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Sachin Pilot grounded by Congress

Divested of top political posts in Rajasthan, will Pilot join the BJP, or launch his own political party?

14 Jul 2020

Image Courtesy:rajasthanpost.com

Shifting sands of Rajasthan politics, have paused, perhaps temporarily, as Sachin Pilot, now former Deputy Chief Minister of the state has been shown the exit door by his political bosses. Pilot, who openly rebelled against the Congress party , has also been sacked from his post as the head of the Congress in the state.

The move obviously must not have been a surprise to Pilot as he had rejected the last minute offers of reconciliation from the party. Of course the first thing he did, like most political rebels before him,  was to take to social media and change his bio. It now reads “MLA from Tonk| Former Minister of IT, Telecom & Corporate affairs,GoI |Commissioned officer Territorial Army.”

He also posted a dramatic one liner that translates as “the truth can be troubled/ disturbed, not defeated.”

 

While the sacking saved him the trouble of sending a resignation, the Congress also wasted no time in appointing Govind Singh Dotasra as the Rajasthan Congress chief. The announcement was made, with a change of tone to authoritarian from yesterday’s empathic one, as spokesperson Randeen Singh Surjewala announced: “I regret that Sachin Pilot and some of his associates have been swayed by BJP’s plot and are now conspiring to topple the Congress government elected by eight crore Rajasthanis. It is unacceptable.”

 

As is protocol, Rajasthan Chief minister Ashok Gehlot went to the state  Raj Bhavan to meet the Governor and seek that Pilot and  Ramesh Meena and Vishvendra Singh, the two other ministers who the party sacked, be dropped from his cabinet. According to news reports, in its second meeting in two days, the Congress legislature party, also passed a resolution seeking action against the rebel leaders to send a “strong message” across its rank and file.

The Congress is no longer pretending to be polite,  and has accused Pilot of “colluding” with the Bharatiya Janata party, to “ destabilise the Ashok Gehlot led Congress government in the state.” Surjewala even said that the ‘rebel’ MLAs were hosted in a five star hotel in Gurgaon, Haryana, which is a BJP governed state. Surjewala said Pilot did not heed all the invites extended to come and resolve the issues and hence the decision to remove him, and the two ministers who supported him from their posts. Their behaviour was “unacceptable” to the party.

It doesn't seem that Pilot will have any choice but to leave the party. Though it is not yet known if he will join the Bharatiya Janata Party like his good friend Jyotiraditya Scindia did in Madhya Pradesh under almost similar circumstances. The other option is for Pilot to launch his own party. In any case the road ahead for the political and heir to the legacy of Rajesh Pilot is a tough one. Though he does have others in the extended family who may offer counsel if asked. His father in law Farooq Abdullah, and brother in law Omar Abdullah are both senior politicians and have always been known to express their political opinions loud and clear.

It was not a surprise that Pilot and his supporting ministers were sacked  a day after the CLP resolution demanded strict disciplinary proceedings against “any office bearers or CLP members who work to weaken the party and its government.”  few must have expected a miracle that Pilot would be calmed down after speaking to party leaders he is said to be close to, such Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, in the last two days. 

Surjewala also reminded everyone that Pilot had been groomed and supported by when he was a young politician just starting out. “He was made a minister at the centre in his 30s, a state unit chief and then the Deputy CM when he was just 40. This meant he enjoyed the affections of both top leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. But Sachin Pilot and his supporters have preferred to fall into the trap laid by the BJP,” said Surjewala.

Of course Pilot’s  close friends in the Congress such as Jitin Prasada are understandably upset at the developments. “Sachin Pilot is not just a colleague but my friend. No one can take away the fact that all these years he has worked with dedication for the party. Sincerely hope the situation can still be salvaged. Sad it has come to this…,” he posted 

 

Now, Rajasthan education minister Govind Dotasra has his work cut out for him as the new state Congress president. But it is  Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot who seems to have the last word here so far. He is quoted as saying: “there is nothing in the hands of Sachin Pilot. He is playing into the hands of BJP which is making all the arrangements.”

 

However, there is already talk that a number of other ‘youth’ leaders from Rajasthan may follow Pilot if he chooses to leave Congress tomorrow. And while his future in the Congress seems to be grounded forever, Sachin Pilot will now have to take one of the most crucial decisions of his life. His next decision, will then decide the course of his future in Indian politics. Will he join the BJP? Or will he launch his own political party? It is perhaps a matter of a few hours for the choice to become public.

 

Sachin Pilot grounded by Congress

Divested of top political posts in Rajasthan, will Pilot join the BJP, or launch his own political party?

Image Courtesy:rajasthanpost.com

Shifting sands of Rajasthan politics, have paused, perhaps temporarily, as Sachin Pilot, now former Deputy Chief Minister of the state has been shown the exit door by his political bosses. Pilot, who openly rebelled against the Congress party , has also been sacked from his post as the head of the Congress in the state.

The move obviously must not have been a surprise to Pilot as he had rejected the last minute offers of reconciliation from the party. Of course the first thing he did, like most political rebels before him,  was to take to social media and change his bio. It now reads “MLA from Tonk| Former Minister of IT, Telecom & Corporate affairs,GoI |Commissioned officer Territorial Army.”

He also posted a dramatic one liner that translates as “the truth can be troubled/ disturbed, not defeated.”

 

While the sacking saved him the trouble of sending a resignation, the Congress also wasted no time in appointing Govind Singh Dotasra as the Rajasthan Congress chief. The announcement was made, with a change of tone to authoritarian from yesterday’s empathic one, as spokesperson Randeen Singh Surjewala announced: “I regret that Sachin Pilot and some of his associates have been swayed by BJP’s plot and are now conspiring to topple the Congress government elected by eight crore Rajasthanis. It is unacceptable.”

 

As is protocol, Rajasthan Chief minister Ashok Gehlot went to the state  Raj Bhavan to meet the Governor and seek that Pilot and  Ramesh Meena and Vishvendra Singh, the two other ministers who the party sacked, be dropped from his cabinet. According to news reports, in its second meeting in two days, the Congress legislature party, also passed a resolution seeking action against the rebel leaders to send a “strong message” across its rank and file.

The Congress is no longer pretending to be polite,  and has accused Pilot of “colluding” with the Bharatiya Janata party, to “ destabilise the Ashok Gehlot led Congress government in the state.” Surjewala even said that the ‘rebel’ MLAs were hosted in a five star hotel in Gurgaon, Haryana, which is a BJP governed state. Surjewala said Pilot did not heed all the invites extended to come and resolve the issues and hence the decision to remove him, and the two ministers who supported him from their posts. Their behaviour was “unacceptable” to the party.

It doesn't seem that Pilot will have any choice but to leave the party. Though it is not yet known if he will join the Bharatiya Janata Party like his good friend Jyotiraditya Scindia did in Madhya Pradesh under almost similar circumstances. The other option is for Pilot to launch his own party. In any case the road ahead for the political and heir to the legacy of Rajesh Pilot is a tough one. Though he does have others in the extended family who may offer counsel if asked. His father in law Farooq Abdullah, and brother in law Omar Abdullah are both senior politicians and have always been known to express their political opinions loud and clear.

It was not a surprise that Pilot and his supporting ministers were sacked  a day after the CLP resolution demanded strict disciplinary proceedings against “any office bearers or CLP members who work to weaken the party and its government.”  few must have expected a miracle that Pilot would be calmed down after speaking to party leaders he is said to be close to, such Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, in the last two days. 

Surjewala also reminded everyone that Pilot had been groomed and supported by when he was a young politician just starting out. “He was made a minister at the centre in his 30s, a state unit chief and then the Deputy CM when he was just 40. This meant he enjoyed the affections of both top leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. But Sachin Pilot and his supporters have preferred to fall into the trap laid by the BJP,” said Surjewala.

Of course Pilot’s  close friends in the Congress such as Jitin Prasada are understandably upset at the developments. “Sachin Pilot is not just a colleague but my friend. No one can take away the fact that all these years he has worked with dedication for the party. Sincerely hope the situation can still be salvaged. Sad it has come to this…,” he posted 

 

Now, Rajasthan education minister Govind Dotasra has his work cut out for him as the new state Congress president. But it is  Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot who seems to have the last word here so far. He is quoted as saying: “there is nothing in the hands of Sachin Pilot. He is playing into the hands of BJP which is making all the arrangements.”

 

However, there is already talk that a number of other ‘youth’ leaders from Rajasthan may follow Pilot if he chooses to leave Congress tomorrow. And while his future in the Congress seems to be grounded forever, Sachin Pilot will now have to take one of the most crucial decisions of his life. His next decision, will then decide the course of his future in Indian politics. Will he join the BJP? Or will he launch his own political party? It is perhaps a matter of a few hours for the choice to become public.

 

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Flood-victims sent notice to defend citizenship in Assam!

The four women and one man hail from villages that are under 7-8 feet of water!

14 Jul 2020

flood

In yet another example of institutional apathy for human suffering, five people from the flood-hit Dhalpur village in Darrang district of Assam have been sent notices to appear before a Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) in Mangaldoi to defend their Indian citizenship.

“The region is presently submerged under 7-8 feet of water forcing people to vacate their homes in search of dry, safe places. Village after village have been virtually washed away. Standing crop has been destroyed,” says Joinal Abedin, CJP’s Volunteer Motivator from Darrang district.

Most residents of these villages are Bengali speaking Muslims who are engaged in the cultivation of rice and vegetables. Many also raise cattle and other livestock. They hail from economically weak backgrounds and barely make ends meet even in the best of times. With the floods their lives have been completely thrown out of gear. 

