Open letter by Mangalureans demanding action against saffron outfits for threatening St Aloysius College

Open Letter by Individuals and Organizations
October 9, 2021

Various media have reported that Hindutva fascist groups including ABVP, VHP and Bajrang Dal have opposed the decision of the St Aloysius College, Mangaluru a private autonomous college to name one of its parks after Human Rights and Adivasi Rights Activist Late Father Stan Swamy. They have threatened to stage a protest if the college goes ahead with the plan. Threats have been made by them stating that “the college will be responsible if any untoward incident takes place”.

We call upon the district administration and the police to take immediate action against these organizations for engaging in criminal intimidation and issuing such threats. They have absolutely no right to interfere in the goings on of the private institution. These organization have a stated purpose and history for violence, communal divisiveness and subscribe to an idea of our country, with scant regard to the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

This blatantly illegal behaviour is a consequence of the free run that is being given to these fascist organizations in coastal Karnataka. These organizations are imposing social apartheid, interfering in the private affairs of citizens and acting against the Constitutional principle of fraternity by engaging in daily acts of violence and intimidation with impunity. Members of these organizations have engaged in lynching of minorities across the country, conducting riots and engaging in violence to push minorities into second-class citizenship

Fr. Stan Swamy was a person who was falsely implicated in the cases pending against him and subject to the most inhuman treatment leading to his untimely death. Imprisoned at the age of 84 years while suffering from Parkinson’s disease, he was denied the most basic of rights, being deprived of even a sipper. He dedicated his entire life for the upliftment of the oppressed sections of society and was targeted precisely for this reason. We stand with Fr. Stan Swamy.
 
We demand that immediate action be taken against these fascist organization for their actions of criminal intimidation and the district administration and police provide adequate protection to the college to ensure that there is no interference in its private affairs.

1.    Campaign to Defend Democracy (Karnataka)
2.    All India Peoples Forum
3.    People’s Union for Civil Liberty (PUCL)
4.    A. John Vincent, Advocate, High Court Bench, Madurai
5.    Abha Rao
6.    Akhil Mythri, NIAS
7.    Alice, AEO
8.    Alwin, Jesuit
9.    Alwyn, Alumni
10.    Amar Jesani, Independent Consultant, Bioethics & Public Health
11.    Amod Shah, PhD Researcher
12.    Amulya D’Souza
13.    Anil Sadgopal, Former Professor & Dean, Faculty of Education, Delhi University
14.    Archana Kaul, Srijanatmakanushi Sanstha
15.    Arindam Roy, CPI ML
16.    Ashiqa
17.    Ashish Kajla, Delhi Solidarity Group
18.    Avani Chokshi, All India Lawyers Association for Justice
19.    Basavalinga, Alumni
20.    Brian D
21.    Brinda Adige, Ananya Mahila Okkutta
22.    Cedric Prakash
23.    Chayanika Shah, Forum Against Oppression of Women, Mumbai
24.    Cheriyan Alexander
25.    Clifton D' Rozario, All India Lawyers Association for Justice
26.    Cynthia D
27.    Cynthia Stephen, Independent researcher
28.    Cyril, Alumni
29.    Deepak D'Souza    Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
30.    Dr.Mohan Rao, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan
31.    Dr.Sudhir Vombatkere, NAPM
32.    Dunu Roy, Hazards Centre
33.    Dwiji Guru, NAPM Karnataka
34.    Emmanuel David, HRDA
35.    Esmeralda D’mello, Justice Task force
36.    Francis
37.    Francis Balaraj, Indian Social Institute
38.    Frazer Mascarenhas, St. Peter's Parish
39.    G. Mary
40.    H (Laltu) Singh, AIFRTE
41.    Harsh Mander, Human rights and peace worker and writer
42.    Harshita, St. Claret College
43.    Hartman de Souza, Writer
44.    Jagdish Patel, Peoples Training and Research centre
45.    Jolly Chacko, Retd Govt Servant
46.    Joseph Xavier,    Indian Social Institute Bangalore
47.    Karuna, Journalist
48.    Kavita Srivastava, PUCL
49.    Kavya
50.    Lekha, All India Students' Association
51.    Madhu Bhushan, Women's rights activist/researcher
52.    Maimoona Mollah, AIDWA Delhi
53.    Manshi Asher, Nagrik Adhikar Manch, Kangra
54.    Manu
55.    Marian Furtado
56.    Mary Ann B
57.    Meera Sanghamitra, National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM)
58.    Michael Rajamathi, St. Joseph's College, Bengaluru
59.    Milagrin, Alumni
60.    N Manu Chakravarthy, Individual
61.    N Thamizhseran
62.    N. Jayaram, PUCL
63.    Nandini Sundar, Sociologist
64.    Nisha Biswas
65.    P A Devaiah, All India Students' Association
66.    P. Sainath, Journalist
67.    Philo Thomas, Women's Welfare Centre
68.    Pieter Friedrich,Centre for Liberty and Peace in South Asia
69.    Prabhat Sharan, Journalist
70.    Prayer KC, Independent Doctor
71.    Ram Puniyani, All India Secular Forum
72.    Ramnarayan, Independent Ecologist, Educator
73.    Raphael Dsouza, The Bombay Catholic Sabha and All India Catholic Union
74.    Rohit Prajapati, Activist, Gujarat
75.    Rohit, AISA
76.    S Subramanian, Independent Researcher
77.    S.Krishnaswamy, Madurai District President, PUCL
78.    Sawani Shiraz
79.    Sejal Dand, Anna Suraksha Adhikar Abhiyan
80.    Selvaraj Arulnathan, Loyola College, Vettavalam
81.    Shashank SR, Research For Equity
82.    Shiva Shankar,IIT
83.    Shujayathulla, PUCL Bangalore
84.    Siraj Dutta, Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha
85.    Sridhar Venkatesh, University of Michigan
86.    Sudha N, Independent Researcher-Activist
87.    Sultan Mahmud, All India Students Association
88.    Suraj Samrat
89.    Synthia
90.    T.Dlee
91.    Thomas Kailath
92.    Uma Shankari, Human rights organisation
93.    Usha, NMSWorks Software Pvt Ltd
94.    Vidya Dinker, Citizens Forum for Mangalore Development
95.    Vijayashree CS, National Institute of Advanced Studies
96.    Vinay Sreenivasa, Advocate
97.    Walter Fernandes, NESRC
98.    Xavier Jeyaraj SJ, Society of Jesus
99.     Vasant Kumar

