Morning Brief: 2,300 Cops, Commandos Deployed As Sabarimala Opens Today; ASI ‘Bans’ Namaz By Non-Locals At Mosque Inside Taj Mahal; And More

Morning Brief: 2,300 Cops, Commandos Deployed As Sabarimala Opens Today; ASI ‘Bans’ Namaz By Non-Locals At Mosque Inside Taj Mahal; And More

by Swarajya Staff - Nov 5, 2018 08:10 AM +05:30 IST
Morning Brief: 2,300 Cops, Commandos Deployed  As Sabarimala Opens Today; ASI ‘Bans’ Namaz By Non-Locals At Mosque Inside Taj Mahal; And MoreMembers of Ayyappa Dharma Samrakshana Samithi during a protest. (Amal KS/Hindustan Times via Getty Images) 

Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news brief for today.

Over 2,000 Cops, Commandos Deployed As Sabarimala Opens Today

The Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led government has deployed 2,300 cops, including a 20-member team of commandos and 100 women security personnel, to force the entry of women of reproductive age into Lord Ayyappa’s adobe. The temple will open its doors today for two days, weeks after being closed amid the government’s crackdown on devotees protesting against the Supreme Court’s controversial ruling overturning a centuries-old tradition restricting the entry of women of reproductive age into the hilltop shrine. This is just the second time that the temple will open after the apex court’s ruling, with which the only woman in the five-judge bench dissented.

Those against the court’s move have argued that the primary objective of the practice was to honour the celibacy of the deity, Lord Ayyappa. During the hearing in the case in the Supreme Court, lawyer J Sai Deepak, representing a non-profit organisation called ‘People for Dharma’, put forward evidence from various religious texts before the bench, establishing the celibate nature of the deity. He stated that the charge of discrimination against women would’ve been justified had the entire focus of the practice would have been to keep “all women” out, but that’s not the case. (The Tale Of Sabarimala - A curated list of articles on the Sabarimala verdict).

ASI Bans Namaz By Non-Locals At The Mosque Inside The Taj Mahal

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has banned namaz by non-locals at the mosque inside the premises of the Taj Mahal on all days except Fridays, the Times of India has said in a report. The agency has said that it is implementing the orders of the Supreme Court, which in July this year upheld the order of the local administration barring non-residents from offering Friday prayers in the mosque. The local administration had argued for the ban citing threat to the security of the historical monument.

On Sunday, the officials of the ASI locked the ‘vazu tank’, the structure from which namazis draw water to clean themselves up before offering prayers. The Imam of the mosque and other members of the staff have been asked to show up only on Fridays. The report says that local residents will be allowed to offer namaz between noon and 2pm. However, non-locals visiting the monument will not be allow to offer prayers. President of Taj Mahal Intezamia Committee, Syed Ibrahim Hussain Zaidi, has blamed the Centre and the State governments, saying both have an “anti-Muslim” mindset.

Notice Served To RBI Chief For Not Disclosing Wilful Defaulters' List

Amid an ongoing tussle, the Right to Information watchdog, the Central Information Commission (CIC), has issued a show-cause notice to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Urjit Patel for not complying with a Supreme Court judgement on disclosure of the wilful defaulters' list. Patel has been asked to explain why the CIC should not impose a penalty on him for refusing to provide information on people who have taken loans of Rs 50 crore and above. The agency has also asked the Prime Minister's Office to make public the letter of former central bank governor Raghuram Rajan on bad loans.

This development comes at a time when the government is reportedly upset with the RBI’s top leadership for publicly talking about a rift with the government. Late last month, RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya had warned that undermining the central bank’s independence could be “potentially catastrophic”.

Karnataka Government To Continue Celebrating Tipu Jayanti

Despite protests from various quarters, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress-Janata Dal (United) government will continue the practice of celebrating the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan. The jayanti of the 18th century ruler of Mysore is celebrated on 10 November. It was a topic of debate in run up to the elections in the state earlier this year. The BJP has said that it is against state-sponsored celebrations as the ruler was responsible of forced conversion. The Congress has portrayed the leader as the saviour of the people with party-president Rahul Gandhi describing him a symbol of communal harmony.

The Congress government started State-sponsored event to commemorate the birth anniversary of the ruler in 2014. The celebration has been marked by protests and court cases every year. The Karnataka High Court had rejected a plea to prevent the celebration last year.

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We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!

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