Our team had to take a boat to visit the village and we saw vacant houses, abandoned livestock and even grown trees partially submerged under water.

flood

But what is even more shocking is how breaking from protocol, the notices were not actually served to the people in question, but sent via Whatsapp to the Gram Panchayat President!

“This is highly irregular. This the first time that a notice has been sent via Whatsapp,” says Abedin. “The quality of the image on Whatsapp was so blurred, I had to go to the police station to get copies of the actual notices,” he adds.

The notices have been issued as all five; four women and one man, are suspected of being ‘foreigners’. While the women have been asked to appear before the FT on July 21, the man has been asked to appear on July 20. No reason has been given as to why their citizenship is suspect in the first place.

There is no denying that citizenship is a contentious issue in Assam where over 19 lakh people were excluded from the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) published on August 31, 2019. However, given how the state has been reeling under extreme weather conditions such as cyclones, heavy rains and floods for over a month, and matters have been compounded due to the lockdown necessitated in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, perhaps the authorities could have shown a little compassion for people.

The notices issued may be viewed here: 

notice1

notice2

notice3

notice4

notice5

 

Related:

CJP’s relief efforts continue in Assam despite cyclone, floods and heavy rains

How CJP helped 32 people walk out of Assam’s Detention Camps

Flood-victims sent notice to defend citizenship in Assam!

The four women and one man hail from villages that are under 7-8 feet of water!

flood

In yet another example of institutional apathy for human suffering, five people from the flood-hit Dhalpur village in Darrang district of Assam have been sent notices to appear before a Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) in Mangaldoi to defend their Indian citizenship.

“The region is presently submerged under 7-8 feet of water forcing people to vacate their homes in search of dry, safe places. Village after village have been virtually washed away. Standing crop has been destroyed,” says Joinal Abedin, CJP’s Volunteer Motivator from Darrang district.

Most residents of these villages are Bengali speaking Muslims who are engaged in the cultivation of rice and vegetables. Many also raise cattle and other livestock. They hail from economically weak backgrounds and barely make ends meet even in the best of times. With the floods their lives have been completely thrown out of gear. 

Our team had to take a boat to visit the village and we saw vacant houses, abandoned livestock and even grown trees partially submerged under water.

flood

But what is even more shocking is how breaking from protocol, the notices were not actually served to the people in question, but sent via Whatsapp to the Gram Panchayat President!

“This is highly irregular. This the first time that a notice has been sent via Whatsapp,” says Abedin. “The quality of the image on Whatsapp was so blurred, I had to go to the police station to get copies of the actual notices,” he adds.

The notices have been issued as all five; four women and one man, are suspected of being ‘foreigners’. While the women have been asked to appear before the FT on July 21, the man has been asked to appear on July 20. No reason has been given as to why their citizenship is suspect in the first place.

There is no denying that citizenship is a contentious issue in Assam where over 19 lakh people were excluded from the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) published on August 31, 2019. However, given how the state has been reeling under extreme weather conditions such as cyclones, heavy rains and floods for over a month, and matters have been compounded due to the lockdown necessitated in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, perhaps the authorities could have shown a little compassion for people.

The notices issued may be viewed here: 

notice1

notice2

notice3

notice4

notice5

 

Related:

CJP’s relief efforts continue in Assam despite cyclone, floods and heavy rains

How CJP helped 32 people walk out of Assam’s Detention Camps

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Medical fraternity rallies to #FreeDrKafeel as he languishes in jail during the pandemic

The medicos have said that the UP government is being vindictive towards Khan and using him as a scapegoat to hide its shortcomings

14 Jul 2020

Image Courtesy:indiatoday.in

As the call to #FreeDrKafeel grows louder, the Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum (PMSF) has joined the cause in asking that Dr. Kafeel Khan be immediately released from prison. A statement issued by Dr. Harjit Singh Bhatti, National President of the PMSF read that the Uttar Pradesh government has been vindictive towards Khan.

 

It must be noted that Dr. Khan was suspended by the UP government in the case of the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur, where the lack of oxygen supply had taken the lives of more than 60 children. Dr. Khan was falsely accused in the case and forced to spend nine months in prison for alleged medical negligence. He was later given a clean-chit in the matter and acquitted in the case after a government-appointed inquiry.

However, he was arrested in December 2019 for his allegedly inflammatory statements during an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and has been languishing in jail ever since, after being booked under the stringent National Security Act (NSA).

The PMSF said that Dr. Kafeel Khan was known for his humanitarian work by organizing free health camps and providing his services free of cost to all needy patients. Many times, he also put his own life in danger to help others.

Even from prison, Khan had written a letter to PM Modi on March 19, offering help to fight the coronavirus infection, using the 20 years of experience he had in the medical field. In this letter, he had also provided a roadmap to fight the virus advising the government to “Increase the testing strength (1 in each district), isolation wards (1000 in each districts), opening of new ICUs, extensive training of the doctors/paramedics, support groups including AYUSH and private sectors, curb the rumors, avoid unscientific views and mobilize all resources as soon as possible."

However, nobody paid heed to his request. Even though the Supreme Court ordered that prisons be decongested to curb the spread of coronavirus there, Dr. Khan, in another letter described the horrid conditions he and other inmates had to survive in, even during this time. “In a jail made for 534 inmates, there are 1,600 people kept with one barrack holding at least 100-125 of us. There are just 4-6 toilets,” Dr. Kafeel Khan wrote unveiling the torturous conditions inmates are subjected to even at the time of a pandemic.

In light of this and his continuous incarceration under stringent charges, the PMSF has asked the medical fraternity to join the movement to save Dr. Kafeel Khan and democracy. Many from the medical fraternity have now uploaded videos in support of Dr. Khan, urging the authorities to release him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The call for his release has now gathered momentum as the hypocrisy of the government has come to light. On the one hand the government is hailing doctors for their work as frontline workers during the pandemic, but on the other is still being out on a witch hunt against doctors who expose the ills of the government.

It isn’t just Dr. Khan who has been harassed. In Visakhapatnam, a doctor was dragged and beaten by the police mercilessly, The Wire reported. This was the same doctor who had complained about the lack of PPE equipment and had been suspended in April, though the police claim that the two incidents weren’t related. State repression and police brutality in India has grown in the last few years. The perpetrators within the system continue to exploit with impunity while those cleared even by the law continue to languish behind bars.

Related:

Kafeel Khan describes prison to be ‘a living hell’ in letter from jail
Dr. Kafeel Khan arrested in Mumbai for remarks at anti-CAA rally in AMU
Dr Kafeel Khan still behind bars, wife Shabista appeals for release

Medical fraternity rallies to #FreeDrKafeel as he languishes in jail during the pandemic

The medicos have said that the UP government is being vindictive towards Khan and using him as a scapegoat to hide its shortcomings

Image Courtesy:indiatoday.in

As the call to #FreeDrKafeel grows louder, the Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum (PMSF) has joined the cause in asking that Dr. Kafeel Khan be immediately released from prison. A statement issued by Dr. Harjit Singh Bhatti, National President of the PMSF read that the Uttar Pradesh government has been vindictive towards Khan.

 

It must be noted that Dr. Khan was suspended by the UP government in the case of the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur, where the lack of oxygen supply had taken the lives of more than 60 children. Dr. Khan was falsely accused in the case and forced to spend nine months in prison for alleged medical negligence. He was later given a clean-chit in the matter and acquitted in the case after a government-appointed inquiry.

However, he was arrested in December 2019 for his allegedly inflammatory statements during an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and has been languishing in jail ever since, after being booked under the stringent National Security Act (NSA).

The PMSF said that Dr. Kafeel Khan was known for his humanitarian work by organizing free health camps and providing his services free of cost to all needy patients. Many times, he also put his own life in danger to help others.

Even from prison, Khan had written a letter to PM Modi on March 19, offering help to fight the coronavirus infection, using the 20 years of experience he had in the medical field. In this letter, he had also provided a roadmap to fight the virus advising the government to “Increase the testing strength (1 in each district), isolation wards (1000 in each districts), opening of new ICUs, extensive training of the doctors/paramedics, support groups including AYUSH and private sectors, curb the rumors, avoid unscientific views and mobilize all resources as soon as possible."

However, nobody paid heed to his request. Even though the Supreme Court ordered that prisons be decongested to curb the spread of coronavirus there, Dr. Khan, in another letter described the horrid conditions he and other inmates had to survive in, even during this time. “In a jail made for 534 inmates, there are 1,600 people kept with one barrack holding at least 100-125 of us. There are just 4-6 toilets,” Dr. Kafeel Khan wrote unveiling the torturous conditions inmates are subjected to even at the time of a pandemic.

In light of this and his continuous incarceration under stringent charges, the PMSF has asked the medical fraternity to join the movement to save Dr. Kafeel Khan and democracy. Many from the medical fraternity have now uploaded videos in support of Dr. Khan, urging the authorities to release him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The call for his release has now gathered momentum as the hypocrisy of the government has come to light. On the one hand the government is hailing doctors for their work as frontline workers during the pandemic, but on the other is still being out on a witch hunt against doctors who expose the ills of the government.

It isn’t just Dr. Khan who has been harassed. In Visakhapatnam, a doctor was dragged and beaten by the police mercilessly, The Wire reported. This was the same doctor who had complained about the lack of PPE equipment and had been suspended in April, though the police claim that the two incidents weren’t related. State repression and police brutality in India has grown in the last few years. The perpetrators within the system continue to exploit with impunity while those cleared even by the law continue to languish behind bars.

