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Narendra Modi

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 16th, 2015

by newsdigest on February 17, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

US media sees Modi ‘brought down to earth’ (Feb 11, 2015, Times of India)

While US officials refrained from comment on Aam Aadmi Party’s massive victory in Delhi elections, the New York Times saw “a defeat for Prime Minister Modi” in the results.

“Fresh from the diplomatic high of a successful summit meeting with President Obama, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been brought down to earth by domestic politics,” the influential US daily said in an editorial. “Ordinarily, elections in New Delhi would not draw international attention,” the Times said.

But since sweeping to power last year with the biggest national election victory in three decades, Modi and his BJP have generated “an aura of invincibility” winning a succession of other state elections, it said. “The election won’t affect Modi’s hold on the prime minister’s office and the federal government,” the Times said. “But it will increase the enormous pressure to deliver on his economic and governance promises even while making that harder.”…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46197406.cms

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An open letter to Ms Kiran Bedi from Shabnam Hashmi (Feb 8, 2015, Indiaresists.com)

…I saw a photograph where you are half bent and looking at Modi asking him something. The expression on your face is of helplessness and wanting approval from him. It extremely pained me. I might have differences with you but as an activist and as a human being I would never want you or for that matter any other professional woman in this situation.

Ms Bedi you might not know but I recorded testimonies of gang rape survivors in 2002 when Gujarat was still burning. I travelled to over 50 villages across ten districts. Met doctors in small village dispensaries who had done postmortem, saw photographs of charred bodies of many women with slit open stomachs and dead fetuses sticking to their bodies. There were many kausar banos not only one in Naroda Patiya Whose case every one knows. Ms Bedi I met women who couldn’t get up for months because they were gang raped by 15-20 men and their vaginas were torn apart.

Ms Bedi Modi took out a Gaurav Yatra after 2002 carnage, he called the relief camps – where people who had lost everything were given shelter – child producing factories. Now last two years youtube has been sanitised of Modis footage spewing venom and talking filth. Sakshi Maharaj and Sadhvi Prachi are no Match in front of Modi. What he spoke was much more venomous.

Ms Bedi when bilkis was being gang raped they smashed her little daughters head against a stone and she died on the spot . Medina was forced to see her own daughter and niece being gang raped. Ms Bedi it pained me to see you bend before this man.You can tell me about the clean chit. I know a little too much to appreciate the clean chit stories.…

http://www.indiaresists.com/an-open-letter-to-ms-kiran-bedi-from-shabnam-hashmi/

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Justice denied, she recalls: they cut off my hands (Feb 17, 2015, Indian Express)

…Havribibi was among the 34 injured in the violence in Sesan Nava village in Deodar taluka of Banaskantha district in the aftermath of the Godhra train burning two days earlier. Fourteen Muslims were killed in the riots, and two Hindus died in firing by the police. On February 13, a local court acquitted all 70 accused in the Sesan Nava attack after witnesses turned hostile, and the police failed to produce material evidence against the rioters.

“There must have been around 4,000 or 5,000 of them, I couldn’t count the numbers. They came with swords and rifles and pistols, and started to set homes on fire. The women were screaming, and the men were running to find a place to hide the children,” Havribibi said.

She lost her hands, Havribibi said, before she could run away. She remembers the hacking blows, the blood, and the sight of them falling to the ground. “Hau, hau (Yes, yes), I remember everything. I saw my hands fall to the ground, and the gushing stream of blood. I collapsed, thrashing about in pain. There was blood everywhere, only blood and fire. They started torching houses, and in no time, 14 of our people were dead,” she said.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/justice-denied-she-recalls-they-cut-off-my-hands/

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Withdraw ‘concocted’ case against Teesta Setalvad: CPM to Gujarat govt (Feb 12, 2015, Economic Times)

Condemning Gujarat police for seeking to arrest social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband, CPI(M) today demanded that the state government withdraw its “concocted” case against her. “CPI(M) demands that the Gujarat government withdraw the concocted case against Setalvad and stop harassing her,” the party said in a statement.

It said that Gujarat Police have targeted Setalvad because of her relentless championing of the rights of the victims of the Gujarat riots of 2002. “While the Gujarat government is pursuing the harassment of Setalvad, it has been reinstating police officials who are facing serious criminal charges,” the party charged.

Supreme Court today stayed till tomorrow the arrest of Setalvad and her husband, Javed Anand, soon after Gujarat High Court rejected their anticipatory bail plea in a case of alleged embezzlement of funds for a museum at the Gulbarg society, site of an attack during the 2002 riots.…

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46216400.cms

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Convent school vandalised in Delhi, sixth such attack in 4 months (Feb 13, 2015, India Today)

A convent school was vandalised on Thursday night in South Delhi’s Vasant Vihar area, forcing Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani to make a quick visit. It was the sixth attack on a Christian institution in the national capital in less than four months.

Staff members of the Holy Child Auxilium School told police that a few CCTV cameras installed in the school premises were damaged and the office of the principal was ransacked. “Some CCTV cameras were damaged and the office of the school’s principal was ransacked by some unidentified people early Friday,” spokesperson of the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese Father Savarimuthu Sankar said. He said the school children have been sent back to their homes after the incident came to light.

