India mob kills Muslim teen in beef row, one arrested

Cows are revered by Hindus and slaughtering them as well as possession or consumption of beef is banned in most Indian states, with some imposing life sentences for breaking the law. (AFP)
Updated 24 June 2017
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India mob kills Muslim teen in beef row, one arrested

NEW DELHI: Indian police Saturday said one person has been arrested after a mob stabbed a Muslim teenager to death on suspicion of carrying beef, an offense in many parts of the Hindu-majority country.
Cows are revered by Hindus and slaughtering them as well as possession or consumption of beef is banned in most Indian states, with some imposing life sentences for breaking the law.
Junaid Khan, 15, was traveling from New Delhi on Friday with three of his brothers when a fight erupted over seats.
Between 15 and 20 men pulled out knives and set upon the brothers while making anti-Muslim comments and insisting one of the packets they were carrying contained beef.
While Khan was stabbed to death, his brother Shakir sustained injuries on the throat, chest and hands, police said.
“The fight started over seats. We are looking into the matter and we have arrested one of the accused who is a 35-year-old old man from (northern state of) Haryana,” Ajay Kumar, a government railway police official told AFP.
Khan’s brother Hassem told reporters the mob ignored their repeated pleas that they were not carrying any beef.
“They were pointing at a packet which had food and saying we should not be allowed to sit since we were carrying beef,” Haseem said.
The incident is the latest such attack by Hindu vigilantes in India, where there have been a spate of assaults against Muslims and low-caste Dalits.
In the last two years, nearly a dozen Muslim men have been killed across the country on suspicion of eating beef or smuggling cows.
Critics say vigilantes have been emboldened by the election in 2014 of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party.
Last year Modi criticized the cow protection vigilantes and urged a crackdown against groups using religion as a cover for committing crimes.


Philippine president wants to end anti-drug war in three years

Updated 21 March 2019
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Philippine president wants to end anti-drug war in three years

  • Philippines being investigated for extrajudicial killings
  • Anti-drug campaign signature policy of president

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday he wanted to finish his war on drugs in three years, defying an international probe into his controversial and deadly campaign to rid the country of narcotics.
Duterte, who came to power in 2016, has made a ‘war on drugs’ the hallmark of his administration. 
But it has been reported that 20,000 people have been killed in what rights groups call a wave of “state-sanctioned violence.”
The firebrand president remains unfazed by the condemnation, and the cases filed against him by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over his crackdown.
He insisted he would assume full responsibility for any consequences due to his decision to enforce the law, telling a military audience his goals.
“I’d like to finish this war, both (with the) Abu Sayyaf (a militant group) and also the communists, and the drug problem in about three years … we'd be able (to) ... reduce the activities of the illegal trade and fighting to the barest minimum.
“I’m not saying I am the only one capable (of achieving these goals) ... I assume full responsibility for all that would happen as a consequence of enforcing the law — whether against the criminals, the drug traffickers or the rebels who’d want to destroy government.”
Earlier this month, the Philippines withdrew from the ICC, citing the global body's interference in how the country was run as the reason.
On Tuesday, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that investigations into alleged extrajudicial killings in the Philippines would continue despite its exit.
But the government has said it will not cooperate with the ICC, and has even warned its personnel about entering the country for the investigation.
There are Filipinos who support Duterte’s campaign, however, and believe it works. Among them is former policeman Eric Advincula.
He said there had been an improvement in the situation since Duterte came to power. 
“For one, the peace and order situation has improved, like for example in villages near our place where there used to be rampant drug peddling,” he told Arab News. 
“The price of illegal drugs is now higher, an indication that the supply also went down. Also, it was easy to catch drug peddlers before because they were doing their trade openly. But now they are more careful, you can't easily locate them.”
Official data from the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in February indicated that 5,176 ‘drug personalities’ were killed in the anti-drugs war between July 1, 2016 to Jan. 31, 2019.
More than 170,000 drug suspects have been arrested during a total of 119,841 anti-narcotics operations in the last two and a half years.