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Muzaffarnagar riots

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 11th, 2017

by newsdigest on October 8, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

BJP MLA Jeevaraj says Gauri Lankesh would’ve been alive if she had not written against RSS (Sep 8, 2017, Free Press Journal)

D.N. Jeevaraj, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Karnataka, has suggested that senior journalist Gauri Lankesh would have been alive if she had not spoken against Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

In a video going viral, Sringeri BJP MLA D.N. Jeevaraj made a statement saying, “If she had not written ‘chaddis’ maaranahoma’ (Death of RSS) in her paper that day, would she still be alive today?” Jeevaraj made the statement in reference to an article written by Lankesh titled, ‘Chaddigala Maaranahoma’ meaning ‘Death of the RSS’.

The BJP MLA added, “Gauri Lankesh used harsh words against the RSS workers, and I respect that. But that might have been the reason for her death.” The statement from the BJP MLA has stirred a new wave of controversy, while reports of a complaint being filed against the MLA have also surfaced.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/india/bjp-mla-d-n-jeevaraj-says-gauri-lankesh-wouldve-been-alive-if-she-had-not-written-against-rss/1133832

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Probe finds clues that point to link between Gauri Lankesh, M M Kalburgi killing (Sep 12, 2017, Indian Express)

Investigations have revealed that the “mechanics of the crime” in the September 5 killing of journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, 55, by an unidentified gunman is identical to that of the August 30, 2015 murder of Kannada literary scholar M M Kalburgi in Dharwad in north Karnataka.

More than one official familiar with the probe into Lankesh’s killing said that although the investigation remained open in terms of tracking down the killers – and formal forensics and ballistics reports are awaited – there has been a “significant finding” that suggests a link between the killings of Kalburgi and Lankesh.

While an official declined to give details, he said that this finding goes beyond just the speculation so far that both the deaths involved a similar type of weapon. In fact, Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy had said on Saturday that the SIT set up to probe the murder had obtained important clues. Senior police sources have, over the last couple of days, said that they are “very sure” that the killings in Karnataka are linked to each other along with two murders in Maharashtra.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/probe-finds-clues-that-point-to-link-between-gauri-lankesh-m-m-kalburgi-killing-4839283/

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Prime Minister Modi’s ‘New India’ About Silencing Dissent, Says Congress (Sep 6, 2017, NDTV)

Condemning the murder of senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, the Congress on Wednesday said “muzzling the voice of ordinary citizens and silencing dissent” is the slogan of ‘New India’ under the Narendra Modi government.

The party said “India is in the throes of a violent clash” between advocates of freedom of speech and the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is determined to “silence dissent and throttle democracy”.

It also said gagging media and often subjecting them through torture is often a sign of dictatorial regimes. “The shocking murder of senior journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh is a grim reminder of the times we live in. This mindless and cowardly assassination has not only shaken our conscience but is also an extremely sad moment for our democracy,” said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.…

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/pm-modis-new-india-about-silencing-dissent-says-congress-1746856

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Pray to stay alive, Hindu outfit leader tells secular writers in Kerala (Sep 11, 2017, Indian Express)

Kerala Hindu Aikya Vedi state president K P Sasikala Teacher has advised “secular writers in the state to do mrityunjaya homam (held to avoid untimely death)” otherwise they could also become victims like Gauri Lankesh. The Vedi is a platform of various pro-Sangh Parivar outfits.…

On Sunday, Congress state vice-president and legislator V D Satheesan complained to the Kerala police chief, demanding that a case be registered against Sasikala. “Her challenge is not only to secular writers in Kerala, but to the very secular values of the country,” Satheesan said.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said: “This kind of tendency would upset our society.” BJP state spokesman M S Kumar said he did not know “under which circumstances” she has spoken, and hence, it would be “immature to react at this stage”.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/pray-to-stay-alive-hindu-outfit-leader-tells-secular-writers-in-kerala-4837691/

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M’nagar riots: Court charges BJP MLA, 27 others with attempt to murder (Sep 8, 2017, Times of India)

As many as 28 people, including ruling BJP’s MLA Vikram Saini, were charged with attempt to murder by a court in Muzaffarnagar for their role in Kawal violence of 2013, which had triggered widespread communal clashes in the district and led to the death of 50 people and displacement of over 50,000.

Additional district and sessions judge Himanshu Bhatnagar framed the charges under various sections of IPC, including 307 (attempt to murder) against the Khatauli legislator and 27 others on Thursday.