Senior police officials rushed to the spot and are collecting the evidence from the school. “We are investigating the case and also scanning the footage of CCTVs installed in the school premises,” said a senior official. The Delhi Police, however, has denied that it was a hate attack. “This is not a matter of desecration. It is a case of theft,” Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi said.…

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/vasant-vihar-christian-schhol-vandalised-south-delhi-church-smriti-irani/1/418645.html

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Voter lists in hand, Hindu Mahasabha looks for Christians, Muslims on Valentine’s Day (Feb 14, 2015, Indian Express)

Right-wing outfit Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha has claimed that it has scanned Delhi’s electoral rolls to “identify Muslim and Christian men” who they suspect could sway Hindu girls. With Valentine’s Day approaching, it said it has been keeping an eye on them for the past one week.

Om Ji, the convener of the outfit who contested against Arvind Kejriwal, said his party has “thoroughly examined” Delhi’s electoral rolls. “We have our own ways. We examined the electoral list to mobilise the Hindu vote during elections. This is a common thing,” he said. “However, in the process, we systematically examined the number of Muslim and Christian men. We will use it on those who we suspect could sway our Hindu girls. This data is as accurate as even the census data. It is more accurate than even the data with the intelligence units.”

The outfit, which has threatened to forcefully get couples married on Valentine’s Day if they are caught together, claimed that the process of identification was done “well in advance” and that a constant “vigil” is being kept. On plans for Valentine’s Day, a member said, “Based on our data, we know the places with higher density of non-Hindu men. In these areas, our men will be deployed at public places like malls, multiplexes and restaurants.”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/voter-lists-in-hand-hindu-mahasabha-looks-for-christians-muslims-on-valentines-day/

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Hindu temple dedicated to Narendra Modi is a “threat to secular India” (Feb 12, 2015, Asia News)

“This is a deplorable initiative for a secular country like India,” said Fr Cedric Prakash, SJ, director of the Prashant Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace in Ahmedabad, as he spoke to AsiaNews about a Hindu temple dedicated to Prime Minister Indian Narendra Modi.

The temple dedicated to Prime Minister Narendra Modi is located in Rajkot, a village in the state of Gujarat, and was to be officially inaugurated by Minister of State for Agriculture, Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundariya on 15 February. However, on histweeter account, Modi reacted saying, “I was appalled.

Although this forced organisers to cancel the inauguration, the temple is expected to remain in place. It took around two years to build it and nearly four years to get Modi’s bust done, at a cost of ” Rs. 1.65 lakh (US$ 2,650),” said Ramesh Undhad, who donated funds for the project.…

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Hindu-temple-dedicated-to-Narendra-Modi-is-a-threat-to-secular-India-33444.html

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Muzaffarnagar riots: Riot victim’s kin move court against SIT closure report (Feb 9, 2015, DNA India)

The father of Shahnawaz, killed during the riots here in August 2013, has moved court challenging the closure report of thespecial investigation team (SIT) giving clean chit to the six accused in the case. The victim’s father, Mohammad Saleem, on Monday filed a petition in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Narender Kumar and sought cancellation of the closure report.

He alleged that the SIT, probing the Muzaffarnagar riots cases, carried out partial investigation into the case and ignored recording statements of eyewitnesses under CrPC Section 164 despite the victim family’s requests. …

According to the FIR lodged with police by the deceased’s father, Shahnawaz was stabbed to death allegedly by eight people at Kawal village under Jansath police station in the district on August 27, 2013. SIT Inspector Sampurnanad Tiwari had last month filed the closure report in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Narender Kumar after giving clean chit to the six accused – Prahlad, Vishan, Devender, Jitendra, Yogender and Ravinder – saying that they were not found involved in the murder of Shahnawaz in Kawal in August 2013.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-muzaffarnagar-riots-riot-victim-s-kin-move-court-against-sit-closure-report-2059650

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In West Bengal’s Birbhum, Muslims being compelled to self-immolate (Feb 14, 2015, Milli Gazette)

Birbhum district of West Bengal is located at about 200 kms from Kolkata. The population of Muslims here is about 20 percent. A few months ago mutual fights started within Trinamool Congress (Trinamool) cadres in Makhra village under Paroi thana which. It started growing in intensity and gradually the party got divided into two factions. With the coming in of BJP government at the Centre, BJP allied itself with one faction. Both factions consisted of Muslims but they grew so blood thirsty against each other that in the fights that ensued, 13 Muslims were killed.

The name of one Trinamool MLA, Munirul Islam, began to appear in the headlines. Their violent activities became more and more intense and their violence and brutalities became common talk in the whole of West Bengal. Excesses and cruelties of the Trinamool MP of the area also increased. Munirul Islam started working under the patronage of this MP who in turn started doing his best, under the patronage of the chief minister, to keep Birbhum under the control of Trinamool. Boys who were already violent and tasked to make bombs began to oppose Trinamool.

BJP adopted violence in all possible ways. Slowly, villages after villages came under the control of violent elements. As Trinamool leaders began to suppress criminals and violent elements with the help of police, ground started slipping form under their feet so much so that Trinamool leaders found it difficult to live in their own villages and began to fear entering their own villages. Some days ago Mithun of Satora village, whose real name is Masoom, threw a bomb at the police and went underground. He is still untraced. It is said that his family had been indulging in violence and goondaism for generations. Earlier this family was in the Congress but later jointed CPIM. When Trinamool came to power it latched on to Trinamool and now this boy has started working for BJP.…

http://www.milligazette.com/news/11787-in-west-bengal-s-birbhum-indian-muslims-being-compelled-to-self-immolate

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West Bengal: 4-yr-old girl sexually assaulted inside BJP office (Feb 14, 2015, Indian Express)

A 17-year-old youth was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a four-year-old girl inside a BJP party office in Behala area of the city today, a police official said.

The incident happened between 3 PM and 4 PM in a small room of the party office, a senior police official of South West division of the Kolkata Police under which Behala falls.

