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Archives for : Justice

West Bengal – Three Muslim youth lynched over suspicion of cow theft

Three killed in north Dinajpur: Lynched as cattle smugglers, family say they were construction workers

Heavy police force has been deployed in local markets and streets of Chopra post the lynching of Delhi construction workers alleged to be cattle smugglers by violent and unruly mob at Durgapur village of North Dinajpur district.

Written by Ravik Bhattacharya | North Dinajpur | Updated: June 26, 2017 10:57 am

dinajpur, cattle smugglers, india news, indian express newsMd Nasiruddin’s wife, children and mother Zarina Begum (left). Partha Paul

Md Ashin Ali (60) lost his son on Thursday night. Suspected of being a cattle thief, Md Nasiruddin was lynched in Durgapur village of North Dinajpur district. “He was a construction worker and also sometimes used to work as a day labourer. That evening, around seven, he received a call and went out. Next day afternoon, we were told of the incident,” said Ali, a resident of Dhulagach village under Islampur police station. Along with Nasiruddin (24), Nasirul Haque (28) and Mohammad Samiruddin (32) also fell victim to the mob under Chopra police station.

“We have already made arrests in the case. The three who were lynched were cattle thieves and they had a record,” said Amitkumar Bharat Rathod, SP of North Dinajpur. But the father differed.

“Please ask anyone in the village if he ever stole anything. He had a clean record,” said Ali, who lodged a general diary with the police thereafter.

Nasiruddin left behind his parents, wife Aneesa Begum and their four-month-old son.

Under the neighbouring Chopra police station are the Kutipara and Kandarpara villages where Haque and Samiruddin were from, respectively.

“My husband, like his brothers, worked in Delhi as construction worker. He was supposed to leave for Delhi after Eid. I feel like killing myself. He went out last evening after a phone call. The three (who were killed) knew each other and sometimes worked together,” said Marjina Khatun, Haque’s wife who is pregnant. Samiruddin’s family, meanwhile, suffered their second tragedy. Four years ago, his elder brother Alam had gone missing in Delhi.
“My husband used to run a business of making concrete slabs. He was the only bread earner of the family of five, including an old father, his brother’s wife and three of us (two children aged seven and 11). He was planning to buy an auto soon,” said wife Husnera Begum.

Reports of cattle smuggling out to neighbouring Bihar and Bangladesh is quite common in the Islampur-Chopra area. The area remained tensed on Sunday. Heavy police was deployed in local markets and streets.

“Last year almost on the same time clashes erupted between Hindus and Muslims in Chopra area after miscreants vandalised a rath. Though no one was killed, but shops were ransacked. After this incident we are all living in fear,” said Rafiqul Alam, a local resident.

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India – The politics of religious hatemongering


The irresistible urge to mix politics and religion usually comes at the expense of secularism, tolerance and vulnerable minorities. We saw this recently in Asia with extremist Islamic groups spewing anti-Chinese hate speech to defeat the incumbent governor of Jakarta, the ebbing tide of secularism in Bangladesh, insurgency in the Philippines and the resurgence of violence targeting Muslims in Sri Lanka with apparent impunity. Power politics and hatemongering in the name of religion sows seeds of instability and violence.

The riptide of politics and religion is manifest in the agenda of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who embraces hindutva, a Hindu chauvinism that sanctifies and perpetuates the politics of hate and “othering” in the name of religion. It is the calling card of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In the 2014 elections, the BJP campaigned on the slogan “Vote for Modi, give life to the cow” and “The cow will be saved, the country will be saved,” cashing in on the Hindu belief that cows are holy. The BJP subsequently made good on its promise to ban the selling of cows for slaughter in 18 states in India so far and has established hostels where cows are cared for in their dotage. India is therefore a nice place for cows, but what about the poor?

The hypocrisy is jarring given that India is a major exporter of beef, accounting for almost one-quarter of the global market and earning more than $4 billion a year. Surely if religious compassion was foremost in politicians’ minds, they might show more for the masses of Indians living in abject poverty and farmers driven to suicide because of debts they can’t repay. Why are cows more sacred than these people? Whether Christian, Muslim or outside the fold of upper-caste Hinduism, beef is one of the few cheaply available sources of protein. India is rightly proud of being the largest democracy, but failing to uphold the rule of law and allowing self-appointed posses to engage in extrajudicial killings targeting Muslims tarnishes the nation’s dignity and is an assault on human rights.

While the cow was Lord Krishna’s favorite animal, making it a symbol of piety serves to accentuate differences between the nation’s 80 percent Hindu population and diverse minorities. What gets lost in the politics is the fact that most of what is termed beef in India is actually from water buffalo, an animal not considered to be sacred.

The BJP contends that eating beef is against the idea of India, but is it? Unconvinced, I consulted Sunil Khilnani’s “The Idea of India,” but looked in vain for confirmation that sirloins are subversive.

Historian Dwijendra Narayan Jha, author of “Myth of the Holy Cow,” dismisses claims by Hindu fundamentalists that cow slaughter has always been associated with Muslims, pointing out that eating beef was common among Brahmins long before the spread of Islam to India.

“There is no doubt that beef remained an important part of the Indian haute cuisine and cow was often killed in honor of guests,” Jha told the broadcaster Al Jazeera. “It is totally baseless to argue that Hindus never ate the flesh of the cow.” Hindus only proscribed beef after they lost political power to the Muslims, belatedly embracing cow protection as a symbol of identity and faith.

Unhappy with these facts, the BJP government in 2006 deleted school textbook references to ancient Hindus eating beef. Food fascism is trending, with the head of the BJP’s influential ideological mainstay, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, recently calling for a countrywide ban on the slaughter of cows. Meanwhile, a senior judge said cows should be declared a national animal and people who slaughter the bovines should be sentenced to life in prison.

Curiously, earlier this month Karnataka BJP spokesperson Vaman Acharya made televised remarks reminding everyone that cow protection is an invented tradition — an awkward admission for his party that he later retracted.

