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Indian Muslim

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    By TCN News,

    Kozhikode: Those parties which want Muslim support should understand Islam in its true sense, said KK Suhra, Jamaat e Islami Kerala secretary during her inaugural address of Muslim women’ conference organised by women’s’ wing of JIH in response to the ongoing public debates on Muslim women.

    The ongoing debates between the secularists and clergies of Muslim community on women regarding her freedom and social status exclude Muslim women’s involvement, she said. Muslim woman is not permitted to express their remarks even in the subject concerning them.

    Modern society does not acknowledge or recognise the progress achieved by women across the globe. Still being conceived materially, exploitation of women still continues. Religious orthodox people should abandon their adamant nature against Muslim women and be ready to take the half part of the community in their way forward. Muslim society at whole is being abused for the fall of some orthodox clergies.

    Marriage is a strong mutual contract. It necessitates maturity and awareness. Dowry system should be abolished throughout the ‘Mahal’s (Islamic Parishes). Muslim leaders should explicit their stand regarding this immoral system. She urged the religious leaders to come forward to eradicate the creeps and reinvest the glory of the community.

    JIH women’s’ wing president, Safiyya Ali presided over the programme. Girls Islamic Organisation (GIO) president P Ruksana, JIH Kerala State Council member PV Rahmabi, Calicut Corporation Councillor Saifunnisa, Adv. Leila, State Council Member A. Rahmathunnisa also talked.

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    By Special Correspondent,

    Aizawl: Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system will be used for the first time in Mizoram assembly elections on a large scale which is scheduled to be held on November 25.

    Election Commission officials informed that it will be used in 10 constituencies.

    VVPAT or verified paper record (VPR) is a method of providing feedback to voters using a ballot-less voting system. A VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for voting machines designed to allow voters to verify that their vote was cast correctly, to detect possible election fraud or malfunction, and to provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.

    The VVPAT system was first experimented in the Noksen Assembly by poll recently in Nagaland. Chief Electoral officer, Ashwini Kumar, who is looking after the new system, said that they are trying their best to make it a success. “The VVPAT is a new thing which is being used for the first time. There are lot of people who are not aware of it. We have trained our polling officials in all these 10 assembly segments properly,” Kumar told reporters.

    The EC has already published and telecast advertisements in newspapers, television and radio besides hoardings and posters regarding the usage of VVPAT.

    Ashwini Kumar also said that there are 217 polling stations in the 10 assembly segments where five to six visual ads will be put up for the convenience of voters.

    The leaders of the opposition have expressed their happiness at the pioneering step taken up by the EC so as to minimize the chances of tampering.

    Security Arrangements:

    To avoid any untoward incident during the polls, an additional 31 companies of central para-military forces and police from neighbouring states have been deployed besides seven armed battalions of the state police. Another major worry factor in the path of free and fair elections is the Manipur border from where militants from the neighbouring state might enter the state.

    Security has also been tightened along the unfenced 64 km border near the tri-junction of Mizoram-Tripura-Bangladesh in Mamit district.

    Security has also been beefed up in 94 polling stations which are located along the border areas out of 1,126 in the state after being marked as ‘critical’.

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: A unique cycle rally is scheduled to finally reach Jamia Millia Islamia on November 25, 2013 at 4 PM after covering a distance of approximately 1121 Kms from Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir), through Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Union Territory of Chandigarh, to Delhi spreading the message of providing a safe and secure environment for all including women.

    The rally was formally flagged off from Srinagar on 9th November, 2013 by Hon.’ble Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, Mr. Omar Abdullah.

    The rally, whose participants are 25 students of Jamia (11 Girls and 14 Boys) along with 15 staff members led by Major (Prof.) N.U. Khan, NCC Officer and Professor in the Department of Social Work at Jamia Millia Islamia, carried an important social message to the world, especially concerning the safety and security of women. During the course of this rally, there were local interaction with the villagers and students of the states that the rally travelled through. The several objectives of the rally were:

    1) To generate awareness about women’s safety and security,
    2) To provide an opportunity to Jamia students to understand the mores of different regions of India,
    3) To expose Jamia students to challenges as they undertake this strenuous journey so that they develop necessary skills to overcome such situations in life, and
    4) To foster National Integration among the youth of the country

    Jamia has always been in the forefront of carrying forward important social messages to the world, and it is with the objective that Jamia Millia Islamia adopted the unique mode of spreading such messages through cycle rallies that it has taken out from time to time. This concept of Cycle Rally was initiated by the former Vice-Chancellor of the University, Shri Najeeb Jung.

    The University will felicitate the spirit of these young ambassadors from Jamia Millia Islamia who will be received by Shri Najeeb Jung, Hon.’ble Lieutenant Governor of NCT of Delhi and former Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia on November 25, 2013 at 4 PM at the lawns of Dr. M.A Ansari Auditorium, Jamia Millia Islamia.

    Najeeb Jung shall also be the Chief Guest of the Felicitation Function and will address the participants of the cycle rally and audience on this occasion.

    Prof. S.M. Sajid, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia shall preside over the function.

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    By Mohd. Ismail Khan,,

    Bhopal: Old city of Bhopal is witnessing what could earlier easily been a shady imaginary. A bearded man with skull cap intact who resembles more of old Maulana from local Mosque campaigning in BJP bogey. Arif Baig, former Union Minister is the lone Muslim candidate of BJP in Madhya Pradesh, fielded from Bhopal Uttar (North) by Sangh to defeat Congress heavyweight and lone Muslim MLA of the state Arif Aqeel.

    Bhopal North which has become a prestige issue for the Sangh Parivar, which has been sort of ‘adopted’ by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chaouhan to plan an end to 20 years reign of 63 year old Arif Aqeel a four times MLA and staunch anti-RSS man.

    Chouhan in turn played his fashion politics and transformed Hindu vs Muslim match over Bhopal North into ‘communal’ Congress Vs ‘secular’ BJP fight by pulling in 78 year old Arif Baig from virtual retirement.

    BJP has fielded a Muslims candidate in Bhopal after a gap of 25 years, and in whole of MP, after 15 years.

    “Allah ke fazal se (with God’s grace) it’s going in systematic way,” Arif Baig tell TCN about his campaign in a puny voice resembling his age.

    “I didn’t have any application form for nomination. Chief Minister himself asked me ‘BhaiJaan will you contest from this seat’. I told him I am ready to work for the party at any place it requires,” Septuagenarian BJP Muslim candidate said.

    (Arif Biag with his supporters.)

    It might be a challenge for Sangh to wrestle out this seat from Congress but for Arif Baig it’s just another election with a ‘kid’. “From past 51 years I am in politics. This election is not a big deal for me. I have been two time Member of Parliament, MLA from this state assembly and a cabinet Minster. It’s not like how people think it is. He (Arif Aqeel) is like a small brother to me. Equal to his life, has been my years in politics,” says the old man.

    And then he doesn’t miss to mention that he is the same Arif Baig who defeated former president of India, “From this same city I defeated late Shankar Dayal Sharma former President of India from Bhopal Lok Sabha election with 1,06,000 votes.”

    Arif Baig’s long political innings which he mentions with immense proud was marred with varying ideological inclinations. Originally from Indore he started his political career with Socialist Party then after few years in 1973 joined Bharatiya Jan Sangh. After emergency was lifted he got with political hot cake of that time Janta Party and in 1977 defeated Shankar Dayal Sharma to be made Cabinet Minister in Morarji Desai Government. In late 1980’s he again re-joined Jan Sangh which was now re-organized as Bharatiya Janta Party. In 1989, at the peak of Ram Janmaabhoomi movement on BJP ticket he won Lok Sabha election from Betul.

