Muslim Headmaster suspended in Karnataka for Prophet Mohammed Essay Contest
A Muslim headmaster of a government school in Karnataka has been suspended for allegedly organizing an essay competition on Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
On September 27, members of the Hindu right-wing organization Sri Ram Sene barged into the school, hurling abuses and falsely accusing headmaster Abdul Munaf Bijapura of religious conversion.
Bijapura denied the allegations and said he was not trying to promote Islam, but rather giving students an opportunity to improve their handwriting.
He referred to previous essay competitions, which introduced students to Hindu philosopher Purandara Dasa and composer Kanaka Dasa. Bijapura claims that those competitions introduced students to new personalities and helped them improve their handwriting.
Tamil Nadu police reject permission for RSS route march
The Tamil Nadu police have rejected permission for Hindu extremist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to conduct a route march across the state on October 2.
Fearing communal violence after the crackdown on the Popular Front of India (PFI), police said the situation “was not conducive to permit the route march and public meeting.”
On September 22, they were granted permission to conduct such processions from the Madras High Court. The RSS is expected to appeal the Tamil Nadu police decision in the same high court.
On the other hand, a member of parliament from the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) announced a communal harmony rally on October 2nd, which received the support of several organizations.
People’s Union for Civil Liberties Condemns raids on Popular Front of India
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has condemned the mass raids, arrests, and ban on the Muslim group Popular Front of India (PFI).
According to a statement issued on September 29, PUCL has expressed deep concerns about the implications of “Operation Octopus” on democracy and the constitutional rights of Muslims.
Under the operation, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Enforcement Directorate (ED), and various other agencies have so far arrested more than 500 Muslims from nearly 20 Indian states.
Among the many troublesome implications of this operation was undermining federalism, the group said.
“Only police and agencies in BJP states were made aware of these raids. Police in non-BJP states such as Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan were kept in the dark about the raid and arrests until the very end,” the group added.
The PUCL also pointed out that these raids are a means to instill fear in the Muslim community.
“Armed officers suddenly set up blockades in Muslim-dominated residential localities, eliminating access to streets where the raids were set to take place. The police and agencies want to use these raids to intimidate and terrorize the entire Muslim community by displaying weapons and security gear,” the statement reads.
Other concerns in the PUCL statement included the consequences of the proposed PFI ban, which would allow ordinary Muslims to be arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.