Farooq Versus The State #Film #TISS

Hari Masjid, Wadala, Mumbai, was the scene of a brutal police attack on January 10, 1993. Though Farooq Mhapkar was one of the casualties of indiscriminate police firing, he was charged as a rioter. Farooq versus The State is the story of Farooq’s protracted legal battle against an unyielding State in pursuit of justice.

Through this case, the film seeks to explore how justice was delayed and denied to the victims and survivors of the 1992-93 communal violence.

Hindi/English with English subtitles, 26 mins, Directed by K.P. Jayasankar and Anjali Monteiro

PRESS STATEMENT- Justice Markandey Katju on #Faizabad



Oct 30, 20012 – Press – Realease


I have received a letter from Ms. Teesta Setalvad, Co-editor of Communalism Combat mentioning in detail a serious communal accident which occurred on the evening of October 24, 2012. According to this letter, a huge group of people attacked the Nawab Hasan Raja Masjid in the chowk area of Faizabad for four to five hours committing arson and looting including looting of a large number of shops. The aforesaid Masjid was totally gutted and destroyed by the vandals as also the office of the bilingual Hindi-Urdu publication ‘Aap ki Taaqat’ that stands for communal amity and promotes the Ganga-Jumna Tehzeeb, and the concept ‘Hindi Urdu do Behen’. The office of the aforesaid newspaper is in the first floor of the aforesaid Masjid.  The editor of the publication, Manzar Mehdi, is President of the Urdu Press Association and the publication attracts 80 per cent advertisement support from the Hindu community. The Masjid every year welcomes the Durga goddess processionists and other processions with floral tributes. The mosque that dates back to 1790 A.D. has always practised and preached communal harmony.


What has hurt Mr. Mehdi most is the ambivalence of the national media (except the Hindustan daily which published the true facts) and he has alleged that the media has not seen it as an attack on the freedom of the press. “Why is the media deserting its own, especially a small publication that has become a symbol of intercommunity harmony?” asked Mr. Mehdi.


It is alleged in the letter that the lock of the Masjid was broken, and the Masjid looted and gutted down. The newspaper Aap Ki Taaqat’s office located on the top floor of the Masjid was also not spared, and it has been vandalized. Books were trampled upon and torn, the computer was destroyed.


On receipt of the aforesaid letter from Ms. Teesta Setalvad, I have today appointed a one man committee of Mr. Sheetla Singh, Member of the Press Council of India and a very senior journalist who is also editor of Jan Morcha of Faizabad to enquire into this complaint and submit his report at the earliest. I have spoken to Mr. Sheetla Singh and Ms. Teesta Setalvad on telephone.


If the allegations in the letter of Ms. Setalvad are correct it is a serious criminal offence which tends to disrupt the secular framework of our Constitution and society, and deserves condemnation and harsh punishment.


India- A village cowers in fear

KANIYOOR (Dakshina Kannada), October 13, 2012

Mohit M. Rao

Villagers of Abbada in Puttur taluk say they prefer to walk in pairs so that they
don’t attract the attention of Hindu rightwing activists. Photo: Mohit M. Rao

The Hindu
Villagers of Abbada in Puttur taluk say they prefer to walk in pairs so that they don’t attract the attention of Hindu rightwing activists. Photo: Mohit M. Rao

Muslims of Abbada say there was no violence against them before Ramzan

It started as small incidents, destroying boards and banners of the village masjid and taunting devotees headed for prayers. However, the jeering turned into physical assault on September 27, when a group of around 10 men, clutching swords and rods, descended on the village and attacked a villager.

Fear is palpable in Abbada village, off Puttur-Kukke Subramanya State Highway, where out of 30 families, 10 are Muslim. Villagers refused to talk in the open, fearing that someone might tip off Hindu rightwing groups responsible for the assault.

They suggested Badria Jumma Masjid, a half-kilometre away, to talk in, and chose to walk in pairs and at a distance so as not to “arouse suspicion”.

“What can we do?,” said Mohammad Asraf. “We are very few in numbers. The men are daily-wage labourers and for most of the day only women and children are in the village. If they [Hindu rightwing groups] suspect anything, it is easy to target us.”

Most of those who spoke to The Hindu have spent most of their lives in the village, and recollected no discrimination or violence against them before Ramzan this year.

Three months ago, a concrete board showing the way to the mosque was destroyed. Then, in increasing frequency, green flags and banners put up around the masjid during festivities were cut and flung aside.

The people of the village said men on bikes ripped banners with blades and fled when villagers spotted them.

Abdul Shakir said the harassment became brazen when groups of men congregated at the turn-off to the mosque and verbally abused those headed for prayers.

Then, little more than a month ago, Abdul Khader (52) was accosted by a group of men when he was grazing his calf. “They asked if I was going to slaughter it. Though I said no, they swore at me, beat me, and took away my calf,” he says.

One of the assailants was a cattle dealer Mr. Khader used to deal with. “They think because a Muslim has a cow, he is going to slaughter it. I have stopped trading cattle because of this,” he said.

On September 27 around 9.30 p.m., Bajrang Dal activists, as recognised by the people of the village and the police, circled the village on bikes and a jeep.

They banged the doors of Muslim houses. As the Muslim men had gone for prayers at the time, only the women were in the houses.

A woman said she locked her door and switched off the lights hoping the group would go away.

Ravindranath Rai, a farmer, chased two activists to the fringes of the village — which is midway between the village and the masjid — where the rest of the group pounced on him.

Children who were returning early after prayers witnessed the attack, and their screams attracted the attention of those in the masjid. Mr. Rai was rescued just as the Bajrang Dal men attempted to run him over with their jeep. The jeep instead struck an electric pole.

Umar Farooq, 14, said he was now terrified to go to madrasa for evening classes. Mohammad Arshad, 12, who heard the men menacingly gesturing that “the Beary children were being let out”, said his mother had to force him to attend madrasa.

“I make her come along with me,” said the boy.

Villagers said they now stayed indoors as much as possible.

“If they can assault a Hindu for supporting us, imagine what they can do to us. Moreover, after filing cases against them, we fear they will target us. We will trade our freedom [of movement] any day for peace,” said one.

The rightwing activists on September 28 filed a counter police complaint against 22 Muslim men of the village. The activists alleged that the Muslim men attacked them and damaged their jeep.

Keywords: Abbada village, violence


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