Questioning the Continuance of Dr. Manmohan Singh in the

On the floor of the House, the Prime

Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has

expressed in the last session of the

parliament, that it is the Coalition

Compulsion on account of which he

was not able to take an effective step

to stop the activities of his Cabinet

colleague Raja, who was involved in

2 G spectrum Scam. It means that

in order to keep him in majority a

Prime Minister may ignore

unconstitutional act of his Cabinet

colleague.

There was a lot of hue and cry in the

Parliament on this issue in the last

session which is also likely to

continue in the coming sessions and

since Dr. Manmohan Singh

commands the majority, by heading

a coalition Govt., if he does not resign

he will set a wrong Parliamentary

practice of not resigning although

owning collective responsibility of the

cabinet in a parliamentary

democracy.

The founding fathers of our

Constitution seemed to be aware of

providing a mechanism to deal with

a situation like this and it is that

scheme of the Constitution which is

required to be brought to the notice

of the President of India by hedding

light on the obscure by the members

of the Lok Sabha and suggest her to

Letter to Hon’ble members of Parliament:

exercise her powers to dismiss the

Prime Minister in the present

situation. Those Hon.ble members of

Lok Sabha who are in opposition or

some of them should file a

memorandum before the President

of India, inviting her attention to her

powers to dismiss the Prime

Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh .The

Constitutional scheme is like this;

Under Article 53 of Constitution the

executive power of the Union vests

in the President. The President of

India is also a constituent of the

Parliament in as much as Article 79

of Constitution provides that the

Parliament consists of the President

PUCL BULLETIN, SEPTEMBER 2011 5

and two Houses to be known

respectively as the Council of States

and House of the People.

Article 75(1) of the Constitution

provides that thePrime Minister shall

be appointed by the President and

other ministers shall be appointed by

him on the advice of the Prime

Minister. Article 75(2) of the

Constitution provides that the

.Ministers shall hold office during

the pleasure of the President..

Article 75(3) speaks of collective

responsibility of the Council of

Ministers.

The Supreme Court in State of

Karnataka v Union of India,AIR 1978

SC 68 has held: .The object of

collective responsibility is to make

the whole body of persons holding

ministerial office collectively, or, if one

may so put it, .vicariously

responsible for such acts of the

others, as are referable to their

collective violation so that, even if an

individual may not be personally

responsible for it, yet he will be

deemed to share the responsibility

with those who may have actually

committed some wrong.

Article 367(1) reads as follows:

367 (1) INTERPRETATION -Unless

the context otherwise requires, the

General Clauses Act, 1897, shall,

subject to any adaptations and

modifications that may be made

therein under article 372, apply for

the interpretation of this Constitution

as it applies for the interpretation of

an act of the Legislature of the

Dominion of India.

Section (16) of the General Clauses

Act is relevant and read as follows:

.Where, by any [Central Act] or

Regulation, a power to make any

appointment is conferred, then,

unless a different intention appears,

the authority having [for the time

being] power to make the

appointment shall also have power

to suspend or dismiss any person

appointed [whether by itself or any

other authority] in exercise of that

power.

Article 78 is most relevant which

reads as follows:

.It shall be the duty of the of the

Prime Minister .

(a) To communicate to the

President all decisions of the

Council of Ministers relating

to the administration of the

affairs of the Union and

proposals for legislation;

(b) To furnish such information

relating to the administration

of the affairs of the Union and

proposals for legislations as

the President may call for ;

and

(c) If the President so requires,

to submit for the

consideration of the Council

of Ministers any matter on

which a decision has been

taken by a Minister but which

has not been considered by

the Council.

In the context of the power of the

Chief Justice UnderArticle 229 of the

Constitution, which provides that the

appointment of officers and servants

of the High Court shall be made by

the Chief Justice of the court, the

Supreme Court in, Pradyut Kumar

Vs Chief Justice of Calcutta, 1956

AIR 285 has ruled as follows :

.It must be mentioned, at this stage,

that so far as the power of dismissal

is concerned, the position under the

Constitution of 1950 is not open to

any argument or doubt.Article 229(1)

which in terms vests the power of

appointment in the Chief Justice is

equally effective to vest in him the

power of dismissal.

This results from S.16 General

ClausesAct which by virtue of Article

367(1) of the Constitution applies to

the construction of the word

.appointment. in Art. 229(1). Section

16(1), General Clauses Act clearly

provides that the power of

.appointment. includes the power .to

suspend or dismiss..

The Supreme Court in the aforesaid

judgment has considered the

application of Article 367(1) of the

Constitution to the construction of

the word . appointment. in relation

to the powers of the Chief Justice to

appoint officers and servant of High

Court, but so far as the constitutional

scheme in relation to the power of

appointment of a Prime Minister and

other Ministers by the President is

concerned, there are other provisions

also namely, Article 53, 75(1), 75(2),

75(3) and 78, which read together,

leave no room for doubt, that the

President of India does has the

power to dismiss the Prime Minister.

It may be emphasized here even at

the cost of some repetition that

ministers hold office during the

pleasure of the President .There

is a collective responsibility of the

Council of Ministers. The Prime

Minister is the first among the

equals. He is appointed by the

President, and other ministers are

appointed by the President on his

advice. In order to ensure the holding

of the ministers, .during the

pleasure of the President., it has

been made the Duty of the Prime

Minister, under article 78 of

Constitution:

(d) To communicate to the

President all decisions of the

Council of Ministers relating to

the administration of the affairs

of the Union and proposals for

legislation;

(e) To furnish such information

relating to the administration of

the affairs of the Union and

proposals for legislations as the

President may call for ; and

(f) If the President so requires, to

submit for the consideration of

the Council of Ministers any

matter on which a decision has

been taken by a Minister but

which has not been considered

by the Council.

The President exercises his/her

functions in accordance with the

advice of the council of Ministers

appointed by the President. The

power to appoint the Council of

PUCL BULLETIN, SEPTEMBER 2011 6

Ministers has to be exercised by the

President independently as head of

theState to enable him or her to have

a council of ministers which may

advice him to exercise those powers.

Except in the case of appointment

of Chaudhary Charan Singh as Prime

Minister in 1979 by Neelam Sanjeeva

Reddy there has never been any

problem in exercise of this power by

the various Presidents of India from

1952 to 1989, as one party or the

other used to have absolute majority.

The era of Coalition Govts. started

from 1989. Since then all the Govts.

have been coalition Govts. R.

Venkataraman was the President

during the initial period of coalition

Govts. and he had to his credit the

appointments of as many as 3 Prime

Ministers of coalition Govts.

In his celebrated book .My

Presidential Years. R.

