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    By IANS,

    Lucknow: The Congress Saturday blamed the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the recent communal riots in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh. It said the two parties were trying to communalise the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

    Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, at a press conference in Lucknow, said the riots in Muzaffarnagar seem to be the beginning of preparations for the 2014 general elections.

    "I believe preparations for the 2014 elections have started from Muzaffarnagar. It is just a trailer and BJP and SP both want to fight the 2014 elections on communal lines," Ramesh said.

    He also blamed the state government for closing its eyes to the violence.

    "The state government and administration totally ignored the situation. None of the state ministers went to the riot-hit areas and when Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) and Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) announced that they are going to the area, Chief Minister (Akhilesh Yadav) went there just the day before," Ramesh said.

    Communal riots broke out in Muzaffarnagar Sep 7, leaving 48 people dead and over 40,000 homeless.

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    By IANS,

    Lucknow: Two more legislators, one of the BJP and one of the BSP, were arrested Saturday over the communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar district even as opposition parties blamed the ruling Samajwadi Party for the conflagration.

    Sangeet Som, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Sardhana, surrendered in Salawa village of Meerut, while Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) lawmaker Noor Saleem Rana was also arrested hours later from Meerut.

    According to an home department official, BJP legislature party leader Hukum Singh was also arrested at Ghaziabad border Saturday evening but Principal Secretary (Home) R.M. Srivastava Saturday evening denied it.

    Meerut police chief Deepak Kumar said security has been beefed up in the entire region following the arrests.

    The arrests came after BJP lawmaker Suresh Rana was arrested in Lucknow Friday.

    BJP president Rajnath Singh Saturday called off his visit to violence-hit Muzaffarnagar district, and said in Delhi that whenever the Samajwadi Party (SP) comes to power, "a series of communal riots begin in Uttar Pradesh".

    Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, who was in Lucknow, said the Muzaffarnagar riots were a "big blot" on Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his government, and charged them with not responding to them properly.

    A court later sent Som, Saleem Rana, and Rana to 14 days judicial custody when police produced the trio in execution of a non-bailable warrants issued by it earlier.

    The 16 political leaders against whom warrants have been issued also include BSP MP Qadir Rana, BJP legislator Bhartendu Singh, BSP legislator Maulana Jameel, Congress leader Saeeduzaman and Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) chief Naresh Tikait.

    Som was sent to Orai prison, Saleem Rana packed off to the Mirzapur jail and Rana sent to the Banda jail.

    Som has been booked on charges of making and distributing a fake CD that showed a man being lynched. Investigations revealed the video was three-years old about an incident in Pakistan. Som is accused of doctoring it and claiming it to be a local one.

    He has denied the charges.

    Rana and Saleem were arrested for allegedly making provocative speeches in the run up to the communal clashes.

    The opposition continued to blame the Samajwadi Party.

    BJP president Rajnath Singh was quick to blame the Samajwadi Party for the violence in Muzaffarnagar.

    "If we see the history of riots, then we can see that whenever the Samajwadi Party (SP) comes to power, a series of communal riots begin in Uttar Pradesh," he said after he was requested by District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma not to come to Muzaffarnagar city.

    In a fax letter sent to the BJP president's office, the DM urged him not to pay a visit to the area as it could disturb calm and peace that is prevailing in the area after a string of violent clashes and incidents since Sep 7.

    Rajnath Singh accused the Akhilesh Yadav government of arresting innocent people in order to veil their involvement in the act of violence.

    "The sting operation by a television channel clearly proves that the people who are present inside the government have a hand in the riots, so why are they only arresting the BJP legislators?" he asked.

    Rajnath Singh said the situation in Muzaffarnagar is like during the period of emergency, and said BJP leaders will meet President Pranab Mukherjee Sep 24.

    He also said BJP legislators were not in any way involved in inciting violence when communal riots broke out in Muzaffarnagar Sep 7, leaving 48 dead and over 40,000 homeless.

    Ramesh said there was hope when Akhilesh Yadav took over as the state chief minister but all those hopes have now been dashed.

    "Akhilesh is a friend but I have to say that the riots are a big blot on his government and on his very own administrative acumen," he said.

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    By TCN News,

    Chennai: Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK) presented a memorandum to the President of India through the Governor of Tamilnadu on Septemeber 17 th evening, requesting the President to initiate action against Gujarat chief minister Narendera Modi in the light of the reveleations of Gujarat DIG Vanzara made in his resignation letter.

    President of Manithaneya Makkal Katchi J.S. Rifayee, Leader of Manithaneya Makkal Katchi's Legislative Party Prof.M.H. Jawahirullah, P.Abdul Samad, General Secretary of TMMK. Haroon Rasheed, Joint General Secretary and Kunangudi Haniffa formed the delegation which presented this memorandum.

    The following is the text of the Memorandum:


    His Excellency

    Thiru. Pranab Kumar Mukherjee

    The President of India

    Rashtrapathi Bhavan

    New Delhi


    His Excellency

    Thiru S. Rosiah

    Governor of Tamilnadu

    Raj Bhavan


    His Excellency,

    Sub: Request for initiating suitable immediate action against Gujarat Chief Minister Thiru. Narendera Modi on facts given in the resignation letter dated 1st September, 2013by Shri. D.G. Vanzara I.P.S, DIGP currently under suspension

    Ref: Letter of Thiru D.G. Vanzara IPS addressed to the Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department, Govt. of Gujarat


    We pray that these lines find you in good health and spirit

    Recently (on 1st September, 2013), Thiru. D.G. Vanzara I.P.S, DIGP, under suspension, of Gujarat, an accused in four alleged fake encounter cases, has submitted his resignation letter to the Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department, Govt. of Gujarat, apparently being frustrated over the alleged betrayal and breach of trust by the Gujarat State Govt., which had failed to provide adequate assistance, support and protection to him and other accused officers arrested and imprisoned. This letter contains a plethora of facts, observations, admissions, and confessions having relevance to alleged fake encounters as well as other criminal acts that are being practiced by the Gujarat State Government led by Thiru. Narendera Modi, targeting the Muslim minorities

    Thiru.Vanzara, who is in jail since 2007 in Soharabuddin encounter, in his 10 page resignation letter has categorically stated in unequivocal words that the "fake encounters" in Gujarat, were a conscious policy adopted by the Modi administration. The fact that these killings furnished the 'halo of a brave chief minister' to Modi is an indication of the cold-blooded political chicanery behind the encounters. Thiru. Vanzara has also revealed that that the Police Officers including himself and his seniors acted and performed their duty in compliance of the ‘policy’ of the BJP government led by Thiru Narendra Modi. The confessions of Thiru Vanzara has ratified the stand taken by human rights organizations, victims of the 2002 Gujarat pogrom and fake encounters, civil society and many political parties that all the atrocities in the name of ‘zero tolerance for terrorism’ were orchestrated with the knowledge and approval of top functionaries of Gujarat government including Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

    Apart from Mr. Vanzara’s letter an independent journalist has released a video showing senior BJP leaders discussing how to shield Mr. Amit Shah, currently out on bail, from the fallout of the Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter case. The video is a "smoking gun" that corroborates Mr. Vanzara's charge that the Gujarat police's impunity in murdering innocent people through fake encounters was backed by a conscious policy of the Gujarat government under Mr. Modi.

    Shri Vanzara’s letter confirms that the police officers (32 in jail and many facing criminal charges and under cloud) accused of allegedly organizing fake encounters are secondary victims of illegal anti-constitutional policy and strategy of the Gujarat State Govt led by Thiru Narendera Modi to play politics with the lives of people. Unless the real planners, organizers and motivators behind the incidents of extra-judicial killings being probed by the Special Task Force led by Mr. Justice H.S. Bedi and CBI, are arrested and prosecuted, the burgeoning and debilitating malady of misuse and abuse of police and executive magistracy by political bureaucracy in Gujarat would not be curbed and controlled, if not eliminated.

    In this context, the continuance of Thiru. Narendera Modi as Chief Minister would only subvert justice and rule of law. The explosive letter of Thiru. Vanzara has shaken the nation for the gravity of the charges it contains against Thiru. Narendra Modi and his Home Minister Thiru. Amit Shah.

