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Malegaon Blast

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 2nd, 2016

by newsdigest on May 18, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Communal Harmony

‘All-faith meet in Varanasi to strengthen Hindu-Muslim unity’ (Apr 29, 2016, Times of India)

The Maulana Arshad Madani led faction of Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, is all set to go to Prime minister Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi with the message of Hindu-Muslim unity and the need to recognise and reject fundamentalist and divisive forces trying to divide the two communities on religious lines. Interestingly, this congregation planned from Monday will bring together heads of various major temples of Varanasi in a first of its kind all-faith meet for unity.

As he heads for Varanasi to attend the all-religion unity conference being organized by Shri Ramlila Samiti, Nadesar in Varanasi, the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind chief says he is clear that his message to those who will assemble there will seek to warn them against falling in the trap of divisive forces.…

Madani said this conference will be a first of its kind as it is will bring together heads of some of the major temples of Varanasi and the Jamiat on one platform to unite against divisive forces and raise their voice against those trying to spread terror in the name of religion.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/52042793.cms

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US religious freedom report names BJP chief Amit Shah, endorses rejection of Modi’s visa during 2005-14 (May 3, 2016, Counterview)

The just-released 2016 annual report of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), expressing serious concern over “negative trajectory” on religious freedom in India, has warned that it may, in future, seek to downgrade India’s status from Tier II countries to “country of particular concern”.…

Especially targeting the ruling BJP, RSS and other Sangh Parivar organizations for using “religiously-divisive language to further inflame tensions”, it says, the problem has got aggravated following “longstanding problems of police bias and judicial inadequacies”, creating a “pervasive climate of impunity, where religious minority communities feel increasingly insecure, with no recourse when religiously-motivated crimes occur.” Recalling how it recommended and succeeded in barring Prime Minister Narendra Modi to enter the US for nine years, from 2005 to 2014, on the basis of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) “for systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom”, the report says this was done for Modi’s “complicity in riots” in 2002 Gujarat riots that resulted in the deaths of “an estimated 1,100 to 2,000 Muslims.”…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/05/us-religious-freedom-report-names-bjp.html

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RTI activist’s murder: NaMo Brigade founder in constant touch with killers, says police (Apr 27, 2016, Indian Express)

The Mangaluru police on Tuesday opposed the anticipatory bail plea of NaMo Brigade founder Naresh Shenoy claiming that his call details revealed he was in constant touch with the men already arrested for the murder of an RTI activist on March 21.

It said the presence of a Toyota Qualis linked to him near the crime scene and the statements of the three arrested accused clearly showed Shenoy’s involvement in the murder. Shenoy (39) is the prime suspect in the murder of RTI activist Vinayak Baliga. He has been missing for a month, and has sought anticipatory bail.

The 51-year-old RTI activist was hacked to death barely 75 metres from his house while he was out for his customary morning visit to the city’s Venkatramana temple. The alleged hired killers, Nishith Devadiga (23) and Vinith Poojary (26), were arrested by the Mangaluru police on March 28. The probe further revealed that the killers were allegedly hired through two individuals, Shiva P and Shrikant M. While Shrikanth was found to be an employee of Shenoy, the investigations also showed that one Vignesh, another employee of Shenoy, was allegedly present at the crime scene in a Toyota Qualis to facilitate a getaway.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/rti-activists-murder-namo-brigade-founder-in-constant-touch-with-killers-says-police-2771987/

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CIC Orders PMO, Universities To Furnish Narendra Modi’s Graduation Details (Apr 29, 2016, Huffington Post)

The Central Information Commission (CIC) on Friday asked the Prime Minister’s Office and the Delhi and Gujarat Universities to disclose Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s graduation details ‘as soon as possible’.

In its response to an RTI application filed by Arvind Kejriwal, the commission ordered the Central Public Information Officers (CPIO) of Delhi and Gujarat Universities to provide the Delhi chief minister with Modi’s graduation details. Gujarat University and Delhi University had in the past denied RTI requests seeking information about Modi’s educational qualifications.

“There are allegations that Narendra Modi does not have any degree. The people of the country want to know the truth. Despite that you have refused to make records regarding his degree public. Why did you do this? This is wrong,” Kejriwal said in the letter.…

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2016/04/29/cic-prime-narendra-modis-_n_9806514.html

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Retired IPS officer files petition against appointment of cop accused in Ishrat Jahan Fake Encounter as Gujarat DGP (Apr 29, 2016, Twocircles.net)

Julio Ribeiro, former Mumbai Police Commissioner has filed a petition in Gujarat High Court against IPS officer, PP Pandey’s appointment as in-charge Director General of Police (DGP), Gujarat. Pandey, who was out on bail in the alleged fake encounter case of Ishrat Jahan, has been appointed as the in-charge Director General of Police (DGP) of Gujarat after the incumbent P C Thakur was transferred to Delhi on April 16, 2016.…

“It is ridiculous. How can a person, who is facing trial for four murders, be appointed to the top post, as the person facing trial has to be under suspension, according to the All India Services (Conduct) Rules,” top cop, Ribeiro was quoted as saying by news website Sabrang.

