IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 29th, 2016

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Minority outfit’s call for communal harmony (Aug 29, 2016, Times of India)

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has identified localities with a mixed Hindu-Muslim population in the district where they will work to create unity through religious harmony.

The organisation will constitute committees called Sadbhavana Munch in different areas irrespective of caste, religion and language. These committees will hold meetings once every month or fortnight and discuss various matters including communal harmony.…

Areas like Horladih, Govindpur, Baliapur, Sindri, Kumardubi, Panchet, Bhuli, Wasseypur and Purana Bazar have been identified as part of the campaign. “Symposiums will be organised in schools and colleges to spread the message of communal harmony,” Arifuddin said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/53905696.cms

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Kandhamal Day Observed For Peace, Justice And Communal Harmony (Aug 28, 2016, Countercurrents)

Kandhamal Nyaya Shanti O Sadvabana Samaj, an organisation of Survivors of Kandhamal violence observed 8th Kandhamal Day at Balliguda on 27th August with participation of about 15000 people. On this occasion a peace rally marched from mini-stadium Balliguda to Sub-Collector office and gathered in PWD square to observe the Day. Viswa Hindu Parishad attempted to stop the march at some places. Yet, it did not deter people to hold the march peacefully. …

Introducing the program, Mr Jugal Kishore Ranjit stated that Constitutional system is completely failed in Kandhamal as many tribal and Dalits are killed indiscriminately in the name of Maoism and religion. District administration should be held accountable for failure of administration and every uncounted death of common men.

Sri Jacob Pradhan, honourable MLA stated that the celebration of Independence day becomes a farce as people are not enjoying the rights and freedom of life since people are killed in the name of caste and religion. It is very shameful that the government is not publishing Naidu Commission report on Kandhamal violence though the report was submitted 8 months ago. It proves the lack of seriousness of the state government about Kandhamal Victims.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/28/kandhamal-day-observed-for-peace-justice-and-communal-harmony/

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Hardik accuses Modi of using Patidars for ‘orchestrating’ 2002 riots (Aug 24, 2016, Hindustan Times)

Patidar quota stir leader Hardik Patel on Wednesday shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of using the community for “orchestrating” the 2002 Gujarat communal riots. Patel sent the letter from Udaipur where he is in six-month exile as per the bail condition of the Gujarat high court in connection with a sedition case.

In the letter dated August 24 (a copy of which is with HT) with subject ‘Modiji you have stabbed the Patidars in the back’, the 23-year-old has mentioned six cases reported during the 2002 riots wherein Patidars in large numbers have been convicted and awarded life imprisonment.

“We all know that Narendra Modi has orchestrated the 2002 riots. Reaping the benefits of the communal riots, first he became the CM and then went on to become the PM,” said Hardik in the letter. “Patidars who were accused in these cases are languishing in jails. When Modiji is PM now, he can seek clemency from the President for the accused Patidars. But he won’t do so now as he wants to project himself as a secular person to India and the world,” he added.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/hardik-accuses-modi-of-using-patidars-for-orchestrating-2002-riots/story-kGfG9LsqNPiCiVkV3VPS2N.html

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Amnesty International row: Govt ‘paranoid’ for pressing sedition charge, says Karnataka HC (Aug 28, 2016, Indian Express)

The Karnataka High Court has called the state government “clearly paranoid” for pressing sedition charges and arresting a former policeman and two others for attempting to rally state police personnel to participate in a protest against low wages and poor working conditions in June this year.

A single-judge Bench of Justice Anand Byrareddy granted bail to the former police official, V Shashidhar, and the two others in the sedition case here Thursday. Shashidhar, president of Akhila Karnataka Police Mahasangha, was arrested from his Bengaluru home past midnight on June 2.…

While granting conditional bail to the trio, Justice Anand Byrareddy observed: “There is no evidence of the entire police force rising in mutiny at the behest of the accused. The apprehension expressed by the State (government) of a state of anarchy and disorder on account of the petitioner’s campaign is clearly paranoid.” The court observed that the trio’s right “to tell the world…(about) plight of members of the lower rungs of police officer ought not to be curbed”.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/amnesty-international-row-govt-paranoid-for-pressing-sedition-charge-says-karnataka-hc-2999750/

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HC directs Maharashta to trace 1996 custodial death witnesses (Aug 25, 2016, Times of India)

The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed two high-ranking police officials to trace 11 undertrial prisoners who were witness into a 1996 custodial death at the Thane central prison and also find out why it was not done.

A bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Amjad Sayed appointed additional commissioner of police (Greater Mumbai) KMM Prasanna to trace the eleven who were fellow inmates of Robert Almeida who was found dead on September 1, 1996. “He shall ensure a team of police officers is constituted to trace out the eleven under-trials and to get their correct addresses,” it added.