    We look forward to you His Excellency to take suitable action against Thiru. Narendera Modi so that those who hold innocent human lives cheap, and are willing to expend them for political gains are held accountable under the law of the land. The people of Gujarat have suffered enough. This dark night of state terror must give way to a new dawn, of respect for democracy, the rule of law and the sanctity of human life. We firmly believe that you would initiate suitable step for a new dawn in Gujarat.


    (Dr.M.H.Jawahirullah MLA) (J.S. Rifayee)

    Leader,Legislative Party President

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    By Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam,

    The anti-Muslim riots in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas are already being compared to Gujarat 2002. As many as 50,000 people have been officially reckoned to have become internal refugees. According to official records, 85 people have died, but unofficial estimates put it at a much higher figure.

    Police and administrative laxity, and sometimes police’s criminal collusion with rioters, have brought on this sorry state of affairs. Above everything else the murky dealings of Samajwadi Party leadership with the Sangh had a paralysing influence on the state machinery and encouraged goondas to indulge in rape, loot, arson and murder. Many Muslims have “disappeared”, many of their young women have been kidnapped and whisked away to places where they cannot easily be found.

    Like Gujarat, it was a well-planned operation. Police in several areas have been seen to be hand in glove with rioters. These riots need a more comprehensive case study. The following is an account of some of the facets of these riots.

    Role of Media

    By now the riot methodology has been perfected. Disinformation, rumor mongering - the usual ammunition in every fascist armoury - are important components of this machinery. They have always been used with lethal effect in anti-Muslim riots all over India.

    The post-Godhra riots began with a major news item in the two most important Gujarati dailies. The prominently-displayed news said Muslims in Godhra had raped two Hindu women and cut their breasts. This inflamed Hindu feelings beyond control. Later it was found that no such event had taken place.

    However, by the time the truth came out, it was too late and hundreds of Muslim women had been raped and killed.

    Several riots in UP in the past have been fuelled and aggravated by such false reports in Hindi newspapers. One such riot spread quickly after a Hindi newspaper wrote a story on the front page. The banner headline screamed: “Chaar sau bachche ghar nahin lautey” (Four hundred [school] children did not return home). The falsehood was known only after the damage was done.

    Yet another vicious riot in Aligarh was aggravated by a false report in a Hindi newspaper that said Hindus in AMU’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College hospital had been poisoned by Muslim doctors.

    In Muzaffarnagar, newspaper stories of a Hindu girl’s “molestation and rape” worked as petrol on fire. Subsequent investigations and reports by major publications found that the reports were not true. By then many people were killed and maimed, homes and shops burnt down, people in their thousands driven out to seek shelter in refugee camps.

    The role of a section of media turned out to be as vicious this time as in the past.

    The Muzaffanagar police complained that media had been reporting events that did not take place. That had a devastating effect. So far, media has gone completely untouched for its role in aggravating mass violence. This is a long record of impunity. Nobody ever dragged them to court for their crimes against humanity. Enough is enough. Victims must give a serious thought to legal action against these offenders.

    The Press Council of India is aware of these transgressions, but being a toothless body all that they can do is after a proper investigation name and shame the offenders. However, it does not work as the offenders are shameless.

    Small Changes

    The larger pattern of anti-Muslim riots is intact, but smaller changes have been introduced into it to make such riots more deadly.

    Throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s the anti-Muslim riots began with somebody pelting stones at Hindu processions. Once the stones were pelted systematic attacks on Muslims began and riot apologist would invariably argue that the riot was “started by Muslims”, taking it for granted that those throwing stones were Muslims.

    On the other hand, Muslims knew well that it was the handiwork of agent provocateurs hired by the riot organisers. The simple logic for Muslim innocence was that they did not stand to gain from the riots.

    “Muslim casts the first stone” theme has given way to “riots begin with Muslims molesting and raping Hindu women”. That was the alibi in Pratapgarh riots earlier this year and Muzaffarnagar riots earlier this month. In both cases, the media propagated this false news with devastating consequences for Muslims. In both cases it later turned out that no molestation or rape had taken place.

    Other measures of disinformation and provoking the majority community included wide distribution of a video in which a mob was lynching someone. The mischief makers said the video showed Muslims lynching Hindu youth in Muzaffarnagar, while the fact was that it was an old video of violence in Afghanistan.

    In some areas, young men were seen distributing pamphlets in “Muslim dress”, while in fact they were not Muslims. This was another way of provoking violence and blaming it on Muslims.

    For years we had witnessed riots erupting after the discovery of cows’ heads and other parts in temples. Miscreants had regularly used this tactic to provoke riots. Over the years it has lost much of its effectiveness. That is why the new narrative involves “Hindu naari ki izzat par hamla” (attack on the modesty of Hindu woman). As it has worked well so far. We should expect more of it in days ahead.

    (Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam Chairman Institute of Objective Studies.)

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    By Shaik Zakeer Hussain,,

    Bengaluru: In most comic books, the staple is rather simple: there is a superhero, then there are people and then there is an oppressive evil doer, who needs to be fought to save the world. Superman fights Lex Luthor, Batman fights the Joker, Spiderman fights the Green Goblin. They all wear different costumes, live in different cities, but the ultimate element is still the same: The fight between good and evil, truth and falsehood.

    An Australia based businessman and religious scholar Soner Coruhlu, who wants to tell the world, especially the younger lot the struggle between truth and falsehood from its alpha to omega is banking on this formula, but with a little twist.

    Started by Coruhlu in 2006, Prophecy Comics has till date released four books, illustrating the creation of the heavens and the earth and central to these series are the heroes: Prophets and Angels, and the villain: Satan.

    Coruhlu says that the first series deals with the creation of the space time continuum, the angels, the jinn but in particular the human species. "The story continues to illustrate the contention and enmity that Satan begins to develop towards Adam (pbuh). The following books deal with a deeper analysis of the creation and this tension between the devil and Adam (pbuh). Though Iblis (Satan) is the arch enemy of humanity the 4th book illustrates his cunning by making humanity hate one another even going so far as to causing hatred between brothers. Thus it sets the stage for humanity's struggle and purpose here on earth as God's vice regents. A sample text is the following from issue 1: "there are those who contemplate the creation and say, our lord you did not create all that exists for naught! Surely there is a purpose to this existence beyond that which is finite""

    While he has avoided any graphical depiction of Prophets and Angels, Satan, however, is shown as the fire emanating dreadful monster. When asked what made him conceptualize Satan, in such a fashion, Coruhlu explains that, "If you ask anyone across the globe what comes to mind when you think of the devil or when you think of an angel most will answer in a way that illustrates a rendition from Hollywood or the likes. Mostly a detailed humanoid or in the case of the angels a human with pigeon wings. It was therefore a step back into the unknown where we only illustrate known characteristics such as light, or fire and a non Muslim actually commended us at a Supanova convention stating that our abstract image was more in line with a depiction if the unknown in comparison to what others present."

    "According to scriptures, there is nothing Satan hates more than the human species. So much so, that he is willing to live a life of eternal torment in Hell fire due to his tireless attempts to lead humanity astray. We thought it best to add a remark to emphasise this reality into the overall image and soon that through too became a reality," reads the depiction of the evil being on his site.

    So, what made him turn to comic books to propagate the message of Islam? Soner Coruhlu says that, "the last 40 years have shown rapid progress and change and it was no longer enough for Imams, not unlike myself, to try and inspire or motivate our youth to adhere to their religious beliefs and values. While there were many options of interest in the materialistic world there were no such options in spiritually inclined endeavors. It is for that reason I wanted to create a new medium interesting to the youth of our century, to teach the religious scriptures." He says, it is not enough for Imams to "simply lecture from a pulpit".

