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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 29th, 2016

by newsdigest on March 6, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

AUDIO: Muslims warned of ‘final battle’ at Sangh Parivar meeting, MoS Katheria says ‘we’ve to show our strength’ (Mar 1, 2016, Indian Express)

Muslims were equated to “demons” and “descendants of Ravana”, and warned of a “final battle”, as the Sangh Parivar Sunday held a condolence meeting here for VHP worker Arun Mahaur, who was killed last week allegedly by some Muslim youths. Among those present on the dais were Union Minister of State, HRD, and BJP Agra MP Ram Shankar Katheria as well as the BJP’s Fatehpur Sikri MP Babu Lal, apart from other party local leaders, who joined in the threats to Muslims.

Speaker after speaker urged Hindus to “corner Muslims and destroy the demons (rakshas)”, while declaring that “all preparations” had been made to effect “badla (revenge)” before the 13th-day death rituals for Mahaur. “Human skulls would be offered to his martyrdom,” VHP district secretary Ashok Lavania, who has been jailed earlier for assaults on Muslims, said.

Talking about the coming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, local BJP MLA Jagan Prasad Garg told the crowd, “You will have to fire bullets, you will have to take up rifles, you will have to wield knives. Elections are approaching in 2017, begin showing your strength from now onwards.” The 5,000-odd crowd chanted slogans such as “Jis Hindu ka khoon na khaule, khoon nahin wo pani hai (the Hindu who doesn’t get angry isn’t Hindu enough)”. VHP general secretary Surendra Jain and Bajrang Dal leaders were also present at the meeting, that was held under heavy security.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/muslims-warned-of-final-battle-at-sangh-meet-mos-katheria-says-weve-to-show-our-strength/

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34 US lawmakers express concerns over violence against minorities, write to Modi (Feb 28, 2016, Hindustan Times)

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 34 US lawmakers have expressed “grave concerns” over “increasing intolerance and violence” against members of minority communities in India.

“Our strong support of this partnership (India-US partnership) encourages us to relay our grave concerns about the increasing intolerance and violence members of India’s religious minority communities experience,” said the lawmakers in a letter sent Friday.

“We urge your government to take immediate steps to ensure that the fundamental rights of religious minorities are protected and that the perpetrators of violence are held to account.” The letter released by The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bipartisan caucus of the House of Representatives, was signed by eight senators and 26 members of the House, from both parties.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/us-lawmakers-concerned-over-violence-against-minorities-write-to-modi/story-jH77rPa8sEv566H2wh0ZFK.html

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GK Pillai claims intel mole lured Ishrat group to Gujarat, UPA faces heat (Feb 27, 2016, Indian Express)

Former Union Home Secretary G K Pillai’s admission that the June 2004 killing of Ishrat Jahan and three other alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists in Gujarat, under the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi, was the result of an intelligence entrapment operation could lead to the questioning of key figures in the UPA’s security establishment, an authoritative intelligence source familiar with the case has told The Indian Express.

“If Pillai is correct in saying that the alleged terrorists were lured to India by the Intelligence Bureau,” the official said, “then it stands to reason that those involved in this operation would have more than passing knowledge of the circumstances of their death.”

Then Intelligence Bureau chief K P Singh and former Deputy National Security Advisor Nehchal Sandhu, then joint director in charge of counter-terrorism operations, both had a direct role in the operation, the source said. Former West Bengal governor M K Narayanan, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s advisor on internal security, was also briefed on the course of the operation.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/intelligence-mole-lured-ishrat-jahan-group-to-gujarat-former-union-home-secretary-g-k-pillai/

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‘Were Your Men Sleeping?’ Cops Asked To Explain JNU Hearing Violence (Feb 28, 2016, NDTV)

Confronted by a team of lawyers sent by the Supreme Court, policemen failed to explain the violence that erupted for the second time at Delhi’s Patiala House Courts last week, when arrested JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar was assaulted while being produced for his hearing.

In a video filmed by Haren Rawal, one of the lawyers sent to the court last Wednesday for a ground assessment, Kanhaiya Kumar stated that he was brutally assaulted. “I was punched, kicked, thrown to the ground,” he said. The man who attacked him was then allowed to walk away by policemen in the court, the 28-year-old student and a professor from JNU said, which drew furious reactions from the group of six senior lawyers.

“How do you allow the attack to take place in court premises? Your men are posted everywhere? So what were they doing? Sleeping?” – the video shows a policeman being asked in front of the panel that included senior advocates Rajeev Dhawan, Kapil Sibal, Dushyant Dave and Haren Rawal. “How can he (the attacker) go away from the court premises? Do your men have instructions not to intervene?” – bombarded by these questions, the policemen appeared to squirm and mumble.…

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/were-your-men-sleeping-cops-asked-to-explain-jnu-court-violence-1281867

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Lucknow University professor shares piece on Umar Khalid, ABVP burns effigy, blocks classes (Feb 25, 2016, Indian Express)

Students affiliated to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) disrupted classes at the Lucknow University (LU) on Wednesday to protest against a professor who shared an article, “Umar Khalid, my son”, that appeared in The Indian Express on February 23, on his Facebook page.

The article was written by columnist and Delhi University Professor Apoorvanand. Snapshots of Professor Rajesh Misra’s Facebook page, on which he had shared the article, were circulated on campus through social media.

