2006 Malegaon blasts: Probe against Maha ATS, CBI officials likely


Last Updated: Friday, May 24, 2013,
 
New Delhi: Maharashtra‘s elite Anti-terror Squad and CBI officials, who probed the 2006 Malegaon blasts, may have to face probe as the Centre has taken a serious view of allegations that nine Muslim youths were framed with malafide intentions.

Taking note of the chargesheet filed by the National Investigation Agency earlier this week in which four suspected members of right-wing groups were named as accused, senior officials in Home Ministry, the cadre-controlling authority of IPS, said the Maharashtra Government may be “advised” to probe the role of then ATS officials who had allegedly been framed.

 
The case was registered by Maharashtra ATS with Rajvardhan, then Additional Superintendent of Police of Nasik (Rural).

Abrar Ahmed, who was named by the ATS as an accused, had alleged in an affidavit that then DIG of ATS Subodh Jaiswal (at present on deputation to RAW) and then ATS chief KP Raghuvanshi had “doctored” a confessional statement from him.

Later, the case was probed by CBI whose Joint Director Arun Kumar, at present Additional Director General of Uttar Pradesh Police, but the families of the accused approached the court saying no CBI team ever visited or took their statement.

The supposed transcript of telephone conversation submitted by CBI along with its supplementary chargesheet which purportedly showed Abrar Ahmed hatching the conspiracy was not authentic, the families of the nine accused had claimed in their petitions.

ATS and CBI had earlier filed a charge sheet against the nine Muslim youth and charged them with triggering explosive devices on September 8, 2006 at Malegaon.

The youth, who were behind bars for five years, were released as NIA did not oppose their bail plea.

PTI

 

Socio Economic Profile of Muslims in Maharashtra- A Study


An Overview By-Prof. Vibhuti Patel

 

Maharashtra’s multicultural milieu is marked by crucial contribution made by Muslims. The Sachar Committee Report, 2006 stated that the condition of Muslim in Maharashtra demands special attention of the state where the Muslim members are the biggest religious minority. Seven surveys commissioned by the Maharashtra State Minority Commission to Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) , Nirmala Niketan’s College of Social Work of Mumbai University and Research Centre for Women’s Studies of SNDT Women’s University that were submitted in 2011 discovered that a very large proportion of Muslims live in very dismal economic conditions. Nearly 1/3rd of the respondents in the TISS research reported an annual household income of less than Rs.10,000, 24.4% between Rs. 10,001-Rs.20,000, 7.5% between Rs.20,001-Rs.30,000, 3.8% between Rs.30,0001-Rs.40,000, 1% between Rs.40,001-Rs.50,000 and 5.6% above Rs.50,000. In the 21st century, limited occupational diversification is noticed among educated middle class Muslims in the cities of the state due to new openings in IT and construction industry.
As per the census 2011, Maharashtra’s Parbhani and Nanded districts had 30% Muslim population and Malegaon and Bhiwandi were Muslim majority Cities. Mumbra and Kashi Mira in thane district are emerging as new hub for economic activities, technical education institutions and community work among Muslims. In Malegaon block of Nashik district, highest percentage of Muslim community is to be found (42.5 %) as a proportion to the total population followed by Bhiwandi in Thane (35.8 %), Nanded (26.5 %), Aurangabad (25.5 %) and Parbhani (25.1 %). Marathwada as a region had a late integration and betrays a story of neglect. In Malegaon of Nashik district Muslims are mainly concentrated in the urban area (70.96%) as compared to rural areas of Malegaon (3.6%). Among the tehsils, highest percentage of Muslim community is found in Shrivardhan tehsil of Raigarh district (20.26%),and nearly similar in percentages in both the rural and urban areas. In Vidarbha region, in Akola, Yavatmal and Amaravati Muslims constitute 8.3% of the total population.

