CBI encounters ‘ Narendra Modi hand’ in triple-murder


, TNN | May 19

 MODI1
AHMEDABAD: After the chargesheeting of Gulab Chand Kataria, the former home minister of Rajasthan and the present leader of opposition in the Rajasthan assembly , BJP leader Arun Jaitley lost no time in announcing that the real target of the CBI was the Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. He quoted a CBI officer’s noting in the documents before the court in the Sohrabuddin-Kauserbi-Tulsiram killings as saying, “I especially underline the importance of Annexure-C for its potential in respect to the chief minister also.”
Case documents available with TOI quotes the CBI as saying, “Amit Shah was instrumental in the acts of commission and omission by the officers in the investigation of this case. Although the files for these administrative decisions in respect of these officers were definitely put up to the chief minister also for final orders as per the rules of business in respect of All India Service officers, the primary responsibility for suggesting at the ministerial level the course of action was of Amit Shah.”

In the said annexure, the investigating officer had pointed out to the fact that the government in the middle of December 2006, a few days before Tulsiram Prajapati was murdered at Ambaji near the Gujarat-Rajasthan border, transferred D G Vanzara from ATS Ahmedabad to the post of DIG, Border Range, from where he had carried out the entire operation of the kidnapping and fake encounter of Prajapati . This decision to transfer Vanzara could not have been taken by Amit Shah as per the rules of the business and it was only the chief minister who could have finally passed the order. Other instance of decisions which only Modi could have taken have been enumerated by the CBI.

Modi rewards

CBI says these are 3 rewards only Modi could have given.

P C Pande

The then DGP P C Pande was rewarded with a post-retirement berth as the chairman of Gujarat State Police Housing Corporation which enables him to retain his official bungalow and allied perks.

O P Mathur

The then ADGP O P Mathur was given the promotion to the rank of DGP, though a departmental enquiry having serious charges of moral turpitude was pending against him. The chargesheet in the above enquiry was dropped in September 2008 and he was promoted thereafter. And even after his retirement he was appointed as the director general of Raksha Shakti University.

Geetha Johri

A departmental enquiry was dropped against Anil Johri, IFS, husband of Geetha Johri, which included serious charges of corruption. This enquiry was later diluted in October 2008. A residential plot which was initially allotted to Geetha Johri and Anil Johri at a concessional rate by the government was later changed to some other plot of Geetha Johri’s choice without charging the premium. Geetha Johri’s name was recommended by the home department for the award of President’s Police Medal for distinguished services in the year 2009, even though reportedly she did not figure in the panel initially proposed by the DGP.

 

How the support of the neo-middle class has been crucial to Modi’s rise


A class of his own

Christophe Jaffrelot : Wed Apr 17 2013
modi

 

In December, Narendra Modi won the Gujarat election with the support, not only of the middle class, but also of what the state BJP called the “neo-middle class” in its manifesto. According to the CSDS pre-electoral survey, not only did 57.4 per cent of the richest voters go the BJP way, but 54.2 per cent of the middle income bracket voters also did the same (against 28 and 34.4 per cent for the Congress respectively — which got the vote of the poor). This neo-middle class is made of aspiring groups that tend to change their political colour after migrating to an urban milieu. The shift is particularly striking in the case of the OBCs: while the Kolis vote more for the Congress when they are in a rural context (53 per cent), they move to the BJP the moment they join a semi urban constituency (that is, one with 25 to 75 per cent of urban voters) — 65 per cent of them do so. This shift is even more dramatic when the upwardly mobile OBCs end up in a city.

Rural constituencies of Gujarat are the only places where more voters support the Congress, while semi-urban and urban constituencies are almost fully behind the BJP. But the urban/rural divide is a proxy for class. What the above data shows is simply that caste identities — and caste-related political cultures — are submerged by class considerations when formerly rural groups come to the city, hoping to join the lower middle class. Their new ethos — or at least their aspirations — make them turn to Modi’s BJP and its promise of jobs in the name of “development”.

The propensity of the neo-middle class to support Modi’s BJP in Gujarat can be easily explained without even factoring in the communal element (although it is arguably more developed in the urban context, notably because of recurring riots). The BJP of Gujarat simply paid more attention to the material interests of the urban middle class than to any other group, as is evident from its election manifesto. Among the relevant items of this carefully drafted document, one can cite the promise to construct 50 lakh houses, the increase of the age limit for entry into government jobs from 25 to 28, English medium schools, Rs 2,000 crore for flyovers and underpasses in cities, the building of mono rail in places other than Ahmedabad (where the project has already been planned) and insurance schemes. These are, typically, promises aiming at wooing the urban middle class.