The students protested outside the Sociology Department, where Misra teaches, burnt his effigy, and demanded action against him. The ABVP student leaders also submitted a memorandum to Vice-Chancellor S B Nimse.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/jnu-agitation-lucknow-university-professor-shares-piece-on-umar-khalid-abvp-burns-effigy-blocks-class/

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JNU Row: Smriti’s Durga Puja Reference Causes Uproar in Parliament (Feb 25, 2016, New Indian Express)

For the second straight day, HRD Minister Smriti Irani today made a strong defence of the government’s actions with regard to JNU issue and suicide of Dalit student in Hyderabad University in the face of intense attack by the opposition which alleged that attempts were being made to suppress dissent.…

Her reply to a short duration discussion, however, was cut short as the House was abruptly adjourned after uproar over her certain comments which she made while alleging that some elements in JNU had published derogatory pamphlets about Goddess Durga.

As she narrated the descriptive details of the pamphlets, Anand Sharma of Congress took objection, saying it could set a precedent and in future somebody else could repeat it with regard to Gods of other religions.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/JNU-Row-Smritis-Durga-Puja-Reference-Causes-Uproar-in-Parliament/2016/02/25/article3296776.ece

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Threats for foreign academics supporting JNU protests (Feb 28, 2016, Hindustan Times)

Foreign academics supporting the JNU students’ protest received threatening letters and emails. Rohan D’ Souza, a professor at the graduate school of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University, said, “Many of my colleagues abroad who have signed statements in support of JNU have received generic letters threatening them.”

One letter written from Toronto was titled ‘Direct response to your stupidity in signing that solidarity statement with Kanhaiya Kumar’.

“I am writing you directly to highlight your stupidity and naivete in signing that solidarity statement with the JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar and others charged with sedition earlier this month,” it said. The letter even dubs the academics as forces “breaking India”.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/threats-for-foreign-academics-supporting-jnu-protests/story-Awyx7cNeTmuEeeexMv1pkJ.html

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SIT officer breaks silence: Ishrat killing was premeditated murder (Mar 3, 2016, Indian Express)

Breaking his silence on the Ishrat Jahan case, Satish Verma, the IPS officer who assisted the CBI probe into the alleged fake encounter in Gujarat in 2004, on Wednesday said her killing was a “premeditated murder”.

“Our investigation has found that Ishrat along with three others had been picked by IB (Intelligence Bureau) days before the encounter. In fact, there was no intelligence input with the IB that a woman would be accompanying the alleged terrorists. There was no input on Ishrat. These people were kept in illegal custody and then shot dead,” Verma told The Indian Express.…

Mumbra girl Ishrat was killed along with three men on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004. It was alleged that they were members of a Lashkar-e-Toiba group. Last week, former Home Secretary G K Pillai told Times Now that the alleged Lashkar group was lured by the IB to Gujarat in 2004.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/ishrat-jahan-killing-was-premeditated-murder-sit-officer/

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‘Cops told us to be quiet for sake of honour’: Survivors of Murthal describe their gangrape ordeal (Feb 29, 2016, First Post)

Amid continuous police denial, two victims came forward and described the ordeal they suffered on the Murthal highway on the evening of 22 February when Jat protesters – who were agitating to press the government to accept their demand for reservation in government jobs – allegedly assaulted them sexually along with several others. They also disclosed the conspiracy of silence hatched by the cops, who allegedly discouraged them from reporting the matter ‘for the sake of their honour’.

Keeping in view the safety and privacy of the victims (as per their request), their locations have been withheld. “Along with my husband, I was on way back to home from Delhi when our bus was stopped by the rioters a kilometre away from Sukhdev Dhaba (a famous eatery). My husband and I, along with several others were dragged out and taken to a lonely roadside field, where I was gangraped till the time I lost consciousness. The other women in the bus met the same fate. …,” the 27-year-old victim told Firstpost.

Asked why she did not file an FIR, she said the priority for her and her husband was to save themselves first and leave the place. “Even worse, we were advised by the officials there not to report the matter for the sake of honour, because what has happened could not be undone,” she added.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/cops-told-us-to-be-quiet-for-sake-of-honour-survivors-of-murthal-describe-their-gangrape-ordeal-2647758.html

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Rohith’s mother has a request for Smriti Irani: Stop spreading lies (Feb 27, 2016, Indian Express)

Mother of Rohith Vemula, the Dalit student who committed suicide at Hyderabad University last month, has accused Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani of spreading “blatant lies” in Parliament about the events surrounding her son’s death.

Addressing a press conference along with Rohith’s brother Raja and friend Dontha Prashant, Radhika responded to several observations that Irani had made and urged her to “end her spree of misrepresenting facts”.…

On Friday, Radhika said the BJP would be “decimated to the ground” if Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not intervene and take action against Irani and her Cabinet colleague Bandaru Dattatreya, who had written multiple letters to her seeking action against Rohith, alleging anti-national activities.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/smriti-irani-resorted-to-blatant-lies-in-parliament-rohith-vemulas-mother/

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Opinions and Editorials

A Danger to Democracy – By Rajinder Sachar (Feb 24, 2016, The Citizen)

There is a figurative way of attributing intense stupidity to an individual or a political party in the idiom, ‘He is own worst enemy’. This occurred to me by the idiotic way BJP Central Government has handled the recent student protest at JNU.…

Since then, it is quite clear that this incident at JNU is being exploited by the BJPs dirty tricks campaign cell to malign the opponents of BJP and cause permanent danger to the internationally respected University. The latest rowdyism and violence by B.J.P. affiliated lawyers in even threatening Lady Journalists and even beating Students and in not allowing the court proceedings at Patiala House is shameful .

