Murder of Muslim youth: Fact-finding report accuses cops of trying to shield saffron outfit

News Network
October 28, 2021

Belagavi, Oct 28: A fact-finding report on the coldblooded murder of Arbaz Aftab Mulla in Belagavi has accused the Superintendent of Police (SP) Laxman Nimbargi of trying to shift the blame from the accused Sri Ram Sene (Hindustan) to make the murder look like a contract killing.

Mulla, aged 25, was murdered on September 28 allegedly over his relationship with a Hindu girl. A seven-member team comprising persons from the All India Lawyers' Association for Justice, All India People's Forum and other associations as well as an independent researcher visited Belagavi last month.

It said the targeted violence is the result of years of "deliberate and neatly orchestrated" communal politics dividing the society. Despite the arrest of 10 people on October 8, ten days after the murder, justice remains a long shot.

"Our findings suggest that while the girl's parents might have had a role to play in the murder, the SP's allegation that the girl's parents had hired contract killers could also be a ploy to shift the bulk of the blame from the SRS(H) to the family, thereby making the murder appear to be a contract/supari killing and not a communal honour killing," the report said.

Mulla's mother Najeema Shaikh, a teacher at a local Urdu medium school, told the team that the Hindu girl's mother had threatened that "she was ready to kill or even die" in order to prevent the girl's marriage with mulla.

"While parental objections to a romantic relationship is not unusual, what struck us was the language in which it was articulated," the team said. Expressing concerns over the 'complete invisibilisation' of the voice of the woman with whom Mulla was in a relationship, it said her individual identity has been nullified.

It warned that the 'saffron sphere of influence' in north Karnataka was a grave threat to minorities all over the state and appealed to all citizens to come together to ensure justice for Mulla. It said a broad-based campaign was required to ensure justice to all minority communities and work towards rebuilding social harmony.

"Those we spoke to in Belagavi, unanimously pointed out the systemic impunity of members of organisations like SRS (H) from facing the consequences of crimes committed by them," it said citing allegations that the members of the pro-Hindutva group were given VIP treatment inside the prison.

The report further said thwarted aspirations of integration with Maharashtra have contributed to Hindu nationalism's hold over the region. "This morphing of linguistic politics into religious politics in the region holds important lessons for secular, democratic forces. It shows how the weakness of alternative political frameworks and lack of citizen alertness against Hindu nationalist groups can decisively alter the social and cultural fabric of a nation," it said.

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News Network
November 18,2021

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Even though the ‘Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Act, 2020’, claims to protect cattle and increase the breed of cattle, in reality the Act has a detrimental impact on the cattle rearing and market ecosystem, according to a scientific study. 

The study was led by public health specialist Sylvia Karpagam and independent researcher Siddharth Joshi. The study was an initiative by a group of researchers part of Ahaara Namma Hakku collective. 

The study report “Criminalising Livelihoods, Legalising Vigilantism” analyses the impact of the legislation on various communities including farmers, cattle transporters, slaughterhouses, skin and hide curing units, butchers, eateries and consumers.
It states that the justification provided by the government to implement the Act “betrays a complete lack of understanding of how the cattle production cycle works, and the utter disregard for the destructive impact it is going to have on the lives, incomes and livelihoods of the those who are part of the long chain of economic activities sustained by slaughter of cattle...”

While farmers usually sell unproductive cattle to traders who transport them to slaughterhouses, the new legislation which prohibits the slaughter of bulls, bullocks and buffaloes (below the age of 13 years), criminalizes traders who buy cattle for slaughter. Without an option to sell unproductive animals, farmers have to continue taking care of the animal making it economically unviable, it says. The report also highlights farmers lamenting how the legislation portrays them like criminals, leaving them vulnerable to vigilantes.

Further, the measures proposed by the government for mitigation of these adverse impacts are also impractical, it points out. For instance, while the government has proposed to take care of stray cattle in gaushalas, it doesn’t solve the economic loss to the farmers from being unable to sell the unproductive cattle. The report also quotes stakeholders who point out that cattle aren’t fed properly in gaushalas and they are sold on the sly. 

Considering that Karnataka is grappling with malnutrition, the researchers emphasize the importance of beef as a nutrition source.

Karpagam demanded that the government revoke the Act. “Else, it should at least allow slaughter of all other animals such as ox and bull. Now the exemption is allowed only for buffalo, which people in Karnataka do not consume,” she said.

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News Network
November 29,2021

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Mangaluru, Nov 29: With the South African variant of coronavirus posing fresh threats, the administrations of the districts bordering Maharashtra have upped the vigil at the checkposts. 

The border districts of Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu and Mysuru that share a border with Kerala, are also on high alert, though no case of the Omicron virus has been reported in the neighbouring state.

Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Dr Rajendra K V said that the health department would launch a drive for mass screening of students from Kerala who studying in colleges in the district for Covid-19.

Additional technical staff will be deployed to collect swabs and conduct RT-PCR tests on students from Kerala, said the DC. The DC said the test positivity rate in Kerala is still around 8 per cent and the CM has directed to strengthen the surveillance at the border.

Meanwhile, all interstate commuters are being screened for the virus at borders. The district has already deployed police at interstate borders and are allowing commuters who have RT-PCR negative reports. The daily commuters should possess RT-PCR negative reports mandatorily. The officials will conduct random check on the interstate buses travelling to Mangaluru. 

Though RT-PCR tests are conducted in Kasargod, the CM has directed to conduct tests at the border as well, said the DC.

In view of the new Covid variant scare, the state government on Saturday made it mandatory for travellers from Maharashtra and Kerala to carry Covid vaccination certificate and a negative report of RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel/arrival.

Mysuru district health officer K H Prasad inspected the Bavali checkpost on the inter-state border with Kerala on Sunday.

Speaking to reporters, he said officials are already on high alert as Norovirus cases have been detected in Kerala.

Only those with negative RTPCR test report for Covid, taken 72 hours before the journey, are allowed to enter the state, the officer said.

“Health department personnel are conducting door-to-door survey to identify Norovirus or Covid cases in villages bordering Kerala. But no cases have been detected so far. Hence, there is no need for panic,” Prasad said.

The Chamarajanagar district administration too has made negative RT-PCR report and certificates for having taken two doses of Covid vaccine mandatory for passengers from Kerala.

The personnel have been directed to collect details of the passengers and monitor their health condition.

Deputy commissioner Charulatha Somal and additional DC S Kathyayini inspected the Moolehole checkpost in Gundlupet taluk on Saturday night. 

District health and family welfare officer Dr K M Vishweshwaraiah said, “Screening has been intensified at Moolehole and Kekkanahalla checkposts. Omicron virus has not been reported in Kerala. However, precautionary measures have been taken. The passengers should furnish the vaccination and negative RTPCR reports,” he said.

Five beds have been reserved at the Gundlupet government hospital for treatment, if any cases are identified at the checkposts. Besides, steps have been taken to create awareness about precautionary measures among the residents of 170 border villages in the district, he said 

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News Network
November 18,2021

Bengaluru, Nov 18: Former Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar exuded confidence that BJP would win more than 15 seats out of 25 in polls for Karnataka Legislative Council, slated to be held on December 10.

Speaking to media persons on Thursday, before the inaugural ceremony of Janaswaraj Yatra, he said, there are minimum four to five aspirants for the party's ticket. The core committee submitted the list of aspirants to the Centre. The candidates would be announced soon and he also made it clear that there is no dearth of candidates.

He said the yatra is being held with four teams across the state - one team headed by Shettar will organise conventions in Davangere, Chitradurga, Tumakuru, Ramnagar, Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Bengaluru Rural and Bengaluru Urban. Higher Education Minister C N Ashwath Naryan, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment A  Narayanswamy, Health Education Minister K Sudhakar are part of his team.

Similarly, the other team led by State BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel started the tour in Koppal and the team would cover eight districts in north Karnataka region. The teams led by former chief minister B S Yediyurappa and Rural Development & Panchayat Raj Minister K S Eshwarappa inaugurated the convention in Karwar and Shivamogga respectively on November 18. So, these four teams will cover 31 districts in Karnataka, he explained.

When questioned on why voters should support BJP in legislative council polls, he said the party gave importance to decentralisation of power. Besides, the Modi-led government is implementing the Jala Siri scheme to ensure that each rural family will get potable water in their household. The Centre and the state government released grants to provide basic facilities in rural areas, he said.

He also made it clear that the results of legislative council polls will not become a referendum on the Bommai-led government and such things can only be gauged from the results of general elections.

On the bitcoin scam, he said it came to light in 2016 when the Congress-led government was in power in Karnataka. "If Congress leaders had evidence with regard to involvement of BJP leaders and their sons in the scam, Siddaramaiah could have taken action against them then. But why didn't he do it?" he questioned and said the government is not shielding anyone in the scam. The investigation is in progress.

He also taunted that Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah is targeting his own party leaders with regard to bitcoin scam.

Urban Development Minister B A Basavaraj, MP G M Siddeshwara, State BJP vice-president B Y Vijayendra, MLC K Gopalaiah, State BJP Secretaries K S Naveen, Mahesh Tenginakai, MLAs N Linganna, S V Ramachandrappa and others were present in the press conference.

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