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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 27th, 2015

by newsdigest on July 28, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Irony of ironies: Judge afraid for her life after convicting Modi’s minister in Gujarat riots! (Jul 23, 2015, Daily Bhaskar)

Former judge Jyotsna Yagnik has accused the Gujarat government of turning a deaf ear to her requests to enhance her security. She has reportedly been receiving threats in the form of calls and letters. In August 2012, Yagnik, who was the judge of special trial court, had convicted 31 accused persons including BJP leader and former minister Mayaben Kodnani and a Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Babu Bajrangi under the charges of criminal conspiracy for killing 97 people at Naroda Patiya area here.

“They (state government) have turned a deaf ear to my request. As it is said in court – status quo, so there is status quo,” Yagnik, who recently received threat calls and letters, said when queried on whether government has taken any action on her demand. Yagnik said she has been receiving threat calls and letters for a long time and repeatedly requested the state government to upgrade her security to “Z” level from the present “Y” level.

Yagnik also commented on the issue of some convicts approaching High Court judges when their appeals were pending. “When they (convicts of Naroda Patiya riot case) can approach the High Court judges, you people may imagine under what pressure, a trial court judge would have delivered the judgment,” she said.…

http://daily.bhaskar.com/news/NAT-TOP-riots-case-judge-in-gujarat-fears-for-her-security-5061514-NOR.html

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Teesta Setalvad accuses Modi govt of ‘vendetta’ to silence her (Jul 24, 2015, Hindustan Times)

Activist Teesta Setalvad, a long-time critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Gujarat riots 13 years ago, says an investigation into allegations she received illegal funding is a “vendetta” designed to silence her.

Setalvad told AFP she was being targeted by the government because of her fierce criticism of Modi following deadly violence in Gujarat in 2002 when he was the chief minister.

“It’s nothing short of a vendetta because even if it were to be seen as an offence, it’s an economic offence if at all, and it should be examined by the courts,” she said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/teesta-setalvad-accuses-modi-govt-of-vendetta-to-silence-her/article1-1372637.aspx

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1500 ‘encounter’ deaths under glare (Jul 14, 2015, The Telegraph)

The Supreme Court today said it might order the CBI to probe as many as 1,500 extra-judicial killings carried out under a controversial law that gives security personnel sweeping powers, or refer them to trial courts under whose jurisdiction the alleged fake encounters took place.

All the alleged encounters took place in insurgency-affected Manipur, one of the states where the Armed Forces Special Powers Act is in force.

A three-member panel the top court had appointed had earlier submitted a preliminary report that said at least six of the cases it had taken up as a sample survey clearly indicated they were all staged.…

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1150714/jsp/nation/story_31454.jsp

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Will perpetrators of Babri masjid demolition be hanged too, asks Owaisi (Jul 24, 2015, The Hindu)

Triggering controversy over capital punishment to Yakub Memon in Mumbai blasts case, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday sought to know whether the perpetrators of demolition of disputed structure in Ayodhya, communal riots of Mumbai and Gujarat and other such sensational cases would get a similar punishment.

“Why have not perpetrators of demolition of Babri Masjid been convicted and will they also be given capital punishment as that is the original sin?” the Hyderabad MP said while addressing a gathering here. Alleging that the recommendations of Sri Krishna Commission have been put in cold storage both by the BJP-Shiv Sena and Congress-NCP governments in Maharashtra, he wondered how many have been convicted in the Mumbai riots of December, 1992 and January, 1993. …

He claimed that the Narendra Modi government did not allow SIT investigating the case of Maya Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi, convicted for life in a Gujarat riots case, to appeal and enhance it to death sentence. “Maya Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi convicted to life for killing 97 Muslims were given conviction for life and Narender Modi’s government did not allow SIT investigating the case to appeal and enhance it to death. SIT dropped its plans for both Kodnani and Bajrangi,” he alleged.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/will-perpetrators-of-babri-masjid-demolition-be-hanged-too-asks-owaisi/article7460484.ece

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India Sees a Sharp Rise in Communal Violence in the First Five Months of 2015 (Jul 21, 2015, Time)

Incidents of communal violence in India rose by nearly a quarter in the first five months of this year compared to the same period in 2014, the Economic Times reports. The newspaper, citing data from India’s Home Ministry, also reported a rise in deaths from communal violence, which rose from 26 between January and May 2014 to 43 over the same period this year.

