IAMC Weekly News Roundup – September 26th, 2016

In this issue of IAMC Roundup

News Headlines

Opinions & Editorials

Ex-DGP Sreekumar launches ‘Gujarat Behind The Curtain’ (Sep 26, 2016, Indian Express)

Former Director General of Police (DGP) of Gujarat R B Sreekumar, who was in the news for taking on the then Chief Minister of Gujarat and current Prime MinisterNarendra Modi for the post-Godhra riots of 2002, released his book Gujarat Behind The Curtain in the city at Azam Campus on Sunday.

In the book, he has alleged that Modi, as the Gujarat CM, had disallowed the police officials in performing their duties during 2002 riots. Sreekumar, who was the Additional DGP of Armed Units in Gujarat during Godhra incident and was the Intelligence DGP in 2002, said, “It is an attempt to see that constitutional values, spirit and ethos is sustained. I consider Gujarat carnage as a full scale re-enactment of 1984 riots. For the 1984 riots, we did punish the political executives or bureaucratic executives. The criminal justice system failed the people completely. It sent a wrong message in the society. That is why Gujarat riots happened and Congress as a political party benefited.”

Talking about what led him to writing Gujarat Behind The Curtain, he said, “When I realised that despite producing all the proof, nobody was ready to initiate an inquiry, I decided to write a book and bring facts to the people.” Interestingly, it is the first formal launch of the book, which was first scheduled for December 2015 but the event was cancelled by the organisers due to the book’s controversial content. Although he completed writing the book in April 2013, it’s publication was delayed because two leading publishers refused to publish it.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/ex-dgp-sreekumar-launches-gujarat-behind-the-curtain/

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Malegaon 2008 blast prime accused Purohit refused bail (Sep 26, 2016, Business Standard)

A Special NIA Court here on Monday rejected the bail application filed by Col. Prasad S. Purohit (retd.), one of the prime accused in the Malegaon 2008 blasts case.

Purohit has sought bail on grounds that the National Investigation Agency had dropped charges against him under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and the sanction obtained for prosecution under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act was defective.

He further said that had no role to play in the blast case and that he was languishing in jail for the past seven years without trial. Opposing the bail plea, the NIA said that Prasad’s arguments should be considered during the trial and not at this stage. Besides, the NIA said prima facie, it had gathered sufficient evidence against the accused. Upholding the NIA plea, Special Judge S. D. Tekale rejected Purohit’s bail application.…

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/malegaon-2008-blast-prime-accused-purohit-refused-bail-116092600989_1.html

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Hindutva agenda alleged to be behind Govt of India Bill seeking to provide citizenship to “illegal” migrants (Sep 25, 2016, Counterview)

Is Government of India’s Hindutva thrust behind its alleged refusal to provide asylum to 36,000 Rohingiyas, forced to flee Myanmar in the wake of the 2015 insurgency, and currently living in different parts of India – and the reason is, all of them are Muslims?

It would seem so if the new Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is any indication. While Vikas Swarup, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, says that the Central government is “concerned” about the Rohingiyas “at a humanitarian level”, the Bill, say well-informed sources, seeks to do “just the opposite.”

It is seeking to amend the definition of “illegal immigrants” by excluding under its ambit “minority-religious individuals” such as Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians from “Muslim-dominated countries” – specifically Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.…

http://www.counterview.net/2016/09/hindutva-agenda-alleged-to-be-behind.html

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Bijnor clash: BJP worker, aides booked for ‘firing, inciting mob’ (Sep 25, 2016, Indian Express)

Nine days after a clash in Bijnor district left three people dead and 12 others injured, police have booked a local BJP worker and two of his associates on charges of inciting the mob and firing at members of the other community. The move comes after investigations into the clash on September 16 in City Kotwali police station area revealed the involvement of BJP worker Aishwarya Choudhary, his close associate Arun Kawadi and the latter’s private gunner Sonu.

“It has been established from video clippings and call details records that Aishwarya and Sonu were present at the spot before the clash started. Aishwarya came to know about the matter through one Kunwar Sen, a resident of Pedda village where the clash took place. Sen has already been arrested,” said Station House Officer, City Kotwali police station, Rishi Ram Katheria.

