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Zakir Naik

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 28th, 2016

by newsdigest on December 6, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

CBI not investigating PM Narendra Modi will be a travesty of justice: AAP (Nov 26, 2016, Indian Express)

Taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of demonetisation and for allegedly taking a bribe from Sahara Birla, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has said that it will be a big travesty of justice if the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) does not investigate him.

Convenor of the AAP’s Delhi unit, Dilip Pandey told ANI, “See the irony, there is so much chaos in the country because of demonetisation and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the one who has done a scam of 8 lakh crore. The blame of taking a bribe from Sahara Birla of crores of money is on him.

The blame of purchasing lands with black money and converting the black money in white before demonetisation are on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). What will be a bigger travesty of justice than this that the CBI cannot do an investigation against them?…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/politics/cbi-not-investigating-pm-narendra-modi-will-be-a-travesty-of-justice-aap-4395797/

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Over Rs. 20 lakh seized from BJP functionary (Nov 28, 2016, The Hindu)

Police seized a sum of Rs. 20.55 lakh, including 926 currency notes of Rs. 2,000 denomination, from a BJP functionary during a vehicle-check on Kumarasamipatti main road here late on Saturday evening.

Police said personnel from the Hasthampatti police station, who were conducting the vehicle check, intercepted a car coming into the city. They found a total of 926 Rs. 2,000 currency notes, 1,530 Rs. 100 denomination notes and 1,000 Rs. 50 denomination notes in a bag in the car.

As the occupant of the car, Arun (36) of Peramanur, a zonal BJP youth wing secretary, could not produce proper details and account, the police seized the money. Later, the money was deposited in the district treasury. Further investigations are on.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Over-Rs.-20-lakh-seized-from-BJP-functionary/article16712463.ece

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India’s cash crisis could kill its economic boom (Nov 24, 2016, CNN)

…Analysts estimate India’s shock decision to scrap its 500 rupee and 1,000 rupee notes – accounting for about 86% of cash in circulation – will shave at least 1% (and possibly much more) off India’s current GDP growth rate of 7.1%.

“A 3% dip in the growth rate [for the current financial year] wouldn’t surprise me,” Pronab Sen, India’s former chief statistician, told CNNMoney. Sen is country director for India at the International Growth Centre in London.

If that happens, India would almost certainly lose its crown to bigger rival China. “The impact on GDP growth is clearly going to be negative in the short run,” said Thomas Rookmaaker of Fitch Ratings. How big a hit the economy will suffer “depends to a large extent on how long the cash crunch is going to take,” Rookmaaker added.…

http://money.cnn.com/2016/11/24/news/india/india-cash-ban-economy-growth/index.html

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Demonetisation is a draconian move: Greek Minister (Nov 26, 2016, The Hindu)

Greece and the European Union implemented many measures to counter black money and the “grey economy,” but nothing so “draconian” or drastic as the Indian government’s demonetisation exercise, Greek Minister George Katrougalos has said.

Mr. Katrougalos, who is on an official visit, said that both the EU and Greece had, like India, discussed the issue of unaccounted wealth as well as the possibility of demonetising the high-value €500 note. “We have taken some measures in Greece, not as draconian as yours [the Indian government’s].

For instance, anybody who goes to bank to deposit cash must give his name and financial records. So, we are trying ourselves to track this money,” the alternate or deputy Foreign Minister told The Hindu in an exclusive interview.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Demonetisation-is-a-draconian-move-Greek-Minister/article16703164.ece

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Zakir Naik links ban on IRF to demonetisation drive, asks why no action on Yogi Adityanath or Sadhvi Prachi (Nov 26, 2016, India.com)

… Dr Zakir Naik on Friday released his second letter after his name surfaced in Dhaka terror attack. Zakir Naik linked ban on his NGO Islamic Research Foundation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive and called it a ‘communal decision’. Zakir Naik, in his letter, said the ban on IRF is an attack on Indian Muslims peace, democracy and justice”, and vowed to fight it tooth and nail. Zakir Naik’s response came after Modi-government imposed a ban on IRF on November 15, declaring it a terror outfit under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

In a three-page open letter issued here, Zakir Naik said it was timed to coincide with the demonetisation ‘fiasco’ to prevent resistance and divert the media’s attention. The ban on IRF was imposed after government allegedly found the Islamic preacher to be involved in utilising funds meant for his non-government organisation for radicalisation of youths, Union Home Ministry sources had said.

