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Sohrabuddin encounter

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 13th, 2016

by newsdigest on June 23, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

Human rights, religious freedom deteriorating in India: Human Rights Watch (Jun 9, 2016, Indian Express)

Observing that the two years of Modi government have resulted in deterioration in human rights and religious freedom in India, rights activists have called for making the issue as part of the US’ regular dialogue with India.

“Progress on human rights in India will continue to falter unless the Modi administration takes better steps to ensure justice and accountability for all citizens, protect vulnerable communities, and protect the free exchange of ideas and dissent,” said John Sifton, Asia Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch.

Lack of effective implementation of laws and policies remain a persistent challenge, Sifton said, during a hearing on “Challenges & Opportunities: The Advancement of Human Rights in India” organised by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on Tuesday. Government officials are not held accountable and impunity persists for police and other security personnel who are shielded by laws from being prosecuted for serious human rights abuses, he claimed.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/human-rights-freedom-of-religion-deteriorating-in-india-2843106/

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All eyes on Sanatan Sanstha after ENT specialist’s arrest (Jun 12, 2016, Times of India)

The arrest of Dr Virendrasinh Tawade, an ENT specialist, by CBI on Friday in the murder of rationalist and anti-superstition campaigner Narendra Dabholkar in 2013, has thrown the spotlight once again on Sanatan Sanstha, a Hindu right-wing organization headquartered in Ramnathi, Ponda in Goa, about 30km from Panaji.

Tawade joined the sanstha at Kolhapur, Maharashtra and visited Sanstha headquarters in Goa only before 2004, a member of the sanstha claimed adding, he did not visit later.

The sanstha has enjoyed political patronage and support in Goa. Responding to demands for a ban on the organisation in September 2015, Goa chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar had ruled out banning the organisation. Also, wives of two ministers in the coalition BJP government in the state – PWD minister Ramkrishna (Sudin) Dhavalikar and craftsmen training minister Pandurang (Deepak) Dhavalikar, both of the Maharastrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) are sadhaks of the sanstha, and are said to be actively supporting its activities.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/52708332.cms

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Head of Samjhauta Express blasts probe says the Centre is ‘erasing evidence’ in a bid to clear prime suspect Purohit (Jun 7, 2016, Daily Mail)

Vikas Narain Rai, head of the SIT that probed the Samjhauta Express blasts, has accused the government of trying to give Colonel Purohit and the other accused in the case a clean chit.…

The former SIT chief claimed that a concerted attempt was being made to give the accused a clean chit by destroying evidence, cooking up alibis and coercing witnesses.

“Evidence is being erased, witnesses are being forced to turn hostile, documents are being fabricated to help people due to their Right wing linkages,” Rai alleged.…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/article-3630225/Head-Samjhauta-Express-blasts-probe-says-Centre-erasing-evidence-bid-clear-prime-suspect-Purohit.html

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Kairana exodus: BJP list of ‘Hindus’ forced out includes those who died, migrated for better job (Jun 16, 2016, Indian Express)

A list of 346 ‘Hindus’ that BJP MP Hukum Singh claimed had left Kairana in western UP over “threats and extortion by criminal elements belonging to a particular community (read Muslims)” has quite a few discrepancies, an investigation by The Indian Express has found.

While it does have names of some who have left alleging harassment by “gangs”, the list includes names of people who have died, of those who left Kairana more than 10 years ago and still others who say that they migrated for a better school for their children or a better job.

The Indian Express tracked down 22 people who figure in Singh’s list and found five had died, four had moved out of Kairana looking for better opportunities, 10 left more than 10 years ago, three had moved fearing “local criminals”.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/kairana-mass-exodus-shamli-hindu-exodus-akhilesh-yadav-up-elections-bjp-hukum-singh-2851411/

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FIR against Sadhvi Prachi ‘for inciting communal passions’ (Jun 14, 2016, DNA India)

An FIR has been registered against controversial VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi for inciting communal passions, police said on Tuesday.

The FIR was registered against Prachi based on a complaint lodged by Sandeep Kumar of Bahujan Mukti Morcha who alleged that her statement in which she had pitched for a “Muslim free country” in Uttrakhand recently, hurt communal feelings, they said.…

Known for courting controversies, the Sadhvi had claimed the mission of a Congress-free country has already been “accomplished” and it is now time to make India free of Muslims.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-fir-against-sadhvi-prachi-for-inciting-communal-passions-2223754

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Right-wing arms training aims at Ram Temple in Ayodhya (Jun 7, 2016, Hindustan Times)

Volunteers of right-wing Hindu groups are getting arms training primarily to prevent and counter terrorist attacks, but the exercise has an additional motive. This is apparently preparation for construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya in election-bound Uttar Pradesh.

The Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and its women’s wing, Durga Vahini, are conducting self-defence training camps in which members brandish lathis, swords and firearms as part of the routine.

