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Gujarat riots

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 8th, 2016

by newsdigest on August 19, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

2002 post-Godhra riots: 11 get life term for killing a man, daughter in Mehsana (Aug 5, 2016, Indian Express)

The Gujarat High Court Thursday awarded life imprisonment to 11 convicts for burning a man and his daughter to death in Mehsana district during the 2002 post-Godhra riots. The High Court reversed the order of a fast-track trial court which had acquitted all the accused in June, 2005, for want of evidence. This was challenged in the Gujarat High Court by the complainants and the state government.

The division bench of justice A S Dave and justice B N Karia pronounced the quantum of sentence while awarding life imprisonment to all the 11 convicts – Mukesh Amritlal Patel, Narendra Chimanlal Patel, Dinesh Jaswantbhai Patel, Kirit Somabhai Patel, Kirit Chandubhai Patel, Girish Ambalal Patel, Girish Chunnilal Patel, Mukesh Mahendrabhai Patel, Nilesh Naranbhai Patel, Janak Rameshbhai Patel and Mukesh Somabhai Patel.

The bench said that the sentences should run concurrently and not consecutively and ordered the convicts to surrender in 10 weeks.… The court supported the prosecution’s claim that the man and his daughter were chased by the mob, dragged from their Hindu neighbour’s house and burnt to death. According to the case details, the victims tried to douse the fire from a water tank in the compound of the Hindu neighbour, but the mob came back again and killed them.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/godhra-riots-11-get-life-imprisonment-for-killing-father-daughter-duo-in-gujarat-village-2953508/

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Sri Rama Sene activists ‘Raid’ at Karnataka school over Urdu, Arabic classes: 13 more arrested (Aug 2, 2016, Business Standard)

Thirteen more Sri Rama Sene activists were today arrested in connection with the “raid” on a school near here over alleged forcible teaching of Urdu and Arabic languages, taking the total of arrests in the case to 16, police said.

They were arrested on the charge of trespassing into the St Thomas Aided Higher Primary School in Bondantila near here on July 30. Around 50 Sri Rama Sene activists had raided the school for ‘forcibly’ teaching Arabic and Urdu to students. On a complaint from the school headmaster, three activists were arrested yesterday.

Meanwhile, the headmaster said that classes (in Urdu and Arabic) were being conducted for 40 students everySaturdayon the request of parents. Chief Whip of the Congress in the state Legislative Council Ivan D’ Souza condemned the raid by the activists. In a statement, D’Souza said he had asked the city police to be tough against groups trying to disturb peace and tranquility.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/raid-at-karnataka-school-13-more-arrested-116080201656_1.html

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No links between Naik, terror outfits, govt tells House (Aug 3, 2016, Deccan Herald)

No links between the controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and terrorist organisations have come to notice, the government informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

In a written reply, Minister of State for Home, Hansraj Ahir, said reports indicated that some known terrorists have reportedly been inspired by Naik, the president of IRF.

He said IRF was registered under the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act, 2010, and foreign contributions and their utilisation were checked. In case of violations, Ahir said, action will be taken under the provisions of the Act.…

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/561942/no-links-naik-terror-outfits.html

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Nayeemuddin, wanted by CBI in Sohrabuddin ‘fake’ encounter case gunned down (Aug 8, 2016, Times of India)

Renegade Maoist Md Nayeemuddin, wanted by CBI in Sohrabuddin Sheik’s fake encounter case was gunned down by Telangana police at Shadnagar town near Hyderabad on Monday morning.

Late on Sunday night, the special police team of Telangana State police had rounded up a house located at millennium Township in Shadnagar town of Mahbubnagar district after receiving an alert about the movement of renegade Maoist Md Nayeemuddin.

On Monday morning, a gun man of Nayeemuddin opened fire on the police and in the resultant encounter, Nayeemuddin was gunned down, Telangana DGP Anurag Sharma said.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/53596529.cms

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Court rejects plea of Akhlaq’s family (Aug 3, 2016, The Hindu)

The Fast Track Court of Gautam Buddh Nagar on Tuesday rejected the Akhlaq family’s petition for further investigation into his lynching. Yusuf Saifi, the counsel for Bishahra lynching victim Mohammad Akhlaq, had in his petition requested further investigation in view of the, “fresh facts revealed by the villagers’ petition for a case of cow slaughter” against Akhlaq’s family.…

Mr. Saifi said three more residents of Bisada, who testified during the hearing of cow slaughter petition and had confessed to having been present at the spot during the time of the incident, should be included in the list of accused. “Three people, Sanjay Rana, Kancchi and Ompal, had confessed during the proceedings that they were present at the spot. Kancchi and Ompal testified in the court that they had caught hold of Akhlaq, while Sanjay said he called the police,” said Mr Saifi. “We brought it to court’s notice that it should direct the police to add their names in the FIR.”

Eighteen persons, including three juveniles, have been arrested on charges of murder and assault in the case. “Interestingly, while trying to prove that Akhlaq slaughtered a cow, the three above named people had actually confessed to their role in the crime as well. Sanjay Rana is the father of Vishal Rana, who is an accused in the case,” he added.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/court-rejects-plea-of-akhlaqs-family/article8935270.ece

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Punjab: Crackdown on ‘cow vigilantes’, Gau Raksha Dal chief booked (Aug 8, 2016, Indian Express)

In a crackdown on pseudo cow vigilantes, the Patiala Police on Monday lodged an FIR against ‘Gau Raksha Dal’ chief Satish Kumar in connection with a social media video showing organisation members “brutally” thrashing people in the name of cow protection.…

An FIR was lodged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC); however, Kumar is yet to be arrested.

