IAMC Weekly News Roundup - November 28th, 2016 - IAMC
no-image IAMC

IAMC Weekly News Roundup – November 28th, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

CBI not investigating PM Narendra Modi will be a travesty of justice: AAP (Nov 26, 2016, Indian Express)

Taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of demonetisation and for allegedly taking a bribe from Sahara Birla, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has said that it will be a big travesty of justice if the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) does not investigate him.

Convenor of the AAP’s Delhi unit, Dilip Pandey told ANI, “See the irony, there is so much chaos in the country because of demonetisation and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the one who has done a scam of 8 lakh crore. The blame of taking a bribe from Sahara Birla of crores of money is on him.

The blame of purchasing lands with black money and converting the black money in white before demonetisation are on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). What will be a bigger travesty of justice than this that the CBI cannot do an investigation against them?…



[Back to Top]

Over Rs. 20 lakh seized from BJP functionary (Nov 28, 2016, The Hindu)

Police seized a sum of Rs. 20.55 lakh, including 926 currency notes of Rs. 2,000 denomination, from a BJP functionary during a vehicle-check on Kumarasamipatti main road here late on Saturday evening.

Police said personnel from the Hasthampatti police station, who were conducting the vehicle check, intercepted a car coming into the city. They found a total of 926 Rs. 2,000 currency notes, 1,530 Rs. 100 denomination notes and 1,000 Rs. 50 denomination notes in a bag in the car.

As the occupant of the car, Arun (36) of Peramanur, a zonal BJP youth wing secretary, could not produce proper details and account, the police seized the money. Later, the money was deposited in the district treasury. Further investigations are on.…



[Back to Top]

India’s cash crisis could kill its economic boom (Nov 24, 2016, CNN)

…Analysts estimate India’s shock decision to scrap its 500 rupee and 1,000 rupee notes – accounting for about 86% of cash in circulation – will shave at least 1% (and possibly much more) off India’s current GDP growth rate of 7.1%.

“A 3% dip in the growth rate [for the current financial year] wouldn’t surprise me,” Pronab Sen, India’s former chief statistician, told CNNMoney. Sen is country director for India at the International Growth Centre in London.

If that happens, India would almost certainly lose its crown to bigger rival China. “The impact on GDP growth is clearly going to be negative in the short run,” said Thomas Rookmaaker of Fitch Ratings. How big a hit the economy will suffer “depends to a large extent on how long the cash crunch is going to take,” Rookmaaker added.…



[Back to Top]

Demonetisation is a draconian move: Greek Minister (Nov 26, 2016, The Hindu)

Greece and the European Union implemented many measures to counter black money and the “grey economy,” but nothing so “draconian” or drastic as the Indian government’s demonetisation exercise, Greek Minister George Katrougalos has said.

Mr. Katrougalos, who is on an official visit, said that both the EU and Greece had, like India, discussed the issue of unaccounted wealth as well as the possibility of demonetising the high-value €500 note. “We have taken some measures in Greece, not as draconian as yours [the Indian government’s].

For instance, anybody who goes to bank to deposit cash must give his name and financial records. So, we are trying ourselves to track this money,” the alternate or deputy Foreign Minister told The Hindu in an exclusive interview.…



[Back to Top]

Zakir Naik links ban on IRF to demonetisation drive, asks why no action on Yogi Adityanath or Sadhvi Prachi (Nov 26, 2016, India.com)

… Dr Zakir Naik on Friday released his second letter after his name surfaced in Dhaka terror attack. Zakir Naik linked ban on his NGO Islamic Research Foundation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive and called it a ‘communal decision’. Zakir Naik, in his letter, said the ban on IRF is an attack on Indian Muslims peace, democracy and justice”, and vowed to fight it tooth and nail. Zakir Naik’s response came after Modi-government imposed a ban on IRF on November 15, declaring it a terror outfit under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

In a three-page open letter issued here, Zakir Naik said it was timed to coincide with the demonetisation ‘fiasco’ to prevent resistance and divert the media’s attention. The ban on IRF was imposed after government allegedly found the Islamic preacher to be involved in utilising funds meant for his non-government organisation for radicalisation of youths, Union Home Ministry sources had said.