To add further shame, Seniors Advocates sent by Supreme Court are abused and not allowed to carry out its mandate. Hard to believe this conduct of juniors lawyers could have been done excepting at the mandate of BJP high ups to defile our judicial system. Would Government consider such acts as treason and take action (not according to my view of law) but on same view taken by the government in J.N.U. case.…

http://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/NewsDetail/index/1/6954/A-DANGER-TO-DEMOCRACY

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My father was in RSS, why I dread men in khakhi knickers – By N Jayaram (Feb 25, 2016, Dailyo.in)

After watching the last of the films I had chosen to during the recently-ended Bangalore International Film Festival, I was walking back home and on a large playground southeast of the mall where the week-long event was held, I felt what struck me as something akin to dread and even terror.

An RSS man, khaki knicker-clad, was standing and addressing a group of about 35 to 40 young boys, including some who seemed to be five- or six-year-olds seated on the bare ground. As I walked by, on the road, some distance above the playground, I could make out some faint sounds of chants or prayers.

Why do I say “dread” and “terror”? The thought that lingered in me was this: apart from prayers and stuff, what sort of Hindutva poison – and how venomous – was he funnelling into those young kids? As a late riser and not given to morning walks, I am spared the sight of RSS “shakhas”. And so this was a relatively unusual spectacle for me even though I am aware that tens of thousands, if not more, of such “shakhas” plague many parts of India.…

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/rss-hindutva-sangh-parivar-fascism-jnu-nationalism-patriotism-mahatma-gandhi/story/1/9226.html

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Smriti Irani humiliates AMU’s VC, adamant to close down all Aligarh Muslim University Centres – By Zafarul-Islam Khan (Feb 29, 2016, Milli Gazette)

With a delegation of Kerala ministers and MPs, Kerala Chief Minister Mr. Oommen Chandy met HRD Minister Smriti Irani in her office in Delhi on 8 January seeking her support for the AMU Centre in Malappuram which is not progressing as planned. According to a reliable source, she told them bluntly, “This centre and other AMU centres were established without any legal sanction, hence they all will be closed down.”

She added, “How you start a centre like this?…What authority the VC has to take such an action. We are not going to give money.” She went on to say, “There was no need for the AMU centres. I am going to close them down. We will not give any grant for this purpose.” The Kerala CM told her, we have allocated 345 acres of precious land in Perinthalmanna taluk of Malappuram for this purpose on the understanding that a full-fledged AMU centre will function there. “Take it back!” the HRD minister thundered.

While this unpleasant discussion was on between the HRD Minister and Kerala CM-led delegation, the AMU Vice Chancellor Lt. Gen (retd) Zameeruddin Shah entered the room. Irani asked him bluntly: “Why have you come?” He politely replied, “Ma’am, I have come at the invitation of the Kerala Chief Minister.” She shot back in anger: “Who pays your salary? Kerala CM or the HRD Ministry? Go back and sit in your room!” The humiliated VC made a hasty retreat while a stunned CM and his delegation looked on in utter disbelief.…

http://www.milligazette.com/news/13827-smriti-irani-humiliates-amu-s-vc-adamant-to-close-down-all-aligarh-muslim-university-centres

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Asatyameva Jayate: Long Live Joseph Goebbels – By Anand Teltumbde (Mar 2, 2016, Countercurrents)

…Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly twitted ‘Satyameva Jayate’ on the stunning performance of his poster girl, Smriti Irani, the union Human Resources Development Minister, in the Lok Sabha defending herself and his government in the matters of attack on Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) in Hyderabad Central University (HCU) and radical students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students Union.…

What Irani did was no better than one of her television performances as a Hindu bahu. It was more of a drama than confronting the serious issues she herself created. It characteristically reflected insensitivity of the regime to the tragedy it unleashed on people and disdain to India’s democratic institutions including the Parliament itself. Most importantly, all that she said was either irrelevant or pure lies.… In the wake of forthcoming elections in five states, viz., Assam, Kerala, Puduchery, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, which are likely in April-May, and in the UP and Punjab early next year, the BJP wants to intensify its pet stratagem of polarizing people on communal lines.

The strategy is to use Goebbles’ methods more intensely and deploy storm troopers to execute it. Satyamev Jayate etc. are part of this Goebblesque theorem; the Hindutva camp never cared for what truth is. As its history shows, this strategy alone has worked for it.… With BJP’s non-performance, the situation has come full circle to normalcy, warranting the use of weapons in its arsenal. The year ahead is going to see some calamitous spells of this strategy in terms of communal conflagrations, the scientists of Gujarat Laboratories being at the helm!

http://www.countercurrents.org/teltumbde020316.htm

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Haryana Jat Stir for Jobs Cuts Into Propaganda of ‘Nationalism’ – Editorial (Feb 23, 2016, The Citizen)

The Jat stir that has paralysed Haryana is perhaps one of the most important developments in recent months. The violence is of course, one aspect of the stir but the reasons that provoked the largely young people of the state to come out in protest – the Jats when they protest are traditionally violent – and challenge the Army at a time when the BJP/RSS was seeking to push economic disaffection under the carpet with ‘nationalist’ slogans centred around JNU of course, sends out a significant and important message.

The demand for reservation is basically a demand for jobs and education. A statement from disaffected groups, be it the Jats in Haryana, the Patels in Gujarat or the Kapus in Andhra Pradesh, that they want reservation as that is the only way they can get education and employment. It is a clear sign of an economy breaking down, of growing frustration and lawlessness amongst unemployed youth that is watching the world pass them by, with the violence intended to make the government that has fallen silent after a hectic Lok Sabha campaign promising the moon, hear and respond.

