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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

by newsdigest on May 6, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

32 killed in 36 hours by Bodo militants in Assam, curfew imposed (May 3, 2014, Indian Express)

There seems to be no end to the bloodbath in Assam as seven more bodies have been found in Baksa district, taking the total death toll to 32 in the last 36 hours. This comes after suspected Bodoland militants killed at least 23 people in a span of 24 hours in Kokrajhar and Baksa districts of lower Assam.

Curfew has been clamped in all of Kokrajhar, Baksa and Chirang, three of the four districts of the Bodoland area, and on contiguous areas in neighbouring districts. The Army has carried out flag marches, and shoot-on-sight orders have been issued in Kokrajhar and Baksa. The state government has accused the Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) of carrying out the killings. All the victims are migrant Muslims.

The government has denied any connection between the attacks and the Lok Sabha elections. However, one of the three massacres has taken place in a village that saw violence and the killing of a police constable as Kokrajhar went to polls on April 24. Around 7.30 pm on Thursday, militants shot dead two women and a man of a family in Narsingpara village in the Anandabazar police station area of Baksa district. The victims were identified as Shampa Bewa (55), Sona Miya (35) and Ramisa Khatun (32).

Some five hours later, between 12.30 am and 1 am on Friday, four militants armed with at least two AK series rifles opened indiscriminate fire in Balapara village in the Tulsibeel outpost area of Gossaigaon police station in Kokrajhar district. Four women, a man and three children belonging to two Muslim families were killed.

Late on Friday evening, 12 bodies were recovered in the villages of Narayanguri and Khagrabari adjoining each other on the fringes of Manas National Park in Baksa district, Assam home secretary G D Tripathi said. At least 10 people were injured, and several homes were reported to be on fire, he said.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/30-killed-in-36-hours-by-bodo-militants-in-assam-curfew-imposed/99/

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No ‘clean chit’ yet (May 5, 2014, The Hindu)

As Ahmedabad’s Metropolitan Magistrate accepted the closure report submitted by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team in the Gulberg Society massacre case in Gujarat, it is being widely claimed that the Supreme Court has given Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi a ‘clean chit’ (a term with no legal meaning) in the 2002 Gujarat riots. Rajnath Singh has made the same claim in his interview. (“We will instil confidence in minorities,” May 4). This is very misleading.

The Supreme Court did not express any opinion on the SIT report, but merely forwarded it to the trial court for further action. Besides, being sceptical about the conclusions arrived at by the SIT chief, R.K. Raghavan, that there is no ‘prosecutable evidence’ against Mr. Modi, the Supreme Court asked the amicus curiae to prepare an independent report, and his conclusions are reported to be opposed to those of Mr. Raghavan. Mere acceptance by the trial court of the closure report does not mean exoneration or proof of innocence of the accused persons who have not been charge-sheeted or tried in a court, and the whole matter is now before the Gujarat High Court on appeal.

Besides, the SIT is yet to submit its report on other cases such as the Naroda Patiya massacre in which complaints have been lodged against Mr. Modi and others. In view of these facts, the BJP and a section of the media giving wide publicity to the claim that Mr. Modi was given a ‘clean chit’ by the Supreme Court, is misleading.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/no-clean-chit-yet/article5976267.ece

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CBI fails to move SC against bail of 3 cops accused in Sohrab case (May 6, 2014, Indian Express)

The CBI on Monday failed to move Supreme Court (SC) against the bail order of three suspended policemen, including two IPS officers, accused in the 2002 alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauserbi. On April 29, the Bombay High Court, while granting bail to the three police officers, had also put a stay on the operation of its order for seven days, following CBI’s request to approach SC in a week’s time against the order.

The policemen include IPS officers Abhay Chudasama and Dinesh M N (Rajasthan cadre), and Deputy Superintendent of police M L Parmar. Dinesh and Parmar were behind the bars since 2007 after their arrest by state CID (Crime) while Chudasma was arrested in 2010 by CBI. Chudasma has been chargesheeted by CBI as a “main conspirator” behind murdering Sohrabuddin and his wife, while Dinesh M N and Parmar had taken part in the alleged fake encounter, along with accused officials of Anti-Terror Squad of Gujarat.