Protecting cows comes at a high cost to many Hindus as they can be sold for significant sums that represent a safety net for farmers facing drought or crop failure. Moreover, the industry employs many people in procuring, processing, deboning and packing, in addition to those engaged in production of leather and pet food.

Not all Hindus or states support Modi’s cow crusade. In April, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee declared that the BJP’s beef offensive is “maligning Hinduism,” adding: “Hinduism is not the BJP’s religion. The BJP’s religion is swords, murder, killing, riots, all against the Constitution.”

Nowadays in India, butchers risk being jailed or slaughtered by cow protection vigilantes taking advantage of the state’s surprising tolerance for such violence. These miscreants feel empowered by a government that sheds crocodile tears for their Muslim victims, while fulminating about the need to protect sacred cows in the name of respecting religious sentiments.

In Gujarat, where Modi was state minister in 2002 when vigilantes butchered some 1,000 Muslims with impunity, butchers now face life imprisonment and even transporters of cows can face a 10-year term.

“A cow is not an animal. It is a symbol of universal life,” Gujarat Law Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja said in explaining the harsher penalty enacted in 2016. “Anybody who does not spare cows, the government will not spare him.” It’s too bad he doesn’t show similar concern for the millions of impoverished citizens of his state.

In such a diverse nation, there really is no alternative to tolerance, but in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, the BJP has other ideas, driven by the calculus of polls rather than religious precepts or human rights. Uttar Pradesh has 200 million people, including 40 million Muslims, many of whom eat beef or are engaged in the beef business. They have reason to be worried because the state’s chief of police recently announced that anyone who trades in beef is subject to prosecution under the National Security and Gangsters Act.

With butchers now standing alongside terrorists and gangsters, there is a risk that the primordial maelstrom stoked by the BJP is leading the nation astray down a path toward intensified communal conflict and violence. Surely the nightmare of Partition in 1947, when India gained independence, and many subsequent communal pogroms impugn the BJP’s dangerous grandstanding. Like opportunists around the world, however, revving up the base means feeding the masses the red meat they crave.

Jeff Kingston is the director of Asian Studies, Temple University Japan.

The politics of religious hatemongering in India

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India – Eid with black arm bands as protest against Muslim lynchings

Yusra Husain| TNN


  • The campaign that started on Saturday gathered pace on Sunday with hashtags #StopKillingMuslims and #EidWithBackArmBand doing rounds.
  • A number of activists and common citizens gave the call to wear black bands on the right arm when Muslims go for the Eid namaz.

#StopKillingMuslims and #EidWithBackArmBand doing rounds." src=",width-400,resizemode-4/59311581.jpg" alt="A call to support Muslims and raise voice against repeated mob killings, the campaign was started on social media on Saturday that gathered pace on Sunday with the hashtag #StopKillingMuslims and #EidWithBackArmBand doing rounds." data-imgid="59311581" /> #StopKillingMuslims and #EidWithBackArmBand doing rounds.">A call to support Muslims and raise voice against repeated mob killings, the campaign was started on social me… Read More

With a rush of WhatsApp messages being shared and tweets declaring the announcement, a statement from individuals including Navaid Hamid, president, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, Zafar Mahmood, chairman, Zakat Foundation and Watan ki Fikr amongst others.

The statement read as follows, “We the Muslims of India call for wearing black bands on Eid Day in protest against failure of the Government of India to protect Muslims against uncalled for attacks.”

A first version of the statement shared by Zafar Mahmood had also included the name of Maulana Rabey Hasan Nadvi, Rector, Nadavatul Uloom, Lucknow featuring in the list of names but was later omitted from the final version.

“When I first circulated the message, I added a few names and sent it only those people for consent and addition of names. There was however no reply from Maulana Rabey Hasan Nadvi so I deleted his name in the final version. In the meantime however those with the first draft had forwarded the message in social media which created duplicity,” said Zafar Mahmood.

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India – An Alien’s Letter To The New President Elect- Ram Nath Kovind

Image result for Ram Nath Kovind cartoon

pic courtesy-

Luis Vazquez/Gulf News

Greetings President Ram Nath Kovind.

 Greetings from an Alien, who is also as much a citizen of India as you are.

 I call you President Kovind, for though you are now the candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party, supported by an increasing number of allies and non-allies, you will soon be President-Elect with a token challenge from a fragmented Opposition united only in its absence of power, rather than in coherence alliance of ideology, or even a vision for India. And by the time you get this letter in your unofficial Dak, you would have taken oath in a ceremony partly out of mythology and the rest out of a colonial tradition of imported democracy.

 Perhaps I will also write an open letter to Ms. Meira Kumar, put up by the “united” opposition to give a token challenge and hereby fulfil a democratic ritual. Her father,  Babu Jagjivan Ram, the tallest Dalit leader after Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, never did make Prime Minister, or President. He was non-Congress at a very critical juncture that helped unseat Mrs. Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi after the Emergency. It was, then, possible to oppose a Dalit, especially of the dominant sub caste, if he tried to fly too high. If Babuji was too early, Meira, his daughter, is too late. One of those things, one could say . Ms. Meira Kumar deserves our respect, more than our sympathy.

 You will, of course, understand more than anyone else in India, these issues of caste, sub caste, and caste engineering. If it were not perhaps for the international focus on the plight and persecution of Dalits in India following all those gang rapes, last year, the suicide of scholar Sarath Vemula in Hyderabad, and the beef lynching and the attacks by self-styled upper caste men on the former untouchables in Uttar radish and other parts of the country, the ruling party and your Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh may never had thought of you.

 But some credit also need to be given to them to have been able to collect all the sub castes which had felt themselves left out with the seventy-year focus on just the Jatavs and Mahars, the castes of Babu Jagjivan Ram, Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram, and of four time Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ms. Mayawati. The Ram Vilas Paswans, Udit Raj and others on the fringes were therefore an easy and expected catch, as had once been the smaller OBC groups, including the Ghanchis, to which the honorable Prime Minister is said to belong. Only he knows for sure, of course.

