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Ishrat Jahan encounter

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

by newsdigest on June 28, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Indian court jails 11 for life over Gujarat massacre of Muslims (Jun 17, 2016, The Telegraph)

An Indian court jailed 11 Hindu attackers for life on Friday for murdering dozens of Muslims in one of the most notorious massacres of the 2002 Gujarat riots that shook India at a time Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the state’s chief minister. The court sentenced 12 others to seven years in jail over the killing of 69 Muslims, while another was handed a 10-year sentence, prosecutors told local television channels after the sentencing.

A Hindu mob scaled the boundary wall of the Gulbarg housing society in Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s largest city, in February 2002 before torching the homes in which Muslim families were trapped. Several victims were children and women who were burned to death. The massacre was one of a series of riots that flared for two months in western Gujarat, killing more than 1,000 people, most of them Muslims.

The riots dogged Mr Modi’s political career for years after he was accused of not doing enough to stop the violence. Mr Modi, a Hindu, denies any wrongdoing and in 2013 a panel appointed by the Supreme Court said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him. An Indian court this month convicted 24 Hindus for their role in the massacre at the Gulbarg housing society while acquitting 36. The trial began in 2009. Zakia Jafri, whose husband and former Congress party legislator, Ehsan, died in the blaze, said Friday’s sentences were insufficient.…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/17/indian-court-jails-11-for-life-over-gujarat-massacre-of-muslims/

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Gulberg verdict: SIT to approach High Court on ‘lenient’ sentencing (Jun 17, 2016, Economic Times)

Special Investigation Team (SIT) counsel in the 2002 Gulberg massacre case, R C Kodekar today expressed dissatisfaction about court’s verdict in the case and announced to approach the High Court, as he felt the sentence was too “lenient”.

Kodekar was upset especially after the court’s refusal to add “till death” clause in the life sentence awarded to 11 convicts in the case. “Today’s verdict is not that satisfactory. We feel the sentence is lenient and inadequate. During arguments, we had appealed to the court that life imprisonment till death should given to all. We are not convinced with the penalty awarded,” said Kodekar. “12 convicts were given only seven years, which is very lenient too. It should be either ten years of life imprisonment,” he said. “We will appeal in the High Court,” said Kodekar.…

The Gulberg Society massacre, which took place here on February 28, 2002 when Narendra Modi was the Gujarat Chief Minister, shook the nation when a mob of 400 people set about attacking the society in the heart of Ahmedabad and killed the 69 residents including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri. It was one of the nine cases of the 2002 Gujarat riots probed by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/52796052.cms

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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 baat hai’ (Jun 17, 2016, Indian Express)

B K Prasad, the Union Home Ministry official who headed the probe into the “missing documents” in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, not only told a witness the questions he would ask but also suggested to him what answers he should give — that he had not seen any of the documents. This coaching of a witness by the man heading the investigation puts a question mark on the integrity of the probe announced in Lok Sabha by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on March 10.…

Prasad then told the officer: “Aapko kehna hai ki ‘Maine ye paper nahi dekha.’ Seedhi si baat hai (You have to say, ‘I have not seen that paper.’ It’s as simple as that).” Prasad told Kumar that the consequences of giving a different reply would be that doubts would be raised about the officer having played a role in the disappearance of the papers.

“Aapko itna toh kehna hoga ki ya toh woh file hi maine kabhi zindagi mein deal nahi kiya, kabhi file ko dekhne ka kabhi mauka hi nahi mila (You will have to, at least, say that either you have never dealt with that file in your life, or have never had a chance to see it)… I don’t think you have seen that file at any point… Bas, that is what I want from you: ‘I have not seen that file at all’,” Prasad told the officer. Prasad also told the officer: “And another question will be, ‘Did anybody give you these documents to be kept separately with you?’ Aap bologe, ‘Nahi, mere ko kisi ne nahi diya.’ (You will say, ‘No, nobody gave them to me’).”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/ishrat-jahan-fake-encounter-case-inquiry-ashok-kumar-2855542/

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Amnesty slams govt decision on Teesta-led NGO (Jun 19, 2016, Deccan Herald)

Amnesty International India on Saturday said the government decision to cancel Teesta Setalvad’s NGO’s licence was due to her work in seeking justice for the victims of the Gujarat riots. The Centre on Thursday cancelled NGO Sabrang Trust’s licence on violation of various FCRA rules, which means it will not be able to collect foreign funds.

