Finally a tiny piece of ‘objective’ news as a consolation for justice to Hindus. 

BUT, imagine what the coverage would have been if it was seven Hindus convicted for the murder of a Christian pastor …….. 

Seven convicted for Laxmanananda murder of 2008

IANS Sep 30, 2013, 10.33PM IST

BHUBANESWAR: A court in Odisha Monday held seven people guilty of the murder of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati and four of his aides in Kandhamal district of Odisha in 2008, a lawyer said Monday.

Special additional district session Judge R.K. Tose pronounced the verdict in his court at Phulbani, the headquarters of Kandhamal district, about 200 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, prosecution lawyer Bhagaban Mohanty told IANS.

 The quantum of sentence would be pronounced Oct 3, he said.

Those convicted were Duryodhan Suna Majhi, Munda Bada Majhi, Sanatan Bada Majhi, Garnatha Chalanseth, Bijay Kumar Samseth, Bhaskar Suna Majhi and Budhadev Nayak.

The convicts were part of a mob of about 50 people who had attacked the swami and his aides, the lawyer said.

All of the convicts are Christians and they had committed the crime because according to them the swami was forcing Christians to convert to Hinduism, the lawyer said.

Two of the men were convicted under the Indian Arms Act, 1959, for possession of illegal guns, the lawyer said. “The judge convicted them purely on the basis of circumstantial evidence and the deposition of witnesses,” said lawyer Mohanty.

Saraswati and four of his aides were killed at his ashram at Jaleshpata in Kandhamal district Aug 23, 2008. The killing triggered communal violence in the state, in which at least 38 people were killed.

More than 25,000 Christians were forced to flee their homes after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs, who held Christians responsible for the murders. Police, however, blamed the murders on the Maoists.

Police arrested seven people and filed a charge sheet against them in January 2009.

The crime branch subsequently arrested two more people, including Maoist leader Polari Rama Rao. It also filed a supplementary charge sheet in 2011 against them and five others, including Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda, who are still absconding.

The court is scheduled to pronounce its judgment on the second charge sheet Tuesday.

The BJP welcomed the decision.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ashok Sahu said: “We welcome the court’s verdict. The investigation should continue till all the conspirators are nabbed.”

“A criminal has to be punished whichever religion he belongs to. The moment he commits a crime he loses his religion,” Orissa Minority Forum president Swarupananda Patra told IANS.

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Published in www.ivarta.com blog

Time to Modi-fy India

Arindam Bandyopadhyay

Enough is enough.

India is sick and tired.

We are sick of lies and deceptions, of scams and cover-ups, of promises and failures, of vote bank and divisive politics, of nepotism and sycophancy.

We are tired of the bickering, pompous politicians and their ignoble associates, the dynastic rulers, the family business of politics and the scams and schemes they manage.

We are appalled by the directionless and disengaged government, awestruck by its leadership or the lack of it, disgusted with its indifference to the need of its citizenry and terrified by its indecisiveness on matters as basic as internal and external security

We are mocked as the mango people of the banana republic. We are made to believe that the country is for the privileged and the influential and the rest only entitled to crumbs. People of debatable backgrounds are pampered as celebrities and those with dubious motives are lauded as activists. Separatists who openly preach sedition get away with open threats and get rewarded with free coverage of their freedom of expression.

Lawlessness is the norm. Our ill-trained police forces are made a laughing stock on and off the screen. Their sacrifices hardly raise any eyebrow. Our security forces are rendered toothless by politician with vested interests. We are made to believe that court cases are supposed to stretch for decades, that justice can be brought or manipulated and that for special convicts, jails can be transformed into five star accommodations. 

Our media has long forgotten its role in nation building, too preoccupied with TRP ratings and sensationalism. Biased and partisan panelists are involved hand in gloves, in the decadence, oblivious of all their accountabilities and commitments.

