Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Custodial death case and Sanjiv Bhatt: Lesser known facts

By Sayema Sahar,
Nisar mai teri galiyon pe aye watan
Ke jahan chali hai rasam ke koi na sar utha ke chale…..

I am talking about the so called best administered state of our country at least such are the claims!
I am talking about the “Vibrant Gujarat”. A Gujarat which under its capable ruler is boasting of good governance, foreign capital inflows, shining skyscrapers, road connectivity, etc etc…
All these do matter but are of little or no meaning when the system is designed to manipulate justice.
I am talking about the intolerant ruler of the state, Narendra Modi who uses law to his advantage to prosecute anybody who dares to go against his ideologies however incorrect, however sinful!
It’s a sorry state to see our capable police officers, getting victimized, cases with little or no merit being slapped against them, charge sheet, FIRs or even a term in the jail is what they get for not adhering to the rule book of their political masters Gujarat boasts of such officers, who are right in their own stand but failed miserably to satisfy the
political ambitions of their chief.
From R.B. Sreekumar to Kuldeep Sharma to Rajnish Rai to Satish Verma to Rahul Sharma to Sanjiv Bhatt, all are victims of the wrath of their angry, vituperative, aggressive and overly macho chief Mr. Modi.
Sanjiv Bhatt apparently tops the hit list of Mr. Modi, as he refuses to bend upon his stand of speaking the truth, the truth of Gujarat genocide. Despite all the pressure tactics applied on him by the state, this upright officer refuses to budge from his stand, an officer who has the guts to call the chief minister of the state he is serving in, a common criminal for his involvement in the 2002 pogrom.
Sanjiv Bhatt is currently under suspension, has served a term in the jail on an allegedly concocted FIR filed by a constable who was assisting him in the Intelligence Bureau during the Gujarat riots of 2002 and is setup by the Gestapo State to face prosecution in a case which is 21years old. A case on which the state itself has changed its stand number of times.
The much talked about custodial death case against Sanjiv Bhatt dates back to the communal riots of 1990 followed by the arrest of Advani by Lalu Yadav in Bihar and a simultaneous attack on Babri Masjid.
The riots broke out in most part of the country, Gujarat too was under the rage of the rioters. The communal stir intensified followed by a Bharat Bandh call by the BJP and VHP.
The riots intensified in Jamnagar, Jamjhodpur, like most parts of the country. The young ASP of Jamjhodpur, Sanjiv Bhatt was sent by the state Police Control Room to control the riots and the rioters. Sanjiv Bhatt, a young dynamic officer with his small but a very determined force went ahead to control the BJP/ VHP activists who had torched a mosque and 12 Muslim houses.
Curfew was enforced and 133 VHP activists were arrested, 33 of the rioters got injured in the lathicharge by police and were sent for medical treatment by the police.
It’s hard to think that this discharge of duty that resulted in arrests and some injuries to contain a volatile situation would become the fodder for a reactive witch hunt campaign by a government trying to clean its tracks by creating a case of custodial death of one Prabhudas Vaishnani who was amongst those who were sent to judicial custodial following the police actions to contain the rioters.
The list of injured did not have any Prabhudas Vaishnani. The following day all the arrested activists were produced before the judicial magistrate, and subsequently sent to the judicial custody including Prabhudas Vaishnani. He did not complain of any torture/ atrocity of police before the magistrate and was sent to the judicial custody in perfect health with no injury external or internal as examined by the jail doctors.
Prabhudas Vaishnani stayed in the jail for 3 days and then on the fourth day he complained of severe back pain and pain in his legs, after which he was sent to the government hospital, he was treated as an outpatient and was sent back. He was released from the jail after 7 days.
3 or 4 days after his stay at home he again complained of back pain and had problems in urination. The doctors of Jamjodhpur referred him to Rajkot where he was diagnosed for an irregular functioning of his kidney and was put on dialysis.
He succumbed to his ailment on the fourth or fifth day of his treatment the body was handed over to his elder brother without any postmortem.
The cause of the death assigned was Rhabdomyolysis. Prabhudas’s brother on his way back with the body of the deceased was intercepted by the BJP/ VHP activists who in turn were convinced to get the post-mortem of the deceased and simultaneously file a FIR against the police officers involved.
The matter was investigated by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) which submitted a closure report saying there was nothing against Bhatt and other police officers. The post-mortem report also did not say anything against the police officers.
The investigating agency sought an expert opinion on Rhabdomyolysis by Dr. Trivedi, to ascertain if it was a case of Rhabdomyolysis. Custodial torture could still stand true to some extent but Dr. Trivedi ruled it out saying there was no evidenceof it.
Hence it was proved that the death of Prabhudas Vaishanani was not because of custodial torture.
A magisterial court, however, refused to accept the closure report in the case and the government filed a revision application in the sessions court requesting that the charges be dropped against Bhatt and other police officials.
The CID then wrote to the state government, seeking permission to prosecute the police officials involved. The Government however, refused sanction for IPS officer Bhatt’s prosecution, saying that the police was acting in discharge of their duty, so they are required to be protected against any such prosecution, and filed an application for closure of the case.
There exists a government resolution too, to this effect which states “that the police officers are required to be protected by way of filing a criminal revision application by the state.”
There was however a parallel development in the case, where the state government was playing hide and seek with Sanjiv Bhatt.
In the year 2003 when Sanjiv Bhatt was superintendent of the Sabarmati Jail…the main accused of Haren Pandya murder case, Asghar Ali, was in his custody. Asghar Ali confessed before the jail authority that “Haren Pandya was killed by Tulsi Prajapati and not me.”
Sanjiv Bhatt immediately wrote to the Home ministry about this confession, the result was his transfer out of the Sabarmati Jail.
This incident dates back to November 2003, and in the year 2004 the state government wrote for withdrawal of revision petition, filed for not prosecuting the police officers who were acting on behalf of the state and were discharging their bonafide duties.
However in 2005, the government changed its stand again and let the petition continue.
On the 27th September 2011, Sanjiv Bhatt filed an affidavit in the Haren Pandya murder case, following the affidavit, Modi's team resurrected the 21-year-old custodial death case, changing its stand once again, this time to let the officer face the prosecution.
Sanjiv Bhatt like many of his colleagues has refused to toe government line hence paying a price for it.
Sanjiv Bhatt, however, says that all these moves are desperate attempts of a desperate government, and their desperateness is giving strength to his resolve to continue his fight against the atrocities of the arrogant ruler and his cohorts.
“ yun hi humesha ulajhti rahi hai zulm se khalq
Na un ki rasm nai hai, na apni reet nai”

(The writer is a Delhi-based journalist, can be contacted on

Police deny but media link them with terror

Patna: Two Muslim youths -- Ghayur Jamali and Mohammad Ajmal -- were arrested from Madhubani district of Bihar on 24th Nov. by a team of Delhi Police with the help of local Police. Though the allegations against the arrested persons were not revealed by Delhi Police, media tagged them with terror links without any proofs. Some said they had link with Pakistan based terror groups while some other ‘found’ their involvement in Delhi High Court blast, Jama Masjid firing and Krishna Swami Stadium in Bangalore.
Ghayur Jamali is a resident of Darbar Mohalla under Sakri Police station, Madhubani district. He is a student of a Darbhanga based Madarsa and had come home to spend Bakrid holidays. His father Dr. Nasrul Jamal is Homeopath practitioner. He was arrested from his home.

Mohammad Ajmal was arrested from Singhania Chowk under Kotwali Police station in Madhubani town. He was living in a rented house for some time back.
Ghayur’s father rejects allegation against his son
Dr. Nasrul Jamal rejected terror charges against his son. “All the allegations against my son are baseless. He is just 24 and studying in Madarsa Ahmadia Salafia, Darbhanga. He is a good orator and has been addressing religious meetings in the nearby villages and also a good translator of Arabi-Urdu but never involved in any anti-nation activities. In his lifetime he never went outside of Bihar except Mumbai where he went for some days in 2009 on the invitation of a relative” he said.
“The Police came to arrest my son and said that a passport was made from Ranchi, Jharkhand, on the name of Ghayur while the fact is that my son never made any passport in his life” Dr. Nasrul said adding “In July 2011 my son was going from home to his Madarsaa when his bag was stolen in the bus which was carrying his PAN Card, some photos, residential proof and mobile phone which was gifted to him by a relative.”
He also said that local police informed him four days before his arrest that his son is wanted in a case. “After receiving the information, I advised my son to hide for some days but he refused to do so saying ‘When I did not commit any crime then why Police will arrest me?’ On the day of the arrest, he was taking bath when a person came in plain clothe and asked my son if lost his passport? My son said ‘When I did not make my passport then how it could be lost?’ Later we came to know that he was policeman” added Dr. Nasrul.
Police refuses to link them with terror
Both the arrested persons were taken to Delhi but the team of Delhi Police did not reveal the charges and allegations against them before media. While local police said that they just cooperated with Delhi Police in connection with a fake passport case.
Darbhanga zone IG R K Mishra said that as of now it cannot be said with any certainty that the two arrested persons had any terrorist links. “Only a thorough investigation would reveal their links” he added.
Darbhanga zone DIG Sudhanshu Kumar also ruled out the possibility of any link of the arrested persons with any terrorist organization.
“The Delhi police team had sought our help and we co-operated with the members of the visiting team” Mr. Sudhanshu said while confirming the arrest but refused to divulge details saying Delhi Police could tell the real reason of their arrest.
In his reaction to the arrest, Bihar Home Secretary Amir Subhani said no FIR had been lodged in Madhubani against them. "The case against them seems to be related to a fake passport," he was quoted as saying in media.
Similarly, Bihar DGP Abhayanand also did not link them with terror. “Bihar police had received requisition for assistance to arrest them in connection with some case in Delhi. The arrests were made on the basis of information passed by the Delhi Police" he said.
Media tags them with terror links
The family and even police refused to link the arrested persons with terror groups but media not only tagged them with terror links but also declared whole Bihar specially Madhubani district as refuge of terror.
According to the police, basically the case against them was issuance of fake passport but the mainstream media ignored it and highlighted the terror link.
The leading English daily Times of India gave this headline: ‘Delhi police arrest 2 for terror links’ while Hindustan Times’ heading was “2 held in Madhubani for terror links”. Patna edition of English daily Telegraph went far ahead and made headline for this news as “Bihar refuge for LeT duo: Two suspected terrorists nabbed from Madhubani.”
As of now it is not probed that arrested people are guilty or not. May be they are really involved and may be they are innocent and will be acquitted by the court as it happened with hundreds of Muslim youths in the country. The question arises here is: Will media show the same gesture to highlight their innocence as they propagated their ‘crime’ without any proof?

