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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 27th, 2017

by newsdigest on December 18, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Roundup

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Poet wrote on Hindu-Muslim unity, says Jaisi’s native village (Nov 25, 2017, Times of India)

Even as the world is caught up in a storm over ‘Padmavati’, people in this quiet village – the birthplace of Malik Mohammad Jaisi, the writer of ‘Padmavat’ – wonder what the fuss is all about. For the residents, most of whom can recite couplets from the tale written in Awadhi in the 16th century, “mahakavi” Jaisi’s work revolved around the unity between Hindu and Muslims, bereft of any hurtful sentiments towards any community.

People in Jais, about 100 km from Lucknow, are dismissive about the controversy around ‘Padmavati’. “I had studied the book in school. Those who are opposing it have not seen the movie. They have perhaps not read the book either. It seems to be a political gimmick to oppose it.

The book has no controversial element,” said Mohammad Nizam Khan, who lives right across the place where then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi laid the foundation stone for Malik Mohammad Jaisi Research Institute in 1988. The institute, however, never saw the light of day.…

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/village/articleshow/61791247.cms

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CBI court judge in Gujarat’s Sohrabuddin encounter case murdered? Scared family finally speaks up about shocking facts (Nov 21, 2017, New Indian Express)

Loya, the late CBI court judge who had taken over the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, has come out with shocking revelations and questions. Loya’s relatives have questioned the circumstances surrounding the judge’s sudden death and post mortem conducted without their permission, hinting at foul play.

It’s been three years since the sudden demise of Loya, the CBI special court judge in Mumbai, who had taken over the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case in which BJP president Amit Shah was accused.

The trial, if it took place would have put then Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah and several top Gujarat police officers on the stand for the encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/nov/21/cbi-court-judge-in-gujarats-sohrabuddin-encounter-case-murdered-scared-family-finally-speaks-up-ab-1707211.html

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No Media Reporting On Sohrabuddin Encounter Trial, Orders CBI Court (Nov 30, 2017, NDTV)

A special CBI court in Mumbai has ordered that the media will not be allowed to report on daily proceedings in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh alleged fake encounter case trial that is being held in Mumbai after it was moved out of Gujarat by the Supreme Court.

In the order, Additional Sessions Judge SJ Sharma said, “It may happen that the publication may create security problem for the accused persons, prosecution witnesses, the defence team and the prosecutor as well. I therefore, find justification in the request of the defence team of lawyers. The application is allowed.”

The court passed the order after an application by the defence counsel to ban day-to-day coverage of proceedings in the case. The court also referred to the defence arguments related to the death of Judge Brij Gopal Loya which has recently been reported on after family members raised questions about the circumstances under which he died.…

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/no-reports-on-sohrabuddin-encounter-trial-till-further-orders-cbi-court-1781664

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‘Burn UK cinemas’ Hindu leader tells followers to attack theatres showing Bollywood film (Nov 26, 2017, Express)

The release of Padmavati has been marred by protests amid claims the film portrays an inaccurate account of history. Critics argue that the film, which cost £17million to produce and has been given a 12A rating, suggests the iconic 14th century Hindu queen, Padmavati, engaged in a romantic relationship with Muslim invader Alauddin Khilji. The picture was cleared by the British Board of Film Classification without any cuts.

Sukhdev Singh, the leader of the Rajput Karni Sena caste group, is seeking to halt the film’s circulation, calling on UK Hindus to adopt violence in order to stop its screening. He told Republic TV: “I call on Hindus in the UK and particularly my community brothers to protest against the screening of the film there. I have told them any cinema hall which screens the movie will be burnt.”

Protests against the film in India have turned violent, with unconfirmed reports that a body was found hanging outside a fort in the northern state of Rajasthan on Friday morning.…

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/884509/Burn-UK-cinemas-Hindu-leader-tells-followers-to-attack-theatres-showing-Bollywood-film

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25 years of Babri Masjid demolition: VHP, Bajrang Dal to leave Bengal out of the celebration map (Nov 27, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and its youth wing Bajrang Dal (BD) have left Bengal out of the nationwide map to celebrate 25 years of Babri Masjid demolition on December 6. The outfits have planned to celebrate the day as Shaurya Divas (Day of Valour). Both VHP and its youth wing were involved in the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh on December 6, 1992.

“In Bengal, they all (read Trinamool Congress, the Left and Congress) observe December 6 as Black Day. Instead of confronting them, we would leave the field to them,” Sachindra Nath Singha, who is in charge of VHP’s Bengal, Assam, Sikkim and Andaman units told HT on Monday.