    But will this unique method really work to draw young people towards religion? Coruhlu says that though progress has been slow, as he has not been able to reach out to wider audience, due to financial restraints, he is still optimistic. And to prove his point, he ends with an anecdote from his experience at Supanova Pop Culture Expo (Australia), "We were at the Supernova and across our stall was an artist who drew demonic images and in fact was dressed as such himself with makeup to complement his outfit (horns and all). At this stage we had only completed one issue and my students kept asking why we were next to such a stall. I said that this is perhaps Divine intervention. Sure enough at the end of the day after eyeing our stall for so long he approaches us and requests to buy the first issue. We do the neighborly thing and give him a signed copy. The next day we find that he is not dressed in the same manner and he actually compliments us on the quality and message requesting notification of later editions."


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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: The Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM) – an autonomous organization under Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, and the Society for Information Research and Studies (SIRs) jointly organized today a one-day national conference on ‘Managing Information Resources in Digital Environment’ at the CCRUM headquarters in New Delhi.

    Inaugurating the conference, Prof. Syed Shakir Jamil, Director General, CCRUM stressed the need to digitize the manuscripts of Unani Medicine on priority basis. He said that the knowledge and information on Unani Medicine are preserved in the manuscripts of libraries in different parts of the country. It is the need of the hour to propagate those knowledge and information and make them accessible to the researchers and doctors at global level through the digitization of those manuscripts. He further said that the Council has already digitized some of the manuscripts available at the Council headquarters and work to digitize the remaining manuscripts was under process.

    Digniteries at the national conference on Managing information resources in digital environment releasing the mannual of papers presented at the technical sessions of the one-day conference organized by the CCRUM

    Prof. Jamil also said that we are research organization and research begins with library as it answers the first question of research – that is what has been done on a topic – and therefore it is very important to have a library equipped with the state-of-the-art technologies. Prof. Jamil also laid stress on the networking of the Council’s libraries. He said that the Council has six libraries at regional levels, apart from its main library at the headquarters and it is our key priority to network them together.

    Addressing the delegates at the inaugural session, the chief guest Prof. Rais-ur-Rahman, Advisor (Unani), Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India spoke on the importance of information and its management. He said that time gone when item bombs were considered to be the most powerful weapon. Today, information and knowledge are the most powerful weapons. Therefore, it is very important to enrich our knowledge base and adopt modern technologies not only to preserve the knowledge, but to make it accessible to the wider global community.

    Speaking to the delegates, Dr. A. M. Siddiqui, Director, SIRs said in his introductory remarks that digitization is the current trend in the field of library and information sciences. Libraries have already been digitized in the developed countries. It is good that the developing countries are also following the trend and we are happy that we are contributing in this direction.

    Earlier, the dignitaries at the conference released the volume of technical papers to be presented later during the technical sessions of the conference.

    A view of the audiance at the inaugural session of the national conference on Managing Information Resources in Digital Environment_CCRUM

    Later, at the three technical sessions of the conference, a total of 36 papers were presented by researchers, academicians, librarians, information-based professionals, and students. The theme of the presentation included planning and managing resources, sourcing and organizing information, managing audio-visual resources, digitization and e-documentation of information, planning and management of digital libraries, knowledge creation through information services, etc.

    Those who attended the conference included Dr. Rajesh Sigh, University of Delhi, New Delhi; Dr. N. K. Bar, former Director, National Archives of India, New Delhi; Dr. Khalid M Siddiqui, Assistant Director, CCRUM, New Delhi; Mr. Uzzwal Madhav, Executive Director, Lakshya Foundation, New Delhi; Dr. Abdul Hannan, Joint-Director, CCRUM, New Delhi; Mr. Khalid Kamal Faruqi, former Librarian, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi; Dr. M Fazil Khan, Research Officer, CCRUM, New Delhi; Dr. R N Malviya, University Librarian, Lingaya’s University, Faridabad.

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: A group of youths gathered to observe World Peace Day through paintings/ sketching on the theme "Painting for Peace (India-Pakistan-Afghanistan)" in Nehru Park at 11 AM. This was a culminating program of a week long Tree for Harmony campaign, that is an annual initiative of India based organization Mission Bhartiyam.

    This Painting for Peace-India-Pakistan-Afghanistan was done in collaboration with The catalyst and Xeebiz International, two organisations based in Pakistan.

    Tree for Harmony is a campaign where we clubbed Peace and Environment together and tried to symbolize a Tree as a strong symbol of harmony. Under this initiative, we plant and encourage people to plant the symbolic "Harmony Tree". Along with that, a discussion was also organised on use any medium like painting/ essay competition to spread awareness as well as initiate thinking on cause for Peace or/and Environment", remarked Devika Mittal, one of the organizers.

    The programme began with a small discussion on environment and some issues or causes for harmony. There was a discussion on the theme of the programme i.e. peace for India-Pakistan-Afghanistan.

    Moenam Hossain, a postgraduate student of Sociology at South Asian University, talked about the scenario in his country, Bangladesh. He highlighted the problem of communal tensions in the country.

    Rohit Bhardwaj, an architect by profession, talked about the need to think about environment during designing and construction of buildings.

    The discussion was followed by the expression on the sheets.

    Dilmeet Singh, a student of architecture, through his art asked that when God made us all equal, why do we create difference? Why is there a hierarchy of superiority and inferiority? Why are some lives considered to be less precious than others?

    There were several paintings on borders acting as barriers for peace and prosperity.

    Ravi Nitesh, founder of Mission Bhartiyam and engineer by profession, in his work remarked that peace cannot be produced out of the barrel of a gun.

    In the programme, the paintings on Indo-pak peace made by school students for the annual Indo-Pak peace calendar were also exhibited.

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    By IANS,

    Kozhikode (Kerala): The decision of nine Muslim organisations to ask the Supreme Court to allow minor Muslim girls get married has evoked opposition from a Kerala activist and a students' group Saturday.

    The nine organisations' leaders met here Friday and nominated K. Bapu Musaliyar as the chairman and Indian Union Muslim League leader C.P. Mayin Haji as the convenor of a newly-formed Samithi to approach the apex court.

    Muslim activist V.P. Suhra Saturday said she was opposed to the suggestion as allowing marriage of Muslim girls under 18 years would curtail their freedom.

    The Muslim Students Federation expressed anguish over the plan to move the top court and seek approval for marriage of minor Muslim girls.

    The federation said early marriage of Muslim girls prevented them from studying and curtailed their progress in life.

    The decision of the Muslim organisations to move the apex court has come at a time when last month half a dozen people were arrested in Kozhikode after a 17 year Muslim girl complained that she was forced to marry a UAE national who, after 17 days of marriage, dumped her and returned to his country.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Lucknow: Rihai Manch (Forum for the Release of Innocent Muslims imprisoned in the name of Terrorism) will mobilise people across state for a people’s movement to press for the acquittal of innocent Muslim youths arrested on fabricated charges and languishing in jails for years.

    Rihai Manch held a press conference at the Lucknow Press Club on Saturday, after calling of its marathon indefinite dharna of September 19 after 121 long days as the SP government had tabled the RD Nimesh Commission Report in the Assembly on the first day of the monsoon session.

    Since May 20 Rihai Manch was 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.

    Advocate Mohammad Shoaib, Chairman of Rihai Manch elaborated on his plans to lead a state wide movement, here at the Lucknow Press Club on Saturday. He said that although the RD Nimesh Commission Report clearly indict the police officers, the Samjwadi Party government is still shying away from taking actions on the report.

    President of Indian National League Mohammad Suleman pointed out that the SP government had fooled the people by not fulfilling its poll promise to release those innocent Muslim youths, who are languishing in jails without proper trial.

    Gandhian social activist and Magsasay award winner Sandeep Pandey demanded that on the lines of Nimesh Commission, government should constitute a full fledged enquiry committee to look into all such terror related cases and persons arrested therein for questions have been raised in many similar cases and fingers have been pointed on the investigating officers.

    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 arrests.

    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 led a sustained demonstration against the UP government for four months demanding actions on its poll promise of releasing innocent youths languishing in jails in fabricated terror charges. Several rights groups and and politicians, including Prakash Karat, Subhasini Ali, film maker Anand Patwardhan, Anusha Rizvi, among others had also expressed their solidarity with the Manch demonstration and on different days made token participation.