Related:

Kafeel Khan describes prison to be ‘a living hell’ in letter from jail
Dr. Kafeel Khan arrested in Mumbai for remarks at anti-CAA rally in AMU
Dr Kafeel Khan still behind bars, wife Shabista appeals for release

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Indian Names: Pride and Prejudice

India’s renaming of streets, cultural sites and cities, shows the country’s reluctance to reconcile its complicated history with its nationalist present.

14 Jul 2020

road renaming

In a hurried cab ride from Peddar Road to Bhaudaji Lad Museum in Byculla, albeit before the lockdown, I asked the taxi driver to take me via N.M. Joshi road as I plotted the journey on google maps. He turns around, bewildered and asks, “What’s that?” Equally confused I provided a landmark, to which he responded, “You mean Delisle Road?” Shaking his head in disapproval at my ignorance at Bombay’s street names, he speeds on. Streets across the city have old and new names, from Falkland road being renamed PB Marg despite its role in Manto’s Bombay Stories, to Lamington Road, renowned for its electronics, being renamed to Dr A Nair road, with locals usually knowing the former name, not the latter.

Mumbai, India’s financial hub, a bustling megapolis of 20 million people is best known for its traffic, Bollywood, and businesses. To the average Mumbaikar, or Bombaywallah, depending on your taste, it is better known for its complicated street names, which confuse families that have been there for generations and newly arriving migrants. Under the Shiv Sena, a regional Hindu nationalist party, the city of Bombay was renamed to Mumbai in 1996. Mumbai was the original name of the city some 1000 years ago, before it became a trading hub.

While the move against colonial rule is justified as a way to overcome the horrors the country faced under the British Raj, in recent years, this renaming trend has moved past British rule. The ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), has renamed sites and cities built by the Mughals, a Muslim dynasty that ruled India between the 16th and 18th centuries. Recently in Delhi, Aurangzeb Road, was renamed Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Marg, after a Muslim President of India, since Aurangzeb is considered anti-Hindu, while Dr Kalam is considered what some on the right call a “good Muslim," as if Muslims have to prove their loyalty to the nation. The city of Allahabad was renamed Prayagraj, its original Sanskrit name, five-hundred years later. A local BJP politician remarked that the renaming of Allahabad was a way to “rectify the mistake made by Akbar,” arguing that the Mughal ruler eroded the city’s ancient traditions, while ignoring the contributions Akbar made to the country. 

The typical justification for this anti-Muslim stance is that the Mughals were invaders who destroyed the glory of Hindu civilisation, while disregarding the centuries-long influence the dynasty had in shaping Indian culture. The secular and unifying foundations of Indian nationalism devised India’s founding fathers during and after the freedom struggle, are disregarded by the current government in favour of a Hindu nationalist vision of the country.

These small steps, in conjunction with more concerning actions such as the abolition of Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy, the passage of the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), and recent Delhi riots, seek to marginalise Muslims and undermine their contributions to the country, has prejudiced a country against 182 million people. Criticisms of the government result in online abuse from the BJP’s troll army, as faced by Rana Ayub, and sadly, in more extreme cases, the murder of Gauri Lankesh. Charges are filed against those who express their dissent against the government. The renaming efforts to the BJP now, and the Shiv Sena 23 years ago, are justified as a matter of national pride. Instead, they have prejudiced the nation against the millions of religious and ethnic groups that contribute to the country’s uniqueness. 

Contact Vibhav Mariwala at vibhavmariwala ‘at’ gmail.com

 

 

Indian Names: Pride and Prejudice

India’s renaming of streets, cultural sites and cities, shows the country’s reluctance to reconcile its complicated history with its nationalist present.

road renaming

In a hurried cab ride from Peddar Road to Bhaudaji Lad Museum in Byculla, albeit before the lockdown, I asked the taxi driver to take me via N.M. Joshi road as I plotted the journey on google maps. He turns around, bewildered and asks, “What’s that?” Equally confused I provided a landmark, to which he responded, “You mean Delisle Road?” Shaking his head in disapproval at my ignorance at Bombay’s street names, he speeds on. Streets across the city have old and new names, from Falkland road being renamed PB Marg despite its role in Manto’s Bombay Stories, to Lamington Road, renowned for its electronics, being renamed to Dr A Nair road, with locals usually knowing the former name, not the latter.

Mumbai, India’s financial hub, a bustling megapolis of 20 million people is best known for its traffic, Bollywood, and businesses. To the average Mumbaikar, or Bombaywallah, depending on your taste, it is better known for its complicated street names, which confuse families that have been there for generations and newly arriving migrants. Under the Shiv Sena, a regional Hindu nationalist party, the city of Bombay was renamed to Mumbai in 1996. Mumbai was the original name of the city some 1000 years ago, before it became a trading hub.

While the move against colonial rule is justified as a way to overcome the horrors the country faced under the British Raj, in recent years, this renaming trend has moved past British rule. The ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), has renamed sites and cities built by the Mughals, a Muslim dynasty that ruled India between the 16th and 18th centuries. Recently in Delhi, Aurangzeb Road, was renamed Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Marg, after a Muslim President of India, since Aurangzeb is considered anti-Hindu, while Dr Kalam is considered what some on the right call a “good Muslim," as if Muslims have to prove their loyalty to the nation. The city of Allahabad was renamed Prayagraj, its original Sanskrit name, five-hundred years later. A local BJP politician remarked that the renaming of Allahabad was a way to “rectify the mistake made by Akbar,” arguing that the Mughal ruler eroded the city’s ancient traditions, while ignoring the contributions Akbar made to the country. 

The typical justification for this anti-Muslim stance is that the Mughals were invaders who destroyed the glory of Hindu civilisation, while disregarding the centuries-long influence the dynasty had in shaping Indian culture. The secular and unifying foundations of Indian nationalism devised India’s founding fathers during and after the freedom struggle, are disregarded by the current government in favour of a Hindu nationalist vision of the country.

These small steps, in conjunction with more concerning actions such as the abolition of Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy, the passage of the discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), and recent Delhi riots, seek to marginalise Muslims and undermine their contributions to the country, has prejudiced a country against 182 million people. Criticisms of the government result in online abuse from the BJP’s troll army, as faced by Rana Ayub, and sadly, in more extreme cases, the murder of Gauri Lankesh. Charges are filed against those who express their dissent against the government. The renaming efforts to the BJP now, and the Shiv Sena 23 years ago, are justified as a matter of national pride. Instead, they have prejudiced the nation against the millions of religious and ethnic groups that contribute to the country’s uniqueness. 

Contact Vibhav Mariwala at vibhavmariwala ‘at’ gmail.com

 

 

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Union Govt fines Press Trust of India Rs 84 crore for ‘breaches’ in office building

This is the second big action against PTI, since it interviewed the Chinese Ambassador to India, Sun Weidong

13 Jul 2020

Image Courtesy:swarajyamag.com

The Union Government has slapped India's premier news agency, the Press Trust of India with a fine of over Rs 84 crore as a ‘penalty’ for alleged ‘breaches’ at its office building on Parliament Street in New Delhi. 

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Q87PDVEu3vkhuHQP_OFvur3xwBsLRl1oIvEwqg6_wuVQE7EZY8abKXYEs2yea7Ets-yblCWKFeb4XaJEJlqQ3Ii_D_kCBtnDKI0sMcFdPpOYbcl-pW3R5CrV5petfMaXdUiZeu0i


This is the second big action that the government has taken against PTI, just weeks after Prasar Bharati, the  national broadcaster threatened to cancel its substantial subscription to the agency’s news feed. That happened right after  PTI interviewed the Chinese Ambassador to India, Sun Weidong, sections of which were quoted by the embassy website. The Prasar Bharati News Service (PBNS) wrote to PTI threatening to withdraw its subscription as the interview caused a sensation with the ambassador's answers being interpreted as putting the onus on India for the clash in Galwan Valley on June 15, where 20 Indian soldiers were killed brutally.  This PTI interview was also put up on the embassy’s website.

Prasar Bharti, however, seemed to have taken umbrage to that interview and had even termed it ‘anti national’. Last week,  the Land and Development Office, which comes under the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs sent a notice to PTI, asking it to pay the over Rs 84 crore penalty by August 7, after which there will be an additional charge of 10 percent interest on the total dues. 

Journalist Anisha Dutta flagged the notice online and called it a “Fresh attack on PTI.” 

 

The notice adds that the news agency must give an undertaking on non-judicial stamp paper stating that it will pay the difference of “misuse/damage charges” if the land rates are revised with retrospective effect from April 1, 2016, and will also remove the “breaches” by July 14, or get them regularised by paying charges. 

According to details shared by journalist Siddharth Zarabi: “Notice also seeks undertaking from @PTI_News that: •it will pay difference if land rates revised w.e.f Apr, 2016. •remove breaches by 14 July/get them regularised. •10% penalty if current demand not paid. •Additional penalty likely post verification of 'violations.' (2/3)

 

According to a report in The Print, an official from the ministry said that “PTI had not paid the ground rent since 1984, and that the agency 'misused the land-allotment terms by converting the basement into an office.” 


Related:

What was so ‘anti national’ about interviewing China’s ambassador to India?

Union Govt fines Press Trust of India Rs 84 crore for ‘breaches’ in office building

This is the second big action against PTI, since it interviewed the Chinese Ambassador to India, Sun Weidong

Image Courtesy:swarajyamag.com

The Union Government has slapped India's premier news agency, the Press Trust of India with a fine of over Rs 84 crore as a ‘penalty’ for alleged ‘breaches’ at its office building on Parliament Street in New Delhi. 

