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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – January 9th, 2017

by newsdigest on January 20, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Communal Harmony

Muslims offer fruit juice to Hindu devotees during festival (Jan 6, 2017, Times of India)

Murders, attacks on innocent youths, communal tension and hate speeches might have made Ullal in Mangaluru a sensitive region. However, there are instances that make the region famous for communal harmony too.

On Friday, Muslim brethren in Ullal showed an exemplary gesture that herald the message of communal harmony. While members of the Hindu community were celebrating annual festival at Sri Ullalthi Dharma Arasara Temple, Uliya in Ullal, Muslims in the region welcomed devotees by offering fruit juice. Muslim brethren not only offered soft drinks to Hindu devotees, but also extended festival wishes.…

The initiative was well-praised by people in general and the police department in particular. Usually, police department is at the receiving end whenever incidents of communal clashes and murders report in Ullal. Deputy Commissioner of police (crime) M Sanjeev Patil posted the pictures of Muslim brethren distributing fruit juice to Hindu devotees at the temple premises.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/56378488.cms

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‘Modi has to go’: Post-2002 Gujarat riots, Atal Bihari Vajpayee wanted then CM to step down (Jan 7, 2017, First Post)

…All the killing and pillaging in Gujarat had given Vajpayee a bad name, the more so because Gujarat had a BJP government in place, with a chief minister who had reportedly not risen enough to the occasion to rein in the violence. Vajpayee was blamed for his failure as PM to get rid of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who reportedly shouted back at a Muslim leader on the phone for seeking help after a mob had gathered outside his house. Some hours later, the Muslim leader was lynched, and Modi is alleged to have asked the police forces to let the violence continue. At that moment, Modi seemed to be the villain who brought a lot of shame to the central government.

Modi had also dared to publicly snub Vajpayee at a press conference where he was seated alongside the prime minister. The reporter wanted to know Vajpayee’s message for the chief minister in the wake of the riots. In controlled displeasure, Vajpayee stated that Modi should ‘follow his Rajdharma’. He explained that Rajdharma was a meaningful term, and for somebody in a position of power, it meant not discriminating among the higher and lower classes of society or people of any religion.…

Three days before his foreign tour in April, when Vajpayee visited the Shah Alam camp in Ahmedabad, which housed 9,000 Muslims displaced by the riots, he was deeply touched when a woman told him that he alone could save them from the hell that their lives had become. Now, on the flight to Singapore, Vajpayee was worried he would expose himself to more humiliation while outside the country. His grouse was: why am I being paraded abroad at such a time? Shourie suggested that the PM speak to Advani, who had by now become the deputy prime minister, about the possibilities of salvaging the situation — it could even mean replacing Modi. But even after the ‘pep talk’ with Shourie, Vajpayee appeared cheerless.…

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/modi-has-to-go-post-2002-gujarat-riots-atal-bihari-vajpayee-wanted-then-cm-to-step-down-3191210.html

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Demonetisation: 35 per cent job losses, 50 per cent revenue dip, says study by largest organisation of manufacturers (Jan 9, 2017, Indian Express)

In the first 34 days since demonetisation, micro-small scale industries suffered 35 per cent jobs losses and a 50 per cent dip in revenue, according to a study conducted by India’s largest organisation of manufacturers.

The study, conducted by the All India Manufacturers’ Organisation (AIMO), has also projected a drop in employment of 60 per cent and loss in revenue of 55 per cent before March 2017. The AIMO represents over 3 lakh micro, small scale, and medium and large scale industries engaged in manufacturing and export activities.

The study stated that almost all industrial activities have come to a standstill, with the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) sector worst-hit. “While AIMO understands certain immediate repercussions of such a bold step (demonetisation) by the government, it did not anticipate or was prepared for such a jolt to industries even after one month,” said the study.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/demonetisation-35-per-cent-job-losses-50-per-cent-revenue-dip-says-study-by-largest-organisation-of-manufacturers-4465524/

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Watch: BJP Delhi Chief Manoj Tiwari Mocking People Queuing Up Before ATMs (Jan 3, 2017, Huffington Post)

In an undated news video clip, Bhojpuri superstar-turned-politician, Manoj Tiwari, who was recently appointed president of the Bharatiya Janata Party unit in Delhi, is seen making fun of people compelled to stand in long queues at ATMS following the Modi government’s decision to scrap the ₹500 and ₹1000 notes.

The video clip, tweeted out by a Bahujan Samaj Party handle on Tuesday evening, shows Tiwari sitting around a table with several people including Sudhanshu Trivedi, a national spokesperson for the BJP. Tiwari, who represents the North East Delhi constituency, tells the others how he had belted out a song to boost the morale of people standing in a queue, and then goes on to mock them.

“I said desh bhakt hain kataar mein. Everyone started smiling…they said we will keep standing till the 30th,” Tiwari said in jeering tone, while the others started laughing.…

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2017/01/03/watch-bjp-delhi-chief-manoj-tewari-mocking-people-queuing-up-be/

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BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj booked for ‘population control’ remark (Jan 7, 2017, Indian Express)

An FIR has been filed against controversial Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Sakshi Maharaj on Saturday for his remark on population control. A case has been registered in Meerut under section 298 of IPC, among others. Earlier on Friday in Meerut, Sakshi, in a veiled attack on the Muslim community, blamed them for the population explosion in the country.

