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Gujarat riots

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 28th, 2015

by newsdigest on January 2, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup 

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

They pray for peace and communal harmony (Dec 26, 2015, The Hindu)

The bells tolled, the priests led special mass, the faithful recited prayers and there was a measured celebration all round as Christians heralded the birth of Christ in a revered manner in the dioceses of Thanjavur and Kumbakonam.…

Children dressed as angels brought the icon of Infant Jesus and handed over to the Rector who placed it in the crib. Thousands of devotees offered prayers during the midnight mass when world peace was sought and the victims of the recent floods were remembered.

Significantly, separate mass were held in Tamil, English, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi. Hundreds of faithful from the region congregated at the Poondi Madha Basilica where Rector A. Amirthasamy celebrated the special midnight Christmas Mass in the presence of Vice-Rector Rev. Alphonse. Those who gathered for the prayers shared sweets even as they prayed for world peace and communal harmony.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/they-pray-for-peace-and-communal-harmony/article8030653.ece

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Congress didn’t let Sonia meet Zakia Jafri after riots: 2002 ‘whistleblower’ (Dec 28, 2015, Indian Express)

Congress president Sonia Gandhi planned to visit Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the post-Godhra riots of 2002, but was prevented from doing so by party leaders, claims retired DGP R B Sreekumar, in his book Gujarat: Behind the Curtain which was released last week.…

Terming the conduct of the Congress leadership at the state and Centre during the course and aftermath of the riots as “quite vacillatingly obnoxious”, Sreekumar writes, “Soulless secularism and over-sensitivity to Hindu sentiments presumably prompted Congress leaders to block the plans of Congress president Sonia Gandhi to visit Zakia Jafri… during her Gujarat visit after the riots, for expressing condolence.”…

The former police officer accuses the UPA government of “not releasing copies of letters sent by President K R Narayanan to Prime Minister A B Vajpayee on Gujarat riots”, and of not providing reports of the Central intelligence bureau to the judicial commission probing the riots. He alleges that the Manmohan Singh regime also ignored demands for a separate judicial commission to probe the chief minister (Modi).…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/congress-didnt-let-sonia-meet-zakia-jafri-after-riots-2002-whistleblower/

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BJP MLA & MP involved in spreading communal tensions in Shamli; were present on dais when Prophet Muhammad was ridiculed (Dec 28, 2015, India.com)

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit in Uttar Pradesh faces yet another allegation of stoking communal tensions in the state, as two of its senior most leaders are reported to be lately involved in spreading hatred against Muslim community in the sensitive region of Shamli. BJP MP Hukum Singh and MLA Suresh Rana are accused of being involved in the mahapanchayat organized on Friday, where an influential sadhu Jasveer Maharaj went on to make defamatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad, apart from ridiculing the local Muslims.

Uttar Pradesh police swung into action, after infuriated Muslims gheraoed the Kandhla police station, demanding FIR against Hukum Singh, Suresh Rana and Jasveer Maharaj. Local Muslim cleric Ahtramul Hasan demanded demanded charges of NSA being labelled against them.

Kairana MP Singh, and Thana Bhawan MLA Rana (both constituents of Shamli) were present on dais when, Swami Jasveer Maharaj went into vitriolic mode and delivered inflammatory speech against Prophet Muhammad.…Jasveer Maharaj, who heads the Hindu ashram in Shamli warned Muslims in the locality of dire consequences if they do not mend their ways. “They should remember what Hindus did to them in Kawal and Meerapur (during 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots) where thousands of Muslims were rushed into refugee camps within 16 hours.”

http://www.india.com/news/india/bjp-mla-were-present-on-dais-when-prophet-muhammad-was-ridiculed-817822/

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BJP leader’s son Vishal Rana and cousin named ‘main conspirators’ in Dadri lynching chargesheet (Dec 24, 2015, First Post)

Nearly three months after Mohammed Akhlaq, 52, was beaten to death and his son almost crippled by a mob in Dadri for allegedly storing beef in their refrigerator at home, Gautambudh Nagar police on Wednesday filed a chargesheet against 15 people, including a minor, but there was no mention of beef in it. What is there though, is the name of Vishal Rana, son of a local BJP leader, and cousin Shivam as the main conspirators who led the mob to Akhlaq’s house and assaulted the family, reports The Indian Express.

Akhlaq died in a Noida hospital. Danish is recovering after severe head injuries and complicated surgery. Akhlaq’s daughter, Shaishta, has been made the prime witness in the case. “Charge sheet has been filed against 15 persons. Additional charge sheet will be filed against few more persons whose names figured in the statement of Akhlaq’s daughter, Shaishta, recorded before the court. Two persons were arrested today while two others are absconding,” deputy superintendent of police Anurag Singh said.

“Forensic report is yet to be received on whether the meat sample taken from the fridge of the deceased’s house was that of goat or cow. In the chargesheet it is stated that the accused persons had attacked the house of Akhlaq after announcement from the temple about cow slaughtering. The accused had found pieces of meat stored in fridge and they had claimed it to be that of beef,” Singh said.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/bjp-leaders-son-vishal-rana-named-in-dadri-lynching-chargesheet-2557944.html

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Worry About ‘Your ISIS’, BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav Tells Muslim Al Jazeera Anchor (Dec 26, 2015, Huffington Post)

BJP’s national general secretary Ram Madhav may have set the party up for embarrassment during an interview with Al Jazeera presenter and journalist Mehdi Hasan. Ironically, Madhav had clearly agreed to be a part of a segment titled, ‘Is Modi’s India flirting with fascism?’ to defend the government against such allegations.