The participants at the camps on the outskirts of Bhopal have been told to be “ready for any situation” that might impede the construction of the temple in Ayodhya.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/bhopal/mp-right-wing-arms-training-aims-at-ram-temple-in-ayodhya/story-nSKaNb9dzRNtVx0cqHMbNL.html

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SC refuses urgent hearing on plea for restrain on statements by AIMPLB (Jun 7, 2016, Indian Express)

Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to give an urgent hearing to a plea seeking direction to restrain the All India Muslim Personal Law Board from giving alleged “misleading messages” to the public till the hearing of a plea on Muslim women’s rights on issues concerning marriage and divorce.

A vacation bench of Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy while declining to give an urgent hearing asked petitioner advocate Farha Faiz, who is also party to the suo motu petition being heard by the apex court, to first respond to the writ petition and then mention the fresh plea for hearing.

Faiz said that direction should be passed to restrain media trial, which is being done on the contentious issue of Muslim women’s rights and members of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) from issuing misleading statements. “How can we stop media trial? Is their any mechanism in any part of the world to stop media trial,” the bench observed.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/all-india-muslim-personal-law-board-triple-talaq-media-trial-urgent-hearing-plea-2839875/

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Lack of documents forcing Muzaffarnagar riot victims to migrate as manual labourers (Jun 9, 2016, Times of India)

Displaced from their homes after the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013, over a thousand men who had first settled in neighbouring Shamli district have slowly migrated to other states such as Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan for employment. Some have even gone as far as Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Afkar India Foundation, an organisation working for the rehabilitation of riot victims, said that most displaced families lost all their documents after the riots, which made them ineligible for government schemes. As a result, they have had to migrate to other states and work as labourers.

“After the riots, over 50,000 people were displaced. Around 6,000 families were uprooted from their homes and were forced to shift base. Of these, close to 2,800 families came and settled in the neighbouring Shamli district. Some of these families were from Shamli district itself. It’s been almost three years since the riots and most of these families don’t even have ration cards yet. Many don’t even have water or power connections. They live in deplorable conditions and they resort to manual labour to make ends meet,” said Akram Akhtar, project manager at Afkar India Foundation, an NGO that works for the rehabilitation of riot victims.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/52676830.cms

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Sohrabuddin case returns to haunt Amit Shah (Jun 11, 2016, Mid Day)

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah is again being linked with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, from which he was discharged in December 2014. A writ petition was filed in the Bombay High Court yesterday claiming that Shah influenced court proceedings to get a clean chit in the case.

The petitioner, Rajesh Kamble, owner of Yash Foundation, in his petition, also claimed that Shah threatened Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin to withdraw the appeal he had filed in HC against Shah’s discharge by a lower court in November 2015. Kamble’s petition will come for hearing next week.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had named Shah as the prime accused in their chargesheet in 2012 in the fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi. CBI had alleged that Shah, the then Gujarat home minister, had hired Sheikh to extort money for him and after they had a fallout, he got him killed in November 2005 and made it look like an encounter.…

http://www.mid-day.com/articles/sohrabuddin-case-returns-to-haunt-amit-shah/17324193

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Protect us from cow vigilante groups, trade hit: Punjab soap industry to police (Jun 12, 2016, Indian Express)

Soap factory owners have requested the Punjab Police to save them from the “ire of cow vigilante groups” who, they claim, are hampering their business in the name of cow protection.

The Indian Express had earlier reported that a number of tankers were impounded by the state police following complaints that they were carrying buffalo tallow mixed with cow tallow. The complaints were filed by cow vigilante groups like Gau Raksha Dal (GRD).

On June 6, representatives from soap units had met with Punjab DGP Suresh Arora and demanded that the police stopped harassing them.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/protect-us-from-cow-vigilante-groups-trade-hit-punjab-soap-industry-to-police/

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Opinions and Editorials

Finding judicial closure in Gulbarg – Editorial (Jun 3, 2016, The Hindu)

…After the SIT gave a clean chit to Narendra Modi and repudiated allegations by Ehsan Jafri’s widow that, as Chief Minister of Gujarat, he had instructed the police to let the mob run riot, the Gulbarg Society case became a rallying point for those pleading that the Modi administration be implicated in the riots. The SIT included a police inspector and a BJP councillor in the charge sheet, but both are among the 36 now acquitted.

The prosecution was unable to prove any conspiracy behind the communal violence with the court finding insufficient evidence of pre-planning, never easy to establish in a case such as this. The collapse of the conspiracy angle does not imply an acceptance of the narrative that the Gujarat riots were an angry, reflexive response to the Godhra train carnage. The lines between spontaneity and subtle orchestration are hard to delineate.

