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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 29th, 2017

by newsdigest on June 7, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Babri Masjid demolition case: CBI court frames ‘criminal conspiracy’ charges against Advani, Joshi, Bharti and others (May 30, 2017, Indian Express)

A CBI special court on Tuesday granted bail to BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti in the Babri Masjid demolition case. The bail was granted on personal bond of Rs 50,000 each. The court has, however, rejected the discharge petitions filed by the leaders. The conspiracy charges have been framed against all the 12 accused.

The court, which earlier rejected their discharge petition, framed charges against Advani (89), Joshi (83), Union minister Bharti (58) and three others under Section 120 (B) of the IPC (criminal conspiracy). The three others are the BJP’s Vinay Katiyar (62), VHP’s Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, who is in his late eighties, and one-time Hindutva firebrand Sadhvi Rithambara (53).…

This was the first time that these leaders had appeared before a court in connection with this case. Last month, the Supreme Court had restored the criminal conspiracy charges framed against Advani, Joshi, Bharti and other accused while overruling the Allahabad High Court judgment. Bharti, the union water resources minister, was also summoned to appear before the court along with BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Vishnu Hari Dalmia and one-time firebrand Hindutva preacher Sadhvi Ritambara.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/babri-masjid-demolition-case-lk-advani-murli-manohar-joshi-uma-bharti-bjp-leaders-granted-bail-by-special-cbi-court/

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Cow vigilantism: RSS man arrested for torching truck, cops say vehicle had bulls (May 26, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Police in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara have arrested 5 people, including a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), for torching a truck they thought was carrying cows for slaughter, officials said on Friday.…

Station house officer of the Kacchola police station, Damodar Sharma, told the Hindustan Times they arrested Lokesh, Sanvra Jat, Bhagchand Regar, Shankar Dhakad and Nanda Gurjar on Thursday for “setting fire to the truck and creating a ruckus”. Sharma said those arrested are associated with the RSS, the ideological mentor of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Gau Raksha Dal.…

“There were no cows in the truck and all the animals that were being transported were bulls. The animals were being taken to a cattle fair in Udaipur from various villages in Bhilwara. The owners of the bulls wanted to sell them to other farmers for farm work,” said the SHO.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/rss-worker-4-others-arrested-for-torching-truck-transporting-bulls-in-rajasthan/story-1iN7x171kAJyHSPYJ7MC1K.html

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Madras High Court stays Centre’s notification on sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets (May 30, 2017, The Hindu)

The Madras High Court Bench in Madurai on Tuesday stayed the operation of Rules 22(b)(iii) and 22(e) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulations of Livestock Markets) Rules 2017 notified by the Centre on May 23 banning the sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets.

A Division Bench of Justices M.V. Muralidaran and C.V. Karthikeyan granted the interim stay for four weeks on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition challenging the constitutional validity of the rules.

S. Selvagomathy (45), an activist-cum-lawyer based in Madurai, filed the PIL petition on grounds that the statutory rules were repugnant to the parent Act itself since Section 28 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act of 1960 specifically states that it shall not be an offence to kill any animal in a manner required by the religion of any community.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/pil-against-new-animal-slaughter-rules/article18625410.ece

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Human rights abuses against minorities on rise in India: Indian-American group (May 24, 2017, Hindustan Times)

An alliance of Indian-American groups has alleged that human rights abuses against social and religious minorities have been on the ascendance under the current BJP-led government in the last three years. The report ‘Minority Rights Violations in India by Alliance for Justice and Accountability’ was prepared by the alliance, which represents several Indian-American groups…. The groups include Indian-American Muslim Council, Dalit American Coalition, Organisation of Minorities from India, TwoCircles and South Asian Solidarity Initiative.

The report has alleged “massive abuses” of human rights by state and non-state actors. “Human rights abuses against India’s social and religious minorities have been on the ascendance since the BJP government came to power. This grim reality is already being acknowledged within India as well as internationally,” the report, released at the Rayburn House office building at the US Capitol, alleged.

Running into more than 60 pages, the report alleged the unprecedented success of the BJP post 2014 has provided a “tremendous fillip to Hindu supremacist forces” who form a significant portion of its base. “The latter’s attacks on religious minorities have amplified. State agencies, including law enforcement and the bureaucracy are constitutionally mandated to act against such bigotry and supremacism. Alarmingly, these institutions are now under the control of the very Hindu ultranationalist forces who have run anti-minority campaigns,” it alleged, adding that impunity for police and security officials has touched a new high in India in recent years.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/human-rights-abuses-against-minorities-on-rise-in-india-indian-american-group/story-pYVmC22dDJfQ4Ro1ousclK.html

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Fresh Clashes in UP’s Saharanpur Leave One Dead, Several Injured (May 24, 2017, The Wire)

The Uttar Pradesh police heightened security across the Saharanpur district on Wednesday, May 24 after one person died and several were injured in fresh clashes between members of the Thakur community and Dalits in three villages of the region on Tuesday, according to Hindustan Times.

