Sunday, 30 October 2011

BJP Led Muncipal corporation - 100 roads to be named after RSS leaders

From: Indian Express

MCD to name roads after Parivar icons, BJP leaders

Posted: Tue Oct 11 2011, 02:58 hrs New Delhi:

Ahead of next year’s municipal elections, the BJP-led Municipal Corporation of Delhi has decided to leave its mark, all set in concrete. The civic agency is in the process of naming 100 roads, streets and parks, a majority after the names of RSS and BJP stalwarts.

The only Congress representation in the list is Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru — a park in B-1 Block of Madangir is being named after him.

Of the RSS bigwigs, its founder K B Hedgewar finds maximum mention. The MCD has decided to name the IP Extension-Shivpuri intersection, the entrance (swagat dwar) on Sudesh Marg in Rajouri Garden, and a park in New Seelampur after the Sangh Parivar icon.

A park in Subhash Nagar and an MCD canteen in Rohini Sector-3 will be named after Veer Savarkar while the road connecting Rohini and Samaypur Badli will be dedicated to Deen Dayal Upadhyay.

BJP leaders who have found their way in the list include former Delhi Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma (road in Rajiv Nagar), former MLA Puran Chand Yogi (main gate of Inderpuri and road leading from the gate) and former Delhi BJP chief Mukund Lal Katyal (a park in Tagore Garden).

Over two dozen roads, streets and parks in the city have also been named after gods and saints.

Congress leaders in MCD said the road naming spree was only an attempt to saffronise the national capital. “City roads and parks should be named after local social workers, landmarks and national leaders who have contributed to the development of the nation. This is nothing but a cheap attempt at gaining political mileage out of a social cause,” said Jai Kishan Sharma, Leader of Opposition in MCD.

But the BJP brushed aside the allegations. “We have several leaders who have not received their deserved share of recognition at the national stage. We have been approached by councillors to suggest names of streets and parks. Unlike the Congress, we do have an option of calling on the contribution of people other than those confined to the Nehru-Gandhi family,” said Mayor Rajni Abbi, who is also Chairperson of the Naming and Renaming Committee.

Why the Sangh Loves Anna

OPen Magazine, 22 October 2011
Why the Sangh Loves Anna
He endorses the RSS worldview while appealing to people who lie outside its fold

by Hartosh Singh Bal

It is no coincidence that the Jan Lokpal Bill imagines an ombudsman who would be to the republic what Anna is to Ralegan Siddhi, someone who will whip us all into shape

It is ironic that a movement which has made so much noise about holding a referendum on the Jan Lokpal Bill, a referendum that has no sanction or validity under the Constitution, has so much trouble with a referendum in Kashmir. Surely, whatever an individual’s stand on the issue, it is reasonable to expect that we live in a republic where such issues can be voiced and debated openly. In this context, the Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena (the very name is an insult to Bhagat Singh) is contemptible but unimportant. What is far more shocking is the amplification of the same view by Anna and his sidekick Arvind Kejriwal, who more and more reflect the same fascist bent of mind that drives the RSS.

Prashant Bhushan’s statement on Kashmir was made weeks before he was assaulted. In fact, his stand on Kashmir was clear well before the Anna movement was conceived. Why did it take an attack on Bhushan, by people who were certainly once directly allied with the Sangh and are today part of it in spirit, for Anna to suddenly attack such views in public? How has this man given to so much vagueness while replying to every pointed question suddenly found such clarity? It is only because the viewpoint that Anna and by extension Kejriwal represent is the same simplistic and ill-thought-out rightwing nationalism of the Sangh which has no space for the Constitution or the liberal values it embodies. In that sense, when Anna’s team stands and shouts “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, it is not hailing the Indian Republic but a mythic nation that exists only in the mind. It was no coincidence that the very stage on which Anna first fasted at Jantar Mantar had a map of India shaped in the image of Bharat Mata as the backdrop. It is no coincidence that Anna is a teetotaler given to flogging young men who do not obey him. It is no coincidence that Kejriwal has often shared the stage with an anti-reservation organisation called Youth for Equality. It is no coincidence that the electioneering they are doing is not directed against corruption but the Congress (even if the distinction is sometimes hard to make, it exists). It is no coincidence that Constitutional issues are so readily dismissed by Anna and Kejriwal, who has even anointed Anna above Parliament. It is no coincidence that through the Jan Lokpal Bill, they imagine an ombudsman who would be to the republic what Anna is to Ralegan Siddhi, someone who will whip us all into shape.

