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Why Ilham’s rank and vision challenge the project of hate

Scoring an impressive 597/600 marks and the second rank in Karnataka PUC exam, her bright smile and distinctive scarf (hijab) defy efforts to relegate identity to obscurantism

23 Jun 2022

Ilham

Claim: Wearing a scarf/hijab means you are backward, uneducated

Busted: Wearing a scarf/hijab is a cultural choice not impacting theacademic or socio-cultural performance of women as Ilham’s top grades show

Over the past few days, the fact that Ilham, a young Muslim woman, who wears a colourful hijab, scored a stunning second rank in Karnataka’s Pre University Course (PUC) examination has inspired comment and even celebration. That she has a clear vision of becoming a clinical psychologist belies the hateful project that seeks to stigmatise and demonise Muslims.

This is a special delight for those Indians who have been appalled by the hijab controversy perpetrated in south Karnataka, ever since December 2021, stigmatising the wearing of the scarf within the classroom. The issue spiraled with controversial directives from the hardline Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) government in the state and worse, on March 15, the judgement of the High Court on the issue has invited criticism.

On June 18, as the Karnataka PUC results were being announced, both Anisha Mallya and Ilham, the first from the commerce stream and the second from science secured 595 and 597 marks respectively. Both students at second rank in the state did the St Aloysius PU College in Mangalore in Dakshina Karnataka proud.

Barely able to contain her excitement, a beaming Ilham told The Hindu, “I am very excited. I checked my percentage which was 91.5%. I informed my relatives. After some time, I started getting calls from my cousins saying my name is coming in the news. At that moment I realised that I got a rank. Till then I was unaware.” She has still not come to terms with the news, she says. Ilham’s parents are over the moon. Her father, Mohammed Rafiq, used to work in the Gulf as an IT employee and now is retired while her mother Moizatul Kubra is a housewife.

Ilham inspires. She told The Hindu, “Since my class 10 days, I developed a fascination towards the working of the brain. I want to pursue a career in clinical psychology.” The Internet has been overjoyed with Ilham’s success. Many shared her success story and pointed out that her religious identity did not deter her from securing a top rank.

PS: Amongst other things, she also wears a Hijab and that should be not be a reason for the State or vigilantes to harass her. Only if our courts could say this. 

The MLA of Kalburgi North constituency of Karnataka, Kaneez Fatima, had rolled out a tweet congratulating Ilham. She wrote, “Hijab is not a barrier for education. Congratulations to Ilham for securing 2nd rank in Karnataka state PUC examinations.”

Related:

Hate Buster: No protocol regarding National Song; standing up not mandatory
Hate Buster: Mob protesting Nupur Sharma’s anti-Prophet comments did not kill Kolkata policeman
Hate Buster: Conspiracy theories about Taj Mahal collapse, yet again
Hate Buster: Nope! Eating from Muslim-owned restaurants does not cause impotence

Why Ilham’s rank and vision challenge the project of hate

Scoring an impressive 597/600 marks and the second rank in Karnataka PUC exam, her bright smile and distinctive scarf (hijab) defy efforts to relegate identity to obscurantism

Ilham

Claim: Wearing a scarf/hijab means you are backward, uneducated

Busted: Wearing a scarf/hijab is a cultural choice not impacting theacademic or socio-cultural performance of women as Ilham’s top grades show

Over the past few days, the fact that Ilham, a young Muslim woman, who wears a colourful hijab, scored a stunning second rank in Karnataka’s Pre University Course (PUC) examination has inspired comment and even celebration. That she has a clear vision of becoming a clinical psychologist belies the hateful project that seeks to stigmatise and demonise Muslims.

This is a special delight for those Indians who have been appalled by the hijab controversy perpetrated in south Karnataka, ever since December 2021, stigmatising the wearing of the scarf within the classroom. The issue spiraled with controversial directives from the hardline Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) government in the state and worse, on March 15, the judgement of the High Court on the issue has invited criticism.

On June 18, as the Karnataka PUC results were being announced, both Anisha Mallya and Ilham, the first from the commerce stream and the second from science secured 595 and 597 marks respectively. Both students at second rank in the state did the St Aloysius PU College in Mangalore in Dakshina Karnataka proud.

Barely able to contain her excitement, a beaming Ilham told The Hindu, “I am very excited. I checked my percentage which was 91.5%. I informed my relatives. After some time, I started getting calls from my cousins saying my name is coming in the news. At that moment I realised that I got a rank. Till then I was unaware.” She has still not come to terms with the news, she says. Ilham’s parents are over the moon. Her father, Mohammed Rafiq, used to work in the Gulf as an IT employee and now is retired while her mother Moizatul Kubra is a housewife.

Ilham inspires. She told The Hindu, “Since my class 10 days, I developed a fascination towards the working of the brain. I want to pursue a career in clinical psychology.” The Internet has been overjoyed with Ilham’s success. Many shared her success story and pointed out that her religious identity did not deter her from securing a top rank.

PS: Amongst other things, she also wears a Hijab and that should be not be a reason for the State or vigilantes to harass her. Only if our courts could say this. 

The MLA of Kalburgi North constituency of Karnataka, Kaneez Fatima, had rolled out a tweet congratulating Ilham. She wrote, “Hijab is not a barrier for education. Congratulations to Ilham for securing 2nd rank in Karnataka state PUC examinations.”

Related:

Hate Buster: No protocol regarding National Song; standing up not mandatory
Hate Buster: Mob protesting Nupur Sharma’s anti-Prophet comments did not kill Kolkata policeman
Hate Buster: Conspiracy theories about Taj Mahal collapse, yet again
Hate Buster: Nope! Eating from Muslim-owned restaurants does not cause impotence

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Blasphemy? The Loneliness of Saad Ansari

Do Muslims Really Have A Double Face; A Moderate One For Popular Consumption And A ‘Real’ One When They Are In A Majority?

23 Jun 2022

Saad Ansari
Saad Ansari arrested for sharing post, supporting suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma. Image :Twitter

A frenzied crowd calling itself Ashiq-e-Rasool (Lovers of the Prophet) menacingly surrounds a house in Bhiwandi, a predominantly Muslim suburb in Mumbai. They are angry about a post which was put up by a young boy indirectly supporting BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, now suspended from the party for her uncharitable remarks on Prophet Muhammad. This young boy, an engineering student by the name of Saad Ansari is religiously agnostic and asked Muslims to grow up rather than behave like overgrown kids over the issue of blasphemy. In his post, he asked the following question to Muslims: “A 50 year old man marrying a 6-9 year old kid is clear child abuse….. I don’t know how you people support this. Will you give your 6-year-old daughter to a 50-year-old man? (Think about it)”.

There can be a number of ways in which Muslims could have responded to the anxiety of this young Muslim boy. They could have told him about the historical context when such marriages were common place or they could have argued (like many Barelvis do) that some of the things that the Prophet did is beyond human comprehension and hence it is futile to talk about them. But then, any rational and civic behaviour is too much to ask from some Muslims these days. They surrounded his house, abused and slapped him and forced him to recite the Shahada (the belief in oneness of God). Not content, they formally lodged a complaint against him on the basis of which he was arrested by the Mumbai police.

Saad Ansari is a young boy of exemplary courage and he must be saluted for that. But imagine the moral vacuousness of the crowd which forced him to chant the first Kalima. These are the same Muslims who repeat ad nauseam that Islam cannot be forced on anyone. They argue that Islam is about submission and that it spread through its teaching of justice and fairness rather than through force. And yet, they have no compunction to force it on one of their own who dares to question the dominant understanding of Islam. Do Muslims really have a double face; a moderate one for popular consumption and a ‘real’ one when they are in a majority? In the context of Bhiwandi, the majoritarian Muslim impulse was that it will not brook any sort of divergence from their understanding of the Prophet or Islam.

Moderate Muslims have consistently called out the intolerance within the Muslim community. Being Muslims, they know that without the space for dissent, the community would remain mired in a mentality which is truly antediluvian. It will never face up to modern challenges, like embracing modern ideas of dissent and freedom of expression.

Anyone who seeks to tinker with the dominant ideational pattern within Muslims is labelled as a heretic who is conspiring to defame the community. This is not just the story of Saad Ansari; it has been the story of many before him, including Hamid Dalwai and Asghar Ali Engineer. They too had to face social ostracism and what not from the community simply because they were arguing for social and religious reform.

When religious chauvinism overwhelms the mind, one does not simply demand laws on blasphemy but also primarily curbs any moderate or dissenting voices within the community. We can clearly see it is not just Nupur Sharma who is being threatened but also young Muslims like Saad are forced to keep silent, to remain in the little cocoon which has been made for them.

There was a lot of noise about Nupur Sharma but then we have complete silence on the issue of Saad Ansari. Where are the voices of Muslim journalists and social media influencers who always write about Muslim victimization? Why don’t they write about the threats and bullying of Saad Ansari? But then, it is too much to expect this from them. Instead of educating Muslims to dissociate from the politics of blasphemy, they were actively fanning it. The only Muslim there is to write about is the Muslim victim; all other issues of concern within the community have disappeared into thin air. 

More importantly, where are the Hindu liberals who were teaching the Muslim moderates to understand the pain of the community during the Nupur Sharma episode. Why are they not condemning what happened to Saad? Why are their pens silent now? We know why. Their pens only move when the victim is a Muslim and the aggressor is a Hindu. Incidents which happen with the likes of Saad do not fit their narrative and hence such stories are conveniently dropped. Intolerance is never a one- way street. If we have to call out the intolerance of the majority community, nothing should stop us from calling out the intolerance within also.

 Decades earlier, Hamid Dalwai was bold enough to realize and write about how both forms of intolerance feed upon each other and must be fought together. Moderate Muslims have always made this connection. Liberal Hindus would be better off without telling us what to do and what political positions to take. They are no one to lecture us on how to understand the pain of the Muslims in the given political context. As Muslims, we feel and experience this pain each passing day. But that has not blinded us to overlook what is happening in the community in the name of protecting Islam.

I pity those who bullied Saad into reciting the Kalima. If the intention was to re-instil faith into this Muslim youth, then they have already failed. For faith is not something which can be imposed from the outside. The obverse might actually happen. Saad will never to able to reconcile his faith in Islam as he has seen the thuggery that the followers of this religion are capable of.

-----

A regular contributor to NewAgeIslam.com, Arshad Alam is a writer and researcher on Islam and Muslims in South Asia.

This article was first published on NewAgeIslam.com

Blasphemy? The Loneliness of Saad Ansari

Do Muslims Really Have A Double Face; A Moderate One For Popular Consumption And A ‘Real’ One When They Are In A Majority?

Saad Ansari
Saad Ansari arrested for sharing post, supporting suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma. Image :Twitter

A frenzied crowd calling itself Ashiq-e-Rasool (Lovers of the Prophet) menacingly surrounds a house in Bhiwandi, a predominantly Muslim suburb in Mumbai. They are angry about a post which was put up by a young boy indirectly supporting BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, now suspended from the party for her uncharitable remarks on Prophet Muhammad. This young boy, an engineering student by the name of Saad Ansari is religiously agnostic and asked Muslims to grow up rather than behave like overgrown kids over the issue of blasphemy. In his post, he asked the following question to Muslims: “A 50 year old man marrying a 6-9 year old kid is clear child abuse….. I don’t know how you people support this. Will you give your 6-year-old daughter to a 50-year-old man? (Think about it)”.

There can be a number of ways in which Muslims could have responded to the anxiety of this young Muslim boy. They could have told him about the historical context when such marriages were common place or they could have argued (like many Barelvis do) that some of the things that the Prophet did is beyond human comprehension and hence it is futile to talk about them. But then, any rational and civic behaviour is too much to ask from some Muslims these days. They surrounded his house, abused and slapped him and forced him to recite the Shahada (the belief in oneness of God). Not content, they formally lodged a complaint against him on the basis of which he was arrested by the Mumbai police.

