Demand Justice for Custodial Death of Khalid Mujahid in UP! Reinvestigate the Communal Hate Speech Case of Varun Gandhi!
Join Protest Demonstration Against UP Govt on 23 May
Assemble at Jantar Mantar at 11.30am and
March to UP Resident Commissioner’s Office, UP Niwas, Ambadeep Bhawan, Kasturba Gandhi Marg.
Khalid Mujahid, a so-called “accused” in the 2007 serial blasts in UP died on Sturday 18 May in police custody, yet another shameful injustice to a victim of Muslim witch-hunt. Khalid, a resident of Mariahu in Jaunpur and a Madarsa teacher, was arrested by the special task force of the UP police in December 2007 following serial blasts in UP and immediately and declared, of course without any evidence, to be an ‘operative of the Harkatul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI)’. Since then, he has been languishing in jail for last 6 years! Following sustained protests against false framing, a commission was formed to probe the matter. The report submitted in 2012 found discrepancies in the “official” police case against Khalid. On the basis of the report, the UP govt. was forced to file an application in the court to withdraw case against Khalid.However, the court turned down the application. According to the activists, UP govt put up a weak application and now Khalid has died under mysterious circumstances, raising serious questions of cover up and conspiracy.
It is indeed yet another copybook instance of killing and suspicious death in Police custody of so called “terror accused” against whom police never managed to provide any evidence! One has not forgotten, how just last year 8 June, Mohd. Qateel Siddiqi of Darbhanga, arrested since Nov 2011, on charges of ‘involvement’ in several blast cases, was strangled to death by two gangsters, Sharad Mohol and Alok Bhalerao, inside Yerawada jail in Pune. Let us note, Maharashtra ATS had failed to file a chargesheet against Qateel in the 7 months from November 2011 till June 2012. In the Adarsh scam, accused got bail because the CBI failed to file a chargesheet within the stipulated 6-month period. If the same norms had applied, Qateel should have been free, given the failure of authorities to assemble any proof against him. Yet, he remained in jail, and the ATS kept claiming he was a ‘key Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative.’ From Maharashtra to Hyderabad, Gujarat to Darbhanga, the horrific saga continues unabated– framing innocent youth without a shred of evidence, torturing them for years together behind bars, and finally killing them off in custody or in fake “encounters”. These shocking cases- from Malegaon to Hyderabad, Bangalore to Azamgarh and Darbhanga-underline the vulnerability of Muslim youth routinely arrested on terror charges.
The cases also expose the duplicity and hypocrisy of the ruling regimes who never tire of swearing by ‘secularism’.During the UP elections, we have seen cynical competition between the SP and the Congress to woo support of the beleaguered Muslim community. Yet, in practice, whether it is the Congress-ruled Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh or the SP ruled UP, they are competing with the BJP in the false framing and custodial attacks on Muslim ‘terror-accused’.
Contrast this Witch-Hunt With How SP Govt in UP Manufactured “Clean Chit” for Varun Gandhi in the Public Hate Speech Case! Varun Gandhi made the worst of anti-Muslim, venomous, hate-mongering speeches in Pilibhit before the previous Lok Sabha elections. The hate speech was delivered in large open public meetings and the entire country saw and heard them through TV channels then! But, suddenly, when the matter came up in the court, Samajwadi Party’s UP administration could not produce any video footage of the incident and several witnesses turned hostile! The recent Tehelka sting operation- aired by Headlines Today- exposed how the UP state machinery and an SP leader happily colluded with the BJP to manufacture the ‘clean chit’ for Varun Gandhi!
It is high time that this twin trend of communal politics - of state patronage to communal forces and hate-mongerers on the one hand and unabated state-sponsored witch-hunt of minorities on the other, this time enacted in UP, is exposed and resisted.
We strongly condemn the custodial death of Khalid Mujahid and demand that all those responsible for framing him and responsible for his custodial death are brought to book. Moreover, the case against Varun Gandhi’s hate speech should be reopened, and all those responsible for scuttling the case against him – especially the Public Prosecutor and the officials in the UP government – should be punished for the shameful subversion of the judicial process.
We appeal to you to a Join Protest Demonstration against UP Govt. on 23 May
Assemble at Jantar Mantar at 11.30am and March to UP Resident Commissioner’s Office, UP Niwas, Ambadeep Bhawan, Kasturba Gandhi Marg.