Through the twentieth century, this combination—a claim to efficient governance, a mythic father or motherland, a contempt for a certain section of people—has been the mark of fascism. Surprisingly, many of the Left, such as Bhushan himself, have been slow to recognise this. The news that two members of the core committee of Anna’s team, Rajendra Singh and PV Rajagopal, have resigned is no surprise; what is a surprise is that they were part of the committee to begin with, perhaps they were taken in by the rhetoric that is always so seductive to the Left, ‘we must be with the people’. The support extended by the RSS, the overt expressions of sympathy, the covert mobilisation of numbers, the desire to make common cause with Anna, is not some public play at deception and politics, it is the manifestation of a genuine desire to make common cause with a man who has managed to fulfill their aims. Mobilise the people, corner the Congress, and fight to the death for Kashmir (only rhetorically, of course, for in reality the soldiers who die in the fighting are motivated by a far more prosaic professionalism). This only leaves the question of how long people like Medha Patkar and Prashant Bhushan will survive as part of Anna’s team. Patkar is calling for a repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). Everyone knows where Anna will stand on that one, but perhaps his views will become public only once some other organisation sympathetic to the Sangh attacks Patkar. But this is now only a matter of detail. The personal compromises that a Bhushan or a Patkar have had to make with their own views is up to them , what counts is that the attack on Bhushan has opened up the faultlines within the movement and exposed the delusions of those who joined it in the name of ‘liberal’ values.

This does not mean the movement is petering out. The Winter Session of Parliament will see a Lokpal Bill being adopted, but it is unlikely that in its details it will contain all that Anna and Kejriwal have demanded. There will be another fast, there will be more tamasha and television, but what should have been a means of channelling an anger directed against a corrupt government is now turning into a force that the RSS is only bound to welcome.

Hartosh Singh Bal turned from the difficulty of doing mathematics to the ease of writing on politics. Unlike mathematics all this requires is being less wrong than most others who dwell on the subject. He is the Political Editor of Open.

Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal: Not the perfect role models

From Sify

R S N Singh  | 2011-10-24 23:21:21

High quality personalised distance learning for SENCOs
A retired police officer who, by virtue of being the first woman IPS officer, was unfortunately treated like a celebrity as soon as she joined the service. In her new avatar as social activist, she is associated with a number of NGOs.

As in most cases, the Magsaysay Award conferred on her served as the critical passport to her post-retirement stardom. She began to be invited for talks and seminars on issues concerning corruption and character.

It is another matter that she is known to have made no difference to corruption while she served in the police.

She was convinced that that she deserved no less than business class air travel for her lecture and seminar tours. Her sponsors always gave in.

Trustee of Bedi NGO quits, claims his reputation tarnished

But she invariably travelled economy class, that too by availing 75 per cent concession entitled to her by virtue of being the recipient of President's Gallantry Medal.

Nevertheless, she submitted the wrong invoice and received money for a business class ticket. The difference in amount in some travels was as much as five times.

Now when the misdoings have been discovered, she is making the preposterous, rather disastrous plea that the superfluous money she made was for the purposes of her NGO. Her patriotic heart had no qualms about bleeding other organizations to benefit her own.

The basic reason for humans with corrupt proclivities is that they are selfish in their make and have little concern for their fellow humans and countrymen.

To serve is not their motive. Such people invoke the interest of some organisation or the country to camouflage their misdeeds. They are no different from politicians who siphon off money in the name of party funds, which in the same vein as the case under question should be considered perfectly legitimate.

Regrettably, this kind of fudging of bills is rampant amongst civil servants. The lady in question seems to have persisted with the tendency after retirement and temptation got the better of her notwithstanding her current national and international prominence as one of the key members of Team Anna.

The lady is none other than Kiran Bedi.

Can she be a role model to the youth in this country?

Consider the second case. An officer takes study leave for a course. He completes his course and rejoins his service i.e. Indian Revenue Service which he joined after being trained as an Engineer at the IIT. Obviously his patriotic heart neither took to engineering nor revenue matters.

After he rejoins from study leave, it is obligatory on his part, as with all government servants, to serve for three years. After a lapse of one year, he proceeds on leave without pay for two years. He then resigns.

His resignation is not accepted on the grounds that his long leave without pay cannot be included in the post study leave three-year mandatory period.

