अफ़रोज़ आलम ‘साहिल’
“घनर, घनर, घनर, घनर के घिर आए बदरा... घन गनघोर कार छाए बदरा... चमक-चमक देखो बिजलियां चमके... मन धड़काए बदरवां... मन धड़काए बदरवां... काले मेघा-काले मेघा पानी तो बरसाओ, बिजली की बौछार नहीं, बूंदो के बाण चलाओ...”
लगान फिल्म का यह गीत किसे याद नहीं होगा। खैर ये दृश्य अंग्रेज़ों के वक़्त के चम्पानेर के उपर दर्शाए गए थे, लेकिन बिहार के चम्पारण का दृश्य तो कुछ और ही है। यहां के बादल तो आवारा हो गए हैं। आते हैं और शक्ल दिखाकर चले जाते हैं। आधा सावन बीत चला है, पर लोग पानी के एक-एक कतरा को तरस रहे हैं। पशु-पक्षियों में भी पानी के लिए हाहाकार मचा हुआ है, और पानी की तलाश में भटक-भटक कर दम तोड़ रहे हैं।
आकाश में बादल मंडराते ही बच्चे खेल छोड़कर कह उठते हैं- ‘एक मुट्ठी सरसो, पीट-पीट बरसो’ पर इन मासूमों की आरज़ू-मिन्नत भी काम नहीं आ रही है। थरुहट इलाक़े में भगवान शंकर को ग्रामीणों ने हज़ारों बाल्टी पानी से नहलाया। (यहां ऐसी मान्यता है कि यदि शिवलिंग को घंटों पानी से नहलाया जाता रहा तो बारिश होने की संभावना बढ़ जाती है।) यही नहीं, यहां महिलाएं रात्रि में पुरुष का वेश धारण कर एक दूसरे पर कीचड़ और पानी फेंक रही हैं। (बारिश के लिए यहां यह टोटका सर्वाधिक प्रचलित है।) लेकिन रुठी बरखा रानी मानने को कतई तैयार नहीं है।
यहां के किसानों की आंखें आकाश को निहारते-निहारते पथरा चुकी हैं। ऐसे में अब पाताल पर निगाहें हैं। शायद वहीं से बदहाल खेतों की प्यास बुझे। पर, क्या करें…? बरखा रानी के साथ-साथ धरती मैया भी नाराज़ हैं। समतल खेतों की कौन कहे, सालों भर पानी से लबालब रहने वाले पश्चिम चम्पारण के योगापट्टी की प्रसिद्ध लखनी चंवर की तल में भी फटी दरारें नज़र आ रही हैं। शायद ऐसा पहली बार हुआ है।
कभी गंडक की कहर से हज़ारो-हज़ार हेक्टेयर में लगी फसलें बर्बाद होती रही हैं। वहीं इस वर्ष पटवन के अभाव में फिर से किसानों पर प्रकृति कहर बरपा रही है। लगभग एक माह से वर्षा नहीं होने के कारण धान के बिचड़े पीले पड़ कर सुखने लगे हैं। मकई, अरहर व सब्जियों का भी यही हाल है। संपन्न किसान 100 रुपये प्रति घंटा पंप सेट का भाड़ा देकर खेती करने का प्रयास कर रहे हैं, (क्योंकि नहरों से सिंचाई के स्त्रोत समाप्त हो चुके हैं, और वैसे भी 1986 की प्रलयंकारी बाढ़ में ध्वस्त तिरहुत दोन व त्रिवेणी नहर अभी भी अपनी मरम्मती की राह देख रहे हैं।) परंतु प्रचंड धूप इनकी इन कोशिशों पर पानी फेरने में कोई कसर नहीं छोड़ रही है। क्या करें अब तो रुठे इन्द्र देवता को मनाने के लिए तरह-तरह के टोटके, हवन, भजन-कीर्तन, पूजा-पाठ और दुआ व नमाज़ का ही सहारा है। और फिर उस दिन का इंतज़ार जब सब झूम-झूम कर गाएंगे-
“हरियाला सावन ढोल बजाता आया, धिन-तक-तक मन का मोर नचाता आया। मिट्टी में जान जगाता आया, धरती पहनेगी हरी चुनरिया बन के दुल्हनिया... हरियाला सावन ढोल बजाता आया...”
