At memorial, mosque attack survivor says he forgives terrorist

Agencies
March 29,2019

Christchurch, Mar 29: A man who survived New Zealand's mosque attacks told a crowd of about 20,000 people on Friday that he forgives the terrorist who killed his wife and 49 others.

Farid Ahmed was speaking at a national remembrance service held in Christchurch to commemorate those who died in the attacks two weeks ago.

"I don't want to have a heart that is boiling like a volcano," Ahmed said. "A volcano has anger, fury, rage. It doesn't have peace. It has hatred. It burns itself within, and also it burns the surroundings. I don't want to have a heart like this."

Ahmed said that while he didn't agree with the gunman's actions, his faith taught him that even the terrorist was his brother.

The name of Ahmed's wife, Husna Ahmed, was among the 50 read out by members of the Muslim community during a solemn part of the service.

It was the third major memorial held in Christchurch since the March 15 slaughter of worshippers who were inside the two mosques for Friday prayers. Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, has been charged with murder in the attacks.

The latest memorial service was a more formal occasion, with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other foreign dignitaries attending.

Morrison later told reporters the service "was a thing of absolute beauty."

New Zealand's police force put on a show of force, closing down nearby streets and patrolling the park with semi-automatic weapons. But the atmosphere was relaxed during the 90-minute commemoration held on a sunny morning in Hagley Park.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who wore an indigenous Maori cloak, said the world had been stuck in a vicious cycle of extremism which must end. She said her country had learned the stories of those impacted by the attacks.

"They were stories of bravery. They were stories of those who were born here, grew up here, or who had made New Zealand their home. Who had sought refuge, or sought a better life for themselves or their families," she said. "These stories, they now form part of our collective memories. They will remain with us forever. They are us."

The featured musical guest was British singer Yusuf Islam, also known as Cat Stevens, who converted to Islam in 1977.

"We learn about things through their opposites," the singer said. "And it's through opposites like this, the evilness of that act and what drove it, we find its opposite, which is the love and kindness and unity that has sprung up right here in New Zealand."

A particularly poignant moment came when a girl named Salma, the daughter of slain worshipper Ashraf El-Moursy Ragheb, briefly got up on stage to remember her dad.

"He was a really nice man," she said.

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Bengaluru: 3 killed in police firing after Cong MLA’s house attacked over FB post; 110 arrested

coastaldigest.com news network
August 12,2020

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Bengaluru, Aug 12: Three people lost their lives and a few others sustained injuries after police opened fire at a mob in KG Halli in East Bengaluru in the violence that erupted over an offensive post on a social media platform. Several policemen were also injured as mobsters pelted stones at them.

Curfew has been imposed in Banaswadi Police Sub-Division. The police opened fire after an irate mob on Tuesday night attacked the house of Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivasamurthy after one of his relatives posted a defamatory posted defamatory message on Facebook targeting a particular religion.

The mob comprising over 100 people also torched about 15 vehicles, besides pelting stones at the MLA's house and other adjoining houses in Kaval Byrasandra.

Armed with sticks, iron rods, sharp metal objects and other weapons, the protestors barged into the house of the MLA and indulged in vandalism. The mob even attacked those who were capturing the violent incident on their phone cameras. The cameras and mobiles were snatched and were damaged completely according to eyewitnesses.

The protesters even attacked the vehicle of North-East Division Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Bheemashankar Guled. Trying to take control of the situation, the DCP visited the spot and he was stopped by the protesters in front of the police station gate and began pelting stones. Even as the police personnel were escorting the DCP to a safe location, the mob attacked the car and damaged it. They also assaulted the driver of the vehicle.

The mob took control of the area and sealed five to six crosses barring access to police personnel and fire and emergency service personnel.

Following the incident, over 600 people stormed the KG Halli police station venting their anger and demanding justice. The incident which occurred at around 9:00 pm went out of control in less than an hour after the mob began to torch the vehicles and vandalise the houses nearby. Gripped by panic, the residents staying in surrounding areas were seen leaving houses along with kids and women to other areas.

Trying to control the situation and disperse the crowd, the police fired in the air in front of the KG Halli police station. While two people died on the spot, another person succumbed to his injuries later. Many other injured are undergoing treatment at hospitals.

According to sources, the mob was reportedly angered over a derogatory Facebook post on religion, alleged to have been posted by MLA's brother-in-law. A few others also revealed that the post was put up by the MLA's personal assistant.

Meanwhile, the police have arrested one Naveen in connection with the post. The police also have arrested around 110 people in connection with the violence.

