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A mob out for blood: India’s protests pit Hindus against Muslims

first_imgPersecuted religious minorities including from Hindu, Sikh, or Christian communities are eligible for citizenship, but those from Islam do not enjoy all the same advantages.Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) says the new citizenship law is necessary to protect persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, and denies any bias against India’s Muslims.”They saw I was alone, they saw my cap, beard, shalwar kameez [clothes] and saw me as a Muslim,” Zubair told Reuters. “They just started attacking, shouting slogans. What kind of humanity is this?” A group of men chanting pro-Hindu slogans, beat Mohammad Zubair, 37, who is Muslim, during protests sparked by a new citizenship law in New Delhi, India, February 24, 2020. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui)”Everything will be fine”BJP spokesman Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga said his party did not support any kind of violence, including the attack on Zubair. He blamed rival parties for stoking the chaos during US President Donald Trump’s visit in order to damage India’s image.”This was 100 percent pre-planned,” he said of the violence, adding that his party or its policies had nothing to do with the chaos. Reuters has no independent evidence that the protests were planned in advance.Bagga said that the federal government, which controls Delhi police, moved to deploy paramilitary forces in order to bring the situation under control.”I believe within 24 hours everything will be fine,” he added.Delhi police were not immediately available for comment on the attack on Zubair.Since cruising back to power in May, Modi has pursued a Hindu-first agenda that has emboldened his followers and left India’s 180 million Muslims reeling. Hindus account for about 80 percent of the population.Now opponents and supporters of the law, largely divided between Muslims and Hindus, are facing off against each other. Some say the polarization evokes a dark chapter in India’s past.”The violence is now happening in tiny pockets of Delhi and reminds you of the beginning of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots,” said Yogendra Yadav, a political scientist who leads a small political party opposed to the BJP.He was referring to mob attacks on the Sikh minority after members of the community assassinated then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Thousands of Sikhs were killed in cities including Delhi in what Indian investigators said was organized violence.A slingshot and petrol bombs are pictured on the rooftop of a house in a riot affected area following clashes between people demonstrating for and against a new citizenship law in New Delhi, India, February 27, 2020. (REUTERS/Adnan Abidi)Appeal for calm Modi appealed for calm on Wednesday after at least 24 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in some of the worst sectarian violence in New Delhi in decades.The citizenship law behind the unrest is one of several steps taken by Modi’s government since its re-election that have appealed to the Hindu majority.In August, it stripped Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, of its special status, a move which Modi defended as a way of integrating the region with the rest of the country.In November, the Supreme Court handed Hindu groups control of a contested site in the city of Ayodhya that paves the way for a temple to be built on a site where a mosque once stood. That was a central election promise made by the BJP.Modi’s position as chief minister of Gujarat state during some of the worst riots in India’s independent history that took place there in 2002 has long stoked mistrust among some Muslims.Up to 2,500 people, mostly Muslims, were killed during riots sparked after 59 Hindu pilgrims were burned to death when their train was set alight by suspected Muslims.In the subsequent investigation, Modi was absolved of wrongdoing, even as dozens of people on both sides of the riots were convicted.Security forces patrol in a riot affected area following clashes between people demonstrating for and against a new citizenship law in New Delhi, India, February 27, 2020. (REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri)”Remembering my Allah”Before this week’s clashes in New Delhi, 25 people had been killed in running battles between protesters and police across the country.That number has now nearly doubled after two days of arson, lootings, beatings and shootings in parts of northeastern New Delhi that police forces have struggled to contain.Delhi police said in a statement late on Tuesday that they were making every effort to contain the clashes and urged people to maintain the peace.Witnesses said police and paramilitary forces were patrolling the streets in far greater numbers on Wednesday. Parts of the riot-hit areas were deserted.Several of those killed and injured had been shot, according to two medics at the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, where many of the victims were taken. Reuters could not determine who had fired on them.Among them, Yatinder Vikal, a 33-year-old Hindu, was brought in with a gunshot wound to his right knee. His brother said Yatinder was driving a scooter when a bullet hit him.Reuters witnesses at a local hospital spoke to both Hindu and Muslim victims who were injured in the violence.An unconscious Zubair was eventually dragged to safety by fellow Muslims who came to his aid after throwing stones to disperse his attackers.The 37-year-old, who makes a living doing odd jobs, was rushed to hospital where he was treated for wounds to his head and released late on Monday. “I was thinking ‘I’m not going to survive this’,” he recalled. “I was remembering my Allah.” Mohammad Zubair was on his way home from a local mosque in northeast New Delhi when he came across a large crowd. He turned towards an underpass to avoid the commotion; it proved to be a mistake.Within seconds, he was cowering on the ground surrounded by more than a dozen young men, who began beating him with wooden sticks and metal rods. Blood flowed from his head, spattering his clothes. The blows intensified. He thought he would die.Zubair provided his version of events at a relative’s home in another part of the capital, his head wrapped in bandages. Topics :center_img The mid-afternoon attack on Monday, captured in a dramatic Reuters photograph, came against a backdrop of tension and violence.Near the area of the Indian capital where it occurred, Muslim and Hindu protesters had been fighting pitched battles for hours across a concrete and metal barrier that divided the main thoroughfare, throwing rocks and primitive petrol bombs.But the sight of a mob screaming pro-Hindu slogans suddenly turning on an unarmed individual, apparently because he was a Muslim, was a sign that growing tensions between members of India’s two dominant religions may be hard to contain.Unrest across India began in December with the passing of a law that makes non-Muslims from some neighboring nations eligible for fast-tracked citizenship – a move many Muslims say is discriminatory and marks a break from India’s secular traditions.last_img read more

