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  • 07/22/13--10:59: Ramadan 1434: Last ride
  • By Swastik Pal,

    An auto driver in Kolkata who plies between Mechua and Kadapara a long stretch which also has one of the highest concentration of Muslim settlements. Here he is taking the last ride before going home to have his iftar.


    TCN Series Ramadan 1434:

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    Ahamed Ansar M.S for,

    Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu): A masjid has been reportedly attacked by petrol bomb in Coimbatore earlier this morning by unidentified men.

    It happened on a day when the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) called bandh against the recent killing of its general secretary auditor Ramesh in Salem.

    The attacked masjid is located in the Muslim Sunnat Jama'at in NGGO colony, a suburb of Coimbatore. The bomb was thrown by unidentified persons at 4 AM this morning. Masjid's vice Imam Mr. Naseerullah who was in mosque, was having his sehri (an early morning eating in the holy month of Ramadan). No one has injured in this attack.

    Hearing this incident, the United Jama'at functionaries of Coimbatore district led by its president Basheer Ahamed, general secretary CTC Abdul Jabbar, M. Amir Althaf, A. Ayyoob had visited the spot and registered complaint in nearby Thudiyalur police station to nab the culprits forthwith.

    The city police has tightened the security in and around of the place. The investigation is on, but so far there has been no breakthrough.

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    By TCN News

    New Delhi: Khalid-Mujahid- From Abduction to Custodial Killing was released on July 19th on YouTube. Within two-days of its release the 25-minute video has got over 700 views.

    Documentary features interviews from Khalid Mujahid’s uncle Zaheer Alam Falahi and Advocate Mohammad Shoaib and others familiar with this case. Mujahid who was illegally detained in 2007 days before he was shown arrested died in police custody in May 2013.

    Documentary is produced by Impact Media Group and financially supported by Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC).
    Rihai Manch is on an indefinite protest in Lucknow for over two years demanding justice for Khalid Mujahid.

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    By Shradha Chettri, IANS,

    New Delhi : Saba Raes, a middle-aged Muslim housewife, has her hands full seven days a week with household chores and her children but takes an hour out every Monday to record Hamd-o-Naat, a series of hymns in praise of Allah, for Radio Jamia. It's the invocation that begins the daily broadcast of the campus radio station of the Jamia Millia Islamia, one of India's oldest universities, here.

    "I have been singing for Radio Jamia for over a year now. My husband encourages me and my children and the people in the neighborhood raptly listen to my singing," a confident Saba Raes told IANS, sitting in front of a studio microphone.

    As India is a year away from celebrating a decade of the campus radio's existence, it is evident that in this period, the concept has become a platform for the communities living around the colleges.

    The government had issued guidelines in 2003 for educational institutions to set up campus radio's and Anna University in Tamil Nadu was the first off the block in February 2004.

    Today there are nearly a 100 campus radios in the country, but the actual number could be higher since there are no details about these in the northeast beyond Guwahati.

    Transmission occurs through a four-way process. The audio from the microphone is transferred to the audio mixing console. From here, it goes to an amplifier. From the amplifier one signal goes to the transmitter and the other to a computer to be stored for repeat broadcast. The final process is the transmission of signal through an antennae, which is some 25-30 metres high.

    It comes for about Rs.15 lakh (1.5 million rupees) and typically operates out of a room that can seat three to four people and the attendant equipment. Its range is 8-10 km and can even go up to 15 km.

    Radio Jamia kicked off the process in the capital in 2004, followed by Apna Radio of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) and DUCR of Delhi University.

    With the passage of time, Radio Jamia has become a platform for many like Saba Raes to fulfil their desires and interests.

    "I anchor a programme called 'Arpan Yaqeen', which plays old and new hindi songs on request by the listeners.Radio Jamia lets me fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a radio jockey (RJ)," said Arpan who has the show named after him.

    "We organise workshops for the community members. We teach them about the functionality and the basic working mechanism and then they go on air with all the creative liberty given to them," G.R Syed, professor-in-charge of Radio Jamia, told IANS.

    "I attended this workshop last year and since then I have been anchoring a show on Ghazals, because of my proficiency in Urdu," said Mohammad Samshad, who lives in Jamia Nagar.

    Radio Jamia also plays a lot of Bhojpuri, Hindi, Punjabi and even Bengali songs for the migrant population that lives around the university.

    "I listen to Radio Jamia on my mobile phone every day. Once I went and sang the 'Akhiyon se goli mareh' song," said Iqbal Kasim, a youngster who plies a cycle rickshaw to earn his livelihood.

    While Radio Jamia provides a platform for the community to showcase its talent, volunteers of Apna Radio go into the field and work in the slums, raising awareness on health and hygiene.

    "We send students to the area around IIMC where they teach the people about the working of community radio and in return the students get to know about practical experiences of the people," Apna Radio head Raghav Chari told IANS.

    "Once when we students were doing a show, a middle-aged man who lived in Jangpura came and asked us to air his complaint that the drains in his colony had not been cleaned," said Ruchi Pande, a student at IIMC.

    The campus radios have proved to be very effective in solving the community's problems.

    "I had been having a lot of problems with my menstrual cycle; so I called and spoke to the doctor who had come on DUCR because I just did not want to go the hospital," said Savita Rane, a housewife who lives in Kingsway Camp in north Delhi.

