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SACW | May 2-4, 2007 | Sri Lanka: Shrinking Democratic space / Keeping religion at bay in Pakistan / Indian Army and Kashmir ; Caste ; Dirty Harry Killings ; Criminal Justice and Pseudo-science

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  • Harsh Kapoor
    South Asia Citizens Wire | May 2-4, 2007 | Dispatch No. 2399 - Year 9 [1] Sri Lanka: Warning Signs that Democratic Space is Threatened (National Peace
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4, 2007
      South Asia Citizens Wire | May 2-4, 2007 | Dispatch No. 2399 - Year 9

      [1] Sri Lanka: Warning Signs that Democratic
      Space is Threatened (National Peace Council)
      [2] Bangladesh: Freedom from fear (Zafar Sobhan)
      [3] Pakistan: Keep religion at bay - letters
      - Conversion of [Karachi's] Nisar Shaheed
      Park into Lal Masjid (Naeem Sadiq)
      - No to Ninja Nuisance - A Letter to the Editor (Isa Daudpota)
      [4] Indian Army and the Peace Process in Kashmir (Ram Puniyani)
      [5] India: Learning To Speak Caste (Satish Deshpande)
      [6] India: Predator State (Editorial, Hindustan Times)
      [7] India: We need to talk about narcoanalysis (Sriram Lakshman)
      [8] India: In the wake of Nandigram A call by
      concerned citizens for A People's Convention



      National Peace Council
      of Sri Lanka
      12/14 Purana Vihara Road
      Colombo 6
      Tel: 2818344, 2854127, 2819064
      E Mail: npc@...
      Internet: www.peace-srilanka.org


      Media Release


      The deterioration in the security situation has
      had a catastrophic impact on substantial sections
      of the civilian population, especially those
      living in the north and east. In this context the
      government has recently decided to vest powers of
      the police with the military.President Mahinda
      Rajapaksa has issued a gazette notification that
      the armed forces are expected to perform the
      functions of the police. The National Peace
      Council is extremely concerned with this latest
      development. We are apprehensive that this
      government decision will send wrong signals and
      lead to an aggravation of the hardships faced by
      the civilian population.

      The new regulations come at a time when there are
      reports of violations of human rights by both
      police and military personnel. According to
      preliminary findings announced by a civic group,
      PAFFREL, which is working together with the Human
      Rights Commission and the Police, about 30 police
      and military personnel are among 452 persons
      arrested in connection with human rights abuses,
      including abduction, disappearances and murders.
      The National Peace Council believes that these
      findings reiterate the importance of restoring
      the integrity of law and order processes in the

      One positive initiative by the government that we
      welcome has been the order of the Defence
      Secretary to the security forces that they should
      strictly follow guidelines that respect human
      rights in making arrests and detentions.
      However, the vesting of police functions in the
      armed forces can negate this positive order. The
      police function is a civilian one, and the
      military is not trained in police methods of
      dealing with disturbances to law and order. This
      decision can also send wrong signals to the
      security forces, and to local and international
      society regarding the direction of the government.

      There is an urgent need for the government to
      demonstrate clear political will in regard to law
      and order processes if it is to retain the
      confidence of the civilian population that it is
      not taking the country on a journey to anarchy
      and to the breakdown of democratic governance.
      This past week has seen the assassination of yet
      another journalist in Jaffna, belonging to the
      Uthayan newspaper and threats to stop work that
      are being levelled against NGOs in the name of
      the TMVP (Karuna group), which TMVP spokespersons
      deny making. It is incumbent on the government to
      take these complaints seriously and to take
      measures to apprehend the culprits so that faith
      in the democratic institutions of the country may
      be on the path to restoration.

      Executive Director
      On behalf of the Governing Council



      The Daily Star
      May 04, 2007

      by Zafar Sobhan

      What was the worst thing about pre-January 11
      Bangla-desh? Different people will have different
      answers to this question: some would point to the
      unbridled corruption that reached its tentacles
      into every corner of the country's affairs, some
      would say that it was the culture of complete
      lack of transparency and accountability.

      Some others might suggest the absence of any kind
      of rule of law which meant that the powerful
      could do whatever they wanted with virtual
      impunity. Then again, some might point to the
      lack of opportunities or the government's
      inability to (or unwillingness) to focus on the
      concerns of the poor.

      I would suggest that the worst aspect of
      pre-January 11 Bangladesh -- and a failing that
      encompasses many of the above complaints (many of
      which are inter-connected) -- can be classified
      under the rubric of lack of human security.

      Human security, which can also be understood as
      freedom from fear, has two components. The first
      is a simple law and order equation: Can the
      government of the day ensure my safety and
      security from non-state actors?

      However, far more salient is the second component
      of human security: Can the government of the day
      ensure my safety and security from the state (or
      its representatives) itself? In the context of
      Bangladesh, this is an especially relevant
      question, as the bulk of the insecurity that
      everyday men and women have had to suffer through
      the years has come at the hands of
      representatives of the state.

      In other words, it is not so much non-state
      actors but state actors that we need protection
      from -- i.e. from the police, from Rab, and even
      when it is non-state actors (e.g. common
      criminals or mastans) the bulk of the threat
      comes from those who are politically connected,
      which again implicates state actors. Similarly,
      the nexus between criminals and the police and
      the courts is again a function of the individual
      being persecuted by the state's actions and

      To me, human security is the bare minimum. The
      absolute minimum I expect from any government is
      that it keeps me safe and protects my security.
      Specifically, I would expect that it keep me safe
      from its own clutches. This, to me, is the
      over-riding responsibility of a government. If it
      cannot keep me safe from non-state actors, then,
      at the very least, I should not have to worry
      about my safety at the hands of state actors.

      Nor do I think that this is an elite/urban
      concern. Indeed, I would argue that this concern
      is heightened the further down the social and
      economic ladder you go. The less money and status
      you have, the more vulnerable you are, both to
      common or garden crooks and also to persecution
      at the hands of the authorities. You are more
      likely to have to pay tolls and extortions, to
      have to worry about physical and sexual assault,
      and will have even less ability to access the
      courts and police stations to seek redress for
      your grievances.

      Human security is the corner-stone of existence.
      If we can be secure in our person and effects,
      then the rest will follow. If we are not secure
      in our person and properties, then everything
      else is evanescent and ephemeral, everything we
      have can be taken away from us at a moment's

      So, when I look at the current government, this
      is the question I ask: Are we now more secure
      then we were before January 11? And in judging
      what comes after the current dispensation, the
      question that I would ask is the same: Will we be
      more secure than we were before January 11?

