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97% attacks by cow vigilantes happened in Modi’s regime

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New Delhi, July 1, 2017: Muslims were the target of 51% of violence centred on bovine issues over nearly eight years (2010 to 2017) and comprised 86% of 28 Indians killed in 63 incidents, according to an IndiaSpend content analysis of the English media.

As many of 97 per cent of these attacks were reported after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government came to power in May 2014, and about half the cow-related violence — 32 of 63 cases –were from states governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) when the attacks were reported, revealed our analysis of violence recorded until June 25, 2017.

Of the 28 Indians who died over the seven-year period, 24 were Muslim, or 86 per cent. As many as 124 people were also injured in these attacks. More than half (52 per cent) of these attacks were based on rumours, our analysis found.

National or state crime data do not distinguish general violence from cow-related attacks and lynchings; the IndiaSpend database is the first such statistical perspective to a growing national debate over such violence.

2017 is on track to be worst-ever year for cow-related violence.

In the first six months of 2017, 20 cow-terror attacks were reported — more than 75 per cent of the 2016 figure, which was the worst year for such violence since 2010.

The attacks include mob lynchings by vigilantes, murder and attempt to murder, harassment, assault and gang-rape. In two attacks, the victims/survivors were chained, stripped and beaten, while in two others, the victims were hanged.

These attacks — sometimes collectively referred to as gautankwad — a portmanteau of the Hindi words for cow and terrorism on social media — were reported from 19 of 29 Indian states, with Uttar Pradesh (10), Haryana (9), Gujarat (6), Karnataka (6), Madhya Pradesh (4), Delhi (4) and Rajasthan (4) reporting the highest number of cases.

No more than 21 per cent (13 of 63) of the cases were reported from southern or eastern states (including Bengal and Odisha), but almost half (six of 13) were from Karnataka. The only incident reported in the northeast was the murder of two men in Assam on 30 April, 2017.

About half the cases of cow-related violence — 32 of 63 — were from states governed by the BJP at the time; eight were run by the Congress, and the rest by other parties, including the Samajwadi Party (Uttar Pradesh), People’s Democratic Party (Jammu & Kashmir) and Aam Aadmi Party (Delhi).

Muslim victims were identified by name. In eight per cent of the 63 cases, the reports explicitly stated that those attacked were Dalits, who are also targeted because of many among them clear cow carcases, skin them and eat beef. In a few cases, religion was difficult to determine.

In 50.8 per cent (32) of the cases, the targets were Muslim, in 7.9 per cent (5) Dalit, 4.8 per cent (3) Sikh or Hindu (names appeared Sikh, but it wasn’t certain) and 1.6 per cent (one) Christian; in 20.6 per cent (13) cases, religion was not reported. Among 14.3 per cent (9) cases, the targets were Hindus, but their caste was not clear.

Police officers and onlookers were injured in eight per cent (5) of the attacks; 27 per cent of those targeted were women. The searches were carried out in English media, but a quick assessment showed Hindi media to be carrying the same incidents.

Of the 63 attacks over eight years, 61 (96.8 per cent) occurred, as we said, after Modi’s government came to power (2014-2017), with 2016 reporting the most attacks: 25. In the first six months of 2017, 20 attacks were reported — more than 75 per cent of the 2016 figure.

In five per cent of the attacks, there was no report of arrests. In 13 attacks (21%), the police registered cases against the victims/survivors.

In 23 attacks, the attackers were mobs or groups of people who belonged to Hindu groups, such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and local Gau Rakshak Samitis.

During the period under consideration — 2010 to 2017 — the first such attack occurred on June 10, 2012, in Joga town in Mansa district, Punjab, “after carcasses of about 25 cows were found” near a factory.

According to data collected, rumours spawned 52% of the attacks.

(In arrangement with IndiaSpend.org, a data-driven, non-profit, public interest journalism platform. Delna Abraham & Ojaswi Rao are interns at IndiaSpend. The views expressed are those of IndiaSpend. Feedback at [email protected])

By Delna Abraham & Ojaswi Rao

IANS

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Jammu and Kashmir: 3 killed in Pulwama Encounter

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Pulwama, April 24: Three persons, including two security personnel and a militant, were killed in an encounter in Lam village of Jammu and Kashmir’s Tral on Tuesday.