One of the reasons why this three-year mandatory period has been stipulated is that the government department must gain from the knowledge and skill acquired by the individual during study leave.

The government asks the individual to pay two years' salary and the computer loan as a precondition to his release. As is the rule the government does not release any post-retirement monetary entitlements, including provident fund, till all dues and loans are cleared.

The officer ignores all rules and regulations and does not pay. He insists all dues be paid out of his provident fund. His resignation is till date not accepted.

If he were in the Army, he would have been court-martialed. Would you like to have this officer as a subordinate?

Well this man is Arvind Kejriwal, another key member of Team Anna, and is now fighting corruption.

It is significant that Kejriwal's rise, since his stint in the US during his study leave, has been meteoric in terms of number and reach of his NGOs. He got the Magsaysay Award within three years of his return from the US.

The two cases pose some larger questions and are symptomatic of the deeper malaise in the civil services.

What is the symbiosis between Magsaysay awards and social activists?

Is our moral fibre weak in general?

Does the colonial mindset and tendency of according hero-like status to our civil servants spur corruption and make accountability abysmal?
Any country wherein bureaucrats are powerful and lawyers are prosperous is doomed to remain in the third-world. Is India turning into a banana republic?

Is the methodology of selection for civil services skewed?

Most officers in the Police or Income Tax have aspired to join the IAS or IFS and that is why some of them lack motivation to begin with and eventually turn cynical in their attitude to the service and the people. They then decide to use the service as citadel for furthering their financial and political aspirations.

A significant number of such officers have been from IIT or MBBS background. The latest in the list is Sanjeev Bhat, the police officer from Gujarat.

Most of these officers brought no distinction to their profession or service. Their motivation was power and perks. The recruitment pattern produces neither good technocrats nor good administrators. It accords no emphasis on character qualities.

The Late Gautam Goswami (MBBS, MD) a Bihar cadre IAS officer who died young and spent his last few years in jail on charges of corruption was a victim of the same phenomenon. He, too, was recipient of the Magsaysay award.

In many countries, people would find the omissions and commissions of Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal revolting. Nevertheless, they appear pedestrian when viewed in the backdrop of the level of immorality and corruption prevailing in the civil services.

This explains the mute reaction of civil servants, serving and retired, on the misdoings of Kiran Bedi and Kejriwal. Some of them continue to put up a very stout defence on their behalf.

The moot question is that if Anna Hazare cannot get three or four people of integrity in his core team, what would be the fate of Lok Pal?

The problem is not of institutions, it is about 'we the people of India'. It is easy to rally masses and build mob hysteria by creating class enemies.

There will be no change until there is a sagacious leader who has the moral temerity to appeal and challenge the conscience of the people at large.

This appeal to purge individual and collective propensities to corruption will only smite our conscience if it is truly non-violent, all-encompassing and free of prejudice in its import.

Anna's movement, though non-violent in tangible terms, unfortunately smacks of implied intimidation, retribution and violence.
RSN Singh is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research and Analysis Wing, or R&AW. The author of two books: Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and Military Factor in Pakistan, he is also Associate Editor, Indian Defence Review.

Monday, 24 October 2011

The Rise of the Right Wing

From Indian Decade

By Sanjay Kumar

 If terrorism poses a periodic external threat to India, right wing Hindu fanatics pose a more constant danger of destabilizing Indian politics and society. The attack on lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan by fringe fanatic groups last week underscores this point. The temerity of the right wing forces extended not only to assaulting Bhushan in a chamber of the Supreme Court of India in front of the national media, but also to repeating the act the very next day when they roughed up his supporters outside a courtroom.

The motivation behind the attack was apparently Bhushan’s recent statements on Kashmir, in which he calls for a plebiscite to widen the debate over possible solutions to the conflict in the disputed region. The civil rights activist argued he was attempting to take the discussion forward on Jammu and Kashmir, but right wing activists argued his remarks were seditious.

The rise of right wing forces over the past few years raises alarming questions about the safety and security of liberal ideals in India. Examples of right wing excess abound. Renowned painter Maqbool Fida Husain was hounded by right wing Hindu forces and eventually abandoned his Indian citizenship to live in Dubai and England. He died a lonely man in the latter, far from his friends and home. And, last year, Mumbai University was forced to withdraw the book Such a Long Journey from its syllabus because it contained ‘unpalatable’ references to the Hindu group Shiv Sena.

