Seven Muslim men shot by police over accusations of cow slaughter

Date: 19 november 2021

All seven of them sit crowded on a stone bench in the hospital, a leg each bandaged at almost the exact same spot — a few inches below the knee — a cannula in their hand, blood spots on their clothes and around them. As per the Ghaziabad police, the injuries are the result of an “encounter”, and the seven involved in “cow slaughter”.

A week later, the seven Muslim youths continue to be in judicial custody, and a probe is looking into the encounter that reportedly took place at 6.10 am on November 11 near a scrap godown that was raided in Baheta Hajipur of Loni — and has raised questions given the similar nature of the injuries.

Police ordered the probe after Loni Police Station SHO Rajendra Tyagi, who led the “operation”, was shifted out and left behind a written note in the General Diary saying he was being targeted due to the “encounter”. Among other things, he claimed to have recovered elephant carcasses.

The note says: “On November 11, my team and I arrested seven persons for cow slaughtering after they were shot in the leg. We recovered carcasses of cows and small elephants. Since I handled the operations, I believe I have been transferred for this reason. This has dented my morale. I am not in a state to work and I have never been accused of something like this… My character is of the highest standard. Before transferring me, this incident should have been probed.”

Among those backing Tyagi is Loni BJP MLA Nand Kishor Gurjar, who has accused police of receiving money from cow smugglers and hence transferring the Inspector. “Police have taken lakhs of rupees from the cow smugglers. The SHO wanted to name the main accused but he wasn’t allowed to. He tried to take action against cow slaughter and was punished,” Gurjar told The Indian Express, adding that Kumar was “an honest officer dedicated to a noble cause” and that he would write to Chief Minister Adityanath on the matter.




Four arrested for vandalising Congress leader Salman Khurshid’s home in Nainital

Date: 19 november 2021

Four men were arrested for setting Congress leader Salman Khurshid’s home in Uttarakhand’s Nainital city on fire, The Times of India reported. The incident had taken place on Monday, 15 November, amid a controversy about Khurshid’s book on the Ayodhya verdict, in which he compares Hindutva to terror groups ISIS and Boko Haram. BJP leaders had criticised Khurshid for the comment and two lawyers in Delhi filed complaints against him. A group of men went to the Congress leader’s home on Monday to shout slogans against him, PTI reported, quoting Kumaon Deputy inspector General Nilesh Anand Bharane. They got into an argument with the caretaker of the property after which they vandalised it. According to journalist Ashlin Mathew, a mob chanted slogans such as ‘Jai Sri Ram’ and ‘Goli maaro salon ko’ (shoot the traitors) outside his house.

The police had booked 21 persons in connection with the incident. They formed three teams to identify arrest the accused persons, according to The Times of India.

Four of them – Chandan Singh Lodhiyal, Umesh Mehta, Rajkumar Mehta and Krishna Singh Bisht Rajkumar Mehta – were arrested on Thursday.

One of the accused persons told the police that he and his associates burnt effigies of Khurshid and shouted slogans outside his house.




Hindu Mahasabha threatens to install Krishna idol on December 6 in Mathura mosque

Date: 17 november 2021

The Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha has announced that it will install an idol of Lord Krishna at the deity’s ‘actual birthplace’, which it claims is in the mosque close to a prominent temple in Mathura. Hindu Mahasabha leader Rajyashri Choudhary said the idol will be installed after a ‘maha jalabhishek’ on December 6 to “purify” the place. The date picked by the right-wing organisation marks the demolition in 1992 of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, the site of a temple-mosque dispute.

The Mahasabha threat to perform the ritual inside the Shahi Idgah comes at a time when the local courts are hearing a series of petitions seeking the “removal” of the 17th century mosque, close to the Katra Keshav Dev temple.




TV news host uses misinformation to claim Muslims are waging ‘spit jihad’

Date: 18 november 2021

In April 2020, the News18 website published an article that fact-checked eight viral, fake news items being used as Islamophobic propaganda. A year and seven months later, News18’s sister channel, News18 India, featured some of the same videos in a news debate – only this time, they were being used to justify bigotry in a programme about “thook jihad” by television anchor Aman Chopra.

Officially titled “Khane mein thookna, jihad ya jahalat?” (Spitting in food, jihad or barbarism?), the episode of Chopra’s show from November 16, 2021, devoted an entire hour of News18 India’s airtime to discuss the “issue” of how Indian Muslims are allegedly spitting into food.

Accompanying Chopra on his spitshow were Sangit Ragi, Ajay Gautam and former Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ashwini Upadhyay, who is best known for organising the public meeting in Delhi in August this year where anti-Muslim slogans were raised.