Outbreaks of communal violence, meanwhile, rose from 232 during the first five months of 2014, when a Congress Party-led coalition government was in power in New Delhi, to 287 over the same period this year. The Congress Party–led administration was displaced in last year’s national elections in May by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party led by the country’s current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

Overall, 2014 saw a decline in communal violence, with the number of incidents dropping to 644 from 823 the previous year. The number of related deaths also fell, declining to 95 in 2014 from 133 in 2013.…

http://time.com/3965515/india-communal-violence-rise/

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Video shows Rajasthan BJP MLA Shimla Bawri saying she gave money to journalists (Jul 22, 2015, Indian Express)

A BJP MLA from Rajasthan has reportedly claimed that she sent ‘envelopes’ containing cash to all journalists in her constituency before the 2013 Assembly polls. Anupgarh MLA Shimla Bawri reportedly made the revelation at a recent event organised by local journalists to honour her for facilitating allotment of plots of land for journalists in the district.

The video of her speech, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, shows the MLA saying she had sent “envelopes” containing cash to all journalists in the constituency. Three of the journalists returned the envelopes saying they would take the money from her after she won, she added.

The MLA went on to lament the “fall” in standards of journalism. When contacted, Bawri rubbished the allegations and said the video had been “edited” and doctored. She said she would raise the issue in the Assembly.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/video-shows-rajasthan-bjp-mla-saying-she-gave-money-to-journalists/

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SC upholds ban on hijab and long sleeves in pre-medical test (Jul 25, 2015, Times of India)

The Supreme Court on Friday firmly declined to entertain the trend of flaunting religious beliefs to seek immunity from dress code, asking three Muslim girls and little-known Students Islamic Organization of India to follow the code prescribed by CBSE for the All India Pre-Medical Test.

Buoyed by the Kerala high court’s recent order allowing two Muslim girls to wear head scarf during examination, SIOI and the students requested the SC to grant similar relaxation to all Muslim girls during AIPMT by permitting them to wear full-sleeved dress with head scarf.

Appearing for them, senior advocate Sanjay Hegde said, “It is a matter of religious belief. Muslim women and girls are required by religion to be attired in full-sleeve clothing and scarf whenever they appear in public. If the relaxation in dress code is not granted, these Muslim girls may have to drop out of the examination.”…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/48209334.cms

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UP beautification plan near Babri site irks Muslims (Jul 25, 2015, Times of India)

The Akhilesh government has chalked out an elaborate plan to improve amenities and beautify the areas around the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya. However, even before the government can implement its plan, Muslims, particularly the litigants in the title suit, have opposed the proposal saying any maintenance activity at and around the disputed site would violate Supreme Court’s order for maintaining status quo and also hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims.…

Opposing the proposal, Khaliq Ahmad Khan, nominee of Maulana Fazlur Rahman, one of the main litigants from the Muslim side in the Supreme Court, told TOI: “It is not a picnic spot. It is a disputed land and the title suit is sub-judice before the Supreme Court. There was a mosque before December 6,1992, which was pulled down unlawfully by a gathering of communal mob, so beautifying it will hurt the sentiments of Muslims worldwide. The government should only ensure the security of the site and not try to turn it into a tourist attraction.”

Senior lawyer and vice chairman of Babri Masjid Action Committee, Mushtaq Ahmad Siddiqi, said, “The Supreme Court in its order of March 30, 2003, has made it very clear that status quo would be maintained both on the disputed site and acquired land. So, why is the government so keen on beautifying such a disputed place?”…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/48209355.cms

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Asaram rape case: UP recommends CBI probe into witness murder (Jul 25, 2015, Indian Express)

Uttar Pradesh government on Friday recommended a CBI probe into the murder of Akhil Kumar Gupta, a key witness in a rape case against self-proclaimed godman Asaram Bapu. Gupta (38), who worked as a cook and personal aide of Asaram, was shot dead in Muzaffarnagar on January 11. “A CBI probe has been recommended to facilitate investigation into the murder of witness Akhil Gupta,” said Debashis Panda, principal secretary (Home) in Lucknow.

Muzaffarnagar resident Gupta was questioned by Gujarat Police in 2013 in connection with the alleged rape of two sisters in Surat, and had given a statement against Asaram. Both Asaram and his son have been booked in the case.