Last month, two other accused policemen, suspended IPS Rajkumar Pandian and police inspector Balkrishna Chaubey – had been released on bail by the Supreme Court. Both of them were granted bail on the condition that they remain in Mumbai. The duo is likely to move the apex court to modify their bail on parity of the bail granted to Chudasma and two others. There are 23 accused in this case. Out of them, 17 have been released on bail so far. Two of the accused – Himanshu Singh and Shyam Singh of Rajasthan police – have also moved bail application. Interestingly, Pandian and Chaubey are the only accused policemen who have been confined to Mumbai as a condition put by the Supreme Court.

Bombay High Court as well as Supreme Court, while granting the bail to these accused, have observed that the trial of the case doesn’t seem to be concluding in near future. They observed, “The volume of documents required to be proved and the number of witnesses to be examined, the bail application is required to be viewed in that perspective.”

The Bombay high court has observed that “it will take even a year or so for getting all the investigation papers translated from Gujarati language to Marathi/English when the special case is required to be tried in Mumbai.” Justice A R Joshi, while granting bail, also mentioned in his order, “It is further brought to our notice that admittedly there are more than 600 witnesses to be examined.”

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/cbi-fails-to-move-sc-against-bail-of-3-cops-accused-in-sohrab-case/

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RSS following in the footsteps of Hitler: VS (May 4, 2014, The Hindu)

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activists in Kerala are following in the footsteps of Adolf Hitler to kill activists of the Democratic Youth Federation of India, the Students Federation of India, and the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan has said.

“The murderous face of the RSS was seen by the country during the Gujarat riots of 2002 and the demolition of the Babri Masjid,” he said while inaugurating a dharna organised by the DYFI at the Press Club Maidan here on Saturday to protest against the murder of DYFI leader Sreeraj, allegedly by RSS activists, at Nedumankavu last month.

Mr. Achuthanandan said that neither the Congress not the United Democratic Front government was doing anything to counter the “reign of terror being unleashed by the RSS.” The government seemed to be promoting such activities, he said. Hence the police were lax in properly investigating murder cases in which RSS activists were involved.

He said that the RSS had murdered hundreds of CPI(M) and other Left activists in the State since the 1970s. He called upon people to come forward and jointly oppose the RSS.

Addressing mediapersons at the Press Club, DYFI State president T.V. Rajesh and secretary M. Swaraj alleged that the Union Minister of State for Labour, Kodikunnil Suresh, was protecting the RSS activists involved in the murder of Sreeraj. Those arrested by the police in connection with the murder were not the real culprits, they said.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/rss-following-in-the-footsteps-of-hitler-vs/article5975390.ece

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Bail plea of three persons accused of murder in Muzaffarnagar riots related case, rejected (Apr 30, 2014, IBN)

A local court has rejected bail plea of three persons accused of murder in a Muzaffarnagar riots related case. Additional district sessions judge Jitender Kumar on Tuesday rejected bail plea of Karan Singh Bhogra, Niraj and Ashok accused in a murder case in Kharad village of the district.

According to prosecution, the accused allegedly killed a villager Sagir Ahmad and torched several homes and vehicles in Kharad village under Phugana police station during last year’s communal violence on September 8. Ahmad’s son Meherban had lodged an FIR against several people in this connection and six persons were arrested, said prosecution sources.

Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing into the riots, had filed chargesheet against the accused in the case. Court will frame charges against the trio on May 20. Around 60 people died and thousands were displaced from their homes in last year’s communal violence in Muzaffarnagar and neighbouring villages of Western Uttar Pradesh.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/bail-plea-of-three-persons-accused-of-murder-in-muzaffarnagar-riots-related-case-rejected/468617-3-242.html

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RTI activist who took on Noida land mafia dies (May 3, 2014, Hindustan Times)

Mystery shrouds the death of Right to Information activist Chandra Mohan Sharma (38), who was allegedly charred inside his car Friday night. On the complaint of a family member, a case of murder has been lodged against five people at Kasna police station. However, no arrests have been made so far.

If foul play is unearthed, this would be the third episode of an RTI activist being targeted in Greater Noida within the last six months. In December 2013, activist Anoop Singh was abducted from Dankaur town, burnt with cigarettes on his private parts, and beaten with iron rods, before being dumped near a petrol pump in a neighbouring district four days later. In February this year, another activist, Salimuddin Solanki, had alleged that he was receiving threatening calls from a contractor while seeking information about developmental works in the area.