The youth was arrested on the basis of a police complaint made by the parents of the girl. Both the accused and the victim used to stay in the upper floor of the building that houses the party office, the official said.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/west-bengal-4-yr-old-girl-sexually-assaulted-inside-bjp-office/

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Opinions and Editorials

A Defeat for Prime Minister Modi – Editorial (Feb 10, 2015, New York Times)

Fresh from the diplomatic high of a successful summit meeting with President Obama, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been brought down to earth by domestic politics. He and his Bharatiya Janata Party, or B.J.P., were crushed in the election Tuesday for New Delhi’s 70-member state assembly, winning three seats while the upstart Aam Aadmi Party, or A.A.P., captured the rest. …

The B.J.P. controls the lower house of Parliament but not the upper house. Without it, Mr. Modi has been unable to gain passage of tax restructuring and other reform bills that are central to his vision. He has taken some actions through executive orders, like allowing greater foreign investment in the insurance sector, but they will expire without legislative approval.

Winning in India’s states is critical to gaining the upper house, whose members are elected by the assemblies. The B.J.P. defeat in New Delhi slows Mr. Modi’s momentum, will embolden opposition parties and could make it tougher for his party to win the election in Bihar, India’s second-most-populous state, later this year. He faces another important test this month when he presents and tries to gain approval of his first real budget.…

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/11/opinion/a-defeat-for-prime-minister-modi.html

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General Amit Shah’s Black Tuesday – By Kumar Ketkar (Feb 16, 2015, NDTV)

…Over 100 MPs, nearly 2000 so-called foot-soldiers of the RSS, and all the shakhas outfits were mobilized. All the seven BJP MPs and all BJP corporators were summoned to join the “Hate Jihad” like the army issues orders to ex-Army men at the time of war. The “embedded” media men and women understood the “hukum” from the chieftain Amit Shah and began to circulate stories that there would be a last-minute swing, and there would be a surge in voting after 3 pm and all those votes would go the BJP because of the fantastic but invisible networking by the Sangh Parivar cadres.

Each member of the Modi Brigade, some of them even flown in from US, was given booth-wise responsibilities. Social media, which was the main vehicle of the Sangh Parivar in the Lok Sabha election, was re-orchestrated by the Sangh Aparatchiks, as they had realized that it was dominated by AAP volunteers. U.S.-trained management experts who had choreographed the Tea Party campaign and Romney propaganda machine in America in 2012 were positioned to coordinate the Delhi cyberspace.

The print media was flooded with full page color advertisements. Almost every hundred yards, there was a huge hoarding with the image of the messiah Modi. A quick visual estimate of the cost of campaign suggests no corners were cut. All the moralists who had written columns after columns about paid news and had rushed to the Election Commission earlier were quiet over this obscene expenditure which included buying a substantial section of the media.

Indian diplomats from nearly 120 countries were specially invited to Delhi, presuming glorious victory in the election, so they could go back to their missions abroad, impressed and inspired by the miracle called Modi. But like in Stalingrad in 1941-42, every household joined the electoral war to defeat Modi-Shah’s Panzer divisions. …

Then there emerged the theory that Shah, the great strategist, had planned the defeat all along in a systematic manner. Some referred to a news article in the Gulf News in January in which it was stated that the tacticians had worked out a plan to lose election. But it was clear to anyone who followed that thread, that it was actually a planned camouflage for an excuse, in case the election is lost. So if the BJP wins, it would be because of the magnificent war strategy and if it loses, it was part of the game plan! This was a loss, pure and simple. The General and strategy failed. Let it rest at that.

http://www.ndtv.com/opinion/general-amit-shahs-black-tuesday-739923

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The Amit Shah Files – By Uttam Sengupta, Prachi Pinglay-Plumber, Anuradha Raman, K.S. Shaini (Feb 16, 2015, Outlook)

The tantalising phrase “somewhat opposed to common sense” is likely to ring in the ears of BJP national president Amit Anilchandra Shah for a long time to come. The five words were uttered on the penultimate day of 2014 by a trial judge in a CBI special court in Mumbai to let Shah, 50, off the hook in the infamous Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.

Dasrath Patel and Raman Patel, two builders from Ahmedabad produced as star witnesses against Shah by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), had told investigators that police officers close to Shah extorted money from them and had dispatched Sohrabuddin’s henchmen to issue threats. The officers, notably Abhay Chudasama and D.G. Vanzara – both now on bail, Chudasama reinstated by the Gujarat government – would not only drop Shah’s name but even make extortion targets speak to the all-powerful minister of state (home) on phone. Shah, they claimed, had also directed them to be discreet while giving statements on Sohrabuddin Sheikh to the CBI after the central agency was ordered by the Supreme Court in 2010 to investigate the case.

The builders had video-recorded one of the conversations they had with Shah’s officers. They gave three statements to the CBI, two under Section 161 of the CrPC and the other under Section 164. (Statements under Section 161 are given to the police and are not accepted as evidence; statements under Section 164 are recorded before a judge and are admissible evidence.)…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/The-Amit-Shah-Files/293300

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What, it is to be a Muslim in India today? – By Prof. Dr. Rameeza. A. Rasheed (Feb 14, 2015, TwoCircles.net)

If your exposure to Muslim lives is through popular media then you believe that Muslim’s main profession is smuggling. Every beard and skull cap wearing men, particularly youth is at least remotely connected with a terrorist group. Neighbors don’t move closely, with the Muslim families who follow their dress code. It is propagated constantly that, every Madrasa is a breeding ground of violent actions. It is believed that, they don’t teach Islamic principles and general education but, implant principles of vengeance and Jihad (most misunderstood word).

