Thursday, July 22, 2010

Central Bureau of Investigation

It is Central Bureau of Investigation in JK
Elsewhere, Congress Bureau of Investigation

Naseer A Ganai

This time charges are against Amit Shah, Gujrat Minister of State for Home and everyone is out to defend him and discredit the Central Bureau of Investigation. Last night in various TV channels the BJP, various analysts described the CBI as the Congress Bureau of Investigation which is out to malign political opponents. They rejected “media investigation” saying these are not investigation but selected leaks by the CBI which agency has been doing over the years on the behest of its political masters. The senior Supreme Court lawyers were indicting the CBI.
Case history
Media reports say on November 24, 2005, Rajasthan resident Sohrabuddin, his wife Kausar Bi and a third person, Prajapati Tulsi, were abducted allegedly by the police from a bus stand in Gujarat.
Two days later, Sohrabuddin was allegedly killed by a joint police team from Gujarat and Rajasthan. Kausar Bi was also allegedly killed later but her body was never found. Tulsi, the sole witness, too was killed in a fake encounter a year later.
In January 2010, the Supreme Court, on a plea by Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin, handed over the case to the CBI, saying the Gujarat Police were trying to shield those involved in the killing. Two associates of Shah, minister of state for home, have already admitted to the CBI that they were involved in bribing and threatening some witnesses at the minister’s behest. Besides, evidence gathered by the CBI points to Shah’s involvement– right from hatching the murder plan to pressuring police officials during the investigation, destroying evidence and threatening witnesses, reports said quoting the CBI official. The evidence includes records of phone calls made by Shah to police officers allegedly involved in Sohrabuddin’s killing before and during the fake encounter.
Shopian case
Now let us go back December 2009 and look at the debates and articles which appeared in different newspapers when CBI completed the investigation in Shopian case in Kashmir valley and presented the charge-sheet before the Court.

On May 30, 2009 morning two bodies were found on the banks of stream Rambiara in Shopian district of South Kashmir, some 66 kms from Srinagar. They were identified as Aasiya Jan, 17, and her sister-in-law, Neelofar.
The bodies of Neelofar Jan wife of Shakeel Ahmad Ahangar and Aasiya Jan daughter of Abdul Gani Ajangar, both residents of Bungam, were found near Rambiara nullah around 6 am at some distance from a CRPF camp on May 30. According to locals, Aasiya and her 3-month pregnant sister-in-law, Neelofar were missing since May 29 evening after they had gone into their orchard at Degam, Batpora across the nullah.
Locals and the family accused men in uniform of rape and murder of the two women. Kashmir believed and trusted them. It rose in unison to protest. The authorities clamped undeclared curfew across valley. Kashmiris defied it. For seven days whole valley observed strike. Shopian continued the strike for 47 days.
The Chief Minister Omar Abdullah described the incident as death by drowning and but ordered an inquiry by retired Judge of the High Court, Justice Muzaffer Jan.
Senior separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani set the tone this way: “Hurriyat rejects the government inquiry. Apparently it seems that troopers are involved in this heinous act. Asking a police officer to head the Special Investigation Team doesn’t make any sense. Doctors who conducted the post mortem had categorically said that Neelofar and her sister-in-law, Asiya, were gang raped before being murdered brutally.”
Justice Jan came out with a report in stipulated time. The report says, “All the officers of the department stood by the theory of death by drowning with full knowledge, and belief that no one in the recent, or past history of Shopian has died due to drowning in River Rambi Ara. The official statement of drowning does not convey the mindset of indifference, but depicts an active, intelligent and conscious effect to divert the attention of public from the actual and factual cause of death.”
“In the normal course of human conduct, any person intending to get rid of two dead bodies in a hurry, would attempt to deposit the dead bodies at the nearest available spot, the person would normally leave sufficient trails to trace the culprit. In the present case, the disposal of dead bodies in the centre of security ring, with mathematical precision and like surgical operation to ensure that no visible trails are left, cannot be said to be the handiwork of a private individual but would need the support of some agency,” the report reads.
“The Commission, being aware of its delicate duty to uphold the majesty of law, has also a duty to identify the person or persons, who may, under law, be responsible for the present ruthless crime. To identify the real culprit, extensive investigation, by a competent and dedicated team of professional investigators, with all modern facilities, is required,” the commission recommended.
The Government entrusted inquiry to the Central Bureau of Investigation which was opposed by the Kashmir Bar Association. Kashmir Bar Association withdrew the case from the Court saying CBI’s track record in Kashmir has been worst and it would act in “national interest.”
Finally in December CBI came out with the Shopian report and presented it before the High Court.
“We are of the considered opinion that the cause of death in Aasiya Jan’s case was due to asphyxia as a result of ante-mortem drowning. The lacerated wound present on forehand could be produced by blunt force striking head against the hard surface or object…There was nothing suggestive of penetration of penis or like object through the hymeaneal opening as the hymen was found intact,” the CBI said.

