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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.”

Keep out Supreme Court judges named in ex-Arunachal CM's suicide note from any investigation: Legal rights NGO

By Our Representative
"Clearing" the controversy surrounding Dangwimsai Pul's decision to withdraw her application from the Supreme Court (SC) to investigate the suicide note of her husband, ex-Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Kalikho Pul, a foremost legal rights NGO, Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) has said, she did this because she felt it was not appropriate for the chief justice of India (CJI) to choose a particular bench for hearing.
CJAR consists of former judges Justice PB Sawant and H Suresh, well-known Magsaysay award winning writer Arundhati Roy, senior advocates Mihir Desai and Prashant Bhushan, and well-known activists associated with people's organizations. Kalikho Pul committed suicide in August last year.
“Aware” that there were “also allegations against the CJI and the judge next in seniority in the note”, says a CJAR statement, Dangwimsai Pul asked CJI “to refer her application to the appropriate judges, which would normally mean those next in seniority.” Yet, the NGO regrets, the matter was transferred to a bench, one of those judges had been a close colleague of CJI.
The statement says, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appeared on behalf of Dangwimsai Pul in the Supreme Court, objected to the manner in which the matter was listed before the bench comprising Justice UU Lalit and Justice AK Goel. Justice Goel, he said, is known to be a close colleague of Chief Justice Khehar when they were at the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
“Dave sought Justice Goel’s recusal on this ground and argued that justice should appear to be done”, says CJAR, adding, “Dave also informed the court that such a suicide note calls for an extraordinary independent investigation and should not be heard on the judicial side if the credibility of the judiciary as impartial institution has to be preserved. ”
CJAR states, “Normally it should have been sent to the senior-most judge available, who was not named in the suicide note, for an administrative permission.” Alternatively, the application could have been referred to the Vice President of India, “since there are allegations against the President as well, for consulting the judges next in seniority.”
The controversial 60-page suicide note, says CJAR, contains “very serious allegations of corruption” against “senior politicians and judges, including several CJIs”, regretting, “However, the diary was sought to be buried by the BJP government, just as they tried to bury the shocking allegations of corruption contained in the Birla & Sahara diaries. ”
Pointing to the reason why Dangwimsai Pul approached the CJI, CJAR says, “On being told of the Veeraswami judgment of the SC which prohibits the police from investigating judges of the higher judiciary without prior permission of the CJI, she wrote to the CJI seeking such permission”, requesting CJI “to grant permission for the registration of an FIR on the basis of the allegation of corruption contained in the suicide diary”.
Insisting that the investigation of facts contained in the suicide note "must not be in the hands of any agency under the control of the government, but must be done by an SIT appointed by the senior judges of the SC (other than those who are named)”, CJAR says, “Any attempt to bury this matter as has been done in the case of the Birla Sahara diaries will just strengthen public suspicion and will cause immense damage to the credibility of the judiciary. ”

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

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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…

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

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

By Rajiv Shah
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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".

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By Nandini Oza*
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Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
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