Venkataraman has observed:-

.In my view, the President is not a

Public Service Commission

examining the merits of candidates

for the Prime Minister.s office. He has

only to satisfy himself whether the

person chosen as Prime Minister

has prima facie strength in the Lok

Sabha to carry on the government

and is free from any proven

constitutional disability. To allow the

President to stray from this narrow

path would lead to a distortion of the

Constitution. He further said in the

same book: .while the monarchy in

Britain is hereditary and

unconnected with parties, the

President of India is elected by the

majority party and his actions could

be partisan or liable to be questioned

as partisan. On the other hand, if he

followed strictly the criterion of calling

the largest party, he would avoid the

charge of partisanship. Besides, the

President would not be able to play

politics by calling a party other than

the largest on the basis of his

subjective assessment that such a

party, in his opinion, was capable of

providing a stable govt..

It is thus clear that the President of

India while appointing a Prime

Minister has only to satisfy himself

whether the person chosen as Prime

Minister by him prima facie has

strength in the Lok Sabha to carry

on the Govt. After a person is

appointed as Prime Minister and

proves majority to form a Govt. the

person appointed remains under the

constant scrutiny of the President of

India.

V.P. Singh was appointed by

Venkataraman as the first Prime

Minister of India of a coalition Govt.

It is interesting to see in his book as

to how he did it:

.At about 7 p.m, V.P. Singh, Madhu

Dandvate, Dinesh Goswami and a

few others called on me. Dandvate,

who was the chairman of the meeting

which elected V.P. Singh as leader,

handed over to me a letter to the

effect . He also handed over another

letter saying that the BJP with 85

members and the Left Front with 52

members had pledged their support

to a National Front government .I

replied that .As the largest single

party had not staked its claim to form

the government, I invite you

(V.P.Singh) as the leader of the

second largest party to form the

government and take a vote of

confidence of the House within 21-

30 days.. V.P. Singh wished to have

30 days and I agreed..

Thereafter he appointed

Chandrashekhar as the second

Prime Minister of a coalition Govt.

on 10th Nov 1990. Following

communiqué was issued by

Rashtrapati Bhawan on that day:

.Consequent on the fall of the National

Front government headed by Shri

V.P. Singh, the President asked the

Leader of the Opposition and the

Congress (i) whether he was able to

form a viable government . The

Congress (I) did not stake a claim

for forming the government but offered

unconditional support to Shri

ChandraShekhar…..

The President has therefore invited

Shri Chandra Shekhar to form the

Government and prove his majority

in the House of the People on or

before 30 November, 1990..

The trend had been set and the

criteria had been laid down by R.

Venkataraman for the successive

Presidents of India to exercise the

power of appointment of a Prime

Minister. On that criteria were

appointed even DeveGowdaand I.K.

Gujaral. But for the fact that the

largest single party nominated these

two persons to be appointed Prime

Minister they would not have been

so appointed. They did not represent

the majority opinion of the People of

India, as those persons appointed as

Prime Ministers who were appointed

during the period prior to Coalition

Era.

Dr. Manmohan Singh has never been

elected as a member of Lok Sabha .

He had been thrust upon by the

largest single party of UPA.

Therefore, like Deve Gowda and

I.K.Gujral he has been appointed by

the President of India on the criteria

laid down by R.Venkataraman and

he also does not represent the

People of India .

The compulsion of coalition, is likely

to continue as in the near future, no

party seem to be able to secure a

majority in the Lok Sabha . This

compulsion of coalition cannot be

permitted to be an excuse for

succeeding Prime Ministers. Dr.

Manmohan Singh must have

resigned. He cannot continue to be

the Prime Minister with impunity for

the misdeeds of his Cabinet

colleague Raja.

The President of India is the true

representative of the People .He is

elected by an electoral college

consisting of . (a) The elected

members of both Houses of

Parliament (b) the elected members

of the Legislative Assemblies of the

States. Article 55 of the Constitution

provides that as far as practicable

there shall be uniformity in the scale

of representation of different states

at the Election of the President, and

PUCL BULLETIN, SEPTEMBER 2011 7

for the purpose of securing such

uniformity, the number of votes which

each elected member of Parliament

and Legislative Assembly of each

State is entitled to cast at such

election, has to be determined in a

manner provided in that Article, and

the election of the President is held

in accordance of the system of

Proportional Representation by

means of Single Transferable Vote.

Hence, the President of India truly

represents .We the People of

India..

It is .We the People of India. who

authorize him to appoint a Prime

Minister who has to hold office

.during the Pleasure of the

President. and is given input by the

Prime Minister by making it his duty

Under Article 78 to inform the

President relevant information on the

basis of which the President shall

exercise the .Pleasure..

In any case, the President has an

option of asking the Prime Minister

to resign even if she does not straight

away wish to dismiss him, to give

way to appoint another Prime

Minister .The power to appoint a

Prime Minister subject to his proving

the majority is there. But merely

because a person appointed as

Prime Minister commands majority

cannot lead to the conclusion that

the President of India will become a

mute spectator. In the situation like

this, the attention of the President

of India should be invited so that she

may see that this Prime Minister is

removed and she appoints another

Prime Minister, may be on the same

criteria on which Prime Ministers

have been appointed during the era

of coalition Governments that is by

selecting another person to be

appointed as Prime minister who is

nominated by the largest single party

subject to his or her proving the

majority in the Lok Sabha.

 

Consultation Towards India’s Second Universal Periodic Review By Working Group On Human Rights

Consultation Towards India’s Second Universal Periodic Review By Working Group On Human Rights

 

On 26, 27, and 28  a review meeting of human right position in India was conducted at Bangalore by the working group on human rights in India and UN  and South India cell for human rights and monitoring.  45 human rights organisations  from Tamil Nadu, Telugu Desham, Kerala and Karnataka attended these deliberations and reviewed  the human right setuation in the sourthern region of India.  Separate  delibrations are conducted simultaneously for northern, eastern and  western region of India. The final national consultation will be held from 12 and 13th of October 2011.

 

The deligates  recorded in detail the situation under the following four  heads:

  1. 1.   Access to justice
  2. 2.   Economic , social and cultural rights and the right to development
  3. 3.   Discrimination
  4. 4.   Human rights defenders

 

The participants concentrated on the violation against dalits, indigenous people economically disadvantaged women, children and Muslims and other minorites, persons with disabilities, lesbians,  gay, bisesual transgender people. As well as  tribals and displaced persons.

 

The first universal periodic review of human rights situation  in the World by the member countries of united nation was held in the year 2008. This is the second 2nd review. The process will continue every 4 years. 

 

The concluding session was attended by Justice S.R. NAYAK Chairman of SHRC  and Mr. Samuel Paul founder director of IIM Ahmadabad.

 

Once the report is finalised at Delhi the same will go to the human right council of United Nation and will be published  all over the world.

 

The general impression gained by the participants  was that the human rights position in India has become worst during the last 4 years. The attacks on human right defenders custodial deaths, fake encounters  are on the increase. communalism and moral policing and displacement of triabals from their century old a abode is a recent menace which is breaking the democratic frabic of India .

