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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 8th, 2016

by newsdigest on August 19, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Book Review

2002 post-Godhra riots: 11 get life term for killing a man, daughter in Mehsana (Aug 5, 2016, Indian Express)

The Gujarat High Court Thursday awarded life imprisonment to 11 convicts for burning a man and his daughter to death in Mehsana district during the 2002 post-Godhra riots. The High Court reversed the order of a fast-track trial court which had acquitted all the accused in June, 2005, for want of evidence. This was challenged in the Gujarat High Court by the complainants and the state government.

The division bench of justice A S Dave and justice B N Karia pronounced the quantum of sentence while awarding life imprisonment to all the 11 convicts – Mukesh Amritlal Patel, Narendra Chimanlal Patel, Dinesh Jaswantbhai Patel, Kirit Somabhai Patel, Kirit Chandubhai Patel, Girish Ambalal Patel, Girish Chunnilal Patel, Mukesh Mahendrabhai Patel, Nilesh Naranbhai Patel, Janak Rameshbhai Patel and Mukesh Somabhai Patel.

The bench said that the sentences should run concurrently and not consecutively and ordered the convicts to surrender in 10 weeks.… The court supported the prosecution’s claim that the man and his daughter were chased by the mob, dragged from their Hindu neighbour’s house and burnt to death. According to the case details, the victims tried to douse the fire from a water tank in the compound of the Hindu neighbour, but the mob came back again and killed them.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/godhra-riots-11-get-life-imprisonment-for-killing-father-daughter-duo-in-gujarat-village-2953508/

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Sri Rama Sene activists ‘Raid’ at Karnataka school over Urdu, Arabic classes: 13 more arrested (Aug 2, 2016, Business Standard)

Thirteen more Sri Rama Sene activists were today arrested in connection with the “raid” on a school near here over alleged forcible teaching of Urdu and Arabic languages, taking the total of arrests in the case to 16, police said.

They were arrested on the charge of trespassing into the St Thomas Aided Higher Primary School in Bondantila near here on July 30. Around 50 Sri Rama Sene activists had raided the school for ‘forcibly’ teaching Arabic and Urdu to students. On a complaint from the school headmaster, three activists were arrested yesterday.

Meanwhile, the headmaster said that classes (in Urdu and Arabic) were being conducted for 40 students everySaturdayon the request of parents. Chief Whip of the Congress in the state Legislative Council Ivan D’ Souza condemned the raid by the activists. In a statement, D’Souza said he had asked the city police to be tough against groups trying to disturb peace and tranquility.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/raid-at-karnataka-school-13-more-arrested-116080201656_1.html

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No links between Naik, terror outfits, govt tells House (Aug 3, 2016, Deccan Herald)

No links between the controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and terrorist organisations have come to notice, the government informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

In a written reply, Minister of State for Home, Hansraj Ahir, said reports indicated that some known terrorists have reportedly been inspired by Naik, the president of IRF.

He said IRF was registered under the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act, 2010, and foreign contributions and their utilisation were checked. In case of violations, Ahir said, action will be taken under the provisions of the Act.…

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/561942/no-links-naik-terror-outfits.html

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Nayeemuddin, wanted by CBI in Sohrabuddin ‘fake’ encounter case gunned down (Aug 8, 2016, Times of India)

Renegade Maoist Md Nayeemuddin, wanted by CBI in Sohrabuddin Sheik’s fake encounter case was gunned down by Telangana police at Shadnagar town near Hyderabad on Monday morning.

Late on Sunday night, the special police team of Telangana State police had rounded up a house located at millennium Township in Shadnagar town of Mahbubnagar district after receiving an alert about the movement of renegade Maoist Md Nayeemuddin.

