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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.”

Modi "advised" ex-DGP to go soft on Sangh Parivar, said 2002 Gujarat violence was "natural, uncontrollable"

By Our Representative
In a glaring instance of how Prime Minister Narendra Modi, then chief minister of Gujarat, continued justifying the 2002 communal riots more than two months after they began, retired DGP RB Sreekumar has recalled, Modi told him in a one-to-one conversation in that violence by Hindus after the February 27 Godhra train burning was “a natural and uncontrollable reaction and no police could control and contain it.”
On February 27, Sreekumar says, Modi had justified, during a meeting with cop officials, the need for allowing people to vent their anger. Modi, according to Sreekumar, had told them, “In communal riots, police normally takes action against Hindus and Muslims on one-to-one proportion, this will not do now, allow Hindus to give vent to their anger.”
Revealing this in his recent book, “Gujarat behind the Curtain” (Manas Publications), Sreekumar, who served as additional DGP in the Police Bhawan in 2002, says, his meeting with Modi took place on May 7, 2002, and it was about “the communal situation in Ahmedabad city, where stray communal incidents, i.e. stabbing in bylines and lonely areas, were reported.”
The former IPS officer says, he had sent an “exhaustive analytical report” on April 24, 2002, and asked Modi to urgently implement “curative measures suggested in the reports, for restoring the faith of Muslim community” the administration, even as averting “any criticism from judiciary or the National Human Rights Commission.”
“The chief minister responded that he had read my April 24 report and observed that my conclusions and suggestions were based on partial data and defective presumptions. In his view, violence by Hindus after Godhra incident was ‘a natural and uncontrollable reaction and no police could control and contain it’,” writes Sreekumar.
“I argued that police could not excuse themselves by taking such a view and police officers were mandated to maintain public order. I added that wherever effective action was taken, like in Surat city (7 killed in riots as against 326 in Ahmedabad city and 36 in Vadodara city), normalcy could be restored fast”, Sreekumar says.
On hearing all this, write Sreekumar, “soon, the chief minister became defensive and claimed that he had given a free-hand to officers to take legal action against miscreants on February 27, 2002 meeting, but many police officers did not do duties as per their statutory obligations.”
However, adds, the ex-IPS officer, “When I emphasized on government taking measures to gain confidence of the Muslims, the chief minister was quite annoyed and said that the Muslims were on the offensive.”
Sreekumar says, “I countered him with statistics of higher percentage of death of Muslims in police action and riots (117 Muslims killed in police firing as against 83 Hindus and 587 Muslims killed in riots as against 177 Hindus) and persuaded him to accept the ground realities.”
Yet, he underlines, the chief minister “did not show any inclination to accept my arguments. He advised that I need not have to concentrate on the Sangh Parivar (to collect intelligence about the organization) as, according to him, they were not doing anything illegal.”
Sreekumar also disputes, in his book, the “assumption” that the train burning, in which 57 Kar Sevaks died, was a Pakistani ISI job. He says, the only detail Rajendra Kumar, then in charge of Central IB Unit of Gujarat, came up with on ISI was a tape of telephonic conversation by a Godhra resident after the train burning incident, to his friend in Pakistan, expressing joy and happiness over killing of Ram Bhaktas returning from Ayodhya by Muslims in Godhra.”
Sreekumar recalls, DGP K Chakrovorti had told him that “this conversation itself was not sufficient to infer that attack on Kar Sevaks was an ISI conspiracy and that he would not mislead the course of investigation by Gujarat Police. He confirmed that the police had not come up with any input about conspiracy.”

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THEN, Clean chit by the Apex Court was a judicial fraud.

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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.

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.

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…

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.”