Tag Archives: Praveen Swami

Sinful liberals and the war against jihadi terror: Manisha Sethi responds to Praveen Swami

Guest post by MANISHA SETHI: It has been seven months since the Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association brought out its report, Framed, Damned, Acquitted, chronicling in detail how the Delhi Police’s Special Cell implicated innocents – former militants, police informers, businessmen, and just ordinary, unlucky men – as terrorists. It is one of the few documents that lends evidentiary credence to the widespread sense amongst Muslims that they are being targeted in the war against terror. Apologists for the police and investigative agencies however do not tire of contesting its conclusions, namely that there is a systemic and systematic bias against minorities when it comes to terror investigations. What bias, they ask. As does our chief National Security ‘analyst’ Praveen Swami, who has stressed that “liberals are compromising the war against jihadi terror“.

Could such ‘analysts’ be echoing the sentiments of a judge of the Allahabad High court, who less than two decades after India gained independence, noted, that “in the entire country there is not another criminal force whose misdeeds can come anywhere near the list of crimes of that organised body called the Indian Police force” (All India Reporter, 1964, Vol. 51, 702). Do they mean, that our extraordinarily brutal police force is even-handed in its application of cruelty across the spectrum of our citizenry, and is not especially biased against the Muslims, or Dalits, adivasis and so on?

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Swami & Friends: JTSA’s response to Praveen Swami

The story so far…

Jamia Teachers Solidarity Association was  formed after the so-called “encounter” at Batla House in 2008, in which two students of Jamia Millia Islamia were killed. You may remember posts on kafila at the time, questioning the credibility of police accounts of the “encounter” and criticizing the unethical nature of media coverage:

A little less melodrama, a lot more forensics;

The Jamia Nagar encounter: Curiouser and curiouser;

Shame is a revolutionary sentiment;

Some questions about the Delhi encounter.

In April this year, JTSA, which has been demanding an independent probe into the encounter, issued a statement after the post mortem reports of Atif Ameen and Md. Sajid were made public, revealing that the two boys were not  killed in cross fire as Delhi Police claimed:

Batla House ‘Encounter’: Whom is the JP Trauma Centre Shielding?

On April 25, 2010, Countercurrents published another statement by JTSA, titled Praveen Swami’s Not so Fabulous Fables, which began thus:

“If there is one infallible indicator of what the top Indian Intelligence agencies are thinking or cooking up, it is this: Praveen Swami’s articles. Each time the security establishment wishes to push a certain angle to this bomb blast or that, Swami’s articles appear magically, faithfully reflecting the Intelligence reports. After the Batla House ‘encounter’, he launched a tirade against all those who were questioning the police account of the shootout labeling them all ‘Alices in wonderland’. He went so far as to identify ‘precisely’ how Inspector Sharma was shot by claiming that “abdomen wound was inflicted with [Atif] Amin’s weapon and the shoulder hit, by Mohammad Sajid”.

And no sir, Swami’s conclusion was not based on post mortem reports of the killed, fire arm examination report or ballistic report but on this innocent fact: “the investigators believe that…” He certainly brings in a whole new meaning to ‘investigative journalism’. Swami however felt no need to pen an article when the postmortem reports of Atif and Sajid revealed that they had been shot from close range and that neither of them sustained gunshot wounds in the frontal region of the body—an impossibility in the case of a genuine encounter. Was it because the police and the Home Ministry chose to remain quiet after the revelations—hoping that the storm would quietly blow over?
Praveen Swami wrote an injured response via a letter to Annie Zaidi, which too was published on Countercurrents.
And now read on, as JTSA responds to Swami.

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The Jamia Nagar Encounter: ‘Curioser and Curioser’

The well known journalist Praveen Swami, who is celebrated by some as an ‘encounter expert’ and ‘authority on terrorism’ has finally offered his comment on the Jamia Nagar encounter in the Hindu. See Behind the Batla House Encounter. It smells fresh.

Now, I really like Lewis Carrol, and am happy that Swami has invoked Carrol, Alice and Wonderland while criticising those (like me) who have chosen to take a skeptical stance towards the official handout of what exactly happened on the 19th of October in L-18, Batla House, Jamia Nagar. With due respect to Praveen Swami, lets read him in the spirit of Carrol and come to conclusions about who is Alice, who is the Red Queen and who is the white Rabbit, in due course.

It takes far more intelligence to read Swami than it must take for Swami to write like Swami. Which is disconcerting, given, that in Swamis case, he has a whole bureau full of intelligence to back him up, and all we have is the stuff between our individual ears, and occasionally our own eyes, our own ears and our own two feet. No wonder, we have to strain our credibility to believe the six and more impossible things that the police’s special cell, the intelligence bureau and its anointed experts would have us swallow whole for breakfast, with each morning’s headlines in the newspapers.

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