Indian police arrest 11 for torturing Muslim man to death

Two Indian policemen were suspended over the way they handled the case. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 25 June 2019
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Indian police arrest 11 for torturing Muslim man to death

  • The man was accused of burglary
  • His wife accused the police of taking him to jail before the hospital

NEW DELHI: Indian police arrested 11 people Tuesday over the killing of a Muslim man who was tortured and forced to chant Hindu slogans in the latest mob violence to shock the nation.
Two police officers have also been suspended over the handling of the lynching of Tabrez Ansari, captured on a video that went viral on Indian social media.
The 24-year-old is seen in the video crying and pleading as a mob in Jharkhand state forces him to chant “Jai Sri Ram” — hail Lord Ram — a slogan widely used by Hindu hard-liners.
Ansari had been accused by villagers of carrying out a burglary. He was tied to a pole and beaten for up to 12 hours before police first detained him in Seraikela, and then took him to hospital — where he died Saturday.
“We have arrested 11 people. Two police have also been suspended because they failed to inform seniors about the case and tried to manage it at their level,” Seraikela police chief Karthik S. told AFP.
Media reports said Ansari’s wife has accused police of deliberately taking him to jail first — instead of a hospital — despite the critical injuries he suffered.
News of the death emerged as the Indian government rejected a US State Department report that said religious violence against minorities has spiked under the right-wing Hindu Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The US religious freedom report said there had been growing numbers of attacks by groups claiming to protect cows — considered sacred by Hindus — on Muslims and low-caste Dalits since 2014 when Modi came to power.
Opponents in India have also accused the government of not doing enough to stop lynchings.
Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi condemned the killing however, and said the government would not let a “destructive agenda” dominate India’s development efforts.
“People who are involved in such incidents have only one motive — to spoil the positive atmosphere created by the government,” he said.
The opposition Congress party accused Modi’s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of failing to protect Muslims and other minorities.
“Can the BJP government honestly refute the US government report on minority safety when Muslims and Dalits are being openly lynched every other day?” said Shama Mohamed, a spokesperson for Congress.


India launches moon mission a week after it was aborted

India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III-M1 blasts off carrying Chandrayaan-2 from the Satish Dhawan space centre at Sriharikota, India, July 22, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 23 July 2019
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India launches moon mission a week after it was aborted

  • Chandrayaan, the Sanskrit word for “moon craft,” is designed to land on the lunar south pole and send a rover to explore water deposits
  • India’s launch a week ago was called off less than an hour before liftoff due to a “technical snag”

NEW DELHI: India successfully launched an unmanned spacecraft to the far side of the moon Monday, a week after aborting the mission because of a technical problem.
Scientists at the mission control center burst into applause as the rocket lifted off in clear weather as scheduled at 2:43 p.m. from Sriharikota in southern India. K. Sivan, head of India’s space agency, said the rocket successfully injected the spacecraft into orbit.
The spacecraft — named Chandrayaan, the Sanskrit word for “moon craft” — is scheduled to land on the lunar south pole in September and send a rover to explore water deposits confirmed by a previous mission that orbited the moon.
If India did manage the soft landing, it would be only the fourth to do so, following the US, Russia and China.
India’s first moon mission orbited the moon in 2008 and helped confirm the presence of water. The country plans to send its first manned spaceflight by 2022.
India’s launch coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission this month. It came at a time when the world’s biggest space agencies are returning their gaze to the moon, seen as an ideal testing ground for technologies required for deep space exploration, and with the confirmed discovery of water, as a possible pit stop along the way. The US is working to send a manned spacecraft to the moon’s south pole by 2024.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country’s lunar program will get a substantial boost, writing on Twitter that the country’s existing knowledge of the moon “will be significantly enhanced.”
Sivan said at a news conference that the successful launch of the spacecraft was the “beginning of India’s historic journey” to the moon.
The launch of the $141 million moon mission a week earlier was called off less than an hour before liftoff because of a “technical snag.” Media reports said the launch was aborted after scientists from the Indian Space Research Organization identified a leak while filling helium in the rocket’s cryogenic engine. The space agency neither confirmed nor denied the reports, saying instead that the problem had been identified and corrected.
The spacecraft that launched Monday is carrying an orbiter, lander and rover that will move around on the lunar surface for 14 Earth days. It will take around 47 days to travel before landing on the moon.
India put a satellite into orbit around Mars in the nation’s first interplanetary mission in 2013 and 2014.
With India poised to become the world’s fifth-largest economy, Modi’s ardently nationalist government is eager to show off the country’s prowess in security and technology.
India successfully test-fired an anti-satellite weapon in March, which Modi said demonstrated the country’s capacity as a space power alongside the United States, Russia and China.