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Ramadan Ceasefire In Kashmir Meaningless If Media War Continues

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Ramadan Ceasefire In Kashmir Meaningless If Media War Continues

~By Saeed Naqvi

I have never seen the electronic media so totally defiant of the BJP government. Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s avowed intention to calm Kashmir by announcing a Ramadan ceasefire appears to have been dismissed as “appeasement of Pakistan and terrorists”.

A guest peering out of one of the six windows on the TV screen was frothing in the mouth. “Murderers of our brave jawans are being shamelessly appeased.” The other went one better: “a brave nation does what the Sri Lankan army did to the LTTE – just finished them off.” The anchor on this Aaj Tak show Thursday evening looked angrier than both. This apparently is common fare.

The Communist Party of India is receiving signals from its Kashmir unit that it may have to rename itself. The ‘I’ in the CPI has been hurting the state unit for quite some time. But after the recent surge in shootings, stone pelting, “encounters”, sustained images of wailing women, trailing the spate of funerals, and relentless media jingoism, the “I” now invites physical danger. True, a defunct party by any name will remain defunct, but even so, Communist Party of Kashmir (CPK) will atleast not incur the wrath of the street.

The relative Ramadan peace is a good occasion to take stock. Even in days of drift in Kashmir during the time of P.V. Narasimha Rao, Atal Behari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh, there was a semblance of political control by the National Conference and the PDP. Elements of the Hurriyat had fingers on the street pulse. The scene recently has been anarchic: there was no control.

Recent increase in violence was described by reliable sources as “indigenous” which is not what officials say.  A narrative which discounts outside “meddling” is not honeyed music to the establishment. Nor to that shrill panel – on Aaj Tak. Ironical, isn’t it, that absence of outside support to the insurgency disturbs us?

Just when Kashmir was at fever pitch, the mayhem in Aligarh Muslim University erupted around the photograph of Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

Friends are in error if they consider the undiluted hooliganism on view in Aligarh an occasion to engage in a serious debate on Jinnah’s culpability in partitioning the country. The hoodlums of Aligarh were not busting their guts to have Jinnah’s portrait removed from the AMU union office. Quite the contrary. Hindu Yuva Vahini would love to provoke Aligarh hotheads to dig their heels in to preserve Jinnah in the university precincts. This will be the ammunition which can come in handy at all times. The campus will be the ordnance depot for frequent explosions in the service of the projected Hindu Rashtra.

This is not the first time in recent decades that AMU has been exploited for saffron politics. Ever since Prime Minister V.P. Singh aggravated identity politics by implementing the Mandal Committee report providing reservation in government jobs to lower castes, the BJP has rushed to prevent the caste structure from crumbling. Hindu consolidation, by building up the Muslim ogre, has been the obvious strategy.

Aligarh was frequently the target as part of this strategy. There was no Arnab Goswami in the 90s but Hindi newspapers played a lead role in widening the Hindu-Muslim divide.

A story appears in newspapers that, after horrendous riots in Aligarh city, some of the injured Hindus being taken to the University Medical College for treatment, are being killed by Muslim doctors and interns. Even though the university is only three hours drive from New Delhi, newspapers choose to rely on unverified agency copy which, in turn, quotes upper caste Hindi newspapers.

An incredible scene is being enacted on the outskirts of the university. Local scribes seated on chairs arranged in a circle under a mango tree, sip tea even as one Krishna Kumar Navman, BJP MLA from Aligarh, holds them in his thrall with graphic accounts of murders in the hospital.

“Has anyone visited the Medical College?”, I ask. They had not, they say, because it is “risky”.

At the medical college the picture is surreal: petrified doctors encircle me.

“No one has come to us for clarification”, they complain.

Why have they not reached out to the journalists with their story? After a long, pregnant silence, they speak up. They thought it would be dangerous stepping out of the campus “in the midst of communal violence”. This is what I call uninstitutionalized apartheid.

That was 30 years ago when there were no TV channels to inculcate saffron nationalism on the scale I saw the other day and which I have mentioned above.

Folks overtly agitated or elated at the turn of events in Aligarh, may find it sobering that Pakistan’s Jinnah is not the only leader around whom communal polarization can be contrived. Ram Navami processionist in Kankinara, 24 Parganas in West Bengal were so overpowered by the spirit of Rama that they pulled down the statue of Congress President and India’s first Education Minister, Maulana Azad – a person, who in his outlook was exactly the opposite of Jinnah. This was in preparation for the Panchayat elections currently in the news.

Protection to anti namaz lumpens in Gurugram, or those who pasted a Maharana Pratap Road placard on Akbar Road (the placard was removed the next morning), Modi clenching his fist at Tipu Sultan during the recent campaign, are minor episodes in an epic of hatred being manufactured for 2019 ofcourse, and beyond if need be. In this gameplan there is no real, long term respite for Kashmiris, Muslims, or Indo-Pak peaceniks. Alongside, the rage of the dalits and tribals is spiraling out of control. There is an element of simulation in anti Muslimism for political reasons but the retribution faced by dalits and tribals in the countryside is visceral.

