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Police Atrocities

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 17th, 2013

by newsdigest on March 18, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Minority panel removed my riot report against Modi: Ex-Secy (Mar 14, 2014, Indian Express)

The National Commission of Minorities (NCM) is searching for a “missing report” on the 2002 Gujarat riots after the retired IAS officer who was NCM secretary at the time claimed that her original submission, which she says was damning and recommended President’s rule in the state, has vanished from the records. The officer, Sarita J Das, had visited Gujarat with an NCM team after the riots. She got in touch with the panel about her report last August and an inquiry was ordered after it could not be traced.

Das told The Indian Express that she went looking for the report more than a decade after the riots as she wanted to set the record straight. “I decided to approach the commission after I saw some news reports on television, quoting Narendra Modi as being heartbroken about the riots. This left me flabbergasted. My conscience hurt,” Das said. “But it was only after I went to the commission and saw the compendium on Gujarat 2002 brought out by the commission then that I realised that all traces of my report advocating President’s rule had been wiped out of the commission’s reports.”

Minutes of a NCM meeting briefed by Das last August say the panel decided to order a formal internal inquiry to trace the missing documents as it felt the institutional memory of the commission had been rendered incomplete. The inquiry is yet to conclude. “Initially the file itself could not be traced. After much effort when we found the file, Ms Das’s report was not a part of it. Instead there was one by Mr Tarlochan Singh, which according to Ms Das is a thoroughly edited version of what she had submitted. There were some documents missing from the file. I had asked for an inquiry into the parts that were missing,” said the then NCM chairman Wajahat Habibullah.

Singh, another former NCM chief, however, contested Das’s claims and said bureaucrats are not authorised to make submissions. “It’s totally wrong. One should understand how the commission works. A bureaucrat has no role in formulation of such reports. The report is of the commission. How can a secretary of the commission – be it minorities, SC or ST – give a report?” he asked. “She may have given inputs as secretary but the report has to be drafted by the commission. The final report is of the commission. A bureaucrat always gives inputs, as they assist the commission in drafting reports. Whatever she may have even written, the commission is not bound to include it as it is the decision of the members,” Singh added.

“Why is she remembering all this after 10 years? May be there is some political reason. One wonders what is the motive?” A 1966-batch Orissa cadre officer, Das said she is also trying to locate a copy of the report in her personal files. Modi, she claimed, had tried to stop her from visiting relief camps in Gujarat during her two-day trip in March 2002, citing security concerns. “I came back and wrote a report saying there is a complete breakdown of the constitutional machinery in that state and imposition of President’s rule should be recommended. That report was suppressed but some of the reasons for that statement can still be found in the letter I wrote to the then chief secretary of Gujarat G Subba Rao on April 8, 2002,” she said.


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Zakia moves Gujarat High Court against clean chit to Modi (Mar 18, 2014, The Hindu)

Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, on approached the Gujarat High Court challenging the Ahmedabad metropolitan court order upholding a special investigation team’s clean chit to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others in connection with a 2002 riots case. “We have challenged the metropolitan court’s order which validates clean chit to Chief Minister Narendra Modi,” social activist Teesta Setalwad told PTI in Ahmedabad. The petition filed before the High Court demands to make Mr. Modi and 59 others accused on the charges of criminal conspiracy behind the riots.

“The Metropolitan Judge has simply accepted the contentions in the closure report of SIT without considering substantive arguments of the applicant (Ms. Zakia Jafri),” the petition reads. On December 26, 2013 metropolitan magistrate B.J. Ganatra had rejected Ms. Zakia Jafri’s protest petition challenging the SIT clean chit to Modi. On February 8, 2012, the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) had filed a closure report and given a clean chit to Mr. Modi and others. “SIT has not conducted free and fair investigation against the accused No. 1 (Mr. Modi),” the petitioner alleged.

The High Court is likely to conduct the hearing on Ms. Zakia Jafri’s petition on March 20, 2014. On February 28, 2002, following the Godhra train carnage, 68 people, including Mr. Ehsan Jafri, were killed by a mob at Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad during the riots. “Make Narendra Modi and 59 others accused in charges of criminal conspiracy to commit mass murder, arson, rape and also tampering with evidence and destroying valuable records of the Gujarat Home Department,” the petition demands. Ms. Zakia Jafri prayed for the rejection of magisterial court’s order which validates the SIT’s closure report.

“The Metropolitan Magistrate committed a fundamental error by not dealing with the substantive arguments laid down by Zakia Jafri in written and oral submissions,” the petition, which runs into about 540 pages, stated. It also alleged that the judge has simply accepted the contentions in the closure report with “non-application of mind”. “The judge has not established the involvement of accused No. 1 (Mr. Modi) by not considering the phone call contacts between him and co-conspirators,” it says. “He (Mr. Modi) had failed to take preventive measures and instead supported a bandh, allow post-mortems of gruesome burned bodies in the open and allow the streets of cities and villages to be taken over by rampaging mobs. “Illegal instructions were issued to high level policemen and bureaucrats, at a controversial meeting held on February 27, 2002 night, not to follow the law the next day (February 28),” it said.

The petition has also alleged that the destruction of key records was carried out to ensure injustice to the victims in which Chief Minister’s office and Home Department were allegedly involved. The petition alleged that the metropolitan court did not consider those facts as well as the statements of the key witnesses. “Statements of former CM Suresh Mehta, slain State Home Minister Haren Pandya, Justice Sawant and Justice Suresh under 161 CrPC related to the controversial meeting on February 27, 2002, were brushed aside by the judge,” it said. It has been stated that on February 27, 2002 there was a meeting called by Mr. Modi, where he had allegedly told to go soft on the Hindu mob, the petition said. “The judge evaluated the statements and set them aside, while the apex court had ruled that a trial court cannot evaluate the statements taken during the investigation until there are some judicial errors,” the petition mentioned.


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Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case: Javed Sheikh’s father moves CBI court against Amit Shah, ex-DGP; wants them arraigned (Mar 14, 2014, Indian Express)

Gopinath Pillai, father of Javed Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, has moved an application before as special CBI court seeking arraignment of BJP leader Amit Shah and former Director General of Police, Gujarat, KR Kaushik in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case on Friday. Shah, a close aide of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and general secretary of BJP, is currently party in-charge of Uttar Pradesh. Shah is also an accused in Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case. He had been arrested in this case and is currently on bail.

Javed Sheikh had been killed along with 19-year-old Mumbai girl Ishrat Jahan, Zeeshan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana by Gujarat police. The CBI recently filed a supplementary chargesheet in this case naming four IB officials while contrary to speculation of naming BJP leader Shah.

Blaming CBI, the petitioner has claimed that the central agency ignored evidence involving Shah and Kaushik. Appearing on behalf of the petition advocate Shamshad Pathan said that court has issued notice to Shah, Kaushik and CBI and has sought reply by March 26. It is to be noted that Shah’s name has cropped in couple of witness’s testimony as “Kali Dadhi” who reportedly knew about the encounter which CBI claimed to be stage-managed.

“We have submitted a number of evidence against Shah and Kaushik including statements recorded by CBI which are part of chargesheet. We have moved the petition under section 319 of code of criminal procedure,” Pathan said.

On July 3, 2013 CBI had filed its first chargesheet naming seven of Gujarat police officers and claimed that the encounter was fake. The chargesheet had claimed that the encounter was a part of a joint operation by Gujarat police and IB officials including former Special Director Rajinder Kumar. More than a month ago CBI filed its second chargesheet against four IB officials including Kumar. The chargesheet is still with CBI court which hasn’t taken the cognizance yet.


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Three detained for threatening to blow up Bodh Gaya temples in Bihar (Mar 15, 2014, Times of India)

At least three people, including a girl, have been detained here for threatening to blow up the Bodh Gaya and Vishnupad temples in Gaya district, police said on Saturday. Police detained Sunny, Rakesh and a 19-year-old girl from Ranipur-Rasulpur locality in Patna late Friday, senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaj said.

“Three of them were detained for interrogation after police traced the mobile number used to sent the threatening SMS to the Gaya district officials to blow up both the temples,” he said. But the police officers were surprised when the girl revealed an interesting story behind the SMS. She said she was using a mobile phone which was gifted to her by a boy.

This angered her uncle, who used her mobile number to sent a threatening SMS to gaya district magistrate Balamurgan D to teach the boy a lesson. “Sunny and Rakesh denied that they had sent the threatening SMS to the official in Gaya,” a police officer said.


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Police “combing operation” in Mumbra shocks residents (Mar 14, 2014,

On March 13, between 1.30-2.00 a.m., about a dozen police vehicles, of which 7-8 were big vans, quietly reached Rasheed Compound when the electricity, of the streets, were cut off. Rasheed Compound is a group of seven predominantly Muslim residential buildings. They ‘detained’ over 80 Muslim men- working professionals, old people, some as old as 75 years, workers, students going to high schools to graduate students and took them all to the Mumbra Police Station to ‘verify’.

The ‘combing operation’ was conducted under ACP Amit Kale of Thane district. About 200 odd policemen, and two ladies constables joined the operation in which the police broke many doors to search the house and take the male folks into ‘detention’. Residents of Rashid Compound and surrounding area are shocked by this act of the police and they are distressed and unhappy with this. Most of the prominent citizens including public representatives of the city consider this act of the police as irresponsible.

