IAMC Weekly News Roundup - December 12th, 2016 - IAMC
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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – December 12th, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Maratha Seva Sangh organises communal harmony rally as part of Eid ul Milad celebrations (Dec 13, 2016, Twocircles.net)

In view of Eid Ul Milad, the birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), Maratha Seva Sangh organised a “Aman Sandesh” rally on Monday in the city in association with Chhatrapati Shivaji Muslim Brigade, Jijajau Brigade and the Sambhaji Brigade.

The main objective behind holding this rally was to spread the teachings of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and humanity and communal harmony among countrymen. The rally began in the city centre place and covered a number of Muslim-dominated areas. The rally, which received a good response from all sections of the society, saw the participation of nearly 200 activists from various organisations.

Talking to Twocircles.net, the President of the city MSS unit Ram Gaikwad said, “The teachings of Prophet Mohammed are not only for Muslims but for the entire humanity. We are always keen to erase the line which has been drawn between Muslims and other communities. The birth anniversary of Prophet (PBUH) is the ideal time to hold such events and spread brotherhood.”…


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Bengal BJP man held with Rs 10 lakh in new notes (Dec 7, 2016, Times of India)

A BJP member, who had contested this year’s assembly poll in West Bengal, and a coal mafia don were arrested along with some truck owners from the Raniganj coal belt with stacks of new currency in their possession on Tuesday.

The Kolkata Police STF recovered Rs 33 lakh in cash, seven guns and 89 rounds of ammunition from their possession. Around Rs 10 lakh was found on BJP’s Manish Sharma alias Manish Joshi (44). He was found travelling in the same car as four other accused and was caught with the cash and weapons.

The don, Rajesh Jha alias Raju (46), was arrested twice in June and July in two cases of fake currency and murder and was out on bail. I-T has been alerted even as cops are trying to ascertain the source of the money kept in Rs 2,000 new notes, Rs 100 and Rs 50 notes. Of the amount, Rs 2 lakh cash was in a series – a clear indication that it was withdrawn from a bank branch.…



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Bhaiya reference to minister Kiren Rijiju: ‘Bhaiya ka help chahiye toh humko boliye Sir’ (Dec 14, 2016, Indian Express)

Responding to the report in The Indian Express today about a Vigilance probe that red-flagged fraud and corruption in an Arunachal Pradesh hydro project, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday tried to distance himself from his cousin Goboi Rijiju, a sub-contractor for Patel Engineering Limited which is under a cloud for allegedly providing fake transport bills and invoices related to work on building of two dams.

The minister…said that the letter he wrote to the Ministry of Power to release funds to Patel Engineering were only meant to help “poor local people,” working on the project under the aegis of North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO). However, a careful examination of the audio of the conversation between Goboi Rijiju and then NEEPCO Chief Vigilance Officer Satish Verma – who conducted the investigation – reveals more than a “distant relationship” between the minister and the sub-contractor.

In the 29-minute purported conversation in December 2015, Goboi invoked Kiren Rijiju, whom he calls “Bhaiya”, 17 times to push his case for payment to Patel Engineering. Both have admitted to The Indian Express that they are cousins. Verma attached the audio clip to his report.…



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UP polls: BJP, RSS want to impose Hindutva, alleges Mayawati (Dec 6, 2016, DNA India)

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Tuesday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) want to impose Hindutva in the nation as the Indian Constitution, based on secularism, drafted by Dr BR Ambedkar is not acceptable to them.

“Dalits, Adivasis, backward communities and minorities have struggled in India. To make these people safe, Dr Ambedkar drafted our Constitution on the basis of religious equality which isn’t acceptable to the BJP and RSS. They want to impose Hindutva. The BJP and the RSS do not like the Constitution,” she said.…

The BSP supremo further said the people will not be influenced by BJP’s tactics. “In the name of Babasaheb, the opposition parties have spread confusion. These parties have made differences between Dalits and backward classes. The people got their rights during the BSP regime,” she added.…



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Madhya Pradesh accused of bowing to RSS as Bhopal police fail to provide security for Kerala CM (Dec 13, 2016, Scroll.in)

With Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan forced to pull out of a public event in Bhopal on Saturday in the wake of protests by Sangh Parivar activists, the Madhya Pradesh government and the police have been accused of bowing to the diktats of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and failing to provide security to a visiting leader.

Vijayan’s party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), as well as the Congress have accused the state police of giving in to the demands of a small group of Bajrang Dal activists protesting at the venue against the killing of RSS workers in Kerala. Social media has also been abuzz with reactions to the incident.

