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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 5th, 2017

by newsdigest on June 18, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Uttar Pradesh: 270 people booked for violence in Muzaffarnagar (Jun 4, 2017, Hindustan Times)

As many as 270 people have been booked here in connection with the violence at Sherpur village on Friday in which eight people, including five policemen, were injured, police said on Sunday.

The violent episode unfolded after a group of people resorted to stone-pelting when a police team raided some houses in Sherpur on information of “cow slaughter”.…

When the police did not find any suspicious item during the search, they started searching nearby houses which angered the people, who opposed the police action and started pelting them with stones.… Meanwhile, the sub-inspector of the police outpost concerned has been transfered while other personnel have also been moved out, the SP said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/uttar-pradesh-270-people-booked-for-violence-in-muzaffarnagar/story-lRx6Plm6g3mClta0j4gV7N.html

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Journalists Detained in Rajasthan While Reporting on Bajrang Dal’s Weapons Training Camps (Jun 7, 2017, The Wire)

Asad Ashraf, a Delhi-based reporter at The Statesman, and two other journalists, Anupam Pandey and Vijay Pandey, were detained in Rajasthan on Saturday where they had gone to report on arms training camps that were being conducted by the Bajrang Dal in Hanumangarh. The youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has been conducting camps in many parts of the country in which young children are trained to use arms and ammunition.… Ashraf said that the camps in Hanumangarh, like most others, did not see the police intervening.…

These training camps are usually conducted in RSS-affiliated schools. A public appeal is made and sent to these schools, after which they start recruiting.… Ashraf could sense something was wrong. He tried to leave and went to sit in his car, but the party members made the other two journalists stay back and demanded to see their IDs. Within minutes, the police arrived and took the journalists to the police station. The police told Ashraf that one of the party members had made a complaint against him. They made sure that the three journalists sat in different cars on the way to the station. Ashraf immediately revealed his identity to the police.

He was then threatened, he told The Wire: “Main batata hun tujhe patrakar kya hota hai (I will show you who a journalist is),” the police allegedly said to him. “The police was more aggressive towards us than the Bajrang Dal members,” according to Ashraf, adding that they denied him access to his phone and interrogated him at length. One of the police officers apparently told Ashraf, “Aaj main suspend ho jaoonga, par tujhe joota zarur marunga (Even if I get suspended today, I’ll make sure I beat you up).” “The Bajrang Dal members and the police were clearly very friendly with each other,” Ashraf said.… Even after Ashraf revealed his true identity, the police tried to instigate the Bajrang Dal members to file an FIR against him. “Tum nahin karoge to main karunga (If you don’t do it, I will),” one of the officers allegedly said.…

https://thewire.in/144545/journalists-detained-in-rajasthan-when-doing-a-story-on-bajrang-dal/

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Activists demand law to stop lynching by mobs (Jun 6, 2017, Times of India)

Social activists and student leaders on Monday launched a national campaign against mob lynching, aimed at demanding a stringent law to prevent such incidents. If the government does not enact a law within a month, they said they would start a countrywide mass campaign from July 11which marks the anniversary of the Una Dalit movement.

Student leaders Kanhaiya Kumar and Shehla Rashid, social activist and lawyer Jignesh Mevani and entrepreneur Tehseen Poonawala, besides others, have formed a committee which will work on a draft legislation which they intend to convince the government for introducing in Parliament.

“People are being killed in the name of gau mata. The mob always has a face -we need to identify the face of the mob. The practice of mob lynching is growing and we too will be attacked if we do not take action now. We need to unite the voices rising against mob lynching,” said Kanhaiya.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/59010441.cms

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Kerala BJP Leader Uses Old Pic of Cow Slaughter to Decry Beef Fest (May 31, 2017, The Quint)

Senior BJP leader from Kerala, K Surendran, has come under fire for using a dated photo for a Facebook postslamming the beef festival in the state. The BJP leader posted a photo of slaughtered cows lying on a pavement along with his appeal to the state government to take strict action against the beef festival, organised in protest of the new cattle slaughter rules.

However, the photo in the post is not from the beef fest, but from 2009, Alt News found. The photo is suspected to be from Bangladesh, as the signboards in the background bear Bangla text. Facebook has hidden Surendran’s post, under the “mature content, such as graphic violence” tag.…

Surendran’s post came under fire from a number of parties, including the CPI(M). However, the BJP leader responded with another Facebook tweet, this time aimed at CPI(M) leader Devasom Minister Kadakampally Surendran.…

https://www.thequint.com/india/2017/05/30/kerala-bjp-leader-uses-old-pic-of-cow-slaughter-to-decry-beef-fest

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NDTV’s Nidhi Razdan throws BJP’s Sambit Patra out of show (Jun 2, 2017, Business Standard)

Nidhi Razdan, executive editor, and primary anchor of news channel NDTV on Thursday threw BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra out of her debate show ‘Left Right and Centre’ after Patra made a derogatory statement about her channel. Razdan was hosting a debate on the politics of cattle ban and its consequences that saw a prominent BJP leader in Meghalaya, Bernard Marak, quitting the party in protest.…

Making his point, Patra said that NDTV had some ‘agenda’, perhaps trying to indicate that the channel had some inclination towards Congress. This was something Razdan couldn’t endure. Agitated by the choice of his words, Razdan asked Patra to either apologise or leave the debate. However, Patra refused to do so and the anchor gently asked Patra to quit the show.…

Razdan stated that just because Patra was being questioned he had no right to accuse NDTV of having an agenda. She further told him that he was more than welcome to go to the channels which were ‘glorified versions of Doordarshan’.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/ndtv-s-nidhi-razdan-throws-bjp-sambit-patra-out-of-show-hailed-on-twitter-117060200446_1.html

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Babri case: LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharati charged for doing criminal conspiracy (May 31, 2017, Economic Times)

In a blow to senior BJP leaders, special CBI Court in Lucknow today framed criminal conspiracy charges against senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Union Minister Uma Bharati for their alleged role in the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992.

