The recent opinion piece by Ashish Khetan in the Hindu has yet again reiterated the false and malicious stereotype: that Muslims somehow have something or the other to do with terror, either when they are directly involved or when they are silent about others of the community being involved. It is disappointing that the debate is framed in the stereotypical, “good Muslim”, “bad Muslim” tenor rather than a real engagement with issues of shoddy investigation and communal bias that marks terror investigations in the country. Perhaps the greatest disservice that has been done to idea of justice has been linking an entire community to terrorism.
There is something disquieting in what Ashish Khetan has written and said recently on terror in India (in The Hindu and on Tehelka.tv), and centrally within it, the Indian Mujahideen. More so, because it comes from one of the most credible journalist’s today, who has done some commendable work over the years. A journalist I personally respect. But there are several reasons which compel this response. And yet, this is not just a response, but also an attempt to elucidate the many complex processes within which ‘terror’ is located today, and the way the discourse has transformed, and has implications for a people’s negotiated relationship with their state.
This release was put out today by theJAMIA TEACHERS’ SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION
In a grotesque replay of every investigation that follows a bomb blast, prejudice, misinformation and media blitz rules the direction of Dilsukh Nagar bombings investigation too. The same suspects and shadowy organizations are being paraded as executors of the Hyderabad bombings.
But should we be surprised? A day after the Home Minister’s humiliating capitulation to the RSS-BJP, virtually giving them and their affiliates a clean chit, the message to the investigating agencies must have been crystal clear. When the Home Minister himself discards the bulk of allegations and material pointing to the existence of Hindutva groups in planning and executing terror attacks, should we really expect the investigating agencies, whose past record inspires hardly any confidence, to sincerely pursue all possible angles and leads? This, when Messrs Aseemanand and company are being tried for the 2007 bombing of the Mecca Masjid. By asserting that Hyderabad bombing may have been a reaction to the execution of Kasab and Afzal Guru, the Home Minister himself foreclosed any possibility of unbiased investigation. Continue reading The Hyderabad blast investigations are doomed to fail: JTSA→
More and more concerns are being expressed by human rights activists in India today on the question of fabricated and false charges on innocent people. When Dr. Binayak Sen spent his time in jail on such charges, activist groups all over the country and abroad came out and protested. For the first time in the history of human rights movement in India, around two dozen Nobel Prize Winners came out to defend him. It should also be noted that there were even protests against such fabrication in front of Indian embassies in different parts of the world.
However, with the arrest of Binayak Sen, the contemporary history of `fabricating false cases’ by the Indian state took a new turn. The arrest took place while Dr. Sen was a national leader of India’s pioneering human rights organization, People’s Union for Civil liberties (PUCL). The activists felt that the message was loud and clear: That even human rights defenders can be imprisoned for no reason under repressive laws of the post-independent India.
Dr. Sen was released due to public pressure. But thousands are still languishing behind bars, waiting for justice. The nameless adivasis who were arrested like Sen from different parts of Chhattisgarh, speak of an unknown territory even to the best of our human rights activists. And new messages are given. Even journalists can be grilled. Thus, K.K. Shahina, Azmi, Seema Azad, Advocate Naushad Kasimji and others have become victims of attacks on freedom of expression. Fabricating false cases has become a norm today rather than an exception, according to human rights groups. Minorities, dalits, adivasis, people’s movements and self determination movements become an easy prey to false charges. Continue reading Terrorism in India – Between Facts and Fiction: Imran Khan→
This public statement comes via Manisha Sethi; see full list of signatories at the end.
Twenty-seven year old Qateel Siddiqi, arrested in November 2011 by the Special Cell for his alleged Indian Mujahideen links, has been killed in Yerwada Central jail in Pune today. The murder has ostensibly been carried out fellow inmates for unknown reasons. Qateel had been shifted to Yerwada only a few days ago after the Maharashtra ATS had taken his custody for a test identification parade.
Qateel’s killing raises several important questions:
– Siddiqi was kept in high security anda jail and not in the common barracks. How then did the attack take place?
– Could the attack have taken place without the complicity, even if passive, of the Yerwada jail authorities?
