Muslim truck driver thrashed by cow vigilantes in Haryana

New Delhi, March 15, 2023 (PPI-OT): A Muslim truck driver was chased and thrashed by cow vigilantes or “gau rakshaks,” in Palwal city in the Indian state of Haryana over allegations of transporting cattle. The cow vigilantes are self-appointed violent protectors of cows. The incident is a clear example of the dangerous consequences of such vigilantism. What makes the incident even more cruel and disturbing is the crudely edited video which went viral on social media. The video shows the group of cow vigilantes chasing and “rescuing” cows from the young Muslim truck driver. The video also contains text with the date of the incident as well as the cow vigilante teams that were involved, media reports said.

Of late, several cases of assault on innocent men by cow vigilantes have been reported on social media and various media outlets. These attacks are often based on mere suspicions or rumours. Talking to media, a social activist in Palwal said it was the responsibility of the government to take strong action against these groups and ensure that the rule of law is upheld. “The authorities must also tackle the underlying issues that are fuelling such vigilantism, such as religious intolerance and hatred towards minorities,” media reports quoted him as saying.

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Brutal killing of woman in Badgam strongly denounced

Srinagar, March 15, 2023 (PPI-OT): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, various organizations and leaders have condemned the brutal killing of a woman in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. A 30-year-old woman had gone missing after she left for coaching classes on March 07 in Soibugh area of the district. Later, her body parts buried at different places were recovered on Sunday (March 11).

Muttahida Majlis-e-Ulema (MMU) Jammu and Kashmir, the umbrella body of social and religious organizations, in a statement, expressed serious concern over the fact that in the Kashmir Valley, which has been the land of saints for centuries, the ever increasing graph of barbaric crimes and new social evils is a matter of concern and introspection for. It said this incident has shamed humanity and is extremely sad. The MMU also expressed condolence and solidarity with the bereaved family and demanded exemplary punishment to the perpetrator of this heinous crime so that nobody will have the courage to commit such an inhumane and un-Islamic act.

Senior leader of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Agha Syed Hassan AL-Moosvi Al-Safvi, led a protest march in Badgam to demand punishment to the killer of the woman. While leading the protest, he said the perpetrator of brutal killing should be dealt strictly as per the law. National Conference senior leader, Agha Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, in a statement denounced the brutal killing of the woman. He said the gut wrenching incident has put humanity to shame.

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Despite SC directive, BJP lawmaker makes hate speeches again in Maharashtra

New Delhi, March 15, 2023 (PPI-OT): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Member of Legislative Assembly of the Indian state of Telangana T Raja Singh continues to make hate speeches, incite violence and use derogatory terms for Muslims at a Hindutva event in Maharashtra. This is in total disregard to the Supreme Court directive to the state police to ensure that no hate speeches were made at such events. While hearing a petition against Hindutva event in Mumbai in February, the Supreme Court had asked the Maharashtra government to allow the event to be held only on the condition that no hate speeches were made.

The latest videos, which went viral on social media, show Singh inciting a huge gathering in Maharashtra to shoot Muslims by calling them “landya” (circumcised), a derogatory term used for the minority community in the state. “If you want to thrash any landya (Muslim) join Bajrang Dal. I want to ask all youths whether they want to protect the country and the religion and want to make India a Hindu Rashtra. Then, turn on your mobile torch to show your support so that landya of this country and the neighbouring country get to know about it,” said Singh addressing a cheering huge gathering.

He further said their group will not let go anyone who speak against Hindus, slaughter cows and are involved in “Love Jihad.” He said we want youth who can gun down those who slaughter cows. Singh also targeted Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind for providing legal help to Muslim youths who were falsely implicated in flimsy terror cases. Calling for an economic boycott of Muslims, he asked the audience to purchase goods only from Hindus. He also urged the Eknath Shinde government to remove dargahs and graveyards from some places.

Singh is not new to create controversies by making such hate-filled speeches. Recently, he made several such speeches at various places in Maharashtra. Concerned citizens have made numerous demands seeking action against Singh and such events. However, the police are yet to take action. Earlier, Singh was put behind bars by Telangana police for making derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He is out on bail on the condition that he does not make hate speeches again.

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IIOK budget 2023-24 fails to address needs of people: NC

Srinagar, March 15, 2023 (PPI-OT): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference has said that the territory’s budget for the territory for the year 2023-2024 has failed to cater to the needs of people saying it has nothing substantial for Kashmir’s trade, industry and commerce. Reacting to the IIOJK budget, the NC spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said it’s all flamboyance and wordplay. He said, there is nothing for unemployed youth and no Blueprint on job creation for youth.

