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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 15th, 2015

by newsdigest on June 16, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

International Yoga Day: It’s RSS, Centre’s way to propel Hindutva agenda (Jun 15, 2015, Indian Express)

Muslim leaders in Kolkata condemned the International Yoga Day to be held on June 21, terming it “the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) way to forward its agenda of Hindutva”. Shafique Qasmi, Imam of Nakhoda Masjid here, said that there already exists a physical training class in the schools and questioned the “need to impose yoga classes”.

“Yoga is a part of vedic culture and is part of Hinduism. Why should it be implemented in schools and among government officials? It would be illegal in a secular country like ours. If keeping fit is the objective, then Namaz is one of the best forms of exercise. Why can’t it (offering of Namaz) be made compulsory for Muslim students and officials?” he said while speaking to The Indian Express.

He also alleged that the International Yoga Day was the Centre’s way “to shift focus at a time when the people have started seeing through the anti-people policies of the Narendra Modi government”. “It is a part of a larger conspiracy being created by the Centre,” he said.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/international-yoga-day-its-rss-centres-way-to-propel-hindutva-agenda/

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Tripura suspends three cops for custody death (Jun 7, 2015, Times of India)

Three policemen, including an assistant sub-inspector (ASI), were suspended for their alleged negligence of duty following a custodial death at Kamalpur police station in Dhalai district on Friday night.

The family members of the victim, Bijoy Deb (36), alleged that the deceased was tortured in the custody which led to his death. One of the family members said Bijoy was arrested in Noagoan village, Kamalpur, for allegedly creating nuisance in public under the influence of alcohol on Friday night. Around midnight, the sentry on duty noticed that Bijoy had collapsed inside the lockup and was immediately shifted to Kamalpur hospital where doctors declared him dead.…

This is the second such incident in the state in a month. On May 1, Noor Islam (42), a resident of Chanban village in Udaipur, died inside the lockup at R K Pur police station in South Tripura.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47568932.cms

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UP journalist killing: Five policemen suspended (Jun 13, 2015, The Hindu)

The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday suspended five policemen in connection with the killing of journalist Jagendra Singh in Shahjahanpur. Singh was set on fire allegedly by a group of policemen and goons allied with Ram Murti Verma, State Minister for Dairy Development on June 1, 2015. He battled for life for a week at a hospital in Lucknow before he died on June 8.

In a dying declaration on video, shot before he breathed his last because of burns, Singh said, “Why did they have to burn me? If the Minister and his people had something against me, they could have hit me and beaten me, instead of pouring kerosene over me and burning me.”

Meanwhile, a Public Interest Litigation has been filed in Allahabad High Court seeking directions for a CBI probe into the death of Singh. The PIL was filed on June 11 by an NGO and is likely to come up for hearing on June 15. The petition said that the incident was so serious in nature that it calls for a CBI probe.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/up-journalist-jagendra-singh-killing-five-policemen-suspended/article7312967.ece

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Advocate Pracha threatened by Rajasthan ATS officer for defending terror accused (Jun 12, 2015, Twocircles.net)

In an unprecedented event, senior Supreme Court lawyer Mahmood Pracha was threatened directly by a Rajathan Anti-Terrorist Squad officer for defending terror case accused persons. Pracha has filed a complaint letter before the court.

The incidence happened just outside the session court chamber in Jaipur around 12.30 pm on Thursday when the ATS officer Dinesh Sharma tried to assault and straightforwardly threatened Pracha for defending accused in the case and said if he does not leave the cases, then he (Pracha) would be killed.

Confirming the incidence, Advocate Tahiwar Pathan, assistant of Advocate Pracha told TwoCircles.net, “Earlier we used to receive threats from underworld dons but now the men in uniform are threatening us. Fortunately, the incidence happened in the court premises due to which judge himself asked sir (Pracha) to file a complaint before the court.”…

http://twocircles.net/2015jun12/1434130325.html

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RSS Activists Attack Christian Religious Gatherings In Kerala (Jun 16, 2015, Tehelka)

The Christian community in Attingal, near Thiruvanathapuram, is under fear of more attacks, as Hindu hardliners continue to target their gatherings, alleging forced religious conversions. Recently, two such religious gatherings were attacked in the place, leaving many devotees seriously injured. The incidents took place June 14, with a group of 40 or more men, belonging to local RSS unit, raising the slogan ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, stormed into the religious gatherings. They have pelted stones into the halls and unleashed attack on devotees. They even destroyed religious properties and looted many valuables.

