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Police Atrocities

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 28th, 2014

by newsdigest on July 30, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Hadapsar sees Hindu-Muslim unity (Jul 21, 2014, DNA India)

In the backdrop of the recent communal clashes in Hadapsar, the Hindus and Muslims in a major interfaith initiative have come up with the idea of protecting each other’s places of worship. The Hindus of the area have taken the responsibility to protect the Muslim mosques and shrines while the Muslims have taken the responsibility of protecting the temples.

To overcome the issue, the police along with the local residences and community had together formed a peace committee which later was bifurcated into “Almagira Masjid defence committee” and Ram-Hanuman Temple Defence committee ” with the sole objective to spread the message of peace and harmony. Now, both the communities have taken the onus of protecting each other’s places of worship and vowed to protect them till the last breath of their lives.

Real estate Amit Dhabhade (31), a resident of Handewadi said, “It’s a good initiative and I do not understand why there is always a discrimination between two communities and why religious places are targeted. God is one and his place of residence is a temple, mosque, church or any other religious place. On Fridays, we along with police patrol around the mosques in the area and also keep a vigil on the anti-social elements, traffic jams and honking,” he said adding that it was his duty to protect Muslim mosques with he being a true Hindu.

Ejaz Pathan (30), a resident of Sayeed Nagar and a businessman said that the misunderstanding has been caused due to vested interests. “As muslims it is our farz to protect our Hindu neighbours and protect their temples in Muslim dominated areas. We have taken an oath to protect the life and property of our Hindu brothers and ensure that divisive forces are booted out of the society,” he said.

A month of chaos and misunderstanding between the two communities had let to panic atmosphere in Hadapsar after defamatory SMSes related to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray were circulated on social networking sites and social messengers. …

http://www.dnaindia.com/pune/report-hadapsar-sees-hindu-muslim-unity-2004040

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United Nations body recalls Gujarat riots, insists on enacting “dropped” communal violence bill (Jul 22, 2014, Counterview.net)

At a time when the Narendra Modi government is all set to consider dropping it, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has asked the Government of India (GoI) to “promptly enact the draft Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill” as an important step to prevent violence against women. It notes “continued marginalization and poverty of women and girls survivors of the Gujarat riots living in the relief colonies and their precarious living conditions with limited access to education, health care, employment and security.”

This law is also needed, CEDAW indicates, because there has been a “significant number of displaced women and girl, particularly in the North-Eastern region”, resulting from “sporadic communal violence”. In this context, it expressed deep concern about “the reported high level of violence against women in conflict-affected regions” in Kashmir, the North East, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Pointing towards state complicity in all this, SEDAW wants the Government f India (GoI) to “amend and/or repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act”.

This, CEDAW suggests, is necessary to end “sexual violence against women perpetrated by members of the armed forces or uniformed personnel”, who, it insists, should be “brought under the purview of ordinary criminal law.” Asking GoI to “remove the requirement for government permission to prosecute members of the armed forces or uniformed personnel accused of crimes of violence against women”, CEDAW says, the Protection of Human Rights Act be also changed by conferring powers to the National Human Rights Commission to investigate cases against armed forces personnel.…

http://www.counterview.net/2014/07/united-nations-body-recalls-gujarat.html

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Sena MP ‘force-feeds’ fasting Muslim staffer at Maharashtra Sadan (Jul 23, 2014, Rediff)

A shocking incident of misuse of power has come to light in national capital New Delhi where 11 Shiv Sena Members of Parliament are reported to have forced a Muslim worker to break his Ramzan fast and eat a chapati, at the Maharashtra Sadan. The MPs were apparently dissatisfied by the fact that they had not been served Maharashtrian food.

An Indian Express report identified the 11 Shiv Sena MPs as Sanjay Raut (Rajya Sabha), Anandrao Adsul (Amravati), Rajan Vichare (Thane), Arvind Sawant (Mumbai-South), Hemant Godse (Nashik), Krupal Tumane (Ramtek), Ravindra Gaikwad (Osmanabad), Vinayak Raut (Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg), Shivaji Adhalrao Patil (Shirur), Rahul Shewale (Mumbai-South Central) and Shrikant Shinde (Kalyan).