Likewise, there is a difficulty in assessing the varying degree of moral culpability between commission and wilful omission. It would be well to remember this as the Gujarat riot cases reach their judicial closure.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/finding-judicial-closure-in-gulbarg/article8682578.ece

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The ghost of Malegaon – By Harsh Mander (Jun 9, 2016, Indian Express)

…I spoke to Noor-ul-Huda, a power-loom worker who was the first to be arrested. He said these 10 years had destroyed his health, his dignity, his reputation, and his family. “Who can return these years to me?”… The initial breakthrough was achieved by tracing the owner of the motorcycle to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, a former ABVP activist. Even more sensational was the alleged role of a serving Army officer Lt Col Shrikant Purohit and retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay in the conspiracy. Others indicted were sadhus and mahants, as well as persons associated with the Sangh affiliates like the Bajrang Dal, belonging to a shadowy organisation Abhinav Bharat, named after the terror-based formation established by V. D. Savarkar in 1904.

These arrests and investigations further uncovered the role of the Abhinav Bharat and other Hindutva organisations in several other terror attacks, including the Malegaon blasts of 2006 and 2008, the explosions in the Samjhauta Express, the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad and Ajmer Sharif Dargah. Bajrang Dal activists were found manufacturing bombs in makeshift factories in Nanded, Kanpur, Bhopal and Goa.

What lay exposed was a deeply worrying communal mindset in India’s police and security establishment. Clear leads pointing to Hindutva terror groups were ignored; instead, trans-border Islamist groups were blamed, and Indian Muslim men arrested under terror laws, tortured and forced to sign “confessions”.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/malegaon-blast-case-mumbai-hemnat-karkare-islamist-terror-hindutva-terror-2841902/

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The BJP’s Defensiveness on ‘Kairana Exodus’ Exposes its Hindutva Agenda – By Sharat Pradhan (Jun 15, 2016, The Wire)

When its veteran leader and member of parliament Hukum Singh spoke about an ‘exodus’ of Hindus from Kairana, his pocket of western Uttar Pradesh, it was evident that the Bharatiya Janata Party was up to its old games. The suspicion that his words were yet another attempt to arouse Hindu passions turned out to be true.… The problem was clearly criminal in nature, and demonstrative of what happens in large parts of the state, which is known to some as the “wild west”. …

The BJP’s urge to engage in the politics of polarisation must be understood in the context of the Muzaffarnagar riots, which worked to its benefit in 2014. Over the past two years, while the party has been in power in the Centre, the flame of polarisation has been kept burning through issues like ‘love jihad’, ‘ghar wapsi’ and ‘beef politics’, which were played up repeatedly in Dadri.

With the realisation that Ayodhya had outlived its vote potential, these ideas brewed in the saffron ranks. That the BJP has repeatedly taken these issues to the extreme reflects its failure to move beyond Hindutva – which Shah perhaps considers indispensable to the party’s poll agenda, even as Modi discreetly shuns it. The double-speak apparently aims to appeal to the multitudes who believe in Modi’s aspirational politics, while also keeping the party’s traditional vote bank in good humour.

http://thewire.in/2016/06/15/hukum-singhs-defensiveness-on-the-kairana-exodus-exposes-the-bjps-hindutva-agenda-42897/

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The ban on cow slaughter – By A.G. Noorani (Jun 24, 2016, Frontline)

The Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 1995, received the assent of President Pranab Mukherjee on March 4, 2015. For 20 years, none of his predecessors in office thought it fit to accord the assent.…

If the history of the Constituent Assembly’s adoption of the pertinent provisions of the Constitution on the subject is recalled, it will be seen that a monumental fraud has been perpetrated on the clear intent of the framers of the Constitution by the champions of a ban on cow slaughter.…

Article 48 was conceived in deceit and executed through fraud. Bhargava’s two assurances – “without using any sort of coercion” and he did not want that “non-Hindus should complain that they have been forced to accept a certain thing against their will” – were flouted by the man himself in his pleas to the Supreme Court. And as for the record of the Supreme Court of India on cow slaughter bans, the less said the better.

http://www.frontline.in/social-issues/the-ban-on-cow-slaughter/article8700526.ece

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RSS is not just antithetical to Muslims, but to a democratic-secular India as well – By Shamsul Islam (Jun 10, 2016, Indian Express)

JS Bandukwala, a renowned academician, thinker and fighter for communal harmony in India has rightly expressed his anguish on the deteriorating relationship between RSS and Indian Muslims which must be a cause of serious concern for all those who wish a happy and prosperous India (‘I forgive, I hope’, IE May 27, 2016).

This aspect becomes enormously critical in a situation where RSS cadres are ruling India. I am afraid his take that RSS has problems with Muslims or vice versa is over-simplification of a far more serious issue. The future of Muslims or common Indians, 80.5% of whom are Hindus, depends on the survival of democratic-secular polity. It is more a critical issue for 135 million….