During the course of the interview, Madhav told the Muslim anchor, ‘your ISIS’ while trying to make a point about his apprehensions about the terror group acquiring nuclear weapons. Hasan, not willing to let go easily, exclaimed, ‘My ISIS’ thrice, as Madhav fumbled and tried to correct his course. The BJP leader didn’t apologise but went on to explain, ‘What I was trying to say is ISIS…’ However, the damage had been done.…

At the beginning, Hasan asked about the instances of communal violence in the country and atrocities against minorities, citing government data. However, Madhav sought to correct him saying it was wrong data. When Hasan retorted that he was quoting government data, the BJP leader said that the anchor had old data and new figures showed that violence against minorities had declined during Modi’s tenure. Hasan persisted with his argument and reminded Madhav that the National Crime Records Bureau had questioned the said ‘new’ data.…

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2015/12/26/ram-madhav_0_n_8878510.html

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Bajrang Dal leader arrested for threatening on Facebook to rape and kill social worker (Dec 29, 2015, First Post)

A local Bajrang Dal leader has been arrested for allegedly posting hate comments on Facebook against a social worker who had filed a police complaint against the outfit for ‘stalling’ the screening of Shah Rukh Khan-starrerDilwale at three theatres in Mangaluru. Mangaluru East (Kadri) police arrested Puneet Raj Kottari, the city co-convener of Bajrang Dal, following a complaint against him and 21 others by Vidya Dinker, said police commissioner S Murugan.

Activists of the right-wing outfit had stopped the screening of the film at theatres here from 20 December in protest against Khan’s comments on intolerance in the country. Dinker, in her complaint, said that the Facebook page ‘Veera Kesari’ and its followers had uploaded remarks threatening to physically assault, rape and kill her.

Based on the complaint, a case was registered at the Kadri police station and the arrest came on Saturday last. Dinker, the co-ordinator of Citizens Forum for Mangalore Development, had lodged a complaint against unidentified Bajrang Dal activists for disrupting the screening of Dilwale.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/bajrang-dal-leader-arrested-for-threatening-on-facebook-to-rape-and-kill-social-worker-2563426.html

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UP Min says there was a pact between RSS and then PM in Babri demolition (Dec 25, 2015, UNI India)

Uttar Pradesh Minorities Welfare Minister and Samajwadi Party’s firebrand leader Mohammad Azam Khan today alleged that there was a confidential pact between the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao and Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) over the subject of demolition of Babri mosque in Ayodhya.

Mr Khan, while talking to mediapersons here, said security persons were on the spot on December 6, 1992, when the mosque was being demolished but due to this pact they did not do anything.

“I am not accusing the security persons but this is a historical fact,” said Mr Khan.

http://www.uniindia.com/up-min-says-there-was-a-pact-between-rss-and-then-pm-in-babri-demolition/states/news/320794.html

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‘BJP is wiping off Muslim culture’ from textbooks (Dec 26, 2015, Times of India)

Congress national minorities president Khurshid Ahmed accused the state BJP for wiping off the culture and history of Muslims from state textbooks in Ajmer on Friday. Ahmed is on a tour of Rajasthan to consolidate minorities votes which drifted away to BJP in state assembly and Lok Sabha polls.

“This is very disturbing to hear that state education department has dropped most of the chapters by Muslim and foreign authors. Rajasthan government is following the line of Central government’s saffronization of education agenda,” said Ahmed who vowed to challenge every unconstitutional move made by this government.

He charged the state government of neglecting the rights of minorities, scheduled tribes and scheduled caste. “This government is working on vengeance by silently spoiling the developmental work carried out by the Gehlot government like free medicines, laptops to students and tribal development,” said Ahmed who hinted that Congress central leadership will not leave the Union finance minister Arun Jaitley scam involving DDCA.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50329575.cms

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Minority groups unhappy with Maha’s de-radicalisation of youth plan (Dec 25, 2015, Hindustan Times)

The Maharashtra government has run into opposition from Muslim scholars and social activists to its ‘de-radicalisation’ programme aimed at youth from the community. Much of the opposition is to the term “de-radicalisation”, which critics say amounts to labelling a community.

“De-radicalisation implies that Muslim youth are radicalised. This is something unacceptable as we do not think any particular community has been radicalised,” was the common refrain at a meeting the government held with Muslim scholars at Mantralaya, the state secretariat, recently. Among those present were MahmoodUr-Rahman, PA Inamdar, Abdul Shaban, and Maulana Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi.

Inamdar, a noted educationist, said, “We are not against the measures being taken to bring the community into mainstream, but our objection is to the way it is projected. I don’t think the youth from any particular community are radicalised. Extremism does exist among youth to a certain extent, irrespective of community and religion. Fringe instances of youth running away from home for various reasons cannot be termed radicalisation.”…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/minority-groups-unhappy-with-maha-s-de-radicalisation-of-youth-plan/story-fMLvUPuGOLepSI2IwaYh0O.html

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Press Council notice to Organiser for ‘mocking’ Kerala on beef issue (Dec 23, 2015, The Hindu)

When the RSS mouthpiece Organiser published an article, Kerala: God’s Own Country or Godless Country, on November 15, its contents caused a furore in the State, with parties across the board condemning the article. Many saw it as mocking the people and fomenting communal trouble in the State.

