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Ishrat Jahan encounter

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 27th, 2017

by newsdigest on March 10, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Communal Harmony

‘Unite India’ mobile App for Diploma in Communal Harmony will help defeat hate-mongers (Feb 24, 2017, Milli Gazette)

Author Ram Puniani on Saturday launched a unique Diploma Course in Communal Harmony through a Mobile App ‘Unite India’ designed by All India Secular Forum member Syed Khalid.

Speaking after launching the App, Ram Puniyani said that ‘Unite India’ App would clear many misconceptions which are creating hatred within various communities in India. Stating that most of the misconceptions on the religion and history were created by vested interests for political gains, he said those completing Diploma in Communal Harmony could easily defeat such hate mongers.…

Syed Khalid, the AISF member and App Developer said that “The course is primarily divided into 11 chapters including Communal Violence, Misconceptions About Minorities, Alliances Amongst Kings, Islam In India, India’s Mixed Culture, Colonial Period, Indian Nationalism, Kashmir Issue, Global Terrorism Today and Communalism Today. The chapters are sub-divided into 68 topics with each giving clear and precise answer to one popular myth. The candidates will have to write exam after the end of each topic. Each topic is of about 200 words and the candidates need to give correct answers for at least three out of five questions to pass the test. After the completion of entire course, the candidates will be awarded a Certificate. The “Unite India” App is available for free download for Android platforms on Google Play Store @https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.raylabs.harmony&hl=en

http://www.milligazette.com/news/15413-unite-india-mobile-app-for-diploma-in-communal-harmony-will-help-defeat-hate-mongers

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Ramjas Student Speaks Up: Police Refused to Protect Us From ABVP (Feb 22, 2017, The Quint)

It was a seminar organised by the English department and English Literary Society of Ramjas College, University of Delhi.… At around 11 am, a few students began gathering in the college, shouting how they are not going to let the “anti-national” Umar Khalid enter the college. This crowd soon turned into a mob, screaming slogans of “Vande Mataram”, and threatening the organisers, warning them that they will “disfigure their faces” if Umar Khalid dares to speak inside the University.…

Umar Khalid was invited to speak as part of the panel on ‘Regions in Conflict’ where he was supposed to present his paper on the tribals in Bastar. But the angry ABVP mob made sure that Umar didn’t participate in the event. The police, which was called in, owing to foresight, refused to protect the organisers or Umar Khalid, thus betraying their fundamental duty.…

It shows a deep and dangerous nexus between the State, the political groups sponsored by them and the police. The incident at Ramjas is not a small, secluded event but is a small part of the bigger picture where the same fascism and hooliganism is raising its head again. …

https://www.thequint.com/blogs/2017/02/22/umar-khalid-protest-by-abvp-as-police-watches-at-du

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Ramjas College row:Protest and clashes in Mumbai and Pune keep campuses on boil (Feb 26, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Following the Ramjas College controversy in Delhi University, members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Bharatiya Janata Party’s student wing, protested at the Kalina campus of University of Mumbai on Saturday.…

Sources said ABVP activists burnt an effigy of Khalid on Friday morning. SFI members retaliated later that evening by putting up posters condemning Maharashtra education minister Vinod Tawde for ‘threatening’ their colleagues at a Solapur polytechnic college. This angered ABVP activists.

“We were attacked by ABVP activists, along with a few outsiders,” said SFI secretary Vlas Pable. The right-wing group, however, defended its actions. “We are firmly opposed to inviting Umar Khalid to Ramjas College,” said ABVP secretary Pradeep Gawde. Police personnel have been deployed on the campus.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/abvp-and-sfi-clash-in-mumbai-nine-activists-held/story-UlDma0XPIu4HQoXWtXL58H.html

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Kerala CM lambasts RSS at communal harmony rally in Mangaluru (Feb 25, 2017, Deccan Herald)

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today said right wing organisations, including the RSS, had been trying to divide the country for the last several years. Addressing a “communal harmony rally” organised by CPI(M) here, he said it was unfortunate that such organisations were trying to disrupt peace in the country.

Vijayan said it was now imperative to protect communal harmony. He said the RSS had “adopted the organisational structure of Mussolini and the ideology of Hitler. The two dictators had terrorised the world”, he said. The RSS had absolutely no role in India’s independence struggle, but actually took sides with the British during the period, while all other parties jointly supported the fight against the British despite differences among them on several matters”, he said.

He said Nathuram Godse, who assassinated MahatmaGandhi with a revolver, himself was a weapon in the hands ofRSS. The assassination was the result of a conspiracy, he alleged. “In India, the RSS had now identified Muslims, Christians and Communists as their internal enemies and were carrying out attacks to eliminate them”, Vijayan said, adding they were instigating communal violence to destroy unity among the people.…

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/598221/kerala-cm-lambasts-rss-communal.html

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Isn’t PM being anti-national by not condemning hate-killing of Hindu Indian by a foreigner? (Feb 27, 2017, Dailyo.in)

Has PM Narendra Modi issued a strong condemnation of the murder of the 32-year-old Indian engineer, Srinivas Kuchibholta, in Kansas by a white-skinned US navy veteran? No.… It is exactly this climate of hostility that has created ripples of disturbance across the world. Kuchibholta’s murder was patently not by just a “lone wolf” white nationalist, but someone who suddenly found a purpose in life and a narrative to strengthen when he saw the US government echoing ideas that better fit the likes of Klux Klux Klan, or the Nazi party in 1930s Germany.