 

P.B.D’Sa

 

 

DAZED 7 CONFUSED AGAIN

Dazed & Confused. Again

Misguided focus. Sloppy intelligence inputs. Ashish Khetan runs through a history of recent blasts to expose both the alarming chaos and difficulties faced by India’s anti-terror establishment

Clue hunters NIA sleuths outside the Delhi High Court

Photo: Vijay Pandey

“Riaz of Karachi made a telephonic call to a Zafar in Srinagar. Zafar was told to deliver some money to a Sunny of Jammu, who in turn would deliver the money to Suraj in Delhi to carry out some violent activity. Please take necessary action at your end.” (Excerpt from an Intelligence Bureau alert sent to different anti-terror and law enforcement agencies on 3 September. The names have been changed to ensure that no ongoing operation is affected)

Taking stock Chidambaram visits the Delhi High Court blast site

Photo: Shailendra Pandey


ALSO READ

Delhi High Court Blasts
The terror. The threat. The twist
Terror strikes Mumbai: At least 20 lives lost and 113 injured


Foreign hand? The German Bakery attack in Pune was later claimed by al Qaeda

Photo: Deepak Salvi


The aftershocks Scenes after blasts at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru

Photo: AFP


The aftershocks: Scenes outside the Jama Masjid Police Station in Delhi

Photo: AFP


By the Ganga A girl died and dozens were injured in the Varanasi blast of December 2010

Photo: Pramod Adhikari


Maximum impact The multiple blasts in Mumbai on 13 July snuffed out 21 lives

Photo: Deepak Salvi


First warning The IED explosion at the Delhi HC on 13 May was possibly a dry run

Photo: Shailendra Pandey


Faces of terror The sketches of the two suspects responsible for the Delhi High Court bombing

“WHAT AM I supposed to do with this piece of so-called intelligence?” asks a senior law enforcement officer with exasperation, placing the IB note before this correspondent. “There is no address, no telephone number, no specific identification of the suspects provided in this alert. Where am I supposed to go and look for them? Would you classify this as intelligence?”

On 7 September, within hours of the terrible blast at the Delhi High Court, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram told Parliament that the Delhi Police had been sent intelligence alerts in July about an impending blast. To an ordinary listener, this would seem to exonerate the minister and the country’s intelligence agencies to some degree from the repeated terror attacks India suffers from. But if one knows the almost ludicrous nature of most intelligence inputs received by security personnel or counter- terrorism groups, the assurance becomes much less credible.

Sample this: “This is in continuation of my earlier communication regarding the possibility of LeT operatives using forged documents and IDs to gain access to the cricket World Cup final. According to latest information, there is a likelihood that forged documents and ID cards of organisations such as cricket associations, press clubs, media outfits, PAN cards, bank employee ID cards, voter cards, ration cards and employee cards of infrastructure entities such as telecom, electricity, etc, may be used to obtain regular passes from the agencies to gain access into the stadium. In this background, inquiries may please be made to authenticate the genuineness of the enclosed documents and feedback may please be given to us.” (An IB alert sent to Mumbai Police on 30 March)

“Enhanced vigil be maintained on movements of Sikh extremists, Kashmiri militants, Muslim militants, left-wing extremists, LTTE cadres/sympathisers, northeast insurgent groups and ISI-backed elements. A watch (sic) be kept on the movement and activities of the AISS (all India security suspects) and traced writers of threatening letters/e-mails in areas under your jurisdiction, particularly in state capitals.” (An IB advisory sent on 30 June to different state and central police and intelligence agencies)

THESE ARE just some of the intelligence inputs generated and disseminated in recent months by the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the country’s premier intelligence-gathering agency. The first input quoted above was generated just four days before the high court blast, which besides snuffing out a dozen innocent lives and creating a crater 5 feet deep at the blast site, also blew a big hole in the self-esteem and meticulously crafted image of Chidambaram.

Just like the 3 September input, the bulk of intelligence inputs churned out every day and wired across the intelligence grid are completely generic, theoretical and hence unactionable.

The alerts and advisories are worded such that every conceivable security threat under the sun is covered in the note. Advisories are sent routinely asking state police agencies to keep an increased vigil during important days such as 15 August or 26 January or on the occasion of some festival and to be alert to the possibility of an impending attack. Often no specific location of the place under threat or specific date or name of any individual or group to be tracked or tailed are available. The cumulative result is that the agencies don’t take these advisories seriously.

“One can always be on high alert. But it’s not possible to police every man on the street or every nook and cranny of highrisk targets like the Gateway of India or Juhu beach 24×7, 365 days a year,” says a senior Mumbai ATS official.

The Delhi Police is also not amused. “The intelligence shared was extremely generic in nature,” says a senior officer in the Delhi Police special cell. “We were told to be on high alert as there was a possibility of a terror strike. A terror operative from Pakistan was suspected to have entered the city. But that was all. No name, no location. The fact that the Delhi High Court could be a target was not mentioned.”

Delhi Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna also went on record contesting Chidambaram’s assertion. “I get my information from the Delhi Police. In fact, they told me over the past few weeks there were only general inputs. To my mind, it wasn’t specific,” he told a news channel.

Could such generic and vague theories really be termed ‘intelligence’? Isn’t Chidambaram’s insistent denials after the 13 July Mumbai blasts and the high court blast that there was no intelligence failure a sleight of hand?

The high court was not even considered to be a potential high-risk target that would necessitate full CCTV coverage. A small explosion on 13 May was dismissed by our security establishment as a stray incident.

Immediately after the 13 July blasts, Chidambaram asserted at a press meet that since 26/11, the country has seen just two terror strikes — the German Bakery blast in Pune and the triple bomb strike in Mumbai. But he was being more than just economical with the truth. As narrated below, there have been as many as seven major terror strikes since 26/11, (the number was six when Chidambaram held the presser).

And the fact that four of these seven strikes resulted in very few casualties (and thus were dismissed by him as non-events) is not because of the pro-active intervention or pre-emptive action on the part of our mammoth security set-up. It was a combination of providence and shoddy execution on the part of terrorists that saved hundreds of lives. It was either because of malfunctioning IEDs or bad placement of bombs that prevented heavy fatalities.

If the occurrence of seven terror strikes in one-and-a-half years is not intelligence failure then one wonders what more will it take before the home minister admits a complete systemic failure?

AFTER TAKING over the baton from his disgraced predecessor Shivraj Patil, Chidambaram has indisputably tried his best to infuse new life in the comatose internal security apparatus. From the officers of the ATS in Uttar Pradesh to intelligence sleuths in Mumbai, all would vouch for the fact that there is now greater co-ordination between different state and Central intelligence agencies than ever before.

Chidambaram’s big-ticket structural strengthening initiatives like setting up of regional hubs of National Security Guards (NSG), creation of a federal entity called the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and creation of National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), a network of around two dozen disparate databases of different agencies aimed at generating real-time actionable intelligence, have all taken off. Four NSG hubs at Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kolkata have already been inaugurated and the NATGRID got the much-awaited Cabinet approval this July. The strength of NIA has been substantially increased with the inauguration of a branch in Hyderabad. Besides, annual grants of hundreds of crores of rupees have been disbursed by the Centre to different state police forces to enhance their investigation and combat capabilities after 26/11. But despite all the money spent and new entities being floated, the country’s internal security scenario is as grim as it was on the night of 26/11.

