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Fake Encounter

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 15th, 2016

by newsdigest on February 26, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Bishop House in Kerala opens doors for Muslims to perform prayers (Feb 17, 2016, Twocircles.net)

At a time when communal prejudices seem to be returning with a vengeance, Kerala has shown a heartening case of communal harmony. Christians of the state opened doors of their Bishop’s house for their Muslim brothers for the valedictory session of the 90th anniversary of Samastha Kerala Jam’iyyathul Ulama, held at Alappuzha beach on Sunday.

The functionaries of Alappuzha Bishop House, headquarters of Roman Catholic Diocese of Alleppey, opened their halls for Muslims in order to help the perform their Maghrib and Isha prayers. Besides, their Muslims brothers were allowed to use the toilets and other facilities of the Bishop house.…

The functionaries were happy to see their Muslim brothers walking to the headquarters in queue. The discipline they kept till to the final moment, according to Febi, drew the respect of the local people. “The entire crowd, reportedly, numbered around 5 lakh, they acted well. Even after we opened our doors, everyone was separately seeking our permission to enter inside and take ablution from our water tank,” Father Febi added.…

http://twocircles.net/2016feb17/1455715162.html

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Hindus take care of a mosque in UP’s communal cauldron (Feb 16, 2016, First Post)

The values of unity, respect and equality are seen among people who take care of a mosque at Nanhera in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, which has recently been singed by riots over religion.

Dara Singh, a village head has taken the responsibility to protect the 100-year-old mosque and plans to renovate it. The people of the village take care of the mosque. Religious differences have not prevented them from ensuring the upkeep of the structure.

There are no Muslim in the area to offer any prayers or to perform rituals. So, the whole community of Nanhera joins hands to look after the mosque and considers it as their heritage. With the objective to spread the message of peace and harmony, the villagers have decided to protect this place of worship.

http://www.firstpost.com/india/watch-hindus-take-care-of-a-mosque-in-ups-communal-cauldron-2628858.html

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Sedition case against JNUSU president: Lawyers, BJP MLA take law in their fists (Feb 16, 2016, Indian Express)

At least ten journalists, including two from The Indian Express, and several students were assaulted Monday by lawyers and a Delhi BJP MLA inside and outside the Patiala House Courts where a sedition case against Jawaharlal Nehru University students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar was to be heard.

The attack took place before hearing in the case got underway. A large number of policemen present there remained mute spectators. O P Sharma, BJP MLA from Vishwas Nagar, and his supporters pinned down CPI minority cell leader Ameeque Jamei and assaulted him outside the court complex.

Inside, a group of lawyers entered the court room, raised slogans and told students, teachers and journalists to leave. But they refused, saying they had a right to attend the proceedings. Announcing they were “patriots”, the men first targeted the students and teachers. Calling JNU a “den of anti-India elements and terrorists”, they attacked them and then turned on the journalists present in the room, punching and slapping them. Outside the court, another group of lawyers assaulted journalists and students.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/jnu-kanhaiya-kumar-patiala-house-court-lawyers-media-attacked/

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ABVP members raised anti-India slogans: AAP submits video clip proof to police (Feb 16, 2016, Indian Express)

Defending Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar, the AAP Monday submitted two video clips that purportedly show the “real culprits behind the unrest in JNU”. According to the AAP, the two clips allegedly show members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) shouting anti-India slogans.…

Senior AAP leaders Ashutosh and Dilip Pandey met Special Commissioner (Law & Order) Deepak Mishra and demanded action against those seen in the video clips. “We are disturbed by the fact that police arrested the JNUSU president without any evidence against him. The two video clips which we are submitting to you cast a very serious doubt on the role of ABVP in the entire incident and it must be thoroughly probed.

Those seen raising anti-India slogans in these clips must be immediately identified and arrested,” the AAP letter to the police read. One of the videos shows people allegedly shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’, who AAP claimed were affiliated to the ABVP.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/abvp-members-raised-anti-india-slogans-aap-submits-video-clip-proof-to-police/

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RSS an anti-national organization in India, Irfan Habib says (Feb 16, 2016, Times of India)

“RSS has been an anti-national organization in India,” said Historian Irfan Habib, Professor Emeritus, Aligarh Muslim University. He spoke to TOI regarding the Jawaharlal Nehru University row, where on February 13, the JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested on charges of sedition, and his speech was called “anti-national” at the event organized by a group of students to mark the third anniversary of terror convict Afzal Guru’s hanging.

Speaking on “anti-national” charge, Habib first explained nationalism, he said, “Nation is not simply a territory. It comprises of people. And nationalism means pursuing the interest of people of that territory. Those who incite violence against any section of that population are committing anti-national activity. That is exactly what RSS has been doing – RSS has been an anti-national organization in India.”

He further cited from his past lecture “Building the idea of India” and added, “The RSS was founded in 1925 one should ask them, what did you do for 22 years (till 1947)? Why didn’t you join the National Movement and go to prison? Why don’t you do something against the British if you are such a great patriot? Hindu Mahasabha and RSS have the same psychological problem. Ask the same questions to Hindu Mahasabha – ‘why didn’t you join the national movement?’ Savarkar in the Andaman gave an apology thus washing away his whole patriotic past. He only opposed the Muslims propounding a two-nation theory even before Muhammad Ali Jinnah.”