In this operation young Urdu poet Obaid Azam Azmi was also taken to the police station. He is not only a good poet of Urdu language, who has shared dais with many ministers, senior police officials, including Khalid Qaisar, TK Chaudhary and many, (the central government recognizes his brilliance), but he is also a son of an ex-Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Member (MLA) Shaikh Shameem Ahmad, elected from Byculla in 1980. Detained people were released following intervention of Mumbra MLA Jitendra Awhad of NCP. Local Muslim organizations have protested police highhandedness.


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Police atrocities form bulk of rights violations: C.G. Hungund (Mar 17, 2014, The Hindu)

A bulk of the human rights violations in the State refer to police atrocities; if the police follow procedure, the violations in the State will reduce drastically, said C.G. Hungund, Member of Karnataka State Human Rights Commission, here on Sunday. Delivering a talk at ‘Praja dharma’, a convention of human rights awareness held here, Mr. Hungund estimated that up to 70 per cent of the complaints in Bangalore were of police atrocities, while up to 50 per cent of the complaints in other districts involved the police department.

“I don’t agree with the contention that human rights comes in the way of the police maintaining law and order. All we ask for is that they follow procedure during arrest. Illegal custody occurs as the police believe it is the only way to maintain peace,” said Mr. Hungund, and added that there was a need to sensitise officers who believed that human rights was low priority.

The KHRC member said modernisation and privatisation had led to issues such as female foeticide, enforcement of the Right to Education Act, and bonded labour – albeit existing in a “concealed form” of low wages and lack of benefits – and inter-country adoption, which amounted to “human trafficking” – that continued to persist in the state and needed the attention of human rights activists. “Violations such as moral policing come out of modernisation and deviation from our culture,” said Mr. Hungund.

U.T. Khader, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, believed that using “human rights” as an excuse to release anti-social elements came in the way of police functioning. “Yes, there are numerous cases of police not taking complaints and other violations. But, there are cases when their hands have been tied after the culprit starts to take shield under human rights,” he said .

The programme, organised by the nongovernmental organisation Human Rights Federation of India, also saw eight activists from Uttara Kannada, Hassan, Udupi, Chikmagalur, Shimoga and Dakshina Kannada being felicitated for their roles in addressing human rights violations.


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SIT approaches court to bring riot accused to Muzaffarnagar (Mar 11, 2014, The Hindu)

The Special Investigation Team probing the Muzaffarnagar riots has sought warrant from a local court to bring riot accused Subodh Kumar in Muzaffarnagar, who is lodged in Meerut jail in connection with another case.

Mr. Kumar was arrested in an encounter with Baghpat police while he was on his way to allegedly murder someone on March 7, 2014 following which he was lodged in Meerut jail, SIT sources said. The accused has been absconding since the riots took place in 2013, they said.

The court had initiated attachment proceedings against Mr. Kumar in connection with Bahawdi village killing case during the riots. Three people including two women were killed by rioters at Bahawdi village under Phugana police station in the district in September 2013. The SIT found Mr. Kumar’s involvement in the case.


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Bring law like SC-ST Act to protect Muslims, says panel on Sachar (Mar 18, 2014, Indian Express)

A committee appointed by the central government to review the implementation of the recommendations of the Sachar panel has suggested that a law on the lines of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act be enacted to safeguard the Muslim community. The committee headed by Amitabh Kundu, professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, submitted its report to the Ministry of Minority Affairs on March 14.

“The committee has recommended the need for the creation of a special Act on the lines of the SC/ST Act for Muslims in the country. It has been seen that the members of the Muslim community face similar challenges to that of the SC community, and in certain cases, they are more violent challenges,” sources who played a role in the drafting of the report said. The committee has suggested that the new law could supplement the communal violence Bill, which is facing political opposition.

The panel has also recommended that a special sub-quota for Muslims be created within the OBC category, and has stressed the need to include Muslims in the Scheduled Castes category. The interim report identifies Muslim OBCs as one of the most deprived sections, and says many Muslim OBCs actually belong to the SC category. Dalit Muslims are currently not included in the SC category, and are notified as OBCs.

In its evaluation of the implementation of the Sachar recommendations, the committee has said that while the central government has created institutions like the Minority Affairs Department to address the problems of the minority community, there is a lack of convergence and coordination in these institutions. “The institution building process to address the concerns of the minorities has been successful at central level, for which we laud the government. However it has not succeeded in creating the convergence of these institutions. There has been no coordination established between various bodies at the state and central level which is a matter of concern. There is also no punishment over the failure to implement schemes and this has led to the unsuccessful implementation of the Sachar recommendations,” the sources said.

Almost seven years after the submission of the Sachar report, the Centre decided to set up a committee to review the implementation of the recommendations. The primary task of the Kundu panel, which was set up on August 5 last year, was to evaluate the process of the implementation of the decisions taken on the recommendations of the Sachar committee, and to assess the important programmes initiated by the ministry and the schemes covered by the Prime Minister’s 15-point programme. The committee had been asked to submit a report in six months.


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Muslims comprise 21% of undertrials but only 17.75% of convicts: NCRB (Mar 14, 2014, Indian Express)

Over 21 per cent of undertrials in the country in 2012 were Muslims. However, members of the community comprised only 17.75 per cent of the convicts, reveals analysis of prison data released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). This suggests a large number of arrested Muslims are released by the courts. The inverse is true of all other communities. Hindus comprised 69.92 per cent of undertrials and 71.35 per cent of convicts. Sikhs constituted 3.97 per cent of undertrials and 4.94 per cent of convicts. The figures were 3.5 per cent and 3.99 per cent for Christians.

Sociologists said the numbers suggested bias in the police machinery against Muslims. In 23 states, there were more Muslim undertrials than convicts. Only in Karnataka, Manipur, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand, the percentage of Muslim convicts was higher than the percentage of undertrials from the community. There can be only two reasons for this. Either Muslims hire better lawyers who secure their release or the cases against them are weak and do not stand court scrutiny, said Vijay Raghavan, associate professor and chairperson of Centre for Criminology and Justice, Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

The disparity, however, is not a recent phenomenon. In 2002,Muslims made up 24.72 per cent of undertrials and only 16.65 per cent of convicts. The pattern remained the same in the past decade. The revelation that the number of Muslim undertrials is higher than the number of Muslim convicts shows members of the community are more vulnerable to false arrest. This strengthens the belief that communal prejudices, to some extent, exist in the police force. This needs to be carefully examined and effectively remedied, said criminal lawyer Majeed Memon.

The percentage of Muslim prisoners in the country, however, is gradually coming down. In 2002, Muslims made up 22.69 per cent of prisoners. This number has now dipped to 19.94 per cent but is still high considering that Muslims make up only 13.43 per cent of the Indian population.


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Girl raped by constable in police custody (Mar 11, 2014, Times of India)

A girl was allegedly raped by a constable while she was in police custody in Soron area here, a police official said on Tuesday. District superintendent of police Vinay Kumar Yadav said the victim had eloped with her friend from her house on February 27 last. On March 4, the couple had produced themselves before a local court to get married. The court sent the girl to the police custody as her age had to be certified.

Later, the girl was handed over to a lady constable Krishna (35) to keep her at women’s police station but the lady constable took the girl to her residence where her husband Satyprakash who is also a police constable raped the girl, the SP said. The young girl was produced before the court yesterday where she disclosed the incident to her mother and her counsel, he said.

A case of rape has been registered with police station Soron against constable Satyprakash and his wife Krishna (woman constable) yesterday, the SP said adding both the constables have been suspended. The girl has been handed over to her mother by the magistrate, he said adding police are investigating the matter.

In another incident, a young girl was raped by three persons in her house under Patiali police station area on January 4. However, police did not lodge an FIR initially but after the local court intervened into the matter police registered a case yesterday against three persons namely Arjun, Umesh and Bhammoo. Police are investigating the matter, an official said. No arrests have been made so far in these cases, he added.


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Opinions and Editorials

Modinomics: do Narendra Modi’s economic claims add up? – By Maitreesh Ghatak and Sanchari Roy (Mar 13, 2014, The Guardian)

… Leaving political issues aside, what does Gujarat’s economic record under Modi actually look like? Take the most obvious indicator, the growth rate of per capita income, supposedly a strong point of Modi’s economic scorecard. Many people are arguing that Gujarat has grown faster than the rest of India since Modi came to power in 2001, and present this as clinching evidence for the power of his economic model.

There are two problems with this argument. First, there are other states that have achieved this, but no one is talking about the Maharashtra or Haryana model of development. Second, Gujarat’s growth rate was higher than the all-India level in the 1980s and 1990s as well. To establish the claim that Modi had a transformative impact on the state in terms of growth rate of per capita income, we have to show that the difference between Gujarat’s growth rate and that of the rest of India actually increased under Modi’s rule, and more so compared to other states.

