Ravidas temple row: Muslim board extends support to Bhim Army

Agencies
August 23, 2019

New Delhi, Aug 23: All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has extended its support to the Bhim Army after the latter's chief Chandrashekhar Azad was on Thursday sent to 14 days judicial custody following his arrest on the charge of rioting in the wake of the demolition of Guru Ravidas temple in the national capital.

A Delhi court on Thursday sent 96 people, including Azad, to 14 days judicial custody.

AIMPLB member Mufti Ejaz Arshad Qasmi told ANI that wherever people are suppressed, Muslim body will support them.

Anjuman-e-Haideri has also extended support to the Bhim Army chief. Its secretary Bahadur Abbas said that they "fully support" Azad.

On Wednesday evening, Azad and his supporters had taken to the streets to protest against the razing of the temple and clashed with the police. They demanded the restoration of the shrine at the same site.

An FIR was registered against them under several sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including rioting, forming unlawful assembly and assault.

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had on August 10 demolished the temple in Tughlaqabad village, complying with an order of the Supreme Court.

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News Network
September 14,2021

Mangaluru, Sept 14: Customs officers have seized 219 grams of gold from a passenger who arrived at Mangalore International Airport from Dubai in the wee hours of Tuesday.

According to the officials, the value of the seized gold is Rs 10,55,580.

The passenger hailing from Kasargod had concealed the gold in the packing boxes of toy kitchen sets. Further investigation is in progress. 

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News Network
September 17,2021

Bengaluru, Sept 17: The Karnataka assembly on Friday passed the 'Identification of Prisoners (Karnataka Amendment) Bill,' which seeks to include collection of blood, DNA, voice and iris scan samples as "measurements" of offenders for effective surveillance and prevention of breach of peace and crime.

The bill, which amends the Central act of Identification of Prisoners with respect to its application to Karnataka, also empowers Superintendent of Police or Deputy Commissioners of Police, in addition to the judicial magistrate first class, to order for collection of measurement to avoid delay and workload.

Piloting the bill for the consideration of the House, Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said "till now foo-print impressions were collected. Now we have added blood, DNA, voice, and iris scan samples to it. Earlier the measurements were collected for those with rigorous imprisonment for a term of one year, now it has been changed to a term of one month."

He said the bill empowers SPs and DCPs to order destruction of measurement after a period of 10 years, unless otherwise directed by the court or any other competent authority.

Participating during the discussion on the Bill, Congress MLA Tanveer Sait sought to know whether collecting measurement was necessary when such details are available in an individual's Aadhar data. Another Congress MLA Priyank Kharge said the government intends to create a database of biometrics and forensic tools needed for investigation and also sought to know whether the necessary infrastructure was in place.

"Also, has the government thought about the right to privacy?"

Responding to the queries, the Minister said, measurements were collected for those with Rigorous Imprisonment for a term of one month and above and it will be stored in the criminal tracking system in Bengaluru, so there will be concerns of any breach.

He said it would also be helpful in identifying habitual offenders.

Also passed was a bill providing for the constitution of the Karnataka Prison Development Board for strengthening prisons and initiating correctional administrative measures. Titled 'Karnataka Prison Development Board Bill', it also provides for initiating measures for skill improvement, welfare of prisoners and prisons' staff and expanding prison industries.

The bill, in its statement of objects and reasons, said "it is considered necessary to provide for the constitution of the prison development board for development of modern prison industries and formulate a plan for job oriented technical programmes in different areas, to earn incentives."

The board can suggest ways and means for improving coordination between different stakeholders, examine the present setup of prison industries and formulate a plan for modernisation and to start job oriented programmes including technical oriented ones, keeping in view the needs of prisoners after release, it said.

Participating during the discussion on the bill, several legislators, including Congress' U T Khader said reforms are needed, but prisons should also be a place of deterrent for prisoners, while highlighting several illegal activities taking place in them.

Pointing out that the Minister for Prisons and other members of the board were all officials, some MLAs wanted non-official members like representatives of social organisations or journalists to be made members to have effective reforms, while others questioned powers of acquisition, maintenance and disposal of land and building given to the board.

The Minister, in his reply said the board has been constituted for all-round reforms of prisons and representatives from various departments will be its members and added that experts can be invited for its meetings to take inputs.

"States like Haryana are generating revenue of about Rs 600 crore from Prisons. Manpower at prisons should not go to waste," he said.

He also made it clear that there should be no doubts about disposing of immovable properties, as it cannot be done without clearance from the government, and there is a clause for it.

"The committee will rather look into effective utilisation of prison lands that have been lying unused."

Another bill passed today is 'The Code of Criminal Procedure (Karnataka Amendment) Bill' that provides for recording of the evidence of the witness by audio-video-electronic means in the presence of the advocate of the person accused of the offence.

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News Network
September 23,2021

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Bengaluru, Sep 23: A delegation of Catholic bishops of Karnataka, led by Archbishop of Bangalore Reverend Peter Machado, met Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to voice their opinion over a proposed law to ban religious conversions in the state.

They also spoke about a host of other topics, including inclusion of representatives of Christian managements in committees formed to implement the new National Education Policy (NEP).

In a statement issued here on Thursday said Machado said they had expressed displeasure over recent allegations against the community, terming it “malicious” and “untrue”. The Archbishop of Bangalore Archdiocese highlighted that hundreds of schools, colleges, and hospitals were operated under the aegis of each bishop. “There are about a lakh students but none have been advised to get converted to Christianity. Some minor events might have taken place which have been blown out of proportion now,” he added.

While speaking about the need for an anti-conversion Bill in the Assembly, Hosadurga BJP MLA Goolihatti Shekhar had recently claimed that religious conversions were “rampant” across the state. The MLA had also said 15,000 to 20,000 people, including his own mother, were converted to Christianity in his constituency.

Responding to this, Home Minister Araga Jnanendra had said the state government was considering bringing in a law to regulate religious conversion. “The issue (of religious conversions) has come to the government’s notice. Converting people from one religion to another by inducing them is a punishable offence. We will keep a strict vigil on such activities. There is a wide network working on religious conversions across the country,” Jnanendra had said in his reply in the Assembly.

When asked about the same, Machado said, “Someone is trying to malign us. While the issue is being debated in the Assembly, we have reminded people not to do such things. It is not right if someone approaches people, hands over the book and a cross, and converts them. We, too, have a conscience and moral responsibility. We are not forcing anyone.”

In a memorandum submitted to the CM on Wednesday said the bishops noted that such a law would lead to “unnecessary communal issues and unrest” with many more controversial statements and reactions made following the same.

The memorandum also noted the need to include representation from Christian managements in the NEP implementation committees. “Even though thousands of educational institutions are being managed by members from the community, we would like to bring to your notice that there is no Christian representation in various committees formed to implement NEP,” the letter read.

The bishops also urged Bommai to establish a Christian Development Board under the government to ensure their welfare and address demands made by the community on various fronts.

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