Even after 65 years of independence, we have not been able to provide the very basic requirements like water, electricity or education to the vast majority of our population. Issues such as pollution, sanitation, health, nutrition and infrastructure are plaguing the country. Yet crores and crores of rupees are misappropriated or embezzled, by unholy nexuses of politicians and their collaborators. No wonder politics happens to be the surest and quickest way of getting rich in the country. And no surprise that India rank 85th on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), out of 180 countries. It is shameful that even a Prime Minister could do little but lament that only 15 per cent of all funds actually reach the common man.

We are tired of being poor. We are tired of hearing about garibi hatao and poverty lines, of schemes that are supposed to benefit the aam aadmi but do not reach them, of promises to eradicate the parallel economy and of assurances to bring back black money, stashed away in foreign banks. We are ashamed that a third of the world’s poor belongs to India and over 40% of India falls below the international poverty line of US$ 1.25 a day (2005 World Bank statistics).

We are tired of being called a third world country.

We are sick of the chalta hai mentality.

We want to break the shackles of stagnation.

We want change.

We are restless. Our frustration and desperation is visible. We have shown that we are not afraid to come out on the streets with posters and candle lights, to face the batons and water cannons, as during the fight against corruption or the protest against atrocities affecting women.

We are the largest democracy of the world, with a median age of 25 years and with around 70 percent of the 1.2 billion people under the age of 40 years. The generation which has been exposed to the world through television and internet feel that they have the talent to compete with the rest of the world. We aspire to improve our lot, prove our excellence and write our destiny.

We just need a leader to facilitate and guide us.

We want a statesman, unquestionably a nationalist who puts India first, and can stand up for her without being intimidated by international pressure.

We want a person with integrity, who is not only incorruptible himself, but also does not permit others to indulge in corruption.

We want a decisive, bold, no-nonsense leader, an able administrator who gets acknowledged even by his sulking opponents.

We want a visionary who can raise hope and nurture them, who can not only talk about our dreams of nation- building and skill development but actually walk the talk, setting up institutions to encourage research and innovations.

We want a dreamer who can envisage development that includes all and leaves none behind, who can rise above divisive politics and beyond caste, creed and religion. 

We want a leader who raises hope in the minds of a large section of the population from all walks of life and earns rightful appreciation within and outside the country..

Finally we want someone who is a proven achiever, who remains unfazed despite malicious defamation by enemies and whose path of integrity and excellence is unperturbed by the deceit and fraud of lesser mortals..

Let us get that leader.

Let us Modi-fy India.

Poor Shahid Siddiqui!  He thought he was doing a good job, hiding under cover of a journalist. At no point did his interview seem to facilitate Narendra Modi’s defense. In fact, every attempt was made to put Modi in uncomfortable position with dubious questions, tirelessly repeating the media created lies, most of which have already been evaluated extensively and put to rest by the Supreme court appointed SIT in recent past.

Mr Siddiqui must have thought that accolades must be on its way for putting Modi on the dissection table for the nth time. Alas!  That was not to be. He did not expect Modi to turn the table, stand his ground  and reiterate with further conviction, that what he had always stood for, despite the decade old heaps of lies and accusations. 

So now Mr Siddiqui finds himself thrown out of his party and isolated from the same folks from whom he perhaps expected the most approval. Certainly he himself cannot be blamed like the Deoband Chief Maulana Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi, who had to be removed from his post for his “non-secular” comments on Modi.

The pseudo seculars are alarmed and growing intolerant everyday. They wanted a gladiator’s fight – you either kill your enemy in the arena or we will kill you! 

The question is what does the Muslim population in general think.

Is it time to disown these pseudo-secular leaders and parties?

 

 

SP Disowns Shahid Siddiqui for Interview With Modi

PTI, Lucknow, July 28, 2012
 
The Samajwadi Party today distanced itself from Shahid Siddiqui, saying he is no longer a part of the party two days after his interview with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi made waves.”The party wants to clarify that Siddiqui had left SP long back and joined BSP on whose ticket he contested Lok Sabha election from Bijnor,” party’s national general secretary and spokesman Ram Gopal Yadav said in a statement issued here.