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/51012488.cms

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Kittappa Fake Encounter Case: Court Orders CBCID to File Murder Case Against 12 Cops (Feb 9, 2016, New Indian Express)

District Principal Sessions Court Judge Naseer Ahamed came down strongly on Police department for stage-managing a fake encounter and killing Kittappa, a notorious history-sheeter. In the judgment delivered on Monday evening, the judge said that in the prima facie it appears that Policemen had carried out a fake encounter and had misused their powers which amount to murder charge.

Following that he ordered the CBCID sleuths to file a murder case against 12 Policemen who were present at the encounter spot. The list included DSP Rajaram, Assistant Commissioner, Madhavan Nair, Sub-Inspector, Sivaramakrishnan, constables Singam alias Selvanathan, Murugesan, Karuppasamy, Alwin Babu, Thangam, Shanmugavel, Krishnasamy, Saravana Sundar and Murugan.…

Bramma, RTI activist, claims that he was the first to file a complaint at National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) that the encounter staged was fake and his complaint was accepted by NHRC who are carrying out a parallel investigation. Under the circumstance the court judgment is a great boost as it proves clearly that the Policemen had staged a fake encounter. He had been claiming from the day one that Kittappa was murdered by Police through fake encounter claimed Bramma.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/Kittappa-Fake-Encounter-Case-Court-Orders-CBCID-to-File-Murder-Case-Against-12-Cops/2016/02/09/article3268878.ece

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2008 Malegaon blast: Mcoca applicable on SP Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, says NIA (Feb 15, 2016, Times of India)

Avinash Rasal, special public prosecutor of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, said the provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (Mcoca) are “applicable” on the 10 accused, including Lt Colonel SP Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur.

The agency “never consulted” him before proposing to drop the charges, Rasal told ET, a statement that may not be comfortable for the NIA, which was accused by previous prosecutor Rohini Salian of asking her to “go slow” in the case.…

Speaking to ET, Rasal said: “I have been arguing on behalf of the NIA during which I showed it to the court that MCOCA is applicable. As many as 24 applications of bail have been rejected by the court between September…and January 22 this year… In my court appearances, I strongly said those arrested conspired to revolt against the government. They wanted to have a Hindu Rashtra and they were trying to overthrow this government and that is why the provision of MCOCA is applicable.”

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50990615.cms

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2013 Muzzafarnagar riots: 4 acquitted in gangrape case after victim, family turn hostile, husband says ‘we were threatened’ (Feb 12, 2016, Indian Express)

Another case related to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots has ended in acquittal. Four men, accused of gangraping a woman during the riots in the Fugana police station area, were acquitted on January 21 by a Muzaffarnagar fast track court after the victim and key witnesses, including her husband, mother-in-law and a neighbour, were declared hostile and did not support the prosecution during the trial.

Asked why he turned hostile, the victim’s husband told The Indian Express that seven months after they had lodged an FIR, “people on behalf of the accused would approach us, even threaten us with dire consequences”. He said they were told to retract the gangrape charge.

He said he and the neighbour, also a witness in the case, met the then in-charge of Fugana and Burhana police stations to seek protection and action. But the police never took the complaint seriously, he claimed. “Despite lodging complaints several times at Fugana and Burhana police stations, no one came forward to help us.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/shamli-district-burhana-police-2013-muzzafarnagar-riots-4-acquitted-in-gangrape-case-after-victim-family-turn-hostile-husband-says-we-were-threa

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If Ishrat Was Killed Because of Her Alleged LeT Link, Why Was Kauserbi Killed? What Was Her Crime? (Feb 12, 2016, Caravan Daily)

Pakistani American double agent and terrorist David Headley has set off a political and media storm in the country by allegedly declaring Mumbai girl Ishrat Jahan as an operative and suicide bomber for Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayeba (LeT). During his deposition before Indian agencies, he referred to a woman killed in a police encounter on Indian soil. When he was given three names by the Mumbai anti-terror prosecutor Ujwal Nikam, Headley claimed that the name of the woman was Ishrat Jahan.…

But amid all these claims about Ishrat and her staged encounter, no one is talking about Kauserbi and her husband Sohrabuddin Sheikh, both of whom were eliminated under similar suspicious circumstances by the Gujarat Police when Amit Shah, the powerful chief of the governing Bharatiya Janata Party, had been the Home Minister of Gujarat. And of course, the chief minister of the state at the time happened to be Narendra Modi.

So why was Kauserbi killed? The 32-year-old woman was said to be the only and unfortunate witness to the encounter killing of her husband Sohrabuddin Sheikh who was killed in a fake encounter in a joint operation by the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of the Gujarat and Rajasthan police.…

http://caravandaily.com/portal/if-ishrat-was-killed-because-of-her-alleged-let-link-why-was-kauserbi-killed-what-was-her-crime/

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Govt’s plan to end minority status for select institutions hits NDA wall (Feb 11, 2016, Free Press Journal)

The Modi government’s attempt to end the minority status of the institutions like Aligarh Muslim University on the ground that it is a central university has come under attack from within the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of union minister Ram Vilas Paswan has registered its protest over the government moving the Supreme Court to deny the minority status to the AMU without taking the allies into confidence. The protest was lodged on Monday during a meeting attended by BJP chief Amit Shah on coordination in the upcoming budget session of Parliament.

While other parties like Shiv Sena, Akali Dal and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) registered their protest over the BJP taking them for granted in never consulting them even on the major decisions, Paswan’s party protested that the Centre’s AMU policy would alienate all minorities, not only Muslims, by pushing to end the minority status of AMU and Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi, though both are central varsities.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/govts-plan-to-end-minority-status-for-select-institutions-hits-nda-wall/778275

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With Arshad Madani sharing dais, Mahmood Madani warns govt over conspiring against Muslims (Feb 15, 2016, Ummid.co)

With Arshad Madani sharing dais with him after about seven years and in the presence of over 100,000 people, Jamiat-e-Ulema General Secretary Mahmood Madani warned the BJP led government in New Delhi against dividing Muslims on sectarian lines.

