European parliamentarians protest Koodankulam plant *5yrs of Mecca Masjid blast: Saga of saffron terror, khaki torture and state apathy

May 21, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

Tamil Nadu, May 19, 2012: They have demanded that all reports, reviews and information related to the nuclear plant be “made transparent and accessible to the public.”

Some British and European lawmakers have protested against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant being situated in a tsunami-prone area in Tamil Nadu.

Members of the British and European Parliament have signed a letter from South Asian anti-nuclear groups to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing “deep concern” over human rights and environmental issues around the controversial plant.

They claim that the KKNPP “violates” the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s safety guidelines.

The letter will be handed to the Indian High Commission after a protest planned outside India House Friday.

It demands withdrawal of police and court cases against the anti-KKNPP protesters, accusing the security forces of “intimidation” and “harassment.”

“Non-violent protesters are being intimidated, harassed, imprisoned, and falsely charged. We understand that from one police station alone, charges have been brought against more than 50,000 people including about 6,500 for sedition and ‘war against the State’ in the last eight months,” it says.

Signatories include Labour MPs Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell; Green Party’s Caroline Lucas and its MEP Keith Taylor; and Kate Hudson of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

A spokesperson of the South Asia Solidarity Group said more MPs were expected to sign the letter, a copy of which would also be sent to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

Calling for a “halt” to the project, the letter says it is a safety hazard as it is located in “a tsunami and earthquake-prone region.”

“It is also in violation of the mandatory requirement for construction of fresh water reservoirs which are essential in case of a nuclear accident…,” it says.

The letter demands that all reports, reviews and information related to the nuclear plant be “made transparent and accessible to the public.”

The signatories say that they “fully appreciate” India’s energy needs but argue that security considerations cannot be brushed aside.

Taylor in a separate statement said, “people have a right to protest against the construction of this nuclear power plant and I am concerned at the way they’re being treated”.

– the hindu

5 yrs of Mecca Masjid blast: Saga of saffron terror, khaki torture and state apathy

 

Andhra Pradesh, May 17, 2012: It was 18th may 2007 which changed the description of Mecca Masjid as a monument of Qutub Shahi era to a standing example of saffron terror, khaki torture and state apathy. Tomorrow will be fifth anniversary of the terror bombing that took place inside the historic mosque during Friday prayers, claiming nine lives and the police firing on the Muslim protestors soon after claimed five more. Coincidentally, tomorrow is Friday.

It was not in the imagination of average Hyderabadi that this grand old mosque of Hyderabad ostentation of Muslim power in the city could come under attack. The events unfolded after the blast exposed how vulnerable Muslims are to the state actors.

Police fired and killed five persons to protect wine shop and a petrol pump
Soon after the blast, when unarmed Muslims were on the roads of old city, protesting against the government, police used water cannons, lathi charge to disperse the mob. That led angry crowd to pelt stones on the police. Hyderabad Police took an extreme step, called grey hounds (anti-naxal) force to control the mob. Grey hounds opened indiscriminate firing killing five persons and injuring nine, according to disputed government records. Police claimed firing was necessary as protesting mob was about to set blaze a petrol pump and a wine shop. But the fact was grey hounds opened firing on even those Muslims who were carrying injured people from the road.

After protest from Muslim leaders government appointed Justice V. Bhaskar Rao commission to probe the necessity of police firing. The commission submitted its report in 2011 accepting the police theory that firing was necessary to save a wine shop and a petrol pump, but it also accepted that police showed high handiness in controlling the mob. Like police officers could have used rubber bullets or they should have fired on the legs but in fact they shot to kill the protestors, not to disburse them, according to the report. Government has not yet acted on the high handiness of police officials.

Media declared hand of Muslims in masjid blast
Within a few days of the blast the whole regional and national media solved the blast case even before the F.I.Rs were registered in the respective police stations. Every major news channel and paper claimed that blast was carried out by foreign Islamic extremist group with the help of local youths. Media declared the hand of Muslims in blasting their own mosque. Media even named the masterminds and photos of local Muslim youths started popping up in the national and regional newspapers declaring them as terrorists and bomb planters. Media even declared that blast was the result of sectarian differences among Muslims. And Ahle Haddis youths were behind the bombings.