Pandey was re-inducted into service after he secured bail from CBI court in Ishrat Jahan case in February last year. Four days after his release on bail, Gujarat government revoked his suspension and reinstated him in service.…

http://twocircles.net/2016apr29/1461945514.html

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Malegaon blasts case: Petitions allege bias by investigating agencies (Apr 30, 2016, Indian Express)

Following a special court discharging Muslim youth in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case, the issue of bias on the part of investigating agencies during investigation of terror cases was raised before the Bombay High Court on Friday. The court said the “matter will have to be heard”, and asked for the orders in the case to be submitted before them.

A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Prakash Naik has asked state and investigative agencies to produce orders in the case. The court was hearing several petitions which alleged that there was a pattern of investigative agencies picking up Muslim men as accused in terror cases, including the Pune German Bakery blasts, 7/11 blasts and the 2006 Malegaon blasts.

With regard to the 7/11 case and confirmation of death sentence in the German Bakery case, which have concluded recently, the court said, “all aspects cannot be gone into at this stage when proceedings of the trial is not concluded. Order of this court will affect proceedings arising out of trial court,” said the HC.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/malegaon-blasts-case-petitions-allege-bias-by-investigating-agencies-2777157/

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Sangh Parivar’s propaganda writ large over JNU ‘wild sex-drugs’ dossier (Apr 27, 2016, Dailyo.in)

From 1925 onwards, when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was formed, it preached a militant Hinduism. In the pre-independence period, however, from 1925-47, the only stalwart it could cite was VD “Veer Savarkar” who was not with the RSS but the Hindu Mahasabha. He did not accept the RSS dietary restrictions, and was a big supporter of beef-eating as he believed this was a cheap source of protein for the poor.…

The assault on JNU “started” from February 9, 2016, in which the Hindu Right spread atrocious rumours including those of being “anti-national” about secular students, teachers and karamcharis. Almost every one of us was shocked, not least of us those who had heard first-hand reports of the freedom struggle from our elders. Clearly, there was a struggle for secular India. The slogan, “Bharat Mata ki jai,” was sought to be made mandatory. The Maharashtra Assembly, in fact, suspended an AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan for only voicing the famous secular slogan “Jai Hind”.

But JNU was in for special treatment. Some 11 faculty members and students of the Right, including the ABVP and BJP, brought out a “dossier” consisting of published pamphlets, short articles, several of which were spurious, accusing students of wild sex, consumption of alcohol and drugs. The faculty was accused of being anti-national, supporting separatist movements in the Northeast and Kashmir. No evidence was adduced, since no theoretical or rigorously-worded document was included in the so-called dossier.…

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/jnu-kanhaiya-kumar-umar-khalid-anirban-bhattacharya-rusticated-sangh-parivar-emergency-doctored-videos/story/1/10295.html

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Attack orchestrated on self: Police withdraw security to Shiv Sena leader (May 1, 2016, Hindustan Times)

A day after police claimed that Shiv Sena (Uttar Bharat) district in-charge Deepak Kamboj (35) had orchestrated the February 16 attack on self with two friends to gain publicity and maximum security cover, the city police on Saturday withdrew the six gunmen attached with Kamboj.

Four cops of constable rank, along with an escort vehicle from city police, were guarding the leader, who has also been booked under the conspiracy charges. The police had arrested his two friends on Friday night. Gaurav Sondhi, owner of a printing press at Dhan Mohalla; and Supinder Singh, a property dealer at Maqdoompura; recorded their statements before the court of the chief judicial magistrate. They have been sent to police custody till May 3.

The police claimed that they had to recover the clothes worn by the accused at the time of the incident as captured by the CCTV cameras. The police said the clothes would be sent to the forensic laboratory at SAS Nagar for examination.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/attack-orchestrated-on-self-police-withdraw-security-to-shiv-sena-leader/story-UxdGp9m80hgfz9Z2ethFJM.html

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Two years of Narendra Modi govt: Survey says nearly half feel ‘no change’ (May 1, 2016, Financial Express)

With the Modi government close to completing its two years in office, a new survey today said nearly half of the respondents (49 per cent) feel “no change” in their living standards while another 15 per cent feel the situation has actually worsened.

The survey, conducted by the Centre for Media Studies (CMS), further claimed that “a significant percentage (43 per cent) feels that poor people are not benefitting from programmes and schemes under the Modi government.”…

The survey, of around 4,000 respondents across rural and urban areas of 15 states, still observed that less than one third feel the Prime Minister has fulfilled promises while around 48 per cent felt the promises have been met partially.…

http://www.financialexpress.com/article/economy/two-years-of-narendra-modi-govt-survey-says-nearly-half-feel-no-change/246218/

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Caught on Camera: BJP leader Babulal Gaur touches woman inappropriately (Apr 21, 2016, Deccan Chronicle)

Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Babulal Gaur, who had earlier stirred a hornet’s nest after describing rape as a social crime, courted controversy yet again on Thursday as he was caught on camera inappropriately touching a woman as she was climbing on to a bus during an event in Bhopal.…

This is not the first time Gaur has courted controversy, as in 2013, the senior minister was seen enjoying a dance performance by skimpily clad women on a ferry in Goa. Besides such incidents, Gaur has also made headlines through several sexist and controversial comments.…

Recently, while commenting on the Shani Shingnapur row, Gaur landed in a soup for saying that women can worship from home instead of entering the temple.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/210416/caught-on-camera-bjp-leader-babulal-gaur-touches-woman-inappropriately.html

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30 pc Waqf property encroached by DDA, others: Board (Apr 29, 2016, Indian Express)

Delhi Waqf Board chief Amanatullah Khan Thursday claimed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) was the biggest “encroacher” of its properties in the national capital.

