Custodial death of an Undertral Prisoner – non compliance of procedure #Westbengal

Inline images 1

3 October 2012

The Chairman
West Bengal Human Rights Commission
Bhabani Bhaban
Kolkata – 27

Respected Sir,

We conducted fact finding on the custodial death of a prisoner (Under Trial Prisoner) at Calcutta national Medical College & Hospital, Kolkata when he in judicial custody of Alipore Central Correctional Home, Kolkata. It is also revealed during the fact finding that the victim was subjected to torture in police custody Lalgola Police Station, Murshidabad soon he was arrested. On 10.8.2012 the victim was sent to Lalbagh Sub-Divisional Correctional Home, Murshidabad by order of the ACJM Court, Lalbagh but his family members had no idea/information about his detention at Alipore Central Correctional Home, Kolkata. Though post mortem examination of the victim was held but there was no enquiry by any judicial magistrate on the custodial death of the victim in compliance of Section 176(1-A) of Criminal Procedure Code. Therefore the incident of the victim again proved that the law is incapable of granting succor to the victims of custodial violence/death and the entire exercise on the part of the government officials and judicial authorities in this case proves the arrogance of the entire system in refuting to implement the legal procedure and abide by the rule of law with which they are not comfortable.

Hence we demand your urgent action in this matter in the following manner:-
• The whole matter must be investigated by one neutral investigating agency
• The provisions of Section 176(1-A) of Criminal Procedure Code must be implemented in this case.
• The perpetrator police personnel of Lalgola Police Station must be booked under the law immediately for perpetrating custodial torture upon the victim and they must be punished in accordance with law.
• The concerned perpetrator jail authorities must be reprimanded for causing the death of the victim in custody and be punished accordingly.
• The victim’s family must be compensated adequately.

Thanking you,
Yours truly,

Kirity Roy
Secretary, MASUM
National Convener, PACTI

Particulars of the victim: – Mr. Ketabul Seikh (deceased), son of Late Rustam Ali, aged about – 24 years, by faith-Muslim, by occupation- car driver, residence at village – Natatala, Post Office – Paharpur, Police Station-Lalgola, District-Murshidabad, West Bengal, India.

Particulars of the perpetrators: – (1) Mr. Debasish Sarkar, Mr. Debabrata Sarkar, Mr. Kajal Babu, Mr. Rontu Babu (Constable), Subhasis Ghosh and the other involved police personnel of Lalgola Police Station; (2) The Superintendent of Labagh Sub-Divisional Correctional Home, Lalbagh; (3) The Superintendent of Berhampore Central Correctional Home, Murshidabad and (4) The Superintendent of Alipore Central Correctional Home, Kolkata.

Date & time of incident: – On 09.08.2012 and subsequent thereafter.

Case Details:-

It is revealed during the fact finding that the victim belonged from a poor family. He was a part time truck driver. On 09.08.2012 he was arrested by the police personnel of Lalgola Police Station from Lalgola Bus Stand with other three men who were also come there for finding a suitable job for them. Thereafter all of them were taken to police station. Reportedly he was tortured in the police custody as well as by the police personnel led by Mr. Debasish Sarkar (Officer-in-Charge). He was implicated Lalgola Police Station Case No. 407/2012 dated 09/08/2012 under sections 397/411/413/ 414 of Indian Penal Code. On the same date the victim’s family members came to the police station but they were also threatened by the police personal. The police personnel physically tortured the victim in front of his family members and moreover the torture continued upon him whole night on that day.

On 10.8.2012 he was sent to Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Lalbagh Court with the other accused persons. His application for bail was rejected and he was sent to judicial custody at Lalbag Sub – Divisional Correctional Home fixing 18.8.2012 for his further production before the court. In the mean time the victim’s wife went to the said Correctional Home but she was informed that the victim was shifted to Beharampur Central Correctional Home. When the victim’s wife went to Beharampur Correctional Home with the help of her relatives she was informed that there was no such person in the victim’s name detained there. The victim’s wife was allowed to search the victim inside the said correctional home but she could not found her husband there. On 18.08.2012 the victim was not produced before the court.

