The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

September 27, 2011

Gopalgarh massacre: Suspended Bharatpur Collector, SP booked for murder

Ten days after Mev Muslims were killed in a massacre in Rajasthan's Bharatpur district, the two suspended officers--District Magistrate (DM) Krishna Kunal and SP Hinglaj Dan have been booked for murder. 

The FIR against half-a-dozen persons including the two suspended officers was filed in the police station against them. 

District Magistrate and Collector Krishna Kunal, an IAS officer of Bihar cadre, has already been suspended. The role of Kunal and the Superintendent of Police (SP) Hinglaj Dan came under severe criticism. 

Contrary to the administration's claims, it was found that the victims died of bullet injuries. The gunshots were fired by the policemen. The claim that Mev Muslims had attacked police was also proved wrong as the mosque is located far from the police station and the marks of the blood and gore were found in the place of worship.

Apparently, there was no provocation from Mev Muslims but the administration under the influence of certain local Gujjar leaders, resorted to attack on Muslims. There were signs of armed policemen entering the mosque and targeting Muslims. 

As fact finding teams that reached Bharatpur, found evidences of police excesses, the Centre also sent a team of Congress leaders. Subsequent reports led to mounting pressure on the local administration. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot accepted that Meo Muslims were victims of the violence. 

The DM and SP had been shunted out. A judicial inquiry has been instituted and the case has been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). There is a strong demand to sack Home Minister Shanti Dhariwal for his failure to act and take moral responsibility for the horrific killings in Bharatpur.

TIH Bureau

September 25, 2011

Muslims' protest leads to cancellation of Ahmadiyya exhibition in Delhi

Massive protest by Muslims led to cancellation of the Ahmadiyya sect's programme in the constitution club in Delhi.

The Ahmadiyya 'jamaat' of India had planned a three day event in the national capital but community leaders who term Ahmadiyyas as non-Muslims opposed it.

Ironically, it was the programme 'Exhibition on Quran' that was opposed by Muslim leaders. The Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Ahmad Bukhari, said that the Ahmadiyas are outside the pale of Islam, as they don't believe in finality of Prophet Muhammad.

Bukhari said that the sect has also made changes in the Holy Quran and thus any such event is unacceptable to Indian Muslims. The Shahi Imam began a protest march towards the club but was stopped by the police midway at Daryaganj.

He  sat on a 'dharna' at the spot in protest, refusing to budge until the Qadiyanis' (Muslims use this term for Ahamadiyas as the sect's spiritual head and first leader hailed from Punjab's Qadiyan), event was cancelled and the exhibition closed.

Bukhari then ourted arrest and went to police station where he was released on bail later. Ahmadiyyas have been declared as non-Muslims in Pakistan and some other Islamic nations. But in India, the adherents of the sect are considered as Muslims.

The Ahmadiyyas prefer the term Ahmadi or Ahmedi for themselves and consider the word Qadiani as derogatory. Muslims allege that the group considers Ghulam Ahmad as a recent prophet, which is against fundamental Islamic belief, but the sect claims that he was a 'reviver' of religion.

Muslim leaders alleged that the sect presents its belief in the form of Islam but they are non-Muslims and shouldn't be allowed to propagate their heretic beliefs. Owing to law-and-order related issue, the administration later prevailed upon the organisers to cancel the event on the first day.

TIH Bureau

September 24, 2011

Crime in Delhi: Gay businessman killed by homosexual 'friends' for money

Businessman Narendra Narang who was found murdered in his house in Delhi's Kirti Nagar had been killed by his gay partners with the aim of robbery.

Narang, 44, lived alone in the house. When neighbours told about foul smell coming from the place, the police broke into the house and had found him dead. There were no clothes on the body.

Investigation revealed that Narang was into homosexual relationships and had no regular partner. He had recently come in contact with two youths hailing from Hardoi in Uttar Pradesh (UP).

The youths, Pradeep alias Sonu, 21, and Kamal Kishor, 19, knew that the businessman daily brought at least Rs 50,000 home. When he called them again recently to spend night with him, they had planned that they would kill him and escape with booty.

After the unnatural sexual act in bathroom with him, the duo strangulated him to death with a cable wire. Then they escaped with the money. During interrogation in the locality, police found Narang often called youths and gave them Rs 200-Rs 500 for a visit.

Sustained interrogation led to vital clues. Informers' tip and other evidences pointed towards the two youths. They were caught and during interrogation the accused confessed the crime. They said that the motive was to rob the businessman.

Narang was married in 1992 but had separated from his wife within months of marriage. Around Rs 50,000 robbed by them and the three cell phones were also recovered. The police are interrogating them to find if the youths were involved in other such crimes in the past.

TIH Bureau

September 23, 2011

Government Gag: Two suspended for Facebook comments in Bihar

In an unprecedented move, two government officials were suspended in Bihar for comments on social networking website Facebook.

The incident has caused an outrage among netizens and intellectuals. Dr Musafir Prasad, who maintains a profile under the name Musafir Baitha, has been suspended from the Bihar Vidhan Parishad (Legislative Council).