The Haryana Jats took to the streets just as the national versus anti-national polarisation by the right wing was at its peak. And the stakeholders, including the media, were high on the belief that finally the slogan was working to split society with the choice defined by the limited intellect, being made inevitable. This strong campaign should have had an impact on Haryana where the Jats have been often veered to the right in their responses to issues as the state runs into Delhi, with Gurgaon being common to both in the National Capital Region. Instead, the Jats disregarded the campaign and made it clear through the stir that is still on, that for them employment was the real concern. And this is the voice that can be expected to rise from all quarters as the economy slows down, and the government’s energy moves into battling students instead of addressing the real issues concerning their future.…

http://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/NewsDetail/index/1/6951/Haryana-Jat-Stir-for-Jobs-Cuts-Into-Propaganda-of-Nationalism

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Orwellian Nightmare – Editorial (Feb 27, 2016, EPW)

George Orwell fictionalised the “surveillance state” in 1984; Edward Snowden convincingly proved it to be a reality in the United States (US) in 2013. With the Narendra Modi government’s plan to set up a National Media Analytics Centre (NMAC), India seems well on the way to following the lead given by the US.

According to newspaper reports, the National Security Council Secretariat proposes setting up the NMAC to monitor and analyse blogs, web portals of television channels and newspapers, as well as social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. In some ways this is a duplication of the New Media Wing, set up under the previous government in 2013, which sends daily reports to the government on what is appearing in social media on government policies.

Where the NMAC will go farther, and deeper, is that it will not just monitor social media but will actively counter “negative” news about the government. To do this, it has on hand special software developed to track “negative,” “neutral” and “positive” posts on social media. All ministries have already been instructed to set up quick response teams to defend themselves against so-called “negative” news. The software will also help track the individual blogger or person posting on social media sites, the number of times this person has posted negative or positive material, his/her website preferences and whether any of these websites are those that seek to foment trouble or radicalise the viewer. The feedback from such monitoring would be passed on to security agencies.…

http://www.epw.in/journal/2016/9/editorials/orwellian-nightmare.html

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Book Review

Offend, Shock, or Disturb: Free Speech under the Indian Constitution

Author: Gautam Bhatia
Reviewed by: K. Venkataramanan
Available at: Oxford University Press Distribution Services, North Kettering Business Park, Hipwell Road, Kettering, Northants, NN14 1UA. http://www.amazon.in/
Review:
How free can free speech be? (Feb 28, 2016, The Hindu)

A decade ago, Tamil Nadu was as agog about a looming threat to freedom of speech and a pervasive atmosphere of intolerance as the entire country is at the moment. Assorted groups of Tamil nationalists, protectors and preservers of Tamil culture were policing the opinions of public figures, especially from the film industry. Open threats, street demonstrations and waving of footwear and broomsticks indicated that supposedly offended Tamil society was out to protect its culture from prurient attacks.…

Gautam Bhatia would classify such curbs as instances of ‘legal paternalism’ or ‘legal moralism’. For, according to this author of a lucid and detailed examination of the law of free speech in India (Offend, Shock, or Disturb: Free Speech under the Indian Constitution, Oxford University Press, Rs.750), Indian free speech jurisprudence has two broad approaches – ‘moral-paternalistic’, a view that sees people as inherently corruptible and prone to violence and who cannot be trusted with too much freedom, and ‘liberal-autonomous’, an approach that sees people as individuals capable of making decisions on their own lives and one that allows only limited restrictions on what they can speak, see or hear.

Does not our Constitution guarantee all of us freedom of speech and expression? If both freedom and its curtailment are in an everlasting delicate balance, what exactly is our free speech philosophy? If freedom is related to politics and democracy, does it come under political philosophy? Or is it moral philosophy concerning the individual and the human self? “We need a theory, or theories of free speech,” says Bhatia. The theoretical framework for his analysis of the evolution of free speech jurisprudence covers a vast expanse. Free speech is a means to the truth; a pursuit of individual self-fulfilment and an important means by which democratic self-governance is made possible, he argues.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/how-free-can-free-speech-be/article8289947.ece

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 15th, 2016

by newsdigest on February 26, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Bishop House in Kerala opens doors for Muslims to perform prayers (Feb 17, 2016, Twocircles.net)

At a time when communal prejudices seem to be returning with a vengeance, Kerala has shown a heartening case of communal harmony. Christians of the state opened doors of their Bishop’s house for their Muslim brothers for the valedictory session of the 90th anniversary of Samastha Kerala Jam’iyyathul Ulama, held at Alappuzha beach on Sunday.

The functionaries of Alappuzha Bishop House, headquarters of Roman Catholic Diocese of Alleppey, opened their halls for Muslims in order to help the perform their Maghrib and Isha prayers. Besides, their Muslims brothers were allowed to use the toilets and other facilities of the Bishop house.…

The functionaries were happy to see their Muslim brothers walking to the headquarters in queue. The discipline they kept till to the final moment, according to Febi, drew the respect of the local people. “The entire crowd, reportedly, numbered around 5 lakh, they acted well. Even after we opened our doors, everyone was separately seeking our permission to enter inside and take ablution from our water tank,” Father Febi added.…

http://twocircles.net/2016feb17/1455715162.html

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Hindus take care of a mosque in UP’s communal cauldron (Feb 16, 2016, First Post)

The values of unity, respect and equality are seen among people who take care of a mosque at Nanhera in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, which has recently been singed by riots over religion.