The court also framed charges against other accused in the case – Sadhwi Ritambhara, BJP MP Vinay Katiyar and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Vishnu Hari Dalmia. Court said there are enough evidence on record against LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharati and others for framing of criminal conspiracy charges.

According to news reports, the accused have been charged under Section 120(B) of IPC, under which if convicted Advani and other may face minimum jail term of two years. In its last-attempt effort, Advani and other leaders had moved discharge application in the court for dropping of criminal conspiracy charges against them. But the court rejected their discharge application.…

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/58909347.cms

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Five killed in firing during farmers’ protest in MP’s Mandsaur, CM Chouhan blames Congress (Jun 6, 2017, Hindustan Times)

At least five farmers were killed and several injured in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur district on Tuesday when police fired on protesters demanding better prices in the drought-ravaged region that recorded a farm suicide every five hours in 2016-17.

Angry farmers ransacked and set ablaze a police outpost after the firing as the administration clamped curfew on Pipalia town, the epicentre of violence, rushed extra forces and withdrew internet services to tamp down on social media rumours fanning violence.

Throughout the day, the BJP government denied any police firing and confirmed the five deaths only in the evening.… The discontent in the foodbowl states of Madhya Pradesh and neighbouring Maharashtra, where too farmers have launched an agitation over similar demands, has come as a fresh challenge for Prime Minister Narendra Modi…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/1-dead-2-injured-as-farmers-agitations-turns-violent-in-mp-s-mandsaur/story-SfoJMNG4R1o25O0ftd1qMI.html

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Convert’s marriage: Minority outfits protest Kerala HC verdict (May 30, 2017, Indian Express)

Hundreds of Muslim people, under the banner of a coordination committee of various community organisations, on Monday marched to the high court protesting against its verdict that nullified the marriage of a Muslim woman convert.

As police lathicharged to disperse the crowd, a few protesters were injured. Subsequently, few Muslim groups called for a hartal in Ernakulam on Tuesday.

At the crux of the protest is last week’s HC order that nullified the marriage of the convert, Akhila alias Hadiya, and Shefin Jahan on the reason that the marriage would not stand legal scrutiny as it was held when a habeas corpus petition filed by the woman’s father was pending in the court. It had observed the marriage could have been considered only with parents’ involvement.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/converts-marriage-minority-outfits-protest-kerala-hc-verdict-4680223/

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Zanzarka rally: Gujarat BJP MP “admits” he is under tremendous pressure not to speak out against atrocities on Dalits (Jun 3, 2017, Counterview)

A Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of Parliament (MP) from Rajya Sabha is learnt to have admitted that he has been under “tremendous pressure” from his political bosses in Delhi not to speak out the way he did against the gruesome Una incident, in which four Dalit youths were tied with a chain attached to an SUV, and thrashed by cow vigilantes in a procession in the town.

Shambhunath Tundiya, a Dalit MP, considered dharmaguru in the community, had told a local TV channel that the BJP had failed to act against atrocities against Dalits in Gujarat, and the Una incident was the “last straw.” In a video which went viral, he said, Dalits would not tolerate “oppression any more”, and that the authorities should realize, the Dalits have been “forced to eat dead cow’s beef for centuries because they were forced by circumstances…”

“I was made to retract. You don’t know the type of problems I faced in the party after I made that statement. I will not speak out any more”, Tundiya is learnt to have told a Dalit delegation which went to meet him to persuade him to speak out against “attacks” on Dalits across India in the recent past, especially in Saharanpur, where 56 Dalit houses were blazed by an upper caste crowd.…

http://www.counterview.net/2017/06/zanzarka-rally-gujarat-bjp-mp-admits-he.html

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Jewar robbery, ‘rape’: Family members hold protest, demand arrest of accused (May 29, 2017, Hindustan Times)

The family members and relatives of the four women, who were allegedly robbed and gang-raped off Yamuna Expressway while on their way to Bulandshahr last Thursday, protested against the delay in arresting the accused men.

A group of around 100 people took out a silent march through the internal roads of Jewar town on Monday and staged a protest at the office of the subdivisional magistrate. Protesters said four days have passed since the incident and the police are yet to make headway in the case and nab the culprits.

“A bread earner of a family was shot dead, the women were raped and men were robbed of money. This was a brutal incident and the police have not taken it seriously. We have been given assurances, but nothing has happened,” a relative said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/noida/jewar-robbery-rape-family-members-hold-protest-demand-arrest-of-accused/story-LkHZjUVokFEwPvlkbf059N.html

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Opinions and Editorials

The Modi govt’s new cattle trade ban may not pass legal test – By Faizan Mustafa (May 31, 2017, Hindustan Times)

The recent ban on the sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter through animal markets has strangely been notified by the Union ministry of environment and forests though the subject of animal husbandry is under the ministry of agriculture. It is also wrong to say that these rules were framed on the directions of the Supreme Court (SC). In 2014, the SC had only directed that a panel be set up to frame rules to stop smuggling of cattle on the Indo-Nepal border. It is not surprising then that the Madras High Court on Tuesday stayed the implementation of the new rules on the ground that “several communities such as Sikhs, Muslims, backward classes and Dalits, who as a matter of worship and offering, sacrifice animals, which are covered within the expansive definition of cattle under the rules”.