Every Muslim man wearing skull cap and beard is looked at with suspicion not only in Airports and railway stations but also, in their neighborhood. Exchange of gift and mutual greetings during festivals between Muslim and other families is fast declining. Indian Muslims never imagined that, a day would come in India when they would find it difficult to even buy homes in non-Muslim dominated housing societies, find it extremely difficult to get rental homes, get accused of encouraging “Love Jihad,” witness helplessly as their youth getting wrongly arrested and remain in prison as under trials for many years and then released as not guilty without any compensation, (the latest example is the case related to Liaquat Ali Shah) their small traders face denial of bank loans, their students find it difficult to get admission in good schools and colleges run by majority community and to top it all being accused of multiplying their population with a purpose through having 9-10 children each family.

What a humiliating and false accusation? It is the India today in which Muslims have to live. The Hindutva forces have been existing India for a long time but only now their communal hatred towards minorities is exhibited and articulated boldly. The right minded civil citizens of this great nation knows the reason but, they are mute spectators.…

http://twocircles.net/2015feb14/1423884154.html

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Tripping Up The Titans – By Mihir Srivastava (Feb 23, 2015, Outlook)

One of the first things the AAP government in Delhi is likely to do on taking charge is review the progress of an FIR against Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) it had filed a year ago. At that time, Arun Jaitley, now the Union finance minister, had said he was all for an investigation of the industrial giant. But the Narendra Modi government of which he is part now has since taking charge tried to have the FIR quashed. The Delhi High Court, however, has frustrated those efforts, recently ordering the investigation to continue – and the case is set to become a cause celebre.

In February last year, when Arvind Kejriwal of the AAP stepped down from office on Valentine’s Day after 49 tumultuous days as chief minister, one of his actions in the last few days had been to order an FIR against Mukesh Ambani – RIL owner and the richest Indian – and then petroleum minister M. Veerappa Moili. The allegation was that gas pricing had been rigged, causing profit to RIL and a multi-billion dollar loss to the exchequer.

Kejriwal, who is being sworn in as chief minister again on Valentine’s Day, after a near-wipeout of the BJP and the Congress, has plans to take the FIR ahead. While the FIR has been lodged with the Delhi government’s anti-corruption branch (ACB), considered inactive and toothless, the political push might make a difference, especially when the high court has given the green light.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/Tripping-Up-The-Titans/293408

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Dispossession, development and democracy – By Michael Levien (Feb 4, 2015, The Hindu)

Since it was passed by Parliament in September 2013, the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (LARR) has been criticised from all sides. Farmers and social movements argued that LARR failed to adequately compensate land losers, contained large loopholes such as exempting irrigation projects, and, most importantly, continued to allow land acquisition for private companies.

Industrialists, developers, and State governments, on the other hand, complained that the bill would delay projects, increase the costs of land acquisition, and impede economic growth. It was no secret that the government shared the latter view, and it was no surprise when it diluted many of LARR’s key provisions through an ordinance issued on December 31.

The ordinance effectively eliminates the main features of LARR that gave rural people some protection from arbitrary dispossession. First, it removes the requirement that the government obtain the consent of 80 per cent of affected people before taking their land for private projects, and 70 per cent of affected people for public-private partnership (PPP) projects. The ordinance thus restores the ability of the government to acquire land for any private purpose it likes, with no need to win the support of the affected. Second, the ordinance eliminates the Social Impact Assessments (SIA) that LARR had mandated as a pre-condition for proceeding with land acquisition.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/lead-article-dispossession-development-and-democracy/article6853389.ece

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Book Review

At Home in India: The Muslim Saga

Author: Salman Khurshid
Reviewed by: Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay
Available at: Hay House Publishers India, Muskaan Complex, Plot No. 3, B-2 Vasant Kunj, New Delhi 110 070, India 390 pages; Rs 699 . http://www.amazon.in/
Review:
Being Muslim in India (Feb 11, 2015, Business Standard)

Coming from a leader who shepherded the ministry of minority affairs during the years when several debates cropped up concerning the welfare of Muslims, including the Supreme Court judgment on the Babri Masjid-Ram Janambhoomi dispute, the book under review had the potential of stirring a controversy or two. But it manages to avert that possibility even though it takes a firm stance on several contentious issues.

The book walks a tightrope by essentially reworking an older work. This has resulted in the author’s decision to examine ghosts of the past, leaving the demons of today to, hopefully, be considered in time to come. That is perhaps why the two sections of the book, “Today” and “Yesterday”, are of notably disparate length. “Today” takes up less than a quarter of the book, but “Yesterday” is voluminous. The problem with this approach is that the author unravels events more than a quarter of a century ago, but does not factor in developments on the same issue in the subsequent 25 years.

For instance, the chapter titled “Muslim Leadership in Perspective: Jaded Generals” is stuck in the 1980s’ narrative woven by the likes of Syed Shahabuddin and Ebrahim Sulaiman Sait, on the one hand, and Muslim leaders owing allegiance to the Congress, led by the author’s father Khurshed Alam Khan, among others. The plot of Muslim leadership has thickened in recent years with the emergence of a new class of leaders and a change in the economic structure of Muslim society. …

http://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/being-muslim-in-india-115021101568_1.html

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 3rd, 2014

by newsdigest on November 4, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

He repaid debt of 1984 to Muslims (Oct 31, 2014, Times of India)

Harbans Singh was about 30 years old when anti-Sikh riots broke out in Trilokpuri in 1984. Unfortunately, he was just the person the mob was looking out for, and he would have been lynched had not his Muslim neighbours come to rescue by hiding him in a burqa and giving him shelter. Singh said last Thursday it was time for him to acknowledge this debt by opening the doors to his Muslim neighbours who were under threat.

