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IAMC Weekly News Digest, 18 September 2020


14 US Senators want India listed as worst offenders of religious freedom

Photo: Twitter

The “Coalition to Stop Genocide in India”, a broad coalition of Indian American and US-based civil rights organizations and activists, today welcomed a letter written by fourteen US Senators to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressing that US law requires the US Government to consider a federal commission’s recommendations that some countries be designated as a Countries of Particular Concern (CPC), which is the US Government’s official term for countries that are the world’s worst offenders of religious freedom.… In April this year, the USCIRF recommended adding nine more countries, including India, to this list. CSGI has repeatedly called for the inclusion of India in the list of countries of particular concern, and has urged the State Department to accept USCIRF’s recommendations in this regard, given the escalating levels of persecution against religious minorities in India.…

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Prashant Bhushan, Harsh Mander & other activists want inquiry into Delhi Police’s riots probe

Photo: The Print

Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan and social activist Harsh Mander, along with several other activists, Wednesday demanded an independent commission be set up to conduct an inquiry into the Delhi Police’s investigation of the February riots in the national capital that left 53 dead and several others injured. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi on the arrests of students and activists in connection with the riots, Bhushan said, “An independent commission must be set up which will conduct an inquiry into the Delhi police’s riot investigation. A committee was set up to see Delhi police’s role in the 1984 riots, and the same must happen now.” He also called the Delhi Police’s investigation a “criminal conspiracy” and demanded a bonafide probe.…

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‘Is Being a Muslim Crime in India’: Twitter Stands in Support of Umar Khalid, Question Why ‘Goli Maaro Gang’ is Roaming Free?

Photo: Umar Khalid Official/Facebook

Former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Umar Khalid was arrested late on Sunday night under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for his alleged role in the Delhi riots.… Soon after his arrest, a large section of Twitterati stood in support of Khalid, demanding his release. Many called his arrest a ‘witch-hunt’ while questioning why Delhi Police hasn’t taken any action against Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur and Komal Sharma. In January, BJP’s Anurag Thakur was seen leading a crowd with the slogan “Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko,” a chant inciting listeners to shoot “traitors to the country”, with an expletive thrown in.…

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News

14 US Senators want India listed as worst offenders of religious freedom

Prashant Bhushan, Harsh Mander & other activists want inquiry into Delhi Police’s riots probe

‘Is Being a Muslim Crime in India’: Twitter Stands in Support of Umar Khalid, Question Why ‘Goli Maaro Gang’ is Roaming Free?

Ahmedabad’s largest Muslim ghetto excluded from minority-specific development plan

Indian state uses draconian law to detain those accused of killing cows

UP creates special force with power to arrest without warrant

Purpose Of Sudarshan TV’s ‘UPSC Jihad’ Show Is To Vilify Muslim Community: Justice Chandrachud In SC Order

Detention centre in Ghaziabad ‘suggests’ anti-minority, anti-Dalit mindset of UP govt

Karnataka’s Withdrawal of Criminal Cases against Politicians Violates ‘Equality before the Law’

Church And A Car Set Ablaze In Andhra Pradesh

Opinion

A Year After Rendering Millions Stateless, India Has Yet to Hear a Single Appeal – By Priyali Sur

Modi government sparks language anxieties in Jammu and Kashmir – and fears of Hindi imposition – By Safwat Zargar

Delhi riots: Chargesheet ignores hate speech by Kapil Mishra and others, makes mockery of justice – By Suhit K Sen

A big question mark on India’s Supreme Court – By Ashok Swain

Sudarshan TV’s ‘UPSC Jihad’ Episode is an Assault Not Just on Muslims but on the UPSC Too – By Rais I. Shaikh

Rot that’s destroying India’s TV news came from newspapers – By Kalpana Sharma

Book Review

Reading the Evolution of Censorship and Sedition in India

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IAMC Weekly News Digest, 11 September 2020


“Policemen sat on their chests, burnt their genitals with lighter,” lawyer recounts horrific custodial torture by Palakkad police of 2 Muslim youth

Photo: TCN

On the evening of 24 August, Palakkad North Division police turned up at the house of two brothers, Abdurrahman (18) and Bilal (20), to question them in connection with a physical assault attempt on an RSS worker.… “They were unaware of this assault incident and continuously asserted their innocence to the police”, said their lawyer Advocate Mohammad Rashid.… “A group of ten police officers started by beating both the youths on their feet. They were tied up and 150-200 lashes were inflicted on them. They stood on his thighs and beat them on the head,” he said. He continued to describe how the violence escalated. “Then, two police officers sat on their chests while the others used a cigarette lighter to burn their genitals. They even sprayed their private parts with pepper spray,” he said.…

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Noida: Cab driver killed, son says told to chant Jai Shri Ram by accused

Photo: Indian Express

A 45-year-old cab driver was killed, allegedly by two men who boarded his vehicle, with his family alleging they forced him to chant Jai Shri Ram before his death – a claim denied by Noida Police.… The victim’s son alleged that he recorded his father’s last call, made minutes before his death, in which the accused can be heard asking Aftab to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.… A clip is going viral in which the accused can be heard asking someone to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.…

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Caught On Camera: Dalit Man Beaten To Death Over Rumour That He Sold His Daughter

Photo: Twitter

A 45-year-old Dalit man died in a Uttar Pradesh hospital on Sunday after he was beaten by a group of five men at his home in Mainpuri, allegedly over rumours. The brutal incident was caught on camera. A video shared by Samajwadi Party on its Twitter handle shows a group of five men assaulting Sarvesh Diwakar on the terrace of his rented house. Even though Diwakar pleads for mercy, the attackers beat him till he falls on the ground, unconscious. While the Samajwadi Party in the tweet said the attackers belonged to right-wing group Bajrang Dal, the police refuted the claim and said those arrested do not have any political affiliation.…

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Announcement

Indian Americans welcome release of Muslim doctor in India, demand freedom for other prisoners of conscience

Communal Harmony

Five Muslim friends perform final rites of a Hindu man

News

“Policemen sat on their chests, burnt their genitals with lighter,” lawyer recounts horrific custodial torture by Palakkad police of 2 Muslim youth

Noida: Cab driver killed, son says told to chant Jai Shri Ram by accused

Facebook’s India policy chief should step down, say civil rights groups

Akhara Parishad Announces Campaign for Kashi and Mathura Mosques

More Than 2,500 Sitting MLAs and MPs Face Criminal Cases, Supreme Court Informed

Modi Govt Contradicts Itself On PMNRF Like It Did On PM CARES, Documents Show

Right wing groups film minors, give false ‘love Jihad’ angle to birthday parties held in Bhopal

India: Stop Using Pellet-Firing Shotguns in Kashmir

Government suspends FCRA clearance of 4 Christian groups

Caught On Camera: Dalit Man Beaten To Death Over Rumour That He Sold His Daughter

Opinion

‘I’m in Trouble Because I Dared to Speak the Truth’: Indian Doctor Arrested Under Anti-Terror Law Speaks Out After Release – By Valay Singh

With Freedom at Stake, Courts Are Collapsing – By Madhav Khosla

Will Facebook Ban Hate Speech From India’s Ruling Party? – By Sadanand Dhume

It’s not a newsroom, it’s a durbar’: Inside the Republic of Arnab Goswami – By Manisha Pande

29 Years In RSS, 8 In BJP, This Man Quit Both Because Of Their Trolls – By Piyasree Dasgupta

India is still trampling on civil liberties in Kashmir – Editorial

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IAMC Weekly News Digest, 4 September 2020


On BJP’s Request, Facebook Pulled Down 14 of 44 Flagged Pages, Reinstated 17 Deleted Pages

Photo: News Click

The BJP had flagged a list of 44 pages opposed to the party to Facebook India ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, claiming they were “in violation of expected standards” and carried posts “not in line with facts”. Of the 44 pages, 14 are no longer on Facebook’s platform, according to a report in the Indian Express. The pages that have been taken down by Facebook include pages in support of journalists Ravish Kumar and Vinod Dua while those that had been flagged but continue to be on the platform include the official account of the Bhim Army, satire site “We Hate BJP”, unofficial Congress-supporting pages and a page called “The Truth of Gujarat”.…

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Group of Mothers Protests Teaching of Modi Biography in US Schools

Photo: PTI

Mothers of young American students have been greatly disturbed to find out that their children are being taught Stalinist propaganda glorifying Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Asma Azeem, the Florida state coordinator of Mothers Against Teaching Hate in Schools (Project-MATHS) wrote to the members of ASPAIRE (Alliance to Save and Protect America from Infiltration by Religious Extremists), “My fourth-grader casually mentioned to me today that the Epic reading app, which the public schools all over the US have in their curriculum, features the book on Narendra Modi by the same title!… the book repeats the false claim by Modi that he went to a university to obtain a bachelor’s and then a master’s degree.…

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Justice Arun Mishra’s tenure reflects deep systemic problems in the Supreme Court – By Sruthisagar Yamunan

Photo: Scroll.in

…Elevated to the Supreme Court in July 2014, just over a month after Narendra Modi became Prime Minister, Arun Mishra’s term was marked by consistent controversy. Allegations swirled that he was the “go-to judge” for sensitive political cases, even though at that time he was not one of the senior judges in the court. As Mishra leaves the Supreme Court, his tenure is being examined thread-bare. But fundamental to all the controversies surrounding his tenure is a systemic problem in the way the Supreme Court functions: the accumulation of power in the office of the Chief Justice, especially in the role as master of the roster. It is this problem that deserves greater public attention.…

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Communal Harmony

Delhi Riots 2020: How A Muslim Youth Helped Disabled Hindu Couple Get Life Back On Track

Giridih villages where Hindus observe Muharram

News

140 Organisations Unite to Expose Indian-American Group APPWW for its Racist, Islamophobic Campaigns

On BJP’s Request, Facebook Pulled Down 14 of 44 Flagged Pages, Reinstated 17 Deleted Pages

Group of Mothers Protests Teaching of Modi Biography in US Schools

Delhi 2020 religious riots: Amnesty International accuses police of rights abuses

‘Muted’ at Justice Mishra’s farewell, SC Bar head Dushyant Dave complains to CJI

62 criminal cases against Karnataka BJP leaders revoked, law minister claims it ‘routine’: Report

Assam: Future of 19 lakh people excluded from NRC uncertain

NCRB data: Higher share of Dalits, tribals, Muslims in prison than numbers outside

In a Changed Kashmir, Moderates Feel Betrayed by India

After Mann Ki Baat address, Modi fails youth test

Opinion

Kafeel Khan: National threat or symbol of repression? – By Soutik Biswas

Talk of ‘UPSC Jihad’ a Baseless Attempt to Delegitimise Muslim Participation in Governance – By N.C. Asthana

What Ad Spending Data Reveals About BJP And Its Ties To Facebook – By Meryl Sebastian

Justice Arun Mishra’s tenure reflects deep systemic problems in the Supreme Court – By Sruthisagar Yamunan

Narendra Modi has left India’s economy a shattered mess – By Ritesh Kumar Singh

Javadekar Warns Against Fake News, But Forgets to Mention the Role of His Party’s IT Cell – By Shaheen Nazar

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IAMC Weekly News Digest, Aug 28, 2020


For Facebook, weakening India’s democracy is just the cost of business – By Rana Ayyub

Photo: Social Media

On Aug. 14, the Wall Street Journal published a damning story about Facebook’s complicity in aiding and abetting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hate-filled nationalism in India,… The exhaustive report examines the role of Ankhi Das, Facebook’s public-policy executive in India, and the social media giant’s refusal to take down the page of T. Raja Singh, a member of Modi’s BJP party who has asked for Rohingya Muslim immigrants to be shot, labeled Muslims as traitors and threatened to destroy mosques.… Modi’s campaign leading up to his 2014 victory brazenly relied on fake news and propaganda attacking India’s 200 million Muslims.…

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Truck Driver Ferrying Bovines Attacked by Cow Vigilantes in Presence of Police in Telangana Village

Photo: Video Grab

A mob thrashed a Muslim truck driver ferrying bovine animals at a cow ranch in a village in Adilabad district of Telangana in South India in the presence of the police on Tuesday night, local media reports said. A video clip available on YouTube shows the driver recalling the attack. “They beat me a lot. They were 10-12 people,” says the victim driver who has been identified as Ahmad, a resident of Jainoor. “I can identify them. They beat me in the presence of the police.”… Mohammad Farooq Ahmad, a local Muslim politician, said… that the attackers are affiliated with right-wing groups like the BJP and the RSS.…

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Bombay High Court: Tablighi participants were made scapegoats

Photo: PTI

Bombay High Court has said the government made scapegoats of the foreign nationals who attended the Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi in March by accusing them of spreading Covid-19, and that there was a “smell of malice” in the action taken against them. “A political government tries to find a scapegoat when there is a pandemic or a calamity and the circumstances show that there is probability that these foreigners were chosen to make them a scapegoat,” the court’s Aurangabad bench said on Friday, quashing FIRs against 29 foreigners.… A division bench of Justices T.V. Nalawade and M.G. Sewlikar noted that while Maharashtra police had acted mechanically in the case, the state government had taken steps under “political compulsion”.…

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Communal Harmony

Hyderabad mosque turns clinic, treats 5 lakh slum dwellers for free

Telangana: Muslim volunteers cremate Hindu man after family refuses to perform last rites

Muslim Man Who Adopted His Hindu Sisters As Orphans Gets Them Married In A Hindu Ceremony

News

Truck Driver Ferrying Bovines Attacked by Cow Vigilantes in Presence of Police in Telangana Village

Bombay High Court: Tablighi participants were made scapegoats

Court Dismisses Plea Seeking FIR Against Anurag Thakur For ‘Goli Maro’ Slogan

Delhi Police Investigation into Riots Unfair, One-sided and Manufactured: Citizens Across Country Write to CM

IPS Association Condemns Sudarshan News Video Targeting Muslims In UPSC

Yogi Government Seeks Cancellation of Bail of Anti-CAA Protesters

UP Journalist Shot Dead, Family Denies Property Dispute Claim By Cops

‘Artists in Kashmir Are Unable to Express Freely’

Priest arrested for his attempt to sexually assault American woman

Oprah Winfrey sent a book on caste to 100 US CEOs but Indians still won’t talk about it

Opinion

For Facebook, weakening India’s democracy is just the cost of business – By Rana Ayyub

Bloomsbury is not the issue. The real free speech violation is people jailed for protesting CAA – By Shoaib Daniyal

