‘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

 

#India- Sexual Harassment case- Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University (MGIHU) #Vaw


 Adrienne Rich`s #Rape- but the hysteria in your voice pleases him best #poem #Vaw
हमेशा विवादों में रहनेवाले महात्मा गांधी अंतरराष्ट्रीय हिंदी विश्वविद्यालयवर्धा में आजकल एक अध्यापक द्वारा एक छात्रा के यौन-उत्पीड़न का मामला दबे मुंह चर्चा में है। साहित्य विभाग के एक युवा असिस्टेंट प्रोफेसर ने स्त्री अध्ययन विभाग की एक छात्रा को पढ़ाने के बहाने अपने घर बुलाकर उसके साथ कई बार शारीरिक छेड़छाड़ की और चुप रहने की धमकी भी दी। यहीं नहीं इस अध्यापक ने अपने प्रभावों का इस्तेमाल करके उस लड़की को एम.ए. कोर्स में फेल भी करा दिया।

यह अध्यापक इसी विश्वविद्यालय में साहित्य विभाग का पूर्व छात्र रहा है और छात्र जीवन से ही अपनी लंपटई  और कुकर्मों के लिए बदनाम है। सूत्रों की मानें तो इसके पहले भी यह कई लड़कियों के साथ ऐसे कुकृत्य कर चुका है। यह अध्यापक आए दिन लड़कों के हॉस्टल जाकर उनके साथ शराब-सिगरेट पीता हुआ पाया जाता है। सबसे मज़ेदार बात यह है कि यह आदमी अपने विभाग में स्त्री-विमर्श का टॉपिक पढ़ाता है। भुक्तभोगी लड़की द्वारा शिकायत करने के बाद महिला सेल में अभी इसकी जांच चल रही है। लेकिन पूरे कैंपस को पता है कि विश्वविद्यालय के कुलपतिजो अपने स्त्री-विरोधी और दलित-विरोधी रुख के लिए जाने जाते हैंउन्होंने लगातार पड़ते बाहरी दबाव के बाद महिला सेल को यह निर्देश दिया है कि इस मामले को रफा-दफा कर दिया जाए। महिला सेल की चल रही ढुलमुल जांच-प्रकिया को देखते हुए यह बात सच लग रही है

 कैंपस में सबको यह पता है आरोपी अध्यापक कुलपति के सामने जाकर अपनी गलती स्वीकार कर चुका है और पैर पकड़कर माफी भी मांग ली है। लड़की अल्पसंख्यक समुदाय की है और गरीब परिवार से है जबकि आरोपी ब्राह्मण वर्ग से है और इसका श्वसुर इस यूनिवर्सिटी में कर्मचारी रह चुका है। वह भी इस केस को खत्म करवाने के काम में जुटा हुआ है। कुछ लोग पैसे के लेन-देन की बात भी कह रहे हैं। बाकी इस वक्त विश्वविद्यालय के अधिकांश ब्राह्मण प्राध्यापक,कर्मचारी और छात्र आरोपी अध्यापक के समर्थन में खड़े हैं। कुछ प्रगतिशील छात्र-छात्राओं ने लड़की के पक्ष में हस्ताक्षर अभियान भी चलाया है। लेकिन कुलपति या महिला सेल पर उसका कोई असर नहीं है।

महिला सेल की अध्यक्षा साहित्य विभाग की हैं और गर्ल्सहॉस्टल की वार्डेन भी हैं। वार्डेन साहिबा केवल लड़कियों को परेशान करने और उनको सताने के लिए जानी जाती हैं। इस कैंपस में लड़कियां पहले से ही सुरक्षित नहीं हैं और इस घटना के बाद उनमें और डर व्याप्त है । आरोपी अध्यापक के खिलाफ जांच जारी है लेकिन वह अभी भी कक्षाएँ ले रहा हैजो कि गैर-कानूनी है।इस बीच वह जांच कमेटी के कुछ सदस्यों के घर जाकर चाय-नाश्ता भी कर चुका है।
इस घटना से आम छात्र-छात्राओं में काफी आक्रोश है। कैम्पस के बाहर भी माहौल गरम है। लेकिन इस विश्वविद्या

लय में केवल एक ही कानून चलता है और वह है कुलपति विभूति नारायण राय का और उनकी कृपा आरोपी अध्यापक पर है। सो मामला अब तक ठंडे बस्ते में है।

email from wardha university <save.mgahv@gmail.com

 

Md Ryeesuddin arrested by Hyderabad Police for Questioning in Dilshuk Nagar Twin Blast.


Feb 24, 2013
Mohammed Rayeesuddin S/o Md Sayeeduddin R/o hashimabad, Chandrayanguta
(Age-35 years) was arrested by Police (plainclothes men) while he was
going on Chandrayangutta road at around 9:30 AM today and is missing
since then when inquired by the senior Police Officials  they denied
that he was picked up by any team of Hyderabad Police.