Amid reports of communal clashes in the area, Singh’s was a touching example of solidarity and warmth along with a few others of different faiths. Block 20, where Singh lives, was where the first instance of violence was reported on Diwali evening. After hearing about large-scale mobilization against Muslims, Singh got in touch with his Muslim neighbours just before stone pelting started. …

Mohammed Qurban, who lives in the opposite house, had to lock his door, send his children away and stay at Singh’s. “His presence alone was reassuring. There was chaos all around. We saw people baying for our blood, but to see others not getting in the frenzy and welcoming us to their houses gave us a lot of strength,” said Qurban. …

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/44988910.cms

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Godhra riots: Nanavati Commission’s final report likely by November 15 (Oct 29, 2014, DNA India)

The Justice Nanavati Commission probing the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat, is ready with its final report which is expected to be submitted to the Gujarat state government by November 15. “The commission will not ask for another extension from the government,” Justice G T Nanavati told PTI in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.

Earlier, Gujarat government granted 24 extensions to the commission. The tenure of its 24th extension, granted on 30th September, ends on 31st October. “There is no need to seek a 25th extension, because our final report is ready. It is now being printed and will come to us in a few days. We will submit it to government by November 15,” Justice Nanavati said. The commission comprises retired judges G T Nanavati and Akshay Mehta.

In 2008, the inquiry panel had submitted one part of its finding about the Godhra train burning incident, in which it had concluded that burning of the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express near Godhra railway station was a “planned conspiracy”. The panel had been constituted by the Gujarat state government on March 3, 2002, under the Commission of Inquiry Act comprising Justice K G Shah in the wake of the Godhra train carnage on February 27, 2002 and the subsequent communal riots across the state.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-godhra-riots-nanavati-commission-s-final-report-likely-by-november-15-2030420

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Ex-BJP MLA under scanner for a meeting before violence stepped up (Oct 28, 2014, Indian Express)

A former BJP MLA, Sunil Vaid, has been asked to clarify his role in connection with the riots which broke out in Trilokpuri, East Delhi, last week. Police sources said their investigations revealed that Vaid held a “closed door conference” with his supporters at his office on Friday morning, just before the violence escalated.

Vaid, who lost the last assembly elections from Trilokpuri, has been asked to clarify the purpose of that meeting. Police confirmed that he may be called for questioning later. At least 17 civilians and 40 police personnel were injured in the clashes between Hindus and Muslims, which broke out on Friday and carried on till Saturday afternoon.

Vaid’s alleged role emerged after locals told the police that hundreds of his supporters attended a meeting at his office in Block 21 – one of the riot-hit areas. According to sources, Vaid’s supporters later marched out of the block shouting slogans. A PCR van reportedly noticed the mob leaving his office just before the violence escalated.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/ex-bjp-mla-under-scanner-for-a-meeting-before-violence-stepped-up/

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‘India failed to prosecute anti-Sikh riot perpetrators’ (Oct 29, 2014, Hindustan Times)

India has failed in punishing those responsible for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and it reflects the country’s “weak efforts” to fight communal violence, an international human rights advocacy group said Wednesday.

“Successive Indian governments failure to prosecute those responsible for 1984’s anti-Sikh killings and other abuses during the 1984 anti-Sikh violence highlights India’s weak efforts to combat communal violence,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement.

It said the new Indian government should seek police reforms and to enact a law against communal violence that would hold public officials accountable for complicity and dereliction of duty.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/1280275.aspx

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Outer Delhi tense as mahapanchayat ‘bans’ Muharram march (Nov 3, 2014, Times of India)

Days after communal riots hit east Delhi, tension is simmering in another part of the capital with a group of villagers resolving not to allow Muharram procession in their area.

The decision taken at a ‘maha-panchayat’ held in Bawana village in northwest Delhi on Sunday had the support of local elected representatives, BJP MLA Ghuggan Singh and Congress councillor Devinder Poni, both of whom present at the meeting. …

The maha-panchayat held in Bawana village of northwest Delhi was attended by around 2,000 locals. Several speakers used provocative language, claiming that members of the minority community had been indulging in atrocities and assaulting their women for years.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/45017386.cms

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Communal clash: Five people named in FIR do not exist, one person died in 2002 (Nov 1, 2014, Indian Express)

One of the persons that police have been hunting for in a communal clash case is believed to have died in 2002, while five other persons whose names are mentioned in the FIR do not exist at all. The communal clash took place on October 7 at Changa village in Anand district. The police arrested 25 people in connection with “rioting and loot” but could not find six out of 31 people who were named in the FIR.

The arrests were made after members of two communities in the village clashed following minor scuffle that took place at a local milk co-operative outlet in the village. The scuffle escalated into riots in which at least one person was severely injured. The members of both communities filed cross FIRs in this connection in the nearby police station and 25out of 31 people were arrested.

Six persons that the police continue to search for “do not exist”, villagers have claimed. They said out of six persons, one of the accused, Ismael Vora died way back in 2002. “It is surprising how Ismael’s name cropped up in the FIR. As per his death certificate available with his family members, he died on March 3, 2002. The names of at least five other persons are wrong as no such persons live in the village but the police are insisting that they live here and have even harassed persons whose name closely resemble those of names in the FIR,” a social worker, Javed Vora said.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/communal-clash-five-people-named-in-fir-do-not-exist-one-person-died-in-2002/

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CPI(M) accuses BJP, TMC of communal polarisation in West Bengal (Oct 28, 2014, Economic Times)

CPI(M) today accused BJP and ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal of communally polarising the people, saying it signalled a dangerous portend for the state which has not seen communal tension for several decades.