The communally sensitive region of Saharanpur has been rocked by inter-caste violence since April. On Tuesday, May 23, some Dalits allegedly set fire to the homes of 12 Rajputs in Shabbirpur village ahead of Mayawati’s visit, which led to increased tensions between the two communities. The intervention of the police prevented a flare-up at the time.

According to an Outlook report, during her visit to Shabbirpur village, the BSP chief blamed the BJP-led UP government for the continuing violence and said that they had failed to stop their own party brigades from inciting clashes.…

https://thewire.in/139438/up-government-blames-mayawati-for-fresh-violence-between-dalits-and-thakurs/

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Saharanpur clashes: Suspended cop was indicted over Muzaffarnagar riots (May 25, 2017, Hindustan Times)

A senior police officer suspended on Thursday over deadly caste clashes in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur was previously “held responsible” for the 2013 communal riots in Muzaffarnagar by a judicial committee.

Subhash Chandra Dubey, suspended as Saharanpur’s senior superintendent of police, headed in 2013 the district police in Muzaffanagar, the epicentre for communal clashes that left more than 60 people dead.

“So far as Subhash Chandra Dubey is concerned, I have already held that the government of UP has prime facie found him responsible for riots; pending inquiry has suspended him and I am in agreement with the view of government of UP,” said the report by Vishnu Kant Sahai.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/saharanpur-dalit-thakur-clashes-suspended-top-cop-also-indicted-over-2013-muzaffarnagar-riots/story-LHWXIBXSItqPkkEYF7cgKK.html

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By Inciting Violence, Paresh Rawal, MP, Must Surely Forfeit His Seat (May 26, 2017, The Wire)

When actor and BJP MP Paresh Rawal recently tweeted that Arundhati Roy and others be tied to an army jeep, he was making a laudatory reference to the degrading and inhuman treatment meted out to a citizen, Farooq Ahmed Dar – who was tied to a jeep by army Major Leetul Gogoi as a human shield against stone pelters during the recent elections in Kashmir. Astonishingly, Gogoi has received a commendation card from the army for this act.

Rawal’s statement is particularly serious as it is not restricted to the specific action, but is an incitement to further violence of that nature against civilians at large. With each passing day, we see the escalation of violence at every level against persons belonging to marginalised social groups. In recent times this has been particularly visible in the orchestrated attacks against Muslims by ‘cow protection’ vigilantes.

This incitement to deploy degrading and inhuman treatment and brutal violence against a writer – incitement that is tacitly supported by the ruling party – has the immediate danger of escalating the gruesome violence that we are already a witnesses to. This is violence being propagated on social media by an MP of the ruling BJP.…

https://thewire.in/140026/paresh-rawal-arundhati-roy-human-shield-tweet/

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Muslim-Dominated Malegaon, Bhiwandi Reject BJP in Maha Civic Polls (May 27, 2017, The Quint)

Counting for elections held in three municipal corporation in Maharashtra – Panvel, Bhiwandi and Malegaon – concluded today, voting for which took place on 24 May. The three parts saw a voter turnout of 55, 53 and 60 percent respectively.

The elections are significant because the BJP tried to make inroads into the Muslim-majority areas of Malegaon and Bhiwandi, from where it fielded not only a record number of candidates, but also a record number of Muslim candidates. The aim was to snub the Shiv Sena, which has been threatening to exit its alliance with the BJP, which had brought them to power in the 2014 Assembly elections.

However, BJP suffered a humiliating defeat in both areas, where the Congress party emerged as the winner.…

https://www.thequint.com/india/2017/05/27/maharashtra-civic-body-poll-results-bhiwandi-malegaon-bjp-congress

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Bilkis Bano gang-rape case: SC refuses to stay conviction of IPS officer (May 30, 2017, Hindustan Times)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay the conviction of an IPS officer in the 2002 Bilkis Bano case. A vacation bench of Justices A K Sikri and Deepak Gupta said that there is no urgency for hearing the matter as the convicted officer has already undergone the sentence.

The bench, however, listed the matter for hearing in the second week of July, observing the fine is of Rs 15,000 only. IPS officer RS Bhagora, currently serving in Gujarat, has been convicted along with four other policemen by the Bombay High Court recently after the trial court had acquitted them.