      What kind of security should we expect and demand
      from our government? The security that we will
      not be killed in cross-fire. The security that we
      will not be subjected to any extra-judicial
      punishment. The security that we will not be
      subject to arbitrary arrest. The security that we
      will not have to worry about being disappeared.
      These kinds of abuses were routine prior to
      January 11, and to the extent that they are still
      happening and that they may still continue in the
      future, are serious cause for concern.

      Freedom from fear is the most important of
      freedoms.If you don't have that, you don't have
      anything. No freedom of the press -- who would
      dare criticize the government in such a climate?
      No accountability -- how can one begin to
      petition for redress if such petitioning earns
      one a one-way ticket to the slammer? No peace of
      mind -- how can we enjoy anything if we are
      constantly looking over our shoulders or weighing
      every word, wondering whether this will lead to a
      phone call or a late night visit from the

      So, whatever we do and whatever else is going on,
      I would suggest that the most important task
      before the interim government is to remove this
      uncertainty and fear from the air. If that were
      done, then the benefits -- to the country, to the
      individual, and to the government -- would be

      At a very basic level, creating a climate of
      security, free from fear, is simply the right
      thing to do, and the benefits are self-evident.
      Life without security is no life. But, beyond
      that, the pragmatic benefits for the country
      would be immense.

      Think of the creative energy that would be
      unleashed if the people of Bangladesh were able
      to feel fully secure in their persons and
      properties. Think of the knock-on effect to the
      economy if people didn't have to fear
      repercussions for whistle-blowing or uncovering

      So let's judge this current interim government by
      how successfully it is able to create this
      atmosphere -- and let us look at any future
      government according to the same lights. If they
      succeed in ensuring our security and freeing us
      from fear, then I will think that maybe, at long
      last, we are getting somewhere as a nation. But
      if they do not, and all we can look forward to
      are more years of looking over our shoulders,
      then it isn't entirely apparent to me how this
      would be different from where we were on January

      Zafar Sobhan is Assistant Editor, The Daily Star.



      From: Beena Issues [ groups.yahoo.com/group/beena-issues/ ]
      2 May 2007

      [i] From Naeem Sadiq in Karachi: "You may send this letter directly to
      DHA, at the given address, obtaining signatures from those who agree."

      To Administrator,
      Defence Hofficers Housing Authority
      2-B, East Street, Phase 1, DHA, Karachi.


      True to the Mulla-military cooperative tradition,
      the DHA has gone out of its way to squeeze
      mosques at places where they have no business to
      be. Nisar Shaheed was one very good park, till
      the DHA management installed a mosque within its
      four walls. It was originally a small prayer
      area, which gradually (just like the Islamabad
      Lal Masjid), expanded into a larger place , got
      cemented, and provided with 'wuzu' areas and loud
      speakers. The mosque was not a part of the
      original design of the park and was made
      illegally to appease one section of people.

      Those who go the Park to spend some relaxed and
      quiet time find it increasingly difficult to do
      so any more. Specially between 7pm and 9pm which
      is the peak time for walkers and joggers, the
      areas and tracks around the mosque are taken over
      by dozens of 'Nimazis', obstructing those who are
      engaged in their regular exercise. Would the DHA
      allow similar loud speaker operated separate
      religious congregations for those who belong to
      other sects or other religions. Does the DHA not
      know that there are four other mosques located
      all around the park, and therefore there is no
      need of allowing loud speakers and religious
      congregations inside this park. The DHA, unless
      it intentionally wishes to create a Jamia Hafsa
      like situation, would be well advised to take
      some immediate actions. It could stop all
      religious congregations in the park premises,
      prohibit the use of loud speakers, and ensure
      that park is used only for the purpose it was
      built for.

      [ii] Letter to the Editor by Isa Daudpota (would love to know which
      paper prints this and with what changes - bs)


      My eighty year old Lahori aunt and the country's
      police force have one thing in common. My
      gynecologist aunt refuses to employ any staff in
      her clinic who wears a hijab, let alone the
      face-hiding Ninja headgear, which is becoming
      increasingly common in our cities. Patients need
      to communicate unambiguously with their
      care-givers -would you like a Ninja peering down
      your mouth or another orifice, or asking you
      questions muffled by a face-clinging fabric?

      Lone Ranger had his day. Today the police refuse
      talking to masked men. They sometimes even haul
      up those who drive in cars with privacy
      preserving dark glasses. In our fear-laced
      times you need to know exactly whom you are
      talking to.

      The same concern applies to educational
      institutions where it becomes impossible to
      communicate with Ninja female students with
      blinking eyes. This is made worse when the
      lecturer too adopts this garb. While a hijab
      maybe recommended according to some religious
      interpretations as a means of maintaining
      personal modesty, the Ninja version of it isn't!
      Thus the paragons of modernism in the Ministry of
      Education and the Higher Education Commission
      should issue orders banning the masked headgear
      in all education institutions.

      As for the militant women in places such as Jamia
      Hafsa the solution is clear. If they stopped
      being supported by government agencies, they
      could be flushed out by means commonly known. A
      more humane way is to show them a better
      alternative: have the Aabpara Community Center
      located near their madrassa offer good discounted
      food, show interesting enlightening films, free
      internet access and classes in modern thought.
      Also teach skills, which get them employed in a
      worldly job.

      Pakistan's dilemma is clear-cut though: it
      cannot rest in peace until religion remains mixed
      up with the workings of the state. It is time
      that those who gain international publicity using
      the slogans of modernism show their concern by
      stamping out the menace of the Ninjas. Such
      hypocrites refuse to even voice their concern in
      unambiguous terms.

      Q. Isa Daudpota



      Issues in Secular Politics
      May 2007 I


      by Ram Puniyani

      Mufti Mohammad Sayeed of People's Democratic
      Party, the party ruling in alliance with Congress
      in Kashmir, recently called for demilitarization
      of the state and withdrawal of the Armed Forces
      (Special Powers) Act (April 2007). This demand
      was looked at with great amount of skepticism on
      the ground that how can we control the armed
      militancy in the state without the army presence
      and the special act to back that up. It is
      noteworthy that since the last elections when the
      electoral process was more democratic than the
      earlier one's, there is reduction in the overall
      militant actions in the state. It is also worth
      noticing that the atmosphere for dialogue and the
      amity within communities is better than before.
      Surely it is comparatively more representative
      character of this government, which has improved
      the situation. The question is, is it army, which
      can end the militancy, or is it the democratic
      character of the government and the keenness for
      dialogue with the disgruntled elements, which can
      further improve the situation. To begin with
      let's realize that army is trained to deal with
      'enemy armies', enemies only , its functioning is
      totally authoritarian and it has its own methods
      very different from the civic norms of a
      democratic society. It is all right that an army
      is deployed in some area for a short while, but a
      prolonged deployment of the army creates further
      problems and civilian life suffers a set back
      which tantamount to loss of trust in the ruling
      government, alienation of people and further
      boost to the phenomenon which bring in militancy
      in the first place.

