IAMC Weekly News Roundup - June 26th, 2017 - IAMC
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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – June 26th, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

‘How could they hate us so much’: Family in shock after 16-year-old Muslim boy stabbed to death on train (Jun 24, 2017, Hindustan Times)

…Junaid was allegedly stabbed to death and four others were injured on board a Mathura-bound train …. The incident took place on Thursday evening between Okhla and Asoti in Haryana, a distance of about 60 km. The four injured told Hindustan Times at Khaddawli, a small village in Haryana’s Faridabad district, the attackers repeatedly called them “anti-nationals” and “beef eaters”, threw their skull caps on the floor, caught their beards and taunted them with terms such as “mulla”.

“Junaid was so happy that he will be formally felicitated for their achievement on Eid. Since Ramzan started, he and Hashim had been reciting the Quran everyday at the mosque. They wanted to look good, so they specially went to purchase a new set of clothes to Jama Masjid. Their mother asked them to fetch the best sewaiyan and sweets to be served on the festival. He promised to reach home early, but what reached home was his dead body. How could those men be so cruel to have pierced my son’s body like that,” Jallaluddin, Junaid’s father, said.

“He was a child. He was just 16. How could they hate us so much to have killed him so brutally? When I reached the spot, my son Hashim was sitting on the station with Junaid’s body soaked in blood in his lap,” he added, even as he was being consoled intermittently by fellow villagers in Khadwali, Haryana. Jallaluddin had reached Ballabgarh station to pick up his sons so that they could go to open the fast together, but when he reached the train had already left.…



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Man lynched in Rajasthan: Eyewitnesses say govt officials yelled ‘kill him’ (Jun 27, 2017, Hindustan Times)

… Zafar’s wife and daughter too had accompanied with him to object to the officials. “They threatened my 14-year-old daughter, said they’ll burn her father, break my face,” Rashida says in an outburst before collapsing into sobs. “It was about 6:30 am and the municipal officials were clicking photos of the women defecating, pushing them, kicking their water mugs. When my husband objected to them, they told him to stay away,” she adds.

“Then Kamal, the red haired sweeper at the municipality, started hitting him,” says Rashida. The officials held her, the daughter and other women at a distance to stall their intervention efforts, she adds. Kamal was hitting Zaffar’s head with a stone, adds Sabra Bi, Zaffar’s daughter. “The commissioner, who was sitting in the car, egged ahim on. ‘Maaro, maaro, jaan se khatam kar do’,” says the daughter, who studies in Class 10.

Shahida (30), a neighbour who too claims to be an eyewitness, adds that Kamal’s hand and shirt got stained with Zaffar’s blood during the assault. Police haven’t arrested anyone for the alleged assault but has named four civic officials – including commissioner Ashok Jain – in the FIR.…



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Talk to Modi on Human Rights Violations: Dutch Parliamentarians, India Committee of the Netherlands (Jun 27, 2017, Sabrang India)

…The close Dutch relationship with India is a good reason to address the deteriorating human rights situation in India during the discussion with the Indian Prime Minister. Under Modi’s hindu-nationalist government, the marginalization of minority groups such as Dalits (‘untouchables’), Christians and Muslims has increased significantly.

Especially these groups, together more than a third of the Indian population, are nowadays regularly victims of extremist Hindu groups who respond by violence to every alleged abuse of cows. The government of India largely ignores this violence. In April of this year, Human Rights Watch also expressed her concern about this. In that month, ‘cow protectors’ killed a 55-year-old man who was on his way with his cattle truck.

We (India Committee of the Netherlands) urge you to ask Prime Minister Modi to actively promote the rights of minorities and to speak out against the violence of the Hindu extremist groups.… Dutch Member of Parliament Mr. Joël Voordewind has raised a number of parliamentary questions on Mr. Modi’s visit to the Netherlands which are related to similar human rights concerns as the Open Letter.…



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‘They want to weaken us and snatch our bread’: India’s poorest begin to blame Modi as cattle crackdown ripples through $16 billion industry (Jun 14, 2017, Daily Mail)

…The election of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) three years ago has emboldened right-wing Hindu groups to push harder for protection of the cow, an animal they consider sacred.

Authorities in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, started closing down unlicensed abattoirs in March, immediately hitting production and sales in the Muslim-dominated meat industry. Last month Modi’s government also banned trading cattle for slaughter, including not just cows, whose killing was already outlawed in most states, but also buffalo, an animal used for meat and leather.