“It is now proven that the decision to ban the IRF was taken months ago and it is a communal decision. Before investigations were done, even before reports submitted, the ban was already decided. The IRF was to be banned. Whether it was owing to my religion, or some other reason, it does not matter,” said Zakir Naik. The Islamic preacher said his completely lawful work of the past 25 years has been banned, “which is most unfortunate for India”.…

http://www.india.com/news/india/zakir-naik-links-ban-on-irf-to-demonetisation-drive-asks-why-no-action-on-yogi-adityanath-or-sadhvi-prachi-1665209/

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Don’t dirty Hindu locality, say Bajrang Dal men as couple thrashed in viral video (Nov 24, 2016, Times of India)

In a shocking video that has gone viral, a Muslim man and woman, both in their 30s, can be seen being beaten mercilessly with sticks, allegedly by Bajrang Dal activists in Khurja town of Bulandshahr district. In the video, the group of men can be heard saying, “Tum Hindu mohalle ko ganda karte ho (You dirty Hindu localities).”…

The woman, whose face is covered in the video, can even be seen being dragged on the floor. While cops have arrested five persons, including the district convener of the Bajrang Dal, this has prompted Congress leader and minority rights activist Shehzaad Poonawala to seek a ban on the Bajrang Dal in a petition addressed to the National Commission for Minorities and to the Union home ministry.…

Singh added, “Praveen Bhati, the Bajrang Dal district convener, thought that it was a case of ‘love jihad’. Later he found out that both were Muslim, but he started beating them up anyway. We wasted no time in acting against the accused. There was no evidence of the pair doing anything inappropriate or illegal but the goons had beaten them up. We have arrested five of them and are investigating the case further to find the other accused.”

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/55588192.cms

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Missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed’s mother moves Delhi High Court (Nov 26, 2016, Hindustan Times)

Forty-two days after JNU student Najeeb Ahmed went missing, his mother on Friday moved the Delhi high court seeking a direction to the government and police to produce him before the court. Najeeb, a student of school of biotechnology and a native of Badaun in Uttar Pradesh, went missing from the hostel on October 15 a day after an alleged scuffle with the members of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

A bench of Justice GS Sistani and Justice Vinod Goel issued notice to the Delhi government and police on the plea by the 27-year-old student’s mother, Fatima Nafees. The bench told Delhi Police to file a status report within three days.

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, who appeared for the mother, said that there was a “political connection in the case” because of the involvement of student group which is close to the ruling government.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi/missing-jnu-student-najeeb-ahmed-s-mother-moves-delhi-high-court/story-qRRtQqkBaanRHBDc2BzMvM.html

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25-year-old Muslim man arrested for allegedly circulating objectionable photo of Modi (Nov 26, 2016, Siasat)

A man was arrested in Banmore town in Madhya Pradesh for allegedly circulating an objectionable picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on social media, police said on Friday.

Aslam Khan (25), who runs a mobile shop, was arrested Thursday night for allegedly circulating the objectionable photo of the Prime Minister, Banmore Sub Divisional Officer of Police (SDOP) Atmaram Sharma said.

Some BJP workers came across the picture after it went viral on social media platforms, following which party workers staged a protest led by Banmore division president Rambaran Mavai before the Banmore police station. An FIR has been lodged against Khan and further investigations are on, he added.

http://www.siasat.com/news/25-year-old-muslim-man-arrested-allegedly-circulating-objectionable-photo-modi-1073350/

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2003 Parbhani blast case: Victim challenges acquittal of four accused (Nov 24, 2016, Hindustan Times)

The 2003 Parbhani blast victim moved the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court on Tuesday challenging the acquittal of the four accused. Hafeez Abdul Qadir, the original complainant in the case and imam of Mohammadiya Masjid, where the blast took place in 2003, claimed that the Nanded sessions court failed to consider material evidence against the accused.

He has pleaded for quashing the acquittal order and asked for retrial of the case against the four acquitted accused – Maroti Keshwarao Wagh, Yogesh Ravindra Deshpande, Sanjay alias Bharauo Vittal Chowdhari and Rakesh Dhawade, who is also an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.

The 2003 blast case was one of the two cases relied upon by the anti-terrorism squad of the Maharashtra police to invoke the stringent Act of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against the 2008 Malegaon blast case accused.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/2003-parbhani-blast-case-victim-challenges-acquittal-of-four-accused/story-qP60tYi6NPAHNgsYi8oFpN.html

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Amin, Barot accused in fake encounter cases reappointed for ‘outstanding’ performance, says Gujarat govt to HC (Nov 24, 2016, Indian Express)

The Gujarat government on Wednesday told the high court that two retired police officers who are accused in fake encounter cases were reappointed on contract basis because their performance in the past was “outstanding”. The state filed an affidavit before the division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi in response to a PIL filed by retired IPS officer Rahul Sharma, challenging reappointment of NK Amin as SP, Mahisagar, and Tarun Barot as DySP, Western Railways at Vadodara.

The past performance of Amin and Barot, as per their confidential reports, was “outstanding”, so in compliance with a government resolution they were reappointed for a period of one year, said Nikhil Bhatt, joint secretary (personnel) home department, in the affidavit.