      As such Kashmir has been in the news most of the
      times for last few decades but unfortunately for
      the wrong reasons. On one hand we have the
      militancy, military's heavy handed actions, fake
      encounters, missing young men, half widows and
      streaks of blood on the greens of the valley, on
      the other there are efforts to bring in peace
      through dialogues and still on the other we have
      the gross misrepresentation of the events of
      Kashmir to communalize the mass consciousness'.
      Communal elements have presented it as a
      Hindu-Muslim problem and have propagated that
      events in Kashmir are one more example of 'Muslim
      separatism', while the real issue relates to the
      historical roots, the regional power equations
      and the ethnic identity of Kashmir. The debate on
      the efforts to bring in amity in the valley needs
      to be seen in the historical genesis of the issue
      and complexities of the present, the changing
      tilt of US with the aim to bring peace in the
      bullet torn edifice of the society. Also mistakes
      of the past need to be shunned if we aspire for
      the harmony and justice.

      With India's independence the Princely states
      were given three options, one to merge with
      India, two to merge with Pakistan and three to
      remain independent. While most of the princely
      states merged with India or Pakistan, the king of
      Kashmir, Hari Singh decided to remain independent
      on the ground that his 'Hindu' Kingdom cannot
      merge with secular India. While the king was
      Hindu, majority of populating of Kashmir was
      Muslim. Pundit Perm Nath Dogra, of Praja
      Parishad, the precursor of BJP, Bharatiya
      Jansangh, endorsed his stand. Later Hari Singh
      offered standstill agreement to both India and
      Pakistan. As per this some state functions were
      to be shared with Pakistan and India. India
      rejected the offer; Pakistan accepted it and its
      postal department started serving Jammu and

      When Pakistan army, dressed as tribal attacked
      Kashmir, the people of Kashmir did not want to
      merge with Pakistan and accordingly the President
      of National Conference, Sheikh Abdullah and
      representative of Maharaja Harisingh went to
      Delhi to urge upon the Indian Government to send
      the army to Kashmir to quell the Pakistani
      aggression. As at that time, Kashmir was not part
      of India, Indian Government did not accept this
      request. The negotiations to help Kashmir
      resulted in the treaty of accession according to
      which Kashmir was to have total autonomy barring
      in the matters of defense, external affairs,
      communication and currency. Kashmir was to have
      its own Constitution, with Sadr-e-Riyasat and
      Prime Minster. It is on these terms that Indian
      army went to Kashmir to quell the Pakistani
      aggression. Indian army stalled the Pakistani
      army, but by that time Pakistani army had
      occupied nearly one third of Kashmir. The matter
      was taken to United Nations, where it was
      resolved that plebiscite will be held, to
      ascertain the wishes of Kashmiri people, after
      Pakistani and Indian armies withdraw from
      Kashmir. Neither of the armies withdrew and no
      plebiscite took place.

      The elections held in Kashmir led to the victory
      of National Conference and Sheikh Abdullah was
      chosen the Prime Minister of Kashmir. The major
      achievement of Sheikh Abdullah was land reforms
      without any compensation to the landlords. As
      such Kashmir was a society, which stood on the
      foundation of Sufi Islam, values of Vedant and
      Buddhism. These are the ingredients of
      Kashmiriyat. After the Kashmiri assembly came to
      take charge of things, the ultra nationalists and
      Hindu communalists in India started the campaign
      for abolition of the clauses of autonomy of
      Kashmir, demanding its total merger with India.
      The pressure of this 'forcible integration of
      Kashmir' led to a discomfort amongst the people
      of Kashmir, and Sheikh Abdullah voiced his
      concern that Indian Government is going back from
      its earlier promise. With his statement calling
      for respect of treaty of accession, he was dubbed
      as anti Nationalist and was put behind the bars.
      His imprisonment may be amongst one of the few
      cases of imprisonment of an elected chief of the

      His imprisonment was the first act due to which
      the process of alienation began in Kashmir. This
      alienation was aggravated further by the
      political parties in power in Center trying to
      impose their agenda of power sharing with the
      National Conference. The rigging of elections was
      a regular phenomenon in Kashmir. With this the
      alienation of Kashmiri youth turned in to
      militancy, duly supported by Pakistan, which in
      turn was backed by the US. The local militants
      were joined in by the one's trained in Pakistan
      and later joined by the Al Qaeda elements.

      The militancy in Kashmir initially was not based
      on communal ground and Kashmiriyat remained the
      overarching goal. In the decades of 80s the
      militancy did assume communal color, targeting
      the Kashmiri Pundits. Jag Mohan intensified the
      problem by encouraging the Pundits to leave the
      valley on the plea that every Kashmiri Muslim is
      a terrorist and Pundits face the physical threat.

      Hanging of Maqbool Butt and rigging of elections
      worsened the problem giving a further boost to
      separatist tendencies in the valley. The issue
      was communalized in the country by presenting it
      as a Hindu India versus Muslims of Kashmir. The
      communal elements in the country made a heavy use
      of this issue to polarize the society. The
      response of Indian government was to go on
      increasing the presence of army in the valley.
      Today the number of military personnel is so
      heavy that the air is thick with intimidation of
      the army guns. The local Kashmiris are the
      victims of the acts of the militants and that of
      Indian army. Army treats most of the civilians as

      This alienation of local people and gross
      violation of human rights needs to be redressed.
      The restoration of part of democratic process
      during last elections has been a welcome sign.
      Any area under military presence cannot breath
      freely. Too many disappearances, senseless
      killings and the orphaned children tell the story
      of state of affairs in Kashmir. The confidence of
      local people has been shattered by this approach,
      which looks at Kashmir as the real estate to be
      acquired at any cost. Kashmir as the inseparable
      part of India on one hand and Kashmir a Muslim
      majority state cannot be part of India, these
      contrasting positions need to be countered to
      respect the autonomy and aspirations of Kashmiri
      people. That is the only way to restore the human
      rights and amity in the valley, which is being
      wounded by the guns of dissatisfaction and
      weapons trying to control the aspirations of

      Today the thinking on the Kashmir issue has to
      begin with the idea of respecting the wishes and
      well being of Kashmiri people, and to apply the
      soothing balm to the wounded psyche of average
      person in Kashmir. While dialogue with the
      dissident factions goes on we need to reduce the
      heavy-handed presence of army in the area. We
      also should register the fact that a long stay of
      army will affect the way of thinking of army
      itself. We have heard about the incidents like
      Chittsinghpura massacre of innocents at the hands
      of our own army, many an army personnel have
      tried to bake their own bread under the guise of
      their uniform. By winning over the trust of the
      people we can definitely reduce the intensity of
      militants' actions, and in due course bring in a
      more hospitable atmosphere. A long-term view of
      the matter is equally important. To begin with we
      need a social audit of the actions of army and to
      devise a mechanism where by armies actions are
      not arbitrary but are subject to civic scrutiny,
      and involvement of civilians and political
      representatives in the process of planning the
      actions of army.

