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Zakia Jafri

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – October 9th, 2017

by newsdigest on November 12, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Muslims forego Muharram procession to support cancer treatment of their Hindu neighbour in West Bengal (Oct 6, 2017, Times of India)

A Hindu man suffering from cancer in West Bengal’s Kharagpur district had no money for the treatment but his Muslim neighbours came forward with help. Abir Bhunia (35) is suffering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.

When the villagers heard Bhunia’s problem, the Muslims cancelled their Muharram procession all because they wanted to save the money and use it for the treatment of a Hindu neighbour. Samaj Sangha Club, a local club which organises Muharram procession in Kharagpur’s Puratan Bazar, raises around Rs 50,000 every year for the event. This year, they are raising the same amount, but for Bhunia.

Bhunia, a local mobile recharge shop owner, needs Rs 12 lakh for a treatment that includes bone marrow transplantation and is currently undergoing chemotherapy at Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre in the southern fringes of the city. “I don’t know whether I will recover from this disease or not. But what my neighbours did for me have touched my heart. I’m indebted to them,” Bhunia told EiSamay.…

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/60973115.cms

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Gujarat HC Allows Zakia Jafri to Appeal for New Probe in Modi’s Role in 2002 Riots (Oct 5, 2017, The Wire)

In what appears to be a silver lining in an otherwise adverse judgment for Zakia Jafri, the wife of Congress politician Ehsan Jafri who was killed by a mob in the Gulberg Society massacre in Ahmedabad during the 2002 anti-Muslim riots, the Gujarat high court on Thursday allowed her to move the courts to request a fresh investigation into the alleged criminal role of the then chief minister Narendra Modi and 61 others.

Zakia had moved the high court in 2014 against the closure report filed by the Supreme Court-appointed special investigative team (SIT). Zakia had also alleged in her petition that the 2002 riots were part of a larger conspiracy involving Modi and others.…

However, the high court allowed Zakia to demand a fresh investigation in the case – as sought by her in the petition – and overturned the trial court’s observations, which had ruled out another probe as it thought the SIT was monitored by the Supreme Court.… Effectively, the high court judgment has created an opening for Zakia to seek redressal at a lower court instead of the Supreme Court, which would have been her last stop for appeal.

https://thewire.in/184802/gujarat-hc-allows-zakia-jafri-appeal-new-probe-modis-role-2002-riots-reopening-debate-sit-report/

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Rahul Gandhi on Jay Shah’s business: Modiji, did you act as a watchman or were you a partner? (Oct 9, 2017, Indian Express)

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi pressed Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “say something” on claims in a media report that a company owned by BJP chief Amit Shah’s son saw a huge rise in its turnover after his party came to power in 2014. “Modiji, …Did you act as a watchman or were you a partner? Please say something,” Gandhi said on Twitter.

In another broadside against the BJP, the Congress leader had said yesterday, “We finally found the only beneficiary of Demonetisation. It’s not the RBI, the poor or the farmers. It’s the Shah-in-Shah of Demo. Jai Amit.” He had also tagged a copy of the news report on the issue in his tweet.

According to the report on a website, the turnover of Jay Amit Shah-owned Temple Enterprise zoomed by around 16,000 times during 2015-16 from around Rs 80 crore in the previous year. The charge was rejected by the BJP and Shah’s son, who termed the story “false, derogatory and defamatory”.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/rahul-gandhi-on-amit-shahs-son-modiji-did-you-act-as-a-watchman-or-were-you-a-partner-4881980/

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Five linked to Sanatan Sanstha are key suspects in Gauri Lankesh’s murder (Oct 6, 2017, Indian Express)

Five persons linked to the right-wing Sanatan Sanstha organisation, including four with Interpol red-corner notices against their names for their alleged involvement in a bomb blast in Madgaon in Goa in 2009, have emerged as key suspects in the murder of journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh outside her home in Bengaluru on September 5.

The five missing persons are: Praveen Limkar, 34, from Kolhapur; Jayaprakash alias Anna, 45, from Mangalore; Sarang Akolkar, 38, from Pune; Rudra Patil, 37, from Sangli and Vinay Pawar, 32, from Satara. They are among the key suspects being investigated by a Special Investigation Team of the Karnataka police as part of its probe into the murder of Lankesh.

The names of Rudra Patil, Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar had earlier emerged in the CBI investigation into the August 20, 2013 murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, 69, at Kolhapur in Maharashtra; in the Maharashtra SIT’s probe into the February 16, 2015 shooting of leftist thinker and rationalist Govind Pansare, 81 in Pune; and in the probe into the August 30, 2015 murder of Kannada scholar and researcher M M Kalburgi, 77, in Dharwad, Karnataka.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/five-linked-to-sanatan-sanstha-key-suspects-in-gauri-lankeshs-murder-4876649/

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Kancha Illaih’s Ordeal A Reflection Of Creeping Fascism In India Say Indian Americans (Oct 2, 2017, Countercurrents)

The Alliance for Justice And Accountability (AJA), an umbrella coalition of progressive organizations across the United States, today condemned the life-threatening attacks against renowned author and Dalit scholar Kancha Illaiah by members of the Arya Vysyas community.

The attack was an attempt on the life of the outspoken political philosopher who has authored several books including “Why I am not a Hindu,” “Buffalo Nationalism Post-Hindu India,” “Untouchable God,” among many others. The violence and ensuing death threats were apparently a response to the release of a chapter from his book on “Post-Hindu India.”

