Keeping to the subcategory that Noam Chomsky calls â€œdoctrinally acceptable,â€ (1)â€“â€“their terror against usâ€“â€“the real threat of terrorism in India cannot be denied. While preventive measures, which conform to principles of democratic governance, are needed to combat this threat, any exaggerated perception of the threat, and the resulting fear, is likely to affect the roots of such governance itself.(2) Allowed to grow, the combination of fear and helplessness may promote both a loss of confidence in open, democratic procedures, and an increased dependence on the peremptory features that any state has. The spiraling cycle of distrust, violence and loss of democracy only helps the terrorist. It is now acknowledged that â€œhuman rights, along with democracy and social justice, are one of the best prophylactics against terrorism.â€(3) From this perspective, recent developments on the terrorism-frontâ€“â€“especially, its handling by law-enforcing agenciesâ€“â€“raise worrying questions about the functioning of civil institutions in India
Going by newspaper reports in the past four months, the national capital of India must be one of the most dangerous places on this planet. Apart from big-time extortionists, hired killers, gangsters, and highway robbers, the city of Delhi seems to be teeming with militants from a variety of terrorist organizationsâ€“â€“all armed to the teeth with sophiscated weapons and explosives, and flushed with astronomical funds. The panic is so extreme that, when an explosion due to gas-leak took place in a Delhi Metro site, television channels rushed in. As the news was aired, â€œwithin an hour, we received over 500 calls where harried people inquired about the explosion,â€ according to the Delhi Police. (Hindu, 6 March).
The reports also suggest that, despite the presence of this terror, sustained bloodbath and mayhem could be mostly averted in time due to impressive police work by a small group of brave men belonging to the Special Cell of the Delhi Police. The following reports, collected basically from one respectable newspaper (The Hindu), bring out the picture. We give a brief description only of the â€˜terrorismâ€™-related incidents. (A much longer version with more details is available on request)
Factsheet Special Cell
(1) February 18, 2005: Ex-Supreme Commander of Al-jehad arrested
Aziz, ex-militant, â€œchairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Peopleâ€™s League,â€ arrested. Fake Indian currency worth Rs. 1 lakh, and UAE dirhams worth Rs. 16 lakhs â€œobtainedâ€ from the Pakistan High Commission, seized. (Hindu, 19 Feb)
(2) February 25, 2005: Two Kashmiri ex-militant â€˜activistsâ€™ arrested
South-West Delhi police arrested ex-militant, â€œself-proclaimed human rights activistâ€ Mohammad Ahsan Untoo on February 12. Rs. 70, 000 in cash, allegedly received from the Pakistan High Commission in exchange for defence information, seized. At Untooâ€™s â€œinstance,â€ Gulam Nabi Nazar, had been arrested from Srinagar on February 17. Special Cell, among other agencies, interrogated the arrested persons. (Hindu, 26 & 28 Feb)
(3) March 2, 2005: Kidnappers of notorious gang arrested
(4) March 3, 2005: Extortionist and aide of Chhota Shakeel arrested
(5) March 5, 2005: Three militants gunned down, two arrested
Hamid Hussain and Sariq, â€œfunctioning as LeT operatives,â€ arrested. 10.5 kg of RDX seized. At their instance, a Special Cell team led by Additional Commisioner of Police, Rajbir Singh, â€œlaid siege” to a house in Bharat Vihar in South-West Delhi, and gunned down three LeT militants. Gelatine sticks weighing 100 kg., 450 detonators, three AK-56 assault rifles, four hand grenades, live cartridges, satellite and mobile phones and some documents seized.(Hindu, 6 & 7 March).
