Lawless eviction drive announced in Kashmir, sending Muslim residents into panic
The Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led administration of Kashmir has begun preparation for a massive eviction drive in Muslim-majority areas, in a manner that has been described as “terrorizing” Muslim families. With no legal formalities such as notices being given beforehand, Muslim leaders have decried the eviction drive as the BJP’s attempt to turn Kashmir “into Afghanistan [or] Palestine.”
The administration has not made public any list of the houses or structures that have been arbitrarily labeled as “illegally constructed,” leading to the circulation of a number of unconfirmed lists and widespread panic among Muslim residents.
“The situation has left everyone anguished… There is no list. Legal formalities are not fulfilled. No notice is served (to land occupants). Is there no law in J&K? Is there nothing called procedure?” said former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
“People are being terrorized to keep silent or else be prepared to face the bulldozer,” he added.
As Kashmiri leaders and civilians have risen in protest against the eviction drive, Amnesty International’s India chapter has also slammed the government for its direct targeting of Kashmiri Muslims.
“The ongoing demolitions appear to be an extension of the brutal human rights violations the region of Jammu and Kashmir, the only Muslim majority region of India, has historically witnessed. These demolitions could amount to forced evictions which constitute a gross violation of human rights,” said Amnesty India Chair Aakar Patel.
Twitter account given notice for reporting hate speech, no action against speaker
Days after a Hindu supremacist, Bhakt Hari Maharaj, called on Hindus shoot Muslims and Christians “in the open” at a massive hate speech event in the Indian capital of New Delhi, police have refused to take action and instead sent a notice to a leftist Twitter news account for sharing a video of the hate speech.
“Keep weapons. Keep swords. Keep guns… Kill, if it is required. Those who insult our [religion] should be declared anti-national and shot dead. Those who take away our daughters and daughters-in-law – shoot them in the open, Christian or Muslims,” Maharaj said in the video.
Rather than arresting Maharaj for the open incitement of violence, police instead sent a notice to the Twitter handle @Molitics, which had reported on the event along with other cases of Hindu supremacism in politics and the media.
While the police criticized Molitics for posting an “offensive, malicious and inciting message which can adversely affect law and order,” no similar action was taken against any of the Hindu supremacists at the hate speech event.
In response to the notice, Molitics founder Anudeep Jaglan tweeted, “I’m still confused! Why would you send this to us? I hope such notice must have gone to these saffron-clad criminals too.”
Dalit family seeks police protection after threats from upper-caste Hindus
Upper-caste Hindu supremacists in Uttar Pradesh state issued violent threats against a Dalit family ahead of the wedding of their 20-year-old daughter, forcing the family to seek police protection in order for the wedding to take place.
The upper-caste extremists had taken issue with the fact that the couple was gifted a motorcycle as a wedding gift, and threatened that if the family continued to give gifts “like upper caste families,” they would be faced with “violent reprisals” like “stone pelting.”
“We are the only Dalit family in the village and people in the neighborhood firmly told us that they will not let my daughter get married because we are starting a new tradition in our community by presenting a bike as a gift,” said the bride’s mother, Sheela Devi. “We had to approach the police and a former minister for help.”
Dalits throughout India continue to face the oppressive conditions of caste discrimination, facing threats to their property and even their lives for drinking from the same wells or following the same traditions as upper-caste people.