Gujarat riot victims hail High Court's decision
- Gujarat riot victims hail High Court's directive to interrogate Modi
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Zakia Jaffrey wife of Ehsan Jaffery
Gujarat HC allows SIT to interrogate Modi in post-Godhra riots case: A Gujarat High Court on Friday dismissed the petition seeking a stay on investigating state Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his role in the 2002 Godhra.... Read Full
Surat: Families, which were victimised during the communal riots of 2002 in Gujarat, have expressed their happiness at the Gujarat High Court's green signal to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to interrogate state Chief Minister Narenda Modi for his role in the riots.
Zakia Jaffrey, whose husband Ehsan Jaffrey, ex-Congress MP was killed during the Gulburg society riots along with 39 others, hailed the decision.
"I am happy with the High Court decision. Now, the hidden facts will be known to the world. I am happy that the team will investigate Modi's role," said Jaffrey.
The court directive came in response to a petition filed by Zakia Jaffrey.
In her complaint Jaffrey alleged that Modi, his cabinet colleagues, police officials and senior bureaucrats aided and abetted the riots.
Meanwhile, the Congress Party welcomed the High Court's decision and also shared Jaffrey's views.
"I don't want to make any comment on the decision since it is sub-judice. The Supreme Court is looking into it. I think it is the beginning of justice in Gujarat," said Shaktisinh Gohil, Leader of Opposition.
The Supreme Court had earlier ordered the SIT to probe the complaint within three months and submit its report. Maliwad, who was acquitted, has said that the Supreme Court had directed the SIT to look into Jaffrey's complaint.
NHRC Batla House Report burnt
Protests against Human Right Commission in New Delhi, Azamgarh
Saturday, July 25, 2009 http://ummid.com/news/July/25.07.2009/anti_nhrc_protests_in_various_parts.htm
New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission would not like to remember this Friday as the apex government body to protect human rights received more bricks than bouquets in several parts of the country when people came out to condemn its biased report on the Batla House encounter.
Protest demonstrations were held in Jamia Nagar in East Delhi, in front of the NHRC headquarters in Central Delhi and 700 kms away in Azmagarh the native town of the two youths killed in the encounter. The protesters burnt the copies of the report and reiterated their demand for judicial enquiry in the case.
The 30-page report that NHRC prepared following the Delhi High Court order to probe the September 19, 2008 shootout at House No. L-18 in Batla House area of New Delhi's Jamia Nagar has given a clean chit to the Delhi Police for the encounter in which two terror suspects were killed and Police Inspector MC Sharma sustained bullet injuries which he later succumbed to.
The NHRC concluded the report saying there was no violation of human rights in the Batla House encounter as the police opened fire only in self-defence.
This enraged the human rights activists, Jamia Nagar residents and Azamgarh people including relatives of the youths killed in the shootout. After Juma prayer they came out to protest the report. They said that the rights body just accepted the police version of the case and did not bother to approach the neighbours, civil rights groups which had carried out investigations on their won and the families who repeatedly urged the body for representation and always ignored.
"It is painful that rights activists are protesting against the NHRC, supposed to be the protector of rights of citizens, for its own bungling in a probe of encounter," said renowned civil rights activists Shabnam Hashmi leading a protest demonstration called by several groups at the headquarters of the NHRC. It is shameful that the national rights body just adopted the police version of the encounter and did not bother to visit the site and talk to locals, she said.
ANHAD which she leads and PUDR had filed petition in the Delhi High Court for judicial probe of the encounter. Disclosing a little known fact related to the issue she said: the Manmohan Singh government had agreed for a judicial probe just before the elections but Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit approached the party and the government to change the mind as this will sweep the Hindu votes away from the party, Shabnam said.