 Not that there is no glitch. Your own caste, the Koris, often called Kolis in some variant spelling or pronunciation, were once being denied the scheduled caste certificate by one till the group’s youth and politicians rebelled, forcing state governments to declare that the precious certificate would not be denied. But it is quite true that the sword of Damocles does hang on the small groups which have the protection of the Constitution as scheduled castes. Eternal vigil is the price for keeping that certificate in the file. I will come to this again, later, asking why you think this protection and facility should be denied to some other groups. Among them are Christians and Muslims who suffer all that you have suffered historically, but can never dream to fly free and high as you have.

 There is no Dalit Prime Minister in sight in the next four elections, but you have done the second-best thing, become President of the Democratic Secular Socialist Republic of India. You are just the second Dalit to sit in a chair where you can decide if a man is to live, or to die at the hands of a government executioner. And once or perhaps more times, you will decide who will be the prime ruler, the chief executive of this vast cooperative society of a billion and a quarter people.

 There is so much to write to you, share with you, inform you, admire in you, and caution you about, that one may forget to ask you a few questions. Many fellow Indians share with you your personal story of being born in a thatched hut, and living a life of snakes and ladders in the painful but unhaltable climb to the top of your chosen vocation.  You have vanquished all the snakes. No one can deny you that satisfaction, even if it does not really make you forget that you had to hear all those chants about how some men are at birth superior to others.

 So, the questions first, before one gets into the explanatory text. This is not a Demi-Official, or D.O. Letter. Just some questions which, as our honorable Prime Minister does so often, I had first asked on social media, Facebook.

  Presumably you renounce the Manu Smriti, at least in its relevant chapters that spell doom and pain for what it calls the untouchables, and in as loud and clear a voice as you will in taking oath of office by swearing allegiance to the Constitution, and promising to preserve and protect it, a duty no other elected office has. They just swear by it. You are the custodian and its protector. In referring to the Law-giver Manu, I of course by no means even hint on the freedom of faith of the President of India. I uphold your right, as you will uphold mine in time. Dr.  Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the Republic, was an active believer of every single tenet of his religion.  Giani Zail Singh did Kar Seva. Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, the man you will succeed, is annually photographed worshipping in his home temple clad in his sacred thread and classic Bengali dhoti.  If ever there were a Christian President, I’d possibly run into her or him at Mass or a fasting prayer. 

 But I’d like to know your changed views on:

  1. Lynching of Dalits by self-styled Upper Castes and / or by cow vigilantes, otherwise called Gau Rakshaks. 
  2. Dalits’ Freedom of Faith.  Do they have the choice of any other than the one defined for them by the government?
  3. Continuing untouchability, even among some in the judiciary and your legal profession. As a senior lawyer, you may have heard of the shameful incident once when a new judge had his chambers cleansed by bucketful of Ganga water because his predecessor was a Dalit, whom Mahatma Gandhi had called Harijan, and whom the law books once defined as an Untouchable.
  4. Do you believe in death penalty as much as Mr. Mukherjee does. Superficially, do you believe beef eaters should be hanged, as demanded by some people who hold political office, and not just by maverick Sadhvis and Babas.
  5. Do you think Muslims and Christians, whom you more than once called, orally and in writing, worshippers of alien religions, be allowed to continue to enjoy full citizenship including freedom to practice, preach and propagate their faith. 
  6. Do you believe in annihilation of caste which Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar so passionately demanded?  How do you think it can be made into reality?

And, 7, which I ask more in passing than with any seriousness, how would you guide us in this nation in Developing a Scientific Temper.

 As I salute you on assuming your new office as President and Commander in Chief of the Armed forces – you know you are the Chief, and not those anchor and retired generals in TV newsrooms — let me briefly explain why I had the temerity to ask you these questions.

 I had, much as every other person interested in Indian politics, read the 26 March 2010 IANS news report headlined in the most dramatic manner as  “ Islam, Christianity alien, so cannot get quota: BJP”.

 The text was equally dramatic.

  “Islam and Christianity are alien” to India and, therefore, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) feels people from the minority groups, even if their socio-economic condition is low, should not be given the privilege of quota in jobs, legislative bodies and education, a party official said today.

 “At a press conference in New Delhi, BJP’s newly-appointed spokesperson Ramnath Kovind called for scrapping of the Ranganath Misra commission report that recommends 15 per cent quota in government jobs for socially and economically backward sections among religious and linguistic minorities in India. The National Commission on Religious and Linguistic Minorities, headed by Justice Ranganath Misra, former Chief Justice of India, has in its report also recommended inclusion of Muslim and Christian converts as Scheduled Castes and given a quota to that category.

 “No, that is not possible,” said Kovind. “Including Muslims and Christians in the Scheduled Castes category will be unconstitutional.”

 “Asked how Sikh Dalits were enjoying the quota privilege in the same category, Kovind said: “Islam and Christianity are alien to the nation.” He said that “it is very well known” that convert Dalit Christians and Muslims get better education in convent schools.

 “The educational level of Scheduled Caste children remains much lower than that of converted Dalits. The children of converts will grab major share of reservation in government jobs. They would become eligible to contest elections on seats reserved for Scheduled Castes. This would encourage conversion and fatally destroy the fabric of Indian society,” he said.

 “The Misra commission report should be scrapped because (its recommendations) will jeopardise the interests of Scheduled Castes,” he said.”

 The matter has been taken up before the Supreme Court of India where it has been hanging for more than a decade. It is now transferred to a constitutional bench, which is still to be set up. The government is yet to tell its mind to the court, though senior ministers of the NDA have made clear, as you had then, that no one who is not of the “indict Faith’ will get the benefits.