Singha, who recently paid a visit to Guwahati to finalise celebration plan there, said that Shaurya Divas will be celebrated in Assam with ‘full valour’. In Bengal, their only programme is the concluding ceremony of membership drive that started earlier in November.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/kolkata/25-years-of-babri-masjid-demolition-vhp-bajrang-dal-to-leave-bengal-out-of-the-celebration-map/story-It6Y5jdYZMCn99pZntRwbN.html

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Move to rename Delhi college triggers row (Nov 19, 2017, The Tribune)

The move to rename Dyal Singh (evening) College, spread over 9 acres in the heart of South Delhi, as Vande Mataram Mahavidyalaya has taken political contours with student groups, NSUI being one of them, alleging that the decision was politically motivated.

The college governing body maintains that the name has been changed in the “interest of students”. But a section of students and teachers remains unconvinced, pointing out that the chairman of the college governing body, Amitabh Sinha, is associated with the BJP.

The notification to change the college name, issued on Friday, has been sent to the VC for approval. The college is named after Dyal Singh Majithia, who founded The Tribune Trust (1881) and the Punjab National Bank (1894). He also set up an education trust. Dyal Singh College was born out of that trust. The college was established at Lahore in 1910. After Partition, it was shifted to Karnal and then to Delhi as a constituent college of the University of Delhi (1959).…

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/move-to-rename-delhi-college-triggers-row/500069.html

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Laws being passed give gau rakshaks power to be vigilantes: Teesta Setalvad (Nov 17, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad on Friday alleged that certain cow protection laws allow ‘gau rakshaks’ to take the law into their hands. Stating that such laws should be repealed, Setalvad urged the people to take up the issue since the “principal opposition is not raising it”.

Setalvad was speaking during a discussion on “Lynchpin – Looking at the politics of mob violence” at the Tata Literature Live here. Other panelists included Naresh Fernandes (editor of Scroll.in) and Thomas Blom Hansen (professor of anthropology at Stanford University).

“We have in place, in about eight states, including Maharashtra, certain cow protection laws, that actually privilege the gau rakshaks. So, laws are being passed to allow gau rakshaks the power to be vigilantes. We also have to speak about repealing those laws, because it is actually allowing them to take the law into their own hands,” she said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/laws-being-passed-give-gau-rakshaks-power-to-be-vigilantes-teesta-setalvad/story-DJbmtuz4v2gSV2ZCVJRVXM.html

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Three Muslims allegedly thrashed, thrown out of moving train in Uttar Pradesh (Nov 24, 2017, Indian Express)

Three Muslim men, including a cleric, were on Wednesday night allegedly thrashed and thrown out of a moving train by unidentified persons. The men reportedly boarded a train in New Delhi and were on their way to their village in Baghpat when a tiff with some youth led to the alleged assault, Baghpat SP Jaiprakash Singh told news agency PTI.

The victims got off the train at Amhaida station and filed a complaint against six unidentified persons at Baghpat Kotwali police station, he said. Police, however, did not confirm whether the three – Gulzar (30), Israr (25) and Abu Bakr (21) – were pushed out of the train.

The case has been registered under sections 147 (rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 352 (assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation) of the IPC. Baghpat Kotwali in charge B Kumar said the case was being transferred to the Railway police.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/three-muslim-clerics-thrashed-thrown-out-of-moving-train-in-uttar-pradesh-4951124/

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Six RSS workers sentenced to life in prison for killing CPI(M) leader in Kerala in 2002 (Nov 24, 2017, Scroll.in)

A court in Kerala’s Thalassery district on Thursday sentenced six workers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to life in prison for murdering a leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in 2002.

The prosecution told the court that the six men had entered an automobile showroom in Panoor town on February 5, 2002, and hacked Thazheyil Ashraf, the CPI(M) leader, to death, The Times of India reported. The trial in the case began only in October 2011.

On Thursday, the Additional District Sessions Court sentenced the six men and also ordered them to pay a fine of Rs 50,000 each, which will be given to Ashraf’s family, The Hindu reported. The court also sentenced each of them to a 10-year jail term and fined them Rs 20,000 for trespassing. The jail term will run concurrently, public prosecutor BP Saseendran said.

https://scroll.in/latest/859154/six-rss-workers-sentenced-to-life-in-prison-for-killing-cpi-m-leader-in-kerala-in-2002

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BJP tried targeting Hardik instead of addressing his concerns: Congress (Nov 23, 2017, Business Standard)

The Congress Party has hit back at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for his comment about them and Patidar leader Hardik Patel, indulging in ‘mutual deception’ over increasing minority quota in Gujarat.

“BJP should have answered to Hardik Patel and other youth point-by-point on the concerns of these youth. Instead of addressing their concerns, instead of taking them into confidence, the BJP has tried to target them and tarnish them, which they have failed,” Congress leader Rizwan Arshad told ANI.