“The security personnel killed included an Indian Army soldier and a state policeman” news agency IANS reported citing police sources.

A joint operation was launched by the Rashtriya Rifles (RR), state police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Lam forest area of Tral following information about the presence of terrorists.

Sepoy Ajay Kumar of 42 RR, who was injured in the initial firing exchange, succumbed to his injuries at Army’s 92 Base Hospital in Badami Bagh Cantonment area here.

Latif Gujar of Jammu and Kashmir Police also succumbed to injuries, while the only militant killed in the gun battle has not been identified so far.

Reports claimed two-to-three militants were engaged in the gunfight with the security forces in the densely forested area.

The encounter comes a day after Pakistan Army violated ceasefire at Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district.

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Govt stays action against Maharashtra BJP MLC’s firm alleged tax evasion, human trafficking

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New Delhi, April 24: The central government has stayed Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) order denying security clearance to aviation services company promoted by a Maharashtra BJP MLC and his wife for its alleged involvement in tax evasion and human trafficking.

According to The Indian Express report, the order was passed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation to BCAS (its own security wing) on April 4, which had denied clearance to Lad’s firm in connection with alleged involvement in evasion of tax and human trafficking.

The report claimed that Aviation Ministry’s order was signed by Under Secretary Staish Chander. The BCAS had alleged that Krystal Aviation Services Pvt Ltd had created ‘ghost employees’ to evade taxes. The BCAS said that the employees were shown in the payrolls of associate forms and cited a security report that accused Krystal Aviation Services of sending people to Dubai for jobs.

On April 9, the Maharashtra BJP MLC approached the Ministry seeking an intervention in the matter.

Following this, the Ministry of Civil Aviation on April 18 put a stay on the BCAS’s order and directed it to give a personal hearing to Lad’s company.

Besides, the Ministry asked its security wing to obtain a detailed report from the central security agencies and deliver a final order within two months.

As per BCAS order, their verdict was on the basis of central security agency’s findings that had carried out the background check of Lad’s firm.

“The central security agency had in its report dated 09/02/2018 mentioned that Lad’s aviation company had recruited people and sent them to Dubai for jobs in security, housekeeping and maintenance activities. It also raised fears that documents collected by Krystal Aviation Services for sending people abroad are being misused, particularly to create ghost employees to evade taxes. The group, it said, is involved in human trafficking”, the India Express reported citing BCAS order.

The BCAS further stated that since the central security agency’s report is ‘seriously adverse in nature’, it can be seen as allegations levelled against Krystal Aviation Services Pvt Ltd.

Apart from Kyrstal Aviation Service, Lad has six more companies, which include: Krystal Integrated Services Pvt Ltd, Krystal Techno-Engineering Services Pvt Ltd, Krystal Family Holdings Pvt Ltd, Ayushmati Infra Tech Pvt Ltd and Shoubham Cine Vision Pvt Ltd, Krystal Gourmet Pvt Ltd, Flame Facilities Pvt Ltd and Singapore-based Krystal Global Pte. Ltd.

The Indian Express report also said that Krystal Aviation Services was given security clearance by BCAS from 2010 to 2015. At present, it is involved in providing ground handling services to firms across five international airports in India.

In an interview to the daily, Lad described the charges levelled against him as ‘baseless and rubbish’. He stated that “the BCAS has not shown any single complaint against his companies. “So far, there is not a single complaint or FIR against any of my companies”.

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Supreme Court adjourns hearing in Tarun Tejpal rape case

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New Delhi, April 24: The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing in connection with a rape case involving former Tehelka magazine editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal.

The apex court fixed May 9 for next hearing.

Earlier, on April 9, the court had refused to stay proceedings pending against Tejpal.

The court was hearing Tejpal’s petition seeking suppressing of rape and other charges levelled against him.

In 2013, a female employee accused Tejpal of sexually assaulting her inside the elevator of a five-star hotel in coastal state Goa.

Tejpal has been charged under section 354-A (sexual harassment), 354-B (assault or use of criminal force on a woman with intent to disrobe), 341 and 342 (punishment for wrongful restraint) and 376 (punishment for rape) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

He was also framed with the allegation of rape and was held in November 2013. He was later released on a bail after six months of imprisonment.

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