The Daily Fix

The Daily Fix: Tying up loose ends of 2002, policeman who accused Modi of role in riots is sacked

Everything you need to know for the day (and a little more).

Above the Fold: top stories of the day
1. Real-estate tycoons Sushil and Gopal Ansal were convicted for negligence leading to the horrific Uphaar cinema fire in Delhi in 1997 that killed 59 people, but will be let off with only a fine.
2. Even after the midnight police raid on Tuesday, students of Film and Television Institute of India ruled out any compromise on their primary demand for the removal of TV actor Gajendra Chauhan as chairman.
3. Throwing the Modi government’s overtures into a tizzy, Pakistan has extended an invitation for a meeting to Kashmiri separatists.

The Big Story: Action-reaction
Police officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who had challenged the Narendra Modi administration in Gujarat on its account of the 2002 riots, has been sacked from the Indian Police Service.

In April 2011, Bhatt had filed a petition in the Supreme Court accusing Modi and the Gujarat government he headed at the time of encouraging the pogrom that left about 1,000 people dead. Most of them were Muslim. Bhatt claimed that he had attended a meeting at Modi’s residence on February 27, 2002, at which the chief minister allegedly told his officers to “allow Hindus to vent their anger”. Bhatt was suspended soon after this.

Bhatt's claim were rejected by the Special Investigation Team inquiring into the 2002 riots since it did not square with the testimonies of other people at the meeting.

The reasons given for his sacking include various counts of indiscipline such as staying absent from duty without permission and defying the orders of superior officers.

Bhatt denied these charges.  “This so-called 'unauthorised absence from duty' pertains to the period when I was deposing before the SIT and the Nanavati Commission" inquiring into the Gujarat riots, he said. However, Bhatt said he would refrain from filing an appeal: “if the Government of the day does not require my services, so be it."

Last week, the Gujarat government issued a show-cause notice to Bhatt over a video purportedly showing him with a woman. The notice asked him to explain whether he was having an extra-marital affair.

The Big Scroll: Scroll.in on the day’s biggest story
Using the apparatus of the state to muzzle voices regarding the 2002 pogrom isn’t limited to Sanjiv Bhatt. Since coming to power in 2014, the Modi government has been hounding activist Teesta Seetalvad, using the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The CBI raided Teesta Setalvad's home two weeks before Gujarat high court hears case against Modi's 'clean chit'. However, these charges seem to have little substance.

Politicking & Policying
1. The Congress slammed the government’s double-speak on the Land Bill.
2. Jain protests against the ban on Santhara, the practice of ritual suicide, are gathering strength.
3. As a repercussion of the National Herald case against Sonai Gandhi, which fell through, Rajan S Katoch was replaced as the director of the Enforcement Directorate by senior police officer Karnal Singh.

Punditry
1. In the Indian Express, Bruce Riedel looks at the legacy of the ISI's Hamid Gul.
2. What are the lessons India can learn from the Kumbh Mela, asks Rahul Jacob in the Business Standard.
3. In the Indian Express, Ram Punyani explores how the historiography of Shivaji in Maharashtra has been completely communalised and sectarianised.

Don't Miss
Will Zakia Jafri’s fresh plea for justice take Gujarat riot investigations to Modi’s doorstep, asks Darshan Desai.
The crux of the arguments by Zakia’s advocates Mihir Desai, MM Tirmizi and others is that the targeted communal attacks on Muslims after the burning of a train coach in Godhra that killed 59 persons, mostly kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya, on February 27, 2002, was not the result of a natural Hindu outburst but a larger conspiracy hatched at the highest political level in Gujarat.

The advocates say that the manner in which the violence played out for 72 hours, when major massacres occurred in the state, could not have been so neatly organised without an elaborate conspiracy, assignment of roles and the material wherewithal for such killings already being in place. For over two months before this, there had been an incendiary revival of the Ramjanmabhoomi movement in Ayodhya by the Vishva Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal.

 

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Ten awesome TV shows to get over your post-GoT blues

With those withdrawal symptoms kicking in, all you need is a good rebound show.

Hangovers tend to have a debilitating effect on various human faculties, but a timely cure can ease that hollow feeling generally felt in the pit of the stomach. The Game of Thrones Season 7 finale has left us with that similar empty feeling, worsened by an official statement on the 16-month-long wait to witness The Great War. That indeed is a long time away from our friends Dany, Jon, Queen C and even sweet, sweet Podrick. While nothing can quite replace the frosty thrill of Game of Thrones, here’s a list of awesome shows, several having won multiple Emmy awards, that are sure to vanquish those nasty withdrawal symptoms:

1. Billions

There is no better setting for high stakes white collar crime than the Big Apple. And featuring a suited-up Paul Giamatti going head-to-head with the rich and ruthless Damien Lewis in New York, what’s not to like? Only two seasons young, this ShowTime original series promises a wolf-of-wall-street style showcase of power, corruption and untold riches. Billions is a great high-octane drama option if you want to keep the momentum going post GoT.

Watch Billions Now

2. Westworld

What do you get when the makers of the Dark Knight Trilogy and the studio behind Game of Thrones collaborate to remake a Michael Crichton classic? Westworld brings together two worlds: an imagined future and the old American West, with cowboys, gun slingers - the works. This sci-fi series manages to hold on to a dark secret by wrapping it with the excitement and adventure of the wild west. Once the plot is unwrapped, the secret reveals itself as a genius interpretation of human nature and what it means to be human. Regardless of what headspace you’re in, this Emmy-nominated series will absorb you in its expansive and futuristic world. If you don’t find all of the above compelling enough, you may want to watch Westworld simply because George RR Martin himself recommends it! Westworld will return for season 2 in the spring of 2018.

