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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 20th, 2017

by newsdigest on March 3, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Political storm erupts over Madhya Pradesh CM’s pic with ‘ISI man’ (Feb 13, 2017, Deccan Chronicle)

A picture purportedly showing one of the accused in the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)-backed spy racket, busted in Madhya Pradesh on February 9, in the company of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday sparked a political storm in the state. Opposition Congress here expressed serious concern over the ISI suspect’s alleged link with several senior BJP leaders in MP including the Chief Minister.

In the picture, one of the members of the spy ring, Dhruv Saxena, was seen standing near Shivraj. It appears that the photograph was taken at a function. “Separate pictures showing Dhruv in company of the Chief Minister and also with BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargia have surfaced establishing his links to BJP. It is a matter of serious concern,” the Congress spokesman said.…

Anti-terrorist squad of MP on February nine busted the ISI-backed spy racket by arresting 11 people in four districts in the state. The racket used to facilitate their ISI handlers in Pakistan to contact officials in the Indian defence establishment through their parallel telephone exchanges by concealing their identities to extract military related information.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/130217/controversy-sparks-over-madhya-pradesh-cms-pic-with-isi-man.html

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Why India’s higher courts have ignored suo motu cognisance of mass crimes, including 2002 riots?: Teesta Setalvad (Feb 18, 2017, Counterview)

In her new book, “Foot Soldiers of the Constitution: A Memoir”, well-known human rights activist wonders as to why India’s High Courts and the Supreme Court, who are vested with a unique power of the suo motu jurisdiction, have failed to use it with any communal riots across the country. …

Recalling how under suo motu, the Courts have taken up matters and issues on their own, when they receive a letter of complaint and when they read a media report, Setalvad says, the power of the suo motu was used by the Supreme Court to “query the defacement of the mighty Himalayas”, yet, “When mass crimes against sections of our own population shook the core of the Indian republic, the power of suo motu has not been used.”

This is not just true of the the “2002 pogrom” in Gujarat, Setalvad says, but also “the widely-reported 1983 Nelli massacre, the extensively covered 1984 Delhi riots, the 1989 Hashimpura-Meerut killings (when the bodies of those shot dead were washed upon the shores of the Yamuna, near Delhi), and the 1992-93 Bombay riots”.… “It remains a shameful reminder of the depths to where we had fallen in 2002”, comments Setalvad…

http://www.counterview.net/2017/02/why-indias-higher-courts-have-ignored.html

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Narendra Modi, Amit Shah are terrorists spreading fear: Uttar Pradesh minister (Feb 20, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah are terrorists who are trying to terrorise people in Uttar Pradesh, a Samajwadi Party minister has said, as campaigning in the state turned ugly halfway through the seven-phase assembly elections.

The comment by Rajendra Chowdhary came shortly after Modi accused the SP government of discrimination on the basis of religion. “They want to create an environment of fear. They are both terrorists – Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. They are creating terror in our democracy,” Chowdhary said.…

On Sunday, Modi drew a parallel between Hindu and Muslim festivals to accuse the Akhilesh Yadav administration of practising discrimination on the basis of religion. “If you create kabristaan (graveyard) in a village, then a shamshaan (cremation ground) should be created. If electricity is given uninterrupted in Ramzan, then it should be given in Diwali without a break. Bhedbhaav nahin hona chahiye (there should be no discrimination,” Modi told a rally in Fatehpur, apparently playing the Hindutva card in the politically crucial state.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/narendra-modi-and-amit-shah-are-terrorists-they-are-spreading-fear-uttar-pradesh-minister/story-T7JWyh8AFIMW7cmJmxdenN.html

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Meerut: BJP leader Kuldeep Tomar shoots his wife dead after argument (Feb 18, 2017, DNA India)

BJP leader Kuldeep Tomar has allegedly shot his wife after a heated argument. His wife, Poonam, was seriously injured and was taken to a hospital. According to News18, she died while being treated in the hospital on Friday. The leader is on the run and cops are searching for him.

The incident took place on Friday night after the couple had a fight following which Kuldeep shot Poonam with his licensed revolver at the back of her head. He tried to shoot himself too but was stopped by his nephew.

Poonam’s family is in Meerut and has lodged an FIR against Kuldeep. The police has sent the body to conduct autopsy.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-meerut-bjp-leader-kuldeep-tomar-shoots-his-wife-after-argument-2327134

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Ghaziabad fake encounter: Four UP cops convicted of murder (Feb 21, 2017, Hindustan Times)

More than 20 years after the Uttar Pradesh police claimed to have gunned down four criminals in an encounter in Bhojpur in November 1996, a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Ghaziabad on Monday held four cops guilty of murder, destruction of evidence and giving false evidence.

