MUSLIMS ‘ILL-TREATED BY KARNATAKA GOVT.’: MANIPPADY

BJP leader and former Chairman of Karnataka State Minorities Commission Anwar Manippady has accused the Basavaraj Bommai-led government of ill-treating the Muslim community in the state, Indian Express reported on December 1. In a letter to the Chief Minister, Manippady has expressed his disappointment that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Sab Ka Saath Sab Ka Vikas is not being practised in Karnataka and that the ‘Muslim community is being ill-treated, harassed and threatened with dire consequences even if our actions are legitimate and legally binding’. In his letter, he said that the Muslims are unable to get burial grounds despite a court order and they had to travel as far as 25-35km in search of burial grounds during the pandemic.

RISE IN ATTACKS ON CHRISTIANS, CHURCHES

According to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), radical ‘Hindu nationalists’ have stepped up their anti-Christian activities across India. This has resulted in a greater number of attacks on Christians and their places of worship, a report citing International Christian Concern (ICC) said on December 2. On November 28, members of the Bajrang Dal vandalised a newly inaugurated church in Delhi. According to UCAN, the church was holding its first Sunday service when the Bajrang Dal showed up to disrupt the service. Police were called to the scene; however, local Christians claim the police did little to protect the church. Following the incident, police registered complaints against both the Bajrang Dal and members of the church. UCAN reports the complaint against the Christians was made for violating the Delhi Disaster Management Act which prohibits large gatherings due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In another incident, members of the Bajrang Dal disrupted another prayer service in India’s Karnataka state. In this incident, Bajrang Dal activists forced themselves into a Christian prayer hall in Belur and forced the Christians out of the building.

ALLAHABAD HC JUDGE TO PAY FEES OF DALIT STUDENT

A judge of the Allahabad High Court on November 29 volunteered to pay Rs 15,000 fees of a Dalit student for her admission to the IIT-BHU in Varanasi after she could not arrange money before the last date of admission due to financial hardship resulting from her father’s illness. The court asked the 17-year-old student, Sanskriti Ranjan, to report to IIT-BHU within three days, along with the necessary documents for admission. While hearing the student’s plea, Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh said the court on its own volunteered to contribute Rs 15,000 so that she could pursue her dream of studying at the IIT. The judge also directed the IIT-BHU authorities to create a supernumerary seat – seat above the sanctioned intake – for the Dalit student, so that she should be allowed to continue the course even if no seat falls vacant to accommodate her.

OVER 1.3 LAKH CASES OF CRIME AGAINST DALITS SINCE 2018

Nearly 139,045 cases under crime against Dalits have been registered in different states between 2018 and 2020 with 50,291 such crimes reported last year alone, the government told Parliament on November 30. Uttar Pradesh registered a maximum of 36,467 cases of crime against scheduled castes (SC) in the three years, followed by Bihar (20,973 cases), Rajasthan (18,418) and Madhya Pradesh (16,952), as per data from the home ministry. Among the states that reported least number of crimes against Dalits were West Bengal with only 373 such cases in three years, Punjab (499 cases), Chhattisgarh (921) and Jharkhand (1,854). Some activists, though, accused these states of administrative failures that allegedly prevented many Dalit victims from registering complaints. Cases of crime against Dalits stood at 45,961 in 2019 and at 42,793 in 2018.

DELHI HC ISSUES NOTICE ON SHARJEEL IMAM BAIL PLEA

The Delhi High Court on December 1 issued a notice to Delhi Police on the bail application filed by JNU student Sharjeel Imam in the case registered against him by the New Friends Colony police station in connection with the violence that broke out in Jamia Nagar on December 15 in 2019. The matter has been posted for further hearing on February 11, next year. Imam has been accused of delivering provocative speeches about the Citizenship Amendment Bill and stands chargesheeted under various provisions of IPC. Last month, a Delhi court dismissed Imam’s bail plea, but noted in its order that the evidence that rioters were incited by his speech and indulged in acts of rioting “is scanty and sketchy”. It said the prosecution version can’t be built on “imaginative thinking”, and once this is removed, it “appears to be crumbling like a house of cards”.

SUDHA BHARADWAJ GRANTED BAIL, PLEAS OF 8 OTHERS REJECTED

The Bombay High Court on December 1 granted default bail to Sudha Bharadwaj. However, the bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and N.J. Jamadar rejected the default bail pleas filed by eight other accused in the Elgar Parishad case. The eight others are Sudhir Dawale, Varavara Rao, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira. In total, 16 activists, academics and lawyers were arrested by the Pune Police and the NIA in the Elgar Parishad case. Several of them suffer from illnesses and their medical bail pleas have been rejected multiple times. The oldest of them, Father Stan Swamy, died in July this year. He had contracted COVID-19 while in custody. Bharadwaj is the first to be granted a default bail. Bail applications of other accused persons including Sagar Ghorke and Ramesh Gaichor are pending before the special NIA court.

NCM SEES RISE IN COMPLAINTS FROM SIKHS, BUDDHISTS AND PARSIS

The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has received more complaints from the Sikh, Buddhist and Parsi communities in the first eight months of the current fiscal year (2021-22) than in the entire previous fiscal year, a report citing data submitted in Parliament said on November 30. According to the data provided by the Ministry of Minority Affairs in the Rajya Sabha, in response to a question by BJP MP Rakesh Sinha, shows that among the communities, the maximum number of complaints have been made by Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis over the first eight months of this fiscal year. While the number of complaints from Sikhs stands at 115 (from 99 last year), those from Buddhists have touched 35 (as against 28) and of Parsis has reached five (from two last year). In the case of Muslims, the number of complaints has reached 864 as against 1,103 over the whole of last year. Likewise in the case of Christians, the figure stands at 88 in the first eight months of this year as compared to 103 over the whole of last year.

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