IAMC Weekly News Roundup - November 27th, 2017 - IAMC
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IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 27th, 2017

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Roundup

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Poet wrote on Hindu-Muslim unity, says Jaisi’s native village (Nov 25, 2017, Times of India)

Even as the world is caught up in a storm over ‘Padmavati’, people in this quiet village – the birthplace of Malik Mohammad Jaisi, the writer of ‘Padmavat’ – wonder what the fuss is all about. For the residents, most of whom can recite couplets from the tale written in Awadhi in the 16th century, “mahakavi” Jaisi’s work revolved around the unity between Hindu and Muslims, bereft of any hurtful sentiments towards any community.

People in Jais, about 100 km from Lucknow, are dismissive about the controversy around ‘Padmavati’. “I had studied the book in school. Those who are opposing it have not seen the movie. They have perhaps not read the book either. It seems to be a political gimmick to oppose it.

The book has no controversial element,” said Mohammad Nizam Khan, who lives right across the place where then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi laid the foundation stone for Malik Mohammad Jaisi Research Institute in 1988. The institute, however, never saw the light of day.…


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CBI court judge in Gujarat’s Sohrabuddin encounter case murdered? Scared family finally speaks up about shocking facts (Nov 21, 2017, New Indian Express)

Loya, the late CBI court judge who had taken over the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, has come out with shocking revelations and questions. Loya’s relatives have questioned the circumstances surrounding the judge’s sudden death and post mortem conducted without their permission, hinting at foul play.

It’s been three years since the sudden demise of Loya, the CBI special court judge in Mumbai, who had taken over the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case in which BJP president Amit Shah was accused.

The trial, if it took place would have put then Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah and several top Gujarat police officers on the stand for the encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi.…



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No Media Reporting On Sohrabuddin Encounter Trial, Orders CBI Court (Nov 30, 2017, NDTV)

A special CBI court in Mumbai has ordered that the media will not be allowed to report on daily proceedings in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh alleged fake encounter case trial that is being held in Mumbai after it was moved out of Gujarat by the Supreme Court.

In the order, Additional Sessions Judge SJ Sharma said, “It may happen that the publication may create security problem for the accused persons, prosecution witnesses, the defence team and the prosecutor as well. I therefore, find justification in the request of the defence team of lawyers. The application is allowed.”

The court passed the order after an application by the defence counsel to ban day-to-day coverage of proceedings in the case. The court also referred to the defence arguments related to the death of Judge Brij Gopal Loya which has recently been reported on after family members raised questions about the circumstances under which he died.…



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‘Burn UK cinemas’ Hindu leader tells followers to attack theatres showing Bollywood film (Nov 26, 2017, Express)

The release of Padmavati has been marred by protests amid claims the film portrays an inaccurate account of history. Critics argue that the film, which cost £17million to produce and has been given a 12A rating, suggests the iconic 14th century Hindu queen, Padmavati, engaged in a romantic relationship with Muslim invader Alauddin Khilji. The picture was cleared by the British Board of Film Classification without any cuts.

Sukhdev Singh, the leader of the Rajput Karni Sena caste group, is seeking to halt the film’s circulation, calling on UK Hindus to adopt violence in order to stop its screening. He told Republic TV: “I call on Hindus in the UK and particularly my community brothers to protest against the screening of the film there. I have told them any cinema hall which screens the movie will be burnt.”

Protests against the film in India have turned violent, with unconfirmed reports that a body was found hanging outside a fort in the northern state of Rajasthan on Friday morning.…



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25 years of Babri Masjid demolition: VHP, Bajrang Dal to leave Bengal out of the celebration map (Nov 27, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and its youth wing Bajrang Dal (BD) have left Bengal out of the nationwide map to celebrate 25 years of Babri Masjid demolition on December 6. The outfits have planned to celebrate the day as Shaurya Divas (Day of Valour). Both VHP and its youth wing were involved in the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh on December 6, 1992.

“In Bengal, they all (read Trinamool Congress, the Left and Congress) observe December 6 as Black Day. Instead of confronting them, we would leave the field to them,” Sachindra Nath Singha, who is in charge of VHP’s Bengal, Assam, Sikkim and Andaman units told HT on Monday.

