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POSTED BY Buzz ON Feb 27, 2013 AT 19:29 IST ,  Edited At: Feb 27, 2013 19:29 IST

Churumuri writes:

Deccan Herald journalist Muthi-ur-Rahman Siddiqui has walked out of the central jail in Bangalore a free man, six months after being named by the city’s police in an alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba plot to target two Kannada journalists and the publisher of the newspaper they were earlier employed in.

Siddiqui had been accused of being the “mastermind” of a gang of 15 in August last year to kill editor Vishweshwar Bhat, columnist Pratap Simha and publisher Vijay Sankeshwar, allegedly for their “right-wing leanings“. The journalists were with Vijaya Karnataka of The Times of India group, before they joined Rajeev Chandrasekhar‘s Kannada Prabha.

The national investigation agency (NIA), which investigated the case, didn’t name Siddiqui in its chargesheet on February 20 following which a special court trying the case ordered his release on February 23.

On Monday night, Siddiqui walked out of jail and on Tuesday, he addressed a press conference.

Reporting for the Indian Express, Johnson T.A. writes:

About six months ago, when he appeared in court for the first time after being named by the Bangalore Police, Siddiqui, 26, still had the glint of youthful exuberance in his eyes.

But now, the first thing that comes to mind on seeing Siddiqui after his release from prison on Monday, is the disappearance of that enthusiasm from his face. Gone is the glint in his eyes, and in its place is a serious, sad man.

Even so, Siddiqui, whose thesis suggestion for his PG diploma in mass communication—’Media coverage of terrorism suspects’—was struck down by his supervisor pulled no punches in describing his own ordeal before his colleagues, compatriots and competitors.

  1. “The media has forgotten the ‘A’ in the ABC of Journalism [Accuracy-Brevity-Clarity].”
  2. “I always thought the police, media and society at large do not treat terror suspects fairly. That thinking has been reinforced by my experience.”
  3. “Security agencies are not sensitive towards the poor and weaker sections of society. If you look at the way the entire operation was carried out by the police and reported by the media, this insensitivity is clear.”
  4. According to the [Bangalore] police and the media, I am the mastermind. If I am the mastermind, why are the others still in jail? I hope they too will get justice.”
  5. “The media and the police need to be more sensitive toward the downtrodden, Dalits and Muslims. The way the media and the police behaved raises basic questions about their attitude toward Muslims.
  6.   “Muslims are often cast by the media and police in stereotypes. There is an institutional bias which manifests in such cases. This is not just about me; it is about hundreds like me who are in jails [across the country] on terror charges. Muslims are not terrorists.”
  7. “If I was not a Muslim the police wouldn’t have picked me…. They first arrest people, then find evidence against them. What happened on August 29, 2012 was no arrest but downright kidnapping. A bunch of strong men barged into our house and forcefully took us away in their vehicles. This even as we were pleading and asking why we were being taken out.”
  8. “They kept interrogating me as if I was the mastermind and kept saying that I’d be in for seven years for sure. Everyone knows that jail is no fun place. For the first 30 days we were cramped in a small room. The confinement itself was torture.  They did not inform our families. They did not tell us what we were being arrested for. They made us sign 30-40 blank sheets of paper. One of these papers was used to create fake, back-dated arrest intimation.”
  9. “Some fair play is still possible in the system. Though justice was delayed, it wasn’t denied in my case.”

Siddiqui, who is still on Deccan Herald‘s roster, says he wants to go back to journalism, for that is his passion, but wants to spend time with his family first.

Two other journalists—Jigna Vora of The Asian Age and S.M.A. Kazmi—have been arrested in recent times on terror charges. They are both out on bail.

Also See: 

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Feb 27, 2013 AT 19:29 IST, Edited At: Feb 27, 2013 19:29 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Sep 05, 2012 AT 21:11 IST ,  Edited At: Sep 05, 2012 21:11 IST

A petition to Chief Justice of India asks him to remove Justice Bhaktavatsala of Karnataka High Court for his retrograde views against women against the tenets of the Constitution

From the petition:

On August 31, he went out of his way to counsel a young woman whose stated reason for not living with her husband was that he used to beat her. Justice Bhaktavatsala said, “Women suffer in all marriages. You are married with two children, and know what it means to suffer as a woman. Yesterday, there was a techie couple who reconciled for the sake of their child. Your husband is doing good business, he will take care of you. Why are you still talking about his beatings? I know you have undergone pain. But that is nothing in front of what you undergo as a woman. I have not undergone such pain. But madam (Justice BS Indrakala) has.”

The court asked the woman if her parents were present, at which her father walked up to the bench. The judge remarked, “Ask your father if he has never beaten your mother!” When the woman said her husband would beat her in the open, in front of everyone, Justice Bhaktavatsala remarked that it was she who was bringing it out in the open. The court was told that the husband would beat her in the middle of the night and had thrown her out of the house.

