IAMC Weekly News Digest, 12th November 2021 - IAMC

IAMC Weekly News Digest, 12th November 2021

Hindu Sect Accused of Using Forced Labor at More Temples Across U.S.

Photo: NY Times

Federal law enforcement agents descended on a massive temple in New Jersey on Tuesday after workers accused a prominent Hindu sect of luring them from India, confining them to the temple grounds and paying them the equivalent of about $1 an hour to perform grueling labor in near servitude. Lawyers for the workers said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, a Hindu sect known as BAPS that has close ties to India’s ruling party and has built temples around the world, had exploited possibly hundreds of low-caste men in the yearslong construction project. The workers, who lived in trailers hidden from view, had been promised jobs helping to build the temple in rural Robbinsville, N.J., with standard work hours and ample time off, according to the lawsuit, a wage claim filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey. The majority are Dalit, the lowest rung in India’s caste system. They were brought to the United States on religious visas, or R-1 visas – temporary visas used for clergy and lay religious workers such as missionaries – and presented to the U.S. government as volunteers….

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‘Custodial murder’: Muslim man found dead in India police station

Photo: Twitter

The death of a young Muslim man in police custody in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and the subsequent clarification by the police has triggered outrage in India. Police on Wednesday said 22-year-old Mohammad Altaf hanged himself after he went to the washroom in a police station at Kasganj district in Uttar Pradesh – India’s most populous state governed by the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)…. The Times of India newspaper on Thursday reported that Altaf was about 5ft 6 inches (167cm) tall and the water pipe was less than three feet (91.4cm) from the ground. Five police officers have been suspended for negligence in the case and police said it was investigating the incident. But Altaf’s family has demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into his death…. Rights activists and opposition parties have questioned the police theory behind Altaf’s death….

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After Tripura Muslims Faced Mob Attacks, Muslim Twitter Handles Nationwide Face Police Action

Photo: Article 14

In the bright mid-morning sunlight, Mohammad Sanohar Ali was distraught as he stared at the remnants of his shop that was partially burnt down by a Hindu mob on 26 October…. Even as Ali and other Muslim shop-owners in Rowa Bazaar calculated their losses, on 6 November, the West Agartala police station of the Tripura Police filed criminal cases against 102 social media handles that had called attention to the developments in Tripura…. The social media handles the police selected for criminal cases had posted opinions and comments on the violence; some had shared reports. The police’s letter claimed they had used photographs or videos of unrelated incidents, and had “fabricated” statements and commentary. The police demands from Twitter included registration details of the handles, browsing logs “from the date of registration”, lists of IP addresses used to log into these handles, linked mobile numbers and linked accounts. Barring a few, most of these handles belong to Muslims…. it is still unclear how many and which of them may face charges under UAPA or sections of the IPC….

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Hindu Sect Accused of Using Forced Labor at More Temples Across U.S.

‘Custodial murder’: Muslim man found dead in India police station

Pre and post 2019 polls: Facebook memos flag anti-minority post surge

After Tripura Muslims Faced Mob Attacks, Muslim Twitter Handles Nationwide Face Police Action

‘Goli Maro’ Slogan Rings Loud at a Gurgaon Namaz Protest with Kapil Mishra Present

18-Yr-Old Muslim Boy Beaten Up in Madhya Pradesh Over ‘Offensive’ Diwali Post

Yati Narsinghanand’s Followers Threaten to Shoot Kejriwal, Talk of Sexual Violence Against Muslims

Oncologist, right-wing activist booked over ‘inciting speech’ against Muslim community

Hindutva activists in Belagavi lock pastor in community hall, allege forced conversion

Dalit youth dies in TN’s Kanyakumari, kin allege ‘honour killing’ by Caste Hindus


Biden administration taking a dangerous path with Modi regime – By Pieter Friedrich

It Is No Longer ‘Incredible India’ But ‘Intolerant India’ – By Kavita Chowdhury

UAPA against lawyers, journalists in Tripura is part of playbook of state heavy-handedness – Editorial

Anti-Namaz drives leave Muslims two choices: ‘Stick to ghettos or fall in line’ – By Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay

Humiliating cricket defeat exposes India’s Hindu-Muslim divide – By Amy Kazmin

BJP turns Lakhimpur Kheri into new Hindutva battleground to counter farmers’ protests in Uttar Pradesh – By Divya Trivedi

Book Review

‘Ramrao: The Story of India’s Farm Crisis’ review: Why the farmer stands alone despite shiny new schemes