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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 26th, 2012

by newsdigest on March 27, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Announcements

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Announcements

US Congressional Hearing highlights the plight of Indian Minorities, Gujarat victims

Narendra Modi to remain persona non-grata with no change to visa status

Thursday March 22, 2012

Indian American Muslim Council (http://www.iamc.com) an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos has thanked Dr. Najid Hussain (son-in-law of slain Indian Parliamentarian Ahsan Jafri) and Dr. Angana Chatterji for their Congressional testimonies at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission today. The Commission held a hearing on Wednesday (March 21, 2012) on the plight of religious minorities in South Asia, at which Dr. Najid Hussain represented IAMC, in response to an invitation by Commission Co-Chair Congressman Frank Wolf.

Congressman Joseph Pitts’s pointed questions about Modi’s visa status made it clear that Modi remains a persona non-grata in the US. In 2005, the US State Department had revoked Narendra Modi’s US visa under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, for egregious violations of religious freedom.

“The testimonies of both Dr. Hussain and Dr. Chatterji gave the Commission a starkly different picture of Gujarat than the one painted by the recent TIME Asia cover story and a Brookings Institution blog article,” said Mr. Shaheen Khateeb, President of IAMC. Both stories were largely seen as promotional articles aimed at rehabilitating the tainted Narendra Modi for higher office even as the judicial process is tightening around him.

Dr. Hussain noted with regret that despite the killing of over 2,000 Muslims during the carnage, glaringly low number of arrests have been made to date with even fewer convictions. “An inclusive India would also be a stronger India, that could provide power for our mutual progress, economic development, and growth,” Dr. Hussain said in his testimony. “That goal cannot be realized without ensuring justice to the minorities of Gujarat,” the testimony added.

Dr. Hussain urged the Commission to deny any recognition to Mr. Modi and to use the United States’ influence and friendship with India to ensure freedom, justice and security for the minorities in Gujarat as well as other Indian states. Dr. Hussain also deplored the continued suffering of more than 16,000 people still living in squalid refugee camps. Most people displaced during the pogrom have to date not been allowed to return to their homes as the state government has turned a blind eye to their boycott and ghettoization.

Dr. Angana Chatterji testified before the Commission on similar targeting of Christians by right wing Hindu extremists organizations. Violence against Christians resulted in the murder, rape and massive displacement of thousands of people in the state of Orissa.

Dr. Chatterji’s testimony covered the vast number of disappearances in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the unearthing of unmarked mass graves based on her report. This highlighted the impunity enjoyed by the Army despite gross violations of human rights. She also referred to the denial of independent religious identity to Sikhs.

Dr. Chatterji further called attention to the various Indian diaspora charitable organizations affiliated with the Hindutva ideology operating in the West and their efforts at influencing public discourse and policy in the United States in relation to India.

IAMC has also noted with regret the rising discrimination and violence against religious and disadvantaged minorities. “The harassment of minorities and the lack of due process in the arrest of Muslim youth after every terror attack have eroded the people’s confidence in the impartiality of the nation’s law enforcement agencies.” said Mr. Shaheen Khateeb. Several terror attacks for which Muslim youth were arrested were later found to be the handiwork of right wing Hindu extremists, In addition to extrajudicial killings and the denial of constitutional rights to large sections of the Muslim population, their increasing marginalization in education, essential services and employment have reached alarming proportions.

IAMC hopes the awareness created by the testimonies of Dr. Najid Hussain and Dr. Angana Chatterji will lead to concrete steps by the Government of India to redress the grievous injustices committed against minorities in Gujarat and other parts of India.

Indian American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with 10 chapters across the nation.

For more information please visit our new website at www.iamc.com.

RELATED LINKS:

Testimony of Dr. Najid Hussain at the US Congressional Hearing – March 21, 2012
http://iamc.com/testimonies/dr-najid-hussains-testimony-at-the-congressional-hearing-on-tom-lantos-human-rights-commission/

Testimony of Dr. Angana Chatterji at the US Congressional Hearing – March 21, 2012
http://iamc.com/testimonies/dr-angana-chatterjis-testimony-at-the-congressional-hearing-organized-by-the-tom-lantos-human-rights-commission/

Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Hearing on Challenges Facing Minorities in South Asia
http://tlhrc.house.gov/hearing_notice.asp?id=1227

Congressional Resolution H.Re.569 – Recognizing the 10th Anniversary of the tragic communal violence in Gujarat, India
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.RES.569:

Ahsan Jafri Foundation
http://www.visionjafri.org/webpages/pg_relief.html

Contact:
Zafar Haq
phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270
email: info@iamc.com

Address:
6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295
Morton Grove, IL 60053
phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270
email: info@iamc.com
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Gujarat Pogrom of 2002 condemned by City of Harvey, IL Resolution

Wednesday March 28, 2012

The Indian American Muslim Council (http://www.iamc.com) an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos has welcomed the passing of a resolution in the City Council of Harvey, Illinois, on the solemn occasion of the tenth anniversary of the horrific mass killings in the state of Gujarat, India. The waves of massacres that engulfed Gujarat starting in February 2002 claimed the lives of over 2,000 people, were accompanied by brutal sexual violence against hundreds of women and displaced over 150,000 people from their homes. Human rights organizations have found that the pogrom was planned in advance and could only have been executed with the active support of the state government.

Council members passed Resolution 2629 unanimously, commemorating the victims of the Gujarat pogrom, during the City Council Meeting on March 26, 2012. The resolution also expressed solidarity with the victims, including those who died in the Godhra train fire on February 27, 2002. Mayor Eric Kellogg presided over the meeting, attended by four other voting council members, as well as members of the public.

The city’s resolution comes in the wake of resolution HRES 569 introduced in the House by Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) calling on the government of Gujarat to restore religious freedom and expressing concern over the state government’s alleged complicity in the mass killings. Indian Americans across the US held nationwide candlelight vigils in March to commemorate the Gujarat pogrom and demand justice and reparation for the victims.

“The Harvey City Council condemns the Gujarat Pogrom of 2002 as a gross violation of human rights and a failure of the law and order machinery in the State of Gujarat,” states the resolution. The Council also expressed concern that “despite worldwide horror and condemnation, the surviving victims have been denied justice and due process.” There have been very few arrests and even fewer convictions arising out of the cases registered during and after the mass killings.

“There are times when events in far-flung parts of the world not only move our hearts, but strengthen our resolve to always stand up for truth and justice. The horrific massacres that took place in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002 is one such event,” said Harvey City Mayor Eric Kellogg in a historic speech after the passing of the resolution. “The fact that such horrific violence took place in the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi, who was the ambassador of peace and harmony, is especially shameful,” Mayor Kellogg added. He also praised the Indian American community in Harvey for their contributions in the field of relief, charity and social services, and resolved to raise funds for the victims of the Gujarat pogrom.

“The citizens of Harvey have demonstrated their commitment to the values instilled by the great leaders of this nation such as Dr. King and Rosa Parks,” said Jawad Khan, Executive Committee member of IAMC, in his speech at the City Council.

“The resolution passed by the City of Harvey demonstrates that the upholding of human rights and the defense of human dignity are universal concerns that transcend national boundaries and geographic location,” said Mr. Shaheen Khateeb, President of IAMC. “The Gujarat Pogrom of 2002 was an attack on our common human values, and the struggle for justice and reparation for the victims is thus an international issue,” added Mr. Khateeb.

The Tom Lantos Commission for Human Rights heard testimonies on March 21, 2012 from two Indian Americans on human rights violations in different parts of India including Gujarat. The testimonies presented a starkly different picture of Gujarat than the one painted by the recent TIME cover story and the Brookings Institution blog article on Narendra Modi.

IAMC has urged the Government of India to address concerns raised by the City of Harvey resolution. The resolution explicitly urges the government “to demonstrate its commitment to the Constitution of India as well to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by safeguarding the human rights of all its citizens, irrespective of their religious affiliations.”

Indian American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with 10 chapters across the nation.

For more information please visit our new website at www.iamc.com.

RELATED LINKS:
Resolution 2629 passed by City of Harvey
http://iamc.com/resolutions/harvey-resolution-2629/

Video of Harvey City Council Meeting that passed resolution 2629
http://iamc.com/videos/harvey-resolution-video/

Mayor Eric J Kellogg’s historic speech expressing solidarity with Gujarat victims
http://iamc.com/resolutions/harvey-resolution-2629/

Indian American Group welcomes Congressional Resolution on Gujarat Violence of 2002
http://iamc.com/press-release/indian-american-group-welcomes-congressional-resolution-on-gujarat-violence-of-2002/

“We have no orders to save you” – Report by Human Rights Watch
http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/2002/india/

US Congressional Hearing highlights the plight of Indian Minorities, Gujarat victims
http://iamc.com/press-release/us-congressional-hearing-highlights-the-plight-of-indian-minorities-gujarat-victims/

Congressional Resolution H.Re.569 – Recognizing the 10th Anniversary of the tragic communal violence in Gujarat, India
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.RES.569:

Indian Americans across US hold candle-light vigils for Gujarat victims
http://iamc.com/news/report-indian-americans-demand-justice-for-gujarat-victims-through-candle-light-vigils/

Contact:
Zafar Haq
phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270
email: info@iamc.com

Address:
6321 W Dempster St. Suite 295
Morton Grove, IL 60053
phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270
email: info@iamc.com
Forward email

’02 riot victims, activists testify, in-camera before UN body (Mar 23, 2012, Indian Express)

A clutch of riot victims including Bilkis Bano, activists and lawyers from Gujarat and elsewhere testified in-camera before the United Nations Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary and Arbitrary Executions, in Ahmedabad on Friday.

Christof Heyns, the rapporteur, was also given various documents and other material which includes four books, a set of eight DVDs including five discs containing the “Tehelka Tapes” and the documentary film Final Solution, a writ petition filed in the Supreme Court, two High Court judgments and “papers and documents on extra-judicial killings and fake encounter murders in Gujarat state submitted by R B Sreekumar”.

Heyns’ mandate “covers all killings that are in violation of international human rights or humanitarian law” and his goal as rapporteur is to “propose specific and constructive reforms to reduce killings and to promote transparency and accountability”. The rapporteur submits a final report to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Friday’s consultation included incidents such as the Ishrat Jahan encounter, Samir Khan Pathan’s encounter, 2002 cases, Baroda 2005 cases, Baroda 2008 Ganesh Vsarjan case, killings of particular groups such as Dalits, tribals, human rights defenders and RTI activists.

Besides Bano, those who were scheduled to testify included advocates Mukul Sinha and Anand Yagnik, activists Teesta Setalvad and Manjula Pradeep (from Navsarjan) and Bhikhubhai Jethva, among others.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/927841/

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Modi’s role falls within Nanavati probe ambit, argues Manch (Mar 20, 2012, The Hindu)

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Nanavati Commission and the Gujarat government on a petition for summoning Chief Minister Narendra Modi to question him in connection with the 2002 communal riots. A Bench of Justices D.K. Jain and A.K. Dave sought their response in four weeks, on the special leave petition by the Jan Sangharsh Manch against a Gujarat High Court order declining to entertain its plea.

Senior counsel Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the Manch, said Mr. Modi’s role as Chief Minister fell within the ambit of the Commission’s enquiry. The Manch had filed an application before the Commission requesting it to issue summons to seven persons, including Mr. Modi, for inquiring into the role and conduct of the Chief Minister and/or any other Minister in his Council of Ministers, police officers and political and non-political organisations in the Godhra and post-Godhra incidents, which took place between February 27 and May 31, 2002.

The Commission, in its September 18, 2009 order, rejected the plea and this was upheld by the High Court. In its SLP against this order, the Manch said that as the government itself had amended the terms of reference for inquiring into the role and conduct of the Chief Minister and/or any other Minister, police officers and political and non-political organisations, it was absolutely necessary to summon and examine the Chief Minister and other Ministers. Otherwise, the entire amended terms of reference would get nullified.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3013792.ece

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In face-off with Modi, top cop moves SC (Mar 23, 2012, Indian Express)

Senior Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Kuldip Sharma has approached the Supreme Court (SC) demanding that all matters relating his conduct as a civil servant, including his annual confidential ratings (ACRs), be placed before the Governor of Gujarat, or before any other constitutional authority the court may deem fit, because Chief Minister Narendra Modi is acting against him with biased and malafide intentions.

