Supreme Court refuses to entertain plea calling for hate monger Nupur Sharma’s arrest
In a continued failure to hold powerful Hindu supremacists accountable, the Supreme Court has refused to entertain a plea calling for the arrest of former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, who sparked protests and violence across India by making blasphemous comments about Islam and Prophet Muhammad.
The plea, lodged by advocate Abu Sohel, sought direction for an “independent, credible and impartial investigation” into Sharma’s hate-mongering activities, which could have led to her arrest.
However, a bench headed by the Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit claimed that the petition would have “far-reaching consequences” and denied to hear it.
Despite previously condemning Sharma in strong terms as irresponsible and hateful, the Court has repeatedly refused to hold her accountable for sparking protests that led to police brutality and the arrest of dozens of Muslim protesters.
The double standard held by the Court for Hindu supremacists and allies of Modi is clear, as the Indian justice system regularly punishes Muslims for expressing their basic rights to freedom of dissent, assembly, and expression. Muslims who have faced judicial harassment include journalists Mohammad Zubair and Fahad Shah, activist Umar Khalid, and renowned human rights defender Khurram Parvez.
Muslim journalist Siddique Kappan granted bail, but still treated as a criminal
After languishing for 23 months in prison under blatantly false terrorism charges, Muslim journalist Siddique Kappan has finally been granted bail by the Supreme Court.
However, despite committing no crime – a fact that the international community has repeatedly highlighted – the Court has also ordered that Kappan will only be allowed to return to his home state of Kerala after six weeks. After this period, Kappan is under orders to report at the local police station every Monday.
The Court also told Kappan to surrender his passport and not to get in touch with anyone connected with the false terror case, which included fellow journalists.
The journalist is being subjected to this scrutiny despite the fact that the terror charges against him have been repeatedly shown to be fabricated and a product of anti-Muslim discrimination.
Kappan’s wife, Raihana Siddique, has expressed gratitude over the verdict.
“I thank everyone who stood with me and my family in this legal fight. We cannot explain the trauma we had gone through in the past two years,” she said.
During his imprisonment, Kappan faced inhumane treatment and conditions, including being beaten, mental torture, and failing to receive adequate healthcare. In 2021, he contracted Covid-19, causing his health to decline to the point where he was transferred to a Delhi hospital for treatment.
Comedian cancels show after threats from Hindu extremist groups
Renowned comedian Kunal Kamra was forced to cancel an upcoming show in Haryana state after violent Hindu supremacist groups, including the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), threatened to disrupt the show with protests.
In a memorandum addressed to the deputy commissioner of Gurgaon city, the scheduled site of the comedy show, the Hindu extremist groups demanded that the show be canceled after claiming that Kumar “mocks and makes fun of Hindu deities.”
“An FIR has also been filed against him earlier in this regard. A tense situation may arise in Gurgaon due to this show. It is requested that the show be cancelled with immediate effect, otherwise, Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad workers will protest against it,” read the memorandum.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had in 2018 designated Bajrang Dal and the VHP as “religious militant organizations.” Both organizations are close associates of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Praveen Saini, district coordinator of Bajrang Dal, told reporters that the extremist group had personally met with the management of the show’s venue to demand cancellation.
“Such artists who attack the Hindu faith will not be allowed to perform in Gurgaon and any such insults will not be tolerated,” Saini said.
Hindu supremacists have previously threatened other comedians, including Muslim comedian Munawar Faruqui, over false claims that the entertainer had insulted Hindu deities.
BJP is ‘terrorizing’ Muslims by targeting madrasas, says opposition party leader
Opposition party leader Mayawati accused the Hindu supremacist BJP of “terrorizing” Muslims in Uttar Pradesh state by targeting madrasas. The government recently announced that it would be surveying the state’s madrasas, accusing the Muslim-run schools of being part of a “malicious” plot to interfere with mainstream education in India.
In a tweet in Hindi, Mayawati said, “The complaints of the Muslim community being exploited, neglected and being affected by riots have been common since the time of the Congress, and now they are being oppressed and terrorised by the BJP who came to power by doing narrow politics in the name of appeasement. This is sad and condemnable.”
“The BJP government has an evil intent on madrassas in Uttar Pradesh. The attempts to interfere in the private madrassas, which run on donations by the community, in the name of survey is inappropriate. They should focus on improving the condition of the government and government-aided madrassas,” she added.
Madrasas are also being targeted in Assam state, where four Muslim-run schools have been razed in the past month.