Trump’s obnoxious and downright undemocratic statements… have, in fact, mirror images in what’s happening in India. Just like Trump humiliated a late Iraq war veteran’s parents because they happened to be Muslim, in India today a 20-year-old daughter of a Kargil war martyr is trolled on social media and is threatened with rape because she dares to speak the harsh truth.… We can expect little else from the student body affiliated with the RSS when the BJP national president Amit Shah equates his political opponents with Ajmal Kasab, the lone Pakistani terrorist caught alive after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. This, after the exposé of BJP IT cell in Bhopal harbouring ISI spies, is not just delusional, but intentionally communal and aimed to vitiate an already toxic electoral climate in the country.

It is extremely sad that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who extols the virtues of his NRI supporters all across the world, hasn’t felt the need to issue a strong and scathing condemnation of the blatant hate crime that killed Srinivas Kuchibholta in Kansas.… Does the PM feel hesitant over calling out xenophobia at the topmost government level and its bloody, violent consequences in the United States because it would draw immediate and strong parallels to what’s happening in India? Is he waiting for his “circles of enablers” to interpret this as Hinduphobia? Does he not see this as a fundamental breach of the human rights of Indians abroad, particularly in the US?… Doesn’t that make Narendra Modi as much of an anti-national as Donald Trump himself?

http://www.dailyo.in/variety/kansas-shooting-narendra-modi-donald-trump/story/1/15863.html

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2002 Godhra riots: ‘There were 20 Muslim families in the village, one by one they all left’ (Feb 26, 2017, Indian Express)

…On January 31, following a prolonged trial, an additional district court in Kalol acquitted all the 26 accused in the case. The order said most of the eyewitnesses had turned hostile and a “compromise was struck between the accused and the victims”. While no written documents were submitted, the court accepted the oral information given “about the amount (not mentioned in the order) of compensation given to the victims by the accused”.

The accused had been booked for “rioting, attacking Muslims, burning their houses and destroying properties” and for insulting “their religion by damaging the (Haji Pir Ki) dargah”. One of the eyewitnesses who the court said had turned hostile was Sakina, who is in her early 60s. She denies this, and both she and Hasinaben, who is a few years younger, say they are still fighting the case. “Woh log 10-20 hazaar de kar samjhauta karna chahte the. Maine mana kar diya (The accused wanted us to compromise by giving us Rs 10,000-20,000. I refused),” Sakina says, adding that while she has also heard there has been a compromise, she doesn’t know of anyone accepting money to settle the case.

The dargah was one of the places attacked by rioters on the night of February 28, 2002, a day after the fire on the Sabarmati Express at Godhra railway station. Sakina and Hasinaben’s home was destroyed. While the two sisters shifted to the dargah, their brother left Paliyad with his family and their father took shelter at a relief camp, where he later died. “A mob of 500 to 1,000 men barged in. They thrashed my brother. They destroyed all the houses and robbed this dargah,” Sakina says. “Bees ke kareeb ghar the Musalmanon ke, dheere-dheere sabne gaon chhod diya (There were around 20 families of Muslims in the village, one by one they all left).”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/2002-godhra-riots-there-were-20-muslim-families-in-the-village-one-by-one-they-all-left-4543950/

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Ishrat case: CBI opposes Guj DGP P P Pandeys discharge plea (Feb 28, 2017, India Today)

The CBI today opposed the application of Gujarat’s in-charge Director General of Police P P Pandey seeking discharge in the Ishrat Jahan case. In its reply before the special CBI court here, the central agency said there was evidence against Pandey which established his direct as well as indirect involvement.

The CBI also said it was still collecting evidence and recording statements, as the trial is yet to begin. The alleged encounter took place when Pandey was holding a high position in the Gujarat Police, CBI pointed out.…

Pandeys application cited his reinstatement and promotion as in-charge DGP of Gujarat as one of the grounds to discharge him.…

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/ishrat-case-cbi-opposes-guj-dgp-p-p-pandeys-discharge-plea/1/893873.html

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Digvijay Singh’s ‘hate’ tweet leaves Muslim groups fuming (Feb 23, 2017, Times of India)

Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh has stirred a controversy by his comment on social media. The senior leader equated madrassas to schools run by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and claimed both spread ‘hatred’. Muslim groups and political parties have slammed Singh for his remarks on Twitter. Singh took to the microblogging site to write, “Is there a difference between Madarsas and Saraswati Shishu Mandir Schools run by RSS ? I don’t think so. Both spread Hatred. (sic).”

Strong reactions poured in from various Muslim organisations, including the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen(MIM). Asaduddin Owaisi, the MIM president, objected to Singh’s tweet. He asked Muslim socio-religious organisations, including the Jamiat-e-Ulama Hind, to take note of this ‘hatred’.

Senior Congress leader and State Minorities chairman Abid Rasool Khan too expressed displeasure. He said, “Madrassas provide education, clothing and food to those from the weakest of sections. This statement sent a wrong signal and must be retracted immediately.” In a terse reaction, Hafiz Peer Shabbir, Jamiat-e-Ulama Hind, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh chief, said he unequivocally condemns Singh’s statement.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/57304437.cms

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Fake Rs 2000 notes of ‘Children Bank of India’ dispensed from SBI ATM in Delhi (Feb 23, 2017, Hindustan Times)

At a time when many people are struggling to withdraw cash, a State Bank of India ATM in South Delhi’s Sangam Vihar dispensed fake Rs 2,000 notes. The notes, which could be passed off as genuine at first glance, are replete with errors and seem to be a prank at people’s expense.

The notes, dispensed on February 6, read ‘Children Bank of India’ in place of Reserve Bank of India and ‘Guaranteed by the Children’s Government’ in place of Guaranteed by the Central Government. ‘Churan lable’ in place of the latent image and a fake ‘PK’ logo instead of the bank’s seal, are among some of the other obvious deviations on the note.