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

‘My stand vis-à-vis Narendra Modi is nothing beyond the stand between an IPS officer and a person accused of heinous crimes’

From Hardnews
Face to Face with IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt who took on the might of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi
Sayema Sahar Delhi
The majority does not seem to be convinced about the reason that you give for your silence of 7 years?
In order to truly understand and appreciate the constraining reasons for my so-called silence till 2009, one needs to appreciate the implications of being a senior officer in the Intelligence Bureau (IB). As a senior officer-in-charge of the internal security of a border state like Gujarat one is bound by certain professional codes. Intelligence is a very specialised branch of the police. All officers of the IB are bound by an oath of secrecy that forbids them from disclosing any information that they have been privy to by virtue of their office. The only exception to this proscription is when the officer is under a binding legal obligation to disclose such information. It was only in 2009 that I was first summoned by the Supreme Court appointed SIT. That was the very first opportunity afforded to me for bringing out the truth of the Gujarat carnage of 2002. Many people have questioned my silence from 2002 to 2009. All I have to say to them is that I was privy to the information pertaining to the Gujarat mayhem as an officer of the IB and hence could not have officially divulged the information otherwise under a binding legal obligation. Despite having been cited as a witness in the complaint of Zakia Jafri in 2006, it was only in 2009 that I was called upon to depose by the SIT. I came out with all the relevant and germane facts at the very first opportunity. The patience of the law enforcer has always got to be greater than that of the law breaker. It is the kind of patience that requires you to hold on and keep going at your objective in spite of all odds being loaded against you. It is the kind of patience that requires you to hold on to the truth and everything connected with it, even when the simple act of bringing out the truth is seen as nothing short of hara-kiri. This kind of patience is not easy but it is definitely very rewarding and satisfying. Let me tell you that the wait has not been an easy one. People have questioned and will continue questioning my timing and my motives. I will not be surprised if ulterior motives are attributed to my actions. Be that as it may, ultimately our only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to ourselves. I have been true to myself and my calling. Nothing else really matters.
A section of society holds you equally responsible for the 2002 carnage. How do you react to this? And also to the way some clerics shared stage with Modi?
People are entitled to their own opinions. People, by and large, are gullible and fall prey to the systematic misinformation campaign and Goebbelesian propaganda of the modern day fascists in our country. I am very clear in my mind and in my conscience about what I have done, what I am doing and what I will be required to do in the days to come. In 2002, as an officer with the IB, my primary role was to collect and share intelligence with the concerned authorities; as also to create, maintain and share reports with different agencies as per the mandate. I can say with all humility at my command that the IB discharged its duty with a very high degree of professionalism and efficiency during the 2002 carnage. My stand was, is and shall always be in accordance with my duties and obligations as an officer of the Indian Police Service (IPS). This is not about any particular section of the society. This is not about Modi. This is not about me. It is about the role of the State under the Constitution of India. This is about upholding the rule of law in a constitutional democracy that takes pride in its ethnic and communal diversity.
You say that you religiously kept reporting about the Government's complicity in the carnage but the popular belief is that you kept quiet for 7 years and you spoke only after your tiff with the Modi Government? Are you trying to settle some personal scores with the government?
I have never had any personal tiff with the Modi Government. I am an IPS officer and I serve during the pleasure of the president of this country. At present, my services have been placed at the disposal of the state government of Gujarat. Strictly speaking, as per our Constitution, I do not have a servant-master relationship with the State Government of Gujarat. Narendra Modi or his government does not mean anything to me personally. As I have said earlier, to my mind, Narendra Modi is nothing more than a chief minister who happened to preside over and orchestrated the Gujarat carnage. That he still continues to be the chief minister and also brazenly continues to oversee and coordinate the on-going cover-up operations aimed at subverting the criminal justice system in Gujarat is purely incidental. I do not have any personal score to settle with him. My stand vis-à-vis NarendraModi is nothing beyond the stand between an IPS officer and a person accused of heinous crimes.
There are eyebrows raised on your hobnobbing with Congress leaders, asking favors from them like that Blackberry phone. How do you justify that?
I have been brought up in Gujarat and have served for more than 23 years in the state's IPS cadre. Having done three stints in the IB, I have contacts with all the political parties in the state. From time to time, as an officer with the IB, I have had sources in all political parties as I them in the underworld as well as in banned outfits like SIMI etc. I have never sought any favour from any political party till date. The Blackberry in question was temporarily loaned to me by Shaktisinh Gohil, the leader of opposition in Gujarat Legislative Assembly, as all his phone lines were being tapped by the agencies of the state government and he wanted to temporarily establish a relatively safe communication link with me. I am aware that even my phones are being tapped, but as an IPS officer I really do not care as to who is listening to my conversations. But I have to respect the need for confidentiality of the person at the other end, and therefore, at times, howsoever unwillingly, I am required to take certain precautions. That is the current state of democracy in Gujarat.
The Government now plans to reopen all the pending cases against you. Does this worry you at all?
This is a very vindictive administrative setup headed by a very vindictive and desperate man. Such actions are expected. It would surprise me if they would have acted any different. Having said that, I would like to add that I am not at all worried about reopening of cases because I have done no wrong and I have absolute faith in the judiciary.
I read somewhere that you have written some 14 letters so far asking the authorities to beef up your security. Do you see anything happening at all in this regard? Have you ever received any threat call?
The gravest threat to me and my family members emanates from Narendra Modi and his cohorts. It is quite paradoxical that I have to petition the same state government of which he happens to be the chief executive.
How did it feel to be an inmate in Sabarmati jail where you were posted as a superintendent once?
I see the period of incarceration as a sabbatical. Nothing can touch my mind or spirit unless I want it to. I was absolutely relaxed and felt at home.
How is the family coping with the day to day pressure sir?
I am blessed with a wonderful wife and two delightful kids. My entire family and all my friends are with us. We are fortunate to have a very powerful support system and more importantly all my family members and friends share the same set of values and ideals.
What is your message to the people who criticise you?
All I can tell them is to always remember one thing about democracy that we can have anything we want but at the same time we always end up with exactly what we deserve.
The famous quote attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller, about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the selective purgatory targeting of group after group, comes to my mind...
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me.

As the Murdered Come Alive

From Hardnews

Counterpoint- "Between 2002 and our moment, some 22 inconvenient human entities have been done to death in Gujarat in order to secure Narendra Modi's 'safety' and heroic enhancement.."
Badri Raina Delhi
I am sure that in the history of human discourse, somebody must have underlined the great paradox that informs not so much public killings but private murders. That if the object of murder is to obliterate forever the "other", the act of murder in fact has the consequence of not obliterating but perpetuating that "other" forever.
Public massacres have often been legitimized on one high ground of impersonal righteousness or the other: patriotism, racial purity, the moral good of mankind, the call of the divine, what-have-you, and often enough swallowed without much regurgitation by whole peoples and civilizations, and endorsed by the best of high-minded thinkers and philosophers.
But killings effected cloak-and-dagger in pursuit of personal safety or stature carry a troublesome load of universal denunciation, and, however thick-skinned, brazen, or conscienceless the agent that gives the sanctioning nod to murder, he faces his sleepless nights.
Think that in Shakespeare's Macbeth (a text I keep returning to whenever I think of Modi's Gujarat) of all the gruesome murders the most gruesome turns out to be that of sleep: "Methought I heard a voice cry 'Macbeth hath murdered sleep/ Macbeth shall sleep no more'." So is Modi, who now smiles but rarely, losing sleep as he and his obliging minions have yet again been found out in the matter of the killings of Ishrat Jahan and four other young people?
Between 2002 and our moment, some 22 inconvenient human entities have been done to death in Gujarat in order to secure Modi's 'safety' and heroic enhancement so as he may strut the stage rather more stridently, even if shamelessly. Not to speak of guiltlessly; do keep in mind that since the day his regime began, he has been the home minister of the state of Gujarat in addition to being the chief minister.
So what makes Modi tick?
Five things: one that he has been able thus far to sell private killings, read murders, to about a half of the Gujarati electorate as killings necessitated by the call to keep them safe from the forces of evil (did I hear you laugh?), and thereby as a tribute to his unbreachable local patriotism and machismo; two, that wide sections of Indian media to this day continue to buy this construction of eventualities in order not to undermine what they see as the most puissant counter to the prospects of a wholly secular or leftward swing to India; three, that in Gujarat there is no party, only neutralized, even dispatched, dissenters and Modi;
four, that thus far Modi has not been taken on by any organized political force within Gujarat, although this seems set to change;
five, because when all else fails, there is always the recourse to the time-tested "Hinduism under siege" hypothesis, one to which both India's corporates and new middle classes resonate, notwithstanding their love of a market-driven modernity.
And, yet, the bards of old were not wrong: things are distinctly closing in on Modi.
Those heroic and recklessly fatal acts of resistance and exposure initiated by the likes of Teesta Setalvad and Citizens for Justice and Peace—the organization she runs—built upon through the last nine years by a gathering mass of caring and fearless citizens, and culminating in the unprecedented bold revolt of one serving police officer after another, Sanjiv Bhatt being the most daring protagonist here for now, coupled with the increasingly more forthright pronouncements from investigation agencies and courts of law, and a vastly more damaging national and international climate of opinion against Neros like Modi,--all this streaked with the congealed blood of one murdered corpse after another—bids fare to unravel the long years of Nazi rule in Gujarat.
If I am not mistaken, Ishrat in Urdu has the meaning "happy consequence" or thereabouts. Will Ishrat's sacrifice prove the final bearer of happy tidings for a sane and secular India? If it does, tomorrow, the next day, even a year from now, many of us might attempt a canonization.