The spokesperson for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s state unit, Rahul Kothari, justified the protests by the Sangh activists, and demanded that the Kerala chief minister apologise for the political murders in his state.…



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Media must publish apology to acquitted innocents: Tribunal (Dec 11, 2016, The Hindu)

The report of the jury that heard the first People’s Tribunal on Acquitted Innocents, held on October 2, 2016, took strong exception to “news coverage which destroys a person’s reputation by creating a widespread perception of guilt, without any verdict in the court of law”.

The jury, which was chaired by Justice A.P. Shah, released its report – Towards a Framework for Compensation and Rehabilitation for Victims of Wrongful Prosecution/Conviction – in New Delhi on Saturday.

Holding that sections of the media had devastated lives “through sensationalism and partisan reporting”, the report urged the media to “strictly refrain from pronouncing the suspects/arrestees as guilty”, and to serve as objective institutions instead of becoming “mere handmaidens of investigating agencies”. It called upon publications and news channels that had put out defamatory material to “widely publish unconditional apology to the exonerees”.…



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Sadiq Jamal encounter: Special CBI court rejects brother’s application seeking further probe (Dec 8, 2016, Indian Express)

A special CBI court on Thursday rejected an application moved by Shabbir, brother of Sadiq Jamal Mehtar, seeking further investigation into the encounter killing of his brother in 2003 by a team of Gujarat police officers. He had alleged that the CBI is not investigating the role of then politicians and senior police officers responsible for the encounter.

Shabbir had moved this application in 2013 days after CBI filed its first chargesheet in this case against eight policemen, including “encounter specialist” Tarun Barot, in December, 2012. Barot was reappointed as Deputy Superintendent of Police, Headquarters, Western Railway, Vadodara on a year’s contract on October 13 almost two years after his superannuation.

The special CBI judge rejected the application of Shabbir on the ground that “investigation is still going on”. In the first chargesheet, CBI had said investigation was on under section 173 (8) of CrPC. However, nearly four years have passed but CBI is yet to move court with documents suggesting further probe. Meanwhile, all the eight accused have been granted bail and reinstated by the state government.…



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SIT ties Govind Pansare killing with Hemant Karkare death (Dec 10, 2016, Asian Age)

The Maharashtra police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) in its supplementary chargesheet in the case involving the February 2015 murder of CPI leader Govind Pansare in Kolhapur indicated that the trigger for the crime was allegedly his close involvement in a lecture held there in December 2014, titled ‘Who killed Karkare?”

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief and senior IPS officer Hemant Karkare was killed, along with two other senior police officers, in the 26/11 attacks of 2008.… there were speculations alleging that Karkare’s killing could have been stage-managed by intelligence agencies as the ATS, led by him, had detected the role of a right-wing Hindu outfit in orchestrating the Malegaon September 2008 blasts that killed four persons.…

According to the SIT chargesheet, Pansare allegedly said during the lecture held on December 30, 2014 that he would henceforth organise protests at “150 places” in Maharashtra against a right-wing outfit. According to the chargesheet, case accused Dr Virendra Tawade, subsequently arrived in Kolhapur and within “one and a half months” of the December 30, 2014 lecture, he and his associates allegedly targeted Pansare.…



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Missing JNU student: Delhi High Court slams cops for failure to trace him (Dec 9, 2016, Indian Express)

The Delhi High Court on Friday slammed the police for remaining clueless about missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, who has remained untraced for 55 days, asking how can a man just “vanish suddenly”. Maintaining that it was concerned with the recovery of the boy whose mother has been running from pillar to post to be united with her son, the Court said a situation, in which a missing person has not been traced for over 50 days, would create a sense of insecurity among the people.

“It is over 50 days. Still you (police) do not know about his whereabouts. How can somebody vanish suddenly and police has no clue about it? Even if we think of the worst, something has to be found out. We are pained that the missing person has not been traced till date,” a bench of Justices G S Sistani and Vinod Goel said.

Najeeb Ahmed went missing from JNU’s Mahi-Mandvi hostel on October 15 allegedly after an on-campus scuffle between him and some members of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The ABVP has denied involvement in his disappearance. The bench said, “We are not concerned with the scuffle. We only want that the boy is recovered and he returns to his house. We are concerned that the mother should get her child.”…



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‘Muslims under-represented in State govt. jobs’ (Dec 11, 2016, The Hindu)

From holding the lion’s share of government employment in the erstwhile rule of the Nizams, the share of Muslim employees in Telangana State has been found to be low at only 7.36 per cent against their population of 12.68 per cent.

The fact was revealed in the report of the Commission of Inquiry on Socio-Economic and Educational Conditions of Muslims in Telangana that was made public on Saturday. The report observed that “exclusion or under-representation of Muslims in the State government posts adversely impacts their role in decision-making and participation in the implementation process”.

