Guest Post by Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association ( JTSA ), Delhi.
Beyond Reasonable Doubt? The Conviction of Shahzad Ahmad is a detailed analysis and critique by the Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association of the judgment awarded on the 25th of July by the 2nd Additional Session Judge, Delhi-South East (Saket) Court in the ‘State vs. Shahzad Ahmad@Pappu’ case, also known as the ‘Batla House Encounter’ case. Yesterday, on the 30th of July, the judge confirmed his verdict of ‘guilty’ and awarded Shahzad Ahmad the punishment of imprisonment for life and a fine of Rs. 95,000/-. The JTSA, which has been following the Batla House Encounter since 2008 presents its findings on the trial in this booklet, and disputes the guilty verdict awarded to Shahzad Ahmad. Kafila is carrying this publication (as part of a series of posts on the Batla House Encounter) as a downloadable pdf format file.
The word ‘closure’ has a reassuring, comforting resonance, particularly when it comes to matters of death. One achieves closure. It is granted. Those who are fortunate receive it as recompense for the necessary tasks of grief and mourning. We move on.
On the 25th of July, last week, after Rajender Kumar Shastri, 2nd Addiitional Sessions Judge of the South East (Saket) Court in New Delhi announced in open court that a young man named Shahzad Ahmad of Khalispur village in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh Disttrict was guilty of causing the death of Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma of the Special Cell of the Delhi Police in Flat No. 108, L-18, Batla House, in South Delhi’s Jamia Nagar on the 19th of September, 2008, the word ‘closure’ began to ring out on prime time television. We were given to believe that the infamous ‘Batla House Encounter’ case had finally achieved closure. That the ‘martyrdom’ and sacrifice of Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma had now been vindicated. That all unseemly controversy could now be put to rest. We were told that it was time to move on.
Continue reading The Batla House Judgement and the Impossibility of Closure
This release from the JUSTICE FOR ISHRAT JAHAN CAMPAIGN comes to us via Manisha Sethi.
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” This is a quote often misattributed to the Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. So widely is it believed to have been the key to Goebbelsian propaganda that it often employed by those whose politics is inspired by Goebbels’s Feuhrer.
This is exactly what we are seeing in this frenzied rush to pronounce Ishrat Jahan as a Lashkar operative by a section of media and commentators friendly to the ‘IB sources’.
Knowing full well that CBI’s mandate is only to enquire into the nature of the encounter – to probe whether Ishrat Jahan and three others were killed in cold blood – and realizing increasingly that the CBI investigation is leading to the unraveling of a plot so sordid that serious questions are going to be raised about the manner in which certain elements within the IB and agencies cynically used national security issues for vested interests, there is an attempt to pop up red herrings. False questions, planted stories, lies, fabrications – anything that will take the focus away from the guilt of those who conspired to abduct, drug and kill a teenaged college girl.
Continue reading The David Headley Lies Continue: There is Nothing ‘New’ About It
This is a press statement put out on 14 June 2013 by a group of individuals whose names are given at the end.
It is a clear indication of the desperation being felt by the IB establishment as the heat turns on its senior officers in the Ishrat Jahan probe, that they are down to doing what they do best: use pliant sections of the media to plant stories to deflect scrutiny and create a favourable public mood. Following the summons issued to IB Special Director Rajender Kumar by the CBI (which is probing the case on the direction of the Gujarat High Court), the IB Director first sought to sell the familiar old story of ‘investigation will hit the morale of the IB’ – it seems as though a blanket immunity from any scrutiny and accountability is the only guarantee of IB morale. The IB then ran complaining to the Prime Minister; and when nothing worked, it used the agency’s tried and tested trick of enlisting the support of discredited ‘journalists’. Continue reading IB’s desperate and dirty tricks to scuttle the Ishrat Jahan investigation
This guest post by MANISHA SETHI is a response to “Congress and the Problem with the Deluded Liberals” by Mihir Srivastava in Open magazine
Mihir Srivastava is very upset that the debate on Batla House refuses to die down. In his view, his piece in India Today – “Inside the Mind of the Bombers – appearing soon after the ‘encounter’ should have settled the debate once and for all. But he was surprised that it wasn’t received as a resolution. He is even more upset that deluded liberals (read Arundhati Roy) are no longer on talking terms with him.
“In the Batla House case, which I reported much the same way I had reported so many of the cases they were happy with, it is just that the facts I saw and reported did not mesh with what they wanted to believe.”
This is simply not true. The many stories that deluded liberals approved of, according to, Mr. Srivastava, and which he cites to bolster his own reputation, are in fact very different from his India Today’s ‘story’. His expose on the Red Fort terror attack in Tehelka, for example, critically examined the evidence produced by the police, verified and cross checked the statements made by the accused in court and even brought out the discrepancies in the observations made by the court and its eventual judgement which upheld the death sentence of Md. Arif alias Ashfaq alias Abu Hamad. ‘Wrong Man to the Gallows’ is an example of good investigative journalism, not because it confirms our worst suspicions about the ways in which investigative agencies frame innocents, but because it painstakingly pieces together evidence and doesn’t get swamped under nationalist hyperbole spun by the mainstream media to take a cold, hard look at the evidence. Continue reading Batla House and the problem with the deluded journalist: Manisha Sethi
This release comes from the JAMIA TEACHERS’ SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION
You say there shall be no re-visit of the Batla House encounter. You are of course absolutely right. All those agencies who conducted the encounter have already given themselves a clean chit. What further proof could be required of the genuineness of the encounter than the fact that no less than Karnail Singh, Joint Commissioner of Police, Special Cell, Delhi, (who by the by, was also trying to derail the probe into Ishrat Jahan encounter) wrote to the Lt Governor and the NHRC vouching for the innocence of their gallant heroes. Speaking of gallant heroes, we are sure it has been brought to your notice—or maybe it hasn’t—that some of the brave hearts of the Delhi Police Special Cell have been indicted by the courts in the past couple of years for scripting and executing fake encounters. These are the very men whom you have been felicitating with gallantry awards and Presidents’ medals. But Sir, rest assured, we are not asking what sort of democracies fete and glorify killers. Our kind, of course. Continue reading JTSA lists some more ‘genuine’ encounters in Delhi for the Home Minister
Released by JAMIA TEACHERS’ SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION
24 November 2011
Stung by the SIT report which concluded that Ishrat Jahan was executed in cold blood, former Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai—hard-pressed to defend his affidavit to the Supreme Court that Ishrat was a Lashkar operative—has stooped to now slandering the girl’s personal life suggesting that her checking into different hotels with “another man” was definitely suspicious. Perhaps, Mr. Pillai wishes us to believe that all those young women who travel and work independently are ‘suspicious’ and could have terrorist links. Continue reading Shame on G.K. Pillai: Women demand an apology for his sexist comments
Guest post by REKHA CHOWDHARY
What went wrong in Kashmir? This is one pertinent question that needs to be addressed seriously before any corrective measures can be applied. Situation would certainly normalise after some time, but apparently ‘normal’ situation in case of Kashmir does not indicate anything. The vibrancy of ordinary life and the day-to-day routine followed for days and even months, takes only moments to break. Underneath the normalcy, the turbulence is ever present and can surface at any point of time. Every turbulent period however provides clues to the real problem, and one should hold on to these clues, if one really wants to do something about it.
So what do we see in the present turbulence? Firstly, though the crisis revolves around the stone-pelting youth, one can clearly say that the real problem is not that of the stone-pelters. Neither the theory of LeT being responsible for it, nor the issue of money being paid to stone pelters, nor the vested interests making the most of the situation explains the crisis.