Saffron activists allegedly attack interfaith couple after waylaying bus in Dakshina Kannada

News Network
August 13, 2022

Manglauru, Aug 13: In a fresh case of “immoral policing”, miscreants belonging to hardline Hindutva outfits targeted an interfaith couple travelling in a bus at Kapinabagilu in Kokkada of Belthangady taluk, on Friday.

It is learnt that the interfaith couple – a girl belonging to Hindu community and boy belonging to Muslim community –  from Gadag had arrived at Dharmasthala. 

They had enquired about a room in a lodge. As they were denied room, they travelled to Subrahmanya from Dharmasthala in a bus.

On getting information on the same, the members of saffron outfits allegedly waylaid the bus at Kapinabagilu and forced the couple to alight from the bus. The boy was allegedly attacked and the girl was threatened. 

The police at Nelyadi outpost have sent the couple back to their home after an enquiry.

Reacting to the incident, Dakshina Kannada SP Rishikesh Sonawane said “none have filed any complaint on the incident. The youth and young woman have been sent back home.”

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News Network
September 28,2022

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Ahmedabad, Sept 28: Bajrang Dal workers late Tuesday night thrashed several youths from a particular religion reportedly for trying to enter a 'garba' venue in Ahmedabad. Videos being circulated on social media show some youths being questioned about their religious identities and beaten up by the saffron brigade. 

One of the videos shows a person being stripped, punched, and kicked by half-a-dozen men in saffron scarves amidst the busy traffic. The person identifies himself as Salman Shaikh, and while pleading that he be allowed to go, says that he won't come back. The police said that they were verifying the authenticity of videos.

"We are aware of the videos and in the process of verifying those. As of now, there is no case filed since no one has come forward to lodge a complaint," B U Jadeja, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone 7, Ahmedabad said. 

According to Bajrang Dal, the incident happened at R K Party Plot at Sindhu Bhavan Road in Ahmedabad on Tuesday night while they were "checking" identities of revellers in order to keep non-Hindus away from 'garba' venues. The nine-day Navratri festival began on Monday and like for the past several years, Bajrang Dal activists have been warning non-Hindus to stay away from 'garba' venues. 

Confirming the incident, president of north Gujarat, Bajrang Dal, said, "Our workers spotted these people from R K Party Plot on Sindhu Bhavan Road. While applying 'tilak' to everyone entering the 'garba' venue, we spotted four Muslims. I heard that there were some fights."

The saffron brigade claims that non-Hindus going to 'garba' is nothing but part of "love jihad". The organisation has submitted memorandums to district authorities in various parts of Gujarat for not allowing non-Hindus into 'garba' venues.

R K Party Plot owner Nirav Patel said that he was not aware of the incident as he had only rented his plot to an event management firm -- Sky Events. When contacted, Vedik Shah, who runs Sky Events, said that he did come to know about some fights last night but "it didn't occur at his event".

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News Network
September 22,2022

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New Delhi, Sept 22: After a marathon hearing over a period of 10 days, the Supreme Court today reserved its judgment on a batch of petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court's judgment which upheld the ban on wearing hijab by Muslim students in educational institutions.

A bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia heard Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Karnataka Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi and Addl Solicitor General KM Nataraj for the State. Senior Advocates R Venkataramani, Dama Seshadri Naidu and V Mohana appeared for college teachers. The Petitioners' side had concluded its arguments on Tuesday.

Making rejoinder submissions in the matter today, Senior Advocates Dushyant Dave and Huzefa Ahmadi today submitted that the arguments of Solicitor General regarding involvement of Popular Front of India are wholly irrelevant and are made to cause prejudice. They argued that no material has been shown on record regarding this.

The Petitioners argued that unlike triple talaq and cow sacrifice, Hijab is mentioned in Quran and it is the farz of Muslim women to retain the same. Further, it was contended that in absence of State showing that hijab affects the fundamental rights of others, any restriction on wearing the same affects the freedom of conscience and "behavioural privacy" of Muslim women. It also hampers their education prospects, it was argued.

Allegations about PFI conspiracy false: Dave

The Solicitor General had alleged that till the year 2021, no girl student was wearing any hijab. However, an agitation was started by the Popular Front of India to create 'social unrest' and that the students were made part of this conspiracy.

Dave said he "regrets" such allegations have been imputed sans any pleadings in that regard.

He took the bench through the impugned circular of the Karnataka government, to point out that there is no mention of any PFI activity and rather, the circular cites observance of religious practices as a "hindrance" to unity and equality.

Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi also submitted that argument of PFI was not raised before High Court. "They can't rely on documents not on record. It is an argument introduced to create a prejudice." 

Senior Advocate Devadatt Kamat said that though State made a "grandiose statement" that till 2021 nobody wore hijab, there is no pleading to that context.

Justice Gupta agreed that in one of the writ petitions, there is a mention that the Petitioner was wearing hijab. "And there is no counter-affidavit controverting this fact," Kamat added.

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News Network
September 29,2022

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Pressure mounted on the rape accused, jailed Karnataka Lingayat seer Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, to step down as the head of Chitradurga Murugha Mutt, amid the demand that new religious pontiff should be anointed in place of accused seer.

The followers and prominent leaders of the Lingayat community held an important meeting in Chitradurga to discuss the future of the historical, cash rich mutt on Thursday.

Making things more complicated, Karnataka High Court has denied permission temporarily to the accused Lingayat seer to put his signatures to cheques. Sources state that as accused seer is not allowed to sign the 200 plus cheques, the activities of the mutt are severely affected and employees are not able to get salaries.

The High Court which took a sympathetic view on employees earlier and it was expected that it would give consent. The mutt has 3,000 branches all over the country and runs more than 150 premier education and other institutes.

In spite of the pressure and demand to step down, the accused seer has categorically refused to quit, according to sources. The meeting was held in the leadership of former minister H Ekantaiah in this regard and discussed future course of action.

The leaders discussed how to retain the legacy, history and heritage of the Chitradurga Mutt as accused seer is refusing to step down. Many leaders had demanded in the meeting to appoint a new swamiji.

In another development, a group of religious seers met the accused Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru at the prison and held important discussion. The details of the meeting have not been made public.

Denying bail to rape accused Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, the powerful Lingayat seer of Chitradurga Murugha Mutt, the Second District Additional Sessions Court on Tuesday extended his judicial custody till October 10.

Judge B.K. Komala also extended the judicial custody of accused number two, hostel warden Rashmi till October 10.

The accused seer, whose judicial custody ended on Tuesday, was presented before the court and later after the order, he was taken to the Central Jail of Chitradurga district.

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