Now the squeeze is spreading to others in the Muslim minority and to lower-caste Hindus who cart cattle, labour in tanneries and make shoes, bags and belts – including for big name brands such as Zara and Clarks. Frequent attacks by right-wing Hindus against workers they accuse of harming cattle have further rattled the industry.…



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‘Hindu-Muslim Problem Won’t Be Solved Without A Civil War’, Tripura Guv Quotes Mookerjee, Sparks Controversy (Jun 20, 2017, Outlook)

Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy courted controversy after tweeting a diary entry by Bharatiya Jana Sangh’s founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee that said “The Hindu-Muslim problem won’t be solved without a Civil War.”

On June 18, Roy tweeted, “Syama Prasad Mookerjee wrote in his diary on 10/1/1946: “The Hindu-Muslim problem won’t b solved without a Civil War”. So much like Lincoln!”

This soon invited sharp reactions on Twitter with some even accusing him of instigating communal violence calling for his sacking and arrest. This is not the first time Roy, who identifies himself on the twitter profile as a “Hindu” and a “Swayamsevak” among his other professional qualifications, has courted controversy.…



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Bulletproof jacket that failed to protect Karkare dumped in dustbin: RTI (Jun 25, 2017, Mumbai Mirror)

A substandard bulletproof jacket that failed to protect former ATS chief Hemant Karkare from the bullets of 26/11 attackers and later kicked up a massive uproar over the safety of Mumbai police personnel ended up in a dustbin at JJ Hospital.

This startling revelation has come in the form of a reply to a Right to Information application. Apparently, the police department learnt about the lapse a year after 10 LeT men brought carnage to the streets of Mumbai, but chose to keep mum.

Earlier, the force had given an evasive reply after the IPS officer’s wife Kavita sought to know its whereabouts through an RTI. Authorities had said that “the jacket was lost and could not be traced.”…



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Saharanpur violence: SIT exonerates eight Thakurs (Jun 15, 2017, Indian Express)

The Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the caste violence in Saharanpur, has exonerated eight accused belonging to the Thakur community. The eight had been arrested for allegedly attacking three Dalits on May 23.

The SIT moved an application before a local court two days ago seeking their release, saying that they were found innocent during the investigation. It referred to the role of 14 others in the violence.

“During investigation, we found that these eight accused were falsely named in the FIR lodged on various charges including attempt to murder. We had moved an application in the court under Section 169 CrPC and requested their release. The court has accepted the application and also has allowed the release,” said Saharanpur SSP Babloo Kumar. He said that they were looking for the other 14.…



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UP policewoman, who stood up to BJP workers, transferred; ‘done to keep the pride of party workers intact’ (Jul 2, 2017, Indian Express)

Uttar Pradesh policewoman Shrestha Thakur, who made headlines last week after a video of her standing up to BJP workers went viral, was transferred to Bahraich district on Saturday. She was transferred along with a few other deputy superintendents. Over 150 police personnel have been transferred, in a major mass shuffle by the UP government.

Thakur, who was stationed at Syana circle in Bulandshahar district, had sent five BJP workers to jail for ‘obstruction of duty’. Thakur’s transfer followed a meeting of 11 party MLAs and MPs with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over the issue.

According to reports, BJP city president Mukesh Bhardwaj has accepted that the officer was transferred to “keep the pride of party workers intact”. The altercation between BJP workers and Thakur happened after they protested against police action on one of its leaders, Pramod Kumar. He was slapped with a fine of Rs 200 for not wearing a helmet while riding his motorcycle.…



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This is our government and we will not let you pray, Muslims in Sakatpur told (Jun 15, 2017, Ummid.com)

Amroha, a city in western Uttar Pradesh is known for two of its specialities : its Mango Orchards and the Communal Harmony.… This town and the villages around it have never allowed the fire of communal tension from outside spreading and coming close to it but some recent incidents seem to be trying to change this past character of Amroha. At a distance of about 36 kilometres from Amroha city, there is a town called Syed Nagli and from there at about five kilometres further there is a Hindu majority village known as Sakatpur, and that is in the news these days due to communal tension there.…

Sixty five years old Nasru says, ‘This is a Hindu village. Could we have built a mosque here without their consent? They contributed money to build the mosque saying that we were a poor people and needed money.’ Everything was going well. There was peace and amity here. We don’t know what has happened here so suddenly.’ Nasru’s question was responded to by the 24 year old Riyasat saying, ‘Government has changed now. They say “This is our government and things will happen as we want.”‘ Nasru added to it saying, ‘They say “We command the time now. Your time is gone. This is our government and we will not let you pray.”‘…