In his petition, Sharma has also urged the the apex court to create an in-built grievance redressal mechanism for civil servants of all-India Services who have fallen foul of the government of the day because of their discharge of lawful duties. Sharma, one of the many Gujarat-cadre IPS officers who are pitted against the Modi government, is presently on central deputation as the additional director general of Bureau of Police Research and Development in New Delhi.

The petition, filed recently, is to come up for hearing at the SC soon. Highlighting instances to support his case, the 1976-batch IPS officer has named Modi as one of the respondents to the petition along with the Union of India and the Gujarat government. In his petition, Sharma has alleged witch-hunt since he performed his duties lawfully, against the whims and diktats of Modi and his “henchman” Amit Shah, who is one of the accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.

Sharma has cited instances where he did not follow instructions given by Modi. Some of these are related to the discovery of human skeletons during 2002 riots and the preliminary report in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case. Sharma has argued that since his actions in these cases did not go down well with the state government led by Modi, the latter had downgraded his ACR for four years from 2002 to 2007 from “Outstanding” to “Very Good”.

The state government, Sharma has alleged, had always been creating hurdles by holding up vigilance clearance for his central deputation. He had also been issued various showcause notices and a criminal case of murder was registered against him, which was subsequently quashed by the Gujarat High Court. Sharma has also alleged that the state machinery working under Modi made sure he remained under the weight of various litigations. Singh also alleged he was even given a punishment posting as Managing Director of Gujarat Sheep and Wool Development Corporation and there too, he was issued a show-cause notice.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/927400/

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After Karnataka, Gujarat MLAs allegedly watch porn in House (Mar 21, 2012, Times of India)

The Gujarat assembly was rocked by its version of the Karnataka-like ‘porngate’ on Wednesday when the Congress party accused two BJP MLAs of watching objectionable material on a tablet yesterday in the house.The two MLAs, Shankar Choudhary of Radhanpur and Jetha Bharwad of Sehera in Panchmahal, have denied the allegations.

A journalist has submitted a video clip which shows the two legislators watching something on a tablet, but it was not clear exactly what. “The claim is baseless and without any truth,” Choudhary later told TOI. “I often draft letters and other official documents in the House just to get some office work done. That is all I was doing when the clip was made.”

The tablet has been handed over to the secretary of the assembly and the speaker has ordered an inquiry to find out exactly what the gadget contained. Forensic experts may be roped in just in case the objectionable material may have been deleted. Choudhary, one of the younger leaders of the BJP in the legislative, also made a statement in the house on the issue on Wednesday afternoon but by then all Congress MLAs had been suspended for the day for protesting loudly and not allowing the house to function.

A Karnataka legislature committee, set up to probe the porngate episode earlier, had given a clean chit to two former ministers who were allegedly caught watching objectionable material in the state assembly. The committee headed by Srishailappa Bidarur absolved CC Patil and Krishna Palemar in its report submitted to the assembly speaker KG Bopaiah in a sealed cover.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/12352448.cms

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Prajapati Case: Supreme Court has not held police’s chargesheet as invalid, says high court (Mar 25, 2012, Times of India)

In connection with the Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter case, Gujarat high court has observed that though the Supreme Court has not accepted the investigation carried out by Gujarat police, it has not held the chargesheet filed by CID (crime) to be invalid at the same time.

Like it did in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, the apex court also transferred the Tulsiram encounter case to CBI after CID (crime) filed a couple of chargesheets against cops from Gujarat and Rajasthan. SC transferred the probe with observation that the investigation carried out by Gujarat police could not be accepted as satisfactory.

In seeking default bail, suspended IPS and then SP of Banaskantha Vipul Agrawal contended that CBI has not filed any chargesheet within stipulated time of six months as granted by the SC. Moreover, SC has refused to accept the investigation and that it means the chargesheets filed by CID (crime) were also not accepted by the SC, he submitted.

In refusing bail to Agrawal, Justice M D Shah observed that the SC has not expressed any opinion on the merits of the matter and that the SC has not quashed the chargesheet filed by the Gujarat state and the cognizance taken by the magistrate. “It is clear that though the SC has not accepted the investigation carried out by the Gujarat Police, it has not held the chargesheet filed in the Court to be invalid,” HC order reads.

CBI has been granted extension to probe this case by the SC till March 28. Meanwhile, another accused in this case, suspended SP Rajkumar Pandian, has dubbed CBI probe as a poor copy of CID (crime). Pandian has been shown as an absconder by CID (crime) in this case despite the fact that he has been lodged in jail for the last five years in connection with the Sohrabuddin encounter case.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/12397635.cms

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Communal clashes erupt in Junagarh of Gujarat (Mar 22, 2012, Twocircles.net)

Four persons were wounded in stone pelting and clashes between two communities in Navabander area of Junagarh district in Gujarat on Tuesday. The injured included three elderly persons from the minority community and a police constable – all have been taken to hospital. Additional police force has been deployed in the affected area.

The clash had erupted on a minor issue three days ago but it was sorted out by the intervention of police and elders of both communities but the peace did not last long and on Tuesday following a scuffle between children, two groups again engaged in pitch battle. They pelted stone on each other leaving four persons wounded.

It is reported that the crowd did not even spare ambulance van called by some concerned locals as people were falling wounded. The van was attacked and its panes were broken. The driver of the van fled to safety. However, no new incident was reported on Wednesday. Security has been tightened in and around the area.

http://twocircles.net/2012mar22/communal_clashes_erupt_junagarh_gujarat.html

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Shehla Masood case; BJP MLA to undergo polygraph test again (Mar 23, 2012, The Hindu)

BJP MLA Druv Narayan Singh is likely to undergo lie-detection test again tomorrow in connection with the RTI activist Shehla Masood murder case as the previous attempt by the CBI to carry out the procedure on him did not prove conclusive. Sources in the agency said Singh’s physical parameters did not remain normal during the test on March 14 and, hence, it could not be completed.

They said the agency is likely to carry out the polygraph test on him tomorrow subject to his consent and his medical condition including blood pressure and body temperature remaining normal. The CBI sources said the MLA is “not completely off-radar” in the case. However, the agency has not received any evidence so far which points to his role in the murder of the 38-year old activist.

Mr. Singh had given consent to undergo lie-detection test before a special court in Indore. During the probe, the CBI has found that accused Zahida Parvez had “very close relations” with the MLA, to the extent of obsession, and resented his closeness with Masood, they said. Parvez is currently in judicial custody. From her diary, the sleuths had come to know of several instances where Parvez had noted down her sentiments for Singh and growing resentment towards Masood, the sources said.

While analysing call details of Parvez and her friend and another accused Saba Farooqui, sleuths came across some calls made purportedly to a close aide of Singh soon after Masood was murdered on August 16 outside her house in Koh-e-Fiza locality in Bhopal. Farooqui is also in judicial custody.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3206769.ece

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Maoists abduct Odisha MLA (Mar 24, 2012, Hindustan Times)

Even as the Odisha government and the Maoist-backed negotiators are making some progress in their talks for the release of two Italian hostages, the red brigade on Saturday delivered a blow to the discussion process by allegedly abducting a ruling party MLA from Koraput district in Odisha. A tribal MLA of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha was abducted by Maoists in Koraput district in the early hours on Saturday, Koraput Superintendent of Police Avinash Kumar said. Jhina Hikaka (37) was abducted by more than a hundred armed cadres of Communist Party of India (Maoist) from Tayaput forest areas, about 600 km southwest of Bhubaneswar, when he was returning to Laxmipur at about 3 am from Semiliguda after attending some party works, police said.

While the personal security officer (PSO) and driver of the MLA were allowed to leave, Hikaka was taken away into the nearby forest, about 40 km from here by the ultras at gunpoint, the Koraput Superintendent of Police said. The PSO and driver informed the Laxmipur police station about the incident, Kumar said, adding steps have been initiated to ascertain the whereabouts of the legislator. Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik who held a meeting of top police and administrative officials said his government is urgently handling the latest kidnapping. “The suspected Maosists have kidnapped BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka. I have sent two ministers to secure MLA’s release,” said Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik.

“This is a worrisome development(on abduction of Orissa MLA). Negotiations were on to get the release of Italians,” said Jay Panda. The incident happened on a day the Communist Party of India (Maoist) has called shutdown in India protesting against anti-naxal operations and fake cases against people by the police and security forces. “The ultras left some leaflets which said all the 13 demands for Italian hostages’ release should be fulfilled,” said Laxmipur police inspector in charge Suryamani Pradhan. The area where Hikaka was abducted borders Parbatipuram in Andhra Pradesh. The Koraput-Srikakulam divisional committee of the CPI (Maoist) is alleged to be behind the abduction of Hikaka.

The abduction of Hikaka has delivered a blow to the ongoing negotiation process for the release of two Italian nationals, Basusco Paolo (55) and Claudio Colangelo (60), who were abducted by Maoists from Kandhamal district, about 300 km southwest of Bhubaneswar, on March 14. The Italians are in Maoists’ captivity for the last 11 days. It is not yet known if the latest kidnapping will jeopardize the talk process. The rebels have committed the latest crime even if they had declared unilateral ceasefire before the start of negotiation. The rebels had earlier shot dead a police sub inspector in the district of Malkangiri, a Maoists strong hold, late Thursday even as the talks were on.

The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members on Saturday created an uproar in Odisha assembly over the abduction of a tribal member by Maoists. The members shouted slogans against the government and trooped towards the speaker as soon as the question hour started. They were noisy even when chief minister Naveen Patnaik tried to read out a statement. Patnaik said state police officials had been sent to the area. He added that two senior ministers would also go to the region to assess the situation.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/830083.aspx

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Delhi court dismisses godman’s plea to drop MCOCA charges (Mar 26, 2012, Twocircles.net)

The Delhi High Court Monday dismissed a plea by ‘godman’ Shiv Murat Dwivedi, accused of running a prostitution ring in south Delhi, seeking to drop the case under MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act) against him. Dwivedi alias Ichchadhari Sant Swami Bhimanand Ji Maharaj Chitrakoot Wale, was arrested Feb 26, 2010 along with seven others, including six women, from Saket in south Delhi.

Justice Suresh Kait, noting that Dwivedi was involved in as many as five cases under various offences, said: “In my considered opinion, the case in hand qualifies as required under the MCOCA, therefore, the charges framed by the trial court against Shiv Murat Dwivedi are proper.”

“He has invested in various insurance policies, purchased property in various places including Delhi, constructed a four and a half storied home, living in lavish lifestyle and has properties worth crores without any known sources of income,” the court said while pointing out the lavish lifestyle of Dwivedi and refused to drop MCOCA charges against him.

The self-styled godman is being tried under the stringent provisions of MCOCA. The police had also chargesheeted him under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act. Dwivedi is alleged to have made crores of rupees through his prostitution racket and he also ran a website to invite new customers, as his business had spread to all parts of the country. Dwivedi allegedly had 50 to 60 girls working directly under him and had access to nearly 500 others through his contacts.

http://twocircles.net/2012mar26/delhi_court_dismisses_godmans_plea_drop_mcoca_charges.html

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Dalits stage stir against cops (Mar 25, 2012, Deccan Herald)

The members of Dalit community came down heavily against the city police commissionerate for cancelling the monthly Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe grievance meet which was scheduled to be held on Sunday, without giving prior intimation. A verbal tiff took place between the Dalits who had assembled at Commissionerate premises and the police officers for the cancellation of the meeting. Dalit Sangharsh Samiti President S P Anand alleged that the police have not solved several cases of Dalits. “The Commissionerate has not organised the meeting as they have not followed up the issues that were discussed in the previous meeting. You can not organise the meeting when ever you wish, but it should be held on last Sunday of every month,” he said.

