US Law Firm Seeks US Sanction Against Yogi Adityanath, UP Police Officials For 146 Extrajudicial Killings - IAMC

US Law Firm Seeks US Sanction Against Yogi Adityanath, UP Police Officials For 146 Extrajudicial Killings

A group of international criminal and human rights lawyers have filed a formal submission with the United States Department of State and the US Department of the Treasury seeking sanctions against Uttar Pradesh state chief minister Yogi Adityanath, a close ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and vicious Hindu supremacist, for his role in at least 146 extrajudicial killings reportedly committed by Uttar Pradesh police forces between 2017 and 2021. 

The submission also recommends sanctions against Om Prakash Singh, recently retired Director-General of Uttar Pradesh police, and Sanjeev Tyagi, Superintendent of the Police of the district of Kanpur, for their role in the killings.

“We believe that there is an evidential basis to suggest that the three individuals were in a position of command and control at the time the police that undertook the killings, that they failed to prevent or punish, and that there are statements and orders which would suggest that a direct link the crimes as alleged,” said international lawyer Toby Cadman. 

“These ‘encounters’ are staged confrontations between the police and alleged criminals where the suspects eventually are shot dead in what the police claim is an act of self-defense. However, in many of these cases, witness testimonies, autopsy reports, and other evidence demonstrate that the victims were in fact executed.”

Yogi Adityanath, a member of Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is currently running for re-election in Uttar Pradesh, where he is known for giving his explicit support to Hindu extremist groups who threaten violence against Muslims and other minorities.

58 Muslim Students Suspended From Karnataka College For Wearing Hijab As India Faces International Backlash 

In the midst of Karnataka state’s ongoing debate over whether hijab should be allowed in schools, 58 Muslim students have been suspended from the Government Pre-University College of Shiralakoppa for wearing the hijab to school in defiance of the state High Court’s interim order, which bans all religious dress in schools and unfairly targets Muslim women. The students had staged a protest demanding their constitutional rights and asking to be let into classrooms. Similar tensions have run rampant in different colleges across Karnataka state, where Hindu extremist school authorities and law enforcement have bullied and harassed Muslim students and teachers into stripping off their hijabs in public. 

Speaking on the matter, BJP leader Pralhad Joshi demanded the arrest of not those Hindu extremists harassing the women, but the hijabi women themselves, referring to them as “people who cause a ruckus in schools.”

“Wherever the interim order regarding wearing of the hijab and not allowing religious symbols is not being followed, implement rules strictly,” Joshi said.

Officials from the highest levels of Karnataka’s government continue to viciously harass Muslim students, many of them minors. A report by the Deccan Herald, an Indian news publication, discovered that the state government has been collecting data on the number Muslim students enrolled in private and government educational institutions in an alarming census-style violation of their privacy. The BJP government has insisted that this data was collected in case it was needed by the High Court in its ongoing hearing. However, this report comes on the heels of another severe breach of privacy committed by the state BJP, which leaked the personal information of minor Muslim girls on the party’s official Twitter account and led to the severe harassment of the girls and their families. 

Parliamentarians Demand Ban On BJP Members Entering Kuwait As International Protests Against Hijab Ban Rage On

In response to Karnataka state’s hijab ban, outrage against Modi and the BJP has erupted worldwide. In Kuwait, a group of parliamentarians demanded an immediate ban on BJP members entering the Gulf country in response to the hijab ban and other reports of anti-Muslim violence and discrimination. A Kuwaiti activist who tweeted a copy of the demands written by the parliamentarians said on Twitter, “We can’t sit back and watch Muslim girls being publicly persecuted. Time for the Ummah (global Muslim community) to unite.”

In Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, a massive crowd of Muslim women and men marched in protest against India’s discriminatory anti-hijab policy, chanting slogans and carrying placards with statements such as “Hijab is our right, we don’t agree with the hijab prohibition.” A similar protest was held by Iranian students and foreign students, both men and women, who held a demonstration in front of the Indian embassy in Tehran.