In his first comments on the violence against Dalits by cow vigilantes, Prime Minister Modi has also asked the state governments to prepare dossiers on the so-called cow protectors as 80 percent of them do illegal activities at night and become cow protectors in the day.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/crackdown-on-cow-vigilantes-gau-raksha-dal-chief-booked-2961138/

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15 policemen suspended over Dalit’s death (Aug 5, 2016, The Hindu)

Fifteen policemen were suspended and some of them booked for murder in Kanpur district after a Dalit youth was found dead in custody under suspicious circumstances on Thursday.

A case has been registered against the police personnel under the stringent Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the IPC Section 302 (murder) after relatives of the Dalit youth lodged a complaint.

Kamal Valmiki, in his mid-twenties, was reportedly picked up by police in Chakeri area late on Tuesday night along with his brother for questioning in a looting case. Another person, Raju Mistry, had also been apprehended along with them. On Thursday, Kamal was found dead in custody by his sister.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/cops-suspended-in-kanpur-after-dalit-man-dies-in-custody/article8947473.ece

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Dalit scholar demands action against Hyderabad University VC, takes on Sangh forces (Aug 8, 2016, New Indian Express)

Dalit scholar Kancha Ilaiah today lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking a stand on the ‘gau rakshak’ forces but said that the latter must immediately sack Hyderabad University’s vice-chancellor Appa Rao if he is really serious and ensure that the Rohith Vemula issue makes justice.

Ilaiah, however, said that the Prime Minister’s statement has come too late as a large number of attacks on Dalits are happening in the country.… “And this was the place where Rohith Vemula was killed and then Raja Singh has been creating problem around ‘gau rakhshak’ in this very state from his own party which has become a national issue. So, I think if the Prime Minister is really serious, he has to immediately remove at least Mr. Appa Rao from his position and see that the Rohith Vemula issue makes justice,” he added.

Ilaiah also demanded action against BJP MLA Raja Singh, who had defended the cow vigilantes with his assertion that those who consume cow meat are bringing “disgrace” to the entire community and should be “taught a lesson”.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Dalit-scholar-demands-action-against-Hyderabad-University-VC-takes-on-Sangh-forces/2016/08/08/article3569477.ece

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In one voice, opposition says Modi’s anguish about atrocities against dalits is ‘fake’ (Aug 8, 2016, Times of India)

Opposition parties on Monday said they were unimpressed with PM Narendra Modi’s speeches over the weekend when he dramatically urged that instead of committing atrocities against Dalits people should just shoot him.

The BSP, SP and the Congress said his anguish about atrocities against Dalits is not real. “PM Modi and the BJP kept quiet for two years. How have their eyes opened now? Uttar Pradesh and other states have elections soon, and they knew that Dalit people are not going to vote for them, that’s why the statement has come,” Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said.…

The Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav accused the PM of political opportunism. “Now that he sees that it’s going to cost him, then he brings the (dalit) issue to the forefront,” said Akhilesh, Uttar Pradesh chief minister.… The opposition Congress party also criticized him for evading questions in Parliament about atrocities against Dalits.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/53595876.cms

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‘Fake’ cow vigilantes extort money in MP (Aug 8, 2016, Hindustan Times)

Police and some Muslim cattle traders have said that certain people posing as cow vigilantes in Madhya Pradesh are indulging in extortion, especially from the minority community, an allegation dismissed by those affiliated to Hindu outfits, who distanced themselves from those indulging in violence and extortion.…

“This has developed as a business in the last few years. Many of them have turned ‘crorepatis’. Some lower level policemen are also involved in this activity and get a share from these gau-rakshaks,” said another senior police officer, requesting anonymity.

Masood Ahmed Khan, secretary, coordination committee for Indian Muslims, MP unit, said Muslim meat traders were being harassed by the so-called gau-rakshaks.… “Most of the people who are stopped on highways are from Muslim community. The aim is to extort money,” said a Muslim leader of Nimar, requesting anonymity. “There are some people who earn 50,000-60,000 per month just by intercepting these trucks. Most of the victims fear to speak against them and hence the issue never reaches police. Police also know what is going on, but they get their cut,” he said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/bhopal/fake-cow-vigilantes-extort-money-in-mp/story-4j5X6gzwJtBUKGYPczDO1H.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Why Modi’s Lambasting Of Cow Vigilantes Was Mere Lip Service – By Sanam Sharma (Aug 8, 2016, Huffington Post)

…Tall promises were made about a potential “Modi Sarkar” and the people bought in. Narendra Modi’s claim to power was built on two significant pledges. First, he professed to having a “56-inch chest” necessary for fronting a nation such as India. Second, he made a solemn promise to usher in “acchhe din”, or good days, for India and all Indians. More than two years on, Mr Modi and his government have miserably failed on both counts.… Honourable Prime Minister of India, you have remained markedly absent as the leader of the nation in taking a meaningful stance against the growing communal tensions within India. To be brutally honest, such tensions seem to have grown under your government.

So it was a bit surprising when recently, for the first time, you chose to denounce the so-called “cow vigilantes” and spoke up for the Dalits and the marginalized. That you chose to publicly speak against this breed of hooligans is worthy of appreciation, but, the message itself came across as half-baked. It came across as a token rebuke uttered by a Prime Minister who perhaps was advised by his media experts to “say something” before it all gets out of hand.

