RSS chief visits mosque, holds closed-door meeting with cleric amid outreach to Muslim community

News Network
September 22, 2022

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New Delhi, Sept 22: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat met with Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, the chief cleric of the All India Imam Organization, at a mosque in the heart of Delhi on Thursday. 

This is the RSS chief's second meeting with Muslim intellectuals in over a month. Earlier, Mohan Bhagwat had met five Muslim intellectuals for "strengthening communal harmony".

RSS spokesperson Sunil Ambekar said that the meeting was part of the continuous discussion process.

"RSS Sarsanghachalak meets people from all walks of life. It is part of the continuous general Samvad process," the RSS spokesperson said.

The closed-door meeting between Mohan Bhagwat and the Imam at Kasturba Gandhi Marg mosque lasted for more than an hour. Senior Sangh functionaries were also present at the meeting. Bhagwat was accompanied by senior Sangh functionaries Krishna Gopal, Ram Lal, and Indresh Kumar.

Earlier, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat held a closed-door meeting with prominent Muslim intellectuals, former Delhi LG Najeeb Jung, and former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi.

A meeting was sought by these prominent Muslim intellectuals with Mohan Bhagwat after the Nupur Sharma hate speech controversy erupted. Hate speech, the Gyanvapi Masjid issue, and hate crimes resulting from hate speech were discussed, a member who attended the meeting told India Today.

In the meeting, which Quraishi called cordial, the RSS chief had recalled that his statement "Why look for a Shivling in every mosque?" must be taken forward to bridge the divide between Hindus and Muslims today. The RSS chief said that both communities must work together to bridge this divide.

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News Network
September 29,2022

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Lucknow, Sept 29: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav claimed that the Election Commission (EC) deliberately reduced the votes of Yadavs and Muslims by 20,000 in almost every Vidhan Sabha seat based on diktat of the BJP and its aides.

"A probe can be conducted. It will be found that the names of many people were removed," Yadav said.

Yadav said that the BJP government has made ration free as elections are approaching in some states. "They can make ration free but can't provide stretcher or ambulance to poor people in villages while they give huge benefits to big businessmen," he added. 

Akhilesh Yadav was on Thursday unanimously elected president of the Samajwadi Party for the third consecutive time, said the party's secretary general Ram Gopal Yadav.

Declaring the result of the election at the Samajwadi Party national convention at Ramabai Ambedkar stadium here, Ram Gopal Yadav said Akhilesh Yadav was the only candidate for the post.

Taking over from his father Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav became SP president for the first time at an emergency meeting of the party in January 2017 and for the second time at the party's national convention in Agra in October the same year.

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News Network
September 23,2022

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Kannur, Sept 23: A group of Popular Front of India (PFI) activists were beaten up by local people when they allegedly tried to forcefully down the shutters of shops here as part of the hartal called by their outfit in the state on Friday.

Angry local people reacted strongly when the protesters asked them to close the shops, beat them up and handed one of them to the police at the Central Bazar in Payyannur in this politically-volatile northern district. 

In the visuals aired by local television channels, it could be seen that one of the hartal supporters was beaten up by a group of local people, who chased him when he tried to run away and handed him over to the police later.

According to local people, the incident happened when a group of PFI workers rushed to the bazaar area knowing that some of the shops were open. Besides the shoppers and local people, those belonging to other political parties also said to have joined in the bid to check the PFI workers' attempt to close the shops.

At least four people were reportedly under the custody of Payyannur police in connection with the incident. Sporadic incidents of violence were reported in various parts of southern state during the hartal called by the radical Islamic outfit. 

The hartal was called by the PFI to protest against the raids in the offices and residences of its leaders and their subsequent arrests on Thursday by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other agencies for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.

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News Network
September 27,2022

New Delhi, Sept 27: In its second major crackdown against the Popular Front of India (PFI), police and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested many leaders/ members after conducting raids in eight states on Tuesday. Many from the party or those working for party members were also detained.

Raids were conducted in Aurangabad, Jalana, Parbhani districts of Maharashtra; Simoga, Bidar, Ballari, Hubli, Kalburgi districts of Karnataka; Nagarbera of Assam; Bulandshahr's Kasba Syana, Sarurpur and Lisari Gate area of Meerut in Western Uttar Pradesh; and at several places in Delhi.

Earlier, in a nationwide crackdown against the PFI on September 22, around 106 senior office-bearers of the organisation were arrested.

Among Tuesday's arrests, as many as 27 PFI members were held in Maharashtra during the NIA raids. Those who were arrested include district presidents, secretaries, treasures among several other members.

In Karnataka, over eighty persons have been detained in the raids conducted by the Karnataka state police in several districts across the state at the residences of office-bearers and members of PFI and its offices under the provision of 'Preventive Action' under the CrPc.

The raids were conducted under the supervision of Alok Kumar, additional director general of police (AdGP, Law and order). Kumar said, "We have detained around 80 persons so far and they will be sent for detention."

In Delhi, more than 30 PFI members were detained during multiple raids by central agencies. As per latest reports, the raids are still underway at several places in the city.

Twenty-five PFI activists were arrested from different districts of Assam in a fresh crackdown against the outfit. The highest number of 10 PFI activists were held in Goalpara, five in Kamrup (Rural) and three in Dhubri, followed by arrests in Barpeta, Baksa, Darrang, Udalguri and Karimganj.

At least 10 people have been detained in Gujarat for questioning over alleged links with PFI in raids conducted by a joint team of the state ATS and NIA.

Meanwhile the Madhya Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) detained 21 members from eight districts of the state over links with Popular Front of India (PFI). In Bhopal, the ATS conducted raids at SDPI's (Social Democratic Party of India) office located at Shahjahanabad area late on Monday and detained one suspect for interrogation.

Persons associated with SDPI are suspected to have been funding PFI, and the ATS claimed to have recovered some documents related with the same. 

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