On a complaint from the Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad, the Press Council of India served a show-cause notice on Prafulla Ketkar, Editor of Organiser, on December 16. He has been given 14 days to respond.

The article, written by Surendra Nathan, a Mumbai-based lawyer, not only mocked the “irreligious” attitude in the State but also cast aspersions on the youth, especially the Muslim community.…

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/press-council-notice-to-organiser-for-mocking-kerala-on-beef-issue/article8019515.ece

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SC/ST bill passed in RS: Barring Dalits from temples is now a crime (Dec 22, 2015, Hindustan Times)

Calling a Dalit person publicly by the name of his or her caste, stopping a Dalit or a tribal person from entering a temple or even forcing them to vote in favour of a particular candidate will soon land the perpetrator behind bars.

The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2014 became one of the few pieces of legislation to buck the deadlock in Parliament when the Rajya Sabha passed it on Monday.

The bill, earlier passed by the Lok Sabha, is touted as a major step to curb crime against Dalits and tribals in a country where atrocities against these the vulnerable sections frequently hit the headlines.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/sc-st-bill-passed-in-rs-barring-dalits-from-temple-is-now-a-crime/story-6WfG8xMmDmNiaY2BeDtNYI.html

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Opinions and Editorials

It’s Time to Recall the Other Gujarat Model – By Sarim Naved (Dec 28, 2015, The Wire)

The real opposition during Narendra Modi’s tenure as chief minister of Gujarat did not come from the Congress party. The Congress, famously absent from the ground in Gujarat, abdicated the opposition space to civil society. Members of civil society who were activists, journalists, lawyers and people from all walks of life, used the judicial system to bring home their charges against the then Gujarat government, which now forms the core of the Central government. They received unexpected support from Gujarat government officials, especially police officers like Rahul Sharma, R.B. Sreekumar and later Sanjeev Bhatt, who deposed before the Commission of Inquiry regarding the government’s culpability in the 2002 riots.

These officers were later joined by other police officers like Satish Verma (member, SIT for the Ishrat Jahan Encounter case and seconded to the Central Bureau of Investigation for the investigation as per High Court orders), Rajnish Rai (initial investigator for the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case and responsible for the first arrests of high ranking police officers) and Kuldip Sharma (responsible for pursuing a corruption case which involved Amit Shah – the Rs 1200 crore Madhavpura Mercantile Co-operative Bank case).…

The reason so many cases are filed against the official and unofficial opposition is to simply tire the government’s opponents out. All the officers mentioned above challenged the treatment meted out to them and won. This was the reason for repeated allegations and proceedings against them. The idea is to wear down the opponent, drain him or her physically and financially so that there is no energy left to oppose. The fact that the government is seeking to prosecute somebody is also used as an excuse to discredit them when they speak against the government. These are early days but it does seem as if the Gujarat model of dealing with opponents and critics is becoming a part of the Modi government’s armoury at the Centre.

http://thewire.in/2015/12/28/its-time-to-recall-the-other-gujarat-model-17555/

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Stones and strategies – Editorial (Dec 25, 2015, The Tribune)

Since Uttar Pradesh is due to have its state assembly polls in or before February 2017, no one should be surprised over reports of renewed ‘mandir construction activity’ in Ayodhya. A promise of a much-promised ‘Ram Mandir’ in Ayodhya has been the BJP’s principal electoral ruse, especially in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP leadership now finds itself in a bind.

On the one hand it has to appease the Hindutva right-wing, whose raw energy and anger it had harvested cynically and calculatedly for electoral purposes. In its politics of Hindu vote-bank, the BJP has to keep humouring the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other aggressive hard-line outfits; from time to time, various BJP leaders assert that the party remains unwaveringly committed to a ‘grand’ temple in Ayodhya. On the other hand, in order to move out of its political isolation, post-Babri Masjid demolition, the BJP has promised its National Democratic Alliance partners to shift the ‘mandir’ issue on to the back-burner.

All these years the BJP could conceitedly tell its ultra-ardent Hindutva fringe that this back-burnering of the ‘Ram Mandir’ was a compulsion because the party lacked a parliamentary majority. However, now the BJP does command an impressive majority in the Lok Sabha. Uttar Pradesh had contributed handsomely to Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha tally. Hence, the reported ‘construction activity’ at Ayodhya has to be seen as the Mandir crowd’s growing desire to encash its IOU. Just as the BJP has played games with the Mandir activists, they too sense a chance in view of the assembly elections.…

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/editorials/stones-and-strategies/174871.html

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What Dadri tells us about the toll that intolerance can take on friendship – By Maaz Bin Bilal (Dec 26, 2015, Scroll.in)

Minutes before Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched by a mob baying for his supposedly beef-nourished blood, he called up childhood friend Manoj Sisodia for help.

Sisodia, as the name suggests, is a Hindu. That Akhlaq, a Muslim who feared death at the hands of Hindus, chose to call his Hindu friend says something about the social fabric on which India was mapped.

