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Indian Muslim

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    This special TCN series highlights some of the example cases of people accused of terrorism and their struggle for justice. This series is sponsored by Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC).

    By Mohd. Ismail Khan,

    Hyderabad: ‘8-10 police officers invaded our house at midnight, started searching without caring about the womenfolk, when they didn’t fiund Hashim they took my husband, my three sons including a 13-year old into custody as a surety for Hashim, they told us Hashim is wanted in bomb blast cases’ said shy Syeda Mujeeba Begum sipping a cup of tea sitting in her kitchen which acts also as her drawing room recalls the night in August 2000 when Task Force came looking for his eldest son Sheikh Hashim Ali.

    A photograph of Sheikh Hashim Ali.

    A videographer by profession Hashim Ali when witnessed arrests of his close friends in the neighborhood, escaped to Mumbai. Police officers assured Hashim’s family that he will be let off after questioning, family persuaded Hashim Ali and made him surrender on 4th of August, ‘Investigating officer told us my brother will be freed after three days,’ said Sajjida Siddiqua younger sister of Hashim, little did she know at that time that it won’t be 3 days but will be more than 13 years and still no sight of his brother returning home.

    Family said though Hashim surrendered on 4th August 2000, police kept him under 11 days of illegal detention and tortured using third degree methods, than he was presented before the media along with explosives ‘recovered’ from him, claiming that he was caught at Emillybun bus stand while he was trying to escape from Hyderabad.

    13 bomb blasts

    Like his arrest the case in which Hashim was prosecuted was even more obscure. In the year 2000 from 21st May to 9th July a series of minor gelatin stick blasts occured in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Goa. In a span of just 50 days 12 churches and one mosque became the target. The gelatin blasts were so minor in nature that even 13 blasts in three different states could not injure more than three persons, but those minor blasts created fear, panic and sense of insecurity in those states. Those were the times when terrorism was still not a mainstream issue, and it was hard to describe it in cliché terms.

    As the religious places of minorities was target, police initially suspected right-wing Hindutva groups, but soon settled down with Muslims when there was a mysterious blast in a car in the Vijaywada highway in which three people died and one got serious injuries, all of them belonged to Deendar Anjuman a socio-religious Muslim organization, police immediately alleged that people who died in that car blast were the bomb-makers who were behind all those blasts in churches and Deendar came onto the radar. With that mysterious car blast (which family of the deceased still claim was due to engine exhaustion) the security agencies got big ‘break through’ in the church blast cases. The lone survivor of that car blast S.M. Ibrahim allegedly gave a ‘confessional statement’ in the police custody of unleashing terror strikes in the churches.

    Basing on his confessional statement 52 persons belonging to Deendar Anjuman was arrested by the police from A.P, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Deendar Anjuman and all its activities were subsequently banned in 2001 under Section 3 of the Un-Lawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. Than Union Home Minister L K Advani declared in Parliament that government have ‘concrete proof’ of organization relations with ISI, subsequently Prime Minister of the time Atal Bihari Vajpayee met Pope John Paul II and assured him thorough action against the perpetrators of blasts in churches.

    The A.P. TADA court trail
    Asif Nagar, a Muslim ghetto from Deendar Anjuman in Hyderabad was virtually seized by the police; nearly 30 individuals including Hashim Ali and many of his friends were arrested. Hashim Ali along with 52 other individuals faced trail in A.P TADA court under Section 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance), Section 120B (criminal conspiracy), Section 121 (waging war against the nation), Section 121A (conspiracy to wage war), Section 124A (sedition), Section 153A (provocation to cause riot), and Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), along with the provisions of the Explosive Substances Act.

    In November 2004 TADA court gave its judgment where 31 Muslim youths were acquitted and 21 got 4-year imprisonment getting convicted in sec 120B for possessing a book called Imam-ul-Jihad written by Maulana Deendar Siddiqui founder of Anjuman in 1936, but all of them were let off as they had already spent 4 years in prison. Hashim Ali family’s hope of his release was shattered as just one month after TADA court’s judgment he along with 23 others was shifted to Karnataka prison to face trail in similar blast cases in that state.

    The shocking Judgment of Karnataka sessions court

    Hashim Ali spent another four years in Karnataka prison waiting for the next judgment, counting days hoping same judgement as AP TADA Court as charges were almost the same. But to his and other 22 accused utter shock, for the blasts where only three people received minor injuries, in Nov 2008 Karnataka Sessions Court awarded death sentence to 11 Muslim youths for 2 counts and life sentence to 12 other youths for 10 counts, it was the same set of cases from which previously A.P. TADA court scrapped off the terror charges.

    Hashim Ali alone was bestowed with 2 death and 8 life sentences, while jingoistic Indian media and society welcomed it as a though call on terrorism, family of Hashim Ali was left devastated, they weren’t able to grasp how their son who was cleared of all terror charges in TADA court ended up getting death sentence for same set of charges in Karnataka Sessions Court.

    Earlier spoke with Mr. Hashmat Pasha Advocate who is representing those 23 Muslim youths including Hashim Ali in the Karnataka high court for appealing against those excessive session court sentences. He said, “Trial court of Karnataka was seriously wrong in their judgment as there is no proofs against my clients except the testimony and police confessional statement of one survivor of the car blast that is not at all enough to award life sentence let alone death sentence.” He even raised a serious legal point “My clients were already tried in A.P trail court for the same offence and got 4 years imprisonment only for possessing allegedly inflammatory material, now they cannot be retried again for the same offences in the different trail court, it is against natural justice."

    The police harassment and financial difficulties for family

    Hashim Ali’s sister Ms. Sajjida said the harassment of police which began on their family after the arrest of his brother in 2000 is still continuing even after 13 years, she said her three younger brothers were frequently harassed by the police, one of her brother was illegally detained after murder of a priest in the city, later involvement of right wing Hindutva groups were found, Sajjida narrated how her youngest brother was once taken by the police blindfolded from the house and threaten with encounter.

    Mother Mujeeba begum narrated financial difficulties her family members are facing after his eldest son’s arrest, Hashim Ali’s mother said at the time of his arrest Hashim was the only bread earner of the family, her family use to own a car and had a thriving video recording business which was brought down to ruins after his arrest and now family is forced to live in a rented two room house.

    She further said there were times for her when she didn’t have money even to travel to meet her son who is now shifted to Belgaum prison or even to buy some articles for him,.

    The Karnataka high court judgment quashed session’s court order

    In December last year a big respite came for the miseries of Hashim Ali’s family, their long struggle finally showed some result and Karnataka High Court set aside sessions court verdict on Hashim Ali and quashed his one death sentence and life sentence of 2 counts, High Court observed that sessions court was flawed in awarding punishment basing upon police confessional statement. Hashim’s family claims that High Court judgment further reiterated their long cry from the beginning that their son is innocent.

    Hashim Ali communicated with TCN from Belgaum prison contacted Hashim Ali in Belgaum prison through his mother, as even writing letter addressed to the media is not allowed for him, he told brief points about his case to TCN via his mother. Hashim Ali told environment in courts and prisons was biased against Muslims where they often heard slangs like ‘Pakistanis’, Hashim said during his illegal custody by A.P. police he was severely tortured and pressurized often to accept the responsibility of gelatin stick blasts. When he was presented before the media after weeks of illegal detention Hashim assumed that phase of torture for him is over, but soon he realized that torture didn’t end but just changed its phase from physical to mental which he is bearing even till now.

    Hashim observed Karnataka Sessions Court didn’t follow basic rules while awarding him death sentence, he said FIR registered in 2000 didn’t contain any single name. When they were brought from Hyderabad in 2004 their names were included, he said there is no direct evidence to link him with the blasts and whole case against him and others in the FIR was based on confessional statement given by Ibrahim in police custody which sessions court accepted.

    As her mother reported Hashim was angered the way his whole trial since the beginning of 2000 is going on, he said trial, re-trial in different state and appeals against flawed judgments is consuming at least four years in each phase in great Indian judicial system, Hashim Ali now 40 was 27 year old at the time of his arrest fears that he will lose significant part of his life running behind courts and prisons for the crime which he claimed he never committed.

    We are already being deprived of justice; we are struggling to get judgment

    Hashim’s sister Sajjida said, “Even sometimes we feel judges are also scared in giving fair judgment, like our advocate carry on arguments for years, when the time for judgment arrive Judge either delay the judgment till he gets transferred, or sometime as it happened once with us Judge even refused to give judgment at all.”

    With moist eyes she further added, “This long trials is no use to us, we know our brother is innocent, but when will we get justice, after how many years of patience we will get a fair judgment, 13 years have already passed, this type of justice is not righteous at all, we are now just waiting for a judgment, justice have already being denied to us.”

    Hashim who had just completed one year of his love marriage when he was arrested said, after waiting for five years his wife lost her patience, divorced him and got married to someone else, which was a deep psychological trauma for him. But even in those tough times Hashim said he never ever lost his hope and along with his family have strived hard in search of justice, Hashim said like the way Karnataka High Court quashed one of his death sentence and 2 life sentence he is hopeful that rest of one death sentence and 8 life imprisonment in three other cases will also going to be set aside, but the catch for him is he doesn’t know when, or after how many more years of separation from his love ones.

    Hashim Ali said he wrote numerous letters to Home Minister and Minority Aaffairs Minister urging them to finish all his trials in specified period of time, but he never got reply from any office.

    As of now UPA Govt. Minority Affairs Ministry, and recently Home Ministry has promised to begin fast-track proceedings for Muslim youths arrested in Terror cases, Hashim Ali and 22 other Muslim youths languishing in jail for 13 years eagerly waiting for not even justice but only court judgments, will be a good case to follow up, since for them justice is something which they are already being deprived of.

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    The security establishment’s war on human rights has emerged as the greatest threat to Indian democracy.

    Aijaz Zaka Syed,

    India’s greatest strength is its democracy. If the country has been on the march of progress in the face of a million mutinies and boasts stability and functioning institutions, it is chiefly because of its vibrant democracy. If the idea of India has worked defying its mindboggling religious, linguistic and cultural diversity, you know where the credit belongs.

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that while Pakistan lost its architects soon after its birth and paid a heavy price for it, India has had the opportunity to be shaped in its formative years by the first line of leadership that had steered the freedom struggle. Whatever the explanation, India’s worst detractors would concede that it is thanks to the blessings of a democratic polity that the nation’s ship sailed through savage seas and storms to safety.

    And now this democracy is under attack from a creeping police state and the same fascist mindset that proved the undoing of Europe in the last century. Increasingly, you see events and trends that challenge the idea of a democratic and plural India. Something has terribly gone wrong somewhere. Things fall apart and the centre cannot hold, in the words of Yeats. Every passing day adds to questions marks hanging over the state of the nation and future of its vulnerable groups and communities.

