Who really killed Syed Saleem Shahzad?

Syed Saleem Shahzad, a Pakistani investigative journalist, was founded dead in a canal in North-East Pakistan in May-June 2011. There is still no clarity on who actually killed him. But the email exchanges below throw some light on what Shahzad’s work was and who might have got him killed. These emails, between executives of global intelligence company Stratfor, were published by Wikileaks under the name ‘The Global Intelligence Files’.

Below is the entire mail trail on what might have happened to Syed Saleem Shahzad.

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Pakistan Journalist Vanishes: Is the ISI
Involved?
Date: Tue, 31 May 2011 13:15:00 -0500
From: Fred Burton <burton@stratfor.com>
To: OS <os@stratfor.com>

Fears are growing for the safety of a well-known Pakistani journalist who has been missing for 39 hours now and, according to an international advocacy group, is believed to be in the custody of Pakistan’s controversial Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Human Rights Watch declared that Syed Saleem Shahzad, a reporter working for the Hong Kong-based Asia Times Online and Adnkronos International, the Italian news agency, could be subject to mistreatment and even torture while in custody.

UPDATE: Pakistan’s main news channels are reporting that Shahzad’s dead body has been found. One news channel broadcast what appeared to be a black and white image of Shahzad’s face. There were visible signs of torture..

Read more:
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2074800,00.html#ixzz1NxHaX4xA

————————————————-

From: Fred Burton <burton@stratfor.com>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2011 19:18:28 -0500 (CDT)
To: Kamran Bokhari<bokhari@stratfor.com>
Cc: Secure List<secure@stratfor.com>

Subject: Re: Fwd: Pakistan Journalist Vanishes: Is the ISI Involved?

I’m not surprised. Have we confirmed he’s dead?

On 5/31/2011 7:16 PM, Kamran Bokhari wrote:

Heard that the ISI agents who were “interrogating” him didn’t realize he had a heart condition and when they began the thrashing the guy had a heart attack and died.

On 5/31/2011 2:17 PM, Fred Burton wrote:
A reasonable man would conclude that the chap was on the CIA dole, but you did not hear that from me. Payback is a bitch.

————————————————-

From: “Kamran Bokhari” <bokhari@stratfor.com>
To: “Fred Burton” <burton@stratfor.com>, “Kamran Bokhari” <bokhari@stratfor.com>
Cc: “Secure List” <secure@stratfor.com>
Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 7:28:02 PM
Subject: Re: Fwd: Pakistan Journalist Vanishes: Is the ISI Involved?

Yes, he is dead. But the question is why create this new crisis when there are no shortages of crises.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

————————————————-

From: Reva Bhalla <bhalla@stratfor.com>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2011 19:29:03 -0500 (CDT)
To: <bokhari@stratfor.com>
Cc: Secure List<secure@stratfor.com>; Fred
Burton<burton@stratfor.com>
Subject: Re: Pakistan Journalist Vanishes: Is the ISI Involved?

is it that much of a crisis?

————————————————-

From: “Kamran Bokhari” <bokhari@stratfor.com>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2011 19:36:07 -0500 (CDT)
To: Reva Bhalla<bhalla@stratfor.com>; Kamran
Bokhari<bokhari@stratfor.com>
ReplyTo: bokhari@stratfor.com
Cc: Secure List<secure@stratfor.com>; Fred
Burton<burton@stratfor.com>
Subject: Re: Pakistan Journalist Vanishes: Is the ISI Involved?

Pretty big one. Domestic and int’l media shit-storm about how ISI brutally killed a journalist who uncovered ties between navy and aQ. The big thing now is aQ penetration of ISI.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

————————————————-

From: Fred Burton <burton@stratfor.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Jun 2011 07:51:53 -0500 (CDT)
To: Sean Noonan<sean.noonan@stratfor.com>
Cc: Secure List<secure@stratfor.com>
Subject: Re: Pakistan Journalist Vanishes: Is the ISI Involved?

http://www.plutobooks.com/display.asp?K=9780745331010&

Note his May 20 book release.

