December 18, 2011
Of acquittals, arrests and continued minority withchunting!
The so-called ‘war on terror’ declared by the US imperialists has completed more than ten years. The war propelled by the US desire for the gas, oil and natural reserve resources has also been fueled by a consistent Islamophobic campaign. Xenophobia, racism and attacks on Muslims reached a new limit in the wake of the WTC attacks. In a continuation with the ‘war on terror’ declared by George Bush, the Indian state, a loyal lapdog of US imperialism, imposed a ban on the Muslim organization- Students Islamic Movement of India(SIMI) on 19th September 2001. Without even a shred of evidence, hundreds of its activists were arrested from all across the country over the next few days. When in August 2008, Delhi High Court judge Geeta Mittal rejected the Centre’s ban on SIMI citing this very lack of evidence; it took less than 24 hours for the Indian state to impose a stay on the judgment. Harassment and arrests of its members are a routine affair after every bomb blast and many still continue to languish in prison. Fictitious organizations, like Indian Mujahideen (IM), supposedly linked to SIMI have been propped up. All of this while SIMI has been fighting a continuous legal battle against the unjust ban.
“Till date, not a single allegation against SIMI has been proved while the planned attacks of the Sangh Parivar against Christians, Dalits and Muslims have been exposed by various inquiry commissions.” said Shahid Badr Falahi, the last president of SIMI before it was banned. Year after year, despite direct evidences linking the Hindu fascist organizations like RSS, Abhinav Bharat, VHP to bomb blasts across the country, the brunt has been directly faced by the Muslim community. The police, the courts, the army and also the corporate media all work in tandem to prove how ‘global Islamic networks’ are ‘breeding’ and striking the Indian (read Hindu) masses. Young boys have been arrested, detained, tortured, and even eliminated (as it happened in the Batla House fake encounter two years back) as the sleuths of the intelligence claim their success at busting new terror ‘modules’ every few days.
Three years after they were falsely implicated in the Jaipur bomb blast, a fast track sessions court in Jaipur on 9th December acquitted 11 of the 14 people. The judge noted how the prosecution was not able to produce even a trace of evidence to prove its claims that, inspired by ‘terror camps’ in the Kota region, these men were building terror networks across the country. In a press conference after their release, they recounted the ordeal and torture they underwent at the hands of the police, local goons and the jail authorities. Showing notwithstanding the party in power, the colour of the Indian state remains saffron, they pointed out how the regime change in Rajasthan from that of the BJP to now the Congress changed nothing as far their harassment was concerned.
The Batla House fake encounter, in which two young innocent boys were murdered in cold blood by the Delhi police, despite all their machinations to prove that it was a ‘genuine’ encounter, has continued to haunt the Indian ruling classes. To fill in the missing threads of their fabricated story, it thus keeps recurring in a number of cases. The people acquitted in the Jaipur blast also pointed out how Chidambaram’s assertion that the Jaipur bomb blast was linked with the ‘encounter’ at Batla House, emboldened the jail staff in torturing them. Thus the day after Chidamabaram’s visit, when they sought permission to offer prayers on Eid, they were dragged out of their cells and beaten for hours. The remaining three of the fourteen who are still in prison, have not been acquitted for their supposed involvement in the 2008 Ahmadabad blast. This is another ploy of the state to keep these young Muslims always under trial. Imposition of other false cases keeps them in prison even if acquitted in one case. It moreover gives the police longer durations of police custody, giving them thus more time to torture. Hundreds of SIMI activists have recounted how they were forced to ‘confess’ under unbearable torture.
Even after being conclusively proved that several bomb blasts have been the handiwork of the Hindu fascist forces, the police forces have only arrested young Muslim boys on trumped up charges. Just a few days before the acquittal of these eleven people, on 30th November, the police arrested six men from Delhi, Chennai and parts of Bihar. Five days later, on 5th December, they arrested another person from the Purnea district of Bihar, calling him ‘another IM operative’. All these men have now been implicated in the blasts at Chimanaswamy Stadium at Bangalore, in Pune in February 2010 and at Jama Masjid in September 2010. The Batla House fake encounter features again in the attempt of the state to justify these arrests. As per their Gobbelsian propaganda, the Jama Masjid attack was ostensibly carried out on the second anniversary of the Batla House ‘encounter’ to ‘avenge’ the killing of their ‘commander’ Atif Amin! The Delhi police has also released a list of ‘absconding’ IM operatives, to pave the ground for future witch-hunting.
In a déjà vu of what follows after every such arrest, the corporate media is playing its own role of fuelling up the ‘collective conscience’ of the people; something along with ‘faith’ that the courts in India have come to rely more on! Parroting police claims and reproducing, in direct infringement of Supreme Court guidelines, their ‘confessions’ made in police custody, these media houses in a shameless manner are faithfully propagating false stories. Thus for one, this is merely one of the five modules and many ‘sleeper cells’ operating in the country to ‘wreck havoc in Indian metros’(Hindustan Times, 6/12/11). Another, with an eye towards the ‘Hindu majoritarian sentiment’ claims that these men had planned to blow up the Dagdusheth Halwai temple in Pune. (NDTV, 5/12/11). For another, these men had plans to eliminate Narendra Modi. (Rediff, 14/12/11).. According to the absurd claims of another report, IM carried out blasts in Chimnaswamy Stadium because no Pakistan players were selected for IPL! (DNA, 7/12/11)
As these men were remanded to a further ten day police remand on 5th December, the testimonies of their family members have pointed out how the police, in violation of all norms of arrest, illegally picked them from different places. Dr. Nasrul Jamal, father of Ghayur Jamali arrested from Madhubani pointed out how the local police landed at his place and arrested his son on a fabricated case of fake passport. Ghayur, who has never even applied for a passport was taken to Delhi from his hometown on this charge and then falsely implicated in ‘terror charges’. In fact, the Dharbhanga zone DIG and the Bihar Home Secretary still maintain that the case against him is of a fake passport and nothing to do with ‘terrorism’. Relatives of Gauhar Aziz Khomany, also pointed out how even weeks after the arrest, no official information about the arrest has been made, and the family’s only source of information about the arrest remains the media. However, this remains the standard practice in arresting members of the Muslim community.
The list of persecuted Muslims is endless. The Hindu fascist Indian state, even when it has been forced to accept that Muslims were falsely implicated as in Malegaon, Mecca Masjid and now Jaipur, would never punish the policemen responsible for their unjust incarceration and ordeal. On the contrary, they give them more impunity to further arrest, harass, torture and even kill people from minority groups. Muslims in India, along with the dalits and adivasis remain one of the most oppressed communities. Most of them have been systematically deprived for the last more than 60 years of basic means of livelihood and dignity. Their small shops and businesses remain one of the targets of the state. For all ruling class parties, Muslims in India should play the role of compliant vote-banks. When they refuse to play that role, they are quickly branded as ‘terrorists’, liable to be tortured, detained and even eliminated. This state, hindu brahmanical to its core, can not expected to act otherwise. It is only the unity of the revolutionary movement with the dalits, adivasis and all oppressed masses, for the overhaul of this fascist that will emancipate all exploited sections of the society for a society free of all forms of discrimination and oppression.