(6) March 6, 2005: Pakistani conspiracy to destabilize economy foiled
LeT militants were planning to attack the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun, and IT companies in Bangalore â€œin a bid to destabilize the countryâ€™s booming economy fuelled by the IT sector.â€ Hamid disclosed that one Salim who took him to Kathmandu to meet Abdul Aziz, â€œa senior Lashkar functionary.â€ Abdul Aziz works under the command of Saifullah, who operates mainly from Saudi Arabia.â€ â€œIrrefutable evidenceâ€â€“â€“passport, ID card, diaries, etc.â€“â€“found to show militants were â€œ Pakistani nationals.â€ (Hindu, 7 March)
(7) March 7, 2005: Widespread terror network exposed
One slain Pakistani militant, Shahnawaz, obtained driving licenses from Aligarh and Patna. â€œIntelligence agenciesâ€ listed terrorist outfits spread over Nepal, Jedda, Jakarta, Bangladesh, Kapilvastu, Kashmir, Purnea, Champaran, Darbhanga, Saharsa, Malda, Murshidabad, and so on. (Hindu, 8 March)
(8) March 8, 2005: Arrest of LeT â€œconduitâ€, more revelations
21-year old LeT conduit, Mohammad Iftekar Ahsan Mallick, arrested; he revealed that the third slain militant, Shams, was an activist of SIMI. A hunt was initiated for Salim, â€œaka doctor,â€ who is the link between Hamid and Abdul Aziz (see (6) above). (Hindu, 9 March)
(9) March 10, 2005: Criminal gunned down, Pak spy arrested, profile of Salim
42-year old Pakistani national Mohammad Sayeed arrested. â€œIncrimating documentsâ€ recovered. Sayeed was instructed by one Major Taimoor of the â€œPakistani intelligence agenciesâ€ to receive a set of documents from a person near Jama Masjid. (Hindu, 11 March) The Cell also released a photograph of Salim, alias â€œdoctor.â€
(10) April 4, 2005: Robbers, extortionists arrested
(11) April 12, 2005: Contract killers, highway robbers arrested
(12) April 25, 2005: Two Lashkar militants gunned down
A team of Special Cell, led by Rajbir Singh, intercepted a white Maruti car near the gate of the National Science Center in the Pragati Maidan area in New Delhi. When the two occupants came out of the car and opened fire; the police returned the fire and killed the militants. 2 kg of RDX, an AK-56 assault rifle, a .3 mm pistol, two magazines, four detonators, a satellite phone, two timers, alongwith ID cards and e-mail addresses were recovered. â€œIntelligence inputsâ€ gave their names as Osama and Sabir, both belonging to Sialkot in Pakistan. (Hindu, 26 April)
(13) April 26, 2005: Hunt for more terrorists
Diary recovered from Osama contained satellite phone numbers of Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir. Scrutiny of the calls made and received by the terrorists indicated that they were in constant touch with â€œtop commanders of the LeT,â€ Abul Alqama, based in Jammu and Kashmir. More members of the â€œmoduleâ€ could be hiding in the capital. (Hindu, 27 April; Times, 27 April)
(14) April 27, 2005: Gangster gunned down
(15) May 15, 2005: One gangster killed, several arrested
(16) May 16, 2005: LeT Militant arrested
On 12 May, ACP Rajbir Singh arrested a LeT militant, Harun Rashid, ay as he arrived at the Delhi airport from Singapore. Rashid is an â€œactive memberâ€ of SIMI. He was in touch with â€œdoctorâ€ Salim, Abdul Aziz in Kathmandu, Shams, Shahnawaz, and Hamid (see 6 and 8). (Hindu, 17 May)
(17) May 19, 2005: Two hard-core criminals arrested
(18) May 21, 2005: Three criminals gunned down
(19) May 22, 2005: Blasts in Delhi cinema halls
The blasts resulted in one death and several dozen injured. Although the case was â€œhanded overâ€ to the Special Cell the same night (Hindu, 23 May), a number of other agencies â€“ the Inter-State Cell of the Crime Branch, The Intelligence Bureau and the Central Bureau of Investigation â€“ also seem to be conducting the investigations. (Hindu, 1 & 10 June; Times, 2 June) It is unclear how the responsibilities (and laurels) are to be distributed among them. The stellar role of ACP Rajbir Singh in arresting terrorists from Punjab was repeatedly highlighted in the reports. (Times, 6 June)
(20) May 23, 2005: LeT militant arrested
LeT militant, Ishaq, arrested; 5.5 kgs of RDX, 2 detonators, and Rs. 2.5 lakhs seized. (Times, 24 May)
(21) June 4, 2005: Three Hizb militants arrested
Two agents of the Hizb-e-Islami, Ejaj Ahmed Wani and Shabbir Ahmed Peer, arrested on May 28; fake currency notes worth Rs.1.1 lakh seized. Subsequently, another LeT operative Nazir Ahmed Khan was arrested by the Special Cell and half a kg of RDX was recovered. (Hindu, 5 June) Nazir had also received Rs. 60 lakhs through hawala channels arranged by Sarfaraz for further delivery. (Times, 5 June)
A. What explains the sudden exponential increase of terrorist activities in and around the city of Delhi during the specified period, especially when it was well-known that the city was placed under close police surveillance after the attack on S.A.R. Geelani (see below)?
