Rights

Watch: Ten Who Were Unfairly Targeted in 2016

Here’s our top 10 list of those who were unfairly targeted this year.

1. The family of Akhlaq

Relatives mourn the death of farmer Mohammad Akhlaq at his home in Bisara village in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, about 45 kilometers from New Delhi on Wednesday. Villagers beat Akhlaq to death and severely injured his son upon hearing rumours that the family was eating beef. Credit: PTI

Relatives mourn the death of farmer Mohammad Akhlaq at his home in Bisara village in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, about 45 kilometers from New Delhi on Wednesday. Villagers beat Akhlaq to death and severely injured his son upon hearing rumours that the family was eating beef. Credit: PTI

A year after his murder by goons who claimed he had killed a cow, Akhlaq’s family was charged with possessing beef.


2. Rohith Vemula

Students at a march demanding justice for Hyderabad University student Rohith Vemula

Students at a march demanding justice for Hyderabad University student Rohith Vemula

Harassed by the Hyderabad University administration in life, maligned by the HRD ministry in death, this brilliant Dalit student became a national icon.


3. Kanhaiya and other JNU students

Wrongly charged with sedition by Delhi police, top BJP leaders and a section of the media, Kanhaiya Kumar used his oratory to turn the tables on his accusers


4. Victims of Chhattisgarh police

Effigies of Bela Bhatia, Himanshu Kumar, Nandini Sundar, Manish Kunjam and Malini Subramaniam held aloft by uniformed security force personnel in Bastar, Chhattisgarh, before being set on fire on Monday. Credit: Special Arrangement

Effigies of Bela Bhatia, Himanshu Kumar, Nandini Sundar, Manish Kunjam and Malini Subramaniam held aloft by uniformed security force personnel in Bastar, Chhattisgarh, before being set on fire on Monday. Credit: Special Arrangement

From the arrest of a human rights team and fake murder charges against scholars to the harassment of lawyers, journalists and opposition leaders, a police force accused of rights violations is desperate to stamp out critical voices.


5. Kairana’s Muslims

A BJP MP set off a media campaign alleging the Muslims of this UP town had forced Hindus into exile. In fact, nothing of the sort had happened.


6. Khurram Parvez

Khurram Parvez. Credit: Fahad Shah

Khurram Parvez. Credit: Fahad Shah

The well-known Kashmiri human rights defender was first illegally prevented from flying out of Delhi airport, then arrested under the draconian J&K Public Safety Act.


7. Teesta Setalvad

Civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad after recording her statement before the Central Bureau of Investigation in Mumbai earlier this month. The agency is accused of using allegations of minor foreign exchange violations to harass Setalvad because of her role in a case against Narendra Modi. Credit: PTI Photo by Santosh Hirlekar

Civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad after recording her statement before the Central Bureau of Investigation in Mumbai earlier this month. The agency is accused of using allegations of minor foreign exchange violations to harass Setalvad because of her role in a case against Narendra Modi. Credit: PTI Photo by Santosh Hirlekar

Last year, the well known anti-communalism activist’s NGO was targteted; this year the HRD ministry is trying to make out a case for her to be charged for spreading hate through her educational work.


8. NDTV Hindi

A screengrab from Ravish Kumar's show.

A screengrab from Ravish Kumar’s show.

The I&B ministry tried to shut down one of the only channels that does not toe the government line, on spurious charges of endangering security


9. Pakistani artists in India

Karan Johar. Credit: PTI/Files

Karan Johar. Credit: PTI/Files

Competitive populism by political parties was allowed to override the right of Indian directors to employ Pakistani artists on valid visas.


10. A pigeon in Punjab

The 'spy' pigeon. Credit: PTI

The ‘spy’ pigeon. Credit: PTI

A pigeon alleged to be a Pakistani agent was detained by the Punjab police and had its wings clipped.