The next hearing in the case has been fixed for October 5. The case was registered against 28 people of both the communities at Jansath police station of Muzaffarnagar in 2013.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/60430282.cms

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Bombs Recovered from RSS-controlled Temple Premises in Kannur, Kerala (Sep 8, 2017, News Click)

Seven high-explosive steel bombs have been recovered from a Rashtriya Swayamvsevak Sangh (RSS) local centre at Keezhur in Kannur district of Kerala. The bombs were found in buckets covered with sacks, near the Vaireeghaathakan Bhagavathi temple at Kottathe Kunnu locality, Punnad in Keezhur-Chavassery panchayat. Local sources who talked to Newsclick said that the temple is managed by the RSS.…

On examination, it was discovered that the bombs were made recently. Last year in August in the run-up to Sri Krishna Jayanti celebrations, Deekshith, an RSS worker, had been killed while manufacturing crude bombs at Thalassery in Kannur district. The police had recovered a big cache of weapons from his house.… Several incidents of RSS workers being killed or being caught while making bombs in the run-up to religious festivals have occurred in the recent years.

Temples with managing committees led by the RSS are often used by the Hindutva outfit as centres for arms training and ideological propaganda. Political observers say that the attempt of the RSS has been to foment communal tension by indulging in acts of violence and then blaming it on people belonging to minority communities.…

https://www.newsclick.in/bombs-recovered-rss-controlled-temple-premises-kannur-kerala

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Illegal explosive factory discovered inside Dera headquarters on day 2 of search operation, gets sealed (Sep 9, 2017, Indian Express)

The search team comprising of Haryana police officials, paramilitary forces and the army, discovered an illegal explosives factory inside the 700-acre Dera Sacha Sauda complex in Sirsa district on the second day of the operation.

Speaking to reporters, Deputy Director of Haryana PR Department, Satish Mehra said the illegal factory was shut down on discovery. “Illegal explosives factory inside Dera Sacha Sauda premises sealed. Explosives and fire crackers were seized,” Mehra said. Later on in the day, Mehra said that a window-like path leading from Dera Awas to Sadhvi Niwas was found inside the complex. “We found a window-like path leading from Dera Awas to Sadhvi Niwas. Team is investigating the same,” he said.

The search operation continued on Saturday amid heavy security stationed at Satnam Chowk and other nearby areas. On Friday, the search teams had discovered plastic cash tokens which were used as a “parallel currency”, along with unlabeled Ayurvedic medicines, an OB van and a luxury vehicle estimated to be around Rs 1 crore inside the Dera headquarters in Sirsa. According to sources, around Rs 12000 in cash, along with computers and hard drives were also confiscated by the police. The teams also found Rs 7000 demonetised currency.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/dera-sacha-sauda-headquarters-search-operation-sirsa-explosive-factory-sealed-ram-rahim-singh-4835405/

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Asaram, Gurmeet Ram Rahim on fake baba list: Meet the 14 faces Hindu sadhus want boycotted (Sep 11, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Prompted by recent controversies surrounding self-styled godmen, the apex body of Hindu sadhus – the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad – has released a list of 14 ‘fake babas’ and demanded a crackdown on “rootless cult leaders” by bringing in a legislation.

Giving out the list, the parishad’s president Swami Narendra Giri said: “We appeal to even the common people to beware of such charlatans who belong to no tradition and by their questionable acts, bring disrepute to sadhus and sanyasis.”

The 76-year-old white-bearded man was arrested in 2013 after a teenage devotee accused him of raping her at a religious event. Another female follower later also accused him of rape. He has been in jail since 2013 on charges of rape and criminal intimidation. Yet Asaram continues to have thousands of supporters flock to court when he appears for hearings. Several local newspapers have reported on the mysterious killings of three witnesses in the criminal cases he faces.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/asaram-gurmeet-ram-rahim-on-fake-baba-list-meet-the-14-faces-hindu-sadhus-want-boycotted/story-JYEQQkSYOOBFFQzKfbD7UP.html

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Government Bans Internet in Sikar as Massive Farmers’ Protests Rock Rajasthan (Sep 11, 2017, News Click)

Internet services were blocked in Sikar district of Rajasthan on Monday, September 11, as thousands of farmers took to the streets in protest for remunerative crop prices, complete loan waiver and other demands.

The farmers’ agitation reached its eleventh day, after the All India Kisan Sabha gave a call on September 1 for a massive indefinite mahapadav (gherao) of District Collectorates in Rajasthan. The All India Kisan Sabha had called for a state-wide bandh (shutdown) to be observed on September 11.

The bandh was strictly observed in Sikar district. A Newsclick correspondent currently in Sikar reports that more than 300 points across the district were blocked and fiercely guarded by women farmers holding an agricultural tool called ‘jeli’ as weapons.…

https://www.newsclick.in/government-bans-internet-sikar-massive-farmers-protests-rock-rajasthan

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Karnataka’s well of shame: Upper caste man mixes endosulfan in water to kill Dalits (Sep 5, 2017, IB Times)

In a remote village in Karnataka, where untouchability is a reality for Dalits, the scare of death looming over their heads has become a new matter of concern. An upper caste person reportedly tried to kill Dalits of Channur village, located about 640 km from Bengaluru in Kalaburgi district, by mixing endosulfan into the water in an open well, according to the Times of India.