India has included prohibition of cow slaughter in the directive principles of the Constitution because one community treats it sacred. But is cow reverence an ‘essential practice’ of Hinduism? If cow reverence is not an essential Hindu practice — i.e. it was not there in original Hinduism or one can be a Hindu even without revering the cow — then constitutional protection for the animal and the ban that more than 22 states have imposed on cow slaughter will not be justified. Even the Supreme Court’s 2006 upholding of total ban on slaughter of cow or cow progeny will become questionable. In fact, there is evidence that beef eating was common in the Vedic and subsequent times even among Brahmins.…

The new rules are a blot to the promise of cooperative federalism. Moreover the rules will have an effect on the freedom of trade and occupation as restrictions imposed by them will fail the test of ‘reasonableness.’ The new rules also attempt to rewrite the ownership law as it prohibits a buyer from selling the animal for slaughter within six months of its purchase. Ownership is a bundle of rights, which includes the right to alienation and even right to destruction. These arbitrary rules, which are not based on any intelligible differentia and have no rational objective to achieve, are likely to be struck down as unconstitutional.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/the-modi-govt-s-new-cattle-trade-ban-may-not-pass-legal-test/story-W2TWCVUuFCGFihHZDhcb8L.html

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Where humans are butchered and cows worshipped – By Yashica Jalhotra (Jun 2, 2017, Tehelka)

…While there is an official list of animals that cannot be bought or sold for slaughter through cattle markets, do we also need to have an official order that guarantees human beings won’t be beaten to death?

In the last few weeks, we have seen a lot more hue and cry over cow slaughtering than human lynching. Do we need more protection to animals than humans?…

Do we need an official listing for animals which are not allowed to be slaughtered or do we need a listing of severe punishments for those who take the law into their hands and dare to kill fellow humans?…

http://www.tehelka.com/2017/06/where-humans-are-butchered-and-cows-worshipped/

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Politics and propriety: on Uma Bharti’s continuance as Minister – Editorial (Jun 1, 2017, The Hindu)

With the Supreme Court invoking its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution – to pass decrees and orders to ensure complete justice – in the case relating to the demolition of the Babri Masjid, and reviving the criminal conspiracy charges against senior BJP leaders L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and Vinay Katiyar, the CBI Special Court in Lucknow could not but have framed charges against them.… With the Supreme Court ordering this case to be clubbed with the one involving the actual demolition by unnamed kar sevaks, and directing day-to-day trials, there is hope that the years of delay are over.…

Ms. Bharti is, however, a Union Minister, and the Narendra Modi government cannot pretend that the development has no bearing on her continuance in the Council of Ministers. The BJP has tended to underplay the significance of the case on the ground that it is ‘political’ in nature. But this simply does not wash as the revival of criminal conspiracy charges against them was done at the instance of the Supreme Court.… Rather than defend Ms. Uma Bharti, the Modi government would do well to consider the example set by none other than Mr. Advani himself, who resigned as a Member of Parliament in 1996 after he was implicated in the Jain hawala case, in which the court later held that there was no material to frame charges against him.

For a government that makes much of standing for probity in public life, the application of different standards to one of its own is bound to damage its image. Ms. Bharti’s guilt or innocence is for the courts to establish. Political propriety demands that she be shown the door.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/politics-and-propriety-on-uma-bhartis-continuance-as-minister/article18683935.ece

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Three years down the lane, has the Modi Government taken the citizens for a ride? – By Ram Puniyani (Jun 5, 2017, Indian Economist)

On May 26, 2017, the Modi Government completed three years in office. Various programmes such as the Modi fest were organised at various places and there are plans to celebrate them in different cities across the country. The underlying message of these programmes is that Modi government has done remarkable work and the country is moving towards prosperity for all. Modi has been labelled as ‘Garibon ka Masiha’ (Prophet for poor) by his acolytes. Many channels and commentators gave him excellent grade citing various achievements.

As such, what has happened during last three years? Precisely, there has been centralisation of power in the hands of the Prime Minister. It seems the cabinet system has been given a go by. To begin with, one does concede that this regime scores extremely high in image creation. It has been able to sell damaging moves like demonetisation as something good for the country. While a majority of the people are living under the illusion propagated by the government and its promotion by the subservient media, the situation on ground is degrading in the cases of production, prices of daily commodities, number of jobs created and the average standard of living.

The healthcare system has taken a further beating. Farmer suicides have gone up. Protest against anti-farmer policies by peasants from Tamil Nadu has been underplayed like most of the protests in the country. The fate of electoral promises is well reflected in non-fulfillment of the promise of deposition of 15 lakh INR in accounts of all and in absolute failure of job creation. After using Ram Temple issue for polarisation, now the Holy Cow has been brought into the arena of politics. This cow worship has led to the violent lynching of Muslims and Dalits. The cow-protection policies of the government have emboldened vigilantism and killings in the name of ‘gauraksha’. While those guilty of crime are let off, the victims have been penalised on several grounds.…

https://theindianeconomist.com/three-years-down-the-lane-has-the-modi-government-taken-the-citizens-for-a-ride/

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Assam’s two-child policy is BJP targeting Muslims again in the state – By Jagriti Gangopadhyay (May 29, 2017, Dailyo.in)

Assam has drafted a policy according to which individuals with more than two children cannot have a job with the Assam government. State minister of education, health and finance Himanta Biswa Sarma of the BJP-led government specifically mentioned that “when the policy comes into effect, those who are in government jobs and already have two children should not go for a third child. If an employee will have more than two children while on job, that particular employee will lose his or her job”.