On 19.08.2012 the victim’s family received information that he died at National Medical College & Hospital, Kolkata. On 20.8.2012 the family members of the victim went to the said hospital and received the body of the victim. The disposal certificate of the victim disclosed that the victim was detained at Alipore Central Correctional Home, Kolkata before his admission to the hospital. Beniapukur Police Station registered one unnatural death case vide Beniapukur Police Station Inquest no. 547/2012 dated 20.8.2012. The post mortem examination of the victim was held at the Police Morgue at N.R.S Medical College & Hospital, Kolkata. Though the victim died when he was still under judicial custody at Alipore Central Correctional Home, Alipore, Kolkata but no enquiry by any judicial magistrate was held on the custodial death of the victim in compliance of provisions of Section 176(1-A) of the Criminal Procedure Code. Our fact finding revealed that Mr. Amiya Kumar Lahiri, Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP-1 of Kolkata Police was entrusted with inquest, which was against the law. The victim’s family did not get the post mortem examination report of the victim till date. On 31.8.2012 the victim’s family lodged written complaint before the Superintendent of Police, Murshidabad for enquiry into the custodial death of the victim but till date there has been no action.

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”.


Torture in judicial custody: Terror accused seeks permission for suicide

By Abu Zafar 10/3/12,

NEW DELHI – Accusing jail authorities of committing gross violation of human rights, a terror accused jailed in a Uttar Pradesh prison has written a letter to his counsel saying that he has no option other than committing suicide.

A Unani Doctor Tarique Qasmi, who has been jailed in Lucknow prison for his alleged involvement in court blasts at Lucknow and Faizabad, in a letter written to his counsel expounded that how terror accused are being subjected to torture and humiliations.

“There are much of humiliations, cruelty and biasness against us; and we don’t find any other option than committing suicide.” the letter reads.

“The inmates are suffering from various diseases like sightlessness, due to prolonged lock-up inside the cell.” he continues.

“Not a single magistrate or senior officer has visited us since last six months. They (jail officials) have fear that we would complain against them. Even our application not being transferred to senior officials.” he said.

“Many of us are extremely frustrated by officials’ non- adherence to jail manuals. Some of us are even asking permission to commit suicide as we are deprived of basic human rights.” Qasmi writes.

Petition filed:

Qasmi’s lawyer Mohamad Shoeb told Newzfirst that he has approached the political leadership and Muslim clerics over the issue; a petition also has been filed in the District Court of Lucknow on 28 September in this regard.

Abdul Hameed Nomani, secretary, Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind said that his organization is looking for more details on the issue. However he discouraged the idea of committing suicide as it goes against basic tenets of Islam.

“They can protest through democratic means like hunger strike; Islam doesn’t allow suicide at any cost.” Nomani told Newzfirst.

Controversial arrests:

Though the Special Task Force (STF) of Uttar Pradesh arrested Tarique Qasmi on 12 December 2007 from Azamgarh, his arrest was shown after 10 days from the Barabanki Railway Station.

Later the Police had claimed that it arrested the suspects -Tarique Qasmi and Khalid Mujahid – for their alleged involvement in the blasts at Faizabad and Lucknow courts on 23 November 2007 wherein several people had lost the lives. Police also alleged them of being members of a terror organization HUJI.

Inquiry Commission:

Following the massive protests by the people of Uttar Pradesh against the duo, the then Mayawati government had formed a Commission to probe the arrests.

Though the Commission has submitted its report to the Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on 3 September 2012, the Government has not yet made the findings public.

2 years, 5 cities, 6 cases – and ‘proof’ everywhere is the same magazine #draconianlaws

Muzamil Jaleel : New Delhi, Wed Sep 26 2012,  Indian Express

On April 16, 2006, Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh was tense. There had been communal clashes a week ago during Eid-e-Milad. In the afternoon, policemen from the Kotwali police station arrested two women, 20-year-old Aasiya and 23-year-old Rafia, daughters of one Abdul Hafiz Qureshi. The police, in their seizure memo, claimed to have recovered “incriminating material” from Aasiya — three copies of an April 2004 issue of a Hindi magazine, Tehrik-e-Millat, and a SIMI donation receipt towards “office construction fund” (receipt no. 0033359, dated January 25, 2006) with the name “Kumari Aashiya Khan” in Hindi for an amount of Rs 500.

SIMI was banned in 2001. If an underground outfit issuing a donation receipt for a building on their old stationery seems unlikely, the story of the magazine is even more odd.