Your castigation, Mr. Modi, of the “self-styled cow vigilantes” is an arbitrary, bracketed tirade towards one creed of criminals. If one was to read between the lines, you continue to remain silent about the bigger outfit of thugs and bigots who propagate such communal crimes and are affiliated to your political party. Your derision does not identify this matter as a law and order issue where citizens are being insulted, injured, and lynched. Instead, through carefully placed words, your message tries to demarcate the “correct” way of retaining communal divisions.…

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/sanam-sharma/why-modis-lambasting-of-cow-vigilantes-was-mere-lip-service/

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Narendra Modi’s brotherly words for Dalits make his silence on Muslims ring louder – By Shivam Vij (Aug 8, 2016, Quartz India)

India’s hyper-communicative prime minister is known to keep his lips sealed on the misdeeds of his Hindu nationalist fellow-travellers. Last weekend, he made a departure in light of the brutality in his home state, Gujarat, where self-styled cow protectors flogged seven Dalitswho were skinning a dead cow on July 11.…

This rearguard action may not have been needed if Modi had spoken up earlier when Muslims were being killed – not just flogged – by a similar set of thugs.… In September 2015, a mob in Dadri, an hour’s drive from Delhi, lynched 52-year-old Mohammed Akhlaque on suspicion of eating cow meat. Like with the Una incident, it took Modi many days to comment.… It didn’t matter to him that the accused in Akhlaque’s lynching were associated with his Bhartiya Janata Party. Nor was he outraged at his own ministerial colleagues trivialising the incident.…

Such vigilantes have been assaulting Muslims increasingly often. On July 30, a mob in Muzaffarnagar in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) attacked the house of a Muslim family over cow slaughter. On July 26, a mob at a railway station in central India’s Madhya Pradesh state beat up two Muslim women suspected to be carrying beef. On March 18, two Muslim cattle traders were killed and hanged from a tree in Jharkhand state, neighbouring UP. Last October, a suspected cattle-smuggler – again, a Muslim – was lynched in Himachal Pradesh. At least four Muslim deaths in the name of the cow within a year and Modi was blaming state governments.… In short, Modi’s words of concern for Dalits, while appreciated, make his silence for Muslims ring louder.

http://qz.com/752841/narendra-modis-brotherly-words-for-dalits-make-his-silence-on-muslims-ring-louder/

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Open Season for Bullies – Editorial (Aug 6, 2016, EPW)

The lynch mobs of right-wing Hindu nationalists have become more brazen than before. Lynching is defined as an act of extrajudicial punishment by a group, usually an informal one. Vigilante gangs who take the law into their own hands have been rather active in recent times: from Dadri in Uttar Pradesh when a mob killed Mohammad Akhlaq in September 2015 for allegedly storing beef in his home to July 2016 when four young Dalit men were publicly flogged in Una, Gujarat, on the unsubstantiated suspicion that they had killed a cow.

The lynch mentality that pervades sections of the current ruling regime has gone beyond turning a blind eye towards their supporters who physically attack the weak and the vulnerable. Those in positions of power and authority are tacitly and overtly encouraging the intimidation of those whose views are different from theirs. The message that is being sought to be conveyed is loud and clear: do not meddle with us; we can make your life miserable.…

The likes of Parrikar and Goswami, different as they may appear, are emboldened because of the deafening silence of our otherwise loquacious Prime Minister.… The clear pattern that has emerged today has a context. The “teach them a lesson” mentality led to the massacre of Sikhs in Delhi in November 1984, the killing of Muslims in the wake of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992, especially in Mumbai, and the communal riots in Gujarat in 2002 and in Muzaffarnagar in 2013. When such an attitude is endorsed by those who rule, it becomes open season for those who threaten, maim and murder. Cyberbullying mirrors and becomes reflections of what happens on the ground. The question that needs to be raised: Does Modi’s silence suggest complicity?

http://www.epw.in/journal/2016/32/editorials/open-season-bullies.html

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RSS man who said Una Dalit thrashing was a “law and order problem” is the new Gujarat chief minister – By Rajiv Shah (Aug 5, 2016, Counterview)

…An RSS cadre jailed during the Emergency, one who strongly believes that there has to be a Hindutva backdrop to every political action and developmental policy, Rupani, as state BJP president, however, is seen to be a failure in establishing direct rapport with Dalits, protesting against the thrashing of four Dalit boys for skinning a dead cow on July 11.

Rupani calls the thrashing incident a “law and order problem” which has been “blown out of proportion”, adding caste is “not an issue in Gujarat.” Said a party insider, “The BJP’s Dalit leaders are unhappy, despite belonging to a region where the incident took place (Saurashtra), Rupani never visited Una, nor did he meet the four Dalit victims when they were under treatment in Ahmedabad.”…

Even before a chief minister was announced, (Nitin) Patel ensured that his profile was sent out to newspaper offices, posters welcoming him as chief minister were put up in Mehsana, his home district, and his wife began distributing sweets.…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/08/rss-man-who-said-una-dalit-thrashing-is.html

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Quit India Movement And The Hindutva Gang: A Story Of Betrayal – By Shamsul Islam (Aug 7, 2016, Countercurrents)

This August 8, 2016, we are commemorating the 74th anniversary of the Quit India Movement [QIM].… However, what role the then Hindutva camp – consisting of the Hindu Mahasabha and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – played in the QIM is under wraps for reasons unknown. The Hindutva camp not only opposed QIM but also provided multi-faceted and multi-dimensional support to the British rulers in suppressing this historic mass upsurge. In this connection shocking documents are available; these should be read to be believed. ‘VEER’ SAVARKAR JOINED HANDS WITH THE BRITISH RULERS & MUSLIM LEAGUE IN SUPPRESSING QIM…