Gupta was the second witness to be killed after Amrut Prajapati who was shot dead in June 2014. Another witness Kripal Singh was killed earlier this month. Gupta’s wife Varsha, also a witness in the case, had written to the state government requesting for CBI probe.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/asaram-witness-murder-case-up-govt-recommends-cbi-probe-in-akhil-guptas-death/

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Dalit-upper caste brawl in Gujarat town off Ahmedabad: Police refuse protection to victims, says letter to CM (Jul 22, 2015, Counterview)

In a gruesome incident in a town situated situated just about 60 kilometres from one of India’s topmost business hubs, Ahmedabad, Dalits were badly beaten up, with authorities remaining “indifferent”. In a letter to Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel, one of the members of the family which claimed to have become “victim” of the brawl caused by objections to occupying a public space for private function has complained that, despite strong plea, the Dalits were “refused” police protection.…

“The way to our house was totally blocked. There was no space for us to go out”, Chauhan said, adding, “When our family members requested them to remove the vehicles, first the upper castemen started abusing us, and when we objected to using such language, they badly beat three our family members, including my mother, Champaben.”

Suggesting that those who beat them up had strong political connections, as one of them was a local councillor of Viramgam municipality, Chauhan said, “They were around 200 to 250 persons, while we just just a handful. We phoned up the police from the spot, when they were beating us up, but nobody came to our rescue.”…

http://www.counterview.net/2015/07/dalit-upper-caste-brawl-in-gujarat-town.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Hindutva In Hurry – By Shamsul Islam (Jul 25, 2015, Countercurrents)

Political arm of the RSS, BJP could secure only 31% of the total votes polled in the 2014 parliamentary elections (if this percentage is analyzed in context of the total voters in the country this percentage would further drop down to less than 17 percent). This clearly showed that 69% of the Indians; 80% of whom were Hindus did not vote for BJP. However, overlooking this reality the masters of BJP; the RSS top brass boasted that BJP’s victory put “an end to 800 years of slavery” and by 2020 “entire country will be Hindu”. The VHP patron Ashok Singhal went to the extent of declaring that by “2030 the entire world will be Hindu”.

With this frame of mind RSS is getting more myopic and accelerated its game of turning a democratic-secular India into a Hindu theocratic polity. In fact, such over-bearing attitude may be the outcome of feeling of insecurity of the Hindutva leadership which knows that the Hindus of this country do not subscribe to their kind of theocratic politics and in the next elections they may be shown the door by the India electorate. After getting political power they seem to be in hurry and resorting to all kinds of tricks to capture national institutions specially belonging to the realms of art, culture and academia. This clique knows that time is running out fast and they need to bulldoze.

After appointing a twelfth class pass as HRD minister, the eminent national institutions have been brought under the clutches of RSS cadres. The Indian Council of Historical Research witnessed the appointment of Y Sudershan Rao, an old RSS cadre, a votary of ‘sanatan’ Hindu religion, as its chairperson. The National Book Trustwas given under the charge of Baldev Sharma, former editor of RSS Hindi mouthpiece Panchajanya. Lokesh Chandra was crowned as head of The Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Chandra while talking of Narendra Modi says: “Woh bhagwan ke avatar hain (He is reincarnation of God)”. He goes to the extent of claiming that Modi “from a practical point of view supersedes the Mahatma”. The list is endless but all have not succumbed to the Hindutva juggernaut.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/islam250715.htm

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Modi, Terrorism and Indian Muslims – By Irfan Engineer (Jul 21, 2015, Muslim Mirror)

In an interview to CNN’s Freed Zakaria ahead of his US visit, Prime Minister Modi said that Indian Muslims would live and die for India and would not want to do anything bad for India. (Express News Service, 2014).…

However, in the year 2001, Narendrea Modi had claimed, “All Muslims are not terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims” (Varadarajan, 2002). Later the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi used this statement extensively in his subsequent election campaigns. Following the 2002 massacre of Muslims and sexual assaults on Muslim women in many districts of Gujarat, there was anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic frenzy being whipped up by Gujarati Media. Modi did nothing to assuage this frenzy.…

The massacre of Muslims in Gujarat was followed a gaurav yatra undertaken by Modi invoking “Gujarati pride”, which he claimed was hurt by the secularists who stigmatized all Gujaratis for the 2002 carnage. He would typically ask the people he was addressing – “Are you all murderers?” The next State Assembly elections after the riots were fought against not the opposition Congress Party, but “the Mian Musharraf” mentality of Muslims.… While Modi was the Chief Minister of the state, Gujarat Police gunned down several Muslims alleging them to be terrorists belonging to outfits across the border.… Prime Minister Modi is not offering any explanation as to which of his numerous assessments of Indian Muslims really represents his honest opinion? Or have his opinions changed? What new information he received which led to the change?…

http://muslimmirror.com/eng/modi-terrorism-and-indian-muslims/

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The missing conservative intellectuals – By G. Sampath (Jul 25, 2015, The Hindu)

The appointment of actor Gajendra Chauhan – described by some sections of the media as a “C-lister” – to the chairmanship of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) has once again raised questions about the scarcity of credible, right-wing intellectuals.

