Posts Tagged 'supreme court'

NGOs, Teesta spiced up Gujarat riot incidents: SIT

NGOs, Teesta spiced up Gujarat riot incidents: SIT

14 Apr 2009, 0413 hrs IST, Dhananjay

Mahapatra, TNN

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/NGOs-spiced-up-Gujarat-riot-cases/articleshow/4396986.cms

New Delhi: The Special Investigation Team responsibile for the arrests of those accused in Gujarat riots has severely censured NGOs and social activist Teesta Setalvad who campaigned for the riot victims.

In a significant development, the SIT led by former CBI director R K Raghavan told the Supreme Court on Monday that the celebrated rights activist cooked up macabre tales of wanton killings.

Many incidents of killings and violence were cooked up, false charges were levelled against then police chief P C Pandey and false witnesses were tutored to give evidence about imaginary incidents, the SIT said in a report submitted before a Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam.

* A pregnant Muslim woman Kausar Banu was gangraped by a mob, who then gouged out the foetus with sharp weapons

* Dumping of dead bodies into a well by rioteers at Naroda Patiya

* Police botching up investigation into the killing of British nationals, who were on a visit to Gujarat and unfortunately got caught in the riots

Rohtagi said: “On a reading of the report, it is clear that horrendous allegations made by the NGOs were false. Stereotyped affidavits were supplied by a social activist and the allegations made in them were found untrue.”

Obviously happy with the fresh findings of the SIT which was responsible for the recent arrests of former Gujarat minister Maya Kodanani and VHP leader Jaideep Patel, Rohtagi tried to spruce up the image of the Modi administration, which was castigated in the Best Bakery case by the apex court as “modern day Neros”. He was swiftly told by the Bench that but for the SIT, many more accused, who are freshly added, would not have been brought to book .

The Bench said there was no room for allegations and counter-allegations at this late stage. “In riot cases, the more the delay, there is likelihood of falsity creeping in. So, there should be a designated court to fast track the trials. Riot cases should be given priority because feelings run high having a cascading effect,” it said and asked for suggestions from the Gujarat government, Centre, NGOs and amicus curiae Harish Salve, who said the time had come for the apex court to lift the stay on trials into several post-Godhra riot cases.

While additional solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam agreed with the court that public prosecutors should be selected in consultation with Raghavan, counsel Indira Jaising said there should be a complete regime for protection of witnesses as the same government, which was accused of engineering the riots, was in power now.

Salve said that he would consult Raghavan and let the court know about a witness protection system for post-Godhra riot cases. The court asked the parties to submit their suggestions within a week.

Hindu nationalists oppose quota for tribal Christians

Hindu nationalists oppose quota for tribal Christians
Thursday, 29th January 2009. 12:39pm

http://www.religiousintelligence.co.uk/news/?NewsID=3742

By: Vishal Arora.

New Delhi: Hindu nationalists in India have launched a campaign to demand removal of affirmative action benefits for those tribal (aborigine) people who have converted to Christianity.
As part of its ‘intellectual’ campaign to rescue tribal ‘purity’ (of culture) from the influence of the Church, the Sangh Parivar (a family of organisations under the leadership of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, India’s most influential Hindu nationalist group) yesterday re-released a book to demand removal of tribal Christians from the Scheduled Tribes category in the Indian Constitution, reported The Hindustan Times.

Communities listed as Scheduled Tribes in the Constitution can avail from the 7.5 per cent seats reserved in government and public sector jobs and educational institutions for them. The tribal communities in India – whose members are originally not Hindus but belong to ethnic faiths – form around nine per cent of India’s population. According to estimates, around 20 per cent of India’s 24-million Christian community is from tribal backgrounds.

A tribal leader from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Karia Munda, re-released the book, ‘Bees Varsh Ki Kaali Raat’ (A Twenty-Year Black Night) that was originally launched in the late 1960s by Kartik Oraon, a politician from the BJP’s archrival party, the Congress. The book argues that “Christian converts walked away with quota benefits meant for tribals in the first 20 years of Independence (in 1947), despite having ‘abandoned’ tribal practices.”

“We are expecting wide political support on our demand, including from the Congress (party). This is a genuine demand of all tribals,” the daily quoted Harsh Chauhan, convenor of Janajati Suraksha Manch (Forum for Protection of Tribals), believed to be a Sangh Parivar outfit, as saying.

“The Manch says Kartik Oraon handed a memorandum signed by 235 Lok Sabha (House of the People) MPs (members of Parliament) to the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asking for converts to Christianity and Islam to be removed from the benefits of ST (Scheduled Tribes) quota. The Sangh Parivar is keen to reinstate the demand all over again,” said the daily.

While a tribal person retains the right to the government’s affirmative action after converting to Christianity or Islam, when a Dalit (formerly known as ‘untouchables’) person coverts out of Hinduism to these religions, she or he loses all benefits. Hindu nationalists are also opposing Christians’ demand to allow job reservations for ‘Dalit Christians’ – the matter is pending before the Supreme Court of India.