Singha, who recently paid a visit to Guwahati to finalise celebration plan there, said that Shaurya Divas will be celebrated in Assam with ‘full valour’. In Bengal, their only programme is the concluding ceremony of membership drive that started earlier in November.…



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Move to rename Delhi college triggers row (Nov 19, 2017, The Tribune)

The move to rename Dyal Singh (evening) College, spread over 9 acres in the heart of South Delhi, as Vande Mataram Mahavidyalaya has taken political contours with student groups, NSUI being one of them, alleging that the decision was politically motivated.

The college governing body maintains that the name has been changed in the “interest of students”. But a section of students and teachers remains unconvinced, pointing out that the chairman of the college governing body, Amitabh Sinha, is associated with the BJP.

The notification to change the college name, issued on Friday, has been sent to the VC for approval. The college is named after Dyal Singh Majithia, who founded The Tribune Trust (1881) and the Punjab National Bank (1894). He also set up an education trust. Dyal Singh College was born out of that trust. The college was established at Lahore in 1910. After Partition, it was shifted to Karnal and then to Delhi as a constituent college of the University of Delhi (1959).…



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Laws being passed give gau rakshaks power to be vigilantes: Teesta Setalvad (Nov 17, 2017, Hindustan Times)

Civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad on Friday alleged that certain cow protection laws allow ‘gau rakshaks’ to take the law into their hands. Stating that such laws should be repealed, Setalvad urged the people to take up the issue since the “principal opposition is not raising it”.

Setalvad was speaking during a discussion on “Lynchpin – Looking at the politics of mob violence” at the Tata Literature Live here. Other panelists included Naresh Fernandes (editor of Scroll.in) and Thomas Blom Hansen (professor of anthropology at Stanford University).

“We have in place, in about eight states, including Maharashtra, certain cow protection laws, that actually privilege the gau rakshaks. So, laws are being passed to allow gau rakshaks the power to be vigilantes. We also have to speak about repealing those laws, because it is actually allowing them to take the law into their own hands,” she said.…



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Three Muslims allegedly thrashed, thrown out of moving train in Uttar Pradesh (Nov 24, 2017, Indian Express)

Three Muslim men, including a cleric, were on Wednesday night allegedly thrashed and thrown out of a moving train by unidentified persons. The men reportedly boarded a train in New Delhi and were on their way to their village in Baghpat when a tiff with some youth led to the alleged assault, Baghpat SP Jaiprakash Singh told news agency PTI.

The victims got off the train at Amhaida station and filed a complaint against six unidentified persons at Baghpat Kotwali police station, he said. Police, however, did not confirm whether the three – Gulzar (30), Israr (25) and Abu Bakr (21) – were pushed out of the train.

The case has been registered under sections 147 (rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 352 (assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation) of the IPC. Baghpat Kotwali in charge B Kumar said the case was being transferred to the Railway police.



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Six RSS workers sentenced to life in prison for killing CPI(M) leader in Kerala in 2002 (Nov 24, 2017, Scroll.in)

A court in Kerala’s Thalassery district on Thursday sentenced six workers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to life in prison for murdering a leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in 2002.

The prosecution told the court that the six men had entered an automobile showroom in Panoor town on February 5, 2002, and hacked Thazheyil Ashraf, the CPI(M) leader, to death, The Times of India reported. The trial in the case began only in October 2011.

On Thursday, the Additional District Sessions Court sentenced the six men and also ordered them to pay a fine of Rs 50,000 each, which will be given to Ashraf’s family, The Hindu reported. The court also sentenced each of them to a 10-year jail term and fined them Rs 20,000 for trespassing. The jail term will run concurrently, public prosecutor BP Saseendran said.



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BJP tried targeting Hardik instead of addressing his concerns: Congress (Nov 23, 2017, Business Standard)

The Congress Party has hit back at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for his comment about them and Patidar leader Hardik Patel, indulging in ‘mutual deception’ over increasing minority quota in Gujarat.

“BJP should have answered to Hardik Patel and other youth point-by-point on the concerns of these youth. Instead of addressing their concerns, instead of taking them into confidence, the BJP has tried to target them and tarnish them, which they have failed,” Congress leader Rizwan Arshad told ANI.