“It is now proven that the decision to ban the IRF was taken months ago and it is a communal decision. Before investigations were done, even before reports submitted, the ban was already decided. The IRF was to be banned. Whether it was owing to my religion, or some other reason, it does not matter,” said Zakir Naik. The Islamic preacher said his completely lawful work of the past 25 years has been banned, “which is most unfortunate for India”.…



[Back to Top]

Don’t dirty Hindu locality, say Bajrang Dal men as couple thrashed in viral video (Nov 24, 2016, Times of India)

In a shocking video that has gone viral, a Muslim man and woman, both in their 30s, can be seen being beaten mercilessly with sticks, allegedly by Bajrang Dal activists in Khurja town of Bulandshahr district. In the video, the group of men can be heard saying, “Tum Hindu mohalle ko ganda karte ho (You dirty Hindu localities).”…

The woman, whose face is covered in the video, can even be seen being dragged on the floor. While cops have arrested five persons, including the district convener of the Bajrang Dal, this has prompted Congress leader and minority rights activist Shehzaad Poonawala to seek a ban on the Bajrang Dal in a petition addressed to the National Commission for Minorities and to the Union home ministry.…

Singh added, “Praveen Bhati, the Bajrang Dal district convener, thought that it was a case of ‘love jihad’. Later he found out that both were Muslim, but he started beating them up anyway. We wasted no time in acting against the accused. There was no evidence of the pair doing anything inappropriate or illegal but the goons had beaten them up. We have arrested five of them and are investigating the case further to find the other accused.”



[Back to Top]

Missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed’s mother moves Delhi High Court (Nov 26, 2016, Hindustan Times)

Forty-two days after JNU student Najeeb Ahmed went missing, his mother on Friday moved the Delhi high court seeking a direction to the government and police to produce him before the court. Najeeb, a student of school of biotechnology and a native of Badaun in Uttar Pradesh, went missing from the hostel on October 15 a day after an alleged scuffle with the members of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

A bench of Justice GS Sistani and Justice Vinod Goel issued notice to the Delhi government and police on the plea by the 27-year-old student’s mother, Fatima Nafees. The bench told Delhi Police to file a status report within three days.

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, who appeared for the mother, said that there was a “political connection in the case” because of the involvement of student group which is close to the ruling government.…



[Back to Top]

25-year-old Muslim man arrested for allegedly circulating objectionable photo of Modi (Nov 26, 2016, Siasat)

A man was arrested in Banmore town in Madhya Pradesh for allegedly circulating an objectionable picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on social media, police said on Friday.

Aslam Khan (25), who runs a mobile shop, was arrested Thursday night for allegedly circulating the objectionable photo of the Prime Minister, Banmore Sub Divisional Officer of Police (SDOP) Atmaram Sharma said.

Some BJP workers came across the picture after it went viral on social media platforms, following which party workers staged a protest led by Banmore division president Rambaran Mavai before the Banmore police station. An FIR has been lodged against Khan and further investigations are on, he added.



[Back to Top]

2003 Parbhani blast case: Victim challenges acquittal of four accused (Nov 24, 2016, Hindustan Times)

The 2003 Parbhani blast victim moved the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court on Tuesday challenging the acquittal of the four accused. Hafeez Abdul Qadir, the original complainant in the case and imam of Mohammadiya Masjid, where the blast took place in 2003, claimed that the Nanded sessions court failed to consider material evidence against the accused.

He has pleaded for quashing the acquittal order and asked for retrial of the case against the four acquitted accused – Maroti Keshwarao Wagh, Yogesh Ravindra Deshpande, Sanjay alias Bharauo Vittal Chowdhari and Rakesh Dhawade, who is also an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.