Reddy brothers' future in BJP hinges on bypoll Wednesday

By IANS Bellary (Karnataka) : The Bellary Rural assembly constituency byelection, slated for Wednesday, is set to decide mining barons Reddy brothers' future in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which they claim to have built from the scratch in this iron ore-rich north Karnataka district.
The Reddy brothers have fielded their associate and former minister B. Sriramulu as an Independent candidate after making him resign both from the BJP and the assembly, to which he was elected in May 2008 from this constituency.
Bellary is about 300 km from Bangalore and the rural seat is reserved for the Scheduled Tribes.
Over 170,000 people, including about 86,000 women, are eligible to vote in the bypoll which has become a matter of political survival for the three Reddy brothers.
The brothers were a pampered lot in the BJP not long ago because of the financial clout they wielded from the billions of rupees they made from iron ore mining, most of it allegedly from illegal mining and export.
For the BJP, it is a prestige issue as it wants to show that it is the party and not the individual that matters.
A defeat has the potential to bring down the D.V. Sadananda Gowda ministry as the Reddy brothers claim the support of around 14 of the BJP's 119 lawmakers in the 225-member assembly that includes one nominated member.
The battle is essentially between Sriramulu and the BJP's nominee P. Gadilingappa, a Bellary businessman, who is contesting an assembly poll for the first time.
The Congress, hoping that it will benefit from the battle between the BJP and its once-favourite money bags, has nominated B. Ramprasad, who lost to Sriramulu in the 2008 elections.
The Janata Dal-Secular, the third major political party in the state, has not fielded a candidate and is indirectly supporting Sriramulu on the ground that its strategy is to defeat both the BJP and the Congress.
Counting of votes is Dec 4.
The most aggressive of the three brothers, Gali Janardhana Reddy, former tourism minister, is directing the battle against the BJP from his cell in Hyderabad's Chanchalaguda Jail.
He has been lodged there since Sep 5 in connection with illegal mining case in Andhra Pradesh.
The younger Reddy, Gali Somashekara, has been suspended from the BJP along with two Lok Sabha members and three state lawmakers for openly canvassing for Sriramulu.
The elder Reddy, Gali Karunakara, also a former minister, has been away from public gaze after he appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation in Hyderabad for interrogation a few days after Janardhana's arrest.
Sriramulu has announced that he will float a new party after results are out Dec 4. He says he is waiting for Janardhana Reddy to come out of jail to finalise details of the new outfit.

Double Standard of Media for not covering Social Justice Conference

New Delhi: It was a sea of humanity which descended on the Ramlila Maidan as the two-day Social Justice Conference, organized by the Popular Front of India, concluded with a mammoth Public meeting here on Sunday. The venue was overflowing with tens of thousands of Popular Front activists from all over India who converged at the historic Maidan in hordes raising spiritedly the slogans “Mulk Banao Insaf Par” and "Popular Front Zindabad", to express solidarity and resolve for a sustained struggle to attain social justice for one and all.
However, it was a shame to see that the two-day Social Justice Conference which attracted a huge gathering in the national capital was not a news worth reporting for the mainstream media which ignored it with impunity. Despite the blackout stance of the media in general, and the smear campaign by those intolerant elements including certain section of the media and the bureaucrats, in particular did not sullen the spirits of the organizers who went about their business more spiritedly and firm commitment to work for the welfare of the minorities, dalits, OBCs and other marginalized sections of the society

The two-day long Social Justice Conference was held with the objective of reiterating the importance of equal justice to all citizens, as enshrined in the Indian constitution, and to impart an awareness among the general public about the value of social justice in the contemporary India, where the weak and marginalized minorities including the Muslims, Dalits and the Adivasis are persistently denied justice.
Mr. E.M. Abdul Rahiman, Chairman of Popular Front of India, who presided over the concluding Grand Public meeting emphasized the need of equal justice to all citizens with all vigour at his command. Referring to the recent democratic protests and violent agitations around the world, from the Tahrir Square in Egypt to the Wall Street in the USA, he said the root cause is the denial of social, political and economic justice to the vast majority of the citizens. History is that whenever a nation failed to deliver justice on equal footing to all its citizens, the unity and integrity of those nations were destroyed, he said.
Mr. Abdul Rahiman said the message of this conference, “Build the Nation on Justice” is in fact a reminder to all centres of political power in India to take lessons from what is going on around us and what has happened in the past. India is awaiting a change, social and political, to put an end to this system of corruption and loot. The need of the hour is a movement for total social, political and economic change. This Social Justice Conference with the message “Build the Nation on Justice” is a reminder to all centers of power in politics to grasp the lessons from history and the contemporary developments around the globe, he continued.
The glittering articles of the constitution, that promise equal justice to all the citizens, just rest inside it. The backward classes, the minorities and the dalits never get the benefit of their constitutional rights, he said further. It is in this context, Popular Front decided to hold a conference to spread the message of social justice, and to enlighten the general public about their right to justice. The growth of Popular Front is generating animosity among groups with stakes to protect. Popular Front will continue its mission to rebuild the nation on justice, disregarding the intolerance of any, Mr. Abdul Rahiman thundered.
Without taking the name of Mr. Anna Hazare, Mr. Abdul Rahiman said the kind of unforeseen media patronage, the recent campaign ‘India against Corruption’ has once again brought to light an issue of people’s concern. However, the recent outburst of anger in the national capital and elsewhere against corruption reminded us of such theatricals staged by urban elites in the past in the name of meritocracy, and against giving quota reservation to backward classes. In addition, we have seen recently the benevolence and generosity of corporate and media houses controlled by them flowing through the streets of Delhi. A matter of more serious concern was the role of sectarian elements and outfits, overt and covert, in the anti-corruption campaign. We know that communalism is the worst form of corruption. Any agitation against corruption must start with fighting communal fascism and can stop only with its ultimate disappearance, he added.
Mr. Syed Shahabuddin, Ex-MP and President of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, addressing the gathering said: “It is now the government by the elite, for the elite and by the elite that rule our country”. Political parties give false promises during the elections. They pretend to be the protectors of the minorities including Muslims,
Mr. Shahabuddin strongly pleaded for a mass movement for obtaining proportional representation to Muslims in legislature. A change in the Indian political system will be a long drawn struggle which would go a long way to uplift them from the morass of backwardness in economic and social domains where they are still lingering even after 64 years of independence. And this task can be taken up Popular Front as it is capable of it which is evident by the huge unprecedented turn out in today’s public meeting.
The charge of terrorism has been falsely attributed on Muslims is nothing but to harass them and make them morally down so that the community remains fettered in poverty and illiteracy. This is apart from discrimination they suffer at every level, he said.
Dr. Mufti Muhammad Mukkarram Ahmed, Shahi Imam of the Shahi Masjid Fatehpuri, New Delhi, who spoke next, said that atrocities and injustice against Muslims in Modi’s Gujarat have crossed all the limits. Muslims should come forward in all the fields including politics. Muslim youths who are jailed on false charges of terrorism should be released immediately, and discrimination against Muslims should be ended, he demanded.
Editor in Chief of Rashtriya Sahara Urdu daily, Mr. Aziz Burney, in his speech demanded that Narendra Modi should be imprisoned in Ishrat Jahan and Sohrabuddin fake encounter killings, if justice needs to be established.
While chiding mainstream media, Mr. Burney said Media people should open their eyes and see that the massive gathering here now in the Ramlila Maidan is larger than those attended Anna Hazare’s programme. This crowd is from all over India, and the media should abstain from their blackout politics in reporting the strength and power of the backward and minorities, he pointed out.
In our country, where 25 per cent of the total wealth is in the hands of 100 persons, the basic needs and requirements of backward communities are ignored; In Gujarat the SC’s are driven out of their dwelling land, and in many villages in Rajasthan, there is no permission to the dalits to bury the dead bodies; this situation needs to be changed, and justice availed to all, irrespective of their caste or creed, said Mr. Abdul Khaliq, Secretary General of Lok Janshakti Party in his speech. President of the party Ram Vilas Paswan, who was to attend the meeting could not do so due to some other engagements but send a message of goodwill to the Popular Front.
Popular Front is a 3G organization like SDPI and some Dalit organizations. All other organizations in the country are either 1G or 2G organizations, commented Mr. E. Abubaker, President of Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI). The second generation people were the descendants of those who didn’t get any opportunity to play their role in the rebuilding and formation of modern India. Yet apologetically they nodded their heads with approval to spare power exclusively to be handled by others!
The Third Generation people, in contrast, are those who have realized that “We too have the charisma required for the building up of the nation.” The realization of any kind of social justice and the liberation of the people, they have recognized by now, could be achieved only through the involvement in the political activities and sharing of the power by the concerned people, Mr. Abubaker added.
RSS has been playing certain vile tricks fielding Anna Hazare and certain other diminutive swami figures or the so-called little god-men exactly the way they played certain abominable tricks in the 1970s fielding the great Gandhian Jay Prakash Narain and misusing his public image. At the far end of the struggle against corruption spearheaded by Advani and RSS is lined up Narendra Modi with sword in hand, flanked by sanyasis or saints with the uniquely rare capability of blessing and blasting, he continued. It is believed that once a Mughal emperor said: “Dilli Dur Ast!” (Delhi is quite far off!). Today, the Popular Front is declaring on your behalf: “Dilli Qareeb Ast” (Delhi is indeed very near!), he concluded.
Ambedkar Samaj Party President, Bhai Tej Singh said that, those who believe in Qur’an cannot be a terrorist, and it is futile to expect justice from the Manuvadis. Muslims are the inhabitants of this land, and they are not from any alien country. Muslims are not the masterminds of blasts, as propagated; Muslims and Dalits should work hand in hand to rebuild the nation on justice, he said further.
Extinguish the fire of hatred and spread the light of love, stated Mahant Acharya Satyendra Das Mahraj, Chief Priest of the Ramjanmabhoomi Temple, Ayodhya. Hindus and Muslims are from one parent and so they are brothers and sisters not enemies, he said further. Corruption could be ended only by strengthening moral values, he added.
Dr. Haseena Hashiya from Jamia Millia Islamia talked about the role of Muslim women in the freedom struggle and their rights. Sachchar committee report says that the state of Muslim women is much worse than the women in other communities. Constitution gives special privileges to the women. Fundamental rights are not for the men only, the constitution ensures it for the women as well, she continued. She further asked the women to be vigilant and grab the rights from the rulers.
Though injustice is prevailing all over India, in general, the most affected is the Muslims, stated All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Secretary, Moulana Mohammad Wali Rahmani. If we do not raise our voice against this, it will extend its tentacles to all of us.
“When the constitution gives us the right to run educational institutions, the Parliament is trying to curtail this right through Right to Education Act, (RTE Act). A bill to impose income tax on religious institutions is mooted, in violation of the Constitutional provisions. We need to be fully aware of our rights and fight to get it”, he concluded.
George Bush and Narendra Modi are the two in the world whose hands are stained with the blood of the innocents, said Moulana Dr. Yaseen Usmani, Vice President of All India Milli Council. Muslims, Dalits and other backward communities should unite to get their rights, including proper share in administration. No community could be prestigious unless they have proper representation in the government. Prayer alone is not enough to solve the problems; hard work also is required, he opined.
Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav, MP, the President of Samajwadi Party, criticized the Central Government for its inaction on the Rangnath Misra Commission Report and Sachchar Committee Report. The Prime Minister was silent about it when asked. Congress was given two chances by the Muslims, still it is not interested in dealing with the issues faced by the Muslims. If stand united, Muslims are capable of deciding the future of the country, he said. He promised Samajwadi Party’s unstinted support to Muslims in all their endeavours in pursuits for social justice.
Maulana Usman Baig Rashadi, President of All India Imams Council, Ms A.S. Zainaba, Vice President of National Women’s Front, and Mr. Aneesuzzaman, President of Campus Front also spoke.
Meanwhile The Delhi Declaration, reiterating the mission of Popular Front in establishing a New India of Equal Rights to all Indians, through non-violent struggle, in cooperation with like-minded organizations, was read out by Popular Front of India, Vice President, Mohammed Ali Jinnah.
Popular Front General Secretary K.M. Shareef welcomed the gathering and Mohammad Shafi, Rajasthan State President of Popular Front, proposed the vote of thanks.
Meanwhile, it may be pointed out here that the Conference, the first of its kind at the Ramlila Maidan by any Muslim organization in the independent India, was kicked off in the morning on Saturday, the 26th of November, as the Chairman of Popular Front, Abdul Rahiman hoisted the tricolor flag of the organization in the presence of thousands of delegates chanting “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the Great). National Milli Convention followed, which was attended by prominent community leaders and social activists in India.
A National Seminar on “People’s Rights to Justice” was the highlight of the afternoon on the first day. Papers on various topics that are very relevant in the contemporary Indian scenario, were presented by known human rights and social activists. First day ended with the cultural program by the delegates. (

