Kashif, Urdu Press Round Up, IndianMuslims.info
As Tihar jail authorities are making arrangements to send Parliament attack ‘mastermind’ Muhammad Afzal Guru to gallows, the Gujarat High Court on October 13 set aside the constitution of the Justice U.C. Bannerjee Committee by Railway Ministry to probe into the burning of Coach 6 of Sabarmati Express at Godhra on February 27, 2002 which followed Muslim genocide in the State, calling it ‘unconstitutional, illegal and null and void’ and rejected its recommendations. The Justice D.N. Patel bench of the high court also restrained the Centre from tabling the committee report in Parliament or taking any further action on it.
One more disquieting development, once again from Maharashtra, is the seizure of a haul of explosives on October 16. In a front-paged news item on October 17 the Inquilab reports the arrest of Dinkar Suryabhan, who is Sarpanch of Aadgaon in Aurangabad district. On October 14 the police during a raid on his residence seized 430 kilos ammonium nitrate, 186 gelatine sticks, 566 detonators and 80 safety tubes. Before the police raided his residence, Suryabhan had succeeded in getting an escape route while two of his servants Kachru Mali and Bharat Mali were arrested. On his being arrested on October 16 Suryabhan told the police that the explosive materials seized from his residence were used in digging wells and that he had been trading in explosives for quite some time. The report mentioned that he had no licence to deal in explosives. He however did not give any satisfactory reply to the vital question: wherefrom he used to get the explosives?
The report alleged that the police and the Marathi media were trying to hush up the case by admitting Suryabhan’s plea that the explosives were solely for the purpose of digging wells. However Muslim organisations of the town put a question mark on the failure of the police system in detecting the illegal business in explosives on such a large scale, and demanded a CBI enquiry into all possibilities of the matter.
The district organiser of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Ilyas Falahi and local ameer Abdul Hameed Khan, in a joint press statement, said a CBI enquiry into the matter is necessary to unearth the hidden network of organised and planned terrorism. They demanded that a case be filed against the accused under Makoka. They alleged that this network of terrorism might be linked with Parbhani, Malegaon and Mumbai blasts.
“Those responsible for bomb blasts in Parbhani, Purna, Jalna and Malegaon having been out of the purview of police investigating process (in these blasts) have accelerated their terror activities. There is need to make unprejudiced investigations into the matter seriously and sincerely so that the common people suffering from the consequences of such blasts might take a sigh of relief and the Muslims facing allegations of terror acts might also be freed,” they said.
The Inquilab report adds that earlier such (explosive) materials were seized from a jeep on Nasik Road in Thane. Besides, the police seized truckloads of these materials in Parbhani. After the Malegaon bomb blasts (September 8) the seizure of 195 kilograms of RDX from the residence of one Shalke has not faded from people’s memory. The Secretary General of Muslims Representative Council has demanded from the Government a high level enquiry in all these cases.
He said: “The seizure of these materials (at regular intervals) proves the fact that dealing in illegal weapons and explosive materials is going on in Maharashtra without any check. Neither the Government nor secret agencies keeps an eye on it, and the result is that incidents like those in Nanded, Parbhani, Purna and Jalna occur and if some deep probe is done the same network may be found in Mumbai and Malegaon blasts as well.
The Muslims Representative Council has also hinted at launching a public movement against the organised conspiracies against Muslims for the last few months, the report maintained.
Gujarat HC on Bannerjee Committee
The Hindustan Express and the Akhbar-e-Mashriq on October 14 gave front page treatment to the Gujarat High Court judgement on the constitution of Justice U.C. Bannerjee Committee and its recommendations.
The court criticised the Railway Ministry for constituting the committee without having any power. It said the very formation of the committee is in contravention with Sections 113, 114, 115, 116 and 119 of the Indian Railway Laws. It added that even if any enquiry is done under Railway Accident Laws, its report should be kept in strict secrecy. The court maintained that much against the Railway laws the interim report of Bannerjee Committee was released just two days before Bihar Assembly elections in 2005.
The appellant, Mr. Bhatia, who claims he had been saved from the fire in Coach 6 of Sabarmati Express at Godhra, had challenged the very formation of Bannerjee Committee saying that the Railways need not forming any enquiry committee while there was already Justice Nanavati Shah Commission doing the job.
The Express report mentions the findings of Justice Bannerjee Committee interim report that the fire in the Sabarmati Coach was “accidental” and not lit from outside the coach. The court has avoided commenting on this finding of the committee.
The Mashriq report entitled “Gujarat High Court pleased Narendra Modi” begins with the comment: Gujarat High Court today pleased Hindu extremists.
In an edit-page article on the issue published in the Express (October 15) Ahmed Javed has thrown light on the politicisation of Gujarat genocide 2002. He concludes his article with a sharp comment on the seriousness or otherwise of the Union Government in bringing those responsible for the genocide to book: “The Government at the Centre is not only neglecting the crimes of Narendra Modi but also blessing him with all sorts of support so much so that recently Rajiv Gandhi Foundation declared the performance of Modi government as the best in those of other States all over the country. In response to it Modi has suspended his long time attack on Sonia Gandhi (and her foreign origin). Whatever the realities, there is no denying the fact that the Centre has turned its eyes completely from the victims of Gujarat. Now if this Government is saying that it will challenge the high court order against Justice U.C. Bannerjee report in the Supreme Court, what does it mean? Just politics or determination to do justice with the victims?”
Afzal Guru’s hanging
As the date of Muhammad Afzal Guru’s hanging to death is coming night and the Government has not issued any stay order in view of Afzal’s family members’ mercy appeal pending before the President, the Hindutva outfits are hell bent upon to politicise the issue.
The Express (October 18) reports the BJP and its sister organisations intensifying its campaign to get the mercy appeal rejected while human rights organisations, social activists and scholars are continuing their protests against the scheduled hanging of Afzal Guru. BJP threatened the Government to remove it if Muhammad Afzal is not hanged to death.
Other papers, including the Inquilab report V.H.P and Shiv Sena making statements to hang one lakh effigies of Afzal Guru all over the country.
October 19, 2006