He was living on borrowed time operating in the belly of the beast. His last interview is telling. Regardless, he’s dead. Life on the edge.

On 6/1/2011 6:34 AM, Sean Noonan wrote:
Did y’all read his most recent story?

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/ME27Df06.html

These three stories are pretty good on his death and what was going on:

  • http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-05-31/syed-saleem-shahzad-suspicions-fall-on-pakistansisi-in-journalists-death/#
  • http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/leading-journalist-murdered-by-pakistani-security-service-2291604.html
  • http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2074800,00.html#ixzz1NxHaX4xA

Just throwing ideas out here. This is such a clusterfuck I don’t know what to think.

His next was to be “Next: Recruitment and training of militants” So who was doing the recruitment and training, huh? If it’s anything like the first half, it sounds like he’s going to accuse someone in the Pakistani military. Maybe they wanted to stop that?

Excerpt of new book on AQ and friends. Says the Mumbai plan was ISI’s and a dude under Kashmiri at LeT carried it out: http://www.syedsaleemshahzad.com/2011/05/who-masterminded-mumbai-attack/ It seems just as likely jihadists could go after him for exposing their location (or that they thought he exposed it).

The reports I’ve read through of ‘torture’ were really just that he had been hit in the face. That’s probably pretty typical of any militant or criminal outfit, and while the other reports of his ISI meetings were more peaceful, it wouldn’t be that difficult for them to go that far either.

Here’s his email to the HRW: http://asiancorrespondent.com/56321/saleem-shahzad-dead-another-one-bites-the-dust/

For future reference:

Meeting details as on October 17, 2010 at the ISI headquarters Islamabad between DG Media Wing ISI, Rear Admiral Adnan Nazir and Syed Saleem Shahzad, the Bureau Chief Pakistan for Asia Times Online (Hong Kong). Commodore Khalid Pervaiz, the Deputy Director General of Media Wing ISI was also present during the conversation.

Agenda of the meeting: discussion on Asia Times Online story published on October 15, 2010, titled Pakistan frees Taliban commander (see http://atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/LJ16Df02.html).

The meeting discussed the following issues.

1- Syed Saleem Shahzad told Rear Admiral Adnan that an intelligence channel leaked the story. However, he added that story was published only after a confirmation from the most credible Taliban source. Syed also explained that DG ISPR was sent a text message about the story, but he did not respond.

2- Rear Admiral Adnan Nazir had the view that story caused a lot of embracement for the country but observed that issuing a denial from the government side is no solution. He suggested Syed Saleem Shahzad should write a denial of the story.

3- Syed Shahzad refused to comply with demand and termed it impractical.

4- Rear Admiral Adnan was curious to know the source of the story as it is a shame that information would leak from the office of a high profile intelligence service.

5- Syed Shahzad called it an intelligence leak but did not specify the source.

6- The conversation was held in an extremely polite and friendly atmosphere and there was no mince word in the room at any stage. Rear Admiral Adnan Nazir also offered Syed Saleem Shahzad a favor in following words.

“I must give you a favor. We have recently arrested a terrorist and have recovered a lot of data, dairies and other material during the interrogation. The terrorist had a hit list with him. If I find your name in the list, I will certainly let you know,”
(end of email)

On 5/31/11 7:56 PM, burton@stratfor.com wrote:

I’m sure the ISI extracted a confession of his CIA work before he died. There will be a leaked story about his double agent work and the Pakis rub the CIA’s nose in it. Its what intel agencies do. Tit for tat. The world will soon forget him. Price one pays for playing the game.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

————————————————-

The most interesting aspect is the killing of a journalist. Fine line between an investigative journalist and spy. When you rattle around topics nobody wants aired, you pay the price. Truth tellers always get shot. Its much easier to lie or make up stories.

On 6/1/2011 8:46 AM, Sean Noonan wrote:

http://www.amazon.com/Bloodmoney-Novel-Espionage-David-Ignatius/dp/0393078116/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&
qid=1306935919&sr=8-1

i don’t think we’re going anywhere with this SSS thing, though it is interesting.

