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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 4th, 2016

by newsdigest on April 12, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Announcements

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Announcements

Indian Americans condemn Saudi award for Prime Minister Modi

Award defies logic given Mr. Modi’s record before and after taking office as Prime Minister

April 04, 2016

The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos has condemned the Saudi government’s decision to confer Indian Prime Minister Modi with the nation’s highest civilian award.

“It is expected that the Indian Prime Minister is accorded the respect befitting a head of state. However, conferring of the highest civilian award on Mr. Modi by those who claim to be the custodians of the two Holy Mosques is a slap in the face of survivors of the Gujarat pogroms of 2002. It is also a demonstration of indifference to the increased attacks and threats against the religious minorities and Dalits in India,” said Mr. Umar Malick, President of IAMC.

Mr. Modi and the Saudi monarchy have much in common. As Chief Minister of Gujarat, Mr. Modi presided over one of the worst episodes of sectarian violence in independent India, when over 2,000 people were massacred by mobs instigated by the Hindu-supremacist groups. The horrific killings were accompanied by rape and pillage, resulting in the displacement of over 150,000 Muslims from their homes, many of whom are still struggling to pick up the pieces of their lives. Mr. Modi continues to have a case pending against him in the Gujarat High Court and a tainted Special Investigation Team failed to initiate prosecution of Mr. Modi. The handful of convictions in the cases related to the pogroms in Gujarat have happened as a result of tireless and courageous work by activists and whistleblowers, whom the Modi government has harassed and intimidated.

Since coming to power, the Modi administration has worked steadily to erode religious freedom and India’s long-cherished traditions of tolerance among its diverse populace. Ranging from attacks on churches and mob violence against Muslims and Dalits, to felicitating the killer of Mahatma Gandhi, Mr. Modi’s administration and its supporters have relentlessly pursued a divisive agenda, that is antithetical to the country’s Constitution and its egalitarian ideals. The demonization of intellectuals, the vigilantism encouraged by the state, and the weakening of institutions are all indications of a besieged Indian democracy.

Saudi forces are conducting indiscriminate airstrikes in Yemen that are widely acknowledged to have caused huge loss of civilian lives, creating an ongoing humanitarian catastrophe. Incidentally, the monarchy had conferred the same award given to Mr. Modi, on Mr. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt.

“Coming from the Saudi monarchy, which is known for its repressive domestic policies and human rights violations, the award itself is of dubious value. It diminishes, rather than enhances the office of the Prime Minister of India,” added Mr. Malick.

Indian-American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation. For more information, please visit our website at: http://www.iamc.com

CONTACT:
Indian American Muslim Council
Phone/Fax: 1-800-839-7270
Email: info@iamc.com
Facebook: Indian American Muslim Council
Twitter: @IAMCouncil
Address: 6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295, Morton Grove, IL 60053

REFERENCES:

1.Indian government failed to address attacks on minorities: Human Rights groups
http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2016-01-27/news/70120366_1_meenakshi-ganguly-human-rights-watch-rights-groups

2. India Gov’t Turning a Blind Eye to Religious Attacks
http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2016/march/india-govt-turning-a-blind-eye-to-religious-attacks

3. India’s Refusal to Admit U.S. Religious Freedom Watchdog Seen As Attempt to Hide ‘Crimes’ Against Religious Minorities
http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/indias-refusal-admit-us-religious-freedom-watchdog-seen-attempt-hide

4. Two Muslim Cattle Traders Hanged To Death In Jharkhand By Suspected ‘Cattle-Protection Vigilantes’
http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/two-muslim-cattle-traders-hanged-to-death-in-jharkhand-by-suspected-cattle-protection-vigilantes-252255.html

5. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighting the “growing attacks” on the minority community, including the latest Latehar killings
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/latehar-killings-ghulam-nabi-azad-letter-pm-modi-jharkand-cattle-traders/

6. The BJP has Unleashed the Bhasmasura of Aggressive Nationalism. Good Luck Controlling It
http://thewire.in/2016/02/25/the-bjp-has-unleashed-the-bhasmasura-of-aggressive-nationalism-good-luck-controlling-it-22643/

7. Modi government’s AYUSH ministry says ‘we don’t recruit Muslims’
info@http://www.milligazette.com/news/13831-we-dont-recruit-indian-muslims-modi-govts-ayush-ministry

8. Rohith Vemula’s death sparks outrage within Indian diaspora
http://twocircles.net/2016jan28/1453995780.html

9. Human Rights Advocates: U.S.-Backed Saudi Offensive in Yemen a “Dark Mark” on Obama’s Presidency
http://www.democracynow.org/2016/4/1/human_rights_advocates_us_backed_saudi

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Human Rights Watch asks European Union to tell Modi to “stop harassing” civil society, minorities, Dalits (Mar 30, 2016, Counterview)

Human Rights Watch (HRW), in a letter to the European Union (EU), written amidst EU-India summit on March 30, has said that even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks “greater foreign investment in the private sector for initiatives such as Make in India, showcasing Indian democracy and diversity abroad, it uses laws such as the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act to restrict foreign funding for civil society groups.”

Addressed to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, HRW has said, “Civil society groups face increased harassment and government critics face intimidation and lawsuits. Free speech has come under threat as the authorities target those critical of the government, including students and academics.” Modi reached Brussels for the summit on March 30 for talks.

