Dalits in UP threaten protest after 22 year old youth is attacked by Hindu group activists

Youth being thrashed on the streets by Hindu groups and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’
Image Source: ANI

Several Dalit organisations have threatened to launch protests aftera  22 year old lower caste man Vipin Kumar was allegedly beaten up by 4 Hindu Vahini activists in Muzaffarnagar, UP. The youth was forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ said the officials on Wednesday. Shahid Udham Singh Sena, Bheem Army and other Dalit rights group, have announced that there will be agitations if the accused are not arrested at the earliest, reports Asian age.

Vipin Kumar was allegedly brutally thrashed on Monday in Kalanpur village in Muzaffarnagar, said Circle officer Yogender Singh. A complaint was filed by the victim under sections 307 of IPC and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Singh also added that a case was registered against four individuals who are currently absconding. Hindustan Times reports that Vipin was allegedly assaulted for leading a Dalit group that had intentions of converting to Buddhism while also removing Hindu deities from their homes.

A video clip documenting the entire assault was released on Wednesday that created significant caste tension in the region that was already volatile because of the clashes between Dalits and Thakurs last year.

In the video, the attackers can be heard saying that they had no objection to Dalits keeping portraits of Dr.Ambedkar in their homes but they could not remove portraits of Hindu deities.  The Dalit rights groups staged a demonstration at the office of the senior superintendent of police in Muzaffarnagar. The accused are yet to be arrested.

Sources: Hindustan Times, Asian Age

Cold wave in UP kills 70; temperatures in Delhi drop to 6 Degrees : Reports

As New Delhi witnessed temperature dips to six degrees, the cold wave also gripped its neighbours resulting in astounding consequences – 70 deaths were reported from Uttar Pradesh.

As many as 22 deaths were reported from Poorvanchal; three each in Brij and Bareilly; 11 in Allahabad and 28 in Bundelkhand.

Ram Kishore Rawat, 40, and Mahesh, 35, died in Barabanki district owing to harsh climatic conditions. One person was reported dead in Harchandpur in Faizabad, an infant in Ambedkarnagar, one in Rae Bareli’s Makhdoompur and one in Unchahaar.

A government official said that combat measures were immediately undertaken and adequate arrangements had been made for bonfires and night shelters.

Reports suggest that most bonfires has been utilized by “VVIPs” and were being lit outside the bungalows of ministers and political leaders.

Allegations by locals and social groups have forced Lucknow Mayor Sanyukta Bhatia to demand quick explanation from the city Commissioner on this bias in log wood distribution.

She also admitted to having received calls pertaining to biased distribution of wood otherwise meant for bonfires at public places to provide some respite for the public.

Sultanpur district stood the coldest in the past 24 hours with the mercury dipping to 2.8 degrees Celsius. Lucknow followed at three degrees Celsius. Friday incidentally served as the coldest day of the season too.

The weatherman has forecasted that the cold wave would intensely persist for the next few days while the temperatures were only likely to improve post January 10.

Low temperatures such as 3.4 degrees Celsius were recorded at Bahraich, 4.9 in Muzaffarnagar, 4.2 in Kanpur,3.4 in Barabanki , while Varanasi, Meerut and Lakhimpur Kheri all faced a temperature of five degrees Celsius.

Hindu Lashkar militant arrested in Kashmir

The Jammu and Kashmir police on Monday morning arrested Sandeep Kumar Sharma,  an Uttar Pradesh man who has been allegedly been helping Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

This is a first of its kind incident where an Indian LeT operative outside of the Kashmir valley.

Sharma who also goes by the name of Adil is from troubled region of Muzaffarnagar, according to an interview given by the Inspector General of Police, Muneer Khan to CNN News18, Sharma had moved to Kashmir back in 2012 for work.

Sandeep allegedly planned at least five ATM loots worth lakhs of rupees this year after becoming an associate of notorious LeT militant Bashir Lashkari.

Police also believe that he was also a part of an attack on the police party at Achabal which resulted in the death of 7 cops.

Labelling Sharma as a militant Khan said that criminal elements have started joining the elements for their own personal goals.

Addressing a packed house in Srinagar the Jammu and Kashmir presented Sharma with his face covered in a black cloth and informed that, he was used extensively in militant operations since he had the advantage of not being from the state and his car having UP registered number plates.

The arrest comes in the times of growing unrest in the valley and also gives the situation a new dimension altogether.

Source: The HinduHindustan Times


UP in fiscal deficit after Supreme Court ruling

The Supreme Court order banning all liquor shops within a radius of 500 meters of national and state highways proved to be very costly for UP as they suffered a fiscal deficit of Rs 5000 crores.

UP Excise Minister Jai Pratap Singh told PTI that the excise department could generate only Rs 14000 crore out of the targeted Rs 19000 crore in the fiscal year of 2016-17 which ended on March 31, 2017.

The court order that was passed on December 15, 2016, affected 8591 liquor shops in Uttar Pradesh, which has resulted in this disastrous turnover. Out of the 8591 stores, 2000 shops are yet to be relocated and 3000 owners are yet to give up their license.

The minister also informed that the Yogi Adityanath government is also working on a new excise policy which may introduce a system of bar code on each bottle to check black marketing.