Sharma said in his petition that the two officers had “criminal antecedents” and their reappointment was not in the public interest.… Sharma had pointed out that Amin was arrested and listed in the charge sheet in Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Ishrat Jahan fake encounter cases. He was discharged in the first case, while the Ishrat Jahan case was still pending before the trial court, he said. Barot was named in the charge sheet and arrested in Ishrat Jahan and Sadiq Jamal fake encounter cases and later got bail, Sharma’s petition said.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/amin-barot-accused-in-fake-encounter-cases-reappointed-for-outstanding-performance-says-gujarat-govt-to-hc-4392287/

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Opinions and Editorials

Deposits before dark – By Suhrid Sankar Chattopadhyay (Dec 9, 2016, Frontline)

Hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 currency notes on November 8, his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), deposited Rs.1 crore, all in Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes, in a nationalised bank in central Kolkata.

In fact, in a span of just eight days before the demonetisation announcement, the BJP deposited a total of Rs.3 crore in its account in the Central Avenue branch of Indian Bank, raising questions of whether there was selective leaking of information and what the party was doing with such a large of amount of cash in high denominations.

Though the West Bengal unit of the BJP has dismissed all allegations and claimed that it did not act upon any prior intimation and that there were no financial irregularities in what it did, sources in the banking industry said the BJP’s rush to deposit such a large amount of money was unprecedented. The timing and the hurry in which the deposits were made has ignited suspicion in political and social circles.…

http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/deposits-before-dark/article9374066.ece

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Demonetisation is a permanent transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich – By Shankar Gopalakrishnan (Nov 25, 2016, Scroll.in)

Much of the demonetisation debate has focused on whether the economy can be revived or become more cashless. The implication is that if it does both, all will be well. This ignores demonetisation’s biggest impact, which will be on the distribution of resources within the economy, whatever happens to the economy as a whole. Demonetisation is a giant vacuum, sucking up the resources of the weak and delivering them to the powerful, while acting like it’s doing the opposite. More importantly, this transfer will be permanent.

Estimates differ, but roughly 80% to 90% of Indians work in the informal sector and, therefore, earn and spend in cash. The ongoing cash drought will impact all of these people, but it will impact them in unequal ways. This unequal impact starts from within households. Working-class women married to alcoholic, abusive or simply irresponsible husbands all keep cash squirrelled away for emergencies. Now that money has to be either lost or revealed and, in either case, the woman loses her security, exploiting her becomes easier.…

A tax windfall – or an RBI dividend – will certainly lead to some immediate welfare announcements. But this government has neither the political intent nor the administrative capacity to implement the long-term, massive hike in public spending that would be required to even begin to offset the injustice of demonetisation. Demonetisation is being portrayed as a crusade against tax evaders to help the poor. Yet, it will leave India’s economy more unequal than before, and its gigantic population of vulnerable people even more vulnerable. A masterstroke, indeed.

http://scroll.in/article/822402/demonetisation-is-a-permanent-transfer-of-wealth-from-the-poor-to-the-rich

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Politics at its cynical worst – By Venkitesh Ramakrishnan (Dec 9, 2016, Frontline)

…Modi’s dramatic announcement was accompanied by assurances from his government that banking would get regularised in a matter of three days; some of them were from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and senior officials such as Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das. Not only did that not happen, the government itself repeatedly complicated reinstatement of normalcy by coming up with different and contradictory directives during the week following the announcement.

As many as 10 modifications were made to the scheme’s procedures in a matter of seven days. These changes were brought, professedly, to ease the difficulties faced by people in depositing and withdrawing cash and to curb manipulation of the scheme by dishonest people. The comment heard at the queue in Mehrauli was of a piece with the hundreds of thousands of popular responses that came up in relation to the move and its stated objectives. A sizable number of these responses highlighted the most tangible result of the move—the palpable inconvenience and suffering faced by common people. They also reflected the widespread disenchantment triggered by the government machinery’s obvious unpreparedness in dealing with the situation.…

The narrative in this stream is clear: it is about Modi the saviour of the poor facing the rest of the political class, all of them apologists for the rich and the elite. The second stream, being advanced at the ground level by the BJP rank and file, is once again about the possible deposits to bank accounts of those registered as below the poverty line. Across Uttar Pradesh, the campaign goes on asking people to be prepared for the bonanza transfer that the Modi government will effect once it rounds up a fair sum of money. Expectations are growing on account of this campaign even as it prevents eruption of riots amid the harassed people. Indeed, it is politics at its cynical worst.

http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/politics-at-its-cynical-worst/article9373744.ece

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Digital pipe dream – By Ramesh Chakrapani (Dec 9, 2016, Frontline)

Cash has undoubtedly proven a curse, irrespective of its color, for those who have been queuing up at the bank counters following the currency demonetisation.

The unprecedented cash crunch has made many wonder if going cashless is the better way forward? It may indeed be but despite the proliferation of alternate payment mechanisms – plastic currency and electronic cash transfer – unprecedented amount of paper currency is floating around worldwide. Most people like cash, holding Dostoyevsky’s The House of the Dead expression ‘Money is coined liberty.’

