Kerala: Five radical Hindus arrested for attacking a Christian gathering

June 22, 2015 by  
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Kerala christiansMumbai, June 17, 2015: Police in Kerala arrested five people in connection with an attack against a Christian prayer group in Attingal.

According to law enforcement sources, the five could be members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu radical paramilitary group. Police, which is still looking for their accomplices, filed complaints against 20 people.

Last Sunday, the attackers targeted a Pentecostal community, the Reaching the World with Love Ministry, when the faithful were attending a spiritual meeting. Those arrested – TR Anoop, 38; Anoop, 30; Vimal, 30; Abhijit, 22; and Deepu, 20 – are all natives of Attingal.

According to police, the RSS militants stormed the Pentecostal prayer meeting, accusing the Christian group of forced conversions of Hindus.

“Kerala is known as ‘God’s Country’,” Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), told AsiaNews. “Unfortunately, Christians cannot freely worship him because of rising radicalism in the state.”

Still, “The GCIC is very grateful for the authorities’ swift action against militants. A culture of mob violence harms society and the state’s development. If people are unable to live together and respect each other’s beliefs, how can we move forward?”

Kerala is considered one of India’s most tolerant states. Nation-wide, Christians are only 2.5 per cent, but in this southwestern state, they represent 19 per cent of the population.

– asianews

For Catholic activist, federalism and religious freedom should be part of Myanmar’s democratic development

June 22, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-asia

Myanmar electionsRome, June 19, 2015: Many issues will shape Myanmar’s upcoming parliamentary election. Scheduled for later this year, this poll is the second since the military dictatorship ended. However, unlike 2011, this time Myanmar’s main pro-democracy party will be able to participate fully.

The issues that top the political agenda include the Rohingya crisis, which has gone from a domestic problem to a regional one; Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to China as part of her strategy to gain political acceptance and overcome Beijing’s past hostility towards her pro-democracy party; rising nationalism among some Buddhists; and the countervailing work by the local Catholic Church in favour of peace and reconciliation, starting in regions inhabited by ethnic minorities torn by decades of conflict.

To explore these issues, AsiaNews spoke with Benedict Rogers, a journalist and human rights activist originally from London. As the East Asia Team leader at Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), he is a leading expert on Myanmar, where in 2013 he converted to Catholicism in Yangon Cathedral.

He has visited the Asian nation more than 50 times in recent years, travelling to Yangon, Mandalay, and Naypyidaw as well as states inhabited by minorities like Kachin, Chin and Shan.

The activist has just completed a new mission in Myanmar and wanted to share with us his impressions. Here is his interview with AsiaNews:

The Rohingya problem is back. Once a domestic issue, it has now become a regional issue. Is there a parallel between the refugee emergency in Asia and events in the Mediterranean?

It is extraordinary that simultaneously we are seeing a humanitarian crisis of refugees fleeing on boats in both Asia and Europe. There are certainly stark parallels between the two situations, including the reluctance of countries in both regions to help provide sanctuary for these refugees. In regard to the situation in Burma, the root cause of the crisis is the desperate persecution of the Rohingyas, who have been stripped of citizenship and of any basic human rights, exist in dire conditions in camps for displaced people with little humanitarian assistance, and are subjected to a dehumanising campaign of hatred.

Is the Myanmar government, as someone said, the main culprit for this emergency?

The Burmese government is certainly responsible, though there are of course elements within society who are involved as well. If the Burmese government took steps to recognise the citizenship of the Rohingyas, begin a process of reconciliation between the Rohingyas and Rakhine, tackle hate speech, and protect the basic human rights of the Rohingyas, it would go a long way towards resolving the crisis.

On the subject of civil society and religions, can we say that some elements in Burmese Buddhism are becoming extremist?

There is certainly a serious problem of extremism in Burmese Buddhism, or more accurately, we should say Buddhist nationalism. It is of course a total perversion of Buddhism itself, which as a religion teaches love, compassion, peace and non-violence, but unfortunately, there is a movement in Burma – as there is in Sri Lanka – which has distorted the beautiful principles of Buddhism and turned it into a politicised religious nationalism that confuses religion with race and identity. It is a movement that seeks to impose its extreme religious nationalism on the country, through violence, discrimination and legislation, and oppresses primarily Muslims, but also Buddhists who try to counter it, and potentially Christians and other non-Buddhist minorities.

