The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

August 31, 2015

Rationalist scholar MM Kalburgi murdered in Karnataka, role of right-wing Hindu groups under suspicion

Rationalist scholar and historian MM Kalburgi was shot dead in his house in Dharwad town in Karnataka on Sunday. He was 77.

Two motorcycle-borne persons came to the house and knocked at his door. When he came out, they shot at him point bank in the head and escaped. The police have failed to identify the killers.

Kalburgi was a former vice-chancellor of Hampi University, a historian and a strong voice against casteism.

He was a disliked by the of right-wing outfits and the Hindutva elements, because of his courageous take on social issues and the ill-practices in Hinduism.

The Bajrang Dal, VHP and Ram Sene had protested his views in the past. The murder is the latest in the series of killings of rationalists in India. Narendra Dhabholkar and Govind Pansare were killed in Maharashtra recently. The killers are to be arrested in these cases too.

TIH Bureau

ICICI bank MD Chanda Kochhar, five others booked for fraud on businessman's complaint

ICICI bank managing director Chanda Kochhar has been booked for fraud along with five other bank employees.

The police have confirmed that they have registered a case against them. The complaint pertains to fraud of Rs 17.3 lakh.

The bank officials have been accused of unfair practices and cheating a person who had taken loan from the private bank.

A businessman, Deepak Batra, who runs a private company in Ghaziabad, had complained that he had paid the loan installments but was illegally charged an additional amount of Rs 17.3 lakh in the name of 'pre-payment'.

While seeking loan, the bank officials had said that there were no hidden charges, but it turned out that the bank had charged the complainant, excessively. After his loan was cleared, he paid installments for two years.

Later, the complainant transferred loan to another bank. Initially, he had approached the police but no case was registered. Then Batra filed complaint in the court and on the directions of court, police had to register the case.

Apart from Kochhar, the bank officials booked include Sudhanshu Sharma, Siddharth Srivastava, Diwakar Chaubey, Shubhanshu and Prachi. On the court orders, the police registered a case against Kochhar and five others.

Kochhar is also the chief executive officer (CEO) of the bank. All these six persons charged in the case,  have been booked for fraud. The police have begun investigation in this case.

TIH Bureau

August 29, 2015

Sheena Bora murder mystery solved: Indrani Mukerjea's second husband Sanjeev Khanna confesses committing murder

Sensational revelations continue to occur as probe in the Sheena Bora murder case moves forward.

The police on Friday claimed solving the case and said that it was Kolkata-based businessman Sanjeev Khanna who had committed Sheena's murder with the assistance of  her mother Indrani Mukerjea, who is already in the custody of Mumbai police.

Indrani is wife of Peter Mukerjea, a former TV tycoon who was earlier CEO of Star India. Police said that Indrani Mukerjea had taken along her daughter Sheena in a car. Indrani's former husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyam were already in the car.

On way, Khanna strangulated Sheena to death. They later took the body to Pen in Raigad where petrol was poured on her body and it was set afire. This incident had occurred in the year 2012. Then, the police had recovered body but failed to identify it, and had closed the case.

Recently, police got tip-off that Indrani Mukerjea's daughter who been mysteriously missing for the last three years, had been murdered. After groundwork, police began questioning the suspects and later Indrani Mukerjea alias Pari Bora was arrested for conspiracy and plan to kill her own daughter.

The driver was arrested earlier. Also, her former husband has been arrested. He has reportedly confessed that he committed the murder. Indrani had told her children--Sheena and Mikhail to not tell other that she was their mother.

Sheena was introduced to others as her sister. Sheena and Mikhail were born to Indrani when she was married to Siddharth Das. Later she married Khanna, with whom he has a daughter Vidhi. After divorce, she married for the third time with Peter Mukerjea.

Peter's son Rahul, (from his previous marriage) had fallen in love with Sheena, and this relationship had irked Indrani. Also, Indrani had put huge amount of cash in Sheena's bank account to evade tax authorities, but later Sheena had refused to give back the money.

