<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court on Thursday quashed and set aside a criminal case registered against a Thane based footwear seller under section 295 (A) of the Indian Penal Code, which refers to deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.A division bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice Nutan Sardesai quashed the criminal complaint lodged against Dejul Shah, in the year 2014, by Amjad Shaikh at the Naupada Police station. Advocate Ashok Pande appearing for Shah had argued that in 2014, the complaint was registered with the Naupada police station alleging that he deliberately printed the alphabet ‘M’ in a manner resembling the word ‘Allah’ in Urdu language, if seen in reverse.The bench observed, “The police officers who register case under the said section should be cautious while doing so and only if all ingredients are made out in the preliminary inquiry, then an offence be registered. They should not act to please any political party”.The police summoned him immediately and started investigating the matter. After a few days, Shah was given bail by the local court. After that, the police neither investigated the matter nor filed a charge sheet in the local court. Therefore, Shah approached the HC and requested to quash the FIR.Pande further argued saying, “Shah is a small-time business man who makes shoe and sandals locally. He orders soles for his products from a Delhi-based manufacturer named A to Z footwear. He has no idea about how the printed M looks like Allah in Urdu. The sole manufacturer in Delhi belonged to the Muslim community and was also not aware of this. The police arrested the sole manufacturer but had let him off”.It was also argued that due to the case registered by the police, Shah suffered a monetary loss of Rs 1.5 lakh and humiliation for which he sought damages be paid to him.
A day after office of a BJP worker, who had opposed Raj Thackeray’s remark about burning the auto-rickshaws, was attacked by unknown persons, an MNS party office in Dindoshi area in north Mumbai has been allegedly attacked by BJP workers. A BJP worker claimed that his party members attacked the MNS office to avenge last night’s attack. The office of a BJP worker and businessman, who had opposed Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray’s remark about burning the auto-rickshaws, was attacked in Dindoshi late last night. “Today’s attack on MNS office by BJP members was to retaliate yesterday’s incident,” the BJP activist said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When contacted, former MLA of MNS, Nitin Sardesai confirmed that his party’s office has been attacked. “MNS office in Dindoshi has been attacked. I am on my way to the site and only after talking with the party workers there, I can tell what exactly happened there,” Sardesai said.Officers of Kurar police station said they are investigating both the attack cases. “No arrests have been made in any of the cases so far,” police said.
Tu Hai Kaun, Tu Patrakar Nahin Gaddar Hai (Who are you? You are not a journalist but a traitor)… These were the words of the goons in black coats before they assaulted me at Patiala House court today.
JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar was to be produced in court and like other journalists, I was there to cover the developments. I reached the court around noon and everything was normal. Security was tightened following the Supreme Court’s instruction to the police in the morning to ensure safety for Kumar. The policemen deployed there were frisking and checking everyone before allowing them entry into the court.
I was talking to a few journalist friends outside gate number two of the court when we heard slogans being raised from inside the court. We saw a group of 40-50 lawyers marching outside, waving the national flag. They raised slogans like ‘Gaddaron, Bharat Chhodo’ (Traitor, Leave India) and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ (Long Live, Mother India).
I went to one of the lawyers of the group and asked who these traitors were. The man told me they were journalists like Rajdeep Sardesai, Barkha Dutt, Bhupendra Chowbey, etc. I asked his name but he refused to be identified. The group marched outside for a few metres and then returned to the court, raising the same slogans. At gate number two, they were confronted by a smaller group of lawyers who asked them not to raise such slogans and let the law take its course. When the former refused to budge, the second group also began raising slogans like “Tanashahi nahin chalegi’ (dictatorship won’t prevail) and ‘Kanhaiya tum sangharsh karo, hum tumhare saath hain’ (Kanhaiya you continue with your struggle, we are with you).
As a scuffle broke out between the two protesting groups, I moved a few steps into the court campus and stood in the row where policemen stood in large numbers to the left, on the other side of the gate. Since I was asked to send live updates from the spot, I was typing into my phone. Suddenly, the ‘nationalist’ group of lawyers turned violent and pulled at one of the most outspoken lawyers of the other group. They began to beat, punch and kick him mercilessly. He lost his balance and fell to the ground close to the gate. There is a wooden cabin, perhaps for security personnel here. He was lying in the narrow space between the cabin and the boundary wall of the court campus as he was being kicked by the lawyers.