B. What explains that organizations such as LeT would allow themselves to be repeatedly caught in the traps set up by the Cell? Consider the arrest of Harun Rashid, on 12 May. The LeT â€˜moduleâ€™ he is supposed to be a member of was decisively â€˜smashedâ€™ by the Cell in a series of operations between March 5-10. Yet, Rashid compulsively landed at the Delhi Airport with the Special Cell waiting for him.
C. What explains that the Cell is able to recover huge amounts of explosives, weapons, incriminating material, IDs, diaries, phone numbers, e-mail messages, cash, etc. such that the identity and the goals of the organizations are immediately exposed?
D. What explains the remarkable ability of the Special Cell to remain unharmed? As documented, considerable arms and ammunition were recovered during most of the operations. We also saw that in many cases, allegedly seasoned terrorists/ gangsters were arrested or killed after gun battles. However, we could locate just one instance in which two members of the Special Cell received â€˜minor injuries,â€™ and that too in a shoot-out with gangsters in Hardwar; in Delhi, thereâ€™s not even a scratch. Even in Jammu and Kashmir, where we would expect the security forces to be better trained, more experienced, well-equipped and informed, a large number of security forces were killed in anti-terrorist operations during the same period. (Times, 12 June)
Protest by Human Rights Groups
There were at least two reports of protests by human rights groups on some of the incidents listed above.
Arrest of Mohammad Ahsan Untoo (See case 2 above)
As noted, the police reported the arrest of an ex-Hizb militant Mohammad Ahsan Untoo on February 12. Newspapers reported the arrests with the following headings: â€˜Former Hizb unit head and assistant arrestedâ€™ (Asian Age), â€˜Two held for allegedly passing defence documentsâ€™ (The Hindu), â€˜Ultra, Pak agent held for spyingâ€™ (The Pioneer), â€˜ISI agent received donations from Pak High Commissionâ€™ (Times of India), etc.
On 16 May 2005, the All India Defence Committee for SAR Geelani and All Jammu & Kashmir Trade Union Centre held a press conference in Delhi on the Untoo case (see case 2). In their press statement, the Centre affirmed that Untoo is in fact a well-known human rights activist and is the Chairman of the Human Rights Forum, Jammu and Kashmir, and a member of the UK based International Forum for Justice. He has taken up over 3000 cases with the State Human Rights Commission, National Human Rights Commission, and Amnesty International among others.
In an application filed before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Delhi, on 12 May 2005, the advocate for Untoo, the noted human rights lawyer, N. D. Pancholi, submitted that: (i) Untoo came to Delhi on 5 February, 2005 for some personal work.(4) and to file some cases with the NHRC; (ii) after learning of the attack on Geelani on 8 February, he went to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences the next day to show solidarity as a human rights activist, but the police did not allow him to see Geelani; (iii) the same evening, some unidentified policemen arrested him from Priya Guest House in Daryagunj; (iv) he was kept in police custody and was brutally tortured for the next ten to twelve days; (v) the police compelled one scavenger to sodomize him and subjected him to all kinds of humiliation; (vi) the police wanted Untoo to make a false confession stating that he was involved in the attempt to murder Geelani; (vii) the police forced Untoo to sign blank pieces of paper; (viii) he was produced before a Magistrate only on 13 February; (ix) he was denied access to any lawyer; (x) there were reports in the papers that Untoo had been arrested in connection with the attack on Geelani; (xi) Untoo is a victim of communalism and prejudice against Kashmiris who have been portrayed as â€œterrorists.â€
The Pragati Maidan Encounter (See case 14 above)
A team of Peopleâ€™s Union for Democratic Rights, PUDR, visited the site of the shooting, examined the car in which the alleged militants were travelling, and questioned the guards at the National Science Center who were present during the operation. PUDR made three observations, among others. (Hindu, 3 May)
First, since a large number of policemen, were already stationed in and around the area much before the time of the encounter; it was highly unlikely that the alleged terrorists would have failed to notice the arrangement and stopped the. Second, bullet holes on the carâ€™s body suggest that the persons were fired at close range. Third, the guards did not see any cars parked there for any length of time, or a car being chased. The PUDR also pointed out that “the police are never hurt in the cross-fire even when they are wearing only civilian clothes and the encounters always take place in high-profile places like Ansal Plaza, Humayunâ€™s Tomb or Pragati Maidan.â€ PUDR requested the National Human Rights Commission to investigate the matter
