkhand.

The states did not take the Prime Minister’s first warning seriously. Let us hope that they would act strongly and arrest and prosecute the offenders as well as take steps to prevent lynching of people in the name of cow protection. The Prime Minister’s advice to the states to open dossiers to see how many of the self-proclaimed vigilantes were criminals should be followed.

BJP President Amit Shah recently alleged that there were more lynchings during the UPA regime. It cannot be anybody’s case that violence was not taking place during the Congress-led regime. Lynchings by mobs of criminals are quite a gory, but common phenomenon in India. There have been lynchings of eve teasers and boys in love with a girl whose family did not like him to see her. However, the difference between those lynchings and the lynchings taking place in the BJP-ruled states is that it is being done in the name of Hindu religion.…

http://www.navhindtimes.in/cow-is-mother-as-long-as-it-gives-milk/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 29th, 2017

June 7, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Babri Masjid demolition case: CBI court frames ‘criminal conspiracy’ charges against Advani, Joshi, Bharti and others Cow vigilantism: RSS man arrested for torching truck, cops say vehicle had bulls Madras High Court stays Centre’s notification on sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets Human rights abuses […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 20th, 2017

March 3, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Political storm erupts over Madhya Pradesh CM’s pic with ‘ISI man’ Why India’s higher courts have ignored suo motu cognisance of mass crimes, including 2002 riots?: Teesta Setalvad Narendra Modi, Amit Shah are terrorists spreading fear: Uttar Pradesh minister Meerut: BJP leader Kuldeep Tomar shoots his wife […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 12th, 2016

December 22, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Maratha Seva Sangh organises communal harmony rally as part of Eid ul Milad celebrations News Headlines Bengal BJP man held with Rs 10 lakh in new notes Bhaiya reference to minister Kiren Rijiju: ‘Bhaiya ka help chahiye toh humko boliye Sir’ UP polls: BJP, RSS want to […]

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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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