IAMC Weekly News Roundup – February 5th, 2018

In this issue of IAMC News Roundup

Communal Harmony

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Communal Harmony

Human chains formed in Mangaluru and Udupi to promote communal harmony (Jan 31, 2018, The Hindu)

People from different walks of life formed a human chain in the Clock Tower, Town Hall and A.B. Shetty Circle areas here on Tuesday to promote communal harmony in the State.

This was part of the human chain formed across Karnataka under the banner of ‘Souhardategai Karnataka’. Addressing a gathering at Nehru Maidan afterwards, Dinesh Amin Mattu, media adviser to the Chief Minister, said it was sad that a situation has arisen were human chains have to be formed promoting communal harmony.

He said Dakshina Kannada district was known for its diverse culture and religion. Now, the social and communal harmony is under threat because of some forces that have divided society. There is a need to bridge the gap among communities, he said.…



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Kasganj Violence: Video Shows Youths Holding Swords And Guns Charging Towards Muslim-Dominated Area (Jan 31, 2018, Outlook)

Uttar Pradesh police is now probing a new video allegedly from violence-hit Kasganj that shows a group of ‘Hindu youths’ – holding swords and guns – as they march towards a Muslim dominated area. The video clip that was shot from roof of a tehsil office moments before clashes broke out in the two communities, has been doing rounds on social media, reported The Times of India.

The group of aggressive men is seen holding guns, clubs and sticks as the move ahead in a narrow street. Another can be spotted marching on with ‘Tiranga’ (flag). Visuals of 22-year-old Chandan Gupta participating in the “Tiranga Yatra” is also among the clips, reported the NDTV. The police are investigating the authenticity of the video.

The clash broke out after an unauthorised bike rally was taken out by RSS-affiliated students’ group Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in the city to commemorate the 69th Republic Day.…



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Why raise anti-Pakistan slogans in Muslim areas of Kasganj? Bareilly DM protests (Jan 30, 2018, Hindustan Times)

The district magistrate of Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly has created a stir with a post on Facebook, saying there is a growing trend of people taking out processions in areas where Muslims live and raising slogans against Pakistan, referring to the recent communal violence in Kasganj.

“Ajab riwaz ban gaya hai. Muslim mohallo main julus le jao aur Pakistan murdabad ke nare lagao. Kyun bhai woh Pakistani hain kya? (A strange tradition has been formed. To visit Muslim areas and raise slogans against Pakistan. Why, are they (Muslims) Pakistanis)?” RV Singh wrote on Sunday.…

Singh also wrote about a similar incident in Khelam area of Bareilly last year when a group of kanwariyas or the devotees of Lord Shiva went through a Muslim-dominated village and allegedly raised slogans against Pakistan. “What is the need of raising such slogans? Even I will stop someone shouting such slogans outside my residence without any reason,” the DM said. The post got 235 reactions before it was taken down.…



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At SC’s Hearing on Loya Case, Many Inconsistencies in Official Version Come to the Fore (Feb 3, 2018, The Wire)

The Supreme Court’s three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud held a two-hour long hearing on Friday afternoon of the petitions seeking an independent probe into the death of special CBI judge B.H. Loya. Senior counsel for Bombay Lawyers’ Association (BLA), Dushyant Dave, who argued for nearly one and a half hours, brought to light several inconsistencies in the official account of Loya’s death. The state of Maharashtra was represented by Mukul Rohatgi.…

Dave also referred to inconsistencies in the post-mortem report on Loya, and requested the bench to confer with Loya’s wife, son, brother and father in camera, and if they do not want any probe, it need not proceed further. Making an emotional plea, Dave asked the bench: “Who will protect our judges if we don’t?”

Senior counsel, Indira Jaising, intervened to say that there are many instances of overwriting on the copies of the documents submitted, and therefore, the bench must ask for the originals. Justice Chandrachud agreed with her that there is overwriting. The bench was also told that page 25 of the post-mortem report was not submitted to the bench, creating further suspicions.…



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NHRC registered 1,782 fake encounter cases between 2000-2017; Uttar Pradesh alone accounts for 44.55% (Feb 2, 2018, First Post)

Sohrabuddin Sheikh, Ishrat Jahan, Kuldeep Singh, Salim – a common thread binding all four of them is that they are among people who were allegedly killed in fake encounter cases in India. Of the four names mentioned, one may have come across the former two which turned into high-profile cases involving political leaders. The latter two were one of the many human rights violation cases mentioned in one of the annual reports of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The most number of cases registered since 2000 was in the year 2012 with 226 fake encounter incidents reported, of which only 195 were disposed with 31 cases pending. In the last seven years alone, NHRC recorded 725 cases between 2010 and 2017. Fake encounter cases in this decade alone account for 40.68 percent of the total number since the dawn of the 21st century in India.

