IAMC Weekly News Roundup - November 13th, 2017 - IAMC
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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 13th, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Oh shed! In Kannur, RSS worker blows up roof while making bomb (Nov 9, 2017, India Today)

An explosion took place on the property of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker Valayangadan Raghu in Kannur’s Koothuparamba area, allegedly while he was making a bomb in his shed.

The explosive that went off was a country-made bomb. Koothuparamba police said the blast occurred in a shed close to Raghu’s house. Roof tiles and window parts were blown away. Police also recovered 500 gm of gun powder, which was allegedly used to make bombs.

A case was registered against Raghu, but he and his son absconded after the incident. Last year, a BJP worker died in an explosion in Koothuparamba while he was making country-made bombs.



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Mystery ‘X’ marks Gujarat homes (Nov 14, 2017, Times of India)

A cross in red outside around 10 Muslim societies and Hindu colonies triggered a major scare in the Paldi area of the city on Monday, come as they did days after posters surfaced with the warning that the area would “become a Muslim ghetto”.

Alarmed residents of one of the societies, Delight Apartments, also targeted during the 2002 riots, have written to the Election Commission and the police commissioner, saying the markings had a clear purpose: to identify Muslim localities. They feared the motive was to destroy peace in the area.

Red crosses were also spotted on the main gates of Aman Colony, Nasheman Apartment, Tagore Flats and Ashiyana Apartment, and outside the Takshshila colony. Delight resident Adil Bagadiya said, “We’ve urged the EC and police commissioner to ensure peace.”…



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India ‘cow vigilantes’: Arrest after Muslim man lynched (Nov 13, 2017, BBC)

The dead man, Ummar Khan, and two other men were transporting cows when their vehicle was attacked on Friday. One man was seriously injured while the driver of the vehicle fled. … A recent Human Rights Watch report said at least 10 Muslims had been killed over the issue since May 2015.

Mr Khan’s family members allege that he was shot dead by a Hindu mob and his body was thrown onto a nearby railway track to cover up the killing. The police have not confirmed if this is a case of “cow vigilantism”, but they told the BBC that they had found six cows, one of which was dead, in the vehicle that was attacked. …

The attack has sparked anger in the local Muslim community. “It is a killing by cow vigilantes,” Moluna Hanif, head of a local Muslim group, told the BBC’s Narayan Bareth. He said that he had spoken to the injured man, Tahir, who told him that they had been attacked by a cow protection group. “It is most unfortunate and if the police fail to arrest these men, we will launch a protest,” Mr Hanif added.…



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Alwar again: Two Muslims gunned down by so-called cow vigilantes (Nov 12, 2017, Twocircles.net)

Months after lynching of Pehlu Khan, a cattle trader in Alwar district of Rajasthan, the district faced another fresh set of violence after two Muslim men were gunned down by cow vigilantes on suspicion of smuggling cows.

Ummar Muhammad and Tahir Khan – again cattle traders – were transporting cows from Mewat in Haryana to Bharatpur in Rajasthan, when they were stopped in the Fahari village near Alwar district.

Landed in scuffle with the cow vigilantes, who stopped the traders, Ummar Muhammad died on the spot after facing pistol firing from the vigilantes. Moreover, Tahir Khan is battling for his life in a private hospital in the close vicinity.…



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Sebi Imposes Rs 15 Lakh Fine on Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani’s Family for Manipulative Trading (Nov 9, 2017, News18.com)

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) charged 22 entities, including Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), for “manipulative trades” in Sarang Chemicals, a company not known to many. Rupani’s HUF has been fined Rs 15 lakh.

The alleged manipulative transactions were carried out between January 2011 and June 2011.… A Hindu Undivided Family is a firm wherein a family can come together to run a business. In simpler words, it is similar to a partnership firm and gets various tax benefits as per rules.

In May 2016, Sebi had issued a common show cause notice to the 22 entities alleging violations under Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices (PFUTP) relating to the securities market.… Sebi said it passed an ex-parte order as the noticees, including Rupani HUF, failed to submit their reply to the SCN within the sufficient time provided.