    "Ubharte Kalakar and Success Mantra are the two shows that are quite popular on DUCR, where we promote local talent from around the community who have done some remarkable work," said Kirti Dua, an announcer with the station.

    Though campus radios work for the community, their basic function of training students has not been forgotten.

    "Every day we had students churning out programmes for Apna Radio. We were not allowed to play Bollywood songs but had discussions, skits and awareness programmes," said IIMC alumni Pallavika Ghising.

    Echoing this, Jamia student Kamran Ahmad told IANS: "Radio Jamia helps the students with hands-on experience in broadcasting with the different programmes it runs catering to careers, recreation and culture."

    (Shradha Chettri can be contacted at

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    PUCL Gujarat state president also blames the Muslim leadership, the ullemas, for focusing too much on religious rights instead of reforming the community.

    By Kaleem Kawaja,,

    Peoples Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) Gujarat state president Prof. Juzar S. Bandukwala resides in a Hindu dominated locality in Vadodra. Mr. Bandukwala who was the professor of Nuclear Physics at Baroda University when his house was destroyed in the 2002 riots. Kaleem Kawaja spoke with Prof. J.S. Bandukwala on how secular are India's Hindus, problems of the Muslim community and the way ahead. Excerpts:

    Kaleem Kawaja: Prof Bandukwala, you are a very learned and distinguished social activist and fighter for secularism in India. Many of us wonder as to what extent the Hindu society in India and Gujarat is secular?

    Prof Bandukwala: Gujarat is more communalised than any other states in India. This confuses scholars from abroad, because Gujarat was supposed to be the land of Gandhi and Narsinh Mehta. But Gandhi had little impact on Gujaratis.

    Oddly the man who reflected the Gujarati mind best was Kanhaiyalal Munshi, popularly known as K.M.Munshi . His work on Somnath, its destruction by Mehmud Ghazni and his dream of rebuilding the same, touched Gujarat deeply. Today Gujarati communalism is rooted in what happened at Somnath about one thousand years ago.

    Prof. Juzar S. Bandukwala

    KK: In the aftermath of the partition of India and the awful Hindu-Muslim violence what helped secularism survive in India?

    Banukwala: Yes we can never ignore that India is a secular democracy with equal rights for all citizens, including Muslims. Note that this was inspite of the horror of partition. This was possible because of Gandhi and the nature of the freedom struggle. More important Gandhi's assassination left a deep impact on Hindus all over the country. The Indian constitution was drafted at that time. Further Nehru lived long enough to make secularism a reality.

    KK: So what caused setback in India's secular society?

    Bandukwala: Over time old prejudices returned. Kashmir and the wars with Pakistan revived communalism. The RSS and L.K.Advani realised the potency of Babri Masjid and used it to the hilt to turn
    the clock back. Using religious symbolism , such as worshipping of Ram's slippers, and sending bricks from every village to Ayodaya, tempers were raised high against Muslims. Yet the impact was maximum in Gujarat. The RSS used this Ayodaya movement to rope all castes firmly within the saffron brigade. It is no wonder the tragedy of Godhra occured, and again used to the hilt by Modi for political supremacy.

    The flip side is equally noteworthy. The male female ratio is frightening. News report daily about women committing suicide because they could not beget a son. The treatment of Dalits within Hindu society is still very poor. Dalits cannot enter most temples. Yet using the communal card, the RSS succeeded in turning them into foot soldiers. Most of the violence in 2002 was caused by Patels, Tribals, OBC, and Dalits. Though the maximum hatred against Muslims come from Gujaratis settled in the US. That is painful. It is strange that those who abandoned India accuse me of being anti national, little realsing that I gave away my green card way back in 1972 to return and help my country and my community.

    KK: Why in your opinion Muslims are near the bottom of the socioeconomic and educational ladder in India?

    Bandukwala: One last point concerns Muslims within India. Our leadership should have used the post partition period to reform and transform our community. Instead the focus was on religious rights, as defined by the ulemas. The vision was to protect poor Muslims from being lured into Hinduism. To give you an example, the region between Vadodara and Surat had 23 Dar ul ulooms , which are the equivalent of a University. Huge funds flowed to raise posh centres that produced more and more ulemas, who sadly lacked the skills to operate in a modern India. All they could do was to lead prayers. Otherwise most had to be supported by an already poor community. As against this fact, there was not a single engineering or medical or even science college in this region.

    Bohras and Khojas had financial, managereial and educational resources, but they were tragically cut off from the Muslim mainstream . Even so eminent a man as Ahsan Jafri was not acceptable to the community as long as he lived, because his views were not palatable to the ulema. Note that after 2002 Muslim society has changed sharply and for the better.

    KK: Will Muslim youth of today be able to break the stereotype and emancipate the community?

    Bandukwala: There is a sharp rise in boys and girls wanting to go for higher education. There is a greater trend towards business, influenced by the fact that it is difficult for Muslims to get jobs outside. Most important Muslims have become politically more mature. Hopefully future generations will play the political game in a way that we may have an Obama like figure becoming the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Inshallah.

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    By TCN News,

    Lucknow: “Like Khalid Mujahid, Samajwadi Party Government is trying to kill the Nismesh Commission report too, said Dipankar Bhattacharya, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation.