Four states, same story of discrimination

From Indian Express
The last six months have witnessed attacks on members of the minority community in four different states: Forbesganj, Arhariya in Bihar, Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, Rudrapur in Uttarakhand and Gopalgarh, Bharatpur in Rajasthan. All those who have been killed and suffered material losses have been members of the minority community. Despite the fact that the states concerned are ruled by very different political dispensations — the BSP in Uttar Pradesh, JD(U)-BJP in Bihar, the BJP in Uttarakhand and the Congress in Rajasthan — the unforgivable and dangerous communal bias displayed by the police and administration and the ways in which political rulers have sought to cover up, justify or downplay this bias, have been similar. Those who believe that all Indian citizens have the right to equal treatment from the administration and the judiciary must voice their concern.

Affected families from Forbesganj, Moradabad and Gopalgarh attended a convention against communal conflict organised by the All India Democratic Women’s Association in the capital recently. Rudrapur went unrepresented because the families of victims have fled the town. They spoke at the convention about bereavement. It was not pity they sought, but recognition of injustice, and punishment of those responsible.

On June 3, Muslims in Forbesganj resisted the state government’s effort to deny them access to a road that was their only link to the mosque, schools and workplaces. The police version is that the protesters resorted to stone-throwing. The police responded by firing. Four Muslims, including a woman and an eight-month-old infant, were killed. One of those killed was 18-year-old Mustafa, and a policeman was filmed jumping on his dead body. His brother, Quddus, recited his poem at the convention: “Jo soch naheen sakti duniya, voh manzar kal dikhlaya hai, vardi mein darinda aaya hai, vardi mein darinda aaya hai...” Except for giving compensation to the dead infant’s family, the state has not taken any action — even the photographed constable has not been punished. A few days ago, after the Supreme Court’s intervention, a judicial inquiry was announced.

The trouble in Moradabad started on July 6, when local policemen went to enquire into a complaint, and allegedly slapped a12-year-old girl and kicked the Quran. News of this “desecration” spread like wildfire in areas heavily populated with Muslims, followed by road-blocks and the burning of police jeeps. Unfortunately, the DIG was attacked by a mob that he was trying to reason with while, inexplicably, the DM returned to Moradabad. Reinforcements brought the situation under control. While there are complaints of indiscriminate beatings, destruction of property and arrests — even of those who had been helping the administration — what is outrageous that three minors received bullet wounds and at least 12 minors are among those arrested. One of them, Rehan, the son of a daily-wage labourer who sold his entire holding of 2 bighas of land to have his son treated, died on October 19. No reports have been filed even though at least two of them were treated in government hospitals, and the administration and judiciary have refused to accept school certificates and send the minors to a juvenile home and their cases to a juvenile court. Salma, whose son Tauseef is one of the school-children, showed the convention his photograph.

Ten Meos belonging to Gopalgarh, Bharatpur were killed on September 14, most of them in police firing. A long-standing dispute over a graveyard that the administration was aware of, but did not resolve, led to an attack on some Meos. The police called both parties to the thana and reached a compromise that recognised the Meos’ right to the graveyard. This was not acceptable to some members of the majority community who surrounded the thana, falsely alleging that they were being “massacred” by the Muslims. The DM and SP reacted by declaring that “they” would be taught a lesson. Indiscriminate firing on the Meos and on the mosque was resorted to. The Rajasthan government has made some interventions, but the villagers accused of killing and incitement have not been punished.

Rudrapur, Uttarakhand, saw a deliberate attempt to incite communal clashes when, in September, pig-meat wrapped in pages torn from the Koran was thrown near a temple. The police did nothing and, on October 2, the same thing happened again near a mosque. When Muslims demonstrated outside the thana, they were attacked by the police, who also encouraged others to follow suit. At least eight Muslims were killed, shops belonging to them were looted, and thousands have fled.

The events of recent months have emphasised the necessity of making the police, administration and judiciary free of bias and committed to secular principles. Exemplary punishment must be meted out to those who violate these principles. Governments must display much more sensitivity and commitment to rehabilitation. The state has to prove its commitment to the secular Constitution through action that cannot be half-hearted and tardy.

The writer is vice-president of the All India Democratic Women’s Association and member of the central committee of the CPM

Sunday, 27 November 2011

FIR against Bedi for misusing NGO funds

 From TOI

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Saturday ordered registration of FIR against former IPS officer Kiran Bedi for allegedly cheating and misappropriating funds in collusion with foreign companies and other foundations.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Amit Bansal directed the crime branch of Delhi Police to register the case against the key Team Anna member on a complaint by Delhi-based lawyer Devinder Singh Chauhan, who has alleged that she has "looted" various paramilitary forces and state police organisations in the name of imparting free computer training through 'Meri Police' under the banner of her trust 'India Vision Foundation'.

Blast from the past

From TOI

Blast from the past Cops refusing to toe government line often pay a price for it. But, defiant IPS officers in Gujarat are increasingly becoming wary of the past. Many of those who raised heads against the government find themselves embroiled in legal cases which are decades old, says Ajay Umat

SATISH VERMA | Joint CP (traffic), Ahmedabad ATTACK A key member of special investigation team (SIT) who unraveled the fact that Ishrat Jahan and three others were killed in a fake encounter. Verma had filed an affidavit in High Court stating that some SIT members were botching up the probe. COUNTER ATTACK State government issued a show cause notice in a 15-year-old case of alleged misconduct against him. On Wednesday, advocate general Kamal Trivedi told High Court that Verma’s role in a fake encounter case of 1996-97 was under scanner and hence he should not be allowed to continue with Ishrat Jahan inquiry.