CBI’s Special Judge (anti corruption) Rajesh Chaudhary on Monday held the then station house officer Lal Singh, sub inspector Joginder Singh and two constables Surya Bhan and Subhash Chand as guilty for murder. The fifth accused Ranbir Singh died during the trial.…

Forensic investigations nailed the policemen’s lies.… All four victims killed during the alleged encounter hailed from poor families and had gone to Pilkhuwa in search of daily wage job on November 8, 1996. They were sitting at a tea stall outside the Bhojpur police station and were called by the police personnel inside the police station where they were tortured before being killed in a fake encounter at Machli Bazar area nearby.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/noida/four-up-cops-convicted-of-murder-in-20-year-old-fake-encounter-case/story-6GsrSn6X5thoFzSc98bBON.html

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2005 Delhi blasts – College to jail: How cops stole 12 years of his youth (Feb 18, 2017, Times of India)

Mohammad Rafiq Shah was … picked up by officials of Delhi Police’s special cell and Special Task Force (STF) of Kashmir Police.Two days later – after allegedly subjecting him to torture and humiliation at an STF camp – they brought him to Delhi. His crime: he was alleged to have planted a bomb in a DTC bus in Govindpuri on October 29, 2005, which injured many people.

Twelve years later, when he walked free on Thursday – after additional sessions judge Reetesh Singh acquitted him of all charges – the police were facing serious questions of credibility and human rights violations. Rafiq’s claim that “he was made an accused to assuage the public perception that Delhi Police was incompetent to act against terrorism” and that “he was a vulnerable target… made a scapegoat” rang true. Police, it seems, deliberately ignored his alibi at every step to prove their case. They brushed aside his plea that it could be proved he was in his class on the day of the blast. It relied on dubious witness es who ended up contradicting themselves, exposed Rafiq to many people when he was in custody before a test identification parade (TIP) could be conducted and suppressed inconvenient facts.…

The ground had been laid in Srinagar where Rafiq -according to his reply during framing of charges on January 21, 2008 which was cited by the judge – was allegedly forced to drink urine, kept naked and sexually abused, all in order to perhaps break his spirit. He had also alleged that rats were put in his trousers and attempts made to hurt his religious sentiments.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/57215328.cms

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Hindutva terror cases will be ‘made to collapse’ by government, says Chidambaram (Feb 18, 2017, Hindustan Times)

All terror cases involving right-wing Hindutva groups will be “made to collapse” in courts as the NDA government is using investigation agencies to advance its “political objective”, former home minister P Chidambaram has said.

His remarks came a fortnight after a Dewas court acquitted Sadhvi Pragya in Sunil Joshi murder case. Joshi was the alleged mastermind of what came to be known as “Hindu terror” that was linked to right-wing group Abhinav Bharat and some individuals associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The National Investigation Agency (NIA) dropped all charges against Pragya and 5 others in 2008 Malegaon blast case last year. Many witnesses have turned hostile in 2007 Ajmer Dargah and Samjhauta Express blasts cases.

Asked how the so-called Hindutva terror cases – transferred from states to the NIA during his tenure as union home minister – were falling apart, Chidambaram told HT: “It shows how the investigation agency is being used to advance their (the ruling party’s) political objective. How can witness after witness turn hostile? Is there not a single witness who will come and depose?”…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/hindutva-terror-cases-will-be-made-to-collapse-by-government-says-chidambaram/story-64AuYRpFOwbjk04Gw7jA5I.html

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US report exposes India’s mistreatment of minorities (Feb 19, 2017, Milli Gazette)

India fails to comply with international standards on freedom of religion leading to the discrimination and persecution of religious minorities, said a new report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

The report, “Constitutional and Legal Challenges Faced by Religious Minorities in India” said that, although the country’s Constitution guarantees equal rights to religious minorities, the government fails to comply with international standards.

It also enumerates India’s failure to ensure the rights of Dalit people, those from socially and economically poor castes, once considered untouchables.…

http://www.milligazette.com/news/15401-us-report-exposes-india-s-mistreatment-of-minorities

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India’s GDP projected to slow to 6.6% post-demonetisation: IMF (Feb 22, 2017, Hindustan Times)

India’s growth is projected to slow to 6.6% in 2016-17 fiscal due to the strains that have emerged in the economy as a result of “temporary disruptions” caused by demonetisation, the IMF said on Wednesday.

In its annual report, however, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said demonetisation would have only short term impact on the economy and it would bounce back to its expected growth of more than eight per cent in the next few years.

The post-November 8, 2016 cash shortages and payment disruptions caused by the currency exchange initiative have undermined consumption and business activity, posing a new challenge to sustaining the growth momentum, the IMF said in its annual country report on India.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-s-gdp-projected-to-slow-to-6-6-post-demonetisation-imf/story-zlxP86sKhOfOIY2N20jYRP.html

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‘Torture can NEVER be justified’: Amnesty International calls for Indian minister who ordered police to hang rape suspects upside down, beat them and rub chilli in their wounds to be investigated (Feb 19, 2017, First Post)

A cabinet minister who claimed to have ordered police to torture rape suspects should be investigated for human rights abuses, Amnesty International has said.