This had also angered her. Sheena wanted the money to live a lavish life with her boyfriend (stepbrother), whom she intended to marry. Khanna was upset as his daughter Vidhi was not getting her due share in the money, said sources.

TIH Bureau

August 25, 2015

Right-wing moral policing in Mangalore: Muslim man stripped, thrashed for travelling with Hindu woman in Karnataka town

Saffron groups' moral policing took an ugly turn in Mangalore when they stripped and thrashed a Muslim man.

The victim's 'fault' was that he was seen travelling with a Hindu woman, who was her colleague. 

The incident is not the first such case when right-wing fanatics took law into their hands.

Shockingly, the group of hooligans tied the man to an electricity pole, before they began beating him. 

They later paraded him on the streets. There were nearly a dozen persons who were involved in this act.

The victim is a 29-year-old. He was travelling in car with the woman, when he was pulled out.

The man was dragged, his clothes torn and was brutally beaten in full  public view. The moral policing took place close to a super market at Attavar in the heart of Mangalore (Mengaluru).

The victim was later admitted to the hospital. Some Bajrang Dal members have reportedly been detained in this regard. Mangalore has seen several such incidents when Muslim youths, traders and students were attacked by such groups.

Coastal Karnataka has been a happy hunting ground for right-wing extremists. Sri Ram Sene, Bajrang Dal and other RSS outfits have been involved in terror tactics and bullying for years. The targets are mostly Muslims and Christians. 

TIH Bureau 

August 19, 2015

BJP leaders, ex-PM supported Upper Caste extremist militia Ranvir Sena that killed Dalits in Bihar: Cobrapost

Ranvir Sena, an Upper Caste extremist militia, that was a synonym of terror among Dalits in Bihar, was helped by BJP leaders.

This sensational claim was made by Cobrapost, a web portal dedicated to investigative journalism.

The expose is all the more sensational as it alleges that even a former Prime Minister supported the Sena.

The illegal army of landlords, chiefly the upper caste land owners belonging to Bhumihar and Thakur castes, was led by Brahmeshwar Mukhia.

These self-styled commanders of the 'banned' outfit, which enjoyed patronage of political parties, told Cobrapost that how top politicians helped them in getting lethal weapons. BJP leaders including MM Joshi and CP Thakur allegedly instigated the militia for attacks.

Former PM Chandrashekhar's name was revealed, as per Cobrapost expose. The outfit procured light machine guns, AK 47 and other weapons allegedly with the help of the politicians. The extremist outfit terrorised poor and low caste Hindus, killing them in well-planned massacres.

For an entire year, Cobrapost journalists worked on the ground and managed to capture on-camera testimonies of six commanders of the anti-Dalit militia. Two of them were acquitted because of lack of adequate evidence.

The Ranvir Sena (also spelt Ranveer Sena) was responsible for killings in Sarthua, Bathani Tola, Laxmanpur Bathe, Shankar Bigha, Miyanpur and Ikwari. Majority of those killed were women and children.

TIH Bureau

August 17, 2015

PM Narendra Modi's 'Muslim moment' comes in UAE, poses with Sheikhs at grand mosque

Prime Minister Narendra Modi posing with Arab sheikhs at the grand mosque, taking the selfie--this unbelievable scene was witnessed on Sunday.

India's PM who never wore a skullcap and avoided going to a mosque or Islamic seminary,visited Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

This was Modi's 'Muslim moment', which came more than a year after he was elected as prime minister.

Call it business or statesmanship, PM of world's largest democracy had to engage with the Muslim world--the followers of Islam account for 2 billion people on the globe.

Though he has a strong right-wing constituency, he couldn't keep Muslim world at bay. For India, it is important to keep good relations with Arab countries, where millions of Indians live and work, sending huge foreign exchange.