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News Network
October 16,2021

Bengaluru, Oct 16: The House Committee of Karnataka Assembly, chaired by BJP MLA Goolihatti Shekhar, has decided to conduct a survey to identify unauthorised people connected to Christian missionaries, carrying out conversion activities in the state.

On October 13, the House Committee convened a meeting and took the decision after the issue came up for discussion in the state assembly on September 21.

Shekhar had raised the issue and had alleged that as many as 20,000 people including his 72-year-old mother had converted to Christianity in Chitradurga district.

The House Committee wants to decipher the number of authorised and unauthorised people engaged in the activities of Christian missionaries in the state, Shekhar said.

Directions also have been given to authorities in three Yadgir, Chitradurga and Vijayapura districts to check conversion activities, he said.

These districts are the most backward regions of the state and the poor people fall prey to Christian missionaries' allurement tactics, Shekhar said.

The authorities have also been directed to initiate stringent action soon after receiving reports of conversion activity, he said.

The House Committee is finding ways within the parameters of the law to stop converted Dalits availing reservation benefits, Shekhar said.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai government is serious about introducing an anti-conversion bill after studying similar laws implemented in other states including Uttar Pradesh.

The pro-Hindu outfits have been very active in raiding the places of conversions across the state with the help of police.

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News Network
October 18,2021

Bengaluru, Oct 18: The state's Covid-19 case numbers, its testing rates and vaccination figures are converging onto a new low, the latest data shows.

According to a 30-day analysis of the data from the daily Covid-19 bulletins, not only has testing hit a new unprecedented low since the start of the second wave, but resulting discoveries of new cases have also come down.

The number of doses being administered statewide has also come down dramatically. Only 1.75 million doses were administered this past week (from 11 to 17 October), which is 20.17 per cent lower than the vaccinations achieved three weeks ago (between 27 September and 3 October).

Officials said that this is due to increasing pockets of vaccine hesitancy being found across the state. They added that the vaccine rate is expected to pick up as more people become eligible for their second dose. The state’s second dose coverage hit 40.33 per cent on Sunday. 