Under Chidambaram’s watch, there has been too much emphasis on modern weaponry and state-of-the-art technology and not enough on human intelligence

The problem is that the war on terror can’t be Chidambaram’s alone. No minister, no matter how efficient or hard a taskmaster, could single-handedly spearhead the mammoth security set-up. While Chidambaram may be driven and meticulous, the war on terror could only be won if the beat constable on the street is also equally dedicated to his job.

His focus has been more on a top-down approach. While the setting up of NATGRID, NSG regional hubs and NIA and modernisation of police weaponry are important initiatives and need to be applauded, the fact remains that very little has been done to improve the working conditions of lower- level police, both in terms of specialised training or human resource interventions. We can’t expect our police to display the same competence and calibre as that of the FBI and MI5, while we continue to provide them third-world salaries and inhuman working conditions.

Both the making and unravelling of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) should yield important lessons for fighting terrorism. IMwas founded and run by semi-educated Muslim youth from small mofussil towns such as Azamgarh, Bhatkal and Yavatmaal, who migrated to Pune, Mumbai and Delhi and set up their bases in heavily populated Muslim localities like Jamia Nagar in Delhi and Cheetah Camp in Mumbai. (Though there were couple of trained engineers also among the IM cadre, they were not part of the core team). They planned and executed terror strikes while carrying on with their regular day jobs. As a precaution they never discussed their plans over phone, which they knew could be tapped or tracked. As a result, for over five years, the IM successfully operated under the security radar.

But at the same time, these IM operatives regularly visited neighbourhood mosques and religious institutions and came in touch with many people outside their circle of extremist cadres. Many times, their activities did lead to some suspicion among neighbours and friends. But nobody reported their suspicious behaviour to the police. Had it been done, the IM could have been busted much earlier. This goes to show a lack of penetration of our intelligence agencies in Muslim neigbouhoods or groups with radical leanings. The institution of beat constable, who is the eyes and ears of the police, has become delinquent, at least when it comes to gathering inputs about Islamist radical outfits.

Both under and before Chidambaram, there has been too much emphasis on modern weaponry and state-of-the-art technology and not enough on human intelligence.

‘What am I supposed to do with this piece of so-called intelligence? There is no address, no telephone number, no identification of the suspects,’ says a law enforcement officer

THE POWERFUL explosion that claimed 12 lives outside the high court shattered all illusions of security if any remained after the horrifying terror strike in Mumbai on 13 July. The terrorists are striking at will, at the place and time and mode of their choice. And the country’s gargantuan intelligence and counter-terrorism set-up is clueless. There have been as many as seven major terror strikes in a period of less than one-and-a-half years. In a few cases like the 13 July blasts and the high court blast, the terrorists were successful in inflicting heavy casualties. While in other instances like the Varanasi Ghat blast, sheer providence prevented a high death toll. Not one case, however, has been cracked, with the partial exception of the Pune one where though one fringe player was apprehended, the key accused managed to get away. All that the agencies have are sketchy portraits of the suspects drawn on the basis of eyewitnesses’ inputs.

“Nobody knows who is behind all these recent blasts,” says a senior Uttar Pradesh ATS officer investigating the Varanasi Ghat blast that happened on 7 December 2010. “Is there one umbrella group behind all the bombings or have different outfits carried out different strikes? Have the remnants of IM regrouped or has some new terror group comprising completely new cadres come into being? Is it all the handiwork of home-grown terror outfits or is it being sponsored and coordinated by LeTHuJI-ISI combine? We don’t know the answers for any of these questions. It’s a blind alley and more often than not we are fighting shadows.”

Indian Mujahideen, Harkat-ul-Jihad-Islami and Lashkar-e-Toiba are all theories today. Just like how radical student outfit Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) was a theory in the previous decade when every terror strike was conveniently and lazily attributed to the banned outfit by government agencies.

The root of the problem lies in the increasing fissures in our society. It lies in the increasing number of disaffected youth who haven’t got a stake in India’s growth

There is no doubt that several key IM members — a few of whom are from Azamgarh, some from Karnataka and others from Maharashtra — who have been on the run since the 2008 Batla House encounter continue to pose a grave security threat. Similarly, the threats emanating from the seamless web of LeT, HuJI and ISI from across the border are equally grave. American national David Coleman Headley, who had carried out recces of 26/11 target sites, has provided NIA a detailed account of ‘Karachi Project’—a code name given by ISI to their new terror strategy by which they planned to recruit Indian Muslim youth, train and shelter them in Pakistan and then use them for future terror attacks on the Indian soil.

But all these facts have been there with our agencies for the past two-and-a-half years. In the fast changing shadowy world of terror, two years is an eternity. There has been no qualitative or substantive addition to these existing theories in quite a long time. And hence the current state of cluelessness prevailing among our agencies.

Let’s have a brief look at all these recent blasts to assess the enormity of the looming terror threat.

13 FEBRUARY 2010: At around 7 pm, a powerful RDX bomb ripped apart the German Bakery located in Koregaon Park, one of the most posh locales in Pune. Eighteen people, including three foreign nationals, died while 53 were injured. In a major faux pas, Maharashtra ATS arrested Abdul Samad, 23, the brother of an absconding IM operative and was later forced to release him in the face of mounting evidence of his innocence. The ATS arrested two Muslim radicals whose names had earlier cropped up in the 2003 terror strikes and charged one of them with providing logistical support to two IM operatives —Mohsin Chaudhary and Ahmed Siddibapa — who were the real masterminds of the blasts and are still absconding. The intelligence fraternity is divided on the authenticity of these arrests.

17 APRIL 2010: Two bombs exploded at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru between 2.55 pm and 3.05 pm, just minutes before the start of an IPL match. Fortunately, the planter, either out of fear or sheer bad planning, kept these bombs in the bushes, almost 100 m away from the crowd and hence there were no casualties. A portion of the wall caved in and 17 people were injured from flying shrapnel. Later, three more devices that were in fact strategically placed at the entrance gates and if set-off would have resulted in heavy casualties, malfunctioned and failed to explode. A combination of good fortune and coincidence saved many precious lives. More than a year down the line, all that the police have to show is a suspect’s sketch.

19 SEPTEMBER 2010: At 11.23 am, two motorcycle-borne assailants opened fire from automatic weapons at a group of foreigners alighting from a tourist bus near Gate No. 3 of the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi. A crew of Taiwanese filmmakers were seriously injured but were lucky to survive. Two-and-a-half hours later, a Maruti 800 parked adjacent to a transformer near Jama Masjid Police Station went up in flames when a pressure cooker bomb planted in the car exploded. It was the second anniversary of the Batla House encounter. Soon after the blast, IM claimed responsibility in an e-mail sent to news organisations and threatened more terror strikes during the Commonwealth Games. Till date there has been no breakthrough in the case. Unlike other cases, the police do not even have the suspects’ sketches.