While the Congress cadres and large sections of the Indian masses were facing immense repression of the colonial rulers and decided to boycott the state institutions, the Hindu Mahasabha decided to cooperate with the British rulers. The other flag-bearer of Hindutva, the RSS, was not different in its attitude towards the QIM. It openly sided with its mentor ‘Veer’ Savarkar against this great revolt.…

These historical documented facts make it clear that Hindutva gang led by RSS not only betrayed QIM but also rendered great service to the British masters…. Shockingly, this gang is ruling India today describing itself as a symbol of Indian nationalism. We need to convey these facts to the Indians so that these traitors are exposed and charged for crimes committed against India.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/07/quit-india-movement-and-the-hindutva-gang-a-story-of-betrayal/

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GST passed: How fierce conflict between Congress, BJP changed into total consensus (Aug 3, 2016, First Post)

The Monsoon session of Parliament 2016 will go down in history as the one which passed the landmark The Constitution (122nd Amendment) (GST) Bill, 2014 with 203 Ayes and 0 Noes. The AIADMK which had wanted six amendments, as expected walked out after registering their point. All present and voting in Rajya Sabha were for passage of the Bill. No one opposed it.

That meets the constitutional requirement for a constitutional amendment bill – that it shall be passed by no less than half of the members of total strength of the House and no less than two-third of present and voting. Since the Rajya Sabha introduced a few amendments while passing the bill, the Lok Sabha will now have to pass the revised bill before the Monsoon session ends on 12 August. But given the numbers of the NDA in Lower House and all parties arriving at a larger consensus, its passage is not expected to be problematic.

With Congress and BJP moving from totally conflicting positions on the bill over the past few years to arriving at a virtual unanimity, the passage of the bill shall forever be quoted as a test case to all students of politics, economics and law.…

http://www.firstpost.com/business/gst-passed-how-fierce-conflict-between-congress-bjp-changed-into-total-consensus-2933298.html

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Book Review

Indian Nationalism versus Hindu Nationalism: Politics of the RSS Combine

Author: Ram Puniyani (with and Introduction by Richard Boney)
Reviewed by: Dr V Krishna Ananth
Available at: Pharos Media & Publishing Pvt Ltd, D-84 Abul Fazl Enclave-I, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi 110025 INDIA, 2016. Price Rs. 250.. http://www.pharosmedia.com/
Review:
History And Nation Making (Aug 5, 2016, Countercurrents)

…Ram Puniyani’s recent work, which is a revised and expanded version of his earlier work titled Fascism of Sangh Parivar is indeed one that belongs to the league of studies that seek to reiterate the importance of history as well as the pressing need in our times to save history from the hands of the negationist school (the followers of Konrad Elst in other words). That this school is now blessed with resources at the disposal of the state and a wide section of the media has turned into their handmaiden is a reality that calls for concerted attempts on the part of those who care for the democratic foundations of our nation. Puniyani certainly should be counted among those and the book under review is indeed a need of the times.

The concept of nationalism had assumed a lot of importance in the political discourse in the past two decades. L.K.Advani, who had emerged into the prime spokesperson of the Bharathiya Janata Party in the early 1990s (riding the Rath Yatra and thus placing the Ayodhya dispute on the centrestage of the nation’s politics) did not shy away from declaring that the struggle he led was between two approaches to nationalism; and that he represented the idea of cultural nationalism.

Puniyani’s work is an account of these conflicts and the distinct role of the RSS, since its inception, vis a vis the rising tide of nationalism spearheaded by the Indian National Congress. While most of these have been dealt with in works on the nationalist struggle in yesteryears the fact that the nation today is once again confronted by concerted attempts to deny the democratic foundations of this struggle and thus a rewriting of history to represent the idea of India as merely a cultural notion rooted in the Hindutwa context makes such a work necessary as well as a weapon in the struggle for democracy and the centrality of secularism in this trajectory.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/05/indian-nationalism-vs-hindutva-nationalism-politics-of-the-rss-combine/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 20th, 2016

by newsdigest on June 28, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Indian court jails 11 for life over Gujarat massacre of Muslims (Jun 17, 2016, The Telegraph)

An Indian court jailed 11 Hindu attackers for life on Friday for murdering dozens of Muslims in one of the most notorious massacres of the 2002 Gujarat riots that shook India at a time Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the state’s chief minister. The court sentenced 12 others to seven years in jail over the killing of 69 Muslims, while another was handed a 10-year sentence, prosecutors told local television channels after the sentencing.

A Hindu mob scaled the boundary wall of the Gulbarg housing society in Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s largest city, in February 2002 before torching the homes in which Muslim families were trapped. Several victims were children and women who were burned to death. The massacre was one of a series of riots that flared for two months in western Gujarat, killing more than 1,000 people, most of them Muslims.

