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Indian Muslim

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    By TCN News,

    Mumbai: A public protest against homosexuality was organised by the Mumbai division of Jamaate Islami Hind on Thursday afternoon at Azad Maidan.

    The objective of the agitation, according to organisers, was to convey to the government, and the public at large, what they termed as, “the disastrous fallouts of legalizing an act as obscene as homosexuality and to dissuade the centre against bringing in any legislation to de-criminalize it.”

    Activists share stage for noble cause.

    Speaking on the occasion, Javed Shaikh, Secretary of national affairs, JIH-Mumbai said, “JIH has always condemned homosexuality and will leave no stone unturned in its efforts to safeguard the Indian ethos.”

    Dr. Mandviwala spoke on the “social and medical repercussions of homosexual relations.”

    Young activists holding placards.

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    By Saiyed Danish,,

    New Delhi: One main reason perhaps why Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) fell short of majority mark in the Delhi Assembly was its poor performance in Muslim dominated constituencies. Out of eight seats the Congress won, four MLAs are Muslims, while the fifth Chandani Chowk too has sizeable Muslim voters. AAP has now formed a Task Force to win over the trusts of the Muslims, ahead of the general elections, where the community is believed to influence the outcome in about 218 seats.

    The Task Force comprises of Irfanullah Khan, AAP’s candidate from Okhla who ended as runner up in the recently concluded Assembly elections, RK Puram candidate Shazia Ilmi, national general secretary Pankaj Gupta and senior leader Ashish Talwar.

    TCN spoke to Irfanullah Khan on his party’s plans to woo Muslim voters:

    Q. Despite good performance by AAP in Delhi elections, why none of the Muslim candidates, including you, could register victory on party ticket?

    A. In order to understand our defeat in Muslim dominated areas we have to understand that the major political parties in our country have been using Muslims’ vote for their own gains. But now there is an air of disenchantment among Muslims all over India towards big parties, especially the Congress party. Congress tried to keep Muslim away even from Anna movement. We are just a year old party still AAP received 30% of all Muslim votes. Definitely, they will come towards us but it is a long process as Muslims have been held ransom by the Congress party for 64 years.

    Q. Lok Sabha elections are five months away. What is the agenda of Muslim Task Force which has been formed by the party?

    A. You see, Muslims want an alternative but while voting they surrendered before the fear psychosis and negativity created by the stooges of other parties. They had no agenda so they asked for votes by frightening them in the name of Narendra Modi. AAP wants to avoid that approach. We are not going to play divisive politics like other parties.

    We have acknowledged that Muslims are most deprived section whether in health, services and education and that they bore maximum brunt of Partition. But we do not see Hindus and Muslims as two community vote banks as we are trying to dismantle that polarized politics. To shun this vote bank politics only, the AAP contested Muslims from Hindu-majority constituencies. This is how we will approach Muslims.

    Q. Since AAP has decided to contest Lok Sabha elections where exactly AAP stands on volatile issues of Communal Violence Bill, Muzaffarnagar riots and the ever inflammatory, Muslim reservation?

    A. We are definitely saddened by the riots at such large scale but the real thing to be worried of is that such riots do not happen in the future. Why did this riot happen? It happened because the law and order and system of justice have collapsed. The perpetrators of the riots are roaming scot-free.

    When AAP will enter the Parliament it will ensure justice and create a mechanism that the communal polarization stops and thus rioters will be weakened. I can say the same thing about Communal Violence Bill. We are capable of tabling a stronger Bill in the Parliament as the intentions of Congress party behind CVB are diabolic.

    File photo of Irfanullah Khan during campaign.

    As far as reservation is concerned, you have to see that from where this problem arises. It stems from inequality. AAP is working for the concept for a truly welfare state where justice is of prime concern. I have no problem is admitting that Muslim kids do not get admission in good schools or colleges. We will be soon uprooting this problem and hence inequality will be defeated.

    Q. Why AAP has not decided to pitch any candidate in Modi’s constituency the way it has kept the heat on Amethi? What is AAP agenda on the rise of right wing?

    A. We have challenged Modi to contest from Amethi the way we are contesting against Rahul Gandhi. If there is any Modi wave in the entire country then why is he contesting from a safe seat in Gujarat? Why is he not contesting like us? AAP wants to create an atmosphere of an egalitarian and just society towards which right-wing has no contribution. Only we can counter right-wing rise in India as we did in Delhi. Out of 28 seats we won, we stopped BJP on 22 where it came second and Muslims will acknowledge it sooner.

    Q. There are some organizations, for instance Jamaat-e-Islami which opposed AAP before the elections but are together with the party after it won. Can AAP benefit from it?

    A. Such organizations should do a long term planning in order to align with any party; including ours as if they keep changing their allegiances to different parties they could lose their own trust base. AAP is an independent entity and it has its own support base. It is for these organizations to think whom they are supporting and should not decide their support on win-lose basis but ideologically.


    Muslims are slowly opening up to AAP, although confusions remain

    AAP trying to move beyond pseudo-nationalism and completely bankrupt form of secularism: Yogendra Yadav

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    By IANS,

    Agartala : Members of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Friday organised a demonstration in the Tripura capital to protest the attacks on religious minorities in Bangladesh.

    "Our stir will continue until the attacks on minorities stop in Bangladesh. There are reports of fresh attacks on minorities in that country," BJYM's Tripura unit president Kamal Dey told reporters.

    The three-hour long demonstration Friday was held on the outskirts of the state capital, at Joynagar near the India-Bangladesh check post in Akhaurah. Besides BJYM leaders and members, top leaders of the state BJP, including state party president Sudhindra Dasgupta, participated.

    BJYM leaders and members Wednesday organised a demonstration in front of the Bangladesh diplomatic mission in Agartala. They submitted a memorandum to the Bangladesh diplomatic mission head and first secretary Mohammad Obaidur Rahman, addressing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and demanding that the attacks on minorities be stopped.

    Police arrested 24 BJYM members, including the party's state leaders Pulak Kumar Debnath and Tapas Majumder, and later released them on bail.

    A police picket has been set up at the Bangladesh mission office.

    According to media reports in Bangladesh, over 200 houses and shops belonging to the minority Hindu community have been vandalised and looted by the Jamaat-e-Islami activists in various parts of Bangladesh's Jessore and Dinajpur districts. The attacks took place before and during the Jan 5 parliamentary polls in that country.

    Bangladesh's online news agency said that local leaders of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and ruling Awami League in an upazila (sub-district) of Gaibandha district have joined hands to protect Hindus of the area, following attacks on them in various parts of the country after the Jan 5 elections.