Russian mining giant admits waste ‘violations’ at Arctic plant

first_imgA Russian mining giant behind an enormous Arctic fuel spill last month said Sunday it had suspended workers at a metals plant who were responsible for pumping wastewater into nearby tundra.Norilsk Nickel cited a “flagrant violation of operating rules” in a statement announcing it had suspended employees responsible for dumping wastewater from a dangerously full reservoir into wildlife.The incident occurred at the Talnakh enrichment plant near the Arctic city of Norilsk, the company said, one month after the unprecedented fuel leak sparked a state of emergency declared by President Vladimir Putin. Topics : The journalists claimed the factory deliberately funneled the wastewater into wildlife areas and hastily removed their pipes when investigators and emergency services arrived on the scene. Unauthorized dumping The Investigative Committee, which probes serious crimes, said it had received reports of “unauthorised dumping of liquid waste into the tundra” on the site of the facility, and had opened an enquiry.Heavy machinery used to clear the pipes crushed a car delivering officials to the scene, Novaya Gazeta reported.Interfax said no one was injured in the incident which was also being probed.Norilsk Nickel spokeswoman Tatiana Egorova earlier Sunday told AFP that employees of the factory had pumped out “purified water” and that an internal investigation was under way. Russia’s natural resources agency said the decision to remove water from the reservoir was taken to avoid an emergency after heavy rains and recent tests had caused water levels to increase dramatically.  The local emergency services in a statement said the wastewater was not likely to reach the nearby Kharayelakh river.The massive fuel spill last month took place at a plant owned by a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel, which had said that the fuel tank had collapsed or sank due to melting permafrost due to climate change.Putin declared an emergency situation after the accident and the head of Norilsk Nickel, oligarch Vladimir Potanin, promised to pay the costs of the cleanup.The Russian authorities said earlier this month they had cleared the spill from the surface of a river, but the full cleanup could take years.  More than 21,000 tons of diesel leaked from a fuel storage tank at one of the company’s subsidiary plants near Norilsk. The fuel seeped into the soil and dyed nearby waterways bright red.  A source told Interfax news agency Sunday that in the most recent case, around 6,000 cubic meters of liquid used to process minerals at the facility had been dumped and that the discharge had lasted “several hours”.It was impossible to determine how far the wastewater had dispersed, the source said.Independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta published videos from the scene showing large metal pipes carrying wastewater from the reservoir and dumping foaming liquid into nearby trees. last_img read more