In a seminal piece published in The Guardian (5 July, 2003), Basharat Peer began a recounting of the Ansal Plaza â€˜encounterâ€™ with a quick portrayal of Rajbir Singh, the ACP of the Special Cell, who led the police operation on the concerned occasions: â€œA tall, sturdy man with rugged features, Singh has risen from the lowly position of sub-inspector to his present prestigious position in just a few years. His record of eliminating terrorists is matched only by the allegations of human rights violations against him. His role in six separate killings of alleged terrorists and gangsters has been questioned by the Indian media, and his involvement in a shoot-out at a shopping mall by the National Human Rights Commission of India.â€
In November 2002, Singh and his men claimed to have killed two terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba at Ansal Plaza shopping mall, but â€œa local Hindu doctor, Hari Krishna, told the media that he saw the police shoot in cold blood the two unarmed and apparently drugged men, who, Krishna said, could barely walk.â€ In the 30-odd months that have elapsed, both Hari Krishna and the Ansal Plaza incident have disappeared from public view.
How many of the alleged arrests, encounters and recoveries detailed earlier are fake? And why were they needed now?
A Perspective: December 13
Much of the concerns about possible false cases and fake encounters can be traced back to some of the salient features of the Parliament attack case. The hearing on this case has just ended at the Supreme Court of India, and the Court has reserved its judgment.(5) In what follows, we will just cite some reports and documents that are currently before the Court, without commenting on their veracity.
The Cell and December 13
To recall, five armed persons entered the Parliament complex in New Delhi on 13 December 2001 at about 11.30 A.M. when Parliament was in session. On being challenged near the carcade of the Vice-President of India, they opened fire. For half an hour, a fierce battle raged outside the building. All five persons died on the spot before they could enter inside the Parliament building. Nine other people, including some members of the security forces, died in the attack while sixteen persons from the security forces were injured.
Soon after the attack, four people were arrested by the Special Cell for their alleged role in the conspiracy: Mohammad Afzal, Shaukat Hussain Guru, Syed Abdul Rehman Geelani, and Afsan Guru. The case went on trial in the designated POTA Court in May 2002. The Court delivered its judgment in December 2002. On appeal, the case went to the High Court in Delhi, which delivered its judgment on 29 October 2003. On cross-appeal, the case went to the Supreme Court where the hearing has just ended, as noted.
Throughout the trial, the defence raised a series of objections against the conduct of the investigations by the police. Some of these were reported in the press even before the judgment of the POTA Court.(6) During the High Court stage, the defence was joined by seniors lawyers Ram Jethmalani and Shanti Bhushan, both former Union minister of law. Commenting on the investigation, Jethmalani submitted that it â€œis riddled with illegality. The evidence discloses concoction and fabrication. All these have been grossed one and have resulted in a grave miscarriage of justice.â€(7)
In his submission on behalf of Shaukat Hussain Guru, Shanti Bhushan contended that his client â€œhas been falsely implicated in the conspiracy case by the investigating agency.â€ The agency has not only â€œgone out of its way in concocting evidence,â€ it â€œhad even gone to the extent of forging and fabricating important documents for framing the appellants and police officials had clearly given perjured evidence.â€ According to the Senior Counsel, â€œthe investigating officials have clearly committed offences punishable imprisonment with life under Section 194 and 195 of I.P.C.â€ â€œWhen such a serious offence has been committed by the investigating officials,â€ Shanti Bhusan continued, â€œit is only by having them punished that such fabrication of documents and the giving of perjured evidence can be stopped by the Court.â€(8)
The High Court not only acquitted Geelaniâ€“â€“sentenced to death by the POTA Courtâ€“â€“and Afsan Guru of all charges, they made several adverse remarks on the conduct of the police. First, concerning Mohammad Afzalâ€™s â€˜confessionâ€™ before the media conducted by Rajbir Singh, the court observed: â€œIt has indeed become a disturbing feature as is being noticed by us repeatedly that the accused persons, after their remand by the Magistrate, are brazenly paraded before the press and interviews are being allowed.â€(9) Moreover, the Court observed that â€œthe prosecution stands discredited qua the time of arrest of accused S. A. R. Geelani and accused Afsan Guru.â€ In particular, they noted that â€œThe presence of Bismillahâ€™s [Geelaniâ€™s brother] signatures as having attested the arrest memos of the three accused probabilises the testimony of DW-5 that Bismillah was in illegal confinement and was forced to sign papers.â€(10) However, the Court stopped short of suggesting punishment for the concerned police officers.