“We have lakhs of unemployed youths in J and K. There was not even a single word about addressing the plight of contractual, daily wagers and need based employees,” he said, adding, “There is no ray of hope for our unemployed and skilled youth. They have been forsaken.” Imran Nabi maintained that this was the fifth budget in a row which wasn’t passed by the elected legislature of IIOJK. “It is again for the fifth time that the concerned stakeholders were not consulted before the tabling of the budget,” he said.

The NC leader pointed out that there is nothing substantial for the horticulture sector of J and K. “We expected them to announce a waiver on the KCC (Kisan Credit Card) loans and bring down the GST rates on packaging items. Their claims of boosting horticulture and other allied sectors have remained restricted to statements only,” he said, adding that no steps have been taken to augment fruit processing infrastructure either. Imran Nabi said there is no handholding of artisans, marginal traders, transporters, hawkers, and start-ups. He added that the budget has failed to fulfill the needs and aspirations of all the stakeholders across the occupied territory.

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India’s anti-conversion laws violate international human rights law: USCIRF

Washington, March 15, 2023 (PPI-OT): Anti-conversion laws promulgated by various state governments in India violate international human rights treaties signed by the county, a new report from the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) observed. An issue update released by USCIRF examined the anti-conversion laws promulgated in 12 states in India. It suggests that their features violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Funded by the US State Department, USCIRF is a US federal government entity that monitors and recommends freedom of religion policies. However, the US State Department is not bound to follow its recommendations. For example, the US government has not designated India as a “country of particular concern” for international religious freedom despite USCIRF’s recommendation for at least two consecutive years.

As per the latest USCIRF report, the anti-conversion legislation promulgated in 12 states “violate international human rights law’s protections for the right to freedom of religion or belief”. It asserted that such laws enabled and emboldened “existing government harassment, vigilante violence, and discrimination against religious minorities, as well as crackdowns on civil society organizations”.

Reminding readers that USCIRF had recommended that India should be designated as a “country of particular concern”, the report said that repealing the legislation would be necessary to comply with international human rights law and to prevent deterioration in the condition of religious freedom in the South Asian country. The paper observed that the state-level legislations have three common features – prohibitions on conversions, notice requirements and burden-shifting provisions.

Citing the UP anti-conversion Act, it noted that the “broad and vague” language could also target voluntary religious conversions. Further, as in Haryana’s Act, there is a provision looking specifically at “preventing so-called “Love Jihads,” a derogatory term for conversions occurring in the context of interfaith marriages”. The report also observed that “enforcement of state-level anti-conversion laws suggests the legislations’ intent is to prevent conversions to disfavoured religions – such as Christianity and Islam – and not to protect against coerced conversions”.

Referring to the provision of prior notification for conversion and permission from the local authority, USCIRF’s issue update noted that “a District Magistrate’s public call for objections to a conversion constitutes coercively impairing an individual’s freedom to have or adopt a religion or belief”. As per the report, anti-conversion acts of Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh have included provisions that “individuals accused of violating an anti-conversion law must prove their innocence”. This violates both UDHR and ICCPR, which state that anyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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Mehbooba says BJP has created an atmosphere of fear in IIOJK

Jammu, March 15, 2023 (PPI-OT): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, People Democratic Party president, Mehbooba Mufti, has said that Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party has created an atmosphere of fear in the territory by making random arrests. Talking to reporters in Rajouri town of Jammu region, Mehbooba Mufti said the BJP is using the same policy in India also to silence the voice of the Opposition.

Earlier, addressing a public meeting in Rajouri, the PDP chief said, Jammu and Kashmir is going through a very difficult phase and people are frightened to speak on any issue. “Inflation has broken the back of people, unemployment is on the rise despite a promise by the BJP that it will create jobs for the youth after the abrogation of Article 370,” she said. She urged people of IIOJK to join hands to safeguard their identity and culture, land and jobs, besides fighting the Indian oppression.

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Male dead body found in Jammu

Jammu, March 15, 2023 (PPI-OT): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, body of a youth was recovered in Jammu city. Body of about 25-year-old person was found lying behind a hotel building at Railway Station of the city. The body was kept in mortuary room of Government Medical College and Hospital, Jammu, for post-mortem/identification, an official said.

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