Soon after the incident, Shankar Malhotra, deputy general manager of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism, which handles subsidiary catering for Maharashtra Sadan, shot off a letter to Maharashtra resident commissioner Bipin Mallick.

In the letter, Malhotra wrote, “All the guests along with media reporters and staffs of Maharashtra Sadan got into kitchen where I was getting the orders prepared. They caught me and put the chapati into my mouth. I was wearing a formal uniform set as prescribed by IRCTC and everybody in the panel also knew my name as ‘Arshad’ as I was wearing the name tag. Even then they inserted chapati in my mouth which caused my fast to break on the eve of Ramzan. I was hurt with the thing they have done as religious sentiments are concerned.”

http://www.rediff.com/news/slide-show/slide-show-1-sena-11-mp-force-feed-fasting-muslim-staffer-maharashtra-sadan/20140723.htm

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Sangh sets up panel to push ‘saffronisation’ of education (Jul 27, 2014, Business Standard)

Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas, an organisation affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has set up Bharatiya Shiksha Niti Aayog (Indian Education Policy Commission), the first commission of its kind in the non-governmental sector, to study “the present education system and suggest corrective steps to make it Bharat-centric”. Likely to be headed by Dinanath Batra – who shot to fame when he pulped American scholar Wendy Doniger’s book on Hinduism – this body is being seen as RSS’ effort to mount pressure on the Narendra Modi-led government to implement the Sangh agenda of “saffronisation” of education and to prevent the latter from diverting from its core ideals.

Though the commission was formed a few months ahead of the swearing-in of the Modi government on May 26 – Sangh mouthpiece Organiser informs the ‘bhoomi pujan’ of the office was done in Delhi on April 13 – RSS gave its go-ahead for the panel at a recent Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal meeting in Madhya Pradesh.

According to Sangh insiders, education is a key area in the RSS’ scheme of things and could emerge as a point of conflict in future with the government. Given Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani’s lack of understanding of the Sangh Parivar’s functioning, RSS is adopting a wait-and-watch policy. Irani, meanwhile, has managed to establish a good rapport with some senior RSS leaders, but a section of the organisation still has reservations about her credentials to occupy the important HRD portfolio.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/sangh-sets-up-panel-to-push-saffronisation-of-education-114072601164_1.html

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Rape the activist: RSS man posts on facebook (Jul 29, 2014, Deccan Chronicle)

Several police complaints were lodged against V.R. Bhat, a prominent member of the right wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), on Monday for posting a derogatory remark against a woman activist on Facebook. The post by Mr Bhat read that the activists like her should be raped by rapists. Such activists should be held by their hair and sexually assaulted to correct their approach towards Hinduism.

It was his apparent reply to Ms Prabha N. Belamangala’s post that a great deal of contributions are made by the lower strata of people towards development of a nation, but the upper strata of certain religious sects take the credit. Ms Belamangala (43) is a social activist and state secretary of Janavignana Samiti, an NGO. After Mr Bhat’s incendiary post, she lodged a complaint with the Chandra Layout police under whose jurisdiction she resides.

Mr Bhat’s post created has a furore on the social media network, and other activists lodged complaints against Mr Bhat at different police stations in different parts of the state. In Nelamangala, the state president of Karnataka Dalita Sangatanegala Okkutta, B.R. Bhaskhar Prasad, filed a police complaint against Mr Bhat. He has suggested that Mr Bhat should be booked under Goonda Act. “We will not stop with this, there are two more police complaints that will be lodged on Tuesday from Mandya and H assan,” Mr Bhaskhar Prasad told Deccan Chronicle.

