Resist Silent Emergency!-‘People’s Hearing on FABRICATED CASES’-Sept28-29


Dear Friends,

Sub: Invitation to a ‘PEOPLE’S HEARING ON FABRICATED CASES’

Venue: Constitution Club, New Delhi

Dates: September 28 – 29, 2012, Friday, Saturday.

The nightmare of the infamous Emergency of Mrs. Indira Gandhi was supposed to be over in 1977 when it was lifted after two years due to large scale public protest. Political parties, institutions and individuals who defended Emergency were discredited. The sigh of relief evoked a hope for a functioning democracy in India.

But today, we are entering into a similar phase of authoritarian governance without any formal declaration of Emergency. This Silent Emergency has regulated, controlled and restricted all space for democratic public protests against ruling governments. Custodial deaths and encounter killings have become a routine phenomenon. Rape, murder, loot, torture and arrests in Manipur, Nagaland and other north eastern states as well as Kashmir have even crossed the excesses of the Emergency period. Many discriminatory laws have been enacted to silence the Media without a censorship. Several discriminatory laws were enacted to enhance and strengthen the power of the State over civil society and crush dissent.

Laws to facilitate the corporate control and loot over the resources of people are being enacted. This has also become a major reason for the human rights violations against adivasis, dalits, minorities, farmers, fisher people, workers, activists and human rights movements. The human rights defenders who take up burning issues of the people are being targeted. False cases are being fabricated against activists, people’s movements, media, theatre activists, minorities, self-determination movements, dalits and adivasis in a major way. Thus thousands of innocent people are languishing in Indian jails without any trial.

In this context of the Silent Emergency in our country we would like to invite you to attend the ‘PEOPLE’S HEARING ON FABRICATED CASES’ which has the following objectives:

1. To defend fundamental rights, human rights and the Indian Constitution to preserve our democracy

2. To popularize some of the most brazen cases of fabrication of false charges against political dissidents and members of the Muslim, dalit and adivasi communities

3. To facilitate further legal action for freedom of these innocent people

4. To generate pressure on the mainstream media to play a more socially responsible role

5. To generate pressure on the institutions of Indian State for the release of undertrials.

The Programme:

The organizers expect the participation of around 50 victims, their family members or friends whose testimonies will be heard by a jury comprising of judges, lawyers, journalists, human rights activists and artists. After listening to all the presentations the Jury will report their observations and conclusions with clear recommendations for various institutions of the Indian State.

Organisers: Solidarity Youth MovementKerala, Indian Social Action Forum – INSAF, PUCL, AISA, SIO, Right to Food Campaign, KSMTF (Kerala Swathantra Matsya Tizhilali Federation), PPSS (Anti Posco Movement), ICR, Focus on the Global South, Justice for Maudany Forum, Visual Search, Moving Republic, SAHELI, Pedestrian Pictures, National Campaign Against Fabrication of False Cases, http://www.fabricated.in, Jamia Teachers Solidarity Assiciation, Jamia Student Solidarity Forum, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, National Adivasi Alliance, Kabani – The Other Direction, Human Rights Alert, Dalit Human Rights Movement (DHRM) – Kerala, Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity, Action for Social Equality, INSOCO – Indian Solidarity Committee for freedom democracy & human rights, Center for Harmony and Peace – Varanasi, PUDR, Socialist Front, Student of Resistance.
People’s Hearing on Fabricated Cases