 Ranganath Misra’s report is crucial evidence before the court, and the religious minorities have set much hope on it. The report, which was tabled in Parliament on December 18, 2009, has defined religious and linguistic minorities as backward classes and recommended 15 percent reservation for all minorities in jobs, education and welfare schemes.

 As the IANS report told the world, of India’s then 1.2 billion population, Muslims form the largest minority at close to 14 per cent, followed by Christians at 2.3 per cent, Sikhs at 1.9 per cent, Buddhists at 0.8 per cent, Jains at 0.4 per cent and others including Parsis at 0.6 per cent. “Within the recommended 15 per cent earmarked seats in institutions shall be 10 per cent for the Muslims and the remaining 5 per cent for the other minorities,” the report had said.

 If ever anyone had any doubts on your toeing the party line, and the Sangh line, you set it at rest in your written statement: “The  report of the Commission is not unanimous. The Commission, inter alia, made recommendations to give 15 percent reservation to minorities under Backward Class quota in education, government employment and social welfare schemes. Out of this 15 percent reservation, 10 percent reservation has been recommended to Muslim Community and remaining 5 percent to other minority communities. The Commission has further recommended to include convert Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims in the list of Scheduled Castes.”

 You knew the so-called objection was not by a member of the commission, but by the IAS woman secretary whose bigotry had been a byword for a long time in the commission. Perhaps that is why she had been put in that office. The UPA often functioned mysteriously in such matters.

 You said with unambiguous precision and clarity. “At present convert Christians and Muslims are getting reservation in government jobs under Backward Class categories. The question is when they are already getting reservation in backward class category why do they want reservation in Scheduled Castes category. The answer is clear. Their special interest is not in getting reservation in government jobs, they want Scheduled Caste category reservation for contesting elections from village Panchayats to the Lok Sabha. As they know, they cannot be eligible to contest elections on reserved seats under backward class reservation. If the government accepts Ranganath Misra Commission recommendations, the convert Christians and Muslims would become eligible to contest on seats reserved for Scheduled Castes. Thus, the people of Scheduled Castes would have to share their reservation in government jobs and political fields with convert Christians and Muslims.” 

If your contempt at that time for Christian and Muslim Dalits was not enunciated sharply enough, the next few paragraphs would deliver the coup de grace, the master stroke, so to say.

 You told the Media, “You are aware that educational level of Scheduled Castes children remains much lower than that of convert Dalit Christians and Muslims. So, the children of converts would grab major share of reservation in government jobs. The convert Dalit Christians and Muslims would become eligible to contest election on seats reserved for Scheduled Castes. So, the Scheduled Castes would suffer from all angles in all fields. Moreover, it would further encourage conversion and fatally destroy the fabric of Indian Society.” Your note was circulated to media offices by your office secretary, Sham Raju, which, I believe, is his name.

 Why do you fear conversions, Sir? The Buddha converted many, and Ambedkar followed his Mentor’s choice, taking with him 400,000 Dalits in history’s single largest peaceful mass conversion. I don’t mention the Manipur conversion to Hinduism, because it was the King’s decision, not the people’s (decision).

 There are two things a human being can change — one’s religion and nationality. As many times as she or he may wish to do so. Many Non-resident Indians have done so. These NRIs now finance and lead the troops of Hindutva.

 I hope you will, in your new office, restore sanity and cool this Garm Hawa, the evil wind which is now searing and scorching our motherland.

 I wish you luck

 Jai Hind

 I remain, your’s sincerely

 The follower of a religion you once thought was alien

(Published on 26th June 2017, Volume XXIX, Issue 26)

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India – Train Lynching – As Mob Rule Took Over A Train Compartment, Nobody Helped

Brinda  Karat

Sayara, 46, sits among the mourning women, her hand pressed closely against her chest as if to stop her heart from breaking. Her blue-grey eyes look at you, through you, beyond you. She is the mother of the young men who were lynched on Thursday evening on the train which runs from Delhi to Mathura.

One of her sons, Junaid, just 15 years old, was buried in the local cemetery yesterday in the village of Khandauli in Haryana. Junaid had been beaten and repeatedly stabbed. His bloodied body was thrown out of the train just before it reached Palwal.

Her elder son Shakir is in hospital grievously injured. He has three serious stab injuries. He was not in the group of four young men which had travelled to Delhi to shop for Eid. He had got an urgent call from a cousin who was with the group with the SOS that they were being attacked. Shakir rushed to the Ballabgarh railway station to help but found that his brothers Junaid and Hashim and his cousins were not being allowed to leave the train.

He desperately tried. Instead, he was pulled in and stabbed. He too was thrown out at Palwal. He was soaked in his own blood and that of his beloved younger brother’s whom he had tried to save.

Sayara’s third son Hashim escaped with two stab injuries. It was he who cradled his brother Junaid’s body on the station platform while a crowd of people stood and stared, until the ambulance called by someone took them away to a local hospital.

Sayara does not know all these details, but she knows her grief and her loss so when she speaks, her voice is clear. She says “He (Junaid) had come home after a year after completing his Madarsa course in Surat, Gujarat. Along with his brother, he was going to celebrate his achievement on the auspicious occasion of Eid. I had given them Rs. 1,500 to buy themselves new clothes. I curse myself. If I had not given them the money, he would have been here.. He was on the Roza fast. All my sons are fasting. I keep thinking, he did not have a sip of water, I was waiting here to feed them, but I could not give him his last morsel. My son, my son…” She is weeping, someone offers her a drink of water. She refuses, she too is fasting.

The group of four young men had got onto the train at Sadar Bazar, Delhi. Seats were available for all of them. The compartment started filling up. A group of men got on at Okhla station. The harassment began then. Junaid got up to seat an elderly man. But as soon as Junaid stood up, the others in his group who were sitting down were abused and told to stand up as well. Hashim’s skull cap was snatched off his head and stamped upon. His beard was pulled. The young man resisted. It was then that the beating started. They were abused in the most derogatory communal language. They were called “filthy beef-eaters who should be killed” Their mothers and sisters were abused.

