COURT FRAMES CHARGES AGAINST 5 MEN IN DELHI RIOTS CASE
A Delhi court September 16 framed charges of murder against five men accused of killing a Muslim man and burning his body during the northeast Delhi riots, taking note of his brother’s blow-by-blow account.
Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav framed charges against the accused – Lakhpat Rajora, Lalit, Yogesh and two men both named Kuldeep under sections of murder, rioting, mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house and dacoity of the IPC and sections of the Arms Act. Mohd Anwar was murdered on February 25. His brother Saleem Kassar had told the police that “a riotous mob after breaking open the doors of his house with sarias and dandas, had looted the same and thereafter set it on fire”. He further stated that the “riotous mob had also committed murder of his elder brother namely Mohd Anwar with gunshot injury and thereafter burnt his body.” The mob also took away 17 goats from his brother’s house.
KERALA DIOCESE APOLOGISES AFTER BOOK SPARKS PROTEST
Days after a Catholic bishop in Kerala triggered a row with his claim that there is an organised “narcotic jihad” targeting non-Muslims, a diocese under the Syro-Malabar Church has brought out a catechism textbook with several defamatory and derogatory statements against Islam. The book has been published by the Catholic diocese of Thamarassery. On September 15, several Muslim organisations asked the government to impound the book. The catechism book is for students of classes X to XII. Besides the derogatory statements, the book states that “love jihad” is a reality and goes on to detail how Christian women are allegedly trapped. The book claims that this is an organised activity, and warns the youth against accepting invitations for events from Muslims, two-wheeler rides, and even visits to ice cream parlours. Following protests, the diocese of Thamarassery tendered an apology.
CRIMES AGAINST DALITS, TRIBALS INCREASED IN COVID YEAR
A scheduled caste (SC) person faced crime every 10 minutes in India in the past year, cumulating to a total of 50,291 cases registered in 2020, an increase of 9.4% from the previous year, data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) said. Crimes against scheduled tribe (ST) communities also increased by 9.3% to a total of 8,272 cases in the year. The rise in crimes against SCs and STs bucked the broader trend of a drop in crime under some major heads – except Covid violations – last year, due to the pandemic and the 68-day-long lockdown that began on March 25, 2020. Overall crimes rose 28% due to criminal cases related to Covid-19 violations, but crimes against women slowed 8.3%, rape cases dropped 12.4%, and abduction decreased by 19.3%.
HINDU MAHASABHA LEADER ARRESTED OVER THREAT IN KARNATAKA
A leader of Hindu Mahasabha with his two associates has been arrested in Mangaluru, a day after he threatened Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai over the demolition of a temple, saying, “We didn’t spare Gandhiji, who are you?” Dharmendra, state general secretary of the outfit, made the remarks during a press conference on the issue of temple demolition that has put the BJP government in a spot. The government has come under criticism from several quarters over the demolition of a temple in Nanjangud, Mysuru, following a Supreme Court directive. Speaking to reporters on September 19, Dharmendra said, “We won’t allow this (temple demolition). We didn’t spare Gandhiji, who are you then? If Gandhiji could be assassinated, do you think we won’t consider the same for you?” Besides Dharmendra, his associates Rajesh Pavitran and Prem Poolali have been arrested.
HJM LEADER BOOKED FOR ‘ABETTING ASSAULT’ ON MUSLIM YOUTH
A Hindu Jagran Manch leader was booked in Meerut for allegedly abetting assault against a Muslim man, a report said on September 20. In a video of the alleged incident that went viral on social media, a woman could be seen slapping a man with a slipper as a group of men encourages her. In the video, the group of men can be heard saying, “We are your brothers, do not worry” as the woman slaps him. According to police, they received a complaint from the woman against Sachin Sirohi, the local chief of Hindu Jagran Manch, and unknown accused of allegedly making her slap her friend Salman in the Gole Market area on Friday afternoon. While the Hindu Jagran Manch alleged that Salman was “eve-teasing the woman”, the woman in her complaint to the police maintained that Salman was a friend of her.
CID TEAM TO ARREST BJP YOUTH WING LEADER ‘HECKLED’ IN UP
West Bengal CID team was allegedly heckled at Aligarh after they went to arrest BJP’s youth wing leader Yogesh Varshney for his violent speeches against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a report said on September 18. In 2017 Yogesh was reportedly heard offering a cash prize to anyone who can bring him the head of TMC Supremo Mamata Banerjee. Following Yogesh’s speech a case was filed in Shantiniketan’s Bolpur police station on August 14, 2017. TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh, slamming the BJP ruled Uttar Pradesh, said goons are running the states where BJP is in power. “Rule of terror is going on not just in Uttar Pradesh but in all the states run by the BJP. The saffron camp has completely killed the democracy of the country,” said Kunal. However, former BJP national general secretary Rahul Sinha said this is what happens when police and agencies get politicised by the Trinamool Congress.
RED FORT NOT AMONG 100 TOURIST DESTINATIONS
The University Grants Commission has sent universities a list of 100 “tourist destinations” for organising student visits as part of the Centre’s Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme. Some academics have questioned the move as dictatorial, and the choice of sites as biased. “Which places students should visit should be left to individual institutions; why should the UGC or the government prescribe it?” said Abha Dev Habib, former member of Delhi University’s executive council. Pankaj Jha, history professor at Lady Shri Ram College, underlined the absence of many famous sites associated with Muslim and colonial rule as well as those reflective of independent India’s achievements. While Bijapur and Murshidabad, both associated with the medieval period and Muslim rule, are on the list, the Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi have been snubbed. Agra, however, gets a mention under “monuments included in list of World Heritage and Iconic Sites” although the Taj Mahal is not named.