A Lawyer’s Tweets Put India’s Supreme Court on Trial and Him at Risk of Imprisonment – By Karan Deep Singh and Hari Kumar

Deep Fault lines In The Indian Judiciary – By Prashant Bhushan and Anjali Bhardwaj

YouTube Hatemongers Are India’s New Stars – By Kunal Purohit

The World Is Watching, India – By Chandan Reddy

Book Review

‘I Could Not Be Hindu: The Story of a Dalit in the RSS’ review: The scourge of casteism

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Weekly News Roundup – Aug 21, 2020


Probe role of Facebook in violence against minorities: Coalition to Stop Genocide in India to US House of Representatives

Photo: Facebook

Indian American network of civil rights organizations and activists, The Coalition to Stop Genocide in India, has urged the US House of Representatives on Monday to probe the role of Facebook in amplifying hate speech across the world… “Outrage and calls for a public accountability process of Facebook’s role in knowingly enabling the incitement of mass violence in India have grown,” the Coalition said. As an urgent act of remedial, it has demanded that Ankhi Das, Facebook’s Policy Chief in India be fired. “By blocking punitive action against some Facebook accounts belonging to high ranking politicians from the ruling BJP party, Ms Das has allowed the accounts to continue their hateful and violent rhetoric.”…

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Hundreds of Police Killings in India, but No Mass Protests

Photo: PTI

…For decades, India has absorbed case after case of police brutality, torture and extrajudicial killings. Every year, scores of Indians are killed in what activists call “fake encounters,” and many more, activists say, are tortured to death in police custody.… For many Indians, day-to-day crime is the more pressing issue, and they often side with the police, even when there is voluminous evidence that they have abused their power. There is also a fear of speaking against the police. According to a lengthy report by the National Campaign Against Torture, an Indian rights group based in New Delhi, the capital, at least 1,731 people were killed in custody last year. The majority of the victims, the report said, were the usual victims of abuse: Muslims and lower-caste Hindus.…

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Centre halts probe in over 10,500 allegations of human rights violations against security forces in Kashmir

Photo: Modern Diplomacy

The authorities in Jammu and Kashmir have halted the investigation in tens of thousands of cases alleging human rights violation against the government and security forces before the region was converted into a Union Territory (UT) last year August.… While over 10,500 cases were lodged with the SHRC till last year August, there were at least 2,500 to 2,600 cases which were being heard on daily basis, said former secretary of JKSHRC, Nazir Ahmad Thokar. He said that a large number of cases were also not actively pursued by the complainants. The forces in Kashmir have been accused of custodial killing, as well as, fake encounters. Human Rights groups have blamed Indian forces for custodial disappearances.…

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Communal Harmony

Bengaluru violence: Local Muslim youth saved me, says instigator’s mother

Godhra mosque is now a 50-bed Covid Care Centre

Three Nagpur Islamic Bodies Help in Burial, Cremation of COVID-19 Victims

News

Probe role of Facebook in violence against minorities: Coalition to Stop Genocide in India to US House of Representatives

US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal resolves to stand with minorities in India at Independence Day event

1,500 lawyers to SC: Stop miscarriage of justice in Prashant Bhushan case

Hundreds of Police Killings in India, but No Mass Protests

CAA Movement: Recent reports on Delhi violence indicate ‘criminal role of Delhi Police’

New Diktat For Manipur College Teachers: ‘Seek Approval Before Expressing Views On Govt Policies’

TN BJP leader arrested for Drug trafficking in “Prasad” bottles

Journalists’ Bodies Condemn Attacks on Scribes in Delhi and Bengaluru

Centre halts probe in over 10,500 allegations of human rights violations against security forces in Kashmir

‘They killed him as they couldn’t stand a Dalit man saying no’

Opinion

Facebook’s Hate-Speech Rules Collide With Indian Politics – By Newley Purnell and Jeff Horwitz

Manufacturing Evidence: How the Police is Framing and Arresting Constitutional Rights Defenders – By Simeen Anjum

Increasing Influence of Hindutva in Local American Politics – By Pieter Friedrich

The withering ‘idea of India’ – By George Abraham

Bar and Bench Must Come Together to Preserve the Judiciary’s Independence – By Satvik Varma

Two Years Since SC Judgment, the Spectre of Mob Violence Continues To Loom Large – By Ankita Ramgopal and Swati Singh

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Weekly News Roundup – Aug 14, 2020


Babri demolition: Justice Liberhan says RSS chief’s presence at Ayodhya event confirms group’s role

Photo: Ummid.com

Justice Manmohan Singh Liberhan, who headed the commission set up to investigate the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992, said on Thursday that the presence of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya vindicated his stand that a team of RSS cadre was involved in the demolition of the mosque, The Times of India reported.… The Liberhan Commission… indicted RSS cadres for their alleged involvement in destroying the mosque. It also named several senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party such as Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani, Kalyan Singh, Pramod Mahajan and others. Justice Liberhan… told The Times of India that the Supreme Court verdict in the case did not represent the sentiments of all communities.…

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Bengaluru: 3 Killed In Police Firing, 100 Arrested After Facebook Post Triggers Violence

Photo: Twitter

Three people were killed in police firing after violence broke out in East Bengaluru on Tuesday in protest against a social media post by a Congress MLA’s relative allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammad, NDTV said. More than 100 people were arrested from the area, The NewsMinute said. A crowd had gathered outside KG Halli police station on Friday night demanding that MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy’s relative be arrested, The NewsMinute reported.… Police said the crowd targeted the police station and damaged vehicles believing that the police had kept the accused detained there.… Ameer ae shariyat, #karnataka Maulana Sagheer Ahmed saheb appeals for peace. Requests people not to take law into their hands.…

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Modi’s Textbook Manipulations – By Tish Sanghera

Photo: so.city

…After a victory in last year’s general elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP began rolling out a set of controversial citizenship policies that critics have called unconstitutional and anti-Muslim…. When combined, the two measures could end up disenfranchising large numbers of India’s Muslim population.… When chapters like “Popular Struggles and Movements” and “Democracy and Diversity” were removed from the Class 10 political science syllabus, stakeholders and opposition groups were quick to frame the cuts as being in line with the other steps for which Modi has been  criticized. The move advances the vision of an “exclusivist, theocratic, intolerant, fascistic nation,” Sitaram Yechury, the leader of Communist Party of India (Marxist), wrote on Facebook in July. His party later called for the cuts to be rescinded, saying they hurt “secular democratic India’s future.”…

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Communal Harmony

‘We live as brothers, sisters’ – Muslims form human chain to save temple amid Bengaluru riots

PFI Members Perform Last Rites Of BJP Leader In Karnataka Who Died Of COVID-19

Divisive, communal politics? Community kitchens reveal social fabric ‘still intact’

News

Bengaluru: 3 Killed In Police Firing, 100 Arrested After Facebook Post Triggers Violence

Muslims Allege Biased Police Action in Communal Clashes in UP’s Sultanpur

As Modi Calls Ram Mandir Symbol Of Unity, Muslim Man Attacked Over ‘Jai Shree Ram’ Chant

‘They raised obscene slogans’: On the night of Bhoomi Pujan, Northeast Delhi’s fragile calm shatters

3 Missing Labourers Killed in Alleged Staged Encounter in Kashmir’s Shopian

Cops Drag Sikh Man By Hair, Thrash Him In Madhya Pradesh, Probe Ordered

Babri demolition: Justice Liberhan says RSS chief’s presence at Ayodhya event confirms group’s role

9 RSS workers in Kerala sentenced to life for murder of another RSS worker

Assam BJP MLA booked for calling scholar & Padma Bhushan awardee ‘intellectual jihadi’

Patanjali Ayurved fined Rs 10 lakh by Madras HC for chasing profits by claiming COVID-19 ‘cure’

Opinion

What is at Stake in Ayodhya? – By Kristen Miller

Modi’s Textbook Manipulations – By Tish Sanghera

Delhi riots: Young residents share the trauma of profound loss, betrayal and injustice – By Harsh Mander

Rise in Indian nationalism obstacle for regional peace – By Raashid Wali Janjua

In Bhushan Contempt Hearing, the Unsaid is Finally Said to SC – By Vakasha Sachdev

New Education Policy Will Deprive Muslim Students of Job Opportunities – By Mirza Mosaraf Hossain

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Weekly News Roundup – Aug 7, 2020


Demolition Men Do Not Build Nations, They Destroy Them – By Siddharth Varadarajan

Photo: Douglas E. Curran/AFP

August 5 – the date chosen consciously by baleful men to humiliate the people of India whose independence on August 15 they never fought for – will go down in history as a day that celebrates the triumph of vandalism and destruction over renewal and regeneration, crime and illegality over law and justice, fiction and fabrication over reality and truth. On the appointed day, when India slept, the people of Kashmir awoke to curfew and unfreedom. On the appointed day, a group of criminals – who should be in prison for having planned and orchestrated the demolition of a 450-year-old mosque – basked in the freedom they have to build a temple at the same spot. Their temple, and not Rama’s and certainly not India’s. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi supervising the obsequies, the wreckage of what remains of the Indian constitution has been interred in the foundations of the temple that his organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, is building with the full backing of the ‘secular’ Indian state.…

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Modi’s brutal treatment of Kashmir exposes his tactics – and their flaws – By Arundhati Roy

Photo: ABC News

…It would be easy to look at the 365 days between last August and now – the final “integration” of Kashmir into India, the passing of the CAA and NRC, and the inauguration of the Ram Mandir – as the defining period in which India under Modi has formally declared itself a Hindu nation, the dawning of a new era.… Think a little. Why did Modi decide to inaugurate the Ram Mandir now? After all it’s not the festivals of Dussehra or Diwali, and the date has no particular relevance in the Ramayana or the Hindu calendar. And there’s a partial lockdown in most parts of India – many of the priests and policemen preparing and securing the site have already tested positive for Covid. So why now? Is it to rub salt into Kashmir’s wounds, or is it to put balm on India’s?…Could it be that this August anniversary is not actually what it’s being cracked up to be? Could it be instead the little limpet of shame clamped to the soaring cliff of glory?…

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At New York’s Times Square, Both Celebrations of and Protests Against Ram Mandir

Photo: Protest Organizer

South Asian diaspora groups converged in New York’s Times Square on Wednesday …. While ambitious plans by the American India Public Affairs Committee, said to be a pro-Bharatiya Janata Party group, to project an image of the proposed temple on the prestigious Nasdaq screen in Times Square did not materialise,…Those protesting the Ram Temple at Times Square included a whole range of groups, including civil rights activists, Kashmiris protesting the year-long lockdown and Sikh groups.… A truck with images of the Babri Masjid on the sides went around Times Square. Protestors meanwhile held up banners with slogans like “Stand Against Hate” and “Join the Struggle Against Fascism”.…

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Communal Harmony

Muslim woman takes care of Hindu Covid-19 positive mother’s newborn twins

Hope from the field – Amicable Hindu Muslim Collaboration

News

At New York’s Times Square, Both Celebrations of and Protests Against Ram Mandir

Hindu Bigots Now Wish to Take up Kashi, Mathura Mosques

India arrests dozens of journalists in clampdown on critics of Covid-19 response

‘Caravan’ Expose Reveals How Delhi Police Actively Incited Hindu Rioters

Assam: Anti-CAA stir returns after 5-month hiatus

Man Accused Of Carrying Beef Attacked With Hammer In Gurgaon, Cops Watch

“Rafale judgment, Ayodhya judgment, CBI judgment. You get Rajya Sabha seat and Z plus security. What impression does it give?”: Dushyant Dave makes explosive arguments for Prashant Bhushan in contempt case

‘Conditions in Kashmir Not Normal’: US Foreign Affairs Committee Raises Concern With India

Persecution of Christians continues to rise in India

After Cisco, HCL’s US unit faces lawsuit for sacking employee based on caste

Opinion

Demolition Men Do Not Build Nations, They Destroy Them – By Siddharth Varadarajan

Modi’s brutal treatment of Kashmir exposes his tactics – and their flaws – By Arundhati Roy

Handmaidens of Hindutva – By Manisha Sethi

Delhi Riots: LG’s Order on Appointment of Prosecutors Smacks of Bad Faith, Immorality – By Ashish Khetan

Storming Libraries, ‘Achhe Din’ and the New Education Policy – By N Sukumar and Shailaja Menon

Young Indians are asking the Modi government not to imperil their future. It must listen to them – By Supriya Sharma

Book Review

What Do America’s Racial Problems Have in Common With India and Nazi Germany?

