Over a month, four ‘terror’ arrests in Indore for ‘shouting slogans’ #draconianlaws


 

Muzamil Jaleel : New Delhi, Thu Sep 27 2012, 03:32 hrs, Indian Express

It’s just not Urdu writings or a magazine copy that can get you booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). In many cases — including five over the course of one month, April 2008, four of them in Indore alone — the script was the same: a mukhbir or informer tipped off police about men “shouting anti-government slogans” outside mosques or in front of their homes, and the men were arrested and then left to battle it out in court.

* September 27, 2001, Solapur

The case was filed on the day the Centre issued its first notification banning SIMI. Assistant Police Inspector Dattatray Bapurao Patil of Sadar Bazar police station noted in the FIR (3824/2001) that he and his team were patrolling when “we found one person Abdul Rehman Ahmad Ali Kalyani had gathered some people in front of Konchikozi galli… After enquiring about the same, we found that the said person was trying to bring together people who support the organisation (SIMI)”. Kalyani, 19, was arrested under the UAPA. While police admitted that nothing incriminating had been found when they searched Kayani’s house, the Maharashtra government, giving sanction for his prosecution, accused him of carrying out SIMI activities aimed at “secession of Maharashtra territory”.

In its affidavits before the UAPA Tribunal, the Maharashtra government has repeatedly said: “The ultimate aim and ideology of SIMI is pan-Islam movement i.e Islam Education of entire India by adopting Nifaq (hatred), Saria (accruing money by adopting illegal means) and Jihad (holy war).” The claim itself is comical. While nifaq means disunity, the word saria has no such known meaning in either Urdu or Arabic.

Incidentally, Kalyani had a case registered against him earlier too, in 2000, for pasting a poster protesting against the Babri Masjid demolition.

* September 28, 2001, Yavatmal

In the FIR (3200/2001), Pusad City police station officer Prakash Laxmanrao Hingmire recorded that he and his team were on patrol when they found Nisar Ahmad Khan, 22; Wakil Ahmad, 29; and Sheikh R Rafique Farouqi, 21, shouting slogans in the Vasant Nagar area near Aqsa masjid. “They were shouting that Bajrang Dal is also a communal organisation and why the government had not imposed a ban on it.” The youths were arrested and booked under the UAPA.

* April 11, 2008, Indore

Juni police station SHO Mohan Singh Yadav noted in the FIR (200/2008) that a mukhbir informed him that Mohammad Shahid alias Billi and Iqbal of Nandanvan Colony, Indore, were standing near Shyam Nagar masjid and “instigating people and doing propaganda against the government”. Yadav said that he, accompanied by a sub-inspector, four constables and a driver, reached the masjid. “We hid ourselves and found two persons standing near the masjid. They were talking in a secret manner with three-four more people… I asked my accompanying staff to encircle them. When they saw the police, they panicked and we arrested them.”

Yadav claimed they only arrested Shahid and Iqbal, the two people who were talking. He said that during inquiry, the two said they were “preparing the people for jihad, that the government had not done well by arresting the leaders of SIMI and they would take revenge”. The FIR also noted that “Iqbal shouted a slogan as well”, and that seven pamphlets were recovered from Shahid’s pockets and six from Iqbal’s. The two “witnesses” the police named as having been present outside the mosque were “Sanjay” and “Sachin”.

Shahid and Iqbal were booked under sections of the IPC and UAPA. A look at the seizure memo reveals that the pamphlets allegedly recovered from them were old SIMI documents and most of them were photocopies.