Thane’s additional CP (western zone) Pratapsingh Patankar will ascertain if efforts were made to trace the undertrial witnesses by jail officials. If found that adequate efforts were not made by the officials, he will submit their names and also consider if there was dereliction of duty.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/53860615.cms

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RSS turning temples into arms stores, shakhas: Kerala Minister (Aug 30, 2016, Indian Express)

Kerala’s Temple Affairs Minister Kadakampally Surendran Monday claimed that RSS has converted temples into its shakhas, and that its cadres are allegedly storing weapons in the temples.

“The government has got several complaints about illegal operation of RSS shakhas at temples. The government will take strong action against the conduct of (such) shakhas,” he said.

He also alleged that the Sangh is trying to keep devotees away from temples by turning them into “storehouses of arms” and giving “arms training” to its cadres.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/rss-turning-temples-into-arms-stores-shakhas-kerala-minister-3002998/

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Surya namaskar and yoga made mandatory in Mumbai civic schools (Aug 24, 2016, Hindustan Times)

In a discussion that panned for over two hours with more than 20 speakers, the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) passed a proposal making yoga and surya namaskar mandatory in all civic schools on Tuesday.

The ruling allies rejected the amendment demanded by opposition parties Congress and Samajwadi Party (SP) to make it optional for schools.

SP also demanded deleting surya namaskar from the proposal. The discussion follows a notice of motion mooted by BJP corporator Samita Kamble to improve the health of students by incorporating these traditional practices.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/surya-namaskar-and-yoga-made-mandatory-in-mumbai-civic-schools/story-M9wswZbFck8LDJQGco48HO.html

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Kashmir: Non-lethal options to pellets were cleared in 2012 but file gathers (Aug 30, 2016, Indian Express)

J&K Police and Central government forces had tested and approved in 2012 the acquisition of low-lethality riot-control equipment that could have prevented many casualties in the ongoing street violence in Jammu and Kashmir, according to documents obtained by The Indian Express.

But the acquisition process got stuck in bureaucratic red-tape, despite a public commitment made by the then prime minister Manmohan Singh after police shot dead 110 protesters across Kashmir during the unrest in 2010.

On Monday, a Central government panel set up by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had recommended a list of less-lethal equipment that police can use as a first line of defence before firing No.9 lead pellets from 12 gauge pump-action shotguns, which became controversial after causing eye injuries to over 570 protesters, with over 20 permanently blinded in one eye or both.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/kashmir-non-lethal-options-to-pellets-were-cleared-in-2012-but-file-gathers-dust-3003276/

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Muslim cop knocks on Kerala HC door after boss asks him not to grow beard (Aug 30, 2016, Hindustan Times)

A Muslim police officer in Kochi has approached the Kerala high court challenging the state police chief’s refusal to let him grow a beard, saying the restriction violated his fundamental rights.

In his petition K Riyas, a civil police officer posted at the armed reserve camp in Ernakulam, said he was earlier allowed to grow a beard during the holy month of Ramzan but when he sought a permission to grow a permanent beard he was asked to approach the Kerala director general of police.

The DGP declined his request, saying that police manual did not have any provision for growing a beard. On Monday, Riyas approached the high court, which issued notices to the state government, police chief and superintendent of police of the reserved police battalion.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/muslim-cop-knocks-on-kerala-hc-door-after-boss-asks-him-not-to-grow-beard/story-mi5oQL6Zg5W7wUS4fMnhOK.html

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‘How will you ever explain that you killed and skinned men over beef?’ (Aug 28, 2016, Twocircles.net)

Addressing a massive gathering of men and women at the Peace And Harmony Public Convention here, the Ameer (President) of Jamaat-e- Islami Hind (JIH), Maulana Jalaluddin Umri emphasised that peace can be established only as long as humanity is alive and thriving. Every person, irrespective of religion, race, colour, language or occupation has and should have equal rights over each other by virtue of his being a human being. Discriminating against fellow human beings on these grounds is the worst form of ignorance, he averred.

Commenting upon the issue of nationalism he exclaimed, “No one is entitled to certify whether a person is a patriot or an anti national. It is only the Constitution of the country that can decide upon this.” Maulana was also critical of the infamous Ghar Wapsi Campaign and observed that that it is an insult to the person accused of having been forcefully converted to Islam. Moreover, forceful conversion to Islam is against its teachings and against well documented history.