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Weekly News Roundup – Jul 31, 2020


BJP MLA From UP’s Loni Stokes Controversy, Asks Muslims To Sacrifice Children Not Animals On Eid

Nand Kishore Gurjar, BJP MLA from Loni Assembly constituency, Ghaziabad, Photo: ANI

Days ahead of Eid-ul-Adha, Nand Kishore Gurjar, a BJP MLA from Loni assembly constituency in Ghaziabad, has stoked controversy as he asked people celebrating the festival to “sacrifice their children instead of animals” on the occasion. He also claimed that “meat spreads coronavirus” so people should not be allowed to sacrifice innocent animals. “People who want to sacrifice on Eid should sacrifice their children. I will not let people consume meat and alcohol in Loni. We will not let people sacrifice innocent animals because meat spreads coronavirus,” the BJP legislator said while speaking to reporters.…

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Ad agency with BJP connection handles social media for Maharashtra Election Commission

Photo: Twitter @DevangVDave

Activist Saket Gokhale posted a tweet thread on July 23 alleging that the Election Commission of India “hired” the IT cell of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to manage their social media in Maharashtra ahead of the 2019 assembly elections. Gokhale pointed out that advertiser details on the Facebook page of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Maharashtra carry the address “202 Pressman House” in Vile Parle, Mumbai. This is also the address mentioned by pro-BJP Facebook page ‘The Fearless Indian’. Mumbai-based advertising agencies Signpost India and Social Central use that address as well.… Dave’s profile picture on Twitter is with Prime Minister Modi.… It is noteworthy that Dave changed the address on his website after Gokhale’s tweets.…

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UP Activist, Who Filed Case Against Yogi Adityanath for ‘Inciting’ Gorakhpur Riots, Gets Life Term for Rape

Photo: Clarion India

Sixty-five-year-old Parwez Parvaz, who had moved the Allahabad High Court seeking registration of an FIR against Yogi Adityanath, has been convicted in a 2018 gangrape case.… According to a report in The Indian Express, Parvaz had in 2017 moved the HC against Yogi, who was then an MP from Gorakhpur, alleging that he gave a hate speech.… In his complaint, Parvaz had named the then Gorakhpur MP Adityanath, the then MLC YD Singh, the then mayor of the city Anju Chaudhary and now state minister Shiv Pratap Shukla for having incited the Gorakhpur communal riots of 2007. A report in The Wire had quoted Parvaz as saying that ever since he pressed charges against Adityanath, he has faced multiple threats, including false criminal charges on him. Two cases in which he is then accused were of rioting and rape. He had been lodged in jail in the rape case.…

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Communal Harmony

Doctor working for ‘Sikh-Muslim Affinity’ explains how Muslims donated foodgrains to the Golden Temple

Mosques in Ayodhya spreading message of communal harmony ahead of Ram temple’s ‘bhoomi pujan’

When Government, Media Hounded Out Tablighis; Bengaluru Hospital, Muslims Served Humanity

News

Delhi Riots: Delhi HC Directs Delhi Police to Not Name Any Accused or Witness in Any Communication Till Trial Begins

BJP MLA From UP’s Loni Stokes Controversy, Asks Muslims To Sacrifice Children Not Animals On Eid

Ad agency with BJP connection handles social media for Maharashtra Election Commission

Covid-19: Police officer who complained about CM detained in Imphal for allegedly flouting lockdown

UP Activist, Who Filed Case Against Yogi Adityanath for ‘Inciting’ Gorakhpur Riots, Gets Life Term for Rape

“RSS-BJP want Jammu to be Muslim free,” says Gujjar leader after authorities demolish 5 Gujjar houses

Mushawarat Chief Questions Amit Shah Meeting Babri Demolition Accused Advani Ahead of Court Hearing

Cops jab keys into man’s forehead for not wearing helmet, hosp conducts surgery to remove them, 3 policemen suspended

Agra Police Bust Sex-Trafficking Racket Operating From BJP Leader’s Farmhouse

22 years on, justice eludes Dalit victims of Bathani Tola massacre

Opinion

Delhi Police’s ‘Hindu resentment’ order is yet another glimpse of bias guiding riots investigation – By Rohan Venkataramakrishnan

A non-existent signature, bogus ‘wanted’ story: How Parvej Khan spent 4.5 years in jail on fake terror charges – By Amit Kumar

A Sad Day When a Public Servant Smears One of India’s Tallest Figures of Religious Unity – By Syeda Hameed

Editors in Modi’s India have two choices – speak up or give in to intellectual slavery – By Patricia Mukhim

India’s Rape Problem and Legislator Impunity – By Dr. Arshad M. Khan

The Evidence Is Clear, Caste Hurts Corporations In India And Abroad – By Christina Dhanaraj and Hari Bapuji

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Weekly News Roundup – Jul 24, 2020


Delhi Riots: Is the Centre Importing the ‘Gujarat Model’ to Subvert Prosecution? – By Ashish Khetan

Photo: Reuters

It’s curious to see the Central government so keen to appoint advocates of its choice as special public prosecutors for cases related to the Delhi riots and the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests.… when Narendra Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat, abuse of the office of public prosecutors was key to subverting justice in riot cases.… In the Naroda Patiya case, the trial court called the sting operation ‘cogent, reliable and trustworthy evidence’. But there was one set of revelations in the tapes that the SIT didn’t find as “prosecutable evidence”. These were the admissions of key public prosecutors appointed by the state of Gujarat who talked of the larger plot to systematically weaken the riot cases by appointing public prosecutors who were either members of Sangh parivar groups such as the VHP or RSS or Hindutva sympathisers.…

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In 8 Delhi Riots Cases, Complaints Naming BJP Leaders Buried

Photo: Free Press Journal

The Delhi Police – criticized for not taking action against BJP leaders who gave inflammatory speeches in the run-up to the February riots – have also ignored complaints that accused BJP leaders.  No action has been taken in at least eight complaints, accusing BJP leaders of inciting mobs and rioting, NDTV has found. No First Information Repot has been filed in four complaints. The rest have been linked to cases that have no connection with the complaints. The complaints mention leaders, MLAs, a councillor and a parliamentarian of the BJP. Those named in the complaints include BJP leader Kapil Mishra, Karawal Nagar MLA Mohan Singh Bisht, former Mustafabad MLA Jagdish Pradhan, Baghpat MP Satya Pal Singh, and  councillor from Johripur Kanhaiya Lal.…

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BJP left red-faced after photos of Bulandshahr violence accused being felicitated goes viral

Photo: Money Control

Shikhar Agarwal, the key accused in the Bulandshahr violence case that killed Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, has recently been photographed with a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from Uttar Pradesh.… The accused, who is currently out on bail, was allegedly felicitated by Bulandshahr BJP president Anil Sisodia at an event on July 14. He was awarded the key responsibility of overseeing the Prime Minister’s welfare scheme in the western UP district.… The letter announcing the appointment of the accused BJP youth wing leader as the District General Secretary of the PM Jankalyankari Yojna Jagrukta Abhiyan and pictures of the event have gone viral on social media.…

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Communal Harmony

After recovering from Covid, Surat-based businessman sets up hospital for the poor

Gujarat: Godhra mosque a Covid centre now

Malappuram model of humanity: The story behind Kerala’s first plasma therapy

News

San Francisco becomes sixth US city to denounce the CAA-NRC human rights crisis in India

In 8 Delhi Riots Cases, Complaints Naming BJP Leaders Buried

‘I Thought I Wouldn’t Survive’: African Students Recall Dehradun Campus Assault

36 Years On, 1984 Anti-Sikh Riot Survivors’ Economic Struggle Continues: Delhi Minorities Commission Report

“Milking their misery”: Indian state makes returning migrants pay for quarantine

BJP left red-faced after photos of Bulandshahr violence accused being felicitated goes viral

Loans to minorities in Delhi have seen 33 per cent year-on-year decrease, says panel

43% Children With Disabilities Planning To Drop Out Due To Difficulties In Online Classes: Survey

They abused us, asked us to worship their idols: Christians attacked in UP

Dalit Man Beaten, Head Shaved Allegedly By Andhra Cops On MLA’s Prodding

Opinion

The Mythical Nationalism of Trump and Modi Has Failed. Now They’re Waging War on their Own Citizens – By CJ Werleman

India’s home minister is an unlikely champion of police reform – By Banyan

Delhi Riots: Is the Centre Importing the ‘Gujarat Model’ to Subvert Prosecution? – By Ashish Khetan

India Forced Dissidents Into Jail Despite the Pandemic. Now They’re Getting Infected. – By Pallavi Pundir

Modi Govt Can’t Shut Babri Demolition Case Even As Mandir Firms Up – By Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay

Why Journalists Are Worried About the New Media Policy in Jammu and Kashmir – By Irfan Amin Malik

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Weekly News Roundup – Jul 17, 2020


Fact finding report names BJP leaders, Delhi Police in Delhi riots: Delhi Minorities Commission

Photo: Twitter/Kapil Mishra

Five months after the horrific riots of North East Delhi, the Delhi Minorities Commission today released its Fact-finding report which is completely contradictory to the conspiracy theory mentioned by the Delhi Police in their Chargesheets.… The 130-page report names close to 10 BJP leaders responsible for Inflammatory speeches and for fanning communal sentiments in Delhi before the riots. The FFT names Somashekhar Reddy, Amit Shah, Anurag Thakur, Giriraj Singh, Parvesh Verma, Tarun Chugh, Tajinder Pal Bagga, Tejasvi Surya, Yogi Adityanath and Kapil Mishra for their provocative speeches which lead to the riots. While the Delhi Police is yet to implicate Kapil Mishra, the report mentions that the speech of Kapil Mishra at Maujpur in the presence of DCP North East Ved Prakash Surya sparked the riots that engulfed the Northeast region of Delhi.…

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BJP Blocks Parliament Panel Review Of PM CARES Fund, Coronavirus Response

Photo: Freedom House

The Public Accounts Committee or PAC, one of the most important parliamentary panels which scrutinises key reports by the auditor general and has taken up issues like the 2G spectrum scandal in the past, failed to arrive at a consensus on Friday on examining the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic or the new PM CARES fund set up to tackle the crisis. The chairman of the committee, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who is also the leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha, appealed to members to think of the nation and act with their conscience and find a consensus on the important subject.… Some opposition leaders claimed that the reason for denying the scrutiny of the COVID-19 pandemic and the government’s response is because the BJP is afraid of a closer look into the PM CARES fund which is not under the audit of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India or CAG.…

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Indian pastor and Christian families terrorised by radical Hindutva mobs in Uttar Pradesh

Photo: Barnabas Fund

Hindutva radicals forced an Indian pastor to bow in front of an idol and terrorised two Christian families into fleeing their homes in a remote village in Uttar Pradesh. The extremists attacked the prayer house in Dassmora, breaking down walls, windows and doors, during three days of violence that began on 2 July. The mob dragged village Pastor Vikas Gupta inside a Hindu temple where he was forced to bow to a temple idol before being subjected to a humiliating parade through the local market. The following day, another mob ransacked Pastor Vikas’ home. His and two other Christian families were threatened that, if they did not leave the village, the women would be raped, the men killed and their homes set on fire.…

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Communal Harmony

‘Together in Crisis’: Muslims Win Netizens’ Hearts as They Donate 330 Quintal Wheat For Golden Temple Langar in Amritsar

The Last Line Of Defence: Dr Zahid Abdul Majeed Performs A Miracle

In Tamil Nadu, Muslim volunteers performed last rights of 220 Covid-19 victims including 162 of other religions

News

Fact finding report names BJP leaders, Delhi Police in Delhi riots: Delhi Minorities Commission

Yogi’s SIT Probing Vikas Dubey Killing Has Officer Chargesheeted by CBI for Fake Encounter

BJP Blocks Parliament Panel Review Of PM CARES Fund, Coronavirus Response

CM pressured me to let off arrested drug lord: Manipur lady cop to High Court

Centre Asks PTI to Pay Rs 84 Crore for Alleged Land Lease Breach or Face Eviction

EIA 2020: Modi Govt Blocks Website Campaigning Against Controversial Draft Green Law

Indian pastor and Christian families terrorised by radical Hindutva mobs in Uttar Pradesh

UN Special Rapporteurs concerned with criminal proceedings against 4 Kashmiri journalists

UP ashram horror: ‘Godman’ drugged kids with ‘Covid medicine’, sodomised them

Opinions

Modi’s Slide Toward Autocracy – By Azeem Ibrahim

Thoki Raj: Creating order by trampling on law is one of the elements of Adityanath’s ideological success – By Pratap Bhanu Mehta

Did Covid-19 become another excuse to rewrite textbooks? – By Asmita Bakshi

The extra-judicial punishment of jailing ailing activists during COVID-19 – By Indira Jaisingh

Devoid of morality Indian media crawling before rulers – By Arun Srivastava

India: Modi’s War on Science – By Pittamber Kaushik

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Weekly News Roundup – Jul 10, 2020


WhatsApp group with 125 members used to push hate, mobilise rioters in Northeast Delhi

Photo: The Indian Express

A WhatsApp group with at least 125 members where members bragged about “killing Muslims” and “dumping their bodies in the sewer”, and offering manpower and guns when necessary, has been named in three chargesheets filed in connection with killing of three men during the riots in Northeast Delhi in February. The chargesheets detail how the group, called ‘Kattar Hindut Ekta’, was used to mobilise and coordinate between rioters, and how armed men stopped passersby, asked them their name, address, ID proof and told them to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Police plan to use the WhatsApp conversations as “extrajudicial confessions”.…

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SC Failed The Constitution By Succumbing To Majoritarianism In Ayodhya Case : Sr Adv Dinesh Dwivedi

Photo: Medical Dialogues

The Supreme Court failed to uphold the spirit of anti-majoritarianism in the Ayodhya case, said Dinesh Dwivedi, Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court. “By and large, the Supreme Court has been upholding the Constitution and anti-majoritarianism. My strong feeling is the only time Supreme Court failed in upholding anti-majoritarianism was when they utilized the power of Article 142 in the Masjid matter and decided in favour of the Hindu-majority. This is where I feel they failed”, said Senior Advocate at the Supreme Court of India, Dinesh Dwivedi, at a webinar conducted by LiveLaw on the topic “The Courts and Constitutional Values”.…

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The Coronavirus Is Hastening Modi’s Transformation of India – By Kapil Komireddi

Photo: Business Insider

Fifteen weeks ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi placed his country under probably the most stringent coronavirus lockdown in the world.… India under Modi had already traveled a considerable distance in the direction of authoritarianism before the coronavirus seeped into the country. If the pandemic assisted the prime minister by derailing the nationwide protests against his amendment to India’s citizenship law, it also debunked the myth of Modi as a competent administrator: The dire state in which India finds itself today is the direct consequence of his ineptitude.… The coronavirus has exposed Modi’s staggering shortcomings. It has also, tragically, created the conditions for him to quicken the conversion of the world’s largest democracy into something akin to a plebiscitary autocracy.