But the visit also underscores the need that Modi government needs to positively engage with Muslims in his own country. The fanatic and loud-mouthed right-wing needs to be checked and 'sab ka saath, sabka vikas' should be seen on ground.

India can not afford to keep its 200 million (20 crore) Muslims neglected, and there is need for schemes to work for their progress and uplift. A few meetings with Ulema that have taken place aren't enough. 

This government needs to work for Muslims too, in earnest. A beginning has been made.albeit, on foreign land, and if he keeps the tempo, it would earn him goodwill as well as support of a huge section in the country.

TIH Bureau

August 16, 2015

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit this mosque during his first trip to any Muslim country in Gulf, reaches UAE

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has never visited a mosque in India, which has nearly a million mosques--the highest in the world.

But now his maiden visit to an Islamic place of worship will be at Sheikh Zayed grand mosque in Abu Dhabi.

This is Modi's first ever visit to any predominantly Muslim country, during his tenure so far.

Though he has been to central Asia. Now he is visiting United Arab Emirates (UAE). Indians form 30% of population in the Emirates.

UAE is strategically important for India, as there are 26 lakh (2.6 million) Indian workers in this country. India is also looking towards partnership with the Gulf nation for India's oil and energy demands that keep growing.

Modi has had a strained relationship with Muslims. He was chief minister of Gujarat for three terms but never visited a mosque. He avoided wearing skullcap and shunned symbolism as far as Muslims are concerned.

TIH Bureau

Campaign against imposition of Hindi in India gathers momentum on social media, Twitterati trend #StopHindiImposition

A campaign against imposing Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states in the country, which has gained momentum lately, suddenly drew nationwide attention with its emergence on Twitter.

The hashtag #StopHindiImposition began trending and supporters of the cause started tweeting against the forcible imposition of Hindi on people who don't speak or use the language.

Though the movement was visible on social media, especially, Facebook earlier, it came to limelight when Twitter got abuzz with messages against Centre promoting Hindi at the cost of other languages.

That it happened on Independence day, surprised many. Twitter users wrote that Hindi is not India's national language though many mistakenly believe that it is the national language.

Majority of the the campaigners said that Hindi was getting undue favour and this was affecting other languages of the country, which was against the idea of India viz. unity in diversity.

They mentioned how official support to Hindi was leading to linguistic inequality, which was against the spirit of the constitution. Tamil, Bangla, Kannada, Urdu, Punjabi, Telugu, Malayalam, Oriya and the other languages were getting a raw deal.

The speakers of these languages are discriminated officially, alleged the twitter users. In competitive examinations, government advertisements and official messages, people who spoke other languages were discriminated, they further said.

A Facebook group 'Promote linguistic equality: Hindi is not our national language' has been raising awareness on the issue of linguistic plurality in the country and its members expressed themselves on Twitter about their views.

South India has earlier raised its voice against imposition of Hindi. Now people whose first language or mother tongue is not Hindi, are joining hands for the cause once again through internet, to register their protest.

There were interesting tweets. Sandeep Kambi tweeted from the handle ‏@sandeepkambi, "What's the use of these banks if they refuse 2 use people's languages & impose an alien tongue #stopHindiImposition".

Girish Kargadde, using the handle @girishkargadde wrote, "0% of coffee is grown in Hindi speaking belt still coffee Board of India is promoting Hindi #stophindiimposition". The campaigners want all the 22 languages to be treated at par, and considered as official languages.

TIH Bureau

August 15, 2015

Hindu girl gets 999 marks in Pakistan, tops medical entrance examination in the neighbouring country

A Hindu girl has emerged as a topper in medical entrance examination in our neighbouring country Pakistan.

The girl has topped the exam. Karishma Kumari secured 999 marks out of 1100 marks, to come first in the nationwide test.

This is an inspiring story of a teenaged girl belonging to the minority community, excelling in Pakistan.

Karishma said that there is no shortcut formala for success, except hardwork. She said that during her entire school education she never witnessed discrimination.