The outright acquittal of Geelani and Afsan from all charges naturally gave rise to some obvious questions. Why should we now believe in the prosecutionâ€™s story for the rest of the case? In particular, what justifies the underlying assumption that, although the police, the prosecution and the POTA Court have been horribly wrong in one part of the case, they have been vindicated for the other parts? Some publications began to appear that examined these and related questions with full seriousness.(11) As the trial moved to the Supreme Court, these write-ups penetrated much of the readership in the activist and human rights circles.
Briefly, they raised the following issues, among others: (i) there was a complicity between the media and the police for projecting a largely unproven story, (ii) the police possibly forced statements and confessions from the accused, (iii) public witnesses were coerced into making false statements, (iv) the accused were brutally tortured by the police, (v) crucial documents and records were fabricated or tampered with, (vi) the accused, especially Mohd. Afzal, a surrendered militant, did not get adequate legal representation.(12)
In a recent interview, Shanti Bhusan complained that the government â€œpushed us to the brink of a nuclear warâ€ following the attack on Parliament. However, â€œthe police failed to crack the caseâ€ as â€œall the five militants died in the attack.â€ So the police, Shanti Bhusan suggested, â€œframed peopleâ€ in order â€œto create a conspiracy case.â€ (Tehelka, 16 Oct, 2004) Outside the courts, these concerns were largely restricted to the activist and human rights circles, as noted.
The Attack on SAR Geelani
The noted concerns exploded into the full public domain with the murderous attack on SAR Geelani on the evening of 8 February 2005. As the grievously-injured Geelani was rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, a large number of lawyers, activists, journalists and university teachers gathered in front of the hospital within the hour. In front of live television, speaker after speakerâ€“â€“from the eminent lawyer Kamini Jaiswal to student leaders from the Jawaharlal Nehru Universityâ€“â€“pointed their finger at the Special Cell.
In the following days, the entire mainstream media highlighted the allegations against the Special Cell for the first time in the brief history of the Parliament attack case.(13) The day after the attack, hundreds of writers, artists, academicians, activists, and journalists gathered in front of the Police Headquarters in a spontaneous demonstration that lasted for hours. A delegation was formed and sent to meet the Union Home Minister, Shri Shivraj Patil, to submit an â€˜Open letter’ that was signed by hundreds of those gathered.
