Freedom Under Fire: Dadri ‘Mahapanchayat’ Demands Case on Akhlaq’s Family; Ban Nigerians, Says Ex-Goa CM

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

African students in India demonstrate against racist violence. Credit: PTI/Files

African students in India demonstrate against racism. Credit: PTI/Files

Dadri: Bisada holds panchayat, demands filing case of cow slaughter against Akhlaq

According to reports, a “mahapanchayat” in Bisada village, Dadri has demanded that a case be registered against Mohammed Akhlaq and his family for cow slaughter. Akhlaq was lynched to death by a mob in September last year when they suspected he had beef in his fridge.

The meeting was attended by local residents, including family members of those accused of Akhlaq’s murder, as well as local BJP and Shiv Sena members. Certain speakers reportedly called for violence. “The Mathura lab report has revealed that it was cow meat. This proves that we are the real victims,” said local BJP leader Sanjay Rana, whose son and nephew have been accused of leading the mob that attacked Akhlaq’s family. “We are giving 20 days to the UP government to register a case against Akhlaq’s family. If it is not done, no one can stop our anger. Whatever decision is taken at the mahapanchayat that will be held after 20 days will be the responsibility of the UP government.”

Om Prakash, father of another accused, said, “It is not Akhlaq who has been killed but a killer of a cow”.

Ban Nigerians from entering India, says former Goa CM Ravi Naik 

Former Goa chief minister and senior Congress leader Ravi Naik on Tuesday asked the central government to ban Nigerians from entering India and demanded that Nigerian students “staying illegally” and “indulging in illegal activities” in Goa must be screened for documents and deported immediately, The Hindu reported. He also added that the state did not need Nigerian tourists. 

“The government of India should ban them. They should be probed. It should be checked whether many of them are here to study or for picnics or to sell drugs,” said Naik.

“Nigerians come here and do dadagriri, in Delhi, Bengaluru and the entire country too. We should move the Nigerians out of here… Have they come here to study? Are they really studying? Are they really going to college, schools? Are they actually going to some bogus schools or bogus typing schools, this has to be probed. It is very important,” he added.

Probe report on Dimapur lynching raps police for ineffectiveness

According to a report in the Indian Express, a judicial inquiry commission that probed the lynching of a prisoner, who was dragged out of the central jail in Dimapur, Nagaland on March 3, 2015, has blamed “ineffective and erroneous handling of the situation” by the police and administration for the violence.

Syed Sarif Khan was under trial for allegedly raping a college student. Police were unable to bring the situation under control when a mob broke open jail gates, dragged him out, killed him and carried the body for several kilometres to City Tower where it was publicly displayed.

 The commission has also said that he appears to have been targeted because he was “suspected to be Bangladeshi”.

‘Ambedkar’s role in the Constitution is a myth’, says IGNCA chairman and Padma Sri awardee

Ram Bahadur Rai, former ABVP chief, Padma Sri awardee and current chairman of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, said in an interview with Outlook that the “Constitution is letting us down” and that B.R. Ambedkar’s role in drafting the Constitution was limited, adding that the importance given to him is a myth and a part of identity politics. He also expressed his passion for a “new Constitution”.

CBFC wants to remove Punjab from Udta Punjab

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has asked for 89 cuts from the Abhishek Chaubey directed Udta Punjab, set for release on June 7. The film is based on drug abuse in Punjab, but the CBFC has reportedly asked for the removal of all references to the state.

The films producers have said they may go to the high court if the CBFC does not allow the film to be released without the cuts. The film fraternity, as well as others, have taken to Twitter to express their (sometimes humorous) outrage at this move.

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