The intermediate board has announced a cash reward of Rs 50,000 to her. She is the first Hindu girl to have topped the pre-medical entrance test (PMET).

The exam is conducted for admission to MBBS course. But minority students are doing well in Pakistan. Just recently Manbir Kaur had emerged as topper in the high school, Xth board exam in Pakistan. Now there is another success story in the form of Karishma Kumari.

TIH Bureau

August 13, 2015

Special court acquits four accused of abduction of Dalit girls, gang rape in Bhagana town in Haryana

A court has acquitted the four persons who were accused of  rape with four Dalit girls belonging to Bhagana in Haryana.

The fifth accused in this case is a teenager and is being tried in the juvenile court.

The court acquitted them for 'want of evidence'. The incident had occurred on March 23 last year.

The girls had been allegedly abducted and later raped. They were walking in the fields when they were pushed into a four-wheeler and made to sniff handkerchiefs after which they lost consciousness, the girls had alleged.

While the three girls remain unconscious, the fourth said that she remained semi-conscious. The victim said that she was sexually exploited (gang raped) and later abandoned at the Bathinda railway station.

The girls had then called their families over phone and informed them about their location. Later, an FIR was registered against five youths. The incident had angered local residents who had staged protest at the secretariat.

The trial was held in a fast track court, w hich has acquitted all the four accused--Sumit Kumar, Lalit, Sandeep Swami, Sandeep Kumar. Haryana has one of the highest rate of atrocities against the scheduled castes (SCs).

TIH Bureau

Pankaja Munde walks barefoot, her employee carries her slippers: Minister caught on the wrong foot!

Maharashtra minister Pankaja Munde was caught on the wrong foot when TV footage showed her employee carrying her footwear.

Munde, who is minister for rural development, was on a tour to drought-hit region, when this incident occurred.

She took off the slippers and walked on. Meanwhile, her employee picked up the 'chappal' and followed her.

As the footage was aired on TV channels, Munde defended herself and tweeted that media should not turn towards sensationalism, rather, it should be sensitive.

She also said that she was on tour to drought-affected areas, which the media should focus on.

Munde also said that the man who carried her slippers was not a government employee but her personal employee. She said that due to mud, she had to take off slippers and didn't know that someone had picked up the footwear.

She didn't however said a word about the sensitivity aspect with regard to a person carrying the footwear. Munde, who is daughter of former BJP leader Gopinath Munde, is not new to controversy. There are allegations that she was involved in 'chikki' [biscuit] scam in Maharashtra, recently.

TIH Bureau

August 12, 2015

Terrorist Aseemanand's bail would not be challenged: BJP government soft on Saffron terrorists?

The National Investigation Agency is not going to challenge the bail plea of Hindu terror mastermind Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Aseemanand.

The home ministry informed the Parliament that there was no plan to oppose the bail.

The decision has been made at the highest-level and it has angered Opposition as well as activists who see it as government's softness on right-wing terrorists.

Already, there are allegations that the agencies are under pressure to go soft on Saffron terrorists. Special public prosecutor Rohini Salian had openly said that NIA officials asked her to go slow in cases against right-wing extremists in Malegaon blast proceedings.

Aseemanand is alleged mastermind of the deadly Samjahuta Express bombings. He had also been involved in plotting the Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad and Ajmer Dargah terrorist attacks, with the assistance of other right-wing radicals.

Now, this decision has the potential to force opposition against the ruling BJP. Several BJP and RSS leaders are also suspected of links with the Hindu terror groups that were led by Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, Aseemanand, Dayanand Pandey, Colonel Srikant Purohit, Sunil Joshi and other leaders of the right-wing radicals who wanted to avenge Muslim terrorists' attacks in India.

TIH Bureau

BJP doublespeak: India world leader in beef export under BJP rule though party bans cow slaughter in states

India is the highest exporter of beef in the entire world. This has been disclosed in a United States report on meat export.