* April 2, 2008, Indore

Sadar Bazar police station SHO J D Bhonsale said in the FIR (129/2008) that a mukhbir had informed him that Mohammad Irfan Chheepa of Juna Risala, Indore, had gathered people in the compound of a community hall near his house for avenging the arrest of SIMI leaders. “He was also making statements against the government and talking provocative things against society and country which could raise communal passions,” noted the FIR. Bhonsale said he and his team of a sub-inspector, ASI Bhadoriya, a head constable, and five constables arrived at the spot. “We took cover and saw a person with physical features as stated by the informer who had gathered people and had some papers and pamphlets in his hand. He was talking in an excited manner and was telling the people that ‘you people should also join this organisation so that we all unite and establish government of Islam and you should contribute so that we defeat the Hindustan government’.”

SHO Bhonsale said he asked his force to encircle the people, but they could only arrest Chheepa. The seizure memo in the case showed an appeal in Hindi, ostensibly issued by the SIMI, but with ‘Bismillah’ misspelt.

* April 2, 2008, Indore

In the FIR (35/2008), Inspector Prabha Singh Chouhan of Sarafa police station noted that a mukhbir informed her that senior SIMI worker Zakir Lalla was “instigating people against the government” near Nihalpura masjid. She reached the spot with her team and found “Zakir Lala standing near the masjid and shouting loudly, saying ‘What if the government has banned SIMI? I will not let any member of SIMI be arrested and I will give them my full support. We will join together to take revenge from the government for this’.” Chouhan said a large crowd had gathered but the police managed to arrest only Zakir Lala. The books the police claimed to have recovered from Lala were on teachings of the Prophet and other Islamic literature. Lala was arrested and charged under the UAPA.

* April 2, 2008, Indore

In the FIR (101/2008), Chhoti Gwal Toli police station SHO Inspector B L Meena noted that a mukhbir had informed him that “an active member of SIMI, Amman S/O Mohammad Salim, was trying to energise SIMI through propaganda and for this purpose he is distributing anti-government pamphlets at Sarvate bus stand, Indore”. Meena and his team reached the spot and allegedly found Amman “trying to paste a pamphlet on the pillar in the north direction and saying that ‘What if the government has banned SIMI, I am still associated with it and will get many more people to associate with it and help secure the release of SIMI leaders’.” Amman was initially booked under the UAPA, and later also under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

Five months later, Amman was arrested again by the same police station. In this FIR filed on September 19, 2008, Meena again recorded that he “received information from a mukhbir that Amman was standing at the crossing in front of Ganesh Lodge and trying to increase the number of SIMI activists and help secure bail for the arrested SIMI activists, besides distributing anti-government pamphlets”. Meena and his team reached the spot. A large crowd was reportedly present, but again only Amman was arrested and charged under the UAPA.

* April 7, 2008, Guna, MP

In the FIR (104/2008), Chachoda police station SHO L C Shrivas recorded that on April 7, 2008, they received information that SIMI members were planning a meeting at the house of Rafeeq Moulana in Talheti Mohalla. “During the raid, five persons were apprehended.” Incidentally, the arrested persons were Moulana’s close neighbours. Among various things, the police seized cuttings of Dainik Jagran and Nai Dunia newspapers. Later, a copy of an old SIMI pamphlet protesting the Babri Masjid demolition too was allegedly found. For one of those arrested, Abdul Kadir, the seizure memo said they recovered “a letter written in Urdu (issued by) Darul Aloom Rashidia of Mewat in Rajasthan”. The Darul Aloom is a lawful entity and the letter was a note of introduction for a certain Moulvi Mohammad Usman of Papda, Bharatpur, for collection of donations. The police recorded it as “incriminating material”.

 

A children’s magazine, newspaper, Urdu poetry – anything can land you in jail in India #draconianlaws


 
Muzamil Jaleel : New Delhi, Tue Sep 25 2012,  Indian Express

FP

In the story of men getting branded “SIMI activists” and charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), innocuous objects take the form of “incriminating material”. The list of such “material”, in which anything written in Urdu or Arabic comes right at the top, is by now predictable — and includes Urdu poetry, pamphlets issued by Hindu groups, newspaper articles about the Sangh Parivar, pictures and videos of the Gujarat riots, books on Islam, complaints against discrimination, as well as verses of the Quran.