A book release function for the writer and social activist Arundhati Roy, which this writer attended, saw similar right wing hooliganism a few months ago. The moment the Booker Prize winning author mentioned Kashmir, goons rushed to the stage, disrupting her speech and snatching her microphone from her. The attackers reportedly had previous associations with the main Opposition Bhartiya Janata Party and its parent organization Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).

The state of Gujarat is a classic example of how radical Hindu groups can hold democratic government to ransom. The recent detention by the state government of a senior police official, Sanjeev Bhatt, who tried to expose the complicity of Gujarati Chief Minister Narendra Modi in 2002 riots in which more than 2,000 Muslims were killed, is a case in point. This systematic stifling of liberal and dissenting voices encourages groups to take the law into their own hands.

The very fact that a person like Modi, despite his alleged involvement in the killing of so many people, can continue to derive legitimacy through the support of a section of a polarized electorate, encourages fringe rightist groups to attack those who don’t subscribe to their world view.

But liberals also share some of the blame for the rise of such dark forces in India. We fail to act firmly when faced with challenges by the fanatical right. The Congress government in Maharashtra failed to resist open defiance by Shiv Sena, and apparently couldn’t offer Husain sufficient protection to prevent him from being forced into exile.

At the same time, civil activists who fight for secular and liberal ideas in India fail to campaign consistently against such rightist groups. The social activist Anna Hazare and his team have been so single-mindedly devoted to their campaign against corruption that they have tacitly and indirectly accepted the help of Hindu rightist groups like the RSS, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and others. Rightist groups are then using the civil rights movement to further their own political agendas.

Nor is the problem of cross-pollination between civil rights movements and the Hindu far right a new one. As noted by English daily The Hindu, ‘today's right wing intolerance is a product of the failure of past anti-corruption campaigns to recognise the dangers of communalism. The RSS was an integral part of the anti-corruption movements of 1977 and 1989, and the Anna campaign too suffers from the perception that its ranks have been permeated by RSS foot soldiers.’

Tellingly, one of the first reactions of Hazare after the attack on Bhushan was condemnation of the lawyer’s statement on Kashmir and only mild opprobrium for the ‘misguided’ youth who assaulted the activist. Such an attitude on the part of this prominent activist is not only a second assault on Bhushan, it’s also an endorsement of the violent methods of rightist elements.

We’ve seen the danger of indulging majority fascism and religious intolerance in Pakistan, a phenomenon that has dreadfully destabilized Pakistan. Politicians who dare speak out there, like Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer and Religious Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, were killed because they expressed their views on blasphemy laws there. If we don’t deal firmly with rogue religious and fanatic elements in India, we run the risk of endangering the very idea of India itself.

RSS in Yeddy’s home state still ‘swears’ by him

From Mail Today
By Aravind Gowda in Bangalore

Advani to take rath to Karnataka

AFTER taking several “ favours” from the scam- tainted former chief minister B. S. Yeddyurappa, the RSS is developing cold feet over disowning him as it faces the imminent risk of getting “ exposed” by the same man.

The sudden U- turn by BJP leader L. K. Advani on taking his anti- corruption campaign to Karnataka after cancelling it has also come as a shot in the arm for the former CM. The Karnataka RSS unit and religious institutions backed by it have received unprecedented favours from Yeddyurappa during his three- year reign as the CM. It is in no position to antagonise Yeddyurappa by calling him an “ embarrassment” to the BJP. When RSS joint secretary Dattatreya Hosabale launched a scathing attack on Yeddyurappa on Saturday, leaders of the Karnataka RSS unit were quite upset. They even huddled into a meeting to defuse the crisis. A few BJP functionaries swung into damage control mode, advising the media to downplay the RSS leader’s remarks.

As far as the Karnataka RSS unit is concerned, it is still under the control of Yeddyurappa. From appointing leaders recommended by the state RSS to coveted posts of government boards and corporations, to nominating RSS functionaries to Karnataka Public Service Commission and other government committees, the former CM had given consent to every request placed before him.

The Karnataka RSS has equal representation from the Lingayat and Brahmin communities and both are rallying for Yeddyurappa owing to the benefits he bestowed upon them. The biggest among the favours bestowed upon the RSS is the deregulation of the powerful Mahabaleshwara temple in Gokarna ( coastal Karnataka), which is controlled by the Brahmins. The temple was under the ambit of the government for more than two decades. None of the previous governments entertained the local Brahmin community’s request to deregulate the temple. But Yeddyurappa acceded to their request and handed over the temple’s management to the Ramachandrapura Mutt ( run by local Brahminicals).