Dara Singh, a village head has taken the responsibility to protect the 100-year-old mosque and plans to renovate it. The people of the village take care of the mosque. Religious differences have not prevented them from ensuring the upkeep of the structure.

There are no Muslim in the area to offer any prayers or to perform rituals. So, the whole community of Nanhera joins hands to look after the mosque and considers it as their heritage. With the objective to spread the message of peace and harmony, the villagers have decided to protect this place of worship.

http://www.firstpost.com/india/watch-hindus-take-care-of-a-mosque-in-ups-communal-cauldron-2628858.html

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Sedition case against JNUSU president: Lawyers, BJP MLA take law in their fists (Feb 16, 2016, Indian Express)

At least ten journalists, including two from The Indian Express, and several students were assaulted Monday by lawyers and a Delhi BJP MLA inside and outside the Patiala House Courts where a sedition case against Jawaharlal Nehru University students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar was to be heard.

The attack took place before hearing in the case got underway. A large number of policemen present there remained mute spectators. O P Sharma, BJP MLA from Vishwas Nagar, and his supporters pinned down CPI minority cell leader Ameeque Jamei and assaulted him outside the court complex.

Inside, a group of lawyers entered the court room, raised slogans and told students, teachers and journalists to leave. But they refused, saying they had a right to attend the proceedings. Announcing they were “patriots”, the men first targeted the students and teachers. Calling JNU a “den of anti-India elements and terrorists”, they attacked them and then turned on the journalists present in the room, punching and slapping them. Outside the court, another group of lawyers assaulted journalists and students.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/jnu-kanhaiya-kumar-patiala-house-court-lawyers-media-attacked/

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ABVP members raised anti-India slogans: AAP submits video clip proof to police (Feb 16, 2016, Indian Express)

Defending Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar, the AAP Monday submitted two video clips that purportedly show the “real culprits behind the unrest in JNU”. According to the AAP, the two clips allegedly show members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) shouting anti-India slogans.…

Senior AAP leaders Ashutosh and Dilip Pandey met Special Commissioner (Law & Order) Deepak Mishra and demanded action against those seen in the video clips. “We are disturbed by the fact that police arrested the JNUSU president without any evidence against him. The two video clips which we are submitting to you cast a very serious doubt on the role of ABVP in the entire incident and it must be thoroughly probed.

Those seen raising anti-India slogans in these clips must be immediately identified and arrested,” the AAP letter to the police read. One of the videos shows people allegedly shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’, who AAP claimed were affiliated to the ABVP.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/abvp-members-raised-anti-india-slogans-aap-submits-video-clip-proof-to-police/

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RSS an anti-national organization in India, Irfan Habib says (Feb 16, 2016, Times of India)

“RSS has been an anti-national organization in India,” said Historian Irfan Habib, Professor Emeritus, Aligarh Muslim University. He spoke to TOI regarding the Jawaharlal Nehru University row, where on February 13, the JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested on charges of sedition, and his speech was called “anti-national” at the event organized by a group of students to mark the third anniversary of terror convict Afzal Guru’s hanging.

Speaking on “anti-national” charge, Habib first explained nationalism, he said, “Nation is not simply a territory. It comprises of people. And nationalism means pursuing the interest of people of that territory. Those who incite violence against any section of that population are committing anti-national activity. That is exactly what RSS has been doing – RSS has been an anti-national organization in India.”

He further cited from his past lecture “Building the idea of India” and added, “The RSS was founded in 1925 one should ask them, what did you do for 22 years (till 1947)? Why didn’t you join the National Movement and go to prison? Why don’t you do something against the British if you are such a great patriot? Hindu Mahasabha and RSS have the same psychological problem. Ask the same questions to Hindu Mahasabha – ‘why didn’t you join the national movement?’ Savarkar in the Andaman gave an apology thus washing away his whole patriotic past. He only opposed the Muslims propounding a two-nation theory even before Muhammad Ali Jinnah.”

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/51012488.cms

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Kittappa Fake Encounter Case: Court Orders CBCID to File Murder Case Against 12 Cops (Feb 9, 2016, New Indian Express)

District Principal Sessions Court Judge Naseer Ahamed came down strongly on Police department for stage-managing a fake encounter and killing Kittappa, a notorious history-sheeter. In the judgment delivered on Monday evening, the judge said that in the prima facie it appears that Policemen had carried out a fake encounter and had misused their powers which amount to murder charge.

Following that he ordered the CBCID sleuths to file a murder case against 12 Policemen who were present at the encounter spot. The list included DSP Rajaram, Assistant Commissioner, Madhavan Nair, Sub-Inspector, Sivaramakrishnan, constables Singam alias Selvanathan, Murugesan, Karuppasamy, Alwin Babu, Thangam, Shanmugavel, Krishnasamy, Saravana Sundar and Murugan.…

Bramma, RTI activist, claims that he was the first to file a complaint at National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) that the encounter staged was fake and his complaint was accepted by NHRC who are carrying out a parallel investigation. Under the circumstance the court judgment is a great boost as it proves clearly that the Policemen had staged a fake encounter. He had been claiming from the day one that Kittappa was murdered by Police through fake encounter claimed Bramma.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/Kittappa-Fake-Encounter-Case-Court-Orders-CBCID-to-File-Murder-Case-Against-12-Cops/2016/02/09/article3268878.ece

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2008 Malegaon blast: Mcoca applicable on SP Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, says NIA (Feb 15, 2016, Times of India)

Avinash Rasal, special public prosecutor of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, said the provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (Mcoca) are “applicable” on the 10 accused, including Lt Colonel SP Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur.