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This is the second big action that the government has taken against PTI, just weeks after Prasar Bharati, the  national broadcaster threatened to cancel its substantial subscription to the agency’s news feed. That happened right after  PTI interviewed the Chinese Ambassador to India, Sun Weidong, sections of which were quoted by the embassy website. The Prasar Bharati News Service (PBNS) wrote to PTI threatening to withdraw its subscription as the interview caused a sensation with the ambassador's answers being interpreted as putting the onus on India for the clash in Galwan Valley on June 15, where 20 Indian soldiers were killed brutally.  This PTI interview was also put up on the embassy’s website.

Prasar Bharti, however, seemed to have taken umbrage to that interview and had even termed it ‘anti national’. Last week,  the Land and Development Office, which comes under the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs sent a notice to PTI, asking it to pay the over Rs 84 crore penalty by August 7, after which there will be an additional charge of 10 percent interest on the total dues. 

Journalist Anisha Dutta flagged the notice online and called it a “Fresh attack on PTI.” 

 

The notice adds that the news agency must give an undertaking on non-judicial stamp paper stating that it will pay the difference of “misuse/damage charges” if the land rates are revised with retrospective effect from April 1, 2016, and will also remove the “breaches” by July 14, or get them regularised by paying charges. 

According to details shared by journalist Siddharth Zarabi: “Notice also seeks undertaking from @PTI_News that: •it will pay difference if land rates revised w.e.f Apr, 2016. •remove breaches by 14 July/get them regularised. •10% penalty if current demand not paid. •Additional penalty likely post verification of 'violations.' (2/3)

 

According to a report in The Print, an official from the ministry said that “PTI had not paid the ground rent since 1984, and that the agency 'misused the land-allotment terms by converting the basement into an office.” 


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What was so ‘anti national’ about interviewing China’s ambassador to India?

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Sachin Pilot’s next move: Will he, won’t he?

It seems easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for politicians to reach a compromise in Rajasthan 

13 Jul 2020

sachin pilot

The one person who perhaps is being watched as much as Sachin Pilot in wake of the political turmoil in Rajasthan, is not a partyman of the Congress. It is ‘Public servant, cricket enthusiast’ Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, who left the Congress Party where he had followed the footsteps of his father Madhavrao Scindia, to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) where his paternal aunts are prominent faces had said, “Sad to see my erstwhile colleague, @SachinPilot too, being sidelined and persecuted by Rajasthan CM, @ashokgehlot51 . Shows that talent and capability find little credence in the @INCIndia .”

 

 

A loaded comment that added fuel to the embers of political gossip that Sachin Pilot, who had stepped into the shoes of his father Congress leader Rajesh Pilot, may quit the party and join the BJP like Scindia did, or even float his own political outfit. Even Congressmen like PL Punia added to the speculation, and said that “Sachin Pilot is now in the BJP”, however he later called it a ‘slip of the tongue’. 

 

 

With many a slip between the cup and the lip, Rajasthan’s political saga continues to blow hotter than the summer winds from the desert state. And it is far from over, in the latest move after an action packed weekend, the Congress party has publicly appealed to Sachin Pilot to stay on. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told the media on Monday that a number of talks had been initiated with Pilot. And said that the Congress’ doors are always open to Sachin Pilot and any other member, so that solutions can be found within the ‘family’. He is quoted as saying, “If anyone, be it at any post or profile, has any problem, they must come forward and mention the issue on the party forum. We will work to resolve it together and keep our government intact in the state.” 

In the past 48 hours, and counting, the Congress leadership is said to have spoken and discussed with Sachin Pilot to find a middle path to solve the current political crisis that threatens to destabilise the Rajasthan government and embarrass the Congress party at large. Therefore the Congress has fielded its spokesperson, Permanent Invitee Member, Congress Working Committee Randeep Singh Surjewala to make an emotional appeal to Sachin Pilot and his supporters. Gentle persuasive appeals full of respectful honorifics were shared, “We are talking to Sachin Pilot who is the Congress Pradesh Committee head along with being the Deputy Chief Minister. We have appealed to the Congress MLAs that the Congress led Rajasthan government has been elected to serve the people. There can be personal differences, but Rajasthan is bigger than any  personal differences…” he said adding that he accepted that there were differences of opinion. But even then it was not appropriate to “weaken your own party’s government or give the BJP an opportunity to horse trade”.

As the Congress likes to project itself as a large ‘family’ the leadership has also appealed that its problems should be solved while staying in the family fold. “If one wants to break away from the family, then the consequences are not good either for the individual not for the family,” said Surjewala. He also stated over social media, that the BJP was making the most of the situation, “The whole country is plagued by Corona, the infection has increased to 29,000 per day, China has captured our land, and the ruling is busy buying MLAs first in Madhya Pradesh and now in Rajasthan.”

While the fire fighting was on, there was another crisis brewing in Rajasthan as two of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's aides were raided by the Income Tax department on Monday morning. According to a report on NDTV, “Rajiv Arora, vice president of the party's Rajasthan unit, and Dharmendra Rathore were raided hours after the ruling Congress denied any threat to its government in a late-night press briefing.” Five premises linked to the two leaders were raided in Jaipur and Kota over allegations of "tax evasion", reported NDTV. 

Surjewala reacted sharply with a jibe at the BJP over the raids and said, "I-T (Income Tax Department), ED (Enforcement Directorate), and the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) are the BJP's frontal departments... their raids cannot topple Rajasthan government." He added that after the Income Tax Department raids, ED may not be far behind, “When will ED arrive?” 

 

 

“Instead of toppling democratically elected governments, the BJP should focus on bringing India out of the trenches of the COVID war,” said the Congress .

 

 

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, in the ongoing political tussle in Rajasthan, a close aide of Pilot told HT that the deputy chief minister is unlikely to join the Bharatiya Janata Party. Pilot had raised concerns about chief minister Gehlot style of functioning and said he was not heard. Sachin Pilot’s alleged revolt, or even a hint at one has set the party up for shaky days ahead.

According to NDTV, the Rajasthan Congress at a press conference on Monday where it said that 109 MLAs in the 200-member state assembly have expressed their trust in Gehlot’s government. Sachin Pilot had earlier been questioned inconnection with an alleged attempt to destabilise the state government ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections, stated NDTV. "Nobody wants to leave his home, but can't continue to put up with this kind of humiliation; my MLAs and supporters are extremely hurt and I will have to listen to them," Sachin Pilot told senior journalist and political analyst Javed Ansari on Sunday. On his part the Chief Minister Gehlot had said he too had been summoned via a notice by the Rajasthan Police’s Special Operation Group (SOG) to record statements in connection with the arrest of two BJP leaders for their alleged attempt to topple the Congress government. As reported in The Print, Sachin Pilot believes that the notices were meant to target him. 

According to a report in The Print even Priyanka Gandhi has made a phone call to Sachin Pilot on Sunday night to discuss the situation. However, the report added that according to their sources, Pilot has told Gandhi that “he wants his due and that he has waited a long time for it.”

According to news reports Congress has 107 MLAs in Rajasthan Assembly and the government is supported by 10 Independent MLAs, and two each from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Bharatiya Tribal Party. The BJP has 72 seats in the 200-member Assembly. Around 30 Congress MLAs and some independent legislators are said to be standing in support of Sachin Pilot. The half-way mark is 101. CM Ashok Gehlot has claimed the support of 106 MLAs. The BJP has 72 + 3 MLAs from Hanuman Beniwal's Rashtriya Loktantrik Party. Three independent MLAs are under the radar of the Anti Corruption Branch; they are not supporting the Congress anymore, reported NDTV.

This saga is far from over, and at this point it seems easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for political leaders to reach a compromise in Rajasthan. 

Sachin Pilot’s next move: Will he, won’t he?

It seems easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for politicians to reach a compromise in Rajasthan 

sachin pilot

The one person who perhaps is being watched as much as Sachin Pilot in wake of the political turmoil in Rajasthan, is not a partyman of the Congress. It is ‘Public servant, cricket enthusiast’ Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, who left the Congress Party where he had followed the footsteps of his father Madhavrao Scindia, to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) where his paternal aunts are prominent faces had said, “Sad to see my erstwhile colleague, @SachinPilot too, being sidelined and persecuted by Rajasthan CM, @ashokgehlot51 . Shows that talent and capability find little credence in the @INCIndia .”

 

 

A loaded comment that added fuel to the embers of political gossip that Sachin Pilot, who had stepped into the shoes of his father Congress leader Rajesh Pilot, may quit the party and join the BJP like Scindia did, or even float his own political outfit. Even Congressmen like PL Punia added to the speculation, and said that “Sachin Pilot is now in the BJP”, however he later called it a ‘slip of the tongue’. 

 

 

With many a slip between the cup and the lip, Rajasthan’s political saga continues to blow hotter than the summer winds from the desert state. And it is far from over, in the latest move after an action packed weekend, the Congress party has publicly appealed to Sachin Pilot to stay on. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told the media on Monday that a number of talks had been initiated with Pilot. And said that the Congress’ doors are always open to Sachin Pilot and any other member, so that solutions can be found within the ‘family’. He is quoted as saying, “If anyone, be it at any post or profile, has any problem, they must come forward and mention the issue on the party forum. We will work to resolve it together and keep our government intact in the state.” 