It is no secret that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has been struggling to find intellectuals to head various academic and cultural institutions. According to media reports, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had even set up an informal committee to come up with saffron-friendly candidates for some 680 positions. But it could come up with only 160 names. Even these 160 people, one presumes, included the likes of Mr. Chauhan…

None of these names has inspired much confidence in the constituencies these bodies serve. Many have charged the NDA with not just saffronising but also degrading the country’s premier institutions by appointing underqualified candidates to the post.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/the-missing-conservative-intellectuals/article7461274.ece

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Justice or vengeance? – By Lubhyathi Rangarajan (Jul 24, 2015, The Hindu)

There is a worrying certainty around the hanging of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, convicted for planning and executing the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. The Maharashtra government seems determined to execute him on July 30 despite several omissions on its part and constitutional options still remaining open for Memon. These concerns have gone unaddressed, given the obsession with both the manner in which Memon is likely to be executed and his demeanour on hearing his fate.…

In Memon’s case, the death warrant that was issued on April 30, 2015 scheduling his execution for July 30, 2015 was unnecessary and invalid in law. The Maharashtra government should have known that Memon still had the option of filing a curative petition. Before proceeding to execute an individual, it is the government’s obligation to ensure that all legal options have been explored. Moving for an execution in a clandestine manner, hoping that the prisoner would not exercise his constitutional options, reeks of vengeance. The fact that the Maharashtra government thought it fit not to give notice of the death warrant proceedings to Memon or his lawyers casts a serious shadow over the manner in which the government sought to proceed on the matter.…

Constitutional safeguards allow prisoners on death row, regardless of the offence they may have committed, to exhaust all legal remedies and to be spared hurried, arbitrary and secret executions. Yakub Memon cannot be denied the opportunity to exercise his legal options, and it would be a dangerous precedent to preclude him from doing so. The taking of life by the state must be subject to the highest levels of constitutional scrutiny. To deny someone fundamental rights on the basis of public demands for revenge would cast serious questions over our claim of being a modern constitutional democracy.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/yakub-memons-death-warrant-suffers-from-serious-constitutional-flaws/article7457166.ece

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Silencing Teesta Setalvad – By Julio Ribeiro (Jul 24, 2015, Indian Express)

The “caged parrot” that sings to its master’s tune is at it again. Twelve “parrots” searched Teesta Setalvad’s home and office in Mumbai for proof that she had used foreign donations to her NGO for private purposes. I would think that the CBI has weightier matters to deal with but Setalvad has offended those in power with her single-minded devotion to the cause of justice for Gujarat’s Muslims. If not for this intrepid woman, the injustices of Delhi 1984 would have been repeated in Gujarat.

Setalvad has fought the case almost single-handedly. I, for one, would not have had the patience and perseverance to fight for so many years through the maze of our judicial system. She kept vigil over grovelling police investigators, partisan prosecutors and timid adjudicators to finally force the system to convict a few of the murderers, including a minister in the state’s cabinet and a notorious thug of the extreme right. This required guts and determination that only she could muster.

The allegation that Setalvad has diverted funds supplied by the Ford Foundation for personal use has been summarily discarded by all who know her and her husband, Javed Anand. Both live simply and frugally, have no social life outside their one overarching interest of “communal harmony”, and have no taste at all for the good life. Setalvad hails from an old, respected Gujarati family settled in Mumbai for more than a century. Her family has a long tradition in the legal profession. Teesta was born with the proverbial silver spoon and could have lived a life of leisure, but instead chose to stand up and fight for causes. It is inconceivable that she could have misused any money she had sourced from foreign donors to sustain the work of her NGO. If the government wants to ferret out acts of non-compliance with the laws of the land it will be able to silence any citizen.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/silencing-teestathe-courts-must-step-in-when-governments-persecute-individuals-like-setalvad/

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Rot Runs Deeper In MP – By Ankush Vats (Aug 1, 2015, Tehelka)

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team is in Bhopal to probe the Vyapam scam, following the Supreme Court directive. The central investigative agency will look into the alleged rigging in Pre-Medical Test (pmt) and corrupt practices involved in offering government jobs across Madhya Pradesh. However, the improprieties are not limited to Vyapam examinations alone. Some of the accused involved in the Vyapam scam have also had a role to play in corruption at various levels in other government institutes as well.

