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Fake Encounter

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 16th, 2016

by newsdigest on June 1, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Temple and mosque promote communal harmony in Odisha town (May 14, 2016, The Hindu)

A mosque and a temple have been existing together for generations near Ganjam town in Ganjam district of Odisha. These two places of worship exist side by side on the road that connects the highway to the remains of Potagada fort.…

Interestingly water seems to be unifying factor of the two places of worship. The mosque and the temple are on two sides of a single pond. The mosque facing the road has the pond on its backside while the main gate of the temple opens to the bank of the pond. Water of this pond is used by devotees of both the religions, said Manoj Raula, a priest of the temple.…

Although most of the time both the mosque and temple remain deserted, yet people of the area do not let any one disfigure their walls through graffiti.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/temple-and-mosque-promote-communal-harmony-in-odisha-town/article8597917.ece

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Extremist Hindu groups’ “role” in terror attacks? Karkare showed me evidence before death: Supercop Ribeiro (May 18, 2016, Counterview)

Veteran supercop Julio Ribeiro, a known expert on terrorism, in a signed article on June 27, 2015, had warned that “going slow on ‘Hindu terror’ is dangerous”, adding, “It’s also an insult to the memory of Hemant Karkare”. Ribeiro said this even as recalling his meeting with Karkare one day before the latter was killed by terrorists in 2008 fighting in Mumbai. Ribeiro said, Karkare “was disturbed by the reactions of some BJP leaders, particularly LK Advani, to the turn his investigations had taken in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.”…

Ribeiro said, “Such thoughts would come naturally to any policeman those days as Muslim groupings like Simi had been responsible for several terrorist acts across the country.” He added, “But the ATS had suddenly, unexpectedly and, I must add, fortuitously come across incontrovertible evidence, which included taped conversations, to prove that the Malegaon blasts, as well as the Ajmer, Hyderabad and Samjhauta Express blasts that killed nearly a hundred people, were conceived, planned and executed by a group of fanatical Hindus bent on revenge.”

Calling Karkare as one officer who was guided by the “lofty ideal” that politics, religion, caste, community have “no role to play in the pursuit of truth and justice”, Ribeiro said, “I went through some of the evidence he had gathered. I was staggered.” “I could understand the anger that prompted the perpetrators to embark on their misconceived journey. But a police officer has to do his duty, which is to stick to the truth and the letter of the law. I advised Karkare to abide by his ‘dharma’,” Ribeiro recalled.…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/05/extremist-hindu-groups-role-in-terror.html

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Two absconders in Malegaon blast mentioned as RSS workers: NIA (May 16, 2016, The Hindu)

Ram Chandra Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange, the two absconding accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, have been mentioned as ‘RSS workers’ in the charge sheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) last week.

Naming Mr. Kalsangra as accused number 13 and Mr. Dange as accused number 14, the NIA has referred to the two as “RSS workers” against the column for occupation in its charge sheet.Both of them have been on the run after their names surfaced in connection with the Malegaon blasts. The duo have been named as accused in other cases too that included Samjhuata train blasts in February 2007 in which 68 people were killed.

When asked to comment on its workers being named in the Malegaon charge sheet, RSS Head of Communication department Manmohan Vaidya said: “They were with the RSS. We do not know about their whereabouts. Neither do we know about their involvement in the case.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/two-absconders-in-malegaon-blast-mentioned-as-rss-workers-nia/article8607433.ece

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Lt Col Shrikant Purohit booked for planning 2008 Malegaon blasts in Mumbai (May 14, 2016, India Today)

The National Investigation Agency has charged Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Purohit for being a part of the 2008 Malegaon blasts conspiracy but has questioned Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad’s RDX theory suggesting that bombs were prepared in the house of Sudhakar Chaturvedi, who was a close source of Purohit.

While the NIA charge sheet says Purohit was instrumental in setting up Abhinav Bharat, a Hindu extremist group, it raises doubts about the traces of RDX picked up from Chaturvedi’s house in Devlali, Maharashtra.

The charge sheet mentions the testimonies of two Army officers who claim ATS Assistant Police Inspector Bagade was caught planting RDX in Chaturvedi’s house, who also has also been charged for the conspiracy.… The stringent MCOCA law has been dropped in the case but 10 accused, including Purohit are charged under terror law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and other Sections of the Indian Penal Code.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/purohit-booked-for-planning-malegaon-blasts/1/667961.html

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2006 Malegaon blasts: ‘They took me with them saying I would be released after 10 minutes. But I returned after 10 years’ (May 15, 2016, Indian Express)

Muslims who were discharged from all terror charges in the 2006 Malegaon bomb blast case narrated their horrifying experiences in Pune during a programme organised by Republican Yuva Morcha and Kul Jamaat E Tanzeem on Saturday. Last week, a court had discharged nine Muslims in the case.

