Non-locals given voting rights to make Muslims a minority in Kashmir region
In an attempt to change the demography of the only Muslim-majority region in the country, the Modi government has introduced electoral rights for non-locals, who are mostly non-Muslims, in Jammu and Kashmir.
The move is expected to add about 2.5 million more voters on top of the 7.6 million existing voters – a whopping 30 percent increase.
Amid the furore over the inclusion of non-locals in electoral rolls in Jammu and Kashmir, which was downgraded from being a state to federally-administered territories in 2019, the local administration has now said that people residing in Jammu for a year or more can register as voters. Eligible residents have been asked to produce government documents as proof. Those with no proof of residence will be verified at their homes.
Kashmiris say the scrapping of the region’s semi-autonomous status and subsequent legal moves are aimed at changing the region’s demography. In recent years, the government has introduced a controversial domicile law that grants citizenship rights to every Indian living in the region for more than 15 years. New laws making every Indian citizen eligible to buy land in the region were also passed.
Experts say the move was skewed in favour of the Hindu-majority Jammu and accuse the government of violating the universal criteria of considering the population of the area in drawing electoral seats.
Uttar Pradesh policeman publicly threatens to kill Muslims, caught on video
In a viral video, a policeman in the Uttar Pradesh state was caught swearing to a group of Hindu men that he will send people to graves and bulldoze their houses if he finds them disrupting Hindu religious processions.
Uttar Pradesh is ruled by Modi’s Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has been persecuting Muslims for over five years.
The policeman’s comments followed a sectarian clash in which six people, including a policeman, were injured in the state’s Sultanpur district.
The clashes broke out when Muslims asked the Hindu rally to lower the procession music during Azan — a call for prayer — from the mosque. A video of the procession shows hundreds of men brandishing swords, wearing saffron caps and dancing to DJ music.
Recently, a video of the police publicly flogging Muslim men in Gujarat, also ruled by the BJP, drew widespread criticism. Police across India have been accused of siding with Hindu groups and unleashing a brutal crackdown on Muslims.
Pregnant woman loses baby after Dalits kept locked up by BJP supporter
A pregnant Dalit woman miscarried after 16 Dalits were assaulted and kept locked up for days by a man who is said to be a BJP supporter.
A case has been registered against the accused Jagadeesha Gowda and his son Tilak under a law that seeks to protect the rights of the scheduled castes, a historically marginalized group.
Both Gowda and Tilak are on the run.
One of the labourers, Arpitha, 20, lost her baby after Gowda assaulted her. “I was kept under house arrest for one day. I was beaten up and verbally abused. He had confiscated my phone,” she said.
Her husband, Vijay, and two other workers also claimed they were assaulted.
A police officer confirmed that he saw at least eight to 10 people locked up in a room when he visited the place after a complaint from some people alleging their relatives were being tortured.
“There are four families – which includes 16 members – and all are from Scheduled Castes. According to the complainant, all 16 were kept under house arrest for 15 days,” the officer said.
BJP legislator is bailed right after conviction for a role in anti-Muslim violence
BJP legislator in Uttar Pradesh, Vikram Saini, was granted bail immediately after being convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment in a 2013 anti-Muslim violence case. 11 others were sentenced with him.
They were convicted of rioting and arson, among other offences. Fifteen other accused were acquitted for lack of evidence.
Communal clashes in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district in 2013 claimed 60 lives and displaced over 40,000 people. In the last nine years, 1,117 people accused in 97 cases related to murder, rape, robbery, and arson have been acquitted.
After the Hindu-supremacist BJP formed the government in UP with the Hindu militant monk Yogi Adityanath as Chief Minister in 2017, a delegation of BJP legislators urged him to withdraw cases against the Hindus accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots.
Of the total 175 cases, the court has so far acquitted the accused in 36 cases and around 77 cases were withdrawn by the UP government.
BJP legislator demands cancellation of reservation for Muslims and Christians
In an attempt to further marginalize minority religious communities in the Karnataka state, a BJP legislator, Arvind Bellad, on Tuesday demanded the cancellation of reservations given to Muslims and Christians.
Reservation is a system that provides historically disadvantaged groups representation in education, employment, government schemes, health, banking, higher education, scholarships, and politics.
He demanded that these reservations be given to the Hindu communities instead.
He slammed the previous government for bringing religion-based reservations. The Karnataka government has been providing reservations for Muslims in government jobs.
Representation of Muslims in government and other jobs has been disproportionately low.