Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Special Cell exists to torment minorities: Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy at a packed auditorium of Jamia Millia Islamia University. Addressing more than 600 students and Batla House residents on Tuesday, Roy said the Cell existed merely to "create fear'' in the minds of minorities .

 "We should be looking at the forms and lines of state brutality. I do not think petitioning will help anymore. It is time to think politically ,'' Roy said, adding, the debate was beyond religious lines as the Indian state had been trying to 'militarize' ever since it aligned with the "pro-market countries like US and Israel'' .

 Roy was speaking at a book release organized by the group, Jamia Teachers' Solidarity, which was formed after the Batla encounter with the objective of demanding a judicial probe into what it calls "killings'' . The JTS released a book titled Framed, Damned, Acquitted: Dossiers of a Very Special Cell that examines 15 cases of Muslim men charged as terrorists and then acquitted by courts. Each of these men spent seven to 14 years in jail.

 Standing up for the men, noted jurist Rajender Sachar said the government had forgotten its "contract' ' to protect its people. Recalling his experiences as a member of People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) when Maoist sympathizer Seema Azad's case hit the headlines, he called for repeal of the sedition law. He questioned the government's intentions and asked why Special Cell officers who "framed'' youths did not face action. He said PUCL will help all 15 men discussed in the book receive some amount of compensation

. Later, the JSA said it was demanding several measures from the government on the eve of the Batla encounter . "We want a national commission of enquiry set up immediately to document and investigate all such police excesses across the country. Two, we want a comprehensive rehabilitation package, including assistance in education and occupation ," said a representative . The group also demanded that the government and the police tender a public apology for their actions , the Special Cell be disbanded , and officers involved in the frame up be punished.

 Two of the exonerated men, who spent 14 years in prison, spoke about their pain and loss. Md Aamir Khan was tried in several cases across Delhi, Haryana and UP while Maqbool Shah was charged for being involved in a car blast case at Lajpat Nagar. "When I remember those days, I can only cry out. During the process , I lost my father and elder sister. My business went bust and at times I felt like committing suicide. Yet no fast track court helped me, nor any lawyer initially agreed to take up my case,'' he said.

 Aamir, about whom TOI wrote earlier, claimed he was still "fighting for dignity. I am getting married next month. But, what will I feed my wife and children? Will anyone arrange a job for me?'' he said.


No comments:

Post a Comment