The CBI report said, “After the falsification of the various postmortem reports and fudging of evidence, a concerted effort was made by some advocates of Shopian Bar and some private persons to create further false evidence for implicating the police and security forces in a false case of rape and murder of the two accused.”
It absolved everyone except the witnesses, lawyers and doctors. Shakeel Ahmad, shocked husband of Neeofer set ablaze the CBI report outside the High Court before full media glare. Bar termed it as report shield the men in uniform. Shopian residents gave strike call, Geelani, Yasin, Mirwaiz supported the same.
But analysts in Delhi termed the reaction in Kashmir against the CBI report as bizarre. They said the CBI has exposed the “lies of separatists who are out to foment the trouble and defame the security forces.”
The analysts rejected allegations that the CBI has acted as per the guidelines of the Government of India.
In Shopian case the Congress, BJP, and the analysts were in unison in supporting the CBI report and in Amit Shah’s case, Mehash Jathmalani on Thursday evening said on CNN-IBN that Sohrabuddin was LeT militant prompting Congress spokesman to say, “I am shocked that you are supporting fake encounter on the presumption that the character of the person was not good.” Mehesh laughed at him.
The analysts baring few termed the selective leak to press by CBI as part of the Congress plot to defame the BJP and termed the CBI repeatedly as the Congress Bureau of Investigation. Chandan Mitra of the BJP and scores of other people attacked CBI left, right and Centre. The same analysts would swear by the CBI when it was investigating the Shopian case. The question is if it is Congress Bureau of Investigation outside Jammu and Kashmir why it is Central Bureau of Investigation in Jammu and Kashmir? If CBI’s investigation is not trustworthy outside Jammu and Kashmir why it is apostle of truth in Jammu and Kashmir? Any answers.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Kashmir dispute: Theory of five police stations

Naseer A Ganai
They are all talking. They are all talking about Kashmir. They are all coming out with solutions. ‘Experts’ like Praveen Swami say it is the problem of five police stations of old-city and it could have been tackled with Lathis easily. He even went on to say that in 2008 it was solved with Lathis.
Someone should inform him that in 2008 it was dealt with bullets and tear smoke shells, fired above legs. Over 60 youngsters fell to bullets that summer and over a thousand received injuries. Sixty people don’t die due to Lathis. Last year, when valley rose on Shopian incident, he attributed uprising to Jamaat Islami and confined it to Shopian only. These are Kashmir experts whose advice is taken by the policy makers in New Delhi seriously. So you can imagine the policy which is framed after taking advice from such opinion makers. There is more.

An embedded journalist compared the pain of tooth-break of a solider with that of killing of 16 children. This is the liberal class in New Delhi. This is the class which talks of democracy and democratic rights. It happens always. Whenever Indian State faces crises in Kashmir, it brings these ‘experts’ on media to manage the crises. If they fail, then asks them to shut up and advices media to shift focus somewhere else other than Kashmir. We saw it in 2008. And they crawl when asked to bend. The present crisis is not the crisis of Omar Abdullah as media tries to project it. It is not the crisis which could be managed by Mufti, Farooq, Azad or Soz. It is the crisis of legitimacy of the Indian State in Jammu and Kashmir and they have been facing this crisis for past 60 years. Mirwaiz Umar and Sajjad Lone have been more than right when they say Indian State over the years has always tried to manage Kashmir dispute instead of trying to resolve it.