– Given the claim of the investigating agencies that Qateel was the key to unraveling the IM network, what happens now to those investigations?
This release comes from theJAMIA TEACHERS’ SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION
The Maharashtra ATS claims to have cracked the 13/7 blasts case. Its chief has revealed in a press conference that Indian Mujahideen was behind the Mumbai blasts. And yet, the Ministry of Home Affairs remains far from impressed—indeed, it appears rather irritated. And the press, also unusually, has been circumspect about his revelations. The ATS Chief says that he did not want to call a press conference. But the rumours about Naquee’s IB links were threatening the credibility of the ATS. Such were his compulsions when he launched into a monologue about the ‘breakthrough’ his team—under his guidance of course—had achieved.
Basically, immediately after the blasts, the ever alert Delhi police intercepted a call from Mumbai to the NCR to ask the person in the NCR if ‘the work had been done’ and whether ‘Sharif” had been informed. On getting the answer ‘yes’, the caller hung up, and not just hung up, but ‘immediately’ hung up. The call lasted for about a minute.
This brief call was not too brief for the Delhi Police’s keen forensic skills.
Statement by Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association
JTSA offers its heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved and the injured in the Mumbai serial blasts. We sincerely hope that the perpetrators of this mindless violence will be brought to justice swiftly. There are early indicators though that this investigation will be marred by prejudiced investigating agencies. There are news items appearing in various media outlets which cite the interrogation report of Md. Salman, a supposed operative of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) to establish that Mumbai was on IM’s sights.
Already we see that, though the Home Ministry has restrained from holding any group culpable, the investigation is being gently pushed in one direction. But even if one leaves aside for a moment the criticism that investigators react in stereotypical ways, their compass needle invariably pointing towards Azamgarh, there are serious issues arising out of this reliance on Salman’s interrogation report for getting to the bottom of the Mumbai serial blasts conspiracy.
On Wednesday, I met some young men from Dhule. I am not at all sure where Dhule is and I said as much to them. “There was some violence there. It has been in the news lately,” they said. “Did any bombs go off in Dhule?” said I. “No bombs, no. But there was communal violence. It was on the news.” “I only watch prime time news. I don’t usually manage to view the afternoon bulletins. Nor the eleven PM one (informative though they are),” I explained. “So where exactly is Dhule?” I persisted. “It is a district on the north-western tip of Maharashtra. It’s not so far from Malegaon.” Ah, Malegaon! Where the blasts occurred? Finally I had a co-ordinate. Continue reading Such absurdity on a Wednesday→
Guest post by AZIZ BURNEY, Editor, Rashtriya Sahara (Urdu), Delhi
It is a truth universally acknowledged that anything viewed from various angles presents various shapes. It is also a fact that your angle of view determines to a large extent the picture registered by your brain. An askew angle of view is bound to distort the picture. Reality defies comprehension without proper perspective. To date, we have not been able to understand what kind of picture the Delhi police is trying to draw in order to explain the incidents of September 19 as they happened. Continue reading Was it a recce or a planned raid?→
Mumbai, Sep 17 (IANS) Terming the Indian Mujahideen, which has claimed
responsibility for the serial blasts in Ahmedabad and New Delhi, as
fictitious, several Muslim organisations and clerics have demanded
investigations into the possible role of the Hindu right wing in the
terror attacks.In a statement issued here Wednesday evening, 21 Muslim
organisations challenged Indian Mujahideen leaders to come out in the
open and prove their actions.
Sheela Bhatt’s assertions that the Gujarati Muslim hasn’t been seeking retribution by a long shot are not surprising at all. What is illuminating is this:
One of the surprises of Saturday’s blasts was that except one blast in Sarkhej, all the blasts were executed in East Ahmedabad, which includes the highly communally sensitive walled city area. The accuracy of the planning suggests that a person with a complete grip on the social-political mindset of the city and its communal geography must be behind the blasts.
No one in this shaken city doubts that these blasts were planned by someone who has a thorough knowledge of the past 25 years history of communally sensitive areas and the Sangh Parivar’s role in it. Continue reading Ahem-dabad again→