Due to the recent rise in Muslim population in nine districts of Assam, the two-child policy will be implemented to prevent people from the community from accessing government jobs. While the Government of India is yet to launch a national policy for population control, some states have implemented restrictive measures to curb population growth.

States such as Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Bihar, Gujarat, and Uttarakhand have introduced a norm which restricts individuals with more than three children from contesting the local elections. Drawing from the examples of the above mentioned states, Sarma further mentioned that in special cases, government employees with more than two children will have to take special permission from the government. Apart from restricting government jobs, the policy will also prevent individuals with more than two children from contesting the Panchayat elections.…

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/assam-two-child-policy-bjp-polarising-hindus-muslims/story/1/17485.html

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Shame in Saharanpur – By Mukesh Ranjan (Jun 4, 2017, The Tribune))

Rina Bhaskar is a pregnant Dalit woman, sitting outside her torched house in Shabbirpur village of the district. If you have the courage, listen to her. “On May 5 rioters snatched my two-year-old son from my lap and tossed him into the flames of my burning house. Luckily, the small child fell on the safer side. I jumped into the flames, picked him and ran away.”

Rina’s husband, Agni Bhaskar, is in the district hospital with multiple injuries. “I am here with my son, struggling for food. I have no work, and no place to live,” she says. She shows her palm, hands, legs and neck. It appears she not only suffered burns, but also wounds inflicted by a sharp weapon, maybe a sword. Other Dalit households, too, had similar stories: the males are either in hospital or have left the village for fear of being attacked again.…

Many say the fresh violence against Dalits is a tactical move by the ruling BJP ahead of the civic polls due in next couple months. Despite a massive mandate in the assembly polls, the BJP had lost both Saharanpur and Saharanpur Nagar to the SP-Congress alliance.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/sunday-special/people/shame-in-saharanpur/417179.html

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Book Review

In Rupture, Loss and Living: Minority Women Speak about Post-Conflict Life

Author: K. Lalitha and Deepa Dhanraj
Reviewed by: Sabah Hamid
Available at: Orient Blackswan Private Limited, 3-6-752 Himayatnagar, Hyderabad, Telangana, India; info@orientblackswan.com . www.amazon.in/
Review:
Women’s Narratives of Communal Conflict (May 31, 2017, The Wire)

On May 4, 2017, the Bilkis Bano gangrape case was in the news again, when the Bombay high court upheld the lower court’s order of life imprisonment for the 11 convicted persons in the gangrape. It also rejected the acquittals of five policemen and two government doctors accused of covering up evidence and testimonies. The order has been hailed as ‘historic’, the first time that state complicity, that of the police and the doctors, has been clearly acknowledged by the judiciary, even if the sentence is a mere three years. And to get this delayed justice, it took 15 years.

Justice continues to be both delayed and denied for scores of other women subjected to communal violence of one kind or another in India. Rupture, Loss and Living: Minority Women Speak about Post-Conflict Life is a collection of narratives about such women. The book is a collection of essays, transcribed from three decades of interviews with women in Mumbai, Hyderabad and various places in the state of Gujarat. In 1992-93 in Mumbai; during 1983, several times over the 1990s and in 2003 in Hyderabad; and in 2002 across Gujarat, Muslims were the target of Hindutva violence in which thousands died; many more were rendered homeless and most, in addition, lost their livelihoods overnight.

Since communalism and sexual violence go together, scores of women became targets of vicious attacks. The number is uncertain because of unreported or unregistered cases, but in Gujarat alone it is estimated that at least 250 women were gangraped during the 2002 violence. In Rupture, Loss and Living the women speak of loss of all kinds. The book is divided into four sections – ‘I Began to See the World for What it is’, ‘Loss and Trauma’, ‘Negotiating Survival and Livelihood’ and ‘Claiming Accountability, Seeking Justice’ – exploring overlapping themes and the complex nature of negotiating both the immediate distress and the long-term damage of violence. The voices featured in the work, across 19 narratives, come from different classes of women and both rural and urban locations.…

https://thewire.in/141691/review-women-communal-conflict/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 17th, 2017

by newsdigest on April 29, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Communal Harmony

A worthy example of communal harmony (Apr 14, 2017, The Hindu)

By honouring members of the Muslim community at the annual Panguni Uthiram festival on Wednesday, the Hindus in Gurusamipuram, a small village near Rasipuram, have set a worthy example of communal harmony.

It is a thanksgiving gesture to the Muslims of Rasipuram town, whose forefathers were believed to have cured through prayers many children of the Hindu community of cholera. This practice has been in vogue for over a century now, the village elders say.…

“This is a worthy gesture practised by our forefathers and we are continuing this tradition in the interest of strengthening the bond between both the communities for decades together,” says Mr. Thalamuthu.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/a-worthy-example-of-communal-harmony/article18029122.ece

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Alwar cops ‘botched’ Pehlu lynching probe (Apr 12, 2017, Times of India)

The district bar association of Nuh (Mewat) has accused Alwar police of botching up facts in the FIR registered in the murder of Jaisinghpur villager Pehlu Khan, who was lynched by gau rakshaks in Alwar a few days ago. The association has decided to move to the Prime Minister, seeking justice for the family of Pehlu Khan, who was killed after allegedly being mistaken as a cow smuggler. They have alleged Alwar police meddled with facts while registering the FIRs, to deny the victims justice.