Appeal for peace

In the meantime, MLA Akhanda Srinivasamurthy released a video where he said, "I appeal to all my Muslim brethren to maintain peace and not to get carried away by the rumours and miscreants' words. Be it a Hindu or Muslim, we all are equal. Whoever it may be trying to disrupt the harmony, they will be dealt with seriously and will be punished by the police as per the law. But let us not resort to this violence and I request all of you to keep calm."

Following the violent protests, Chamarajpet MLA BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan also rushed to the spot and visited KG Halli police station. According to sources, Police Commissioner Kamal Pant also rushed to the spot.

"The government will take action against those who are responsible behind the attack. Resorting to violence, torching of vehicles is against the law and not a solution to any problem. Any issue can be legally pursued and taken to a logical end. I have already directed the police commissioner to visit the spot and take control of the situation," said Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

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Muslim group protects temple by forming human chain amid violence in Bengaluru

coastaldigest.com news network
August 12,2020

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Bengaluru, Aug 12: In a show of solidarity when the parts of Bengaluru were up in flames of hatred, a group of Muslim youth on Tuesday night assembled and formed a human chain around a temple in DJ Halli police station limits to protect it from arsonists.

The Hanuman temple is located near Shampura main road and the youths had gathered on the streets following violence.

A video of human china which was shot outside a temple which falls under the DJ Halli police station limits in Bengaluru is now going viral on social media.

"Few youths on a motorbike came near the temple. From their behaviour we suspected that they were about to pelt stones. Realising that the act will further increase the violence, we stopped them. Few senior citizens from our area expressed fear saying attackers will return and target the temple. We decided to protect the temple and formed human chain. We were there between 11.30pm and 1am," Mohammed Khaleed, a private company employee and resident of Shampura main road said.

Violence was witnessed in some areas of Bengaluru last night due to a controversial Facebook post on bengaluru violence. A huge crowd attacked the residence of Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy, and also DJ Halli and KG Halli police stations.

At least three people lost their lives after the Bengaluru Police opened fire to control the crowd. More than 50 policemen were injured in the violence. The violence that began last evening continued till the wee hours of Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Section 144 has been imposed in Bengaluru and a curfew was clamped in the DJ Halli and KG Halli police station limits.

Earlier this morning, Bengaluru Commissioner of Police Kamal Pant said that 110 people have been taken into custody in connection with the violence. He also tweeted that Naveen, the nephew of Murthy, has also been arrested.

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Karnataka Minister terms violence in Bengaluru as 'planned riot', alleges SDPI's role

News Network
August 12,2020

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Bengaluru, Aug 12: Karnataka Minister CT Ravi on Wednesday termed the violence in Bengaluru as a "planned riot" and alleged that the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) is behind the incident that claimed 3 lives.

"I think it was a planned riot. Within an hour of a post on social media thousands of people gathered and damaged 200-300 vehicles and the MLA's residence. We will take serious action," Ravi told news agency.

"Congress party is indulging in appeasing these people as they are its vote bank. This is not the first incident. During CAA protests, a riot was carried out in Mangaluru. It was an organised incident, not an isolated incident. SDPI is behind it. They provoked people. SDPI is famous for rioting," he said.

Three people were killed and several others suffered injuries after violence erupted in the eastern part of the city on Tuesday night over a Facebook message posted allegedly by Congress MLA Srinivas Murthy's nephew Naveen.

110 persons accused of arson, stone-pelting and assault on the police have been arrested in connection with the violence. Accused Naveen has also been arrested now.

Kamal Pant, Bengaluru City Police Commissioner said that the situation is completely under control and police officials are doing patrolling in the affected area.

"Right now, the situation is completely under control. Curfew has been imposed in two police station limits- DJ Halli and KG Halli. In the city, Section 144 has been imposed. The situation is peaceful and police officials are doing patrolling. We are getting 4 companies of CRPF, RAF, and CISF from outside the state. We have arrested 110 people. People got provoked due to a social media post," Pant said.

"Later many people gathered there. Police tried to pacify the crowd. But people started pelting stones. Police vehicles were damaged and set on fire. A group entered a basement area where 200-250 vehicles were set on fire. The investigation is on," he said.

Meanwhile, Mujahid Pasha, SDPI convenor informed that Muzamil Pasha, an SDPI leader has been arrested by police in connection with DJ Halli police station limits violence in Bengaluru.

GN Shivamurthy, Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru Urban visited DJ Halli Police Station which was vandalised last night in the incident.

"The incident that took place last night is very unfortunate. A lot of damage has been caused to public property. I appeal to all the people of the city not to be provoked or disturbed by this incident," Shivamurthy said.

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