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    By IANS,

    Patna: Markets and educational institutions in Bihar's Nawada town remained closed Tuesday following clashes between two communities in the last four days that claimed two lives and left over half-a-dozen injured, officials said.

    "The situation is tense but under control, with no report of any fresh clash from anywhere so far," said Nawada District Magistrate Adesh Titarmare.

    He said the government has invoked the National Security Act (NSA) for preventive detention and swift action against troublemakers.

    Curfew was imposed in the town where police resorted to firing Monday following a violent clash between two communities. "Assembly of five or more people at any particular place and display of firearms have been banned," said Nawada Superintendent of Police M.S. Dhillon.

    Dhillon said 15 people have been detained in connection with the violence.

    Additional security forces have been deployed and patrolling intensified.

    On Monday, at least half a dozen people were seriously injured in a clash between two communities. Police resorted to firing when a mob attacked the Bundelkhand police station in Nawada, about 150 km from here.

    Communal tension erupted Friday when an altercation took place between a group of kanwarias (Hindu pilgrims) and another community at a roadside eatery in Nawada.

    District officials said clashes continued after the death of a 20-year-old youth, Kundan Kumar, who was injured along with three others in police firing Saturday.

    Kundan Kumar died at the Patna Medical College and Hospital Sunday. District authorities had imposed curfew in Nawada for a few hours Saturday but later lifted it.

    Dhillon said Assistant Sub-Inspector Kamal Narain Singh of Nawada town police station has been suspended on charges of dereliction of duty.

    Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed concern over the situation in Nawada, and directed officials to take stern action against anti-social elements. Nitish Kumar further appealed to people and all political parties to help the government ensure peace and social harmony in Nawada town.

    "I will not allow any one to flare up communal tension in the state and government will take all steps for the restoration of peace and harmony," he said.

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    By Mohd. Ismail Khan,,

    Hyderabad: In yet another embarrassment for Mumbai Police in Ghatkopar bomb blast investigation, a special POTA court has discharged from all charges the Hyderabad based software engineer Taj-ul Islam Kazi Siddiqui, who was arrested in November 2012 as main absconding conspirator.

    Taj-ul Islam Kazi Siddiqui was arrested by three plainclothes officials of Mumbai crime branch from his house in Al Hasanath colony of Tolichowki in the suburb of Hyderabad on the night of 21 November 2012.

    His family, which had no idea about identity of those police officers filed a complaint of kidnaping in the Hamayunagar police station. Later after two days on 23 November, the family officially received a phone call from Mumbai Police Crime branch confirming the arrest of Siddique in connection with the Ghatkopar bomb blast.

    Blast site and the accused.

    It was only a day after that Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma confirmed the arrest but made it clear that Mumbai Police carried out their operation without informing Hyderabad Police.

    40 year old Kazi Siddique was a native of Aurangabad district in Maharashtra. Before he started working in Hyderabad, Siddique had also worked in software companies at Chennai and in Bangalore. Siddique is married and have five daughters.

    In 2002 a bomb exploded in a BEST bus at Ghatkopar in Mumbai, which killed two persons and injured nearly 30. In 2005 all the eight accused in the bomb blast were acquitted by the special POTA court.

    The most disturbing part of the bomb blast case was its alleged main accused another software engineer from Prabhani 27 year old Syed Khaja Younus was killed in police custody due to third degree torture allegedly used by Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze.

    Waze covered up the custodial death and made up a story that Younis has escaped from police custody and made a dead man an absconder. But later an enquiry by CID found out that Younis's body was burnt at a farm in Asangaon in Raigad district to cover up custodial death 20 Mumbai crime branch officers including a DCP rank officer was made an accused, but case was put under cold storage. Sachin Waze was put under suspension; he later quit the police force and joined Shiv Sena.

    In the case of Siddique Mumbai police at the time of his arrest claimed that he was a member of SIMI in Aurangabad and escaped to Hyderabad after the bomb blasts and declared him as one of the main conspirators of the blast.

    Mumbai police presented chargesheet of the blast case in which his name was included as conspirator, police then booked him under stringent sections of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) and various sections of the Indian Penal Code.

    Software Engineer Khaja Yunus who was accused in the blast and was killed in Mumbai Crime Branch custody. Later police burned the body to destroy evidence.

    Mumbai police even went on to allege that Siddque was working on a fake name in HCL Hyderabad. But his family was quick to clarify that his full name is Siddique Taj-ul Islam Kazi, but he uses short form of his name Taj Siddiqui at his work place.

    His family who since the beginning was fighting a lone battle for their son has also refuted the claim of Mumbai police that Siddiqui was a SIMI member; at that time his family claimed that Siddiqui was the associate member of SIO student wing of Jamat-e-Islami.

    On April 2013 Siddiqui was granted bail as Mumbai crime branch failed to file the charge sheet in 90 days limit even after given one month extension by the court.

    When he got out on bail Siddiqui found out that he was dismissed by his employer HCL after terror branding. Now after ten months of legal ordeal and terror stigmatization finally on 1 August Mumbai Police retracted from all its claims and informed the special POTA court that they found ‘no evidence’ against Siddiqui.

    In its submission to court Mumbai crime branch stated, “He was not found involved in the case after investigation of related papers. After studying the mirror image of his laptop’s hard disk, no evidence of his involvement in the case or objectionable matter was found,” police also stated that Taj Siddiqui’s e-mail accounts were checked and no evidence linking him to the blast case was found.”

    The court order copy which arrived on Monday discharging Taj Siddqui has brought a sigh of relief for him and his family. But Mr. Siddiqui and his family are still terrified with the events, and none of them is ready to speak with the media.

    Today when The Hindu carried the publication on its front page the whole media circus started rolling over to have Siddqui’s bite.

    A friend of Mr. Siddiqui told TCN that his family does not trust the media because when Siddiqui was arrested his HCL ID card was flashed in all news channels declaring him a ‘Techie Terrorist’.

    With all the media ethics in dustbin some media houses showcased the house in which they were living as tenants, which forced them to shift to another place. No one from the mainstream media, who were writing ‘exclusive’ pieces of police versions had then even bothered to take family’s view.

    His friend informed us that Siddiqui used to earn nearly Rs.70,000 in HCL and after his arrest his family lost the sole bread earner and his old mother’s health started deteriorating.

    He said that Siddiqui’s and his family keeping in mind the history of prosecution in Ghatkopar blast and the fate of Khaja Yunus is scared to act against police for framing false charges.

    SIO state Advisory council member Mohammed Rahmath told TCN that when Taj Siddiqui was arrested it was a mammoth media sensation with journalists writing Mumbai crime branch version as gospel of truth. Now he says, the same journalists are not ready to write a rejoinder on the case after his discharge from terror charges by same Mumbai police.

    Best bus in which explosion occured killing 4 people.

    Rahmath told us at the time of his arrest, Deccan Chronicle wrote an exclusive piece linking Siddiqui with SIMI, when he along with some SIO members went to DC office and complained the writer journalist informed that report was based on version given by Mumbai top cop Himanchu Roy, and they assured SIO delegation that when Siddiqui gets acquitted they will give the same importance.

    But now Rahmath feels all those assurances of media houses were deceits, “When a person gets arrested journalist are ready to make an exclusive story by just reading police press statement. But when the person gets discharged or acquitted they want to meet him personally to make it another exclusive story, even when that discharged person is reluctant in meeting his former branders.”

    Than he adds logically, “If you can write an exclusive sensational report without speaking with accused person’s family, why can’t you write in the same way a rejoinder piece when the same person is discharged.”

    Professional Solidarity Forum of Hyderabad has also demanded that HCL should restore Siddiqui’s job and welcome him voluntarily as now it is being proved that he was framed in false charges by Mumbai crime branch.

    PSF spokesperson told TCN that Siddiqui’s family is so frightened by the procedures that they are unlikely to file a case to claim damages from Mumbai police, so HCL should come forward and help its employee get back to his normal life.