    "The Hindu communities in the trouble-torn areas are now living in fear. Local Hindus there have formed defence units and are patrolling the areas at night, fearing attacks," the news agency said.

    India has stepped up vigil along its border with Bangladesh in view of the ongoing political turmoil and attacks on religious minorities in the neighbouring country.

    Five Indian states - West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram - share a 4,096-km border with Bangladesh. A large portion of the International Border remains unfenced and porous.

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    By Zaidul Haque,,

    Kolkata: After 34 years of Left Front Government, even Mamata Banerjee led Trinamul Congress has failed to deliver on its promises to Muslims, said Maulana Badrussin Ajmal, All India president of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) at a rally cum open convention organized in Kolkata on 9 January.

    TMC Government is presenting itself as if they are doing so much for the minorities, but they have failed to uplift the socio-economic situation of Muslims, he alleged. The situation has not changed much for the Muslims if you compare the current government with that of the Left, he said.

    AIUDF President Maulana Barduddin Ajmal at a rally in Kolkata.

    Announcing that his party will contest from at least 10 Lok Sabha seats in the coming elections, Ajmal reminded that Muslims are the second biggest community in the country.

    He alleged that all political parties, including TMC, are using Muslims as vote-bank and have not really delivered when it came to issues concerning the community.

    AIUDF WB state president Maulana Siddiqullah Chowdhury at the rally.

    Ajmal also urged the community to educate their children so they become assets for the society.

    He clarified that there is misconception that AIUDF is a Muslim party, but his party works for all sections of the society. He said that in times to come his party will evolve into a potent force in the state like Assam.

    AIUDF state president Maulana Siddiqullah Chowdhury said that if Mamata Banerjee is really serious about security of Muslims, TMC should support the anti-communal violence bill in the Parliament.

    He alleged that by giving remunerations to few Imams and Muazzins, she is using them for her political advantages, but that’s undermining the prestige of Imams and Muazzins.

    AIUDF rally in Kolkata.

    MLA in the Assam Assembly Swapan Kar reiterated that AIUDF is not a communal party but works for the marginalized section.

    Before the convention a rally was organized in which large number of women also participated. Several other dignitaries spoke on the occasion.

    [Photos: Sandip Saha]

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    By Sheikh Qayoom, IANS,

    Srinagar : As they rejoice over timely snowfall that ensures the perennial water reservoirs of the Valley would not run dry this summer, the harsh winter has also evoked among Kashmiris a sense of absolute dependence on the outside world for essential supplies.

    After nearly two decades, Kashmir received heavy snowfall at the beginning of the 40-day harsh winter period called the 'Chila Kalan'.

    Kashmiris term it timely because the Valley's perennial water reservoirs are replenished during the Chila Kalan as the snow gets frozen and is stored, in contrast to that which falls in late winter, mixed with rain, and quickly gets washed away as slush. All foodstuff including grain, mutton, poultry, eggs, milk and vegetables are now brought into the Valley from outside.

    Kashmiris once used to have their own flocks of sheep, poultry, milch animals and vegetables to sustain them during the harsh winter.

    "Nobody would ever get a sheep or a goat from outside the Valley till the early 1950s. Local sheep and goats sufficed the mutton needs of the locals.

    "Every rural household had some poultry and those living closer to lakes and rivers had flocks of ducks and swans in addition. These would meet the needs of the villagers and also those living in the cities as the surplus stocks of poultry, ducks and swans would be sold." Noor Muhammad Rather, 76, told IANS.

    "People grew their own vegetables some of which would be dried and preserved for use during the winter months," he added.

    "Milch animals were reared by locals and every village home had at least one cow for the milk needs of the family and a bullock to pair with that of the neighbor for ploughing the field," said Ghulam Muhammad Wani, 78, who lives in north Kashmir's Ganderbal district.

    Khwaja Nisar Hussain, 63, a retired chief engineer, however, argued that not many families could afford to buy mutton, poultry and other essentials because of abject poverty in the past.

    Nisar also said the exponential increase in population has overtaken whatever little production of mutton, poultry, milk and vegetables Kashmir had.

    Despite this assertion, the fact remains that finding ancestral agriculture and allied activities less profitable, Kashmiris took to government services and horticulture in preference to agriculture, sheep, poultry and dairy farming and the like.

    Firewood, which used to be available in plenty in the past because of rich forests, is no longer used for cooking purposes because of its non-availability in the Valley.

    Cooking gas, electric heaters and kerosene have replaced firewood and any temporary closure of the Jammu-Srinagar highway, through which petroleum products and other essentials are routed into the Valley, results in shortages and sees endless queues of locals lined up for a cooking gas cylinder or a few litres of kerosene.

    "The worst part of the myth of our self-sufficiency is that the entire annual supply of mutton to the Valley comes from Rajasthan, which is a desert state, while we have some of the richest meadows and pastures in the world", said Bashir Ahmad, a retired veterinarian.

    Indiscriminate felling of forests and encroachments by expanding populations into areas otherwise demarcated as forest lands have brought the local forests to the brink of extinction.

    In the absence of any worthwhile industrial activity, the only occupation the educated locals look for is government service.

    "It is a sad but an established fact that while we speak of self-reliance and other lofty ideals, a fortnight's blockade of the Jammu-Srinagar highway is enough to make one realize the abject dependence we have placed ourselves in," college principal Muzaffar Ahmad told IANS.

    "Everybody here wants to become rich overnight. Agriculture and allied activities like sheep, dairy, poultry farming and growing vegetables cannot realize such a dream. Honestly speaking, we have broken loose from the legacy of the past while chasing a mirage of the future that is not there," he added.

    (Sheikh Qayoom can be contacted at

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : After urging states to be "careful" in arresting Muslim youth, the central government would ask all chief ministers to immediately release people who have been languishing in jail without trial, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Friday.

    "We have already written to all the chief ministers that they should be careful in arresting the youth of the minority (community)," he said at his monthly press conference here.

    "We are again writing to all chief ministers that whoever is not involved should be immediately released. We are also thinking of or rather will appoint a screening committee in these states. I will be requesting the chief ministers in the country," he said.

    Shinde also said India's most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim is in Pakistan and joint efforts were being made with the US to nab him.

    "As per our information, Dawood is in Pakistan. When I went to America last year to discuss internal security, I met the Attorney General who looks after the FBI. I talked to him and we decided that we will pass whatever information we have on Dawood amongst each other. We decided we will make joint efforts," he said.

    Dawood is wanted in a number of cases by India, including the 1993 Mumbai blasts.

