IAMC Weekly News Roundup - March 26th, 2017
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Peace, Pluralism and Justice
In this issue of IAMC News Digest
India PM Modi app sparks social media furore
Muzaffarnagar, Shamli Riots: Yogi Government Initiates Process to Withdraw 131 Cases
Accused in 8 sexual harassment cases, JNU professor Atul Johri gets bail within hours
Delhi Police Officer Molests Female Journalist, DCP Invites Protesting Scribes on Coffee
Ram Navami Tableau In Rajasthan Glorifies Man Who Killed On Video
Ayodhya title suit: Muslim parties challenge 1994 SC ruling
Ram Rajya Rath Yatra: Cops book 300 VHP, BJP supporters
Indian 'cow protectors' jailed for life over murder of Muslim man
Junaid Lynching Case: Will My Son Ever Get Justice, Asks Father Seeking CBI Probe
Help 18 lakh Karnataka Muslims missing from voters list!
Opinions & Editorials
Delhi Police's Clumsy Apology for Roughing up Journalists Skirts a Critical Issue - By Monobina Gupta
Modi govt looks to rewrite Indian history to justify Hindu nationalism - By Ram Puniyani
When democracy rides on mobocracy, it fizzles - By Abdul Wasey
The Modi Government Should Be Wary of Military Men Talking Politics - By Kannan Srinivasan
The truth about Hindus killing Muslims over beef - By Corey Barnett
The Speaker Is Wrong to Not Allow No-Confidence Move to Be Tabled - By P.D.T. Achary
India PM Modi app sparks social media furore (Mar 26, 2018, BBC)
Indian PM Narendra Modi's official mobile application has been criticised for sending personal user data to a third party without their consent.
A security researcher had tweeted that the app was sending personal user data to a third-party domain that was traced to a US company. Mr Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has denied the allegation. The party said the data was being used only for analytics to offer all users the "most contextual content".
The researcher, who tweets under the pseudonym Elliot Alderson, posted a series of tweets on Saturday stating Mr Modi's app was sending personal user data to a third party.
Narendra Modi app shares private data of users with American firm without consent, says cyber expert (Mar 24, 2018, Scroll.in)
NaMo App Exposé: Rahul Gandhi Attacks PM Over Data Sharing; BJP Hits Back (Mar 25, 2018, The Wire)
BJP changes privacy setting on NAMO App (Mar 25, 2018, National Herald)
Air India refuses to reveal cost of PM Modi's foreign trips, his co-passengers under RTI (Mar 25, 2018, Newsx.com)
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Muzaffarnagar, Shamli Riots: Yogi Government Initiates Process to Withdraw 131 Cases (Mar 22, 2018, News18.com)
The Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has begun the process to withdraw 131 cases related to 2013 Muzzaffarnagar and Shamli riots.
The riots, which took place during the regime of Akhilesh Yadav in August-September of 2013, left more than 40,000 homeless. A total of 502 cases were registered in connection with the riots, in which 6,867 people have been accused.
Reacting on the state government's move, Samajwadi Party spokesperon Sunil Singh Sajan said, "The government, which came to power after the riots, is now trying to protect the riot accused as they are associated with these people. The Yogi government is misusing power and washing its own sins."
NCERT drops 'anti-Muslim' from passage on 2002 Gujarat riots in Class 12 political science textbook (Mar 24, 2018, Scroll.in)
NCERT Drops 'Anti-Muslim' from Chapter on Gujarat Riots in Class 12 Textbook (Mar 24, 2018, News18.com)
In new NCERT class 12 book, word anti-Muslim omitted from 2002 Gujarat riots (Mar 24, 2018, Asian Age)
Class 12 NCERT book drops 'anti-Muslim' from 2002 Gujarat riots (Mar 25, 2018, Hindustan Times)
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Accused in 8 sexual harassment cases, JNU professor Atul Johri gets bail within hours (Mar 21, 2018, DNA India)
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) professor Atul Johri, who was arrested for sexual harassment of several women students, was today granted bail by a Delhi court. Duty magistrate Ritu Singh granted bail to Johri and directed him to furnish a bail bond of Rs 30,000 for each of the eight FIRs registered against him.
Students, professors and women rights organisations have been protesting, demanding his arrest, after some students accused him of sexual harassment. An FIR was filed against the Department of Life Sciences professor based on one of the eight complaints from women students.
After JNU students held a mass protest outside Vasant Kunj Police Station yesterday, women rights organisations including All India Democratic Women's Association and All India Mahila Sanskritik Sanghatan today held protest outside the police station demanding arrest of the professor.
