Controversy over New NHRC Appointment

February 28, 2004 | Comments Off on Controversy over New NHRC Appointment

P C Sharma, the former director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has recently been appointed by the Central government as a member of the National Human Rights Commission. This move has been protested by a variety of people and organizations. The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has filed suit challenging the appointment: PUCL […]

Use of Civilian Human Shields in Firefights with Militants

February 28, 2004 | Comments Off on Use of Civilian Human Shields in Firefights with Militants

The latest edition of the weekly Tehelka carries an Op-Ed by Ashok Agrwaal (one of the co-authors of Reduced to Ashes and the plaintiffs’ lead counsel in the NHRC case), criticizing the use of innocent civilians as human shields during armed operations against militants: From Nagaland to Punjab, Andhra Pradesh to Kashmir, from the early […]

Father’s Petition in Jailbreak Case Dismissed

February 25, 2004 | Comments Off on Father’s Petition in Jailbreak Case Dismissed

The news has been sparse on the human rights implications of the investigations into the Burail jailbreak by the accused in the assassination of Chief Minister Beant Singh.  Despite the numerous details on the police’s alleged findings, news articles have only casually referred to allegations of torture made by the attorney representing the alleged mastermind […]

Developments in Gujarat Cases

February 24, 2004 | Comments Off on Developments in Gujarat Cases

A few udpates on the cases and aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat pogroms against Muslims: Zahira Sheik’s case, popularly known as the Best Bakery case, was adjourned by the Supreme Court.  Citizens for Justice and Peace had filed a special leave petition to have the case heard outside Gujarat.  Zahira, a teenager, made international headlines […]

Bringing Laws on Course

February 22, 2004 | Comments Off on Bringing Laws on Course

In his article, Bringing Laws on Course, Dilip D’Souza discusses how investigations by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) tend to end in dead ends: [T]o my knowledge, it [the CBI] has never succeeded in bringing about a conviction of a single significant Indian politician. And despite that admirable achievement, too often we find ordinary […]

13 Witnesses Testify in Gujarat Massacre Case

February 21, 2004 | Comments Off on 13 Witnesses Testify in Gujarat Massacre Case

Breaking their silence of two years, 13 witnesses gave evidence in the Bilkis Bano case, stemming from the massacre of 14 Muslims during the Gujarat pogroms of 2002.  The witnesses, all from the village where the 14 people were killed, were escorted to Mumbai to give their testimony: A CBI official, who did not want […]

1984 Perpetrators May Run on Congress Ticket

February 20, 2004 | Comments Off on 1984 Perpetrators May Run on Congress Ticket

Even as the Nanavati Commission has issued notices against Congress leaders Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler, because evidence demonstrates they participated in the perpetration of the 1984 pogroms against the Sikhs, the Congress party is considering fielding these two people as candidates in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections: Former Outer Delhi Congress member of parliament Sajjan […]

No Justice in Gujarat

February 20, 2004 | Comments Off on No Justice in Gujarat

In his powerful editorial in the Hindustan Times, Flash in the pan?, Praful Bidwai describes the diminishing possibilities for justice for the victims of the Gujarat massacre of Muslims in 2002.  Discussing the CBI’s exhumation of bodies in the Bilkis Bano case, Bidwai writes: It now turns out the police buried the bodies and poured […]

Kashmiris Protest Custodial Death

February 18, 2004 | Comments Off on Kashmiris Protest Custodial Death

In Kashmir today, people protested the alleged custodial death of a Kashmiri man Abdul Rashid Bhat: Furious over the death of one Abdul Rashid Bhat, protestors today blocked the national highway at Narbal on the outskirts of the city. Bhat was allegedly picked up by a joint team of Special Operations Group (SOG) and some […]

Judicial Remand for Accused in Bilkis Bano Case

February 18, 2004 | Comments Off on Judicial Remand for Accused in Bilkis Bano Case

13 individuals, including a BJP worker, have been remanded to judicial custody until February 20 in the Bilkis Bano case, covering the murder of 14 family members and her gang-rape during the Gujarat pogroms against Muslims in 2002: The 13 accused would be produced before the special fast-track court judge S M Padhyay on February […]

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