    He was in the UP capital to extend his support to the Rihai Manch dharna. For over two months now, from May 20 Rihai Manch is on indefinite dharna demanding arrest of police officers involved in Khalid Mujahid's murder, issuing the RD Nimesh commission report and action report, and the immediate release of innocent Muslim youth imprisoned in the name of terrorism.

    Dipankar Bhattacharya

    Bhattacharya commended the Rihai Manch for a sustained movement for justice and added that their struggle will prove a mile stone in the strengthening of democracy.

    The CPIML leader expressed his anguish at the the way media and judiciary too appear to have turned away in providing justice to those innocent Muslim youths arrested on fabricated charges of terror. He was dismayed by the new developing trend of extra-judicial killings.

    Khalid had died under mysterious circumstances on his way back from Faizabad near Ram Sanehi Ghat on May 18. He was declared brought dead by the doctors at district hospital in Barabanki. Later, on the complain of his uncle Zahir Alam Falahi, a case was registered against 42 police officers including former DGP Vikram Singh, ADG Brijlal and others who were on duty during the time of Khalid's arrest.

    Khalid along with Tariq Qasmi was arrested by Special Task Force (STF) on 20 December 2007 from Barabanki. Huge explosives were also shown as recovered from his possession. STF claimed that he was involved in the serial blasts which occurred in Gorakhpur, Faizabad and Lucknow. Later, Nimesh Commission was constituted headed by Justice R D Nimesh who in its report raised fingers over STF's claim about the place of arres.

    Khalid’s family and civil society groups are demanding CBI probe into Khalid’s custodial death and has compared his case with the fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan by the Gujarat Police. They have also questioned the role of the IB.

    Rihai Manch is leading a sustained demonstration against the UP government for last demanding actions on its poll promise of releasing innocent youths languishing in jails in fabricated terror charges. As the holy month of Ramadan is in progress, Manch also makes arrangements for iftar and prayers.

    Several rights groups and and politicians, including Prakash Karat, Subhasini Ali and other left leaders have also expressed their solidarity with the Manch demonstration and on different days made token participations.

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: Kendriya Vidalaya Sangathan(KVS) has written a letter to the Collector and District Magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar, Noida, Uttar Pradesh to provide land for to open a central school at the vicinity of Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi.

    On 6 May, 2013 a team of senior AMU alumni based in Delhi led by P. Mohammad with Mohammad Aslam and Nehal Ahmed Siddique met with the Commissioner of the Kendriya Vidalaya Sangathan(KVS), Avinash Dikshit for two Central Schools in Okhla region New Delhi in his office Qutub Institutional Area, New Delhi.

    KVS wrote a letter dated on 26 June-2013 urging the UP government to submit the proposal for appropriate action.

    HRD Secretary, Schools and Literacy has also written a letter to the Commissioner of KVS on 8 April, 2013 after the effective representation and pressure from this AMU Alumni to HRD Secretary about the complete negligence for good quality schools in this Okhla region.

    Senior AMU alumni have argued that there are enough fellow lands of the UP Government Irrigation Department in the vicinity of Jamia Millia Islamia, and if approached through proper channel for proper use, they see no reason why UP government should deny an opportunity for the development of the Okhla region, dominated by Muslims from that state and neighbouring Bihar.

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    By Monish Gulati, IANS,

    Two monks, a Myanmarese and a Tibetan, were injured in a coordinated terror attack at Bodh Gaya in Gaya district of Bihar on July 7. Bihar Police confirmed that 10 low-intensity serial bombings occurred between 5.30 and 5:58 a.m. at and around the Mahabodhi temple site. Another three bombs were defused. The bombs had been placed at virtually all places of significance, including the Bodhi tree, in the temple complex spread over an area of 12 acres. The incident, before it joins the growing record of solved/unsolved terror attacks in India, needs to be revisited simply for the unnerving ineffectiveness of the response of the politico-security establishment.

    According to Ajai Sahni, executive director, South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), “rarely has precedent intelligence been as specific as it was in the case of the threat to the Mahabodhi temple”. Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives, arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell in September-October 2012, had revealed during interrogation that Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad and the Mahabodhi temple had been reconnoitered by them as likely targets. The Delhi Police Special Cell accordingly warned Bihar’s Director General of Police and the Superintendent of Police, Gaya. The reliability of the advisory and the likelihood of an attack on the Mahabodhi temple were reinforced on Feb 21, 2013, when twin bombs went off at Dilsukhnagar, killing 17 people.

    To the credit of the Bihar Police, after receiving the intelligence advisory in October 2012, a platoon of the Special Task Force (STF) was deployed at the Mahabodhi temple on a permanent basis as per media reports. It is not confirmed whether this STF comprised of the Special Auxiliary Police (SAP), which has ex-army men, and had been constituted to assist Bihar Police against organised crime and Maoists. Additional security measures, including installation of CCTV cameras in and around the temple, round-the-clock patrolling by the police on Gaya-Dobhi and Gaya-Falgu roads and deployment of women police at the temple for frisking women pilgrims, were put in place. Also, a control room was to be set up at the Bodh Gaya police station located adjacent to the Mahabodhi temple to monitor activities and coordinate security.