What is the Legal Rationale Behind JNU Prof Atul Johri's Bail? (Mar 21, 2018, The Quint)
JNU sexual harassment case: Professors demand separate FIRs against Atul Johri (Mar 19, 2018, Times of India)
Atul Johri is influential and provokes girls against each other, say conplainants (Mar 22, 2018, Twocircles.net)
JNU professor Atul Johri arrested on 'sexual harassment' charges, later bailed out (Mar 21, 2018, Hindustan Times)
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Delhi Police Officer Molests Female Journalist, DCP Invites Protesting Scribes on Coffee (Mar 24, 2018, News Click)
According to reports, police personnel have been alleged of molesting and manhandling women protesters during a number of protests organised in the city. And the latest in the series of complaints of sexual harassment comes from journalists who were covering a protest march organised by the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Friday.
Reporters were standing at the protest site near Sanjay Jheel at Laxmi Bai Nagar around 6:15 pm when the police lathi-charged the protesting students and teachers. As soon as the cops resorted to baton charge, a city police officer - Inspector Vidyadhar Singh - allegedly came to the woman journalist and pushed her away.
After the officer was informed that she was journalist, he backed off for momentarily. But moments after that, Singh allegedly proceeded towards her again, looked at her chest and placed his hand on it and pushed her. When she confronted him against the alleged molestation, he denied and said she was lying. The journalist fraternity in the national capital has taken strong offence and decided to protest against the incident outside Delhi Police Headquarters today.
JNU Protest: Two Police Constables Suspended for Snatching Photojournalist's Camera (Mar 26, 2018, The Wire)
JNU protest march: Police brutality a dangerous sign for our democracy, says AAP (Mar 25, 2018, Times of India)
Sexual harassment row: JNU students protest for suspension of Professor Atul Johri (Mar 21, 2018, One India)
JNU professor Johri gets bail in sexual misconduct case; students protest (Mar 21, 2018, Business Standard)
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Ram Navami Tableau In Rajasthan Glorifies Man Who Killed On Video (Mar 27, 2018, NDTV)
Shambhu Lal Raigar, who hacked a man to death in Rajasthan, burnt his body and shared the video on social media, was glorified in a tableau during a Ram Navami procession in Jodhpur last weekend.
The procession was organized on Sunday by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP.
33-year-old Raigar, who is in jail, had a tableau to himself, alongside those of Lord Ram and Sita. A man who masqueraded as him sat imperiously on a throne, holding a pick-axe much like the one Raigar used to kill Mohammad Afrazul, and wearing the same red shirt and white trousers from the murder video filmed in Rajasamand. On the ground before him, another man played Raigar's victim.
Several injured as communal violence rocks Raniganj over Ram Navami rally (Mar 26, 2018, India Today)
2 Killed In Clashes During Ram Navami Celebrations In Bengal: 10 Facts (Mar 27, 2018, NDTV)
Curfew Imposed in Bihar's Aurangabad After Ram Navami Communal Clashes (Mar 26, 2018, The Wire)
Armed Ram Navami rallies: Don't spare anyone, CM Mamata Banerjee tells police (Mar 27, 2018, Indian Express)
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Ayodhya title suit: Muslim parties challenge 1994 SC ruling (Mar 23, 2018, The Hindu)
Almost 24 years after the Supreme Court said a mosque has no "unique or special status" and is not an essential part of the practice of Islam and namaz, Muslim parties involved in the Ramjanmabhoomi title dispute wants the apex court to first re-consider its stand before going ahead with the hearing in the Babri Masjid case.
In 1994, the Supreme Court observed that "Muslims can offer prayer anywhere, even in open". Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, on behalf of the Muslim parties, challenged the rationale of the 1994 ruling before a three-judge Special Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Friday. This Bench is hearing the over 70-year-old civil appeals against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment for a three-way partition of the Babri Masjid site.
"Who will decide that this place of worship is more significant than another? All are equal. All places are of equal signficance," Mr Dhavan argued. He challenged the right of the government to have acquired the disputed site under the 1993 law. He submitted that it was impossible believe that the Babri Masjid, built in 1528 and a subject of grants by Mughal emperors and even the British, had no significance at all to Islam.
Is mosque integral to Islam? Query may delay Babri case (Mar 24, 2018, Times of India)
Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi case: Supreme Court to continue 'final hearing' (Mar 23, 2018, New Indian Express)
Babri demolition: Mosque remains a place of worship even if destroyed, lawyer tells SC (Mar 24, 2018, Hindustan Times)
"No Mosque is safe in India" (Mar 24, 2018, Global Village Space)
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Ram Rajya Rath Yatra: Cops book 300 VHP, BJP supporters (Mar 24, 2018, Times of India)
Police have registered cases against 300 two-wheeler riders attached to the BJP, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and other Hindu outfits for violating prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC that was in force in Tirunelveli district when VHP-led Ram Rajya Rath Yatra entered Tamil Nadu from Kerala on March 20.
