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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

by newsdigest on October 28, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Muslim man arranges cremation of Hindu ‘sister’ (Oct 26, 2014, Indian Express)

In a heartwarming display of communal harmony, a Muslim man in a village near here made the arrangements for the cremation of a Hindu widow, whom he treated as his sister and had been supporting for a long time. The unique story is from Moondha Pandey village, about 10 km from Rampur.

After the death of her husband, Yashodha Devi had been living in a hut with her mother and son in an extremely pitiable condition in Maualagarh in Moondha Pandey, according to reports in the village. Moved by her ordeal, Aslam Beg of the same village made Yashodra her ‘rakhi sister’ and urged her to treat him as her elder brother. Thereafter, Aslam arranged a house for Yashodha’s family and even provided her with financial assistance. For 15 years, the two shared the relationship and participated in each other’s festivities, they said.

However, on Saturday, while Aslam was about to go to Yashodha’s house for ‘Bhai Dooj’, she passed away due to illness. Yashodha’s relatives had planned to cremate her at Maulagarh itself, but Aslam insisted on taking the body to Garhmukteshwar. Bearing all expenses, Aslam took Yashodha’s body and her relatives to the banks of Ganga in Garhmukteshwar and got her last rites performed there.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/muslim-man-arranges-cremation-of-hindu-sister/

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Sangam Vihar residents prevent clash, show communal harmony (Oct 27, 2014, DNA India)

Even as communal tension remains high on the fourth consecutive day in East Delhi’s Trilokpuri, many samaritans in South Delhi’s Sangam Vihar have been showing strength of communal harmony. A day before Diwali, when local goons attacked the RWA chairperson Ravi Kumar along with other residents of L-1st A area of Sangam Vihar, the fight could have resulted into the breakout of a fierce clash. But residents, like Iqbal and his brother Chiddu who saved Ravi’s life, stood in solidarity to counter the attempts of flaring up tension in the area.

On October 22, the street was lit and decorated for Diwali. People were busy shopping from the makeshift vendors when a speeding car drove in the locality. Anticipating that the rushing car might injure someone, Iqbal and his brother Chiddu stopped the car. “Ravi told them not to drive rashly as it could lead to accident. I slapped one of them as they misbehaved with him and asked them to leave,” Chiddu recalls. The accused, a group of bootleggers, came back with a dozen people welding meat cleavers, knives, choppers and baseball bats.

“They would have slashed my throat had Iqbal not come to my defence. I took a stone when I saw them attacking Iqbal and Chiddu. They attacked everyone who was present. I have never seen anything like this before except in the Bollywood movies. I am totally aghast,” Ravi confesses. Iqbal and Chiddu received injuries during the scuffle while they were trying to save Ravi and others. Chiddu received minor injuries on belly, shoulder and leg.

Meanwhile, residents have been together facing the repercussions. “The group of bootleggers threatened the locals of dire consequences if the police was informed,” Om Vir Singh, another local points out. “The local police, however, swung into action and cooperated with us,” he adds. However, this is not the first time that the goons have wreaked havoc in the area. According to the locals, the group of bootleggers, who live nearby, have been at the helm of all the criminal activities in the area. “They sell obnoxious drugs and liquor even to the minors. They harass women whenever they see them and pass lewd comments,” a female resident of the locality highlights. …

http://www.iamin.in/en/south-delhi/news/sangam-vihar-residents-prevent-clash-show-communal-harmony-44990

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Patna stampede: Muslim woman saves Hindu child (Oct 4, 2014, IBN)

CNN-IBN’s Prabhakar Kumar met the family of four-year-old girl Chahat who went missing during the stampede in Gandhi Maidan in Patna.

She was found by a Muslim lady who took chahat to her house.

The rescuer said, ‘I found her on the road. I took her to my house and gave her medicine for the fever.’

http://ibnlive.in.com/videos/503814/patna-stampede-muslim-woman-saves-hindu-child.html

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US court lets US group challenge Modi immunity (Oct 22, 2014, India Today)

A US court has asked a human rights group to respond by Nov 4 to the US government’s “suggestion of immunity” in a case against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for alleged crimes against humanity. US federal Judge Analisa Torres Tuesday issued an order asking the American Justice Center (AJC) to file its response to suggestion of immunity for Modi filed by US prosecutor Preet Bharara’s office on Sunday at the request of the State Department.