Confirming the development, a senior police officer said that the ATM first dispensed four such Rs 2,000 notes to a customer. “We sent a sub-inspector to verify the allegations. He withdrew one Rs 2,000 note and that also turned out to be fake,” the officer said, adding that the other notes in the bundle were genuine.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi/fake-rs-2-000-notes-bearing-churan-lable-dispensed-by-sbi-atm-in-delhi/story-8bsspBZ10wymlLb6JOwJWI.html

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472 rape cases in Gujarat, Kutch registered 117 in 6 months, BJP responsible for Naliya sex racket (Feb 26, 2017, Counterview)

A civil society-sponsored online petition has claimed that the Naliya sex racket, rocking Gujarat for about a fortnight now, is just a “tip of the iceberg”, insisting, “For last so many years sexual crime in Gujarat is increasing day by day” and “rape has become the epidemic in Gujarat.”

Giving the examples for the alleged “rape epidemic” in Gujarat, the petition says, these include the “Patan gangrape case, Asaram sex crimes, Parul University sex crime etc.”, claiming, “In all these cases there is a common factor which is a matter of grave concern that the criminals always got the patronage of the ruling BJP.”

“They could be punished or in jails because of public protests. But there have always been attempts by the vested forces supporting each and every action of the ruling party to release a dirtiest campaign against the victims”, alleges the petition.… “In her complaint she alleged that she has been the victim of multiple gang rapes by ten males”, the petition names a BJP activist who offered her Rs 1 crore to withdraw the FIR, adding, “At least 35 women are trapped in this sex racket and 65 persons are involved.”…

http://www.counterview.net/2017/02/472-rape-cases-in-gujarat-kutch.html

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Central ‘squeeze’ on funds for Dalit scheme leaves thousands in lurch (Feb 27, 2017, Times of India)

Manoj Kumar Paswan, a Dalit student from Nawada district in Bihar, has lived a hard life, coming as he does from a poor marginal farmer family. He and his family saw a ray of hope after he got a scholarship in 2016 to get a degree in computer applications from a college in Nagpur.

One year on, he is back to square one. The promised money from the central government’s Post Matric Scholarship scheme, which was to be routed directly to his college, has not materialized. He is back in the village, repeatedly visiting the welfare office, pleading for a solution. “My seniors in college got the scholarship. But mine never came. The college said there are some issues, we are trying to sort them out. How can I continue like this? I came back home to pursue the matter with the welfare officer here,” he told TOI from Nawada.

His is not an exceptional case, as revealed by data collected by the Dalit advocacy group, National Campaign for Dalit & Human Rights (NCDHR). In response to a complaint made by them, the social justice ministry told them that they had released nearly Rs 5,000 crore in 2015-16 and 2016-17 but the states had demanded almost double of that, Rs 9,120.56 crore. “What has happened is that in the beginning, states continued to provide scholarships to Dalit students but the central govt put a squeeze. Finally, the pipeline dried up and the students were left high and dry. Colleges started demanding fees from the students or told them to quit. Thousands have been affected by this tragedy,” said Paul Diwakar of NCDHR.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/57364809.cms

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Opinions and Editorials

‘Preplanned inhuman collective violent act of terrorism’: What Modi got away with in the Godhra case – By Manoj Mitta (Feb 27, 2017, Scroll.in)

It was only after he had become chief minister of Gujarat in October 2001 that Narendra Modi contested an election for the first time in his life. Yet, Modi was apparently still such a political lightweight that his victory margin was half that of his Bharatiya Janata Party colleague who had vacated a “safe seat” for the by-election. Within a week of this unimpressive electoral debut, the Godhra tragedy occurred on February 27, 2002, setting off a chain of events that ultimately propelled him to the office of prime minister.

Following his “spot assessment of the situation” in which 59 people had been burnt alive in a train, a press release issued by the Gujarat government the same evening quoted Modi as saying that Godhra was a “preplanned inhuman collective violent act of terrorism”. The casualties were mostly kar sevaks returning in the Sabarmati Express from a controversial Ram temple campaign launched in Ayodhya by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in defiance of a Supreme Court order.

Modi’s immediate attribution of the train burning to a terrorist conspiracy was a politically fraught move. It turned the tables on Opposition MPs who had repeatedly disrupted Parliament the previous day demanding action against the Ayodhya campaign for exacerbating communal tension in the country. The resolve he apparently displayed in dealing with Godhra, the “original sin” of the 2002 Gujarat violence, has served to build Modi’s image as a strong and decisive leader.…

https://scroll.in/article/830319/preplanned-inhuman-collective-violent-act-of-terrorism-what-modi-got-away-with-in-the-godhra-case

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Question from Ramjas to JNU: Is ABVP a students’ organisation or a bunch of hooligans? – Editorial (Feb 22, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Just a year after ABVP activists disrupted and shut down the Jawaharlal Nehru University by alleging that some of its students have indulged in anti-national sloganeering, its members are at it again. On Wednesday, ABVP members clashed with students in the Delhi University campus over a protest march the latter were holding against the organisation for disrupting an event at the Ramjas University.…

As in the JNU case, in this case too, the ABVP activists said that they cannot “allow anti-nationals” to speak on the campus. The students have protested saying, correctly so, that this intervention goes against the basic tenets of freedom of speech. Things could not have gone out of hand at DU if the police had been cautious enough to keep them at bay.