“Stop making conspiracy against the Muslim community and concentrate on inclusive development of the nation”, Mahmood Madani said while addressing the Jamiat-e-Ulema conference held at Faiz-e-Aam Inter Colleg in Meerut on Sunday.

Reiterating that “Muslims are Indian by choice not by chance”, Mahmood Madani said, “We have upper hand living in India and those asking Muslims to leave for Pakistan should themselves be deported”.…

http://www.ummid.com/news/2016/February/14.02.2016/mehmood-madani-arshad-mdani-shared-dias.html

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ABVP Attacks #RohithVemula Bus Yatra In Telengana (Feb 16, 2016, Countercurrents)

Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (UoH) condemns in the strongest possible words, ABVP’s attack on members of Joint Action Committee in Bus Yatra in Telangana. When students for #JusticeforRohith organized a Public Meeting in Mahatma Gandhi University, Nalgonda, ABVP disrupted the meeting, attacked the students shouting slogans “Anti-nationals, Khabardar” against Rohith Vemula and the protesting students.

ABVP’s politics has always gone hand in hand with violence and vandalism. ABVP attacked the protesting students for #JusticeforRohith in Lucknow University, Ambedkar University, Delhi and many other places. In Haryana Central University, ABVP vandalised the candle march that was taken out for #JusticeforRohith. The University administration filed FIR against these students alleging them with carrying out ‘anti-national’ activities. The administration forced the students to give a written letter against conducting any protests in future.

Student members of a Left organization were attacked by ABVP in Sikar (Rajasthan), Dehradun and Lucknow. In Mumbai, more than 10000 people from colleges, bastis and all over the city gathered in a democratic protest for #JusticeforRohith, following which the BJP-led Maharashtra government and the police have filed an FIR against 1500 unnamed individuals charging them with ‘rioting’.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/jac160216.htm

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Opinions and Editorials

Deconstructing Saffron Nationalism – By Vikas Bajpai (Feb 13, 2016, EPW)

…JNU has become the focus of renewed attention of the Sangh Parivar. Even though the pretext for this situation may be new, the present situation has been in the making ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government came to power at the centre.

Within a few days of Narendra Modi coming to power in Delhi an editorial column was written in Pioneer on 2 June 2014 by K G Suresh, a senior fellow of the Vivekananda Foundation, affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Suresh made the case with reference to JNU that it was time to clean the Augean stables “of those who masquerade as Left-liberals” but “in reality” promote divisive, anti-national agendas. Subsequently there have been many more statements by various functionaries of the Sangh affiliated organisations to the effect that JNU is a den of anti-national elements.…

The entire JNU community and the Indian people at large can afford to be silent on the present campaign of the Sangh Parivar only at their own peril. It is wonderful to see that the entire JNU community has rebounded with courage and determination against this campaign over past two days. I just hope the world is listening.

http://www.epw.in/journal/2016/7/web-exclusives/deconstructing-saffron-nationalism.html

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JNU Row : Criminalising Dissent – By Nikita Lamba (Feb 19, 2016, Tehelka)

“JNU students are scholars and I like them but taking to the streets is hooliganism,” said a man to the oncoming files of students from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on 18 February at Mandi House. The students defended their right of free speech and to express dissent as the faculty members dispersed the crowdthat was gathering around this man. This unidentified person started to retreat and was surprisingly surrounded by the police who were taking no action to disperse the crowd or to keep it under control.

On the other hand, when Kanhaiya and four other journalists were attacked in court, the police stepped back and let the lawyers finish off with them. “No arrests were made when RSS activists, dressed in civil clothes, were beating up JNU students both male and female three weeks back in front of the RSS office,” says Alka, a student of master’s in political science, JNU and a member of Democratic Students Federation. She continues, “B.S. Bassi has proved that he is not the top cop of Delhi Police but a muscle man of BJP.”…

The message that has been going across to the country is that there is only one kind of nationalism which is the saffron kind and all those who have a difference of opinion may as well surrender under sedition. The message going across isBharat Mata ki Jai (hail mother India) which is really not such a bad idea but the concept of Bharat mata (mother India) comes from a deeply rooted idea of the goddess Durga, a concept that does not give space to other religious groups and other identities.

http://www.tehelka.com/2016/02/jnu-row-crminalising-dissent/

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This is a watershed moment for India. It must choose freedom over intolerance – By Priyamvada Gopal (Feb 17, 2016, The Guardian)

The standoff at New Delhi’s famous Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) that has transfixed India has nothing of the routine campus controversy about it. Following the arrest of a student leader, India’s Hindu nationalist BJP government now finds itself facing down a large coalition of progressive groups laying claim to the idea of an India where the right to dissent is foundational.…

For those committed to the idea of India as essentially a Hindu country, which includes many in the government of the prime minister, Narendra Modi, the list of potential “anti-nationals” appears to be compendious. It seems to include everyone from Muslim, Dalit, Christian, leftwing and liberal activists to those who question the Indian state’s actions in Kashmir or suggest that religious intolerance isn’t a good idea.