Saad Ansari is a young boy of exemplary courage and he must be saluted for that. But imagine the moral vacuousness of the crowd which forced him to chant the first Kalima. These are the same Muslims who repeat ad nauseam that Islam cannot be forced on anyone. They argue that Islam is about submission and that it spread through its teaching of justice and fairness rather than through force. And yet, they have no compunction to force it on one of their own who dares to question the dominant understanding of Islam. Do Muslims really have a double face; a moderate one for popular consumption and a ‘real’ one when they are in a majority? In the context of Bhiwandi, the majoritarian Muslim impulse was that it will not brook any sort of divergence from their understanding of the Prophet or Islam.

Moderate Muslims have consistently called out the intolerance within the Muslim community. Being Muslims, they know that without the space for dissent, the community would remain mired in a mentality which is truly antediluvian. It will never face up to modern challenges, like embracing modern ideas of dissent and freedom of expression.

Anyone who seeks to tinker with the dominant ideational pattern within Muslims is labelled as a heretic who is conspiring to defame the community. This is not just the story of Saad Ansari; it has been the story of many before him, including Hamid Dalwai and Asghar Ali Engineer. They too had to face social ostracism and what not from the community simply because they were arguing for social and religious reform.

When religious chauvinism overwhelms the mind, one does not simply demand laws on blasphemy but also primarily curbs any moderate or dissenting voices within the community. We can clearly see it is not just Nupur Sharma who is being threatened but also young Muslims like Saad are forced to keep silent, to remain in the little cocoon which has been made for them.

There was a lot of noise about Nupur Sharma but then we have complete silence on the issue of Saad Ansari. Where are the voices of Muslim journalists and social media influencers who always write about Muslim victimization? Why don’t they write about the threats and bullying of Saad Ansari? But then, it is too much to expect this from them. Instead of educating Muslims to dissociate from the politics of blasphemy, they were actively fanning it. The only Muslim there is to write about is the Muslim victim; all other issues of concern within the community have disappeared into thin air. 

More importantly, where are the Hindu liberals who were teaching the Muslim moderates to understand the pain of the community during the Nupur Sharma episode. Why are they not condemning what happened to Saad? Why are their pens silent now? We know why. Their pens only move when the victim is a Muslim and the aggressor is a Hindu. Incidents which happen with the likes of Saad do not fit their narrative and hence such stories are conveniently dropped. Intolerance is never a one- way street. If we have to call out the intolerance of the majority community, nothing should stop us from calling out the intolerance within also.

 Decades earlier, Hamid Dalwai was bold enough to realize and write about how both forms of intolerance feed upon each other and must be fought together. Moderate Muslims have always made this connection. Liberal Hindus would be better off without telling us what to do and what political positions to take. They are no one to lecture us on how to understand the pain of the Muslims in the given political context. As Muslims, we feel and experience this pain each passing day. But that has not blinded us to overlook what is happening in the community in the name of protecting Islam.

I pity those who bullied Saad into reciting the Kalima. If the intention was to re-instil faith into this Muslim youth, then they have already failed. For faith is not something which can be imposed from the outside. The obverse might actually happen. Saad will never to able to reconcile his faith in Islam as he has seen the thuggery that the followers of this religion are capable of.

-----

A regular contributor to NewAgeIslam.com, Arshad Alam is a writer and researcher on Islam and Muslims in South Asia.

This article was first published on NewAgeIslam.com

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Demons to Jihadis, BJP’s Haribhushan Bachaul targets Muslims yet again

The first time elect from Bisfi in the Madhubani district of Bihar has not spared any occasion to stigmatise Muslims; this time he called Agnipath protesters “Jihadi”

22 Jun 2022

Hate OffenderImage Courtesy: livehindustan.com

On June 20, 2022, Hari Bhushan Thakur Bachaul, a habitual spewer of hateful anti-minority venom, used the term “Jihadi” to describe youth protesting the Agnipath scheme for army recruitment. “Jihad” is a vilified term that originally means Muslims who carry out a holy war as sacred duty, and has been often used by Islamophobes in an attempt to demonise the minority community. Though he has made remarks targeting Muslims in the past as well, his intentions appear to me more sinister this time.

Given how the outbreak of violence during the Agnipath protests took place shortly after the anti-Nupur Sharma protests that were led by the Muslim community, one wonders if Bachaul is trying to conflate the identities of all protesters, so that it comes easier to dehumanise, demonise and hate them.

What did Bachaul say?

According to the The Times of India Bahaul, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Bisfi, said, “Who are indulging in violence? Those involved are the ‘jihadi’ people and also the ‘samikaranvadi log’ (people who believe in forging political equations to form a government).” Bachol further said, “Those who are desperate to form government by hook or crook are behind the violence,” referring to the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) without actually naming it specifically. He continued, “However, youths who nurse ‘desh prem’ and are ready to sacrifice themselves for it are happy (with the Agnipath scheme).”

Bachaul’s previous hate offenses

Hari Bhushan Bachaul is a habitual hatea offender against whom the Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) had complained to the National Commission for Minorities in May 2022. In May 2022, Haribhushan Thakur Bachaul’s statements, telecast on a video uploaded by News 24, he had openly compared Muslims to demons and called for them to be set ablaze… something that is in effect an open call for genocide of members of the Muslim minority.

While speaking to news reporters, comparing Muslims to demons like Ravan (the chief antagonist of the Hindu epic Ramayan), Bachaul had said, “We need Hanuman ji so that our youth can be strong, and the people of our country can be strong. Just like Ravana’s Lanka was burnt by Hanuman ji, the demon-like Ravanas, who are hovering over Bihar and the country, should also be burnt.”  

CJP’s complaint had pointed out how this statement was a clear violation of Indian criminal law. Acting on CJP’s complaint, NCM had written to the Director General of Police (DGP) Bihar to act within 21 days.

Going into the background of the MLA from the party that rules in the Central government and is an alliance partner in the Bihar government, the complaint also spotlighted the earlier, derogatory remarks made by Bachaul in February this year stating that Muslims living in India should be stripped of voting rights and treated as second class citizens. He said, “In 1947, the country [India] was divided in the name of religion and they got another country [Pakistan]. They should go to another country. If they are living here, then I demand from the government that their voting rights be withdrawn. They [Muslims] can live in India as second-class citizens.”

Again, also highlighting another incident from last year where he makes remarks on Muslims fertility rate, the CJP complaint contains a detailed documentation of his hate-filled conduct. The legislator was caught in 2021 saying, “Muslims want to convert India into an Islamic state. Law should be brought to control the population in the country. The resources in the country are very limited but some people want to increase the population and capture and turn India into an Islamic country. Muslim community is indulging into this. It is important to control the population in order to make India into a developed country from a developing country.”

Will this affect political equations?

On June 20, while commenting on the protesters who are agitated over the Agnipath scheme, he not only termed them “jihadis” but also slandered the opposition RJD. Both the RJD and also the BJP’s ally in Bihar, HAM(S) have, since criticised his remarks. Without naming the political parties, but broadly meaning RJD and like-minded parties, Bachaul also said that it was the handiwork of “people who believe in forging equations to desperately form governments.”

He did not spare even the BJP ally JD(U) and said its national president Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan Singh and parliamentary board chairman Upendra Kushwaha also fanned the violence of the Army aspirants by making their anti-Agnipath remarks.

The constituency from where Bachaul has been elected in 2020 falls in the Madhubani district. He won the seat in 2020, defeating Da. Faiyaz Ahmad of the RJD by a margin of 10241 votes. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP candidate Ashok Kumar Yadav won from Madhubani Lok Sabha (MP) seat with the margin of 4,54,940 votes by defeating Badri Kumar Purbey of the Vikassheel Insaan Party.

Related:

CJP IMPACT: NCM acts on CJP’s Complaint against genocidal speech of BJP MLA Haribhushan Bachaul
Apply more stringent sections in FIR against Bajrang Muni Das: CJP to UP DGP
CJP moves NCM over Pravin Togadia’s communal oath at Trishul Diksha event
CJP urges DGP Haryana to act against cow vigilantes in Mewat, Haryana

Demons to Jihadis, BJP’s Haribhushan Bachaul targets Muslims yet again

The first time elect from Bisfi in the Madhubani district of Bihar has not spared any occasion to stigmatise Muslims; this time he called Agnipath protesters “Jihadi”

Hate OffenderImage Courtesy: livehindustan.com

On June 20, 2022, Hari Bhushan Thakur Bachaul, a habitual spewer of hateful anti-minority venom, used the term “Jihadi” to describe youth protesting the Agnipath scheme for army recruitment. “Jihad” is a vilified term that originally means Muslims who carry out a holy war as sacred duty, and has been often used by Islamophobes in an attempt to demonise the minority community. Though he has made remarks targeting Muslims in the past as well, his intentions appear to me more sinister this time.

Given how the outbreak of violence during the Agnipath protests took place shortly after the anti-Nupur Sharma protests that were led by the Muslim community, one wonders if Bachaul is trying to conflate the identities of all protesters, so that it comes easier to dehumanise, demonise and hate them.

What did Bachaul say?

According to the The Times of India Bahaul, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Bisfi, said, “Who are indulging in violence? Those involved are the ‘jihadi’ people and also the ‘samikaranvadi log’ (people who believe in forging political equations to form a government).” Bachol further said, “Those who are desperate to form government by hook or crook are behind the violence,” referring to the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) without actually naming it specifically. He continued, “However, youths who nurse ‘desh prem’ and are ready to sacrifice themselves for it are happy (with the Agnipath scheme).”

Bachaul’s previous hate offenses

Hari Bhushan Bachaul is a habitual hatea offender against whom the Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) had complained to the National Commission for Minorities in May 2022. In May 2022, Haribhushan Thakur Bachaul’s statements, telecast on a video uploaded by News 24, he had openly compared Muslims to demons and called for them to be set ablaze… something that is in effect an open call for genocide of members of the Muslim minority.

While speaking to news reporters, comparing Muslims to demons like Ravan (the chief antagonist of the Hindu epic Ramayan), Bachaul had said, “We need Hanuman ji so that our youth can be strong, and the people of our country can be strong. Just like Ravana’s Lanka was burnt by Hanuman ji, the demon-like Ravanas, who are hovering over Bihar and the country, should also be burnt.”  

CJP’s complaint had pointed out how this statement was a clear violation of Indian criminal law. Acting on CJP’s complaint, NCM had written to the Director General of Police (DGP) Bihar to act within 21 days.

Going into the background of the MLA from the party that rules in the Central government and is an alliance partner in the Bihar government, the complaint also spotlighted the earlier, derogatory remarks made by Bachaul in February this year stating that Muslims living in India should be stripped of voting rights and treated as second class citizens. He said, “In 1947, the country [India] was divided in the name of religion and they got another country [Pakistan]. They should go to another country. If they are living here, then I demand from the government that their voting rights be withdrawn. They [Muslims] can live in India as second-class citizens.”

Again, also highlighting another incident from last year where he makes remarks on Muslims fertility rate, the CJP complaint contains a detailed documentation of his hate-filled conduct. The legislator was caught in 2021 saying, “Muslims want to convert India into an Islamic state. Law should be brought to control the population in the country. The resources in the country are very limited but some people want to increase the population and capture and turn India into an Islamic country. Muslim community is indulging into this. It is important to control the population in order to make India into a developed country from a developing country.”

Will this affect political equations?

On June 20, while commenting on the protesters who are agitated over the Agnipath scheme, he not only termed them “jihadis” but also slandered the opposition RJD. Both the RJD and also the BJP’s ally in Bihar, HAM(S) have, since criticised his remarks. Without naming the political parties, but broadly meaning RJD and like-minded parties, Bachaul also said that it was the handiwork of “people who believe in forging equations to desperately form governments.”

He did not spare even the BJP ally JD(U) and said its national president Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan Singh and parliamentary board chairman Upendra Kushwaha also fanned the violence of the Army aspirants by making their anti-Agnipath remarks.

The constituency from where Bachaul has been elected in 2020 falls in the Madhubani district. He won the seat in 2020, defeating Da. Faiyaz Ahmad of the RJD by a margin of 10241 votes. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP candidate Ashok Kumar Yadav won from Madhubani Lok Sabha (MP) seat with the margin of 4,54,940 votes by defeating Badri Kumar Purbey of the Vikassheel Insaan Party.

