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Hyderabad Bomb Blast – Subsequent media trial and Police harassment

Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee. India

Amberpet, Hyderabad, A.P. India 500013

Contact Nos: 09391051586, 09347853843 Fax No: 040-27427860

Web: www.civillibertiesindia.org Email: [email protected]

27.03.2013

FACT FINDING REPORT ON BOMB BLAST & SUBSEQUENT MEDIA
TRIAL & POLICE HARASSMENT ON MUSLIM YOUTH

Introduction

Once again is shaken under the bomb blasts. This is not the
first blast in the history of Hyderabad. Before this many bomb blasts
have taken place at public places in Hyderabad. 18 May 2007 and 25
August 2007 bomb blasts are needed to be mentioned. It is also fact
that in the name of bomb blasts Muslims were continuously targeted.
Due to the struggle of Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee, Muslim
youth were acquitted by the courts and the government also paid
compensation to them. Until now these Muslim youth were unable to
stabilize themselves and the twin blasts took place at Dilsukhnagar
area of Hyderabad. And this was more than terror for Muslims. Because,
as usual Media played its role by labeling and targeting Muslims and
the Muslim youth again became the target of the police. Everyone
expected that the situation in Hyderabad must be bad because the
Congress party and the condition of its government is worse and it is
known from the history that whenever the Congress governments
condition is worse and conflict between the fractions of the party
occurs the peaceful atmosphere of Hyderabad is disturbed by making it
worse, so that under it their political gains can be achieved.
Simultaneously it was also felt that to sabotage the Telangana
movement a big incident might take place and whatever may happen it
will happen in Hyderabad itself; but a common person did not think
that bomb blasts will take place once again and all of a sudden these
many people will be killed. In order to understand the disrupt of the
peaceful heart of Hyderabad Dil-Sukh (Dilsukhnagar), the facts such as
the political conditions of Andhra Pradesh, the clashes in Congress
party and Congress government, Telangana movement, Shinde’s statement
on Hindu terrorism, the politics of BJP on Shinde statement, then the
Parliament and Assembly sessions and the later facts should also be
taken into consideration. In brief, the timings of the Dilsukhnagar
bomb blasts of Hyderabad have an importance.

Keeping the above things in mind, the fact finding committee of Civil
Liberties Committee, on different dates and time visited Dilsukhnagar
bomb blast site, the nearby places and the various hospitals where the
victims were admitted and spoke to different people, officials,
victims to know the details of the bomb blasts.

The facts

The evening of 21st February was crowded at Dilsukhnagar. During this
time, people come out of their offices, students on the road increase
after the college and tutorials and coaching centers timings, families
come out on evenings for shopping purposes because this area is famous
for shopping malls. There are many business establishments in this
area such as shopping Malls, electric and electronic shops, hardware
shops, hotels, Tiffin centers, cinema halls, mobile shops, medical
shops, colleges, coaching centers and many other small and big shops.
Along with this there is a famous Saibaba Mandir, where blast had
taken place earlier in the year 2001. This area and business is
dominated by the Andhra region people.

As the evening was busy and jam packed suddenly twin blasts occurred
between 6.50 to 7.10 pm with a gap of three minutes between two blasts
at two places one in front of Konark theatre near Anand Tiffin centre
and another before Venkatadri theatre beside the bus stop. There is a
distance of about 100 meters between these two places. As per the
peoples version these two bombs were placed on cycles. According to
the eye witness, Mani Kumar, MCA student, L.B. Nagar, the blasts were
so powerful that people were blown into the air up to 10 feet high and
fell down. Most of them who died were professionals and students in
the age group of 19-30 years of age. Immediately after the blasts
people ran helter skelter, they were unable to understand as to what
happened suddenly and people ran to save their lives. As per the
information received, these bombs were made by using Improvised
Explosive Device (IED) in which highly explosive material was used but
these were not time bombs. The city was already under high alert due
to Telangana movement and present political situation of Andhra
Pradesh and immediately after the blasts, Red Alert was declared all
over the city. At the place of incidents itself 15 people died on the
spot and hundreds got injured. Police station is very near by to the
places of incidents. Police personnel are always present in that area,
so they were able to reach there immediately. The locals made calls
for the ambulance and the injured were shifted to hospitals. The
injured were shifted to various hospitals such as Yashoda, Omni, Care,
Asra and Osmania hospitals. Those who were severely injured were
shifted to Yashoda, whereas, the dead were shifted to Osmania
hospital. Locals also informed that lot of problems took place to
shift the injured to the hospitals, because the local police failed to
control the public who had gathered at the spot.