A country where 5-6% population controls 65% of the national wealth, an egalitarian constitution only can provide hope to the poor whether Muslims or Hindus. Unfortunately, RSS is committed ideologically to undo it.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/blogs/rss-is-not-just-antithetical-to-muslims-but-to-a-democratic-secular-india-as-well-2845298/

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Two years and waiting – By Venkitesh Ramakrishnan (Jun 24, 2016, Frontline)

…Sangh Parivar activists admit that central to the political dip and the consequent sense of incertitude about its prospects is the gap between the promises and performance of the Modi government. It is 80 per cent rhetoric and 20 per cent implementation, they say. An analysis by independent experts and members of the Frontline team of different sectors of the economy and governance in the past two years underscores this perception.…

Panwar’s observation has many takers across the political spectrum, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and S.P. leader Akhilesh Yadav. “Modi and the BJP use glitzy propaganda laden with empty rhetoric to cover up governance failures and parallelly unleash communal aggression and intolerance to polarise people.…

These are indeed brave and confident words, and political observers like Panwar say that this could well be the reality. However, they wonder what price the people will have to pay before they deliver a lasting rebuttal to the authoritarian and fascist tendencies of the current regime.

http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/two-years-and-waiting/article8700511.ece

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Book Review

Communal Violence, Forced Migration and the State: Gujarat since 2002

Author: Sanjeevini Badigar Lokhande
Reviewed by: Rudolf C Heredia
Available at: Cambridge University Press India Private Limited, 4843/24, 2nd Floor, Ansari Road Daryaganj, New Delhi – 110002, 2015; pp xii + 215, price not indicated. http://www.amazon.in/
Review:
Rehabilitating Riot Victims (Jun 11, 2016, EPW)

…Gujarat has a history of such communal riots, chauvinistically used to consolidate vote banks. The post-Godhra violence in 2002 escalated out of control into a planned state-sponsored pogrom. This book examines the social, cultural and economic costs of the forced migration, and the disrupting displacement in its aftermath, which turns rights-bearing citizens into homeless refugees.

The author begins by setting the context of the study with a description of “Demography and Population Movements in Gujarat” (p 21). The state’s development model has for decades accentuated relative inequalities. Continuing communal conflicts have segregated communities, ghettoised Muslims in cities like Ahmedabad. Once it was in power, the Bharatiya Janata Party took advantage of this to make the state a laboratory for its Hindu nationalist agenda.…

This study is a competent description and an incisive analysis of the aftermath of the pogrom of 2002 in the state. It implies sharp questions to the parties and politicians responsible. Is this the “good governance” so repeatedly proclaimed by them? Acche din aane wale hain! (Good times are here!) Can we expect more of the same now that the same people are in power at the centre? Will the Gujarat model be re-enacted on a national level and bring bure din (hard times) on a national scale, especially for the minorities and the marginalised? Will Gandhi’s “least and last Indian” find respect and security there? The Bihar elections of October–November 2015 has given a decisive answer to this kind of saffron neo-liberalism. Its people have spoken, they must now be heard by all concerned about a collective future as a decent and fair society, and not as aggressive and partisan.…

http://www.epw.in/journal/2016/24/book-reviews/rehabilitating-riot-victims.html

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 22nd, 2015

by newsdigest on June 24, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

A run for amity in Muzaffarnagar (Jun 18, 2015, Times of India)

On Tuesday, Raj Singh, 22, was all set to run a race organised by local policemen. Two years ago, he might have recoiled from being on the same team with Muslim men in his village. In August-September 2013, Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts were rocked by communal riots. On Tuesday, Hindu-Muslim teams from 37 villages in Muzaffarnagar participated in the “Sadbhavana Daur” – a race for communal amity. Each team comprised four Hindu and four Muslim men, drawn from villages that bore the brunt of the 2013 riots. As the race progressed, it was hard to image that just two years ago, riots in these villages claimed 60 lives and left 50,000 displaced.

As he emerged from the race, Raj Singh asserted that close coordination with teammates was key. Meerut zone Inspector General of Police Alok Sharma, the brain behind this unique competition, said, “I am an alumnus of Aligarh Muslim University. I was the only Hindu in the university athletic team. It was there that I understood the meaning of team spirit. A team has only one mission. Every member of the team has to work in coordination with the other and strive to attain victory. In a team, it does not matter which religion you belong to. It was from there that I took inspiration to heal the wounds of communal violence here.”

UP police has consistently attempted to bridge the gap between the two communities in these villages, and Tuesday’s race showed the efforts were bearing fruit. The six-km race was held between Shahpur and Budhana. Mohd Arif, an athlete from Budhana, said, “Muzaffarnagar was thrown 10 years back because of the riots. Every community has suffered. Businesses have collapsed. There has to be an end to this. Ever since the race was announced, I was enthusiastic about it. I have been coordinating with Hindu participants in my team. There was certainly an element of stiffness at first, but it all melted away with time as our sole aim was winning the race. I can proudly say that I have now made four Hindu friends.”…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47717475.cms

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Religious harmony: Hindus in UP to observe Ramadan fast with Muslim neighbours (Jun 18, 2015, Indian Express)

At a time when controversy over performing yoga is on, a group of Hindus in Uttar Pradesh’s Mahoba district has decided to observe Roza (fast) with their Muslim neighbours during the holy month of Ramadan starting on Friday.

