Drop false case against farmers; over 700 farmers already murdered: BJP MP Varun Gandhi taunts PM Modi in open letter

News Network
November 20, 2021

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New Delhi, Nov 20: BJP MP Varun Gandhi, who has been increasingly offering views divergent from his party, on Saturday posted online a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, listing four big demands following the centre's surprise cancellation of the controversial farm laws.

Reminding the Prime Minister that over 700 farmers would have still been alive had he taken the decision earlier, the MP demanded ₹ 1 crore compensation for those who died in the course of the year-long protest.

He also demanded that all "all politically motivated false" police cases filed against farmers must be dropped and their calls for widening the programme of guaranteed prices for farm produce known as Minimum Support Price or MSP be accepted, saying their movement wouldn''t end without it.

Mr Gandhi also raised the deaths of protesters in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri last month where a BJP minister's son and aides have been accused of running over a group of farmers, triggering violence and leaving eight people dead.

"I thank you for your large-heartedness in announcing that these three laws will be repealed. More than 700 of our farmer brothers and sisters have been martyred in this movement, as they peacefully protested in extremely difficult and hostile conditions. I believe that if this decision had been taken earlier, all these innocent lives would not have been lost," he wrote.

"All politically motivated false FIRs that have been registered as weapons of harassment against our farmers during this movement must immediately be quashed," Mr Gandhi said.

"This (farmers') movement will not end without the resolution of this demand and there will be widespread anger amongst them, which will continue to emerge in one form or the other. Therefore, it is very important for the farmers to get the statutory guarantee of MSP for their crops. The MSP should also be based on the C2+50% formula of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices," he wrote.

On Lakhimpur Kheri, he wrote, "Many leaders sitting in senior positions have given provocative statements against our agitating farmers. It is the result of such statements and the adversarial atmosphere created around the movement, that on October 3, five of our farmer brothers were crushed to death by vehicles in Lakhimpur Kheri. This heartbreaking incident is a blemish on our democracy. It is my request to you that appropriately strict action is taken against the Union Minister who has been connected to this incident, so that there is a fair enquiry."

The sharp critique for the BJP is the latest from Varun Gandhi who was dumped from his party's National Executive after calling for justice for the families of farmers killed in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri and speaking out in support of other farmers protesting the centre's new laws.

A member of the Nehru-Gandhi family that controls the opposition Congress, Varun Gandhi and his mother joined the BJP in 2004 just months before the party went out of power but are believed to have fallen out of favour with the leadership in recent years.

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News Network
January 5,2022

Mumbai cyber police have arrested one more student from Uttarakhand in connection with the 'Bulli Bai' app case, an official said on Wednesday.

The student, identified as Mayank Rawal (21), was nabbed from the northern state in the early hours of Wednesday, the official said.

The cyber cell of Mumbai police had earlier arrested Shweta Singh (19), alleged to be the main culprit, from Uttarakhand, and engineering student Vishal Kumar Jha (21) from Bengaluru in connection with the case.

The Mumbai police had registered a First Information Report (FIR) against unidentified persons following complaints that doctored photographs of hundreds of Muslim women were uploaded for ‘auction' on the app called `Bulli Bai', hosted on the open-source software platform GitHub.

While there was no actual `auction' or `sale', the purpose of the app seemed to be to humiliate and intimidate the targeted women, many of whom are active social media users.

The Mumbai cyber police station has also registered a case against the app's unidentified developers and Twitter handles which promoted it.

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News Network
January 9,2022

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Google is celebrating the 191st birth anniversary of Indian educator and feminist icon Fatima Sheikh, who is widely considered to be India’s first Muslim woman teacher, by featuring a doodle for her. Alongside fellow pioneers and social reformers Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule, Sheikh co-founded the Indigenous Library in 1848, one of India’s first schools for girls.

Fatima was born on this day in 1831 in Pune. She lived with her brother Usman, and the siblings opened their home to the Phules after the couple was evicted for attempting to educate people in lower castes. The Indigenous Library opened under the Sheikhs’ roof.

Here, Savitribai Phule and Fatima Sheikh taught communities of marginalized Dalit and Muslim women and children who were denied education based on class, religion, or gender.

The Phules’ efforts to provide educational opportunities to those born into lower castes became known as the Satyashodhak Samaj (Truthseekers’ Society) movement. As a lifelong champion of this movement for equality, Sheikh went door-to-door to invite the downtrodden in her community to learn at the Indigenous Library and escape the rigidity of the caste system.

She met great resistance from the dominant classes who attempted to humiliate those involved in the Satyashodhak movement, but Sheikh and her allies persisted.

Although Sheikh’s story has been historically overlooked, the Indian government shone new light on her achievements in 2014 by featuring her profile in Urdu textbooks alongside other trailblazing Indian educators.

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News Network
January 9,2022

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Delhi Police today arrested a Madhya Pradesh man who is the alleged creator of the application 'Sulli Deals'. This is the first arrest made in the "Sulli Deals" app case.

The app, which was launched last year, had listed Muslim women for 'auction' with photographs sourced without permission and doctored.

'Sulli Deals' and the recently created 'Bulli Bai' applications allegedly uploaded photos of Muslim women without their consent and inappropriate remarks were passed against them. Both the apps used the hosting platform 'GitHub' to auction the stolen photos.

The accused, Aumkareshwar Thakur, was apprehended by the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) of Delhi Police in Madhya Pradesh's Indore.

"Om Thakur has been arrested from Indore. He is the main mastermind behind the Sulli deal app case," said KPS Malhotra, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations Unit, Delhi Police Special Cell.

Thakur, 26, did his BCA from IPS Academy in Indore and is a resident of Newyork City Township, they said.

Police said that Thakur developed the code for the 'Sulli Deals' on GitHub and shared the app on Twitter.

In January 2020, Thakur had joined a group called 'Trade Mahasabha' using the Twitter handle 'gangescion'. The group members would often discuss how to troll Muslim women, police said.

After the application 'Sulli Deals' was created, the members from this Twitter group allegedly uploaded photos of several Muslim women, including prominent personalities. 

Thakur had deleted all his social media accounts after the app hit the headlines recently. Police are questioning him and scanning through the gadgets they found on him.

Police identified and arrested Thakur on the basis of the inputs they received during the questioning of 'Bulli Bai' app creator Niraj Bishnoi. Other than Bishnoi, three other accused have also been arrested in the Bulli Bai app case.

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