Arshad said that there are other youth leaders besides Patel, such as Jignesh Mevani and Alpesh Thakor, who have led independent movements, but were targeted by the BJP, and were booked at its behest.…



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Education Tour For Rajasthan Students: A Fair Where They Learn About ‘Love Jihad’, ‘Christian Conspiracies’ (Nov 19, 2017, Outlook)

In Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital, schools have been asked to take teachers and students to a fair where they can learn about “love jihad”, “Christian conspiracies” and take an oath on vegetarianism.

Jaipur’s Additional District Education Officer Deepak Shukla has confirmed that an order has been given upon the direction of Primary and Secondary Education Minister Vasudev Devnani to “help” organisers of the fair by making students visit the place, reported The Indian Express.…

In the fair, pamphlets on “love jihad” were distributed by Vishwa Hindu Parishad members, that talks about Bollywood actors Saif Ali Khan and Aamir Khan leaving Hindu wives and then again ”ensnaring” Hindu women.… A Bharatiya Hindu Sena pamphlet urges people to make India entirely a Hindu nation and to ”construct a magnificent temple of Lord Ram in Ayodhya”.



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Opinions and Editorials

Glare on Shah case judge death – By Pheroze L. Vincent (Nov 23, 2017, The Telegraph)

Several rights activists have demanded a judicial probe into the 2014 death of a judge hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, citing reports in The Caravan magazine website in which the judge’s family has alleged foul play.

BJP chief Amit Shah, who was then Gujarat home minister, was an accused in the case. Sohrabuddin, accused of extortion and smuggling, died in police custody in 2005.

The family of Justice B.H. Loya had alleged that the CBI court judge had been offered a bribe of Rs 100 crore by a judge for a “favourable judgment”.…



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Chief Justice Mohit Shah Made an Offer of Rs 100 Crore to My Brother for a Favourable Judgment in the Sohrabuddin Case: Late Judge Loya’s Sister – By Niranjan Takle (Nov 21, 2017, Caravan Magazine)

Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, the judge presiding over the CBI special court in Mumbai, died sometime between the night of 30 November and the early morning of 1 December 2014, while on a trip to Nagpur. At the time of his death, he was hearing the Sohrabuddin case, in which the prime accused was the Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah.

The media reported at the time that Loya had died of a heart attack. But my investigations between November 2016 and November 2017 raised disturbing questions about the circumstances surrounding Loya’s death – including questions regarding the condition of his body when it was handed over to his family.

Among those I spoke to was one of Loya’s sisters, Anuradha Biyani, a medical doctor based in Dhule, Maharashtra. Biyani made an explosive claim to me: Loya, she said, confided to her that Mohit Shah, then the chief justice of the Bombay High Court, had offered him a bribe of Rs 100 crore in return for a favourable judgment. She said Loya had told her this some weeks before he died, when the family gathered for Diwali at their ancestral home in Gategaon. Loya’s father Harkishan also told me that his son had told him he had offers to deliver a favourable judgment in exchange for money and a house in Mumbai.…



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Communal Video Only Adds to Dissatisfaction and Anger Among Gujarat’s Muslim Voters – By Damayantee Dhar (Nov 23, 2017, The Wire)

…”The video clearly has a blatant communal tone and is an attempt to polarise the non-Muslim votes ahead of the election. The motive behind complaining is to ensure fair voting without an environment of fear or prejudice. The cyber cell of the crime branch has recorded my statement. I have stated that such videos should be banned, as they create fear and take advantage of polarisation. The cyber cell has written to all social media platforms to take down the video,” Parmar told The Wire.

