BJP MLA ARRESTED FOR DEROGATORY REMARKS ON PROPHET
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has suspended its Telangana MLA T. Raja Singh after his alleged derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammed ﷺ led to his arrest by the Hyderabad Police. Singh, in a video uploaded on YouTube, allegedly repeated the now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s similar comments against the Prophet ﷺ which had sparked a global outcry earlier this year. His arrest came after several Muslim organisations staged protests across various police stations in the city, demanding his arrest while accusing him of insulting the Prophet ﷺ and hurting religious sentiments. He was later granted bail. The blasphemous remarks came about in a 10-minute video message put out by Singh on YouTube late on August 22 meant to launch a tirade against stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui and his comedy shows.
COPS ARREST YOUTH FROM HOMES AFTER PROTESTS INTENSIFY
The Hyderabad police on August 24 barged into several homes and dragged out Muslim youth in and around Shalibanda as protests against suspended BJP MLA swelled over his derogatory remarks on Prophet Muhammad . The peaceful atmosphere that prevailed earlier in the day came to an end as over 50 people protesting against Raja Singh were taken into custody. Fear is writ large in Shah Ali Banda, which witnessed heavy police crackdown in the area to quell the violent protests against T Raja Singh. In a viral video, at least six policemen in riot gear are seen breaking open the door of a house, grabbing the men and assaulting them even as their parents begged the cops to back down, reported The News Minute. Meanwhile, on August 25, the police arrested Raja Singh and invoked the Preventive Detention Act against the MLA. Earlier, the Congress and AIMIM had both demanded that the PD Act be invoked against the legislator for repeatedly making provocative comments. According to police records, 18 out of 101 criminal cases registered against Raja Singh since 2004 were communal offences.
HC DECLINES PLEA THAT AZAN HURT OTHERS’ SENTIMENTS
The High Court of Karnataka on August 22 declined to accept a contention that calling Azan in the mosque through the loudspeakers violates the fundamental right guaranteed to the believers of other religious faiths. A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty passed the order on a PIL petition, filed by Chandrashekhar R., a resident of Bengaluru. The petitioner had sought a direction to the authorities to stop the use of loudspeakers in mosques for the purpose of Azan while contending that the words used on Azan hurts the sentiments of people belonging to other religions. Noticing that the petitioner himself has stated in the petition that Azan is an essential religious practice of the persons belonging to Islam, the bench said that petitioner as well as believers of other faiths have the right to practise their religion. “However, the contention that the contents of Azan violate the fundamental right guaranteed to the petitioner as well as the persons of other faiths cannot be accepted,” the bench observed.
134 EX-BUREAUCRATS URGE CJI TO RECTIFY REMISSION IN BILKIS BANO CASE
More than 130 former civil servants on August 27 wrote an open letter to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) against the premature release of 11 men who were jailed in the gangrape case of Bilkis Bano and requested him to rectify this “horrendously wrong decision”. They asked the CJI to rescind the order of remission passed by the Gujarat government and send the 11 persons convicted of gangrape and murder back to jail to serve out their life sentence. Former Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung, former Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar, former foreign secretaries Shivshankar Menon and Sujatha Singh and former Home Secretary G K Pillai were among the 134 signatories to the letter, written under the aegis of the Constitutional Conduct Group. Even BJP veteran and former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Shanta Kumar has slammed the Gujarat government for allowing the release of the rape and murder convicts. Also, three Gujarat Congress MLAs have written to President Droupadi Murmu seeking her direction to the state government to withdraw its “shameful decision” to release the 11 convicts serving a life sentence in the 2002 Bilkis Bano case.
BJP ALLEGEDLY OFFERED `20 CRORE EACH TO 4 MLAS TO SWITCH SIDES
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on August 24 claimed that the BJP approached four of its legislators in Delhi, asking them to switch sides and join the saffron party or else, face “false cases, the CBI and the ED”. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, AAP’s national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said the legislators – Ajay Dutt, Sanjeev Jha, Somnath Bharati and Kuldeep – have been approached by leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with whom they have “friendly relations”. “They have been offered `20 crore each if they join the party and `25 crore if they bring other MLAs along with them,” Singh said. “They (BJP leaders) told our MLAs that if they do not accept the offer and join the BJP, they will also have to face false cases, the CBI and the ED like (Delhi Deputy Chief Minister) Manish Sisodia is facing,” he added. Singh accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of making efforts to bring AAP legislators into the BJP-fold “by hook or crook” and topple the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi.
DOCTORS GAVE DOLO AFTER 1,000-CRORE FREEBIES
Pharma companies giving incentives to doctors for prescribing their medicines should be held accountable, contended a petition being heard by the Supreme Court. As example, the petition cited Dolo- 650 – a tablet prescribed for fever – and said its manufacturers have invested ₹1000 crore in freebies. A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Justice AS Bopanna called it a “serious matter” and asked the Centre to file its response within 10 days. “This is not music to ears. Even I was asked to have same medicine when I had Covid. This is a serious matter,” said Justice DY Chandrachud. The petition was filed by the Federation of Medical & Sales Representatives Association of India. Appearing for the Federation, senior advocate Sanjay Parikh said, “Dolo invested over 1000 crore in freebies to doctors so they would promote the drug”.
DALIT GIRLS THRASHED IN UP, MP
A Dalit girl allegedly faced casteist slurs, was beaten up and thrown out of her school by a former village head in Uttar Pradesh’s Bhadohi for not wearing uniform, a report citing police sources said on August 23. The accused ex-pradhan was identified as Manoj Kumar Dubey. The accused is neither an officer nor a teacher, yet he goes to school every day and misbehaves with teachers and children, police said. Mr. Dubey on August 22 questioned the girl, a class 8 student of a government school, about not wearing the uniform, Chauri police station in-charge Girija Shankar Yadav said. To this, the girl replied that she will wear it when her father buys it for her, Mr. Yadav said. Hearing this, Mr. Dubey beat-up the girl in her class, used casteist slurs against her and threw her out of the school, he said. On August 25, a 15-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly beaten while walking close to a temple in Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa district on August 19, the eve of Krishna Janmashtami. She was admitted to a hospital after sustaining injuries to the ribs. The incident, which took place in Bhagwana village of Khandwa district, came to light on August 23, after a video of the girl on a cot went viral on social media.