On 6/1/11 8:41 AM, Fred Burton wrote:

The poor bastard went down the rabbit hole and was neutralized. ISI is fully infiltrated by sympathizers and operatives. So, he was killed by ISI. Will we find a smoking gun? No. Will anybody care about this dude? Not really. The Agency lost an asset. Life goes on. There is a reason the CIA set up unilateral operations in Pakistan.

Suggest everyone read David Ignatius new book on CIA NOC and front company operations in Pakistan. Once again, he has gotten dead right.

On 6/1/2011 8:06 AM, Sean Noonan wrote:

the question, though, is still who did it. It means very different things if it is the ISI, the traditional military, or the jihadists. Then a question of who within those groups can also mean different things. Not saying we can answer that very easily, but who specifically killed who (with the support of who) would explain if there is an issue or not. Operating between the intelligence services and jihadists is a very, very dangerous place- so it’s not all that surprising that these deaths occur. And as tensions go up, so will those deaths. But we would have to know the same people were involved in the deaths to really know what ‘the issue’ actually is.

On 6/1/11 7:59 AM, Kamran Bokhari wrote:

The issue is not the man himself (though I am personally spooked out because I knew him and we met not too long ago and he wrote on my fb wall a day before he went missing). Instead the issue is the growing number of deaths of people who have been supportive of jihadists. Recall KK and Col Imam and now Triple-S. The other thing is that each of these 3 people were with the ISI at one point. A former army chief confirmed to me that SSS was at one point on the payroll. Each of these guys had a falling out with the official ISI but maintained links deep within the service. These guys have also had ties to jihadists of one type while pissing off other more radical types.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Will Western intervention for Africa’s minerals also checkmate China?

BY SAEED NAQVI

The escalating conflict in Mali can best be understood if we pick up the narrative from NATO action in Libya.

Just when the Europeans were salivating on Libya, the Americans showed an early aversion to another adventure, after Afghanistan and Iraq.

The International Herald Tribune published a quarter page cartoon. Hatted European gents are sipping Campari under an umbrella. Uncle Sam, looking rather like a butler, reports, “there’s a fire next door”. One European, snapping his fingers, orders “don’t just stand there. Go put out the fire”. So, the US and NATO came in.

There were a dozen reasons why Qaddafi had to be killed. One of these was the Libyan strongman’s extensive influence in all of Africa, from the 70s when wars of National Liberation were in vogue. His influence extended from the remarkable intellectual Hasan Turabi in Sudan to the somewhat thuggish Charles Taylor in Liberia and beyond. Turabi was imprisoned. Taylor, ofcourse, was tried for war crimes and jailed. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, with a Postgraduate degree from the US, (like Mikheil Saakashvili in Georgia) was installed President in 2006 for two terms of six years each. She has proceeded to outsource all logging and mining businesses. Democracy is on the march.

Likewise, when I turned up at El Fasher to see relief operations in Darfur, I expected to meet Africans since the African Union was managing relief camps. Instead I was introduced to Col. George D’Vione, a Frenchman who greeted me with great authority. He was as surprised by an Indian journalist in Darfur as I was meeting a Frenchman wearing an African Union hat. It turned out he was representing the European Union on the AU’s ceasefire commission for Darfur.

Earlier I had met Brig. David Richards in Sierra Leone. He proceeded to become Britain’s Army Chief. Years ago Mrs. Thatcher’s son Mark Thatcher was placed under house arrest in Cape Town for attempting a coup in Equatorial Guinea with the help of Africans aching to be recolonized.

More recently, UN envoy for Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, has been making ominous statements. “It would be a serious miscalculation to believe that the status quo can last. “He said the threat to the status quo came from “extremists, terrorist and criminal elements in the Sahel region”.

In other words, the arrival of the French in Mali could well be the beginning of link ups across the oil and mineral rich regions stretching from Sudan across Chad, Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Western Sahara where the Polisario movement will derive strength from the reverberations. The Moroccan Monarchy will watch with anxiety how direct French intervention in the region will affect Rabat’s claims on Western Sahara. The Polisario, with support from Algeria, also has claims on this strategic stretch. Christopher Ross will obviously give the status quo some movement.