Until recently, this dispensation has had the benefit of an acquiescent, even cheerleading media, but that may be changing. Today, with journalists also facing down manhandling and violence from government supporters, even as some of their more rabid colleagues appear to be inciting it against JNU students, the situation reminds many of the horrors of the 1975-77 state of emergency. Now, as then, India is poised on the brink of a choice between the dangers of authoritarianism and its historic commitment to dissent. It is essential that the latter prevails.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/17/india-kanhaiya-kumar-watershed-freedom-intolerance-bjp-hindu

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Is India Truly Turning Into A Fascist Nation? – By Shubhda Chaudhary (Feb 13, 2016, Countercurrents)

…The current government is systematically targeting the educational institutions, be it the Rohith Vemula’s case or #ShutDownJNU slogan, creating a left ‘other’ that needs to be loathed, unheard and unseen, forcibly made invisible from the contours of political dialectics.…

The idea of the government is to let JNU stay as an island of dissent, consistently portrayed as anti-national, to justify thousands of cases of suppression of dissent by the state nationwide. It is indeed the ‘othering’ of liberalism as unpatriotic. The current administration has made no secret of the fact that in its eyes, social conservatives are ideal and obedient replacements for real social scientists. Rewriting history is a top priority for them, as they envision an altogether different national project than the one that had been put in place in 1947.…

So, is India truly turning into a fascist nation? If all those who disagree with RSS-ABVP, do not stand together in solidarity now as after Rohith Vemula’s killing, will they be picked up one by one and suppressed? Solidarity does not imply a common manifesto – it implies recognition of common concern for humanity and progressive ideas and recognition of fascism as a common enemy.

http://www.countercurrents.org/sc120216.htm

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That ’70s Show – By Vrinda Gopinath (Feb 29, 2016, Outlook)

Oh, the shivers of nostalgia! It’s true – to paraphrase an old saying – if you remember the seventies, you weren’t in them. But who didn’t grow up learning about the dictatorial reign of Indira Gandhi? That disciplinarian of the Emergency years (secretly endorsed by the middle classes – you know, trains running on time etc), the conceited excesses of Sanjay Gandhi, the suppression of free speech and thought, news censorship, the crackdown on universities and student demonstrations and slapping of terrifying sedition laws – all history now.

Or is it? It looks like the ghosts are back. If it weren’t for Twitter and headlines to remind us this is the 21st century, the two decades would be united by the tyranny of the majority. After all, aren’t we all being stealthily prodded to see the similarities between Modi and Indira all the time? If the paeans, both within his party and government, about his stately gait and dazzling machismo were not enough, his stature and working style are constantly used to conjure memories of the Indira era – all charisma, leadership and ruthless supremacy.…

But on a hopeful note, like in 1975, this particular comedy of terrors has also woken up Dalits, the radical Left, socialists and workers – all marching to the revolutionary song. The battle-lines are drawn again – a witless government, supremacist thugs and remorseless police against agitated students. Now can the shakha shake, shake, shake?

http://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/that-70s-show/296659

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Rohith Vemula’s Death: A Noose Around The BJP’s Neck – By Anand Teltumbde (Feb 8, 2016, Countercurrents)

Rohith Vemula’s dream of becoming Carl Sagan to write science abruptly ended at the altar of caste but in death it is metamorphosed into a peoples’ dream to end the circumstances that caused it. Rohith dropped out from the process of his likely anointment by the casteist establishment as the doctor of philosophy but in the poignant lines he left behind as his suicide note are a piece of philosophy of the dalit existence in this cursed land that shall live on for years.…

Rohith’s death exposed the multilayered injustice of the saffron establishment. Entire student community, barring of course the ABVP, came out spontaneously condemning the hindutva hooliganism. It exposed the dalit leaders who failed even to speak out against their political patrons in the face of such monumental injustice. The dalits who were fooled by them into voting for the Hindutva forces have slowly woken up to see their folly. The caste is culture of ancient India which is craved for by the hindutva forces. What dalits call discrimination, is natural to the hindutva.…

It provoked all dalit teachers of the HCU to resign enmasse from their administrative responsibilities. The previous day, the teachers’ body of the HCU had boldly rejected the request from the VC to resume classes until the punishment was revoked. The VC had to lick the dust and revoke the suspension. The prime minister announced the judicial commission to enquire into the entire episode in another attempt to cover up the sins of his own tribe. This all would not go unnoticed by people. The Brahmanical pride in self righteousness blinds BJP to see Rohit’s noose tightening around its neck too.

http://www.countercurrents.org/teltumbde080216.htm

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 8th, 2016

by newsdigest on February 24, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

J&K: Muslims perform last rites of 84-year-old Kashmiri Pandit in Kulgam (Feb 2, 2016, IBN)

In a heart-warming example of Kashmiriyat, Muslims of a village in Kulgam district of south Kashmir performed the last rites of a Kashmiri Pandit, who clung to his roots and refused to leave the valley when all others in his family fled under threat from terrorists. Janki Nath (84), a resident of Malvan in Kulgam, died on Saturday.