    The Intelligence Bureau (IB) too had warned the Bihar government twice over the past three months that Bodh Gaya was on the target of terrorist groups and provided sketches of two suspects just a fortnight before the attack. The DIG of Police, Magadh range consequently reviewed the security arrangements with the Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC) a few days before the bombings. Despite the fact that the entire police security procedure was followed in the days leading up to the incident, the terror attack took place, and as per last reports, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was probing the bomb attacks from the international, Maoist and communal angles.

    The Mahabodhi Temple is claimed as property of the Bihar government and under the terms of the Bodh Gaya Temple Act of 1949, the state government makes itself responsible for the protection, management and monitoring of the temple and its properties in conjunction with the BTMC. It would be pertinent to mention that Mahabodhi temple being an important religious and tourist attraction is a source of revenue for the state.

    The security arrangements at the Mahabodhi temple included 16 guards in shifts within the temple premises provided by a private security company, COBRA, from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., when the temple is open to the public. At night, personnel of the BTMC provided security outside the temple, while the Bihar Police was responsible for guarding the periphery of the temple. The CCTV cameras in the temple complex were functional. However, their footage was not monitored in real-time, especially during the night when there were no security personnel inside the temple complex. This arrangement passed the security review by the DIG police. The services of the private security company have since been terminated by the BTMC for breach of contract for 24-hour surveillance.

    Examination of the three unexploded bombs revealed that small LPG cylinders had been used as containers to pack explosives, suspected to be a mix of ammonium nitrate, potassium and sulphur. Investigations are on as to how the terrorists managed to carry 12 IEDs, each weighing nearly four kgs, inside the temple complex placed on high security alert. In the meanwhile, two kg gas cylinders have been banned in the state.

    The chief minister of the state for once could not offer the now clichéd reply of lack of intelligence warnings and paucity of central security forces, though his request for Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) protection for Bodh Gaya tended to hint towards the latter. What he did not explain was why the forces available with the state for dealing with an escalated security threat; the Bihar Military Police (BMP) and the centre-supported India Reserve Battalion (IRB) were not deployed. The BMP is the state armed police force for Bihar and has been expanding since 2006 to deal with the Maoist insurgency. Gaya has a BMP battalion located in the district. The security of Mahabodhi temple has now been taken over by the BMP from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), which had been deployed at the shrine immediately after the serial blasts.

    Even the home minister’s reply on CISF security for Bodh Gaya muddied the situation. He said that protection for religious places is not under the CISF Act and similar requests from the Jama Masjid and the Shirdi Sai Baba temple were pending. Had he seen the Mahabodhi temple as a World Heritage site rather than a religious place he would have found a precedent in the Taj Mahal, which has been provided CISF protection as a national monument. There are 30 Indian properties inscribed on the World Heritage List. Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya( 2002) and Buddhist monuments at Sanchi (1989) are the two World Heritage Sites in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.

    The incident raises key questions on the ability of the local law enforcement agencies, the cutting edge, in responding to terror threats even when actionable intelligence is available. The issues of police reform and augmenting the capacity (qualitative and quantitative) of the local police have been debated ad nauseum after every terror attack. The internal security situation in the country will increase the demand for physical security and, given government constraints, private security is the way forward. Bodh Gaya shows that there is a crying need for professionalisation of these services.

    Possibly the most worrisome bit of information in the media about the Bodh Gaya bombings was that local police officials believed that terrorists would not carry out terror acts in the state – the Bodh Gaya blasts were the first terror incident in Bihar - because it was their preferred route to Mumbai and other places from Nepal/Bangladesh and they would not like to invite extra police attention by triggering bomb attacks there.
    (Monish Gulati is a research fellow with the Society for Policy Studies. The views expressed are personal. He can be contacted ate can be contacted at

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed has expressed surprise at the "hype" over his remarks that the 2002 Gujarat riots led to the formation of terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM).

    Ahmed's remarks on Twitter had led to widespread condemnation from the BJP.

    "Surprised by the hype in media on my tweet of 21st July regarding NIA's (National Investigation Agency) charge-sheet," he said in a fresh tweet Tuesday, adding that his observations had already been reported in the media.

    "By dramatised hue & cry BJP spokespersons are trying to make it my statement simply to divert the nation's attention from NIA's observations," he said.

    The Congress had Monday sought to distance itself from Ahmed's remarks. "It is not the party line as of now," Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary told reporters. Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh had, however, supported Ahmed.

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  • 07/23/13--01:54: Ramadan: The Old Delhi Way
  • By Joydeep Hazarika for

    The radiance itself

    The watcher of the pigeons

    The variety taste makers

    waiting for food!

    The daughters of Islam

    The busy Ramadan bazaar

    The believers bowing down

    Non-veg Ramadan delicacies

    Innocent smiles

    Halwa, the irresistible Iftaar sweetdish

    Birds of the same feather

    (Joydeep Hazarika is a Delhi based journalist and photographer.)

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh Tuesday once again backed his colleague Shakeel Ahmed who had accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh of communal politics.

    "If Shakeel Ahmed has said something, he must have weighed it before saying it," Digvijaya Singh told reporters here.

    Party General Secretary Ahmed's tweet Sunday alleging that the banned terror outfit "Indian Mujahideen was formed after the 2002 Gujarat riots" stirred a political storm with the BJP reacting sharply to it.

    In a fresh tweet Tuesday, Ahmed said that his comment was based on the National Investigation Agency report which was quoted in the media.

    Digvijaya Singh said: "I have not seen the report. He must have seen the report, that is why he said what he said".