I went near where he was being assaulted and clicked a photo. Someone from the crowd spotted me and he snatched my cell phone and quickly deleted the photograph. I turned to him and asked for the mobile phone. Meanwhile, the attention of the entire mob turned to me. They started shouting, “Yeh kaun hai, ise pakdo” (Who is he? Catch hold of him). I told him that I am a journalist and showed them my ID card. When they learned that I was from Network 18, they began to shout: “Ise maro, yeh Rajdeep Sardesai ke channel me kaam karta hai” (Beat him. He works with Rajdeep Sardesai’s channel).
I tried to reason with them, making it clear that Sardesai is no longer associated with the group, but to no avail. “Barkha, Rajdeep aur Bhupendra jaise rashtra virodhi log tere jaise patrakar ke icon hote hain” (Traitors like Barkha, Rajdeep and Bhupendra are icons for journalists like you), one of them said.
Meanwhile, some of them grabbed my right hand, held it tightly and pulled me deep inside the campus. I resisted but soon others joined them and began to beat me up. A few lawyers intervened and escorted me to the gate. The policemen were initially reluctant to open the gate to let me out. Journalists who stood on the other side of the gate began to shout in my defence, asking the policemen to get me out. That was when the gate was opened and I came out. I recognised one of the attackers (advocate Vikram Singh Chauhan) who first pulled at me [Editor’s note: Chauhan is believed to have led the attack against journalists at Patiala House on Monday].
There was heavy police presence inside the court premises when the skirmish took place but nobody acted or offered to help me despite my pleas.
I suffered minor injuries to my face.
Amid the raging row over alleged anti-national remarks at an event in the JNU campus, Congress leader Salman Khurshid said India is not going to be “blown away” by a few slogans from some “crazy people”, even as he called the reaction to the controversy “disproportionate”. “I am unclear about what purpose is to be served by these crazy people who made these slogans against the country. I don’t know what context was involved there, unless they thought they were doing some favour to some Kashmiri movement. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”But no matter what they said and did, I think that we shouldn’t be so exercised. India is not going to be blown away by a few slogans by some crazy people,” he said.The former Union minister also crticised the reaction to the controversy, terming it as “disproportionate”. It could have been handled within the university itself, instead of being presented as a major threat to the country.
ALSO READ JNU Row: BJP defends Rajnath’s Hafiz statement, Congress and opposition attack govtKhurshid was speaking at a panel discussion titled — ‘Media and the intolerance debate: Has verdict 2014 changed India — which also featured columnist Ashok Malik and journalists Rajdeep Sardesai and Aniruddha Bahl at the closing session of the first Delhi Gymkhana Club literature festival. “These are things that can be handled within the university. There must be systems by which these things can be handled within the university. To make them appear as a major crisis and a major threat to the country is completely disproportionate,” he said.
ALSO READ From Kamlesh Tiwari to ‘anti-national’ JNU: Freedom of speech can have no restrictionsKhurshid said one must have confidence in the integrity and culture of the country. “We must have confidence in our country, in our faith, in what we are. We must also be confident about the integrity and strength of our culture,” he said. Reacting to Sardesai’s remarks that civil rights must include a “right to offend”, Khurshid said, “Right to offend is an interesting but dangerous idea.”