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    By IANS,

    Lucknow : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Friday lashed out at the media, specifically the electronic channels, for negative coverage of the just-concluded Saifai Mahotsav in his home town.

    Interacting with media persons at a hurriedly called press conference at his official residence here, Akhilesh Yadav said the media was selectively targeting his government for something which had not been done.

    Referring to a report in a leading Hindi newspaper Friday claiming an expenditure of Rs.300 crore on the Saifai Mahotsav, the chief minister asked the newspaper management to take action against the reporter and apologise for the misleading news.

    He added people in the management of this newspaper had been caught gambling.

    He also charged the newspaper with doing so as the Samajwadi Party (SP) has not given a Rajya Sabha ticket to its owner. He said at the most Rs.10 crore was spent on the event which is meant for the poor and the downtrodden villagers, irrespective of whether the party is in power or not.

    Akhilesh Yadav also accused journalists of hankering for passes to view the film stars' nite and enjoying the dance show, even sitting on the floor, after adversely reporting about the event.

    "The exaggerated cost reports are not only outrageous but also far from the truth," he said while pointing out that an electronics channel had become the judge, jury and the prosecutor against his government.

    In his scathing remarks, the chief minister also questioned the media for asking questions to film stars and leaving them in discomfort.

    "Journalists are not even sparing parents of the stars who performed at the Mahotsav," he said, adding he was ready to take posers on the riot victims.

    Pointing out his government has done good work for relief and rehabilitation of the Muzaffarnagar riot victims, Akhilesh pinned the blame on the media for only highlighting one side of the relief camps.

    The Mahotsav is an annual fest organised since 1997 in Saifai, the native village of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

    When asked about the five-nation tour by Uttar Pradesh legislators, he snapped back and asked whether other state governments do not allow such trips to foreign countries.

    Moreover, he added, the central government cleared the trip by the 17-member delegation of legislators, led by Urban Development Minister Mohd. Azam Khan.

    He also warned the media houses indulging in "prejudiced reporting" not to force the government into "sangharsh" (struggle) against them.

    The two-year-old state government has been in the media glare and at the receiving end of opposition barbs for being busy in merrymaking while people in relief camps at Muzaffarnagar continue to live in pitiable conditions.

    Communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar and neighbouring Shamli and Meerut in September last year left 63 dead and thousands homeless.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Janata Dal-United (JD-U) legislator Shoaib Iqbal Friday said he met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and expressed a desire to join the AAP.

    "I met Arvind and told him that I want to join the Aam Aadmi Party and quit the JD-U," Iqbal told journalists.

    Iqbal is one of the legislators who has given his legislative support to the minority AAP government, which is mainly propped up by the Congress.

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    By Saeed Naqvi, IANS,

    I was scribbling notes for a seminar on the occasion of Maulana Azad’s birthday in February when the mind made an extraordinary connection with a historic event I was witness to.

    In February 1981, an obscure village of Meenakashipuram, about 15 km from Tenkasi in Tamil Nadu, shot into prominence because 150 low caste Hindus converted to Islam. I was then with the Indian Express in Chennai.

    Having been trained in my alma mater, The Statesman, to write features of such balance as not to appear to be taking sides, I proceeded to balance the argument on Meenakshipuram too. Hindus must do this and Muslims must do that and so on.

    Next morning, I found myself in the eye of a storm.

    Irathavan Mahadevan, Executive Director and a brilliant scholar on the Indus valley script, came running down from his office upstairs, frothing in the mouth. Every now and then, he would leap a few inches and find his feet again. He was speechless with anger. I should have condemned the conversions, he stuttered, and chastised the Muslim groups responsible for it.

    In the Express Estates, Ram Nath Goenka was bringing down the plaster from the ceiling. “Hindu kahaan jaaye? Hindu kahaan jaaye?” (Where should the Hindu go?) He shook with rage: “Tum to Makka chale jaao; Hindu kahaan jaaye?” (You can go to Mecca, but where should the Hindu go?)

    K. Sambandam, the solitary non-Brahmin member of the editorial team, spread out Dravida newspapers on my desk to prove that the “balance” in my editorial also had a clientele among the two Dravida parties. But I had learnt the hard way that it was wiser to steer clear of intra-Hindu arguments. Had I learnt the right lesson?

    Meenakshipuram happened when the communal cauldron was bubbling over on account of other factors - the insurgency in Punjab, Zia ul Haq’s Nizam-e-Mustafa in Pakistan, social imbalance caused by the petro dollar remittances from Gulf, and the early appearance of garish Dubai houses in Kerala. Conversions only provided the ignition.

    The 1980s were marked by a spate of riots in Moradabad, Aligarh, Maliana, Bhagalpur, climaxing in the Shilanyas or the foundation laying ceremony for the Ram Temple in Ayodhya and finally the demolition of Babri Masjid Dec 6, 1992. Communalism, once triggered, picks up a life of its own particularly in the context of electoral politics.

    Meenaskshipuram, however, remains unique in the sense that no Muslim conversion on this scale had happened since Independence, nor did one after 1981. Was it financed by Dubai remittances? What did occur subsequently was something quite different: a spate of attacks on Christian missionaries. These alerted leaders like Atal Behari Vajpayee about a rash of Christian conversions in the tribal areas of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Vajpayee called for a national debate on conversions. K.N. Govindacharya of the RSS dedicated himself to reclaiming those who had “strayed” out of the Hindu fold.

    When a similar situation arose in the first decade of Independence, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru invited his Education Minister Maulana Azad to tackle the complicated situation.

    What happened was this. During a debate in the Lok Sabha on foreign Christian missionaries, Home Minister Kailashnath Katju said: “If missionaries come to India only for evangelical work, then I commend to them the thought that they stop coming here.” The statement created a furore among Christian missionaries.

    Maulana Azad wrote a letter to Cardinal Valerian Gracias in Mumbai.

    "Let me assure you that we are fully aware of the outstanding work foreign missionaries have done over the past 150 years in education and other humanitarian fields. For years, the East India Company was opposed to imparting education to Indians. It was a missionary society which opened the first school and college to impart modern education to Indians. After India's independence, many missionary societies asked us if they would be allowed to continue their work and we encouraged them to continue the good work.

    "The acceptable way for religious conversion is simple: if an adult reflects on the faith he has been born into and feels intellectually compelled to adopt another faith, he has all the protection in the constitution to exercise his free choice. This kind of conversion is a function of proper balance between the heart and the mind.”

    The Indian constitution gives the right to every individual to preach his particular faith, and the recipients of such preaching have every right to change their faith.