He said, “Those with four wives and 40 children are responsible for the population increase in the country. Hindus are not responsible for the increase in population,” he said. He added, “Strict laws are required in this country if we really want to curb population. Parties need to rise above politics and take decision for the sake of the country,” he added.

The controversial remark by the MP in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh drew strong condemnation from opposition parties. The Election Commission sought a report from the Meerut district administration while the BJP distanced itself from the statement.… Congress leader KC Mittal said Sakshi’s speech is “offensive” as it is based on caste and religion and goes against the recent Supreme Court judgement.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/bjp-mp-sakshi-maharaj-booked-for-population-control-remark-4463703/

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How Justice JS Verma’s Hindutva judgment is often misinterpreted by BJP (Jan 3, 2017, Inuth.com)

The Supreme Court’s verdict that seeking votes in the name of religion is illegal—is undoubtedly a big blow to all those political parties and politicians, who thrived on this practice. However, the recent judgement of the apex court also brings us the memory of the 1995 ruling, in which a bench headed by Justice JS Verma had defined ‘Hindutva’ ‘as a way of life’.

The apex court ruling gave the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena a considerable legal ground to justify their ‘ultra-nationalistic politics’. The BJP owe its rise to the 1995 Supreme Court ruling as it concluded that Hinduism and Hindutva in election campaigns was actually fine despite Section 123(3) of the Representation of People’s Act prohibiting the use of religion during election campaigning.

After Justice JS Verma defined Hindutva as a way of life, political parties contesting polls on Hindutva plank got a point to defend themselves by saying that they were seeking votes on the basis of (concept of) way of life and not on religion.…

http://www.inuth.com/india/politics/how-js-vermas-hindutva-judgment-is-often-misinterpreted-by-bjp/

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Chhattisgarh HC issues notice to govt, police over ‘fake encounter’ (Jan 7, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Chhattisgarh high court on Friday issued notices to the state government and top police officials in connection with the alleged fake encounter of a person, claimed to be Maoist, in Kondagaon in November last year.

The Bilaspur bench of the court issued notices to state chief secretary, director general of police, inspector general of police (Bastar) and SP Kondagaon on a petition filed by the wife of the deceased, Bal Singh Sori, and local Congress MLA Mohan Markam.

Satish Verma, counsel of the petitioners, told Hindustan Times that the officials have been asked to respond to the notice within four weeks.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/chhattisgarh-hc-issues-notice-to-govt-police-over-fake-encounter-of-maoist/story-UKqqKq0aEKPWYDKcovN1qO.html

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‘It’s easy to brand any Muslim a terrorist’: Exonerated ‘terrorist’ Irshad Ali (Jan 9, 2017, Siasat)

It does not take much to brand any suspect as a terrorist. But it can take years to ascertain the veracity of the allegations. The media, as well as society, don’t wait for any trial to pass their verdict. However, there is hardly a whimper if the accused if finally proved innocent after years of judicial struggle.

Few can recount the horror of facing false charges of terrorism as well as Irshad Ali. A driver by profession, Irshad is lucky to have survived the ordeal he faced for years.

His story is that of an unjust system, a society with a religious bias that does not think twice before labelling a citizen a criminal and a terrorist. This inept system simply incarcerates people when it fails to justify this discrimination.…

http://www.siasat.com/news/its-easy-brand-any-muslim-terrorist-exonerated-terrorist-irshad-ali-1104916/

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Fazal murder: Internal strife in RSS led to ‘revelations’ (Jan 3, 2017, Times of India)

A key evidence, which pointed to the role of RSS activists in the murder of NDF (now PDF) leader Muhammad Fazal had surfaced, thanks to the internal strife within the Sangh Parivar in Thalassery.

It has been learnt that Parivar activists themselves handed over the audio clip of a conversation between RSS worker Subeesh and another party worker to the police. In the audio clip, Subeesh speaks of the entire operation which culminated in the murder of Fazal in 2006. He repeated it in his confession later to the police when he was arrested in a case related the murder of a CPM worker a few months ago.…

Even before Subeesh’s revelation, the Crime Branch had received an anonymous letter stating the role of the Sangh Parivar in the case. Later it became known that it was written by a Sangh Parivar leader from Kannur.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/56320246.cms

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Indian police accused of raping women in restive Chhattisgarh state (Jan 10, 2017, The Guardian)

The Indian government’s human rights watchdog has accused police of raping and beating at least 16 women from tribal communities in Chhattisgarh, a central state racked by a 50-year Maoist insurgency.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said there were 20 alleged attacks still to be investigated, but that in 16 cases the “human rights of the victims have been grossly violated by the security personnel”.

It was investigating a report published in the Indian Express that police had committed abuses against women in several villages in Bijapur district during an operation against rebels in October 2015.…

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/10/indian-police-accused-of-raping-women-in-restive-chhattisgarh-state

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Mumbai University bars bearded Muslim student from boxing event (Jan 10, 2017, Hindustan Times)

The University of Mumbai (MU) pulled out a Muslim student from a boxing competition because he refused to shave off his beard.