The United States launched its war on terror in Afghanistan in November 2001. The targets were Al Qaeda and its Taliban affiliates. Eleven years on, Islamic terror is striking at American troops in what is called Green on Blue or insider attacks.

The secular, efficient dictatorship of Saddam Hussain was destroyed and “Islamism” took over, including its terrorist variants. Likewise, Libyan secularism was replaced by the kind of extremism which resulted in the US ambassador being assassinated in Benghazi. Meanwhile, howls of protest are coming from the direction of those earlier opposed to the Assad regime in Syria and who now see Al Nusra, an Al Qaeda affiliate, gaining the upper hand among Syrian opposition.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is all over Yemen, mutating as al Shabab in Somalia. There already is Boko Haram in Nigeria linking up with Ansar Dine in Mali.

In the Mali chaos, no one is talking about the 15th monuments destroyed in Timbuktu, vandalism on a scale reminiscent of the Bamyan Buddhas or even the looting of the great museum of Baghdad.

In the near future, there will be a line along the Sahel which will divide Africa into Muslim North and Christian South, with adjustments here and there. First, the Darfur model maybe tried: bring Arab Muslims and African Muslims into conflict.

Toss in the hundreds of tribes on both side of the religious divide, and there will be enough confusion to distract the Chinese who have stolen a march on all the others who are looking for Africa’s mineral wealth.

(Saeed Naqvi is a senior Indian journalist, television commentator, interviewer, and a Distinguished Fellow at Observer Research Foundation. Mr. Naqvi is also a mentor and a guest blogger with Canary Trap)

Indian govt’s funding of NGOs a major scam

The Asian Centre for Human Rights report has alleged that the Indian government’s funding of non-government organizations (NGOs) is a huge scam.

The report, titled ‘India’s Funds to NGOs Squandered’, states:

“If a conservative estimate of 15% is used as a bribe to process the applications, during the Fiscal Years 2002-2003 to 2008-2009 at least Rs. 1000 crores (between 2002-2009) or Rs. 142 crores per year were spent on “bribes” to different layers of officials approving the projects. This is literally stealing the money of the India’s poorest. It will not be an understatement that funding to voluntary sector is largely decided by bribes and political influence.”

Click here to read the entire report

Of wolves and men

BY BADRI RAINA

It is a great mystery to me why wolves should have been saddled with the ill repute of being sexual predators.

My experience of reading about animals and watching with commitment the many excellently researched documentaries about them on the chain of Discovery channels, including the National Geographic, teaches me this: that no animal, the wolf included, ever forces himself upon an unwilling or unready female of his species. Without a single exception.

The only animal that does so with nauseating insistence is the male of the human species. A clear black mark on the theory of evolution it seems.

Among other animals, you will have noticed a skein of honourable recognitions of mutual prowess stretching across gender. The lion knows he is not half the hunter that the lioness is, and thus rarely seek to impose his lugubrious incompetence when the hunt is on. And so on.

Men, fearing the knowledge that more women are, more often than not, more competent and resilient, and thus capable of taking their yard if given an inch, take recourse to that final brute instinct, namely, physical attack. This recourse to bestiality when everything else fails is meant to remind women that god meant them to be, after all, subservient to the muscular segment of the species, and to do their bidding in all things.

Bestiality I said; yet with apologies to non-human animals, it must be said that they make physical attack either for food, or in response to attack, or for the security of the brood, rarely if ever for sectarian dominance. It is as though god had made them more rational than us humans whose violence is almost always gratuitous and indefensible.

And the most rational aspect of non-human animal life must be that its sexuality is never anarchic or indiscriminately obsessive, or directed to ensure the psychological or political dominance of the male. It has a season and it has a purpose, namely the continuance of the species. And in that scheme of things, the male and the female are cognizant participants.

Thus, non-human animals, not excluding wolves, never rape. When the male animal is refused, he has the grace to desist and seek elsewhere, however crestfallen.

