Sohail Hashmi writes:
Read the piece below this short note from me.
The piece is written by Himanshu Singh Sabharwal.
Himanshu is the son of a man who was killed by political goons,
just as my brother was killed.
He was killed for doing his duty as a teacher
My brother was killed for doing theatre that spoke for the oppressed.
My brother's killers were sentenced because the entire creative community of this country spoke for him
Pofessor Sabharwal's Killers walk free because of administrative connivence and because we as a people did not stand up and speak out for him
We are doing it now
on 26th July at 4.30 pm at India Gate
with the slogan: JUSTICE FOR PROFESSOR SABHARWAL
come with your banners
your songs of protest
or without any of these
come to stand up
and be counted
My Father, Professor Sabharwal
by Himnashu Singh Sabharwal
The man that you see in this picture is my father, in his last moments, disheveled and helpless. He stood 5 feet 11, robust and smartly turned out. A romantic at heart and a philosopher in the mind he was known to never leave his house without his prized possessions of his Ray Ban sunglasses and his Cross gold pen. These only indulgences in luxury were, I think, 15 years old gifts. He would clean his car himself after his 2 km long morning walk which always looked like it was just out of the showroom. A car that he bought so that I didn't feel inferior in my snob school.
A migrant of 1947, he came to Ujjain at the age of 5, having lost his father in the riots. A self made man, while studying for his doctorate he worked as a time keeper in the Public Works Department to fend for a family of two younger brothers and an ailing mother. He studied in Hindi medium through out, but his knowledge of English literature was admirable, which he made efforts to learn on his own. He would always call 'Zee Tv' as 'Jee Tv' and, on my correcting him, answer with a smile: "Old habits die hard".
That man had the vision to send me to one of the best residential boarding schools of the country and would never forget to come for my house evenings, annual days and other functions. He said he came for the delicious 'samosas' served in the evening tea. But I know now that he came for me alone. Each visit would have a rehearsed surprise of producing a Cadbury milk bar out of the upper pocket of his shirt for me.
On my first day of college, he especially came to Delhi to see me off, gifting me a tailored shirt and a trouser, proud that I was going to be a graduate. I was thus the only one dressed like an executive in the whole of Delhi University where everybody else was in jeans. When he got to know this, he laughed no end at himself. That was one thing of many that I admired about him, his courage to laugh at himself and add a poetic couplet or a funny anecdote to suit the occasion. He knew poets like kabir, Rahim, Ghalib and many more by heart.
When I decided to study in film school, he did not know how to react, because by what he had seen of life, being in theatre, film, art etc meant being a pauper in a never ending struggle. I salute the spirit of that man when he responded with: "hamaare khandaan mein kabhi kisi ne film nahi socha hoga, chalo tum hi sahi". He himself was a brilliant actor, having worked with the likes of M.K. Raina in plays like Inna Ki Awaz and knew the addiction it was.
Sometime in my first job, he quietly asked me one evening if I would like a drink. The first one that I had was with my father. He treated me more as a friend than a son. One could discuss with him anything under the sun. Religion to sex. Anything.
After he got tired of answering people about my nature of work, he would humorously say, "pata nahi sahab kya karta hai, magar mujhse paise nahi mangta".
Kids were a magical therapy for him. The most popular uncle in the neighbourhood he had a never ending supply of chocolates for them.
When he came to visit me in the June of 2006, I offered him a holiday in London with me, a strange smile lit his face, he had never been abroad but he denied, saying perhaps in the next incarnation.
On the 26th of august'2006 this man was killed in cold blood after his face was smeared with mud, his clothes torn and he was kicked and boxed in the chest which broke his ribs and punctured his lungs. I saw his body on the 27th, blue and black in the mortuary with eyes static in oblivion.
For this man I demand justice
Fact sheet in the Professor Sabharwal Murder Case
by Himanshu Sabharwal
1. Student Union Elections are cancelled at Madhav College Ujjain due to less numbers in a mandatory corum on the 26th of August’2006.
2. NSUI ransacks the college at 12 :30 and is driven away by the Police force after a lathi charge.
3. The College is closed by the police and the Professors retained inside for security reasons.
4. There is heavy deployment of police force with tear gas squads, water canons and cavalry deputed to prevent any untoward incident.
5. Thereafter CSP Manoj Singh escorts ABVP leaders and BJP corporators, namely Shashi Ranjan Akela, Vimal Tomar, Hemant Dubey, Vishal Rajoria, Sudhir Yadav, Pankaj Mishra, Ajay Tiwari, Bhanu Bhadoria, Luv Shukla , Satyanarayan Chauhan, Sonu Gehlot and Mohan Yadav inside a sealed college when he is clearly not supposed to do so being aware of the violent situation.