In the absence of family member or Kashmiri Pandit, the local Muslims organised the last rites of the deceased and mourned his death as one of their own. Nath, who was the only member of his community living among the 5,000 Muslims in Malvan, had decided to stay back when Kashmiri Pandits fled the valley in 1990.…

He was not keeping well for the past five years and Muslim neighbors were taking care of him. As the news of his death broke, locals were inconsolable. “We feel we have lost one of our own. He was just like my elder brother and I used to take suggestions from him before taking any step”, Gull Mohammad Alai, a local, said.… The locals said Janki Nath had no regrets about his decision to stay back in the valley.

http://www.ibnlive.com/news/india/jk-muslims-perform-last-rites-of-84-year-old-kashmiri-pandit-in-kulgam-1198259.html

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Gujarat BJP on cheap land to CM’s kin: Price fixed in 2011 after district, state penals, Modi Cabinet “cleared” it (Feb 6, 2016, Counterview)

Is BJP high command losing faith in Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel? It would seem so, if looks into how it fielded Gujarat BJP spokesperson IK Jadeja, a small fry, to “deny” a top media report, which pointed to a “scam” in which business group associated with her daughter was allocated 250 acres of prime land off Gir lions sanctuary at the rate of just Rs 15 per square metre. The denial, in a Gujarati language press note, came even as political circles in the state were abuzz with speculation as to who is behind the effort to “dislodge” Anandiben Patel.…

Congress leader Anand Sharma termed the revelations “shocking”, and they showed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as Chief Minister of Gujarat, “allowed nepotism, conflict of interest and brazen plundering of public land to promote commercial and business interests of entities close to the daughter of the then Revenue Minister present chief minister Anandiben Patel.” Sharma said, “Allotment of 250 acres of government land next to the Gir lion sanctuary without any valuation or price determination for a pittance was in gross violation of all known procedures and regulations governing allocation of public land in eco sensitive zones.”

“The land was allotted to Wildwoods Resorts & Realties for setting up a resort. The promoters of this firm are close business associates of Anar Patel, the daughter of the current Gujarat CM”, he said, adding, “The estimated market price of this land was to the tune of Rs.50 lakh per acre i.e. a total of Rs 125 crore for 250 acres, but the total amount paid was just Rs 1.25 crore.” Even even AAP and Congress went public, twitterati criticized the land allocation. Arun Nambiar said, “Hema Malini and Anandiben now in massive Land Scams!”, and Vinod Mehta said, “Adani paid Re1 per Sqm for thousands of acres Land by Modi. Anandiben’s daughter paid Rs15 per metres. Some improvement!”…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/02/gujarat-bjp-on-cheap-land-to-cms-kin.html

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2008 Malegaon blasts: NIA under fire from former prosecutor as it seeks to drop MCOCA charges (Feb 4, 2016, Scroll.in)

“It is a political move,” former special counsel for National Investigation Agency, Rohini Salian said, when asked for a response to the NIA informing a special court that it intended to drop charges under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act against the 11 accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts. The NIA requested the court on Tuesday that the framing of charges against the accused, including Lt Col Srikant Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, be deferred until it receives an opinion from the Attorney General whether charges under MCOCA could be dropped.

“How can they ask the Attorney General? How is he concerned with the case? The matter is sub judice (pending in court) and the case is at framing of charges. The court should decide the charges now. This is all politics. I have disassociated myself from the case now. They are cheating everyone (the society),” Salian said.

Salian, however, added that even if the stringent MCOCA charges were to be dropped, the case will not collapse and will stand on the basis of witnesses who have spoken of various conspiracy meetings. Salian had charged last year that she had been under pressure from the NIA to go “soft” in the case since “the new government came to power” in May 2014.…

http://scroll.in/article/802937/2008-malegaon-blasts-nia-under-fire-from-former-prosecutor-as-it-seeks-to-drop-mcoca-charges

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2002 riots displaced demand amenities (Feb 5, 2016, Times of India)

Fourteen years after losing their homes from the communal riots of 2002, internally displaced persons staged a demonstration on Thursday before the district collectorate, to protest the absence of even basic amenities in rehabilitation colonies. They demanded improved conditions in such camps and the inclusion of these in the state’s development policies.

Hundreds gathered under the aegis of Visthapit Ladat Samiti and demonstrated in protest at the government’s apathy towards 83 rehabilitation colonies in 12 districts. More than 3,000 families lives in these colonies. They demanded that basic amenities – water connections and sewerage lines – be provided to residents of these rehabilitation colonies.

They have also been demanding ownership of the houses they have been occupying for more than 13 years now. “These houses were constructed by NGOs, but ownership is not given to the beneficiaries. As the property is not in our names, we cannot even get credit or other benefits. We even face problems in establishing proof of residence,” said a protester, Samir Sodawala from Halol in Panchmahal.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50861081.cms

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History textbooks being changed to convert India into a Hindu nation, alleges Pawar (Feb 5, 2016, First Post)

NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Friday alleged that attempts were being made to convert India into a “Hindu Rashtra” distorting history in school textbooks and implored historians to come together and “pen the truth” for the sake of generation next.

“Some people are working with an intention of converting India into a Hindu Rashtra by distorting history in school textbooks. This will prove to be dangerous as this will harm the secular fabric of the country,” Pawar said while addressing a seminar at YB Chavan in Mumbai.

He said that an awareness needs to be created among the youth that some people are trying to “corrupt” their minds to spread poison in the society. “Articles need to be written, discussions should take place on this issue as it is a grave matter,” he said.…

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/history-textbooks-being-changed-to-convert-india-into-a-hindu-nation-alleges-pawar-2614460.html

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At last, justice for custodial death victim’s family (Feb 1, 2016, The Hindu)

Judge Shridhar Bhosale at the City Civil Court and Sessions Court on Saturday convicted four police constables charged with the murder of 20-year-old Aniket Khicchi, the son of vegetable vendor parents, to seven years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000 each. This is the first successful conviction in a custodial death case in Maharashtra.