    When news of Siddiqui getting arrested in Ghatkopar blast was made public, Jamat-e-Islami Hind found itself in the dock with media eyes on it; Aaj Tak started showing video images of JIH state headquarters along with running Siddiqui’s arrest story. Jamat-e-Islami to the ire of SIO kept quiet and didn’t even issue a statement.

    Now when Siddqui is discharged Jamat has lashed out at media for its ‘irresponsible reporting’. JIH A.P. state president Khaja Arifuddin told TCN that media should not be biased in their reporting he feared that in sensation market journalist are forgetting their professional ethics. “Media cannot declare a person or organization guilty until it is established in court of law, Siddiqui’s case is one more living example of how media is working in our country”, he said.

    He appealed to the police to work on investigation in professional and unbiased manner by taking all the angles into consideration otherwise investigations will remain inconclusive and innocents will keep on getting framed without any evidence.

    JIH state president has demanded that Government should now compensate and rehabilitate Taj Siddiqui and many other youths like him who are discharged from false terror charges so that they can live in this country as respected citizens.

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    By TCN News,

    Aligarh: The Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah received serious injuries as he fell from his bicycle after being hit by a car bearing number UP81-AP-8802. The car driver succeeded in escaping from the scene along with the car.

    The Vice Chancellor, who is using a bicycle to commuting to his office daily, was on the way to his office, when the red colour car entailing the Vice Chancellor’s bicycle hit him and tried to push him deliberately to the extreme side of the road in front of the University Guest House No. 2, very close to the Bab-e-Syed (University Gate), according to the university officials.

    File picture of AMU Vice Chancellor Lt. Gen. Zameeruddin Shah on bicycle.

    The Vice Chancellor was rushed to the Emergency of J. N. Medical College Hospital where after several examinations like X-ray and CT Scan, it was found that his fourth and fifth ribs had received fracture and the lower knee of his left leg was badly bruised which caused bleeding.

    AMU Pro-Vice Chancellor, Brigadier (Retd.) S. Ahmad Ali, Registrar, Group Captain (Retd.) Shahrukh Shamshad and the Proctor, Dr. Jamshed Siddiqui along with his Proctorial team rushed to the hospital after hearing the news. Vice Chancellor’s wife Mrs. Sabiha Seemi Shah also reached the hospital.

    The Additional District Magistrate (City), Mr. D. S. Sachan, CO (Civil Lines) and SHO, Civil Lines Police Station also arrived at the J. N. Medical College and enquired about the incident.

    The gunner of the Vice Chancellor, Irfanuddin, who was only a few steps behind the Vice Chancellor on a bicycle when the incident took place, has lodged an FIR with the Civil Lines Police Station.

    It may be noted that the Vice Chancellor has launched a drive to popularize cycling within the University campus following the ban on motorcycles in all residential boys hostels of the University and he announced to use a bicycle for commuting within the University campus from August 1 last.

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    NRI brother and 70 years Old father roaming in search of justice.

    Mofiduzzaman Ebne Ghani,,

    Gaya/Saudi Arabia: Gazi Salah uddin died in Gaya on 31 July 2013, in mysterious circumstances. The body was found in the river Phalogo, not very far from the victim’s house. According to reports, the dead body was taken out of river without informing the Police or the family of the victims, who reside in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand.

    The deceased was living with their in-laws in Gaya for the last one year, and ran a general store nearby.

    The sister of the deceased was shocked to hear the news from the neighbour of the late Gazi Salahuddin. Her suspicions were strengthened when she called the deceased wife, and she evaded questions. The deceased brother in law then called the police and lodged an FIR on August 1 against the deceased wife Rizwana, her two sisters and one brother. However, no arrest has been made so far.

    The last rite was performed after the postmortem.

    Mohammed Raji, brother of the deceased who is an NRI and an engineer by profession who and has been working in Saudi Arabia for the last 8 years in a reputed company, said that their father, Naeemuddin Safi went to Gaya on 31 July from Jamshedpur when they heard this news and are since then running from pillar to post, but without any justice.

    He lamented that all the accused are roaming freely. According to him, the Deputy Superintendent of police who in in charge of this case is asking his 70 years old father, who is a retired Head of the Department of Urdu, Ranchi university, to bring two witnesses to confirm that late Gazi Salhauddin was murdered.

    Late Gazi Salauddin was eldest son among the four brothers and three sister. Raji has now written to the Indian Ambassador in Riyadh, Hamid Ali Rao and his First secretory (CW) Ashok warrier, who have assured all the possible help. According to him, Vayalar Ravi, Minster of Overseas, Indian affair Delhi has also been consulted and brought in his knowledge.

    A source in the Gaya Medical college and Hospital where post-mortem has been done said, “Drowning is not reported to be the cause of death”. However the full post-mortem report is still awaited. The sample has been sent to Patna Forensic Lab for further test.

    A neighbour, who requested that his name should not be disclosed, said that Rizwana and her sisters along with their brother used to torture late Gazi Salahuddin. On several occasions they heard the noise and sound of crying by the deceased.
    This neighbour further said that earlier they were concerned about it but later on it became a habit to listen to those type of noise.

    About a month ago late Gazi Salahuddin came to her sister house in wreck condition, his shirt was torn and he told his sister that his wife Rizwana and her sister and brother have beaten him.

    After 2 hours Rizwana came with local goons and took late Gazi Salahuddin saying that she has right to take husband with her. However the deceased did not go willingly, according to his sister, who had later filed a petition in the local Gaya court after the incident. She is still lamenting, why she allowed her brother to let go.

    Mohammed Ali Ansari, the Deputy SP and case in charge was asked about the detail he refused to comments officially and said he has submitted his report to the concerned authority.

    Senior Advocate Hamid Raza Khan of Jamshedpur argued that since FIR has been registered and charges are serious, the police should act immediately and arrest the accused without any delay.

    The old father of late Gazi, Naeemuddin Safi said that when he did not find any cooperation from the police despite the FIR, he then sought help from the sitting MP of Jamshedpur and former superintendent of Police Jamshedpur Mr. Dr. Ajya Kumar to intervene in this matter. Kumar has assured of all possible help.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday directed the Jammu and Kashmir's chief secretary to file an affidavit stating steps taken by it on all aspects related to the communal violence in Kishtwar.

    Chief Justice P. Sathasivam, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the affidavit should cover all aspects of the situation.

    The state government's counsel told the court that the government had already announced a commission of inquiry into the Kishtwar clashes which began on Eid-ul-Fitr day Friday and quickly spread to other regions.

    The commission of inquiry will be headed by a retired judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

    The apex court direction came on an application by Sudesh Singh, political secretary of the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party.

    The government counsel said the state government announced a compensation of Rs.5 lakh each to those killed in the Kishtwar violence.

    "We hope and trust the elected government is aware of the situation and will take necessary steps" to maintain communal harmony and law and order, Chief Justice Sathasivam said.

    Senior counsel Bhim Singh of the Panthers Party sought certain directions to the state government.

    "This is a very serious matter. The state government is taking urgent action. At this stage we can't say the state government is keeping mum," Sathasivam said.

    "We can't control the administration. They must be allowed to have a free hand," the judge added.

    The application said hundreds of Hindu pilgrims have been stranded due to curfew in Kishtwar district.

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    By Shahnoor Rahman for,

    According to the Census report of 2011, the decadal population growth rate in nine districts of Assam is over 20 per cent, most of which are minority(Muslim) dominated and lies in proximity to India-Bangladesh border. It has been hence alleged that high growth rate of these districts signify the bulk influx of illegal Bangladeshis.

    However, if we analyse the census data carefully, we will find that it is high birth rate which is responsible for this as growth rate of 0-6 years population of these districts are more than 5%, with growth rate of these 0-6 years population in Dhubri is 9.82% whereas 0-6 years population growth in Assam on average is only 0.29%.

    We can understand the issue easily when we consider that an illiterate girl of Dhubri gets married at 16 years and by 30 years, she is mother of 5-7 children due to the fact that she is not aware of family planning methods or its advantages. There are also socio-religious compulsions, as they see it. Contrast this with say a girl from Dibrugarh, who gets married at an average age of 23 years, become mother of 1-2 children by her age of 30 years due to acceptance of family planning.

