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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – January 25th, 2016

by newsdigest on February 1, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

RSS Goons Attack Rohith Vemula Solidarity Rally In Mumbai (Jan 25, 2016, Countercurrents)

About 500 people who had gathered in Mumbai’s Dharavi to protest against the institutional murder of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula of Hyderabad Central Univeristyi were attacked Sunday evening by RSS goons.

Ajmal Khan who injured his head in the attack posted on his Facebook page: We some 500 protesters gathered in Dharavi to demand justice for Rohith Vemula were beaten up by workers believed to be affiliated to Rashtra Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS). The protest march was organised by Nationalist Forum Dharavi, a collective of Vizhithezhu Iyakkam, Jai Bhim Foundation, Andhra Karnataka Dalit Varg Sangh – Dharavi, Republican Panthers along with students from the umbrella forum – “‘Justice for Rohith-Joint Action Committee Mumbai’. They were demanding justice for Rohith Vemula of University of Hyderabad who committed suicide on January 17th due to harassment from the university administration.…

During the protest, casteist remarks were made by the attackers against the participants of the protest raising slogans of “Jai Bhim”. A poster with Dr Ambedkar’s photo was torn and stamped upon by RSS workers. Though several police officers were present on the spot during the attack, they did nothing to stop the goons and instead pushed the protesters away.… To lodge a complaint against the attackers, the protesters had to camp outside the Dharavi police station. The police was negotiating with BJP MLA Tamil Selva from Sion Kolidwada constituency and RSS themselves took out a rally against the protesters in Dharavi with slogans of “Jai Shri Ram”. We said we will not go away from the police station until police register case under atrocities act. After a big protest and demand SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 was filed against the people who attacked us.

http://www.countercurrents.org/cc250116.htm

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Rohith Vemula’s mother: Don’t want your Rs 8 lakh or Rs 8 crore, Tell me why my son died (Jan 24, 2016, Indian Express)

“When a girl named Nirbhaya was brutally raped and killed, did anyone question her caste? Then why is Rohith’s caste under question here?” Radhika Vemula asked this on Saturday amid claims that her son Rohith, whose suicide is being seen as the fallout of caste discrimination, was not a Dalit.

The 49-year-old who is divorced from Rohith’s father and raised him and his two siblings working as a tailor also refused the Rs 8 lakh ex-gratia offered by the University of Hyderabad. “We do not need your money. Not Rs 8 lakh, even if you give Rs 8 crore, we do not need it,” Rohith’s sister Neelima said.

Radhika, accompanied by Neelima and son Raja, was on the campus to meet the seven students on the fourth day of their fast at the university’s protest venue. She told them, “You are all like my sons. If you need anything at all, I will help you. I will be here to support you, help you.”… “My question is why I am being asked all these questions instead of being given the reasons why Rohith was suspended?” Radhika said. “Why is the issue being diverted?”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/dont-want-your-rs-8-lakh-or-rs-8-cr-tell-me-why-my-son-died-rohith-vemulas-mother/

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Modi as CM failed to protect Muslims, his Buddha model held in suspicion by Dalits: Shripal Sabnis (Jan 21, 2016, Indian Express)

Shripal Sabnis, president of the 89th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan whose remarks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi triggered a row before the start of the literary meet, on Wednesday reiterated that Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister had failed to protect the lives of Muslims and win their confidence.

Sabnis, who was speaking at the Idea Exchange at The Indian Express on Wednesday, also said Dalits in the country were looking with suspicion at Modi’s “Gandhi-Buddha” model which he is parading worldwide.

“I do not agree with Modi who was the Gujarat chief minister. He had failed to protect the lives of Muslims and win their confidence. There has been no punishment. He has got the clean chit from the apex court, but the blot remains…, he had to face the prosecution,” Sabnis said, when asked to elaborate on his remarks.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/modi-as-cm-failed-to-protect-muslims-his-buddha-model-held-in-suspicion-by-dalits-shripal-sabnis/

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Do Hindu Swabhiman ‘terror camps’ have govt approval, asks retired Mumbai ACP (Jan 23, 2016, Ummid.com)

Wondering why no action has been taken against the ‘terrorist training camps’ reportedly run by an NGO Hindu Swabhiman even after vidoes surfaced in the media, Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Shamsher Khan Pathan asked if the camps have government approval.…

“The government should have immediately closed these tratining centres. But, far from taking action, not a single word has been so far uttered by the state or the central government against these terrorist camps”, he said.

Stating that these training camps are dangerous for national security, and peace and harmony, Pathan demanded from the state and the union government to close these training camps and arrest the members of Hindu Swabhiman.…

http://ummid.com/news/2016/January/23.01.2016/former-mumbai-cop-on-hindu-terrorist-training-camp.html

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You have a long beard, no passport for you: Cop allegedly tells Najmul Huda (Jan 23, 2016, Times Headline)

A day after sleuths of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Najmul Huda in a predawn raid at Permude village in Mangaluru taluk, an eerie silence prevailed in the entire neighbourhood.