7 DECEMBER 2010: A two-year-old girl was killed and around three dozen people injured when an IED exploded at the Dashashwamedh Ghat during Ganga Aarti around 6.30 pm in Varanasi. In an e-mail sent to media houses, IM claimed responsibility. The planter/s made a mistake as they left the bomb on the upper steps of the ghat while the devotees and tourists who had assembled for the aarti were on the lower steps. Eight months later, there is no headway in the case.

13 MAY 2011: The IED kept in a polythene bag near a lawyer’s car parked at Gate No. 7 outside Delhi High Court went off at around 1.25 pm. The Delhi Police issued vague statements downplaying the incident. “There was a minor explosion.A packet containing explosives kept in a plastic bag near a car exploded. There were minor damages to the car. There was no casualty or injuries,” Dharmendra Kumar, Special Commissioner (Law and Order) said after the blast.

13 JULY 2011: Three near-simultaneous explosions rocked Mumbai at rush hour, killing at least 21 people and injuring 141.

7 SEPTEMBER 2011: Around 100 days after the low-intensity blast outside the Delhi High Court that the police had dismissed as a minor incident, a powerful bomb placed in a suitcase was detonated by terrorists at reception centre near Gate No. 5 of the court. There were no CCTV cameras installed at the reception. At the time of going to press, the death toll stood at 12.

Unlike the spate of blasts carried out by the IM between 2005-08, where there was an identifiable pattern with regard to the striking similarity in bomb design, the nature of explosives, the timer device and circuit, the past seven strikes have no single thread that could give some idea of the nature of the group behind it.

In the Pune case, RDX was used. It’s a high-intensity explosive that is only available with defence forces. The use of RDX pointed fingers at the involvement of some Pakistan-based terror groups. The IM had primarily used locally available ammonium nitrate in most of its blasts. However, in the Bengaluru blast, a mixture of ammonium nitrate, petroleum wax and polysaccharide was found. All these ingredients are easily available in local markets and thus it’s hard to say that if it was an ISIsponsored attack or was carried out by IM or some other indigenous outfit. However, there was one strong indicative link between the Bengaluru blast and the IM— a Samay watch was used as a timer device. In a majority of its blasts, the IM had used the same brand of watch as a timer mechanism. Both in the 13 July Mumbai blasts and 7 December Varanasi blast, it is suspected that ammonium nitrate was used.

But the make of the timer device or nature of explosives can only broadly hint at the pattern of blasts. While being indicative, these broad indicators could also at times be confusing and misleading.

There have been strategic affiliations and operation-specific collaborations among terror outfits belonging to different Islamic schools of thought. IM has been loosely supported by the LeT and ISI. The threat from Pakistan-based outfits like HuJI is always there on the horizon. Al Qaeda commander Ilyas Kashmiri (about whom there are conflicting reports of having been killed in a recent US drone attack) has in the past shown great interest in fishing in the troubled waters of India. Similarly there are floating Islamist radicals who, for tactical reasons, align themselves with different jihadi tanzeems according to a situation.

For instance, in August 2010, Indian intelligence agencies uncovered a videotape in which former al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden’s deputy Mustafa al Yazid claimed responsibility for the Pune bakery attack.

In the tape, al Yazid, who was No. 3 in the al Qaeda hierarchy, and is believed to have been killed in a drone attack in North Waziristan on 22 May 2010, clearly says that the al Qaeda orchestrated the blast.

“I appeal to the entire Muslim world, especially the jihadis, to take inspiration from a great deed performed by one of our brothers. A fearless and daredevil fidayeen amongst us has struck against those who support anti-Islamic ideologies and provide a safe haven to the enemies of Islam. To teach such people a lesson, one of our fidayeens carried out an attack at the German Bakery in India, where Israelis and Jews used to assemble. Many Jews were killed in the attack… the attack was carried out under the leadership of the commander of the Commando Battalion in Kashmir, Ilyas Kashmiri,” al Yazid said.

However, the Maharashtra ATS has chargesheeted two absconding IM operatives as the masterminds of the blast. ATS chief Rakesh Maria had rubbished al Yazid’s claims. On the other hand, Central intelligence agencies doubt the genuineness of the ATS case.

The Central agencies have been receiving constant inputs of IM operatives being sheltered and trained by the ISI in Pakistan. Four IM operatives arrested since the Batla House encounter — Mohd Sarvar, Mohd Salman, Mohd Hakim and Shahzad Ahmed — have told the agencies that IM is regrouping under the aegis of ISI in Pakistan and is now trying to find new recruits in India to unleash a fresh wave of mayhem.

On the day of the Jama Masjid and Varanasi incidents, IM shot off its signature e-mail to media houses claiming responsibility for the attacks that lends credence to the theory that IM has indeed regrouped and found new recruits. In the high court blast also there has been an e-mail sent in the name of IM, but investigators believe that it’s a bogus one and has no resemblance, neither in tone, content or design, to the previous mails. To add to the confusion, an e-mail from an outfit calling itself HuJI was also received, linking the terror strike with Parliament attack accused Afzal Guru’s death sentence.

Though NIA chief SC Sinha told the media that he was taking the contents of the e-mail seriously, IB officials are not attaching much importance to the mail as they think it’s just a smokescreen.

THE CRUX of the matter is that the prevailing terror scenario is so fluid that until there is a substantial breakthrough, pointing a definitive finger at any particular outfit would be foolhardy.

The Madhya Pradesh Police recently busted a self-organised terror module comprising ex-SIMI members who were planning to attack the judges of the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court who had delivered the Ayodhya verdict last year. As many as eight suspects, four each from Jabalpur and Bhopal, were arrested this June. Their alleged confessions before the police make a chilling read.

The leader of the group, Abu Faizal Khan, 28, was born at Hansapur village in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh. He was the eldest among five siblings and had four sisters. In the late 1980s, his father migrated to Mumbai and settled at Andheri where he set up a medical shop. After completion of intermediate, Abu Faizal joined a BHMS course at Gujarati Samaj College, Indore, MP, in 2003. There he came into contact with a SIMI member named Irfan Chipa, who motivated him to become an active member of the radical outfit. In 2001, SIMI was banned.

Abu Faizal was first arrested in 2006 along with Chipa and six others on charge of an illegal assembly at Wadi, Indore and spent one-and-a-half months in jail. According to the police, after release, Faizal established contact with top SIMI leaders Rayees Khan, Kamruddin Nagori and Safdar Nagori of a breakaway radical faction within SIMI. Thereafter he participated in several meetings and training camps organised by the Nagori faction from 2007. After the arrest of Nagori along with many cadres at Indore in 2008, he became the self-declared leader of SIMI in MP and started regrouping the members.