The government currently is also taking initiatives for going cashless, Singh mentioned that the government will soon ask the liquor stores to install point-of-sale machines. He also admitted to the fact that this initiative will face a lot of challenges in the rural areas but they will try their best to pursued them and provide them with infrastructure.

The new policy will also seek to unravel all rackets involving liquor syndicates.


Sources: NDTV, DNA

Rape survivor found dead in UP

Sultanpur, February 13: A ’21 year old woman’, who had alleged gang rape in 2103, by eight men including Samajwadi Party legislator, Arun Verma, was found dead at her village Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Police investigations suggest that she was strangled.

The victim’s father said that they were given police protection on a High Court order since the 2013 case is still ongoing, but the protection was later withdrawn.

A case was registered against Samajwadi Party politician in which Verma was cleared by the police. However, now Verma is being alleged to have been involved in the young woman’s death. He calls it a conspiracy amidst the state elections.

“I demand a CBI investigation in this case”, he told NDTV.

The report further said that her father has named the Samajwadi lawmaker in a complaint filed by him. However, a formal FIR has not been lodged yet. The woman had been missing post 7 pm on Saturday when she left to use the washroom and did not return. After an extensive search, the police found her her body.

With further investigation, it was found that Arun Verma’s phone was in Lucknow and not in the village at the time the incident. Due to this detail, his name was not included in the charge-sheet along with three others.

Sources: NDTV, India.com

Image sources: Pallibatani.com

BJP, NCP, Congress come to a head in the Manipur Elections

The election commission in Manipur announced that the two phases of polling will be held on March 4, 2017 and March 8, 2017. The results will be declared on March 11, 2017 along with those of Punjab, Goa and Uttar Pradesh.  Manipur, not being a big state, has two parliamentary constituencies and 60 assembly constituencies. The ruling party is Indian National Congress with the Chief Minister as Okram Ibobi Singh, after its election in 2016 and the Opposition is Trinamool Congress.

On February 7, 2017, the BJP released the third list of two candidates contesting for the elections. The list includes Rajen Singh from Lamseng and K. Krishna Kumar Singh from Bishernpur. While announcing their first list of candidates for 31 out of 60 seats, approved candidates from the Meitei community even in areas which have large Muslim populations such as Keirao, Wabgai and Wangkhem.

Md Anwar Hussain, the only Muslim candidate approved and standing by the party, will contest from Lilong — a constituency with the largest Muslim population in the state. Congress released its list which includes the current Chief Minister of the state, Okram Ibobi Singh as the chief ministerial candidate. Mr. Ibobi, who has been CM for three consecutive terms, told The Hindu, “The party will stage a comeback in view of a slew of the developmental works undertaken by it in the last 15 years.”  according to the Firstpost. However, the BJP, which has the only MLA in the 60 member House, says that it will wrest power this time as there is rampant corruption and non-governance.

During the by-election in the Hiyanglam constituency, local media said that each voter was bribed with as much as ₹5,000 — the amount increased as the voting hour drew to a close.

The Indian National Congress (INC), Trinamool Congress (TMC), Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Bharatiya Janata Party are the main contenders for the win in the state. While Manipur has been a Congress-led state for a long time, the Bharatiya Janata Party is making a lot of efforts to make in the state. After its unexpected and sweeping victory in the Assam Assembly elections in 2016 and a good performance in the recently held municipal elections in Manipur’s capital Imphal, the party has plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

The newest entrant in the rat race is the activist, Irom Sharmila. She is known for her 16 year fast as a protest against AFSPA.  Hailed as the ‘Iron Lady’ of Manipur, Irom Sharmila announced the end of her fast in August, 2016. She launched her new party, the Peoples Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRAJA), to contest in the elections and fuel her cause against the AFSPA.  She said that she wold contest  from Thoubal  and Khurai. While she belongs to Khurai, Thoubal is the Assembly constituency of the chief minister.

Initially the state was a Union Territory. In 1963, the government of Union Territories Act established a Legislative Assembly of 30 elected and 3 nominated members in the Union Territory. The political situation in Manipur was unstable in the late sixties with secessionist and insurgent groups active in the state. The Legislative assembly was dissolved and President’s rule imposed in the state. The Union Territory was now administered by a Lt Governor.

According to the Manipur elections page, Mamata Banerjee, Sharad Pawar and other political parties may also campaign in the polls. Surveys all over the state are conducted on “who will be the CM” and “Who will win the elections by majority” These polls were conducted by the Manipur government.

Women allowed to offer Eid ‘namaz’ for the first time at Aishbagh Dargah in Lucknow

On the occasion of Id-ul-Fitr, Lucknow’s famous Aishbagh dargah made special arrangements for women offering the ‘namaz’. This move came as a welcome change in respect to the debates happening all over the country regarding the entry of women in religious places.

The Imam of the Eidgah Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali told PTI on Wednesday that special enclosures have been made first time in the premises to allow women to offer namaz.

Though entry of women is not banned in the mausoleums but this was the first time that special arrangements were made for them.

According to Maulana, the special enclosures will encourage more women to come and offer their prayers on the occasion of Id-ul-fitr. He also termed this as a very progressive move on the part of the Eidgah authorities.

After the Shani Singhanapur temple in Maharashtra lifted the ban on the entry of women in the temple premises, the Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Aandolan have also petitioned to the Bombay High Court regarding lifting the ban on the entry of women in the Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai, Maharashtra.