Shockingly, not a single passenger in that crowded compartment objected. On the contrary, many joined in. One of the group, Mohsin, a cousin, escaped and tried to pull the emergency chain but nothing happened. It was mob rule in that compartment. The stabbing started after the train pulled out of Ballabhgarh station and a young man was killed right there, in public, with shouts of abuse ringing in his ears.

It was not an aberration or a one-off incident by drunken louts. It was not a dispute about seats. There was not even the absurd pretext of beef-eating, they were all fasting. It was a crime completely and totally motivated by communal feelings, a crime of hate.
People in the village of Kandhauli told us of their experiences on local trains passing through these areas. I met them when, along with my colleagues Md. Salim, Member of Parliament, Surinder Malik, Secretary of the Haryana Committee of the CPI(M), Asha Sharma a member of the Delhi Committee, I visited the family of the victims.

They told us that Bhajan mandalis using battery-operated mics have converted many general compartments into religious zones. They spoke of aggressive and abusive comments made by some passengers when Muslim men enter the compartments. They said that harassment has become a common experience and there is fear and apprehension among young Muslim men when travelling this route. Several times, they said, complaints have been made to the police but have been ignored.

Security is non-existent, or else how could these men get on the train armed with big knives? The Railway Ministry cannot escape its accountability.

Across areas in and around the NCR region, organisations owing allegiance to the toxic communal ideology of the Sangh Parivar are spreading contempt, disrespect, hostility and hatred towards minority communities. The outcome is what happened that dreadful day on a local train travelling in the capital region of India.

Worse, these attackers, it is being established with one tragedy after another, are empowered by the lack of government action against them; they are emboldened by the support and patronage they get. Whether it is the criminal activities of so-called gau-rakshaks, the beef vigilantes, the love jihadis, it is open season for all those who do not conform to the idea of the Hindu rashtra.

Who will be safe when mobs like the one in the train compartment take over our roads, our stations, our buses, our trains? As citizens we would be foolish not to understand the serious implications of the communalisation of public spaces, backed by those in power, which is happening right now, in these times, and before our eyes.

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Nepal asks Ramdev’s Patanjali to recall six medical products

All medicines mentioned in the notice — six out of seven from Patanjali — had failed the microbial tests used to detect bacteria, mould and other toxins.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published:June 23, 2017 5:45 pm

Ramdev, patanjali substandard, nepal department of drug administrationPatanjali founder Baba Ramdev performing Yoga in Ahmedabad on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki).

The Nepal Department of Drug Administration has asked Patanjali Ayurved in a public notice to immediately recall the six medical products as they were found to be of “substandard quality”, the Hindustan Times reported. All medicines mentioned in the notice — six out of seven from Patanjali — had failed the microbial tests used to detect bacteria, mould and other toxins. These were: Patanjali’s Amla Churna of batch no AMC 067, Divya Gashar Churna of batch no A-GHCI31, Bahuchi Churna of batch no BKC 011, Triphala Churna of batch no A-TPC151, Aswangandha of batch no AGC 081 and Adviya Churna of batch no DYC 059.

Patanjali’s revenue turnover more than doubled from last year — from Rs 5,000 crore in FY16 to Rs 10,216 crore in FY17. Moreover, the market penetration of Ayurveda or “natural ingredients” products has on the whole increased since Patanjali has been scaling new heights. Ayurvedic products now reach 77 per cent of Indian homes, up from 69 per cent two years ago, according to a recent ET report based on the findings of Kantar Worldpanel, the consumer insights arm of WPP.

In spite of its financial feats, Patanjali’s products have simultaneously and variously been found guilty of violating food safety regulations and advertising codes in the past:

–    A recent RTI reply revealed that nearly 40 per cent of Ayurveda products (32 out of 82 samples), among them Patanjali’s Divyangi Amla juice and Shivlingi beej, were found to be substandard by Haridwar’s Ayurveda and Unani office.

–    Patanjali’s Amla juice had also been suspended by the armed forces’ Canteen Stores Department (CSD) in April after it failed the quality test at a Public Health Laboratory in Kolkata.

–    Factly reported in January this year that 25 out of 33 complaints registered against advertisements of Patanjali products in various sectors such as Food and Beverages, Personal care, Health care etc, between April 2015 and July 2016, were found to be in violation of the ASCI (Advertising Standards Council of India) code for making misleading, false and unsubstantiated claims.

–    In December 2016, a Haridwar court had slapped five production units of Patanjali Ayurved with a fine of Rs 11 lakh for “misbranding and putting up misleading advertisements” of their products. The company had been found guilty of outsourcing the products that it claimed to have manufactured in its own units.

–    In April 2016, Patanjali aata noodles were found to be substandard since they contained three times more ash than the acceptable limit. In the same month, Patanjali’s desi ghee was also found to contain artificial colour.

–    As early as in 2012, a case had been filed in the court against Patanjali by the District Food Safety Department after samples of mustard oil, salt, pineapple jam, besan and honey produced by Patanjali had failed quality tests at a laboratory in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand. The products were found to be in violation of sections 52-53 of Food Security norms and section 23.1 (5) of Food safety and Standard (packaging and labelling) regulation.

Nepal asks Ramdev’s Patanjali to recall six medical products

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Jharkhand: Police drag 19-year-old Muslim out of his house, shoot him dead



In another case of police brutality against Muslims, a 19-year-old Muslim boy in Jharkhand was dragged out of his house and shot dead by the local police.

The incident took place in Piperwar town of Chatra district. According the family of Mohammad Salman, Policemen came to their house on Friday night around 10 and asked for Salman. When Salman showed up police took him out of the house.


Salman’s mother questioned the act of police, asking them why they were taking Salman out of the house to which the police responded by saying that they had to ask few questions.

