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As protests mount, Police drops Kazmi like hot potato

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New Delhi: The unusual 20-day police remand of noted journalist Muhammad Ahmad Kazmi ended abruptly on 24 March when Delhi Police approached a court here saying that they no longer need the journalist for questioning. Thus Kazmi was sent to judicial remand, i.e., to jail, without intimation to his lawyer or family members.

This volte face came after continuous protests almost all over India and abroad by media, civil society and Muslim organisations, which held that Kazmi is being made a scapegoat of a larger international conspiracy and immense pressure by the US and Israel to somehow implicate Iran in the terrorist attack on an Israeli diplomatic car on 13 Feb., which saw no fatality. World, including Israel's sugar daddy, is silent over killing of scores of Iranian scientists and dozens in Gaza by Israel very recently.

Meetings, demos and press conferences have been held in Delhi, Amroha, Sambhal, Lucknow and Kolkata to press for the release of Kazmi against whom the police failed to offer any tangible proof to date. All it had to offer are conflicting "leaks" to the media by unnamed police officers on Kazmi's alleged role. Candle marches were held in Delhi (13 March) and London (23 March). Delhi Union of Journalists too is in the forefront to defend Kazmi.

A high-level delegation of Indian Muslim leaders met the Delhi Police Commissioner BK Gupta on 21 March.  The delegation, led by Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, President of the All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat,   told the Police Commissioner that the long remand by the police, permission to foreign agencies to interrogate Mr Kazmi and his reported torture are matters of grave concern to the community.

The delegation asked the Police Commissioner to rein in the Special Cell of Delhi Police which is notorious for its illegal activities like torture and fabrication of evidence. The delegation requested the Police Commissioner to stop the informal media briefings by police officers and reported by the media almost every passing day since the arrest of Mr Kazmi. The delegation also told the Police Commissioner that Muslim youth are being arrested on mere suspicion and without tangible proofs while saffron terrorists are roaming around and no one dares to touch them despite the fact that their names appear in official documents like the Malegaon and Ajmer blasts chargesheets.

The Police Commissioner denied that Mr Kazmi is being tortured or ill-treated in any way. He added that he is personally following the case and officers have been clearly instructed not to torture Mr Kazmi or harm him in any way. He also said that foreign agencies have not been allowed so far to interrogate Mr Kazmi.

Earlier a delegation of Muslim MPs led by Union State Minister for Tourism Sultan Ahmad met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 14 March and pressed on him to intervene in Kazmi's case and ensure his release as there seemed no case against him.

Meanwhile, the court on 21 March ordered Delhi Police Special Cell not to allow any other, including foreign, agency to interrogate Kazmi who had complained that foreign agents, seemingly Mossad, are interrogating him and that he is being harassed. He alleged that he is being forced to confess to a crime he din not commit.

The old-new tactic of Delhi Police in action now is to cast aspersions on Kazmi and his wife by claiming that they received huge amounts of money from abroad. Kazmi wife's businessman son Ali Kazmi (from her earlier marriage to Kazmi's elder brother Ali Nasser who died in 1985) has arrived in Delhi from Dubai with all the proofs that it is he who remitted all the money to his mother's account.

On the other hand, press reports have exposed that all Special Cell officers involved in Kazmi's  kidnapping  and subsequent arrest on 7 March on totally unproven charges are tainted with plethora of charges of murder and extortion against them.

A massive demo will be held by Muslim, secular and leftist organisations in front of Parliament in Delhi on 26 March (one day ahead of MG deadline).

Meanwhile, Muhammad Adeeb, M.P., has said that communal peace, harmony and brotherhood will never return to India as long as the Israeli embassy functioned in Delhi.

MG Staff

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 April 2012 on page no. 1

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