Around midnight, Sharma, an employee of Honda Siel Cars India Ltd in Greater Noida, was driving a Chevrolet Aveo from office to his home in Alpha-2. According to the police, as he reached near Sector Pi, his car caught fire. He couldn’t open the door of the vehicle, as the central locking had failed due to a short circuit. Fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the flames, but Sharma could not be saved.

The victim’s relatives claim he left office at 11.10pm, and also spoke to his children over the phone at 10.30 pm. Close to midnight, the police control room received a call that a car had gone up in flames. Meanwhile, his family was trying to reach him, but his mobile phone was switched off. It was only in the morning that police could identify the body through the registration number of the vehicle.

“He was fighting against encroachers in the area and was warned of dire consequences several times. On April 28, while he was returning home, his car was overtaken and stopped by goons who threatened to kill him. We had asked the police to give him protection, and take action against suspects. But nothing was done. Now they are trying to turn a case of murder into a mishap,” said Savita Sharma, the deceased’s wife and a member of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). She also claimed that the circumstances of her husband’s death indicate he had been murdered. …

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/1215024.aspx

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Minority federation meets ATS to seek serious probe of bomb making factory in Kolhapur (May 3, 2014, Twocircles.net)

Members of Federation of Minority, an NGO met Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Himanshu Roy in his Byculla office and expressed their dissatisfaction with the drooping investigation carried out by the local police in a serious case of discovery of bomb making factory in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra last month and appealed for stern probe of the case by ATS.

Dr. Azeemuddin expressed his discontent and said that discovery of Bomb making factory and recovery of explosive materials from arrested four youths was a matter of great concern and that the case should have been thoroughly investigated by state ATS to find out all those involved in the conspiracy but till date the investigation was stuck with the local police. He also said that instead of transferring the probe to state ATS local SP Manoj Kumar Sharma lowered down the severity of case by immediately declaring that no radical organization was behind the recovery and therefore no new arrest were done by the local police.

Mr. Saleem Alware conveyed his displeasure to the ATS chief and said that whenever explosive recovery is made by police or when bomb blast happens then the electronic media instantly starts to blame Muslims or banned Muslim organizations and that because of this Muslim community gets victimized and hatred spreads amongst other community against Muslims. M A Khalid suggested to hold a meeting between ATS officials and Muslim leaders so as to listen each others’ concern and to strengthen mutual confidence. ATS Chief Himanshu Roy listened to the NGO and said that he shall send his officials to Kolhapur to gather information of investigation carried out by the local police and assured of thorough and unbiased investigation.

In the beginning of April, Kolhapur police in Maharashtra had discovered a bomb making factory in the Lakshmi Hill near the MIDC area of the Kagal town and had also confiscated material including gelatin sticks, remotely handled switches, remote control devices, five screw drivers, steel clips, wire-cutters, hacksaws, scissors, hammers, buzzers, door bells, six battery cells, power control equipment, energy circuit wiring, switch cord and paper pieces with diagram notes, among others.

Kolhapur police had also arrested four youth who were in their 20s identified as Ajinkya Manohar Bhopade(22) and Aniket Bhivaji Mali(22) from Chokak village in Hatkananagale, Nilesh Babanrao Patil (20) from Male Mudshingi, in Hatkanangale and Anil Popat Kharase (26) from Kabnur-Ichalkaranji in Hatkanangale. During the meeting Burhanuddin Qasmi, Aslam Gazi, Syed Sohail and others belonging to the said NGO also expressed their apprehension towards growing communal and fascist activities in the country and requested ATS Chief to unearth all those anti-social elements involved in the alleged recovery of Bomb Making factory.

http://twocircles.net/2014may03/minority_federation_meets_ats_seek_serious_probe_bomb_making_factory_kolhapur.html

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Ramdev booked across India for ‘insulting’ Dalit community with ‘honeymoon’ remark (Apr 29, 2014, Hindustan Times)

Yoga guru Ramdev has been booked across the country for “insulting” the Dalit community through his controversial “honeymoon” remark against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Ramdev, a supporter of Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi, made the remark in Lucknow on April 25 and has drawn flak from all quarters since then.