All the three copies of Tehrik-e-Millat allegedly recovered from Aasiya have her name written by hand in Hindi as “Aashiya” on the cover. The police also claimed to have seized two copies of Tehrik-e-Millat with “Rafia” written by hand in Hindi on the cover. Tehrik-e-Millat is a fortnightly published from Kota in Rajasthan. Though the Kotwali police station in Khandwa later booked the magazine’s owner-editor M A Naiem, the magazine has never been proscribed.

This is not all. In the space of two years, these same copies of the April 2004 issue of Tehrik-e-Millat — with the names of the Khandwa sisters written by hand on the cover — travelled to at least two other states. Several cases later, the police even started referring to the magazine as “Tehrik Millat Aasiya” and “Tehrik Rafia” in their official records. However, other than their names on the magazines, the two sisters were never mentioned in police records.

July 2006, Pune

After the July 11, 2006, bomb explosions on local trains in Mumbai, the magazine popped up in the chargesheet filed by the Anti-Terrorism Squad, Mumbai. Among the 13 people arrested was Sohail Mehmood Shaikh of Bhimpura, Lashkar, Camp Area Pune, who was held on July 25, 2006. The ATS claimed Sohail went to Pakistan via Iran in November 2002 for arms training with the Lashkar-e-Toiba. They also said a search of Sohail’s house in Bhimpura on July 30, 2006, had led to the recovery of six books including the “April 2004 Tahrik-e-Millat Asia” that had “Aashiya” written by hand on the cover. Police claimed to have recovered the same magazine, with the same handwritten “Aashiya”, during searches at the homes of the other 7/11 accused — Mohd Faisal Ataur Rehman Shaikh of Bandra, Muzzamil Ataur Rehman Shaikh of Mira Road, Jameer Latifur Rehman Shaikh of Vallabhbhai Patel Nagar and Dr Tanvir Ahmad Mohd Ibrahim Ansari of Agripada, all in Mumbai.

July 2006, Mumbai

In an affidavit filed before the UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act) Tribunal in 2010, Assistant Police Inspector, ATS, Mumbai, Rahimatullah Inayat Sayyed, spoke of Danish Riyaz Shaukat Ali Shaikh, an “active member of SIMI”, who was arrested on July 30, 2006. According to the affidavit, a raid on Shaikh’s home led to the recovery of several Islamic books in Urdu such as Jihad Fi Saabi Illah, Jihad Asghar and Jihadi Fishbilliah, besides ‘Tehrik Millat Aasiya’, the same magazine.

August 2006, Mumbai

According to an affidavit filed by Inspector, DCB, CID, Mumbai, Milind Bhikaji Khetle, a case was registered at Kandivali police station on August 13, 2006, against Mohd Najib Abdul Rashid Bakali and some of his “SIMI associates”. The affidavit said that on August 14, 2006, police seized four SIMI booklets from Bakali’s house. One of the alleged ‘SIMI’ booklets was a copy of the April 2004 issue of the Tehrik-e-Millat magazine with “Aashiya” written by hand in Hindi on its cover.

September 2006, Malegaon

On September 8, 2006, powerful blasts ripped through the Bada Kabaristan area of Malegaon after the Shab-e-Barat prayers, killing 37 people and injuring over 100. An FIR was registered at Azad Nagar Police Station, Malegaon, and Noor-ul-Huda Shamsudoha, a labourer, was arrested under the UAPA for being a SIMI member and for “popularising and publicising” SIMI. During a raid on Noor-ul-Huda’s home at Jafarnagar, police claimed to have seized “objectionable books’’ that included the copy of the April 2004 issue of the Tehrik-e-Millat magazine with “Aashiya” written by hand in Hindi on its cover.

On September 19, 2006, the investigation was transferred to ATS, Mumbai. Within days, Noor-ul-Huda became one of the main accused in the Malegaon blast case. Eight more people were later arrested as the ATS, Mumbai, claimed to have solved the case. Noor-ul-Huda and the other accused had already spent six years in jail in Mumbai by the time the case took a new turn following Swami Aseemanand’s confession in January last year. On November 16 last year, Noor-ul-Huda and the other eight were granted bail.