Related:

CJP IMPACT: NCM acts on CJP’s Complaint against genocidal speech of BJP MLA Haribhushan Bachaul
Apply more stringent sections in FIR against Bajrang Muni Das: CJP to UP DGP
CJP moves NCM over Pravin Togadia’s communal oath at Trishul Diksha event
CJP urges DGP Haryana to act against cow vigilantes in Mewat, Haryana

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Ex IPS Officer NC Asthana’s twitter account suspended for violating rules

Retired officer tweets against Muslim minorities and spews hate online

22 Jun 2022

Twitter Account Suspended
Image Courtesy: thecognate.com

On June 22, 2022, Twitter suspended the account of Ex-IPS Officer Nirmal Chandra Asthana for violating the Twitter Rules for his anti-Muslim tweets.

Asthana is a 1986 batch officer and the former Director-General of Police (DGP) Kerala. He has previously served in senior positions in the Border Security Force (BSF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and has also served as director of vigilance and the Anti-Corruption Bureau in Kerala. He retired in December 2019.

Last week Asthana had shared a video of Uttar Pradesh Police brutally assaulting the riots accused at Saharanpur police station calling it a “Beautiful scene”. The video had surfaced online soon after protests broke out in various parts of India over the remarks made by BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma against Prophet Mohammed.

 Twitter Account Suspended

In various tweets, Asthana praised Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath by addressing him as ‘Maharaj’ and supported the demolition drive undertaken in several parts of the country.

 Twitter Account Suspended

 Twitter Account Suspended

 Twitter Account Suspended

 Twitter Account Suspended

Two weeks ago, there was another viral video where an assistant professor in Aligarh was seen offering prayers in the garden of a college campus who was then reportedly suspended for a month as an inquiry was initiated against him. With respect to this, Asthana tweeted, “This is good news. People must be taught a lesson otherwise people catch hold of the whole hand when asked to hold a finger. This was only possible in Maharaj’s (Yogi Adityanath) rule."

 Twitter Account Suspended

He even went on to mock students when the Supreme Court rejected their plea to postpone NEET PG 2022 exam by calling them names such as ‘Latkhor’, ‘Gadho’, ‘Duffers’, etc.

 Twitter Account Suspended

 Twitter Account Suspended

Over the past weeks he has also been tweeting in support of police brutality. For example, he reportedly shared a picture of a Muslim protester being beaten using polycarbonate pipes by the police in Prayagraj, and tweeted that he regretted the introduction of these pipes and believed that the “good old linseed oil soaked bamboo lathis were better.”

Ironically, in December 2021, he wrote a piece for ‘The Wire’ titled, ‘Why Police Brutality and Torture Are Endemic in India’ and said that there is nothing intrinsic to the job of policing that makes them brutal or high-handed, reported the Print.

It is interesting to note that amongst his 49 books, he has written a book on ‘State Persecution of Minorities and Underprivileged in India’ which has been reviewed by Justice J. Chelameswar (Retd) of the Supreme Court. Moreover, in December 2021, he wrote yet another piece for ‘The Wire’ titled, ‘A Hate-Filled Call to Arms and Violence at Haridwar’ calling out hate spewed against the Muslim minorities at the religious conclave.

Related:

Demons to Jihadis, BJP’s Haribhushan Bachaul targets Muslims yet again
Hindu Sena distributes swords in the support of Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal
Hate Offender: Who is Maulana Tauqeer Raza?

Ex IPS Officer NC Asthana’s twitter account suspended for violating rules

Retired officer tweets against Muslim minorities and spews hate online

Twitter Account Suspended
Image Courtesy: thecognate.com

On June 22, 2022, Twitter suspended the account of Ex-IPS Officer Nirmal Chandra Asthana for violating the Twitter Rules for his anti-Muslim tweets.

Asthana is a 1986 batch officer and the former Director-General of Police (DGP) Kerala. He has previously served in senior positions in the Border Security Force (BSF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and has also served as director of vigilance and the Anti-Corruption Bureau in Kerala. He retired in December 2019.

Last week Asthana had shared a video of Uttar Pradesh Police brutally assaulting the riots accused at Saharanpur police station calling it a “Beautiful scene”. The video had surfaced online soon after protests broke out in various parts of India over the remarks made by BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma against Prophet Mohammed.

 Twitter Account Suspended

In various tweets, Asthana praised Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath by addressing him as ‘Maharaj’ and supported the demolition drive undertaken in several parts of the country.

 Twitter Account Suspended

 Twitter Account Suspended

 Twitter Account Suspended

 Twitter Account Suspended

Two weeks ago, there was another viral video where an assistant professor in Aligarh was seen offering prayers in the garden of a college campus who was then reportedly suspended for a month as an inquiry was initiated against him. With respect to this, Asthana tweeted, “This is good news. People must be taught a lesson otherwise people catch hold of the whole hand when asked to hold a finger. This was only possible in Maharaj’s (Yogi Adityanath) rule."

 Twitter Account Suspended

He even went on to mock students when the Supreme Court rejected their plea to postpone NEET PG 2022 exam by calling them names such as ‘Latkhor’, ‘Gadho’, ‘Duffers’, etc.

 Twitter Account Suspended

 Twitter Account Suspended

Over the past weeks he has also been tweeting in support of police brutality. For example, he reportedly shared a picture of a Muslim protester being beaten using polycarbonate pipes by the police in Prayagraj, and tweeted that he regretted the introduction of these pipes and believed that the “good old linseed oil soaked bamboo lathis were better.”

Ironically, in December 2021, he wrote a piece for ‘The Wire’ titled, ‘Why Police Brutality and Torture Are Endemic in India’ and said that there is nothing intrinsic to the job of policing that makes them brutal or high-handed, reported the Print.

It is interesting to note that amongst his 49 books, he has written a book on ‘State Persecution of Minorities and Underprivileged in India’ which has been reviewed by Justice J. Chelameswar (Retd) of the Supreme Court. Moreover, in December 2021, he wrote yet another piece for ‘The Wire’ titled, ‘A Hate-Filled Call to Arms and Violence at Haridwar’ calling out hate spewed against the Muslim minorities at the religious conclave.

Related:

Demons to Jihadis, BJP’s Haribhushan Bachaul targets Muslims yet again
Hindu Sena distributes swords in the support of Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal
Hate Offender: Who is Maulana Tauqeer Raza?

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Repair, compensate, prosecute: Parveen Fatima in petition before Allahabad HC

The petition demands restitution; prays for reconstruction of the bull-dozed residence, alternate government accommodation in in the interim and punishment of officials responsible for illegal act

22 Jun 2022

Parveen Fatima in petition before HC

Sunday, June 12 marked the day JK Ashiana, the decades old family home of Parveen Fatima in Kareli, Allahabad, that was passed on to her by her father through a legal deed in 1996, was demolished by the bulldozers of the Prayagraj (Allahabad) administration in a brazen violation of due process, the Uttar Pradesh laws and rules and the principles of natural justice.

A massive 2,000 strong contingent of police and paramilitary personnel cordoned the area off, disallowing any objection, dialogue or contestation of this brazenly illegal act. The matter is likely to be heard on Friday, June 24 or next week.

Two days ago, on June 20, a full eight days after the demolition, Parveen Fatima, wife of Javed Mohammed, and their daughter Sumaiyya Fatima have approached the court for full and fair restitution in a detailed writ petition. Afreen Fatima, former student activist is the elder daughter of the first petitioner. 

SabrangIndia has access to the entire petition. The legal research team of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) assisted the senior advocates team in its preparation.

Stating clearly and cogently that the manner and method of demolishing the home of the petitioners was part of a planned conspiracy, demonstrating high-handedness of the executive caring least for the Rule of Law, the petition alleges that Parveen Fatima and her entire family have been subject to hostile discrimination and indignity, deprived of their valuable legal and constitutional rights under Articles 14, 21 and 300. Post-facto, the demolition is even being justified on the basis of manufactured documents (notices) now being cited by the government and authorities.

The illegal demolition was resorted to after the husband of the petitioner was arrested and thereafter, both the women Petitioners were forcibly taken from house to Mahila Thana. These are violations of set guidelines by the Supreme Court of India.

Senior counsel KK Roy, a well-known rights advocate of several years’ standing assisted by Rajednra Singh and Mohammad Saeed Siddique have filed the petition. The matter is likely to be heard this week.

Last week, the Supreme Court had taken up an Intervention Application filed by original petitioners, Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind in the April-May 2022, in the matter related to demolitions in Jahangirpuri and similar instances in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, and issued notice to the UP government. The matter is supposed to be heard this week.

Harish Salve, counsel appearing for the UP government and Prayagraj administration had emphatically stated that legal notices had been issued to the family on May 10, 2022, a fact that has been vehemently denied in this petition before the HC. The state of UP was required to file an affidavit on oath making these averments which they have not done so far.

Narrating the grave violations of the fundamental rights of her and her family, Parveen Fatima has prayed for:

  • immediate government accommodation for herself and her family till her home is re constructed;

  • directions that the Prayagraj Development Authority immediately reconstruct the illegally demolished house;

  • fair compensation for the loss of property through demolition and loss of reputation.

Most significantly, the petition also prays for departmental and disciplinary action against the persons/officers responsible for the illegal demolition of the home on June 12.

The petition also narrates the grossly illegal manner in which first Javed Mohammad and thereafter Parveen Fatima and Sumaiyya Pathan were illegally detained by the Prayagraj police on June 10, 2022 prior to the demolition. Javed Mohammad has since, been allegedly falsely implicated in the Friday, June 10 Atala violence FIR, and is currently jailed at Deoria jail after first being incarcerated at Naini jail, Allahabad. A well-known tactic of the state and administration is to deliberately jail such persons away from their home districts to prevent or curtail, or limit visits by friends and family. First incarcerated in the Naini jail, he was also, without intimation to the family transferred to the Deoria jail this week.

The background of this case is sordid and now symptomatic of how the UP administration under Adityanath as chief minister (now in his second term) has been crushing the fundamental rights of citizens.

On Friday, June 10, thirteen days after the offensive remarks of erstwhile spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Nupur Sharma and BJP media spokesperson Naveen Kumar Jindal against Prophet Mohammed, countrywide protests erupted after Friday prayers. In many cities in Maharashtra, they were large but completely peaceful. But in Jharkand, UP and Haryana they turned violent. Police firing took a life in Ranchi and in Sahranpur, Lucknow and Allahabad protests were held and some instances of stone pelting reported. Kanpur city had seen similar incidents post June 3, a week earlier.

Using the incidents in Atala area of Allahabad as an excuse, Mohammad Javed was summoned to the police station at 9 P.M on June 10. He has not been released since then and an FIR naming him, allegedly falsely, was filed only the next day, June 11. His wife and daughter were also held at the police station, from the midnight of June 10, without warrant, FIR or arrest until June 12 when they were released but had to witness the brute public demolition of their home. This is a gross violation of section 46 (4) of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, that lays down that no woman can be arrested after sunset except in exceptional circumstances. [1]

In a clear case of post facto justification, on the next day i.e., on June 11, 2022, at about 03:13 AM, an FIR was lodged at P.S. Khuldabad, District- Prayagraj. This FIR No. 0118 of 2022, shows the accused booked under Sections 143, 144, 145, 147, 148, 149, 153-A, 153-B, 295-A, 201, 511, 307, 332, 333, 353, 395, 435, 436, 427, 504, 505(2), 506, 120-B, I.P.C., Sections 4/5 of Explosive Act, Section 7 of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, Section 83 of Juvenile Justice Act and Sections 3/4 of Public Property Damage Act in which Javed Mohammad has been named along with 70 other persons and 5,000 unknown persons as “accused”.

In an action reminiscent of an autocratic regime that has scant regard for the Indian Constitution, rule of law and due process, on June 11, 2022, the Prayagraj Police convened to the media (Amar Ujala, a Hindi newspaper among others reported this) that the house of Javed Mohammad shall be demolished to ground by bulldozer and that news was circulated in the electronic and print media.

