The Hindu – 277 people evacuated from corona-virus-hit Iran reach Army facility in Jodhpur

Among them were Shia 273 pilgrims

Jaipur – Rajasthan – India, 25 March 2020. A batch of 277 people evacuated from the corona-virus-hit Iran arrived at the Jodhpur airport in Rajasthan on Wednesday early morning, a defence spokesperson said.

He said preliminary screening of the evacuees, mostly pilgrims, was conducted at the airport upon arrival and thereafter they were taken to the Army Wellness Facility set up at the Jodhpur Military Station.

The Army, in coordination with the Rajasthan state medical authorities and civil administration, has made adequate medical and administrative arrangements to ensure a comfortable stay for the evacuees and provide prophylactic medical support, he said.

The defence spokesperson said that the facility has a dedicated team of Army doctors, who will be constantly monitoring the health parameters of the evacuees for the duration of their stay.

Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rohit Kumar Singh said that 273 of the evacuees are pilgrims. Among the people were 149 women and girls.

Follow the link below to read a previous article about Indian Shia pilgrims stuck in Iran…us-cases-in-iran/ – Kashmiri student beaten, forced to wear women’s clothes in Rajasthan

Shruti Jain – The Wire

Jaipur – Rajasthan – India, 07 September 2019. A video from Rajasthan’s Alwar showing a student from Kashmir tied to a pole after having been made to wear women’s clothes, has been doing the rounds on social media.

The 23-year-old boy in the video, Mir Faiz, is originally from Kashmir’s Baramullah and is currently in his final year of engineering studies at the School of Aeronautics in Neemrana.

Faiz’s brother, Faizal, who works at Tata Consultancy Services in New Delhi and was informed about the incident on Wednesday night, said the miscreants were unknown to Faiz.

“On Wednesday evening [04 September], Faiz had gone out to withdraw some cash from the ATM where some men abducted him outside his college campus. They took him to an isolated place and took off his clothes.

They made him wear women’s clothes and compelled him to walk into the market, saying that they would kill him otherwise. He walked a little and then to save himself, entered an ATM booth but soon after, about 20 unknown men pulled him out and thrashed him in the open market,” Faizal told The Wire.

“My brother was severely injured but he was not medically examined until today [05 September 5]. He told me he could not even hear with his left ear when the police were questioning him. The police investigated his flat twice and even confiscated his mobile phone. We are not able to understand why we are being treated as culprits here.

Faizal reached Alwar on Wednesday night itself.

“The police let him go at around midnight and asked him to go back Thursday for ‘interrogation’. He did. It has been a whole day, they haven’t let me meet him once today,” he added. At the time of publishing the report, Faiz had been released after interrogation.

However, the police said that a FIR into the matter was registered late on Wednesday night itself. “The boy had complained that about 20 unknown men had beaten him in the market. An FIR is being registered under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 323 (voluntary causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 505 (public mischief) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code,” Laxman Singh, sub-inspector at the Neemrana police station told The Wire.

Faizal said the college administration has not been supportive either. “The director told us that he cannot understand why Faiz was dressed as a woman. We are completely on our own here,” said Faizal.

Faizal has further claimed that the police accessed his Facebook account, emails and other social media engagements to verify whether he’s an ‘anti-national’ or not. “It’s beyond our understanding as to why the police would verify the victim in the first place.

This is such a bad situation. We will not let Faiz continue his studies here. There is a risk of his life here and we cannot leave him on his own,” said Faizal.

The superintendent of police in the district has denied that the student’s Kashmiri identity was the trigger for the attack and seemed to allege that the women’s clothes the men had forced on him were to blame.

Speaking to The Wire, the Bhiwadi SP, Amandeep Singh Kapoor, said, “It wasn’t an identity-based crime. The locals didn’t know he is a Kashmiri. Since he was dressed as a woman, it caught their attention.”

Kashmiri Student Beaten, Forced to Wear Women’s Clothes in Rajasthan

The Telegraph – The BJP’s opposition to the anti-lynching law in Rajasthan is telling

Rajasthan is the second state after Manipur to pass an anti-lynching law

Editorial Board

Jaipur – Rajasthan – India, 12 August 2019. Sometimes the hard core of values exposes itself through fruity layers of palliative rhetoric. That happened in the Rajasthan assembly when the government passed the Rajasthan protection from lynching bill, 2019 and the Rajasthan prohibition of interference with the freedom of matrimonial alliances in the name of honour and tradition bill, 2019.

That the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Opposition contested their passage was not as revealing as the arguments it spouted. Only one of its points merited clarification. Both the bills had to do with murders, against which the Indian Penal Code has adequate provisions.

The point is that lynching by alleged cow vigilantes and on the basis of rumours is a crime that has taken on distinctive dimensions, with many of these occurring in Rajasthan. They are executed by invoking the law against cow slaughter as alibi mainly against members of minority communities or underprivileged groups.

Even the Supreme Court felt the need for a separate law against lynching. Rajasthan has emphasized the need for stringent provisions including imprisonment and fines as well as a firm system of monitoring, implementation and accountability as advised by the court. It is the second state after Manipur to pass an anti-lynching law.

The Opposition did not stop at calling this a law favouring cow smugglers but also that it was meant to please a particular community. Evidently, BJP members of the Rajasthan legislature do not mind showing off their antagonism to the “particular” community, neither their knowledge of the fact that the community is the favoured target of lynch mobs.

In opposing the bill, insisting also that it go to a select committee, something that its party seldom does when in the majority, the Rajasthan BJP made clear that its support lay with a particular kind of criminals.

Similarly, its objections to the bill against honour killing were on the basis of cultural practice and tradition: again, a direct upholding of the power of khap panchayats and discrimination, and an assault on personal liberty and the right to privacy.

Does this mean that collective crimes that are discriminatory, regressive, repressive and intrusive have the BJP’s support? The positive steps taken by the Rajasthan assembly should not only be lauded but emulated wherever such crimes are common. The nation needs to know whether BJP-led state governments will follow.