September 2008, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh

On September 19, 2008, the MP Police nabbed “SIMI activist” Mohd Ali, 29, of Jabalpur from the Misrod railway station. Police officer T I Chandan Singh Surama recorded in the FIR: “We searched his bag and found papers of SIMI which is an offence.” The Misrod police station claimed that the papers seized from Mohd Ali’s bag included “Tehrik Rafia” — that is how the police’s seizure memo refers to the Tehrik-e-Millat magazine because it had “Rafia” written by hand in Hindi on the cover, the same copy of the same magazine that the Kotwali police station had claimed to have seized on April 16, 2006, from Rafia in Khandwa.

Besides, the police claimed that a SIMI donation receipt towards office construction fund (Receipt No. 0033359) dated January 25, 2006, with the name Kumari Aashiya Khan in Hindi for an amount of Rs 500 was recovered from Mohd Ali. This donation receipt is also exactly the same as the one the Kotwali police had claimed to have recovered from Aasiya in Khandwa. It was on the basis of these two “incriminating” documents alone that Mohd Ali was booked under the UAPA.

Incidentally, in the initial Khandwa case in which Aasiya and Rafia were arrested, the police kept extending the list of accused, going on to arrest 12 youths, including their brother Inam-ur-Rehman. Later, Inam was also picked up after the Jaipur blasts of May 13, 2008, and taken to Rajasthan. All the 14 held in the case were initially accused of being SIMI members.

On December 9, 2011, a fast-track court acquitted 11 of the 14, including Inam.

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


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”.


India -How casteist is our varsity? #discrimination #education


RAHI GAIKWAD, The Hindu, Oct 3.2012

Discrimination: Arrogance in urban areas kills their confidence. Photo: V.V. Krishnan

The HinduDiscrimination: Arrogance in urban areas kills their confidence. Photo: V.V. Krishnan

Caste discrimination takes on insidious forms in higher education institutions across the country, according to a report

When 35 medical students — all Scheduled Caste candidates — failed en masse in the same subject — Physiology — they cried foul. Delhi’s Vardhman Mahavir Medical College, where they were studying, turned a deaf ear to their grievances, according to a recently-released report by Rajya Sabha MP Bhalchandra Mungekar, who was appointed commissioner of enquiry by the National Commission for Scheduled Castes to probe the two-year-old matter.

The damning report unequivocally concluded that the college, affiliated to Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi, practised caste discrimination.

“For the first time, a report has named the names. I have recommended four names for suspension and the invoking of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act,” Mr. Mungekar told The Hindu over the phone.

He said that in the rarefied, erudite spaces of higher learning, caste-discrimination is covert. You see no killing or rape. No beatings or burning of houses. What you see are student suicides, failures, degrees delayed for years on end. He cited the case of a PhD student at an IIT who was not given his degree for nine years as he was vocal about Dalit issues.

The suicide of Anil Meena from a Rajasthan village, who was the second topper in the Scheduled Tribe category at the all-India medical entrance test, is well-known.

Discrimination in higher education is a “very serious” issue, Mr. Mungekar said. “It stems from the strong bias that SCs and STs are getting easy admission devoid of merit and just because of reservation. As higher and technical education gets privatised, the General category students feel that the reserved seats are an encroachment on their privileges. There is a conflict of privileges. In institutions like the IITs, SC/ST students are looked at and treated differently. Forget about extra cooperation, institutions don’t even give normal cooperation. SC/ST students are from a different background. Many come from rural areas and are first generation learners. The arrogance in urban areas kills their confidence.”

Questioning the notion of merit, often bandied about in bastions of higher education, Anoop Kumar of the Delhi-based Insight Foundation pointed to the sheer inability of varsities to handle student diversity. Speaking at a recent seminar at Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), he gave an instance of the suicide of an adivasi student from the Lambada community, studying in IIT Kanpur. He had failed in all the subjects.

“How can an institution not be able to deal with a situation where a student is failing in all the subjects? That means there is a crisis. A student is failing, not attending class and nobody is bothered. There have been around nine suicides at IIT Kanpur in the past four years – seven SC/ST and two General students. The administration’s response has been that the student was not able to deal with the rigour of academics. In a tragedy too, institutions talk of ‘merit.’ This is a perverted claim of merit.”

The system, he felt, was “brutal” not just to Dalit students alone, but to all students. There was, therefore, a need to challenge the idea of merit itself. “The claim of merit depends on the difference of some six percentage points. Places like the IITs are where the upper castes derive their claims of merit.”