Gujarat’s growth rate in the 1990s was 4.8%, compared to the national average of 3.7%; in the 2000s it was 6.9% compared to the national average of 5.6%. The difference between Gujarat’s growth rate and the national average increased marginally, from 1.1 percentage points to 1.3 percentage points. A good performance? Yes. Justifying the hype? No. Maharashtra, the top-ranked state in terms of per capita income in the 2000s, improved its growth rate from 4.5% in the 1990s to 6.7% in the 2000s. The difference between Maharashtra’s growth rate and the national average grew from 0.8 percentage points to 1.1 percentage points. Contrast this with the performance of Bihar, the state that has been in the bottom of the rankings in terms of per capita income throughout: its growth rate was 2.7 percentage points below the national average in the 1990s, but 1.3 percentage points higher in the 2000s. So the prize for the most dramatic turnaround in the 2000s would go to Bihar.

What about the other economic indicators? For the human development index, Kerala has been the star performer by a distance. While Gujarat’sHDI performance was above the national average in the 1980s and 1990s, it decelerated in the 2000s and came down to the national average. The level of inequality in Gujarat was less than the national average in the 1980s-90s, but actually rose above the national average in the 2000s. If we look at the percentage of people below the poverty line, Gujarat, along with several other states such as Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Kerala, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, has had consistently lower levels than the all-India average.

However, the largest poverty reduction of the past decade was achieved by Tamil Nadu, not Gujarat. So while Gujarat’s overall economic record has been undoubtedly good over the past three decades, its recent performance does not seem to justify the wild euphoria and exuberant optimism about Modi’s economic leadership. Though Modi’s stock is rising high, evidence for the success of Modinomics is unconvincing. For those frustrated with the status quo and hoping for a magical turnaround of the Indian economy if Modi comes to power, it may be wise to think about lessons from the stock market. At some point all bubbles burst – and the numbers have to add up.


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RSS And Murder Of Mahatma Gandhi: What Do Contemporary Documents Tell? – By Shamsul Islam (Mar 11, 2014, Countercurrents)

After the murder of Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, 1948, the RSS was banned on February 4, 1948. It was banned for anti-national activities and the government communiqué banning the RSS was self-explanatory: “In their resolution of February 2, 1948 the Government of India declared their determination to root out the forces of hate and violence that are at work in our country and imperil the freedom of the Nation and darken her fair name. In pursuance of this policy the Government of India have decided to declare unlawful the RSS.” [Cited in Justice on Trial, RSS, Bangalore, 1962, p. 64.]

The communique went on to disclose that the ban on the RSS was imposed because, “undesirable and even dangerous activities have been carried on by members of the Sangh. It has been found that in several parts of the country individual members of the RSS have indulged in acts of violence involving arson, robbery, dacoity, and murder and have collected illicit arms and ammunition. They have been found circulating leaflets exhorting people to resort to terrorist methods, to collect firearms, to create disaffection against the government and suborn the police and the military.” [Ibid, pp. 65-66.]

It is well-known that the then Home Minister, Sardar Patel, had a soft-corner for the RSS and continues to be a favourite with the RSS. However even Sardar Patel found it difficult to defend the RSS in the aftermath of Gandhiji’s assassination. In a letter written to the head of the RSS, Golwalkar, dated 11 September 1948, Sardar Patel stated: “Organizing the Hindus and helping them is one thing but going in for revenge for its sufferings on innocent and helpless men, women and children is quite another thing…Apart from this, their opposition to the Congress, that too of such virulence, disregarding all considerations of personality, decency or decorum, created a kind of unrest among the people. All their speeches were full of communal poison. It was not necessary to spread poison in order to enthuse the Hindus and organize for their protection.

“As a final result of the poison, the country had to suffer the sacrifice of the invaluable life of Gandhiji. Even an iota of the sympathy of the Government, or of the people, no more remained for the RSS. In fact opposition grew. Opposition turned more severe, when the RSS men expressed joy and distributed sweets after Gandhiji’s death. Under these conditions it became inevitable for the Government to take action against the RSS… Since then, over six months have elapsed. We had hoped that after this lapse of time, with full and proper consideration the RSS persons would come to the right path. But from the reports that come to me, it is evident that attempts to put fresh life into their same old activities are afoot.” [Ibid, pp. 26-28.]

Hindu Mahasabha and RSS were jointly responsible for the murder of Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, this fact was further corroborated by Sardar Patel in a letter to a prominent leader of Hindu Mahasabha, Syama Prasad Mookerjee on July 18, 1948. Sardar wrote: “As regards the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha, the case relating to Gandhiji’s murder is sub- judice and I should not like to say anything about the participation of the two organizations, but our reports do confirm that, as a result of the activities of these two bodies, particularly the former, an atmosphere was created in the country in which such a ghastly tragedy became possible. There is no doubt in my mind that the extreme section of the Hindu Mahasabha was involved in the conspiracy. The activities of the RSS constituted a clear threat to the existence of Government and the State. Our reports show that those activities, despite the ban, have not died down. Indeed, as time has marched on, the RSS circles are becoming more defiant and are indulging in their subversive activities in an increasing measure.” [Letter 64 in Sardar Patel: Select Correspondence 1945-1950, Volume 2, Navjiwan Publishing House, Ahmedabad, 1977, pp. 276-277.]


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Muzaffarnagar Diaries: From The Killing Fields Of Phugana – By V. Arun Kumar (Mar 11, 2014, Countercurrents)

The dawn of a lucid hope amidst the strong stench of horror and injustice is in the air of Muzaffarnagar. The endless waves of sugarcane fields which once witnessed a cordial, though hierarchical relationship between Jats and Muslims, today is stinking with the smell of hatred and distrust. I am not sure whether to call the whole episode a riot or genocide, but the chilling narratives of nightmares which fell upon them will send shivers down one’s spine. The wave of hatred started soon after BJP’s Amit Shah (Goebbels of Narendra Modi) took charge of UP political akhara, to ensure a good harvest of votes for his master (NaMo).

It was early the morning of 8th September 2013. As usual Muslims in the Phugana village were getting ready to work in the sugarcane fields of Jats. Many were unaware of the violence that broke out the previous day in the village of Kawal after the mahapanchayat, just 10 km from Muzaffarnagar. And those who were aware never suspected any untoward incidents happening in their village. As one of the refugees said, “We were living together with Jats for generations and we never had any fight with them”.

But on this day things were to change. Soon the sugarcane fields around Phugana turned into killings fields. Amid murder ands rapes many ran for their lives, the police who were supposed to protect, decided to turn a blind eye to the distress cries. “We tried calling the Phugana police station for help but no one responded and after sometime phones at police station went dead” says Shafeeq, a 21 year old young man whose life turned upside down on that day.

People ran towards the sugarcane fields to save their lives. It’s the dense fields of sugarcane which protected them from the Jats, but for some this became a death trap. Two Muslim were killed on that day in Phugana which even the official reports also records. But what went unreported in the beginning were the brutal gangrapes of Muslim women. It was only recently after the intervention of SIT that the police decided to wake up and take action on seven rape cases registered under the Phugana police station (PS).

But till now police didn’t succeed in arresting 21 out of 22 culprits in the rape cases. The inchagre of Phugana PS argues that they are unable to arrest the rest of the culprits because the women in the Jat village are protecting them and they can’t use force on women. “Nonsense, they are lying” angrily reacts a rape survivor, “it is just an excuse. Why can’t they use women police? Just because the culprits are Jats they are hesitating to arrest them. Most of them [Police] are Jats.” …


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SC order expediting cases against tainted legislators must be strictly implemented – Editorial (Mar 12, 2014, Times of India)

The Supreme Court’s direction that trial proceedings in cases of corruption and serious crimes against MPs and MLAs must be completed within a year is a welcome development. Read along with the previous apex court order stipulating immediate disqualification of legislators if convicted and sentenced to more than two years’ imprisonment, the move will have a salutary impact on Indian politics should it be implemented rigorously.

For example, should those with pending criminal cases win in coming Lok Sabha polls, they could still find themselves disqualified next year if the courts find them guilty. This will discourage political parties from nominating dubious candidates in the first place. There’s no denying that criminalisation of our political system has become a serious problem. As many as 162 of 543 sitting MPs face charges of a criminal nature, of which 76 have serious cases such as murder and kidnapping pending against them. At the state level 1,258 out of 4,032 MLAs are being prosecuted for crime.

Worse, data suggests that these numbers have increased over the last two Lok Sabhas, indicating a rising trend. Having so many tainted legislators severely compromises the quality of democracy we enjoy in this country. It snowballs into other problems such as scams, misgovernance and crony capitalism. It leads, in fact, to a vicious cycle where only those with muscle and illicit money power are seen by political parties as capable of winning elections. Something had to be done to arrest this growing menace. The Supreme Court’s twin decisions couldn’t have come too soon.

Notwithstanding the focus on Lokpal in recent years, one must not overlook the fact that there’s no magic bullet to tackle corruption. What is required is an anti-corruption architecture comprising several coordinated reform measures. These include a robust judicial mechanism with a high rate of disposal of cases. No Lokpal can be effective without this. In this regard, having been born out of the Jan Lokpal movement, Aam Aadmi Party must advocate strict implementation of the SC directive expediting cases against tainted legislators. Along with such implementation, can we hope for judicial reforms which speed up verdicts in other cases as well? India’s protracted judicial process is an enormous drag not just on the quality of our democracy, but on the economy and ordinary lives as well.


