The Supreme Court on Wednesday transferred all the FIRs lodged against suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma over her controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad to Delhi Police.
The top court gave her the liberty to approach the Delhi High Court for quashing of the FIRs, and also declined to entertain a plea moved by the West Bengal government for a court-monitored SIT probe.
A bench comprising justices Surya Kant and J.B. Pardiwala ordered clubbing of all the FIRs registered across the country against Sharma, which will be probed by the Delhi Police.
The top court in the process brushed aside vehement opposition by the West Bengal government, which wanted its police to be part of the SIT with the Delhi Police or a court-appointed SIT.
The bench allowed Sharma to move the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of the FIRs lodged or to be lodged for her alleged remarks in the future.
It added that all the FIRs to be lodged in future in connection with her remarks will be transferred to Delhi Police.
The top court made it clear that protection from arrest to Sharma will continue in all pending and future FIRs. The bench also noted that an FIR has been registered by the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit of Delhi Police, which is a specialised agency, and suggested that it should carry out the investigation.
Senior advocate Menaka Guruswamy, representing the West Bengal government, objected to the transfer of FIRs to Delhi Police by saying that the first FIR against Sharma was registered in Mumbai, and argued that the accused cannot be allowed to pick the jurisdiction.
Senior Advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for Sharma, said the top court’s intervention is required, as his client has received life threats after the TV debate where she made the alleged remarks.
On July 19, the top court had ordered that no coercive action can be taken against Sharma in FIRs already registered and also in future FIRs in connection with her remarks.
The top court had said: “Meanwhile, as an interim measure it is directed that no coercive action shall be taken against Nupur Sharma pursuant to the impugned FIRs.”
Sharma had moved the Supreme Court seeking stay on her arrest in the nine FIRs filed against her for her remarks on Prophet Muhammad and also sought clubbing/quashing of the FIRs with the FIR registered in Delhi.
On July 1, the top court had minced no words in slamming Sharma, whose remarks on the Prophet sparked a nationwide controversy. The top court had said that her loose tongue has set the entire country on fire and her irresponsible remarks shows that she is “obstinate and arrogant”.
Uttarkashi avalanche: 26 bodies recovered so far, three still missing
A total of 26 bodies have been recovered so far from the site of an avalanche that struck the Draupadi’s Danda-2 peak in Uttarkashi. A search operation is on for three more missing persons from the team of trainee mountaineers from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM).
Four out of the 26 bodies recovered were moved to the Army Helipad in Harshil, and then taken to the Uttarkashi District Hospital by an ambulance.
Officials said that two Cheetah helicopters are being used for the rescue operation, adding that attempts were being made to transfer the bodies to the Matli helipad which failed due to bad weather, following which the chopper with the bodies was made to land on the Harshil army helipad.
Four bodies were recovered on October 4, 17 on October 6 and seven on Friday by the rescue team.
Delhi Police arrests juvenile tasked to kill Salman Khan
The Special Cell of the Delhi Police has apprehended two key members of an international terror module, including a juvenile, who were wanted in a number of terror cases — the RPG attack incident at the Intelligence Headquarters in Punjab’s Mohali, plotting to kill Bollywood actor Salman Khan & others.
Special Commissioner Police, Special Cell, H.G.S. Dhaliwal, said the apprehended accused were important nodes of the joint terror network of Pakistan-based Khalistani terrorist Harvinder Singh alias Rinda and Canada-based gangster turned terrorist, Lakhbir Singh Landa.
The arrested accused, Arshdeep, was wanted in the IED recovery case of Shahabad, Kurukshetra and IED recovery case of police station Sirhali in Punjab’s Tarn Taran.
The official said the juvenile was also wanted in the murder of a builder, Sanjay Biyani, which took place on April 5 in Nanded city of Maharashtra, and in the murder of gangster Rana Kandowalia, outside a private hospital in Amritsar on August 4.
“The apprehended JCL has also disclosed the task given to him along with absconding Deepak Surakhpur and Monu Dagar (in jail) by Lawrence Bishnoi regarding the elimination of film actor Salman Khan. While the JCL was being handled by Rinda, Arshdeep was being handled by Landa Harike,” the official said.
How they were caught
Dhaliwal said that they had been working to nab the culprits for a long time. They identified people who were providing logistics support to the accused. Finally, both the accused, Arshdeep and the juvenile, were arrested from Jamnagar in Gujarat.
Rocket Launcher attack
On May 9, a rocket-propelled grenade was fired at Punjab Police’s Intelligence Headquarters in Mohali. During the course of the investigation, it was established that the attack was a conspiracy of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), backed by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and local gangsters.
The juvenile held by the Special Cell was also involved in the conspiracy. The police has learnt that the attack was conspired by gangster turned ISI stooge Harvinder Singh alias Rinda.
Another fugitive gangster, Lakhbir Singh Landa had joined hands with Harvinder Singh alias Rinda. They were sharing manpower, logistics and resources. Rinda’s name had already cropped up in the grenade attack at the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) office in Nawanshahr and in the arrest of four suspected Pakistan-linked terrorists in Haryana’s Karnal earlier this year.
Salman Khan murder plot
The official said that the juvenile was involved in the conspiracy along with other accused to carry out an attack on Salman Khan. They couldn’t conduct a recce due to some reasons. Later, the juvenile was asked to kill Rana Kandowalia, a businessman.
Dhaliwal said that they will move a plea before the court with a request to try the juvenile as an adult. The official said that when the juvenile is over 16, the court can decide whether to try him as an adult or not.
K’taka madrasa incident: 4 arrested, Muslims call off protest
Karnataka police on Friday arrested four persons in connection with the incident of Hindu activists barging inside the historical Mahmud Gawan madrasa in Bidar city and performing puja.
The Muslim organisations, which had earlier called for a protest after Friday prayers condemning police inaction, have called off the protest following the arrests.
Of the nine accused named in the FIR, Munna, Naresh, Yallalinga and Prakash have been arrested. However, the Karnataka police is on a high alert in Bidar district and security around the Mahmud Gawan madrasa and Masjid has been tightened.
Photos and videos of the incident have gone viral on social media.
According to police, a group of Hindu activists who participated in the Dussehra procession in Bidar, barged inside the premises of the historical Mahmud Gawan madrasa on Wednesday night.
Considered as a heritage building, the madrasa is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. It was built in AD 1460 and features among the important monuments in India.
While breaking inside the protected monument by breaking open locks, the activists raised “Jai Sri Ram” and “Jai Hindu Rashtra” slogans and conducted worship according to Hindu rituals at one of the corners of the building, police said.
The photos and video show a big group standing on the steps of the monument. The police have lodged nine cases in connection with the incident.
Protesting against the incidents, the Muslim organisations demanded action against the accused and had warned of a huge protest after Friday prayers.
Condemning the incident, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said that extremists broke the gate lock and attempted to desecrate historic Mahmud Gawan masjid and mosque. Addressing Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Bidar police, he asked, “How can you allow this to happen? BJP is promoting such activity only to demean Muslims,” he alleged.
A manhunt has been launched for the other accused.
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