A reserved category student from an elite institute told The Hindu, “There is no caste based discrimination (in my institute) as of now. But as a backward category student, you are expected to work harder. If you don’t then professors look down upon you. In the friend circle, once you have been labelled a ‘lukkha’ (loafer), people exploit you. Not because of caste, but because of your behaviour and caste plays a huge role in behaviour. People from the backward class usually have low self esteem, partly because of inferiority in caste and partly because of inferiority in rank (or) merit.”

He also felt that ‘bias’ was a poor word to define the experiences of Dalit students in higher education. A student is unable to fight institutionalised hostility and indifference.

TISS researcher Suryakant Waghmare said discrimination in higher education was “invisible, polite, but absolute.” There was a need to “study caste where there is no caste and the normality of violence.” In urban areas, mutated forms of caste atrocities or discrimination have not even been identified.

Mr. Kumar recalled how a Delhi court, hearing complaints of Dalit students had declared on day one that caste did not exist in urban India. The paper, ‘Spaces of Discrimination – Residential Segregation in Indian Cities’ by Trina Vithayathil and Gayatri Singh (Economic and Political Weekly), easily dispels such a notion. The study found “high levels of residential segregation by caste in India’s seven largest metro cities.”


RTI activist targets Narendra Modi over foreign travel, seeks information


PTI, 3 October 2012

Ahmedabad: A Vadodara-based RTI activist on Tuesday asked the state’s BJP government to provide information about travelling expenses incurred by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleagues for attending a series of conference in 2007. Trupti Shah has sent a letter to Modi saying information about his and his Ministers’ travel-related expenses during ‘women empowerment sammelans’ had not been provided till date.

The letter comes in the wake of Modi seeking answers from the Centre regarding Congress President Sonia Gandhi‘s trips abroad which, he alleged, have cost the exchequer Rs 1880 crore. Shah said she had filed a Right to Information (RTI) application on July 18, 2007 seeking details about the expenses incurred by the state government for organising the sammelans in 27 places across the state in 2007.

Shah alleged she was denied the information even after repeated reminders. She said the state’s General Administrative Department (GAD), in a letter dated November 1, 2007, provided the list of 27 places visited by Modi from March 10, 2007 to September 20, 2007. But regarding the travelling expenses, the letter stated “the office of the Chief Minister did not mention the travelling expenses and so the CM’s travelling expenses may be considered nil.”
Now, RTI activist targets Modi over foreign travel, seeks infor

This, the activist alleged, is “ridiculous” and “unbelievable” because Modi had travelled to most of the 27 places by helicopter. Shah then shot off a letter on November 20, 2007 seeking details about the name and agencies who bore the expenditure. When her letter didn’t elicit a response from the GAD, she sent a reminder on January 18, 2008 and again on April 17, 2008 but she did not get any reply, Shah alleged.

After failing to get the required information, Shah filed a complaint under the RTI Act before the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of Gujarat. In the last hearing on September 26, 2012, the CIC directed the GAD to hand over the relevant information to Shah before the next hearing in October. The officer concerned said the information was not available though they have requested the CMO and other ministers to provide it, Shah said.


Narendra Modi’s travelling cost during ’07 mahila sammelans is zero! #Wtfnews


English: nehal,narendra modi

English: nehal,narendra modi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




Times of India, 3 October 2012



VADODARA: A day after Hisar-based RTI activist punctured Narendra Modi‘s claims on Rs 1,880 crore public money spent on Sonia Gandhi‘s foreign tours, there is more embarrassment in store for the chief minister.


A social activist from the city on Friday claimed that Modi’s office has failed to share information on his travelling expenses for women sammelans even though its five years now that she sought the details through right to information (RTI) application.


Trupti Shah had filed an RTI application on July 18, 2007 to know about expenses incurred by Modi during the 27 women empowerment sammelans organized in that period. Shah had demanded details about expenses incurred on food-packets for women, traveling expenses of Modi and other ministers, publicity expenses and government officials involved in the sammelans.


“My application to chief minister officer (CMO) was forwarded to general administration department (GAD) that gave me the list of 27 districts where the events were organized. I was also given information about food-packets and other expenses. But the traveling expenses were not provided,” Shah told TOI.


“I wrote to GAD to provide me travelling expenses. But, I got the reply that as per the information provided by the CMO, chief minister does not mention the travelling expenses separately. They further said that as far as travelling expense of the chief minister is concerned, consider that as nil. This is ridiculous as Modi had travelled in helicopter to most of the sammelan venues,” Shah said.


