शुक्रवार, 23 अप्रैल 2010

दिल्ली सीरियल बम ब्लास्ट में गिरफ्तार तथाकथित आतंकवादियों की सूची....

बटला हाउस एनकाउन्टर मामले में दर्ज एफ.आई.आर.

गुरुवार, 22 अप्रैल 2010

बटला हाउस ‘एनकाउंटर’ पर आपके विचार...?

बटला हाउस ‘एनकाउंटर’ मामला अब बटला हाउस से आगे निकल चुका है। इसकी चर्चा अब सियासी गलियारों में फिर से होने लगी है। जुडिशियल जांच के लिए विरोध-प्रदर्शन और तेज़ कर दिए गए हैं। बटला हाउस की दुकानें बंद होने लगी हैं। जैसा कि आप जानते हैं कि पहले ही दिन से इस ‘एनकाउंटर’ और पुलिस के पूरे रवैये पर आवाज़ें उठनी शुरू हो गई थी, लेकिन इंपेक्टर मोहन चंद शर्मा की शहादत ने इसे कुछ हद तक दबाए रखा। अब पोस्टमार्टम रिपोर्ट के आ जाने से इनकी शहादत पर भी प्रश्नचिन्ह लग गया है....
खैर, इस पूरे मामले में आप क्या सोचते हैं...? हमें आपके विचारों का इंतज़ार रहेगा। आप हमें अपने विचार
afroz.alam.sahil@gmail.com पर मेल करें, ताकि आपके विचारों से दुसरों को भी अवगत कराया जा सके। आप अपने इन विचारों को मेरे ब्लॉग http://suchnaexpress.blogspot.com और http://leaksehatkar.blogspot.com पर देख सकते हैं।

बुधवार, 14 अप्रैल 2010

Nitish Kumar's “Bihar Shining” campaign

Nitish Kumar's “Bihar Shining” campaign

In four years the chief minister has taken annual advertisements placed in newspapers from Rs 4.5 crore to Rs 25.25 crore. MD. ALI presents the findings of RTI activist AFROZ ALAM SAHIL.
Posted Monday, Apr 12 12:01:08, 2010

The national media has presented Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar as “Vikas Purush” (man of development), but some say that the rosy picture presented by the media about ‘development' of the state is a judiciously managed one.

If one goes by the information provided by the Public Relations Officer of the state department of Information and Public Relations, the Bihar CM has managed state as well as national media, in such a way that they cannot afford to present him in a negative manner. For this purpose he has put the government's advertising budget to good use.

This fact has come out in reply to an RTI query filed by Afroz Alam Sahil, an RTI activist and Mass Communication student of Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi. The Hoot has seen that RTI reply from the state Information and Public Relation department.

According to the reply, soon after coming into power, the Nitish Kumar government increased the quantum of advertisement to media by four times to what it was in the previous governments.

In just the last four years of Nitish regime, from 2005-09 till February 28, 2010, the state government gave advertisement for around 38,000 odd works and spent Rs 64.48 crore on them whereas in the period of six years the Lalu-Rabri government had spent around just Rs 23.9 crore.

As per the RTI document, in 2008-09 alone the state government spent around Rs 25.25 crore on advertisement of both print and electronic media.

The manifold increase in the annual spending by the state government on advertisement is worth noting.

In 2005-06 (Nitish Kumar came in power in November 2005) the state spending on advertisements was around Rs 4.49 crore. With an increase of around Rs 90 lakh, that expenditure in 2006-07 was Rs 5.4 crore. In 2007-08, there was an increase of Rs 4.25 crore, which brought the expenses to Rs 9.65 crore. And finally, in 2008-09 this yearly increase went up to Rs 15.59 crore, bringing the annual spending on advertisements to Rs 25.25 crore.

In 2009-10 till February 28, 2010, around Rs 19.66 crore has been spent on advertisements.

On November 24, 2009, on the eve of completion of four years of Nitish government, in a single day advertisements worth Rs 1.15 crore were given in 24 different national as well as regional dailies.

These advertisements highlight the so called developmental works of the state government in the areas of health, minority development, education and socio-economic development, with the titles like "Badalta Bihar" (changing Bihar) "Nitish Kumar Ke Chaar Saal" (four years of Nitish Kumar).