    "But there is another method of conversion: for social reasons or for a common cause, a large group of people makes up its mind to defect from one religion to another. If each individual of this group were asked to explain why he left the faith of his forebears, I am certain he will not be able to advance a reason persuasive enough that such a person has actually reflected on the question of religion and truth. On most occasions such groups are composed of people who have no education, people who are singularly incapable of making up their minds on issues that inform a matter as serious a religious belief.” An elitist view?

    But mass conversions, according to the Maulana, “cannot be called religious conversions. Instead of conversion this sort of a shift should be called by some other name. The Constituent Assembly called it 'mass conversions'".

    The Maulana settled the debate two generations ago. How would his reasoning be received by both the sides today?

    In 2002, J. Jayalalitha passed the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Forcible Conversion of Religion Act. K. Karuanidhi opposed it tooth and nail.

    “Forcible conversion?” frowned Madar Sahib, who changed his faith when he was 40. “Yes, I was forced by the upper caste Hindus to run away from a system that treated me like a street dog.” According to the Maulana, Madar Sahib “defected” from an unfair system. It was not religious conversion.

    Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Marxism are all linear proselytizing systems. There is a problem when they come into contact with a circular system which does not convert.

    (10.01.14 A senior commentator on political and diplomatic issues, Saeed Naqvi can be reached on The views expressed are personal.)

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    By IANS,

    Aligarh : A youth group here has decided to boycott Bollywood star Salman Khan's forthcoming movie "Jai Ho" for taking part in a musical extravaganza in Saifai in Uttar Pradesh.

    Members of the Youth Initiative for Peace and Harmony (YIPH) condemned both Salman and Madhuri Dixit for participating in the "Saifai Mahotsav", held in the village of Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav.

    The group said it was a pity the actors went to the show when the Uttar Pradesh government was not doing enough for victims of the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh.

    But the YIPH, however, welcomed the donation of Rs.25 lakh from Salman to the JN Medical College here.

    Jasim Mohammad of YIPH told IANS that Mulayam Singh Yadav should not have held the "Safai Mahotsava" this year and Salman and Madhuri Dixit should have not attended it showing "some sensitivity to human values".

    Mohammad said the YIPH would boycott the film "Jai Ho".

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : A court here Friday extended the police custody of a suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative till Jan 15 after the police said it was required for interrogating him.

    Additional Sessions Judge Daya Prakash allowed the police plea for the custody of Md. Rashid, arrested from Nuh sub-division of Mewat district in Haryana Dec 16 night.

    His name surfaced after police interrogated Md. Shahid, another LeT suspect arrested by the special cell of the Delhi Police Dec 7 from Choti Mewli village in the same district. Both were imams at a village mosque.

    Shahid is at present in judicial custody.

    "It is submitted that further examination of accused Rashid is required for confronting him with the call details/conversations and the facts that have emerged after the examination of witnesses," the police told the court.

    The police informed court Rashid, already in police custody from Jan 3, would be taken to Haryana and Rajasthan to apprehend his associates.

    The police request was to unearth the conspiracy hatched by him and his associates, planning to carry out terror strikes.

    During investigation, it was revealed the duo was in touch with Pakistan-based LeT commander Javed Baluchi over mobile phones.

    Police have booked them under various charges dealing with criminal conspiracy and terrorism.

    However, M.S. Khan, counsel for both the accused, opposed the plea.

    Claiming that Delhi Police created a case against his clients to prove a statement by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi as correct, Khan Thursday sent a letter to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, asking the the case be transferred from the Delhi Police to the NIA (National Investigation Agency) for a fair probe, contending his clients were made scapegoats.

    "Rahul Gandhi made a revelation during his public meeting in Indore Oct 24, 2013 that an officer of the Intelligence Bureau briefed him about the infiltration of ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) in relief camps in Muzaffarnagar for the purpose of recruitment of youngsters. He further revealed the said officer also contacted those youngsters," Khan said in his letter to Shinde.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : A court here Friday sent Indian Mujahideen (IM) alleged co-founder Yasin Bhatkal to judicial custody in connection with the September 2010 Jama Masjid terror attack case.

    Additional Sessions Judge Daya Prakash sent Bhatkal and his alleged close aide Asadullah Akhtar to judicial custody till Jan 17.

    He also allowed a plea of Delhi Police seeking his voice sample.

    Bhatkal's counsel, advocate M.S. Khan, has opposed the police plea seeking a voice sample, claiming that the police had already done so during his custodial interrogation.

    Bhatkal and Akhtar are accused in the 2010 Jama Masjid terror attack, which came days before the Commonwealth Games here.

    Police said that on Sep 19, 2010, two bikers had fired upon tourists at the gate of Jama Masjid in old Delhi area and two Taiwanese had sustained bullet injuries while a bomb was fitted in a car parked in the area. However, it was detected and defused before it could explode.

    The accused were presented in court after expiry of their police custody in connection with the 2008 Delhi serial blast case. Several bomb blasts had rocked the capital city Sep 13, 2008.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : The Jamia Teachers' Association (JTA) Friday accused the Uttar Pradesh and union governments of playing blame games instead of providing relief to the victims of the Muzaffarnagar riots.

    The teachers' association also demanded immediate rehabilitation of those displaced after the riots of September in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts of Uttar Pradesh.

    "We take serious exception to the politicisation of the miseries and the deplorable conditions of innocent victims of the Muzaffarnagar communal carnage," said the JTA in a statement.

    "Instead of finding permanent and dignified solutions to their miseries and ensure safe resettlement at their native places, the state and the central governments have remained busy in playing blame games," the statement said.

    "On the one hand, the victims have been living in dehumanising conditions and the state government is spending public money in organising so-called cultural carnivals".

    The association demanded "immediate end to the miseries of the victims" by providing them "permanent and immediate resettlement with full security of life and property."

    "We appeal to all political parties to desist from making political capital out of a human tragedy," the teachers' association said.

    In communal riots that broke out in September 2013, about 60 people died and nearly 50,000 people, mostly Muslims, fled their homes in fear. At least 40 children died after bitter cold set in with winter, as the flimsy tents the displaced lived in provided little protection.

    The Uttar Pradesh government also faced flak for organising the fortnight-long Saifai Mahotsav, an extravaganza that the government said was an annual event to promote tourism, at Saifai in Etawah district, the native village of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

    Saifai is about 300 km from the site of some of the relief camps for the riots-displaced in Muzaffarnagar district.

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    By IANS,

    New Delhi : A court here Friday asked the Special Cell of Delhi Police to appear before it to furnish details on a plea of alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba bomb expert Abdul Karim Tunda.