It seems that an unholy nexus reigns supreme in the state that looks after all the recruitments and postings in colleges, bypassing all the eligibility norms. Sources tell Tehelka that the education mafia includes state government officials, local goons and governor’s office staff.

Few professors working with reputed engineering colleges tell Tehelka that most of the recruitments in government colleges at Madhya Pradesh (both central as well as state government) have been challenged in various courts. They (education mafia) recruit their own people, in return for a hefty sum (bribe). This is the case with most of the government colleges in the state.…

http://www.tehelka.com/2015/07/rot-runs-deeper-in-mp/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 8th, 2015

by newsdigest on June 9, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Naroda Gam post-Godhra riots case: Court seeks SIT officer’s reply on missing CD (Jun 2, 2015, Economic Times)

A court hearing the Naroda Gam post-Godhra riots case today queried the investigating officer of the SIT on a “missing” CD containing call records of important state functionaries in connection with the riots.

The special trial court judge PB Desai today directed investigating officer Himanshu Shukla to give details whether the original CD, that has gone missing as per the claim of the accused, was in the possession of PP Pandey, Joint Commissioner of Police in 2002, or it was with former IPS officer Rahul Sharma.

The court has fixed the next hearing for June 8. Shukla, who is presently the Superintendent of Police in Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the state, was present before the special court today after summons were issued against him last month in connection with a plea filed by 65 accused persons to prosecute Sharma for allegedly misplacing the CD containing important call details related to the riots.…

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47515495.cms

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Ishrat Jahan Fake Encounter: Centre Denies Permission To Prosecute IB Officials (Jun 8, 2015, Tehelka)

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has turned down request from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to prosecute four Intelligence Bureau officials, including its former Special Director Rajender Kumar, in connection with the fake encounter operation that killed college student Ishrat Jahan, 19, and three others.

The ministry is learned to have denied the CBI, the agency investigating the fake encounter operation carried out in 2004 by Gujarat Police, claiming the four killed, including Ishrat Jahan, were “terrorists” planning to kill the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.

The CBI and a Special Investigation Team (SIT) that probed the case claimed that the Gujarat police staged the encounter and the killings were carried out in cold blood. The CBI had accused Rajinder Kumar, who was in charge of the IB operations in Gujarat at that time, of murder and criminal conspiracy and also booked him under Arms Act.

http://www.tehelka.com/ishrat-jahan-fake-encounter-centre-denies-permission-to-prosecute-ib-officials/

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Muslim leaders oppose Yoga, say Suryanamaskar against the basic teaching of Islam (Jun 4, 2015, IBN)

Some Muslim outfits have expressed reservations over reports that the government may ask schools to mark International Yoga Day. They claim that yoga requires bowing which is a practice reserved during Namaz. They also say that yoga sessions should not be made compulsory.

The government has been planning countrywide yoga sessions to mark the International Day of Yoga on June 21. The government has maintained that yoga is a physical activity and should not be linked to religion.

“We object if yoga is made compulsory, suryanamaskar is against the basic teaching of Islam. We are not against any form of exercise but why aren’t they making martial arts or any other form of physical activity compulsory,” asks All India Majlis-e-Itehadul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi.…

http://www.ibnlive.com/news/politics/muslim-leaders-oppose-yoga-say-suryanamaskar-against-the-basic-teaching-of-islam-1001437.html

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Aam Aadmi Party report blames ML Khattar’s rally for Ballabhgarh riot (Jun 5, 2015, Indian Express)

Aam Aadmi Party on Thursday released the report of its fact finding committee on the violence at Atali village in Ballabhgarh lask week and blamed BJP for vitiating peace in the area. The report said the villagers had “never seen trouble before” and that the tension spread a week after Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar held a rally at neighbouring Mona village.

The fact finding team, headed by MLA Naresh Balyan who has been given charge of Haryana, said, “After a court order, the (Muslim) community took permission from the panchayat and began building their religious place. There was no tension and one floor was even built. But, Chief Minister and RSS leader Manohar Lal Khattar held a sabha at Mona village on May 18 after which there was a widespread tension in the area.”

The report accused the police of not acting in time and claimed those who burnt down the houses of the Muslims were still “roaming freely”.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/aap-report-blames-khattars-rally-for-ballabhgarh-riot/

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US Congressman rakes up issue of ‘violence against minorities’ in India (Jun 3, 2015, DNA India)

An American lawmaker and a panel of four experts on Wednesday decried alleged ‘violence’ against religious minorities in India and appealed to the US administration to include human rights violations as an issue for discussion in its talks with the new Indian government.