In addition to religious nationalism, ethnic minorities (Kachin, Chin, Kokang) remain an issue. Can we really believe in government-sponsored talks?

On the question of trust, clearly decades of war and broken promises and brutal oppression have eroded trust in the government and the army. Even now, it appears that the government and the army want peace only on their terms. If that is the case, peace will not be achieved. However, is lasting peace possible? Yes it is, if the government and the army sincerely build trust with the ethnic nationalities. This must include the army observing the terms of any ceasefire agreed; withdrawing troops from ethnic areas; and beginning a political dialogue to seek a political solution. Withdrawing troops is vital in my opinion, because for decades, the Burma Army has perpetrated serious human rights abuses against ethnic civilians, including rape and forced labour, and civilians will feel vulnerable if Burma Army soldiers remain close to their villages even if there is a ceasefire.

A political dialogue must lead to the establishment of a federal democracy in which the ethnic nationalities are given some degree of autonoy. A genuine, lasting peace can only be achieved through a political settlement.

In political terms, Aung San Suu Kyi’s recent visit to China marks a turning point for her (She turns 70 today). Once an iconic defender of rights, she has become the leader of a party and one day she might be the leader of a nation . . .

It is obviously important for the National League for Democracy (NLD) to establish constructive relations with China, if the NLD is to hold some political power in Burma after the elections later this year. China is too big and too important a neighbour to ignore, and although it has historically backed successive regimes and is no friend of democracy, it is in the NLD’s interests at least to neutralise China’s negative influence by building relations. Very clearly, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is a politician, as she has said herself, and her focus currently is on the forthcoming elections in Burma.

In such a complex framework, what role does the Catholic Church play in Myanmar?

The Catholic Church definitely has an important role to play and can indeed contribute to reconciliation. Cardinal Charles Maung Bo has been perhaps the most consistently and courageously outspoken national leader in Burma, not only among religious leaders but among any public figures, as a voice for human rights, religious freedom, inter-religious harmony and ethnic peace for all the peoples of Burma. When he was appointed Cardinal earlier this year, many Burmese Buddhists and Muslims described him as “our Cardinal”. As a result of his leadership, and the Church’s contribution to society over many years through education, health care and other social justice issues, Catholics are respected in Burma and have an important contribution to make to nation building.

Is there an image, a face, an event that has marked your last trip to Myanmar?

Although there are very grave concerns over the rise of religious intolerance, it is also encouraging to note that there are a growing number of civil society actors and religious leaders, including Buddhist monks, who are trying to counter intolerance and promote religious freedom and inter-religious harmony. Their work is difficult and challenging, but vital. There is a real appetite for workshops, seminars and training on religious freedom and inter-faith harmony, and I have been privileged to be involved with several such initiatives. Working to strengthen the voice of those Buddhist monks who want to promote peace and harmony and counter hatred and intolerance is especially important. In February this year, I organised an exchange between religious freedom activists from Burma with counterparts in Indonesia, and in one visit to an Islamic boarding school in West Java, Indonesia, there was a beautiful moment when the Burmese Buddhist monk and the Indonesian Muslim leader embraced, hugged.

This was followed more recently by a moment when, at the end of a workshop I gave in Mandalay, a Burmese Buddhist monk came and hugged me. These symbolic images represent hope for the future.

– asianews

The Pope to the Syriac-Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch: “Yours is a Church of martyrs”

June 22, 2015 by  
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Pope and the Syriac-Orthodox Patriarch of AntiochVatican City, 19 June, 2015: Following a tradition established in 1971 by the Syriac-Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, His Holiness Ignatius Jacob III and Blessed Paul VI, this morning Pope Francis received in the Vatican His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II, accompanied by a Syriac-Orthodox delegation, recalling that the historic first meeting was the beginning of a “holy pilgrimage” towards full communion between the two Churches.

Francis also mentioned the Joint Declaration on the common profession of faith in the mystery of the Incarnate Word, the true God and the true man, signed in that year by the Patriarch and the Pope, which laid the foundations for a path to unity among disciples. Subsequent meetings between Patriarch Ignatius Zakka Iwas and St. John Paul II, first in Rome and then in Damascus, represented important steps toward the concrete pastoral collaboration for the good of the faithful.