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Anybody’s Game In Jat Land – By Brijesh Singh (Mar 13, 2014, Tehelka)

As the Assembly election in Haryana is scheduled to be held right after the Lok Sabha polls, political activities in the state have gained a feverish momentum. With the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) entering the fray, a new angle has been added to an already tangled contest. Turbulence has also hit the internal affairs of the political parties in the state. With the political temperature rising in Haryana, the time is apt for an analysis of the prospects of each party in the state.

Bhupinder Singh Hooda of the Congress is going to complete a decade as the chief minister of Haryana. In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the party had managed to bag nine out of the 10 seats in the state. State leaders of the Congress say they are hopeful of a good performance in the forthcoming election because Om Prakash Chautala, who heads its main rival – the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) – is cooling his heels in jail. Last year, Chautala and his son Ajay were sentenced to 10 years on corruption charges. But this apparent optimism of the leaders is belied by the turmoil within the party during the past eight months.

“In fact, the Congress is in such a bad shape that it is likely to win only the Rohtak seat this time,” says political analyst Naveen S Garewal. Whatever the leaders may say in public, the party is well aware that it is losing ground and is taking last-minute face-saving measures. The post of state Congress president, which had been lying vacant for years, has been given to Sirsa MP Ashok Tanwar, considered to be close to party vice-president Rahul Gandhi. But it is unclear if this hasty decision will benefit the party in the polls.

When Chautala and his son were sent to jail last February, it was believed that the state Congress had no more challenges to face. The BJP, which fights elections in alliance with the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC), is not considered a strong contender. But today, the Congress is stricken by internal strife and factionalism. Several senior Congress leaders have turned rebellious, including Rajya Sabha members Chaudhary Virendra Singh, Kumari Selja, Ishwar Singh and Faridabad MP Avtar Singh Bhadana. Some allege discrimination, some are aspirants to the post of chief minister, while the others are busy cementing their own positions in state politics. All this has contributed to the trouble brewing for the party. Experts believe that the extent of factionalism is such that it may prove to be enough for ensuring a humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha polls. For instance, Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh quit the party and joined the BJP after a longstanding feud with Hooda.…


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Reporting Rape: February edition – By Vanya Mehta (Mar 11, 2014,

Sixty nine atrocities against women appeared in the headlines this month, doubling the reported rapes from January of this year. Of these, 30 were gang rapes. Thirty nine of the victims were minors. Police arrests were made in the majority of the cases. The relation of the woman to the attacker was identified in 50 of the 69 cases. Of those 50, the attacker was a known acquaintance, family member, or known relation of the victim in 36 instances.

Thirteen of the cases took place in New Delhi. The rest were scattered throughout the country with a higher concentration of reporting in northern states. Three rapes took place each in Rajkot, Gujarat; Pune, Maharashtra; and Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Five of the cases came out of Gujarat, which is about average for other states. Eight were in Uttar Pradesh and eight in Maharashtra. Six rape cases were in Jharkhand.

Four rape reports came from Madhya Pradesh, four from West Bengal, five in Chhattisgarh, and only 1 came from Bihar. Six cases came from Rajasthan, including an ongoing media coverage of a local court’s investigation into the former Chief Minister of Rajasthan Babu Lal Nagar. A 35 year old woman alleges Mr. Nagar invited her to his bungalow to offer a job and then attacked her on September 11, 2013. The media did not report any rapes in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, and Nagaland.

This month, two men raped a 17-year-old Dalit minor in Haryana, with a police report filed and no arrests made. The Outlook Magazine article did not report any follow up. Another dalit minor was raped in a village near Rajkot by a farm owner and she committed suicide on February 7. The minor was pregnant. Her parents were agricultural laborers. Kalu Kanejia, the accused farm owner, is currently on the run.

Sandeep Kohli, a Lucknow-based businessman and owner of apparel store Kohli Brothers, is reportedly on the run after being accused of raping a young woman. The incident occurred on February 13, while the report in Times of India was published on February 26 THe family allegedly took three days to report the case. Mr. Kohli has filed for bail in Patiala Court in Delhi.…


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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 29th, 2013

by newsdigest on April 30, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

SIT has 9 versions of Narendra Modi’s meeting after 2002 Godhra riots (Apr 26, 2013, Indian Express)

There are a total of nine versions of the controversial February 27, 2002 meeting chaired by Narendra Modi in the wake of Sabarmati Express carnage in which the chief minister is alleged to have directed top officials and police officers to “let Hindus vent their anger”, according to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court. All these versions, including Modi’s own, will be submitted by the SIT before the metropolitan court, which is hearing a petition by Zakia Jafri challenging SIT’s closure report that gave a clean chit to the CM and 62 others who she had accused of complicity in the riots.

Zakia is the widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed by a mob at his residence in Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad during the 2002 riots. Sources in the SIT, which was asked to probe into Zakia’s allegations, told The Indian Express her version of the meeting quoted Modi asking officials “not to deal with the Hindu rioting mobs”. On the other hand, activist Teesta Setalvad had told the SIT, “Haren Pandya (slain BJP leader) had disclosed to us that CM had specifically said in the meeting that there would be Hindu anger tomorrow and that they should not do anything about it.” SIT told the court on Thursday that these two versions were “concocted” as Haren Pandya was not present in the meeting at all. SIT counsel R S Jamuar submitted that records of Pandya’s cellphone calls on February 27, 2002, showed his location in Ahmedabad.

In yet another version of the meeting, as stated in a report published by “Concerned Citizens Tribunal-Gujarat-2002″, Pandya has been quoted as an unnamed minister. “… At this meeting, specific instructions were give by him (Modi) in the presence of the state home minister on how the police should deal with the situation on the bandh day. We were informed that instructions were given by the chief minister not to take action against any Hindu reaction to Godhra,” the report states. This tribunal consisted of several retired justices of the Supreme Court, including VR Krishna Iyer, High Courts, and activist Aruna Roy, among others.

When Modi himself appeared before the SIT in 2010, he told A K Malhotra (an SIT member), “…As far as I can recollect, G S Raigar, the then ADPG (intelligence), was not present. Sanjiv Bhatt, the then DCP (intelligence) did not attend as this was a high-level meeting. None of my cabinet colleagues were present in the said meeting…”. Then there is the version by suspended DIG Sanjiv Bhatt, who filed an affidavit before the SC claiming he was present at this meeting and had heard Modi saying that Hindus be allowed to vent their anger. To top it all, there is the version by retired DGP R B Sreekumar, who presented as evidence of Modi’s “illegal orders” against minorities the entries from his own personal diary before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) while fighting his case for promotion.


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Modi’s Karnataka visit:’Modi go back’ slogans rent the air (Apr 29, 2013, The Hindu)

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the city to campaign for the BJP was opposed by a group of Dalit and secular organisations on Sunday. The agitators, who said that Mr. Modi was responsible for the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat, gathered under heavy police presence at Ananda Rao Circle under the banner of Nyakkagi Naavu.

“That Mr. Modi is not being made to campaign extensively in Karnataka is proof of the fact that his brand of divisive politics doesn’t find wide endorsement in Karnataka,” K.L. Ashok of Nyakkagi Naavu told the gathering. He added, “The BJP is trying to shield him from the wrath of the people of this State who have a long history of pro-people and secular movements.”

Even as the protesters shouted slogans saying “Modi go back” and “Karnataka is not Gujarat”, Mr. Ashok said, “The Hindutva experiment has well and truly failed in Karnataka. Even in places such as Hubli, Chikmagalur, Davangere and the coastal districts – where the Sangh Parivar is seen as powerful – there is a growing resentment toward the ideology which has resulted in vicious attacks against not just minorities but also women, Dalits and the youth.”

Dalit leader Indudar Honnapura dismissed the argument that a citizen of India has the right to travel anywhere he wishes. “Mr. Modi is not an ordinary citizen. He is accused of crimes against humanity and is solely responsible for the ‘genocide’ in Gujarat.” He expressed concern over the attempts of some corporations to “airbrush” Mr. Modi’s image by projecting him as a “messiah of development”.

Echoing this view, freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy said, “People of this State should say ‘no’ to Modi and ‘no’ to the BJP.” Lamenting the spate of corruption cases that were exposed during the BJP rule, he said that every marginalised and weak section of society had borne the brunt of that party’s divisive ideology. Mr. Ashok also rejected the claim that Gujarat has flourished economically under Mr. Modi.


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Ishrat Jahan case: Gujarat govt shielding top policeman PP Pande, say sources (Apr 29, 2013, IBN)

Gujarat government and the state police are not cooperating with the investigation in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, said Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) sources on Monday.

The sources have also said former Joint Commissioner of Police PP Pande is involved in the conspiracy of the case. The government is shielding Pande, whose whereabouts are yet not known, sources added.

The probe agency is now set to request the court to issue arrest warrant against him, they said. Pande, who is a 1980 batch IPS officer, has been missing and has not joining investigations.