When the woman’s advocate produced photographs showing her swollen face, the court said, “You have to adjust. Are you just behind money? There is nothing in your case to argue on merits. You have to give him a divorce or go with him. Have you read about actor Darshan. He spent 30 days in jail after beating his wife. But they are living together now. What is on your mind and what is on your agenda?”

...

This is just not an isolated case in another case reported , a young advocate had not imagined she would be receiving a lesson on married life when she took up a case on behalf of an estranged wife. She was summarily told by Justice K Bhaktavatsala that she was unfit to argue a matrimonial case as she was unmarried. While the lady advocate was citing the allegations against the husband, Justice Bhaktavatsala stopped her midway and asked, “Are you married?” When she replied in the negative, the judge said, “You are unfit to argue this case. You do not know real life. Why are you arguing like this? He is your (client’s) partner,not a stranger. Family matters should be argued only by married people, not spinsters. You should only watch. Bachelors and spinsters watching family court proceedings will start thinking if there is any need to marry at all. Marriage is not like a public transport system. You better get married and you will get very good experince to argue such cases.”

Read the full petition

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FILED IN:  Judiciary|Women|Karnataka
POSTED BY Buzz ON Sep 05, 2012 AT 21:11 IST, Edited At: Sep 05, 2012 21:11 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Aug 31, 2012 AT 20:53 IST ,  Edited At: Aug 31, 2012 20:53 IST


Muthiurrahman Siddiqui, courtesy: Facebook

Yesterday, Bangalore police arrested 11 persons, including a DRDO scientist and a journalist, with alleged links to Lashkar-e-Taiba and HUJI. and claimed to have foiled their plot to target MPs, MLAs and media persons in Karnataka.

Among the 11, the most shocking inclusion was a Bangalore-based journalist who has since been named by the police as the “mastermind” of the alleged plot:

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Aug 31, 2012 AT 20:53 IST, Edited At: Aug 31, 2012 20:53 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Feb 10, 2012 AT 23:40 IST ,  Edited At: Feb 10, 2012 23:40 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Feb 10, 2012 AT 23:40 IST, Edited At: Feb 10, 2012 23:40 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Aug 03, 2011 AT 10:16 IST ,  Edited At: Aug 03, 2011 10:16 IST

So concluded the TOI report under the headline 'BSY didn't smash my laptop'  which quoted former BJP president M Venkaiah Naidu as denying that "outgoing Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa smashed his [Naidu's] laptop in a fit of rage for not defending him when the central leadership wanted him to resign.



This followed a report the previous day under the headline "Yeddyurappa smashes Naidu's laptop, slaps minister" which had gone on to say:

Minutes after being relegated to the status of caretaker chief minister of Karnataka, B S Yeddyurappa (BSY) vented his anger at senior central BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu, who was trying to pacify him. BSY flew into a rage and grabbed Naidu's laptop and smashed it on the floor on Sunday, according to party sources...

Such was the 68-year-old Lingayat leader's anger that when a minister close to him woke him up at his Race Course Road residence, he slapped the minister's face.

Apparently Mr Naidu also claimed that he doesn't have a laptop.

The TOI insists that its report was based on information given by two BJP sources, a Karnataka minister and an MLA.

Even on Tuesday, there was talk about the incident in party circles. Since the participants of the meeting are denying the unsavoury incident, we are publishing Naidu's clarification despite our sources' insistence that it's true.

The whole episode, however, highlights yet again the highly fractious and low-down nature of the political drama being enacted in Bangalore. If the laptop incident did not happen, the BJP local leaders' contention that it did indicates the length to which one faction is ready to go to smear the outgoing CM. And if it did happen, it is an eloquent testimony to the bitter wrangling within the party.

We have not heard anything further from or about the unnamed minister who was alleged to have been slapped.

Alert readers would recall that during BSY's Delhi visit also, it  was Naidu who had to bear the brunt of Yeddy’s anger.

Sources confirm that as Naidu urged the CM to resign, the latter asked him “to keep quiet”. Furthermore, he added, “Mr Naidu, you are an RS member from Karnataka. Tell me, how many times have you visited the state and spoken to the MLAs and MLCs who got you here. You know nothing about Karnataka.”

The outgoing CM's temper is legendary. Here is an incident from earlier this year:

Inside, in one of the rooms, some senior party colleagues were discussing strategy. The CM unexpectedly barged in there, lifted a chair, threw it and pointing a finger at one particular colleague (a national general secretary of the party, no less) let out a volley of abuses: “You...this is all happening because of you. Leave my house. Now. Immediately.” The leader quietly left. Those witness to the incident were dumbfounded for awhile, though later it was more of relief that it had not distracted the media outside.

But then we are not talking of an ordinary chief minister. As TJS George reminded us in the New Indian Express, this was a man who was convinced that he was the best leader Karnataka ever had, worthy, as he had said himself, of a Nobel:

There is no match for him in Indian politics. He is amazing. He is unbelievable. He is a pulsating anthropomorphic mechatronic phenomenon of terminatorial indestructibility. An absolute marvel.

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Aug 03, 2011 AT 10:16 IST, Edited At: Aug 03, 2011 10:16 IST
     
 
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