Work and Employment Profile

In a state level survey by the Minority Commission in 2011, it was found that nearly 32.4 per cent of Muslims reported as being ‘a worker’ as compared to 42.5 per cent of total population in the state. Among Muslims the work participation rate was reported higher among men (49.97 %) as compared to women (12.67 %). Muslims in rural Maharashtra reported nearly 38.12 per cent as worker as compared to 29.97 per cent in urban areas. Among Muslim men not much difference was observed in rural and urban areas as compared to Muslim women population. Nearly one forth of Muslims women living in rural areas reported as workers, while it was only 6.3 per cent in urban areas.
Among Muslims in Maharashtra, nearly 70.7 per cent engaged in category of work activities such as semi skilled and skilled informal sector work such as carpentry, masonry, electrician, plumber, mechanic, manual labour, coolie job, solid waste management, butchery, weaving, beadwork, jari and embroidery work, tailoring, hawking, petty trade, pulling cycle rickshaws and handcarts, driving four wheelers and heavy vehicles ; nearly 8 per cent as cultivators, mainly small and marginal farmers; 17.6 per cent as agricultural labourers and 3.6 per cent in household industry. The proportion of Muslim population involved in cultivation and agricultural activities is lesser than their counterparts in Hindu as well as total population in Maharashtra, however, Muslim’s involvement in household industry and other category of activities is higher than them. In rural areas a higher percentage of Muslim population has reported as agricultural laborers as compared to Hindu population, while the proportion of Hindu population reported as cultivators is more than double than the Muslim population.

Nearly 44 per cent of Muslim women workers reported as agricultural labourers, and their proportion in rural areas is 61.6 per cent. Among Muslim population, the involvement in other category of activities is higher among men as compared to women, in both rural and urban areas. It should be noted that nearly 70 per cent of Muslim population in the state of Maharashtra is found in urban areas where non-agricultural activities dominate.

Unemployment:

Census collects data on persons seeking or available for work among non workers. In 2001 census, those who reported as marginal worker were also asked about seeking or available for work. About 39.9 per cent marginal workers among Muslim community in rural areas reported as seeking/available for work. Among Muslim non-workers, nearly 6 percent reported as ‘job seekers’ in rural areas. The age wise job seekers were highest in 20-24 years followed by 15-19 and 25-29 years. Thus unemployment among Muslim youth is a most challenging problem faced by the state. In urban areas, Muslim job seekers among marginal and non-workers were little higher as compared to rural areas. The age specific rate of job seekers among marginal workers was observed much higher level as compared to non-workers. Muslim men were found to be actively seeking /available for work in higher percentage than their women counterparts.

As per NSS 61st Round in 2004-05, unemployment rate was found much higher in urban areas with wider difference by gender and community. Muslim men reported nearly two times higher unemployment than their Hindu counterparts. The unemployment rate was higher in urban areas for both men and women as compared to rural areas.

Pattern of Landholding

In the NSS 60th round in 2004 in which information on land cultivated was collected revealed that ‘having no cultivable land’ percentage was much higher among Muslim household in Maharashtra as compared to their situation in the rest of India. From 1993-94 to 2004-05 the situation remained similar. In 2007-08, land possession data showed that Muslim household possessed less land or no land in higher proportion than Hindu households. In urban areas possession of land was much less.

Housing:

In Greater Mumbai (NFHS 2 and NFHS 3) and Nagpur (NFHS 3) data were collected from slum and non-slum areas. Both survey clearly show that Muslim household in these districts were living in much higher percentage in slum areas as compared to Hindu and Christian households. Large majority of Muslims in Bhivandi, Mumbai, Malegaon and over 40 towns declared as minority population concentrated, live in ghettos without basic amenities such as safe drinking water, electricity, toilets, proper roads, closed gutters. The ghettoization is detrimental to the long term well-being of the community as well as for national integration. Very small percentage of other minority groups lives in slums. It indicates that majority of Muslim in the cities in Maharashtra is mostly engaged in the low paying skilled, semi skilled or unskilled jobs owing to their low educational qualifications.