The well, which is 200 metres from the village, is the only source of drinking water for Dalit families. The seven other wells in the village are allegedly used by the upper caste families.

Four years ago, Gollalappa Kallappagouda Kukanur had leased his farmland to a Dalit. A pump was fixed in the well to draw water and supply it to the Dalits colonies. For four years, Gollalappa did not allow Dalits to draw water from the well.…

http://www.ibtimes.co.in/karnatakas-well-shame-upper-caste-man-mixes-endosulfan-water-kill-dalits-740918

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Opinions and Editorials

The Murder of an Indian Journalist – Editorial (Sep 7, 2017, New York Times)

The murder on Tuesday of the Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh, a fearless critic of rising Hindu-nationalist militancy, has all the hallmarks of a hit job.…

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has let a climate of mob rule flourish in India, with his right-wing Hindu supporters vilifying “secularists.” The venom that reactionary social media trolls direct at journalists, or “presstitutes” as they call them, is especially vicious… Ms. Lankesh’s murder shocked India’s news media and set off protest marches in several Indian cities.…

Ms. Lankesh had voiced concern about the climate of menace against journalists who didn’t toe the Hindu-nationalist line. If Mr. Modi doesn’t condemn her murder forcefully and denounce the harassment and threats that critics of Hindu militancy face daily, more critics will live in fear of deadly reprisal and Indian democracy will see dark days.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/07/opinion/murder-indian-journalist.html

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‘Hindutva’ has a long tradition of celebrating the ‘vadh’ of opponents – By Shamsul Islam (Sep 8, 2017, National Herald)

The Information and Technology minister in Narendra Modi’s Cabinet, Ravi Shankar Prasad, a seasoned RSS follower, slammed online trolls for expressing their happiness over the killing of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh. On Twitter, Prasad expressed his anger against those who were celebrating Lankesh’s killing.…

That was very kind of this minister! But Ravi Shankar Prasad must be specific as to who he is advising. Those trolls celebrating the ‘vadh’ of Gauri Lankesh on social media and elsewhere are hardened Hindutva practitioners who are for turning the democratic-secular India into a ‘Hindu’ Pakistan. In fact, it has been an old practice of Hindutva practitioners to celebrate the killing of opponents as ‘vadh’. They did it after the killings of Narender Dhabolkar, Govind Pansare and Professor MM Kalburgi too.

Not only this, they exhibited the same sadistic tendencies in the wake of assassination of Mahatma Gandhi by ‘Hindu nationalists’. This twisted practice was first brought to notice by the first Home Minister of India, Sardar Patel. Patel, in a letter dated September 11, 1948, to RSS head MS Golwalkar wrote: “The RSS men expressed joy and distributed sweets after Gandhiji’s death.”…

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/celebrating-the-vadh-of-opponents-has-a-long-tradition-in-hindutva

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Cow vigilantism: SC rap must shame states into tackling the menace – Editorial (Sep 8, 2017, Hindustan Times)

India has been on the boil over cow vigilantism for some time now. Taking note of the disturbing climate in the country, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked state governments to appoint in every district a senior police officer whose job will be to stop violence in the name of cow protection.

Proposing measures to stem what it called growing violence by so-called cow protection groups, the SC said the nodal officers would have to ensure that vigilantes did not become a law unto themselves. States have a week to comply with the court’s order.

The focus on cow protection, especially by vigilante groups, has risen since the BJP-led government took power in 2014, and several states ruled by the party made laws to punish cow slaughter. Emboldened by the State’s lack of will to tackle them, these vigilantes have targeted cattle and meat traders, transporters and even farmers walking with their cattle. Along with deaths and injuries, such attacks have played havoc with the rural economy.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/editorials/cow-vigilantism-sc-rap-must-shame-states-into-tackling-the-menace/story-gGoIxpOfZL4BSOtd9Pk46M.html

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Those Who Breed Hate Are Now Doing So With Impunity – By Ashish Khetan (Sep 6, 2017, The Wire)

In July 2016, I received an anonymous mail that told me that I had “crossed all limits when I abused Sanatan Sanstha and well respected Hindus. You conspired to defame Sanatan and asked for banning it. It’s time to give a hisaab of all your filthy activities.” After a long rant about my “sins” which included my testimony as a prosecution witness in the Naroda Patiya and Gulberg Society cases, the letter concluded with these words: “As you can see, we know where you live and what you are upto. Get ready to meet the same fate as Dabholkar and Pansare.”

