India: Journalist Jagendra Singh Set on Fire and Burned to Death After Facebook Post Making Allegations Against Local Politician

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Lizzie Dearden reports: A journalist has reportedly been burned alive in India after publishing allegations of corruption and land grabs against a local politician.

Ram Murti Verma, a cabinet minister on Uttar Pradesh’s legislative assembly, has been arrested alongside five others in connection with the death of Jagendra Singh, the Press Trust of India reported.

Mr Singh died of his injuries in hospital in the city of Lucknow yesterday after he was doused with petrol and set on fire. Jagendra Singh died on Monday after suffering severe burns

Police in the town of Shahjehanpur told IBN Live that Mr Singh set himself alight.

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Jagendra Singh published allegations about a local politician on Facebook

“There was a case against Jagendra Singh. We tried to arrest him but he committed suicide,” a spokesperson said, without specifying the allegations.

Mr Singh, who was married, ran a local online newspaper in the town and published short reports in Hindi on Facebook.

He had two accounts. One was in his own name and another carried his picture under the title Shahjahanpur Samachar – Hindi for Shahjahanpur News. Read the rest of this entry »


Hindu Activists in India Warn Women to Beware of ‘Love Jihad’

Conservative Hindu activist Chetna Sharma warns Hindu women that Muslim men will try to trick them into marriage and force them to convert to Islam. Junho Kim for The Wall Street Journal

Conservative Hindu activist Chetna Sharma warns Hindu women that Muslim men will try to trick them into marriage and force them to convert to Islam. Junho Kim for The Wall Street Journal

AURANGABAD, India—NIHARIKA MANDHANA writes: Conservative Hindu activist Chetna Sharma looked sternly at her audience of more than 40 young Hindu women gathered in the living room of a rural home and issued a warning: Muslim men would try to trick them into marriage and force them to convert to Islam.

“When one Hindu girl leaves to be with a Muslim, four or five new members will be added to that community.”

Given a chance, Muslim men would force a woman “to have two or three children and then leave her, or rape her, or throw acid on her if she resists, or murder her,” she said. “You can’t even imagine what can happen if you don’t protect yourself from love jihad.”Junho Kim-WSJ

“A majoritarian Hinduism got elected and that is having rather subtle but threatening consequences.”

Right-wing Hindu organizations and politicians have mounted a high-profile drive against “love jihad,” which they paint as a dark, international conspiracy aimed at eroding Hindus’ demographic dominance in India by brainwashing Hindu women.

[The cover of the latest edition of Panchjanya, a right-wing magazine, asks: Is love blind or a business? Junho Kim for The Wall Street Journal]

Authorities say they haven’t found any proof of an Islamist conspiracy to convert or abuse Hindu women. Critics of the Hindu right dismiss the whole thing as nonsense. And Muslim leaders decry it as a campaign of hate. Read the rest of this entry »