The first of the incidents, took place on June 14, around 11.30. The gathering of Indian Pentecostal Mission, was on progress at a hall near to KSRTC bus stand. The troop of RSS activists stormed in to the hall and unleashed an attack on them. Many, including the pastor, were injured in the attack. Then this group moved to a hall at the Municipal Library and attacked another religious gathering belonging to the ‘Reaching the World with Love Ministry’.

According to the Attingal police, the prayer session was being attended by a group of 300 people, at the Municipal Library Hall opposite to the Attingal Town Hall, when RSS activists came raising the slogan ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and storming into the hall and attacking the devotes.…

http://www.tehelka.com/rss-activists-attack-christian-religious-gatherings-in-kerala/

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CCTV footage shows Ramdev’s brother instigating attack: Police (May 30, 2015, Indian Express)

CCTV footage of the May 27 clash between security personnel of Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Food and Herbal Park and a local union of truck operators, which left a truck driver dead, shows Ram Bharat, younger brother of the yoga guru, instigating the security guards to attack the protesting union members, Uttarakhand Police said Friday.

It was on the basis of this footage that Ram Bharat was arrested and booked under IPC sections relating to murder, attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy and sections of the Arms Act.

Haridwar SSP Sweety Aggarwal told The Indian Express: “Baba Ramdev was in the vicinity at the time of the incident. While we have recovered part of the footage that shows Ram Bharat instigating his guards to attack union members, a major portion of the footage has been erased. We are yet to ascertain if Ramdev had a role.”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/cctv-footage-shows-ramdevs-brother-instigating-attack-police/

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Two yardsticks for two massacres: Govt U-turn on compensation vow (Jun 11, 2015, Indian Express)

After Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav declared on May 20 that compensation will be paid to victims of Maliana massacre in Meerut, the state government on Wednesday decided the “victims cannot be treated at par with Hashimpura massacre victims” and called off its plans to pay Rs 5 lakh compensation. The decision comes four days after the government released Rs 2.24 crore for the families of 42 Hashimpura victims who were allegedly killed by state PAC officials in 1987.

The government held that in the case of 73 victims of Maliana “there was no police atrocity”. “In Hashimpura there was police atrocity while in Maliana incident there was no such atrocity,” Akhilesh’s Chief Secretary, Alok Ranjan told The Indian Express.…

When reminded about the CM’s announcement, he said: “Maliana incident was part of the riots that took place. We cannot cover them with compensation at par with Hashimpura victims.” Sources informed that officials had apprised the CM that “giving compensation to Maliana victims will make other riot victims demand for compensation”.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/two-yardsticks-for-two-massacres-govt-u-turn-on-compensation-vow/

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10 Mumbai schools with minority status issued notices (Jun 11, 2015, Times of India)

The state government has issued show cause notices to 10 minority status schools in South Mumbai including Cathedral and John Cannon school.

“10 schools in South Mumbai have not admitted minority students in the past three years. As per the records their ratio is zero per cent of admitted minority students in the schools,” said minority affairs minister Eknath Khadse.

The show cause notice asks, why the minority status of these schools should not be cancelled. The government is awaiting the schools’ replies. There are other 70-75 schools which are on the list too. The notice will be sent to them as well, said minister.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47631560.cms

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Muzaffarnagar riots: Charges framed against 4 in gangrape case (Jun 9, 2015, Economic Times)

Charges were today framed against four accused by a special court here in connection with the gangrape of a woman during the 2013 communal clashes. The court of Justice Gulab Singh framed charges under various sections, including section 376 (rape) of the IPC against Pushpender, Rupinder, Shabbir and Sanjiv.

The court will record the victim’s statement on July 1. A total of seven gangrape cases, including six in Phugana village and one in Lank village, were registered against 27 people. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the riots had found the involvement of 25 people in six gangrape cases. All 25 have been arrested.

More than 60 people were killed and 40,000 displaced during riots in Muzaffarnagar district and its adjoining areas in September 2013.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47604149.cms

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Scars of Police Torture Haunt TN Dalit Youth as CB-CID Goes Slow on Probe (Jun 14, 2015, New Indian Express)

Nearly nine months have passed but the scars of police torture continue to haunt Poovarasan as CB-CID is allegedly going slow on the case after filing an FIR directed by Madras High Court.