Migration

As per NSS data of 2007-08, 84.5 per cent women in rural areas and 65.7 per cent in urban areas reported marriage as reason for their migration. The family migration in urban areas is second most dominating reason among females. Among men, economic reason was most dominating reason for migration as reported by nearly 53 per cent in rural and 73 per cent in urban areas. Migration due to education was reported by little higher percentage in urban areas as compared to rural areas. Migration among Muslims women due to economic reasons was reported by about 1.5 per cent in rural areas and 3.5 per cent in urban areas. Bank loans
The reluctance of banks to grant loans to Muslims is another factor for their economic backwardness. In all studies commissioned by the Minority Commission, the respondents have stated that in most cases, banks are biased, and there are no well-defined and objective criteria for rejecting loan applications of Muslims resulting into arbitrariness, bureaucratic bungling, corruption and leakage. The average amount of loans banks disbursed to the Muslims is found to be lower than the one given to other minorities, especially Buddhists and Sikhs.


Socio -economic Infrastructure

Muslims in Maharashtra are a highly deprived community in terms of several socio-economic indices. Their employment pattern is highly skewed towards lower level activities in the tertiary sector with hardly any occupational mobility. The access of Muslims to bank credit is low and inadequate; the community has one of the lowest monthly per capita expenditure (MPCE), and lowest representation in the public sector employment. In response to persistent exclusion of Muslims from development efforts, the Ranganath Mishra Commission Report (2007) had asked for 10% reservation for Muslims in central and state government jobs and 6% within OBC quotas for Muslim OBCs, and the inclusion of Muslim and Christian dalits in the scheduled castes list and Equal Opportunities Commission to be set up expeditiously. But these recommendations are yet to be implemented. Muslim communities throughout the state have complained that to avail any government scheme, agents charge Rs. 1000/- for fulfillment of formalities/paper work and if the amount is granted by the state, they disappear with money. Hence it is important to monitor the implementation of the schemes thro’ voluntary organizations/NGOs/potential beneficiaries. The Muslim community lags behind severely in political representation. The number of Muslim MLAs is 5. The number of Muslim MLCs is 11. Representation of Muslims in Indian Administrative Services has been less than 1% for the last three decades. The number of Muslims in Maharashtra cadre IAS in 2011-12 is one among total 288 IAS officers. One Muslim officer resigned in July 2011. The sanctioned strength for IAS officers is 350 – there is a shortfall of 62 officers in the cadre. In 2010-11, there were 2 Muslim officers out of total strength of 350. In 2009-2010 also there were 2 Muslims out of 340 IAS officers’ posts. The number in the IPS is 4 out of 203 officers in 2011. The sanctioned cadre strength for police officers in Maharashtra state is 302.

Head if Department of Economics, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai-400020
E mail: Vibhuti.np@gmail.com

Download Full Study here

‘I was discriminated against because I am Muslim’ #humanrights


 

45

Express news service 

In 2008, a youth was arrested from my neighbourhood in Hubli for alleged links with the Student Islamic Movement of India. He was studying to be a doctor and had no history of indiscipline or run-ins with the law. His family was traumatised, and still is, for he continues to languish in jail. If that could happen to a young, educated Muslim like him, it could happen to me, too, I thought then. Five years later, that passing thought became an ugly reality.

On August 29, 2012, a posse of armed policemen barged into the one-bedroom flat I shared with four other boys in Bangalore. They pretended to be looking for my roommate Shoaib Ahmed Mirza, whom they accused of plotting to assassinate some right-wing Kannada columnists. Ironically, they had picked him up from the locality just a while earlier. In our flat, they slapped his brother, Aijaz Ahmed, abused the other three and suddenly handcuffed me too. I pleaded with them to tell me why they were taking me away. I asked one of the policemen, whom I had spoken to earlier when I was a crime reporter with Deccan Herald, what was going on. All I got was a sarcastic look. The brazen manner in which we were picked up was more like a kidnapping than an arrest. With my pleas unanswered, my mind slid into numbness. I went blank. I could not think. The story of that youth kept replaying in my head.