Immediately after the complaints were registered, Mr Bhat deleted the post. But the complainants had taken the screen shots of his message and decided to pursue the case legally. Mr Bhat also called the activists and apologised to them. Mr Bhat is also a columnist for vernacular newspapers, and has been slapped with Section 66A of the IT Act.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/140729/nation-crime/article/rape-activist-rss-man-facebook

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UP: 3 dead, several injured in Saharanpur clashes; shoot-at-sight orders against rioters (Jul 26, 2014, Hindustan Times)

Communal violence left Uttar Pradesh bloodied again with three killed and several injured in a clash between Sikhs and Muslims in Saharanpur on Saturday. Curfew was clamped and shoot-at-sight orders given against rioters. The two groups fought pitched battles and burnt several vehicles, as home minister Rajnath Singh spoke to chief minister Akhilesh Yadav who assured him that the situation would be contained soon.

The communities, who clashed over construction on a disputed plot, fought with firearms, swords and stones and torched shops and vehicles. One of the deceased, Sanjeev Kochar, died of bullet injuries. The second victim was identified only as Arif while there was no confirmation of the third’s identity. A constable and a home guard sustained serious injuries as the police stepped in to control the rampage. They are both in critical condition.

The situation continued to be tense till late Saturday, as heavy security was deployed by the state government, officials said. Over a dozen policemen were also injured in the violence. Curfew continues in a few areas under six police stations. Police have arrested over a dozen people for inciting violence over a land dispute and sources in the home department said the tense situation was now under control.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/1244777.aspx

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Breach of pact sparked Moradabad riots (Jul 28, 2014, The Hindu)

Tension in Nayagaon Akbarpur village in Kanth town of Moradabad, which sparked communal tension in the area erupted as an agreement reached between the Muslims and Dalits earlier this month was breached.

Just a day before the controversial July 4 “Mahapanchayat”, called by the BJP in protest against the removal of the loudspeaker, at the temple in Nayagaon Akbarpur village, all stake holders, including Moradabad MP Kunwar Sarvesh Kumar Singh, Sambhal MP Satyapal Saini and local BJP leaders, had a meeting with Kanth MLA Anisurrahman at his residence. All the leaders and other participants in the meeting reached an agreement according to which the loudspeaker was to be put up on the Shiva temple after Eid, August 3.

However, the agreement was allegedly breached the very next day by BJP supporters and the Moradabad MP, who started protesting on the issue on July 4. The most important condition of the agreement was that after the meeting, the “Mahapanchayat” will not be organised, a condition to which all the BJP leaders present in the meeting had agreed. However, later the BJP supporters allegedly rejected the agreement.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/breach-of-pact-sparked-moradabad-riots/article6255558.ece

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Justice remains elusive dream for the victims of 2012 BTAD violence even after two years (Jul 21, 2014, Twocircles.net)

Two years is a pretty long period for anything to change. But for a section of ill-fated people in Assam, it’s all the same as their pain continues to haunt them, in fact, in a more painful way. The bloody violence which broke out in Assam’s Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) on July 20 in 2012 witnessed around 100 deaths and several lakhs were displaced but the victims did not get the justice.

Ainuddin Sheikh is still inconsolable when somebody reminds him of that fateful day. The day when he lost his father Bashir Sheikh exactly two years ago in Assam’s troubled torn BTAD. “Sometimes I do not feel like living anymore. Time and again we are facing atrocities and there is no justice. There is no value of live for the people like us. I got Rs 50 thousand as compensation but my father is gone forever without his fault. We can only get peace if the culprits are punished,” said a dejected Ainuddin of Heikipara of Kokrajhar district.

The incident was criticized from different parts of the globe. The state government was slammed for its failure to control law and order situation but it remained all the same. The culprits are roaming free whereas the victims are still living shedding tears in the memory of their dear ones.…

http://twocircles.net/2014jul21/justice_remains_elusive_dream_victims_2012_btad_violence_even_after_two_years.html

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Skewed representation of Muslims in police behind trust deficit: Islam (Jul 22, 2014, Indian Express)

For a state that has nearly 30 per cent minority population, West Bengal does not have enough representation of Muslims in the police forces leading to a trust deficit between the community and the administration, a retired IPS officer has said.

