Charge sheet filed in Mangalore ‘homestay’ attack case by radicals

September 24, 2012 by  
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Karnataka, September 22, 2012: In the 300-page charge sheet, the police claimed to have found evidence to charge all the 44 persons for outraging the modesty of women, indecent behaviour, dacoity, unlawful assembly, causing grievous hurt and breach of peace. However, police have not invoked provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967, which had been mentioned in the first information report. The police have included statements of all the 13 victims in the charge sheet.

The Mangalore Rural police filed a charge sheet against 44 persons, including two journalists, in connection with the July 28 attack on men and women attending a birthday party at a ‘homestay’ here. It was filed before a magistrate court on Thursday.

The charge sheet mentions Subash Padil and 23 others as accused in the case. The remaining 20 persons, including Naveen Soorinje, a reporter with Kasturi news channel and Sharan, the cameraman from Samaya news channel, have been termed as “absconding”. “We have evidence against all the 44 persons. Hence their names figure in the charge sheet,” a senior police official said.

Mr. Soorinje said the police were victimising him for beaming the footage of the attack, which helped in booking the attackers. “I was doing my duty by exposing the attackers. It was one among the several attacks that happened in July,” he said.

Mr. Soorinje accused police of framing him in the case. About the allegation in the charge sheet that he was absconding, Mr. Soorinje said: “How is it possible? I was one among the reporters who attended the press meet of the new police commissioner on September 19.

– persecution.in

Lamentations 3:22

September 21, 2012 by  
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Another film with objectionable scenes

September 21, 2012 by  
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Now Another Movie Shows the Catholic Priest in Bad Light
Kamal Dhamal Malamaal – Releasing  26th September, 2012

The CSF along with a number of Christian groups like, MCYF, AOCC, CROSS, CPF, etc. has protested against the movie “Kamal Dhamal Malamaal” which has the following scenes which are self explanatory:

* The trailor and songs of the film shows a Catholic priest with a rosary (religious beads) around his neck dancing. Elsewhere a youth is shown with a Holy Water sprinkler in hand.

* The priest is also shown dancing with a pop group to a song in a party and a live person lying in a coffin with the Cross next to him.

* Another scene shows the Catholic priest with a garland of lotteries around his neck dancing with the church in the background.

* A scene shows the Catholic priest with a bouquet of flowers with states – I love you: Aapki Bul Bul, which is unrealistic.

* Notorious characters with garlands of currency notes are shown in the background of a church, which is never the case.

Pictures say it better than words – So here are some of the objectionable scenes:

The movie passed by the Censor Board has hurt our religious sentiments and is giving the impression that the government is taking Christians for granted. If the clergy of any other religion would not be seen in such a manner, why is it expected that the Christian community keep quiet over such mockery and ridicule of its faith.

The CSF, with your support, will continue its campaign against wrongful portrayal of the Clergy, Christians or Christianity. Do get ready to join in the protest soon. More in the next email.

Your brother in Christ,

Joseph Dias
General Secretary, The CSF
+91 9769555657 csfpost@gmail.com

Christian Students in Myanmar Forced to Shave Heads, Convert to Buddhism

September 21, 2012 by  
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Buddha Statue in Myanmar

Buddha Statue in Myanmar

Myanmar, September 6, 2012: A Christian aid group has revealed that students from Myanmar’s Chin ethic minority are being forced to shave their heads and convert to Buddhism, despite the president’s insistence that religious freedom is protected in the South Asian nation.

“President Thein Sein’s government claims that religious freedom is protected by law but in reality Buddhism is treated as the de facto state religion,” said Salai Ling, Program Director of the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO).

Myanmar’s population of 55 million is heavily Buddhist at 89 percent, the CIA Factbook reveals, with Baptist Christians accounting for three percent and Roman Catholics numbering one percent.

The Chin nonprofit group, which was established on the India-Burma border by a group of Chin activists, stated, however, that an ultra-nationalistic viewpoint has gripped the country, pushed by a military regime that dictates that “to be Burmese, you should be Buddhist.”