AJA has demanded court ordered 24-hour protection of Professor Kancha Illaiah, and accountability for those that threatened his life, under the full extent of the law. The role of the police, who failed to even file a First Information Report (FIR), on Prof. Illaiah’s complaint needs further scrutiny.… The Alliance for Justice and Accountability has pledged to work with people of all faiths to defend India from the onslaught of hate and divisiveness.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/10/02/kancha-illaihs-ordeal-a-reflection-of-creeping-fascism-in-india-say-indian-americans/

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UP: Two Hindus arrested for slaughtering cow to provoke communal riots by blaming Muslims (Oct 5, 2017, Siasat)

Two persons in their early twenties tried to create communal tension by cow slaughtering but the plans were foiled and have been arrested by the police. The incident happened on Monday at Bhatpurwa village in Katra Bazar in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda.

According to the police, the incident was deliberate and was planned keeping in mind the Moharram procession in the village to pollute the communal atmosphere by spreading the news of cow slaughter. Two culprits identified as Ramsevak Dixit and Mangli Dixit has been booked under the stringent National Security Act (NSA), police said. The duo stolen the cow belonging to Ganesh Prasad Dixit from the latter’s house and slaughtered the animal in a nearby field. Locals spotted them and alerted the police whose immediate action averted major communal violence.…

According to Indian Express, Station Officer of Katra Bazar police station D P Singh said, “Around 7 pm Sunday, a 12-year-old boy spotted Ram Sevak and Mangal slaughtering a cow in a field. The boy alerted locals who ran to the spot and also informed police. People caught hold of Ram Sevak, who was drunk, while Mangal managed to escape”.…

https://www.siasat.com/news/two-hindus-arrested-slaughtering-cow-provoke-communal-riots-blaming-muslims-1239345/

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Kerala CM Compares Amit Shah And RSS To ‘Wet Cracker’, Accuses BJP Of Attempting To Break Secularism In State (Oct 5, 2017, Outlook)

Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday dubbed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as “wet cracker.” This came after Shah held Vijayan directly responsible for killing of party and RSS workers in the state.

Claiming that the BJP is trying to break the secularism in the state, he said, “Amit Shah came and became like wet cracker here. The BJP is trying to break secularism with the power.”

“The BJP now shows the intolerance towards Kerala. Kerala does not have to learn any lesson on peace from you. The leaders also involved in the killing are carried out by RSS activists,” he added.…

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/kerala-cm-compares-amit-shah-and-rss-to-wet-cracker-accuses-bjp-of-attempting-to/302622

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Radhe Maa sits in SHO’s chair: Delhi cop in photo suspended, probe ordered (Oct 6, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Two Delhi Police officers were suspended on Thursday for “professional misconduct” in separate incidents involving controversial religious figure Radhe Maa, who was photographed seated in the official chair of a station house officer.

The widely circulated photo showed Sanjay Sharma, the SHO of Vivek Vihar, standing next to the seated self-styled ‘god-woman’ with folded hands with a red ‘chunri’ (stole) on his neck. He was in uniform.

A video also emerged showing assistant sub inspector Braj Bhushan singing into a microphone along with four other policemen at a nearby Ramlila event attended by Radhe Maa, known for her red robes and the ever-present trident in one hand. Deputy commissioner of police (Shahdara), Nupur Prasad, said Sharma and Bhushan were suspended after a preliminary probe found them guilty of professional misconduct.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/radhe-maa-sits-in-sho-s-chair-at-delhi-police-station-as-he-stands-with-folded-hands/story-tFJRoeTa3d27FfbArO48zI.html

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Savarkar, BJP’s most revered freedom fighter, “recruited” soldiers for British, when Netaji’s INA fought Raj rule (Oct 2, 2017, Counterview)

A recent journalistic investigation into the life of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1883-1966), whom BJP politicians revere more than any other freedom fighter, has claimed that at the time when Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was raising his Indian National Army (INA) to confront the British in India, Savarkar “helped the colonial government recruit lakhs of Indians into its armed forces.”

Carried out by independent journalist Pavan Kulkarni, the investigation quotes the report sent by then viceroy Lord Linlithgow about a meeting he had with Savarkar to the secretary of state, which said, “The situation, he [Savarkar] said, was that His Majesty’s government must now turn to the Hindus and work with their support…. Our interests were now the same and we must therefore work together…” Linghthow is also quoted as saying, “Our interests are so closely bound together, the essential thing is for Hinduism and Great Britain to be friends and the old antagonism was no longer necessary. The Hindu Mahasabha he (Savarkar) went on to say favoured an unambiguous undertaking of Dominion status at the end of the war.”

“Two months later”, according to Kulkarni, “Addressing the Mahasabha’s Calcutta session, Savarkar urged all universities, colleges and schools to ‘secure entry into military forces for youths in any and every way’. When Gandhi had launched his individual satyagraha the following year, Savarkar, at the Mahasabha session held in December 1940 in Madura, encouraged Hindu men to enlist in ‘various branches of British armed forces en masse’.”…

http://www.counterview.net/2017/10/savarkar-bjps-most-revered-freedom.html

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RSS resorting to attack Muslims, Dalits across the country: Prakash Karat (Oct 8, 2017, Siasat)

The CPM senior leader Prakash Karat has alleged that the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak (RSS) indulging in attacks on Muslims and Dalits across the nation.