Kuldeep Sharma | Addl DGP, on deputation in Delhi ATTACK Sharma was shunted to an insignificant posting in 2007 after he tried to build a case against a minister in a Madhavpura co-operative bank scam. He upset political masters by refusing to implicate danseuse Mallika Sarabhai who had filed a petition in the Supreme Court against Modi for his role in the 2002 riots. Senior BJP leaders believe he has been indirectly helping CBI in Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter probe. COUNTER ATTACK His promotions were stonewalled. State government tried to re-open an encounter case of 1984 involving him. However, the Gujarat High Court quashed the matter.

SANJIV BHATT | Suspended DIG ATTACK The cop raised a storm by telling R K Raghavan-led SIT, Supreme Court and the Nanavati Commission, which is probing Godhra riots cases that he was present in the meeting on February 27, 2002 where chief minister Narendra Modi ordered senior cops to go soft on marauding mobs. COUNTER ATTACK After suspending him, two cases, a 21-year-old alleged custodial torture case and a 15-yearold NDPS cases against Bhatt have suddenly resurfaced. Last month, Ahmedabad police arrested the cop on charges of influencing his constable to file an affidavit supporting Bhatt’s claim that he was present at CM residence for the controversial meeting.

RAHUL SHARMA | DIG, SRP (Gondal) ATTACK As a government witness, he submitted a valuable piece of evidence in post-Godhra riots case in the form of a CD to Nanavati and Banerjee Commissions and R K Raghavan-led SIT. The CD contains call records of police officers, BJP leaders and VHP office bearers that proved connivance during the riots. COUNTER ATTACK Nine years after he submitted the CD, Sharma was charge-sheeted for indiscipline and slapped case under Official Secrets Act for providing call records to the inquiry commissions and investigating agency.

RAJNISH RAI | DIG (On sabbatical) ATTACK As DIG in state CID (Crime) in 2007, he arrested three IPS officers including DG Vanzara and Rajkumar Pandian for allegedly killing Sohrabuddin Shaikh and the disappearance of his wife Kauserbi. Rai also filed an affidavit in Central Administrative Tribunal against his seniors OP Mathur and PC Pande for botching up investigations in the case. COUNTER ATTACK His promotion was blocked for insubordination by not informing his bosses regarding the arrests in Sohrabuddin encounter case. His annual confidential report was downgraded to deprive him for further promotions. Rai was also implicated in a copy case while he was taking first year law exams. The HC however quashed the Gujarat University decision.

Collector J B Vora and DDO B J Bhatt go down on their knees before Modi at Ambaji

Friday, 25 November 2011

Banned Documentary on Gujarat Riots

How do you keep the faith?

From Tehelka

7 Muslims of Malegaon spent 5 unjust years in jail. This is their story
By Sai Manish
TEHELKA BEGAN 2011 with the publication of Swami Asimananda’s stunning confession (In the words of a zealot, by Ashish Khetan, 15 January), which not only changed the terror discourse in the country but also the lives of seven Muslim men who were arrested after the 2006 blasts that took 37 lives in Malegaon, Maharashtra. Last week, six of them, hailing from different strata of Muslim society, returned home to a rousing welcome after getting bail. But the family of Mohammad Zahid, the poorest of the lot, will perhaps have to wait longer.
Before his arrest, Zahid had a fight with his father over his association with SIMI, which was not banned then. Constant police visits irked his father who asked him to leave the house. He stays with his wife now and is yet to visit his parents.
Zahid’s mother Rukaiya Bano and sister Arbina Kausar sit bleary eyed in their barely lit house in Islampura locality. “My son, he was just an imam,” says Bano, “not even earning enough to make a decent living.”
“Look at the games Allah plays,” adds Zahid’s father Ansari Abdul Majid. “I always told him not to keep the company of people who always think of exploding bombs as a way of opposing un-Islamic practices. He used to remove posters of un-Islamic films and other obscene elements that have corrupted Muslim youth. He spoke against Islamic outfits that are killing people in the name of God. And it just so happens that my innocent son found himself accused of being branded a terrorist — the same kind of people whose violent ways he was opposed to.”
But then, cruel coincidences shadow the lives of every single man who was picked up after the 2006 blasts. Abrar Ahmed is on the other end of the spectrum of this group of seven usual suspects. The richest of the lot, he belongs to a family of freedom fighters. In fact, his grandfather fought alongside Mahatma Gandhi in the Civil Disobedience movement of 1931.
After their powerloom godown was burnt down in the 1993 riots in Mumbai, the family shifted base to Malegaon and was prospering, thanks to a scaled-down powerloom business. But things went haywire in 2006 when Abrar, the youngest of the five sons, was picked up. He had got married just days before his arrest.
“Traders from all over India used to buy powerlooms from us,” says Ahmed Sayeed, Abrar’s father. “After the constant police harassment, they started having doubts about our integrity. They sympathised with us but were reluctant to do business.”
In between these two extremes is probably the most unusual of the usual suspects. Salman Farsi, a Unani doctor and a thriving middle-class Muslim professional, was arrested from Guvandi near Mumbai along with his neighbour Mohammad Ali, who is still in jail over allegations of being behind the 2006 Mumbai blasts.
On his return, Farsi was elated to discover that his wife Nafisa, who is also a Unani practitioner, had started a cosmetics distribution business to make up for her husband’s loss in income. “I’m amazed by her enterprising spirit,” says Farsi, the most educated of the seven men. “She didn’t self-destruct and didn’t let herself be cowed down by the constant harassment from the police, politicians and society.”
ALL THE acquitted men and their families poured their hearts and minds out to TEHELKA. Complex insights into the psyches of these people were revealed, invariably mirroring the travails of others in the Muslim community who get hounded after every terror attack. Every individual found himself in a situation where five years of his life and freedom were snatched away without reason. Yet they made an attempt to keep the faith because most of them never expected that they could become the objects of a sinister script being devised in the heads of Hindutva fanatics.
They lived through mind-numbing police torture in jail: some were bashed up inside as an ‘Eid gift’, others were told that their sister would go missing in the next 24 hours, one was picked up just days before his wife was to deliver a baby, some were made pawns in the mind games of a ruthless Arthur Road jailer, while some of their families were approached by radical Muslim elements to give up their children for a bigger cause as an act of revenge.
But one thing that binds them together is the lack of desire to get back at the people who tried to destroy their families. “A mature democracy is one where the government understands its responsibility,” says Farsi. “I will not ask for compensation for what I have been through. What is more important is whether the government thinks it has done grave injustice to me and provides me with better opportunities for the time lost.”
This view is shared by Zahid’s father. “I don’t want a rupee from the government. If I accept the money then they will continue to pick up young men, kill them and throw some money at their family.” Here then is the tale of these men and their families in their own words.
Salman Farsi
Salman Farsi, 39 Doctor
‘There is a glimmer of hope for innocent Muslims after the NIA’s formation. And now because of our case, Maharashtra Police is unable to arrest innocents’
Photos: MS Gopal
In custody, it was me who was asking all the questions. I kept asking them, “Why have you arrested me? What is my crime?” They did not say anything despite my pleas. They prepared a statement and told me to sign that. They did not even agree to read the contents for me. I told them that I would not sign the statement. Then they threatened to torture me. By now I was aware that they wanted to frame me in the Malegaon blasts case. And if I signed this statement, then my life will be over.
They blindfolded me and left me in a room for three hours and used to beat me on the sole of my foot with sticks and on the insides of my fingers so that there were no evident signs of torture when I was produced in court. I was an educated person, therefore they were unable to mentally torture me the way they did the others.
When I was produced in the MCOCA court, I started talking to the judge in English. He told me that I sounded sophisticated and asked me about my confession. I asked the judge, “What confession are you talking about?” And everybody in the courtroom started laughing. Everybody knew that I was not the one who gave the confession. Yet I was forced to spend five years of my life in jail for a crime I was not even remotely connected to. I always knew that one day I would walk free, though it could take time. My wife used to write letters saying that “everybody in Malegaon knows that you are innocent”. She told me to keep faith in destiny.
The attack on a religious place like the graveyard showed that a Muslim could not be behind it. When we were arrested, local Muslim bodies came together under one banner and urged the government to institute a CBI probe. Within a month, the demand was accepted. But the CBI was caught sleeping. When Asimananda’s confession came, the Maharashtra home minister ordered the formation of a second CBI team, which gave all the new evidence to the NIA without submitting it in court. The new revelations were in our favour.
My wife showed great bravado and took care of our three children very well. At times, policemen used to drop into my house and ask my wife, “Where is your husband?” despite knowing that I was in jail. This kind of harassment was routine. Since my wife is a doctor, they behaved within limits. But Mohammad Ali’s spouse was a housewife. Cops used to drag their children outside and slap them.
There is a glimmer of hope for innocent Muslims like us after the formation of the National Investigation Agency (NIA). After the 13 July blasts in Mumbai, the police and the Maharashtra ATS wanted to arrest Muslims. But there was some dispute between the NIA and the ATS over the evidence that prevented the police from arresting the usual Muslim suspects like they do after every terror attack. And now because of our case, the Maharashtra Police is unable to arrest innocents.
Noor-ul-Huda, 26 Labourer
‘On Eid, ATS officers thrashed me saying that they were celebrating. They beat me mercilessly and ‘celebrated’ all the while saying it was their Eid gift’
They used to strip us naked and tie our hands and legs together and beat my legs and penis with a stick. Then they used to tie a cloth on the sticks and strike hard on my head. All in a bid to force me to sign a confession statement that they had prepared. They told me that they would frame my family members in criminal cases and threatened to sexually assault my sister. When I could not take the physical and mental agony anymore, I signed that statement and my fate was sealed. I didn’t even know the statement’s contents.
They arrested me during Ramzan and tortured me by refusing to allow me to break my fast every evening. They threatened to force-feed me during the day. On Eid, ATS officers came in and thrashed me saying that they were celebrating Eid. They beat me mercilessly and ‘celebrated’ all the while saying it was an Eid gift.
Initially I was kept in solitary confinement. Then they kept me with really hardened criminals to instil fear in me. Once they targeted me in what is known in jail parlance as an ‘alarm’. They just ring an alarm and start attacking the inmates. Total mayhem ensues. I was among the 40 men who were picked up for the alarm. This happened in June 2008 when Swati Sathe was the jail superintendent.
They then sent me to Ratnagiri jail where the initial days were as tough as life in Arthur Road jail. I had cleared my Class 12 exams from Arthur Road. Soon, I studied for my BA exams from Maulana Azad Open University. However, due to narcoanalysis and brain mapping, I was unable to appear for my second-year exams. I taught other inmates Urdu, Arabic and the Quran. Many were keen learners and learnt reading Arabic very soon.
The narco test done by the ATS was a big fraud. The Bengaluru doctor who administered the test was found to have a fake degree and always followed the ATS instructions and twisted the answers to fit their motives. Although they gave us injections to make me feel drowsy, I was still aware of the trap they were trying to set.
They asked me, “Did you carry out the blasts?” I didn’t have the option to just say “No”. They told me to frame the line, “I did not carry out the blast”. Anybody knows that both answers mean the same. But they used to edit out the word “No” from the line. This is how they have tricked us all along the investigation process.
They had a chargesheet in their head and manipulated everything to fit that preconceived script. Then they asked me, “Do you know Mohammad Ali?” I replied No. They would then ask, “Who is your prophet” and I would say “Mohammad” and they would add that word in the final CD that was prepared despite the fact that I had never even met Mohammad Ali (the other accused) during my entire life.
Riyaz Ahmed
Riyaz Ahmed, 42 Trader
‘I prayed to Allah, let the truth come out from the mouth of the very people behind this. And that is what happened when Asimananda confessed to being the mastermind’
I didn’t know what MCOCA was and I had nothing to do with SIMI or anyone related to it. But they told me that I was a part of SIMI and they were arresting me under MCOCA for orchestrating the blasts.
I was scared when they asked me to give a statement. I had never been entangled in police matters and the way they had tortured me in custody had scared me to death. I’m an illiterate man and could not even read Urdu properly. I learnt to read the Quran in jail. They showed me a statement and said it contained proof of my innocence and asked me to sign it. After the constant torture, I signed thinking that finally I would be free. That is how they tricked me into signing the confession.
When I signed the papers, they were happy and asked me to wish for anything. They said, “Tune hume khush kar diya. Tujhe joh khaana hai baata. Chicken biryani khayegaa?” (You have made us happy. What do you want to eat? Do you want chicken biryani?” Then I started wondering why they were behaving that way.
I realised what had happened when they took me to Arthur Road Jail. I requested the superintendent to read out the charges against me. But she refused and put me in a cell where I met Dr Farooque (another accused). Since he was an educated man, he told me in detail about the confession statement that I had been tricked into signing. I was so shocked that I fell sick for a few days after hearing about how my life had been manipulated.
I prayed to Allah every time I said my prayers that let the truth come out from the mouth of the very people behind this. And that is what happened when Swami Asimananda confessed to being the man behind the blasts. When I heard about his confession and I also knew that TEHELKA had published it, the first thing I thanked God was for saving the lives of my kids.
Shabbir Ahmed
Shabbir Ahmed, 42 Trader
‘Until the powerful forces that hatch conspiracies to malign a religion or destroy someone’s life are punished, I would not be able to rest easy’
I grew very sceptical about everybody because all those people who came to help us were harassed. People from the town who came to help my family were picked up by the police and so people were also scared to help us initially. ATS officers used to visit jail quite regularly even though they were not allowed to. They would induce me with money to say something and when that failed they would threaten me with dire consequences.
I complained to the judge about the visits of these ATS officers and only then did that stop. Of late, people have approached my family saying they are from TEHELKA and start asking sensitive and harassing questions. That’s when I started distrusting the media also.
Now I don’t feel secure. Until the masterminds and the powerful forces that are planning attacks and hatching these conspiracies to malign a religion or destroy someone’s life are caught and punished, I would not be able to rest easy.