“We have decided to observe fast with our Muslim brothers from tomorrow at Udal Chowk crossing in Mahoba. We will be sitting in a group of about 60 persons including at least 25 Hindus and will attend ‘Sehri’ and ‘Iftar’…,” Tara Patkar, Coordinator of Bundeli Samaj, said.

Patkar said that the move would serve dual purpose: On one hand, it will spread the message of religious harmony and on the other it will boost their campaign for setting up of AIIMS in Mahoba.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/religious-harmony-hindus-in-up-to-observe-ramadan-fast-with-muslim-neighbours/

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Modi’s 365 day rule characterized by 1,618 cases of serious human rights violations: Civil society report (Jun 18, 2015, Counterview)

A new report on one year of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rule, carrying a compilation of 1,618 incidents of different types of human rights violations across India, has alleged that the last 365 days characterize saffronisation of governance at the Centre, implementation of the Sangh’s Parivar’s agenda of coercion, isolation of religious minority groups, and infiltration of administrative structures, police and education.

Released simultaneously at 18 different places all over India, including Ahmedabad, the report, titled “356 Days: Democracy and Secularism Under the Modi Regime” says that Modi rode on “the high-tide of promised development, created by PR agencies and corporate-controlled media, the present regime ‘conquered’ the hearts and the minds of India with the promised ‘Achche Din’ (Better Days).”

But what it actually did was to implement the “the experiments perfected in the laboratory of Hindutva successfully exported from Gujarat to various states of India.” Introducing the report, human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi said, “Many of us, who have closely watched the developments and modus operandi of communal forces in Gujarat and elsewhere, have been deeply disturbed but not surprised at the developments of the past year.” …

http://www.counterview.net/2015/06/modis-365-day-rule-characterized-by.html

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FIR against Hindu Mahasabha leader Sadhvi Deva Thakur for remarks on sterilisation of minorities (Jun 16, 2015, DNA India)

An FIR has been registered against a Hindu Mahasabha leader for her controversial remarks that Muslims and Christians must undergo sterilisation to restrict their growing population. The FIR was lodged against vice president of All India Hindu Mahasabha Sadhvi Deva Thakur at Sadder police station on Monday on the directions of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Srinagar V S Bhau.

The CJM had directed Station House Officer of the police station to register a case against the accused under relevant provisions on an application by former Secretary of Jamiat-e- Ahlihadeeth AR Bhat, seeking action against the Hindu leader.

An FIR has been lodged against Sadhvi for “promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony”, a police official said. He said she has been booked under section 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, language) and 295-A (outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the RPC.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-fir-against-hindu-mahasabha-leader-sadhvi-deva-thakur-for-remarks-on-sterilisation-of-minorities-2096092

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No HC relief for Babu Bajrangi (Jun 20, 2015, Indian Express)

The Gujarat High Court on Friday refused to entertain a petition moved by Babubhai Patel alias Babu Bajrangi, convicted in 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case, seeking regular bail. Bajrangi sought bail on the ground that he has lost his eyesight completely and therefore, he should be granted bail to stay with family who can take care of him.

During the argument the division bench of justices Mohinder Pal and RD Kothari inquired whether Bajrangi’s eyesight could be restored or not. His lawyer PM Lakhani said that as per the medical reports his vision can’t be restored. The bench said that in such a situation bail can’t be granted.

“It is not going to make any difference now whether he is in jail or outside. For him everything will be the same inside or outside the jail. In jail he will have more company with fellow inmates who can take care of him. If you insist we can pass an order to the jail authorities to give him attendants,” justice Pal told Lakhani.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/everything-will-be-same-for-you-inside-or-outside-jail-says-hc-refusing-bail-to-bajrangi-who-has-gone-blind/

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Ramzan in Atali in Ballabhgarh: Jats get mosque fans removed (Jun 20, 2015, Indian Express)

Installing two portable fans at a burnt down mosque so people won’t have to offer prayers in the heat led to tension in riot-hit Atali village in Ballabhgarh Friday – the first day of Ramzan.

There is a stay on construction at the mosque, which was torched during riots in the village last month. Villagers said portable fans had been put up at the mosque Thursday, in preparation for prayers during Ramzan. But the Jat community reportedly protested and claimed Muslims were attempting to start construction at the mosque. They also held a panchayat, forcing the district administration to intervene and get the fans removed.

“We put fans at the mosque because it becomes very hot and the elderly find it uncomfortable. We didn’t want to begin construction or do anything that could lead to tension. But the Jats protested and said we were trying to take over the land,” claimed Nizam Ali, a resident.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/ramzan-in-atali-jats-get-mosque-fans-removed/

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UP: BJP leader Vidhya Sharan Sharma booked for inciting ‘communal hatred’ (Jun 20, 2015, Indian Express)

A Muslim woman who bought a house in a Hindu-dominated locality in Moradabad was allegedly stopped from taking possession of the property with a BJP corporator asking why she wanted to stay there when her “culture is different”. The BJP corporator, Vidhya Sharan Sharma, was booked on charges of promoting enmity between two communities. A case was filed under Section 153A of IPC at Kathghar police station after the incident late Wednesday night.