Former Indian Supreme Court Justice Calls On Parliament To Enact Law Against Hate Speech 

Former Indian Supreme Court Justice Madan Lokur called on India’s Parliament pass a law against hate speech in accordance with the United Nation’s convention on genocide, citing concerns over the lack of action taken against Hindu extremist leaders who openly called for a genocide of two million Muslims in December 2021.

“We need to make sure Parliament enacts a law on hate speech,” he said in an address during an event. “Hate speech lays the groundwork for later, broad attacks on the vulnerable that can range from discrimination, to ostracism, segregation, deportation, violence and, in the most extreme cases, to genocide.”

Lokur slammed the Indian public’s debate over the mock auctioning of Muslim women through two apps created by Hindu extremists, Sully deals and Bulli Bai. “There’s no violence in this, but is it not hate speech? Can you say, ‘It’s okay! Freedom of expression.’” 

He also criticized BJP officials for garlanding Hindu extremists for lynching innocent Muslims and raising anti-Muslim slogans such as “shoot the traitors to the nation.”

“What is that, if not incitement to kill?” he said. “Article 5 of the genocide convention says that the contracting parties undertake to enact legislation. We’ve not enacted any legislation… You have a certain acceptance that hate speech is okay. Prosecution or the state is going to be silent spectators. I’m not alleging conspiracy, but we’re just going to keep silent about it.”

Official BJP Twitter Account Posts Cartoon Of Muslim Men Being Hanged, Activists Draw Parallels To Nazi Propaganda  

The BJP’s official Twitter account for Gujarat state posted a hateful and offensive cartoon depicting a group of men in stereotypical Muslim garb being hanged by their necks, along with the caption, “No apology to the perpetrator of terror.” The BJP and its Hindu extremist supporters alleged that this cartoon is a reference to the recent sentencing of a group of Muslim men to death in a 2008 terror case. However, activists on social media have pointed out that this image was posted with no context, showing that the BJP supports and condones the demonization of all Indian Muslims as terrorists.  

Civilians on social media have also slammed the cartoon, pointing out the obvious parallels between antisemitic World War II-era Nazi propaganda and the BJP’s attempt to incite hatred against the entire Muslim community based on the actions of a few.

Though the cartoon was taken down from the BJP’s page by Twitter for violating community guidelines, the image is still being widely circulated across social media. 

Muslim Men Sentenced To Death In Terror Case To Move Gujarat High Court, Insisting Their Innocence 

The lawyers of 49 Muslim men, 38 of them sentenced to death and 11 others to life-long imprisonment in a 2008 terror case, have repeatedly insisted on the innocence of the accused and will move the Gujarat state High Court to reconsider the ruling of the special court that had previously handled the case. Many of the convicts have already served over a decade in prison before trial.

“The verdict was mainly based on circumstantial evidence, four statements given by the accused… I believe that the court should have discarded such evidence,” said H. M. Sheikh, one of the defense lawyers.

Abdul Kareem, father of two of the accused who are sentenced to death, told reporters that the court verdict is unbelievable. “We will go for appeal. We hope we will get justice,” he said. 

The men were sentenced for their alleged role in a terror attack in Ahmedabad city on 26 July 2008, in which 22 bombs were planted, killing 56 people and leaving around 200 injured.

Muslim Man, 18, Tortured To Death In Police Custody

Zeeshan Malik, an 18-year-old Muslim man, died in a Delhi hospital after being tortured to death by police. He had been held in police custody since November 2021 for allegedly stealing a packet of cigarettes. Though police told the family that Malik had died due to “illness,” the family reported that his body was covered with severe injuries, including wounds on his ribs and neck, a broken shoulder and elbow, two broken legs, and a puncture wound in his stomach. The family is now demanding justice and punishment for the police officers who murdered Malik over petty theft.