(New Delhi, 10th March, 2012): Coordination Committee for Indian Muslims (CCIM) held a press conference on 10 March at the Delhi Press Club to show solidarity with Journalist Kazmi. Convener of CCIM and President of Welfare Party of India, Mujtaba Farooq said that with this arrest starts a new trend to harass Muslims in the name of fighting terror. He stressed that this was clearly a politically motivated move to punish Muslims for not voting for the Congress in UP. Farooq was very critical of the government and the police for indulging in the ethnic profiling of the Muslim community. Farooq said that the recent arrest of Kazmi has been made under the influence of external pressures because in reality the police does not have any solid proof against him. He demanded that Kazmi be released on bail immediately and be allowed to defend himself without any pressure. Farooq expressed his apprehension that this arrest could be the beginning of a move to pressurize the Urdu media to which Kazmi was associated with.
Maulana Muhsin Taqwi, President, National Council of Shia Ulama speaking at the press conference
Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan, President of the All India Muslim Majlis-e Mashawarat (AIMMM) and a noted journalist in his own right, condemned the arrest and said that he was sure the police did not have any evidence against Kazmi. He said he knew him for the last 20 years as a forthright and cultured person. Dr. Khan said that he had been informed by Kazmi’s family members that the police had asked Mr. Kazmi to confess otherwise he would be handed over to the Mossad “who know how to extract confessions”. Dr. Khan condemned this psychological torture for extracting confessional statements as has been seen in umpteen previous cases. Dr. Khan said that all this was being done at the behest of right wing elements which have penetrated the system. Dr. Khan warned the Congress to check these elements if it did not want worse prospects in the 2014 general elections.
Maulana Abdul Hameed Nomani, secretary of Jamiat-e Ulema-e Hind asked the court to order the rehabilitation of innocent victims and exemplary punishment for officers involved in implicating and torturing them.
Statement by Coordination Committee for Indian Muslims (CCIM)
New Delhi, 10 March 2012: The Indian Muslim community believes that the arrest of senior Urdu journalist Muhammad Ahmad Kazmi is a new escalation in the war against the community in the name of fighting terror. Acquittals of umpteen Muslim youths across the country after spending years in jails on trumped up charges has proved the communal nature of our police and security agencies. Senior Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan bluntly said on February 27, 2012 that police across the country were “communalised”. He added that “It costs nothing for the police to fabricate evidence and file a false chargesheet against an innocent person. In virtually no case, and a vast majority of cases the court does not take the next step of ordering the criminal prosecution, immediate suspension, dismissal and prosecution of that police officer,” he said adding that there is “a trend that police across the country systematically frame Muslims in terror investigations when they can’t find the culprits. In such cases, they pick up anyone around whom a credible story could be spun.”
We believe Journalist Muhammad Ahmad Kazmi is the latest victim of this communal mindset. His over two decades’ impeccable record as a journalist is an open book. Not only writing for national and international publications, he also worked for the Doordarshan and had a PIB press card for which security clearance is required.
We believe that there is no evidence till date against Journalist Kazmi who has been precisely framed at the behest of Israel’s notorious and criminal espionage agency Mossad which, according to press reports, provided his name to the Indian authorities which on their own had or have nothing against him. Now the Special Police is threatening him that unless he confessed, they will hand him over to Mossad “who know how to extract confessions” – which is a criminal threat as no Indian authority can hand over an Indian citizen to a foreign agency unless there is a court order for the same as well as an extradition treaty exists with the concerned foreign country.
We believe that the Indian security agencies have nothing to date to incriminate Journalist Kazmi and they are busy fabricating a case and have been giving off the record media briefings to build pressure on their victim.
It is our demand that the unheard of 20-days police remand should be cancelled and bail should be granted to Journalist Kazmi who has been cooperating with the Police in an exemplary way and there is no reason to believe that he will not do so in future. We have written to the hon’ble Union Home Minister, hon’ble Lt. Governor Delhi, hon’ble Chairman of the Press Council of India as well as to the Delhi Police Commissioner seeking their urgent intervention in this case of clear implication and fabrication of the which the Delhi Special Police has a long tainted record. We also express our astonishment that this case is not being handled by the National Investigation Agency which has been established especially to prove terror-related cases. We demand that the case must be urgently transferred to the NIA.
We will continue to agitate along with other civil society groups on this issue, which we believe, is a new escalation in the war against the community in the name of terror-fighting until justice is achieved. We will hold a dharna at Jantar Mantar on 26 March to press our demands.
- Mujtaba Farooq, Chairman, Coordination Committee for Indian Muslims& President, Welfare Party of India
- Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, President, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat & Editor, The Milli Gazette
- Syed Akhlaq Ahmad, National Coordinator, APCR
- Muhammad Ahmad, Political Secretary, Jamaat-e Islami Hind
- Maulana Muhsin Taqwi, President, National Council of Shia Ulama
- Maulana Abdul Hameed Nomani, Secretary, Jamiat Ulama-e Hind
- Maulana Abdul Wahab Khilji, President, Islahi Movement of India
- Dr SQR Ilyas, General Secretary, Welfare Party of India& Editor, Afkar-e Milli
- Maulana Ataur Rahman Qasmi, Director, Shah Waliullah Institute
- Maulana Jalal Haidar Naqvi, Secretary, All India Shia Ulama Council
- Dr Tasleem Rahmani, President, Muslim Political Council of India
- Zaheer Zaidi, President, Shia Point
- Syed Mansoor Agha, Senior Urdu journalist
- Shuaib Shaikh, Secretary, Students Organisation of India
- AK Kidwai, Secretary, Association for Protection of Civil Rights
- Muhammad Ahmad Khan, Urdu Journalist