All those killed in the fake encounters were publicly billed as LeT terrorists out to kill Modi, Advani and Hindutva firebrands

From Tehelka
Dead Man Talking
It’s not just Ishrat Jahan. Rana Ayyub accesses exclusive intelligence inputs and 
pieces together a damning trail on another encounter in Gujarat. 
The story of Sadiq Jamal’s death raises uncomfortable questions 
the government might find difficult to answer
The family of Ishrat
Painful memories The family of Ishrat, whose death was later found to be a another fake encounter
Photo: Deepak Salvi
THE WHEELS of justice might grind slow, but they do grind, it appears. In a major setback for the Narendra Modi-led government, on 21 November, the infamous Ishrat Jahan killing was officially declared a fake encounter by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Gujarat High Court, exposing the blatant lies of many officers in the state police. This reaffirmed Metropolitan Magistrate SP Tamang’s explosive findings in an earlier report.
Tragic end Jamal was killed on 13 January 2003
Photo: AFP

Sohrabuddin Sheikh was killed in a fake encounter on 26 November 2005
Snuffed out lives Sohrabuddin Sheikh was killed in a fake encounter on 26 November 2005
Photo: Trupti Patel

Ishrat Jahan and three other ‘LeT terrorists’ were gunned down by cops on 15 June 2004
Blood runs cold Ishrat Jahan and three other ‘LeT terrorists’ were gunned down by cops on 15 June 2004
Photo: Trupti Patel

Forced Former Minister Amit Shah
Famous casualty The Sohrabuddin fake encounter forced former minister Amit Shah to lose his job
Photo: AFP

DG Vanzara
Trouble ahead Encounter specialist DG Vanzara is one of those implicated in the Sadiq Jamal case
Photo: AFP

Daya Nayak
Mumbai angle Daya Nayak was ‘instrumental’ in handing over Jamal to the Gujarat Police
Photo: AP

ADGP Intelligence J Mahapatra
Tough cookie ADGP Intelligence J Mahapatra
Photo: Indian Express Archives

Ex-Police Commissioner K Kaushik
Top cop Ex-Police Commissioner K Kaushik
Photo: Indian Express Archives