Watch Westworld Now

3. Big Little Lies

It’s a distinct possibility that your first impressions of this show, whether you form those from the trailer or opening sequence, will make you think this is just another sun-kissed and glossy Californian drama. Until, the dark theme of BLL descends like an eerie mist, that is. With the serious acting chops of Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman as leads, this murder mystery is one of a kind. Adapted from author Liane Moriarty’s book, this female-led show has received accolades for shattering the one-dimensional portrayal of women on TV. Despite the stellar star cast, this Emmy-nominated show wasn’t easy to make. You should watch Big Little Lies if only for Reese Witherspoon’s long struggle to get it off the ground.

Watch Big Little Lies Now

4. The Night of

The Night Of is one of the few crime dramas featuring South Asians without resorting to tired stereotypes. It’s the kind of show that will keep you in its grip with its mysterious plotline, have you rooting for its characters and leave you devastated and furious. While the narrative revolves around a murder and the mystery that surrounds it, its undertones raises questions on racial, class and courtroom politics. If you’re a fan of True Detective or Law & Order and are looking for something serious and thoughtful, look no further than this series of critical acclaim.

Watch The Night Of Now

5. American Horror Story

As the name suggests, AHS is a horror anthology for those who can stomach some gore and more. In its 6 seasons, the show has covered a wide range of horror settings like a murder house, freak shows, asylums etc. and the latest season is set to explore cults. Fans of Sarah Paulson and Jessica Lange are in for a treat, as are Lady Gaga’s fans. If you pride yourself on not being weak of the heart, give American Horror Story a try.

Watch American Horror Story Now

6. Empire

At its heart, Empire is a simple show about a family business. It just so happens that this family business is a bit different from the sort you are probably accustomed to, because this business entails running a record label, managing artistes and when push comes to shove, dealing with rivals in a permanent sort of manner. Empire treads some unique ground as a fairly violent show that also happens to be a musical. Lead actors Taraji P Henson and Terrence Howard certainly make it worth your while to visit this universe, but it’s the constantly evolving interpersonal relations and bevy of cameo appearances that’ll make you stay. If you’re a fan of hip hop, you’ll enjoy a peek into the world that makes it happen. Hey, even if you aren’t one, you might just grow fond of rap and hip hop.

Watch Empire Now

7. Modern Family

When everything else fails, it’s comforting to know that the family will always be there to lift your spirits and keep you chuckling. And by the family we mean the Dunphys, Pritchetts and Tuckers, obviously. Modern Family portrays the hues of familial bonds with an honesty that most family shows would gloss over. Eight seasons in, the show’s characters like Gloria and Phil Dunphy have taken on legendary proportions in their fans’ minds as they navigate their relationships with relentless bumbling humour. If you’re tired of irritating one-liners or shows that try too hard, a Modern Family marathon is in order. This multiple-Emmy-winning sitcom is worth revisiting, especially since the brand new season 9 premiers on 28th September 2017.

Watch Modern Family Now

8. The Deuce

Headlined by James Franco and Maggi Gyllenhaal, The Deuce is not just about the dazzle of the 1970s, with the hippest New York crowd dancing to disco in gloriously flamboyant outfits. What it IS about is the city’s nooks and crannies that contain its underbelly thriving on a drug epidemic. The series portrays the harsh reality of New York city in the 70s following the legalisation of the porn industry intertwined with the turbulence caused by mob violence. You’ll be hooked if you are a fan of The Wire and American Hustle, but keep in mind it’s grimmer and grittier. The Deuce offers a turbulent ride which will leave you wanting more.

Watch The Deuce Now

9. Dexter

In case you’re feeling vengeful, you can always get the spite out of your system vicariously by watching Dexter, our favourite serial killer. This vigilante killer doesn’t hide behind a mask or a costume, but sneaks around like a criminal, targeting the bad guys that have slipped through the justice system. From its premier in 2006 to its series finale in 2013, the Emmy-nominated Michael C Hall, as Dexter, has kept fans in awe of the scientific precision in which he conducts his kills. For those who haven’t seen the show, the opening credits give an accurate glimpse of how captivating the next 45 minutes will be. If it’s been a while since you watched in awe as the opening credits rolled, maybe you should revisit the world’s most loved psychopath for nostalgia’s sake.

Available starting October

10. Rome

If you’re still craving an epic drama with extensive settings and a grandiose plot and sub-plots, Rome, co-produced by HBO and BBC, is where your search stops. Rome is a historical drama that takes you through an overwhelming journey of Ancient Rome’s transition from a republic to an empire. And when it comes to tastes, this series provides the similar full-bodied flavour that you’ve grown to love about Game of Thrones. There’s a lot to take away for those who grew up quoting Julius Caesar, and for those looking for a realistic depiction of the legendary gladiators. If you’re a history buff, give this Emmy-winning show a try.

Watch Rome Now

For your next obsession, Hotstar Premium has you covered with its wide collection of the most watched shows in the world. Apart from the ones we’ve recommended, Indian viewers can now easily watch other universally loved shows such as Silicon Valley and Prison Break, and movies including all titles from the Marvel and Disney universe. So take control of your life again post the Game of Thrones gloom and sign up for the Hotstar Premium membership here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Hotstar and not by the Scroll editorial team.