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Investigating agencies biased in favour of Modi, says American report

Washington: According to an American report issued by Secretary of State John Kerry on 19 April, civil society in India continues to express its concern over Gujarat government’s failure to arrest the perpetrators of communal violence in the 2002 riots in Gujarat and to protect victims of the massacre. American foreign ministry (state department) in its report on human rights titled ‘Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012’ says that human rights groups continue to allege that investigating agencies in their reports showed bias in favour of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. The total report is fairly exhaustive because it covers human rights violations in many other countries but the chapter on India in this report which covers 60 pages says, among other things, that in the year 2012 the most important problem was denial of human rights, in which police and security agencies were involved in this widespread violation, perpetration of excesses, unjustifiable deaths, exploitation, rapes and dishonouring of women and children, widespread corruption at all levels, denial of justice, terrorism, separatism, social injustice and violence so on and so forth.

It is futher said in this report that other problems of human rights include disappearance of persons, bad conditions in jails, arrest or keeping in custody according to the whims of police and security agencies, and imprisonment for long periods before trial or hearing of cases. It further says that courts are over-burdened, cases are kept pending for long periods and consequently arrested persons, many of them on suspicions only, also are kept in prisons for long, resulting in excessive delay, injustice and even denial of justice. The report also says that authorities violate rights of citizens, including fundamental rights.

According to this report, police personnel who were involved in fake encounter of Tulsi Ram Prajapati were in regular contact with Gujarat’s chief minister Modi. This is clear from the call details available with investigating agencies and there were 78 calls between CMO (chief minister’s office) and police personnel when they had talked to each other. It is also claimed that the maximum benefit from this encounter, had accrued to Modi. Another person who was killed in a fake encounter was Sohrabuddin Shaikh whose brother Rababuddin has demanded further investigation into these call details. According to Rababuddin’s lawyer Mukul Sinha, at the time of the two encounters there were 78 calls between CMO and police personnel. Sohrabuddin Shaikh was killed in a fake encounter on 26 November 2006 and Tulsi Prajapati was killed in the fake encounter on 28 December 2006. These call details were collected by CID (crime). Rababuddin further claimed that DG Vanjara and Raj Kumar Pandiya were in constant contact with CMO and as the investigations into Sohrabuddin encounter progressed, frequency of calls also increased.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 May 2013 on page no. 13

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