Human Rights

IMA attack-accused acquitted

New Delhi: A local court on January acquitted four men who were accused of hatching a conspiracy to attack the Indian Military Academy (IMA) at Dehradun in 2005 but held two LeT members guilty of possessing explosives. In a judgement, Additional Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma, absolved Haroon Rashid, Mohd Iftikhar, Masood Ahmed, Maulana Dilawar Khan of the charges relating to waging war against the country, related offences under the IPC and other offences under the Explosives Substances Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The court, however, convicted Hameed Hussain and Mohd Shariq who were arrested on March 5, 2005, with 10.5 kg RDX in the capital. According to the prosecution, Haroon, Iftikhar, Masood and Dilawar had prepared a plan to attack the IMA in Dehradun. The Delhi police’s special cell had “unearthed” the alleged conspiracy following the arrest of Hameed and Shariq. After their arrest, an encounter had taken place at Uttam Nagar in West Delhi in which two Pakistani and their Indian associates were killed by the police. Police arrested four others in March and May, 2005, and allegedly “recovered” a map of Dehradun and a book containing details of IMA from their possession. According to the police, the accused had conspired to carry out a fidayeen attack at IMA.

Live bomb scare
2008’s live bomb ghost is again hunting. In a dramatic move, police in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, on 25 December, ahead of Christmas celebration, recovered 12 live bombs at the premises of Kotwali area. The bombs were kept in a bag on a cycle. The owner of the cycle is absconding. Following the recovery of bombs, entire area was on alert and investigations were going on. Meanwhile, six more bombs were recovered In Lakhimpur, U.P., on 27 December, from a residential locality and two persons, Anupum and Udesh were arrested in this connection. The police acting on a tip-off had raided an abandoned house in the Phool Bahar locality where bombs were recovered. R.K. Bharadwa, SP, Lakhimpur, said that the bomb disposal squad had been called in from Lucknow to defuse the bombs and also ascertain their intensity.

Station officer injured in bomb blast
Police station in-charge got injured in a bomb blast which exploded inside the police station in Bihar’s Bubwa area. Police sources said that some disgruntled elements had placed the bomb in the station’s vicinity which on 30 December exploded and caused injuries to station officer who was then shifted to local hospital for treatment. Investigation is going on; however, no person in this connection has been arrested so far.

Labor killed in bomb blast at Ghaziabad
A bomb blast occurred in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad area on 22 December 2008, in which a factory worker died and other four were injured at oil tanker manufacturing unit. Reports said that blast took place around 12.30 pm when the workers were carrying out welding work on tanker. DIG, Akhil Kumar, said that the incident was reported inside the industrial unit number F-13 at Kavi Nagar industrial estate and we have initiated probe into the incident. Officials of the fire service, Ghaziabad, said that the cause of the incident is not yet ascertained, but suspect that short circuit might have caused the blast.

Arms catch at Howra
In Hawra, near Kolkata, police on 7 December 2009, raided a club and seized a huge contingent of arms and ammunition. Ten persons were arrested in this connection. Police have launched a probe to ascertain the motive. Police are also trying to find out whether these criminals were hired to create violence in the area. Local people indicated that CPI’s connection is possible with the conspiracy. Reports revealed that before the Parliamentary elections, Das Nagar was the bastion of CPI which lost both the two seats to Trimnol Congress. Police found 10 revolvers (four single shot and six chamber revolvers), 30 rounds, 20 country-made bombs, three swords and 12 kg explosives and jerry can. On 6 December, on a tip-off police cordoned off the club and arrested criminals who were sleeping there. The consignment of arms was hidden in the ground floor of the club. Out of the arrested persons, four are from Matia Bruz, one from Rabindar Nagar, and others from Bali, Peel Khana, Lalwa and Shoibpur. All persons have been produced before the local court. SSP Hawda, Hari Kishore, said that the police are yet to ascertain the motive.

Two army jawan killed in blast at Jaisalmer
On 30 December 2009, two army jawans of the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, died when at the Chandan firing range some “expired” explosives exploded. It is situated 45 kilometers from the Army headquarters. According to available information, a team of IAF from Gujarat had transported explosives for the purpose of offloading it. Around 3.30 when it was getting down from the truck suddenly fire broke out in it and explosions went off. Fire brigades of the department, after receiving the information, reached the spot and controlled the fire. Police team also reached the spot. The dead have been identified as Warrant Officer Preetampal Negi and Sergeant Dinesh Kumar. Spokesman of the Defense Ministry, Lt.Col. N N Joshi, based at Jodhpur, confirmed the death of one person and another absconding while two injured. The spokesman also said that the explosives were expired and it  was caused due to the colluding with other explosive. The Court of inquiry has been initiated into the matter.

Ranvir encounter: policemen charge-sheeted
In connection with the infamous Ranvir Singh’s fake encounter, which took place last year on 3 July 2009 at Dehradoon, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), on 23 December 2009,  submitted a chargesheet in a city court against 18 policemen accusing them of staging a fake encounter. Following the encounter, heavy protests against the killing forced the state government to initiate CBI probe. In another chargesheet, the investigating agency has charged Ranvir and his four other accomplices of having allegedly looted the service revolver of Sub-inspector GD Bhat and having assembled in a Dehradoon Daharamshala posing as scholars with the idea of looting a house in the Posh Dalanwala area. The CBI had earlier arrested some of the cops after the Uttarkhand High Court refused to order the CBI not to arrest them. Ranvir was an MBA graduate and a resident of Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.

Five deaths daily in police custody
Five deaths are reported on a daily basis in police custody. This ratio is continuing for the last four years. In such cases Uttar Pradesh (UP) is at the top. In the current year 232 persons have died in UP police stations. Last year, according to the National Human Rights Commission’s (NHRC) report, 1180 persons reportedly died in police stations. In Maharashtra 84 cases have come to light. In 2009, some 300 people died in police custody in UP. It is pertinent to note that in Jammu and Kashmir where rights violation activities are being committed more than other states, only three persons reportedly died in police custody last year.     
Majid Jahangir

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 January 2010 on page no. 11

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