We cannot emphasise enough the significance of this friendship in the current milieu – not only to enhance its constitutive value for Indian democracy, but also to understand and make majoritarian fundamentalists understand how they are consistently hacking away even at what they consider their own.…

http://scroll.in/article/774194/what-dadri-tells-us-about-the-toll-that-intolerance-can-take-on-friendship

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Communal bias – By T. K. Rajalakshmi (Jan 8, 2016, Frontline)

…Mohammad Aamir Khan, accused of masterminding the bomb blasts that occurred in Delhi, Ghaziabad and Rohtak in 1996-97, has spent 10 years in the Tihar Jail (Delhi), three and a half years in the Dasna jail (Ghaziabad) and, lastly, six to eight months in the Rohtak jail (Haryana). He has been acquitted in two cases for want of evidence. His incarceration since the age of 18 has made him understand what is wrong with Indian prisons and why there is little scope for prison reform. “I have been asked about my conviction and how I plan to rehabilitate myself, but no one has asked me about life inside prison. When I think about it, there is a lot to say,” he said.…

The refrain of the undertrials Frontline spoke to was that there was an unholy nexus between jail administrations and local police stations. They wondered how in spite of multiple layers of security, deadly weapons were smuggled into prisons. One of them even said that many murders had taken place in the jails, but there was no way of cross-checking them. “How is it that surgical blades, smack, mobiles and knives reach the inmates?” one of them asked.…

According to a report on prisons, Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis make up more than half of India’s jail population. While the proportion of these three communities as a percentage of the overall population is only 39 per cent, they comprise around 53 per cent of the prisoner population. Jail reforms are one crucial component of the overall justice delivery system, and no society calling itself civilised can afford to ignore that.

http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/communal-bias/article8017665.ece

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Horror and holy cows – By Tavleen Singh (Dec 27, 2015, Indian Express)

This is the last column of 2015. So I planned to analyse the achievements and failures that marked Narendra Modi’s second year as Prime Minister. But on the morning of my deadline, an account of the murder of Mohammad Akhlaq appeared on the front page of this newspaper in the words of his daughter Shaista. She described how 15 or 20 men came into their house on the night of September 28 and started sprinkling kerosene around, before they dragged her father and brother out into the street. “They were saying if you tell the police we will kill you too,” she said in a statement given to a magistrate.

Shaista has identified 15 of the people who came that night, and confirmed that her father was killed because of a rumour spread from the village temple that a cow had been killed. Mohammad Akhlaq was not killed by a mob. His killers have been identified and some are related to local BJP leaders. If these leaders continue to remain in the BJP, then the fear that the hysteria over beef had the Prime Minister’s tacit support will be horribly proved.…

It was not just the murder of Mohammad Akhlaq that damaged India’s image as a nation, but the hysteria in general. As someone who has written before in this space that the whole ‘growing intolerance’ debate was fraudulent, may I end the year by saying as clearly as possible that it shamed me as an Indian to have to discuss cows in a political column. So please Prime Minister can you begin the year by throwing out of the BJP the local leaders in Dadri whose relations killed Mohammad Akhlaq. It will help assuage the anger we felt at your silence over so awful a killing.

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/fifth-column-horror-and-holy-cows-narendra-modi-dadri-lynching-beef-ban-hindutva-violence-mohammad-akhlaq/

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How Modi Validated Vendetta – By R.K. Misra (Dec 23, 2015, Outlook)

Cold Delhi sizzled on December 15 as the Central Bureau of Investigations(CBI) sought to ‘marinate’ the Delhi Chief Minister’s Office in a controversial raid that saw temperatures soaring in Parliament and fingers pointed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for resorting to such a practice. After Himachal Pradesh, this is the second Chief Minister or his office to be targeted by the Narendra Modi led BJP government in its less than two-year-long tenure.

Interestingly just around the time that the CBI was pursuing the raid on the Delhi chief minister’s office, far away in Gujarat’s capital of Gandhinagar, a court was issuing a bailable warrant against minister Purshottam Solanki in an alleged Rs 400 crore fisheries scam during the time when he was a minister in the government headed by chief minister Narendra Modi. In fact, two of his ministers figure in this case, the other being Dilip Sanghani who was then agriculture minister.…

It would be in order for those in high places to pause and ponder, for the politics of vendetta is the only scrip that guarantees manifold ‘returns’ . What goes around, eventually comes around.

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/how-modi-validated-vendetta/296217

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 21st, 2015

by newsdigest on December 26, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Muslim man in Madhya Pradesh left his marriage midway to perform final rituals of a Hindu girl (Dec 19, 2015, India.com)

In an unprecedented incident of communal harmony which took place in Jabalpur, a Muslim man left his marriage (nikaah) midway to cremate a Hindu girl who died near his vicinity in Jabalpur district hospital. The groom who is a renowned activist in the region is known for cremating 3000 dead bodies who were unknown to him and his family.

The video which has gone viral on social media shows that Inayat Khan, a 29-year-old activist attached with Garib Nawaz Trust (Muslim NGO) is sitting at his home with his family members. Inayat’s hand was coloured with mehndi, when he got a call from the Jabalpur district hospital to come down and cremate the girl who was unknown to him.