Over the last five years, states registered less than 60 cases per year, except for in 2015, when the number shot up to 140 cases. In 2017, 19 fake encounter cases were registered, of which only 10 have been disposed of till now.…



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Pehlu Khan lynching case: Alwar police charge all victims with cow smuggling (Feb 1, 2018, Indian Express)

A second chargesheet following the death of Haryana dairy farmer Pehlu Khan names two of his companions as accused and concludes that all three had indulged in ‘cow smuggling’ under state laws. The chargesheet was filed by Alwar police in the court of the Behror additional chief judicial magistrate on January 24. Following Khan’s lynching on April 1, police had registered two cases – one against Khan’s assailants for murder and another against Khan and his companions for ‘indulging in cow smuggling’.…

The January 24 chargesheet names four as accused – Azmat and Rafique who are from Khan’s village, Jaisinghpur in Haryana, Arjun Lal Yadav who was driving one of the two pickup trucks that were attacked on April 1 and his father Jagdish Prasad.… “Is this justice? We were attacked and beaten up by the mob, and now we have been made the accused. I have the valid purchase receipt issued by the Jaipur Municipal Corporation. At the time of the purchase, nobody told us we needed additional permits,” said Azmat, who has been bedridden for several months after the attack, which he says resulted in serious injuries.

“I sustained injuries in the spinal chord as a result of the beating. More than Rs. one lakh has been spent on treatment and now we are paying for court expenses by mortgaging our belongings. We don’t know what to do,” said Azmat who currently lives with his family in Jaisinghpur.…



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Opposition in Rajya Sabha accuses BJP of polarising, creating fear psychosis across country (Feb 5, 2018, New Indian Express)

The opposition in the Rajya Sabha today accused the BJP-led government of polarising the country and creating a “fear psychosis” among the people, alleging that it was just renaming the earlier policies without delivering their benefits to the poor and the needy.

It is not a “game changer” but a “name changer government” which has failed to deliver on all fronts be it providing relief to farmers and poor, generate jobs or addressing the Kashmir issue, it said.

Participating in the debate on the Motion of Thanks for the President’s address, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad attacked the government for creating fear, not only among people but also among the bureaucrats and opposition leaders.…



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Bombay HC rejects anticipatory bail plea of Hindutva leader (Feb 2, 2018, Business Standard)

The Bombay High Court on Friday rejected an anticipatory bail plea filed by Hindutva leader Milind Ekbote, a key accused charged with inciting the casteist riots of January 1 in Pune.

With this, the stage is set for the possible of arrest of Ekbote – who heads the Hindu Ekta Manch – and has been booked under three different cases pertaining to the Koregaon-Bhima incident in which a youth was killed, besides many injured and widespread damage to public and private properties worth around Rs 9 crore.

A division bench of Justice S. C. Dharmadhikari and Justice Bharati H. Dangre, while rejecting Ekbote’s contentions challenging a Pune Sessions Court order declining his anticipatory plea, ruled that the lower court’s observations in the matter could not be ignored.…



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Fake propaganda of Hindutva politics exposed, inflammatory quotes being circulated on social media (Feb 5, 2018, Siasat)

According to the news reported in Altnews.in, the facts related to hindutva’s fake propaganda came out when the three celebrities – Prakash Raj, Swara Bhaskar and Farhan Akhtar clarified that the inflammatory messages going viral that they were posted by them were actually not their words.

The Hindutva brigade has been circulating fake quotes, messages in the name of authors, actors, politicians and even common people. For instance, a social media post has been viral on E. Abubaker associated with PFI from Kerala.

To spread communal fangs, the Hindutva politics has crossed all the limits. They do not realize the repercussions that can be caused by their fake propaganda. One such message was in the name of Abdullah Zubair. The message was to create misunderstanding between Hindus and Muslims and polarise the society.…



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Government admits to cases of fraudulent withdrawal of money through Aadhaar (Feb 6, 2018, Economic Times)

The government on Tuesday admitted that there had been incidents of money being fraudulently withdrawn from bank accounts using the customers’ Aadhaar number.

As per the information, at least six such cases had been reported by four Public Sector Banks so far involving fraud of around Rs 1.5 crore, Parliament was told.