Rape thus is never a sexual act. Almost always, it is the confession of the male that he has no other way of overpowering the female into slavery, of keeping her out of the due of equality.

This infernally impotent rage that the essentially weak male invariably experiences in the presence of the female who has a mind — and, by inference, a body — of her own is of course sought, across all cultures of the world, to be legitimized by reference to scriptures that are taught to have divine sanction.

Except, of course, that, to the best of our dispassionate knowledge, those scriptures are, in the first place, products not of any revelatory incantations but of the considered conspiracies of men from the origins of the species.

Give me one single eye-witness account that there was a god who created Eve from Adam’s rib, or that the former first succumbed to the forbidden fruit; or that there was a god or a prophet who decreed that woman must at all times do man’s bidding, be it in the Manusmriti or the Koran. Yet, those interested accounts have been and continue to be relentlessly deployed to render male brutalities “understandable” and, when all is said and done, “excusable” to this day by well-heeled organizations of self-appointed arbiters of “right conduct.”

The battle against those sorts of constructions of “authorized” disequilibriums as between men and women may be said to have been largely won by women in the democratic parts of the western world. Wherever contrary trends are once again visible-red America for one-it is obvious that women in those parts today are willing political partners to such revisionist options rather than coerced collaborators to those dystopias. And anything that issues from voluntary exercises of choice need invoke nobody’s meddling.

However “elitist” the current outcry against rape in India may seem, its intellectual content and exponential possibilities clearly suggest that the good fight has been joined in a concerted manner for the first time. Remarkably, a whole new generation of young Indian males, increasingly wedded to the notion of individual choice in matters of all sorts of productive work and consumption, seem to have made up their minds to join with protesting young women on behalf of gender equality and the right to free exercise of choice.

It will remain to be seen whether or not this point of entry at the call of liberalism is sought to be extended beyond what may be its caste or class configuration to embrace those vast hordes of indigent women who suffer the ignominy and violence of male brutality day in and day out in city, town, district, taluka, village, and outlying shanty, away from recourse to any form of social or official redress.

Caveat: At this pregnant moment, we must also take note that many cabals on the right-wing of our cultural and political life are waiting and eager to press the present outcry into the service of discredited medievalisms. Where it may be their sinister object to use the event to push women back into the suffocating furnace of patriarchy, it must be our endeavour to seek such transformations as enhance women’s natural and constitutional rights to freedom and equality in personal and social life, obliging the state and communities to ensure that such be the case.

In conclusion I may be permitted to recall a few lines from what I had once written in a poem, titled “Our Share of the World”:

Here is what we say:
Recognize the altered night and day;
Men and women must together find
An honest will to put behind
A habitually distorted humankind.
It is much to be hoped that the time has arrived

(Badri Raina is a well-known commentator on politics, culture and society. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)

The Bible according to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

BY BADRI RAINA

It is such a relief finally to know why and where rapes take place in this sanaatan land.

They happen because of “Western” influence, and they happen in “India”, not in “Bharat”.

To clarify: “India” is wherever rapes take place; Bharat is where they do not. By the way, not rape but “balatkar” takes place in Bharat; and that is not the same thing, is it?

So, for starters, you might ask the question: do the thousands of Dalit women, agricultural workers, Adivasi women out to gather firewood or water, women out on the call of nature in the open, women who dare to defy custom in the hinterlands, girls who dare go to village schools trudging menacing distances, women who inhabit slums outside city limits who are regularly subjected to rape live in India or in Bharat? And all without any of the redress that may occasionally be available to women who are raped in “India”, since in Bharat there is hardly ever a police thana to go to, or a social organization to seek shelter with, or a hospital or health worker who might record and report those rapes. And of course no “Western” influence there. Only expanding “development” full of predatory robber barons patronized by chief executives replete with good Bharatiya values.