Sayyed Imran Ali is a national-level taekwondo and kick-boxing player and a second-year BCom student at GR Patil College in Mumbra. When he reached University Sports Pavilion in Marine Lines for his match last Monday, the university officials told him that he won’t be allowed to compete unless he shaves off his beard.…

Imran Ali, a Mumbra resident who sports a goatee, said he was unaware of the rule as this was his first competitive boxing. “I have been participating in kick-boxing, karate and taekwondo competitions at the state and the national level for the past seven years. My small beard was never an issue,” said the boxer, who runs a martial arts training centre in Mumbra.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/mumbai-universi-bars-bearded-muslim-student-from-boxing-event/story-BxY7wI4i4hAALqJ2z0s5NN.html

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Opinions and Editorials

The decline of Modi – By A.G. Noorani (Jan 20, 2017, Frontline)

…Just half-way through his term in office as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi faces disenchantment to a high degree. Demonetisation only served to remind the people of lapses they had overlooked. He hugely personalised demonetisation. The gamble failed. The slide downwards has begun. The Emperor has no clothes on him.

Modi’s hysterical performances reveal his panic at the wide public disenchantment in the wake of his quixotic decision on demonetisation of Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 currency notes on November 8. This was the first major test of his mettle and he has been found wanting. Slogans, his favourite ploy, do not help (vikas, vishwas, et al). People want answers; they demand accountability for the havoc he created. But the concept is foreign to him.

He has deployed every trick in the book to build himself up as a mass leader, above the party (Bharatiya Janata Party) and even its parent (the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh), and above institutions, Parliament and the judiciary. His technique was continuous electioneering, doling out slogans, impugning the integrity of critics and opponents without a thought for accountability to Parliament. He began by going over the heads of Cabinet colleagues to civil servants (vide the writer’s article “Modifying Democracy”, Frontline, July 11, 2014). He is now reduced to embarking on a course of cheap demagogy. It will not work.…

http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/the-decline-of-modi/article9456807.ece

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The Cost of India’s Man-Made Currency Crisis – Editorial (Jan 9, 2017, New York Times)

Two months after the Indian government abruptly decided to swap the most widely used currency notes for new bills, the economy is suffering. The manufacturing sector is contracting; real estate and car sales are down; and farm workers, shopkeepers and other Indians report that a shortage of cash has made life increasingly difficult.…

But the swap was atrociously planned and executed. Indians had to line up for hours outside banks to deposit and withdraw cash. New notes have been in short supply because the government did not print enough of them in advance. The cash crunch has been worst in small towns and rural areas. The amount of cash in circulation fell by nearly half, from 17.7 trillion rupees ($260 billion) on Nov. 4 to 9.2 trillion ($135 billion) on Dec. 23, according to the Reserve Bank of India.

No economy can lose that much currency in a few weeks without creating major hardship – certainly not one like that of India, where cash is used for about 98 percent of consumer transactions by volume. And while a growing number of people have debit cards and cellphones that can be used to transfer money, most merchants are not set up to accept such electronic payments.…

http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/09/opinion/the-cost-of-indias-man-made-currency-crisis.html

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How BJP used the Gujarat co-operative bank sector to ‘re-monetise’ its funds – By Charu Kartikeya (Jan 6, 2017, Catch News)

It is becoming increasingly clear that while ordinary citizens were forced to endure endless agony over their hard-earned money following demonetisation, BJP used its position in power to manage its own money quite conveniently. Between early days after demonetisation and now, several reports have surfaced that point out how the party may have converted old notes worth hundreds of crores into new ones without attracting any scrutiny.

First, reports of BJP leaders knowing about demonetisation in advance came out. Then it was reported that the party indulged in a massive land-buying spree in many states, using cash. Now, much evidence is coming to light that indicates that BJP may have used co-operative banks run by its own leaders to keep its money safe.

An investigation done by The Hindustan Times has pointed out that cash deposits in 285 district cooperative banks (DCBs) across the country saw a six-fold surge in less than a week after the demonetisation announcement of 8 November. Leading these banks in this unbelievable surge was Amreli Jilla Madhyastha Sahakari Bank Ltd (AJMSBL) in Gujarat’s Saurashtra region, whose Chairman is not just a senior BJP leader in the state but also a cabinet minister. The bank’s cash deposits on 7 November were to the tune of Rs 1.3 crore but over the next four working days, the deposits surged to Rs 209.15 crore, a 200-fold jump. How unusually high is this figure for the bank can be gauged from the bank that the highest deposit in the last quarter was a meagre Rs.6.2 crore.…

http://www.catchnews.com/politics-news/how-bjp-used-the-gujarat-co-operative-bank-sector-to-re-monetise-its-funds-1483710659.html

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India: Modi, Money, Minorities And The Year That Was – By John Dayal (Dec 31, 2016, Sabrang India)

The last flicker of 2016 sees an India devalued, its reputation in tatters, its people in pain. It also marks the mid-term of the regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has already reserved his place in the country’s political history as the man whose headlong rush to imagined personal glory has plunged India’s famed foreign policy into a friendless abyss, its development process on a reverse path, its security left fraught.