Arshad said that there are other youth leaders besides Patel, such as Jignesh Mevani and Alpesh Thakor, who have led independent movements, but were targeted by the BJP, and were booked at its behest.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/bjp-tried-targeting-hardik-instead-of-addressing-his-concerns-congress-117112300159_1.html

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Education Tour For Rajasthan Students: A Fair Where They Learn About ‘Love Jihad’, ‘Christian Conspiracies’ (Nov 19, 2017, Outlook)

In Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital, schools have been asked to take teachers and students to a fair where they can learn about “love jihad”, “Christian conspiracies” and take an oath on vegetarianism.

Jaipur’s Additional District Education Officer Deepak Shukla has confirmed that an order has been given upon the direction of Primary and Secondary Education Minister Vasudev Devnani to “help” organisers of the fair by making students visit the place, reported The Indian Express.…

In the fair, pamphlets on “love jihad” were distributed by Vishwa Hindu Parishad members, that talks about Bollywood actors Saif Ali Khan and Aamir Khan leaving Hindu wives and then again ”ensnaring” Hindu women.… A Bharatiya Hindu Sena pamphlet urges people to make India entirely a Hindu nation and to ”construct a magnificent temple of Lord Ram in Ayodhya”.

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/education-tour-for-rajasthan-students-a-fair-where-they-learn-about-love-jihad-c/304538

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Opinions and Editorials

Glare on Shah case judge death – By Pheroze L. Vincent (Nov 23, 2017, The Telegraph)

Several rights activists have demanded a judicial probe into the 2014 death of a judge hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, citing reports in The Caravan magazine website in which the judge’s family has alleged foul play.

BJP chief Amit Shah, who was then Gujarat home minister, was an accused in the case. Sohrabuddin, accused of extortion and smuggling, died in police custody in 2005.

The family of Justice B.H. Loya had alleged that the CBI court judge had been offered a bribe of Rs 100 crore by a judge for a “favourable judgment”.…

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/glare-on-shah-case-judge-death-188194

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Chief Justice Mohit Shah Made an Offer of Rs 100 Crore to My Brother for a Favourable Judgment in the Sohrabuddin Case: Late Judge Loya’s Sister – By Niranjan Takle (Nov 21, 2017, Caravan Magazine)

Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, the judge presiding over the CBI special court in Mumbai, died sometime between the night of 30 November and the early morning of 1 December 2014, while on a trip to Nagpur. At the time of his death, he was hearing the Sohrabuddin case, in which the prime accused was the Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah.

The media reported at the time that Loya had died of a heart attack. But my investigations between November 2016 and November 2017 raised disturbing questions about the circumstances surrounding Loya’s death – including questions regarding the condition of his body when it was handed over to his family.

Among those I spoke to was one of Loya’s sisters, Anuradha Biyani, a medical doctor based in Dhule, Maharashtra. Biyani made an explosive claim to me: Loya, she said, confided to her that Mohit Shah, then the chief justice of the Bombay High Court, had offered him a bribe of Rs 100 crore in return for a favourable judgment. She said Loya had told her this some weeks before he died, when the family gathered for Diwali at their ancestral home in Gategaon. Loya’s father Harkishan also told me that his son had told him he had offers to deliver a favourable judgment in exchange for money and a house in Mumbai.…

http://www.caravanmagazine.in/vantage/loya-chief-justice-mohit-shah-offer-100-crore-favourable-judgment-sohrabuddin-case

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Communal Video Only Adds to Dissatisfaction and Anger Among Gujarat’s Muslim Voters – By Damayantee Dhar (Nov 23, 2017, The Wire)

…”The video clearly has a blatant communal tone and is an attempt to polarise the non-Muslim votes ahead of the election. The motive behind complaining is to ensure fair voting without an environment of fear or prejudice. The cyber cell of the crime branch has recorded my statement. I have stated that such videos should be banned, as they create fear and take advantage of polarisation. The cyber cell has written to all social media platforms to take down the video,” Parmar told The Wire.

“There is obviously the hidden agenda of Hindutva in the video, which doesn’t come from the BJP directly these days but from unofficial trusts and organisations affiliated to the Sangh parivar. This has been the case post-2012, from the time when Modi started to project himself as a national leader. He does not clearly highlight Hindutva, but it has been back-channelled. The video definitely is trying to set a communal mood, which will have a role in mainly consolidating urban votes,” Sharik Laliwala, a political researcher who has been studying various trends in the Gujarat elections since the 1960s, told The Wire.…

“Post-2014, the fear among Muslims has grown, also owing to the BJP’s decision to field Adityanath as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. Many Muslims who used to live in heterogeneous areas have either migrated to Juhapura or older Ahmedabad or bought a second home to be safe,” Laliwala added. The poster incident he refers to occurred in Paldi, where he lives. Posters were put up warning people not to let the area become Juhapura.…

https://thewire.in/199170/gujarat-muslim-voters-congress-bjp-communal-video/

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In Uttar Pradesh, Dalits and Muslims must endure caste hatred, state bloodletting, denial of justice – By Harsh Mander (Nov 26, 2017, Scroll.in)

…Kandla made national headlines last year when the local MP, Hukam Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party, alleged the rise in the town’s Muslim population had precipitated an exodus of its Hindu residents. Given this communal stereotyping of a town that gave refuge to internally displaced people, we felt Kandla was a fitting place for the Karwan to spend the night. We were put up in a madrassa.