In the past 48 hours, and counting, the Congress leadership is said to have spoken and discussed with Sachin Pilot to find a middle path to solve the current political crisis that threatens to destabilise the Rajasthan government and embarrass the Congress party at large. Therefore the Congress has fielded its spokesperson, Permanent Invitee Member, Congress Working Committee Randeep Singh Surjewala to make an emotional appeal to Sachin Pilot and his supporters. Gentle persuasive appeals full of respectful honorifics were shared, “We are talking to Sachin Pilot who is the Congress Pradesh Committee head along with being the Deputy Chief Minister. We have appealed to the Congress MLAs that the Congress led Rajasthan government has been elected to serve the people. There can be personal differences, but Rajasthan is bigger than any  personal differences…” he said adding that he accepted that there were differences of opinion. But even then it was not appropriate to “weaken your own party’s government or give the BJP an opportunity to horse trade”.

As the Congress likes to project itself as a large ‘family’ the leadership has also appealed that its problems should be solved while staying in the family fold. “If one wants to break away from the family, then the consequences are not good either for the individual not for the family,” said Surjewala. He also stated over social media, that the BJP was making the most of the situation, “The whole country is plagued by Corona, the infection has increased to 29,000 per day, China has captured our land, and the ruling is busy buying MLAs first in Madhya Pradesh and now in Rajasthan.”

While the fire fighting was on, there was another crisis brewing in Rajasthan as two of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's aides were raided by the Income Tax department on Monday morning. According to a report on NDTV, “Rajiv Arora, vice president of the party's Rajasthan unit, and Dharmendra Rathore were raided hours after the ruling Congress denied any threat to its government in a late-night press briefing.” Five premises linked to the two leaders were raided in Jaipur and Kota over allegations of "tax evasion", reported NDTV. 

Surjewala reacted sharply with a jibe at the BJP over the raids and said, "I-T (Income Tax Department), ED (Enforcement Directorate), and the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) are the BJP's frontal departments... their raids cannot topple Rajasthan government." He added that after the Income Tax Department raids, ED may not be far behind, “When will ED arrive?” 

 

 

“Instead of toppling democratically elected governments, the BJP should focus on bringing India out of the trenches of the COVID war,” said the Congress .

 

 

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, in the ongoing political tussle in Rajasthan, a close aide of Pilot told HT that the deputy chief minister is unlikely to join the Bharatiya Janata Party. Pilot had raised concerns about chief minister Gehlot style of functioning and said he was not heard. Sachin Pilot’s alleged revolt, or even a hint at one has set the party up for shaky days ahead.

According to NDTV, the Rajasthan Congress at a press conference on Monday where it said that 109 MLAs in the 200-member state assembly have expressed their trust in Gehlot’s government. Sachin Pilot had earlier been questioned inconnection with an alleged attempt to destabilise the state government ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections, stated NDTV. "Nobody wants to leave his home, but can't continue to put up with this kind of humiliation; my MLAs and supporters are extremely hurt and I will have to listen to them," Sachin Pilot told senior journalist and political analyst Javed Ansari on Sunday. On his part the Chief Minister Gehlot had said he too had been summoned via a notice by the Rajasthan Police’s Special Operation Group (SOG) to record statements in connection with the arrest of two BJP leaders for their alleged attempt to topple the Congress government. As reported in The Print, Sachin Pilot believes that the notices were meant to target him. 

According to a report in The Print even Priyanka Gandhi has made a phone call to Sachin Pilot on Sunday night to discuss the situation. However, the report added that according to their sources, Pilot has told Gandhi that “he wants his due and that he has waited a long time for it.”

According to news reports Congress has 107 MLAs in Rajasthan Assembly and the government is supported by 10 Independent MLAs, and two each from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Bharatiya Tribal Party. The BJP has 72 seats in the 200-member Assembly. Around 30 Congress MLAs and some independent legislators are said to be standing in support of Sachin Pilot. The half-way mark is 101. CM Ashok Gehlot has claimed the support of 106 MLAs. The BJP has 72 + 3 MLAs from Hanuman Beniwal's Rashtriya Loktantrik Party. Three independent MLAs are under the radar of the Anti Corruption Branch; they are not supporting the Congress anymore, reported NDTV.

This saga is far from over, and at this point it seems easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for political leaders to reach a compromise in Rajasthan. 

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Gujarat BJP leader celebrates birthday with alcohol in public amid lockdown

The incident took place in Gujarat’s Mahisagar district where the BJP leader was seen cutting his birthday cake with a sword

13 Jul 2020

BJP

On Friday, BJP’s Mahisagar district convener Kawan Patel threw a birthday party in public, in the middle of the road, breaking all social distancing rules. In a video that went viral on social media, Patel could be seen cutting his birthday cake with a sword as his friends poured alcohol all over him and themselves. It must be noted that Gujarat is grappling with increasing cases of the coronavirus infection and is treating as many as 10,662 patients with the infection at the moment. It is also noteworthy that Gujarat is a dry state i.e there are stringent alcohol prohibition laws.

 

 

Besides Patel, those involved in the act include BJP district president for Mahisagar, Yogendra Mehra, reported India Today. It has been said that the police have arrested seven people in the matter on charges of consuming liquor and brandishing weapons in public. Mahisagar Deputy SP NV Patel told Ahmedabad Mirror, “We have arrested Kavan Patel, Yogendra Mehra and five others based on the video that went viral. We are also in the process of identifying others who were at the party and will duly arrest them. The sword with which the cake was cut has been seized and the accused have been arrested for offences including prohibition, violation of notification and Epidemic Diseases Act for not wearing masks and failure to maintain social distance.”

However, BJP’s regional spokesperson Bharat Pandya issued a statement saying that the BJP was in no way involved in the event and those participating were neither BJP office bearers nor active members of the party.

 

 

Last year, in a similar incident, Nikhil Murkute, a BJP leader from Belagavi, Karnataka was arrested for celebrating his birthday by cutting the cake with a sword.

This is not the first time that the members of the BJP have been found to be involved in such an incident during the lockdown. In May, BJP President of Ward No. 7 Anil Parmar and seven others had been arrested by the Vadodara police after they were found celebrating a birthday party violating all lockdown norms, Indian Express had reported.


Related:

BJP MLA violates lockdown, invites 100 people to birthday bash

 

Gujarat BJP leader celebrates birthday with alcohol in public amid lockdown

The incident took place in Gujarat’s Mahisagar district where the BJP leader was seen cutting his birthday cake with a sword

BJP

On Friday, BJP’s Mahisagar district convener Kawan Patel threw a birthday party in public, in the middle of the road, breaking all social distancing rules. In a video that went viral on social media, Patel could be seen cutting his birthday cake with a sword as his friends poured alcohol all over him and themselves. It must be noted that Gujarat is grappling with increasing cases of the coronavirus infection and is treating as many as 10,662 patients with the infection at the moment. It is also noteworthy that Gujarat is a dry state i.e there are stringent alcohol prohibition laws.

 

 

Besides Patel, those involved in the act include BJP district president for Mahisagar, Yogendra Mehra, reported India Today. It has been said that the police have arrested seven people in the matter on charges of consuming liquor and brandishing weapons in public. Mahisagar Deputy SP NV Patel told Ahmedabad Mirror, “We have arrested Kavan Patel, Yogendra Mehra and five others based on the video that went viral. We are also in the process of identifying others who were at the party and will duly arrest them. The sword with which the cake was cut has been seized and the accused have been arrested for offences including prohibition, violation of notification and Epidemic Diseases Act for not wearing masks and failure to maintain social distance.”

However, BJP’s regional spokesperson Bharat Pandya issued a statement saying that the BJP was in no way involved in the event and those participating were neither BJP office bearers nor active members of the party.

 

 

Last year, in a similar incident, Nikhil Murkute, a BJP leader from Belagavi, Karnataka was arrested for celebrating his birthday by cutting the cake with a sword.

This is not the first time that the members of the BJP have been found to be involved in such an incident during the lockdown. In May, BJP President of Ward No. 7 Anil Parmar and seven others had been arrested by the Vadodara police after they were found celebrating a birthday party violating all lockdown norms, Indian Express had reported.


Related:

BJP MLA violates lockdown, invites 100 people to birthday bash

 

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Hatemonger and Shiv Sena Taksali leader Sudhir Suri allegedly enjoys the protection of 15 cops

He was recently pulled up for his alleged objectionable remarks for women from the Sikh community

11 Jul 2020

Image Courtesy:indianexpress.com

Even after being accused in six cases, most on charges of making casteist remarks and hurting religious sentiments, serial offender Sudhir Kumar Suri, a self-styled leader of the right-wing Shiv Sena (Taksali) enjoys a security cover that even lawmakers in Punjab can’t avail of, reported The Indian Express.

The serial hatemonger and Hindutva propagator allegedly enjoys the protection of 15 cops of the Punjab Police. Suri’s spokesperson Ranjit Singh told IE, “He has been given eight gunmen, five constables and two drivers. He has been given only one police pilot Gypsy. The security cover, however, is not enough. We have filed a writ in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking central government security cover for Suri.”

History of hate speech

One of the first cases against Suri, reportedly for hurting religious sentiments, was registered in 2014. In 2017, the Amritsar police took suo moto action against Suri after he allegedly used derogatory and provocative language against the Sikh community. He was booked under Sections 294 (using obscene language and act), 153-A (promoting enmity between two communities) of the IPC and 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, The Tribune India reported.

In 2018, the Civil Lines police had booked Suri for allegedly making casteist remarks and using abusive words against the Dalit community through a WhatsApp audio message, Hindustan Times had reported. With regards to this, a complaint against him was filed under Section 3 of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and 67 of Information Technology Act.

Recently, on the basis of an anonymous complaint, he was also arrested in April 2020 for allegedly making communal remarks against the Tablighi Jamaat members on social media, IE said. In April he was booked under Sections 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race…), 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs, 505 (2) (Statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) and 115 (Abetment of offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life) of the Indian Penal Code.