Nazrul Islam, a former IPS officer of West Bengal cadre, said he shares the same perception that a report by three DGPs – Sanjeev Dayal of Maharashtra, Deoraj Nagar of Uttar Pradesh and K Ramanujam of Tamil Nadu – has thrown.

“At present, Bengal has 30 per cent minority population, which is pretty high in terms of the all India scenario and in terms of other states. However, we do not see any reflection of this population ratio in the police force of the state. Starting from the rank of constables to the IPS cadre, there are handful of people in the force who belong to the Muslim community,” Islam who retired as an ADG said.

Islam, quoting some in-depth studies over crime patterns, and analysed that “around 45 per cent criminals who are lodged in jails in Bengal are Muslims”. “In Murshidabad, Muslim population is 63.7 per cent. But, crime records bureau states that 90 per cent of the criminals lodged in Murshidabad jail are Muslims. This is a big divide,” he said.

The retired IPS said that there is a “common perception (in the police force)” that a “Muslim courier of Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN) from a small village is essentially a member of a terrorist organization”. “This outlook of the police force needs to be changed. At times, uneducated and poor Muslims are targeted by crime syndicates,” he said, adding Bengal has never had a Muslim home minister.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/skewed-representation-of-muslims-in-police-behind-trust-deficit-islam/99/

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Naxals blow up rail tracks, Rajdhani pilot engine derails (Jul 24, 2014, Indian Express)

Maoists blasted a portion of a railway track between Ismailpur and Rafiganj section in Bihar, leading to the derailment of a pilot engine running ahead of the Bhubaneshwar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express. No casualty was reported in the blast that took place late on Tuesday night, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Magadh range, P K Shrivastava told PTI.

In Patna, Chief Public Relations Officer, East Central Railway, Arvind Kumar Rajak said the advance pilot engine running ahead of Bhubaneshwar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express jumped off the track due to the incident. Nearly one dozen mail and Express trains including three Rajdhani Express trains have been stranded at various places between Gaya and Mughalsarai due to the incident, Rajak said.

The blast was trigerred during a one-day bandh call called by the Maoists against police firing in Aurangabad and Rohtas districts. The CPRO said that nearly three metre of the track has been damaged in the blast. Electric wire overhead has also been damaged, he said.

The DIG said that the blast appears to be a powerful one creating a four-feet deep crater. Howrah-New Delhi Rajdhani Express, Bhubaneshwar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express, Sealdah-New Delhi Rajdhani Express, Jodhpur-Howrah Express and Doon Express were among the major trains stranded at various places.

The blast took place at Lahat village under Rafiganj police station of Aurangabad district at around 11:30 PM last night. Gaya Additional Superintendent of Police Ashok Kumar Singh, who rushed to the spot after the incident, said the explosion took place during the one-day bandh call given by the Naxals against police firing in Aurangabad and Rohtas districts recently.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/maoists-explode-rail-track-pilot-engine-of-rajdhani-derails/

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Mumbai model accuses senior cop of rape (Jul 25, 2014, Times of India)

A police first information report has been filed against a senior IPS officer in the city for repeated rape by a man in uniform, molestation and stalking under the new tougher anti-rape laws after a complaint by a small-time model. If convicted, he could face life imprisonment.

The complaint against DIG Sunil Paraskar, 57, was made to city police commissioner Rakesh Maria, who handed it to the women’s cell of the crime branch, which registered the FIR in secrecy at Malwani police station, under whose jurisdiction the crime allegedly took place. The model has accused the officer of coercing her into a physical relationship during investigation into a case and raping her on several occasions in a hotel in Madh between December 2013 and January 2014.