The next morning, we visited Shabirpur in Saharanpur district, about 150 km from Delhi. In this village, the Dalits had decided to erect a statue of Bhimrao Ambedkar at a Ravidas temple, on land owned by the community. They pooled money, built a tall platform and made preparations to install the statue, ordered in Saharanpur, on Ambedkar’s birth anniversary on April 14.

In the meantime, the BJP swept to power in Uttar Pradesh and an ugly rumbling started in Shabirpur’s upper caste Rajput enclave. The Rajputs objected to the tall platform and even more to Ambedkar’s statue pointing towards the road they too use. “It is our government now,” they are reported to have said, and the Dalits needed to be reminded of their place. The Dalits protested that they had legal title to the temple land, and it was for them to decide whose statue they wished to install on it and how. The administration intervened, asking the Dalits to apply for permission, which they then withheld, and the anniversary passed without statue being mounted.…

https://scroll.in/article/857879/in-uttar-pradesh-dalits-and-muslims-must-endure-caste-hatred-state-bloodletting-denial-of-justice

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Why the number of minorities in jails is rising in India – By M Reyaz (Nov 26, 2017, Dailyo.in)

…A new collaborative study by Germany-based anthropologist and Australia-based economist argues, with the help of hard data, that India indeed is “unfriendly, if not hostile” to its minorities, including Dalits and Adivasis, explained by their disproportionately higher number in jails.… Through their EPW essay, the two authors seek to fill this gap. They analysed the PSI data for the last 16years and contrasted it with the census data to show how “minorities stand over-represented in prisons in most states of India. Gujarat and Maharashtra have a higher representation of all minorities in their prisons”.…

Hundreds of Muslim youths have been rotting in several jails on terror related charges, although few lucky ones such as Khan and Qayyum could manage to exit jails, after spending precious years of their lives in prisons. Not all cases pertain to terror though and it would thus not be fair to infer from the PSI data that straightjacket biases against them are the sole reason, although they are no less critical.

In a recent incident in the national capital region, when a young school student of Ryan International was murdered, the first suspect was the bus conductor, who said he was hung upside down, beaten, and forced to falsely confess. Similarly, tribal rights activist Soni Sori had to suffer at the hands of Chhattisgarh police. If you are poor or come from the marginalised section, you become an easy prey. Lethargic judicial system is another critical factor due to which justice is often delayed, if not denied.…

https://www.dailyo.in/politics/prison-statistics-india-minorities-in-jail-adivasis-dalits-ncrb-epw/story/1/20786.html

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Hadiya case: Whither individual liberty? – By Faizan Mustafa (Nov 29, 2017, The Tribune)

…The debate on love jihad is politically motivated and has ulterior motives. Love jihad is a bogey. In a country of our size, assuming, though not accepting even if a few hundred such cases are there, this cannot be termed as love jihad or an organised effort by some Muslim radicals to convert Hindu girls.…

It is a sad commentary of our judicial system that first the Kerala High Court declared Hadiya’s marriage as illegal and now in spite of two hours’ hearing in an open court and her bold and courageous testimony that she had converted to Islam on her own and wants to live with her husband, the Supreme Court has not granted her permission to live with her husband. Hadiya who is 26 years of age will now stay in a hostel. The only redeeming feature of the order is that she has now been taken out of her father’s custody.

On the contrary, the Rajasthan High Court recently permitted a similarly situated girl converted Hindu girl to go with her husband. Hadiya is 26 years of age and should be allowed to make her personal decisions as a matter of right rather than some privilege granted to her by the court. Hats off to this brave girl who withstood all family, police and media pressures. Her husband is lucky to have such a wife.…

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/comment/hadiya-case-whither-individual-liberty/505005.html

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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

April 29, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony A worthy example of communal harmony News Headlines Alwar cops ‘botched’ Pehlu lynching probe Bail for All Assailant ‘Gau Rakshaks’ in Ayub Murder Case: Gujarat Tension in Muzaffarpur village after lynching of man for hitting goat Opposition meets President, says ‘environment of fear, insecurity prevailing in the […]

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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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