Mehbooba Mufti attacks Modi govt, says basic human rights of 'dead or alive' suspended in J&K

News Network
September 4, 2021

Srinagar, Sept 4: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday said the Centre's claim that people of Jammu and Kashmir now enjoy equal rights is a "barefaced lie" and the ease with which it imposes a "complete siege" in the valley every time it anticipates a reaction is distressing and deeply insensitive.

Her remarks come after authorities snapped mobile telephone services, except on BSNL's postpaid, and internet services, except on BSNL's Broadband and Fiber, on Wednesday night immediately after the death of hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

"GOI's dubious claims that people of J&K now enjoy equal rights is a barefaced lie as truth is that even their basic human rights dead or alive are suspended with pervasive impunity (sic)," Mehbooba said on Twitter.

The former chief minister of the erstwhile state said the ease with which the Government of India imposes a "complete siege", including communications blackout, in Kashmir every time it anticipates a reaction from people is distressing and deeply insensitive.

"Their misadventure of creating fear and suppression to eliminate a sentiment is counter productive since feelings and emotions don't dissipate or vanish into thin air. These feelings of betrayal, subjugation and anger are absorbed and passed on from one generation to the next," she tweeted.

The PDP chief claimed that instead of reaching out, every successive policy is undertaken to humiliate and collectively punish Jammu and Kashmir.

"These punitive actions compound this sense of betrayal and rage," she added.

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News Network
November 25,2021

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Lucknow, Nov 25: A minister in Uttar Pradesh government today termed the madrasas (Islamic Schools) as "terrorist dens" and demanded that they be closed immediately.

"The madrasas are dens of terrorists.....they churn out terrorists.....those passing out of the madrasas become terrorists," UP minister of state for labour Raghuraj Singh said in Aligarh.

Speaking to reporters, Singh said that there were only 250 madrasas in UP till a few decades back. "Now there are more than 22 thousand madrasas in the state," the minister said.

Singh, while referring to Burhan Wani, who was a top commander of the terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen and was killed in a gun battle with security forces in Jammu & Kashmir in 2016, said that he was also a 'product' of a madrasa in the state.

The minister added that he would order the closure of all the madrasas if he got a chance.

Singh's remarks came amid announcement by the Yogi Adityanath government to renovate and modernise the madrasas in the state.

The Muslim clerics and opposition parties slammed the minister for the remarks. "Many, who studied in the madrasas, had fought for the freedom of the country....the minister should read history before making such a statement....he must be sacked immediately," said a Muslim cleric here.

"The remarks reflect the anti-Muslim mindset of the BJP....the minister is not alone in saying so...there are many MLAs in the BJP, who have also made objectionable comments on the Muslims," said a senior Samajwadi Party leader here. 

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Agencies
November 20,2021

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New Delhi, Nov 20: Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have caved in to farmers' demands that he scraps laws they say threaten their livelihoods.

But the reaction to the shock U-turn in the northern states, where Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) faces key elections next year, has been less than positive, a worrying sign for a leader seeking to maintain his grip on national politics.

In Uttar Pradesh's Mohraniya, farmer Guru Sevak Singh said that he and others like him lost faith in Modi and his party.

"Today Prime Minister Modi realised that he was committing blunder, but it took him a year to recognise this and only because he now knows farmers will not vote for his party ever again," said Singh.

For the young farmer, the matter is deeply personal.

Singh's 19-year-old brother Guruvinder was killed in October when a car ploughed into a crowd protesting against the farm legislation, one of eight people who died in a spate of violence related to the farmers' uprising.

Thousands of agricultural workers have protested outside New Delhi and beyond for more than a year, shrugging off the pandemic to disrupt traffic and pile pressure on Modi and the BJP who say the new laws were key to modernising the sector.

"Today I can announce that my brother is a martyr," Singh told Reuters, weeping as he held a picture of his dead brother.

"My brother is among those brave farmers who sacrificed their lives to prove that the government was implementing laws to destroy the agrarian economy," he added.

Around him were several police officers, who Singh said were provided after his brother and three others were killed by the car. Ashish Mishra, son of MoS Ajay, is in police custody in relation to the incident.

Ajay Mishra Teni said at the time that his son was not at the site and that a car driven by "our driver" had lost control and hit the farmers after "miscreants" pelted it with stones and attacked it with sticks and swords.

'How can we forget?'

In 2020, the Modi government passed three farm laws in a bid to overhaul the agriculture sector that employs about 60 per cent of India's workforce but is deeply inefficient, in debt and prone to pricing wars.

Angry farmers took to the streets, saying the reforms put their jobs at risk and handed control over crops and prices to private corporations.

The resulting protest movement became one of the country's biggest and most protracted.

Leaders of six farmer unions who spearheaded the movement in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab states said they would not forgive a government that labelled protesting farmers as terrorists and anti-nationals.

"Farmers were beaten with sticks, rods and detained for demanding legitimate rights ... farmers were mowed down by a speeding car belonging to a minister's family ... tell me how can we forget it all?" said Sudhakar Rai, a senior member of a farmers' union in Uttar Pradesh.

Rai said at least 170 farmers were killed during anti-farm law protests across the country. There are no official data to verify his claims.

A senior BJP member who declined to be named said the decision to repeal the laws was taken by Modi after he consulted a top farmers' association affiliated to his party.

The politician, who was at the meeting when the party agreed to back down, said those present conceded the BJP had failed to communicate the benefits of the new laws clearly enough.

Leaders of the opposition and some analysts said Modi's move was linked to state elections next year in Uttar Pradesh - which accounts for more parliamentary seats than any other state - and Punjab.

"What cannot be achieved by democratic protests can be achieved by the fear of impending elections!" wrote P. Chidambaram, a senior figure in the opposition Congress party, on Twitter.

But farmers like Singh warned that the government could pay a price for its treatment of farmers.

"We are the backbone of the country and Modi has today accepted that his policies were against farmers," said Singh. "I lost my brother in this mess and no one can bring him back."

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News Network
November 28,2021

New Delhi, Nov 28: The ruling BJP was on Sunday set to sweep the civic body elections in Tripura where counting of votes was underway in 222 seats of Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) and 13 municipal bodies, officials said.

Officials of the State Election Commission said the BJP has established an absolute majority in the 51-member Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) winning 37 seats. Counting is underway in others.

The saffron party has clinched the Khowai Municipal council, Kumarghat Municipal Council, Sabroom Nagar Panchayat and Amarpur Nagar Panchayat.

It is way ahead of its rivals in Dharmapur and Ambassa municipalities, Panisagar, Jirania and Sonapura Nagar Panchayats, besides Kailashahar, Teliamura, Melaghar and Belonia Municipal Councils.

The BJP had fielded candidates for all the 334 seats in the state where its nominees won in 112 places uncontested.

Reacting to the impressive performance by his party in the elections, BJP vice president Dilip Ghosh said in Kolkata the results of Tripura civic polls have exposed the "hollowness" of TMC’s claims of having made inroads into the northeastern state. He said people there have faith in the saffron party.

Describing TMC workers campaigning in Tripura as "hired people", Ghosh told reporters his party shares a "strong bond" with the residents of that state.

The TMC will not be able to open its account in Tripura "“unless the BJP decides against fielding candidate from any seat", he maintained.

"The civic poll results are on expected lines. The TMC did not have any chance to open its account in Tripura, they only made noises. This verdict shows hired people from West Bengal cannot help a party create a base in a state, which has faith in the BJP," Ghosh added.

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