Uma Bharti, in charge of water resources, told supporters last week that she used to order rape suspects to be beaten in front of their victims and then have salt and chillies rubbed into their wounds while she was Madhya Pradesh chief minister.…

But London-based rights group Amnesty said her comments were dangerous and she should be prosecuted for violating basic human rights principles and Indian laws if she had in fact ordered such treatment. ‘Torture is always a crime, and is never justified. Politicians cannot decide that certain people do not have human rights,’ Aakar Patel, the head of Amnesty in India, said in a statement.…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-4223534/Amnesty-urges-probe-India-minister-torture-claim.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Modi is back to dirty trick by trying to divide Hindus and Muslims in UP – By Muqbil Ahmar (Feb 20, 2017, Dailyo.in)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a speech in Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh, on Sunday, said: “Ramzan me bijli aati hai, toh Diwali me bhi aani chahiye; bhedbhav nahi hona chahiye (when electricity is available on Ramzan, then its supply should be ensured during Diwali as well. There shouldn’t be any discrimination.” He added: “If there is a kabaristaan, there should be shamshaan too.”…

Moreover, Modi’s polarising remarks are not new. He has a history of doing that. Time and again, he and the BJP have tried to polarise important elections, particularly when the party feels it is on a sticky wicket. During the Bihar Assembly elections in 2015, Modi sought to pit the Dalits and backward classes against Bihar’s Muslims.…

The party has been notorious for such tactics… During the West Bengal Assembly elections, the BJP ran a highly virulent and divisive campaign. However, it backfired as the results showed. It was the same during the Bihar polls. This time, the BJP is playing the same card in Uttar Pradesh. Let’s see if it works in the party’s favour.

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/uttar-pradesh-polls-modi-fatehpur/story/1/15745.html

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No Prime Minister Has Stooped So Low in His Statements as Modi Has – By Om Thanvi (Feb 13, 2017, The Wire)

Outraged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘raincoat’ remark on Manmohan Singh, Congress MPs staged a walkout from the Rajya Sabha last week. Their protest may have been a bit of an overreaction but the truth is that the jibe was in extremely poor taste. What Modi did, in essence, was to accuse the former prime minister – without providing any proof – of personal involvement in corruption.…

What drove Modi to make such an allegation? For one, he was desperate to strike back. In the last parliamentary session, Singh had spoken like the economist he is and delivered a rare, brief and relatively strong speech condemning demonetisation – a speech in which he used terms like “organised loot” and “plunder”. Singh’s vocabulary was not abusive or frivolous but it stung Modi – who is aspiring to be the Messiah of neo-liberal economics – where it mattered most.…

Still, the use of such low level language in parliament by a man holding the top-most position in the country indicates a deterioration not witnessed before. Never has a prime minister put on such a shocking display of language. Not even Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whose rhetoric and dramatic gestures Modi and others in the BJP have strived to emulate.

https://thewire.in/108328/mod-manmohan-raincoat-parliament-demonetisation/

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2005 Delhi blast: Shoddy probe is an insult to both victims and those acquitted – Editorial (Feb 17, 2017, Hindustan Times)

In the end, it would appear that justice has not be done to any of the people involved in the 11-year-long saga following the Delhi bomb blasts that killed 67 people. Two of the accused have been freed after spending more than a decade in jail. On the face of things, it beggars belief that the police investigative team could have got it so wrong and that too in such a high-profile case.

But a closer look at many such incidents, a similar one in Hyderabad for instance, shows that the errors in evidence gathering begin right from the start. The crime scene is almost always compromised due to the police being late to arrive or their inability to cordon it off even when they do. This is the first lapse. Very often we see that all sorts of hasty conclusions are reached and these are publicised with no thought to how this could affect a sensitive case.… The easy route is taken and people are picked up on flimsy grounds.…

To return to this case, there was, according to lawyers, evidence of wilful negligence or incompetence in arresting people with little proof. This has led not only to an erosion of faith in the criminal justice system, but also has traumatised Muslims who are most often picked up for terror crimes. In effect, these lapses lead to persons, who may well be innocent, losing several years of their lives and the victims of the outrage are left in pain and grief. Those wrongly accused can, of course, sue the State but the stigma rarely goes away. It affects their chances of education, employment, overseas travel and also reintegrating into society. It also leaves deep psychological scars from which many never recover.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/editorials/shoddy-probe-into-the-2005-delhi-blast-case-is-an-insult-to-both-victims-and-those-acquitted/story-6DkQw24d0f2s0xoWguHYTM.html

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The chessboard was ready; we were just pawns: Habeeb Hawa, acquitted from Ahmedabad blasts case – By Amit Kumar (Feb 16, 2017, Twocircles.net)

Until April 22, 2003, Habeeb Hawa’s life was no different from the thousands around him. A 29-year-old born and brought up in Ahmedabad, Hawa ran a business dealing with electrical wiring, and in his free time, he would help various social organisations. He had got married three years ago and both him and his wife were enrolled at IGNOU: Habeeb had his exams for graduation a few days later, while his wife was preparing for her M.Com final year.

And then, Hawa got a police call. His life was about to nosedive into a hell specially reserved for innocent Muslims in India: not that he knew it then. “The police called and said that I needed to file an ‘answer’ for a query they had. I was confused because I had no clue, but then I thought there is no harm in going to the police station. I had been working in the relief committee for post-Godhra riots, and I had spoken to the local police so I went again. I knew these people (the cops),” says Hawa in a conversation with Twocircles.net.