Three of them – Noor ul Hooda, Raees Ahmed and Dr Farooq Makdumi – shared their experiences of how they were falsely implicated allegedly by the state’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). “At first, I was wrongfully arrested by Nashik police in 2001. Police were looking for a person named Noor, but they arrested me only because I was having similar name. Later, they branded me as an operative of the Student’s Islamic Movement of India (SIMI),” said Noor.

“Then, after bombs exploded in Masjid in Malegaon in 2006, two policemen came to me. They took me with them saying I would be released after an inquiry for 10 minutes. But I returned after 10 years. I kept saying I am innocent, I am not a terrorist, I have nothing to do with the bomb blast. But a police officer told me they were implicating me in this because I was an extremist as I wore skull cap and beard and offered namaz five times a day. I was tortured for 48 days. ATS officials said they knew I am not capable of making bombs and carrying our bomb blasts, still they would be implicating me,” he said.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/2006-malegaon-blasts-they-took-me-with-them-saying-i-would-be-released-after-10-minutes-but-i-returned-after-10-years-2801241/

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After Nehru, Rajasthan now axes RTI Act from textbook (May 18, 2016, Indian Express)

After doing away with references to India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and several other freedom fighters from school History curriculum, the Rajasthan government’s revised syllabus has also removed a page highlighting the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

A prominent section on page 105, which was part of chapter 12 of the previous Social Science textbook for Class VIII in state schools, has now been removed in the “restructured” book. The section highlighted the RTI Act, and the people’s movement that led to it.…

MKSS has, meanwhile, filed an RTI application at the Education Department, seeking details of the procedure adopted and the expenditure incurred for the exercise to restructure school syllabus.

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/jaipur/after-nehru-rajasthan-now-axes-rti-act-from-textbook-2806182/

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India journalist arrested over Muslim yoga ban report (May 14, 2016, BBC)

Pushp Sharma’s report appeared in March in the Milli Gazette, a newspaper aimed at India’s Muslim community. It quoted what was said to be a government document that banned Muslims from travelling abroad to teach yoga for last year’s World Yoga Day. Mr Sharma faces charges of fabricating the document, which he denies.

His report was based on what he said was an official reply from a government ministry that promotes yoga and ayurveda medicine. The report said that, after several queries to the ministry, it replied saying that none of the 3,841 Muslims who had applied to become yoga teachers had been hired up to October 2015.

A letter printed alongside the article, purporting to be from the ministry, said that 711 Muslims had applied to travel abroad as instructors during the first World Yoga Day last June, but none was selected “as per government policy”.…

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-36293836

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Meghalaya: AICC condemns RSS ‘Hate Pamphlets’ (May 14, 2016, The Northeast Today)

It was reported by the heads of Christian religious groups who had appealed to the District Magistrate of West Garo Hills about targeted distribution of Hate Pamphlets of the Right-Wing, Hindu Nationalist organisation; Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ahead of the elections, demanding them to convert to Hindu’s or leave India. The pamphlet claims Christianity as a SAMASYA (problem) and the mission and purpose of the distribution is termed as GHARWAPSI.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) has strongly condemned this act of vandalism. AICC, General Secretary, Mr. B.K Hariprasad and AICC Legal Secretary, Mr. K C Mittal, has written a strong complaint to the Chief Election Commissioner, New Delhi and has demanded an immediate probe into this matter.

AICC has demanded an immediate seizure and arrest of these fringe anti-social elements so that they cannot operate in the area and hamper conduct of free and fair elections.… The Superintendent of Police, West Garo Hills, Tura has accordingly been intimated to lodge an FIR and initiate necessary actions.…

http://thenortheasttoday.com/meghalaya-aicc-condemns-rss-hate-pamphlets/

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Bhiwandi violence: BJP MLA’s kin booked for murder, rioting offences registered (May 16, 2016, The Hindu)

A day after RPI activists went on a rampage in Bhiwandi following the death of its Dalit member Vicky Dhepe, police has registered cases of rioting-related offences against unidentified persons even as a close relative of a local BJP MLA has been booked for the murder, police said today.

According to police, four offences of rioting were registered against the 100-plus armed mob which damaged number of vehicles, including two police jeeps on Sunday.

Bhiwandi Police Control Room said that two offences were registered with Narpoli police station last night while one each at Bhoiwada and Bhiwandi city police station.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bhiwandi-violence-bjp-mlas-kin-booked-for-murder-rioting-offences-registered/article8606832.ece

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Mumbai Crime: ‘Godman’ held for duping businessman of Rs 3.77 crore (May 10, 2016, Mid Day)

A 40-year-old self-styled godman, who allegedly duped a south-Mumbai based diamond merchant of Rs 3.77 crore, has been nabbed by the police. The businessman was conned of the amount by the ‘baba’, on the pretext that he would arrange a loan of Rs 40 crore for the victim to overcome his business losses.