This is the same Md Rayees Uddin who was picked up post
Mecca Masjid Blast in 2007 and was kept in Illegal Coustody,
Tourchered and shown as culprit in two Crime No: 100/2007 & Crime No:
107/2007 (Hussainialam Police Station) cases and was in Jail for 8
months, After attending Court for 22 months he was set free by Honble
Courts. After the Confection of Swami Aseemanand about the involvement
of Abhinav Bharat a sister Organization of RSS involvement in
different Blasts in India including Mecca Masjid Blast the Andhra
Pradesh Police gave a Good Conduct Certificate to Md Rayeesuddin and
was also listed for Rs/ 2.0 lakhs compensation. He could not get the
sanctioned compensation as one case was pending against him.Md Rayees
Uddin is a key witness in a case against the Gujarat Police booked in
Saifabad Police Station which was booked when Mujahid Saleem Islahi
S/o Maulana Abdul Aleem Islahi was shot dead by Mr. Narender Kumar
Amin (ACP Gujarat Police) during the arrest of Maulana Naseeruddin at
DGP, Office Lakdi Ka Pull. The Andhra Pradesh Police time and again
arrest and files fake cases against Md Rayeesuddin to put pressure on
him to get himself withdrawn as a witness from the case against
Gujarat Police who is wanted in Mujahid Saleem Islahi Case.Narender
Kumar Amin (ACP) is in Judicial Custody in Sabarmati Jail,Gujrath in
Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. The Andhra Pradesh Police did not
bother once o bring the accused that are in Judicial custody in
Gujarat by producing warrant and produce them in Andhra Pradesh Court.
Mr. Amjed Ullah Khan (Corporator) & Youth leader MBT visited the house
of Md Rayeesuddin and met his family member Mrs. Zahida Begum (mother)
Mrs. Salwa Begum (Wife) and said that all legal help will be provided
to Md Rayeesuddin by MBT party. He said that he will represent the
matter to Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Sri Kiran Kumar Reddy and
Dinesh Reddy (IPS) Director General of Police, Andhra Pradesh


AMJED ULLAH KHAN
Corporator 35-Azampura Div
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation
HNo:16-3-527 Chanchalguda
HYDERABAD-24 ANDHRA PRADESH 09246529800 (M)

 

When ISI became a ‘front for SIMI’ #ban


Muzamil Jaleel : New Delhi, Mon Oct 01 2012, Indian Express
 

In the circles of police’s “SIMI investigations”, the name Maulana Naseeruddin comes up often. Sometimes he has been charged, sometimes his sons, sometimes his acquaintances. In one such case against an “associate” of his son, the Hyderabad police filed an affidavit before the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal calling Pakistan’s ISI a front of SIMI.

Asked by the tribunal to explain his claim, P Devender, then inspector in Saidabad police station, reiterated that “it is correct that in my affidavit when I referred to Inter Service Intelligence, I am referring to Inter Service Intelligence of Pakistan” and that the nodal officer of Andhra Pradesh will be “filing a secret note on the basis of which this statement has been made”.

Moutasim Billa

DEVENDER’S affidavit, filed on June 11, 2010, was part of the government’s evidence to justify the continuance of the ban on SIMI. To substantiate his claim that SIMI was “functioning under various fronts like the ISI”, Devender cited a case registered in March 2008 at the Saidabad police station when he was an inspector there.

It concerned Moutasim Billa, 22, of Jevan Yar Jung Colony, Saidabad, who had been arrested on March 5, 2008, from near his residence. Devender claimed that Billa was arrested because he had been booked in an FIR (198/2007) at the Gopalapurram police station.

Devender also called him a close associate of “the son of Maulana Naseeruddin”, who is a “SIMI activist”. Naseeruddin and Billa’s father, Mohammad Aleem Islahi, are well-known clerics in Saidabad and their families used to be close then. Along with Naseeruddin’s, Islahi’s is the other address frequently at the centre of any terror investigation in Hyderabad.

At the time of Billa’s arrest, the Hyderabad police had claimed that it was in connection with two “rioting” cases registered against him, in 2004 (an incident involving the death of his brother) and in 2007 (for terror conspiracy and sedition, registered at the Gopalapurram police station). Hyderabad police had booked 21 Muslim youths including Billa for a terror conspiracy and subsequently linked them to the Mecca Masjid blasts. Billa and the other accused were acquitted on December 31, 2008. The Mecca Masjid blast case finally took a new turn after Swami Aseemanand’s confession in December 2010, which implied that these Muslim men had all been wrongly blamed. Eighty-two Muslim men had been picked up, interrogated or booked and all were subsequently acquitted.

In May this year, Billa was again named, this time in four cases of rioting and disturbance of peace, and shown as an “absconding accused”. “These recent cases were registered one after another in a single day,” said Billa, who recently earned a B Tech degree. “They have shown me as absconding, which means, ‘You can go on with your life till we want to take you away again’.”

Maulana Naseeruddin

THE 2004 rioting case against Billa, in fact, provides the context to this entire story. That October 31, Naseeruddin had gone to the DGP’s office along with his lawyer and a few other people to sign his weekly attendance, necessary because of an earlier case of communal violence. “Two months earlier, I had been arrested after police claimed I was going to plant bombs in a Ganesh temple. This absurd allegation came as a shock; I fell ill and was shifted to hospital. Our lawyer friends secured bail; this weekly attendance was a condition,” Naseeruddin said.