But soon after they took Salman out of the house, they fired three rounds of bullets on the chest of Salman. They used their service Insas rifle to fire the shots. Empty rounds of bullets were recovered from the site.

Salman’s family heard the shot and came out of the house, they saw that police was dragging the body of Salman away from the house. Soon after police finished their ‘work’, they ran away in a car.

The village residents took Salman’s body to the Bachra’s hospital where doctors declared him “brought dead.” Villagers have alleged ASI Prem Kumar Mishra behind this shooting incident.

Following the death of Salman, things have gone tense in Chatra district. Mine workers and villagers have refused to work in the Piperwar and Ashoka coal mines. Their main demand is to arrest ASI Prem Kumar Mishra and others who came to Salman’s house last night.

Villagers have refused the post-mortem of Salman’s dead body and have blocked the road.

The police first tried to give it an encounter color, but later backed out. Then police said that they were chasing some coal thieves but trigger got pushed and it left Salman dead. But media started questioning – if it was a mistake, why the police did not take him to the hospital. Police could not answer this. Moreover, Police was not present when villagers took Salman body to the hospital.

As for now, SP Chatra has suspended SHO Piperwar Vinod Singh and other five policemen. Police has also arrested one constable in the same case.

Salman’s father Abdul Jabbar told media that Salman got his wage a day earlier. He bought various clothes and shoes for Eid on the same day police killed him.

One villager told, “This was a cold-blooded killing. They ran after shooting him. When we questioned police about this incident, they tried to manipulate us.”

Police force is camping in the village. The administration has made villagers calm for a while, but series of protests is still expected.


चतरा : झारखंड के चतरा में एक मुसलमान युवक को घर से निकालकर गोली मारने के आरोप में पुलिस के एक जवान को गिरफ़्तार किया गया है. इस घटना के बाद गांव के लोगों का गुस्सा फूट पड़ा है. शुक्रवार की देर रात से लोग घरों से बाहर निकल गए और शव के साथ सड़क को जाम कर दिया है. यह घटना पिपरवार थाना क्षेत्र के बेहरा गांव की है. इस मामले में पिपरवार थाना के एक जवान को गिरफ़्तार कर लिया गया है. साथ ही थाना प्रभारी को तत्काल निलंबित कर दिया गया है.

प्राथमिकी दर्ज करने के साथ आगे की कार्रवाई की जा रही है. पुलिस ने घटनास्थल से कारतूस के खोल भी बरामद किए हैं. उपायुक्त का कहना है कि ‘प्रारंभिक तफ्तीश और पूछताछ में पुलिस पर लगे आरोप गंभीर प्रतीत हो रहे हैं.’ उनके मुताबिक, इस मामले में स्पष्ट कार्रवाई करने के निर्देश दिए हैं. वरिष्ठ पुलिस अधिकारी घटना स्थल पर कैंप कर रहे हैं. इसके अलावा बड़ी संख्या में पुलिस बलों की तैनाती की गई है. उपायुक्त ने कहा, ‘गांव के लोग गुस्से में हैं, लेकिन जांच में पूरा सहयोग भी कर रहे हैं और हालात नियंत्रण में है.’

फ़िलहाल गांव वाले शव को पोस्टमार्टम के लिए उठाने नहीं दे रहे हैं. पुलिस और प्रशासन के अधिकारी उन्हें समझाने में जुटे हैं. मरने वाले युवक का नाम मोहम्मद सलमान उर्फ राजा है. उनके पिता अब्दुल जब्बार ने  बताया कि राजा की उम्र 19 साल थी और वो कोयला खदान में मज़दूरी करता था. शुक्रवार को ही उसे मज़दूरी मिली थी. अब्दुल जब्बार ने बताया, ”रात में वे अपने लिए नए कपड़े, बेल्ट, इत्र, जूते- चप्पल लेकर आया था. वो बहुत खुश था और घर के लोगों से पूछ रहा था कि ये कपड़े अच्छे तो हैं ना.”

उन्होंने कहा, “आखिरी जुमे के बाद सभी लोग ईद की तैयारियों में जुटे थे. लेकिन पुलिस ने घर से निकालकर उनके बेटे की छाती पर तीन गोलियां दाग दीं.” वे लोग सलमान के गुनाह के बारे में पूछते रहे, लेकिन पुलिस ने कुछ बताया नहीं और घर से क़रीब 50 मीटर की दूरी तक घसीट कर ले गए. जब्बार ने कहा, ”गोलियां चलने की आवाज़ सुनाई पड़ी, हम सभी लोग वहां पहुंचे तो देखा कि मेरा बेटा सलमान खून से लथपथ था.” गांव में रहने वाले मोहम्मद असलम ने कहा, ”यकीन मानिए पुलिस ने दरिंदों की तरह इस घटना को अंजाम दिया. कोई मामला भी दर्ज नहीं है. गोली चलाने के बाद पुलिस जीप से भागने में सफल रही, जबकि सुबह कोई ज़िम्मेदार अधिकारी कुछ भी बताने से बचते रहे.”