Villagers say that it is RSS activist Sukhpal Singh Rana who has caused all this incitement in the village. Police has registered a case against Sukhpal Singh, who is originally from Muzaffarnagar, and presently is out of bounds. Some video clips of Rana addressing a crowd, raising inciteful slogans, in Sakatpur are being circulated on WhatsApp. Rana also called a Maha Punchayat [grand meeting of Hindus] in Sakatpur but was stopped by the police. According to police personnel Brijesh Singh investigations are being conducted against Rana.…



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Mumbai: Woman convict dies after jailors insert lathi into private parts (Jun 27, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Jailors of Byculla prison in Mumbai beat up convict Manjula Shetye, 38, brutally for complaining about two eggs and five pieces of pav (bread) missing from morning ration, says the first information report filed by the police on the basis of an eyewitness account. Hindustan Times has a copy of the FIR and the statement of the witness, which detail the inhuman behaviour of the jailors, six of whom have been booked for murder. The death triggered a violent protest by other prisoners and some 200 of them, including former media bigwig Indrani Mukerjea, who is in jail for the murder of her daughter Sheena Bora, have been booked for rioting.…

Manjula was called to the jail officer Manisha Pokharkar’s private room. The witness told police officers investigating the murder that she heard Manjula scream in pain. Manjula came back to the barrack in a while and was visibly in pain. The witness said that soon a group of jailors came to the barracks and assaulted Manjula once again. The witness said Manjula was stripped by women constables she identified as Bindu Naikade, Waseema Shaikh, Shital Shegaonkar, Surekha Gulve and Aarti Shingne.

The witness said Bindu and Surekha then held Manjula’s legs apart and Waseema inserted the lathi into her private parts. Manjula was left bleeding in the barrack, and no help was offered by the jail authorities, the witness said. It was only after Manjula fell unconscious in the bathroom that she was taken to the resident doctor at the jail who immediately asked for her to be transferred to JJ Hospital. Manjula died at the hospital. The post-mortem examination report from JJ hospital stated that Manjura had about 11 to 13 contusions all over her body. The dean of JJ hospital, TP Lahane, said the woman’s lungs were damaged.…



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Opinions and Editorials

Is India descending into mob rule? – By Soutik Biswas (Jun 26, 2017, BBC)

On Thursday a 15-year-old Muslim boy, returning home from Eid shopping with his three brothers, was killed in a brutal assault by a mob of about 20 men on a train in the north Indian state of Haryana. Police say that the reason for Junaid Khan’s murder – in which his three siblings were also injured by the knife-wielding mob – was mainly because of a row over seat space on the train.

But a man arrested for being part of the mob said on TV that he was goaded into it by others because Muslims ate beef. Shaqir, one of the surviving brothers, told reporters in the hospital that the attackers “flung our skull caps, pulled my brother’s beard, slapped us, and taunted us about eating beef”.

Under Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP, the cow has become a polarising animal and religious divisions are widening. Restrictions on the sale and slaughter of cows are fanning confusion and vigilantism.…



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As entire village shares a mother’s grief, some ask: How can we ever be happy? – By Somya Lakhani (Jun 27, 2017, Indian Express)

…Saira’s son Junaid Khan was stabbed to death in a Mathura-bound train on Thursday evening as he was returning home to Khandawli after a day of Eid shopping in Delhi. The mob that attacked him allegedly mocked his skull cap and called him a beef eater.

Outside their home, Junaid’s brothers – Ismail, Faisal and Hashim – wear black armbands as they head out for prayers on Eid morning. Grief hangs in the air, as does fear. As their father Jalaluddin begins walking towards the mosque, sympathetic eyes of the neighbourhood settle on him.

Once the prayer ends, the men gather in a field opposite the mosque and tie black bands on their arms. “We will only pray, not celebrate Eid. How can we? These black bands are a display of our sorrow; we have got support from our village and other villages as well,” says Hashim, 19, who too was stabbed in the train. Junaid’s brother Shaqir, who was stabbed five times, is yet to return home as he is recuperating at the AIIMS Trauma Centre.…



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A story of two lynchings – and the silence of Hindu India – By Samar Halarnkar (Jun 25, 2017, Scroll.in)

…India’s descent into primeval bloodletting is disturbing. This is not just because the victims are usually minorities, overwhelmingly Muslim and Dalit, reason enough to be disturbed.