The letter stated: â€œalthough we do not wish to pre-judge any specific complicity in the attack on Geelani at this stage, we strongly feel that the involvement of the Delhi Police itself, especially its Special Branch, in the crime can not be ruled out.â€ The letter then went on to describe the treatment meted out to Geelani and the other accused in the Parliament attack case; it also detailed Geelaniâ€™s refusal to submit to police pressures despite torture. Further, it described how â€œafter his acquittal, Geelani has been a prominent voice in defence of democracy and human rights. Following his own bitter experience, he has drawn attention of the country to the abject violation of the rights of prisoners, especially Kashmiri muslims, in the Tihar jail.â€ Thus, the letter suggested, â€œno wonder his presence has been a thorn in the flesh of cynical power enjoyed by the Special Branch with the undisguised blessings of the erstwhile NDA government in the name of anti-terrorist operations.â€(14)
Recounting some of the more sinister aspects of the Parliament attack case, Arundhati Roy wrote, â€œI have no idea who pumped those bullets into S.A.R. Geelani. However, in deference to the general public unease with the Special Cell, the investigation ought to be conducted by an agency other than the Delhi Police. While it may be unfair to accuse them without evidence, they certainly cannot be considered above suspicion, and must be investigated.â€(15)
In a subsequent article, we observed that there is no report as to whether the police have interrogated their own brethren in the Special Branch, the hoodlums that ransacked Senior Counsel Ram Jethmalaniâ€™s office when he decided to defend Geelani in the High Court, and the right-wing forces that burst crackers in front of the Special Court when Geelani was sentenced to death. In other words, people with demonstrated enmity towards Geelani have been systematically spared. At the same time, there is a constant attempt to implicate shadowy terrorist groups, persons lodged in prison, and even Geelani himself for â€œcraftingâ€ this attack.(16)
Questioning the investigative methods of the Delhi Police on the attack on Geelani, the Delhi University Teachers In Defence of SAR Geelani submitted a petition to the National Human Rights Commission on 15 February. This petition was signed by a large number of academicians, lawyers, and human rights activists. After a careful review of the police investigations, the petition stated â€œthese actions not only show the failure of the police to launch a serious investigation into this massive crime, there is an attempt to personalize what is clearly an enormous political crime. Who are the police trying to shield with these diversionary tactics?â€(17)
As noted, these concerns were openly expressed and covered in the mainstream papers and television for several days after the attack. The matter was placed before the Supreme Court who asked for a report from the police. (Hindu, 10 Feb) Also the defence filed an application, with supporting documents, before the Court praying for transfer of the case to the CBI. Although, the Court rightly refused to join the issue given the pending Parliament attack case, they suggested that the petitioners appeal before the High Court in Delhi.
We must also mention the publication of the book December 13: Terror over Democracy, with a foreword essay by Noam Chomsky, in March 2005. The book recounts the allegations of fabrication, concoction and conspiracy by the police in detail with supporting documents. Simultaneously, a national Committee for Inquiry into December 13 was launched. The committee is chaired by the veteran Gandhian and Rajya Sabha member Nirmala Deshpande and has Mahasweta Devi, Rajni Kothari, Prabhat Patnaik, Ashish Nandy, Prashant Bhushan, Mihir Desai, Gautam Navlakha, Sumanta Bannerjee, among others, as members. One of the first actions of the Committee was to send copies of the book to the highest political and judicial leadership of the country.
Quite evidently, for the first time in recent years, the heat is on the police, especially the Special Cell. It is also natural to assume that, especially in view of recent developments, the Supreme Court will pay the closest attention to the conduct of the police in the Parliament attack case.
From this perspective, it is difficult to ignore a telling pattern in the operations of the Special force listed above. The first sequence of aggressive media publicity of the anti-terrorist operations of the Special Cell begins a week after the attack on Geelani, when the public outcry on the attack was at its peak. The sequence lasts nearly a month and reaches a crescendo with the gunning down of three alleged LeT militants in Bharat Vihar. After this huge success, a period of lull followed as public protests died out. However, the Cell was never out of news: it turned its attention to gangsters. The second sequence begins in the third week of April, the week of final hearings at the Supreme Court as the Court prepares to write the judgment. This sequence begins with the high drama at Pragati Maidan and continues today with a careful mix of operations against both gangsters and terrorists. How can the general public and the Court ignore the supreme efficiency and the indispensability of the Cell in making the life of the citizens of Delhi safe?
In a way, the police spilled the beans when, in response to a question about allegations of illegal arrest and police brutality by rights activists in the Untoo case, a senior police officer said, â€œThis is a desperate attempt by them as the Supreme Court is going to pronounce judgment in the case soon.â€ (Indian Express, 17 May) The questioner did not even mention either the Supreme Court or the Parliament attack case.
(1) Noam Chomsky, â€œAfterwordâ€ to Hegemony and Survival, 2004.
(2) See my December 13: Terror over Democracy, Bibliophile South Asia, 2005, Chapter One and references, for a discussion on this issue.