On October 26, 2013, Aniket Khicchi, was out with his friends to watch a movie when the Vanrai police picked him up and charged him with robbery for allegedly stealing a laptop from Goregaon Sports Complex. A day later, Aniket died, allegedly after being assaulted by police constables. His post mortem report showed head injuries and congestion in the lungs.

The Bombay High Court had recently observed that as per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Maharashtra recorded 354 custodial deaths from 1999 to 2014, the highest in the country. Of these, 106 were police custody deaths, while the rest (248) happened in judicial custody (jail). Shockingly, in 15 years, only 13 First Information Reports (FIRs) were filed. Only five policemen were charge-sheeted, and there were zero convictions.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/at-last-justice-for-custodial-death-victims-family/article8176826.ece

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Deoband bypoll: If I get elected, they will feel our terror, says BJP leader Rampal Singh (Feb 6, 2016, Indian Express)

When Muzaffarnagar faced riots in 2013, the neighbouring Deoband, another Muslim-dominated area with the seat of the seminary Dar-ul-Uloom, remained quiet. Deoband does not see communal clashes, but BJP believes that the February 13 byelection here is a fight “between Hindus and Muslims”.

The party candidate, former RSS Pracharak Rampal Singh Pundhir, asserts his agenda: restoration of Hindu pride vis-a-vis Muslims. Pundhir says that if he gets elected, “Ek bhay hoga unke andar. Hamara terror hoga unke upar, unke gundon par (Muslims will feel scared. They and their hooligans will feel our terror)”.…

“Threat to Hindus? Who said? May be due to elections, some people are spreading lies,” says Praveen Kumar of Praveen Jewellers. Curiously, an election pamphlet of Pundhir is pasted at Kumar’s shop. He’s a BJP voter, not a member though.” “I am here for 35 years. Muslims and Hindus live here in harmony,” says Rajiv Kumar of Rajiv Medical Store. The BJP doesn’t believe this.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/deoband-bypoll-if-i-get-elected-they-will-feel-our-terror-says-bjp-leader-rampal-singh/

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Muslim personal law founded on Quran, SC can’t question it: Jamiat (Feb 6, 2016, Times of India)

Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind, the powerful body of Muslim clerics, has said that Muslim personal law flows from the Holy Quran and cannot be subjected to any scrutiny by the Supreme Court based on principles of the Constitution.

“Mohammedan law is founded essentially on the Holy Quran and this cannot fall within the purview of the expression ‘laws in force’ as mentioned in Article 13 of the Constitution, and hence its validity cannot be tested on a challenge based on Part-III of the Constitution (guaranteeing fundamental rights, including right to equality),” the JUH application filed through advocate Ejaz Maqbool said. …

Last year, while entertaining a petition, a two-judge bench of Justices A R Dave and Adarsh Goel had directed registration of a separate PIL to consider the rights of Muslim women as there was no safeguard against arbitrary divorce (triple talaq) and second marriage by Muslim men during subsistence of their first marriage. The court had issued notice to the attorney general and National Legal Services Authority (Nalsa).

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50873733.cms

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‘The policemen hit us with all they had’: PhD student claims Delhi Police brutally beat students and tore their clothes during Rohith Vemula protest (Feb 1, 2016, Daily Mail)

Shweta Raj, a PhD student from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), had never seen such brutality. Shweta was among the hundreds of protestors who were allegedly assaulted by Delhi Police personnel on January 30. Recalling the incident, she said: “From lathis to boots, the policemen hit us with all they had. Forget gender, they treated each one of us in the most inhuman manner.”

A video clip that went viral on Monday shows how Delhi police personnel, along with few ‘unknown’ men in plain clothes, attacked the protesters outside the RSS office in Jhandewalan. Students from various varsities across Delhi were agitating against the alleged delay in justice for Rohith Vemula, the 26-year-old Hyderabad university research scholar who committed suicide last month.

Shweta pointed out the absence of female police officers in the crackdown on protestors. “No female police officers were present there. This is not the first time that we have protested, but we have never witnessed such brutality. There is a way to deal with protestors. Policemen have become goons,” Shweta said. Shweta said the police atrocity was far worse than what was captured in the video clip.… Protesters have alleged that some RSS members first joined the protest and then attacked students along with the police. The RSS has, however, denied the allegations.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-3427052/The-policemen-hit-PhD-student-claims-Delhi-Police-brutally-beat-students-tore-clothes-Rohith-Vemula-protest.html

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Caste came up in 3 suicide probes at Hyderabad University (Feb 8, 2016, Indian Express)

The University of Hyderabad had all the warning it needed before Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula committed suicide last month. Three red flags, in the form of three suicides by Dalit students within six years. And three probes that arrived at the same conclusion: this was no campus for the marginalised.

The HRD Ministry wants a judicial commission to probe the events that led to the suicide on January 17 of Vemula, who was among five Dalits suspended by the university for allegedly assaulting an ABVP leader. But the findings of the three committees that probed the three suicides on campus between 2008 and 2014 were clear: the Dalit students faced a “sense of alienation” and “institutional discrimination” owing to “caste consideration”.

One of those committees, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice K Ramaswamy, stated in its report: “Because of the insensitivity towards problems faced by the students belonging to the aforesaid social groups, frequent occurrences of suicides are taking place.”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/caste-came-up-in-3-suicide-probes-at-hyderabad-university/

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Dalit Rights: Bureaucracy Treated me Like an Untouchable, Says Ex-IAS Officer Sivakami (Feb 4, 2016, New Indian Express)

As the suicide of Rohith Vemula puts the focus back on the contentious issue of Dalit rights, former IAS officer and author P. Sivakami says that the community is denied even the minimum human rights. The critically acclaimed author and former bureaucrat said she quit in 2008 after being treated like an untouchable.

