Public Hearing at Jamia

Anuradha Ghosh

Member, Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Group

Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Group organized a Jan Sunwai (Public Hearing) and Public Meeting on the Batla House ‘Encounter’ today in the ground opposite Khalilullah Masjid, Batla House, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi, from 10.00.a.m. to 1.00. p.m. The jury constituted of the following members:

Swami Agnivesh, John Dayal, Harsh Mander, Tripta Wahi, Tanika Sarkar, Vijay Singh and Nirmalangshu Mukherji.

Prominent members of the civil society, Arundhati Roy, Kavita Srivastava, Prashant Bhushan, Kavita Krishnan, members of Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi University, JNU, teaching faculty, students and members of the media attended the programme to listen to the eye witness accounts of the ‘encounter’.

The shroud of silence in which the members of the Jamia Nagar community had been pushed into following the policed accounts of the ‘encounter’ that was coming through the media over the past week after the initial spate of protests seems to have been broken. People from all walks of life that form the teeming multitude of the citizens residing in Jamia Nagar area came out openly questioning the ‘encounter’. Twelve members spoke as neighbours, eye witnesses and relatives of either the deceased or the accused and said openly that although the problem of terrorism needs serious attention, one cannot subscribe to an alternate reign of terror perpetrated by certain sections of the authority.

Questions were raised regarding the condition in which the bodies of Atif Ameen and Mohd. Sajid was received by the family members and how they were not allowed to bury them in the Okhla graveyard. Several discrepancies in the police accounts were highlighted and Manisha Sethi from the Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Group read out the Group’s study of the same. The Jury members would be meeting early next week and would finalize their verdict on the ‘encounter’. The Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Group’s demand for a time bound, independent inquiry under the sitting judge of the Supreme Court has been reiterated and in the present situation of the on-going media trial of the accused, concerted action is required.

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