The Board has also released a list of its properties on its new website along with a list of tenants and will soon put out gazette notifications that provide the Waqf ownership of such properties.

“We have nearly 2,000 properties in Delhi. Of that, 70 per cent are in our possession and as much as 30 percent have been encroached by government agencies, primarily the DDA,” Khan told The Indian Express.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/30-pc-waqf-property-encroached-by-dda-others-board-2775504/

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Opinions and Editorials

Fascism In Many Hues: Attack On Judiciary – By Rakesh Sharma (May 2, 2016, Countercurrents)

…Within the last week or two, there have been reports about sacking of the Chief Judicial Magistrate Prabhakar Gwal at Sukma in Chhatisgarh – apparently, the BJP government wasn’t happy that instead of rubber stamping, he was applying his mind and the law ( among other cases, refusing to brand scores of tribals as ‘extremists’).…

Last year, there were a set of rather disturbing reports about threats and harassment of Retd Judge Jyotsna Yagnik, who delivered the landmark judgement in the Gujarat 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre case, wherein she convicted Modi’s ministerial colleague Maya Kodnani and the butcher of Patiya, Babu Bajrangi, who’d openly boasted about ‘help’ from his political masters in evading arrest and then getting bail. Despite the stinging judgment and harsh terms therein (in lieu of the death penalty that the Judge didn’t wish to impose), Kodnani has been out on a long parole and Bajrangi has been out of jail 6-8 times in the last 3-4 years.

In 2014, just a couple of months after BJP came into power, Special CBI judge presiding over the Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter (a multiple murder case, in which a totally innocent woman Kausarbi was apparently raped, killed and burnt) found himself suddenly transferred – he’d been rather tough on the lawyer for the main accused ( the current BJP President Amit Shah). Now comes this report about the transfer of eminent Justice of the Bombay High Court Abhay Thipsay. Justice Rajiv Shakdher of the Delhi High Court was also transferred, despite protests from senior lawyers in February. Is it sheer coincidence that both passed judicial orders that the ruling party has been less than happy with? Once again, Gujarat carnage cases figure here – Justice Thipsay handled the landmark Best Bakery case!…

http://www.countercurrents.org/sharma020516.htm

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A slogan is no reference point for patriotism – By Nilofar Suhrawardy (Apr 28, 2016, Hindustan Times)

A lot of noise has been made over the nationalism of Indian Muslims who have chosen not to chant a controversial slogan on grounds of their religious sentiments. How can they be forced to chant any slogan to prove their nationalism? The Constitution does not demand this. A few extremist leaders have reacted aggressively to Muslims’ refusal to chant the slogans; one has even stated that if he could, he would have beheaded them for refusing to do so.

As an Indian Muslim, this writer is tempted to ask by what right have these extremists raised questions about my nationalism and that of others. Are they legally, ethically, socially and politically permitted to indulge in a practice which seems hardly appropriate in the national interest?…

The extremists have abused freedom of speech and expression by making aggressive noise against Muslims’ refusal to chant the controversial slogan. By not following constitutional principles, the extremists have certainly raised questions about their own patriotism and nationalism!

http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/a-slogan-is-no-reference-point-for-patriotism/story-cBm70sF7Ze5xtW8JJeok5K.html

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‘Revolutionary’, not ‘terrorist’ Bhagat Singh scares the right-wing – By Abhinav Kumar (May 2, 2016, Dailyo.in)

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue Dinanath Batra is seeking a ban on the famous book India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra, Mridula Mukherjee, Aditya Mukherjee, Sucheta Mahajan, and KN Panikkar. According to a recently published report in The Hindu, Batra has written a letter to the Union HRD ministry complaining about Bhagat Singh being labelled a “revolutionary terrorist” in the book.…

Batra’s belief that it is a description of a terrorist was further strengthened where the book emphasises that Bhagat Singh, along with Sukhdev, organised students for political actions. In the current political scenario of India Marxism, mass movements, and student politics are enough to shape Batra’s views about people who associate themselves with these ideas.

The book also discusses Bhagat Singh’s view on communalism and how he considered it as one of the biggest problems India was facing. This might jeopardise the plan of appropriating Bhagat Singh by the BJP for its political benefits. It quotes the freedom fighter and other revolutionaries at length about the meaning of revolution. It tells us that revolution for them was not militancy and violence but the change of an unjust order and abolition of capitalism and class domination. This description of Bhagat Singh must have made some of Batra’s patrons uncomfortable.…

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/bhagat-singh-rss-dinanath-batra-bjp-wendy-doniger-nationalism-indian-freedom-struggle/story/1/10399.html

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How the State makes Muslims pay for Hindutva terror – By Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves (Apr 29, 2016, Dailyo.in)

…The ATS case rested on the confessions extracted from eight of the accused, one of whom was targeted to be made approver against the rest. When the case was handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) the confessions were all shown to be obtained under duress, making them worthless as evidence under section 24 of the Indian Evidence Act.