Stating that proportionate representation of communities in government services is one of the major indicators of their inclusion, the report opines that Muslim community has been left behind in overall development and as a result their share in government services has dwindled.…



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US-based rights group accuse India of excessive use of force, obstructing access to medical care in Valley (Dec 7, 2016, Indian Express)

A United States-based international organisation of health professionals has indicted the Jammu and Kashmir Police and paramilitary forces of “excessive use of force” and “obstructing access to urgent medical care to protesters” during this year’s protests in the Valley that resulted in deaths and injuries.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), in its report titled ‘Blind to Justice – Excessive Use of Force and Attacks on Healthcare in Jammu and Kashmir’ , has said that excessive use of force against the civilians “violates India’s obligations to protect the rights to life and health”.

The international human rights watchdog accused security forces of using “intimidation tactics” against medical workers attempting to treat the injured and preventing doctors from reaching the hospitals where they work. It also said that weapons used by forces, like tear gas grenades, pepper gas shells, live ammunition, and 12-gauge shotguns loaded with metal pellets, were “misleadingly represented as less than lethal”. The report was released Wednesday.…



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Opinions and Editorials

The Hindutva Terror Nexus – By Shamsul Islam (Dec 8, 2016, Countercurrents)

Sanathan Sanstha, being probed for bomb blasts and assassination of three great democratic-secular intellectuals of India, Narendra Dhabolkar, Govind Pansare and MM Kalburgi, is an offshoot (or vice versa) of Hindu Janajaguriti Samiti (HJS) which has openly been demanding conversion of democratic-secular India into a Hindu rashtra and celebrating ‘vadh’ of Gandhi ji.

One shocking fact about HJS, not known is, that it organized ‘All India Hindu Convention for Establishment of Hindu Nation’ at Goa in 2013 coinciding with the BJP executive committee meeting there. This Goa conference of HJS for turning India into a Hindu rashtra was supposed to be inaugurated by Modi as CM of Gujarat but due to pre-occupation with the BJP executive meeting in which he was declared as RSS/BJP PM candidate, he sent a message lauding HJS and its ‘work’.…

Another shocking feature of this conference was that Nathuram Godse, main killer of Gandhiji was glorified from the same stage where Modi’s congratulatory message was read. One of the prominent speakers, K.V. Sitaramiah, a seasoned Hindutva cadre, declared that Gandhi was ‘terrible, wicked and most sinful’.… Maharashtra police which is working to unearth the conspiracy behind murder of Narendra Dhabolkar, Govind Pansare and MM Kalburgi and innumerable bomb blasts against a minority community must find way to investigate PM Modi and characters like K.V. Sitaramaiah to know the whole Hindutva terror nexus.…



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Twenty-Four Years After the Bombay Riots, a Continuing Sense of Injustice – By Meena Menon (Dec 8, 2016, The Wire)

A day after the Babri Masjid was demolished on December 6, 1992, Razia Rehman Sheikh had planned to take her son Jabbar for a check up to a public hospital for his mental illness. She never got there. Years later she remembered the day with great clarity. That was when the riots broke out in Bombay (renamed Mumbai in 1995). They waited at Kherwadi gate near Bandra for a long time. They saw a lot of bodies being taken away in hand carts. Jabbar was watching all this too. It was a while before he could be taken to hospital. Later, Jabbar developed a severe mental illness and had to be committed to an institution. Razia’s tragedy did not end there. One of her daughters who was about to be married, suddenly died one day.

Razia used to live in Razzak chawl in Behrampada and had many Hindu neighbours. Now most of them have sold their houses and left. She, too, unable to bear the trauma, moved across to a nearby slum at Naupada. Now her life is spent with the Mahila Shakti Mandal, a women’s group helping others in distress. And educating her daughters is her priority. Like Razia, many in Mumbai still feel the trauma of the riots, which tore the city’s secular fabric to shreds. While the city already had its ghettoes, the riots intensified the divide more than ever, forcing people to seek shelter with their own community.

There is little to remind us today, 24 years later, of the months of upheaval that wracked the city in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition. No memorials exist for the over 1000 killed and the many missing. Only memories remain, indelibly and unhappily etched in the minds of survivors.…



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Sitting during the national anthem is a crime, but physical assault isn’t? – By Ranjan Crasta (Dec 13, 2016, Catch News)

When the Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom, decreed that the national anthem must be played before every movie screened in a theatre, it divided opinion. Many saw the decree as forced nationalism, while the rest thought those who disagreed with the SC were paid Pakistani agents who hate India. Or at least that was the impression given by Twitter.