Addressing a program “Neo-liberal policies, authoritarianism, communal policies-alternatives” organized by the CPM, on the occasion of centenary celebrations of its leader late Moturi Hanumantha Rao here on Sunday, Prakash Karat said that the BJP availed the neo-liberal policies and also Communalism for its political mileage. Prakash Karat alleged that RSS was rubbing the policies of Hindutva organizations on people.

The RSS was rearing communalism; Karat said and alleged that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has allocated Cabinet portfolios to the MPs having business activities related to the same portfolio. He stated that intrusions increased after surgical strikes.

https://www.siasat.com/news/rss-resorting-attack-muslims-dalits-across-country-prakash-karat-1240405/

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Dalit man beaten to death for attending garba event in Gujarat, 8 booked (Oct 1, 2017, Hindustan Times)

A 21-year-old Dalit man was allegedly beaten to death by a group of men belonging to the upper caste Patel community for attending a garba event in Gujarat’s Anand district in the early hours on Sunday, police said. The incident took place around 4 am.

Jayesh Solanki, cousin Prakash Solanki and two other Dalit men were sitting near a house adjacent to a temple in Bhadrania village when a person made “derogatory remarks about their caste”, police said quoting a complaint filed in connection with the incident.

The accused said Dalits “do not have any right to watch garba. He made casteist remarks and asked some men to come to the spot”, an officer at the Bhadran police station said. The upper caste men allegedly thrashed the Dalits and banged Jayesh’s head against a wall, the officer said.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/dalit-man-beaten-to-death-for-attending-garba-event-in-gujarat-8-booked/story-Yk2LkmLKfEX6fIdmlyPtrM.html

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Opinions and Editorials

Relief for 11 Godhra death row convicts – Editorial (Oct 10, 2017, Free Press Journal)

Two years after hearings were concluded in the Godhra train burning case, the Gujarat High Court has upheld the death sentence of 20 convicts, commuted the death penalty of 11 and ordered the State government to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the families of those who died in the carnage. The burning of a bogie in the train had resulted in 59 people, mostly ‘kar sevaks’ returning from Ayodhya being charred on February 27, 2002 at the Godhra station, triggering riots in the state.

That the burning incident was the result of a conspiracy hatched by the perpetrators had earlier been established by the Nanavati Commission appointed by the Gujarat government. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) court appointed by the apex court had on March 1, 2011 convicted 31 people and acquitted 63 in the case. While 11 people were sentenced to death, 20 were given life in jail. Later, several appeals were filed in the High Court challenging the conviction, while the state government had questioned the acquittal of 63 people.

A bench of Justices AS Dave and Justice GR Udhwani on Monday observed that the state government had failed to maintain law and order, and directed the State to pay compensation within six weeks. The question of compensation had not been considered by the trial court.…

http://www.freepressjournal.in/analysis/relief-for-11-godhra-death-row-convicts/1151173

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What is Actually Behind the BJP-RSS Combine’s Holy War Declared on Kerala – By Shamsul Islam (Oct 9, 2017, News Click)

The RSS-dominated BJP rulers of India have finally woken up against violence! You are grossly mistaken if you believe that they are seeking forgiveness for large scale killing/ raping/ maiming/ robbing people of the minorities specially Muslims and Christians in 1992-3 (nation-wide carnage of Muslims before and after demolition of a mosque at Ayodhya), 1998 (wide-spread violence against Christians in Gujarat), 2002 (carnage of Muslims in Gujarat) and Kandhmal, Orissa violence of 2007-8 (cleansing of Christians in the area).

The RSS/BJP rulers have not expressed any intention of discarding or checking the present spate of violence against minorities in the name of cow, love-jihad, ghar wapsi (forcible conversion of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism) and allegiance to Hindutva. There has been no respite in violence against Dalits too. In fact, in last three years incident of violence against Dalits has escalated by around 300%. Casteist, criminal and patriarchal elements are having free run in inflicting violence against women.…

The rulers marching under the banner of Hindutva have declared war against Kerala government by launching a strident Jan Raksha Yatra . It is not that only the left, CPM-run government of the state that is under attack. The whole of the Kerala society, its ethos and culture is under attack. The national leadership of RSS/BJP has descended on Kerala to fight the Left, to be specific, the CPM for ‘perpetrating violence’. The UP chief minister Mahant Yogi Adityanath who has many criminal cases pending against him in UP courts is at the forefront, the commander of this Hindutva juggernaut.…

https://newsclick.in/what-actually-behind-bjp-rss-combines-holy-war-declared-kerala

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Trying to Reopen Gandhi’s Murder Probe is Part of an Orchestrated Campaign of Lies – By Tushar A. Gandhi (Oct 7, 2017, The Wire)

The ideology that supported and inspired Nathuram Godse has launched a concerted campaign to justify Mahatma Gandhi’s murder. For seven decades, the proponents of this ideology have orchestrated their lies so successfully that a large segment of the Indian populace may even believe them.

Now they have taken it to the next level, to spread doubts about the murder itself. The Supreme Court recently heard a plea requesting a reinvestigation into Gandhi’s murder. The Court has appointed an amicus curiae and has set the next hearing for October 30. I am surprised the court did not dismiss such a blatantly frivolous plea out of hand.