But there’s no need to further scrutinise pre-electoral promises. The actual polarisation of Gujarat’s society speaks for itself. Modi’s policy, over the last 10 years, has benefited the urban middle class more than anybody else. If Gujarat ranks only 11th out of 23 states in terms of the human development index, it’s because groups in rural Gujarat continue to lag behind. Indeed, Gujarat is a case of social polarisation with the new rich in the cities and most of the groups that are at the receiving end concentrated in the villages. There, the number of families below the poverty line has jumped from 23.39 lakh in 2000 to 30.49 lakh in July 2012, according to the rural development commissioner. Unsurprisingly, 9 lakh of the 11 lakh houses without electricity, according to the Gujarat 2011 census, are in rural areas. In terms of education, the excellent report of the NGO, Pratham, shows that rural Gujarat was lagging behind states like Haryana.

Dalits and Adivasis (11.3 and 16.5 per cent of the state population, respectively) are particularly affected. For instance, the percentage of tribal underweight children (0-5 years old) is much higher in Gujarat than the tribal average at the national level (64.5 per cent compared to 54.5 per cent). The under-five mortality rate of tribal children is also much higher. Similarly, the percentage of Dalit participation in the NREGA programme is three times less in Gujarat (7.83 per cent) than in India at large (22.67 per cent). In fact, development has meant socio-economic polarisation, because Gujarat is a typical case of growth without development for all. The Gujarat chapter of the India Human Development Report of 2011 concluded that “the high growth rate achieved by the state over the years has not percolated to the marginalised sections of society, particularly STs and SCs, to help improve their human development outcomes”.

That the middle class cares only for its interests is fair enough. But over the last two years, it has seemed that it was more and more concerned by corruption and the criminalisaton of politics — evident from the Anna Hazare movement which, arguably, was driven by the middle class.

Here, the record of Gujarat suggests a paradox. In this state, the middle class supports the BJP government in spite of uneven indicators in terms of the rule of law and a number of tainted former members of the government on the radar screen of the judiciary. Today, five Gujarat-based police officials — including senior IPS officers — are behind bars, waiting for their trial in Mumbai. They’ve been accused of being responsible for at least one of the many alleged fake encounters that have taken place in the years 2003-2006 in Gujarat. The most famous of these cases are those regarding Sohrabuddin, his wife Kauser bi and their friend Tulsiram Prajapati.

The CBI, in its chargesheet, named Amit Shah, the then minister of state for home, as the kingpin of the conspiracy. He was arrested in 2010, spent over three months in jail and, while on bail, was not allowed to return to Gujarat, lest he interfere with the investigators. He came back two months before the last state elections, was re-elected and, by all accounts, has again become a close aide of the chief minister. Maya Kodnani, also a former member of the state government, has been convicted for involvement in the 2002 violence in Ahmedabad. The Supreme Court has ordered the transfer of several cases to Maharashtra “to preserve the integrity of the trial”.

BJP president Rajnath Singh has not only inducted Narendra Modi into the party’s apex decision-making bodies, the parliamentary board and central election committee, but he has also appointed Amit Shah as one of the general secretaries of the party. And among the new national council members from Gujarat, figures also Babubhai Katara, a former BJP MP from Dahod who had been arrested in 2007 for human trafficking and was suspended from the party.

In this context, L.K. Advani has lectured his colleagues to ensure that the BJP remained “a party with a difference”. But was it because the middle class cares for political cleanliness?

 

The writer is a senior research fellow at CERI, Sciences Po, Paris and professor of Indian politics and society at the King’s India Institute, London, and non-resident fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace

express@expressindia.com

 

One-third of Gujarat MLAs face criminal cases, including rape #Vaw


Ahmedabad, December 25, 2012Darshan Desai, The Hindu

Modi confidant and former MoS (Home) Amit Shah faces two charges of kidnapping and wrongful confinement, two of murder, and one of kidnapping to murder, among others.
PTI
Modi confidant and former MoS (Home) Amit Shah faces two charges of kidnapping and wrongful confinement, two of murder, and one of kidnapping to murder, among others.