क्या है पूरा मामला 
रात्रि दस बजे पुलिस को सूचना मिली कि बेहरा में कोयला लदे ट्रक से लूटपाट हो रही है. बताया जा रहा है कि ट्रक का चालक प्रमोद यादव पर गोली चली, जिससे उसका हाथ जख्मी हो गया. अपराधियों ने उससे 5000 रुपये भी लूट लिये. जब पुलिस को यह सूचना मिली तो वह तुरंत घटनास्थल के लिए रवाना हो गयी. लूट- पाट की घटना से 400 मीटर की दूरी पर बेहरा गांव है, जहां छानबीन करने पुलिस पहुंची.
इस बीच कुछ लोग भागने लगे. पुलिस की बयान के मुताबिक एक पुलिसकर्मी के इंसास में गलती से ट्रिगर दब गया और गोली चल गयी. यह गोली सलमान उर्फ राजा को लगी, जिससे वह घायल हो गया. इलाज के लिए उसे अस्पताल ले जाया गया, जहां डॉक्टरों ने मृत घोषित कर दिया.
गढ़वा : मोबाइल को लेकर पति-पत्नी के बीच झगड़ा, चार घायल
पुलिस पर क्यों उठ रहे हैं सवाल 
जब पुलिस की गोली से युवक घायल हुआ तो पुलिस वाले उसे अस्पताल क्यों नहीं ले गये ? उधर जब युवक को इलाज के लिए अस्पताल ले जाया गया, तो पुलिस अस्पताल क्यों नहीं पहुंची.
क्या कह रहे हैं परिजन 
ग्रामीणों ने बताया कि पिपरवार थाना की गश्ती पुलिस में शामिल A.S.I. प्रेम कुमार मिश्रा ने बहेरा ग्राम निवासी मोहम्मद सलमान उर्फ राजा (उम्र 20 वर्ष, पिता-अब्दुल रज्ज़ाक) नामक युवक को घर से बाहर निकाल कर गोली मार दी जिससे घटनास्थल पर ही युवक की मौत हो गयी. फिलहाल मामले को लेकर तनाव है. उधर अधिकारियों ने जांच के आश्वासान दिये हैं.
source- siasat daily

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India – Forget food and milk even blood from your blood banks could be adulterated #WTFnews


According to reports, the adulterated samples had 40% saline and 60% blood.
Image for representation

From sweets tainted with cement to stale and unhygienic meat, Hyderabad has been struggling with a major adulteration problem. Shockingly, however, it’s not just the food. Even blood bought from blood banks is now being adulterated to make a quick profit.

On Saturday, the Rachakonda police raided a blood bank in the city and found several units of blood that had been diluted with saline solution.

According to reports, the police raided Venus Blood Bank at Malakpet after a patient referred there by Global Hospitals was sold the adulterated blood.

“As the patient was in need of blood, Global Hospital authorities asked the family to make necessary arrangements. They went to Venus Blood Bank and bought two packets of blood by paying Rs 3,000. But the hospital doctors found the blood in diluted form and refused to infuse it to the accident victim,” SOT (LB Nagar) Inspector P Venkateshwarlu told TOI.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, an officer from Global Hospitals said, “When we tested the blood in our laboratory we found that it had 40% saline and 60% blood. We immediately took the sample and the test results and submitted them to the police.”

Two people including a doctor were later arrested, and the police seized packets of the allegedly adulterated blood from the bank.

According to TOI, the accused were booked under Sections 420 (cheating), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide if such act causes hurt to any person), 272 (adulteration of food or drink intended for sale) and 273 (sale of noxious food or drink) of the IPC.

This is not the first such incident reported in Hyderabad, either. Last year, the Sultan Bazaar police busted a similar racket, where blood bags consisting of 60% blood and 40% saline were being sold to patients at a government maternity hospital. Ironically, one of the scamsters involved reportedly sold the adulterated blood by warning patients about the ‘hazards’ of blood supplied by private blood banks.

The latest incident also comes in the wake of repeated efforts by municipal officials to tackle food adulteration in Hyderabad.

Earlier this month, a police task force had cracked down on several ice cream parlours and sweet shops adulterating their products with a wide range of chemicals and substances. “They were adulterating ice creams by mixing non-ISI certified milk powder, expired synthetic colours, electrolysis chemical powders and vanaspati. Sweets, especially petha, were being adulterated by mixing white wash cement, phitkari, sodium hydro sulphide and artificial food colours. Tomato, chilli sauces and vinegar are being manufactured illegally without licence,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Task Force, B Limba Reddy had said.

Prior to that, 15 people were booked at multiple dairy farms for injecting oxytocin into buffaloes for increasing milk yields. Such oxytocin contaminates the milk and can result in serious issues like breast cancer, prostate cancer and male impotency, the police said in a statement.

In the first week of April, the GHMC had cancelled the licenses of 91 shops for selling carbide-ripened fruits and penalised half-dozen restaurants for unhygienic conditions. Just days earlier, it had raided 69 hotels and found 54 of them using stale meat and running dirty kitchens.

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Kashmir – With Facebook banned, youth reach out via Kashbook


Not locked out: Youth near Dal Lake use smartphones and new social media options to connect.

Tech-savvy teens develop alternative social networking platforms for the Valley

A bright and windy day, when tourists were out and about in Srinagar, turned dark in minutes. Shops and schools shut, children rushed home, police swarmed the streets and internet links snapped, as news of top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Bhat’s death broke. But amidst the chaos, two teens were busy making plans to attract more traffic to their ‘business projects’.

“We need to plan, during calm and chaos…call me later,” said one of the teenagers, Zeyan Shafiq. Three days later, the 15-year-old met this correspondent in one of Srinagar’s swankier cafes. Zeyan’s ‘projects’ are rooted in the successful model of giants like Facebook, and WeChat of China. Along with Uzair, a second year engineering student, he has created Facebook’s alternative for Kashmir – Kashbook.

The site, Zeyan claimed, has over 10,000 users since it launched in mid-May, in the wake of the April 26 social media ban. Facebook is among 22 top social media sites blocked in the valley.

“People miss Facebook. I was toying with the alternative since 2013, and the ban spurred Kashbook’s launch,” said Zeyan. Registering on Kashbook is “as simple as Facebook” and the site looks attractive with a blue-white theme. While the user base seemed smaller than what Zeyan claimed, Kashbook does connect many people. Several posted comments; a few videos, some with disturbing scenes were added. Zeyan considers blocking “incendiary material against any country” his key responsibility.

“Anything anti-national will be removed,” said Abid, Zeyan’s cousin, and a lawyer. But not events like stone pelting. That is “news”, Zeyan argued. He has not got a call from the police for running Kashbook.