Soon after which Inayat rushed to the grieving family of deceased and took the body to carry out final rituals with the family members of girl at Ranital cremation ground.…

http://www.india.com/news/india/muslim-man-in-madhya-pradesh-left-his-marriage-midway-to-perform-final-rituals-of-a-hindu-girl-798099/

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Seminar on communal harmony held in the capital (Dec 17, 2015, Business Standard)

Seeking to send out a message of brotherhood and harmony, a seminar was held in the national capital on the eve of the UN Minorities Rights Day.

Speaking on the occasion Delhi Social Welfare MinisterSandeep Kumar said, “religion teaches us brotherhood and we should respect all the religions. India is like a bouquet of flowers and the force driving this country is the same despite it having different names in different religions.”

The minister appreciating the Delhi Minorities Commission for holding the seminar on a relevant contemporary topic (‘inter-faith and communal harmony’) added that the government will try to hold such programmes in all the eleven districts of Delhi from next year.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/seminar-on-communal-harmony-held-in-the-capital-115121700689_1.html

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Army intelligence had filmed razing of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya: Sharad Pawar (Dec 21, 2015, First Post)

As defence minister, then Congress leader Sharad Pawar ordered the army intelligence to videotape the Babri Masjid razing in Ayodhya on 6 December, 1992. Not knowing what would happen that day when the Vishwa Hindu Parishad announced a “kar seva” at the 16th century mosque site, Pawar says he told then prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao to take a tough posture.

“But Rao was not in favour of using force,” Pawar says in his just released autobiography “On My Terms” (Speaking Tiger). “He turned down my suggestion that we should post army platoons at the disputed site as a precautionary measure. After my suggestion was rejected, I asked the army’s intelligence wing to video shoot all developments at the disputed site on 6 December.

“The film captured various stages of the demolition job accomplished by ‘kar sevaks’ including how they were egged on by their leaders.” Says Pawar, who is now Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president: “The demolition exposed Narasimha Rao’s weakness as a leader.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/army-intelligence-had-filmed-razing-of-babri-masjid-in-ayodhya-sharad-pawar-2554114.html

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Gujarat government yet to furnish details of beneficiaries affected by 2001 earthquake, 2002 riots (Dec 15, 2015, TwoCircles.net)

The State Government of Gujarat and the Gujarat Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (GMDFC) have not furnished to the Central government details of beneficiaries affected by earthquake during 2001 and riots during 2002.

This was stated in the Lok Sabha by Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in a written reply last Wednesday.

He was replying to the questions raised by four MPs who sought information in this regard. He also informed the house that the information has been sought from the Gujarat government and GMDFC and they have been reminded again.

http://twocircles.net/2015dec15/1450192909.html

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High Court allows NHRC to intervene in Hashimpura massacre case (Dec 11, 2015, The Hindu)

The Delhi High Court on Thursday allowed the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to intervene in the appeals filed by the victims of the infamous Hashimpura massacre of 1987, in which a trial court had acquitted 16 Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel on March 21 this year.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice R.K. Gauba allowed the intervention application of NHRC and posted the case for further hearing on February 17, 2016. In its plea, the NHRC had sought further inquiry into the 28-year-old incident and framing of guidelines for cases of custodial violence.

The court also asked BJP leader Subramanian Swamy about his locus standi in filing an appeal against a fast track court order, which had rejected his plea seeking a direction to the Uttar Pradesh police to probe into the role of Congress leader P. Chidambaram, who was Union Minister of State for Home at the time of Hashimpura massacre.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/high-court-allows-nhrc-to-intervene-in-hashimpura-massacre-case/article7973030.ece

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Police search for Hindu Yuva Morcha activists following FIR for derogatory posts against Prophet Mohammed (Dec 21, 2015, Twocircles.net)

An FIR has been registered by Mumbai police against members of Hindu Yuva Morcha for spreading hatred message against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the Police are looking for the offenders. Muslim leaders were in a meeting of the ‘Peace Committee’ when one of them received a message on WhatsApp, which represented a hatred post against the Prophet made by Deb Prakash Shukla of Raibareli (UP). The post also showed satirical comments below it written by Shivam Mishra, President, Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Yuva Morcha.

Noting the intensity of this hate message, Maulana Mahmood Daryabadi, General Secretary of All India Ulama Council immediately called Deven Bharti, Police Joint Commissioner, and asked him to take prompt action before the message was widely spread and law and order was disturbed. Following this, Bharti ordered for registering of FIR at MRA Marg Police station and the alleged hate post on social site has been blocked. Police is now looking for offenders from Uttar Pradesh.

After filing of FIR, Maulana Mahmood Daryabadi said, “Right-wing organisations are intentionally spreading such messages so as to disturb peace prevailing in the society. We shall fight legally against every such attempt made by them.”

http://twocircles.net/2015dec21/1450683864.html

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VHP men raise ‘Love Jihad’ issue, booked for ransacking police station in Shamli (Dec 21, 2015, Times of India)

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) workers were booked for ransacking a police station in Shamli. They alleged police inaction in what they have claimed to be a case of ‘love jihad’, after a 40-year-old Muslim man and a 22-year-old Hindu girl went missing.…

“On December 1, a Hindu girl went missing. The family’s tenant Mohammed Asif (40) was missing as well. It was alleged that he had abducted her and taken her with her to an unknown location. After the family came to us, we registered a case and the investigation took its own course. We even arrested his brother Mohammed Arshad (35). We suspect that they are in Delhi. We have even dispatched a Shamli Police team that has gone to Delhi to search for the girl,” said Naresh Yadav, station officer at Kandhla police station.

