Supreme Court Chief Justice dismisses all cases against Hindu killers of anti-Muslim pogrom
In yet another blatantly partisan decision favoring India’s ruling Hindu supremacists, the Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed 11 petitions seeking investigations and prosecutions in the role played by government agencies and Hindu supremacists who killed hundreds of Muslims during a massacre in 2002 in Gujarat state.
One of the petitions rejected was from globally recognized human rights defender, Teesta Setalvad, who was jailed in June after the Supreme Court accused her, without any evidence, of forging documents against the Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi had been Gujarat’s chief minister in 2002, and was widely accused of tolerating and encouraging the mass violence against Muslims.
India’s newly-appointed Chief Justice, U. U. Lalit, said that since the Supreme Court had already appointed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of police officers to investigate the various cases, and investigations and prosecutions were now complete in all but one of the nine cases, the petitions were “infructuous.”
Before he became a judge of the Supreme Court in 2014, justice Lalit had been a lawyer at the Supreme Court. He had represented Amit Shah, India’s current home minister, who was accused of being a key conspirator in the extrajudicial killings of two Muslims.
Meat ban in Bengaluru on Hindu Religious Festival
Pandering to the majoritarian politics of Hindu extremists in Karnataka state, the civic body of Bengaluru, the capital city, has imposed a ban on the sale of meat on August 31 in view of the upcoming 10-day Hindu festival of Ganesh Chaturthi.
“August 31st is being celebrated as Ganesh Chaturthi across the Karnataka state. On that day, animal slaughtering and sale of meat is strictly banned,” the civic body stated.
This is the second such ban that the administration has imposed. Earlier, on August 19, it banned the sale of meat and the killing of animals on the occasion of another Hindu festival, Shri Krishna Janmasthami.
The sale and consumption of meat has become highly contentious in India, especially in states ruled by Modi’s Hindu extremist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
State officials have abused the so-called anti-cow slaughter laws to target Muslims, arresting, jailing and prosecuting them without evidence. Many Muslims have lost their lives to lynchings by Hindu extremist mobs that operate with impunity because of administrative and judicial complicity.
Muslim residents in fear as Hindu extremists vandalize mosque in Madhya Pradesh
A mosque in a village in Madhya Pradesh’s Dewas district was damaged during a protest by a Hindu supremacist mob against an interfaith relationship.
A 20-year-old Muslim man reportedly eloped with a 19-year-old Hindu woman belonging to the Dalit community. The protest triggered communal tensions in the village. During the rally, the Hindu mob chanted communal slurs, threatening to massacre Muslims and demolish mosques. Eyewitnesses said the vandals also desecrated the Holy Quran.
The police have made no arrests, which has become commonplace in the BJP-ruled state that has displayed extreme hostility towards Muslims.
Hindu Extremist Organization Calls For Blanket Ban on Religious Conversion
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), an extreme Hindu rightwing organization, has called for a complete ban on religious conversion, in violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed in India’s Constitution.
The call for the ban was made at a meeting of the VHP, which the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) described in 2018 as a “militant religious” organization, held at Prayagraj city in Uttar Pradesh state.
The VHP is an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a 97-year-old ethnic nationalist paramilitary organization that aims to convert India into a Hindu nation without little or no rights for non-Hindus, especially Muslims and Christians. Modi has been a member of the RSS, which is the BJP’s ideological parent, for decades.