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Narendra Modi

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

by newsdigest on May 25, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Diamond exporter charged for denying Muslim a job (May 22, 2015, The Hindu)

Amid a public outrage, the Mumbai Police booked leading diamond conglomerate Hare Krishna Exports Pvt. Ltd. on Thursday for discrimination and denying a young man a job because he was a Muslim. The Maharashtra government has said it will order an investigation.

The action comes a day after The Hindu reported that MBA graduate Zeshan Ali Khan was denied a job by the company because of his religion. “Thanks for your application. We regret to inform you that we hire only non-Muslim candidates,” was the reply he received on Tuesday. After Mr. Khan decided to go public with the company’s response, a public outrage erupted on social media, forcing HKE Pvt. Ltd. to apologise.…

Acting on a complaint by social activist Shezhad Poonawalla, the National Commission for Minorities has also sent a notice to the company and directed an enquiry. Mr. Poonawalla, also a lawyer, said the incident was a “blatant violation of the spirit of the Constitution that mandates equality and absence of religious discrimination through Articles 14 and Article 25.”…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/diamond-exporter-charged-for-denying-muslim-a-job/article7232883.ece

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2002 riots call records: SIT court summons officer Himanshu Shukla to explain misplaced CDs (May 19, 2015, Times of India)

A special SIT court hearing the 2002 Naroda Gam massacre case on Tuesday summoned the Investigating Officer in the riots cases, Himanshu Shukla, to explain the case on how the CDs containing call records during the 2002 riots were misplaced.

This happened after the SIT submitted before the court that the original CDs were misplaced and were not destroyed as claimed by the accused persons, who are seeking criminal prosecution of retired IPS Rahul Sharma for allegedly destroying important evidence and investigator IPS P L Mall for not taking any action against Sharma under section 201 of the IPC. Mall’s prosecution is also sought on the ground that he has not taken any action in connection with the false affidavits filed before the Supreme Court by witnesses.…

With regard to the CDs, the court had last month sought explanation from the IO over the remark as “original CDs” while handing over the pieces of evidence to the court nearly six years ago. This was because Sharma himself had admitted during his deposition that the CDs he had provided to the SIT officials were made from the data he had copied from original CDs.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47342249.cms

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Teesta Setalvad: Modi’s Silence on Attacks on Minorities Shows Tacit Consent (May 15, 2015, News Click)

Narendra Modi led NDA government is about to complete its one year in power. This period has seen a rise in communal attacks and hate speech against minorities, posing a threat to secular ethos of the nation. These are not isolated incidents or the pronouncements of a lunatic fringe.

Modi’s ministers and parliamentarians have been spreading venom through such comments. Newsclick discussed these issues with Teesta Setalvad. Teesta explains that how this government is controlled by right wing fundamentalist groups like RSS and Modi’s silence on such incidents should be read as his consent.

On question of saffronisation of education and culture, Teesta explains that culture and education have been important as tools for building fascism and this is what we are seeing today, with active government support. She feels that all the progressive and secular forces should come together to resist the Modi government’s agenda to communalise society.

http://newsclick.in/india/teesta-setalvad-modi%E2%80%99s-silence-attacks-minorities-shows-tacit-consent

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Saffron trade union snubs RSS, to join protest against govt (May 20, 2015, Times of India)

Sangh Parivar-affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh has turned down RSS’ persuasion and decided to join other trade unions to announce a protest against the Modi government’s economic policies on May 26 when it completes its first year in office.

Sources said BMS conveyed to RSS its decision to join other central trade unions to announce the plan to hold a countrywide strike against Modi government’s “anti-labour” policies, FDI and other related decisions.

BMS chief B N Rai told TOI that the union will not step down from its decision for “joint action with CPM-affiliated CITU, CPI-aligned AITUC and INTUC which is linked to Congress among others.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47350063.cms

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PMO Not Disclosing Foreign Travel Expenses: CIC Panel (May 24, 2015, Outlook)

Noting that voluntary disclosures of information have been “below par”, a CIC-constituted panel has said that details of domestic and foreign visits of Union ministers should be proactively disclosed and kept updated. The committee said this against the backdrop of the PMO not disclosing information about expenses incurred on foreign visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has been refusing to disclose information related to expenses incurred on Modi’s foreign visits, citing various excuses such as the records that are sought for being “vague”. The committee of former Chief Information Commissioner A N Tiwari and Information Commissioner M M Ansari, constituted by the CIC gave its report on “Transparency Audit: Towards An Open and Accountable Government”.