    In 1996 elections when BJP denied him ticket, he joined the Congress. But in 2003 he left the party to re-join BJP alleging lack of respect and stiff hierarchy in the Congress.

    But since 2003 Arif Baig was almost inactive from the politics, he was in media glare only for few times in 2004 and 2008 when he was lobbying for ticket for his son. And when he infamously sat on protest to support Muslim Rashtriya Manch leader Indresh Kumar, while his name was came up in connection with the Ajmer bomb blast investigation.

    His rival Arif Aqeel is using his decade of absence from politics as a weapon to attack his seriousness for public service.

    “Politics is the only flied where a man can never get retire,” tells Arif Baig now in a sudden charged voice. “He (Aqeel) has been active in politics, has he done anything for Muslims in Bhopal. That’s my question to him.” Mr. Biag asked.

    Arif Baig’s supporters are not ready to accept the argument either. Gaurav Sharma, his campaign manager, said that “Baig saheb is a social reformer in true sense and in his inactive period of politics he was involved in social activism.”

    Sharma said that Mr. Baig played an instrumental role in bringing BJP close to Muslims. “He was the main brain behind party’s Minority Morcha wing, he also established Anjuman Aman Dost to bridge a communal gap between Hindus and Muslims,” Sharma elaborated.

    Communal polarization runs deep in the grass roots of Madhya Pradesh politics, supporters of Congress MLA Arif Aqeel argues that Congress Muslim candidates finds it difficult to garner Hindu votes, in the same way BJP’s Muslim candidate will face the same situation. To which Arif Baig replies “They will see for themselves at the polling date. If one sees my main office every institution, even RSS is present there for my campaign.”

    Lakshman Upadhyaya, a RSS activist campaigning for Arif Baig, echoed Baig, when he said confidently, “Whole Sangh is behind Baig Saheb”, adding, “RSS has given strict orders to its cadres to campaign rigorously and religiously for Arif Baig. We have started a door to door campaign to ensure his victory.”

    According to Lakshman Upadhyaya, Sangh is doing first of its kind experiment in Madhya Pradesh, rising above religious politics, and if it succeeds than it will open up new political avenues in the state.

    But when we asked Arif Baig about fear of RSS among Muslims, and the signal it will give to his Muslim voters when they see RSS men campaigning for him, Arif Baig responds “In my 50 years of politics I have removed that fear. Neither I nor my Muslims now fear anyone, Alahmdulliah.” And the reason he gives, “True Muslims should fear only Allah and no one else.”

    Using Islamic citations frequently Arif Baig minces no word in questioning the religious credibility of Arif Aqeel, “He asks votes on the plank of ‘Islam khatre mein hai’ (Islam is in danger) but he doesn’t have any relation with Masjid. I am associated with BJP since 40 years but till now I haven’t left a single Namaz, nor a single Roza of Ramzan. My party, from top leadership to local worker knows this and respects it.”

    The BJP candidate issued a fatwa against his rival in chaste Urdu, “He is Be-sharaiah (one who doesn’t follow sharaih) and I am Ba-shariah (one who follows sharaih), Alhamdullialh. I am not saying this for Khud Numai, (praising oneself) but want my whole community to be Namazi and Basabar (patient).”

    Even supporters of Congress MLA Arif Aqeel recognizes and accepts the religious credentials of Arif Baig. Mohammed Sarwar, councillor from JN ward sitting in Congress campaign office says without hesitation, “No doubt Baig saheb is a religious man. He is the only BJP Muslim man who prays five times daily in BJP headquarters.” To which every one sitting at the office nod their heads. Then with long sigh he said, “But still he is with a wrong party.”

    (File photo of Arif Baig (left) with AB Vajpayee.)

    Mr. Baig during peak of his political innings in 1980s was popular especially for his punch line ‘Mere Mulk Ke Malikon’ (owner of my country) which uses to charge up the crowds. A generation has been passed since he was a known national figure, new generation finds it difficult to take tour of history to grasp with the image of Mr. Baig, many of them simply doesn’t even seem familiar with his name.

    But Mr. Baig claims that he himself is surprised with the turnout of youths at his public meetings, “Especially Muslim youths are joining me, because my people love me as they know me not as leader but as a community worker.”

    Mohammed Saleem, a close aide of Arif Baig, given responsibility of pulling out crowd from old city says, he was earlier associated with Arif Aqeel but when MLA refused to help him at the time of his need, Saleem changed the camp. He claims though Arif Baig is an old figure but he is reaching a good chorus with locals due to huge anti-incumbency against Aqeel’s politics.

    Arif Baig said he is on a mission which is more important than his life that is bridging gap between Hindus and Muslims. Winning Bhopal North will be the first step to his mission. And when he will be made a cabinet minister of which he is sure of, he will make sure that Muslim community gets high ranks in education, which he believes is the solution to all the community problems.

    “If I get a chance I will root out enmity in this country”, declares Mr. Baig waving his hand in command. Then he quotes Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) to assert more, “My beloved Prophet said ‘Everyone is a child of Adam. And Adam was made from earth.’ Are Hindus not children of Baba Adam? Are they not made of same soil? Don’t they have same blood as mine? Then why can’t they be my brothers,” wonders Baig. He then quotes a Sanskrit sloka, ‘Rishi and Sadhus said whole universe is one’.

    In his philosophic demeanour Baig goes on to add, “After independence we should have followed Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan, but our politicians followed British path of divide and rule.” Allama Iqbal also found a place there, “Tafriqe milal hikmate afrang ka maqsood, Islam ka maqsood faqat jamiate Adam! (Wisdom of west divides humanity into nations; Islam unites mankind as equal sons of Adam). Our aim should be to unite the clan of Adam. That should be the aim of Islam. ‘Alhamdulliah’ this Baig is following the same path.”

    Battle of honour: Sangh Parivar Vs Arif Aqeel in Bhopal North

    More TCN election coverage

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: A day long round table consultation was organized on 23 November 2013 by Jamia Millia Islamia on two welfare schemes of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, namely “Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madarasas” (SPQEM) and “Infrastructure Development in Minority Institutions” (IDMI).

    The consultation was attended by a large number of participants from 14 states of the country. The participants were welcomed by Dr. Sabiha Hussain, Associate Professor at Jamia Millia Islamia.

    The meeting was addressed by Prof S M Sajid, the Vice Chancellor of Jamia, who praised the students of Madarsas for having one of the best minds in the country. He added that it was unfortunate that following 9/11, the Madarsas were all brushed with one stroke and were seen by some as carrying out illegal activities. He highlighted the importance of these Madrasas in providing education to those segments who have, for one reason or the other, remained on the margins of society.

    The consultation was chaired by M. Atyab Siddiqui, Legal Advisor of Jamia Millia Islamia and Dr. Tanweer Fazal, Associate Professor at Jamia Millia Islamia, who expressed their gratitude towards all the participants for participating in this very important consultation.

    The participants constituted of Members of the Madarsa Board, Members of the Management Committee of Madarsas and teachers involved with the Scheme.

    The agenda of the meeting was to discuss the implementation of two welfare schemes as well as the challenges and problems faced by the beneficiaries of the scheme.

    Jamia Millia Islamia was handed over the evaluation of the two welfare schemes by the MHRD earlier during the year under the directorship of Prof Azra Razzak.

