Muslim Journalist Muhammad Zubair Arrested Over False Allegation Of Hurting Hindu Sentiments
Muhammad Zubair, Muslim journalist and co-founder of the news portal AltNews, was arrested by Delhi police over the false and ludicrous allegation of “hurting Hindu religious sentiments.”
Pratik Sinha, co-founder of AltNews, reported that no police report was shown during the arrest, pointing to the possibility of a targeted and motivated case of harassment by the Delhi Police, who directly report to Indian home minister Amit Shah.
“Zubair was called today by special cell, Delhi for investigation in a 2020 case for which he already had a protection against arrest from [the] High Court. However, [Monday] at around 6:45pm we were told he has been arrested in some other FIR for which no notice was given which is mandatory under law for the Sections under which he has been arrested. Nor FIR copy is being given to us despite repeated requests,” Sinha tweeted.
Opposition leaders have slammed Zubair’s arrest. Mahua Moitra, a member of parliament, tweeted that the Delhi police were “bending over backwards” to please Hindu extremists.
She further pointed out that former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, who recently made offensive remarks about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on television, “enjoys [a] life of protection at tax payer expense for EXACT same offences.”
Zubair has been the target of ongoing Hindu supremacist harassment, including an incident when a local Hindu extremist group leader filed a report against Zubair after he named Hindu supremacist leaders as “hate mongers.” Zubair was referring to Bajrang Muni Udasin, who threatened to drag Muslim women out of their homes and rape them in public; Yati Narsinghanand, who called upon Hindus to wage war against Muslims; and Swami Anand Swarup, who urged Hindus to boycott and “pick up swords and guns” against Muslims.
Recently, the Uttar Pradesh High Court dismissed Zubair’s plea to quash the case, falsely claiming that there was “sufficient ground for investigation” against him.
Human Rights Defender Teesta Setalvad Arrested For Seeking Justice for 2002 Gujarat Pogrom victims
Renowned human rights defender Teesta Setalvad, who has campaigned for years to bring justice to the victims of the 2002 anti-Muslim pogroms in Gujarat state, was arrested by the anti-terrorism wing of the Gujarat police in a blatant attempt to silence dissent against Hindu supremacist crimes in India. Setalvad, who has been arrested on false charges of fabricating evidence, reported that police assaulted her during the arrest.
Also arrested was R.B. Sreekumar, a former Gujarat State Director-General of Police who was a key witness regarding PM Modi and law enforcement’s involvement in the Gujarat pogroms.
The arrests came a day after the Supreme Court dismissed a petition filed by Setalvad along with Zakia Jafri, whose husband, parliamentarian Ehsan Jafri, was slaughtered by a Hindu extremist mob during the 2002 pogroms. The petition sought to investigate the role of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in instigating and facilitating the anti-Muslim violence, who was then Gujarat’s Chief Minister.
The Supreme Court’s verdict is a failure of justice and a blow to Gujarat’s Muslim community, who suffered brutal violence at the hands of Hindu extremists during the 2002 pogroms. Eyewitnesses report that children were force fed petrol and then set on fire, pregnant women had their babies cut out of their wombs and thrown into flames, families were electrocuted in their homes, and groups of women were stripped, violated with objects, and beaten to death.
Allowing Modi to once again walk free for facilitating these crimes has shown that the loyalty of the Supreme Court lies with the Hindu supremacist agenda that has corroded all aspects of Indian democracy.
Meanwhile, the open targeting of Setalvad by the Modi regime for seeking justice for these victims has led to international concern, including from U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor, who posted her condemnation on Twitter.
“Deeply concerned by reports of Teesta Setalvad being detained by the Anti Terrorism Squad of Gujarat Police… I call for her release and an end to persecution by the Indian state,” said Lawlor.
Amnesty International India stated on Twitter that Setalvad’s arrest “is a direct reprisal against those who dare to question their human rights record” and “sends a chilling message to the civil society & further shrinks the space for dissent in the country.”
Prominent Muslim American Rights Groups Protest Demolition Of Muslim-Owned Homes In India, Human Rights Violations
Hundreds of Muslim Americans in Texas, California, and Washington state gathered to protest the ongoing persecution of Muslims in India, including the recent and shocking demolition of Muslim activist Afreen Fatima’s home without notice or reason.
In Houston, Texas, members of the prominent Muslim rights group Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) joined members of the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) to show joint solidarity against the Hindu supremacist persecution of Muslims in India.
“The authoritarian Islamophobia demonstrated by the government in these states and across India is the same across the globe: collective punishment of innocent civilians as a means of retribution on those that partake in public protest,” said William White, Director of Operations of CAIR Houston.
“India is rapidly turning into a fascist state where minorities are facing humiliation and being harassed regularly,” said Shakeib Mashood, President of Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) Houston Chapter.
The protests come on the heels of US House Resolution 1196, which condemns India for egregious violations of human rights and religious freedom, introduced by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
Twitter Withholds Accounts Of Renowned Kuwaiti Human Rights Activist, Journalist Rana Ayyub In India
Caving to a demand by the Hindu supremacist Indian government, Twitter has withheld the post of Washington Post columnist Rana Ayyub and account of Kuwaiti lawyer and rights activist Mujbil Al Shureka, two vocal critics of Modi and the BJP. Their tweets will no longer be visible to those based in India.
Shureka, who is the Director of the Centre for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in Kuwait, has used Twitter to slam Modi, the BJP, and the paramilitary Hindu supremacist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
“Dear Twitter, is supporting the oppressed Muslims of India a crime? Is highlighting the human rights violation of a repressive Hindutva regime a sin? If not then why has my account been blocked for Indian viewers?” he tweeted following his account’s suspension in India.
Ayyub’s account was also suspended due to a government request, leading to outrage and concern among her supporters. While her account has since been restored, Ayyub remains a target for judicial harassment and Hindu supremacist hatred online, which includes receiving thousands of death and rape threats.
Hindu Extremist Threatens To Beat Muslim Child, Tells Her To Curse Her Faith In Viral Video
In a disturbing viral video, a Hindu extremist man filmed himself verbally abusing and threatening to beat a young Muslim girl, attempting to force her to say blasphemous comments about Allah.
The extremist could be heard calling the girl, who looks to be around five years old, a “katui,” which is a derogatory term for Muslims. He repeatedly threatened to beat the girl and then told her to “curse [your] Allah.”
The video has led to outrage among both activists and civilians. Swati Maliwal, Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women, has issued a notice to Delhi Police seeking details of the report registered against the unnamed extremist.
“The man is clearly intimidating the little girl who can be seen as visibly frightened and shaken. This is a very serious matter,” Maliwal said.