    Asked about BJP's attack on the Congress over the issue, Digvijaya Singh said: "The BJP stance has always been different from ours. We cannot have the same stance".

    Earlier, putting his weight behind Ahmed Monday, Digvijaya Singh had said: "Religious fundamentalism is at the root of terrorism".

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Those who fast during Ramadan often end up overeating leading to weight gain, acidity and digestion problems. Experts say one must follow a proper diet plan, avoid fried food and red meat and exercise regularly.

    A. Arun Kumar, fitness head at Snap Fitness India, shares a few workout and nutrition tips for happy and healthy fasting and feasting during the holy month.


    - Do cardio exercises like walking or cycling. It helps burn calories and improves stamina.

    - One can go for low intense resistance training before Ramadan. It helps maintain muscle strength.

    - Do warm up and stretching exercises. Full body stretching helps improve flexibility and also in detoxification.

    - You can do mat exercises also like free squats, abs and push ups.

    - Yoga and meditation helps in detoxification.

    - Low intense group exercises helps burn calories. Also it's fun as you exercise with others.

    - Workout for at least 20 to 40 minutes.

    - Don't exercise when you are fasting. One should exercise either before Sehri (meal before dawn) or after Iftaar (meal after sunset).

    - Don't do high intense exercises like high speed running, stepper and heavy weight lifting as it can lead to joint or muscle injuries and complications like low blood pressure, hypoglycemia and dizziness.

    Diet recommendations:

    - Eat food items like grains, barley, wheat, oats, millet, semolina, beans, lentils, bran, green peas, apricots, prunes and almonds.

    - Avoid big meals and eat slowly.

    - Drink prune juice to avoid digestive problems.

    - Drink at least 35ml of water.

    - Avoid deep fried food and red meat as it causes acidity and digestion problems.

    - Have proper protein intake after exercise.

    - Diabetic patients should be more careful and avoid hypoglycemia (low sugar level in blood).

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    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: “We do not subscribe the thinking or philosophy of the Sangh Parivar. So Indian Muslims will never vote for BJP but at the same time the Congress should also take up sincere steps for the development of Muslims,” said Jasim Mohammad Secretary General of Forum for Muslim Studies & Analysis (FMSA) while addressing a meeting at Media Centre Aligarh. He pointed out that even after six and half year, the recommendations of Sachar Committee could not be implemented fully and the socio-economic status of Muslims is the same.

    President of the Forum, Prof. Razaullah Khan said that Muslims are not receiving due justice on false cases of terrorism and in fact the Congress is failing in taking action against real culprits of terrorism and riots. He pointed out that many Muslim concentrated areas have been declared reserved constituencies and due to that political representation of Muslims is declining.

    Prof. Syed Iqbal Ali said that the government has failed in constituting Equal Opportunities Commission. Even Central Urdu Teachers scheme has not been implemented in several states. VP of FMSA, N. Jamal Ansari said that the allocation of budget for Prime Minister’s 15 point programme should not be only implemented truly but also monitored. Prof. Shahabuddin Iraqi said that Muslim strength should be increased in police force and for that Limited Competitive Examination (LCE) should be waived off for Muslims in recruitment of 1400 additional IPS officers.

    OSD Jamia Urdu Farhat Ali Khan demanded that the youth who have been released by Courts on the Ccarges of terrorism should be paid compensation of 35 lakh rupees and action must be taken against the policemen who had implicated them falsely. Dr. Mohd Farooq Khan said that the recommendations of Sachar Commiteee and Joint Parliamentary Committee on Wakf should be included in the Waqf Bill 2013.

    At the end of the meeting FMSA passed a resolution demanding representation of Muslims in the planning and monitoring of the schemes and projects meant for them. In another resolution, FMSA demanded that the recommendations of the Raghuram Ranjan Committee of the Planning Commission should be implemented and interest free banking must be introduced in India.

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    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: Vice Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University, Lt. Gen. Zameer Uddin Shah has explained that both Hindi and Urdu are taught at AMU to students of 1st Year BA, B.Sc. and B.Com. Those students who had studied Hindi as a subject in Class 12 have to opt for Urdu while those who had Urdu have to opt for Hindi.

    Gen. Shah pointed out that despite being compulsory these subjects were not taken seriously by students since neither the attendance was regular and marks were not counted in the Division. In order to make the students take these subjects seriously the recent decision stipulated that both attendance and marks would be counted. The modalities of the same are being worked out.

    The Vice Chancellor said that the decision was taken only to induce seriousness of purpose among students. Gen. Shah regretted that this decision to improve academic standards has been misconstrued. “The Aligarh Muslim University takes pride in fostering the pluralistic ethos of our multi lingual, secular, country”, he added.

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    By TCN News,

    Bhopal: Leaders of the five organizations of survivors of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal today welcomed the decision of the District Court to summon Dow Chemical, USA in the ongoing criminal case on the world’s worst industrial disaster in December 1984. The organizations said the decision is a significant step towards establishing the criminal liability of Union Carbide, USA for the tens of thousands killed and hundreds of thousands injured due to leak of poisonous gases.

    “Union Carbide, USA has been absconding from charges of manslaughter and other serious offences for the last 21 years. Today’s decision is the beginning of the end of their running away,” said Rachna Dhingra whose organization. the Bhopal Group for Information and Action had moved the application for summoning Dow Chemical in February 2004.