    The report is expected to be submitted by the end of November this year.

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    By TCN News,

    Bangalore: In a bid to offer recognition and felicitate minority entrepreneurs who outshine in their profession, the Maaeshat Media Pvt Ltd (MMPL) organised All India Minorities Business Summit in Bangalore.

    The MMPL is India’s first media house which covers stories on the economy of Minority communities. Throughout the year, MMPL rummage around for people who are carrying out their businesses splendidly and felicitate them with awards at the All India Minorities Business Summit. Maintaining its tradition of conducting annual Summit across different states of India, the 5th All India Minorities Business Summit was held at the Hotel Canopy in Bangalore on November 22, 2013.

    The topic of the Summit was Economic Mainstreaming of Minorities: Connecting Business, Technology & Finance. The speakers were Hasan Abdul Karim Chougule, (CMD Qatar based Emaad Group), Mufti Barkatulla (Shariah Advisor, Llyods TSB, U K) Syed Mohamed Beary, CMD Bearys Group ,Farook Mahmood,CMD, Silveline Group, Khalid Ali,CMD Multigain Services (P) Ltd. Khaleel Baig CMD Profishere (P) Ltd. and other minority business stalwarts.

    During the discussion, Chougule pointed out that financially strong section of the Minority community should come forward to uplift the backward section of the Minority community. “It is right that the knowledge is power. The main reason of backwardness is illiteracy. The children and youth should be encouraged to pursue education. The affluent class should come forward to financial support the poor children of the society”, said Chougule.

    “In my opinion, it is advisable to work always with the socio-commercial concept for educational institutions, where the investor should get returns. The concept of quality will work only if the sufficient funds are available. To get dual benefit, the promoters of the project should unanimously include a clause in the Article of Association that 25 % or 33 % of the income should be diverted for the charity to support the needy students. This will serve dual purpose, benefit to the investors and to the needy students,” Chougule further added.

    The Entrepreneurs, Businessmen and Professionals from across India are invited to share their ideas. Also some of the leading personalities are felicitated for their valuable contribution to the society. This summit is a platform to connect and share respective business proposals. The tradition was started in the year 2009 and since then it has been pursued every year.

    Danish Reyaz, MMPL director said, “There was a time when minorities were excellent professionals in leather industry, textile industry, copper and aluminium product manufacturing. With the advancement of technology, they failed to step forward with it and today are far behind.”

    Following the discussion, the awards were distributed. While Shenaz Zaki Khaleeli (PHARMALEAF India (P) ltd. Technical Services director) bagged the Best Woman Entrepreneur Award 2013, Abdullah Akbar Ali, Trans IT mPower labs (P) director was awarded Entrepreneur Excellence Award 2013. Nawaz Sharief CMD Ammi’s Biryani awarded Best Entrepreneur Award 2013.Syed Yasin, computer scientist and entrepreneur, received the Outstanding Innovation Award 2013. The Corporate Social Responsibilties Award 2013 was presented to Muslim Industrialists Association, Bangalore.

    On the occasion of award ceremony, Khaleel Baig, CMD Profishare, said, “There are 1000 plus listed companies that are Shariah Compliance on both Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange of India. Every sectoral index on both the exchanges carries a wide range of Shariah Compliant Stocks giving investors a plethora of choice to build a suitable portfolio.”

    Mufti Barkatulla, lecturer at Ebrahim College & Shariah Advisor Islamic Bank of Britain, UK, emphasised on the key issues of Islamic Banking. “The negative environment is created after using terminology of Islamic Banking and now its prospects aren’t encouraging. Therefore, we have to move cautiously and make an initiative from a grass root level. The two whole sale and insurance companies have been bankrupted in the UK because the ground realities were not suitable. I conceive whoever enters in the field of Islamic Banking must be well equipped with a long term planning and optimism. The prospect of Islamic Banking has been bright in Middle East as the people’s mindset and ground realities are completely compatible.”

    Sajjad Khan, CMD Xotic Ventures, “Minorities are deprived of their rights and at this situation government is attempts to uplift the minorities. The government has introduced many schemes for small scale industries. But its benefits are not being propogated to the minorities. Through these types summit which have discussions based on the problems of the minorities, the common man aware of their rights.”

    The programme concluded with the interactive session between the delegates and audience, followed by the vote of thanks by MMPL director Danish Reyaz.

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    By Ranjana Narayan, IANS,

    New Delhi : Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Coleman Headley, who scouted targets for the 26/11 terror attack, was "never anyone's client" and his modus operandi was only to "save himself by sacrificing others", say Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark, authors of "The Siege".

    Headley "betrayed Lashkar (e-Taiba). He befuddled US intelligence. He betrayed his three wives. He betrayed (Tahawwur) Rana, his best friend. Lashkar even suspected this and reported that he was a spy to their ISI link. ISI too backed away from him, refusing to meet face to face," the authors told IANS in an email interview.

    Headley, a Pakistani American from Chicago, had visited India several times ahead of the 26/11 attack to recce the city and choose sites, including the Taj Mahal hotel and Chabad House, for the attack.

    Ten Pakistani terrorists laid siege to key Indian institutions in the country's commercial capital for three days from Nov 26, 2008, killing 166 people, including foreigners.

    "Headley is complex and knowing. A hybrid, convincing in Pakistan and in the Upper West Side of New York, where he ran his video store, he was also, according to his own mother, an adventuress from Maryland, someone whose selfishness was derived from his lack of sense of self," the authors told IANS.

    "He was sent to Pakistan to be with his father who placed him in a military school and yet he pined for his mother, feeling rejected by her, and soon joining her in the US."

    "His modus operandi was to save himself by sacrificing others. When he began buying drugs in Pakistan in the early 1980s, he did so by manipulating his best friend Rana, a schoolmate who was then a medic in the Pakistan army.

    "Headley (then called Daood Saleem Gilani) abused Rana's military credentials and truck, to get into the tribal territories on drug buying missions, stashing his illicit cache in the military vehicle without Rana knowing."

    "When he was busted in 1984, he gave up the syndicate around him. He did the same in 1988 and 1994, in New York. Each time he made a deal with the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and finally with the US intelligence community.

    "In 1998 when he was arrested for importing heroin, US embassies in Africa had been devastated by Al Qaeda, announcing its arrival on the global terrorist stage. Headley/Gilani offered to penetrate Islamist movements in Pakistan - an irresistible offer back then."

    "He would not get into Lashkar until 2006, and then slowly edged also towards Al Qaeda, and in particular Ilyas Kashmiri's 313 Brigade in Waziristan. This was known by the US that was monitoring his email and phones. They knew then that a US passport holder was closer than anyone else to Osama bin Laden at a time when capturing him was a prime objective," they said.

    "But Headley was never anyone's client."

    He betrayed the LeT, his wives, his friend and co-conspirator Rana, and confused the US intelligence and the ISI, the authors said.

    Headley entered into a plea bargain with the US authorities, under which he could not be extradited to a foreign nation. A team of India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) went to interrogate Headley in his Chicago jail in 2010.

    He was sentenced to 35 years in prison by the US courts in January 2013.

    "The Siege: The Attack on the Taj" is published by Penguin.

    (Ranjana Narayan can be contacted at

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    By Mohd. Ismail Khan,,

    Bhopal: Since 1984 six assembly elections have passed but nearly a half million victims of Bhopal gas tragedy has always got a raw deal. As the seventh election has now approached they remain still distant from expecting any good from democracy’s biggest festival.