He added saying, “On Saturday, VHP men held a panchayat at a local temple and then made their way to the police station. The forcefully entered the police station and started ransacking the premises. We asked them to remain calm and tell us their side of the story but they started breaking the tables and chairs inside the police station. We booked them under sections 147 and 148 of the Indian Penal Code.”…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50271460.cms

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Random arrests of Muslim youths leading to radicalisation: Telangana Police chief (Dec 22, 2015, Indian Express)

Socio-economic exclusion of Muslims and random arrests of youths from the community in the aftermath of a terror attack are leading to radicalisation among the minorities. This was the running theme of a presentation and discussion on radicalisation at the conference of Director Generals of Police (DGPs) in Bhuj, that concluded on Sunday.

While there were 10 presentations on various aspects of internal security at the annual meet organised by the Intelligence Bureau, the one on radicalisation, presented by Telangana DGP Anurag Sharma, was the most critical in the context of threats from the Islamic State.

According to sources, Sharma said there was a sense of alienation among Muslims as “expected social and economic benefits” had not reached them. He highlighted how areas inhabited by minorities were generally bereft of civic amenities and dearth of economic opportunities. All this, he said, made the community vulnerable to radicalisation.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/random-arrests-of-muslim-youths-leading-to-radicalisation-telangana-police-chief-2/

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Police cremate body of Muslim murder victim, kin outraged (Dec 19, 2015, Times of India)

Police at Itimad-ud-Daulah station in Agra found themselves facing the wrath of a family and villagers on Saturday after it was revealed that they had mistakenly cremated a Muslim youth with complete Hindu rituals. To defuse the situation, police lodged a case of murder and promptly arrested three persons, including a woman. The inspector-general of police Agra has ordered an enquiry into the faux pas.…

On Friday, the family of the deceased, who were making the rounds of police stations to get a missing complaint filed for their son, saw a pamphlet pasted on a wall mentioning the unclaimed body. The family reached Itimad-ud-Daulah police station where police showed them the clothes the dead man had been wearing along with other items recovered from the body.

However, the situation got tense for the police when the family told them the dead man was named Mohd Sameer and he was 22 years old. Initially, the kin were allegedly told the man had been buried and they were free to take away his belongings. “When we asked for the location of the grave, they refused. Later a constable told us that Sameer had been cremated,” said Mohd Wasim, brother of the dead youth.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50249297.cms

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Respect rights, sensitivities of minorities: President Mukherjee (Dec 14, 2015, Hindustan Times)

President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday called for respecting the rights and sensitivities of minorities, both in letter and spirit, and eliminating forces that divide society.

Delivering the Indira Gandhi Memorial Lecture (2013) on National Integration of the Asiatic Society, he also stressed on the awareness about “limitations and mistakes of the past which gave rise to problems of inequality” in the country.…

“We must learn to respect the rights and sensitivities of minorities, both in letter and spirit. We must cultivate a secular and democratic outlook, and promote a way of life that is inclusive and does not interfere with civic duties and rights as well as responsibilities of individuals,” he said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/respect-rights-sensitivities-of-minorities-president-mukherjee/story-OubpppOhZ0SFrGT6GisO7M.html

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Why did you criminalize possession of beef, HC asks state (Dec 17, 2015, Times of India)

The Bombay high court on Thursday asked the state the reason for introducing a provision in its beef ban law that made possession a criminal offence. “Why did the state now think it fit to bring in section 5D (that criminalizes possession of beef)?” asked a bench of Justices Abhay Oka and S C Gupte.

The court pointed out that the 1976 law banning cow slaughter did not have a similar provision. “Why should this not be treated as disproportionate?” the judges asked the state’s legal team led by advocate-general, S G Aney, and advocate, Hiten Venegavkar.

“What happens if someone brings beef from Goa, where it is lawful? Or if someone throws beef into some innocent person’s house?” the bench asked.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50224632.cms

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Maha govt against issuing ordinance for Muslim quota in education (Dec 17, 2015, Indian Express)

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Wednesday ruled out bringing an ordinance to enable 5 per cent reservation for Muslims in education. “Currently, there is no provision in the existing laws to facilitate such a move,” he said.

The matter demanding reservation for Muslims in education was raised by Congress-NCP members in both Houses of the state legislature. Leader of the Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, senior NCP leaders Ajit Pawar and Chhagan Bhujbal said the government should seriously consider reservation for Muslims. Since the court had upheld the reservation for Muslims in education, they said, nothing stopped the government from issuing a fresh ordinance.

The Opposition leaders argued that they had given consent for 5 per cent reservation to Muslims in education during their regime. However, after the ordinance lapsed, the BJP-Shiv Sena government did not re-issue the ordinance.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/maha-govt-against-issuing-ordinance-for-muslim-quota-in-education/

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Opinions and Editorials

A generation after Babri demolition, India must choose its future – By Harsh Mander (Dec 17, 2015, Hindustan Times)

Razing the Babri mosque was an assault on the secular promise of the Constitution – the pledge that none are children of a lesser god.