    Balkrishna Namdeo of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha expressed hope that an order against Dow Chemical will be more effective than any order against Union Carbide in the last 21 years has been. “ While Carbide does not do business in India, Dow Chemical does through its many Indian subsidiaries. It can not afford to disregard the orders of a District Court as Union Carbide has been doing all these years.” he said.

    According to Nawab Khan of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha the summons against Dow Chemical would have been issued eight years back when it was first ordered by the Bhopal District Court on January 6, 2005. However, the State High Court had stayed the implementation of that order and the stay was vacated only in October 2012.

    Rashida Bee of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh said that the summons against Dow Chemical will be served at their Midland, Michigan head quarters through the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. She expects the process to take less than three months.

    Safreen Khan a founder member of Children against Dow Carbide was hopeful that representatives of Union Carbide, USA would soon be made to appear in the criminal case that has moved nowhere all these years. “Dow Chemical’s days of sheltering a fugitive from justice are over” she said, “ hopefully we will have Union Carbide’s Secretary in the docks here before too long.”

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Minister of State for Home Affairs R.P.N. Singh Tuesday declined to comment on Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmad's tweet that the Indian Mujahideen (IM) came up after the 2002 Gujarat riots, and said there was an official view on the banned terror outfit.

    "There is an official position on what the home ministry thinks on the Indian Mujahideen. It's there on our website. Our (home ministry) position is very clear. Shakeel Ahmad has already clarified that he is not supporting anyone," Singh told reporters here.

    The home ministry website has declared 35 organisations as terrorist outfits, which includes IM under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

    Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said the party held that there was no justification for terror.

    "I haven't read his (Ahmad) tweet. But certainly no terrorism can be justified, that is what has been Congress' stand. There cannot be justification on any kind of terrorism."

    Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh, however, supported Shakeel Ahmad who, in his tweet, accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of communal politics.

    "Religious fundamentalism is at the root of terrorism," Digvijaya Singh told reporters while saying that even before BJP leader Narendra Modi became the chief minister of Gujarat, his party was practising divisive politics.

    A tweet from Ahmad alleging that the banned terror outfit "Indian Mujahideen was formed after the Gujarat riots" stirred a political storm Sunday with the BJP reacting sharply to it.

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    By Areeb Rizvi for,

    On 24 June 2013, Bagaha, a small town in Western Bihar made it to the national headlines after the Bagaha police indiscriminately opened fire on a protesting mob. The mob was protesting against the police laxity in tracing a missing tribal named Chandeshwar Kanjhi, who went missing from 15 June 2013.

    Police firing claimed lives of eight and injured fifteen. Here the Tharu tribals faced the ire of police high-handedness. The Bagaha firing incident got response according to the new political equations in Bihar as the JD (U)-BJP alliance in the state broke few days prior to this incident. The Chief Minister Mr. Nitish Kumar announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the families of the deceased, Rs 50,000 each to those severely injured and Rs 25,000 each to those with minor injuries.

    He also announced that the state government would bear the expense of those who are admitted in hospital. According to initial inquiry by ADG (Law) S. K Bhardwaj and IG (Prison) Anand Kishore the SP Sunil Kumar has been transferred while DSP Shailesh Kumar and three other police officers have been slammed with murder charges. A judicial probe has also been ordered.

    However, former Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sushil Kumar Modi sat on dharna in protest against the firing on 28 June at Kargil Chowk in Patna and demanded the compensation amount to be Rs 10 lakhs instead of 5 lakhs. In order to avenge the JD (U)’s decision of breaking the 17-year old alliance he also raised the issue of Forbesganj police firing and said that the victims there are yet to get justice.

    Sushil Modi claimed to have pleaded for compensation to the families of three victims of Forbesganj police firing but it was over-ruled. And he further explained that the mob was protesting against the blockade of road by a company co-owned by the son of a BJP MLC.

    I guess that Mr. S.K Modi believe that we suffer from Amnesia! If Mr. S. K Modi is so much concerned for the plight of Forbesganj police firing victims then he needs to answer few questions. Why was he numb since June 2011 till 28 June 2013? Why he did not feel the need then to protest and pressurise the state to give compensation to the victims of Forbesganj police firing?

    Recently, on 7 April, the Araria police had issued warrants against fifty people from Bhajanpur village including the three killed by the police itself on 3 June 2011. The victims feel they are being further victimized. Mr. S. K Modi, who was in government at that time, did not rush for their help. Was he waiting for his party’s alliance with JD(U) to break? A couplet of the great Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib seems quite apt for him.
    Jab diya ranj bu’tton ne, To khoda yaad aaya!

    Few things he forgot to mention, however. He did not reveal that the BJP MLAC who co-owns the company is his close ally Mr. Ashok Agarwal. He even forgot to tell that on 29 May 2011, Mr. SK Modi himself had visited Forbesganj and had pressurised the administration to get the issue solved. After the incident he and Mr. Nitish Kumar said that the law does not permit any ex-gratia amount to victims as an enquiry is pending.

    However, the Tharu tribals in Bagaha, who fell to the police bullets have been duly compensated. Even the proposed Communal and Targeted Violence bill suggests atleast 10 Lakhs of ex-gratia amount to victims of police firing. It is not a hidden fact that large section of the Muslim community has voted JD (U) to power in Bihar. The government which came to power claiming to be a secular party deprived the Muslim victims of their constitutional rights. Under article 164(3) of the Constitution of India every government is obliged and duty bound to ensure fair justice to all its citizens without any ill-intension.