The petition states that, in order to execute this plan of illegal demolition, on the night of June 11, 2022, a pre-dated notice dated June 10, 2022, was pasted on the front wall of the house of Parveen Fatima by the Prayagraj Development Authority through its Joint Secretary/Zonal Officer informing that the house should be vacated by 11 A.M of the next day, i.e June 12, 2022 and that the house shall be demolished. This action is in gross violation of UP’s own laws related to procedures that need to be followed in cases where such demolition is justified. Falsely, the June 10, 2022 notice mentions that a month earlier, on June 5, 2022 a notice had been served on the family which the petitioners, on oath state that they have never received.

The state had stated orally through counsel Harish Salve, even in the Supreme Court when the matter came up last week that a “notice under Section 27(1) of the U.P. Urban Planning and Development Act, 1973 was issued to Javed Mohammed fixing June 24.05.2022 for hearing of the matter but no one had appeared. Thereafter, on 25.05.2022, an order was passed to demolish the house which was pasted on the house with the expectation that till 09.06.2022, Javed Mohammad shall demolish the house himself and communicate it, which was also not done.”

Ironically, the gross illegality if apparent in the fact that the so-called notice was served on Mohammad Javed who is not even the legal owner of the home. All bills, land, electricity and water have been duly and promptly paid and there are records of the same. The petitioners state clearly that no notices of May 25, 2022 and June 10, 2022 were ever served on the owner of the house, Parveen Fatima. These notices were not served on Javed Mohammad or any other member of his family either. The petitioners have clearly stated that these are manufactured documents. The only time that the notice was seen was the one dated June 10, 2022, posted on the wall of house in the night of June 11, 2022, was addressed to Javed Mohammad, who is neither the owner of the house nor has any share in the property. Parveen Fatima is sole owner of the property.

In yet another post facto justification, it has also been alleged by the Prayagraj Development Authority that the map of the house had not been sanctioned and as such the construction was illegal. The Petitioners had no occasion to reply to this allegation as they did not receive any notices, as mentioned above. Like all others in the locality, who are similarly situated, the Petitioner No. 1 has been regularly paying all these years the house tax, water tax and electricity bill of the house and at no juncture, any objection was raised by the departments.

The Petition further argues that the “house of the Petitioner No.1 was demolished in a completely arbitrary and illegal manner. It was done in pursuance of the statements made that houses of stone-pelters will be demolished, which is an unconstitutional decision of the political executive. The entire exercise of demolition of the house of the Petitioner No.1 was thus against the Rule of Law, unconstitutional, illegal and discriminatory. The authorities acted extremely unfairly and completed the entire exercise within two days by allegedly mentioning previous dates in the notice dated June 10, 2022.”

The Petition also narrates that the notice dated June 10, 2022, was pasted on the front wall of the house of Parveen Fatima in the night on June 11, 2022 when her husband Javed Mohammad was already arrested and was illegally detained at the police station and Parveen Fatima and Summaiya Fatima were also arrested and illegally detained in Mahila Thana and the house was locked. Moreover, the alleged notice dated June 10, 2022 was back-dated and prepared in connivance with the District Administration to justify the demolition of the house. It was on the evening of June 10, 2022, that the District Administration made a public announcement to bulldoze the house of the Javed Mohammad alleging his role in the violence after Friday prayer. The alleged notice was only a ruse adopted by the Development Authority to cover its illegal actions.

Under the provisions of U.P. Urban Planning and Development Act, there is a mandatory requirement for service of notice, 15 days’ time to provide explanation and thereafter, 30 days’ time to file an appeal (vide Section 27). Even thereafter, an aggrieved person can resort to other legal and constitutional remedies. Without resorting to the procedure established by law, demolition was done just one day after the alleged last notice dated June 10, 2022. All these actions performed as arbitrary acts on the second Saturday and Sunday which were holidays were undertaken in a planned manner with a mala fide intention.

Finally, the petition states that the stone pelting by some miscreants after Friday prayers on June 10, 2022 had nothing to do with the petitioners, and they have been subject to the most arbitrary and brazen actions by a vindictive state. It is also relevant to mention here that, contrary to what the post facto FIR dated June 11, 2022 states, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Prayagraj had told the media that the Friday prayer was performed peacefully and the people who visited mosques to offer prayer returned back to their homes. The incident of stone pelting started thereafter.

Making a strong case for the abuse of due process as the first petitioner, Parveen Farima was not served with any notice till the demolition, the petition states thatt the right to shelter has been recognised as a part of life under Art. 21 of the Constitution [vide Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corporation (1985) 3 SCC 545; State of Karnataka & Others v. Narasimha Murthy & Others (1995) 5 SCC 524; Rajesh Yadav v. State of U.P. 2019 3 UPLBEC 1853; Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation v. Nawab Khan Gulab Khan & Others (1997) 11 SCC 121; Chameli Singh v. State of U.P. (1996) 2 SCC 549; Shanti Star Builders V. Narayan K. Totame (1990) 1 SCC 520].

In 2020, the Allahabad High Court in the matter of Writ C No. 16357 of 2020 gave some general directions when the state had attempted public shaming of properties of protesters (in the anti CAA/NRC protests) and demolishing of their homes. The HC had this to say since a large number of such cases of demolition before the expiry of the period of limitation:

“1. The State authorities, where ever demolition orders are passed in respect of constructions raised on the private properties under the two acts, should wait from taking any action for actual demolition till the statutory period of appeal comes to an end.

2. The Appellate authority empowered the two Acts should Endeavour to decide the interim applications filed along with the appeals, if any, expeditiously preferably within a period of two weeks from the date of filing of the interim application.

3. Till the disposal of the interim application filed in the statutory appeals the authorities should not take any steps for executing the demolition orders.

4. Copies of the demolition orders, passed under the acts should be properly served upon the persons against whom the orders are passed.

5. The orders of demolition proposed should be passed after giving an opportunity of hearing to the persons against whom the orders are proposed to be passed.

6. The Registrar General of this Court is directed to forward a copy of this order to the Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow for ensuring the compliance by all the Vice-Chairmen of all the Development Authorities and the District Magistrates throughout the State of Uttar Pradesh. The Registrar General shall also send a copy of this order for its compliance to all the Vice-Chairmen of the Development Authorities in the State of Uttar Pradesh as well as to all the District Magistrates for its compliance in terms of the mandate given in the order.

The writ petitions are disposed of in terms of the said order and the general Mandamus as directed above.”

Besides, the petition states that Articles 38 & 46 of the Constitution directs the State to promote welfare of the people by securing social and economic justice to the weaker sections of the society to minimize inequalities to income and endeavor to eliminate inequalities in states. Article 300A of the Constitution also states that, person not be deprived of property save by authority of law. -No person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law.

In the case of ‘Tukaram Kana Joshi & Others vs. MIDC and others (2013) 1 ACC 353’, the Court had noted that, “The right to property is now considered to be, not only a constitutional or a statutory right, but also a human right, though, it is not a basic feature of the Constitution or a fundamental right. Human rights are considered to be in the realm of individual rights, such as the right to health, the right to livelihood, the right to shelter and employment etc. now however, human rights are gaining an even greater multifaceted dimension. The right to property is considered, very much, to be a part of such a new dimension.”

On the post-facto contention that ‘the map was not sanctioned’, the petitioners have also argued that section 32 of the U.P. Urban Planning & Development Act, 1973 explores demises for the compounding of the building whose, map has not been sanctioned. Section 32 of the Act are extracted below:

 

“32. Composition of Offences.-

(1) Any offence made punishable by or under this Act may either before or after the institution of proceedings, be compounded-by the [Vice-Chairman (or any officer authorised by him in that behalf by General or Special order)] on such terms, including any term as regards payment of a composition fee, as the [Vice-Chairman) (or such officer) may think fit.

(2) Where an offence has been compounded, the offender, if in custody, shall be discharged and no further proceedings shall be taken against him in respect of the offence compounded.”

More than anything else, fundamental rights under under Articles 14 & 21 have been stripped from the petitioners as they are subjected to hostile discrimination and indignity because the petitioners have no alternative place to live, they are shelter less and living in their relative’s house. Hence the prayers, rebuild, compensate and prosecute. Now it’s over to the Allahabad high court where justice is eagerly awaited.

 

Related:

Three UN Special Rapporteurs condemn India home demolitions, allege Collective punishment of Muslims

Bulldozer Injustice: Homes of alleged June 10 protesters to be demolished in UP?

Take immediate cognisance of illegal demolition of Parveen Fatima’s home: Petition to CJ Allahabad HC

Allahabad’s Nagrik Samaj demands justice for illegal demolition victims

Bulldozer Injustice: How far is the regime planning to go?

Anti-CAA Muslim activist Afreen Fatima’s family members illegally detained!

 


[1] Section 46 (4) of CrPC is extracted below: “Save in exception circumstances, no women shall be arrested after sunset and before sunrise, and where such exceptional circumstances exist, the woman police officer shall, by making a written report, obtain the prior permission of the Judicial Magistrate of the first class within whose local jurisdiction the offence is committed or the is to be made.”

 

Repair, compensate, prosecute: Parveen Fatima in petition before Allahabad HC

The petition demands restitution; prays for reconstruction of the bull-dozed residence, alternate government accommodation in in the interim and punishment of officials responsible for illegal act

Parveen Fatima in petition before HC

Sunday, June 12 marked the day JK Ashiana, the decades old family home of Parveen Fatima in Kareli, Allahabad, that was passed on to her by her father through a legal deed in 1996, was demolished by the bulldozers of the Prayagraj (Allahabad) administration in a brazen violation of due process, the Uttar Pradesh laws and rules and the principles of natural justice.

A massive 2,000 strong contingent of police and paramilitary personnel cordoned the area off, disallowing any objection, dialogue or contestation of this brazenly illegal act. The matter is likely to be heard on Friday, June 24 or next week.

Two days ago, on June 20, a full eight days after the demolition, Parveen Fatima, wife of Javed Mohammed, and their daughter Sumaiyya Fatima have approached the court for full and fair restitution in a detailed writ petition. Afreen Fatima, former student activist is the elder daughter of the first petitioner. 

SabrangIndia has access to the entire petition. The legal research team of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) assisted the senior advocates team in its preparation.

Stating clearly and cogently that the manner and method of demolishing the home of the petitioners was part of a planned conspiracy, demonstrating high-handedness of the executive caring least for the Rule of Law, the petition alleges that Parveen Fatima and her entire family have been subject to hostile discrimination and indignity, deprived of their valuable legal and constitutional rights under Articles 14, 21 and 300. Post-facto, the demolition is even being justified on the basis of manufactured documents (notices) now being cited by the government and authorities.

The illegal demolition was resorted to after the husband of the petitioner was arrested and thereafter, both the women Petitioners were forcibly taken from house to Mahila Thana. These are violations of set guidelines by the Supreme Court of India.

Senior counsel KK Roy, a well-known rights advocate of several years’ standing assisted by Rajednra Singh and Mohammad Saeed Siddique have filed the petition. The matter is likely to be heard this week.

Last week, the Supreme Court had taken up an Intervention Application filed by original petitioners, Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind in the April-May 2022, in the matter related to demolitions in Jahangirpuri and similar instances in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, and issued notice to the UP government. The matter is supposed to be heard this week.

Harish Salve, counsel appearing for the UP government and Prayagraj administration had emphatically stated that legal notices had been issued to the family on May 10, 2022, a fact that has been vehemently denied in this petition before the HC. The state of UP was required to file an affidavit on oath making these averments which they have not done so far.

Narrating the grave violations of the fundamental rights of her and her family, Parveen Fatima has prayed for:

  • immediate government accommodation for herself and her family till her home is re constructed;

  • directions that the Prayagraj Development Authority immediately reconstruct the illegally demolished house;

  • fair compensation for the loss of property through demolition and loss of reputation.