This is not the first time an attempt is being made to sow disinformation and create confusion about the Gandhi murder. This is a part of a well thought out strategy of the Hindu right-wing, which provided the ideological inspiration to his murderers. Last year a petition was filed in the Bombay high court seeking a reopening of the investigation into Gandhi’s murder. The petitioner – Pankaj Phadnis, a researcher with Abhinav Bharat – alleged that there was another shooter, that there was a fourth bullet and alluded to the presence of a mysterious foreigner.…

https://thewire.in/185347/trying-to-reopen-gandhis-murder-probe-is-part-of-an-orchestrated-campaign-of-lies/

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India becoming dangerous for intellectuals, social activists – By Pushkar Raj (Oct 6, 2017, Asia Times)

When journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead in front of her house early last month, quite a few writers and social activists in India must have felt a chill down their spines as the country steadily becomes a dangerous place for intellectuals.

Gauri was a journalist turned social activist based in Bangalore, the technological capital of India. She was the fourth activist to be killed in that region in as many years, whose killers have not yet been apprehended despite the fact that the opposition Congress party leads the government in Karnataka state.

There have been a spate of killings of intellectuals and writers in the country in recent years. Narendra Dabholkar, a rationalist activist, was killed in August 2013, after lobbying for social reform against superstitions such as black magic and child sacrifice. Govind Pansare, a left-wing politician and author of the best-selling book Shivaji Kon Hota, was killed in February 2015 after being an outspoken critic of communalism in society.…

http://www.atimes.com/india-becoming-dangerous-intellectuals-social-activists/

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Why does Akhila@Hadiya need a custodian at all? – By Supriya Juneja , Drishti S Harpalani (Oct 5, 2017, Indian Express)

Akhila, now known as Hadiya, has had to face harsh public and media scrutiny not only because she chose to convert from Hinduism to the Islamic faith, but also due to her gender. In January 2016, 24-year old Akhila left her parental home in Kerala to convert from Hinduism to Islam. Her father, Asokan K.M., filed a habeas corpus petition before the Kerala High Court, alleging that his daughter had been taken away and he was unaware of her whereabouts. He demanded that she be produced.

So Hadiya appeared before the High Court through her lawyer and gave a sworn affidavit stating that she had left her parental home voluntarily. Since she was now an adult, she said, she was well within her rights to choose a religion of her choice and follow a faith which appealed to her. The High Court, after interacting with Hadiya was of the opinion that she was no under any illegal confinement, and accordingly permitted her to live at a place of her choice. However, in August 2016, Hadiya’s father once again approached the High Court with a habeas corpus writ, alleging that his daughter had been forced to convert to Islam and was possibly being taken out of the country by Muslim extremist organisations.…

The girl, after attaining majority, is under no obligation under law to be in the protective custody of her father and has the absolute right to choose the religion of her choice; the parents under such circumstances have no right to question the choices of their daughter. When a major girl exercises her fundamental right under Article 21 by choosing her partner, the Court cannot resist such an expression of opinion. Whether or not the decision is against the wishes of her parents, but when a fundamental right is exercised by a major girl, the Court will have to enforce the same.

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/sc-bench-gives-relief-to-hadiya-but-remains-regressive-kerala-love-jihad-akhila-4873635/

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‘Police Chased Us Even Into Our Hostel Rooms. We Want An Apology From The V-C’ – Pragya Singh interviews Seema (Oct 9, 2017, Outlook)

…All of a sudden, the police rained lathis on us—on our backs, or feet, our hands, our heads. They were beating us mercilessly. The students started running, and some of them went inside their hostels and the police chased them there also and beat them up.…

It was absolutely unexpected. The injured girls mostly just went home with their injuries. That is why the extent of the lathicharge is understated in the media also. The girls were mostly too shaken to reveal what had been done.…

Actually, the police were raining down blows indiscriminately. They hit girls on the head, arms, torso, wherever they wanted. You see, some of the injuries are on the back, thighs and stomach and the girls are unable to show them to the media or even talk about them. They were in fact catching hold of girls, surrounding them and then beating them up. They were also beating up boys.…

https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/police-chased-us-even-into-our-hostel-rooms-we-want-an-apology-from-the-v-c/299366

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 28th, 2015

by newsdigest on January 2, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup 

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

They pray for peace and communal harmony (Dec 26, 2015, The Hindu)

The bells tolled, the priests led special mass, the faithful recited prayers and there was a measured celebration all round as Christians heralded the birth of Christ in a revered manner in the dioceses of Thanjavur and Kumbakonam.…

Children dressed as angels brought the icon of Infant Jesus and handed over to the Rector who placed it in the crib. Thousands of devotees offered prayers during the midnight mass when world peace was sought and the victims of the recent floods were remembered.