On receiving this threat, I complained to the Delhi police but they didn’t respond and I subsequently forgot all about it. In May 2017, a year later, I received another threatening letter, written in Hindi, claiming that my death was imminent.…

The CBI raid on Sanatan Sanstha’s offices in Maharashtra led to the discovery of a hit list with names of many journalists and activists. But there was no follow up by the agencies. Several members of Sanatan Sanstha, who are suspected to be involved in bomb blasts in Goa and Maharashtra and murder cases like that of Dabholkar and Pansare, have been on the run for a decade. The bomb makers of the Malegaon and Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blasts have not been caught for ten years.… The UPA may have been incompetent but was not ideologically aligned with these groups. The present regime draws support from these groups.…

https://thewire.in/174728/gauri-lankesh-hindutva-right/

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Whither India: Good terrorism of December 1992 vs. Bad terrorism of January 1993 at Bombay – By Shamsul Islam (Sep 9, 2017, Milli Gazette)

With the announcement of the quantum of punishment to the perpetrators of January 1993 serial blasts in Bombay by Judge GA Sanap of the special Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act [TADA] court on September 7, 2017, probably, the longest terror case trial in India came to a close. In the first phase of this trial, Judge PD Kode of Special TADA Court had sentenced 12 convicts to death and 20 to life terms on September 12, 2006. With the latest judgment, 100 of the 123 accused have been punished.

WELL-DONE! The Muslim terrorists who killed 257 and maimed hundreds of innocent residents of Bombay in January 1993 have been punished. Many of them have been sent to the gallows, awarded life or long jail sentences. But what about those terrorists who butchered 575 and maimed hundreds of people of the minority in December 1992 in the same city? In fact, some of the instigators later occupied high constitutional offices in democratic-secular India. This is true of “Khalistani terrorists” also. They were hanged or killed on roads but for the 1984 massacre of Sikhs, the Indian State is yet to conclude its process of finding the real culprits.

Sadly, with regards to communal and caste violence, India has two kinds of laws, one for minority/Dalits and the other for majority/high castes. Whenever the former suffer, the Indian State plays a game of forming COMISSIONS after COMMISSIONS to ensure that the heinous crimes against minorities and Dalits disappear from the public memory. In this regard the 1992-93 Bombay violence can be an interesting case for study. But if violence is believed to be perpetrated by minorities/Dalits, the punishment is instant. This latest judgment ensures punishment for January 1993 perpetrators but despite Justice BN Srikrishna Commission Report holding almost all Hindutva organizations responsible for the killings of minority people in December 1992, the indicted perpetrators were not even questioned, what to talk of arresting and punishing them.…

http://www.milligazette.com/news/15858-whither-india-good-terrorism-of-december-1992-vs-bad-terrorism-of-january-1993-at-bombay

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Amid Growing Communalism, ‘Karwan-e-Mohabbat’ Aims to Spread Message of Peace – By Mari Marcel Thekaekara (Sep 8, 2017, The Wire)

…As Keralites celebrated Onam, Karwan-e-Mohabbat – a peace yatra – began in faraway Assam with the goal of urging fellow Indians to proactively fight the cancerous communalism enveloping our country. The brain child of former IAS officer, writer and activist Harsh Mander, this peace-building movement has attracted and caught the attention of ordinary women and men who worry about what lies ahead for future generations. Most people want to make the country safe for their children and grandchildren. Karwan-e-Mohabbat invites the people of India to participate in the movement and to forge links of love and not hate.

While riots have been a terrible part of our history, the new spate of hate crimes and increasing incidents of lynching with impunity imply that lawlessness and vigilante action is the new normal. Karwan-e-Mohabbat began on September 4 with a group of people meeting, condoling with and offering support to two young mothers, Halima Khatoon and Rumeena, in Assam’s Nagaon. Mander, along with activists John Dayal and Ram Puniyani, lead the yatra.…

We cannot afford to ignore what’s happening in our country. We cannot any longer feign ignorance. It is imperative, that all Indians lend their active support to these initiatives to prevent the nation from descending into Kosovo or Rwanda-like chaos. Minorities cannot be killed or wiped out in any ‘Final Solution’ without the entire population being affected and engulfed by violence and terror. It’s not merely a moral imperative. It’s a logical, pragmatic necessity. The time to act is now.… It’s probably the biggest challenge ahead of us, 70 years after independence.

https://thewire.in/174138/amid-growing-communalism-karwan-e-mohabbat-aims-spread-message-peace/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – January 30th, 2017

by newsdigest on February 9, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

UP election: Politics over Muzaffarnagar riot victims leaves Kairana polarised (Jan 29, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Abdul Sattar was just 12 years old when India was partitioned in 1947, yet it was the macabre of 2013 riots in western Uttar Pradesh that has shaken him to the core. “In 1947, the violence lingered on for over two months, but it was never so bad that we would have to leave our homes,” the octogenarian said. Sattar was among the thousands of people who shifted from the villages of Muzaffarnagar to neighbouring Kairana after the Jat-Muslim riot broke out in August 2013.