      The over all improvement in the situation needs
      to be welcomed and path for further improvement
      sought in a proactive way.



      The Times of India
      3 May, 2007

      by Satish Deshpande

      That fount of all contemporary wisdom - the
      Internet - offers an involuntary but acute
      diagnosis of the predicament of caste via this
      feeble joke: India decides to send a 20-member
      space exploration team to the moon, and the caste
      quotas are decided immediately - six SCs, four
      STs, eight OBCs, and, if possible, two
      astronauts. While the intent of the joke is all
      too obvious, the unintended insight is in the
      fact that the 'astronauts' have no caste, but the
      'reserved categories' have only their caste.

      The joke rightly assumes that although we tacitly
      know the caste of the astronauts, we agree that
      it is not relevant, only their qualifications
      ('astronaut') are. It also assumes, rightly
      again, that although we tacitly know that the
      'reserved categories' would also have
      qualifications, we agree that they are not worth
      mentioning, only their caste is. In short, the
      joke knows exactly who 'we' are and who 'they'
      are and why the two can never mix.

      This, then, is the predicament of caste today:
      its invisibility - or persistent denial - in one
      context versus its hypervisibility - or constant
      invocation - in another. India is split into two
      irreconcilable parts. One part appears to be
      divesting itself of caste, having climbed on to a
      plateau of economic and educational security
      where the normal rules of the game are now in its

      But the larger part of society is still heavily
      invested in caste, because it is trying to climb
      the steep slope of inherited disadvantage, and
      caste is the only lever it has to reduce the tilt
      of the playing field. These unequal and opposed
      parts are also mutually reinforcing in a strange
      way. It is as if each must weave what the other
      must unravel. How and why did we get here? Is
      there a way out?

      The first clue to how we got here is in the
      peculiarity of caste as an institution marked for
      abolition. Unlike religion or other aspects of
      traditional culture, there was nothing in caste
      that was thought to be worth preserving. Modern,
      progressive Indians could (at least in public)
      only desire 'the annihilation of caste', to use
      Babasaheb Ambedkar's passionate term. In the
      Nehru era this desire took the form of a public
      silence on caste.

      A caste-blind state refused to track the
      differential flow of the benefits of development.
      Under cover of this high-minded refusal, the
      upper castes proceeded to encash their inherited
      advantages and monopolise the spheres of urban
      privilege, particularly higher education. At the
      same time, attempts to mobilise lower caste
      identities were discredited as 'casteist'.

      A second clue is in the fact that 1947 was not a
      revolution but a transfer of power from the
      British to an Indian elite. What should have been
      a sharing of power among different social groups
      turned into a project of 'nation-building'
      controlled by the upper castes.

      The Dalit challenge was neutralised by the Poona
      Pact of 1932, an abject surrender - masterminded
      by a ruthless Mahatma - of Dalit claims to
      power-sharing in return for reservations as a
      sort of welfare programme. If the Dalits were
      'constitutionalised', the Other Backward Classes
      were 'regionalised' in the Nehru era. After an
      abortive attempt with the First Backward Classes
      Commission, the OBC issue was banished from the
      Centre to the provinces.

      Here, the upper segments often became quite
      powerful as rural 'dominant castes' and were
      given subordinate roles in the 'Congress system'.
      But large lower segments comprising the artisanal
      castes stayed poor and powerless. Most
      importantly, urban OBCs remained economically and
      educationally much closer to the Dalits than to
      the upper castes.
      It is only after Mandal that both Dalits and
      backward castes have begun to speak the language
      of national power-sharing.

      Thus it is that six decades after the abolition
      of caste we have produced a national elite that
      is overwhelmingly upper caste. We know this but
      can't prove it because we have refused to collect
      data on caste. Despite having one of the world's
      most sophisticated statistical systems, we have
      been strangely reluctant to include social
      Barring exceptions, those who insist on keeping
      things this way are invariably from the creamy
      layer of the upper castes.

      Lately, they have begun to receive partial
      support from unexpected quarters - the creamy
      layers of the backwards and Dalits - who insist
      that caste is all important, but all other
      attributes (like income, wealth or education) are
      irrelevant. So we have a vocal group of urban
      upper castes, long accustomed to power in the
      public sphere, who wish caste to remain
      unspeakable. We also have an emergent lower caste
      mobilisation beginning to address the
      incompleteness of independence, who insist that
      caste alone - and nothing else - must be spoken.

      To find a way out, we have to resist the
      temptation of equating both groups and seeking
      the pleasures of even-handed liberal
      exasperation. The upper castes today are
      infinitely more powerful in the urban public
      sphere than the lower castes, and it is they who
      must first acknowledge caste. Once we sincerely
      recognise caste and begin to track it in the
      Census, in admission lists, national surveys and
      every relevant place, we will earn the moral and
      political right to begin contextualising caste in
      terms of its internal differentiations and

      Only then can we truly hope to abolish it. To
      annihilate caste we must first gather the courage
      to speak it.

      The writer teaches sociology in Delhi University



      Hindustan Times
      May 02, 2007



      Not too many patriotic tears are being shed after
      the 'encounter' killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and
      the brutal murder of his wife Kausar Bi in
      November 2005 have become public knowledge.
      Sheikh had a criminal record, while Kausar is
      being perceived as simply the wife of a man with
      a criminal record. And yet, the latest admission
      made by the Gujarat government that the two were
      indeed slain by the police is deeply worrying for
      a nation that prides itself on not being a banana
      republic. Matters relating to law and order
      cannot be left to extra-judicial methods not
      because of 'jholawalla' concerns but because such
      a Manichean approach can open up a Pandora's box
      where the guilty and the innocent are decided by
      parameters outside the law. It seems that this
      Dirty Harry-style vigilantism has already become
      a default position with DIG D.G. Vanzara telling
      his subordinates in the Gujarat Police that
      bumping off Sheikh was part of "patriotic work".
      What guarantee is there that innocents with no
      criminal links - like Kausar Bi - are not turned
      into statistics of success in the job of
      "fighting the enemies of the State"?