“As per data reported by Public Sector Banks (PSBs), there have been incidents of money being fraudulently withdrawn from bank accounts using the customers’ Aadhaar number in a few banks,” Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla told Rajya Sabha in a written reply.…



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Dalit activists call Budget 2018 ‘anti Dalit-anti Adivasi’ (Feb 2, 2018, National Herald)

“This budget is anti-Dalits and anti-Adivasi. We feel like we are not citizens of this country. If economic justice is not done to dalits and tribals then how can it be good for this country,” said Paul Divakar, secretary of Dalit Arthik Adikar Andolan and National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights.

The organisations are putting up a tough fight for Dalit economic rights by enforcing provisions of the Special Component Plan (SCP) for Dalits and Tribal Sub Plan for adivasis, which make 16.6% and 8.6% of total plan outlay of the budget to be compulsorily spent on them, respectively.

According to analysis done by these organisations, Budget 2018-19 has allocated only 6.55% percentage towards welfare of Dalits, and this is short by 10.5% of total Budget expenditure. Similarly Budget 2018-19 has allocated only 4.53% towards welfare of tribals which is short by 4.07%. Accordingly, they say, Budget 2018 has denied ₹1,14,717 crore to Dalits and ₹54,676 crore to adivasis.…



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Opinions and Editorials

Kasganj And Before: RSS And Conspiracies Are Synonymous – By Shamsul Islam (Feb 2, 2018, Countercurrents)

…The central publication house of the RSS, Suruchi Prakashan, Delhi, published a book in 1997, titled Param Vaibhav Ke Path Per (On the Road to Great Glory) penned by Sadanand Damodar Sapre, a senior RSS functionary. This book contained details of more than 40 organizations created by the RSS for different tasks but more importantly it described how many of these organizations are run in a clandestine manner for hidden agendas.… There has always been a conscious attempt to create confusion about its different fronts which provide RSS with the opportunity to dissociate with any of these as per its convenience.

For instance it used Hindu Jagaran Manch (HJM) for attacking Christians in late 1990s and when public opinion, media and Parliament seemed to turn against it, RSS denied any relation with HJM. However, according to this publication Hindu Jagaran Manch was created by the RSS which was admitted in the above mentioned publication. This publication went on to describe the nexus in the following words: “From the point of view of Hindu awakening this kind of forums [like Hindu Jagran Manch] at present are active in 17 states with different names like ‘Hindu Manch’ in Delhi, ‘Hindu Munani’ in Tamilnadu, ‘Hinduekjut’ in Maharashtra. These are forums, not associations or organizations, that’s why it is not required to have membership, registration and elections.”

How RSS indulged in conspiracies can be known by the following disclosure in the Param Vaibhav Ke Path Per about a case in Delhi immediately after Partition: “Swayamsevaks had posed to have adopted Musalman religion in order to gain the confidence of Delhi Muslim League for knowing their conspiracies.”…



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Amit Shah’s discharge: More deaths and more suspicion raised – By Vishwadeepak (Jan 31, 2018, National Herald)

It was not just BH Loya, judge of the special CBI court hearing the discharge petition of BJP president Amit Shah, but also a retired district judge and a lawyer, both from Nagpur and who Loya had confided in, who also allegedly died under suspicious circumstances.

An alleged attempt on the life of the only surviving witness, lawyer Satish Uike, was also made, and this called for an independent and impartial probe, demanded Congress leaders Kapil Sibal, Salman Khurshid, Vivek Tankha and Randeep Surjewala at a Congress Party press conference on Wednesday afternoon. They added that agencies like CBI and NIA should not be given the case and there should be a SIT probe into Judge Loya’s death. …

…In the second week of October, 2014 Judge Loya approached Advocate Satish Uike through Advocate Shrikant Khandalkar and a retired District judge Prakash Thombre. In a video call with Advocates Uike, Khandalkar and Thombre, judge Loya allegedly named not only the Chief Justice Mohit Shah but also Justice BR Gavai, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Subhanshu Joshi in Nagpur, who were pressurising him to deliver a favourable order.…



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Distraction replaces development: Radicalising Hindus are diverted easiest by anti-Muslim bigotry – By Samar Halarnkar (Feb 3, 2018, Scroll.in)

…It appears Hindu India embraces no distraction as eagerly as it does incitement against its Muslim minority. Cow-related violence and killings reached a peak in 2017, with eight in 10 people killed by lynch mobs since 2014 being Muslim as the IndiaSpend hate-crime database reveals. These killings are no longer headline news, and if they are debated on some of India’s radicalised television channels, blame is often ascribed to the victims.…