“There is obviously the hidden agenda of Hindutva in the video, which doesn’t come from the BJP directly these days but from unofficial trusts and organisations affiliated to the Sangh parivar. This has been the case post-2012, from the time when Modi started to project himself as a national leader. He does not clearly highlight Hindutva, but it has been back-channelled. The video definitely is trying to set a communal mood, which will have a role in mainly consolidating urban votes,” Sharik Laliwala, a political researcher who has been studying various trends in the Gujarat elections since the 1960s, told The Wire.…

“Post-2014, the fear among Muslims has grown, also owing to the BJP’s decision to field Adityanath as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. Many Muslims who used to live in heterogeneous areas have either migrated to Juhapura or older Ahmedabad or bought a second home to be safe,” Laliwala added. The poster incident he refers to occurred in Paldi, where he lives. Posters were put up warning people not to let the area become Juhapura.…



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In Uttar Pradesh, Dalits and Muslims must endure caste hatred, state bloodletting, denial of justice – By Harsh Mander (Nov 26, 2017, Scroll.in)

…Kandla made national headlines last year when the local MP, Hukam Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party, alleged the rise in the town’s Muslim population had precipitated an exodus of its Hindu residents. Given this communal stereotyping of a town that gave refuge to internally displaced people, we felt Kandla was a fitting place for the Karwan to spend the night. We were put up in a madrassa.

The next morning, we visited Shabirpur in Saharanpur district, about 150 km from Delhi. In this village, the Dalits had decided to erect a statue of Bhimrao Ambedkar at a Ravidas temple, on land owned by the community. They pooled money, built a tall platform and made preparations to install the statue, ordered in Saharanpur, on Ambedkar’s birth anniversary on April 14.

In the meantime, the BJP swept to power in Uttar Pradesh and an ugly rumbling started in Shabirpur’s upper caste Rajput enclave. The Rajputs objected to the tall platform and even more to Ambedkar’s statue pointing towards the road they too use. “It is our government now,” they are reported to have said, and the Dalits needed to be reminded of their place. The Dalits protested that they had legal title to the temple land, and it was for them to decide whose statue they wished to install on it and how. The administration intervened, asking the Dalits to apply for permission, which they then withheld, and the anniversary passed without statue being mounted.…



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Why the number of minorities in jails is rising in India – By M Reyaz (Nov 26, 2017, Dailyo.in)

…A new collaborative study by Germany-based anthropologist and Australia-based economist argues, with the help of hard data, that India indeed is “unfriendly, if not hostile” to its minorities, including Dalits and Adivasis, explained by their disproportionately higher number in jails.… Through their EPW essay, the two authors seek to fill this gap. They analysed the PSI data for the last 16years and contrasted it with the census data to show how “minorities stand over-represented in prisons in most states of India. Gujarat and Maharashtra have a higher representation of all minorities in their prisons”.…

Hundreds of Muslim youths have been rotting in several jails on terror related charges, although few lucky ones such as Khan and Qayyum could manage to exit jails, after spending precious years of their lives in prisons. Not all cases pertain to terror though and it would thus not be fair to infer from the PSI data that straightjacket biases against them are the sole reason, although they are no less critical.

In a recent incident in the national capital region, when a young school student of Ryan International was murdered, the first suspect was the bus conductor, who said he was hung upside down, beaten, and forced to falsely confess. Similarly, tribal rights activist Soni Sori had to suffer at the hands of Chhattisgarh police. If you are poor or come from the marginalised section, you become an easy prey. Lethargic judicial system is another critical factor due to which justice is often delayed, if not denied.…



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Hadiya case: Whither individual liberty? – By Faizan Mustafa (Nov 29, 2017, The Tribune)

…The debate on love jihad is politically motivated and has ulterior motives. Love jihad is a bogey. In a country of our size, assuming, though not accepting even if a few hundred such cases are there, this cannot be termed as love jihad or an organised effort by some Muslim radicals to convert Hindu girls.…

It is a sad commentary of our judicial system that first the Kerala High Court declared Hadiya’s marriage as illegal and now in spite of two hours’ hearing in an open court and her bold and courageous testimony that she had converted to Islam on her own and wants to live with her husband, the Supreme Court has not granted her permission to live with her husband. Hadiya who is 26 years of age will now stay in a hostel. The only redeeming feature of the order is that she has now been taken out of her father’s custody.

On the contrary, the Rajasthan High Court recently permitted a similarly situated girl converted Hindu girl to go with her husband. Hadiya is 26 years of age and should be allowed to make her personal decisions as a matter of right rather than some privilege granted to her by the court. Hats off to this brave girl who withstood all family, police and media pressures. Her husband is lucky to have such a wife.…



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