“That day, I reached the office late. My son-in-law Khalid, who is a lawyer, and a few others accompanied me. The CID officer who would take my signature asked me to wait, saying a senior officer wanted to talk to me.” Naseeruddin said he was taken to the IG, who told him a warrant for his arrest had come from Gujarat. A contingent of Guajarat Police led by then ACP Narendera Amin (now in jail over the murder of Sohrabuddin and Kousar Bi in a fake encounter) were waiting for Naseeruddin, “accused of a role in (former Gujarat minister) Haren Pandya’s murder”.

“People from our neighbourhood collected outside the gate,” Naseeruddin said. “They didn’t allow the Gujarat police vehicle to leave and there was a scuffle. Narendra Amin opened fire.” Mujahid Saleem, 26, Billa’s elder brother, was killed, protests followed, and the Andhra government promised a magisterial inquiry besides filing a case against Gujarat police. Police registered a case of rioting against Billa, too.

The maulana was taken to Gujarat and was initially arrested on charges of instigating Pandya’s killers, and subsequently booked in the Ahmedabad conspiracy case — an alleged conspiracy to avenge the Gujarat riots. On January 12, 2010, a designated POTA court acquitted the maulana along with others and he was released.

THE MAULANA’S SONS

“A lot had happened during those five years. My three sons had all been arrested,” Naseeruddin said. He said the two elder sons were framed but added that the youngest, without the family’s knowledge, had gone to Pakistan for arms training.

“When the Gujarat police shot Mujahid Saleem, my youngest son Raziyuddin Nasir was there. He saw Saleem die. This affected him deeply. When I was in jail in Gujarat, my wife told me he had to be taken to a psychiatrist,” Naseeruddin said. “After some time, he went for Umrah (pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia). He went missing for one-and-a-half years. During that time, he had gone to Pakistan for arms training. We had no clue,” he said. “We heard about him only when the Bangalore police arrested him (in 2008).”

He said his two elder sons, Maqeemuddin Yasir and Baleeguddin Jabir, were framed. “Yasir has three children and was the manager of our workshop while Jabir was a third year student at Deccan Engineering College. The police accused them of being involved in the Mecca Masjid and other blasts and arrested them, a year after the blasts,” he said. “They couldn’t show even a bit of evidence but didn’t release them. They were shifted to Madhya Pradesh where their names had been included in a SIMI case in Dhar. They had never been to Dhar.”

He said for the next few years, their case didn’t move. “The case was shifted to Indore where the trial concluded earlier this month; both were acquitted… This country is our home too. Why is there no justice for us?”

THE YOUNGEST SON

ON JANUARY 30, 2008, according to Satyapaa Sambha Khote, then DSP, Special Enquiry Squad, Bangalore, a youth named Mohd Asif was stopped by an inspector of Gokul Road police station, Hubli, for speeding with his motorcycle. “It was found that he did not have documents of the motorcycle. Hence the PI (inspector) seized the vehicle and filed a case,” Khote said.

Investigations allegedly revealed Asif’s “involvement” with SIMI. The police made 18 more people accused on March 20, 2008, including Raziyuddin Nasir. In the affidavit, Khote claimed that Asif, a medical student at Hubli, and two other accused had met in “Castle Rock, Haliyal Road farmhouse, and Soudatti Road Darga” in the last week of April 2008, “aimed inter-alia at Islamisation of the world by means of Jihad”. According to Khote, the three held another “conspiracy meeting” at Castle Rock in November 2007 where they decided to “damage the sovereignty of the government of India and to ignite anti-national sentiments… ultimately changing the elected sovereign government and establishing Islamic government”.

Khote went on to give a long list of their “targets” — Kaiga nuclear plant, Infosys in Bangalore, Dell, IBM etc. For this mammoth task, they were apparently armed with four country-made revolvers — three of these rusted and defunct — and homemade grenades with gelatin sticks.

Khote produced a “confessional statement” by Nasir to Karnataka police, admitting he had gone to Pakistan for arms training. In the statement, Nasir says he was disillusioned after his father’s arrest and the death of “our family friend” Mujahid Saleem during the protest. Nasir was later booked in the 2008 Ahmedabad blasts case and is currently in Sabarmati jail in Gujarat.

THE WOMEN

In his affidavit filed on June 11, 2010, inspector Devender said that after Billa’s arrest on March 5, 2008, the women of Billa’s family — whom Devender calls “SIMI support militant ladies” — led by Billa’s sister Huma Islahi and Maulana Naseeruddin’s wife Tasneem Fatima had “attacked” the police station. Thirty women and children were rounded up in March 2008, including one with her seven-year-old daughter. Seven of them were students, 15 aged 19. Nine of the women were sent by the court for age determination tests to check if they were minors.

While most of the women were from Billa’s family or his neighbours and there was nothing to link them to SIMI, the affidavit called it a “rare case in entire India where SIMI militant activists organised their lady activists and… assaulted police”. Devender admitted that investigation records do not show these women as SIMI members. “This is as per my knowledge while working in the department and as per intelligence sources,” he said.

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