“The so-called clashes between the two parties are on the rise. What is dangerous is that both of them are trying to polarise the people on communal lines. They are fuelling each other so that they can sustain on that basis. Such a situation is something unforeseen in Bengal,” CPI(M) Politburo member Surjya Kanta Mishra said here. …

Mishra, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, said TMC and BJP have “the common agenda of polarising the people so that they can usurp the space for Left, secular and democratic forces. That is their gameplan”.…

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-10-28/news/55521461_1_communal-polarisation-cpi-tmc-and-bjp

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70 Bajrang Dal supporters arrested during Assam bandh (Oct 31, 2014, Times of India)

Normal life was on Friday partially hit in Assam during a 12-hour state-wide bandh called by Bajrang Dal. Around 70 Bajrang Dal supporters were arrested from all over the state for allegedly trying to damage property during the bandh, police officers said.

Guwahati Senior Superintendent of Police Anand Prakash Tiwari told that 18 Bajrang Dal supporters were arrested from the city for trying to forcefully implement the bandh, which has been called to protest the alleged links between AIUDF and jihadis in Bangladesh.

He said bandh supporters tried to obstruct traffic at many places by burning tyres but police cleared them immediately and picked up the activists. The BJP state unit has also extended its support to the bandh. At Rangia in Kamrup district, 40 Bajrang Dal activists were arrested when they tried to stop railway workers from joining duty in the morning.…

Meanwhile, AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal has denied the media report on the alleged link and termed it as “false, baseless and politically motivated.”

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/44993111.cms

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310 Christians are ‘Forced to Reconvert’ by Hindu Radicals (Oct 29, 2014, Christian Daily)

Christians in the district of Jaunpur in India’s Uttar Pradesh state have been targeted by Hindu extremists who have reportedly “reconverted” 310 Christians back to Hinduism. The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) told AsiaNews that the incident occurred on October 26 and has become a trend among Christian regions in Uttar Pradesh. They reported that the Hindu groups have termed this ritual “returning home,” and this has been the third case in less than two months.

About 30 families were part of the reconversion, and each of these families had previously renounced Hinduism in the past four years. Local police reported their turn to Christianity had stirred up Hindu organizations in the region. This incident occurred close to Diwali, India’s most popular Hindu holiday. AsiaNews reports that the Hindu organizations used this holiday to organize a conversion ceremony where they would “sacrifice” Bibles and recite Hindu prayers to complete the “returning home” ritual. Each Chrsitan also received a copy of the Bhagavad Gita from Hindu priests. …

The GCIC has previously pointed out that Hindu nationalism has been on the rise since President (sic) Narendra Modi was elected in June 2014, and the groups have acted violently toward Christians and other minorities. It is reported that more than 600 attacks have occurred on both Muslims and Christians on the first 100 days of the new government. Hindu fundamentalists groups have targeted Christians and churches, mostly in the Uttar Pradesh state.…

http://www.christiandaily.com/article/310.christians.are.forced.to.reconvert.by.hindu.radicals/49356.htm

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CID questions top RSS functionary over suicide case (Nov 3, 2014, Indian Express)

A senior functionary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat was questioned for over two hours on Monday by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Karnataka police in connection with the mysterious death of a close relative of a woman who has brought a sexual assault case against Raghaveshwara Bharati, the head pontiff of the influential Ramachandrapura Mutt in Karnataka.

Shyam Shastri, the brother-in-law of a 47-year-old former singer at the Ramachandrapura Mutt who has filed a sexual assault case against Raghaveshwara Bharati, allegedly committed suicide at his residence in the Kedila village near Puttur in Dakshina Kannada district two months ago.

The suicide occurred three days after the singer and her husband were arrested for allegedly threatening other singers with a singing troupe attached to the Ramachandrapura Mutt. The CID police called Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat the south India communications chief of the RSS in for questioning on Monday after call details of the dead man revealed that Bhat was one of the persons who spoke with Shastri on the day of his suicide.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/cid-questions-top-rss-functionary-over-suicide-case/

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Don’t Communalise Food and Culture: Justice Rajinder Sachar to GOG Minister for Civil Aviation Ashok Pusapati (Oct 30, 2014, Sabrang)

I am enclosing my correspondence with Minister for Civil Aviation. I have received no reply. I sent this correspondence to the press – but none has used it. This shows a very sad state of affairs.

The action of the government in classifying Non-vegetarian (which I write) to be substituted by ‘Moslem Meal’ is to resort to pre independence practise of foreign Air lines – even they now do not use this expression – they only put down Non-vegetarian (No Beef or No Pork) depending upon the passengers choice. But Indian Air Lines do not serve beef or pork in its flights and rightly so.

I feel that the revival of this communal usage to the meal is deliberately inflaming communalism. To me this evil practice has to be nipped in the bud. The matter is much larger of communalizing the society.…

http://www.sabrang.com/news/2014/30oct14sachar.htm

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Opinions and Editorials

Modi Sarkar: Politics Through Culture – By Ram Puniyani (Oct 29, 2014, Countercurrents)

The change in the ruling dispensation (May 2014) has more than one aspect which is likely to affect the very social-cultural-political map of India. Narendra Modi won the last elections with an electoral success, 282 seats for BJP, with 31% of votes polled, which is a landmark for a party. There was a meticulous planning to come to power and there were many factors bringing them to power. One was the communal polarization carried forward from the Gujarat carnage of 2002, to the one witnessed in Muzzafarnagar in 2013.