      Jurisprudence is made to follow certain norms for
      one overwhelming reason: so that there is a trail
      of accountability ensuring that the law is not
      made to serve personal whims and biases. Take the
      case of the trial of the five Britons accused of
      having links with the suicide bombers who bombed
      trains in London on July 7, 2005, and had plotted
      other attacks. They were sentenced to life after
      a three-year-long trial that involved 33,800
      hours of painstakingly collected evidence. The
      crime for which the London jehadis were sentenced
      was serious enough for a lynch mob to be let
      loose without the State worrying too much about a
      public outcry. But that would mean unleashing
      violence on anyone even suspected of harbouring
      terrorist intentions.

      In India, the Gujarat case is just one of the
      many extra-judicial killings that we have come to
      know about. Sheikh and Kausar Bi were killed for
      being from a certain community. Whether in
      Kashmir or in Ansal Plaza in Delhi, the bodies of
      alleged 'militants' become trophies of success in
      a war against terrorism. The result of taking
      such an easy way out is that one does not need to
      be proved guilty any more to face the
      consequences of allegedly breaking the law. And
      this warped reasoning can apply to both a
      criminal like Sohrabuddin Sheikh as well as a
      law-abiding citizen like you. It won't make a



      MAY 02, 2007



      Narcoanalysis is steadily being mainstreamed into
      investigations, court hearings, and laboratories
      in India. However, it raises serious scientific,
      legal, and ethical questions. These need to be
      addressed urgently before the practice spreads

      - PHOTO: By Special Arrangement

      A suspect is being ` narcoanalysed' in Bangalore
      in a 2004 double murder case. In the drug-induced
      state, she spoke about a knife and purse
      allegedly involved in the crime but neither was
      recovered by the police. The outcome: acquittal
      owing to a lack of evidence. The judge also ruled
      that the narcoanalysis report and videograph
      could be used only for investigative purposes and
      not to convict suspects.

      NARCOANALYSIS HAS become an increasingly, perhaps
      alarmingly, common term in India. It refers to
      the process of psychotherapy conducted on a
      subject by inducing a sleep-like state with the
      aid of barbiturates or other drugs. In a spate of
      high profile cases, such as those of the Nithari
      killers and the Mumbai train blasts, suspects
      have been whisked away to undergo an interview
      drugged with the barbiturate sodium pentothal.

      This practice has also garnered support from
      certain State governments as well as the
      judiciary. Politicians have fallen into the habit
      of hurling the term `narcoanalysis' at opponents.
      In 2006, Karnataka Congress leader H. Vishwanath
      suggested that Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy
      should undergo narcoanalysis in the Chenamma
      Trust bribery case. The Home Ministry's
      Directorate of Forensic Sciences plans to expand
      narcoanalysis facilities nationwide. It is not
      surprising then that there are about 300 people
      in the narcoanalysis queue at the Forensic
      Science Laboratory (FSL) in Bangalore alone.

      It would appear that the narcoanalysis beast has
      acquired a life of its own. It is increasingly
      knocking at the doors of courts and finding ready
      acceptance as a device to get at the truth during
      police investigations, though its scientific
      basis and value are under strong challenge. It is
      for this reason that the scientific, legal, and
      evidentiary issues relevant to the narcoanalysis
      debate need to be critically discussed.

      Narcoanalysis is rarely used for therapeutic
      purposes today. The reliability of the practice
      has been questioned by leading psychiatric and
      forensic experts. Dr. P. Chandra Sekharan, the
      highly regarded former Director of the Forensic
      Sciences Department of Tamil Nadu, has
      characterised the practice as an unscientific,
      third-degree method of investigation.

      It is surely significant that while `truth
      serums' have been in use since the early part of
      the 20th century, they are not used in most
      developed countries today. During and after the
      War years, United States armed forces and
      intelligence agencies continued to experiment
      with truth drugs. The CIA has admitted to using
      these as part of its interrogation tactics. But a
      declassified CIA interrogation manual says that
      while truth drugs can be useful in overcoming
      resistance not dissolved by other methods, the
      actual content of what comes out during the
      interrogation can be "psychotic manifestations
      ... hallucinations, illusions, delusions or
      disorientation." At the 1977 U.S Senate hearings
      on its secret mind-control project, the CIA
      acknowledged that "no such magic brew as the
      popular notion of truth serum exists."

      Studies have shown that persons who make truthful
      confessions are those who were likely to confess
      had interrogators persisted with regular methods;
      and that persons who lie can continue to manifest
      a lie even under the influence of a so-called
      truth serum. Moreover, the investigator can
      induce and communicate his own thoughts and
      feelings to the suspect. The scientific
      literature indicates that if narcoanalysis has
      any extra-therapeutic uses, it may be in making a
      suspect feel that he has revealed more than he
      actually did. With repeated questioning, it may
      be possible to reduce ambiguities although these
      cannot be eliminated.

      Two objections

      Scientific scepticism and the absence of
      controlled studies have not deterred Indian
      investigating agencies from running to the FSL in
      Gandhinagar or, more likely, Bangalore - the
      narcoanalysis hub for various police departments
      across the country. FSL, Bangalore, conducts
      sodium pentothal narcoanalysis in conjunction
      with three other tests - psychological profiling,
      polygraph (`lie-detector') tests, and brain
      mapping. Polygraph tests, which one can learn to
      `pass' or `fail,' are used for screening and
      confirmation purposes only. Brain mapping, a
      premature if promising technique not entirely
      free from controversy itself, indicates whether a
      subject's brain stores experiential knowledge
      about a certain object. Narcoanalysis is used
      when investigators need oral elicitations from a
      suspect. For instance, if brain mapping indicates
      that the suspect stores information about a blue
      getaway car allegedly used in the crime, the
      narcoanalysis, according to the FSL, Bangalore,
      is used to provide information such as the number
      of the car, where it is parked, and so on.

      Dr. B.M. Mohan, Director of FSL, Bangalore,
      claims that he has data to prove his contention
      that narcoanalysis has a 96 to 97 per cent total
      success rate. Included in the definition of
      `total success rate' is the discovery of
      information that either triggers a relevant
      section of the law or may be cross verified with
      other tests (such as brain mapping). According to
      Dr. Mohan, findings that discredit narcoanalysis
      are usually based on studies of scopolamine and
      sodium amytal and are not applicable to sodium
      pentothal, which is used by the Indian
      laboratories. He adds that during narcoanalysis
      the tendency is to sleep if not questioned,
      rather than hallucinating or fantasising.