The dead persons were identified as Eijaz, Polytechnic student
Amberpet, Mohammed Rafeeq Hafiz Baba Nagar, Vijaykumar and Rajshekhar
of Mancherial, A. Ramulu Warasiguda, Amanullah Khan Chanchalguda,
Vijaykumar Adilabad, Sudhakar Rao Karimnagar, Ganga Triveni
Karimnagar, Sonia U Reddy Kandigal Gate, S. Anand Kurnool, B. Lakshmi
Saroor Nagar, M. Venkateshwar Malakpet, Chugaram Gaddiannaram, M.
Shiva Ramannapet, Rajaiah Himayat Nagar, Swapna Reddy Uppuguda, P.
Kulkarni Dilsukhnagar, K. Harish Engineering student Dilukhnagar,
Raju, Anand, Venkatesh, Srinivas Reddy, Ramulu Jamia Osmania,
Venkateshwar Rao Trupti and Shivani. All these dead bodies were
shifted to Osmania Hospital Mortuary, the bodies were in a pool of
blood and their clothes were torn the stretchers were not sufficient;
all the bodies were dumped at one place. People present at the
hospital were stunned by seeing the scene of dead bodies.

The severely injured were Sanna Reddy Karimnagar, Swati B.N.Reddy
Nagar, Suri Chaitanya puri, Md. Jaweed Zahirabad, Vignesh L.B. Nagar,
Monika Hyderabad, Md. Ajju Omer Hyderabad, Sunni Omer Hyderabad, Gopal
Reddy, B.N. Reddy Nagar, Narsimha Reddy, Sudha Hyderabad, Rupa
Dilsukhnagar, Abdul Wasey Mirza, Samad Omer, Shiva Kumar, Ram Murthy,
Rajitha, Ram Kumar, Parasuram, Panduranga Reddy, Srinivas Rao,
Mallikarjun, Azeemuddin Santoshnagar, P. Gangaram and his relatives
Gangulamma, Ravinder, Archana, Anil, Lakshmi were shifted to Yashoda
Hospital, .

The conditions of the dead and severely injured

The feelings of the near relatives of the persons who died in the
blasts cannot be expressed in mere words. In brief, they did not ever
imagine that they would get such news about their near and dear ones
and would see their dead bodies. One youth Mohammed Rafeeq who died in
the bomb blast, was working in the leather shop. On the tragic day he
started from home in the morning and did not return in the evening.
His father got a call from his elder son asking them to reach Osmania
Hospital immediately. The family members got worried and went to the
hospital and found their son’s dead body in a pool of blood. The
father of the deceased Mr. Ameeruddin said, ‘my son’s untimely death
has ruined our lives’.

(Arthi of a lady)

Sapna a resident of Chatrinaka, Hyderabad was also one of them who got
killed in the blasts. She is the youngest among 4 children to her
parents. She had lost her father some 15 years back and they belong to
lower middle class family. After her fathers’ expiry her only brother
managed the house and married off two sisters. Unable to see the
difficulties faced by the brother in managing the house, she also
decided to help him financially and joined as a receptionist at
Islamia Engineering and Management Institute at Bandlaguda. She stayed
at the college hostel itself. While working she also joined in MBA
course at the same college thinking that if the qualifications are
improved she can get a good job. On the tragic day she called her
family and informed that she will be reaching home in about one hour
after completing her project work. One hour passed but she did not
reach home, but a call came from her college informing that Sapna has
died in the blasts. The family did not know that the wait for their
sister would be never ending. They went to the place of blast and to
all the hospitals but did not find their sister. Finally they reached
Osmania Hospital where her body was lying in Mortuary. Sapna’s mother
who already had lost her husband went under deep shock with the death
of her daughter and became a statue like person. Her brother said
that, ‘after completing her studies, we thought she will get a better
job and she will lead a happy life, but this tragedy took place…. we
were waiting for her after her call, but we never thought that this
waiting for her would turn into never ending wait for her’.