The State Department in a letter to the US justice department had conveyed the Indian government’s request to have the case against Modi “dismissed on the basis of his immunity from jurisdiction as a sitting foreign head of government.” …

However AJC legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun contended that the ‘suggestion of Immunity’ filed by Bharara’s office is not binding on the court as Modi’s alleged human rights violations before becoming Prime Minister are not immune.…

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/us-court-lets-us-group-challenge-modi-immunity/1/397089.html

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VHP hand seen in post-Modi Gujarat’s communal incidents (Oct 21, 2014, Deccan Herald)

Ahead of Id-al-Adha in the first week of October, violence rocked the communally sensitive Shahpur area. Violence erupted after Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists allegedly led cops to an illegal slaughter house resulting in clashes between two groups. Clashes arose in the Navsari area in South Gujarat after another complaint was lodged by VHP activists on cow slaughter. …

The incidents have also fuelled suspicion that the sudden eruption of violence could be political in nature. Given that the VHP has been at the centre of these skirmishes in some of the incidents, political observers point out there could be an attempt by the right wing group to regain its ground in the state which it had lost in the last one decade. Under the Modi regime, the VHP had been marginalised to a large extent with Narendra Modi distancing himself from its leaders such as Pravin Togadiya.

Observers point out a pattern in the run up to the recent spate of violence in the state. The VHP first created a din when it decided to prevent Muslim youths from participating in the Navratri festivals in the communally sensitive Godhra town. Then there were pamphlets circulated by the organisation cautioning parents of young girls about love jihad.…

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/437036/vhp-hand-seen-post-modi.html

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AAP, Congress, accuse ‘Hindutva elements’ of stoking violence (Oct 26, 2014, Indian Express)

With the communal violence in Trilokpuri, East Delhi, escalating on Saturday, leaders of the Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) accused the local BJP of sustaining the riot in an attempt to polarise votes in the Trilokpuri Assembly segment. …

On Saturday, the AAP and the Congress closed ranks to accuse the BJP, the RSS and the Bajrang Dal of inciting violence in the area. AAP MLA Raju said, “Every time the violence subsides, BJP workers round up locals with exaggerated tales. People in this area voted for the AAP in the Assembly polls last December. The BJP is attempting to consolidate the Dalit vote here the way it did in UP.”

Congress leader Harnam Singh, who contested elections in 2013, alleged that the violence was instigated by a BJP leader. “He came to Trilokpuri around 2 pm and members of Hindu groups began chants of ‘Har Har Mahadev’. This made things worse. Two hours after he came, the violence began again,” he said.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/aap-congress-accuse-hindutva-elements-of-stoking-violence/

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Godse should have targeted Nehru, says RSS mouthpiece (Oct 25, 2014, Indian Express)

Even as the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre is trying to own up Mahatma Gandhi, the Malayalam mouthpiece of the RSS has suggested that Nathuram Godse, instead of assassinating Gandhi, should have targeted Jawaharlal Nehru as he was responsible for Partition and never had any genuine attachment with the Father of the Nation.

“Nehru’s selfish politics was behind all national tragedies, including Partition and Gandhi’s assassination. After an honest evaluation of Nathuram Godse’s arguments and historical documents related to Partition, if history students feel Godse aimed the wrong target, they cannot be blamed. Nehru was solely responsible for Partition of the country,” says an article written by B Gopalakrishnan who was the BJP candidate in Chalakudy in the recent Lok Sabha election. It appeared in Kesari’s latest issue.

Gopalakrishnan, who argued in a two-part series that the RSS had nothing to do with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and it was Nehru’s idea to put the blame on the Hindu organisation, went on to say: “Nehru, whose ambition was to become a world leader, was closer to (Winston) Churchill, (Franklin D) Roosevelt and Chiang Kai-shek than he was to Gandhi.”…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/godse-should-have-targeted-nehru-says-rss-mouthpiece/99/

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Sadhvi Pragya Thakur planned RSS man Sunil Joshi’s murder 15 days in advance: NIA (Oct 22, 2014, India Today)

The 2007 murder case of former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak Sunil Joshi was planned a fortnight before by Lokesh Sharma and Rajendra Chaudhary in connivance with Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, states the supplementary chargesheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Elaborating the role of Pragya, the chargesheet says that on the day of the murder, “Pragya was present at Koti Chandi Yagya Dussehra ground at Indore.” She stayed at Indore from December 25, 2007 to January 5, 2008.