However, the case was termed as fabricated by his spokesperson who said that the social media account used was not Suri’s and that he was being targeted by police officers.

This week, on July 8, 2020, the police registered another FIR against Suri under Section 153 A of the IPC, reported IE, for a video where he was allegedly seen using objectionable language for women of the Sikh community.

 

However, Suri posted a video on his Facebook account saying that he was not the person in the video and that his lips and voice had been morphed into it.

It was also said that the chairman of the DSS, Loveleen Luv Mattu, was yet to be provided security cover in spite of repeated requests. He told IE that the alleged reason he hadn’t received security was because of the caste system being in play, alleging that Suri was provided security as he belonged to the general caste while Baba Meghnath, the religious leader of the DSS was only provided a temporary constable for security. Mattu told IE, “At least four cases are registered against Suri under section 295 (a) for hurting religious sentiments and one under the SC/ST Act. Last year, he was also booked for using defamatory words against Bhagwan Valmiki.”

Our take: It is questionable why somebody like Suri has received police protection in the first place. It is also noteworthy that after Suri’s alleged objectionable remarks on women of the Sikh community, a number of Sikhs took to the streets demanding his arrest. They questioned his commitment and contribution to Hinduism and asked why taxpayer money was being spent on his security. But they were made to run from one location to the other and yet their complaint wasn’t registered. The police allegedly said that they would inquire and then register the case. The same police didn’t hesitate once before brutally beating up commoners or arresting dissenters. Is the preferential treatment for Suri and for those of his ilk due to the political patronage they enjoy?

Related:

Hate offender Kapil Mishra accuses renowned journalists for biased reportage of Delhi violence
All non-Muslim minorities are Hindus: Puri Shankaracharya wants amendments to Article 25 of Indian Constitution

Hatemonger and Shiv Sena Taksali leader Sudhir Suri allegedly enjoys the protection of 15 cops

He was recently pulled up for his alleged objectionable remarks for women from the Sikh community

Image Courtesy:indianexpress.com

Even after being accused in six cases, most on charges of making casteist remarks and hurting religious sentiments, serial offender Sudhir Kumar Suri, a self-styled leader of the right-wing Shiv Sena (Taksali) enjoys a security cover that even lawmakers in Punjab can’t avail of, reported The Indian Express.

The serial hatemonger and Hindutva propagator allegedly enjoys the protection of 15 cops of the Punjab Police. Suri’s spokesperson Ranjit Singh told IE, “He has been given eight gunmen, five constables and two drivers. He has been given only one police pilot Gypsy. The security cover, however, is not enough. We have filed a writ in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking central government security cover for Suri.”

History of hate speech

One of the first cases against Suri, reportedly for hurting religious sentiments, was registered in 2014. In 2017, the Amritsar police took suo moto action against Suri after he allegedly used derogatory and provocative language against the Sikh community. He was booked under Sections 294 (using obscene language and act), 153-A (promoting enmity between two communities) of the IPC and 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, The Tribune India reported.

In 2018, the Civil Lines police had booked Suri for allegedly making casteist remarks and using abusive words against the Dalit community through a WhatsApp audio message, Hindustan Times had reported. With regards to this, a complaint against him was filed under Section 3 of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and 67 of Information Technology Act.

Recently, on the basis of an anonymous complaint, he was also arrested in April 2020 for allegedly making communal remarks against the Tablighi Jamaat members on social media, IE said. In April he was booked under Sections 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race…), 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs, 505 (2) (Statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) and 115 (Abetment of offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life) of the Indian Penal Code.

However, the case was termed as fabricated by his spokesperson who said that the social media account used was not Suri’s and that he was being targeted by police officers.

This week, on July 8, 2020, the police registered another FIR against Suri under Section 153 A of the IPC, reported IE, for a video where he was allegedly seen using objectionable language for women of the Sikh community.

 

However, Suri posted a video on his Facebook account saying that he was not the person in the video and that his lips and voice had been morphed into it.

It was also said that the chairman of the DSS, Loveleen Luv Mattu, was yet to be provided security cover in spite of repeated requests. He told IE that the alleged reason he hadn’t received security was because of the caste system being in play, alleging that Suri was provided security as he belonged to the general caste while Baba Meghnath, the religious leader of the DSS was only provided a temporary constable for security. Mattu told IE, “At least four cases are registered against Suri under section 295 (a) for hurting religious sentiments and one under the SC/ST Act. Last year, he was also booked for using defamatory words against Bhagwan Valmiki.”

Our take: It is questionable why somebody like Suri has received police protection in the first place. It is also noteworthy that after Suri’s alleged objectionable remarks on women of the Sikh community, a number of Sikhs took to the streets demanding his arrest. They questioned his commitment and contribution to Hinduism and asked why taxpayer money was being spent on his security. But they were made to run from one location to the other and yet their complaint wasn’t registered. The police allegedly said that they would inquire and then register the case. The same police didn’t hesitate once before brutally beating up commoners or arresting dissenters. Is the preferential treatment for Suri and for those of his ilk due to the political patronage they enjoy?

Related:

Hate offender Kapil Mishra accuses renowned journalists for biased reportage of Delhi violence
All non-Muslim minorities are Hindus: Puri Shankaracharya wants amendments to Article 25 of Indian Constitution

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Gangster Vikas Dubey’s 'encounter' reopens debate on extrajudicial killings

He was shot dead enroute to Kanpur a day after he ‘surrendered’ in Madhya Pradesh, and was being brought to Uttar Pradesh 

10 Jul 2020

vikas dubey

In another hour Vikas Dubey, Uttar Pradesh’s most notorious gangster accused of ambushing and killing eight Uttar Pradesh Policemen, would have reached Kanpur with the posse of policemen who had arrested him after his dramatic appearance at the Mahakal temple in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. He was shot dead en route. According to the police version, Dubey had attempted to flee after the car they were in, had slipped and fallen into a roadside pot hole. The encounter sight soon became a hot spot and the rush of locals even caused a traffic jam.

The police encounter on Friday July 10, of the gangster who had ‘surrendered’ peacefully on Thursday July 9, and was being brought to UP for further investigations, has reopened the debate on such killings. There is a sharp divide between those who are hailing this killing as a positive impact on criminals, or even justice for the policemen killed in an ambush allegedly by Dubey and his gang, and those who say the rule of law should have been followed and Dubey should have been tried and punished by the courts.

The UP police have told the media that after their vehicle met with an accident on the rain slicked road, Dubey tried to flee, apparently after snatching a pistol from a cop, and was subsequently shot dead in a field near the road. After days of being chased by UP police in connection with the killing of eight policemen in an ambush at village Bikru, near Kanpur, Dubey had surrendered to the police just a day before his 'encounter'.

Dubey’s killing comes close on the heels of the 'encounters' where most of his gang members were killed over the last few days in separate incidents across Uttar Pradesh. According to news reports even on July 3, the day the policemen were killed in the ambush, Dubey’s aides identified as Prem Prakash Pandey and Atul Dubey, were killed in an encounter in Kanpur. Multiple news reports detailed how another Dubey aide, Amar Dubey, was killed on July 8 at Maudaha village in Hamirpur district. The next day, July 9, two more men associated with Dubey, and wanted in connection with the Kanpur ambush, Praveen alias Bauwa Dubey and Prabhat Mishra were killed in two separate encounters in Etawah and Kanpur respectively. Mishra had been arrested from Faridabad a day before he was killed.

Prashant Kumar, UP ADG-Law & Order told mediapersons that three sub-inspectors, one constable and two STF commandos were injured during the incident. So far, three people have been arrested, six accused killed and seven people have been sent to jail (under section 120B IPC). 12 wanted criminals still absconding.

The sense of a repeating sequence of events has been noted by most people following the Vikar Dubey case and subsequent encounters of him and his gang by Uttar Pradesh Police. In fact a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Supreme Court on Friday, seeking a probe by the Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI) into the killings of Vikas Dubey’s aides by the Uttar Pradesh Police. According to a report in the Hindustan Times the plea, which was filed before Dubey himself was killed, had raised concerns that the gangster from Uttar Pradesh too might suffer the same fate. The petitioner Ghaynshyam Upadhyay, therefore, prayed that Dubey should be given adequate security so that he is dealt with as per the law, stated the HT report. “Killing of accused by police in the name of encounter is against the rule of law and serious violation of human right and this is nothing short of Talibanisation of the country,” stated the petition.

It is a matter of public record that the (then) Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC) Justice (retired) M.N. Venkatachaliah had once made crucial observations on such encounters. He had stated that, “Under our laws the police have not been conferred any right to take away the life of another person. If, by his act, the policeman kills a person, he commits the offence of culpable homicide whether amounting to the offence of murder or not unless it is proved that such killing was not an offence under the law.” 

However, he had added that “it would not be an offence if death is caused in the exercise of the right of private defence.” And that there was another provision “under which the police officer can justify the causing of death of another person, is Section 46 of the Criminal Procedure Code. This provision authorises the police to use force, extending upto the causing of death, as may be necessary to arrest the person accused of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life. It is, therefore, clear that when death is caused in an encounter, and if it is not justified as having been caused in exercise of the legitimate right of private defence, or in proper exercise of the power of arrest under Section 46 of the Cr.P.C., the police officer causing the death, would be guilty of the offence of culpable homicide. Whether the causing of death in the encounter in a particular case was justified as falling under any one of the two conditions, can only be ascertained by proper investigation and not otherwise.”