He said that later Siddiqui joined the Rashtriya Lok Dal.

“Siddiqui is not a SP member and has nothing to do with the party,” Yadav said, asking the media not to project him as SP leader.

Yadav said terming Siddiqui as a SP leader was “outrightly wrong”.

Siddiqui, who is the editor of Urdu weekly Nai Duniya, had recently interview Modi in which the Gujarat Chief Minister had refused to apologise for the post-Godhra riots and instead said he would prefer to be hanged if found guilty.

In an image makeover exercise, Modi had said in the interview, “If my government had done this (post-Godhra riots), I should be hanged in public in such a way that it remains a lesson for the next 100 years so that nobody dares to do it (such a crime)”.

Siddqiqui was a SP MP before he joined the RLD only to rejoin the Samajwadi Party in January this year.

Ram Gopal Yadav said that Siddiqui may be interested in an alliance with Modi.

SP leader Azam Khan said, “In politics neither friendship nor enmity is permanent. But we can’t maintain friendship with a murderer like Narendra Modi. Modi is an enemy of humanity. I feel this is wrong. It is not right for a person like Modi to have been given an opportunity to give his opinion to a major Urdu daily.”

Reacting to the SP’s move to distance itself from Siddiqui, BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said, “As a journalist it is not necessary to only publish the views of those you agree with. His paper won’t only publish news related to Mulayam Singh Yadav.

“As an editor, he has the right to interview whoever he wishes. However, it is an old habit of SP to alter their actions to cater to their votebank. How can you demand clarifications and not listen when answers are provided,” he said.

Gujarat BJP leader Yatin Oza said, “For the first time someone has asked Modi about his view. For this removing a senior member of the party is politics of minority appeasement and hypocrisy. This is an autocratic way of functioning. 

Ironically Hindu Bengalee, be it a commoner, an intellectual, a politician or a media-person, are ever eager to  project that ‘All is well’ . Seldom to they have the guts or the inclination to speak the truth, ever afraid that they will be identified as ‘communal’ 

Thus it takes non-Bengalees and non-Hindus to speak for them ….

 

The Jihad against Bengali

By Janet Levy (http://www.americanthinker.com/janet_levy/)

Every February 21, a little-known observance occurs: International Mother Language Day.  Created in 2000 to promote and encourage the diversity of language, this benign and idealistic-sounding commemoration actually marks a bloody day in 1952 when an Islamic minority shot and killed university students protesting the imposition of an Islamic language, Urdu, on a Bengali-speaking majority in Pakistan.

 The students who died that day understood that forced reconfiguration of a language can have cataclysmic and devastating effects on a society.  Community identification can be shifted, populations and their practices repressed, and the established rhythm of daily life disrupted.

 In the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, Muslims have for centuries used Arabic languages as part of their jihad against Christians and Hindus.  A blatant example of this phenomenon occurred in 8th century Coptic-speaking Egypt when Muslims conquered the Christian nation and designated Arabic as the sole administrative language.  Coptic, which had flourished as a literary and liturgical language, was purposely denigrated by the Muslim conquerors and eventually prohibited in favor of Arabic, the language of Mohammed.  Today, Copts continue to be besieged by the Muslim majority in Egypt, and only a few hundred people speak the Coptic language.

 A similar struggle occurs with the Bengali language.  Although the student deaths of 1952 sparked a successful movement to create an independent Bangladesh, the majority Muslim population in that country persecutes Hindus and is Islamizing the Bengali language itself as a sort of linguistic Muslim jihad which has been going on for centuries.

