Hindu supremacists move court to allow Hindus prayers at historic mosque
A plea has been filed by members of a Hindu supremacist organization the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha claiming that the Jama Masjid Shamsi in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun city is a temple of Lord Shiva and seeking permission for Hindus to offer prayers at the site.
The judge directed the committee managing the mosque to present its side on September 15.
Repeating the hateful rhetoric of RSS against historic Muslim mosques, Prakash Sahu, the advocate claimed that the building is not of Jama Masjid but an ancient temple of Neelkanth Mahadev Maharaj.
The mosque is built on an elevated area and is considered the highest structure in the town of Budaun. It is also believed to be the third oldest existing and seventh largest mosque in the country, having a capacity of 23,500.
There have been several similar suits, including in Mathura and Varanasi, claiming that mosques there were sites of ancient Hindu temples.
Minister calls for ‘Integrating Bangladesh into India’ as Bangladesh PM visits
In a controversial statement, Assam state Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma called for “integrating Bangladesh with India” even as Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was on a diplomatic visit to India in New Delhi.
“Try to integrate Pakistan, and Bangladesh and strive to create Akhand Bharat,” Sarma said in a video.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent of India’s ruling Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP’s), promotes the concept of an “undivided India” (Akhand Bharat), which includes Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Tibet, and Myanmar.
Sarma is a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP, which pushes anti-Muslim policies seeking the creation of a Hindu state.
Kashmir court upholds terror charge against the professor who criticized oppression
In yet another example of intimidation by invoking the draconian and anti-democratic Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), a court in Kashmir refused to quash charges against Abdul Bari Naik, an assistant professor working in a government college, who has been vocal against oppression by Indian forces in India’s only Muslim-majority province.
Bari has been accused of intending to provoke common people to use force or violence against government institutions like the army and police.
In its blatantly partisan and undemocratic order, the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court noted that the following was seen in video clips featuring Naik: “conveying to the audience that Kashmiri students are being lynched and brutally tortured in other parts of the country, conveying to his audience that the children of Kashmir are being oppressed by the security forces and the army, conveying that the army is hampering the movement of the people and it is obstructing the children from going to schools which has led to closure of schools, pleading cause relating to release of a person who was in custody for indulging in stone pelting and terrorist activities”.
Naik, 41, was arrested on March 7, 2021.
Naik’s family had claimed that Naik was arrested because of his public interest activism.
Naik has PhDs in both geography and women’s studies and a post-graduation diploma in sociology and geography from Aligarh Muslim University.
Over 300 attacks against Christians during January-July 2022: NGO Data
Data gathered by a non-governmental organization, the United Christian Forum, based on distress calls it received on a helpline number, records over 300 incidents of attacks – verbal, physical and with help of law enforcement – on Christians until July this year.
On August 28, three people were arrested over allegations that they had attempted to forcibly convert people. They later said that Hindu extremists brutally assaulted them as the police arrested them.
On August 31, a group of four masked persons entered a church, vandalizing a Pieta statue and setting a car that belonged to the church on fire. The pastor of the church stated that the attack was carried out after security guards were held hostage at gunpoint.
Uttar Pradesh state has reported the highest – over 80 – of these attacks. Last week, the Indian government told the Supreme Court that a plea urging action against attacks on Christian was based on “self-serving reports.”
Attacks on India’s Christians, who number 30 million in India’s 1.4 billion people, have doubled since 2014 due to anti-christian hysteria being spread across the nation by Hindu extremists aligned with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Amnesty demands immediate release of jailed Muslim student leader Atikur Rahman
Responding to the continuing imprisonment of Muslim student activist Atikur Rahman under the draconian UAPA solely for peacefully exercising his human rights and despite his deteriorating health condition, Amnesty International India said Rahman’s arbitrary detention must end.
“It is a travesty for the Indian authorities to keep Atikur Rahman in detention for almost two years on bogus charges solely for peacefully exercising his human rights. It seems the authorities are on a vindictive quest to further crush him by making his life unbearable, including by denying and delaying his medical treatment,” said Aakar Patel, chair of board for Amnesty International India.
“Subjecting Rahman to inhumane conditions and failing to provide adequate medical treatment is a human rights violation,” he added.
On 5 October 2020, Atikur Rahman along with journalist Siddique Kappan, Jamia Millia Islamia student Masood Ahmad and taxi driver Mohammad Alam was arrested in Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. They were on their way to meet the family of a Dalit woman who was raped and murdered by a group of men from the dominant Hindu caste in Hathras.
The Uttar Pradesh police charged them with UAPA.
In November 2021, Rahman was admitted in the hospital for an open-heart surgery after his family filed a writ petition in the Allahabad High Court.
Since March 2022, he has been hospitalised multiple times. His medical documents state in addition to an existing heart ailment, he has now developed a neurological disease. The left side of his body has been paralyzed and he suffers from memory loss.
Muslim body says Uttar Pradesh move to survey Islamic schools is malicious
The Uttar Pradesh government’s move to conduct a survey of Islamic seminaries in the state is a malicious attempt to disparage this education system, a prominent national Muslim outfit, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind said, asserting to defend the Islamic seminaries at all costs.
The organization announced the launch of a helpline for seminaries in case they encounter any issues and constituted a committee to assess the implications of the state government’s decision.
The Uttar Pradesh government last week announced a survey of unrecognized Islamic seminaries in the state to gather information about the number of teachers, curriculum, and basic facilities available there, among others.
Religious seminaries are a sore spot for communal forces. Thus, we should be aware of their motivations, the statement quoted Maulana Arshad Madani, who heads a faction of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, as saying.
Hindu extremists stop movie actors from temple over beef consumption
Hindu extremists belonging to a violent Hindu supremacist group, the Bajrang Dal, on Tuesday stopped Indian movie superstars Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt from entering the Mahakal temple in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain city.
“We will not allow them to worship at the holy Mahakaleshwar temple as a few days back Ranbir had said that he likes to eat mutton, chicken and beef in non-veg food,” Bajrang Dal leader Ankit Choube said.
Choube also said, “Even Alia had said that those who want to see her film Brahmastra should watch [it], while others who are not keen shouldn’t.” Bhatt is understood to have made the statement when asked by a news outlet to respond to the outrage against the film Brahmastra, which, notably, hasn’t yet been released.
Hindu extremists have been escalating an increasingly frenzied online campaign against the film. The online outrage began when the trailer of the film was released, in which Kapoor was seen in what appeared to be a Hindu temple with shoes on.
Hardline Hindu commentators, many with anonymous accounts, often claim that the Bollywood industry is run by Muslims, and pejorative hashtags like #urduwood often trend on social media. Recently, Laal Singh Chaddha, a Hindi remake of Forrest Gump by Muslim superstar Aamir Khan, was made the target of such a campaign.