Things went differently for Usman Tareen, founder of, a social networking site. Police said he had been questioned, but Usman denied it. The 16-year-old said since Class VII, he had been learning to develop the “perfect app and interactive platforms.” He plans to launch a YouTube-like site. Both entrepreneurs have messaging apps.

“I learnt from friends and on the Internet,” he claimed. Usman, with an untrimmed moustache, is preparing for a polytechnic entrance test, and wants to study web and application development outside Kashmir.

“Most of our sites are modelled on WhatsApp, Facebook or Twitter, and about half a dozen cannot be accessed frequently,” he said. “Often, the site is under maintenance and on other occasions, the internet is down or blocked.”

Since the death of Burhan Wani, the Hizbul Mujahideen commander, in July 2016, there has been a sharp rise in protests. South Kashmir virtually spun out of control and even now many villages sport plaques with his name. A senior Cyber Cell official of the Kashmir police told The Hindu that there are “214 militants — alive, recognised and registered [on social media]” as of May, of which “120 are locals.” The social media blockade came due to “largescale circulation of anti-India publicity material.”

VPN usage on the rise

The blockade has made it tough to download from WhatsApp. But such applications are still accessed by those who are technology savvy. A telecom operations manager said, “Many started using Virtual Private Network, bypassing the ban.”

It is impossible to identify a user on a VPN as the Internet Protocol address is masked. Yet, the ban is quite effective. Interestingly, while the use of social media sites and apps has dropped, data usage has not.

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Open letter to the designers and implementers of #UID. .. #Aadhaar

We write this letter to you as a question, a comment, a complaint, and finally an appeal. We do want to clarify at the outset that we have had many intellectual and theoretical problems with the UID (Unique Identification) related to surveillance, privacy and how it actually has the potential to turn the Right to Information (RTI) on its head. Nevertheless, we have since its inception carefully watched Aadhaar or the UID as per its primary stated objective (even in the legislation) to benefit the poor. You promised that there would be at least three big advantages that would accrue from the roll out of this “game-changing” platform.

First, we were told, that it would foster and ensure inclusion at all levels. It is now becoming clear, that Aadhaar is actually just an authentication mechanism using biometric technology threaded through a vast, centralised, data gathering platform. It has provided citizens with no unique benefit, except (potentially dangerously) being used as an ID/KYC card. Since Aadhaar has been made absolutely mandatory for drawing benefits under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) in Rajasthan over the last year, we confine ourselves to use the detailed evidence that exists of the devastating consequences of its imposition in rations leading to mass anguish and distress. In a recent meeting with officials from the Department of Food and IT officials in Rajasthan, certain statistics from the Rajasthan Government website were discussed and confirmed- Out of approximately 1 crore NFSA beneficiary families, nearly 30 lakh families i.e. approximately 30% of intended beneficiaries, were not drawing their monthly rations over the last 10 months. These were families with Aadhaar numbers, so you will agree that they could not be “bogus”.

It also makes no sense for these families to willingly forego wheat at Rs 2 per kg when the market price is ten times that amount. The statistic of 30% masked the old and the physically challenged who could not reach the ration shop to place their fingerprints on the machine and those who migrated in search of work, for a season, or even a whole year. The most vulnerable, who should be our highest priority, are being excluded by design. Should the designers not have made sure this situation did not continue for the last 10 months and beyond? Other reasons offered to explain the exclusion are poor performance of the machine, the network, biometric mismatch and even the dealer’s poor performance.

The government has not invested any effort to match the breakdown of numbers with reasons. Instead, it made inflated claims on equating denial with savings and thereby ending corruption. Would you not agree that to classify exclusion as a saving is unethical and cruel? And this continues despite an unequivocal Rajasthan High Court order of May 30 that Aadhaar can’t be the basis for denial of rations. But ignoring Supreme Court and high court orders is a nurtured pattern in the UID paradigm.

Second, we were told that Aadhaar would be an almost foolproof method to de-duplicate and therefore eliminate corruption. Duplication is not the biggest source of corruption in welfare. There are other citizen-based methods to de-duplicate. But, you never had an answer to the many other forms of corruption it leaves untouched. And we now know that in fact, it fosters some new forms of corruption! Out of the 70% of rations the dealer is distributing, he is making his cut in numerous ways. He almost never provides a receipt. He authenticates for everything and gives only kerosene. He authenticates for several months and gives only for one month. He overcharges, overbooks, manipulates seeding and in the cruellest joke on your system, tells the beneficiary that her biometric has failed, even when he gets a positive authentication. The challenge for the anti-corruption RTI user is that the paper trail has been replaced by digital databases, sometimes secret, run by a system that does not have the inclination to act on complaints. The officials often say that biometric authentication means proof of no corruption!

Third, we were told that this delivery highway would greatly increase efficiency. It would allow administrators to see what was going on where and immediately respond at the minutest level. That leads us to ask why not one FIR has been registered for perpetuating the massive corruption that you apparently eliminated. All of you repeatedly assured us from the seniormost levels to those implementing that pilots would be watched very carefully to learn and correct, and you assured us that Aadhaar would become widely used, not from compulsion but from popular demand.

So we address this to all of you who have brought us till here – the celebrated architects, the political leadership pursuing this with an unprecedented zeal, our very competent technocratic friends, researchers who have been singing praises of Aadhaar and administrators at every level. We are baffled about how this can continue. The poor, the excluded, the anaemic and the hungry have questions that relate to their life, and death. So many of those who have passed away over these last 10 months and were not able to access their food grain or pension entitlement have pleas that went unanswered. Can you please answer these questions and tell us who will be held responsible? This calls for an “evidence-based” point by point public discussion. We hope that in the course of the debate if you accept that injustice has been done, you will help correct it. Before we proceed further, citizens across India deserve a chance to better understand what the implications of using Aadhaar could be.

In anticipation..

(The writers are social activists who live and work in rural Rajasthan)

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