Poovarasan, a Dalit youth, was illegally detained and tortured by police inspector Kandiban of Kaveripakkam police station, Arakkonam taluk, Vellore district along with Mohan, special sub inspector and constables Sundar and Velmurugan on September 2014 after he allegedly protested entry of lorries into Athipattu village to reach sand quarries.…

Suresh also demanded adequate compensation for victims of police brutality. “Policemen joining hands with sand smugglers should be immediately transferred from the area, pending investigation,” Suresh demanded.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/Scars-of-Police-Torture-Haunt-TN-Dalit-Youth-as-CB-CID-Goes-Slow-on-Probe/2015/06/14/article2865187.ece

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Opinions and Editorials

‘Modi’s Concern For The Minorities Is Treated Only As Empty Verbosity’ – By Rajinder Sachar (Jun 15, 2015, Outlook)

…As per press reports Modi recently warned B.J.P. members from spreading communal hatred, acknowledging that provocative comments made by some of his party colleagues were totally uncalled for and declaring that constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and non discrimination were non-negotiable. As a theoretical proposition, no one can disagree. This is consistent with accepted wisdom, namely “that in any country the faith and the confidence of the minorities in the impartial and even functioning of the State is the acid test of being a civilized State”. But how different is the ground reality.…

Personal safety, equal treatment by State is another test by which minorities would judge Modi. Recent happenings in village Atali (Ballabhgarh, Haryana) A team of Socialist Party (India) and PUCL recent visit to Atali Village disclosed the partisan and communal face of Haryana B.J.P. Government. It was on 25th may, 2015 that a mob of Hindus attacked Muslim Houses and destroyed a part of mosque which was being built by Muslims on admittedly wakf land. Muslims in panic had to flee from the village and take refuge in Ballabhgarh Police Station and could only return on 3rd June, 2015. There is still panic and state of uncertainly. But Haryana’s B.J.P. Chief Minister has not deemed it necessary to visit the village and assure Muslims that justice will be done to them. Rather his callousness in the matter is frightening.…

B.J.P. leader Amit Shah who is really running the party is a deep quiet conspiratorial personality. He very innocently seeks to avoid entering into arguments on building Ram Temple and abrogation of Article 370 of the constitution by pleading that B.J.P. has not been given this mandate on these issues. And yet surprisingly lesser B.J.P. minions indulge in provocative slogan of completing the project of “Ram Mandir” and Abrogation of Article 370 of the constitution. Modi keeps conspiratorially silent. That is why when Modi stresses that his sole agenda is development for all it does not cut ice with the minorities, apart from the fact that in reality Modi’s development programme is corporate friendly and anti-labour.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/modis-concern-for-the-minorities-is-treated-only-as-empty-verbosity/294589

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It’s Hindu, but not exactly: Modi sarkar assumes Catch-22 asana on International Yoga Day – By Sandip Roy (Jun 10, 2015, First Post)

The government has gotten itself into a curious yoga posture. It’s an asana known as the Catch-22 asana where they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Making sure the world understands that Yoga is #MadeInIndia has been unquestionably one of Narendra Modi’s soft power PR success stories. It’s just been a little too successful and now yoga is paying the price.

Basically right-wingers on the saffron end have wanted it both ways. They have feared that yoga’s Hindu roots have been excised, erased and elided even as yoga has become phenomenally successful in the West. It’s not an unjustified fear. In fact the more successful it has become, the more many of yoga’s western gurus shy away from its roots. Somewhat like Bobby Jindal.

On the other hand now that Narendra Modi has tried to successfully “reclaim” yoga, and its Hindu roots are showing, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has found a golden opportunity to have its moment in the sun and claim that the government is trying to foist Hinduism on everyone. The padmasana is being equated to the BJP lotus. That has led the government to twist itself into knots to appease all sides.…

http://www.firstpost.com/living/its-hindu-but-not-exactly-modi-sarkar-assumes-catch-22-asana-on-international-yoga-day-2288516.html

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Arson at Atali – By T.K. Rajalakshmi (Jun 26, 2015, Frontline)

The 1,000-odd Muslims of Atali village in Haryana’s Ballabhgarh tehsil, Faridabad district, have paid heavily for attempts to build a mosque: nearly two dozen homes and shops belonging to members of the minority community were burnt, looted and vandalised by a mob led by women and armed with hoes (pharsa, in local parlance) and other improvised weapons on the evening of May 25.