My first night in the cell was the longest night of my life. We kept pleading with the cops, including the junior-most constables, to not destroy our lives. During our 30 days in police custody, the cops abused us in every way they could. One policeman asked me, “So, you work for a Pakistani newspaper?” I don’t even want to get into the nasty things they said about my faith. I was surprised that unlike the others, I was not physically abused. Outside the prison, though, I was planted as the “mastermind”.

When we — the 15 of us arrested in the so-called assassination plot — were shifted to Bangalore Central Jail, for the first two months we were locked inside a separate barrack, which meant we were denied access to facilities available to other inmates, such as outstation phone calls, the gym and the library. Later, when we were shifted out from there, we could avail these amenities, but it exposed us to taunts from others. The prison authorities used to refer to us as the “bomb case people”, and other inmates seemed to believe them. They’d say in Kannada, “Enu ide iwaradu.” (They must have done something wrong.)

I did not mingle much with others. I spent time reading the Quran, that my sister and brother got for me during one of their visits, and taught English and Urdu to two of my co-accused. There were times when I ran out of hope, fearing that I may languish here forever. But then, my innocence reclaimed that hope, and I would feel confident that I would be out soon.

Six months later, on February 25, 2013, I was released. But even before I could get over the police hostilities I had endured, I was told about the the media onslaught during my time in jail. I had been dubbed the “mastermind” of the plot. Some of my former colleagues told me that a senior police officer, who was not even investigating the case, misled journalists that I had joined Deccan Herald with the sole purpose of blowing up the Metro station opposite my office. The media blindly, mindlessly, reproduced his words. Similarly, going by the police’s words, the media said “radical literature” was seized from my office computer. That computer had an Urdu poem about Republic Day, written by Sahir Ludhianvi, a Leftist ideologue, who was part of the Progressive Writer’s Association.

Honestly, after our arrest, I was prepared for such reportage. That I was called a “mastermind”, for example, did not surprise me. But some stories were painfully insensitive. A news channel “broke” the story about my father in Pakistan who “guided” me from there. My father died of a heart attack in 2006. I even have his death certificate. Can you imagine how it feels to deal with such bulls**t? Another news channel said I had Rs 50 crore in my bank. If I had so much money, I would certainly have owned a newspaper.

The way the police and the media reacted to my alleged involvement in the so-called plot has convinced me that there is an institutional bias against Muslims. When you put all the facts together — that I was picked up for simply sharing a room with a suspect, that an Urdu poem on my terminal was interpreted as a fanatical text, that so many other Muslim youths have languished in jails for terror-related cases only to be let off for want of evidence — how can you expect me to feel otherwise?

This is not a new feeling. When I was studying journalism in 2009, I had suggested “media coverage of terror suspects” as the subject of my thesis, which my teacher rejected. At that time, Muhammad Hanif, a doctor from Bangalore, was arrested in Australia on terror charges, which were later proved to be false. There were similar arrests for the Malegaon and Mecca Masjid blasts. The media reports sensationalised such arrests, and engaged in character assassination. It was as if they had taken it upon themselves to prove that the accused were guilty. When Hanif was exonerated, the Australian government issued a public apology to him — something the Indian government has not done for so many similar, wrongful arrests.

The media has reacted in the extreme to me — extremely cruel when I was arrested, and now, extraordinarily supportive after my release. I am inundated with phone calls from journalists, asking for my side of the story. Even though I am disillusioned by the media, I have not lost faith in it. That faith comes from some truly fair reporting, specially in the print media. I want to return to work as a journalist. My father, who used to run an Unani medical store, wanted me to become an Unani doctor, but I was good at languages and social science, and began working as a journalist in the Urdu newspaper Rashtriya Sahara in Dharwad in 2007, while doing a PG diploma in journalism. In 2009, I joined Deccan Herald, where I first covered crime, and then education. Journalism has always been close to my heart. But, I have become sceptical of reportage. I will always think twice before trusting a news story. I want to work on the desk and ensure the accuracy of a story.

