This public statement comes via Manisha Sethi; see full list of signatories at the end.
Twenty-seven year old Qateel Siddiqi, arrested in November 2011 by the Special Cell for his alleged Indian Mujahideen links, has been killed in Yerwada Central jail in Pune today. The murder has ostensibly been carried out fellow inmates for unknown reasons. Qateel had been shifted to Yerwada only a few days ago after the Maharashtra ATS had taken his custody for a test identification parade.
Qateel’s killing raises several important questions:
– Siddiqi was kept in high security anda jail and not in the common barracks. How then did the attack take place?
– Could the attack have taken place without the complicity, even if passive, of the Yerwada jail authorities?
– Given the claim of the investigating agencies that Qateel was the key to unraveling the IM network, what happens now to those investigations?
This release comes from the JAMIA TEACHERS’ SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION
It has been over two weeks that Fasih Mahmood was practically disappeared from his residence in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, where he worked as an engineer. On 13 May, Sunday, Mahmood was taken away by a group of Indian and Arab men, all in civil dress, and their house searched, while his wife, Nikhat Perveen, was held in a room by an Arab woman. Continue reading Produce Fasih Mahmood before an Indian Court, NOW: JTSA→
This release comes from theJAMIA TEACHERS’ SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION
15th April 2012
After extracting US apology over Shahrukh Khan, the Indian Government owes several apologies too
The Indian government has rejected the ‘mechanical apology’ being offered by the US for detaining the super star Shahrukh Khan at the airport for 90 minutes too long. The US Deputy Chief of Mission has been summoned, and institutional mechanisms to ensure that there is no repeat of such an incident.
Now, may we ask the hyper active and sensitive Indian government to tender apologies—and genuine apology please, not a mechanical one—for detaining (illegally), incarcerating, torturing—in short, destroying and tearing apart the lives of hundreds of its own citizens in supposedly fighting terror.
Update:If you’re on Twitter please help make #Ghalib trend @ Twitter India – Tweet his sher’s!
That is what it has come down to. DNA reports that according to Maharashtra police, a Ghalib couplet on a piece of paper is proof the Students Islamic Movement of India is into the business of mass violence:
Of the several affidavits — filed in court asking for the ban on the group to continue — accessed by DNA, one by inspector Shivajirao Tambare of Vijapur Naka, Solapur, cites a Ghalib verse — as part of evidence — to show how dangerous SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) is.
In September 2001, the central government banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) through a notification. Since then, the ban has become a convenient pretext for the police and investigative agencies to arbitrarily pick, detain and then arrest and frame Muslim youth, ostensibly on charges of carrying on the activities of the banned organization. Sections 3, 10, 13 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA 1967) have been invoked against scores, if not hundreds of Muslim youth across the country. Some of these men had been active in SIMI prior to its ban; some had outgrown the organization because they had crossed 30 years—the age limit for membership in the organization; some were guilty of having acquaintances, friends or relatives who had been involved or had been office bearers in SIMI. On most occasions, the cases against former members or purported activists of SIMI have rested on seizure of banned literature, namely copies of magazines published by SIMI before the ban. The flimsiness of evidence –and the sketchiness of charges— has resulted in dozens of acquittals; but equally true is the fact that the overwhelming nature of the ‘war on terror’ discourse and its institutional structures has allowed the conviction of many even in face of glaring lack of evidence.
The JAMIA TEACHERS SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION (JTSA) profiles here one such case, which came to be known as the Jaipur blasts case, even though the accused were not charged with either conspiracy or execution of bomb blasts in Jaipur in 2008. So what were these men guilty of? According to the FIR and chargesheet, they were responsible for carrying out activities of the banned SIMI. How and why did these men come to be identified with the Jaipur blasts? Theirs is a terrible and tragic tale of frame up by the Rajasthan police. It is above all testimony to the employment of UAPA against alleged or former members of SIMI and of the manner in which rule of law is subverted, violated and discarded as soon as the ‘T’ word is uttered.