The engineering student’s helpless parents and three young sisters, who have already rubbished the allegations made against him by media, have no clue of the terrible rumours being spread on WhatsApp and other social media, as all of their mobile phones have been confiscated by the NIA.

Najmul Huda’s parents hail from Uttar Pradesh and they had settled in Mangaluru over 25 years ago. The family has no enemies in the locality and those who knew Najmul Huda closely including the neighbours openly praise his kindness and humbleness.…

http://www.timesheadline.com/india/you-have-a-long-beard-no-passport-for-you-cop-allegedly-tells-najmul-huda-1101.html

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AMU issue being raked up for ‘gains’ in UP poll: Muslim bodies (Jan 22, 2016, Economic Times)

A group of Muslim organisations today accused the NDA government of raking up the issue of status of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia for “gains” in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls and sought immediate reversal of the Centre’s stand that they are not minority institutions.

Speaking during a briefing organised by Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) here, the outfits asked why political parties, otherwise vocal on issues of minorities, are silent at a time when the tag of the two prestigious institutions is “being played with”.

“This looks like an attempt to polarise votes ahead of West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. This move is aimed at creating division.…

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2016-01-22/news/69989323_1_aligarh-muslim-university-amu-minority-status

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Ex-CJI Ahmadi Asks Muslims Not to Vote Under RSS’ Intimidation (Jan 25, 2016, New Indian Express)

In a veiled attack on the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), former Chief Justice of India A M Ahmadi today asked Muslims to not vote under “intimidation” of those who wear half-pants and carry lathis”, the conventional dress code of the organisation.

“Do not get frightened from those who come out on roads wearing half-pants and carrying lathis in their hands. They come out during elections only to inject fear among people. It is part of the election process,” Ahmadi said without taking name of RSS while addressing a function organised by state Congress here in the Muslim-dominated Sarkhej on the outskirts of the city.

Ahmadi requested Muslims not to vote out of fear. “After elections get over, they disappear. But, in between that election process do not get intimidated by them. It will be a problem if you give your vote out of fear,” said Ahmadi who had served as CJI from October 1994 till March 1997.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Ex-CJI-Ahmadi-Asks-Muslims-Not-to-Vote-Under-RSS-Intimidation/2016/01/25/article3243123.ece

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Editors Guild Condemns ABVP Threats to The Wire’s Founding Editor (Jan 23, 2016, The Wire)

In a statement issued on Saturday, the Editors Guild of India strongly condemned “the blatant acts of intimidation and threats to Siddharth Varadarajan, Editor of The Wire, by student members of the ABVP in Allahabad University that forced the police to intervene to escort him to safety.”

Varadarajan had been invited to deliver a public lecture on ‘Loktantra, media aur abhivyakti ki svatantrata’ (Democracy, the Media and Freedom of Expression)” by the president of the Allahabad University Students’ Union and the event was scheduled to be held at the university’s Senate Hall on January 20, 2016.

The Editors Guild statement notes that after students belonging to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) – the student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party – threatened violence, the university’s vice-chancellor withdrew permission for the programme and got the district administration to prohibit it from being held anywhere else on campus. As a result, “Varadarajan was forced to deliver the lecture at a hall near the campus.”…

http://thewire.in/2016/01/23/editors-guild-condemns-abvp-threats-to-the-wires-founding-editor-20015/

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Have no fear, we are there, SC tells Arundhati (Jan 23, 2016, The Hindu)

The Supreme Court on Friday sought a response from the Bombay High Court and the Maharashtra government after Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy argued that criminal contempt proceedings initiated against her for publishing an article on the jailed Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba amounted to choking dissent and produced an “intense chilling effect” on the fundamental right of free expression.

A Bench of Justices J.S. Khehar and C. Nagappan asked the writer to have no fear and appear before the High Court on January 25 in response to the notice by a single judge. “Now we are there,” Justice Khehar observed.

The Bench admitted her plea along with the bail petition of Professor Saibaba, a paraplegic lodged in the infamous ‘Anda’ cell of the Nagpur prison on the allegation that he had Maoist links. It directed the Maharashtra government and the HC to respond in two weeks.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/no-relief-from-court-appearence-for-arundhati-roy/article8139542.ece

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Pandit couple returns to Muslim neighbourhood in Kashmir (Jan 20, 2016, The Hindu)

A Kashmiri Pandit couple is back in the Kashmir Valley. What makes the return of Omkar Razdan (70) and Vijay Bazaz Razdan (65) unique is they refused to take the Prime Minister’s package. Instead, they preferred to move to a Muslim neighbourhood.

Omkar Razdan and Vijay Bazaz Razdan, son-in-law and daughter of the widely-read Kashmiri Pandit, Prem Nath Bazaz, have constructed a three-storey house in the Muslim-majority Humhama colony of Srinagar to dispel the myth that the two communities cannot live together.

