Speaking at a book launch on 23 November, the BJP leader and Lok Sabha MP Shatrughan Sinha spoke out about the atmosphere prevailing in the country today. Referring to a comment made by the Communist Party of India leader D Raja during the event, Sinha said, “Raja was saying that intellectuals and journalists are being killed. Judges are also getting killed. You will not report in newspapers. Even if you report, it may not appear. Money power is overpowering people’s power.”
बृजगोपाल हरकिशन लोया मुंबई में सीबीआइ की विशेष अदालत के प्रभारी जज थे जिनकी मौत 2014 में 30 नवंबर की रात और 1 दिसंबर की दरमियानी सुबह हुई, जब वे नागपुर गए हुए थे। उस वक्त वे सोहराबुद्दीन केस की सुनवाई कर रहे थे जिसमें मुख्य आरोपी भारतीय जनता पार्टी के अध्यक्ष अमित शाह थे। उस वक्त मीडिया में बताया गया कि लोया की मौत दिल का दौरा पड़ने से हुई है। इस मामले में नवंबर 2016 से नवंबर 2017 के बीच अपनी पड़ताल में मैंने जो कुछ पाया, वह लोया की मौत के इर्द-गिर्द की परिस्थितियों पर कुछ असहज सवाल खड़े करता है- जिनमें एक सवाल उनकी लाश से जुड़ा है जब वह उनके परिवार के सुपुर्द की गई थी।
मुंबई में केंद्रीय अन्वेषण ब्यूरो (सीबीआइ) की विशेष अदालत के जज बृजगोपाल हरकिशन लोया (48) के परिवार को 1 दिसंबर 2014 की सुबह सूचना दी गई कि नागपुर में उनकी मौत हो गई है, जहां वे एक सहयोगी की बेटी की शादी में हिस्सा लेने गए हुए थे। लोया इस देश के सबसे अहम मुकदमों में एक 2005 के सोहराबुद्दीन मुठभेड़ हत्याकांड की सुनवाई कर रहे थे। इस मामले में मुख्य आरोपी अमित शाह थे, जो सोहराबुद्दीन के मारे जाने के वक्त गुजरात के गृह राज्य मंत्री थे और लोया की मौत के वक्त भारतीय जनता पार्टी के राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष थे। मीडिया में ख़बर आई थी कि लोया की मौत दिल का दौरा पड़ने से हुई है।
In June 2014, Brijgopal Harkishan Loya was appointed the judge in the special CBI court in Mumbai. The court was hearing the Sohrabuddin case, in which the Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah was the prime accused. Loya died on the intervening night between 30 November and 1 December 2014. The media reported that the judge died of a heart attack.
Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, the judge presiding over the CBI special court in Mumbai, died sometime between the night of 30 November and the early morning of 1 December 2014, while on a trip to Nagpur. At the time of his death, he was hearing the Sohrabuddin case, in which the prime accused was the Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah. The media reported at the time that Loya had died of a heart attack. But my investigations
between November 2016 and November 2017 raised disturbing questions about the circumstances surrounding Loya’s death—including questions regarding the condition of his body when it was handed over to his family.
On the morning of 1 December 2014, the family of 48-year-old judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya, who was presiding over the Central Bureau of Investigation special court in Mumbai, was informed that he had died in Nagpur, where he had travelled for a colleague’s daughter’s wedding. Loya had been hearing one of the most high-profile cases in the country, involving the allegedly staged encounter killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in 2005. The prime accused in the case was Amit Shah—Gujarat’s minister of state for home at the time of Sohrabuddin’s killing, and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s national president at the time of Loya’s death. The media reported that the judge had died of a heart attack.
In October 2017, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a coalition of non-governmental organisations across 100 countries
, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The award recognised ICAN’s role in bringing about the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons—the world’s first multilateral legally-binding instrument
on nuclear disarmament in 20 years. All nine nuclear-weapon states, including India, refrained from participating
in the treaty negotiations. While India, China and Pakistan abstained from voting on the United Nations General Assembly resolution
that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty, five nuclear countries—United States, United Kingdom, Russia, France, and Israel—voted against the resolution.
In the early 1950s, BR Ambedkar started working on a book he wanted to call India and Communism. Though he did not finish it, he left behind a table of contents and 63 typed pages of the book. He also left behind an outline for and a section of another book, titled Can I Be a Hindu? This year, LeftWord Books published the works with an introduction by Anand Teltumbde, a civil-rights activist and political analyst. In the introduction, Teltumbde addresses the narrative that Ambedkar was opposed to Marxism, and argues that anyone who believes so is “grossly prejudiced.” He charts the course of Ambedkar’s thinking on communism and Marxism and the corresponding events of the Indian freedom movement that led to rifts between India’s early communists and Ambedkar. In the following extract from the introduction, Teltumbde discusses the acrimonious relationship between Ambedkar and the Communist Party of India (CPI). He writes, “These communists have never been as arrogant and bitter against the caste system as against Ambedkar.”
On 30 October, a large force of police officers, members of the paramilitary Rapid Action Force, and Delhi Development Authority officials supervised the demolition of nearly 400 houses in Delhi’s Kathputli Colony. Situated in west Delhi’s Shadipur Depot area, the Kathputli Colony is a slum cluster comprising over 3,000 families. The area has been home to a large populous of artists and artisans for over 40 years. “We are not against the redevelopment of the colony because at this point it’s an eventuality,” Ali Zia Kabir Choudhary, the advocate representing the residents of the colony in an ongoing case in the Delhi High Court, told me. “We are against the haphazard process being followed by the DDA.”
In his book River of Life, River of Death: The Ganges and India’s Future, Victor Mallet traces the journey of the river from source to mouth. Mallet, the former South Asia bureau chief for the Financial Times, writes in the book that “Indians are killing the Ganges with pollution, and that the polluted Ganges, in turn, is killing Indians.” The book includes chapters on the history of the Ganga, the distressing fate of the river in Varanasi, the extent of the toxicity of its waters, as well as its significance in the country’s water crisis. In the following extract from the book, Mallet describes the Ganga as a “Superbug river”—host to bacterial genes that expose the water’s users to infectious diseases that are resistant to modern antibiotics. The journalist discusses the role the Ganga and its tributary Yamuna play in the spread of blaNDM-1—a bacterial gene that codes for a protein called NDM-1, or New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase, and whose presence can make the carrier highly resistant to antibiotics. Mallet writes that the spread of the gene is a political issue that is closely connected to the Ganga’s state, its sacred position among Hindus, and to India’s sanitation problem.
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