A recently released fact-finding report on the communal riots that broke out in Gujarat’s Himmatnagar and Khambhat towns during the Hindu festival of Ram Navami on April 10, 2022, places the responsibility for the violence squarely on the Hindu community. The report claims that the violence was anti-Muslim in nature, planned by the Hindu community and took place in the presence of the police. The report is based on interviews conducted by the fact-finding team of Neha Dabhade, the deputy director of the Centre for Study of Society & Secularism, and Hozefa Ujjaini, a social activist and the director of the NGO Buniyaad, who visited Khambhat and Himmatnagar between July 25 and 27, 2022. When the fact-finding team interacted with locals in Ashrafnagar, they learned that while the Ram Navami festival in Himmatnagar has been celebrated with processions for close to three decades, this year it was planned differently.


Close on the heels of Mangalore University (MU) vice chancellor Prof PS Yadpadithaya’s announcement on issuing TC (transfer certificate) to students who were not keen on attending classes without the hijab (headscarf) in May this year, over 16% of Muslim girl students in second, third, fourth and fifth semesters of government and aided colleges affiliated to MU have collected their TCs. According to information obtained under RTI by Deccan Herald, in government, aided and constituent colleges of MU in Dakshna Kannada and Udupi districts, 145 out of the total 900 Muslim girl students who had enrolled for various courses in 2020-21 and 2021-22 had collected TCs. The number of Muslim girl students seeking TC is higher in government colleges (34%) compared to aided colleges (8%). The number of students who sought a transfer in Udupi district (14%) is higher than in Dakshina Kannada district (13%). Dr P Dayananda Pai-P Satisha Pai Government First Grade College in Carstreet topped the list among government-run colleges in Dakshina Kannada with as many as 35 out of 51 Muslim girl students collecting their TC.


CBI has booked Delhi’s deputy chief minister, Manish Sisodia, and conducted searches at his office and residence on August 19 in connection with its probe into alleged irregularities in framing and implementing the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22. The policy will not be in force from September 1. While the FIR names Sisodia as the top accused in the case, 14 others – including former excise commissioner Arva Gopi Krishna and 10 liquor licensees and middlemen – have also been named as accused. The FIR was filed after receiving sanction from the ministry of home affairs on August 17. CBI teams raided 31 places in Delhi, Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Bengaluru and claimed to have recovered “incriminating” documents, articles and digital records. The FIR quotes an office memorandum received from the lieutenant governor of Delhi, Vinay Saxena, disclosing that Sisodia and others were instrumental in the alleged irregularities.


BJP leader Vanathi Srinivasan who was included in the party’s Central Election Commission (CEC) on August 17 is one of the party’s senior woman leaders and the national president of the Mahila Morcha, its women’s wing. The 52-year-old has close ties to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). She was mentored by Pon Radhakrishnan, a veteran BJP leader from south Tamil Nadu who has been on the sidelines since new leaders such as Tamilisai Soundararajan, L Murugan, and current state president K Annamalai emerged. Srinivasan’s home turf is Coimbatore South, which she represents in the Assembly. She is one of the party’s four MLAs in Tamil Nadu. Srinivasan’s entry into politics was through a Vivekananda study circle that the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, a students’ organisation affiliated to the RSS, ran on college campuses.

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