ALSO READ JNU row: Rajnath Singh claims Hafiz Saeed supported protest, RSS backs govt”I essentially would support the right to offend. But our Constitution does not support the right to offend…Now if we were to change our Constitution for the right to offend, it will open up a huge window through which many things would come.”Should you punish a person for right to offend or should you prohibit it. There are a few degrees of restrictions that we can impose. When talking about right to offend, one must be careful. There is a very thin line between being offended and being provoked by the offence,” he said.When asked by Bahl whether the character of the country had seen a change after the 2014 general elections, Khurshid said that though there might be a slight change in ambience, they are only marginal and temporary.”I think the ambience has changed a bit (after the 2014 elections). But, I think India is too deeply rooted in its character, in its nature, to change over the course of an election,” he said. “I think people make a mistake when they think that an election going one way or another changes the country. There are some marginal changes that are temporary. I don’t think that it is permanent. 2014 was certainly not a revolution, it was just another election,” Khurshid said. The senior Congress leader also criticised the media for “not performing” their role in properly shaping public discourse, saying the biggest worry as a politician was, to not offend the media.”Media has a special responsibility in public debate. The media doesn’t allow public discourse to take place in the manner it should. My biggest worry as a politician is that I should not offend the media. Because the media cannot take offence for a moment,” he said.
The BJP-led government in Goa on Friday disallowed use of its premises for the scheduled release of a book on Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse on occasion of the former’s death anniversary on Saturday amid protest by a local political outfit and to possibly avoid a potential controversy.However, Anup Sardesai, the writer of the book titled ‘Nathuram Godse – The Story of an Assassin’, said he would go ahead with its release at a different venue. In a late evening communication to the state-run Ravindra Bhavan in Margao, the venue of the release, South District Collector Pramod Shinde asked its management not to allow release of the book. Sardesai said, “I received an e-mail from Ravindra Bhavan stating that the venue will not be allowed to be used for the release of the book due to unavoidable circumstances”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said he would proceed with the release at a different venue. “I will inform about the venue to my audience. I have also informed police about the new venue,” Sardesai added. Earlier in the day, ‘Goa Forward’, launched by former state election commissioner Prabhkar Timble recently, opposed letting of the government premises for the release of the book which it termed as an “unpatriotic cause”.Interestingly, BJP leader Damodar Naik, chairman of Ravindra Bhavan, was supposed to release the book.Naik had said that the venue was booked through a normal procedure and there was no ulterior motive behind holding the function. “We will hold ‘satyagraha’ in front of Ravindra Bhavan if the government allows the function to happen,” Goa Forward secretary Mohandas Lolienkar told PTI. He also claimed that the protest has been supported by various sections of people including independent legislator Vijai Sardesai.Lolienkar had threatened to block all entrances of Ravindra Bhavan even as the party submitted a memorandum to South Goa district collector requesting cancellation of the function. “Though the event appears innocuous, it is timed for January 30 which is the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi,” Fatorda legislator Vijai Sardesai said.He termed the function as a “veiled celebration of a murder” and a deliberate design to disturb peace and harmony and to provoke and incite people by insulting the memory of Mahatma Gandhi.Meanwhile, author of the book said he was caught up in a political storm and rivalry between two political parties.
Newly formed Goa Forward party has opposed the release of a book on Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse scheduled for Saturday on the death anniversary of the Father of the Nation.The book, titled ‘Nathuram Godse – The Story of an Assassin’ and written by Anup Ashok Sardesai, is scheduled for release tomorrow at the government-owned Ravindra Bhavan in Margao by BJP leader and the bhavan’s chairman Damodar Naik. “The use of government premises for such an unpatriotic cause should be stopped. We will hold ‘satyagraha’ in front of Ravindra Bhavan if the government allows the function to happen,” Goa Forward’s secretary Mohandas Lolienkar said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He claimed that their protest is being supported by various sections, including Independent legislator Vijai Sardesai. “The party workers will block all the entrances of the venue so that no one can attend the function,” Lolienkar said, adding that the protest “will be peaceful”. The party has submitted memorandum to South Goa District Collector requesting cancellation of the function. “Though the event appears to be innocuous, it is timed on January 30 which is the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi,” Vijai Sardesai, the MLA from Fatorda, said.Dubbing the event as “veiled celebration of a murder”, he alleged that the book release is a deliberate design to disturb peace and harmony and to provoke and incite people by insulting the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, especially on the particular day. The Ravindra Bhavan authorities, however, denied the charges, and said they cannot stop the function. “The Ravindra Bhavan was booked through a normal procedure. Nothing was deliberate,” its chairman Damodar Naik said.Naik, however, said he might rethink on attending the function if there is any objection to it.