“Had he (Rahul) married a Dalit girl, who knows, he might have become the PM. Sonia says first become the PM and then bring a foreigner as bride. He goes to Dalit houses to have picnics and honeymoon,” he had said. The city Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president, Ajay Patil, lodged a complaint at the Sadar police station in Nagpur on Sunday and submitted a video recording to substantiate the evidences that hurt the sentiments of Dalits in the country.

“We have requested the police station-in-charge to lodge an FIR on the basis of the VCD against the yoga guru immediately. If the police fail to take an appropriate action against Baba Ramdev, the NCP would launch an agitation in the city soon,” said Patil. Akhil Bharatiya Dhamma Sena, an organisation of neo-Buddhists, burnt an effigy of Ramdev on Sunday evening at the busy Variety Square in protest against his remarks on Dalits.

Bhim Sena, a Dalit organisation, too lodged a police complaint against Ramdev at Panchpaoli police station, a pre-dominantly Dalit area in north Nagpur. “We have booked an FIR against Baba Ramdev. Now, we are investigating the matter and would refer it to Lucknow for necessary action as it’s comes under the jurisdiction Lucknow Police,” said Dilip Khobragade, the police station in-charge of Panchpaoli.

“If the police fail to take an action against Baba Ramdev within a week, the Dalit organisations in Nagpur would ensure the closure of all medical stores which sell the medicines of Baba Ramdev,” warned Sanghapal Meshram, a senior Dalit leader. Nagpur has a seizable Dalit population and Babasaheb Ambedkar embraced Buddhism, along with half a million of his followers on October 14, 1956. An NGO in Ahmedabad also lodged an FIR against the yoga guru for “insulting” the Dalit community and demanded action against him. …

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/1213393.aspx

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Two brave girls to expose a dubious Godman in Halla Bol (May 2, 2014, Times of India)

This week on Halla Bol, will bring to light the truth behind a fake Godman. Often people in our society have blind faith in religious guru’s and yogis. Without even thinking twice, well educated people fall into the vicious trap of these Godmen who mould religious teachings as per their convenience and entice people to follow them blindly. This week’s episode narrates a story of a young girl, Meghna whose parents force her to stay in an aashram under a babaji’s guidance.

Meghna, a young, aspiring photographer is forced to go to an aashram to stay since her way of life and the ideologies of her parents did not match which oftenlead to fights. Having dealt with such difficult times with their daughter, on the advice of their babaji, Meghna was unwillingly shifted to the aashram. On reaching, Meghna did not comply with the ideologies and teachings of the babaji. Things get further stirred up when on one occasion she vociferously dismisses a ritual in a room full of people. Babaji let it slide at the moment maintaining his composed demeanour only to avenge the insult later that night. He not only rapes her repeatedly, but also deprives her of food and water for days, breaking her completely.

Meghna was so helpless by the circumstances that she could not go back to her parents; her only respite in the Ashram was her friend Deepti who had also undergone a similar torture. One day the two decided to escape but then they come back to expose the fake babaji in front of everybody. What did they do? Were the young girls successful in exposing the baba’s truths?

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/34532304.cms

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Rights activists blame police inaction in firing on Dalits case (Apr 29, 2014, Indian Express)

Close to two years after killings of three Dalit youths in police firing in Thangadh town of Surendranagar district in September 2012, Gujarat CID (Crime) is yet to ascertain if the firing was done as per the prescribed procedure or not. This and many other such examples of police laxity in the investigation of the matter were highlighted by a city-based Dalits’ rights organisation – Navsarjan Trust – while releasing a probe report sent by CID (Crime) authorities to the Gujarat State Human Rights Commission (GSHRC), on Monday.

The report, dated February 14, 2014, was sent by Inspector General of Police, Gujarat CID (Crime) Anil Pratham to the GSHRC after the trust’s programme director Kirit Rathod complained before the commission about the police inaction in the case. The report was provided to Rathod by the commission.

Releasing the report, Navsarjan Trust’s Manjula Pradeep pointed out a number of controversial issues that have come on record during police probe in the matter. These included that the police was yet not sure if from which weapon the youths died and an opinion of FSL in the matter is still pending. Also, one of the accused policemen in the case, B C Solanki, is still on the run and police have not been able to arrest him.

Police had fired from different weapons including AK 47 assault rifle on the Dalits. However, the report says that “prima facie” it appears that 11 rounds were fired in the air from the AK 47 assault rifle. But it is difficult to find out as to who got injured from which weapon and so investigating team is planning to take guidance from the higher-ups.

