HC QUESTIONS DELHI POLICE PROBING DEATH OF FAIZAN

The Delhi High Court on February 22 observed that the Delhi police’s status report detailing the investigation undertaken into the death of a 23-year-old Muslim man during the anti-Muslim riots in the national capital in 2020, had nothing substantial in it. A video shot on 24 February, 2020, showed policemen beating up the man named Faizan, and four other Muslim men, while ordering them to sing the national anthem and chant “Vande Mataram.” Faizan was then detained at the Jyoti Nagar police station where he was brutally tortured by the cops. He died soon after he was released. The police submitted a status report in a sealed cover on its investigation into the case. On February 22, Justice Mukta Gupta of the High Court said that the status report submitted by the police was “neither here nor there.”

Justice Gupta asked the city police to explain why Faizan’s post-mortem report recorded 20 injuries, while a medical report before his detention in police custody had noted only three injuries. The court also questioned why the police had not recorded the statements of the four others who were beaten up, and were witnesses. “In this case, you [police] have not taken the help of eyewitnesses but gone all over the world,” the judge observed. He asked: “If these were the four eye witnesses, till date you’ve not bothered to take statements. What is the kind of investigation you have taken?”

HC JUNKS APPLICATION AGAINST PLEA FOR PROBING HATE SPEECHES

The Delhi High Court on February 24 turned down an intervention application against a plea seeking special probe over alleged hate speeches linked to the anti-CAA protests by various politicians. A bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani was hearing a clutch of pleas seeking a probe by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the northeast Delhi riots of 2020. While dealing with the specific application, the court told advocate Pavan Narang, appearing for the applicant, that they are not a necessary party. Refusing to entertain the matter, the bench said: “Don’t try to turn it into a circus. We are not keeping it pending. Your client is a gate crasher.” The application questioning the maintainability of the pleas by the petitioners – Lawyers Voice and Shaikh Mujtaba Farooq – was followed by recent permission of the court given to them. The court, in the last hearing, had granted liberty to Mujtaba and Lawyers Voice to implead proper and necessary parties in their pleas on the specific allegations of hate speeches by various politicians.

GRUESOME KILLING OF A YOUTH IN SHIMOGA CONDEMNED

The gruesome killing of a youth named Harsha in Shimoga on February 20 and the arson, stone pelting and damage to properties and injuries the following day is highly condemnable and regrettable, said Dr. Muhammad Saad Belgami, President, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Karnataka on February 22. The culprits should be handed severe punishment after due process of law. “In spite of the tense situation, allowing the funeral procession wherein thousands of people participated appears to be a wrong decision and points to administrative and intelligence failure,” he added. Dr. Belgami has requested the authorities to take all measures to maintain peace and calm. “The situation should not take a communal turn. The atmosphere of brotherhood and confidence between communities should be protected and promoted. In the recent past, there has been an increase in hate speech and incidents all over the state. They need to be dealt with promptly with a firm hand. The rioters must be made to pay for the damages and the victims properly compensated. The public should not take law into their own hands. Politicians also must desist from making inflammatory statements.”

MUSLIM MAN BEATEN IN GUJARAT, CALLED ‘TERRORIST’

Mohammad Ataullah, a 35-year-old resident of Shera village in Gujarat’s Bharuch district, was attacked allegedly by a Hindutva mob when he was driving back home after work on February 22. A group of at least nine Hindutva men stone-pelted the Muslim man’s car, thrashed and forced him to chant Jai Shree Ram in Chhabanpur bridge, Godra. An FIR was registered by Ataullah in a Division Police Station in Godhra against the assailants. However, now a counter-FIR has been reportedly filed against Ataullah. Ataullah was hit on the head and punched in face. “They pulled my beard. They abused me and called me atankwadi [terrorist],” he reportedly alleged. He also said he was forced to chant Jai Shree Ram. “When I refused, one of them went to the car, got a revolver and attacked me with the revolver’s butt. He then pointed the revolver to my head and threatened to me if I will not say “Jai Shree Ram”, he would kill me. He shouted that I don’t have the right to stay here [in India] and that I eat here and live here and don’t chant Jai Shree Ram.”

MINOR IN DELHI DENIED ENTRY INTO CLASSROOM FOR HIJAB

A government school in Delhi’s Mustafabad region on February 21 allegedly denied entry to students into classrooms if they were wearing hijab. A Class 6 student at the Senior Secondary Girls School in Tukhmirpur, was refused entry into her classroom. In a video making the rounds on social media, the student can be seen explaining what transpired in the classroom, describing how she was pulled out of class and asked to remove the hijab. The principal however denied that this incident ever took place. Meanwhile, students of schools running under the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) will not be allowed to come to school wearing “religious attire”, according to a letter written by the SDMC education committee chairperson Nikita Sharma, reports said on February 25. Sharma, the BJP councillor from Dwarka, instructed officials in the letter to ensure that no child comes to school wearing anything but their uniform.

MUSLIM MAN KIDNAPPED, KILLED, FAMILY ALLEGES COMMUNAL MOTIVE

The recent kidnapping of a Muslim man in Samastipur, Bihar has taken a communal turn. A video which surfaced on Instagram on February 19 showed the alleged kidnappers questioning the victim over beef consumption, asking, “Who kills gaay maata in Mushrigharari?” the Wire reported on February 24. The victim was Khalil Alam Rizvi (34), a resident of Hurhiya village in the Barabatta Panchayat of Bihar’s Samastipur. Later, his body was allegedly burnt by the perpetrators. Rizvi was a social worker and a member of the JD(U), the ruling party of Bihar. On February 19, a video was uploaded to Instagram by user Anurag Jha, a resident of Samastipur, showing Rizvi being berated by his assailants. The caption of the video reads, “This is a very unfortunate thing for all of us. All of you people and #Hindu brothers are requested to watch this video. Request Hindu brothers to share it as much as possible so that those who loot the poor and eat cows be afraid and no one dare to touch the ‘cow mother’ (sic).”

MASSIVE RALLY PROTESTS REMOVING AMBEDKAR’S PHOTO FROM DAIS

A sea of people marched in protest in Bengaluru on February 19, demanding action against a Karnataka district judge who allegedly ordered the removal of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s portrait placed beside Mahatma Gandhi’s before unfurling the national flag during a Republic Day function on January 26 in Raichur, reports said. According to the Samvidhana Surakshana Maha Okkuta, the Dalit organisation which called the rally, nearly 1.5 lakh people holding aloft placards with Ambedkar’s picture and blue flags marched through the arterial roads of Bengaluru, via Anand Rao Circle flyover, Maurya Circle flyover, to culminate the rally at Freedom Park. Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai met the protestors at Freedom Park and assured action against the erring judge.

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