TEESTA SETALVAD RELEASED ON INTERIM BAIL
Teesta Setalvad was released from Sabarmati Women’s Jail in Ahmedabad on September 4 after over two months in custody on charges of forgery and fabrication of evidence in a case related to the 2002 Gujarat riots. Setalvad had moved the Supreme Court objecting to a long gap between the date of hearings in the Gujarat High Court. The High Court had issued notice on Setalvad’s bail plea on August 2 but listed the matter for hearing on September 19. On September 2, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India UU Lalit said the High Court should have considered her application for interim bail during pendency of the matter as custodial interrogation in the case had been completed. “Investigating machinery had the advantage of custodial interrogation for 7 days followed by judicial custody,” the bench observed. The bench had questioned whether the Gujarat High Court had ever adjourned a bail plea for six weeks. “The entire matter on merits shall be considered by the High Court independently and uninfluenced by any observations made by this court.”
‘THEY ARE POLARISING INDIA’, ALLEGES EX RSS WORKER
A former member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has alleged that the outfit and its affiliate organisation, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), engineered several bomb blasts in the 2000s to help the Bharatiya Janata Party win elections, Scroll.in reported on September 2. Yashwant Shinde, who claims to have been associated with the RSS since 1990, made these allegations in a sworn affidavit before the Nanded Sessions Court on August 29. Shinde has asked the court to make him a witness in the Nanded bomb blast case. In 2006, two people including a worker of the Bajrang Dal – the youth wing of the VHP – were killed in Maharashtra’s Nanded district when a bomb they were allegedly trying to assemble exploded.
MUSLIM STUDENT ASSAULTED FOR TALKING TO HINDU FRIEND
A 19-year-old government college student Mohammed Saneef was assaulted on August 30 in Sullia, a town in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka, by a few students from the same college and another institute for talking to a Hindu girl. The police have arrested nine students in the case. Saneef, a resident of Jalsur in Sullia and student of Government First Grade College in Kodialbail, had accused some students of assaulting him with sticks and knives. They issued a life threat to him. The assailants who opposed the Muslim boy talking to the Hindu girl in the college, took him to the college ground and assaulted him. The arrestees are Thanu, Mokshith, Deekshith, Akshay, Prajwal, Charan, Dhanush, Nishchay and Pawan.
COLLECT REPORTS FROM 8 STATES ON ‘ATTACKS ON CHRISTIANS’: SC
The Supreme Court on September 1 directed the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to obtain from eight States information about the registration of FIRs, status of investigation, arrests and chargesheets filed in incidents petitioners allege to be attacks targeting the Christian community and institutions. The eight States in question are Bihar, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. These States have to verify the action taken by their law enforcement agencies on the incidents of “criminal wrongdoings” which happened in 2021, as alleged in the petitions filed by Rev. Dr. Peter Machado of National Solidarity Forum, Rev. Vijayesh Lal of Evangelical Fellowship of India and others. The States have to submit their verification reports to the Ministry, which would in turn file an affidavit in the Supreme Court.
ASSAM GOVT BULLDOZED THREE MADRASSAS IN AUGUST
In a shocking development three madrassas have been demolished by the administration in August in Assam. This is said to be the direct result of the state police stepping up its surveillance on imams visiting these institutions from outside. Police said that some of the accused have links to terrorist groups. The latest incident of demolishing a madrassa with a bulldozer has come from the state’s Bongaigaon district on August 31. The demolition order was issued by the office of the Bongaigaon deputy commissioner. As per news reports, the DC’s order cited insufficient provisions and a lack of open space to deal with fires and earthquakes at the Markazul-Ma-Arif Quariana Madrassa premises to justify the demolition. The madrassa houses over 200 students. The order called the building “structurally vulnerable and unsafe for human habitation”.
HC GRANTS BAIL TO MUSLIM MAN ACCUSED IN JAHANGIRPURI VIOLENCE
The Delhi High Court on August 30 granted bail to a Muslim man accused in a case related to the violence that broke out in April in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri. Justice Yogesh Khanna said in his order that a CCTV footage showed that the accused man, Babuddin, was just standing and not instigating the crowd when the violence occurred. The prosecution had said the 43-year-old was the leader of the violent mob. On April 16, three processions were organised by the Hindutva militant group Bajrang Dal to commemorate Hanuman Jayanti in Jahangirpuri. Muslims said that participants in the processions were armed with swords and tridents, while videos also showed some of them wielding guns and shouting “Jai Shri Ram” and genocidal slogans against Muslims. Violence broke out as the third procession passed by a mosque and participants allegedly attacked the mosque. However, arbitrarily, the city police accused Muslims of spreading violence and arrested dozens of Muslims.
REHNA SHAJAHAN BREAKS RECORD WITH 81 CERTIFICATES IN A DAY
Rehna Shajahan, a resident of Illickal in Kottayam district in Kerala, who was devastated when half a mark cost her an MCom seat at the Jamia Millia Islamia, enrolled for two postgraduate courses online – a master’s in social work and a diploma in guidance and counselling. She went on to prepare for the common admission test in management studies. As she cracked the CAT exam, Rehna was the only Malayali in her batch to get admission to the JMI for an MBA programme. And now, her zeal for study has earned her the world record for the maximum number of online certificates secured in a day – a whopping 81. The previous world record for maximum online certificates received in one day was 75. “When I cracked the CAT exam, I realised I can excel in studies. We need to try rather than just dream. I was keen on enhancing my repertoire by pursuing certification courses,” she says.
RISE IN ATROCITIES TOWARDS DALITS AND ADIVASIS: NCRB
A new edition of ‘Crime in India’, the annual report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), was released on August 29, for crime-related statistics in 2021. The National Coalition for Strengthening SCs and STs (PoA) Act (NCSPA), a platform of more than 500 dalits and Adivasis civil society organisations, communities, leaders, and activists, has analysed the NCRB 2021 Report. NCSPA believes that despite explicit constitutional provisions and guidelines, the suffering of Dalits and Adivasi communities across India remains the worst. This community is not only the victim of this scourge caste system but also faces institutional discrimination and social exclusion. It is evident because a Dalit minor girl got gang-raped and murdered when she went to defecate and never returned. A small Dalit boy lost his life, merely because he touched the pot of the school principal, to quench his thirst.