Responding to their allegation, ACP T R Jagannath said the meeting was cancelled as the commissionerate has decided to hold station-level meetings in Dalit colonies. Dalita Hakkugala Horata Samiti Secretary Lingappa Nanthoor said that supplementing the monthly grievance meet with the colony meetings was not justifiable. “Let the colony meeting be organised separately and the monthly grievance meet should be held as usual.” He also questioned the police for not fulfilling the assurances made in the last meeting. “We were promised that we would be informed about the follow up of all the cases within 15 days of the last meeting. It has been a month now but we have not been informed about the proceedings. You have cancelled the meeting now and how do we know the status of the cases,” he questioned.

Though ACP and Pandeshwar Inspector K Tilakchandra tried to convince the group, the community leaders strongly urged that the meeting should be held on the same day. At one point, ACP warned of arresting the crowd, for which the community leaders said they would not mind if they are arrested. Later, the Dalit leaders agreed to meet the DCP and discuss the matter with him. In the meeting, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Mutthuraya decided to hold the monthly grievance meet on April 1.

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/237118/dalits-stage-stir-against-cops.html

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Opinions and Editorials

An Aarti From Time, A Brookings Chalisa – By Anil Dharker, Cyrus Guzder, Nandan Maluste, Teesta Setalvad (Apr 2, 2012, Outlook)

Narendra Modi is no doubt a successful politician. There is almost a special kind of luck that accompanies him in the public domain, luck that can be explained in two decisive electoral victories and the attraction that follows such success. He is constantly in the news and a set of those who fear and adulate the man suggest that the more the institutions of justice berate him, the more his TRP soars. News constantly props up the picture of a decisive chief minister. Last week, Time had him on the cover and Brookings Institution had a favourable report on him. There is a curious timing behind these reports. They hint that he is prime ministerial material and that a realistic sense of politics demands that one engage with the emerging Indian future. One can match statistics with statistics to show that Modi’s achievement is exaggerated, that other states have done well or that GNP and GDP could take contrary turns in Gujarat. One can say, for instance, that in the five years between 2004-05 and 2009-10, Gujarat’s per capita income nearly doubled from Rs 32,021 to Rs 63,961. In the same period, neighbouring Maharashtra, the perceived laggard, saw its per capita income grow from Rs 35,915 to Rs 74,027. Several states besides Gujarat have shown double digit growth in their GDP in recent years, and Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh have bigger economies. Gujarat now runs a revenue deficit – it spends more than it earns – and its surplus has disappeared. Several other states have improved their fiscal positions meanwhile. Reforms? Five states passed the Fiscal Responsibility Bill before Gujarat did in 2005, and 20 states preceded Gujarat in implementing VAT. Surplus power? Facts on the ground and increasing protests show this to be an exaggerated claim. Human development indicators?

Gujarat lags behind in access to primary and higher education, is high on the percentage of population prone to hunger and starvation, access to fiscal credit among the marginalised is low, girl child schooling shows poor figures. State and central government figures support all this. We think there is also a different way of responding – by asking what is the criteria for decency and well-being? One has to go to the structural roots of the argument, move beyond a gasping portrait of Modi already basking in a future at Lutyens’ Delhi. Time magazine’s two-page picture of Modi on the lawns is suggestive of that. It is as if the props are there, the script is also there, the players are waiting, and all one needs is an auspicious time. The Brookings essay on Modi goes one better and writes him a certificate of good conduct that would help revoke the ban on his US visa. For Brookings, banning a future prime minister would be bad politics. Time cites a social scientist in a preemptive act, a jumping of the gun proclaiming a once and future king before the democratic and legal process is over. Indian courts are yet to assess whether the evidence collected by investigators and assessed by the amicus curiae appointed by the Supreme Court can make out a case to prosecute Modi, his cabinet colleagues, ideologues, administrators and policemen. The charges are criminal culpability to conspire to commit mass murder, subvert the justice process and destroy critical evidence and records.

Why then, we may ask, the unholy haste by Time magazine and the Brookings Institution when courts are seized of the matter, Modi could (or may not) be charge-sheeted for criminal offences, when general elections are nearly two years away? The analysis presented states that Muslims are voting for Modi as the Congress is too weak to do anything for them. The question one has to ask is: Is such a lazy social science enough? Which section of Muslims is voting for Modi? Two, is a vote for Modi a legitimation of Modi or is it a shotgun wedding of a community that is desperate to survive and see that its people still wrongfully locked in jail are released? Anyone who watched the Sadbhavna festival would realise that the Muslims who came were paying court to a king. There was no rapprochement, no forgiveness. If anything, the ritual expressed its distance from Muslim life. The Sadbhavna yatra was more a power game like ancient times where people swore fealty to the lord. The state government, in the ultimate display of control, has refused activists access to accounts of the public monies spent on an autocratic chief minister’s personal agenda. One has to read the metaphors of the Time report. Modi is presented as wearing the white of a penitent embarking on fasts. The writer, Jyoti Thottam, suggests it’s an act of purification, humility and bridge-building. To read Modi’s Sadbhavna fasts in this way insults the idea of fast as a moral weapon and confuses it for a strategic tool. White, anyway, is the most hypocritical colour of politicians. The question one has to ask before one uses words like humility and purity is: What is the moral nature of the act? But Modi should not be seen only a personality. He is a Rorschach inkblot set before society, provoking basic questions. Modi, in terms of civic indicators like investment, rule of law and governance is scoring high. These statistics have been rigorously contested in the public domain, by the Gujarati media, by the opposition, even the state government’s own figures. And what about the CAG reports on Sufalam Sujalam project, the Kutch melas and the public disinvestment scams? A dispassionate assessment exposes the Modi makeover for the brazen public relations job it was meant to be.

And then how does one look at and talk about his institution-building? He has refused to allow the Lokayukta to function freely. He has silenced the bureaucracy with threats, incentives of plum posts, juicy extensions that let senior bureaucrats retain power and visibility. His privatisation of medicine has to be independently assessed in terms of ethics, care, cost and well-being. Ahmedabad, home to at least four universities and some of the finest institutes, still cannot produce a critical debate on him, as many institutes have quietly imposed a gag order on dissenting intellectuals. The Congress, though weak as an opposition, has highlighted a major issue. Land is being bequeathed to major corporations like Tatas and Adanis on easy terms, transforming public lands into private goods. At the Gujarati taxpayer’s expense. The Brookings narrative adds a second halo to Modi. It converts him tacitly from a politician to a statesman receiving courses on climate change and even writing a book on it. Behind both essays is an even more tacit semiotics. It is what we must call the Americanisation of Modi. It creates a political palatability to his reception abroad. Leave aside the American’s love of the Asian dictator with a keen and ready investment plan, there is first the Horatio Alger syndrome, portraying him as a self-made man, as a protestant ascetic, a journey Time portrays in the from-smalltown-boy-to-CEO-of-Gujarat, succeeding without family connections or fancy education. He seems very different from the young Congress elite, with their pampered backgrounds. Unlike other Indians, he keeps his family at a distance.

There is no family coterie hanging around him, unlike around Laloo Prasad Yadav or Karunanidhi or Yediyurappa. The Brookings report then steps in by showing Modi to be a keen student of American politics, wondering whether Indian states can have the sort of freedom states in the United States do. He is entrepreneurly, eco-friendly, and all in all, a global man awaiting his time, open to World Bank reforms and yet a home-grown nationalist. Modi is also presented not just as prime ministerial material but as the Indian answer to China, a note that will play deep into the American and Indian psyche, presenting them a streamlined politician for the future. The question one is asking is not whether Modi is a future prime minister. The logic of Indian electoral politics will answer that. The question is: Where does Modi fit into a vision of decent society in which the minorities and those in the margins have a place, in which dissent has a place? Is Modi’s future a participative future and a pluralistic one? His technocratic credentials are not in doubt, but his vision of democracy needs to be examined. Oddly, Modi might fail by the norms set by his own hero, Swami Vivekananda. Modi has failed to provide a civilisational answer to the crisis of Gujarat. Investment and development, even with the distorted statistics bandied around, are poor substitutes for such a vision. In Americanising him, the reports reveal the modernist flaw deep within his programme.

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?280343

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Kafkaesque ordeal? – By T.K. Rajalakshmi (Mar 24, 2012, Frontline)

An uneasy silence fills the streets of B.K. Dutt Colony near the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. Named after the revolutionary freedom fighter Batukeshwar Dutt, who, along with Bhagat Singh, threw bombs in the Central Legislative Assembly on April 8, 1929, the nondescript colony has been in the news with the arrest of one of its residents, who has lived here for the past 11 years. At 11-30 a.m. on March 7, the day after the results of the elections to five State Assemblies were announced, the Special Cell of the Delhi Police whisked away Syed Mohammad Ahmad Kazmi, 50, a journalist with more than 25 years of standing, as he emerged out of the India Islamic Centre in New Delhi. Kazmi coordinated personality development and communication skills activities of the Noble Education Foundation there. An accredited journalist and a former Urdu newsreader with the government broadcaster Doordarshan, he was arrested for his alleged role in the “sticky car bomb” incident at Aurangazeb Road in New Delhi on February 13, wherein the wife of the Israeli Defence Attach� in India and two others were injured. Preliminary investigations had shown that the blast was caused by a magnetic device stuck to a car. Kazmi was tagged a conspirator in international terrorism, booked in a case of non-bailable offence under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, and remanded in police custody for 20 days. The arrest of a senior and respected journalist like Kazmi under a stringent law drew widespread reaction from within and outside the journalist fraternity. He wrote regular columns in leading Urdu newspapers such as Al-Ahmeen, Sahafat, Milli Gazette and the Rashtriya Sahara Urdu. He is proficient in Arabic, Urdu and Persian. He also has a Master’s in geography and Persian and has studied mass communication. His first foray into journalism was as an operator with All India Radio in 1988. His multilingual skills landed him a job later with a popular news programme on Doordarshan, where he worked with veteran journalist Saeed Naqvi.

In 1990, Kazmi joined Media Star News and Features. Three years later, he was reading Urdu news on Doordarshan. In 1999, he travelled to the United States along with other senior journalists. In 2002-03, the then Director General of Doordarshan was keen that Indian journalists should cover world affairs. As a result of this, some of them, including Kazmi, got postings in West Asia. In this period he interviewed Ahmed Chalabi, the head of the Iraqi National Congress and former Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq. In 2002, the Iraqi government invited him along with several journalists to that country. Those who travelled with him recall that in Amman, where the team, which included a Congress Member of Parliament, was to travel by road to Baghdad, the Jordanian intelligence, Mukbarat, interrogated Kazmi, after it mistook him for an Iraqi agent. He was thoroughly rattled by that incident. He covered the Gulf war for Worldview India, a programme that Saeed Naqvi had started on Doordarshan. While he was covering the war, the Iraqis once mistook him to be an American agent. Kazmi also had brief stints with the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Islamic Republic News Agency, or IRNA, the state news agency of Iran. “He was friendly with everybody and his Iranian connections were well known. He used to attend press conferences at the Israeli embassy too,” said a journalist. “He had contacts in Najaf and Teheran, and recently he was invited, along with several other journalists, to Syria,” Saeed Naqvi told Frontline. He said Kazmi should have been considered an asset by the Indian government as he would have put them across to several people in Iran.

Kazmi visited Syria twice in the recent past. He was able to dig out information that did not fit in with the image of Syria that had been created by reports in the Western media, said a journalist. “International wars are being fought today in the media. The Indian media were not there and Kazmi, because of his contacts and his language skills, was able to penetrate areas and uncover issues that were not easily visible,” said a journalist who knew Kazmi closely. One of his visits to Syria was a week after the “sticky bomb” incident. He went there along with a team of reputed journalists on an invitation from the Syrian government. Like several other individuals, including Muslim and non-Muslim journalists, he held passionate views on the Palestinian issue and was critical of the imperialist interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and, more recently, Libya and Syria. Upon his return from Syria recently, he was singled out and detained by immigration officials. He was very upset, a journalist recalled. As was his normal practice, Kazmi was returning home for lunch and to offer namaz when he was arrested. A devout Muslim, he was not apologetic about his religious beliefs. In fact, on the day of the car bomb blast on Aurangazeb Road, he was on Akbar Road, protesting against an alleged land-grabbing incident involving the Shah-e-Mardaan shrine located near his home. The shrine was revered by Shia Muslims; it was not unnatural for Kazmi to take part in such a protest. “My father asked us not to do anything that would put oneself or the family to shame. Do you think he is the kind of a person who would do something like this?” asked his 18-year-old son, who was appearing for his 12th Class board examinations. The youngster was distraught at the manner in which the authorities treated his father.