“ When Yeddyurappa has done so much for the RSS, how can the national leaders call him an embarrassment?” a senior RSS functionary from Karnataka asked.

The RSS, at the national level, wants to steer clear of leaders associated with corruption.

Incidentally, Dattatreya Hosabale hails from Sagar in Shimoga district, Yeddyurappa’s home constituency. If sources are to be believed, Yeddyurappa and Hosable reportedly crossed swords during the 80s and 90s when they worked at the grassroots level of the RSS. Sources also indicate that the role of Yeddyurappa’s arch rival within the party, Ananth Kumar, cannot be ruled out in the RSS’ verbal attack on the former CM. “ The political scene in the Karnataka BJP is undergoing a paradigm shift. Yeddyurappa is now a hot potato for the BJP. The national leaders want to distance Yeddyurappa from the BJP by blaming him for ignoring the senior RSS leaders’ advice. But what will be the BJP’s prospects in the absence of a leader like Yeddyurappa? The BJP has still two more years to go. But they are heading nowhere. Who will lead the party’s campaign in the next election?” political historian Dr A. Veerappa said.

The BJP appears to be unclear of its strategy on how to handle Yeddyurappa.

On Saturday, the BJP said L. K. Advani’s nationwide campaign against corruption would skip Karnataka. But Advani quickly changed his stand on Sunday, “ My scheduled yatra to Karnataka, including Bangalore is very much on”. He, however, avoided responding to queries on Yeddyurappa. “ I do not wish to say anything on Yeddyurappa,” he said. Since the arrest of Yeddyurappa, the BJP leader has cancelled two press conferences during his visit to Madhya Pradesh.

The whole process seems to have strengthened Yeddyurappa further. Yeddyurappa had time and again effectively used the “ threat card” to safeguard his seat. “ What scared the BJP in November last year was Yeddyurappa’s threat to expose the national leaders who took various kinds of favours from him after he became the CM. In fact, a few national leaders too had recommended de- notification of lands in and around Bangalore. Following this, the national leaders were divided over his exit,” an aide of the former CM said.

Agnivesh demands CBI probe into charges against Bedi

From Hindustan Times
Hitting out at former colleague Kiran Bedi, activist Swami Agnivesh on Thursday demanded a CBI probe into allegations that she misused benefits of her gallantry award to earn money for her NGO and asked her to stop giving lectures on corruption till her name is cleared.

Agnivesh,who had a bitter parting with Team Anna in which Bedi is a key member, said the nature of allegations is very serious and it was not about the amount of money involved.

"She has misused the benefits that gallantry awards provide. She tried to make money for her NGO. It is a serious criminal offence under Section 273 of Income Tax Act," he said.
It is in her benefit that she should subject herself to a CBI inquiry, he said adding, "till her name is cleared, she should stay away from public life and stop giving lectures on corruption."
He said she is a former IPS officer and she has the repsonsibility to set some standards on conduct and probity.
The allegations against Bedi that she overcharged companies and institutions by inflating her travel expenses evoked a strong attack from Congress and former colleagues in the anti-corruption campaign.
Allegations were levelled against Bedi, a key member of Team Anna, that she used her gallantry medal to get 75% discount on Air India tickets and then submitted inflated invoices to claim full fare from the organisers who invite her to speak at various fora.