On Monday morning, a gun man of Nayeemuddin opened fire on the police and in the resultant encounter, Nayeemuddin was gunned down, Telangana DGP Anurag Sharma said.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/53596529.cms

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Court rejects plea of Akhlaq’s family (Aug 3, 2016, The Hindu)

The Fast Track Court of Gautam Buddh Nagar on Tuesday rejected the Akhlaq family’s petition for further investigation into his lynching. Yusuf Saifi, the counsel for Bishahra lynching victim Mohammad Akhlaq, had in his petition requested further investigation in view of the, “fresh facts revealed by the villagers’ petition for a case of cow slaughter” against Akhlaq’s family.…

Mr. Saifi said three more residents of Bisada, who testified during the hearing of cow slaughter petition and had confessed to having been present at the spot during the time of the incident, should be included in the list of accused. “Three people, Sanjay Rana, Kancchi and Ompal, had confessed during the proceedings that they were present at the spot. Kancchi and Ompal testified in the court that they had caught hold of Akhlaq, while Sanjay said he called the police,” said Mr Saifi. “We brought it to court’s notice that it should direct the police to add their names in the FIR.”

Eighteen persons, including three juveniles, have been arrested on charges of murder and assault in the case. “Interestingly, while trying to prove that Akhlaq slaughtered a cow, the three above named people had actually confessed to their role in the crime as well. Sanjay Rana is the father of Vishal Rana, who is an accused in the case,” he added.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/court-rejects-plea-of-akhlaqs-family/article8935270.ece

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Punjab: Crackdown on ‘cow vigilantes’, Gau Raksha Dal chief booked (Aug 8, 2016, Indian Express)

In a crackdown on pseudo cow vigilantes, the Patiala Police on Monday lodged an FIR against ‘Gau Raksha Dal’ chief Satish Kumar in connection with a social media video showing organisation members “brutally” thrashing people in the name of cow protection.…

An FIR was lodged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC); however, Kumar is yet to be arrested.

In his first comments on the violence against Dalits by cow vigilantes, Prime Minister Modi has also asked the state governments to prepare dossiers on the so-called cow protectors as 80 percent of them do illegal activities at night and become cow protectors in the day.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/crackdown-on-cow-vigilantes-gau-raksha-dal-chief-booked-2961138/

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15 policemen suspended over Dalit’s death (Aug 5, 2016, The Hindu)

Fifteen policemen were suspended and some of them booked for murder in Kanpur district after a Dalit youth was found dead in custody under suspicious circumstances on Thursday.

A case has been registered against the police personnel under the stringent Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the IPC Section 302 (murder) after relatives of the Dalit youth lodged a complaint.

Kamal Valmiki, in his mid-twenties, was reportedly picked up by police in Chakeri area late on Tuesday night along with his brother for questioning in a looting case. Another person, Raju Mistry, had also been apprehended along with them. On Thursday, Kamal was found dead in custody by his sister.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/cops-suspended-in-kanpur-after-dalit-man-dies-in-custody/article8947473.ece

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Dalit scholar demands action against Hyderabad University VC, takes on Sangh forces (Aug 8, 2016, New Indian Express)

Dalit scholar Kancha Ilaiah today lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking a stand on the ‘gau rakshak’ forces but said that the latter must immediately sack Hyderabad University’s vice-chancellor Appa Rao if he is really serious and ensure that the Rohith Vemula issue makes justice.

Ilaiah, however, said that the Prime Minister’s statement has come too late as a large number of attacks on Dalits are happening in the country.… “And this was the place where Rohith Vemula was killed and then Raja Singh has been creating problem around ‘gau rakhshak’ in this very state from his own party which has become a national issue. So, I think if the Prime Minister is really serious, he has to immediately remove at least Mr. Appa Rao from his position and see that the Rohith Vemula issue makes justice,” he added.

Ilaiah also demanded action against BJP MLA Raja Singh, who had defended the cow vigilantes with his assertion that those who consume cow meat are bringing “disgrace” to the entire community and should be “taught a lesson”.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Dalit-scholar-demands-action-against-Hyderabad-University-VC-takes-on-Sangh-forces/2016/08/08/article3569477.ece

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In one voice, opposition says Modi’s anguish about atrocities against dalits is ‘fake’ (Aug 8, 2016, Times of India)

Opposition parties on Monday said they were unimpressed with PM Narendra Modi’s speeches over the weekend when he dramatically urged that instead of committing atrocities against Dalits people should just shoot him.