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Hindutva destroying Hinduism: author Nayantara Sahgal (Nov 11, 2017, Times of India)

…Speaking to TOI, Sahgal voicing her concerns regarding the current political situation in the country said, “I refuse to refer to the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh as Yogi Adityanath, because he is not a Yogi for me as he has done violent things which is not acceptable being a Yogi. I myself have been practising Yoga for long.” She further forwarded her belief that Hindutva today has been destroying Hinduism.

When asked about her book, she said, “All my books stem from the political climate and this book is no different. But it is a story about how modern India, along with science, art and culture, is getting destroyed.” Sahgal expressed her anger against the lynching of Akhlaq in Dadri, of Pehlu Khanin Rajasthan and against the mob murder of 15-year-old Junaid Khan. She also spoke against the murder of three journalists, including Gauri Lankesh, which forms the basis of her writing.

Blaming the government for not doing enough, Sahgal said, “The government is showing its true colours by not doing anything about it. We all know the EVM (Electronic Voting Machines) were fiddled with and maybe its time we should let go of this voting system and adopt the paper chits like the European countries.”…



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“Love Jihad” controversy resurfaces in Rajasthan, thanks to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (Nov 8, 2017, Twocircles.net)

After a few months of silence, the issue of ‘Love Jihad’ has again come under the spotlight after Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) claimed yesterday that Muslim men are being paid to convert Hindu women to Islam.

VHP’s state committee is also distributing booklets pertaining to the same claim. The booklets, which are being distributed in Jodhpur district, claim that Muslim men are being paid, most likely by Pakistan, to marry Hindu girls and left them being Muslim for their whole life.…

The booklet comes days after the Rajasthan High Court raised questions over the inter-religion marriage, followed by alleged conversion of 22-year-old Payal Sanghvi. Court, however, showed anger over the police’s negligence in registering the FIR, as it was hearing a habeas corpus filed by Sanghvi’s brother. However, the girl denied that she was pressurised for marriage and conversion and took the decision according to her own will.



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Ramjas row: Hate speech can’t be permitted in garb of freedom of speech, says court (Nov 8, 2017, DNA India)

Delivering hate speeches and raising slogans that threaten the unity and integrity of the country cannot be permitted to be donned in the attire of freedom of speech and expression, a Delhi court today said. The “veil needs to be pierced and slitted,” it added.

The stern observations were made by Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra in a complaint against some students’ groups for allegedly raising slogans at Delhi University’s Ramjas college in February this year. However, the court dismissed the complaint seeking another FIR into the matter saying the audio-video footage brought before it was “unauthenticated”.

It said that in a democratic society, “a sincere and fair criticism is always a euphony and benediction as it leads to refinement of policies and transformation of systems.” “But hate speeches/sloganeering inciting the naive and innocuous and threatening the unity and integrity of the country cannot be permitted to be donned in the attire of freedom of speech and expression. The veil needs to be pierced and slitted,” the court observed.…



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Jailed Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim has 2 passports, one with his photo in a hat (Nov 7, 2017, India Today)

Keeping two passports can prove costly for Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who is serving a 20-year jail term for raping two of his female disciples.

Investigations have revealed that two passports were issued to Gurmeet Ram Rahim, in 2015 and 2017, in violation of norms. While the first passport was issued by the regional passport office in Ambala in 2015, the other was issued early this year. The police, during the sanitisation drive in Sirsa in September, recovered two passports owned by Gurmeet Ram Rahim. The Sirsa police handed over both the passports to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for scrutiny.

According to sources, the CBI special court had asked the Dera chief to deposit his passport, issued in 2015, as he was facing serious charges of rape, attempt to murder, murder and mass castration. During the sanitation drive, the Sirsa police found that a fresh passport was issued to the Dera chief in 2017 besides recovering a copy of the 2015 passport.…



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Telangana: Former BJP leader forces two Dalit youths into dirty pond as ‘punishment’ (Nov 13, 2017, Indian Express)

A former BJP leader in Telangana’s Nizamabad district allegedly made two Dalit youths take a dip in a dirty pond for entering his sand quarry without permission. While the incident occurred on September 16 in Abhangapatnam village in Navipet Mandal, a video purportedly of the incident went viral on Sunday. Bharat Reddy, a former district general secretary of the party, is also shown abusing the two youths and beating them with a stick in the video.

