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29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

Gujarat metropolitan polls rigged? 1.03 lakh voters in Ahmedabad "deleted" in two days, mischief suspected

By Our Representative
Was there an attempt to rig elections to the six municipal corporations held in Gujarat on November 22? If available information with Counterview on Ahmedabad is any indication, it would seem so. In fact, indications have emerged that there was a meticulous planning to ensure that, at several places, voters are unable to cast their votes, and among the “victims” of this planning were not just ordinary voters but even persons like octogenarian ex-BJP chief minister Keshubhai Patel.
Knowledgeable sources keeping a tab on developments around the municipal corporation elections suggest that in Ahmedabad alone as many as 1.03 lakh voters’ names were marked as “deleted” on the voter list between November 19 and 22, the day of voting. It is a mystery as to how the red deletion mark appeared on the voter lists in the polling booths. On November 19, according to one source, the State Election Commission (SEC) said there were 39.83 lakh voters, but on November 22, the 1.03 names were stamped in red as “deleted”.
"Went few times, was not allowed vote, suspect bogus voting"
Things did not “improve” till November 22 afternoon, at around 3.30 pm, just one-and-a-half hours before the polling was to end, following opposition Congress’ “fiery” representation to Ahmedabad district collector Rajkumar Beniwal, the man responsible for holding elections in to the city municipal elections on behalf of the SEC, was forced to issue a “circular” which said that the names were deleted “by mistake”.
The circular, titled, “To be implemented in case of deleted stamp in final voter list”, said, “After receiving several complaints of delete stamp on voters’ names in the final voting list in the ongoing Ahmedabad municipal corporation elections, it is to be intimated that all those voters whose names are marked as deleted in the final voter list are allowed to cast their vote if they are in the voting list but not in the ‘deleted list’.”
"Was unable to vote because of mischief of the Election Commission"
Not only was the circular not put on the website of the SEC, it did not reach most of the polling booths, as a result of which the officials managing the booths just refused to allow those who returned to vote even ahead of the 5.00 pm deadline. Already, independent observers, including senior journalists, have begun to call this as clear sign of “mischief” and “meticulous planning”, saying inquiry should be lodged on how this happened and if the SEC role was there in it.
Meanwhile, political activist Roshan Shah has released videos of interviews with the voters who were refused to vote, pointing out that most of the deletions have taken place in the Patel-dominated areas like Ranip, Ghatlodia and Chandkheda. Basing on these video interviews, he said, Ahmedabad election voting count will all be a “farce”, as “many couldn't find booths and many couldn't vote because names were deleted from voters list.”
"300+ voters deleted from my society in New Ranip area, mostly Patels"
Significantly, veteran BJP leader Keshubhai Patel had to make a statement suggesting the meticulous planning to deprive voters to vote. One day before the polling day, he said, "I had registered myself with the SEC for online voting. But today they informed me that I cannot vote online as my registration was not complete. Earlier, they had told me that my registration was complete and I can vote online, but today they are saying that I cannot. I have taken up this issue with the SEC."
While as many as 20,000 people had applied for registration for e-voting in the six municipal corporation areas, when it came to submitting their documents for verification only 1,310 voters “completed” the procedure, officials of SEC said. And of these, just 806 people could vote online.
One of the senior-most journalists in Ahmedabad, covering the elections, told Counterview soon after the elections were over" “It was as if someone just sat with a stamp and went about randomly stamping out societies.” The journalist added, “Despite this, the Opposition Congress is appears to be taking things lying down… They appear to be going by the Satta Bazaar predictions showing only Vadodara going to BJP, rest to the Congress.”

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India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”