At a Congressional hearing organised jointly by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and American Sikh Congressional Caucus, literature containing testimonies of experts and details of speeches distributed to members spoke of violence against religious minorities, with a map of India which showed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as part of Pakistan.

Opening the hearing, Congressman Patrick Meehan, Co-Chair of the American Sikh Congressional Caucus, alleged that “violence” against religious minorities has increased in India in recent months, calling it an issue of serious concern.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-us-congressman-rakes-up-issue-of-violence-against-minorities-in-india-2092100

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Former police officer alleges ‘connivance’ in Hashimpura case (Jun 6, 2015, Business Standard)

A former police officer, who was initially involved in probe into the 1987 Hashimpura massacre of Uttar Pradesh, today said it was the “biggest ever incident of custodial killings” and alleged “connivance” between the then Congress governments at the Centre and in the state to deny justice to the victims.

“It would be a big mistake for the Indian state to forget incidents like Hashimpura and other such incidents in which the custodians of law are directly involved in acts of heinous crime,” said Vibhuti Narayan Rai, former IPS officer, while delivering a lecture at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

At the time of the incident, Rai was SSP of Ghaziabad where the case was registered as bodies were found there. “When Hashimpura incident took place, Congress was in power, both in Centre and the state, but both the governments appeared to have connived in ensuring that the justice was not done to the victims,” he said.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/former-police-officer-alleges-connivance-in-hashimpura-case-115060600574_1.html

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BJP MLA gets 10-year jail term (Jun 4, 2015, Statesman)

Fourteen people, including an MLA and two former MPs, were on Thursday sentenced to 10 years in jail by a fast track court in a case related to an attack on Sitamarhi collectorate and subsequent police firing in which five persons were killed in 1998. Another convict was sentenced to five years in prison.

Those awarded 10-year imprisonment include BJP MLA from Parihar Assembly constituency Ram Naresh Yadav, former JD(U) MP from Sitamarhi Nawal Kishore Rai, former Sheohar MP and RJD leader Anwarul Haq, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) district president Ram Lashan Singh Kushwaha and general secretary Mohan Kumar Singh.

Fast Track Court-I judge Mohammad Irshad Ali had convicted 15 persons on Tuesday under IPC sections 307 (attempt to murder), 322 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 147 (punishment for rioting) and 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon).…

http://www.thestatesman.com/news/latest-headlines/bjp-mla-gets-10-year-jail-term/67294.html

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Cop Suspended for ‘Colluding With Accused’ (May 27, 2015, New Indian Express)

An inspector attached to Chikkajala traffic police station was suspended on Tuesday on charges of obstruction of justice.

The inspector, Jagadish, allegedly colluded with the accused in an accident case. On May 20, Bhavesh, an engineering student and son of textile merchant Dinesh, lost control of his car and rammed it into a two-wheeler. While pillion rider Ramachandra was killed, rider Manoj sustained severe injuries. Bhavesh fled the spot but police seized his car.…

However, when senior police officers heard of this, they interrogated Teja. He is said to have confessed that he was asked to surrender in lieu of some cash. Teja also said Dinesh had promised to get him out on bail soon. A senior officer told Express that an inquiry had ascertained that Jagadish had colluded with Dinesh. A case has been registered against the inspector and a detailed report will soon be prepared in this regard.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/Cop-Suspended-for-Colluding-With-Accused/2015/05/27/article2835176.ece

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In 2012 Gujarat government “asked” Essar to pay for advertisement praising Modi (Jun 3, 2015, Counterview)

In a major revelation, “The Caravan”, a journal devoted to politics and culture, has said that Narendra Modi as chief minister of Gujarat had asked in 2012 the top business house Essar to pay for an advertisement-cum-writeup to a Noida-based weekly on Gujarat’s development under him. It is quite another thing that the business house politely turned down Modi’s plea.

Based on internal emails of Essar, which is a major Indian player in infrastructure and and energy, the journal reveals that the advertisement was to be accompanied by a special supplement. It was meant for “Sunday Guardian”, founded by journalist-turned-politician MJ Akbar, currently one of the BJP spokespersons.…

The letter, reportedly signed by the principal secretary in the information and broadcasting department, stated, “Here we see an opportunity for our industries, government, corporate, private sector and business houses to be part of this special supplement in promoting our achievements and conveying the message of Gujarat to the readers of this newspaper.”… However, Essar “politely declined” to release an advertisement.

http://www.counterview.net/2015/06/in-2012-gujarat-govt-asked-essar-to-pay.html

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13 Dalit families denied food and water after FIR against upper caste youth (Jun 8, 2015, Mumbai Mirror)

Thirteen Dalit families in Ansurda village near Osmanabad, 450 km from Mumbai, have been ostracised by the villagers, majority of whom are from the Maratha community, after a flare up during Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s birth anniversary celebrations in April.