The probe report also says that on the day of incident, police had brought a private cameraman to videograph the development. However, it adds, the handicap videographer had got scared and run away from the spot after stone pelting. Also, CID is yet to get a report from the inquiry panel appointed by the government in its investigation.

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/rights-activists-blame-police-inaction-in-firing-on-dalits-case/

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Opinions and Editorials

Many Reminded of Horrors of 2002 Gujarat Riots – By Mansi Choksi (Apr 30, 2014, New York Times)

Gulbarg Society, a complex of 18 bungalows and two apartment blocks once occupied by upper-middle-class Muslims in the largely Hindu neighborhood of Chamanpura, is now a cluster of doorless burned shells. Inside the complex, Qasim Allah Noor Mansour, 70, sat on a patio, catching his breath after chasing away a homeless boy who had sneaked in to smoke. Mr. Mansour is the only person living in the complex since it was abandoned in February 2002, when at least 35 Muslims were hacked and burned to death, including the Indian National Congress parliamentarian Ehsan Jafri. Thirty-one other Muslims went missing, according to a lawyer representing the eyewitnesses of the attack in court.

The attack on the families living in the Gulbarg complex was just one event in the three-day Gujarat riots, which left more than 1,000 people dead, most of them Muslims. The violence began a day earlier, when a Muslim mob attacked a train full of Hindu pilgrims in the town of Godhra and a fire broke out, killing 59 Hindus.

As Ahmedabad votes on Wednesday, the survivors of those riots are nervous about the possibility of Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party becoming the next prime minister. Mr. Modi, the current chief minister of Gujarat, had been in office for just under five months when the riots broke out, and he has been accused of not acting quickly enough to stop the violence.

In 2010, a special investigating team appointed by the Supreme Court to investigate the violence exonerated Mr. Modi of allowing riots. Since then, Mr. Modi has been cleared three times by Supreme Court-supervised panels, in 2011, 2012 and 2013. But suspicions about Mr. Modi remain among Ahmedabad’s Muslims.

“They say Modi will rule India,” said Mr. Mansour, a retired employee of a private transport company, who lost 19 members of his family in 2002. “In that case, imagine all of India like this Gulbarg Society,” he said. “How will a man who can’t take care of one society take care of the country?” …

http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/30/with-election-many-reminded-of-horrors-of-2002-gujarat-riots/

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‘There Is No Room For Debate In Gujarat’ – Ganesh N. Devy with Mari Marcel Thekaekara (May 1, 2014, Outlook)

Padma Shri Ganesh N. Devy, formerly professor of English at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, a renowned literary critic and activist is founder and director of the Tribal Academy at Tejgadh, Gujarat. He is a soft spoken, erudite figure. Not a vestige of the shrill, rabid pseudo-secularist about this Baroda scholar. But being a dissenter in Gujarat 2014 implies a fearless, freedom fighter. He gave a concise, analytical outline of his opposition to the ghettoisation of Gujarati society after 2002. ‘It’s my duty to fight for Gujarat. If Modi wins, he will ruin India as he has ruined Gujarat.

‘In Gujarat, the Hindu-Muslim divide is no longer a debate, nor an ideology. It is a law. In 2002, the Gujarat Assembly got in an Act by which they could declare any area a ‘Disturbed area’. The authority to declare an area ‘disturbed’ is given to city councils. It can be done administratively, not legislatively. So, the corporation or municipality can make a resolution prohibiting Hindus from selling land to Muslims and vice-versa. …

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?290580

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Production Without Consumption: Gujarat Model Of Development – By Sanjeev Kumar (May 1, 2014, Countercurrents)

Though there are other states in India where average production is better than Gujarat, but even if we decide to believe that in terms of total production, and income Gujarat is one among the best performing state in India, Gujarat performance in terms of average consumption level is worst in relation to its production level. And thus in this ways Gujarat here is far away from normalcy of the theory given by advocates of capital intensive system of production. In terms of per capita consumption expenditure, Gujarat’s performance in the decade 1993 to 2004-05 compared better than the last five years.