He wondered how history would react to the fact that people in India were killed and beaten over an issue as ridiculous as possession of beef or skinning a dead cow. He lamented upon the fact that people’s minds are being poisoned and made to believe that Muslims are anti-national and terrorists, and that the depressed class is not allowed to ascend the social ladder. “It is for the first time in our country’s history of communal amity that genocide is being planned and openly propagated on religious grounds and this mutual intolerance can ultimately ruin and destroy our country.”…

http://twocircles.net/2016aug28/1472374624.html

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‘Clear BJP intervention in one-man commission on Rohith Vemula, Guntur collector declared him a Dalit’ (Aug 29, 2016, Times of India)

Nowhere did the terms of reference of Justice Roopanwal Commission mention that it has to inquire into Rohith’s caste. Moreover the commission did not inquire into my brother’s caste since neither i nor my mother were asked about it. The air has been cleared on my brother’s caste by the report submitted by Guntur collector declaring him to be a Dalit. I firmly believe that there is clear intervention of BJP in influencing the one-man commission.

The case registered against culprits under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act and abetment to suicide in the case of my brother Rohith and harassment of four other Dalit research scholars, has not been taken up seriously, despite continuous instructions being issued by National Commission for Scheduled Castes.

There is no concrete move from the central government. For example, University of Hyderabad’s vice-chancellor Podile Appa Rao was sent on leave for two months. But later, he was brought back to the university, and the atmosphere in the university was made more suffocating for students. The students complained that jails are better than the university under him.…

http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/the-interviews-blog/clear-bjp-intervention-in-one-man-commission-on-rohith-vemula-guntur-collector-declared-him-a-dalit/

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Cow slaughter in Pilibhit: Man & son falsely booked, cops likely to face action (Aug 24, 2016, Indian Express)

Two weeks after a man and his son were arrested for allegedly trying to slaughter a calf and animal cruelty in Pilibhit district, an inquiry has found the charges to be false. Following this, Pilibhit SP Muniraj G has ordered another probe to verify the findings before initiating action against the concerned policemen and making a move to release the two accused.

Karan Singh (47) and his son Sunil Kumar (22) were arrested while carrying a calf on August 7 in Jahanabad area in the district. Residents of Varanvada village, they are lodged at Pilibhit District Jail.

After Singh’s daughter Manju Devi met the SP alleging the two have been booked on false charges and that they were bringing the calf to her house at nearby Jatipur village, the SP had asked the Local Intelligence Unit (LIU) to probe the matter.… Manju said despite her father telling the police that the calf belonged to his cow and he was taking it to her house, they were arrested.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/cow-slaughter-in-pilibhit-man-son-falsely-booked-cops-likely-to-face-action-beef-ban-cow-protection-2993226/

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Opinions and Editorials

Why India needs to get rid of its sedition law – By Soutik Biswas (Aug 29, 2016, BBC)

In India, you can be charged with sedition for liking a Facebook post, criticising a yoga guru, cheering a rival cricket team, drawing cartoons,asking a provocative question in a university exam, or not standing up in a cinema when the national anthem is being played.

So when actress-politician Divya Spandana, better known by her screen name Ramya, made some remarks last week praising Pakistan, a lawyer filed a private case in a local court, seeking to get her charged with sedition for “appreciating the people of Pakistan”, India’s neighbour and rival.… More than half-a-century after the top court imposed restrictions on using the law, authorities appear to be flouting it with impunity.

As many as 47 sedition cases were reported in 2014 alone, across nine states, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. Many of these cases did not involve any violence or incitement to violence. A total of 58 people were arrested in connection with the cases. The government has only managed one conviction.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-37182206

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Lessons From Kandhamal – By Binu Mathew (Aug 25, 2016, Countercurrents)

…When we look back on one of the worst communal violence against Christian communities in the history of modern India, what lessons can be learnt? In 2015 August, I was in Kandhamal on the 7th anniversary of the Kandhamal pogrom. When I marched with a sea of people through the streets of Raikia, the Hindutva citadel in Kandhamal and the nerve centre of the 2008 violence, I thought “Kandhamal will not happen again”.

There were thousands of survivors of the Kandhamal violence marching with me while the perpetrators of the violence silently looked on from the sidelines. The Adivasis and Dalits who were subjected to the worst violence against Christian minorities in the history of modern India had risen like a phoenix from the ashes of Kandhamal and were telling the world, we’ll not let another Kandhamal happen again.

India has seen even worse violent communal pogroms but nowhere in my memory people came together to form a collective survivors movement as in Kandhamal. They weren’t demoralized in spite of acute government apathy in delivering justice, rehabilitation and compensation. They came together as a community to resist the designs of the communal forces with three simple demands “Peace, Justice and Harmony”. On that day in Raikia, there were community kitchens to distribute food and water for the thousands of people gathered, public transport to arrive at the venue and a lot of solidarity and good will among people. Yes, it was HOPE marching through the streets of Raikia.…

http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/25/lessons-from-kandhamal/

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RSS’ silly dream of more Hindu sons proves Mohan Bhagwat is still stuck in the 1930s – By Sandipan Sharma (Aug 23, 2016, First Post)

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s advice to Hindus on producing more kids shows his organisation is still caught in a time warp. While the world has moved on and rejected the ideas that inspired the RSS, Bhagwat is still on the cusp of the 19th century.