Raids are being conducted to arrest Aishwarya and Sonu, who are on the run. Police are also searching for Kawadi, who had also reached the village after the clashes began. Police have arrested 15 people in the case so far.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/bijnor-clash-bjp-worker-aides-booked-for-firing-inciting-mob-3048754/

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Bandh called by Hindu Munnani turns violent; miscreants torch police vehicle (Sep 24, 2016, First Post)

A state-wide dawn to dusk bandh called on Friday by Hindu Munnani in protest against the alleged murder of its spokesperson turned violent and targeted police, as some miscreants torched a police vehicle in Thudiyalur on the city outskirts.

Hindu Munnani spokesperson Sarikumar was returning home last night when he was allegedly murdered by four persons, riding two motorcycles, prompting the Munnani to announce a state-wide dawn to dusk bandh.

Nearly 500 workers gathered outside the Big Bazaar Street Police station after five Munnani workers were arrested this morning. They were demanding their release and accused police of failing to nab the accused. The situation, however, was brought under control by City Police Commissioner, A Amalraj, who rushed to the spot and assured the release of the arrested workers, after which the activists dispersed.…

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/bandh-called-by-hindu-munnani-turns-violent-miscreants-torch-police-vehicle-3018616.html

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DCW chief Swati Maliwal claims union minister backing Delhi sex racket (Sep 22, 2016, Indian Express)

Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal on Thursday claimed a minister in the Narendra Modi government was supporting a prostitution racket in New Delhi’s GB Road area.

Addressing a press conference, Maliwal has alleged that the prostitution racket worth “thousands of crores” has been operational for years and the daily business of prostitution in GB Road was at least Rs 5 crore. She claimed she has a credible lead that the racket was running under the patronage of a Union minister and an “important Delhi-based leader of a national party” under whose patronage this prostitution has been running.”

Maliwal claimed she was trying to find out the real people behind the prostitution racket which was thriving just three kilometers from the country’s parliament, when an FIR was slapped against her. Maliwal has been booked by the Anti Corruption Branch in connection with alleged irregularities in women’s panel recruitment.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/delhi/dcw-chief-swati-maliwal-sex-racket-gb-road-union-minister/

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Muslim youths allege they were asked to ‘go to Pak.’ (Sep 25, 2016, The Hindu)

Two Muslim youths have alleged that they were asked to “go to Pakistan” when they requested faster service at a prominent dhaba in Delhi’s Connaught Place on Saturday afternoon. The alleged remark resulted in a scuffle between the two youths and the dhaba staff. The two parties, however, reached a “compromise” after police intervention.

The dhaba manager, meanwhile, accused the two youths of creating a ruckus at the eatery and getting out of the mess by using the hostile situation between India and Pakistan to further their argument. Identified as Salman and Harris, the two are residents of Old Delhi and work for a pharmaceutical company.

They were in Connaught Place on Saturday to attend a meeting. The duo visited the dhaba around 3 p.m. to have lunch when the incident occurred. “When I requested quick service after placing my order, one staff member, Saroj Das, told me to go to Pakistan if I was in such a hurry,” Harris said. He alleged that his skull cap and beard caused Das to pass the alleged remark.…

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/muslim-youths-allege-they-were-asked-to-go-to-pak/article9144927.ece

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Pune: Marathas march, silently, send out their message loud and clear (Sep 25, 2016, Indian Express)

Tens of thousands of Maratha community members on voluntarily poured out on Pune’s streets and marched in unison, bringing the city to a grinding halt. All major roads in core city areas and beyond went out of bound as the Maratha community headed for Council Hall to present their memorandum of demands to the district collector.

It all began before dawn as people from different corners of Pune district started pouring into the city by whichever mode possible. The police had blocked all the major roads at quite a distance for vehicular traffic leading to Deccan area from where the “Marathi Kranti (mook) Morcha” took off at sharp 10.30 am after garlanding of the statue of Sambhaji Maharaj.

There were no speeches, no sloganeering neither the deafening roar of loudspeakers which is so common in a city like Pune. Each one seem to shun the TV cameras as they zoomed on the “march of the millions”. Be it school kids, collegians, activists, professionals or the elderly, they all marched step by step, not raising a single slogan or unnecessarily exercising their vocal chords. Hundreds of them held aloft banners in bold seeking a halt to the misuse of the Atrocities Act “which has wrecked the lives” of scores of Maratha community members.…

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/pune-marathas-march-silently-send-out-their-message-loud-and-clear-3049053/

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Una victims say they will not join rally called by RSS-affiliated Dalit body despite its claims (Sep 21, 2016, Scroll.in)

The four Dalit men who were flogged in Gujarat’s Una district for skinning a dead cow have denied claims by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-backed group that they will join a protest rally organised by it in Uttar Pradesh. Jitu Sarvaiya, one of the four men, told Scroll.in, “This is false news. No one called us. We have never participated in any of the RSS’ programmes and we are not planning to join any such event in UP.”