The BSP, SP and the Congress said his anguish about atrocities against Dalits is not real. “PM Modi and the BJP kept quiet for two years. How have their eyes opened now? Uttar Pradesh and other states have elections soon, and they knew that Dalit people are not going to vote for them, that’s why the statement has come,” Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said.…

The Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav accused the PM of political opportunism. “Now that he sees that it’s going to cost him, then he brings the (dalit) issue to the forefront,” said Akhilesh, Uttar Pradesh chief minister.… The opposition Congress party also criticized him for evading questions in Parliament about atrocities against Dalits.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/53595876.cms

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‘Fake’ cow vigilantes extort money in MP (Aug 8, 2016, Hindustan Times)

Police and some Muslim cattle traders have said that certain people posing as cow vigilantes in Madhya Pradesh are indulging in extortion, especially from the minority community, an allegation dismissed by those affiliated to Hindu outfits, who distanced themselves from those indulging in violence and extortion.…

“This has developed as a business in the last few years. Many of them have turned ‘crorepatis’. Some lower level policemen are also involved in this activity and get a share from these gau-rakshaks,” said another senior police officer, requesting anonymity.

Masood Ahmed Khan, secretary, coordination committee for Indian Muslims, MP unit, said Muslim meat traders were being harassed by the so-called gau-rakshaks.… “Most of the people who are stopped on highways are from Muslim community. The aim is to extort money,” said a Muslim leader of Nimar, requesting anonymity. “There are some people who earn 50,000-60,000 per month just by intercepting these trucks. Most of the victims fear to speak against them and hence the issue never reaches police. Police also know what is going on, but they get their cut,” he said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/bhopal/fake-cow-vigilantes-extort-money-in-mp/story-4j5X6gzwJtBUKGYPczDO1H.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Why Modi’s Lambasting Of Cow Vigilantes Was Mere Lip Service – By Sanam Sharma (Aug 8, 2016, Huffington Post)

…Tall promises were made about a potential “Modi Sarkar” and the people bought in. Narendra Modi’s claim to power was built on two significant pledges. First, he professed to having a “56-inch chest” necessary for fronting a nation such as India. Second, he made a solemn promise to usher in “acchhe din”, or good days, for India and all Indians. More than two years on, Mr Modi and his government have miserably failed on both counts.… Honourable Prime Minister of India, you have remained markedly absent as the leader of the nation in taking a meaningful stance against the growing communal tensions within India. To be brutally honest, such tensions seem to have grown under your government.

So it was a bit surprising when recently, for the first time, you chose to denounce the so-called “cow vigilantes” and spoke up for the Dalits and the marginalized. That you chose to publicly speak against this breed of hooligans is worthy of appreciation, but, the message itself came across as half-baked. It came across as a token rebuke uttered by a Prime Minister who perhaps was advised by his media experts to “say something” before it all gets out of hand.

Your castigation, Mr. Modi, of the “self-styled cow vigilantes” is an arbitrary, bracketed tirade towards one creed of criminals. If one was to read between the lines, you continue to remain silent about the bigger outfit of thugs and bigots who propagate such communal crimes and are affiliated to your political party. Your derision does not identify this matter as a law and order issue where citizens are being insulted, injured, and lynched. Instead, through carefully placed words, your message tries to demarcate the “correct” way of retaining communal divisions.…

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/sanam-sharma/why-modis-lambasting-of-cow-vigilantes-was-mere-lip-service/

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Narendra Modi’s brotherly words for Dalits make his silence on Muslims ring louder – By Shivam Vij (Aug 8, 2016, Quartz India)

India’s hyper-communicative prime minister is known to keep his lips sealed on the misdeeds of his Hindu nationalist fellow-travellers. Last weekend, he made a departure in light of the brutality in his home state, Gujarat, where self-styled cow protectors flogged seven Dalitswho were skinning a dead cow on July 11.…

This rearguard action may not have been needed if Modi had spoken up earlier when Muslims were being killed – not just flogged – by a similar set of thugs.… In September 2015, a mob in Dadri, an hour’s drive from Delhi, lynched 52-year-old Mohammed Akhlaque on suspicion of eating cow meat. Like with the Una incident, it took Modi many days to comment.… It didn’t matter to him that the accused in Akhlaque’s lynching were associated with his Bhartiya Janata Party. Nor was he outraged at his own ministerial colleagues trivialising the incident.…