Paraskar, a 1987 batch officer who is to retire in two years, is now posted as deputy inspector general at the Protection of Civil Rights Unit in the state police HQ in Colaba. At the time of the case, he was additional commissioner of police (north) after being inducted into the IPS cadre in 2010. “Irrespective of the officer’s seniority, we will go with the merits of the case,” Maria told TOI. Despite repeated attempts, Paraskar could not be reached for his comments. …

Besides stalking and outraging modesty, Paraskar has been charged under section 376 (2) (c) of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013. It says if a police officer commits rape, it will be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for not less than 10 years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, which will mean imprisonment for the remainder of the person’s natural life.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/38982559.cms

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Opinions and Editorials

Creed of violence – Editorial (Jul 24, 2014, DNA India)

Any defence of, or silence on, the actions of Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare who force-fed a catering manager, a Muslim undertaking the Ramzan fast, despite the latter’s protestations, and of the ten other Shiv Sena MPs who allegedly vandalised the New Maharashtra Sadan in protest against not being served Maharashtrian food is untenable. Arshad Zubair, in his complaint to his employer, IRCTC, has categorically stated that the MPs knew his religious persuasion and would have seen the nameplate on his shirt. Leaked video footage of the attack also shows the young man pleading with Vichare to desist from stuffing the food into his mouth.

The government’s silence for hours after reports surfaced of this unacceptable act of MPs, who owe it their allegiance, is unfortunate. Even political compulsions offer no justification for such reluctance to condemn this ghastly act. But none of this should deter Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan from adopting a tough line and safeguard Parliament’s prestige. Their suspension from Parliament is the sine qua non before any credible inquiry can be undertaken by a parliamentary panel or the police.

Instead of an outright apology, Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray appears to be defending his MPs by saying there was no intention to hurt anyone’s religious sentiments. Vichare’s actions, seen in the context of the Shiv Sena cadre’s long history of lumpen behaviour, would hardly surprise anyone. By not offering an unconditional, unqualified apology, the Sena has yet again betrayed its inability to function as a responsible party.

For a party, aiming to return to power in Maharashtra after 15 years in the wilderness, the MPs actions might resonate with its militant core but could scare away ordinary law-abiding citizens. The Shiv Sena would do well to realise that the accumulated anti-incumbency against the three-term Congress-NCP government, rather than popular affinity towards its twin-espousal of Maharashtrian sub-nationalism and Hindutva, is facilitating its comeback. …

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has issued diktats on the code of conduct to be followed by his MPs but has maintained a studied silence on several troubling developments in the past two months having socio-political implications. His proactive stance on economic policy issues is welcome; but by not lending the stature of his office to comment on the burning social issues of the day, the signal it sends out is a State that cannot be bothered by the fates of those vulnerable and in need of its support. Fifteen of the 18 Shiv Sena MPs in the Lok Sabha have criminal cases against their names and eight of them are accused of serious offences. Without political parties taking a stand against criminalisation, Parliament and India will continue to be shamed by such incidents.

http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/editorial-dnaedit-creed-of-violence-2004754

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Hindutva politics in Moradabad: Here’s how a local dispute turned communal – By Ajaz Ashraf (Jul 29, 2014, First Post)

West Uttar Pradesh is fast emerging as the new laboratory of Hindutva politics, where are being tested techniques of electoral mobilisation for their relative efficacy. These techniques entail undermining the traditional mechanism for resolving disputes, imparting national undertones to a contentious local issue, and harnessing religious identity to challenge numerical domination and paper over caste/class contradictions.

These overlapping themes underlie the decision to abort the agreement that the Muslims and Dalits of Nayagaon Akbarpur village of Kanth town, Moradabad, had hammered through negotiations. Communal tension had been sparked off in Nayagaon Akbarpur, which gradually spread to Kanth town and beyond, over whether or not the Dalits could use the loudspeaker installed at the Shiv temple in the village.

The Muslims argued the temple did not have the tradition of using the loudspeaker other than during the Mahashivratri festival. They claim this tradition was flouted when the Dalits installed a loudspeaker at the Shiv temple on 16 June to felicitate Kunwar Servesh Kumar, who had won on the BJP ticket from Moradabad.

