IAMC Weekly News Roundup - April 20th, 2015 - IAMC
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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – April 20th, 2015

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

After Centre’s nod, state govt chargesheets former DGP who took on Modi (Apr 19, 2015, Indian Express)

Over two years after he retired, the Gujarat government has issued chargesheet to ex-DGP Kuldip Sharma for reportedly not surrendering an amount directly to the government. Sharma, known for taking on the previous Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government, has been served the fresh chargesheet after the Central government gave its approval recently.

According to sources, Sharma had been served the same chargesheet by the state government previously, but it was withdrawn later since it didn’t have the sanction from the Centre. Sources said that the central government recently granted permission to chargesheet Sharma. Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department, G R Aloria, confirmed the development.

The case concerns Sharma’s stint as Managing Director (MD) of the Gujarat Sheep and Wool Development Corporation. Sources said the chargesheet accuses Sharma of not surrendering a certain unused amount pending with the corporation to the government as per the norm. The amount was finally surrendered back to the government by Sharma’s successor.…



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Ex-ACP files police complaint against Raut for causing enmity (Apr 19, 2015, Times of India)

Retired assistant police commissioner Joseph Gaikwad recently filed a complaint against Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut for “hurting religious sentiments of Muslims”. Raut had reportedly demanded the disfranchisement of Muslims in a Saamna article.

The plaint was registered at Dadar police station on April 15. Gaikwad, who is the chairman of NGO Secular Foundation, said, “The acts committed by Raut are serious and criminal in nature and attract the provisions of sections 153-A, 153-B, 295-A, 298, 506, read with 120-B of the Indian Penal Code and the Representation of Peoples Act.”

He added that Raut deserves action because the article he published is malicious and intimidates Muslims and cause hatred between communities. “The acts committed by Raut are prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony,” states the complaint. Protesting against Raut’s controversial remarks, Muslim activists and community leaders have demanded his arrest.…



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Reveal names of policemen involved in encounters: TFJ (Apr 19, 2015, The Hindu)

The Telangana Forum for Justice (TFJ) has asked the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments to stop encounters with immediate effect and to make public the names of police personnel involved.

The TFJ, which comprises representatives of different political and civil rights organisations, called for institution of reforms in police administration and to stop victimisation and illegal detention of Muslim youth in Telangana. It further sought a judicial inquiry into the Alair encounter. The SIT probe was prone to internal bias of the police force and therefore not adequate to the scale of personal tragedy and police excess.…

The speakers wanted the AP and Telangana governments to take note that the images of the shackled bodies of Muslim undertrials and the Dalit labourers would haunt public memory. If justice was not done, they would brand our society intractably.



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FIR against STF personnel for murder, abduction in Chittoor encounter: Police tells Andhra HC (Apr 15, 2015, IBN)

An FIR has been registered for murder and abduction against Special Task Force policemen for killing 20 alleged red sander smugglers on April 7 in Chhittor district, police told Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday. The FIR was registered after a complaint was filed by one of the deceased wife. The petitioner has also appealed for re-post mortem of bodies of those killed.…

In a major operation the Andhra Pradesh Police, 20 alleged red sandalwood smugglers were killed in an encounter inside the forests near Tirupati in Chittoor district. Police officials had said that a joint operation against the smugglers was launched with the help of forest officials in Seshachalam forest near Tirupati.…

Several political parties have questioned the police action, saying labourers and not red sanders smugglers were killed by the Andra Pradesh STF. Tamil Nadu government had announced Rs 3 lakh compensation for families of 20 people killed in Chittoor encounter. Most of the victims come from different parts of Tamil Nadu including Tiruvanamalai, Vellore and Salem.



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Terror accused have right to education, says court (Apr 15, 2015, Times of India)

Observing that accused have a right to education, a MCOCA court recently allowed a key accused in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case to attend his LLB exams in Malegaon. The 35-year-old, Sharif Ahmed, a qualified Unani doctor, had applied for his LLB degree last year after the same court granted him permission.

“The accused… in this circumstance is entitled to appear for the first and second semester exams,” special judge G T Kadri said in the order passed last week. The judge directed the superintendent of Central Prison, Mumbai, to transfer the accused to Nashik Central Prison well in advance to facilitate his exam attendance at 10am from April 22 to April 27. The court also ordered both authorities to take security and safety precautions and ensure that Ahmed is retransferred to Mumbai after the last exam.

The court directed the local arms unit, Tardeo, to supply an escort for transferring Ahmed to Nashik and the Nashik police to provide personnel to take him for his exams and bring him back to Nashik Jail.…



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Top Bodo militant involved in 2014 Assam massacre held (Apr 18, 2015, Times of India)

A top-ranking militant leader of the NDFB (Songbijit), involved in the adivasi massacre on December 23 last, was arrested during a joint operation of Army and police from Chetnaguri in Kokrajhar district of Assam on Saturday.

The militant has been identified as self-styled Chirang platoon commander Samar Basumatary alias “Sona”, a defence spokesman said.