 Some 57 Members of Legislative Assembly elected by Gujarat in the December polls face criminal charges, including that of rape and murder, while nearly three-fourth of them are crorepatis, up from 31 per cent in the 2007 elections, according to data analysed by the Gujarat Election Watch.

The data shows that one-third of MLAs belonging to the Congress as well as the BJP have declared criminal cases.

The top three richest MLAs are from the Congress with Balvantsinh Rajput from Sidhpur constituency having assets worth Rs. 268 crore, followed by Rajguru Indranil from Rajkot East with Rs. 122 crore and Pethalji Chavda from Manavadar constituency with assets worth Rs. 82.90 crore.

Of the 57 MLAs facing cases, charges have been framed against 35 MLAs for various crimes and 24 face serious offences. In 2007, 47 MLAs had criminal charges against them.

BJP MLA from Shehra constituency in Panchmahals district Jetha Bharwad, who had allegedly opened fire and injured four people at Tarsang village during polling on December 17 and was detained by the police, has a charge of kidnapping and inducing a woman to compel her for marriage, and two others of rape and extortion. Bharward, a former suspended police constable, faces a case of forgery. The MLA has not been convicted so far.

Janata Dal (United) strongman from tribal constituency of Jhagadia in South Gujarat’s Bharuch district Chhotu Vasava has 28 cases against him, including nine of dacoity, seven theft and three murder. Charges have been framed in 28 cases.

BJP veteran from North Gujarat Shankar Chaudhary has three murder cases. He won from Vav constituency.

A Modi confidant and former MoS (Home) Amit Shah faces two charges of kidnapping and wrongful confinement, two of murder, and one of kidnapping to murder, among others.

#India-191 fake encounters in last five years, NHRC tells Supreme Court


 

 

By , TNN | Dec 5, 2012, 05.22 AM IST

SC has an explosive situation on its hands as the NHRC informed it that 191 fake encounter killings took place in the country in the last five years.
  • 68871_10151268516719323_1689288335_n
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court, which relentlessly strove to bring to book perpetrators of the fake encounter killings of Sohrabuddin and Tulsiram Prajapati in Gujarat, has an explosive situation on its hands as the NationalHuman Rights Commission informed it that 191 fake encounter killings took place in the country in the last five years.

Appalled by the attitude of the Manipur government in responding to over 1,500 alleged fake encounter killings in the militancy affected state in the last three decades, a bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana P Desai had asked during the last hearing, “Is there a war going on within? Is this the attitude and orientation of a state to say that if they are killing my men, we will kill them?”

In response to Manipur’s alleged unaddressed extra-judicial killings, the NHRC in an affidavit said in the last five years, from 2007 to 2012, it had received 1,671 complaints/information regarding fake encounters.

“The commission in the last five years has awarded monetary compensation to the tune of Rs 10.51 crore in 191 cases,” it said in an affidavit. The commission awards compensation in the range of Rs 5-10 lakh to the kin of victims if it comes to the conclusion after inquiry that it was a fake encounter.

The bench headed by Justice Alam had in the past minutely scrutinized Gujarat government’s attempts to put a veil on facts in the Sohrabuddin and Tulsiram Prajapati encounter killings and had ordered CBI probe into them, resulting in filing of charge-sheet against former minister Amit Shah, in addition to former senior police officials.

The NHRC mirrored the experience of the apex court in dealing with the two Gujarat fake encounters. “The only handicap is that in all the cases, respective state governments invariably take more than reasonable time to submit magisterial enquiry report, post-mortem report, inquest report and the ballistic expert report,” it said.

“Due to this delay on the part of the state governments in complying with mandatory requirements, the delay occurs in all the matters, as for want of these reports even the commission cannot draw any conclusion and cannot take any view in the matter as to whether the death took place in a genuine encounter or it was a fake encounter,” the human rights body said in its affidavit.

NGOs ‘Extra-Judicial Execution Victims Families Association of Manipur’ through Neena N and ‘Human Rights Alert’ through Babloo Loitongbam had requested the court to set up a Special Investigation Team to inquire into the extra-judicial killings in the state. Another petition by Suresh Singh through advocate S Biswajeet Meitei alleged that continuance of AFSPA had led to a spurt in extra-judicial killings and sought its withdrawal from Manipur.