Significantly, separate mass were held in Tamil, English, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi. Hundreds of faithful from the region congregated at the Poondi Madha Basilica where Rector A. Amirthasamy celebrated the special midnight Christmas Mass in the presence of Vice-Rector Rev. Alphonse. Those who gathered for the prayers shared sweets even as they prayed for world peace and communal harmony.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/they-pray-for-peace-and-communal-harmony/article8030653.ece

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Congress didn’t let Sonia meet Zakia Jafri after riots: 2002 ‘whistleblower’ (Dec 28, 2015, Indian Express)

Congress president Sonia Gandhi planned to visit Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the post-Godhra riots of 2002, but was prevented from doing so by party leaders, claims retired DGP R B Sreekumar, in his book Gujarat: Behind the Curtain which was released last week.…

Terming the conduct of the Congress leadership at the state and Centre during the course and aftermath of the riots as “quite vacillatingly obnoxious”, Sreekumar writes, “Soulless secularism and over-sensitivity to Hindu sentiments presumably prompted Congress leaders to block the plans of Congress president Sonia Gandhi to visit Zakia Jafri… during her Gujarat visit after the riots, for expressing condolence.”…

The former police officer accuses the UPA government of “not releasing copies of letters sent by President K R Narayanan to Prime Minister A B Vajpayee on Gujarat riots”, and of not providing reports of the Central intelligence bureau to the judicial commission probing the riots. He alleges that the Manmohan Singh regime also ignored demands for a separate judicial commission to probe the chief minister (Modi).…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/congress-didnt-let-sonia-meet-zakia-jafri-after-riots-2002-whistleblower/

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BJP MLA & MP involved in spreading communal tensions in Shamli; were present on dais when Prophet Muhammad was ridiculed (Dec 28, 2015, India.com)

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit in Uttar Pradesh faces yet another allegation of stoking communal tensions in the state, as two of its senior most leaders are reported to be lately involved in spreading hatred against Muslim community in the sensitive region of Shamli. BJP MP Hukum Singh and MLA Suresh Rana are accused of being involved in the mahapanchayat organized on Friday, where an influential sadhu Jasveer Maharaj went on to make defamatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad, apart from ridiculing the local Muslims.

Uttar Pradesh police swung into action, after infuriated Muslims gheraoed the Kandhla police station, demanding FIR against Hukum Singh, Suresh Rana and Jasveer Maharaj. Local Muslim cleric Ahtramul Hasan demanded demanded charges of NSA being labelled against them.

Kairana MP Singh, and Thana Bhawan MLA Rana (both constituents of Shamli) were present on dais when, Swami Jasveer Maharaj went into vitriolic mode and delivered inflammatory speech against Prophet Muhammad.…Jasveer Maharaj, who heads the Hindu ashram in Shamli warned Muslims in the locality of dire consequences if they do not mend their ways. “They should remember what Hindus did to them in Kawal and Meerapur (during 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots) where thousands of Muslims were rushed into refugee camps within 16 hours.”

http://www.india.com/news/india/bjp-mla-were-present-on-dais-when-prophet-muhammad-was-ridiculed-817822/

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BJP leader’s son Vishal Rana and cousin named ‘main conspirators’ in Dadri lynching chargesheet (Dec 24, 2015, First Post)

Nearly three months after Mohammed Akhlaq, 52, was beaten to death and his son almost crippled by a mob in Dadri for allegedly storing beef in their refrigerator at home, Gautambudh Nagar police on Wednesday filed a chargesheet against 15 people, including a minor, but there was no mention of beef in it. What is there though, is the name of Vishal Rana, son of a local BJP leader, and cousin Shivam as the main conspirators who led the mob to Akhlaq’s house and assaulted the family, reports The Indian Express.

Akhlaq died in a Noida hospital. Danish is recovering after severe head injuries and complicated surgery. Akhlaq’s daughter, Shaishta, has been made the prime witness in the case. “Charge sheet has been filed against 15 persons. Additional charge sheet will be filed against few more persons whose names figured in the statement of Akhlaq’s daughter, Shaishta, recorded before the court. Two persons were arrested today while two others are absconding,” deputy superintendent of police Anurag Singh said.

“Forensic report is yet to be received on whether the meat sample taken from the fridge of the deceased’s house was that of goat or cow. In the chargesheet it is stated that the accused persons had attacked the house of Akhlaq after announcement from the temple about cow slaughtering. The accused had found pieces of meat stored in fridge and they had claimed it to be that of beef,” Singh said.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/bjp-leaders-son-vishal-rana-named-in-dadri-lynching-chargesheet-2557944.html

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Worry About ‘Your ISIS’, BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav Tells Muslim Al Jazeera Anchor (Dec 26, 2015, Huffington Post)

BJP’s national general secretary Ram Madhav may have set the party up for embarrassment during an interview with Al Jazeera presenter and journalist Mehdi Hasan. Ironically, Madhav had clearly agreed to be a part of a segment titled, ‘Is Modi’s India flirting with fascism?’ to defend the government against such allegations.

During the course of the interview, Madhav told the Muslim anchor, ‘your ISIS’ while trying to make a point about his apprehensions about the terror group acquiring nuclear weapons. Hasan, not willing to let go easily, exclaimed, ‘My ISIS’ thrice, as Madhav fumbled and tried to correct his course. The BJP leader didn’t apologise but went on to explain, ‘What I was trying to say is ISIS…’ However, the damage had been done.…

At the beginning, Hasan asked about the instances of communal violence in the country and atrocities against minorities, citing government data. However, Madhav sought to correct him saying it was wrong data. When Hasan retorted that he was quoting government data, the BJP leader said that the anchor had old data and new figures showed that violence against minorities had declined during Modi’s tenure. Hasan persisted with his argument and reminded Madhav that the National Crime Records Bureau had questioned the said ‘new’ data.…

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2015/12/26/ram-madhav_0_n_8878510.html

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Bajrang Dal leader arrested for threatening on Facebook to rape and kill social worker (Dec 29, 2015, First Post)

A local Bajrang Dal leader has been arrested for allegedly posting hate comments on Facebook against a social worker who had filed a police complaint against the outfit for ‘stalling’ the screening of Shah Rukh Khan-starrerDilwale at three theatres in Mangaluru. Mangaluru East (Kadri) police arrested Puneet Raj Kottari, the city co-convener of Bajrang Dal, following a complaint against him and 21 others by Vidya Dinker, said police commissioner S Murugan.