It was found by the NIA that the confessions in most cases could not be true as there was conclusive proof that the accused were actually at places other than they were shown to be in the confessions. Accused number two, Shabbir Ahmad, was actually in judicial custody at the time he was shown in the chargesheet to be participating in actions relating to the blasts. The obtaining of such false confessions, under duress, is an offence punishable with imprisonment up to seven years under section 195A and section 330 of the IPC.…

Such a discovery which has been upheld by the court is an extremely serious finding amounting to an offence committed by Raghuvanshi and his investigating team of fabricating evidence with intent to procure conviction for a crime, which is punishable under section 194 of the IPC with life imprisonment. It also raises questions regarding the source of the RDX shown, pointing to possible offences under explosives and terror laws. This would require a separate investigation.…

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/hindutva-malegaon-blasts-narendra-modi-mcoca-ats-kp-raghuvanshi-ipc-hemant-karkare-muslims-simi/story/1/10339.html

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A case of aggravated impunity – By John Dayal (May 3, 2016, Indian Express)

…Several Christian groups, including the United Christian Forum and its national helpline, the Evangelical Fellowship of India, maintain records of the daily reports of persecution. They meticulously record the unabated hate campaign, including the voices of several honourable members of Modi’s council of ministers. Wada Na Todo, Anhad and other civil society groups publish annual reports in this regard. Newspapers, Indian and foreign, are the primary source of data, other than field reports and helpline complaints.

A report published by Anhad at the end of the first 300 days of the Modi government noted that hate in the election campaign had mutated to a more coercive and threatening phenomenon that had percolated to universities and colleges, and villages and small towns over much of the country. The hate, inevitably, leads to violence. “Ghar Wapsi” and “Love Jihad” cries turned to stones and lathis. In Chhattisgarh, villages have passed orders banning the entry of priests of faiths other than Hinduism.…

Modi refers to it tangentially in controlled appearances at specially organised meetings of the friendlier elements of groups of religious minorities. Communal violence does not form the core theme of his Mann ki Baat. He has not sacked the hate mongers among his ministers. He never names the goons responsible for violence. Neither do the columnists speaking in his defence.

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/narendra-modi-hate-campaign-against-christians-a-case-of-aggravated-impunity-2781286/

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The Kanhaiya Phenomenon – By Vijaya Kumar Marla (Apr 28, 2016, Countercurrents)

As one commentator said a few days back, “it is not easy to escape the limelight, if you happen to be Kanhaiya Kumar.” Well said, but why? Why at all, a student leader has been catapulted into the center stage of Indian politics, whether he likes it or not?

There is a surfeit of opinions, accusations, abuses, open threats, praises, adoration, and good and bad advise heaped in the last 2 months on this young man from an obscure Bihat village in Begusarai, Bihar, whom only his fellow students, faculty and a few of the AISF and CPI cadres knew before the tumultuous February 9th event at JNU, Delhi.

The question keeps on haunting the press, politicians as well as general public, as to why it is so that Kanhaiya is still in the limelight even after more than 75 days of the fateful February 9th episode. Mr. Chandan Mitra, the BJP MP had commented a week after Kanhaiya’s release on bail on 3rd March that he will fade away in a few days. Many who are vociferously against him as well as those that had developed a soft corner for the boyish looking young man thought that all this attention and publicity is just a flash in the pan and rightly so!…

http://www.countercurrents.org/marla280416.htm

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Book Review

Hindutva Or Hind Swaraj

Author: U.R. Ananthamurthy
Reviewed by: Aakar Patel
Available at: Publisher: Harper Collins India, 75, Block A, Near Petrol Pump, Sector 57, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201307. http://www.amazon.in/
Review:
U.R. Ananthamurthy’s response to nationalism (Apr 30, 2016, Live Mint) This slim work is the best book I have read since May 2014. Hindutva Or Hind Swaraj by U.R. Ananthamurthy is a response to Hindutva, and to our increasing nationalism, which this remarkable author anticipated.… It is the distilled effort of a lifetime spent in absorbing, reading, writing and observing. Ananthamurthy died in August 2014 and says in the book that “this writing, born in the current Modi era, should be viewed as an attempt to swim against the tide”.…

And though he died before our current inane Jawaharlal Nehru University debate began, Ananthamurthy, as has been mentioned before, anticipated it. He writes: “The patriot Gandhi, during his final fast, saw the growing hubris of nationalism in his beloved (Jawaharlal) Nehru and (Vallabhbhai) Patel. More on this later. An examination of how Napoleonism gives rise to the desire for nation building, evident in the histories of every country, allows us to understand why Gandhi and Tagore were opposed to the idea of nationhood. Our belief in nationalism leads to a loss of our everyday morality.”…

Steeped in our traditions, Ananthamurthy captures the reality as nobody else can. Take this with you as you go: “How did Gujarat produce a pan-Indian hero? The Gujarat massacre took place when he was chief minister. To say that he tried to prevent it but failed would mean he was weak. Nobody can say that. One is reminded of an image used by the poet Adiga. When yajnas are conducted, everyone present is involved in some task or the other. But a mantrajnya, an expert in the mantras, does not participate. He is known as the ‘brahma’, and is crucial to the ritual. The brahma does nothing. “Modi was the brahma. Whatever happened has happened.”…

<ahref=”http: www.livemint.com=”” leisure=”” 9xet2etznbucgehs63c1gn=”” ur-ananthamurthys-response-to-nationalism.html”=””>http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/9XEt2EtZnBUCgehS63c1GN/UR-Ananthamurthys-response-to-nationalism.html

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 18th, 2016

by newsdigest on May 1, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Children told to spread communal harmony (Apr 16, 2016, The Tribune)

With the aim to sensitise children about causes and consequences of radicalism and casteism, Guru Nanak Sewa Mission launched a movement to spread awareness about religious tenets of various religions.