The unrestrained support of Corporate World was another, as Modi had given all the facilities to the Corporate World. Corporate in 2007 declared that they will like to see Modi as the future Prime Minister of India. The backbone of the campaign was seven lakh RSS volunteers, who acted as the steel frame of the campaign.

The projected factors helping BJP win was the myth of Gujarat’s development. The media management and the discrediting of the ruling Congress was the effective tool for swinging the votes in BJP’s favor. RSS-BJP-Modi want to bring in Hindu nation trampling upon the values of Indian Constitution., which have laid the foundation of democratic ethos, which have provided the ground for social transformation of caste-gender.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/puniyani291014.htm

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Why Trilokpuri Continues To Simmer – By G. Vishnu (Nov 8, 2014, Tehelka)

Irshad, a resident of Trilokpuri in east Delhi, must have spent a sleepless night on 24 October when stonepelting mobs ran amok in the neighbourhood. The cab his son drove for a Noida-based call centre was set on fire. Overwhelmed by the fear of mayhem, Irshad, who is in his late 40s, locked his house the next morning and left for a “safer place” with his family of six, including three young girls.

Tens of families like Irshad’s fled Trilokpuri after a drunken brawl on the night of Diwali (23 October) snowballed into a communal riot. The rioting may have been done in groups, but the families are alone in their suffering. According to those who have stayed back in Block 27, where poor Dalits and Muslims have been living peacefully since many years now, those who fled perhaps saw no other option. …

An incensed Muslim resident from Block 27 points out that Sunil Vaid, former MLA from Trilokpuri constituency and a member of the BJP, had conducted a meeting of Hindus at 1 am on the night the riots started. “Why did he do that?” he asks. “The police raided only the houses of Muslims. Our vehicles were set on fire. There are 200 Hindu families among the 500 families in our block. Ask them whether we have ever threatened them. Have they ever felt scared? Have their shops ever been burnt down?”…

http://www.tehelka.com/east-delhi-riots-trilokpuri-continues-to-simmer/

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Building Political Capital On Hate Propaganda – By Vidya Bhushan Rawat (Oct 31, 2014, Countercurrents)

It is a reminder bell that rings every year which has not changed us to the core. The horrific crimes against humanity perpetrated by the political goons in the dark night of October 31st till a couple of days of November 1984 after the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was declared officially ‘dead’ and which remain unpunished till date is not just a matter of shame but absolute failure of our democracy.

A truly democratic system would have envisaged ways and means to tackle such a situation in future but instead people became ‘football’ in the political games of those who have least concern about loss of human lives and sentiments. Punjab was bleeding when India got partitioned in 1947 and Sikh community felt betrayed as many of their issues remained unsettled politically. Sikh nationalism has to be merged into pan Indian Nationalism dictated and dominated by the brahmanical Hindus. …

India’s mainstream political parties have seen systematic Hindutvaisation process which was the agenda of Sangh Parivar. Hinduise the polity they wanted and once that was done political parties were unable to challenge the process ideologically. It seems Hindutva has become the main theme and parties want to stick to it and not to question it. …

Gandhi was killed and his killings have been justified so was the killings of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv. Godhra was justified and so was the massacre of Delhi in 1984 and Gujarat in 2002. Hundreds of other riots and pogroms have happened in India and our notoriety is in justifying them. … Why should the victims of pogroms of 1984 and 2002 be referred to with particular political slants? They were Indians and therefore India needs to respond to this that both the massacres at 1984 and 2002 are blot to its face and reflect draconian majority tendencies afraid of minority assertion or dissent.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/rawat311014.htm

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Stopping ‘big’ riots not enough: Why is PM Modi silent on ‘small’ communal tensions? – By Ajaz Ashraf (Nov 1, 2014, First Post)

Noted academician Ashutosh Varshney’s Indian Express op-ed, Sparks, no fires: why Modi is likely to oppose instrumental use of riots in politics, argues that Prime Minister Narendra Modi won’t allow ‘large’ riots for reaping electoral gains because it would dissuade fat-cat foreigners from investing in India. …

Varshney’s analysis is chilling, apart from being misplaced. … His analysis ignores the plight of the small – the petty shopkeeper, the street vendor, the itinerant trader, the casual labour, the factory worker. It might be interesting to discern from investors whether their instinct for profits was blunted because of news reports detailing the targeting of Muslim businessmen in Delhi’s Trilokpuri area, which witnessed, to employ Varshney’s ambiguous yardstick, “small disturbances” last week. Yet, over a few days, thousands have reportedly left Trilokpuri to settle down elsewhere. …

Perhaps it is irrelevant to point out that the “small disturbance” of Trilokpuri didn’t prompt the Prime Minister to speak against its occurrence in the city which is now his. Nor should we read too much into the fact that Modi, in contrast to his silence on Trilokpuri, issued a statement sharing the outrage of Canadians at a man shooting dead a soldier and then firing shots in Parliament in Ottawa. But for two exceptions, the Prime Minister has refused to voice his thoughts even as the communal cauldron has continued to simmer over the last five months.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/stopping-big-riots-not-enough-why-is-pm-modi-silent-on-small-communal-tensions-1783231.html

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Snakes & Ladders At Work – By R.K. Misra (Oct 27, 2014, Outlook)

To some they are heroes, but in the eyes of the Gujarat government, they are villains. Satish Verma and Rajnish Rai, both IPS officers, were each assigned a police encounter case. They concluded from their investigations that policemen had killed persons in their custody in cold blood. They filed cases against policemen involved and arrested them. For their efforts, the Gujarat government has banished them to Meghalaya and Jharkhand as chief vigilance officers (CVOs) at PSUs. This is designed to make it difficult for them to follow up and depose in the cases investigated by them.