Most significantly, the petition also prays for departmental and disciplinary action against the persons/officers responsible for the illegal demolition of the home on June 12.

The petition also narrates the grossly illegal manner in which first Javed Mohammad and thereafter Parveen Fatima and Sumaiyya Pathan were illegally detained by the Prayagraj police on June 10, 2022 prior to the demolition. Javed Mohammad has since, been allegedly falsely implicated in the Friday, June 10 Atala violence FIR, and is currently jailed at Deoria jail after first being incarcerated at Naini jail, Allahabad. A well-known tactic of the state and administration is to deliberately jail such persons away from their home districts to prevent or curtail, or limit visits by friends and family. First incarcerated in the Naini jail, he was also, without intimation to the family transferred to the Deoria jail this week.

The background of this case is sordid and now symptomatic of how the UP administration under Adityanath as chief minister (now in his second term) has been crushing the fundamental rights of citizens.

On Friday, June 10, thirteen days after the offensive remarks of erstwhile spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Nupur Sharma and BJP media spokesperson Naveen Kumar Jindal against Prophet Mohammed, countrywide protests erupted after Friday prayers. In many cities in Maharashtra, they were large but completely peaceful. But in Jharkand, UP and Haryana they turned violent. Police firing took a life in Ranchi and in Sahranpur, Lucknow and Allahabad protests were held and some instances of stone pelting reported. Kanpur city had seen similar incidents post June 3, a week earlier.

Using the incidents in Atala area of Allahabad as an excuse, Mohammad Javed was summoned to the police station at 9 P.M on June 10. He has not been released since then and an FIR naming him, allegedly falsely, was filed only the next day, June 11. His wife and daughter were also held at the police station, from the midnight of June 10, without warrant, FIR or arrest until June 12 when they were released but had to witness the brute public demolition of their home. This is a gross violation of section 46 (4) of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, that lays down that no woman can be arrested after sunset except in exceptional circumstances. [1]

In a clear case of post facto justification, on the next day i.e., on June 11, 2022, at about 03:13 AM, an FIR was lodged at P.S. Khuldabad, District- Prayagraj. This FIR No. 0118 of 2022, shows the accused booked under Sections 143, 144, 145, 147, 148, 149, 153-A, 153-B, 295-A, 201, 511, 307, 332, 333, 353, 395, 435, 436, 427, 504, 505(2), 506, 120-B, I.P.C., Sections 4/5 of Explosive Act, Section 7 of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, Section 83 of Juvenile Justice Act and Sections 3/4 of Public Property Damage Act in which Javed Mohammad has been named along with 70 other persons and 5,000 unknown persons as “accused”.

In an action reminiscent of an autocratic regime that has scant regard for the Indian Constitution, rule of law and due process, on June 11, 2022, the Prayagraj Police convened to the media (Amar Ujala, a Hindi newspaper among others reported this) that the house of Javed Mohammad shall be demolished to ground by bulldozer and that news was circulated in the electronic and print media.

The petition states that, in order to execute this plan of illegal demolition, on the night of June 11, 2022, a pre-dated notice dated June 10, 2022, was pasted on the front wall of the house of Parveen Fatima by the Prayagraj Development Authority through its Joint Secretary/Zonal Officer informing that the house should be vacated by 11 A.M of the next day, i.e June 12, 2022 and that the house shall be demolished. This action is in gross violation of UP’s own laws related to procedures that need to be followed in cases where such demolition is justified. Falsely, the June 10, 2022 notice mentions that a month earlier, on June 5, 2022 a notice had been served on the family which the petitioners, on oath state that they have never received.

The state had stated orally through counsel Harish Salve, even in the Supreme Court when the matter came up last week that a “notice under Section 27(1) of the U.P. Urban Planning and Development Act, 1973 was issued to Javed Mohammed fixing June 24.05.2022 for hearing of the matter but no one had appeared. Thereafter, on 25.05.2022, an order was passed to demolish the house which was pasted on the house with the expectation that till 09.06.2022, Javed Mohammad shall demolish the house himself and communicate it, which was also not done.”

Ironically, the gross illegality if apparent in the fact that the so-called notice was served on Mohammad Javed who is not even the legal owner of the home. All bills, land, electricity and water have been duly and promptly paid and there are records of the same. The petitioners state clearly that no notices of May 25, 2022 and June 10, 2022 were ever served on the owner of the house, Parveen Fatima. These notices were not served on Javed Mohammad or any other member of his family either. The petitioners have clearly stated that these are manufactured documents. The only time that the notice was seen was the one dated June 10, 2022, posted on the wall of house in the night of June 11, 2022, was addressed to Javed Mohammad, who is neither the owner of the house nor has any share in the property. Parveen Fatima is sole owner of the property.

In yet another post facto justification, it has also been alleged by the Prayagraj Development Authority that the map of the house had not been sanctioned and as such the construction was illegal. The Petitioners had no occasion to reply to this allegation as they did not receive any notices, as mentioned above. Like all others in the locality, who are similarly situated, the Petitioner No. 1 has been regularly paying all these years the house tax, water tax and electricity bill of the house and at no juncture, any objection was raised by the departments.

The Petition further argues that the “house of the Petitioner No.1 was demolished in a completely arbitrary and illegal manner. It was done in pursuance of the statements made that houses of stone-pelters will be demolished, which is an unconstitutional decision of the political executive. The entire exercise of demolition of the house of the Petitioner No.1 was thus against the Rule of Law, unconstitutional, illegal and discriminatory. The authorities acted extremely unfairly and completed the entire exercise within two days by allegedly mentioning previous dates in the notice dated June 10, 2022.”

The Petition also narrates that the notice dated June 10, 2022, was pasted on the front wall of the house of Parveen Fatima in the night on June 11, 2022 when her husband Javed Mohammad was already arrested and was illegally detained at the police station and Parveen Fatima and Summaiya Fatima were also arrested and illegally detained in Mahila Thana and the house was locked. Moreover, the alleged notice dated June 10, 2022 was back-dated and prepared in connivance with the District Administration to justify the demolition of the house. It was on the evening of June 10, 2022, that the District Administration made a public announcement to bulldoze the house of the Javed Mohammad alleging his role in the violence after Friday prayer. The alleged notice was only a ruse adopted by the Development Authority to cover its illegal actions.

Under the provisions of U.P. Urban Planning and Development Act, there is a mandatory requirement for service of notice, 15 days’ time to provide explanation and thereafter, 30 days’ time to file an appeal (vide Section 27). Even thereafter, an aggrieved person can resort to other legal and constitutional remedies. Without resorting to the procedure established by law, demolition was done just one day after the alleged last notice dated June 10, 2022. All these actions performed as arbitrary acts on the second Saturday and Sunday which were holidays were undertaken in a planned manner with a mala fide intention.

Finally, the petition states that the stone pelting by some miscreants after Friday prayers on June 10, 2022 had nothing to do with the petitioners, and they have been subject to the most arbitrary and brazen actions by a vindictive state. It is also relevant to mention here that, contrary to what the post facto FIR dated June 11, 2022 states, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Prayagraj had told the media that the Friday prayer was performed peacefully and the people who visited mosques to offer prayer returned back to their homes. The incident of stone pelting started thereafter.

Making a strong case for the abuse of due process as the first petitioner, Parveen Farima was not served with any notice till the demolition, the petition states thatt the right to shelter has been recognised as a part of life under Art. 21 of the Constitution [vide Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corporation (1985) 3 SCC 545; State of Karnataka & Others v. Narasimha Murthy & Others (1995) 5 SCC 524; Rajesh Yadav v. State of U.P. 2019 3 UPLBEC 1853; Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation v. Nawab Khan Gulab Khan & Others (1997) 11 SCC 121; Chameli Singh v. State of U.P. (1996) 2 SCC 549; Shanti Star Builders V. Narayan K. Totame (1990) 1 SCC 520].

In 2020, the Allahabad High Court in the matter of Writ C No. 16357 of 2020 gave some general directions when the state had attempted public shaming of properties of protesters (in the anti CAA/NRC protests) and demolishing of their homes. The HC had this to say since a large number of such cases of demolition before the expiry of the period of limitation:

“1. The State authorities, where ever demolition orders are passed in respect of constructions raised on the private properties under the two acts, should wait from taking any action for actual demolition till the statutory period of appeal comes to an end.

2. The Appellate authority empowered the two Acts should Endeavour to decide the interim applications filed along with the appeals, if any, expeditiously preferably within a period of two weeks from the date of filing of the interim application.

3. Till the disposal of the interim application filed in the statutory appeals the authorities should not take any steps for executing the demolition orders.

4. Copies of the demolition orders, passed under the acts should be properly served upon the persons against whom the orders are passed.

5. The orders of demolition proposed should be passed after giving an opportunity of hearing to the persons against whom the orders are proposed to be passed.

6. The Registrar General of this Court is directed to forward a copy of this order to the Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow for ensuring the compliance by all the Vice-Chairmen of all the Development Authorities and the District Magistrates throughout the State of Uttar Pradesh. The Registrar General shall also send a copy of this order for its compliance to all the Vice-Chairmen of the Development Authorities in the State of Uttar Pradesh as well as to all the District Magistrates for its compliance in terms of the mandate given in the order.

The writ petitions are disposed of in terms of the said order and the general Mandamus as directed above.”

Besides, the petition states that Articles 38 & 46 of the Constitution directs the State to promote welfare of the people by securing social and economic justice to the weaker sections of the society to minimize inequalities to income and endeavor to eliminate inequalities in states. Article 300A of the Constitution also states that, person not be deprived of property save by authority of law. -No person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law.

In the case of ‘Tukaram Kana Joshi & Others vs. MIDC and others (2013) 1 ACC 353’, the Court had noted that, “The right to property is now considered to be, not only a constitutional or a statutory right, but also a human right, though, it is not a basic feature of the Constitution or a fundamental right. Human rights are considered to be in the realm of individual rights, such as the right to health, the right to livelihood, the right to shelter and employment etc. now however, human rights are gaining an even greater multifaceted dimension. The right to property is considered, very much, to be a part of such a new dimension.”

On the post-facto contention that ‘the map was not sanctioned’, the petitioners have also argued that section 32 of the U.P. Urban Planning & Development Act, 1973 explores demises for the compounding of the building whose, map has not been sanctioned. Section 32 of the Act are extracted below:

 

“32. Composition of Offences.-

(1) Any offence made punishable by or under this Act may either before or after the institution of proceedings, be compounded-by the [Vice-Chairman (or any officer authorised by him in that behalf by General or Special order)] on such terms, including any term as regards payment of a composition fee, as the [Vice-Chairman) (or such officer) may think fit.

(2) Where an offence has been compounded, the offender, if in custody, shall be discharged and no further proceedings shall be taken against him in respect of the offence compounded.”

More than anything else, fundamental rights under under Articles 14 & 21 have been stripped from the petitioners as they are subjected to hostile discrimination and indignity because the petitioners have no alternative place to live, they are shelter less and living in their relative’s house. Hence the prayers, rebuild, compensate and prosecute. Now it’s over to the Allahabad high court where justice is eagerly awaited.

 

Related:

Three UN Special Rapporteurs condemn India home demolitions, allege Collective punishment of Muslims

Bulldozer Injustice: Homes of alleged June 10 protesters to be demolished in UP?

Take immediate cognisance of illegal demolition of Parveen Fatima’s home: Petition to CJ Allahabad HC

Allahabad’s Nagrik Samaj demands justice for illegal demolition victims

Bulldozer Injustice: How far is the regime planning to go?

Anti-CAA Muslim activist Afreen Fatima’s family members illegally detained!

 


[1] Section 46 (4) of CrPC is extracted below: “Save in exception circumstances, no women shall be arrested after sunset and before sunrise, and where such exceptional circumstances exist, the woman police officer shall, by making a written report, obtain the prior permission of the Judicial Magistrate of the first class within whose local jurisdiction the offence is committed or the is to be made.”