The NHRC had also recommend the following as correct procedure for investigations into police encounters:
 

  • When the police officer in charge of a Police Station receives information about the deaths in an encounter between the Police party and others, he shall enter that information in the appropriate register.

  • The information as received shall be regarded as sufficient to suspect the commission of a cognizable offence and immediate steps should be taken to investigate the facts and circumstances leading to the death to ascertain what, if any, offence was committed and by whom.

  • As the police officers belonging to the same Police Station are the members of the encounter party, it is appropriate that the cases are made over for investigation to some other independent investigation agency, such as State CID.

  • Question of granting of compensation to the dependents of the deceased may be considered in cases ending in conviction, if police officers are prosecuted on the basis of the results of the investigation.

According to advocate Abdul Quadir Abbasi, an Advocate on Record, Supreme Court, even if the courts take time to impart justice, the state shouldn’t take the law in their hands. “Court should take suo motu cognisance of such incidents,” he said. The last such encounter which sparked a national debate was the killing of a group of men accuseud of rape and murder, in Telangana in 2019. The four accused had 'confessed' to the gruesome gang rape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinary doctor in Shamshabad, near Hyderabad in Novermner 2019. The accused were killed in a police encounter on the Bangalore Hyderabad highway, while they were being taken in police custody for a reconstruction of the crime scene. Many had hailed this encounter as an anti crime move then too.

However, according to advocate Quadri, “State surrender before majoritarianism will lead to nowhere. Those people (lawyers in particular) who are supporting the fake encounters are invariably encouraging the concept of a Police state. Authoritarian rule will be established and no independent judiciary will be anymore. This is horrific in a democratic state. Fairness in action is the hallmark of  every democratic set up.”

As activist and Politician Subhashini Ali writes in The Wire, "On assuming the post of chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath declared his intention of making the state crime-free. He said that anyone committing a crime would be hammered (‘thoke jayenge’). There’s a double entendre here: Thoke jayenge is also colloquial for bumping off and, taking their cue from the chief minister, the police adopted ‘encounter’ as their modus operandi against crime, completely ignoring the advice of former DGP Prakash Singh, a tough cop and inveterate champion of police reform, who had warned against making an encounter an expression of public policy."

Interestingly the UP government had also announced a three-day lockdown yesterday evening. Media vehicles that were following the police convoy transporting Dubey were allegedly stopped from proceeding further at around 6:30 A.M by policemen at a checkpoint. This was just 30 minutes before the alleged encounter. Angry media persons then confronted the police officer on duty only to be told that there was no special reason to stop the media. It was just "general checking" as this was a check-point. Twitter user Amit Kabi tweeted a video of the confrontation.

 

 

While the the ‘celebrations,’ have begun in all earnest amongst some, politician Omar Abdullah has said it best: “Dead men tell no tales”

 

 

Related:

UP gangster Vikas Dubey surrenders, arrested at Mahakal Temple in MP

Social media hails gangster Vikas Dubey as ‘lion’, ‘Brahmin Shiromani’

 

 

Gangster Vikas Dubey’s 'encounter' reopens debate on extrajudicial killings

He was shot dead enroute to Kanpur a day after he ‘surrendered’ in Madhya Pradesh, and was being brought to Uttar Pradesh 

vikas dubey

In another hour Vikas Dubey, Uttar Pradesh’s most notorious gangster accused of ambushing and killing eight Uttar Pradesh Policemen, would have reached Kanpur with the posse of policemen who had arrested him after his dramatic appearance at the Mahakal temple in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. He was shot dead en route. According to the police version, Dubey had attempted to flee after the car they were in, had slipped and fallen into a roadside pot hole. The encounter sight soon became a hot spot and the rush of locals even caused a traffic jam.

The police encounter on Friday July 10, of the gangster who had ‘surrendered’ peacefully on Thursday July 9, and was being brought to UP for further investigations, has reopened the debate on such killings. There is a sharp divide between those who are hailing this killing as a positive impact on criminals, or even justice for the policemen killed in an ambush allegedly by Dubey and his gang, and those who say the rule of law should have been followed and Dubey should have been tried and punished by the courts.

The UP police have told the media that after their vehicle met with an accident on the rain slicked road, Dubey tried to flee, apparently after snatching a pistol from a cop, and was subsequently shot dead in a field near the road. After days of being chased by UP police in connection with the killing of eight policemen in an ambush at village Bikru, near Kanpur, Dubey had surrendered to the police just a day before his 'encounter'.

Dubey’s killing comes close on the heels of the 'encounters' where most of his gang members were killed over the last few days in separate incidents across Uttar Pradesh. According to news reports even on July 3, the day the policemen were killed in the ambush, Dubey’s aides identified as Prem Prakash Pandey and Atul Dubey, were killed in an encounter in Kanpur. Multiple news reports detailed how another Dubey aide, Amar Dubey, was killed on July 8 at Maudaha village in Hamirpur district. The next day, July 9, two more men associated with Dubey, and wanted in connection with the Kanpur ambush, Praveen alias Bauwa Dubey and Prabhat Mishra were killed in two separate encounters in Etawah and Kanpur respectively. Mishra had been arrested from Faridabad a day before he was killed.

Prashant Kumar, UP ADG-Law & Order told mediapersons that three sub-inspectors, one constable and two STF commandos were injured during the incident. So far, three people have been arrested, six accused killed and seven people have been sent to jail (under section 120B IPC). 12 wanted criminals still absconding.

The sense of a repeating sequence of events has been noted by most people following the Vikar Dubey case and subsequent encounters of him and his gang by Uttar Pradesh Police. In fact a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Supreme Court on Friday, seeking a probe by the Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI) into the killings of Vikas Dubey’s aides by the Uttar Pradesh Police. According to a report in the Hindustan Times the plea, which was filed before Dubey himself was killed, had raised concerns that the gangster from Uttar Pradesh too might suffer the same fate. The petitioner Ghaynshyam Upadhyay, therefore, prayed that Dubey should be given adequate security so that he is dealt with as per the law, stated the HT report. “Killing of accused by police in the name of encounter is against the rule of law and serious violation of human right and this is nothing short of Talibanisation of the country,” stated the petition.

It is a matter of public record that the (then) Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC) Justice (retired) M.N. Venkatachaliah had once made crucial observations on such encounters. He had stated that, “Under our laws the police have not been conferred any right to take away the life of another person. If, by his act, the policeman kills a person, he commits the offence of culpable homicide whether amounting to the offence of murder or not unless it is proved that such killing was not an offence under the law.” 

However, he had added that “it would not be an offence if death is caused in the exercise of the right of private defence.” And that there was another provision “under which the police officer can justify the causing of death of another person, is Section 46 of the Criminal Procedure Code. This provision authorises the police to use force, extending upto the causing of death, as may be necessary to arrest the person accused of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life. It is, therefore, clear that when death is caused in an encounter, and if it is not justified as having been caused in exercise of the legitimate right of private defence, or in proper exercise of the power of arrest under Section 46 of the Cr.P.C., the police officer causing the death, would be guilty of the offence of culpable homicide. Whether the causing of death in the encounter in a particular case was justified as falling under any one of the two conditions, can only be ascertained by proper investigation and not otherwise.”

The NHRC had also recommend the following as correct procedure for investigations into police encounters:
 

  • When the police officer in charge of a Police Station receives information about the deaths in an encounter between the Police party and others, he shall enter that information in the appropriate register.

  • The information as received shall be regarded as sufficient to suspect the commission of a cognizable offence and immediate steps should be taken to investigate the facts and circumstances leading to the death to ascertain what, if any, offence was committed and by whom.

  • As the police officers belonging to the same Police Station are the members of the encounter party, it is appropriate that the cases are made over for investigation to some other independent investigation agency, such as State CID.

  • Question of granting of compensation to the dependents of the deceased may be considered in cases ending in conviction, if police officers are prosecuted on the basis of the results of the investigation.

According to advocate Abdul Quadir Abbasi, an Advocate on Record, Supreme Court, even if the courts take time to impart justice, the state shouldn’t take the law in their hands. “Court should take suo motu cognisance of such incidents,” he said. The last such encounter which sparked a national debate was the killing of a group of men accuseud of rape and murder, in Telangana in 2019. The four accused had 'confessed' to the gruesome gang rape and murder of a 26-year-old veterinary doctor in Shamshabad, near Hyderabad in Novermner 2019. The accused were killed in a police encounter on the Bangalore Hyderabad highway, while they were being taken in police custody for a reconstruction of the crime scene. Many had hailed this encounter as an anti crime move then too.

However, according to advocate Quadri, “State surrender before majoritarianism will lead to nowhere. Those people (lawyers in particular) who are supporting the fake encounters are invariably encouraging the concept of a Police state. Authoritarian rule will be established and no independent judiciary will be anymore. This is horrific in a democratic state. Fairness in action is the hallmark of  every democratic set up.”

As activist and Politician Subhashini Ali writes in The Wire, "On assuming the post of chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath declared his intention of making the state crime-free. He said that anyone committing a crime would be hammered (‘thoke jayenge’). There’s a double entendre here: Thoke jayenge is also colloquial for bumping off and, taking their cue from the chief minister, the police adopted ‘encounter’ as their modus operandi against crime, completely ignoring the advice of former DGP Prakash Singh, a tough cop and inveterate champion of police reform, who had warned against making an encounter an expression of public policy."