The police were hopelessly outnumbered, and they received reinforcements too late to stop anything. No one was killed, but some two dozen people of the targeted community received serious injuries. Curiously enough, not a single person in the rampaging mob was hurt.…

The Ballabhgarh police station is just six kilometres away from Atali village. Some of the victims who have taken refuge there told Frontline that they had informed the police about the mob build-up on May 25, well before the violence started. One of them said: “We made repeated calls that day. The SHO [station house officer] came, but he left leaving behind only five policemen. When we saw the mob gathering, with women in the front, we made frantic calls to the police station, only to be told that policemen were on their way. The mob used cooking gas cylinders and petrol bombs to blast our walls and burn our vehicles. We took refuge inside our homes and on rooftops. With smoke all round us and we being pelted with bricks, we were completely helpless.”…

http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/arson-at-atali/article7297894.ece

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A Dravidian Pause In The Hindutva Surge – By Nisha Ponthathil (Jun 20, 2015, Tehelka)

Until two decades ago, Tamil Nadu was hailed widely as a state where the divisive agenda of Hindutva would not find many takers. The state had witnessed social reformation movements in the 19th and 20th centuries in which the local communities had fought valiantly against the Brahminical agenda of caste discrimination. Sangh Parivar organisations were hell-bent on making inroads into the southern state, albeit with little success.

However, in the last few years, the Hindutva outfits have succeeded in winning more followers in the Dravidian heartland through hate campaigns and forging opportunistic alliances. They are yet to win over the Tamil psyche, which continues to cherish a deep sense of social solidarity and co-existence.

The decision of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) to revoke the ban imposed on the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC) has once again proved that the saffronisation agenda of the Narendra Modi government has gone awry in the Dravidian land which still harbours radical thoughts.…

http://www.tehelka.com/a-dravidian-pause-in-the-hindutva-surge/

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Culture of impunity – Editorial (Jun 15, 2015, Indian Express)

The “encounter” in which 12 Maoists were gunned down in Palamau district of Jharkhand last week is beginning to look as disturbing as the April incident in a Tirupati forest in which 20 people were killed in an alleged “encounter” with red sanders smugglers. Only seven of the Palamau victims have been identified, of which six have no police record.

Four minors were killed – celebrating the encounter as a success, the director general of police had elaborated that the “bullet does not differentiate” on the basis of age. Predictably, none of the underaged have been identified.…

The police have an unfortunate tradition of impunity in which fake encounters, framing, the planting of fake evidence and the use of unsanctioned force are par for the course. Admittedly, the forces operate under difficult and often dangerous conditions, but that cannot possibly condone impunity or the use of disproportionate force. Every “encounter” in which the authorities and the public fail to ask probing questions about worrying details strengthens the pervasive culture of impunity. As a step towards clearing the air, the police should immediately reveal the details of the Palamau operation and the identities of the dead.

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/culture-of-impunity/

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Ringing with hate – By Lyla Bavadam (Jun 26, 2015, Frontline)

Caste tensions are simmering in Maharashtra, where in the past 12 months alone there have been seven caste-related murders. The seemingly low figure is significant because the seven people lost their lives only because of the lower social status ascribed to them by birth. And the State revels in calling itself progressive and modern. The murders were of a gruesome nature; it was as if some vengeance was being exacted.

Only some of these cases have been registered under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, though on the face of it there are adequate pointers to a caste angle to all of them. Analysis of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data for crimes against Scheduled Castes under the Prevention of Atrocities Act from 2001 to 2012 shows that Maharashtra had 3,210 reported cases of atrocities in this period.

The State was ninth on the list, which Uttar Pradesh topped with 26,378 cases followed by Tamil Nadu with 10,845. Priyadarshi Telang of Manuski, an organisation that campaigns for social justice, says Maharashtra has an annual conviction rate of less than 3 per cent and thus holds the State “responsible for the increasing caste atrocities in Maharashtra”.…

http://www.frontline.in/social-issues/ringing-with-hate/article7297948.ece

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 6th, 2015

by newsdigest on April 7, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar demands BJP’s explanation for 2002 Gujarat riots (Apr 4, 2015, Economic Times)

Launching a scathing attack on the BJP for its “jungle raj 2″ barb, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today asked “what were the 2002 Gujarat riots?” “Godhra ka 2002 ka danga kya tha iska jawab de (They should answer what were the 2002 communal riots at Godhra in Gujarat)?” Kumar told reporters in a strong retort to BJP President Amit Shah over his “jungle raj 2″ remarks at BJP National Executive meeting in Bengaluru.

“What moral right do they have to talk over the law and order situation in other places?” he asked coming out of a function of the state Road Construction Department here. Kumar, who assumed reins of the state for the fourth time on February 22, said the rule of law prevailed in Bihar.