The Tardeo police have detained the accused from Uttar Pradesh and are bringing him to Mumbai. Police have succeeded in recovering over 90 per cent of the cash. According to cops, Virendranand Bramachari alias Krishna Singh, claims to be a spiritual-cum-ayurvedic Baba. Singh would also pretend that he has huge number of followers.…

Police analysed phone calls of Singh and recently traced his location in UP and detained him on Monday. Sources say that police have managed to recover over 90 per cent of the money.

http://www.mid-day.com/articles/mumbai-crime-godman-held-for-duping-businessman-of-rs-377-crore/17217169

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At 44%, “progressive” Gujarat has one of the highest proportion of Dalit out of school children: Govt of India (May 18, 2016, Counterview)

Government of India figures, released in the Rajya Sabha recently, have shockingly revealed that, of Gujarat’s nearly 1.59 lakh “out of school” children, 43.76 per cent are Dalits, which is one of the highest proportions in India.

The revelation is particularly surprising because Gujarat has one of the lowest proportion of Dalit population in the country, less than seven per cent.…

While Dalits comprise of 16.6 per cent of the country’s population, they form about 32.42 per cent of the total “out of school” children in the country, 60.64 lakh. Only three states in India have a higher proportion of Dalit “out of school” children – Tamil Nadu 72.23 per cent, Punjab 69.33 per cent, and Bihar 44.81 per cent.…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/05/at-44-progressive-gujarat-has-one-of.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Another caged parrot? – Editorial (May 17, 2016, Business Standard)

The recent move by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to drop all charges against six of the accused in the 2008 bomb blasts in Malegaon, Maharashtra, has raised afresh the question of the susceptibility of governmental investigative agencies to political pressures.

The Malegaon case was considered a milestone because investigations, originally conducted by the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS), revealed for the first time the role of Hindu right-wing groups in terror attacks such as on the Samjhauta Express in 2007. The decision by the NIA, which took over the investigation in 2011, to drop all charges against the six, who were members of various Hindu-right organisations, is disturbing for several reasons.

First, the former Special Prosecutor in the case, Rohini Salian, revealed to The Indian Express that a Superintendent of Police attached to the NIA had approached her soon after the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance came to power to ask her to “go soft” on the accused in the case. She was later taken off the case. It is hard to understand why this informal advisory should have been issued had there been no case against the accused in the first place.…The Supreme Court once evocatively described the Central Bureau of Investigation as a “caged parrot”. On current evidence, the descriptor could apply to the NIA too.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/another-caged-parrot-116051701480_1.html

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Clean chit to Sadhvi, MCOCA dropped, Karkare probe was fudged: NIA’s new Malegaon script – By Deeptiman Tiwary (May 13, 2016, Indian Express)

Significantly watering down the 2008 Malegaon blasts case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has decided not to name Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur as an accused in its chargesheet to be filed in a Mumbai court Friday. This sets the stage for her early release from jail.

The chargesheet is likely to mention that the investigation conducted by former Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare, later killed in the 26/11 terror attack, was flawed, that the evidence produced against Colonel Prasad Purohit, another key accused, had been fabricated, and statements of witnesses were taken under duress. However, Purohit will remain a key accused in the chargesheet to be filed by NIA.

In all likelihood, the chargesheet will state that the ATS planted explosives in Purohit’s living quarters at the Deolali Army camp at the time of his arrest in 2008. “We have evidence to show that the RDX was planted by ATS,” an NIA officer said.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/malegaon-blasts-2008-nia-probe-sadhvi-pragya-singh-gets-clean-chit-2797995/

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Malegaon blasts case shows that Hindutva forces are succeeding in widening Hindu-Muslim divide – By Julio Ribeiro (May 18, 2016, Indian Express)

Hemant Karkare laid down his life for his friends. Every man and woman in the land was his friend. He did not discriminate between man and woman, Hindu and Muslim, this caste or that. He was a professional policeman. And he was a patriot. And that is what people expect of their public servants.…

He came to meet me on November 25, 2008, a day before his life was extinguished by jihadi terrorists. He came to tell me he was disturbed. He was disturbed because L.K. Advani had the previous day, or a couple of days earlier, accused the Maharashtra Police Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), of which he was then the chief, of framing Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and others in the Malegaon blast case. He said he would not dream of framing anyone and I believed him because I knew he would do nothing wrong. I told him I would speak to Advani personally as I had faith in his integrity.

