Special Investigation Team to challenge release of 67 Hindu militants in massacre case
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court has announced that it will challenge a Gujarat special court’s recent acquittal of 67 Hindu extremists and militant leaders who were convicted for burning 11 Muslims to death during the 2002 Gujarat pogrom, an incident known as the Naroda Gam massacre.
“The SIT will definitely file an appeal in the Gujarat High Court against the lower court’s order in the Naroda Gam case,” a source in SIT said.
The convicts were part of Hindu mobs that set fire to Muslim-owned homes in the Naroda Gam area of Ahmedabad city, resulting in the death of 11 Muslims. In 2008, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was formed to investigate the massacre.
Despite the slew of evidence against the extremists — both from the SIT and the victims’ lawyer, who submitted foreign science laboratory reports and cell tower locations as additional evidence — the special court acquitted all 67 of the surviving Hindu militants convicted in the massacre.
This shocking decision has allowed the release of notorious Hindu militant leader Babu Bajrangi, who was also convicted in the single deadliest mass killing of Muslims during the pogrom – including 97 Muslim women, children, and men – as part of the Naroda Patiya massacre in another area of Ahmedabad. During this massacre, women and girls were publicly gang-raped before being hacked and burned. A video of Bajrangi boasting about his role in the violence was included as part of the BBC’s recently released documentary about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role in the Gujarat pogrom.
Amit Shah vows to scrap Muslim reservation in Telangana if BJP comes to power
Indian Home Minister and Hindu supremacist leader Amit Shah threatened to scrap Muslim reservation, the Indian equivalent of affirmative action for disenfranchised minorities, in Telangana state if the Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wins elections in the state.
During a rally, Shah said his party will strip Muslims of their 4% reservation quota if it comes to power in Telangana, and instead give that right to Hindus from oppressed castes and tribes.
This threat comes days after BJP-ruled Karnataka scrapped the 4% quota for Muslims, turning that quota over to Hindu-dominant communities.
Telangana Muslim politician Asaduddin Owaisi has slammed Shah’s threats, adding that the reservations for Muslims are based on empirical data and are required for the upliftment of the community.
“Besides anti-Muslim hate speech BJP has no vision for Telangana. All they can offer is fake encounters, surgical strikes on Hyderabad, curfews, releasing criminals and bulldozers. Why do you hate people of Telangana so much?” he tweeted.
BJP leaders publicly assault 23-year-old YouTuber over Eid video promoting harmony
A 23-year-old YouTuber from Tripura state was publicly assaulted by local BJP leaders after posting a four-minute video on Eid and a song about the holiday that promoted communal harmony.
Local BJP leaders summoned the YouTuber, Bapan Nandi, to a bazaar area, where they then physically assaulted him. A video of the incident shows a female BJP leader tearing open Nandi’s shirt, grabbing him by the collar, and striking him while questioning why he was portraying himself as a Muslim instead of as Hindu. Nandi can be heard pleading for the attack to stop.
After publicly humiliating and abusing Nandi, the BJP leaders lodged a complaint against him at the local police station. Nandi has now been called in for interrogation over his promotion of peace and tolerance. Meanwhile, his powerful attackers walk free.