1. Karnataka School Booked for Sedition for Staging Anti-CAA Play
The principal and authorities of a school in north Karnataka’s Bidar district have been booked for sedition, provoking breach of peace and other charges for allegedly having students perform a play at the school’s annual function where they took a swipe at PM Modi with relation to the CAA and the NRC on 21 January.
According to the FIR that was registered at New Town Police Station on Sunday, 26 January, the management has been booked under Sections 124A (sedition), 504 (provoking breach of peace), 505(2) (statements promoting enmity), 34 (act done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and 153A (promoting communal hatred) .
The incident came to light after a video of the performance was uploaded by a Mohamad Yusuf Raheem, a journalist based in Bidar, who has also been named in the FIR. Confirming the FIR, Bidar SP said that the case is being investigated.
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2. Wildlife Activists Protest Against Filming ‘Man vs Wild’ With Rajinikanth in Bandipur
Wildlife activists are protesting against the filming of a new episode of ‘Man vs Wild’, a survival television series, in the ecologically sensitive area within the Bandipur tiger reserve and forest in Karnataka.
The latest episode of the survival series will feature Tamil superstar, Rajinikanth with the show’s host, Bear Grylls.
Rajinikanth and the film crew are shooting in the forest area in Kalkere and Moolehole in Bandipur, one of the largest habitats for tigers and other animals in the world, as their presence not just endangers the animals but also has raised fears of igniting forest fires that could start and spread quickly due to the prevailing dry conditions.
“They could have filmed in the monsoons as fires can start and spread very quickly during the summer months," Joseph Hoover, a Bengaluru-based wildlife activist said on Tuesday.
3. ‘Civic Bodies Harassing Us Over Sewage, Levying Heavy Fines’: Bengaluru Residents
Residents of many apartment complexes in Bengaluru, primarily those in Whitefield, Bellandur, HSR Layout and Bommanahalli, are alleging that they are being harassed and made scapegoats by authorities who were pulled by the National Green Tribunal recently over the pollution of lakes in the vicinity.
Bangalore Apartment Federation (BAF), a collective of apartment residents across the city have alleged that officials of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) are levying fines and resorting to other coercive measures without following due process. The NGT, in December 2019, had pulled up the KSPSB and the BWSSB over pollution in the Bellandur-Varthur lakes and stated that sewage water cannot be allowed to flow into lakes. Residents say that the KPSCB and BWSSB are now trying to show the NGT that they are taking coercive action against polluters, even as part of the BWSSB’s underground sewage network still empties into lakes.
4. With Freedom of Speech Comes Self-Restraint: Mysuru Judge
Granting anticipatory bail on Monday to Nalini B and research scholar Maridevaiah who were charged with sedition, Mysuru’s II Additional District and Sessions Court made strong observations about freedom of speech, saying it’s right to form an opinion voluntarily with facts and it must be exercised with self-restraint in public interest. “The youth must be cautious while forming an opinion and must not be carried away by the very phrase and act,” the court stated.
Judge Jerald Rudolph Mendonca observed: “Freedom of speech is the right to form an opinion after getting correct and full information about an issue and express it. This would also help an individual exercise his option if he is called upon to do so in a given situation. This is necessary for the success of democracy. Therefore, the opinion expressed must be one’s own opinion and not a forced or informed opinion.”
5. Pub Employee, 30, Uses Mobile to Film Woman in Toilet, Arrested
A 30-year-old housekeeping staffer with a pub on McGrath Road, Ashoknagar, was arrested for allegedly taking a video of a woman customer who was using the pub toilet on the night of 24 January.
Budhhikant Debanath of Odisha, who worked with Arbor Brewing Company, has been sent to Central Prison. In his confession statement, Debanath, who joined the pub three months ago, said he saw the woman entering the loo and filmed her using his mobile phone. “He must have deleted the video since we didn’t find it in his phone,” a police officer said.
The woman, a 34-year-old private company employee, visited the pub with friends on 24 January.