    ‘Yeh toh multinational ke ghulam hain (they are slaves of multinational)’ says Sayeed Mohammed in fury while he explains his disenchantment with elections. “In 1980s and till late 90s it uses to be an election issue. At least politicians use to speak about it. But now a day’s no one gives a damn word for us.”

    On December 2-3, 1984, at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, a leak of methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals from the plant resulted in the exposure of hundreds of thousands of people. More than five lakh people suffered injuries and at least 23,000 people are reported to have died in the continuing aftermath since then. Warren Anderson was the chairman of the company. In 1999, UCIL was taken over by Dow Chemicals.

    Bhopal gas tragedy unfortunately is no more an issue, even though nearly 5, 00,000 victims still feel dodged up with real justice. “Perpetrators should have been punished,” says Usha Dubey who lost her brother and now suffering from permanent respiratory disorder.

    Shanti Devi, Hamida Bi and Rayeesa Bi are united in grief on many counts, the biggest of them is becoming widow. “Government has given 100,000 in compensation, but this is not justice. Will it bring back my good days of life?,” asks Rayeesa.

    Hamida bi who got asthma due to aftereffects of the gas tragedy, says she still considers Rs.25,000 given by the government a cruel joke on her suffering. “Medicines, I require, costs more than what Government has paid. They are not even supplying expensive medicines on subsidy.”

    (The victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy. L-R: Rayeesa Bi, Usha Dubey, Shanti Devi, and Hamida Bi.)

    Shanti Devi claims that in 2008 she along with many other victims met chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, but they got nothing except assurances of help. “In 2013 the situations is still the same, and CM has only given assurances.”

    Abdul Jabbar, a veteran activist from Bhopal, who has dedicated his life in fighting for justice for thousands of those victims. Although government has stopped counting deaths of the gas tragedy after two years of the gas leak, Abdul Jabbar believes that casualties were around 35,000 deaths and nearly 3,00,000 affected persons out of whom 1,00,000 got permanent disabilities. And another 2,00,000 victims who are second-generation sufferers.

    (The photo taken by Raghu Rai, published in India Today, documents the horror of the tragedy.)

    Jabbar, who runs Swabhiman Kendra and Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan to help gas victims, feels that successive governments have been trying to eliminate the issue from the mainstream to protect the accused industrialists and to send ‘positive signal’ for foreign investments.

    He says that during 1985 immediate elections and the subsequent two state elections saw this issue getting raked up. But only to the extent of compensation, no politician ever raised the issue of prosecution of Union Carbide officials. “We speak about bringing in Dawood Ibrahim for killing people, but no one speaks about Anderson who is prime accused of killing thousands in this city,” Mr. Jabbar said.

    (Sayeed Mohammed, who lost his wife in the tragedy, still can’t reconcile with the fact.)

    Though at the state level any measure to deliver justice was made extinct, but the local politics took a new shape, what Mr. Jabbar prefer to call, ‘making a joke of serious issue’. At the ground level local MLAs changed the fight for justice to a brawl over how to get big compensations, thus fooling the whole victim community, “The stress should have been how to deter another Bhopal not on extracting compensations.”

    Some of the NGOs fighting for gas victims decided that they will not allow this issue to get a political death. They have taken a drastic step of rallying nearly half a million victims to utilize NOTA option to register their protest politically.

    Abdul Jabbar with his son.

    According to five NGOs running this campaign there are around 5 lakh victims affected with gas tragedy, mainly concentrated in three constituencies, Bhopal North, Bhopal Central and Narela. All are Muslim dominated where community’s percentage is around 40-45%.

    Ms. Rachna Dhingra of Bhopal Group for Information and Action, who is leading the campaign with four other NGOs, said that NOTA is an effective way to express anger of victims against both principal parties.

    Pro-NOTA NGOs is of the hope that if they get a good response especially in three most effected constituencies of North, Central and Narela than they will have bargain power in the next Lok Sabha election over Bhopal parliamentary seat.

    Activists fighting for justice for the Bhopal gas tragedy are mobilising people to use NOTA in the elections.

    But Mr. Jabbar has his own apprehensions about NOTA campaign. “This kind of pressure tactic can work in village but not in a city where lot of people have different ideologies divided in different camps. If NOTA are used as an option than groups which we don’t like at all will be benefited,” he told TCN.

    Then he went on to explain his worry, “Nearly 44% of gas victims are Muslims, even if 24% accepts your campaign then it will have an adverse effect. There are chances that in Muslim dominated constituencies BJP will win.”

    Mr. Jabbar said that both Congress and BJP have done nothing for the victims, both are evil, but an action from their part should not benefit anyone of them, “I am not a supporter of Congress, I do not support NOTA campaign nor oppose it, but I have an apprehension that BJP will benefit.”

    Communal politics has also been played as deterrent in their fight for justice. Mr. Jabbar shared his own experience, “Local leaders who wanted this movement to die down issued objections over Muslim women participating in Andolan (protests) and on the other hand Hindus were made to believe that in the leadership of a Muslim they can’t get fair justice.”

    Gufran Khan (sitting) was only 5 years old when the gas tragedy occurred. He lost his eye sight.

    In this illusion of justice Abdul Jabbar said the role of CBI and even judiciary is questionable, “In this case they worked as arms of Government.”

    The legal term ‘Absolute Liability’ is being seen by many as the vital thing to be evolved after Bhopal gas tragedy incident but according to activists it has nothing more to do than to please the victims that something has been achieved. “Before that term was introduced people died and even after it Industrial disasters are happening and people are getting killed. Till there is no actual prosecution and delivery of justice which can be seen than till this kind of terms has no value,” Jabbar added.

    Advocates of corporate accountability assert that delivery of justice for Bhopal gas victims is important for whole country. Setting up an example against such crime is important to deter future incidents. Mr. Jabbar said, “Giving compensation and silencing the victims is not democracy its corporate democracy.”

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : The Congress Monday led a delegation of women activists who submitted a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee demanding a judicial probe into the alleged stalking of a woman by Gujarat Police in 2009.

    The move would step up pressure on BJP prime minister candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

    Around 40 women, including leaders of the women's wing of the Congress, Communist Party of India and Nationalist Congress Party, several women's NGOs, human rights activists and social activists met the president at Rashtrapati Bhavan and submitted a memorandum demanding a judicial probe into the issue, Congress sources said.

    Mahila Congress chief Shobha Oza, Shabnam Hashmi of Anhad, Annie Raja of National Federation of Indian Women and social activist Farah Naqvi were part of the delegation which met the president.

    The Congress has alleged that the woman was close to Modi and was put under surveillance by the then minister of state for home and Modi aide Amit Shah in 2009 after Modi suspected her of being close to an IAS officer.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Vice President Hamid Ansari Monday called for maintaining communal harmony and national integration in the country.

    A delegation of National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH) met Ansari here as part of the communal harmony campaign and fund raising week.

    The group comprised NFCH secretary Ashok Sajjanhar and five children - two each from Assam and Jammu & Kashmir, and one from Maharashtra.

    "The vice president interacted with the delegation and called for maintaining communal harmony and national integration in the country," said an official statement.

    The campaign is observed every year from Nov 19-25 to raise funds for rehabilitation of child victims of communal, caste, ethnic violence and promotion of national integration.