History – Urdu vs. Bengali

Beginning almost 900 years ago, Urdu, a language associated with Muslims in India and Pakistan, was appropriated from Sanskrit-based Hindi over centuries of conquests by Persian, Arabic, and Turkic Muslims.  To create Urdu, the Muslim conquerors took Hindi and Islamicized it by injecting new words, changing existing words, and writing the language in Arabic script.  By de-Sanskritizing Hindi to develop Urdu, Muslim rulers de-Hinduized the language as a way of diminishing the infidel faith.  As Latin is to Christianity, Sanskrit defines Hinduism and is the language of Hindu clerics and scriptures.

In 1948, shortly after Pakistan gained independence from the British government, the newly installed Islamic government declared Urdu the official language of West and East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.  At the time, Sanskrit-based Bengali was the language of the vast majority of Bengalis, the inhabitants of East Pakistan, both Hindus and Muslims.

The Urdu language edict created great hardship for Hindus and Bengali-speaking Muslims who were not particularly proficient in Urdu.  Although Bengalis were a majority linguistic group, under the Urdu language requirement they faced discrimination and experienced alienation from mainstream Pakistani society.  Both Bengali Hindus and Muslims had difficulty finding employment and were discouraged from joining the Army, an important affiliation conferring social standing in Pakistan.

Bengali Language Movement

At the time when the Urdu language mandate was introduced, Muslims in Bangladesh were being pressured to become more Muslim in practice, to Islamicize the region, and to join Urdu Islamic political parties in Pakistan.  Bengali Muslims resisted, as they had a cultural affinity to Bengali and felt they were not getting their fair share of power in Pakistani politics relative to their numbers.  Out of the six major linguistic groups — Bengali, Urdu, Sindi, Punjabi, Pastho, and Baloch — Bengali was the largest in Pakistan.  Bengali Muslims came from a distinctly different cultural background from the Muslims in West Pakistan and had little in common with the other groups except Islam.  To thwart Bengali domination, the other linguistic groups banded together to reduce the influence of the Muslims of East Pakistan, thus isolating the Bengali Muslims. 

After the declaration of Urdu as the official language, extensive protests erupted amongst the Bengali-speaking majority of East Pakistan, both Hindu and Muslim.  Due to the rising tensions and demonstrations against the new law, the government outlawed all public meetings and rallies. 

On February 21, 1952, students protested the language edict and called for a general strike.  Amidst peaceful protests, the police fired on protesters and killed several students.  In 1956 following numerous protests over the years, the government relented and granted official status to the Bengali language.

The Bengali Language Movement strengthened the national identity of Bengalis living in Pakistan and eventually led to Bangladesh’s war for independence from Pakistan in 1971.  Suffering greatly from Muslim persecution, at least 20 million Hindus fled to India from East Pakistan from 1947-1971.  About one million Hindus were killed.  In the fight for independence in 1971, Muslims killed an additional 2.5 million Hindus.  Also during the conflict, the Pakistan Army bulldozed one of the most famous Hindu temples in the Indian subcontinent, believed to be over 1,000 years old.

In 1971, Hindus were declared enemies of the state of Pakistan and the government instituted the Enemy Property Act.  False allegations were made by the Muslim government that Hindus were spies for India, and their property was confiscated.  Following the independence of Bangladesh, the newly installed Muslim government retained the Pakistani law, merely changing its name to the Vested Property Act.  Approximately 75% of Hindu land in the area has been confiscated over time.

The Jihad against Bengali

Today, Hindus in Bangladesh and throughout the Indian subcontinent are reluctant to make demands in a majority Muslim country.  They typically remain silent about grievances, as they have little hope of equitable resolutions under Muslim control.  Their activities are limited, and they regularly face discrimination.  They are accountable to their Muslim masters, have fewer rights, and their movements are restricted.  It is not uncommon for a Muslim to stop and question a Hindu in transit, inquire of his travel plans, and demand to see his documents as well as the money he is carrying, which can be extorted with impunity.