      There are two problems with this argument. Using
      sodium pentothal is not a new advance in
      narcoanalysis. Two experts at the National
      Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences
      (NIMHANS), Bangalore interviewed by The Hindu
      pointed out that internationally the
      psychological fraternity has used sodium
      pentothal for decades; and discontinued its use
      in all but the rarest cases, partly because there
      is no guarantee that the drug will elicit
      factually accurate information. Secondly, Dr.
      Mohan's contention that it is difficult to
      manifest fantasies in narcoanalysis is
      questionable. False memory is an extremely
      well-researched area according to Dr.
      Chittaranjan Andrade, a professor of
      psychopharmacology at NIMHANS. While patients
      under narcoanalysis may find it difficult to lie
      consciously depending on the depth of the
      narcoanalysis, they can say things that are not
      true and on the surface of their minds. Dr.
      Andrade explains the case of a suspect who is
      repeatedly accused of a crime during regular
      interrogation: "The same thing goes on during the
      narcoanalysis. He remembers `you've done this,
      you've done this.' He says, `I have done that.'"

      When science has outpaced the development of law
      or at` least the layperson's understanding of it,
      there are unavoidable complexities regarding what
      can be admitted as evidence in court. In the
      United States, where science often interfaces
      uncomfortably with the law, the Supreme Court
      offered four criteria, part of the Daubert
      Standard (1993), by which to judge the
      credibility of a scientific principle held by a
      minority of practitioners: hypothesis testing;
      peer review and publication; knowledge of error
      rates; and acceptability in the general
      scientific community.


      We must give narcoanalysis its due and grant that
      it has provided valuable leads to the police in
      some instances. However, one swallow, or even
      many swallows in this case, do not a summer make.
      It is logically consistent for even a
      pseudo-science to produce reliable outcomes in
      particular cases. The overall reliability and
      science behind the practice can only be
      determined after statistical analysis of a
      sufficiently large sample.

      The irony of the situation we face in India is
      that the science behind narcoanalysis, as we know
      it, has not leapfrogged the courts by any stretch
      of imagination. The Bangalore research results
      and methods have been neither peer-reviewed nor
      published. Regarding publication of the data, Dr.
      Mohan says he will go public with the FSL data in
      three to four months (from March 2007) and is
      willing to debate its implications at
      international forums. But it is unlikely that
      studies based on some 300 criminal investigations
      will yield controlled experimental data. The
      feedback that goes into defining the success of
      the analysis is provided in part by police
      questionnaires. Here lurks a conflict of interest.

      Legal aspects

      There are other significant legal aspects to the
      narcoanalysis debate. In a 2006 judgment (Dinesh
      Dalmia v State), the Madras High Court held that
      subjecting an accused to narcoanalysis is not
      tantamount to testimony by compulsion. The court
      said about the accused: "he may be taken to the
      laboratory for such tests against his will, but
      the revelation during such tests is quite
      voluntary." There are two fallacies in this
      reasoning. First, if narcoanalysis is all that it
      is made out to be by the Bangalore FSL, the
      accused will involuntarily answer questions posed
      to him during the interview. The second fallacy
      is that it is incorrect to say that the accused
      is merely taken to the lab against his will. He
      is then injected with substances. The breaking of
      one's silence, at the time it is broken, is
      always technically `voluntary.' Similarly, it can
      be argued that after being subject to electric
      shocks, a subject `quite voluntarily' divulges
      information. But the act or threat of violence is
      where the element of coercion is housed. In
      narcoanalysis, the drug contained in the syringe
      is the element of compulsion. The rest is
      technically voluntary.

      In 2004, the Bombay High Court ruled in the
      multi-crore-rupee fake stamp paper case that
      subjecting an accused to certain tests like
      narcoanalysis does not violate the fundamental
      right against self-incrimination. Article 20(3)
      of the Constitution guarantees this: "No person
      accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a
      witness against himself." Statements made under
      narcoanalysis are not admissible in evidence.
      However, recoveries resulting from such drugged
      interviews are admissible as corroborative
      evidence. This is, arguably, a roundabout way to
      subverting the right to silence - acquiring the
      information on where to find the weapon from the
      subject when, in his right senses, he would not
      turn witness against himself.

      Arguments have been made that narcoanalysis
      constitutes mental torture. It works by
      inhibiting the nervous system and thus lowering
      the subject's inhibitions. It is not difficult to
      interpret this as a physical violation of an
      individual's mind-space.

      The State police departments are responsible for
      generating demand for the process. The decision
      to conduct narcoanalysis is usually made by the
      Superintendent of Police or the Deputy Inspector
      General handling a case. A high-ranking official
      in the Karnataka Police told The Hindu that
      police departments in India have poor skills when
      it comes to collection, collation, and
      presentation of evidence before the courts.
      Consequently, when there is enormous pressure on
      a police department to solve a case, sending
      suspects to narcoanalysis not only buys time but
      also gives the impression that something concrete
      has been done about the case.

      Some officials connected to law enforcement argue
      that narcoanalysis can be of great use in
      instances where witnesses turned hostile; rape
      cases where issues of consent are being debated;
      and cases where the investigating officer is hard
      pressed for time or working to disrupt offences
      planned for the near future, including terrorist

      Scope for abuse

      This ticking-bomb terrorist case argument has
      also cropped up frequently in the media after the
      9/11 attacks. It has been championed by Harvard
      Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, who argues
      for legitimising torture in select scenarios, for
      example when a hypothetical bomb is waiting to
      explode. There are many arguments against the
      selective use of normally banned cruel practices.
      Authorities are likely to abuse the power to
      decide which situations will warrant such
      exceptions, even when such extraordinary
      situations are explicitly laid out by law. It
      will be difficult to find a fool-proof way to
      determine which suspect is concealing information
      about a hypothetical bomb. It will often be
      impossible to know if there is a bomb ticking in
      the first place. These questions of discretion
      aside, when a country claims to be committed to
      human rights and against torture, one may ask if
      there can ever be a situation that warrants a
      deviation from its commitment to such principles.

      While the expert studies and court opinions
      available internationally have granted that there
      may be some use in narcoanalysis, the
      overwhelming evidence is that narcoanalysis is by
      no means a reliable science. In the face of a
      near-consensus internationally, one or two Indian
      forensic labs claim to have new evidence and
      studies claiming remarkable success rates for the
      process. They must now prove their claim that
      narcoanalysis is backed by sound science. In the
      absence of proof, narcoanalysis must necessarily
      be suspended, especially given its ethical and
      human rights implications.