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  • 11/25/13--09:38: Mockery of the Bharat Ratna
  • By Azizur Rahman for,

    Ever since the Government has announced its highest civilian award “Bharat Ratna” for Sachin Tendulkar, to be officially conferred on him on the occasion of the upcoming Republic Day of India on 26th January 2014 with much fanfare, it has triggered a massive debate on print and electronic media on who should be awarded and who should not, with groups and people advocating the conferment of this award on some and dissenting the same for others. The BJP which has been pressing for this award to Atal Bihari Vajpayee for a long time, has once again woken up suddenly from its slumber. As the party could not oppose the conferment of this award on Sachin for the obvious reason, it is trying to capitalize on this situation to steer some favor into Vajpayee’s direction. Though, I am not well aware of his credentials making him eligible for the award, probably it could be owing to his being a silent player for their cause though he was not as communally vocal as other stalwarts in his party.

    Interestingly, awarding of Bharat Ratna to Sachin Tendulkar was also taken to the court by a petitioner challenging the bestowal of the honor on the just-retired cricketer and alleging conspiracy to ignore hockey legend Dhyan Chand. JDU's Member of Parliament Shivanand Tiwar also advocated for Dhyan Chand questioned the award to Sachin.

    Suniel Shetty has come forward batting for the Bollywood, expressing surprise as to why the Bharat Ratna had not yet been awarded to any Bollywood star. In this respect, a facebook profile has already been created by a group of the film fraternity at the behest of Mahesh Bhatt to seek 100,000. supporting comments to be later complied in the form of a book and submitted to the President and the Prime Minister urging them for awarding the Bharat Ratna to Dilip Kumar.

    Leaving aside the above discourse on who is claiming what, let us think whether we can afford the Bharat Ratna to sportsmen/women and actors in a country like India where we still have a sizeable population reeling under the burden of abject poverty; where a substantial percentage of children is malnourished and where a large number of people, even in 21st century, do not have access to potable water, proper health care, quality education, convenient housing and transport and so on. In this state of affairs, even the India’s interplanetary Rs 450 crore mission which recently resulted in Mars Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C25) being sent to Mars, is not justified, as there is no logic trying to see things that are crores of kilometers away and not being able to notice the glaring dark realities on the earth. It is pathetic that this coveted and prestigious award is gradually losing its sheen by ignoring many worthy and deserving personalities who have truly been making a difference in nation building.

    There has been a favorite sentence “I am playing for my country” commonly used by sports men/women. I fail to understand how they are playing for the nation and how the people are benefiting from the game except for the cheap entertainment on the cost of spending a fair amount of money and time. I do believe that they are not playing for the nation else they are playing for moneymaking and supplementing it with a number of commercial endorsements ranging from the sale of MRF Tires to the sale of biscuit and oil to satiate their insatiable hunger for money. They are also against the nation, as they are wasting the important time of the millions of people, particularly the time of the teenagers who need more time for their studies than for the game. It was not without greed that when Tendulkar in 2002 was gifted a Ferrari by the automobile giant Fiat, upon equaling the record of 29 Test centuries by Australian legend Don Bradman, he expected a waiver of the import duty on the car and got it, however when the matter became public in 2003, there was a strong protest over the waiver and a PIL in the Delhi High Court was filed. As the controversy snowballed, Fiat India agreed to pay the import duty. It would be fascinating to note that irked by the Government's decision to waive the import duty, much to the shame for Tendulkar, the NGO Patit Pawan Sanghathana, went on a begging spree in Pune to pay the Ferrari’s duty and sent some amount to the cricketer through money order.

    Even if we look at the sport from a career’s perspective, only a handful of youth succeed, while the most of them end up frustrated getting neither this nor that. The unnecessary importance that is given to the sports has not gathered momentum automatically; else this crazy and sensational buzz has been created through an unfair and concerted wide coverage of sports equally by the print and electronic media. There is a host of television channels exclusively meant for broadcasting sport events. Almost all the news papers are so committed towards sports that they have dedicated some permanent pages for this. What worse thing could be there for the country, when we have professionally qualified sports’ editors? Even The Hindu, apart from the regular sports page on its daily, it boasts of publishing the weekly Sportstar separately. More painfully, we have even sports’ historians, for instance Boria Majumdar a noted sports historian. In addition to the above, there are academies being opened up for sports education and training.

    From the above observations, I do not intend to play down the importance of the sports in our life, shaping our physique and refreshing mood, else I only want to reinforce the idea that the role of sports should only be limited to the extent of a temporary entertainment and a source of refreshment and not to the extent where people get engrossed so much that they forget everything else.

    When it comes to owing allegiance to the country, the Bollywood fraternity is also on the same page and utters the so called patriotic sentence “I am doing so and so for my country”. They are absolutely right in their assertion as they are sparing no efforts in spreading obscenity and nudity that is one of the key reasons for the rampant cases of rapes and associated crimes. Therefore, the government has instituted various awards and accolades to honor those who excel in the art of helping our children attain their adulthood prematurely and then satisfy their appetite by taking recourse to rapes. And it may soon start awarding Bharat Ratna to this community as well. Probably, there would not be any person whose attention has not been caught by the movie “The Dirty Picture” released in 2011 bagging a number of awards. As this movie was full of exotic and intimate scenes, it had set the box office on fire and had been a huge blockbuster. The film won three National Film Awards from the government while Vidya Balan won the same award for the Best Actress as she excelled in exposing herself.

    So, if the government feels that the above contributions made by the sports and the films towards nation building are praiseworthy and appreciable, it should become even more committed, expanding the horizon of the Bharat Ratna by awarding it to the likes of Sunny Leon, the Indo-Canadian porn star who is more deserving than the Vidya Balan, as she is earning name and fame for her country through the absolute exposure of her body.

    I would like to conclude by stating that if I were the authorized person to confer the Bharat Ratna award, I would prefer honoring an honest primary school teacher on any player or actor as I do not attach any more importance to these slaves of money than that of a common man on the road.


    Azizur Rahman is originally from Uttar Pradesh and works for a multinational corporation in Chennai.

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    By Faraz Ahmad for,

    Its been exactly two weeks (November 7 and 8) since a brave young journalist from Tehelka magazine, based in Mumbai, allegedly faced sexual assault for two consecutive days from her proprieter Editor-in-Chief, the much celebrated journalist Tarnun Tejpal in his Think Fest in Goa. Day before yesterday (November 23) she even announced that she was being pressurized by members of Tarun’s family to withdraw the complaint. But has she made the Police complaint?

    The media is bombarding Tehelka managing editor Shoma Choudhary with the question why has she not filed a police complaint against her now recused boss, who will anyway pay her salary every month, never mind the recusing business. But what about the victim?

    She is a very brave girl. She has made bold not just to elaborately describe the sexual assault on her in great detail, leaving nothing to imagination, but has circulated the e-mail containing the description among her office colleagues, which in turn has been widely publicized and is now in public domain, which is fine, for it helps the people outside to assess the level of depravity of her assaulter. She was bold enough to immediately go and report the assault to her colleagues the very first night of the assault, though she did not take any action that night, nor did they presumably because as she wrote, first she didn’t want the Robert De Niro show spoilt, and two she was also apprehensive about her own future. Understandable!

    She put up with the assault the next day again and then mentioned it to her friend and the Editor’s daughter. That’s very commendable. After which she waited for seeing off De Niro since she was the chief protocol officer, granted. Her decision to postpone any action till the legendary film hero boarded his flight back home is even more courageous, considering the ordeal she faced. But that was on November 10. What after that? Why did she not go to the Goa Police right away. Maybe she was apprehensive of the consequences. But curiously she waited for full eight days to bring her ordeal to the notice of the managing editor Shoma Chaaudhary. The whole thing blew up on November 20.