Maintaining that founders and preachers of all religions taught to adopt principles of communal harmony and universal fraternity, specialists from various sections of society highlighted various facts about origin and background of different religious functions including Ram Navmi, Diwali, Shivratri, Baisakhi, Guruparabs and Eid.

Elaborating on the subject, Darshan Singh Khalsa argued that the tenth guru of Sikhs Guru Gobind Singh laid foundation of Khalsa by inviting five devoted and committed persons from different castes, who offered to give sacrifice.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/ludhiana/community/children-told-to-spread-communal-harmony/223052.html

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US report notes Gujarat govt “failure” to provide justice to 2002 riot victims, “curb” on Patels’ right to agitate (Apr 16, 2016, Counterview)

Revising the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat, the US state department’s new 67-page report on human rights situation in India has expressed “concern” over the Gujarat government’s “failure to hold accountable those responsible for the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,200 persons, the majority of whom were Muslim.”

Referring to the slow process of justice, the report states, “On September 16, the Gujarat High Court’s acting Chief Justice assembled a new bench to hear the appeals from Maya Kodnani, Babu Bajrangi, along with others who authorities had sentenced to imprisonment for their role in the 2002 Gujarat riots. This was the fifth bench to hear these petitions.”

It says, this happened even as Zakia Jafri “appealed the rejection by the Gujarat High Court of a petition challenging a special investigative tribunal’s conclusion finding insufficient evidence to prosecute 63 individuals, including police, security, and other senior state government officials accused of complicity or dereliction of duty in the 2002 Gujarat riots.”…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/04/us-report-notes-gujarat-govt-failure-to.html

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Delhi University refuses to reply to RTI plea on PM’s BA degree (Apr 14, 2016, Times of India)

Delhi University has declined to give information under RTI related to PM Narendra Modi’s bachelor of arts degree. The university cited inability to find information without a roll number as reason for the denial. The plea was accepted by the central information commission (CIC), which has dismissed the case.…

This is not the first time details of Modi’s educational qualifications have been sought, and denied, under RTI. Earlier, Gujarat University refused to make information related to the PM’s masters degree public, saying that the marksheet and other details were personal information. An RTI plea was also filed with the PMO on his MA degree. It was turned down because authorities said that they did not have the information.

Delhi resident Hans Raj Jain had sought information on how many persons bearing the name of “Mr. Narendra Modi” had passed BA in 1978 as external students. According to the order given by information commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu, the chief public information officer said that admission is given based on a candidate’s roll number and the university would have to manually search for the candidate’s name, which was impossible.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/51819529.cms

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2006 Malegaon blast: NIA does volte face, opposes acquittal of nine Muslims (Apr 13, 2016, Scroll.in)

The National Investigation Agency on Tuesday told a Mumbai court it opposed discharging nine Muslims accused in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case. The move came two years after the NIA said it had no evidence linking these men to the attacks, The Indian Express reported.

The blasts took place in Malegaon, around 300 km north of Mumbai, in September 2006, killing 37 people and injuring more than 100. There are two different sets of people accused in the case – the nine Muslim men who were arrested by the state Anti-Terrorism Squad soon after the attacks, and four Hindus arrested by the NIA after they took over the investigation in 2011.…

In April 2014, the NIA had said there was no evidence supporting the ATS’ report recommending that the nine men be prosecuted. Before that, in 2011, then prosecutor for the NIA, Rohini Salian, had said the agency would review evidence in the Malegaon blasts after fresh revelations were made by an accused in another case. Salian then acknowledged that based on new information, right-wing extremists were also involved in the 2006 blasts, The Indian Express said.

http://scroll.in/latest/806569/2006-malegaon-blast-nia-does-volte-face-opposes-acquittal-of-nine-muslims

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Ishrat Jahan case: PM, BJP chief hindering judicial process, claims Congress (Apr 19, 2016, First Post)

The Congress on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah of obstructing the judicial process by blocking the trial of accused in Ishrat Jahan’s alleged staged shootout case pending in a Ahmedabad court.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah are shamelessly misleading the country and obstructing judicial process by blocking trial of accused in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case,” party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a statement.

Surjewala also asserted that Modi and Shah need to tell 125 crore Indians about the real motive behind their desperation to shut down the trial in Ishrat Jahan case. “What is it that they (Modi and Shah) seek to hide or are scared of? They need to place these things before the nation. Modi government is relying upon patent falsehood to hide the facts of the case,” he said.…

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/ishrat-jahan-case-pm-bjp-chief-hindering-judicial-process-claims-congress-2737626.html

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Riot, arson after Hindu-Muslim clash in Jharkhand town (Apr 18, 2016, Hindustan Times)

Around 30 shops were set ablaze on Sunday when riots broke out in Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh that had been on the edge for the past two days after a Ram Navami procession by Hindus passing through a Muslim-dominated area sparked violence.