It has also been alleged by NIA in the chargesheet that she had held captive Anandraj Kataria, an associate of Joshi, in a flat in Indore for 10 days, after the murder. Kataria was charged by MP police for the murder of Joshi but NIA did not name him. A day after the murder, on Dec 30, 2007, “Pragya called Kataria to a flat and later took him to the residence of late Laxman Singh Gaur. He was held captive since Pragya apprehended that Kataria was immature and if questioned by police he may reveal the facts about the earlier criminal act carried out by late Sunil Joshi and herself, as Kataria was closely associated with Joshi and her as well,” the chargesheet filed before a court in August this year states. …

The chargesheet also states that “Pragya after the murder of Joshi had met Lokesh and Rajender at the flat where Kataria was held captive and congratulated the two for the task.” It further says, “Witnesses statements establish that at MGH hospital, Dewas (where Joshi was admitted after being shot), she (Pragya) was handed over a mobile phone of Sunil Joshi which was picked up from the crime scene by Ramcharan Patel,” one of Joshi’s associates. …

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/sadhvi-pragya-thakur-planned-rss-sunil-joshis-murder-15-days-in-advance-nia/1/397179.html

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Madrasa played critical role in integration, don’t malign them, say clerics in Bengal (Oct 23, 2014, Twocircles.net)

A mega rally was organised by Muslim clerics here in Burdwan on October 20 against maligning of religious institutions in the wake of the recent blast in the town that has brought the needles of suspicion on some madrasas. While condemning all acts of terror unequivocally, the clerics appealed to the members of the two communities to maintain communal harmony.

“Madrasas are as patriotic institutions as any others and have played critical role in national integration and promoting brotherhood,” said the Secretary of Jamiat Ulama e Hind, West Bengal Maulana Siddiqullah Chowdhury, while addressing the rally, adding that there is no place for terrorism in Islam.

Criticising a section of media who are fanning communal agenda, Maulana Chowdhury said, “A section of media is circulating propaganda against Madrasas to strengthen anti-Muslim and communal forces, which is very dangerous for the state.” …

http://twocircles.net/2014oct23/1414075020.html

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Bastar Christians attacked by right-wing activists (Oct 27, 2014, Times of India)

After the controversial gram sabha resolutions banning non-Hindu religious activity in villages in tribal Bastar, there was fresh tension in Madota village after local Christians were assaulted allegedly by right-wing activists, leaving 12 people injured late on Saturday.

Eleven of the injured are still undergoing treatment at a hospital in Jagdalpur, where they were brought in a truck. While the police recorded their statement, senior civil and police officials are tight-lipped about the clash.

Chhattisgarh Christian Forum (CCF) president Arun Pannalal told TOI that the manner in which the attack was orchestrated raises suspicion that local officials were hand in glove with attackers.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/44943987.cms

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ADR: 61% Maharashtra BJP MLAs have criminal records (Oct 23, 2014, Indian Express)

Seventy four of the 122 BJP MLAs elected to the Maharashtra Assembly in the just concluded elections have criminal cases against them. Of them, 46 have declared serious cases in their poll affidavits such as murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping and crimes against women, according to an analysis done by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).

Shiv Sena, the second largest party in the Assembly with 63 MLAs, has 48 with criminal records, and 35 of them are facing serious charges. In NCP, 19 of the 41 MLAs have criminal records with serious charges pending against 18. The Congress has the least number of MLAs with criminal records – 15 of the 42. Out of them, 10 are facing serious charges.