“Houses around ours were set on fire and we were forced to leave our village Ranagana,” he said. Nearly 5,000 families had moved out from the violence- stricken western UP district never to return. An estimated 3,000 victims landed in makeshift tents in the Malakkpur refugee camp on the outskirts of Kairana.

Now, two years later, the camp has been disbanded and its residents moved to two colonies that have come up with the help of the local MLA, Samajwadi Party’s Nahid Hassan. The one that Sattar lives in has been named Manawwar Hassan colony after the MLA’s father and has 128 brick houses and around 230 huts.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/up-election-politics-over-muzaffarnagar-riot-victims-leaves-kairana-polarised/story-4ulkDn0QSSj9hzq4lK21QI.html

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UP Polls: Shocking admission! Independent candidate admits entering politics only for money (Jan 28, 2017, New Indian Express)

In what can be called as flabbergasting, a video going viral on social media shows an independent candidate from Agra openly admitting that his only motive to enter politics is to earn money. Indirectly hinting towards the rest of the people coming into this field with the same motive, the candidate said he would follow the footsteps of those people.

“My only reason for coming into politics is money, I’ll fool people,” Chaudhary said.

Taking one step further, the candidate commented on Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that if a person can become the head of the country by fooling people, so would he. “By fooling people if somebody can become the Prime Minister, he must be having some talent. I will also follow the same footsteps,” he said.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/jan/28/up-polls-shocking-admission-independent-candidate-admits-entering-politics-only-for-money-1564413.html

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BJP MLA, five others booked for extortion in Mira Road (Jan 27, 2017, Times of India)

Sitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Mira-Bhayander and corporator Narendra Mehta and five officers of the Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) have been booked for demanding Rs 2 crore extortion from a builder in 2015.

The Naya Nagar police in Mira Road filed the FIR on January 25 following the Bombay high court order on Monday. Last year, the complainant Vinod Trivedi (45) had filed a criminal writ petition alleging that the police failed to take his complaint against Mehta and the officers.

Mehta refuted the charges saying that the builder had been asked to stop work as he had submitted fake documents. “The builder has mentioned in his police statement that he has no proof. It is easy for anyone to make allegations,” said Mehta.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/56814996.cms

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The Indian Church remembers the missionary Graham Staines, burned alive by Hindu radicals (Jan 24, 2017, Herald Malaysia)

Monday the Indian Church remembers the murder of the Australian missionary Graham Staines, killed by Hindu radicals in 1999 along with his two youngest children.…

On the night between 22 and 23 January 1999, Hindu extremists burned the pastor Staines and his sons Philip and Timothy (9 and 7 years of age) alive, while they were asleep in their station wagon in Manoharpur village (district of Keonjhar, Orissa).…

The brutal murder of the Australian missionary was the prelude of the violence against Christians in Orissa triggered in 2008 by Hindu fundamentalists. John Dayal says that in that period “the Sangh targeted Christians once again, especially in Kandhamal district”.…

http://www.heraldmalaysia.com/news/the-indian-church-remembers-the-missionary-graham-staines-burned-alive-by-hindu-radicals/34414/2

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Missing JNU student’s family accuse cops of intimidation (Jan 29, 2017, DNA India)

Anger broke out at the home of the maternal uncle of missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, as the Delhi Crime branch, along with Uttar Pradesh police, carried out a search at his residence on Saturday. Alleging high-handedness by the police, Najeeb’s family said that the police had misbehaved with him.

“At 4:30 am, around 40 police personnel, of both Delhi police and UP police, stormed my uncle Ashraf Qadri’s resident in Badaun and treated him like a criminal. They misbehaved with him and asked him inappropriate questions regarding Najeeb’s disappearance,” said Najeeb’s brother Mujeeb Ahmed.

The family claimed that it was not just Najeeb’s uncle’s house that was searched. According to them, police also searched the house of his uncle’s friend Tarruf Shujat. “They (police) had checked my brother’s cellphone from which the last call was made to his friend Tarruf Shujat, who lives near my brother’s place,” said Najeeb’s mother Fatima Nafees. “They stormed into his house. They have checked their phones (Najeeb’s uncle and his uncle’s friend) and taken their SIM cards along with them,” she alleged.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/delhi/report-missing-jnu-student-s-family-accuse-cops-of-intimidation-2297982

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3 years on, wounds of riots still raw in Muzaffarnagar (Jan 30, 2017, Asian Age)

Raisa Bano, 48, sits under a shed with only a tarpaulin to save her five children from icy winds. Hasan, her husband, works as a daily wage labourer in a farmhouse and the owner has allowed the family to live in the shed.