NSSO report states that the urban MPCE was 49 per cent higher in towns and cities than in villages in 1993-94. Fourteen years later, the urban MPCE was 68 per cent higher than rural areas. This means, rural-urban disparity in terms of living standard of the people of Gujarat has been increasing consistently. At the same time this disparity has been reducing in states like Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra etc. Increasing inequality in income distribution is considered as the prime reason for the intensifying disparity of consumption level.

The condition of Gujarat in terms of distribution of income is even worst. In 2004-05 there were 21.65% landless people coming from lowest consumption group in Gujarat which increased to 40.90% in 2009-10. While the landlessness among two highest consumption group decreased by around 14%. If we look at the distribution of income, level of inequality in Gujarat is 33% while national average is 36%. This difference between Gujarat and India was wider in 1990s and thus Gujarat was better placed.

Gujarat proudly claims that she is one of the largest producers of milk in India but when it comes to consumption of milk, the story is different. The total production of milk in Gujarat during last decade doubled but per capita consumption of milk (liter) is 6.178 and 6.750 in rural and Urban Gujarat. In comparison to this people of Delhi, Harayana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttrakhand, Chandigarh is consuming more than any Gujarati.

The growth in consumption of electricity in Gujarat was 143.97% during 1990s while during the one decade rule of Modi the growth was only 59.97%. Gujarat is claiming that they are giving 24 hour electricity to villagers but if we take per capita expenditure on electricity in Gujarat its 15.547 Kwh per month. Per capita consumption of electricity by People from almost nine states or union territories is much ahead than Gujarat while five states are marginally behind of Gujarat. But how we can expect people of a state like Gujarat to consume enough amount of electricity where electricity duty is in India. The tariff rate on electricity is 20% on rural areas if the consumption is less than 40 unit per month and if the consumption is more, tariff will be 25% to 30%.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/skumar010514.htm

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Sins in the name of secularism – By Hasan Suroor (Apr 30, 2014, The Hindu)

On the eve of the 2004 general election, held against the backdrop of the Gujarat riots, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies widely predicted to win, a group of leading South Asian scholars discussed the alarming resurgence of the Hindu Right and its implications in a book somewhat rhetorically titled Will Secular India Survive?

The authors made it clear that they did not presume to be the “arbiters of India’s secular destiny” which historian Mushirul Hasan noted would “ultimately be settled in the rural hinterland and dusty towns and not on the campuses of Delhi or at the India International Centre.” But they had an upbeat message. They believed that “India’s millions” were too deeply wedded to the idea of “pluralist co-existence” to allow any attempt to subvert it. The country’s complex cultural diversity and its long tradition of people of different faiths living together despite periods of often violent dissonance were the biggest safeguard against it becoming a “Hindu India.”

Prof. Hasan, who edited the volume, summed up their underlying message with a quote from Andre Beteille, the distinguished sociologist: “The social and political turmoil in the country does not make the case for secularism weaker, it makes it stronger. Indian intellectuals will do little good to themselves or their country if they espouse secularism in fair weather and disown it in foul weather.”

It was not exactly a fashionable view to take at a time when the supposedly better informed psephologists and media pundits were declaring game over for secular politics. In the event, though, the “ivory tower” academics proved closer to the mark as the BJP lost not only the 2004 election but also went on to lose the next one, in 2009, and its Hindutva agenda hasn’t quite recovered since.

Ten years on, an intense debate on the future of secularism is raging again in the face of an increasingly toxic election campaign in which moderate voices are struggling to be heard. One doesn’t know how those scholars would respond if they were to be asked the same question today, and most likely, secular India will survive “Modiwad” to live another day. But there is a new disturbing trend: the public discourse on secularism has hardened and become coarser (on social media sites, secularists are routinely mocked as “Sickular” and “sickularists”). More and more people across all communities see it as a failed idea and blame it for encouraging competitive sectarianism. Rather than promoting harmony and coexistence as it was intended to, Congress-style secularism is seen to have ended up as a divisive force instead.…

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/sins-in-the-name-of-secularism/article5960269.ece

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Who is to be blamed for the Assam violence? – By Prasanta Mazumdar (May 4, 2014, DNA India)

It is allegedly the Bodos’ fear of losing political clout that led to the latest wave of attacks in Bodoland Territorial Area Districts in Assam. Eight more bodies were recovered on Saturday in Baksa district even as the ruling Congress government in the state decided to probe the incidents by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The death toll in the mayhem, which began on Thursday midnight, has gone up to 30. But official sources said only 28 bodies had been retrieved so far. The victims were all Bengali-speaking Muslims. …