Another government employee Arun Narayan has also been issued suspension order. Their fault is that they 'dared' to discuss official administrative red-tape and bureaucratic lethargy on Facebook. Musafir had mentioned how his application had moved at snail's pace in the administrative setup.

Arun had made a comment on Bihar's politics. Following the Facebook comments, Council chairman issued the order. However, the decision may have boomeranged. The Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government is facing flak for the order.

The fact is that Bihar government seems to be too touchy and over-sensitive to any sort of criticism. This hasn't gone down well with the literary community and the citizens as well. Both Musafir and Arun Narayan who were till recently posted with Hindi language wing, are noted writers.

TIH Bureau

India, cricket world mourn Nawab of Pataudi's death

One of the greatest cricketers to have ever walked on the cricket field, Mansoor Ali Khan, better known as Nawab of Pataudi, passed away at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi on Thursday.

With just one eye, Pataudi's exploits on the fields are truly legendary. The former cricketer had captained India in 40 tests and had given the Indian team taste of victory on foreign soil for the first time.

Pataudi, whose father Iftikhar Ali Khan alias Pataudi Senior, was also an accomplished international cricketer, will be buried in Pataudi town in Haryana. He died of cardiac arrest after respiratory failure. The one-eyed genius had amassed 2,793 runs in 46 tests.

Mansur Ali Khan was not just the heir of the erstwhile principality of Pataudi in Haryana but also a scion of the Muslim princely state, Bhopal, in Central India, from his mother's side. His mother Sajida Sultan was titular head of Bhopal state after the death of her father the last Nawab of Bhopal, Hamidullah Khan.

Pataudi had inherited his father's love for sports, particularly, cricket. After losing his eye in a car accident in England, Pataudi still managed to play at the highest level of international cricket, and even went on to captain India. It was under his captaincy that India got the killer instinct and learnt the art of winning test matches.

Mansoor Ali Khan inspired his teammates and junior cricketers. It was under him that Prasanna would always become a lethal bowler, almost unplayable. The famous spin quartet became all the more effective when Pats captained the Indian team.

After a successful career, the flamboyant batsman hung his boots. He had married India's most glamorous actress Sharmila Tagore aka Ayesha. The couple's son Saif Ali Khan and Soha Ali Khan are Bollywood stars while Saba Ali Khan is a jewellery designer.

Apart from his cricketing exploits and royal lineage, Pataudi was also a style icon. He was amongst the first few celebrities who were approached for modelling in India. His autobiography Tiger's Tale tells a vivid account of his life.

TIH Bureau

September 19, 2011

Narendra Modi refuses to wear Muslim skullcap during his fast

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's refusal to accept a skullcap from a Muslim cleric during his three day sadbhavana fast, has triggered a major controversy.

The cleric Imam Shahi Saiyed reached the venue of fast in Ahmedabad and handed Modi the 'topi', which he refused to take.The cleric later draped his green shawl on Modi. 

The headgear or traditional caps are usually worn by leaders whenever they are offered at public programmes and functions by citizens. It is believed that Modi's effort to project himself as an inclusive leader may have suffered another major jolt because of his act on stage. 

As TV channels beamed the image of Modi returning the 'topi', BJP leaders were suddenly on the defensive. The Muslim face of the party, Shahnawaz Khan, had to put up with journalists's queries about Modi's strong reaction to the Maulana's gesture. 

While Modi is trying to emerge as an acceptable leader on the national stage, his past still haunts him. He was Chief Minister when Gujarat witnessed one of the worst communal riots, termed as Gujarat genocide in which nearly 2,000 Muslims were killed and many women were raped & murdered.

The refusal of Modi to take the cap from Imam has perhaps shown that he is not yet comfortable with Islamic symbols in a country that has 200 million Muslims. Despite trying to change his hardline Hindutva image and emerge as a leader who bats for communal harmony, it is not easy for NaMo to walk away from his image, which is his biggest asset as well as worst enemy.

TIH Bureau 

September 15, 2011

Curfew in Bharatpur: Police fire after groups clash over land dispute

Curfew was imposed in Bharatpur town in Rajasthan after the communal violence between two groups and the police firing that resulted in the death of eight persons.

The trouble began over the land for Muslim graveyard in Gopalgarh. The Gujjars who claimed ownership of the same land were opposed to Meo Muslims using the land as graveyard.

As a result there was tension in the area for the last couple of days. On Wednesday, violent clashes occurred between groups belonging to the two communities. Police resorted to firing in which several persons died. Reports about the number of persons killed in the firing varied.

The district collector had initially said that eight persons were killed but later retracted and said that he had been misinformed by the hospital authorities, as some of the victims were just unconscious and when checked again they were found to be alive.

But later as the persons injured in the violence succumbed, the death toll went up to eight. Activist Shabnam Hashmi has expressed fears that the number of persons killed could be even more.

Additional police force has been sent to Bharatpur. The Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and top police officials are keeping an eye on the law-and-order situation. Bharatpur distict borders Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. It has a large population of Muslim Mev community that is spread in Mewat region in three states.