The counsel appearing for Bhagora said if the conviction is not stayed, then he will be terminated from the service as per service rules.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/bilkis-bano-gang-rape-case-sc-refuses-to-stay-conviction-of-ips-officer/story-0BR2eXDvY6NoA4cXYP1xXP.html

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Clean Yourselves With Soap Before Meeting Adityanath, Dalit Villagers Told (May 28, 2017, The Wire)

Days after the house of a slain BSF soldier was given a temporary ‘makeover’ to make chief minister Adityanath’s visit to the family more comfortable, media reports claim that Dalit villagers in Uttar Pradesh were given soap, detergent and shampoo to ‘clean’ themselves before the Uttar Pradesh CM’s recent meeting with them.

“I got the soaps from the Anganwadi women. I didn’t get the shampoo, but others did. I was told to take a bath with the soap before going for the meeting. We already use soap which we buy from the local shop. What’s going to change with just two bars of soap,” a villager told the Indian Express. Musahar Dalit families are the primary residents of UP’s Mainpur Deenapatti village in Kushinagar district. The community is discriminated against for being ‘untouchables’.…

“The incident at the village of [the] Musahar community has depicted the true face of BJP, the RSS and in particular of their CM. They have insulted the entire community in that village but more importantly they have most importantly insulted the very concept of Dalit in this country,” Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi told ANI. “Appropriate case must be registered under the very specific and powerful and wide provisions of ST/ SC act against this brazen and shocking form of untouchability and the CM and the officials must immediately unconditionally, comprehensively apologise to the entire community,” he added.…

https://thewire.in/140934/adityanath-up-dalits-soap/

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Opinions and Editorials

A nation of vigilantes – Lynch mob republic – By Mukul Kesavan (May 28, 2017, The Telegraph)

These three years have seen the State fuse with the street to create a vigilante nation. If India’s first national movement was a mobilization against foreign rulers, the new nationalism, the principal style of which is vigilantism, is directed at the enemy within.…

Modern vigilantes bend the system to their will and take the law into their hands with the tacit or explicit blessing of the State and in the name of the virtuous Nation. This is a Nation that is insufficiently realized because its coming into being has been thwarted by a false nationalism and a corruptly administered republic. The new vigilante is insurgent in this thwarted Nation’s cause.…

Institutions take decades to build and moments to undo. Vigilante nationalism has corroded our universities, our armed forces, our media organizations, and our mechanisms of law and order. It will destroy them if we keep bending rules and abandoning due process to prove our patriotic credentials or worse, to challenge those of others. Fascism is best understood as violent nationalism with the violence turned inwards.… If India ever takes a fascist turn, vigilante nationalists will be our Brownshirts.

https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170528/jsp/opinion/story_153811.jsp

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Is the Ban On Cow Slaughter Animal Protection Or Hindutva Agenda? – By Dr K Narayana (May 29, 2017, Milli Gazette)

The recent ban on cow slaughter is nothing but surgical attack on very fundamental rights of the citizens under our Constitution. This is not real affection of manuwadis towards cows. But it is an attempt to drag votes of majority community.

Basically, the present unilateral order of environment ministry is anti-dalits, anti-minorities and above all anti-farmers. The present order is snatching away the very right to live. Is it a majority people’s decision of the country? What right they have to pass such an order without taking the consent of Parliament, the law-maker of the biggest democracy?

As of now, the ruling BJP has the support of only 32 per cent of votes. That means 68 per cent of Indian voters have either rejected them or did not vote for them. How can the environment ministry pass such an order on a matter concerning Indian economy, people’s food habits and their petty businesses? Gujarat, the BJP-ruled state and from there the Prime Minister Modi has come to the Center, is exporting beef to the tune of 25 thousands crores of rupees.… The Apex court should intervene, take this issue as a sou moto case and protect the liberty of 125 crore of people of our nation and their right to live.

http://www.milligazette.com/news/15627-is-the-ban-on-cow-slaughter-animal-protection-or-hindutva-agenda

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Modi celebrates three years in office as Saharanpur burns – By Abid Shah (May 25, 2017, National Herald)

Amid growing caste and communal discrimination and strife, the Narendra Modi, Government has not only preferred to look the other way but is also gearing up to embark upon a 15-day long anniversary of three years of his rule. And, as yet another anniversary bash of the government awaits to kick off in Guwahati on May 26 this time, the past two similar events – at Saharanpur in 2016 and at Mathura a year before that – stand out as stark reminders of merriment amid utter disregard and lack of empathy to sad realities on the ground.

It was a year ago, on May 26, 2016 to be exact, when PM Modi addressed a huge rally at Saharanpur in western Uttar Pradesh (UP) to mark the second anniversary of his rule. He had also set the tone for the Assembly elections in the then poll-bound state in Saharanpur. With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) winning a mandate and Yogi Adityanath sworn in as the chief minister, Saharanpur is in the news for all the wrong reasons, rather than hope that the PM had promised last year.