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Bangalore blast: TN Muslim groups doubt police claims (Apr 25, 2013, Indian Express)

The arrest of three persons by the police for allegedly facilitating the bomb blast in Bangalore last week has not gone down well with an umbrella group of Muslim organisations in Tamil Nadu. Representatives of the Federation of Muslim Organisations comprising 24 outfits on Wednesday met Tamil Nadu DGP K Ramanujam to express the concern among the community members over the arrest, which they alleged was without any evidence. Kichan Bukhari, Peer Mohideen and Basheer were arrested by the special investigation team of the Bangalore Police. Bukhari was an accused in the 1998 Coimbatore serial blast case and had spent over a decade in prison.

Federation coordinator Mohammad Haneefa condemned the blast and welcomed a fair probe. “However, we have doubts about the allegations against the three persons. Bukhari was released after the court found him innocent. Since then, he has been involved in offering legal aid to 48 innocent Muslim prisoners wrongly accused in the serial blasts,” he said. Haneefa said he has been regularly in touch with Bukhari. “I personally find it difficult to believe that he was part of the blast,” he said. The federation would extend legal aid to Bukhari and the other two. A few of the organisations have sought CBI probe into the blast case.

Meanwhile, Bukhari’s wife, Jameela Banu, has filed a writ petition, Habeas Corpus, in the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court. She has claimed that her husband has no connection with the blast. She said since his arrest, the family does not know about his whereabouts. Jameela said Bukhari, as the coordinator of Charitable Trust of Minorities, has been engaged in providing legal support to innocent Muslim prisoners. He was to go to Delhi in the next few days for a hearing in Supreme Court over case related to Coimbatore blasts.

Bukhari’s wife alleged that her family was being harassed by the police, which forced them to shift from Coimbatore to his native Melapalayam in Tirunelveli. Last Thursday, Bukhari was questioned by the police team probing a two-year-old case involving the seizure of a pipe bomb from under a culvert through which the convoy of senior BJP leader LK Advani was to pass. Though Bukhari told them he had no links with any suspects, officials threatened to foist a case against him, she alleged.

On Monday morning, a DySP and two inspectors detained Bukhari and two others from Melapalayam bus stand at about 5 am. The family has not been informed about the arrest nor do they know where he was being held, said Jameela. Bukhari’s mother, Thoulath Beevi, told the media from their residence at Melapalayam that her son faced troubles from the police even after being released from the prison. She said every time there was a blast or seizure of explosives, the police would include him as a suspect and detain him for questioning. But every time he is eventually released as there was no evidence to link him to the cases, she said.


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Ajmer blast accused says right-wing outfit did it (Apr 22, 2013, Hindustan Times)

In a crucial breakthrough, an accused in the Ajmer Sharif blast case has confessed before a magistrate to being part of the right-wing terror group that planted two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the dargah. Out of the two IEDs left in the Dargah, one exploded killing three people on October 11, 2007.

“Bhavesh Patel, who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Delhi last month, gave a confessional statement before a magistrate in Jaipur under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code which makes it admissible as evidence in the court, unlike a statement made before a police officer,” said a source.

Bhavesh was also accused of throwing pipe bombs on a mosque in Bharuch, his native city in Gujarat, on the next day of the Godhra train fire of February 27, 2002. According to sources, Bhavesh has said in his statement that some seven or eight days before the Ajmer Sharif blast, Suresh Bhai (Suresh Nair, an absconding accused in the Ajmer Sharif case) invited him for a visit to Ajmer. Once he accepted the invitation, Bhavesh was asked to reach Godhra.

On October 10, he reached Godhra and met Suresh Nair who had come with Mukesh Vasani and Harshad alias Raj (already arrested in the Ajmer Shairf case) and three more persons. The group reached Ajmer the next day at around 11am. The group went to the Dargah in the evening and planted two IEDs there.

Bhavesh also revealed that he didn’t know the real purpose of visit. It was only after they sat in the bus to return to Ahmedabad, that Suresh Nair told him that they had gone to the Dargah to plant bombs. Nair told him that the plan was hatched by Manoj Bhai (an alias used by Sunil Joshi, a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh pracharak and the leader of the group), who was killed by his own men almost two months after the Dargah blast on December 29, 2007.


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Two killed after violence in Marakkanam near Chennai (Apr 26, 2013, Times of India)

Two people were found dead after a violent clash between PMK cadres and dalit villagers on Thursday afternoon at Marakanam in Villupuram district. Police said Vivek, 17, from Thanjavur, who was proceeding to attend a youth conference hosted by PMK’s parent organization Vanniyar Sangam at Mamallapuram, was knocked down by a car on the East Coast Road near Marakanam. Another youth identified as Selvaraj, 25, from Ariyalur in central Tamil Nadu, was found dead with head injuries at Kazhikuppam village near Marakanam on Thursday evening. Police registered cases under Section 304 A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian penal code and began investigation.

Police registered seven cases against 1,512 ‘unidentified’ people from both sides on charges of rioting, possessing deadly weapons, voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons, criminal force to deter public servant from discharging duty, criminal intimidation and torching of houses, buses and two-wheelers. Police also invoked various sections of the Tamil Nadu Public Property (Prevention of Damage and Loss) Act 1992 and Scheduled Caste / Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against the unidentified culprits.

Three people identified as Gnanavel, 28 from Koliyanur, Srinivasan, 29 from Thirukovilyur and Veeramani, 25 from Neyveli sustained injuries when police fired rubber bullets in the air to disperse the clashing groups. They were admitted to Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (Jipmer). A police constable Prabhu sustained minor injuries in the stone-pelting. He was treated as an outpatient at Jipmer. Twenty-five villagers sustained injuries in the clash.

Police said PMK cadres, who were on their way to attend the youth conference at Mahaballipuram, stopped near a bus stop at a dalit village near Marakanam and consumed alcohol. When a few villagers questioned them, the PMK men assaulted the villagers and fled the scene. The injured villagers alerted others in their hamlet and a large number of dalits gathered on the East Coast Road. They blocked the road demanding that the police arrest the culprits.

The situation worsened when scores of PMK men, who were stranded following the blockade, clashed with the dalit villagers. A police team that reached the spot burst tear gas shells and fired rubber bullets to disperse them. Superintendent of police (Villupuram) S Manogaran fired three rounds in the air and the violent mob dispersed. However, later unidentified miscreants torched eight houses, two Tamil Nadu state transport corporation buses and a Puducherry road transport corporation bus, a shop. Another gang of miscreants pelted stones and damaged the wind screens of three private buses and a police jeep.


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BJP MLA jailed on colleague’s complaint of caste remark (Apr 23, 2013, Indian Express)

Bharatiya Janata Party MLA, Kulwant Rana, was arrested and sent to judicial custody on Monday, after he surrendered in court following a non-bailable warrant against him over an alleged casteist remark. The NBW was issued as Rana failed to appear in court during the earlier hearings of the case filed against him by a fellow BJP member, Karan Singh. Singh, BJP’s Kisan Morcha member, filed an FIR against Rana on January 24 alleging that the MLA had slapped him and made casteist remarks against him during the announcement of results of a local political body election.

The court of Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau sent Rana to six day judicial custody and dismissed his plea for anticipatory bail. The court noted that he had been chargesheeted under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, which does not have provision of anticipatory bail.The court directed the investigating officer to appear before it on the next date of hearing, while also issuing notice to the complainant. The matter will come up for hearing on April 26. Singh in his complaint had alleged that Rana had raised questions about his presence at the mandal elections, and then made casteist remarks about his involvement in local politics.

A mandal is the basic level of a party organisation, with at least four mandals in a legislative assembly constituency. The alleged altercation happened during the declaration of result for election of the president of Rithala mandal. Singh claimed Rana slapped him before other party members, who intervened and stopped the argument. Meanwhile, BJP sources said the complaint was “politically motivated”, where a section of Rana’s own party acted against their MLA. Party sources called the case an outcome of “rivalry among Jat leaders.”

A senior party leader said the conspiracy was hatched by a rival group in BJP. “In the party, talks of Rana being general secretary was doing the rounds. There is sufficient reason for other leaders to feel threatened,” a senior BJP leader said. Reposing trust in Rana, BJP Delhi president Vijay Goel said, “I have spoken with Rana, who claimed that case was politically motivated to malign his image. He would continue to fight for truth.”


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Even animals won’t do what cops are doing: Supreme Court on rising police atrocities (Apr 25, 2013, Indian Express)

Taking strong exception to a police officer slapping a young girl during a recent protest against rape of a minor, the Supreme Court today sought explanation from the Delhi Police chief on the incident. A Bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi directed the Police Commissioner to file an affidavit to explain why a young girl was beaten up during the protest against the rape of five-year-old here. Also taking cognisance of another incident of police brutality in Aligarh where a 65-year-old woman was assaulted, the bench directed the Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary to file an affidavit on the incident.

Describing such incidents of police excesses as “insult to the country”, the apex court said they have to be prevented. “Even an animal won’t do what the police officers are doing everyday in different parts of the country,” the Bench said while referring to the Aligarh incident. “Is your government left without shame?” the Bench asked Gaurav Bhatia, the counsel appearing for the UP government. The court, while slamming the state government, also recalled the resignation by Lal Bahadur Shastri from the post of the Railway Minister taking moral responsibility following a railway accident.

“Where has your sense gone?” the bench said, adding, “How can police officers beat an unarmed lady?” The court made the observations with regard to a recent protest at a Delhi hospital during which an ACP slapped a young girl at least four times. The ACP was later suspended. The second incident which the bench took note of was reported from Aligarh where an elderly woman was assaulted by the police during a protest against the alleged rape and murder of a six-year-old girl.