Dalit organisations took to the streets to protest against the incident and demanded Reddy’s arrest. Police, however, said the youths have refused to lodge a complaint against Reddy. “Based on a complaint by Dalit leaders we have registered a case and investigating the matter,” said Sub-Inspector J Naresh of Navipet Police Station.

The two youths have been identified as K Lakshman and Rajesh. The duo had allegedly gone to the quarry, located on the outskirts of the village, to enquire if they had the necessary permission to mine sand. However, the workers at the quarry suspected them to be thieves and caught hold of them. They reported the matter to Reddy, who arrived and started beating them with a stick.…



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Opinions and Editorials

Painting a clash communal – By Gopal Kateshiya (Nov 11, 2017, Indian Express)

The part of Saurashtra, showcased as a “little bit of Africa in Gujarat”, is tense for the last one week. On October 28, a violent clash erupted between the Sidis – an ethnic tribal group with African descent – and the Ahirs, a farming community that comes under the OBC, over a minor issue at Gundaran in Talala taluka of Gir Somnath district. But what began as a clash between the two groups is steadily taking communal colour ahead of the Assembly elections in the state.

For the first time in many years, the Sidis, who are Scheduled Tribes in Gujarat, feel alienated, finding no political backing. Local BJP leaders have come out in support of the Ahirs, exhorting the “majority Hindus to unite” against the Sidis, most of who practise Islam. And many Sidis have fled from their homes at Jambur village after police crackdown in which 60 people were arrested – out of which 43 were Sidis, including nine women. The arrested Ahir youths, on the other hand, are out on bail.

The trouble began on October 28 afternoon when Aslam, a Sidi resident of Jambur village, was allegedly waylaid by fellow tribals while he was on his way to Rasulpara village on a motorbike that he had borrowed from his friend Paresh Solanki, a 20-year-old Ahir from Gundaran.…



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In Alwar, murderous mobs are emboldened by the indulgence of politicians and police – By Ipsita Chakravarty (Nov 14, 2017, Scroll.in)

…Six months after dairy farmer Pehlu Khan was lynched for allegedly transporting cattle, the body of 35-year-old Umar Khan was found on the railway tracks on November 10. His family have lodged a complaint saying he and two others were attacked by a gang of seven vigilantes. The police have already started pointing fingers at the victims, saying one of them has a record of cattle smuggling.

Ummar Khan’s family have demanded arrests but also questioned the testimonies of his two companions and asked for a fair investigation. Given the precedents and the political climate that surrounds these attacks, it is unlikely that they will get one.

Already, the routine excuses and evasions have started. State Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said they did not even “manpower” to “control every situation in all cities in time”. Of Pehlu Khan’s killing, he had said it was “alright” that people “illegally” transporting cattle were caught, though no one had the right to “take the law into their own hands”, that the “problem is from both sides”.…



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Game on in Gujarat – By Sanjay Kumar & Shreyas Sardesai (Nov 14, 2017, The Hindu)

If a week is a long time in politics, then two and half months are an eternity. In the first half of August, when Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) conducted the first round of its pre-election Tracker in Gujarat, it seemed as though the election to the Legislative Assembly was going to be yet another cakewalk for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has been in power in the State since 1998.

The survey found a 30 percentage point vote gap between the BJP and the Congress, quite similar to the one seen during the 2014 Lok Sabha election. However, in the second round of the Tracker conducted in October, post-Deepavali, we found the BJP’s advantage to have plummeted to a mere six points. This dramatic change makes us wonder whether the electoral race is headed for a photo finish in a month’s time. The answer to that will only be known on December 18, the counting date.

