The Battle For Justice Against State Sponsored Violence

(Mukul Sinha, an advocate and activist based in Gujarat, has been active in the efforts to expose fake encounters in Gujarat. He also represented Manipur fake encounter victims before the Commission appointed by the Supreme Court. In a response to some queries by email, Mukul Sinha told Liberation his views on the ongoing struggle for justice.)

“The CBI’s charge sheet in the Ishrat Jahan case is definitely a significant development. Despite all obstructions made by the BJP and its supporters, and a very weak central government to support it, the filing of the charge sheet against top police officials and also naming the IB special director, Mr Rajinder Kumar is definitely a significant step. However it is not adequate and we are waiting for the supplementary charge sheet to bring the actual motive of the entire conspiracy and the political bosses who were involved. The UPA Government, far from being overzealous in its pursuit of the Ishrat Jahan case, has in fact done very little to help the investigation and has buckled down to the political pressure created by BJP and therefore the charge sheet is incomplete.

In the media and in public perception, Ishrat Jahan is being put on trial about whether she was a terrorist or not. The two so called paragraphs that have been leaked by the IB are nothing but a red herring. They are completely irreconcilable with the rest of the NIA report.

The claims in the media of Ishrat’s links with LeT (supposedly confirmed by Headley in his interrogation by NIA and suppressed by the UPA) are flimsy and contradictory. The ‘leaked’ portions claim that Headley was introduced in late 2005 to Muzammilby Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi who commented on the “Ishrat module” as one of Muzammil’s botched up operations.

But the categorical disclosures made by Headley in Para 17, 28 and 33 of the NIA report reveal that he not only admitted to have known Muzammil since 2002, but Muzammil was actually his handler starting from August 2004. Ishrat Jahan is first discussed in the report of Parixita Gurjar, the IO of Gujarat Police, which alleged that Javed had employed Ishrat for the first time on 2nd May 2004. The world knows she was dead on 15th June 2004. In the same period, Headley not only knew Muzammil but was also well acquainted with Zaki Ur Rehman Lakhvi with whom he attended a seminar in July 2004 as stated by him in Para 27 of NIA report. Immediately thereafter Headley apparently had sought a change of his handler from Yaqoob and Lakhvi himself appointed Muzammil as his handler in August 2004. After these sequence of events, it sounds absurd that Zaki Ur Rehman Lakhvi would ‘introduce’ Headley to Muzammil in late 2005 after having himself appointed Muzammil as his handler in August 2004.

Further it sounds equally absurd that Headley did not have the knowledge of the so called ‘Ishrat Jahan Module’ in August 2004 itself when the event had just taken place, especially since his handler Muzammil is himself alleged by IB to be the master-mind of this operation!

Another incongruity of the IB plant is that the NIA interrogators seem to have shown no interest in questioning Headley about the antecedents of the two so called ‘Pakistani terrorists’ namely Jeeshan and Amjad Ali who were allegedly working under the orders of Muzammil. Doesn’t it become absolutely clear that the purpose of the IB plant is to somehow get the name of Ishrat into the public discourse and malign her? So much for the rehashed lies.

Further, it is clear from the the categorical evidence of Police Inspector BA Patel and Head Constable Nizamuddin Saiyed that all weapons/explosives were planted by the police, and the so called module of “Ishrat Jahan” had absolutely no weapons or explosives of their own, except of course 30 dry coconuts!

Modi’s desire to become the messiah of Hindus has resulted in his planning a series of fake encounters through which he has attempted to tell the people that the Jihadis are targeting him.

I was asked by the victims of the Manipur fake encounters to appear before the Commission appointed by the Supreme Court to enquire into 6 encounter cases. I had been to Imphal and Delhi for the cross examination of our witnesses as well as police/military officers. The commission has already submitted its report holding all the six encounters to be fake and the report has been accepted by the Supreme Court which in near future shall pass appropriate orders for next course of action.

As far as the custodial deaths/fake encounters and deaths in police firing etc are concerned, I believe much more is required to be done on the basis of people’s initiative. We can’t expect the present political establishment to prevent such atrocities since they are themselves the perpetrators. The people have to therefore combat such state sponsored violence in every available forum including the law courts. The success in sending over 2 dozen police personnel behind the bars is because of the consistent legal fight for the past 7 years.”

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