Meanwhile, reports were being planted in sections of the media that Kazmi had “admitted” to his guilt. This was after the spokesperson for the police clarified that Kazmi was not directly involved in the attack. He was instead accused of providing logistical support to the main suspect, apparently a motorcyclist who attached the magnetic “sticky bomb” to the car of the Israeli embassy staffer. The man’s whereabouts have remained mysteriously unknown. The police told a local court where Kazmi was produced that the attack was a case of international terrorism and that the conspiracy was hatched outside India. Interestingly, for an attack in which there were no fatalities, the Delhi Police were seen working very hard. That there was immense international pressure to make arrests and produce results was not lost on anyone. Only last month had Israel accused Iran and the Hizbollah of having engineered two bomb attacks targeting Israeli embassy staff in Georgia and Israel. Serial explosions in Bangkok around the same time, in which an Iranian was killed, were also linked to Iranian terrorism. The Delhi Police have maintained that the Delhi and Bangkok blasts are unrelated. Born in a family of poor farmers in Dholri village in Meerut district, Uttar Pradesh, Kazmi was the only one among his 10 siblings to have made it big in life. “He struggled a lot, but he was determined to give us a good education,” his son told Frontline. Both his sons were born in Delhi. The family had earlier stayed at Welcome Colony in Shahdara, East Delhi, an area not known for being upmarket. The unassuming dwelling in a narrow lane in B.K. Dutt Colony too speaks volumes about a family that came up the hard way.

His elder son broke down like a child while addressing a press conference in Delhi. In normal circumstances, the 23-year-old, who has completed a Master’s course in Business Administration, would have been looking for a job rather than addressing press conferences or signing arrest memos. “My brother had not got the kind of exposure to a relatively better environment as I did. I studied in Shahdara for only a few years before our family shifted to B.K. Dutt Colony,” said the younger son, who is studying in a well-known public school in the locality. The question was why Kazmi would jeopardise all of this, especially his future and that of his children. Uncertainty looms large in the Kazmi residence. The family is yet to get over the shock at the manner of his arrest. The family members told Frontline that they panicked when there was no news from him until 9-30 p.m. on March 7. His phone was switched off. Soon, a posse of plainclothes policemen came to the house with Kazmi. “I was studying for my examinations in the room on the ground floor when I heard some voices. I thought my father had returned. I went upstairs. I saw my father along with some people. I initially thought they were my father’s friends. They were looking for something. My brother was out. I asked them, ‘Uncle, what are you doing?’ My father then said that they were policemen and that they were making inquiries relating to issues involving Israel and Iran and that he would be back soon. The policemen who were seven or eight in number began randomly searching the house. They took away all his original documents, including his PIB [Press Information Bureau] card, passport, two laptops, a CPU and two cellphones, including one belonging to my mother,” he said. … When contacted by Frontline, Rajan Bhagat, spokesperson for the Delhi Police, declined to say anything relating to the Kazmi case.

http://flonnet.com/fl2906/stories/20120406290603600.htm

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When leaders play game of thrones – By Rana Ayyub (Mar 31, 2012, Tehelka)

Former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa’s rebellion and the ongoing face-off is symptom of a much deeper crisis within the BJP and the RSS. And the man feeling the most heat on this is party chief Nitin Gadkari. In itself, the Yeddyurappa decision is tricky enough for the party. BSY – as he is referred to – is not a quintessential RSS man and is not very rooted in its Hindutva ideology. However, as is commonly known, the former chief minister is a powerful Lingayat leader and was highly instrumental in the BJP coming to power for the first time in a southern state. He also has the support of several influential mutts. Further, though the Lokayukta’s corruption charges against him proved to be a huge embarrassment, his capacity to generate money for the party’s coffers had many pragmatic uses. With the high court quashing the FIR against him, his demand to be reinstated as chief minister is very difficult to ignore. His show of strength – 70 MLAs stacked in a hotel room – add greater urgency to that demand. However, the decision whether Yeddyurappa is to be reinstated is not entirely contingent on the dynamics of Karnataka alone. The incumbent Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda is deemed to be a financially honest but a highly ideological man. He flaunts his RSS moorings unabashedly and, in an unprecedented move for a sitting chief minister, he recently attended a public meeting in the RSS signifier of white shirt tucked into khaki shorts (Read Hindutva 2.0 by Rana Ayyub, 25 February.)

Who the RSS eventually chooses to bet on will reflect the answer they pick to a bigger riddle the Sangh Parivar is grappling with: what is the correct strategy in the run-up to the crucial Assembly elections in Gujarat this year, Karnataka next year and the 2014 Lok Sabha polls? Is it to be “development” or the old Hindutva line? Which is likely to pay better dividends? This was the core discussion in the three-day Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha of the RSS held over 15-17 March in Nagpur, under the aegis of RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat and his second-incommand Bhaiyyaji Joshi. Sources say Gadkari, who was summoned to brief the chiefs, came out none the wiser. No one in the party or indeed the RSS brass, is clear about what line to take. (The new mantra, if there is one at all, is “corporate Hindutva”.) A concept that has played well in Gujarat, a state that too has had its glaring share of contradictions. While the RSS tried to send in a strong signal to Narendra Modi over his defiance in not campaigning in Uttar Pradesh, the Sangh mouthpiece didn’t waste time in lauding him recently for his model of governance in Gujarat after the UP election. Gujarat and Karnataka (both states where Hindutva has been the core of governance) will be the litmus not just for the BJP, but more for the Sangh. In Gujarat, the Sangh, for now seems to have taken its call, by giving Modi a free hand.

In Karnataka, Gadkari has been given a juggler’s task. He has to placate BSY with the promise of making him election in-charge of the state and bringing in a deputy chief minister or in the worst situation for the RSS, make him or let him have a say in the CM’s position. At the same time, Gadkari has to keep Gowda in his seat and also open lines to the opposition JD(S), so that, in the event that Yeddyurappa breaks away from the BJP, the JD(S) can help maintain the numbers to keep the party in power. People close to Gadkari say neither he nor the RSS know what their own larger agenda is. Apparently, Gadkari even offered to wash his hands of the issue and step down out of sheer frustration but the RSS declined. In a sense, the older guard in the BJP is enjoying Gadkari’s consternation. The decision to make 54-year-old Gadkari the charg� d’affaires of the party in December 2009 was met with stunned silence by senior party functionaries. But an adamant RSS had cracked the whip on senior leaders LK Advani and Jaswant Singh and put to rest all speculation. The man at the top had to be their boy. There were rumblings in the party ranks. How could a man, who was himself chieftain of a warring faction in Maharashtra, glue together an already fissured party? But the RSS believed Gadkari had the answers. He was low-key, rooted, and spoke the correct mix of development and corporate wooing, while retaining his Hindutva core.

CIRCA 2012, however, much of that has changed. The election results in four states have not been encouraging for the party. In UP, particularly, its number of seats has come down. Gadkari is being forced to take the rap for all of this. It was under his instruction, prompted of course by the RSS brass, that Sanjay Joshi, Modi’s bete noire, had been made election in-charge of UP. Clearly that had worked no magic. Now in Karnataka, he has the unenviable task of facing down BSY, who was once his friend. He had invited BSY to Nagpur for an interaction with senior leaders but the Karnataka strongman did not show up. Three weeks ago, while Gadkari was visiting the state, he had to face a rather defiant BSY. An embarrassed Gadkari sent a strong warning to Yeddyurappa when he said at a meeting, “Those who wish to do business with the Reddy brothers can take a sabbatical from politics. Right now, we need people to work for the party.” However, as soon as he walked out of the meeting, he told the media that all is well with BSY. “Yeddyurappaji is a popular leader and will be given a suitable position,” he said. “Sadananda Gowda will continue to be the CM.”

This has, of course, not stopped BSY’s friends and followers in the state, including Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje, indirectly referring to Gowda as ‘Mir Sadiq’ (Mir Sadiq had betrayed Tipu Sultan by siding with the British). However, the Karnataka crisis is only the face of another larger gameplay in the party. The RSS seems keen to clip the wings of the warring senior guard. The recent nominations for the Rajya Sabha are a case in point. Kirit Somaiyya and Ram Naik from Maharashtra, who are known to be close to Advani, were not nominated. Neither was SS Ahluwalia, who is close to Sushma Swaraj, given another term. Instead, Gadkari, alias the RSS, picked Ajay Sancheti, even though he is implicated in the Adarsh Housing Society scam, where it appeared his driver had owned a flat. “What’s the point of holding Gadkari responsible for all this?” asks a senior party leader. “He’s the goongi gudiya (dumb puppet) of the BJP. He’s just following the orders of the Sangh.” What’s hanging in the balance this week, therefore, is not just the fate of Gowda and Yeddyurappa, but Gadkari himself, the BJP and the RSS’ comeback.

http://tehelka.com/story_main52.asp?filename=Ne310312Leaders.asp

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Student, Activist, Naxalite? Framed! – By Imran Khan (Mar 31, 2012, Tehelka)

The story of Vittala is uncannily similar to Lingaram Kodopi. On 10 September 2011, Kodopi, a tribal journalist from Chhattisgarh, was arrested and falsely accused of being a Maoist. Vittala’s story is no different. The 22-year-old tribal, a first-year student of Mass Communication and Journalism from Mangalore University and his father were arrested from their house by the elite anti-Naxal force (ANF) of the Karnataka Police on charges of aiding Maoists. Son of a farmer and a Malekudiya, a Scheduled Tribe community in the Western Ghats, Vittala is the only member from his community to have carved a name for himself in the world outside the jungles. How a young educated Adivasi could become a threat to Indian democracy is an intriguing account of presumptions and half-truths. Vittala’s present predicament dates back to 2009, when DYFI leader Muneer Katipalla and a group of mediapersons from Mangalore had visited the Kuthloor hamlet, 60 km from Mangalore, to do a series of stories on the plight of the Malekudiyas. The young tribal had then assisted the group, helping them trek through thick foliage. Impressed by his earnestness to study, Muneer and a few journalists decided to fund his education and help him go to college – a dream that came crashing down on 3 March when Vittala and his father were booked by the ANF for allegedly helping the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). His brother Purushottam, 19, is absconding. All three were charged with waging a war against the State; an offence that carries a maximum punishment of death. “The case against Vittala is completely fabricated,” says DYFI leader Muneer. “He was working for the empowerment of the Malekudiyas, making them aware of the administration’s misleading packages for eviction. This led to his arrest.”

The Malekudiyas inhabit part of the Kudremukh Wildlife Sanctuary. As part of Project Tiger, the tribals are being relocated from the sanctuary land to avoid human-animal conflict. While 20 families have accepted the relocation package of Rs 10 lakh and moved out of Kuthloor, the remaining 40 are resisting relocation. According to Vittala’s mother Honnama, 45, on 2 March around 6.30 pm, the ANF barged into their house and started beating up her husband Linganna, 50, who fractured his ankle. Vittala was visiting his relatives during that time. When he was informed of what had happened, he immediately rushed home. “Since it takes two hours of trekking through the jungle, he could reach home only the next morning,” says one of Vittala’s journalist friends on condition of anonymity. “We didn’t expect him to get arrested.” Vittala and his father have been booked under Sections 10 and 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and under Sections 34 and 121 of the Indian Penal Code. During the search of the house, the police claims to have found handbills, paper cuttings on Naxal issues, binoculars and other related materials. “The binoculars recovered from him were purchased four years ago during the Laksha Deepotsava festival in Dharmasthala,” says Vittala’s friends. “The handbills were of DYFI programmes and other than that, the police recovered 250 gm of tea and sugar from his house.”