सोमवार, 27 जुलाई 2009
अफ़रोज़ आलम ‘साहिल’
शनिवार, 11 जुलाई 2009
Afroz had sought information under Right to Information Act (RTI) Act. But, he was repeatedly denied, after which he had approached the Information Commission. Afroz is not happy though. “AIIMS was directed to furnish information by June 10. But, letter to the JPNAPTC was written after 20 days. Till date, I have not received any report,” he said. Incidentally, Afroz is a student of Jamia Millia Islamia, a central university in Delhi.
Information commissioner, Anupama Dixit, after hearing response from AIIMS authority on June 9 was not satisfied with the argument that ‘disclosure of information at this stage would impede the process of investigation’. It upheld the argument put forward by the appellant that ‘the post-mortem reports are now irrevocable’.
The commission, however, allowed the CPIO to apply Section 10 (1) of the RTI Act (2005) to sever those parts of the reports which are exempted from disclosure. This has been done keeping in view the confidentiality of names of the doctors involved, as the case is still pending in the court.
Accordingly, Dr YK Gupta, appellate authority of AIIMS, wrote a letter to the CPIO of JPNATC, Prof MC Misra on June 29, a copy of which is available with this reporter. In the letter, Gupta has directed the CPIO to ‘comply with the orders issued by the Central Information Commission’.
Batla House is a colony in the vicinity of Jamia University, comprising predominantly of Muslims. After serial blasts in Delhi on September 13, 2008 Batla House locality was on the radar of investigation agencies. Within a week, on September 19 two alleged Indian Mujahideen terrorists were killed in an armed police operation in now famous house number L-18 of the colony. Inspector MC Sharma succumbed to injuries in the hospital later that day. In days that followed some more alleged conspirators were arrested. Contradictory statements of the police and refusal of the government to order a judicial inquiry have raised doubts on the authenticity of the encounter.
A report released by Jamia Teachers Solidarity Group (JTSG) has brought to notice many loopholes in the operation and an alleged cover-up later.
Prosecution has consistently denied providing any detail to the defense or making them public, citing clause 8 (1) (h) of the RTI Act that gives the privilege of not supplying information if ‘disclosure may impede the process of investigation’.
Eminent lawyer, Prashant Bhushan, who is also the counsel of one of the accused, Zia ur Rehman, had filed a similar petition to the Delhi Police for copies of FIR and autopsy reports. He, too, was denied. Like Afroz, he had also approached the Information Commission.
The bench comprising Chief Information Commissioner, Wajahat Habibullah, and Information Commissioner, Shailesh Gandhi heard the police version on March 9, 2009. Not convinced, it had asked the public information officer of Delhi Police to provide copies of documents to the defense within 10 days, after applying severability clause.
Delhi High Court had, however, stayed the order. Prashant Bhushan is bitter as he pointed out that it is against the National Human Rights Commission’s guidelines. “It shows that they are trying to hide something,” he told when contacted. He further added, “It’s very difficult for me and other counsels to proceed without exactly knowing what happened on the day.”
Meanwhile, another turn of events in Dehradun, the capital of north Indian state of Uttarakhand, has given a new twist to the case. Last week an MBA student Ranbir Singh was allegedly killed by the state police. After huge uproar the government has agreed for inquiry. JTSG has issued a statement alleging double standards on part of the government and political parties. While everyone in unison supported family's demand for inquiry in the Dehradun case, chief minister of Delhi, Sheila Dixit had said on record that such an investigation would demoralize the police. JTSG reiterated on its demand for judicial inquiry.
The next hearing in the Batla House case has been fixed for July 20.
बुधवार, 8 जुलाई 2009
Mohd Reyaz Delhi Hardnews
Persistent efforts of RTI activist, Afroz Alam Sahil, finally seems to have paid dividend in the Batla House encounter case. Following Information Commission's directives on June 9, appellate authority of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Dr YK Gupta has asked the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre (JPNATC), Prof MC Misra, to issue autopsy reports of the deceased in the encounter.
But, Afroz is yet to receive a copy of the autopsy report. "AIIMS was directed to furnish information by June 10. But, letter to the JPNAPTC was written after 20 days. Till date, I have not received any report," he said. Incidentally, Afroz, is a student of Jamia Millia Islamia.