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Communal Harmony

Muslim Family Shelters a Hindu Woman for 43 Years in MP’s Damoh

For 40 yrs, Sikh vendor performing sewa at mosque in Amritsar

Humanity comes first! Muslim burial ground staff cremates 250 Hindus for free

News

WhatsApp group with 125 members used to push hate, mobilise rioters in Northeast Delhi

AMU student Sharjeel Usmani arrested, family says charges not clear yet

Daya Shankar Agnihotri, main aide of Kanpur terrorist Vikas Dubey, arrested after encounter; car has ‘Sangh Parivar’ on number plate

Family, lawyer of Muslim inmate who died in Tihar jail, suspect “police conspiracy in his death

Anti-CAA protests: Kin of Darapuri, Jafar say officials threatened to seize their properties

Journalist Rana Ayyub complains of death and rape threats on social media; Navi Mumbai police take cognisance

SC Failed The Constitution By Succumbing To Majoritarianism In Ayodhya Case : Sr Adv Dinesh Dwivedi

PMCARES Ventilator Maker AgVa Fudged Software To Hide Poor Performance, Ex-Employees Say

Christian Family Brutally Attacked in Chhattisgarh

Raped in Chitrakoot: Minor girls forced to trade bodies for Rs 150-200 daily during lockdown

Opinion

The Coronavirus Is Hastening Modi’s Transformation of India – By Kapil Komireddi

From planning murder to praising Modi: WhatsApp chats offer a window into the minds of Delhi rioters – By Vijayta Lalwani & Shoaib Daniyal

Coronavirus Rumors Spark Communal Violence in India – By Shaikh Azizur Rahman

Threat and censorship are the price for questioning narratives about Kashmir – By Rana Ayyub

‘India’s George Floyds’ spur calls for end to police brutality – By Anuradha Nagaraj

Missing from headlines: How the Adityanath regime is going after local journalists – By Akanksha Kumar & Martand Singh

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Weekly News Roundup – Jul 3, 2020


Delhi Riots: Hospital Owner In Letter Alleges Police Threatened Him For Telling Truth

Photo: HuffPost

Dr Muhammad Ehtesham Anwar, who treated victims of the Northeast Delhi riots in his Al Hind hospital, has been named by Delhi Police in a chargesheet.… Dr Anwar had written a letter on May 15… to senior officials of the Special Cell and Crime Branch (Delhi Police)… The four-page letter written in Hindi… has levelled serious allegations against the officials of Special Cell and Crime Branch of Delhi Police. Dr Anwar alleged in his letter that the Delhi Police was upset with him because he spoke to Justice S Muralidhar, the then Delhi HC judge, late in the night on February 25 and apprised him of the ground reality of the riot’s impact.… He writes, “Police constables who used to come with the ambulance to collect injured persons, threatened me several times that I shouldn’t have told the truth to the judge. They told me that it was because of me that the issue got highlighted; otherwise, nobody would have come to know anything about this.”…

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Anti-CAA protests: Two shops sealed as UP govt starts to recover damages

Photo: The Hindu

In a first, the Lucknow administration on Tuesday sealed two shops as part of its drive to recover damages for destruction of public and private properties during the protests held on December 19 against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed countrywide National Register of Citizens. Lucknow (Sadar) Tehsildar Shambhu Sharan Singh said a garment store called NY Fashion Centre and a junk shop in the Hasanganj police station area were sealed “in view of the order passed ADM (Transgomti) Vishwa Bhushan Mishra on February 13, 2020”. The junk shop’s owner, Maahenoor Choudhary, and the garment shop’s assistant store manager Dharamveer Singh are among the 13 whom Mishra had ordered to pay Rs 21.76 lakh within 30 days for the destruction of properties in the Hasanganj police station area. Failure to pay would result in the attachment of properties, the order had warned.…

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PM CARES Fund received huge donations from Chinese firms just ahead of conflict at LAC

Photo: TIKTOK

Set up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an aim to collect funds for fighting the Coronavirus pandemic, the PM CARES Fund received huge donations from several Chinese companies just ahead of the conflict at the LAC between China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Indian armed forces. According to an analysis of news reports published in sections of the media, these donations range from Rs 1 crore to Rs 30 crore. For example, Tik Tok – a Chinese video-sharing social networking service that has been at the receiving end of the call to boycott Chinese goods and services – has donated Rs 30 crore to the PM CARES Fund.… It is important to note here that as per media reports, PLA began to strengthen its positions along the LAC by digging bunkers and erecting concrete posts in Ladakh in April, around the same time when PM Modi announced the first phase of the lockdown. Interestingly, Chinese tech giants decided to donate to the PM CARES Fund around the same time.… Incidentally, there has been total opacity in the functioning and purpose of the PM CARES Fund, with the PMO refusing to divulging information about it under the RTI Act 2005.…

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Communal Harmony

14-year-old Mumbai girl wins hearts with help to migrants and crowdfunding heart surgery of a poor child

News

India Now the World’s Largest Illiberal Democracy, Says Financial Times US Editor

Delhi Riots: Hospital Owner In Letter Alleges Police Threatened Him For Telling Truth

Indian Americans in Chicago protest against CAA, say “law discriminates against religious minority group

Anti-CAA protests: Two shops sealed as UP govt starts to recover damages

Jeyaraj and Fenix: Outrage mounts over deaths in Indian police custody

After Beating Lawyer for Looking ‘Muslim’, MP Police Now Charge Him With Assault

Church Vandalised in Jharkhand, USCIRF Raises Alarm

PM CARES Fund received huge donations from Chinese firms just ahead of conflict at LAC

Sacked cop arrested for minor’s gang rape in Odisha

Dalit activist Arvind Bansod was murdered, not a suicide: Lawyer

Opinion

Four months later, Delhi communal violence FIRs are still not public. Here’s why this is troubling – By Nitika Khaitan

Every Custodial Death a Reminder of Why India  Ratify the Convention Against Torture – By Som Thomas

Journalism in India Has Placed Itself On Deputation to the Government – By Anand K. Sahay

Stifling Democracy Sans Emergency – By Adovate Prashant Bhushan

With India changing domicile law, Kashmir’s indigenous population faces risk of dispossession, possible war crime – By Mirza Saaib Bég

Ved Marwah’s Abiding Legacy as Police Chief is His Failure to Punish the Guilty of Nov 1984 – By Basant Rath

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Weekly News Roundup – June 26, 2020


Rights groups, activists ask US to designate India as CPC for religious violence, impose sanctions

Photo: IAMC Media Library

More than a thousand civil rights organizations, academicians and activists have written to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging him to designate India as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC), which is the US Government’s list of the world’s worst offenders of religious freedom, and impose sanctions on the perpetrators in India. In an open letter submitted to the Department of State this week, they urged Secretary Pompeo to implement these recommendations that have been made by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a federal body that advises US Congress and President, in regards to India in its Annual Report 2020. Implementing the recommendations “will send a clear message that the US believes religious freedom and peaceful coexistence of multiple faiths are the lynchpin of global stability.”…

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Dead and Buried: Delhi Police ignored complaints against Kapil Mishra, other BJP leaders for leading mobs in Delhi violence 

Photo: Deccan Herald

Just hours after Kapil Mishra delivered a speech near the Jaffrabad metro station in northeast Delhi, threatening to clear protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019, the Bharatiya Janata Party leader led a rampage by an armed mob less than two kilometres away, in Kardampuri, according to two complaints lodged with the Delhi Police. The complaints noted that on the afternoon of 23 February, Mishra gave an incendiary speech in Kardampuri, calling upon a mob to attack Muslim and Dalit protesters in the area. One of the complainants accused Mishra of brandishing a gun as he instigated the crowd. A third complaint stated that on the morning after Mishra’s speech, police officials attacked protesters in Chand Bagh on his instructions.…

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India: Journalist killed after exposing controversial sand-mining deals   

Photo: aajabhi.com

Tripathi, a 25-year old journalist with Kampu Mail, was covering controversial land mine disputes prior to his death. He actively posted online and petitioned local authorities to stop a member of ‘land mafias’, from claiming large sections of government land.… Tripathi received several threats online from locals following his investigation into the illegal actions of the ‘land mafia’ and had expressed fears on his Facebook page that there would be harsh retaliation for his work. On June 19, he was shot multiple times by assailants while riding home and died from his injuries.… The protections for Indian journalists have long been lacking and impunity persists as justice has rarely been brought for any journalists who are killed for their work. Nine journalists were killed in India in 2019.…

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Announcement

Rights groups, activists ask US to designate India as CPC for religious violence, impose sanctions

Communal Harmony

Malappuram: Target Of Right-Wing Propaganda, South India’s Only Muslim Majority District Is Example Of Secularism 

Malad man sells SUV, gives oxygen cylinders to 250 families

News

Delhi police accused of filing false charges over February riots

Delhi Riots Exclusive: RSS Members Arrested for Murder, Rioting

India: Journalist killed after exposing controversial sand-mining deals   

8 Hospitals in 15 Hours: A Pregnant Woman’s Crisis in the Pandemic

‘No one came to his rescue’: Muslim carpenter lynched in Saharanpur, leaves behind pregnant wife, 3 children

Pinjra Tod member Natasha Narwal alleges violence in Tihar

Lucknow: BJP MLA Surendra’ Singh’s son, nephew booked for rioting

BJP IT Cell Head Amit Malviya Peddles 2017 Pic As Gandhis’ 2008 China Visit

In Pulwama, an 8-Year-Old Pellet Victim Awaits Eye Surgery

U.S. protests spur calls for India to wake up to anti-Dalit discrimination

Opinion

Modi’s India should be on the US’s religious freedom blacklist – By Sarah C Anderson-Rajarigam & Sunita Viswanath

Dead and Buried: Delhi Police ignored complaints against Kapil Mishra, other BJP leaders for leading mobs in Delhi violence – By Prabhjit Singh

Indian Journalists Are Being Targeted for Questioning Governments’ Handling of the Pandemic – By Pallavi Pundir 

OpIndia: Hate speech, vanishing advertisers, and an undisclosed BJP connection – By Ayush Tiwari

No Documents, No Benefits: How India’s Invisible Workforce Is Left To Fend For Itself – By Sadhika Tiwari

For Dantewada’s Adivasis, jail is only a false allegation away – By Prateek Goyal   

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Weekly News Roundup – June 19, 2020


Dalit-Muslim Clash in Jaunpur: Chandrashekhar Azad Warns Against Hidden Agenda of RSS

Photo: Jansatta

A clash between Dalits and Muslims in a village in UP’s Jaunpur district last week has left the area communally polarised, thanks to the extra-ordinary interest shown in the case by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. It has also given a new opportunity to the Hindutva forces and a section of media to corner Dalit leader Chandrashekhar Azad who has been trying to bring his community and Muslims closer and form some sort of an alliance.… But the promptness shown by Adityanath and his administration did not please the Dalit leadership. Azad, who heads Bhim Army, an Ambedkarite and Dalit rights organisation, saw in it an ulterior motive. “After every atrocity you have to come on the street to press for action against the culprits. But here, the state machinery has become proactive. A strict action has been taken because it fits into the hidden agenda of RSS,” Azad said in a video message to his people.…

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Muslim Driver Transporting Cattle Brutally Thrashed in Mangalore by Cow Vigilantes

Photo: Clarion India

After a brief pause in cases of mob violence in the name of cow, a Muslim driver has been brutally thrashed allegedly by some Bajrang Dal goons in this Karnataka city when he was transporting cattle in his vehicle. The driver identified as Mohd Hanif was tied with the tempo on which he was carrying the cattle and brutally beaten him up by a mob of cow vigilantes on the roadside. CCTV footage of the incident surfaced on social media which showed the mob stopping the vehicle and snapping at the driver. The footage graphically shows how the mob dragged the driver out of the vehicle and took him to somewhere after damaging the vehicle.…

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UP villagers launch attack on Sikh youth; Throw his turban in sewerage

Photo: Sikh24.com

A painful video has emerged over social media in which a mob of Hindu residents could be seen attacking an innocent Sikh youth while disrespectfully pulling his hairs. The incident occurred in village Sherpur of Uttar Pradesh on June 14. Sources have informed that two Sikh youths were passing through village Sherpur on June 14 when their car suddenly touched the car of another youth who is learned to be a resident of the same village. Following this, heated exchange of arguments occurred between the duo sides after which the local village youth called his clan members to dominate over Sikh youths.… The attackers removed his turban and threw it in nearby open sewerage. They also pulled hairs of Sikh youth during this attack. After this incident, a wave of outrage spread across the Sikh community living in nearby areas.…

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Announcement 

Religious Freedom, Equality and justice Under Threat: US Dept. of State releases 2019 India Report

Communal Harmony

Lockdown Brings out the Humane Face of Indian Muslims

Despite risks, Muslim doctors in worst-hit Gujarat offer timely care, support to COVID-19 patients

Irfan Pathan wins hearts by providing monetary cash-strapped cobbler who sits inside Chennai’s Chepauk

News

Denied visa by Indian govt, US Congress advisory body says why no confidence to allow visit

India: Human Rights Defenders Targeted by a Coordinated Spyware Operation

British Muslims held for two months in India claim religious persecution

Telangana high court: Why mostly Muslims booked during lockdown?

55 Indian Journalists Arrested, Booked, Threatened For Reporting on COVID-19: Report

Dalit-Muslim Clash in Jaunpur: Chandrashekhar Azad Warns Against Hidden Agenda of RSS

CBI files case against BJP leader, others for defrauding Bank of India

Muslim Driver Transporting Cattle Brutally Thrashed in Mangalore by Cow Vigilantes

UP villagers launch attack on Sikh youth; Throw his turban in sewerage

UN chief expresses concern over child casualties in J&K, asks govt to end use of pellet guns

Opinion

Delhi violence: How India’s human rights defenders have been silenced – By Ashish Khetan

India’s Migrant Labor Pains – By Neeta Lal

The Paralysis of Justice in India – By Sambhav Sharma

The accelerating rise of a dangerous new nationalism in India – By Emily Tamkin

Genealogy of Islamophobia and Construction of Muslims as Enemy in India – By Mohammad Saif

How can Indians Support Cows when they can’t Support Humans, Is Cow an Agenda to Capture 80% Votes Using Emotional Sentiments – By Priyadharshini Varadharajan

Book Review

The ambiguity of the RSS and its complex worldview

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Weekly News Roundup – June 12, 2020


US State Department releases scathing report on Religious persecution of minorities in India

Photo: IAMC

…In August the central government revoked the semiautonomous status of the Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir and split it into two union territories: Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. The revocation sparked protests, criticism from Muslim leaders, and challenges filed in the Supreme Court from opposition politicians, human rights activists, and others.… Seventeen civilians and three security personnel were killed during the protests. In December parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which accelerates citizenship for Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian migrants… , but not for similarly-situated migrants who are Muslims, Jews, atheists, or members of other faiths.… In their engagement with government officials, media, interfaith harmony organizations and NGOs, U.S. officials emphasized the need to address the legitimate concerns of the country’s religious minorities, condemn communal rhetoric, and ensure full protection of minorities as guaranteed under the constitution. In March the embassy organized a speaking tour by a U.S. religious harmony expert to the northern cities of Lucknow, Allahabad, and Varanasi.…

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‘I will not see COVID-19 positive Muslim patients’: Alleged WhatsApp chat of Rajasthan doctors go viral