Activists of the right-wing outfit had stopped the screening of the film at theatres here from 20 December in protest against Khan’s comments on intolerance in the country. Dinker, in her complaint, said that the Facebook page ‘Veera Kesari’ and its followers had uploaded remarks threatening to physically assault, rape and kill her.

Based on the complaint, a case was registered at the Kadri police station and the arrest came on Saturday last. Dinker, the co-ordinator of Citizens Forum for Mangalore Development, had lodged a complaint against unidentified Bajrang Dal activists for disrupting the screening of Dilwale.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/bajrang-dal-leader-arrested-for-threatening-on-facebook-to-rape-and-kill-social-worker-2563426.html

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UP Min says there was a pact between RSS and then PM in Babri demolition (Dec 25, 2015, UNI India)

Uttar Pradesh Minorities Welfare Minister and Samajwadi Party’s firebrand leader Mohammad Azam Khan today alleged that there was a confidential pact between the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao and Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) over the subject of demolition of Babri mosque in Ayodhya.

Mr Khan, while talking to mediapersons here, said security persons were on the spot on December 6, 1992, when the mosque was being demolished but due to this pact they did not do anything.

“I am not accusing the security persons but this is a historical fact,” said Mr Khan.

http://www.uniindia.com/up-min-says-there-was-a-pact-between-rss-and-then-pm-in-babri-demolition/states/news/320794.html

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‘BJP is wiping off Muslim culture’ from textbooks (Dec 26, 2015, Times of India)

Congress national minorities president Khurshid Ahmed accused the state BJP for wiping off the culture and history of Muslims from state textbooks in Ajmer on Friday. Ahmed is on a tour of Rajasthan to consolidate minorities votes which drifted away to BJP in state assembly and Lok Sabha polls.

“This is very disturbing to hear that state education department has dropped most of the chapters by Muslim and foreign authors. Rajasthan government is following the line of Central government’s saffronization of education agenda,” said Ahmed who vowed to challenge every unconstitutional move made by this government.

He charged the state government of neglecting the rights of minorities, scheduled tribes and scheduled caste. “This government is working on vengeance by silently spoiling the developmental work carried out by the Gehlot government like free medicines, laptops to students and tribal development,” said Ahmed who hinted that Congress central leadership will not leave the Union finance minister Arun Jaitley scam involving DDCA.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50329575.cms

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Minority groups unhappy with Maha’s de-radicalisation of youth plan (Dec 25, 2015, Hindustan Times)

The Maharashtra government has run into opposition from Muslim scholars and social activists to its ‘de-radicalisation’ programme aimed at youth from the community. Much of the opposition is to the term “de-radicalisation”, which critics say amounts to labelling a community.

“De-radicalisation implies that Muslim youth are radicalised. This is something unacceptable as we do not think any particular community has been radicalised,” was the common refrain at a meeting the government held with Muslim scholars at Mantralaya, the state secretariat, recently. Among those present were MahmoodUr-Rahman, PA Inamdar, Abdul Shaban, and Maulana Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi.

Inamdar, a noted educationist, said, “We are not against the measures being taken to bring the community into mainstream, but our objection is to the way it is projected. I don’t think the youth from any particular community are radicalised. Extremism does exist among youth to a certain extent, irrespective of community and religion. Fringe instances of youth running away from home for various reasons cannot be termed radicalisation.”…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/minority-groups-unhappy-with-maha-s-de-radicalisation-of-youth-plan/story-fMLvUPuGOLepSI2IwaYh0O.html

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Press Council notice to Organiser for ‘mocking’ Kerala on beef issue (Dec 23, 2015, The Hindu)

When the RSS mouthpiece Organiser published an article, Kerala: God’s Own Country or Godless Country, on November 15, its contents caused a furore in the State, with parties across the board condemning the article. Many saw it as mocking the people and fomenting communal trouble in the State.

On a complaint from the Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad, the Press Council of India served a show-cause notice on Prafulla Ketkar, Editor of Organiser, on December 16. He has been given 14 days to respond.

The article, written by Surendra Nathan, a Mumbai-based lawyer, not only mocked the “irreligious” attitude in the State but also cast aspersions on the youth, especially the Muslim community.…

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/press-council-notice-to-organiser-for-mocking-kerala-on-beef-issue/article8019515.ece

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SC/ST bill passed in RS: Barring Dalits from temples is now a crime (Dec 22, 2015, Hindustan Times)

Calling a Dalit person publicly by the name of his or her caste, stopping a Dalit or a tribal person from entering a temple or even forcing them to vote in favour of a particular candidate will soon land the perpetrator behind bars.

The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2014 became one of the few pieces of legislation to buck the deadlock in Parliament when the Rajya Sabha passed it on Monday.