Delhi and Patna based Hindi dailies such as Hindustan, Dainik Jagran, Prabhat Khabar and Aj had the lion's share of around Rs 72.5 lakh.

Afroz Alam said “the countrywide fame of Nitish has less to do with his work on the ground and more to do with positive coverage that newspapers across the country gave him in lieu of the advertisements…”

On the eve of completion of four years of Nitish government the Hindi daily Hindustan had received advertisement worth Rs 37 lakh from Bihar government, the maximum among all the media organizations. Soon after this advertisement, on December 31, 2009 itconducted an SMS survey about national heroes of India. Nitish Kumar was voted the most prominent of the heroes with 40.64 % of the votes, leaving behind even Rahul Gandhi who got just 33% of the votes.

The RTI activist pointed out “from the above mentioned data it is quite evident that media did good business in Nitish's regime.”

“In spite of taking such a substantial amount of advertising from Nitish government the media organizations never talked about that, this itself proves that they don't want to expose the truth behind much publicized ‘development' of Bihar. Because then they will lose advertisements worth millions”, he said.

He drew our attention towards the state advertisement policy-2008. “The state government has made it clear that if at all the work of any media organization is against the interests of the state (euphemism for Nitish regime) then that organization will not be given advertisements; and worst the state government can eliminate that organization from the list of media organizations which will be given advertisements”, he said.

The state Advertisement Policy-2008 says that “the Empowered Advertisement Committee keeping in mind the requirement, practicality and the state interests may recommend such newspapers…The Committee shall have the freedom and the competency to delist any listed newspaper /periodical in the interest of the state or work from the approved list.”

Quoting a senior TOI Patna correspondent, who does not want to be named, Afroz Alam pointed out “the day Times of India started reporting about the state government's utter failure in meeting the challenges posed by the Kosi flood (2008), the government started withdrawing advertisements from the English daily. So finally TOI had to switch back to ‘normal' reporting”.

Mr. Alam said that when he got to know about the huge state expenditure on advertisements, he contacted media organizations like Hindustan, Nai Dunia and Rashtriya Sahara. Everywhere the editors welcomed him saying that it is a very big story and a front page story. But despite contacting these editors for weeks to get the story published, his efforts went in vain.

The RTI activist pointed out that “the effect of these advertisements on media coverage is that if you happen to be anti-Nitish, you will really be lucky if your views or demonstration is covered by the media.”

He said that it is quite evident that the state government is more focused on creating a positive image in people's perception with the help of media than doing things on ground.

This is the “Bihar Shining” campaign as opposed to the “India Shining” campaign in which BJP-led NDA government spent Rs 88.89 crore. But in a country where the ultimate power lies in the hands of the jan janardhan

(general public) it will be interesting to see how much the “Bihar Shining” campaign achieves in the coming assembly election.

रविवार, 11 अप्रैल 2010

Batla House ‘Encounter’: Who is the JP Trauma Centre Shielding?

Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association

11 April 2010

Batla House ‘Encounter’: Who is the JP Trauma Centre Shielding?

Stop withholding the Truth! Release all Information NOW!

Days after the startling revelation of the post mortem reports of Atif Ameen and Md. Sajid, which conclusively nailed the lie of the Delhi Police claims that the two boys were killed in cross fire, the security establishment has swung into damage control to ensure that no further information is made public. It is to be recalled that the post mortem reports could be made public only through the persistent efforts of RTI activist and Jamia student, Afroze Alam Sahil and the resolute resistance offered by the teachers and students of Jamia as well as other civil rights activists.

While the post mortem reports have made it amply clear that both Atif and Sajid have been shot from close range and possibly in captivity (as illustrated by the injury marks made by blunt force); the reports also raised several questions:

1) How was it that Inspector Sharma, who suffered gunshot wounds which could have easily been treated since none of the vital organs was effected by the shots, allowed to bleed to his death. Why was his hemorrhage not plugged immediately?

2) What were the metallic objects retrieved from the bodies of both Atif and Sajid, which also find mention in the post mortem reports?

3) Why were postmortems on Atif and Sajid’s bodies conducted only on the 22nd September, after full two days had lapsed, whereas that on Inspector Sharma was conducted the following day, on the 20th September?