 

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Hindu Sena distributes swords in the support of Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal

An event was organised in Delhi’s Rajouri garden to show support for the fomer BJP leaders who had made Islamophobic comments

21 Jun 2022

distributes swords

On June 19, 2022, a hardline outfit and regular hate offender group named Hindu Sena reportedly organised an event at Vishwagiri temple in Rajouri Garden on Sunday in support of suspended and sacked BJP leaders Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal, reported the New Indian Express.

The event, organised by the outfit's National president Vishnu Gupta and its Delhi president Deepak Malik, began with the recitation of Hanuman Chalisa and reportedly ended with swords being distributed. Interestingly, while Malik reportedly denied any such claims of swords being distributed, Gupta didn't.

Malik reportedly said, “We did not distribute swords. People brought swords from their homes as symbols of support for Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jinda.” He claimed that Sena colleagues had brought only three-four swords from a gurudwara and gifted them to people just for clicking photographs, reported the New Indian Express. But Gupta openly said, “We distributed the swords for the protection of our Hindu women. This was only for the purpose of self-defence.” He further claimed that Hindu Sena had distributed around 10,000 in Delhi NCR, reported by the New Indian Express.

Shockingly, the event was allegedly organised without police permission because it was an indoor and personal programme, claimed Malik. It has been reported that a senior police officer shall be inquiring into the said event.

distributes swords

Amidst all this, it is important to remember that people are prohibited by law from carrying such weapons under the Arms Act, 1959 and Arms Rules 1962 . The use of such sharp-edged deadly weapons for disrupting public harmony or creating an environment of fear attracts punishment under the Criminal Procedure Code (CRPC) as well as the IPC. They are neither allowed to be carried in public places or in public transport. However, A Trishul, for example, is a sharp object and could be used as a weapon. Indeed, its significance in religion comes from it being a weapon wielded by prominent Hindu deities. And though there is no religious mandate for carrying one, these tridents, often their smaller versions, are being distributed by right-wing groups often during socio-cultural or religious gatherings.

You may read more about the legal definition of weapon, and how right-wing groups find ways to subvert the law here.

Hindu Sena's track record

Recently on June 11, the right-wing group claimed that Delhi Police had detained 12 of its volunteers during a march organised in support of former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma. Vishnu Gupta told The Quint, “If Ms Nupur Sharma has said something wrong they should take legal action and not terrorise the society with stone pelting. The Indian Government must investigate such rioters under NSA and also investigate international fundings to such rioters."

On March 6, 2022, the Hindu Sena, which is reportedly affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), allegedly also declared support for Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Hindu Sabha members allegedly chanted slogans like ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat-Russia Dosti Zindabad’ as they marched in Connaught Place, central Delhi with saffron, Indian and Russian flags in hand. It also supported the ban of hijab inside classrooms, a controversy that hindered education of Muslim girls in Karnataka for at least a month.

Before this in 2019, the Hindu Sena even celebrated Queen Victoria’s birth anniversary, claiming that the British brought India together as a nation! In yet another example, the members of Hindu Sena held a protest on Valentine’s Day in Coimbatore as they reportedly ripped the cards and set them on fire outside the Coimbatore district collector’s office in February 2020.

In January 2021, a protest was organised by Hindu Sena against farmers at Singhu border who gave them an ultimatum to clear the area. In September 2021, the Delhi Police had arrested five members of the Hindu Sena for allegedly vandalising the official residence of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief and Hyderabad Member of Parliament Asaduddin Owaisi in New Delhi.

The group's journey has been traced by The Hindu, “The fringe group, Hindu Sena, which came into existence in 2011, started with 50 members. Though it registered a steady growth till 2014 to boast a membership of 4 lakh, it added only another 1 lakh new members over the past six years.” According to Gupta, the Hindu Sena accepts members “who are already trained in Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh shakhas” or those who “want a Hindu Rashtra”, and that the outfit now has presence in 16 states, and over 10 lakh people have joined it through social media platforms.

Related:

Ukraine invasion: Hindu Sena marches in support of Russia!
How is the Assam gov't allowing Pravin Togadia’s trishul distribution?
Right-wing’s dangerous obsession with mosques and dargahs peaks during Ramzan
Sheath the swords, while there is still time!
Gujarat:  Antarashtriya Hindu Parishad is stage for anti-Muslim abuse, trident distribution
Trishul Diksha

Hindu Sena distributes swords in the support of Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal

An event was organised in Delhi’s Rajouri garden to show support for the fomer BJP leaders who had made Islamophobic comments

distributes swords

On June 19, 2022, a hardline outfit and regular hate offender group named Hindu Sena reportedly organised an event at Vishwagiri temple in Rajouri Garden on Sunday in support of suspended and sacked BJP leaders Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal, reported the New Indian Express.

The event, organised by the outfit's National president Vishnu Gupta and its Delhi president Deepak Malik, began with the recitation of Hanuman Chalisa and reportedly ended with swords being distributed. Interestingly, while Malik reportedly denied any such claims of swords being distributed, Gupta didn't.

Malik reportedly said, “We did not distribute swords. People brought swords from their homes as symbols of support for Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jinda.” He claimed that Sena colleagues had brought only three-four swords from a gurudwara and gifted them to people just for clicking photographs, reported the New Indian Express. But Gupta openly said, “We distributed the swords for the protection of our Hindu women. This was only for the purpose of self-defence.” He further claimed that Hindu Sena had distributed around 10,000 in Delhi NCR, reported by the New Indian Express.

Shockingly, the event was allegedly organised without police permission because it was an indoor and personal programme, claimed Malik. It has been reported that a senior police officer shall be inquiring into the said event.

distributes swords

Amidst all this, it is important to remember that people are prohibited by law from carrying such weapons under the Arms Act, 1959 and Arms Rules 1962 . The use of such sharp-edged deadly weapons for disrupting public harmony or creating an environment of fear attracts punishment under the Criminal Procedure Code (CRPC) as well as the IPC. They are neither allowed to be carried in public places or in public transport. However, A Trishul, for example, is a sharp object and could be used as a weapon. Indeed, its significance in religion comes from it being a weapon wielded by prominent Hindu deities. And though there is no religious mandate for carrying one, these tridents, often their smaller versions, are being distributed by right-wing groups often during socio-cultural or religious gatherings.

You may read more about the legal definition of weapon, and how right-wing groups find ways to subvert the law here.

Hindu Sena's track record

Recently on June 11, the right-wing group claimed that Delhi Police had detained 12 of its volunteers during a march organised in support of former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma. Vishnu Gupta told The Quint, “If Ms Nupur Sharma has said something wrong they should take legal action and not terrorise the society with stone pelting. The Indian Government must investigate such rioters under NSA and also investigate international fundings to such rioters."

On March 6, 2022, the Hindu Sena, which is reportedly affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), allegedly also declared support for Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Hindu Sabha members allegedly chanted slogans like ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat-Russia Dosti Zindabad’ as they marched in Connaught Place, central Delhi with saffron, Indian and Russian flags in hand. It also supported the ban of hijab inside classrooms, a controversy that hindered education of Muslim girls in Karnataka for at least a month.

Before this in 2019, the Hindu Sena even celebrated Queen Victoria’s birth anniversary, claiming that the British brought India together as a nation! In yet another example, the members of Hindu Sena held a protest on Valentine’s Day in Coimbatore as they reportedly ripped the cards and set them on fire outside the Coimbatore district collector’s office in February 2020.

In January 2021, a protest was organised by Hindu Sena against farmers at Singhu border who gave them an ultimatum to clear the area. In September 2021, the Delhi Police had arrested five members of the Hindu Sena for allegedly vandalising the official residence of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief and Hyderabad Member of Parliament Asaduddin Owaisi in New Delhi.

The group's journey has been traced by The Hindu, “The fringe group, Hindu Sena, which came into existence in 2011, started with 50 members. Though it registered a steady growth till 2014 to boast a membership of 4 lakh, it added only another 1 lakh new members over the past six years.” According to Gupta, the Hindu Sena accepts members “who are already trained in Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh shakhas” or those who “want a Hindu Rashtra”, and that the outfit now has presence in 16 states, and over 10 lakh people have joined it through social media platforms.

Related:

Ukraine invasion: Hindu Sena marches in support of Russia!
How is the Assam gov't allowing Pravin Togadia’s trishul distribution?
Right-wing’s dangerous obsession with mosques and dargahs peaks during Ramzan
Sheath the swords, while there is still time!
Gujarat:  Antarashtriya Hindu Parishad is stage for anti-Muslim abuse, trident distribution
Trishul Diksha

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Hate Buster! Muslim women did not break protocol by remaining seated during Vande Mataram

Images and videos of Muslim women at a Municipal meeting in Muzaffarnagar went viral after they refused to stand up when their colleagues sang Vande Mataram

21 Jun 2022

National AnthemImage Courtesy: Twitter

Claim: A few Muslim women insulted the National Anthem by remaining seated while it was sung at a Muzaffarnagar Municipality Board meeting

Busted! The National Song i.e Vande Mataram was being sung at the event, and not the National Anthem. As there is no protocol surrounding the National Song, it is not mandatory to stand up when it is sung.

Over the last few days, a tweet has gone viral claiming that four Muslim women present at a meeting of the Muzaffarnagar Municipality Board, insulted the National Anthem by not standing up when other members rose to sing it.

Subsequent similar tweets revealed that what was being sung was not the National Anthem i.e Jana Gana Mana, but the National Song i.e Vande Mataram, as can be clearly heard in the video shared with this tweet:

However, given how the people who refused to stand up were Muslim women, that too those who were sporting burqas, the controversy spun out of control, and soon gained a communal hue, harking back to the controversy surrounding Muslims and Vande Mataram, that first emerged in September 2006.

At that time, Jamiat-Ulema-i-Hind chief Mahmood Madani had claimed that Muslims “cannot and should not” sing Vande Mataram and threatened to move court if forced to recite it. He told media persons, “Muslims are firm in their resolve that they cannot and should not sing Vande Mataram and they should not be forced to do so,” adding, “The Centre hasn't made the recitation of the song mandatory and the states should also follow that. If forced to sing, we will protest it by peaceful means. We will take this issue to court.”

Elaborating on how singing the song was in contravention with Islamic beliefs Madani pointed to stanzas in the song that mention Indian deity Durga, and that Muslims were forbidden from worshipping anyone other than Allah. Rediff.com quoted him as saying, “Ibadat sirf ek Khuda ki hoti hai (only God is worshipped), Vande Mataram is a tribute to Goddess Durga, therefore, we cannot recite it.”

Protocol surrounding Vande Mataram

But leaving religious beliefs aside, it is important to note here that while there is a protocol to be followed when it comes to the National Anthem, there is no such protocol pertaining to the National Song. This is in fact as per a formal submission made by the government before the Rajya Sabha in November 2016. In response to a question raised by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament Vikas Mahatme, about rules regarding singing or playing of the National Song, Kiren Rijiju, who was then a Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs responded with a written submission that said, “Government has not framed any rules or issued instructions laying down circumstances in which the National Song may be sung or played.”

The answer may be viewed here: 

A few months later, in February 2017, a Supreme Court Bench headed by then Justice Deepak Mishra and also comprising Justices R Banumathi and Mohan M Shantanagoudar, found that though Article 51A (fundamental duties) of the Constitution requires to promote the National Anthem and the National Flag, “The Article does not refer to National Song. It only refers to National Flag and National Anthem. Therefore, we do not intend to enter into any debate as far as the National Song is concerned.” The court therefore refused to entertain a petition by BJP spokesperson Ashwini Upadhyay demanding directions from the top court to the government to frame a national policy to promote Vande Mataram. His plea to make reciting the National Anthem compulsory in offices, courts and legislative houses and Parliament was also declined.

Latest PIL related to Vande Mataram

Now, the same Ashwini Upadhyay has once again moved court demanding that the National Song - Vande Mataram be given the same status as the National Anthem – Jana Gana Mana. He has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the Delhi High Court to this effect and also sought direction to the Centre and State Governments to ensure that 'Jana-Gana-Mana' and 'Vande Mataram' are played and sung in all schools and educational institutions on every working day. The division bench of acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sachin Datta, on May 26, sought the Centre’s response in the matter within six weeks, and the next date of hearing is November 9.