Yet, ironically, the Bengali Language Movement is commemorated each year in Bangladesh on February 21 primarily by Bengali Muslims, who hold rallies across the country.   This same Muslim majority which allows the oppression of Hindus in Bangladesh is also Islamizing the Bengali language.  They have de-Hinduized certain words in their ongoing attempt to eradicate infidel Hindu culture.  For example, the Bengali word for “deity” has been replaced by a word that means “Allah” in Farsi, and the word for “water” has been substituted with an Urdu word.  An indigenous flowering tree named “Krishnachura,” referring to a flower worn in the headdress of the Hindu deity, has been renamed by Muslims to “Mohammed Chura.”

For Bengali Hindus, the battle to preserve their language and culture appears to have been a pyrrhic victory, and a temporary one at that.  With constant attacks on their businesses, homes, and temples sanctioned by the Vested Property Act, their numbers have diminished from one-third of the population at the time of partition to fewer than 10% today.  Ultimately, their language has become less representative of their culture and religious beliefs, they cower to the demands of the Muslim majority, and they continue to face grave threats to their survival.  The Bengali jihad may ultimately reduce the Hindus to the fate of the Copts, and the celebration of Mother Language Day may actually finally honor a language far removed from its Hindu and Sanskrit roots and now, instead, symbolic of Muslim expansionism.

Almost 10 years of relentless attack by political oppositions, bogus activists, bleeding heart pseudoliberals and pseudosecular Indian media and the result is a BIG ZERO.

Hope Modi can concentrate now on more worthwhile agenda.

 

Never asked police to allow Hindus to vent their anger

On the contrary, I had issued orders to maintain peace, communal harmony at any cost”

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had told the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team — which is probing some of the gruesome carnages during the 2002 communal riots in the State — that he never issued any instructions to top police officers to allow Hindus to “vent their anger” against Muslims in the aftermath of the Godhra train carnage.

“It is a baseless allegation. On the contrary, I had given categorical and clear-cut instructions to maintain peace and communal harmony at any cost,” Mr. Modi had told SIT Investigating Officer A.K. Malhotra, who questioned him on March 27 and 28, 2010.

Classified document

The statement made by Mr. Modi before the SIT, which was the first and by far the only investigating agency to question him on the 2002 riots, was considered a classified document and formed part of the SIT report submitted before the Supreme Court. But surprisingly, on Thursday, the “signed statement” found a place on the website of a local Gujarati daily. How and who “leaked” Mr. Modi’s statement before the SIT was not known.

According to the statement, countersigned on every page by Mr. Modi on March 28, 2010, the investigating officer had put to him 71 questions and each of them was answered by Mr. Modi, rarely avoiding an answer, claiming “I do not remember.” The Chief Minister was questioned on almost the entire gamut of the riots, the decision to shift the bodies of the Godhra train carnage victims to Ahmedabad, the security arrangements made to meet the tense communal situation, deployment of the Army and his knowledge about the attacks on the minorities in Gulberg Society and Naroda-Patiya localities in Ahmedabad.

Mr. Modi had claimed that shifting of the bodies was a “collective decision” of the top police and administrative officers present in Godhra and was taken to defuse “building up of tension in Godhra.” He claimed that the Army was deployed in the affected areas without any delay and denied that the slain former Congress MP, Ehsan Jafri, had ever contacted him on phone before being killed in the Gulberg Society attack. The Chief Minister denied having any prior knowledge of the attacks on Gulberg Society or Naroda-Patiya. He also denied having asked the then Cabinet Ministers, Ashok Bhatt and I.K. Jadeja, to sit in the Ahmedabad city and State police control rooms and interfere with the functioning of the police on the “Gujarat Bandh” day, February 28, 2002.

Mr. Modi refuted the allegations that he was in “constant touch” with some of the leaders of the BJP and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, who were later registered as accused in the riots, and denied that the controversial Gujarat cadre IPS officer, Sanjiv Bhatt — who created a flutter later by filing an affidavit in the Supreme Court against the Chief Minister — was present on the crucial law and order meeting at his official residence in Gandhinagar on the night of February 27, 2002, during which he was alleged to have “instructed” the police officers to “allow Hindus to vent their anger.”