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Aarushi-Hemraj murder: CBI DIG prevented arrest of Nupur Talwar, officer to court (Apr 24, 2013, Indian Express)

There was evidence against Nupur Talwar in Aarushi-Hemraj murder case but senior CBI officers prevented her arrest, agency investigator told special court here during cross examination. CBI Additional SP AGL Kaul, who led the second probe team in the sensational Noida double murder case, was asked by the defence counsel to explain why Aarushi’s mother Nupur was not arrested if there was enough evidence against her.

Kaul said his senior, DIG Neelabh Kishore, did not support the view and stopped him from arresting her. When asked if he had filed a complaint against Kishore, Kaul said he (Kishore) was my senior and if he did not permit, arrest could not have been made. He also said Nupur Talwar’s role was given in the closure report filed before the Magistrate. With today’s proceedings, Kaul’s deposition before the special court here has been completed. He was the last prosecution witness to be produced before the court, CBI counsel R K Saini said here.

Earlier during his deposition, Kaul had said he had enough circumstantial evidence against Rajesh’s brother Dinesh Talwar and family friend Sunil Choudhary to file charge sheet against them but seniors Kishore and Joint Director Javeed Ahmed felt there is not enough material to file the chargesheet and hence he (Kaul) filed final report (closure). Kaul had yesterday told the special court that according to investigations, Rajesh Talwar had found his daughter and domestic servant in “objectionable position” and killed them using his golf stick and a sharp-edged weapon.

14-year-old Aarushi was found dead with her throat slit in her bedroom on May 16, 2008. The initial suspicion went on Hemraj whose body was later found in their terrace at Jalvayu Vihar in Noida on the outskirts of Delhi. The allegations of involvement in the murder have been refuted by the Talwars who have claimed innocence in the matter.


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State govt orders inquiry into suicide of Dalit family (Apr 25, 2013, Statesman)

With the death of the fourth member of the Dalit family which entered a suicide pact in a Haryana village following the rape and alleged abduction of the 15-year-old victim, the state government appears to have taken some action with the transfer of the concerned station house officer (SHO) and order of a inquiry into the matter.

Five members of the family had consumed poison on Monday in Hisar district apparently under police pressure to produce the missing girl in court for evidence in the rape case and on account of poverty. While the victim’s mother (38) and sister (13) died on Monday, a brother (9) died on Tuesday. The second brother (11) died on Wednesday while the 40-year-old father, who works as rickshaw-puller, is in a stable condition.

His eldest daughter was raped in May last year and then she went missing from her village, Bheri Akbarpur, near Uklana town of the district. The local police had allegedly been harassing the family to trace the missing girl by 30 April. The deputy commissioner, Hisar, Mr Amit Kumar Agarwal, has ordered an inquiry into the incident under ADC Mr Ashok Kumar Garg. The SHO, Mr Jai Bhagwan has also been transferred for fair probe in the case.

Police suspect the father’s role in the suicide pact as he is the only one to survive while the four others, alleged to have consumed Celphos with him, died. He may be interrogated after getting discharged from the hospital.

Though police denies having pressurised the family to trace the girl, some reports said they (police) suspected the father had reached a compromise with the accused and married her off. But as the girl did not come back even after the death of her four family members, the assumption appears to have been proven wrong.


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Opinions and Editorials

Mainstreaming Modi – By Avinash Kumar (May 4, 2013, Economic & Political Weekly)

We have all heard of the fairytale where the frog turned into a prince when kissed by a princess. A somewhat similar situation seems to be upon us with media willing to kiss and turn Narendra Modi into “prince charming”. This means not just hailing Modi in some abstract way, but more significantly turning mainstream and acceptable what he represents. In the past few months, the mainstream media has gone all over town telling us how Modi is now “mainstream” and not a pariah anymore. The reasons for this change in perception range from how even the United Kingdom and the European Union have “normalised” relations with him, that he has been elected thrice in a row to the chief ministership of Gujarat, which surely speaks of his abilities as an “efficient” and “able” administrator, that Gujarat has become corporate India’s favourite investment destination, and most importantly, that he is the guy who can take “decisions” and not keep the nation waiting for action. …

When protesters were laying siege to Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) in Delhi where Modi was delivering a speech to students inside its premises, the NDTV news channel was running an online poll asking “Rate Narendra Modi’s speech at SRCC”. Articles with titles like “Can Modi Deliver at the National Stage?” are being printed by the dozen. In a sense, therefore, the “normalisation” of Modi on the national scene is already complete even before he has been formally nominated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as its prime ministerial candidate. The point of this piece, however, is not to accuse these mainstream liberals of complicity with Modi, but to look at the reasons behind why this has happened and at a pace that defies logic. Some clues to the same can be found in a recent piece which appeared on the edit page of Times of India written by Arvind Virmani (18h April, 2013) who incidentally served as the chief economic advisor to the first United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) government. In this piece, he uses three criteria to compare the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress with the Modi-led BJP namely, social inclusion, economic growth & development, and domestic and national security.

While giving credit for better results on the first criteria to the Congress, Virmani rates the BJP higher on the other two. Hence the “tentative score for Rahul-led Congress is A, B+ and B on the three fronts with a net score of B+. Modi-led BJP’s scores, meanwhile, are C+, A and A- with a net of B+”. He goes on to emphasise the importance of “governance” and “economic growth” for both the parties. An economist who till recently served under the Congress led government is rating the “Modi-led BJP” higher on two of his three criteria. This underlines the fact that there is a near consensus among policy makers and the mainstream media over the way the country should be run. Barring some minor tweaking with words like “inclusion”, the prescription remains the same. That is, a “growth led trajectory” obsessed with percentages and numbers, a large-scale withdrawal of the State even from basic services, a wilful neglect of sectors like agriculture and small industries (which provide employment to the largest number of people even today) and a unending belief in the ability of the corporate sector to be the panacea for all ills. Hence there is also agreement in terms of emphasis like “good governance” and “efficient administration” even among people who seem politically divergent.

But the question, why is the Modi-led BJP preferred over the Congress, still remains? Is it simply due to a chain of scams which have plagued the current regime over the last few years, or is it something beyond that? Surely, the BJP has found itself ensnared in as many scams as the Congress party. In my view, there are two specific reasons that explain Modi’s “normalisation” by the corporate groups and that national media. One, it shows the success of the Modi-led BJP’s selective interpretation of issues such as growth, governance, peace and security, and how these have now been mainstreamed. To come to “peace and security” first, a constant projection of “threat-perception” both from within and outside — meaning Muslims and sometimes Maoists from within and Pakistan from outside — is now complete and mainstream. So much so that during the current Congress-led regime we have suddenly witnessed a flurry of decisions confirming capital punishment. Those in power have to show they are “decisive” just like Modi was in 2002. … Another magic word in this context is “governance”. What does it mean under Modi? That he cut down all bureaucratic rigmarole so that the Tatas could set up their Nano car factory within a matter of days. Or that thousands of investors could flock down to the green pastures of Gujarat (never mind occasional court rulings that harass an Adani or a Mundhra for the violation of laws and community’s rights). Infrastructure, ports, highways and electricity to urbanised parts of Gujarat are the hallmarks of his governance, but not the fact that he “governed” over the massacre of more than a thousand Muslims, or that he “allowed” scores of people, mainly Muslims, to be killed in fake encounters. Modi’s governance means bureaucrats fear him and do what he says without questioning. In these times of the ideology of less government this is exactly what is loved by the corporate sector and the media. This interpretation of governance obviously does not include the prevalent high malnutrition and anemia rates among women and children and the worsening situation of Dalits and Tribals in the state. It also does not include large-scale displacement of communities in the name of “development”.

Modi’s panacea for growth is more upfront on issues such as a voucher system for education and reducing government expenditure on basic services like health and education, thereby leaving the masses to fend for themselves. With the growth rate plummeting to below 5%, the “threat perception” which may finally turn the tide in favour of Modi is that of an economic downturn. As long as the sailing was smooth under the UPA regime the corporate and media could keep Modi away. With the threat of falling economic growth profits cannot be compromised on any count. As the saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Hence the clamor for a decisive and tough leader like Modi who can help us attain the mythical 10% growth rate. If this means weakening our civil and political rights, so be it. If it means denying justice to those killed and displaced, so be it. But for this it is necessary that we “humanise” Modi, divest him of the accusations of being complicit in killings and paper over the human suffering that his model of development has entailed for many people. It is only by erasing the entire memory of the 2002 riots and their aftermath that Modi can be made acceptable for the elections.


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BJP Promises The Moon. And Some More – By Imran Khan (May 4, 2013, Tehelka)

On 19 April, the BJP unveiled its manifesto for the upcoming Assembly election. Among other things that the party promised to woo voters was 25 kg of rice at 1 per kg to poor families and free laptops to students. While these sops are aimed at attracting rural and urban voters, actual number crunching show that not much thought has been applied while making these promises. There are more than 88.5 lakh Below Poverty Line (BPL) cardholders in Karnataka, and the BJP manifesto vaguely promises 25 kg rice per family but specifies neither the frequency of distribution nor the number of beneficiaries. “More than 38 percent of the people of this country earn less than Rs 65 per day. Giving them rice at 1 per kg is the most basic thing a state can do,” says DV Sadananda Gowda, former BJP chief minister.

