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
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?
Continue reading Sinful liberals and the war against jihadi terror: Manisha Sethi responds to Praveen Swami
This release was put out today by the JAMIA 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 advocate YUG 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 the JAMIA TEACHERS’ SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION on 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