“How much has changed since those first meetings!” exclaimed the bishop of Rome. “Yours, Beatitude, has been a Church of martyrs since the very beginning, and continues to be so to this day in the Middle East, where, along with other Christian communities and other minorities, it suffers greatly as a result of war, violence and persecution. How much pain! How many innocent victims! Faced with all this, it seems that those in power seem unable to find solutions”.

“Let us pray together for the victims of this brutal violence and for all the situations of war throughout the world. In particular, let us remember the Metropolitan Gregorios Ibrahim and the Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church Griega Paul Yazigi, abducted at the same time two years ago. Let us also remember the priests and the many other people, of different groups, deprived of their freedom. And let us ask of the Lord the grace always to be willing to forgive and to be builders of reconciliation and peace. This is what inspires the witness of the martyrs. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the unity of the Church and the tool for the edification of the kingdom of God, which is the kingdom of peace and justice”.

“Beatitude, dear brother, in this moment of tension and pain”, concluded the Pope, “let us increasingly strengthen the bonds of friendship and fraternity between the Catholic Church and the Syriac-Orthodox Church. Let us hasten our steps on the common path, looking towards the day in which we will be able to celebrate our common belonging to Christ’s single Church around the same altar of the Sacrifice and of worship. Let us exchange the treasures of our traditions as spiritual gifts, as what unites us is far greater than what divides us”.

The Holy Father and the Patriarch then prayed together in the Redemptoris Mater chapel.

– vis

Even Hollywood’s cool kids are praising Christianity now

June 22, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

Matthew McConaughey (from left), Gwen Stefani and Chris Pratt are all devout followers of Jesus Christ.U.S, June 17, 2015: Hollywood is having a Christian renaissance.

Matthew McConaughey, Chris Pratt, Brad Pitt, Gwen Stefani, Mark Wahlberg and even wee bad boy Shia LaBeouf, who seems like the kind of guy who would say he’s bigger than Jesus and John Lennon combined, are talking up their Christian faith.

Pratt, perhaps the hottest actor in town on the strength of the 2014 smash “Guardians of the Galaxy” and the even bigger hit “Jurassic World,” is a Christian who credits praying to God for saving his son Jack when the boy was born nine weeks prematurely to his wife, Anna Faris.

Pratt told Esquire last year, “I gave my soul to Jesus” at age 19 after an encounter outside a liquor store in Hawaii with a man who told him, “I stopped because Jesus told me to stop and talk to you. He said to tell you you’re destined for great things.” A month later, Pratt was spotted by a director who helped get him a part in a horror movie, and his Hollywood career had begun. Raised Lutheran, he now considers himself “a free agent for God.” Every night before going to sleep, he prays, “Now I lay me down to sleep . . .”

Pitt, who grew up in a devout Baptist household in Missouri, in the past has described himself as somewhere between agnostic and atheistic, but apparently he has changed his mind. LaBeouf, his co-star in last year’s World War II movie “Fury,” told Interview, “I found God doing ‘Fury.’ I became a Christian man, and not in a f - - king bulls - - t way — in a very real way. I could have just said the prayers that were on the page. But it was a real thing that really saved me. And you can’t identify unless you’re really going through it. It’s a full-blown exchange of heart, a surrender of control.” LaBeouf added that his director, David Ayer, is a “full subscriber to Christianity” and that Pitt, who hews to an “unnamed spirituality,” was “instrumental” in “guiding my head through this.”

McConaughey, who is named after the apostle, famously gave props to God in his Oscar speech last year: “First off, I want to thank God, because that’s who I look up to. He’s graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand.”

He attends a nondenominational church in Texas that, he told GQ, is “based in the faith that Jesus is the son of God, that He died for our sins, but many different denominations come in.” He says God is “somebody who can help answer my questions. Someone who has a hand in all of this miracle we call life, which I believe is a miracle.”

Gwen Stefani, a Catholic, recently said on “Late Night With Seth Meyers” she wasn’t planning on having any more children, but believes her oldest son has a “direct link to God” and that four weeks after the boy started praying for a little sibling, she discovered she was pregnant.