“It was a conscious decision not to live in a separate settlement or colony, as it goes against the idea of Kashmiriyat. Kashmir was an abode of communal harmony when the minorities were attacked in 1947 in other parts of India. Not a single Pandit was killed or displaced then,” said Mr. Razdan. Mr. Razdan said he grew up listening to folklores on Hindu-Muslim harmony.… “We travel by public transport in Srinagar. We get a warm feeling. I leave my keys with my Muslim electrician when I travel to New Delhi,” said Mr. Razadan, who has authored the book, Trauma of Kashmir and Untold Realities.…

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/pandit-couple-returns-to-muslim-neighbourhood-in-kashmir/article8126678.ece

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Opinions and Editorials

Rohith Vemula and the holy cow – By Suryakant Waghmore (Jan 27, 2016, Indian Express)

As the nation celebrates the 125th birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar, Rohith Vemula’s suicide is a reminder of the void between Ambedkarite aspirations and Indian modernity – more precisely, Hindu modernity. Rohith was an Ambedkarite. To add to his woes, he gained admission under the “general” category.

If political interference and aggressive Hindutva intrusion on campus had not led to Rohith’s suicide, maybe Ambedkar did. The practice of Ambedkarism calls for a sincere challenging of caste, patriarchy and religious bigotry – some of these remain the essence of being a modern Hindu in present times. What is ironic is that elements of Hindu practices that are regressive continue to be celebrated and these get worse when hindutva ideologues link such practices to the ideals of nationalism and nationalist sentiments.

If one digs beyond the farcical surface of Ambedkarite rhetoric in the BJP/ RSS circles, both Ambedkar and the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) at the Hyderabad Central University seem to be anti-national to Hindutva groups. Bandaru Dattatreya’s letters to the HRD ministry show us how Hindutva naturally portrays Ambedkarism as anti-national. Arun Shourie was rather aggressive about calling Ambedkar a stooge of the British – someone who was also anti-Hindu and never participated in the so-called independence struggle.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/rohith-vemula-dalit-suicide/

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Modi Regime Forces President Mukherjee To Take Note Of Intolerance, Violence – By Samar (Jan 26, 2016, Countercurrents)

Mature republics must take note of problems plaguing them. Alas, they do not always do so. It is heartening to see, therefore, the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, taking note of some of the biggest problems plaguing India at the moment – problems that can unravel despite gains the country has made in 69 years of its existence. He observed, profoundly, that the forces of violence, intolerance and unreason do not harm individuals, they rather hit the very core of nationhood.

To quote him: “Our finest inheritance, the institutions of democracy, ensure to all citizens (sic.) justice, equality, gender and economic equity. When grim instances of violence hit at these established values, it is time to take note. We must guard ourselves against the forces of violence, intolerance and unreason.”

Things reaching this point so that the President has to take note of them on the joyous day, the eve of Republic Day, must worry every citizen of India. They must think what has brought a country that should have been worried about continuing hunger, the biggest humiliation as the President had noted in his acceptance speech, that forces millions of their compatriots to go to sleep on an empty stomach every night. They must have been thinking about ways to tackle malnutrition that leads to the stunting and wasting of a huge section of its children and has been referred to repeatedly, as a National Shame.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/samar260116.htm

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Collaborator Savarkar versus Freedom Fighter Bose – By Shamsul Islam (Jan 26, 2016, Sabrang India)

Three favourite icons sought to be appropriated by proponents of the Hindu Rashtra (Hindu Nation, the Hindutvawaadis) are Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh. Shamsul Islam’s research reveals however that this appropriation is problematic. Bose, attempted to organise a military campaign to force the British out of India. This cause was betrayed by the Hindu Mahasabha under the leadership of Savarkar who also happened to be a mentor of the RSS.

There is a mine of contemporary documents available to show that while the Netaji during World War II was trying to secure foreign support for liberation of the country and trying to organise a military attack on the northeast of the country with the help of ‘Azad Hind Fauj’ (Indian National Army), it was Savarkar who offered full military co-operation to the British masters.

Coming close on the heels of prime minister, Narendra Modi’s move to de-classify 100 files related to Netaji Bose’s life and struggle, these revelations could pose a severe embarrassment to the government. The history of the Hindutvawaadi rightwing is replete with documents establishing its collaborations with British rule. A close reading of the Hindu Mahasabha and RSS publications and documents of that period exposes this shocking duplicity.…

https://www.sabrangindia.in/indepth/collaborator-savarkar-versus-freedom-fighter-bose

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Reverse Swing: My ‘anti-national’ brother – By Tunku Varadarajan (Jan 24, 2016, Indian Express)

…In India, the mob has a veto on speech; and an example of this veto occurred on January 20 at Allahabad University, when bully-boys from the ABVP – the Baby-BJP on campus – forced the cancellation of a speech by my brother, Siddharth Varadarajan, on ‘Democracy, Media and Freedom of Expression’. (Siddharth, editor of The Hindu before being ousted in a squalid internal putsch, is now founding editor of The Wire.)