Mihir Srivastava is very upset that the debate on Batla House refuses to die down. In his view, his piece in India Today – “Inside the Mind of the Bombers – appearing soon after the ‘encounter’ should have settled the debate once and for all. But he was surprised that it wasn’t received as a resolution. He is even more upset that deluded liberals (read Arundhati Roy) are no longer on talking terms with him.
“In the Batla House case, which I reported much the same way I had reported so many of the cases they were happy with, it is just that the facts I saw and reported did not mesh with what they wanted to believe.”
This is simply not true. The many stories that deluded liberals approved of, according to, Mr. Srivastava, and which he cites to bolster his own reputation, are in fact very different from his India Today’s ‘story’. His expose on the Red Fort terror attack in Tehelka, for example, critically examined the evidence produced by the police, verified and cross checked the statements made by the accused in court and even brought out the discrepancies in the observations made by the court and its eventual judgement which upheld the death sentence of Md. Arif alias Ashfaq alias Abu Hamad. ‘Wrong Man to the Gallows’ is an example of good investigative journalism, not because it confirms our worst suspicions about the ways in which investigative agencies frame innocents, but because it painstakingly pieces together evidence and doesn’t get swamped under nationalist hyperbole spun by the mainstream media to take a cold, hard look at the evidence. Continue reading Batla House and the problem with the deluded journalist: Manisha Sethi→
Rahul Gandhi’s answer to that question, given to American diplomats who seem to have his ear more than the people of India, was unequivocal: it’s the Hindu right whose violence he fears more. But fellow-Kafila-ite Subhash Gatade makes the point in an interview to Rediff.com that such violence is difficult to quantify and compare because it takes only a few from a community to perpetrate it:
…one sincerely feels that it is difficult to quantify the relative threats. Remember the period when India witnessed Khalistani terrorism, which involved a fraction of the misguided youth of the Sikh community and the danger it posed to peace and tranquility in the country then. [Link]
Expectedly, the questions were the same. What were you doing on the day of the blasts? Had you gone to Cheetah Camp? Do you know anyone from the Indian Mujahideen? How many times have you been to Pakistan? Why does only your information come to us? Get your house documents.
Amanullah was ready with the answers and documents… [Must Read]
I have long been a fan of your column, tweets and have admired The New Indian Express and DNA under your editorship. I am, however, saddened to se that you chose to publish Subramanian Swamy’s column that is Islamophobic in the extreme, presumes the people behind the Mumbai blasts were Muslims without evidence, and in hardly veiled terms calls for violence against Muslims. Continue reading A note of protest to Aditya Sinha, editor, DNA→
We the citizens of India and Pakistan strongly condemn the inhuman and dastardly serial blasts in Mumbai on 13 July 2011 in which 21 innocent people were killed and over 140 injured. We offer our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the bereaved families and pray for quick and complete recovery of all those injured. It is clear that these blasts are a well orchestrated heinous conspiracy to derail the resumption of the dialogue and peace process between India and Pakistan that was stalled following the terrorist attack in Mumbai in 2008. Continue reading Indian and Pakistani Citizens Condemn Serial Blasts in Mumbai→
This note comes fromLATEEF MOHD. KHAN of the Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee, Hyderabad
The Makkah Masjid bomb blast is completely different from all the other blasts of the country because on 18th May 2007, at a time many terrorist attacks took place in the Makkah Masjid. First of all the Hindutva terrorists planted the bombs and targeted the people praying on Friday in the house of Allah i.e. Makkah Masjid, immediately after that, the Hindutva police of Hyderabad through using the firing experts, fired at the praying people and those who were helping the victims. After this, the third terrorist act done by the Police was that they blamed Muslim community itself for the blast through media. Muslims were shocked at this layer by layer terror acts; they never thought that Hyderabad which is considered as the fort of Muslims, the bomb would be blasted at the historical Makkah Masjid. In fact, this act was to attack the fort of Muslims. With this the confidence of Muslims is shaken. Continue reading Four years after the Mecca Masjid Blast, Justice Still Denied: Lateef Mohd. Khan→
On Friday morning, when I started for the Supreme Court to attend the bail hearing of Dr. Binayak Sen, like many of our friends and comrades I was not sure of whether he would be granted bail. I was afraid that the case would be adjourned once again, as many of us who are regular visitors of courts expect, aware of the delaying tactics of government counsels, and the history of tareekh par tareekh. Kavita Srivastava, who has been following the case closely and campaigning tirelessly for Binayak’s release along with others, put the spirit back in me. It couldn’t get any worse, she said.