Except that when he reached the police station, he was a taken to another place which was unfamiliar. “There were about 50 Muslims detained in the place. When I spoke to the others, they too seemed clueless. One cop jokingly said, ‘The chessboard is in place, now we need to place the pawns in the right place.’ Also, every few hours one of us would be picked, beaten black and blue and he would never return,” Habeeb, now 43, says.…

http://twocircles.net/2017feb16/404855.html

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100 days of demonetisation: Bank queues, RBI flip-flops – here is how it all unfolded – By Kanishka Singh (Feb 17, 2017, Indian Express)

Hundred days have passed since Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government announced its demonetisation drive. The government invalidated legal tender of ₹500 and ₹1,000 and announced restrictions on ATM and bank withdrawals on November 8. Further announcements included introduction of new currency notes of ₹500 and ₹ 2,000 denomination.

Announcing the decision, PM Modi had asked for 50 days to bring the situation back to normal. At the end of 50 days on December 30, the RBI and the Centre had both come out with a combined 74 notifications, circulars, decisions and reviews or turnarounds of those decisions. By the end 100-day mark, the situation has stabilised by some measure, but the shock is still felt and will take some time to wither away.…

Many lost their lives standing in queues and farmers were forced to sell their produce at throwaway prices. Digital payment infrastructure crumbled with high demand and low preparation. Digital India was not there to support demonetisation blues. After demonetising 86 per cent of the currency on November 8, only 0.0006% was recovered as counterfeit. Although large amounts of money made its way into the banking system, citizens by and large suffered the brunt.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/100-days-of-demonetisation-bank-queues-rbi-flip-flops-here-is-how-it-all-unfolded-4528321/

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Mohan Bhagwat is confusing religion with nationality by saying all Indian Muslims are Hindus – By Bikram Vohra (Feb 9, 2017, First Post)

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has taken religion, nationality and rationale to a whole new level, and served it up as a khichdi of logic. There was absolutely no need to create even a sliver of controversy, or to confuse the country you hail from with the religion you practice. Yet, he chose to do just this.

The one nice thing he did say during his eight-day tour of Madhya Pradesh will get lost in the din over all the other statements designed to tee off anyone who is not Hindu, and also a lot who are and who would rather not spread their spiritual blanket with such abandon.

Oh yes, the good part: He called on people to rise above caste, religion and language, which in itself is worthy of applause, but if only the rest of his speech wasn’t all about Hinduism and antithetical to the first sentiment. Why, for a start, do Hindus need the Bhagwats to bat for them and turn it all into a verbal circus? There is no call for this propping up, of adding cardboard dimensions to a faith. But Bhagwat clearly believes so in some fashion, since he says all Muslims are Hindus by nationality, though it makes no sense. But the Indian majority will somehow feel joyous about it and discover great happiness from this incandescent revelation.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/mohan-bhagwat-is-confusing-religion-with-nationality-by-saying-all-indian-muslims-are-hindus-3274180.html

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Book Review

Splintered Justice: Living the Horror of Mass Communal Violence in Bhagalpur and Gujarat

Author: Warisha Farasat and Prita Jha
Reviewed by: Mohammad Sajjad
Available at: Three Essays Collective, B-957 Palam Vihar, GURGAON (Haryana) 122 017 India. http://www.amazon.in/
Review:
‘Splintered Justice’ in the Aftermath of Communal Violence (Feb 15, 2017, The Wire)

Communal violence has been a blot on the Indian record since British rule, with inter-community rivalry extending to well before that. Post-independence, this issue has reached truly dangerous levels… Even in the studies of causation, the career-profiles and roles of the goons patronised by the politicians and officials have remained woefully under-explored. Similar omission persists about studying the communalisation of minorities.

Asghar Ali Engineer, Paul Brass, Steven Wilkinson and Ashutosh Varshney are among the best known names to have explored and published influential works on the theme. Of these scholars however, Brass has diligently argued against using the word ‘riot’ for such violence. He has argued that such violence is not spontaneous. Instead it is ‘organised’ and ‘structured’. Riots don’t ‘happen’, these are ‘produced’ by politicians in connivance with the administrative machinery – an aspect that Wilkinson has also expanded on in his Votes and Violence. Brass wrote that, “What are called Hindu-Muslim riots in India are, in fact, more like pogroms, and have …taken the form of genocidal massacres and local ethnic cleansing as well”.