Section 144 of the CrPC prohibits assembly of five or more people. Tirunelveli superintendent of police P Ve Arunsakthikumar said the organisers of the yatra had been told that there should not be any crowding and that they should not cause any inconvenience to other road users. "But there were around 300 two-wheelers that accompanied the yatra from Puliyarai on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border. They obstructed the flow of traffic," he told TOI.
It may be recalled that on March 20, it took more than four hours for the yatra to cover 21km from Puliyarai to Ilanjai - through Sengottai. "Since they were violating the conditions we warned them but they slowed down the movement of the yatra and hindered the police from safely escorting them through the district in the stipulated time. Hence, we are taking action against them," he said.
A murder accused can be Chief of BJP, never of Congress: Rahul Gandhi (Mar 28, 2018, Ummid.com)
Amit Shah's letter full of false information: Chandrababu Naidu (Mar 24, 2018, Times of India)
Women Employees of Adityanath's Helpline Claim Being Locked up for Protesting Over Salaries (Mar 13, 2018, The Wire)
SC pulls up senior Rajasthan official for not wearing proper dress in court (Mar 21, 2018, New Indian Express)
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Indian 'cow protectors' jailed for life over murder of Muslim man (Mar 22, 2018, The Guardian)
Eleven cow protection vigilantes in the Indian state of Jharkhand have been sentenced to life in prison for killing a Muslim man who was transporting beef. They are thought to be the first people convicted for violence in the name of the cow. The men, including a district media officer for the ruling Bharatiya Janata party, were convicted of murder and criminal conspiracy offences by a fast-track court on Wednesday.
On the morning of 29 June 2017, the men were part of a mob that pulled Alimuddin Ansari from his vehicle, beat him to death and then set the car on fire. Videos of the crime showed the men thrashing Ansari with pieces of meat while the car burned nearby.
At least 38 such attacks took place last year, killing 10 people, according to Human Rights Watch. Days before the attack on Ansari, another man in Jharkhand was reportedly beaten and had his house torched after a cow carcass was found near his home. Four Muslim men were killed in another village in the state in May. Police are often accused of condoning or ignoring cow vigilantism, in many cases charging the victims with cow smuggling or illegal slaughter.
Jharkhand lynching case: 11 cow vigilantes get life sentence for killing Muslim trader (Mar 21, 2018, Hindustan Times)
Jharkhand Alimuddin lynching case: 11 cow vigilantes awarded life imprisonment (Mar 21, 2018, Indian Express)
Fast-track court, fearless lawyers and an unbiased Police: How 11 people got life sentences in Ramgarh Lynching case (Mar 22, 2018, Twocircles.net)
Adopt Stray Cattle is Rajasthan Govt's Formula for Compensating Survivors of Lynch Mobs: Report (Mar 24, 2018, Sabrang India)
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Junaid Lynching Case: Will My Son Ever Get Justice, Asks Father Seeking CBI Probe (Mar 20, 2018, News Click)
"How can the state be so cruel - which instead of bringing them to book - is putting efforts to shield the culprits who barbarically lynched to death a young boy in a moving train in front of hundreds of commuters for no reason," asks Jalaluddin (46), whose 16-year-old son Junaid was stabbed multiple times and killed by a mob in a Delhi-Mathura local train in June last year. The lynch mob had allegedly used communal and abusive language before the physical assault.
Junaid and his another brother Hasib, along with their two friends, were returning home at Khandawali village in Faridabad district of Haryana in a local train after shopping for Eid at Sadar Bazar in Delhi when they allegedly got into an altercation with a few passengers. The altercation turned violent when a group of 10-20 men stabbed Junaid to death and injured his brother.
After the High Court did not consider our arguments that the correct version has been derailed by introducing the calculated distortions, discrepancies and contradictions and ignored the national ramifications of the present case, the petition told the apex court, "There was no consideration of the apprehensions exhibited by the petitioner, despite sufficient evidence accorded by him to support the same. In fact, the High Court went on to state that the case had no national ramifications, which is an erroneous assessment of the facts, as they exist. The present case is a clear testament of communal polarisation which threatens to harm national harmony and solidarity."