The NHRC gave its response to the 71 cases of alleged fake encounter complaints it had dealt with relating to Manipur of which only three have been closed. In one case – killing of Thanjam Manorama Chanu on July 12, 2004 – the commission had recently recommended payment of Rs 10 lakh to the kin of the victim but the defence ministry is yet to comply with it.

Though the commission’s guidelines require states to complete mandatory inquiry reports within three months, many cases of alleged extra-judicial killings reported from Manipur have been pending with the NHRC since 2007 as the state has not provided the key investigation reports. Of the 68 pending cases, five incidents dated back to 2007, 17 to 2008 and 19 to 2009, the NHRC said.

To enable it to deal with such cases expeditiously, NHRC said, “It would be appropriate if the Supreme Court directs all the states to strictly comply with the guidelines/recommendation issued by the commission without fail, both in letter and spirit.”

 

#Gujarat-Dalit families allege that Jamnagar SP offered them bribe to hush up Surendranagar firing case


“IPS officer offered us money to omit his name during investigation”

Dalit families allege that Jamnagar SP Harikrishna Patel offered them bribe to hush up Surendranagar firing case

Prakhar Jain , Tehelka
New Delhi

Valji Rathod, father of Mehul RathodPhoto: Ankit Agrawal

In a shocking disclosure, the families of Dalit youngsters killed in a police firing in Surendranagar district of Gujarat have alleged that a senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer had asked them to omit his name when their statements are recorded during investigations that are now underway. The families have alleged that the senior police officer tried to influence them with offers of money and jobs.

The firings which took place at Thangadh city of Surendranagar district in Gujarat led to the death of a Dalit boy on 22 September and two Dalit men on 23 September. The incidents caused a furore as the first firing was allegedly by a sub-inspector against people had earlier complained for being “anti-Dalit”. The second firing happened under the charge of SP Harikrishna Patel, whose commando had allegedly fired with an AK-47 on a group of Dalits, who were marching towards the Thangadh police station to lodge a complaint about the first incident.

The families say that Harikrishna Patel tried to influence them by sending an emissary to negotiate on his behalf. They say that Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) VD Kharadi, approached them twice and offered “whatever money” they wanted and a “job with a private company.”

Valji Rathod, father of 16-year-old Mehul Rathod who was killed in firing, said, “We were told to accept the offer or be ready to get killed in an accident or another firing. We refused because we wanted justice.” He said that they did not disclose this information earlier because they feared for the lives of their family members.

When contacted by TEHELKA, Harikrishna Patel denied approaching the families and refused to comment further stating that the case was under investigation by CID.

During the last day of the annual Tarnetar fair on 22 September, a skirmish broke out between the Dalit and the Bharwad (shepherd) community over a minor incident. The matter was later resolved by both the communities. However, that night, another skirmish broke out in which Pankaj Sumara (16), who was returning home from the fair, got shot at allegedly by sub-inspector KP Jadeja. Sumara was fatally injured in the neck.

The next day, on 23 September, a group of Dalit families marched toward the police station to report Sumara’s death, but were stopped near the Thangadh railway crossing by the police. The Dalit group alleges that the police then started firing indiscriminately at them without warning. Police, however, maintains that they fired only when the mob started pelting stones and tried to snatch their rifles. In the firing, Prakash Parmar (26) and Mehul Rathod (16) died after being hit by bullets on the chest. A Dalit boy, Chana Vaniya, and a couple of policemen were also seriously injured.

After a public outcry three cases were registered against sub-inspector KP Jadeja and three other policemen on 26 September for murder, rioting, unlawful assembly and conspiracy and a CID inquiry was ordered by the government. Anil Pratham, IGP, CID (crime), who is investigating the case, said, “There is a warrant against Jadeja and others and we are coordinating with district SPs to arrest them.”

However, human rights activists and the victims’ families are now demanding that action against Harikrishna Patel be also initiated. “The role of Harikrishna Patel has been established by the fact that his commando fired using an AK-47. He is equally responsible for the deaths, but his name hasn’t been mentioned in any FIR. He should be made an accused along with the Rajkot DIG,” demanded Kirit Rathod, a Dalit rights activist who works with an Ahmedabad based NGO Navsarjan and has been helping the Dalit families in the case.

Prakhar Jain is a Correspon

 

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