An atmosphere to implicate local Muslim youths was created by the mainstream media. This made the work of local task force Police easier as media already solved the case and ‘accused’ were on the front pages of newspapers.

200 Muslim youths were arrested for bombing the mosque
One week after the blast more than 200 Muslim youths from Hyderabad and other districts were arrested. 50 among them were kept in 24 hours of illegal detention. 100 among them were released after 3 days of illegal detention and 5o more youngsters were kept in 7 days of illegal detention in police farm houses in the city suburbs. According to the youths who were kept in illegal detention for 7 continuous days top officials of Hyderabad police tortured them and used third degree, and forced them to accept their role in the blast.

Out of them 39 were presented in the court for trial. As there was no evidence against them in the blast case, the Hyderabad police put charges on them of waging war against the nation and instigating violence. They spent 2 years in jail for no fault of theirs, 10 among them were even taken to Bangalore for Narco analysis test. Police and media declared them terrorists and case was solved for the police. But finally Andhra Pradesh high court quashed the police case on the Muslim youths and acquitted them all.

Advocate Ravichander report on illegal detention and police torture
When the voices against the city police action towards Muslims after the blast became louder, state minorities commission under the chairmanship of Yousuf Qureshi appointed Advocate Ravichandar to probe the allegation of illegal detention and torture of Muslims youths. Mr. Ravichander did an extensive work, he met each and every victim of police torture accompanying a doctor from forensic laboratory. He clearly implicated Hyderabad police for torture and illegal detention in the report. His report was presented to the A.P chief minister, which recommended suspension of police officials involved in police torture. But as expected the report was neither tabled in assembly nor was made public, a clear attempt by A.P Congress government to save the face of its police force.

TCN spoke to Mr. Ravichander he said, “It is disappointing to see that a government which claims to be secular and promoter for the welfare of minorities is indulging in such partisan and biased policies. This government pleads that they are committed for 4% reservation to minorities but not committed for justice to them. This government is just using Muslims as their vote bank. They are trying to protect guilty police officers involved in harsh crimes. I am very disappointed on governments flip flop attitude, if this state wants to uphold the secular and democratic values then it has to table that report in assembly or at least make it pubic officially.”

Yousuf Qureshi, former chairman of A.P state minorities’ commission told TCN, “we tried our best at that time to provide justice to the Muslim youths who were tortured and implicated in false cases. That report was an extensive piece of work. But government failed to present the facts before the public, that report should have been tabled in assembly, may be government is having some other plans.”

Involvement of Hindutva groups in the blast
When the local police case fell down in court the state government in damage control mode handed the case to CBI. It was in 2009 when huge shock waves came down to mainstream media and local police, when CBI arrested six persons having directly or indirectly links with Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh(RSS). Later in 2010 Swami Assemanand confessed his involvement in hatching conspiracy of bomb blast in Mecca masjid. The reason given was in 1947 Nizam of Hyderabad opted to go with Pakistan, so they wanted to teach a lesson to Muslims of Hyderabad. He named Sunil Joshi as the key conspirator, who was killed by his own gang members.

The probe is now handed over to National Investigation Agency. Five years have passed but no new developments have been made in bringing the perpetrators of this grave crime and their bosses to justice. Ramachandran Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange, RSS activists named in the CBI charge sheet are still absconding and are believed to be sent to Nepal by their masters to save their face.

Congress government said causal sorry to Muslims
Finally when it became an open fact that bomb blast was carried out by right wing Hindu groups, Congress government in fear of losing Muslim votes gave halfhearted apology to scores of youngsters whose lives were destroyed by their police force. Even compensation and character certificate was provided to some Muslim youths but the major portion of those victims of police torture were left out, the reason given by the government is that some cases are pending against them. The fact is some of the cases framed by Hyderabad police after the masjid blast against those innocent youths are still continuing in the local criminal courts, even after government accepted its blunder.

After five years the enquiry seems to be on the starting point. Blooper and tumble enquiry, false implication of innocent Muslim youths, and absconding real accused will be the hallmark of five years of blast. Time is believed by many as great healer, but scars of Mecca masjid bomb blast and its subsequent terror, will always remain on the minds of Muslims of Hyderabad.

– tcn

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