    The court was hearing Tunda's petition seeking court's direction to the police to furnish details of the remaining pending cases against him.

    Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Amit Bansal fixed the matter for Jan 21.

    According to the police, Tunda is involved in more than 20 bomb blast cases that occurred in the country between 1994 and 1998.

    Tunda, Jan 4, filed a plea, saying till date the Delhi Police arrested him in four cases and sought details of the other pending cases against him.

    Police filed reply on Tunda's plea Friday, mentioning details of four cases but not giving any other information on the remaining pending cases against him.

    "The accused (Tunda) has right to know and to seek trial or avail legal remedies available to him," Tunda's counsel M.S. Khan said.

    While the police said he was arrested from from the Banbasa area of Uttarakhand near the Indo-Nepal border Aug 16, 2013, Tunda claimed he was in fact picked up by Delhi Police in Nepal.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Guwahati: Former union minister of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Ravi Shankar Prasad and other senior party leaders slammed the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for their failure. BJP has started to gather complaints for their ‘charge sheet’ against the UPA from Guwahati on Friday.

    Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the PM has done nothing for Assam though he has been representing the state for more than two decades in Rajya Sabha after interacting with different people in Guwahati.

    Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad speaks to reporters in Guwahati.

    “People especially in Assam have lot of grievances against the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. As the PM represents Assam, we want to start gathering grievances from here before going elsewhere,” Ravi Shankar said on Friday.

    The BJP had launched its ‘charge-sheet’ last year on the ‘dark decade of UPA’s mal-governance’ with a website that attempts massive outreach through social media as the party prepares for general elections.

    He also narrated the tale of failures of the UPA government especially in the northeast region and Assam. Ravi Shankar said that during the tenure of Manmohan Singh, no major project was allotted to Assam. “If the central government can allot major schemes at Sonia Gandhi’s Rae Bareli or Rahul Gandhi’s Amethi, why there is a dearth in Manmohan Singh’s Assam?” Ravi Shankar added.

    On the preserving the biggest river island Majuli in Assam from erosion, he said that the UPA government has failed to do so. “It’s very unfortunate that the river island is getting affected day by day with any major action from the central government. The central government should have taken strict measures for its preservation quite earlier,” he said adding that Manmohan Singh just want the vote of the state.

    The former ministry of information and broadcasting during the regime of NDA also expressed serious concern at the non-implementation of the clauses of Assam Accord.

    “Though the accord was signed by former PM Rajiv Gandhi but it was soon forgotten by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi after that. That way also we can see that Assam is neglected by the UPA government,” Ravi Shankar said.

    On the rise of Aam Admi Party in Delhi, he said that the party led by Arvind Kejriwal will have to prove their worth. “BJP is still the biggest party in Delhi and AAP has got the power to rule with Congress’ support. I hope Kejriwal will show the guts by taking action against former CM Sheila Dikshit,” he said.

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    A 60 year old lady takes initiative to spread education in society especially among women.

    By Staff Reporter,

    Guwahati: The old adage goes that if there’s a will, there’s definitely a way out. This may not be quite true to this 60 year old lady Rangila Medhi in a remote village in Assam’s Darrang district at present.

    Her mission to educate people, especially rural women which was initiated much before the government schemes is facing tough time. Meet Rangila Medhi of Jhakuapara village at Hazarikapara in Darrang district, some 70 odd kilometres from state capital Guwahati, being a daily wage earner, she has successfully written two books after going to school much later period at her life at 40.

    Rangila Medhi with the women of the village

    “I don’t want anybody to feel the pain through which I had to undergo. That’s why I try my best to educate the people of my nearby areas. Especially women of my age or even younger did not get much opportunity to study or some of them were not allowed to go to school, I can feel their pain of not knowing the letters,” Medhi told at her residence as she interacts with a group of village women.

    Though for the last 20 years she has been constantly fighting her way to provide education to rural women, financial crunch has deterred her from reaching out to her goal. “It’s been tough to meet all the needs. Though I want to go in a big way to educate the women of our locality, on several occasions I have to stay back because I cannot do all the things which I want to do due to lack of financial crunch,” she added.

    The village women come to her house in the afternoon twice or thrice a week to get the lessons from Medhi who lives with her brothers. She also visits nearby schools in the locality besides travelling to some of the other parts of the state to promote girls education.

    “I desperately want to take this mission in a big way. If I can institutionalized this, I hope many more women and girls can be educated. Because, without education it’s dark everywhere,” said Medhi whose mission has already touched hundreds of women in the nearby areas.

    But alas, she faces problems at every step of her life. Besides working on her mission she has to work in the agriculture fields to make ends meet. “I don’t want to be a burden to somebody else and I’m proud of what I do for my living. As I earn little money, it becomes difficult to spend it for my mission,” said the lady who never decided to get married.

    However, by being a spinster, it has been a blessing for her. “I never repent at whatever I have done rather I’m proud of it. Had I been married, maybe I had a couple of children but now all are my own children and I can equally treat them for a better tomorrow,” said a confident Medhi.

    The journey had started way back in 1993 when she stepped in a school for the second time in her life at the age of 40 with a help of a member of a NGO Gyan Vigyan Samity. After that it is a never looking back journey.

    “It was curse for me not to read the letters and I was desperate to get rid of it. All thanks to Gyan Vigyan,” she said. Earlier, at an age of 10 she once tried to go to school but her father was against her going to school and he dragged her out of it.

    For the beneficiaries, it’s a privilege to have such kind of soul by their side. “We are proud of baideo (elder sister). Only because of her, now I can write my name and read text book. I hope very soon I will be able to read newspaper,” said Neera Deka, a house wife who visits Medhi’s house to learn lesson.

    Kishore Kalita, a local youth said that such kind of initiative has created a positive atmosphere in the entire area and these days no parents hesitate to send their daughters to pursue higher studies.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    New Delhi: A talk titled ‘Death by Encounter: Strategies of Impunity’ was held at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) on January 10. Manisha Sethi, a Fellow at NMML was the speaker of the event. A rich and thoughtful discussion followed issues ranging from extra-judicial killings, impunity given to armed forces, role of judiciary, institutions and popular culture in promoting a nebulous vision of justice.

    “Whenever we have discussions on police reforms we see that there is no focus on impunity, all we hear is that how much money we are going to spend on modernization of police forces so that we can have replace old lathis with nice plastic lathis,” she commented while talking to the participants in the programme.