However, analysts point at the subsidy bulge the state will have to incur in order to meet the expenses. Karnataka is quite close to the upper limit of the fiscal deficit, says Vikas Kumar, an economist who teaches at the Azim Premji University in Bengaluru. Interestingly, during the 2013-14 Budget presented by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar in January, Rs 1,200 crore was already earmarked for food subsidy, which would have taken care among other things, the Rs 1 kg rice scheme. However, the Budget does not indicate the coverage of the rice scheme. “We cannot be sure if the amount stated was entirely for rice or other things like grain also,” adds Kumar.

The manifesto, which was released by senior BJP leader Arun Jaitely in the presence of Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, state unit BJP chief Prahllad Joshi, party General Secretary H N Ananth Kumar, also promises the distribution of free laptops to more than 16 lakh students, and free English speaking courses to students of Kannada-medium schools, to attract middle-class voters. With each laptop priced at Rs 25,000, the state exchequer would incur a cost of nearly 4,000 crore to meet its promise. “Since the manifesto is vague, a precise analysis is not possible. For instance, it does not tell us whether all Pre-University College (PUC) or graduation students will get laptops in the first year after the election,” says Shantha Kumar, a developmental economist.


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Reading the Riot Act – By Hemchhaya De (Apr 24, 2013, The Telegraph)

The much-awaited Communal Violence Bill might finally see the light of day by the end of this year, if all goes well in Parliament. According to K. Rahman Khan, Union minister for minority affairs, the home ministry is working hard to give the bill, originally introduced in 2005, a fresh lease of life. “The government wants to bring in the Communal Violence Bill,” he says. “The home ministry is holding consultations with the ministries concerned, including the minority affairs ministry.” Khan goes on to add that a draft incorporating the suggestions of the standing committee, which scrutinised the original Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill under Sushma Swaraj, and the National Advisory Council (NAC), can be expected in the winter session of Parliament. The chief objective of the bill, as stated by the then home affairs minister, Shivraj Patil, is “empowering the State Governments and the Central Government to take effective measures to provide for the prevention and control of communal violence and to rehabilitate the victims of such violence, for speedy investigation and trial of such offences”.

According to John Dayal, social activist and a member of the National Integration Council headed by the Prime Minister, certain objections to the 2005 bill were raised when the government presented its version in the Rajya Sabha. “It was clear that the administration was empowering governments and the police rather than protecting victims,” he says. Subsequently, the NAC was tasked with drafting another version of the bill, which came to be known as the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011. Dayal, who was involved with the process of drafting the bill, says this draft, after being “formatted” by additional solicitor-general Indira Jaising, was put in the public domain a couple of years ago to garner public opinion. Activists say that since 2011, the draft bill has been in limbo. But many of them are now upbeat that something is perhaps being done to revive it. “For the moment at least the much awaited bill has been pulled out of cold storage,” says Teesta Setalvad, founder of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), an NGO that fights for victims of Gujarat riots. She hopes the government will not deviate greatly from the NAC version of the bill.

In fact, CJP and 30 other non-government organisations have been running the Justice For All campaign across the country over the past few months to put pressure on the Centre to start the legislative process for passing the Communal Violence Bill. “The campaign has been endorsed by Justices P.B. Sawant, Justice Kolse Patil, Justice S.A.H. Raza and others. We have had at least 15 public meetings so far across the country,” adds Setalvad. Experts say that the NAC draft is pretty comprehensive while addressing issues such as fixing the accountability of public servants during communal violence, hate propaganda and stipulating enhanced punishments for perpetrators. Apart from proposing the formation of a National Authority for Communal Harmony, Justice and Reparation, it lays down definitions of “targeted violence” and “torture”, among other things. For instance, Section 9, which deals with organised communal and targeted violence, says, “Whoever, being an individual, singly or jointly with others or being a part of an association or on behalf of an association or acting under the influence of an association, engages in continuing unlawful activity of a widespread or systematic nature knowingly directed against a group or part thereof, by virtue of their membership of that group, by use of violence or threat of violence or intimidation or coercion or by committing sexual assault or other unlawful means, is said to commit the offence of organised communal and targeted violence.”

But bringing in the law may not be a walk in the park for the government. The BJP and some of its allies have been expressing reservations on the draft legislation for a long time. A few days ago, even the Shiromoni Akali Dal told the media that the party objected to the bill’s “excessive centralisation of powers” and would oppose it. K. Rahman Khan, the minister, seems keen to allay such fears. “All such issues have been properly addressed in the standing committee’s recommendations,” he says. Another long-standing objection by parties such as the BJP is that the draft bill is anti-majority or anti-Hindu. Activists say that this is a baseless accusation. “It’s not a question of minorities versus the majority,” explains John Dayal. “In defining groups, it was clear to us that most groups could be in a minority in some state or another, and in certain circumstances. Though Muslims, Sikhs and Christians were the national minorities, even Hindus were a minority in as many as seven of the 35 states and Union territories of India.” Besides, as the draft states, the objective is to “prevent and control targeted violence, including mass violence, against Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and religious minorities in any State in the Union of India, and linguistic minorities in any State in the Union of India”. Even so, certain organisations fighting for communal violence victims are quite sceptical about the efficacy of the Communal Violence Bill. “What good can such bills ensure if the mindset of our people regarding minorities doesn’t change,” wonders Kamna Vohra, advocate, Supreme Court of India, and a member of Sikhs For Justice, an NGO fighting legal battles on behalf of the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots. “We have seen how riot victims in minority communities live in fear and are often too scared to fight for justice. Can such bills help them?”

Of course, the draft bill will be of little use to victims of communal violence that occurred in the past. “A law is not retrospective in its application,” says Setalvad. “But we believe that such legislation will be a powerful deterrent to the outbreak of targeted violence and mass violence in future.” She adds that once the bill becomes a law, it can actually arm public servants “against bending to the will of the illegal and unconstitutional instructions of their political masters”. Needless to say, all eyes are now on the UPA government – whether they will bring in a stronger draft to score brownie points before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls or stop short of tabling the bill for fear of the BJP turning the “anti-majority concern” in its favour. Says Dayal, “At the end of the day, it’s for the government to decide which political discourse will be more interesting to them – caving in to the mobilisation of BJP forces or ensuring the protection of minorities in the country.”


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The case that saved Indian democracy – By Arvind P. Datar (Apr 24, 2013, The Hindu)

Exactly forty years ago, on April 24, 1973, Chief Justice Sikri and 12 judges of the Supreme Court assembled to deliver the most important judgment in its history. The case of Kesavananda Bharati v State of Kerala had been heard for 68 days, the arguments commencing on October 31, 1972, and ending on March 23, 1973. The hard work and scholarship that had gone into the preparation of this case was breathtaking. Literally hundreds of cases had been cited and the then Attorney-General had made a comparative chart analysing the provisions of the Constitutions of 71 different countries! All this effort was to answer just one main question: was the power of Parliament to amend the Constitution unlimited? In other words, could Parliament alter, amend, abrogate any part of the Constitution even to the extent of taking away all fundamental rights?

Article 368, on a plain reading, did not contain any limitation on the power of Parliament to amend any part of the Constitution. There was nothing that prevented Parliament from taking away a citizen’s right to freedom of speech or his religious freedom. But the repeated amendments made to the Constitution raised a doubt: was there any inherent or implied limitation on the amending power of Parliament? The 703-page judgment revealed a sharply divided court and, by a wafer-thin majority of 7:6, it was held that Parliament could amend any part of the Constitution so long as it did not alter or amend “the basic structure or essential features of the Constitution.” This was the inherent and implied limitation on the amending power of Parliament. This basic structure doctrine, as future events showed, saved Indian democracy and Kesavananda Bharati will always occupy a hallowed place in our constitutional history.

It is supremely ironical that the basic structure theory was first introduced by Justice Mudholkar eight years earlier by referring to a 1963 decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Chief Justice Cornelius – yes, Pakistan had a Christian Chief Justice and, later, a Hindu justice as well – had held that the President of Pakistan could not alter the “fundamental features” of their Constitution. The Kesavananda Bharati case was the culmination of a serious conflict between the judiciary and the government, then headed by Mrs Indira Gandhi. In 1967, the Supreme Court took an extreme view, in the Golak Nath case, that Parliament could not amend or alter any fundamental right. Two years later, Indira Gandhi nationalised 14 major banks and the paltry compensation was made payable in bonds that matured after 10 years!

This was struck down by the Supreme Court, although it upheld the right of Parliament to nationalise banks and other industries. A year later, in 1970, Mrs Gandhi abolished the Privy Purses. This was a constitutional betrayal of the solemn assurance given by Sardar Patel to all the erstwhile rulers. This was also struck down by the Supreme Court. Ironically, the abolition of the Privy Purses was challenged by the late Madhavrao Scindia, who later joined the Congress Party. Smarting under three successive adverse rulings, which had all been argued by N.A. Palkhivala, Indira Gandhi was determined to cut the Supreme Court and the High Courts to size and she introduced a series of constitutional amendments that nullified the Golak Nath, Bank Nationalisation and Privy Purses judgments. In a nutshell, these amendments gave Parliament uncontrolled power to alter or even abolish any fundamental right.