On Shah’s claim that BJP would rule for more than 10 years, Kumar in a sarcastic comment said it has started losing steam and is drawing the anger of people even before the completion of a year in power. The Bihar CM said the BJP was an expert in making such tall claims in a bid to “hide its failure” and added the party was good in making “jumblebazi” (superlative sayings). …

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46804908.cms

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1992 Jalandhar fake encounters: 8 ex-cops get life sentence (Apr 1, 2015, Hindustan Times)

Pronouncing its verdict in two 1992 fake encounter cases, the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Tuesday awarded life sentence to eight retired policemen, including a former superintendent of police (SP).

Personnel of the Nakodar police in Jalandhar district had killed constable Baljit Singh in a fake encounter on September 1, 1992 and shot dead constables Rajwinder Singh and Mukhtiar Singh on September 6 that year. Baljit’s body was found, but not those of the other two.

While eight retired police officials were convicted and sentenced, 17 others were acquitted by the court due to lack of evidence. Those convicted in the Baljit Singh case are retired SP Ram Singh, Ajit Singh, Ajaib Singh, Amrit Singh and serving inspector Harbhajan Singh.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/patiala/1992-jalandhar-fake-encounters-8-cops-get-life-sentence/article1-1332589.aspx

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Main accused in Patna blast case arrested (Apr 4, 2015, The Hindu)

The main accused in the March 30 bomb blast here was arrested in Nalanda district on Friday. Two other accused are still at large. Police officers told The Hindu that Kundan Kumar was arrested at Ekangarsarai.

“It was a joint operation by a special team of the Patna police and the Anti-Terrorist Squad. We’ve been keeping track of his movement for long,” Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Jitendra Singh Rana said. The other accused are Hemant Kumar and Ashok Kumar.

Two improvised bombs were recovered after a low-intensity blast at a residential flat in Bahadurpur here. The bombs were wired to the same ‘Lotus’ brand timer as those used in the 2013 serial blasts at Bodh Gaya and the Gandhi Maidan blast during a BJP rally. “With the arrest of the prime accused, we hope to arrest the other two soon,” Mr. Rana told The Hindu.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/main-accused-in-patna-blast-case-arrested/article7066425.ece

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Babri Masjid demolition case: Courts are ‘the only way ahead when accused are in govt’, says Haji Mehboob (Apr 1, 2015, Indian Express)

Haji Mehboob, 77, is a well-known figure in Ayodhya for residents as well as the journalists who travel there every so often to report on the mandir-masjid dispute.

A member of the Aman Committee, he is held in high regard but his standing was not able to prevent the arson and looting that accompanied the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992. He fled to a neighbouring village relatively untouched by the tension. His Ayodhya home is just a stone’s throw from what used to be the Babri Masjid.

Asked what prompted him to petition the Supreme Court at a time when the BJP was in a full majority in the Centre and L K Advani had been awarded the Padma Bhushan just hours earlier, he replied, “I believe that there is justice and I have full faith in the Supreme Court.”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/babri-masjid-demolition-case-courts-are-the-only-way-ahead-when-accused-are-in-govt-says-haji-mehboob/

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Muslims have been massacred during RSS-induced riots: Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind president (Mar 31, 2015, Oneindia.com)

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JUH), one of the largest Muslim organisations in India, has claimed that the country is ‘on the verge of partition’ due to the ruling BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) leaders.

“The BJP and RSS leaders are making such (communal) statements to create terror in the mind of the Muslim community, but the PM is silent as he is under pressure from the RSS. We are observing the Sangh for the last 70 years and know its true agenda. They cannot mislead us by their occasional sympathetic statements,” JUH president Arshad Madani was quoted by an India Today report as saying in Deoband, Saharanpur, on Monday.

He said the country would be divided again if these people are not stopped. “The RSS is harmful not only for the Muslim community, but also for the Hindus. The country was divided in the past because of the same communal forces. We fear that India will once again be divided if such forces are not stopped from their design to communalise the entire country,” the JUH chief added. Madani demanded stern action from the Modi Government against those who make hate speeches to terrorise any community.…

http://www.oneindia.com/india/muslims-have-been-massacred-during-rss-induced-riots-jamiat-ulama-i-hind-president-1701536.html

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Hardline Hindutva hurts Modi sarkar: 300 days after he stormed into Delhi durbar, PM’s popularity has been hit by ‘ghar wapsi’ (Apr 2, 2015, Daily Mail)

The perceived communal overtones dominating the political space in the form of the saffron outfits’ ghar wapsi programme are beginning to hurt the Narendra Modi-led NDA government. The latest India Today Group-Cicero Mood of The Nation Survey shows that the BJP would lose at least 27 Lok Sabha seats from its current tally if elections were held today.

