A round-up of news, both bad and good, on the rights front from India.
Chhattisgarh government dismisses CJM who accused BJP MLA of threatening him
The Chhattisgarh government has dismissed Sukma’s Chief Judicial Magistrate Prabhakar Gwal from “service in public interest with immediate effect”, Indian Express reported. Senior government officials have refused to reveal the nature of the allegations against him, and have said the decision was taken after a recommendation from the Bilaspur High Court that could not be ignored.
Gwal had earlier alleged that BJP legislator Ramlal Chauhan had threatened him after he convicted 5 people in connection with the 2011 PMT papers leak. His wife had written to the President alleging harassment, saying that her husband had been transferred to Sukma because of this judgment.
Four Gujarat educational institutes make ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ a rule for admission
According to a Hindustan Times report, four educational institutions in the the state of Gujarat have made it mandatory for students to write ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ in their application forms if they want admission. All 4 institutions are run by a trust headed by BJP leader Dilip Sanghani. “The decision has been taken to instill nationalism in students at a young age at a time when we are witnessing anti-national sloganeering in campuses,” said Sanghani.
The four institutes – MV Patel Kanya Vidhyalay, TP Mehta and MT Gandhi Girls’ High School, Patel Vidhyarthi Ashram, and DM Patel Physiotherapy College –have 5,000 students altogether.
‘Harassed’ Dalit clerk hangs himself
31-year old Ketan Koradia, a clerk in an Ahmedabad court, committed suicide on Sunday alleging discrimination and harassment for being a Dalit in his workplace, Indian Express reported. His father filed a complaint with the police after his death, saying he was discriminated against for his caste ever since he joined the workplace two years ago. The FIR names five of Koradia’s colleagues.
Ghulam Ali event cancelled after threat, Hindu Sena men detained
According to an Indian Express report, Delhi Police detained several Hindu Sena members and Sena chief Vishnu Gupta on Monday, when they were allegedly on their way to disrupt the music launch of Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali-starrer ‘Ghar Wapsi’. Gupta had allegedly threatened the film’s director Suhaib Ilyasi, who filed a complaint with the police.
The music launch was cancelled by the hotel where it was to be held, following threats of disruption.
Pilibhit fake encounter: 47 cops get life sentence
All 47 policemen convicted of killing 11 Sikhs at 3 different fake encounters on the same night night in July 1991 were sentenced to life imprisonment by a special CBI court on Tuesday, India Today reported. The case took almost 25 years, and ten of the 57 policemen originally accused died during the period.
500 artists, activists and writers demand filmmaker Sarangi’s release
According to a report in The Citizen, 500 artists, activist and writers have signed a petition demanding filmmaker Deba Ranjan Sarangi’s release. Sarangi was arrested on March 18 from the Kucheipadar village of Rayagada District, Odisha. He has been arrested under sections 147(rioting), 148 (rioting with a deadly weapon) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code. Supporters claim that these charges are false and he is being targeted for his work as an activist where he has highlighted and critiqued “policies of destructive development, unbridled mining practices, displacement, police impunity, atrocities on Dalits, Adivasi issues, growth of communal fascism in Odisha, violence on women and farmers’ suicide in the context of acute agrarian crisis”. Signatories of the petition include Nayantara Sahgal, Arundhati Roy, Nandita Das, Mallika Sarabhai and Teesta Setalvad.
BJP expels UP Mahila Morcha chief for anti-Dalit comments
The BJP state Mahila Morcha chief for Uttar Pradesh, Madhu Mishra, was expelled from the party for six years after she made controversial ‘anti-Dalit’ statements at an Aligarh rally, an Economic Times report states. “Making use of the constitution, people who are ruling over you used to once polish your boots, remember that. This happened because we were divided,” Madhu had said.
Do you know of any other incident we should highlight in this column? Write to me at [email protected].