Karnataka's shame: 2000 die of malnutrition


Raichur (Karnataka): More than 2000 children have died of hunger in Karnataka's Raichur district over the last 3 years. The government admits that around 4500 children are malnourished in Raichur.
Nagaraju is one of them.
When we first met 14-year-old Nagaraju last week, he was in a shocking condition, his sunken cheekbones and stick-like limbs told the story of one who'd hardly ever seen 2 meals a day. His mother had only cried in helplessness.
Parvathy, Nagaraju's mother, says, "We don't understand his illness and we have no more money to spend on him."
But by the time the story of his life made it on air, Nagaraju gave up his battle with life. He breathed his last on Sunday and became yet another statistic in Raichur's hall of shame where starvation deaths are chronic.
You'd never guess that Divyashree is 3-year-old and she weighs just 4 kilos. And is not half as active as infants next to her.
Divyashree's care-taker says, "She's not ill but she is too weak. We're tired of seeing doctors."
In village after village, we saw under-weight children. The Karnataka Government accepts that over 4,500 children in Raichur district suffer from acute malnutrition.
The Government's Anganwadi system meant to care for children up to age six, has almost completely failed. The main problem is with food.
Ambanna Arolikar, a social worker, says, "In 2006, Supreme Court said no packet food, serve local fresh food. But Government has ignored the order."
Thayamma, a mother, says, "The food they give is very poor. They give kurkure, we can't feed our baby that."
More than 2,200 child deaths have been recorded in Raichur the last 3 years. Officials cite the last illness that triggers death but NGOs say malnutrition right from birth is the real killer.
Nina Nayak, Chairperson, Child Rights Commission, says, "We've heard several complaints from many districts but northern districts like Raichur and Bijapur are most affected."
Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda says, "Since last one year only 4 deaths have been caused. It may be due to malnutrition."
Nagaraju's almost skeletal frame is an image that will stay with me. We do try to be objective in our reporting but there is no other side to Nagaraju's story. This 14-year-old did not deserve death by starvation. It's a tragedy that could and should have been prevented. Someone is responsible, someone does need to answer.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Bring charge sheet against Narendra Modi and the cops - Raju Ramachandran

From Times Of India
'Book Gujarat cops for neglect during riots'

Manoj Mitta, TNN | Oct 23, 2011, 01.30AM IST

In another first for communal violence cases, amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran has proposed criminal action against senior police officers for causing death by negligence during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

NEW DELHI: It's not just a recommendation for a charge sheet against Narendra Modi. In another first for communal violence cases, amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran has proposed criminal action against senior police officers for causing death by negligence during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Responding to reports emanating from the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in Ahmedabad, informed sources in Delhi clarified that the charge sheet recommended by Ramachandran against the chief minister was not for any speeches in the public but on the basis of suspended police officer Sanjiv Bhatt's allegation that he had given anti-Muslim directions to the top brass of Gujarat police on the eve of the post-Godhra mass killings.

According to these sources, the amicus appointed by the Supreme Court said in his July report that Bhatt's allegation could not be brushed aside at this stage merely because the other officers present in that fateful meeting of February 27, 2002 had either pleaded amnesia or denied his very presence at that meeting in Modi's residence. Ramachandran also disagreed with SIT's view that Bhatt could not be believed because of his own allegedly controversial record and for the nine-year delay in coming up with his disclosure.

The amicus apparently said that Bhatt's testimony deserved to be taken into account by the SIT because the officer could well have been present at the meeting as the sole representative of the intelligence wing and he had explained that the delay citing his inability to make any disclosure until he was legally required to reveal what he had gathered in the course of his intelligence work.

Though the amicus did not expressly say that Modi should be charge sheeted on Bhatt's testimony, it was the "necessary implication" of his recommendation that Bhatt and all the officers contradicting him be cross examined in order to find out the truth about Modi's instructions to the police. The question of testing the veracity of these witnesses in the course of the trial would not arise, sources pointed out, unless Modi is charge sheeted for his alleged conduct at the meeting.

The report to the Supreme Court containing Ramachandran's assessment of the material on record said that on Bhatt's testimony, Modi was prima facie liable to be tried under the following sections of the Indian Penal Code: 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 153B (imputations prejudicial to national integration), 166 (public servant disobeying law with intent to cause injury to others) and 505 (statement provoking public mischief).

In his July report, the amicus curiae also disagreed with the SIT's opinion that senior police officers such as M K Tandon and P B Gondia deserved no more than departmental action for their lapses in preventing or controlling the Gulberg Society massacre. Ramachandran said that there was enough evidence to charge them under Section 304A IPC, which penalizes death caused by negligence.

Sources said that the amicus however agreed with the SIT's conclusion that no criminal action could be taken against Modi for his infamous "kriya pratikriya" statement to a TV channel, invoking Newton's third law as a justification for the government's failure to curb the killings allegedly provoked by the Godhra train massacre.

As for reports that SIT had asked him to appear as a witness in the Ahmedabad trial court, Ramachandran told TOI that he had not so far received any such communication. If that happens, he may move the apex court to clarify that he could not be cited as a witness as he had done no independent investigation.

o o o

From: The Hindu, 23 October 2011

Amicus report lays the ground for chargesheeting Narendra Modi

Vidya Subrahmaniam

The report of the amicus curiae in the Zakia Jafri case has laid the ground for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to be charge-sheeted for his alleged role in the 2002 anti-Muslim Gujarat pogrom.