Vande Mataram and the Indian Freedom Struggle

The song was originally a poem that was part of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s 1882 novel Anadamath, and offered praise to the motherland. It played a role in uniting freedom fighters, and the British even banned it from being sung in public. Thus, singing Vande Mataram became an act of defiance against the British colonial rulers and the song became an integral part of India’s Independence movement and therefore its history and culture. Over the years, it has been sung to many different tunes – from the pacier version associated with the freedom movement to the slower version played on Doordarshan early every morning.

Related:

Hate Buster: Mob protesting Nupur Sharma’s anti-Prophet comments did not kill Kolkata policeman
Hate Buster: Conspiracy theories about Taj Mahal collapse, yet again
Hate Buster: Nope! Eating from Muslim-owned restaurants does not cause impotence
Hate Buster: Harsha Jingade’s sister does not support calls to boycott Muslim businesses
Hate Buster: Why is the right wing so scared of Sai Baba of Shirdi?

Hate Buster! Muslim women did not break protocol by remaining seated during Vande Mataram

Images and videos of Muslim women at a Municipal meeting in Muzaffarnagar went viral after they refused to stand up when their colleagues sang Vande Mataram

National AnthemImage Courtesy: Twitter

Claim: A few Muslim women insulted the National Anthem by remaining seated while it was sung at a Muzaffarnagar Municipality Board meeting

Busted! The National Song i.e Vande Mataram was being sung at the event, and not the National Anthem. As there is no protocol surrounding the National Song, it is not mandatory to stand up when it is sung.

Over the last few days, a tweet has gone viral claiming that four Muslim women present at a meeting of the Muzaffarnagar Municipality Board, insulted the National Anthem by not standing up when other members rose to sing it.

Subsequent similar tweets revealed that what was being sung was not the National Anthem i.e Jana Gana Mana, but the National Song i.e Vande Mataram, as can be clearly heard in the video shared with this tweet:

However, given how the people who refused to stand up were Muslim women, that too those who were sporting burqas, the controversy spun out of control, and soon gained a communal hue, harking back to the controversy surrounding Muslims and Vande Mataram, that first emerged in September 2006.

At that time, Jamiat-Ulema-i-Hind chief Mahmood Madani had claimed that Muslims “cannot and should not” sing Vande Mataram and threatened to move court if forced to recite it. He told media persons, “Muslims are firm in their resolve that they cannot and should not sing Vande Mataram and they should not be forced to do so,” adding, “The Centre hasn't made the recitation of the song mandatory and the states should also follow that. If forced to sing, we will protest it by peaceful means. We will take this issue to court.”

Elaborating on how singing the song was in contravention with Islamic beliefs Madani pointed to stanzas in the song that mention Indian deity Durga, and that Muslims were forbidden from worshipping anyone other than Allah. Rediff.com quoted him as saying, “Ibadat sirf ek Khuda ki hoti hai (only God is worshipped), Vande Mataram is a tribute to Goddess Durga, therefore, we cannot recite it.”

Protocol surrounding Vande Mataram

But leaving religious beliefs aside, it is important to note here that while there is a protocol to be followed when it comes to the National Anthem, there is no such protocol pertaining to the National Song. This is in fact as per a formal submission made by the government before the Rajya Sabha in November 2016. In response to a question raised by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament Vikas Mahatme, about rules regarding singing or playing of the National Song, Kiren Rijiju, who was then a Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs responded with a written submission that said, “Government has not framed any rules or issued instructions laying down circumstances in which the National Song may be sung or played.”

The answer may be viewed here: 

A few months later, in February 2017, a Supreme Court Bench headed by then Justice Deepak Mishra and also comprising Justices R Banumathi and Mohan M Shantanagoudar, found that though Article 51A (fundamental duties) of the Constitution requires to promote the National Anthem and the National Flag, “The Article does not refer to National Song. It only refers to National Flag and National Anthem. Therefore, we do not intend to enter into any debate as far as the National Song is concerned.” The court therefore refused to entertain a petition by BJP spokesperson Ashwini Upadhyay demanding directions from the top court to the government to frame a national policy to promote Vande Mataram. His plea to make reciting the National Anthem compulsory in offices, courts and legislative houses and Parliament was also declined.

Latest PIL related to Vande Mataram

Now, the same Ashwini Upadhyay has once again moved court demanding that the National Song - Vande Mataram be given the same status as the National Anthem – Jana Gana Mana. He has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the Delhi High Court to this effect and also sought direction to the Centre and State Governments to ensure that 'Jana-Gana-Mana' and 'Vande Mataram' are played and sung in all schools and educational institutions on every working day. The division bench of acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sachin Datta, on May 26, sought the Centre’s response in the matter within six weeks, and the next date of hearing is November 9.

Vande Mataram and the Indian Freedom Struggle

The song was originally a poem that was part of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s 1882 novel Anadamath, and offered praise to the motherland. It played a role in uniting freedom fighters, and the British even banned it from being sung in public. Thus, singing Vande Mataram became an act of defiance against the British colonial rulers and the song became an integral part of India’s Independence movement and therefore its history and culture. Over the years, it has been sung to many different tunes – from the pacier version associated with the freedom movement to the slower version played on Doordarshan early every morning.

Related:

Hate Buster: Mob protesting Nupur Sharma’s anti-Prophet comments did not kill Kolkata policeman
Hate Buster: Conspiracy theories about Taj Mahal collapse, yet again
Hate Buster: Nope! Eating from Muslim-owned restaurants does not cause impotence
Hate Buster: Harsha Jingade’s sister does not support calls to boycott Muslim businesses
Hate Buster: Why is the right wing so scared of Sai Baba of Shirdi?

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Jamiat rejects Maulana Tauqeer Raza’s call for protests on Sunday

The Maulana had previously called for protests on Friday, then rescheduled them for Sunday

18 Jun 2022

Maulana tauqir

The Jamiat-Ulema-i-Hind (JUIH) has rejected controversial Islamic cleric Maulana Tauqeer Raza’s call for anti-Nupur Sharma protests on Sunday, June 19. According to the Times of India, senior members of the JUIH have passed a resolution to not engage in such protests, especially on Friday.

The publication quoted Muzaffarnagar district president of JUIH, Maulana Muhammed Nazar as saying, “Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind chief Maulana Arshad Madni has clearly stated that no protest will be held after the Friday namaz. Jamiat has taken the issue to the Supreme Court and the decision of the court will be accepted.” On the subject of the call for protests on Sunday by Maulana Tauqeer Raza, he said, “We held a meeting because Maulana Raza called for protests. We have nothing to do with him and would not heed to his call for protest.”

Readers would recall that Maulana Raza, the chief of the Ittehad-e-Millat Council, had first called for a protest on Friday, June 17 in Bareli, but suspended it in light of the growing notoriety of Friday protests and how it impacted the image of the entire Muslim community. But that did not stop him from rescheduling the protest for Sunday, June 19.

He told reporters, “The people who were coming to defend the dignity of the Prophet on Friday, will come for the protest on Sunday with the same enthusiasm.” But perhaps in an attempt to temper down his words retroactively he said, “I appeal to protesters to remain peaceful, not engage in any violence, and most of all, respect the law. Please cooperate with the police.”

Meanwhile, in face of mounting pressure from various Muslim socio-cultural organisations and peace committees, Prakash Ambedkar announced that he had called off the Aman March after speaking with Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil and Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey. The march was to have taken place on June 17, but Ambedkar made the cancellation announcement on the night of June 16.

“Despite a huge support to the protest, a section of people had appealed to the Home Minister and the Police Commissioner not to give permission for the protest march due to certain apprehensions,” said Ambedkar at a late evening press conference. Ambedkar was referring to appeals by several Muslim groups such as Raza Academy and the Mumbai Aman Committee (MAC) who feared that just as has been seen in protests in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal, some miscreants might infiltrate a peaceful protest and then turn it violent. The groups had therefore urged Ambedkar to reconsider his decision to hold the protest march.

“The Home Minister has assured me of bringing about a law to criminalise communal statements. The Police Commissioner has also assured me that all necessary procedures are being carried out to arrest Nupur Sharma and Navin Jindal,” informed Ambedkar, concluding, “We have therefore decided to cancel the Aman March.”

Related:

Prakash Ambedkar calls off Aman March

What does Prakash Ambedkar hope to achieve by organising anti-Nupur Sharma protests?

Jamiat rejects Maulana Tauqeer Raza’s call for protests on Sunday

The Maulana had previously called for protests on Friday, then rescheduled them for Sunday

Maulana tauqir

The Jamiat-Ulema-i-Hind (JUIH) has rejected controversial Islamic cleric Maulana Tauqeer Raza’s call for anti-Nupur Sharma protests on Sunday, June 19. According to the Times of India, senior members of the JUIH have passed a resolution to not engage in such protests, especially on Friday.

The publication quoted Muzaffarnagar district president of JUIH, Maulana Muhammed Nazar as saying, “Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind chief Maulana Arshad Madni has clearly stated that no protest will be held after the Friday namaz. Jamiat has taken the issue to the Supreme Court and the decision of the court will be accepted.” On the subject of the call for protests on Sunday by Maulana Tauqeer Raza, he said, “We held a meeting because Maulana Raza called for protests. We have nothing to do with him and would not heed to his call for protest.”

Readers would recall that Maulana Raza, the chief of the Ittehad-e-Millat Council, had first called for a protest on Friday, June 17 in Bareli, but suspended it in light of the growing notoriety of Friday protests and how it impacted the image of the entire Muslim community. But that did not stop him from rescheduling the protest for Sunday, June 19.

He told reporters, “The people who were coming to defend the dignity of the Prophet on Friday, will come for the protest on Sunday with the same enthusiasm.” But perhaps in an attempt to temper down his words retroactively he said, “I appeal to protesters to remain peaceful, not engage in any violence, and most of all, respect the law. Please cooperate with the police.”

Meanwhile, in face of mounting pressure from various Muslim socio-cultural organisations and peace committees, Prakash Ambedkar announced that he had called off the Aman March after speaking with Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil and Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey. The march was to have taken place on June 17, but Ambedkar made the cancellation announcement on the night of June 16.

“Despite a huge support to the protest, a section of people had appealed to the Home Minister and the Police Commissioner not to give permission for the protest march due to certain apprehensions,” said Ambedkar at a late evening press conference. Ambedkar was referring to appeals by several Muslim groups such as Raza Academy and the Mumbai Aman Committee (MAC) who feared that just as has been seen in protests in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal, some miscreants might infiltrate a peaceful protest and then turn it violent. The groups had therefore urged Ambedkar to reconsider his decision to hold the protest march.

“The Home Minister has assured me of bringing about a law to criminalise communal statements. The Police Commissioner has also assured me that all necessary procedures are being carried out to arrest Nupur Sharma and Navin Jindal,” informed Ambedkar, concluding, “We have therefore decided to cancel the Aman March.”

Related:

Prakash Ambedkar calls off Aman March

What does Prakash Ambedkar hope to achieve by organising anti-Nupur Sharma protests?

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Breaking: Three UN Special Rapporteurs condemn India home demolitions, allege Collective punishment of Muslims

Strongly worded international condemnation has followed in the wake of continuing mala fide demolitions of Muslims in Prayagraj (Allahabad), Sahranpir, Kanpur and Khragone (MP) and Delhi in April

17 Jun 2022

JahangirpuriCompensation restitution and guarantee of non-repetition (of demolitions)–established international law standards for victims—have been violated by UP, MP and Delhi authroities over past months when Muslim homes were selectively demolished by bulldozers since April. This has been stated by three UN Special Rapporteurs to the Indian government recently.

