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This Happened

This Happened — May 5: Death Of An Irish Martyr

Bobby Sands died on this day in 1981, after 66 days on a hunger strike. He had refused food in protest of the British government's refusal to grant him and other IRA prisoners political prisoner status.

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Who was Bobby Sands?

Bobby Sands was an Irish nationalist and member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA). He was born in 1954 in Northern Ireland and became active in the Irish republican movement in the 1970s. His death from the hunger strike, protesting the British government's refusal to grant him and others political prisoner status, made him a martyr for the Northern Irish national cause.

What was the impact of Bobby Sands' hunger strike?

Bobby Sands' hunger strike and subsequent death had a significant impact on the Irish nationalist movement, as well as on the wider international community. It brought attention to the issue of Irish political prisoners and helped to galvanize support for the republican cause.

What was the reaction to Bobby Sands' death?

Bobby Sands' death sparked widespread protests and violence in Northern Ireland and beyond. Supporters of the Irish nationalist cause saw his death as a tragedy and a symbol of the struggle for Irish independence. The British government expressed regret over Bobby Sands' death but maintained its stance on political prisoner status. Margaret Thatcher, the British Prime Minister at the time, was widely criticized for her handling of the situation.

How is Bobby Sands remembered today?

Bobby Sands is remembered in various ways, including through murals and street art in Northern Ireland, as well as through films, books, and music. His image and legacy continue to inspire those who support the cause of Irish nationalism and independence.

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Big Brother For The People: India's CCTV Strategy For Cracking Down On Police Abuse

"There is nothing fashionable about installing so many cameras in and outside one’s house," says a lawyer from a Muslim community. And yet, doing this has helped members of the community prove unfair police action against them.

A woman is walking in the distance while a person holds a military-style gun close up

Survellance and tight security at the Lal Chowk area in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India on October 4, 2022

Sukanya Shantha

MUMBAI — When sleuths of the National Investigating Agency suddenly descended on human rights defender and school teacher Abdul Wahid Shaikh’s house on October 11, he knew exactly what he needed to do next.

He had been monitoring the three CCTVs that are installed on the front and the rear of his house — a chawl in Vikhroli, a densely populated area in suburban Mumbai. The cameras told him that a group of men and women — some dressed in Mumbai police’s uniform and a few in civil clothes — had converged outside his house. Some of them were armed and few others with batons were aggressively banging at the door asking him to immediately let them in.

This was not the first time that the police had landed at his place at 5 am.

When the policemen discovered the CCTV cameras outside his house, they began hitting it with their batons, destroying one of them mounted right over the door. This action was captured by the adjacent CCTV camera. Shaikh, holed up in his house with his wife and two children, kept pleading with the police to stop destroying his property and simply show them an official notice.

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