Bharatiya Bauddha Sangh chief Bhante Sanghpriya Rahul had said, “The four will participate in the yatra for about 10-12 days when it enters poll-bound UP,” according to The Times of India.…

The BJP has been trying to reach out to the Dalit community since it faced criticism following the suicide of University of Hyderabad scholar Rohith Vemula. Its election campaign in Uttar Pradesh has largely been aimed at improving its image before the community.…

http://scroll.in/latest/817074/una-victims-will-join-rally-in-up-claims-rss-affiliated-dalit-body-bharatiya-bauddha-sangh

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Chhattisgarh: 4 cops held for ‘beating’ Dalit youth to death in Raipur (Sep 26, 2016, Indian Express)

Four policemen in Chhattisgarh’s Janjgir Champa have been arrested for allegedly beating to death a Dalit youth in custody. They have been identified as thana incharge Rajput, constables Sunil Dhruv and Hilharan Miri and home guard Rajesh Kumar.

Satish Norge, 35, was allegedly assaulted on September 17 after he had an altercation with electricity board officials in Nariyara village when he lodged a complaint about a transformer that was not functioning.…

SP Ajay Yadav said, “All four policemen named in the FIR have been arrested and sent to Bilaspur jail. They have been charged with murder with common intent and sections of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.”

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/chhattisgarh-4-cops-held-for-beating-dalit-youth-to-death-in-raipur-3050028/

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Opinions and Editorials

Modi’s Muslim talk – Editorial (Sep 27, 2016, The Tribune)

Since the BJP crowd met specifically at Kozhikode last weekend to excavate Deendayal Upadhyaya from oblivion and confer on him some national recognition, Narendra Modi picked up certain remarks of the otherwise forgotten BJP ideologue to reaffirm his love for Muslims. This is understandable after what happened in Gujarat in 2002 on his watch and the electoral rewards the attempt may yield in UP in 2017.…

Upadhyaya had also talked of “purifying” the Muslims before their acceptance which underlines the Jana Sangh theory that Indian Muslims are Hindu converts and they can be “reclaimed” after “shuddhikaran”. The reclaiming business has left the cadres foxed.

What has baffled them further is how to reconcile Modi’s occasional love-Muslim talk with his well-advertised refusal to wear a skullcap offered by a Muslim cleric, his silence on verbal and physical attacks on Muslims, including the lynching at Dadri last year, the Muzaffarnagar riots after which the party publicly felicitated the MLAs accused of fanning communal trouble, the killing or thrashing of Muslims carrying cows for slaughter, the beef-in-biryani incidents in Mewat, the assaults on Kashmiri students cheering the Pakistani cricket team and the broader RSS agenda of Hinduising India. Which Modi do they believe in – the one who is silent during the anti-Muslim violence or the one who preaches development for all?…

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/editorials/modi-s-muslim-talk/301074.html

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Ahmednagar rape to Cauvery row: How social justice falls prey to political priorities – By Suraj Kumar Thube (Sep 24, 2016, Dailyo.in)

Social unrest is probably the right term that defines the condition of the present political landscape in India. Mass rallies, protests and identity-based movements are ubiquitous and have gripped almost the entire country. The reasons for the outrage are manifold, staying true to the diverse predicaments that engulf a particular region.