One 7.65mm pistol, three live cartridges, one hand grenade and other materials were recovered during the operation leading to his arrest, he said.…



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Hindutva forces threaten plurality: CPI(M) (Apr 18, 2015, The Hindu)

The 21st Congress of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday adopted a “mince-no-words” resolution on the effort to impose a “monolithic” Indian culture defined by a single religion. …

Stating that Indian “plurality is under a concerted and vicious attack, mainly from the Hindutva brigade – which manifests itself in myriad forms,” the resolution accused it of peddling all sorts of “anti-scientific ideas,” imposing “Taliban-like dress codes on women and indulging in vigilantism against various forms of sexual expression,” conducting aggressive moral policing against expression of love by young people with the “abusive” campaign against “love jihad,” and opposing inter-religious and inter-caste marriages.

The resolution flags the Hindutva brigade’s desire to declare the Gita India’s “national book,” the recent beef ban, the silencing and exile of Tamil author Perumal Murugan, and the “ghar vapsi” campaign.



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BJP steps in to ‘pressurise’ Muslim families to withdraw from Sayajipura (Apr 16, 2015, Indian Express)

A week after the VMC conducted the draw for 340 families displaced in the wake of the November 2014 Kalyannagar demolitions for flats in the Sayajipura under JNNURM scheme, the families are yet to receive allotment letters from the civic body. In the backdrop of agitations by Sayajipura residents objecting to the relocation of Muslims in their “peaceful Hindu area”, local BJP leaders, including MLAs, met the families on Wednesday, urging them to “withdraw” from the Sayajipura housing scheme for another “location of their choice”.

In a hushed meeting that began shortly after 2 pm at the Circuit House in Vadodara on Wednesday, top BJP leaders met a group of the Kalyannagar residents, urging them to give an “application” to the civic body withdrawing from the allotments made last week.

Sources said that those part of the meeting were BJP City President Bharat Dangar, Mayor Bharat Shah, MP Ranjan Bhatt, MLAs Yogesh Patel, Manisha Vakil and Rajendra Trivedi, Corporators Shabdasharan Brahmabhatt and Ashok Pardesi as well as Gujarat Minister of State Shankar Chaudhary.…



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India’s Hindu government ‘trying to steal B.R. Ambedkar’s legacy’, says Arundhati Roy (Apr 14, 2015, The Telegraph)

Arundhati Roy, the Booker Prize-winning author, has accused India’s Hindu nationalist government of trying to steal the legacy of one of the country’s founding fathers, the ‘untouchable’ leader Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar.

Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is behind a “demonic” attempt to portray Ambedkar, the author of India’s constitution and a revered icon for thecountry’s 300 million ‘untouchable’ Dalits, as a Hindu hero, she said.

Her comments were made as both the BJP and the Congress Party laid claim to Ambedkar even though he regarded Hinduism as inhuman and the Congress leader Mahatma Gandhi as a charlatan who pretended to support Dalits while strongly defending India’s brutal caste system.…



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Cop suspended after Chhattisgarh martyr’s kin ordered to return aid (Apr 15, 2015, Hindustan Times)

The police force of Chhattisgarh was on Wednesday forced to rescind an order to the family of a policeman killed by rebels to return Rs 10,000 provided to perform his last rites after the move triggered widespread outrage and condemnation.

Following the strong reactions, the state police cancelled two notices served to Constable Kishore Pandey’s family and suspended a low-ranking official. Pandey was killed in a gun battle with Maoists in May 2011 at Gariaband, 90 km from state capital Raipur. As his family was not economically well-off, immediate assistance of Rs 10,000 was provided to Pandey’s relatives from a non-public fund by police in Gariaband district.

The first notice asking the family to return the amount was issued in June last year and the second was served on April 12. Efforts by police to recover the money triggered an uproar after several TV news channels reported the matter. The opposition Congress described it as an insult to the martyred policeman.…



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Opinions and Editorials

Sikh Protestors At Modi’s Canada Visit Dig Up Ghosts Of Human Rights Violations – By Deepa Philip (Apr 18, 2015, Tehelka)

Prime Minister Modi finds himself the object of rousing welcomes wherever he goes; so the sight of 400 odd protestors outside Vancouver’s oldest gurudwara and a temple may not exactly be how he imagined his three day trip to Canada would wind up.

In an unexpected resurfacing of the ghosts of the past, protestors shouting slogans and holding placards accused Modi of being a fascist, a right winger and genocide perpetrator. The human rights advocacy group ‘Sikhs for Justice’ even filed a petition to Canadian Justice Minister Peter MacKay requesting him to charge Modi for aiding genocide and inflicting torture under the Canadian Criminal Code and the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act.…

The assemblies of protestors that greeted Modi at the gurudwara and temple in Canada have re-posed these questions to the Prime Minister. Will the honourable Premier address these questions or inexplicably lose his voice is what remains to be seen.