What has remained less attended to is the aftermath of the violence and barbarity. What happened to the victims that survived? Enough has been said on incumbent regimes, through choice or not, failing to pre-empt and control the violence. What remains understudied is the criminal justice system after the carnage. How did the ‘secular’ regimes protect and promote the perpetrators in the long run? What happened to the security personnel who either looked away or joined in the perpetrators? How difficult and complicated did it become for the victims to claim and get compensations? How did the victims and the survivors of the deceased ones re-build their lives? These are the questions that have been probed in Warisha Farasat and Prita Jha’s Splintered Justice: Living the Horror of Mass Communal Violence in Bhagalpur and Gujarat. This melancholic story tells us how the Indian republic frequently fails to dispense justice.… It exposes the chilling fact that “the process to provide impunity to the accused begins immediately after the violence”.…

https://thewire.in/108972/splintered-justice-communalism/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – January 16th, 2016

by newsdigest on January 27, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

How AB Vajpayee was foiled in his bid to have Narendra Modi removed as Gujarat chief minister (Jan 13, 2017, Scroll.in)

7 April 2002. Vajpayee was in a pensive mood when he spoke to reporters in New Delhi hours before he left for Singapore and Cambodia on a five-day official tour… Shortly after take-off, Arun Shourie, Vajpayee’s disinvestment minister, was approached by Ranjan Bhattacharya in the plane. “Shourieji, please go and meet him. Baapji is terribly upset.” Shourie found the PM deeply disturbed, not looking up, his face grave. He appeared crestfallen. Soon, Shourie realised that the PM was upset for one major reason: Gujarat.…

All the killing and pillaging in Gujarat had given Vajpayee a bad name, the more so because Gujarat had a BJP government in place, with a chief minister who had reportedly not risen enough to the occasion to rein in the violence. Vajpayee was blamed for his failure as PM to get rid of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who reportedly shouted back at a Muslim leader on the phone for seeking help after a mob had gathered outside his house. Some hours later, the Muslim leader was lynched, and Modi is alleged to have asked the police forces to let the violence continue. At that moment, Modi seemed to be the villain who brought a lot of shame to the central government.

Modi had also dared to publicly snub Vajpayee at a press conference where he was seated alongside the prime minister. The reporter wanted to know Vajpayee’s message for the chief minister in the wake of the riots. In controlled displeasure, Vajpayee stated that Modi should “follow his Rajdharma”.… Seeing things take a different turn, Vajpayee kept mum, opting against a confrontational stance. Perhaps, for all his bravery, he was worried about younger leaders publicly questioning his authority.…

https://scroll.in/article/826433/how-ab-vajpayee-was-foiled-in-his-bid-to-have-narendra-modi-removed-as-gujarat-chief-minister

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Months Before Sahara Was Granted Immunity, Tax Panel Member Was Abruptly Transferred (Jan 9, 2017, The Wire)

Five months before the Income Tax Settlement Commission (ITSC) granted Sahara India immunity from any future prosecution and penalty over the Sahara diaries, a member of the bench that eventually heard the company’s application was transferred under less than normal circumstances.

According to a report in The Hindu, IRS officer Baldip Singh Sandhu was appointed in March 2016 as a member of the ITSC in Delhi and was appointed to the principal bench headed by the chairman of the tax settlement commission.

The bench that Sandhu was appointed to was the same bench that, on November 10 2016, issued the immunity order for the Sahara group. However, before that, on July 19, Sandhu “was transferred out to Chennai” even though his appointment was “location-specific and non-transferable”. The Hindu reports that on July 19, Sandhu was relieved of his duties and a finance ministry official came to the commission to serve him his transfer order.…

https://thewire.in/98125/sahara-income-tax/

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Bombay High Court cites Muslim man’s religion as provocation, subsequent murder (Jan 17, 2017, Sabrang India)

Bombay High Court’s recent decision to grant bail to murder accused and the rationale used by judge has left the family of 28-year-old Mohsin Shaikh utterly stunned. While granting bail on 12, Justice Mridula Bhatkar observed that the victim’s fault was that he belonged to another religion.

“I consider this factor in favour of the applicants/accused. More-over, the applicants/accused do not have any criminal record and it appears that in the name of the religion, they were provoked and have committed the murder,” Justice Bhatkar observed.

Shaikh was brutally murdered by members of Hindu Rashtra Sena in June 2014 while he was on his way back from a mosque after offering prayers. 14 of 21 accused have already been granted bail by the court. A case of murder was registered against the members of HRS at the Hadapsar police station and 21 HRS members, including their leader Dhananjay Jayram Desai alias Bhai, were arrested.…

https://sabrangindia.in/article/bombay-high-court-cites-muslim-man%E2%80%99s-religion-provocation-subsequent-murder

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RBI note exposes govt. bluff on note ban, says Opposition (Jan 10, 2017, The Hindu)

A note prepared by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that indicates it was the government that “advised” it to consider demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1,000 currency notes – rather than the other way around – has raised questions about the autonomy of the central bank while drawing the ire of opposition parties.

“Section 26(2) of the RBI Act says that on the recommendation of the RBI, the government may demonetise a particular series of a currency note,” Congress spokesperson and former Union Minister Manish Tewari told The Hindu on Tuesday, stressing, “A strict reading of the Act, therefore, makes it plain that it does not give the RBI the power to demonetise an entire denomination, and the RBI has done a command performance without basic application of mind. It is a sad commentary on the inability of the central bank to maintain its autonomy.”

