Freedom Under Fire: Ex-cop Caught in RTI Murder Case; Bajrang Dal Activists Arrested for ‘Moral Policing’

A round-up of news, both bad and good, on the rights front from India.

Satish Shetty

Satish Shetty

Ex-cop arrested in RTI activist murder case

The CBI arrested retired police inspector Bhausaheb Andhalkar on Wednesday for his alleged role in shielding the killers of RTI activist Satish Shetty, Times of India reported. A CBI spokesperson said that Andhalkar, who was then in the crime branch, had conspired with others to manipulate and fabricate evidence in order to let the real conspirators and killers go free.

Satish Shetty, who had exposed several land scams, was killed in Telagaon, Maharashtra in 2010.

Is India for Hindus only, Bombay HC asks BJP-led Nagpur municipal corporation

Expressing anguish at the BJP-led municipal corporation’s decision to read the Hanuman Chalisa at an AIDS awareness programme, the Bombay High Court asked if the corporation thought ‘India was only for Hindus’, PTI reported.

“Why only recital of Hanuman Chalisa and why not from Quran, the Bible or other religious literature? What is the nexus of AIDS awareness and Hanuman Chalisa recital? Is it only Hindus who contract AIDS? Is chanting of Hanuman Chalisa the only remedy for eradication of this deadly disease?” division bench of justices Bhushan Gavai and Swapna Joshi asked the organisers – the municipal corporation and the Poddareshwar Ram Mandir Trust. They further ordered that at least an hour’s gap be given between the AIDS awareness programme and the Hanuman Chalisa reading. The judges said that they were not against any religious programme, but were concerned with government agencies associating with it.

Five Bajrang Dal activists arrested for ‘moral policing’

According to a report in The Hindu, five members of the Bajrang Dal were arrested in Mangalore on Wednesday for allegedly beating up a young man for visiting a mall with a woman from a different community. They have been charged with kidnap and attempt to murder. According to the police, the victim is now home and not grievously harmed.

Congress leader booked for WhatsApp post on Mohan Bhagwat

Congress leader Kayoom Nagori was arrested and released on bail in Ujjain on Wednesday, for sharing a WhatsApp post alleging that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat was among those Indians who have stashed black money in a Swiss bank, Indian Express reported. He was book under section 66A of the Information Technology Act and IPC sections 294 (obscene acts and songs) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation).

University of Hyderabad: Students protest against VC, over 50 detained

At least 50 students from various student organisations were detained by police outside the Hyderabad Central University campus on Wednesday morning for blocking the road during a ‘Chalo HCU’ protest, an Indian Express report states. About 100 students gathered at the campus’ main gate, closed by the university’s security staff for outsiders. The protestors were demanding the removal of HCU vice-chancellor Appa Rao Podile and cancellation of the academic council meeting that was in progress.

Supreme Court pulls up Centre on drought relief

Reacting to the severe drought in Maharashtra’s Marathwada region, the Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Centre and said that it cannot turn a blind eye towards the drought-hit states of the country, a DNA report says. It also spoke of the Centre’s failure to release the funds to the states for MGNREGA scheme, the Supreme Court said, “Relief has to be provided now and not after one year.” The court was worried that the lack of the MGNREGA safety net will worsen the impact of the drought.

Do you know of any other incident we should highlight in this column? Write to me at [email protected].