Then there is the claim that women have traditionally been so honoured and safe in Bharat. Consider how Shrupnakha in the Ramayana was honoured by having her nose cut off for expressing an amorous preference; how Dhrupadi in the Mahabharata was likewise honoured by first being staked in gambling by anadarsh husband, and then gleefully disrobed by the male cabal, all friendly family men, to whom she was lost in dice; or how women in a predominant Bharat then were honoured by being required to climb the dead husband’s pyre upon his death; or how they were made safe by being routinely married off as less than nubile children; or being propitiated as “grah lakhshmis” who nonetheless had the privilege of eating last and eating little; or by being burnt  off should her dowry be pitiful; or, more recently, by being killed off in the womb to be utterly and ab initio safe from the outside world. And, altogether, by being held to the so ennobling laws of Manu. All during times when one never as much heard of the “Western” world, which, one must note, was pretty much as enlightened with respect to women as the Bharat barely sketched above.

Now this wretched “Western” world: how the sanaatan Bharatiya right-wing adores its goods and services, its technologies, its finances, its industry, its impulse to dominance, its macho militarism, its market economies and all the chicaneries and corruptions that go with it, but how it abhors its concomitant histories of democracy, freedom, equality. Ergo, as the Hindu right-wing Bible would have it, give us your capitalism, give us the smart phones, give us the unconscionably unethical advertising industry, but leave us our Bharatiya culture at the centre of which is the shackled nari, captive to a plethora of lakhshman rekhas. Let her continue to be the bulwark of family and patriarchy, while Bharatiya men go out to conquer the world.

The plain fact is that, suddenly, India’s prehistoric myth-makers no longer have a leg to stand upon. For too long have they been speaking to cross purposes from each side of a duplicitous mouth. They say they support women’s reservation in Parliament and Legislatures, not to speak of Panchayats and Gram Sabhas, to wit, their role as  social and governmental decision-makers, they adulate foreign women of Indian origins who do heroic deeds as citizens of other countries (Kalpana Chawla or a Sunita Williams), never questioning what they wear or who they go with, but they do not wish any woman at home to be her own person in what she wears, where she goes and at what time of day or night, who she teams up with, what opinion she holds or expresses, or how she might dare challenge the stranglehold of family, custom, maryada, or how she might hold the patriarchal state responsible for ensuring their free movement, their free choice of personal, social, and emotional mobility. They presumably expect even very successful women in offices, corporations, legislatures, educational institutions always to keep in mind that they remain in line with what their fathers, husbands, or brothers would think best for them. And when the fathers, husbands, brothers, or sundry other kin commit rape upon them, maryada enjoins that they do not make such things public. And just to recall: 92% or so rapes in this land of ethics and honour are perpetrated within family circles. Not to speak of the millions of abjectly illiterate and mired women who nonetheless are pressed into productive services in field, factory, shopline at much less the wages at which men might be hired. Those are unmentionable fair game for whatever male happens to take fancy.

Consider this: Hinduism is the only organized faith worldwide that has a goddess of wealth (Lakshmi) who is vigorously worshipped every Diwali day for hefty boons. Yet India’s women own barely 2% of national assets, and even less have bank accounts.

As we write, one prominent godman, by the name of Asaram, who has legions of followers, among them, significantly, legions of women, the sort who routinely inhabit India’s soap operas — comfortably placed, replendantly adorned, and steeped in forms of ritual and superstition handed down by patriarchy — has pronounced that the young lady whose recent brutal rape and subsequent death are now in the eye of the storm may, after all, have been to blame for her fate. Had she but taken “diksha” (religious initiation bestowed by a “guru”) she might have been able to mutter a mantra in her predicament that would have obviated her fatal encounter. Imagine the loads of unnecessary work this would spare the overburdened law enforcement agencies and the legal system were the advice to be adopted as national policy. Indeed, he has gone on to say that had she but held one of the attackers by the wrist and called him brother, and appealed to other “brothers” to come to her rescue, being an “abla” (weak and eligible for male protection, as per traditional construction of women), maybe fallen at their feet, none of what happened might have happened. And, if you have been listening, his fiercest defence has been coming from one of his articulate women devotees.