It’s hard not to chuckle over the irony of a lecture on free speech being silenced by unruly dissenters. One chuckles, also, over the ABVP leaders’ descriptions of leftist Siddharth as ‘anti-national’ and ‘communal’ – the latter because of its incongruity, given the saffron source of the utterance; and the former because of the bizarre phenomenon of hyper-nationalist student protests. Whatever happened to the days when idealistic kids protested against nationalism, not at its behest?

The ABVP’s actions are part of an unlovely trend in which anyone who’s not inclined to paint the rosiest picture of India is deemed unpatriotic. Witness the ideological lynching of Aamir Khan recently, when the actor had the temerity to suggest that all isn’t perfect in this Motherland of ours.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/reverse-swing-my-anti-national-brother/

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Framed as a terrorist: Mohammad Aamir Khan’s 14 years behind the bars – By Harsh Mander (Jan 26, 2016, Hindustan Times)

Imagine being wrongfully charged and jailed after 14 years of torture, never knowing if you will ever walk free. This is Mohammad Aamir Khan’s harrowing story, of unspeakable injustice which stole from him the best years of his youth. But his story is also one of endurance, love and hope. In two years that I have known him, I found him a gentle person, free of bitterness and anger, and convinced about justice, democracy and secular values.

In a deeply affecting book he has written with Nandita Haksar, Framed as a Terrorist: My 14-year Struggle to Prove My Innocence, he describes how when he was 20, one late-winter evening in February 1998, in a by-lane of Old Delhi, close to his home, he was picked up by plainclothes policemen, and driven to a torture chamber. He recounts his days and nights of torture: Stripped naked, his legs stretched to extremes, boxed, kicked, subject to electric shocks, anti-Muslim abuse and threats to frame his parents. He finally succumbs, and agrees to sign numerous blank sheets and diaries. As a result, he is charged in 19 cases of terror crimes.

From here begins a nightmare that lasted nearly 14 years. Housed often in solitary confinement in Tihar and Ghaziabad jails, his only encounters with the world outside are his innumerable court hearings. No judge asks him about the torture, nor do doctors record his torture wounds. He is acquitted in one terror case, only for another to begin.… But I wonder if anything, anything can indeed compensate Aamir for all that he has lost.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/framed-as-a-terrorist-mohammad-aamir-khan-s-14-years-behind-the-bars/story-TJnysSHMj0yCj8yXf15lrN.html

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Minority status? – By Aftab Alam (Jan 27, 2016, Indian Express)

Notwithstanding Justice A.P. Sen’s pertinent observation in Lilly Kurian versus Sr Lewina and others (1978), “the protection of the minorities is an article of faith in the Constitution of India”, this principle has been under continuous attack. Earlier this month, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi submitted before the Supreme Court that Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) was never intended by Parliament to be a Muslim university.

This rekindles a sensitive and old controversy about the minority character of this historic university. Setting aside the political fury generated by this controversy, it is time to pause and ponder over this issue dispassionately, as it not only involves many legal questions of great significance but is also intrinsically linked to the sentiments of India’s largest minority.…

Tara Chand, an eminent historian of modern India, once succinctly remarked, “it will be a falsification of the history of India if it is asserted from any quarter that the AMU was not established by the Muslims and primarily for the educational advancement of the Muslims of India”. It is the duty of the government to ensure that the rights guaranteed to minorities are not turned into a “teasing illusion and promise of unreality”.

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/jamia-amu-minority-status/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 14th, 2015

by newsdigest on December 21, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Tarigami Addresses Rally in Vijayawada On Protection of Communal Harmony (Dec 13, 2015, Peoples Democracy)

Attempts are being made by the BJP, VHP, RSS and other Sangh Parivar forces to divide the people on the basis of religion, cautioned CPI(M) leader from Jammu and Kashmir, Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami. He was addressing a well-attended public meeting on ‘protection of communal harmony in our country’, organised by Aawaz in Vijayawada on December 6.

Tarigami, Central Committee member of the Party and a member of Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly, exhorted the people to remain alert against such divisive forces. He narrated as to how religious fanaticism is on the rise and intolerance is growing in the country, and lambasted BJP and Sangh Parivar forces for intentionally raking up communal issues in order to sidetrack the real issues concerning the masses. He underscored the need to promote communal amity.

If Hindus and Muslims are united, it will checkmate the onslaught of communal forces, he said. In northern states, dalits are being attacked everyday but Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who proclaims to be a representative of Hindus, is keeping quiet over such dastardly attacks, he said.…

http://peoplesdemocracy.in/2015/1213_pd/tarigami-addresses-rally-vijayawada-protection-communal-harmony

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Had Islam been a religion of terrorism, Hindus would not have been existed in India today, says Shankaracharya (Dec 14, 2015, India.com)

Addressing the public meeting on ‘reconstruction of the society and our responsibilities’ organised by Jamat-e-Islami (JIH), Shankaracharya Omkarananda Saraswati said had Islam been a religion of terrorism, Hindus would not have been living in India today. Stating that Muslims can never be separated from India, Shankaracharya said that Muslims and Hindus are like two hands of a body.

Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shankaracharya said that his trip to foreign countries would not serve the purpose if there would be no peace in India. “Modiji is visiting the world for global peace negotiations but I want to tell him that such a dialogue will have no meaning if there is no peace at home,” he said.

The meeting, organised by JIH as a part of its national conclave, brought together leaders of various religions, sects and Islamic schools of thought on one platform. Speaking at the event, JIH president Syed Jalaluddin Umri said solutions to all problems faced by the humanity lie in following the path shown by Islam. He also denied charges of forcible conversion saying that there was not a single incident in Islamic history of forcible religious conversion.…

http://www.india.com/news/india/had-islam-been-a-religion-of-terrorism-hindus-would-not-have-been-existed-in-india-today-says-shankaracharya-782354/

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Protests by Muslim groups continue in U.P. (Dec 16, 2015, The Hindu)

Sporadic protests by Muslim groups against a Hindu Mahasbha leader’s alleged statement denigrating Prophet Mohammad continued in western Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday.

Over 50,000 Muslims protested in Bareilly, demanding the death penalty for Kamlesh Tiwari, who claimed to be the working president of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha. The crowd repeatedly demanded that the Hindutva leader be beheaded. The Bareily protest is not the first. Over a lakh Muslims gathered in Bijnore and demanded the death penalty for Tiwari recently. Subsequently, Muzaffarnagar too saw similar protests.

The administration is yet to act against the clerics who were shown on the media declaring their plan to behead Tiwari during the demonstration in Bijnore and announcing a bounty of Rs. 51 lakh on his head. The administration did not respond to repeated messages from The Hindu asking why the government had not talked to the community leaders and convinced them that action had been taken against the leader.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/protests-by-muslim-groups-continue-in-up/article7992885.ece

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Paragraphs “planted” in NIA report to prove Ishrat Jahaan was LET mole involved in 2004 plot to assassinate Modi (Dec 14, 2015, Counterview)

David Headley, the Pakistani American who scouted targets for the 26/11 terror attack by the Lashar-e-Toiba (LET), has been newsfor turning into an approver. He has also been news regarding the Ishrat Jahaan case, with a section of the media highlighting, on the basis of information provided by powerful sections in New Delhi, how Headley had said that Ishrat was an LET mole.…

This glaring discrepancy in the paragraphs, where Headley talks about Ishrat Jahaan and Paragraphs 17 and 28 from the original report clearly show that Headley’s Ishrat Jahaan confession was a plant. Most likely, since these paragraphs were not in consonance with the facts in rest of the report and would have compromised rest of the report, they were dropped.

IB was facing a lot of heat on Ishrat Jahaan, and when IB wants things to happen, they find their way. One can safely presume that these two paragraphs were planted, and are part of a bigger exercise to save two top ruling political leaders from Gujarat, who are alleged to have ordered these murders and their henchmen.

http://www.counterview.net/2015/12/paragraphs-planted-in-nia-report-to.html

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Police charge right-wing activist with Pansare’s murder (Dec 15, 2015, Times of India)

The police on Monday charged Sameer Gaikwad, an activist of right- wing outfit Sanatan Sanstha, with plotting and carrying out the murder of veteran CPI functionary and rationalist Govind Pansare.

They filed a 392-page chargesheet against Gaikwad, 89 days after the arrest of the only accused in the murder case. The charges were brought against him and some unidentified men for possessing and using weapons without licence.

Investigating officers said all the evidence – including the identification parade report, Gaikwad’s conversation with his friends, details about Sanatan Sanstha’s literature, CCTV footage and the statements of 72 witnesses – were included in the chargesheet.… According to the chargesheet, during the identification parade, a 14-year-old boy had identified Gaikwad and said he was riding pillion on the motorcycle and had fired at the Pansare couple.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50179226.cms

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Hindutva agenda is not an example of tolerance: Opposition to Government (Dec 11, 2015, Economic Times)

The Left and Congress today attacked the government on the issue of intolerance saying the Hindutva agenda is not an example of tolerance and the country will not move forward with majoritarianism.…

Congress and Left claimed the Bihar poll verdict was the result of the Narendra Modi Government’s “skewed policies” and a “reverse wave” has started against BJP, which rejected it saying the opposition is unable to digest its victory.…

“If intolerance and majoritarianism is brought in, then how will India move forward. You are not an example of tolerance. Your Hindutva agenda is not an example of tolerance,” she said. Citing the example of a question on intolerance asked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a press conference in London, she said, “First time in decades the Prime Minister had to answer such a question at an international press conference.” …

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50137792.cms

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Do you know that nearly 3,000 RSS members eat beef and the Sangh is OK with it (Dec 10, 2015, Catchnews.com)

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has around 3,000 members in Arunachal Pradesh, many of whom do consume beef. This fact was shared by RSS representatives during a media interaction in Arunachal Pradesh on 8 December.