Indeed, these were some of the key questions that were asked from the JP Trauma Centre in an RTI application filed by Afroze Alam on 23 March 2010. Alam had sought the Clinical treatment report of Inspector Sharma, copies of photographs and videography taken during the post mortem, forensic report and details of all samples and specimens collected from the body.

Responding to the application, the Trauma Centre in a fashion typical of its earlier responses has hid behind certain clauses of the RTI Act. The response received on 10th April 2010 cites its helplessness in providing the information as it falls, according to the Centre, under 8 (1) g and 8 (1) h. These are spurious grounds to keep information vital to the pursuance of truth under cover.

- Clause 8 (1) g says that such information “the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes” may be withheld. Now we would like to ask, how the publication of Inspector Sharma’s Clinical Reports would endanger someone’s life? Whose identity is the Trauma Centre so insistent on protecting? On whose instructions is it denying the petitioner information about the metallic objects recovered from the bodies of the slain youth?

- Clause 8 (1) h says that “information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders” can be withheld from the petitioner. Trauma Centre is NOT an investigating agency and can therefore not claim on its own that medico legal information will or will not impede investigation. It is clearly acting at the behest of those agencies which fear that the truth is too dangerous to be made public.

We demand that the JP trauma Centre immediately disclose all information. Further, reports such as Firearm Examination report, Ballistic Report, all clinical plates of the three deceased be made public.


Manisha Sethi, Adil Mehdi, Ghazi Shahnawaz, Ahmed Sohaib and others for JTSA

शनिवार, 10 अप्रैल 2010

Whose life will be under threat if CLINICAL TREATMENT REPORT of M.C.Sharma revealed...?

सेवा में,

जन सूचना अधिकारी
जय प्रकाश नारायण एपेक्स ट्रामा सेंटर
अखिल भारतीय आयुर्विज्ञान संस्थान
राज नगर, नई दिल्ली-110029.

विषय:- सूचना के अधिकार अधिनियम-2005 के तहत आवेदन

सूचना के अधिकार अधिनियम-2005 के तहत निम्न सूचना उपलब्ध कराई जाए:-

1. मोहन चन्द शर्मा की Clinical Treatment Report उपलब्ध कराई जाए।

2. आतिफ अमीन, मो. साजिद और मोहन चन्द शर्मा के पोस्टमार्टम के दौरान ली गई सभी तस्वीरों की कॉपी उपलब्ध कराई जाए।

3. आतिफ अमीन, मो. साजिद और मोहन चन्द शर्मा के पोस्टमार्टम के दौरान की गई वीडियोग्राफी की कॉपी उपलब्ध कराई जाए।

4. आतिफ अमीन, मो. साजिद और मोहन चन्द शर्मा यानी तीनों के कपड़ों की फॉरेंसिक रिपोर्ट उपलब्ध कराई जाए।

5. पोस्टमार्टम रिपोर्ट और फॉरेंसिक रिपोर्ट से जुड़ी क्या-क्या Sample और Specimen रखी गई हैं। उसका विवरण दें और यह भी बताएं कि यह कहां-कहां Preserve की गई हैं। इसको देखने लिए Physical Visit का मौक़ा दिया जाए।

6. जिस तरह से आतिफ अमीन, मो. साजिद की पोस्टमार्टम रिपोर्ट की analysis की गई है, वैसा ही विवरण मोहन चन्द शर्मा के बारे में उपलब्ध कराई जाए।

(a) अगर आपके लिए ऐसा करना मुमकिन नहीं है तो इसके कारण भी बताएं।
(b) यह भी बताएं कि मोहन चन्द शर्मा के पोस्टमार्टम रिपोर्ट में आतिफ अमीन, मो. साजिद जैसा विवरण क्यों नहीं दिया गया।

7. आतिफ अमीन, मो. साजिद की लाश आपके यहां कब पहुंची।
8. एनकाउंटर 19 सितम्बर को हुआ था, लेकिन आतिफ अमीन, मो. साजिद का पोस्टमार्टम 22 सितम्बर को क्यों किया गया। इसके कारणों को बताएं। जबकि मोहन चन्द शर्मा का पोस्टमार्टम 20 सितम्बर को ही किया गया।