Sivakami, who was in the Indian Administrative Service for 28 years, told IANS that her decision was fuelled by the realisation that Dalits have no place in nation-building. With more than eight books to her credit, Sivakami is among India’s most prominent Dalit writers. Her first book, “In The Grip of Change”, had created a stir as it questions patriarchy in the Dalit movement.

“Both the political class and bureaucracy work together against the Dalits. During my service, though my position was next to the minister in the state I was serving in, I had to struggle for basic rights for tribals. I was dubbed as a person who belongs to the community when I was working for their welfare. It amounted to untouchability. I realised that there was an unwritten law against people from the lower community,” said Sivakami, whose last posting was secretary of the Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department in Tamil Nadu.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Dalit-Rights-Bureaucracy-Treated-me-Like-an-Untouchable-Says-Ex-IAS-Officer-Sivakami/2016/02/04/article3260866.ece

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Opinions and Editorials

Dear Mr Doval, we need to talk about Hindutva terror – By Ajaz Ashraf (Feb 4, 2016, Scroll.in)

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has won accolades for his patriotism manifest in the many risky missions…. His experience is precisely why we would want to know from him, or the Intelligence Bureau he once headed, whether or not the violence that mushrooming militant Hindu groups indulge in imperils the nation’s security.… It is, therefore, surprising that we haven’t had the Intelligence Bureau brief the media on the security threat posed to the nation by the saffron or Hindutva or Hindu terror, regardless of whichever term is appropriate. Its silence on Hindutva terror and vigilantism appear puzzling.…

There is no denying that Hindutva has become increasingly menacing. There hasn’t been a week in the last 18 months when a story on one or the other Hindu militant groups resorting to violence somewhere in the country has not featured in the media. Some of these groups are freshly minted. True, they don’t toss grenades or fire bullets, but they aim to terrorise people who more often than not happen to be religious minorities and marginalised groups.…

It is possible that the Intelligence Bureau perceives Hindu radicals as benign because they don’t target the state but the people. But a state found wanting in protecting its citizens ultimately undermines its own foundation. This is why Ajit Doval must provide the nation with his perspective on the security challenges that extremist Hindus pose, because, frankly speaking, a good many people believe they have had enough of them.

http://scroll.in/article/802972/dear-mr-doval-we-need-to-talk-about-hindutva-terror

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Ishrat Jahan & Ruling Class Pseudo Nationalism – By Archana Prasad (Feb 21, 2016, Peoples Democracy)

Jingo patriotism and pseudo right wing RSS nationalists have found a suitable partner in CIA double agent David Coleman Headley who has been given clemency in return for turning ‘approver’ in the 26/11 case. This cover for Headley has given him the license to make claims that are politically suitable for the ruling regime and that help it to wipe out the taint that Modi accumulated as chief minister of Gujarat.

As part of this exercise, the public prosecutor claims that Headley has given evidence to suggest that Ishrat Jahan was a Lashkar ‘suicide bomber’. Using this statement, the BJP has said that the Modi government stands vindicated and that it is now proved that the encounter killing Ishrat Jahan was not fake. This reliance on the so-called testimony of a double agent and a participant in planning the 26/11 attacks speaks volumes for ‘the nationalist position’ of the Hindu Right.

The fact that the Hindu Right gives more credibility to Headley and less to the CBI and a magisterial enquiry of the government shows that they have scant respect for the law. Hence it is important to remind ourselves about the nature of the case and the facts that had come out of the magisterial enquiry.…

http://peoplesdemocracy.in/2016/0221_pd/ishrat-jahan-ruling-class-pseudo-nationalism

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What Is So Smart About The City You Live In? – By Deepti Sreeram (Feb 16, 2016, Tehelka)

…When urbanisation gradually spread its wings over prime cities, it came as no surprise that the cities would have an ‘old city’ as a counterpart to its relatively smarter ‘other’. In Delhi, for instance, ‘old Delhi’, formerly known as Shahjahanabad, is a relic of its illustrious past and a home to most of the city’s historical attractions. Until recently, the vocabulary to explain a city rested upon this binary of the old/new. But now, if the recent list is to be believed, at least some cities are going to be rechristened as ‘smarter’ versions come up.

Carrying a tagline of a ‘Modified Gujarat’, the picture was used as a token to represent the urban development that was underway in the state. However, within days, the photograph showing a well-lit BRTS flanked by wide lanes was found to be a picture of China’s BRTS . Yet despite such efforts at eye-washing, the writing on the wall was clear. When the results were declared, the ‘Rurban’ model of Gujarat was set to replace the UPA’s ten-year old scheme of Providing Urban Amenities to Rural Areas (PURA).

The seeds of the ‘smart city mission’ were thus laid once the Gujarat model of development became a rallying point for the BJP. Soon after victory, the Modi government announced the ‘100 Smart Cities Plan’ by promising to allocate a whopping 70.6 billion rupees to it.…

http://www.tehelka.com/2016/02/what-is-so-smart-about-the-city-you-live-in/

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The Scream Of Lotus Buds – By Uttam Sengupta, Ushinor Majumdar (Feb 8, 2016, Outlook)

In the last month and a half, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has been responsible, directly or indirectly, for the suicide of research scholar Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad, for the abandonment of a symposium on ‘Democracy, Media and Freedom of Exression’ in Allahabad and for the termination of services of IIT-BHU guest faculty and Magasaysay awardee Sandeep Pandey in Varanasi. The student body of the RSS-BJP has been on an overdrive since the NDA government took charge in May 2014.