The bill, earlier passed by the Lok Sabha, is touted as a major step to curb crime against Dalits and tribals in a country where atrocities against these the vulnerable sections frequently hit the headlines.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/sc-st-bill-passed-in-rs-barring-dalits-from-temple-is-now-a-crime/story-6WfG8xMmDmNiaY2BeDtNYI.html

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Opinions and Editorials

It’s Time to Recall the Other Gujarat Model – By Sarim Naved (Dec 28, 2015, The Wire)

The real opposition during Narendra Modi’s tenure as chief minister of Gujarat did not come from the Congress party. The Congress, famously absent from the ground in Gujarat, abdicated the opposition space to civil society. Members of civil society who were activists, journalists, lawyers and people from all walks of life, used the judicial system to bring home their charges against the then Gujarat government, which now forms the core of the Central government. They received unexpected support from Gujarat government officials, especially police officers like Rahul Sharma, R.B. Sreekumar and later Sanjeev Bhatt, who deposed before the Commission of Inquiry regarding the government’s culpability in the 2002 riots.

These officers were later joined by other police officers like Satish Verma (member, SIT for the Ishrat Jahan Encounter case and seconded to the Central Bureau of Investigation for the investigation as per High Court orders), Rajnish Rai (initial investigator for the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case and responsible for the first arrests of high ranking police officers) and Kuldip Sharma (responsible for pursuing a corruption case which involved Amit Shah – the Rs 1200 crore Madhavpura Mercantile Co-operative Bank case).…

The reason so many cases are filed against the official and unofficial opposition is to simply tire the government’s opponents out. All the officers mentioned above challenged the treatment meted out to them and won. This was the reason for repeated allegations and proceedings against them. The idea is to wear down the opponent, drain him or her physically and financially so that there is no energy left to oppose. The fact that the government is seeking to prosecute somebody is also used as an excuse to discredit them when they speak against the government. These are early days but it does seem as if the Gujarat model of dealing with opponents and critics is becoming a part of the Modi government’s armoury at the Centre.

http://thewire.in/2015/12/28/its-time-to-recall-the-other-gujarat-model-17555/

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Stones and strategies – Editorial (Dec 25, 2015, The Tribune)

Since Uttar Pradesh is due to have its state assembly polls in or before February 2017, no one should be surprised over reports of renewed ‘mandir construction activity’ in Ayodhya. A promise of a much-promised ‘Ram Mandir’ in Ayodhya has been the BJP’s principal electoral ruse, especially in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP leadership now finds itself in a bind.

On the one hand it has to appease the Hindutva right-wing, whose raw energy and anger it had harvested cynically and calculatedly for electoral purposes. In its politics of Hindu vote-bank, the BJP has to keep humouring the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other aggressive hard-line outfits; from time to time, various BJP leaders assert that the party remains unwaveringly committed to a ‘grand’ temple in Ayodhya. On the other hand, in order to move out of its political isolation, post-Babri Masjid demolition, the BJP has promised its National Democratic Alliance partners to shift the ‘mandir’ issue on to the back-burner.

All these years the BJP could conceitedly tell its ultra-ardent Hindutva fringe that this back-burnering of the ‘Ram Mandir’ was a compulsion because the party lacked a parliamentary majority. However, now the BJP does command an impressive majority in the Lok Sabha. Uttar Pradesh had contributed handsomely to Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha tally. Hence, the reported ‘construction activity’ at Ayodhya has to be seen as the Mandir crowd’s growing desire to encash its IOU. Just as the BJP has played games with the Mandir activists, they too sense a chance in view of the assembly elections.…

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/editorials/stones-and-strategies/174871.html

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What Dadri tells us about the toll that intolerance can take on friendship – By Maaz Bin Bilal (Dec 26, 2015, Scroll.in)

Minutes before Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched by a mob baying for his supposedly beef-nourished blood, he called up childhood friend Manoj Sisodia for help.

Sisodia, as the name suggests, is a Hindu. That Akhlaq, a Muslim who feared death at the hands of Hindus, chose to call his Hindu friend says something about the social fabric on which India was mapped.

We cannot emphasise enough the significance of this friendship in the current milieu – not only to enhance its constitutive value for Indian democracy, but also to understand and make majoritarian fundamentalists understand how they are consistently hacking away even at what they consider their own.…

http://scroll.in/article/774194/what-dadri-tells-us-about-the-toll-that-intolerance-can-take-on-friendship

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Communal bias – By T. K. Rajalakshmi (Jan 8, 2016, Frontline)

…Mohammad Aamir Khan, accused of masterminding the bomb blasts that occurred in Delhi, Ghaziabad and Rohtak in 1996-97, has spent 10 years in the Tihar Jail (Delhi), three and a half years in the Dasna jail (Ghaziabad) and, lastly, six to eight months in the Rohtak jail (Haryana). He has been acquitted in two cases for want of evidence. His incarceration since the age of 18 has made him understand what is wrong with Indian prisons and why there is little scope for prison reform. “I have been asked about my conviction and how I plan to rehabilitate myself, but no one has asked me about life inside prison. When I think about it, there is a lot to say,” he said.…

The refrain of the undertrials Frontline spoke to was that there was an unholy nexus between jail administrations and local police stations. They wondered how in spite of multiple layers of security, deadly weapons were smuggled into prisons. One of them even said that many murders had taken place in the jails, but there was no way of cross-checking them. “How is it that surgical blades, smack, mobiles and knives reach the inmates?” one of them asked.…

According to a report on prisons, Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis make up more than half of India’s jail population. While the proportion of these three communities as a percentage of the overall population is only 39 per cent, they comprise around 53 per cent of the prisoner population. Jail reforms are one crucial component of the overall justice delivery system, and no society calling itself civilised can afford to ignore that.

http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/communal-bias/article8017665.ece

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Horror and holy cows – By Tavleen Singh (Dec 27, 2015, Indian Express)

This is the last column of 2015. So I planned to analyse the achievements and failures that marked Narendra Modi’s second year as Prime Minister. But on the morning of my deadline, an account of the murder of Mohammad Akhlaq appeared on the front page of this newspaper in the words of his daughter Shaista. She described how 15 or 20 men came into their house on the night of September 28 and started sprinkling kerosene around, before they dragged her father and brother out into the street. “They were saying if you tell the police we will kill you too,” she said in a statement given to a magistrate.

