Tuesday October 17, 2017
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Khattar offers ‘regrets’ over his beef statement

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Photo: mathrubhuminews.in

Chandigarh/New Delhi: Finding himself cornered over his controversial statement on consumption of beef, especially by Muslims, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday offered his “regrets”, as the Center sidestepped the issue and the opposition flayed him and even demanded his sacking.

The controversy erupted after Khattar was quoted by an English daily on Friday as saying that “Muslims can continue to live in this country, but they will have to give up eating beef as the cow is an article of faith here”.

“Haryana Chief Minister Mr. Manohar Lal has denied having made any such statement and said that his words and sentiments have been distorted,” an official statement said.

A political greenhorn and first-time legislator, Khattar completes one year in office as chief minister on October 26.

The statement was made in the context of the lynching of a Muslim man in Dadri district of Uttar Pradesh on September 28 by a mob on suspicion that he ate beef.

But once Khattar’s recorded interview (in audio) was released by the daily and played by news channels, making it clear he indeed made the controversial statement, Khattar told the media here: “However, even if you believe that if any of the words were spoken by me, there was no intention (of hurting anyone’s sentiments). If anyone’s sentiments are hurt by my statements, I am ready to offer my regrets for this.”

“We understand and respect the feelings of every religion and community. I did not make any statement which would have hurt anyone’s sentiments. However, if anyone or any community has felt hurt, I regret the same,” a statement quoting Khattar later said.

Khattar said he had “full devotion in the practice of ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhav’ and believed in taking along all sections of society.”

Khattar, a former RSS pracharak, had said that the “cow, Bhagwad Gita and goddess Saraswati were articles of faith for the Hindu community.”

He had maintained that the Indian Constitution, which had no provision to ban cow slaughter or consumption of beef, however, had a provision that no one should do anything that offends the faith of another religion.

Reacting to the controversy, union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters in New Delhi that “Khattar has explained himself and I have nothing more to add.”

“This country is full of diversity and our government and the party (BJP) believes in ‘sabka saath-sabka vikas’,” he added.

On the other hand, the Congress criticized Khattar and took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“It’s a sad day for democracy. Khattar-ji will now decide the qualifications for Indian citizenship. Is this a new model of governance, Modi-ji?” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) demanded Khattar’s sacking and said his statement was a “blow to the country’s secular fabric” and that a criminal case be registered against him.

“Khattar should resign for his irresponsible statement, and if he does not, he should be sacked. He has distorted the secular fabric of the country. His statement is not only unfortunate, but also shameful,” AAP Delhi unit convener Dilip Pandey said.

Janata Dal-United president Sharad Yadav accused Khattar of playing politics over religion.

“He is speaking nonsense. He is playing politics over religion. Now that he has made such statements, obviously the Muslims will react to it,” Yadav told reporters.

Kamal Farouqui, member of Muslim Personal Law Board, said: “He (Khattar) is no longer an RSS sarsanghchalak. He is the elected chief minister of Haryana and has sworn on the constitution. First, he tried to malign the media by saying his statement had been twisted. Then he says he didn’t mean it. What does he mean by that? He is saying things that make Muslims in this country very uncomfortable.”

“Very few Muslims in this country actually eat beef. Going beyond the Hindu-Muslim issue, there are many others who consume beef. So they mean all such people should leave India? If they are serious about it, they should ban the export of beef and meat,” he added.

“He should offer an unqualified apology and say this will not happen again. But he will not do this because they want to give an open-ended statement that can be twisted this way or that,” Farouqui said.

Yogendra Yadav, a founder member of Swaraj Abhiyan and a former Aam Aadmi Party leader, said, “It reveals a deeper mindset that minorities are tenants and the Hindus are the landlords. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the BJP have never accepted that the minorities are as much the owners of this entity called India as are the majority. What they really want is to emulate Pakistan, except they want a Hindu Pakistan.”

(IANS)

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Quick View on Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Case: 20 Years of Imprisonment enough for a Rapist in India?

15 point guide to know about the latest developments in Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s case

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Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim got a jail sentence of 20 years
Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim got a jail sentence of 20 years. Twitter

New Delhi, August 28, 2017: A special CBI court gave jail sentence of 20 years (for a 15-year-old case) to rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim today.