The letter said, “Activists that question government infrastructure and development projects or seek justice for victims of the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat have come under particular pressure”, adding, giving the example of how in January 2015 the government barred Priya Pillai, a Greenpeace India activist, from boarding a flight to London where she was to speak to members of the British Parliament, alleging that her testimony would have portrayed the government in a negative light.”…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/03/human-rights-watch-asks-european-union.html

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Pathankot attack ‘stage-managed’ by India, claim Pak media reports; Opposition slams Modi (Apr 5, 2016, Indian Express)

Opposition parties on Tuesday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Pakistan media reports that Pathankot attack was “stage-managed” by India and that its JIT was not provided with evidence of involvement of Pak-based terrorists, drawing a sharp response from the BJP.

Attacking the prime minister, the Congress tweeted, “Did Modiji invite the Pakistani JIT so that they could insult the memory of our brave martyrs?” while Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the “invitation” amounted to giving a “clean chit” to ISI for the terror attack in January.

Kejriwal also demanded that Modi tender an “apology” for the “monumental” foreign policy failure. An ISI official was part of the five-member JIT that was in India last week.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/pm-narendra-modi-must-apologize-over-pathankot-probe-says-delhi-cm-arvind-kejriwal/

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SIO: Cops tried to slap false charges (Mar 30, 2016, Times of India)

The Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) has alleged that the police tried to implicate the activists of the organisation who took part in a protest held in the city on Saturday under false charges.

In a press conference here on Tuesday, SIO state president Nahas Mala said that the FIR submitted by the police against activists who took out a protest march to the head post office demanding the resignation of Hyderabad Central University vice-chancellor Appa Rao had the false charge that they chanted the slogan ‘Down Down Hindustan’. He said it was later corrected as ‘Down Down Hindutva’.

“It was an attempt to falsely implicate students under the charge of raising anti-national slogans, similiar to attempts made in JNU,” he added. Nahas said that the organisation has provided the printed copy of all the slogans which were raised at the meeting to the police which clearly mentioned the slogan as ‘Down Down Hindutva’.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/51609756.cms

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Murder case: 5 RSS workers get life imprisonment (Mar 31, 2016, The Hindu)

Five workers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) were sentenced to life imprisonment by an additional district court here on Wednesday for hacking to death two CPI(M) workers over political differences in 2007.

Pronouncing the verdict in a packed court hall, Judge Suresh Kumar Paul imposed a fine of Rs.2 lakh on each of the convicts. The court acquitted two RSS activists giving them the benefit of doubt. The prosecution said it would go on appeal against the decision to acquit the fourth and sixth accused.

Delivering the judgment in the politically sensitive case, the judge expressed the hope that the verdict would help end the growing trend of political murders in the State. He also hoped that political parties would settle their differences through democratic negotiations.…

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/murder-case-5-rss-workers-get-life-imprisonment/article8416021.ece

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47 Indian policemen get life sentences for 1991 Sikh killings (Apr 4, 2016, Deutsche Welle)

A court in northern India has sentenced 47 policemen to life in prison over the massacre of Sikh pilgrims 25 years ago. The killings were committed during an insurgency by Sikh militants in the region.

The court in Uttar Pradesh state announced Monday it had found the policemen guilty of murder, abduction and criminal conspiracy for their role in the killings on July 12, 1991. Prosecutor Satish Jaiswal told reporters that 57 police officers had originally been charged in the case, but 10 of them had died during the trial.

According to court documents, the policemen stopped a bus of Sikh pilgrims in the Pilibhit region and ordered 10 male passengers to get off. The men were then divided into groups and taken into the jungle where they were shot and killed “in cold blood,” the charge sheet said. Police later claimed the men were armed and dangerous Sikh militants.…

http://www.dw.com/en/47-indian-policemen-get-life-sentences-for-1991-sikh-killings/a-19163431

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Set up people’s tribunal for terror cases of Muslim youths: Prashant Bhushan (Apr 4, 2016, Muslim Mirror)

Supreme Court senior lawyer and Convener of Swaraj Abhiyan Prashant Bhushan suggested that a people’s tribunal or commission of eminent retired judges should be constituted for reviewing the cases of Muslim youth who have been languishing in jails under terror charges.

Speaking at a conference on “Indian Muslims in Democratic India” here on Sunday, the noted lawyer and activist Bhushan said innocent Muslims were put behind bars on trumped-up terror charges by the police and their trials would stretch at least 20 years. In such a situation, he said, there is need of constituting a people’s tribunal, headed by retired judges having impeccable secular and judicial credentials, for expeditious disposal of all terror cases.

Making scathing attack on Sangh Parivar, Bhushan said since the advent of present government, the Constitution and minorities are under constant attack. During his speech, he made a host of suggestions for combating the fascist assault on the Constitution and minority communities. He also asked Muslims to shun ‘orthodoxy’ and to make demand for ‘Uniform Civil Code’ as he felt that demand from the community’s may blunt the edge of Sangh Parivar.…

http://muslimmirror.com/eng/set-up-peoples-tribunal-for-terror-cases-of-muslim-youths-prashant-bhushan/

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Targeted because of attire: Muslim youth who refused to say Jai Mata Ki (Mar 31, 2016, Hindustan Times)

“They clearly targeted us because of our attire,” said Mohammad Dilkash, one of the three Muslim youths allegedly beaten up by a group of men for refusing to say “Jai Mata Ki”.