18 years after losing her leg in Kannur blast, survivor now a doctor (Mar 25, 2018, Hindustan Times)
Minority youths thrashed by Saffron activists (Mar 20, 2018, Times of India)
SC Seeks Centre's Response on Plea Against Polygamy, Nikah Halala (Mar 26, 2018, The Wire)
Cardinal Gracias meets PM, conveys minorities' anxiety over attacks (Mar 21, 2018, Times of India)
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Help 18 lakh Karnataka Muslims missing from voters list! (Mar 22, 2018, Twocircles.net)
'Don't Wear a Hijab if You Want to Study Here' (Mar 25, 2018, The Wire)
Christians and Muslims in India vexed that government is seeking to revise history with pro-Hindu narrative (Mar 19, 2018, Ecumenical News)
Jamia Millia minority tag: Muslim intellectuals demand withdrawal of affidavit (Mar 23, 2018, Siasat)
Jamiat Ulama opposes Centre's affidavit on minority status (Mar 23, 2018, India Today)
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Opinions and Editorials
Delhi Police's Clumsy Apology for Roughing up Journalists Skirts a Critical Issue - By Monobina Gupta (Mar 26, 2018, The Wire)
The Delhi police has apologised to journalists for roughing them up at a protest march taken out by students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University on Friday. The police admitted that journalists who were not the intended targets of their action were mistaken to be part of the protesters. This is presumably the reason the journalists were thrashed and even groped by the police. That's the official police version.
But a far more sinister question underlies that facile explanation. The under-duress and clumsy apology has skirted the critical issue of thuggish behaviour displayed by the police on Friday. After all, any civilised society should unequivocally and strongly condemn such predatory behaviour - groping women's breasts or manhandling men and women - regardless of the intended targets of such violence: media persons or protesting students and teachers.
But in their explanation to protesting journalists, Delhi police perversely seemed to suggest it was perfectly legitimate to rough up protesters, even molest them, in case they had a law and order situation at hand. The only dilemma before the police (if they faced one at all) seemed to be in mistaking mediapersons as protesters. One suspects that even the apology to journalists would not have come, had not mediapersons thronged outside the police headquarters in the heart of Delhi.…
JNU sexual harassment case: Who is shielding prof Atul Johri? - By Kamal Mitra Chenoy (Mar 23, 2018, Dailyo.in)
JNU's Eight and their fight for justice - By Ayesha Kidwai (Mar 20, 2018, Indian Express)
Black Day for Media: Two Journalists Killed in Bihar, One Crushed by Truck in MP - By Aleesha Matharu (Mar 26, 2018, The Wire)
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Modi govt looks to rewrite Indian history to justify Hindu nationalism - By Ram Puniyani (Mar 22, 2018, National Herald)
With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in power, an exercise in rewriting history is being undertaken …. So far, we were subjected to the communal version of medieval history, where villainous foreigners, the Muslim kings attacked India, spread Islam and destroyed Hindu temples.
The latest example of this new version is the glorification of Rana Pratap as a great Hindu nationalist and freedom fighter. Now, it is even being said that he had defeated Akbar's army at Haldighati! There already are projections of the theory that Aryans, from whom Hindus are supposed to have derived their lineage, were the ancient natives and that Harappa-Mohenjo-Daro were part of Aryan culture!
To put a seal on the "Hindu first" version of history, the Modi government has appointed a committee, which will come out with a report that will provide guidelines to prepare syllabuses in schools. The panel is referred to, in government documents, as the committee for "holistic study of origin and evolution of Indian culture since 12,000 years before present and its interface with other cultures of the world."…
Rewriting Indian history in the image of Hindu chauvinists - By Abdus Sattar Ghazali (Mar 22, 2018, Milli Gazette)
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When democracy rides on mobocracy, it fizzles - By Abdul Wasey (Mar 25, 2018, Tehelka)
On February 22, a mob lynched Madhu Chindaki at Attapadi in Palakkad district of Kerala. His alleged crime, for which he was beaten to death, was that he stole a small amount of rice and other food items. It was the sixth mob attack reported in the southern Indian state within 30 days. But then, Kerala is not alone. Such incidents involving mob justice have become rife across the country. Violence, in general, now seems to be accepted as a part of everyday life of every individual.
A 25-year-old migrant worker from Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur district, who was lynched by a mob in Rajasthan's capital Jaipur early last month on suspicion of being a child lifter, died at a hospital after few days. On February 2, Mohammad Faisal Siddique was taking his friend Aslam Ansari's two-year-old daughter to the market to buy her chocolates.