Seeking revocation of the decision against Teesta Setalvad-led NGO, Amnesty said it was “not a coincidence” that the most prominent use of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010, has been against NGOs “who seek to hold the government accountable” for its actions.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) appears to be persecuting Sabrang for its founders’ work in seeking justice for the 2002 Gujarat riots’ victims,” Amnesty executive director Aakar Patel said in a statement. “This pattern of using the FCRA as a pretext to go after NGOs that don’t toe the government line needs to stop. The government must end its NGO witch-hunt,” Patel said. Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand were among those who had helped a section of victims fight the then Gujarat government then led by Narendra Modi.…

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/553112/amnesty-slams-govt-decision-teesta.html

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Malegaon blast: Victims object to Pragya’s bail plea (Jun 17, 2016, Hindustan Times)

The court set up to hear the 2008 Malegaon blast case on Friday allowed an application by the victims, objecting to Pragya Singh’s bail application. Advocate Sharif Shaikh, representing the victims also questioned the probe of the National Investigation Agency (NIA). On May 13, the NIA had submitted a supplementary chargesheet giving a clean chit to six accused, including Pragya, and also recommended that all the charges against them be dropped.

The central agency said the shoddy probe by Maharashtra authorities forced the U-turn. It added that the provisions of the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) were not applicable to the case. After getting a clean chit from the NIA, Pragya had applied for bail. Her advocate J P Mishra had on May 30 filed a bail application on the ground that the NIA had not pressed charges against her owing to a lack of evidence, and because of her deteriorating health.

The defense pleaded that she had no knowledge of how her motorbike was used in the blast and said she had never given her consent for this. He said that the bike had been sold long before the incident. Meanwhile, 64-year old businessman Nisar Bilal had on June 8 moved an application before the special court seeking to include the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) as a party to the case and to hear the agency that had booked Pragya in the blast case.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai/malegaon-blast-victims-object-to-pragya-s-bail-plea/story-lGOer0pcET88YepKFdCkEM.html

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Sangeet Som’s yatra: SP corners PM Modi, rakes up Gujarat riots (Jun 17, 2016, Times of India)

Uttar Pradesh PWD Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav on Friday attempted to corner Prime Minister Narendra Modi over BJP MLA Sangeet Som’s “Paidal Nirbhay Yatra” across Uttar Pradesh to assure safety to the Hindu families from Kairana village of Shamli district and said that the duo must worry about bringing back the people, who fled during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

“Many people migrated after the Gujarat riots. Sangeet Som and Prime Minister Narendra Modi should first worry about them. Prime Minister Modi must first bring back the people, who fled during the Gujarat riots,” Yadav told a press conference here. He claimed the Uttar Pradesh Government has intelligence reports which suggest that there was no exodus from Kairana.

“The people have left the place in search for jobs. We will not let the BJP vitiate the atmosphere here. We have intelligence reports to prove that there was no exodus in Kairana,” he added. Yadavb further said the BJP MLA was attempting to vitiate the atmosphere in Uttar Pradesh, adding strict action would be initiated against such elements.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/52794695.cms

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Seers visit Kairana, slam BJP’s ‘politics of hate’ (Jun 20, 2016, Times of India)

A team of Hindu seers on Sunday visited Kairana to probe allegations by BJP MP Hukum Singh that 346 Hindu families had fled the small town due to persecution. Swami Chakrapani, one of the five seers who visited Kairana, slammed BJP for playing the “communal card”.

Swami Chakrapani, president of Akhil Bharatiya Sant Mahasabha, told TOI that Hindus and Muslims alike had been worried about rising crime there. Samajwadi Party member and UP cabinet minister Shiv pal Yadav on Friday had suggested that a team of “apolitical” Hindu seers ascertain the facts on the ground.