* Shabir Ahmad Masiullah, Malegaon, & Nafis Ahmad Jameer Ahmad Ansari, Mumbai

In his statement that was treated as FIR (No. 1106/06, dated August 11, 2006), Assistant Police Inspector Shripad Balkrishna Kale of the Greater Mumbai Police, currently DCB Unit 7, Ghatkopar, Mumbai, claimed that on August 1, 2006, he got information that Shabir Masiullah of Malegaon and Nafis Ahmad of Shivaji Nagar, Mumbai, were “preparing to commit some sabotage acts in the coming Ganesh festival”. Though Shabir and Nafis were picked up immediately, police records show the date of their arrest as August 11, 2006. Kale claims that Shabir, who made and sold batteries and inverters in Malegaon, and Nafis, who worked as a DTP operator in Shivaji Nagar, were both “workers” of SIMI and had received arms training in Pakistan.

Shabir’s case takes a twist. While he was in police custody for his alleged plan to bomb the Ganesh festival from August 1, 2006, five weeks later, the ATS accused him of masterminding the Malegaon blasts of September 8, 2006. In January 2011, Malegaon blast accused Aseemanand confessed that a Hindu group was involved in the 2006 attack. On November 16 last year, Shabir was among the seven who were granted bail and walked free.

A day after Shabir and Nafis were arrested, DCB, CID Unit 7, Ghatkopar, had invited Pradip Pandurang Shirodhkar and Sunny Jogmohansingh Sidana as witnesses. According to the panchnama, Nafis was taken to his home where he “voluntarily’’ took out a “black rexine bag’’ and handed over “incriminating material”. Here is what the police claim to have found: an Urdu-language children’s monthly journal Umang published by Urdu Academy, Delhi. The police also claimed to have recovered a SIMI pamphlet, SIMI Rudad—1998-2000 (The story of SIMI from 1998 to 2000).

These pamphlets had been printed before the ban on SIMI in September 2001 and were seized in bulk from various SIMI offices across the country.

* Younis Khan, Juna Risala, Indore

FIR 135/08, dated April 10, 2008, filed at the Sadar Bazar police station in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, says Mohammad Younis was arrested from Smrati Talkies for “propagating” SIMI and “inciting” the Muslim community against the arrests of SIMI members. In his affidavit before the UAPA tribunal in 2010, J D Bhonsle, Town Inspector, Depalpur Police Station, said that on April 10, 2008, “the accused was arrested and pamphlet seized from him in which there was statement about the status of Islam and Muslims in India and reference to the Pakistani organisation ISI, where it is insinuated that all Muslims are being equated with ISI. In this way, the disaffection of SIMI towards India and the sympathy with Pakistani organisation ISI is clearly evident’’. The inspector doesn’t explain how a complaint that Indian Muslims are being wrongly suspected to be ISI agents can be interpreted as sympathy towards a Pakistani organisation.

Inspector Bhonsle also reveals that the police seized the previous day’s newspaper, the Indore edition of Dainik Jagran, dated April 9, 2008, from the accused. According to Bhonsle, it was “incriminating” material because it had “news of the 13-hour-long narco test of SIMI activists Safdar Nagori, Kamruddin Nagori and Amil Parvez”.

Bhonsle also says the accused “admitted” that he had joined Dars-e-Quran (learning of Quran) classes at Chhoti Gawl Toli mosque from 1999 to 2000. Dars-e-Quran is basic Quranic education and is not illegal.

* Faisal of Holikhut; Irfan and Shakir, Narsinghgarh, Madhya Pradesh

In his affidavit before the UAPA tribunal in 2010, Inspector Vikram Singh Bhadoria (who was Station House Officer, Narsinghgarh, when the case was filed) alleges that Faisal, Irfan and Shakir had met SIMI leader Safdar Nagori during his visit to Narsinghgarh. Though the police claim that the three came to the police station after they were summoned, they were arrested and a case was lodged against them (FIR No. 142/08, date April 5, 2008).