Hazaribagh, roughly a two-hour drive from state capital Ranchi, was put under curfew as shop owners from both communities were targeted in the arson. Around 200 people arrived at the district hospital with injuries from the stone-pelting at the procession that led to a stampede.

Deputy commissioner Mukesh Kumar said trouble started when objectionable recorded slogans were played at a Ram Navami procession triggering clash between two groups of people at the nearby Kud Rewali village near Hazaribagh railway station, according to news agency PTI.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/riot-arson-after-hindu-muslim-clash-in-jharkhand-town/story-4Mh3WXyQ99moQW5lTIpNlO.html

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Family shocked over arrest of relative for NIA officer’s murder (Apr 13, 2016, The Hindu)

The Uttar Pradesh police claims to have solved the murder of National Investigating Agency (NIA) officer Tanzil Ahmed with the arrest of his relative Mohammad Rehan.… The development comes as a shock to Ahmed’s Shaheen Bagh-based family, as none of them suspected Rehan’s role in the incident.

Talking to The Hindu , Ahmed’s elder brother Raghib said the possibility of a relative being involved in the shooting was always a remote one since the deceased had never expressed any apprehensions or threat from Rehan. “No, he never said anything about a threat from Rehan or anyone else in the extended family,” said Mr. Raghib Ahmed.…

Another relative Safdar Ali said Rehan wouldn’t have dared to approach the victim for help in criminal cases. “Had Tanzil bhai known about it, he would have ensured that Rehan was sent to jail immediately,” he said.…

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-newdelhi/family-shocked-over-arrest-of-relative-for-nia-officers-murder/article8468758.ece

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Amreli BJP MP gets 3-year jail in assault case (Apr 14, 2016, Times of India)

Amreli BJP MP Naran Kachhadiya and four others, including a woman, were sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for assaulting a government doctor in civil hospital three years ago.

Additional sessions judge B R Bhatt found Kachhadiya, his driver Ramesh, office in-charge Kirit Vamja, local BJP members Madhu Joshi and Ravi Joshi, guilty of the crime. The five were convicted under sections 186 (obstructing public servant from discharging his public functions), section 332 (deterring public servant from his duty) and section 143 (unlawful assembly).…

Dr B L Dabhi, medical officer at Amreli civil hospital, had lodged a complaint against Kachadiya and others on January 1, 2013. Dabhi had told police that a person with a mobile handset had approached him when he was attending an emergency case at the trauma centre and asked him to talk to Kachhadiya. However, Dabhi refused saying that he was attending an emergency case. After some time, Kachadiya and his accomplices reached the hospital and one of the persons slapped Dabhi. The medical officer had also alleged that Kachadiya had threatened him of dire consequences.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/51819931.cms

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Meeting with Modi: some Muslim delegates deny Centre’s claim (Apr 16, 2016, The Hindu)

A government press release, dated April 13, announcing that “eminent Muslim citizens” had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to congratulate him on “his recent successful visit to Saudi Arabia”, has provoked strong reactions from some members of the delegation, who have disputed the public relations spin given to the interaction.

Expressing unhappiness at the manner in which the note put out by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) was worded, journalist Qurban Ali told The Hindu, “We were invited to discuss the trust deficit between the Muslim community and the government, and what could be done to end this.”

Editor of Nai Duniya and former MP Shahid Siddiqui, who was also present on the occasion, also confirmed this: “I was told that we would discuss the economic and educational backwardness of Muslims … I made concrete suggestions for the community’s uplift and pointed out that the benefits of many government schemes for minorities are not reaching them.”…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/muslim-delegates-deny-centres-claim/article8481362.ece

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ABVP activist throws slipper at Kanhaiya in Nagpur, roughed up (Apr 14, 2016, Hindustan Times)

An activist of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, a right-wing student organisation, was beaten up by a mob after he hurled a slipper at the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president, Kanhaiya Kumar, here on Thursday.

The incident occurred when Kanhaiya had started his speech after paying a tribute to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar at Deekshabhoomi on the occasion of his 125th birthday. Although the activist missed the target, the organisers and Kanhaiya’s supporters took on the attacker, identified as Haridas Shinde, who is a Dalit.

Earlier, when Kanhaiya shared the dais with other dignitaries, several Bajrang Dal activists shouted slogans against him and tried to disrupted the meeting. They were also roughed up by organisers and handed over to the police.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai/abvp-activist-throws-slipper-at-kanhaiya-in-nagpur-roughed-up/story-bot3nGHQzGuarpG0Z8l0BJ.html

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Dalit set to embrace Islam alleges threat from ‘Bajrang Dal’ (Apr 15, 2016, Indian Express)

The Dalit in-charge sarpanch of a Porbandar village on Thursday alleged that he was threatened by “Bajrang Dal members” hours before his planned conversion to Islam in public, which could not take place after police denied permission for the ceremony.

Suman Chavda (40), in-charge sarpanch of Vinzarana village who had moved to Porbandar town two years ago alleging threats from the then sarpanch, was allowed to convert to Islam by the district collector on April 12 under the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act. Following the permission, Chavda announced to embrace Islam Thursday during a ceremony slated to be held at Ambedkar Park near Nava Fuvara in Porbandar.