In March 1931, RSS ideologue BS Moonje visited Italy and came back inspired by the Fascist methodology of ‘catching them young’. After meeting Mussolini in Rome, Moonje visited some of the Fascist training schools where boys in their teens performed physical exercises, learnt basic man-to-man combat skills and listened to speeches on nationalism and supremacy of their race.

On returning to India, Moonje decided to implement the idea in RSS Shakhas by recruiting young kids and indoctrinating them. To give the Shakhas the facade of a quasi paramilitary academy, the recruits were given a uniform – borrowed from the Mussolini brigade – and crash courses on wielding an oiled lathi, the weapon of choice against enemies real and perceived.…

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/rss-silly-dream-of-more-hindu-sons-proves-mohan-bhagwat-is-still-stuck-in-the-1930s-2972388.html

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Why Kalburgi Was Killed – By Seema Chisti (Aug 30, 2016, Indian Express)

When the news of the murder of the scholar, rationalist and teacher M.M. Kalburgi spread outside his home state, Karnataka, many had not heard of him. Some wondered, why should the death of an unarmed professor make headlines? Kalburgi’s murder in Dharward, Karnataka, on August 30, last year was preceded by the assassinations of two other rationalists and activists, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare.…

Kalburgi’s murder became the centre of a political storm last year. It was a time when the euphoria over India getting its first majority government in three decades was being tempered with the reality of the ruling party having lost Delhi. The party was on the backfoot on several issues. The NDA government was anxious to be seen as “winning” everything – elections as well as arguments – on matters related to India’s present, future and, of course, the past.…

Those who push the majoritarian idea of India would like to build an uncomplicated, false and unitary notion of the country. If you oppose a majoritarian India, you are not Indian, they argue. Kalburgi, Pansare and Dabholkar represented the fine, defiant and desi voices that hit hard at that idea. In their death, they gave several people the language to spell out their opposition to this majoritarian idea. As the late Kashmiri poet, Agha Shahid Ali puts it: “My book’s been burned/Send me the ashes, so I can say/ I’ve been sent the phoenix in a coffin of light”.

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/mm-kalburgi-murder-karnataka-3002962/

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PM, cow protection ‘activism’ and Bakrid – By Syed Mohammed (Aug 25, 2016, Times of India)

…There has been a growing concern within cattle suppliers and buyers and also among the Quraishi community, known as the Jamiat ul Quraish, with regards to these cow protection vigilantes. It was only recently that the Jamiat, led by Telangana Rashtra Samithi legislator Mohammed Saleem, who belongs to the community, approached the cops and submitted a representation requesting their intervention with regards to the cow protection menace.

While maintaining that the law of the land is supreme and that cows must not be slaughtered, they contended that there have been several instances in which other bovine creatures such as buffaloes and oxen are being confiscated by these “activists” and truck drivers transporting them are being verbally abused or manhandled or both. They also requested that the police take stringent action against those vigilantes who are active in the outskirts of the city.

The members of the community are gearing up for making a second round of representations, this time to the political dispensation with a similar request. This is indicative of the growing concern.…

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/53852564.cms

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Former ABVP Member Reveals how Rohith Vemula was Driven to End His Life – By Shiva Sai Ram (Sep 6, 2016, Sabrang India)

…In the year 2013, during my association with ABVP, an incident involved me Rohith Vemula and the one who is responsible for his institutional murder (Susheel Kumar). It was during Ganesh Chaturthi, when a huge debate sparked in the Facebook groups of UoH regarding the celebration of the festival and psuedo-science being peddled by the right-wing on its name.…

I was asked to take the screenshots of their posts and comments and mail them to few email id’s of people who weren’t students (one of them being Susheel’s brother).… Their basis of the complaint would be a poem posted on his timeline by Rohith which was originally written by revolutionary Telugu poet Sri Sri on the Hindu god, Ganesh. Another post in which Rohith humorously asked why the birthdays of Superman/Spiderman etc aren’t celebrated like we celebrate Vinayaka Chaturthi.…

The case resulted in the arrest of Rohith Vemula and him being placed in the local police station for 2 days (as far as I remember). There was jubilation among the ABVP ranks following our successful step to “teach Rohith a lesson”. Rohith was released later (complete details of the case unknown) and made a post regarding the way an attempt was made to muzzle his voice. There have been countless instances of which I’m ashamed to have taken part as a member of ABVP, but this one is the most haunting one of them all where it involved me getting directly involved in witch hunting Rohith. This isn’t the only incident where Rohith was singled out.…

https://www.sabrangindia.in/article/former-abvp-member-reveals-how-rohith-vemula-was-driven-end-his-life

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