The agency “never consulted” him before proposing to drop the charges, Rasal told ET, a statement that may not be comfortable for the NIA, which was accused by previous prosecutor Rohini Salian of asking her to “go slow” in the case.…

Speaking to ET, Rasal said: “I have been arguing on behalf of the NIA during which I showed it to the court that MCOCA is applicable. As many as 24 applications of bail have been rejected by the court between September…and January 22 this year… In my court appearances, I strongly said those arrested conspired to revolt against the government. They wanted to have a Hindu Rashtra and they were trying to overthrow this government and that is why the provision of MCOCA is applicable.”

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50990615.cms

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2013 Muzzafarnagar riots: 4 acquitted in gangrape case after victim, family turn hostile, husband says ‘we were threatened’ (Feb 12, 2016, Indian Express)

Another case related to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots has ended in acquittal. Four men, accused of gangraping a woman during the riots in the Fugana police station area, were acquitted on January 21 by a Muzaffarnagar fast track court after the victim and key witnesses, including her husband, mother-in-law and a neighbour, were declared hostile and did not support the prosecution during the trial.

Asked why he turned hostile, the victim’s husband told The Indian Express that seven months after they had lodged an FIR, “people on behalf of the accused would approach us, even threaten us with dire consequences”. He said they were told to retract the gangrape charge.

He said he and the neighbour, also a witness in the case, met the then in-charge of Fugana and Burhana police stations to seek protection and action. But the police never took the complaint seriously, he claimed. “Despite lodging complaints several times at Fugana and Burhana police stations, no one came forward to help us.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/shamli-district-burhana-police-2013-muzzafarnagar-riots-4-acquitted-in-gangrape-case-after-victim-family-turn-hostile-husband-says-we-were-threa

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If Ishrat Was Killed Because of Her Alleged LeT Link, Why Was Kauserbi Killed? What Was Her Crime? (Feb 12, 2016, Caravan Daily)

Pakistani American double agent and terrorist David Headley has set off a political and media storm in the country by allegedly declaring Mumbai girl Ishrat Jahan as an operative and suicide bomber for Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayeba (LeT). During his deposition before Indian agencies, he referred to a woman killed in a police encounter on Indian soil. When he was given three names by the Mumbai anti-terror prosecutor Ujwal Nikam, Headley claimed that the name of the woman was Ishrat Jahan.…

But amid all these claims about Ishrat and her staged encounter, no one is talking about Kauserbi and her husband Sohrabuddin Sheikh, both of whom were eliminated under similar suspicious circumstances by the Gujarat Police when Amit Shah, the powerful chief of the governing Bharatiya Janata Party, had been the Home Minister of Gujarat. And of course, the chief minister of the state at the time happened to be Narendra Modi.

So why was Kauserbi killed? The 32-year-old woman was said to be the only and unfortunate witness to the encounter killing of her husband Sohrabuddin Sheikh who was killed in a fake encounter in a joint operation by the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of the Gujarat and Rajasthan police.…

http://caravandaily.com/portal/if-ishrat-was-killed-because-of-her-alleged-let-link-why-was-kauserbi-killed-what-was-her-crime/

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Govt’s plan to end minority status for select institutions hits NDA wall (Feb 11, 2016, Free Press Journal)

The Modi government’s attempt to end the minority status of the institutions like Aligarh Muslim University on the ground that it is a central university has come under attack from within the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of union minister Ram Vilas Paswan has registered its protest over the government moving the Supreme Court to deny the minority status to the AMU without taking the allies into confidence. The protest was lodged on Monday during a meeting attended by BJP chief Amit Shah on coordination in the upcoming budget session of Parliament.

While other parties like Shiv Sena, Akali Dal and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) registered their protest over the BJP taking them for granted in never consulting them even on the major decisions, Paswan’s party protested that the Centre’s AMU policy would alienate all minorities, not only Muslims, by pushing to end the minority status of AMU and Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi, though both are central varsities.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/govts-plan-to-end-minority-status-for-select-institutions-hits-nda-wall/778275

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With Arshad Madani sharing dais, Mahmood Madani warns govt over conspiring against Muslims (Feb 15, 2016, Ummid.co)

With Arshad Madani sharing dais with him after about seven years and in the presence of over 100,000 people, Jamiat-e-Ulema General Secretary Mahmood Madani warned the BJP led government in New Delhi against dividing Muslims on sectarian lines.

“Stop making conspiracy against the Muslim community and concentrate on inclusive development of the nation”, Mahmood Madani said while addressing the Jamiat-e-Ulema conference held at Faiz-e-Aam Inter Colleg in Meerut on Sunday.

Reiterating that “Muslims are Indian by choice not by chance”, Mahmood Madani said, “We have upper hand living in India and those asking Muslims to leave for Pakistan should themselves be deported”.…

http://www.ummid.com/news/2016/February/14.02.2016/mehmood-madani-arshad-mdani-shared-dias.html

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ABVP Attacks #RohithVemula Bus Yatra In Telengana (Feb 16, 2016, Countercurrents)

Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (UoH) condemns in the strongest possible words, ABVP’s attack on members of Joint Action Committee in Bus Yatra in Telangana. When students for #JusticeforRohith organized a Public Meeting in Mahatma Gandhi University, Nalgonda, ABVP disrupted the meeting, attacked the students shouting slogans “Anti-nationals, Khabardar” against Rohith Vemula and the protesting students.