He motivated about a dozen other Muslim youth to join him in the cause of jihad. To raise finance for their proposed operations, they carried out a string of bank robberies and dacoity. They believed that mobilising funds for jihad by indulging in criminal activities was approved in the path of jihad as ‘Maal-e-Ghanimath’. Together they allegedly committed the following offences in Madhya Pradesh:

1. Looted a cash bag from a businessman at Khandwa in February 2009

2. Robbery at Narmada Grameen Bank, Dewas, in 2009

3. Robbery at Bank of India, Dewas, in May 2009

4. Killing of ATS constable Sitaram Yadav and two civilians at Khandwa in 2009

5. Robbery at Canara Bank, Itarsi, in February 2010

6. Robbery at Punjab National Bank, Ratlam, in March 2010

7. Robbery at State Bank of India, Mandsour, in May 2010

8. Robbery at Manappuram Gold Finance, Bhopal, in September 2010

9. Firing on VHP leader Bherulal Tong at Nagda, Ujjain, in May 2011

Astonishingly, Abu Faizal allegedly told the police that he along with his accomplices — Mujeeb Sheikh, Iqrar Sheikh and Ejazuddin — were preparing to go to Afghanistan to join the Taliban and wage jihad against the US-led forces. After Afghanistan, they intended to wage jihad against forces within Pakistan, who they believed were supporting the US, who according to them was the foremost enemy of Islam. The MP Police claimed that Abu Faizal had been desperately trying to establish contacts with the Taliban and LeT. But before heading for the AfPak region, the group wanted to kill the judges who delivered the Ayodhya verdict. Until the group was busted, they had not managed to establish any kind of contact with Pakistan- based terror outfits. Their confessions, if true, show the growing alienation among a section of the Muslim youth in India.

WHILE ADDRESSING the 40th All India Police Science Congress at Raipur last year, Chidambaram said, “Policing a country of over 1.1 billion people is not an easy task. Policing the country in a troubled neighbourhood makes the task more difficult. And policing a country with insufficient police stations and inadequate and illequipped police forces makes the task almost formidable.” It was a frank and bold statement and sums up the structural and inherent internal security challenges.

But terror is not a policing problem alone. Even the best counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism infrastructure could not eradicate the problem of terrorism from India. The police can do only so much. The root of the problem lies in the increasing fissures in our society. It lies in the increasing number of disaffected youth who by accident or design have not got a stake in the country’s progress. It lies in the lax judicial system that when the situation demanded failed to uphold the rule of law and lost credibility among a large section of our populace.

There is still no closure to the cases of Babri Masjid demolition and the 2002 Gujarat carnage. On the other hand, the law was swift in punishing the 1993 Mumbai blast accused — which was by and large an act of retaliation, reprehensible nevertheless, to the awful Mumbai riots and the accused of other terror cases — like the 2003 Gateway of India blasts who were motivated by the state-sponsored massacre of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002.

In a letter dated 15 October 1947 to chief ministers, Jawaharlal Nehru expressed his deep concerns about the state and place of Muslims in a secular democratic India in the backdrop of partition riots and mass exodus of Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan.

Nehru wrote: “We have a Muslim minority who are so large in number that they cannot, even if they want to, go anywhere else. They have got to live in India. That is a basic fact about which there is no argument. Whatever the provocation from Pakistan and whatever the indignities and horrors inflicted on non-Muslims there, we have got to deal with this minority in a civilised manner. We must give them security and the rights of citizens in a democratic state. If we fail to do so, we shall have a festering sore that will eventually poison the whole body politic and probably destroy it.” (Letters to Chief Ministers, 1947-1964, edited by G Parthasarathi.)

Nehru’s prescient words are as relevant today as they were in 1947. IM operatives have revealed under grilling that they are more motivated by the feeling of revenge against both perceived and real indignities and injustices done to Indian Muslims than by pan-Islamic religious ideology.

All political parties have to rise above electoral calculations and work towards an inclusive and just society. Until then the angst expressed by the leadership of both BJP and Congress at terror strikes, as we witnessed in Parliament on Wednesday, will remain mere empty words.

Ashish Khetan is Editor, Investigations with Tehelka.
ashish.khetan@tehelka.com

The hunt is on… But the trail is cold

Brijesh Pandey and Rana Ayyub track the NIA probe so far into the Delhi blast

Empty words UK Bansal, Secretary, Internal Security, briefing the media

Photo: Shailendra Pandey

THE FLURRY of action immediately after the blast was impressive. The site was secured by Delhi Police with the help of the Army. In a first, a 20- member team of the National Investigating Agency (NIA) was constituted and the investigation handed over to it, with Delhi Police assisting. But for the next 35 hours, till the time of going to press, there was no substantive lead on the perpetrators.

NIA officials are investigating an email emanating from Kashmir right after the blasts, claiming it to be the handiwork of an obscure organisation, the Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islam. A better-known and similar-sounding group, the Harkat-ul-Jihadi Islami (HUJI), led by Ilyas Kashmiri, is said to be in a state of decline this year, with almost no activity in the Kashmir belt.

However, with the email allegedly originating from Global Cyber Café in Kishtwar, 200 km from Srinagar, through a proxy server, its owner and three other locals have been detained. The DIG of the NIA, SC Sinha, said his team of cyber crime experts will get to the root of the email, even if it is a prank.

A later email was purportedly from the Indian Mujahideen (IM). It read, in broken Urdu, “The blast that took place yesterday in Delhi cannot be the work of HuJI, because we have given the repercussions. We had planned it earlier that on Wednesday itself a blast will take place and it should be done because it will be crowded on this day (Wednesday). We the Indian Mujahideen did this. HuJI is not even involved in the blast. Our next target will soon take shape outside a shopping complex. No one can stop us. This will happen on next Tuesday. Stop it if you can…..Chotu, Indian Mujahideen.”

The email to TV channels did not bear the hallmark of emails sent out earlier in the name of the IM. For in the past — immediately after the blasts in 2006-07 in UP, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Delhi — IM emails were sent either before or within minutes of the blasts. They were written with a great deal of precision and articulation, unlike the one that came in a day after the Delhi blast.

“You can’t dismiss these emails but they can at times be misleading,” says another official from the Delhi Special Cell investigating the 2007 Batla House encounter and the Delhi blasts that preceded it. He implied they could be aimed at diverting investigators from the right trail.

A senior police officer says, “Timing is of extreme importance in these mails. If the mail is received within 5-30 minutes of the blast, then the chances of that mail being important is very high. However, as the sending of the mail gets delayed, then it can be anybody — from a prankster to somebody just wanting a slice of action.” Apart from this, the investigator also points out to the fact that HuJI is not known to claim responsibility through email.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police was sent on a wild goose chase when it was alerted that a Hyundai i10 seen at the blast site was used by the terrorists to make their escape. After tracking the car for close to 10 hours, it was traced to Sector-56, Faridabad. Later, it was revealed that there was enmity between two families and this information was merely used to settle old scores.