The bench of information commissioner, Anupama Dixit, after hearing the response from AIIMS authority on June 9 was not satisfied with the argument as to how the 'disclosure of information at this stage would impede the process of investigation'. It upheld the argument put forward by the appellant that 'the post-mortem reports are now irrevocable'.
It, however, allowed the CPIO to apply Section 10 (1) of the RTI Act to sever those parts of the reports which are exempted from disclosure. This has been done keeping in view the confidentiality of the names of doctors involved, as the case is still pending in the court.
Accordingly, Dr Gupta has written a letter to the CPIO of JPNATC dated June 29, a copy of which is available with Hardnews. In the letter, Gupta has directed the CPIO to 'comply with the orders issued by the Central Information Commission'.
Locals believe that the Batla House Encounter, which occurred on September 19, 2008 was 'fake'. Two alleged Indian Mujahideen terrorists were killed in the operation and Inspector MC Sharma succumbed to injuries in the hospital later that day. Contradicting statements of the police and refusal of the government to order a judicial enquiry has raised doubts on the authenticity of the encounter.
A report released by the Jamia Teachers Solidarity Group had brought to notice many loopholes in the operation and an alleged cover-up later.
Prosecution has consistently denied supplying any information to the defence or making them public, citing clause 8 (1) (h) that says: disclosure may impede the process of investigation.
Eminent lawyer, Prashant Bhushan, who is also the counsel of one of the accused, Ziaur Rehman, had filed a similar petition to the Delhi Police for copies of FIR and autopsy reports. He, too, was denied. Like Afroz, he also had approached the Information Commission.
After hearing the police version, the bench comprising chief information commissioner, Wajahat Habibullah, and information commissioner, Shailesh Gandhi, had ordered the public information officer of Delhi Police to provide copies of documents after applying severability clause within 10 days on March 9.
Delhi High Court had, however, stayed the order. Prashant Bhushan is bitter as he pointed out that it's against the National Human Rights Commission's guidelines. "It shows that they are trying to hide something," he told Hardnews. He further added, "It's very difficult for me and other counsels to proceed without exactly knowing what happened on the day."
The next hearing has been fixed for July 20.
रविवार, 5 जुलाई 2009
अफरोज के मुताबिक, उन्होंने सूचना के अधिकार कानून के तहत दिल्ली पुलिस और एम्स से यह रिपोर्ट हासिल करने की कोशिश की। लेकिन एम्स ने इस आधार पर यह रिपोर्ट देने से मना कर दिया कि ‘यह सूचना मेडिको लीगल रिकॉर्ड्स से संबंधित है’ और ‘इस तरह की सूचना संबंधित अधिकारी, संस्थान या कोर्ट के आदेशानुसार संबंधित लोगों के लिए ही दी जती है।’ दिल्ली पुलिस ने भी इसकी सूचना देने से मना कर दिया।
अफरोज ने बताया कि इसके बाद उन्होंने आयोग का दरवाज खटखटाया। आयोग ने 9 जून को दिए आदेश में एम्स को यह रिपोर्ट देने को कहा। आयोग ने अपने आदेश में यह भी कहा कि अफरोज द्वारा मांगी गई दो सूचनाएं नहीं दी जा सकतीं: पहली, मुठोड़ में मारे गए लोग एम्स में कब लाए गए और दूसरी, अस्पताल ने लाशें पुलिस के हवाले कीं या मारे गए लोगों के परिजनों के। लेकिन आयोग ने पोस्टमार्टम रिपोर्ट के साथ दो अन्य सूचनाएं भी मुहैया कराने को कहा: पहली, पोस्टमार्टम करने वाले डॉक्टरों के नाम और पद तथा दूसरी, रिपोर्ट किसने तैयार की?