DSP Tarun Barot
Future tense DSP Tarun Barot
Photo: Indian Express Archives
According to the Gujarat Police, Ishrat Jahan, 19, and three others had been shot dead on 15 June 2004 in an encounter. However, using forensic and other material evidence, both Tamang and the SIT have found that they had been shot in cold blood at an earlier date. Twenty-one police officers are implicated in the case. Of these, suspended DIG DG Vanzara and ACP NK Amin are also the prime accused in the notorious Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and the murder of his wife Kauser Bi. Both officers are currently in jail for this.
Apart from nailing the complicity of these cops, however, in a significant gesture, the court has suggested the Ishrat case now be handed over to another investigating agency — either the CBI or the NIA (National Investigation Agency). “The probe agency would need to find out who played the key role in the encounter, what was the motive, and what was the actual time of the death of the four people,” the court said.
This inquiry into “motive” and “key roles” is likely to prove very damaging for Gujarat’s political leadership. Defenders of the Modi government often argue that encounters — even fake encounters — are not exclusive to Gujarat and that the numbers are much higher in other states. This is probably true. However, what makes the Gujarat fake encounters particularly disturbing is the cynical and false propaganda that was mounted around them. All those killed in these fake encounters were publicly billed as Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists out to kill Chief Minister Modi, then deputy PM LK Advani and ultra-Hindutva firebrands such as Pravin Togadia and Jaideep Patel. In the communally polarised aftermath of Gujarat 2002, such false propaganda was like a match to tinder. It can be no one’s case that absolutely no Muslim boys were involved in terror blasts in the country but to cynically manufacture threats and bill petty criminals as “terrorists” only served to tar the entire Muslim community as anti-national and helped consolidate Modi as the ‘Hindu Hriday Samrat’ — a man not only capable of teaching “Hindu enemies” a lesson, but one under constant threat from jihadi groups.
However, these cases — and the brazen political use they were put to — are likely to keep haunting the Modi government till justice has been done. Ishrat Jahan is not the only murder case that is gathering steam. The Sohrabbudin encounter case has already landed many high-profile police officers in jail and forced the former home minister and a staunch Modi confidant Amit Shah to lose his job.
(An earlier TEHELKA story had demonstrated that Sohrabbudin, who was a petty criminal and extortionist, was well known to Shah before he was killed and had raised uncomfortable questions about why he was bumped off and billed as a terrorist. It is significant to remember that Shah was not only the home minister during this time — and directly responsible for the workings of the state police — but a man who was so close to Modi that he held over a dozen ministerial portfolios. Discredited police officer Vanzara, in turn, was very close to Shah.)
Now, in another blow for the Gujarat government, TEHELKA has accessed a damaging paper trail about another encounter: Sadiq Jamal. Killed in January 2003.
Startlingly, this trail suggests that both intelligence inputs and evidence were being cynically tailored to frame the victim and fit a larger negative discourse about Muslims. In a crucial detail, it is important to remember that the police teams involved in the Sohrabbudin, Ishrat Jahan and Sadiq Jamal encounters were all led by Vanzara, who was one of the most trusted officers of Shah and Modi.
THE FIRST disturbing document in the Sadiq Jamal case is the FIR about his death filed by the Gujarat Police on 13 January 2003, the day he was supposedly killed. Far from being the precise factual report it should be, the FIR is filled with broad theorising.
Sample the first paragraph: “After Partition in 1947, two nations, India and Pakistan, came into existence. Pakistan was created on the basis of religious fundamentalism, whereas India remained a secular state. In order to grab Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan fought three wars against India, the last insurgency was made in Kargil. It was the continuation of Pakistan’s warring tendency. In Gujarat, the Godhra carnage was followed by largescale riots and arson. The ISI and jihadi organisations from Pakistan, in association with underworld gangsters and notorious gangs, took advantage of the situation arising from the riots to target Gujarat. This fact is clearly established by various acts of terrorism such as the attack on Akshardham, the conspiracy to kill Narendra Modi and Pravin Togadia in Ahmedabad by local LeT terrorists, namely Shahid Bakshi and Samir Khan Pathan, and the firing on VHP general secretary Dr Jaideep Patel.”
This FIR was filed by Inspector JG Parmar — who was also involved in the Samir Khan Pathan and Ishrat Jahan encounters — and interestingly, in so far as the theorising goes, the FIRs in the Ishrat and Sohrabuddin cases read almost verbatim to this one.
Unfortunately, while filing the FIR, the Gujarat Police couldn’t have predicted that the two ‘terrorists’ it cited — Samir Khan Pathan and Shahid Bakshi — would later be exonerated. The Pathan encounter has already been termed a fake one and Bakshi, who was profiled by TEHELKA in its investigation SIMI Fictions, has already been acquitted.
As a CBI investigator probing the case said, “They were so confident their crimes would never be exposed that they did not even bother to change the script of the concocted stories, however unbelievable they were.”
The FIR goes on to say: “Sadiq Jamal Mehtar, residing in Dubai, was originally a resident of Bhavnagar and had gone to Mumbai where he came in contact with the underworld. In Dubai, he was staying with Tariq Parveen, who was originally a resident of Mumbai. Parveen was Chhota Shakeel’s brother-in-law and closely associated with Dawood Ibrahim. Dawood’s brother Anees and Shakeel’s confidant Salim Chiplun used to visit Jamal in Dubai. Meanwhile, Jamal had seen on television channels the news regarding incidents of communal violence in Gujarat that had erupted after the Godhra carnage. On seeing such incidents, he had made up his mind to kill Narendra Modi.”
A simple question bears asking: if the police killed Sadiq Jamal in a genuine encounter on 13 January 2003, how could they know such precise psychological details about him in the FIR filed that day — that he had watched the Gujarat riots on TV and decided to kill Narendra Modi?
However, not all elements of the FIR are false. Of the little that is known about Sadiq Jamal, these appear to be the facts.
A Class IX dropout, Jamal used to work odd jobs at his father’s garage in Bhavnagar and play cricket in the backyard. In 1997, when he was 16, he got into an altercation with a neighbourhood youth and was hauled up by the police. Chided by his family for his wastrel ways, he ran away to Mumbai where he stayed in the bylanes of Mohammed Ali Road, a Muslim ghetto, home not just to traders, businessmen and hoteliers but also crooks and gangsters from the underworld.
Working odd jobs, Jamal apparently came in contact with men who promised to land him a job in Dubai. He took the offer. As it turned out, the teenager found himself deposited as a domestic help at the residence of Tariq Parveen, a relative of Chhota Shakeel, and a key lieutenant of the Dawood Ibrahim gang.
If this is where Jamal’s biography had ended, the Gujarat Police’s FIR might have had an element of plausibility. But in a curious twist, another man entered the picture at this stage: a Mumbai-based journalist called Ketan Tirodkar. Tirodkar’s explosive account of what really happened with Sadiq Jamal, filed as an affidavit in the Gujarat High Court, blows the lid off a cynical conspiracy and raises many uncomfortable questions for the Gujarat government.
IN 1996, Tirodkar, a crime reporter with a Mumbai tabloid, had self-confessedly crossed the line and become involved with the underworld. Occupying a grey zone, he claims he infiltrated the Dubai mafia and worked with the police to nab several fugitives and even led the Interpol to Chhota Rajan in Australia once. He also accused Mumbai police commissioner D Sivanand and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar (killed in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack) of protecting the mafia.
However, in 2002, according to Tirodkar, he became friends with Mumbai’s controversial encounter specialist Daya Nayak and got into the extortion business with him, travelling often to Dubai to demand crores of rupees from don Chhota Shakeel.
All those killed in the fake encounters were publicly billed as LeT terrorists out to kill Modi, Advani and Hindutva firebrands
In November 2003, possibly as the result of a falling out between them, Tirodkar filed a complaint in a MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act) court exposing Nayak’s racket. This could have been dismissed as an act of malice except Tirodkar also implicated himself in the case and was arrested. Nayak denied knowing him and escaped jail, because the police commissioner AN Roy refused to sanction an investigation against him. However, Nayak was later suspended from the force for possessing disproportionate assets.
In 2008, after almost 30 months in jail, Tirodkar was granted bail. Around this time, first accounts in the media began to appear that Sohrabuddin had been killed in a false encounter and Vanzara came prominently into the news.
Watching Vanzara in the media, many things apparently clicked into place for Tirodkar, and he filed a fresh and explosive affidavit against Daya Nayak in the MCOCA court, which would come to have a huge bearing on the Sadiq Jamal encounter.
This is what Tirodkar’s affidavit summarised. On his money collection trips to Dubai, Tirodkar had apparently met Sadiq Jamal in Tariq Parveen’s house. Jamal, it appears, was pretty unhappy because he was not getting his full pay. At some point, therefore, he escaped and went back to Bhavnagar, where he got involved in a gambling case and was picked up by the police. He also had a minor stone-pelting case against him already. Fearing he was now on the radar and would constantly be harassed by the police in post-riot Gujarat, Jamal made his way to Mumbai and tracked down Tirodkar, whom he knew from his Dubai stint as a “Mumbai policewalla’s man”. He asked Tirodkar to use his police contacts to help him get out of the gambling and stone-pelting case.
But destiny had other plans. Around that time, if Tirodkar is to be believed, Daya Nayak and Tirodkar were asked to supply a Muslim boy with some criminal background to the Gujarat Police. Jamal, unfortunately, proved handy.
Tirodkar says in his affidavit, “Sadiq Jamal had come to me for help. Taking advantage of his helplessness, I asked him to come to the traffic police post on the Andheri flyover on 11 January 2003. I met him there and took him to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Daya Nayak had kept two police officers from the Gujarat Police waiting there. In recent times, I have seen the photographs of Vanzara and as far as I can recall, one of the persons waiting that day was him.”
A detail that adds to the authenticity of Tirodkar’s affidavit is the fact that back in 2004, in one of his many affidavits against Nayak, Tirodkar had already made a mention of Jamal, alleging that apart from the extortion business, Nayak was responsible for killing many innocent people.
His 2008 affidavit, however, elaborated the Jamal case in much more explosive and elaborate detail. As the affidavit made news, Jamal’s brother Shabbir Mehtar mustered the courage to file a petition in the Gujarat High Court, along with Tirodkar’s affidavit, seeking a CBI probe into Jamal’s encounter.
“We approached the courts only after we saw the truth about Sohrabuddin coming out in the media,” says Shabbir. “It took us five years because we were constantly under threat from Vanzara, who was one of the officers involved in my brother’s case. When we had gone to receive Jamal’s body, he told my father the same would happen to me if we didn’t keep quiet.”
Finally, almost three years after Shabbir’s petition was filed, on 16 June 2011, despite high resistance from the Gujarat government, Justice MR Shah handed the Sadiq Jamal encounter case to the CBI.
In the months since, the CBI has sent summons to Tirodkar, but he has ducked an appearance so far. Speaking to TEHELKA, Tirodkar said he feared for his life. “I met the CBI officers earlier but I haven’t been able to meet them after the summons were issued. I want to know if they are calling me as an accused or a witness.”
Pravin Salunkhe, DIG (ACB), who has sent summons to Tirodkar, told TEHELKA, “Why should we pre-decide whether Ketan Tirodkar is a witness or an accused. Until we hear the details from him, it will be premature to talk of what role would be attributed to him.”