The RSS is apparently making an effort to ward off the image of being against beef-eaters. Eating beef cannot come in the way of becoming a member of the RSS, its all-India prachar pramukh Manmohan Vaidya was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

Vaidya made this statement while addressing reporters during his three-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh.… Vaidya said that RSS has nothing to do with the beef ban and the organisation is only opposed to anti-national activities. “The RSS has nothing to do with the food habits of people,” he said.

http://www.catchnews.com/national-news/rss-members-eat-beef-says-manmohan-vaidya-on-beef-controversy-1449731859.html

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Give details on call to lift visa ban on Modi: US court (Dec 13, 2015, Times of India)

A US federal judge has ordered the State Department to produce all documents by February 2016 related to Obama administration’s decision to lift a ban on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s entry to the US.

“The Department of State will make an initial production of discovery in mid-January 2016, followed by another production of discovery in mid-February 2016,” judge John G. Koeltl of Southern District of New York said in his Dec 9 order.

The next conference in the case will take place on Feb 29, he directed. Modi’s previously issued tourist visa was revoked in 2005 over his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots when he was chief minister of the state.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50156943.cms

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Hutments razed, one dead, hundreds homeless (Dec 13, 2015, Business Standard)

Hundreds were rendered homeless in the winter chill and a six-month-old baby died after the authorities demolished hutments built on railway land in the national capital, witnesses and police said. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused the railways of demolishing some 500 hutments on Saturday, “in such cold”, leaving hundreds of poor – men, women and children – shivering in the open.

The Delhi government said the demolition violated judicial orders, and were carried out without informing it. Kejriwal, who visited the site at 2 a.m. on Sunday, ordered the suspension of two sub divisional magistrates for failing to provide relief to the hutment dwellers.…

The chief minister pointed out that there were court orders to raze properties of some of the rich and politicians in Delhi but those orders were never implemented. The Aam Aadmi Party blamed the central government for the demolition. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress hit back, saying Kejriwal should have acted ahead of the razing, not later.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/hutments-razed-one-dead-hundreds-homeless-115121300611_1.html

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Muslim, minority appointments in Maharashtra police force hovers around 6% (Dec 14, 2015, DNA India)

Representation of Muslims and other minorities in the Maharashtra police force continues to be just about 6 per cent. The information was made available after an RTI application was filed to see the implementation of various suggestions of Justice Sachar’s report in the state.

The RTI application was filed by Latur-based Razaullah Khan, who is a head master in an Urdu medium school. In his application, Khan had sought details of the appointment of Muslims in the state police force, and implementation of the recommendations of the committee report.

In particular, he had sought the report prepared every June and December that talks of progress of appointments of Muslims as per the Sachar report, documents that pertain to the progress on the work done on the report along with file noting and when was the report submitted and if not submitted, when will it be submitted to the central government.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-muslim-minority-appointments-in-maharashtra-police-force-hovers-around-6-2155322

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Bhatinda IG, DC summoned over chopping off of Dalits’ limbs (Dec 14, 2015, India Today)

National Commission for Scheduled Castes on Sunday summoned IGP Bhatinda zone, Deputy Commissioner Fazilka and SSP to appear before the vice chairman on Monday in connection with the incident in which limbs of two dalits were chopped off by the gang close to the ruling Akali Dal.

“National Commission for Scheduled Castes has issued notices to IGP Bhatinda zone, Deputy Commissioner Fazilka and SSP in connection with this case and they have been asked to appear before the commission on Monday afternoon in Abhohar. The commission has also directed the police authorities to arrest the people involved in the incident within three days failing which strict action will be taken against the official concerned,” Dr Rajkumar Verka said.

Dr Verka said that the incident has shocked the entire dalit community which has alleged that efforts are being made to hushup the case as the people involved in the case are influential. He has assured the affected families that the Commission will take action against the people involved in the case.…

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/bhatinda-ig-dc-summoned-over-chopping-off-of-dalits-limbs/1/546440.html

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Opinions and Editorials

India’s Sawdust Caesar – By A. G. Noorani (Dec 25, 2015, Frontline)

A year and a half after he became Prime Minister of India on May 26, 2014, the people of India have begun to discover that Narendra Damodardas Modi is a flawed character who has proved himself unfit to sit on the chair on which Jawaharlal Nehru once sat. Nehru united the country. Modi is a quintessentially divisive figure. Even before he became Prime Minister, he had boldly nailed his colours on to the mast for all to see. The pattern is alarming.…

Those who had pinned their hopes on Modi as “The Deliverer” find little sign of his delivering on the promises he had so lavishly made. The promised acche din (good days) have turned out to be a deceptive mirage; bure din (evil days) are now upon us with highly charged communal statements and accusations; a systematic purge of cultural and educational institutions; killings, lynchings and the like without any censure by the chief executive of the nation.

