[Reader-list] BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh arrested a Delhi-based Journalist

arshad amanullah arshad.mcrc at gmail.com
Mon Apr 7 22:41:47 IST 2008


New Delhi, 7 April 2008: Late last evening the police
in the BJP-ruled state of Madhya Pradesh arrested a
Delhi-based journalist who had gone there to report on
recent arrests in the state.

The journalist is Mr Nadim Ahmad, a staffer of The
Milli Gazette fortnightly English-language newspaper
published from Delhi since 2000.

Ahmad was arrested by the police early 6 April evening
in village Aroda/Choral under Balwada Police Station,
Distt Khargone, Indore Range. Contact with Ahmad was
possible until late in the evening on his mobile phone
(# 09911334768). However, since this morning he is not
picking up his phone while Police Inspector Sunil
Visthre (mobile # 09926670086), who took Ahmad in
custody, is not responding to calls on his mobile.
Enquiries with highest police officials in Indore have
failed to help trace the whereabout of the arrested
journalist. The Milli Gazette editor, Dr Zafarul-Islam
Khan, has written in this matter to Mr Shivraj Patil,
the Union Home Minister, MP Governor Mr Balram Jhakar,
MP Chief Minister Mr Shivraj Singh Chauhan, MP home
minister Mr. Himmat Kothari, as well as to top police
officials in MP state.

If the journalist remains untraceable, Dr Khan plans
to file a habeas corpus suit in the Supreme Court of
India tomorrow, 8 April.


Issued by The Milli Gazette
D-84 Abul Fazal Enclave-I
Jamia Nagar, New Delhi 110 025
Tel. (011) 26942883, 26947483, 26952825
Email: edit at milligazette.com <edit%40milligazette.com>
Website: www.milligazette.com

Following is the text of the letter sent by Dr
Zafarul-Islam Khan, Editor, The Milli Gazette, on 7
April 2008 via fax, email and courier to a number of
central and MP state authorities:

"This is to inform you that we are a registered
English-language fortnightly newspaper published
regularly since January 2000 (registered RNI number
DELENG/2000/930). A few days back we sent Mr Nadim
Ahmad, one of our full-time staff reporters, to
Sarangpur, Madhya Pradesh, to report on communal
violence there. At about same time news of arrests of
alleged SIMI members also came from an adjacent area
in the state, so I instructed him to go to Indore as
well to report on the situation there and to visit
some places from where arrests were made. Mr Ahmad
reached Indore yesterday, 6 April 2008, and after
making enquiries about the location of the concerned
areas, went to village Aroda/Choral under Balwada
Police Station, Distt Khargone, Indore Range (Thana
phone No. 07280-261237) whose in-charge is Town
Inspector Mr Sunil Visthre (mobile no. 09926670086).
Inspector Visthre spoke to me last night at around 8-9
pm using Mr Ahmad's mobile no. 09911334768 asking why
he was in the area. It was explained to him that Mr
Ahmad was a full-time staff reporter of this paper and
he was there at my instructions to report on the
recent arrests. Inspector Visthre told me that there
was nothing to worry about and Mr Ahmad is helping
enquiries and he is not under arrest.

My last contact with Ahmad was at 11.06 pm yesterday
(6 April 08) on his mobile phone in which he said he
is alright and was answering questions by the police;
Inspector Visthre also spoke to me over the same phone
at that time and told me that there is nothing to
worry about as they were only trying to establish the
reason why Mr Nadim was in the area.. Mr Nadim Ahmad's
last call was at 1.28 am on 7-4-08 which I could not
receive as I had gone to bed by that time. In the
morning I tried to contact Mr Ahmad using his mobile
number but there was no response. Thereafter, I phoned
Balwada Thana at the above phone number and was
informed that Inspector Visthre has taken Mr Ahmad to
Indore in the morning at 6 AM. Efforts to contact Mr
Ahmad since then have failed; Inspector Visthre too is
not taking up calls to his mobile. After this, I
phoned Indore Superintendent of Police Mr Anshuman
Yadav on his mobile no. 09425115144 at 11.30 am (7
April 08). He told me that he had no information about
this matter.

As of now, my apprehension is that Mr Nadim Ahmad has
been arrested and kept under custody at an unknown
place for no reason whatsoever as he was only
discharging his duties as a journalist to investigate
matters of common and media interest. I fear that
under the current charged atmosphere in the state of
Madhya Pradesh, Mr Ahmad may have been falsely
implicated in some matter and illegally deprived of
his liberty. I request you to immediately intervene in
this matter and ensure the freedom of press guaranteed
by our Constitution and laws."

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