If going paperless is the best option, developed economies would have phased out paper currency several years ago. Instead, citizens in developed countries hold more currency per capita than the developing economies. In contrast to per capita holding of $4,200 in the US, average Indian holds an equivalent of just $171 in cash.…

http://www.frontline.in/other/data-card/digital-pipe-dream/article9374250.ece

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Bhopal Encounter a mechanism to terrorise Muslims and Secular Forces – By Arun Srivastava (Nov 28, 2016, Mainstream)

It would be purely an act of naiveté to view the killing of eight SIMI cadres through the narrow prism of encounter. An insight into the incident would reveal it is a part of the RSS’ design to eliminate dissenters, silence the voice of dissent and pave the path for implementing its policy of Hindutva and Hindu Rashtra.

The police and government narratives of the incident give the impression that the so-called “terrorists” were out to commit hara-kiri and that was why they preferred to “run away” in a very relaxed and leisurely fashion. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s police had been straining hard to justify the killing by projecting them as hard-core criminals who had in the past also fled from the jail. The MP Police is in fact trying to project them as experienced criminals who had expertise in jail-break.

But it is the BJP chief, Amit Shah, who has unwittingly unravelled the truth behind the encounter. At a rally in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh he disclosed that the BJP had chalked out the agenda of “Attack Muslims” to humiliate and terrorise them. After the secular elements the BJP views the Muslims as the potential force to check its design to convert India into a Hindu Rashtra.…

http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article6855.html

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67th Anniversary Of Democratic-Secular Indian Constitution: Hindutva Demolition Squad Waiting To Undo It – By Shamsul Islam (Nov 26, 2016, Countercurrents)

There is no doubt that despite many infirmities Indian Constitution as framed by the Constituent Assembly (CA) of India on November 26, 1949 was a fine document of liberal democracy. Its emphasis on all-inclusive polity assuring social, political and economic justice was, in fact, continuation of anti-imperialist legacy. But Indian Constitution today faces most critical challenge to its existence.

It is true that ruling parties before the enthronement of Modi government in 2014 paid lip service to the pro-people goals enshrined in the Constitution but none dared to declare that they would over-throw democratic-secular Indian Constitution. It is first time in the history of Independence India that PM Modi calls him[self] a ‘Hindu nationalist’ and declares that he is RSS cadre and groomed as political leader by Guru Golwalkar.

It is to be noted that RSS is publicly committed to replace present Indian Constitution by MANUSMRITI, a Brahmanical scripture which assigns women and Sudras a sub-human status. The CA passed Constitution on November 26, 1949 and RSS English organ, Organizer on November 30, 1949, in an editorial rejected it and demanded MANUSMRITI as constitution.… All those who are concerned about the future of democratic-secular Indian polity must come together to resist the anti-national agenda of RSS.

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/11/26/67th-anniversary-of-democratic-secular-indian-constitution-hindutva-demolition-squad-waiting-to-undo-it/

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 21st, 2016

by newsdigest on December 2, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Hindu-Muslim unity in Uttar Pradesh gets note exchange shot (Nov 18, 2016, India.com)

…While people are keeping money in lower denominations safe with them, some came forward to help cash starving citizen, depositing currency notes of Rs 10, Rs 50 and Rs 100. A display of Hindu-Muslim unity was also seen in this cash chaos. Similarly, Avdesh Gupta, a trader from Uttar Pradesh, deposited Rs 1.5 Lakh in denominations of Rs 10, Rs 50, Rs 100 so that other could get lower denomination currency.

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 announced the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, Gram Ravli resident Shakir Ahmad had five notes of Rs 500. Unable to use the currency, Shakir broke the piggy bank of his kids and got Rs 140, which helped the family to survive for two days. When Shakir returned empty hand from the bank without exchanging Rs 500 notes, Munesh Kumar came to his rescue. Munesh gave him Rs 800 in low denominations.…

Similar display of immense humanity in this time of hardship was shown by several others too. According to report of Jagaran, a trader named Rakesh Shahi deposited Rs 10 lakh in Poorvanchal Gramin Bank in low denominations of Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50 and Rs 100. A retired Army officer Mahesh Prasad Dwivedi also deposited Rs. 1,15,000 in small currency of Rs 100 and Rs 10. A businessman from Barabanki, Ravikant Pandey reached bank with Rs 17, 30,000 and deposited the entire amount in denominations of Rs 10, Rs 50 and Rs 100. All these people had only thing in their mind; they wanted to help people in this difficult time.…

http://www.india.com/news/india/currencychaos-hindu-muslim-unity-in-uttar-pradesh-gets-note-exchange-shot-1652463/

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BJP Left Red-faced After Rs 92 Lakh Cash Seized From Vehicle Owned By Maharashtra Minister (Nov 18, 2016, India Times)

More than a week after high-value currency notes were demonetised, Rs 91.5 lakh in cash was found in a private vehicle belonging to Solapur-based Lok Mangal group, which is controlled by senior BJP leader and Maharashtra cooperation minister Subhash Deshmukh.