During investigation, Inspector Bhadoria claimed, SIMI pamphlets with an aim to “propagate enmity between religions’’ were recovered from the accused. According to the final report, the police seized two papers from Faisal which had “bhadkane wali aayaten (provocative verses)” from the Quran against other religions.

The story of this document is interesting. The document, “Quran ki kuch aayten jo Iman walon (Musalmanon) ko anya dharamvalambiyon se jhagda karne ka aadesh deti hain (A few of the verses from the Quran that order the Muslims to fight those belonging to other religions)”, had been printed by the Hindu Writers’ Forum, New Delhi, in which they had made derogatory remarks about the Quran. Another “incriminating” document is a one-page document in Urdu that talks about the basic tenets of Islam—namaz (prayers), fasting, zakat (charity), and Hajj.

 * Abdul Razzak, Nayapura, Indore

In his FIR (159/08), M G Road Station House Officer Inspector Kailash Chandra Malviya says that the police arrested Abdul Razzak on March 30, 2008, for “doing propaganda against the government”. Malviya says Razzak was standing on the street near Ghadi Wali Masjid in Nayapura, Indore, and the police team heard him say: ‘What will happen if the government has banned SIMI? I am a member of SIMI and will remain a member of SIMI.’

Inspector Malviya says they arrested him and “found two books of Urdu language in the pocket of his kurta”. One of them was on the essence of employment while the other was about Hindu religion and the concept of a single god. Malviya says that one of the books had “SIMI written on it by pen” while the other had a SIMI seal. The police also claim to have recovered 36 other “incriminating” books from him that include ‘Life of Mohammad’ published in New Delhi, Darse Quran (Teachings of Quran) and a self-help book, Herbert Fensterheim’s ‘Don’t Say Yes When You Want To Say No’. All “incriminating evidence”.

 

* Jamir Ahmad and Abdul Rehman @ Papa Bhai

Jamir Ahmad and Abdul Rehman had two FIRs filed against them — one on May 28, 2001, four months before the ban on SIMI, and then on September 28, 2001, a day after the ban. The FIR in the first case (FIR 250/2001), filed at the Seoni police station in MP, says that Jamir and Papa Bhai were arrested after Raja Bhagel of Ganj, Seoni, complained that the duo had sold him a book that “contained material which was against the feelings of other communities and was a SIMI book.” The police say that the two were arrested and were later bailed out.

On September 28, 2001, Seoni police station acted again and arrested Jamir and Papa Bhai “while they were standing near Choti masjid’’. The police registered an FIR (423/01) and charged them under the UAPA. The FIR claims that “they were discussing matters related to SIMI and proclaiming that if America or any other country attacked Taliban, then all Muslims and followers of Islam must be ready for jihad’’.

In the challan filed by the police on May 31, 2003, the police accused him of participating in “Seerat Pak Jalsa” on June 10, 2001, which the police claimed to be unlawful. ‘Pak’ means pure and is generally used in reverence while referring to the Quran or the Prophet’s life and ‘Seerat Pak Jalsa’ was a gathering on the life of the Prophet. But the police challan translates ‘Seerat Pak’ as “goodness of Pakistan”. Also part of the “evidence” was a letter that the police claimed had been written by Jamir to the Prime Minister seeking action against the VHP.

 

* Khalid Mucchale

In the case against alleged SIMI activist Khalid Mucchale at Vijaypur Naka police station, Solapur (FIR 3036/2008, dated April 1, 2008), a couplet of Mirza Ghalib, which was part of a one-page complaint against harassment of Muslims, was declared “incriminating”. The police also claimed to have seized a document published by the Rashtriya Vichar Manch from the accused. This document talks about alleged “growth of Muslims and Christian population and its devastating effects” and seeks “effective anti-conversion laws”.