Few care to understand what his meaningful and continued silence signifies. Desperate pleas by admirers – to control the “fringe elements”, curb the purveyors of hate and censure, and condemn loudly and without qualification the killings and the spread of intolerance and hate – leave Modi unmoved. For these elements comprise the core of his constituency. The record, viewed as an entire whole, provides ample warning of what lies ahead of us today.… However, there is another and more relevant lesson from Gujarat which Modi refuses to learn. The demonstrators in London last month conveyed to Modi that the world has neither forgotten nor forgiven him for his role during the pogrom of 2002.… In combating Narendra Modi and his cohorts, Indians are fighting to save India’s soul.

http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/indias-sawdust-caesar/article7961470.ece

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Dictum & Diaspora: Are you going to fiddle while India burns? – By Ujjal Dosanjh (Dec 15, 2015, Indian Express)

The limbs of India continue to be constantly mutilated, raped or chopped off. One day it is Mohammed Akhlaq, murdered for allegedly killing a cow and stashing beef in his fridge, another day it is Kalburgi, for offending the religious sensibilities of the brutes and fanatics. There have been others like them who have been sacrificed at the altar of hurt religious sensibilities. Then there are Vaibhav and Divya – two Dalit children burnt alive for whatever reasons some thought gave them the rights to maim and burn children. Recently, a seven-year-old girl was gangraped in Delhi. That is not an exception. In the last three years, five minor females were raped every two days in the capital.…

If it was one murder or rape or as many as there usually are based on crime rate and the population – one may say statistically there is nothing to worry about. But what is happening in India is beyond statistics. It is beyond proportionality. Indians who think and reflect upon the truth of what India is experiencing are shaken by it; they are either moved to do something about it or are numbed in response to the need for sheer survival in the dog eat dog world of Indian polity and economy.

India will survive, you say. It has survived through the ages, you argue. India is nothing if not resilient, you reason. And all that happens to be true. But the soul of India asks what are you going to do about the barbarism and the butchery happening in the country? Are you going to be part of the millions of battles being waged in the country for the India of the future? Or are you going to fiddle while India burns?

http://indianexpress.com/article/blogs/punjab-dalit-murder-bheem-tank-abohar-india/

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A vision betrayed – By Sitaram Yechury (Dec 25, 2015, Frontline)

… what we wanted was enactment of all the laws, on the basis of which we can carry forward the vision of social justice that Dr Ambedkar stood for.

Now, instead, we have a situation where the government has come forward saying that we reaffirm our faith in the Constitution. Where is the question of reaffirming? You are here, I am here, and all of us are here on an oath on this Constitution. What is this drama of reaffirming? If the Constitution was not there, then, you wouldn’t be here. The government of the day must know, the Leader of the House – he is not here now – should know that they are there only because we affirm our faith in this Constitution. Where is this question of now saying “We will reaffirm”? And what is this Constitution Day, Sir?…

So, what is this new item that we have, Sir? … You may call it item song or whatever. It is a new item now in the Indian Constitution.… I am quoting from that speech of Dr Ambedkar. “Will history repeat itself?” That is, will we lose our Independence once again? “Will Indians place the country above their creed or will they place creed above the country, I did not know.”…

http://www.frontline.in/politics/a-vision-betrayed/article7961950.ece

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Killing In The Name Of The Indian Nation – By Malem Ningthouja (Dec 19, 2015, Tehelka)

… The government’s defence of murder by ‘security forces’ is in a piece with its stand on the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which has been widely condemned across civil society for giving impunity to men in uniform carrying out heinous crimes as part of counterinsurgency operations. The attorney general’s submission in the Supreme Court was a rationalisation of this impunity as well as a plea for further militarisation of the conflict torn region.

Opinions are divided on the timing and political wisdom of the statement, though the regime in New Delhi seems quite happy with it. For the BJP-led government, it is just a prelude to more chest-thumping “surgical” operations against “anti-nationals”. It also serves a more partisan political purpose: such “bold” words from a representative of the regime, that too in a court of law, is likely to help galvanise the support of “nationalist” zealots for a government no longer as confident of its feet on the ground as it was when it took power in May 2014. Killing in the “national interest” gives strength to those who reach out to the people in the name of an “imagined nation”.…

The attorney general’s statement was the last attempt to defend the men who killed civilians in cold blood during peacetime. So far, men in uniform have got away with murder through a tangled process that starts with denial of involvement in the crime. When that fails to pass muster with public opinion, evidence is tampered with and impunity under AFSPA is invoked. If the crime still manages to make it to the courts, the complexity of the proceedings further brings down the possibility of justice.…

http://www.tehelka.com/2015/12/killing-in-the-name-of-the-indian-nation/

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Tardy progress – By T.K. Rajalakshmi (Dec 11, 2015, Frontline)

The Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) is one of the much touted flagship programmes of the National Democratic Alliance government and was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year on October 2. Its aim is to provide 100 per cent sanitation coverage and eradicate open defecation in rural India by 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Ministry of Urban Development’s latest progress report (October 2015) on the status of implementation by State governments of the various components of the SBM shows that in both urban and rural India not only have the coverage and use of individual and community toilets been tardy but the work of waste collection, disposal and treatment has also not progressed sufficiently. This was despite the fact that in the financial year 2015-16, rural sanitation accounted for 58 per cent of the total allocation to the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. But allocations as a whole went down by 48 per cent – from Rs.12,096 crore in 2014-15 to Rs.6,231 crore for 2015-16.…