The show began with an opening monologue in which Chopra stressed that the topic of discussion is not a “dharm ka mudda”, or matter of religion, but a “swacchata ka mudda”, matter of cleanliness. It ended with Chopra wondering whether the secret of the vigour with which his Muslim panelists defended “thook jihad” was the thook, or saliva, in question. They  also discussed topics such as how Muslims have cornered everything from agriculture to dairy in western Uttar Pradesh (UP), and the invigorating properties of saliva which makes Muslims a danger to the unsuspecting public.

“Khane mein thookna, jihad ya jahalat?” aired on News18 India, on November 16, 2021, but the day after it was aired, at around 2 pm, the video was taken offline. 




Civilians among four killed in Kashmir, families demand bodies

Date: 17 november 2021

 A day after Indian armed forces claimed to have killed two suspected rebels and their “associates” in a gun battle in Indian-administered Kashmir, the families of at least three slain men say it was a “cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians” and are demanding their bodies be returned to them. Police say the gun battle in Hyderpora locality in the region’s main city of Srinagar began after police received a tip-off about the presence of rebels in a shopping centre. 

In the battle that lasted for hours, the police said they killed two suspected rebels and claimed two others – businessman Altaf Ahmad Bhat, 48, who owned the shopping centre, and Mudasir Gul, 40, a dental surgeon who was also into real estate – were killed in the crossfire.

“Mudasir [Gul] was running an unauthorised call centre there. He was a top terrorist associate. The terrorists used Altaf’s building and we can also count it as a case of harbouring militants,” Vijay Kumar, inspector general of police in the disputed region said.

But the families of at least three of those killed and witnesses to the killings rejected the police claims and alleged the two civilians were used as “human shields” during the gun battle.

A witness, who did not want to be named, said he saw Gul and Bhat being used “as a human shield by the Indian forces during the search operation in the building”.

“The police assembled us all at one place and took away our mobile phones. Bhat was taken away by them three times. While they allowed him to come back twice, he didn’t return the third time. Gul was also taken away by the forces. Then in some time, we heard firings,” he said.

The Indian authorities refused to hand over the bodies to the families and buried them in a graveyard 80km (50 miles) away in Kupwara district along the border with Pakistan.




Former Shia Waqf board chairman releases provocative book on Prophet

Date: 12 november 2021

On November 4, a former chairman of the Shia Waqf board, Wasim Rizvi, released a book titled Muhammad from the Dasna Devi temple at Ghaziabad in the presence of militant Hindutva leader, Narsinghanand Saraswati.

The book, written in Hindi, presents prophet Mohammad as a murderer, womaniser and a madman. It also claims that Mohammad wrote falsehoods in the Quran, the holy book of Muslims.

The book’s cover depicts a naked woman in front of a man, understood to be prophet Mohammad.

Rizvi has claimed that the book will “expose Islam and its prophet” and help Muslims to “return to humanity.” He has also claimed that the book explains how terrorism was born, the ways in which extremism can be countered and that it will stop religious conversions.

Rizvi, in the videos, also calls upon all Shia Muslims to leave Islam.

“All Muslims are extremists. There is no difference. Anybody who believes in Mohammad and Islam is the same,” Rizvi is heard saying in a video.




VHP workers 'purify' garden after group of Muslims read namaz in Gujarat

Date: 17 november 2021

Members of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) performed a 'purification ritual' at the Vastrapur lake garden in Ahmedabad, Gujarat after a video showing Muslim men and women reading namaz at the site went viral.

According to a report, the secretary of the Gujarat VHP, Ashok Raval said that "on Monday evening, some VHP workers reached the garden to 'purify' the place. They chanted mantras and sprinkled 'Ganga jal'."

Raval further claimed that this was done "to create awareness among masses" because "a casual namaz eventually results in claim being staked on that piece of land."




Bangladesh Photo Shared As Muslims Blocking Road To Offer Namaz In India

Date: 16 november 2021

An image of Muslims attending prayers by blocking a road in Bangladesh went viral with false claims that it was from India. The original photograph was clicked outside the Sobhanbag mosque in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The photo shows men offering prayers on the road, in front of a mosque. The caption with the photo in Hindi translates to, "This scene can only be visible in India. If you do such a thing in other 56 Muslim countries, you will be thrown in jail. This is just a testing of patience to capture so that it can be proved how much you can be oppressed."

The image was also tweeted by Postcard News editor Mahesh Vikram Hegde as India.