Osmanabad collector Prashant Narnaware confirmed that a routine check of vehicles by a flying squad set up for the ensuing municipal council polls netted the amount on Thursday. A Lok Mangal staffer in the car said the cash belonged to the Lok Mangal bank. Deshmukh said it was meant for payment to workers in a sugar factory affiliated to the Lok Mangal group.

The vehicle has been impounded, while the cash has been deposited in the local treasury. In the past, Lok Mangal was under the scanner of Sebi for irregularities in mobilising funds for the group. NCP and Congress were quick to demand immediate dismissal of the controversial minister for black money transactions.…

http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/bjp-left-red-faced-after-rs-92-lakh-cash-seized-from-vehicle-owned-by-maharashtra-minister-265700.html

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BJP leaders’ presence at Reddy’s family wedding exposes party’s double standards on black money (Nov 16, 2016, First Post)

…This week, this once-upon-a-time-powerful-politician (Disgraced mining tycoon and former Karnataka Tourism minister in the BJP government, Gali Janardhana Reddy) showed he is still not a political touch-me-not. With senior BJP leaders in attendance, Reddy mocked at those who dared to question his vulgar display of wealth. The high-profile political presence was like giving Reddy an ISO 9001 certification.

While the figure of Rs 500 crore spent on the wedding may be exaggerated, it is quite evident from the kind of over-the-top arrangements made that nothing short of Rs 150 crore would have been spent. The Vijayanagara empire has been recreated because Reddy believes he is King Krishnadevaraya reincarnated. So has been Bellary with its different streets to make the bride feel at home.

Replete with chariots and foreign dancers, helipads, 1,500 hotel rooms, 2,000 cabs and 3,000 bouncers, the big fat wedding that hosted some 50,000 VIP guests, is clearly injurious to the sensibility of India. Especially at a time when much of Bengaluru and India is in queues outside banks and ATMs, struggling to take out Rs 4,500 to make ends meet. And that’s why the political presence reeks of hypocrisy.… It is the same party that lauds its prime minister for his financial surgical strike on black money and in the same breath, embraces a man who allegedly minted black money, making mountains vanish in the process.…

http://www.firstpost.com/india/bjp-leaders-presence-at-reddys-family-wedding-expose-partys-double-standards-on-black-money-3108642.html

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British archives document “links” Godse with RSS, is quoted as saying, RSS “welcomed” the assassination (Nov 16, 2016, Counterview)

Fresh evidence is claimed to have surfaced on links between Nathuram Godse, the man responsible for murdering Mahatma Gandhi, and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), this time from the from the London archives of India Office Library & Records.

Being interpreted as fresh armour in the hands of those who seek to nail the RSS which claims it had no links with Godse, an “outward telegram” is being quoted to say that “it was sent by the British Foreign Office on February 13, 1948.

The telegram claimed, “It has now been established that Godse, arrested as Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin, was a member of the ‘R.S.S.S.’ (sic) and of the Mahasabha”. The telegram also records: “…the initial disturbances were clearly spontaneous acts of indignation, provoked too in some places by R.S.S.S. demonstrations welcoming the assassination…” The British Foreign Office telegram further notes “R.S.S.S. demonstrations welcoming the assassination…”…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/11/british-archives-document-links-godse.html

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Victim of 2008 Malegaon blast opposes Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur’s bail (Nov 16, 2016, India Today)

…Additional Solicitor General, Anil Singh, representing the National Investigating Agency (NIA) told the court that the agency had “no objections” to Sadhvi being granted bail. However the division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi wanted to know if there are any intervention applications filed in the case.

Advocate Naima Sheikh from advocate Wahab Khan’s office told the court that 2008 Malegaon blast victim Nisar Ahmed Sayyed Bilal, who was injured in the blast, wanted to file an intervention. Bilal had filed an intervention application in sessions court as well where Sadhvi’s bail application was rejected.

Court decided to hold the hearing for the case on November 29 when all parties would have filed their say. Sadhvi has been languishing in an Ayurveda hospital in Bhopal in judicial custody where she was shifted from Byculla jail for treatment. However her family has alleged that her health has only deteriorated in confinement.…

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/2008-malegaon-blast-sadhvi-pragya-singh-thakur-bombay-high-court/1/812381.html

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Gujarat HC judge recuses himself from Naroda Patiya riot case (Nov 18, 2016, New Indian Express)

A Gujarat High Court judge today recused himself from hearing of appeals related to the Naroda Patiya riot case of 2002, becoming the third judge to do so. Justice Akil Kureshi today said, “Not before me” when the appeals came up for hearing before a division bench comprising him.`

Twenty-nine convicts including former Gujarat minister Mayaben Kodnani and former VHP leader Babu Bajrangi have challenged the special trial court’s ruling before the high court. Last year, division bench of justices M R Shah and K S Jhaveri had recused itself from hearing the appeals.