Of the total 165 MLAs who have declared pending criminal cases against them, 86 have said that charges have been framed. This time, the number of MLAs with criminal charges has also increased – 40 per cent MLAs across political parties have declared criminal cases against them. In 2009, the percentage was 33 per cent.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/politics/adr-61-maharashtra-bjp-mlas-have-criminal-records/

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Woman alleges abduction, forcible marriage to Bajrang Dal activist (Oct 24, 2014, Times of India)

A woman from Elyarpadavu, about 15km from here, who had married a Bajrang Dal activist, filed charges of abduction and attempt to outrage the modesty of a woman against several Dal activists. She also alleged that Jagadeesh Shenava, president, Mangalore district unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, had threatened to harm her parents if she didn’t marry the activist.

The complainant in her twenties, who married Rajesh Shetty on October 16 at the Arya Samaj here, complained to Konaje police that she was drugged and coerced into the marriage.

In the complaint, she stated that Shetty, who she knew on Facebook through her elder sister, called her and told her he wanted money. After she gave him Rs 6,000 at his shop, Laxmi Fancy on Market Road here, she alleged that Shetty had given her juice spiked with a sedative. Shetty made her get into a van driven by Praveen Kuthar and they allegedly took her to a finance firm run by Dinesh, where about 10 persons threatened her to get married to Shetty and get converted. When she refused, they threatened to harm her parents.hellip;

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/44919989.cms

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Temple priest smashes 8-year-old Dalit boy’s head for prasadam (Oct 21, 2014, Deccan Chronicle)

If you’re hungry and a Dalit, don’t go to a temple to eat free prasadam, or you might get beaten to within an inch of your life! At least that’s what eight year old Santosh discovered when he went to Rudreshwara Swami Temple on Bazaar road in the city, where prasadam was being distributed.

At the sight of the boy, the angry priest bashed the little boy’s head repeatedly against a pillar in the temple, causing him to bleed. The priest suspected that the boy was a thief.

Bhaskar Prasad, a Dalit Sangharsh Samiti (DSS) leader however says that the boy was targeted because his parents were cobblers by profession and belonged to the scheduled caste. “Why would an 8-year-old boy go to a temple on a Sunday morning if it was not for prasadam.”…

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/141021/nation-crime/article/temple-priest-smashes-8-year-old-dalit-boys-head-prasadam

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Opinions and Editorials

Modi’s Idea of India – By Pankaj Mishra (Oct 24, 2014, New York Times)

…Narendra Modi, India’s new prime minister and main ideologue of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, is stoking old Hindu rage-and-shame over what he calls more than a thousand years of slavery under Muslim and British rule. Earlier this month, while India and Pakistan were engaging in their heaviest fighting in over a decade, Mr. Modi claimed that the “enemy” was now “screaming.” …

A Harvard-trained economist called Subramanian Swamy recently demanded a public bonfire of canonical books by Indian historians – liberal and secular intellectuals who belong to what the R.S.S. chief in 2000 identified as that “class of bastards which tries to implant an alien culture in their land.” Denounced by the numerous Hindu supremacists in social media as “sickular libtards” and sepoys (the common name for Indian soldiers in British armies), these intellectuals apparently are Trojan horses of the West. They must be purged to realize Mr. Modi’s vision in which India, once known as the “golden bird,” will “rise again.” …

Mr. Modi doesn’t seem to know that India’s reputation as a “golden bird” flourished during the long centuries when it was allegedly enslaved by Muslims. A range of esteemed scholars – from Sheldon Pollock to Jonardon Ganeri – have demonstrated beyond doubt that this period before British rule witnessed some of the greatest achievements in Indian philosophy, literature, music, painting and architecture. The psychic wounds Mr. Naipaul noticed among semi-Westernized upper-caste Hindus actually date to the Indian elite’s humiliating encounter with the geopolitical and cultural dominance first of Europe and then of America. …

Such crude xenophobia, now officially sanctioned in Mr. Modi’s India, seems only slightly less menacing than the previous R.S.S. chief’s wishful thinking about one more Mahabharata against demonic anti-Hindus.… One can only hope that India’s democratic institutions are strong enough to constrain yet another wounded elite from breaking out for geopolitical and military manhood.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/25/opinion/pankaj-mishra-nirandra-modis-idea-of-india.html

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The Trilokpuri riots in Delhi – By Mukul Kesavan (Oct 27, 2014, The Telegraph)