    The death of Khalid Mujahid this past week in police custody may look like just another tragedy that routinely happen in the length and breadth of the great republic. It was anything but routine. The coldblooded fashion in which Mujahid was eliminated by the Uttar Pradesh police after six years in detention has an already insecure community totally shaken.

    Mujahid wasn’t a typical terror suspect. Both Mujahid and Tariq Qasimi, who was picked up with him as executors of the 2007 serial blasts in UP, were religious scholars and went by the honorific of Maulana. The case against the two had fallen apart after the Justice Nimesh commission gave them a clean chit and confirmed the complicity of top cops in framing the duo who had graduated from Darul Uloom Deoband, Asia’s most respected Islamic university.

    Police claim that Mujahid, in his early 30s and good health, ‘died’ following a heart attack—they first blamed it on the heat!--on the way back from Faizabad court to Lucknow jail, a distance of just 79 miles. His family and lawyer, who was brutally attacked a day later in the court compound by fellow lawyers for defending ‘the terrorists’, say his neck was broken and he was bleeding from his nose and ear. There were bruises all over his face and body. On the way back from the court, the deceased had also managed to change from his traditional white attire into a T-shirt and shorts!

    Of course, Mujahid isn’t the first young Muslim to die in detention and this reign of state terror is unlikely to end with his death. Last year, another innocent man, Qateel Siddiqui, was killed in Pune’s high security prison a day before he was to be moved to Delhi.

    From Ishrat Jahan to Maulana Mujahid, there’s a long list of the usual suspects ending up dead in detention or in staged police encounters. There have been others like the Mumbai lawyer Shahid Azmi, another defender of the indefensible, whose killing remains a permanent mystery.

    If Ishrat, her three friends, Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife were killed in Modi’s Vibrant Gujarat, Mujahid met his fate on the watch of the secular Samajwadi government. It is the same government that recently bent over backwards to bail out Varun Gandhi in the infamous hate speech case.

    As many as 88 witnesses, including journalists and officials, were silenced to kill the case against Nehru’s great-grandson, who vowed to chop off the Katuwas’ (a derogatory word for Muslims) hands and heads. He has been made general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which hopes to replace the Congress in power in next year’s elections.

    This killing has reinforced the Muslims’ fears that they are facing a calibrated terror campaign at the hands of police and security-intelligence establishment. Like the military industrial complex in the United States, it has become so powerful that it is its own master and calls the shots no matter who is in power.

    Perhaps because of the violent separation of India and Pakistan along religious lines and collective historical baggage that preceded it, the security establishment has come to view the Muslims as the problem—the fifth column of the Enemy and often the enemy himself.

    So whether it is the grand old Congress, Muslim-bashing BJP, socialist pretender SP or champion of the oppressed Bahujan Samajwadi Party in power, there’s little change in the policies, attitudes and actions of the security establishment or the Deep State as the Turks would call it.

    The cancer of communalism has spread so far and wide that no section of society, from police and administration to media and universities, appears to be exempt. Every time a bomb goes off somewhere—now you do not even need an explosion or excuse--the nearest Muslim must be put away as the perpetrator.

    The recent National Crime Bureau statistics speak for themselves. While Muslims, according to 2011 census, are just 13.5 per cent of the population, their share in the country’s prisons is nearly 25pc. Every third prisoner in Maharashtra and every fourth one in UP and West Bengal is a Muslim. In Gujarat, it is 23pc prisoners against less than 10pc of the population.

    As for Muslim representation in police and security forces, it’s less than 2pc. It’s the same story in elite civil services as well as lower administration. Is it any wonder then India’s largest minority feels perpetually persecuted and under siege?

    Former inspector general of UP police SR Darapuri, who has among others set up Rihai Manch for the release of innocent Muslims, talks of thousands languishing in secret prisons across the country. “Khalid Mujahid is not the only one (to be victimised), there are many Muslim youth who have been missing from their districts and even their families do not know about them. They are kept in secret detention to implicate them in a bomb blast some time in future,” he said at a press conference this week.

    Journalist Ashish Khetan, who has extensively reported on Gujarat and done path-breaking stories on false terror cases and targeting of Muslims, attributes the problem to “a dangerous prejudice pervading India’s criminal justice system” and security establishment.

    The killing of Khalid Mujahid marks a new low and turning point in this relentless war on rights. A terrorised minority is the target of the state terror. The cases of Ishrat, Shaikh, Maulana Naseeruddin and others reveal that every such frame-up involves several states.

    If a Qateel Siddiqui is picked up in Delhi, he is immediately implicated in attacks in the distant Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and every other case that the collective memory of security agencies could summon up. The condemned spend years, as Mohammed Aamir did, hopelessly fighting multiple and endless cases across the country.

    Where will all this end? Home Minister Shinde has talked of special courts to deal swiftly with such cases probably with an eye on 2014. But courts alone cannot sort out this issue. Sickness lies elsewhere. And it’s not the problem of a community struggling on the margins of society. This creeping police state has emerged as the greatest threat to the idea of India.

    If a community as large as nearly 200 million is endlessly targeted and driven to the edge, India itself will not remain unaffected by the chaos. The secular and plural character of the polity and the rule of law that goes with it is not merely the need of Muslims; it’s the lifeblood of constitution and body-politic. It is the glue that has held together this great, complex melange of a nation. Do not let an extremist fringe kill the idea of India in the name of security.

    (Aijaz Zaka Syed is a commentator on the Middle East and South Asian affairs and can be contacted at

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Lucknow: CPIM leader Subhasini Ali said in Lucknow today that her party will raise the issue of death of Khalid Mujahid and tabling of Nimesh Commission report in Parliament.

    Subhasini was speaking during her token of support on the fourth day of the indefinite dharna that Rihai Manch (Forum for the Release of Innocent Muslims imprisoned in the name of Terrorism) has organized outside the state Assembly demanding persecution of police officers involved in the custodial death of Khalid Mujahid, tabling of the Nimesh Commission Report and release of Muslim youths languishing in jails in fabricated terror cases.

    She accused the SP government of trying to protect the ‘killers of Khalid Mujahid’, else the government should have suspended and arrested the 42 police officials against whom FIR has been registered.

    Pointing to the acquittal of Varun Gandhi in the hate speech case, the former Rajya Sabha MP alleged that the Samjwadi Party and BJP are colluding for narrow political gains.

    Former MP Ilyas Azmi, who was also present, alleged that whenever SP comes to power in UP, communal riots increase.

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    Mansoor Ilahi and Abdullah,,

    Aligarh: Regional Urdu Teachers Association Aligarh in collaboration with Noor Jan Samiti and National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language organised a one day seminar on “Role of Mohd. Ali Jauhar in promotion of Urdu and problems of Muslim minorities”.

    Speaking at the seminar Chief Guest Padmshree Prof Akhtarul Wasey, Vice-chairman, Delhi Urdu Academy said that whatever he is today, that is just because of Aligarh. He owes his indebtedness towards the alma mater and the soil of Aligarh as it is his own city and he is not a guest here. He expressed his sincere thanks to Dr. Shakeel Samdani and Kr. Naseem Shahid for having inviting him to this seminar.

    Dr. Shakeel Samdani adressing the seminar

    He said that the formula of three languages should be implemented and the provision of choosing one between the Sanskrit and Urdu should be abolished. He stated that Urdu is the language of all and it is incorrect to attach it only to Muslims. He said that languages are like sisters and they are not co-wives. He highlighted the issue of Security of Muslims Youths and said that fast track courts should be established for the fair and speedy trail of the accused and if they are proved innocent, government must compensate to them. He made clear; that guilty must be punished and innocent must be freed.

    He said that Ram Manohar Lohia and Chaudhary Charan Singh were not the opponents of the idea of imparting compulsory Urdu education up to class 8, in fact they were strong advocates of this idea. He also said that Hindi alone cannot lead towards prosperity and it requires the support of Urdu and English both.

    While addressing the seminar, Guest of honour Dr. Shakeel Samdani, renowned scholar cum orator and Senior Faculty at Dept. Of Law, Aligarh Muslim University elaborated the host of problems faced by Muslims. He said that the major problem that Muslims are facing today in UP is the security of its youth, and in past three months there had been two tragic incidents which has multiplied this threat, the earlier one was the brutal murder of Shaheed Ziaul Haque, and the recent one is the death of Khalid Mujahid in mysterious circumstances while he was in police custody. The Samajwadi Party Government which last year rode on the aspirations of Muslim youth and swiped the elections has miserably failed to protect the life of Muslims, what to talk about property and their other belongings.

    L-R: Shakeel Samdani, Naseem Shahid, Akhratul Waise, and Guddu Pandit

    Highlighting the apathy of the Government with regard to primary education of Muslims, Dr. Shakeel Samdai said that today Muslims are ready to send their children to school. They are now very eager to provide education to their children but the Luke warm response of government machinery towards minorities is a major impediment in this regard. Expressing his concern over this issue, he said that Muslim students are not able to get admissions in schools and in high quality private schools they are not able to afford its fees because of their economic backwardness, and this is because of absence of reservation policy for Muslims. He said that Muslim children are even not able to reap the benefits of RTE because of the insensitiveness and irresponsible behaviour of elected representatives. They are not doing anything to take the benefit of 25% quota which is reserved for the marginalised sections of the society.

    Referring about the special centres of AMU, Dr. Samdani said that this was a commendable step on the part of the University to spread the light of education and today the two established centres are running successfully and the process of starting the third one is in full swing and as soon as the grant from the government will be made available, the classes will be started. He even mentioned about the present VC, Lt. Gen Zameer uddin Shah and his initiatives which he has taken to restore the glorious traditions of AMU and placing the University on number one slot among institutions of higher education and he called upon the Alig Fraternity to cooperate with him in fulfilling this noble endeavour. He also emphasised that in every house, at least one Urdu newspaper should be read, as it will connect us to our issues, which are generally raised by Urdu Media. He said the Muslims should try to strengthen the Urdu Media and news websites run by Muslims, so that their issues and causes are raised in a befitting manner. He also stressed upon the unity among Muslims.

    Besides, the seminar was also addressed by the MLC Vivek Bansal, who in his speech assured all sort of cooperation from his side to the office bearers of Urdu Teacher’s Association. Bhagwan Sharma alias ‘Guddu Pandit’ MLA from Bulandshahar also spoke on the occasion and said that he will forward all the demands and grievances of the Association to the State Government.