    Manisha Sethi (right)

    Among things discussed in the talk was how shallow response NHRC gets from the government on its findings. For instance, National Human Rights Commission issued its guidelines on encounter killings in 1997, in response to APCLC’s complaint about 295 encounters in Andhra Pradesh. And yet, impunity is rampant. NHRC guidelines are followed rarely, if at all; the Supreme Court stayed the AP High Court judgement.

    “There exists a black hole in this idea of judgement that since the person is killed in an encounter he/she must be guilty,” she said.

    While pointing out at Batla House encounter, on which JTSA has done great deal of work under her supervision. she said that the state rushed towards closure in haste of creating a state of order with the cry of satisfying collective conscience which rests on narrative of giving in to the popular anger which might not necessarily be just.

    The talk also raised the issue of public consensus being created by the use of popular culture like films like Ab Tak Chappan which glorifies extra-judicial killings, selective coverage, a coercive form of law enforcement, vilification of a particular community through various media.

    Referring to JTSA’s latest report Guilt by Association: UAPA Cases from Madhya Pradesh, she said that many cases have shown that judiciary also gets complacent in this narrative as a simple material in Urdu can be presented as a jihadi material.

    There is a lack of political initiative towards police reforms and it has to change it has to be political which is not there.

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    By Soroor Ahmed,,

    The Muzaffarnagar riots of the first week of September 2013 was certainly not as widespread and as destructive as the one which rocked Gujarat in 2002. While it ended within a couple of days––though tensions continued for several weeks––the one in Gujarat lasted for a couple of months with tension gripping the entire state for much longer time. Lakhs of refugees were left in the camps virtually uncared for and unattended for months and even years.

    If Muzaffarnagar riots was confined to small towns and villages, in Gujarat big cities like Ahmedabad too witnessed horrific scenes of bloodbath. Unlike in this western UP town, in Gujarat even three star hotels, big business establishments, factories, markets, housing complexes etc belonging to Muslims were targeted. Former MP Ehsan Jaffrey was roasted alive and even officials and judges belonging to the community were not spared.

    While the casaulties in Muzaffarnagar and its vicinity was officially around 50––and 113, according to Muslim groups––the toll in Gujarat riots was at least 20 times more.

    Yet the sheer stupidity of the Akhilesh Yadav government and Samajwadi Party leaders has given enough opportunity to many political rivals, especially the BJP, as well as their friends in the media to make the Muzaffarnagar riots equal to that of the Gujarat pogrom.

    What is strange is that these Samajwadis––whether they are educated in Australia or anywhere else––are not at all prepared to learn that the world is changing very fast and the media has come to play a very significant role in the society. They can call the media biased and accused them of of conspiring against them, but the truth is that events like the Safai Mahotsava in the native village of Mulayam Singh Yadav (in Etawah district) did make a very good story. After all no one can deny the fact that crores––some say Rs 30 crores while others say Rs 100 crores, Rs 300 etc––were spent on this fortnight-long carnival when the children are dying in chilly winter nights in refugee camps in Muzaffarnagar.

    They may defend the extravaganza in any number of ways, but in this changed world there is no taker of their argument.

    It may be that the Congress party might have organized such festival four months after the massacre of Sikhs in Delhi in 1984. It may be true that such big show might have been organized in Gujarat four months after the infamous riots of 2002. But does this justify the Akhilesh Yadav government to go on and organize such a big show and rub salt into the wound of the riots’ victims?

    The Samajwadis will have to understand that Muzaffarnagar is not Kokrajhar in far off Assam. It is just two to three hours drive from New Delhi, which has the office of the entire media of the country. Many international news agencies, newspapers and television channels have their offices too.

    In this 21st century world when the media is setting most of the agenda the Samajwadis can not go away with any argument. If there was no such media in 1984, or if the media under-reported the 2002 riots, this is not the excuse for the UP government to play a cruel joke with the victims of Muzaffarnagar.

    The Akhilesh government may have done better relief work than in Gujarat or Assam and might have paid the compensation, yet the way it is going on committing one blunder after another clearly goes to prove that it has given the BJP a big stick to beat it.

    How can they deny that children died in the camp due to cold, modesty of women were outraged and camps forcibly closed and refugees beaten? Channel after channel are showing them. Are all of them wrong?

    Now when the show was finally over chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Jan 10 came out with the argument that hardly Rs one crore were spent on this cultural programme and that a committee collected money for it. He blasted the media and political opponents not knowing that whatever he is saying or doing now may prove counterproductive.

    So by criminal insensitivity and ineptness he has allowed the perception to develop that Narendra Modi and ‘Maulana’ Mulayam Singh Yadav are the two sides of the same coin, so far dealing with communal riots are concerned. So why just single out the Gujarat chief minister and make it an issue when he has been nominated as the prime ministerial candidate of his party?

    This is what the saffron brigade wanted.

    If the Muslims are feeling offended they have reason to be so, as they reposed faith on Mulayam and Akhilesh and not Narendra Modi.

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: A five member fact finding team of Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) visited the relief camps in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli, between 28th and 30th December 2013, to get a first-hand account of the condition and problems faced by people living in these camps.

    Following the unprecedented outbreak of riots in the rural areas of Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Baghpat, Meerut and Saharanpur districts of Uttar Pradesh in the first week of September, tens of thousands of Muslim families have been living in relief camps for the last four months. However, over the past week, the Uttar Pradesh Government has been following a policy of forced closure and eviction of people from such camps. As a consequence, the situation created has resulted in increasing the vulnerabilities and insecurities of persons affected by the riots.

    The team visited a total of 8 camps in the districts of Shamli and Muzaffarnagar and met people from over 60 villages. In Shamli District, the team visited the camps at Malakpur, Barnavi, Kandhla, and Madarsa camp in Shamli town. In Muzaffarnagar district, the team visited the camps at Loyi, Shahpur, Jogiya-kheda and Jaula. In addition, the team also met people from 5 other camps. In all PUDR interacted with people of 13 camps. The team also met the DM Shamli, ADM Muzaffarnagar, SHO of P.S. Phugana, Village Pradhans of Loyi and Jogiya-kheda, health workers, teachers, journalists, members of religious communities, relief camp committee members and relief workers associated with various non-governmental organizations.

    The following is a summary of the main findings of the team.

    1. Forcible eviction of the riot affected from the relief camps

    The hearing of the matter by the Supreme Court and the increased media reporting of the plight of the victims in the camps has had a paradoxical impact. The administration is determined to close down the camps. Various methods are being deployed towards this end. These include the filing of cases against the victims residing in these camps for trespassing on government property; pressurising relief committee members; large-scale police and official presence to browbeat people into leaving the premises; and breaking up the large settlements of victims to facilitate in this pressurising.