The panel referred to the circular issued by the Ministry of Personnel dated September 11, 2012 where it asked all departments to proactively disclose expenses incurred on the foreign and domestic visits of their respective ministers.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/news/article/pmo-not-disclosing-foreign-travel-expenses-cic-panel/898440

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Tirupati Red Sanders killings: Police said gunned down but bodies tell story of skin peeled off, ‘torture’ (May 20, 2015, Indian Express)

Blistered skin peeled off in several places; extensive burn marks; one body bizarrely clad in two trousers, one partially pulled up over the other; bullet marks without evidence of bleeding – and a head smashed in so hard the face can’t be recognised.

Clearly visible in photographs and video clips shot and recorded by The Indian Express six hours after the “encounter” on April 7, these features of the bodies of the 20 alleged red sanders smugglers raise several doubts about the Andhra police claim that all were shot in “self-defence”.

The photographs, too explicit to be published, were shared with police and forensics experts and the consensus was clear: they raise more questions than they answer.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/tirupati-red-sanders-killings-police-said-gunned-down-but-bodies-tell-story-of-skin-peeled-off-torture/

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2 Gujarat cops suspended for dancing with woman, showering notes (May 23, 2015, Hindustan Times)

Two police personnel who were allegedly found dancing with a woman and showering notes while on duty were suspended on Saturday, a senior official said. Vadodara police commissioner E Radhakrishna told PTI that ASI Suresh More and head constable Amirkhan Pathan, attached with Kishanwadi police station, have been suspended.

“Their suspension follows after the report of a probe by Detective Crime Branch which was ordered two days back after the video went viral,” he said. In the over two minutes long video that went viral on May 21, the two policemen were first seen holding the hand of a woman, attired in a black glittery outfit while an old Hindi film song was heard in the background.

One of the cops was seen dancing to the song with the woman while the other was showing currency notes to the woman. Later they both started showering the notes on her.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/2-gujarat-cops-suspended-for-dancing-with-woman-showering-notes/article1-1350494.aspx

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Maharashtra Police notice to mosque asking to refrain from speaking against beef ban in sermons (May 23, 2015, Twocircles.net)

Muslims in the city here are worried due to the issuance of notice to the Masjid-e-Sumayya in B and C colony asking to refrain from allowing sermons and appealing people to participate in any protest rallies against recently enacted beef ban law.

The notice that was issued few days back by Tirangah police station situated near city airport to the secretary of the Mosque has irked the community people who are viewing this as an attempt to polarize the social environment and to curtail fundamental rights of the people by the BJP led state government.…

Leaders and representatives from different political parties including MIM and Congress on Friday met city SP Premjit Singh Dahiya and demanded strict action against PI Subhash Rathod who has issued the said notice.…

http://twocircles.net/2015may23/1432378341.html

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28 years after massacre, FIR missing from court records (May 23, 2015, Times of India)

Twenty-eight years after the Maliana massacre, the trial in the case has hit a dead-end as the FIR has gone missing from the records and the sessions court has refused to continue with the trial, shrouding the victims in a wave of despair.

Seventy-three Muslims were killed in communal riots in Maliana on May 23, 1987, just a day after 43 men from the minority community were allegedly shot dead by PAC personnel in the heart of Meerut, Hashimpura. Shockingly, the latest development in the Maliana case comes just two months after all the accused PAC personnel in the Hashimpura massacre were acquitted by a trial court.…

“The FIR was lodged 28 years ago. We don’t have any record of it today at the police station,” Prashant Kapil, in charge of the Transport Nagar police station where the case was registered, confirmed on Thursday. He said he had been repeatedly approached by Maliana victims for help.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47391604.cms

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12,000 Urdu books thrown into the Ganga over land dispute (May 20, 2015, The Hindu)

An Urdu library at Munger in Bihar was ransacked and thousands of rare books were thrown into the Ganga last week following a dispute between its management and shopkeepers occupying a part of its land.

Two persons related to the shopkeepers, Yugal Kishore Verma and Naval Kishore Verma, have been arrested, while four named in the first information report are at large, the police said.