The team of seers also included Akhil Bharatiya Sant Mahasabha’s Haryana president Swami Kalyan, president of Sant Samiti Devendranand Saraswati, founder of Shri Kalki Foundation Pramod Krishnam and Swami Chinmayanand of the Sant Mahasabha.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/52825810.cms

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Latest gem from BJP leader: Saffronisation and sanghwad are inevitable, says Union Minister Katheria (Jun 19, 2016, First Post)

At a time when the Narendra Modi-led central government has come under immense criticism over Raghuram Rajan’s announcement in his farewell letter that he will not be renewing his term after September, this BJP leader is not making matters any easier for the party.

In a classic foot-in-mouth situation, Union Minister Ram Shankar Katheria on Saturday said that ‘bhagwakaran’ (saffronisation) of education will definitely take place in India. Speaking at an event, Katheria, who is Minister of State in the HRD ministry, went on to say that saffronisation and ‘sanghwad’ will be good for the country and is inevitable.

“Reporters told us that some people are saying that our government is saffronising education in the country. I am saying this today: Saffronisation will definitely take place in education and in the country,” said Katheria.…

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/saffronisation-and-sanghwad-are-inevitable-says-union-minister-rs-katheria-2843654.html

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Smriti Irani Heckled and Boo-ed in Bhagalpur Bihar: Rohith Vemula Haunts the Modi Regime (Jun 18, 2016, Sabrang India)

When Smriti Irani visited Bhagalpur town in Bihar, people protested against her visit and shouted slogans of ‘Amar Rahe, Rohith Vemula’. This happened on June 16, 2016 it is reported.

Protesters in Bhagalpur said Smriti Irani is as responsible as the other five culprits booked for Rohith’s death because she misused her position of responsibility and exerted pressure on University administration to persecute the five Dalit research scholars. Smriti Irani acted upon the letter given to her by the BJP Union Minister Bandaru Dattatraya in which he labelled University of Hyderabad as “a den of casteists, extremists and anti-nationals”.

Smriti Irani should be sacked from the MHRD minister’s post immediately and all the five culprits must be arrested immediately, the protesters demanded. The students movement across the country has been calling the minister ‘Manusmriti Irani’ since the ‘institutional murder’ of Rohith Vemula.

https://www.sabrangindia.in/ann/smriti-irani-heckled-and-boo-ed-bhagalpur-bihar-rohith-vemula-haunts-modi-regime

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Police officer suspended for third degree interrogation of girl in Jharkhand (Jun 18, 2016, Businesss Standard)

In a case of alleged police brutality, a Class 10 girl student fell unconscious and had to be hospitalised after she was interrogated for more than 10 hours at a police station in Jharkhand’s Latehar district. The girl remained unconscious for more than 70 hours after the questioning by police on June 14 at Manika Police Station in Latehar.

According to doctors treating the girl, she may take some more days to recover. “She may take two to four days to recover,” said Umesh Kumar, a doctor treating the girl in RIMS.

Latehar Superintendent of Police Anup Birthare has suspended Sub-Inspector Ram Pravesh Sharma posted at Manika Police Station after he was found guilty of questioning the girl for more than 10 hours inside the police station without the presence of a woman police constable or even her parents.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/police-officer-suspended-for-third-degree-interrogation-of-girl-in-jharkhand-116061800348_1.html

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Opinions and Editorials

US-Modi Bonhomie – By Abdul Majid Zargar (Jun 15, 2016, Countercurrents)

There has been a steady increase in Indo-US bonhomie ever since Narendra Modi took over as the Prime Minister of India. During his two years in chair, he has taken long strides than his predecessors in reducing the distance and increasing convergence in the strategic perspectives of the two supposedly democracies. During his latest visit to US, Modi has received a thunderous applause to his forty five minute speech to the joint session of US congress during which he is reported to have received extraordinary number of clappings & standing ovations.

The rousing reception begs a very important question. Has the US, which positions itself as a champion of human rights around the world, forgotten or forgiven Modi for his complicit role in killing minority Muslims thus committing grave crimes against humanity during Gujarat riots 2002. The question is important because in its answer lies the future survival of democracy as a best model which respects human rights.…

Modi’s Complicity in Gujarat riots is well researched & adequately documented. The latest addition to the existing implicative material on the subject is Rana Ayub’s book ‘Gujrat files- Anatomy of a cover-up’. Prior to that Manoj Mitta’s book ‘The fiction of fact finding’ & Sreekumar’s Book ‘Gujrat behind the Curtain’ have provided ample evidence of Modi’s involvement through his acts of omission & commission. Not to speak of Teesta Setalvad’s material compiled after untiring efforts and Tehlka’s sting operations conducted in 2007.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/zargar150616.htm

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As election season approaches in UP, BJP moves in to communalise everything it can – By Shoaib Daniyal (Jun 20, 2016, Scroll.in)

On Saturday, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ram Shakar Katheria said that it was inevitable that saffronisation will proceed, both in the education sector as well as of India as a whole – and that this is a fine thing. Katheria is no ordinary leader. He is a minister in the Narendra Modi government. His words, like the exculpation of the Dadri beef murder by Union minister Mahesh Sharma, carry some significance. Clearly, this sort of statement is a prelude to the keenly contested 2017 Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh.

And this isn’t the only indication of the party’s strategy for the state. The BJP is continuing to attempt to make the alleged exodus of Hindus from Kairana a point of contention. The controversy was sparked last fortnight when a party MP produced a list of people who had purportedly been forced out of the town by Muslim criminals. Pro-government media such as Zee News went to town with these claims, comparing the situation to Kashmir in the 1990s. The only problem? There was no exodus.…

Uttar Pradesh is the country’s largest state, home to one out of six Indians. It is also desperately poor. Even Bihar, the poster boy of India’s poverty for much of the recent past, seems to have turned the corner. In such an environment, it seems naked communalisation is the only way to do politics in the state. It was true when the BJP was rising on the back of the Ram Janmabhoomi campaign to demolish the Babri Masjid in the late 1980s. Today, three decades later, even with a BJP government in Delhi, it still seems to hold true.

http://scroll.in/article/810261/the-daily-fix-as-election-season-approaches-in-up-bjp-moves-in-to-communalise-everything-it-can

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Gulberg Judgment: It’s doubtful that punishments handed out match up to the magnitude of the crime – Editorial (Jun 20, 2016, Times of India)

…While the court found 24 out of the 60 accused guilty in the horrific rampage that tortured and murdered 69 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, it said that the accused deserved “a second chance to reform and rehabilitate”. Indian authorities are often not sufficiently tough on supposedly ‘spontaneous’ communal riots, which is one reason why they recur. It’s difficult to say this judgment has broken with that tradition of leniency.

In contrast to the strong words expressed in the Naroda Patia verdict, criminal conspiracy has been ruled out in the Gulberg case, as though it was a spontaneous eruption of anger after the Godhra killings. The judgment has also held that Jafri’s firing of a gun was what triggered the mob’s violent frenzy, thus denying him the right to self-defence.…

This paper has reported eyewitness accounts of how Jafri was stripped, his fingers and limbs methodically chopped off, before he was thrown into a fire. Even if Jafri fired in self-defence when faced with an armed mob, it strains credulity that one man’s gun provoked violence on this scale. The Gujarat carnage of 2002 has resulted in 140 convictions, but the process has been tortuous and opaque. The lower judiciary, police and administrators were complicit in tampering with evidence, destroying trails and forcing witnesses to turn hostile. This judgment is unlikely to bring a sense of closure to victims of the Gulberg massacre.

http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/toi-editorials/gulberg-judgment-its-doubtful-that-punishments-handed-out-match-up-to-the-magnitude-of-the-crime/

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Sacking Raghuram Rajan: It is intolerance again – By Anil Sharma (Jun 20, 2016, Free Press Journal)