    If we generalise the data we will find that in a decade, growth rate of 0-6 years population is much higher in Dhubri compared to Dibrugarh. So, this allegation that illegal Bangladeshis leads to higher growth rate in these districts is not correct.

    No one cane deny presence of illegal Bangladeshi migrants in Assam, but how can they be included in census as officials verify their identity before entering their names in census records? All countries suffer from illegal migration, and that needs to be adrressed.

    In six of the districts, the growth rate has shown a jump since 2001. Significantly, at 16.93 per cent as Assam's decadal population growth rate is less than the national average of 17.6 per cent.


    District Decadal growth rate in 2011

    Decadal growth rate in 2001




























    The most disputed district has been Dhubri which borders Bangladesh. At 24.40 per cent, the decadal growth rate in this district is the highest in the state. Interestingly, the decadal growth rate of children in the age group of 0-6 in Dhubri is 9.82 per cent while the state average is 0.29 per cent. In fact, the percentage of child population in all the districts with 20 per cent growth rate has gone down since 2001.


    District Decadal 0-6 years population growth rate in 2011

    Decadal 0-6 years population  growth rate in 2001




























    According to repprts, 13 districts have shown negative rate in the population growth of 0-6 age group and in four districts it's less than 3 %. At 22.34 % Hailakandi shows the highest growth in this category. On the other hand, Kokrajhar, the district bordering Dhubri and dominated by Bodo tribes has shown the lowest population growth at 5.19 %, perhaps due to migration of minority people to dhubri due to fear of roits.

    Between 2001 and 2011, Dhubri registered the highest growth rate (11per cent) in literacy from 48 per cent in 2001 to 59 per cent in 2011. Due to success of Assam sarva shiksha abhiyan in these areas in increasing literacy rate of children not the adults, so, its effect on population growth has not fallen yet.

    Literacy rates in other districts which have shown 20 per cent population growth rate has also grown at over 4 per cent due to success of Assam sarv shiksha abhiyan in increasing literacy in children but adult population remains unaffected in imparting decrease in growth rate. Four of these districts have registered literacy rates above the state average of 73.18 per cent.


    District literacy rate in 2011

    District literacy rate in 2001




























    Though the state's overall literacy rate jumped from 63.25 per cent in 2001 to 73.18 per cent in 2011, five districts have shown negative literacy growth rate, including Jorhat, the second highest literate district in Assam.


    District literacy rate in 2011

    District literacy rate in 2001



















    From these facts and figures, we are clear that those districts which have been most literate districts of Assam since early decades, have shown decreased growth rate; although literacy rate in this decade might have registered decrease due to higher adult literacy and awareness to family planning methods which happens to be majority dominated districts. So,illiteracy, unawareness and non-acceptance of family planning methods are main factor for high growth rate.


    No districts of Assam has growth rate more than 25% although Assam is accused to have registered unnatural growth rate due to bulk influx of illegal Bangladeshis. 250 Districts of India have decadal growth rate of more than 25% and more than 100 districts of India have growth rate more than 25% which lies within India and are not bordering to International Border. Five districts of India Which have registered highest growth in the country are as follows according to census of India 2011.


    Name of Districts

    Percentage of Decadal Population growth
















    It is worth mentioning here that population growth of an area at certain period of time = Birth rate- Death rate + Immigration – Immigration . In Assam if we do analysis than we find that adult population growth rate of all districts of Assam are more or less same but it is the growth rate of 0 – 6 years population of few districts of Assam which happens to be minority concentrated districts like Dhubri, Goalpara, Barpeta, Hailakandhi, Nagaon, etc. have 0 to 6 years population growth rate more than 5% with highest in Dhubri with 9.82%.

    Average growth rate of 0 to 6 years population of Assam on average is only 0.29% with negative growth in 13 districts of Assam which happens to be majority concentrate districts and literacy rate and awareness/acceptance to family planning methods are much higher than poor socio economic conditions of minority concentrated districts with higher illiteracy rate and unawareness/non acceptance of family planning methods).

    If we add these percentages with average growth percentage of Assam state (16.96%), then we find that growth rate of these districts goes from 20% to 24.4% so growth rates of all districts of Assam are not unnatural and thus it does not give any hint to illegal migration from Bangladesh.

    Also it worthy to mention here that forty nine minority concentrated districts of India has registered growth rate of more than 30% speaks that Muslims are either unaware or do not accept family planning methods and have poor socio economic conditions.

    Thus if government wants any kind of population control mechanism in these minority dominated dsitricts, it is high time that the government shun bias and focus on poverty allevation, 100% literacy and employment generation.

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    By IANS,

    Mumbai: Himayat Mirza Baig, death row convict of Pune's German Bakery blast, Tuesday pointed out to the Bombay High Court discrepancies in separate investigations conducted by Maharashtra, Delhi and Bangalore police in the terror case.

    Baig's lawyer Mehmood Pracha, arguing against the death sentence, said that since there were discrepancies in the findings of different investigating agencies, there should be a fresh probe into the case, a fresh trial and examining of more witnesses.

    His submission came before a division bench of Justice Vijaya K. Tahilramani and Justice Mridula Bhatkar which is holding hearing on the confirmation of the death sentence awarded to Baig in April by a Pune sessions court for the Feb 13, 2010 blast.

    Pracha said that that Delhi Police had nabbed Mohammed Qateel Jafar Siddiqui, who was involved in the 2010 Chinnaswamy Stadium blast in Bangalore, among others.

    Investigators from Bangalore and Delhi interrogated Siddiqui and filed charge sheets stating that he was also the perpetrator of the Pune blast.

    "This means, Baig has been implicated in this case," Pracha said, seeking a probe by the National Investigation Agency in the German Bakery blast.

    On June 8 last year, Siddiqui, a suspected operative of the Indian Mujahideen terror group, was killed in the Yerawada Central Jail in Pune by some fellow inmates.

    He was nabbed for his role in the Chinnaswamy Stadium blast and Jama Masjid blast in Delhi and had been brought to Pune by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) for his role in planning to carryout an explosion in Ganpati Temple in Pune.

    In a related development, state Samajwadi Party chief Abu Asim Azmi demanded a NIA probe into the German Bakery blast in which Baig was awarded the death sentence.

    "Baig has been convicted on the basis of the ATS probe. We have seen what happened in the Malegaon 2006 blast case, the Ajmer Sharif blast, Mecca Masjid blast and Samjhauta Express blast. In all these cases, innocent Muslim youth were arrested but after the NIA investigations, others were nabbed," Azmi told reporters.

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    By IANS,

    Jammu: Curfew continued for the sixth day without any relaxation in Kishtwar town Wednesday.

    In the other seven districts of Jammu region affected by communal tensions, it continued for the fifth day after periodic relaxations Tuesday.

    Authorities in the tension-ridden Kishtwar town said they had decided against giving any relaxation in curfew Tuesday, and would continue the same Wednesday too.

    "We keep on reviewing the situation on a regular basis and a decision to relax curfew would be taken keeping the ground situation under consideration. There was no untoward incident anywhere in the district yesterday," Basheer Ahmad Khan, district magistrate of Kishtwar, told IANS.

    Reports reaching here said people in Kishtwar town were facing massive shortage of essential supplies because of indefinite curfew.

    In Jammu city, curfew was relaxed Tuesday after three days for three hours from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

    In the districts of Kathua, Samba, Reasi, Rajouri, Udhampur and Doda, periodic relaxations were given in the evening.

    No major incident of violence occurred anywhere during the curfew relaxation period.

    Although the Amarnath Yatra resumed Tuesday after a gap of three days, traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar highway continued to remain disrupted.

    Besides arresting 11 people for allegedly inciting communal passions in Kishtwar, police has also arrested 120 people from other parts of Jammu region for their role in the incitement of communal hatred.