IHOC : Freshmen Knerr, Hirsch record first career goals to lead SU to victory

first_imgJulie Knerr waited in front of the net as Megan Skelly sent a shot toward the New Hampshire goaltender. After the puck deflected off the goaltender, the freshman forward put the rebound in the back of the net for her first career goal.‘It was a bouncy puck, and I felt like it was never going to go in. When it did, Skelly tackled me, like my helmet almost flew off,’ Knerr said. ‘My first goal, I just couldn’t believe it.’Casey Hirsch, a fellow freshman, felt a similar rush when she matched Knerr’s accomplishment to put the Orange up for good early in the third period.SU head coach Paul Flanagan said Hirsch and Knerr played with great energy all night and provided a spark that seemed to be missing in Syracuse’s previous game against Northeastern. Their first career goals led Syracuse (2-2) to victory and helped them relax while boosting their confidence. The freshmen forwards are starting to understand their roles in the Syracuse system, and it showed as they capitalized in key moments in a 2-1 win over the Wildcats last Saturday.Hirsch and Knerr will be crucial to SU’s success on offense moving forward. They provided a first glimpse of their potential with their impressive play last weekend. After losing to Northeastern last Friday, Flanagan decided to experiment with his line groupings to force his team to play hard for all three periods. Hirsch and Knerr had played sparingly in the team’s first three games, but got a chance to play as part of the line changes.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAnd they seized the opportunity.‘We shook up the lines a bit on Friday night, giving people chances and seeing what they can do,’ Flanagan said. ‘Both goals were very opportunistic, a result of being in the right place at the right time. I think you’ll see all these freshmen start scoring goals and contributing a little more offensively.’But what Flanagan admires most about his freshmen duo is its ability to create competition on the ice. He stressed that they are both confident in making plays and add a level of depth to the lineup. Hirsch and Knerr also bring a stronger sense of character in the locker room, Flanagan said.Their confidence is built during practice. Both Hirsch and Knerr understand the importance of repetition in ice hockey, especially when transitioning to the next level.Flanagan said the veteran players have helped the freshmen adjust to the change in competition from high school to college. The four seniors have provided guidance to the freshmen in balancing their classes and arriving to practices and meetings on time.‘The older players have done a real good job being role models for them and giving them expectations both on and off the ice,’ Flanagan said. ‘So I give kudos to the upperclassmen for leading the way.’Syracuse goaltender Kallie Billadeau said some incoming freshmen struggle to fit in on the team, but said Hirsch and Knerr have adapted well.‘Coming from high school, the game was much slower-paced,’ Hirsch said. ‘Practicing with these girls at this level has made a big difference and definitely helped me with my speed.’Hirsch and Knerr have adjusted to the faster game at the college level by attending morning sessions for the players held by the SU coaching staff. It is a chance for them to receive further instructional help. They practice one on one with members of the coaching staff before the rest of the team arrives for practice at 10 a.m.The sessions are not mandatory, but both freshmen have taken advantage of the extra attention. Flanagan said Knerr is specifically working on face-offs and shooting.The freshman duo’s eagerness to improve has created a higher level of intensity for SU early in the season. And after leading the team to a win Saturday, Hirsch and Knerr left an impression on their teammates and coaches.As the season goes on, Flanagan and the Orange will be relying on them to provide a level of depth and continue to make plays on the ice.‘For that second game, we had to change up the lines and the freshmen really stepped up,’ Billadeau said. ‘They’re the reason we won that game.’[email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 11, 2011 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Commentslast_img read more

Syracuse volleyball loses in straights sets to No. 15 Florida State

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 30, 2016 at 11:54 pm Contact Jake: [email protected] Syracuse (2-11, 1-2 Atlantic Coast) started out its first conference road trip with a loss, dropping straight sets to No. 15 Florida State (10-2, 3-0).Anastasiya Gorelina and Kendra Lukacs led the team with 11 kills a piece and Gorelina had a kill percentage of 42.1 percent.Syracuse had only four service errors, a much-needed improvement from the 10 it had against North Carolina State last Sunday.The first set was characterized by large runs by FSU. With Syracuse trailing 5-3, the Seminoles went on a 7-3 run to put them up 12-7. They didn’t lose the lead and went on an 8-4 run to end the set, 25-17.The second set was very much the same, with Syracuse allowing Florida State to go on an extended run with little time to recover. With the Seminoles up 18-16 on the Orange, Florida State went on a 7-0 run to end it.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWith Syracuse trailing 18-16 in the third set, the Seminoles went on another 7-0 to close out the match.Syracuse will look for its second conference win when it returns to action Sunday against Miami (7-8, 1-2 Atlantic Coast) at noon. Commentslast_img read more