The organization highlighted the plight of Christian students who enroll at schools run by Myanmar’s military, explaining that often times the students are beaten for failing to recite Buddhist scriptures, forced to shave their heads as per Buddhist tradition and convert to the Eastern religion.

The Chin population, which numbers about 500,000 people, struggle with poverty and their only real source of income is fishing, the human rights group reported. This situation leads them to seek out military schools, which provide free food, education and government jobs once they graduate.

“These schools are designed to facilitate a forced assimilation policy under the guise of development. The schools appear to offer a way out of poverty but there is a high price to pay for Chin students. They are given a stark choice between abandoning their identity and converting to Buddhism, or joining the military to comply with the authorities’ vision of a ‘patriotic citizen’,” CHRO Advocacy Director Rachel Fleming said.

A detailed report by CHRO explores the hardships the Chin population have faced for over a decade, and documents human rights abuses they have suffered such as forced labor and torture, which has forced thousands of them to flee their homeland.

In its report, the organization urges the government to abolish the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the military-controlled Education and Training Department under the Ministry for Border Affairs, and instead use the resources to further education and minority languages in the national curriculum.

– christianpost

Himachal HC rules in favour of EFI

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Himachal Pradesh, September 16, 2012: Although universal in nature, religious liberty is not universal in practice the world over. And a law designed to prevent conversions to Christianity in India is exhibit A for the truth that, in some countries, religion is but one more aspect of life controlled by government or ruthless factions that fear no government.

And this is why legal victories restoring or broadening religious liberty are so important, particularly when those victories unburden a people who theretofore had been required to alert local magistrates before changing religions. In Evangelical Fellowship of India v/s State of Himachal Pradesh, the High Court of the State of Himachal Pradesh ruled against just such a law.

The law required those intending to change religions to provide a district magistrate with “prior notice of at least 30 days … of his intention to do so.” Failure to provide advance notice of conversion required a mandatory police investigation,

prosecution, and sanctions. And if notifying the local government magistrate of one’s new religion wasn’t invasive enough – all persons desiring to change their religion were listed in a public registry, scanned regularly by fundamentalist Hindu extremists that make it a daily routine to retaliate against, persecute, and even murder new Christian converts. And, of course, the public notice law did not apply to anyone changing their religion to Hinduism.

There is a mighty struggle occurring in India in which 300 million Dalits (formerly called “untouchables”) are suffering at the bottom rung on the Hindu caste system, enduring punishment in this life for what some Hindu faithful describe as sins committed in past lives. And millions are desperate to escape by seeking refuge in the Christian faith where all are created in God’s image and equal in the eyes of God.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allies represented Evangelical Fellowship of India are challenging the law because it was being used as a cudgel to stop – through intimidation and fear – a potential flood of conversions to Christianity.

Moreover, as all laws have symbolic importance, representing a society’s dividing line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior, the law and its operation communicated that conversion from Hinduism to Christianity was disapproved.

The law clearly violated the Indian constitution, which purports to guarantee freedom of religion, and served as a license for misconduct against new Christians whose names appeared on the public registry. So it shouldn’t pass unnoticed that Christians in India and especially Christian clergy are attacked, harassed, and beaten every single day. In fact, over 100 Christian Dalits were murdered just three short years ago in the state of Orissa by fundamentalist Hindu mobs that ran amuck for months with little or no government intervention.

The victory of Evangelical Fellowship of India was one step in a long and on-going struggle to win genuine religious freedom in India. The case will now go to the Indian Supreme Court where extreme pressure will be brought to bear by extremist Hindu organizations, doing everything in their power, to curtail the lowest Hindu caste from fleeing a life of religiously sanctioned poverty and degradation.

Every victory like this swings the pendulum closer to where all civilized people should want to be – a place where religious liberty is not only universal in nature, but in practice as well.

– christianpost

How Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi Turned National Hero Overnight

September 20, 2012 by  
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Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi

Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi

“First they ignore you …
then they laugh at you …
then they fight you …
and then you win”.