Photo: Times of India

…In recent times, there has been several reports pertaining to religious bias and now, screenshots of a purported conversation between the staff of a Rajasthan hospital has come under the police scanner.… According to an Indian Express report, the staff of a private hospital in Churu district had had a WhatsApp conversation about not treating Muslim patients. Allegedly, the individuals are associated with the Srichand Baradiya Rog Nidan Kendra in the Sardarshahar area of Rajasthan. One of the members of the group called ‘BARDIA RISE’ had vowed to not do X-rays for Muslim patients from the next day. The same individual had also urged others to stop attending to Muslim patients. The members also opined that since that only Muslims had tested positive in the Sardarshahar area, they should be attended to by a Muslim doctor.… “We should not say this, but they are terrorists. And we are providing them VIP treatment, providing them food… exhausting our resources on them,” Dr Aarti Lalchandani was heard saying in the clip.…

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UP: Muslim Families Put up ‘For Sale’ Signs Outside Homes in Shamli, Some Flee, Citing Police Brutality

Photo: News Click

In a development reminiscent of the Kairana exodus, over two hundred Muslim families of Taprana village in Shamli town in Muzzafarnagar district, Uttar Pradesh, have alleged that they were being persecuted for being a religious minority by the local police at the behest of the Yogi Adityanath government. They have threatened to leave the area where they were born, grew up and built their homes. Ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed the government in the state in 2017, and Yogi Adityanath assumed the office of Chief Minister, there has been a history of allegations of police discrimination .… Shamli has seen repeated incidents of harassment and alleged one-sided action by the police, inciting communal tensions, in clashes between Hindus and Muslims. The local Muslims have put up ‘for sale’ signs outside their houses, requesting people to buy the properties so that they could vacate them.…

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Communal Harmony

Aurangabad: Landlord waives of Rs 7.5 lakh rent of tenants

News

US State Department releases scathing report on Religious persecution of minorities in India

“You Be Careful,” Ram Madhav Tells BBC Journalist After Being Grilled On Subramanian Swamy’s Comments On Muslims

India’s George Floyd moment caught on cam: Cop assaults man while kneeling on his neck

How lives were destroyed under cover of lockdown in a small Indian town

Delhi Riot: Chronology in Charge Sheet Omits Kapil Mishra’s Speech

‘I will not see COVID-19 positive Muslim patients’: Alleged WhatsApp chat of Rajasthan doctors go viral

UP: Muslim Families Put up ‘For Sale’ Signs Outside Homes in Shamli, Some Flee, Citing Police Brutality

Sikh Alleges Assault & Communal Slur by UP Police, Inquiry Ordered

Odisha: Hindu Group Murders Christian Boy

Dalit Men Beaten, Paraded With Shoes Hung Around Their Neck in UP

Opinion

Indians Are Supporting George Floyd – and Ignoring Police Brutality in Their Own Country – By Raksha Kumar

Indian Muslims facing ‘genocidal climate’ amid pandemic – Arundhati Roy with Daniela Bezzi

‘India is witnessing the fastest dismantling of its democracy. Emergency was nothing in comparison’ – By P. Sainath

Mysterious ‘Ghost Informer’ Behind Delhi Riot FIRs; Truth Obviously The Casualty – By Mehmood Pracha

India’s migrant exodus foreshadows an economic crisis – By Murali Krishnan

Exclusion, affect, and violence in the many sites of Indian history – By Audrey Truschke

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Weekly News Roundup – June 5, 2020


European Parliament slams Modi govt for silencing activists & portraying protesters as terrorists

Photo: Twitter @Mariearenaps

In a severe indictment of the Modi government, European Parliament has come down heavily on union home minister Amit Shah over the systematic violation of human rights in India and misuse of anti-terror laws such as the UAPA. Head of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), Maria Arena shot off a letter to Shah on May 28, expressing her concerns over the arrest of activists Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde. “It is particularly alarming to note that human rights defenders cannot conduct advocacy activities, notably in favor of India’s poorest and most marginalized communities,” said Arena in her letter. Arena slammed the Modi government for portraying anti-CAA protesters as terrorists also.…

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Delhi Police Detains Students, Journalist For Protesting Arrest Of Anti-CAA Activists

Photo: duupdates.in

Reports suggest that the Delhi police on Wednesday detained 10 students in the national capital even as students hit the streets for symbolic protests against the arrests of Pinjra Tod activists Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita and several others who participated in anti-CAA protests earlier this year.  Student bodies across India held virtual protests against the arrests of activist, … in Delhi’s Jamia Milia Islamia University and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).… Apart from Kalita and Narwal, several other anti-Citizenship Amendment Act and anti-National Register of Citizens protesters like Safoora Zargar, Meeran Haider, Gulfisha Khatoon, Iqbal Tanha and others have been arrested over the last few months.…

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Bajrang leader, 3 others booked for ‘assaulting’ boy, forcing him to chant “Jai Sriram” in Karnataka

Photo: Coastaldigest.com

A 25-year-old local Bajrang Dal leader and three minor boys have been booked on charges of threatening and assaulting a boy and forcing him to chant ‘Jai Sriram’ in Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka, police said on Friday. The incident occurred in communally sensitive Bantwal taluk a few days ago, but a video of it went viral on the social media, after which the boy filed a complaint with the police on Thursday. Based on the complaint, a case was registered at Vittal police station against Bajrang Dal leader Dinesh of Kanyana and three minor boys. The four had allegedly accosted the boy, hailing from Kudtamugeru village, at a school ground and threatened to kill him, police said.…

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Announcement 

George Floyd murder sign of systemic racism say Indian Americans

Communal Harmony

Telangana: How Hindus & Muslims Are Fighting Both Hate & COVID-19

Quarantine space in mosque

Lucknow university graduate sanitises temples and lanes in the city

News

European Parliament slams Modi govt for silencing activists & portraying protesters as terrorists

US’s Anti-Racism Protests Fuel #MuslimLivesMatter Campaign in India

Delhi Police Detains Students, Journalist For Protesting Arrest Of Anti-CAA Activists

Railway Protection Force reports 80 deaths on Shramik trains

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta quotes false WhatsApp forward in Supreme Court

Days after it pulled up Gujarat govt over Covid situation, HC bench changed

Bajrang leader, 3 others booked for ‘assaulting’ boy, forcing him to chant “Jai Sriram” in Karnataka

Christian Pastor Brutally Attacked In Uttar Pradesh, Admitted In ICU

‘He Was Like a Flower’: Kashmir Shootout Costs Mother Her Pre-Teen Son

4 Dalits Killed in 4 Days in Tamil Nadu, Activists Say Upper Castes Using Lockdown as Opportunity for Assaults

Opinion

Rising Islamophobia In India: Exploiting The Pandemic? – By Nazneen Mohsina and Joseph Franco

Why Indians Pissed off With Racism and Police Brutality in the US Don’t Care About the Same Issues in Their Own Country – By Shamani Joshi

Dissent is contagious – and arrests of Delhi activists will not stop the quest for justice – By Anirban Bhattacharya

India must stop spreading Hindu nationalism to its global diaspora – By Ashok Swain

‘They treat us like stray dogs’: Migrant workers flee India’s cities – By Nilanjana Bhowmick

As the First Year of Modi 2.0 Ends, It’s Clear that Democracy Has Been Quarantined – By Siddharth Varadarajan

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Weekly News Roundup – May 29, 2020


Experts at virtual US Congressional briefing urge US to implement USCIRF recommendations

Photo: YouTube

Expressing concern over the “increased violence against religious minorities” in India, a panel of experts at a virtual Congressional briefing has urged the US government to implement the recommendations of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).… In her keynote address, Nadine Maenza, vice-chair of the USCIRF, noted with alarm “the social and economic boycott of Muslims in some parts of the country as well as discrimination against Muslims in the context of medical treatment during the global pandemic”, the IAMC said in a statement on Friday. Dr Harrison Akins, South Asia policy analyst with the USCIRF, alleged that the ruling BJP is using “the symbols of Hinduism and policies aimed at their protection as weapons against the minority communities in their quest to further marginalise the religious minorities and shape a Hindu nation.”.…

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Video shows boy trying to wake up dead mother at train station, highlighting India’s migrant crisis

Photo: Al Jazeera

A viral video of a toddler trying to wake up his dead mother at a railway station in eastern India has caused widespread outrage and highlighted one of the biggest humanitarian crises in the country right now. The images show the body of a 23-year-old woman on the platform of Muzaffarpur railway station in Bihar state on Monday. Her young son can be seen repeatedly tugging at a piece of cloth placed on her body .… The woman had taken the train from Ahmedabad city in Gujarat on Saturday, along with her two children, sister, and sister’s husband, heading for her hometown of Katihar, in Bihar state. But she died of “extreme heat, hunger and dehydration” on Monday.…

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Hindu right wing groups destroy church film set of Tovino movie in Kalady

Photo: Scroll.in

Members of right wing Hindu organisations in Kerala demolished a church set erected for the shoot of a Malayalam film in Kalady, Ernakulam, on Sunday. The set was erected to shoot the climax scene of the super hero film Minnal Murali, directed by Basil Joseph and starring Tovino Thomas and newcomer actor Femina. Members of the Antharashtra Hindu Parishad claimed that with the help of their sister outfit Antarashtra Bajrang Dal, they demolished the church set, erected on an island on the Periyar river in Kalady. Hari Palode, the General Secretary of AHP, an organisation founded by Praveen Togadia, boasted on Facebook that they were not used to pleading to anyone, and decided to demolish the church set that was constructed near the Adi Sankaracharya mutt.…

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Communal Harmony

This Chef Has a Michelin Star and a Mission: Feeding Millions in India’s Lockdown

Gujarat: Hindus keep roza to thank those who fed them

Maharashtra: After son ‘refuses’, Muslims from local group light 78-yr-old Hindu man’s pyre

News

Experts at virtual US Congressional briefing urge US to implement USCIRF recommendations

St. Paul City Council passes resolution opposing CAA, declares BJP as Islamophobic

‘Delhi Riot Probe Directed Towards One End’: Court Pulls Up Police

Video shows boy trying to wake up dead mother at train station, highlighting India’s migrant crisis

12 Crore Indians Lost Jobs Last Month Amid Virus Lockdown: Think Tank

Foreign investors continue to flee even after Modi’s Rs 21 lakh cr economic package

‘State cannot use defamation to throttle democracy’, says Madras HC, quashes 28 cases against media

‘Hospital as Good as Dungeon’: Gujarat HC Pulls Up Rupani Government for COVID-19 Response

Hindu right wing groups destroy church film set of Tovino movie in Kalady

‘Let Your Mother Die’, Kashmir Football Star Mehrajuddin Wadoo Recalls Police Encounter

Opinion

How Modi Failed the Pandemic Test – By Hartosh Singh Bal

“Diarrhea, Dehydration, Hunger, Exhaustion”: India’s Rural Poor Suffer Most Under Lockdown – P. Sainath with Amy Goodman

Modi the fanatic is using the coronavirus crisis to destroy India’s heritage – By Anish Kapoor

In Delhi violence investigation, a disturbing pattern: Victims end up being prosecuted by police – By Vijayta Lalwani

Supreme Court Fails Once Again During (Covid) Emergency – By Yogesh Pratap Singh & Lokendra Malik

Islamophobic disinformation, hate speech swamps social media during pandemic – By Burhan Wazir

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Weekly News Roundup – May 22, 2020


UN official says concerned over ”hate speech and discrimination” against minorities in India

Photo: Twitter

Highlighting India’s long-standing history of promoting inclusive and peaceful societies, a top UN official on Tuesday voiced concern over incidents of “increased hate speech and discrimination” against minority communities in the country following the adoption of the Citizenship Amendment Act.… Dieng encouraged the Government of India to “continue to abide by this guidance by ensuring that national laws and policies follow international standards related to non-discrimination and to address and counter the rise of hate speech through messages of inclusion, respect for diversity and unity.”…

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A Tale of Harevali Village in India’s National Capital and Forced Conversion of Its Muslims to Hindu Religion

Photo: IndiaTomorrow.net

This non-descript village… came into limelight after a 22-year-old Dilshad was badly beaten up by a few local youths on April 5… for he was suspected to be a carrier of coronavirus as he had returned from a congregation of Tablighi Jamaat… After Dilshad was tortured by the Jats and Brahmin youths on April 5, the senior male members of all the 12 Muslim families were called by the village Hindu leaders to the village square in the afternoon. All of them were first abused and beaten up with sticks. An old Muslim woman was also beaten up and pushed to the ground when she objected.…”The next thing they did was that they put drops of “gau mutra”(cow urine) on our palms and asked us to sip it in front of the entire village. They told us that we have all become Hindus now. You are now converted from Islam to Hinduism”… “The villagers also told us that you can live here only as Hindus otherwise you will have to quit the village”…

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Madhya Pradesh Police Apologise for Beating Lawyer, ‘We Thought You Were Muslim,’ They Say

Photo: Kanooniyat

…On March 23, a lawyer Deepak Bundele was beaten up brutally by the state police while he was on his way to a government hospital for treatment. A month later, he is under pressure from the police to withdraw his complaint. Police officials, in their defence, told Bundele that he was beaten up because they had wrongly identified him as a Muslim man.… Since then, he alleged, police have been trying really hard to get him to withdraw the complaint.… However, Bundele didn’t budge.… An FIR against this case has still not been registered, Bundele said. “I was struck by the way the police officials apologised. Even if I was a Muslim, what gives the police the right to assault them without any cause,” he said. The Wire sent a request to the Betul SP for a comment, but he has not replied.…

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Communal Harmony

Migrant worker’s health deteriorates on way home, his friend sticks with him till end

UP: Seeing his disabled friend struggle with tricycle, man pushes it for 5 days, 350km

Food, milk, sanitary pads: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind turns saviour for migrants passing through Bhopal

News

UN official says concerned over ”hate speech and discrimination” against minorities in India

U.S. envoy calls out COVID-19 related harassment of minorities in India

Anti-Muslim sentiments by some Indians abroad costing them their jobs

Starving migrants head back to villages as unrest grows in India amid lockdown

A Tale of Harevali Village in India’s National Capital and Forced Conversion of Its Muslims to Hindu Religion

Madhya Pradesh Police Apologise for Beating Lawyer, ‘We Thought You Were Muslim,’ They Say

West Bengal: Two BJP MPs booked for inciting violence in Hooghly

India Faces a Major Economic Catastrophe, PMO Can’t Handle By Itself, Says Raghuram Rajan

Modi’s plan to rebuild India’s parliament draws fierce criticism

Five-year-old Dalit girl dies of alleged starvation in Jharkhand’s Latehar

Opinion

In India, the otherization of Muslims mines citizenship at the foundations: of exclusion, excesses and abdication – By Aiman Khan and Madhur Bharatiya

As Supreme Court fails to protect migrant workers’ rights, High Courts show the way – By Sruthisagar Yamunan

Rescripting north-east Delhi riots – and the question of justice – By Vikas Kumar and Radhika Chitkara

Modi’s ‘Stimulus Package’ is a Gigantic Confidence Trick Played on the People of India – By Prem Shankar Jha

Licensed to beat, abuse and kill – By M.P. Nathanael

In this time of COVID-19, Kashmir endures a ‘double lockdown’ over India’s warmongering – By Asad Majeed Khan

Read More

Weekly News Roundup – May 15, 2020


US religious freedom watchdog calls out India for arresting Muslims protesting new citizenship law

Photo: USCIRF

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on Thursday called out India for unfairly “targeting those practicing their democratic right to protest”, making special mention of the arrest of a pregnant Muslim activist. “During COVID-19 crisis, there are reports India [government] is arresting Muslim activists protesting the [Citizenship Amendment Act], including Safoora Zargar who is pregnant,” wrote the US federal government entity. Expressing concern, the body said that India should “be releasing prisoners of conscience” instead of arresting those who have the right to peacefully protest.…

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India’s COVID-19 Response: Modi’s masterstrokes are a form of fascist shock therapy – By Manasi Karthik

Photo: The Pollis Project

Modi’s latest ‘masterstroke’ has left many wondering what exactly he was thinking when he put India into the world’s largest lockdown overnight. … Is this a sign of Modi’s incompetence or foolhardiness, as some have argued? Anyone observing Modi’s policies would be able to tell that masterstrokes like this are not an aberration for the Modi regime, but a norm.… Modi’s politically expedient handouts have done nothing to create real safety nets that India’s poor can fall back on during this time of crisis.… If Naomi Klein’s decades of research tell us anything, it is that in India’s case this crisis will be used to further Modi’s agenda by clamping down on dissent and establishing an increasingly draconian police state.