( procession of Janaza of persons who died in blast)

17 years Aijaz Ahmed, a polytechnic student of Sanjay Gandhi college
resident of Amberpet lost his life in these blasts. According to his
father, ‘these blasts have taken away my son a father only can
understand the tragedy of loosing a son’. He also said that, ‘to
perform the last rites of a young son is the most difficult part for a
father’. There were a number of his fellow non-Muslim students present
at his funeral. His teacher Mr. Muralidhar Gupta said that their
college has lost a bright student.

Ravi Kumar 25 years of age, native of Karimnagar district and an
aspirant to become police Sub-Inspector died at Yashoda Hospital after
battling for life for 13 days. Due to blast he received severe
multiple intestinal injuries and limb injuries. While in the hospital
his kidneys also failed. He and his friend Tirupati went to have
snacks, Tirupati died on the spot. Ravi’s brother, Amrutha Kumar said,
‘no financial help and no console can neither help us nor wipe our
tears. We will miss him all our life’.

Tragedy

The mindset of Media and police has become in such a manner, that
whenever any tragedy or incidence happens, they consider only Muslims
are responsible for such acts.

(A Muslim youth in wonder)

This mindset has reached to such an extent that if a Muslim is dead or
injured in the blast the media and police start their investigation
from that person itself. And they question him as to why he was
present at the blast scene. And if at all a person gets injured twice
in different blasts, then the media and police completely suspect him
as how can he be present at the blast site two times. They look at him
with suspect and never think of what is he going through mentally and
physically.

One of such case is of Abdul Wasif Mirza who is 25 years old and
severely injured in Dilsukhnagar bomb blast. Earlier when the Makkah
Masjid blast took place he was 19 years old and he was severely
injured in that blast too. That time it took 2 years for him to
recover completely due to severe injuries on leg and stomach because
of which he also had to drop his college studies. Till now some
pellets are still in his body from previous blast. On this ill fated
day he went to Dilsukhnagar for business purpose along with his cousin
who was selling clothes on foot path and incidentally he once again
came under the attack of bomb blast and he suffered with severe
injuries on his back and left lumbar. Then from the blast victim he
was turned into prime suspect by police and media only because he is a
Muslim. Within no time media and police started harassing him through
investigation and interrogated him on his hospital bed whereas the
doctors were saying that speaking to him is dangerous to his life.
Police started collecting the past and old record of Abdul Wasif Mirza
and also his record prior to 2007.

Mirza.

After surviving twice from the bomb blast what did he gain, he became
the prime suspect and target of police and media. He became the
starting point of investigation. This is called “Mind set-up” of
police and media. Instead of expressing solidarity with this youth and
his family who were under trauma they were forced to explain and
defend themselves. His father with the folding hands appealed to the
media to leave them alone, whatever the matter is the court will
decide and we leave the matter on the court. With this one example we
can say how prejudiced our “Civilized Media” is! The fate of a Muslim
is such that he is seen only in the terms of terrorist even if he gets
injured or dies. This is not the first time, we have witnessed the
same when the Muslims injured and died in the Lumbini Park and Gokul
Chat bomb blasts. This is the biggest tragedy for the Muslims even
when they get injured; some of them did not even go to the hospital
due to the fear of police harassment and media trial.

When the conditions were such in the Hyderabad, the central and state
government were issuing controversial statements. Central Home
Minister said that information had been passed to the Andhra Pradesh
government about any untoward incident might take place, but DGP said
that nothing particular was informed and Chief Minister Kiran Kumar
said that receiving such information is routine for the state
government.

