By Team FI
A team representing the National Commission for Minorities led by its Chairperson Naseem Ahmad visited the Dadri village to assess the situation and the progress of the investigation into the murder of a 50-year-old man by a Hindu right wing mob over rumours that he had consumed beef.
Here is the full text of report
Tag Archive for Hindu right wing
By Team FI
A concerted attempt by investigative agencies and sections of media seeks to foster suspicion and hatred against the minority community and create an image of the BJP’s controversial PM candidate Narendra Modi as being the target of terrorists
By Kavita Krishnan
In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections 2014, several instances of politically-motivated violence have been witnessed. The communal violence at Muzaffarnagar, intended to sharpen communal polarisation
and consolidate the dominant and majority community in UP and neighbouring states in favour of the BJP, is a good example. In Bihar, the murder of a young Muslim schoolteacher Akbar Khan followed by the murder of CPI(ML) Liberation leader Budhram Paswan, have also been used to serve a political purpose.
Following Comrade Budhram’s murder, feudal forces fired celebratory shots in the air, aiming to terrorise the poor supporters of CPI(ML). Following Akbar’s murder, there was a malicious attempt to spread a rumour that he was killed because he cheered for Pakistan in a cricket match. Fortunately the communal canard failed, because the young Akbar, who used to teach poor children for free and organise actions to keep the streets free of sexual harassment for schoolgirls, enjoyed the affection and respect of local people of all communities. As the elections unfold, it is disturbing to note a trend of communalisation and politicisation of terror investigations.
In the month of March, there has been a concerted attempt by investigative agencies and by sections of the media, to create an image of the BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi, as a leader who is the target of terrorists and to foster suspicion and hatred against the minority community as well. Following the arrest of four youths in Rajasthan recently, the media carried many stories claiming – supposedly based on ‘IB alerts’ that these four men were part of a terror plot against Modi. The Delhi Police Special Cell that made the arrests chose to hold a press conference about the arrests. What was the need for a press conference in an ongoing investigation, when no substantial facts are available? Such an exercise, in an election season, smacks of a political motive.
Communal profiling in terror Investigations: Report from Abgila, Arwal, Bihar
A team comprising CPI(ML) leaders Dhirendra Jha, Kavita Krishnan, Mohd Salim, Rajaram and Mahanand, as well as senior advocates and activists of Rihai Manch, Mohd Shoaib and Asad Hyatt, visited Abgila village in Arwal district on March 31, 2014. Below, we summarise what the team was told by people of the village:
National Investigation Agency (NIA) asks ‘Why won’t you vote for Modi?’ Maqsood Alam, father of 19-year old Aslam Parvez told the team that his son has been held in NIA custody since March 5th. Alam had taken his son to Karauna OP of Jehanabad after being informed by the police to present himself there. In his presence, his son was beaten by the NIA team and asked to confess to involvement in the blasts.
Subsequently, he was held in NIA custody in Delhi and papers reported on April 1 that he was produced in a Ranchi court on March 31st and that he has ‘confessed’ to involvement in the blasts.’ Maqsood Alam and other family members were told by the NIA to present themselves in Delhi on the day of Holi. Alam saw his son in NIA custody in Delhi, and according to him, ‘Aslam Parvez appeared crazed by torture, talking incoherent rubbish. It was heartrending to see my young son in this condition.’
Maqsood Alam himself was interrogated by the NIA. During interrogation he was asked to which party he belonged, to which he replied ‘Maaley’ (CPIML Liberation is known in Bihar by this name). Asked ‘What’s Maaley’, he replied ‘It’s Dipankarji’s party (Dipankar Bhattacharya is the party General Secretary)’. To which an NIA interrogator asked him, ‘Why won’t you and your family support Modi, vote for Modi?’ Maksood Alam is a homoeopathic doctor; the NIA also tried to instigate his landlord to evict his clinic from the premises.
Aslam Parvez’s cousin Irfan Ansari had been picked up on March 1st, and tortured in NIA custody. In Jehanabad, he was stripped naked and beaten on his legs and soles of the foot. In NIA custody in Delhi,
soap was put in his mouth, and his head was held under water repeatedly. A chair was placed on his chest, and NIA personnel would sit on the arms of the chair to create unbearable pressure on his body. He put be placed in a room all night with no clothes on, with the fan on. Irfan Ansari said the NIA told him – ‘We’ll ensure that no Muslim from Arwal ever gets a government job.’ Irfan has been selected for the CRPF, and the NIA told him that they would ensure that he lost his place.
Irfan was asked to confess to having introduced Aslam Parvez to some ‘Hyder’ and to have been in Gaya on the day of the Bodh Gaya blasts (7 July 2013). He had in fact travelled by train to Asansol via Dhanbad; and the train passes through Gaya. However, he said he never alighted at Gaya. He was shown photographs of persons and asked, under torture, to identify them – but he was unable to do so. Irfan was released and told that he would be interrogated again at a later date.