With a tongue-tied and invisible council of ministers and the Planning Commission shrunk to nothingness, he should be a Dictator. He remains but a caricature of one, seen in advertisements of PayTM, the half-Chinese payment portal, and on TV, both arms semaphoring bile and spite. It is to the sangh parivar headquarters in Nagpur that Ratan Tata and fellow tycoons go when in trouble, and where generals, spymasters, administrators pay court.…

Crops failed as farmers could not get the cash to buy the seeds and the fertilisers. The small vegetable farmers found their harvest rotting on the road for want of purchasers. Patients requiring surgery died in transit as their parents or children pleaded with hospitals. The sight of a former soldier, now old and frail, weeping after he was edged out of a snaking queue at a bank, went viral, as the new phrase goes. He was trying to get his own money, not borrowing from the bank. Statistics cannot assist in visualising those tears. Though figures show that Modi’s claim of eradicating black money is not merely misleading, it is criminally false. His threat to do worse in the new year may be very real.…

https://sabrangindia.in/article/india-modi-money-minorities-and-year-was

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Narendra Modi’s Crackdown on Civil Society in India – By Rohini Mohan (Jan 9, 2017, New York Times)

…The Lawyers Collective, an advocacy group in New Delhi run by the prominent lawyers Indira Jaising and Anand Grover, has for three decades provided legal assistance to women, nonunion workers, activists and other marginalized groups, often without charge. In December, the Modi government barred it from receiving foreign grants. The political reasons were obvious: The Collective had represented critics of Mr. Modi’s sectarian record and environmental vision.

Under Indian law, nongovernmental groups that seek foreign donations have to register under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act, which prohibits the use of overseas funds for “activities detrimental to the national interest.” Although accountability in the nongovernmental sector is necessary to control malpractice, the foreign funding law is better known as a tool of political retribution than transparent auditing.

It’s not just the Collective that has been punished. The Home Affairs Ministry recently revoked the licenses of around 10,000 other nongovernmental organizations. Even groups whose funding licenses were renewed are worried about the future. “It is activism on thinning ice from now on,” an education activist told me.…

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/09/opinion/narendra-modis-crackdown-on-civil-society-in-india.html

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RSS, BJP and Communal Polarisation in Uttar Pradesh Polls – By Radhika Ramaseshan (Dec 31, 2016, EPW)

In July 2016, when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) hosted a week-long annual meet of its kshetriya pracharaks (literally translates as regional propagandists, but the RSS calls them regional minders) at Bithoor, the choice of a small town, 55 km away from Kanpur, as the venue was deliberate. Uttar Pradesh (UP) would be going to polls in early 2017. It was critical for the RSS to message early on that its role would be central and not supplementary and “constructive” towards the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The element of positivity was required to be emphasised to dispel the doubts and misgivings that persisted about the part the RSS had played in the 2015 Bihar assembly elections, arising from certain remarks that the sarsanghachalak (head), Mohan Bhagwat, had made on the reservations policy.…

With the Dalits, the script went awry long before the BJP could regroup their votes. Sensing early on that Mayawati was working hard at recovering those sections of the Dalits, including the Jatavs, who had left the BSP for the BJP in 2014 and adding their votes with those of the Muslims to add up a formidable social combine, the RSS and the BJP worked assiduously on the Dalits. The mobilisation strategies faltered soon enough, because as with the MBCs, for the Dalits too communal polarisation, pitting them against Muslims, had a limited shelf life.…

http://www.epw.in/journal/2016/53/uttar-pradesh%E2%80%94vortex-change/rss-bjp-and-communal-polarisation-uttar-pradesh-polls

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Book Review

Fascism: Essays on Europe and India

Author: Ed. Jairus Banaji
Reviewed by: Radhika Desai
Available at: Three Essays Collective, B-957 Palam Vihar, GURGAON (Haryana), 122 017 India. www.amazon.in/
Review:
Hindutva and Fascism (Dec 31, 2016, EPW)

Comparisons between the Sangh Parivar and interwar European fascisms are inescapable. The founders of the Sangh were inspired by, and emulated and adapted, those fascisms (Casolari 2000). The Parivar’s proliferating role in Indian politics also periodically suggested the comparison, whether to politicians such as Indira Gandhi in the 1970s or to intellectuals after the demolition of the Babri Mosque (Sarkar in the volume being reviewed; Ahmad 1993; Basu et al 1993).

Other scholars have questioned the relevance of the comparison (Vanaik 1994; Jaffrelot 1993), though not very successfully (Desai 2016). While political parties have often engaged in similar political tactics – let us confine ourselves to Sanjay Gandhi’s Youth Congress and the 1984 massacre of Sikhs or the Shiv Sena’s long record of union and basti-busting – no party’s activities have so systematically elicited comparisons with fascism as those of the party of Hindutva.…

This mass base did not mean that most Germans actively supported the Third Reich just as Modi government does not mean all Indians support it (Desai 2014). However, Banaji does emphasise that there was a certain “moral indifference” or “passive complicity” (p 218). Today in India, this would include the refusal to use the concept of fascism as a critical part of an understanding of the Modi government for the purposes of opposing it. As Banaji emphasises, the Sangh Parivar’s pogroms in India have already exceeded anything that the Nazis did barring the holocaust. …

http://www.epw.in/journal/2016/53/review-article/hindutva-and-fascism.html

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 12th, 2016

by newsdigest on December 22, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Maratha Seva Sangh organises communal harmony rally as part of Eid ul Milad celebrations (Dec 13, 2016, Twocircles.net)

In view of Eid Ul Milad, the birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), Maratha Seva Sangh organised a “Aman Sandesh” rally on Monday in the city in association with Chhatrapati Shivaji Muslim Brigade, Jijajau Brigade and the Sambhaji Brigade.