Sajjad deconstructed “five police stations theory” of Swami in front of him. Lies after lies are being dished out by these experts on TV debates. They are being rebutted not only by Mirwaiz who rightly laughed at the confident ignorance of the debaters but by the pro-Indian politicians like Mehbooba Mufti, Muzaffer Baig, Mehboob Beg etc. Confining debates in and around Omar Abdullah, misgovernance, Pakistan, stone pelters and angry protesters has a design. The design is to pin down Kashmiris, to buy time and to sleep over things and prolong the resolution. It has been seen in recent debates on Delhi based channels that whenever politicians of Jammu and Kashmir, cutting across party lines and ideologies, succeeded in forcing the so-called experts to acknowledge that Kashmir is a political problem, they come up with the rider “whom to talk to”. New Delhi need not to talk to anyone. First let’s listen to those who passed the resolution of autonomy in Jammu Kashmir Assembly seeking 1953 position for the State. First let’s listen to those who are seeking self-rule for the State.

There is no talking to be done on the issue. The Assembly has passed the resolution. The resolution belongs to those who believe in Assembly. So why don’t you accept it and implement it. No need to talk to PDP. They have self-rule document. They have handed it over to none other the prime minister. Implement it. There are recommendations of five working groups constituted by the Prime Minister himself. Implement them. The pro-Indian politicians have talked enough. They have given you enough time. But when New Delhi is not taking seriously even those whom it and its experts sell every day in the name of democracy, free and fair elections, what can it offer to those who seek Azadi. Let someone tell these experts that instead of talking about the real issues, you are trying to create the division within the State which is more or less cohesive. Confining the problem to five police stations is fundamentally a flawed theory. When 2008 happened, Jammu was vertically divided with Rajouri, Poonch, Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Banihal and half of Udhampur siding with Kashmir after being economically blockaded by Jammu district. There was strike in Doda and Kishtwar against the transfer of land to SASB. There was rally in Kargil in support of Kashmir. Tell these experts, had it been the problem of five police stations, there would not have been 1953. Had it been the issue of just five police stations, Sheikh would not have been in jail on charges of being a Pakistani agent.

Had it been the problem of five police stations, there would not have been 1990. There would have been no 2008. Had it been the law and order problem of police stations, Mughal road would have been opened by New Delhi four decades ago when Sheikh wanted it. Had it been of five police stations the Simthan Road would have linked us with Chenab valley long ago. Had it been of five districts, the State Government would not have to beg to Delhi to seek permission for using our own water resources. The problem pertains to the whole state of Jammu and Kashmir, whether Swamis accepts it or not. Problem is that of Kashmir dispute and it needs resolution according to the singular explicit aspiration of the majority of the people living in Jammu and Kashmir. And New Delhi knows it well. Both the aspiration and the solution still it gives impression of listening to ‘experts’ to delay the resolution.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Confessions of Ali Muhammad Sagar

Fa├žade of democracy in JK unmasked

Naseer A Ganai
The Law Minister Ali Muhammad Sagar has demolished mainstream politics in Jammu and Kashmir forever. In his historical press conference Sagar on Sunday June 27, talked what no other politician has talked in recent years. He addressed press shortly after reports of a killing of youth in Sopore by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). That day there was no protest in Sopore. Sagar said some 20 people had assembled to protest and it didn’t deserve to be fired upon. He said the State Government has no control over the CRPF.