During interrogation by the NIA in Delhi, Manzoor Alam was brought face to face with Aslam Parvez, and the latter said to Manzoor, “We met together at Gaya with Irfan and Hyder to plan the Bodh Gaya
blasts.” Manzoor Alam said that Aslam Parvez’s manner revealed that he was under duress and severe torture.
Irfan’s brothers Rustom and Sohrab, Murtaza Ansari, Parvez Alam, Sarfaraz, Sarfuddin and Naushad Alam are some of the other youth from the village who have been summoned and interrogated by the NIA. There is an atmosphere of palpable terror, with every youth living in the village fears that he will be tortured and branded a terrorist.
The NIA Act is a draconian law under which an accused can be held in police custody for 30 days, and further detained without charges for 180 days. For Aslam Parvez, this has meant that the NIA has the powers to extract false confessions under torture.
The whole episode displays a disturbing trend of politicisation and communalisation of terror investigations.
Narendra Modi’s accusations against noted human rights activist Harsh Mander condemned as being an attempt to distort facts and spread hate
By Team FI
Human rights activists and individuals issued a statement today condemning the verbal attack unleashed by controversial Hindu right wing politician Narendra Modi on social activist Harsh Mander.
The statement signed by eminent activists including Medha Patkar, Shabnam Hashmi and Kavita Srivastava accused the Gujarat Chief Minister for trying to “belittle Mander’s work, raising doubts about him and villifying his name in public.”
Harsh Mander, an ardent opponent of capital punishment, is a well known social activist and writer. He heads Aman Biradari which works for communal harmony and runs residential homes for some 4000 homeless children across India.
Modi, whose rule saw the 2002 Gujarat carnage which killed over 2500 people mostly belonging to the minority community, accused Mander of being a Maoist sympathizer last week. The verbal attack from one of Indian’s most divisive right wing politician began when a care giver at one of 45 institutions run by Aman Biradari – Padma – was arrested for having links with Maoists (banned members of radical left groups). Harsh Mander in his letter to the press last week had expressed his organisation’s innocence, stating that the organisation was not aware of the “true identity” of Padma and they chose to hire her as she was a dedicated worker and she hailed from a poor family. She was employed as a manager at one of their institutions in Hyderabad.
Activists allege that the news of the woman’s arrest is being twisted and used by Narendra Modi to brand Harsh Mander, who has consistently voiced his outrage against Gujarat violence, as a Maoist sympathizer.
Publishing here is the copy of the petition;
Statement condemning the Targeting and Vilification of Harsh Mander by Narendra Modi
New Delhi,12th, June, 2013
With great pride we would like to put on record that the work of our colleague and friend Harsh Mander, for the last several years, both inside the Government as a civil servant, as well as outside the Government as a policy maker, researcher and activist has been, that of promoting in the most ethical way, non-violent ways of ensuring justice to survivors of violence due to their gender, class, caste, religious group, ethnicity or nationality. The most prominent violence which Harsh’s work has highlighted has been the one committed on the vulnerable by both the State and Society due to their invisibility, whether they be the homeless, the destitute, the old or street people.
It is shocking that the “aspirant PM” Narendra Modi has been targeting Harsh for the last week calling him a Maoist. Thus trying to belittle his work, raising doubts about him and villifying his name in public. This targeting of individuals and organisations and vilifying them is not new, earlier too he had spewed venom against Syeda Hammed, Teesta Setalvad and Shabnam Hashmi amongst the several and now the new whipping boys are Harsh Mander and Dr. Binayak Sen.
The hiring of Padma, a single poor woman, estranged from her husband, as a care giver in one of the 45 Institutions for street and abandoned children run by Aman Biradari, is being twisted and used by Modi to prove that Harsh is a Maoist sympathizer. The latest spin that Harsh Mander is in any way involved with the Maoists and that he may have had anything to do at all with the abduction of Vineel Krishna, the then District Collector of Malkangiri is patently false, concocted and the figment of a very perverted imagination.
This absolutely absurd claim and false connection being made by Modi only exposes his brand of politics which is seeped, in his parent organisation the RSS from where Mr. Modi has learnt to distort facts and spread hate. His anger against Harsh also clearly goes back to the latter’s work in Gujarat struggling over ten years to ensure justice to those affected by the 2002 communal genocide. It may be recalled that Harsh had left the prestigious civil services in 2002 and plunged himself in Gujarat and other parts of India in order to quell communal fire from spreading and working towards justice and rehabilitation of the survivors.
It goes without saying that this vilification of Harsh for partisan electoral politics be stopped. It is vital for all to understand that the perils of allowing such politics to take centre stage where democratic rights of people are attacked, impacting their right to work as they choose, and amounts to an attack on the very basis of our country’s plural existence. We hope that such politics will not be promoted by political parties and the media so that people can continue to work freely for public good.