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  • 09/21/13--23:19: Why I Say 'No To Modi'
  • By Habib Siddiqui,

    Recent rise of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) core team as he become member of Central Election Committee and his subsequent nomination as the party’s Prime Ministerial candidate has left his supporters enthralled but many more worried. Modi has been seen more in Delhi than in Gandhinager, he has been speaking more Hindi than Gujarati which shows he wants his office to be shifted to Delhi.

    Modi's rise in BJP has been attributed to his back to back election victories in Gujarat, he has emerged as a ‘savior’ of India from çorrupt’ Congress.

    Not everyone is jubiliant on Modi's rise. It is a fact that you cannot make every one believe in the same thing, but democracy is all about making consensus and altering, modifying and changing things to try to create a consensus. Modi has been seen as a polarizing figure, for some he is a hero who can save this country from the corrupt and bad governance of UPA and for some, he is a person, who can marginalize them or worse go after their security. There exist vast amount of material to support his development agenda, efficiency of the governance and professionalism, so lets not add one more document into the pleothora and rather, I would like to give a perspective why he is being so vigorously and vehemently opposed by some, even though it is believed to have been so successful in his state of Gujarat in terms of development and growth.

    It is indisputable that Modi enjoys formidable support among Indian youth, the reason for which has more to do with bad governance of UPA than good governance of Modi or his ideologies. It will be tenacious task for for him and as well as for BJP to convert this support which is extremely hard to measure before going for ballot box, into an election victory. It will be difficult because the people are supporting him due to inefficiency of the Congress but to change the result he will have to make people believe and agree with his ideology. Still going with the hysteria and cacophony, we may say that he is 'the most popular leader' for the BJP and must get his share of national political stage, as the BJP chief Rajnath Singh pointed out. Then the question arises, why there exists a part of the society which is trying by its tooth and nail to prevent him from national politics or the politics all together.

    The answer to that question comes from his actions and inactions, from his spoken and unspoken words. BJP is a national party which derives its ideology from Sangh Parivar whose role in demolition of centuries old Mosque is as discerning as black and white. The sister organization of Sangh, RSS, VHP and Bagrang Dal have been many times accused of instigating, propagating and abetting communal riots across the nation, number of times their members have been convicted of these charges and many of their loosely bound organizations have recently been charged with terrorism. The top leader of BJP, Mr. LK Advani, who opposed appointment of Modi on the key position and reasoned that, it will not help party because of his polarizing image, has been indicted by Liberhan Commission into Babri Masjid demolition.

    But it is not all about BJP, though BJP does not share any love with Muslim community, community has not come out with such a decisive will and opinion about the party but addition of Narendra Modi has certainly shifted opinions of Muslims far away from them. The shift of opinion comes from Narendra Modi's personality, which has certain specific traits, some of which he carries with great confidence, which includes, poster boy of development, roll model of good governance and youth icon etc. But there are few notions of his image which pose a great challenge for BJP and to him. The second category of colors of his image create a wide chasm between his supporters and his opponents. These can be named as, strong pro hindutva leader, closeness by Sangh Parivar and his response to Gujarat Riots of 2002. On the question of development, progress and governance he can create a consensus but the equation does not end there, the later parts create problems and shift opinions.

    So, why these wearers of 'Muslim Caps' as Chetan Bhagat refers them to, oppose with so much zeal, a leader who is so competent to become prime minister. The answer lies, in his image, the spoken and unspoken things and things which were done and also things, which were not done. I can point things from his handling of Gujarat riots, his statements, his actions and inaction which prove he does care about some but show apathy to some or even worse conspires with people who commit genocide.

    Following are my reasons for opposing him:

    1. The riots exploded and carefully propagated by the incident of Godhra. Narendra Modi, released a message on Door Darshan in which he described the incident with great passion, and requested people to maintain law and order. He promised that complete legal actions will be taken against those who are guilty and even went on to say, "An example will be set, so that nobody in future dreams to do such heinous act". I accept his anger, because 56 citizens of his state were burnt alive by criminals, and I also applaud his responsible and sensible address to his people to maintain calm and peace. But after Godhra, there were number of massacres, just under the nose of control rooms but Modi failed to give any such address to his state. He was still a CM of every person of his state and this was his 'Raj Dharma' as Vajpayee the PM at that time mentioned, to come again on TV and say, 'even now I will set an example, so that nobody in future dreams of committing acts like masscare in Naroda Patia, Gulbarg socieity and many other places'. He failed to give assurances and sense of security to those affected in the riots.

    Why he did not condemn those acts with the same passion and emotions. Clearly he saw his citizens with two eyes. Some were closer to him than others, some were more important to him than others, few drops of blood was dearer to him than others. He was partial in his response without any doubt.

    2. Gujarat government declared a compensation of 200,000 rupees for the people burnt in Sabarmati Express and 100,000 for the people killed in riots. This was gross misconduct of CM and betrayed his sympathy towards few and his apathy towards some. Later because of the hue and cry from citizens of India the government managed to revised the compensation to 150,000. No amount of PR activity or explanation can absolve these crimes of partiality when it was clear the worst affected were the people of riots and not the burning of the trains. Modi showed his true face with his action.

    3. The partiality does not end here, 131 accused of Godhra train burning were charged with POTA, equating the a criminal act by act of terrorism and waging war against nation. POTA was thrown away from the case by both Gujarat high court as well as Supreme Court of India. It was very clear that Modi was on the path of 'setting an example'. But his 'professional and efficient administration' did not do the same with any accused of riots. This was clearly double standard adopted by Gujarat administration, the responsibility of which does go to Narendra Modi.

    4. In response to the Godhra carnage, VHP the 'pacifism' and 'kind heart' of whose is known to every one called for Gujarat Bandh which was supported by Modi. The Bandh actually acted as fuel for the riots in the days to come. It clearly allowed people conspire, group and 'vent their anger' against innocent civilians. Why Mr. Narendra Modi, did not behave with more prudence and competence and with his all influence on VHP requested them to cancel the bandh.

    5. Many mosques and dargahs were destroyed in riots, restoration of these were serious questions. The tomb of the eighteenth century saint, Wali Gujarati was leveled and paved over by road, the following day by the council. As these shrines were destroyed in riots Gujarat government had every responsibility to help in the restoration but the government actually tried to go away from citing that construction of religious places is not under the responsibility of state government and when directed by Gujarat High Court to do so, they appealed against the judgement in Supreme Court which reminded Gujarat government that restoration of damaged religious places, is not act of 'appeasement' as BJP likes to put it, rather it is responsibility of state government to do so. I think shying away from this responsibility and showing apathy towards Muslims in a situation where they felt most insecure, was gross breach of trust of the whole community.

    6. The carnage left many people homeless and as the pogrom progressed these internal refugee numbers swell. . The official number of internally displaced people was 1.09 lakh and unofficial accounts said, it was 2.5 lakhs. These displace people were living in 101 relief camps set up by Muslim community with the help of NGOs and assisted by State government. Not even a single camp was set up by state government. Even worse, NGOs and camp organizers allege that about 100 such relief camps, were never recognized by the state government for the assistance. It was duty of Narendra Modi to assuage the pain of the people by proper rehabilitation, compensation and moral support. But he looked the other way and tried to find ways to circumvent his duty.

    7. BJP and Modi supporters have always defended Modi from criticism of national NGOs and have many times labled them as being pro Congress and biased towards them, many human right activists are branded as paid by congress, by general BJP sympathizers. So, lets leave national NGOs and Human Right Organization and go to the international organizations which cannot come under the mighty influence of Congress. Among-st the most respected international organizations for Human Rights is Human Rights Watch (HRW) and it produced in depth report on the 2002 riots and criticized the state government, state police, BJP, VHP and RSS. The report can be found at The HRW published follow up report ten years later, which accused state government of taking different stands on crimes of Godhra and aftermath of Godhra. Gujarat government received similar harsh criticism from Amnesy International as well.