I do hope to live a normal life. I am overwhelmed with visitors who have been pouring into my home, welcoming me back, and putting an end to my fear of being stigmatised for life. My ex-colleagues are also in touch with me. Throughout my life, I have never been discriminated as a Muslim. I have always believed that Muslims must stop feeling as if they are victims of the system, and must strive towards educating and empowering themselves. But my six months in jail as an educated, empowered Muslim, paints a contrasting picture — that I was discriminated against because I was Muslim. These are two extremities. And though one positive extreme gives me hope, as does my faith in the judiciary and democracy, the other extreme puts me in despair. I am trying to find a middle ground to this dilemma. I have truly experienced the uncertainty of life. I have reflected a lot on my own life, and if something good has come out of this ordeal, it is that I have emerged a better person. Now, I look at the larger picture of life, and can empathise with others’ sufferings.

As told to Irena Akbar

 

RSS behind Samjhauta, Malegaon blasts: Shinde


RSS Flag

 
CNN-IBN | 20-Jan 14:03 PM

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Sunday alleged
that the training camps run by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)
and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were promoting Hindu terrorism.
He also alleged that the RSS and the BJP were behind the Samjhauta
Express, Meccca Masjid and Malegaon blasts.
“Training camps of both the BJP and the RSS are promoting Hindu
terrorism. Whether it is Samjhauta blast or Mecca Masjid blast or
Malegaon blast, they plant bombs and blame it on the minorities,” he
said on the last day of Congress Chintan Shivir in Jaipur.
Reacting quickly to the allegations made by the Home Minister, BJP
spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said: “Home Minister’s statement is
irresponsible and unfortunate. We condemn it.” He was joined by BJP
Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi who said, “It is sad that the Home
Minister is trying to disturb the peace of the country. The Congress
should apologise, Sonia Gandhi should also apologise, otherwise they
will have to face the consequences.”
Defending himself, Shinde said that he didn’t say anything new and
only spoke about saffron terrorism which has already been talked about
many a times in newspapers. “It is saffron terrorism that I have
talked about. It is the same thing and nothing new. It has come in the
media several times,” the Home Minister said.
Sources said that Shinde was warned by the Congress leadership to make
the clarification. Earlier in the day, Congress president Sonia Gandhi
in her address at the Chintan Shiviar had asked party leaders to gear
up for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and not indulge in nepotism so
that they could win back people’s faith.
Congress leader and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv
Shukla also clarified on Shinde’s statement saying he referred to
right-wing terrorism and not Hindu terrorism. “Terrorism has no
religion. The extremists and religious fanatics create terror. The
Home minister did not refer to Hindu terrorism instead he meant
right-wing terrorism,” he said.
Right wing activists are alleged to have plotted the Samjhauta Express
bomb blast. Six people, including Swami Aseemanand and Sadhvi Pragya
Thakur, have been chargesheeted by the National Investigation Agency.
Two bombs went off on the Samjhauta Express near Panipat on February
18, 2007 while it was on way to Lahore, killing 68 people.
Sadhvi Pragya is also one of the prime accused in the Malegaon blasts
case of September 29, 2008, in which six persons were killed and 100
others were injured. On January 19, 2009, Maharashtra Police had filed
a chargesheet in the Malegaon blasts case. According to the
chargesheet, Lt Col Prasad Purohit was the main conspirator, who
provided the explosives and Sadhvi Pragya arranged for the persons,
who planted the explosives.
In December, 2012, a man belonging to a right wing group was arrested
by the NIA in connection with the May 18, 2007 Mecca Masjid blast that
left 13 people dead in Hyderabad. Tej Ram was apprehended by NIA
sleuths from Ravidas Marg area of Depalpur, 15 km from Indore.

 

 

 

 

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

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”.

 

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