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Triple talaq bill politically motivated, feel Muslim intelligentsia, women’s groups

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New Delhi || The triple talaq bill, unilaterally drafted and brought by the Narendra Modi government, is politically motivated, feels the Muslim intelligentsia cutting across sectarian lines and schools of thought — but they are happy that the controversy has created awareness in the public mind about the evils of the practice.

Is the saffron party indeed serious about addressing the root issue of the social evil called instant divorce, and wants it stopped, or is it indulging in political posturing? The latter, say an overwhelming majority of stakeholders — from “fundamentalists” to liberals, Islamic clerics and women rights activists.

They think that the bill in its present form cannot stand judicial scrutiny.

“It’s an atrocious piece of legislation which is against the constitution because it discriminates on the basis of religion,” Irfan Ali Engineer, Director, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai, told IANS.

Irfan, son of acclaimed reformist-writer and social activist Asghar Ali Engineer, and a petitioner in the Shayara Bano case, explained: “It is discriminatory on the ground that if a Muslim man divorces his wife in a particular way, he would be jailed. But if a man of other religion abandons his wife, there is no legal action against him.”

He said there is “no doubt” the legislation is “politically motivated”.

Jamat-e-Islami Hind General Secretary Mohammed Salim Engineer said he could not understand the objective of this legislation.

“If the said bill had held three talaqs (divorces) as one, it would have made some sense. Which would mean that a divorce will not take place no matter how many times a man utters the word ‘talaq’ in one sitting, and which is in consonance with several schools of Islamic jurisprudence,” he said.

All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat Chairman Navaid Hamid had a similar view: “This bill is clearly faulty. In many Muslim sects, talaq pronounced thrice is treated as only one talaq. But this bill would hold a person of any sect guilty no matter if as per his belief irrevocable talaq has not happened.”

The government moved the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill — which proposes a three-year jail term for a man pronouncing irrevocable triple talaq — in the Lok Sabha on December 28 last year and got it passed the same day despite opposition’s pleas to send it to a parliamentary committee. However, the Bill was stalled in the Rajya Sabha where the BJP and allies are in a minority. The government has said it is open to “suggestions” if these are “reasonable”.

Yasmin of Awaz-e-Niswaan, a women rights collective and an intervener in the triple talaq case, said that she and other activists had welcomed the Supreme Court’s August 22, 2017, decision to ban the triple talaq but the legislation brought by the government serves no purpose other than “furthering the BJP’s agenda”.

“We are against criminalistion of talaq. The Domestic Violence Act and the Section 498A of IPC are already in place to deal with any atrocities or violence against women, and which equally apply to Muslim women. So there is no need for a separate law… It looks like a conspiracy,” Yasmin told IANS.

Other women’s bodies such as Bebaak Collective and the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) have publicly slammed the triple talaq legislation for its flaws and inherent contradictions.

Interestingly, the Muslim organisations that are against banning the triple talaq, activists and women bodies which wanted it banned and the opposition parties in Parliament have expressed concerns over the consequences of sending a man to jail for as long as three years.

 

Who will provide for the woman in her husband’s absence? Shouldn’t the government form a corpus for such women’s financial assistance/pension? Will the marriage remain intact even after the husband is jailed purportedly on the complaint of the wife? Are women’s rights safeguarded through this law in cases of other form

 

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BJP’s JK unit website hacked for brief period; restored

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The website of the BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir unit was today hacked for a brief period with the hackers posting a message demanding justice for an eight-year-old girl who was raped and murdered at Kathua in January.

The website was restored after some time.

The hackers, who called themselves “Team Kerala Cyber Warriors”, posted a message accusing the state unit of protecting a “gang of pedophiles” who had aligned with some of the ruling BJP’s office-bearers.

The hackers, who used the colours of the Indian flag in the message, said there should be nothing beyond humanity and “discrimination cannot be tolerated”.

They demanded that rapists be hanged.

BJP’s J&K unit General Secretary Ashok Kaul told PTI that the website was hacked for a brief period and had been “restored now”.

“Yes, we will file a complaint with the police. One should see the message. It seems that someone from north Kerala is responsible for the hacking. After all, the situation in Kerala is not hidden from anyone,” he said.

Kaul said it was yet another attempt to create tension in Jammu, which has been the symbol of nationalism.

The BJP had distanced itself from the Hindu Ekta Manch, which had organised a rally in favour of the eight accused arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir’s Crime Branch in connection with the Kathua rape case.

The party asked two of its ministers Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga to resign from the state cabinet as the two had participated in the rally and dared the Crime Branch to make any further arrests in the case.

The BJP had also removed its state unit secretary who was found having links with the Hindu Ekta Manch.

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Amitabh Bachchan reacts to ‘disgusting’ Kathua rape case

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Expressing his disgust at the gruesome Kathua rape case, legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan has said he feels terrible to even talk about it.

Present at the song launch of his upcoming film ‘102 Not Out’, Big B was asked about his views on rapes in the country as an ambassador for ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’.

“Even discussing this issue feels disgusting, don’t bring up this issue. It is terrible to even talk about it,” said the 75-year-old.

On January 17, an eight-year-old girl was allegedly abducted, drugged, raped, tortured and killed Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district.

Earlier, joining the growing outrage, celebrities like Sonam Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kalki Koechlin, Richa Chadha and many others posted messages on their social media demanding justice for the victim.

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Pathankot: Security beefed up following suspected terrorists movement

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Security has been beefed up and search operations are being carried out around the border belt of Punjab particularly in Pathankot district, following reports of terrorist movement in the vicinity.

Acting on the tip off early Thursday morning, the security forces immediately spread out in large numbers and searched various locations in the region.

The ITI building, where the suspects were reportedly spotted, was also thoroughly checked.

Suspicious men stopped a Maruti Alto car belonging to a Maskin Ali late on Sunday night asking for a lift. However, Ali who was with his relatives, suspected that the hitchhikers could be terrorists; hence he left the car and ran away.

Ali later on informed the Punjab Police about the same after which the search operation was launched on Monday morning.

“Some men claiming to be a part of Army asked me for a lift. I let them in but soon realised they weren’t army men. As we tried to escape they attacked us, during our tussle they fled with my car. We informed police about this at night (on Sunday) itself,” Ali said.

Talking to ANI, Inspector General Border Zone SPS Parmar said, “There were such inputs since past three to four days that some suspicious movement has been spotted. We reacted accordingly but till now nothing substantial has been found. We are collaborating with other agencies too and the search is on.”

The security has been beefed up and check posts have been alerted.

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