Karkare had brought the case papers to show me that his investigations had nailed the real culprits. I did not look into those files for lack of patience. I am sorry today that I did not take more interest in his findings. If I had done so I could have attempted to defend that good and honest man with concrete facts. He is not alive to defend himself against all the forces that have been unleashed against him in his absence. But I cannot let these forces go unchallenged.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/malegaon-blasts-2008-burying-hemnat-karkare-2805887/

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Malegaon’s innocents – By Anupama Katakam (May 27, 2016, Frontline)

…In 2006, as the community prepared to attend the prayers, a series of powerful bombs exploded at Mushawerat Chowk and Bada Kabrastan in the congested Muslim quarter. Thirty-seven people died and over 300 were injured. It is widely believed that had the blasts taken place later in the evening, when the prayers were to begin, the death toll would have been much higher. Within days of the blasts, nine Muslim men from the town were arrested.

A decade later, on April 26, a sessions court in Mumbai acquitted all of them. The judge, V.V. Patil, said: “In my view, the basic foundation or the objective shown by ATS [Anti-Terror-Squad] behind the blast is not acceptable to a man of ordinary prudence. I say so because there was ‘Ganesh immersion’ just prior to September 8, 2006…. Had accused No. 1 to 9 any objective that there should be riots at Malegaon, then they ought to have planted bombs at the time of Ganesh immersion which would have caused death of most Hindu people. It seems to me highly impossible that accused No. 1 to 9, who are from Muslim community, would have decided to kill their own people to create disharmony between the two communities, that too on a holy day i.e., Shab-e Barat.”

The judge noted that there was not sufficient ground to proceed against the eight men (the ninth accused, Shabbir Masiullah, died in an accident early last year) and ordered that they be “set at liberty”. The complete story behind the blasts may take time in emerging, but this case once again reflects how flawed India’s investigation process is when it comes to cracking terror cases.… The Malegaon blasts case runs deep. The false charges against the nine men form just the tip of the iceberg.

http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/malegaons-innocents/article8580609.ece

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Modi government’s second year: Too many controversies, too little governance? – By Seema Chishti (May 18, 2016, Indian Express)

On May 16, 2014, the BJP and its leader Narendra Modi were rightfully elated: they had just come to power in the Lok Sabha elections, a result which gave a party a full and undisputable majority for the first time in 30 years. Two years later, Indian politics looks different: there are surprises, new alignments, and fierce debates on an entire range of issues.…

In terms of policy, vital political capital during the NDA’s first year had been spent on policy proposals which had to be eventually jettisoned. Amendments to the Land Acquisition Bill which promised to make it “easier” to acquire land for industry, despite three ordinances, had to be abandoned because of widespread criticism within the party, the parivar and outside.…

With three years to go, there is much that remains to be done by the BJP-led government. On social media, there is a major PR campaign on – there has been an increase by one-fifth in ad spend – to promote the Centre’s side of the story. But Achche din still seems to be a distant dream.

http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/modi-governments-second-year-too-many-controversies-too-little-governance/

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Fake Encounters Sowed the Wind and India is Reaping the Whirlwind – By Prem Shankar Jha (May 12, 2016, The Wire)

In her 22 minute televised press conference attacking the UPA government’s decision to revise the home ministry’s affidavit to the Gujarat high court on the Ishrat Jahan encounter killing, Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hurled not one but two accusations against the Congress. The first was that it had ‘created a charade’, of an innocent girl being killed in cold blood by a brutalised police, when it knew from its own intelligence inputs that she had been a member of the Lashkar-e Taiba cell that had been sent from Pakistan to kill chief minister Narendra Modi. As my article in The Wire showed last week this was pure political jousting.

But in the furore that followed Sitharaman’s second, more serious, allegation slipped into peoples’ minds through the cracks created by the first. This was that by unleashing the CBI on the case, and allowing it to interrogate officers and men of the Gujarat police endlessly in their search for evidence with which to discredit the Modi government, the UPA had divided and demoralised the police and security agencies, and harmed the country’s security.

To make this accusation Sitharaman glossed over the fact that the CBI had had to be brought in because the reaction of the Gujarat government to affidavits presented to the Gujarat High Court by two ‘whistleblowers’ in the government, S.P. Tamang, chief metropolitan magistrate of Ahmedabad, and Satish Verma, member of the Special Investigation Team set up by the Gujarat high court after it received Tamang’s report, showed that it had no intention of indicting its own police personnel.…

http://thewire.in/2016/05/12/fake-encounters-sowed-the-wind-and-india-is-reaping-the-whirlwind-35458/

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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

February 24, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony J&K: Muslims perform last rites of 84-year-old Kashmiri Pandit in Kulgam News Headlines Gujarat BJP on cheap land to CM’s kin: Price fixed in 2011 after district, state penals, Modi Cabinet “cleared” it 2008 Malegaon blasts: NIA under fire from former prosecutor as it seeks to drop […]

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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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