'Ghar Wapsi' victims join Sikh body lawsuit seeking terror tag on RSS
Three Indians, alleging forcible conversion to Hinduism by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), have joined a Sikh rights group in filing an amended lawsuit appealing a US court to designate RSS a ‘terror group’.
Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) said the three are victims of the ‘Ghar Wapsi’ campaign of alleged forcible religious conversions launched by the RSS.
The amended complaint has been filed by Micheal Masih, Hasim Ali and Kulwinder Singh, belonging to the Christian, Muslim and Sikh faiths along with SFJ and seeks the terror label for the RSS.
The complaint alleges that after the BJP came to power in 2014, its "ideological mentor" is "attempting to forcibly convert their families to Hinduism."
The complaint filed before Judge Laura Taylor Swain cites the 2015 report of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) which in December 2014 noted that Hindu nationalist groups announced plans to forcibly "reconvert" at least 4,000 Christian families and 1,000 Muslim families in Uttar Pradesh as part of 'Ghar Wapsi' programme.
"In the amended complaint, we have invoked International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998 which was enacted to express United States foreign policy with respect individuals persecuted in foreign countries on account of religion and to authorise United States actions in response to violations of religious freedom in foreign countries," SFJ legal adviser Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said.
"Based on the evidence and recent report of USCIRF, Obama administration is bound under law to declare organisations like RSS as terror groups," he said.
In April, the US had asked a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit filed against Secretary of State John Kerry by SFJ that wanted RSS to be designated as a "foreign terrorist organisation," saying that the group does not have "any entitlement" to "compel" the top American diplomat to make such a designation.
At least eight cases related to the Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi dispute will be heard in a civil court in Mathura today, when courts reopen after the summer vacation. Sensitive applications, including one seeking a survey and videography at Shahi Eidgah Masjid, next to the temple, are among those listed. The legal battle is similar to the one going on regarding the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi.
A day after monsoon arrival in the national Capital, moderate rain along with thundershowers will continue to prevail on Friday with the maximum temperature expected to settle at 32C, India's Meteorological Department's forecast said. The maximum temperature on Thursday was 29.4C degrees Celsius, seven degrees below normal for this time of the year. The minimum temperature on Friday is expected to hover around 24C.
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In the wake of heavy rain that lashed Mumbai on Thursday, the India Meteorological Department has announced weather alerts, indicating to residents of the country's financial capital that they need to be on guard. Here's all you need to know: (1.) An orange alert, warning of 'heavy to very heavy showers' in the next 24 hours, has been announced. This alert is for isolated places in the city and its neighbouring districts.
This afternoon, all that is left is the bottom-most part of the tree. The roots are embedded into a slab of earth. They look like fossilised arteries. The sturdy white columns of the colonial-era shopping district forms the backdrop of the dismal scene.