The association said was Pehlu presumed to be a cow smuggler merely because he is a Muslim. The family of the deceased claimed their statements were not even recorded by police. “My father was the sole bread-earner for our family of eight. Occasionally, we’d sell milch cows to make the extra buck. We had gone to the Jaipur cattle fair along with neighbours Arif and Azmat. We bought cows and calves there, and were going to Tapukara in Alwar district to sell them to our aunt. We expected to earn some profit, but in the end, lost our father,” said Altaf Khan (23), Pehlu’s elder son.…

Noordeen Noor, former president of the Nuh district bar association, said, “There were five people who were attacked, but the FIR mentions only three. The video shows all five being attacked, but police ignored that. Secondly, the victims insist they were going to Tapukara to sell the animals to their relatives. The spot where the incident took place was 35km from Haryana border, yet FIR mentions they were driving to Mewat, implying they were smuggling cattle. The pick-up driver, a Hindu, was let off by the mob, proving they were driven by a communal motive. We’re writing to the PM to intervene, as such lynchings of Muslims is becoming common here.”…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/58136561.cms

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Bail for All Assailant ‘Gau Rakshaks’ in Ayub Murder Case: Gujarat (Apr 14, 2017, Sabrang India)

All the cow vigilantes or gau rakshaks (cow protectors) accused of killing Mohammed Ayub Mev, a Muslim youth on September 13 last year, are out of jail, with the Gujarat high court granting regular bail to the eighth accused, Deepak Solanki, earlier this week. Shockingly investigations in this case have not progressed.

The Times of India has reported on the bail given to a string of accused in this crime. Solanki got bail after two of three eyewitnesses in the case could not identify him during a test identification parade before a magistrate. He also got bail on the grounds of parity, as seven co-accused in this case were granted bail by the very same Gujarat HC last month. Last September, Mev died after gau rakshaks attacked him and Sameer Shaikh in the Anandnagar area, when the duo were allegedly found transporting cattle.

It was only after much public protest, police got into action and eight persons were arrested and charged. Before Solanki, another accused Vijay Bharwad had got bail on March 17. Both are accused of murder, attempt to murder, rioting and unlawful assembly. The HC granted them bail on condition of not leaving Gujarat without the court’s permission.…

https://sabrangindia.in/article/bail-all-assailant-gau-rakshaks-ayub-murder-case-gujarat

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Tension in Muzaffarpur village after lynching of man for hitting goat (Apr 16, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Tension prevailed at Mahadalit tola of Bhelaipur village in Muzaffarpur district of north Bihar, following the lynching of a motorcyclist who accidentally hit a goat, which had strayed from an encroached residential area on to the state highway, Saturday.

Navin Kumar, 45, a farmer of Patti Bandhu Rao village under Lalganj police station of Vaishali, was thrashed mercilessly before his throat was slit by a mob for injuring the goat. His friend and pillion rider Sikandra Sahni, who was also injured in the incident, is battling for his life at a private nursing home in Muzaffarpur.

People from nearby villages retaliated by attacking the Mahadalit tola and ransacking the houses there, late Saturday evening. Some 100 families, residing at the tola, had already deserted the tola, leaving their houses unattended. The police have so far arrested 10 persons – two in connection with Navin Kumar’s murder and eight others for arson and loot at the Mahadalit tola.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/tension-in-muzaffarpur-village-after-lynching-of-man-for-hitting-goat/story-0LFzmRt75Ll4rdBq3T0qzK.html

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Opposition meets President, says ‘environment of fear, insecurity prevailing in the country’ (Apr 12, 2017, Indian Express)

Tension prevailed at Mahadalit tola of Bhelaipur village in Muzaffarpur district of north Bihar, following the lynching of a motorcyclist who accidentally hit a goat, which had strayed from an encroached residential area on to the state highway, Saturday.

Navin Kumar, 45, a farmer of Patti Bandhu Rao village under Lalganj police station of Vaishali, was thrashed mercilessly before his throat was slit by a mob for injuring the goat. His friend and pillion rider Sikandra Sahni, who was also injured in the incident, is battling for his life at a private nursing home in Muzaffarpur.

People from nearby villages retaliated by attacking the Mahadalit tola and ransacking the houses there, late Saturday evening. Some 100 families, residing at the tola, had already deserted the tola, leaving their houses unattended. The police have so far arrested 10 persons – two in connection with Navin Kumar’s murder and eight others for arson and loot at the Mahadalit tola.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/congress-ghulam-nabi-azad-sonia-gandhi-manmohan-singh-opposition-evem-money-bill-4610360/

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Gujarat riots: Court allows Kodnani to call Amit Shah, 13 others as witnesses (Apr 13, 2017, Hindustan Times)

A special court hearing the 2002 Naroda Gam massacre case in Ahmedabad on Wednesday allowed an application filed by former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Maya Kodnani seeking to call BJP president Amit Shah and 13 others as defence witnesses to prove she was not present at the scene of the incident. Judge PB Desai said summons should be issued to these witnesses “at appropriate and relevant stage of trial”.