There was no fresh attack on Saturday but an angry mob of an affected village burnt two forest camps in Baksa district. The BTAD, comprising four districts of Kokrajhar, Baksa, Chirang and Udalguri, has the lone Parliamentary seat of Kokrajhar. It has 14,92,404 voters but non-Bodos make up 70% of them. In fact, the Bodos constitute only 30% of the 31,00,000 people inhabiting in BTAD. The conflict between Bodos and non-Bodos first came to the fore ahead of the creation of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in 2003. It got intensified after around 600 villages with alleged zero percent Bodo population were included in the BTC.

Non-Bodos allege that they have often been subjected to assaults, intimidations, killings, abductions and extortions by the Bodo militants and elements. So this election, a conglomerate of 22 influential non-Bodo organisations had backed a former Ulfa leader Heera Sarania, who contested as an independent from Kokrajhar. Bengali-speaking Muslims, who have a sizeable population in BTAD, alleged that they became the ‘soft targets’ of the Bodos for backing Sarania. The latest attacks bring back memories of the 2012 ethnic riots in which over 100 people, mostly Bengali-speaking Muslims, were killed in BTAD. Several thousand of them, displaced by the riots, are still lodged in relief camps.

Bodo extremist groups – some have laid down arms and are in ceasefire with the government – have no disagreement on the demand of “Bodoland state”. In fact, even the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), which rules the BTC and is led by former BLT leaders, raised the demand for a separate homeland both within and outside the Parliament from time to time. The Bodoland statehood movement has its genesis in the 1967 demand by Bodos – largest plains tribal group in the Northeast – for carving a Union Territory named Udayachal out of Assam. The demand was raised by the Plains Tribal Council of Assam following the realisation that tribal blocks and belts notified by the British were being acquired by rich immigrant landlords.…

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-who-is-to-be-blamed-for-the-assam-violence-1984844

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‘Was in hell for three months, threatened with electric chair’ – By Muzamil Jaleel (May 5, 2014, Indian Express)

After detaining him for two days, the NIA on Sunday released Fahath Ahmad Azmi, who, along with his father, Faizan Ahmad Azmi, was brought to Delhi from UAE on May 2 for allegedly providing logistics support to the Indian Mujahideen (IM). Speaking to The Indian Express after his release, Fahath alleged that he was made to sign an undertaking saying that he had gone to the NIA on his own and had no complaints against the officials.

“If they (NIA) knew there is nothing against me, why did they ruin my life? Why did I spend three months in a jail cell in Abu Dhabi before these two days of questioning here? I have been freed but they (NIA) have already taken my life away from me. The future of my entire family is uncertain now. There is nothing to look forward to,” he said.

While Fahath and his father were sent to India, their family – Fahath’s wife, two minor children and mother – has been told that their visas have been cancelled and they have a month to return to India. His family lives in Namiya district of Ajman, where they have “two restaurants, four embroidery shops and two laundry places”.

Fahath said their ordeal began on February 5, with a phone call from the CID at Ajman in UAE. “I had left home for Sharjah when my father called me and asked me to rush back. He told me there was a call from the CID in Ajman. They (CID) told my father that they wanted to talk to me regarding some business related issue and asked him to bring me to their office. We went and they (CID) immediately separated us. They took my two phones, keys and wallet. I had no idea what was the matter. In the last 13 years, I had one small incident with the police. It was a tiff with a policeman who withdrew his charges against me after I apologised. I was trying to recall who could go to the police against me,” said Fahath.

“They later blindfolded me and put me in a police car. I could hear my father coughing. We were taken to our home where they searched my car and our flat. They took the laptops, flash drives and scanned through our belongings. My mother, wife and children were there crying. The police didn’t tell them the reason for our arrest… But they let my father eat his dinner and take his medicines. He has serious diabetes, cardiac problems and high blood pressue. I thought we would be fine. I never imagined we would be in such a serious problem,” he said. Fahath said they were then taken to their office and other businesses where the Ajman CID men searched through everything. “By 4 am, we were taken to Abu Dhabi where we were kept in separate cells. My blindfold was taken off and I had no idea where my father was. It was a small room without a window. There was a CCTV camera, an exhaust and an AC. When the AC went off, it was impossible to breathe,” he said.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/was-in-hell-for-three-months-threatened-with-electric-chair/99/