In the opinion poll, 38 per cent of the 12,000 respondents rated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s performance as ‘good’. Of those who participated in the opinion poll, 22 per cent categorised it as ‘excellent’ and only 11 per cent said they were ‘unhappy’ with the first 10 months of the National Democratic Alliance government.

The findings of the opinion poll should come as a wake-up call for the Union government as people might be satisfied overall with its performance on the counts of governance, economy and foreign affairs, but the communal tag is pulling its image down.…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-3023689/Hardline-Hindutva-hurts-Modi-sarkar-300-days-stormed-Delhi-durbar-PM-s-popularity-hit-ghar-wapsi.html

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BJP leader, 11 others booked for threatening Sama resident (Mar 26, 2015, Times of India)

BJP leader Dharmendrasinh Vaghela and 11 others were booked late on Tuesday night for abusing and threatening a Sama resident. Deepak Chauhan registered an FIR at Sama police station wherein he stated that Vaghela and other accused threatened him thrice in last two months and pressurized him to vacate his property.

The police action came after the Gujarat high court on March 20 issued an order to the police to register FIR against the accused. Chauhan had approached the high court and complained of police inaction.

Chauhan has said in his FIR that the accused first abused and threatened him on February 6 and February 12 this year. The accused again approached him on March 17 and threatened him before asking him to vacate the home he stays in.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46697224.cms

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Why beef ban in Indian state undermines secularism (Apr 4, 2015, BBC)

…Many Muslims see the extension of the beef ban as evidence of an assault on one of the key principles on which independent India was founded – secularism. Secularism in India means something a little different from elsewhere. It doesn’t mean the state stays out of religion, here it means the state is committed to supporting different religions equally.

India’s secularism was a response to horrors of the partition when millions of people were murdered as Hindus and Muslims fled their homes. The country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, argued equal treatment was a reasonable concession to the millions of Muslims who’d decided to risk all by staying in India. But India is now governed by a Hindu nationalist party, the BJP. It sees India as a Hindu nation.…

That’s why while the idea of cow mug shots may be amusing, the beef ban is deadly serious. India’s triumph has been forging a nation in which Hindus and Muslims can live happily together. The fear is that the beef ban is part of a process that is gradually undermining the compromises that made that possible.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-32172768

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FIR registered against 3 police officers in Mathura for alleged gangrape of a woman (Mar 31, 2015, First Post)

An FIR has been registered against three police personnel, including a sub-inspector, for allegedly raping a woman in Goverdhan town in Mathura, police said on Monday.

According to a complaint filed by the woman, Sub-Inspector Ganga Prasad and two constables gangraped her on 12 December last year and also threatened her of dire consequences if she narrates the incident to anyone, Dy SP Anil Yadav said.

A case has been registered against the accused under section 376 (rape), 120b (criminal conspiracy), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), and 506 (criminal intimidation) on the intervention of the court, he said.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/fir-registered-3-police-officers-mathura-alleged-gangrape-woman-2180675.html

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Two Dalit women thrashed inside police station; 4 cops suspended (Apr 4, 2015, DNA India)

In an alleged case of police brutality, two Dalit women were purportedly beaten up by a sub-inspector and his subordinates inside outer Delhi’s Rohini south police station, following which four police personnel were suspended. The women, in their complaint, have alleged that the sub-inspector and some women police personnel thrashed them inside the police station on Friday, forcing them to confess in a case of robbery. The victims, who are in their early twenties, were taken to the police station for questioning at 9:30 AM yesterday and left around 5 PM.

The women were later taken to Ambedkar Hospital for treatment where a large number of locals created ruckus over the alleged custodial brutality. Heavy police deployment had to be made to bring the situation under control. …

Four police personnel, including sub-inspector Rajveer who had allegedly beaten the two women, were today suspended, Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat told PTI. The other three suspended are women constables deputed at the police station.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/delhi/report-delhi-two-dalit-women-thrashed-inside-police-station-4-cops-suspended-2074762

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Opinions and Editorials

How the State kills and buries the truth – By Saurav Datta (Apr 1, 2015, DNA India)

…As was already known for too long, and as is being brought to the fore again, successive governments of Uttar Pradesh and their law enforcement agencies tried every trick in the book to subvert the trial, and boy, what a success they have achieved! In his Order acquitting all the 19 PAC personnel charged with the unprovoked and deliberate killing of 42 Muslim men, Jindal is constrained to observe that the case is essentially all about circumstantial evidence, because, in 28 years, the prosecution hadn’t managed to produce any material evidence which could be deemed credible in the eyes of law.…

Would an appeal against the Hashimpura judgement be an exercise in futility, now that 28 years have passed, and all material evidence crucial to the case must have been destroyed, and that three of the 19 accused are no more alive? It most likely will, unless of course the courts compel disclosure of the CID report. It would also ensure that the real names are brought forth, because many a time and oft, lower-ranking policemen (the highest-ranking among the Hashimpura accused was a sub-inspector) are made scapegoats for the deviousness of their superior officers.