The country has exported 2.4 million tonnes or 24 lakh tonnes of beef, suggests the latest US Agriculture department report.

The revelations are serious as BJP that is at the helm in the country, goes with a missionary zeal to ban cow slaughter.

Its leaders openly say that those who want to consume beef should leave the country. The party supports law against consumption of beef within states in India, but the beef export is so high that India is world leader in it.

In the latest report, India has even increased its lead over Brazil, which is the second biggest exporter, compared to the previous year figures.

After Narendra Modi-led BJP government came to power in Delhi, the BJP has been going tough on cow slaughter. The laws are being made tougher. In Maharashtra, beef has been banned and people are being arrested on suspicion of carrying cow meat.

In other states too the laws have been made more stern. People accused of cow slaughter don't get bail. Buffalo meat is also included in beef category. In many states, buffalo slaughter is also prohibited in India.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and vegetarian lobbies have been pushing for beef ban in India. It affects Muslims most as the butchers are mostly from the minority community. Other Muslim communities are also affected as they are linked to the trade.

However, the big companies involved in cow slaughter on a mass scale are mostly run Hindus. These groups have seen a rise in export of beef. No wonder, the American government figures put a serious question mark on the BJP's doublespeak on the issue of cow slaughter and its beef politics.

TIH Bureau

Raj Thackeray ticks off Gujaratis for discriminating with non-vegetarians, says they have gone 'out of control'

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray warned Gujaratis against their excessive vegetarianism, which manifested in 'vegetarian only housing societies'.

Thackeray said that it was wrong to discriminate with those who eat non-vegetarian food. "Why should there be bias against anyone just because of their food habits", he said.

The firebrand leader said that the Gujaratis have gone out of control ever since Narendra Modi became Prime Minister.

This was in reference to excessive vegetarianism of the Gujaratis, which is imposed on others.

It is noteworthy that in residential localities dominated by Gujaratis, especially, Jains, people who eat non-vegetarian food are not allowed to rent flat or purchase a house. Thackeray also said that actor Salman Khan was a fool, regarding the star's tweets when Yakub Memon was hanged for Mumbai blasts.

Justifying his visit to Salman's house, Thackeray said that he had relations with Salman's father Salim Khan for a long time, but said that Salman had no brains. He also said that there was excessive coverage of Memon's hanging on TV channels.

TIH Bureau

August 9, 2015

Hundreds of Dalits convert to Islam in Delhi due to Upper Castes' atrocities, offer Namaz, say would not return to Hinduism

Hundred Dalit families claimed to have quit Hinduism and converted to Islam at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.

These Dalits who belong to Bhagana in Haryana had been protesting against the upper caste Hindus' atrocities for months.

They alleged that they were facing casteist discrimination from Jats and their land was forcibly encroached.

Minor Dalit girls were raped but demand for justice was met with deaf ear by district administration in Hisar.

They had demanded action and redressal of their complaints about atrocities on scheduled castes (SCs) but when nothing came out after meeting politicians of all hues, they decided to embrace Islam. Those who undertook religious conversion said that the decision was unanimous.

The representatives of these Dalits offered Namaz (prayer) at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, led by a local mosque's Imam. They earlier recited the 'kalma' to formally become Muslims. Those who converted said that they had left Hindu religion as they wanted to live with dignity for the rest of their lives.

TIH Bureau

Twitter hashtag raises the issue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's educational qualification

A twitter 'hashtag' has suddenly brought focus on the educational qualification of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The hashtag #degreedikhaoPMsaab started early in the morning and soon got trending on the micro blogging website Twitter.

Hundreds of social media users began tweeting and discussing the issue with many critical to Modi, raising question mark on his qualification.

The pro-Modi twitter users said that he had never made any tall claim about his educational qualification in his political career.

They insisted that it was an attempt to defame the Prime Minister. The issue of degree has come to fore after Aam Aadmi Party leaders were targeted and accused of fabricating their educational qualifications.

TIH Bureau

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