Police, however, denied permission for the ceremony, citing security reasons and events to mark the 125th birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar, but booked three people for allegedly threatening Chavda.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/dalit-set-to-embrace-islam-alleges-threat-from-bajrang-dal-2754093/

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Opinions and Editorials

The Beast Before Us – By Peggy Mohan (Apr 12, 2016, The Wire)

…The events of the past few months on Indian university campuses – FTII, JNU, Hyderabad, and now NIT in Srinagar – have thrown up a basket of terms that similarly obscure the bigger picture of what is happening here. Majority. Uniformity. Development. Hindutva. Dissent. Intolerance. Nationalism. These have become issues to be addressed separately, dissipating the struggle and forcing us all onto the back foot to justify our bona fides in terms set by our opponent.…

Are we headed for the big blowout, after which we restart our journey on scorched earth? Does the beast before us cannily back off and buy itself time? Is there a chance of compromise that spares us all the trauma and dislocation of thinking afresh and charting a new course? We don’t know.

If we believe at all in reversal, and a climb down to a less controlled world closer to ground state, we need not so much to confront and assert as to look out for the new currents slightly beyond the range of our vision and give them strength. We need to keep depriving the beast of its oxygen, and work to win away its human shields. And we need to become better at reading its behaviour to be alert to signs that things are about to turn, so that we are ready with new ideas to pick ourselves up and start again.

http://thewire.in/2016/04/12/the-beast-before-us-27098/

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Why Baba Ramdev would do well to go into vanvaas – By Swami Agnivesh (Apr 7, 2016, Indian Express)

Ramdev shocks me. Truly. Utterly. Un-bearably. His saffron shocks me. It makes his words all the more shocking. Saffron is the colour either of self-sacrifice or of inspired bravery. He seems light years away from both. It is blatant cowardice to say one would love to cut off the heads of millions of people but for the small inconvenience that stands in the way. There is, he laments, that irksome thing called the rule of law.…

Ramdev’s version of patriotism, please note, is choked by the law. That is to say, it is unlawful. Refraining from scandalously unlawful lusts and longings only due to fear of unpleasant consequences is cowardice.… What Ramdev has done is criminal. He is sowing seeds of horrendous violence in the minds of unsuspecting people within an ambience of faith.

This is incitement of the most dangerous kind. Knowing the outlook and agenda of the current dispensation, I have no hope that the government either at the Centre or in Haryana will take cognisance of this challenge to the rule of law and insult to the Constitution. I pray, therefore, to the chief justice of India to take suo moto cognisance of this and initiate appropriate action.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/baba-ramdev-patanjali-patriotism-india/

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Signboard of Hindutva: Why Gurgaon was renamed Gurugram – By Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay (Apr 14, 2016, Dailyo.in)

It is common knowledge that the more the number of syllables in a word, the more difficultly it sits on the tongue. Take this test and decide which is easier for you to mouth: Gur-gaon, Gur-gram or Gu-ru-gram. Say it slowly and then swiftly as in the course of a normal conversation. Even amateur experts in phonetics would conclude that the first of these three names is easiest to pronounce.…

Mythology has been treated as history by votaries of Hindutva for decades. Among the first tasks that the BJP government in Haryana directed after being elected was in March 2015 when it began excavations to bring the myth of Saraswati River to life. The initiative of the state government added to years of research to uncover the palaeochannels of the extinct mythological river.…

There is a certain design behind this. Aurangzeb Road in Delhi has been renamed APJ Abdul Kalam Road because of uni-dimensional interpretation of history which frames the Mughal king solely as a villain.

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/gurugram-gurgaon-bjp-narendra-modi-hindutva-eklavya-guru-dronacharya-babri-masjid-rss-aurangzeb-road/story/1/10081.html

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Mohammed Aamir Khan, living in dread after acquittal – By Sidharth Bhatia (Apr 15, 2016, Free Press Journal)

Despite Indians being proud of their democracy and rule of law, it is a sad fact of life that there are several miscarriages of justice and there is no way to correct or compensate for them. Instances of innocent people being picked up, held for a long time in jail and then finally released because they are found innocent, with neither monetary help nor rehabilitation, is one such example.

One had heard of such instances, but it is only when one meets someone who has actually been through this situation that the sheer horror of it all becomes apparent. Earlier this week I got an opportunity to meet and interview, on stage, Mohammed Aamir Khan, who was held in jail for nearly 14 years on charges of terrorism. One by one, all charges against him proved false – not a single witness identified him – and he is now out of jail, (two cases are still pending) but his story holds a mirror to our society.…

The story is tragic enough, but more important is that there are few checks and balances to ensure that such things are not repeated. There is no way to make good anyone who has lost 14 years of his life, but surely there could be some monetary help to put them back on their feet? And what kind of systems can be put in place so that innocent people are not just picked up and charged with false allegations, which they could take years to disprove?…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/mohammed-aamir-khan-living-in-dread-after-acquittal-sidharth-bhatia/826139

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Malda is tense, but is it communal? Ground reality suggests otherwise – By Parth MN (Apr 17, 2016, DNA India)

The market is bustling with activity. Shopkeepers are busy interacting and bargaining with customers as cars keep honking in the background. Security forces patrol the streets ahead of the polling. Merely, three and a half months ago, this locality had been engulfed in violence and turbulence. Today, however, the spectacle in Malda has “business as usual” written all over it.