For more than a month now, these Dalit families in the village of 1,500 people are not allowed to fetch water from the community well, the grocers refuse to sell them even the day-to-day items, and they are being forced to travel to Osmanabad 20 km away to purchase the daily milk and vegetables.

While approaching the village, this correspondent spotted a police van and a couple of constables, stationed near the village temple. While the upper caste population is reluctant to discuss the matter, there is obvious tension as outsiders are looked at suspiciously.…

http://www.mumbaimirror.com/articleshow/47580223.cms

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Opinions and Editorials

Which way Prime Minister? – Editorial (Jun 12, 2015, Frontline)

On May 26 a year ago Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister after winning a mandate that looked massive in terms of seats won. Those were the heady days of “Har Har Modi”, the perfect culmination of an orchestrated pro-Modi frenzy in the run-up to the general election. To Modi supporters, that was the “end of history” moment and the wait for the Golden Age (achhe din) began.…

To a section of voters completely disillusioned with the Congress, Modi’s rise to power was a sign of hope. The country would finally be free of corruption, theorised as the only stumbling block to development, and the “Gujarat model” would be replicated at the all-India level. To those living in Shining India, smart cities and bullet trains were the escalators to their global dreams and destinations. The common man’s expectations, modest as always, were quality education, sources of livelihood that are permanent, sustainable and secure, and affordable health care.…

The silence of the Prime Minister on the right-wing fringe’s majoritarian frenzy would have come as a surprise only to unsuspecting sections of people remaining uninitiated in politics, and not to political observers who know that the centre and the periphery of the Sangh Parivar are bound by a world view that is majoritarian, obscurantist, inegalitarian, socially non-inclusive, patriarchic and illiberal.…

http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/which-way-prime-minister/article7243836.ece

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Reluctant inclusionist – By Bhaskar Chakravorti (Jun 9, 2015, Indian Express)

Narendra Modi has a fondness for the word “inclusive”. Rarely has there been a landmark occasion in the prime minister’s first year that the magic word has not made an appearance. Ironically, prior to his election, this was not a man most associated with inclusiveness. Much of the concern that swirled around him had to do with his exclusionary record – ranging from the status of minorities in Gujarat to his autocratic governance style.…

Three, social inclusion. On social issues, Modi has acquiesced and looked the other way while the Hindutva forces have been on the ascendant. The marginalisation of religious minorities, especially Muslims, has only increased in the past year. Other than occasional tweets with a mild scold or a message or two to the Sangh Parivar that hate speech against minorities will not be tolerated, Modi has done little to discourage or take action against this growing trend. Moreover, a number of initiatives – from bans on cow slaughter to the introduction of the Bhagavad Gita in school curricula – add up to a disturbing pattern of an increasingly intolerant and non-inclusive society.…

In his anniversary speech in Mathura, the PM spoke of the poor as “my warriors”, with heavy overtones of inclusion. But, thus far, in practical terms, he has proven to be a reluctant inclusionist. Of course, one might argue that no Indian politician can afford to retreat from the poor and the disadvantaged in his rhetoric. However, they have also learnt that reality cannot lag behind the rhetoric for too long. In coming years, Modi will have to make a choice: declare himself, as many suspect, a trickle-down Reaganite or put his money and policy where his inclusive words have been.

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/reluctant-inclusionist/

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Slogan as solution – By V. Sridhar (Jun 12, 2015, Frontline)

Achche din aane wale hain, the jingle that conjured a thousand dreams as the Narendra Modi-led government strode into office in May 2014, sounds awfully discordant a year later. Jokes abound in social media, the very platform that a year ago appeared to have been captured by Modi in the run-up to the elections in which he was the star campaigner for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Since then, the defining feature of his administration has been the centralisation of all authority in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). However, the excessive centralisation of authority in the hands of one person (or, a triumvirate, as some political observers say) also brings into sharp focus persons popularly seen as being responsible for things having gone awry. The state of the economy, a year later, is one such case.