      State governments need to work with the central
      authorities to enhance the investigative
      capabilities of their police departments. The
      police now hand over one of the most crucial
      parts of the investigation to a clinical
      psychologist conducting narcoanalysis.
      Interrogation is an art as well as a science. It
      takes enormous amounts of training and patience -
      skills evidently lacking in much of the police
      force and increasingly outsourced to Bangalore.
      The central government must make a clear policy
      stand on narcoanalysis - because what is at stake
      is India's commitment to individual freedoms and
      a clean criminal justice system.




      A call by concerned citizens
      A People's Convention in Kolkata, June 2-3, 2007

      The valiant struggle of the peasantry in
      Nandigram against the acquisition of their land
      and homesteads for the proposed chemical hub SEZ
      has drawn nationwide attention. Despite the
      massacre of March 14 and the continuing reign of
      terror unleashed by the police and hired killers
      of the ruling party in the state, Nandigram has
      refused to surrender. On the contrary, it has
      sparked unprecedented mass protests across West
      Bengal and elsewhere. People's movements in
      various parts of the country against the forcible
      acquisition of farmlands, forests and other
      natural resource base of the poor in the name of
      SEZ and for the so-called industrial projects
      have also drawn inspiration and sustenance from
      Nandigram. No wonder, Nandigram has become a
      major focus of people’s resistance against the
      neo-liberal agenda that seeks to establish the
      hegemony of global corporate capitalism.

      Time is now ripe to bring all the people's
      resistance movements across the country together
      under one coordinating network. Towards this end,
      we are proposing a People's Convention, followed
      by a huge rally, in Kolkata on 2-3 June 2007
      (before the onset of monsoon). We call upon all
      our friends in the people's movements and
      people's organisations, irrespective of political
      or ideological moorings, to come forward and
      actively participate in this programme. May the
      convention/rally become the launching pad for a
      united nationwide struggle against the
      government's land acquisition policy for SEZ and
      industrial projects.

      The convention/rally, and the countrywide
      movement to be launched from there, will be
      raising the following demands:

      1. Scrap the SEZ policy that aims to set up
      extra-territorial authorities within the country
      and acquire huge tracts of farm and forest lands
      for the corporate capitalists while endangering
      the lives and livelihoods of millions.
      2. Abolish or reformulate the colonial and
      draconian Land Acquisition Act of 1894 that
      served as the chief instrument of land
      3. The Chief Minister of West Bengal, who
      has owned up to the responsibility for the mass
      murders in Nandigram, must resign. Everyone who
      has had a hand in the Nandigram massacre,
      directly or indirectly, must be suitably punished.
      4. People’s institutions at the grassroots
      must be allowed the autonomy to act so that
      Nandigram can return to a life of peace and human