What’s worse, not only has the Supreme Court order raised the possibility of more such incidents, but, if Chennai’s events are any indication, the police will condone the actions of ruffians as well. However, once the surprise and outrage, and outrage at outrage, had worn off, people started to wonder a wholly different question – who would enforce this rule? Already, there have been reports of adult theatre owners distraught at a lack of compliance from patrons and without the staff to enforce it.…

With the logic behind the order unclear to most, one expects to hear of more such arrests and assaults. And all this for what? Because we think the ‘honour’ of our country is at stake? How little do we think of our country’s honour when nine nobodies sitting through the national anthem is enough to undermine this unimpeachable honour?



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On Demonetisation, Prime Minister Modi May Have Already Lost the Plot – By M.K. Venu (Dec 14, 2016, Countercurrents)

Narendra Modi is possibly trapped in his self-belief that he possesses unlimited capacity to control the political narrative in the face of the untold national suffering which is refusing to abate five weeks after demonetisation. There are newspaper reports that BJP members of parliament are expressing serious worry over the growing public impatience and resentment as the supply of cash is nowhere near normalising.

Important grassroots outfits of the Sangh Parivar such as Bhartiya Majdoor Sangh, Swadeshi Jagran Manch and Laghu Udyog Bharti have all begun to suggest that the continuing distress in the informal sector of the economy does not augur well for the ruling party. …

Overall, the real test for Modi would be what sort of national narrative he is able to sustain in the weeks and months ahead. Can he succeed in converting the immense national suffering into a sort of “national renewal”, as his rhetoric suggests? The rhetoric of people sacrificing for a larger cause is also looking weak as reports of businessmen getting caught with tens of crores in new currency gets reported everyday. It doesn’t take much for the self-belief of obsessive leaders to turn to self-deception. For when the bottom-up narrative of anger and distress gains a critical mass, as it is clearly happening now, those who claim to control the agenda would likely get swept away. The forthcoming elections will doubtless reflect this.



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It’s not communal to say note ban harmed Muslims acutely. It’s the truth – By Aditya Menon (Dec 13, 2016, Catch News)

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi stirred a controversy with his statement that the note ban’s impact had been particularly acute in Muslim-dominated areas. “In many Muslim-dominated areas banks aren’t present in the manner they should be. The proportion of loan distribution is also less compared to other areas….ATMs aren’t there (in sufficient numbers),” he said while addressing a rally in Udgir near Latur in Maharashtra on Monday. “If a bank is open (in Muslim areas), it is declared a red zone,” he added.

Both BJP and Congress criticised his statement. This is what Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju tweeted on the issue, before he got caught in corruption allegations. Congress leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said, “We don’t believe what Owaisi is saying. He should give proof if anything like this has happened”.…

Given this socio-economic profile of large sections of Indian Muslims, it is hardly surprising that the community has been acutely affected by the note ban, perhaps more than other communities. It isn’t communal on Owaisi’s part to point this out. To ignore it, is being blindly apathetic.



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The True Meaning of Mahesh Shah, the Man With Rs 13,860 Crore – By Harish Khare (Dec 10, 2016, Countercurrents)

…This Mahesh Shah had to be from Gujarat; specifically from Ahmedabad, the very civic site that represents the Gujarati spirit in all its roughness and brashness. In fact, Mahesh Shah can almost be called the poster boy of the “vibrant” Gujarat. It becomes necessary to delineate the political context.… Yet it would produce a Mahesh Shah – the man who would declare a mindboggling income of Rs 13,860 crore of undisclosed wealth under Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Income Declaration Scheme.

The Mahesh Shahs of Gujarat represent that wonderful convergence – a nexus, in fact – of a certain kind of business ethics, political disposition and social prejudice. It is this nexus that first begot and then sustained the Narendra Modi political project. Yet, the multitude applauds when one product (Modi) throws the book at another product (Shah). Maybe it is our civilisational gift for duality. But, it can only be injurious to the long-term health of the democratic polity.

Consequently, the polity has become dangerously imbalanced. The ruling clique seeks reaffirmation in the intrinsic merit of notebandi and the presumed popular acceptance of the “surgical strike against black money.” But the country finds itself in a bind. The demonetisation cannot be rolled back as easily as it was thrust upon the nation. But, nor can the cost of dislocation in the economy – and, society – be wished away. The government – and its accomplices in the corporate world – manufactured a narrative of “short-term pain and long-term gain.” The mood can turn sour and then we all may be saddled with ugly consequences. The democratic forces and voices have an obligation to reassure the nation that the common man is not at the mercy of one man.



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