A defining feature of the Modi regime’s approach to the country’s vexatious economic problems has been the tendency to resort to sloganeering or the mouthing of banal platitudes. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s recent utterance that the government is committed to improving the “ease of doing business”, or Modi’s cliche of “less government, more governance”, or his exhortation from platforms around the world (including recently, from Seoul) to “make in India”, barely address the crucial problems facing both agriculture and industry.…

http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/slogan-as-solution/article7243900.ece

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The Genesis Of The Atali Madness – By Anurag Tripathi (Jun 13, 2015, Tehelka)

…The incidents of violence have also made Atali, the first village in Haryana near to western Uttar Pradesh, to have witnessed such communal tension. The village appears to be turning into one more hotbed of extremism and polarisation just like the western UP towns of Muzzafarnagar, Meerut, Aligarh, Shamli, Mathura and Agra. Unfortunately, the village seems to have become another victim of the ‘politics of hate’, practiced by political parties so frequently these days.

Tehelka, in its in-depth investigation, chanced upon many startling facts establishing that whatever happened on 25 May in Atali was pre-planned. Tensions between the two communities were at their peak during the week preceding the violence: Manohar Lal Khattar, the Haryana chief minister and a hardcore Rashtriya Sawayamsewak Sangh (RSS) supporter, had visited the village to inaugurate an electricity supply station. Stray incidents of violence occurred right after the chief minister’s visit. Though village elders informally reported these incidents to the nearest police station, all the complaints were ignored.…

Another factor to be taken into account, right from the build up of the tension, to the day of the riot and after, is the movement of the RSS and its pracharaks in the village, once the Faridabad court gave its decision on the construction of the mosque. In the last one and- a-half months, many RSS pracharaks have visited Atali. According to sources, a secret meeting of the RSS functionaries with more than 100 members of the Jat community of the village was held on the intervening night of 20-21 May. “We were told that the RSS is planning to open its ‘shakha’ in Atali and for that purpose, it has been influencing the people of the village,” says a local intelligence officer.…

http://www.tehelka.com/the-genesis-of-the-atali-madness/

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Saffronizing Ambedkar to serve Hindutva Ideology – By Dr. Habib Siddiqui (Jun 7, 2015, Asian Tribune)

If Hitler were alive, would you be amused if he had laid a floral wreath at the Auschwitz? Well, facts are sometimes stranger than fiction.

And that is why don’t be surprised to learn that on April 14 of this year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who heads the BJP party – a Hindutvadi fascist party, laid the foundation stone of Dr. Ambedkar International Center in New Delhi. Vinay Katiyar, the former head of Bajrang Dal and who now heads BJP in UP, has been declaring that Ambedkar was a great supporter of Hindutva and Hindu Rashtra.

In recent months, Hindutvadi forces inside India seem to be hijacking Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s image claiming him to be one of theirs. Such claims are amusing to some but confusing many people. After all, Dr Ambedkar – a rights leader – was well-known for his relentless fight against the Hindu caste system inside India. He was at loggerheads with the Hindu fundamentalists, esp. the Hindu Mahasabha – the forerunner of the RSS and the BJP – led then by V.D. Savarkar. Ambedkar exposed Hindutvadi ideologue Savarkar’s authoritarian intent…

http://www.asiantribune.com/node/87104

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An inappropriate appointment – By Sriram Panchu (Jun 5, 2015, The Hindu)

…Justice P. Sathasivam held the office of the CJI from July 2013 to April 2014. Shortly thereafter, the government offered him the position of Governor of Kerala. He accepted, setting off a chorus of criticism. One former CJI, when asked for his reaction, enigmatically and crisply commented that “standards differ”. Lawyers and retired judges pointed out that the office of the CJI was being devalued. Its holder was part of a constitutional triumvirate of power along with the President and the Prime Minister, they argued, and therefore accepting Governorship meant going to an office not only several rungs lower, but more crucially one which was given entirely as patronage and largesse by the executive.

It was also feared that once a precedent was set, and by no less than a CJI, it would not be long before judges on the verge of retirement would have the vision of a comfortable gubernatorial position hazing their eyes while deciding sensitive cases against the government.…

The position of the head of the NHRC is a crucial one for protecting human and democratic rights. These rights and the Commission are primordial for all citizens, especially for those who fall foul of the powerful in government. The appointment to this office must not be tainted in any way. Justice Sathasivam committed one mistake in accepting governorship and lowering the office of the CJI. One hopes that another such mistake will not be committed.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/comment-on-justice-sathasivam-running-for-nhrc-office/article7282984.ece

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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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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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