Though no solid lead has emerged from the investigation so far, the NIA has announced an award of Rs 5 lakh for clues. According to UK Bansal, Secretary, Internal Security, “ATS teams of adjoining states have been asked to come to Delhi and hold a meeting with DG, NIA, so that there can be a better coordination between them.” To ensure continuity and help NIA join the dots, the investigation of the failed blast outside the Delhi High Court on 25 May has also been handed over to the NIA. Till now the Special Cell of the Delhi Police was investigating that case but nothing had come of it.

NIA is in close contact with Uttar Pradesh Police and is trying to interrogate all the IM and HuJI members jailed in the neighbouring state. A majority of IM operatives are in Sabarmati jail in Gujarat. Based on the sketches released by Delhi Police, one Shahzad alias Aslam has been detained from Behrampur. His antecedents are being verified.

The hunt is on but whether this will yield more definitive results than investigations into earlier blasts is yet to be seen.

Rana Ayub is an Assistant Editor with Tehelka.
rana@tehelka.com

Brijesh Pandey is a Special Correspondent with Tehelka.
brijesh@tehelka.com

Moral policing

 

 

The Chief Secretary,

Govt of Karnataka.

 

 

Sir,

Sub: Moral policing

 

At the outset we would like to draw your attention to what Justice S.R.Nayak, Chairman of the State Human Rights Commission, has recommended to the government on the social evil of moral policing.

 

Karavali Ale”, of 11th April, 2011 has the following report:

 

“Justice S.R.Nayak, Chairman of the State Human Rights Commission has made a recommendation to the state government that it should issue a circular to the Superintendents and the Commissioners of all districts stating that the respective police chiefs will be held responsible for any incident of moral policing in their jurisdiction. This recommendation is contained in his final report on the January 29, 2009 pub attack and the attack on a private residence at Balmatta. He has also called upon the chief secretary to submit a report within 15 days of the receipt of his notice as to the steps taken by the government and the law enforcement agencies to prevent recurrence of such incidents of moral policing. He has held that if one allows certain groups such as the Sri Ram Sena to impose on the society the moral values that they believe in, then it is certain to lead the country towards anarchy. ‘If the government does not wake up and use all the resources at its command to contain this evil the people will lose faith in democracy and the rule of law…… It is not enough to just arrest the miscreants. In order to protect the citizens and to provide them privacy it is necessary to root out all such groups indulging in criminal acts’ he says in the report.”

 

 

But in actual fact, moral policing by saffron organizations is still continuing without any let-up. The authorities have apparently turned a blind eye to all such illegal activities. Worse, they issue warnings to those boys and girls of different communities who talk to each other.  Here are some press reports about the vigilantism being practised.

 

8.1.2011. Puttur

Mohammed Shayal (18) of Samethadka in Puttur was waiting for a bus at the bus – stand. When he saw his neighbour Roopesh and the latter’s female cousin he  talked to them. After the Roopesh and his cousin left, five men approached Shayal, asked him to which community he belonged, dragged him to a nearby bar and beat him up. Shayal later got admitted to the government hospital and narrated his story to the paper. The police have arrested one autorickshaw driver who gave the names of the other two as Naramesh and Suresh. – “The Hindu” 12thJanuary 2011.

 

26.1.2011. Beltangadi

A boy and a girl belonging to two different communities traveling together in a vehicle made the hindutva groups see red. They followed the vehicle from B.C.Road and finally stopped it at Dharmasthala. The couple was taken to the police station. On enquiry it turned out that the girl was a relation of a certain policeman. The hindutva groups immediately withdrew their complaint and the matter was closed. But later they threw stones at two Muslim boys of Patrame village and chased them upto Nidle and beat them up. One of the boys, Latif has been admitted to the Belthangady government hospital with serious injuries. – “Karavali Ale” 27th January 2011.

 

 

26.2.2011. Kadaba

Raisuddin, son of Adam of Maleshwara is a student of the KVG Engineering College at Sullia. He was found to be friendly with a girl. On 26th the couple was in Kadaba town and later sat down for a glass of juice at a shop. The Bajrang Dal activists caught up with the couple there. After thrashing Raisuddin the couple was taken to the police station. The latter questioned them and found that they had been friends since  their school days at the St Joachim’s School in Kadaba. The police then called both the parents, took an undertaking from them and released the couple after warning them. – “Karavali Ale” 27th February 2011.

 

 

11.3.2011. Udupi

A group of college students had gone to the Malpe beach for an outing. All of a sudden Kishor Bailakere and Janathottam, said to be members of a certain hindutva outfit, approached the group and objected to the boys and girls being together. The group later abused and assaulted Arsalan and Ijaz. The latter have lodged a complaint to this effect at the Malpe police station. -“Vartha Bharati” 13th March 2011.   

 

 

21.4.2011. Puttur

Some 35 students and a teacher of a private college of Puttur had, with the permission of college authorities, planned for a picnic at the Manasa water Park in Mangalore. When the group was proceeding towards Mangalore, their bus was stopped at BC Road by activists of some organizations. The activists objected to Muslim students picnicking with Hindu girls. Realizing that the situation might turn ugly and spoil the reputation of the college, the group decided to cancel the picnic. The bus took a U-turn and returned to Puttur. – “Karavali Ale” 24th April 2011.

 

 

14.8.2011. Puttur

A private bus was going from Ishwaramangala to Kasargod. A young couple belonging to different communities were traveling in the bus. A group of youth from Galimukha of Mudnur village followed the bus and ‘caught’ the couple and handed them over to the police at Adoor. The police, after questioning the couple called the girl’s parents to the station. Later they released the girl and the boy with a warning.- “Karavali Ale” 15th August 2011.

 

 

13.8.2011. Mangalore

A case of vigilantism by activists of Bajrang Dal has been reported from Maharani Farm Guest House at Someshwara Uchil in Ullal. Alleging that a ‘rave party’ was going on at the farmhouse, the Bajrang Dal members raided the place at around 2 a.m. and assaulted the youth gathered there and robbed them of mobiles and cash. One of them sustained grievous injuries while others escaped with minor injuries. Five of the injured youth have been admitted to a private hospital at Tokkottu. The assailants also caused extensive damage to the windows and the furniture. The total loss is estimated to run into 2 to 3 lakhs. The youth, around 25 in number, had taken prior permission from the Ullal police for the birthday celebrations of Robin at the farmhouse. One of the victims Sudhir (name changed) said he saw 30-40 Bajrang Dal activists sporting saffron shawls and faces covered with saffron scarves armed with bottles. Suprit (name changed) said: “They would ask us our names. After hearing the name of Syed (name changed) they attacked him severely.” City convenor of Bajrang Dal, Sharan Pumpwell said they got a message that drugs were being used in the party and hence they went to question the boys. Police Commissioner said the activists had “no business” to assault the party-goers. The police found “no evidence of drugs” at the spot. The Ullal plice have registered casse against the 23 activists of Bajrang Dal including Ganesh Kumpala, Bharat, Sharan Pumpwell, Udaya, Munna and Pushparaj.   -“Vartha Bharati” 15th, “The Hindu” 16th August 2011.