Post Dilsukhnagar bomb blast conditions in Hyderabad

Due to the OB Vans of electronic media and persons from political
parties especially the BJP who gathered largely, there was delay in
shifting the victims and injured persons to the hospital. This way the
police personnel failed to protect the scene of incident/offence. BJP
workers gathered in large numbers and started giving anti-Muslim
slogans. Local businessmen said to the fact finding team that they
were unable to understand why anti-Muslim slogans were raised, as
there were bodies of Muslims also lying on the scene and were not
shifted. The scene of offence was also disturbed badly due to this
gathering. Till the investigating agencies reached at the scene,
according to the sources, almost most of the evidence was destroyed.
The investigating agencies were unable to carry their work due to
heavy presence of media personnel and the huge rush of politicians;
and they expressed anguish that due to the presence of the above they
were unable to carry their work and hence the vital clues and evidence
was damaged badly by the huge presence of mob. Later all the
investigating agencies reached at the spot including IB, SB, Counter
Intelligence, Task Force, NIA and even National Security Guard
officials, though NSG is not investigating agency but a special group
to fight against terrorists and it was sent to the spot where bomb
blast had taken place. It is a matter of deep thought as to why the
NSG was sent, is it to create high sensitivity at the national level?

( Hindutva “nationalist” raising slogans against Muslims )

Everything was alright and normal in Hyderabad before the blasts took
place. But immediately after the blasts, situation changed completely.
City came under red alert immediately. Concentration of police on
Masjids and Muslim populated areas increased as if they have
information that people belonging to these areas are behind the
blasts. Muslim youth once again became the target of the investigating
agencies.

(Even Muslim ladies are suspected)

Because of media’s anti Muslim attitude they were giving the Muslim
names as blast accused by giving the reference of police sources. A
fear complex developed in Muslim community because of the past
experiences of targeting innocents and also because the non-Muslim
communities were looking at Muslim community with suspicion due to
media propaganda against Muslims. Everywhere there were discussions
about Muslims including educational institutions, public

(OCTOPUS CHECKING A LONG BEARD MUSLIM AND HIS SON IS THINKING WHY ?)

places etc and as such gap increased between the communities and
enmity and hatred thus increased. Seeing this tense situation DGP
himself announced that the police department has not named any
organization. Then NIA also issued a press release that investigation
is going on and they have not named any organization or arrested any
person. But the common Muslim mentally suffered.

The role of police

Immediately Hyderabad and Cyberabad police started the investigation
of the blast with the prejudiced mind. They started abducting and
detaining Muslim youth in illegal manner. It is very surprising that
they were calling by phone and detaining those Muslim youth, who were
acquitted by the courts from the Makkah Masjid bomb blast case, got
the compensation as well as character certificate. Apart from these
youth many other youth were also detained for almost 100 hours. They
were humiliated and tortured; they were questioned by the police and
its agencies about Maqbool’s background and any relation with him.
They were also questioning whether can Maqbool carry those blasts, or
make others to carry those blasts, do these youth know anything about
it. The police also asked these youth, ‘do you have any anger on the
torture done and on the wrong implication in the false cases in the
past and with this reason can anyone do such blasts to take revenge of
that torture done by police on you’. On this the youth answered that,
‘your government had released Maqbool on the basis of good character
and then later arrested in the year 2012. We know only this much about
him and any further things you can ask Maqbool itself as he is in your
custody’. On asking who can carry these blasts, the youth answered,
‘earlier Assemanand and RSS outfits Abhinav Bharat and Hindu Vahini
had done the blasts, they might have done it again and also recently
Togadia also said that he will turn Hyderabad into another Ayodhya’.
On this police reacted angrily and shouted on these youth saying, ‘do
not take their names, they cannot do these blasts as they are
nationalists but not terrorists’.

(BECAUSE OF CAP ON HEAD CHECKING IS MUST )

Media role and high drama

After representations and building pressure in various ways, police
released these youth by binding over them. Maqbool was brought to
Hyderabad from Tihar Jail, New Delhi in the first week of March to NIA
Hyderabad office for investigation of blasts. The media and the police
presented him in dramatic manner by repeatedly broadcasting him on
electronic media by

releasing one to one minute news and also telecasted where ever the
NIA took him to different places in Hyderabad in connection of blast
investigation. The investigation should take place in the
investigation room, whereas the investigation was taking place in the
media rooms, 9pm programmes on Channels as well as on the roads. It
should be noted that there are strong anti- Muslim elements among
police and media who are propagating hatred in the public by
telecasting each minute information and the programme of NIA (this was
not public programme of NIA, it was secret programme but it was made
public by the media through live telecast). With this, one can
understand what kind of investigation was taking place in connection
of blasts and the outcome of the above things. After so much drama
taking place, NIA recently announced reward of ten lakhs for providing
the bomb blast culprit name. This means that till now all the media
houses and the police sources providing the information is completely
false propaganda as well as cheating and misguiding the public and
spreading hatred against Muslim community.