Such vigilantes have been assaulting Muslims increasingly often. On July 30, a mob in Muzaffarnagar in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) attacked the house of a Muslim family over cow slaughter. On July 26, a mob at a railway station in central India’s Madhya Pradesh state beat up two Muslim women suspected to be carrying beef. On March 18, two Muslim cattle traders were killed and hanged from a tree in Jharkhand state, neighbouring UP. Last October, a suspected cattle-smuggler – again, a Muslim – was lynched in Himachal Pradesh. At least four Muslim deaths in the name of the cow within a year and Modi was blaming state governments.… In short, Modi’s words of concern for Dalits, while appreciated, make his silence for Muslims ring louder.

http://qz.com/752841/narendra-modis-brotherly-words-for-dalits-make-his-silence-on-muslims-ring-louder/

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Open Season for Bullies – Editorial (Aug 6, 2016, EPW)

The lynch mobs of right-wing Hindu nationalists have become more brazen than before. Lynching is defined as an act of extrajudicial punishment by a group, usually an informal one. Vigilante gangs who take the law into their own hands have been rather active in recent times: from Dadri in Uttar Pradesh when a mob killed Mohammad Akhlaq in September 2015 for allegedly storing beef in his home to July 2016 when four young Dalit men were publicly flogged in Una, Gujarat, on the unsubstantiated suspicion that they had killed a cow.

The lynch mentality that pervades sections of the current ruling regime has gone beyond turning a blind eye towards their supporters who physically attack the weak and the vulnerable. Those in positions of power and authority are tacitly and overtly encouraging the intimidation of those whose views are different from theirs. The message that is being sought to be conveyed is loud and clear: do not meddle with us; we can make your life miserable.…

The likes of Parrikar and Goswami, different as they may appear, are emboldened because of the deafening silence of our otherwise loquacious Prime Minister.… The clear pattern that has emerged today has a context. The “teach them a lesson” mentality led to the massacre of Sikhs in Delhi in November 1984, the killing of Muslims in the wake of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992, especially in Mumbai, and the communal riots in Gujarat in 2002 and in Muzaffarnagar in 2013. When such an attitude is endorsed by those who rule, it becomes open season for those who threaten, maim and murder. Cyberbullying mirrors and becomes reflections of what happens on the ground. The question that needs to be raised: Does Modi’s silence suggest complicity?

http://www.epw.in/journal/2016/32/editorials/open-season-bullies.html

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RSS man who said Una Dalit thrashing was a “law and order problem” is the new Gujarat chief minister – By Rajiv Shah (Aug 5, 2016, Counterview)

…An RSS cadre jailed during the Emergency, one who strongly believes that there has to be a Hindutva backdrop to every political action and developmental policy, Rupani, as state BJP president, however, is seen to be a failure in establishing direct rapport with Dalits, protesting against the thrashing of four Dalit boys for skinning a dead cow on July 11.

Rupani calls the thrashing incident a “law and order problem” which has been “blown out of proportion”, adding caste is “not an issue in Gujarat.” Said a party insider, “The BJP’s Dalit leaders are unhappy, despite belonging to a region where the incident took place (Saurashtra), Rupani never visited Una, nor did he meet the four Dalit victims when they were under treatment in Ahmedabad.”…

Even before a chief minister was announced, (Nitin) Patel ensured that his profile was sent out to newspaper offices, posters welcoming him as chief minister were put up in Mehsana, his home district, and his wife began distributing sweets.…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/08/rss-man-who-said-una-dalit-thrashing-is.html

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Quit India Movement And The Hindutva Gang: A Story Of Betrayal – By Shamsul Islam (Aug 7, 2016, Countercurrents)

This August 8, 2016, we are commemorating the 74th anniversary of the Quit India Movement [QIM].… However, what role the then Hindutva camp – consisting of the Hindu Mahasabha and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – played in the QIM is under wraps for reasons unknown. The Hindutva camp not only opposed QIM but also provided multi-faceted and multi-dimensional support to the British rulers in suppressing this historic mass upsurge. In this connection shocking documents are available; these should be read to be believed. ‘VEER’ SAVARKAR JOINED HANDS WITH THE BRITISH RULERS & MUSLIM LEAGUE IN SUPPRESSING QIM…

