Guest Post by WARISHA FARASAT
Amit Shah seems to be on a roll this election season. First, he escaped any punishment after delivering one of the most disturbing hate speeches made during the 2014 election campaign. After the Muzaffarnagar riots, attempts were made by political parties to capitalize on the suffering of the locals, and provoke certain communities to vote for them. And when Amit Shah was censured by the Election Commission for indulging in objectionable speeches during the election campaign in Uttar Pradesh, BJP Primeminsterial candidate Narendra Modi came to the defence of his most loyal lieutenant. Clearly, Amit Shah’s statement was made with the intention of polarizing the voters in a politically surcharged environment in Uttar Pradesh and amounted to hate speech. However, the Election Commission soon did a u-turn, diluted its own stand, withdrew the ban against Shah and allowed him to go ahead with his campaign. The withdrawal of ban against Amit Shah ignoring the drastic implications of his hate speech during the campaign was alarming.
And now, the CBI has not named Shah as an accused in the Ishrat Jehan fake encounter case stating that there is no ‘prosecutable evidence’ available against him. But Shah and his supporters should not think that this so-called ‘clean chit’ absolves him of all criminal responsibility for indulging in fake encounters in Gujarat. If we believe the CBI in the Ishrat Jehan case when they claim that there is no prosecutable evidence against Shah, consequently, we also need to trust their investigations in atleast two other fake encounters, namely the Sohrabuddin Shiekh and the Tulsiram Prajapati cases where the CBI have named Shah as an accused. Shah is presently being tried in these cases and is able to campaign during these elections only because he is out on bail.
Continue reading Why the Law may still Catch Up with Amit Shah: Warisha Farasat
New York Police Department (NYPD) is in the news again for wrong reasons. It’s campaign to carry photos of citizens with its officers via Twitter backfired,as users flooded the hashtag with photos decrying alleged police brutality.
Not sometime ago it had to disband its Demographic Unit, which was engaged in spying on Muslim neighborhoods, infiltrating groups and eavesdropping on conversations across the northeastern United States, in the years following the Sept. 11 attacks. It had to finally admit that this secret Demographics Unit failed to yield a single terrorism investigation or even a single lead. Senior police officers of the department had to confess that the police gathered information on people even when there was no evidence of wrongdoing, simply because of their ethnicity and native language.
It may be added here that Adam Goldman, a journalist who with the help of his colleague Matt Apuzzo first broke this story about New York Police Department’s Muslim Spy Programme in a series of articles they wrote for Associated Press for which they were rewarded with Pulitzer Price.
Interestingly it was quite a coincidence that when the world at large was discussing how NYPD tried to stigmatise a community and terrorise a people, reports about the ‘informer-cop nexus behind Islamic Fundamentalism in Tamil Nadu’. Continue reading On Community Profiling
This is a guest post by RAMRAY BHAT
The collective conscience of our prominent democracies works in very strange ways. India is yet to come to terms with the killing of a nineteen-year-old Mumbaiite student Ishrat Jahan in an encounter by officers of the Gujarat Police in collaboration with the Intelligence Bureau. Along with three other individuals, Javed Sheikh (for whom Ishrat worked as a secretary), Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar, Ishrat was first announced to have died in police firing and the alleged plan hatched by these four individuals to assassinate prominent politicians of India, thereby thwarted. Inquiries at the level of the Ahmedabad metropolitan magistrate court as well as by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as directed by the Gujarat High Court confirmed what had been suspected all along, that Ishrat had been murdered in cold blood while she was in police custody. Continue reading Minority Report – Deaths followed by Executions : Ramray Bhat
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
The CBI charge-sheet in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case and its aftermath has led the BJP and supporters of Narendra Modi (within and without the Intelligence Bureau) to discover the joys of time travel. Apparently, David Coleman Headley’s testimony in 2010 (which says that Ishrat Jahan was an LeT operative) has given the Gujarat police officials a means to tell us why they killed Ishrat Jahan in 2004. Or, following on from Shivam Vij’s recent tweets, we could say: “The IB says that Headley says that Ishrat Jahan was a non-non terrorist…”
We will discuss more about this heady Headley testimony and ‘non-non terrorism’ later, but for now, let us admit that the secret of how a statement in the future can influence the unfolding an event six years in the past is known only to those who are partisan to Mr. Modi and his party. It is not for nothing that they call him a Yug Purush (‘The Man of Time’)- all times, past, present and future, can do his bidding, or so thinks the BJP. Continue reading Ishrat Jahan, Narendra Modi and the IB: How Not to be Non-Non Terrorist
…CBI says it’s the humidity.
While the implausibility of David Headley having named Ishrat Jahan as an LeT operative has already been called out, there’s another problem here. How does anyone cross-check IB’s claim considering none of us has access to Headley?
In other words, the IB can make any insinuation and say Headley said it and we’ll have to believe at as truth.
This is apart from the fact that the judicial process in the news is not about whether or not Ishrat Jahan was an LeT terrorist. It’s about whether she was murdered in cold blood by Gujarat police. To that extent the IB does have a point in arguing that it cannot be blamed for how a state government interprets its inputs. Technically, the IB cannot be held responsible for murder by Gujarat police. But does that mean the IB cannot or should not be held accountable for what inputs it sends across?
Anyway, I posted a series of satirical tweets the other day making fun of the use of David Headley to justify the murder of Ishrat Jahan. Here are some of them.
Continue reading IB says Headley says it’s too hot…