VHP, BD STAKE CLAIM TO MALALI JUMA MASJID
Tension built up in the communally sensitive Mangaluru region after Hindutva activists staked claim to the 700-year-old Juma Masjid known as Assayed Abdullahi Madani Mosque in Malali village near Ganjimath area on the outskirts of the city. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has started an agitation claiming the structure to be a Hindu temple on the basis of the design of a section of the old woodwork. Mosque committee members however said that the structure was built using the Indo-Arabic style which is common across the coastal region. Even as Mangaluru Commissioner N Shashi Kumar, clamped prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC near the Malali mosque on May 25, the VHP and Bajrang Dal held a Hindu ritual and a pooja inside the Rama Anjaneya temple, located 500 metres away from the mosque. During the ‘Tambula Prashne’ ritual that started on Wednesday morning, a Kerala-based priest Gopalakrishna Panikkar, who is also an astrologer, has claimed that there might have been a Shiva temple but says that he cannot ‘determine’ the real reason for its destruction.
FOUR ARRESTED FOR OFFERING NAMAZ AT TAJ MAHAL PREMISES
As many as four people were arrested on May 27 for offering ‘namaz’ at the mosque on Taj Mahal premises, the police said. According to Agra Superintendent of Police (SP) Vikas Kumar, three of the accused hailed from Hyderabad while the other was from Azamgarh. They have been booked under section 153 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Earlier in the month, the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court rejected the plea seeking to open 22 closed rooms in the Taj Mahal to ascertain the presence of the idols of Hindu deities. The plea was filed by Rajneesh Singh, a BJP youth media in-charge.
MANGALORE UNIVERSITY IMPOSES TOTAL BAN ON HEADSCARVES
The decision of the Mangalore University syndicate, governing body of the university, to amend the existing uniform rule and impose a total ban on headscarves on the entire campus, including within classrooms, has met with resistance and criticism from both students and faculty members. The rule applies to the university’s six constituent colleges. Earlier, Muslim girls at University College were allowed to cover their heads with uniform shawls. University College principal Anasuya Rai reportedly said that they have asked Muslim girls to abide by the syndicate’s decision.
The Muslim girls argued that the rule cannot be implemented in the middle of an academic year as it disturbs the status quo. University College’s student union, backed by ABVP, on May 26 staged a protest demanding a complete ban on the hijab on campus.
FILE FIR AGAINST TELANGANA BJP CHIEF: MBT
A day after Telangana BJP chief Bandi Sanjay demanded that all mosques in Telangana must be dug up to look for evidence of temples, the Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) approached the Hyderabad Police and asked them to file an FIR against the BJP MP for delivering a provocative speech to incite communal hatred and violence, a report said on May 27. The MBT has also warned of huge protests if there was a delay in filing the FIR. The MBT approached the Hyderabad police and asked them to register a case against Bandi Sanjay Kumar. The Telangana Congress’s minority department has also decided to lodge a complaint against BJP MP Bandi Sanjay in all 33 districts.
HC REJECTS BAIL PLEAS OF 34 FORMER PAC CONSTABLES
The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court has rejected the bail pleas of 34 former constables of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) accused of killing 10 Sikh men in an alleged fake encounter in 1991. “The gruesome murder of the deceased who had no criminal antecedents along with some of the deceased who had criminal antecedents, cannot be in any manner justified treating all the deceased to be the terrorists, by separating them from their wives and children, who were going to a pilgrimage in the bus, by the appellants and taking them in another bus and killing them in a fake encounter at three different places of district Pilibhit”, a bench of Justices Ramesh Sinha and Brij Raj Singh observed. “More so, if some of the deceased were involved in anti-social activities and criminal cases were registered against them, then too procedure established by law should have been adhered to, to bring them to task and not indulging in such a barbaric and inhuman killing of the innocent persons,” it said.
NO ACTION YET AGAINST AKHLAQ SALMANI’S ATTACKERS
On May 20, a fast-track trial court in Panipat acquitted Akhlaq Salmani of charges related to child sexual assault and kidnapping. The FIR against him was filed shortly after two drunk men allegedly assaulted him and cut off one of his arms after realising that he was a Muslim. Akhlaq had been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. Haryana Police filed the FIR against Akhlaq on the same day when it filed an FIR against his alleged assaulters. However, the case against the assaulters has not moved forward.
FIR FILED AGAINST HINDU MAHAPANCHAYAT ORGANISER
Nitya, 32, wife of Preet Singh, the founder of Save India Foundation, on May 16 ran from her in-laws’ house in Northwest Delhi’s Rohini area, went to the Begumpur police station and alleged that she had been raped repeatedly over the last two years at her in-laws, News Laundry reported on May 27. Based on her complaint, an FIR was lodged against her husband, brother-in-law, father-in-law and mother-in-law under penal code sections related to rape, unnatural sex, and causing harm. Preet Singh’s Save India Foundation was in news to have organised events such as the Hindu Mahapanchayat featuring hatemongers Yati Narsinghanand and Suresh Chavhanke of Sudarshan News. Singh is out on bail in a case of hate speech he had delivered at an event at Jantar Mantar in August last year.
HC DENIES BAIL TO ACCUSED IN RAM NAVAMI VIOLENCE CASE
The Gujarat High Court on May 26 denied the ordinary bail plea of an accused in the violence that took place in Himmatnagar in the state’s Sabarkantha district on Ram Navami (April 10) this year.
The procession went through a Muslim-majority neighbourhood, and violence broke out between the two communities. The accused, 20-year-old Prakash Pandya, in CCTV footage from the incident, was reportedly seen wielding a sword; a fact even admitted by the accused’s lawyer before the High Court. After hearing the counsel, the bench of Justice Samir Dave refused to grant Pandya ordinary bail at this stage and directed him to approach the court after the police had filed its chargesheet in the case.