As burnt bodies were recovered from a well, it became clear that the administration had failed to control the situation. Minority groups have alleged that the police was in cahoots with attackers who even fired at Muslims in a mosque. Muslim groups have demanded a CBI inquiry and removal of DM and SP.

TIH Bureau

September 12, 2011

Seven killed in police firing on Dalits in Tamil Nadu

The death toll in the indiscriminate firing on Dalits in Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu has now risen to seven while many others were injured in the police action.

Chief Minister J Jayalalitha has announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each to the kin of those who died in the police firing. An inquiry has also been instituted to look into the circumstances in which the police personnel opened fire on unarmed citizens.

A retired High Court judge would conduct the probe. Earlier, the Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had seemignly justified the firing, saying that the angry crowd had attacked policemen which forced them to retaliate. The violence began after reports that Dalit leader John Pandian was detained.

Pandian was going to pay homage to legendary Dalit activist Immanuel Sekar on the latter's death anniversary then. After the local Dalits got restless, the police gathered in large numbers. In the ensuing confrontation, protesters resorted to stone pelting but police fired bullets.

TIH Bureau

September 10, 2011

Professor's 'anti-Muslim' comments upset Jamia Millia Islamia students

A visiting professor at the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) university is alleged to have made objectionable comments and speak derogatorily to Muslim students during his class.

The incident has led to anger among students on the campus. The teacher, Prof PK Basu's outburst against Muslims and the communal comments stunned the students.

His ire was also directed at the Muslim students in the class. He even told a Muslim girl who was wearing veil as 'you blackhead', comment which left the students shell-shocked.

Basu further said that the dress (burqa) had been banned in other countries. Though students initially remained calm, they got upset when his tirade against Islam and Muslims continued. It is alleged that Basu used words like illiterate, idiot and stupid against the students.

Prof Basu also said that he had little regard for the faculty at the educational institution. Later students made a formal complaint to the university authorities regarding the hateful comments in the classroom. They have demanded that the professor be sacked. The Delhi-based JMI, which is a minority institution, is one of the leading universities in the country.

TIH Bureau

September 8, 2011

Tension after communal riot in Adoni town in Kurnool

Curfew continues in Adoni town in Kurnool that had witnessed a communal clash which began over a petty dispute between two groups early this week.

But the violence forced administration to impose curfew. After reports of fresh clashes, senior officials have decided to continue the prohibitory orders until the situation returns to normalcy.

Adoni is located in Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh (AP). During the procession to take out idols and tableaux of Lord Ganesha for immersion, two groups had an argument.

The music played in front of a religious place angered the other group. The incident had occurred on Monday. The situation took a serious turn as both sides engaged in stone pelting and clashed openly. The police fired in the air and used force to bring the situation under control.

Nearly a dozen persons were injured, two of them critically, in the violence. After a fresh round of violence that was reported on Tuesday, more police companies are being rushed. Officers say that the situation is tense but now under control. The indefinite curfew would continue in the city, they said.

Adoni, a historic city, that has a population of nearly 3 lakh is known as Cotton town and is around 300 km from Hyderabad. Adoni has a strong Muslim population but witnessed no communal riot since 1970s when clashes last occurred here. It is situated in Karnool district.

TIH Bureau

Earthquake in Delhi: Scare as citizens experience tremors

An earthquake was felt in Delhi and adjoining areas of the national capital on late Wednesday night.

As earth shook, residents came out of their homes. The tremors were felt in Delhi, NOIDA, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and parts of surrounding regions including UP and Haryana.

Though no loss of life or property was reported initially, reports suggested that the earthquake measured over 4.2 on the Richter scale.

Reports also suggested that there could be another quake within 40 minutes, after the first tremor was felt at 11:38 pm. The epicentre of the earthquake was at Sonepat in Haryana. Later reports suggested that no more tremors were expected in the region.

However, citizens were worried about staying indoors and at several places came out in the open, anticipating another earthquake. It proved to be an ominous day for Delhiites as a bomb blast at High Court caused deaths and injuries. After the terrorist strike, the earthquake was reported, though no loss of life was known till late Wednesday night.

 TIH Bureau

September 3, 2011

Communal clash: Curfew in Ujjain after groups indulge in violence and rioting, police say situation under control

Curfew was imposed in parts of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh after groups belonging to different communities clashed, leading to tension in the town.

The trouble had begun during Ganeshotsava celebrations. An irate mob resorted to stone pelting in which policemen sustained injuries. The vehicle of IG police was also damaged in the incident.

As situation worsened, additional police force was rushed. In view of heavy stone pelting, police used tear gas shells to quell the situation.

Later curfew was imposed in five police station areas including Mahakaal, Jiwajiganj, Kotwali and Khara Kuaan. Police said that Ganesh idol was installed in a shop on the mosque premises, which led to a heated argument between two sides.

After senior officials intervened, it as amicably agreed upon to install the idol at another place. But some activists belonging to Hindu organisations protested against the decision and this led to the group clash.

Later reports said that two persons were killed in the ensuing violence. Rapid Action Force (RAF) was deployed. Police said that situation was under control. Administration had stepped up vigil and declared holiday for schools.

TIH Bureau

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