ABVP’s politics has always gone hand in hand with violence and vandalism. ABVP attacked the protesting students for #JusticeforRohith in Lucknow University, Ambedkar University, Delhi and many other places. In Haryana Central University, ABVP vandalised the candle march that was taken out for #JusticeforRohith. The University administration filed FIR against these students alleging them with carrying out ‘anti-national’ activities. The administration forced the students to give a written letter against conducting any protests in future.

Student members of a Left organization were attacked by ABVP in Sikar (Rajasthan), Dehradun and Lucknow. In Mumbai, more than 10000 people from colleges, bastis and all over the city gathered in a democratic protest for #JusticeforRohith, following which the BJP-led Maharashtra government and the police have filed an FIR against 1500 unnamed individuals charging them with ‘rioting’.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/jac160216.htm

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Opinions and Editorials

Deconstructing Saffron Nationalism – By Vikas Bajpai (Feb 13, 2016, EPW)

…JNU has become the focus of renewed attention of the Sangh Parivar. Even though the pretext for this situation may be new, the present situation has been in the making ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government came to power at the centre.

Within a few days of Narendra Modi coming to power in Delhi an editorial column was written in Pioneer on 2 June 2014 by K G Suresh, a senior fellow of the Vivekananda Foundation, affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Suresh made the case with reference to JNU that it was time to clean the Augean stables “of those who masquerade as Left-liberals” but “in reality” promote divisive, anti-national agendas. Subsequently there have been many more statements by various functionaries of the Sangh affiliated organisations to the effect that JNU is a den of anti-national elements.…

The entire JNU community and the Indian people at large can afford to be silent on the present campaign of the Sangh Parivar only at their own peril. It is wonderful to see that the entire JNU community has rebounded with courage and determination against this campaign over past two days. I just hope the world is listening.

http://www.epw.in/journal/2016/7/web-exclusives/deconstructing-saffron-nationalism.html

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JNU Row : Criminalising Dissent – By Nikita Lamba (Feb 19, 2016, Tehelka)

“JNU students are scholars and I like them but taking to the streets is hooliganism,” said a man to the oncoming files of students from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on 18 February at Mandi House. The students defended their right of free speech and to express dissent as the faculty members dispersed the crowdthat was gathering around this man. This unidentified person started to retreat and was surprisingly surrounded by the police who were taking no action to disperse the crowd or to keep it under control.

On the other hand, when Kanhaiya and four other journalists were attacked in court, the police stepped back and let the lawyers finish off with them. “No arrests were made when RSS activists, dressed in civil clothes, were beating up JNU students both male and female three weeks back in front of the RSS office,” says Alka, a student of master’s in political science, JNU and a member of Democratic Students Federation. She continues, “B.S. Bassi has proved that he is not the top cop of Delhi Police but a muscle man of BJP.”…

The message that has been going across to the country is that there is only one kind of nationalism which is the saffron kind and all those who have a difference of opinion may as well surrender under sedition. The message going across isBharat Mata ki Jai (hail mother India) which is really not such a bad idea but the concept of Bharat mata (mother India) comes from a deeply rooted idea of the goddess Durga, a concept that does not give space to other religious groups and other identities.

http://www.tehelka.com/2016/02/jnu-row-crminalising-dissent/

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This is a watershed moment for India. It must choose freedom over intolerance – By Priyamvada Gopal (Feb 17, 2016, The Guardian)

The standoff at New Delhi’s famous Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) that has transfixed India has nothing of the routine campus controversy about it. Following the arrest of a student leader, India’s Hindu nationalist BJP government now finds itself facing down a large coalition of progressive groups laying claim to the idea of an India where the right to dissent is foundational.…

For those committed to the idea of India as essentially a Hindu country, which includes many in the government of the prime minister, Narendra Modi, the list of potential “anti-nationals” appears to be compendious. It seems to include everyone from Muslim, Dalit, Christian, leftwing and liberal activists to those who question the Indian state’s actions in Kashmir or suggest that religious intolerance isn’t a good idea.

Until recently, this dispensation has had the benefit of an acquiescent, even cheerleading media, but that may be changing. Today, with journalists also facing down manhandling and violence from government supporters, even as some of their more rabid colleagues appear to be inciting it against JNU students, the situation reminds many of the horrors of the 1975-77 state of emergency. Now, as then, India is poised on the brink of a choice between the dangers of authoritarianism and its historic commitment to dissent. It is essential that the latter prevails.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/17/india-kanhaiya-kumar-watershed-freedom-intolerance-bjp-hindu

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Is India Truly Turning Into A Fascist Nation? – By Shubhda Chaudhary (Feb 13, 2016, Countercurrents)

…The current government is systematically targeting the educational institutions, be it the Rohith Vemula’s case or #ShutDownJNU slogan, creating a left ‘other’ that needs to be loathed, unheard and unseen, forcibly made invisible from the contours of political dialectics.…

The idea of the government is to let JNU stay as an island of dissent, consistently portrayed as anti-national, to justify thousands of cases of suppression of dissent by the state nationwide. It is indeed the ‘othering’ of liberalism as unpatriotic. The current administration has made no secret of the fact that in its eyes, social conservatives are ideal and obedient replacements for real social scientists. Rewriting history is a top priority for them, as they envision an altogether different national project than the one that had been put in place in 1947.…

So, is India truly turning into a fascist nation? If all those who disagree with RSS-ABVP, do not stand together in solidarity now as after Rohith Vemula’s killing, will they be picked up one by one and suppressed? Solidarity does not imply a common manifesto – it implies recognition of common concern for humanity and progressive ideas and recognition of fascism as a common enemy.

http://www.countercurrents.org/sc120216.htm

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That ’70s Show – By Vrinda Gopinath (Feb 29, 2016, Outlook)

Oh, the shivers of nostalgia! It’s true – to paraphrase an old saying – if you remember the seventies, you weren’t in them. But who didn’t grow up learning about the dictatorial reign of Indira Gandhi? That disciplinarian of the Emergency years (secretly endorsed by the middle classes – you know, trains running on time etc), the conceited excesses of Sanjay Gandhi, the suppression of free speech and thought, news censorship, the crackdown on universities and student demonstrations and slapping of terrifying sedition laws – all history now.