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Who Killed The 42 From Hashimpura, If Not The PAC Men? – By Nikita Lamba and Anurag Tripathi (Apr 4, 2015, Tehelka)

On 22 May 1987, in the midst of communal riots in Meerut city of Uttar Pradesh, 42 Muslim men were rounded up from the Hashimpura locality of the city and taken away in a truck. A few days later, their bullet-ridden bodies were found in water canals in the neighbouring Ghaziabad district.…

Nearly twenty-eight years after the massacre, on 21 March, the court acquitted all the accused citing lack of evidence regarding their identity. Rubbing salt into the wounds of the survivors and the kin of the victims, the court referred the matter to the Delhi Legal Services Authority to facilitate their rehabilitation.

The verdict in the Hashimpura massacre case adds one more chapter to the sordid tale of the miscarriage of justice in India, especially when it comes to dealing with communal violence and atrocities by agencies of the State. And the brunt of the injustice is borne by the hapless survivors, who can never forget that black night of Indian democracy that changed their lives forever.…



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Jack In The Pack – By Saba Naqvi (Apr 27, 2015, Outlook)

…We now have it on the good authority of Sanjay Raut, a Shiv Sena MP in the Rajya Sabha, that party founder Bal Thackeray wanted the voting rights of Muslims to be revoked. Raut, who is also the executive editor of the Sena mouthpiece Saamna, wrote as much in an editorial last week. “Muslims will have no future as long as they are used to play votebank politics… Balasaheb had once said that the voting rights of Muslims must be withdrawn. What he said is right,” he proclaimed in print. …

Why is the Sena not charged by the police for making a hate speech? Technically, it may not be a speech but it does amount to exhorting the cadres to “discourage” a certain section of society from voting. And this when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been travelling the globe speaking about how his government represents all of India’s citizens. The Shiv Sena is part of the Modi government, both in Delhi and Maharashtra.…

The point really isn’t to dismiss the Sena as hoodlums who can get out of hand. Or to say the yogis and sadhvis are just like that only. But to resist the abnormal from becoming the new normal in our lives. Imagine the hell that would have broken loose had anyone suggested that Dalits could do with a period of disenfranchisement because they have become a part of votebank politics. Now imagine yourself as an Indian Muslim.



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Modi’s date with mystery minority leaders – By Imran Ahmed Siddiqui (Apr 20, 2015, The Telegraph)

…Prime Minister Narendra Modi had posted a tweet along with a photo showing him and a delegation of Muslims earlier that day. “Had a good meeting with leaders of the Muslim community,” Modi tweeted. A government media release had described them as “senior leaders of the Muslim community from across the country”.…

Some Muslim community leaders and activists are alleging that the Prime Minister, rebuffed by a prominent organisation last month, is meeting “nondescript” leaders with BJP links to conjure an impression of his acceptability among the minority community. …

All nine delegates are “self-styled community leaders” without any standing in the community, said Zafaryab Jilani, executive member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, an apex body where members of various schools of thought have come together to defend Muslim personal law.…



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Patel the non-Bismarck – By A.G. Noorani (May 1, 2015, Frontline)

The offence is graver still if false praise continues even after the prince is no more. It falsifies history, creates a climate of servility, and lends itself to political abuse. True, nations live on myths. But it is the duty of historians and publicists to pursue the truth unaffected by myths.…

Vallabhbhai Patel is hailed as “India’s Bismarck” who “unified” the country and saved it from disintegration. This is a myth hugged by Nehru’s critics, and most of all by those whose hatred he earned by his staunch advocacy of the credo of secularism.

The Sangh Parivar is foremost in fostering the myths against Nehru and in spreading the myths about Patel. He was no Bismarck at all. Credit for the crucial phase of the integration of the princely states belongs mainly to the Viceroy and Governor-General, Lord Mountbatten, and his Constitutional Adviser, V.P. Menon. Patel played a supportive and ancillary role. The task was outsourced by him with the Cabinet’s full authorisation to Mountbatten.…



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Offhand encounters – By Harsh Mander (Apr 19, 2015, The Hindu)

India’s vigorous and pulsating democracy also hides an ugly underbelly: unpunished crimes by state officials against its people. Some very troubling instances of this are what are described in both police and popular idiom as ‘encounters’.…

The law, of course, does not permit the murder of even most feared and dangerous criminals except by due process of law. After all, the most fundamental of all rights in a democracy is the right to life, and this endures even for those charged with monstrous crimes. But the claim after every ‘encounter’ killing is that policepersons shot in legitimate self-defence; that – if they had not killed the criminal – lives of policepersons and innocent persons would be endangered. It matters little that in the majority of ‘encounter’ killings, such as those of April 7, this story is very thin.…

However, extensive political and social sanction to extra-judicial killing of persons charged with – but not convicted of – grave crimes ultimately both corrupts and brutalises the police force. It strips people of their basic democratic protections, culpably compromises our collective conscience, and leaves democracy enfeebled.



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