    Earlier welcoming the guests the President of the Association Kr. Naseem Shahid said that the association is fully committed for the welfare of Urdu teachers and in the past also, the association has worked rigorously to sort out problems of Urdu teachers. He said that association will work with full dedication for the upliftment and nourishment of the Urdu language. Secretary of Noor Jan Seva Samiti, Nizamuddin proposed the vote of thanks, while Owais Jamal Shamsi conducted the program. On this occasion, a souvenir on Karwan-e-Urdu was released by the guests.

    The seminar was attended by a large number of social activists, political leaders and teachers including Dr. Obaid Iqbal Asim, Er. Pervez Ansari, Abdul Qadir Khan, Hashim Ansari, Sabih Kamal, Gulzar Ahamd, Khushro Sb, Suraj Singh, Mansoor Ilahi, Secretary, Sir Syed Awareness Forum, Abdullah Samdnai, Vishnu Saraswat, Kavita Yadav, Gram Pradhan, Nishish Jaar, BSA, Aligarh, Mujahid Sherwani , Dr. Jafar Dariq, Mrs Sabiha Kamal, Musharaf Mahzar.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Mumbai: Investigative journalist Ashish Khetan has written a letter petition to the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court in “deliberate framing of Muslims in terror cases by the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra.”

    Khtan has recently started, a news portal devoted to investigative journalism, and has unearthed “internal documents from more than half a dozen anti-terror agencies that show that the State has been knowingly prosecuting innocent Muslims for terror cases and keeping the evidence of their innocence from the courts.”

    Khetan, during his earlier tenure with the weekly magazine Tehelka did a sting operation and authored investigative reports on many important cases including those arising from the Gujarat riots of 2002, such as the Naroda Gaon, Naroda Patiya and Gulberg Society massacres and the Best Bakery carnage.

    It was after his ‘sting operation’ in the infamous Best Bakery case, the Supreme Court had constituted a Quasi Judicial Committee headed by the then Registrar General, Supreme Court.

    In the letter, Khetan writes, “The consequences should shock anyone with a conscience. In one case known as Pune German Bakery Blast Case, the drastic death sentence has even been pronounced by the trial court. The matter thus is of great moment and equally great urgency.”

    After pursuing the case for over a year now, Khetan says that his research reveals the fabrication of charges against Muslim youths: “At least in three cases prosecuted by ATS Maharashtra, namely the July 11 2006 Mumbai local train blasts, the 2006 Malegaon Blasts and the Pune German Bakery case of February 2010, the ATS has deliberately created bogus evidence, extracted false confessions by the most inhuman torture, planted explosives in the houses of the accused and thus implicated innocent Muslim youth.”

    He adds,” I have, what would certainly be compelling if not foolproof evidence of the deliberate faking of confessions to frame absolutely unconnected persons, as well, as the most inhuman torture of innocent Muslims in police custody and fudging of records to corrupt the course of justice.”

    Pointing to the bias in the security agencies’ method of working he pleads in the HC, “The state of corruption goes beyond, what may usually be termed as ‘padding’ a case and in fact shows a deep bias against Muslims in particular, besides absolute contempt for law, justice and truth,” adding, “the result is a serious breach of the right to life and liberty, the equality before law and our basic constitutional values. The result is also a serious security risk, for this nature of targeting is bound to cause wide-spread disbelief in mechanisms of justice and exponentially add to a feeling of alienation amongst a sizeable section of the citizenry.”

    Drawing the attention of the HC, he points out, “Every time an innocent person is framed in a terror case, the real culprits do not just get away but also get emboldened. Therefore, what I am placing before you is not just aberrations in investigations or minor breaches, but a whole stylised operation with active prejudice that will only serve to increase the terror threat that this nation faces and endanger our internal security. My investigation shows that these extra-constitutional operations were connived at by the highest levels of the Maharashtra police.”

    Putting the documents together in annexure, he has gathered through his investigation, Khetan concludes, “When the police deliberately obstructs justice and misleads courts of law, it cannot be left unchecked, and it is my duty as a citizen and a journalist to invite the attention of the highest custodians of justice to the facts that I have unearthed, particularly when the consequences to our national security are so dire.”

    He has further urged the CJ to order an independent enquiry and to direct "consequential relief to the victims of such operation".

    Full text of letter petition

    The Hon’ble Chief Justice of
    the High Court of Bombay and
    His Companion Justices of
    The High Court of Bombay.

    Respected Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court of Bombay,

    1. I am a journalist of 12 years standing. I worked with the well known magazine Tehelka for 4 years. During that period, I authored investigative reports on many important cases including those arising from the Gujarat riots of 2002, such as the Naroda Gaon, Naroda Patiya and Gulberg Society massacres and the Best Bakery carnage. My investigative reports have received acclaim, and have also been used by investigators and the courts of law. In 2007 after my investigative report on the Gujarat riots was published widely, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) ordered an enquiry into the revelations in my report containing approximately 60 hours of video footage . On the orders of the NHRC, the tapes were tested by FSL, Jaipur and were found completely authentic and tamper-free. Subsequent to the publication of my investigations (or ‘sting operation’, in common parlance) in October 2007, the Supreme Court constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to re-investigate many cases pertaining to the Godhra and post-Godhra riots. SIT cited me as a prosecution witness in three major riot cases. My testimony in this regard has been relied upon by the trial court in the Naroda Patiya case and several convictions were based on my evidence. I attach as ANNEXURE I , an excerpt of the judgment passed in the Naroda Patiya massacre case referring to my testimony. Meanwhile, I have testifed as a prosecution witness in the Naroda Gaon and Gulberg Society cases, the verdict in which is awaited.

    2. After my ‘sting operation’ in the infamous Best Bakery case, the Supreme Court constituted a Quasi Judicial Committee headed by the then Registrar General, Supreme Court, which too found my investigative reports authentic and trustworthy. Many of the findings of the committee were based on my report alone. A copy of inquiry report submitted by the then Registrar General Mr. BM Gupta dated 27.05.2005 is Annexed hereto as ANNEXURE II. It was, inter-alia, my reportage on Hindutva terror groups that catalysed the investigation in the Malegaon blasts of 2006, the Samjhauta Express blasts, the Ajmer Sharif blasts and the Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blasts. As a result, the innocent persons hitherto arrested for these outrages were released on bail and the prosecution turned to those now believed to have been actually responsible for these terror attacks.

    3. I am approaching your Hon’ble Court by this letter petition in public interest, for my recent investigative efforts as a journalist have led to a clear and compelling picture of the deliberate framing of Muslims, (--most of them very young and very poor--) in terror cases by the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra. The consequences should shock anyone with a conscience. In one case known as Pune German Bakery Blast Case, the drastic death sentence has even been pronounced by the trial court. The matter thus is of great moment and equally great urgency.

    4. For more than a year I have been researching the investigation of terror cases by the ATS Maharashtra. Sporadic press reports have appearedabout conflicting versions given by different police agencies on the same cases. This aroused my interest and I set about carefully and slowly unearthing material on the matter. My research has shown that at least in three cases prosecuted by ATS Maharashtra, namely the July 11 2006 Mumbai local train blasts, the 2006 Malegaon Blasts and the Pune German Bakery case of February 2010, the ATS has deliberately created bogus evidence, extracted false confessions by the most inhuman torture, planted explosives in the houses of the accused and thus implicated innocent Muslim youth.

    5. I have, what would certainly be compelling if not foolproof evidence of the deliberate faking of confessions to frame absolutely unconnected persons, as well, as the most inhuman torture of innocent Muslims in police custody and fudging of records to corrupt the course of justice. Faking of recoveries is a near obvious inference that would follow in these circumstances.

    6. The state of corruption goes beyond, what may usually be termed as ‘padding’ a case and in fact shows a deep bias against Muslims in particular, besides absolute contempt for law, justice and truth. The result is a serious breach of the right to life and liberty, the equality before law and our basic constitutional values. The result is also a serious security risk, for this nature of targeting is bound to cause wide-spread disbelief in mechanisms of justice and exponentially add to a feeling of alienation amongst a sizeable section of the citizenry. Every time an innocent personis framed in a terror case, the real culprits do not just get away but also get emboldened. Therefore, what I am placing before you is not just aberrations in investigations or minor breaches, but a whole stylised operation with active prejudice, that will only serve to increase the terror threat that this nation faces and endanger our internal security. My investigation shows that these extra-constitutional operations were connived at by the highest levels of the Maharashtra police.

    7. This letter petition is therefore drawing the attention of the highest court in the State, to the facts, so that the wide ranging deleterious effects of this wanton abuse of power can be checked and appropriate corrective action taken.

    8. I am aware that normally, investigation of crime is the task of the police and verdicts of guilt or innocence, the realm of courts. What makes me intervene in this process is the fact that the same has become the reverse of what it is intended to be. When the police deliberately obstructs justice and misleads courts of law, it cannot be left unchecked, and it is my duty as a citizen and a journalist to invite the attention of the highest custodians of justice to the facts that I have unearthed, particularly when the consequences to our national security are so dire.

    9. The material I seek to place before this Hon’ble Court, is for the sake of convenience put under the following heads:July 7 Train Bombings; Malegaon blasts 2006, Pune German Bakery blasts. There are appropriate sub-headings too.

    10. JULY 7 TRAIN BOMBINGS (Case no. MCOCA Special Case No.21/2006)

    10.1 .BACKGROUND

    On July 11, 2006, Mumbai was rocked by blasts in local trains. The police found no leads and there was great public anger.. In time the ATS claimed to have solved the crime. The ATS .cracked down on some former activists of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and forced the accused to sign on pre-drafted confessions, about which more will be stated presently. A charge-sheet was filed against 13 arrested accused, and 15 absconding accused on December 1, 2006. Since then the trial is going on as MCOCA Special Case No.21/2006 in the court of the Special Judge Y.D.Shinde.under the provisions of MCOCA.

    10.2 Evidence Led and Courts Mislead
    The evidence lead in the charge-sheet is/was of three kinds a) 11 MCOCA confessions made to police officers; b) recoveries of explosives and detonators from some of the accused and;c) so-called public witnesses ( well known stool pigeons or those under the thumb of the police) who claimed the unlikely feat of recognising the faces of some of the accused, getting in and out from the crowded local trains though they were strangers to them. However, against most of the accused, the case is based on confessions and recoveries.

    10.2.1. Confessions to same crime by an unrelated set of persons:caught for the subsequent 2007-2008 Blasts: Concealment and twisting by ATS of Police Reports and Confessions that prove ATS framed innocent men.

    10.2.2. Which of them is true and which Court has been mislead?

    10.2.3. The 2007-2008 Blasts across India and revelations in its wake.

    10.2.4. In July and September 2008, there were serial blasts in Delhi, Ahmedabad and Surat (aborted blasts). Following some leads in these blasts, the Mumbai Crime Branch arrested one Sadiq Sheikh along with 20 other accused from Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra.