This has come quickly upon the heals of  yet another discourse, this time on the nature of marriage by the same  Shri Bhagwat of the RSS: marriage, he opines, is a “contract” wherein the wife agrees to keep the husband pleased, and the husband in turn agrees to keep the wife secure and fed. After such knowledge, what forgiveness.

Gloriously, however, there is a new turbulence underway in post-independence India, where what remnants of Bharat there remain — and these are still countless — are sought to be everyday uplifted to a future of reason, dignity, equality; a turbulence which most hearteningly is now being owned and endorsed by a new generation of young males who have seen through the untenable and oppressive formulations of old. Gloriously also, some women who have been objects of gang rapes are today boldly and openly articulate on some media channels, speaking of their ordeals in their own voices, and, most significantly, refusing to project themselves merely as  victims overburdened by the sort of shame and opprobrium that patriarchs would like them to feel. This truly betokens a new episteme in India’s social and gender history, one that seems here to stay. All that in the teeth of right-wing back-to-the-wall resistance from both major communities (notice that Abu Azmi of the Samajwadi Party has said that he finds nothing wrong in what Bhagwat has said; how those seeming opposites are often at bottom one and the same; no wonder that “honour” killings straddle both communities with equal conviction in misogyny and patriarchy) in India who stand  more and more exposed as each day passes.

Which is also the reason why the suggestion made by Shashi Tharoor must be zestfully endorsed, namely, that since it is the perpetrators who ought to feel the shame and not the victim, the deceased young woman who has been the catalyst of the current historic epistemic shift must be honoured by being named, and by having the new laws under contemplation named after her. Indeed, if jurisprudence as at present disallows such a departure in the naming of laws, then amendments may be made. One presses this point in the conviction that such symbolic determinations on behalf of nation-states can often have far-reaching consequence in reshaping inherited habits of thought.

(Badri Raina is a well-known commentator on politics, culture and society. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)

Footage of attack on RTI activist Sulaiman Bhimani

Eight unknown men entered RTI Activist Sulaiman Bhimani’s office with sticks and swords on Saturday afternoon at 3 pm, and smashed a laptop, printer-scanner and computer keyboard.

The attack ended within 10 seconds as Bhimani’s neighbours raised an alarm. While retreating hastily, they slashed wildly at the nameplate with the swords, and kicked at the wooden door frame, smashing it. Bhimani escaped with only an injury on his finger.

Fortunately, this entire episode was captured on two CCTV cameras installed inside and outside his office. The attached photo shows a man who entered his cabin and struck at his laptop. (The man seen on the right in the pink shirt is NOT Bhimani, he is a visitor. Bhimani, being directly seated under the CCTV camera, is not visible in the footage.)

Click here to watch CCTV footage (Outside office)

(Note: The man in the blue shirt talking on the phone is a visitor, and he completely fails to react as the people wearing handkerchiefs and carrying sticks and swords walk into the cabin. This man is the “rounder” of a well known security agency)

Click here to watch CCTV footage (Inside office)

(Note: A man wearing a T-shirt is seen entering from the main door into the office of Sulaiman Bhimani, and abruptly smashing a laptop, before dropping his stick and fleeing. The other assailants are seen through the glass, swinging wildly to damage the office equipment before they retreat. The attack ended within 10 seconds. Bhimani, who suffered only an injury on his finger, is not seen in the footage as he was seated directly under the CCTV camera. The man seen on the right in the pink shirt is NOT Bhimani, he is a visitor from a security agency)

Bhimani feels that the most likely suspects are some people mentioned in this report: http://tinyurl.com/GRace-Sarvadhariya

The builder and unlawful elements mentioned in this report suffered losses of several crores when MMRDA cracked down on them recently, evicted 50 tenants with police action, and served eviction notices on 102 others. They have criminal records, and have threatened Bhimani in the recent past.

FIR was registered under IPC sections 452, 427, 323, 143, 144, 147, 148, 149. See FIR copy: http://tinyurl.com/Sulaiman-Bhimani-Attack-FIR

For more information, call Sulaiman Bhimani 93236 42081