Can senior IPS officers of the rank of IG and DIGs be posted as CVOs without their consent and without seeking applications from others? The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Delhi, is yet to resolve that question. Arguments are to be heard in November. However, it has refused to grant an interim stay on the Gujarat government’s deputation orders, so Verma and Rai have reported for duty in Shillong and Jaduguda. Could this be an indication of the way the case might go? The two officers will in all likelihood spend years running from court to court.

The Gujarat administration has acted petulant at times. On one occasion, it tried to implicate Rai in a strange case: he was accused of cheating while appearing in an LLB examination. He moved the Gujarat High Court, which gave the government a stunning rebuke by quashing proceedings against him. Verma and Rai say they are being punished for doing their job. The say the deputation to PSUs was vindictive and against regulations.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/Snakes–Ladders-At-Work/292282

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Love Jihad: RSS Unleashes Weapon of Hate – By Shatarup Ghosh (Oct 30, 2014, Sabrang)

It has been a long standing strategy of the BJP and RSS to try and divide the society on communal lines and use the dogmatic thinking and blind-fold ignorance of some people as side-kicks to gain electoral success. One of the latest ploys for polarization framed by some communal Hindutva outfits is a myth called ‘Love Jihad’. It refers to alleged efforts to covert non-Muslim girls to Islam through love affairs. The term was first used in 2009 by a fundamentalist group “Hindu Janjagrit Samity” in Kerala and Karnataka.

According to them some Muslim youths, riding bikes and wearing denims and sunglasses try and woo Hindu girls to marry them. Later they are forcibly converted to Islam. Those who refuse to convert are assaulted and even raped. A document of the Hindu Janjagrit Samity claims that young Muslim men are trained in camps on the workings of Love Jihad and then sent to “finish off Hinduism once and for all by ensuring that Hindu girls give birth to Muslim child. …

However, the divisive elements have not yet succeeded in the way they would have wanted to. ‘Love Jihad’ campaign has failed in the southern states of the country, where it initially originated. On the eve of the U.P. by-elections, the BJP decided to make the rumour travel north. But in spite of the high pitched communal campaign, they lost 8 out of 11 seats in the state, including the Kairana seat in the riot-affected Mujaffarnagar. Such schemes fail before the eyes of people. But they are dangerous enough if they are implemented viciously.…

http://www.sabrang.com/news/2014/Love%20Jihad%20Shatarup%20SFI.pdf

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 27th, 2014

October 28, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Muslim man arranges cremation of Hindu ‘sister’ Sangam Vihar residents prevent clash, show communal harmony Patna stampede: Muslim woman saves Hindu child News Headlines US court lets US group challenge Modi immunity VHP hand seen in post-Modi Gujarat’s communal incidents AAP, Congress, accuse ‘Hindutva elements’ of stoking […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 29th, 2014

September 30, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony ‘Walk for harmony and love’ organized in Delhi on International peace day News Headlines Congressmen urge Obama to discuss religious tolerance with Modi Narendra Modi fans beat up TV anchor Rajdeep Sardesai at Madison Square Garden event Jail official asked me to cut beard, terror accused tells […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 15th, 2014

September 16, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony J&K floods: Hyderpora mosque a symbol of communal harmony News Headlines RSS bomb explodes prematurely, suspected Hindutva terrorist injured Election Commission orders hate speech FIR against Yogi Adityanath BJP leaders rake up ‘love jihad’ in U.P. poll campaign Hindu nationalist group seeks to ‘cleanse’ Christian population in […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 18th, 2014

August 19, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements India’s 68th Independence Day – A time to renew communal harmony and safeguard secularism Communal Harmony On 68th independence Day IAMC urges to renew communal harmony and safeguard secularism Muzaffarnagar organizes marathon to spread communal harmony News Headlines Petition seeks stay on Modi election from Varanasi ‘Since Narendra […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 11th, 2014

August 12, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Another Euro leader questions Narendra Modi’s record As trial begins, all eyes on defence lawyer with RSS links RSS ideology damaging India’s peace, says Digvijaya Singh AIDWA fact finding team reiterates lose ends in Meerut rape case, says case is being exploited to incite communal violence Were […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 7th, 2014

July 8, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Over 150 Hindu inmates keep Roza with 2,300 Muslims at Tihar News Headlines 12 years on, Gujarat riots probe panel gets 22nd extension Ishrat case: CBI gives more proof to MHA Karnataka Congress Govt drags 23 terror acquits rotting in jail since 14 years to Supreme Court […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 30th, 2014

July 1, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Bhatt accuses Nanavati panel of misleading HC Trend of intolerance towards dissent under Modi: Amnesty calls for decriminalization of free speech Days after he pulled up Amit Shah, CBI judge shifted Gopal Subramanium opts out, attacks Narendra Modi government, cites Amit Shah case Why a former minister […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 16th, 2014

June 17, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony BARTI to take communal harmony lessons to schools, may train teachers News Headlines Rise of communal tensions after BJP Government formed at center Online posts against Narendra Modi spell trouble Gujarat HC directs Nanavati panel to allow Sanjiv Bhatt examine intel reports during 2002 riots IB’s NGO-scare […]

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