STOP IT OR WE WILL: SC TO YOGI GOVT. ABOUT FINING CAA PROTESTS
The Uttar Pradesh government was told off by the Supreme Court for trying to recover money for property damage during the 2019 anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests from those identified as protesters. The court said it is giving one final opportunity to the state to withdraw the proceedings or it will quash it for being in violation of the law. “You have to follow the due process under the law. Please examine this, we are giving one opportunity till February 18,” the court said. The Uttar Pradesh government has acted like a “complainant, adjudicator and prosecutor” in conducting the proceedings to attach the properties of the accused, said a bench of justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant. “Withdraw the proceedings or we will quash it for being in violation of the law laid down by this court,” the bench said. The top court was hearing a plea filed by Parwaiz Arif Titu seeking quashing of notices sent to alleged protesters by the district administration for recovering losses caused by damage to public properties during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) agitations in Uttar Pradesh and asked the state to respond to it.
JAISH HANDLER ARRESTED FROM SONIPAT
Acting on the tip-off by Jammu police, the Sonipat police nabbed Ravi, a resident of Tarn Taran of Punjab, his wife Varinderdeep and their common friend Kanabh, a resident of Chandigarh, from near Murthal on January 30 and handed over to Jammu police, The Times of India reported on February 3. Fatehabad SP Surender reportedly said that two persons who helped Ravi in procuring the passport by forging the documents have been arrested. Ravi, his wife and Kanabh are accused of facilitating the local operatives of Jaish-e-Mohammed by helping them with money and other support locally. Their names had cropped up in November, the report added.
FILE ATR ON PLEA FOR FIR AGAINST SUDARSHAN TV EDITOR: COURT
A Delhi court has asked the Delhi Police to file an action taken report (ATR) in a plea seeking registration of an FIR against Sudarshan TV editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke for allegedly giving hate speeches at an event in Delhi, a report said on February 7. The plea was filed by social worker Vikas Kangra, through his lawyer Mehmood Pracha, who alleged that Chavhanke made a “derogatory hate speech with a criminal motive of not (just) striking feelings of hatred, ill-will, and enmity against all communities of India, other than the upper caste Hindu community, but also with an intent to strike terror in their minds”. The plea was filed at Patiala House Court and the report is expected to be filed on March 7, the report added. It also claimed that the words spoken by Chavhanke were used with a “clear cut motive of establishing a Hindu Rashtra in place of the Republic of India” and such actions “strike terror in the minds of the minority communities and other oppressed class communities of India”.
SP FLAGS EVM GLITCHES IN FIRST PHASE POLLING IN UP
Voting was held on February 10 for the first phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh. Voting began in 58 Assembly constituencies in the first of the seven-phase elections, covering 11 districts of western UP. The 11 districts where polling was held included Shamli, Meerut, Hapur, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Agra, Gautam Buddha Nagar and Mathura. Nearly 2.27 crore voters were enlisted in this phase. “It’s an appeal [to] and expectation from the Election Commission that wherever there are allegations of EVM malfunctioning, or deliberate slowing down of polling, it should immediately take appropriate action. Smooth and fair voting is the biggest responsibility of the Election Commission,” Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said.
STONES PELTED AT DALIT GROOM’S PROCESSION DESPITE COP PRESENCE
Three people sustained injuries after unidentified miscreants pelted stones at the wedding procession of a 23-year-old Dalit groom in the presence of police officials in Guradiyabharta village under Bhawani Mandi police station of Jhalawar district, Rajasthan on February 9. However, the victim’s family did not file any complaint and no case was lodged in the matter. The grandfather of the groom, Kamlesh Meghwal, an armyman deployed in Siliguri, had earlier informed the Jhalawar SP anticipating some untoward incident as mounting on a mare and taking out wedding procession was still restricted for a Dalit groom in his village. Meanwhile, a 48-year old Dalit man Lakhman Sarikada committed suicide near Dhari Prant office, Amreli on February 9 by consuming poison, after his agricultural land was allegedly not regularised by the revenue department.
IN UP, 48 JOURNALISTS ASSAULTED, 66 BOOKED, 12 KILLED: REPORT
Since Adityanath assumed office as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in 2017, 48 journalists have been physically assaulted in the state and 66 have been booked or arrested, a report published by the Committee Against Assault on Journalists has found, a report said on February 12. Seventy-eight per cent of such cases were recorded during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 alone. The CAAJ report, titled ‘The Siege of the Media,’ offers details of incidents related to the suppression of press freedom in Uttar Pradesh, based on statistics and figures gathered between 2017 and the present day. According to the report, a total of 138 cases of persecution of journalists were registered in Uttar Pradesh between 2017 and February 2022. CAAJ claims that the report, prepared in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh People’s Union for Civil Liberties (UP PUCL), includes only those cases which have been verified at the grassroots level. Therefore, the numbers may be fewer than the actual count of such incidents.
KCR ADDS HIJAB ROW TO BLITZ ON PM
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on February 13 continued his no-holds-barred attack on the BJP, saying it “has to be sent out as early as possible”. At a press conference in Hyderabad, he called the BJP-led government “totally undemocratic” and slammed the PM on a range of issues from the now revoked farm bills to the controversy over Muslim girls wearing Hijab (headscarves) in Karnataka schools and universities. Adding that the BJP has “no respect for democracy”, Mr Rao said he would “continue to chase” the ruling party. “Why did they form governments where they did not get the mandate?” he asked, referring to states where the BJP formed the government with help from alliances and defections even when it was not the single largest party.