Mr. Modi denied that his first reaction to the Godhra train carnage was to declare it a “pre-planned conspiracy,” but admitted that after visiting the site and talking to the police and administrative officials as well as those present at the Godhra railway station who were witnesses to the incident and the injured passengers of the ill-fated coach, he did tell the media in Godhra that the incident “appeared to be a pre-planned conspiracy.” But he had also added that nothing could be said with finality until the investigation was completed. The Chief Minister also denied having ever talked about “Pakistani spy agency ISI’s hand” behind the conspiracy.

Asked about the crucial February 27, 2002 meeting, Mr. Modi had said among those present were the then acting Chief Secretary, Swarna Kanta Varma; the then Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Ashok Narayan; the then Home Secretary, K. Nityanandam; the then Director-General of Police, K. Chakravarthi; Ahmedabad Police Commissioner P.C. Pande; and two senior officials of the CMO, P.K. Mishra and Anil Mukim. “As far as I recollect, the then Additional DGP [Intelligence], G.C. Raigar, was not present. Mr. Sanjiv Bhatt, the then Deputy Commissioner [Intelligence], did not attend as this was a high-level meeting. None of my Cabinet colleagues was present in the said meeting.”

At the meeting, the Chief Minister said he shared information with the officers about his visit to Godhra and the officers briefed him about the precautionary measures being taken by them.

The Chief Minister denied that the State Intelligence Branch (SIB) had given any information about the movement of VHP kar sevaks to and fro from Ayodhya and said if there was any such information, it must be with the departments concerned. On being informed about the train carnage by about 9 a.m. on February 27, he had issued directions that necessary steps be taken to ensure that other passengers were not held up as it could lead to tension and imposition of curfew in Godhra immediately since it was a communally sensitive place.

The Chief Minister said that after reaching Godhra in the evening the same day — after the day’s session of the Assembly was over — he visited the spot and other places and later held a meeting with the government and police officers at the District Collector’s office where a “collective decision” was taken by all present to shift the charred bodies of the victims to Ahmedabad in view of the mounting tension in Godhra. Mr. Modi said the decision was taken because of the knowledge that most of the victims belonged to Ahmedabad or other places beyond Ahmedabad and that their relatives need not go to Godhra for identification and claiming the bodies as Godhra then was under curfew. He also denied that the then District Collector, Jayanti Ravi, had opposed the decision and, on the contrary, she was insistent that the bodies be moved away from Godhra to ease the tension. He also denied that the bodies were handed over to VHP leader Jaydeep Patel as was claimed later. Mr. Modi maintained that the bodies were in the custody of the district administration.

Mr. Modi denied that he had ever given any interview to The Times of India advocating the famous theory of “every action has its reaction.” The newspaper was forced to carry the denial but it was published in an obscure corner and the allegation was repeated against him time and again. He also denied the allegations purportedly made against him by some BJP and VHP leaders in a “so-called sting operation” by the Tehelka Magazine.

The Chief Minister also refuted the allegations made by the retired Additional DGP, R.B. Shreekumar, in affidavits filed before the G.T. Nanavati-Akshay Mehta judicial inquiry commission that his (Mr. Modi’s) officers were trying to influence the retired officer to file false affidavits in favour of the government.

On the petition filed by Zakia Jafri, wife of the slain Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, in the Supreme Court, Mr. Modi said her charges “deserved to dismissed completely and such false and frivolous complaints should not be entertained.”

Reading between the lines, are Muslim organizations in India changing their stance towards Narendra Modi (just in case he does end up becoming a more important person in the lives of Indians, beyond Gujarat)?

Are Muslims finally able to see through the ill-effects of vote bank politics, that most political parties of India have catered to them as minorities, ever since Independence?