A generation has passed since the day a medieval mosque was pulled down by triumphalist crowds in a dusty nondescript town of Uttar Pradesh 23 years ago. This traumatic moment altered the course of India’s contemporary history, marking a belligerent victory of the politics of hatred and division in the ongoing struggle by Hindu nationalists against the secular idea of India.…

The second generation, disillusioned by the cynical decay of those who claimed to carry these ideas in formal politics, joined hands with Hindu nationalists to oppose their authoritarianism and venal corruption. A third generation was swept into a tempestuous political movement of engineered division and social hatred, symbolised by the mass movement to destroy the mosque in Ayodhya. A fourth generation, more than half of all Indians below the age of 25 today, must now choose the India of their future.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/columns/a-generation-after-babri-demolition-india-must-choose-its-future/story-0Z9opjJazHu5WMasAO0cTJ.html

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How Gujarat riots made Vajpayee lose out to RSS – By Kingshuk Nag (Dec 18, 2015, Dailyo.in)

…After the Gujarat riots of 2002, however, Atal seems to have lost out to the RSS. The organisation gained ascendancy with the help of hardliners in the party as also the Sangh Parivar. The first indication of this came on April 4, 2002, when Atal visited Gujarat after the bloody riots in which one thousand people lost their lives.

The riots had followed the burning of the compartment of a train that was bringing back kar sevaks from Ayodhya. The incident had happened on February 27, 2002. At a press conference Atal, with the Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi by his side, said that the government’s job was to practise rajadharma and kings and rulers cannot discriminate between people on the basis of birth, caste and religion. Unexpectedly, in what was seen as a snub, Modi said, “Wohi toh nibha rahein hain [That’s what we are doing].” The audience was shocked and Atal kept quiet.

Atal, disquieted with the way the Gujarat riots had been handled, decided to get rid of Modi at the national executive of the party scheduled a week later at Goa. As per the plan, in a face saver for Modi, he would submit his resignation at Goa and would be allowed to quit. On the flight to Goa, tremendous pressure was exerted on Atal by Advani to not accept Modi’s resignation. Somehow word about the proposal for Modi to resign had leaked out. Young and mid-level leaders of the party started raising slogans, “Istifa mat do, istifa mat do [Don’t quit, don’t quit],” the moment Modi stood up to resign. In fact, a resolution was passed that Modi and his government had done their best while facing the challenge during the riots. Thus Atal was stymied.…

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/atal-bihari-vajpayee-rupa-publications-india-rss-narendra-modi-2002-gujarat-riots-lk-advani/story/1/8009.html

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How Modi Sarkar betrayed Minority Rights on #MinorityDay – By Shehzad Poonawalla (Dec 18, 2015, IBN)

For decades now India had been observing the December 18 as “Minorities Rights Day” every year as part of its commitment to the cause of minorities. It was on this day in 1992 that the United Nations had promulgated the “Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities” proclaiming that “States shall protect the existence of the National or Ethnic, Cultural, Religious and Linguistic identity of minorities within their respective territories and encourage conditions for the promotion of that identity.” For the first time India will see a marked departure from this stated commitment under the majoritarian government of Narendra Modi.

It began with the appointment of Najma Heptullah as Minority Affairs Minister. The Minister upon entering office first claimed that “Muslims were not a minority”!… If indeed Muslims are not minorities why does her Government actually categorise and identify them as one of the six minority groups (Christians, Sikhs, Buddhist, Parsis and Jains being the other groups) represented in the National Commission for Minorities – a statutory body whose chairperson is also a Muslim?…

The undeniable message that is going across is that the Modi government is being shepherded by the RSS in matters of governance. If the Hindutva agenda is allowed to dominate the discourse, there is no doubt in my mind that alienation will continue to increase as more and more minorities feel insecure and discriminated against. With 65% of the minority population below 35years, most of them hungry for jobs and opportunities and decent life, this kind of divisive narrative can prove to be disastrous for us as a nation.…

http://www.ibnlive.com/blogs/politics/shehzad-poonawalla/how-modi-sarkar-betrayed-minority-rights-on-minorityday-11000-1178617.html

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Intolerance Has Gone Up Due To Sectarianism – By Ram Puniyani (Dec 18, 2015, Countercurrents)

Beginning with September 2015 we witnessed a flood of ‘returning’ honors by writers, scientists and artists. There are also various statements from academics, historians, artists and scientists showing their concern about the growing intolerance and erosion of our plural values. … The growing intolerance has taken the lives of Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi. There are incidents like where the lynching of one Muslim on the issue of beef eating which has shaken the conscience of the society.…

At the same time the President of India disturbed by the happenings in the society; time and again has been reminding the nation about our core civilizational values of pluralism. The vice President has told that it is the duty of the state to protect the ‘right to life’ of citizens. The international agency Moody Analytics pointed stated that unless Modi reins in his colleagues, India stands to lose her credibility.…

The major factor leading to present atmosphere lies in the qualitative transformation of ‘hate for others’. The stereotyping of minorities has assumed horrendous proportions. Intolerance has been there earlier also, now it is changing qualitatively for the worse. We need to combat the threat of sectarian nationalism looming large on our democratic society, the threat of sectarian propaganda and politics leading to stifling of democratic space. And these are not the ordinary times, the divisive process, intolerance have assumed menacing proportions and cannot be hidden by the illusory growth story!

http://www.countercurrents.org/puniyani181215.htm

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Praveen Swami and the informed art of speculating – By M Reyaz and Amit Kumar (Dec 17, 2015, TwoCircles.net)

National daily The Indian Express was not pretty sure where the alleged Al-Qaeda’s Head of the Indian subcontinent hailed from, but it nevertheless thought of making an informed guess before finally correcting themselves when questioned. And, after arrests had been made elsewhere in the country.