But what we can say with some confidence at this stage is that even though the BJP continues to be ahead, the momentum has shifted, and shifted quite strongly towards the Congress. If the party is able to build on it in the next three to four weeks of campaigning, it may well end up posing a very serious challenge to the BJP in the home State of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president, Amit Shah.…



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Modi government is deliberately misinterpreting the Constitution – By Kamal Mitra Chenoy (Nov 13, 2017, Dailyo.in)

…the way Constitutional rights are being violated or misinterpreted is shocking. For example, the Constitution in Article 48 in order to preserve and promote [cattle] breeds bans cow/calf slaughter, but also bans the killing of milch and draught cattle which includes the buffalo, mithun (Bos frontalis), yak, etc. However, PM Narendra Modi has stated that there is a Constitutional basis against cow slaughter. But this is an incomplete reading of Article 48. The Constitution bans all slaughter of all cattle, not just of cows. That would be very difficult for the NDA government to accept. Nor could the NDA stop the slaughter of buffaloes, mithuns and yaks. So Article 48 is clearly not stating what the BJP wants to hear.

Others like UP CM Yogi Adityanath also have misread Article 48. Furthermore, Article 48 is a directive principle, which unlike a fundamental right is not binding. So, the hullabaloo created over cow slaughter is motivated and a violation of the Constitution.

Similarly, there is a deliberate misinterpretation of Article 25, a fundamental right, which states that “all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion”.… BJP leaders like the (late) Dilip Singh Judeo called the re-conversion of say a Christian to a Hindu as “ghar wapsi”. That implied that tribals were originally Hindus. This is often not true. Misusing Article 25 is illegal and cheating of Adivasis and others.…



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‘Tiger of Mysore’ caught in political quagmire – By Abdul Wasey (Nov 6, 2017, Tehelka)

At NASA’s Wallops Flights Facility, a rocket launch site to support the US agency’s science and exploration missions, hangs a painting of the 1780 Anglo Mysore War. It depicts a battle scene with a few rockets flying in the background.… Hyder Ali, the 18th century ruler of Mysore, and his son and successor Tipu Sultan used the first iron-cased rockets successfully and effectively against the British East India Company during the 1780s and 1790s. Their conflicts with the company exposed the British to this technology, which was then used to advance European rocketry with the development of the Congreve rocket in 1805. Thus, it can be claimed that the Western rocket and space ship technologies actually have their roots in India and the role of Tipu Sultan cannot be ignored.

At times, the Mysore ruler did target Hindu and Christian communities. But, according to historian Kate Brittlebank, “this was not a religious policy but one of chastisement”. The communities he targeted were seen as disloyal to the Mysore state. Tipu had also acted against Muslim communities such as the Mahdevis, who would support the British and find employment as horsemen in the East India Company’s armies.

Even as Tipu Sultan attacked Hindus and Christians from outside Mysore, the historian Susan Bayly says, he “was careful to foster close ritual and political relations with Hindus and even Christians with his own domain, provided these groups posed no threat to this authority”. Interestingly, Tipu’s right-hand man and chief minister was a Hindu. His name was Purnaiya. The ongoing row over Tipu Sultan, Taj Mahal and Babri Masjid provide a ringside view of how modern politics uses history to create and reinforce present-day identities.



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33 Years After 1984 Sikh Massacre: The RSS/BJP Rulers Continue The Facade Of Searching For Perpetrators – By Shamsul Islam (Nov 2, 2017, Countercurrents)

As citizens of India, the largest democracy on this earth, we relish to claim that we are part of a civilization based on the principles like Satyameva Jayate (truth alone triumphs) and ahimsa (non-violence). Sadly, it may not be true for many of us, specially, minorities and Dalits. Despite Indian Constitution assuring no discrimination on the basis of religion and Caste, there are two kinds of system of justice; one for the majority community and high Castes and the other for minority communities and Dalits.

Whenever the country witnesses the large-scale violence against minorities and Dalits, the search for perpetrators continues endlessly and criminals rarely punished. Major incidents of violence against minorities like Nellie massacre (1983), Sikh massacre (1984), Hashimpura custodial massacre of Muslim youth (1987), pre/post-Ayodhya mosque demolition violence against Muslims (1990-92), Gujarat carnage (2002) and Kandhmal cleansing of Christians (2008) are testimony to this reality.…

In such cases Indian State is fond of playing commission-commission. Commissions after commissions would be constituted to see that the heinous crimes disappear from the public memory. The horrendous massacre of Sikhs in different parts of India is a living testimony of this criminal attitude of the Indian justice system.…



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