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After Mob Attacks and Trade Boycott, Muslims Being Forced to Convert to Hinduism in Delhi and Haryana Villages

Photo: India Tomorrow

After a hate campaign launched by print, electronic and digital media against Muslims in the wake of the coronavirus spread that resulted in mob attacks on Muslims and their trade boycott, Muslims are now being forced to convert to Hinduism in several villages of Haryana as also in villages in Bawana area of Delhi, bordering Haryana’s Sonepat district. The latest example of the forced conversion has come from Harevali village in Bawana area where all the 12 Muslim families with about 60 members, were forcibly converted to Hinduism on May 5.… The villager said that they did not oppose the “shuddhikaran” because of fear of atrocities from the Hindu villagers.…

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Communal Harmony

Indian American Muslim Council in New Jersey helps first responders

Telangana doctor drives 60 kms through forest, ensures save delivery of tribal woman

Corona Warrior In Burqa Helps Sanitise Delhi Temples, Priests Welcome Her

News

After Mob Attacks and Trade Boycott, Muslims Being Forced to Convert to Hinduism in Delhi and Haryana Villages

Economic relief package ‘frivolous and gimmicky,’ say MSME bodies

Supreme Court sacrificed core principles during lockdown, says CJAR

Bulk Of Covid-19 Related Fact-Checks In April Related To Communal Rumours, Claims BOOM Live

Gujarat shocker: BJP worker charged 3 times for train fare, beat up migrant for objecting, claims Congress

Ahmedabad Violence: Police fires 71 Teargas Shells, Pregnant Woman Beaten Up, One-and-A Half Year Old Kid Thrown Away by Cops, 27 People Arrested

129 arrested for violence at Telinipara in Bengal

US religious freedom watchdog calls out India for arresting Muslims protesting new citizenship law

Another Bank Defaulter Flees Country, SBI Complains To CBI After 4 Years

4 Dalits Killed in 4 Days, Activists Say Upper Castes in TN Using Lockdown as Opportunity for Assaults

Opinion

India’s COVID-19 Response: Modi’s masterstrokes are a form of fascist shock therapy – By Manasi Karthik

Enough of the cheap theatrics. We need brains. We need heart. We need accountability – By Arundhati Roy

The Unprecedented Changes To India’s Labour Laws = Social Chaos? – By Payaswini Upadhyay

The virus of authoritarian strain – By Divya

India is forcing people to use its covid app, unlike any other democracy – By Patrick Howell O’Neill

“Shoved gun barrels in mouths, tied civilians to tree”: A ransacked Budgam village – By Kuwar Singh

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Weekly News Roundup – May 8, 2020


CoronaJihad is only the latest manifestation: Islamophobia in India has been years in the making – By Jayshree Bajoria

Photo: Counterfire

…Today, as the world battles coronavirus (COVID-19),… India is also battling another threat to life – Muslim hate. …social media and WhatsApp groups have been flooded by calls for social and economic boycotts of Muslims and there have been numerous physical attacks on Muslims, including volunteers distributing relief material, amid falsehoods accusing them of spreading the virus deliberately. … However, coronavirus has simply highlighted what Muslims have been increasingly facing in India since Modi’s BJP government was first elected in 2014. … Government policy has also reflected bias against Muslims. In December 2019, the Modi administration achieved passage of the discriminatory Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which for the first time in India makes religion a basis for granting citizenship.…

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Photo: TwoCircles.net

South Asian organisations in US accuse BJP of vendetta politics to persecute Muslims

The Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJA) on Tuesday condemned the Indian Government for slapping criminal charges against Muslim activists, students, and intellectuals during a nationwide lockdown. AJA is an umbrella group of South Asian organizations in the United States that has condemned sedition charges against renowned Muslim intellectual and Chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission, Dr Zafarul Islam Khan.… The statement said that anyone who raises a voice against the treatment of Muslims is labelled “anti-national.” … It has urged the U.S. Government to accept USCIRF recommendations and work towards unifying the Indian society by countering “divisive agenda” of the BJP.…

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Photo: The Wire

Justice Lokur: ‘SC Not Fulfilling Its Constitutional Role Adequately, Needs to Introspect’

… “It is not fulfilling its constitutional functions adequately,” he said, adding, “The Supreme Court of India is capable of doing a good job but I think they need to introspect, they need to sit down, brainstorm and figure out how to go ahead… Certainly it should be more pro-active than it has been.”…In an interview to Karan Thapar for The Wire…, Justice Lokur answered a range of questions covering the court’s inadequate enforcement of the right to life of migrant workers, its prioritisation of cases on the basis of which some are heard immediately and others indefinitely deferred, and the inadequate exercise of its power of judicial review over government policies and action.…

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Communal Harmony

This Hindu-Muslim Duo From A Mumbai Jail Will Warm Your Heart In These Hate-Filled Times

Hindu woman observes Ramadan in India

Hindu friend offers shade, as Muslim cop offers namaz

News

South Asian organisations in US accuse BJP of vendetta politics to persecute Muslims

Delhi Police raid at Minority Commission chief’s house

‘First Muslims, Now Sikhs’: Nanded Pilgrims Face Vilification

Destitute migrant workers in India forced to pay train fares home

Poster barring entry of Muslim traders in Indore village surfaces, case registered

Maharashtra govt accuses Arnab Goswami of interfering with probe, moves SC

Justice Lokur: ‘SC Not Fulfilling Its Constitutional Role Adequately, Needs to Introspect’

COVID-19: Rohingya Refugees in India Are Battling Islamophobia and Starvation

12 Tablighi Jamaat members, including 9 from Thailand, sent to temporary jail in UP

India’s Covid-19 app fuels worries over authoritarianism and surveillance

Opinion

Why Gulf States Are Backtracking on India – By Sumit Ganguly, Nicolas Blarel

CoronaJihad is only the latest manifestation: Islamophobia in India has been years in the making – By Jayshree Bajoria

Arbitrary arrests of CAA-NRC protesters point to political vendetta under the cover of Covid – By Shoaib Daniyal

Where India’s government has failed in the pandemic, its people have stepped in – By Bharati Ramachandran

What Life Is Like Inside the World’s Longest Lockdown – By Ahmer Khan and Billy Perrigo

Corona, communalism and class conflict – By Mani Shankar Aiyar

Book Review

The Majoritarian Bargaina

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Weekly News Roundup – May 1, 2020


Religious Freedom Watchdog Pitches Adding India to Blacklist

Photo: Nile International

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom is urging that the State Department add India to its list of nations with uniquely poor records on protecting freedom to worship. The bipartisan commission… proposed designating India as a “country of particular concern” in the annual report it released Tuesday. That lower ranking for a long-running U.S. ally amounts to a stark show of disapproval of India’s divisive new citizenship law, which has sparked broad worries about disenfranchisement of Muslims.…

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Is the Modi government exploiting the pandemic to silence critics in India?

Photo: TRT World

Under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, India’s far-right government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has slyly launched a crackdown on dissidents. Several civil society activists, journalists and community organisers have been targeted with notorious anti-terror laws at a time when the country is grappling with the pandemic.… With the arrest of Zargar, who’s in the crucial second trimester of her first pregnancy, and the launch of criminal investigations against several other activists, questions have arisen about whether the Modi government is using the cover of Covid-19 pandemic to “execute an alarmingly authoritarian shakeup of [Indian] democracy”.…

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India is using the pandemic to intensify its crackdown in Kashmir – By Tariq Mir

Photo: Time

As the world remains consumed with containing the coronavirus pandemic and the severe economic fallout, India has spotted an opportunity for another round of repression against the population of Kashmir, which had already been reeling from the harsh aftereffects of last year’s six-month-long military lockdown. By initiating gunfights with guerrilla fighters, jailing people for going to buy food and medicine, bringing charges against journalists, and beating doctors, paramedics and municipal workers, India is tightening its grip on Kashmir, seizing on pandemic measures to prevent a surge of resistance to its rule.…

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Communal Harmony

India: Muslim woman breaks her fast to donate blood to Hindu patient

West Bengal: Hindu Couple, Stranded In Lockdown, Finds Shelter In Muslim Home

Muslim neighbours arrange last rites of Hindu woman in Ahmedabad

News

Religious Freedom Watchdog Pitches Adding India to Blacklist

Is the Modi government exploiting the pandemic to silence critics in India?

‘Don’t Be Seen Here Again’: Another BJP MLA Harasses Muslim Vendor

Gulf News editor in Dubai receives threats from BJP’s IT cell for exposing Islamophobes

96% migrant workers did not get rations from the government, 90% did not receive wages during lockdown: survey

‘How can court stop this’: SC refuses to entertain PIL against ‘communal’ hashtags trending on Twitter

Banks technically write off over Rs 68,000 cr loans, Choksi among 50 top wilful defaulters: RTI

TISS Professors Falsely Targeted For ‘Supporting Palghar Accused’

Christians in India Face More Than COVID-19

‘Atrocities against dalits continue under lockdown too’

Opinion

Delhi Riot Conspiracy Theory: Aim Is To Make Every Muslim Guilty By Manisha Sethi

Corporate media a serious threat to Indian democracy By Bhim Bhurtel

Palghar: Hate as ‘Essential Commodity’, Arnab its Supplier – By Valay Singh

Method in Modi’s ‘directionless’ economic governance: Manipulating public mind – By Bhabani Shankar Nayak

Is Aarogya Setu A Surveillance App? Experts Give Some Answers, Flag Some Concerns – By Govindraj Ethiraj

India is using the pandemic to intensify its crackdown in Kashmir – By Tariq Mir

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Weekly News Roundup – April 24, 2020


India’s treatment of Muslims amid coronavirus is almost ‘genocidal,’ activist Arundhati Roy claims

Photo: AFP

Political activist Arundhati Roy accused the Indian government on Friday of exploiting the coronavirus outbreak to inflame tensions between Hindus and Muslims. She told DW that this alleged strategy on the part of the Hindu nationalist government would “dovetail with this illness to create something which the world should really keep its eyes on,” adding that “the situation is approaching genocidal.” “I think what has happened is COVID-19 has exposed things about India that all of us knew,” said Roy. “We are suffering, not just from COVID, but from a crisis of hatred, from a crisis of hunger.”… Roy claimed the government was exploiting the virus in a tactic reminiscent of one used by the Nazis during the Holocaust.…

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Indian Government Books Muslim Students Under Draconian Laws Amid Coronavirus Lockdown – By Nazish Hussain and Musheera Ashraf

Photo: Twitter

Four weeks since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a lockdown amid coronavirus pandemic, Indian Police have arrested three Muslim students who had been at the forefront of peaceful protests against India’s divisive anti-Muslim citizenship law since December. On Tuesday, all three students Meeran Haider, Safoora Zargar, and Umar Khalid were charged under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), a controversial terror law. Last week, Delhi Police issued notices to nearly 50 Jamia Coordination Committee members, who are mostly students of Jamia Millia Islamia to join the investigation.…

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Income support? Stimulus package? Hunger? What Modi did not address in his speech extending lockdown

Photo: iStock

Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared on television yet again on Tuesday to tell Indians that they will need to stay at home until May 3.… Through most of these addresses, Modi has focused on telling Indians what they need to do – whether it is social distancing, banging pots and pans or lighting candles – rather than what the government is doing for them.… Modi made some broad claims about government action and then moved on to giving his countrymen sevens instructions. The prime minister did announce that his speech would be followed by guidelines on what would be permitted over the next weeks. Yet there is much more information that his government ought to provide to the people, if they are being asked to follow these rules and endure more distress through the rest of April.…

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Communal Harmony

No hate, only love: Muslims turn pallbearers for Hindu brother in Bhatta Basti in Jaipur

How a Muslim family in J&K provided a film crew with a home during the Covid-19 lockdown

Humanity over hate: Religious organizations help out with covid-19 relief

News

India’s treatment of Muslims amid coronavirus is almost ‘genocidal,’ activist Arundhati Roy claims

 Two Muslim students face ‘bogus’ charges of inciting Delhi riots

 USCIRF condemns stigmatisation of Muslims amid COVID-19 pandemic in India

India: Activists Detained for Peaceful Dissent

 Most of the accused in Palghar lynching are BJP members: Congress

Covid-19: India drops 2 places on World Press Freedom Index, as watchdog warns of pandemic’s impact

Income support? Stimulus package? Hunger? What Modi did not address in his speech extending lockdown

Police officer sent on leave for arresting Hindutva activist

Three journalists in Kashmir charged for social media posts and fake news

Under India’s caste system, Dalits are considered untouchable. The coronavirus is intensifying that slur