Earlier in 2005, a study by the Samajawadi Adhyayana Kendra (Centre for Socialist Studies), Bengaluru, on the socio-economic problems in the Naxal-affected Malnad area, had concluded that feudalism and economic disparity, which gave rise to Naxalism in other states, are not found in the Malnad area. The area covers the western and eastern slopes of the Western Ghats mountain range and portions of Shimoga, Chikkamaguluru, Uttara Kannada, Hassan and Kodagu districts. The study cautioned about the apprehension among forest dwellers, especially the Malekudiyas, about not being allowed to collect forest produce and getting evicted from wildlife sanctuaries. Naxalism grew in Malnad on the issue of eviction. The Maoist party (then People’s War Group) under Saketh Rajan conducted a survey in 2000 to assess whether conditions in the Western Ghats were conducive to Naxals. SOCOMA (Social Conditions in Malnad, Karnataka), as it came to be known, found that forest coverage allowed the group easy access to the region. But over the years, the movement has declined to the point of almost disappearing, especially after the death of Rajan in 2005. “The actual number of Naxals in this area is not much,” says IGP Alok Kumar, head of the anti-Naxal force in Karnataka. “There are no real issues in Karnataka for them to take a strong ground.” Echoing similar sentiments, Muneer says, “Naxals have lost steam. There are no takers for the movement among the Adivasis. Then, why is the ANF unnecessarily creating problems by harassing innocent people?”

As a student with Mangalore University, Vittala had joined the SFI and later became the state committee member of the Budakattu Adivasi Samavesha Samithi, a tribal wing of the CPM that fights for the rights of Dalits and Adivasis in this region. The government and the police are wary of the possibility of a movement against Project Tiger under the banner of the samithi. But, does that justify Vittala’s arrest? In what can only be described as a shocking violation of the landmark Supreme Court judgment of 2011, in which the apex court had ruled that membership of a banned organisation by itself is not a crime, the FIR against Vittala seems to rest on flimsy evidence. “The news came as a shock to me,” says Wahida Sultana, Chairman of the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Mangalore University. “During the time he studied here, we found nothing to suggest that he had any sympathy for the Maoist cause.”

However, Mangalore IGP CH Pratap Reddy says that even though the movement has lost its popular support, the area has strategic value for the Maoists to conduct training programmes and to ease mobilisation of troops from other states. “We arrested Vittala based on the inputs we received from the intelligence wing and the ANF,” says Reddy. “The local police is investigating the case. We are not denying he is a journalism student, but we are acting based on credible intelligence.” Vittala’s friends in the media and civil rights activists say that he has been framed. A friend working for an English daily laments that even if he is given a clean chit by the police, the stigma of being a suspected Maoist will ruin Vittala’s future. “He didn’t want to be just another farmer or hunter. Even if he comes clean, who is going to give him a job now?” As Vittala finds the needle of suspicion pointed towards him, a strong case could be made for the manufactured truth of the charges against him. Meanwhile, the ambitious Adivasi waits for justice.

http://tehelka.com/story_main52.asp?filename=Ne310312Student.asp

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Koodankulam: Police Forces Withdrawn But PMANE Vows To Fight On – By Jeemon Jacob (Mar 24, 2012, Countercurrents)

The Tirunelveli district administration has decided to withdraw police forces from Koodankulam after the Madras high court ordered officials to reinstate supply of milk, water and power to Idinthakarai. However, leaders of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) insist that the struggle will continue. “We welcome the government’s decision to withdraw the police forces. But they were forced to do it after the high court order. We will continue our struggle till they shut down the plant,” says PMANE leader Pushparayan Victoria, who is among those observing a hunger strike.

Earlier, the state government informed the high court that there were no oppressive measures or government-sponsored sanctions against those living in Idinthakarai, the epicentre of the anti-nuke struggle. After the high court order, Tirunelveli District Collector R Selvaraj directed the police to withdraw its personnel. “We have scaled down the forces after reviewing the situation. We can position the forces within short notice in case of emergency,” Selvaraj told TEHELKA.

A government official told TEHELKA that the district administration was left with no choice after the high court order was issued. “We don’t want any negative publicity. If the high court strikes down Section 144 imposed in Radhapuram taluk, we will lose face,” said the official, on the condition of anonymity, adding that the media overplayed the issue and the court took serious note.

Meanwhile, PMANE leaders welcomed the decision of withdrawing the police forces. “We are not waging war against the government. It was the Tamil Nadu government which declared war on the people of Idinthakarai,” said PMANE convener SP Udayakumar. “If they have realised their mistake, we are happy. However, police offensive or repressive measures won’t kill our movement.” Even though the police withdrew forces from strategic locations such as Vairavikinaru and Tsunami Colony, a small force is still stationed in front of the nuke plant.

http://www.countercurrents.org/jacob240312.htm

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The anatomy of a Rape – By Nishita Jha and Others (Mar 31, 2012, Tehelka)

Like last week, each time a woman is raped, there is a peculiar kind of ‘us’ and ‘them’ that stories around it take on. As if the 23-year-old girl who worked for a pub in Gurgaon inhabited another universe. In which these things happen. The precise way in which news of the rape is received by a society and the way it is discussed are often a fairly accurate and disturbing gauge of its people and how they think. Why are the conversations around a rape focussed on the victim rather than the perpetrators? Do we care to know anything about the seven men from Rohtak in Haryana? Why is the way a woman dresses important to this discussion? Or questions raised about women being out at night?

These are the conversations that do come up. The ones that do not are far more disturbing. For those, turn to Nishita Jha’s conversation with a rape victim who was asked repeatedly in court to describe the number of times she was penetrated and the size of the rapist’s erection. Turn also to Brijesh Pandey’s candid conversations with a policeman, and with a village elder of a hamlet in Noida who believes that if a couple is dating, then the girl is asking for trouble.

Or Revati Laul’s conversations with the chairperson of the National Commission for Women who believes what a woman wears is not the primary, but definitely an issue in a rape. All of these conversations dovetail into one large question underlying this special report – when will we change the way we talk about rape? The woman in Gurgaon and thousands of others who have been raped know something we don’t. If we continue to talk the way we do, we are all part of the ugly anatomy of rape and changing our conversations around it is the only way it can actually begin to change.

http://tehelka.com/story_main52.asp?filename=Ne310312spLanding.asp

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 12th, 2012

by newsdigest on March 12, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Vigil marks 10th anniversary of 2002 Gujarat riots (Mar 8, 2012, India Post)

More than 100 Indian Americans gathered near the Gandhi Statue at Union Square in New York and simultaneously in at least five other cities across the US on March 3 to mark the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Gujarat Massacre in which over 2000 Muslim men, women and children were killed by organized mobs of the Hindu right wing under the chief ministership of Narendra Modi in Gujarat. The anti-Muslim attacks and their subsequent displacement were extensively covered in the international media. Scathing reports from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International as well as the Indian human rights organizations pointed out that the massacres and gang-rapes were coordinated, organized, and sanctioned. “We are gathering at the Gandhi statue because the Indian government and society needs to decide whether it believes in Gandhi’s worldview or Modi’s,” said Nazeer Syed, a volunteer with the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) one of the over 40 organizations behind the mobilization. Women and children waved placards and shouted slogans demanding justice for the victims of the riots, and the arrest of Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

These organizations came together in 2005 under the name Coalition Against Genocide (CAG) and campaigned successfully to get the US State Department to refuse Narendra Modi a visitor’s visa, and to revoke his diplomatic visa. This was unprecedented for a politician of Modi’s stature. “We did not back down then, and we see no reason to now,” said Dr. Svati Shah of the South Asia Solidarity Initiative. “We are mobilizing to reiterate that any nation that allows a mass murderer to remain in power has, at the minimum, a deeply flawed democracy,” she added. Amongst those who spoke at the demonstration included Bhairavi Desai, Head of the New York Taxi Workers’ Alliance, Imam Talib Abdur-Rashid, President of the Islamic Leadership Council of New York, Joe Lombardo, National Co-chair of United National Antiw Coalition, Rev. Mark Lukens, the President of The Interfaith Alliance of Long Island, and leaders of the Coalition Against Genocide. “We will end the demonstration with a silent vigil,” said Habeeb Ahmad of the Muslim Peace Coalition USA. “Each candle at the vigil will be memory of the thousands who died… but it will also bear witness to our hope. We have waited ten years. We certainly do not want to wait another decade,” Ahmed who is a human rights commissioner with Nassau County added. Similar vigils were held by the same coalition of organizations in California, Washington, Boston, Chicago and Florida.

Congressional Resolution recognizing the riots: A resolution (H.R. 569) moved by Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) recognizing the tenth anniversary of the tragic communal violence in Gujarat was passed in the US House of Representatives on March 1. The resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, said that on February 27, 2002, in the city of Godhra in the western state of Gujarat, India, 58 Hindus were tragically burnt alive in a train coach fire; and immediately following the train fire, communal violence erupted in several towns in Gujarat. In the International Religious Freedom Report of 2003, the United States Department of State found that ‘In Gujarat the worst religious violence directed against Muslims by Hindus took place in February and March 2002, leaving an estimated 2,000 dead and 100,000 displaced into refugee camps. It was alleged widely that the police and state government did little to stop the violence promptly, and at times even encouraged or assisted Hindus involved in the riots. Despite substantial evidentiary material, the judicial commission responsible for investigating the riots reported inconclusive findings. No Hindus have been charged for the violence’.

The resolution also cited a 2002 Human Rights Watch report entitled ‘We Have No Orders to Save You’ stated that ‘Between February 28 and March 2 [2002] the attackers descended with militia-like precision on Ahmedabad by the thousands. Chanting slogans of incitement to kill … they were guided by computer printouts listing the addresses of Muslim families and their properties… and embarked on a murderous rampage confident that the police was with them. Portions of the Gujarati language press meanwhile printed fabricated stories and statements openly calling on Hindus to avenge the Godhra attacks.’ The United States Government denied Chief Minister Modi a visa to the United States in 2005 on the grounds of a religious freedom violation under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, the first and only time such a denial has been issued. The resolution further said that minorities including Christians in Gujarat continue to experience religious and socio-economic discrimination.

In view of all this, the House of Representatives resolved that it: (1) recognizes the suffering of all those persons who were affected by the 2002 violence in Gujarat, India, including those persons who lost their lives in the Godhra train fire; (2) shares the opinion of the United States Department of State that the Gujarat government has not adequately pursued justice for the victims of the 2002 violence; (3) remains concerned by reports from journalists and human rights groups about the complicity of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 violence; (4) applauds the Department of State and the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom for their monitoring of religious freedom in India and throughout the world; (5) salutes the role of Indian police officers who, despite personal risk, provided honest testimony about the violence in Gujarat; (6) commends the role of the National Human Rights Commission and the Indian Supreme Court, which has led to some convictions in Gujarat riot cases, and also the arrest of a few high-level leaders in the Modi administration; (7) recognizes the work of Indian and Indian-American civil society groups for their tireless devotion to educating people about human rights and religious freedom in India; and (8) calls on the Gujarat government to heed the recommendations of the State Department to restore religious freedom for all citizens in Gujarat.

http://www.indiapost.com/vigil-marks-10th-anniversary-of-2002-gujarat-riots/

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Indian-Americans hold demonstrations against Modi (Mar 4, 2012, Times of India)

Marking the 10th anniversary of the Gujarat riots, a coalition of over 40 Indian-American bodies held a demonstration and a candle-light vigil here, shouting slogans against Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his alleged complicity in the communal violence and demanding justice for the victims. Over 100 people from the Indian-American community came together under the banner of ‘Coalition Against Genocide’ (CAG) for the demonstration yesterday.

Gathered near a statute of Mahatma Gandhi in Manhattan, the coalition pressed its demand for compensation for the victims and to bring the perpetrators of the riots to justice. Women and children held placards and shouted slogans against Modi and his government. Vice President of the Indian American Muslim Council Eastern Region, Mohammad Yusuf Gaddani, said the coalition chose to hold the demonstration in front of Gandhi’s statue as “we have to decide whether we want Gandhi’s India or Modi’s India.”

The coalition claimed that even after 10 years of the Gujarat riots, justice had been denied to the victims and their families and the state government too had shown no remorse for the killings of innocent civilians. “Those who have lost their lives cannot be brought back but we should bring closure to the victims and their families by putting those responsible for the killings behind bars,” Gaddani told PTI. Swati Shah, a member of the South Asia Solidarity Initiative, said it was the responsibility of the Indian and South Asian diaspora to maintain the correct information in public sphere about what had happened in Gujarat.