    10.2.5. The Mumbai Crime Branch claims to have recorded confessions of many of the arrested persons including Sadiq Shaikh, as this was also a MCOCA investigation.

    10.2.6. This was a crucial juncture in terror investigations in India. In a span of a little over one year between August 2007 and September 2008, there were terror bombings in Bangalore (seven serial blasts of July 2008), Hyderabad (Lumbini Park and Gokul Chaat Blasts of August 2007), UP (Triple blasts at Court premises in Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad, November 2007), Jaipur (serial blasts of May 2008), Ahmedabad (21 serial blasts in July 2008) and Surat (Aborted attempt as eighteen Bombs malfunctioned) and Delhi (Five syncronized bomb blasts in market places of Delhi in September, 2008). The series of bombings across India indicated a single, integral conspiracy and consequnetly brought several investigating agencies of different states together and pooling of information.

    10.2.7. Thus, the confessions of Sadiq Sheikh and others as recorded by the Mumbai Crime Branch, are significant, because they clearly are to the effect that even the July Mumbai local train bombings of 2006 were done by this set of people newly arrested and without any reference or link to those prosecuted by the ATS from 2006 onwards!

    10.2.8. In other words the set of men arrested following the 2007 and 2008 set of bombings across the country were interrogated by Ahmedabad, Delhi, UP, Karnataka and other police teams and were subsequently made common accused in all these 2007-2008 blasts.

    10.2.9. Sadiq Sheikh and his alleged ‘Indian Mujahideen’ accomplices were interrogated by different police agencies on different dates. Each agency prepared detailed Interrogation Reports (IRs). Common to all is the view or conclusion that it is this set of men that were behind even the July 2006 Mumbai local train bombings.

    10.2.10. My sources in Mumbai police and state police agencies of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka who were involved in investigating ‘Indian Mujahideen’ and its alleged involvement in the 2007 and 2008 blasts provided me the Interrogation Reports of Sadiq Sheikh and others prepared by each of these agencies (All these interrogation reports are annexed as Annexure III). These Interrogation Reports show the dates on which they were prepared and the computers on which they were prepared.

    10.2.11. All these Interrogation Reports (IRs) based on ‘confessions’ of Sadiq Shaikh indicate a massive and integral conspiracy. These IRs contain a meticulously detailed description of more than eight terror strikes that Sadiq Sheikh and his accomplices had allegedly plotted and executed since 2003. These are:

    a. Dashavmeghghat, Varanasi, 2004 (the bomb packed in a container had failed to explode. The local police dismissed it as an accident. But Sadiq told the police that it was actually a terror plot)
    b. Shramjeevi Express Blast ,Jaunpur, UP., 2005
    c. Diwali Blasts, Delhi, 2005
    d. Varanasi Blasts, 2006
    e. Mumbai Train Blasts, 2006
    f. Hyderabad Twin Blasts, 2007
    g. Ahmedabad Blasts and the failed Surat Blasts.

    10.2.12 The agencies have themselves claimed (both in court and in public) that Sadiq’s interrogation led to the arrest of over 70 terror suspects by UP ATS, Hyderabad CIC, Ahmedabad Crime Branch, Rajasthan ATS and Delhi Special Cell. The content of these reports, and ‘confessions’ etc is part of the charge-sheetsfiled by different agencies. But curiously Sadiq and his accomplices were charge-sheeted in only those blast cases in which the investigation was still not completed. Hyderabad Blasts (Gokul Chat and Lumbini Park) of 2007, Ahmedabad and Surat (aborted) Blasts of 2008, Delhi Blasts of 2008 were some of the cases in which the alleged Indian Mujahideen members including Sadiq Shaikh were charges-sheeted.

    But those revelations that related to the 7/11 Mumbai Train Blasts were conveniently brushed under the carpet.

    Allthese agencies were equally aware that an entirely different set of persons had been put on trial for the 7/11 blasts by ATS Maharashtra, which set of accused could only be inncocent, if the later 2008 Interrogation reports were true.

    Thus at least after 2008 September ,all the said agencies including ATS Maharashtra were privy to the nature of evidence and revelations pertaining to the July 11 2006 Train Bombings and they heavily relied on these revelations in the investigations pertaining to the 2007-2008 bombings.

    But those revelations that talked about the blasts carried out before 2007 were ignored because those cases had already been claimed to have been solved. This policy of pick and choose raises a serious question mark about the integrity of terror investigations and the conduct of the agencies.

    The lack of bonafides is further evident from the fact that no attempt was made to arrive at the truth or exonerate one set of obviously innocent persons.
    None of these agencies placed the entire relevant material before the MCOCA court trying an entirely unconnected set of 13 men for 7/11 Blasts. Why?

    My intent is not pass a verdict of guilt against certain accused. But it is to only highlight the blatant discrepancies and contradictions in terror investigations.


    11.1. In fact what followed was a sinister conspiracy by Maharashtra ATS to mislead the courts. On 26 November 2008 Hemant Karkare died. Karkare had earlier been seen at public press briefs to declare that the new set of persons including Sadiq Shaikh (all allegedly part of Indian Mujahideen) arrested in 2008 were responsible for July 2006 bombings, for which a different set of persons had been in custody for two years already.

    11.2. Shri KP Raghuvanshi (IPS), who was in charge of the ATS when 13 Muslims were arrested for the July bombings, resumed charge of ATS Maharashtra after Shri Hemant Karkare’s death.

    11.3. Under Raghuvanshi’s leadership, ATS Maharashtra now set about ensuring that no one should catch on-- to the entirely different truth now emerging. This was done by first taking an ATS police remand of Sadiq Shaikh to probe his role in the July 2006 bombings. Then, in order to avoid having to admit that 13 men were most unjustly arrested and charged, an ingenious method was adopted. The ATS came out with the tale that Sadiq’s ‘confession’ related to 7/11 bombings was only meant to mislead the agencies and that portion of his confession where revelations pertaining to 7/11 figureare false! The ATS then sought his discharge in respect of the July bombings!.


    12.1. In view of the fact that the original 13 accused who were clearly falsely implicated have continued to be on trial. To persist with a farcial prosecution even in the face of contrary and conflicting evidence demonstrates a complete disregard for human life and liberty. I personally interviewed nine out of the 13 accused. All 13 have been in custody for the last seven years. A good part of their life has been spent behind the bars. Their families, on the other hand, have been forced to live a life of extreme hardships and in some cases abject poverty.

    12.2. The ATS conducted on them the most inhuman torture to extract confessions to acts that recordsindicate as almost certainly done by someone else. I have video recordings of the prisoners conducted in the corridors of the courts, and I annex the video recordings and transcripts of the interviews conducted with the 7/11 accused as ANNEXURE IV. The same will speak for themselves. Water boarding (a notorious technique used by the CIA on Guantanamo Bay Detainees), adminsitration of chemicals through anus and veins, stretching of legs to 180 degree, giving electric shock to private parts and threats to rape female family members were some of the methods of torture used by the ATS to extract false confessions from these 13 Muslims. Interviews of nine out of thirteen prisoners will bear out the obvious truth of what these men say they were subjected too, and subjected to for no reason at all. The torture continued for 3-4 months including the period of illegal detention and the separate police remand for each incident of blast although eventually all 7 were clubbed into one charge-sheet. ATS Kala Chowki was the torture chamber. Senior IPS officers like the then Mumbai Police Commissioner A N Roy, ATS Chief KP Raguvanshi and ATS DCP Nawal Bajaj, were also involved in tortouring the detainees.

    12.3. The interviews and the transcripts will speak for themselves.
    The prisoners all say, that the torture was with a view to getting them sign on pre-recorded confessions, and even to pressurize some to turn approver.

    12.4. Interestingly those portions of Sadiq’s revelations which were not in conflict with earlier bogus investigations like that of 7/11 were ratified, confirmed and further bolstered by collecting various primary and secondary evidence by the agencies like Ahmedabad ATS and Mumbai Crime Branch.

    12.5. The doctrine of severability, harmonious construction and other principles seem to have been pressed in respect of ‘confessions’ by the Maharashra ATS. Shockingly, the Mumbai Crime Branch is still touting Sadiq’s orginal confessions in other courts, which the ATS had declared‘misleading.’ Thus each court is being regaled with a different confession and different version on identical cases, and those getting the short end of the stick are some of the most hapless and voiceless Muslims, who have no means of securing the documents and witnesses “secreted’ with other agencies.
    But the theory of profeing different stories for different courts is not restricted to the 7/11 case alone.

    13. MALEGAON BLASTS 2006


    The Maharashra ATS under KP Raghuvanshi had also arrested several other Muslims in respect of the Malegaon blasts of 2006, which now the National Investigation Agency (NIA) claims were the handiwork of a completely different set of people, that is the Hindutva extremists. But the ATS in 2006 under Raghuvanshi arrested nine Muslims for the bombings that were carried outside a Muslim place of worship with an intent to kill only Muslims. ATS tin fact showed that two accused were common in the Malegaon and 7/11 bomings. As per the ATS case, these two accused—Shaikh Mohd Ali and Asif Khan—had supplied explosives for both the 7/11 and Malegaon 2006 bombings. Like in the case of 7/11, ATS showed bogus material recoveries in the Malegaon case as well. But now the confessions recorded by the NIA show that the bombings were carried out by some Hindus and the planning, sourcing of explosives, etc was all the handiwork of these few Hindus who have now been arrested by the NIA. The recovery done by the ATS in the Malegaon case was thus bogus. If Mohd Ali and Asif Khan had not supplied explosives for the Malegaon Blasts, then their alleged role in the 7/11 case also gets disproved. It also shows that the ATS was in the habit of planting explosives and framing innocent Muslims just to show the outside world that the case had been cracked. But since the 7/11 and Malegaon are two separate cases and being tried in two different courts, the conflicting evidence that has now surfaced in 2006 Malegaon Blast case has not been brought before the court trying the 7/11 case. The question that needs to be asked is that can there be two versions of the same truth for two different courts?

    13.2. My sources in the National Investigating Agnecy have provided me the confessions of the alleged Hindutava terrorists who have confessed to be behind the 2006 Malegaon Bombings. As per these confessions the terror plot was hatched and executed by certain Hindu radicals. The explosives were sourced and bombs were manufactured by a group of RSS pracharaks with absolutely no connections whatsoever with those nine Muslims who were charges for Malegaon bombings by the ATS. The same IRs provided by my sources are annexed hereto as ANNEXURE V

    13.3. My investigation shows that the ATS offered money and women to the 7/11 accused to turn approvers. Though they couldn’t succeed in turning any of the 7/11 accused as approver, the ATS managed to turn an accused as ‘approver’ in the Malegaon 2006 case. With the NIA investigation now suggesting the Malegaon 2006 bombings to be the handiwork of a few Hindutava radicals, the ATS methods of coercing innocent Muslims into turning approvers gets exposed.

