WAQF ACT CHALLENGED, DELHI HC SEEKS CENTRE’S RESPONSE
The Delhi High Court on April 20 sought the Centre’s response on BJP leader Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay’s petition which challenges the constitutional validity of the provisions of the Waqf Act on the ground that no similar laws have been made for other religions. The division bench of acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla issued notice to the Centre as well as the Delhi Waqf Board and asked them to file counter affidavits within four weeks. It listed the case for next hearing on July 28. In the prayer, Upadhyay has sought a declaration that the Centre can enact only uniform law for Trust and Trustees, Charities and Charitable Institutions, and Religious Endowments and Institutions. He also has prayed for a direction that the civil court should decide disputes relating to religious properties and not the Waqf Tribunal.
‘ATTEMPT TO ERASE EVERY ASPECT OF LIFE OF INDIAN MUSLIMS’
Mumbai-based Bebaak Collective has described the recent surge in hate towards Muslims and the consequent attacks against them in different parts of the country as an attempt by the Hindu nationalists to erase and undo every aspect of the life of Indian Muslims, a report said on April 23. A press statement issued by the Collective and signed by several activists, journalists, academics, filmmakers and civil society organisations has condemned recent anti-Muslim violence reported during Ram Navami celebrations in various parts of the country. “These incidents need to be looked at within a wider pattern of concerted attempts to erase, demolish, attack and transform visible symbols and practices of religious coexistence,” the statement observed. The idea of “Hindus in danger” has become a mobilising cry for anti-Muslim violence, the signatories said.
KARNATAKA MINISTER KS ESHWARAPPA FACES HEAT, RESIGNS
Facing the heat over contractor Santosh K Patil suicide case, Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister KS Eshwarappa on April 14 announced that he will tender his resignation. Eshwarappa’s resignation comes after he was booked for abetment of suicide based on a complaint from Prashanth Patil, the brother of the deceased. Santosh K Patil, who is said to be a BJP worker, was found dead at a lodge in Udupi in a case of suspected suicide on April 12, 2022. Eshwarappa on April 13 said that he had filed a defamation suit against deceased Santosh after the contractor had alleged that the minister (Eshwarappa) demanded 40 per cent commission in works executed at a cost of Rs 4 crore surrounding his village.
SC CANCELS BAIL OF MINISTER’S SON IN LAKHIMPUR CASE
The Supreme Court on April 18 cancelled the bail granted to Ashish Mishra, the son of Union minister Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’, underlining the Allahabad High Court considered “irrelevant factors” and showed “unwarranted hurry” in granting the relief to the main accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case. A bench, led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, directed Mishra to surrender within a week. It asked the high court to decide his bail plea afresh after giving due hearing to the victim’s families, who complained of not being provided sufficient opportunity to oppose the bail plea. The bench, which also included justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, said the High Court erroneously relied heavily on the FIR at the time of allowing Mishra’s bail plea even as the charge sheet in the case had been filed.
POLICE BAN LOUDSPEAKERS AT RELIGIOUS PLACES SANS PERMIT
The Nashik Police has banned the use of loudspeakers to play Hanuman Chalisa or bhajans 15 minutes before and after Azan is offered. The police have also banned the use of loudspeakers without permission at religious places. Now, all religious places must obtain permits by May 3 to use loudspeakers. The police also prohibited the recitation of Hanuman Chalisa within a 100-metre radius of a mosque. “All religious places have been directed to take permission for the use of loudspeakers by May 3. After May 3, if anyone is found violating the order, legal action will be taken,” said Nashik Police Commissioner Deepak Pandey. “Permission has to be taken for playing Hanuman Chalisa or bhajans. It will not be allowed 15 minutes before and after the Azaan. Also, it will not be allowed within 100 metres of a mosque. The aim of this order is to maintain law and order,” Pandey said.
SC RAPS DELHI POLICE OVER SURESH CHAVHANKE’S ‘HATE SPEECH’
The Delhi Police said it will file a “better” affidavit after Supreme Court on April 22, pulled up the former for its affidavit which concluded that no hate speech was made at a December 2021 Hindu Yuva Vahini event in Delhi, and added that the gathering was made up of people who were motivated to “save the ethics of their community”. “The affidavit has been filed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police. We hope he has understood the nuances. Has he merely reproduced the inquiry report or applied his mind? Is it your stand as well or the reproduction of inquiry report of Sub Inspector level officer?” a two-judge bench, comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Abhay S Oka, pointedly asked, according to LiveLaw.in.
FIVE ARRESTED FOR IBRAISH KHAN’S MURDER
Five people have been arrested in connection with the murder of Ibraish Khan, alias Saddam, a 30-year-old municipal employee from Khargone, Madhya Pradesh, a report said on April 23. On April 10, Ibraish Khan, alias Saddam, had left home for the evening namaz. His body was found eight days after his brother Iqbal said the family had filed a missing person’s report. The body was found reportedly at a morgue in Indore, around 120 km away. This is the first death that Madhya Pradesh police have recorded in the communal violence that broke out in Khargone during a Ram Navami procession. According to a report in NDTV, the five arrested men are from Anand Nagar-Rahimpura area, though they have not yet been named. However, Khan’s brother Iqhlak Khan accused the police of complicity. He said his brother’s body “was mutilated, there were injuries on his face”.
‘BLATANTLY PROPAGANDIST’ NEWSPAPER DISTRIBUTED ON TRAIN
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) on April 22 initiated an inquiry after an unauthorised newspaper carrying Hindutva propaganda was distributed to passengers on board the Bangalore-Chennai Shatabdi Express. A passenger flagged on Twitter that the newspaper – The Aryavarth Express – was found on “every other seat” in the train. The newspaper had headlines such as “Genocide of Hindus, Sikhs & Buddhists under the Islamic Rule needs to be recognised”, “CIA agent, Congresswoman Ilhan [Omar] visits POK [Pakistan-occupied Kashmir]” and “UN should label Aurangzeb as perpetuator of Holocaust like Hitler”. The articles did not have author bylines. “This morning I boarded the Bangalore-Chennai Shatabdi Express only to be greeted by this blatantly propagandist publication on every other seat – The Aryavarth Express,” said the passenger, Gopika Bashi. “Had never even heard of it. How is @IRCTCofficial allowing this?”