Riot survivors and the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team which probed the case too have filed appeals seeking enhanced punishment. As many as 97 people, mostly of minority community, were killed by a mob at Naroda Patiya here during the 2002 post- Godhra riots. The trial court in August 2012 convicted 31 people and awarded life term to 30 of them including Kodnani. It awarded ‘imprisonment till death’ to Bajrangi. Kodnani, who was a state minister for women and child development for some period when Narendra Modi was chief minister of Gujarat, was released on bail by the high court in July 2014 on medical grounds.…

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2016/nov/18/gujarat-hc-judge-recuses-himself-from-naroda-patiya-riot-case-1540143.html

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JNU proctorial inquiry finds ABVP member guilty of assaulting Najeeb Ahmed (Nov 20, 2016, Indian Express)

A proctorial inquiry by JNU has found ABVP member Vikrant Kumar guilty of assaulting Najeeb Ahmed during a brawl following which the latter went missing over a month ago. Najeeb (27), a student of School of Biotechnology and a native of Badaun in Uttar Pradesh, went missing on October 15 following an on-campus scuffle allegedly with the members of ABVP, including Vikrant, the night before.

JNU had ordered a proctorial inquiry into the incident. “In the proctorial inquiry, Vikrant Kumar has been found to be involved in hitting Najeeb Ahmed and using derogatory language with provocative behaviour on October 14. This is an act of indiscipline and misconduct,” an official order read.

Vikrant has been asked to explain why disciplinary action should not be initiated against him.… JNU students and teachers have been agitating against the university administration and Delhi Police for their failure to locate the missing student.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/jnu-proctorial-inquiry-finds-abvp-member-guilty-of-assaulting-najeeb-ahmed-4385515/

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Will give suitable reply to BJP in upcoming polls: Muslim body (Nov 15, 2016, Indian Express)

Muslims of the country will not tolerate an “interference” with their personal law and give a “suitable” reply to the BJP in the coming Assembly elections on the ‘triple talaq’ issue, the leaders of All India Tanzeem Ulama-e-Islam (AITUI) said on Tuesday.

“The (Narendra) Modi government is trying to push the country towards the RSS agenda. Sunni Muslims oppose the Law Commission’s move to seek public opinion on abolishing triple talaq,” said president of AITUI Mufti Ashfaq Hussain Qadri, adding that the minority community will give a “suitable” reply to the saffron party in the upcoming Assembly polls in a few states.

The body of Sunni Muslim scholars will take out a ‘Parliament March’ from Jantar Mantar on November 18 to express its opposition to the Centre and Uniform Civil Code (UCC), he told a press conference.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/will-give-suitable-reply-to-bjp-in-upcoming-polls-muslim-body-4377021/

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‘Fight communal forces with the help of Constitution’ (Nov 18, 2016, The Hindu)

Former Director General of Police, Gujarat, R.B. Sreekumar, on Wednesday urged the Muslims in the country to fight communal forces with the help of the Constitution and the rule of law.

Speaking at a programme organised by ‘Madha Saarbatror Mamandram’ here, he said already many Hindus had become communalised and were rallying behind Hindutva forces.

An officer, who witnessed the 2002 riots in Gujarat, he said that if the country must progress Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s teachings must be taken more seriously and they must be included in the school curriculum.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/fight-communal-forces-with-the-help-of-constitution/article9360047.ece

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Activists lash out at Sangh Parivar, Sanatan Sanstha (Nov 18, 2016, Times of India)

Setting the tone for the three-day national conference of the Dakshinayan Abhiyan that got underway at Margao on Friday, literary scholar and cultural activist Ganesh Devy urged all progressive minds to come together and join “the struggle for the freedom of creative expression that is rooted in tolerance and diversity.”

Speaking at a public meeting at Lohia maidan here, Devy hoped that Goa’s immense cultural diversity and its multilingual nature would help realise the objectives of the Abhiyan. Many of the speakers, who addressed the meeting, lashed out at the Sanatan Sanstha and Sangh Parivar for their attempts at disrupting communal harmony in the state in the name of Hindutva.

Hameed Dabholkar, son of slain anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar, said that killings of Dabholkar, besides two other rationalists, Govind Pansare and M M Kalburgi, could have been avoided if the investigating agencies were able to arrest the masterminds of the Margao bomb blast in 2009. While local social activist Prashant Naik demanded that Sanatan Sanstha be banned, Uttam Parwar from Gujarat said the “the country’s biggest threat came from the Sangh Parivar.”…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/55503881.cms

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Muslim forums protest against ban on IRF (Nov 18, 2016, The Hindu)

Several Muslim organisations in the State have protested against the decision of the Union government to ban under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for five years the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) run by Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.