“We are concerned that Modi wants to raise his profile as a potential candidate for Prime Minister…,” she said. The 40 organisations had earlier come together in 2005 under the CAG banner and campaigned against Modi’s visit to the US. The coalition had sought denial of a visa to Modi and revocation of his diplomatic visa. Gaddani said similar vigils would be held in California, Washington, Chicago, Boston and Florida by local chapters of the Indian American Muslim Council.

He said the people needed to come together and ensure that what happened in Gujarat 10 years ago was not repeated in any part of India again. The demonstration was held just days after a Congressional resolution was introduced in the US House of Representatives on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Gujarat communal riots. The resolution shared the opinion of the US Department of State that the Gujarat government had not adequately pursued justice for the victims of the 2002 violence and urged the state government to restore religious freedom.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-03-04/us-canada-news/31121256_1_gujarat-riots-diplomatic-visa-chief-minister-narendra-modi

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Gujarat Riots: No Reconciliation before Justice: ex-CJI (Mar 5, 2012, Twocircles.net)

“No reconciliation is possible before truth is out,” said former Chief Justice of India (CJI), Justice J S Verma while speaking at a function here on Sunday, organised by ANHAD and others to commemorate the Gujarat massacre of 2002. “Complete justice should be done to the victims of the massacre,” he added.

Dwelling upon the concept of complete justice, he said, “Reparation, Rehabilitation, Identification of perpetrators and assurance of non-repetition are pre-requisite for reconciliation” adding “unless complete justice is done, there is no point in reconciliation”. He categorically held, “there is no question of forget and forgive”.

Justice Verma, who was the Chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) at the time of massacres while referring to his visit said, “I felt ashamed knowing the brutalities done to the victims, especially women and children”. According to him, the union governments have also failed to ensure justice for the victims of the massacre. Appealing to the common citizen of India, he urged, “So long Minorities are left to defend themselves the violence will continue. Hence, Majority must come forward”.

IPS officer Sanjeev Bhat said, “No real justice has been done in last ten years” adding “it has been years of shame for people, police and administration of Gujarat”. He advised, “Silent majority has to come forward as there is no change and the tragedy still continues”. Drawing a parallel with Nazi Germany, he alleged, “The democratic space in Gujarat is shrinking day by day and it is rushing towards fascism by its leaps and bounds”. In Nazi Germany, he said, “there was no less development; in fact, it was best kind of development and discipline in Germany’s history ever”. But can it be a model for us, he asked. “The truth will come out for sure, whether justice shall prevail or not, is a million dollar question”. We have to work towards to break the myth that ‘Modi is Gujarat and Gujarat is Modi’. “And I am hopeful and promise to fight till justice is ensured,” IPS Bhatt added.

http://twocircles.net/2012mar05/gujarat_riots_no_reconciliation_justice_excji.html

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Modi must spend rest of his life in jail: Owaisi (Mar 4, 2012, Yahoo)

Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president and MP Asaduddin Owaisi Sunday said Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi must spend rest of his life in jail for committing genocide in the state. Warning that India will not be able to absorb another Gujarat, he said even if Modi is announced as the prime ministerial candidate, the consequences will be draconian. Addressing a seminar on “Gujarat-10 years of shame” here, the MP from Hyderabad said it was sickening to see leaders of big MNCs going to Gujarat, praising Modi and saying he should be made prime minister of India.

“I am surprised by all these MNCs running to Gujarat and praising Modi as if he is some sort of messiah. I, as an Indian, don’t want this economic growth. I want justice. What is the point of having this investment when you can’t guarantee life of a Muslim, or any person of minority communities or any Indian.” Owaisi asked Congress to fight Modi boldly on secular platform. “For Modi to be dethroned in Gujarat, Congress should not be a B team of Modi. People of Gujarat should know the difference between a successor of Hitler and Mussolini and a party which claims that they are successors of Mahatma Gandhi.”

The MIM leader, however, said the electoral victory will not exonerate Modi of the sins he has committed and pointed out that even Hitler had won election but it did not exonerate him from the crimes he committed against Jews. A former police officer, a journalist, a filmmaker and an ex-chief election commissioner all shared their experiences in Gujarat. Former additional director general of Gujarat police R.B. Sreekumar gave a detailed eyewitness account of the complicity of the state government and how the police officers were not allowed to perform their duties.

“Gujarat riots will remain a black mark on history and heritage of India,” said the officer who has consistently provided evidence of the government’s complicity to Nanavati Commission and Special Investigation Team (SIT). Speaking about his experiences, former chief election commissioner J.M. Lyngdoh said Modi tried to target him for not succumbing to pressure for early elections. Lyngdoh defended his action saying he went by the reports of state’s then chief electoral officer and other officials on the law and order situation. “He (Modi) said James Michael Lyngdoh meets Sonia Gandhi in church. I am not church-going type person. I have not even visited any place of worship in the world,” he said.

“I saw shades of Hitler,” he remarked while referring to an incident during his visit to Gujarat. Rahul Dholakia, who made “Parzania”, spoke on the problems he faced in making the movie on the story of a Parsi boy who disappeared during riots. He described the difficulties he faced in releasing the movie and the pressure brought on him by different quarters. Kingshuk Nag, resident editor of Times of India in Hyderabad, gave a ringside view of the post-Godhra happenings. He said when he visited Godhra the police officers had told him that there was no conspiracy behind the incident. Police later tried to retract the statement. The journalist said the riots were not spontaneous as not a single incident took place for 24 hours and every thing appeared normal in Ahmedabad on the day when the train was burnt at Godhra.

http://in.news.yahoo.com/modi-must-spend-rest-life-jail-owaisi-170422831.html

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RSS ‘infiltration’ into state apparatus worries Digvijaya (Mar 5, 2012, Indian Express)

Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh on Sunday expressed concern over ‘infiltration’ of RSS into branches of state apparatus and civil services, while likening the Sangh’s right-wing ideology to that of Hitler in Nazi Germany.

At a convention to mark 10 years of the 2002 Gujarat riots in Delhi, Singh said the state had turned out to be a somewhat successful “laboratory” for communal forces which are working throughout India to further their agenda. “Gujarat was a laboratory for such an ideology and it was successful to some extent. Karnataka was now turning out to be another such laboratory, if corruption issues had not taken centrestage, this programme would have moved ahead.”

“The dangerous question is how people like Colonel Purohit and Major Upadhyay of military intelligence are into these things. Why do we see people of such an ideology active in institutional forces like IAS, IPS and even judiciary?” he said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/920182/

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Liquor mafia, BJP MLA men attack IPS officer in MP (Mar 9, 2012, Indian Express)

A young IPS officer was attacked allegedly by liquor mafia, including supporters of former BJP MLA Narendra Singh, in Bhind district when he tried to check illegal sale of liquor on a day when another promising officer was crushed to death allegedly by the mining mafia. The alleged incident occurred yesterday when some liquor shops located on Etawah and Lahar Road were selling liquor illegally despite the administration declaring a ‘dry day’ (prohibiting sale of liquor) on the occasion of Holi, police said.

When this was brought to the notice of IPS officer Jaidevan, posted as Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) in Bhind, he immediately rushed to the spot along with the police force and questioned them, they said. However, members belonging to liquor mafia attacked them with lathis and by pelting stones forcing police to retreat from the spot, police said, adding that no one was injured in the incident.

A case was registered in this regard against Narendra Singh, his seven supporters, and 18 other unidentified persons. So far, no arrests have been made in this regard, they said. Meanwhile, Bhind Collector Akhilesh Shrivastava has issued a showcause notice to the district excise officer A Rangshahi for failing to prevent sale of illegal liquor.

Yesterday, Narendra Kumar Singh, a young IPS officer, was crushed to death under the wheels of a tractor-trolley, allegedly by a member of the mining mafia, when he tried to stop the vehicle which was carrying stones at Banmore in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/921802/

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‘Are they after him because he writes in Urdu?’ (Mar 8, 2012, Indian Express)

There is surprise and disquiet in the Urdu journalistic fraternity over the arrest of Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi for his alleged role in the attack on the Israeli diplomat. From a village on the Ghaziabad-Meerut border, Kazmi had a variety of journalistic assignments that included a weekly column and the morning news bulletin on DD Urdu. Since 2002, he also helped as a volunteer teacher of English to underprivileged Class XII students at the India Islamic Cultural Centre.

Said journalist Saeed Naqvi, who has known Kazmi since 2002 and who worked with him on a DD pilot show: “He has a long and consistent record as an Urdu journalist… he is open about his views. He is Shia, he knew Persian and Arabic and was invaluable for our show then. Are they after him because he is from the Urdu world?” Kazmi, years ago, served as an intern in UNI Urdu, a wire service for Urdu papers and periodicals. Its former head Sheikh Manzoor said: “Kazmi has a long record as a journalist and was in Syria with all of us. His views on the situation in the Middle-East were always openly expressed. Is there suspicion only because he writes for the Urdu press? What about freedom of expression?”

Editor of Urdu daily Sahafat, Hasan Shuja, who has known Kazmi for more than a decade, said, “I know him well and I am disturbed by these reports. Calling him a terrorist is so irresponsible. About eight days ago, he appeared on a TV show and made a forceful case against the US and backed Iran. I think he has been on the radar ever since. The pressure on the police by Israel to catch someone finally resulted in them picking him up.” Kazmi, his friends and associates said, also worked for the Iranian News Agency IRNA in 1982.

He writes weekly “guest columns” in leading Urdu dailies. In the latest one, entitled Shaam ke khilaaf jang namumkin (It is impossible to attack Syria), Kazmi discussed his recent trip to Syria with other journalists in February and said he “was in Iraq when, in 2002, Saddam Hussain said a referendum backed him, and had exaggerated figures, but Assad actually has mass support”. In a column on March 2, Kazmi spoke of how “Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya are showing footage of so-called disturbed areas in Syria but people are calling up those channels and saying they are okay in those parts.”

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/921416/

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Masood murder: BJP MLA to undergo lie-detection test (Mar 9, 2012, Hindustan Times)

After being questioned and his official house searched, BJP MLA Dhruv Narayan Singh will now be subjected to a lie-detection test by CBI in the RTI activist Shehla Masood murder case with a special CBI court today giving the green signal.

Special CBI magistrate Dr Shubra Singh gave the permission after the agency sought the court’s approval to conduct polygraph test on all suspects including architect Zahida Parvez, Saquib Ali, Saba Farooqui and Dhruv Narayan Singh in connection with the murder case.

Singh gave his consent before the court today to undergo the polygraph test, CBI sources said. The court has already permitted polygraph tests on three other suspects – Parvez, Ali and Farooqui. Dhruv Narayan represents Bhopal Central constituency. CBI had earlier questioned him for nearly six hours at its Bhopal office, and also searched his official residence.

It suspects that Parvez hired the other accused to kill Masood out of jealousy, as she believed that Masood was getting too close to Narayan. The agency, meanwhile, produced today another accused Irfan before the court, which remanded him to the CBI custody up to March 16. Irfan was brought here by the Uttar Pradesh police on a production warrant and was produced in the court of Shubra Singh, after he was formally arrested under section 302 (murder) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) in the Masood case, said CBI lawyer Hemant Shukla.

The central agency had sought his custody for interrogation. While granting Irfan’s custody to the CBI, the court directed it not to “torture” the accused, while the latter was directed to cooperate with investigation. The court also directed the CBI to get him medically examined and submit the report.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/823072.aspx

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Haryana govt embarrassed, Jats not to end stir, won’t cremate body (Mar 12, 2012, Indian Express)

While the Haryana government issued an official statement on Saturday night claiming that agitating Jats had called of their stir, it was left red-faced on Sunday, after the protesters refused to end their agitation or cremate Sandeep’s body, till the state granted the Jat community, a reservation in government jobs.

Even the release of Jat leaders on Sunday failed to achieve a breakthrough. The body of Sandeep (20), who was allegedly killed in police firing has now been kept on the rail tracks in Mayyar for the last six days. The moment Jat leaders were released, Sandeep’s father Jogi Ram addressed the protesters stating that he will not cremate his son’s body, till the government granted reservation to Jats.