    8. On the top of everything, sting of operation of Tahelka, conducted by Ashish Khetan explained the riots bit by bit by the criminals themselves. Based on Tahelka tapes Maya Kondnani was sentenced to 28 years in prison in a Naroda massacre. One should not forget that she was women and child development minister in Modi government. In her judgement, Hon'bl Justice Geeta Johri said that she received help of government and efforts were made to avoid her name appearing on list of accused. It was also noted by Hon'bl court that she was favored by investigating team before SIT. Court also criticized police for not policing in riots and deliberately conducting poor investigations.

    Tahelka sting operation was otherwise very carefully overlooked by Modi and his administration. Investigative agencies with such huge amount of information and unforced confessions failed to bring about strong cases against criminals, and against Modi. I can accept that people in the tape may have over stated or boasted about the scale of their actions but conformity of information, independently coming out from different people was a strong evidence of their involvement and complicity of Modi in the violence. This was gross failure on the part of Modi.

    A lot of time has passed, more than eleven years since the carnage began, it is said, 'time heals everything'. BJP has argued that Congress has successfully seeded idea of Modi and BJP being anti Muslim in the minds of Muslims. I accept there exist a serious effort from Congress to paint BJP and Modi as being pro Hindutva and anti Muslim but it is absolutely not true to say that Musims have just accepted the Congress's narrative without their own cognitive assessment. Specially, Modi being anti Muslim is widely accepted among st Muslim community quite independently and across the various factions of the community. Modi being a mature politician with all his PR activities have failed to gain considerable acceptance with Muslims. There exist a serious question, why after more than eleven years of massacre, he failed to get support of Muslims. The answer for that lies in his character which never allowed to him to go to the Muslims. His approach towards Muslim community does not go hand in hand with his trait of hard line hindutva leader and may be this trait of him is dearer to him than the community of Muslim itself.

    I have lead my argument through facts and very strong established evidences, I have refrained from mentioning anything which is contentious, for example the comment of 'action and reaction', even Mr. Vajpayee's comment about 'Raj Dharma'. These are my reasons to believe that Narendra Modi behaved in most unprofessional way in handling the riots, he failed to give Muslim assurances in similar ways he gave to others, he supported activities which proved to be detrimental for the peace and harmony of the state, he carefully sidelined many of his duty.

    Mr. Ranjnath Singh and Sri Sri Ravishankar, can always say that Muslims should forget about 2002 because its very easy for them to say as no one from their family have been burnt, hacked, raped or looted. These people should restrain their tongues as they are public figures, their comment hurt many who are still denied justice.

    (Habib Siddiqui works in Doha, he can be reached at

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    By Mohammad Sajjad,,

    In the post-independent India, more specifically in Bihar, educational institutions emerged more because of private initiatives, often by landlord politicians. Subsequently, these High Schools and Colleges were aided by the provincial government, and finally taken over by the government. These institutions often recruited employees along caste-lines; these employees also acted as electoral resource persons and "booth-managers" of the landlord politicians.

    A look at history reveals that very few Muslim landlord politicians ventured to this exercise, despite the Constitutional facilities under Articles 29 and 30.
    The Waqf resources fell victim of gross mismanagement and even appalling irregularities, became known more for corruption, fake-sales of landed properties, and many other ills. [For more on this aspect see my forthcoming book Contesting Colonialism and Separatism: Muslims of Muzaffarpur, Bihar, since 1857].

    Syed Tafazzul Karim (1886-1964) however stands apart as a highly inspiring figure. Born in Nagpur, son of Syed Abdul Wahab Husaini, an army man, who shifted to Cuttack, Tafazzul Karim was educated in the Ravenshaw College, but later shifted to enterprising business of leather dying, then became contractor, and subsequently emerged as film distributor and Cinema Hall Entrepreneur with chains of Cinema Halls in Jamalpur, Monghyr, Darjeeling, Asansol, Dhanbad and Jamshedpur (Tatanagar).

    In 1928, Tafazzul Karim settled in Jamshedpur where he constructed three Cinema Halls, viz. the Jamshedpur, the Star and the Karim Talkies.

    He adopted the madrasa attached with the Gaushala Masjid of Jamshedpur and fenced and renovated the Sakchi Qabristan of Jamshedpur, besides donating Rs 1000/- for a High School in Kharagpur.

    In 1945, he created a Trust, the Karimiya Trust, which started an elementary school, High School and in 1961, the Karim City College. The earnings of the Cinema Halls were earmarked for the Trust. Indeed a unique way of financial basis for an educational mission! While supervising the construction of these buildings he also worked as labourer. Growing from strength to strength, the Karim City College, added post graduate courses, B.Ed courses, LLB (now abandoned, which probably needs revival), and more recently graduate courses in Computer Science and Masscommunication. It has recently added one more campus for itself in Jamshedpur.

    This college has recruited quite a few Aligs as its faculty, and undoubtedly the managing qualities as well as the in terms of quality education it imparts, it must be one of the best managed Muslim minority educational institutions of India.

    In the horrific riots of 1964, Tafazzul Karim had given shelter to large number of people offering meals often co-cooked by him also.

    [Inputs from Dr Fakhruddin, Alig, who teaches Economics in the Karim City College, Jamshedpur]

    (Mohammad Sajjad is an Assistant Professor at the Centre of Advanced Study (CAS) in History, Aligarh Muslim University.)

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    By Mohd Mudassir Alam,

    Aligarh: The long wait for the Centre (Campus) of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in Kishanganj district of Bihar finally came to an end with announcement of admission in B.Ed. (Bachelor of Education) course for the session 2013-14 on Saturday.

    The information was shared by Prof Javaid Akhter, former Dean Faculty of Management and Officer on Special Duty (OSD) for AMU centres with Human Chain, a non-government organisation based in Delhi striving for the cause of AMU Kishanganj since it was announced in 2009. Prof Akhter said, “Lt. Gen (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah the Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University had given approval for the start of session at Kishanganj with B.Ed. from 2013-14 session.” was first to report that the Kishanganj centre would begin later this year. In an exclusive interview with TCN, Vice Chancellor of AMU, Lieutenant General Zameerud-din Shah had said last month that within two months the Kishanganj centre should be functional with a course in Bachelors in Education, latest by November.

    With approval of AMU Vice Chancellor, the controller of examination issues a notification for introduction of B.Ed in Kishanganj along with two other centres namely Murshidabad (West Bengal) and Mallapuram (Kerala). The office memo duly signed by Ataat Hussain, Deputy Controller (Admissions) says, “In pursuance of the Resolution passed by the Academic Council held on 09.05.2013 under Any Other Item and Office Memo D.No (C) / 6073 dated 28.08.2013, the Vice Chancellor on behalf of the Academic / Executive Council in exercise of his powers vested in him under Section 19(3) of the AMU Act, 1920 (as amended up-to-date) has approved the introduction of Bachelor of Education Course (B.Ed.) from the session 2013-2013”.

    The notification of start of session at Kishanganj has been welcomed by Human Chain. Mohammad Aslam, President Human Chain said, “Our continuous effort for establishment of AMU Kishanganj centre has brought fruitful and satisfactory result. I am speechless and thanking to Almighty for blessing the district of Kishanganj and Seemanchal with centre of prestigious Aligarh Muslim University.”

    Human Chain governing body members namely Mujahid Akhat Naaz, Salam Anwar, Tauquir Alam (JNU), Tarique Sufyan, Naseem Haider, Tauqueer Alam (MSW), Minnat Rahmani, Ghaznafar Elahi, Wasim Akhtar, Jahangir Alam, Sarwar Alam, Ghulam Tarique, Najeeb Sagar, Mokarram Zia, Shah Azam and other members have thanked AMU Vice Chancellor and executive council for giving green signal to AMU Kishanganj centre.

    There are a total of 60 intake in B.Ed. course at AMU Kishanganj centre for subjects English (8 seats), Urdu (seats), Hindi (5 seats), History (3 seats), Geography (3 seats), Civics (3 seats), Economics (3 seats), Commerce (3 seats), Mathematics (8 seats), Biological Sciences (6 seats), Physical Sciences (6 seats), Arabic (3 seats) and Islamic Studies (3 seats). Candidates can fill online form from 21st September to 7th October, 2013. The entrance test will be conducted on 27th October, 2013 at Kishanganj, while the results would be declared on 10th November, 2013. The Admission formalities will be completed on 22nd November, 2013 and classes would start from 23rd November, 2013.