      In solidarity

      1 A Sohaib Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi
      2 Aditi Chowdhury Media Consultant, Kolkata
      3 Aditya Nigam CSDS, Delhi
      4 Ajaya Sahaya Sarvodaya Mandal, Delhi
      5 AK Thakur Physician, Kolkata
      6 Amar Kanwar Filmmaker, Delhi
      7 Amarnath Freelance Journalist, Patna
      8 Ambuj Sharma Punjab University, Chandigarh
      9 Amit Bhaduri Economist, Delhi
      10 Amit Sengupta Journalist, Delhi
      11 Arun Kumar JNU, Delhi
      12 Anand Kumar JNU, Delhi
      13 Anil Chaudhary INSAF
      14 Anjan Ghosh Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata
      15 Apoorvanand Delhi University
      16 Arshad Ajmal Lok Parishad, Patna
      17 Arun Kanndal Lawyer, Chandigarh
      18 Arundhati Roy Writer, Delhi
      19 Aseem Shrivastava Delhi
      20 Ashima Sahajpal Journalist, Chandigarh
      21 Ashok Gurgaon
      22 Ashok Choudhury NFFPFW, Saharanpur
      23 Atmaram Chandigarh
      24 Atul Kumar Singh JNU, Delhi
      25 Azizur Rahman Azami JNU, Delhi
      26 Basant K Chowdhary Advocate, Patna
      27 Bhaskar Gupta Jadavpur University, Kolkata
      28 Bhupinder Brar Teacher, Chandigarh
      29 Bilash Sarkar Chatra-Chatri Sanhati, Kolkata
      30 Chetan Premani Scientist, Chandigarh
      31 Chitleen K Sethi Journalist, Chandigarh
      32 Chitra Joshi Delhi University
      33 Corinne Kumar El Taller International, Tunisia
      34 Daljit Ami Filmmaker, Chandigarh
      35 Debabrata Bandopadhyay Administrator, Operation Barga, Kolkata
      36 Debal Deb Kolkata
      37 Debarshi Das Punjab University, Chandigarh
      38 Deepak Singh Punjab University, Chandigarh
      39 Dhruva Narayan Daanish Books, Delhi
      40 Dilip Bose
      41 Dinesh Prasain JNU, Delhi
      42 Dipanjan Roy Choudhury Retired Professor, Kolkata
      43 Dipankar Chakraborty Editor, Aneek, Kolkata
      44 Dithi Bhattacharya NTUI, Delhi
      45 Divya Godara Lawyer, Haryana
      46 Gadadhora Mahapatra JNU, Delhi
      47 Gautam Bandopadhyay Nadi Ghati Bachao Manch, Raipur
      48 Gautam Navlakha Delhi
      49 Gautam Roy Journalist, Kolkata
      50 Gopal Rai Teesra Swadhinata Sangharsh, Delhi
      51 Hari P Sharma SANSAD
      52 Harsh Dobhal Human Rights Law Network, Delhi
      53 Harsh Sethi Seminar, Delhi
      54 Hemaa Sharma Journalist, Chandigarh
      55 IK Shukla Los Angeles, US
      56 Inder Singh Scientist, Chandigarh
      57 Iswar Chandra Naik JNU, Delhi
      58 Jagdish Theatre, Chandigarh
      59 Jai Sen CACIM, Delhi
      60 Janaki Srinivasan Punjab University, Chandigarh
      61 Jishnu Dasgupta Chatra-Chatri Sanhati, Kolkata
      62 JN Bhartiya All-India Small &
      Medium Newspapers' Federation, Kanpur
      63 Joginder Singh Toor Advocate, Chandigarh
      64 Kabir Suman Journalist, Kolkata
      65 Kanchi Kohli Kalpavriksh, Delhi
      66 Kanihar Kant JNU, Delhi
      67 Karan Bhardwaj Lawyer, Chandigarh
      68 Kavita Srivastava PUCL, Rajasthan
      69 KC Nahata Forum of Voters, Delhi
      70 Krishna Ballabh Yadav Nawada, Bihar
      71 Krishna Bandyopadhyay Khoj Akhon, Kolkata
      72 Kuldeep Saxena Kanpur
      73 Ladly Mukherjee Filmmaker, Kolkata
      74 Lallan Baghel Punjab University, Chandigarh
      75 Madhu Bhaduri Parivartan, Delhi
      76 Madhuresh CACIM, Delhi
      77 Mahasweta Devi Writer, Kolkata
      78 Mamata Dash Delhi
      79 Manisha Sethi Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi
      80 Manju Menon Kalpavriksh, Delhi
      81 Manoj Joseph ISI, Delhi
      82 Medha Patkar NBA/NAPM
      83 Meher Engineer Scientist, Kolkata
      84 MK Vijayan Delhi Forum
      85 MN Karna Ex-Vice-Chancellor, NEHU
      86 Monohar Mouli Biswas Kolkata
      87 Mukesh Sharma Bharati Vidya Sadan School, Gaziabad
      88 Mukul Mangalik Delhi University
      89 Mukul Sinha Advocate, Ahmedabad
      90 Nabarun Bhattacharya Writer, Kolkata
      91 Nabarun Roy Kolkata
      92 Nabinananda Sen Calcutta University
      93 Nadim Nikhat Centre for Social Justice, Ahmedabad
      94 Nasiruddin Haider Khan Lucknow
      95 Neetu Yuva Bharat, Delhi
      96 Nirmalanshu Mukherjee Delhi University
      97 Nisha Singh Delhi
      98 Nivedita Menon Delhi University
      99 Pampa Mukherjee Punjab University, Chandigarh
      100 Parmod Kumari Journalist, Chandigarh
      101 Parveen Lawyer, Punjab
      102 Pavan Srivastava Ara, Bihar
      103 PK Yadav JNU, Delhi
      104 Praful Bidwai. Columnist, Delhi
      105 Prafulla K Mishra Orissa Jan Sangharsha Morcha, Orissa
      106 Prafulla Samantara Lokshakti Abhiyan, Orissa
      107 Prakash Bikhoi Teesra Swadhinata Sangharsh, Delhi
      108 Pramod Gupta Filmmaker, Kolkata
      109 Pranab Kanti Basu Viswa Bharati University
      110 Pranati Bhattacharya Calcutta University
      111 Prashant Bhusan Advocate, Delhi
      112 Premangshu Dasgupta Little Magazine Forum, Kolkata
      113 Probal Dasgupta ISI, Kolkata
      114 Rabi Shankar Prakrukrit Sampada Surakshya Parshad, Kashipur
      115 Raimondo Bultrini La Republica, Italy
      116 Rajeev Dhanda Punjab University, Chandigarh
      117 Rajeev Godara Sampuran Kranti Manch, Haryana
      118 Rajeev Mohan Saxena JNU, Delhi
      119 Rakesh Rafiq Yuva Bharat, Delhi
      120 Rakesh Raman Journalist, Delhi
      121 Ramashray Prasad Singh PUCL
      President & Editor Manavadhikar Patrika, Begusarai
      122 Ramesh K Pani Delhi
      123 Ranjana Padhi Kashipur Solidarity, Delhi
      124 Rohan D'Souza JNU, Delhi
      125 RP Rai Delhi
      126 Rukmini Sen NUJS, Kolkata
      127 Rupesh Lok Parishad, Patna
      128 Sachin Gautam Shakarpur, Delhi
      129 Sahana Basavapatna The Other Media, Delhi
      130 Sahayaraj ISI, Delhi
      131 Sailen Bhattacharya PCC, CPI-ML, Kolkata
      132 Salman Dube Noida
      133 Samar Bagchi NAPM, Kolkata
      134 Samir Amin Third World Forum, Dakar, Senegal
      135 Samuel John People's Theatre, Sanrur
      136 Sandeep Pandey ASHA, Lucknow
      137 Sanjay Kak Filmmaker, Delhi
      138 Santanu Basu Punjab University, Chandigarh
      139 Santosh Kumar Singh Punjab University, Chandigarh
      140 Santosh Rana PCC, CPI-ML
      141 Satabdi Das AID-Awareness, Delhi
      142 Satya Sivaraman Delhi
      143 Shalina Mehta University Teacher, Chandigarh
      144 Shalini Bhutani GRAIN, Delhi
      145 Shukla Sen EKTA (Committee for Communal Amity), Mumbai
      146 Simon Uchai Tripura Tribal
      Land Rights Restoration Campaign Committee,
      147 SK Khosla Retd from Govt Service, Chandigarh
      148 Sourabh Gupta Journalist, Chandigarh
      149 SS Cheema Engineer, Chandigarh
      150 Subhasis Mukherjee Calcutta University
      151 Subrat Kumar Sahu TERI, Delhi
      152 Suddhabrata Sengupta Sarai, Delhi
      153 Sudeshna Bannerji Jadavpur University, Kolkata
      154 Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalam BKU, Punjab
      155 Sumanta Banerjee Journalist, Dehradun
      156 Sumit Chakravartty Editor, Mainstream, Delhi
      157 Sumit Chowdhury Filmmaker, Kolkata
      158 Sumit Sarkar Historian, Delhi
      159 Sumit Sinha Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee, Nandigram
      160 Sunil K Singh Lawyer, Chandigarh
      161 Sunil Sorabh Delhi
      162 Sunita Das Aneek, Kolkata
      163 Sunita Narayan Daanish Books, Delhi
      164 Surendra Babu CACIM, Delhi
      165 Surendra Mohan Socialist Front
      166 Swami Prakash Pandey JNU, Delhi
      167 Tanika Sarkar JNU, Delhi
      168 Tanweer Fazal Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi
      169 Tanya Chakravartty NFIW, Delhi
      170 Tila Kumar Sociologist, Delhi School of Economics
      171 Tripta Wahi Delhi University
      172 Uma Chakravarty Historian, Delhi
      173 Urmila Bahai Delhi
      174 Utkarsh Kumar Sinha INSAF
      175 Vaskar Nandy PCC, CPI-ML
      176 Vijay Singh Editor, Revolutionary Democracy, Delhi
      177 Vinay K Singh Rashtriya
      Swabhiman Andolan (Alakh Yatra), Patna
      178 Vrajaindra Upadhyay IIT, Delhi
      179 Vrinda Grover Advocate, Delhi


      Buzz for secularism, on the dangers of fundamentalism(s), on
      matters of peace and democratisation in South
      Asia. SACW is an independent & non-profit
      citizens wire service run since 1998 by South
      Asia Citizens Web: www.sacw.net/
      SACW archive is available at: bridget.jatol.com/pipermail/sacw_insaf.net/

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