Rally for Justice on Anniversary of Batla House Killings

On the fifth anniversary of the Batla House ‘encounter,’ RYA and AISA held a rally at Batla House. Recently the Delhi sessions court awarded life imprisonment to Shehzad, holding him guilty of the murder of the police officer Mohan Chand Sharma, based on extremely questionable grounds. The questions that remain unanswered were raised again amongst people of Batla House, who are well aware of the trumped up nature of the charges, as was apparent from an impressive participation by the locals.

Activists from RYA and AISA spoke about the culture of minority witch-hunting and fake encounters that have become an integral part of policy of Governments headed by Congress, BJP and other parties like Samajwadi Party. Whether it is the fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan or the incarceration without evidence of Khalid Mujahid in UP, the politics of trying to frame the entire Muslim community as potential terrorists can be seen across the country. And this politics draws strength from India’s communalism and US-inspired Islamophobia.

The rally saw enthusiastic participation from students of Jamia Millia Islamia, JNU, as well as Delhi University. Recently elected office bearers of JNUSU from AISA also addressed the rally, pledging support for the intensification of struggle against the communal policies of both the Congress and the BJP. JNUSU President Akbar sketched the theatre of communal pogroms that stretch from Assam to Western UP. Hamidur Rehman, a student who was expelled from Jamia Millia Islamia for raising the demand for students’ union elections, also addressed the gathering.

RYA’s national president Ravi Rai spoke to the media and painted a harrowing picture of this brand of politics especially in the context of the recent pogrom in western UP. He emphasized the organized nature of this attack, as opposed to the theory of ‘spontaneous conflagration’.

RYA and AISA called upon people to participate in a National Convention Against Communal Violence and Minority Witch-Hunt being organised by the CPI(ML) on the 25th of September, 2013, in New Delhi. RYA and AISA have been conducting a signature campaign to the President demanding a judicial probe on the lines of the Santosh Hegde panel (appointed by the Supreme Court to look into the Manipur fake encounters) into the Batla House ‘encounter.’ After the Convention, the memorandum with signatures will be presented to the President of India.

Liberation Archive