The 2003 blast case was one of the two cases relied upon by the anti-terrorism squad of the Maharashtra police to invoke the stringent Act of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against the 2008 Malegaon blast case accused.…



[Back to Top]

Amin, Barot accused in fake encounter cases reappointed for ‘outstanding’ performance, says Gujarat govt to HC (Nov 24, 2016, Indian Express)

The Gujarat government on Wednesday told the high court that two retired police officers who are accused in fake encounter cases were reappointed on contract basis because their performance in the past was “outstanding”. The state filed an affidavit before the division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi in response to a PIL filed by retired IPS officer Rahul Sharma, challenging reappointment of NK Amin as SP, Mahisagar, and Tarun Barot as DySP, Western Railways at Vadodara.

The past performance of Amin and Barot, as per their confidential reports, was “outstanding”, so in compliance with a government resolution they were reappointed for a period of one year, said Nikhil Bhatt, joint secretary (personnel) home department, in the affidavit.

Sharma said in his petition that the two officers had “criminal antecedents” and their reappointment was not in the public interest.… Sharma had pointed out that Amin was arrested and listed in the charge sheet in Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Ishrat Jahan fake encounter cases. He was discharged in the first case, while the Ishrat Jahan case was still pending before the trial court, he said. Barot was named in the charge sheet and arrested in Ishrat Jahan and Sadiq Jamal fake encounter cases and later got bail, Sharma’s petition said.



[Back to Top]

Opinions and Editorials

Deposits before dark – By Suhrid Sankar Chattopadhyay (Dec 9, 2016, Frontline)

Hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 currency notes on November 8, his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), deposited Rs.1 crore, all in Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes, in a nationalised bank in central Kolkata.

In fact, in a span of just eight days before the demonetisation announcement, the BJP deposited a total of Rs.3 crore in its account in the Central Avenue branch of Indian Bank, raising questions of whether there was selective leaking of information and what the party was doing with such a large of amount of cash in high denominations.

Though the West Bengal unit of the BJP has dismissed all allegations and claimed that it did not act upon any prior intimation and that there were no financial irregularities in what it did, sources in the banking industry said the BJP’s rush to deposit such a large amount of money was unprecedented. The timing and the hurry in which the deposits were made has ignited suspicion in political and social circles.…



[Back to Top]

Demonetisation is a permanent transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich – By Shankar Gopalakrishnan (Nov 25, 2016, Scroll.in)

Much of the demonetisation debate has focused on whether the economy can be revived or become more cashless. The implication is that if it does both, all will be well. This ignores demonetisation’s biggest impact, which will be on the distribution of resources within the economy, whatever happens to the economy as a whole. Demonetisation is a giant vacuum, sucking up the resources of the weak and delivering them to the powerful, while acting like it’s doing the opposite. More importantly, this transfer will be permanent.

Estimates differ, but roughly 80% to 90% of Indians work in the informal sector and, therefore, earn and spend in cash. The ongoing cash drought will impact all of these people, but it will impact them in unequal ways. This unequal impact starts from within households. Working-class women married to alcoholic, abusive or simply irresponsible husbands all keep cash squirrelled away for emergencies. Now that money has to be either lost or revealed and, in either case, the woman loses her security, exploiting her becomes easier.…

A tax windfall – or an RBI dividend – will certainly lead to some immediate welfare announcements. But this government has neither the political intent nor the administrative capacity to implement the long-term, massive hike in public spending that would be required to even begin to offset the injustice of demonetisation. Demonetisation is being portrayed as a crusade against tax evaders to help the poor. Yet, it will leave India’s economy more unequal than before, and its gigantic population of vulnerable people even more vulnerable. A masterstroke, indeed.



[Back to Top]

Politics at its cynical worst – By Venkitesh Ramakrishnan (Dec 9, 2016, Frontline)

…Modi’s dramatic announcement was accompanied by assurances from his government that banking would get regularised in a matter of three days; some of them were from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and senior officials such as Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das. Not only did that not happen, the government itself repeatedly complicated reinstatement of normalcy by coming up with different and contradictory directives during the week following the announcement.