As the RBI governor Raghuram Rajan conveyed to the central bank’s employees in a letter that was placed on the bank’s website for wider circulation: “… I want to share with you that I will be returning to academia when my term as Governor ends on September 4, 2016”, he was in effect announcing his dismissal by the Modi Sarkar. To interpret this as anything else is to rob the BJP’s battering ram Subramanian Swamy of his rightful claim to brag that he has had the RBI governor, a mere government employee, dismissed. For Swamy it was a command performance executed at the behest of his boss the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Lest anyone has any doubts on this count as well, Swamy provided the clinching evidence by acknowledging on twitter that “…. my admiration for Namo has gone up hugely: media, industrialists, and international bureaucrats piled on him for R3 but he did not bend.” For the uninitiated ones R3 is swamyspeak for Raghuram Rajan. The reference “did not bend” prompts a query as to when the decision to sack Rajan was taken? Before Swamy got into the act or after?…

It was not difficult to visualise the strong disapproval of such a person. This was the intolerance of another variety. It is something that places conformism over merit. It is neither difficult to see the logic. “We can find brilliant men dime a dozen, but they have to be conformists,” is the way it runs. Lest, we may forget one such classmate of the ‘sacked governor’ happens to be Jayant Sinha, the minister of state for finance.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/editorspick/sacking-rajan-it-is-intolerance-again-anil-sharma/874440

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BJP’s Doublespeak on Terror – By Gurpreet Singh (Jun 21, 2016, Sabrang India)

…The Hindu ‘nationalist’ (read supremacist) Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) which is currently in power was in the opposition at that time. The so called secular Congress government too tried to play down the involvement of Hindu extremists initially as it wanted to isolate Pakistan internationally for sponsoring terrorism. The truth however cannot and could not be buried. As the complicity of the Hindu extremists became apparent, the BJP reacted sharply and accused the Congress government of defaming the Hindu community.…

Notably, the BJP government is known for its tough anti terror stance, but this is weakened or stands exposed when it comes to dealing with the terrorists from within their lot. It is pertinent to mention that the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi was seen in the company of one of the Samjhauta blast accused Swami Aseemanand in Gujarat where he was previously the Chief Minister.

Aseemanand is an ascetic who ran a camp in Gujarat that worked aggressively to covert Christians into Hinduism. It was during Modi’s tenure as chief minister that an anti Muslim massacre took place in 2002. Modi had also publicly opposed the arrests of Hindu extremists in connection with terrorism.…

https://www.sabrangindia.in/article/bjp%E2%80%99s-doublespeak-terror

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Ishrat Jahan: After the Fake Encounter, a ‘Phoney’ Probe – By Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta (Jun 16, 2016, The Wire)

If there is one case that exposes the fragility of Indian democracy in recent times, it is the killing of Ishrat Jahan in 2004.… Human rights activists have decried her killing as a fake encounter; the Congress’s flip-flop – initially calling her a terrorist and then a victim of a fake encounter – has triggered suspicion over its intentions. The BJP, quite naturally, has been the only party to support the Gujarat government’s action, given the fact that party president Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat at the time of Ishrat’s killing, have directly or indirectly been implicated in the case since the probe began.

At no point of time has the probe functioned in a transparent manner. Depending on their political agenda, officials and politicians have leaked selective information about the case to establish their views, leading to highly polarised and uninformed opinions on the matter. This opacity showed of yet again when a senior home ministry official, B.K. Prasad, who headed an official probe into the case documents that have gone missing, was captured on tape by an Indian Express reporter trying to doctor his own investigation. Prasad retired from service after his probe began but has been given an extension.…

Even 12 years after Ishrat’s killing, the case is still in limbo, despite an SIT probe and a magistrate’s report implicating the Gujarat police. As long as they are not found, the ‘missing documents’ will allow the BJP to turn what is a straightforward case of custodial murder into a political football that can be kicked around to discredit the Congress and divert attention away from the original crime. The question the BJP will have to answer is why it had to manipulate the probe into the missing papers if it was certain the Congress’s second affidavit was false and politically motivated.…

http://thewire.in/43322/ishrat-jahan-after-the-fake-encounter-a-phoney-probe/

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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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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 29th, 2013

July 30, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines It’s State-sponsored conspiracy from day-1 but SIT ignored it, says Zakia 65 MPs write to Obama against a visa for Modi Modi’s Hindutva a double-edged sword, analysts warn Facebook page of ‘BJP Gujarat’ takes nasty, ‘bikini-clad’ dig at Amartya Sen RSS, IB are ‘biggest terror’ outfits: […]

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