Opinion

Pandemic Is a Portal: Arundhati Roy on COVID-19 in India, Imagining Another World & Fighting for It – Amy Goodman with Nermeen Shaikh inerviews Arundhati

 ‘I am so afraid’: India’s poor face world’s largest lockdown – By Tim Sullivan and Sheikh Saaliq

Why is India targeting writers during the coronavirus pandemic? – By Priyamvada Gopal and Salil Tripathi

India’s Coronavirus-Related Islamophobia Has the Arab World Up in Arms – By Seemi Pasha

Indian Government Books Muslim Students Under Draconian Laws Amid Coronavirus Lockdown – By Nazish Hussain and Musheera Ashraf

The Rise of a Hindu Vigilante in the Age of WhatsApp and Modi – By Mohammad Ali

Read More

Weekly News Roundup – April 16, 2020

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India’s Hindu Nationalists Are Inciting Hate By Claiming Muslims Are Spreading Coronavirus – By David Gilbert

Photo: SCMP

Dilshad Muhamud did not have COVID-19…. Nevertheless, hours later, he took his own life. His family claims the 34-year-old dairy farmer killed himself because his neighbors believed he had the disease and taunted and threatened him for spreading it around the village.… That meeting and the revelation that members of the group tested positive for coronavirus was the spark that kickstarted a virulent hate speech campaign online that has seen far-right Hindu nationalists weaponize Facebook and Twitter to attack and threaten Muslims in India.… The campaign uses hashtags like #CoronaJihad, #CrushTablighiSpitters, #MuslimMeaningTerrorist, and #BioJihad on platforms like Facebook and Twitter..…

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Our COVID aid not for Tablighis, jihadis, write Assam Foreigners’ Tribunals’ members

Photo: InsideNE

A letter offering a donation of over Rs 60,000 for COVID-19 relief work, with names of 12 members of Assam’s Foreigners’ Tribunals (FTs) listed as contributors, has specified that the money should not be used for providing relief to those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Delhi, “jihadis” and “jahil”. The letter, dated April 7, is addressed to state Health and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and is signed by Kamalesh Kumar Gupta, member of an FT in Baksa district.… “Our only prayer is that the help may not be extended to the members of violators Tablighi Jamaat, Jihadi and Jahil. Kindly accept our donations as above for saving the humanity from the clutches of COVID-19 pandemic infection.” it read.…

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VHP-Bajrang Dal leader held for making remarks ‘hurting sentiments’

Photo: Express News Service

President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal Bhavnagar units, Ashoksinh Gohil, was arrested on Thursday for his alleged remarks “hurting religious sentiments of a community” and sharing them on social media, police said. A scrap dealer from Bhavanagar city, Abid Pacha, was also arrested for allegedly making comments “prejudicial” to a religious group. Police saying the remarks originated from difference of views over spread of coronavirus infection in the country.… “Gohil is in police custoday and a sub-inspector is investigating the case,” said Solanki.…

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Communal Harmony

Muslim Neighbours Cremate Hindu Woman in Indore Amid Lockdown

Indian-Americans condemn the killing of Sikhs in Kabul

Lockdown Mode: All Religious Affinity Movement with police feeds the needy in Coimbatore

News

Refrain from religious profiling of COVID-19 cases: WHO in context of Tabligh

‘Daughter did not die of hunger’: Jharkhand couple’s thumb impression taken on paper

AIIMS doctors assaulted by cop in MP, blamed for spreading Coronavirus

Our COVID aid not for Tablighis, jihadis, write Assam Foreigners’ Tribunals’ members

Clip shows vendors harassed over religion in Delhi

Why India’s Muslim truckers and aid workers fighting Covid-19 face attacks

Civil rights group condemns ‘arbitrary arrests’ of Jamia students

VHP-Bajrang Dal leader held for making remarks ‘hurting sentiments’

International Human Rights Group Urges Parliament to Repeal CAA

Shah Faesal’s 5-year-old son wants him released from detention

Opinion

India’s Hindu Nationalists Are Inciting Hate By Claiming Muslims Are Spreading Coronavirus – By David Gilbert

Indian Muslims Are Being Scapegoated for the Coronavirus – By Namrata Kolachalam

These Muslims Survived Mob Attacks by Indian Nationalists. Then Coronavirus Hit. – By Fahad Shah

When News Suppression Hits Home – By Tunku Varadarajan

‘Muslims Are Foreigners’: Inside India’s Campaign to Decide Who Is a Citizen – By Karan Deep Singh and Suhasini Raj

Hinduization of ‘Secular’ India – Disintegrating into Theocracy – By Oleena Chaudhuri

Book Review

India’s Constitution not only ensures democracy but also teaches what democracy is, says this book

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Weekly News Roundup – April 8, 2020


‘Corona Jihad’, ‘Terrorist Virus’: Muslim Organisations Voice Concern Over Media Trial & Vilification Of Tablighi Jamaat

Photo: The Wire

While BTV, a Kannada news channel called Tablighi Jamaat a ‘terrorist virus’, Sudarshan News, a Muslim bashing hate channel called the novel coronavirus as ‘Corona Jihad’, insinuating a Muslim-led conspiracy behind its spread.… Muslim organisations and leaders cutting across different schools of thoughts have voiced concern over the way sections of the media are selectively targeting the Tablighi Jamaat and portraying it as the purveyor of the pandemic. They said while the whole world is unitedly fighting to contain the spread of the deadly pandemic, the media is busy demonising the whole Muslim community, by communalising a human tragedy.

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Delhi Riots: ‘Vague’ FIR Names Umar Khalid, Police Arrests Jamia Student

Photo: Twitter

Former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Umar Khalid has been named as the prime accused in a case in which Jamia student Meeran Haider was recently arrested. Haider, a research scholar at Jamia Millia Islamia and a youth leader of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) was arrested by the special cell of Delhi Police in connection with his alleged involvement in violence in North East Delhi in February 2020.… Several Muslim activists have been arrested by Delhi Police in the last few weeks in connection with the violence in North Delhi, which killed at least 53 people and injured close to 200. Several people have recently received notices, similar to the one that Haider got, from the police.

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US calls use of #coronajihad unfortunate, says govt should clear it out

Photo: The Print

India experienced the biggest community transmission of the coronavirus in the past few days because of the congregation held by the Tablighi Jamaat, an influential Islamic missionary movement.  This led many to start a hashtag on social media against the Muslim community calling it #CoronaJihad.… The US on Thursday said that use of the term was “unfortunate”. During a briefing by the Samuel D Brownback, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Office of International Religious Freedom, he said that the US administration was tracking many instances of blaming of the minority communities for the Covid-19 virus.… He urged governments to clearly state the origin of the virus and ensure that there is no targeting of the minorities.

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Communal Harmony

Malerkotla gurdwara feeds madrasa students

Hubballi hotelier offers rooms for quarantine

News

‘Corona Jihad’, ‘Terrorist Virus’: Muslim Organisations Voice Concern Over Media Trial & Vilification Of Tablighi Jamaat

After COVID-19 outbreak at Tablighi Jamaat conference, fake news targeting Muslims abounds

US calls use of #coronajihad unfortunate, says govt should clear it out

Shocking :1800 Gujarati pilgrims provided luxury buses from Haridwar, while Tablighi members denied travelling permission

UP: 22-Year-Old Dies by Suicide After Being Thrashed by Cop for Violating Quarantine

West Bengal Doc Demands Protective Gear For Docs Fighting Coronavirus, Gets Police Harassment Instead

Lockdown Violation: Police Officer Removed from Post for Thrashing Priest Who Organised Puja in MP Temple

Delhi Riots: ‘Vague’ FIR Names Umar Khalid, Police Arrests Jamia Student

Human Rights Watch tells Centre to withdraw Internet curbs in J&K amid COVID-19

Gujarat: Probe ordered into ‘police brutality’ on Dalits during lockdown

Opinion

Modi’s Hasty Coronavirus Lockdown of India Leaves Many Fearful for What Comes Next – By Abhishyant Kidangoor

India’s coronavirus lockdown sparks mass migrations, an economic catastrophe and a crisis of faith in Modi – By Mark Mackinnon

It Was Already Dangerous to Be Muslim in India. Then Came the Coronavirus – By Billy Perrigo

Under Modi, India’a Press Is Not So Free Anymore – By Vindu Goel and Jeffrey Gettleman

India Is a Secular Nation, So Why Aren’t Muslims Being Protected? – By Saad Hafiz

‘Muslims Are Foreigners’: Inside India’s Campaign to Decide Who Is a Citizen – By Karan Deep Singh and Suhasini Raj

Book Review

Dismantling the World’s Largest Democracy

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Weekly News Roundup – April 1, 2020


Delhi riots: Victims struggle to rebuild their lives

Photo: NPR

A few weeks have passed since violent mobs rampaged through neighborhoods on the outskirts of New Delhi, leaving death and destruction in their wake. According to official numbers, 53 people were killed and over 200 were injured. Hundreds of houses and shops were set on fire, along with thousands of vehicles. For some of those who lived through the riots, the suffering continues, as they have lost everything they owned. Thousands of these people are now living in “homeless camps,” with no sign if their lives will ever return to normal.…

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Doctors evicted from their homes in India as fear spreads amid coronavirus lockdown

Photo: Live Mint

As the global coronavirus pandemic worsens by the day, fear is swelling in India – and frontline medical workers are bearing the brunt of public panic.… there are signs of rising anxiety amid a dramatic nationwide lockdown, with scenes of panic buying and targeted harassment of doctors and other frontline workers. Medical staff in the national capital New Delhi say they have been ostracized and discriminated against by their communities due to fears that they may be infected after working with coronavirus patients.…

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South Asian Students, Faculty Condemn Indian Citizenship Bill And Anti-Muslim Violence

Photo: The Wire

Students chalked Red Square on March 5 with messages denouncing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and anti-Muslim violence in India. Violent riots unfolded in Delhi, India’s second-largest city, from Feb. 23 to March 1 as Hindu mobs attacked Muslim-populated neighborhoods and set four mosques ablaze, leaving at least 53 people dead.… Anika Venkatesh (SFS’22), who grew up in Mumbai, argued that the two laws were crafted to disproportionately target Muslims. “Who is left over? Muslims. So who’s rendered stateless? Muslims,” she said .…

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Communal Harmony

CAA protesters provide food to 210 families

News

Indian Americans demand Indian Government shun sectarian politics to combat the Coronavirus pandemic

West Bengal: Man Who Was Buying Milk Dies Hours After Police Thrash

Doctors evicted from their homes in India as fear spreads amid coronavirus lockdown

India’s Poor, Hammered by Coronavirus Lockdown, Fear for Future

Modi’s Silence on Essential Supplies During 21 Day National Lockdown Sets Off Panic

Lockdown impact: In Modi’s constituency, Dalit kids forced to eat grass, reporter faces DM’s wrath

Delhi riots: Victims struggle to rebuild their lives

In Bail Conditions, Shaheen Bagh Protesters Told Not to Post Opinions on CAA

South Asian Students, Faculty Condemn Indian Citizenship Bill And Anti-Muslim Violence

Jammu and Kashmir police use batons and FIRs to enforce COVID-19 lockdown, hospitals struggle

Opinion

The Callousness of India’s COVID-19 Response – By Vidya Krishnan

India’s Coronavirus Lockdown Leaves Vast Numbers Stranded and Hungry – By Maria Abi-Habib and Sameer Yasir

In Delhi, First Came the Pogroms. Then Came Coronavirus. – By Yashraj Sharma

The damaging consequences of Modi’s Hindu agenda – By Ramesh Thakur

Delhi Police watched as Hindu mob brutally beat Muslim man, looted shop in Maujpur – By Prabhat Kumar

The destruction of India’s judicial independence is almost complete – By Rana Ayyub

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Weekly News Roundup – March 24, 2020


Delhi’s Muslims despair of justice after police implicated in riots

Photo: The Wire

As the mob attacks came once, then twice and then a third time in this north-east Delhi neighbourhood, desperate stallholders repeatedly ran to Gokalpuri and Dayalpur police stations crying out for help. But each time they found the gates locked from the inside. For three days, no help came. Since the riots broke out in Delhi at the end of February, the worst religious conflict to engulf the capital in decades, questions have persisted about the role that the Delhi police played in enabling the violence, which was predominately Hindu mobs attacking Muslims. In the weeks that have followed the riots, the alleged bias of the police has extended to accusations of a cover-up to protect the Hindu rioters.…

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Ranjan Gogoi’s RS Nomination Calls All His Judgments Into Question, Says Legal Expert

Photo: The Hindu

In India, where the Supreme Court is not only a constitutional court but also the final arbiter of political questions, the political detour taken by former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi raises questions about the judiciary’s independence, said Faizan Mustafa, a senior law professor and constitutional law expert. On 16 March, President Ram Nath Kovind nominated Gogoi, who retired as India’s Chief Justice in November, to the Rajya Sabha, sparking controversy. He is the first former Chief Justice of India to be nominated to the Upper House of the Parliament.… “The legal term res ipsa loquitur, which means facts speak for themselves, applies here. When a former CJI gets a Rajya Sabha nomination after he passes judgments after judgments that favour the government, the facts speak for themselves,” Mustafa told HuffPost India in an interview.…

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Dangerous process underway in India, institutions under great threat: Former Vice-President Hamid Ansari

Photo: Sabrang India

Asserting that a “very dangerous” process was underway in India, former Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Tuesday said the country’s institutions were under “great threat” and the principles on which the Constitution’s Preamble was drafted were being thrown out. Hamid Ansari said people were living in “difficult times” and it was important to act because if this continues, “it will be too late to wake up”. “We are living in difficult times. I do not have to go into the details of it, but the bare and honest truth is that the institutions of the republic of India are under great threat,” Hamid Ansari said..…

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Communal Harmony

A ‘Hindu’ heart in ‘Muslim’ chest is the best reply to hate in Gujarat

News

Ranjan Gogoi’s RS Nomination Calls All His Judgments Into Question, Says Legal Expert

Not just clapping: Indian medical professionals take to Twitter to demand resources, equipment

Delhi’s Muslims despair of justice after police implicated in riots

8 Million People Can’t Get News About The Coronavirus Because Their Government Is Slowing Down The Internet

Three years of terror in UP: Property ordinance is as bad as AFSPA, says advocate Colin Gonsalves

Petrol bomb hurled near Shaheen Bagh protest site

Documents Show Modi Govt Building 360 Degree Database To Track Every Indian

Dangerous process underway in India, institutions under great threat: Former Vice-President Hamid Ansari

Six detention centres in Assam with capacity of 3,331 persons, 10 inmates died since March 2019, MHA informs Lok Sabha

Meenakshi Lekhi’s Claim About ‘No Riots in Guj Post 2002’ is False

Opinion

Covid-19 and India’s Hindu-Fascism Outbreak

Ranjan Gogoi, MP: India is Done With Whataboutery, My Lords!

