Despite evidence, Supreme Court refuses to prosecute Adityanath for hate speech
India’s Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a petition asking that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath be prosecuted for a hate speech given publicly in 2007 that led to mass violence in which at least one person had died.
In one of his last rulings before retiring the same day, Chief Justice N. V. Ramanna refused to provide any reasons why he was declining to order Adityanath’s prosecution.
This ruling once again confirms that India’s highest court has virtually become a rubber stamp for India’s Hindu nationalist movement. In recent years, the Supreme Court has failed to act against perpetrators of Hindu supremacist violence against minorities, including Muslims and Christians.
In June, the Supreme Court had dismissed a petition asking that Modi himself be prosecuted for his complicity in a pogrom of Muslims in 2002 in Gujarat when he was that state’s chief minister. In that reprehensible order, the Court accused – without evidence – the globally renowned human rights defender Teesta Setalvad of forging evidence against Modi, prompting the Gujarat police to arrest her within hours.
It is no small irony that the petitioner against Adityanath in this case, Parvez Parwaz, has been in prison sentenced to life imprisonment in a bogus case of rape, convicted at a sham trial that violated due process at every stage. Parwaz, a septuagenarian former journalist, had spent years chasing the judicial system to bring Adityanath to justice.
Asian American legislators in New Jersey condemn hate-filled bulldozer parade
A group of state legislators from the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities have released a statement condemning the inclusion of a bulldozer at a parade in Edison city, called on August 14 to mark India’s Independence Day.
“We condemn the inclusion of a bulldozer in Edison’s 2022 India Day Parade and stand with and applaud Mayor Sam Joshi for offering to take steps to ensure an incident like this does not recur. We also note that it was a privately organized and not municipally sponsored event,” the statement said.
The joint statement was released by Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (Chair, Joint Asian Pacific American Caucus), Sen. Vin Gopal (Vice Chair, Joint Asian Pacific American Caucus), and Assemblywomen Shama Haider and Sadaf Jaffer.
There has been widespread condemnation of the parade for marching with a bulldozer adorned with pictures of Modi and Adityanath. Rights groups such as Indian American Muslim Council, Hindus for Human Rights, Council on American Islamic Relations, NAACP and Black Lives Matter have demanded an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as by the Township of Edison into the hate parade.
“On the most auspicious occasion of India’s 75th Independence Day and the 75th anniversary of U.S.-India diplomatic relations, the bulldozer – which has unfortunately become a symbol of division and hate based on reports of celebrations of Muslim homes being demolished – has cast a shadow over the parade and distressed New Jersey’s vibrant Indian Muslim community and others,” the legislators said in their statement.
“We celebrate New Jersey’s rich diversity and the South Asian American presence in our state and our Legislature, and we are dedicated to an inclusive, welcoming, and safe New Jersey for all.”
The bulldozer became a divisive symbol in India after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party used them to demolish the homes and livelihoods of the Muslim community. Critics say the demolitions are part of a retaliatory response to Muslims criticizing the Modi administration.
In a statement released earlier, Edison Mayor Sam Joshi said although the event was not sponsored by the municipality, his office was made aware that the bulldozer was “used as a symbol of division and discrimination.”
Joshi said that any symbol or action that represents discrimination is unwelcome in Edison Township and his office is “committed to celebrating and working in harmony with people from all cultures.”
“My office will be working with stakeholders to ensure that celebrations in the future serve the best interest of our community.”
Locals say Indian paramilitary killed Muslim Fisherman near Bangladesh border
After a Muslim fisherman, Maniruzzaman, was killed on Wednesday along the India-Bangladesh border in Assam’s South Salmara district, locals alleged that a Border Security Force (BSF) personnel shot at him.
Maniruzzaman had gone out to lay the nets for fishing when he was shot. He died on his way home. The BSF rejected the allegation. The police said they were investigating.
The police also increased patrolling in the border villages.