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    Petitioner believe implementation of ACT will control hooligan Gau Raksha Militia during Bakreid.

    By Staff Reporter,

    Hyderabad: Most of the Cow slaughter prohibition Act’s in India provides a fair play game and detail procedure to be followed to prohibit cow and to regulate slaughter of other cattle’s, but due to their non implementation it’s resulting in law and order following into the hands of fringe religious elements.

    Keeping in mind ongoing communal tensions annually before Bakried, a Public Interest Litigation No. 422/2013 has been filed in the Andhra Pradesh High Court demanding implementation of Andhra Pradesh prohibition of cow slaughter and animal preservation Act of 1977.

    Practicing Advocate Ghulam Rabbani who filed this PIL in the court informed TCN that implementation of this ACT is the best way to control Anti-social elements that always get active before Eid-ul-Azha.

    According to Advocate Ghulam Rabbani during Bakreid season in every village Bazars or markets are organized to sell cattle for slaughter purpose. The seller usually will be non-Muslims and buyers will be those Muslims who will want to resell it in higher prices at other places like cities and towns. Even though those Muslims merchants will buy those consignment of animals worth Lakhs by getting a sale deed, they are getting stopped on the high ways roads by so called cow protection militia and police, those animals worth lakhs will be seized without giving any reason and moreover those Muslims who were transporting the animals gets beaten up badly by right wing hooligans.

    This anarchy will not prevail if there is a competent authority to certify the sell and slaughter of the animals other than cow which is provided in the above mention ACT. According to this Act except cow other animals can be slaughtered after obtaining certificate from a competent authority along with its veterinary doctor. According to sec 3(1) of this ACT "Animal" means Bull, Bullock, Buffaloe, Male or Female, or Calf, whether Male or Female of a She-Buffaloe.

    Section 4 of this ACT instructs the Government to appoint a competent authority which could be a person or a group of persons, to certify the animals fit for slaughter. Sec tion 6 of the Act clearly allows slaughter of animals which are bought after obtaining certificate from competent authority of the area; sec 6(2) gives exception to those animals that are used for Breeding, Draught or any kind of Agricultural operations or giving milk or bearing off-spring.

    Advocate Ghulam Rabbani believes that non implementation of this Act is the main reason for ongoing hegemony of ultra Right Wing Hindu militia whom are forming check points on the high ways and attacking vehicle carrying animals for slaughter which is resulting in communal sensitivity during Eid ul Azha.

    He said most of those Muslim cattle merchants who buy bull and bullocks for slaughter during Bakrid got only sale deeds as no competent authority is appointed by Government in hundreds of markets where sellers are mostly Hindu villagers. When they get caught transporting animals police demand certificate which obviously will not be available, thus Muslims gets on the receiving end due to non-implementation of this Act.

    According to sec 9 of this Act only competent authority appointed by the Govt. is allowed to inspect any premises where they fear of violation of this Act. But in clear breach of this Act local police was seen raiding localities in old Hyderabad to catch animals brought in for slaughter resulting in tensions.

    Proper implementation of this Act and appointment of competent authority in every mandal, village and district level will ensure end to police high handedness and harassment to cattle traders.

    Advocate Ghulam Rabbani told TCN that 1977 Act clearly commands state Government to regulate and control the animal slaughter which Government has failed in doing eve on appointing the competent authority resulting in the rise of private militia’s whom are taking law and order in their hands. If Government implement this Act in true letter and spirit then Gau Raksha Samithi militia who are running region of terror especially during Eid-ul-Azha will be ended, which will insure maintenance of peace and law and order in the state.

    PIL is up for admission hearing on Monday on the bench of chief justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and Justice K.C. Bhanu.

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    By M R Narayan Swamy, IANS,

    New Delhi : Muslims who saw armed gangs drag out innocents and slaughter them in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh are refusing to go back to their villages, a Muslim leader said Sunday.

    Zafar Islam Khan, president of the All India Majlis-e-Mushawarat, also said that the horrendous communal riots were the work of Hindutva forces but the Uttar Pradesh government was also to blame for inaction.

    Khan told IANS after his second visit to Muzaffarnagar in a week that those Muslims in refugee camps who witnessed their own neighbours indulge in cold blooded killings were adamantly refusing to return to their villages.

    "There are two types of Muslims in the refugee centres," he said. "One is those who saw people being killed or burnt. They are so traumatized that they have said they won't go back (to their homes), come what may."

    Such people, he said, belong primarily to four villages including Lakh, Lasadh and Pataudi.

    "The others basically fled their villages out of fear. They have started going back," said Khan, 64.

    The Sep 7-9 conflagration shattered the myth that only urban communities are prone to communal violence. Much of the violence in farm-rich Muzaffarnagar district, 130 from New Delhi, occurred in villages where Hindus and Muslims have lived mostly in peace for generations.

    The riots, officials say, claimed 48 lives, injured scores and forced more than 40,000 people to flee their homes, a scenario that forced the government to deploy the army.

    Police officials admit most of those killed were Muslims.

    Khan, one of the Muslim leaders who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after the latter's visit to Muzaffarnagar, said rightwing Hindu groups allied to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lit the communal fire.

    "It will be wrong to call what happened in Muzaffarnagar as a Hindu-Muslim riot. Only Jats were involved and, that too, those aligned to the BJP," he said. "Gujjars, Baniyas and Brahmins were not involved. And Jats who tried to restore sanity were told to shut up. This was a Jat-Muslim clash."

    He denied that the alleged harassment of a Hindu girl by a Muslim thug led to the violence.

    "Like so much else, this is propaganda. There have already been some 100 small and big riots in UP since the Samajwadi Party took office (last year).

    "What really happened in Muzaffarnagar was a fight between a Jat youth and two Muslim youths last month after their motorcycles were involved in an accident," he said, his account based on numerous conversions in the region.

    "The Jat boy went to his village and brought a gang which killed the two Muslims. Then the two Jat boys were killed in retaliation.

    "Had police arrested the killers in both cases, there would have been no explosion."

    But tensions did simmer, leading to a mass gathering of Jat villagers Sep 7. When some of them came under attack from Muslims, all hell broke loose.

    "Police did not act," Khan said. "Not only this, when Muslims were targeted, the police were either spectators or, in some cases, colluded with the killers."

    According to Khan, Hindutva groups - which deny the allegation - have been trying to polarize Hindus for some months in Uttar Pradesh in a bid to create a wave in their favour ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

    Will there be long-term consequences of these riots?

    Khan told IANS: "This will depend on the government. If it does not act against the killers, then the virus will spread. But if the guilty are punished, then a strong message will go out that this is not acceptable."

    But despite the violence, Muslims in Uttar Pradesh may not dump the ruling Samajwadi Party, he said.

    "This is because Muslims don't have too many options outside of the SP and BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party). The Congress has no structure in UP."

    (M R Narayan Swamy can be contacted at

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    By Ashok Easwaran, IANS,

    Chicago : The shadow of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, and his alleged complicity in the 2002 communal riots in his state, has created a controversy here with the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions (CPWR) withdrawing its support to the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda.

    The CPWR was formed in 1893 and organized the conference which Vivekananda addressed in Chicago that year.

    Vivekananda's birth anniversary celebrations are to be held here on Sep 27-28, under the banner of "World Without Borders" with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and several temples among its sponsors.

    Withdrawing its support to the event, Dr Mary Nelson, vice chair of the board of CPWR said in a statement: "The Council is a 120 -year-old peace building organization whose mission, like Swami Vivekananda's is to promote peace and inter-religious harmony. We honor Swami Vivekananda and that legacy he left creating inter-faith cooperation to build a just, peaceful and sustainable world. Our organization was not informed that an event we were asked to co-sponsor was also co-sponsored by organizations promoting controversial political positions."

    "While we do honor and promote the ideals of Swami Vivekananda, we respectfully withdraw our name from any co-hosting or co-sponsorship of the 'World without borders' and any connection to this event or other co-sponsors."