But it seems that the police inaction only emboldened the ABVP. In the last one year, ABVP has created ruckus in at least three major campuses: JNU, Hyderabad Central University and now in DU. Such actions raise an important question: Is ABVP a students’ organisation or a bunch of thugs?

http://www.hindustantimes.com/editorials/is-abvp-a-students-organisation-or-a-bunch-of-hooligans/story-p4sZ5nQnoN0WhmSTHuWUsL.html

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Why we need to worry about ABVP’s ‘nationalism’ – By Gunjeet SRA (Feb 28, 2017, Dailyo.in)

…While there has been widespread backlash over the incident across the media and the university, comments under some of the videos on YouTube and Facebook have been mind-numbingly “patriotic” and pro-ABVP. Which is as shocking as it is disheartening, and points to the fact that the ABVP has managed to successfully become the footsoldiers of intolerance against any debate over patriotism. The fact that they use violence to get their message across is something that is viewed as a minor inconvenience in the face of nationalism.

Whether it is delivering a lecture on tribal rights, eating beef, talking about Muslims, Kashmir or being a minority in India, or even talking about something that might not be deemed moral – basically anything that doesn’t appeal to the majoritarian idea of India and your place in it, is going to be perceived as anti-national and if you’re a part of it, despite knowing that, you deserve what is coming to you, the ABVP seems to be saying.…

This was followed by a national beef ban, which was immediately followed by the lynching of a Muslim (whose murderer was wrapped in the national flag at his cremation). The hoisting of national flags in schools and colleges and the very recent directive on the playing of the national anthem before movie screenings – are all ideas stemming from an overzealous patriotic mindset which will continue to draw people, until its agenda of obliterating discourse and free thought is successful.

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/abvp-ramjas-umar-khalid/story/1/15885.html

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Petty BJP ministers and opportunistic celebs forced Gurmehar to withdraw campaign against ABVP violence – Editorial (Feb 28, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur may have withdrawn her campaign against the violence that the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) unleashed on the campus last week, but she has left the ground with her head held high. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that the goons of the ABVP — helped by Union ministers and a few prejudiced celebrities — hounded her out of the unfolding narrative. But fortunately they have not been able to scare others: Hundreds of students, who believe in freedom of speech and peaceful protests and dislike the Parishad’s strong arm tactics, showed that they are brave enough to come out and have their say against the violence on Tuesday.…

All those who have been trolling and threatening Ms Kaur would not have had to the guts to do so if senior members of the BJP-led government, including Union ministers, had not fanned the flames and made wrong associations between different events to vitiate the atmosphere. Union minister Jitendra Singh on Monday said the country will not allow premium on anti-India activism and outlined the a “need to draw a bottom line on it”.

…Needless to say that there is no connection between what is happening in the Valley and in DU and by conflating these two issues, Mr Singh has sent out a dangerous signal. His colleague, minister of state, home affairs, Kiren Rijiju put out another seemingly innocuous question: “Who’s polluting this young girl’s mind?” He also said that “freedom of expression is not a licence to shout anti-national slogans in campuses. Criticise the government but don’t abuse the motherland”.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/editorials/petty-bjp-ministers-and-opportunistic-celebs-forced-gurmehar-to-withdraw-campaign-against-abvp-violence/story-2ViQV0IXNpFm17xRGb5xrO.html

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Why does Tamil Nadu’s unelected governor have the power to select a CM? Blame the British Raj – By Shoaib Daniyal (Feb 15, 2017, Scroll.in)

Continuing the rollercoaster that Tamil politics has been for the past six months, the Supreme Court delivered another twist on Tuesday, convicting VK Sasikala in a disproportionate assets case.… One of the offices that has been constantly been in the spotlight during this episode is that of the governor. Even before Sasikala had been convicted, Tamil Nadu governor C Vidyasagar Rao had refused to administer her the oath of office, reportedly citing the imminent verdict. This was an unprecedented step given that there was little doubt that Sasikala had the support of enough legislators in the Tamil Nadu Assembly to form the government. In a parliamentary system of democracy, how could an unelected governor overrule an explicit order of support from an elected assembly?

That the court eventually held Sasikala guilty does not in any way deflect attention from the governor’s rather unusual role in this drama. If chief ministers were held to be unfit for office by unelected governors every time a legal case cropped up, many governments would have to vacate office – which is clearly not the case. Jayalalitha herself occupied the post of chief minister rather comfortably, while being an accused in this very same disproportionate assets case.

It does not help matters that the Bharatiya Janata Party is seen to not like Sasikala, preferring the more pliant O Panneerselvam instead. Given that the governor serves at the pleasure of the BJP-controlled Union government, accusations of a political element to the governor’s move are rife.…

https://scroll.in/article/829335/how-can-tamil-nadus-unelected-governor-select-a-chief-minister-blame-the-british-raj

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The disgraceful pastime of Chhattisgarh cops – By Kay Benedict (Feb 24, 2017, Free Press Journal)

In Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region, the police first brand young tribal women as Naxalite sympathisers and use this ruse to raid their homes and villages. (Women recruits in Maoist camps are not allowed to marry or become pregnant). It is when a young woman beseeches the cops that she is not a Maoist and that she is a mother, the law-enforcers demand proof. So they squeeze her breasts to verify that she is not telling a lie. Obviously, the “anti-national” slur is only a ploy to satiate their crude, carnal pleasures, inflicting deeps wounds into the psyche of the hapless women.…

A group of tribal women in a village in Bastar, recently narrated their demeaning existence to television journalist Tanushree Pandey of CNN-News 18. Huddled in a remote forested area, shamed and vulnerable, the victims recounted their horror stories (that they endured between October 2015 and January 2016) to News 18, the only channel that traversed 1500-odd km to talk to the abused women caught between a ruthless police and the Maoists.