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Railway Board recommends CBI investigation into Odisha train accident, says Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw

Earlier in the day the Minister speaking to the reporters at the Crash site in Balasore informed that the root cause behind the accident has been identified and will soon be revealed.

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Ashwini Vaishnaw

Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Sunday, has informed about the Railway Board’s recommendation of Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) probe into the tragic train accident in Odisha on June 2 claiming the lives of almost 300 people and more the 1000 injured.

Vaishnaw while speaking to the media at Bhubaneswar said, taking the administrative information into consideration, the Railway Board has been recommending the entire case to CBI for the probe into the matter.

Earlier in the day the Minister speaking to the reporters at the Crash site in Balasore informed that the root cause behind the accident has been identified and will soon be revealed.

Vaishnaw also had said that the enquiry into the matter has been completed by the Railway Commissioner and the report will be submitted soon.

Vaishnaw added that all the dead bodies were recovered from the crash site along with the completion of the rescue operations, the restoration work and the clearance of the wreckage is underway and will be completed by Wednesday morning to bring back a normalcy in the operation of trains.

On Friday evening, near the Bahanaga Railway station in Balasore district of Odisha, in a heart-wrenching turn of events, three trains collided that included two superfast express trains and one stationery train.

In the dreadful mishap, nearly 300 people were killed and more than 1000 people travelling in the train were injured.

Heart-breaking visuals of corpses being transported in trucks and tractors from the accident spot also surfaced.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Railway Minister Vaishnaw along other senior officials of the state and Central government visited ground-zero to take stock of the situation and the rescue operations.

The Centre and the state government have also announced compensation worth Rs 10 lakh and Rs 5 lakh respectively to the deceased’s family members.

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Odisha train accident: Police issues warning for spreading false statement provoking communal disturbance to social media users

Some pictures have been viral, showing a white building structure next to the railway track where the dreadful tragedy took place. Reports said, the structure in the viral image is  the Bahanaga ISKCON temple and not a mosque.

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Odisha train accident

In the wake of the horrific train accident in Balasore on Friday evening, Odisha Police today has appealed to social media users to not to circulate false statements regarding the train accident stating that many social media handles are giving communal colour to the tragic train accident, which is highly unfortunate.

Since the horrific accident took place, internet is flooded with crash site images and visuals along with information related to it. While, some information shared by the users appear to be true, some seem spreading news and some are appearing to be communally provoking, which is after the said decision has been taken by the Odisha Police.

On different social media platforms, people are sharing images of the spot where the train collided, claiming a white structure near the spot is a mosque alleging that the Muslim community is responsible for the accident.

Some pictures have been viral, showing a white building structure next to the railway track where the dreadful tragedy took place. Reports said, the structure in the viral image is  the Bahanaga ISKCON temple and not a mosque.

The Odisha Police said the investigation to find out the cause of the accident is being done by the GRP Odisha and appealed to prevent from circulating false and ill-motivated posts.

It has also warned of a legal action against those trying to create a communal dis-balance by spreading rumors.

Meanwhile, the authorities of the ISKCON temple in Bahanaga have accepted that the train accident happened on the tracks is near the temple and also confirmed that the ISKCON temple is visible close to the crash site.

In a shocking turn of events, a train accident on June 2 near Bahanaga railway station in Balasore district of Odisha killed nearly 300 people and more than 1000 inured.

Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw today informed, all the dead bodies have been recovered and the injured have been rescued from the site and the restoration work is currently underway, expected to be end by Wednesday.

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India’s Bharatpreet Singh, Rezoana Mallick Heena win gold medals in shot put, athletics at Asian U20 Championships in South Korea

Making the nation proud, Bharatpreet Singh stood in the first position recording a discus throw of 55.66 metre in the championship.

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Raezoana Mallick Heena

India showing a power packed performance on  the day 1 of the Asian U20 Athletics Championship in South Korea’s Yecheon bags three medals which includes two gold and one bronze.

Bharatpreet Singh won a gold in the discuss throw, Rezoana Mallick Heena clinched gold at women’s 400m race, while Antima Pal won a bronze medal in the women’s 500-metre race.

Making the nation proud, Bharatpreet Singh stood in the first position recording a discus throw of 55.66 metre in the championship.

On his fourth trip to the circle, Singh recorded the best U20 discuss throw by an Indian in almost nine years, marking the ground at 56.18 metres.

Heena won gold in the women’s 400m clocking in 52.31 seconds to take the tag of 400-metre Asian Champion in U18 and I20.

Earlier in the fifth Asian Youth Athletics Championships held in Uzbekistan’s Tashkent, Heena secured three medals, two in the girl’s 400m and the girl’s 4×400 team relay events, and a silver in the girl’s 200m.

Pal of Uttar Pradesh winning the first medal for India in the tournament clinched the third position in the women’s 500 metre event, in the same event India’s Bushra Khan Gauri stood at the 5th place.

Pal qualified for the Indian team at the Asian U20 Championships after running her first sub-17-minute 5000-metre race in the AFI National Junior U20 Athletics Championships.

The Asian Junior U20 Athletics Championships is a championship that is open to individuals who fall under the junior age bracket. Currently, the Asian Athletics Association presides over organising it.

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