The riots dogged Mr Modi’s political career for years after he was accused of not doing enough to stop the violence. Mr Modi, a Hindu, denies any wrongdoing and in 2013 a panel appointed by the Supreme Court said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him. An Indian court this month convicted 24 Hindus for their role in the massacre at the Gulbarg housing society while acquitting 36. The trial began in 2009. Zakia Jafri, whose husband and former Congress party legislator, Ehsan, died in the blaze, said Friday’s sentences were insufficient.…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/17/indian-court-jails-11-for-life-over-gujarat-massacre-of-muslims/

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Gulberg verdict: SIT to approach High Court on ‘lenient’ sentencing (Jun 17, 2016, Economic Times)

Special Investigation Team (SIT) counsel in the 2002 Gulberg massacre case, R C Kodekar today expressed dissatisfaction about court’s verdict in the case and announced to approach the High Court, as he felt the sentence was too “lenient”.

Kodekar was upset especially after the court’s refusal to add “till death” clause in the life sentence awarded to 11 convicts in the case. “Today’s verdict is not that satisfactory. We feel the sentence is lenient and inadequate. During arguments, we had appealed to the court that life imprisonment till death should given to all. We are not convinced with the penalty awarded,” said Kodekar. “12 convicts were given only seven years, which is very lenient too. It should be either ten years of life imprisonment,” he said. “We will appeal in the High Court,” said Kodekar.…

The Gulberg Society massacre, which took place here on February 28, 2002 when Narendra Modi was the Gujarat Chief Minister, shook the nation when a mob of 400 people set about attacking the society in the heart of Ahmedabad and killed the 69 residents including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri. It was one of the nine cases of the 2002 Gujarat riots probed by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/52796052.cms

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Ishrat Jahan missing papers: ‘Mere ko ye poochna hai ki aapne ye paper dekha? Aapko kehna hai ki maine ye paper nahi dekha – seedhi si baat hai’ (Jun 17, 2016, Indian Express)

B K Prasad, the Union Home Ministry official who headed the probe into the “missing documents” in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, not only told a witness the questions he would ask but also suggested to him what answers he should give — that he had not seen any of the documents. This coaching of a witness by the man heading the investigation puts a question mark on the integrity of the probe announced in Lok Sabha by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on March 10.…

Prasad then told the officer: “Aapko kehna hai ki ‘Maine ye paper nahi dekha.’ Seedhi si baat hai (You have to say, ‘I have not seen that paper.’ It’s as simple as that).” Prasad told Kumar that the consequences of giving a different reply would be that doubts would be raised about the officer having played a role in the disappearance of the papers.

“Aapko itna toh kehna hoga ki ya toh woh file hi maine kabhi zindagi mein deal nahi kiya, kabhi file ko dekhne ka kabhi mauka hi nahi mila (You will have to, at least, say that either you have never dealt with that file in your life, or have never had a chance to see it)… I don’t think you have seen that file at any point… Bas, that is what I want from you: ‘I have not seen that file at all’,” Prasad told the officer. Prasad also told the officer: “And another question will be, ‘Did anybody give you these documents to be kept separately with you?’ Aap bologe, ‘Nahi, mere ko kisi ne nahi diya.’ (You will say, ‘No, nobody gave them to me’).”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/ishrat-jahan-fake-encounter-case-inquiry-ashok-kumar-2855542/

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Amnesty slams govt decision on Teesta-led NGO (Jun 19, 2016, Deccan Herald)

Amnesty International India on Saturday said the government decision to cancel Teesta Setalvad’s NGO’s licence was due to her work in seeking justice for the victims of the Gujarat riots. The Centre on Thursday cancelled NGO Sabrang Trust’s licence on violation of various FCRA rules, which means it will not be able to collect foreign funds.

Seeking revocation of the decision against Teesta Setalvad-led NGO, Amnesty said it was “not a coincidence” that the most prominent use of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010, has been against NGOs “who seek to hold the government accountable” for its actions.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) appears to be persecuting Sabrang for its founders’ work in seeking justice for the 2002 Gujarat riots’ victims,” Amnesty executive director Aakar Patel said in a statement. “This pattern of using the FCRA as a pretext to go after NGOs that don’t toe the government line needs to stop. The government must end its NGO witch-hunt,” Patel said. Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand were among those who had helped a section of victims fight the then Gujarat government then led by Narendra Modi.…

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/553112/amnesty-slams-govt-decision-teesta.html

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Malegaon blast: Victims object to Pragya’s bail plea (Jun 17, 2016, Hindustan Times)

The court set up to hear the 2008 Malegaon blast case on Friday allowed an application by the victims, objecting to Pragya Singh’s bail application. Advocate Sharif Shaikh, representing the victims also questioned the probe of the National Investigation Agency (NIA). On May 13, the NIA had submitted a supplementary chargesheet giving a clean chit to six accused, including Pragya, and also recommended that all the charges against them be dropped.

The central agency said the shoddy probe by Maharashtra authorities forced the U-turn. It added that the provisions of the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) were not applicable to the case. After getting a clean chit from the NIA, Pragya had applied for bail. Her advocate J P Mishra had on May 30 filed a bail application on the ground that the NIA had not pressed charges against her owing to a lack of evidence, and because of her deteriorating health.

The defense pleaded that she had no knowledge of how her motorbike was used in the blast and said she had never given her consent for this. He said that the bike had been sold long before the incident. Meanwhile, 64-year old businessman Nisar Bilal had on June 8 moved an application before the special court seeking to include the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) as a party to the case and to hear the agency that had booked Pragya in the blast case.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai/malegaon-blast-victims-object-to-pragya-s-bail-plea/story-lGOer0pcET88YepKFdCkEM.html

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Sangeet Som’s yatra: SP corners PM Modi, rakes up Gujarat riots (Jun 17, 2016, Times of India)

Uttar Pradesh PWD Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav on Friday attempted to corner Prime Minister Narendra Modi over BJP MLA Sangeet Som’s “Paidal Nirbhay Yatra” across Uttar Pradesh to assure safety to the Hindu families from Kairana village of Shamli district and said that the duo must worry about bringing back the people, who fled during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

“Many people migrated after the Gujarat riots. Sangeet Som and Prime Minister Narendra Modi should first worry about them. Prime Minister Modi must first bring back the people, who fled during the Gujarat riots,” Yadav told a press conference here. He claimed the Uttar Pradesh Government has intelligence reports which suggest that there was no exodus from Kairana.