    13.4. The ATS had also shown the source of explosives common in 7/11 and Malegaon 2006 case. The NIA investigation, if true, disproves not just the Malegaon 2006 investigation of the ATS but also the 2006 tran blasts investigation as well.


    14.1 Background

    On February 13, 2010, a powerful bomb tore apart the famous German bakery situated atthe posh colony of Koregaon Park in Pune. Seventeen persons were killed and 58 suffered severeto minor injuries. The Maharashtra ATS seized the CCTV footage from inside the bakeryand claimed that they had identified the bomber.

    In June 2010 the Mumbai ATS arrested one Abdul Samad, a young Muslim and a resident of Bhatkal town in Karnataka, ostensibly for the Pune Blast.
    But the ATS theory collapsed when Samad’s parents held a press conference and released videos and pictures of Samad attending a wedding in his home town in Bhatkal on the day of the blast. Faced with incontrovertible evidence of Samad’s innocence, the ATS did a sudden U-turn and now said that the bomber was Samad’s brother Ahmed Siddibapa also known as Yasin Bhatkal among the agencies. Samad was instead shown arrested in a bogus Arms Act case and was soon released on bail.

    14.2 .ARREST OF HIMAYAT BAIG In September 2010 the ATS arrested a resident of non-descript town named Udgir in Beed District of Maharashtra named Himayat Baig and claimed that it was he who along with Siddibapa had carried out the German bakery bombing. The ATS also claimed that he confessed to his involvement and also led the police to the recovery of explosives. At the time of his arrest Baig was running a small cyber café in Udgir.

    14.3 In December 2010 Baig was chargesheeted. His charges read that Yasin Bhatkal prepared the bomb at Baig’s cyber café. ATS claimed that Baig and Yasin transported the bomb during the early hours of 13 February from Udgir to Pune by covering a distance of over 300 kilometers.

    As per the ATS theory, they left Udgir at around 5 am to reach the city of Latur at 6 am and from there they came to Pune by a private luxury bus. They reached Pune at around 2 pm and the two remained together during the day, claimed the ATS.
    The ATS further claimed that the two planted the bomb at around 17:00 hours at German Bakery and the same exploded at around 18:50.

    14.4 ARRREST OF QATIL SIDDIQUE In November 2011, almost an year after Baig was arrested, the Delhi Special Cell arrested a 28 year old resident of Darbhanga district in Bihar named Qateel Siddiqui. Delhi Police claimed that Siddiqui was involved in several terror strikes including the Bangalore Chinnaswamy Stadium Blasts of 2010 and the Pune German Bakery. Both Bangalore and Delhi Police carried out a sustained interrogation of Siddiqui. The consistent and continued case of the Delhi and Bangalore charge-sheets regarding Qateel is that he was behind the German Bakery.My sources in the agencies have provided me the original Interrogation Reports prepared by both Delhi and Bangalore Police, upon which the charge-sheets are based. Thus the open position is that Qateel is the guilty party, and with no link to Himayat. Then how is it that for the Pune trial Court alone, Himayat is the guilty party, not Qateel? So much so that Himayat has been handed down a death sentence, with no evidence of his presence even in the CCTV footage?

    14.5 I am placing the Interrogation Reports reports of Qateel Siddiqui as ANNEXUREVI. These reports were kept away from the Pune Court that tried and convicted Himayat Baig. As per both these IRs, it were Qateel and Yasin who had come together to plant a bomb at two different places in Pune. While Qateel was supposed to plant the bomb at a temple named Dagduseth Halwai Ganesh Temple, Yasin took it upon himself to plant a bomb at the German Bakery. Also, as per these IRs, Yasin and Qateel were together until 2:30 PM on February 13 in a room they had rented in Pune. But the ATS theory is that Yasin was with Himayat Baig through out the day on the 13th. Also Delhi and Bangalore Police reports had Qateel and Yasin as the lone figures in the plot of Pune German Bakery with no reference to Himayat Baig whatsoever. Once again, we have different courts being given different stories regarding the same incident. The helpless accused or their agents might never know of these conflicting versions and can seldom access the information. Justice is the uniform casualty.


    To harmonise these blatant contradictions the ATS sent an officer named Dinesh Kadam to interrogate Qatil. Now Kadam after interrogating Qateel prepared his own report. In his report Kadam made one crucial change from the reports of the Delhi and Bangalore Police. To bring Qateel’s revelations in consonance with ATS case, Kadam claimed that the bomb that Yasin gave to Qatil was not given on the 13th but on the 11th. This was done to justify Yasin Bhatkal’s presence with Baig on the 13th as the ATS had already chargesheeted Baig on the basis of this theory. On all other counts, the Mahrahstra ATS accepted and confirmed Qatil’s revelations made before the Delhi and Bangalore Police. Kadam also accepted the claim of the Bangalore and Delhi police that Qatil eventually could not plant the bomb at Ganesh Temple and instead dismantled it and threw it away into the sea in Mumbai. But to retrspectively harmonise their old investigation with Qatil’s revelations, Kadam twisted those portions of Qatil’s confession in which he spoke about his continued presence with Yasin on February 13. February 13 was pre-dated to February 11 by Inspector Kadam, as the ATS had already spun a story around baig and Yasin for February 13 and the same theory had already been preseneted before a Pune Court in the form of a chargesheet.

    14.7 Kadam went back to Pune and filed a fresh complaint against Qateel in a Pune Court and charged him for attempting to bomb Ganesh temple. The complaint filed by Kadam is exhibited at Annexure VII.

    14.8 The ATS now took police custody of Qateel in this new case on 2.05.2012 and took him to Maharashtra. On 28.05.2012 a Pune court sent him to judicial custody and Qateel was lodged in a High Security Cell at Yervada Jail in Pune.

    14.9 On 8.06.2012 Qateel was mysteriously murdered in High Security Section of the Yerwada jail. On the same day Qateel was supposed to be brought back to Delhi to be produced before a Delhi Court in connection with a separate case registered against him by the Delhi Special Cell. The Maharashtra Police claimed that two fellow inmates killed Qatil over some angry exchange of words. According to police he was strangulated with a Bermuda pant cord. But the same couldn’t be recovered because it was claimed to have been burnt by the accused.


    15.1 How can a separate nuance be obtained only by the ATS Maharasthra in that is crucially missing from the confessions and Interrogation Reports regarding the same persons by the other police agencies.

    15.2 How is it that the nuanced changes in Sadiq and Company’s confessions and Qateel’s reports done by the ATS Maharasthra are suited only and wholly to preserving the arrests already made, though every thing else points to the opposite direction.

    15.3 Despite it becoming evident on record that the Malegaon blasts were done by Hindutva groups, the Maharashtra ATS took no steps to move for the exoneration of the original accused. Is this not indication of their lack of bonafides?

    15.4 In a case done by Hindutva terrorists, the Mahrashtra ATS claimed to have recovered explosives from Muslims. And went so far as to set up an approver against those Muslims. What does it tell us about the ATS? In light of this, can the ATS be left with the responsibility of terror investigations? Their tweaking the record (of Sadiq Sheikh’s confession) to maintain the prosecution against 13 men in the July 2006 local train bombings and tweaking Qateel’s statement in Pune German Bakery, to maintain the non-existent case against Himayat now under sentence of death will need to be subjected to independent scrutiny.

    15.5 How does Qateel conveniently die inside a High Security Prison, and how do two inmates confess to his murder, without leaving behind any evidence . How does the facile explanation that the rope by which he was strangulated was flushed away, pass without question?

    15.6 The system of checks and balances has completely collapsed and at every level of institutional checks—the doctors, the magistrates and others—every level connived at the 7/11 investigation farce. The misuse of draconian laws like MCOCA in 7/11 case actually shows that the essence of these laws and their drastic provisions allowing self incrimination, is its vesting of unfettered and dangeorusly oppressive powers in the hands of the police. The entire thing is also an eye opener to the fact that this corrupt and hypocritical legislative solution is in fact proving to be inimical to national security. First by targeting innconets and then forcing confessions to avoid serious investigation and thus alinetaing the community further. Second, by allowing the actual culprits to thus escape.

    15.7 These are three investigations that I have researched. There is no knowing how many other cases have similar features, and given the carte blanche we have tended to give our anti-terror outfits, that function wil absolute power under absolute secrecy, in all probablility the story of perverting the criminal justice system goes beyond just these three cases. These are issues of grave public importance that go beyond mere legality. It’s not just the security of our nation but also the very idea of Indian democracy that is under threat and si I have straightaway chosen to put this material across to every institution concerned with upholding human rights, constitutional values and accountability. Thus I approach this Court by way of public interest and in view of the immense issues involved, have also, apprised other stautory authorites concerned with human rights, minorities protection, police training institutions and media bodies and I have also arranged for the matter to enter the public domain as it is an issue of grave public importance, which in a democracy, the people are entitled to know.

    15.8 I am doing this at the earliest opportunity. I may be given the permission to cast this petition in a more formal mode if required. However, I request this Hon’ble Court to treat this as a letter petition in the mean time.

    I request this Hon’ble Court to:

    i. Order an independent commission of inquiry into the conduct of the investigating officers, in the investigation of crucial cases such as have been referred to in these petition;

    ii. Direct appropriate action against the police officers found responsible for their flagrant violation of constitutional values

    iii. Direct consequential relief to the victims of such operation.

    Yours truly,
    Ashish Khetan
    E-55, IFS Apartments,
    Mayur Vihar Phase 1,
    Mobile: 9711700506

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Lucknow: The indefinite dharna called by the Rihai Manch (Forum for the Release of Innocent Muslims imprisoned in the name of Terrorism) outside UP Assembly entered the fifth day today. Rihai Manch has is on indefinite dharna demanding persecution of police officers involved in the custodial death of Khalid Mujahid, tabling of the Nimesh Commission Report and release of Muslim youths languishing in jails in fabricated terror cases.

    Sufi Obaidur Rehman, who had come from Barabanki, said that by its inaction in last one week, the SP government has proved that it is siding with the killers of Khalid Mujahid.

    Advocate Mohamamd Shoaib, chairman of the Manch, said that the UP government is speaking with two mouths – on one side it claims to withdraw terror cases against innocent Muslim youths and on the other hand, their local leader in Faizabad, who is also a lawyer, is opposing such an action.

    Mansur Elahi, who is district unit president of Legal Wing of SP in Faizabad—Samajwadi Adhivakta Sabha. Mansur is a senior leader of SP in Faizabad and had even contested elections twice for the post of Chairman, Nagar Palika. He is one of the lawyers in the panel of 7 lawyers constituted by Faizabad Bar Association to oppose the terror accused. His role becomes significant after state government's decision to withdraw the case.

