‘They are in jail because they wear a Kurta, sport a beard and keep a Quran at home’

    By Shaik Zakeer Hussain, TwoCircles.net,

    Bangalore: When a low intensity bomb exploded on April 17, about 100 meters away from the Karnataka BJP headquarter in Malleswaram, Bangalore, the incident was termed an act of terror and eventually ended up in the arrest of 11 suspects, all belonging to the Muslim community.

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    Six months later, the First Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court, ordered the release of three persons arrested by the police in the case. Peer Mohideen, Saddam Hussain and Tenkasi Haneefa were discharged from the charges. While Mohideen was released on Tuesday, Hussain and Haneefa will be handed over to the Tamil Nadu police, for their alleged role in another case.

    In this Interview with TCN’S Shaik Zakeer Hussain, S. Balan, the lawyer for the acquitted, talks on the whole trial.

    Advocate S. Balan.

    Three of the accused you represented were discharged of the alleged terror charges against them, are you happy with the outcome?

    This is not the question of being happy, this outcome proves that a particular community is blamed or projected as terrorists. Their cases were dropped, because the investigating agencies could not collect any material against them.

    What was the prima facie behind the arrests of Peer Mohideen and other accused in this case?

    There wasn’t any. Whenever a blast takes place, the agencies proceed in a certain direction, there is a particular modus operandi or pattern behind these types of cases. In 2008 blast case for instance, they (investigative agencies) concentrated mainly on the Malayalam speaking Muslims, especially from Ernakulam – Kochi area and now in this case, they have targeted the Tamil speaking Muslims.

    Muslims who are either engaged in helping the victims of state terrorism or are involved in any socio-economic activities directed towards uplifting their community, are being targeted. Peer Mohideen, Saddam Hussain and Tenkasi Haneefa were subjected to third degree torture and forced confessions, their ordeal continued for six months and despite that, the police could not fit them in any angle and had to let them out of the charge sheet.

    The only evidence against them was, that they were Muslims and the corroborating evidence was that they were involved in some social activities. So, whoever tries to help their community in anyway, are termed as terrorists.

    The blast site at Malleshwaram, Bengaluru (TCN File Photo).

    How do individuals, who are absolutely innocent, get framed in such cases?

    What happens, is if any of their family members or friends were accused in any case, for instance here, a lot of them, had some of their friends or relatives, who were accused in the 1993 Coimbatore blast case; let me emphasize this, accused not convicted, so there was a familial link established, because of which they got framed.

    This is not the first time that a person arrested on charges of alleged terrorism, was released for lack of evidence, do you think, there is a deliberate attempt to frame people in such cases?

    For the fascist forces to militarize a society, they need to blame a particular community and in India, they blame the Muslims. Even during the colonial rule, they never fought the British, but targeted Muslims instead. Today, war on terror, is a world phenomenon and though it is an American framework, the Indian fascists and corporates also follow the same pattern.

    When India’s gates were opened for free market economics, it also opened gates for the communalisation of society, so in India, the fascists and corporates coincide. The judiciary, the administration and legislature are already communalised and communal elements occupy every area of power. It’s the same situation with the investigative agencies, they are overtly and covertly communalised.

    However, having said that, let me also point out that, it is not just Muslims, who are the targets here. For 2000 years, they have targeted Dalits, they targeted people belonging to the backward classes, in Kandhamal, they targeted Christians and they did the same thing in Mangalore and North Indian states. Basically, they are against anyone is against their ideology.

    What is the status of other accused in this case, do you think they are innocents too?

    The FIR filed by the agencies suggests that, a pipe bomb was used, which was fitted to a two-wheeler and triggered by a SIM card and there was a terrorist, anti-national organisation behind it. Now, what is the nexus between the accused and that organisation, where was the bomb procured from, where was it manufactured, who brought it, who planted it, who triggered it, whether it was actually triggered by a SIM card or any other detonator has not been concluded. The blast happened near the BJP office and not in front of it, so the motive behind the blast is also not forthcoming.

    The Malegoan blast was initially blamed on some Muslim organisations, later we came to know, that it was the handiwork of Saffron terror groups. Same thing happened in the Mecca masjid case, the Ajmer case and with the Samjhauta Express blast case. In the Coimbatore blast case as well, several members of the minority community were arrested, ultimately when the case was transferred to CB-CID of Tamil Nadu, they found that they were innocent, and an officer by name Rathna Sabapathy, who was known to have Saffron leniency, was found to have framed them wrongfully.

    They are in jail because they wear a Kurta, they sport a beard, they wear a topi, they have no moustache, they keep a Quran at home and they were helping people from the minority community in their socio-economic and legal needs. So, these are the materials, everything else is assumptions and presumptions.

    BJP state Headquarter.

    What do you have to say about the reporting of this case and other such cases in the media?

    The mainstream media is pro-establishment, they just vomit what the establishment says. The media is also a part of the war on minorities, unleashed by the government. They are run by corporates, so it is naturally anti-minorities.

    How do you think, we as a society should respond to such institutionalized injustice? Surprisingly, there is little outrage.

    The society should react, but they are not, people are playing the role of only mute spectators here. Progressive minds, who feel that the whole planet should live together in harmony, should fight these elements.


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