    The chairman of National Commission for Minorities Mr. Wajahat Habibullah made his best efforts to ensure justice to the victims of Forbesganj police firing. In a press conference at New Delhi, Mr. Habibullah slammed the Araria police to have mis-handled the situation and described the firing as unjustifiable. He also accused the Government of Bihar for not providing him with details regarding the states action into the incident.

    Despite the states dubious behaviour one can also never forget how state Minority Affairs Minister Mr. Shahid Ali Khan tried to give the Forbesganj issue and Mr. Habibullah’s concerns a political colour by writing a letter to Mr. Salman Khurshid, (then Union Minister of Minority Affairs). The letter stated, “….but, at the same time I would like to bring to your notice that minorities in Bihar, especially the Muslims, are also deeply distressed by the incident that took place in Gopalgarh, Rajasthan.... Please convey our concern over this appalling incident to Wajahat Habibullah.”

    The media which never failed to report even a minor theft and pickpocketing as the result of deteriorating law and order (Jungle raj) during Lalu-Rabri regime has surprisingly preferred to keep quiet on Forbesganj issue. Both communities Tharu tribals and the majority of the Muslim community live on the edge of the social and economic hierarchy. Victims who died in the firing were mostly the poor people. Yet the state treated these two similar incidents in two opposite ways. An important question needs to be answered by Mr. Nitish Kumar and Mr. SK Modi as well: What made Forbesganj firing victims different from the victims of the Bagaha firing?

    [Areeb Rizvi is an undergraduate student of Sociology at Jamia Millia Islamia.]

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    By TCN News
    New York: As BJP President continue to make the case in the US for revoking of visa ban on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, a letter has surfaced containing signatures of 65 Indian MPs asking US not to change its visa policy against Modi.

    The exact letter with two copies signed by 40 Rajya Sabha and 25 Lok Sabha MPs is dated Nov 26th and Dec 5th of last year. It is not clear when the letter was actually sent to the White House but it is only today that the content of the letter has been made public.

    In the letter MPs urge President Obama to “maintan the current policy of denying Mr. Modi a visa to the United States.” The letter further said that the visa by the United States will “legitimize Mr. Modi’s human rights violations and seriously impact the nature of US-India relations.”

    Rajya Sabha letter:

    Lok Sabha letter:

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    By Faraz Ahmad

    The Congress party may have its reasons to repudiate Shakeel Ahmad’s remarks that Indian Mujahideen (IM) is an outcome of the February 2002 Gujarat riots.

    If you ask me, I would say I am not sure whether there really exists an organization known as Indian Mujhaideen because of two important reasons, one because our intelligence agencies are quite capable of creating fictitious organizations for legitimizing their nefarious activities. They have done this during the Punjab militancy as an excuse to liquidate thousands of innocent young Sikh boys and even girls, particularly from rural Punjab. This same regimen was repeated in the Kashmir valley to suppress a democratic voice against mismanagement of Kashmir affairs since Independence. So when the flavour of the day is Pakistan-sponsored Muslim terrorism, a name like Indian Mujahideen sounds very tantalizing.

    Dr. Shakeel Ahmad in a tweet on July 20: "Indian Mujahideen was formed after Gujrat riots,says NIA in its charge sheet.Even now BJP&RSS will not desist from their communal politics?"

    For all the claims, the probing and prosecuting agencies have not come out with one individual who has a proven association with this so-called nationwide organization supposedly working at the behest of Lashkar e Toiba, Hizbul Mujahideen, Taliban and you name who, so how do we know IM really exists or is merely the figment of imagination of the IB/Saffron brigade happily lapped up by an already biased media?

    But let us just glean through the official explanation. Wikipedia says, “Investigators believe that Indian Mujahideen is one of many groups composed of lower-tier SIMI members. According to the Indian Intelligence Bureau, SIMI took new titles because the top leadership of SIMI have been detained and would be available for interrogation. The change in name is believed to signal a change in tactics as SIMI affiliated militants attempt to garner more support from India's Muslim community rather than be seen as a group consisting of foreigners. Two days after the 13 May 2008 Jaipur bombings, the extremist group sent an e-mail to Indian media in which they claimed responsibility for the attacks and said they would "demolish the faiths (all religions apart from Islam) of the infidels of India". The biggest and boldest attack to date by the group was the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts, where it gained national notoriety with a casualty count towards 50.”

    Now who banned SIMI and when was it banned and on what grounds? First came the terror attack on the Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001, which is a grey area because of the apprehension of the whole exercise sponsored by the then NDA-led government and specifically the Union Home ministry under the then Home Minister LK Advani. Soon thereafter Narendra Modi led Gujarat government patronized the pogrom of Muslims ostensibly to avenge the burning down of kar sevaks in coach number S-6, in the Sabarmati Express on February 27, 2002, just two months after the Parliament attack. Those who don’t suffer from a memory loss remember the whole charged atmosphere created by Advani-Modi and Jaitley combine against the Muslim youth in preparation of bringing in POTA and to justify POTA SIMI was banned just a little before POTA was conceived. While announcing the ban Advani held a press conference in North Block and distributed to the media some SIMI posters in Urdu, none of which carried any seditious material. All these were expressions of anger and frustration over the Gujarat pogrom and the inability of anyone to counter Modi.

