The death of a young Muslim man in police custody in Uttar Pradesh and the subsequent clarification by the police has triggered outrage in India. Police on November 10 said 22-year-old Mohammad Altaf hanged himself after he went to the washroom in a police station at Kasganj district in Uttar Pradesh. The Times of India on November 11 reported that Altaf was about 5ft 6 inches (167cm) tall and the water pipe was less than three feet (91.4cm) from the ground. Five police officers have been suspended for negligence in the case and police said it was investigating the incident. But Altaf’s family has demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into his death…. Rights activists and opposition parties have also questioned the police theory behind Altaf’s death.


An 18-year-old Muslim boy was allegedly beaten up by locals in Madhya Pradesh’s Betul district on November 5, for a purportedly offensive WhatsApp status about Diwali, The Quint reported on November 9. Ashfaq Ali, resident of Balajipuram, had posted a message on WhatsApp, saying “Bahut Shubhkamnaye Diwali Ki (BSDK).” The status had triggered a row, and some zealots from the village had collectively visited the teenaged boy’s house, and had assaulted him. Purported videos of the incident, which had gone viral on social media, showed a mob of men brutally hitting the boy, and chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram.’ Ashfaq Ali’s family is among the very few Muslim families that reside in the area.

Image with caption:  Dr Kafeel Ahmad Khan has been dismissed from service in the 2017 BRD Hospital case


Dr Kafeel Ahmad Khan, the paediatrician against whom the Uttar Pradesh government had issued suspension orders, has now been dismissed from service in the 2017 BRD Hospital case. Sixty-three children had died at Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College in August 2017 due to an alleged shortage of oxygen. In a video posted online, Kafeel Khan could be heard saying that he will move the high court or the Supreme Court as soon as he gets his official termination letter. The kids died because the government failed to pay the dues of the oxygen supplier, amounting to Rs 68 lakh. Eight people were suspended, of whom seven have resumed service,” he said, adding, “The district magistrate and principal secretary submitted to the court that there was no negligence or corruption on my part.” The UP government had ordered Khan’s suspension in 2019 for the second time for allegedly forcibly treating patients at the Bahraich District Hospital and criticising government policies.


Sixteen researchers of Jamia Millia Islamia are in the Stanford University list of top 2% most cited scientists in the world. In the first list, based on career-long data, eight JMI professors feature. In the second list for the year 2020’s performance, there are 16 scientists from JMI, the institution has claimed in a press release. Both the lists feature Imran Ali, Atiqur Rehman, Anjan A. Sen, Haseeb Ahsan, Sushant G. Ghosh, S. Ahmad, Tokeer Ahmad and Mohd. Imtaiyaz. The second list additionally features Abid Haleem, Rafiq Ahmad, Tabrez Alam Khan, Mohd. Javaid, Arshad Noor Siddique, Musheer Ahmad, Faizan Ahmad and Tarikul Islam. The university also ranked first in the list of central universities released by the Ministry of Education in 2020. Jamia beat JNU and Aligarh Muslim University to top the list of 40 central varsities. The varsity also improved its position from 19 to 12 in 2020 among Indian institutions in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.


Two lawyers and a journalist recently booked with the draconian anti-terror law UAPA by Tripura Police have moved the Supreme Court, seeking quashing of FIRs and challenging constitutional validity of several provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. The petitioners challenge the constitutional validity of Section 2(1)(o) (which defines unlawful activity), Section 13 (punishment for unlawful activity) and 43D(5) (restrictions on grant of bail) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. A Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on November 11 agreed to urgently list the matter after it was mentioned by Advocate Prashant Bhushan on behalf of the petitioners. The petition has been filed by two lawyers Mr Mukesh and Mr Ansarul Haq Ansar and journalist Shyam Meera Singh booked with the UAPA by the Tripura Police over their social media posts about the recent communal violence which took place in the state.


Police in Anand lodged a case against city-based oncologist Dr Shailesh Shah and a right-wing activist Pinkal Bhatiya for allegedly delivering inciting speeches against the Muslim community during a protest against the inauguration of a hotel, Indian Express reported on November 10. According to report, the incident occurred on October 24 when a group of 40-50 persons staged a “protest” outside Hotel Blue Ivy which was scheduled to be inaugurated on the same date. During the protest demonstration, abusive comments were made against the minority community and the road outside the hotel was “washed” in order to “purify” it. Days after the protest demonstration, police lodged an FIR against Dr Shah and Bhatiya at Anand Town police station under IPC sections 295a for deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class and 114 for crime committed when abettor present.

Image with caption:  Hindutva activists in Belagavi lock Pastor in a Community Hall

Hindutva Activists In Belagavi Lock Pastor In Community Hall

Tension prevailed in Maratha Colony in Karnataka’s Belagavi district on November 7, after Hindutva activists, reportedly belonging to the Sri Ram Sene, laid siege to a community hall alleging mass religious conversion. The protesters claimed that as many as 200 people, including women and children from rural backgrounds, were put up in the building on the pretext of mass prayers for the purpose of religious conversion. However, the police said that Sunday prayers are a routine occurrence at the building. The police had to intervene to bring the situation under control. According to a report in the Times of India, the police said that a Hindu man who was present in the hall at the time of the prayer filed a complaint alleging conversion. However, the pastor, identified as Lema Cherian, denied the allegations and told the newspaper that the Sunday prayers were a routine occurrence and no one was forced to take part in it.


A branch of the State Bank of India in Mumbai has drawn criticism after a notice was seen on its premises, prohibiting customers from wearing the burqa on its premises, a report said on November 9. The notice was later removed after social media outrage. The SBI branch in question is located at Nehru Nagar in Kurla East, a Muslim-dominated locality. The notice, in Hindi, Marathi, and English, reads, “Burkha, scarf prohibited inside branch premises”.

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