    “I had confirmed before the court that I had signed the Vakalatnama. Actually the defence lawyer had raised objection over my signature,” confirmed Mansur Elahi to He however clarified his role in the whole case. “Technically I had signed the Vakalatnama but I am not part of the panel anymore. Since I am the complainant in the case, I continue to remain in the case. But I will not oppose government's decision to withdraw the case against them,” Elahi clarified.

    Faiyaz Ahmed, uncle of Tariq Qasmi, co-accused with now deceased Khalid Mujahid, had also come to participate in the dharna. He said that is now scared for his nephew’s life after the demise of Khalid. He urged the state government to step up seucirty of his nephew and other Muslim youths languishing in jail. He also demanded from the SP government to table the RD Nimesh Commission Report soon.

    Khalid had died under mysterious circumstances on his way back from Faizabad near Ram Sanehi Ghat last Saturday. He was declared brought dead by the doctors at district hospital in Barabanki. Later, on the complain of his uncle Zahir Alam Falahi, a case was registered against 42 police officers including former DGP Vikram Singh, ADG Brijlal and others who were on duty during the time of Khalid's arrest.

    Speaking to TCN, his uncle Zaheer Alam Falahi, who saw the dead body in the hospital, confirmed that although his nephew was quite fair, his face appeared to have turned black and that his neck was swollen as if someone twisted it. There were blood marks as well on face, and ankle, elbow, etc had turned black.

    Khalid along with Tariq Qasmi was arrested by Special Task Force (STF) on 20 December 2007 from Barabanki. Huge explosives were also shown as recovered from his possession. STF claimed that he was involved in the serial blasts which occurred in Gorakhpur, Faizabad and Lucknow. Later, Nimesh Commission was constituted headed by Justice R D Nimesh who in its report raised fingers over STF's claim about the place of arrest.

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  • 05/26/13--09:19: Ali Day celebrated at AMU
  • By TCN News,

    Aligarh: “Illiteracy and Zionism are the biggest enemies of Islamic society and an effort is on to destroy the political and economic infrastructure of Muslim countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya in the name of democracy while the real objective of the powers behind such changes seems to extend their colonial agenda in Middle East and West Asia”, said Mr. Gholam Raza Ansari, Ambassador of Islamic Republic of Iran, New Delhi, while addressing the Ali Day function in the Kennedy Auditorium of Aligarh Muslim University.

    Paying rich tributes to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, he said that Sir Syed had a great vision and he made arrangement for the study of Shia Theology also, despite the fact that he was a Sunni Muslim. He said that Sir Syed’s equal treatment to both the sects paved the way for development of academic affinity and great secular traditions in the University.

    AMU Vice Chancellor Adressing the Ali Day programme

    Mr. Ansari said that there was a strong relationship between India and Iran and India, Iran and Afganistan shared a historical cultural bond.

    Delivering the presidential address on this occasion, AMU Vice Chancellor, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah said that Hazrat Ali’s name is synonym to courage and bravery and this is why he is called the Lion of Allah. Gen. Shah said that fear is a big cause of failure and it also leads to depression and destruction. He urged the students to shed their fear and face the challenges of life with courage. He said that the students should utilize their time judiciously and be a judge of their own activities.

    Eminent scholar of Iran, Mr. Ayatullah Mahadavipur said that Hazrat Ali led a spiritual life and always worked for the happiness of Allah. He urged the Ali Society of AMU to publish books on the various aspects of Hazrat Ali.

    The Vice President of All India Muslim Personal Board, Maulana Kalbe Sadiq said that the 21st century demands the attainment of excellence and not merely education. He said that excellence only will help to reach the top positions like former President of India Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.

    Guests present at the Ali Day programme

    Prof. Saud Alam Qasmi, Dean, Faculty of Theology, Maulana Kalbe Jawwad and Vice President of AMU Old Boys’ Association, Mr. Mukhtar Zaidi also addressed on this occasion.

    Prof. Mahshar Raza, President, Ali Society welcomed the guests and Mr. Qamber Hasan, Secretary presented the annual report of the society. Mr. Syed Ali Abbas conducted the programme and Patron of the Society, Prof. Syed Ali Mohammad Naqvi proposed a vote of thanks.

    The winners of various literary competitions held on this occasion were also felicitated with prizes and certificates.

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    Akhilesh Yadav also announced that a compensation of Rs 6 lakhs would be given to the family of Khalid Mujahid.

    By Special Correspondent,

    Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav has said that his government is committed to impartial enquiry in the death of Khalid Mujahid. He also reaffirmed that government is working with sincerity and sensitivity in this episode, on Sunday. It was also announced that a compensation of Rs 6 lakhs would be given to the family of Khalid Mujahid.

    The announcement came after a delegation including Imam Tile wali Masjid, Maulana Fazlur Rehman Waizi and Shaher Qazi Mufti Abul Irfan Miyan Farangi Mahli met the CM Akhilesh Yadav at his official residence and submitted a memorandum in this regard on Sunday.

    CM Akhilesh Yadav also stated that state government will not allow injustice with any person. He also informed that the enquiry has already been referred to CBI as per the demands of family members of Khalid Mujahid. He added that a judicial probe is also going on for the incident by the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) of Faizabad.

    Besides the government has also decided to conduct a high level enquiry in the incident and orders were issued on the day of the incident. Presently the incident is being probed by Secretary Home Rakesh and Additional Director General of Police (ADG), Power Corporation, Javed Akhtar. CM Akhilesh Yadav also stated that a compensation of Rs 6 lakhs has already been sanctioned for the family members of Khalid Mujahid.

    CM Akhilesh Yadav also informed the Muslim delegation that the post-mortem was conducted by a panel of 5 doctors which included 2 doctors from Muslim community. He also stated that 9 policemen who were escorting Khalid Mujahid on the day of the incident have be members. This FIR has been referred to CBI for probe on the demand of the family members. He also informed that Additional District Government Counsel (ADGC) Criminal who did not pursue the government’s decision for withdrawing the case against Khalid in the court has also been removed. State government has also filed an appeal after its plea for withdrawing the case was rejected.

    CM Akhilesh Yadav assured that due to the sensitivity of the case, state government will take all steps to ensure that all facts of the incidents crystal clear.

    Khalid Mujahid had died under mysterious circumstances on his way back from Faizabad near Ram Sanehi Ghat on May 18. He was declared brought dead by the doctors at district hospital in Barabanki. Later, on the complain of his uncle Zahir Alam Falahi, a case was registered against 42 police officers including former DGP Vikram Singh, ADG Brijlal and others who were on duty during the time of Khalid's arrest.

    Speaking to TCN, his uncle Zaheer Alam Falahi, who saw the dead body in the hospital, confirmed that although his nephew was quite fair, his face appeared to have turned black and that his neck was swollen as if someone twisted it. There were blood marks as well on face, and ankle, elbow, etc had turned black.

    Khalid along with Tariq Qasmi was arrested by Special Task Force (STF) on 20 December 2007 from Barabanki. Huge explosives were also shown as recovered from his possession. STF claimed that he was involved in the serial blasts which occurred in Gorakhpur, Faizabad and Lucknow. Later, Nimesh Commission was constituted headed by Justice R D Nimesh who in its report raised fingers over STF's claim about the place of arrest.

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    By IANS,

    Mumbai : Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray Monday said there was need to "crush" the terror unleashed by "Maoist devils" in several states of India.

    In an editorial piece in the party's mouthpiece Saamna, Thackeray condemned the Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh that virtually left the state Congress headless and said the treatment meted out to terrorists like Ajmal Amir Kasab and Afzal Guru should also extend to those responsible for Saturday's strike.

    "They should be slapped with the same stringent laws that deal with Indian Mujahideen, Laskhar-e-Taiba, Al Qaeda or other anti-national religious forces," Thackeray said.

    "State and central governments should take the strongest possible action to crush the Maoist devils," Thackeray said.

    The terror strike on Saturday, conducted by a large number of Maoists lying in ambush in the thickly forested Darbha Valley in Bastar, targeted a Congress convoy and left about 30 dead, including state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel and his son as well as senior leader Mahendra Karma.

    Chhattisgarh is bound for assembly elections later this year, and its ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's Vikas Yatra and the opposition Congress' Parivartan Yatra have both been opposed by the Maoists.

    At least 25 people were injured in the attack on Saturday, among them 84-year-old former union minister V.C. Shukla.

    The Congress has alleged that the ruling BJP did not provide the party yatra adequate security.

    "Instead of such politicking, all concerned must united tackle the Maoist menace which has created mayhem in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, besides Chhattisgarh where hundreds of innocent lives of people and security forces have been lost," Thackeray said.

    He recalled how recently, Maoists did not allow village panchayat elections to be conducted in Chandrapur, where they publicly beheaded a village sarpanch as a warning to others.

    "When the Pakistani army beheaded Indian soldiers, there was a national uproar, but when Maoists resort to similar actions in our country, we chose to ignore it."

    The Sena chief pointed out that in China, the former (chairman) Mao Zedong's dictatorial rule was marked by brutality which destroyed that country's social and cultural fabric.

    "When realisation dawned on the Chinese that flashing guns and making speeches do not usher in progress and prosperity, they threw the doors open for foreign investments. But, the Maoists in China did not react to this like Indian Maoists who indulge in kidnappings, brutal killings, extortion, and terrorism to garner national-international sympathy," Thackeray said.

    He further said that in neighbouring Nepal, Maoists managed to capture power, but the revolution was rendered rudderless. "There is more misery and poverty in that country than before, and now the Maoists are talking of bringing democracy in Nepal."

    Thackeray said it is time to stop talking about the financial problems which fuel Maoism since dying farmers in Vidarbha or the drought-hit in Marathwada did not take to armed rebellion and attack officials.

    "Maoism is as cruel, brutal and terrible as Islamic terror, and they have access to sophisticated arms and ammunition by which they want to break up the country," Thackeray said.

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    By IANS,

    Lucknow : The Uttar Pradesh government has announced financial compensation of Rs.600,000 to the family of Khalid Mujahid, the serial blast accused, who died last week.

    Mujahid, a prime accused in the serial blasts that rocked Uttar Pradesh courts in 2007, collapsed May 18 and later died while returning from a hearing at Faizabad court to the Lucknow prison where he was lodged.

    Family members accused 42 senior cops, including former director general of police Vikram Singh, of conspiring to murder Mujahid.

    While a first information report (FIR) was lodged at the insistence of family members, the state government recommended a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the circumstances leading to his death after Muslim groups slammed the Samajwadi Party (SP) for failing to protect minorities. The CBI has so far not taken up the matter.

    "This is not only bizarre but anti-national that a person facing terror charges is being glorified by giving his family ex-gratia compensation," said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak.

    He accused the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) of "crossing all limits to appease the minority vote bank". Stating that Mujahid had not been cleared of terror charges, Pathak asked why the SP was treating him like a martyr.

    Congress leaders have slammed the chief minister for saying that Mujahid died of some disease.

    "If the chief minister knows that the terror accused died of some ailment, why did he recommend a CBI probe at all?" asked Shakeel Ahmad, senior Congress leader.

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    By IANS,

    Lucknow : A day after the Uttar Pradesh government announced a compensation of Rs.6 lakh for the kin a terror accused who died in police custody, a writ petition was filed in the high court Monday challenging the ex-gratia.

    Terror accused Khalid Mujahid died in police custody while being taken from a court to prison earlier this month.

    The writ petition was filed in Allahabad High Court's Lucknow bench.

    Challenging the ex-gratia payment by the state government, activist Nutan Thakur in her petition said that since Mujahid was an accused in terrorism-related offences, his family should not be granted compensation.

    "This is simply absurd. The grant of compensation to a terror accused's family is against the constitutional provisions in the constitution's preamble and the fundamental duties, which lay special emphasis on sovereignty, unity and integrity of the nation," Thakur told IANS.

    Seeking an immediate inquiry by a retired high court judge whether Mujahid was actually involved in the crime, the petitioner told the court that if he was framed, his family should he be compensated and the police personnel who arrested him should also be legally penalised.

    If the probe finds that Mujahid was involved in terror attacks, the compensation should be taken back from his family, the petition said.

    Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Sunday announced the compensation. The move attracted strong reactions from opposition parties, who called it "compromising national security and aimed at appeasing the minorities".

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    WPI will also contest the coming panchayet and assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh.

    By Staff Reporter,

    Hyderabad: “Welfare Party of India is not just another digit to the growing number of political parties in the nation, but an alternative to all those other political parties. It is committed to propagating value base politics in the nation”, claimed Qasim Rasool Ilyas, national general secretary of the party amid thousands of cheering crowd during party’s first Andhra Pradesh state meeting - a grand function to formally launch party’s unit in the state.

    As a show of power in the city and state whose Muslim interest is dominated by another Muslim political party Asaduddin Owaisi led AIMIM, WPI displayed a spectacular rainbow view of the meeting, getting all backward sections of the society and progressive thinkers involved at the single stage. The venue of the meeting Nizam College ground was pact to its limits by increasing number of men and women, majorly consisting of Jamat-e-Islami cadres from the state.

    The high profile launch of the state unit was attended by all the top national leaders of the party, including its national president Mujtaba Farooq, vice-presidents Lalita Naik and Milli Gazette editor, Zafar ul Islam khan.

    Mujtaba Farooq, in his address claimed that WPI has stood up to change the political system of the nation by reinserting ethics and redefining politics. He said that WPI’s basic aim is to unite Muslims with other oppressed communities to form a strong political front at National level. He made it clear that WPI is not a Muslim political party, and that party doors are opened for every citizen and it will fight for the dignity and justice for the common people irrespective of their religion or caste.

    Many Dalit leaders also spoke on the occasion stressing a need for strong Muslim-Dalit alliance to counter what they called the rule of 5% over the nation. Revolutionary poet Gaddar, in his speech said Muslim should unite with other oppressed sections of the society then only they could achieve political justice. Prakash Ambedkar of the Maharashtra Democratic Front, in his address, claimed that there is a political vacuum created due to the communal and narrow casteist politics of mainstream political parties. Ambedkar said he is hopeful that WPI with uniting oppressed communities with Muslims on the agenda of development and justice will be able to fill up that vacuum.

    Laita Naik, national vice president of the party and former Karnataka minister who contested recent assembly elections and got only 250 votes, narrated her experience of tasting a disastrous defeat. To convey the message of her party, Ms. Naik said she never felt shameful after that defeat, but could have certainly felt disgraceful if would have won the elections with distributing money. She said her party is committed for clean politics and implementing the same in their own practices.

    Lok Satta party president and MLA Jay Prakash Naryan, Dr. Vinay Kumar, veteran Urdu journalists, senior Jamat-e-Islami leaders and many other intellectuals also spoke on the occasion declaring their support on the planned politics of WPI.

    The fascinating scene in the meeting were folk tribal dance and songs presented by Telangana protagonist groups, clearly a rare act to be witness in the launching ceremony of a party which is perceived by many as a political front of pan Islamic organization.

    Amid the slogans of ‘Hamara Qaid kaisa ho, M.M. Khan jiasa ho,’ Malik Motasim Khan state unit president declared that WPI will contest coming panchayet and assembly elections in Andhra Pardesh. Mr. Khan said that his party will be an answer to all the corrupt mainstream political parties, whom he claimed have made general public disenchanted with politics.

    WPI state vice –President Nilam Dominique gave his speech on the same lines continuing rhetoric of value base politics and Dalit-Muslim alliance in the state.

    WPI state leaders during their address also tried o convey a message that they are not a rival or against Majlis-e-Itehadul Muslimeen, but will definitely challenge the grand old Muslim political party which is currently holding monopoly over Muslim politics in the region.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    New Delhi: On the plea of the NGO fighting for the rights of the people, Jan Adhikar Manch, the Ministry of Minority Affairs has decided to postpone the compulsory requirement of the AADHAR card in applying for merit cum means based post-metric scholarships for the year 2-13-14 given to children from minorities’ communities.

    Jan Adhikar Manch had made a representation to the ministry of minority affairs, and its Coordinator Mujahid Nafees had personally met with the minority affairs minister K Rehman Khan urging him to reconsider the government’s decision.

    The scholarship targets minority students from underprivileged class, most of whom still do not have the AADHAR card and hence the scheme should be postponed, argues Coordinator of Jan Adhikar Manch, Mujahid Nafees, adding “This is a glorious victory of the Jan Adhikar Manch, beneficial to the students off minority communities all over India.”

    The ministry has, however, added that the same may be compulsory, from the next session.

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    By Staff Reporter,

    Lucknow: On the sixth day of the indefinite dharna outside UP Assembly, Rihai Manch (Forum for the Release of Innocent Muslims imprisoned in the name of Terrorism) lambasted those clerics who are trying to act as ‘broker’ on the death of Khalid Mujahid.

    Rihai Manch is on indefinite dharna demanding persecution of police officers involved in the custodial death of Khalid Mujahid, tabling of the Nimesh Commission Report and release of Muslim youths languishing in jails in fabricated terror cases.

    A delegation of clerics, including Imam Tile wali Masjid, Maulana Fazlur Rehman Waizi and Shaher Qazi Mufti Abul Irfan Miyan Farangi Mahli had met UP CM Akhilesh Yadav at his official residence and submitted a memorandum in this regard on Sunday. Akhilesh had then announced that a compensation of Rs 6 lakhs would be given to the family of Khalid Mujahid and reiterated his commitment to impartial enquiry in Khalid Mujahid’s death.

    Spokesperson of the Manch said today that ullemas should refrain from working in connivance with the political class and brokering deal for them, as it presents the clerics in wrong light.

    Rihai Manch today returned the gunner, sent for the security of Manch leaders and added that government should immediately act to persecute the 42 police officials against whom FIR has been registered in the death of Khalid.

    Representatives of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) are expected to be present tomorrow.

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    By TCN News,

    Patna: The final result of Patna-based Rahmani-30 preparatory centre of IIT-JEE was declared on Monday for two years free residential coaching for the 2015 IIT and other engineering entrance tests.

    Rahmani-30 also runs its IIT-JEE Preparatory Program in collaboration with a reputed institution MS Academy, Hyderabad.

    The written test for the preparatory coaching was held on 14 April, 2013 and the selected candidates have been called for interview on 25-26 May, 2013.

    The written entrance test was held in different states namely Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat and Manipur. Some 10422 students had appeared in the test, of them 340 have emerged successful for the interview.

    Selected candidates have been instructed to arrive at Rahmani 30 office of Patna on June 9, 2013 at 9 AM with the original documents along with two sets of photocopies and other materials of necessities for their two years stay at Rahmani-30 for preparation of IIT-JEE-2015:

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    By IANS,

    Mumbai : Over 10,000 Muslims from all over Maharashtra Monday vowed to continue their struggle for getting 20 percent job and academic reservations, at a gathering here.

    Holding aloft the national Tricolour at Somaiya Ground in north Mumbai and Muslim Reservation Federation (MRF) flags, the gathering was the culmination of a 10-day-long 300-km march from Malegaon to Mumbai.

    "This is the beginning of a long battle and we shall not rest till our demands are conceded by the government," said MRF convenor Asif S. Rasheed, who led the march.

    He said that this was the only solution for the empowerment of the minority community.

    A delegation of the MRF would meet Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and urged him to take a decision on the demands within a month, failing which a bigger agitation would be launched, Rasheed said.

    He said if the Congress-led government in Andhra Pradesh could do it what was stopping Maharashtra from taking a similar decision.

    Maharashtra Samajwadi Party President Abu Asim Azmi, who addressed the gathering, criticised the Muslim leaders from the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party for not supporting their community members.

    "Reservations in jobs and education is the right of the ordinary Muslims and it must be granted without delay. There are already many committee reports and recommendations to this effect, now they must be implemented," Azmi demanded.

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    By Kaleem Kawaja,

    Yesterday was the 49th anniversary of the death of Jawaharlal Nehru, India's great freedom fighter, builder of modern India, man of vision, who died on May 27, 1964. Next to Mahatma Gandhi he is the most revered of the leaders of modern India. Indeed though there was great commonality between the two of them, Nehru's thinking of what India should be like was very different from that of Gandhi. Today Gandhi is a revered point of reference and ideal for India, but Nehru's philosophy, institutions and legacy is actually operating the various avenues of the nation.

    Nehru's Legacy vs Gandhi's Legacy:

    Whereas Gandhi was an extreme and sometimes impractical idealist, Nehru was a pragmatist. Gandhi's genius was in being able to have most people believe in him and follow him, despite the fact that they did not agree with him entirely. Nehru found it far more difficult to have most people follow him and used creative politics to have the country follow his philosophy and sideline his opponents. Remember the Kamraj Plan!

    It is a credit to Nehru's ability and skill that in the short span of 17 years as the leader of India which is a country of extreme diversity and contradictions, he put in place so many institutions and policies for India's future that are pretty much still leading India. And he did so by more or less democratic means.

    Since independence, two generations have gone by and now the third generation is hitting the threshold. The complexion of the country has changed radically. The population of the country has mushroomed five-folds; the number of states in India have more than doubled; so many political parties based on the castes and ethnicities and religious straits have mushroomed and even have significant following.

    Quite a few of Nehru's socialist policies, institutions, public sector industrial infrastructure have been replaced. Yet the new economic order that began twenty years ago in 1991, opening India's economy and society to the Western countries, is not a major departure from the Nehru thought. Because unlike Gandhi who was so much for Swadeshi structure, Nehru always talked about India reaching out to the world and adopting some of their institutions and social styles.

    Yet despite so many conflicts and contradictions Nehru's modernistic, progressive and pluralistic vision of going forward, taking every segment of the nation in the mainstream is still thriving in India. Much as Mao Tse Jung legacy and vision for China are thriving, Nehru's legacy and vision are thriving in India. In the same time phase Lenin's vision for Russia has been completely debunked by his descendants who have moved away from Lenin's vision and legacy.

    Continuing sway of Nehru philosophy and family on India:

    What is indeed remarkable about Nehru's legacy is that not only his philosophy and vision for India have survived; his own family has retained its supremacy and control on India, fifty years after his death. Even though Nehru's grandson Rajiv Gandhi did not survive as his descendant in the power echelons of the nation, his daughter Indira Gandhi put the Nehruvian stamp on the nation and managed the nation's contradictions extremely well.

    Even when others became leaders of the nation in the interim, they still followed the Nehruvian philosophy faithfully. It is absolutely remarkable that for the last about ten years, Sonia Gandhi – an Italian woman, the daughter-in-law of the Nehru family, has maintained remarkable control on the apparatus and subsets of the vast and diverse nation and has kept pushing the Nehruvian thought process. At this time despite much political and social turmoil, it is difficult to say that the nation will depart from the Nehru philosophy and even his family.

    Other icons of freedom movement are only points of reference now:

    In contrast none of the descendants of Gandhi or Sardar Patel or Maulana Azad or Rajendra Prasad or Subhash Bose or other top freedom fighters remained on the national scene. Indeed just a decade after their demise no one even knows their names or where they are. Today these illustrious leaders of the freedom movement remain the icons of the nation, but not many people know what their philosophies were like.

    Where will the Nehruvian vision and philosophy take India in the next fifty years is anybody's guess and extremely hard to say. But the fact that Nehruvian legacy has become an integral part of India's governance, seven decades after independence, is by itself an absolutely remarkable phenomenon.


    The writer can be reached on

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    By Tanvir Salim,

    During the last assembly elections, one of the reasons for the Samajwadi Party’s (SP) coming to power was the shifting of the Muslims votes in its favor. Today when the elections to the Lok Sabha are fast approaching, the Muslim votes are up for grabs again.

    If SP had not the betrayed the mandate gave by the Muslims in the Assembly elections, then they were the natural choice for the Muslims, and could have reaped the dividends, in the Lok Sabha polls also. But since then much water has flowed in the rivers, which run across the state of Uttar Pradesh, and the water in these rivers is getting murky. Some even see traces of blood in this water, and some of the fault for this to happen goes to the ruling SP. They have nobody else, but themselves, to be blamed for the disarray that has been created in the state.

    For the Muslim voters, there is good news and the bad news. The good news is that they are clever, and they vote where their heart and mind is, but the bad news is that they will not see too many choices in 2014, when they will go out to press the buttons on the Electronic Voting Machines.

    Of all the choices available to them, the Bhartiya Janata Party is not even in the race for the Muslim votes. The major challenge to the SP will emanate from BahujanSamaj Party (BSP), which in spite of being at the receiving end in the assembly elections, was able to retain its core constituents. It is worth mentioning that since there was not much difference in the votes obtained by the BSP and SP, the Muslims votes which went to SP, were the main reason for the SP’s victory.

    So it is true that Muslims played the role of the King Makers, but it is also a known fact that they never can be the King themselves. Lack of a “tall” Muslim leader is not something that happens by itself, it is due to the sinister design by the political parties, who are eager for the Muslim votes, but when it comes to share the spoils of the power, they keep the bulk of the share for themselves. Any Muslim leader who is in a position to ask for “more”, is kept in the sidelines and has to content himself with insignificant positions in the food chain. A Muslim leader with mass following who can stand on his own is despised by the political parties, but this topic can be a part of another discussion elsewhere.

    There are Muslim dominated outfits or “shops” that mushroom during the elections in a quest to capture the Muslim emotions, but their “shelf life” or longevity is questionable. There is no dearth of such organizations in Uttar Pradesh, but they are not able to seize on the momentum that is generated by the anger that resides in the Muslim masses. The prime example of these parties is the Peace Party and the Rashtriya Ulema Council.

    In the past Muslims had put their weight behind SP and BSP, but these parties squandered the mandate and showered their generosity to their core constituents, for SP it was Yadavs, and for BSP it was a section of the Dalits. Muslims were simply taken for a ride.

    If we keep aside the regional parties, then Congress Party is the only party with national presence which can come to the expectations of the Muslim masses. But so far Congress party has not shown the resolve which can make deep inroads into the heart and mind of these voters. The trust deficit stems from the ugliness that got engrained after the tragic demolition of the Babri Masjid.

    The recent incidents of unlawful detention of the Muslim youths and hanging of the Muslim terrorists, by missionary zeal raise more questions, than answers the ones those that were there before. Setting up study groups or committees, are steps in the right direction but putting these findings on the back burner puts a question mark on the spirit which was behind setting up these committees.

    There is still a chance for the Congress party. They have to introspect, and have to make a fresh start, but the turbulence brewing in the party itself is the great obstacle that may not make it happen. Either the Muslim leadership in the party is out of touch with their constituents, or they stand on such shaky foundations that they can’t dare to speak their mind on Muslim issues. As a result, other non-Muslim leaders in the party venture out to take the case of the Muslim masses. Leaders like Salman Khursheed could have taken the challenge, but since they lack mass following, they can’t get their hands dirty in meddling in Muslim issues. They are more concerned about securing a position of influence for themselves.

    (Tanvir Salim was a Nuclear Engineer in USA, presently residing in India.)

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    By TCN News,

    Mumbai: Students Islamic Organization of India (SIO), Mumbra unit organized a career guidance workshop for graduates and post graduates students of Mumbra on 26 May, 2013 at JIH Women’s Centre with motto to spread awareness about UPSC/ MPSC examinations as well as higher education (Post Graduation to PhD) and also the soft skills required to survive in the corporate world.

    This was the 2nd Successful workshop organized by SIO Mumbra for graduates. Near about 103 Students from all over Mumbra actively participated in the workshop. Guests for the workshop were welcomed by Parvez Khan, President SIO-Mumbra.

    Farooque Naikwade (Founder and Director of Steel Frame Civil Services) spoke on the topic, “Career in Civil Services- UPSC/MPSC and Exams Preparation”. He said that it is not the examination which is tough but lack of dedication toward these exams which fails students to clear such examinations. He motivated the students giving lots of practical examples to just take it seriously and nothing is impossible.

    Next Session was conducted by Dr. Altamash Faizi (PhD in Population Science / Demographic) on “Higher Education, Earn and Learn”. Using PPT presentation he highlighted the importance of higher education and about various fellowship/ scholarships which are available and provided for PhD which varies from 10,000 to 70,000 per month. Covering various HDI and other statics along with current situation he appealed students to go for higher education and PhD where they can earn while studying.

    This was followed by a two way interactive session by Sarfaraz Ahmad Ali Lakhani (MBA H.R. & acting soft skill consultant for MNC’s in many countries) on “Soft Skills for a Better Job”. He started with a short video from which he explained how initiative, education, discipline and team work can make a difference in the corporate world. He also said in this current situation where majority youth fails to get a good job is due to poor communication skill and lack of interview preparation.

    Last session for the workshop was on the topic “Careerism” by Prof. Javed Shaikh (Ameer-e-Maqami JIH-Mumbra and HOD-Mech. Dept. of Kalsekar Technical College, Panvel). He motivated the students to study for higher but also showed that how wrong perspective can lead to disaster. He asked student to know their Lord first and gain knowledge for right perspective.

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    By Syed Hasan Zia Rizvi,,

    Lucknow: On the occasion of birth anniversary of Imam Hazrat Ali, a delegation from the Holy Shrine of Hazrat Abbas of Iraq started five day long first annual cultural festival at Bada Imambara in Lucknow from 23 May to 27 May.

    The festival aims to bridge the relations between Indian and Iraqi culture and to highlight the great cultural heritage of Iraq. It witnessed multitude of visitors and participants.

    Prominent Shia Cleric, Maulana Kalbe Jawwad inaugurated the exhibition, which displayed the images and documentaries related to Shrines in Iraq and several books was also presented to the people.

    Department of the Intellectual and Cultural Affairs of the Shrine organized the festival with the help of some Indian volunteers and translators. They translated many books and illustrated children magazines as well as a booklet about the holy shrine and a map shows the edifices in Karbala city, which were kept in the exhibition along with several pictures of the shrine.

    Head of the delegation and important board member of Holy Shrine, Maulana Syed Mohammad Hussein al-Amidi said, “Lucknow and Najaf (Iraq) have good relations and lot of pilgrims visit the shrine every year. I visited several madarsa’s and was happy to see the valuable education being provided to the students. I hope that in future such programs will be organized and people will participate in large numbers”.

    Former Governor, Jharkhand, Syed Sibte Razi said, “We live in a democratic country where the Constitution was drafted keeping in mind about humanity and humans and not based on any religion caste or creed. In recent days the terrorism has been a problem for the people of Iraq and from the same problem we are also going through. We will have to fight together against rising terrorism to ensure that all should live with peace, brotherhood across the world”.

    Member of the High level four member committee of Shrine, Alhaaj Adel Jaffar Taqi said that India is country of peace and love and after coming here we did not find any difference between Iraq and India as the people here are friendly and understanding. A website through which people can know more about the Shrines in Karbala city was also launched - .

    President, All India Shia Personal Law Board, Maulana Mirza Mohammad Athar said, “Iraq and Lucknow share good cultural relations. It was the love of shrine committee that they chose Lucknow for organizing such exhibition and other program which I hope they will continue to do in future.”

    After facing obstacles in past, now the condition have improved in Iraq and people can visit shrines with freedom. There are still some problems in Iraq which I pray would be resolved soon, he added.

    At the closing ceremony prizes were distributed to the participants of the quizzes during the 5-day fest.

    Member and Administrator of Iraqi shrine committee Razzak Noor announced names of 5 participants who were chosen through the lucky draw for the free pilgrimage to Shrines of Iraq. Their names were Ibrar Hussain, Suroor Zaidi, Feroz Ali, Sultana Begum and Kamal Hasan.

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