“More than 12,000 Urdu books, most of them rare, were thrown into the river last Wednesday,” library secretary Mohammad Farooq told presspersons on Tuesday.…

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/12000-urdu-books-thrown-into-the-ganga-over-land-dispute/article7225131.ece

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Opinions and Editorials

Politics: Where is the governance? – By Sidharth Bhatia (May 23, 2015, The Hindu)

If there is one thing that even the strongest detractors of Narendra Modi acknowledge, it is his mastery over politics. He is a political animal of the old school – he breathes, eats and sleeps politics. He follows it intricately, monitors its nuances and applies it to his decisions. He understands political implications of decisions.

It is this mastery that has helped him not just win elections – for elections are only one part of the political game – but also move to the very top, jettisoning odds that would have overwhelmed anyone else. A stain such as the 2002 riots in a state that he had just taken over would spell the end of a political career and, for some time, it looked like he too would not survive it. But not only has he left it far behind, he has done so without ever giving any detailed explanation, much less apologising for it. People now know him as decisive and action-oriented, not wishy-washy and defensive.

It is thus all the more surprising then that the very same Modi now looks all hemmed in and unable to push his way politically on some of his most marquee legislations. There is a sense that he has not been able to deliver on his promises and the much-vaunted Acche Din are nowhere on the horizon. Moreover, many of his promises remain unkept.…

http://www.thehindu.com/features/magazine/politics-where-is-the-governance/article7239284.ece

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The Law Of Lopsided Growth – By NK Bhoopesh (May 30, 2015, Tehelka)

Last December, in his address to a group of business leaders Prime MinisterNarendra Modi made a candid declaration of what he believes sets his regime apart from all the previous governments. “Government is generally trapped in an ABCD culture. A means Avoid, B is for Bypass, C for confuse and D for Delay,” he said. “Our effort is to move from this culture to ROAD, where R stands for Responsibility, O for Ownership, A for Accountability and D for Discipline.”

When Modi said this, his government was already well on its way to make the “system” more investment friendly. And there is a certain crystal-clear consistency to how it has gone about the task. There was never an iota of doubt over the BJP’s intent to make India an attractive destination for foreign investment and iron out the rough spots for Indian big business as well. A key component of Modi ‘s strategy to fulfil the ruling party’s intent involves changing the overarching legal framework that governs industry, including laws that impinge on the relationship between the management and workers.

Even as the regime tries to move double- quick on its chosen ROAD, there has been no dearth of critics who question the very assumptions behind the NaMo ‘model of development’. Most of them point out that the fundamental flaw of what the financial press calls Modinomics lies in considering Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the sole – or even the primary – indicator of development. The critics also argue that tinkering with the legal framework with the single- minded goal of facilitating investment would do away with the existing, though inadequate, social security measures, which might ramp up the growth figures but it would be growth of a lopsided kind that would deny most of the population the right to a share in the benefits of development.…

http://www.tehelka.com/the-law-of-lopsided-growth/?singlepage=1

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Electoral wins or religious peace? – By Pradeep Chhibber and Harsh Shah (May 19, 2015, The Hindu)

As religion increasingly occupies the space of political discourse in India, there is a growing sense of insecurity among the country’s religious minorities. In the wake of a series of attacks on churches in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi advocated for greater religious tolerance and vowed to punish religious violence. Yet, there are few takers within minority communities that things will change for the better.

Mr. Modi’s statement should not come as a surprise. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rarely speaks out against religious intolerance toward minorities but neither does it publicly defend it. This is very much a political tactic, part of the larger strategy – what we describe as ‘soft Hindutva’ – that was at play in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. At its heart is the idea that the BJP will do just enough to mobilise the majority Hindu vote in its favour without necessarily attacking other communities. It also enables the party to reach across the caste divide.…

Soft Hindutva is deeply damaging for India. Whatever its supporters may say, the strategy marginalises other communities. While most Hindus may believe that the religion is completely tolerant and open-minded, people from minority communities do not see it the same way. They are unable to make the distinction between hard and soft Hindutva. If there is no political party that can articulate minority interests forcefully at the national level, religious minorities will feel even more marginalised.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/electoral-wins-or-religious-peace/article7220396.ece

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Cracks begin to show in Modi government – By Vivek Dehejia (May 10, 2015, Live Mint)

…As the government approaches its first anniversary in office, a number of worrying missteps and miscalculations by finance minister Arun Jaitley, or at any rate officials within his ministry, are conspiring to undercut Modi’s own efforts to jumpstart the Indian growth story.

