Wednesday, November 23, 2011

People's response to G. K. Pillai's (Former India's Union Home Secretary) defamation of Ishrat Jahan's character when her death was declared as Encounter murder

G. K. Pillai may be technically correct that the charges levied against Ishrat Jahan and others, are not cleared up by the declaration of their death as Encountered assassinations. Still the verdict directly impacts the creditability of the entire crime story concocted to carry out the encounter. It is clear, G. K. Pillai is not happy with the 'encounter' verdict and apparently would not have minded, if there are extra-judicial killings, however flimsy and arbitrary the charges of terrorism are levied by the security authorities. He wants to be above the law of the land and people like him, are the real tragedy of India, where bureaucrats rule with a mindset that they know the best. This tragedy is highlighted by the new Press Council Chief, Justice Markandey Katju, when he questioned the media practice of instant defamation of Indian Muslims, as soon as any news of such incidents are reported. If the chain of the defamation process is to be investigated, the security agencies, with people like G. K.Pillai with grossly communal mindset, cannot be left unchecked.

Now that more and more 'terror suspect' Muslims are being exonerated for one reason or other, there is strong case for compensation payment for them for wrongful arrests and detention. Besides, the Muslim community itself has a case of defamation both against the relevant security officials and those in the media, who have been instrumental in spreading the canard of Muslim terrorism, to shield terrorists of other kind. With the court now rightly levying 100 Crore defamation compensation against TIMES NOW, one can only guess, what Indian Muslim community collectively may or must demand for their defamation as 'terrorists' by the media in general and TIMES Group in particular.

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

Press Statements

Sexist comments about Ishrat Jahan: Women demand apology from G.K. Pillai

Shame on G.K. Pillai: Women demand an apology for his sexist comments
The Milli Gazette
Published Online: Nov 24, 2011
New Delhi (24 November 2011): Stung by the SIT report which concluded that Ishrat was executed in cold blood, former Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai—hard-pressed to defend his affidavit to the Supreme Court that Ishrat was a Lashkar operative—has stooped to now slandering the girl’s personal life suggesting that her checking into different hotels with “another man” was definitely suspicious. Perhaps, Mr. Pillai wishes us to believe that all those young women who travel and work independently are ‘suspicious’ and could have terrorist links.

Pillai is no doubt aware that questions will be raised about his affidavit—and also all those journalists who were churning out whatever that was emanating from his office—and is now rushing to hide behind sexist insinuations. 

Pillai knows well that with the killing of Ishrat and three others, the case is forever closed. No court is now going to try Ishrat for her alleged links with Laskhar. And that is precisely the convenience of encounter killings—the allegations can never be proven or disproven. Lashkar-e-Toiba’s hailing of Ishrat does not count for much. Organisations have been known to make grand claims for purposes of propaganda—Norway being a case in point.

We condemn Pillai’s insensitive sexist slandering of a girl who cannot defend herself, and demand an immediate apology.
Jyoti Punwani (Independent Journalist)
Githa Hariharan (writer)
Saba Dewan (independent filmmaker)
Sabeena Gadihoke (Associate Professor, Jamai Millia Islamia)
Prof. Janaki Rajan (Jamia Millia Islamia)
Prof. Anuradha Chenoy (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Kavita Srivastava (PUCL)
Seema Mustafa (senior journalist)
Tahira Hasan (Tehrike Niswan)
Kavita Krishnan (AIPWA)
Rita Manchanda (activist)
Khaadeej Arif (journalist)
Shikha Sen (independent filmmaker)
Mansi Sharma (activist)
Seema Duhan (activist)
Mona Das (Satyawati College, University of Delhi)
Vani Subramanian, Satnam Kaur and Vinita (Saheli)
Manisha Sethi, Farah Farooqi, Azra Razak, Sanghamitra Misra and Ambarien Al Qadar (JTSA)
Released by Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association
24th November 2011

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