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, too, was scathing in his criticism. “This exposes the bluff of the government that this was an RBI decision. This was a government decision. The RBI was pressured to endorse it. And that explains the RBI’s flip flops ever since,” he told The Hindu. Another CPI(M) Politburo member, Brinda Karat, said, “This is an example of a lack of transparency and the snatching away of the autonomy of the RBI. The government is destroying institutions. It is also a case of a straight lie. The government must give an answer.”…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/RBI-note-exposes-govt.-bluff-on-note-ban-says-Opposition/article17019425.ece

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Narendra Modi Replaced Gandhi in an Iconic Calendar and India Can’t Handle It (Jan 13, 2017, Time)

Indian government workers have been protesting after Mahatma Gandhi’s picture was replaced with images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in their department’s official calendar.

Staff at the government’s Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) are reported to have staged a “a silent soul-cleansing” at the Mumbai headquarters.

The Khadi department works to support village-level industries, a scheme close to Gandhi’s heart. Khadi itself – a hand-spun, hand-woven Indian cloth – was used by Gandhi, the preeminent leader of the Indian independence movement, as a symbol for unity, empowerment and liberation.…

http://time.com/4634256/narendra-modi-gandhi-iconic-calendar-india-kvic/

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‘Quest to establish Hindu Rashtra will not succeed’ (Jan 16, 2017, The Hindu)

The quest by the right wing to establish a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ in India will not succeed as people will stand against it, and the Constitution of India, a great document, will not allow it to happen, speakers at The Hindu Lit for Life’s session on ‘Dreams of a Hindu Rashtra’, moderated by N. Ram, Chairman, Kasturi & Sons Ltd, said on Sunday.

Akshaya Mukul, author of ‘Gita Press and The Making of Hindu India’, and Saeed Naqvi, author of ‘Being The Other: The Muslim in India’, concurred that it was not going to be easy to establish a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ (Hindu nation).

“It is not going to be easy. But this quest for a Hindu raj, which has other dimensions to it, will continue and will disrupt us; it will impede our emergence as a nation of the stature that we deserve,” Mr. Naqvi said.…

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/%E2%80%98Quest-to-establish-Hindu-Rashtra-will-not-succeed%E2%80%99/article17042918.ece

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Ishrat Jahan encounter case: Mother Shamima Kauser moves special court to oppose discharge plea of Gujarat DGP (Jan 12, 2017, Indian Express)

A special CBI court on Thursday issued notice to CBI on the discharge application moved by Director General of Police P P Pandey, the senior most accused in Ishrat Jahan encounter case, who is currently out on bail. Pandey is also the in-charge police chief of Gujarat.

On the other hand, Shamima Kauser, mother of Ishrat Jahan, has also moved an application in the court seeking permission to join the proceeding as a party in order to challenge the discharge application. Her lawyer, I H Syed confirmed the move and said, “there is a statutory provision for victims to join the proceedings as party. We are going to oppose the discharge application for sure.”

The special judge MK Pandya issued the notice to CBI and sought agency’s reply by January 20. Pandey has sought relief on the ground that no case is made out against him and the CBI has not charged him with any specific role in the case. This is the first instance in Ishrat Jahan case, in which an accused has sought discharge from the trial court.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/ishrat-jahan-encounter-case-mother-shamima-kauser-moves-special-court-to-oppose-discharge-plea-of-gujarat-dgp-4470875/

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Muzaffarnagar riots: Two years on, SIT yet to get govt’s nod to chargesheet 602 accused (Jan 14, 2017, Indian Express)

Two years after it requested the state government’s sanction to file chargesheets in 57 cases against 602 accused including leaders from the BJP, Congress and BSP, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the state government itself to investigate the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots is yet to get a nod for the same.

On Wednesday, a meeting was held in the home department where SIT officers placed evidence against the accused before a four-member committee. “We are examining the evidence produced by the IOs to take a final decision,” Joint Secretary Chhedi Lal Gupta, who heads the committee, told The Indian Express.

Those facing charges include BJP MP from Bijnor Kunwar Bhartendra Singh and his party MLAs Suresh Rana and Sangeet Singh Som, former BSP MP Kadir Rana, BSP MLAs Noor Saleem Rana and Maulana Jameel from Muzaffarnagar and Congress leader Saeed-uz-Zama.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/muzaffarnagar-riots-two-years-on-sit-yet-to-get-govts-nod-to-chargesheet-602-accused-4473393/

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EC issues notice to BJP’s Sakshi Maharaj for ‘four wives, 40 children’ remark (Jan 10, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Controversial BJP parliamentarian Sakshi Maharaj on Tuesday faced possible disciplinary action with the Election Commission issuing notice to him over his comments that appeared to blame the Muslim community for India’s population growth. The Lok Sabha MP from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh has been asked to reply by Wednesday morning.

