Muslim politician stripped of voting rights for rebuking extremist Hindu leader
Muslim politician leader Azam Khan has been stripped of his constitutional right to vote, weeks after he was convicted on bogus charges of hate speech. In an attempt to suppress Muslim leaders in Uttar Pradesh state from speaking against the policies of the state’s Hindu supremacist government, officials deleted his name from the electoral list.
The Rampur Electoral Registration Officer was acting on a complaint by a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Akash Saxena, who sought the removal of Azam Khan’s name from the electoral roll in Rampur district.
Opposition leader Azam Khan was recently convicted in a 2019 case filed over his comments against Hindu extremist Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Khan has faced nearly 90 cases against him since Adityanath came to power in 2017. Meanwhile, Hindu supremacist leaders and BJP politicians who have openly supported a genocide of 200 million Muslims, praised rapists, and called for India to become a Hindu nation are rarely punished and often rewarded with increased popularity for their hate speech.
Imprisoned for 949 days under draconian law, human rights defender granted bail
The Bombay High Court on Friday granted bail to Prisoner of Conscience and prominent human rights defender Anand Teltumbde after he spent 949 days in jail under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Teltumbde was arrested in 2020 in connection with false charges of delivering an “inflammatory speech” at a Dalit rally in Maharashtra state in December 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day.
Teltumbde is the grandson-in-law of Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, a towering Dalit rights activist and the architect of India’s constitution. He has extensively advocated for the rights of Dalits and is also a longtime critic of India’s Hindu supremacist Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The arrests of numerous high-profile activists and lawyers under false charges, in this case, have been condemned internationally by, among others, European Union parliamentarians and Nobel laureates.
Teltumbde was one of many activists arrested in what is known as the Bhima-Koregaon case. Father Stan Swamy, a renowned Jesuit priest known for his decades-long activism, died in prison last year after being arrested on false charges in this case.
Forensic experts in the US have examined the laptops of two of the accused currently in prison and established that false evidence was planted on them using malware most likely owned by the government.
Court rejects Muslims’ plea to stop Hindu supremacists’ take over of Gyanvapi mosque
A court in Hindu supremacist-ruled Uttar Pradesh state on Thursday rejected the Muslim’s plea against allowing Hindu supremacists to perform Hindu rituals in the historic Gyanvapi mosque.
Hindu supremacist groups have been targeting the Gyanvapi mosque for months, falsely claiming that a Shivling, or a representation of the Hindu deity Shiva, was in the mosque. Following this claim, Hindu extremist groups demanded that the mosque be converted into a temple or opened up for Hindus to worship.
Muslims have already been banned from holding large prayer gatherings in the mosque to protect the alleged Shivling, which the mosque caretakers claim is merely a faucet. The Supreme Court has failed to intervene and protect the Muslim community’s right to maintain the sanctity of their mosque.
The court fixed December 2 as the next date of hearing in the case.