The main objective behind holding this rally was to spread the teachings of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and humanity and communal harmony among countrymen. The rally began in the city centre place and covered a number of Muslim-dominated areas. The rally, which received a good response from all sections of the society, saw the participation of nearly 200 activists from various organisations.

Talking to Twocircles.net, the President of the city MSS unit Ram Gaikwad said, “The teachings of Prophet Mohammed are not only for Muslims but for the entire humanity. We are always keen to erase the line which has been drawn between Muslims and other communities. The birth anniversary of Prophet (PBUH) is the ideal time to hold such events and spread brotherhood.”…

http://twocircles.net/2016dec13/1481609250.html

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Bengal BJP man held with Rs 10 lakh in new notes (Dec 7, 2016, Times of India)

A BJP member, who had contested this year’s assembly poll in West Bengal, and a coal mafia don were arrested along with some truck owners from the Raniganj coal belt with stacks of new currency in their possession on Tuesday.

The Kolkata Police STF recovered Rs 33 lakh in cash, seven guns and 89 rounds of ammunition from their possession. Around Rs 10 lakh was found on BJP’s Manish Sharma alias Manish Joshi (44). He was found travelling in the same car as four other accused and was caught with the cash and weapons.

The don, Rajesh Jha alias Raju (46), was arrested twice in June and July in two cases of fake currency and murder and was out on bail. I-T has been alerted even as cops are trying to ascertain the source of the money kept in Rs 2,000 new notes, Rs 100 and Rs 50 notes. Of the amount, Rs 2 lakh cash was in a series – a clear indication that it was withdrawn from a bank branch.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/55844351.cms

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Bhaiya reference to minister Kiren Rijiju: ‘Bhaiya ka help chahiye toh humko boliye Sir’ (Dec 14, 2016, Indian Express)

Responding to the report in The Indian Express today about a Vigilance probe that red-flagged fraud and corruption in an Arunachal Pradesh hydro project, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday tried to distance himself from his cousin Goboi Rijiju, a sub-contractor for Patel Engineering Limited which is under a cloud for allegedly providing fake transport bills and invoices related to work on building of two dams.

The minister…said that the letter he wrote to the Ministry of Power to release funds to Patel Engineering were only meant to help “poor local people,” working on the project under the aegis of North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO). However, a careful examination of the audio of the conversation between Goboi Rijiju and then NEEPCO Chief Vigilance Officer Satish Verma – who conducted the investigation – reveals more than a “distant relationship” between the minister and the sub-contractor.

In the 29-minute purported conversation in December 2015, Goboi invoked Kiren Rijiju, whom he calls “Bhaiya”, 17 times to push his case for payment to Patel Engineering. Both have admitted to The Indian Express that they are cousins. Verma attached the audio clip to his report.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/kiren-rijiju-arunachal-pradesh-scam-corruption-allegations-hydro-project-4425995

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UP polls: BJP, RSS want to impose Hindutva, alleges Mayawati (Dec 6, 2016, DNA India)

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Tuesday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) want to impose Hindutva in the nation as the Indian Constitution, based on secularism, drafted by Dr BR Ambedkar is not acceptable to them.

“Dalits, Adivasis, backward communities and minorities have struggled in India. To make these people safe, Dr Ambedkar drafted our Constitution on the basis of religious equality which isn’t acceptable to the BJP and RSS. They want to impose Hindutva. The BJP and the RSS do not like the Constitution,” she said.…

The BSP supremo further said the people will not be influenced by BJP’s tactics. “In the name of Babasaheb, the opposition parties have spread confusion. These parties have made differences between Dalits and backward classes. The people got their rights during the BSP regime,” she added.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-bjp-rss-want-to-impose-hindutva-alleges-mayawati-2280284

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Madhya Pradesh accused of bowing to RSS as Bhopal police fail to provide security for Kerala CM (Dec 13, 2016, Scroll.in)

With Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan forced to pull out of a public event in Bhopal on Saturday in the wake of protests by Sangh Parivar activists, the Madhya Pradesh government and the police have been accused of bowing to the diktats of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and failing to provide security to a visiting leader.

Vijayan’s party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), as well as the Congress have accused the state police of giving in to the demands of a small group of Bajrang Dal activists protesting at the venue against the killing of RSS workers in Kerala. Social media has also been abuzz with reactions to the incident.

The spokesperson for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s state unit, Rahul Kothari, justified the protests by the Sangh activists, and demanded that the Kerala chief minister apologise for the political murders in his state.…

http://scroll.in/article/824012/madhya-pradesh-accused-of-bowing-to-rss-as-bhopal-police-fail-to-provide-security-for-kerala-cm

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Media must publish apology to acquitted innocents: Tribunal (Dec 11, 2016, The Hindu)

The report of the jury that heard the first People’s Tribunal on Acquitted Innocents, held on October 2, 2016, took strong exception to “news coverage which destroys a person’s reputation by creating a widespread perception of guilt, without any verdict in the court of law”.