Read in entirety, his remarks “have (the) effect of promoting enmity between classes of society…” and prima facie violates the model code of conduct which came into force on January 4 following announcement of assembly polls in five states, including Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress and other political parties have accused Maharaj of fanning communal tension ahead of the seven-phase polls in the state. Speaking in Meerut last week, Maharaj had urged all political parties to come together to frame “population control” laws.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/ec-issues-notice-to-bjp-s-sakshi-maharaj-for-four-wives-40-children-remark/story-JlrnLSaWs6SWqjW93UFECK.html

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Radhika Vemula Detained by Police at HCU, VC Refuses Her Right to Pay Homage (Jan 17, 2017, Sabrang India)

At about 8 p.m. on the night of January 17, the first anniversary of the date of Dalit Research scholar, Rohith Vemula’s “institutional murder” a callous Telangana police detained his mother Radhika Vemula, who had expressed her wish to pay homage at the Veliwada within the University of Hyderabad Campus.

Even as students at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) had planned to hold a largescale protest on January 17, commemorating the death anniversary of Rohith Vemula, the university administration had told the media that it will not let them go ahead with their plans.

Pro-VC Vipin Srivastava, said, “It is our prerogative as to who we can let inside the campus and who we can’t. We will take a decision based on the law and order situation. If they refuse to comply, we also have a High Court order.”…

https://sabrangindia.in/article/radhika-vemula-detained-police-hcu-vc-refuses-her-right-pay-homage

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Opinions and Editorials

Modi’s Man-Made Calamity: How Many Will Die? – By Walt Gelles (Jan 15, 2017, Countercurrents)

At this point, every sane and responsible person in India should be asking: How many tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or millions of people in India are going to die from hunger, starvation, malnutrition and disease as a result of Modi’s demonetisation?

Reports from the rural and semi-rural areas of India, from towns and villages, already indicate that hunger is widespread because of the nonexistence of cash. This artificial crisis was created on November 8, 2016 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi arbitrarily declared 86% of the nation’s currency worthless as legal tender – a draconian diktat taken without any prior discussion with his cabinet, Parliament, or the people.

The so-called demonetisation policy has had devastating effects across all sectors of Indian society, crippling businesses and farmers, causing retail stores and vendors to shut down, increasing unemployment, and forcing ordinary people to lose billions of man-hours and woman-hours waiting in endless queues at banks to exchange unusable currency notes or to withdraw the meager cash allowed.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/01/15/modis-man-made-calamity-how-many-will-die/

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Godse only killed Gandhi, present day’s Hindutva icon Modi is killing the soul of Gandhi – By Apoorva Pathak (Jan 15, 2017, Janta Ka Reporter)

In a move that has shocked many, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ejected Mahatma Gandhi from the wall calendar and table diary published by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission.

This attempt to marginalise Mahatma Gandhi from public mind is a clear manifestation of Modi’s narcissism. It’s Modi’s bid to create a cult around himself at the cost of stalwarts of Indian history. It also makes for bad marketing strategy as it is nobody’s case that Modi is in the same league as Gandhi in terms of appeal within and outside India. Moreover, Modi for all his followers, has large number of detractors and does not have the same bipartisan fandom as Gandhi’s.

The regressive move should alarm us about a much more fundamentally sinister plot that it has inadvertently exposed. It is a dangerous attempt to erase Gandhi’s legacy from Indian ethos. While the Hindutva icon Nathuram Godse only killed Gandhi, the present day’s Hindutva icon Modi is killing the soul of Gandhi.…

http://www.jantakareporter.com/blog/modi-gandhi-soul-godse/94387/

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Anti-National RSS: Documentary Evidences From RSS Archives – By Shamsul Islam (Jan 17, 2016, Countercurrents)

Friends from India and abroad who are concerned about the increasing threats to the democratic-secular Indian polity from the Hindutva organizations have been feeling the need for a concise document on the anti-national game-plan of the RSS and other like-minded offshoots. The need of such a document is rightly felt for countering the Hindutva propaganda at all levels.

The following document is an attempt to accomplish this objective. It is hoped that equipped with this document all those who love India as a democratic-secular nation and want to save our beloved country from the Hindutva onslaught would be able to challenge the fountain-head of the Hindutva politics; RSS. This document is based solely on the documents drawn from the RSS archives.

The editorial (titled ‘Glorious Hindu Nation’) in the maiden issue of the English organ of RSS dated July 3, 1947 strongly rejected any talk of an Indian nation where Hindus and Muslims would stay as equal partners. It branded the concept of a composite Indian nation as a British conspiracy and went on to decry Mr. Hume (one of the founders of the Indian National Congress) for advancing the theory…

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/01/17/anti-national-rss-documentary-evidences-from-rss-archives/

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Confusion About ‘Nation-State’ Is Dangerous For Sikhs in India – By Jaspal Singh Sidhu (Jan 12, 2017, Free Press Journal)

Of late, some thinkers of the Sikhs, a minority constituting less than two per cent of India’s population, are praising and advocating for a separate ‘nation-state’ as the best political solution for the emancipation of the besieged community. Such thinkers go to the extent of harrying and hounding those Sikh intellectuals who oppose the concept of ‘nation-state’, a Western construct.

The latter category of intellectuals suggest that a lot of water has flowed down the rivers since Western educated and influenced leaders of Indian independence struggle succeeded in setting up two ‘nation-states’ in 1947 – India and Pakistan,. Six decades old ‘nation-states’ set-up in Indian sub-continent, have been the cause of untold miseries, internal-external conflicts, bloodshed and further fragmentation in form of Bangladesh, which the founding fathers could never fathom in their dreams even.