9. क्या एक दिन ही पहुंचने वाली लाशों के लिए पोस्टमार्टम का दिन अलग-अलग तय किया जाता है। अगर हां! तो इसके लिए शर्तों का विवरण दें। क्या आतिफ अमीन, मो. साजिद के मामले में भी उपयुक्त शर्त लगू होता है।

10. 20, 21, 22 सितम्बर 2008 को आपके यहां कितने शवों का पोस्टमार्टम किया गया और ये लाशें कब-कब आईं थी।

मैं इस आवेदन के साथ आवेदन शुल्क के रुप में 10 रुपये का इंडियन पोस्टल ऑर्डर (84E 159910) संलग्न कर रहा हूं।

(1. नोट:- यदि इस आवेदन के किसी सवाल का संबंध आपके विभाग से नहीं है तो सूचना के अधिकार अधिनियम-2005 की धारा- 6(3) के तहत इस आवेदन को 5 दिनों के भीतर संबंधित विभाग या जन सूचना अधिकारी को प्रेषित करें, साथ ही साथ क़ानून के प्रावधानों के तहत हमें भी इसकी सूचना दें।)
(2. नोट:- समस्त सूचनाएं राष्ट्रभाषा हिन्दी में उपलब्ध कराने की कृपा करें।)


अफ़रोज़ आलम ‘साहिल’
c/o:- फ़ैज़ अहमद फ़ैज़
एफ-56/23, सर सैय्यद रोड,
बटला हाउस, ओखला, नई दिल्ली-25.
दिनांक:- 23.03.2010

The Unstoppable RTI Maverick

Afroz Alam Sahil’s latest breakthrough can tell you all you wanted to know but were afraid to ask about the Batla House encounter.

BY Pallavi Polanki

Only 22, Sahil, an aspiring documentary filmmaker, is turning up the heat in the corridors of power.
Every generation needs heroes. We, however, seem to have preferred money. There is just too much of it to be made in the 21st century, never mind ‘the-worst-economic-crisis-since-the-Great-Depression’ phase that came and went.

To disengage and chase six-figure salaries instead is the defining logic of our times. So when a young person does something completely illogical, like chase the truth, it grabs our attention.
Only 22, and already with over 3,ooo Right to Information (RTI) applications to his name, Afroz Alam Sahil is dynamite when it comes to blowing the lid off things. An aspiring documentary film maker, Sahil is a final year student at Jamia Milia Islamia’s Mass Communication Research Centre (MCRC). He moved to New Delhi in 2005 (incidentally, the year the RTI Act was passed) from Bettiah, a city in West Champaran district of Bihar, to do his bachelors in mass media.
His latest volley comes from an ongoing 18-month-long-already struggle to retrieve facts on the controversial Batla House encounter.

A copy of the post-mortem report of Atif Ameen and Mohammad Sajid, both killed in an operation conducted by the Delhi Police on 19 September 2008, was finally given to him by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), in response to his RTI application. It is the most damning evidence yet against Delhi Police’s claim that the encounter wasn’t fake.

In less than a week of the Batla House encounter, Afroz had filed four RTIs addressed to the Delhi Police, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the NHRC, and the Supreme Court. Some of the details he sought were: number of people killed in the encounter, a copy of the FIR lodged (if at all) by the Delhi Police, copy of the post-mortem report of the two boys killed in the encounter, details on the Delhi blasts investigation, statistics on encounter killings and on terror-related cases pending in courts.

Sahil would go on to face a one-and-a-half-year long dogged resistance by the criminal justice system to deny him information. His experience with each agency could serve as a case study on how the RTI law can be subverted.

Even the Supreme Court (SC) was no exception. “The SC’s response to my RTI on terrorism-related cases was a referral to their website. It is not possible for anyone to get information on the website unless the case number is available.” Afroz, of course, persisted. When he met an SC administrative official to follow up on the RTI, his first question to Afroz was, “Tum student ho ya berozgaar (Are you a student or unemployed)?”

“When I replied that I was a student at Jamia, he said, ‘Achcha Jamia. Tabhi toh aap aise sawaal karte ho. Tum logon ki mentality aisi hi hoti hai’ (Oh Jamia. That’s why you are asking such questions. This is all that you people can think of).”

The humiliation continued.
When Sahil spoke in Hindi, he was told to speak in English. “He wasn’t letting us speak. When I got up to leave I told him that I would complain to the Central Information Commission (CIC), at which point he asked me to sit down and threatened to lock me up.”