“The people have left the place in search for jobs. We will not let the BJP vitiate the atmosphere here. We have intelligence reports to prove that there was no exodus in Kairana,” he added. Yadavb further said the BJP MLA was attempting to vitiate the atmosphere in Uttar Pradesh, adding strict action would be initiated against such elements.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/52794695.cms

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Seers visit Kairana, slam BJP’s ‘politics of hate’ (Jun 20, 2016, Times of India)

A team of Hindu seers on Sunday visited Kairana to probe allegations by BJP MP Hukum Singh that 346 Hindu families had fled the small town due to persecution. Swami Chakrapani, one of the five seers who visited Kairana, slammed BJP for playing the “communal card”.

Swami Chakrapani, president of Akhil Bharatiya Sant Mahasabha, told TOI that Hindus and Muslims alike had been worried about rising crime there. Samajwadi Party member and UP cabinet minister Shiv pal Yadav on Friday had suggested that a team of “apolitical” Hindu seers ascertain the facts on the ground.

The team of seers also included Akhil Bharatiya Sant Mahasabha’s Haryana president Swami Kalyan, president of Sant Samiti Devendranand Saraswati, founder of Shri Kalki Foundation Pramod Krishnam and Swami Chinmayanand of the Sant Mahasabha.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/52825810.cms

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Latest gem from BJP leader: Saffronisation and sanghwad are inevitable, says Union Minister Katheria (Jun 19, 2016, First Post)

At a time when the Narendra Modi-led central government has come under immense criticism over Raghuram Rajan’s announcement in his farewell letter that he will not be renewing his term after September, this BJP leader is not making matters any easier for the party.

In a classic foot-in-mouth situation, Union Minister Ram Shankar Katheria on Saturday said that ‘bhagwakaran’ (saffronisation) of education will definitely take place in India. Speaking at an event, Katheria, who is Minister of State in the HRD ministry, went on to say that saffronisation and ‘sanghwad’ will be good for the country and is inevitable.

“Reporters told us that some people are saying that our government is saffronising education in the country. I am saying this today: Saffronisation will definitely take place in education and in the country,” said Katheria.…

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/saffronisation-and-sanghwad-are-inevitable-says-union-minister-rs-katheria-2843654.html

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Smriti Irani Heckled and Boo-ed in Bhagalpur Bihar: Rohith Vemula Haunts the Modi Regime (Jun 18, 2016, Sabrang India)

When Smriti Irani visited Bhagalpur town in Bihar, people protested against her visit and shouted slogans of ‘Amar Rahe, Rohith Vemula’. This happened on June 16, 2016 it is reported.

Protesters in Bhagalpur said Smriti Irani is as responsible as the other five culprits booked for Rohith’s death because she misused her position of responsibility and exerted pressure on University administration to persecute the five Dalit research scholars. Smriti Irani acted upon the letter given to her by the BJP Union Minister Bandaru Dattatraya in which he labelled University of Hyderabad as “a den of casteists, extremists and anti-nationals”.

Smriti Irani should be sacked from the MHRD minister’s post immediately and all the five culprits must be arrested immediately, the protesters demanded. The students movement across the country has been calling the minister ‘Manusmriti Irani’ since the ‘institutional murder’ of Rohith Vemula.

https://www.sabrangindia.in/ann/smriti-irani-heckled-and-boo-ed-bhagalpur-bihar-rohith-vemula-haunts-modi-regime

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Police officer suspended for third degree interrogation of girl in Jharkhand (Jun 18, 2016, Businesss Standard)

In a case of alleged police brutality, a Class 10 girl student fell unconscious and had to be hospitalised after she was interrogated for more than 10 hours at a police station in Jharkhand’s Latehar district. The girl remained unconscious for more than 70 hours after the questioning by police on June 14 at Manika Police Station in Latehar.

According to doctors treating the girl, she may take some more days to recover. “She may take two to four days to recover,” said Umesh Kumar, a doctor treating the girl in RIMS.

Latehar Superintendent of Police Anup Birthare has suspended Sub-Inspector Ram Pravesh Sharma posted at Manika Police Station after he was found guilty of questioning the girl for more than 10 hours inside the police station without the presence of a woman police constable or even her parents.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/police-officer-suspended-for-third-degree-interrogation-of-girl-in-jharkhand-116061800348_1.html

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Opinions and Editorials

US-Modi Bonhomie – By Abdul Majid Zargar (Jun 15, 2016, Countercurrents)

There has been a steady increase in Indo-US bonhomie ever since Narendra Modi took over as the Prime Minister of India. During his two years in chair, he has taken long strides than his predecessors in reducing the distance and increasing convergence in the strategic perspectives of the two supposedly democracies. During his latest visit to US, Modi has received a thunderous applause to his forty five minute speech to the joint session of US congress during which he is reported to have received extraordinary number of clappings & standing ovations.