Here’s a 15 point guide about the Gurmeet Ram Rahim  case:

  • Jagdeep Singh, CBI Judge declared 2 sentences of 10 years imprisonment for the 2 rape cases that happened in 2002.
  • Dera chief was also fined by the court for the 2 cases amounting to a total of Rs 30 lakh (Rs 14 lakh each would go to the 2 rape victims).
  • The Dera chief allegedly cried in the courtroom and also begged for sympathy and forgiveness.
  • The defense requested the Judge to be lenient as the Dera chief has worked for the welfare of people in the past.
  • Apart from the rape cases, Gurmeet Ram Rahim is also facing trial in 2 separate murder cases- Dera follower Ranjit Singh and journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati.
  • Protests by Dera followers (after his conviction) in Haryana and Punjab have led to the death of 38 people and crores of damage to public property.
  • A special court was set up in the Sunaria Jail premises in order to avoid any further damage caused by the violent mob. For this Jagdeep Singh, CBI special court judge flew to Rohtak today.
  • Talking about safety measures, Atul Kumar, District Collector of Rohtak said that shoot at sight orders will be issued if any anti-social elements occur which tries to harm the police force or innocent public.
  • Security was increased outside Manohar Lal Khattar, Haryana chief minister’s official residence in Chandigarh before Ram Rahim’s sentencing.
  • There was high security around the Rohtak district jail with paramilitary forces and Haryana Police covering the area. The Army was on standby.
  • No movement of people (other than the authorized ones) was allowed within 10 km distance from the jail premises.
  • Panchkula, Sirsa, Uttar Pradesh, neighboring areas were on high alert and to ensure the safety of citizens Paramilitary forces were placed in various areas. There is a curfew in Sirsa and Section 144 is enforced in Rohtak. Sensitive areas of Punjab are being patrolled by security forces.
  • Locals have been asked to stay indoors as a preventive measure.
  • Mobile internet services will remain suspended in Haryana, Punjab and also Internet lease lines in Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters, Sirsa till tomorrow 11:30 a.m.

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Khaidi No 1997: Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Gets VIP Treatment in Prison from Khattar Government

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Sacha Sauda Dera Chief Ram Rahim
Sacha Sauda Dera Chief Ram Rahim. Youtube
  • Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh continued to get VIP treatment from Haryana’s Manohar Lal Khattar government in prison
  • He was provided with an air-conditioned room in the prison near Rohtak town, around 70 km from Delhi
  • Even after being taken into custody, he was shown full respect by a section of officers instead of being treated like a convicted criminal

August 26, 2017: Convicted of rape and criminal intimidation on two counts, Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh continued to get VIP treatment from Haryana’s Manohar Lal Khattar government in prison.

The Dera Sacha Sauda chief, according to police sources, was provided with an air-conditioned room in the prison near Rohtak town, around 70 km from Delhi.

 “From arranging a special helicopter to providing an air-conditioned room and helping in using facilities meant for police officers, the Khattar government is extending all help to the lawfully disgraced Dera chief even after his conviction in such a serious crime as rape. This is appalling,” a police source, who saw some of these things happen on Friday and Saturday, told IANS.

Also Read: Ram Rahim Convicted of Rape: Here is the 15 Years Old Anonymous Letter from a Sadhvi

A woman, Honeypreet, whom the Dera website describes as his daughter (not real daughter), was allowed to accompany him along with bags and suitcases when Ram Rahim, after being taken into custody was flown in a specially arranged helicopter from the police lines complex in Panchkula.

Even after being taken into custody, the Dera chief was shown full respect by a section of officers instead of being treated like a convicted criminal.

“A couple of senior officers, who tried to take the Dera chief to task and treat him like any other criminal after his conviction were physically assaulted by his (sect chief’s) security.

“One senior officer was slapped and other one was pushed in the presence of other top officers. The Haryana Police had to detain his security for some time to take him into its custody following the conviction,” the police officer said.

The sect chief had openly announced support for the BJP in the 2014 elections. Millions of his followers in the region voted as per his diktat. He even went to cast his own vote.

The BJP, for the first time, came to power in Haryana on its own in the October 2014 assembly elections.

Panchkula town, adjoining here, where the CBI court announced the sect chief guilty, bore the brunt of the violence on Friday and resembled a war zone with scores of burnt vehicles and properties damaged or torched.

