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In an interview with Karan Thapar and the activist discuss the report’s findings that the Delhi police and government did precious little to stop the violence. In an interview to discuss the recently released Citizens Committee report on the 2020 Delhi riots which, sadly, has not got the attention it deserves from the media, human rights activists and the founder of Karwan-e-Mohabbat, Harsh Mander agrees the report is “a devastating critique of our country”. He says: “It’s a credible, convincing indictment of all that has gone wrong in our country. It should have led to nationwide outrage. The fact that it’s barely being discussed reflects even more deeply how far the rot has gone.” In a 30-minute interview with Karan Thapar for The Wire, Mander added: “The report underlines how dark a moment this is in India’s journey as a republic, how every institution is crumbling and with what consequences.” The interview first discusses in some detail the Citizens Committee report’s findings about the response, behaviour and alleged complicity of the Delhi Police. How they failed to act for three days even though they had received at least six internal alerts from the Special Branch. How the Committee has found a mass of information

Some Church leaders upset as all criminal cases under a scrapped provision of Information Technology Act are to be dropped Church officials in southern India have expressed concern over India’s Supreme Court asking to drop criminal cases filed under a controversial provision meant to ensure government control over social media. Human rights groups including a Catholic priest though say the move will stop the government machinery from unfairly targeting its critics and innocent citizens. The Supreme Court on Oct. 12 directed the federal and state governments to drop all cases initiated under the provision of section 66A of the Information Technology Act 2000, some seven years after it was scrapped. The provision criminalized online communication that was "grossly offensive, menacing,” or the sender knew to be false “to cause annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will.” A Bench led by Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit directed “all Directors General of Police as well as Home Secretaries of the States and competent officers in Union Territories to instruct their entire police force in their respective States/Union Territories not to register any complaint of crime with respect to alleged violation of section 66A,” reported The Hindu newspaper. Father Jacob G Palakkappilly,

Shashi Tharoor is a former UN official currently in the race to become the president of the opposition Congress party The human rights of Indian Jesuit Father Stan Swamy, who died in judicial custody, were violated even though he fought for the rights of poor indigenous people, a senior opposition leader says. Shashi Tharoor, a Member of Parliament who is in the electoral race to become the next chief of the opposition Congress party, was speaking at the Father Stan Swamy Memorial Lecture on, ‘Are Human Rights Universal?’ in Mumbai city on Oct. 8. A former UN diplomat and former federal minister, Tharoor said that “the late activist priest’s death in judicial custody had brought the world’s attention to his work and commitment.” The 84-year-old Jesuit priest died as an undertrial while undergoing treatment in a Catholic-managed private hospital in Mumbai on July 5, 2021, after his arrest alleging involvement in the mob violence during the bicentenary celebrations of the Bhima-Koregaon battle victory near Pune city in western Maharashtra state on Jan. 1, 2018. Father Swamy was jailed on Oct. 9, 2020, a day after he was arrested at his home in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand state in eastern India. He was charged with

External Affairs Minister meets American counterpart Antony Blinken External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his American counterpart, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, discussed human rights during their bilateral meeting on Tuesday. The two sides spoke of their commitment to further democracy, governance and human rights, Mr. Jaishankar said. He said each country approached these issues differently. “Each country approaches the set of issues from their history, tradition and societal context. Our yardstick for judgment are the integrity of the democratic processes, the respect and credibility that they command with the people, and the non-discriminatory delivery of public goods and services,” the Minister said at a joint press availability at the State Department. Questioned on F-16 assistance to Pakistan, U.S. says relationships with India, Pakistan distinct “India does not believe that the efficacy or indeed the quality of democracy should be decided by vote banks,” Mr Jaishankar said, adding that the two sides looked forward to a “healthy exchange” of views. Mr Jaishankar had told The Hindu in April this year at a press conference following the India-U.S. 2+2 Ministers meeting in Washington DC that people were entitled to have their views on India but that India was equally entitled to views on their views and the

Federal government appears bent on cornering minority community on issues of land and properties besides conversion An Indian Supreme Court order on Sept 26 seeking a government response to a petition that pleaded for strict action against “religious conversion through fraud and intimidation” will not translate immediately into a national law against conversions to Christianity and Islam. The general allegory among those who accuse Christians of converting through fraud and allurement is that missionaries use their educational and health services to attract and trap poor Hindus and tribal people. The church is possibly right in steeling itself for government action on various fronts. At the top of its apprehensions is the government seeking a greater role in running educational institutions, and possible revocation of British-era land leases on which these are built. Places of worship — India has some majestic and historic cathedrals, churches, and hilltop chapels — may perhaps not be threatened for fear of international rebuke. But the process of safeguarding the land and buildings could take years of court battles and hundreds of millions of rupees in legal fees. The clamor for action, as well as the threat to church lands, comes in the wake of a sustained political campaign that began

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