Hindus who hate and demonise Muslims – and Dalits and Christians to a lesser extent – have found new confidence and courage among the baying mobs on social media. Those mobs include politicians, bureaucrats, soldiers and journalists, formerly pillars of moderation. Caution and circumspection are thrown to the winds, as right-wing editors and professors feel emboldened to circulate fake news and rouse the crudest of passions in Hindus. Every day brings a new low and reveals a growing willingness to fan new flames.…

Things have worsened so much that, like Singh of Bareilly, normally reticent folk feel they must speak up. “It appears as if there is a growing climate of intolerance that is aimed primarily at Muslims,” said an open letter from 65 former bureaucrats to their serving colleagues, judges and politicians. “In the face of a rising authoritarianism and majoritarianism, which do not allow for reasoned debate, discussion and dissent, we appeal to all public authorities, public institutions and constitutional bodies to take heed of these disturbing trends and take corrective action. We have to reclaim and defend the spirit of the Constitution of India, as envisaged by the founding fathers.” … The appeasement of Hindus is India’s new political creed.…



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Climate of fear – By Divya Trivedi (Feb 16, 2018, Frontline)

In the first week of January, a mob of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members tried to storm St. Mary’s College in Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, to conduct an aarati (Hindu ritual) in praise of “Bharat Mata”. The mob clashed with the police and said that it wanted to promote patriotism among students. The college director, Father Shaju Devassy, reportedly said that it was a symbolic attempt to impose Hindu dominance over minorities under the garb of promoting patriotism. It challenged the constitutional right of religious and ethnic minorities to own and manage institutions to help their communities, he added.

According to Alliance Defending Freedom, a United States-based Christian non-profit organisation, there were 21 violent attacks on Christians and hundreds of cases of harassment, threats and intimidation at the hands of Hindu groups from January to November in 2017 in Madhya Pradesh. Christians constitute fewer than 1 per cent of the State’s 72 million people.

According to Open Doors USA, a “non-denominational mission supporting persecuted Christians worldwide”, in 2017 India jumped to the 11th position in the 50 most dangerous countries for Christians; it was at the 15th position in the previous year “amid the continued rise of Hindu nationalism”. The first six months of 2017 witnessed 410 incidents of persecution against Christians, compared with 441 incidents for the entire previous year. Some 40 incidents were reported a month on average, according to Open Doors USA. These included pastors being beaten, churches being burnt and Christians being harassed.…



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Like Savarkar to Godse, how Indian right wing is killing Gandhi all over again – By Angshukanta Chakraborty (Jan 30, 2018, Dailyo.in)

…If Nathuram Vinayak Godse pulled the trigger of a gun that felled Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on January 30, 1948, the replay of that primordial terrorism of postcolonial India is happening every day in India 2018 because the memories of Gandhi – the good, bad and somewhat ugly – are being desecrated, erased, annihilated at a rate that’s unpardonable, almost making him the villain in his own tragedy.

70 years since members of Sangh Parivar were officially held responsible for the assassination of India’s “founding father”, the “Greatest Indian” is getting the most violent of historical and political treatment in the history of independent India.…

The first act of terror on independent Indian soil was an instance of Hindutva terror, killing Gandhi. Godse and Narayan Apte, convicted and hanged for the murder, were however, not alone in their heinous plot. Who whispered into their ears the necessity of eliminating Gandhi? Most conclusive proofs have been collected that point the finger towards Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who himself had coined the term “Hindutva”. That he saw the ideology bear its foundational fruit of blood in 1948 itself was a hideous example of how quickly the Nazi-inspired ideological cancer could spread in the body politic.…



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Rise of Hindutva forces, upper caste antagonism catalyse drive by educated Dalits to assert their identity – By Praveen Chakravarty (Feb 5, 2018, First Post)

On 1 January, 2018, Dalits, the most disadvantaged community at the bottom of the Hindu caste ladder, had gathered in large numbers at Bhima Koregaon, a village in Pune, to mark a historical event. Two hundred years ago, Mahars, a Dalit sub-group, had helped the British defeat the forces of the Brahminical Peshwa dynasty at the site.

The Dalits at the event were attacked by right-wing groups who claimed to be furious at a celebration of British victory. What followed the next day was a strong retaliation by Dalit groups protesting the attacks that brought Mumbai, India’s financial capital, to a halt.

This was the third such occasion in two years when it became clear the Dalits could respond strongly to upper caste atrocities. Two years ago, in January 2016, there had been a spurt of nationwide student agitations against the suicide of Dalit Hyderabad student Rohith Vemula. Then, in July 2016, there were violent protests against the public flogging of Dalits in Una by cow vigilantes.…



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