As many as 10 modifications were made to the scheme’s procedures in a matter of seven days. These changes were brought, professedly, to ease the difficulties faced by people in depositing and withdrawing cash and to curb manipulation of the scheme by dishonest people. The comment heard at the queue in Mehrauli was of a piece with the hundreds of thousands of popular responses that came up in relation to the move and its stated objectives. A sizable number of these responses highlighted the most tangible result of the move—the palpable inconvenience and suffering faced by common people. They also reflected the widespread disenchantment triggered by the government machinery’s obvious unpreparedness in dealing with the situation.…

The narrative in this stream is clear: it is about Modi the saviour of the poor facing the rest of the political class, all of them apologists for the rich and the elite. The second stream, being advanced at the ground level by the BJP rank and file, is once again about the possible deposits to bank accounts of those registered as below the poverty line. Across Uttar Pradesh, the campaign goes on asking people to be prepared for the bonanza transfer that the Modi government will effect once it rounds up a fair sum of money. Expectations are growing on account of this campaign even as it prevents eruption of riots amid the harassed people. Indeed, it is politics at its cynical worst.



[Back to Top]

Digital pipe dream – By Ramesh Chakrapani (Dec 9, 2016, Frontline)

Cash has undoubtedly proven a curse, irrespective of its color, for those who have been queuing up at the bank counters following the currency demonetisation.

The unprecedented cash crunch has made many wonder if going cashless is the better way forward? It may indeed be but despite the proliferation of alternate payment mechanisms – plastic currency and electronic cash transfer – unprecedented amount of paper currency is floating around worldwide. Most people like cash, holding Dostoyevsky’s The House of the Dead expression ‘Money is coined liberty.’

If going paperless is the best option, developed economies would have phased out paper currency several years ago. Instead, citizens in developed countries hold more currency per capita than the developing economies. In contrast to per capita holding of $4,200 in the US, average Indian holds an equivalent of just $171 in cash.…



[Back to Top]

Bhopal Encounter a mechanism to terrorise Muslims and Secular Forces – By Arun Srivastava (Nov 28, 2016, Mainstream)

It would be purely an act of naiveté to view the killing of eight SIMI cadres through the narrow prism of encounter. An insight into the incident would reveal it is a part of the RSS’ design to eliminate dissenters, silence the voice of dissent and pave the path for implementing its policy of Hindutva and Hindu Rashtra.

The police and government narratives of the incident give the impression that the so-called “terrorists” were out to commit hara-kiri and that was why they preferred to “run away” in a very relaxed and leisurely fashion. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s police had been straining hard to justify the killing by projecting them as hard-core criminals who had in the past also fled from the jail. The MP Police is in fact trying to project them as experienced criminals who had expertise in jail-break.

But it is the BJP chief, Amit Shah, who has unwittingly unravelled the truth behind the encounter. At a rally in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh he disclosed that the BJP had chalked out the agenda of “Attack Muslims” to humiliate and terrorise them. After the secular elements the BJP views the Muslims as the potential force to check its design to convert India into a Hindu Rashtra.…



[Back to Top]

67th Anniversary Of Democratic-Secular Indian Constitution: Hindutva Demolition Squad Waiting To Undo It – By Shamsul Islam (Nov 26, 2016, Countercurrents)

There is no doubt that despite many infirmities Indian Constitution as framed by the Constituent Assembly (CA) of India on November 26, 1949 was a fine document of liberal democracy. Its emphasis on all-inclusive polity assuring social, political and economic justice was, in fact, continuation of anti-imperialist legacy. But Indian Constitution today faces most critical challenge to its existence.

It is true that ruling parties before the enthronement of Modi government in 2014 paid lip service to the pro-people goals enshrined in the Constitution but none dared to declare that they would over-throw democratic-secular Indian Constitution. It is first time in the history of Independence India that PM Modi calls him[self] a ‘Hindu nationalist’ and declares that he is RSS cadre and groomed as political leader by Guru Golwalkar.

It is to be noted that RSS is publicly committed to replace present Indian Constitution by MANUSMRITI, a Brahmanical scripture which assigns women and Sudras a sub-human status. The CA passed Constitution on November 26, 1949 and RSS English organ, Organizer on November 30, 1949, in an editorial rejected it and demanded MANUSMRITI as constitution.… All those who are concerned about the future of democratic-secular Indian polity must come together to resist the anti-national agenda of RSS.



[Back to Top]