The spectre of retrospective taxation, and of the minimum alternate tax (MAT), has earned the ire of foreign portfolio investors, who have been making their unhappiness with the tax regime known by heading, en masse, for the exits. While the overall macroeconomic scenario still remains largely sound at the moment and while some of the recent sell-off is no doubt due to global market developments – such as a resurgent oil price and the possibility, however unlikely, of an increase in US interest rates – for which blame obviously cannot be laid on the doorstep of Jaitley or his officials, it would be folly to deny the minatory impact of MAT in particular on foreign investors’ sentiment.…

What’s more, for a government which, until recently, has apparently been immune from the sort of palace intrigue which hobbled the previous Congress-led government, no doubt due to the towering presence of Modi himself at the top, cracks have begun to appear. Thus, a Reuters report of 7 May cited an unnamed “source” within the BJP who asserted that Modi personally backed Rajan in his feud with Jaitley and that this is what led to the latter’s climbdown. Whether credible or not, such reports, amid a slew of hatchet jobs targeting Jaitley very directly, only serve to reinforce the impression of a finance minister who is besieged from within and facing a credibility crisis from without.…

http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/5FLBMyYuf2ARhLXfZQcN0M/Cracks-begin-to-show.html

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Land Wars 2.0 – By Nidheesh J Villatt (May 30, 2015, Tehelka)

…the BJP manifesto included several ‘radical’ promises vis-à-vis rural development and agriculture that farmers had been demanding for a long time. It appeared that the right-wing BJP had plagiarised the demands of the Left-leaning farmers’ organisations. For instance, it promised to “increase public investment in agriculture and rural development, take steps to enhance the profitability in agriculture by ensuring a minimum of 50 percent profits over the cost of the production, cheaper agricultural inputs and credit, introduce latest technologies for farming and high-yielding seeds and link MGNREGA to agriculture, implement a farm insurance scheme to take care of crop loss due to unforeseen natural calamities, strengthen and expand rural credit facilities, institute a price stabilisation fund to protect farmers from volatile world market prices” and more.…

With the BJP riding to power on the crest of these promises, which brought the party a windfall of votes across many parts of rural India, it was no surprise that a large number of farmers, especially in the ‘green revolution’ belts of Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, joined the victory celebrations exactly a year ago. Already, many of those who owed allegiance to regional parties had shifted their loyalties to the saffron party. There were reports of farmers hoisting the saffron flag on their rooftops.

Ten months later, when Tehelka visited farmers in Bulandshahr district of western UP, the mood has seen a ‘radical’ shift. “We voted for ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’ because the party of the Nehru- Gandhis had neglected rural India,” said a farmer. “But the Modi regime has gone a step further. They are now keen to loot and kill us. That is why we want a ‘Modi Mukt Bharat’ now.”…

http://www.tehelka.com/land-wars-2-0/?singlepage=1

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Aruna Shanbaug’s Death An Indictment Of Justice, Not An Argument For Euthanasia – By Samar (May 22, 2015, Countercurrents)

Aruna Shanbaug’s death does not either present a case for legalizing euthanasia or offer a case against it. Her death has nothing to do with that discourse, legitimate as it may be. Aruna Shanbaug’s case is about the rule of law in India. Her death, following 42 years of life in a vegetative state, confined to a hospital bed, is about the rot that the Republic carries in the form of its criminal justice system.

Aruna did not end up in her vegetative state because of her being afflicted by some illness. She was not an unfortunate victim of an accident. She had gone comatose because a criminal had raped and battered her so brutally that oxygen supply to her brain got cut off and damaged it forever.

The rapist, Sohanlal Bhartha Valmiki, a ward boy at the King Edward Memorial Hospital where Aruna worked as a nurse, did not get punished for his crime; he did not even get charged with rape. One reason for this was because the police did not bother to investigate the crime scene independent of the hospital’s version and find out if there was something more to the crime than robbery and assault.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/samar220515.htm

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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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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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