Dilkash, Mohammad Ajmal and Mohammad Naeem – students from a Madrasa (Muslim religious seminary) in Outer Delhi’s Begumpur – were allegedly beaten by five youths. The attack on Saturday left Dilkash with a broken arm.…

He said they were thrashed mercilessly. They managed to run out of the park and call their teacher Mohammad Azhar. “We called up our head who then the police. Police came after sometime and took us to Sanjay Gandhi hospital,” he said. Azhar and others from the mosque alleged the police registered an FIR three days later, claiming to be “busy”. “Even now they are trying to downplay the incident by not mentioning in the FIR the part about skull caps of students trampled,” he said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi/targeted-because-of-attire-muslim-youth-who-refused-to-chant-jai-mata-ki/story-LCXh8O9JFP2GRaxGQG2KgP.html

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Hindutva Groups Fail to Push Caste Oppression Out of California Textbooks (Apr 3, 2016, Sabrang India)

Hindutva groups fail to omit caste oppression – California Education Commission denies anti-Dalit revisions in favor of academic-backed positions on history of caste-based violence

“It is important to recognize the elements of creeping Hindu fundamentalist revisionism,” said Bhajan Singh, Director of the Stockton-based Sikh Information Centre. “We’ve experienced how these beliefs inspire people to view others as untouchable, deviant, and deserving of whatever suffering assigned to their birth caste, including death.”

California Education Commission denies anti-Dalit revisions in favor of academic-backed positions on history of caste-based violence.…

https://www.sabrangindia.in/article/hindutva-groups-fail-push-caste-oppression-out-california-textbooks

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V-P Hamid Ansari calls on SC to help clarify and strengthen secularism, composite culture (Apr 3, 2016, Indian Express)

Quoting from a report calling upon the Supreme Court to reflect how to protect minorities from majoritarianism, Vice-President Hamid Ansari Saturday urged the court to clarify contours within which secularism and composite culture should operate so as to remove ambiguities.

Addressing the 16th convocation of Jammu University here, Ansari also wondered whether a more complete separation of religion and politics might not better serve Indian democracy.

He said that a few years ago, in a volume published on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Supreme Court, lawyers Rajeev Dhavan & Fali S Nariman had observed that “as we transit into the next millennium, the Supreme Court has a lot to reflect upon, and not least on how to protect the minorities and their ilk from the onslaught of majoritarianism”.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/vice-president-hamid-ansari-calls-for-more-complete-separation-of-religion-and-politics/

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After forced to migrate following rape, threat to life, 23 Gujarat Dalits seek internal displacement status (Apr 5, 2016, Counterview)

Twenty three Dalits, belonging to the Rohit community, are sitting in front of the Amreli district collector’s office since early January 2016, seeking a new status for themselves: They want to be declared as forced migrants, as they faced internal displacement following the rape of an 18-year-old Dalit girl and threat from dominant castes to take back the case. The incident took place in Vadali village, situated in Rajula taluka of Amreli district of Gujarat’s Saurashtra region.

In a letter sent to the Amreli district collector, senior Gujarat Dalit rights activist Kantilal Parmar of Navsarjan Trust has complained that the approach of the government authorities, including the police, regarding the forced migration suffered by Dalits has been highly indifferent, suggesting none of those who are in power seem to appreciate the threats these Dalits face at their original place of living, in Vadali following the rape incident.

Pointing out that things have been tense for the 100-odd Dalit families living in the higher caste Darbar Rajput-dominated village ever since the murder of a Dalit youth on January 14, 2011, Parmar said, the situation turned particularly pathetic for Laljibhai Bhimabhai Babariya’s family after his daughter was kidnapped late at night on December 25, 2015 and raped.…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/04/after-forced-to-migrate-following-rape.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Gujarat Riots: Closing the door on 2002 – By Aditi Raja (Apr 3, 2016, Indian Express)

…Additional Sessions Judge N T Solanki acquitted the 107 surviving accused (11 died during the course of the trial) due to “lack of evidence” as none of them or even the 35 police witnesses testified against anyone.

While the riots happened in four Nadiad areas, two predominantly Hindu and two Muslim, on February 28, 2002, a single FIR was filed with all the accused (84 Hindus, 34 Muslims), booked on charges of “assisting each other” in abetting the riots. Several shops were burnt in the violence that day while two people were killed. In their testimonies, all the accused and 35 police witnesses said they “didn’t know” the people who indulged in arson that day. The killings are being tried separately, and locals attribute the deaths to police firing.

Majid Pathan, the lawyer for the Muslim accused, says, “It was a strange case as the accused belonging to both communities were clubbed in one FIR and 35 police witnesses belonging to both communities were named as testifying against the accused.”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/closing-the-door-on-2002/

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A Hinduism that is the mirror opposite of Hindutva – By Anand Patwardhan (Mar 31, 2016, Scroll.in)

In 1984 after her Sikh bodyguards assassinated Indira Gandhi, a revenge pogrom took the lives of over 3,000 Sikhs on the streets of Delhi. Many killer mobs were led by Congress Party members, but some were led by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Bharatiya Janata Party as well. This is a fact forgotten by history but recorded in newspaper headlines of the day. It was this massacre that set me on to the road to fight communalism with my camera. For the next decade I recorded different examples of the rise of the religious right, as seen in diverse movements from the Khalistani upsurge in Punjab to the glorification of Sati in Rajasthan and the movement to replace the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya with a temple to Lord Ram.

