[Reader-list] fwd:An Open Letter to Hon'ble Prime Minister

Inder Salim indersalim at gmail.com
Tue Sep 8 22:56:16 IST 2009

An Open Letter to Hon'ble Prime Minister

Dr. Manmohan Singh
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India
September 8, 2009, 1.02am
Dear Dr Manmohan Singh.

                                     I had written a small article in
The Hindustan Times in June 2004. It was called ‘Come Shoot Me: I am a
Terrorist’. It was to express my anguish on Ishrat Jahan’s killing in
The Magisterial Enquiry, which is mandatory in every encounter case
(and which was never done in the Batla House encounter) has finally
termed it Ishrat jahan’s killing as a fake encounter yesterday in a
metropolitan court. It is not a matter of surprise for us as we knew
that she was killed in cold blood. Perhaps you will also agree that
such things are happening and happened in Gujarat under Modi. But I am
not writing to talk about how bad Modi is.
I am writing this to ask you a small favour.
I know you have absolutely hectic schedules and thousands of issues to
handle so I am putting down here the facts, gathered from various
media reports.
On June 15, 2003, the Ahmedabad city crime branch, then headed by the
now jailed IPS officer D G Vanzara, shot four young people –Ishrat
Jahan, Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjad Ali Rana  and Jisan
Johar. It was propagated that these four young people were alleged
Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives who were allegedly on mission to kill
chief minister Narendra Modi.
Ishrat, was a 19-year old student of Khalsa College in Mumbra, a Mumbai suburb.
Ishrat's mother filed a petition in the high court in 2004 demanding
death compensation and a CBI probe. Ishrat Jahan’s mother’s Petition
alleged that it was a fake encounter as one of the many that the
present government regime in Gujarat headed by Narendra Modi had done
to achieve Political Mileage to publicly create panic and sympathy
that the Chief Minister was sought to be assassinated.
The crime branch carried out the operation and the same agency
conducted investigation.
When the petition was heard by Justice KS Jhaveri , he immediately
proposed, almost on line taken by the Supreme Court in the infamous
Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, for which Vanzara was jailed along
with other policemen, that a five-member team - all of the rank of
additional DGP - should probe this case.
 The encounter was done by the infamous D. G. Vanzara and his team who
are presently arrested under Orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in
the case of fake encounter of Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausarbi.
Sohrabuddin’s encounter has been admitted by the state to be fake and
recently on 11/08/2008, they have agreed to deposit an amount of Rs.
10.00 Lakhs as interim ex-gratia compensation for being paid to the
Kith and Kin of the two.
There are allegedly 28 encounters which were fake and have been covered up.
In Ishrat Jahan’s matter the CBI was impleaded as a Party and it took
a stand that if the Court so orders they are willing to carry out
fresh investigations and unearth the truth. Such stand triggered panic
with the State Government and it seems even with some Officers of
Central Home Ministry.  After UPA came to power some tainted CBI
officers placed in Gujarat during the NDA with questionable track
record were removed after  a lot of pressure and almost two years but
they soon found plush positions in Delhi under UPA regime.
To our dismay we realized last month through the media reports that
the Ministry of Home Affairs in an affidavit stated that Ishrat, Javed
and two others Jisan Johar and Amjad Ali Rana were all operatives of
Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba.
Maintaining that the four were terrorists, the Union government told
the high court, "No proposal for CBI investigation is under
consideration of the Centre nor does it consider the present case fit
for CBI probe."
Moreover, the Centre claimed that there is no question of independent
inquiry, as an additional DGP (CID & Intelligence) had carried out an
independent probe into the incident and the officer is neither working
with crime branch nor is he a subordinate to the crime branch, which
carried out the operation and later investigated the case itself."
If you remember Hon’ble prime Minister when I met you regarding the
Package for the Gujarat 2002 victims along with other activists from
Gujarat I had jokingly said, “The news that UPA has replaced NDA at
the centre has not reached your Home Ministry as yet’. I had said this
precisely in the connection of how the tainted officers promoted by
the BJP were still being pampered under the UPA.
The reason behind filing of the Affidavit by the Central Government
was to dissuade the Court from appointing a strong S I T and give a
message that even the Central Government had approved the act of fake
encounter. But for the magisterial enquiry the Central Home Ministry
had left no stone unturned to prove that Ishrat deserved to be killed.
The logic used always is what will happen to the morale of the
officers. My question is what happens to the morale of the officers
when they torture innocent young people, when they kill them, when
they illegally detain them, beat them. What happens to their morale
then? Do they just go home and sleep?
Why don’t we as nation stop playing the farce of being a secular
nation and why don’t we remove the article from the constitution which
says all citizens are equal?
The affidavit filed by the Home Ministry is a proof of the fact that
in Ishrat Jahan’s fake encounter case UPA has connived with the
Gujarat government in a blatantly communal manner. With 3 days to go
before assembly bye election in 7 seats in Gujarat 5 more innocent
boys have been picked up in Baroda and declared' terrorists'.
I do not know if this letter will be also lost on the way and find
itself in a dustbin as I have never received any acknowledgment from
your office, so I will be forced to circulate it to others to lodge a
strong protest against this blatant connivance of the Home Ministry
with the Gujarat government.
My request to you is that if your government has any political will
then please ask your home ministry to tender a public apology for
filing the affidavit against the innocent girl who was so brutally
murdered. It requires some courage and conviction.
You are fond of poetry.
Faiz ke chand lines apki nazar kar rahi hoon:

Tujh ko kitnon ka lahoo chahiye ae arz-i-watan, Jo tiray arz-i-berang
ko gulnaar karein
Kitni aahon se kaleja tira thanda hoga, Kitne aansoo tiray sehraon ko
gulzaar karein

(The blood of how many do you need O motherland;That which will
brighten your colourless earth;
How many sighs will soothe your heart; How many tears will cause your
deserts to bloom.)
 Sincerely Yours
Shabnam Hashmi
Member, National Integration Council
Cc: Media & fellow human rights activists

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