Over 1,100 feminsts across religion, class, caste, ethnicity, ability, sexuality and genders
DENOUNCE false narratives that try to link anti-CAA protests with the violence in Delhi.
DENOUNCE false narratives that try to link anti-CAA protests with the violence in Delhi.
DEMAND an immediate stop to targeting of Muslim women activists
under the shadow of the Covid 19 lockdown.
SEEK ACTION against actual perpetrators of violence, not peaceful protestors.
STAND FIRM with the conscience keepers of the nation
We, the undersigned, strongly condemn the brazenly malicious attacks, arrests and intimidation by the Delhi Police of Muslim women, students and activists, as well as other citizens who have spoken up against the unconstitutional moves of the present ruling dispensation. Media reports that about 800 + anti-CAA protesters have been detained or arrested since the Covid 19 lockdown, which means they have had little or no access to lawyers and legal aid, and their families given no information of their whereabouts for extended periods after they were in custody. The impunity with which the Delhi Police is carrying out this sweep under direct orders from the Home Ministry is facilitated by the reduced media, public and legal scrutiny under the lockdown.
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.
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→
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.
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.
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→
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.
On 2nd July, Hindustan Times Delhi edition carried a story with the headline “Ishrat Jahan has links with Kashmir Separatists”. The content of the story contradicted this sensational claim. Even more stunningly, the same story, sans this malicious headline, appeared in the Ahmedabad edition of the newspaper. Originally a story by the paper’s Ahmedabad correspondent, Mahesh Langa, Delhi-based correspondent Abhishek Saran added his byline and headline in the Delhi edition. It was clear what his contribution to the story was.
Guest post by FARAZ AHMAD: Even after the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) presented of its charge-sheet in CBI special court in Ahmedabad on July 3 in the infamous Ishrat Jahan encounter case of Gujarat of 2004 charging the Gujarat police, together with the IB of faking the encounter with Ishrat and three others, the media campaign, more particularly of the Times of India to damage CBI’s credibility continued unabated, with Bharti Jain’s lament on behalf of the IB.
However it is obvious that Bharti Jain’s is neither the first nor the last spirited defence of the questionable activities of our security and intelligence officers committing all kinds of crimes under the cover of protecting the nation from supposed external and internal threat. Unmindful of this, the media campaign is so visibly influenced by the BJP, attempting to discredit the CBI investigations and label these as biased before these are examined by the rightful authority, the courts, guided by competent lawyers of both the prosecution as well as Defence. Continue reading Media Campaign and the Ishrat Jahan Case: Faraz Ahmad→
Over 115 women have signed a letter seeking an apology from Ms. Meenakshi Lekhi for her sexist slandering of deceased Ishrat Jahan in a television channel. The letter has also been sent to the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women for appropriate action.
As the noose is tightening around the conspirators who cynically and coldly planned and executed the killing of teenaged Ishrat Jahan and three other people in 2004, there is a concerted campaign – the final, last ditch bid to save their skins – by tarnishing the image of this college student. There have been planted stories in the media linking her to a terrorist group –all of them false and concocted, even as the Gujarat High Court has clearly said that the CBI’s mandate is to simply investigate whether Ishrat and others were killed in cold blood. Continue reading Women condemn Meenakshi Lekhi’s sexist slandering of Ishrat Jahan→
Laltu‘s poem written in 2004; published in Dainik Bhaskar in 2005.
‘इशरत’ एक इशरत!
सुबह अँधेरे सड़क की नसों ने आग उगली
तू क्या कर रही थी पगली !
लाखों दिलों की धड़कन बनेगी तू
इतना प्यार तेरे लिए बरसेगा
प्यार की बाढ़ में डूबेगी तू
यह जान ही होगी चली!
अब सो जा पगली. Continue reading Ishrat: Laltu’s poem→
On the day the CBI is set to file its chargesheet in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, Hindustan Times has chosen to report about it in a manner that is malicious, prejudicial and intended to manipulate public opinion. The report, “ ‘Ishrat Jahan had links with Kashmir Separatists’: CBI” by Mahesh Langa and Abhishek Sharan in the Delhi/ Ahmedabad edition of the newspaper is nothing short of defamatory. The headline attributes this ‘information’ to the CBI whereas in the text of the report, it is said that two of those killed along with Ishrat “were associated with secessionist groups in Kashmir”. Clearly, the CBI is not saying that Ishrat had any links with any group. This is a deliberate misrepresentation and a cheap trick to make connections where none exist in order to tarnish the reputation of a deceased girl who is no longer present to defend herself. Continue reading Media manipulation on Ishrat continues: Vrinda Grover’s Protest Letter to Hindustan Times→
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→
This release comes from the JAMIA TEACHERS’ SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION
21 November 2011
JTSA welcomes the SIT report which has concluded that the teenaged college girl Ishrat Jahan and her three companions were killed in cold blood—and were not terrorists on way to kill Narendra Modi. This has reinforced the findings of the Tamang Enquiry Report which had drawn similar conclusions in 2009, and which the Gujarat government had tried to suppress and discredit. The SIT report has given credence to the allegation of civil rights activists that the officers in Gujarat police had executed several people through the last decade in collusion with the highest political authority in the state. The police officers gained medals and promotions and Modi built his image as the Hindutva hero by highlighting the alleged assassination attempts on him. Continue reading JTSA welcomes the SIT report on Ishrat Jahan, demands free and fair probe into Batla House ‘Encounter’→
I cannot resist but recount this account of exemplary courage and commitment of a Magistrate working in the Metropolitan Courts of Ahmedabad. He is none other than Magistrate Tamang who has been in the news for the past few days.
Brief facts: We all know about the encounter of Ishrat Jehan and three others in the outskirts of the city of Ahmedabad which took place in June, 2004. Soon after the encounter there were enquiries by human rights groups which declared that it was a cold blooded killing and not an encounter. To counter the demands the Crime Branch ordered a Magistrate to enquire into the matter. It has been reported that no Magistrate was willing to stick his neck into this issue. Finally on 12 August, 2009 the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) ordered Magistrate Tamang to conduct the inquiry. The latter was supposed to conduct this inquiry under S 176 CrPC. This is the section of law in which a Magistrate is empowered to hold an inquiry into the cause of death whenever a person dies while in police custody or when it is a death in doubtful circumstances. Generally, under this section of law, Magistrates record dying declarations of women who are dying and lying in the hospitals.