Shaista has identified 15 of the people who came that night, and confirmed that her father was killed because of a rumour spread from the village temple that a cow had been killed. Mohammad Akhlaq was not killed by a mob. His killers have been identified and some are related to local BJP leaders. If these leaders continue to remain in the BJP, then the fear that the hysteria over beef had the Prime Minister’s tacit support will be horribly proved.…

It was not just the murder of Mohammad Akhlaq that damaged India’s image as a nation, but the hysteria in general. As someone who has written before in this space that the whole ‘growing intolerance’ debate was fraudulent, may I end the year by saying as clearly as possible that it shamed me as an Indian to have to discuss cows in a political column. So please Prime Minister can you begin the year by throwing out of the BJP the local leaders in Dadri whose relations killed Mohammad Akhlaq. It will help assuage the anger we felt at your silence over so awful a killing.

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/fifth-column-horror-and-holy-cows-narendra-modi-dadri-lynching-beef-ban-hindutva-violence-mohammad-akhlaq/

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How Modi Validated Vendetta – By R.K. Misra (Dec 23, 2015, Outlook)

Cold Delhi sizzled on December 15 as the Central Bureau of Investigations(CBI) sought to ‘marinate’ the Delhi Chief Minister’s Office in a controversial raid that saw temperatures soaring in Parliament and fingers pointed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for resorting to such a practice. After Himachal Pradesh, this is the second Chief Minister or his office to be targeted by the Narendra Modi led BJP government in its less than two-year-long tenure.

Interestingly just around the time that the CBI was pursuing the raid on the Delhi chief minister’s office, far away in Gujarat’s capital of Gandhinagar, a court was issuing a bailable warrant against minister Purshottam Solanki in an alleged Rs 400 crore fisheries scam during the time when he was a minister in the government headed by chief minister Narendra Modi. In fact, two of his ministers figure in this case, the other being Dilip Sanghani who was then agriculture minister.…

It would be in order for those in high places to pause and ponder, for the politics of vendetta is the only scrip that guarantees manifold ‘returns’ . What goes around, eventually comes around.

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/how-modi-validated-vendetta/296217

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 21st, 2015

September 23, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Indian widow fights Modi in ‘final’ court battle over deadly riots Sanatan Sanstha under scanner: Hindu outfit man held for killing of veteran CPI leader Govind Pansare Sunil Joshi murder: charges framed against Sadhvi Pragya, 7 others Jhabua blast accused Rajendra Kasawa arrested: Report Hindu Yuva Vahini […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 24th, 2015

August 25, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Communal harmony pledge administered News Headlines 2002 Godhra riots: IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt who took on Gujarat govt is sacked Act as human bombs, Sena tells Hindus Mosque in Faizabad torched, SP MLA blames ‘youths with saffron headgear’ Rattling the cage Five ABVP activists booked for assaulting […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 14th, 2013

April 15, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines US: Anti-Modi Congressional resolution now has 51 co-sponsors Modi’s India TV interview ‘Fixed’? Editorial Director QW Naqvi resigns in protest In his nomination, Narendra Modi finally admits Jashodaben is his wife Gujarat police has no evidence against Maulana Abdul Qavi: Paracha ‘Wajid victim of political plot’, […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 24th, 2014

March 25, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Death threats to Advocate Pracha and intimidation of online media are unacceptable, say Indian Americans News Headlines Rakesh Maria should be arrested for conducting activities which are terror related: Advocate Pracha Two Haryana policemen get life sentence for fake encounter ‘Reject The Closure Report Filed By SIT’ […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – March 17th, 2013

March 18, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines Minority panel removed my riot report against Modi: Ex-Secy Zakia moves Gujarat High Court against clean chit to Modi Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case: Javed Sheikh’s father moves CBI court against Amit Shah, ex-DGP; wants them arraigned Three detained for threatening to blow up Bodh Gaya […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – January 27th, 2014

January 28, 2014

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony National communal harmony award for CSSS News Headlines 2002 Gujarat riots: Zakia Jafri to move HC against clean chit to Modi CBI may soon file charges against IB officers in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case Samjhauta blasts: Aseemanand, three others charged with sedition, murder ATS chief […]

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Witch-hunt against Teesta Setalvad an indictment of Gujarat government say Indian Americans

January 17, 2014

January 15, 2014 The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has condemned attempts by the Gujarat government to use the state security apparatus to harass and intimidate noted human rights activist Teesta Setalvad, and the organization she represents, Citizens for Justice and Peace. Teesta […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 30th, 2013

December 31, 2013

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Announcements Lower court goes along with dirty SIT’s clean chit to Modi News Headlines Criminal Charges against Modi and 59 others ‘Shaken to the core’ but Modi does not offer apology Gujarat riots: Nanavati Commission gets 21 extension till June 30 to submit report Snoopgate went on even […]

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