The material I filmed was very complex and if I had tried to encompass it all into a single film, it would have been too long and confusing. Eventually three distinct films emerged from the footage shot between 1984 and 1994, all broadly describing the rise of religious fundamentalism and the resistance offered by secular forces in the country.…

Back in 1991 our première had been held in Lucknow, capital of UP. Pujari Laldas came for the screening and asked for several cassettes of the film. When I asked about his own safety, he laughed and said he was happy that now his views would circulate more widely. As he put it, if he had been afraid, he would not have spoken out in the first place. A year later, a tiny item on the inside pages of The Times of India noted, “Controversial priest found murdered.” Pujari Laldas had been killed with a country-made revolver. The newspaper article never told us that the real “controversy” was the fact that this brave priest believed in a Hinduism that is the mirror opposite of Hindutva.

http://scroll.in/article/802453/a-hinduism-that-is-the-mirror-opposite-of-hindutva-anand-patwardhan-on-the-making-of-ram-ke-naam

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Not chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ is not disrespecting India – By Karan Thapar (Apr 3, 2016, Hindustan Times)

…The BJP’s National Executive has passed a resolution stating: “Our Constitution describes India as Bharat also; refusal to chant victory to Bharat tantamounts to disrespect to our Constitution itself.” I’m sorry, but that’s simply not true.

First, the Constitution speaks of Bharat and not Bharat mata. Second, it does not require Indian citizens to chant any slogan including BMKJ. Third and most importantly, the Supreme Court ruled in the 1986 Jehovah’s Witnesses case that refusal to sing the national anthem – provided you stand in respect – is not disrespect to the Constitution or the anthem. And Jana Gana Mana is more sacrosanct than BMKJ.

What the BJP has forgotten is that India’s Constitution not only grants each citizen freedom of speech but also the freedom to be silent. So whilst I may be happy to chant BMKJ if some Muslims don’t wish to they have the right to refuse. Pratap Bhanu Mehta says it would be “objectionable” to coerce them. More importantly, that would be disrespect to our Constitution.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/columns/not-chanting-bharat-mata-ki-jai-is-not-disrespecting-india/story-7WC9K4jLJ0bCYfR9196WxM.html

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You are anti-national, should be killed: Cop to Hyd varsity student – By Sreerag Poickadath (Apr 5, 2016, Hindustan Times)

As a son of a retired police officer, I remember the day of our arrest and police brutality as a serious human rights violation. I was one among the 25 arrested and jailed students. On that day, police were dragging and beating peacefully protesting students without any provocation. They threatened girl students with rape. I was taken to the police van when I questioned why they were dragging our professor Dr KY Ratnam.

I was made to sit in the first row of the seat and one policeman came to me slapped on my face saying “Oh , are you a Muslim?”, by seeing my beard without a moustache. I was shocked for a moment because it all happened in a minute. I did not respond to his question; he started hitting my neck and back with fists and elbow.

They started the van after 5 minutes and I was shifted to the second row of two seats. When the van reached Gobs (a shopping complex inside University of Hyderabad) the van suddenly stopped. One policeman standing near the door caught a student taking a video of the police van; he was also dragged and pushed into the police van, his phone was snatched and he was slapped mercilessly.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/cops-threatened-to-rape-questioned-religion-hyd-varsity-student/story-S7XvRDER1J7IarpmK1SwoK.html

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Assam a Muslim populous state with under-representation of Muslims – By Wahidul Islam (Mar 30, 2016, TwoCircles.net)

Amidst the paranoia and degrading level of politics, Muslims have always been most vulnerable and politically exploited section of the society. Assam is no difference from other parts of India which has largest proportion of Muslim population after Jammu and Kashmir and Lakshadeep. However, most of the Muslims are economically and educationally lagging behind the majority with under-representation in public and private sector. Political representation of Muslims is also very negligible.

Although Muslims of Assam have thousand years of history dating back to 13th century when local tribes chieftain Ali Mes converted to Islam at the invitation of Mohammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1205. Subsequently, Mughal invasion and later British rule had brought many Muslims to Assam as labourers and traders. During the British rule, Muslims from the then East Bengal were brought to work in Assam’s tea gardens and farmland. With time most of these migrated populations assimilated with the local Assamese population and adopted indigenous cultures.

However, post independence era with large influx of Hindu minorities from then East Pakistan in 70s had resulted into Assam agitation against immigration which later turned into mostly Muslim bashing by collectively singling out the community as illegal Bangladeshis. Under the leadership of All Assam Students Union (AASU) leaders like Samujjal Bhattacharya and Sarbananda Sonowal, students’ wing then started to put all its efforts to brand every Muslim as foreigners.…

http://twocircles.net/2016mar30/1459361428.html

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Is Chhattisgarh A ‘Police State’ Of Democratic India? – By Pushkar Raj ( ()

A ‘police state’ is said to be one where citizens experience living, freedom of movement and expression of opinion subject to police monitoring and control. The mineral rich state of Chhattisgarh in India aptly qualifies for this notorious title as the events of the recent past demonstrate.

After its creation in 2000, Chhattisgarh enacted its own police Act in 2007 on the direction of the Supreme Court of India. The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), an organization advocating for police reform in the country, considered the new law worse than the previously prevailing 1861 police Act that it replaced due to the poor supervision and accountability provisions under the new law.

Justifying its character, while the police arrested 60,279 persons in 2007 (before the new police Act came into operation), it initiated police action against 7, 39,435 people in 2014 – a twelve times jump. Out of these 1, 44,017 people were served with the bail-able warrant and 81,329 were sent to jail under non-bail able warrant. 4, 88,366 people were made to come to the police station for questioning (National Crime Research Bureau Report, 2008, 2014).…

http://www.countercurrents.org/raj290316.htm

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 21st, 2016

by newsdigest on March 25, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Communal Harmony

Human chain to create sense of unity among citizens (Mar 20, 2016, Business Standard)

About 350 persons belonging to various organisations led by Jamaat E Islami Hind, a religious organisation, today formed a human chain here to promote communal harmony and instill a sense of unity among citizens.