According to police, Shashi Prabha had sold a house to Shahana Bi in Gadhikhana locality. Shahana, a resident of Peerzada locality, went to Gadhikhana Wednesday night to take possession of the house.…

As an argument ensued between Shahana and Sharma, local BJP corporator Vidhya Sharan Sharma, who also lives in the same locality, reached there. He allegedly told Shahana not to buy the house as it is in a Hindu-dominated area. The SHO said he, too, reached the area after locals informed him. “I asked the corporator not to get involved. In my presence, he asked Shahana not to buy the house as she was a Muslim. I later lodged an FIR against him under section 153 A of IPC to maintain law and order,” he said.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/up-bjp-leader-vidhya-sharan-sharma-booked-for-inciting-communal-hatred/

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Case against Modi, Shah, RSS chief over ‘religious colour’ to yoga (Jun 20, 2015, Yahoo)

A case was filed on Saturday against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in a court in the Bihar capital for giving a “religious colour” to yoga, thereby hurting people’s sentiments.

“We have filed a case against Modi, Shah and Bhagwat in the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Patna for defaming yoga by giving it religious colour that has hurt the sentiments of people,” said Shruti Singh, the lawyer of petitioner social activist Dev Kumar Singh.

The case was filed on charges of committing deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings, and criminal conspiracy, the lawyer said. The petitioner prayed to the court to order the filing of a first information report (FIR) against the three leaders.…

https://in.news.yahoo.com/case-against-modi-shah-rss-chief-over-religious-120003934.html

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VP Hamid Ansari being hounded on social media after Ram Madhav’s tweet on his Yoga Day absence (Jun 21, 2015, Twocircles.net)

Vice President Hamid Ansari is being hounded on social media for the second day after BJP leader’s tweet questioning his absence from the International Yoga Day event on June 21. This is the second time that Ansari’s ‘patriotism’ has been questioned.

Earlier, he was hounded by self proclaimed Hindu nationalists for ‘not saluting’ the national flag, although protocol does not require anyone except the President to salute.

On June 21, for the first time International Yoga Day was celebrated. National general secretary of BJP Ram Madhav tweeted questioning why did Rajya Sabha TV ‘completely blackout’ the Yoga Day celebrations his ‘absence’ from the celebration.…

http://twocircles.net/2015jun21/1434902802.html

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Sohrabuddin Encounter: CBI court junks Andhra cop’s discharge plea (Jun 17, 2015, Indian Express)

A CBI special court in Mumbai rejected an application moved by an Andhra Pradesh (AP) police inspector seeking discharge from the fake encounter cases of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kauser Bi and Tulsiram Prajapati.

The court, while refusing to grant him relief, issued notice for framing of charges, a procedure before the beginning of trial, on July 6. Special judge M B Gosavi rejected the discharge application of police inspector Ghattamaneni Srinivasa Rao, posted in Prakasham district of AP. Rao was chargesheeted by CBI for taking part in the abduction of the trio, keeping them in illegal confinement and eventually killing them.

Rao is accused of escorting the Gujarat police team from Hyderabad to Gujarat in November 2005, days before killings of Sohrabuddin and his wife. CBI probe established that a year later, Tulsiram was also killed in a fake encounter.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/sohrabuddin-encounter-cbi-court-junks-andhra-cops-discharge-plea/

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Gurgaon cop suspended for FIR delay in molestation case (Jun 16, 2015, Times of India)

An assistant sub-inspector (ASI) at the DLF phase II police station has been suspended for not taking timely action in registering an FIR when a cosmetics store employee was assaulted by a Sushant Lok resident outside The Leela hotel last month.

The 25-year-old woman, who is from Darjeeling and currently lives in Dundahera, went to the police station around 10pm on May 30 after she was allegedly assaulted and threatened by Shailender Singh Chauhan (39), a resident of Block B in Sushant Lok.

She submitted her complaint to ASI Madan who was the duty officer at that time. However, Madan did not register the FIR immediately. The issue then came to the notice of senior police officers the next day through an instant messaging group chat. The FIR was finally lodged at 7.15pm on May 31 and the victim was taken for a medical examination on June 1.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47684175.cms

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Dalit brothers, who cracked IIT, were tormented for their caste (Jun 22, 2015, Deccan Herald)

The ordeals faced by the two dalit brothers, Brijesh and Raju, who cracked the IIT, throws light on the evils of caste based discrimination in our country. The two dalit boys might have set an example for many youngsters by cracking the IIT entrance test, but when they returned home victorious, stones were pelted at their house just because they belonged to a backward caste.

Revealing how they had struggled to study, the boys told Times Of India that people used to make fun of them when they expressed a desire for education. The villagers discouraged them and tormented them when they joined school.