“I was practically denied the information by forwarding the letters from one department to another. If Modi wants Sonia Gandhi to share her travelling expenses, then why doesn’t his government share similar details sought by me?” questioned Shah.


Shah said that if Modi has travelled to so many places, his expenses must have been borne by some government department or private parties. When she didn’t get replies despite several reminders, she filed complaint before the chief information commissioner (CIC) under 18 (1) of RTI Act in 2008.


“In the last hearing on September 26, the CIC directed GAD to collect information sought by me and pass it on to me before next hearing,” Shah said.


Shah had sought the information as the state government had denied to implement machinery for the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 andPCPNDT Act 1994 citing lack of funds.




India-No law to protect child adopted within family


Sravani Sarkar, Hindustan Times
Bhopal, October 02, 2012

Six-year-old Shivani was raped and beaten to death by her paternal uncle and aunt, who were acting as her foster parents, in Indore. The father of the child, resident of a village in Uttar Pradesh, had handed over the child to Rajesh Sengar and Bebi four months ago. The child was physically and  sexually abused  all through her stay with her uncle and aunt and finally succumbed to her injuries.

September 16: A 12-year-old girl complained to her neighbours in Bagh Sewania (Bhopal) that her maternal uncle, with whom she and her three siblings were staying for last several months, tortured them and made them work like servants. Their father is in jail for murdering their mother. The police, Child Line and State Commission for Protection of Children’s Rights (SCPCR) intervened and finally handed over the three kids to their grandmother and paternal uncle.

August 2012: Neighbours in Koh-e-Fiza (Bhopal) called up Child Line to complain that two girls – aged 11 and 6 – were being regularly abused by their relatives to whom they had been handed over a few months ago. These kids were also treated like servants. The father of the kids had remarried after their mother died. Child Line and district Children’s Welfare Committee (CWC) intervened and handed over the children to their parents, despite lot of resistance from the “adopting” family.

These incidents do not only horrify, but also bring to light a dangerous legal loophole. There is practically no law or regulation that guides intra-family adoption – children who move from their biological parents to foster parents within the same wider family.

While there are strict procedures and rules in place for legal adoption of orphans or abandoned children, there is nothing to stop people from merely handing over their kids to friends or relatives apparently to ensure better care. Recent incidents suggest that these children are more often than not subjected to acute physical, mental and even sexual abuse by their relatives-turned-foster parents.

“There is nothing really in the law to stop people from doing this or to monitor the condition of such kids once they are handed over. The only way is to create massive awareness among people to spot and report any child abuse in their neighbourhood,” said state representative of National Commission for Protection of Children’s Rights (NCPCR) and Bhopal Child Line in-charge Archana Sahay.

She, however, said that in case there is a complaint about children being “informally” handed over, both the families that give away and receive the child could be booked. Sahay adds that a considerable number of cases of abuse by informal adoptive families have been reported in the recent past. “This indicates a very scary trend. People may be looking at adopting children of poor relatives as they find difficult to get full-time servants. And if the child is a girl, then the chances of sexual abuse increases,” she said.

Amita Jain, who heads the Bhopal-based adoption agency Matrichhaya, also expressed concern about such informal adoption process and stressed on the need of alertness on the part of neighbours to detect and report any such cases of abuse.

Even in cases of formal legal adoptions, post-adoption monitoring has been a weak area. This was revealed by Alok Sharma, the deputy director of the Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD) and in-charge of the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) in MP.

Sharma conceded that post-adoption monitoring in case of even legal adoption is a neglected area. “There is of course nothing that we could do about informal adoption within families or friends,” he says. As for monitoring in case of formal adoption, the department is now thinking of involving the district ICPS officers in the process, said Sharma.

Who’s Watching?
The Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) monitors the process with support of the state-level agencies.

Once the legal process is completed and child is given for adoption, the adoptive families are expected to give quarterly reports about progress and well-being of the child to the adoption agencies as well as the court for three years.

The agencies are expected to submit half-yearly reports to CARA or a state agency for two years after adoption.

Adoption agencies have to often pressure adoptive families to give the report. Also in cases where the child goes for adoption out of the city or state, it becomes difficult to monitor, says Amita Jain of Matrichhaya.

The state government is thinking of starting external monitoring through the district ICPS officers.

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