As much of it is directed vaguely against the system, the myriad rallies have also internalised a language of disruption, violence and chaos, which stems from a deeply-embedded xenophobic attitude toward the “other”.…

The question of how the political class deals with the current social and political turmoil is ambiguous to say the least. A fundamental list of priorities in dealing with destabilising events like these is conspicuous by its absence.… The political apparatus looks completely incapable of resurrecting the existing situation.…

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/maratha-rape-ahmednagar-cauvery-dispute-kejriwal-versus-jung/story/1/13088.html

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If India Wants to Remain Secular, the New Citizenship Bill Isn’t the Way to Go – By Lovish Garg (Sep 21, 2016, The Wire)

…The citizenship debate has started up again, for all the wrong reasons. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 seeks to make drastic changes in the citizenship and immigration norms of the country by relaxing the requirements for Indian citizenship. The problem here is not with the flexibility of the rules, but the applicability of the amendments on purely religious lines.…

The proposed Bill amends this definition to exclude “minority-religious individuals” – specifically Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians – from “Muslim-dominated countries” – specifically Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan – from the ambit of being an “illegal immigrant”. The Bill further reduces the requirement of 11 years to acquire “citizenship by naturalisation” to only six years of ordinary residence for such immigrants. In simpler terms, this means that a Hindu from Pakistan can cross the border illegally and simply claim Indian citizenship after six years!

The Bill is a furtherance of the BJP’s election promise to grant citizenship to Hindus from Muslim majority countries.… What the Congress tried to do in Assam with the Muslims is a replica of what the BJP and Sangh are seeking to do with the Hindus in rest of India – altering citizenship laws and mastering vote bank politics. There is no harm in accommodating religiously persecuted people in the country. However, India’s ‘law of return’ should be looked at with suspicion, for it severely undermines the otherwise secular socio-legal framework of our nation.

http://thewire.in/67272/citizenship-amendment-bill-2016/

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Muzaffarnagar echo in Bijnor – By Imran Ahmed Siddiqui (Sep 21, 2016, The Telegraph)

Violence last week in Pedda, a tiny hamlet on the fringes of Bijnor city about 150km from Delhi, bears an uncanny resemblance to the Muzaffarnagar riots. So do the circumstances. The riots in 2013 that left 50 people dead and displaced more than 60,000 had come months before the Lok Sabha elections. Now, Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh are months away.

In Pedda, Zareen Khatoon shivers as she recounts how 50-60 people raided her one-storey house on Friday morning, armed with revolvers, iron rods and swords. They ran amok, killing three members of her family – her husband Anisuddin, 48, brother-in-law Ehsan, 30, and niece Sarfraz, 17 – and injuring eight.…

That morning, some Hindu boys had allegedly harassed a Muslim girl from the village, a Class VIII student who was on way to her school in Bijnor with her cousin Talib. A clash erupted between groups of boys near Bijnor bus stand, and later snowballed into a Hindu-Muslim clash.…

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1160921/jsp/nation/story_109376.jsp

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Under Modi, record rise in unspent funds for Dalits and tribals – By Nikhil M Babu (Sep 20, 2016, Hindustan Times)

In the run-up to the 2014 general elections, then the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, while addressing a gathering of Dalits and backward classes in Kerala, had described himself as a victim of untouchability. “The next 10 years are going to be yours,” he had said. And the crowd broke into loud cheers.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government ostensibly kept his promise – the 2014-15 budget witnessed a 25% increase in allocation of the two funds meant for Dalits and the adivasis – the Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCSP) and the Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) funds. However, more than one-third of the funds allocated by central ministries – Rs 32,979 crore – remained unspent in 2014-15.

This is an increase of 250% in the money unused compared to the previous year. Modi’s first year in office as the prime minister saw the ‘highest’ amount unspent and also the highest percentage of amount unspent in the last three years (the only period for which central government has figures).…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/under-modi-record-rise-in-unspent-funds-for-dalits-and-tribals/story-PjrIc3zZxEYBXRsUwaTdpI.html

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Rights activist Khurram Parvez’s arrest opens up can of worms – By Abhishek Saha ( (Sep 24, 2016, Hindustan Times)

Khurram Parvez has been the most prominent face of human rights movement in Kashmir in recent times and his arrest under the controversial Public Safety Act (PSA) has attracted condemnation and raised questions on the state’s procedures to tackle unrests.

He was picked up by the police on September 15 in Srinagar a day after he was stopped from travelling to Geneva to participate in a UN Human Rights Council session. The condemnation of his arrest hasn’t only been domestic. The New York Times in its Friday editorial wrote that Parvez should be “released and allowed to travel”.…

While some fear that his arrest is to scare the civil society and clamp down the human rights movement in the Valley, others say that it has focussed international spotlight on stealthy arrests, alleged illegal detentions and use of the PSA in the Valley.…

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/rights-activist-khurram-parvez-s-arrest-opens-up-can-of-worms/story-MmNjjDeJZIXo9k7yGpnRrN.html

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