Fortunately, it turned out to be a good Friday. I was happy, as were my friends and comrades. We wanted to scream out of joy and happiness but we restrained ourselves for we were in the court premises and could be booked for ‘contempt of the Court’. Naturally, it was one of the happiest moments our life. Binayak and Ilinia a source of inspiration for hundreds of students and youth like me. I am happy for Binayak, for his family, especially for his mother, for ordinary (read extra-ordinary) people of Chattisgarh and for thousands of his supporters and justice loving people. Continue reading Chidambaram khush hua: Mahtab Alam→
On Friday, 18th May 2007, the RSS terrorists planted bombs at historic Makkah Masjid and immediately after the bomb blast, a group of communal minded policemen started firing on the people who were helping the injured people in the blast. 9 people were killed and hundreds got injured in the blast. The sharp shooter policemen were chosen for firing on the people who came for prayers and who came forward to help the injured and this communal group of policemen was monitored by the then Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime). Continue reading Mecca Masjid police firing report dumped in cold storage: Lateef Mohd. Khan→
Recently, Shanina K K, a journalist from Kerala, who worked with Tehelka news weekly and now works with Open magazine, received the Chameli Devi Award for being an outstanding woman journalist. While receiving the award she said, “See, I happen to be a Muslim, but I am not a terrorist.” What made her say that and what was she trying to convey or explain? It means, as she explains, “If you belong to the minority community, they will also profile you. It is very difficult to prove that you are not a terrorist. It is equally difficult to prove that you are not a Maoist in our life and times.” Continue reading What does it mean to be a Muslim in India today?: Mahtab Alam→
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.
The anniversary began, for me, with a phone call. Someone I haven’t heard from in some years, mother of a soldier who died fighting for India in Kashmir. Her voice faltered several times during our conversation, and I could hear her tears. “Look at the tamasha,” she said, “over remembering the people who died on November 26 2008. Yet do we remember my son? Do we remember so many others” — and here she named several soldiers — “who died facing bullets on our border? Really do we remember people who died for no reason?”
The magazine joins the Great Kerala Terrorist Hunt. This was sent as a rebuttal to Tehelka, but has not been published.
Kerala’s Radical Turn – cries the cover of the last issue of Tehelka (dated 9th October, 2010). The cover story by V K Shashikumar, that plays the familiar tunes of Islamophobia, hints at Tehelka‘s Populist Turn. It will be interesting to see where Tehelka goes from here, and what happens to its current reader base that distinguished the magazine from the likes of The Indian Express and The Times of India and India Today.
In the article, Here Come the Pious, Shashikumar lists some facts and his personal fears, on the eve of the Allahabad High Court judgment on the Babri Masjid land dispute. What is missing in the entire article is reason. The byline says that “A new Islamist body, the Popular Front of India, is causing alarm with its religious overdrive in the south.” After one goes through the article, however, what one gets is a glorified picture of the outfit. Whether the author likes it or not.
Which Indian has not heard of General Dyer? General Dyer opened fire on unarmed protesters. Hundreds died, the figures are disputed between Indian and British version to this day. A commission of enquiry was set up by the English. General Dyer told the Hunter Commission, “I think it quite possible that I could have dispersed the crowd without firing but they would have come back again and laughed, and I would have made, what I consider, a fool of myself.” Continue reading A conversation in Sopore and other stories→
“The Muslim is not wanted in the armed forces because he is always suspect – whether we want to admit it or not, most Indians consider Muslims a fifth column for Pakistan” [Vengeance! India after the assassination of Indira Gandhi (New Delhi, Norton, 1985), pp. 1995-96] -George Fernandes
Amnesty International defines racial profiling as the targeting of individuals and groups by law enforcement officials, even partially, on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion, except when there is trustworthy information, relevant to the locality and timeframe, that links persons belonging to one of the aforementioned groups to an identified criminal incident or scheme.