    Full dress rehearsals were held in the state's winter capital, Jammu, and all other district headquarters of the region Tuesday, in connection with Independence Day celebrations of Thursday. School children, however, did not participate in these on account of the tension in the area.

    Authorities have ordered closure of all educational institutions including schools, colleges and universities in Jammu region Wednesday too.

    Inspector General of Police (Jammu Zone) Rajesh Kumar told reporters that although there has been an escalation of tension on the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border in the Jammu region, there was no terror threat to Independence Day celebrations.

    Internet facility on mobile phones and dongle appliances remained suspended for the fourth day Wednesday across Jammu and Kashmir. The internet speed on broadband services was also reduced to ensure that miscreants are prevented from loading objectionable material on Facebook and other social networking sites, official sources told IANS.

    The Jammu Chamber of Commerce has decided to extend the bandh by 48 hours.

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    By IANS,

    Jammu: Curfew was relaxed for three hours Tuesday in Jammu town from 4 p.m. and all other districts where it was imposed Saturday except in Kishtwar, an official said.

    "Depending on the situation, curfew relaxation can be extended at these places," an officer of the provincial administration told IANS here.

    After the curfew relaxation announcement was made in winter capital Jammu, shops started opening and people came out in large numbers to buy essential goods.

    Private transport also started moving in the city and its outskirts.

    With the improvement in the overall situation, the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry withdrew its ongoing 48-hour commercial shutdown.

    Sources in the state government said authorities are firming up on the decision not to impose curfew in Jammu Thursday and instead maintain an overwhelming presence of security forces for Independence Day celebrations Aug 15.

    A similar decision could be taken for all places where curfew had been imposed as a precautionary measure, except Kishtwar, sources said.

    Curfew has also been relaxed for three hours in Kathua, Reasi, Samba, Rajouri, Udhampur and parts of Doda district, where it was imposed Saturday.

    There was no curfew in Poonch and Ramban districts.

    District Magistrate of Kishtwar, Basheer Ahmad Khan, told IANS that curfew was not relaxed in Kishtwar, where it was imposed Friday on Eid-ul-Fitr after large-scale communal clashes left three people dead and over 100 buildings ravaged.

    Khan said no untoward incident occurred anywhere in Kishtwar Wednesday.

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    By Abdul Gani,,

    Guwahati: Assam will observe Sok Divas or State Mourning Day on August 16, 2013 to mourn the tragic death of the innocent souls killed in bomb blast on August 15, 2004 at Dhemaji like the previous years after celebrating the 67th Independence Day state-wide along with the entire country.

    The day will be observed in all districts and sub divisional headquarters and arrangements for the same will be made by Deputy Commissioners and Sub-Divisional Officers. All officers and staff of all departments and offices have been asked to participate in the observance of 'Sok Divas' throughout the state and wear black badges on the occasion. Ministers/ MPs/ MLAs have been requested to attend the programmes in the districts/ sub divisions.

    The female cadres of Assam police take part in the dress rehearsal on the eve of the Independence Day celebration in Guwahati on Tuesday

    The National Flag will be flown at half mast in all Government offices/ educational institutions. Public meetings will be convened centrally in all district headquarters.

    Educational institutions have been instructed to observe Sok Divas for eternal peace of the departed souls and to take pledge to work united for peace and social harmony and raise their voices against all acts of militant violence. Black badges will be distributed amongst all educational institutions on the occasion.

    On the occasion of Independence Day in 2004, people including the school children and their parents gathered at Dhemaji College ground for the parade. At around 9:30 am a bomb went off killing at least 18 and injuring many more. According to police it was the banned militant outfit ULFA who had planted bomb near the college-gate.

    On December 13 in 2009 Paresh Barua, the self styled chief of the outfit sought public apology and forgiveness for the blast.

    For the Independence Day celebrations, the state government has taken several steps to avoid any kind of untoward incident as as many as six organizations have asked the people of the state to stay away from the I-Day celebration.

    “We have taken adequate measures to tackle all possible such activities to bring disturbances during the Independence Day celebrations with CCTV cameras and extra personnel in patrolling,” said Senior Superintendent of Police (city) AP Tiwari.

    Security personnel keep vigil on the railway tracks as several militant outfits have asked for boycott the celebrations of Independence Day in Guwahati on Tuesday

    Besides, the day will be celebrated with great pomp and gaiety at Khanapara Veterinary College Playground in Guwahati on Thursday by Assam government. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi will ceremonially hoist the National Flag at 9:00 am. This will be followed by Parade and other cultural programmes.

    Later in the day, fruits will be distributed to inmates of Central Jail, patients of MMC Hospital, B. Baruah Cancer Hospital, TB Hospital, inmates of Jalukbari Destitute Home, Fatasil Ambari Orphanage, students of Basistha Blind School and Kahilipara Deaf and Dumb School.

    Independence Day will also be celebrated at Gauhati High Court premises. Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel will hoist the National Flag at 8:00 am.

    Additional Chief Secretary of Power, WPT and BC, Jitesh Khosla will hoist the National Flag at 7:30 am in front of the Chief Minister’s Block of Assam Secretariat premises on the occasion of Independence Day.

    [Photos by: Dhruba Jyoti Boro]

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    By Pervez Bari,

    Bhopal: Leaders of the five NGOs (non-government organizations) working for the welfare of survivors of the December 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, the world’s worst industrial disaster, have charged the Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP), ruled Madhya Pradesh Government with criminal neglect in providing clean drinking water to neighbourhood residents of the erstwhile abandoned Union Carbide pesticide factory.

    Addressing a Press conference here on Tuesday leaders of the five organizations said that thousands of residents are forced to drink and cook with local ground water that is contaminated by the hazardous wastes of the Union Carbide factory.

    Satinath Sarangi of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action said that despite a Supreme Court order of May 2004 and the intervention by the Monitoring Committee set up by the Supreme Court at least 800 families are being denied piped supply of clean drinking water as of today.

    Sarangi, who is also a member of the Monitoring Committee, said that on February 19, 2013, Justice K. K. Lahoti, the Committee’s Chairman, had given clear directions that the work of providing drinking water connections to all families that are resident of the 22 communities known to have contaminated ground water had to be completed by July 30.

    Balkrishna Namdeo of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha said that there were 1000 people in Kainchi Chhola, Shiv Nagar and other areas whose houses were yet to be connected with pipelines. He said that homes of 3000 people in Jai Prakash Nagar, Karim Baksh Colony, Shakti Nagar, Navjeevan Colony and other areas were connected with pipelines but they had no water supply.

    Ms Rashida Bi of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh said that hundreds of families in Prem Nagar, Shiv Nagar, Blue Moon Colony, Navjeevan Colony and Preet Nagar faced chronic shortage of drinking water because of low pressure of water that was supplied every alternate day.

    Nawab Khan of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha said that in November 2012 and again in January 2013 the Supreme Court had issued clear directions to ensure that sewage lines and drinking water lines are kept apart so that there are no risks of contamination. He said that despite these orders in Nawab Colony, Preet Nagar and Shivshakti Nagar, there are several places where sewage and drinking water lines are close to each other.

    Ms Safreen Khan a founder member of Children against Dow Carbide said that in June 2012 Justice Lahoti had reported to the Supreme Court that there was a great need for creating drainage in the areas being supplied with drinking water. She said that in the absence of drainage, large areas in Preet Nagar, Shankar Nagar, Blue Moon Colony, Nawab Colony, Ghareeb Nagar and Sundar Nagar remain water logged and are a health hazard for thousands of residents.

    It may be recalled here that on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984 Union Carbide pesticide manufacturing factory had spewed poisonous Methyl Iso-cyanate gas whereby 3000 people had perished virtually instantly and over the years more than 25000 have kissed death and the sad saga is still continuing uninterruptedly. About half a million are suffering from the side effects of the poisonous gas and several thousand people have been maimed for life. (

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    An Indian expat living in KSA, currently in Nawada expresses his anguish.