While the Congress cadres and large sections of the Indian masses were facing immense repression of the colonial rulers and decided to boycott the state institutions, the Hindu Mahasabha decided to cooperate with the British rulers. The other flag-bearer of Hindutva, the RSS, was not different in its attitude towards the QIM. It openly sided with its mentor ‘Veer’ Savarkar against this great revolt.…

These historical documented facts make it clear that Hindutva gang led by RSS not only betrayed QIM but also rendered great service to the British masters…. Shockingly, this gang is ruling India today describing itself as a symbol of Indian nationalism. We need to convey these facts to the Indians so that these traitors are exposed and charged for crimes committed against India.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/07/quit-india-movement-and-the-hindutva-gang-a-story-of-betrayal/

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GST passed: How fierce conflict between Congress, BJP changed into total consensus (Aug 3, 2016, First Post)

The Monsoon session of Parliament 2016 will go down in history as the one which passed the landmark The Constitution (122nd Amendment) (GST) Bill, 2014 with 203 Ayes and 0 Noes. The AIADMK which had wanted six amendments, as expected walked out after registering their point. All present and voting in Rajya Sabha were for passage of the Bill. No one opposed it.

That meets the constitutional requirement for a constitutional amendment bill – that it shall be passed by no less than half of the members of total strength of the House and no less than two-third of present and voting. Since the Rajya Sabha introduced a few amendments while passing the bill, the Lok Sabha will now have to pass the revised bill before the Monsoon session ends on 12 August. But given the numbers of the NDA in Lower House and all parties arriving at a larger consensus, its passage is not expected to be problematic.

With Congress and BJP moving from totally conflicting positions on the bill over the past few years to arriving at a virtual unanimity, the passage of the bill shall forever be quoted as a test case to all students of politics, economics and law.…

http://www.firstpost.com/business/gst-passed-how-fierce-conflict-between-congress-bjp-changed-into-total-consensus-2933298.html

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Book Review

Indian Nationalism versus Hindu Nationalism: Politics of the RSS Combine

Author: Ram Puniyani (with and Introduction by Richard Boney)
Reviewed by: Dr V Krishna Ananth
Available at: Pharos Media & Publishing Pvt Ltd, D-84 Abul Fazl Enclave-I, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi 110025 INDIA, 2016. Price Rs. 250.. http://www.pharosmedia.com/
Review:
History And Nation Making (Aug 5, 2016, Countercurrents)

…Ram Puniyani’s recent work, which is a revised and expanded version of his earlier work titled Fascism of Sangh Parivar is indeed one that belongs to the league of studies that seek to reiterate the importance of history as well as the pressing need in our times to save history from the hands of the negationist school (the followers of Konrad Elst in other words). That this school is now blessed with resources at the disposal of the state and a wide section of the media has turned into their handmaiden is a reality that calls for concerted attempts on the part of those who care for the democratic foundations of our nation. Puniyani certainly should be counted among those and the book under review is indeed a need of the times.

The concept of nationalism had assumed a lot of importance in the political discourse in the past two decades. L.K.Advani, who had emerged into the prime spokesperson of the Bharathiya Janata Party in the early 1990s (riding the Rath Yatra and thus placing the Ayodhya dispute on the centrestage of the nation’s politics) did not shy away from declaring that the struggle he led was between two approaches to nationalism; and that he represented the idea of cultural nationalism.

Puniyani’s work is an account of these conflicts and the distinct role of the RSS, since its inception, vis a vis the rising tide of nationalism spearheaded by the Indian National Congress. While most of these have been dealt with in works on the nationalist struggle in yesteryears the fact that the nation today is once again confronted by concerted attempts to deny the democratic foundations of this struggle and thus a rewriting of history to represent the idea of India as merely a cultural notion rooted in the Hindutwa context makes such a work necessary as well as a weapon in the struggle for democracy and the centrality of secularism in this trajectory.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/05/indian-nationalism-vs-hindutva-nationalism-politics-of-the-rss-combine/

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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

June 24, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony A run for amity in Muzaffarnagar Religious harmony: Hindus in UP to observe Ramadan fast with Muslim neighbours News Headlines Modi’s 365 day rule characterized by 1,618 cases of serious human rights violations: Civil society report FIR against Hindu Mahasabha leader Sadhvi Deva Thakur for remarks on […]

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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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