Monday, January 26, 2009

Two sets of laws work in India

Govt on Mangalore pub assault: Don't Talibanise India
25 Jan 2009, 2244 hrs IST, TNN
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NEW DELHI: Women and child development minister Renuka Chowdhury has termed the assault of girls and boys in a Mangalore pub allegedly by a Hindu group as an attempt to "Talibanise India" and sought an explanation from the Karnataka government.

"I am absolutely horrified at the insensitivity on the eve of Republic Day. I will seek an explanation from the state government as well as self-styled Sri Ram Sena," Renuka said.

"This incident is an attempt to Talibanise India. There is no place for these kinds of acts in India as it is a democracy," Chowdhury said, adding that BJP leaders should condemn the incident.

The minister also said it was time for chief minister B S Yeddyurappa to "wake up" and take action against the culprits. She said she would speak to Yeddyurappa on the incident.

About 15 to 20 activists, reportedly belonging to Sri Ram Sena, barged into the pub late on Saturday night and assaulted boys and girls dancing there, accusing the teens of behaving in an "obscene manner".

Mumbai: Pak girl beaten up for sporting tattoo in Urdu

22-year-old Saba Najam was at a Malad mall last week when some women beat her up and dragged her to the cops over a tattoo on her back; she left for Pakistan on Friday

By Vikas Mishra
Posted On Monday, January 19, 2009 at 02:52:24 AM

According to cops, Saba said she hadn’t known the tattoo would hurt anybody’s sentiments
A Pakistani national, who had come to pursue a course in production from Whistling Woods International Institute in Mumbai, was beaten up at a Malad mall last week for sporting a tattoo in Urdu on her back. The incident scared the girl so much that she left for Pakistan on Friday.

Saba Najam, 22, was roughed up at Hypercity Mall in Malad last Monday after some people spotted a tattoo in Urdu on her back. The incident took place at around 8.30 pm when Saba had gone to the washroom of the mall.

Some women suddenly approached her and assaulted her over the tattoo which read ‘Shukr Alham Du Lillah’, meaning ‘Thank you, God’.

Riyaz Ahmed Talukdar, a member of Jan Seva Sangh, a local NGO, had first spotted the tattoo on Saba’s back and informed his mother, Shabana Talukdar. Riyaz said, “When I saw the tattoo I was furious as holy words from the Quran were on her back.” Shabana, along with a few other women, then came to the mall in the next 15 minutes and confronted Saba in the washroom.

They slapped the girl several times before the mall management intervened.

“Since both the parties concerned are our patrons we simply referred the matter to the police,” said Manvir Singh, spokesperson of Hypercity Mall.

The group, along with Saba, were taken to the Bangur Nagar police station.

According to Bangur Nagar police, Saba apologised profusely and said she hadn’t known that the tattoo would hurt anybody’s sentiments.

Danaji Nalavde, inspector in-charge of crime at the police station, said, “There was nothing objectionable about the tattoo and there are no legal provisions under which we could have booked her. But since the group of people were agitated we asked Saba to give her statement in writing.”

In her statement Saba said she was sorry and that she would get the tattoo removed through laser surgery in the next three days. Nevertheless, the cops referred the matter to legal experts to see if they could book Saba for hurting religious sentiments or under any other legal provision.

On Friday night, however, Saba left for Lahore. Ravi Gupta, executive director of Whistling Woods told Mumbai Mirror that Saba seemed extremely disturbed after the incident.

“We had spoken to the cops who assured us that there was no case against her. We told her there was nothing to worry about but she was too scared,” he said.

Saba hails from Lahore in Pakistan and had come to Mumbai in 2007 on a student visa. She joined Whistling Woods in 2008.

She got the tattoo done from a tattoo parlour in Bandra in February 2008.

Saba was unavailable for comment. Meanwhile, Riyaz says he is happy Saba has left the country.

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