On 20th May, the Delhi High Court, acting on a petition filed by the People's Union for Democratic Rights and Anhad, had asked the National Human rights commission to conduct their own inquiry into the alleged Batla House encounter of September 2008 and give a report upon it. This order of the High Court was made after the High Court was shown reports of four independent organisations into the encounter, including the report of PUDR, the Delhi Union of Journalists, the Jamia Teachers Solidarity Group, all of which seriously questioned the version of the Delhi police regarding the encounter. These reports and the petition filed by the PUDR had pointed out several specific problems with the version of the Delhi police. In particular, the following questions were raised about the version of the Delhi police.
1. If these boys were killed in a genuine encounter, how did the 17-year-old boy Sajid have four bullet holes on the top of his head, which could only happen if the boy was made to sit down and shot from above.
2. How is the skin peeled off from Atif's back? This was clearly visible in the photograph taken before his burial which is annexed to the PUDR petition. Obviously Atif had been tortured before being killed.
3. How are the other blunt injuries on the bodies of the boys explained by the police version of the encounter?
4. If the police knew in advance (as they claimed) that these boys in the flat were the terrorists involved in the Delhi and other bomb blasts, why did Inspector Sharma go in without a bullet proof vest?
5. How could 2 of the boys escape from the flat which had only one exit (two doors next to each other) and from a building which had only one exit?
Raising these loopholes in the police story about the shootout she condemned the NHRC for not bothering to look into them.
Addressing the gathering national coordinator of Association for Protection of Civil Rights Mahtab Alam lambasted the police for its constant policy of carrying out fake encounters. Kavita Krishnan (CPI ML Liberation) also addressed the gathering.
At the end of the protest a statement given to the media has question the very basic structure and appointment of members to the NHRC.
"The time has come to seriously reexamine the manner of appointment of members of the NHRC and its powers. The present system of appointment by a committee of Prime Minister, Home Minister, Speaker and Leader of Opposition etc. is not working satisfactorily. All of them seem to want a toothless and tame body which will not question those in power," reads the statement.
They demanded constitution of a SIT by the Delhi High Court to probe the case.
"Since the NHRC report does not address or answer the disquieting questions raised by the several independent fact finding reports about encounter, it is therefore essential that there be an investigation into the "encounter" by an SIT appointed by the Delhi High Court," they said.
Signatories to the statement are: Shabnam Hashmi (Anhad), Moushumi Basu (Secretary, PUDR), Mahtab Alam (APCR), Dr. Anoop Saraya (Jan Hastakshep), Harsh Mander (Director, Center for Equity Studies), Sreerekha & Tanvir Fazal (Jamia Teachers Solidarity Group), Colin Gonsalves (Director, Human Rights Law Network), Prashant Bhushan, Supreme Court Lawyer, Arundhati Roy (Writer), Kavita Krishnan (CPI ML Liberation) and Kamini Jaiswal (Advocate).
The protestors burnt the copies of the NHRC report in front of the main gate of the NHRC headquarters.
A big protest demonstration was held near Khalilullah Masjid, meters from the House No. L-18 where the encounter had taken place on September 19, 2008. People condemned the NHRC for the biased report on the encounter.
The NHRC report has further maligned the Jamia Nagar and strengthened the police propaganda that the area is a hub of terrorists, said Asif Muhammad Khan, ex-councillor who gave a close fight to sitting Congress MLA in the recent assembly elections on the sole issue of the encounter.
After going through the report it feels that the police prepared it and NHRC people just signed on it, alleged Khan. He warned that people of the area will soon gherao the headquarters of the NHRC.
Addressing the gathering, Dr Tasleem Rahmani, leader of Ulema Council, said the UPA has never been serious and honest about probe in the case. Had it been so it would have ordered a judicial probe, he said.
The demonstrators burnt an effigy of the NHRC and a copy of the report.
A protest was also held before the office of the District Magistrate in Azamgarh. Scores of people including the victim families attended the protest and demanded a judicial probe in the shootout. The protest was organized by PUCL, Sanjarpur Sangharsh Sewa Samiti and Karavan.