Calling it as a fascist move, a meeting of the Kerala Naduvathul Mujahideen (KNM) Markazudawa chaired by its president C.P. Ummer Sullami and participated by senior leaders including Hussain Madavoor said that this revealed the real intention of the BJP-led government against the Muslim community in the country. The silence of the Left parties, the Congress and other secular parties on the issue raised serious concerns, it said.

The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has said that the action was “undemocratic and discriminatory.” At the same time, several individuals and organisations had been publicly indulging in provocative speeches aimed at fomenting communal trouble, its Kerala Amir M.I. Abdul Aziz, said.…

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/muslim-forums-protest-against-ban-on-irf/article9359645.ece

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Opinions and Editorials

Did Modi receive over Rs 55 crore from the Sahara Group as the chief minister of Gujarat? – By Paranjoy Guha Thakurta & Advait Rao Palepu (Nov 19, 2016, EPW)

At 8 pm on 8 November 2016, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to a live broadcast on Doordarshan to make the historic announcement that the government was demonetising notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, emphasising his commitment to ridding India of the “evils of corruption” and black money, at least five central agencies or commissions in New Delhi were sitting on a tranche of documents that allegedly indicated that Modi had accepted bribes in excess of Rs 55 crore, or eight million dollars.

It is unclear from the documents, whether there were 13 separate transactions that involved Modi and came to a total of Rs 55.2 crore or nine transactions totalling Rs 40.1 crore. In the documents, there appears to be a repetition of four specific transactions, which took place between 30 October 2013 and 29 November 2013 and have been accounted for under two separate headings.

The documents, which have been doing the rounds in New Delhi for the last few months, suggest that Modi – along with a number of important politicians – was paid large amounts of cash by individuals associated with Subrata Roy, the founder-chairman of the Sahara India Group, during his tenure as the chief minister of Gujarat. These documents also suggest that the recipients of such favours included, among others: Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh; Raman Singh, the chief minister of Chhattisgarh; Shaina NC, the treasurer for the Bharatiya Janata party in Maharashtra and; Sheila Dikshit, the former chief minister of Delhi.…

http://www.epw.in/journal/2016/47/web-exclusives/did-modi-receive-rs-55-crore-sahara-group-gujarat-cm.html

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Modi has brought havoc to India – Editorial (Nov 17, 2016, The Guardian)

…At a stroke Mr Modi rendered 86% of currency worthless outside a bank branch. Old notes would have to be exchanged for limited supplies of new currency. It was justified as a move designed to fight corruption and target people who have been dodging taxes by holding stockpiles of cash, known in India as “black money”.

Many initially saw the withdrawal of banknotes as a price worth paying to eliminate graft. The short-term impact of “demonetisation” has been dramatic: the $2 trillion Indian economy will shrink. The rich will not suffer, as corruptly acquired fortunes have almost all been converted to shares, gold and real estate. But the poor, who make up the bulk of the nation’s 1.3 billion people, will lose out. They don’t generally have bank accounts and are often paid in cash. For them, getting to a bank and queueing for hours will cost money and time they don’t have.

In less than a week the policy has reportedly claimed more than a dozen lives. The government says that it will take weeks to sort out the problems.…

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/17/the-guardian-view-on-indias-demonetisation-modi-has-brought-havoc-to-india

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The Indian Prime Minister’s life is in danger and nobody cares! – By Arif Hussain (Nov 19, 2016, TwoCircles.net)

On Sunday the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra D. Modi said powerful moneyed people wouldn’t leave him alive. And nobody batted an eyelid. What does it say about Mr. Modi’s persona and his public posturing and level of political discourse in India?

During his address on November 13, 2016 during the foundation stone laying ceremony of Mopa Green Field International Airport & Electronic City at Tuam in Goa, the Indian prime minister Mr. N. D. Modi said “I am looting away their stash of 70 years, they wouldn’t leave me alive, will destroy me….” …

Imagine Angela Merkel or François Hollande coming on live Television and disclose that there are forces in Germany and France, respectively, that are out to kill her/him. What would be the response of German and French security forces?… Now compare this to the response to Mr. Modi’s remarks in Goa. Even after Mr. Modi has directly acknowledged a threat to his life not a single red alert has been sounded. Neither the agencies tasked with his protection have come out with an update, nor Mr. Modi has deigned to issue a clarifying statement.…

http://twocircles.net/2016nov19/1479531928.html

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Sangh, Simon and the Question of Rationality – By Shrikant Wad (Nov 17, 2016, Mainstream)

…The live broadcast of the RSS chief’s speech on the government-owned national television soon after the BJP came to power (Hebbar, 2014), the Prime Minister’s attempts to link a mythical text of the Hindu religion to the so-called science and technological development in ancient India (Modi, 2014), the beef row (Bhardwaj, 2015; Nayar, 2015), and the increasing political control over educational institutions (Hasan, 2015) are some of the conspicuous reflections of how firmly the ideas and values of the Sangh are being imposed on the secular and democratic Indian state system.…

The utter disregard for tolerance is, therefore, a key to the political agenda of the RSS. This is where the sustainability of the RSS becomes even more questionable. Tolerance forms an indivisible part of the Hindu philosophy. The RSS cannot claim to be Hinduistic without tolerance. Its attempt to impose the Hindu identity on all the residents of India takes away their religious and cultural diversity. Moreover, a rational Hindu individual realises that there is no greater advantage in propagating Hinduism forcefully, but accommodating other believers or non-believers in the society.