Sept 28-29 Constitution Club, New Delhi

Programme Schedule

28-09-2012, Friday

Inaugural Session: 10am – 11.30am

11.30am – 1.30pm
Issue
Speaker

1
Koodankulam Anti Nuclear
P K Sundaram

2
Anti POSCO Struggle
Abhay Sahoo

3
Jaitapur Anti Nuclear
Vaishali Patil

4
Farmers Group, Madhya Pradesh
Dr. Sunilam

LUNCH BREAK

2.30pm – 6pm
Issue/Case
Speaker

5
Journalist Mhd Ahmed Kazmi
Shauzab Kazmi

6
Soni Sori
Himanshu Kumar

7
Gujarat Fabricated Cases
Zakiya Soman

8
Faseeh Mahmood
Sabih Mahmood, Manisha Sethi

9
Journalist Shahina KK
Shahina KK

10
Seema Azad, UP
Seema Azad

11
Jharkhand
Dayamani Barla

12
Odisha
Prafulla Samantara

13
Chattisgharh
Ajay T.G

14
DHRM, Kerala
Suresh

15
Email Surveillance Victims, Kerala
T. Mohammed Vellom
29-09-2012, Saturday

10am – 1.00pm
Issues
Speaker

16
Kashmir & North East
Anjum Zamrud Habib, Babloo Loitongbam, Kaka D Iralu, Neena Ningombam

17
Abdul Nasar Maudany
Dr. Sebastin Pol, Omar Mukhtar
LUNCH BREAK

2.00pm – 3.30pm
Issues
Speaker

1
Prisoners Issue
SAR Geelani

2
Repressive Laws
Preeti Chauhan, PUDR

3
Increasing repressive state under neoliberalism
Colin Gonsalves
3.30pm – 6.00pm

Concluding Session: Comments from the Jury

Jury:
Justice Rajindar Sachar
Dr. Binayak Sen
Saba Naqvi
Ajit Shahi
Dr. Ram Puniyani
K Satchidanandan

How are legitimate citizens converted into public enemies?


– By Ilina Sen
[ PUCL Bulletin, August 2012, www.pucl.org ]

On June 26, as we remembered the clamping down of the internal Emergency on the people of the sovereign democratic republic of India 38-years ago, why is that our thoughts turn, almost as if drawn by a magnet, to the history of jurisprudence in the city of Allahabad?

The dark history of the Emergency, a time when all civil and constitutional freedoms stood suspended, was triggered by a series of events in the corridors of the Allahabad judicial establishment – a time when the judiciary elected not to oblige the political establishment, and countermanded the irregular election of the politician laying claim to the highest office in the country. Although the entire country underwent a trial by fire after this, the Indian public institutions, especially the judiciary gained hugely in terms of its reputation for independence and fearlessness.

Today, it is another judgement coming out of the judicial corridors at Allahabad that has us mesmerised, and this time for different reasons. The conviction under sections of the IPC and UAPA of Seema Azad and Vishwa Vijay and the sentence of life  imprisonment given to them earlier this month has sent shock waves among Indian citizens not because these two were special people in any sense. Many of us did not know them, but their arrests, trial and conviction has once more highlighted the malevolent way in which the internal security laws like the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) are used. More frighteningly, this has demonstrated the close nexus between the prosecuting agencies and the judicial system.  The independence of the judicial process on which we once prided ourselves is nowhere in evidence.

The lengthy judgement convicting and sentencing Seema and her husband on charges of waging war against the State rests on the evidence of 14 witnesses, 12 of whom are police personnel involved in their arrest and its documentation, and two others are officials belonging to the telephone department. There is not a  single public witness, and in a sense this is fair enough because there is nowhere any mention of anything to be witness to. No act of violence or criminality is alleged anywhere, in which they are  supposed to have been involved. The items seized from them and sealed after their arrest have been illegally opened in the police station ‘for inspection’, and they are assumed  to be responsible for certain literature that is critical of state policy only on the grounds that this was found in their house. Nowhere is there any specific act or deed that endangers the state even attributed to them, and their conviction on serious national security charges is entirely on the basis of generalities.  The court’s conclusion can only be explained by the fact that the court refused to assume the innocence of the accused.

The judgment pronounced by the sessions court at Allahabad in the case of Seema Azad and Vishwa Vijay is a perfect example of how, in the name of combating terrorism or Maoism, a large number of halftruths, inadmissible evidence, procedural violations and a paranoid piece of legislation can convert legitimate citizens into public enemies. The implied embargo on reading critical literature goes against the spirit of our Constitution.  If judicial pronouncements of this nature are allowed to pass into the realm of acceptability, we are really at the beginning of a second National Emergency, with our rights and spaces suspended. The Indian people will no doubt resist this attempt to curtail their constitutional rights; but this time round, do we have the judiciary with us in our struggle?