    By Faisal Sultan,

    Nawada: The lower level police force in retaliation making a mockery of law not only distorted and twisted the reason of the riots in Nawada but also cooked up few modes of appendix to show the minority aa dreaded group and anti-Hindu. The Local Daroga and Police excesses have not surprised us as they have record of wrong doings in Bundelkhand PS with locals and landlords.

    We were disappointed to see the one side action before deploying of RAF and higher official of police from Patna, Nalanda and Gaya. This is due to posting of Sub- Inspector (Daroga) is not based on basis and another issue is all police posted in PS is like a local resident and they never transferred.

    Bihar police watched as watcher when mob set fire to shops and looted them. Most of the damage has been done to shops in the main Vijay Bazaar area where office of the Superintendent of Police and District Magistrate in the bazaar is only 15 to 20 meter.

    How did so much vandalism take place in such a key area where there was already a lot of police deployment, is the question asked by all minority community citizens. The property of the other community, in this area is safe, except minority community raises many questions. On the hospital road, another key location in the town, residents of Darji Tola heard the mob raised slogans supporting Narendra Modi and criticizing Nitish Kumar.

    Many questioned raised the nature of the clash in which minority community was apparently targeted in presence of local lower level administration, police management (From sub-Inspector level to Police force).

    All the minority community shops are located 15 to 20 meter near the Superintendent of Police and District Magistrate office. So where was the administration? Even Iqbal’s murder took place in the presence of the police by the mob.

    According to the local people, the fight at the Dhaba started when a group of minority youth saw they are misbehaving with Muslim girl. The owner Pankaj Yadav alias Duldul propagates different story in front of police and different story in community to escalate the issue. This is the epic point of this clash, it need to be investigated and truth need to come out so that culprits can be punished.

    In the Par Nawada, a stone’s throw from the Bundelkhand police station where a pitched fight took place on Monday, residents exposed the official extortion story. They alleged that the groups of boys were with a woman and a tiff over a personal matter was given a communal color.

    I want to point out to the conspicuous oddness against minority persons preferring to eat at a non-minority outlet on the occasion of Eid. Minority questioned the role of the Bundelkhand police station and the media is misrepresenting the events.

    Bundelkhand Police station operates from a rented place and operates as per the wishes of the private landlord. Citizen of the Bundelkhand demanding for long that the police station should have an official Independent building and free from any influence. The media only reported the death and loss to property of one community, spoiling out the loss to minority community. How do people claim their losses?”

    Anytime you go to that police station, they just open fire on you and then shift the blame saying the station was under attack, several minority people claimed.

    For the last two years, the town has been on the boil, with communal tension marking every festival. Last Holi and last two Ram Navmis saw minor conflicts. In 1986, there was a major riot, after which a peace committee meeting ruled that either the SP or the DM should be from the minority community. However, in recent transfer of officials, this ruling was ignored due to all posting in Nawada was influenced by Nawada BJP- MP.

    The government has raised the National Security Act and indefinite curfew is under way in Nawada. Bihar government has imposed this curfew to hide its failure to control the Riots. This matter could have been settled on Day One. But the inability of the local lower level police and administration to act against the culprits has strengthened the situation further.

    Minority want to live with honour. Peace is valued to us but it should be with dignity. We condemn the arrests of all innocent minority who had been detained because of their Muslim identity.

    I don't think that I am wrong in saying that by giving a "go-ahead" to crack down against a section of any community who had committed crime or taken law and order in hand.

    Entire episode needs to be investigated by CBI and culprits shall be punished so that truth should come out.

    (Faisal Sultan is an engineer working in Saudi Arabia, currently in Nawada.)

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: The Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research, Jamia Millia Islamia in collaboration with AJK Mass Communication Research Centre is going to organize a two-day North East Film festival called “First Cut” which will be followed by a Panel Discussion on ‘Our Films, Their Films’ on August 16 & 17, 2013.

    The film festival shall be formally inaugurated by Prof. S.M. Sajid, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia on August 16, 2013 at 10.30 AM in Tagore Hall, Administrative Block, Jamia Millia Islamia.

    Following are the details of the films to be screened in the Film Festival:

    August 16, 2013 from 10.45 onwards

    1) ‘Where There are No Roads’ directed by Maulee Senapati,
    2) ‘Children of the River: The Xihus of Assam’ directed by Maulee Senapati
    3) ‘A Measure of Impunity’ directed by Maulee Senapati
    4) ‘Revelation’ directed by Neikolie Koutsu
    5) MCRC film on the Nagas directed by Yirmiyan Arthur
    6) ‘Mayong’ directed by Utpal Borpujari

    August 17, 2013 from 10 AM onwards

    1) ‘19/87' directed by Wanphrang Diengdoh
    2) ‘The Green Army: Saviour of the Sylvan’ directed by Merajur Rahman Baruah
    3) ‘The Macabre Dance’ directed by Merajur Rahman Baruah
    4) ‘The Nine Months’ directed by Merajur Rahman Baruah

    The Panel Discussion will be held on August 17, 2013 at 2.15 PM on “Our Films, Their Films” with Maulee Senapati, Sanjoy Hazarika, Utpal Borpujari, Yirmiyan Arthur, Neikoie Kuotsu, Shubhra Gupta and MCRC faculty members followed by an interaction with the participants.

    The festival will come to an end at 4 PM with concluding remarks by Prof. Sanjoy Hazarika.

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  • 08/14/13--08:44: Eid in Sacramento
  • By Ras H. Siddiqui,,

    Sacrament, California: Muslims in Sacramento, California ended Ramadan this year with a high profile Iftar (breaking of the fast) at the California State Capitol on August 6th followed two days later by some colorful Eid celebrations to mark the end of the holy month.

    The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) hosts “Capitol Iftar” as it is known every year, this being the 10th event of its kind at this venue. This event was held a bit late during Ramadan this year because the state legislature had been in recess for a while and just returned. On August 8th Eid-Ul-Fitr prayers were held at various locations in the Sacramento area but the focus points this time are the Downtown “V” Street Mosque and the large event held by the local SALAM organization at McClellan Park.

    First, just to highlight the Capitol Iftar here since it was quite an elaborate event; Sheikh Refaat began the formalities by reciting from the Holy Quran with a translation into English by Mohamed Ali. From the number of dignitaries present the head of the California State Senate Darrell Steinberg was the first to speak. A Jewish-American, Senator Steinberg reminded everyone that this event now in its 10th year was significant. He wished everyone a “Happy Ramadan” and praised the accomplishments of pluralistic societies, where we can all gather together in a beautiful building like this one and send a message out to the world that there is a better way forward.

    CAIR-Sacramento Valley President Wazhma Mojaddidi (yes a Muslim woman is the leader here) spoke next and welcomed everyone. “Today more than ever we need organizations like CAIR,” she said. She elaborated on this need to widen our scope of understanding and the necessity of protecting the rights of all. It is important to point out here that CAIR is at the forefront of protecting the civil rights of Muslims in America but its work benefits all Americans!

    Dr. Hatem Bazian, senior lecturerer at the University of California at Berkeley spoke on the recent studies on the 250,000 Muslims who live in the San Francisco Bay Area. He highlighted the great diversity which exists within this population (e.g. at least 77 different languages spoken). Dr. Bazian also explained the additional concern about the poor which is created during Ramadan. Sarah Moussa who spoke next added how wonderful this experience of sharing Ramadan is and that she just had to celebrate her awareness of it.

    Next up, Assemblymembers Mariko Yamada and Roger Dickinson took the podium. They are both already very popular within our community in the greater Sacramento area because of their practice of inclusive politics. “This building belongs to the people in the State of California,” said Dickinson. He also said that we need to ensure that California remains the Golden State. “This event represents the inclusion of all,” he added.