 

Convenor of Bajrang Dal, Sharan Pumpwell who is one of the accused has been declared “absconding” by the police. But doubts have been raised about this because he has been using his mobile. He has answered phone calls made by at least two journalists after the Police Commissioner declared him as “absconding”. The Commissioner admitted that this was “unusual” and said he would bring it to the notice of the investigating officer. – “The Hindu” 18th August 2011.

 

 

16.8.2011. Moodabidri

Two organizations zeroed in on a trio belonging to different communities who were conversing at the bus stand here. The two boys from Hubli and a burqa-clad girl of Kotebagil became the center of controversy. The news somehow reached two organizations one of them a Muslim one and the other a Hindu one. The police arrived in the nick of time, dispersed both the groups and took the trio to the station. One of the young men from Bellary told the police that he had become friendly with the girl after his wrong call was received by her. Ultimately they decided to meet and he along with his friend had come to Moodabidri. The police gave warning to the couple and let them go. – “Karavali Ale” 17th August 2011.

 

 

20.8.2011. Puttur

Mohammed Shakir, a final year B.Com student at the St Philomena College here was going home in a bus in the evening. At Uppinangady an old friend of his had boarded the bus and he talked to her for sometime before getting down at Mardala. As soon as he alighted a group of 20 youth attacked him. Shakir who sufferdecinjuries had to be admitted to the Mahavir hospital at Puttur. The same gang had earlier beaten up Abbas on the 9th of this month alleging illegal transportation of cattle. – “Karavali Ale” 21st August 2011.

 

 

22.8.2011. Sullia

Some youth belonging to the local Shivajinagar club were in the habit of teasing Muslim girls on the road. When they were questioned by a Muslim young man Mohammed Riyaz, he was beaten by the gang. They reportedly told him “Who are you to question us? We have DV (DV Sadananda Gowda, the present chief minister) with us. Whom do you have?”. Riyaz got admitted to the local government hospital for treatment of his injuries. He has lodged a complaint against 15 club members at the Sullia police station. – “Karavali Ale” 23rd August 2011.

 

It is worth recalling that in January 2011 the Karnataka High Court has extended a stay on investigations against Dinakar Shetty, one of the accused in the 2009 pub attack case. The “Deccan Herald”, of 9th January 2011 reported as follows:

 

“The Karnataka High Court has extended a stay on investigations against Dinakar Shetty, one of the accused in the pub attack case. As per the charge sheet filed by the  Mangalore police, Dinakar Shetty had projected himself as a leader of Sri Rama Sene and was also the legal adviser for the group. The police also claimed that he had discussed the attack with Sri Rama Sene chief Pramod Muthalik. The police had registered a case in the Mangalore Sessions Court but Shetty  had appealed against it in the High Court and Justice Jagannathan had granted a stay. Now the stay has been further extended.”

 

 

We trust the above examples are sufficient to prove that the state government has not taken the advice of the Chairman of the SHRC seriously. It is quite clear that no circulars have been issued to all Superintendents and the Commissioners of police. We therefore urge you to

 

  • issue the circular without any further delay.
  • in the meantime take necessary disciplinary action against the concerned police officers.

 

 

Yours truly

TORTURE COMMITTED BY THE POLICE MUSHEER

To                                                                                           Dated  23 Sep 2011

 

Justice SR Nayak (Rtd)

Chairman

SHRC,Camping at Mangalore

 

Dear Sir

 

FACT FINDING REPORT   ON ON TORTURE COMMITTED BY THE POLICE MUSHEER        

       ALIAS ABDUL KHADER SON OF MOHAMED SHARIF OF PANJIMOGARU

                                     NEAR  KULUR JUMMA MASJID  KULUR

 

Background of the case

 

1.       There was a double murder case of young mother and a child (1.5 years old)who were killed in their house at Panjimogaru comming under the jurisidiction of Kavoor Police Station under Mangalore Police Commissionarate, about three months back.  Police have not been able to confront the culprits so far and mearly to pretend that they are making their honest efforts, they have picked up some innocent persons and resorted to 3rd degree torture.  This is the second such attempt by the police. Earlier they had rouded up two Dalit youngstars from  Panjimogaru and tortured them.  Some Dalit and left front organisations had resorted to public agitation.

 

2.       In the present case they have targetted a minority community youngster and used 3rd degree methods and kept under their custody for four days, as a result of which Musheer alias Abdul Kadar is unable to stand or walk. He is also not able to eat.  His digestive and urinary system appears to be damaged seriously.

 

3.      It is reported by the victim that he was picked up by the police in a private Maruthi 800 car after he received a telephone call from one constable Bhaskar.Bhaskar had used Mobile No 9448503622 to call Musheer to Panambur Junction from where he was picked up.  While he was illegally picked up and detained. He was carrying cash amounting to Rs.9,500/-and key of his Bike.

 

4.       Inspite of his wifes complaint to Kavoor Police station that her husband was missing since two days, police neither registered her complaint nor made any attempt to search for him, obviously because he was already under their illegal custody. After she came home from Kavoor Police station she was asked by Kavoor Police station over the telephone to go and report to Panambur Police station. She sent one Abdul Wahab (9739413017) and Mumnoon UL Mannan(9972717771)to Panambur Police station.  When they visited  the Panambur Police Station  they were asked to go to Kavoor Police station alongwith a copy of the photograph  of missing person. When they were about to go to the station Musheers wife received a call  from her husband stating that he is in Panambur Police station.  Immediately Abdul Wahab and Mumnoon UL Mannan approached  the Panambur Police station. Though Musheer was seen by  Abdul wahab and Mannan the police denied his presence  in the station. Finaly after several approach by different people and their lawyer he was produced before the Tahsildar on 15 Sep 2011 at 7.00 PM.   Before taking him before the Tahsildar he was once again assaulted by the Police and was told not to reveal anything to the Tahsildar that he was subjected to torture by the police .

 

5.       Musher has informed us that SI Siddappa of Kavoor had told him on the first day itself that he will be released immediately if he accepts that he had killed the mother and the daughter of Panjimogaru and he would be  given a gift of Rs.3.00 lakhs.

 

6.    After getting released he was treated at home for injury but since his condition deteriorated and he was not able to eat  he was shifted to High Land Hospital on 17 Sep 2011. In the hospital  on 22 Sep 2011 a constable from Panambur police station came with  a cash amount of Rs.10,000/- and requested him not to take any legal action against the police.  There was also pressure on Hospital Doctors to discharge him from the hospital, and pressure from Commissioner of Police.

Please do the needful

 

Yours faithfully

For People’s Union for Civil Liberties

 

( P.B D.Sa)

President