Giving details of the protest to TCN acting president of UP PUCL and secretary of Sanjarpur Sangharsh Sewa Samiti, Tariq Shafiq said they had gathered to condemn and reject the NHRC report on Batla House encounter and reiterate their demand for judicial enquiry.
"We have handed over a memorandum to the DM to be sent to the President of India. We have demanded a probe by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court into the encounter," Tariq said.
The four-point memorandum has three other demands: end of violation of human rights of those detained in jails in terror cases, a probe into the beating of some Azamgarh inmates languishing in Jaipur and Ahmedabad jails in terror cases, and permission to the students made accused in such cases and are in jails to continue their study, Tariq added.
Date: Sat, Jul 25, 2009 at 5:32 PM
Subject: Kill-Modi plot falls flat
Kill-Modi plot falls flat
All 3 Accused Acquitted For Lack Of Evidence
TIMES NEWS NETWORK July24, 2009
Ahmedabad: A sessions court acquitted three accused picked up from Delhi in August 2002 on charges of plotting to kill Chief Minister Narendra Modi and VHP leader Pravin Togadia, by recruiting boys from riot relief camps in Gujarat and training them for jihad.
Additional sessions judge IB Waghela acquitted Shahid Ahmed Bakshi from Juhapura in Ahmedabad, Farhan Ahmed Shaikh alias Farhan Ali and Hafiz Mohammed Tahir from Moradabad in UP on grounds that city crime branch did not have enough evidence to nail them.The case was made out by now jailed deputy inspector general DG Vanzara after the trio was held by Delhi police on charges of possessing RDX and arms. Bakshi and Shaikh were sentenced to seven years' jail, while Tahir was acquitted by a Pota court in Delhi.
After they were arrested in Delhi in August 2002, the crime branch made out a case in December that year that these three had visited Ahmedabad to recruit some 33 boys from relief camps. The plan, according to the police, was to send the boys to Pakistan for training.
During the trial, it was revealed that the accused had visited relief camps in the city along with an Ahl-e-Hadees preacher, Abdul Haleem. In their defence put up by lawyer Khalid Shaikh, they said they came looking for orphaned boys to support their education, but couldn't find anybody.However, the crime branch maintained that the boys were sought as terror recruits. The bone of contention became a letter written by Haleem to the trio saying that the maqsad(purpose) for which they came could not be fulfilled. The crime branch was even pulled up by Gujarat High Court for stretching its imagination by interpreting the word maqsad to connote terrorism. Tahir was released on bail by the HC. Meanwhile, Haleem was also arrested in July last and since then he is in Sabarmati Central Jail.
Police failed to provide evidence in `kill Modi' plot
Ahmedabad: There was a huge gap in the story city crime branch scripted in 2002 about how Shahid Ahmed Bakshi came to look for terror recruits, and the evidence it provided to support its claims during the trial.
Most of the 21 prosecution witnesses did not support the police claims of the accused being operatives of Pakistanbased Lashkar-e-Taiba. Investigating officer Tarun Barot could not establish the accused links with the outfit.
While acquitting all the three accused, the court in its order noted that the police had failed to recover the hard disk of the computer in a cyber cafe, which the accused had allegedly used. No case diary was submitted along with the charge sheet in 2003, which is a must for an investigating agency. The police did not even bother to inquire about the computer or server, and no expert statement was recorded on the spot, the court noted.
In 200= 2, the crime branch had given a detailed account of how Bakshi and his accomplices had done a recce on Chief Minister Narendra Modi and VHP leader Pravin Togadia to carry out a plan to kill them to avenge "the injustices done to Muslims in Gujarat". But the accused had found their security cover impregnable and therefore, they had allegedly plotted to kill them in the rath yatra on July 12 the following year but were caught.
The trio had been nabbed first in August 2002 by Delhi police, which had also claimed that they were plotting to kill Modi, Togadia and other Sangh Parivar leaders. It had said that the conspiracy was hatched in a west Asian country. Bakshi belonged to Juhapura and had reportedly lost some family members in the post-Godhra riots.
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