    CAIR Capitol Ramadan Resolutions

    Assemblymember Mariko Yamada was fasting on this day and shared some of that experience with this writer. In her short speech she gave full credit to (then) Assemblymember Judy Chu for helping to start this Capitol Iftar tradition 10 years ago at a time not too far after 9/11. She said in added solidarity, “Today we are all Muslims.” She praised the efforts of all who have made such an environment possible here in Sacramento and stressed the need to continue striving for the rights of all. It is important to note here that the Japanese-American community has been immensely supportive of Muslims and their rights since 9/11, because they themselves are well aware of what it is like to have your rights taken away (World War II Internment) because you are grouped with an undesirable group, no matter how patriotic an American you may be. Ms. Yamada also reminded us that this Capitol Iftar was being held on the anniversary of the the dropping of the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Her message was very clear. Let us all actively strive for peace and understanding amongs all peoples and religions. The horrors of war, especially keeping Hiroshima and Nagasaki in mind, should remind us all of the need to pursue alternatives.

    Senator Darrell Steinberg (second from left) at Capitol Iftar

    The list of speakers was included Betty Yee, Paul Fong and others as a resolution marking this 10th Capitol Iftar was presented to CAIR officials by members of the California Assembly and Senate. CAIR’s Basim Elkarra recognized and thanked quite a number of people (too many to be listed here) including members of the local interfaith community for their encouragement and participation. Imam Haazim Rashed closed the formalities with a special Dua as the Azan (Prayer Call) for breaking of the fast followed soon after. A fine Mediterranean dinner ended the evening.

    Mariko Yamada & Roger Dickinson at Capitol Iftar

    Eid in Sacramento was celebrated with fervor at several locations including the Downtown “V” Street Mosque where prayers were held in two shifts. The Mosque, one of the oldest in the United States was started by Muslims from South-Asia in 1947. This venue was overflowing with worshippers where Imam Qasmi lead the prayers. And in keeping with the fusion of cultures plenty of Pizza and Jalebi (dessert) was consumed afterwards.

    The second event that attracted over 3000 people was at McClellan Park at the new Jackson Sports Academy. Prayers here were led by Imam Azeez of SALAM. One has to commend this organization for choosing the right venue for this gathering because not only was the facility the right size but it had enough parking nearby to accommodate such a huge gathering. If a suggestion can be made, SALAM has hit upon the right idea and venue to hold a joint Eid Festival (after prayers) for the entire region here. Plenty of Halal food (from Biryani to Hot Dogs) and family socializing opportunities were presented at this gathering.

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    By TCN News,

    Ahmedabad: Mihir Desai arguing for the thirteenth day in support of the Zakia Jafri Protest Petition supported by Citizens for Justice and Peace pointed out the serious contradictions in two different SIT reports about the content of the same speech.

    The virulently anti-Islam and anti-Muslim speech made by Modi that falls foul of Section 153a, 153b and 505 of the Indian penal Code, said Desai before Judge Ganatra, 11th Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court, Ahmedabad today, was found by one officer of the SIT (AK Malhotra to the Supreme Court, 12.5.2010) to be communal but yet, with no further investigation, the Final report of the SIT (Himanshu Shukla, Crime Branch Ahmedabad, 8.2.2012) gives Modi a clean chit for such a speech. “…..Then what is paining them? Since, we (means BJP) are here, we brought water in Sabarmati during the month of Shravan, when you are there, you can bring it in the month of Ramdan (the holy month of Muslims). When, we brought water in the month of Shravan, you feel bad. When we spend money for the development of Becharaji also, you feel bad. What brother, should we run relief camps? (referring to relief camps for riot affected Muslims). Should I start children producing centers there, i.e., relief camps? We want to achieve progress by pursuing the policy of family planning with determination. We are 5 and our 25!!! (Amepanch, Amara panch, referring to Muslim polygamy). On whose name such a development is pursued? Can’t Gujarat implement family planning? Whose inhibitions are coming in our way? Which religious sect is coming in the way?...” are some of the divisive and inflammatory comments made by A-1 Modi in this speech (whole transcript attached).

    “If it is a communal speech, a hate speech meant to generate ill feeling and hatred in 2010 then it attracts penal provisions of the law for which A-1 Modi must be prosecuted; how can SIT suddenly in 2012 find him not guilty without any further investigation, especially when field level officers of the SIB have adjudged the speech to be criminal?” said Zakia’s counsel.

    The hate ridden speech made by A-1 Narendra Modi at Becharaji, Mehsana, on 9.9.2002 to launch the Gaurav Yatra and his election campaign was adjudged by field officers of the State Intelligence Bureau to be aimed at causing deep rift and communal divides, correspondence regarding which was sent by former ADGP-Intelligence RB Sreekumar to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) on 16.9.2002 for which he was first transferred and then targeted and victimized. Despite the fact that the NCM had, through a letter dated 10.9.2002, requested a transcript of the speech, ACS Home Ashok Narayan (A-28) in the Zakia Jafri Complaint) and then DGP Chakravarthi (A-25) had instructed Sreekumar not to send the transcript to the statutory body. A handwritten noting of this illegal instruction signed by then DGP Chakravarthi is visible on this letter dated 13.9.2002 and yet the SIT made bold to give all accused a clean chit. Sreekumar, respecting the law and the Constitutional mandate had ignoring these illegal directives sent a copy of the transcript to the NCM on 16.9.2002 for which he was severely victimized. He was first transferred out, then denied legitimate promotion (for telling the truth to the Nanavati Commission in August 2004) and finally charge sheeted. He emerged victorious before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in two separate judgements.

    The SIT had clearly manifest a mindset where it has believed only those powerful accused arraigned in the complaint alleged Desai ignoring upright and independent witnesses, including senior officers of the Gujarat government like Sreekumar. ‘Why do you believe a OP Mathur over a RB Sreekumar ?” he demanded on the question of maintenance of a Conscience Register (attached) that had recorded a series of utter illegal instructions given to him that Sreekumar did not follow. Sreekumar warned the state government through a letter dated 3.11.2004 that he was in the possession of tapes and transcripts that exposed the coercive tactics being used against him even before he was denied legitimate promotion to the post of DGP Gujarat. In a thumping judgement in Sreekumar’s favour (September 2007), the Central administrative tribunal (CAT) had quashed the 9-point charge sheet against him said Desai but for the SIT Courts do not matter. SIT was clearly holding a brief for the powerful guilty accused.

    Among the nine points for which Sreekumar had been charge sheeted included revealing facts before the Nanavati Commission. In a detailed and well-reasoned judgement, the CAT, quoting Sardar Patel, India’s first Home Minister and HM Seervai’s India’s Constitutional expert, had held that senior officers were bound to the law and the Constitution and should not be servile to the illegal dictates of a sections of the government who give malafide orders. In effect the CAT ratified completely the stance of RB Sreekumar while being ADGP-Intelligence maintained a Conscience Register recording illegal instructions and independently serving the interests of the Rule of Law and Constitutional Governance. The SIT had ignored all these facts and dismissed the valuable evidence provided by Sreekumar. Instead of looking at the facts and contents of the IB Reports (dated 24.4.2002, May 2002, 15.6.2002, 20.8.2002 and 28.8.2002) the SIT had spent reams on trying to adjudge whether such a register ought to have been maintained. The Home department under A-1 Modi conspicuously did not maintain any minutes of any meetings nor record proceedings of meetings, possibly because of the dubious instructions given therein, and when an upright officer maintains a record SIT chastises him for it, Desai countered.

    The significance of the contemporaneous evidence provided by Sreekumar stemmed from the fact that he exploded the myth that violence was controlled within 72 hours, he stressed on the deliberate subversion of the criminal justice system --- illegal freedoms given to the BJP and sangh parivar criminals; gave independent assessments of lives lost in police firing and mob violence to the NHRC and CEC (the CEC accepted Sreekumar’s version) and in fact dared to report the rank communal speech made at Becharaji by A-1 Narendra Modi. For all this he has been sought to be marginalized by the SIT, concluded Desai. Soon after Gill was appointed as special advisor to the Gujarat government by the Centre in early May 2002 (because violence did not stop) Sreekumar had suggested that culpable and complicit officers like CP Ahmedabad PC Pande and others should be transferred. Gill had followed these suggestions and transfers did take place thereafter Desai said. Yet SIT deliberately chose not to record statements of officers of the CEC, KPS Gill nor esteemed former CJI and officers of the NHRC. Why, Desai demanded.