Some people reportedly suspected that he had kidnapped the child. The mob of about 50 people tied up Siddique to an electric pole and thrashed him mercilessly. Police rescued and rushed him to a hospital with severe head injuries. After battling for life for 16 days, Siddique succumbed to his injuries.…
'We can't trust anyone': 8 months after Junaid's killing, his family fights on - By Danish Raza (Mar 20, 2018, Hindustan Times)
Why Ankit Saxena's murder has been easily forgotten - By Tani S Bhargava (Mar 21, 2018, Dailyo.in)
Right Wing Groups are Working Overtime to Divide Jammu on Communal Lines - By Tarique Anwar (Mar 23, 2018, News Click)
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The Modi Government Should Be Wary of Military Men Talking Politics - By Kannan Srinivasan (Mar 25, 2018, The Wire)
In a sign of the times, K.K. Sharma, director general of the Border Security Force, attended a public meeting organised by an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh last month, even though it is widely known that the organisation is politically aligned. He could not have done this without the backing of the Union Ministry for Home Affairs.
Also last month, army chief Bipin Rawat gave a speech at an army think tank expressing concern about immigration in the northeast, and at the rate of growth of a particular political party, the AUDF. He did not say so in so many words but the party is led by a Muslim and is opposed to the ruling coalition in Assam and the Centre.
The entry of serving members of the military and paramilitary forces into the realm of politics is of consequence.… The Hindu Mahasabha sought during the freedom struggle to Hinduise the Indian Army by infiltrating it. Official documents show the declaration of war in 1939 provided the Mahasabha an opportunity to declare loyalty to the crown and attempt to gain access to arms (Director, Intelligence Bureau, Government of India, New Delhi, Saturday 11 February 1939, No. 6, India Office Records, British Library).…
'The RSS believes in making the Hindu society aware of its civic duty - with compulsory military training' - Shridhar Damle with Kaveree Bamzai (Mar 24, 2018, Dailyo.in)
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The truth about Hindus killing Muslims over beef - By Corey Barnett (Mar 22, 2018, World Religion News)
People are being beaten, killed, and molested because they eat, carry, or slaughter cattle in India. The recent sentencing of 11 individuals to life imprisonment for killing a Muslim man who was simply carrying beef shows how far the sacredness of the cow has been hijacked by Hindu right-wing groups.
…Several states do not allow cows to be slaughtered. The state of Rajasthan even has its own cow minister. Cows are allowed to wander heavily trafficked streets with no one willing to push them out of the way. At an individual level, several "cow protector" groups have emerged that regularly set up roadblocks, invade homes, and will harass anyone accused of eating, slaughtering, or transporting beef.
Over 10 people have died in the last 3 years. Last year alone there were 38 brutal attacks reported by these groups. Most of the people targeted are Muslims and Dalits, the lowest rung on the Hindu caste system (formerly called untouchables). Dalits transport beef and Muslims eat beef because there are many poor communities that cannot afford to eat the alternatives of fish or chicken. When these groups go to the police, the victims are charged with crimes, usually about laws outlawing beef production. This has created a tolerable atmosphere for these cow protectors to act with impunity.…
BJP's politics of dualism could easily backfire - By Amulya Ganguli (Mar 10, 2018, Economic Times)
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The Speaker Is Wrong to Not Allow No-Confidence Move to Be Tabled - By P.D.T. Achary (Mar 26, 2018, The Wire)
…No-confidence motion has its genesis in Article 75 of the Constitution. It is, therefore, a constitutional right of a member of the House to move a no-confidence motion against the council of ministers.… The Speaker has a substantial measure of discretion in admitting matters.
The no-confidence motion is an exception for a very valid reason, namely, that the constitutional right of a member of the House to move this motion cannot be subjected to the discretion of the Speaker. The natural corollary of this constitutional position is that the Speaker is duty bound to set the whole process in motion immediately upon receiving notice of the no-confidence motion. All precedents starting from the first no-confidence motion support this.
It is very rare that a no-confidence motion faces such uncertainty. The practice followed hitherto has been to give top priority to this motion.… A non-functional parliament is a symbol of the bankruptcy of the political class. The parliamentary system should be utilised in full to meet the aspirations of the citizens.…
After one year of Yogi sarkar, masses await development - By Mudit Mathur (Mar 22, 2018, Tehelka)
How BJP Won without Winning in Nagaland - By Pradip Phanjoubam (Mar 24, 2018, EPW)
Siddaramaiah: The Last Man Standing Between BJP and Karnataka - By D P Satish (Mar 22, 2018, News18.com)
With Vasundhra Raje in a corner, RSS has a new plan for Rajasthan - By Dev Ankur Wadhawan (Mar 21, 2018, Dailyo.in)