(3) Kofi Annan, cited in Nandita Haksar, A Presumptuous Judgment; A New Concept of Democracy? A critique on the lower court judgment on Dec 13 Parliament attack, All India Defence Committee for Syed Abdul Rehman Gilani, 2003. Also, Shivraj Patil: â€œthe main tools of the UPA Government in dealing with terrorism would be dialogue, good governance, social justice, economic growth and the cooperation of the people,â€ The Hindu, 7 December 2004.
(4) The press statement of the Center says that Untoo visited Delhi to arrange for medical fees for a relative who has cancer; also, Untoo went to the Pakistan High Commission for arranging a visa for a coming family gathering.
(5) â€˜Verdict reserved in House attack case,â€™ The Times of India, 5 May 2005. This small report contained four serious factual errors. A letter of protest was sent to TOI the next day by a group of teachers of Delhi University; the paper never carried the letter or acknowledged the errors. The text of the letter can be seen at South Asian Citizenâ€™s Wire, 23 May 2005, www.sacw.net/
(6) See, for example, â€˜Parliament attack accused complain of unfair trial,â€™ The Hindu, 6 August 2002; â€˜Iâ€™ve been framed, alleges Geelani,â€™ Indian Express, 17 September 2002; â€˜Fair trial sought for Geelani,â€™ The Hindu, 30 September 2002; â€˜Holes in the Dec. 13 attack case,â€™ The Hindu, 10 October 2002; â€˜Press, police suppressed information in Dec. 13 Case,â€™ The Hindu, 11 October 2002; â€˜Police misinterpreted phone conversation,â€™ The Hindu, 12 October 2002, etc.
(7) Written Submissions on behalf of S. A. R. Gilani, Murder Reference 1 of 2003, presented by Shri Ram Jethmalani, Senior Advocate.
(8) Written Submissions on behalf of Shaukat Hussain Guru, In Murder Reference 1 of 2003 & Criminal Appeal 36 of 2003, presented by Shri Shanti Bhushan, Senior Advocate.
(9) The Judgment of the High Court of Delhi In New Delhi, October 29, 2003, Murder Reference No. 1/2003, para 139.
(10) High Court Judgment, para 250, 251, 255.
(11) Nandita Haksar, â€˜The many faces of nationalism,â€™ Seminar 533, January 2004; Nandita Haksar, â€˜Tried by the media: the S A R Geelani trial,â€™ Crisis/Media: Sarai Reader 04, Center for Studies in Developing Societies, Delhi, February 2004; Peopleâ€™s Union for Democratic Rights, â€˜A Balancing Act,â€™ 2004; N. Mukherji, â€˜Media and December 13,â€™ Znet South Asia Watch, 30 September 2004; N. Mukherji, â€˜Who attacked Parliament?,â€™ Revolutionary Democracy, Vol. X, No.2, September 2004; Tripta Wahi, â€˜Qaysâ€™ deportation case,â€™ Revolutionary Democracy, Vol.10, No.2. The last two items were also widely circulated in a booklet.
(12) These issues are fully discussed with supporting documentation in my December 13: Terror over Democracy, Bibliophile South Asia, 2005, Chapter Two and references. The political context of the book is discussed in a book-interview with ZNet, 5 April, 2005, http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=13&ItemID=7583
(13) â€˜Students, staff flay attack,â€™ The Hindu, 10 February 2005; â€˜SC seeks report on Geeelani attack,â€™ The Times of India, 10 February 2005; â€˜Teachers, students assail police â€˜roleâ€™,â€™ The Times of India, 10 February 2005; â€˜Outrageous assault,â€™ Editorial, The Hindu, 11 February 2005; â€˜Police in denial mode over attack on Geelani,â€™ The Hindu, 12 February 2005, etc.
(14) Full text with signatories at www.sacw.net/hrights/OletterHomeMin9feb05.html
(15) â€˜Who pulled the trigger…didn’t we all?,â€™ www.sacw.net, 20 Feb 2005.
(16) N. Mukherji, â€˜New turn in the Parliament attack case,â€™ ZNet, 25 February, 2005.
(17) Some papers covered the petition the next day. See, for example, â€˜Teachers demand independent probe into Geelani case,â€™ The Hindu, 16 February 2005. Full text of the petition at www.sacw.net/hrights/letterNHRC14022005.html
Nirmalangshu Mukherji is a Professor of Philosophy, Delhi University, India. E-mail address: [email protected]