Another CBI officer added: “Whether Tirodkar’s statements are genuine facts can only be checked as and when we get the corroborative evidence. We have also sent summons to Daya Nayak, which he’s been avoiding. We are looking at the legal recourses available to us. Once we have interrogated both of them, the veracity of Tirodkar’s affidavit will be proved.”
TEHELKA has tried to reach Nayak for his version but he has refused to respond.
UNFORTUNATELY FOR the Gujarat government, the incriminating trail in the Sadiq Jamal encounter does not end here. There is other official evidence that corroborates Tirodkar’s affidavit and points to elaborate conspiracies being hatched in Gujarat, leading to false encounters and manufactured terror threats. This corroborative material includes police chargesheets and — most damagingly — even central intelligence inputs, exclusively accessed for the first time by TEHELKA. These intelligence inputs on the Jamal case are likely to be a major source of discomfort for both the Intelligence Bureau officers involved and the Gujarat Police.
But first, the sequence of events: two months before he was killed, Sadiq Jamal Mehtar and five others were arrested, presented before a magistrate and chargesheeted in a Bhavnagar court. The time and date of their offence is shown as 0410 hours, 9 November 2002. The chargesheet — a copy of which is with TEHELKA — was filed on 15 November 2002. Nowhere does it state that the accused are absconding.
Clearly, Jamal was on the police radar — they knew who he was; he had been presented before a magistrate; and he seemed to be adhering to the rule to appear periodically at the police station as there was no complaint then or subsequently that he was absconding. This part of the story ties in with Tirodkar’s assertion that Jamal had got involved in a gambling case in Bhavnagar and approached him for help.
CBI officers believe that in the Jamal case, the additional trail of IB inputs could end up nailing several top cops
However, in a startling development, on 24 November 2002 — 10 days after Jamal had already been produced and chargesheeted in the Bhavnagar court — an intelligence input was sent from the IB (Central Intelligence) Joint Director Rajinder Kumar to the Commissioner and DCP of Gujarat Police (copies of which are with TEHELKA), which says, “According to reliable information from a channel, one Sadiq Jamal, a Dubai-based person, was recently contacted by Salim Chiplun, a Pakistan-based gangster and a close associate of Anees Ibrahim and has reportedly been briefed about the task of targeting three important targets from the list of ISI and LeT. The targets are Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and VHP leader Pravin Togadia. Sadiq has reportedly landed in Mumbai and it is learnt that he has vowed to finish off the first available target during the ensuing Assembly election. He has been reportedly on the move between Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bhavnagar and Delhi. He is a native of Gujarat and closely associated with the Dawood gang. He is 22, unmarried and a heavy drinker. He is awaiting the delivery of weapons and money through hawala. He also holds a fraudulent Indian passport.”
This intelligence input beggars even a common man’s credulity. Jamal had already been arrested and chargesheeted by the Bhavnagar police in the gambling case but let off. They knew about his antecedents and whereabouts. At which point had he metamorphosed into the dreaded terror operative Rajinder Kumar’s input made him out to be? Could he really have been “reportedly on the move between Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bhavnagar and Delhi” and “awaiting delivery of weapons and money through hawala” while he was under the Gujarat Police’s watch? And if they really did have fresh credible evidence on him, why did they not arrest him again?
If this were not enough, barely five days later, another strange intelligence input was sent to the Gujarat Police by IB Joint Director Kumar. On 29 November 2002, in a message marked “secret” (No: 6/CR/Snow peak/2002/703), Kumar wrote to DGP K Chakravarty, with a copy to Additional Director General of Police Mahapatra, and subsidiary Intelligence Bureau, Ahmedabad.
The message said Sadique@Ayyub Islam on Nov 29 till 1700 hours will be available at 1. Ajju Bhaiyya: maternal uncle of Sadiq. STD booth, behind bus stand; 2. Garage of Rafique bhai: near Navrangpura, Kurtanmal Gate; 3. Telephone No. 02782516308 (Information also technically shared with SP, Bhavnagar, Gehlot)
It seems the input was kept deliberately vague. Upon receiving this information, 15 officers from four police stations in Bhavnagar visited the locations mentioned in the input but failed to trace Jamal.
“The police team went to all the three locations but did not find the concerned person,” an officer, who wishes to stay anonymous, tells TEHELKA. “We could locate only the first two places and not the house because the whereabouts were not mentioned clearly. We also had to search each and every telephone booth. Logically, we gave a nil report. Also there was nobody by the name of Sadiq Ismail. But when we went to the garage that was in the name of Ajju Bhaiyya, we found out that he had a nephew named Sadiq Jamal who had been away for the past five years. The next day, when we got his antecedents checked, we informed the Central Intelligence that this boy was only involved in a case of stone pelting when he was 16.”
However, on 9 December 2002 — almost a month after Jamal had been arrested in Bhavnagar — the Central Intelligence sent a third input to the Commissioner of Police in Gujarat. A copy of this too is with TEHELKA. This input said: “It is reliably learnt that on 24 November 2002, around 2400 hours IST, the Dubai-based associates of Dawood Ibrahim were eagerly waiting for some spectacular terrorist action to happen in Ahmedabad. When contacted by one of the associates in Ahmedabad, those in Dubai said that they were watching television to hear the news. Incidentally Modi’s election office in Maninagar was inaugurated at 2100 hours the same day. This could be a possible link to the conversation. There had been reports earlier that Dubai/Pakistan-based underworld elements are planning to eliminate Modi and senior BJP leaders. In light of the above threats, the Gujarat government is requested to make immediate review of the security of these leaders.”
According to the anonymous officer, these inputs had begun to sound dodgy. “It looked as if it was all scripted,” he says. “Isn’t it surprising that an LeT operative, who was supposedly sent on a mission from Pakistan and Dubai, should sit around playing cards on the streets of Bhavnagar and even get caught in that act?”
On 13 January 2003, according to Tirodkar, after the hapless Jamal had been handed over to the Gujarat Police by him and Daya Nayak and killed in cold blood, the FIR that was filed by Inspector Parmar refers to these intelligence inputs now in TEHELKA’s possession as seeming justifications for the encounter.
The FIR says, “According to intelligence inputs received from Central agencies, a startling information was received on 24 November 2002 that when Chief Minister Narendra Modi was to inaugurate his election office in Maninagar, Jamal was present in the crowd dressed as an activist. As the security around the chief minister was tight, he probably realised that he may not be successful in his ulterior motive and gave up.”
However, strangely, nowhere in the three IB inputs — including the one sent on 24 November — is it mentioned anywhere that Jamal was dressed as an activist and waiting to kill Modi in the crowd. And, in any case, if any of this were even remotely true, how is it possible that the police could not trace Jamal who had already been arrested and chargesheeted by them?
As the anonymous officer who gave the intelligence inputs to TEHELKA says, “At first, it had seemed these inputs were just loose information, along the lines of that which we get in the hundreds every day. But taken together and read in the light of what eventually happened, these three IB inputs seemed to be either deliberately misleading or pre-decided.”
A CBI official now investigating the case explains, “There are two possibilities we are looking at. The first possibility is that Sadiq Jamal was profiled after he was caught in the gambling case and the intelligence inputs were manufactured accordingly. We are also looking at the possibility that the gambling case itself was a ploy to hook him up in a case.”
While the IB inputs may not fit neatly to form a cohesive picture, they certainly seem to point to the fact that Jamal had been identified by the Gujarat Police as a target to be used. Probing the “motives” behind this — as the Gujarat High Court has directed in the Ishrat case — can only lead to very disturbing but seemingly logical conclusions.
IT MAY be relatively easy to concoct fabricated histories and motives for fumbling young men like Sadiq Jamal — out of favour with both family and luck — but bullet wounds have a difficult habit of telling the truth.
In the Ishrat Jahan encounter, the forensics clearly established that, contrary to the police’s story, Ishrat and the three men she was with had been shot at close range. In Sadiq Jamal’s case too, an impartial forensic examination is likely to establish its own truth.
Inspector Parmar’s FIR states, “I was informed that Sadiq Jamal was to visit his friend on the night at 2330 hours at Jay Ambe Traders in Saibaba Complex near Galaxy Cinema in Naroda Gam. So we boarded a private vehicle and reached Jai Ambe Traders. We kept a secret watch and saw a person coming towards us from Galaxy Cinema. When the person came very close, we identified him as Jamal. We tried to nab him but he became suspicious and started firing from his revolver. As he was a well-trained LeT terrorist, we had to resort to fire in self-defence.”
There seems to be a glaring disjunction here. The existing forensic report on Jamal says he was killed due to bullets entering from the right side of the brain and exiting from the left, which experts say can happen only when a person is shot with the barrel of the gun pointed to his head as opposed to someone shooting from the front.
What’s more, the Gujarat Police have failed to identify the friend that Jamal was supposedly planning to visit. If there was indeed information that Jamal was going to meet his friend, why is there no trace of this friend even in the list of witnesses and why was the friend not identified?
The concoction of evidence and facts does not end here. The CBI has asked the Gujarat High Court for permission to examine the service revolver used in the Ishrat Jahan encounter. The one used was a .38 bore revolver. Parmar was the same officer who shot at both Ishrat and Sadiq. The CBI is baffled because the enclosures given along with the FIR says that a .32 bore revolver was recovered from Sadiq’s body but the cartridges shown along with it are of a .38 make, which are a mismatch that points towards fabrication of evidence.
While transferring the Jamal case to the CBI in June 2011, the court had not designated it a false encounter. However, both the petitioners and the CBI officers probing the case believe that the answers to all these questions will have the same conclusion as the Sohrabuddin case: that Jamal was killed in a false encounter, engineered through an elaborate conspiracy. Only this time, there is the additional trail of the IB inputs that could end up nailing several top cops.
It may be easy to concoct motives for youth like Jamal but bullet wounds have a difficult habit of telling the truth
The high court has already directed the Gujarat Crime Branch to register a fresh FIR in the case. Taking cognisance of it, the petitioner Mukul Sinha has filed a fresh petition that has been forwarded to the CBI. “We have not just named Tarun Barot and Vanzara but also Intelligence officers such as IB Joint Director Rajinder Kumar, Commissioner of Police K Kaushik and ADGP Intelligence J Mahapatra for having acted on the basis of these concocted inputs,” says Sinha. The CBI is also set to take down the testimony of the anonymous whistleblower TEHELKA spoke to.
Altogether, there seem to be tough times ahead for all the officers who toed the government line in Gujarat. By sending summons to Tirodkar and Nayak, the CBI has set the ball rolling in a bid to expose the larger rot. The details of what transpired between Daya Nayak and the Gujarat Police hold the key.
Sohrabuddin, Kauser Bi, Tulsi Prajapati, Ishrat Jahan, Haren Pandya — each of these killings have dented Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s credibility on the national stage. If the investigation into Jamal’s death is taken to its most logical conclusion, it might just hammer one more nail into Modi’s prime ministerial ambitions.