Critics of ‘nation-state’ also argue that the unprecedented bloodshed and the forced migration of millions of people, witnessed during the Partition days was the direct consequence of Nehru and Jinnah’s insistence on establishing their separate ‘nation-states’.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/01/12/confusion-about-nation-state-is-dangerous-for-sikhs/

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An Unambiguous Indictment – Editorial (Jan 14, 2017, EPW)

The face of Chhattisgarh is the smiling visage of its chief minister, Raman Singh, which appears with unabated frequency in advertisements, including in the EPW, extolling the progress the state is making under his 13-year reign. The reality, as became evident with the latest report of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), is vastly different. It confirms what is already known but which Singh and his police force stubbornly refuse to acknowledge, that the tribal population of this state lives in constant fear of violence at the hands of the state police even as it continues to struggle with the unrelenting burden of poverty.

The tragedy of Chhattisgarh is not just the impunity with which the police and security forces continue to operate in the name of fighting the Maoists, but that nothing seems to dent the pursuit of these actions that have led to rapes, murders, harassment and wrongful imprisonment of ordinary people.

Taking suo motu cognisance of a 2 November 2015 news report in the Indian Express about 40 women from five villages who had alleged that they had been assaulted, harassed and that two women had been gang-raped, reportedly by the state police, the NHRC initiated an investigation. The newspaper story was based on inquiries carried out by a women’s human rights group, Women Against Sexual Violence and State Oppression a month earlier.…

http://www.epw.in/journal/2017/2/editorials/unambiguous-indictment.html

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The Death of a “Velivada Scholar”- Rohith Vemula – By Raju Hanumanta Chalwadi (Jan 17, 2017, Sabrang India)

The death of Rohith Vemula, a PhD scholar, at the Hyderabad Central University shook the country on January 2016. It was a loss of a brilliant child to his mother and loss of an intellectual to his community. ‘My birth is my fatal accident’ is what he wrote in his suicide letter, the meaning of these words can only be understood by one who did not want him/her to be what he wrote in the same letter “be reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility”. Further, he writes “Never was a man treated as a mind”, illustrates the injustice being done historically by the country on the Dalits by treating them as slaves and behaving with them as worst as possible.…

On 18th of December 2015, a letter was written to the Vice Chancellor of the University by the scholar asking VC to fulfil the following demands as a solution for the Dalit problems. He said “Please serve 10mg Sodium Azide to all the Dalit students at the time of admission. With direction to use when they feel like reading Ambedkar and supply a nice rope to the rooms of all Dalit students”. Further, he requested for a facility of “EUTHANASIA” for a student like him. This letter was written exactly 30 days before he committed suicide. Any sensible person could have taken such a letter with utmost urgency but the VC of UoH did not take it.…

Had the Ministry of HRD instead of writing letters after letters done the work for which the ministry had been constituted i.e., providing quality education and making education accessible to all, had the government not appointed Casteist VC Appa Rao Podile – who expelled 10 Dalit student’s way back in 2000 when he was a warden. Had Modi taken an unbiased stand on the issue by inquiring the case instead of providing lip service of achieving goal of equal India envisage by Dr BR Ambedkar, the Velivada scholar could have got justice. Most recently, PM Modi has awarded vice- chancellor Appa Rao Podile with a “Millennium Plaque of Honour” award at the Indian Science Congress held in Tirupati.

https://sabrangindia.in/article/death-%E2%80%9Cvelivada-scholar%E2%80%9D-rohith-vemula

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 24th, 2016

November 3, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Hindu-Muslim meet shows humanity is above all Delhi’s own festival that promotes communal harmony News Headlines Godhra riots: Gujarat High Court upholds life term of 17, acquits 14 convicted in Sardarpura case Jharkhand policeman charged for custodial death following youth’s post-mortem report Malegaon blast: High court asks […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 13th, 2016

June 23, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Human rights, religious freedom deteriorating in India: Human Rights Watch All eyes on Sanatan Sanstha after ENT specialist’s arrest Head of Samjhauta Express blasts probe says the Centre is ‘erasing evidence’ in a bid to clear prime suspect Purohit Kairana exodus: BJP list of ‘Hindus’ forced out […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 29th, 2016

March 6, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines AUDIO: Muslims warned of ‘final battle’ at Sangh Parivar meeting, MoS Katheria says ‘we’ve to show our strength’ 34 US lawmakers express concerns over violence against minorities, write to Modi GK Pillai claims intel mole lured Ishrat group to Gujarat, UPA faces heat ‘Were Your Men Sleeping?’ […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 15th, 2016

February 26, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Bishop House in Kerala opens doors for Muslims to perform prayers Hindus take care of a mosque in UP’s communal cauldron News Headlines Sedition case against JNUSU president: Lawyers, BJP MLA take law in their fists ABVP members raised anti-India slogans: AAP submits video clip proof to […]

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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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