The lanes around their houses were blocked and even the drainage pipe of their house was cut off to punish them for pursuing education.…

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/484989/dalit-brothers-cracked-iit-were.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Really, RSS? Help to Lalit Modi is Nationalism? – By Ashutosh (Jun 19, 2015, NDTV)

The noose is tightening and the myth is breaking. The Lalit Modi saga is getting bigger and murkier. The government, which a few weeks ago was looking impeccable on the issue of corruption, is now thoroughly exposed and it turns out that the Modi government is no different from the Manmohan Singh government. The only difference is that exposing the Manmohan Government took five years, the Modi government, only a year.

Rajasthan Chief Minister and powerful BJP leader Vasundhara Raje Scindia is in serious trouble. She is no ordinary leader. She is running a state with more than 3/4th majority and is a second term Chief Minister. She is also the daughter of Mrs Vijaya Raje Scindia, a member of the original triumvirate of the BJP along with Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani.

Vasundhara Raje is the second-high profile leader after Sushma Swaraj who, as it turns outs, helped Indian fugitive Lalit Modi, the original IPL commissioner and the czar of Indian cricket. There are tremendous similarities between both the leaders. Both went out of their way to help him. Sushma, being Foreign Minister, was not supposed to interact with a fugitive of the law, forget about bailing him out. Vasundhara was bolder. She wrote a secret letter to facilitate Lalit getting immigrant status in London, knowing well enough that she was on the wrong side of law and morality, and that is why she asked British Authorities to keep her name secret and not disclose it in public.…

http://www.ndtv.com/opinion/really-rss-help-to-lalit-modi-is-nationalism-773328

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Sorry, Mr Ansari – Editorial (Jun 23, 2015, Indian Express)

The mean-spirited controversy sparked by BJP general secretary Ram Madhav’s questioning of Vice President Hamid Ansari’s absence at Sunday’s commemoration of International Yoga Day on Rajpath will not be deleted as easily as the offensive tweet.

The fact is, a senior and responsible functionary of the ruling party has levelled an unseemly accusation at the occupant of one of the nation’s highest offices – and there is no escaping the impression that Ansari’s religion has something to do with it. This is because there is a larger context to Madhav’s tweet.

For one, it is the second instance in less than five months where an attempt has been made by supporters of the Narendra Modi government to cast aspersions on Ansari’s patriotism. On Republic Day, the vice president’s office was forced to defend Ansari against the charge of disrespecting the national flag by not saluting it during the march-past.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/sorry-mr-ansari/

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International Yoga Day: This asana is a Hindutva pose – By Sitaram Yechury (Jun 16, 2015, Hindustan Times)

Under this BJP government’s aggressive global campaigns, India appears to be seeking a global positioning not on the basis of its internal strength, economic or otherwise, but on the basis of such ‘accomplishments’ as having the UN General Assembly declare International Yoga Day on June 21. A PM-led government patronaged event on Delhi’s Rajpath, where public gatherings have been banned since the demolition of the Babri masjid, is aiming to enter the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest public participation in yoga exercises.

There can be no dispute over the practice of yoga postures improving the quality of life. Leaving aside the controversies over the promotion of a Hindutva agenda, such a mega marketing exercise definitely smacks of a dubious effort to Hinduise our richly diverse people and society. There is a running thread of a not too subtle campaign in the demonstrative ‘marketing’ that Prime Minister Narendra Modi undertakes.

Remember, that the RSS, in order to advance its agenda of replacing our secular democratic Republic with its project of a rabidly intolerant fascistic ‘Hindu Rashtra’, has all along spoken of ‘liberating’ the temples at Ayodhya (Ram Janmasthan), Mathura (Krishna Janmasthan) and the Benaras Kashi Vishwanath temple. The Babri masjid has been demolished, Modi is the MP from Varanasi and Mathura was the chosen venue for launching the first birthday of this government. A distinct subterranean pattern.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/sitaramyechury/international-yoga-day-this-asana-is-a-hindutva-pose/article1-1359086.aspx

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India: The Economic Cost Of Violence In 2014 – By Abdul Rashid Agwan (Jun 19, 2015, Countercurrents)

The latest report of the Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) shocks the world by its assessment of the cost of violence the world has paid during the previous year. The report “Global Peace Index 2014: Measuring Peace and Assessing Country Risk” was released yesterday.

India stands 143rd among 162 countries on the Global Peace Index and heavily squandered its national wealth on the anvil of communal, caste-based and class-based violence. The study underlines that the cost of violence around the world reached a record $14.3 trillion in 2014, equivalent to the combined economies of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the UK.