    Desai for the umpteenth time clarified that the SIT was required to investigate the criminal complaint dated 8.6.2006 made by Zakia Jafri assisted by CJP to the police. When there was no registration both petitioners had approached first the High Court and then the Supreme Court (SLP 1088/2008). Arguments will now continue on August 22.

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    By IANS,

    Jammu: Curfew was Thursday lifted from seven districts of Jammu region but continued for the seventh day in the hilly Kishtwar district, officials said.

    After the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry withdrew its shutdown call when the government agreed to its demand for higher compensation for the victims of communal violence in Kishtwar, a high-level meeting reviewed the law and order situation in Jammu late Wednesday.

    It was decided that as the situation was fast returning to normal, there would be no curfew in Jammu city and six other districts of the province Thursday.

    "Curfew, however, continues in Kishtwar where the situation is being reviewed on an hourly basis. A final call on relaxation of curfew in Kishtwar would be taken today (Thursday) afternoon," a senior administrative officer told IANS.

    Kishtwar district magistrate Basheer Ahmad Khan told reporters there had been no untoward incident anywhere since Wednesday.

    Agriculture Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir was scheduled to head the Independence Day celebrations in Kishtwar town.

    Officials have invited prominent citizens from both communities to hoist the tricolour in the town as part of confidence building measures and expression of communal harmony.

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    By IANS,

    Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Thursday asked people to maintain communal harmony as he hoisted the national flag amid tight security here.

    "I appeal to people to maintain communal harmony as it is a must for development and peace," he said at an official function to mark India's Independence Day.

    Nitish Kumar expressed serious concern over incidents of communal clashes in Nawada district where curfew was imposed four days ago.

    He reiterated his demand for special category status to Bihar.

    "I appeal to the central government from this platform to grant special category status to Bihar for its fast development and high growth."

    The Janata Dal-United leader, who has dumped the BJP after 17 long years, said the Bihar model of development was inclusive.

    "(Our) model of development is development with justice to all without any discrimination."

    Nitish Kumar said his government had taken several steps to control corruption.

    "We have confiscated houses of corrupt officials and turned them into schools for the poorest of the poor."

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    Syed Kashif,

    After over six decades of independence or partition of India, inspite of so many researches, still there remain various puzzles unsolved. The most significant and contentious among them is whether Mohammad Ali Jinnah was secular or communal? Interestingly, the question gets revived when people like LK Advani and Jaswant Singh, who are directly political descendent of the sect which categorically dubbed Jinnah staunch communal, visit Pakistan or even write books on Jinnah proving him secular.

    Very interestingly, Mohammad Ali Jinnah joined Congress in 1906, the same year in which Muslim league was founded. Or, it was his nationalism and patriotism which tempted him to join politics. This is why he joined Congress and not League.

    In 1906, he joined Congress session as personal secretary to its president Dadabhai Nauroji where he made his first speech on self-government resolution of the Congress whereby he demanded deletion of the clause of the resolution which made provision for reservation of seats in the Legislature and services for the educationally backward classes in India.

    Mohammad Ali Jinnah with Mahatma Gandhi.

    He also opposed the partition of Bengal and characterized the separate electorate given to Muslims by Morley Minto Reform as “obnoxious virus introduced into the body politic of India with evil design”. Thus as he did not believe in separate electorate and disliked Muslim leaders not being nationalist equally, he started thinking of its remedy. Therefore he joined League in 1913. Within the League Jinnah tried to weaken the hold of pro-British elements. He made away the illusion of the leaguers that British were their well wishers. He aroused their patriotic feelings. He greatly strengthened the nationalist forces within the organization. Eventually, under his leadership, two some extent, League became identical with that of congress.

    As a result of the hard work of Jinnah, both Muslim League and Congress, for their annual session, met at Bombay in December 1915. The speeches from two platforms were similar in tone and theme. Later in 1916, the famous Lacknow pact was confirmed in their annual session at Lacknow.

    Here, Jinnah made departure. He forgot his firm opposition of separate electorate. In Lacknow pact of 1916, he advocated that the Muslim representation to various legislatures “should be secured…by means of separate electorate…….”

    However, since Congress accepted that demand and showed the accommodative attitude, things remained normal. Moreover, from 1916 to 1922 the annual session of both congress and league were held simultaneously and by 1922 there was no difference in their resolutions.

    In 1920, Gandhiji very shrewdly supported the Khilafat movement which worked and consequently many Muslims joined congress. The movement brought top Muslim personalities to the forefront of politics. In other words, Gandhi got the credit of making Muslims nationalists which so far Jinnah was enjoying.

    Though Jinnah had joined the League for making bridge between Muslims and Hindus or strengthening nationalism among Muslims as well, he himself diluted, probably unconsciously, his goal by proposing separate electorate in lacknow pact of 1916, of which he was strictly against. Here I would argue that though Jinnah would have joined League with the idea of nationalism but soon he might have seen opportunity to become a great leader or a lone representative of Muslims. But unfortunately Gandhi, through Khilafat Movement, made a blow on his purpose. Consequently Jinnah found himself rejected in his endeavors to retain a position of strength in Indian politics. Thus, he resigned from Congress in 1920. However, he continued to cooperate with it until 1937. Now he thought that to become the lone representative or champion of Muslims it would be better to remain only the member of Muslim League.

    Blow to the goal of Jinnah led him to criticize Gandhiji’s religious and metaphysical approach openly. He accused him of reviving Hindu beliefs in Congress. Rather he argued that by ancient belief of ahimsa and the idea of ‘new life’ Gandhi was giving Congress a Hindu complexion. Here it is ridiculous that how could Jinnah see ancient belief in the idea of ahimsa which Gandhi simply meant non-violence.

    Thus another face of Jinnah got reflected in 1924 when he bluntly asked Muslims to organize themselves under the banner of the league. In 1923, Jinnah had contested election for central legislative assembly seat as an independent candidate. After winning he had made his own party “Independent Party”, which soon vanished. This step can be seen as a chance taken to become champion which certainly did not work.

    Scholars are not united on the question that when actually Jinnah resorted to Muslim nationalism. However, I would argue that the seed of ‘Muslim nationalism’ (it was just a tactic to hold power) was found in Jinnah right back in lacknow pact of 1916. Very significantly, it is true that after 1916 and even after 1929 Jinnah remained firm nationalist. We have various examples for that also. But it is worth noting that his weaker position in League (In league there was division; league of Shafi and league of Jinnah) had prevented him to exhibit himself as ‘Muslim nationalist’. In other words he remained in dilemma till 1937.

    Mohammad Ali Jinnah with Jawaharlal Nehru.

    By 1927 Jinnah had gained that much strength which led him to build a formula which could prove beneficiary for his leadership. After the refusal of Simon Commission, at Conference of Muslim leaders in Delhi, Jinnah, in the name of reconciliation between Hindus and Muslims, had evolved a formula of three Muslim majorities’ provinces and allocation of seats in central legislative assembly instead of separate electorate. Or, going a step ahead he evolved the above idea instead of separate electorate which was already more or less under consideration.

    In fact, in 1916 Congress had showed its nod to this demand (separate electorate). Now Jinnah was ready to accept joint electorate if the above idea was accepted. But unfortunately it was categorically rejected in Nehru report of 1928. Interestingly, Nehru Report, at Calcutta, rejected all the Muslim proposals, except the one relating to joint electorate. The rejection of greater provincial autonomy became the decisive ‘parting of the ways’ for Jinnah in retrospect a major landmark on the road to Pakistan (Sumit Sarkar, Indian Democracy: the historical inheritance).

    Here the question arises that why did Jinnah go ahead? Why did he formulate new idea rather than separate electorate? What compelled him to come with this new idea of three provinces though there was already issue of separate electorate under consideration? I think this very idea of Jinnah tempted Congress or Hindu leadership apprehensive about Hindus. In other words, Jinnah himself made his Hindu colleagues his opponent.