For too long, the “Muslim victimhood” sentiment has been projected and propagated by political parties and their leaders for vested interest. Likewise, the fire of the post- Godhra riots of 2002, has been carefully kept burning with periodic fueling by these Modi-haters including the overtly partisan Indian print and news media.

The fact, as per the Parliamentary statement of the former Congress Union Minister of State for Home, that 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed in the riots does not quite reveal a picture of Muslim genocide or pogrom as Modi-haters have tried to paint. Similarly, the fact that “126 persons were killed in police firing, of which 77 were Hindus”, according to the National Minorities Commission Chairman, John Joseph, also does not bear testimony to an alleged religiously biased police force, supposingly rendered inactive by orders of the CM to ‘let Hindus vent their anger’, as accused by so called whistleblower supercop, Sanjeev Bhatt. Investigations and court cases are still going on, but nefarious designs of bogus activists and vindictive opponents are getting exposed, eroding the credibility of the anti-Modi brigade. 

In the meantime in Gujarat, Muslims are reported to be drifting towards Modi and his party. “A stage has now been reached where the development oriented initiatives of Narendra Modi are drawing the Muslim community towards the party“, claimed Babi Sama,  who is the first Muslim woman to be elected on BJP ticket in the Municipal corporation elections in 2010.  Muslims have increasingly voted in favour of BJP  in those Gujarat elections as they also did in Bihar, a BJP alliance ruled state.

Muslims in Gujarat are reportedly joining the mainstream to be part of developmental politics, overcoming the years of anti-Modi rhetorics heaped upon them. And the message is spreading beyond Gujarat. The acknowledgement came earlier from former Deoband chief Vastanvi (though he had to pay a price for that).

Perhaps now others are also recognizing that nurturing the perceived victimhood image, hankering for privileges or heeding to appeasement policies has done more harm to the Muslim community over the decades.  Just as a reform in education is needed so also is a reform in mental attitude.

A demand for apology from Modi for a alleged crime that is still sub judice may thus actually be an face-saving attempt of cozying up.

 

Will accept Modi if he apologises: UP Muslims

Moradabad: Ahead of UP elections next year, Sunni Sufi Muslims have come under an umbrella to back reforms in madarsa system of education. The group which claims to have support of over 80 per cent of Muslims in India oppose deoband system of education calling it regressive.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was on a token fast for peace and harmony in Dwarka in Gujarat on Monday and over thousand kilometers away in Moradabad in west UP, a section of Muslims coming together to make themselves heard. What’s the connection between the two?

Sunni Sufi Muslims have come under an umbrella to back reforms in madarsa system of education. All India Ulema and Mashaikh Board, which claims to have support of over 80 per cent of Muslims in India oppose deoband system of education calling it regressive.

President All India Ulema and Mashaikh Board said, “Sufi Muslims can conditionally accept Narendra Modi. If he says what happened was a mistake and would never happen again. Anybody who is ready to apologise, we will be soft on them.”

Deoband’s chief cleric Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi was the last prominent Muslim who dared to come out in praise of Modi and he had to pay a heavy price, being forced to retract his statement, the over lakh Sufi Sunni Muslims who gathered here are aware of just how difficult it is to position themselves as in a liberal sense.

Ulema and Mashaikh Board say that the Sunni Sufi Muslims form nearly 80 per cent of the total Muslim population of India. Renouncing the deoband system of madarsa education as regressive, the Sufis say that wahabis in India promote views that poison young Muslim minds.

Distancing themselves from the hardliners within the community, the group with a sizeable support of Muslims favours reforms in madarsas.

With an attempt to redefine the agenda for Muslims, and the road ahead, this gathering with its eye on UP elections next year made it clear they cannot be treated as a single block of vote bank anymore. 

Why is this woman still not behind bars?  Are activists and NGO’s beyond the law?

How come the media still pampers her and dances to her tunes?

Is ‘narco tests’ only reserved for alleged ‘Hindu Terrorists’ ?