Mumbai, September 13, 2012: This quote of Mahatma Gandhi is the favourite quotation of Aseem Trivedi, 25, the cartoonist who has become a celebrity hero overnight following his recent arrest, if one goes through his profile on Facebook. This quote can be certainly attributed to him, as Trivedi has won hands down and must be having the last laugh having become a national hero, courtesy overreaction by the government sending him to jail on charges of sedition for uploading derogatory cartoons on his web portal.

Naturally, one is tempted to ask why the government acted so imprudently making a hero out of someone like Trivedi especially at a time when the issue of freedom of speech and reasonable restriction is going on in the Supreme Court. The votaries of freedom of free speech and expression have charged the government of resorting to witch-hunt to browbeat crusaders of corruption and sought his unconditional release. Needless to say Trivedi has walked out of Arthur Road Jail of Mumbai to a hero’s welcome, his head held high. Apparently, the government developed cold feet – following public outcry, condemnation by media & other political parties and by the strong stand taken by Trivedi himself – and released him.

Trivedi, an activist of India against Corruption (IAC) who was picked up by Mumbai Police last Saturday following a non-bailable warrant against him for sedition, was freed from jail on 12th September, but not before raising many unpalatable questions, including a debate on the call for repeal of IPC 124A relating to sedition and the motive of the government.

Mumbai police had arrested Trivedi last weekend after a city lawyer, who is said to be a member of Republic Party of India (also a law student), had filed a complaint in December 2011 and charged him with sedition for insulting national emblems and the constitution during the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare. The complainant had made a specific mention about Trivedi’s cartoon depicting the national emblem with three wolves instead of lions and the words Bhrashtameva Jayate (corruption only triumphs) in place of Satyameva Jayate. One of his cartoons shows parliament building as a lavatory buzzing with flies.

Since a complaint was filed, the government could have filed a charge sheet and left the matter for the court to decide, instead of arresting and jailing him – a move which has severely backfired on the government. Though the constitution ensures freedom of speech and expression it has certainly laid down that every citizen must respect the national symbols. In the case of Trivedi it should have been left to the court to decide whether he insulted national symbols or not.

Following Trivedi’s arrest there is every reason to believe that the scandal-hit government was trying to muzzle the voices of anti-corruption activists involved in the crusade against corruption spearheaded by Anna Hazare. It also shows that the government has become intolerant towards criticism, which is an essential part of parliamentary democracy. It may be recalled here that Trivedi was closely involved with Anna Hazare’s crusade against corruption wherein many of his cartoons were displayed during the protests.

To make matters worse for the government Aseem Trivedi turned out to be a tough nut to crack. If the television images of a tousle-haired, bearded and slogan shouting Trivedi were an epitome of courage and conviction even as he was bundled into the patrol car, his intransigent and no-nonsense attitude to refuse the services of a lawyer and not to seek bail endeared him to those who thought him as a new youth icon who made the government bend backwards. In fact Aseem Trivedi was granted bail following a PIL filed by a lawyer and he agreed to come out of the jail only after Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil assured him that sedition charges against him would be reviewed.

Aseem Trivedi’s arrest and subsequent release raises many questions especially with regard to the political intolerance exhibited by our politicians whose scandals speak louder than their actions both inside and outside the parliament. Trivedi is the new face of our fight against corruption and he has shown that government intolerance has no place in our democracy. He has also shown that the government’s efforts to smother dissenting voices will not be taken lying down.

Though the issue of offensive cartoons that rocked the parliament a few months ago, forcing the NCERT to purge them can be viewed as a victory of intolerance, Trivedi’s gumption that forced the government to release him from jail can be seen as a victory for all those who value freedom of speech and expression as a fundamental right.

Though Trivedi was intensely involved in Anna Hazar’s crusade against corruption where cartoons were used during protests under the series “cartoons against corruption”, he remained a non-entity till now. Ironically it was his recent arrest that has catapulted him to national fame, signifying his involvement in the crusade against corruption.

Today, thanks to the government’s desperate bid to smother public opinion by way of arresting him, Trivedi, a not-so-known cartoonist has become a youth celebrity, a national hero, a symbol of free speech and a rallying point for all those who are leading a crusade against corruption. Just as his favourite quote says, Trivedi has won!