“The (cost of violence) has been largely associated with the increase of deaths in conflict, the ongoing economic consequences of conflicts in the countries where they’re occurring and also the increased cost associated with the displaced people,” IEP founder Steve Killelea said.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/agwan190615.htm

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A question of credentials – Editorial (Jun 23, 2015, The Hindu)

While the Bharatiya Janata Party government has, on the one hand, been striving to pursue a growth- and development-oriented agenda with a firm emphasis on the economic and foreign policy fronts, on the other hand the question has come up too often whether it is meanwhile systematically seeking to use the Ministries related to culture, information, education and human resources to push itself away from values promoting excellence and expertise when it comes to certain key appointments.

This is the only possible explanation for the choice of those with uncertain credentials for some important institutional appointments. In the latest instance, the choice of Gajendra Chauhan for the post of chairman of the governing council of the Film and Television Institute of India, and other members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to be members of the FTII Society, has raised the hackles of students of the institute and members of the larger cinema fraternity.

Mr. Chauhan is better known for his portrayal of the character of Yudhisthira in the popular television serial Mahabharata in the 1980s. His filmography includes a string of films of a certain kind, and there is little in his repertoire that qualifies him to chair a premier institution imparting quality cinematic training. It is clear that the choice made by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is based on his leanings. He is a BJP member, and wears his affiliation on his sleeve.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/a-question-of-credentials/article7342985.ece

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Emergency School Of Drama – By Alam Srinivas (Jun 27, 2015, Tehelka)

He is a master of makeovers. He knows how to look and wear the ‘right’ attire, and how to nurture, and even change, his political and social image. He knows what to say, when and where, and how to use words and slogans to maximise impact. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has displayed all these qualities, and more, during his 12-year-plus stint as Gujarat’s chief minister, and over 12 months as the country’s head.

During his election campaign, he cultivated the image of an efficient and incorruptible administrator. He sold the Gujarat Model of Development as the almost- perfect one that the nation could replicate. After he became the prime minister, he displayed the power of his personality when he addressed America’s president as ‘Barack’ and not Mr Obama. He wowed the crowds in the US as well as Australia.

However, few know that Modi learnt the art of managing the masses and mass media, and creating a positive and aggressive hysteria amongst them during the controversial Emergency years (1975- 77). It was during this period, when the writ of Indira Gandhi, and her younger son, Sanjay Gandhi, ran supreme that the country’s current prime minister studied, honed and finessed his theatrical skills.…

http://www.tehelka.com/emergency-school-of-drama/?singlepage=1

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – May 5th, 2014

May 6, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines 32 killed in 36 hours by Bodo militants in Assam, curfew imposed No ‘clean chit’ yet CBI fails to move SC against bail of 3 cops accused in Sohrab case RSS following in the footsteps of Hitler: VS Bail plea of three persons accused of murder […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 22nd, 2013

July 23, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Enough evidence to put Modi on trial for 2002 riots: Zakia Don’t want Modi as my PM: Amartya Sen Blow to Modi: SC rejects review of Lokayukta’s appointment BJP, RSS behind communal tensions in Rajasthan, says Brinda Karat NCP questions BJP on Ayodhya temple donations Poison […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 22nd, 2013

April 23, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Gujarat govt’s failure to protect people during 2002 riots: US report Kodnani’s Death move to warn Advani,deflect Zakia? Probe Narendra Modi’s call records in Tulsiram encounter case: Sohrabuddin’s brother Bangalore blast: Terrorist attack or political plot? High Court cancels bail of ex RSS members accused in […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 1st, 2013

April 2, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines US lawmakers paid Rs 9 lakh each to praise Modi: report Did aggressive Hindutva agenda cost BJP dear? Police make 5 dead accused in Dhule riots Mumbai police face defamation suit for false terror circular Eight policemen convicted in Gonda fake encounter case Civil group to […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 22nd, 2012

October 23, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Hindu-Muslim leaders resolve to bury differences News Headlines No change in our stand on Modi’s Gujarat, says Germany Nanavati dodging documents, alleges Sanjiv Bhatt Sohrabuddin case: Guj HC sends case documents to Bombay HC After 7 months in Tihar, Kazmi gets relief from SC JM Road […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 8th, 2012

October 9, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Narendra Modi trained by RSS in ‘Nazi tradition’: Digvijaya Singh Missing Patia convict caught, jailed for 31 years Gujarat govt blocked RTI info on Narendra Modi’s own foreign jaunts Sohrabuddin encounter: Amin’s bail plea rejected 1,528 victims of fake encounters in Manipur: PIL Cops to be […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 1st, 2012

October 2, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements India’s response to its Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations disappoints human rights groups – India refuses to agree to adequate steps to protect members of minority religions Communal Harmony Communal harmony delegation visiting Faizabad and Ayodhya Seminar in Chandigarh focuses on role of education in […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 30th, 2012

July 30, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Sectarian violence in Uttar Pradesh and Assam should be dealt with through stern action says Indian American Muslim Council Communal Harmony Humanity overrides differences as Bodos, Muslims help each other News Headlines ‘Planned ethnic cleansing of Muslims’ going on in Assam: Mumbai Muslim leaders Road becomes a […]

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