Or is it? It looks like the ghosts are back. If it weren’t for Twitter and headlines to remind us this is the 21st century, the two decades would be united by the tyranny of the majority. After all, aren’t we all being stealthily prodded to see the similarities between Modi and Indira all the time? If the paeans, both within his party and government, about his stately gait and dazzling machismo were not enough, his stature and working style are constantly used to conjure memories of the Indira era – all charisma, leadership and ruthless supremacy.…

But on a hopeful note, like in 1975, this particular comedy of terrors has also woken up Dalits, the radical Left, socialists and workers – all marching to the revolutionary song. The battle-lines are drawn again – a witless government, supremacist thugs and remorseless police against agitated students. Now can the shakha shake, shake, shake?

http://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/that-70s-show/296659

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Rohith Vemula’s Death: A Noose Around The BJP’s Neck – By Anand Teltumbde (Feb 8, 2016, Countercurrents)

Rohith Vemula’s dream of becoming Carl Sagan to write science abruptly ended at the altar of caste but in death it is metamorphosed into a peoples’ dream to end the circumstances that caused it. Rohith dropped out from the process of his likely anointment by the casteist establishment as the doctor of philosophy but in the poignant lines he left behind as his suicide note are a piece of philosophy of the dalit existence in this cursed land that shall live on for years.…

Rohith’s death exposed the multilayered injustice of the saffron establishment. Entire student community, barring of course the ABVP, came out spontaneously condemning the hindutva hooliganism. It exposed the dalit leaders who failed even to speak out against their political patrons in the face of such monumental injustice. The dalits who were fooled by them into voting for the Hindutva forces have slowly woken up to see their folly. The caste is culture of ancient India which is craved for by the hindutva forces. What dalits call discrimination, is natural to the hindutva.…

It provoked all dalit teachers of the HCU to resign enmasse from their administrative responsibilities. The previous day, the teachers’ body of the HCU had boldly rejected the request from the VC to resume classes until the punishment was revoked. The VC had to lick the dust and revoke the suspension. The prime minister announced the judicial commission to enquire into the entire episode in another attempt to cover up the sins of his own tribe. This all would not go unnoticed by people. The Brahmanical pride in self righteousness blinds BJP to see Rohit’s noose tightening around its neck too.

http://www.countercurrents.org/teltumbde080216.htm

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 25th, 2014

August 26, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines RSS is threat to the nation, says MPCC Activists demand FIR against Bhagwat over Hindu comment PUCL seeks probe into inflammatory Rajasthan police intelligence note 567 FIRs, countless promises later, riot victims still wait for justice Quarrel between children sparks communal clashes in Hapur Woman killed in […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 10th, 2013

March 11, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines I hope for justice: daughter of Ehsan Jafri, 2002 riot victim A Warning For Siddharth Varadarajan Himachal BJP MP booked, caught taking cash on camera NHRC ‘indicts’ home ministry, cops for Delhi encounter NHRC issues notices to MHA, Delhi Police on wrongful confinement of youth in […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 24th, 2014

February 25, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Modi failed to announce relief for Gujarat Sikhs: Partap Singh Bajwa Naroda Patiya massacre case: SC dismisses Maya Kodnani’s bail application NHRC seeks report on man’s custodial death in Odisha 26/11 call record issue may suffer under Maria: Martyr’s wife ‘Baig clean chit puts question mark […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 3rd, 2014

February 4, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Not possible to forget Modi’s role in 2002 riots: Congress Sohrabuddin Case: SC Notice to Amit Shah and Other Accused Saffron terror attacks: Swami Aseemanand implicates RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat Andhra Christian leaders demand govt. to ban Hindu Vahini 1984 riots: Court queries police on destruction […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 18th, 2013

November 19, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony The unsung heroes of Muzaffarnagar – an untold story News Headlines Gujarat riots return to haunt Modi as US writers brand him ‘the poster child of India’s failure to punish the violent’ US Republicans deny they invited Modi to address party Congressional leaders Snooping charges leveled […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 11th, 2013

November 12, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Godhra is a stain on Narendra Modi, Vajpayee’s niece says Patel would not have recognized Modi as ideological heir: Rajmohan Gandhi CBI to spread net, may trouble Narendra Modi 3 RSS men held for CPM worker’s murder Several Hindu youths arrested for Patna serial bomb blasts […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 19th, 2013

August 20, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines HC confirms conviction of 9 for post-Godhra riots Hindu supremacist Narendra Modi should not be invited to the Commons Narendra Modi’s attack on PM on I-day leaves some BJP leaders squirming CBI finds common link in Haren Pandya murder, Ishrat encounter Karat sees BJP, RSS role […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 15th, 2013

April 16, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Zakia moves court, challenges clean chit to Modi in Gulbarg massacre Narendra Modi failed to tackle Gujarat riots in 2002: JD(U) Fake encounter case: Non-bailable warrants against 19 policemen India policemen suspended for ‘taking bribes’ in Mumbai RSS worker on bike with explosives dies in blast […]

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