अफरोज का कहना है कि एम्स के फार्माकोलॉजी के प्रमुख डॉ. वाई.के. गुप्ता का एम्स के ट्रॉमा सेंटर के प्रमुख एम.सी. मिश्र के नाम 29 जून को लिखा पत्र तो उन्हें मिला है जिसमें आयोग के आदेश का हवाला देते हुए ये सूचनाएं देने को कहा गया है लेकिन सूचनाएं अब तक नहीं मिल सकी हैं।
शनिवार, 4 जुलाई 2009
Central Information Commission
Dated June 9, 2009
Name of the Applicant:
Mr.Afroz Alam Sahil
Name of the Public Authority :
1. The Applicant filed an RTI application dt.25.9.08 with the CPIO, AIIMS. He requested for information against 5 points regarding the people who died in the encounter that took place on 19 September, 2008 at Batla House, Jamia Nagar including: 1)when the bodies of the victims of the encounter were brought to the hospital; 2)the names of doctors who conducted the postmortems along with their designations ;3)who prepared the postmortem report; 4)certified copies of individual postmortem reports and 5) whether the bodies were handed over to the relatives or to the police after the postmortem. The CPIO replied on 13.10.08 denying the information u/s 8(1) (b) and 8(1)(h). Not satisfied with the reply, the Applicant filed an appeal dt.15.10.08 with the Appellate Authority reiterating his request for the information. The Appellate authority, after taking the advice of the CPIO, replied on 4.3.09 upholding the decision of the CPIO. Aggrieved with the reply, the Applicant filed a second appeal dt.28.5.09 before the CIC.
2. The Bench of Mrs. Annapurna Dixit, Information Commissioner, scheduled the hearing for June 9, 2009.
3. Mr. R. Simon, ADMNO cum CPIO, Dr. Subodh Kumar, Asstt. Professor, Dr. Sanjeev Lalwani, Asstt. Prof., Dr. Vinay Gulati, Asstt. Prof. and Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Sr. Duty Officer represented the Public Authority.
4. The Applicant was not present during the hearing.
5. On review of the RTI request by the Commission it was agreed by the Respondents that information sought against points 1 and 5 would be
provided since the information does not fall under exemptions 8(1)(b) and (h) which were the reasons given by the CPIO to withhold the information; since they are neither confidential nor will disclosure of information impede the process of investigation. The Commission denies disclosure against points 2 and 3 under section 8(1)(g) and 8(1)(b) of the RTI Act since disclosure of information about Doctors who have conducted the postmortem may endanger the life and physical safety of these individuals besides exposing them to undue pressure and acting as a major impediment in the process of investigation.
6. With regard to Point 4, the Respondent submitted that in a similar case wherein the RTI request was filed before the Delhi Police by an Applicant, the Applicant sought an interim order dated 31.3.09 suspending the operation of the decision CIC/WB/A/2009/0023 dated 9.3.09 by the Central Information Commission, whereby the information sought by the Applicant vis-à-vis postmortem report and the FIR in connection with the encounter in Jamia Nagar were directed to be granted, subject to favourable conditions under Section 10(i). The Respondent, also contended during the hearing that the CIC, in its decision mentioned above, had itself admitted that ‘part of the information held in the mentioned documents merits exemption u/s 8(1)(h) and (g)’ and that the Delhi High Court had suspended operation of the CIC order on the ground that the Commission had ordered disclosure without being alive to the investigative process.
7. The Commission heard the submissions put forward by the Respondents for denying disclosure of postmortem reports and noted that apart from their argument that the earlier CIC decision No. CIC/WB/A/2009/0023 dated 9.3.09 on disclosure of postmortem reports has been stopped from operation, were not able to explain how the disclosure of information at this stage would impede the process of investigation.
7. The Commission also noted the argument put forth by the Appellant in the earlier case, as given in the CIC Order, quoted hereinunder :
"the FIR in this particular case has already been exposed to much publicity and the post mortem reports are now irrevocable. Their
disclosure in no way could impede the process of investigation or prosecution"
and in the light of the abovementioned CIC Order, directs the CPIO to provide the postmortem reports after applying Section 10(1) of the RTI Act to severe those parts of the reports which are exempted from disclosure under Section 8(1), along with information against points 1 and 5, by 10 June, 2009.
8. The Commission accordingly disposes of the appeal.
Authenticated true copy:
1. Mr.Afroz alam Sahil
F-56/23, First Floor
Sir Syed Road
New Delhi 110 025
2. The PIO
Jai Prakash Narayan
Apex Trauma Centre
3. The Appellate Authority
Jai Prakash Narayan
Apex Trauma Centre
4. Officer incharge, NIC
5. Press E Group, CIC
By Mumtaz Alam Falahi, TwoCircles.net
New Delhi: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to hand autopsy reports of the Batla House encounter victims over to an RTI applicant. The victims include two Delhi serial blasts suspects and a police officer.