“That New Delhi must listen to the State government and protect interests of the Country in Jammu and Kashmir. Five youth were killed in series of incidents involving CRPF and it was not a good thing. That we want rule with dignity,” Sagar said.
Sagar said that CRPF has lost command and control and the issue must be seriously looked into. That Chief Minister being head of the Unified Command Council has given clear directions to the forces to exercise restraint and protect human rights but despite it these incidents were taking place. That they (CRPF) are working against interest of country and this should not happen at any cost.” Sagar pleaded to the Home Minister of the Government of India to visit Kashmir and prevail upon its forces to not to go for kill in Kashmir. Sagar said that his party couldn’t fight its own people.
These were candid confessions. Over the years the separatists were describing the pro-India politicians in the State as puppets of New Delhi. By asking New Delhi to control its forces in Kashmir who according to Law Minister Sagar are on killing spree here, he proved separatists right. That it is New Delhi which calls shots in Kashmir, no matter whether Omar is Chief Minister, or Mufti.

In Mufti’s time the New Delhi went all against the Permanent Residence (disqualification) bill which was debars a female marrying to non-State subject. Delhi construed introduction of the bill and its passage without discussion as challenge to its authority in Kashmir and it did everything to sabotage its passage in Upper House of JK Assembly.
In one of the speeches during a debate on the bill in Assembly the then Law Minister Muzaffer Baig said “Who says Kashmiris have ruled Jammu and Kashmir State since 1947. We have been always at the beck and call of New Delhi,” the angry Baig said. Sagar echoed same words but this time he was more specific. That the “elected Government” has no control over troops deployed by New Delhi to control masses in Jammu and Kashmir. That New Delhi must steps in to save the “elected govt” from the people who has “elected” it.
Even though Chief Minister Omar Abdullah later retracted from statement of his Law Minister, cat was out of the bag. This time forever! Next day the Home Secretary the Government of India strongly defended Central Forces and commended them for their job. As it was not enough after some days in order to justify the innocent killing the Home Minister described protests in Kashmir as backed by Lashker. Thus, justifying bullet for a stone. But whatever reaction from the Government of India, it has clear now that the “Law and Order” is the subject dealt by the Home Ministry. The Development by the Governor. The Governor recently ordered that all secretaries of should report to him about the progress of the development work under Prime Minister Reconstruction Programme. The Prime Minister convened a meeting. They called high level Kashmir Meeting. They only discussed yatra. Though no had issued any statement against yatris or yatra, the Government of India through its friendly media tried to project protests against human rights abuses in Kashmir as protests against Yatra. In such circumstances what is the role of elected government in JK? The Government which has no control over troop! Even puppets at times enjoy much greater power. Sagar Sahib, you have done great job. You have proved Baig right that you are like Baig at the beck and call of New Delhi.

But what is this Mehbooba Mufti saying. That her investment in peace has been shuttered by your “government’s” lack of Governance? Tell her we don’t govern in JK, it is Home Ministry always. Tell her that even constable on ground doest’t listen to us. Tell her what peace investment you are talking about. Remind her that PDP rule too was not differnt in Kashmir. That was not devoid of killings. Remind her rape of mother and daughter. Tell her that you made candid confession on Sunday that Omar is not in control just like Baig had said in 2004 that mainstream are at the beck and call of New Delhi. That is truth of the mainstream. That is truth of elections in JK. Sagar tell everyone that you unmasked the facade of democracry in JK. But tell them you will cling to your job, what if someone else is in command and control. That doesn't bother you least.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Audience for food