Till date, all UP governments – Congress, BJP, SP and BSP- have resolutely claimed legislative privilege (and the specious plea of disturbance of communal harmony) to not disclose that damning report. An appeal to the appropriate high court, or if not, the Supreme Court, directed not against the 16 PAC men, but the state of UP, could well be the first step towards complete justice for Hashimpura.

http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/standpoint-how-the-state-kills-and-buries-the-truth-2073910

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A Festering Sore On Indian Democracy – By Pradyot Lal, NK Bhoopesh & Anurag Tripathi (Apr 11, 2015, Tehelka)

… If ever a comprehensive study is undertaken to determine the role of law-enforcing agencies in ‘helping’ spreadcommunal riots in free India, what happened in somnolent Moradabad where all that glitters is brass is instructive. Around 3,000 namazis had turned up at the idgah to render Friday prayers when some pigs mysteriously found their way among them causing instant commotion. What followed was even more macabre, as the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel who were on duty failed to chase away the offending animals in time.

Instead, as brickbatting of the police and PAC personnel ensued, they indiscriminately opened fire causing several in the congregation to die instantly. There was already enough tension between the factory owners and the artisans who were usually drawn from different communities. The demographic structure of the city, however, was not reflected in its political representation. Two generations after the riot, the scars are yet to heal.

As sociologist Satish Sabherwal and historian Mushirul Hasan averred a couple of months after the riots, neither the then UP chief minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh nor the leaders at the Centre went beyond offering palliatives to the victims. This was ‘democratic’ India’s second tryst with the PAC after the revolt in its ranks in the mid-1970s had threatened to upstage the Congress in Uttar Pradesh.…

http://www.tehelka.com/a-festering-sore-on-indian-democracy/

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Ominous legislation – Editorial (Apr 3, 2015, The Hindu)

The Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill 2015carries disturbing echoes of draconian anti-terror laws such as the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA). Both were considered failed experiments that led to gross abuse. More specifically, the Bill seems to be modelled on the provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) that was implemented in 1999 and continues to be in force today.

In fact, since 2002 it has also been in force in Delhi after the police insisted that such a law was needed as ‘organised crime has no limits’. The common thread running through all these controversial pieces of legislation is the notion that regular process, as outlined by the Code of Criminal Procedure, is not enough to deal with a changed internal security situation.…

Knee-jerk reactions lead to severe laws. The focus should rather be on better resources and training for investigators who can continue to work under the existing Code of Criminal Procedure, which is already comprehensive in scope.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/ominous-legislation/article7061854.ece

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Church under attack – By T.K. Rajalakshmi (Apr 17, 2015, Frontline)

Even as reports of attacks on churches in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and elsewhere began pouring in, causing wide consternation, the report of an “under-construction” church being vandalised at Kaimri village in Hisar district of Haryana was received with surprise.…

On March 15, the day before the Bharatiya Janata Party government got the Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gau Samvardhan Bill, 2015, passed in the Assembly, some village residents climbed on to the roof of the church and broke the cross. They then installed a statue of Hanuman inside the main hall. One person was arrested in connection with the incident and a complaint was registered against 14 people, including the sarpanch of the village, and a first information report (FIR) was filed.…

A social activist from the village, requesting anonymity, told Frontline that a month ago, local leaders of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal visited Kaimri and told the residents that the church should not be built. “They incited the villagers who had hardly bothered until then about it. This was not a gram sabha matter but the sarpanch got involved because the panchayat elections are a few months away,” he said. The issue of the church, the bogey of conversions, and the panchayat elections all fell into place.…

http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/church-under-attack/article7048426.ece

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NaMo’s Minimalist Wave – By Mihir Srivastava (Apr 13, 2015, Outlook)

…a hyperactive PMO seems to have put off a section of bureaucrats, who are now reluctant to leave states and move to the Centre in a reversal of the earlier trend of bureaucrats lobbying for central deputation. “The fear factor is at play,” says a joint secretary, who agreed to talk at a coffee shop in Noida. “We are just carrying out instructions. We get very specific instructions, several times not in writing. You can’t afford to not act on such verbal communications and you can’t act on it unless due process is followed,” he says of the dilemma.