In line with the motto of ‘Unity in Diversity’ and the theme ‘Nation for All,’ the main focus on the event was to insist on the importance of fulfilling the democratic duty as a citizen of this nation by voting, police said.

The chain was formed from Aatupalam to Kuniyamuthur covering 1.5 Kms, in which many community leaders, socialites, intellectuals, NGOs and students participated.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/human-chain-to-create-sense-of-unity-among-citizens-116032000604_1.html

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Jharkhand: Two cattle traders hanged from tree, gau raksha activist among 5 held (Mar 21, 2016, Indian Express)

A day after two Muslim cattle traders, one a minor, were found hanging from a tree in a Jharkhand village, police arrested five men including one with links to a local gau raksha samiti (an outfit for protection of cows). Police said they were looking for three others, one of whom was involved in a dispute with the elder of the victims.

The bodies of Mohammad Majloom (35) and Inayatullah Khan (12) were found hanging from a tree early Friday morning in Jhabar village under Balumath police station area of Latehar district.

According to police, the arrested men claimed they killed Majloom and Inayatullah after they resisted their attempts to steal cattle being taken to a fair for sale. Police said they were looking at “all possible angles” since one of the arrested men was linked to a gau raksha outfit. The men also told police that the boy was killed because they feared he would identify them.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/jharkhand-latehar-district-muslim-cattle-traders-hanged-five-arrested-section-144/

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BJP leader offers Rs 1 crore to anyone who brings him ‘traitor’ Owaisi’s tongue (Mar 17, 2016, Catch News)

The furore over AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi’s refusal to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ at a rally in Udgir tehsil of Latur district in Maharashtra on 13 February, continues unabated. Now BJP leader, Shyam Prakash Dwivedi, has condemned Owaisi’s comment and has reportedly announced a reward of Rs 1 crore to anyone who cuts off Owaisi’s tongue for refusing to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.

Owaisi had said he wouldn’t chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ even if a knife was put to his throat, and that nowhere in the Constitution is it mentioned that one must chant the slogan in question.

Dwivedi has also claimed that Owaisi has no right to reside in the country, and has called him a traitor.

http://www.catchnews.com/national-news/bjp-leader-offers-1-crore-to-anyone-who-brings-him-traitor-owaisi-s-tongue-1458198263.html

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Reference to circumcision in terror notice sparks ‘profiling’ charge (Mar 22, 2016, The Telegraph)

The Union home ministry has evolved a new way of identifying terrorists: by scanning their private parts. A ministry notice seeking the public’s help in identifying the four militants killed during the Pathankot airbase siege in January mentions they had undergone “circumcision” – a rite Muslim males have to go through (as do male Jews).

“This is unheard of and shocking. It’s religious profiling,” Ved Marwah, a former governor and one-time National Security Guard director-general, told The Telegraph. Several other security veterans and home ministry officials too expressed shock at what they described as an unprecedented move by the government.

The National Investigation Agency, which reports to the home ministry, released photos of the four men this evening seeking help in their identification. Under each photo, the notice mentioned the dead man’s gender and body type, adding: “circumcision present”.…

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1160322/jsp/frontpage/story_75856.jsp

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15 cops suspended over alleged custodial death in Kanpur Dehat district (Mar 20, 2016, Times of India)

Fifteen policemen including incharge of SWAT team and SHO Baraur have been placed under suspension in connection with the custodial death of a 32-year-old man on Friday in Kanpur Dehat district. SP Kanpur Dehat Pushpanjali Mathur issued the suspension order to all the fifteen cops on Saturday. …

“We have issued the suspension order to SHO Baraur Ved Prakash Pandey and SWAT team incharge Santosh Arya, besides 13 constables of the Baraur police station and SWAT team. We have suspended them for negligence of duty. Case against SHO Baraur and SWAT team incharge besides two constables has also been lodged under relevant sections of IPC. Further investigations would be carried out by a police team of other police circle,” SP said further.

It might be noted that the death of man while in custody allegedly at Baraur Police Station of Kanpur Dehat district on late Friday night had created a law and order problem with a furious mob attacking the station, making the police on duty to flee away for safety.… The mob had then blocked the road and squatted in front of Baraur police station demanding action against the police for allegedly torturing him to death.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/51479265.cms

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Under VHP pressure, Congress MLA considers removing Muslim DC’s name from invite (Mar 16, 2016, The Hindu)

Under pressure from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad local unit, a Congress MLA from Puttur in Dakshina Kannada district is now considering removing the name of Deputy Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim as the host on an invitation card for annual festivities of a temple administered by the State government. The only reason for the demand is that he is Muslim.

The episode began with cadres from the VHP local unit raising objections to the invitation card of the annual car festival of Mahalingeshwara temple, Puttur, from April 10, bearing the name of Mr. Ibrahim as the host.

Following this, Puttur MLA Shakuntala Shetty, who was earlier with the BJP, on Tuesday declared that she was considering bringing out a new invitation card that just indicates the designation – the Deputy Commissioner – to skirt any controversy.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/under-vhp-pressure-congress-mla-considers-removing-muslim-dcs-name-from-invite/article8359509.ece

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RSS is behind Sufi Conference: Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan (Mar 19, 2016, Siasat)

RSS is instrumental behind this Sufi Conference and dividing Muslims on sectarian line is the main agenda of this conference, said Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan while talking to MuslimMirror.com.