However, the loudspeaker wasn’t removed at the end of felicitation ceremony. On 25 June, a meeting was convened at the Kanth town residence of MN Jabar Singh, a Jatav leader who had twice served as pradhan of Rustampur-Sherpur village. Both Singh and local police authorities tried to persuade the Dalits of Nayagaon Akbarpur village to voluntarily take down the loudspeaker, promising they would have it installed at a later date. …

In other words, Kanth has provided the BJP an opportunity to magnify a local dispute to craft a narrative of the monolith Hindu community arrayed against the unreasonable Muslim community. Truly, in India, the apparent is rarely ever the complete story.

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/hindutva-politics-in-moradabad-heres-how-a-local-dispute-turned-communal-1638497.html

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The Brains Behind Modi Sarkar – By Brijesh Singh (Aug 2, 2014, Tehelka)

What do Ajit Doval, Nripendra Misra and PK Misra have in common? Of course, they are top bureaucrats whom Narendra Modi handpicked to run his team. There is another common factor. They all hail from New Delhi-based think-tank Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF). Former IB director Ajit Doval was steering the ship at VIF as founder-director before he was appointed as Modi’s National Security Adviser. He was advising Modi even before the government was formed. In fact, it was Doval who came up with the idea of inviting South Asian leaders to Modi’s oath-taking ceremony.…

Rumour has it that the plan to corner the Congress was allegedly drafted by VIF at the behest of the BJP and the RSS. On one hand, Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev were raking up the corruption issue and protesting against the government. On the other hand, the BJP was adding fuel to fire. This is why senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh kept referring to the anti-corruption movement as an RSS conspiracy. But as the movement reached its peak and the UPA government came up with absurd steps to tackle the situation, nobody paid him any heed.

The VIF’s alleged links with the RSS has come in handy for Modi’s critics. Sangh leaders regularly visit the VIF, while RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and BJP leader LK Advani actively engage with it. Recently, Bhagwat was at the VIF to release former diplomat OP Gupta’s book Defining Hindutva. Since the VIF emerged out of the Vivekananda Kendra, critics believe it would be a mistake to consider the VIF separate from the RSS.

“VIF is an RSS project,” says a critic. “The first thing you notice when you enter the building is a photograph of Eknath Ranade. VIF is filled with right-wing officials. As they were marginalised intellectually, they created their own think-tank. It is a desperate attempt to get acknowledged in the intellectual world. If it is not so, then why does the RSS chief keep visiting the VIF?” …

As VIF basks in the newfound limelight, foreign dignitaries are making a beeline to the think-tank. … As more and more VIF members join the Narendra Modi sarkar, it is a no-brainer that the think-tank will play a key role in formulating the country’s foreign, economic and security policies.

http://www.tehelka.com/vivekananda-international-foundation-the-brains-behind-modi-sarkar/

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Gadkari Bugging Scandal: Is “Saheb” Listening? – By Shehzad Poonawalla (Jul 29, 2014, Countercurrents)

There is certainly more than what meets the eye in the “bugging controversy” that has hit the Narendra Modi government recently. Broken first on Newsx and its sister publication The Sunday Guardian (co-incidentally a paper launched by BJP leader and former veteran journalist MJ Akbar where he continues to be involved) news reports claimed that senior minister Nitin Gadkari’s official residence in Delhi at 13 Teen Murti Lane was planted with high-powered listening devices, obviously in an attempt to eve’s drop on conversations that the heavyweight minister was having. While details remain sketchy, it has further emerged that a total of six devices were recovered, including one from the minister’s bedroom, in the de-bugging exercise that was done sometime ago.