Thus, scores of poor Dalits from embattled parts of the unfortunate district, as also from the nearby areas, had to take to the streets of Delhi last Sunday to express their ire over caste violence and arson, that robbed many of them of their hearths and homes besides putting them at grave risk. Through this grim caste crisis, the head of Dalit outfit Bhim Army, Chandrashekhar Azad, said that Dalits were Hindus before the polls and became Dalits again after the polls were over.…

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/opinion/2017/05/25/narendra-modi-celebrates-three-years-in-office-as-saharanpur-burns

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Babri Prosecution Will Not Be Safe in CBI’s Hands Unless the Supreme Court Monitors Its Work – By G.S. Chawla (May 30, 2017, The Wire)

Last month, the Supreme Court decided that senior BJP leaders like L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and others must be tried for the charge of conspiring to demolish the Babri Masjid and ordered that their trial in Lucknow be held on a day-to-day basis. On May 30, Advani and the others were formally charged with criminal conspiracy and then granted bail by the trial court on sureties of Rs 20,000.

Though the Supreme Court has fixed a period of two years for the trial’s completion, this is unlikely to happen unless the apex court directly supervises matters and also monitors the role of the CBI – the prosecuting agency – during the course of the trial. The trial court can give its verdict only on the basis of the evidence placed before it and it is the CBI that will have to provide the evidence.

Unfortunately, the CBI’s past record in this case does not inspire confidence about its impartiality. The investigating agency has already shown three different faces in this case, lending credence to the belief that it is a ‘Cover-up Bureau of Investigation’. There are many instances to prove this charge and even the apex court had described the CBI as a “caged parrot”.…

https://thewire.in/139208/babri-prosecution-will-not-safe-hands-cbi/

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‘Isn’t this our country?’ Why Indian Muslims feel shaken and ‘harassed’ – By Prashant Jha (May 30, 2017, Hindustan Times)

… University in Bareilly. The daughter of a mechanic, her parents battled hostile relatives, uncomfortable with sending a girl to college, and decided to educate her- she will become the first engineer in her family. Nisha has made friends with her classmates, a majority of Hindus. But something changed during the 2017 elections in UP. “I did not feel this earlier. But in this election, among our friends, this feeling of being Hindu and Muslim sharpened. In discussions, our friends made us feel we were different.” She says the BJP had created this ‘division’.…

Whether it is indeed, factually, their religious identity which is leading to Adnan’s loan being rejected, Alam’s voice not being heard, Ahmad or Khan being called anti-national, Nisha and Tanweer feeling a sense of distance from their friends, Roshan getting uncomfortable watching television, or Nehaal struggling to get funds for his campus is one part of the story, open to debate.

The more important part is that all of them feel that this is discrimination that stems from their religious identity. And all of this is leading to a question that Khan – the Kishanganj student – asks bluntly, “I have always felt Indian. But today, I am being forced to ask myself – is this my country?”

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/isn-t-this-our-country-why-muslims-in-uttar-pradesh-feel-shaken-harassed/story-JuOWUrpN8uMPcvJ13GzoVI.html

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Bodo Villager Accounts Corroborate Top Cop’s Custodial Killing Charge Against CRPF in Assam – By Rajeev Bhattacharya (May 29, 2017, The Wire)

…It was around midnight when the family was woken up by continuous knocks on the door by four unarmed people. They asked for shelter and were subsequently allowed to sleep in one of the three huts in the small compound. Two members from the squad slipped out to another destination to spend the night. After about three hours, there was more noise and Basumatary’s mother, Binu, rushed out only to find the entire compounded being surrounded by police and army personnel. They entered the hut and dragged all the three people outside. While Basumatary was left behind, the other two who were picked up, have been identified as Lukas Narzary and David Islary – who were allegedly shot at Mandarguri located about five kilometres from the village.…

Anjali Daimary, president of Boro Women’s Justice Forum, feels that fake encounters have been more in Chirang and Kokrajhar than the other two districts of BTAD. She narrated an instance when the army shot a person by mistake, but had to give a job to the son of the victim after protests erupted.

There is no dearth of such instances in this border region where concrete roads sometimes vanish into the long and short shrubs abounding the area and where other basis amenities like electricity are yet to become realities of life. Another example comes from Mowphor village where Donda was apprehended from a house and shot in Khirubari. The villages have been warned several times by the security forces to keep their mouth shut and not to reveal anything to outsiders.

https://thewire.in/141092/assam-fake-encounters-crpf/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 21st, 2016

by newsdigest on March 25, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Communal Harmony

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Opinions and Editorials

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Book Review

Samrat: How the Shiv Sena Changed Mumbai Forever

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

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

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

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

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

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