The jury, which was chaired by Justice A.P. Shah, released its report – Towards a Framework for Compensation and Rehabilitation for Victims of Wrongful Prosecution/Conviction – in New Delhi on Saturday.

Holding that sections of the media had devastated lives “through sensationalism and partisan reporting”, the report urged the media to “strictly refrain from pronouncing the suspects/arrestees as guilty”, and to serve as objective institutions instead of becoming “mere handmaidens of investigating agencies”. It called upon publications and news channels that had put out defamatory material to “widely publish unconditional apology to the exonerees”.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/Media-must-publish-apology-to-acquitted-innocents-Tribunal/article16791312.ece

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Sadiq Jamal encounter: Special CBI court rejects brother’s application seeking further probe (Dec 8, 2016, Indian Express)

A special CBI court on Thursday rejected an application moved by Shabbir, brother of Sadiq Jamal Mehtar, seeking further investigation into the encounter killing of his brother in 2003 by a team of Gujarat police officers. He had alleged that the CBI is not investigating the role of then politicians and senior police officers responsible for the encounter.

Shabbir had moved this application in 2013 days after CBI filed its first chargesheet in this case against eight policemen, including “encounter specialist” Tarun Barot, in December, 2012. Barot was reappointed as Deputy Superintendent of Police, Headquarters, Western Railway, Vadodara on a year’s contract on October 13 almost two years after his superannuation.

The special CBI judge rejected the application of Shabbir on the ground that “investigation is still going on”. In the first chargesheet, CBI had said investigation was on under section 173 (8) of CrPC. However, nearly four years have passed but CBI is yet to move court with documents suggesting further probe. Meanwhile, all the eight accused have been granted bail and reinstated by the state government.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/sadiq-jamal-encounter-4-years-after-filing-first-chargesheet-cbi-yet-to-conclude-investigation-4417265

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SIT ties Govind Pansare killing with Hemant Karkare death (Dec 10, 2016, Asian Age)

The Maharashtra police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) in its supplementary chargesheet in the case involving the February 2015 murder of CPI leader Govind Pansare in Kolhapur indicated that the trigger for the crime was allegedly his close involvement in a lecture held there in December 2014, titled ‘Who killed Karkare?”

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief and senior IPS officer Hemant Karkare was killed, along with two other senior police officers, in the 26/11 attacks of 2008.… there were speculations alleging that Karkare’s killing could have been stage-managed by intelligence agencies as the ATS, led by him, had detected the role of a right-wing Hindu outfit in orchestrating the Malegaon September 2008 blasts that killed four persons.…

According to the SIT chargesheet, Pansare allegedly said during the lecture held on December 30, 2014 that he would henceforth organise protests at “150 places” in Maharashtra against a right-wing outfit. According to the chargesheet, case accused Dr Virendra Tawade, subsequently arrived in Kolhapur and within “one and a half months” of the December 30, 2014 lecture, he and his associates allegedly targeted Pansare.…

http://www.asianage.com/metros/mumbai/101216/sit-ties-govind-pansare-killing-with-hemant-karkare-death.html

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Missing JNU student: Delhi High Court slams cops for failure to trace him (Dec 9, 2016, Indian Express)

The Delhi High Court on Friday slammed the police for remaining clueless about missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, who has remained untraced for 55 days, asking how can a man just “vanish suddenly”. Maintaining that it was concerned with the recovery of the boy whose mother has been running from pillar to post to be united with her son, the Court said a situation, in which a missing person has not been traced for over 50 days, would create a sense of insecurity among the people.

“It is over 50 days. Still you (police) do not know about his whereabouts. How can somebody vanish suddenly and police has no clue about it? Even if we think of the worst, something has to be found out. We are pained that the missing person has not been traced till date,” a bench of Justices G S Sistani and Vinod Goel said.

Najeeb Ahmed went missing from JNU’s Mahi-Mandvi hostel on October 15 allegedly after an on-campus scuffle between him and some members of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The ABVP has denied involvement in his disappearance. The bench said, “We are not concerned with the scuffle. We only want that the boy is recovered and he returns to his house. We are concerned that the mother should get her child.”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/missing-jnu-student-delhi-high-court-slams-cops-for-failure-to-trace-him-4419075/

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‘Muslims under-represented in State govt. jobs’ (Dec 11, 2016, The Hindu)

From holding the lion’s share of government employment in the erstwhile rule of the Nizams, the share of Muslim employees in Telangana State has been found to be low at only 7.36 per cent against their population of 12.68 per cent.

The fact was revealed in the report of the Commission of Inquiry on Socio-Economic and Educational Conditions of Muslims in Telangana that was made public on Saturday. The report observed that “exclusion or under-representation of Muslims in the State government posts adversely impacts their role in decision-making and participation in the implementation process”.

Stating that proportionate representation of communities in government services is one of the major indicators of their inclusion, the report opines that Muslim community has been left behind in overall development and as a result their share in government services has dwindled.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/%E2%80%98Muslims-under-represented-in-State-govt.-jobs%E2%80%99/article16794434.ece

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US-based rights group accuse India of excessive use of force, obstructing access to medical care in Valley (Dec 7, 2016, Indian Express)

A United States-based international organisation of health professionals has indicted the Jammu and Kashmir Police and paramilitary forces of “excessive use of force” and “obstructing access to urgent medical care to protesters” during this year’s protests in the Valley that resulted in deaths and injuries.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), in its report titled ‘Blind to Justice – Excessive Use of Force and Attacks on Healthcare in Jammu and Kashmir’ , has said that excessive use of force against the civilians “violates India’s obligations to protect the rights to life and health”.