    'Coalition against genocide', a group which has accused Narendra Modi and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of complicity in the 2002 communal riots had reportedly strongly campaigned with the CPWR to withdraw its sponsorship to the event. The coalition says it is dedicated to justice and accountability for the 2002 riots in Gujarat and to "combating extremist ideologies that were its genesis"

    Two members of the CPWR's board of trustees, Anju Bharagava and Dr Anantanand Rambachan, have said that they were not consulted on the CPWR's decision. "Once we found out, we requested an explanation for the Parliament's decision. We have also formally requested the Parliament to reverse its decision ," they said.

    Bharagava is a member of President Barack Obama's Inaugural Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and Rambachan is chair and professor of religion, philosophy and Asian studies at Saint Olaf College, Minnesota.

    Meanwhile, Suhag Shukla, executive director of the Hindu American Foundation has said that Nelson's statement that the CPWR withdrew its sponsorship because the organizers "promoted controversial positions will be seen as ironic at best and institutional hypocrisy at worst."

    In a letter to Dr Nelson, Shukla said, "I am left with the impression that an unknown segment of CPWR took what can only be seen as a capricious, unilateral decision without respect for democratic process, and of greater concern, without any regard for the understanding of the Hindu community - that Dr Rambachan and Ms Bhargava would have provided - the latter omission violating every core principle of interfaith dialogue, engagement and respect."

    Dr Shamkant Sheth, an official of the VHP of America, has in a letter to Nelson sought to know "which of our co-sponsoring organizations are promoting controversial positions and what these positions are. As a US based not for profit, religious and cultural organization that is not interested in politics, we ourselves are curious to know the specific reasons for your actions."

    In a statement to the media, Nelson said that the CPWR had no further comments on the issue.

    (Ashok Easwaran can be contacted at

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Incidents of communal violence would be high on the agenda of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he addresses the National Integration Council meeting here Monday, informed sources said.

    The meeting, coming against the backdrop of the Sep 7 riots in Muzaffarnagar of western Uttar Pradesh which left over 40 dead and thousands displaced, will discuss ways to curb hate propaganda and deal with incidents of communal violence. The security of women and weaker sections of society will also be on the agenda of the meeting, the sources said.

    The NIC would take up the use of social media by certain sections in fanning violence. Fake videos put up on social media were cited by police as the spark that set off the Muzaffarnagar conflagration.

    The meeting would consider how the social media could also be tapped to promote national integration and reduce communal tension.

    The controversial anti-communal violence bill, which has been hanging fire for some years, would also be discussed at the NIC meeting with an aim to evolve consensus on the issue.

    Recently, a group of Muslim leaders who met the prime minister over incidents of communal violence across India stressed the need for a bill to effectively deal with the issue.

    The meeting assumes significance as the union home ministry has estimated that instances of communal violence could go up in an election year, as these would be engineered in a bid to polarise voters.

    Five states are set for assembly polls this year-end, and general elections 2014 are scheduled to be held around April next year.

    The NIC was constituted to combat the evils of communalism, casteism, regionalism, linguism and narrow-mindedness, as a follow-up of the National Integration Conference under then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru in September-October 1961.

    The first meeting of the NIC was held in 1962.

    In the meeting held 1968, the NIC declared its objectives as unity in diversity, freedom of religions, secularism, equality, justice -- social, economic and political -- and fraternity among all communities.

    The NIC, however, notes with concern the increase in communal incidents in different parts of the country over the last few years. The council emphasises that notwithstanding sporadic occurrences of communal and other divisive conflict, the vast majority of common men and women, irrespective of religious affiliation, live in peace and harmony and have no interest in violence and disorder.

    The council holds that the task of amity and peace between communities is not the government's alone, but the collective responsibility of all citizens -- politicians, educationists, artists, writers, teachers, parents and students, intellectuals, businessmen and trade union leaders.

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    By Abdul Gani,,

    Guwahati: Expert on gender studies and former member of Lok Sabha Malini Bhattacharya expressed serious concern over insecurity of women in Indian as she delivered a lecture on the topic ‘Can Law Help Women to Survive?’ in Guwahati on Sunday.

    “This situation, as we can see, is insecure and hazardous for women as for all others who are unequal. The state can offer them no protection any longer and their social identities based on community, caste and ethnicity turn more and more restrictive even as they become trapped in this identity,” Bhattacharya who was also a former professor of Jadavpur University told a gathering speaking on the occasion of 9th Brajanath Sarma Annual Lecture.

    Malini Bhattacharya delivering her speech

    The Dhaka born scholar who has written several gender related books further said that law in itself cannot restore equality when the social-political forces are moving in a different direction. “In fact law takes its rise from the social rubric and reflects its tendencies. If in our country, we find that it is well-nigh impossible for the poor and the powerless to find justice, that even when convictions come they come too late for the aggrieved to benefit from it, that such people avoid the police and the law-court unless they are absolute desperate. It shows that law has very little autonomy,” she added.

    With number of crimes against women are increasing everyday in India and with the recent historical judgement of a fact tract court on the four accused of the Delhi rape case this has become the most talked after issue in the recent time.

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    By Dr. Syed Ahmed for,

    Imphal: The Deputy Chief Minister of Manipur, Gaikhangam send off the second batch of Haj pilgrims, numbering 227, for Guwahati from the Tulihal Airport at Imphal on September 21, 2013.

    As the Chief Minister of the State, O. Ibobi Singh is at present on an official visit to China the Deputy Chief Minister met the pilgrims and wished them a safe journey to Mecca. He also requested the pilgrims to pray to the Almighty for peace and prosperity of the state.

    CM O. Ibobi Singh seeing off haj pilgrims in 2012 [Photo by E.Pao]

    The see-off function, held at the Tulihal Airport at Imphal was also attended by the Member of Parliament of the State Dr. Thokchom Meina Singh, Agriculture Minister Md. Abdul Nasir, Chairman of Manipur State Haj Committee and Parliamentary Secretary (MOBC) Md. Amin Shah, Chairman of Wakf Board, Manipur and MLA Md. Fazur Rahim, and Muslim leaders of the State.

    The first batch of 17 Haj pilgrims had left for Guwahati on September 20. The last team of 102 pilgrims left for Guwahati on September 22. In all, 346 pilgrims will be performing Haj from the State. The Haj pilgrims will board the flights for Saudi Arabia from Guwahati International Airport on September 23 and 24.

    Before leaving for China, Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh had inaugurated the four-day (September 24-27, 2013) orientation/training programme for Haj pilgrims at Madrasa Alia (Markaz-e-Tabligh), Lilong in Thubal district on August 24. The orientation programme was organized by Manipur State Haj Committee to give important instructions to the pilgrims regarding the sacred journey. The Chief Minister had urged the pilgrims to pray for peace and harmony of Manipur at the holy city.

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    Title: Highway 39: Journeys through a fractured land

    Author: Sudeep Chakravarti

    Publisher: Fourth Estate, Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers

    Publication Year: 2012

    ISBN 9789350293348

    Language: English

    Binding: Paperback

    Pages: 388 Pages

    By Abdul Kalam Azad,

    “Do you want an honest answer? I don’t consider myself an India”In 2002 or 2003, a first generation entrepreneur from Manipur, Neichute Doulo who was born in 1972, gives an honest answer that she doesn’t consider herself as an Indian as like as she doesn’t consider herself as an American or as a Chinese.

    The book “Highway 39: Journeys through a fractured land” Published in 2012 and writer Suddep Chakravarti started working in 2008. He traveled the ‘fractured land’ through the attributes of National Highway 39, which starts from Numligarh of Assam. Numaligarh the place, which is famous for oil refining, for some of the Assamese it is the sign of economic exploitation by the Indian state as well!

    In 2013, Supreme Court of India strikes down the demand of Inner Line Permit for Manipur. Why after so many years of independence, people of the fractured land want to be isolated? Why they are in a dilemma to take Look East Policy whole heartedly? What are the reasons behind?

    First Prime Minister of the country Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru described Manipur as the ‘Jewel of India’. After more than half a century, why the people of that ‘Jewel’ feels alienated from the mainland India? Why the women went necked to register their agony through the slogans like “Indian Army Rape Us!” Why Irom Shormila is on indefinite hunger strike for over a decade now?