– daijiworld

Kandhamal Pastor brutally murdered after illegal detention by police

September 20, 2012 by  
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Charred Bible and blade. The blade was commonly used in the 2008 attacks on Christians in Kandhamal, Orissa

Charred Bible and blade. The blade was commonly used in the 2008 attacks on Christians in Kandhamal, Orissa

Orissa, September 15, 2012: Pastor Nirakant Pradhan (aged about 48 yrs) was a native of village Kerubadi (Daringbadi, Kandhamal). He was a pastor of Kandhmal Union of Baptists. He was badly beaten and tortured by Maoists in July 2009. The Maoists accused him to be an informer of the police.

On September 25, 2011, he was called by the local police to meet them. Thinking that it was a courtesy call, he reported to the police, not realising that he would never return home. His arrest was officially made on October 6, 2011, though he had been kept in police custody since September 25. According to his wife, he was accused of supplying provisions to the rebels. False charges were pressed against him in other cases involving Maoists. He was kept in Baliguda sub-jail and later transfered to Phulbani prison in May 2012.

On May 2, 2012 family members were informed that Pastor Nirakant Pradhan had expired in prison. As per official reports, he had complained of stomach pain and later lost consciousness. He died on the way to the hospital. Examination of the body in the presence of the magistrate revealed strangulation marks on his neck and white marks on his private parts.

According to the wife and son of the deceased, Pradhan was tortured and killed. Some jail inmates had also mentioned that the late pastor had been badly tortured at the Baliguda sub-jail.

So far no criminal proceedings have been initiated against his killers. The family, too, has not received any compensation from the government.

– persecution.in

Rimsha Masih freed on bail in Pakistan but ordeal far from over

September 20, 2012 by  
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Christian girls in Pakistan are extremely vulnerable to attack

Christian girls in Pakistan are extremely vulnerable to attack

Pakistan, September 12, 2012: Rimsha Masih, the Christian girl detained for blasphemy in Pakistan, has been freed on bail but remains “at grave risk”; meanwhile attacks on vulnerable young Christian girls in the country continue.

The 14-year-old with Down’s syndrome was granted bail on Friday (7 September) by a court in Islamabad after three weeks in a high-security prison. Amid fears that Islamic hard-liners would try to attack Rimsha, she was bundled, head covered, into a helicopter as heavily armed police stood guard. She was flown to a secure location to be reunited with her family.

Rimsha is the first person accused of blasphemy inPakistan to be granted bail; it is not a bailable offence, but the judge was swayed by pleas over her juvenile status and the insistence of the investigating officer that the Christian girl had been framed. Imam Khalid Jadoon Chishti is alleged to have planted evidence on her to “get rid of Christians” from Maherabad.

But Rimsha’s terrible ordeal is far from over. The charges against her have not been dropped, and it has not yet been decided if she will have to stand trial. Even if she is cleared, the youngster will remain vulnerable to attack by Muslim extremists; people who have been accused of blasphemy have been killed by vigilantes following their release. She may have to remain under armed guard for the rest of her life.

Raja Ikram, one of the lawyers defending Rimsha, said:

She is at grave risk in the sense that the people who managed this whole drama and fabricated the evidence against her most certainly wish her harm.

The case has sparked widespread condemnation of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and calls for them to be reformed. But most analysts consider it highly unlikely that there will be any change, leaving Christians open to further malicious and devastating accusations.

Rimsha’s plight has also drawn attention to the abuse of Christians in Pakistan, but this also continues unabated.

One particularly savage incident, which happened on 14 August, involved the gang-rape and murder of a 12-year-old Christian girl, Muqadas Kainat, by five Muslim men in a field.

In another case, a ten-year-old Christian girl was raped by a 60-year-old Muslim man on 25 August. He lured the youngster to his home in Faisalabad, where he brutally assaulted her.

– barnabas team

Hezbollah launches a week of protests against anti-Islam film

September 20, 2012 by  
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Lebanon, September 9, 2012: The leader of the Shiite militants waited for Pope Benedict XVI’s departure from Lebanon. Seven days of demonstrations around the country. Islamic countries must apply for an international law prohibiting insults to Islam and other religions. In Libya 50 people arrested and detained linked to the U.S. consulate attack, where Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed. Libyan President says leaders of the attack, planned months before, are members of al Qaeda.