While the Bharatiya Janta Party and the government remains tight-lipped on the issue, Nitin Gadkari’s denial of the reports being ‘highly speculative’ was hardly convincing leave alone categorical. The fact that the de-bugging exercise was reportedly carried out by a private firm and not the national intelligence agencies itself is quite a revealing statement on its own! Surely, the competence of agencies like the Intelligence Bureau in carrying out de-bugging exercises and their locus standi in ensuring that ministers of the central government aren’t subjected to such scandals that potentially compromise national security and national interest, cannot be understated!

Now informed, educated analysis seems to indicate that the devices used were of a foreign origin. Whether this element of ‘foreign intervention’ was restricted to providing technology and expertise or whether it was a full-fledged spying operation, sponsored by a foreign government to achieve their own objectives, remains to be answered. Just recently, disclosures by Edward Snowden revealed that the USA’s National Security Agency (NSA) had BJP on its spy-radar!…

Indeed, it is necessary that the Modi led government come clean on this entire issue. At the very least this could well be an assault on the sovereignty of India which a party that claims to have such high ‘nationalistic’ zeal can ill afford to be silent on. On the other hand, this could well be India’s ‘Watergate Scandal’ with a slight twist – where a Nixon equivalent, who is the executive head of what is India’s variant of the Republican party- the BJP was perhaps using illegal means to stifle political competition in his own ranks, in an attempt to vest absolute control in himself.

Not to imply, even for a moment that leaders of the opposition should take his benefaction for granted for too long! Only an independent enquiry, one that BJP seems to be avoiding like the plague at the moment, can reveal the timing, the antagonists and their motives behind , what is potentially, India’s biggest spy scandal! Till then, all we can hope for, is that ‘Saheb’ isn’t listening!

http://www.countercurrents.org/poonawalla290714.htm

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Ignorance, hypocrisy or biasness on Fatwas and ‘Shariat Court’? – By M Reyaz (Jul 8, 2014, Twocircles.net)

Figure this out, in a long pending petition, since 2005, the petitioner Vishwa Lochan Madan pleads in the Apex Court that the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) is striving to establish a ‘parallel judicial system in India,’ that makes it extremely difficult for Muslim women to get justice, he claims that Camps are being organised to train Qazis and Naib Qazis to administer justice according to Shariat; Dar-ul-Qazas, spread all over the country are functioning as parallel judicial system aimed to administer justice to Muslims in accordance with Shariat; and sought declaration that the Dar-ul-Qazas (Muslim Courts) and Shariat Court in India are “absolutely illegal, illegitimate and unconstitutional”; and further that pronouncing fatwas has no place in Indian Constitution and hence, these should be banned and effective steps should be taken to disband these Dar-ul-Qazas and to direct the Muslim bodies to restrain from meddling in personal issues of individuals.

The two judge bench of Chandramauli Kr. Prasad and Pinaki Chandra Ghose ‘dispose off’ the petition “without any order,” and even noted, “The grievance of the petitioner that Dar-ul-Qazas and Nizam-e-Qaza are running a parallel judicial system is misconceived.” …

Increasingly it has been felt that they need training not only in Islamic jurisprudence, but also about modern day life, culture, society, politics etc, besides of course refresher course on handling of media. The countrywide establishment of Dar-ul-Qazas and training Qazis and Naib Qazis are thus a step in right direction, although as TCN had reported earlier , much needs to be done.

What is the need of the hour is much needed debate on codification of Muslim personal laws, the reference point for which should be progressive laws in other Muslim countries, and not some conservative and regressive system of governance. The codification of Muslim personal laws should not only take on board all the stake holders, but see to it that the concerns of women are particularly taken care of through constant consultations. It should also be mindful of secular traditions of the Indian Constitution.