    In the case of Loyi camp, over a hundred families from Kharad village still awaiting rehabilitation payment were being moved to a government barrack temporary accomodation, on 29th-30th December, ostensibly to provide them with better care and facilities. Other families were being told to clear out of the camp even when they were insecure about returning to their village. This insecurity is worse when those responsible for conducting attacks are not charged for the crimes or even when accused continue to be free to intimidate the victims.

    2. Apathy in Provision of Relief by Government Agencies

    Our team found that none of the relief camps were initiated or managed by the government. Relief camps came up in Muslim majority villages to which the victims fled during the rioting.

    In every camp visited, we were repeatedly told about the apathy on the part of the State administration to supply relief material and services. It was only a fortnight after the start of these camps that the administration started providing relief materials. After 1 October the administration even stopped providing food in most of these camps, which we confirmed at the Jaula and Jogiya-kheda camps. With winter approaching and a Supreme court order of 21 November explicitly calling upon the administration to resume supply of relief material, the Administration did not make any attempts to distribute woollen clothes and blankets for people residing in the camps. It was only in December, when the petitioners drew attention to 39 deaths in the relief camps, that the administration resumed supply of medicines and 200ml of milk per family in 5 camps.

    The camps also house a large number of school-going children. While in some places, services of a primary school have been provided, students from higher classes have nowhere to go. Schools in the close vicinity have refused admission to the riot affected. Girl students face this in a more aggravated form. Those having to take the board exams this year have already missed some examinations. Such students face the imminent loss of a year that may effectively deny them futher education.

    Medical facilities are primitive. A meagre stock of pills are being distributed at most camps. The DM Shamli expressed inability to provide any better services lamenting the sorry state of the district health-care system. Many pregnant women have given birth and many are in late stages of pregnancy. No services of a gynaecologist are available anywhere in the district and there has been no attempt to provide nutritious food for these mothers. A Committee set up under the directions of the Supreme Court to look into the deaths in relief camps reported 34 deaths of children.

    3. The Current number of Relief Camps is under-reported by the State Government

    In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court in December, the State government had stated that out of the 58 camps in operation in September, 53 had been discontinued and only 5 camps were in existence (4 in Shamli and 1 in Muzaffarnagar districts). Our team found this assertion to be wholly false.

    We were told by informed residents that relief camps were in operation at 25 villages, some of them housing more than one camp. Our team was able to visit 13 of these locations and found camps in operation. The number of people receiving relief from these camps far exceeds the number of people present in the camps, since many victims have been moved to private houses in the villages in the light of the extreme weather conditions.

    The assertion by the ADM Muzaffarnagar to our team on 30 December at the Loyi camp was most shocking. He claimed that there was no relief camp at Shahpur village. An hour later our team found three functioning relief camps at the village!

    The exclusion of a large number of camps from the official list merely highlights the callous attitude of the administration by denying all relief to these victims and leaving such people wholly at the mercy of private charity. It is a blatant attempt to misinform the public at large.

    4. Misleading Estimates of People Affected by the Riots

    The lack of supervision of the relief camps by the district administration has meant that figures of the riot affected are arbitrary. In a report dated 4 October 2013, filed by the Harmony Committee constituted by the Uttar Pradesh government, the total number of internally displaced was estimated to be 33,696 persons. Of this the largest segment of displaced people approximately 74 percent were reported to be living in relief camps located in Muzaffanagar district, followed by 22 percent in Kairana, 3.3 percent in Shamli and 0.7 percent in Bagpat. By December, the number stated in the government affidavit to the Supreme Court is 5,024.

    The falsity of the above claim is apparent from the records of residents available at the relief camps. The relief committees running the camps provide the only proper record of victims based on the distribution of material relief at each camp.

    According to additional affidavit filed on behalf of the petitioners in the case of Citizen for Justice & Peace and others v. State of Uttar Pradesh (petition no. 170 of 2013) the total number of persons living in camps as of the 6 December was 27, 882. Our estimate of the displaced persons from our visit to 13 camps more or less confirms this figure.

    5. Flawed Categorization of ‘Riot Affected’ Villages and Persons

    We were told by relief committees that families from 162 villages had abandoned their homes and sought refuge in the relief camps. Our team was able to speak to riot victims displaced from over 60 villages. Officially however only 9 villages have been declared as being riot affected, and therefore eligible for Government rehabilitation package. Based on a criteria of worst affected in terms of murders, the 9 villages identified are: Lak, Lisaad, Bahawdi, Kutba, Kutbi, Phugana, Mohammadpur Raisingh, Kakra and Mundbhar. As per the Government package, approximately 1800 families have been identified as riot affected and eligible for a one time rehabilitation package of Rs. 5,00,000 from these villages.

    But there exist a large number of persons, beyond the nine government recognised villages, who are in no situation to return to their homes. They have faced serious intimidation and humiliation from their Hindu neighbours. They have suffered their houses being broken into and women humiliated by armed mobs. They have found their homes ransacked when they visited the village with police escort. And in some cases their family members who were unable to flee are still missing, three months after the incident. These villages and their Muslim residents are not being categorized as the riot affected and thus rendered ineligible for rehabilitation. Many of these persons that our team interviewed, recounted having fled empty-handed from their homes on the night of 7 and 8 September.

    6. Problematic Rehabilitation Package and its Terms

    The State Government’s one-time rehabilitation package of Rs. 5 lakhs for each riot affected family is extremely problematic. This package is based neither on the size of the house in the village, nor is it based on the number of families residing in the house. Hence every resident riot affected family of the 9 villages has not been provided the amount of Rs. 5 lakhs. Multiple families residing in the same house face this problem most acutely where the head of one family has been paid while others have been denied.

    The terms of this rehabilitation require beneficiaries to return the Rs. 5 lakh if they were ever to move back into their original homes. Given the present situation of the victims living in tents under the open sky, with little hope of returning to their homes, acceptance of this rehabilitation is a fait accompli. Once the money is brought into use, the labouring households that comprise an overwhelming majority of the victims shall never be in a position to return it. In this manner the government policy effectively ensures that the victims are forbidden to return. The rehabilitation package is therefore in essence a compensation package that fails in every respect to compensate for the losses suffered by the victims.

    On the reverse side, the government has made no commitments to protect the houses and community properties of the victims that comprise masjids, idgahs, madrassas and graveyards. Therefore these properties would over time willy nilly fall into the hands of those who perpetrated the violence against the Muslim victims, thereby creating an economic incentive for future communal violence.

