SC says anti-Muslim hate speech “very serious issue” - IAMC

SC says anti-Muslim hate speech “very serious issue”

In a significant order, the Supreme Court on Friday called anti-Muslim hate speeches that have become commonplace in India a “very serious issue,” and directed the governments in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand states to promptly register criminal cases against the culprits without waiting for a complaint to be filed.

Supreme Court judges K. M. Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy warned that failure to swiftly act against hate speech would invite the court’s contempt.

Both Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand are ruled by the Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and administrations in both states have routinely ignored anti-Muslim hate speeches. Last December, an open call for a genocide of India’s 250 million Muslims was given in Haridwar, a city in Uttarakhand. The police did not charge the female Hindu religious leader who made the horrendous call.

On Friday, the Supreme Court said action should be taken against those making hate speeches irrespective of their religion to preserve the secular fabric of the nation.

In its stringent comments on hate speeches, a judge said, “This is the 21st century. Where have we reached in the name of religion?” The failure to act against hate speech was “shocking for a country that is supposed to be religion-neutral,” the judge said.

Murderer rapists released for ‘good behavior’ had molested woman during parole

At least one of the 11 Hindu extremist rapist-murderers released from prison two months ago for “good behavior” was accused of molesting a woman while out on parole in 2020, it has now been reported.

Earlier this week it was revealed that India’s Home Minister Amit Shah had approved the “remission” of the life sentences of the 11 Hindu extremists, who had been convicted for gang-raping a Muslim woman, Bilkis Bano, and murdering 14 members of her family during a pogrom of Muslims in 2002 in Gujarat state.

The Gujarat government shocked the world by suddenly releasing all 11 on August 15 this year, the anniversary of India’s freedom from British rule. The state government said they were being released due to their “good conduct” after serving over 14 years in jail.

Now, a look at the government’s own affidavit in the Supreme Court has raised questions about the conduct of these convicts.

At least 10 out of the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case were given over 1,000 days of “leave” from jail during their sentence. Many instances of the convicts returning late from parole and furlough have also been recorded.

Despite this ongoing case of molestation, the convict, Mitesh Chimanlal Bhatt, was allowed further parole of 281 days after the alleged crime.

Hindu extremists in Karnataka conduct door-to-door campaign against Halal products

Extremist Hindu organizations on Thursday started a door-to-door campaign calling for a boycott of halal-certified products in Karnataka state during the upcoming Hindu religious festival of Diwali.

Members of the Hindu Jana Jagruthi Samithi, Sri Rama Sena, and other extremist organizations also staged demonstrations outside multinational food chain outlets, including KFC and McDonald’s, demanding that they should not serve Halal-certified meat to non-Muslims.

The campaign has begun in prime locations in the capital city of Bangalore.

In an attempt to dissuade industries from opting for halal certification, the extremist groups have also planned to conduct meetings with hotel owners, industrialists, shop owners, and Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) traders.

Calling for a boycott of halal meat is not new to Karnataka. Hindu extremists have in the past called for a ban against Muslim shops and businesses after Muslims protested against an order of the Karnataka high court upholding a government ban on the wearing of the hijab by Muslim students and teachers in some schools and colleges.

BJP lawmaker, leaders attend online events of rape convict godman released on parole

A BJP lawmaker as well as other party leaders from Haryana state have been attending online events of a rape-and-murder convict and religious cult leader, who is serving a 20-year jail for raping his two disciples and for the murder of a journalist but has been released on parole. 

This is the third time that the controversial self-styled “Messenger of God,” Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, has been given parole since his conviction for murder five years ago. The rape convict had earlier come out of prison on month-long parole in June, ahead of the elections in Haryana. The recent 40-day parole has once again coincided with elections in the region.

BJP lawmaker Ranbir Gangwa, the Deputy Speaker of Haryana state legislature, attended Rahim’s discourse on Wednesday. Gangwa later told reporters he hoped that Rahim would one day address his followers in person.

BJP leader Renu Bala also joined the event along with other BJP leaders. She addressed the rape convict as “father.”