These drastic amendments were challenged by Kesavananda Bharati, the head of a math in Kerala, and several coal, sugar and running companies. On the other side, was not only the Union of India but almost all the States which had also intervened. This case had serious political overtones with several heated exchanges between N.A. Palkhivala for the petitioners and H.M. Seervai and Niren De, who appeared for the State of Kerala and the Union of India respectively. The infamous Emergency was declared in 1975 and, by then, eight new judges had been appointed to the Supreme Court. A shocking attempt was made by Chief Justice Ray to review the Kesavananda Bharati decision by constituting another Bench of 13 judges. In what is regarded as the finest advocacy that was heard in the Supreme Court, Palkhivala made an impassioned plea for not disturbing the earlier view. …


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Compromised Bureau of Investigation – Editorial (Apr 27, 2013, The Hindu)

The CBI’s formal acknowledgment to the Supreme Court that, on the demand of Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, it shared the status report of its investigations on the Coalgate scam with bureaucrats in the PMO and Coal Ministry shows how deeply the agency stands compromised. The fact that the CBI Director has now assured the court that the bureau’s future status reports “shall not be shared with any [member of the] political executive” is ample proof that the CBI knew its original action was a serious transgression of procedure. But for the fact that the story got leaked, the CBI would probably have continued “consulting” the political executive.

While sharing the status report with the Law Minister prior to filing it in the Supreme Court is bad enough, the fact that the CBI was happy to have its findings shown to bureaucrats from the very ministries that are under investigation borders on interference with the criminal justice system. The Supreme Court must now reprimand and punish those responsible for this subversion of the court’s directions, especially since ensuring the CBI’s independence of action has been its fundamental objective from the time of the Vineet Narain case. More importantly, the Law Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office must now be asked to provide affidavits on the matter and undertake never to interfere in the work of the CBI in this manner.

This is not a first for CBI when it comes to big cases. Even where the 2G investigation is concerned, the agency has shown signs of being subservient to the political leadership. After an initial burst of action, it delayed its probe in the spectrum scam till after the release of the CAG’s report made further inaction politically untenable. While concluding in its chargesheet of April 2011 that former Telecom Minister A. Raja “misled” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, it ignored documents that suggested the government approved of Mr. Raja’s actions. Apart from shoddy investigation, the 2G investigation shows the multiplicity of contradiction and instances where even file notings have been reproduced wrongly in the chargesheet.

The CBI’s probes into opposition leaders like Mulayam Singh, Mayawati and Jagan Reddy have also raised eyebrows. But in Coalgate, the premier investigating agency has been caught red-handed taking the highest court for a ride despite being under its constant monitor and supervision. The intention is clearly to subvert justice and undermine an agency tasked by the Supreme Court with ensuring probity. The people of India deserve to know the identity of all those within government who undertook – or tolerated – this latest assault on the CBI’s ‘independence.’


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Violence Against Women: Why Is It Always The Worst? – By Aakanksha Mohan sharma (Apr 29, 2013, Countercurrents)

Every time, doctors treat rape victims, they say this is the worst they had ever seen…Every time! It is always a worst level of domestic violence which leads her to commit suicide… Every time! (Yes, it is important)… It has to be really worst when fifty female fetuses are found in a well…Worst, Every time! (Can’t help)… Why our standards of brutality with women have come down to this point, where it has to be worst to be counted? Why it is worst at so many fronts? India ranks 132 out of 187 countries on the gender inequality index, lower than other South Asian counterparts like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Srilanka, Nepal, and Bhutan, according to the United Nations Human Development Report 2013. Yes, it’s worst!

According to the study, only 26.6 % of Indian women above the age of 15 received secondary education as compared to 50.4 % males. In the US, 94.7 % of women were educated to the secondary level as compared to 94.3 % men. The report revealed shocking figures for country’s labor force participation, which showed only 26.6% women are part of the labor force as compared to 80.7 % men. Only, 10.9 % got to sit in the Parliament. The report further says that the high male sex ratio at birth reflects women’s status in society and patriarchal mores and prejudices which are an aspect of deep-rooted social-cultural beliefs is one of the major reasons of this crisis.

According to last year’s National family health survey, 51 % of Indian men and 54 % of Indian women find it’s justifiable for a man to beat his wife and around 40 % of women have experienced some form of abuse from their husbands- pushing, slapping and hair pulling, punching, kicking, choking or burning. Yes, it’s worst! India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world where educated and well-dressed women walking on the roads are a regular sight. But this is just a superficial layer as the problem is deeply-rooted. The survey of world’s 20 biggest economies by Trust Law, a legal news service run by Thomson Reuters ranked India as the worst country to be a woman last year. Worst than Saudi Arabia. Yes, it’s worst! The survey polled 370 gender specialists and found Canada to be the best place amongst G 20 nations and Saudi Arabia second worst after India topping the list!

The report says that there is a deep–rooted mindset that women are inferior and must be kept inside and away from decision making. It also highlights the tendency of dangerous acceptance of discrimination and violence against women in the society. It too lists the fact that 52% women think it’s justifiable for a man to beat his wife (UNICEF 2012). The problem is not confined to the roads and streets of the nation, where women are mostly seen unsafe. But, actually it’s inside the boundaries of our homes where the mindset is born and shaped which makes women vulnerable in any situation and anywhere- at home, work, roads, buses, malls, fields, anywhere… For instance, Washington based International Center for research on Women revealed in a 2011 survey of gender equality that more than 65 % of Indian men believe that women sometimes deserved to be beaten or must be kept devoid of her opinions, and that to keep the family together, she must learn to tolerate violence- emotional, sexual or physical! Yes, it’s worst!

Up to 50 Million girls are thought to be missing over the past century due to female infanticide and feticide, according to UN Population fund. Fight for survival for a woman starts right from the womb which is mostly lost! The sex-ratio is badly skewed. Parents desperation for sons has left the country with 914 girls aged six and under per 1,000 boys according to 2011 census, down from 927 in 2001. This is one of the contributory factors of the unleashing sexual violence in the country. It’s crucial to understand that such crimes against women are not only gender specific social crimes but crimes against democracy and humanity which can result in bigger problems, the problems which men will have to face… The worst is being done against her and apparently getting worse day by day…What’s needed? Better laws? Measures to enhance safety programs? Gender sensitization programs? Police and policy reforms? Sexual and gender awareness? Or a revolution? As rightly said by Justice Katju “Law alone can play only 20 % role in empowering women in this country. 80 % will be changed by education, changing the mindset, the mentality of men who are still to a large extent feudal-minded which means they regard women as inferior”. Undoubtedly, a revolution is required to make India a some what better place to live in. And, unfortunately that may take long to come…


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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 19th, 2012

November 19, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Riots, encounters: Cong keeps heat on Modi Muslim bodies gear up to take on SP govt over Faizabad riots Police ‘atrocities’ anger Muslims Muslim doctors Thackeray’s last sentinels Bodoland Territorial Council member held with weapons, 5 more killed In WB funds meant for minority concentrated areas [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 27th, 2012

August 27, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony In bad weather, Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus make good friends News Headlines Cops turned a blind eye to tell-tale signs of tension Ruling BPF legislator arrested for Assam violence 20% of banned hate sites put up by Hindu groups Raj Thackeray shows his Hindutva colours as [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 21st, 2012

May 20, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Reinvestigate Narendra Modi’s Role Keshubhai says Modi rule a terror FIR against Yeddyurappa, sons and in-law Brutal Khaki – Bilal Sheikh sent to jail two days after he came out of ICU Masjid blast probe leaves acquitted ‘accused’ for life Mayawati’s parks, elephants and a Rs [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 7th, 2012

May 7, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Modi NOT eligible for diplomatic visa: US embassy 9 get life term in Ode riots case ’4 Maharashtra blasts, Malegaon linked’ Advani must be tried for Babri Masjid conspiracy: CBI to SC Staged shootout: Charges framed against Rajasthan IPS officer BJP MLA booked for inciting communal [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 9th, 2012

April 10, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Convictions in post-Godhra carnage a step on the road to justice says Indian American Muslim Council News Headlines Post-Godhra riots: 23 convicted in Ode massacre Narendra Modi tops negative votes in global poll Muslims rising against terror arrest of innocent youths Bihar Police spray bullets on mosque [...]

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Cops under scanner as Shehla’s phone was in use after her death (Sep 7, 2011, Indian Express)

September 13, 2011

While the alleged murder of event manager-turned-RTI activist Shehla Masood continues to be shrouded in mystery, the role of Madhya Pradesh Police has come under the scanner with the revelation that her phone was in use hours after the death. Shehla’s mobile had been seized from the car where her body was found on August [...]

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The Wrong Name – By Saba Naqvi (Aug 1, 2011, Outlook)

July 25, 2011

Imagine being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Perhaps having the wrong name, in that wrong place. Imagine landing in jail, being tortured and beaten for that unfortunate conjunction of destiny and birth. Presumably our investigative agencies do track down real terrorists based on real intelligence and forensic evidence. But all too often [...]

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