A closer look, though, indicates that normalcy had returned the very evening after the unrest erupted on the morning of January 3. “I opened my shop at around five in the evening,” says Dipal Sinha, who runs a medical store right across the Kaliachak Police Station, which was burnt by the hostile mob. “The attack was confined to the police station.”

Immediately after the incident, reports on social media suggested a communal riot in West Bengal’s Malda district, which goes to polls on Sunday. The episode had pitted the Muslims against Hindus. However, shopkeepers in close proximity to the police station say no human being was targeted or no shop was vandalised. “We have never experienced communal tension and neither have I been at the receiving end of minority persecution,” says 67-year-old Sinha, who has lived right behind his shop all his life. “My relations with my Muslim neighbours are extremely pleasant. In fact, when I was wondering whether I should open my shop in the evening, my Muslim friends asked me to go ahead without any hesitation.”…

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-malda-is-tense-but-is-it-communal-ground-reality-suggests-otherwise-2202920

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On Baba Saheb’s 125th Birth Anniversary Let’s Remember What He Said About The Hindutva Gang – By Shamsul Islam (Apr 14, 2016, Countercurrents)

The RSS is terribly busy re-writing history these days. It will be more appropriate to call it guillotining of history, as these are facts and realties of history which are being sacrificed in this process at the altar political ambitions of the Hindutva gang.

So far this creativity was restricted to the works and words of Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh and Sardar Patel but of late Baba Saheb Ambedkar appears to have become the latest victim of malafide manufacturing of history by the flag-bearers of Hindutva. Dr Ambedkar becomes a newest victim of RSS game plan being presented as a leader in league with K.B. Hedgewar and M.S. Golwalkar defending the cause of Hindu Rashtra in India.

In 2003 it was Vinay Katiyar, the former head of Bajrang Dal and a diehard RSS cadre who declared that Ambedkar was great supporter of Hindutva and Hindu Rashtra like KB Hedgewar, the founder of RSS. In the recent past this attempt for hijacking of Dr. Ambedkar got accelerated with the coming of power of RSS/BJP in India in 2014. In the true Hindutva tradition, the RSS ‘thinkers’ started manufacturing history and shamelessly went to the extent of penning words which Baba Saheb never spoke wrote or believed.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/islam130416.htm

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 14th, 2015

September 16, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Gujarat riots case: Sanjiv Bhatt moves SC, seeks to make Amit Shah a party to his petition Justice Continues to Elude Victims of Kandhamal Violence SC issues notice to centre for allegedly asking Salian to go soft against accused Bail pleas of Purohit, Dwivedi opposed Petlawad explosives […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 2nd, 2013

September 3, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines ‘File chargesheet against Narendra Modi, others in 2002 post-Godhra riots case’ British Sikhs to oppose any Narendra Modi visit to UK PIL plea alleges bid by BJP leaders to derail Prajapati case against Amit Shah Asaram gets 14-day taste of jail, Jodhpur Police say case against […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 24th, 2013

June 25, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Godhra Muslim trust to help poor Hindu widows News Headlines Modi’s rally strong message against minorities: Bajwa CBI looking into allegations of Modi hand in 2003 encounter IB officer had hand in Ishrat killing: CBI Malegaon blasts: RSS pracharak used code names during training PIL seeks […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 17th, 2013

June 18, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Hindu tenant gets separate water line News Headlines Pandya widow ‘closer to truth’ NDA splits as JD-U leaves, BJP hits back at Nitish ‘Mahalkar part of Malegaon and Mecca Masjid blasts’ Ishrat Jahan case: CBI says it has evidence against IB officer Ex-DGP KR Kaushik now […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 31st, 2012

January 1, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines RSS member in NIA net for 2006 Malegaon blast Two ‘saffron terror’ hideouts identified in Indore; NIA in action Communal elements in the IB, Home Ministry and Police should be purged: Mushawarat One-third of Gujarat MLAs face criminal cases, including rape Ishrat encounter: HC pulls up […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 3rd, 2012

December 3, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Naroda Patia: SIT clean chit for cops Justice sought for innocents jailed in terror cases “Honest citizens punished, powerful traitors applauded as patriots” SC seeks CBI’s response to missing Malegaon blast case suspect Politics of pardon in Maharashtra: Govts drop cases against rioters, embolden them Prajapati […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 15th, 2012

October 16, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines ‘Gujarat 2002 an assault on secularism, democracy and republicanism’ Activists read ‘between the lines’, say UK pushing Modi for justice Add legal grounds to plea, HC tells Malegaon blast accused Cops mum on Dayanand Patil; hasn’t returned home, say kin Stop witch-hunt of educated Muslim youths: […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 8th, 2012

October 9, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Narendra Modi trained by RSS in ‘Nazi tradition’: Digvijaya Singh Missing Patia convict caught, jailed for 31 years Gujarat govt blocked RTI info on Narendra Modi’s own foreign jaunts Sohrabuddin encounter: Amin’s bail plea rejected 1,528 victims of fake encounters in Manipur: PIL Cops to be […]

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