The judge also said “some witnesses can be dropped at a later stage if there is a possibility of repetition of their testimonies, but however, in absence of any objections (by prosecution) and while recognising the right of the accused to examine defence witnesses, I am of the opinion that the number of witnesses sought to be examined is neither unreasonable nor unjustified.”…

The Naroda Gam massacre was one of the nine major riot cases from Gujarat investigated by a special investigation team. Eleven people belonging to the minority community were killed at Naroda Gam. A total of 82 people are facing trial. Kodnani later became state minister for women and child development during chief minister Narendra Modi’s government.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/2002-gujarat-riot-case-court-allows-kodnani-to-call-amit-shah-13-others-as-witness/story-lCxLoaTai62qZVCrZdY15K.html

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Behead Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, get Rs 11-lakh: BJP youth leader (Apr 12, 2017, Hindustan Times)

A leader of the BJP’s youth wing has announced a reward of Rs 11 lakh for West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s head following state police action against a saffron rally billed as a show of strength. The threat came a day after hundreds of saffron activists took out massive rallies in the heart of Kolkata to mark Hanuman Jayanti, highlighting the growing muscle of right-wing forces in a state the BJP barely managed a toehold in the past.

“Those who will cut and bring West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee head, I will give that person Rs11 lakh. Mamata Banerjee never allows Saraswati Puja, fairs during Ram Navami and during Hanuman Jayanti procession, people were lathi charged and brutally beaten up. She organises Iftar party and always supports Muslims,” Yogesh Varshney, a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, told ANI.

In West Bengal’s Birbhum district, police said they had already warned Bir Hanuman Jayanti organisers on Sunday that no rally or meeting would be allowed. The organisers pressed on and assured the police that they would not carry arms. However, the police did not move from its stand and charged on.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/youth-bjp-leader-offers-rs-11-lakh-bounty-on-mamata-banerjee-for-action-against-saffron-rally/story-ZsFXbOkCwYpw1aQIMNOjmN.html

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Uttar Pradesh: BJP tampered with EVMs in 250 seats of 403, says Mayawati (Apr 14, 2017, Indian Express)

Stepping up allegations of tampering with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) by the Bharatiya Janata Party during Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, BSP supremo Mayawati on Friday said the party tampered with the machines in at least 250 seats out of 403.

“BJP did tampering in EVMs on 250 seats out of 403, in the seats where it was in very weak position,” she said. The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister also said she’s ready to join hands with non-BJP parties in fighting against EVM tampering in the state. “BSP has no reservation in taking help of anti-BJP parties in fight against EVM tampering and BJP to keep democracy alive,” she said.

After the results of assembly elections in the state saw BJP winning by a huge margin, BSP raised the issue of EVM tampering in the state and demanded that an investigation be conducted regarding the usage of voting machines.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/uttar-pradesh-bjp-tampered-with-evms-in-250-seats-of-403-says-mayawati-4612709/

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Ghaziabad: 20 Hindu right wing group men held for holding unlawful procession (Apr 16, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Twenty office-bearers of a right wing organisation were arrested here on Sunday for unlawfully taking out a religious procession and brandishing deadly weapons allegedly with intent to breach the peace, police said.

An FIR has been filed against over 100 workers of the fringe group for rioting and attacking public servants to deter them from discharging duty as they unlawfully assembled on Loni road near Bhopura in vehicles, a senior official said.

The workers of Hindu Raksha Dal (HRD) were intercepted by a police team while carrying out a procession for Hanuman Chhati (after six days of Hanuman jayanti) without permission from the administration, Superintendent of Police Salman Taj Patil said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/ghaziabad-20-hindu-right-wing-group-men-held-for-holding-unlawful-procession/story-i7F73igihmi3H0w8QS8KeK.html

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Gujarat is among 3 Indian states without minorities’ commission: Rights group to send 1 lakh protest postcards (Apr 15, 2017, Counterview)

In an unusual move, the newly-formed civil rights organization, Minority Coordination Committee Gujarat (MCCG), has decided to begin a state-wide campaign to press for the demand to form a state minorities’ commission by sending around one lakh hand written post cards to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani.

Claiming to be non-political and not attached with any non-government organization, MCCG convener Mujahid Nafees said, “While the post cards will be sent from across Gujarat over the next few weeks, we have listed the demands for minorities’ welfare, which will be converted into a representation to Rupani. The representation will attract similar endorsements.”

Regretting that Gujarat is one of the very few Indian states which do not have a minorities’ commission, Nafees said, “We are hopeful that Rupani, who is a Jain, a minority community, will surely look into our demand.”…

http://www.counterview.net/2017/04/gujarat-is-among-3-indian-states.html

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Hindu Mahasabha’s bizarre solution to end Triple Talaq: Muslim women must convert (Apr 14, 2017, New Indian Express)

Offering a bizarre solution to end the controversial practice of Triple Talaq, the Hindu Mahasabha has asked those Muslim women who have been a victim of the practice, to adopt Hinduism. For the same, an ‘Utthaan Yagya’ was held at the office of the outfit.…

However, earlier on Tuesday, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) vice-president Kalbe requested the Government to not interfere in the matter of Triple Talaq, adding the Muslim board would eradicate this evil themselves.

“The Muslim Personal Board has decided that they will eradicate this problem from the society itself. We request the government to not to interfere in this matter,” said Sadiq.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/apr/14/hindu-mahasabhas-bizarre-solution-to-end-triple-talaq-muslim-women-must-convert-1593603.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Cow vigilantism – or minority hunting? – By Surjit Bhalla (Apr 12, 2017, Indian Express)

Of the six innocent individuals transporting cows and calves bought at a cattle fair in Alwar, Rajasthan, one was a Hindu named Arjun. He was released by the vigilantes acting in the name of the cow; the other five, all Muslim, were severely beaten. One of them subsequently died of the lynching by the Hindu mob. While most of the media has mentioned this fact and gone on to dwell on other horrendous details, I consider the Hindu being released as the most crucial in interpreting what happened, and possibly why it happened.