The Hindu-Muslim violence that began on Friday in Trilokpuri in East Delhi, is trivial compared to the riots and pogroms that disfigure India’s recent history. A couple of bullet wounds, a dozen or so injuries, pitched street fights where young men and boys threw stones and bricks at each other and dispersed, seems to be the extent of the violence. While the area is still tense, prohibitory orders and riot police seem to have brought the violence under some sort of control. But Trilokpuri isn’t just any neighbourhood in Delhi. Exactly thirty years ago, almost to the week, Trilokpuri was one of the two most gruesome killing fields in the pogrom of the Sikhs organized by the Congress and its goons after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. The other murderous basti, also in East Delhi, was Kalyanpuri. …

So, what we are seeing here is local ‘Hindu’ assertion in the form of the Mata ki Chowki, following up on the election of Modi sarkar and in anticipation of possible assembly elections in Delhi, given that the suspension of the present assembly can’t extend beyond January. Three-quarters of Trilokpuri’s population is Dalit. A substantial part of this electorate voted for the winning Aam Aadmi Party candidate the last time round. Given the way the Muzaffarnagar riots led to the consolidation of the Jat vote in the BJP’s favour in the general elections, the communal polarization that invariably follows upon rioting wouldn’t harm the BJP’s chances in the Trilokpuri assembly constituency. There’s reason, therefore, for local Hindu activists to believe that their belligerence has the implicit sanction of the new powers-that-be, even if the BJP has nothing to do with the staging of the confrontation.

Newspapers have begun to report that families, mainly Muslim, have begun leaving the neighbourhoods in anticipation of further trouble. There are the customary complaints of the police singling out Muslim men as responsible for the troubles. One middle-aged Muslim woman, old enough to remember 1984, is haunted by her memories of the scale of the Indira-kaand.…

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1141027/jsp/opinion/story_18966898.jsp

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Election Results Show Need for Radical Electoral reforms – Editorial (Oct 26, 2014, Peoples Democracy)

Following the recent elections to the state assemblies, the BJP is all set to form a government on the basis of its own strength in Haryana and a government led by it in Maharashtra. These results have come after the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) were in government for a long fifteen years and a Congress government in Haryana for two successive times lasting ten years. This has been the people’s verdict in these assembly elections which was, by far, fair and free given that there were no major complaints by any of the contesting parties. Under a democracy like ours, thus, such people’s verdict is the final authority. …

Such are the anomalies of the ‘first-past-the post’ system, which we had discussed earlier in these columns in the wake of the parliamentary elections. The urgency to enforce radical changes in our electoral system, including, moving towards a proportional representation through may be, initially, a ‘partial proportional representation’ system that is practiced in several western democracies today. The results of these state assemblies have, once again, underlined the urgency to initiate such reforms in order to strengthen our system of parliamentary democracy and make it truly democratic – rule of the majority. Instead, we now have continuously at the centre and in a majority of states, a situation when parties/coalitions control the government polling less votes in their favour than the votes polled against them. Such a distortion of democracy needs urgent correction. …

The truth is that the RSS is “expanding its base” precisely by sharpening communal polarisation in the country. It is, thus, ably ensuring its political arm, the BJP, to reap electoral benefits by practicing the worst form of ‘vote bank politics’ – seeking the consolidation of the majority Hindu vote through sharpening communal polarisation. Unless resisted and resoundingly isolated, the unity and harmony of our society of rich socio-cultural-religious-linguistic diversity will be seriously threatened. The Indian people will, therefore, have to unitedly resist such an assault on the secular democratic foundations of our Republic.

http://peoplesdemocracy.in/2014/1026_pd/election-results-show-need-radical-electoral-reforms

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No Toilets, Little Education – By Priyanka Kaushal (Nov 1, 2014, Tehelka)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech impressed many, but for some, his statement that most schools in India do not have toilets served as a painful reminder of harsh realities. “I felt as if the prime minister was talking about me,” says Sunita, 13, who lives in Dhamtari district of Chhattisgarh. “No one understands what girls here have to undergo in these schools without toilets.” Sunita was referring to what girls across her state face every day, but her own story is enough to expose a critical lacuna in our schooling system. Until a year ago, Sunita studied in Class VII in a government school. The school does not have toilets for girls.

