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India moves International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Kulbhushan Jadhav, gets stay on death sentence by Pakistani Military Court

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Kulbhushan Jadav is an Indian national, who is been sentenced to death by the Pakistani Army court.. Wikileaks
Kulbhushan Jadav is an Indian national, who is been sentenced to death by the Pakistani Army court.. Wikileaks
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New Delhi, May 10, 2017: In a reprieve for alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, the International Court of Justice at the Hague in the Netherlands has suspended the death sentence on him by a Pakistani military court, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Tuesday.

“I have spoken to the mother of #KulbhushanJadhav and told her about the order of President, ICJ under Art 74 Paragraph 4 of Rules of Court,” she said in a tweet.

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She also said that legal luminary Harish Salve was representing the country on the matter.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the ICJ said: “On 8 May 2017, the Republic of India instituted proceedings against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, accusing the latter of aegregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations’ (hereinafter the aVienna Convention’) in the matter of the detention and trial of an Indian national, Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan,” the ICJ said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The Applicant contends that it was not informed of Mr. Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest and that Pakistan failed to inform the accused of his rights,” the statement said.

Under Article 74, paragraph 4 of the ICJ rules, which says “pending the meeting of the Court, the President may call upon the parties to act in such a way as will enable any order the Court may make on the request for provisional measures to have its appropriate effects”, ICJ President Justice Ronny Abraham has written to Pakistan seeking the suspension of the sentence.

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India had moved the court on Monday seeking a set of reliefs including “by way of suspension of the sentence of death awarded to the accused”, and “restraining Pakistan from giving effect to the sentence awarded by the military court”.

It had also sought the sentence of the military court “arrived in brazen defiance of Vienna Convention rights” as well as the rights of the accused be declared violative of international law.

Citing “the extreme gravity and immediacy of the threat that authorities in Pakistan will execute an Indian citizen in violation of obligations Pakistan owes India”, it urged the court to deliver an order indicating provisional measures immediately “without waiting for an oral hearing”.

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Jadhav, a former Indian naval officer, was allegedly arrested in Balochistan in March 2016 and Pakistan said Jadhav worked for the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) fuelling the Baloch separatist movement and attempting to sabotage the CPEC project.

A military court sentenced him to death on April 10 on charges of espionage and waging war against Islamabad.

New Delhi had warned that if Jadhav was hanged, it would be considered “premeditated murder” by Islamabad.

Since Jadhav’s alleged arrest in Pakistan in March last year, India sought consular access to him 16 times till this month but Islamabad refused to respond. (IANS)

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Hindus In Delhi Push For A Temple On The Ruins Of a Mosque

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

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Supporters of Vishwa Hindu Parishad gather during a rally in New Delhi, Dec. 9, 2018. The group gathered thousands of supporters to demand the construction of a Hindu temple on a site where a mosque was attacked, demolished in 1992. VOA

Tens of thousands of hardline Hindu protesters marched in New Delhi on Sunday, calling for a grand temple to be built on the ruins of a destroyed mosque in a flashpoint Indian city.

Trident-waving devotees clad in saffron filled a huge parade ground in the Indian capital under tight security, where speakers warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi they would not let up until the temple was sanctioned.

Some of Modi’s supporters feel the Hindu nationalist leader has not done enough to raise a shrine at a site in Ayodhya, a city believed by many to be the birthplace of the deity Ram.

The site was home to a medieval mosque for 460 years until Hindu zealots tore it down in 1992, kicking off riots across India that left thousands dead, most of them Muslims.

Its future has been tied up in courts for decades but some hardliners want Modi, who is seeking reelection in 2019, to push parliament to guarantee the temple by law.

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Hindus don’t oppose anyone, don’t aspire to dominate: RSS chief

“The gathering here is telling you that Hindus won’t sit back until the temple is built, and our wishes are respected,” said Champat Rai, the leader of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) group that organized the protest.

Demonstrators chanting “Praise be to Ram” packed the Ramlila Maidan, a vast ground capable of holding more than 50,000 people, and filled the surrounding streets.

Some carried maces and tridents — weapons traditionally wielded by Hindu gods — and traveled great distances by train and bus to reach the rally.

“We have come here to protect our religion and Hindu pride. We want a temple for our Lord Ram,” Hitesh Bharadwaj, a teacher from Delhi’s satellite city Noida, told AFP.

The hardline VHP has applied pressure on Modi in recent weeks, staging a huge show of force in Ayodhya itself last month.

Hindu, Mosque
Photo credit: theguardian.com

A close ally of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the group is spearheading a push to raise the Ram temple, and is calling for more protests as the premier prepares to go to the polls by May.

The BJP was on the margins until the 1980s when its top leaders, including Modi, backed a growing movement for the construction of the Ram temple.

Its advocates want parliament to introduce a law bypassing legal hurdles blocking the temple before Modi’s term ends.

Also Read: Delhi’s Air Quality Leads To Ban On Trucks And Construction

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

“We don’t care about the courts. A grand temple will be constructed in 2019,” Sushil Chawdhary, a VHP leader, told AFP. (VOA)