IAMC seeks FBI probe in Hindutva hate parade, cancellation of Sambit Patra’s visa
The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) Monday demanded immediate investigative and legal action from the US Department of Justice, the US Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation against the organizers of an anti-Muslim hate parade in Edison and Woodbridge, New Jersey, on August 14, 2022.
IAMC members also filed charges with the Edison Police Department against the Indian Business Association which organized the parade. IAMC leaders also met attorneys in both the US Department of Justice and the office of the New Jersey Attorney General and urged them to launch a formal investigation into the rally and its organizers.
IAMC also wrote to the US Secretary of State urging for an immediate cancellation of the visa to Sambit Patra, a Hindu extremist hate leader from India and a non-US citizen, who led the hate parade in Edison and Woodbridge as its “grand marshal.”
The August 14 hate parade showcased a bulldozer with a picture of Yogi Adityanath, a Hindu nationalist and Islamophobic chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state. The placard on the bulldozer with his picture read “Baba Bulldozer,” a reference to Adityanath’s illegal and criminal usage to use bulldozers to demolish homes, businesses and places of worship of Muslims and Christians. Global watchdog organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have denounced this misuse of the bulldozer.
India’s federal as well as several state governments such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Assam, which are all led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have illegally used the bulldozer to destroy such properties without any due process, court orders or even a simple notice.
Members of IAMC’s New Jersey chapter led by its president Muhammad Jawad also met Edison Mayor Samip Joshi on Friday, August 19. At that meeting, Mayor Joshi said: “I understand a bulldozer is a symbol of division and is absolutely unacceptable. There is no place for that in Edison Township. I would like to see an apology from the Indian Business Association.” Joshi had been present at the August 14 rally, and he told IAMC members on August 19 that he was not aware that a bulldozer will be used in the rally.
Former BJP legislator in Rajasthan confesses on camera he got five Muslims killed
A former Rajasthan state legislator of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu extremist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was recorded on camera saying he got five Muslims killed by Hindu vigilante mobs.
In the video, Gyan Dev Ahuja, who has a history of Islamophobic hate speech, is seen and heard saying that he had told anti-Muslim Hindu vigilantes to go ahead and kill Muslims as he would ensure they are protected from prosecution.
“I have given free hand to workers to kill. We will get them acquitted and secure bail,” Ahuja said in the video.
The head of Rajasthan’s ruling Congress party, Govind Singh Dotasra, shared the video on Twitter writing “What more proof is needed of BJP’s religious terror and bigotry? The real face of BJP has come to the fore in the entire country.”
Ahuja was booked on Saturday under Indian Penal Code Section 153A for spreading communal disharmony.
In the video, Ahuja is sitting surrounded by men who allegedly were local leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP’s ideological parent that aims to upend India’s pluralist Constitution and turn India into a Hindu country with no rights for non-Hindus.
Kashmiri Muslims denounce Modi’s plan to add 2.5 million non-Kashmiri as voters
The Kashmiri Muslim community has condemned the Modi government’s decision to allow voting rights to non-Kashmiri Indian citizens living temporarily in Kashmir.
Kashmiri political parties and ordinary citizens both erupted in anger at the blatantly partisan attempt to illegally alter the demographic of India’s only Muslim-majority region.
The Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir, Hirdesh Kumar, last week announced that any Indian citizen living in Jammu and Kashmir can now also get enlisted as a voter in the Union Territory (UT). The order was made under the Representation of the Peoples Act.
“After the abrogation of Article 370, many people who were not enlisted as voters in the erstwhile State of J&K are now eligible to vote and in addition, anyone who is living ordinarily can also avail the opportunity to get enlisted as a voter in J&K in accordance with the provisions of Representation of the Peoples Act,” he said.
As per Kumar, the move is expected to add around 25 lakh [2.5 million] new voters on top of the already existing 76 lakh [7.6 million] voters, according to the last voter list.
The new voters would include Indians temporarily residing in the region, mainly Indian military personnel, government, and private sector employees, and migrant workers. Later the Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) Government of Jammu and Kashmir issued a revision of the electoral rolls in the region.
Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who heads the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), wrote on Twitter that this “egregious gerrymandering tilting the balance in BJPs favor and now allowing non-locals to vote is obviously to influence election rules. The real aim is to continue ruling J&K with an iron fist to disempower locals.”
Omar Abdullah, another former Chief Minister of J&K accused the BJP of importing voters to win seats. “Is the BJP so insecure about support from genuine voters of (Jammu and Kashmir) that it needs to import temporary voters to win seats? None of these things will help the BJP when the people of J&K are given a chance to exercise their franchise,” he tweeted.