The state government, on Saturday, had bowed to the pressure, and agreed to release 101 Jats, including prominent leaders like Dharampal Choth and Mahender Punia. Not only did the government appear to succumb to the Jats’ pressure, but also made a mockery of the entire legal system as the arrested leaders had been booked on serious charges of sedition and causing disruption on rail tracks.

Despite the serious charges, all the protesters were released by the courts of Tohana and Hisar on Sunday. The Haryana police has also booked a RAF personnel, for Sandeep’s death and has registered a case.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/922604/

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Dalit homes’ burning: Orissa draws flak over ‘inaction’ (Mar 5, 2012, Indian Express)

National Commission for Scheduled Caste chief P L Punia Sunday slammed the Orissa government for its “failure” to apprehend the people who burnt Dalit homes at Lathor village in January. Houses of at least 45 Dalit families were set on fire at Lathor in Bolangir district on January 22. A Dalit boy Ganesh Suna boy had reportedly bought a shirt but the upper caste shopkeeper, Bharat Meher, accused him of stealing it. Suna and his grandfather protested but were beaten up.

When the Dalits went to lodge an FIR at Khaprakhol police station, a rumour was spread that they had killed Meher, enraging the upper caste villagers, who looted and then burnt the houses of their Dalit neighbours. Punia, who visited the village and the affected Dalit families, who are now living in relief camps in Bolangir Sunday, told The Indian Express that even after two months of the incident, the police have failed to arrest the main accused.

“The police knew about the tension building up in the area. But the inspector-in-charge of the police station instead of defusing the matter, slipped away from the spot which led to the carnage. I have brought this to the notice of the CM and chief secretary during my meeting this evening,” he said.

Punia also said that the state had not yet paid the compensation of Rs 60,000 per victim as mandated by the SC/ST Atrocities Act. “Though the chief minister has announced Rs 1 lakh per family from his relief fund and paid money for damage to property, the government should have paid the Rs 60,000 for assault and intimidation,” he said.

Punia, who had earlier been at loggerheads with the Orissa police over their failure to book the rapists of a Dalit girl in Pipili, said the police should shed their “feudal attitude” to Dalits. “I am happy that the inspector of Pipili police station was dismissed over his negligence of duty. But I hope he be made an accused in that rape case,” he added.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/920220/

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Opinions and Editorials

Memorial to a Genocide – Editorial (Mar 12, 2012, Sabrang)

February 27/28 marks ten years since the tragic death of 59 persons in a fire in a coach of the Sabarmati Express near Godhra railway station and the criminal manipulation of this tragic incident as a pretext for the Modi government-sponsored anti-Muslim genocide throughout the state. On February 27, thousands of survivors of the mass crime together with lawyers, jurists, activists, artists, artistes and intellectuals from all over the country will assemble at Gulberg Society, Ahmedabad, for a commemoration.

Through words and images, reminiscences and video clips, photographs and digital installations, a wailing wall in memory of missing persons, acknowledgements to those who risked their lives to save others and to those who joined the struggle for justice, with music and tears, the crimes against humanity committed ten years ago will be recalled and the plight of the traumatised and the displaced highlighted. Survivors from Gulberg Society will lead the assembled people through the housing colony and recount the horrors of February 28, 2002. A collective resolve will be renewed to continue the struggle for justice for the survivors and punishment to the perpetrators and masterminds of the carnage. Saviours, those who swam against the tide of hatred to give succour and save lives will be especially remembered… their conversations relayed live.

A unique concert, Music in Memoriam, will be the finale of the live memorial, performed by Shubha Mudgal (vocal), Aneesh Pradhan (tabla) and Sudhir Nayak (harmonium). The entire programme at Gulberg Society, symbolising the holocaust in Gujarat, will be webcast live and posted on YouTube subsequently so that we remember and never forget. The URL for the webcast will be available on www.cjponline.org and www.sabrang.com from February 27. Secular and minority rights activists and groups in Ayodhya-Faizabad, Aligarh, Malegaon, Lucknow, Madurai, Calicut, Mumbai and Delhi will also be having commemorations at around the same time. All these will be available for permanent viewing thereafter.

Communalism Combat will join all the others at Gulberg Society on February 27 to participate in the commemoration. This issue of the journal is part of that effort. We are grateful to the Citizens for Justice and Peace teams in Ahmedabad and Mumbai, the Sabrang team in Mumbai and SAHMAT, New Delhi, for their unstinting efforts and unwavering commitment to this endeavour.…

http://sabrang.com/cc/archive/2012/feb-march12/Edit.pdf

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Forgotten Worlds: A tale of transit camps – By Communalism Combat (Mar 12, 2012, Sabrang)

Transit camps are a world of their own. They possess an irony that extends from their naming to their very continuity in time. Transit camps are rarely temporary. They begin as an act of desperation, created as a fragment by some desperate councillor and sustained by a few NGOs. As funds run out, even the NGOs leave. Located miles away from the main road, these camps are soon forgotten. They seem to operate in a different space and time. Ekta Nagar is a sandwich of 45 flats in three sombre tiers. The walls outside are cobwebbed and dusty. Even the dust looks aged. Cycles lie huddled. A few tired graffiti offer some signs of commentary. They seem drawn by children. The municipality makes Kafka’s castle seem simplistic. Men talk of mythical cheques they have tried to obtain. They claim that the clerks seek to swallow (hajam) cheques belonging to survivors.

The municipality creates a labyrinth of problems the survivor talks about with awe, talking of paper chases and xerox trails which lead nowhere. For the survivor, the municipality is a form of power which demonstrates their powerlessness. The municipal corporation tyrannises these little nukkads (corners), these habitats eking, surviving and dreaming of a gutter line and a tap connection. What connects the camps to reality is corruption; the corruption of the municipal corporations and the violence of the goons who disallow any act of progress, any little repair or improvement, in case they lose control of their turf. The names of the areas bring out the irony of disaster relief. These areas are named in hope, or maybe cynically, as Ekta Nagar, invoking unity, Citizen Nagar, summoning entitlements. Waste is ubiquitous. Stale plastic and stiff cloth substitute for grass. Dirty quilts lie desperate for a touch of the sun. The only signs of hope are dogs, content on the road, and kids curious about visitors. Governance, as the World Bank would describe it, is non-existent. Corruption and the desperate games it creates become the only chain connecting survivor and state. …

The ethnography of camps demands a range of reflections. One has to admit that merely visiting them, sitting with survivors, walking around, is not living in them. To understand that, one needs to make a leap of imagination, to understand lifeworlds devastated by violence. As one visits different camps, one realises that there is a gradient of pain and suffering. Everyone begins with the story of the Carnage but then tells the story differently. As one compares the difference, one is faced with uneasy questions: Is waiting for help, or even justice, a form of addiction? Does waiting corrupt the giver and the receiver? There are other questions. How does a society where so many ordinary people were murdered, raped and looted live so easily with itself? One sees few traces of guilt. In fact, one sees explanations of the act as if history has at last redeemed itself; one hears the litany of the same arguing that Godhra validated their violence. One feels that a society has canned the event and moved on blissfully. Gujarat, as a society, has washed its memories away.

One is reminded of a sign on the way to Himmatnagar. The tropic of Cancer passes through it. There is a map of the line tracing its trajectory through the town. For a moment one forgets that it is an imaginary line. It almost feels real. One can trace its way across the town. The imaginary line seems more real, more real than the riots are to Gujarat. It is as if facts, reports, dissolve before the refusal to listen. But ‘the real’ hits you as you enter the camp. We move to Sardarpura, Mehsana. Twenty-two families live together as a clan. As a resident explains, we live together as a clan (parivar) but stay separately as families (kutumb). There is the solidarity of a camp, where all members are tied together by ancestry and by the memory of one event. They call themselves the Sheikh parivar. Twenty-two families, 110 individuals. They all remember that 33 of the family died after the Godhra haadsa (tragedy).

History becomes a backdrop to the problems of everydayness. Central to everything is work and the paucity of employment. This is a clan of labourers who work in the fields or who are hired for daily work, contracts for house painting. They also serve as rickshaw-drivers. Most of them do “colour kaam”. They whitewash, distemper, plaster houses. They complain that there is little to do. Stories of hunting for work weave into narratives of 2002. They talk matter-of-factly. When work comes, they earn Rs 50 a day, of which Rs 12 goes in transport to Himmatnagar. They complain that life is tough. Water is a problem. There is water but it is only adequate for cleaning and washing. It is not drinkable. Jaundice seems rampant in the area and medical debt becomes burdensome. Clean water has to be bought in bottles at Rs 20 a bottle. Medicines are expensive and sickness adds to unemployment. …

http://sabrang.com/cc/archive/2012/feb-march12/forgotten%20worlds.pdf

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In Search of Justice: The battle of memory against indifference – By Communalism Combat (Mar 12, 2012, Sabrang)

My name is X. It could be Zakiya Jaffri or Rupaben or even A or B. I am a citizen, an Indian, a Muslim, a woman, a survivor, a witness. Originally, I never thought of all of these identities. I was just a housewife. Sometimes I feel that housewives stand outside history till politics takes over. I was content in my house and with my family, each relationship, like an envelope, a cocoon that encompassed me. My life was a chorus of familiar sounds and colours, a litany of habit, of children growing up, of generations changing, of working hard even to dream small. Then history intrudes. It mauls you; it molests you as a riot becomes a rape of identities. The normal breaks like a fragile egg and never returns, as we become Humpty-Dumptys of yesterday, never to be put together again.

As housewives, we felt betrayed by the riot. It was a double displacement. We lost our families and we lost our homes. Space and place, both were destroyed. For us, justice became a need to rebuild place, our homes, the little cosmos we call neighbourhoods that kept us going. For us, justice was a search for guarantees, a raises in a different way and that all must answer collectively. What is justice? I admit that I am not a scholar. I am neither a lawyer nor a judge. I have no bywords to hide behind. For 10 years my people have been talking of justice. Many talk as if sentencing one man would deliver justice. One man cannot atone for genocide. One man sounds too puny to embody all the colours of evil unleashed then. Others think that obtaining justice is like repairing a machine. Justice literally summons the plumber to repair the leaks of life. Others see justice as a balance, where one bad deed triggers another.

Godhra led to Gulberg and people think or feel that revenge is a form of justice. Maybe. For others, especially clerks, justice is procedure, a strange occult ritual, where rules must be followed correctly to create an effect. I might be illiterate but procedures guarantee fairness not justice. Procedures can fine-tune justice but justice is something bigger and smaller. It can be done by measure or by rule of thumb. But eventually, for all its sense of measure, proof, objectivity, justice is that moment when a cosmos feels just right again. For others, justice is like an act of certification, a recommendation, a ration card, a badge, a unique identification which says or verifies that a procedure has been followed and a stature confirmed. As a housewife, I claim that such definitions don’t capture my story. My husband was murdered, my children burnt and I was raped. Simple facts. And I asked for justice. I remember the first time we filed an affidavit. We were so proud, so full of civics. It was an initiation ritual, the sense that citizenship is also a form of competence. It was such an innocent act of faith, a belief that the affidavit would bring instant justice. Our belief in the courts was naïve. We thought the courts would hear us and act instantly. I remember Teestaben and Suhelbhai telling us that there was no instant justice. …

It began with our police and the law courts trying to merge cases or ignoring affidavits. An absent-minded or indifferent justice system hurts the dignity of law. The beauty however is that untruth at one level can face the truth of another level. When the local court refused to be fair, the Supreme Court stepped in to guarantee due process. There are tensions. Sometimes the brute rule of majority makes the rule of law seem fragile. But you persist. The Supreme Court in its wisdom set up the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate investigations. The idea is a beautiful one. The SIT had tremendous powers. It could summon anyone, reopen any investigation. Yet it was almost chaste in its use of law, seeking to say little or do even less. I think it saw investigation as a pollution ritual refusing to be contaminated. Law sometimes gets caught in its own paradoxes. …

There is also another displacement that people talk about. Justice for the majority is not a priority. They seem to prefer development to justice. They even believe that development guarantees justice. Development acquires sacredness, a Camelot-like status, whereas justice is seen as banal, even retrograde. We are asked to forget in the name of development, to be citizens by emptying our cupboard of all our identities. Only the empty Muslim is welcome. Progress is a beautiful word. It asks us to erase our memories. When people say that Gujarat has developed, it only means that they have forgotten us. I wish people would develop our transit camps. Begin with hope and tap water. And drainage. We want development too but we want development with freedom and justice. …

http://sabrang.com/cc/archive/2012/feb-march12/in%20search%20of%20justice.pdf

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The hypocrisy of RSS and investigation of terror acts – By Ram Puniyani (Mar 11, 2012, Twocircles.net)

Supreme Court slammed the RSS Sarsanghchalak, Dr. Mohan Bhagwat for stating that Karakre had told him that he was under tremendous pressure to nail the RSS in unsolved cases of terror acts like, Malegaon, Ajmer, Samjhauta Express blast (Feb 28, 2012). As per the Chief of RSS, he knew Karkare well and Karkare had solicited his cooperation for solving these cases, and in the context of that had told him about the pressures being put on him. One knows that Karkare was under pressure during that time. One also knows that the investigations in the acts of terror were leading nowhere and after every blast a number of young Muslim boys were arrested, the blame was put on some affiliate of Lashkar, Al Qaeda etc. After Karkare took over as the chief of Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad, the things started moving. The turning point was the meticulous investigation by Karkare’s team which led to the unearthing of the motor cycle used in the Malegaon blast, the motor cycle belonged to Sadhvi Pragya Sing Thakur, the ex ABVP (RSS affiliate) activist, and the leads took the ATS to the whole set of terror group, which were called later as Saffron terrorism by the Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram. These investigations led Karkare to Swami Dayanand Pandey, Lt Col. Prasad Shrikant Purohit, Swami Aseemanand, Indresh Kumar, Sunil Joshi, Kasangra and the number of those close to the RSS or close to RSS affiliates. The implication of this was very clear.