SIT will have to place my report before trial court: amicus curiae Gujarat police officer implicates Modi in riots CID pins financial irregularity charges on Sanjiv Bhatt, Brar Monitoring of Gujarat riot cases to continue for a few more months: Supreme Court Police officer's charge against Narendra Modi also raises questions about SIT Trial court must hear riot charge against Modi: Supreme Court Bhatt arrest a warning to witnesses in Zakia case, say rights organisations Charges against me are false: Modi Efforts to implicate Modi back to square one Once probe is over, it's for trial court to take charge: Bench I am totally disappointed: Zakia SC order on Modi: chronology of events Political drumbeats drown out legal triumph ‘I will not allow the victims to be let down' Go beyond SIT report on Jaffrey case, court tells amicus curiae “Too early to talk of clean chit or indictment”

Rejects SIT's decision to close case against Gujarat CM

The report of Raju Ramachandran, the amicus curiae in the Zakia Jafri case, has laid the ground for Narendra Modi to be charge-sheeted for his alleged role in the 2002 anti-Muslim Gujarat pogrom.

The report is still confidential, though it has now been shared with the Special Investigation Team set up by the Supreme Court to investigate and prosecute cases stemming from the 2002 violence in which more than 1200 persons were killed.

According to informed sources in Ahmedabad, who briefed The Hindu on the report's contents, the report strongly disagrees with the SIT's view that no case against the Gujarat Chief Minister was made out. It says that only the cross-examination of senior Gujarat police officers, including Sanjiv Bhatt — who stated that he was present when Mr. Modi instructed police officials to allow Hindus to vent their anger — could establish whether the Chief Minister was innocent or guilty.

Significantly, the report also says that Mr. Bhatt's statement was made probable by the presence of two Ministers in the Ahmedabad Police Control Room (PCR) at the time Muslims were being attacked.

If the trial court accepts Mr. Ramachandran's view, the sources said, the stage will have been set for the prosecution of the Chief Minister under various sections of the IPC, among them, 153 A (statements promoting enmity between communities), 153 B (imputations and assertions prejudicial to national integration) 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and 166 (public servant disobeying a direction of the law with the intent to cause injury).

Under Section 166, any public servant who disobeys a direction of the law as to how he should conduct himself as a public servant and knowing the act will cause injury is liable to be punished with imprisonment for a term extending to one year. As the chief executive in control of the administration, Mr. Modi was especially under obligation to quell the riots, the sources said.

The SIT was tasked by the Supreme Court to investigate Ms. Jafri's complaint against Mr. Modi and 61 others. The Court subsequently asked Mr. Ramachandran independently to evaluate the reports filed by the SIT by interacting with witnesses.

The sources said the SIT recommended closing the case against Mr. Modi on the grounds that police officer Bhatt, who was vital to fixing blame on the Chief Minister, was a controversial and unreliable witness. The SIT also concluded that there was no material on record to show interference by the two Ministers who were present in the PCR when Muslims were being attacked across Ahmedabad.

In his testimony to the SIT, Mr. Bhatt had said he was present at the February 27, 2002 meeting where Mr. Modi instructed top police officials to allow Hindus to “vent their anger” against Muslims. The meeting was held late in the evening at the Chief Minister's Gandhinagar residence. The SIT said none of the other officers present at the meeting had corroborated Mr. Bhatt's presence.

The sources said the amicus disagreed with the SIT's conclusions, arguing that evidence has to be weighed and not counted, and this can happen only when Mr. Bhatt and others present at the meeting are cross-examined in the trial court. The amicus' view was that it would be premature and presumptuous to close the case against Mr. Modi without an adversarial party putting the other officers to rigorous questioning: Mr. Bhatt could turn out to have lied. Equally, other officers present could turn out to have lied.

The amicus was in fact credited with the view that the presence in the police control room of two Ministers unconnected to the Home portfolio probablised Mr. Bhatt's statement. More so because the SIT had itself suggested that the Ministers had the Chief Minister's blessings (Tehelka magazine which scooped the SIT report quoted Mr. Raghavan as saying that the presence of the two Ministers fuelled speculation that they were there with Mr. Modi's blessings.)

If the view of the amicus is rejected by the SIT, Ms. Jafri and her co-complainant Teesta Setalvad will have the option to contest it in the trial court. The court can also form its own, independent opinion on the views of the amicus.

Amicus report lays the ground for chargesheeting Narendra Modi