    So what is wrong in saying that IM is an outcome of Gujarat pogrom? When did IM come into prominence and how? The official version says, “Two days after the 13 May 2008 Jaipur bombings, IM sent an e-mail to the Indian media in which they claimed responsibility for the attacks and said they would "demolish the faiths of the infidels of India". The biggest and boldest attack to date by the group was the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts, where it gained national notoriety when 56 people were killed in those serial blasts.” This is the official version.

    Who according to the official version are prominent leaders of IM:

    1. Abdus Subhan Qureshi, alias Ali Tauqeeer a Gujarati software engineer from Mumbai
    2. Safdar Nagori from Indore
    3. Qayamuddin Kapadia, a trader from Vadodra
    4. Usman Agarbattiwala, a PG diploma holder from Vadodra
    5. Alazeb Afridi, a jobless youth from Ahmedabad
    6. Abdul Razzzak Mansuri, an embroidery unit owner from Gujarat
    7. Mujib Shaikh, a stone polishing artisan from Gujarat
    8. Zahid Sheikh, a mobile repair owner from Ahmedabad
    9. Amil Parvaiz, a native of Ujjain. These were the original IM men according to the IB along with just one Mufti Abu Bashir from Azamgarh. Later after the Batla House incident of Delhi, according to the investigative agencies it had also spread its tentacles in UP as well, and in particular in Azamgarh district.

    But then stating the obvious becomes a crime and the BJP cries hoarse attacking poor Shakeel Ahmad while the Congress always lacking spunk, hurriedly withdraws what with the Heir Apparent in the ruling party advising everyone not to irritate BJP/Modi too much and so poor Shakeel has to shut up.

    Faraz Ahmad is a Freelance journalist with past association with several national dailies.

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    By TCN News

    New York: Coalition Against Genocide (CAG), a broad alliance dedicated to justice and accountability for the Gujarat pogrom of 2002, hailed the letters signed by 65 members from both houses of India's Parliament, calling on President Obama to maintain the ban on a US visa for Mr. Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of the Indian State of Gujarat.

    The letters, written in November and December 2012, and released to the media today by the Coalition Against Genocide, represent a broad consensus among 15 political parties from across the ideological spectrum that Mr. Narendra Modi is culpable for violations of human rights abuses and religious freedom in Gujarat and should continue to be denied entry to the United States..

    The letters represent an unprecedented move by MPs from various parties belonging to both houses of Parliament, in writing a candid missive to the US President on gross violations of human rights violations committed within India's borders.

    In 2005, in the wake of a campaign spearheaded by the Coalition Against Genocide, Mr. Modi's US visa was revoked and his entry to the US was banned by the State Department, under the provisions of the International Religious Freedom Act, which makes any foreign government official who "was responsible for or directly carried out, at any time, particularly severe violations of religious freedom" ineligible for a visa.

    "We wish to respectfully urge you to maintain the current policy of denying Mr. Modi a visa to the United States. Given that legal cases against the culprits including many senior officials in Mr. Modi's administration are still pending in the court of law, any revoking of the ban at this juncture would be seen as a dismissal of the issues concerning Mr. Modi's role in the horrific massacres of 2002," the letter stated. "It would legitimize Mr. Modi's human rights violations and seriously impact the nature of US-India relations by sending a message that the United States values economic interests over and above the universal values of human rights and justice," added the MPs in their joint communiqué to Mr. Obama.

    The letter gains added significance in the light of BJP President Mr. Rajnath Singh's visit to the US, with the intent of lobbying in Washington DC for Mr. Modi's US visa. The party had long maintained that Modi had not applied for a US visa and was not eager to have one.

    "The fact that 65 MPs from 15 political parties across 15 states chose to write a joint letter to President Obama about Narendra Modi's US visa, is a stark reminder that Modi and the divisive ideology he represents continue to be anathema to a cross section of Indians," said Raja Swamy, spokesperson for the Coalition Against Genocide (CAG). "After having long denied any desire on the part of Mr. Modi to acquire a US visa, Mr. Rajnath Singh's visit to the US, to lobby lawmakers here for Modi's visa reeks of hypocrisy," added Mr. Swamy.

    The letter draws the President's attention to the fact that Mr. Modi had engaged in systematic obstruction of justice and failed to even provide rehabilitation to the victims of the 2002 pogrom. The letter also called the conviction of Maya Kodnani, a sitting BJP MLA and then minister in Mr. Modi's cabinet, "a damning indictment of the Modi administration, and proof that the pogrom was planned and executed at the highest levels of the state government.."

    The letter also refers to the ban as "consistent with US law and the shared values of the United States and India," and calls on Mr. Obama to "stand in solidarity with the survivors, human rights activists and all those who value justice and freedom of religion."

    In a further sign of growing unease over Mr. Modi's ambitions to become prime minister, Nobel Laureate and influential economist Amartya Sen pointed out recently that Mr. Modi's terrible record against religious minorities makes him an unworthy candidate for India's premiership.

    The Coalition Against Genocide includes a diverse spectrum of organizations and individuals in the United States and Canada that have come together in response to the Gujarat genocide to demand accountability and justice.


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