“We lived in Kutba village, but during the riots (in 2013), our house was burnt down and my father-in-law and brother-in-law were hacked to death. We took refuge here and have been staying here ever since,” she said. Her children – three daughters and two sons – do not go to school, and she does not know what life holds for her family in the coming days.

Ask her about elections and her patience gives way. “The BJP people slaughtered my family and the government (controlled by the Samajwadi Party) did nothing to save us. We were denied compensation because we did not have money to bribe local officials. Hamare liye to sab chor hain (For us, all of them are thieves),” she said.…

http://www.asianage.com/india/politics/300117/3-years-on-wounds-of-riots-still-raw-in-muzaffarnagar.html

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Sanjay Leela Bhansali Assaulted On Padmavati Sets in Jaipur, Bollywood Demands Action (Jan 28, 2017, NDTV)

Bollywood is furious and actors and filmmakers are demanding action against protesters who assaulted veteran filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the sets of his film Padmavati in Jaipur on Friday. Mr Bhansali was slapped and his hair was pulled at the Jaigarh Fort by members of the Rajput Karni Sena who stormed the film sets and vandalised equipment.…

The Jaipur Police has been quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying that Mr Bhansali has decided to stop filming in the area. “The filmmakers have assured that they will not shoot here and will pack up,” senior police officer Anshuman Bhomia told PTI.

Fellow filmmaker Karan Johar said he is appalled at what has happened with Sanjay Bhansali. “This is the time for all us as an industry to stand by our people and fraternity,” he said. “The film industry has to abandon its politics of silence, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said on Twitter, adding, “Silence is now tantamount to betrayal”. Actor and filmmaker Farhan Akhtar said there was enough evidence and he is waiting to see how many people are punished for what happened to Mr Bansali and his crew. “This is mockery of democracy.…

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/sanjay-leela-bhansali-slapped-on-padmavati-sets-in-rajasthan-1653338

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As Calamity-Hit Farmers Continue To Commit Suicide, SC Asks Govt Why There’s No Policy To Help Them (Jan 28, 2017, India Times)

Having dealt with the issue of farmers’ suicide raised in many PILs earlier, the Supreme Court on Friday found it strange that there was no national policy to compensate tillers for crop failure or indebtedness, two major reasons for them to take their lives.

A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice N V Ramana was dealing with a three-year-old appeal filed by an NGO led by Mallika Sarabhai questioning the rationale behind Gujarat high court’s decision not to entertain its PIL seeking relief for farmers, nearly 600 of whom had committed suicide between 2004-2012.

The CJI said, “It is rather strange that there have been several incidents of farmers’ suicide yet there is no national policy to protect them from crop failure leading to their indebtedness. There must be a policy to compensate farmers for crop failure. This is a national issue and of larger public interest.” Petitioner’s counsel Colin Gonsalves and Gujarat counsel Pritesh Kapur agreed with the bench. The bench suo motu decided to convert the appeal into a PIL and issued notices to the Centre, states and Union Territories.…

http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/as-calamity-hit-farmers-continue-to-commit-suicide-sc-asks-govt-why-there-s-no-policy-to-help-them-270418.html

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Asaram Bapu case: Supreme Court denies bail, orders fresh FIR (Jan 30, 2017, Indian Express)

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the bail application of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu and ordered a fresh FIR against him for attaching a false medical document along with his plea. He was also slapped with Rs 1 lakh in fine for filing a “frivolous petition”.

Asaram, who is facing allegations of sexual assault, moved the apex court for bail on medical grounds. Refusing to modify its earlier order that had declined him interim bail, the Supreme Court bench observed that the instant plea was devoid of merit and, therefore, dismissed.

This was the seventh bail application of the 74-year-old that has been rejected by the court. He was sent to jail in August 2013 for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old school girl.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/supreme-court-denies-bail-sought-on-medical-grounds-to-self-styled-godman-asaram-bapu-4498611/

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Gujarat Dalit rally in Surendranagar takes strong exception to calling human rights NGO Navsarjan anti-national (Jan 25, 2017, Counterview)

Scores of poor people from several towns and villages gathered in Gujarat’s Surendranagar town on Wednesday to protest against the cancellation of foreign funding license of Gujarat’s most well-spread-out Dalit rights NGO, Navsarjan Trust, taking strong exception to the reason for the Government of India order – “undesirable activities of the association detrimental to national interest.”