It should be remembered that the agenda to divide Muslims on sectarian line had been uttered by Subramanian Swamy and this Sufi Conference is the part of same agenda, said Maulana Tauqeer Raza.

Expressing his deep anger over the ongoing Sufi Conference, Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan said that ‘hate politics and creating division among Muslims is the main motive of this conference organizers of the conference have mortgaged their conscience to RSS office and the Muslims of entire country will never tolerate it’.…

http://www.siasat.com/news/rss-behind-sufi-conference-maulana-tauqeer-raza-khan-934337/

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1,475 arrests in Muzaffarnagar riots cases, only 37 in jail (Mar 16, 2016, Indian Express)

Of the 1,475 accused arrested in cases of murder, rape, arson and dacoity in connection with the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, only 37 are behind bars. Thirty-nine of the accused have been acquitted and the others are out on bail.

The Special Investigation Cell (SIC), which investigated the riot cases, failed to present a strong case against the bail applications of about 1,400 accused, who walked out of jail. Additional Superintendent of Police, Muzaffarnagar, Vinod Kumar Pandey, who is supervising the SIC investigations, said they were moving court for cancellation of bail of the accused.

The police had arrested 424 persons in murder cases. They include six persons accused in the murders of Jat youths Sachin and Gaurav in Kawal village on August 27, 2013. According to police records, applications to cancel the bail of 153 murder accused have already been filed in the Allahabad High Court, while applications for cancellation of bail of 83 others, facing other charges, have also been moved in the court. For 20 other murder accused, the SIC is waiting for the state government’s permission to move for bail cancellation.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/muzaffarnagar-riots-cases-37-in-jail/

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Academics with JNU pedigree find their speeches cancelled (Mar 20, 2016, The Hindu)

Not just students but also professors who have taught at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) are discovering a worrying trend, especially in Central universities: they are being prevented from speaking at seminars and public gatherings.

M.N. Panini, who has taught at the Centre for the Study of Social Systems in the School of Social Sciences, JNU, was on his way to deliver an address on the “Challenges of nation-building in a global age” at the Central University of Jharkhand in the context of the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

The university had made arrangements for Professor Panini to fly from Mysore to Ranchi, via Delhi, for the lecture on Saturday. On Friday evening , however, the Vice-Chancellor of the Jharkhand university, Nand Kumar Yadav, called him to say that the trip was cancelled. According to sources, the lecture was cancelled under pressure exerted on the university administration by a clutch of students. The campus does not have a union.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/academics-with-jnu-pedigree-find-their-speeches-cancelled/article8375155.ece

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Gujarat HC notice to govt, AMC on PIL alleging discrimination against Muslim localities (Mar 17, 2016, Indian Express)

The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and the state government on a PIL alleging discrimination against the Muslim-dominated localities of Sarkhej ward. The plea alleged that the Muslim localities were not provided basic civic facilities such as drinking water, drainage, street lights and disposal of garbage.

The High Court ordered the AMC and the state government to file their replies in four months. The petitioners – activist-cum-lawyer Amrish Patel and Musebhai Khatumbara – moved the court, saying that the local authorities through notifications in 2006 extended the limits of Ahmedabad city in which several municipalities namely Bodakdev, Makarba, Nava Odhav, Nikol, Vastrapur, Nava Naroda, Thaltej and village panchayats Sarkhej, Vejalpur, Jodhpur, Memnagar, Ghatlodia, Chadlodia, Ranip, Kali, Vastral, Ramol were merged and brought under the AMC.

According to the petitioners, after the merger, the AMC started collecting municipal taxes from the residents, but those living in Muslim-dominated localities were not provided basic civic facilities. Sarkhej and Makarba are the two areas where a large number of Muslims have settled since 2002.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/gujarat-hc-notice-to-govt-amc-on-pil-alleging-discrimination-against-muslim-localities/

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Asaram Bapu rape case: Victim’s father receives death threat (Mar 20, 2016, Scroll.in)

The father of the survivor in the Asaram Bapu rape case has reportedlyreceived a death threat, days after a man was arrested for killing three witnesses. PTI reported that an unidentified person called the victim’s father and told him that he will be killed if he did not withdraw the case.

Shahjahanpur Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar said that the victim’s family was provided with security after receiving the threat, and that the matter was being investigated.

On March 13, the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad arrested Karthik Haldar, who had killed three of 11 witnesses in the case. Three other witnesses in the case were also killed earlier. The survivor said she was raped in August 2013 when she was 16.…

http://scroll.in/latest/805414/asaram-bapu-rape-case-victims-father-receives-death-threat

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Opinions and Editorials

Does India Need A Militant Hindutva? – By Shubhda Chaudhary (Mar 20, 2016, Countercurrents)

…The growing militant Hindutva phenomenon emerging in India is obnoxious and in the league of following the Zionist project in Israel, where hundreds of innocents are man-slaughtered in the name of religion. The proponents of this ideology, RSS, the ‘para-military Hindu Organization’ stringently believes that Islam is a fascist and supremacist religion which should be dealt with through abominable and obnoxious ways, so that justice for the so-called ‘greater good’ can be served.