RSS Style

Naseer A Ganai
Paul Theroux in his book The Great Railway Bazaar gives this picture of drought hit Sri Lanka in 1970: “The current harvest was a failure, chillies were unobtainable, and the from the train I could see breadlines- hundreds of listless people in misshapen queues, waiting with empty baskets.” Then he says “It struck me practically insane in a country that was starving to death that thirty people should choose to attend a three-day seminar on American literature at which I would be principle speaker. I had not counted on the resourcefulness of the America embassy; when the seminar got underway I saw my alarm was pointless. The clever man who supervised the seminar had assured me there would be 100 per cent attendance, and this method was not very different from the family planner in India who gives a new transistor radio to every male who agrees to vasectomy. Here on the hungry Island of Ceylone, the American literature seminar included three huge meals, high tea, a free room in the New Orient Hotel in Galle, and all the whisky you could drink. Little wonder it was all attended.”
The Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Foundation organized a seminar ironically at Sheri Kashmir International Convention Centre in Kashmir. It was also well attended. The Foundation had brought masons, carpenters, labourers from Central district Kashmir Budgam with a promise of high tea and food at hotel Centuer. M.G Akbar delivered lecture on Islam, Indian Muslims and Pakistan. That idea of Pakistan is weaker than that of Pakistan. That Idea of India is stronger than the India. That India should grow at eight percent not only eight percent should grow. That India can’t grow without growth of Muslims. Interestingly whenever he uttered the name of Pakistan audience clapped.
He was followed General (Retired) V.P Malik. General Malik talked about China and Pakistan. He said that India should weary of China. Malik apprehended that as China grows economically it would start asserting itself. Riyaz Punjabi the vice-chancellor of University of Kashmir called for interaction between peoples of India and Pakistan. Tarun Vijay, founder chairman of the Mookerjee foundation described Punjabi as representative of Indian Ethos in Kashmir. There was no question answer session except brief interaction with journalist after lunch was served to hungry participants at 2: 15 p.m.
But why should have been there questions, who would have asked them. The audience was more concerned about the tea and lunch than listing to speakers. They were trying to see reason why they were brought here and except food they would see no reason. Thus, they would frequently enter into argument with the managers of the conference that why the food is not being served to them. Finally, lunch time was declared there was huge queue waiting for only vegetarian food. Some were disappointed over the vegetarian food but they were so hungry and they had no other choice.

First, why the function was organized in Kashmir after five decades? Mookerjee, as rightly stated by professor in Political Science Department of Kashmir University Gul Muhammad Wani, represents forced integration of the State of Jammu and Kashmir with the Indian Union. He challenged the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir State. And at time when National Conference is in power and seeks restoration of autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir State, why the function was allowed to organize in Kashmir and that too in Sheri Kashmir Convention Centre.
It seems seminar was organized to test the waters. The organizers were not bothered about the audience but about the reaction in Kashmir. Next year the BJP is going to organize it on bigger scale to frighten Kashmiris that India believes in Mookerjee’s ideology and Kashmiris have to accept this. Many of the speaker later interacting with journalists cited examples of China anf Pakistan saying “look how benevolent we are. We didn’t went for demography change as China did in Xinjiang.” This is the mindset.
Now let us presume organizers had good intention to start dialogue with Kashmiri youth as stated by Tarun Vijay. If it was so then why the bused audience, who were more interested and eager to have interaction with food than the ideas? Why seminar was announced only some hours before?
It seems the organizers of the seminar knew that educated class in Kashmir would beat any argumentative Indian in any field now. The Indians no longer would beat Kashmiris with ideals of democracy, liberalism, justice. Kashmiris have over the years seen them all. The hypocrisy of Indian educated upper and lower middle class. They see every day how Indian state translates ideas of democracy and justice on ground in Kashmir. That is why the organizers zeroed in on specific audience. The audience to whom English was Greek and food, and Centaur view was paramount. Long live democracy. Had someone shouted slogan of ham kia chatae there, Taurn Vijay would have got shock of his life. Even the bused audience would have shouted Azadi instead of peace.
In 2005 Congress organized a rally at the Sheri Kashmir Park Srinagar. The Congress leader Khem Lata Wakloo asked Congress workers to respond to her slogans. She raised slogan Ham Kia Chatae, congress workers shouted back: Azadi. Thrice she repeated her slogan reminding the workers that they should say peace. Thrice the workers disappointed her. They continued to shout Azadi. Finally Taj Mohideen, present Minister in Omar’s cabinet, forced Wakloo to sit down.
Tarun says he got audience from the University of Kashmir. Someone should remind him that next day students protested in the University campus seeking dismissal of the vice-chancellor for participating in Mookerjee seminar.