The international human rights watchdog accused security forces of using “intimidation tactics” against medical workers attempting to treat the injured and preventing doctors from reaching the hospitals where they work. It also said that weapons used by forces, like tear gas grenades, pepper gas shells, live ammunition, and 12-gauge shotguns loaded with metal pellets, were “misleadingly represented as less than lethal”. The report was released Wednesday.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/us-based-rights-group-accuse-india-of-excessive-use-of-force-obstructing-access-to-medical-care-in-valley-4415175/

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Opinions and Editorials

The Hindutva Terror Nexus – By Shamsul Islam (Dec 8, 2016, Countercurrents)

Sanathan Sanstha, being probed for bomb blasts and assassination of three great democratic-secular intellectuals of India, Narendra Dhabolkar, Govind Pansare and MM Kalburgi, is an offshoot (or vice versa) of Hindu Janajaguriti Samiti (HJS) which has openly been demanding conversion of democratic-secular India into a Hindu rashtra and celebrating ‘vadh’ of Gandhi ji.

One shocking fact about HJS, not known is, that it organized ‘All India Hindu Convention for Establishment of Hindu Nation’ at Goa in 2013 coinciding with the BJP executive committee meeting there. This Goa conference of HJS for turning India into a Hindu rashtra was supposed to be inaugurated by Modi as CM of Gujarat but due to pre-occupation with the BJP executive meeting in which he was declared as RSS/BJP PM candidate, he sent a message lauding HJS and its ‘work’.…

Another shocking feature of this conference was that Nathuram Godse, main killer of Gandhiji was glorified from the same stage where Modi’s congratulatory message was read. One of the prominent speakers, K.V. Sitaramiah, a seasoned Hindutva cadre, declared that Gandhi was ‘terrible, wicked and most sinful’.… Maharashtra police which is working to unearth the conspiracy behind murder of Narendra Dhabolkar, Govind Pansare and MM Kalburgi and innumerable bomb blasts against a minority community must find way to investigate PM Modi and characters like K.V. Sitaramaiah to know the whole Hindutva terror nexus.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/12/08/the-hindutva-terror-nexus/

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Twenty-Four Years After the Bombay Riots, a Continuing Sense of Injustice – By Meena Menon (Dec 8, 2016, The Wire)

A day after the Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992, Razia Rehman Sheikh had planned to take her son Jabbar for a check up to a public hospital for his mental illness. She never got there. Years later she remembered the day with great clarity. That was when the riots broke out in Bombay (renamed Mumbai in 1995). They waited at Kherwadi gate near Bandra for a long time. They saw a lot of bodies being taken away in hand carts. Jabbar was watching all this too. It was a while before he could be taken to hospital. Later, Jabbar developed a severe mental illness and had to be committed to an institution. Razia’s tragedy did not end there. One of her daughters who was about to be married, suddenly died one day.

Razia used to live in Razzak chawl in Behrampada and had many Hindu neighbours. Now most of them have sold their houses and left. She, too, unable to bear the trauma, moved across to a nearby slum at Naupada. Now her life is spent with the Mahila Shakti Mandal, a women’s group helping others in distress. And educating her daughters is her priority. Like Razia, many in Mumbai still feel the trauma of the riots, which tore the city’s secular fabric to shreds. While the city already had its ghettoes, the riots intensified the divide more than ever, forcing people to seek shelter with their own community.

There is little to remind us today, 24 years later, of the months of upheaval that wracked the city in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition. No memorials exist for the over 1000 killed and the many missing. Only memories remain, indelibly and unhappily etched in the minds of survivors.…

http://thewire.in/85273/bombay-riots-injustice/

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Sitting during the national anthem is a crime, but physical assault isn’t? – By Ranjan Crasta (Dec 13, 2016, Catch News)

When the Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom, decreed that the national anthem must be played before every movie screened in a theatre, it divided opinion. Many saw the decree as forced nationalism, while the rest thought those who disagreed with the SC were paid Pakistani agents who hate India. Or at least that was the impression given by Twitter.

What’s worse, not only has the Supreme Court order raised the possibility of more such incidents, but, if Chennai’s events are any indication, the police will condone the actions of ruffians as well. However, once the surprise and outrage, and outrage at outrage, had worn off, people started to wonder a wholly different question – who would enforce this rule? Already, there have been reports of adult theatre owners distraught at a lack of compliance from patrons and without the staff to enforce it.…

With the logic behind the order unclear to most, one expects to hear of more such arrests and assaults. And all this for what? Because we think the ‘honour’ of our country is at stake? How little do we think of our country’s honour when nine nobodies sitting through the national anthem is enough to undermine this unimpeachable honour?

http://www.catchnews.com/india-news/sitting-during-the-national-anthem-is-a-crime-but-physical-assault-isn-t-1481561321.html

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On Demonetisation, Prime Minister Modi May Have Already Lost the Plot – By M.K. Venu (Dec 14, 2016, Countercurrents)

Narendra Modi is possibly trapped in his self-belief that he possesses unlimited capacity to control the political narrative in the face of the untold national suffering which is refusing to abate five weeks after demonetisation. There are newspaper reports that BJP members of parliament are expressing serious worry over the growing public impatience and resentment as the supply of cash is nowhere near normalising.