Members of RSS believe that ‘There were “church attacks”, which turned out to be entirely bogus. There was the apparently horrible rape of nuns in Kolkata, which turned out to be fake too. Perhaps, they have forgotten that when these nuns were being raped, people were shouting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. Shameful indeed, not because the reality is not considered by them, but because the reality is being annihilated by them!…

The same RSS gets shady when it comes to getting public about its alliance with Nathuram Godse, the killer of Mahatma Gandhi, because this sensitive issue could malign their image, created after years of hard-work.… It’s RSS which is a supremacist, fascist ideology! It brings back the war pogroms of Germany’s Hilter and Italty’s Mussolini. It’s RSS that needs to be destroyed for the ‘Idea of India’ to survive. So, does India need a militant Hindutva? No, it does not. The unity, vibrancy and culture of India will fight, be it through student movements of intellectual underpinnings to corrode this emergence away. We shall fight, we shall win!

http://www.countercurrents.org/chaudhary200316A.htm

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Nationalism is the bedrock upon which all fascist movements have built themselves – By Jairus Banaji (Mar 20, 2016, Sabrang India)

…What the talk at JNU did was to look at fascism through these complementary perspectives and suggest that they need to be seen as different moments of the same general development. Subservience to authority turns out to be a central theme in the conditions that allow for fascist emergence. It was the factor that Reich himself stressed most of all, linking it with the nature of the family and describing the family itself as “the most important instrument of the state’s power”.

The RSS understood this from its inception. Marzia Casolari has shown the reasoning that lay behind the emergence of the shakha. BS Moonje, friend and mentor of Hedgewar, RSS founder, described his 1931 meeting with Mussolini in his diary. Moonje, Casolari points out, “played a crucial role in moulding the RSS along Italian (fascist) lines”.

Here is what he wrote in his diary: “The idea of fascism vividly brings out the conception of unity amongst people… India and particularly Hindu India need some such institution [as the Fascist youth organizations] for the military regeneration of the Hindus… Our institution of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh of Nagpur under Dr Hedgewar is of this kind…”. The RSS would be publicly embarrassed to have these connections widely publicised since they show that its own model of moulding the minds of Indian youth stems directly from the experience of Italy and Mussolini’s recommendations. …

https://www.sabrangindia.in/article/nationalism-bedrock-upon-which-all-fascist-movements-have-built-themselves

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Chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ Doesn’t Prove Your Patriotism – By Amulya Ganguli (Mar 19, 2016, The Quint)

…It is now obvious that the catchphrase has become the latest test after the focus on beef by the BJP and the Sangh Parivar to judge a person’s patriotism. If ostensibly “secular” parties like the Congress and the NCP joined the saffron brotherhood in Maharashtra to ascertain a person’s loyalty, the reason is a pusillanimous disinclination to be branded as unpatriotic by the gung-ho saffron brigade. …

For the saffron camp, a major purpose behind the coinage of the slogan is to needle the Muslims, who are unwilling to bow their heads to any entity other than Allah.… Ever since the BJP secured a majority in the Lok Sabha, it has been trying relentlessly to push its Hindutva agenda. At first, the hardliners organised the ‘ghar wapsi’ and love jihad campaigns. Then they turned to assaulting and even killing suspected beef-eaters. The ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ gambit is their latest ploy, which includes a threat by a BJP member to cut off MIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi’s tongue for refusing to chant the slogan.…

But since the sedition law has been deemed “defective” by the Law Commission, the saffron brigade apparently wants to fall back on the Mother India tag to brand what it once called non-nationalists as being.…

http://www.thequint.com/india/2016/03/19/chanting-bharat-mata-ki-jai-doesnt-prove-your-patriotism

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The Lynch Mob Of Latehar – By Deepika Tandon and Moushumi Basu (Mar 21, 2016, Countercurrents)

In the early hours of 18th March 2016, Mohammad Majloom Ansari (35) and Inayahtullah Khan (12) were found hanging from a tree in the Balumath forest area in Latehar, Jharkhand. Residents of Balugoan and Nawada villages, Ansari and young Khan were on their way to the weekly cattle fair with their eight buffaloes when they were stopped, thrashed, strangled and hanged by a lynch mob. So far the police has arrested 5 men and is on the lookout for three others. It has also clamped S.144 IPC in Balumath in a bid to quell communal tensions. Surprisingly, till now, the police has been reluctant to question the Latehar Gau Raksha Samiti even though one of the accused, Mithilesh Prasad Sahu, is a known member of the organization.…

Why is the police soft-pedalling the issue of the involvement of the Gau Raksha Samitis in the barbaric killings? Protesting villagers, mostly cattle traders, who blocked the Latehar-Chatra highway and also pelted the police, are not new to such acts of lynching. On 8th September 2015, a cattle trader of nearby Gomia village, narrowly escaped being killed after he was thrashed by right wing goons, the Latehar MLA, Prakash Ram told PUDR. Mr Ram also said that the police refused to lodge a complaint and, instead, detained the victim.

In February 2016, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, VHP, had announced in Jamshedpur that it would launch an agitation against the state government for ‘failing to protect’ the interests of the Hindu community and for failing to prevent ‘cow-slaughter’ incidents (www.jharkhandstatenews.com, 14.2.2016). Hence, the roots of the present hanging are not difficult to find. The lynch mob is around and known to the police.…Each of the above suggests that the Hindutva lynch mobs act with the knowledge of the local administration.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/pudr210316.htm

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As Modi Speaks Sufi, His Ministers Are Whirling to a Different Tune – By Siddharth Varadarajan (Mar 20, 2016, The Wire)

If Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s panegyric to Islam and Indian Muslims on March 17 was meant to herald his government’s commitment to “an inclusive and peaceful society”, his own ministers do not appear to have got the memo.…