A fellow Catholic, Mark Wahlberg, told the Catholic Herald, “Being a Catholic is the most important aspect of my life. The first thing I do when I start my day is, I get down on my hands and knees and give thanks to God. Whenever I go outside of my house, the first thing I do is stop at the church. The kids will be mad with me. ‘Daddy! It takes too long!’ I’m saying: ‘It’s only 10 minutes and this is something I really need to do.’ ”

So it’s not just Kirk Cameron and Stephen Baldwin and the kid from “Two and a Half Men.” With A-list stars backing Jesus, who knows? This Christianity thing could catch on.

– newyork post

The cockroach theory for self development

June 19, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-miscellaneous

A beautiful speech by Sundar Pichai – an IIT-MIT Alumnus and Global Head Google Chrome:

Lady ScaredThe cockroach theory for self development
At a restaurant, a cockroach suddenly flew from somewhere and  sat on a lady.

She started screaming out of fear.

With a panic stricken face and trembling voice, she started jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach.

Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group also got panicky.

The lady finally managed to push the cockroach away but …it landed on another lady in the group.

Now, it was the turn of the other lady in the group to continue the drama.

The waiter rushed forward to their rescue.

In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter.

The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behavior of the cockroach on his shirt.

When he was confident enough, he grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out of the restaurant.

disturbedSipping my coffee and watching the amusement, the antenna of my mind picked up a few thoughts and started wondering, was the cockroach  responsible for their histrionic behavior?

If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed?

He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos.

It is not the cockroach, but the inability of the ladies to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach, that disturbed the ladies.

I realized that, it is not the shouting of my father or my boss or my wife that disturbs me, but it’s my inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me.

It’s not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me.

More than the problem, it’s my reaction to the problem that creates chaos in my life.

Lessons learnt from the story:

I understood, I should not react in life.

LifeI should always respond.

The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded.

Reactions are always instinctive whereas responses are always well thought of.

A beautiful way to understand…………LIFE.

Person who is HAPPY is not because Everything is RIGHT in his Life..

He is HAPPY because his Attitude towards Everything in his Life is Right..!!

Islamic State announce seized Mosul cathedral to be named the “mosque of the mujahedeen”

June 19, 2015 by  
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Syriac Orthodox Cathedral Church of St EphremMosul, June 16, 2015: One year after the fall of Mosul to Islamic State (IS), militants posted notices around the captured city announcing that the Syriac Orthodox Cathedral Church of St Ephrem, seized a year ago, is to be turned into the “mosque of the mujahedeen” (jihad fighters).

Archbishop Nicodemus Daoud of Mosul broke down and wept last year as he told Barnabas about the fate of his cathedral. The jihadist flag stating, “There is no God but Allah” and “Prophet Muhammad” was draped over the building and last July the militants took down the cross from the church’s dome.

Since July, the headquarters of the IS “state council” has met in buildings on the church’s premises. And last November, IS removed all of the furniture from inside the building and sold it off. The new name was announced on the anniversary of the date the church was seized.

“If they changed a church to a mosque it is further proof of their cleansing …,” said human rights activist Nuri Kino, president of A Demand for Action, a group advocating the protection of ethno-religious minorities such as Assyrians and Yazidis in the Middle East. “They destroy our artefacts, our churches and try to erase us in any way they can.”

Mosul is Iraq’s second largest city and was traditionally the heartland of the country’s Christian presence. After Mosul fell to IS on 10 June 2014, Mosul’s Christians were issued an ultimatum: convert to Islam, pay the humiliating jizya head tax, or be killed. The city is now empty of its Christians who have little hope of being able to return. Archbishop Nicodemus was last to leave, fleeing only when IS were five minutes away from his residence.

– barnabas

Iraqi Christian leader: The shepherd cannot leave his sheep

June 19, 2015 by  
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ISISIraq, June 08, 2015: Only four miles (six km) from the frontlines of Islamic State (IS) fighters, three monks and six students have determined to remain in St Matthew’s ancient monastery in Iraq’s Nineveh province until there are no Christians left in the country. “We can see the battles and the airstrikes from here in front of us,” says Yousif Ibrahim, one of three remaining monks living in the monastery. “The sky lights up at night, but we of course are not scared. God protects us.”

With only the Kurdish Peshmerga military left to protect a monastery that has withstood the conquests of the Ottoman and Persian empires, the nine Christians who have chosen to stay are only too aware that IS could reach St Matthew’s at any moment. “We are not scared, because our teachers give us a feeling of peace here,” says student Sahar Karaikos, “but we know we are on the frontlines… I don’t even want to think or speak about the destruction the Islamic State would cause if they took our monastery.”