Given such attitudes, getting a copy of the postmortem report is like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. It is a trick Sahil knows all too well. In the last five years, he has pulled out all kinds of rabbits from all kinds of hats.

In 2008, his RTI application on funding received by political parties between 2005 and 2007 made international headlines when Election Commission documents revealed that the BJP had accepted $2,500 from Dow Chemicals, the company that bought Union Carbide, a name synonymous with the Bhopal Gas tragedy. Sahil’s latest feat has made him something of a hero among university students. A week after the news broke, he was addressing students late into the night at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. “You are an inspiration to us,” one student said. Students of Aligarh Muslim University too have invited him to visit their campus.
“Merely saying that the Government is doing wrong by its people will not take us anywhere. Previously, we didn’t have access to the facts. Now we have the RTI tool. It is my hope that more people, especially those in the media, will make full use of this Act.”

Sahil has worked with some of the biggest names associated with the RTI campaign, among them Magsaysay Award winner Sandeep Pandey, and with NGOs such as the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan.

Fiercely independent, he did not hesitate to file RTIs on the top 13 NGOs that work on RTI. His argument: they may not fall under the purview of the RTI Act, but those working for transparency shouldn’t have a problem abiding by it.

Five years of hectic information gathering has made Sahil a storehouse of fascinating details on India’s political system and its players, the Government and its working. He writes two blogs—suchnaexpress.blogspot.com and leaksehatkar.blogspot.com. One of his latest posts reveals how the NHRC, never mind the clean chit it gave the Delhi Police, has listed the Batla House encounter as fake in its records.

Suggest a topic of relevance, chances are he has an official document on it. Operation Greenhunt, you say? “I filed an RTI on it last year.” Sahil briefly ran a tabloid newspaper in 2009, and continues to bring out a monthly called Media Scan, which he and his friends started three years ago.

To expose the truth with the solid aid of facts is to pose an existential threat to the powers that be. Sahil is fighting an incredibly brave and dangerous game. He is not unaware of the extents to which power will stoop to silence people like him. So far, he says, he hasn’t experienced such threats. “I have faith in the law. I am not doing anything wrong,” he says.

शनिवार, 3 अप्रैल 2010

SC allows Delhi blasts suspect to appear in exam at Jamia Millia Islamia

By Mumtaz Alam Falahi, TwoCircles.net,

New Delhi: The Supreme Court yesterday allowed Mohd Shakeel, a post-graduate student of Jamia Millia Islamia and one of the Delhi serial blasts suspects now in jail, to appear in the MA (Economics) examination beginning on April 5 at the university. Shakeel is currently in Sabarmati Jail of Gujarat. He will be brought to Tihar Jail on April 4.

The apex court gave the order on a plea by senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan ordered Delhi Police to bring Shakeel to Tihar Jail on April 4 so that he could appear in the exam beginning on April 5 till the end of the month.

Among those picked after Batla House encounter in connection with September 2008 Delhi serial blasts Mohd Shakeel and Ziaur Rahman are two Jamia Millia students.

The Jamia Millia authorities had suspended the two students on September 22, 2008, just three days after the Batla encounter (September 19, 2008). It is interesting to note that the university authorities had taken the decision on the basis of the media reports about the students. But soon after, the then VC announced to extend legal help to the arrested students of the university.

In reply to an RTI petition filed by activist Afroz Alam Sahil on August 24, 2009, the university said: “Two students of the University namely Ziaur Rahman, B.A. (Pass) Final year and Mohd. Shakil, M.A. Economics, Final year were suspended by the University Office Order dated 22.9.2008.”

However, the university sent the matter to Discipline Committee when the family of the students questioned the suspension. The Discipline Committee concluded that it had no objection if they sat in the exam. The view of the Discipline Committee was endorsed by the Majlis-i-Muntazimah (Executive Council) of Jamia Millia Islamia held on 15/01/2010.

“Decision on the appeal received from Ms. Saira Bano (sister of Ziaur Rahman) against University’s order dated 22.9.2008 regarding pension/campus ban. The Majlis (EC) considered the decision of the Discipline Committee Annexure-III on the above request and endorsed the same,” reads the Minutes of the Executive Council meeting.