These facts, and the official reaction to them, illustrate several aspects about our degraded polity. First, one can rule out the claim that this was slaughter on behalf of a cow – if it were so, then why was the Hindu not guilty of the crime? This fact also puts a lie to the statement made by the Rajasthan Home Minister that both sides were to blame for this incident. Parenthetically, when will our not-so-savvy Indian politicians realise that they are operating in a social media-camera age and they cannot brazenly lie about crimes committed in the name of their reprehensible “ideology”.

What Alwar has done is to expose several BJP and RSS leaders to scrutiny. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has been surprisingly quiet; Nirmala Sitharaman, the Commerce Minister, felt compelled to point out that “cow protectionism was the spirit behind India’s freedom movement”. Really? Most people believe, perhaps mistakenly, that it was the “protection” of the Indian human (Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Isai) from colonialism.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/cow-vigilantism-or-minority-hunting-ajmer-lynching-gau-rakshaks-bjp-rajasthan-hindu-muslim-4609449/

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I got letters during the Best Bakery trial urging me to act like a Hindu – Justice (RETD) Abhay Thipsay with Jyoti Punwani (Apr 13, 2017, Mumbai Mirror)

…Justice Thipsay was selected to conduct the 2002 Best Bakery trial, which was transferred out of Gujarat by the SC. He convicted nine of the 17 accused, sentencing them to life.…

Did the transfer come as a shock to you? I was deeply hurt by it,… Actually, in 2014, a social media campaign was started against me, alleging that I was corrupt. It was so strong that the police themselves informed me that it was emanating from Gujarat, and that the same post had been clicked 1,000 times on just one day.…

Did you face pressure during the Best Bakery matter? No pressure, but I got a lot of letters, persuading me to “act like a Hindu”. They recalled the history of 800 years, told me this was an opportunity to take “revenge”. Some assured me that the entire Hindu society would back me if I acquitted the accused; others said God would reward me. The persuasive letters outnumbered the threatening ones.…

http://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/articleshow/58156368.cms

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Where Are India’s Dissenting Hindus? – By Harsh Mander (Apr 12, 2017, The Wire)

In these troubled times, the world’s two largest democracies – India and the US – are increasingly becoming hostile, threatening places for people with Muslim names. US President Donald Trump’s ban on the entry of citizens from Muslim majority countries signals an official ideology legitimised from the top that people of Muslim faith are potentially dangerous. In India, the appointment of a man who revelled in hate speech and communal incitement against Muslims as chief minister of UP, the country’s most populous state – which, if independent, would be the fifth largest country in the world – similarly signals, in the words of The Guardian, that “…in India minorities exist mainly on the goodwill of the majority. Step out of line and there will be blood.” And blood has already begun to flow.…

The most striking differences between India and the US has been the response of ordinary people to the anti-Muslim policies of their governments. Protestors gathered with welcoming signs at American airports within hours of the first travel ban being announced, people visited their Muslim neighbours to reassure them of their safety, judges at all levels struck down the presidential order, lawyers gathered at airports to offer legal aid and film actors spoke eloquently for the rights of people of colour and minority faiths in film award functions.

In India, I wait for the day when in UP villages where posters have come up giving notice to Muslim residents to leave, Hindu residents reassure their Muslim neighbours that they are both welcome and safe; where they fight to defend the security and livelihoods of tens of thousands of people threatened by cow politics and contested abattoirs; where students, teachers, lawyers, doctors, workers, farmers, actors and journalists all join the battle against the toxic politics of baiting and scapegoating minorities. Our silences can only signal our complicity with the brazen changing of India into a Hindu country. A land where minorities must submit, else blood will flow.

https://thewire.in/123008/india-hindutva-narendra-modi-rss-muslims/

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ECI needs to dispel doubts over integrity of EVMs to restore faith – By Charanjit Ahuja (Apr 17, 2017, Tehelka)

When the former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi asked the Election Commission of India (ECI) to “proactively and aggressively” counter doubts raised by leaders of various political parties over integrity of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), he raised a very pertinent point.…

The ECI would do itself credit by seeking external audit of its working and that of EVMs. Instead of asking parties to introspect the reasons for their electoral loss, the ECI may want to introspect on the loss of faith in its own credibility.

The ECI explanation in the form of a detailed press note reiterating that EVMs are standalone machines and are not networked either by wire or by wireless to any other machine or system is not a sufficient. The ECI undertaking given before the apex court that the 2019 poll would be held using the VVPAT machines (India would need two million such machines), seems to be a step in the right direction!…

http://www.tehelka.com/2017/04/eci-needs-to-dispel-doubts-over-integrity-of-evms-to-restore-faith/

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Abandoned Women Vastly Outnumber Victims of Triple Talaq and It’s Time Modi Spoke Up for Them – By Abusaleh Shariff and Syed Khalid (Apr 17, 2017, The Wire)

…Our principal finding is that the situation of Indian Muslim women seems far better than women from other religious groups. For example, the percentage of women staying in marriage is highest amongst Muslims (87.8%) compared to Hindus (86.2%), Christians (83.7%) and other religious minorities (85.8%). The percentage of widowed women is least amongst Muslims (11.1%) compared to Hindus (12.9%), Christians (14.6%) and other religious Minorities (13.3%). It is likely that the culture of widow remarriages provides a higher level of family protection to Muslim women compared to women from other religious communities.