The rousing reception begs a very important question. Has the US, which positions itself as a champion of human rights around the world, forgotten or forgiven Modi for his complicit role in killing minority Muslims thus committing grave crimes against humanity during Gujarat riots 2002. The question is important because in its answer lies the future survival of democracy as a best model which respects human rights.…

Modi’s Complicity in Gujarat riots is well researched & adequately documented. The latest addition to the existing implicative material on the subject is Rana Ayub’s book ‘Gujrat files- Anatomy of a cover-up’. Prior to that Manoj Mitta’s book ‘The fiction of fact finding’ & Sreekumar’s Book ‘Gujrat behind the Curtain’ have provided ample evidence of Modi’s involvement through his acts of omission & commission. Not to speak of Teesta Setalvad’s material compiled after untiring efforts and Tehlka’s sting operations conducted in 2007.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/zargar150616.htm

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As election season approaches in UP, BJP moves in to communalise everything it can – By Shoaib Daniyal (Jun 20, 2016, Scroll.in)

On Saturday, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ram Shakar Katheria said that it was inevitable that saffronisation will proceed, both in the education sector as well as of India as a whole – and that this is a fine thing. Katheria is no ordinary leader. He is a minister in the Narendra Modi government. His words, like the exculpation of the Dadri beef murder by Union minister Mahesh Sharma, carry some significance. Clearly, this sort of statement is a prelude to the keenly contested 2017 Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh.

And this isn’t the only indication of the party’s strategy for the state. The BJP is continuing to attempt to make the alleged exodus of Hindus from Kairana a point of contention. The controversy was sparked last fortnight when a party MP produced a list of people who had purportedly been forced out of the town by Muslim criminals. Pro-government media such as Zee News went to town with these claims, comparing the situation to Kashmir in the 1990s. The only problem? There was no exodus.…

Uttar Pradesh is the country’s largest state, home to one out of six Indians. It is also desperately poor. Even Bihar, the poster boy of India’s poverty for much of the recent past, seems to have turned the corner. In such an environment, it seems naked communalisation is the only way to do politics in the state. It was true when the BJP was rising on the back of the Ram Janmabhoomi campaign to demolish the Babri Masjid in the late 1980s. Today, three decades later, even with a BJP government in Delhi, it still seems to hold true.

http://scroll.in/article/810261/the-daily-fix-as-election-season-approaches-in-up-bjp-moves-in-to-communalise-everything-it-can

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Gulberg Judgment: It’s doubtful that punishments handed out match up to the magnitude of the crime – Editorial (Jun 20, 2016, Times of India)

…While the court found 24 out of the 60 accused guilty in the horrific rampage that tortured and murdered 69 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, it said that the accused deserved “a second chance to reform and rehabilitate”. Indian authorities are often not sufficiently tough on supposedly ‘spontaneous’ communal riots, which is one reason why they recur. It’s difficult to say this judgment has broken with that tradition of leniency.

In contrast to the strong words expressed in the Naroda Patia verdict, criminal conspiracy has been ruled out in the Gulberg case, as though it was a spontaneous eruption of anger after the Godhra killings. The judgment has also held that Jafri’s firing of a gun was what triggered the mob’s violent frenzy, thus denying him the right to self-defence.…

This paper has reported eyewitness accounts of how Jafri was stripped, his fingers and limbs methodically chopped off, before he was thrown into a fire. Even if Jafri fired in self-defence when faced with an armed mob, it strains credulity that one man’s gun provoked violence on this scale. The Gujarat carnage of 2002 has resulted in 140 convictions, but the process has been tortuous and opaque. The lower judiciary, police and administrators were complicit in tampering with evidence, destroying trails and forcing witnesses to turn hostile. This judgment is unlikely to bring a sense of closure to victims of the Gulberg massacre.

http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/toi-editorials/gulberg-judgment-its-doubtful-that-punishments-handed-out-match-up-to-the-magnitude-of-the-crime/

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Sacking Raghuram Rajan: It is intolerance again – By Anil Sharma (Jun 20, 2016, Free Press Journal)

As the RBI governor Raghuram Rajan conveyed to the central bank’s employees in a letter that was placed on the bank’s website for wider circulation: “… I want to share with you that I will be returning to academia when my term as Governor ends on September 4, 2016”, he was in effect announcing his dismissal by the Modi Sarkar. To interpret this as anything else is to rob the BJP’s battering ram Subramanian Swamy of his rightful claim to brag that he has had the RBI governor, a mere government employee, dismissed. For Swamy it was a command performance executed at the behest of his boss the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Lest anyone has any doubts on this count as well, Swamy provided the clinching evidence by acknowledging on twitter that “…. my admiration for Namo has gone up hugely: media, industrialists, and international bureaucrats piled on him for R3 but he did not bend.” For the uninitiated ones R3 is swamyspeak for Raghuram Rajan. The reference “did not bend” prompts a query as to when the decision to sack Rajan was taken? Before Swamy got into the act or after?…

It was not difficult to visualise the strong disapproval of such a person. This was the intolerance of another variety. It is something that places conformism over merit. It is neither difficult to see the logic. “We can find brilliant men dime a dozen, but they have to be conformists,” is the way it runs. Lest, we may forget one such classmate of the ‘sacked governor’ happens to be Jayant Sinha, the minister of state for finance.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/editorspick/sacking-rajan-it-is-intolerance-again-anil-sharma/874440

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BJP’s Doublespeak on Terror – By Gurpreet Singh (Jun 21, 2016, Sabrang India)

…The Hindu ‘nationalist’ (read supremacist) Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) which is currently in power was in the opposition at that time. The so called secular Congress government too tried to play down the involvement of Hindu extremists initially as it wanted to isolate Pakistan internationally for sponsoring terrorism. The truth however cannot and could not be buried. As the complicity of the Hindu extremists became apparent, the BJP reacted sharply and accused the Congress government of defaming the Hindu community.…

Notably, the BJP government is known for its tough anti terror stance, but this is weakened or stands exposed when it comes to dealing with the terrorists from within their lot. It is pertinent to mention that the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi was seen in the company of one of the Samjhauta blast accused Swami Aseemanand in Gujarat where he was previously the Chief Minister.

