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.
Guest post by YUG MOHIT CHAUDHRY: On Friday, 8th September 2006, four bomb blasts occurred in Malegaon killing thirty-one persons and injuring three hundred and twelve others. The case was originally investigated by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS). After re-investigating the case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has concluded that the ATS fabricated evidence against nine persons. This unprecedented acknowledgement raises important questions about how terrorist cases are investigated, police misconduct and the rule of law in India. It remains to be seen whether the government will take action against the ATS investigating officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kisan Shengal, for fabricating evidence on a capital charge. Continue reading Will ACP Kisan Shengal of Mumbai ATS be prosecuted?: Yug Mohit Chaudhry→
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?
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→
This statement was put out today in Delhi by the PEOPLE’S UNION FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES
PUCL strongly condemns the serial blasts in Hyderabad on 21.02.2013 which has resulted in loss of life and grievous injuries to many. PUCL extends its sympathies to the families of all those who lost relatives and hopes that the injured recover speedily.
PUCL re-iterates its stand that all organizations – whether State or non- state players – functioning for the people and in the public arena are accountable and answerable for their acts. PUCL appeals to all organizations to refrain from acts of mindless violence, especially when they endanger innocent persons. Violence can never offer a solution to any issue however genuine it may be. Continue reading PUCL statement on Hyderabad blasts→
This is (a slightly modified) text of the second Shahid Azmi Memorial Lecture, delivered at the Indian Law Institute on 9 February 2013 by advocateYUG MOHIT CHAUDHRY. The lecture and its topic had been scheduled days in advance, but co-incidentally, Mohd. Afzal Guru was hanged in the morning of the day of the lecture. The Shahid Azmi Memorial Lecture has been instituted by his friends, comrades and students, who want to keep alive the memory of his inspiring work. Advocate was shot dead in his office on 11 February 2010, at the age of 32. At the time of his murder, Shahid was fighting several terrorism cases, including of those falsely accused in the Malegaon blasts and the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.You can read tributes to Shahid Azmi in Kafila archives by Mahtab Alam, Arvind Narrain and Saumya Una, and Susan Abraham.
In Furman v. Georgia (1972), where the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the death penalty, Justice Marshall said that if citizens were fully informed about how people are sentenced to death, they would find capital punishment shocking, unjust and unacceptable. However, research on the death penalty and public awareness of the exact nature of the death penalty have been the most neglected areas in the abolition campaign in India. The last three challenges to the constitutionality of the death penalty in India were rejected by the Supreme Court, inter alia, on the grounds that there is no empirical data to support the abolitionists’ claims. Unfortunately, the situation has not changed at all, and even now there is hardly any research on this subject. Therefore, the highest priority in any abolition campaign is to produce empirical research on the death penalty. That, and doing our utmost to stop each proposed execution and, failing that, to make it as difficult as possible for the state to carry out an execution, adopting all legal, political and social means at our disposal. Continue reading Capital Punishment – An Agenda for Abolition: Yug Mohit Chaudhry→
This release was put out by theJAMIA TEACHERS’ SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATIONon 3 December 2012. Full list of signatories at the end.
It is saddening and surprising that at a time when more and more evidence is surfacing about the extensive abuse of anti-terror laws in targeting minorities, tribals, deprived sections as well as political activists, the government has chosen to move amendments in the present UAPA 2008. These amendments will make the law even more draconian and amenable to human rights violations.
You will remember that the amendments in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967 were passed in December 2008 without any thoroughgoing debate in the aftermath of the horrendous carnage in Mumbai. The Bill was not referred to any Parliamentary committee despite calls by several members for such a scrutiny and consultative process. Whilst the widespread sense of shock and reprehension at the Mumbai killings may have been weighing on the minds of the Hon’ble Members of Parliament then, four years later, surely, there is no reason to push through the amendments without a wider debate. Continue reading Reject amendments to UAPA – An appeal to members of the Rajya Sabha: JTSA→
Rejoice, fellow Indians. Ajmal Kasab has been hanged. But please excuse me, I am not joining you. Your cheering and hooting and hurrahs feel like a medieval lynch mob celebrating the death of the sinner and not the sin. Barbaric is the word that comes to mind.
This isn’t merely about the morality or aesthetic of capital punishment. I want to ask you: what did we just achieve? Ten terrorists had come to kill and be killed, to cause maximum damage of the sort that they surely knew they’d be killed. Nine of them were killed in direct encounter. Did we hail their deaths? Do we say their deaths were justice? So if we killed Ajmal Kasab four years later- “with due process” – what exactly have we achieved? Continue reading Why I was saddened by Kasab’s execution→
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.
This is a statement put out by the JAMIA TEACHERS’ SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION
Punish those guilty of misleading probes Compensate the victims NOW!
13 September 2011: The NIA has finally put the official seal on what many activists, the families of the accused and the people of Malegaon had been saying for long: that the arrest of nine Muslim men for the 2008 Malegaon blast was a result of a communal witch-hunt, which passes for investigations into terror charges. As a consequence of the investigating agencies’ hubris and prejudice, nine innocent men had to spend five long years in jail, while their families suffered and they were stigmatized. Continue reading Lessons from Malegaon: JTSA→
This note comes from theJAMIA TEACHERS’ SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION
Swami Aseemanand’s confession before the metropolitan magistrate of Tees Hazari Court has finally put the seal of legal validity over what had been circulating for months now, since the surfacing of the audio tapes seized from Dayanand Pande’s laptop. That Hindutva groups had been plotting and executing a series of bomb blasts across the country—including Malegaon (2006 and 08), Samjhauta Express (2007), Ajmer Sharif (2007) and Mecca Masjid (2007).
For the past several years however, dozens of Muslim youth have been picked up, detained, tortured, chargesheeted for these blasts—with clearly no evidence, except for custodial confessions (which unlike Swami’s confessions have no legal value). Report after report has proved that the Maharashtra and Andhra police willfully refused to pursue the Hindutva angle preferring to engage in communal witch-hunt—or as in the case of Nanded blast—where the evidence was so glaring as to be unimpeachable—weakening the prosecution of these elements.
Responding to Rahul Gandhi’s recent Wikileaked comment, Sadanand Dhume asks “What Terrorizes India?” (Wall Street Journal, December 20). It’s a good question that deserves an answer. Did Dhume answer it?
As is well known now, Gandhi said this to US Ambassador Tim Roemer last year: “The bigger threat [to India] may be the growth of radicalized Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community.” Dhume’s essay is a severe criticism of Gandhi’s comment, and in the end of the man himself. The criticism, I’m not particularly interested in: people have their varying opinions about Gandhi and that’s fine with me. But I wonder if Dhume has thought through the implication of his own title. Indeed, what does terrorize India, and Indians? Continue reading The Definition Shortchanges India→
Have you had a chance to browse through the latest media interaction of the US ambassador to India, a gentleman called Mr Timothy Roemer? (US wants Headley to be brought to justice: Roemer, February 18, 2010 17:53 IST, rediff.com ) And could anyone decipher that it was a response to the growing clamour in a section of the media about seeking access to American terror suspect Headley whose name has surfaced in the light of his links with the 26/11 plot and who is at present lodged in the US jail. There were also reports about Headley’s visit to India in March 2009 and his survey of the Osho Ashram, Chabad House as well as the German Bakery in Pune, which became a site of the bomb explosion in second week of February 2010. Continue reading The Headley Trail→