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BHU students continue protest, Muslim prof feels ‘insulted’

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Sanskrit Scholar Firoze Khan

Varanasi, Nov 20 : The students’ protest against the appointment of a Muslim professor in the Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vigyan in the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) entered its 14th day on Wednesday with the students refusing to give up on their demand.

The BHU administration continues to maintain that the appointment of professor Feroz Khan is in accordance with the prescribed norms and there is no question of his removal.

The BHU administration has issued a statement, saying, “The idea behind the establishment of the university was to contribute in nation-building by providing equal opportunity of study and teaching to all deserving people without any discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, gender and sect.”

The statement also said that Khan’s appointment was a unanimous decision made by a selection committee under a transparent process.

The Muslim professor Feroz Kahn, meanwhile, said that he felt ‘insulted’ by the incident and added that he would have never applied for the job if the university had mentioned in the advertisement that they did not want a Muslim.

Students sitting on dharna, on the other hand, have started reciting Hanuman Chalisa to underline their opposition to a Muslim faculty member.

Chakrapani Ojha, a student leader leading the protest since November 7, said: “The appointment of a Muslim faculty member has hurt the sentiments of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya who established the BHU. This appointment has been made as part of a conspiracy. The entire process, including the interview, was rigged in favour of Feroz Khan. The stone inscription installed in BHU clearly states that no non-Hindu can either study or teach in our department. Then why was a Muslim professor appointed in the faculty?”

The university spokesman Rajesh Singh said that there is no stone inscription on the premises that says non-Hindus cannot study or teach in BHU.

Shubham Tiwari, another student leader, said, “In this department, there are no teachers, all are our gurus. Everyone keeps a ‘choti’ on their head, we touch their feet and participate in ‘havan’ which is a regular ritual. If a Muslim professor is accorded a place in the department, then he will not be able to perform rituals and teach us our dharma.”

Umakant Chaturvedi, the head of the department, said that the deadlock continued and no classes were being held in the Sanskrit department.

Sources said that some faculty members in the department were instigating protest and provoking students.

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CJI cites Internet shutdown on Jan 26 amid Tablighi Jamaat hearing

“It’s as important as providing lathis to policemen…and deploying barricades. It’s an important preventive part of the law and order situation,” said the Chief Justice, drawing an analogy.

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New Delhi, Jan 28 : The Supreme Court while hearing a Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind petition against fake and motivated news during the Nizammuddin Markaz incident, cited the Internet ban as a preventive measure to contain violence, taken by the authorities during farmers protest in Delhi on January 26.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde emphasized that at some point in time the government has to control news and cited the shutting down of Internet in various parts of the capital following violence on streets on Republic Day.

The Chief Justice said the government shut down the Internet over mobile because of the farmers visit to Delhi and so “couldn’t it do the same when it finds certain news channel indulging in bad reporting, which may lead to violence or targeting a certain community”.

“I’m using the non controversial term… You have shut down internet mobile…These are problems that can arise anywhere…,” said the Chief Justice.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, objected to the word ‘visit’ used by the Chief Justice.

To which, Chief Justice replied that he “deliberately was using a non-controversial word”.

After making this reference to the January 26 incident, when farmers rampaged through the national capital, the top court got back to the hearing on the matter in hand in which various petitioners had objected to the motivated reporting by various media houses against the Muslim community post the Markaz incident that was regarded as a superspreader of Covid in March 2020.

The Chief Justice emphasized that “fair and truthful reporting is normally not a problem, but the problem begins when it is used to agitate others and target a particular community”.

The Chief Justice stressed that “controlling the flow of information, which may cause damage is extremely important and it should be done through preventive measures”.

“It’s as important as providing lathis to policemen…and deploying barricades. It’s an important preventive part of the law and order situation,” said the Chief Justice, drawing an analogy.

The top court said that the government is not doing its bit to control new channels showing programs which instigate a community.

“There are programs which instigated or impacted a community. But as a government, you do nothing,” the Chief Justice told Mehta.

The Chief Justice also told Mehta: “Control over some news is as important as some preventive measure and check law and order situation. I don’t know why you are blind to this. I don’t mean anything offensive but you are doing nothing about it.”

The court has posted the matter for further hearing after three weeks.