6. This group then harasses and abuses Prof. Nath, shouts slogans, slaps and blackens his face, Vimal Tomar threatens him & the professors of dire consequences by the ABVP, while police stands as a mute witness to the misbehaviour.
7. This very group after coercing a signature from Prof. Zafar Mehmood and Prof. Nath on their way out abuse Prof. Sabharwal and kick his Scooter making him fall on the ground. The proud Professor Retaliates. Then they mercilessly jump on his chest kicking and boxing him repeatedly causing three bones of the rib cage to break and puncture his lung resulting in his death due to syncopy with in five minutes of the assault.
8. He is declared ‘brought dead’ to the hospital.
9. The Police takes more than 8 hours to register an FIR and detains the prime witness Komal Singh Sengar in the police station till late at night with the then Jaideep Prasad harassing him to change his statement.
10. Two FIRs are registered of one continuous incident . One for the assault on Professor Nath where they name the same very people accused in Professor sabharwal Murder case, but when they register the FIR for murder the names are missing. This is a major loophole left open for the accused purposefully.
11. The state even before a Post mortem declares he died of a heart attack.
12. The Chief Minister Shiv Raj Singh Chauhan calls it a ‘Hadsa’ an accident.
13. There are no arrests for the next 4 days and there is wild national and international outcry by the public , social forums , political parties and the media together. The heinous crime and the horrendous behaviour of the BJP government is gravely criticized and reprimanded.
14. The Prime Minister takes note of the sequence of events and makes a statement on the teachers day.
15. Finally the state decides to hand it over to the CID ignoring repeated demands of handing it over to the CBI.
16. The CID arrests shashi Ranjan Akela and Vimal Tomar on the 31st of august 2006 on the basis of the video footage being flashed on TV channels and after the prime witness Komal Singh Sengar and Manohar Dodia came on national television and testified recalling the incident and the accused.
17. The rest are arrested 22 days later in September 2006 barring two BJP corporators who the CID could not arrest due to immense pressure by BJP the Government which allowed its workers to ‘gherao’ the police station.
18. The CID submits its final report under section 173 Cr.Pc which is very lame in nature doctored to benefit the accused. The entire incident was videographed by 2 police cameramen and 6 others of the local channels. They were present through out from the declaration of the cancellation till Prof. Sabharwal was brought to the hospital.
19. The investigation was botched up by suppressing major video evidence of the chronology of events. Namely the entry a) of BJP and ABVP leaders in the college b) blackening and slapping of Prof. Nath c) Murder of Prof. Sabharwal. The CID submitted not the original tapes and negatives of photo reels but copied CDs. The editing machine on which the tapes were copied was also not confisicated. Surprisingly no Forensic was done.
20. There were no statements recorded under 164 (in front of a magistrate)inspite of repeated requests to the Director General of Police.
21. CID makes 5 police men as witness who were deputed at the gate where the murder took place.
22. No medical opinion was sought on the Postmortem.
23. The Trial begins in ujjain and all of 51 witnesses including the ones who testified on open camera turn hostile, there were in all 54 witnesses. It was the most speedy trial in the history of Madhya Pradesh. The Trial used to commence with hoodlums of the BJP and alliances turning out in heavy numbers to influence the court.
24. CNN IBN conducts a sting operation after their testimonies in court and again gets the truth out of them. They accuse of being threatened of dire consequences. The sting also manages to visit inside the jail who are living like state guests. BJP workers and leaders having easy access to them.
25. Repeated requests for a special prosecutor were denied.
26. A report by DIG Ajay Sharma which sites the incident and finds CSP Manoj Singh and other police officers guilty and abetment of crime was suppressed and the police officers were promoted with plum postings.
27. The Chief Minister visits a healthy Vimal Tomar, the prime accused who is admitted in the city hospital at Indore making ill health an excuse in February 2008.
28. Taking Note of the events and angry at the police witnesses turning hostile e the Supreme Court transfers the Trial out of M.P to Nagpur, echoing the judgement of the Best Bakery case of Gujrat Riots.
29. The court orders a forensic for the CDs and asks for the original tapes to be submiited which the police shamelessly claim have been re written and hence can not be obtained. The forensic is conducted by the state of MP from Gujrat, which denied that any tampering was done with the CDs.
30. The three police witnesses turn hostile yet again, and the state takes no action against them.
31. The bureau chief of NDTV testifies in court the on-tape testimony of Komal Sengar, the prime witness, however the court declares it as a secondary eveidence.
32. Finally it results in the acquittal of all six accused and the Judge remarks that the prosecution failed miserably in proving that the accused were even present on the site and that he regretted that Professor Sabharwal was denied justice.
On youtube, please follow the links from the RHS of this one