    To find answer of these entire questions, perhaps Sudeep Chakravarti’s Highway 39 may be your best companion. Sudeep Chakravarti, the author of the “Red Sun: Travels in Naxalite Country”, a well articulated book with a narrative journalistic approach. He also authored at least three fictions. His debut novel Tin Fish is a bestselling book. He is basically a hardcore journalist. He started his career with The Asian Wall Street Journal, then held senior position in Sunday, India Today and HT Media. He has now settled in Goa and is busy in serious and long writings. His critics say that, he is now exposed to the actual ‘field’ of journalism!

    Highway 39 is the result of his enthusiastic journey into the deep hinterlands of Manipur and Nagaland. This is basically a travelogue, which narrates, almost everything that matters the people of this region. He vividly describes the beauty of the region as well in his book.

    Vidyarani, a sixth standard girl student was illegally detained by the Indian military and the Manipur Police to nab her parents. She was kept captive from 14th August to 18th August until her parents surrendered before the police. Sudeep Chakravarti finds out how the horrific incident changed the life of a little girl. Vidyarani fears, perhaps her parents are being tortured. She can’t speak or play with her friends any more. Sudeep remembers his own little girl child who is having a beautiful childhood!

    The brutality, there is no limit in fact! The author describes in a chapter, an alleged active member of PLA (People’s Liberation Army) was given electric shocks eight times in his private parts! Rape, murder, detention, harassment are the everyday day business. In another chapter “Find a scapegoat, frame him, kill him. Then, kill some more” the author describes how a former PLA associate Sanjit was framed and killed. Sanjit was twice arrested and freed. His family insisted to distract him from his former comrade and was working in private hospital since 2006, but he was framed and killed in 2009.

    Author remembers the article headline of Tehelka “Murder in Plain Sight: In Manipur death comes easily”. The police also killed a pregnant woman Rabina and had given explanation that she was killed accidently when police fired at the “fleeing youth” (Sanjit). Sudeep Chakravarti meets the family of Rabina, gets down into the pain and suffering of the family. He discovers two and half years old Russel was accompanying his mother when she was killed. Sudeep’s description is vivid and heart touching!

    People allege that Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) has given licence to the armed personals to harass them, kill them and rape them. Irom Sharmila is fighting to repeal the law since long time. Government is not heading to her demand; on the other hand she is being prosecuted under the India Penal Code alleging that she trying to suicide? What an irony! The Act which was designed by the colonial government to suppress the Indians, now that Act is being used to oppressed the Indians! The Justice JS Verma committee formulated after Delhi gang rape case, recommended to repeal the black law and also suggested to make the senior official responsible for committing rape by his/her subordinate. But the government didn’t accept the recommendations for the reasons best known to the government only!

    Sudeep Chakravarti not only recorded the brutality of the armed forces alone; he also shown how a parallel administration is being run by the militants in this region. The people have to pay the taxes to the militants as well to live in the society. Otherwise consequences are imaginable. He also described the fights and killing among the factions of the militant groups. Once they were comrades has become deadly enemies now. The militants are fighting each other for mere ego also!

    He extensively traveled Kohima, Senapati, Imphal, Thoubal, Ukhrul, Moreh and the interior villages of those areas. He met militants, police administrators, civil administrators, victims, human rights activist, social activists and the people in general during his journey. He talked to them and tried to find out where the problem lies. He talks to the leadership of NSCN. He met Thuingaleng Muivah and discusses about their movement, development and future roadmap of Naga Movement.

    He describes how the people feels alienated from the mainland India due to the inhuman atrocities by the police and military as well economic stagnation. He tries to find out the aspiration of local people, economic prosperity of this region. Geographically, this area is a wonderful place for tourism development. The beautiful lake like Loktak can attract thousands of tourists. But it is not being possible. In a chapter “Who told you this is a tourist place?” the author ironically asked a young couple from Delhi who visited Imphal for the first time “How many checkpoints did you count?” The young lady answered “I lost count after five”. In this scenario can we expect tourism development? Another important point is that this place is neighbouring to international border of Myanmar. Moreh, the last point of Highway 39 is a business centre. But it is not developed as it can be expected.

    At the conclusion, two statements of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru are wondering in my mind. First statement I have shared in the very beginning of the discussion, he termed Manipur as ‘Jewel of India”. After so many years of oppression, subjugation and exploitation perhaps Indian state couldn’t identify that “Jewel”. God knows how many years they will take to at least understand that the people living in that “Jewel” are also human being! They have human right and deserve a life with dignity! And the second statement of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is on Naga movement, he said “it would be a matter of few days for the Indian armed forces to crush the Nagas”. But after 60 years of this statement Nagas are still fighting for their rights and dignity.

    I would recommend the book as a must read, especially for those who are working or intended to work in the field of peace and conflict resolution and ethnicity as well.

    (Abdul Kalam Azad is currently doing Masters of Arts in Social Work with specialisation in Community Organisation and Development Practices from prestigious Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Before joining TISS, he was working as a Branch Manager with Ujjivan Financial Services Pvt. Ltd, a leading Microfinance Company in India.)

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Expressing concern over the increasing incidents of communal violence, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday said the government agencies should act with full force against people responsible for riots.

    Speaking at the National Integration Council (NIC) meeting here held after this month's communal violence in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh that led to the death of over 50 people, the prime minister said the government should be seen as acting as per law so that people of all religions had faith in it.

    "The government should use full force to act against those responsible for riots however powerful they may be and to whichever party they may belong," the prime minister said.

    "It is important to ensure that the local administration not only acts swiftly to prevent incidents from taking bigger shape but ensures punishment to the guilty at the earliest," he said.

    The prime minister said the meeting had a special significance in light of the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar.

    He said over 50 people were killed in communal clashes that broke out in Muzaffarnagar in the last week of August.

    The prime minister expressed satisfaction that "we are all agreed about the need to do our very best to promote communal harmony, to prevent atrocities against the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and in the process, we must do all that we can, to stand by the values inscribed in our constitution".

    "It is clear from what has been said today that threats from communal, separatist and obscurantist forces to our nation's integrity, gender relations, harmony and equality for all our citizens must be dealt with firmly and promptly," he said.

    He also expressed concern over misuse of social media in inciting communal violence.

    "Earlier social media had been misused to trigger violence against people of the northeast. We must find a way to stop misuse of social media," he said.

    Chief ministers of several non-Congress ruled states, including Narendra Modi of Gujarat, J. Jayalalithaa of Tamil Nadu, Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal and Naveen Patnaik of Odisha, were not present.

    Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot of the Congress was also not present.

    Telugu Desam Party leader Chandrababu Naidu staged a walkout after being told during his speech that the situation in Andhra Pradesh over a decision to create separate state of Telangana was not on the agenda of the day-long meeting.

    Referring to the violence in Muzaffarnagar, the prime minister said: "As far as government officials are concerned, they should have strict instructions that no lapse will be tolerated in cases of communal tensions and in case of riots their responsibility will be fixed."

    He said discussion about which political party stands to benefit or lose in elections due to communal violence was "really unfortunate".

    "I appeal to political parties and the media that they should not give political colour to a communal incident and not try to reap political benefit from it," he said.

    "Our government will take them on strictly," the prime minister said.

    The prime minister said there was need to change the mindset to stop crime against women.

    "It is a shameful matter that women are not treated properly. I am hopeful this meet will come up with good suggestions to deal with violence against women," the prime minister said.

    "A country can only progress if women can move around freely, make independent choices. We must change mindsets to stop crimes against women," he said.

    Voicing similar concerns, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said no society could progress without respecting women.

    The meeting was attended by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Leaders of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, respectively, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani, several union ministers and NIC members.

    Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav blamed political parties for the Muzaffarnagar violence.

    "It looks at present that in view of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, some prominent political parties are making dangerous efforts to mislead the public and spoil communal harmony," Akhilesh Yadav said.

    Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad told media persons that "fascist and communal forces want to engineer riots on a big scale" with an eye to the next general elections.

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