Aseemanand is an ascetic who ran a camp in Gujarat that worked aggressively to covert Christians into Hinduism. It was during Modi’s tenure as chief minister that an anti Muslim massacre took place in 2002. Modi had also publicly opposed the arrests of Hindu extremists in connection with terrorism.…

https://www.sabrangindia.in/article/bjp%E2%80%99s-doublespeak-terror

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Ishrat Jahan: After the Fake Encounter, a ‘Phoney’ Probe – By Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta (Jun 16, 2016, The Wire)

If there is one case that exposes the fragility of Indian democracy in recent times, it is the killing of Ishrat Jahan in 2004.… Human rights activists have decried her killing as a fake encounter; the Congress’s flip-flop – initially calling her a terrorist and then a victim of a fake encounter – has triggered suspicion over its intentions. The BJP, quite naturally, has been the only party to support the Gujarat government’s action, given the fact that party president Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat at the time of Ishrat’s killing, have directly or indirectly been implicated in the case since the probe began.

At no point of time has the probe functioned in a transparent manner. Depending on their political agenda, officials and politicians have leaked selective information about the case to establish their views, leading to highly polarised and uninformed opinions on the matter. This opacity showed of yet again when a senior home ministry official, B.K. Prasad, who headed an official probe into the case documents that have gone missing, was captured on tape by an Indian Express reporter trying to doctor his own investigation. Prasad retired from service after his probe began but has been given an extension.…

Even 12 years after Ishrat’s killing, the case is still in limbo, despite an SIT probe and a magistrate’s report implicating the Gujarat police. As long as they are not found, the ‘missing documents’ will allow the BJP to turn what is a straightforward case of custodial murder into a political football that can be kicked around to discredit the Congress and divert attention away from the original crime. The question the BJP will have to answer is why it had to manipulate the probe into the missing papers if it was certain the Congress’s second affidavit was false and politically motivated.…

http://thewire.in/43322/ishrat-jahan-after-the-fake-encounter-a-phoney-probe/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 6th, 2016

June 16, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Narendra Modi’s US visa secure despite Gujarat riots guilty verdicts U.S. senators attack India’s human rights record before Modi’s Capitol Hill address Delhi’s Special Cell court discharges ‘Lashkar operative’ accused of facilitating infiltration, says no admissible evidence Inside a far-right Hindu ‘self defence’ training camp Who is […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 30th, 2016

June 11, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Sting claims political pressure in Gujarat riots Modi “decided” to bring dead bodies from Godhra to Ahmedabad, triggering 2002 riots: Gujarat bureaucrat Scribe’s Book ‘Validates Cbi’s Evidence’ In Guj Fake Encounters AAP minister alleges RSS members threatened street artists in Delhi Tripura textbook omits Indian history of […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 9th, 2016

May 27, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines USCIRF till 2013 held ‘considerable cloud on Modi’ of Gujarat riots Mr. Modi, your hands are stained with blood: M A Baby Jawaharlal Nehru Removed From Class VIII Textbook In Rajasthan: Report Gujarat has over a third of India’s Muslim detainees Ishrat Jahan encounter: Gujarat HC wants […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 4th, 2016

April 12, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Indian Americans condemn Saudi award for Prime Minister Modi News Headlines Human Rights Watch asks European Union to tell Modi to “stop harassing” civil society, minorities, Dalits Pathankot attack ‘stage-managed’ by India, claim Pak media reports; Opposition slams Modi SIO: Cops tried to slap false charges Murder case: […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 28th, 2016

April 3, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Gurbani Samagam depicts communal harmony News Headlines Modi under fire as middle-class India still awaits ‘Achhe din’ Kanhaiya compares ‘onslaught on universities’ to Gujarat riots Was Delhi dentist Dr Narang lynched to death by Muslims? Or is RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal giving it a communal spin? Madrassa […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 28th, 2015

January 2, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup  Communal Harmony They pray for peace and communal harmony News Headlines Congress didn’t let Sonia meet Zakia Jafri after riots: 2002 ‘whistleblower’ BJP MLA & MP involved in spreading communal tensions in Shamli; were present on dais when Prophet Muhammad was ridiculed BJP leader’s son Vishal Rana and cousin […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 21st, 2015

December 26, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Muslim man in Madhya Pradesh left his marriage midway to perform final rituals of a Hindu girl Seminar on communal harmony held in the capital News Headlines Army intelligence had filmed razing of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya: Sharad Pawar Gujarat government yet to furnish details of beneficiaries […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 21st, 2015

September 23, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Indian widow fights Modi in ‘final’ court battle over deadly riots Sanatan Sanstha under scanner: Hindu outfit man held for killing of veteran CPI leader Govind Pansare Sunil Joshi murder: charges framed against Sadhvi Pragya, 7 others Jhabua blast accused Rajendra Kasawa arrested: Report Hindu Yuva Vahini […]

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