Aakar Patel, Indian Activist & Amnesty India Chair, Stopped From Traveling To US - IAMC

Aakar Patel, Indian Activist & Amnesty India Chair, Stopped From Traveling To US

In a violation of human rights, Indian immigration authorities barred Aakar Patel, chair of Amnesty International in India, from traveling to the United States due to an ongoing crackdown by the Indian government against the globally known human rights organization.

“Stopped from leaving India at Bangalore airport. CBI officer called to say I am on the look-out circular because of the case [the] Modi government has filed against Amnesty International India,” Patel wrote on Twitter.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has had a case against Amnesty International since 2019, and in 2020, the Modi government forced the organization’s India branch to shut down after conducting office raids and freezing their bank accounts. The CBI also placed Patel on a “look-out circular,” which blocks a person who is wanted by law enforcement from traveling abroad.

Amnesty International released a statement condemning the incident, including quotes from Kyle Ward, Deputy Secretary General of Amnesty International, who slammed India’s “harassment, intimidation, interference and constant surveillance” of human rights defenders.

“For Aakar, who dares to raise his voice peacefully and consistently against injustice, a travel ban is nothing but retaliation from the Indian government against his activism. It must be immediately revoked,” said Ward. “Denying Aakar’s right to freedom of movement to prevent him from exercising his freedom of expression is an alarming manifestation of the Indian government’s mounting crackdown on human rights defenders and activists.”

Delhi Government Rescinds Muslim Employees Previously Approved Ramadan Break

Caving to a discriminatory and bigoted complaint from the Hindu extremist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Delhi governmental bodies in two instances withdrew permission for Muslim employees to take two-hour breaks from work to offer prayers while fasting in Ramadan.

Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta wrote his complaint on Twitter, implying that this concession for fasting employees was somehow a sign of preferential treatment over Hindus.

“On the one hand, thousands of vends in Delhi have been distributing intoxication by giving 25 percent discount on liquor during Navratri. On the other hand, Delhi Jal board employees have been given 2-hour off from work to offer Namaz (prayers) during Ramzan. If this is not appeasement then what is?” he tweeted.

Two days later, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) withdrew the concession after opposition from NDMC Vice Chairman Satish Upadhyay, who claimed that allowing Muslims to leave work early during their holy month was “not secular.”

This bigoted treatment is in stark contrast to the way Delhi authorities banned the sale of halal meat during the Hindu religious festival Navratri after a push from Hindu extremist groups and politicians.

Hindu Extremists Attack Muslim Biryani Seller’s Stall, Rob Him After Accusing Him Of Selling Non-Vegetarian Food

A mob of Hindu extremists in Uttar Pradesh state attacked a Muslim biryani vendor’s stall and robbed him of over 15,000 rupees after accusing him of selling non-vegetarian food. The vendor, Sajid, had already been forced to sell soy biryani after Hindu extremists pushed a ban on selling meat during Hindu religious festivals.

“It was a regular day of business for me. Some people came and they asked what food I was selling. I told them it’s soy biryani. They kept saying I was selling non-vegetarian [biryani], which was against the rule. By the time I realized, my entire stall had been flipped. They were abusing us again and again,” Sajid said.

Hindu extremist instigator of the attack, Sachin Khatik, is the state chief of Sangeet Som Sena, a Hindu supremacist group linked to former Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Sangeet Som.

Viral videos on Twitter show Khatik leading a group of Hindu extremists through the streets, shouting slogans that incite violence against Muslims. However, he has not been arrested for his hate-mongering and attacks on Muslim vendors.

Press Club of India Condemns Attack On Journalists At Delhi Hindu Extremist Event

The Press Club of India (PCI) released a statement slamming Hindu extremists who attended a hate speech event in Delhi on April 3, during which five journalists from multiple news outlets reported being verbally abused, having their phones and cameras snatched, and being physically assaulted. Muslim journalists Arbab Ali and Meer Faisal reported that the mob abused them with Islamophobic slurs, including “jihadi.”

PCI condemned the event as the “highly deplorable” product of the “nefarious designs of communal hooligans to force media persons to follow their hidden agenda.”

“Going by the series of attacks on media persons in the recent past, it could be inferred that these people are hell-bent on gagging the press in its entirety,” the statement said, going on to label the attack as “barbaric.”

In a tweet accompanying the statement, PCI added, “We demand that the Delhi Police immediately arrests the hooligans who attacked journalists at a hate speech gathering on April 3.”

Karnataka Police Issue Circular Against Noise Pollution, Targeting Muslim Call To Prayer

As Hindu extremist groups clamor for a ban on the broadcasting of the Muslim call to prayer in the holy month of Ramadan, Karnataka state police have issued a circular against noise pollution, effectively targeting the use of loudspeakers in mosques to broadcast the azaan.

“With regard to the matter of noise pollution, you are directed to adhere strictly to the decision of the High Court of Karnataka. In this regard, you are directed to take action against religious institutions, pubs and any other institution and functions, if found violating The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000 as per the law,” the circular stated.

The circular was issued after several Hindu supremacist groups threatened to blast Hindu prayers during the azaan, which they labeled as “noise pollution” and “an inconvenience,” despite the fact that mosques in India have been giving the call to prayer by loudspeaker for decades without issue.

Christian Pastor Continues To Face Death Threats, Forced Conversion Charges After Being Brutally Assaulted By Mob

Christian Pastor Kailash Dudwe continues to face death threats, landlords who refuse to rent to him, and other forms of humiliation after a mob of Hindu extremists accused him of forcibly converting Hindus to Christianity and brutally assaulted him in January.

“Kailash Dudwe was brutally assaulted to the extent of almost being killed, was stripped and paraded on the street with grievous injuries, was hospitalized for a fortnight, a warrant issued against him and sent to jail,” said Anar Singh Jamre, a Christian leader in Pastor Dudwe’s area of Dhar District in Madhya Pradesh state.

Six other Christians were also attacked, including Dudwe’s 5-year-old daughter, whom the Hindu extremists tried to beat with an iron bar.

Despite the brutality of the attack, which left Dudwe with serious injuries, an arrest warrant was issued against him, and he was jailed for 3 days under the baseless accusation of forced conversions.

“The police have sent a wrong signal to the assaulters, as if telling them that they are free to hit and harass a person and get away with it,” Jamre said. “Their hands have been strengthened. They are roaming about without any fear.”

Hindu extremists have continued to harass Dudwe, threatening his landlord to the point where Dudwe was forced to search for other living options. However, other landlords have also refused to rent to him after receiving threats from the extremists. Dudwe has also received continued death threats, and he has been forced to stop his church services.