Once this Hindutva network got exposed the acts of terror which were occurring at regular intervals in front of mosques and other places, where Muslims congregate for prayers came to a halt. As such it was ironical that the blasts were focused to kill the Muslims and after every act again Muslims were arrested. With the Rajasthan ATS joining the process of investigation the evidence against these Hindutva elements became further clear. The confession of Swami Aseemanand in presence of the magistrate gave the full details of the modus operandi of these acts of terror. The people involved in these acts believed that they are doing these dastardly acts to avenge the Muslim terrorists and that these acts aimed to pave the way for Hindu Rashtra. Swami Aseemanand, the VHP leader working in Gujarat, who was the architect of Shabri Kumbh Mela was the key figure in these blasts in many ways. In the statement given by him in presence of the magistrate he confessed that their group was involved in these activities. Since then more and more beans have been spilling from the Sangh stable, the latest one being that of involvement of Kamal Chauhan in Samjhauta blast. Chauhan has been labelled as the disgruntled element by his parent organization, RSS. This again is the standard ploy by RSS.

Most of those who are caught doing these acts of murders or blasts are claimed to have left the organization some time ago or if possible their association with RSS combine is put under the wraps. One recalls that there was a time when nobody believed that RSS associates can be part of these acts of terror. RSS claims they do not believe in violence. Their claims have come to be exposed one after the other. Now their claim is that they are being implicated by the ruling party to appease the minorities; or that those being charged for acts of terror are clean people and are deliberately being implicated in terrorist acts. Going by the expose after expose, the RSS at one level is trying to disassociate from these terror accused, on the other is propagating that they are accused but not guilty and on yet another level claiming that the investigation authorities have been pressurized to nail the RSS cohorts. This defence is very weak. The statement of RSS Chief is coming at a time when Karkare has already become a martyr for the cause of defending the country. There is no way he can confirm or deny what the patriarch of Sangh Combine is saying. But yes there are some clues which can tell as to what is the truth.

Lets recall that Sadhvi Pragya Thakur was caught for her alleged role in Malegaon blast, none other than Lal Krishna Advani went to the Prime Minister to complain about the torture of Pragya Singh Thakur and demanded investigation into Thakur’s torture. At the same time another Hindutva leader Bal Thakre condemned Karkare, calling him anti National and wrote in his mouth piece Saamna that ‘we spit on his face’! Another Hindutva warrior Narendra Modi called Karkare as Deshdrohi (anti National). Incidentally both these, Thackeray and Modi, are hailed as ‘Emperors of Hindu hearts’. Later Modi called Karkare as a great patriot after his death. Modi went to the extent of offering one crore Rupees to Karate’s widow, which she gracefully refused. On the contrary Congress leader Digvijay Singh claimed that Karkare had called him on the night of 26/11, the day Mumbai was attacked by Kasab and gang, and said that there is a tremendous pressure on him from the Right wing. Digvijay Singh also showed the press clipping to that effect and pointed out that BSNL, Bhopal cannot give the records of the conversation between him and Karkare as the matter was more than a year old at that time, and BSNL does not keep record beyond a year.

There is another source which tells us the direction from which Karkare was being pressurized. Julio Ribeiro, one amongst the police of officer of highest integrity in the country, in his obituary to Karkare (Times of India, Mumbai Edition 28th Nov 2010) pointed out that there was a direct insinuation into the work of Karkare, who was intimidated by Advani and other Hindutva gang. Karkare sought solace and advice from his senior Ribeiro, Ribeiro confirmed that Karkare was being harassed and intimidated by the associates of Advani-Modi and company. Ribeiro advised his junior colleague to carry on with his work irrespective of the pressures. “He came to me because he was looking for someone to hold his hand,” Ribeiro told IANS on phone from Mumbai while stressing that Karkare was not a man to be politically influenced. While this is what the truth is, one can see the motive behind Bhagwat’s statement in the face of so many of his cabal either charged or in jail. In an earlier event Bhagwat’s predecessor K. Sudarshan had also played a similar game. During the investigation of Babri demolition, when the role of RSS combine was coming more and more to surface, Sudarshan said that he heard Gandhian Nirmala Didi saying that there was a blast inside the mosque which demolished the mosque. Fortunately Didi was alive that time to deny something being said in her name. So there is some pattern in the statements of RSS chiefs!

http://twocircles.net/2012mar11/hypocrisy_rss_and_investigation_terror_acts.html

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Rejection of Congress’s Hand Symbol, A Vote Against Aadhaar/UID/NPR And Biometric Profiling – By Gopal Krishna, Vinay Baindur & Anivar Aravind (Mar 7, 2012, Countercurrents)

Electorate in Uttar Pradesh have rejected the proposal of the Indian National Congress to allow themselves to be identified with their biometric data like iris scan and thumb impressions. Rahul Gandhi campaigned in UP using the Aadhaar as an election agenda. Now that he has taken responsibility of his party’s defeat, he should call for stopping Aadhaar project because the verdict is against it.Supporting Home Ministry and Planning Commission’s scheme of uniqueidentity, the party had showcased aadhaar and related National Population Register (NPR) for Multipurpose Identity Card (MNIC), voters in general and poor have given their verdict against it.

The party had claimed that the Aadhaar/NPR card will also address the discrepancies in controversial Below Poverty Line (BPL) list by hiding violation of the provisions of Census Act with ulterior motives. It was used like a fish bait to entrap citizens against democratic and legislative mandate. The message for P Chidambaram, Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Nandan Nilekani is that UP electorate who were promised Aadhaar/NPR/MNIC has rejected it. This project is applicable to vehicles and animals too through Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in later phases.

In our country, a surveillance regime has been proposed by Indian National Congress led United Progressive Alliance for the people but not for biometric and other intrusive technologies. Besides India’s Parliamentary Standing on Finance, countries like UK, Australia, Philippines and China have rejected aadhaar/NPR/MNIC like projects respecting people’s mandate. It has reliably been learnt that officials from Infosys company have been giving leadership training to leaders of Indian National Congress. This may have impacted decision making with regard to aadhaar/NPR/MNIC but it has clearly not worked in UP elections.

Recent reports of efforts to put Union Finance Minister and Defence Minister under surveillance reveal that there is paucity of capacity to monitor or regulate these technologies. If this is the plight of the ministers and technologically challenged political class, the threat for citizens can easily be understood. Post UP elections, government must review its capacity to regulate an emerging technology regime that is undermining democracy and sovereignty and should not be misled by unelected cabinet ranked officials who say, “Technology has no history and no bias, it treats everyone the same way.”

History of technologies reveals that it is their owners who are true beneficiaries especially when it is used for social control. There is a compelling need to urgently assess the claims and risks of biometric and surveillance technology and how some companies made UID/NPR/MNIC politically persuasive for the ruling party and intertwined the systems of technology with crying need for governance. UP verdict is also a mandate against diluting federal structure of the country, FDI in the retail sector, free trade agreements (FTAs) that were aimed at turning India into a market democracy where executive and legislative decisions are driven by profit mongers not by public interest.

http://www.countercurrents.org/anivar070312.htm

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National shame – Editorial (Feb 28, 2012, Times of India)

Shocking instances of rape continue to hit the headlines, along with the tendency of police and administrators to blame the victim. The two trends reinforce each other. If the system gives the rapist a reasonable chance to get away with his crime, then it is unable to deter rape. The epidemic of rape incidents across the country once again draws attention to the urgent need to transform our legal and police systems. Five men raped a 17-year-old girl in a moving car in Noida last Friday, while earlier this month a 37-year-old mother of two was raped in the heart of Kolkata’s upscale Park Street. Another woman has been gangraped trying to resist dacoits looting passengers of a local train in West Bengal’s Burdwan district. UP witnesses at least two rapes every day.

What gives cause for dismay is the police’s cavalier attitude towards victims. More often than not, traumatised victims have to battle law enforcers’ social and gender prejudices, manifest in loaded comments about the victims’ moral character and lifestyle. While the police, and even Bengal’s transport minister, made humiliating and suggestive remarks about the Park Street rape victim’s late-night pub drinking, the Noida police made insinuating comments about the minor victim. Worse still, in a complete breach of protocol, the police revealed the victim’s name and address to the media.

Given this sweeping gender bias and insensitivity, victims are more often than not reluctant to seek police intervention – making it easy for the rapist to get away. Police and political authorities across the country need to start treating rape as a heinous crime, and put in place some serious deterrents. A start can be made by instituting a fair number of dedicated rape cells, staffed mainly by policewomen. Victims would find it easier to share information with women officers, rather than be interrogated by their male counterparts. Additionally, gender sensitisation must be a part of police training itself.

It must be stressed here that the answer is not more legislation that merely scales up the quantum of punishment. The answer, rather, is to give teeth to the law by enforcing it. Let’s not forget that conviction rate of crimes against women, despite many legislative amendments, is still a depressing 27% for rape and molestation. Reforming police and judicial procedures in ways that allow speedy and consistent enforcement of existing laws, will go a long way towards assuring justice to victims and deterring further crimes against women.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/12059033.cms

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 5th, 2012

March 6, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Gujarat still starved of justice 10 years after carnage says Indian American Muslim group Indian American Group welcomes Congressional Resolution on Gujarat Violence of 2002 News Headlines U.S. House concerned at reports of Modi’s ‘complicity’ in riots Gujarat riot victims still awaiting justice: Amnesty Ten years on, [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 7th, 2011

November 8, 2011

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Anti-Sikh Massacres of 1984: Indian American group demands speedy justice for riot victims News Headlines Cops were punished for controlling riots : Ex-DGP 2002 Gujarat riots witness stabbed to death in Ahmedabad Probes find 3 links between Sohrab and Haren cases Call Sanjiv Bhatt for deposition, Mallika [...]

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Who killed RTI activist Shehla Masood? (Aug 17, 2011, IBN)

August 22, 2011

Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday wrote to the Madhya Pradesh state urging them to probe the murder of RTI activist Shehla Masood thoroughly, even as CNN-IBN accessed a letter Masood herself wrote to the state government, saying that she had received death threats. The question is if the Bhopal police ignore the clear threats. [...]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 22nd, 2011

August 22, 2011

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements IAMC Expresses Grave Concern Over Warrant Against Sanjiv Bhatt Communal Harmony Communal harmony fortnight begins at DLW News Headlines Ex-BJP CM, eminent citizens demand governor’s intervention in Gujarat Battle between Modi and IPS officers escalates in Gujarat Sohrabuddin: CBI court denies bail to Chudasama Who killed RTI [...]

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