Jamiat and others have moved the top court citing bad reporting by various media houses, which demonized the Muslim community in the backdrop of the Nizamuddin Markaz incident.

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Cops clash with sacked teachers in Tripura

Demanding a solution to the crisis, the teachers had been staging a sit-in over the last 52 days at Paradise Chowmuhani in the state capital.

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tripura teachers protest

Agartala, Jan 27 : Tension prevailed in Agartala on Wednesday, as scores of terminated school teachers demonstrated outside Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s official residence here, prompting the police to use tear gas and water cannons to disperse them.

Over 10,000 government school teachers were sacked last year, in accordance with a 2014 high court order, which said that their recruitment process was a faulty one. The Supreme Court later upheld the verdict.

Demanding a solution to the crisis, the teachers had been staging a sit-in over the last 52 days at Paradise Chowmuhani in the state capital.

Trouble started in the morning after the police dismantled the makeshift tent, where they had been holding the protest, and detained around 300 agitators.

Shortly after, the protesters set out on a march to the CM’s residence, notwithstanding the restrictions, even as the police tried to stop them.

A scuffle ensued, following which the police lathicharged the agitators, burst tear gas shells and sprayed them with water.

The demonstrators, in retaliation, ransacked vehicles of police and district officials.

“We had information that the movement could turn into a violent protest and there were chances of breach of peace.

The district magistrate had announced that prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed around the CM’s residence. So the gathering was illegal,” Additional Superintendent of Police Shasvat Kumar said.

According to a member of the Joint Movement Committee (JMC) — a forum created by the terminated teachers — the Tripura police dismantled the tent without any warning, when the agitators were still asleep.

Many teachers were detained forcibly by the police and taken to Tripura State Rifles (TSR) camps near here. We are not criminals. Why did the government use force?” Kamal Deb, a leader of the forum, said here, adding that several protesters sustained injuries in the melee.

Inspector General (law and order) Arindam Nath told reporters that police applied force “judiciously and with a human face”.

Under no circumstances, we could have allowed the protest near the CM’s residence, he added.

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Post violence, Lal Quila metro station closed, entry to Jama Masjid station restricted

“Services at Delhi Metro stations, which were closed yesterday, had resumed late night. Lal Quila station has been closed again and entry to Jama Masjid station is restricted as of now. Normal services are there at all other stations,” a senior DMRC official said.

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Delhi Metro violet

A day after violence broke out during the farmers’ tractor parade in the national capital, Delhi Metro authorities on Wednesday shut the Lal Quila station and restricted entry to the Jama Masjid station amid heavy security deployment at the Red Fort.

A large number of metro stations in central, north and west Delhi areas, including Lal Quila, ITO, Jama Masjid, Delhi Gate, Indraprastha, were shut on Tuesday soon after the tractor parade had taken a violent turn.

“Services at Delhi Metro stations, which were closed yesterday, had resumed late night. Lal Quila station has been closed again and entry to Jama Masjid station is restricted as of now. Normal services are there at all other stations,” a senior DMRC official said.

Security has been beefed up in several places across the national capital especially at the Red Fort and farmer protest sites, with deployment of additional paramilitary forces following the violence.

Delhi Metro also took to social media to inform commuters.

First it tweeted in the morning that “Entry gates of Lal Quila metro station are closed. Exit is permitted at this station. All other stations are open. Normal services on all lines”.

Later in another tweet, it updated that “Entry/exit gates of Lal Quila metro station are closed. Entry gates of Jama Masjid metro station are closed”.

Average waiting time at Saket metro station on Yellow Line was 35 minutes. In case of any fluctuations in crowd, the waiting time will be informed accordingly, the DMRC had informed in another tweet.

However, in a successive tweet, it said: “Peak Hour Update The average waiting time for Saket has normalised”.

The Delhi Metro currently operates on a network of about 390 kilometres with 285 stations spanning 11 corridors (including NOIDA – Greater NOIDA).

The tractor parade on Tuesday that was to highlight the demands of the farmer unions to repeal three new agri laws dissolved into anarchy on the streets of the city as tens of thousands of protesters broke through barriers, fought with police, overturned vehicles and hoisted a religious flag from the ramparts of the iconic Red Fort.

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