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Book Review

The Fiction of Fact-Finding: Modi & Godhra

Author: Manoj Mitta
Reviewed by: KS Subramanian
Available at: Harper Collins Publishers, 2014, pp.259, Price Rs. 599 . http://www.amazon.in/
Review:
The Fiction of Fact-Finding: Modi & Godhra (May 3, 2014, Countercurrents)

In this remarkable and courageous book, Manoj Mitta (senior editor with the Times of India who writes on legal, human rights and public policy issues) mounts a devastating critique of the final report of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by RK Raghavan, the reports of the amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran, the Chief Minister and aspiring prime minister Narendra Modi, the Gujarat judiciary and by implication the state and central governments too for failing to deliver justice to the over 2000 victims of organised violence in the Gujarat pogrom, 2002, which caused extensive destruction of property as well.

The author goes into the voluminous new material produced by the SIT on the violence based on the complaint by Zakia Jafri, widow of Ehsan Jafri, who alleged, among other things, that Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 62 top police and administrative officials of the state were behind the conspiracy to commit massive collective violence against Muslims in the Gulberg Society area of Ahmedabad, resulting in the massacre of 69 persons including her husband. Mitta also evaluates the reports of the Supreme Court’s amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran. The work is a masterpiece of investigative journalism, which should lead to further legal and judicial effort to get at the truth and deliver justice to the victims.

The author identifies the violations of law perpetrated by the SIT in the name of investigating the crimes which took place in Gujarat, 2002; evaluates the reports of the amicus curiae; and notices the failings of the Supreme Court of India in discharging its basic Constitutional responsibilities to the people. The SIT’s final report to the trial court in February 2012 missed critical pieces of evidence, which slipped through the cracks in the investigation; failed to connect the dots, viewed issues in isolation and downplayed their significance; freed the main accused Narendra Modi and his associates from criminal culpability; failed to meaningfully address the suggestions put forward by the amicus curiae; and neglected other verifiable, irrefutable evidence. The author concludes that there was sufficient evidence in the material to file a charge sheet. Instead the SIT submitted a not-guilty closure report.

The Supreme Court had forwarded Zakia Jafri’s complaint to the SIT on April 27 2009. Though section 154 of the CrPC provides scope for the registration of First Information Report (FIR) on discovery of a ‘cognisable offence’ , the SIT failed to register a case but embarked on an elaborate and deceptive ‘preliminary enquiry’ lasting 12 months and recorded 163 statements of witnesses. Inexplicably, even after a prolonged preliminary enquiry, the SIT obtained permission of the Supreme Court to conduct ‘further investigation’. After a further long drawn out period of enquiry, including an earlier farcical ‘interrogation’ of the prime accused in the Jafri-related complaint, the SIT filed an absurd closure report on February 8 2012 exonerating everyone involved in the case for want of ‘prosecutable evidence’.

In what follows, we examine briefly the author’s analysis of the infructuous and apparently politically motivated investigation of the case by the SIT; his take on the observations and suggestions of the amicus curiae; and his argument that the Supreme Court itself was partly to blame for the impunity made possible by the SIT’s unsatisfactory interrogation of Narendra Modi and the selection of an unsuitable candidate for the position of SIT chief (chapters 5 and 7). The gripping chapter 3 on ‘Gujarat model of justice’ explains that the partisan role of the Gujarat police in the Best Bakery and the Bilkis Bano cases impelled setting up of the SIT by the Supreme Court to look into and take appropriate legal action on the allegations in Zakia Jafri’s complaint on state complicity in communal violence across 14 of the 25 districts in the state. The complaint was an acid test to the SIT’s independence and integrity. The SIT was provided a mix of three serving police officers from Gujarat and two retired ones from outside the state, which included the Chairman. …

http://www.countercurrents.org/subramanian030514.htm

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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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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 2nd, 2012

April 2, 2012

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Indian American Group strongly condemns Bihar government’s stand on Forbesganj firing, reiterates demand for justice for victims Communal Harmony Punjab Intellectuals Call For Communal Harmony News Headlines US City Council passes resolution condemning 2002 Gujarat riots Both Nanavati sons are govt lawyers! Now Modi govt gets it […]

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