What if it is true that ‘nine were awarded life term’ based on her false  testimony? Is that not enough for Manmohan Singh to spent sleepless nights?

Best Bakery case: Teesta’s former aide demands retrial

October 13, 2011 14:30 IST

A former aide of activist Teesta Setalvad has moved the Bombay high court seeking retrial of the 2002 Best Bakery case alleging that the latter not only fabricated evidence and falsely implicated innocent persons but also “managed” the witnesses.

Rais Khan Aziz Khan Pathan, in an affidavit, urged the high court to direct an appropriate court in Mumbai to conduct retrial of the case and record his evidence.

Khan, former coordinator of the Citizen for Justice and Peace, the Mumbai-based non-government organisation headed by Teesta, requested that notice be served on Teesta to explain her conduct and clarify allegations of fabricating evidence in the case.

Khan even demanded lie detector and polygraph tests on himself and Teesta to “bring out the truth”.

The affidavit assumes significance as in April 2011, Shaikh Yasmeen Banu, a key prosecution witness in the case, had also filed an affidavit in the high court alleging she was “lured and misguided” by Teesta into giving false testimony against the 17 accused, of which nine were awarded life term by a Mumbai court.

Fourteen people who had taken refuge in the Best Bakery owned by the Shaikh family in Vadodara in Gujarat were killed by a mob on March 1, 2002, during the post-Godhra riots.

The appeals filed by the nine convicts in the sensational case are pending in the Bombay high court. Khan contended that on instructions of Teesta, he had in the past met Yasmeen in Baroda and requested her to shift to Mumbai where the retrial of the case was in progress.    

Yasmeen in her affidavit had accused Khan of cheating her and other witnesses for personal gains, which was denied by him.

Khan contended that he used to get funds from Teesta to organise press conferences for riot victims and meet relevant expenses. He alleged that getting payment for the victims was never Teesta’s priority as she was only concerned to ensure that the witnesses get money.

While witnesses used to get Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh, the victims were getting only Rs 5,000 (by Teesta),” Khan said. He further stated in the affidavit that he was put up at Sagar Hotel in the Nagpada area of South Mumbai by Teesta for eight months when the trial of Best Bakery case was in progress and was directed by her to keep a close watch on the witnesses.

“After the court issued summons to witnesses, she (Teesta) asked me to bring all of them to Mumbai even before police approached them”, he said.

“Throughout the trial, witnesses were paid Rs 100 a day and the payment was made to them every weekly. Although the court order was to keep witnesses at Vasava Government Hostel in Worli, they were kept at Mariam apartment in Bhindi Bazaar”.

“Neither the police nor the prosecutor ever inquired or asked how these witnesses were so punctually coming to the court for deposition and who is funding their expenses,” he added.

It was stated further in the affidavit that police used to escort every witness to the court and back to the police guesthouse in Worli and during this period nobody was allowed to meet or speak to them.

“As per Teesta’s instructions, I used to provide a mobile phone to each witness so that she can be in touch with them and guide them during their stay in Mumbai,” he said.

“When the Gujarat police were searching for prime witness Zahira Shaikh, Teesta directed me over phone to reach an address in the Alkapuri area of Baroda. When I went there I found she was at a residence of a Muslim woman journalist working with a national daily,” Khan said, adding “Muslim reporters were roped in sentimentally”.

Khan said he had learnt that some of the victims and witnesses like Yasmeen had recently retracted from their earlier statements or affidavits prepared by Teesta’s organisation and that they blamed him for cheating and manipulation.

“These witnesses have put me in a very awkward position and I am afraid that I might be prosecuted by the court for helping the witnesses to give false deposition in the court, which was actually not done by me at all”, he added. out of total 73 witnesses, including Zaheera Shaikh, had turned hostile, saying they had seen nothing the night of the attack.

In February 2006, a Mumbai court had awarded lifer to the nine accused.

Zaheera and other witnesses who had turned hostile were later convicted for perjury.