They have to go to some ruins nearby to relieve themselves. Girls avoid going there alone and usually take a friend along. Unfortunately, one day Sunita had to go there alone. When she was relieving herself, some boys turned up and grabbed her. They had probably been keeping an eye on the movement of girls. Sunita was lucky as some other girls arrived right then and raised an alarm. The boys fled and Sunita was saved. However, she never went back to school. Her parents are not ready to send their daughter to such a school. …

It’s been nearly 14 years since Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh. Now, as the state government seems to have finally woken up to the problem of lack of toilets in schools, it remains to be seen how soon its declared intentions are transformed into reality. Until then, girls like Sunita, Radha and Fauzia will continue to suffer.

http://www.tehelka.com/no-toilets-little-education/

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Love, Jihad And Political Lust: Colonising India’s Muslims – By Farzana Versey (Oct 19, 2014, Countercurrents)

Chanting hymns and spraying holy Ganga water, a group of religious leaders and students from the rightwing conducted the purification ritual of a 26-year-old woman inside a police station in Dehradun, Uttar Pradesh. Her crime was that she married a Muslim and was allegedly forced to convert to Islam. Her saviours felt that bringing her back home and into the fold was not enough; she needed to be cleansed of any traces of Muslimness to be acceptable again. This took place inside a police station with the cops around. It should tell us how political perceptions are brainwashing social attitudes in India.

We may laud the “U-turn” of an alleged victim denying she was a victim, but will such extempore anger have any effect? In Meerut a 22-year-old managed to get nine people arrested on the basis of a false charge of kidnapping, gangrape, and conversion. For many, the conversion seemed to be the real crime that made the state BJP ring alarm bells about Muslim men going around with a seduction to conversion blueprint. After two months, it turns out that she was forced to make these serious allegations. …

Fringe outfits are on national television speaking in a quasi-government tone. Its members distribute pamphlets against Muslims and nobody is arrested for it. Even if it is a political move prior to polls it reveals how society thinks or how they expect society to start thinking.

http://www.countercurrents.org/versey191014.htm

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Bihar Stares At A New Phase Of Caste Wars – By Arun Srivastava (Nov 1, 2014, Tehelka)

Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has been targeted by the media for his unsavoury remark against doctors. On 17 October, while inaugurating a six-bed hospital in Motihari, Manjhi said: “Agar garibon ke ilaaj ke saath khilwaad hua, main haath kaat dunga (If there is any negligence in the treatment of the poor, I will chop off the doctor’s hands).” His latest comment came just a few days after his outburst against doctors at the Patna Medical College and Hospital (Robin Hood mirth for poor patients in Bihar, 18 October). Though Manjhi later clarified that he was using the words only as a metaphor, the damage had been done. The doctors refused to calm down and demanded an apology from the chief minister. …

A fortnight ago, more than 300 Mahadalits had to flee Pura village in the chief minister’s home district of Gaya. The exodus was triggered by the murder of their leader Arjun Majhi by upper-caste goons. Arjun was killed in order to stop his brother, Vakil Majhi, from contesting the election for the post of the president of the Primary Agriculture Cooperative Society. The Mahadalits who fled the village took shelter at the block headquarters for three days and returned only after the district administration assured their safety. The police are yet to arrest most of the murder accused. Just imagine the audacity of the upper-caste goons, who had little fear of the law in a state ruled by a Mahadalit chief minister.

On 15 October, Sai Ram, a 15-year-old Mahadalit boy from Mohanpur village in Rohtas district, was burnt alive by an upper-caste landlord, Kunkun Singh. Three of Sai’s goats had strayed into the landlord’s fields and nibbled at the paddy crop. An enraged Kunkun rushed to Sai’s home and thrashed him as well as his mentally challenged brother. When Sai resisted, he doused him with kerosene and set him on fire. The villagers were too scared to intervene and watched the gory incident as mute spectators.

http://www.tehelka.com/bihar-stares-at-a-new-phase-of-caste-wars/

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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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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 9th, 2014

June 10, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Muslims safeguard Hindus in Hadapsar post the Pune Muslim techie murder News Headlines ‘Hinduize politics, militarize Hindus’ is slogan of group suspected of Pune techie’s murder First wicket has fallen, say killers of Pune Muslim youth 18 policemen guilty in fake encounter case Delhi policeman found involved […]

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