In most Muslim countries and in erstwhile era of Muslim rule in India, the office of Qazis ‘Darul Qaza’ is institutionalized. It should be seen that fatwas are issued only by designated bodies and others should be discouraged to express their opinions publicly, or it should be well publicized that their opinions hold no value. As there are different schools and sects, a proper mechanism should be put in place by brining consensus.

http://twocircles.net/2014jul08/ignorance_hypocrisy_or_biasness_fatwas_and_%E2%80%98shariat_court%E2%80%99.html

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Shadow Lines – By Neha Dixit (Jul 25, 2014, Outlook)

“Why were we raped if a boy eve-teased a girl? Did the whole nation go about raping the women of the community of Nirbhaya’s rapists to avenge what was done to her?” She is someone I’ll call S, not because she does not want the world to know her name, but because her identity has to be protected, for the consequences it might possibly have. S is one of the ‘Muzaffarnagar rape victims’, of the seven whose ordeal is the collective shame and guilt of our entire country.

Around the end of August 2013, word was that a Muslim boy in Kawal village had eve-teased a Jat girl, though the incident remains uncorroborated till date. Her brother and cousin, in an attempt to safeguard their sister’s ‘honour’, apparently killed him and were in turn allegedly lynched by an irate Muslim mob on the spot.

The men of both communities swore revenge. A congregation of Muslims did so after Friday prayers in Muzaffar¬nagar town; thousands of Hindu farmers gathered in Nanglamandor village some 15 to 20 km away on September 7, 2013, to ensure the avowed objective of ‘beti bachao, bahu banao (save your daughters, make theirs (Muslims’) your daughters-in-law’. Several khap panchayats in the vicinity issued this call, with help from local BJP leaders, including MLA Suresh Rana, the recen¬tly-elected Hukum Singh, besides Sangeet Som and Sadhvi Prachi. The panchayat also declared a war against ‘love jehad’, perceived by the Hindu right-wing as an organised attempt by Muslims to “make Hindu girls fall in love with Muslim boys and marry them”. …

What is refusing to be stifled, however, is the voice of courage these seven women have displayed, whose bitterness, rage and agony are tempered by the stronger determination to bring the perpetrators to book, and move on. Read these voices also as a challenge to the selective outrage of a nation that bleeds for a while when one Nirbhaya is raped but chooses not to say a word when countless other Nirbhayas are subjected to such ignominy in their daily lives.

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/Shadow-Lines/291494

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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.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/minority-panel-removed-my-riot-report-against-modi-ex-secy/99/

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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.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/zakia-moves-gujarat-high-court-against-clean-chit-to-modi/article5800700.ece

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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.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/ishrat-jahan-fake-encounter-case-javed-sheikhs-father-moves-cbi-court-against-amit-shah-ex-dgp-wants-them-arraigned/

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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.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/32063632.cms

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Police “combing operation” in Mumbra shocks residents (Mar 14, 2014, TwoCircles.net)

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.

http://twocircles.net/2014mar14/police_%E2%80%9Ccombing_operation%E2%80%9D_mumbra_shocks_residents

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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.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/police-atrocities-form-bulk-of-rights-violations-cg-hungund/article5795313.ece

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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.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sit-approaches-court-to-bring-riot-accused-to-muzaffarnagar/article5773578.ece

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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.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/bring-law-like-sc-st-act-to-protect-muslims-says-panel-on-sachar/99/

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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.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/muslims-comprise-21-of-undertrials-but-only-17-75-of-convicts-ncrb-2/

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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.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/31852728.cms

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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.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/13/modinomics-narendra-modi-india-bjp

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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.]

http://www.countercurrents.org/islam110314.htm

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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.” …

http://www.countercurrents.org/akumar110314.htm

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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.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/31856256.cms

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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.…

http://www.tehelka.com/anybodys-game-in-jat-land/

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Reporting Rape: February edition – By Vanya Mehta (Mar 11, 2014, TwoCircles.net)

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.…

http://twocircles.net/2014mar11/reporting_rape_february_edition.html

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 29th, 2013

April 30, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines SIT has 9 versions of Narendra Modi’s meeting after 2002 Godhra riots Modi’s Karnataka visit:’Modi go back’ slogans rent the air Ishrat Jahan case: Gujarat govt shielding top policeman PP Pande, say sources Bangalore blast: TN Muslim groups doubt police claims Ajmer blast accused says right-wing [...]

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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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