Rational human beings, even while believing in survival of the fittest, do not gain fitness through coercion and conflict, but through peace and harmony. Thus, the polarising politics of the RSS tends to contrast with the rationality of a tolerant Hindu individual and does not hold the promise to sustain over a long time. However, building on conflicts and polarisation, the Sangh neglects the fact that the rational human beings, even while believing in survival of the fittest, do not gain fitness through coercion and conflict, but through peace and harmony.

http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article6821.html

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Govt should stop RSS from furthering its ideological agenda in schools – Editorial (Nov 16, 2016, Hindustan Times)

If the RSS and its affiliates are to be believed, there is nothing in science that was not known to ancient Indians.…Now we could dismiss this as a hankering for a romanticised past, but these are pointers from study material issued by the Vijnana Bharti, the science and technology wing of the RSS, for an examination it is holding in over 2,000 government and private schools across on November 20.…

The RSS and its affiliates have been attempting for ages to put their stamp on school education, not to mention pushing their candidates for the leadership of higher educational institutions. But schools are meant to teach children from a curriculum devised by experts comprising knowledge that will stand them in good stead when it comes to competitive exams or higher studies.

Knowledge of the glories achieved by India in Vedic times may be interesting but it should not be imposed on children in the form of examinations. The ministry is in the process of framing the new education policy. It has rightly asked for inputs from all stakeholders. But these inputs must be vetted by those with domain knowledge and not outfits which are trying to further an ideological agenda. Allowing this examination will open a window for further encroachment into the space of education. The ministry should resist this in the interest promoting scientific and relevant education.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/editorials/hrd-ministry-should-stop-the-rss-from-furthering-its-ideological-agenda-in-schools/story-jbnyRnlsJ9c7xfIed4WtRN.html

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Kangaroo Court In MP – By K.T.S. Tulsi (Nov 14, 2016, Outlook)

Fake encounters are cold-blooded, brutal murders by people who are supposed to uphold the law. It’s a criminal philosophy that drives fake encounters and all policemen should know that, Justice Markandey Katju said in the noted Prakash Kadam case, and added that “where a fake encounter was proved against a person in trial, they must be given death sentence, treating it as the rarest of rare cases.”

Despite that dire sword suspended over police, 160 people died in court-authorised police custody between 2011 and 2015. During the same period, another 373 died in unauthorised police custody. For all these deaths, not one policeman has been convicted.

By law, it should not matter whether a victim is an ordinary person, a militant or a terrorist. Nor does it matter if the aggressor is an ordinary person or the State itself. The law is the same for both, and is equally applicable to both. This is the requirement of a democracy–so said the Supreme Court in July 2016, in the case of Extra-judicial Execution Victim Families Association (EEVFAM) versus Union of India, related to 1,528 cases of fake encounters inv¬olving the army and the police in Manipur.…

http://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/kangaroo-court-in-mp/298104

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 12th, 2016

September 23, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines The mahapanchayat that changed fortunes of BJP leaders named in riots Haryana beef row: Opposition parties accuse Khattar government of creating communal conflict for electoral gain Haryana double murder and gang rape : One accused RSS man another Modi Bhakt Una Dalit flogging: CID says cops turned […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 5th, 2016

September 18, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Spreading the message of peace and harmony is a national responsibility: Peace conference This 18-year-old Hindu girl teaching Quran to Muslim kids is a messenger of communal harmony Eight Muslim youths perform final rites of Hindu neighbour News Headlines Intervention in Muslim Personal Law not tolerated – […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 8th, 2016

August 19, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup News Headlines 2002 post-Godhra riots: 11 get life term for killing a man, daughter in Mehsana Sri Rama Sene activists ‘Raid’ at Karnataka school over Urdu, Arabic classes: 13 more arrested No links between Naik, terror outfits, govt tells House Nayeemuddin, wanted by CBI in Sohrabuddin ‘fake’ encounter case […]

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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – July 18th, 2016

July 27, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup Communal Harmony Kashmiris rush to help injured Amarnath pilgrims in bus accident News Headlines Cops “tipped” Gujarat’s cow protecting Shiv Sainiks, who tied Una Dalits to SUV, assaulted them with iron rods Family of Slain Man in India May Be Charged With Cow Slaughter Rana Ayub fears for […]

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