    Immediately we had a senior most BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley spring to action demanding police action against Tarun, reminding that the law on rape has been amended, because of which Tarun’s alleged act also amounted to rape. Since then the media has been grilling Shoma Chaudhary why she has not proceeded with the proper legal course, of reporting the matter to the Goa Police. In the meanwhile the Goa police taking suo motu notice of the alleged assault within its jurisdiction has proceeded with the necessary action. We will come to Jaitley presently.

    But what about the victim? She is a perfectly educated girl, a reporter based in Mumbai, reporting similar acts as a matter of routine in her line of duty. She has a good family background with necessary understanding of crime and law. The moment some members of Tarun’s family contacted her mother ostensibly to suppress the crime, she put out one more e-mail in public domain to prevent the building up of any further pressure on her. But the moot question still remains why did she not take the proper legal course easily available to her and how long does she want to wait?

    In the meantime Arun Jaitley has put the Indian media on trial over this sexual assault, rightly so. Jaitley the legal eagle has pointed out that the victim's complaint makes out a clear case of rape. Jaitley asks, “Why was the offence not allowed to be reported forthwith?” That is the point. Was someone holding back the victim or she chose not to report the matter to the police, for reasons best known to her? Just to point out to Jaitley, Shoma Choudhary told the media that it was not for her but for the victim to lodge a police complaint. Jaitley has his own political reasons to arrive at this conclusion.

    He has to link this to the Congress party simply because Tehelka has done exposes after exposes against Jaitley’s mentor and saviour Narendra Modi. Besides we were in the thick of Modi’s stalking affair when this development overtook the Snoopgate scandal.

    After all only the other day Jaitley stoutly and shamelessly defended the indefensible act of Modi by calling the snooping, telephone tapping and stalking of a young woman by the Gujarat police under instructions of his factotum and the then MoS Home of Gujarat Amit Shah at the instance of “Saheb” Narendra Modi. Never mind the fact that some small time police officials and sundry private investigators are still being arrested for illegally passing on Jaitley’s call data record (CDRs) to private detectives, apparently investigating Jaitley’s wealth, about which even Jaitley is not certain whether this was an in house job, meaning his fellow BJP leaders prying into his private life.

    So if the Delhi Police constables attempt to pry into Jaitley’s privacy, they deserve to be arrested kept in incarceration for long period and tried for committing a crime. But nobody dare raise a question why and how the Gujarat Chief Minister, the Home Minister and the state’s anti terror squad were stalking and snooping upon the privacy of a young woman. That, as Jaitley would have us believe, is “Protection”, for Jaitley says Modi can commit no wrong. Hear, hear, hear! A true legal wizard spake and his word is the Oracle.

    Curiously the tehelka assault took place in Goa on November 7 and 8. The Cobrapost-Gulail tapes came out on November 12 and the whole issue blew up on November 20, when it appeared that Snoopgate was becoming unmanageable. True Tarun Tejpal deserves the severest punishment for his act and the law needs to act against him, but let the victim come forward and lodge a police complaint. These days she can even send an e-mail to the Director General of Goa Police. But what about Modi? Should the law remain perpetually deferential to him and what about our leading national legal practitioner and the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha? Shouldn’t he be held accountable for his outrageous defence of Narendra Modi?


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

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Muslim religious leaders Monday told Muslim voters to reject all political parties in the ongoing assembly elections, accusing politicians of using the community as a vote bank.

    "We appeal to Muslims not to vote for the so-called secular parties and exercise the 'NOTA' option to express their anger and anguish against all political groups," Mufti Ishtiaq Hussain Qadri told a gathering of over 1,000 religious heads of Islamic institutions here.

    He was addressing a meeting held under the banner of the All India Tanzeem Ulama-e-Islami of Baralive sect.

    Manan Raza Khan, Shah Farhat Ahmed Jamali of Rampur, Darul Uloom rector Raipur Maulana Akhbar Ali Farooq and a large number of religious scholars from Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Bihar and West Bengal attended it.

    Mufti Istiaq said Muslims remained socially, economically and educationally backward despite decades of Congress rule.

    The Bharatiya Janata Party too pursued a policy of alienating Muslims, he said.

    So there was no other choice for Muslims -- India's largest minority -- but to opt for NOTA (None of the Above) in the electronic voting machines or ballot papers, rejecting all candidates in the fray.

    According to the Mufti, this would send out a message that no one can take minorities for granted.

    He said NOTA was the "best weapon" in the hands of minorities. "We must utilise it."

    Maulana Mazhar Ali Qadri said minorities had suffered enormously even under Congress rule.

    "Muslims are not going to lose anything by exercising the NOTA option. It will be a loss to the so-called secular parties who always exploit Muslims for their political objectives.

    "Minorities are remembered only at the time of elections."

    The meeting criticized the Uttar Pradesh government for allegedly doing nothing to extend relief to Muslim victims of the Muzaffarnagar communal riots of September.

    More than 50,000 people were still in relief camps, the participants at the meeting said.

    Uttar Pradesh's ruling Samajwadi Party, which claimed to be a protector of minorities, had "miserably failed to curb communal forces" in the state, the speakers said.

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    By IANS,

    Jammu : Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday charged BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi with aiming to use his Dec 1 visit to Jammu to create communal tension and divide the people of the state in the name of religion and region.

    The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders would talk of abrogation of the Constitution's Article 370, discrimination between Kashmir and Jammu and other emotional issues during their scheduled rally here on Dec 1, he said at a public gathering after laying foundation of Sangar bridge over Tawi river in Challana village in Jammu district.

    "They will criticize all leaders right from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to Dr. Farooq Abdullah for the political situation in Jammu and Kashmir to create hatred between Hindus and Muslims for vote bank politics as has always been their trait," he said.

    Abdullah said everyone is aware that when the BJP is out of power, they raise sensitive issues so that the emotions of people flare up, but when in power, they never raise such matters.

    "You should remain cautious about their designs of making Jammu and Kashmir a germination ground of communalism and hatred and give them a befitting reply by showing your unity and commitment for solidarity, communal harmony and brotherhood," he told the people.

    Abdullah also termed the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) a "brotherly party" of the BJP which also thrives on falsehood and playing a similar card to divide the people on emotional grounds.

    "PDP tries to find every fault in me... if the water rises in Tawi, drought takes place in any area, anyone sells medical seats or any political problem emerges in the state, PDP blames me because it considers me the biggest road block in their designs to mislead the people through falsehood and propaganda.

    "Though I am 42 years of age, yet they blame me for things which have happened even 60 years earlier right - from the time of independence. One wonders if they are doing this under some spell," he said.

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    By IANS,

    Aligarh : An academic from Aligarh has urged the government to confer Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award, to Salim Ali -- the "birdman of India" as he was widely known.

    H.S.A. Yahya of the department of Wildlife Sciences at the Aligarh Muslim University made the demand during a keynote address at an international seminar in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.

    Professor Yahya said Salim Ali deserved the recognition as he was a doyen of ornithology and one of the founding fathers of the Bombay Natural History Society.

    He said Ali's contributions towards conservation of biodiversity, birds and natural resources in the country were without parallel.

    Ali, who was born in 1896 and died in 1987, was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award, in 1976.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Aizawl: The day went peaceful with majority of the population turning up to cast their vote in Mizoram assembly elections on Monday. According to State Chief Electoral Officer Ashwani Kumar, more than 80 per cent people cast their vote in the land locked north-eastern Indian state.

    Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla cast his vote with his wife Lal Riliani at Zarkawt-II Polling Station at Babutlang area in Zarkawt locality. Lal Thanhawla said that he was confident of retaining power in the state.

    “I have high hopes that we will retain power with a thumping majority by bagging the same number of seats (32) if not more. People want Congress to be in power for its developmental work and running a clean government,” Thanhawla said.

    Mizoram Democratic Alliance comprising MNF, Mizoram People's Conference and Maraland Democratic Alliance were contesting at all 40 seats besides the ruling Congress in the election which saw the paper train being introduced for the first time.

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    By TCN News,

    Asansol (West Bengal): A function was organised by the cultural and minority department of Asansol Municipal Corporation at Rabindra Bhavan to felicitate the Hujjaje Karam and a seminar was also organised on the topic, “Muslims in India: Issues, Challenges and Prospects” for paying homage to Maulana Azad, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and Sir Allama Iqbal jointly. The function was presided over by Alhaj Abdul Sattar and was conducted by Khalid Adeeb.

    Inaugurating the program, Syed Mohd Afroz, Member, State Hajj Committee, West Bengal said that after 34 years of oppressive regime of Marxist the Muslims of Asansol are trying their best to assert themselves and forcing the ruling class to do justice with the Muslims. He also threw light on the contribution of these great personalities.

    Sitting Dr. Shakeel Samdani, Alhaj Abdul Sattar, Chairman and Deputy Chairman AMC.

    Chairman, Jitendra Tiwari said that the Hajis of Asansol prayed for the city at Mecca due to which a big train accident was averted. He said that the communal forces are trying their best to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere of the city but they will not succeed and they will have to bite the dust.

    Speaking on this occasion, Chief Speaker, Dr. Shakeel Samdan of Aligarh Muslim University, and President, Sir Syed Awareness Forum, said that the entire international media has become number one enemy of Islam and Muslims because most of the International news agencies are owned by the Jews and anti-Muslim forces. Indian media is also affected by their propaganda. Speaking on the topic Problems of Muslims, Remedies and solutions he said that 90% problems of the Indian Muslims are created by the successive governments. In his very thought provoking and logical speech he said that if the governments implement the constitutional guarantees for Muslims sincerely and honestly the problems of the Muslims can be solved easily. He said that due to under representation of Muslims in services and education they are lagging behind in every walk of life. Continuing his speech, Chief Speaker said that reservation for Muslims is the need of the hour. Expressing his sorrow and anguish he said that the protection of Muslim Personal Law is also a big issue.

    Dr. Shakeel Samdani and Mayor felicitating Haji Samiullah Ansari (Alig).

    Although, the government has not amended Shariat Application Act of 1937 but the rulings of various High Courts and Supreme Court are diluting the protection of Shariat based Personal law. These judges are influenced by the rulings given in western countries. It is imperative on the community to fight this onslaught by producing good lawyers, well versed in Muslim Personal Law. He also advised the Muslims to do justice with their relatives, especially women and try to solve their disputes by Darul Qadha.

    Dr. Shakeel Samdani while praising the West Bengal government for addressing the problems of Muslims, advised the Chief Minister Mamta Banarjee for implementing the decisions of the Cabinet on priority basis. He advised the government not to side with communal forces especially BJP on any pretext otherwise the consequences will be suicidal. He requested the audience to follow the path of Shariah and avoid differences on the basis of Schools. Muslaki-Ikhtilaf should be avoided at all cost. Deputy Mayor, Amarnath Chatterjee and Mayor in Council Rabiul Islam also spoke.

    Mayor, Tapas Banarjee and MLA South said that he is happy to see that the function in memory of Allama Iqbal, Sir Syed and Maulana Azad is being organised by the corporation. He said that like last year’s function this year’s function is also a great success due to the presence of renowned Professor of Aligarh Muslims University, Dr. Shakeel Samdani.

    At the end of the program the Hajis were honoured by Dr. Shakeel Samdani, Mayor, Tapas Banarjee, Syed Afroz, Rabiul Islam and other members of the corporation.

    The program was a great success due to the efforts of Mohd arshad,Javed Iqbal,Qurban Ali, Mohd. Kamal, Adv. Samiullah Ansari, Mohd. Jahangir,Member, Haj Committee, Prabir Chattopadhyay, Secretary, Asansol Municipal Corporation. The program was a great success due to the presence of women and girls.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    New Delhi: About 50 women, comprising of rights activists, academicians, Planning Commission Member, politicians has submitted a memorandum to the President demanding an independent and fair Judicial probe into alleged snooping of an architect in Gujarat, apparently on the direction of ‘Saheb.’

    Civil society urged the President to demand fair judicial probe into the entire issue, to restore the confidence of ordinary citizens, particularly women, that state power is not being misused to breach their constitutional rights.

    News portals i.e. Gulail and Cobrapost have released extensive audio-tapes on 15th November, 2013 revealing illegal surveillance of a young architect woman from Gujarat in September, 2009 by three wings of Gujarat Police i.e. State Intelligence Bureau, Crime Branch and Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) by former Minister of State for Home, Gujarat and now BJP National General Secretary – Shri Amit Shah under directions of his ‘Saheb’ i.e. Shri Narendra Modi, Chief Minister, Gujarat.

    The Memorandum noted the sordid episode that raises certain pertinent questions for your kind consideration. These are:-

    (1) ‘Right to Privacy’ is part of fundamental rights of ‘Right to Life’ under Article 21 of Constitution of India as held by Supreme Court of India umpteen numbers of times.

    Do Shri Narendra Modi and Shri Amit Shah have right to conduct surveillance of a young girl as also tapping her phones, phones of her friends and acquaintances with complete impunity in a totally illegal fashion?

    (2) Under what authorization or law, did Shri Narendra Modi and Shri Amit Shah choose the three wings of Gujarat Police i.e. State Intelligence Bureau, Crime Branch and Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) – for purposes of illegal surveillance of this young girl and tapping of phones of this young girl, her friends and acquaintances? Why was Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) involved? Whether Shri Narendra Modi or Shri Amit Shah had an apprehension of any terrorist activity?

    (3) Are Shri Narendra Modi and Shri Amit Shah entitled to use State police machinery beyond boundaries of State of Gujarat and in other State(s) to conduct surveillance of a young girl, her friends and acquaintances?

    Did Shri Narendra Modi and Shri Amit Shah inform the Government(s) and police authorities of any State(s) before undertaking illegal and unauthorized surveillance activities within the territorial jurisdiction of the State(s)?

    (4) Section 5 of Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 permits interception of conversation for ‘occurrence of a public emergency’ or ‘in the interest of public safety’ i.e. ‘danger or risk for people at large’. These and other conditionalities have been elaborately laid down by Supreme Court of India in ‘People’s Union for Civil Liberties vs. Union of India’ – 1997 (1) SCC 301.

    Will Shri Narendra Modi and Shri Amit Shah tell as to what was the public emergency or danger or risk for people at large that led to surveillance of as also tapping of phones of a young girl, her friends and acquaintances?

    (5) Services of dozen of police officers including SP level officers were used across cities in the State of Gujarat and other State(s) for undertaking the surveillance operations. Extensive money, resources and vehicles were used.

    Will Shri Narendra Modi and Shri Amit Shah explain as to where the money, resources, vehicles, plane tickets were generated from for purposes of surveillance? Did the money belong to public exchequer? If yes, how and from which head was this money used and its justification? If it was private money, where was it generated from and how was it being used by government officers?