When it comes to testing, the state conducted only 6.2 lakh tests last week, which is 18.9 per cent lower than the 7.68 lakh tests conducted a fortnight ago. 

New case numbers have also come down. The state found 2,342 new cases this past week (it had found 3,139 cases the week before that). Out of these, 326 new cases were recorded on Sunday, of which 173 (or 53 per cent) were found in Bengaluru Urban. The numbers, coupled with 380 new discharges on Sunday, leave the state’s active caseload at 9,450.

The next highest cases on Sunday were recorded in Mysuru district (42 cases), Dakshina Kannada (22 cases), and Tumakuru district (17 cases).

Death 

Four new fatalities were also disclosed in Sunday’s bulletin. Among them was an 80-year-old man who succumbed to the disease after the longest bout - a record 280 days. The patient who is from Mysuru was first diagnosed with the disease on January 6. He died on October 13 at a government hospital. He had symptoms of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) and also suffered from diabetes and hypertension.

Child cases 

Last week, the state recorded 105 cases of pre-teens (0-9) infected with the novel coronavirus, which is higher than the 98 cases recorded a fortnight ago. In comparison, while the state recorded 379 cases of teens (10-19) this week, this is lower than the 594 cases found two weeks ago.

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News Network
October 27,2021

Bengaluru, Oct 27: Industrialist-cum-whistleblower Alam Pasha has lodged a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Bureau seeking arrest of three persons, including IAS officer Harsh Gupta and Commercial Street Inspector of Police for alleged dereliction of duties with an ulterior aim to acquit IMA chief Mohammed Mansoor Khan, who is an accused in IMA scam.

Speaking to UNI, Pasha said Gupta, who was appointed by Karnataka government as Competent Authority (CA) on behalf of Revenue Department to retrieve the investors monies of more than Rs 4,000 crore and take action as per law against Khan and other accused in the case.

Giving background of the scam in his complaint, Pasha said Khan had floated a ponzi scheme offering investors dream returns on investments made in his firm called I Monetary Advisory Group.

Around October 2018, as many as 75,000 investors began complaining of the firm reneging on payments worth Rs 4,000 crore and the firm also had come under the RBI scanner, he said.

The firm was accused of siphoning off nearly Rs 4,000 crore of funds for the personal benefit of the owners of the firm, he said.

In June 2019, Khan absconded as police initiated a probe in the case. Before absconding, he had released an audio message for the police accusing then Congress MLA Roshan Baig for the fall of the firm, Pasha alleged.

Khan alleged Baig borrowed Rs 400 crore from the firm and failed to return it. He had also accused other politicians and officials of bleeding IMA resources, the complainant said.

After the scam became a major controversy, the then Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy ordered the creation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the IMA scam, he said.

Khan was arrested by the ED at Delhi airport in July 2019. In October 2020, he was granted bail by Karnataka High Court, Pasha said.

Gupta, the complainant said, has failed to take action as per law to book IMA culprits to meet the purpose of his appointment to retrieve the monies of the investors from them.
He said the CA has failed in his duty to direct the Inspector of Police to file FIRs against the IMA culprits so that the victims of the scam get back their monies, which they had invested in nine of the companies owned by Khan.

"Unless the police file FIRs against the IMA culprits, no court in the country shall be able to deliver the verdict in favour of the victims. Filing FIRs is the first step towards providing relief to the victims," he said.

The CA also has failed in his duties to seek the intervention of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to investigate serious frauds committed by IMA Group of companies so that the investigation is carried out without depending on police and their investigation, Pasha said.

The IMA group of companies fall under the purview of the Companies Act 2013 as they are not financial establishments, Pasha said.

Also, the CA has been appointed under section 5 of the Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishment Act 2004, who enjoys powers to initiate an investigation into the financial establishments, but IMA Group of companies are full-blown firms, Pasha said.

"So, knowing that he has to depend on the investigation of the police, the CA is well within his rights to seek the intervention of the Ministry of Corporate Companies to conduct investigations under SFIO rules. If he is sincere and genuine, he would have asked for the SFIO probe," he said.

"It is very clear that the CA and the police officer are working in favour of the accused, namely Khan, rather than giving relief to the IMA victims, who are waiting for retrieval of their money. In these circumstances, I had approached the ACB and lodged a complaint seeking arrest of the three accused," Pasha said.

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