“I was four months pregnant when I was raped. They (the security forces) did not care I was pregnant,” said a feeble voice, her face blurred by the channel. Another said, she had just delivered (eight hours before) and lactating. “They were not convinced and a cop squeezed my breasts to see if there was milk.” Another woman said “they groped me, sexually assaulted and beat me.” Yet another said “Four men blindfolded me and raped me, later they left me unconscious…” The women said the police also “loot their homes in the name of search” for Maoists. Some rued that their houses were “hijacked” by the security men and “we could not enter our own houses”.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/analysis/kay-benedict-the-disgraceful-pastime-of-chhattisgarh-cops/1024238

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Book Review

Foot Solidier of the Constitution – A Memoir

Author: Teesta Setalvad
Reviewed by: T. Navin
Available at: LeftWord Books, 2254/2A, Shadi Khampur, New Ranjit Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110008. www.amazon.in/
Review:
Gujarat Violence And Struggle For Justice (Feb 22, 2017, Countercurrents)

…The example of Gujarat 2002 remains a classic example where communal ideas, communal organisations, communal propaganda came together to create a mayhem of religious genocide. This was instigated by the State, which was to protect the basic values of the Constitution including Secularism.

Gujarat 2002 evokes different responses. For the perpetrators of the violence, it was a way to teach a lesson to the minorities to accept the majoritarian goondaraj, for minorities it was an experience where permanent wound was inflicted through violence and fear psychosis, for the secular elements it was a complete breakdown of the functioning of state institutions in protecting secular values and a dark phase in Indian Democracy. While the damage has been done through Gujarat violence, the task however remains that for delivering justice to victims of Gujarat violence. The book titled ‘Foot Soldier of the Constitution – A Memoir’ by Teesta Setalvad represents her struggle for justice for the victims of Gujarat 2002 violence.…

The book by Teesta is a caution call for all those who stand for Justice and secularism. Gujarat provides enough evidence of how the mainstreaming of a communal ideology can play havoc with people. It shows how a fascist ideology manipulates institutions and constitutional principles to establish its bias and discriminatory behaviour in the name of religion. The book is an essential reading for those to understand the reality of Gujarat 2002.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/02/22/gujarat-violence-and-struggle-for-justice/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – January 16th, 2016

by newsdigest on January 27, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

How AB Vajpayee was foiled in his bid to have Narendra Modi removed as Gujarat chief minister (Jan 13, 2017, Scroll.in)

7 April 2002. Vajpayee was in a pensive mood when he spoke to reporters in New Delhi hours before he left for Singapore and Cambodia on a five-day official tour… Shortly after take-off, Arun Shourie, Vajpayee’s disinvestment minister, was approached by Ranjan Bhattacharya in the plane. “Shourieji, please go and meet him. Baapji is terribly upset.” Shourie found the PM deeply disturbed, not looking up, his face grave. He appeared crestfallen. Soon, Shourie realised that the PM was upset for one major reason: Gujarat.…

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”.… Seeing things take a different turn, Vajpayee kept mum, opting against a confrontational stance. Perhaps, for all his bravery, he was worried about younger leaders publicly questioning his authority.…

https://scroll.in/article/826433/how-ab-vajpayee-was-foiled-in-his-bid-to-have-narendra-modi-removed-as-gujarat-chief-minister

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Months Before Sahara Was Granted Immunity, Tax Panel Member Was Abruptly Transferred (Jan 9, 2017, The Wire)

Five months before the Income Tax Settlement Commission (ITSC) granted Sahara India immunity from any future prosecution and penalty over the Sahara diaries, a member of the bench that eventually heard the company’s application was transferred under less than normal circumstances.

According to a report in The Hindu, IRS officer Baldip Singh Sandhu was appointed in March 2016 as a member of the ITSC in Delhi and was appointed to the principal bench headed by the chairman of the tax settlement commission.

The bench that Sandhu was appointed to was the same bench that, on November 10 2016, issued the immunity order for the Sahara group. However, before that, on July 19, Sandhu “was transferred out to Chennai” even though his appointment was “location-specific and non-transferable”. The Hindu reports that on July 19, Sandhu was relieved of his duties and a finance ministry official came to the commission to serve him his transfer order.…

https://thewire.in/98125/sahara-income-tax/

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Bombay High Court cites Muslim man’s religion as provocation, subsequent murder (Jan 17, 2017, Sabrang India)

Bombay High Court’s recent decision to grant bail to murder accused and the rationale used by judge has left the family of 28-year-old Mohsin Shaikh utterly stunned. While granting bail on 12, Justice Mridula Bhatkar observed that the victim’s fault was that he belonged to another religion.

“I consider this factor in favour of the applicants/accused. More-over, the applicants/accused do not have any criminal record and it appears that in the name of the religion, they were provoked and have committed the murder,” Justice Bhatkar observed.

Shaikh was brutally murdered by members of Hindu Rashtra Sena in June 2014 while he was on his way back from a mosque after offering prayers. 14 of 21 accused have already been granted bail by the court. A case of murder was registered against the members of HRS at the Hadapsar police station and 21 HRS members, including their leader Dhananjay Jayram Desai alias Bhai, were arrested.…

https://sabrangindia.in/article/bombay-high-court-cites-muslim-man%E2%80%99s-religion-provocation-subsequent-murder

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RBI note exposes govt. bluff on note ban, says Opposition (Jan 10, 2017, The Hindu)

A note prepared by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that indicates it was the government that “advised” it to consider demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1,000 currency notes – rather than the other way around – has raised questions about the autonomy of the central bank while drawing the ire of opposition parties.

“Section 26(2) of the RBI Act says that on the recommendation of the RBI, the government may demonetise a particular series of a currency note,” Congress spokesperson and former Union Minister Manish Tewari told The Hindu on Tuesday, stressing, “A strict reading of the Act, therefore, makes it plain that it does not give the RBI the power to demonetise an entire denomination, and the RBI has done a command performance without basic application of mind. It is a sad commentary on the inability of the central bank to maintain its autonomy.”

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, too, was scathing in his criticism. “This exposes the bluff of the government that this was an RBI decision. This was a government decision. The RBI was pressured to endorse it. And that explains the RBI’s flip flops ever since,” he told The Hindu. Another CPI(M) Politburo member, Brinda Karat, said, “This is an example of a lack of transparency and the snatching away of the autonomy of the RBI. The government is destroying institutions. It is also a case of a straight lie. The government must give an answer.”…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/RBI-note-exposes-govt.-bluff-on-note-ban-says-Opposition/article17019425.ece

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Narendra Modi Replaced Gandhi in an Iconic Calendar and India Can’t Handle It (Jan 13, 2017, Time)

Indian government workers have been protesting after Mahatma Gandhi’s picture was replaced with images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in their department’s official calendar.

Staff at the government’s Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) are reported to have staged a “a silent soul-cleansing” at the Mumbai headquarters.

The Khadi department works to support village-level industries, a scheme close to Gandhi’s heart. Khadi itself – a hand-spun, hand-woven Indian cloth – was used by Gandhi, the preeminent leader of the Indian independence movement, as a symbol for unity, empowerment and liberation.…

http://time.com/4634256/narendra-modi-gandhi-iconic-calendar-india-kvic/

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‘Quest to establish Hindu Rashtra will not succeed’ (Jan 16, 2017, The Hindu)

The quest by the right wing to establish a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ in India will not succeed as people will stand against it, and the Constitution of India, a great document, will not allow it to happen, speakers at The Hindu Lit for Life’s session on ‘Dreams of a Hindu Rashtra’, moderated by N. Ram, Chairman, Kasturi & Sons Ltd, said on Sunday.

Akshaya Mukul, author of ‘Gita Press and The Making of Hindu India’, and Saeed Naqvi, author of ‘Being The Other: The Muslim in India’, concurred that it was not going to be easy to establish a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ (Hindu nation).

“It is not going to be easy. But this quest for a Hindu raj, which has other dimensions to it, will continue and will disrupt us; it will impede our emergence as a nation of the stature that we deserve,” Mr. Naqvi said.…

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/%E2%80%98Quest-to-establish-Hindu-Rashtra-will-not-succeed%E2%80%99/article17042918.ece

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Ishrat Jahan encounter case: Mother Shamima Kauser moves special court to oppose discharge plea of Gujarat DGP (Jan 12, 2017, Indian Express)

A special CBI court on Thursday issued notice to CBI on the discharge application moved by Director General of Police P P Pandey, the senior most accused in Ishrat Jahan encounter case, who is currently out on bail. Pandey is also the in-charge police chief of Gujarat.

On the other hand, Shamima Kauser, mother of Ishrat Jahan, has also moved an application in the court seeking permission to join the proceeding as a party in order to challenge the discharge application. Her lawyer, I H Syed confirmed the move and said, “there is a statutory provision for victims to join the proceedings as party. We are going to oppose the discharge application for sure.”

The special judge MK Pandya issued the notice to CBI and sought agency’s reply by January 20. Pandey has sought relief on the ground that no case is made out against him and the CBI has not charged him with any specific role in the case. This is the first instance in Ishrat Jahan case, in which an accused has sought discharge from the trial court.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/ishrat-jahan-encounter-case-mother-shamima-kauser-moves-special-court-to-oppose-discharge-plea-of-gujarat-dgp-4470875/

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Muzaffarnagar riots: Two years on, SIT yet to get govt’s nod to chargesheet 602 accused (Jan 14, 2017, Indian Express)

Two years after it requested the state government’s sanction to file chargesheets in 57 cases against 602 accused including leaders from the BJP, Congress and BSP, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the state government itself to investigate the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots is yet to get a nod for the same.

On Wednesday, a meeting was held in the home department where SIT officers placed evidence against the accused before a four-member committee. “We are examining the evidence produced by the IOs to take a final decision,” Joint Secretary Chhedi Lal Gupta, who heads the committee, told The Indian Express.

Those facing charges include BJP MP from Bijnor Kunwar Bhartendra Singh and his party MLAs Suresh Rana and Sangeet Singh Som, former BSP MP Kadir Rana, BSP MLAs Noor Saleem Rana and Maulana Jameel from Muzaffarnagar and Congress leader Saeed-uz-Zama.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/muzaffarnagar-riots-two-years-on-sit-yet-to-get-govts-nod-to-chargesheet-602-accused-4473393/

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EC issues notice to BJP’s Sakshi Maharaj for ‘four wives, 40 children’ remark (Jan 10, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Controversial BJP parliamentarian Sakshi Maharaj on Tuesday faced possible disciplinary action with the Election Commission issuing notice to him over his comments that appeared to blame the Muslim community for India’s population growth. The Lok Sabha MP from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh has been asked to reply by Wednesday morning.

Read in entirety, his remarks “have (the) effect of promoting enmity between classes of society…” and prima facie violates the model code of conduct which came into force on January 4 following announcement of assembly polls in five states, including Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress and other political parties have accused Maharaj of fanning communal tension ahead of the seven-phase polls in the state. Speaking in Meerut last week, Maharaj had urged all political parties to come together to frame “population control” laws.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/ec-issues-notice-to-bjp-s-sakshi-maharaj-for-four-wives-40-children-remark/story-JlrnLSaWs6SWqjW93UFECK.html

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Radhika Vemula Detained by Police at HCU, VC Refuses Her Right to Pay Homage (Jan 17, 2017, Sabrang India)

At about 8 p.m. on the night of January 17, the first anniversary of the date of Dalit Research scholar, Rohith Vemula’s “institutional murder” a callous Telangana police detained his mother Radhika Vemula, who had expressed her wish to pay homage at the Veliwada within the University of Hyderabad Campus.

Even as students at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) had planned to hold a largescale protest on January 17, commemorating the death anniversary of Rohith Vemula, the university administration had told the media that it will not let them go ahead with their plans.

Pro-VC Vipin Srivastava, said, “It is our prerogative as to who we can let inside the campus and who we can’t. We will take a decision based on the law and order situation. If they refuse to comply, we also have a High Court order.”…

https://sabrangindia.in/article/radhika-vemula-detained-police-hcu-vc-refuses-her-right-pay-homage

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Opinions and Editorials

Modi’s Man-Made Calamity: How Many Will Die? – By Walt Gelles (Jan 15, 2017, Countercurrents)

At this point, every sane and responsible person in India should be asking: How many tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or millions of people in India are going to die from hunger, starvation, malnutrition and disease as a result of Modi’s demonetisation?

Reports from the rural and semi-rural areas of India, from towns and villages, already indicate that hunger is widespread because of the nonexistence of cash. This artificial crisis was created on November 8, 2016 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi arbitrarily declared 86% of the nation’s currency worthless as legal tender – a draconian diktat taken without any prior discussion with his cabinet, Parliament, or the people.

The so-called demonetisation policy has had devastating effects across all sectors of Indian society, crippling businesses and farmers, causing retail stores and vendors to shut down, increasing unemployment, and forcing ordinary people to lose billions of man-hours and woman-hours waiting in endless queues at banks to exchange unusable currency notes or to withdraw the meager cash allowed.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/01/15/modis-man-made-calamity-how-many-will-die/

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Godse only killed Gandhi, present day’s Hindutva icon Modi is killing the soul of Gandhi – By Apoorva Pathak (Jan 15, 2017, Janta Ka Reporter)

In a move that has shocked many, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ejected Mahatma Gandhi from the wall calendar and table diary published by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission.

This attempt to marginalise Mahatma Gandhi from public mind is a clear manifestation of Modi’s narcissism. It’s Modi’s bid to create a cult around himself at the cost of stalwarts of Indian history. It also makes for bad marketing strategy as it is nobody’s case that Modi is in the same league as Gandhi in terms of appeal within and outside India. Moreover, Modi for all his followers, has large number of detractors and does not have the same bipartisan fandom as Gandhi’s.

The regressive move should alarm us about a much more fundamentally sinister plot that it has inadvertently exposed. It is a dangerous attempt to erase Gandhi’s legacy from Indian ethos. While the Hindutva icon Nathuram Godse only killed Gandhi, the present day’s Hindutva icon Modi is killing the soul of Gandhi.…

http://www.jantakareporter.com/blog/modi-gandhi-soul-godse/94387/

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Anti-National RSS: Documentary Evidences From RSS Archives – By Shamsul Islam (Jan 17, 2016, Countercurrents)

Friends from India and abroad who are concerned about the increasing threats to the democratic-secular Indian polity from the Hindutva organizations have been feeling the need for a concise document on the anti-national game-plan of the RSS and other like-minded offshoots. The need of such a document is rightly felt for countering the Hindutva propaganda at all levels.

The following document is an attempt to accomplish this objective. It is hoped that equipped with this document all those who love India as a democratic-secular nation and want to save our beloved country from the Hindutva onslaught would be able to challenge the fountain-head of the Hindutva politics; RSS. This document is based solely on the documents drawn from the RSS archives.

The editorial (titled ‘Glorious Hindu Nation’) in the maiden issue of the English organ of RSS dated July 3, 1947 strongly rejected any talk of an Indian nation where Hindus and Muslims would stay as equal partners. It branded the concept of a composite Indian nation as a British conspiracy and went on to decry Mr. Hume (one of the founders of the Indian National Congress) for advancing the theory…

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/01/17/anti-national-rss-documentary-evidences-from-rss-archives/

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Confusion About ‘Nation-State’ Is Dangerous For Sikhs in India – By Jaspal Singh Sidhu (Jan 12, 2017, Free Press Journal)

Of late, some thinkers of the Sikhs, a minority constituting less than two per cent of India’s population, are praising and advocating for a separate ‘nation-state’ as the best political solution for the emancipation of the besieged community. Such thinkers go to the extent of harrying and hounding those Sikh intellectuals who oppose the concept of ‘nation-state’, a Western construct.

The latter category of intellectuals suggest that a lot of water has flowed down the rivers since Western educated and influenced leaders of Indian independence struggle succeeded in setting up two ‘nation-states’ in 1947 – India and Pakistan,. Six decades old ‘nation-states’ set-up in Indian sub-continent, have been the cause of untold miseries, internal-external conflicts, bloodshed and further fragmentation in form of Bangladesh, which the founding fathers could never fathom in their dreams even.

Critics of ‘nation-state’ also argue that the unprecedented bloodshed and the forced migration of millions of people, witnessed during the Partition days was the direct consequence of Nehru and Jinnah’s insistence on establishing their separate ‘nation-states’.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/01/12/confusion-about-nation-state-is-dangerous-for-sikhs/

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An Unambiguous Indictment – Editorial (Jan 14, 2017, EPW)

The face of Chhattisgarh is the smiling visage of its chief minister, Raman Singh, which appears with unabated frequency in advertisements, including in the EPW, extolling the progress the state is making under his 13-year reign. The reality, as became evident with the latest report of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), is vastly different. It confirms what is already known but which Singh and his police force stubbornly refuse to acknowledge, that the tribal population of this state lives in constant fear of violence at the hands of the state police even as it continues to struggle with the unrelenting burden of poverty.

The tragedy of Chhattisgarh is not just the impunity with which the police and security forces continue to operate in the name of fighting the Maoists, but that nothing seems to dent the pursuit of these actions that have led to rapes, murders, harassment and wrongful imprisonment of ordinary people.

Taking suo motu cognisance of a 2 November 2015 news report in the Indian Express about 40 women from five villages who had alleged that they had been assaulted, harassed and that two women had been gang-raped, reportedly by the state police, the NHRC initiated an investigation. The newspaper story was based on inquiries carried out by a women’s human rights group, Women Against Sexual Violence and State Oppression a month earlier.…

http://www.epw.in/journal/2017/2/editorials/unambiguous-indictment.html

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The Death of a “Velivada Scholar”- Rohith Vemula – By Raju Hanumanta Chalwadi (Jan 17, 2017, Sabrang India)

The death of Rohith Vemula, a PhD scholar, at the Hyderabad Central University shook the country on January 2016. It was a loss of a brilliant child to his mother and loss of an intellectual to his community. ‘My birth is my fatal accident’ is what he wrote in his suicide letter, the meaning of these words can only be understood by one who did not want him/her to be what he wrote in the same letter “be reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility”. Further, he writes “Never was a man treated as a mind”, illustrates the injustice being done historically by the country on the Dalits by treating them as slaves and behaving with them as worst as possible.…

On 18th of December 2015, a letter was written to the Vice Chancellor of the University by the scholar asking VC to fulfil the following demands as a solution for the Dalit problems. He said “Please serve 10mg Sodium Azide to all the Dalit students at the time of admission. With direction to use when they feel like reading Ambedkar and supply a nice rope to the rooms of all Dalit students”. Further, he requested for a facility of “EUTHANASIA” for a student like him. This letter was written exactly 30 days before he committed suicide. Any sensible person could have taken such a letter with utmost urgency but the VC of UoH did not take it.…

Had the Ministry of HRD instead of writing letters after letters done the work for which the ministry had been constituted i.e., providing quality education and making education accessible to all, had the government not appointed Casteist VC Appa Rao Podile – who expelled 10 Dalit student’s way back in 2000 when he was a warden. Had Modi taken an unbiased stand on the issue by inquiring the case instead of providing lip service of achieving goal of equal India envisage by Dr BR Ambedkar, the Velivada scholar could have got justice. Most recently, PM Modi has awarded vice- chancellor Appa Rao Podile with a “Millennium Plaque of Honour” award at the Indian Science Congress held in Tirupati.

https://sabrangindia.in/article/death-%E2%80%9Cvelivada-scholar%E2%80%9D-rohith-vemula

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 20th, 2016

June 28, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Indian court jails 11 for life over Gujarat massacre of Muslims Gulberg verdict: SIT to approach High Court on ‘lenient’ sentencing Ishrat Jahan missing papers: ‘Mere ko ye poochna hai ki aapne ye paper dekha? Aapko kehna hai ki maine ye paper nahi dekha – seedhi si […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 10th, 2014

February 11, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines NRG sisters’ film records lingering trauma of 2002 Cops ignored Hindu terror leads, says officer who arrested Aseemanand Shinde hints at conducting probe in Samjhauta Express blast case Ishrat Jahan encounter case: CBI charges former IB special director, 3 serving officers Government forced to defer Communal […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 25th, 2013

November 26, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Vice president calls for communal harmony News Headlines Sex CD forced Modi govt to tail woman, SC told US lawmakers move anti-Modi resolution Trouble for Modi? Damning details of Ishrat killing given to SC Karnataka panel orders damages to 3 held in Bangalore blast case Ahead […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 30th, 2013

October 2, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Post Riots, Samajwadi Party committee to strengthen communal harmony in Muzaffarnagar News Headlines Criminal Charges Which Narendra Modi Faces Caught on tape: Praful Patel admits influencing Ishrat probe, CBI likely to grill Narendra Modi for inspiring, guiding and monitoring every police action CBI grills BJP Rajya […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 23rd, 2013

September 24, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines ‘No anguish on Modi’s face when he talks about riots’ I wouldn’t want to live in India if Modi becomes PM, author Ananthamurthy says Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case: CBI quizzes principal secretary to Modi, top cop BJP MLA Suresh Rana arrested for role in Muzaffarnagar […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 9th, 2013

September 10, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Muzaffarnagar riots: 4 BJP MLAs, Cong leader booked for inciting mob ‘Attempts to stoke communal tension around Deoband’ Communal tension grips Belgaum in Karnataka ahead of Ganesha festivities ‘Attack on 2002 Gujarat riot protesters planned’ Prosecute Narendra Modi, asks Coalition Against Genocide Prajapati encounter: Sting CD […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 26th, 2013

August 27, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Function on communal harmony News Headlines 02 riots: Let court, not SIT, decide Gujarat government role Narendra Modi following Hitler’s tactics to grab power: Digvijaya Singh CBI to confront IB ex-officer in Ishrat case again Yatra ban: We won’t let UP become Gujarat, says SP Shiv […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 19th, 2013

August 20, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines HC confirms conviction of 9 for post-Godhra riots Hindu supremacist Narendra Modi should not be invited to the Commons Narendra Modi’s attack on PM on I-day leaves some BJP leaders squirming CBI finds common link in Haren Pandya murder, Ishrat encounter Karat sees BJP, RSS role […]

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