On December 15, the paper’s National Security Expert, and National Editor (Strategic and International Affairs) Praveen Swami decided to tell its readers where the Al-Qaeda’s Indian Chief was from. In a story titled, ‘In Heart of Asia, why hope is fading’, Swami wrote “The camp, Afghan intelligence sources told The Indian Express, housed over 150 fighters from across South Asia, flying the banner of the newly-formed al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, led by Gujarat-origin jihadist Asim Umar.…

Several of Swami reports, particularly his theories published in The Hindu on conspiracy and plots in the Mecca Masjid blasts, Ajmer blasts, Malegaon, etc. fell flat in past, in all of which earlier Muslims youths were falsely accused of terror, but it was later revealed by the security agencies that those were in fact conducted by Hindutva extremist groups.

http://twocircles.net/2015dec17/1450372735.html

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Disenfranchising the Deprived – Editorial (Dec 19, 2015, EPW)

…The Supreme Court’s judgment in Rajbala has been delivered in a constitutional challenge to the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 which had been amended in 2015 to disbar those candidates for panchayat elections who are not literate, or who are in arrears of their dues to electricity boards, or on loans taken from state cooperative banks, or do not have a toilet in their residence, among other disqualifications.…

While ostensibly holding that the right to vote and stand for elections are constitutional rights, the Supreme Court dismissed the challenge to the constitutional validity of the Haryana act. The Court’s “reasoning,” such as it is, utterly fails to see the latent discrimination written into the illiteracy, indebtedness and residential toilet disqualifications for candidates to the panchayat elections. The census data and detailed statistics on the possible impact of the disqualification criteria presented by the petitioners have been brushed aside with broad homilies, vague generalisations and utter callousness.

The Supreme Court has taken no note of the possibility that the Haryana law ends up punishing those who are the victims of state failure to provide education and sanitation in the first place. The Court seems blissfully unaware of the centuries of discrimination that has been inflicted on Dalits when it came to education and sanitation, the effects of which are still being felt by Dalits and other lower castes. Instead of attempting to grapple with or address such ground realities, the Court has preferred to turn a blind eye to this and for all practical purposes, blamed the victims themselves for being illiterate, poor or having no toilet in their homes.…

http://www.epw.in/journal/2015/51/editorials/disenfranchising-deprived.html

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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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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 14th, 2015

September 16, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Gujarat riots case: Sanjiv Bhatt moves SC, seeks to make Amit Shah a party to his petition Justice Continues to Elude Victims of Kandhamal Violence SC issues notice to centre for allegedly asking Salian to go soft against accused Bail pleas of Purohit, Dwivedi opposed Petlawad explosives […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 17th, 2015

August 18, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Indian Americans celebrate India Independence Day, call for unified action to secure life, liberty and justice for all News Headlines Gujarat riots: SIT opposes Zakia Jafri’s demand for further probe BJP workers held for ‘posing’ as census officials in Muslim areas One killed while making bombs at BJP […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 17th, 2015

August 18, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Indian Americans celebrate India Independence Day, call for unified action to secure life, liberty and justice for all News Headlines Gujarat riots: SIT opposes Zakia Jafri’s demand for further probe BJP workers held for ‘posing’ as census officials in Muslim areas One killed while making bombs at BJP […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 29th, 2015

June 30, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Communal harmony over iftar at Delhi’s Jama Masjid News Headlines US report: Gujarat govt moved against top activist Teesta Setalvad after she sought to indict Modi in 2002 riots Since this new govt came, I have been told to go soft on accused (Hindu extremists): Special Public […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 9th, 2015

March 10, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Ex-bureaucrat speaks out on Gujarat riots Lawyers allege life threat to blast accused Qasmi in jail Police hand in Dimapur jailbreak suspected Indian State Bans Possession and Sale of Beef ‘Modi Govt. encouraging Hindutva forces, corporates’ Case filed against Bajrang Dal leader for ‘defaming’ minister Muslim body […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 1st, 2014

December 2, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony National Communal Harmony week concludes News Headlines ‘Jafri was last seen being dragged by accused’ Ishrat Case: Vanzara Tells Court He Only Followed Orders ‘Madrasas not breeding grounds for terrorism’ Hindu Radicals Attack Indian Pentecostal Church, Eight Injured and Pastor Arrested Ramzada vs haramzada: Outrage over Union […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 1st, 2014

September 2, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Gujarat model of harmony: Water thicker than blood News Headlines Concerned over delay in Gujarat riots cases: SC ‘Reinstatement of Cops accused of fake encounters is clear indication that administration is helping them’ Caught on camera: BJP MP asks supporters to ‘convert 100 Muslim girls for 1 […]

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