Showing posts from April, 2013

1984 carnage - 5 convicted, main accused Sajjan Kumar acquitted

NB: How can the  recorded  testimony of witnesses be held against 5 accused and the testimony of the same witnesses not held against one accused? Why was a chargesheet dated 1992 'missing'? Why was an FIR dated 1987 not acted upon? Why is the Delhi Police reluctant to act on a PIL asking for action against policemen who were responsible for these derelictions of duty?   Those keen on reducing communal bias to a partisan dimension may kindly remember that the Babri demolition case is also hanging fire for decades:  Babri demolition case: SC questions CBI over delay in challenging HC order on Advani, others ;  And that the police call records relevant to Zakia Jafri's case against Modi were left out of the Special Investigation Teams report: Police records show Gujarat riots weren’t a sudden backlash .  And here are   other cases where the prosecution failed to prosecute: KPSS demands probe by CBI into all Kashmiri pandit killings WHY DO THE POLICE & PROSECUTION OF


GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba ONE man here weighs just 77 pounds. Another, 98. Last thing I knew, I weighed 132, but that was a month ago.  I’ve been on a hunger strike since Feb. 10 and have lost well over 30 pounds. I will not eat until they restore my dignity.  I’ve been detained at   Guantánamo   for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial. I could have been home years ago — no one seriously thinks I am a threat — but still I am here. Years ago the military said I was a “guard” for Osama bin Laden, but this was nonsense, like something out of the American movies I used to watch. They don’t even seem to believe it anymore. But they don’t seem to care how long I sit here, either. When I was at home in Yemen, in 2000, a childhood friend told me that in Afghanistan I could do better than the $50 a month I earned in a factory, and support my family. I’d never really traveled, and knew nothing about Afghanistan, but I gave it a try

National Investigation Agency finds Liyaqat crossed over with family, SSB verified his claim with J&K Police

The National Investigation Agency, probing the arrest of alleged Hizbul Mujahideen operative Syed Liyaqat Ali Shah, is learnt to have found substantial evidence that contradicts the Delhi Police Special Cell's claim that they nabbed him from near Gorakhpur on March 20. An NIA team accompanied Liyaqat to the India-Nepal border at Sunauli, in UP's Maharajganj district, on Sunday. Sources said the Sashastra Seema Bal at the Sunauli checkpost told NIA officials that 12 Kashmiris, including Liyaqat, his wife and step-daughter, had crossed over from Nepal on March 19. The group said they were on their way from PoK to Kashmir as part of the J&K government's rehabilitation scheme. After reportedly verifying the group's claim with the J&K Police, the SSB arranged to send them to Jammu. But, sources said, the SSB received a communication from the Delhi Police asking them to hand over Liyaqat. The NIA also examined video footage of CCTV cameras installed at S

Wars push number of internally displaced people to record levels

Wars in  Syria  and the  Democratic Republic of the Congo  (DRC) pushed the number of people internally displaced by armed conflict, violence and human rights violations to 28.8 million last year, the highest figure recorded by the  Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre  (IDMC) in Geneva.  More than 6.5 million people were newly displaced within their own countries in 2012, almost twice as many as the year before, IDMC said in its annual report. Since these people have not crossed borders, they are not   refugees   and do not benefit from international protection. The situation in  Syria  is particularly critical, as it is the world's largest and fastest evolving crisis in terms of new displacements. The number of Syrian internally displaced persons (IDPs) is now more than 3 million, of which 2.4 million were displaced last year.  "The crisis is in its third year and the escalation has gone beyond a tipping point," said Clare Spurrell, an IDMC spokeswoman. "Hum

GITA SAHGAL - Backlash against Bangladeshi bloggers

The bloggers of Shahbagh are facing a backlash – hunted by fundamentalists, denounced in mosques as atheists, arrested by the government. Those abroad are under threat. Meanwhile activists are still demanding justice and cyber movements are using their mobilising power to deal with disasters. This has been a troubling week for those who care about Bangladesh.  The April 26 collapse of  Rana Plaza , the garment factory building owned by a prominent member of the ruling party, the  Awami League , shows the economic costs of the country’s “economic miracle.”  Bangladeshi cyber-activists threw themselves into raising funds and helping to buy medicines for hospitals running out of supplies.  If lives are being saved, one told me, it is because ordinary people are helping to mobilise relief. The movement for accountability for war crimes, consists of several generations of activists  - from those who feel strongly about the war because they witnessed its atrocities, to the children of

USHA RAMANATHAN: Aadhaar: Private ownership of UID data- Part I

As per the report of the TAG-UP Committee headed by Nandan Nilekani, government data and  databases  would be privatised through the creation of NIUs, which will then ‘own’ the data and the government would become a ‘customer’ to whoever controls the data! It is no secret that data is the  new property . The potential for evolving technologies to record, collate, converge, retrieve, mine, share, profile and otherwise conjure with data has given life to this form of property, and to spiralling ambitions around it. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) was set up with its push to enrol the entire Indian resident population, and with Nandan Nilekani as both its chairman and as chair of committees set up by Dr Manmohan Singh’s government. In this set-up, we are witnessing the emergence of an information infrastructure, which the government helps—by financing and facilitating the ‘start-up’, and by the use of coercion to get people on to the  database —which it will then ha

Salman Rushdie: Whither Moral Courage?

In February 2012, a Saudi poet and journalist, Hamza Kashgari , published three tweets about the Prophet Muhammad: "On your birthday, I will say that I have loved the rebel in you, that you've always been a source of inspiration to me, and that I do not like the halos of divinity around you. I shall not pray for you."  "On your birthday, I find you wherever I turn. I will say that I have loved aspects of you, hated others, and could not understand many more." "On your birthday, I shall not bow to you. I shall not kiss your hand. Rather, I shall shake it as equals do, and smile at you as you smile at me. I shall speak to you as a friend, no more."  He claimed afterward that he was "demanding his right" to freedom of expression and thought. He found little public support, was condemned as an apostate, and there were many calls for his execution. He remains in jail. ... the grand old man of Indian painting, Maqbool Fida Husain , was hounded

Books reviewed: What happened to Occupy?

The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement , by David Graeber,  Allen Lane  Meme Wars: The Creative Destruction of Neoclassical Economics , by Kalle Lasn and Adbusters,  Penguin  Occupy: Three Inquiries in Disobedience , by WJT Mitchell, Bernard Harcourt and Michael Taussig,  University of Chicago Press Reviewed by  Martin Sandbu When the anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters issued a call to “Occupy Wall Street” (OWS) in 2011, the response took everyone by surprise – including the Occupiers themselves. Anti-capitalist activists and their sympathisers flooded the streets, starting in   Zuccotti Park   in Manhattan and spreading quickly to   St Paul's Cathedral   in London and cities across the Anglo-American world. Largely supported by the public, they also captured significant media attention. In retrospect, the real surprise is that all this did not happen sooner. Anger with banks and the mess they had caused had been boiling for three years. Recall