MEDIA RELEASE: 29 September, New Delhi
BRUTALITY OF THE STATE EXPOSED ON FABRICATED CASES: JURY CALLS FOR SPECIAL LEGAL SUPPORT MECHANISM FOR VICTIMS
New Delhi: ‘It has been established beyond doubt that the Indian police and investigative agencies have for years run a systematic campaign to brutalize citizens by way of punishing them for defending their homeland, farms and communities, or for simply belonging to a certain community that is labeled as being involved in terrorism’ said the interim jury recommendations at a two day peoples hearing on fabricated cases at the Constitution Club. Jury members included Justice Rajinder Sachar Dr. Ram Puniyani, Dr. Binayak Sen and journalists Saba Naqvi and Ajit Shahi.
The depositions from across the country thoroughly exposed the role of the Indian state in fabricating cases of sedition and terrorism to implicate tens of thousands of innocent citizens across India.
The Jury also noted that ‘the Indian judiciary has for the large part been complicit in giving the police a free pass in this evil endeavor. This has only extended the ambit of misery that has incarcerated innocents for years, devastating lives and families’.
Saba Naqvi emphasized that the civil society groups, activists, and solidarity groups that work with the victims of fabricated cases and their families begin documenting in detail each such case around the country so that a single resource base is created to aid concerted action as well as to spread awareness.
Dr. Binayak Sen recommended that the campaigns explore the establishment of a legal support mechanism for the victims of fabricated cases so that they are supported throughout the life of their cases in pursuing a legal defense. He also added that the campaigns need to explore the possibility of bringing class actions suits and criminal law suits before the higher courts to plug the loopholes in the criminal jurisprudence system that lead to the fabrications.
Civil society groups at the meeting will ensure that National Human Rights Commission and the state human rights commissions be pressured to create special cells devoted exclusively to dealing with fabricated cases on sedition and terrorism.
The public hearing also recommended that the government be pressured to bring action against police officers who are established to have forged evidences and fabricated such cases of terrorism and sedition against innocent citizens.
It is also recommended that the campaigns work towards taking the issue of fabricated cases of sedition and terrorism to international civil rights forums, and evaluate the application of the various international protocols that relate to the practice of war.
On the second day of the peoples hearing depositions were made on behalf of Kerala politician Abdul Nasser Maudany by former MP Sebastian Paul and Omar Mukhtar, the eldest son of Maudany. Suresh Velamanoor from the Dalit Human Rights Movement (DHRM) spoke about how the Kerala police branded his organization as a terrorist outfit.
Anjum Habib from the Muslim Khwateen Markaz ( Muslim Womens Organisation) in Kashmir spoke about how she was falsely implicated under POTA and spent five years in Tihar Jail. Neena Ningombam and Babloo Loitongbam from Manipur spoke about tragic cases of more than 1500 young people who were killed in extra judicial encounters. Ningombam spoke about the loss of her husband in a fake encounter and her continuing struggle for justice not just for herself but hundreds of young widows in Manipur.
The final jury recommendations and report of the meeting will soon be released by the organizers.
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