The spate of lynchings, almost all reported after Narendra Modi rose to power in 2014, barely registers now on the mass media, elicits little attention from the government and does not move the majority or the nation’s collective conscience.

On the day Junaid died in his brother’s arms, there was another lynching to the north, and this time the Right-wing Hindu reaction was strong – a Muslim police officer was stripped and beaten to death by a Muslim mob outside a Srinagar mosque. The murder shocked even separatists in a land brutalised by death, and they did not hesitate to say so.…



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Eid Mubarak, In solidarity, United We Stand Against the Hindu Rashtra – By Nivedita Menon (Jun 26, 2017, Sabrang India)

…There were signposts to this new land of India in 2014, when Narendra Modi’s multi-million dollar publicity machine (as well as many reasonable intellectuals) persuaded us that Modi was done with carnage, that he would establish a centrist, reasonable, growth oriented government. ‘Growth oriented’ is code, as we all know, for corporate loot of common resources and the continued trajectory of an inequitable, unjust and ecologically unsustainable capitalist agenda, but that had already been established as the agenda of all mainstream parties. But there was that other element, Hindu Rashtra as the explicit agenda, and the signposts to it were there, back in 2014, before the elections.…

What has Modi accomplished in these three years? Under his shadow and with his explicit indulgence, Hindu Rashtra is being established. Not firmly yet, still being consolidated, but it is up, it is crawling on its millipede-like feet. There is absolutely no reason why a state driven by corporate capital should need xenophobia or racism or communalism or patriarchy or casteism. There is no necessary link between the two kinds of structures at all.…

But they should be afraid. Against Hindu Rashtra we are united – we, its Other and its Intimate Enemy. We will resist relentlessly their homogenizing and disenfranchising nationalist project… And this is our strength. We are united against Hindu Rashtra, which would impose on us the peace of the grave. We will fight them, and we will fight among ourselves – cacophonous, unruly, turbulent, reckless. We will not let Hindu Rashtra proceed much further on its millipede legs. As it creeps, we will march. Together and apart.



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Why VHP’s demand for scrapping minorities panel is absurd – Editorial (Jun 27, 2017, Hindustan Times)

The Vishva Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) rabid dislike for Muslims is all too well known. So it’s not surprising to read about their latest ‘demand’: On the last day of its central governing council meeting in Gujarat, the right wing group said that the government must scrap the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) and the Union ministry of minority affairs.

It also criticised the NCM’s decision to “start a helpline number for Muslims”, and added that “this makes one feel that the atrocities against the Muslim community have reached such proportions that the extreme step of opening a helpline for the Muslims had to be taken up”. The VHP is an RSS-affiliated institution and many of its leaders are swayamsevaks. But this is probably the first instance that it has made such a demand.

The VHP’s demand is wrong on many counts. First, the organisation is making a mistake of equating the NCM with only Muslims. The NCM was set up under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992, and five religious communities – Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) — were notified as minority communities. In 2014, Jains were added to the list. So by abolishing the NCM and the ministry, the VHP will also be denying other communities a platform to raise their grievances. … Those who believe in the country’s secular ethos, however, will agree that India needs the NCM now more than ever before.



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Women’safety continues to be key challenge – By MY Siddiqui (Jun 22, 2017, Tehelka)

Women’s security and increase in cyber crimes are the new challenges facing India today. In this connection, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has been assisting the States and Union Territories to set up investigating units for crimes against women and children, utilising Nirbhaya Fund. The MHA has also extended recently the revamped Crime and Criminal Targeting Network System (CCTNS) project with an objective of fully computerizing the functioning of police stations across the country, interlinking and sharing of data amongst police, courts, prisons, prosecution and forensic laboratories.

MHA has also begun implementing Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children (CCPWC) Scheme under Nirbhaya Fund with an outlay of Rs.195.83 crore for the next three years beginning the current fiscal year 2017-18. Under the Scheme, 36 cyber forensic training centres will be established in all States and Union Territories, 40,500 police officers trained all over India and R & D Centre established for cyber crime prevention technologies.…

Nirbhaya Fund, created in the wake of brutal rape incident of December 16, 2012 in Delhi, for the safety and security of women and children, with a corpus of Rs. 1,000 crore, remains severely underutilised. MHA is yet to chalk out proper schemes for implementation under this Fund. A source in the MHA told this correspondent that as of now, the Fund is used for miscellaneous expenditure only, which does not address the safety and security concerns of women.…



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