    (6) Contents of the tapes also reveal that ‘saheb’ i.e. Shri Narendra Modi was also conducting surveillance of this young girl from his own independent sources over and above the use of State police officers as stated by Shri Amit Shah.

    Will Shri Narendra Modi and Shri Amit Shah state as to what are these extra constitutional sources of intelligence that Shri Modi was using for surveillance of this girl? Who are these agencies or authorities who were conducting such intelligence operations for Shri Modi? What is the source of their funding? Do Shri Modi and Shri Shah continue to maintain the same?

    (7) Is it not a fact that illegal interception of the nature conducted by Shri Narendra Modi and Shri Amit Shah along with police officers of the State makes out a clear cut offence under Section 26 of the Indian Telegraph Act read with Section 120-B as also Section 166 of Indian Penal Code? Would it not also be tantamount to ‘stalking’ under Section 354D of the Indian Penal Code?

    Does it not violate the very oath of office to Constitution and people by Shri Narendra Modi?

    (8) Is the young girl along with her friends and acquaintances i.e. the only private citizens who have fallen victim to a secret surveillance apparatus being run at the whims of Shri Narendra Modi and Shri Amit Shah? How many more people – political opponents, human right activists, journalists, witnesses, and police officers – have been subjected to such illegal surveillance?

    (9) Why were extensive surveillance operations launched on an ‘oral undated request’ of father of an adult woman, as is now being sought to be alleged in hindsight? Which Chief Minister puts a young girl under such extensive surveillance on an oral undated request from her parent or relation? In how many cases before and after this incident has Shri Narendra Modi put young girls under surveillance on the request of their parents or relations? Why were other friends and acquaintances meeting up with the young girl being put under surveillance? Does an oral undated request of surveillance by a parent condone the crime of illegal surveillance of an adult citizen of India and her acquaintances and associates violating their human and civil rights?

    (10) Call details leakage of Shri Arun Jaitley, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha had led to vociferous protests by BJP and blocking of Parliament for three days. It also led to registration of criminal cases and arrest of those found prima facie guilty.

    Should similar action be not initiated against Shri Narendra Modi, Shri Amit Shah and others involved in this illegal ‘snooping’?

    (11) Does this illegal surveillance not raise moral and ethical issues as to capability and style of governance of Shri Narendra Modi? Can a person with such flagrant disregard for law, Constitution and liberty of people be trusted with positions of public responsibility or to protect the rights of citizens?

    This total breach of Constitutionally enshrined ‘Right to Privacy’ of a young woman, her friends and acquaintances raises pertinent issues of gender justice, equality before law and negation of oath of office for protecting life and liberty of every citizen. These facts have now been admitted by BJP and its National President – Shri Rajnath Singh. These questions are being asked by lakhs of young men and women in this country qua protection of their right to personal liberty and right to privacy that were being trampled upon at the whims of Gujarat Chief Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. Not only have Shri Narendra Modi as also Shri Amit Shah and others violated the oath of office but they have also breached the obligations of protecting the life and liberty of every citizen besides committing crimes under the Indian Telegraph Act as also Sections120-B and 166 of Indian Penal Code.

    Given the grave violations of constitutional rights and laws at the behest of the highest Executive authority of Gujarat, viz. Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi and former Minister of State for Home, Gujarat – Shri Amit Shah, and the fact that it is causing great fear and consternation in the minds of the women of the country, the situation requires your intervention, as Head of the Nation, through directing an independent and fair Judicial probe into the entire issue, to restore the confidence of ordinary citizens, particularly women, that state power is not being misused to breach their constitutional rights.











































































































































    MLA UP






















































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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Casting aspersions on an inquiry ordered by the Gujarat government, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Tuesday said the woman in the snooping row must give her version.

    "Why is everybody speaking on behalf of the girl? She would have to come and say 'Well, I wanted to stay under surveillance as I don't trust myself.' Would she be able to say that?" Khurshid asked.

    "The girl should come forward, not her father," he told a television news channel here.

    Khurshid also suggested that the Gujarat government's decision to set up a commission of inquiry to probe allegations that the woman was kept under watch could be aimed at foiling any other investigation.

    "So many inquiries have been going on in Gujarat since (the) 2002 (communal violence), but we haven't got much satisfaction from that," the Congress leader said.

    "It will be premature to say that just because they (Gujarat government) have ordered an inquiry, all is well.

    "Sometimes an inquiry is also ordered to forestall another and to prevent any other inquiry being held. I don't want to prematurely comment. Let us see what comes of that (inquiry)".

    The Gujarat government Monday announced an inquiry, headed by a retired woman judge, to probe allegations that the woman, said to be an architect, was stalked by the state police in 2009.

    The issue has escalated into a political row, with critics asking Chief Minister Narendra Modi to answer charges if he ordered police to keep the woman under surveillance.

    Khurshid said the fact was that nobody was denying that the snooping took place.

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    By Abdul Gani,,

    Guwahati: Troubles, one after another seems to be a regular affair in Assam’s Bodoland Territorial Aras District (BTAD). Kidnapping, killing, extortion etc were added by a grenade blast in Bongaigaon on Monday evening which left three persons seriously injured to put the region into more trouble.

    Several organizations under the banner of Sanmilito Janagosthiya Sangrami Samiti: Assam (SJSS) have sought interference of Assam governor JB Patnaik to bring normalcy. They have also accused the extremist activities in the area and demanded arrest of certain Bodoland People’s Party leaders for an alleged murder case in Baksa besides exclusion of non-Bodo majority villages from BTAD.

    Members of Sanmilito Janagosthiya Sangrami Samiti: Assam stage protest near Assam governor house seeking his intervention to solve BTAD problems.

    “We think no permanent solution to the Bodo tangle is possible without negotiation with the non-Bodo ethnic organizations. We hope the governor will directly intervene in the Bodoland Territorial Council affairs and take appropriate steps to solve our demands,” said SJSS chief convenor Brojen Mahanta.

    Off late, the region has witnessed a steep rise on the crime scene with armed miscreants kidnapping government officials, businessmen and others and killings.

    The organization who staged a silent protest near Governor House in Guwahati also submitted a memorandum with the demands. They feel that the government’s decision to hold one sided talks with Bodo leadership is creating a sense of insecurity for the non-Bodo people residing in the BTAD. “The process of one sided talks just with the Bodo leadership and the idea of separate state should be stalled,” Mahanta said.

    Besides, they are demanding the unconditional and complete rehabilitation of all the Muslim, Adivasi, Rajbonshi and other families who have been displaced by the extremists’ movements.

    Further, they alleged that the BPF leaders were directly involved in the murder of Sanjay Das (22) and Bidyut Kalita (14) at Jalagaon-Nalbari during the Assam bandh called by the Sangram Samiti and its ally organisations on October 30.

    “Payment of Rs 10 lakh as compensation to each family of Das and Kalita should be given at the earliest. There should also be a high level inquiry in to the ongoing unrest at Bijni and other areas of BTAD,” Mahanta added.

    Char-Chapori Sahitya Parishad (CCSP), a literary body also urged chief minister Tarun Gogoi to take steps so that the situation does not get worst in the area. “We are worried with the prevailing tensed situation in Chirang that ethnic violence may reoccur. We request the CM to take stern measures to normalize the situation,” CCSP president Hafiz Ahmed said in a written statement sent to CM.

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