Court acquits 26 Hindu extremists accused of rape, murder - IAMC

Court acquits 26 Hindu extremists accused of rape, murder of Muslims in Gujarat

In a shocking and disturbing move, a Gujarat court acquitted 26 Hindu extremist men accused of the gang rape and murder of more than a dozen Muslims in separate incidents during the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat state.

The men are accused of burning a hospitalized Muslim man alive, as well as killing and burning the body of a Muslim man in a mosque. In another incident, the extremists attacked 38 Muslims, burning 11 of alive, and brutally gang-raping one woman.

The acquittal of these convicted rapists and murderers indicates the complete disregard for human rights, justice, and law and order in Hindu supremacist supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled India. 

The move is part of a larger pattern of releasing Hindu supremacists convicted of gruesome crimes. Last year, the Supreme Court facilitated freedom for 11 Hindu extremists who had been sentenced to life imprisonment for gang-raping a Muslim woman and murdering several of her family members during the 2002 pogrom. 

Muslim cattle trader lynched to death by Hindu extremists in BJP-ruled Karnataka 

In yet another disturbing incident of violent cow vigilantism, a Hindu extremist mob lynched to death a Muslim cattle trader in Karnataka state.

The victim, Idrees Pasha, was mobbed by Hindu supremacists for transporting cattle. He showed the mob documentation to prove the legal purchase of the cattle, but the mob continued to harass him and demanded around $2,500 USD to let him go. They later chased and violently attacked him, leading to Pasha’s death. Two associates of Pasha were also injured in the incident.

In the past few months, Hindu extremist mobs have carried out several cow vigilante attacks and lynchings. This includes the brutal murder of two Muslim men, Junaid and Nasir, who were kidnapped, lynched, and set ablaze by a mob of violent Hindu extremists, triggering massive outrage.

Other states have also seen brutal cow vigilante violence in the past month. Naseeb Qureshi, 47, was beaten to death with sticks and weapons by a Hindu supremacist mob in Bihar state, and a Muslim man was assaulted by Hindu extremists in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh state over false suspicions of cow theft.

Amnesty slams India over search for new spyware to replace Pegasus

Human rights group Amnesty International raised concerns over a report that India is searching for alternative spyware technology to replace the Israeli NSO Group’s invasive Pegasus surveillance software, which has been used to target activists. 

“It is chilling that instead of respecting human rights and ensuring accountability for those targeted by Pegasus, that the Indian government is instead looking for alternative spyware to further its surveillance capabilities,” said Donncha Ó Cearbhaill, Head of the Security Lab at Amnesty International. 

In a statement slamming the move, Amnesty further called the use of Pegasus “shameful” and “unlawful.” 

Although India never publicly acknowledged being a customer of NSO, their malware was found on the phones of journalists, academics and dissidents, sparking outrage from civil society.