The percentage of separated and abandoned women is also least amongst the Muslims (0.67%) compared to Hindus (0.69%), Christians (1.19%) and other religious Minorities (0.68%).… Against this backdrop, the eagerness of the RSS, the BJP and even Prime Minister Modi to project triple talaq as the major issue to be confronted so as to empower the Muslim community is questionable. Instead, they need to focus their concern on the 43 million widowed women belonging to all parts of society, provide them incentives for remarriage and/or programmatic financial support for sustaining a living.… Most live in extremely dire conditions socially and financially; and at risk of exploitation by others. They are desperate to live with their husbands, waiting for one call from him. Despite not living with her husband for 43 years Jashodaben Modi said on November 24, 2014, that “if he calls once, I will go with him”. But her husband never responded.

Abandoned wives find it difficult to even get a passport in India; for example, in 2015, when Jashodaben applied for a passport, her application was rejected for the reason that “there was no marriage certificate or a joint affidavit with the spouse”. She struggled and filed an RTI to get details of her own husband’s passport. Anyone trying to improve the conditions of Muslim women by talking of the red herring of triple talaq should know the depth of sufferings of 2.4 million deserted women. “No injustice should be meted out to our mothers and sisters in the name of religion or community,” Modi had said. Will he not take up their cause despite the fact that the vast majority – 1.9 million – are Hindu and there may be no political gain from talking about their plight?

https://thewire.in/86335/abandoned-women-triple-talaq/

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The Hinduisation of Ambedkarism – By Bhanwar Meghwanshi (Apr 14, 2017, The Wire)

On April 13 in Jaipur, a ‘bhakti sandhya’ (devotional evening) was organised in the name of Babasaheb Ambedkar. Two Union ministers were guests of honour at this event, which goes against the spirit of what Ambedkar stood for. Ambedkar, the radical rationalist, being subjected to the folly of devotion – can anything be more absurd than this?

By the time you read this, in Bhilwada, the ‘SC Cell’ of the Congress party, Ambedkar’s lifelong antagonist, would have displayed its foolishness. About 126 kilo-litres of milk will be used to consecrate a statue of Ambedkar, and this invariably comes with pandits chanting mantras. The urine and dung of the cow, along with milk and curd, are among the things used to purify the Untouchable Ambedkar in Bhilwada – this is exactly what the Brahmins in Mahad did to ‘purify’ the temple tank after Ambedkar and his 3,000 followers drank water from it in 1927.

We all know that Ambedkar was dead against Gauri, Ganpati, Ram-Krishna, Bramha, Vishnu, Mahesh, destiny as well as concepts of soul and God – his 22 vows at the time of conversion in 1956 make this clear. He was a sharp critic of cults of personalities and hero worship… What we are doing today in Ambedkar’s name is most shameful. This will only carry the anti-caste caravan of Ambedkar and other great leaders back by a thousand years. This needs to stop.…

https://thewire.in/124045/ambedkar-hinuisation/

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Book Review

Anger and Forgiveness: Resistance, Generosity and Justice

Author: Martha Nussbaum
Reviewed by: Arudra Burra
Available at: Oxford University Press, 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America. www.amazon.in/
Review:
‘Anger and Forgiveness’: Has Nussbaum Given Either Its Due? (Apr 17, 2017, The Wire)

In August 2012 a special court delivered a judgement in the case of the Naroda Patiya massacre of 2002, in which 96 Muslims were killed (many of them having been burned alive), and a number of women raped. The judgement convicted a former minister in the Gujarat cabinet, Mayaben Kodnani, and former Bajrang Dal convenor Babu Bajrangi, among 30 others, for various offences in the Indian Penal Code, sentencing them to prison for terms ranging from 24 years to life.…

Despite noting that the crimes involved a pre-planned conspiracy to engage in “mass murder” of a brutal and gruesome kind, Justice Jyotsna Yagnik decided not to award the death penalty, arguing that there were more constructive ways of responding to such violence. Perhaps it was this observation which prompted Martha Nussbaum to write a column for the Indian Express a few months later. The column, ‘When is forgiveness right?’, addressed the question whether there was any room for forgiveness and reconciliation after the Naroda Patiya judgement, along the lines of experiments all over the world to explore non-punitive responses to wrongdoing.…

In in her new book, Anger and Forgiveness: Resentment, Generosity, Justice, Nussbaum notes that her views on anger and forgiveness have changed since her Indian Express column. She now argues that anger is rarely warranted, because it always carries with it the implicit wish for some kind of “payback,” a desire that the wrongdoer suffer. Though the idea of payback has deep roots, she claims that involves a kind of “magical thinking,” because the wrongdoer’s suffering cannot cancel or undo the suffering he or she has caused. So while demands for payback may be understandable, they are nevertheless irrational.…

https://thewire.in/124952/martha-nussbaum-anger-forgiveness/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 14th, 2016

November 23, 2016

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

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 3rd, 2016

October 13, 2016

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

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 1st, 2016

August 9, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Operation #BetiUthao Shiv Sena leader is main conspirator in Gujarat Dalit flogging case: CID ‘Gau Rakshaks’ strike again? Fresh video from Rajasthan surfaces Mob beats Muslim women in MP over beef rumour, Oppn corners govt in House No water supply and electricity for Muslim families in Vadodara […]

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