    What is lost sight of in this process is the culpability of the state. The overwhelming reason for the inability of the victims to return to their lives is the government’s failure to protect them from communal violence; to apprehend and punish the perpetrators; and refusal to provide effective security to them. The rehabilitation package therefore becomes a ploy to hide this abysmal failure.

    7. Slow progress of Police investigation of complaints related to Murder, Rape, Arson and Looting

    It has come to the knowledge of the fact finding team that the police is deliberately trying to distort evidence and delay investigations in a number of cases. As a result, the maximum of 90 days period allowed for investigation under section 167(2) of the Cr.P.C. is passing by and persons accused of heinous crimes get a right to be freed on bail. As per the additional affidavit filed on behalf of the petitioners in the case of Citizen for Justice & Peace and others v. State of Uttar Pradesh (petition no. 170 of 2013), atleast 5 persons arrested for heinous crimes are already out on bail and those named as accused in FIRs cannot be arrested without a court warrant due to the delay. The following cases indicate towards a dubious role of the police in conducting the investigation.

    Killing of Meherudeen (father of Rafeeq) from Dunger village, Phugana Thana, Muzaffarnagar district is a case in point. Meherudeen's body was found hung by the neck, naked in the house of co-villager Pawan Jat on 8 September 2013. Under pressure from village head Ramchandra and other powerful Jats of the village, the body was buried in the graveyard near the village. Today, the family members say that Meherudeen died because of illness. The family has now left the camp and is residing in Kandhla. But three people from the same village have been witness to the entire episode and they find mention in the FIR. They are also being threatened to death in case they testify. Their testimonies have been video-recorded and submitted along with the FIR. An application has also been written to the police authorities requesting post-mortem of the body, but in vain. According to law, the police is required to record a Panchnama upon reaching the incident site, and to record the cause of death as stated by the family. However, in this case, the Panchnama was not created. Even after the FIR was filed, the body has not been exhumed and sent for post-mortem.

    Another case in point is that of Aamir Khan s/o Raisuddin from Anchhad village, Thana Binauli, District Baghpat. On 8 September 2013, Aamir and his family including his father, mother, wife and younger brother left the village out of fear and moved to their relative's house in Shieikhpura. On the morning of 12 September 2013, after consulting with family members, Aamir cycled back to his village to see if things had normalised. When Aamir did not return till late evening, his father, mother and wife decided to go and check. They reached their house around 6pm, and found Aamir's body hung by his neck from the ceiling. On hearing their screams many villagers gathered and the village head was also called. Two villagers, Sanjeev and his father Jagbeera, started abusing the family and demanded the return of a loan of Rs. 80,000 that Aamir had allegedly taken. The village head Samarpal got Aamir's body buried and announced that in case anyone made enquires it should be stated that Aamir died of illness. The police was called by the Jat residents and told the same, and ignored repeated requests by the family for post-mortem. Their thumb impressions were forcibly taken from them and the police left. The three people were then held captive in their own house by the village head Samarpal, Sanjeev and Jagbeera to force them to return the loan mentioned above. It was only several days later, on 30 September, that they were released after depositing the money with the help of their relatives. The family then moved to Jaula village camp, Thana Budhana, Muzaffarnagar district and reported the incident on 1 October 2013. The family has again requested the police for a post-mortem but it has not yet been done.

    PUDR demands:

    1. That the forcible eviction of the displaced people from relief camps be stopped forthwith and victims be provided relief till a permanent secure arrangement is worked out.

    2. That a Commission be set up to record all the people displaced from their villages, the reason thereof and their properties in the village so as to ensure proper and sufficient provision of relief and rehabilitation measures.

    3. That the rehabilitation package should not be discriminatory and every married couple and every unmarried adult be treated as a separate family for the purpose.

    4. That the perverse conditions attached with the rehabilitation package be removed. The properties left behind by the victims in the villages including community properties such as graveyards, masjids, etc. be recorded and protected against encroachment by other village residents.

    5. That measures be taken to ensure protection to eye-witnesses and complainants against threats and intimidation.

    6. That unbiased investigation and prosecution be ensured by handing the same to a central agency.

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    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: Jamia Teachers Solidarity Association got the National Confederation of Human Rights Organization's (NCHRO) Mukundan C Monon Memorial Award which is awarded to human right activists annually.

    National Minority Commission Chairperson Wajahat Habibullah said that Mukundan C Menon, who was in consistent struggle for the rights of Dalits, Adivasis and minorities was a great patriot, while inaugurating the award ceremony NCHRO.

    The award for 2013 was conferred upon the Jamia Teachers Solidarity Association (JATSA) for its meticulously researched reports on the misuse of power by the law enforcing agencies and the gravity of such violations in the use of draconian laws like UAPA have proved to be a powerful tool in the hands for human right campaigners in the country.

    “The books produced by the JTSA are the model for the human rights activists who conduct similar work in the country, for their clarity, objectivity and irrefutable presentation of the facts. NCHRO looks upon the JTSA to continue its good work in the coming years and this award is conferred upon it in recognition of its great work in the cause of human rights in India,” a statement by NCHRO said.

    President of JTSA Manish Sethi received the award from National Minority Commission Chairperson Wajahat Habibullah.

    While inaugurating the award ceremony NCHRO, Habibullah said that Mukundan C Menon, who was in consistent struggle for the rights of Dalits, Adivasis and minorities was a great patriot.

    “Menon took his struggle to Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Bihar, Gujarat and Kerala, he had to experience imprisonment. We have to remember Mahatma Gandhi who had to go jail for the freedom of the country and it is as the result of their dreams that we finally got freedom. The fights Mukundan C Menon should also be regarded as high as that. "Such fights should still continue" he added

    “After TADA and POTA, UAPA is a repressive law being used by the government to oppress the people on their democratic right as well as political right. It is being used mostly against minority youths and also being used as a political tool against their political opponent, to repeal this repressive law like UAPA there is a need of broad based movement by the people,” Manisha Sethi said, after receiving the award on behalf of JTSA.

    Advocate Muhamed Yusuf, NCHRO National Secretary said, “Mukundan C Menon was a great catalyst to the human right activist. Through this award in the name of Mukundan C Menon we want to inculcate the idea and dream of Menon in the field of human rights and among the activists to work for it.”

    Mukundan C Menon Award is given to honour the memory of late Mukundan C Menon, the veteran journalist, human rights defender and the first General Secretary of NCHRO. The award was established in 2006 soon after his death on Dec 12, 2005. It is given annually to human rights defenders, environmental activists, victims of rights violations, artists, journalists, writers and activists involved in the defense of human and civil rights.

    RK Ankodia (President NCHRO Rajasthan), Mahtab Alam (social activist) also spoke in the programme.

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