In its June 9 hearing on the application of Afroz Alam Sahil, a mass communication student of Jamia Millia Islamia, the CIC decided to ask India’s premier hospital AIIMS – where the autopsy was conducted on blasts suspects Mohammed Atif Amin and Sajid, and Delhi Police Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma – to release the autopsy reports and provide relevant information sought by the RTI applicant Sahil. In the encounter that took place at House No. L-18 on September 19, 2008 the two suspects hailing from Azamgarh were killed and Inspector Sharma sustained bullet injuries which he later succumbed to.
A few months back the Delhi High Court had stayed a similar CIC order on the ground that it will hamper investigation.
“I had sought to know how many people from the L-18 on that day were brought to the AIIMS for autopsy. My second query was: who were the bodies of the suspected terrorists handed over – their family or police. I had also sought the autopsy report,” said Sahil talking to TwoCircles.net. he was the first to move the Delhi Police and AIIMS seeking FIR copy and autopsy report. He filed his first application on September 25, 2008, which was not answered by the police and rejected by the AIIMS.
Following the recent CIC order Sahil has got a letter from AIIMS on July 2 wherein the authority of the hospital has ordered its Public Information Officer to provide the applicant with the autopsy report and information regarding his queries.
“I also wanted to know as to who conducted the autopsy and who prepared the report. But this information was denied to me both by the CIC and the hospitals citing security reasons,” adds Sahil.
RTI activist Sahil has been working on social and political issues for some years. He spends his own pocket money on RTI processes. Very recently he rejected award nomination proposals from an NGO. “I am not doing all these for awards,” says humble Sahil in early twenties.
गौरतलब है कि याचिकाकर्ता अफरोज आलम साहिल ने मुठभेड़ में शहीद हुए इंस्पेक्टर एमसी शर्मा और मारे गए दोनों आतंकी आतिफ अमीन व मुहम्मद शाजिद का पोस्टमार्टम करने वाले डाक्टरों के नाम का भी खुलासा करने की मांग की थी। जिसे सीआईसी ने यह कहते हुए ठुकरा दिया कि इसका खुलासा किए जाने से डाक्टरों की जान को खतरा हो सकता है।
Nearly three months after the Delhi High Court put a prohibition on making public the postmortem reports of the people killed in the Batla House encounter last year, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to hand them over to an RTI applicant.
The CIC’s directive, clearly distinct from the court’s views, was based on the fact that AIIMS could not explain how the disclosure could hinder the course of investigations in the case anymore.
All that the AIIMS could put forth in their argument was that the earlier CIC decision has been stayed by the High Court, said the Information Commissioner Annapurna Dixit, allowing the plea of Afroz Alam Sahil.
The Special Cell’s encounter at L-18, Batla House, in South Delhi on September 19, had left two serial blasts suspects — Mohammed Atif Amin and Sajid — and Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma dead.
Acting on a petition by well-known lawyer Prashant Bhushan, the CIC had on March 9 directed the Delhi Police to hand over within 10 days the postmortem reports of those gunned down in the encounter, including that of slain officer Sharma.
The police, however, challenged the order in the High Court, which stayed the CIC’s order after agreeing with the argument that a disclosure at the stage when they were yet to arrest a few absconding accused and collect other evidence, could dent their efforts in the cases related to the blasts that shook Delhi on September 13 last year.
In a separate petition filed last September soon after the encounter, Sahil had requested the CIC to direct the AIIMS Trauma Centre, where the postmortems were conducted, to give him the reports along with some other related information.
As the AIIMS refused to part with the information citing the confidentiality clause of the RTI Act, Sahil filed appeals against the same with the CIC in October.
Refusing to buy their arguments, Information Commissioner, Dixit, also cited a portion of the earlier decision of the CIC in the matter that read, “The FIR in this particular case has already been exposed to much publicity and the postmortem reports are now irrevocable. Their disclosure could, in no way, impede the process of investigation or prosecution.”
Lending credence to these observations, the CIC then ordered the AIIMS to hand over the postmortem reports to Sahil. The directive came with the sole rider that only those parts could be kept away from the applicant which are allowed to be exempted under the confidentiality clause of the RTI Act.
Meanwhile, the trial court, hearing the Batla House encounter case, declared Ariz Khan and Shahzad Ahmed proclaimed offenders on Friday as they continue to remain absconding.
The two had allegedly managed to escape after the encounter.