Interestingly the UP government had also announced a three-day lockdown yesterday evening. Media vehicles that were following the police convoy transporting Dubey were allegedly stopped from proceeding further at around 6:30 A.M by policemen at a checkpoint. This was just 30 minutes before the alleged encounter. Angry media persons then confronted the police officer on duty only to be told that there was no special reason to stop the media. It was just "general checking" as this was a check-point. Twitter user Amit Kabi tweeted a video of the confrontation.

 

 

While the the ‘celebrations,’ have begun in all earnest amongst some, politician Omar Abdullah has said it best: “Dead men tell no tales”

 

 

Related:

UP gangster Vikas Dubey surrenders, arrested at Mahakal Temple in MP

Social media hails gangster Vikas Dubey as ‘lion’, ‘Brahmin Shiromani’

 

 

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Sabrang

Decoding Hate

Hate offender Kapil Mishra accuses renowned journalists for biased reportage of Delhi violence

Sabrangindia 09 Jul 2020

Leading web news portals recently reported on the role of the right-wing WhatsApp group ‘Kattar Hindu Ekta’, the members of which are accused of being involved in the killings of at least nine Muslims during the Delhi Riots. BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s alleged mention in the group was also widely reported.

However, now, Kapil Mishra has put out a tweet - ‘Truth of Delhi Rios that Rajdeep (Sardesai), Ravish (Kumar), The Print, Scroll and NDTV will never tell you’ where he has hurled wild accusations against these leading journalists saying that they will never tell the public that the Delhi Riots were funded by radical Islamist Zakir Naik.

 

 

In the video he says, that the media portals like The Print, The Wire and The Scroll and journalists like Rajdeep Sardesai and Ravish Kumar who work to ‘save’ Khalid Saifi, Tahir Hussain and Safoora Zargar and address them as ‘activists’, the truth of such people has been revealed in the chargesheet of the Delhi Police. He says that Khalid Saifi, who was booked by the Delhi Police in connection with the riots, was in Malaysia to meet with Zakir Naik before the violence. Mishra adds that on returning from Malaysia, Saifi met with Umar Khalid, purportedly one of the founders of United against Hate (UAH) and Tahir Hussain, suspended Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Councilor.

Mishra also adds that the Special Cell of the Delhi Police investigating the matter allegedly found a register at the residence of Meeran Haider, a member of the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) who has been booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), showing that he had received money from accounts in Singapore, UK and Oman and how that money was reportedly used to fund the riots.

Mishra also said that the Delhi riots were an international conspiracy and that ‘jihadis’ who wished to see India taken over by Islam, funded and trained people for the violence. In the video he asks those who side with Khalid Saifi, Tahir Hussain and Safoora Zargar whether they too were funded by Zakir Naik and whether the campaigns in their favour were being run by taking funds from terrorists.

Kapil Mishra who describes himself on Twitter as a “New Delhi based Hindu, Nationalist Politician”, had led a pro-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) rally on February 23, two days before the riots, at Maujpur, close to the site of the anti-CAA protest near the Jafrabad metro station. At his rally Mishra was seen standing next to a uniformed police officer and had said, “We will remain peaceful till Trump leaves. After that we will not listen to you.”

In what sounded like a blatant ultimatum to the Delhi police, Mishra, a serial hate offender, had addressed his supporters and said, “DCP sahab is standing nearby, I am saying this… till Trump leaves we will go from here peacefully, after that we will not even listen to you… if the roads are not cleared. By the time Trump leaves we request you to clear Jafrabad and Chand Bagh. After that we will have to come onto the roads.”

In the  chargesheet investigating the killing of Delhi Police head constable Ratan Lal, an eyewitness account had stated that the “policeman's killing was the result of a mob attack after a crowd at Chand Bagh heard about BJP leader Kapil Mishra's supporters setting fire to the site of an anti-CAA protest.”

Though there had been a call by many activists and organizations, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) had started an online petition calling for Mishra’s arrest, the omission of his name has raised many questions about the authenticity of the investigation.

In 2016, when Mishra was associated with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), in Parliament, he had said that even the ‘snakes of ISI were fed milk by Modi’ and had questioned whether Modi was an ISI agent himself.

 

 

Our Take: Does it bode well for someone like Kapil Mishra with a chequered past in politics, a repeat hate offender and  Islamophobe to question the authenticity of a renowned journalist like Ravish Kumar who has won the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award?

During the pro-CAA rallies that Mishra led, he chanted slogans calling for ‘shoot the traitors’ which were used days after the riots. The Students’ Union of the Delhi School of Social Work (DSSW), the alma mater of tainted BJP leader Kapil Mishra, too had distanced itself from the party’s political candidate in a statement that reads after Mishra made the incendiary speech before the Delhi Violence.

And yet, given all the evidence, Mishra's continuous attempts to insult the keepers of the Fourth Estate with impunity only go to show that he is in fact shielded by those now in power who are trying to deepen the communal divide in the country.


Related:

SC directs Delhi HC to hear plea of riot-affected people for FIRs in hate speech cases on Friday

Kapil Mishra remains invisible and unnamed in Delhi Police charge sheet

Videos of hate speech by Kapil Mishra played before Delhi HC

Delhi violence: Is Kapil Mishra the villain of the story?  

BJP’s Kapil Mishra says ‘shoot the traitors’ at pro-CAA rally 

 

Hate offender Kapil Mishra accuses renowned journalists for biased reportage of Delhi violence

He has questioned whether the journalists have received funding from radical Islamist Zakir Naik

Leading web news portals recently reported on the role of the right-wing WhatsApp group ‘Kattar Hindu Ekta’, the members of which are accused of being involved in the killings of at least nine Muslims during the Delhi Riots. BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s alleged mention in the group was also widely reported.

However, now, Kapil Mishra has put out a tweet - ‘Truth of Delhi Rios that Rajdeep (Sardesai), Ravish (Kumar), The Print, Scroll and NDTV will never tell you’ where he has hurled wild accusations against these leading journalists saying that they will never tell the public that the Delhi Riots were funded by radical Islamist Zakir Naik.

 

 

In the video he says, that the media portals like The Print, The Wire and The Scroll and journalists like Rajdeep Sardesai and Ravish Kumar who work to ‘save’ Khalid Saifi, Tahir Hussain and Safoora Zargar and address them as ‘activists’, the truth of such people has been revealed in the chargesheet of the Delhi Police. He says that Khalid Saifi, who was booked by the Delhi Police in connection with the riots, was in Malaysia to meet with Zakir Naik before the violence. Mishra adds that on returning from Malaysia, Saifi met with Umar Khalid, purportedly one of the founders of United against Hate (UAH) and Tahir Hussain, suspended Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Councilor.

Mishra also adds that the Special Cell of the Delhi Police investigating the matter allegedly found a register at the residence of Meeran Haider, a member of the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) who has been booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), showing that he had received money from accounts in Singapore, UK and Oman and how that money was reportedly used to fund the riots.

Mishra also said that the Delhi riots were an international conspiracy and that ‘jihadis’ who wished to see India taken over by Islam, funded and trained people for the violence. In the video he asks those who side with Khalid Saifi, Tahir Hussain and Safoora Zargar whether they too were funded by Zakir Naik and whether the campaigns in their favour were being run by taking funds from terrorists.

Kapil Mishra who describes himself on Twitter as a “New Delhi based Hindu, Nationalist Politician”, had led a pro-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) rally on February 23, two days before the riots, at Maujpur, close to the site of the anti-CAA protest near the Jafrabad metro station. At his rally Mishra was seen standing next to a uniformed police officer and had said, “We will remain peaceful till Trump leaves. After that we will not listen to you.”

In what sounded like a blatant ultimatum to the Delhi police, Mishra, a serial hate offender, had addressed his supporters and said, “DCP sahab is standing nearby, I am saying this… till Trump leaves we will go from here peacefully, after that we will not even listen to you… if the roads are not cleared. By the time Trump leaves we request you to clear Jafrabad and Chand Bagh. After that we will have to come onto the roads.”

In the  chargesheet investigating the killing of Delhi Police head constable Ratan Lal, an eyewitness account had stated that the “policeman's killing was the result of a mob attack after a crowd at Chand Bagh heard about BJP leader Kapil Mishra's supporters setting fire to the site of an anti-CAA protest.”

Though there had been a call by many activists and organizations, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) had started an online petition calling for Mishra’s arrest, the omission of his name has raised many questions about the authenticity of the investigation.

In 2016, when Mishra was associated with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), in Parliament, he had said that even the ‘snakes of ISI were fed milk by Modi’ and had questioned whether Modi was an ISI agent himself.

 

 

Our Take: Does it bode well for someone like Kapil Mishra with a chequered past in politics, a repeat hate offender and  Islamophobe to question the authenticity of a renowned journalist like Ravish Kumar who has won the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award?

During the pro-CAA rallies that Mishra led, he chanted slogans calling for ‘shoot the traitors’ which were used days after the riots. The Students’ Union of the Delhi School of Social Work (DSSW), the alma mater of tainted BJP leader Kapil Mishra, too had distanced itself from the party’s political candidate in a statement that reads after Mishra made the incendiary speech before the Delhi Violence.

And yet, given all the evidence, Mishra's continuous attempts to insult the keepers of the Fourth Estate with impunity only go to show that he is in fact shielded by those now in power who are trying to deepen the communal divide in the country.


Related:

SC directs Delhi HC to hear plea of riot-affected people for FIRs in hate speech cases on Friday

Kapil Mishra remains invisible and unnamed in Delhi Police charge sheet

Videos of hate speech by Kapil Mishra played before Delhi HC

Delhi violence: Is Kapil Mishra the villain of the story?  

BJP’s Kapil Mishra says ‘shoot the traitors’ at pro-CAA rally 

 

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