Addressing a rally in Agra a day after Modi’s speech to the World Sufi Forum, Katheria – who narrowly escaped being indicted for hate speech last month – demanded that charges against local Bharatiya Janata Party and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders for using inflammatory language against Muslims be dropped. If the state government – which is run by the Samajwadi Party – does not drop the charges in 15 days, he warned, Agra would see “a different kind of Holi”.…

The Sangh parivar leaders charged with inciting hatred against Muslims are Kundanika Sharma of the BJP, Ashok Lavania of the VHP and Shashank Chaudhary of the BJP’s student wing, the ABVP. Though the three are officially “absconding”, the presence of the first two on the stage with Katheria suggests the SP government in Uttar Pradesh is either not serious about pursuing the case or has already given in to Katheria’s thinly veiled threats of a violent Holi.…

http://thewire.in/2016/03/20/if-modi-is-a-sufi-his-ministers-are-whirling-to-a-different-tune-25301/

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Modernisation of the RSS – By S Nihal Singh (Mar 19, 2016, The Tribune)

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s momentous decision to give up the nine-decade-long uniform of baggy khaki shorts for brown trousers represents a sea change in the thinking of the organisation. It is being sold as “changing with the times” or modernising the RSS.…

The RSS is not unique in trying to marry a version of religion to the cause of a militant posture. But it faces unique dilemmas because although it can conjure up such historical figures as Shivaji, the Rani of Jhansi and others, Hinduism does not fit neatly into a philosophy of militancy.…

Prime Minister Modi’s attitude to the manifestations of the ugly face of the Parivar by maintaining silence for the most part or making tangential references to tragedies is totally inadequate in reassuring the country. There does not seem to be full realisation in the establishment that by dividing society it is creating conditions of unrest that would impact economic and social development. Indeed, by narrowing the definition of nationalism and appropriating it for the Sangh Parivar, the Modi dispensation is doing harm to the country.…

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/comment/modernisation-of-the-rss/210759.html

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Book Review

Samrat: How the Shiv Sena Changed Mumbai Forever

Author: Sujata Anandan
Reviewed by: Suraj Kumar Thube
Available at: Harper Collins Publishers India Ltd., A-75, Sector 57, Noida, UP, India.http://www.amazon.in/
Review:
Hindu Hriday Samrat (Mar 21, 2016, Countercurrents)

…More than stuffing the book with huge but mundane information, it focuses on few events that changed Mumbai forever, applying the method of a horizontal expansion of academic analysis instead of a vertical one. …The writer persists with a few points at length, that of Thackeray being a stooge of the Congress, as a mere pawn to obliterate the Communists and thereby consolidate the votes of the Maratha community, mostly those that had migrated from eastern Maharashtra to Bombay in search of jobs.…

The second point that gets a lion’s share in the book is the four and a half year period that the Shiv Sena was in power, along with the BJP, since 1995. Till this time, Bal Thackeray’s “Maratha agenda” has mellowed down, only to be overtaken by a broader ideology of Hindutva. The author neatly traces this shift to the early 1980’s which continued to be its main ideological stand. His overt support to the Babri Masjid demolition and his complicit role in the Bombay riots (as brought out by the Srikrishna Commission report that is now gathering dust) are testimony to this subtle yet pronounced change.…

To understand someone who used to abhor politics and politicians in his early days to the one who became known by a very peculiar style of politics, Sujata Anandan’s book meticulously provides those rare insights of the life and times of Bal Thackeray.

http://www.countercurrents.org/thube210316.htm

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 7th, 2015

December 17, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Unique display of communal harmony: Muslim group Jamaat e Islami Hind cleans Hindu temple after Chennai floods News Headlines Naroda Patiya massacre case convict’s wife accuses husband of rape, files for divorce Arrest Babri Mosque demolition accused and expedite trial: All India Muslim Personal Law Board to […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 9th, 2015

November 12, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines India’s prime minister Narendra Modi suffers embarrassing setback on eve of UK visit Global media finds BJP’s debacle in Bihar a setback for Modi Former Indian PM expresses concern over rising religious intolerance in India Extremism, Intolerance Not an Expression of a Religion Called Islam, Says Ansari […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 12th, 2015

October 14, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Indian community protests against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK Indian activist Sudheendra Kulkarni hit by Shiv Sena ink attack Dadri lynching pre-medidated by Hindutva forces: DU, JNU fact-finding committee Police see right-wing plot behind Mainpuri violence RSS sympathiser loses column for saying ‘RSS leaders […]

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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 – July 27th, 2015

July 28, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Irony of ironies: Judge afraid for her life after convicting Modi’s minister in Gujarat riots! Teesta Setalvad accuses Modi govt of ‘vendetta’ to silence her 1500 ‘encounter’ deaths under glare Will perpetrators of Babri masjid demolition be hanged too, asks Owaisi India Sees a Sharp Rise in […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 15th, 2015

June 16, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines International Yoga Day: It’s RSS, Centre’s way to propel Hindutva agenda Tripura suspends three cops for custody death UP journalist killing: Five policemen suspended Advocate Pracha threatened by Rajasthan ATS officer for defending terror accused RSS Activists Attack Christian Religious Gatherings In Kerala CCTV footage shows Ramdev’s […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 6th, 2015

April 7, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Bihar CM Nitish Kumar demands BJP’s explanation for 2002 Gujarat riots 1992 Jalandhar fake encounters: 8 ex-cops get life sentence Main accused in Patna blast case arrested Babri Masjid demolition case: Courts are ‘the only way ahead when accused are in govt’, says Haji Mehboob Muslims have […]

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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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