In an exclusive interview with Karan Thapar for The Wire, Prof Balakrishnan Rajagopal Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing and Professor of Law and Development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says that Indian and international law was broken in the spate of recent demolitions being carried out in Prayagraj (Allahabad), UP, Kanpur, Sahranpur, Khargone (Madhya Pradesh) and Jahangirpuri (Delhi)

Three United Nations Special Rapporteurs for Housing, Minority Issues, and Freedom of Religion, have written a letter dated 9th June to the Indian government allegedly strongly criticizing and protesting against arbitrary housing and property demolitions, ordered by local governments to punish Muslim minorities for inter-communal conflict between Hindus and Muslims. It’s believed their letter claims the government has carried out collective punishment against the minority Muslim community.

It’s said to cite quotations from the Madhya Pradesh Home Minister and senior state officials as proof of vindictive intention. Apparently, the letter says demolitions have been carried out without due process and without establishing proof of guilt. The Wire says that the three Rapporteurs express serious concern and ask the government to share with them the basis on which it has acted, the investigations it has carried out, and whether any prior consultation was held with the affected minority community. Unfortunately, the demolitions continued even after the letter was received by the government.

The Wire interview is with Prof. Balakrishnan Rajagopal,  

Here is the link: 

 

Breaking: Three UN Special Rapporteurs condemn India home demolitions, allege Collective punishment of Muslims

Strongly worded international condemnation has followed in the wake of continuing mala fide demolitions of Muslims in Prayagraj (Allahabad), Sahranpir, Kanpur and Khragone (MP) and Delhi in April

JahangirpuriCompensation restitution and guarantee of non-repetition (of demolitions)–established international law standards for victims—have been violated by UP, MP and Delhi authroities over past months when Muslim homes were selectively demolished by bulldozers since April. This has been stated by three UN Special Rapporteurs to the Indian government recently.

In an exclusive interview with Karan Thapar for The Wire, Prof Balakrishnan Rajagopal Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing and Professor of Law and Development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says that Indian and international law was broken in the spate of recent demolitions being carried out in Prayagraj (Allahabad), UP, Kanpur, Sahranpur, Khargone (Madhya Pradesh) and Jahangirpuri (Delhi)

Three United Nations Special Rapporteurs for Housing, Minority Issues, and Freedom of Religion, have written a letter dated 9th June to the Indian government allegedly strongly criticizing and protesting against arbitrary housing and property demolitions, ordered by local governments to punish Muslim minorities for inter-communal conflict between Hindus and Muslims. It’s believed their letter claims the government has carried out collective punishment against the minority Muslim community.

It’s said to cite quotations from the Madhya Pradesh Home Minister and senior state officials as proof of vindictive intention. Apparently, the letter says demolitions have been carried out without due process and without establishing proof of guilt. The Wire says that the three Rapporteurs express serious concern and ask the government to share with them the basis on which it has acted, the investigations it has carried out, and whether any prior consultation was held with the affected minority community. Unfortunately, the demolitions continued even after the letter was received by the government.

The Wire interview is with Prof. Balakrishnan Rajagopal,  

Here is the link: 

 

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Sabrang

Over 300 schools run by Falah-e-Aam Trust to be shut in J&K

Students of the Jamaat-e-Islami affiliated organisation’s schools to be absorbed in nearby government schools, but no word on future of teaching and non-teaching staff

17 Jun 2022

Kashmir
Image courtesy: kashmirpulse.com

Two days ago, Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary (Education) BK Singh passed an order that will effectively shut down over 300 schools run by the Falah-e-Aam Trust (FAT) that is affiliated to the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), an organization that was banned for five years in 2019. However, there is no information so far on what would happen to the teaching and non-teaching staff of the schools.

Why were the schools shut down?

India Today reports that the decision was taken due to two key reasons – unknown source of foreign funding, and alleged “jihadi literature” being part of the curriculum. Times of India, meanwhile, reports that a Special Investigation Agency (SIA) has found that the schools are radicalising youth. However, Deccan Herald reported that the reason for the ban was fraud and large-scale encroachment of government land. The publication quoted a SIA investigation report: “Almost all the FAT schools, numbering in hundreds, have been found to be existing on illegally acquired government and community lands wherein lands were occupied by coercion, at gunpoint as well as colluding with revenue officials who made wrong entries in revenue documents by committing fraud and forgery.”

What does the order say?

The Indian Express quoted an excerpt from the order: “The Jammu and Kashmir government had banned the Falah-e-Aam Trust on May 11, 1990, and also vide communication dated 23-10-2019. All students currently studying in these banned institutions shall admit themselves to nearby government schools for current academic session. All CEOs/Principals/ZEOs shall facilitate the admission of these students.”

Thus, education department officials such as Chief Education Officers and Zonal Educational Officers have been made responsible for ensuring that the fate of students does not get stuck in limbo. However, there is no word on what this would mean for the teaching and non-teaching staff members. The order also prohibits new admissions to these schools and no further registration of such schools. Education officers have been asked to seal the premises of such schools within 15 days.

Poor planning, worse execution

An important point to be considered is how government schools are often overburdened, understaffed and lack basic resources. While some publications place the number of displaced students at 11,000, some others say the number could be as high as 1 lakh. That means anywhere between 30 to 300 children from each FAT school would be looking for a new school. Therefore, wouldn’t this sudden ban be adding yet another burden on an overstretched system? Also, given how the JeI was banned in February 2019, could this shut down of schools not have been planned better?

Jamaat-e-Islami banned in Feb 2019

Readers would recall that the Jamaat-e-Islami was banned for five years in February 2019 for alleged support to terror and secessionist activities. This was just a fortnight after the Pulwama attack where terrorists ambushed a convoy of security personnel on February 14 killing 40 CRPF personnel. On the intervening night between February 22 and 23, police carried out raids against JeI cadres and arrested 100 members including JeI chief Abdul Hamid Fayad and spokesperson Zahid Ali.

The J&K administration banned JeI on February 28 that year. This order was confirmed by a tribunal headed by Justice Chander Shekhar, a Delhi High Court judge in September 2019. According to a report in the Economic Times, the tribunal had found that “the activities of the respondent association, its office bearers and members have been disruptive in character, which threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India. They have been acting in collusion with other similar organisations in India as well as in other countries against their stated objectives in their constitution.” It had therefore concluded, “The central government had sufficient credible material and grounds for taking action under sub-Sections (1) & (3) of Section 3 of the [Unlawful Activities (Prevention)] Act for declaring 'JeI' as an 'Unlawful Association'. Accordingly, it is held that there is "sufficient cause" to confirm the notification under sub-Section (3) of Section 4 of the Act declaring 'JeI' to be an "Unlawful Association".”  

Falah-e-Aam Trust

The FAT, that was set up by JeI in 1972, was also previously banned (May 11, 1990) along with the JeI in 1990 under Section 3 of the Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Law Amendment Act (1983), reports the Indian Express saying that ban was for two years, although the latest ban will be active for five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Interestingly, when JeI was banned in February 2019, police and magistrates had issued notices to schools run FAT asking them to close down. However, later, the government issued a clarification that these schools would not be shut, reported Deccan Herald.

Related:

Minority Kashmiri Hindus fear “something fishy” in South Kashmir
TRF exhorts Kashmiri Muslims to take up arms, kill officials and act against informers
14 Kashmiri Pandits, Hindus killed in Kashmir Valley after Article 370 removed: MHA
J&K admin terminates gov't employees in interest of “security of the state”
Citizens Condemn Pulwama Terror Attack, Appeal for Unity
Watch: Eminent citizens speak on the 2019 elections and the challenges before us
Want to honour Pulwama Heroes? Demand Justice, Not Revenge
India's CRPF Responds with Dignity and Caution
Pulwama Attack: Curfew in Jammu amid violent protests

Over 300 schools run by Falah-e-Aam Trust to be shut in J&K

Students of the Jamaat-e-Islami affiliated organisation’s schools to be absorbed in nearby government schools, but no word on future of teaching and non-teaching staff

Kashmir
Image courtesy: kashmirpulse.com

Two days ago, Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary (Education) BK Singh passed an order that will effectively shut down over 300 schools run by the Falah-e-Aam Trust (FAT) that is affiliated to the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), an organization that was banned for five years in 2019. However, there is no information so far on what would happen to the teaching and non-teaching staff of the schools.

Why were the schools shut down?

India Today reports that the decision was taken due to two key reasons – unknown source of foreign funding, and alleged “jihadi literature” being part of the curriculum. Times of India, meanwhile, reports that a Special Investigation Agency (SIA) has found that the schools are radicalising youth. However, Deccan Herald reported that the reason for the ban was fraud and large-scale encroachment of government land. The publication quoted a SIA investigation report: “Almost all the FAT schools, numbering in hundreds, have been found to be existing on illegally acquired government and community lands wherein lands were occupied by coercion, at gunpoint as well as colluding with revenue officials who made wrong entries in revenue documents by committing fraud and forgery.”

What does the order say?

The Indian Express quoted an excerpt from the order: “The Jammu and Kashmir government had banned the Falah-e-Aam Trust on May 11, 1990, and also vide communication dated 23-10-2019. All students currently studying in these banned institutions shall admit themselves to nearby government schools for current academic session. All CEOs/Principals/ZEOs shall facilitate the admission of these students.”

Thus, education department officials such as Chief Education Officers and Zonal Educational Officers have been made responsible for ensuring that the fate of students does not get stuck in limbo. However, there is no word on what this would mean for the teaching and non-teaching staff members. The order also prohibits new admissions to these schools and no further registration of such schools. Education officers have been asked to seal the premises of such schools within 15 days.

Poor planning, worse execution

An important point to be considered is how government schools are often overburdened, understaffed and lack basic resources. While some publications place the number of displaced students at 11,000, some others say the number could be as high as 1 lakh. That means anywhere between 30 to 300 children from each FAT school would be looking for a new school. Therefore, wouldn’t this sudden ban be adding yet another burden on an overstretched system? Also, given how the JeI was banned in February 2019, could this shut down of schools not have been planned better?

Jamaat-e-Islami banned in Feb 2019

Readers would recall that the Jamaat-e-Islami was banned for five years in February 2019 for alleged support to terror and secessionist activities. This was just a fortnight after the Pulwama attack where terrorists ambushed a convoy of security personnel on February 14 killing 40 CRPF personnel. On the intervening night between February 22 and 23, police carried out raids against JeI cadres and arrested 100 members including JeI chief Abdul Hamid Fayad and spokesperson Zahid Ali.

The J&K administration banned JeI on February 28 that year. This order was confirmed by a tribunal headed by Justice Chander Shekhar, a Delhi High Court judge in September 2019. According to a report in the Economic Times, the tribunal had found that “the activities of the respondent association, its office bearers and members have been disruptive in character, which threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India. They have been acting in collusion with other similar organisations in India as well as in other countries against their stated objectives in their constitution.” It had therefore concluded, “The central government had sufficient credible material and grounds for taking action under sub-Sections (1) & (3) of Section 3 of the [Unlawful Activities (Prevention)] Act for declaring 'JeI' as an 'Unlawful Association'. Accordingly, it is held that there is "sufficient cause" to confirm the notification under sub-Section (3) of Section 4 of the Act declaring 'JeI' to be an "Unlawful Association".”  

Falah-e-Aam Trust

The FAT, that was set up by JeI in 1972, was also previously banned (May 11, 1990) along with the JeI in 1990 under Section 3 of the Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Law Amendment Act (1983), reports the Indian Express saying that ban was for two years, although the latest ban will be active for five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Interestingly, when JeI was banned in February 2019, police and magistrates had issued notices to schools run FAT asking them to close down. However, later, the government issued a clarification that these schools would not be shut, reported Deccan Herald.

Related:

Minority Kashmiri Hindus fear “something fishy” in South Kashmir
TRF exhorts Kashmiri Muslims to take up arms, kill officials and act against informers
14 Kashmiri Pandits, Hindus killed in Kashmir Valley after Article 370 removed: MHA
J&K admin terminates gov't employees in interest of “security of the state”
Citizens Condemn Pulwama Terror Attack, Appeal for Unity
Watch: Eminent citizens speak on the 2019 elections and the challenges before us
Want to honour Pulwama Heroes? Demand Justice, Not Revenge
India's CRPF Responds with Dignity and Caution
Pulwama Attack: Curfew in Jammu amid violent protests

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