    Nehru report made him upset. He lost his hope to become a champion. Thus he left India. He remained in England till 1935.
    During his stay in England he met people like Liaqat Ali Khan and Iqbal who introduced him the idea of ‘Muslim Homeland’in the subcontinent. Meantime in India top leaders of Muslims like Maulana Mohammad Ali, Sir Mohammad Shafi had died. Sir Fazl-i-Huain and Agha Khan were losing their health. Thus Jinnah found the time ripe to take one more chance. He rushed back to India in 1935. However, after coming back he did not express the new idea bluntly whereas he ostensibly made effort to unite Hindu and Muslim but this endeavor was wrecked by the Congress victory in the general elections of 1937; now the Congress was strong enough to ignore both him and his League. In 1937, in his presidential address to League, Jinnah touched upon some of the suggestion made by Iqbal. However, he was not much confident about that idea. In fact he did not want to repeat the mistake of 1927 whereby he had surrendered separate electorate without taking his community into confidence.

    At that time he had not only failed to buy for Muslims the friendship and the support of Hindus but had also weakened his own position as the representative of Muslims. Therefore this time he wanted to unite the whole Muslim community under the banner of Muslim League. To make his goal truth he left no stone unturned. He worked hard. He travelled all the places where minority was living. He made various provocative speeches. He openly left his idea of nationalism of which he was firm supporter. He did not hesitate to abandon his idea of uniting Hindus and Muslims. He was now no more an ambassador of Hindu Muslim unity.

    To identify himself with the new role he discarded his western dress and started wearing shirwani and cap. He started learning Urdu. When he went to Punjab and North-West Frontier, he sported Punjabi Salwar to give the impression that he was one of them. In conservative areas he would make sure that his sister Fatima who did not wear the veil, was not seated with him. Consequently Jinnah’s effort started working. People did get united.

    By that time the idea of Pakistan had spread across India. Now Muslim League was waiting just for more strength or ripe time. Eventually in 1940, in Lahore, League in its session on 22-24 March made the pronouncement of Pakistan. The session was attended as many as one lakh members.

    In 1942 Congress demanded of the British to “quit India” whereas League said to the British that they must divide and then quit. Even after 1940 congress was in illusion that League was not much strong. It continuously ignored the League. In 1944 congress categorically rejected the Rajgopalchari’s offer to resolve the Congress-League tangle. Failure of Gandhi Jinnah meeting reminded congress that Jinnah had gained the strength.

    Thus in 1945, on June 25, Congress was willing to accept the offer of Crips (which the congress had rejected in 1942) which was now renewed by Viceroy Lord Wavel in Simla. Congress was willing to accept the offer in the hope of avoiding partition while League turned it down in the hope of division. In fact, Crips Mission had offered the right of complete independence to India as well as the right of opting out of the Indian union to any province or provinces. The offer was rejected by Congress on the usual grounds and by the League for making Pakistan only optional.

    Later in 1946, Cabinet Mission plan, as the new scheme came to be known. It provided for a federation with powers over only foreign affairs, defense and communication, thus reducing the power of the centre, and for the provinces to form subordinate unions of their own, thus conceding the principle of Pakistan while maintain the unity of India. Importantly Jinnah agreed and on June 6, 1946 persuaded the League to accept the plan.

    In fact, though the plan had rejected a sovereign Pakistan, it had definitely conceded the demand in short term. However, in long term, there was still hope of separation for League with all six provinces intact. But there was another bad luck waiting for Jinnah. First congress accepted that plan but later argued that it would apply its own interpretation to the plan. Nehru explained the meaning of the qualified consent on July 10, 1946 by saying that Congress would apply its own interpretation to the plan and would enter the Constituent Assembly completely unfettered by agreements and free to meet all situations as they arise. In addition, there would be no grouping of provinces, he argued. After getting this news Jinnah retaliated sharply. He rejected the plan, withdrew the League acceptance and declared: “This day we bid goodbye to constitutional methods”.

    Henceforth no one could convince Jinnah. Both Wavel and Mountbaton tried to resuscitate the Cabinet Mission Plan, but Jinnah had no confidence in the word or the sincerity of the congress. Eventually what happened, we all know. A united India got divided into two. Leaders made compromises to enjoy the luxury of chair at the cost of thousands of people. In the countryside people were butchering each other while leaders were busy in making efforts to attain power.

    Had Jinnah not joined the Muslim League he would have been a great nationalist leader of India. Though he joined League to strengthen nationalism but he himself got trapped in the net of Muslim nationalism. Scholars see the lacknow pact as his great effort to unite Hindus and Muslims. But the fact is just opposite. It was Lucknow pact where the first brick of Muslim nationalism was laid down by Jinnah.

    Jinnah pleaded for separate electorate for which just before 8-9 years he had harshly opposed. In fact, after joining league in 1913, Jinnah soon realized that he could become champion or lone representative of Muslims. Thus the demand of SE was just a tool to make the scope alive. Further in 1927 Jinnah’s demand of Muslim majorities’ provinces and allocation of seats in central legislative assembly, instead of separate electorate, raises a question.

    In fact, here Jinnah had again tried to widen the scope of becoming champion of Muslims. Jinnah had set out to England after the Nehru report sharply rejected his ideas. But interestingly there he could not give up his desire to become hero. Very soon he got influenced by Iqbal and Liaqat. He rushed back with the idea of ‘Muslim Homeland’ for which he worked very hard. In fact, in the idea of ‘Home Land’ he could see a good scope for becoming champion. For that matter, in those days how provocative speeches he used to give, is worth noticing. How radically he altered his dressing and life style is also significant.

    As far as division of India is concerned, Nehru was to larger extent responsible for that. Jinnah had to just become a hero. He was dying to become a great leader. Cabinet mission plan was fulfilling his purpose and therefore he had agreed. But Nehru did not agree. What he had in his mind is another issue.

    If Jinnah could not achieve his goal in cabinet plan, he got the same in later plan of Mountbatten. Thus the goal for which he had been striving for years he got in 1947. And the goal was nothing but to become hero or champion. He was nationalist but only for few years. He was certainly not communal as well.

    Had he been communal it would have been good for the people who are living in the present Pakistan. Had he been communal he would not have given his first speech to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, on being elected its first President, with full of secular ethos, on August11, 1947. Thus he was rather a guy who through ought his life, ran after power.

    (Syed Kashif is a M.Phil student at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi and blogs at .)

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    By TCN News,

    Morton Grove, USA: Indian American Muslim Council (, an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India's pluralist and tolerant ethos wishes all Indians across the world a joyous 67th Independence Day of India.

    On that momentous day of August 15, 1947, Indians of all creeds and religious beliefs achieved their long cherished goal to live with dignity and to be the masters of their own destiny. While recognizing our progress on many fronts, we must use this occasion to reaffirm our commitment to the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India to all citizens.

    "The spirit of the freedom struggle must be kept alive by shunning the ideas of supremacy and by embracing the pluralism and diversity of India. The fruits of Independence must be reflected in security and equal opportunity for all the citizens," said Ahsan Khan, President of IAMC. "Marginalization of any section of society is in direct contradiction to our national values and is detrimental to the health of the nation's social fabric," added Mr. Khan.

    IAMC took this opportunity to commemorate the countless freedom fighters from various religious backgrounds and to seek inspiration from their sacrifices when they stood shoulder to shoulder in the struggle for India's Independence.

    Indian American Muslim Council is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with 13 chapters across the nation.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh Thursday accused the central government of not taking seriously the communal violence in Kishtwar in Jammu and Kashmir.

    Speaking after hoisting the national flag at the BJP headquarters here, he described the Kishtwar Hindu-Muslim clashes as a threat to national security.

    "There are some undesirable elements in the country who stand on Indian soil and shout 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans. It is a matter of worry when such things are ignored," Rajnath Singh said.

    "This is a threat to India's sovereignty. The present government is not taking this challenge as seriously as it should.

    "The government should take determined steps and create a situation so that no one dares to shout slogans hailing another country."

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