It is evident the current approach to sanitation, focussing as it does on mindset changes and the collaborative effort of civil society, is far from adequate. Not only is the concept narrow, it is also divorced from the realities of household dwellings where the average floor area does not go beyond 40 square metres.

http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/tardy-progress/article7903658.ece

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A Calcutta Chromosome – By Meetu Jain (Dec 21, 2015, Outlook)

In August 2015, the chief of the Enforcement Directorate issued a terse circular, one that turned conventional practice on its head. The ED, said acting director Karnail Singh, need not wait for other agencies such as the CBI to probe a case. If the courts have taken cognisance, ED can go ahead and start a probe on its own. In all its existence, ED, which comes under the purview of the Union finance ministry, has taken its cue from that “caged bird”, the Central Bureau of Investigation, which comes under the department of personnel (DoPT), which reports to the PMO.

But it is events leading up to the circular that are more revealing. Just days earlier, Karnail Singh, who was then ED special director, was all set to be transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) following a letter to the finance ministry written by an officer of the income-tax department. The I-T officer, rumoured to be in the race for the ED top job himself, alleged that Karnail Singh and two other officers were going slow in investigating several cases. These cases included two real estate firms, one owned by a Congress politician close to the party top brass, and the other by a BJP leader out of favour with the ruling triumvirate but close to the late Pramod Mahajan.

Around the same time came a decisive salvo fired at the PMO by Subramanian Swamy. The BJP leader accused then ED chief, Rajan Katoch, of closing the National Herald case even though there was a mountain of evidence. The fact that the CBI had not responded to repeated reminders by the ED as also the fact that it had not filed even a preliminary enquiry (PE) report was not good enough. Whether it was the Swamy missive or an administrative decision, Katoch was shifted out and Karnail Singh took over as acting ED chief.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/-a-calcutta-chromosome-/296121

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 9th, 2015

November 12, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines India’s prime minister Narendra Modi suffers embarrassing setback on eve of UK visit Global media finds BJP’s debacle in Bihar a setback for Modi Former Indian PM expresses concern over rising religious intolerance in India Extremism, Intolerance Not an Expression of a Religion Called Islam, Says Ansari […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 26th, 2015

October 28, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Narendra Modi UK visit: Cameron urged to raise human rights with Indian PM Muslim family in UP alleges boy taken from school to attend RSS camp Muzaffarnagar riots case: Bailable warrant against Union minister, BJP leaders BJP, Sri Rama Sene activists held for communal clashes in Karnataka […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 24th, 2015

August 25, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Communal harmony pledge administered News Headlines 2002 Godhra riots: IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt who took on Gujarat govt is sacked Act as human bombs, Sena tells Hindus Mosque in Faizabad torched, SP MLA blames ‘youths with saffron headgear’ Rattling the cage Five ABVP activists booked for assaulting […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 27th, 2015

July 28, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Irony of ironies: Judge afraid for her life after convicting Modi’s minister in Gujarat riots! Teesta Setalvad accuses Modi govt of ‘vendetta’ to silence her 1500 ‘encounter’ deaths under glare Will perpetrators of Babri masjid demolition be hanged too, asks Owaisi India Sees a Sharp Rise in […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 8th, 2015

June 9, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Naroda Gam post-Godhra riots case: Court seeks SIT officer’s reply on missing CD Ishrat Jahan Fake Encounter: Centre Denies Permission To Prosecute IB Officials Muslim leaders oppose Yoga, say Suryanamaskar against the basic teaching of Islam Aam Aadmi Party report blames ML Khattar’s rally for Ballabhgarh riot […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 25th, 2015

May 25, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Diamond exporter charged for denying Muslim a job 2002 riots call records: SIT court summons officer Himanshu Shukla to explain misplaced CDs Teesta Setalvad: Modi’s Silence on Attacks on Minorities Shows Tacit Consent Saffron trade union snubs RSS, to join protest against govt PMO Not Disclosing Foreign […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 16th, 2015

February 17, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines US media sees Modi ‘brought down to earth’ An open letter to Ms Kiran Bedi from Shabnam Hashmi Justice denied, she recalls: they cut off my hands Withdraw ‘concocted’ case against Teesta Setalvad: CPM to Gujarat govt Convent school vandalised in Delhi, sixth such attack in 4 […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 3rd, 2014

November 4, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony He repaid debt of 1984 to Muslims News Headlines Godhra riots: Nanavati Commission’s final report likely by November 15 Ex-BJP MLA under scanner for a meeting before violence stepped up ‘India failed to prosecute anti-Sikh riot perpetrators’ Outer Delhi tense as mahapanchayat ‘bans’ Muharram march Communal clash: […]

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