A few hours after the conclusion of Benedict XVI’s visit to Lebanon, in a televised address the Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, announced seven days of protests against a blasphemous film about Muhammad and against the United States, where it was produced.

Nasrallah pointed out that he intentionally waited for the departure of Benedict XVI before launching the initiative. ” Those who should be held accountable, punished, prosecuted and boycotted are those directly responsible for this film and those who stand behind them and those who support and protect them, primarily the United States of America”. He said that Arab and Islamic governments should press for an enforceable international law banning insults to Islam and other religions.”

Nasrallah also asked Muslim Arab countries to press for an international law prohibiting insults to Islam and other religions.

The protests will be held this afternoon in Beirut, in the southern suburbs, where Hezbollah has a very strong following, on Wednesday in Tyre, Baalbek Friday and Saturday in Bint Jbeil, Sunday in Hermel and eastern Bekaa.

He also asked Muslims around the world to demonstrate against the film which, he described as “the worst attack ever on Islam, worse than The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie, the burning of the Koran in Afghanistan and the cartoons in the European media.”

Just a few days ago, the United States launched some sanctions against the Hezbollah leader Nasrallah and two others for their support for Bashar al-Assad. Since 2001, the U.S. considers Hezbollah a terrorist group.

In Lebanon, in these days of the Pope’s visit there were no demonstrations against the film except in northern Lebanon, in Tripoli, where the population is predominantly Sunni.

But the protests against the blasphemous film are spreading in much of the Islamic world, supported mostly by fundamentalist Muslims. This morning, about 1,000 people demonstrated in Kabul (Afghanistan). Yesterday a rally in Karachi (Pakistan) ended with clashes between police and demonstrators, with one dead.

Most governments in the Islamic world, while condemning the film, however, are distancing themselves from the violence and protests that followed, most notably Libya, where on the night of September 11, the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was attacked and Ambassador Chris Stevens and three staff members killed.

Yesterday, on a US television broadcast, president of Libya’s interim assembly Magarief Mohammed said that his government has arrested 50 people connected to the consulate attack. Magarief said some of those arrested are not Libyans, and are linked to al-Qaida, from Mali and Algeria. He called the others who were arrested “sympathizers of al Qaeda.”

But Libyan interior minister Fawzi Abdel A’al has said that only four people were arrested, while the other – about 50 – have only been detained for questioning.

According Magarief, the attack on the consulate was planned some months before by “foreigners” who used protests against the blasphemous film to attack the target.

In contrast, Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the UN, said yesterday that the government’s preliminary information indicates that the  attack on the consulate was not planned.

– asianews

Look up !

September 19, 2012 by  
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THE BUZZARD:

If you put a buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet
and is entirely open at the top,
the bird, in spite of its ability to fly,
will be an absolute prisoner.
The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight
from the ground with a run of 10 to 12 feet.
Without space to run, as is its habit,
it will not even attempt to fly,
but will remain a prisoner for life
in a small jail with no top.

THE BAT:
The ordinary bat that flies around at night,
a remarkable nimble creature in the air,
cannot take off from a level place.
If it is placed on the floor or flat ground,
all it can do is shuffle about helplessly
and, no doubt, painfully,
until it reaches some slight elevation
from which it can throw itself into the air.
Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.

THE BUMBLEBEE:
A bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler,
will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out.
It never sees the means of escape at the top,
but persists in trying to find some way out
through the sides near the bottom.
It will seek a way where none exists,
until it completely destroys itself.

PEOPLE:

In many ways, we are like the buzzard, the bat, and the bumblebee.
We struggle about with all our problems and frustrations,
never realizing that all we have to do is look up!
That’s the answer, the escape route and the solution
to any problem!
Whether the problem is in your organisation,
family, social circle or personal life
– Just look up.

Sorrow looks back
Worry looks around
But faith looks up …
… and still keeps you hooked !!!

– fwd: menino martis

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