Demanding reversal of the order on Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) license, the protest took place to mark the 31st anniversary of the massacre of four Dalits in village Golana in Central Gujarat on January 25, 1986.

The event became the main reason for founding Navsarjan as a Dalit rights organization in Gujarat. A separate commemorative gathering took place at Golana, where Dalits paid homage to their colleagues who were killed three decades ago. “Are we anti-nationals because we struggle for our rights?”, was the general view among those who had gathered at the well-organized meet in Surendranagar.…

http://www.counterview.net/2017/01/gujarat-dalit-rally-in-surendranagar.html

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Opinions and Editorials

BJP at its game of communal polarisation in UP – By T R Ramachandran (Jan 25, 2017, Free Press Journal)

…Worried by the SP-Congress truck, the BJP is once again at its game of communal polarisation. In a three-cornered contest, the BJP might well be pushed to the wall with the minority Muslim vote ranged against it.

It is in this context that the Lotus party is seeking to project itself as a saviour of the other backward classes in a desperate bid to regain power in UP after 14 years. Notwithstanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s diktat of steering clear of giving tickets to the relatives of party leaders, the party has just done that. The saffron brigade appears to have alienated its supporters of small traders as well as the Brahmins.…

Judging by the BJP’s first list of candidates it has not given a single seat to a Muslim candidate along with banking on communal polarisation in riot affected western UP. Tickets have been distributed to leaders involved in communal incidents including sitting MLAs Sangeet Som and Suresh Rana, both of whom are accused in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots. The wife of the BJP/RSS leader accused in last September’s Bijnor incident has also been fielded.… The BJP has again resorted to playing the communal card amid reports that the dominant Jat community is disillusioned with it.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/analysis/bjp-at-its-game-of-communal-polarisation-in-up/1008090

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We, the other – By Abdul Khaliq (Jan 26, 2017, Indian Express)

So inured to injustice have we become as a society that the Mumbai High Court’s outrageous judgment in the Mohsin Shaikh murder case has been largely ignored. The honourable judge has granted bail to three of the accused in the gruesome killing of the young IT professional on the extenuating grounds that the victim belonged to a different religion which provoked the killers to murder him. The short point made is that being a Muslim is sufficient provocation and justification for inviting retribution and death.

I cringe but am not surprised at this mindset, which I believe is pervasive in every walk of life. I have a dear friend – a God-fearing, educated Hindu, who would put his life on the line to protect me from harm. Paradoxically, he also believes that the mass killings of Muslims post-Godhra in 2002, in Muzzaffarnagar in 2013, were justified, that the eight unarmed, alleged SIMI terrorists who were gunned down in an “encounter” in Bhopal met their just deserts. How does one explain this contradiction?

Obviously for my friend, our affinity transcends core beliefs but the fact that he harbours such deep animosity against Muslims in general only reinforces the view that seven decades after Partition, there is no let-up in the pathological hate and distrust that separate Hindus and Muslims.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/mumbai-high-court-mohsin-shaikh-murder-muslims-islamophobia-4491674/

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Uncompassionate Hindutva: ‘World’s Largest Democracy’ Clamps Down on Christians – By Eric Metaxas (Jan 30, 2017, CNS News)

Why would India block foreign donations to help poor children? The answer is Hindutva. On January 13th, Compassion International told the sponsors of 130,000 Indian children that, barring an unlikely turn of events, it would cease operations in India in mid-March.

The announcement came a year after the Indian government told the organization that “it could no longer receive funding from outside the subcontinent.”

While the news dismayed Compassion’s donors, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to those familiar with the deteriorating state of religious freedom in India.…

http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/eric-metaxas/uncompassionate-hindutva-worlds-largest-democracy-clamps-down-christians

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RSS training also produces a Shanmuganathan – By Anil Sharma (Jan 30, 2017, Free Press Journal)

Meghalaya governor V Shanmuganathan, 68, a RSS pracharak has resigned after 80 staff members of the Raj Bhavan wrote a letter to President Pranab Mukherjee that he had converted the place into a young ladies club.

Trouble began for the bachelor governor when he had invited a young aspirant for the PRO’s job on the Raj Bhavan for ‘one-to-one’ interview, and touched her inappropriately. (He reportedly complimented her and compared her looks with that of Bollywood star Deepika Padukone). This happened in December and the RSS pracharak may have been smug in the belief that the incident had passed over without any bad forebodings for him when nothing happened in its immediate aftermath.