CBI special judge Jagdeep Singh held the Dera sect leader, who has lakhs of followers mainly in Punjab and Haryana, guilty of raping and sexually exploiting two female disciples in 2002.

The self-styled godman is used to a life of ultra luxury and ostentatious public appearances. (IANS)

 

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Increase in Attacks related to Cow Vigilantism under Narendra Modi Government: Report

Out of the 63 attacks that were reported over a span of eight years, 5% faded away without any reports of the attackers being arrested

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Cow vigilantism and the crimes related to it have topped in Northern India
The threat of cow vigilantism has only been increasing. Pixabay
  • A report by IndiaSpend suggests that Muslims were the target of 51% of violence centered on issues related to cow for over eight years
  • The report is based on the survey of reports in English language media available online since 2010
  • 86% of those killed in the incidents related to cow protectionism, according to the report, were Muslims

New Delhi, August 19, 2017: Cow vigilantism and the violence related to it is not an unfamiliar story in India these days. But a report by IndiaSpend has highlighted the scale of the issue.

According to a survey that took into account the reports in IndiaSpend, the data was accessible online since 2010- it claims that Muslims were the target of 51% of violence that centered on issues related to cow for over eight years, 2010-2017, making them 86% of the 28 Indians that were killed in 63 incidents related to cow protectionism.

97% of these incidents, according to IndiaSpend, were reported after the Modi government came to power in 2014. 32 of the 63 cases were from the states that BJP governed when the incidents were reported. No less than 124 people were injured in these attacks, more than half of which were only based on rumors.

20 such attacks were reported in the first six months of 2017, more than 75% of that in 2016, making it the worst year for cow-related violence.

The attacks included a range of crimes such as mob lynching, murder, attempt to murder, harassment, assault and even gang rape. These attacks were reported from 19 of the 29 states of India, with Northern states, especially Uttar Pradesh and Haryana topping the list. 13 of the total 63 cases were reported from the Southern and Eastern states, with six being reported from Karnataka. Northeast accounted for only one incident, in which two men were murdered in Assam, on 30th April 2017.

“Lynching does not find mention in the Indian Penal Code. No particular law has been passed to deal with lynching. Absence of a codified law to deal with mob violence or lynching makes it difficult to deliver justice in the cases of riots. However, Section 223(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 says that persons or a mob involved in the same offense in the same act can be tried together. But, this has not proved to have given enough legal teeth to (the) justice delivery system. – India Today, 25 June 2017” 

Out of the 63 attacks that were reported over a span of eight years, 5% faded away without any reports of the attackers being arrested. In 13 attacks (21%), police registered cases against the victims or the survivors. In 23 attacks, the attackers were mobs or people belonging to the Hindu groups such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and local Gau Rakshak Samitis.

From 2010 to 2017, which is the period being considered, the first attack of cow related violence in which four people were injured and three were arrested, occurred in Joga town in Mansa district, Punjab, on June 10, 2012.

“Led by activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Gowshala Sangh, villagers gathered in the morning and broke into the premises of the factory…The mob went on the rampage damaging the factory and setting ablaze the houses of at least two of those running the unit, Ajaib Singh and Mewa Singh,” reported The Hindu the next day.

In August 2016, in Mewat, Haryana, a woman, and her 14-year-old cousin were, allegedly, gang raped after they were accused of eating beef.

On May 30, 2017, a Ph.D. scholar in IIT Madras, was attacked for eating beef, when he was at a vegetarian mess on the campus.

33 out of the 63 attacks since 2010 were based on rumors.

In a recent case on April 21, 2017, Pehlu Khan, a 55-year-old dairy farmer from Alwar in Rajasthan was beaten to death, on suspicion of carrying cattle for slaughter.

Also Read: We need to take Action Against the ‘Communal Violence in the name of Cow’ : PM Narendra Modi

On June 11, 2017, in Rajasthan, officials of the Animal Husbandry Department of Tamil Nadu’s government were attacked by cow vigilantes, for transporting cows in five trucks, mentioned the Indian Express report. The fact that they had a no-objection certificate (NOC) and official permission from police and other authorities did not prove any help.

Massive protests have had happened in states like Kerala, West Bengal, and in the Northeast, since the Centre decided to modify an existing law against cruelty to animals, to ban sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter. The Threat of cow vigilantism, after all, has only been increasing.

-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha