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21 August 2013

Shashwatha Shankitharu – a study reveals communal bias of police in Karnataka

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Release of the book Shashvatha Shankitaru, the Kannada version of the study report, on Anti Torture Day

By Shabeer K. 

(Translation: Arif Kudroli)

'Permanent Suspect' that reveals the framing of Muslim youths under false terror charges across Karnataka and the agenda behind the conspiracy, was cynosure of the program. Sthuthi Publication and Information Trust published the Kannada version, translated by Hayavadana Upadyaya.

The study highlights the fact that Indian State that is in its effort to choose a new enemy in the country and to divert the minds of citizens from its not so people friendly policies has given a new imagination for Muslim terrorism. Earlier its imagination was minimal to show the Muslim terrorists with symbols like beard, hanged guns on their shoulder and covered their faces. However, now this imagination is changed and the Muslim youths who are highly qualified and pursued modern technical educations are also targeted. The report says that an imagination was being created that these youths could establish anti national organizations locally.

The old concept, according to which uneducated and lower class people of Muslims can only indulge in Jihadi violence is being changed and a new type of fear is being instilled that ‘Islamic Terrorism’ could be come from any class of Muslims irrespective of rich and poor, elders and young. The good instance for this is the recent arrests in Bangalore and Hubli where both the youths from high Muslim families and common youths who engaged in works like building demolition were there. In this way, an illusion is being created that highly qualified youths were plotting attacks while lower class youths implement these plans.

The report mentions about the two youths Iqbal Ahmed Jakathi and Imthiyaz Ahmed, who came out cleared from all the charges against them in court. Their case was very example before us to the fact that how police trap innocents in their prey. Jakathi was a columnist and working in an auto mobile company. Imtiyaz Ahmed was vice president in a social organization. Jakathi had left for dubai to earn more and had returned to the country to cooperate with police enquiry when they suspected his involvement in Hubli terror conspiracy. Police had told him over phone that his friend was telling about his involvement in the blast, so he could come to the country and could return to Dubai after giving some statements. It is a big joke if a terrorist mastermind returns to his country when police suspects his involvement in a particular blast and ask him to come back to face enquiry. Once reaching Mumbai airport, Jakathi was realized that he was deceived by police, who were waiting as a big troop to detain him soon after his arrival to the country. Visual Media ‘covered’ breaking news about‘the arrest of Master mind of Hubli blast conspiracy. Ultimately, Jakathi was not charged with Hubli blast case, but was trapped in Belguam blast conspiracy case.

Imtiyaz Ahmed was, earlier, illegally detained and pressurized to become witness for a car theft case. However, later he was also framed in Belguam APMC blast case. Now both of them are cleared from all the charges, still they are living a life of boycotted condition in the society. Total eleven Muslim youths were framed in the case and all of them have, now, been released with the session court judge Bala Krisna declaring them as innocents and that no evidence before court to prove their guilty. Ironically police had also framed some of these people in a saffron flag burning case which had took place before one year to their arrest during a protest. Moreover, they were even charged with black law like UAPA relating to this paltry incident and it clearly shows the biased attitude of police.

According to the report, Allah Bakshi Yadvad, a MBBS student from Hubli was arrested under Hubli Blast Conspiracy Case in 2008. He is the son of Waliullah Yadwad, working in railway and was then president of SWR Mazdur Union. Allah Baksh was charged under sedition law and accused of attending a meeting held to wage war against the country. He has also been charged under UAPA. The physical evidences against him were two books that police seized from his house. One was the book of Moududi 'Understanding Islam' and another one was an Arabic grammar book. Police picked up those two books from their home library which had collection of 5,000 books. These books are available in any Islamic book stall.

The report also highlights about tardiness of Indian judicial system and bias against Muslims. The trail of Allah Bakshi, who was arrested in 2008, began only after three years in 2011 and police continued adding witnesses against him and their total number has reached 350. Witnesses are not summoned by police and judges do not bother to question police about this. However, the case of earlier mentioned judge Balakrishna was special. He pressed police to dispatch summons for all the witnesses of Belguam conspiracy case and finished the trail within five months taking the case for hearing.

Wahid Husain from Hubli who was held recently in Bangalore blast conspiracy case was accused of supplying finance for the conspiracy. According to his brother Rajid Bakshar’s statement in the report his brother Wahid had bought Rs. 5,00,000 bank loan for his study and Rs.80,000 from his relatives. He went to Bangalore in search of a job and residing at a room in J.C.Nagar with his friends. Rajid asks how a person who even do not have job could finance a terror conspiracy. When Rajid brought this knowledge before some media police twisted the charge against Wahid and the accusation of conspiring to kill Bajarang Dal leader from Hubli Ganu Jattarkar and others was made against him.

According to the report, every terror related arrest resembles kidnap and police never bother to follow any etiquette mentioned in law. Some police with communal minds highlights the religious symbol of Muslims during the arrest. According to a statement of a person, whose innocence was later proved in court, police had forced him to wear religious cap during the arrest. According to the report, such type act by police is to show that there were link between being a Muslim and being a terrorist.

It also says that police intentionally impose the black laws like UAPA against Muslim youths to harden the chances of getting bail in court. They additionally include witnesses in their effort to prevent bail to the suspects. An instance of four youths who are under trails in different jails still after 19 years of arrest is given in the report. Among them the story of Samshudding was pitiable. He had been to Mumbai to seek a job when he was just 21. He got in touch with Dr.Jalil Ansari through a doctor from Gulbarga when he asked help to get residence in the city. Dr.Jalil Ansari was arrested under the charge of Hyderabad Blast Conspiracy in 1994. Samshuddin was arrested for his link with Dr.Ansari.

After the arrest, his mother died with hunting grief of her son. Samshuddin was finally able to reach his house after the efforts of several people in order to get him attended to last rituals of his mother. But he could not see the body of his mother since it was already buried on his arrival. Rambling to solve brother’s case, his elder brother Aminuddin suffered from diabetes due to long stress and now he is bed ridden after coming under paralysis. When the family contacted then MLA and present Wakf Minister of Karnataka Kamarul Islam, they were warned not to meet him again on this subject.

Samshuddin was just 21 during the arrest and now he is 40 after spending 19 years. Even he cleared from all the charges in court, who would give those valuable times that he spent in jail?

According to the report, the suspects who were in the verge of getting bail by the court would be framed in other cases. Thus police destroy their life and make them to become disgusted about court hearings. The terror suspected are often framed in the incidents held in different states. This is the main reason to many youths from Karnataka to remain as Permanent Suspects in the jails of Gujarath and other states of the country.

The report says that it was not just coincidence that many terror arrests were taken place in Hubli and Belgaum in 2008 and it was benefitted by BJP with the Hindu votes floated towards the party. It further says that police are using their informer networks to create a situation to put victims into their prey to help to make allegation against them.

In some instances, even though suspected youths come out of court cleared from all charges their community itself keeps them away, but this is not because of enmity. It is just with the fear that they may become victim of the system if they keep relation with them. In some cases, even though Hindu families showed sympathy towards the families of victims and expressed their trust that the youths were innocents, people of their own community did not meet them to console with them. This is a good instance of fear instilled on their mind by the state.

The study report concludes that the biased attitude of state has left a section of society to remain ‘Permanent Suspects’ in the state.

[Arif Kudroli is editor of Prasthutha Fortnightly. He can be contacted at arifbk19@gmail.com]

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