Important grassroots outfits of the Sangh Parivar such as Bhartiya Majdoor Sangh, Swadeshi Jagran Manch and Laghu Udyog Bharti have all begun to suggest that the continuing distress in the informal sector of the economy does not augur well for the ruling party. …

Overall, the real test for Modi would be what sort of national narrative he is able to sustain in the weeks and months ahead. Can he succeed in converting the immense national suffering into a sort of “national renewal”, as his rhetoric suggests? The rhetoric of people sacrificing for a larger cause is also looking weak as reports of businessmen getting caught with tens of crores in new currency gets reported everyday. It doesn’t take much for the self-belief of obsessive leaders to turn to self-deception. For when the bottom-up narrative of anger and distress gains a critical mass, as it is clearly happening now, those who claim to control the agenda would likely get swept away. The forthcoming elections will doubtless reflect this.

http://thewire.in/86764/prime-minister-modi-lost-plot-demonetisation/

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It’s not communal to say note ban harmed Muslims acutely. It’s the truth – By Aditya Menon (Dec 13, 2016, Catch News)

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi stirred a controversy with his statement that the note ban’s impact had been particularly acute in Muslim-dominated areas. “In many Muslim-dominated areas banks aren’t present in the manner they should be. The proportion of loan distribution is also less compared to other areas….ATMs aren’t there (in sufficient numbers),” he said while addressing a rally in Udgir near Latur in Maharashtra on Monday. “If a bank is open (in Muslim areas), it is declared a red zone,” he added.

Both BJP and Congress criticised his statement. This is what Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju tweeted on the issue, before he got caught in corruption allegations. Congress leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said, “We don’t believe what Owaisi is saying. He should give proof if anything like this has happened”.…

Given this socio-economic profile of large sections of Indian Muslims, it is hardly surprising that the community has been acutely affected by the note ban, perhaps more than other communities. It isn’t communal on Owaisi’s part to point this out. To ignore it, is being blindly apathetic.

http://www.catchnews.com/politics-news/it-s-not-communal-to-say-note-ban-harmed-muslims-acutely-it-s-the-truth-1481645229.html

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The True Meaning of Mahesh Shah, the Man With Rs 13,860 Crore – By Harish Khare (Dec 10, 2016, Countercurrents)

…This Mahesh Shah had to be from Gujarat; specifically from Ahmedabad, the very civic site that represents the Gujarati spirit in all its roughness and brashness. In fact, Mahesh Shah can almost be called the poster boy of the “vibrant” Gujarat. It becomes necessary to delineate the political context.… Yet it would produce a Mahesh Shah – the man who would declare a mindboggling income of Rs 13,860 crore of undisclosed wealth under Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Income Declaration Scheme.

The Mahesh Shahs of Gujarat represent that wonderful convergence – a nexus, in fact – of a certain kind of business ethics, political disposition and social prejudice. It is this nexus that first begot and then sustained the Narendra Modi political project. Yet, the multitude applauds when one product (Modi) throws the book at another product (Shah). Maybe it is our civilisational gift for duality. But, it can only be injurious to the long-term health of the democratic polity.

Consequently, the polity has become dangerously imbalanced. The ruling clique seeks reaffirmation in the intrinsic merit of notebandi and the presumed popular acceptance of the “surgical strike against black money.” But the country finds itself in a bind. The demonetisation cannot be rolled back as easily as it was thrust upon the nation. But, nor can the cost of dislocation in the economy – and, society – be wished away. The government – and its accomplices in the corporate world – manufactured a narrative of “short-term pain and long-term gain.” The mood can turn sour and then we all may be saddled with ugly consequences. The democratic forces and voices have an obligation to reassure the nation that the common man is not at the mercy of one man.

http://thewire.in/85875/true-meaning-mahesh-shah-man-rs-13860-crore/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 24th, 2016

November 3, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Hindu-Muslim meet shows humanity is above all Delhi’s own festival that promotes communal harmony News Headlines Godhra riots: Gujarat High Court upholds life term of 17, acquits 14 convicted in Sardarpura case Jharkhand policeman charged for custodial death following youth’s post-mortem report Malegaon blast: High court asks […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 11th, 2016

July 20, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Thapar slams Hindutva interpretation of nationalism MP towns shut on Eid, Hindu groups blamed for forced bandh State Intelligence Dept. gives clean chit to Naik; no arrest on his return to India BJP creating divisions in Kashmir with eye on UP elections: NC Home Ministry declines to […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 4th, 2016

April 12, 2016

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

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 21st, 2016

March 25, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Human chain to create sense of unity among citizens News Headlines Jharkhand: Two cattle traders hanged from tree, gau raksha activist among 5 held BJP leader offers Rs 1 crore to anyone who brings him ‘traitor’ Owaisi’s tongue Reference to circumcision in terror notice sparks ‘profiling’ charge […]

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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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