Most of the Christians in the town and the other monks fled in August last year when IS militants advanced across territory close to Mt. Al-Faf, where St Matthew’s monastery has sat since 363 AD. Even though these monks and students remain, many of the irreplaceable books and relics have been taken to safer areas. “If a people don’t have the history of their past,” says Sahar Karaikos, “then they will not have a future because they won’t know what their origins are, where they came from.”

Set at the very heart of Iraq’s ancient Christian heartland, the Nineveh plains, St Matthew’s monastery is emblematic of Iraq’s historical Christian presence which dates back almost 2,000 years: prayer worship at St Matthew’s is conducted in Aramaic, the language of Jesus. But now the country’s Christian presence is under serious threat. Those who remain, a distinct light in the darkness, are likely to be forced out of Iraq eventually, says Yousif Ibrahim. Until then, however, he has decided to stay, explaining, “the shepherd cannot leave his sheep”.

When IS took over Mosul in June last year, they drove the Christians out of the city and looted their homes. Archbishop Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, fled with only five minutes to spare when the IS fighters were just 300 metres from his house. “They take everything from us,” he said, “but they cannot take the God from our hearts, they cannot.”

– barnabas

More than 200 missing orphans taken by Hindu holy men after the earthquake

June 19, 2015 by  
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children in nepal after earthquakeKathmandu, June 18, 2015: Nepali authorities have banned the transfer of children to shelters and centres run by Hindu holy men after 237 children went missing when they found refuge in such sites in the wake of the massive 25 April earthquake. The Indian-based Patanjali Yogpeeth Yoga Centre run by guru Ramdev is one of them.

The order was issued after the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB), the government body responsible for monitoring children’s movements in the country, reported the disappearance of 215 children from Gorkha District and 22 from Okhaldhunga District. Most of the children lost their parents in the powerful earthquake that killed 8,700 and injured 17,000 more.

“Hundreds of children who lost their parents or guardians have been welcomed by many organisations working on behalf of shelters run by gurus in India. However, many of them are currently unaccounted for,” CCWB Director Dilli Ram Giri told AsiaNews.

The situation came to light on 9 June when police in Kathmandu and Dhading District rescued 195 children from the Lho monastery, in Lho village (Gorkha District).

Minors were travelling without the authorisation of their home district, which was made compulsory to prevent the trafficking and exploitation of children after thousands of complaints were filed in recent weeks.

The authorities have charged Chiranjibi Bhandari, from the Nepal Children’s Organisation, of criminal association aimed at the sale of children from government-run schools.

Officials rescued 337 children from several districts, including Dhading, Dolakha, Kavre, Okhadhunga, Rasuwa, Nuwakot, Lamjung and Rukum.

According to Superintendent Krishna Gautam, head of the Women and Children Department in the Nepalese police, child trafficking has increased significantly following the earthquake.

On Tuesday, with a mandate from the Nepal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Kavre District Administration Office raided the Patanjali Yogpeeth Yoga Centre and rescued 22 children who were about to be moved to the organisation’s headquarters in Haridwar (in the Indian state of Uttarakhand), and returned them to their parents.

Led by Baba Ramdev, a well-known guru, the Indian-based Patanjali Yogpeeth Yoga Centre is setting up a branch in Nepal.

Right after the earthquake, Baba Ramdev announced that he would take in 500 children affected by the earthquake, and provide them with care and education up to the fifth grade in Haridwar. However, minors found in the yoga centre in Kavre were not authorised to move.

“Those found to be taking minors with them without permission will face human trafficking charges,” warned Laxmi Dhakal, spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affairs.

“Many children taken to India will not be allowed in shelters run by Indian Hindu gurus, even if they have the right papers, because of reports about serious cases of exploitation,” said Kavre District Chief Sudarshan Dhakal.

– asianews

Raze illegal mosques in Maharashtra, Sena tells AIMIM

June 19, 2015 by  
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MosqueMumbai, June 08, 2015: The Shiv Sena on Monday dared All India Majlis-e-Ittedahul Muslimeen (AIMIM) to “raze thousands of illegal mosques constructed on government lands in Maharashtra”.