But the issue got exposed when the lady concerned shared the details with a journalist friend who was also one of the aspirants for the PRO’s job. In the BJP, appointments to the posts that are made at the government’s discretion are an exclusively organisational affair with the RSS having an upper hand. Usually, the organisational secretary Ram Lal and the party president Amit Shah call the shots with inputs from concerned persons. This is often a time consuming process that tests the patience of the aspirants but the saffron bosses insist on it.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/analysis/anil-sharma-rss-training-also-produces-a-shanmuganathan/1009869

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1984 anti-Sikh riots: Can the Centre deliver justice to victims of mass violence? – By Aakar Patel (Jan 29, 2017, First Post)

How serious is the Indian government about giving justice to the victims and survivors of the Sikh massacre of 1984? It is a question that all Indians should be interested in, because it will clarify whether or not this country can ever deliver justice in acts of mass violence.

In the slaughter that followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi, 3,325 people were murdered, of whom 2,733 were killed in Delhi alone. Powerful leaders from the Congress were named as having participated in the killings. Some of them, like HKL Bhagat, have since died themselves without facing trial. Others like Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler and Kamal Nath are still around. The Ranganath Misra commission that first inquired the massacre recorded their statements in private, in the absence of the victims, and absolved Rajiv Gandhi’s government of responsibility.

A dozen Congress and non-Congress governments at the Centre have come and gone in these 32 years, while little progress was made on the cases. The Vajpayee regime instituted the Nanavati commission, whose report was tabled by Manmohan Singh’s government. This report made public a lot of material that was shocking, and Singh apologised to the country on behalf of Congress. Tytler lost his ministry but no justice was forthcoming.…

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/1984-anti-sikh-riots-can-the-centre-deliver-justice-to-victims-of-mass-violence-3225598.html

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Why are gau-rakshaks supporting Jallikattu? – By Anusha Ravi (Jan 21, 2017, Oneindia.com)

Pro-right wing organisations across the country have been hailing protests in support of Jallikattu, these are the same groups that are up in arms against cow slaughter earning them the name cow-vigilante.

The Supreme Court banned Jallikattu owing to cruelty to animals during the sport, but for those who brand themselves as protectors of the holy cow, nothing about Jallikattu is cruel.

Members of the Bajrang Dal have time and again been in the news for either assaulting others for alleged illegal transport of cattle or assisting police in intercepting vehicles transporting cows largely in the coastal belt of Karnataka.…

http://www.oneindia.com/india/why-are-gau-rakshaks-supporting-jallikattu-2323622.html

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – January 16th, 2016

January 27, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines How AB Vajpayee was foiled in his bid to have Narendra Modi removed as Gujarat chief minister Months Before Sahara Was Granted Immunity, Tax Panel Member Was Abruptly Transferred Bombay High Court cites Muslim man’s religion as provocation, subsequent murder RBI note exposes govt. bluff on note […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 19th, 2016

September 28, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Gujarat: Man thrashed by suspected cow vigilantes, dies in Ahmedabad Muslim women ganged raped by Hindu gang ‘for eating beef’ RSS coup? Una victims may join Sangh Dalit rally Bijnor violence: ‘Before firing, made 12 calls to cops, MLA but no action taken’ Three killed in communal […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 12th, 2016

September 23, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines The mahapanchayat that changed fortunes of BJP leaders named in riots Haryana beef row: Opposition parties accuse Khattar government of creating communal conflict for electoral gain Haryana double murder and gang rape : One accused RSS man another Modi Bhakt Una Dalit flogging: CID says cops turned […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 25th, 2016

August 4, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Indian Americans demand CBI inquiry into atrocities against Dalits and Muslims under the pretext of cow protection News Headlines Dalit Family Attacked In Karnataka Allegedly Over Rumours Of Eating Beef In Gujarat, 95 of 100 suspects in crimes against Dalits acquitted ‘Police baton’ used by cow vigilantes in […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 13th, 2016

June 23, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Human rights, religious freedom deteriorating in India: Human Rights Watch All eyes on Sanatan Sanstha after ENT specialist’s arrest Head of Samjhauta Express blasts probe says the Centre is ‘erasing evidence’ in a bid to clear prime suspect Purohit Kairana exodus: BJP list of ‘Hindus’ forced out […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 21st, 2016

March 25, 2016

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

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 14th, 2016

March 20, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Teen Muslim girl gets bravery award for saving Hindu classmate from kidnappers News Headlines RTI Response By Ayush Ministry Says It Is Against Government Policy To Hire Muslims: Report 5 crore becomes 5 per cent the day after Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says he won’t pay NGT […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 7th, 2016

March 10, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Sikh villagers build mosque for lone Muslim family News Headlines After Katheria, Another BJP MP Spews ‘Anti-Muslim’ Venom Former Judges, Jurists urge Supreme Court to Act Against Hate Speech India Denies Visa Request From Religious Freedom Monitoring Group Mob vandalises Church in Chhattisgarh President snubs HRD ministry […]

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