The prime minister’s frequent travel – he’s been on foreign trips for 40 days in his first nine months in office – has also taken a toll on governance: the number of vacancies rises, but there is no reshuffle in sight. Ajit Kumar Seth, cabinet secretary of the former UPA regime, still remains in office. He has been given extensions. Asked about the delays, Manmohan Vaidya, national prachar pramukh or propaganda head of the RSS, shot back: “I will not say a word on this. I understand the media is trying to create a misunderstanding. We know our work. Government is doing their work.”

K.N. Govindacharya, a former RSS pracharak who used to share a room with Modi in 1989-90 at the party office on Akbar Road in Delhi, is openly critical. He points to hypocrisy disguised as ideology. The RSS and the government, he says, are dealing in “half-truths, or sometimes, convenient truths”. Is the national interest above party interest or the interest of the rss? This arrangement of hypocrisy and compromises is not sustainable, he warns.

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/NaMos-Minimalist-Wave/293881

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The Ides of March – By T. K. Rajalakshmi (Apr 17, 2015, Frontline)

If the outcome of the Delhi Assembly elections came as a shocker to the Bharatiya Janata Party, the broad opposition, inside and outside Parliament, to the promulgation of the land acquisition ordinance and the government’s decision to amend the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Act, 2013, also called the LARR Act, has stumped it.

The bugle of protest was sounded in early January itself, with political parties like the Congress taking to the streets and mass organisations of the Left and other people’s movements making their resentment vocal in separate forums. Moves to defend the ordinance, first by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and then by Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, had little impact as the government was viewed as increasingly obdurate.

The three-day protest in the national capital in mid-March by thousands of farmers from western Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and even Karnataka, led by the Bharatiya Kisan Union of Rakesh Tikait, was perhaps a signal to the government about the widespread resentment. The BKU had lent its support to the BJP during the Lok Sabha elections.…

http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/the-ides-of-march/article7048326.ece

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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 – November 17th, 2014

November 18, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines 2002 Gujarat riots: Supreme Court for winding up proceedings within three months BJP-RSS Trying to Force Communal Ideologies on Country: Left ‘BJP using Hindutva to divide people, push reforms’ Akshardham attack: Supreme Court junks Gujarat review plea Fact finding reports blame ‘communal forces’ for Trilokpuri riots; […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 27th, 2014

October 28, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Muslim man arranges cremation of Hindu ‘sister’ Sangam Vihar residents prevent clash, show communal harmony Patna stampede: Muslim woman saves Hindu child News Headlines US court lets US group challenge Modi immunity VHP hand seen in post-Modi Gujarat’s communal incidents AAP, Congress, accuse ‘Hindutva elements’ of stoking […]

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India’s 68th Independence Day – A time to renew communal harmony and safeguard secularism

August 15, 2014

Friday, August 15, 2014 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has called on Indians across the world, to mark the occasion of India’s 68th Independence Day by finding ways to strengthen pluralism, and to renew communal harmony, in order to defeat the designs […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 3rd, 2014

March 4, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Gujarat pogrom commemorated by Indian Americans Communal Harmony March for communal harmony youth awareness News Headlines Bring Narendra Modi to justice, urges meeting hosted by UK parliamentarians No change in US stand on the communal violence in Gujarat, Jen Psaki says Gulbarg society riot victims move court, […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 2nd, 2013

September 3, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines ‘File chargesheet against Narendra Modi, others in 2002 post-Godhra riots case’ British Sikhs to oppose any Narendra Modi visit to UK PIL plea alleges bid by BJP leaders to derail Prajapati case against Amit Shah Asaram gets 14-day taste of jail, Jodhpur Police say case against […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 1st, 2013

April 2, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines US lawmakers paid Rs 9 lakh each to praise Modi: report Did aggressive Hindutva agenda cost BJP dear? Police make 5 dead accused in Dhule riots Mumbai police face defamation suit for false terror circular Eight policemen convicted in Gonda fake encounter case Civil group to […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 18th, 2013

February 19, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony ‘Inter-faith dialogue only way out for communal harmony and social stability’ News Headlines Wrote on Modi as a citizen of India, Jaitley twists facts: Katju Zakia Jafri told to challenge SIT report by April 15 Saffron terror exposed? Sunil Joshi was mastermind behind all blasts between […]

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