“Will they make a demand to demolish unauthorised mosques? The Muslims have benefitted most from Haj pilgrimage subsidy. Even Haj concessions come from government treasury…. Isn’t this also a waste of public funds,” Shiv Sena said in an edit in the party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.

Demanding that public lands and monies must not be utilised for building memorials to prominent leaders, AIMIM had recently expressed displeasure over plans to erect memorials to Chhatrapati Shivaji, Sena founder Bal Thackeray and senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde in the city.

These public funds, AIMIM contended, should instead be used to construct hospitals in the names of leaders, for the poor masses. Party MLA Imtiaz Jalil said that if such memorials had to be constructed, they could come up on private land.

“This was quite expected from the party ‘owner’ Akbaruddin Owaisi, who offered namaaz at the grave of Aurangzeb…. After all, they (AIMIM) are inspired by Aurangzeb and Afzal Khan – the very persons whose ideals were ‘uprooted’ first by Chhatrapati Shivaji and later Bal Thackeray,” the edit added.

As for Jalil’s warning that his party would knock on the court’s doors in case AIMIM demand was not met, the Shiv Sena termed it “treachery with Maharashtra”.

The Sena also questioned AIMIM on the illegal mosques on government lands and its silence on the upcoming grand memorial to Dr B.R. Ambedkar in Mumbai.

“AIMIM has commented on the memorials of Chhatrapati Shivaji, Bal Thackeray or Gopinath Munde. What about Ambedkar’s memorial coming up on 14 acres of government land in Dadar? They forgot it for political expediency,” the edit said.

The Sena called upon the Dalits – who voted for AIMIM candidates in several constituencies in Maharashtra in the October 2014 state assembly polls – “to kick out these frauds”.

“Those who oppose ‘Vande Mataram’ and don’t consider India as their motherland, of whichever religion, have no business to poke noses in matters of sentiments concerning the nation and the state…,” the Sena added.

– ians

Karnataka to withdraw rioting cases against 1400 Muslims

June 19, 2015 by  
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karnataka riotsBengaluru, June 08, 2015: The Karnataka government has decided to withdraw cases against more than 1400 Muslims registered after communal clashes in 2010 in the state. The move has brought cheers from Muslim organisations while the BJP has lambasted the government.

The Karnataka cabinet has on June 1 decided to withdraw cases against those involved in the 2010 communal clashes in Shivamogga and Hassan that had erupted soon after a translation of author Tasleema Nasreen’s work was published in a local daily. Most of these people belonged to Popular Front of India (PFI) and Karnataka Forum for Dignity (KFD), both organisations working on pro-Muslims issues.

T B Jayachandra, Karnataka Law Minister, said the step comes after the cabinet approved the recommendations of the sub-committee on withdrawal of the cases. “A total 135 cases of communal violence against 1400 people will be withdrawn. These were filed on February 28, 2010 in Shivamogga (114) and March 1, 2010 in Hassan (21),” Jayachandra was quoted by Times of India

“It has come to the government’s notice that most of those who were charge sheeted were only participating in protests and had gathered peacefully. They had no role in the violence, they were also not part of the mob. So, after examining on case-to-case basis, the government has decided to drop charges against PFI members,” Jayachandra justified, as per a report in the New Indian Express

The Times of India also reported that the Karnataka cabinet has also decided to withdraw cases against 214 people who took part in an unlawful assembly in Mysuru. The cases relate to KDF and PFI activists burning tyres and causing inconvenience to commuters near a Mysuru Hospital.

Hailing the decision, and the chief minister Siddaramaiah for it, Mohamed Shakib, PFI state president, called it as a bold decision of the state government to “withdraw cases against ‘innocents’ by the erstwhile ‘communal regime’ in Karnataka.”

“We congratulate the chief minister for this courageous step,” Urdu news site Nasheman quoted him as saying

On Saturday, June 6, a delegation of national and state leaders of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) met Siddaramaiah and congratulated him for what the party described as “a good decision.”

Meanwhile, opposition BJP has accused the chief minister of “strengthening the Congress vote bank at the expense of security.” CT Ravi, BJP spokesperson, said: “It is unfortunate that the chief minister has disregarded the recommendations of the police officers on withdrawal of over 175 cases registered against PFI and KFD activists. The police had specifically submitted a report to the state cabinet that they are dangerous organisations, who indulge in violent, anti-social activities.”

– tcn

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