It has taken on critics of the Modi government, often calling them anti-national, as, on one pretext or the other, it intervened to stop plays, films, seminars, festivals and lectures that challenged its views. Violence or threat of violence has been used with increasing frequency, but the police has generally looked the other way.…

AISA vice-president Farhan Ahmad echoes the sentiment, alleging that the ABVP is thriving on “money and muscle power”. But while the prime minister, BJP chief Amit Shah and HRD minister Smriti Irani pose for photographs with ABVP leaders and hold discussions with them, none of them has spared a word to rein it in or condemn its irresponsible behaviour, as in Allahabad.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/the-scream-of-lotus-buds/296540

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Rule of the lathi – Editorial (Feb 3, 2016, Indian Express)

The brutality of the police action on students who gathered outside the RSS headquarters in New Delhi to protest Rohith Vemula’s death on January 30 raises questions about the manner in which public protests are dealt with by law enforcers.

A video of the agitation – instrumental in the incident receiving widespread attention – shows lathi-wielding policemen raining blows on unarmed students. Some civilians – Delhi Police has clarified they were not policemen in plain clothes – too joined the policemen in beating up the students.…

The rule is that minimum force must be used to disperse a crowd. This calls for skillful leadership and a force trained to be discreet about the use of violence. By all accounts, that’s rarely the case in India, across states and political dispensations.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/rule-of-the-lathi/

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Rohith’s Living Legacy – Editorial (Feb 6, 2016, EPW)

Students have played a vital role in the politics of modern India, shaping its destiny at crucial moments, both during the freedom struggle as well as in the seven decades since independence. The countrywide movement which has emerged in the wake of the tragic death of Rohith Vemula in the University of Hyderabad is perhaps one such movement which will alter the nature of India’s polity for the better.

As EPW has noted earlier (“Death by Discrimination,” 23 January 2016), Rohith’s suicide was triggered in conditions where the university, as an institution, bared itself as a political partisan punishing Dalit students by using the methods of social discrimination. There was already a student agitation in the university against this partisanship which had united all organisations other than the Hindutva fundamentalists.…

Yet what has emerged in the weeks since he took his final, mortal step has been an unprecedented blossoming of rebellion against discrimination on India’s campuses. Unheralded by any particular organisation, this movement has brought students across castes and other social and political divides together to demand an end to discrimination in institutions of higher learning.…

http://www.epw.in/journal/2016/6/editorials/rohiths-living-legacy.html

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – January 11th, 2016

January 18, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines BJP MLA booked for creating ruckus inside thana in Bhind ‘Subramanian Swamy’s Ram temple comment aimed at RS seat’ Gurdaspur SP ‘less than truthful’ during questioning, suspects NIA Sudheeran comes down heavily on Hindutva politics ‘The RSS is conspiring to gain a hold of all academic institutions’: […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 15th, 2015

June 16, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines International Yoga Day: It’s RSS, Centre’s way to propel Hindutva agenda Tripura suspends three cops for custody death UP journalist killing: Five policemen suspended Advocate Pracha threatened by Rajasthan ATS officer for defending terror accused RSS Activists Attack Christian Religious Gatherings In Kerala CCTV footage shows Ramdev’s […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 1st, 2015

June 2, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Hindu-Muslim bonhomie in Bihar town News Headlines Ballabhgarh riot victims blame local SHO, says NCM report Communal tension in Lucknow following clashes Fifty Gujarat NGOs “join hands” with Congress, AAP, Swaraj Samvad, decide to start “mega agitation” against Modi ‘Ghar Wapsi’ victims, Sikh rights group file lawsuit […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 4th, 2015

May 5, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Indian Americans urge India, US to heed USCIRF’s recommendations on safeguarding religious freedom in India Communal Harmony A worthy example for communal harmony News Headlines Bid to evoke ‘Godhra’ in UP town US panel questions RSS, VHP over attacks against minorities; slams “ghar wapsi” US asks India to […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 27th, 2015

April 28, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Hazaribagh: ABVP threatens two Christian schools, forces one to close Humanity not found! 7 Muslims alleged of forced religion conversion arrested, but the TRUTH will shock you ‘That’s not us’: RSS steps in to deny Nepal rescue act tweet VMC yet to solve row over houses for […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 13th, 2015

April 14, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Anti-Muslim massacre overshadows Modi visit Arrest Sanjay Raut, de-recognise Shiv Sena, demands Aam Aadmi Party Activists, organisations deprecate fake Telangana encounter; demand CBI probe Red sanders smugglers’ killings: 2 encounters, 20 bodies, several unanswered questions Post-mortem report gives new twist to Nizamabad custodial death The new anti-terrorism […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 9th, 2014

June 10, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Muslims safeguard Hindus in Hadapsar post the Pune Muslim techie murder News Headlines ‘Hinduize politics, militarize Hindus’ is slogan of group suspected of Pune techie’s murder First wicket has fallen, say killers of Pune Muslim youth 18 policemen guilty in fake encounter case Delhi policeman found involved […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 26th, 2014

May 27, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements All Indians need to be vigilant in safeguarding secularism say Indian Americans News Headlines The SC release of Akshardham suspects raises questions about PM Modi ‘They asked me to choose: Godhra, Pandya or Akshardham’ Goa professional booked for anti-Modi post, people call it an attempt to muzzle free […]

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