India lobbies to stifle criticism, control messaging in U.S. Congress amid rising anti-Muslim violence 

Protecting India: Nation must stay with vision of founding fathers to fight threat to secular democracy – By Ban Ki Moon

Unrest over citizenship policies could imperil India’s census

Well-established? Why now no one will mind suggestion of Hindu riots or Hindu terror – By Aviral Anand

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Weekly News Roundup – March 20, 2020

Victims of rioting in India are bashed by the police and courts, too

Photo: The Print

Last month a judge in Mangaluru, in the southern state of Karnataka, did something increasingly unusual in an Indian court.… There appeared to have been “a deliberate attempt to cover up police excesses”, he concluded. Two weeks later, in much more typical fashion, the Supreme Court struck down the ruling, sending the men back to prison. Since the Hindu nationalist government of Narendra Modi changed the laws on citizenship in a way that discriminated against Muslims, at least 80 people have died in related protests, including 53 in riots that engulfed parts of Delhi …. And although it is Muslims, both protesters and bystanders, who have borne the brunt of the violence and vandalism, the government, the agencies of the state and much of the press have persisted in blaming the victims.…

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NGOs, students write to UN on anti-Muslim violence in India

Photo: Live Mint

In a letter to UN Human Rights Council chief Michelle Bachelet, a large of number of citizens, students, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have denounced the anti-Muslim cruelty in India, urging the international body to take urgent action to stop the brutalities.… In their letter, according to Fars, the Iranian signatories said, “We hope and request that through effective and serious actions by the United Nations Human Rights Council, the main purpose of this letter, which is to help achieve a peaceful life for the people of India with different religions and ethnicities, will be fulfilled and it also becomes a positive role model for others.”…

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Coimbatore police arrest 2 Sangh parivar members for hurling petrol bomb at mosque

Photo: News Minute

The Coimbatore police have arrested two men – a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) member and a BJP member – for hurling a petrol bomb at a mosque in Ganapathy on March 5. The incident took place around 1 am on March 5, when miscreants had hurled petrol bombs at the front gate of Hidayathul Sunnath Jamath Mosque at Vedhambal Nagar near Ganapathy in Coimbatore.… Following a complaint from the Secretary of the Jama’ath, the police had formed three separate teams to nab the miscreants. Based on tip-offs, the police detained BJP member Pandi (41) and VHP member Akhil (23), both from Rathnapuri in Coimbatore for inquiry.…

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Communal Harmony

Two Weeks After Mosque Attack, Dwarka Hindus Say ‘We Love Muslims’

The Empowered Women Of Savda-Ghevra Were The Real ‘Shantidoots’ During The Delhi Violence

News

Opposition Blames Government for New Delhi Rioting That Killed 52
Victims of rioting in India are bashed by the police and courts, too
History repeats itself, first time as evil, second time as evil: UP, Nazi Germany
NGOs, students write to UN on anti-Muslim violence in India
Motion against India’s divisive Citizenship Amendment Act moved in New Westminster

Two Congress workers booked for putting up posters on U.P. CM’s “criminal record”

“Everyone has been Silenced”: a comprehensive report on UP violence and its aftermath
Coimbatore police arrest 2 Sangh parivar members for hurling petrol bomb at mosque
Walk the Talk Mr HM, strike down rule that allows Indians to be declared ‘doubtful citizens’
Former J&K Governor Drops Bombshell, Says He Was Told That 1000 People Might Be Killed If Article 370 Is Revoked

Opinion

How Delhi’s Police Turned Against Muslims – By Jeffrey Gettleman, Sameer Yasir, Suhasini Raj, Hari Kumar and Atul Loke
Democracy is dying in India, and Trump shouldn’t be on Modi’s side – By Akanksha Singh
DelhiRiots: ‘We know who attacked us’ – By SanjayKapoor

Cultural Malware: The rise of India’s RSS – By Pieter Friedrich

Thelion inside the sedition circus – By SugataSrinivasaraju

Democracy in decline around the world – By The Editorial Board

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Weekly News Roundup – March 13, 2020

Delhi riots: Violence that killed 53 in Indian capital ‘was anti-Muslim pogrom’, says top expert

Photo: Firstpost

The religious violence in Delhi that overshadowed Donald Trump’s visit to India last month “qualifies as a pogrom” against Muslims and should be described as such, according to a leading academic and one of the country’s top lawyers. The fallout from the three days of bloodshed in Delhi, which began two weeks ago on Sunday and ended in the deaths of at least 53 people, is still being fiercely contested, with police facing intense criticism for their perceived failure to step in and quash the unrest sooner. There are mounting calls for the arrest of key members of the country’s ruling BJP party.…

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UN rights chief moves Supreme Court on CAA 

Photo: Aljazeera

The principal human rights official of the United Nations has moved the Supreme Court, seeking to intervene as a friend of the court on a bunch of petitions challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The application from the office of Michelle Bachelet Jeria, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Chile, has pointed out that there cannot be any discrimination in granting refugee status on the basis of religion or race. Few in the Indian government could recall another instance of a UN agency seeking to intervene in a matter New Delhi insists is the country’s internal matter.…

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Ahmedabad: Judge transferred, Naroda gam verdict delayed again

Photo: The Wire

Eighteen years after the 2002 riots and 11 years after the court began the trial in the Naroda Gam massacre case, when the trial was on the verge of completion, the SIT judge, M K Dave, has been transferred. Principal sessions judge M K Dave was hearing the final arguments from the last accused person in the case, former minister Maya Kodnani, when the Gujarat high court ordered his transfer on Friday. … with SIT judge Dave’s transfer, all the advocates may have to make their arguments again.…

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Communal Harmony

DelhiMan, His Son Saved Over 60 People During Clashes Over CAA
Delhiviolence: Hindu family which saved Sikhs in 1984 riots, now saves a Muslimfamily

Delhi Violence: Muslims Formed Human Chain to Protect Hindu Shops in Khureji Khas and Chand Bagh 

News

Delhi riots: Violence that killed 53 in Indian capital ‘was anti-Muslim pogrom’, says top expert

Delhi riots: ‘My brother died after police beating’ 

Inside Delhi: beaten, lynched and burnt alive 

UN rights chief moves Supreme Court on CAA    

In House of Commons, India faces fire for CAA, Delhi riots 

US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez On Delhi Violence: ‘Modi Ethnically Cleansing Religious Minorities’ 

Naked Dance Of Injustice: Shaheen Bagh Shooter Greeted With Hugs & Music After Getting Released On Bail 

Eight-year-old climate activist rejects Modi’s Women’s Day honour, asks him to listen to her voice 

India Up for Sale as Modi Offers National Icons to Plug Deficit 

Ahmedabad: Judge transferred, Naroda gam verdict delayed again 


Opinion 

Citizenship Laws and the Nazification of India – By Angana Chatterji 

Why Delhi Police Did Nothing to Stop Attacks on Muslims 

Violence in India Threatens Its Global Ambitions 

In India, stories of fear, uncertain futures and perils of being stateless 

India’s Citizenship Law Leading to Rise in Hate Crimes, Experts Warn 

Delhi Violence: Breaking The Economic Spine Of A Community 

Read More

Weekly News Roundup – March 5, 2020



High cost of riots in northeast Delhi: List of 48 people who died during three days of violence

Photo: Time Magazine

… We also strongly condemn the hate speeches and pronouncements made by Indian leaders that have culminated in these deaths. Leaders of the ruling party are supposed to protect their citizens, not create and enable adverse conditions that lead to their deaths. …So this is essentially a list of confirmed deaths. However, as there is movement in this data everyday with bodies being identified and given names, histories and proper personhood, we are releasing this as data subject to revision as new information emerges.…

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World Is Watching’: US Lawmakers Take Note Of Delhi Violence

Photo: New York Times

Reacting to the violence that has claimed at least 13 [now 49] lives in the past a couple of days, US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said the “deadly surge of religious intolerance in India is horrifying”. “Democracies should not tolerate division and discrimination or promote laws that undermine religious freedom,” she said in a tweet, adding that the “world is watching”.… Congressman Alan Lowenthal too termed the violence a “tragic failure of moral leadership”. “We must speak out in the face of threats to human rights in India,” he said.…

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Hundreds rally in US cities against anti-Muslim violence in Delhi

Photo: Aljazeera

Hundreds of Indian Americans of different faiths rallied outside Indian consulates in major American cities on Friday evening to protest against the recent violence in Delhi that has killed at least 42 [now 49] people, and injured hundreds.… Outside the Indian consulate in New York on Friday evening, protesters gathered chanting “Shame!” at officials as they tried to exit or enter the building. “We are exhausted,” Sana Qutubuddin, an activist with Alliance for Justice and Accountability – a coalition of South Asian groups that organised Friday’s rally alongside the Indian American Muslim Council, South Asia Solidarity Initiative, and Equality Labs – said during her speech at the rally.…

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Communal Harmony

Meet Muslim Man Who Helped A Group Of Hindus Reach Safer Locations During Delhi

 How This Sikh Man Rescued Dozens Of Delhi Riot Victims On His Motorbike

Tales of harmony: Neighbours of different faiths stand together to ensure peace

News

High cost of riots in northeast Delhi: List of 48 people who died during three days of violence

‘World Is Watching’: US Lawmakers Take Note Of Delhi Violence

 Hundreds rally in US cities against anti-Muslim violence in Delhi

Worst Affected In Delhi Clashes, Shiv Vihar Resembles A Ghost Town

 Ground Report: Delhi Police Actions Caused Death Of Man In Infamous National Anthem Video

 ‘Goli Maro’ Slogans Raised as BJP Flag-waving Supporters Make Their Way to Amit Shah’s Kolkata Rally

 Attacks on Indian journalists highlight growing intolerance

Allahabad cops ‘hand over Prime Minister protesters to mob’

 ‘India’s Citizenship Act is discriminatory’: Lord Alton’s speech in UK Parliament’s Upper House Kashmir’s Business Community Sends Out SOS on ‘Sea of Debt and Destruction’

Opinion

Modi stoked this fire – Editorial

Why India’s Muslims Are in Grave Danger – By Ravi Agrawal

 The violence in Delhi is not a ‘riot’. It is targeted anti-Muslim brutality – By Kenan Malik

Trump and Modi are leading the world’s two largest democracies down dangerous paths – By Ameya Pawar, Harish Patel and Pushkar Sharma

 As New Delhi Counts the Dead, Questions Swirl About Police Response – By Jeffrey Gettleman and Suhasini Raj

Why Delhi reminded me of Gujarat of 2002 – By Debaashish Bhattacharya

Book Review

‘But You Don’t Look Like a Muslim’ review: The long shadow of Partition  

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Weekly News Roundup – March 2, 2020


Death toll rises to 40 in Delhi violence as Modi issues plea for calm

Photo Scroll.in

… The riots are the worst such clashes to hit Delhi in decades and came as President Trump made his first official visit to India.… Witnesses said that instead of stopping the violence, police joined crowds shouting Hindu nationalist slogans and fired indiscriminately.… This week’s violence marked the second time in Modi’s political career that he has presided over a significant episode of communal violence. In 2002, when he was chief minister of the state of Gujarat, more than 1,000 people were killed, mostly Muslims, in three days of riots.… Read more


Gujarat: 13 injured in communal clash at Khambhat, houses, shops set on fire

Photo: Yahoo.in

At least 13 people were injured as a clash broke out between two communities in Khambhat taluka of Gujarat’s Anand district Sunday, where communally charged mobs set afire houses, shops, and vehicles. This is the second clash between the two communities within a month. According to the police, the members of the two communities came face to face again on Sunday afternoon over their past clash on January 24 which had left one person dead. However, the exact reason is still under investigation.…

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Indian Minister: We Made a Mistake Not Committing Genocide Against Muslims

Photo: Hindustan Times

A government minister has sparked controversy after expressing his regret that India did not sufficiently ethnically cleanse itself of Muslims during the countries’ creation in 1947. At a public event in his native Bihar state, Giriraj Singh, Minister of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, rallied his supporters, claiming, “It is time to commit ourselves” to building the Indian nation properly.“It was a big lapse by our ancestors that we’re paying the price for now. If at that time Muslim brothers had been sent there and Hindus brought here, we wouldn’t be in this situation,” he said.…

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Communal Harmony

9 Instances Of Unity From Riot-Hit Delhi That Are Giving Us Hope In These Dark Times

Muslim couple gets Hindu foster daughter married in temple. This is my India, says Internet

India’s Cheraman Mosque: 1000-year-old lamp continues to shine

News

Death toll rises to 30 in Delhi violence as Modi issues plea for calm

 Justice Muralidhar, who slammed Delhi Police and Modi government’s lawyer for carnage in national capital, transferred to Punjab and Haryana High Court

Cop to pro-CAA group: ‘Go ahead and throw stones’

 USCIRF Condemns Violence in India’s Capital City

Gujarat: 13 injured in communal clash at Khambhat, houses, shops set on fire

 Indian Minister: We Made a Mistake Not Committing Genocide Against Muslims

Citizenship Amendment Act may leave Muslims stateless, says U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres ‘Narcissist’, ‘A Hint of Megalomania’: What Observers Have Said About Narendra Modi

4 Clips Show Police Vandalising CCTV, Property at Jamia

 ‘Expunge remarks’: AMU teachers protest CM Adityanath’s remarks, write to President

OPINION

India’s politics of hate have erupted for all the world to witness – By Barkha Dutt

 Why Delhi violence has echoes of the Gujarat riots – By Soutik Biswas

 How Hindu supremacists are tearing India apart – By Samanth Subramanian

 Trump Praises Modi’s India, as Muslims Are Beaten on the Streets and a Mosque Is Defiled – By Robert Mackey

 How MS Golwalkar’s virulent ideology underpins Modi’s India – By Hartosh Singh Bal

Weaponising Citizenship in India – By Arijit Sen and Leah Verghese

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