(INDIAN MEDIA )

Still, the investigation of blasts is not in right direction. This
time the feelings of Muslims are hurt to large extent due to the
biased reporting of media. Anyhow the image of police is bad, but this
time, media’s image has become worse than the police image. Now,
Muslims are thinking that always one name is brought forward i.e. IM
and now Muslims believe strongly that IM is nothing but INDIAN MEDIA
which is dividing the people by propagating hatred only for the sake
of their TRP ratings. This act is worst than terrorist act!

Just two examples

A youth who was already detained, tortured, jailed and later acquitted
by the Court and much later the government of Andhra Pradesh tendered
apology as well as issued character certificate, after the
Dilsukhnagar bomb blast was made target once again by the police.
According to his own words, ‘after acquittal till now, we were trying
to come back to normalcy, but the Dilsukhnagar blasts brought a big
disturbance in our lives once again. Immediately after the blasts
police came in private vehicles and asked me to come along with them
till the car, on the pretext that the higher official is in the car
and want to speak for few minutes, but as I went till car with them,
they made me forcefully sit in the vehicle and in this manner abducted
me from my home. As soon as the media came to know this, they started
giving scrolling on the various channels that the main culprit of the
blasts has been caught. In this way media labeled me as a terrorist
once again’.

Another Muslim girl student explained that, ‘after the Dilsukhnagar
bomb blasts while I was travelling in the bus I gave my bag to one of
the lady who was seated to hold my bag as the bus was full,
immediately that woman said, ‘you are TURKOLLU (Muslims) (this word in
Telugu language is used for Muslims with full hatred) and I will not
take the bag. This girl’s concern and question is after each blast why
Muslims are being suspected and discriminated? Why always Muslim
community is named as terrorist? She said that media is creating bad
image about Muslims and propagating hate among the communities. This
is a big blot on media.

Conclusion

During the process of fact finding this committee observed that a
particular mind set up is prevalent among various government agencies
and media therefore, to establish their hegemony they are targeting
Muslim community by showing them as global terrorists. Due to this
type of attitude, the Muslim community is passing through a
psychological trauma. At every step they are made to feel insecure and
second class citizens. After every blast police starts investigation
with a Muslim by keeping in mind that Muslims are terrorists. Because
of this innocents are becoming targets and real criminals are roaming
freely. There is lack of political will in the government to take
action against the real terrorists. The clear example is the recent
statement of Home Minister of India on ‘Hindu Terrorism’ and RSS and
BJP are running the terrorist training camps. However, from all the
sides, right, left and centre all the political forces started
criticizing Central Home Minister and mounted such a pressure that he
had to take back his statement. With this one can understand how
strong the Hindutva is which forced the central Home Minister to bow
down. Media also played irresponsible role by telecasting false
stories and projecting a community as terrorists. Hatred increased
because of media. This committee strongly feels that media has done
that act which even the terrorists were unable to!

If at all the government is serious about the blasts, investigations
and counter terrorism and f it wants to curb the real terrorists then
it first of all it should change its mind set-up, build and prove
strong political will and instead of prejudiced type of investigation
it should be based on facts and scientific manner. Policing should be
professional but not communal and media should be restricted to
deliver the news but not investigation and trial in the 9pm bulletin.

At last but not least one should observe in all this process as to who
lost and who gained! Media gained TRP ratings, police gained
unaccounted money in the name of security check-up, Muslims lost
confidence, the present Congress government safely protected itself
from real issues, Telangana movement diluted, BJP gained relief from
the tag of saffron terrorism, and actual terrorists are roaming
freely. It is a strange co-incidence that after a week of bomb blast a
Telugu movie named “Mahankali” on terrorism was released and became a
box-office hit!!!

 

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