Resist the silent emergency! Call for Action on June 26th 2012


Dear friends,

On June 26,1975, Emergency was declared in India, robbing citizens of their basic democratic rights and ushering in a dark period of rampant human rights violations all over the country. Arrests of Indian citizens without charge or notification of families, abuse and torture of detainees, media censorship and use of public and private media institutions for government propaganda, forced sterilization of the minorities, destruction of slums and low income housing areas and authoritarianism were its main characteristics. All dissent was crushed. While the engineering student Rajan was tortured and killed in the Kakkayam torture camp, many others who were tortured are still alive to tell their tales.

The nightmare of Emergency was over in 1977 when it was lifted due to large scale public protest. Political parties, institutions and individuals who defended Emergency were discredited. The sigh of relief evoked a hope for a functioning democracy in India.

But today, we are entering into a similar phase of governance without any formal declaration of Emergency. This Silent Emergency has regulated, controlled and restricted all space for democratic public protests against ruling governments. Custodial deaths and encounter killings have become a routine phenomenon. Rape, murder, loot, torture and arrests in Manipur, Nagaland and other north eastern states as well as Kashmir have even crossed the excesses of the Emergency period. Many discriminatory laws have been enacted to silence the Media without a censorship. Several discriminatory laws were enacted to enhance and strengthen the power of the State over civil society and crush dissent. State terrorism today is beyond the imagination those who were responsible for the declaration of Emergency in the seventies.

Laws to facilitate the corporate control and loot over the resources of people are being enacted. This has also become a major reason for the human rights violations against adivasis, dalits, minorities, farmers, fisher people, workers, activists and human rights movements. While the mainstream media is compelled to ignore most of the people’s movements,for reasons of commerce those who work on human rights of the people are being victimized. The human rights defenders who take up burning issues of the people are being targeted. False cases are being fabricated against activists, people’s movements, media, theatre activists, minorities, self determination movements, dalits and adivasis in a major way. Thus thousands of innocent people are languishing in Indian jails without any trial.

Human rights lovers of this country and abroad came out on streets to campaign for the release Dr. Binayak Sen in recent times. However, hundreds of innocent adivasis are still suffering in the jails in Chhattisgarh. While the anti-POSCO movement leader Abhay Sahoo was released on bail recently, he is still being tied up with 51 fabricated cases. The villagers and activists resisting the South Korean multinational giant POSCO are facing over 1500 false cases and many of them cannot move out of their villages even to go to hospital due to this. They are jailed inside their own villages. While the leader of the anti-nuclear movement in Koodamkulam is facing over 200 fabricated cases, similar charges have also been instigated against over 6000 villagers. Muslim spiritual leader Abdul Nasser Maudany who supported the struggles of adivasis and dalits in Kerala was imprisoned in Coimbatore jail with fabricated charges for nine and a half years without trial and declared innocent and released later. However, he is imprisoned again with fabricated charges and he is suffering in jail in Bangalore today without proper medical care for his health problems. Maudany is becoming blind today. He has lost vision in one eye and the second eye is also affected. Writer and human rights activist Seema Azad is also behind bars today facing fabricated charges along with her husband. Seema Azad is the organizational secretary of PUCL in Uttar Pradesh. Journalist Syed Mohammed Ahmed Kazmi, journalist K.K. Shahina, adivasi activist Soni Sori, farmers’ movement leader Dr. Sunilam, Mumbai based activist Arun Ferreira, Activists protested against Nonadanga slum evictions in West bengal ,  advocate Shahnavas, dalit group in Kerala DHRM, Mumbai based theatre group Kabir Kala Manch, adivasi activist CK. Janu and her supporters and thousands of others have become victims of fabrication by the State in the recent past. This trend is not acceptable to any citizen who believes in democracy and human rights.

Therefore we appeal to all lovers of democracy and human rights to remember the trauma of this country through a declared Emergency during the 70s and express their strong protest against the emerging `Silent Emergency’ in India today. We appeal all citizens to:

  1. Organize protests against this Silent Emergency on June 26, 2012. If it is not possible on this day, please do it on a convenient day in your area.
  2. Organise public meetings remembering Emergency of the Seventies and against today’s Silent Emergency.
  3. Express your skills of writing, songs, posters, paintings, internet action, theatre or any other creative means of expressing your dissent.
  4. Organise film screenings of festivals to express concerns.
  5. Inform http://www.fabricated.in about your involvement (write to editor at fabricated.in)

We do hope that such collective action will generate some space for saving the remnants of democracy in this country.

Thanking you,

Fabricated.in team